Staring at the Sun Again

Eaddie and I got up this morning and went out on the Shadow. We were hungry, but wanted to cruise around town quickly before going to my parents’ house for the eclipse, so we stopped at Zaxby’s to pick up some chicken. Then we ran by my old house so I could put in some contacts and feed the fish, and we continued past the nearly empty Hickey Park and high school parking lots. We wanted to go by the soccer complex, but we ran a little behind. The Confederate Mother’s Memorial/Pine Knob Mountain Bike Park was full of people, much like the back of both Walmart parking lots we passed, but Sequoyah was empty as well.

Dad was outside with several telescopes and cameras, and Mom came in and out as the moon slowly crossed the sun. Summer left work early and met us there with plenty of time to eat and peek through the telescopes. Totality was longer than the first time we saw it, but it didn’t seem quite as momentous for me. Maybe it was because there was so much else going on with so many telescopes, or maybe because I kept having to tell Summer to take her glasses off. The solar prominences didn’t seem as big, there weren’t any big jet trails revealed, and the mountain blocked our view of the 360º sunset. The crickets and bats came out though, and everyone really enjoyed the event. I preferred being in a quiet place away from all the public screaming or music playing.

We didn’t watch much of the last half of the eclipse. The girls headed home and I ate some bánh bèo that Mom made before catching up with them. We went back out to check out a pretty disappointing “eclipse market” that was just a small handful of vendors that didn’t interest any of us. Then we finally went past the soccer complex and Old Post Park before going back to the other side of town for some free Freddy’s. Much to the girls’ dismay, I took us to Price Break, and Eaddie waited in the car while Summer and I sorted through bins of Amazon returns. I had to poke fun when Summer bought way more stuff than I did by the end of it all.

Once we made it back home, the girls settled in. I had a leftover burger and then rode the Onewheel to the Neighborhood Market to take in the recycling and pick up some more oranges. I ended the night with some laundry, and it’s back to the grind in the morning.

Thank goodness we missed the rain.

Preclipse Day

I got up and made Summer a freshly-ground cappuccino this morning, which she seemed to like. I’ve only used it twice, but so far I’m pretty happy with the grinder we got. I finally cleaned up the corned beef and had a shower, and then struggled to start the smoker to get the ribs cooking. Summer and Eaddie ran to Kroger to pick up some charcoal for me, and the lumps were tiny. I eventually got the smoke rolling, and the girls prepped the bikes to go for a ride downtown.

We parked at the middle school, which in retrospect wasn’t much better than if we had just left from the house. The girls biked and I rode my Onewheel through some neighborhood trails before going back up to Kroger and heading downtown. There weren’t a ton of visitors there that we could tell, but there were tons of cops and “workers” riding around trying to look important. We stood in line and got some stuff from NASA, and I couldn’t tell whether I had actually offended the guy when I asked how long NASA has known the moon and sun are the same size, and why they were keeping it from us.

We didn’t really find much exciting at the depot after that, so we got Eaddie a shirt and then rode through Tech to Bona Dea. We did a small loop and then headed straight back to the car. Eaddie decided to ride all the way home, and I actually had plenty of battery to do the same, but I drove Summer home instead.

I decided to assemble the outdoor sink and prep table with the hopes that I could use it for the ribs. Summer “helped,” but we didn’t get it done in time, and I ended up bringing the ribs inside to wrap. Eli came over, I eventually got the ribs sauced, and then we had dinner. The meat was way too tender and just turned into mush off the bone, but it was still good. I just wanted a bit more bite to them. Everyone else loved it. Summer made mashed potatoes and Brussels sprouts, and we had a good meal.

The kids hung out for a while and Summer wound down quickly. I started dragging pretty hard, and felt a bit sick from sinus trouble. I assumed it was allergies this time, but I just felt crummy all night.

He’s really not gonna like my questions about why the moon is a flat circle instead of a flat square.

OUTAGAS

We all slept in this morning after I initially woke up just before five as Eaddie jokingly suggested as a departure time. We loaded up quickly, and Summer and I went in for some breakfast while Eaddie sat in the car. Then we met Dad at McDonald’s to pick up some steak, egg, and cheese bagels for Julie and Kevin. The kid at the register kept wanting to tell me too much information about his struggle finding the right picture on his employee register, or how he’d eat his Quarter Pounders with leftover gravy from the morning’s breakfast. Eaddie wanted to try one of the bagels, so we split one before we left.

Dad followed us while we kept getting stuck behind slow traffic, but eventually we passed most of it and got ahead of him. We stopped for a restroom break in Ozark, but didn’t need to charge. Eaddie had rehearsal at Tech after we got home. I unpacked and then left on the Onewheel to see Mom, and then ride the bagels over to Julie across town. She suggested I could go find Kevin at the airport, but I ended up a couple blocks over at my friend Kevin’s place.

Kevin hopped on the board and rode a little bit, but then wanted Matthi to try it out. That kid wasn’t afraid of anything, and immediately jumped on with reckless abandon. He got pretty good at it too, and then brought out a RipStik and a classic two-wheeled hoverboard to show me. Kevin and I ended up chatting for quite a while before I left and circled through the old house to feed the fish.

I didn’t quite make it back home before my battery died. I would have made it if I hadn’t circled through the Ridgewood Brothers’ parking lot, and nobody was there anyway. I had to walk most of the way up Honeysuckle, and the Onewheel got heavy fast. I got to the top of the hill and was able to ride it for a few more feet, but then had to walk it from the end of the street back to the house. It was the hardest workout I’ve had with the thing, but it was worth it.

I eventually had a shower after getting all sweaty carrying the Onewheel. Eaddie ate with Eli, so Summer and I had some leftover corned beef. She spent most of the evening like the rest of the weekend, not feeling great. I thought for sure I had seen something about not having school on Monday, but I don’t know where I hallucinated that, because there’s even a lunch menu. I’ll have to take another day off to take the Model 3 back to Tulsa, which makes me a bit sad, but I think it’ll all be worth it in the end.

I could ride you, but I’d have to charge.

This Is Just a Tribute

Summer and I got up early for breakfast, which was a lot of “fresh” berries, yogurt, bagels, and some frozen bacon, egg, and cheese bagel bite things. There was also some kind of hashbrown-looking fried meat patty that wasn’t terrible. Eaddie didn’t come down, but we brought some food back to the room for her.

Once we were all ready, I rode the Onewheel back down to the car, and the girls decided to just walk on down as well. We took the car downtown to look for a place to park, but it was busy enough that there weren’t a lot of options. We ended up circling around and going up the mountain a bit, through a part of town I don’t think I’d ever been. We found Grotto Spring, and then drove up around the post office. The girls got out a couple of times while I babysat the car, and then we ended up heading back to the convention center to pick up my dad.

We went to the Pizza Hut Classic, which was a minor blast from the past with their old tablecloths, light fixtures, and posters. It seemed unremarkable to everyone else there, and they still didn’t have a buffet. We had some pizza and then went back for the matinee magic show. The girls enjoyed that, and then we headed back downtown to walk around.

We couldn’t find parking again, so we went back to the top of the hill to charge, and bought trolly tickets to ride to the opposite end of the strip. We leisurely walked down the hill, and Eaddie picked up a couple trinkets. We made it back down to the lower station just in time to get back to the hotel and then meet Dad for dinner.

Dad always likes to go to the Bavarian Inn Czech-German restaurant, and we’d missed it for a year or two. I think the girls liked their food alright. Mine wasn’t bad, but I didn’t realize it was what I had the last time. It gave me a little bit of a stomach ache though. Afterward, we took Dad back to his room, and we went to ours to kill some time before the evening show.

The evening show was entirely a tribute show from Ring 75 to Bill. I was a little worried about some of the laypeople, but the show eventually produced some entertaining tricks with less back story for the inside jokes. The girls enjoyed it, which is my barometer for the quality of the show, since I’ve been behind the curtain for so long.

After the show, I took the girls back to the room, and I ended up going back to the “afterparty” at the suite to let Larry drive the Model 3 around the parking lot. It wasn’t an ideal area, but nowhere in Eureka is. The trip home in the morning will be a different story.

Might as well have been an Unbirthday weekend.

Body Bonk

Summer woke us up with omelet burritos for breakfast this morning. Then we got ready for our trip to Eureka Springs. We didn’t have any real time table to meet, so we left in the afternoon and fed the fish at the old house, and then aired up tires at Superfast before we left town.

We stopped in Ozark to charge, but we really didn’t need to. We made it with plenty of charge left, and the Osage Creek Lodge was right across the street from the free public charger. It was a slow charger, but I figured I could park there overnight and ride the Onewheel up the block to get back to the room.

I knew there was a dispensary on site, but I didn’t really expect the hotel lobby to smell so much like marijuana. Fortunately the rooms were all smoke-free, and they seemed to be kept up well. Once we got unloaded, we drove up the road to find Dad at the Best Western. We took him for a ride downtown, though we didn’t stop anywhere. He didn’t have long before the first evening show.

We went back to the hotel to research things to do, and I got the Onewheel out to ride around the parking lot. There were some speed bumps I wanted to try and jump, which went fairly well. My foot placement shifted a little, but it wasn’t unmanageable. Unfortunately I jumped a little too high on a smaller bump in the pavement, and I fell pretty hard in front of the girls. I got some pretty gnarly bruises on my hands and left arm, but no major breaks in the skin. The worst damage was some light scratching on the camera bar on my phone. The camera lenses themselves were fine, but I was still upset at the damage.

We eventually made it back to the conference center for the show, and then the four of us went back downtown to eat at The Spring on Main. They were open late, but only a couple other tables were there the entire time we were there. Mitch called me briefly before we got our food, but I’d have to catch up with him later. The food didn’t come out super fast, but it was super good. We paid way too much for slices of breaded avocado, but the burgers were fairly reasonable for being upscale.

After we ate, we dropped Dad back off at the hotel and then I took the girls back to our room. I drove back over to the public charger and got the car charging, and then rode the Onewheel back to the hotel for the night. The girls showered, and then we watched the end of Iron Man 2 and then the first part of Fantastic Beasts before bed.

Grip Affected

Steam Bath

Summer said she saw the rat on top of her car when she left for the dentist this morning. I thought I felt it watching me as I opened the door to feed it last night, and I was surprised it didn’t escape earlier. Without knowing where it went, I left the garage door open for a couple hours with the hopes it would leave on its own.

I had some cereal, but then the girls got hungry and I ordered some pizzas from Domino’s for an early lunch. Summer left for work in the early afternoon, and Eaddie left to hang out with Eli, so I decided to take a hot bubble bath after being cold all night. I played Don’t Touch Anything on the Steam Deck and got half a dozen or so of the different endings.

I eventually got around to leaving the house, and took the Onewheel for a long ride to the Neighborhood Market to drop off recycling, and then to the old house to feed the fish. I plugged in to charge a bit while I aired up the R1 tires and took it for a ride to the carwash. The front brake lever was super squishy, so I’ll need to bleed that line before I take it out for any lengthy rides. I’m super late for an oil change anyway, so I might as well tear it down and do that myself too.

While I was at the wash, Summer said she got a call from the bank that her account had been compromised. The more she talked about it, the more it sounded like a scam call, which upset her even more. I took the bike back home and rode the Onewheel back to my parents’ house before sunset, and Mom made me a bánh xèo for dinner.

After I ate, I rode on back to the Neighborhood Market and got behind a smokey truck that seemed intent on leaving me in clouds of black soot. I picked up a bag of oranges and dropped it off back at home, and then made a couple more loops around the neighborhood before parking it for the night.

Eaddie was out late, and Summer kept dawdling at work, so I had to call both of them home. When Summer got home, I had her reset a bunch of passwords to try and mitigate any other account shenanigans, and tomorrow we’ll visit the bank.

Just throw your phone away.

Three Wheelin’

I got up relatively early this morning, but almost immediately gave up and went back to sleep for a couple more hours. The second time I woke up, Eaddie had gotten up and taken a shower. I had some cereal for breakfast and then took a shower myself before texting to request a tow for the old Pathfinder. I asked Eaddie if she wanted to go out on her bike while I rode the Onewheel, and to my delight, she was agreeable.

I aired up her tires, and we took off down the road toward Splash. I had the 16-mile achievement in the back of my mind, but it would take some lollygagging and probably a bit of charging to make it. We got as far as the city park before we stopped for a little break. Eaddie tried riding the Onewheel a time or two, and then we continued to Walgreens. I picked up an online order of some clearanced toothpaste, and then we continued all the way to Splash.

Summer was too busy to entertain us, so we circled around to get some food at Freddy’s until I got a text that David was on his way to pick up the Pathfinder. We went back and got Summer’s car, and met the tow truck at the old house, and then followed him to Orr Nissan. Tim got my information set up for service, and then we went back to drop off the Model Y.

Summer was ready to leave work, but didn’t want to have to do anything with us, so Eaddie and I rode back down the road and ended up stopping at La Huerta for dinner. The food was great, and we had a pretty good time. Afterward, we went back to Freddy’s for dessert before starting back home.

The ride home was pretty long and tiring, and by the end of it, I still needed four more miles to get my achievement. We rested for a little bit, and then Eaddie decided to ride with me to the marina, where Dad had his cameras set up to try and capture a comet. It was super windy and cold, but she got on the Onewheel some more and managed to ride around reasonably well while grasping my arm for dear life. As she got colder, she sat in the car while I rode out my final four miles.

By the time I came back around, Dad had given up on the comet. We headed home and I made us some hot chocolate, and we watched a couple episodes of Better Call Saul. It’s been on our watch list for long enough, and the show started off pretty good, so I think we’re in for an adventure.

I feel so cool!

31,680

The girls went to work and school this morning, so I had the morning to myself. I didn’t sleep in super late, but I got plenty of rest before getting up to finish some biscuits and gravy. Then I watched some YouTube before I took a shower and eventually got dressed to go out on the Onewheel.

I rode over to Ridgewood Brothers and saw Grant and Kyler for a bit. Then I started to ride toward the wash before I remembered Summer was out of town. I circled around and headed back toward home, but stopped near Sequoyah when I got a call from Tesla. They’re about ready to buy my car back, and wanted to schedule a drop-off during spring break. I told him we were traveling, and he said he would check on the paperwork dates to make sure we’d be okay.

While I was stopped, I got a text from Dustin asking if I was okay, or if I needed a ride. I continued back toward the house and then split off to see Dad for a moment. Then Summer finally made it back to the wash and I decided to run across town to see her. I stopped at Sonic along the way to try one of their “dirty” sodas. The cream and coconut were most pronounced, and then there was a whole lime thrown in, which was surprisingly subtle.

By the time I made it to the wash, I only had about 20% left. I let one of her employees try it out, and without any experience, he jumped on and just took off around the parking lot. It was pretty impressive. I hung out for a little bit, but Summer was going to be a while, so I took the Onewheel home in her car to charge.

Eaddie was home, but about to leave the house again. I chatted with her for a little bit before she left, and then waited for Summer to finish up at work. She wasn’t hungry and just wanted to go home and take a bath, so I took her to the house and rode the Onewheel back to Ridgewood for a little smokehouse treat. It got cold out, but I kept riding and went back to my parents’ house to pick up a couple drain plugs for the kitchen sink. By the time I made it home for the night, I had ridden about 15 miles, which more than doubled my personal best.

Summer was watching the new Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle until Eaddie made it home. Then we watched a few episodes of the The Office original UK series before the girls headed to bed. I fought my computer for a couple more hours, but eventually settled in.

That’s a lot of revolutions for such a little tire.

Clammy Wednesday

My temperature was down under 100º this morning, so I went back to work. Kim kept wanting to talk at me, and Denice kept bringing kids back for testing, one at a time. I had to turn her daughter away when she tried to come get her backpack out of her office. She started to get an attitude with me, and the whole ordeal is kind of coming to a head for me.

I brought along some ramen in case all the cafeteria had was hotdogs, but they ended up baking potatoes too. Otherwise it was a long afternoon of humidity and slight sweatiness until I finally got to head home.

Summer warmed up some leftovers for dinner, so I fed the fish and grabbed a couple things to take home. The three of us ate, and then I rode the Onewheel to the Neighborhood Market for a couple things. It was pretty nice out, so I dropped that stuff off at home and then went to my parents’ house to see them for a bit. Dad and I went out to fly his little drone a bit, and we kept crashing when the thing was set to use GPS. Flying without was much better.

Afterward, I saw a kid riding a Onewheel on the next street up, so I rode up to try and find him. It ended up being the son of The Sign Hub folks. I met Nick and chatted with him for a little bit, but their son was off doing other things by then. I continued on home, slowly rolling by to chat with a couple old ladies that were walking the neighborhood.

The girls were both off to bed pretty early. I went out to check on the empty rat traps, and Summer and I watched What Women Want, which I don’t think aged super well. Then it was bedtime.

What an ass.

City Swamp

I didn’t catch our rat last night, but it made another appearance on camera. We ended up having to take Eaddie to Little Rock today for less than an hour of rehearsal, but she was at Tech for the state robotics tournament all morning. Summer and I picked her up around lunch time and headed out of town. We were hungry enough to stop at McDonald’s in Morrilton, and then we made our way to the Wilbur D. Mills University Studies High School.

We left Eaddie, and then I took Summer down the road to the Lorance Creek Natural Area where we walked down a trail through a swamp. It was pretty neat, but there were clouds of gnats everywhere. We almost made it back to the car when Eaddie texted that she was done. We picked her up, and she wanted to head straight back home to catch the end of the tournament, so we didn’t get to do any other shopping or adventuring.

Charge was low, so we had to plan a stop somewhere. Fortunately they built a new Supercharger in Conway, so we stopped there for just a few minutes before completing the journey home. We left Eaddie at the coliseum and then the two of us went to Ridgewood for an early dinner. Grant looked to be doing better, and things were kind of slow and steady at the restaurant.

I took the Onewheel around the neighborhood when we got back home. It wasn’t any surprise that Summer didn’t want to get out of the house again, so we settled in to watch some TV for the evening. Eaddie got home late, without a trip to Worlds, and then everyone was off to bed to do it all over again in the morning.

That’s just a lot.