Thank You, Tech!

I barely squeezed into work today, but it was quiet enough that it wouldn’t have mattered even if I was late. I handed out rambutans sporadically throughout the day as I thought people might try them. Then after some coffee, I went across the street to check on Kayla, and then went to Dwight for a single work order.

Evidently the teacher had moved to Sequoyah, but the location in Incident IQ never changed, so I had to hand the ticket off to Kyle. I made it back to the shop a bit before lunch, and then I took Zach and Gary to McDonald’s so I could get another one of their Smoky Quarter Pounder BLTs. Several of the maintenance crew were there, and Tyler ended up hanging out with us through the rest of our lunch. It seemed a bit like maybe he needed something to do.

The afternoon wasn’t too dull, because I got a bunch more work orders that I was able to mostly complete from my office. Autumn called after school to ask me to get Eaddie while she went to karate, but then I couldn’t actually find Eaddie when I got to the band room after work. She eventually came out, and I took her to my house to trade vehicles.

While we were at my house, I cleaned out the shrimp tank a bit. Then we stopped by Popeye’s for the girls. I met Summer at my parents’ house for some more egg rolls. We chatted with Dad for a bit, and then we made it home. Eaddie was working on homework, and I helped her with some Python code. Autumn got home late and made a beeline for her room as usual.

I tried not to get to bed too late, because I was pretty tired. Everyone else still beat me to it. I’m already looking toward our next break.

But our teacher is in another building!

Magic Hippies

It was a bit of a struggle to get up today, but I had to get home to shower before meeting my parents to go to the magic club’s annual potluck and Christmas show. We knew Autumn didn’t want to go, but Eaddie changed her mind after originally saying she would go with us. Summer picked me up, and then my parents drove. Phone games kept me occupied for the trip, but then we arrived at a mostly abandoned looking facility.

Larry invited a bunch of his church crew, which was a rather odd looking group of folks. Most of them arrived before anybody I recognized, and then the potluck appeared a bit sparse for that many people. The Walmart chicken was pretty awful, but at least there was plenty of it. At least I don’t think anyone went hungry.

The show was very typical, and then the cleanup went relatively quickly. We didn’t stick around, and loaded up to leave pretty quickly. We stopped very briefly at the Midland market so Mom could look for some stuff, but it was probably the shortest visit I’ve ever seen her make. I picked up a bag of rambutans and some lychee gummies, and then we headed home.

For feeling so tired, we actually got home pretty early. Summer dropped me off at home so I could bring the car back up to her house. Eaddie had Summer quiz her for a test, and Autumn had some laundry going that she left in the machine after I called at her to take them out. Otherwise it was a really quiet, early night to bed.

Fraking gnats, everywhere.

One of Everything

Eaddie woke us up at four in the morning to be dropped off at the high school for an away robotics tournament. I got frustrated with her when she asked for food after we had already started driving the wrong direction for that, and then we tried two different gas stations that ended up being closed for the night. She ended up changing her mind about it, but then wanted me to drop her off to kill time by wandering around the campus in the dark. I at least got her in the building, and then checked up on her on camera once I got back home and into bed.

I didn’t let myself sleep too long though, because I wanted to make it to the Ridgewood Brothers for their soft open at 11. I got cleaned up, and Summer and I went across town. We were actually the second ones there, but I think the other lady might have been there the night before as well, so I was fuzzy on how the invites or events went out. Gary showed up a little while after we did, and came to join us. We were all really surprised there wasn’t just a line of people wrapped around the place.

They had a somewhat limited menu, but we definitely weren’t short on food. They could have just opened for regular price, and I would have paid it just to support them, but they were giving dine-in orders for half-off for the day. The one new thing I got to try was their new cheesy jalapeƱo rice grits. I thought they were fantastic, and could have started the day with a bowl of that for breakfast.

After we ate and finished socializing, Summer and I headed back to the house to get my yoke, and then went to Superfast to borrow some tools. They ended up having to buy a socket adapter that I would have had at home, but I didn’t have a breaker bar or a 10mm hex to go on the end of one. It took a little bit, but I ultimately got the wheel off with an air impact. I ended up swapping the whole front facia and using my OEM buttons, rather than separate the horn springs and whatever else was contained in the wiring harness. In the end, I thought it looked pretty good, and the experience of driving with a yoke was exactly like I expected: In no way better, but tolerable as a style choice.

We went to my parents’ house to show them, and they at least liked the look of it. We made plans to come back for dinner, and I took Summer back to the house so she could go to the gym. I poked around the house for a little bit, and tried to clean up some oil or grease stains on my hoodie from spending more than a couple minutes at the shop. Then I stopped by Walmart for bread flour, yeast, and a forgotten cucumber before heading up to get Summer for dinner.

Mom made egg rolls the other day, so Dad fried some up for salads. Eaddie was heading home on the bus the entire time, so we didn’t stick around too long after we finished eating. I dropped Summer off, and then immediately went to the high school to get her. We stopped by my house so she could get some things she had left, and I showed her my first three ice spheres from my new fridge. I was pretty happy with how they turned out, especially for the first batch.

Summer was making bread when we got back home. Eaddie chatted a bunch about her day, and then everyone was off to bed pretty early. Autumn made it home from Quiz Bowl, but didn’t bother to greet anyone before closing herself up in her room. I was absolutely heartbroken.

I feel personally attacked!

Bro

I squeezed in a minute late today, but beat Tammy by nearly 20 minutes. Thomas was apparently out on some (possibly?) surprise trip, so Zach set the guys out on some projects after Gary had a spiel about how the high school is being stupid about their guest WiFi access. I didn’t have to do any of that, so I spent some time in my office for the morning.

After a little while, I started getting phone calls. Kayla was still having trouble with transcribing her time cards, and then one of my old teachers at Oakland called asking for some help with a display issue. I kind of wanted an excuse to go back over there anyway, so I did.

Brody wanted to eat lunch with us since he was finally off on Fridays. We met him at Zaxby’s, and he did the surprised Pikachu face when he saw me pull up in my Tesla. He said he hated his new job, and had an interview with Ryan for a network engineer job in Clarksville. I guess Ryan didn’t remember having lunch with him when we picked up the carts from Bentonville, otherwise he might not have gotten the interview.

After lunch, I went across the street to spend some time with Kayla. She was still super stressed over the time cards, and Rebecca wasn’t really any help with her payroll knowledge. I did some more tweaking on the spreadsheet, and tried my best to make her job as easy as possible before going back to my office to send out the CPPC agenda.

After work, I stopped by to see the Ridgewood Brothers, and they had the restaurant ready to roll, with tons of staff everywhere. I thought I was helping, but didn’t realize they actually had an event scheduled that evening. I went home to get a tablet, but got sidetracked by picking up my blood pressure meds from Walgreens, and then cleaning up my new fridge so I could power it on. By the time I made it back to the restaurant, they had two parking lots FULL of people.

I went back home for a bit before meeting Summer at Arby’s for dinner. Then we came home and waited for the girls to get there. They both had to get up super early for school events the next day, so they wanted to stay close by for a shorter drive to the school. Summer watched some TV in bed as usual, and everyone was off to bed pretty early, except me, who was not at all used to sleeping at home.

Of course my refrigerator has a firmware update. How could it possibly keep my food cold without firmware?

Space Parade

It took me a little bit to get settled into my office today, but once I did, I spent most of my time on the phone with Kayla. There wasn’t much else going on though, and I enjoyed the work I was doing. When we moved all of the bus drivers to hourly pay rates, the district neglected to plan how payroll would be done. As such, Kayla has been processing reams of paper timesheets for every single person that drives a bus.

I got a quick Google Sheet put together with her, and then Zach pulled me away to lunch with Thomas and Greg at Brangus. I had the half chicken salad and remembered how overpriced it was in comparison to the other lunch options. Then I was right back on the phone with Kayla once we got back.

They let us out an hour early to avoid getting stuck by all the people lining up for the parade. I went by Ridgewood and actually got to lend a hand in cleaning things up a bit for the soft open on Saturday. Then I left to swap cars before going up to Summer’s.

We finished up most of the Thanksgiving leftovers and then made our way to the parade. We were early, but not early enough to avoid parking a block off of the main strip. We opted to stand in the middle of a side street once they blocked it off, and that earned us a view from the front row.

The parade itself was super spaced out, with tons of gaps between several of the floats. The high school band was first, so we got to see Eaddie. Then we waited until Autumn passed with the JROTC, and immediately left. The girls actually finished up shortly after that, but didn’t get home until later.

Summer watched the last bit of Weird with me, and then I started UHF before quitting at the first commercial to get ready for bed.

Space mining!

Defrosty

I tried not to feel too bad about leaving Tres outside overnight, since it wasn’t particularly gross or rainy out. It was nice being able to warm things up before I actually got outside, too. Not to mention autopilot taking me home while I was still drowsy.

It was a pretty quiet day back to work. Gary, Greg, and Zach were mostly preoccupied replacing something in the server room, so I was left to myself. I didn’t have much to catch up on, but still had several old, stale work orders that I couldn’t really update with anything. I wasn’t upset about easing back into work over a cup of oatmeal though.

When lunch time came around, Zach suggested Quiznos, so I took him and Gary. I had them add some fresh jalapeƱos to my burnt ends sandwich, and it was awesome. I didn’t expect that much heat. I paired that with a cup of broccoli cheddar soup and skipped the chips and drink, but of course it was still like 12 bucks.

I went to Dwight in the afternoon for a bit, but that ended up being a non-issue. Then I ran home to quickly grab a package from the front door before going back to the office. I had to take care of something upstairs in the SDC room, and one of the kids said my hair looked like Jesus.

The rest of the afternoon was super quiet until quitting time. I ran by Ridgewood to try and grab a picture of the smoke stack going, but they had it off again by the time I got there. Robert seemed all-business, so I didn’t stick around to see anyone else, though I did try to volunteer. Instead, I headed on home to clean out my garage so I could park inside again. Then I put the refrigerator shelves and drawers back together. Somehow we got a small scratch near the top of the left side. Nothing even touched it up there, so I have no idea what happened.

Summer went to the gym when she got back into town, and then I met her at Walmart to pick up stuff for banana pudding. Then we went on home, where Eaddie instantly crashed from exhaustion, and Autumn closed herself off in her room. Summer made pudding, and I did my best to stay warm from my unusual chill.

You’ve gotta spatulate that stuff better.

Fridged

I didn’t have as much trouble getting up this morning as I thought I would after going to bed so late. The bright sunlight probably had a lot to do with that. The girls all left for the day, so I eventually got up to some leftovers for brunch before heading home. There, I picked up a bit and made a path for my refrigerator later in the evening.

The refrigerator would be delivered to Ben’s house, where Sarah would be with the kids. He offered to let me borrow his truck to get it home, so I just went that route instead of having to deal with a trailer from U-Haul. The delivery timeframe was late enough that I knew I wouldn’t be able to get to Cabot for any meaningful time with Summer, so I just killed some time at home, and then went by Ridgewood.

Grant was there unloading a trailer full of wood. Robert eventually showed up, and then his father stopped by with a whetstone for the boys. We chatted for a bit, and I took him for a ride around town in the Model 3, which he enjoyed. I was glad I got to see him after such a long while.

My last stop before leaving town was McDonald’s for a new Smokey Quarter Pounder BLT with Cheese, which was actually quite delicious. The couple at the table next to me marveled at how good their food was too, but I was pretty sure it was just because someone from upper management was there.

I beat Ben home by just a few minutes, and Sarah came out to chat when she heard me pull up. The kids came out, and Ben and I got straight to loading the refrigerator into his truck. We absolutely could not lift it off of the ground and into the bed, so we ended up just laying it on its front side for the ride.

After we loaded up, I let Ben drive my car and we gave the two youngest a ride around town. Then I took Sarah and Eli for a quick jaunt before coming back to deliver the refrigerator at my house. Dad arrived with perfect timing, and we tore right into it. It would barely fit even without the packaging still on it, and we even had to take my front door off its hinges to get the fridge in. David walked over from next door and offered a dolly, but I didn’t think it would be quite as good as using the straps and harness.

I didn’t get a chance to inspect for any scuffing from bringing it inside, but I’m really hopeful that it turned out fine. At least we removed everything sharp from the doorframe. I had to leave the garage in a mess and get back to Ben as quickly as possible, so I took off as soon as we got the fridge into the house. The whole process took nearly an hour.

I topped off the gas tank and picked up a couple blueberry muffin KIT KATs that I saw in the gas station. Then Ben and I chatted for a surprisingly long time once I got there. When I made my way home for the evening, I decided to go straight to Summer’s to stay with the girls. I knew I didn’t want to stay up late cleaning out the garage again, though I still stayed up late trying to help Eaddie with homework. Autumn was in our bed, so I had to kick her out. Otherwise I made it to bed as close to midnight as I could.

Under Compressor!

Chill Day, Stressful Night

I woke up early this morning after very little sleep so we could get breakfast before we checked out of the hotel. I anticipated a crowd on account of the concert, but after stressing over Summer not wanting to wake up, we found the steakhouse to be relatively empty. Breakfast was good though, and we had our fill before heading back to the room to get ready for the day.

It took us a little bit to leave, since neither of us had a plan for the day. We ultimately decided to head toward home, and then I suggested stopping right inside Conway so I could go to PetCo. We ended up going through several of the stores in that strip mall, including Sam’s, Michael’s, and Ross. We even found a neat tabletop gaming store, and Summer picked up something to do for Christmas.

After shopping around for a few hours, we went to On the Border for lunch, and my chicken fajitas tasted completely unseasoned. The rest of the food was good though, so I made do with some black pepper. Summer finished her tacos pretty quickly, so they must have been a lot better than what I took home for leftovers.

After we ate, we went to PetCo and I picked up some ghost and “bee” shrimp to take home. Autumn didn’t get Eaddie from flute practice, so we had to make it back in time to get her. I had Summer drop me off at home so I could tend to the shrimp, but I guess Autumn gave Summer the wrong time to get Eaddie. Summer ended up coming to get me, and we went up to the house to unpack. I went back home in the Montego, traded some more water for the shrimp, and then took the Model 3 to get Eaddie and Maristella. We took her home, and then went back to my house to finally put the shrimp into my tiny, old shrimp tank. I’m hoping they enjoy cleaning up the algae that I can’t get under control.

Eaddie and I chatted, and headed on home for the evening. Autumn eventually showed up after karate, and predictably wanted to argue about who does the most chores around the house when Summer asked her to walk the trash down to the curb. Summer decided it was time to unveil my chore tracking spreadsheet, and suddenly Autumn didn’t care about seeing how much anyone did around the house. She just knew that she did more chores while we weren’t around than any of us did. I managed to steer that conversation into less hostile territory, and we’ll try to publicly track chores for a while to see if that helps.

Other than that, I spent most of the evening stressing out about my refrigerator delivery. I never got a call to schedule, but eventually Julie got a text with a two hour window. I touched base with Ben to remind him, and everything else was on the up-and-up. He offered to let me take his truck and a furniture dolly, so that mitigated my stressing over needing the Murano to tow a trailer while Summer needed a way to get to Cabot for the day.

The girls all made it to bed reasonably early, but evidently Eaddie was still up when I did a late-night model reset. She came out for a bit for some help getting reconnected, and then I did my best to get to bed before two in the morning.

Too distracting. This is my brain all of the time.

Eaglets

Summer got up and went to the gym this morning while I got around and had a turkey sandwich. I thought she would be gone longer, so I was surprised when she got back so early and was ready to go. We headed to Little Rock and went straight to Tokyo House for lunch. I wasn’t super hungry, and felt overstuffed after we ate. From there, we went shopping to walk it off. We started at Target, and then continued to Park Plaza Mall. We managed to kill enough time at both of those, without actually spending a dime, so we could head to the hotel for check-in.

There was a decent line of old people queued at the front desk, and you could tell it was going to be a big concert. I was really happy with my choice to book a room rather than drive home. We headed to the Simmons Bank arena a little before six, thinking that’s when the doors would open. They didn’t actually open until 6:30, but we had tickets to the Vibe Room, which bypassed the huge line at the front gate.

Once they opened the doors, we filed in as I fumbled for digital tickets. The Vibe Room itself was a bit disappointing. It was super dark, and there weren’t really a whole lot of snacks. They had some pretty good spinach artichoke dip and some decent boneless “wings” with three typical sauces. The popcorn they boxed up was a bit stale, and there were no free drinks at all. Summer spent nearly 20 bucks per margarita, which I just couldn’t wrap my head around. I spotted Steve and Lelan across the bar and eventually made my way over to say hi to them.

We made our way to our seats with plenty of time to go, and settled in for a three hour trip down rock and roll history. The arena was packed, but we got to our seats relatively painlessly. Some asshat across the arena brought a super bright flashlight and was messing with it before the show, but fortunately quit when the show started. Joe Walsh joined the band, along with Vince Gill, which I think excited Summer more than the Eagles. It was an awesome production with great use of tech, but I think for my money I would have rather watched a video just to see and hear the whole thing better.

After the show, we walked back to the hotel. Summer crashed pretty quickly, and I stayed up too late after a week of letting my sleep schedule slide. Breakfast tomorrow ought to kick me back into earlier days though.

I got a peaceful, easy feeling, and I know you won’t let me down.

Breasts

Autumn slept in this morning and didn’t shower like she promised, before going to get Eaddie and heading to Clarksville. This shocked nobody, and I was a little upset there wasn’t more screaming involved. It was a nice day without the kids though. I made ham sandwiches for breakfast, and Summer worked on the jigsaw puzzle for most of the day.

Eventually we got out of the house in the rain, and went to Walmart to look for turkeys on sale. They still had whole turkey breasts for a buck a pound, so we picked up five for me to practice smoking. They had enormous Butterball turkeys for 75 cents per pound, but I didn’t really want a turkey that large. We wandered through the rest of the store before making our way out, where I managed to wade through some pretty deep water in the parking lot.

We made another stop at Sally Beauty so Summer could pick up some tools for nail art, and then I got a McRib on the way back to the house. Once there, Summer took off to go to the gym and then I killed more time working on the jigsaw puzzle.

Eventually I made it home to start some laundry and shower. It took me a while to get everything sorted before the Eagles concert, but hopefully I got everything. I finally made my way back up to Summer around midnight, and it was off to bed.

Lot about birds, lately.