I slept the worst I had slept all week last night, after waking up around 1:00 and lying awake in bed thinking my alarm was about to go off. When it actually was time to get up, I crawled out of bed super sore, but somehow I didn’t have to fight sleep all day.

We met in the shop and went over new COVID guidelines, which were basically nonexistent, or at the very least ineffective. I think they just accepted that everyone is going to get it super fast, so the primary goal is to keep kids in school no matter what.

After a little while, I went to Oakland to close out some work orders. Then I made it back to the shop just in time to pick everyone up to go to Old South for lunch. We had to wait for Zach and Greg to show up from their TV install, but then lunch was good.

Central Office went home at one, so we shut everything down as well. I hung out for a little while since Tammy didn’t have a ride, but then I had to head to my parents’ house to meet Pat, their retirement fund manager.

Julie didn’t show up because she was still sick, so we just had her on the phone. Pat seemed nice enough, but was mostly just vague in his gesturing that “there was enough money as long as he kept it there.” We did gain some insight, but I don’t think anything really changed. I’m tired of talking about it, but I still want to crunch the numbers ourselves so we can have a glanceable table of what to expect.

After he left, the rest of us had some curry for dinner, and then I headed home to meet up with Summer. I cleaned up most of the mess I made hanging the new track light, and then we watched Cool Runnings until bedtime.

Feel the rhythm! Feel the rhyme!

Back on Track

I wasn’t as early to work this morning as I had been the past couple days, but I still squeaked in under the wire. We gathered in the shop for just a bit before deciding to get started on a regular workday in spite of an absence of students. Teachers were still there, and were even encouraged to bring their own kids to school with them, so it wasn’t a complete ghost town. I stayed in my office all day anyway, so it didn’t matter much.

I spent most of the day helping others. When I wasn’t doing that, I was turning those helping moments into FAQs in Web Help Desk. It was boring, but maybe it will help in the future.

Most of us went to Nonna Bella’s for lunch. I had the chicken alfredo lunch special, which was pretty good. The price was the best part though. The food took a bit to come out, so we had plenty of time to chit chat around the table.

The afternoon went by super slowly, and then I finally left a bit late after wrapping things up. I stopped by Casey’s for a free deal, then went home where Autumn and Eaddie had just arrived to pick up a hotspot so they could go to their father’s.

I changed, then went to Lowe’s to get the part I needed to mount the track light electrical box. I got really frustrated trying to mount the thing, and didn’t have a great time due to the orientation of the screws, but I eventually got it mounted well enough. I didn’t end up drilling any holes for the toggle bolts, and just went with screw-in anchors instead. They were white, so they actually blended in pretty well in case I ever wanted to remove the track in the future.

When I finally finished setting up the new lights and Hue bulbs, I headed up to Summer’s for the evening. She was already in bed as I expected, so I laid down with her for a bit until she went to sleep. Then I wrapped up and tried going to sleep myself.

Anchors aweigh, my boy.

Shut It Down!

They decided to close the schools down for the rest of the week, so today was for getting everyone ready to work remotely. I actually didn’t have much to tend to, so I went to Oakland in the morning and replaced a camera switch. Evidently I didn’t plug the fiber modules into the correct ports, so Gary actually took care of that after lunch for me, but at least I had the rack looking much nicer with shorter patch cables.

After I left Oakland, I ran by the high school and waited for Shirley to show back up. She sent Brody a work order, and evidently left right after. I just barely caught her in the parking lot on my way out to lunch, so we went back in and got the girl that needed some dictation software installed. As I left for real, Gary texted and said they were going to Brangus. Evidently they got a late start to lunch, which worked out perfectly as I arrived just as they were being seated.

After lunch was really quiet for me. I piddled a lot, but got called to deliver some Chromebook chargers to Sequoyah as they were dismissing students for the day. As I made the delivery to the office, I got my second compliment of the day – this time for my awesome emails.

We filtered out at the end of the day and I went home to change before going to my parents’ house to finish up some spring rolls. I didn’t stick around long though, because I wanted to get started on my track lighting.

I had to call Dad for some guidance, but got the old pendant light down and finally wired up the new parts. Unfortunately I’ll need another part to rotate the screw holes around, but then I can actually hang the track. The cover won’t quite cover the entire hole left by the old light, but that can be a problem for Future Me.

Oh, buds.

Guidelines Were Made to Be Broken

I didn’t give the Murano much time to defrost this morning, then made it worse by trying to use the wipers to clear the little bit of frost I had. I made it to Oakland without incident though, and took care of something quickly there before heading in to the office.

Greg was there, in his office, unmasked, and ready to work. It upset me a lot first thing, but I relaxed a bit after they said he had a negative test. I still felt like he should have been masked, but at least I was able to keep my distance for the most part. We did all go to lunch together, but I rode in a different car and sat on opposite corners in the restaurant.

The afternoon was a little slow without much going on. Ben came through right at the end of the day to visit, and finally got to see my glorious new office. I stayed a little late trying to help brainstorm an issue they had at London, but eventually made it home.

I changed out of my work clothes and went to Lowe’s for a connector to join my two track lights while I chatted on the phone with Summer, who was on her way home from Conway. They had some clearance racks up that I perused as well, and scored some iron plant hangers that I’m hoping will work with my windchimes.

As soon as I finished shopping, I went to my parents’ house for some spaghetti. Mom was watching YouTube videos about Vietnamese street food, which lead to us watching the Top Gear Vietnam special. I was pretty tired by the time I got home from that, so I finished up and went to bed early.

Whatever you do, don’t look up.

Clever Hat

It was a little frosty this morning, but overall a little bit warmer and less uncomfortable to be outside. I got to work and really enjoyed my eternally hot cup of coffee, and fixed a printer issue for Brody, who was out with COVID. The rest of the morning was a bit of rummaging for things to do until lunch, when Gary, Zach, Thomas, and I went to CJ’s.

After lunch, I spent some time at Oakland. There, kids had been dropping like flies to quarantine. COVID numbers have just progressively gotten worse, until they changed their quarantine procedures to reduce the number of days out. That brought our numbers down low enough that we didn’t have to shut down any schools. I still think we’d benefit from going to a year-round calendar though.

After work, I went home to change and then went to my parents’ house for some phở. We talked a little more about our next vacation planning, shared our opinions on reunions and nostalgia, and pondered the nature of the Matrix.

On the way home, I called a very drowsy Summer for a bit before bed. Then I wound down pretty quickly.

You see, no one can be told what the Matrix is…


The tendons behind my knees hurt all day, which I guess was from spending some time on the treadmill the other day. I got around, ate some food, and then just kept eating more food all day. Around the time I tried to get around to doing something, Thomas called and wanted me to run to the arena to investigate a wireless issue they were having.

They were hosting a wrestling tournament, and though the stands weren’t exactly packed, there were people all over the floor. I walked around the perimeter of the arena and found that any time I got out onto the floor, I wasn’t able to connect to the internet. I told Adrian we’d be sure to get it fixed before we start hosting “real” sporting events, and then left since they had already come up with some hotspots as a workaround.

The day crawled on for the most part. I was just lazy again and couldn’t get into much of anything. I probably would have felt better if I had just played a game or watched something on TV, but I didn’t really even do that much.

Mom had spring rolls for dinner, so I went over there a little early and brought her heated mug and Dad’s camera grip strap that I got him. I think Mom was pleased with the mug after she actually tried it. It seems to heat a lot more, and faster than mine, but it feels much cheaper. I prefer the build quality of the Ember, but I think hers may actually last longer too, especially with the included lid.

Julie came over and we ate. Then she tinkled on the piano for a while and I showed Dad some FPV drone videos as inspiration for where to blow his retirement. Eventually I made it home, called Summer for a bit, and crawled into bed.

These damned captions!

Drizzly Bear

I slept in a fair amount today and felt better for it. I let myself slowly ease into the day, and I’m not sure I ever really even got it started. I did pick up a few things and poked around some others, but never got up to a whole lot. I tried cleaning my desk a bit, but just barely got it more usable.

It was cold all day long, and wet for most of it. I took a long shower and realized it’s probably time to turn the hot water up a bit if I want to do that again any time soon. I gave my fingernails a much-needed trim, but other than that, I couldn’t find much motivation for anything else.


Run For Your Life

I slept the best that I’ve slept for at least a month last night, and woke up mere seconds before my alarm went off, ready to face the day. I had plenty of time to get to work a couple minutes early and prepared myself a perfect cup of coffee for our meeting. Brody was told to come on down to the shop in spite of his masked status, so I just tried to keep my distance, and wore my mask any time we had to cross paths. Fortunately I was still able to help him over the phone after he left, because that’s what I did most of the day.

A group of us went to Quiznos for lunch, and I think they gave me a sandwich that was larger than they should have for my sandwich and soup combo. The chicken tortilla soup was awesome, but I dropped the last half of it in the floor on accident because we were trying to eat around a table that was simply too small for five of us.

I finally finished up my CPPC meeting minutes draft after staying half an hour late, and then headed home to get another package that had been intercepted by either Bác Vân or Doug. It’s really more annoying than anything, but I guess I’ll appreciate it more if I ever have something irreplaceable stolen.

I don’t think Autumn went to school, and instead was supposed to get a COVID test done because she said she hadn’t been feeling well the last couple of days. Summer got home late, but said Autumn was “ok,” which I thought meant she had a negative test. When I got to their house, I had gotten no more than two spoonfuls of soup into my mouth when Autumn said something about still being sick but not knowing what it was.

After wrestling with her in the bedroom, I knew I had to drop everything to wash up. Autumn is by far the least hygienic of any of the kids, so even when she’s not sick, touching her usually warrants a handwash. She’s embarrassingly disgusting almost all of the time, but this time I was literally afraid for my life. I still remember COVID. Nobody around me seems to be taking it at all seriously, and I just assume I’ll be the one to pay for it.

I ran out the door for home, shaking and crying out of some emotion or another. I had the worst fever of my entire life when I got COVID last year. The pneumonia had me down for weeks afterward, and I still have panic attacks that appear to just be a normal part of my life now. It’s uncontrollable and terrifying, but I deal with it well because of how self aware I am. Maybe that gives off a vibe that I’m not worried about it, but I’m actually always scared.

I shook it off the best I could when I got home. When I finally got settled in, I put on Don’t Look Up to get my mind off of things. As soon as the movie was over, it was straight to the bottle, though.

Maybe this isn’t working.

That’s a WAP

Thomas was out with pink eye today, so Gary and Zach split the group up to run some more outdoor wireless access points. Since that left Tammy alone downstairs, they told me to stick around, which I was happy to do.

When they got back, Gary, Zach, and I went to McAlister’s for lunch. I thought I had a BOGO soup in a bread bowl, but the coupon was really just for a free bread bowl upgrade. It was way too much bread and not nearly enough soup.

On the way back to the shop, we stopped by my house so I could get a package, but either Bác Vân or Doug had already taken it next door. I retrieved it, but never had a chance to open it because I was sent to the junior high with Josh and Kyle to run two more WAP lines.

The network lines were relatively easy, but it was still frustrating how much standing around there was. It’s like unless there’s a very specific instruction given, there was no ambition to get anything done. We managed to get both lines run with enough time to get to the middle school just before school let out. There, we had to locate a live line that was already in place, and see if it could be made to run outside. We didn’t have the equipment to actually move the drop, but at least the line was hot.

The guys sent about half of everyone home early. I went back to my office to work on my CPPC minutes, but even after staying late I didn’t get it finished. I’d really like to call out the huge increase in pay for at least one administrator. It really wasn’t until that happened that I had to admit that you never truly destroy the “establishment.” You simply replace it.

After work, I went home and started on a few loads of laundry. My work shirts were long overdue, and a couple days of climbing around in the ceiling gave me just the push I needed to get it done.

I’ll do it for half.


I was sleeping really deeply this morning, or perhaps really lightly. In either case, I barely crawled out of bed after seriously contemplating calling in sick. I squeaked into work and had just enough time to get settled and review some of the CPPC meeting notes before I had to walk across the street.

Judy brought donuts, and it was a pretty productive meeting. We voted on some new policies and a modification to the new salary schedule to be implemented this summer. As we wrapped up, I took a couple donuts back to the office for later. It was about lunch time, so after a little bit of poking around, Zach, Gary, and I went to Sam’s.

I tried the Sam’s Special with fried shrimp, which was pretty unimpressive. It wasn’t bad, but it just wasn’t nearly as good as anything else I’ve ever had there. Gary’s gyro looked pretty good though. Zach gave me a couple chicken strips to supplement my baby shrimp, so I was happy.

After lunch, Kyle and I went to run cable at Crawford and Oakland, while Greg and Zach drilled holes on the outside of the building to mount a couple wireless access points. That took us the rest of the day, and I was pretty tired afterward. Eaddie was at Oakland, so I took her with me to drop Kyle off, and then we went to my house to change.

When we got to their house, I started to assemble a ham bone soup in the Instant Pot. Summer picked up celery and onion for me, but I had the rest of what I needed here. I mixed a half cup of every kind of bean I could find here, and the soup turned out pretty good. I wish I could have left it to depressurize naturally, because I think the beans would have been fully cooked then, but it wasn’t bad.

Autumn went to some church event, and then came home complaining about not feeling well. She told Summer she wants to get tested, which infuriates me. I almost hope I die from COVID so she’ll feel some kind of remorse for going out and socializing like an idiot.

I don’t really want to die from it, though…