Eaddie left early this morning for all-state weekend, and my school had a “winter break,” so kids were out and teachers were only there for parent-teacher conferences. Traffic was thin enough that I had a nearly uninhibited drive in to work, save for the last mile. Kim showed up late, and then disappeared around lunch time. I just kept working on SCCM and never saw her again.

I was pretty hungry when I left work since the cafeteria was closed, so I stopped by McDonald’s in Dardanelle for a Big Mac, then fed my fish, and picked up some fries afterward before stopping by the wash to see Summer. I finished those on the drive home, and then jumped on the Onewheel to get some float time before sundown.

I took some milk back to my parents’ house, then rode around to Gary’s house to chat with him for a minute. As I was leaving, I accidentally knocked my earbuds out of my pocket, and they both popped out of the charging case. I nearly rode over one of them before I noticed, but it seemed like only the case got scratched.

From there, I rode down to Ridgewood, but didn’t see anyone I knew. I circled the building, and then a kid named Kyron(?) chased me down on his Onewheel GT. We stopped and talked for just a few seconds because he wanted to see my board. Then we split off and I headed home.

My head cold got bad pretty quickly from there. I had body aches and a bit of a fever, so I cleaned up some leftovers, made some Theraflu, and went to bed before Summer even made it home.


One Wheel Keeps on Turning

Traffic was bad in Dardanelle this morning, but I was only a couple minutes late to work. Testing went without a hitch. Kim was out of the room a lot, but I was never quite sure what she was doing. I was pretty sure it wasn’t closing a bunch of work orders. Most of my work was pretty immaterial again, because the morning went by quickly, lunch time was loud, and then the afternoon gave way to more conversations about the impossibility of maintaining my department at my rate of pay.

I got permission for Johnny to come visit for a day so I can mentor him on some things. Then Ben called at the end of the day and we chatted for a while on the drive home. I stopped by the old house quickly to grab a couple more things while Summer was home early with Eaddie and had dinner ready. Clay walked by the house and stopped to talk to me some more, but didn’t keep me too long.

I was proud of Summer for creatively making some stir fry out of the tough ribs she baked the other day and some vegetables that I had prepped from our salmon night. Afterward, I went out on the Onewheel and fed the cat, and then decided to ride on down to Ridgewood Brothers to see if Grant was there. I got him and one of the other guys on the Onewheel for a bit, and then he sent me home with some apple crumble that was incredible.

Sensing some dire levels of stress, I got Summer to go back with me for some more dessert, and we got to step to the back of the restaurant and chat for a little bit more. Hopefully we made a meaningful difference. Eaddie spent most of the night in her room, and Summer went to bed as soon as we got back home. I stayed up a while longer, but felt the exhaustion roll in pretty hard.

The morning sun is rising. It’s kissing the day.


Eaddie left for all-region early this morning. Summer was out of bed super early after a work call, and I woke up pretty early myself, but laid in bed for a little while longer, unable to go back to sleep. I eventually got around and cleaned the kitchen a bit while Summer went to the gym. She didn’t stay long because she had to get Eli’s boutonniere from the flower shop. The kids came over around lunch time but weren’t hungry, and I eventually had a shower and had to drain the basement again.

We picked up my dad for the concert, and made it plenty early for the percussion ensemble before Eaddie’s band. The whole thing was about half an hour behind, so we were worried about the kids having to rush through pictures and dinner before the dance. We dropped Dad off at his house and then the kids met us at home to get ready.

We took a bunch of pictures, and then Eaddie refused to wear her fancy new dress to dinner or the dance, and wore her band dress instead. Once they left for dinner, I finished the eggplant soup. Then Summer and I went home so she could get ready to chaperone the dance. I stayed home and tinkered a bit, but didn’t actually get as much accomplished as I had hoped before everyone got back home.

The kids watched a little bit of TV before Eaddie took Eli home. Summer was already in bed by then, and I eventually wound down around midnight.

If you’re sumping rain, in your neighborhood; who you gonna call?

It’s Heavier Than You Think

I was early to work again this morning, so I had some time to ease into the day before I had to meet with the music department to help them figure out the audio mixer in the auditorium. I was a little annoyed that Eric was downstairs the entire time to direct the band, when the whole point was to show him how to work the machine. At least Kelsey was there, and had the benefit of a little bit of experience with the mixer.

Other than that, I did a bunch more reading and only a little bit of tinkering with my imaging process. I’m still leaning toward rolling out SCCM, even though they seem to be pushing Intune as the wave of the future.

After work, I grabbed some free gum at Casey’s, fed the fish, and then ran home to change so I could meet Suzanne and Trent at Ridgewood Brothers BBQ. Summer said she was tired and didn’t want to go, and Eaddie didn’t want to go with other people there.

Grant was out back and gave them a quick peek inside one of the smokers, and then we went in to eat. It was great food as always, and then Kevin texted as we finished up. Suzanne and Trent went to the house while I ran to Harbor Freight to meet Kevin. They used a forklift to get the tool chest into the truck, which had me a little bit worried about unloading it.

Trent came out to help once we got there, and then some stranger that was walking through the neighborhood stopped to help as well. He ended up dropping his corner, but fortunately the pallet was super sturdy and took all of the damage. We felt pretty stupid once we got it inside and found a ramp in one of the drawers that would have helped us take it off the pallet.

Kevin didn’t stick around, and Eaddie had left to spend time with friends, so it was just the four of us sipping drinks and playing Uno Flip as we shared stories. Trent made a birthday cake for Suzanne with lemon and blueberries, which was delicious. We had a great time, but they left a bit early to get back home before another big drive tomorrow.

Summer immediately went to bed and I loaded the expensive tool chest with a bunch of Great Value K-Cups of questionable coffee quality.

Pay attention.

Let’s Table That

We woke up reasonably early today, but it took us a little bit to get started. Summer went to the gym while I messed with things around the house. After she got back, we met Julie and Kevin at my old house to get the dining room table and futon. For some reason I thought he had a short truck bed, but everything fit perfectly and we got it all set up at home.

Eaddie made it home, but then left to spend the day with friends. Summer and I went to Ridgewood Brothers to try their baked potato, and Grant made us some extra special ones. He seemed a little off, so I invited him to the house after work. At first he said he couldn’t, but on the way out he asked if I was off tomorrow, so hopefully he comes around.

After that, we went to Lowe’s to exchange the toilet seat we got yesterday. We compared it with another new one in the box, and it was painfully obvious that the one we got yesterday was a return. From there, we picked up a couple things I forgot from the old house, and then made it home where I spent the rest of the evening casually cleaning, organizing, fixing, and generally trying to stay productive. Summer didn’t feel well, so she did a puzzle and watched TV all evening until bed. My big accomplishment was doing a deep clean on the washing machine, because it was smelling pretty bad. I don’t think the girls had ever cleaned it, so it was very mildewy.

I’m going to make this place into a home, one light bulb at a time.

Less Than Marvelous

Ben texted that he was too late to meet for breakfast, and I noticed a couple of cars parked outside the Old Mill Bread Bakery & Cafe, so I swung in there to eat instead. The guy was just opening up, and had to leave to take his son to school, so he just left me with another customer in the store. Then Ben called after he realized the sessions didn’t start until 8:30, and met up with me just in time for the guy to make it back. I had a breakfast burrito and a scone with some coffee, but in hindsight I probably should have gotten something on BREAD instead of a premade spinach wrap. The food was good either way, and then we headed to the conference.

I went to a session about budgeting and finance, which I thought would be helpful to start the conversation with my business office and admin team. Hopefully I can come up with a decent proposal, and then use Technology money for a better salary. After that session, I went to Ben’s talk about Burp Suite, which was interesting. I was in a room with a very small number of very smart folk, but I wasn’t sure I had an immediate use for it.

The final session was the closing ceremony. Charlie was in Ben’s session, and he let me have his room key to get into the garage and charge. Then Ben and I sat through the closing remarks and went to the lobby for our bagged lunches. They didn’t have very many left, so we were lucky to get anything to eat at all. I figured he might stick around for a little bit to chat, but he actually ended up sticking around the entire time I was waiting for my movie. We chatted about all kinds of stuff, and then he helped me fix my eSchool student photos, which was awesome.

That left me just enough time to get across town to the IMAX to watch The Marvels. I had a reward for a free hot dog, purchased an ICEE, and sat down in my usual seat. There were only a few people there for the IMAX 3D showing on opening weekend, which I thought would be a good thing just for myself, but for some reason the bunch of old folks just kept talking through the entire movie. It would have been way more distracting if I had been more invested in the movie. I just couldn’t take it seriously at all. It was fine, but it was far from great. The dialog and plot just made it feel like another forced girl team-up movie.

After the show, I finally headed home. I stopped at the old house to check on things and air up my tires. Then I washed my car and headed to the house. Everyone was awake, but nobody heard me come in. Eaddie had left the Murano unlocked, so I made her go out and lock it up. Then I realized she left the back door unlocked, as well as the front door after she went out to lock the car. I don’t know how to correct these habits other than to make her life really annoying by making her go back outside repeatedly in the cold. Summer only got out of bed to use the bathroom while I unpacked and got things put away. I got my acrylic chair mat in, so I cleaned it and set it up under my desk. For one day, it seems like it will hold up alright, but only time will tell.

No appointing here.

Boxed Whine

I made it to my usual breakfast place at my usual time for my usual seat at the bar. It’s almost been disappointing to have a different server every time, but I guess that’s staffing? Today I had the shrimp and grits with a Vietnamese coffee, and both were great as expected.

When I got to the Embassy, the parking lot was full and I couldn’t find a place to charge, so I just parked in the very back. Ben was walking to the building just as I was getting my things collected, so I followed him around for a while. Classes weren’t bad, but having a live barista helped. I even got a little heart in my latte. I was a little lost because there were so many sessions that I just wanted to attend, so hopefully the recordings will come in good quality. I really don’t know how they expect the microphones to work on those little tablets in the back of the room.

Lunch was better than yesterday, with fried chicken and some kind of fried steak patty. I ate at a huge round table with Ben and a bunch of strangers. Thomas brought Zach and Ryan just for the day, but I didn’t see them a whole lot. I did talk with Zach more than I really have since I’ve been gone from Russellville.

The afternoon dragged a little bit, but I liked the presentation with Amanda’s brother, Josh. As the conference wound down for the day, it had started to rain pretty hard. I circled through the exhibition hall, but didn’t get a single piece of swag apart from the Fortinet backpack I collected from trivia the night before. I couldn’t find anyone to hang around either, so I headed back to the hotel to clean up a little bit.

Summer texted, so I called and talked to her for a little while before heading back out. Howard had their dinner party at The Butcher Shop, so I met Ben there after charging briefly at the Embassy. Brody didn’t make it, so it was just Ben and me talking through dinner until we left. From there, it was back to the hotel until I heard from Brody at the CDW party at Hibernia Irish Tavern. We were just there long enough to win the raffle where I got a box of ready-to-drink margarita. Brody left first, and then I ended up chatting a bit longer with Charlie and Kristina before heading back to the hotel to crash for the night.

Guess lower!

Surrounded by Giants

I got out of the hotel this morning and went to a place called Big Bad Breakfast to eat. They had pretty good reviews, but I didn’t really expect it to be quite so “upscale.” I sat at the bar, turned down a mimosa, and had a Creole omelet with some fresh-squeezed, ruby red grapefruit instead. The juice was a bit more bitter than I expected, but the omelet was delicious. The andouille sausage and shrimp were unusual for breakfast, but great.

After breakfast, I headed to the Embassy and got checked into the conference by Darrel himself. Just after I got through, I caught Gary and Ryan coming in. Then Derrick snuck up behind me and said my name, and I chatted with him for just a moment. He was only there by happenstance, and wasn’t even aware of the conference.

I eventually made my way back to the classroom where we got things started. Brody showed up late, but he didn’t seem terribly interested in most of what they had to say anyway. I really don’t have a clue what he does in Clarksville, but I wish I had his job at that salary. The unbelievable luck of that kid is astounding to me.

Lunch at the hotel was pretty good, but awkwardly placed. They had different stuff for tacos, but it was arranged in a poor order for assembling, so I ended up with a huge plate of mush that I just sort of mixed together and ate with cold, crumbly tortillas.

I thought our session was great, and got a ton of useful information out of it even though we ended a bit early. I even joked that we had paid for the full session, and asked for a refund for the unused time. I caught up with Gary out in the lobby while he was waiting for Ryan, and ended up spending the rest of the evening with them.

We went up to Gary’s room for a little bit and chatted some more there while Brody went to the gym. Then we met him at Genghis Grill for dinner, but he was late to that too. The food was pretty good, but I had forgotten just how expensive that place was. When we got back to the hotel, I used Gary’s key card to get into the garage to charge. Then we hung out in the atrium where they had a band cranked up way too loud for being in the middle of an open area in a hotel with rooms facing inward. We could barely hear ourselves think, much less hear each other without absolutely screaming at each other. We could have easily cut the volume in half and been better off.

I was the last one out, and played on my phone in the car for a little while until I finished charging. Then it was back to the hotel to wind down and sleep before a day of cybersecurity.

No fair.

This Guy Fawkes

Summer had a race in Conway this morning, and Eaddie had to get to the high school to take a bus to Conway for her orchestra concert. I got up pretty early myself and took a bath before Summer got back home. Then we packed up for a night at Alice’s.

We left Eaddie with the Model Y and took the Murano to Conway, which was awful after living on Autopilot for the past year. My arms were constantly tired, and all of my muscle memories were wrong. Our first stop was the liquor store in Morrilton, and then the China Town buffet in Conway for lunch. We finished up there just in time to make it across town to the Conway High School for Eaddie’s concert.

Both bands were pretty good, but I think my absolute favorite song was Eaddie’s last one. The concert was pretty short with only three songs from each of two bands, and then we headed straight to Alice’s place, only making a brief stop at a Dollar General for some energy drinks.

It was a small party this year. Alice and Josh were there, and Josh had one other friend come by. I took Summer, Alice, and the kids to the guest house to check things out, and then to see her in-laws next door briefly before going back to the house. They had some snacks there, but the girls mostly just chatted in the kitchen while the guys went down to start the fire. By the time we made it down the hill, it had mostly died down.

It was a great night of chatting by the fire though, and then we got to retire to a guest house instead of making the drive home after midnight. The guest house was a really cool, two-level house with everything we could have needed. Summer crashed pretty quickly while watching an episode of Fear Factor, which appeared to be on repeat. I wrapped up pretty quickly myself so I wouldn’t sleep too late.

That’s enough 90s television.

Artsy Fartsies

I was alone again today, which gave me summertime vibes. It was difficult to pin down any one project, but I didn’t really resolve either of my big two, although I did get started on Jamf. I imagine I’ll have to migrate all of our old devices over to our new server, since I hadn’t touched it since I renewed the license right after I was hired.

Lunch was a sad “barbecue” sandwich, and the afternoon dragged on for what felt like multiple days. Then I went to feed the fish before going home to wait for the girls. Summer picked up Eaddie in Conway from orchestra practice and took her shopping for a nice dress for her concert tomorrow. I ate leftover pizza.

When they finally got to town, I met them at the River Valley Arts Center for Suzanne’s exhibit. The biggest surprise of the night was Rachel coming over to talk, because we didn’t interact a whole lot in high school, and I don’t think I had spoken to her since then, though I’d seen her around town periodically.

The girls went home early since it had been a long day. I stayed behind and chatted with Trent for a while, and then a couple of us went to see the kiln room and got a little bit of a local history lesson. We walked around the property a bit and I got to see the edge of an old pool from like the 30s.

The girls were settled in when I got home. Dad and Julie were trying to organize Thanksgiving for 25, so I counted my turkeys twice. It was nice having my desk set up, but I still didn’t get my computer chair. I need to order a new chair mat for the carpet. So many things to buy. So little time.

Fine. It’s ordered.