Kinder Class

This morning was super quiet at the high school, but Zach asked Josh and me to help deploy laptops at Oakland after lunch. I met them at the shop for lunch, and since Linhs was closed, we went to Smackin’ Wings and Things for the first time in months. The menu looked a bit more finished, but I couldn’t decide what to eat, so I had the waitress surprise me. She did well, with some wings and one of their fry dishes.

After lunch, Ben and Kyle joined us for the deployment party at Oakland. I really didn’t do that many myself, because I kept getting stuck fixing dumb things, or helping others. It was incredibly humid wearing my mask the whole time too, which made it pretty miserable. It was fun getting to see a lot of those people again though, and I had forgotten how much fun it is to walk into a chaotic kindergarten room with kids running and screaming everywhere. Tracy’s room is always a hoot anyway, and she had stories as usual.

We finished up right around the time that school let out, and went back to the shop. Zach got permission for us to leave work early, but I ended up sticking around and chatting with Ben until closer to quitting time. Then I ran by Sonic for a drink on the way to see Summer and Eaddie at the shop.

They wanted to come over and ride bikes, so I came home and cleaned up a bit first. Then when they got there, Summer took Autumn to get some food and face wash while I took Eaddie on a bike ride. It got dark fast, so we didn’t get to stay out very long. We all got back home at almost exactly the same time, so the girls came in and watched The Simpsons while I caught up on some email. Then it was off to bed.

They never quite know what to do when the strange adult starts copying their crying.

What a Wreck

Autumn got up this morning ahead of everyone else, and actually wanted to take the others out to do something. Once everyone else was up, we sent the three of them to get breakfast from Burger King. When they got back, Eaddie said she had slipped in some gravel and had a little wreck, breaking the bottle holder off of her bike. Fortunately I had about a dozen more, so I had her fixed up with a replacement in no time.

They took off again to go exploring on their bikes, so Summer went to the gym while I took a shower and started some laundry. She and the kids all got back home around the same time, and they came in to rest while I went outside with Summer so she could practice riding the Grom around the neighborhood.

I was in and out with laundry since she seemed to be doing really well. That’s when I heard someone beating on the door. The neighbor came over and said he thought someone hit her in the road. I ran outside, and she was standing on the sidewalk at the end of the road with a couple stopped cars and a bunch of people.

Luckly she hadn’t actually been hit, but she had a low-speed crash after what I guessed was a failed downshift in the middle of turning onto our street. As far as crashes go, it couldn’t have happened in a more convenient place. She was able to walk to the house, and I got the Grom started up and rode it home. It wasn’t until we got there that I realized how bad the gash in her chin was.

We dropped Noah off at work, then tried to go by MedExpress. They came out to check on her, then politely suggested the emergency room just in case it was something more serious. We really should have insisted on getting stitches there, because it took over four hours at Saint Mary’s to get three stitches in her chin. The staff there was overall much less friendly and helpful, and I’m sure it’ll be more expensive. We were running with an abundance of caution though, and didn’t have the gift of hindsight.

Julie was nice enough to pick up Noah from work while we were stuck at the hospital. When we did finally make it back to the house, I had Noah take her home while I finished up my laundry. Then I ran to get her a Baconator for dinner before Wendy’s closed, since we never did eat after breakfast. I picked the girls up from my house, then headed up to theirs for the evening. Summer was obviously exhausted after an afternoon of road rash, a laceration on her chin, and at least one chipped tooth, but didn’t seem as defeated as she had been the rest of the evening. She made it up into bed for some of her kids baking show until she fell asleep. I struggled to get my laptop running long enough to get this blog post up, and then crashed myself.

See what I did there?

Two Tired to Ride

Autumn came into the bedroom this morning and almost immediately pitched a fit about wanting to go to their father’s today. We had plans to go out for a bike ride, and she wasn’t about to settle for not getting her way. Summer ended up letting them go for a couple hours anyway, then got up to make breakfast. Eaddie had cooked all but one of the eggs though, so I just made some tiny bacon sandwiches out of some sliced “everything” bread.

Once the girls left, I went home to get the bikes mounted to the car, then showered. I suggested that Summer should talk to Nick about Autumn’s behavior lately, so they ended up getting to my house over an hour later than I was expecting them. The girls were behaving pretty well by then though, so it was a pleasant enough drive up to Washburn Park.

The girls took off without us, so Summer and I caught up to them at the other end. My front tire still had a pretty bad leak, but I made the round. On the way back to the car, I split off from Autumn while Eaddie and Summer picked up the rear. I beat them all back after taking a bit of a break at the pump station.

This little bitty kid came up the hill after us, having beat his family to the car as well. Just before they got there, he climbed up onto the trunk of their car and said he was going to pretend to sleep. He played completely dead while his dad picked him up. Summer said he cracked a smirk when I ratted him out, but I missed it.

After the ride, we went to my parents’ house for dinner. Autumn had a tiny bowl of bún bò Huế to go along with the rest of us, which made me happy. We looked at a couple houses online after seeing the one on Inglewood put up a realtor sign. We couldn’t find its listing though.

When we got back to the house, Summer helped me unload the bikes, then went home with the girls. I put my car on the battery charger, then came in for a quiet evening by myself.

The Natural State

I Made Sliders

My medication alarm kept nagging me awake this morning, and I got up to make an “everything” sandwich for lunch. I got the girls up and had to go out to air up my front bike tire again since it was completely flat. Then we rode to the shop for lunch with Summer. There was quite a bit more traffic in the middle of a Friday, but we managed without too much trouble.

They were pretty busy, so Summer had us go upstairs to eat inside away from the paying customers. I guess the bagged sandwich was too loose and the meat and cheese slid down through to the other sandwiches, leaving Autumn’s first end piece without. It wasn’t terrible to correct though, and we had a feel-good lunch. Afterward we rode back home, the long way again, through the city park. The heat was hot and the ground was dry, but the air was full of sound.

When we got home, we drove back to the shop so Autumn could stay and work for some money to “buy” the Matrix from her grandparents. Eaddie had to get her bag with a change of clothes too, since she forgot to bring the bag inside last night.

With just the two of us left, Eaddie and I decided to try and clean up the house a little bit. We were going to start in the garage, but as it got warmer that felt less appealing to her, and she landed in the kitchen instead. She poked around a little bit while I got some dishes shuffled. We didn’t get a whole lot done, but at least it seemed like a noticeable difference.

Summer and Autumn eventually came home and we had to figure out dinner. We were craving Chinese but decided against Sumo because of the price. Then Summer got set on Brown’s but I discovered they had shut down for a few days to remodel for social distancing. At a buffet. Still seems like a bad idea, especially with how many old people eat there.

We ended up getting Wendy’s, then came back home and ate while we watched Autumn’s pick of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. Summer seemed a bit broken after a decidedly non-happy ending, but we made it better with some Yahtzee and Moana. Julie invited us to kayak tomorrow, so we called it an early night to give us plenty of time to get everything together for Summer’s first time on the creek.

Listen. For a thousand years, I’ve only been thinking about keepin’ this hair silky, getting my hook, and being awesome, again.

Off Trail

Summer and I got up late today and went to Walmart for the last few things we needed for lunch. They had a bunch of “everything” bread marked down, so we got all of it to freeze, and I took one loaf to make a sandwich. Since it was already late and a bit warm outside, we decided to eat at home rather than take it all to the bike trail. It was a quick lunch in the back yard, and then we loaded up the bikes and headed to Old Post.

When we got there and unloaded, I climbed onto my bike only to find the front tire was completely flat. I loaded it back up and went home for air, and decided that a portable pump is probably a must-have. While I was gone, Summer and Eaddie checked out the trails but couldn’t leave Autumn behind, so they all rode downhill to the main park area. I made it back and met up with them, and we rode all over the flat park area.

We stopped for snacks on the amphitheater stage, then made a couple more loops around the drive before packing up to head back home. The girls left pretty quickly after we got back to my house, and I spent a few minutes doing a major trim in my shrimp tank. Then I loaded up and headed up to their house for the evening.

Summer made sloppy joes with mashed potatoes and corn for dinner, and then I planted all of my trimmings in Autumn’s aquarium. Summer, Autumn, and I played a game of Sorry, and then they went to bed while Eaddie and I started the second season of Luke Cage. We both got bored with how slow the first episode was, and decided to quit there for the night.

Back to the grind.

Burn Everything…

I didn’t sleep very well last night just because I hadn’t slept in my own bed in so long, but at least I didn’t wake up in pain like I have been. Summer had to work, so the girls and I took our time getting up and around. Eventually I started putting together an everything-loaf sandwich for lunch, and we packed a couple backpacks for a bike ride. We rode to Summer’s shop and had a surprise lunch with her while they were slow.

When we finished eating, we rode over to the city park for just a moment, then took the long way around Detroit back to 4th to get home. The girls did a great job of riding together, and the pandemic has traffic manageable, so it was a great time. It was under an hour total, but my hands and arms were still pretty sore by the time we got home.

I let the girls rest for a little while inside, and then we went outside to start cleaning up the yard. They were both pretty slow to get productive, but eventually we got a little bit of a fire going, at least enough to reduce some of the brush we pulled up. They pressure washed the back patio until they ran out of power cord and hose, so there was a strip of black concrete still on the north side.

Brittany stopped by to give me a few more plants and some guppies she had been breeding. I had too much going on, or I would have thought to send her on with a couple little baby shrimp. I guess they’re a little more sensitive to the alkalinity of the water anyway.

Summer came over when she got off, and brought hot dogs to cook over the fire. We spent a good long while trying to get a decent fire going in the fire pit since the logs weren’t burning well at all. It was enough to get the food warm, but it was a lot of work to maintain. I was pretty upset that some embers blew up and melted a couple holes in a couple of the cushions, but it’s all over now. I would have hoped for something a little more retardant.

As the sun went down and we lost all of our light, the girls filtered back into the house and I trudged back and forth getting everything else put away. I could barely move after being so active all day long, but I had to get a shower before bed.

…the calories too!

Into the Unknown

I spent all morning learning Wikitext to actually start entering articles for work. The translation took a while because even with a visual editor, the markup text made things look way cleaner. I still didn’t even finish publishing my first article, but at least what I have so far looks nice.

Ben got a Fat Daddy’s gift card for doing some work for someone, so he bought us lunch today. I brought prawn chips to fry since I still had the deep fryer there too. It was a really light lunch for me to choose ribs, but it was pretty good. I think I would’ve been happier with one of my usual orders though.

Ben wanted me to go try to break a touch panel before I left, so I went to the high school to a classroom with known issues. On the way, I had to deliver six iPads to the PAC. They had everyone using the main entrance with a sign-in sheet, but I just snuck in with my Technology superpowers before continuing on to the classroom. I could never get the touch to quit working, but I got so frustrated with how bad the SMART Ink was. I could draw in Paint and it would be flawless, but the SMART software lagged so hard. I hated it.

Autumn called when I forgot about her therapy appointment, so I ran home to drop off some things and then got her to therapy about 20 minutes late. Then I stopped by my parents’ house to wish Mom a happy birthday and chatted with them a little bit. She was outside power washing, and Dad was up on the roof cleaning gutters. I didn’t stick around too long though, and let them get back to work.

When I got home, I cleaned up and played a little bit of Overwatch until Summer and Eaddie came over. Then we rode bikes around the neighborhood, stopping by Allen’s, then going over to the high school. Eaddie wanted to take me to the trail that she and Noah found, so we did that. I tried riding over to Julie’s house too, but the field was so long and rugged with too many back yards that I didn’t want to disturb. We headed back around the new practice facility, then made it back to my house.

The girls headed home and I followed a little later. Autumn had some leftover fish sticks out, so I got the deep fryer going again for some of those, some more prawn chips, and some sweet potato fries for Summer. Then Autumn wanted to watch a movie with Summer, so Eaddie and I went to the bedroom to finish The Defenders. The end escalated pretty quickly, but we were happy with it.

Next up: Jessica Jones

A Healthy Alternative to Netflix and Chips

Summer left for work this morning, and I slept in with the kids. It was nice being at home for a change, though things were frustratingly cluttered. Summer wanted me to take her to the doctor for her leg pain, so I ran by Sonic to get the kids some 99-cent cheese sticks before taking her to Millard Henry. I didn’t want to go inside on account of the pandemic, so instead I sat in the car playing Plague Inc. While I sat there, I saw a couple girls pull up in another car, and the one driving reached down to hide some trash under her car before they got out. I should have honked or something, but instead I spent the next few minutes fantasizing about fetching the trash and sticking it under her windshield wipers. In the end, inaction won and the environment lost.

After a bit over an hour, Summer came out and we ran by Rose Drug before I took her back to work. Next up was figuring out a late lunch or early dinner for the kids. I went to Walmart and loaded my arms up with some hamburger meat and steaks, some lunch meat and cheese, a couple loaves of French bread, and a bin of spring mix for balance. I went home and made an epic sandwich that left everyone relatively healthily fed. Even Summer wanted some, so I took her one before coming back home and getting the bikes out.

Noah and Eaddie were both super excited to get out of the house. Autumn took a little extra convincing as usual, but she ended up having fun. We all rode to the high school and raced through the park and around the campus. Eaddie kept losing her hat in the wind because she refused to wear it backwards. Autumn was predictably sluggish, but the others just kept taking off with all their pent-up energy.

It was pretty hot out, so we all made it back to the house a bit sweaty. I had trouble getting the garage door open, and the girls ended up in the shady back yard for a bit. Eventually we did get in, and the kids went back to The Simpsons. Summer came over after running 5k at the park, then took the girls home. Noah wanted to ride to his friend’s house, so I took the time to clean house a bit before getting a shower and then taking him back up to Summer’s for the evening.

Summer was ready to pass out on the couch, but we watched Ronny Chieng’s Netflix special while I had a salad and a little pasta for dinner. By the time I got to Autumn’s chocolate cake for dessert, she had passed smooth out, so I put her to bed and then watched one of Tom Segura’s specials with Noah until bedtime.

Self quarantining has me biking, planting tomatoes, and eating at home. What a concept.

Gromroll, Please!

I slept pretty well last night after a couple Aleve to dull the aches of the day. Summer left to get the girls home and start some cleaning before lunch. Mom had leftover beef spring rolls ready for lunch when they got up. Summer and Eaddie wanted to ride their bikes, so I drove Autumn and met them there. Autumn was more or less a lame duck, but Eaddie at least pretended to watch Dad work on their telescope a bit.

After a little while, we all headed home so Summer could get some time on the Grom after several weeks without. I wouldn’t let Autumn stay at the house, so I gave her the choice of riding with me or riding her own bike. She reluctantly climbed onto the Grom with me, and we made our way to the park. Summer and Eaddie beat us there on their bikes from my parents’ house, but the parking lot was cluttered with cars for a ballgame, so we rode up to the highschool instead. Summer jumped on and did really well today, weaving through the concrete parking bumpers and other obstacles. She even left the parking lot and drove around the little streets around the campus.

They all had to get home to finish their chores before school and work tomorrow, so we all rode back to my house and they headed home. I milled around and did some cleaning myself after having a Full Throttle to wake myself up. I took care of the pets, started some laundry, and got things ready for work in the morning.

Try to remember the kind of September when life was slow and oh, so mellow.

A Learnful Day

It was hot today, but I still wanted to get out on the bike. We started off building some more carts to shuffle around at the middle school. Amanda was pretty annoyed that we seemed to be doing things in a more complicated, convoluted way than she originally planned. I don’t think anyone was surprised. Zach peeled Gary and me off of the job after the first delivery since we were overstaffed for the task as usual. Gary helped me look at a couple things I had in the queue until lunch time, and then as he left to eat, I got tied up on the phone with Erica looking at some of their work orders. I decided to swing by there to see what they were doing for lunch, and Sheri ended up surprising me by buying me a nacho supreme from Taco Villa.

After I ate, I headed back to the shop and went to the server room with Gary. I got to set up three of the new servers under his direction. I only barely understood what was really going on, but it was still nice to get some hands-on and see a bit of what goes on behind the scenes. Afterward we went to the high school to take care of some work orders. I didn’t think I really needed the help necessarily, but he ended up being super handy to have around. I got to build a little more rapport with some of the faces I see more often, which was nice. I worked a little late, but felt good with what I had gotten done.

Shortly after I got home, Summer and Eaddie came over to ride bikes. I met them at Hickey Park on the Grom so Summer could practice riding around a bit more. She seemed to get a better grasp on her launches, so I had her start slaloming for the rest of the evening to get a feel for turning and curves. I wish I had started out more like this instead of the trial by fire. When we got back from that, they headed straight home to clean up, and I pretty much immediately started winding down. It was a pretty good day all around, so I figured an early night to bed would be best.

We’ll use his vehicle stipend as a unit of measurement!