That’s How We Roll

We got up this morning and went out back to continue burning brush. The coals were still hot under all the ash, but everything was still too wet to really catch, so I had to get the leaf blower out to really get things cooking. We made a really good dent in the pile of branches, but there’s still a lot of green to cut through, and it’s just too wet to really do easily.

Mom was making beef spring rolls for lunch, so after a quick shower, we headed over there. Dad called Julie over as well, so she joined us to eat for the first time in months after wanting to be left alone. It didn’t take terribly long before Summer had to excuse herself, and went to the gym to decompress. Then she came back to pick me up later.

When we left, we went straight up to her house so she could start some laundry. I hung out for a little while, but then decided to head home when she said her laundry was going to take a while after the kids left a load in the machine before leaving on vacation.

I ended up stopping by Walmart to just briefly run through the clearance section. There, I casually chatted with another lady that I vaguely recognized as a teacher from somewhere. Her husband came around, and reminded me of myself with the goofy, yet analytical things he would say to her about the deals she was finding. It would have reminded me more of Summer and myself if she would ever be the one to shop like that.

I made it home, but had another anxiety attack as I stared down into a bag of chips. It was the second one of the day, after having one coming out of the shower. I couldn’t figure out any triggers, but the way I got really flush and dizzy made me think it was something oxygen-related. Summer ended up coming over for the night, just as I was trying to chat with Google support about my Nest Hub that wouldn’t boot. Once that was out of the way, it was off to bed.

Circle the drain.

Find x

I wanted to ride to work today, but I was running just behind enough that I didn’t have time to get a bike out. I just want a four-car garage. It can be a studio apartment if I can have enough parking.

Gary asked me to take a look at an issue in the bus shop first thing, so I chose to walk the block. It was super humid out, but could have been much worse. I’m not at all ready for summer heat. Greg ended up coming out to take a look as well, and we ultimately just left the laptop in Chris’s office for him to figure it out.

I spent the rest of the day fighting Minecraft. It took me a while to figure out licensing. Gary drove us to lunch for Taco Tuesday, and for some reason I ordered way too much food. Then the rest of the afternoon was finishing up licensing and starting to build the deployment. The only break from that was to unload a pallet of water bottles that I don’t drink.

At the end of the day, Eaddie called and wanted to know if Rick could pick her up and take her home. She couldn’t get in touch with Summer, and I was mostly just shocked and confused about who reached out. I wound up just throwing my hands in the air and letting her do whatever she wanted. I went home until Summer got to town, then met her at the Center for Eaddie’s band concert.

As I walked up to the building, Sarah was parked right in front of the building, immediately in my path. Once we got inside, we discovered the concert wouldn’t start for another half hour. Erica spotted us and came over to catch up. Then we saw Autumn and Rick in the auditorium as we found our seats. She was wandering around, loosely helping between sets.

After the show, Amber was there to get some pictures of Eaddie and Zane. Then Eaddie wanted to go out to eat with Rick. Autumn went home with Summer, since she’s grounded forever. I went home to decompress.

I’m just a guy that’s there.

Capital Punishment

We got up this morning and scrounged for brunch. I found some old leftover pizza they had frozen and finished it up. The girls didn’t really come out of their rooms while I was still there. Eventually I went home so I could clean up and work on my taxes.

Evidently for the year, I was still floating pretty high on capital gains. I’m still sitting on the loss from those gains, but haven’t sold yet, so it just looks like I made way more money than I really did. I guess if I were to sell this year, it would balance out, but I’d rather try and reduce my taxable income for last year.

When Summer finished at the gym, I met her at Walmart to pick up dinner. We grabbed a couple more ice scrapers for cheap, and even found an open-box Rocketbook that was marked down a bit. The place was packed for Easter, but we managed to make it out without incident.

I filled up on gas and then headed up to their house, where Noah had come to visit. Summer made chicken alfredo with spaghetti noodles, and then the kids wanted to go out to the park. Summer and I went back to my house to try and clean up the old refrigerator. We thought we could use Noah’s truck to move it, but his tailgate was broken and we didn’t feel confident in lifting the refrigerator up and over it to get into the bed.

Cleaning the other half of the fridge, and especially the top, turned out to be quite a chore. Teamwork persevered, and Summer even vacuumed out the underside. I threw door bins into the dishwasher, but the shelves should be pretty easy to clean by hand. Brody offered his truck once they got back into town, but we decided to wait for daylight. As we were winding down, Michael called with questions about taxes on crypto. He had been playing with multiple exchanges though, which complicated his beyond anything I was dealing with. At least Robinhood had the paperwork I needed.

We made it back up to Summer’s house, and Summer headed off to watch TV in bed. Noah and Eaddie were watching TV until he left, and then everyone was off to sleep.

Should have sold, or at least not bought back.

Whims

I’m not sure what happened, but I did not make it to work on time this morning. I felt like I was in step with my routine, but something got out of whack. It was pretty quiet though, which was fortunate because I was charged with answering the phones while everyone in the front of the office had a top secret meeting. Gary was out after being aggravated yesterday, but the meeting continued. Greg was there with me at first, but had to leave for a while, which left me to my own devices. Luckily we only ever got one phone call that I had to answer, and it was an easy one.

As lunch time approached, Zach informed me that our meetup with Dale had been postponed. This was after I had invited Allen to meet us as well, so I had to see if he wanted to wait or come out today. He chose today, so I invited Thomas, and then found Greg as he was walking back to the office from across the street. We had a good lunch though, with just a dash of awkwardness as only Allen could provide.

When I dropped the other two off after lunch, I went to Oakland for a little while to take care of something and then just to hang out for a bit before going back to my office. It was quiet all afternoon until quitting time when I went by my parents’ house to drop off a letter I printed for Dad. He had gone to pick up Mom from work, so I had to wait a bit for them to show up. Then Eaddie called and needed me to let her in after riding her bike.

I stopped by Kroger on the way home to pick up about 16 pounds of cosmic crisp apples. Dad said they were on sale for a buck a pound, and the piece I had at their house was really good. I figured they’d make a good snack at work, and the girls would probably want some as well.

Summer came by after the gym to get Eaddie, and shared the article that Splash was publishing about her in their newsletter. It was really good to see, even if it was a pre-release copy. They left pretty quickly, and I cleaned up a few leftovers before settling in for the night.

It’s the time of year when things get warmer and I get more anxiety about all the projects I want to complete before the attic becomes too hot to bear. I’ve been wanting to move the girls in so we could save money, but this house just needs so much work and I just have so much stuff. There’s simply not enough room for everyone. Another house on Zillow caught my eye, and upon further inspection I noticed my old friend, Alisha, was an agent for the realtor that listed it. I messaged her on Facebook, and we arranged to have a look at it tomorrow, completely on a whim.

As it turns out, without all these expenditures, we’re rich!

Honorable Mention

I developed a nasty sinus issue last night that kept me up until I remembered how soothing it could be to have hot water in my CPAP. For hours, I had struggled with a scratchy throat, unable to sleep for more than an hour or so, and finally I found rest.

I chugged some orange juice before I went to work, then sipped on piping hot green tea all day. Evidently the meeting that occurred right outside my door was a surprise to our department. Jeff and Terry were there with the guys trying to sell us Avigilon again, and based on what I heard, I didn’t hear a lot of kickback from my guys. I couldn’t tell if that’s because they had already said what they wanted to say and were at the point that they felt defeated, or if nobody wanted to rock the boat. I told them afterward that we should have developed hand signals so I could bust out of my office and make a super disparaging remark.

It was Brody’s birthday, and surprisingly he picked Linhs for lunch. Just as we got there, Zach got a call that several pallets of Chromebooks had just arrived at the shop. He took my car back with Greg, and the rest of us sat down to eat, ordering their food for their return.

After lunch, Tammy had made a Butterfinger cake, so of course Thomas was super excited to eat that. I had some more tea, went to Oakland to take care of a few things before school let out, and then spent a pretty relaxing end of the day in the front of the office.

Summer came over after she got back to town from Cabot, and we got changed to go to Eaddie’s National Honor Society induction ceremony. After a scan of the crowd, I discovered that we were basically sat directly across from my greatest nightmare, so I was on edge the entire time. Then, as it often is, alphabetical-order spoiled what fun I was having.

I thought I was keeping it together for the most part, but then they dismissed in the most chaotic way. Everyone started walking down to the floor of the arena, and just feet away from where we were heading, I froze. I couldn’t breathe, and I just had to exit as quickly as possible. I felt absolutely horrible for it, because I wanted to be there for Eaddie in her moment of accomplishment. All the love and support in the world didn’t mean a thing if I couldn’t even bear to exist in that moment. I was a wreck for hours after that.

Autumn took Eaddie out to get food and then went home while Summer and I went back to my house for a bit. I had a tentative plan to go to Lowe’s with Brody, but ended up postponing it for his birthday’s sake. I ended up taking Summer to Brangus for dinner, and robotically ate way too much.

When we got back to her place, Eaddie was melting more Perler beads. Autumn was getting ready for bed, and Summer didn’t waste any time crawling under her own covers. I finished up what I always do, and it was time to pass out.

And the waves crashing around me, the sand slips out to sea.

That Stinks

I was exhausted this morning, but I managed to send Autumn off to school on her bike, get Eaddie to the junior high on time, and still make it in to work with a couple minutes to spare. It was pretty quiet downstairs, so I went to Oakland early and took care of some new work orders I had gotten over the break. The best one was a surge protector that was just turned off. It’s got to be learned helplessness.

When I got back, Greg, Zach, Thomas, and I went to La Chiquita for lunch. Things never really picked up in the afternoon, and I spent a bunch of time working on a laptop that kept running through a recovery and wouldn’t boot to the network properly. About the time I got it done, Greg was going to help me look at what I thought was an intercom issue at Oakland.

On the way out the door, Thomas came back and wanted to talk, then took me into my own office and shut the door. I didn’t really know what to expect, but then he just asked me not to use my oil diffuser any more because someone had complained about it. I knew Greg gave me crap about it, but I didn’t figure he really cared. He seemed to be playing the whole thing up, so I don’t know if Thomas or I read into that wrong. He didn’t seem to think it was anything he said, but I can’t think of a single other person that ever comes back to my area that would have said anything. It certainly isn’t going through the cinderblock wall.

With that awkward conversation out of the way, I met Greg at Oakland and we went to the back of the building only to discover it wasn’t an intercom issue at all. It was an issue with the in-ceiling sound system. I wiggled the knobs until it sounded better, and then we were off. He stuck around to help me run an HDMI cable in another room, and that got us to quitting time.

I picked Eaddie up a couple blocks away from my house, then went outside to clean up the fire pit and grill. Autumn made it back home on her bike, and then they waited for their brother, Zach, to come get them. That was news to me, but I was mostly concerned that one of them had taken advantage of him to take them out to eat. In any case, I let them go and then went to my parents’ house to pick at leftovers before picking them up from their house where Zach dropped them back off.

When we got back to my house, I had to kick Autumn out of bed to take a shower. Then I helped Eaddie with some homework before watching an episode of House. Time seemed to move faster and faster as the evening went on. I thought I might make it to bed early, but no such luck.

What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?

Booked and Ticketed

I was pretty tired this morning after not getting much sleep last night. I drank up some coffee and did what I could in my office until lunch time rolled around. Zach, Gary, and I met Brody at Brangus for one of the better meals I’ve had there. Then it was a quiet afternoon all around.

I spent some time at Oakland and closed out some tickets, and brought a couple iPads back to the shop. Everything was relatively easy today though. I worked a bit late on a custom icon for the middle school, and then went home to see what I could get into before Summer came over.

The girls were at a game until late, so I warmed up some leftovers for Summer to eat as I tried to pick up in the bedroom a bit. Then after she left for home, I spent the rest of the night plotting out our Dallas trip. I got tickets for Medieval Times on Gary’s suggestion, and tickets to Eternals in Dolby Cinema on a cinema tech on Reddit’s suggestion. I even found a hotel for just shy of a C-note that looks pretty nice.

Now we just have to get there.

Let Your Hearts Grow a Little Fonderer

I woke up in an anxiety attack this morning, which was a new experience for me. Summer was there, so I just clutched onto her and rode it out. I vaguely remember an unpleasant dream, but I don’t really thing that set it off. We got up after a little while and she took the girls home while I worked on the house. I sort of had a direction I wanted to go, but I didn’t really execute it very well. Hopefully it’s at least staged for next time so I can jump right in.

I think I want to run some new speaker wire soon, and I might as well unbox the other two tower speakers I have left, if only to get the oversized shipping boxes out of the way. I keep getting caught up in the fantasy of moving into a larger house, but I need to remember our goal of just saving money. We could be making even faster progress if we’d focus on those efforts when it comes to shopping and food, but we’re just too comfortable.

Summer and Eaddie came back after a while to ride their bikes to the tennis courts. I kept doing what I was doing on into the late evening, though I slowed down kind of early. My 20-year high school reunion was this weekend, and I’ve been saying I didn’t want to go ever since the five-year. I don’t think I was feeling regret, but maybe a little sadness because I didn’t feel regret?

School wasn’t a particularly fun experience for me. I cycled through a couple close friends from first grade through 12th, but overall didn’t have a whole lot of love for anyone I grew up around. I’m sure there were some people there that I wouldn’t have minded seeing, but overall I felt indifference toward most everyone I saw in the pictures. I don’t know if that makes me a worse human, or just a cranky old man filled with bitter grudges. I’m not sure I care about that either. As far as I’m concerned, the simulation isn’t rendered much beyond my character viewpoint anyway. I hope everyone is doing well for the most part, but I don’t think anybody that I really would have wanted to see was making an appearance.

When I wrapped up at home, I headed up to Summer’s for the evening. Autumn was still at a band event, so the three of us that remained watched The Voice until Summer went to bed. Then Eaddie and I watched two episodes of House before she went to bed. Autumn made it home and reported that her band and color guard both placed first. Then it was off to bed.

I’m happy to stay in touch if anyone wants. I just don’t think anyone wants.

Alumna Foil

I rolled into work a little late again today. I guess it’s that time of year that I need to set my alarm about five minutes earlier. We had a brief meeting to go over some things for the newbies, and then Thomas showed us his requirements for the three new tech levels, assuming they will be written into policy this year.

The morning went by relatively quickly as I struggled to make things work the way I wanted. When lunch time came around, multiple people reached out to me about lunch, but then it seemed like we were splitting into two groups because the Service Plus guys were going to have a little reunion. For whatever reason, everyone kept waiting for the holy trinity to leave, which ended up making Gary yell at us for standing around. It’s been nothing but mixed signals, and I’m over it.

We ended up driving in four groups to Brangus, but Greg and Josh didn’t make it in time to eat with their old coworkers. We didn’t even sit in the same room because I was the one that requested the table and nobody would tell me how many people we actually had coming. We ended up removing a table, and then bringing it back when Josh and his wife and baby showed up. By the time it was all said and done, there were nine of us there to eat.

Lunch ran long because we left about half an hour late. When we got back, Zach kind of got on to me about not skipping out on the group lunch to go help Jacob hang a touch panel at the junior high. It wouldn’t have mattered, except that Central Office called to tell us to go home at three. I ended up just loading up a truck and bringing it to Jacob by myself in spite of the fact that it wasn’t a huge rush to begin with.

I made it back to the shop just before three, and tried to finish up some weekly paperwork before going home. That’s about the time the lights went out and Thomas, for the first time that I’ve ever seen since he started in July, came through the shop and shut everything down. Normally office lights, shop lights, TVs, and everything are all left on as everyone goes home and I’m the one that goes through the effort to save a buck.

With him hollering at me to leave since there was nobody left to turn paperwork into, I went home and waited for the girls to show up. I picked up a few things to make some room, and then Summer and Eaddie eventually showed up after the homecoming parade. Summer wasn’t there long though, and got called in to work to look at something. Eaddie was hungry and wanted me to take her out for some pasta, but I made her wait for Summer to get back.

When Summer finally got back, we tried going to Venezia’s and had to bypass a stopped train. Failing that, we went across town to Pasta Grill. They had a mob of people waiting outside, so we took the overpass back to Venezia’s to see if they were any better. The parking lot was full and Summer decided she needed to get to the football game, so Eaddie hopped in my car. We thought we’d try waiting for Summer to be done at Autumn’s game, but got stuck at the train again going back to my house for about 35 minutes.

Summer made it to the game to watch Autumn present the flag for JROTC, and after committing to wait for the train to leave, Eaddie and I made it back to the house. When Summer got back, we tried going to Pasta Grill again. I found a parking space that was labeled as a tow zone for non banking customers, but the bank was closed and I thought I’d take a chance. As we walked across the street though, we saw there was still a mob of people waiting to get in. I didn’t want to deal with any of that homecoming nonsense, and the girls were too hungry to wait any longer anyway, so we left.

At the end of the day, CiCi’s had it. It was my speed of people, with no dresses or six-inch spike heels, or really anybody I didn’t want to see. The food was good, and we even got a whole custom spinach alfredo with mushrooms pizza delivered to the table after nobody else in the restaurant would claim it. The biggest problem we had was carrying out everything we had eaten.

They closed up a couple hours earlier than their posted hours, which I thought was super weird for a Friday night. We headed back home and split right up. Eaddie went to her room to watch a movie. Summer went to bed. I stayed up, but for no real reason since Eaddie didn’t want to watch TV with me until her movie was over. Autumn eventually made it home from the game, and everyone went to sleep.

From everything to nothing.

Going for Broke

Thomas and Gary were both out today, and Zach texted me before work to say he was getting donuts and would be late, which meant the shop was extra quiet when I got there. We all gathered for a really relaxed meeting and mostly talked off-topic for a while until a couple groups left to work on some stuff together. I was left in the shop all alone for a while, since Tammy and Kelsea both had a meeting to attend early in the day.

Everyone came back around for lunch, and we went for something completely different – Cracker Barrel. I actually thought I’d eat a pretty light meal just because I never remember getting filled with their portions, but then our waitress brought out cornbread and biscuits and gravy for us all to share. I ended up getting the Friday Fish Fry, which was a pretty good sized plate, too.

After lunch, I had to call Arvest to try and figure out why my mileage check was returned and I was charged an $8 chargeback on my account. The kid I talked to left me on hold for a really long time and then came back completely unable to help. Then I had a quick conference call with Nanoleaf to review something new before running to Oakland to finish up a couple more work orders.

On the way back to the shop, I decided to stop at the physical bank so I could talk to someone face-to-face. He found, as I sort of suspected, that the mobile check deposit had truncated a part of the check numbers, so the system couldn’t complete the transfer. Upon calling someone, they advised him not to negotiate the check because I would need a new one from the school. I argued that, since the first one was only a picture that technically had different numbers on it, then the original check I had given to him was technically a different check and should still be valid. He basically winked and slid the check back to me, and I went on to fight that another day.

When I made it back to the shop after school, I chatted with Tammy a bit until it was time to fill out time sheets and go home. I tried on some more clothes I got in and put together a new hamper, building up an intense headache along the way. That continued to radiate through my entire skull and neck all evening even as I made my way up to Summer’s. I laid in bed with her for a bit, and then got cleaned up for bed so I could crash.

Pain, pain, go away!