I squeezed in a minute late today, but beat Tammy by nearly 20 minutes. Thomas was apparently out on some (possibly?) surprise trip, so Zach set the guys out on some projects after Gary had a spiel about how the high school is being stupid about their guest WiFi access. I didn’t have to do any of that, so I spent some time in my office for the morning.

After a little while, I started getting phone calls. Kayla was still having trouble with transcribing her time cards, and then one of my old teachers at Oakland called asking for some help with a display issue. I kind of wanted an excuse to go back over there anyway, so I did.

Brody wanted to eat lunch with us since he was finally off on Fridays. We met him at Zaxby’s, and he did the surprised Pikachu face when he saw me pull up in my Tesla. He said he hated his new job, and had an interview with Ryan for a network engineer job in Clarksville. I guess Ryan didn’t remember having lunch with him when we picked up the carts from Bentonville, otherwise he might not have gotten the interview.

After lunch, I went across the street to spend some time with Kayla. She was still super stressed over the time cards, and Rebecca wasn’t really any help with her payroll knowledge. I did some more tweaking on the spreadsheet, and tried my best to make her job as easy as possible before going back to my office to send out the CPPC agenda.

After work, I stopped by to see the Ridgewood Brothers, and they had the restaurant ready to roll, with tons of staff everywhere. I thought I was helping, but didn’t realize they actually had an event scheduled that evening. I went home to get a tablet, but got sidetracked by picking up my blood pressure meds from Walgreens, and then cleaning up my new fridge so I could power it on. By the time I made it back to the restaurant, they had two parking lots FULL of people.

I went back home for a bit before meeting Summer at Arby’s for dinner. Then we came home and waited for the girls to get there. They both had to get up super early for school events the next day, so they wanted to stay close by for a shorter drive to the school. Summer watched some TV in bed as usual, and everyone was off to bed pretty early, except me, who was not at all used to sleeping at home.

Of course my refrigerator has a firmware update. How could it possibly keep my food cold without firmware?

Space Parade

It took me a little bit to get settled into my office today, but once I did, I spent most of my time on the phone with Kayla. There wasn’t much else going on though, and I enjoyed the work I was doing. When we moved all of the bus drivers to hourly pay rates, the district neglected to plan how payroll would be done. As such, Kayla has been processing reams of paper timesheets for every single person that drives a bus.

I got a quick Google Sheet put together with her, and then Zach pulled me away to lunch with Thomas and Greg at Brangus. I had the half chicken salad and remembered how overpriced it was in comparison to the other lunch options. Then I was right back on the phone with Kayla once we got back.

They let us out an hour early to avoid getting stuck by all the people lining up for the parade. I went by Ridgewood and actually got to lend a hand in cleaning things up a bit for the soft open on Saturday. Then I left to swap cars before going up to Summer’s.

We finished up most of the Thanksgiving leftovers and then made our way to the parade. We were early, but not early enough to avoid parking a block off of the main strip. We opted to stand in the middle of a side street once they blocked it off, and that earned us a view from the front row.

The parade itself was super spaced out, with tons of gaps between several of the floats. The high school band was first, so we got to see Eaddie. Then we waited until Autumn passed with the JROTC, and immediately left. The girls actually finished up shortly after that, but didn’t get home until later.

Summer watched the last bit of Weird with me, and then I started UHF before quitting at the first commercial to get ready for bed.

Space mining!


I didn’t have as much trouble getting up this morning as I thought I would after going to bed so late. The bright sunlight probably had a lot to do with that. The girls all left for the day, so I eventually got up to some leftovers for brunch before heading home. There, I picked up a bit and made a path for my refrigerator later in the evening.

The refrigerator would be delivered to Ben’s house, where Sarah would be with the kids. He offered to let me borrow his truck to get it home, so I just went that route instead of having to deal with a trailer from U-Haul. The delivery timeframe was late enough that I knew I wouldn’t be able to get to Cabot for any meaningful time with Summer, so I just killed some time at home, and then went by Ridgewood.

Grant was there unloading a trailer full of wood. Robert eventually showed up, and then his father stopped by with a whetstone for the boys. We chatted for a bit, and I took him for a ride around town in the Model 3, which he enjoyed. I was glad I got to see him after such a long while.

My last stop before leaving town was McDonald’s for a new Smokey Quarter Pounder BLT with Cheese, which was actually quite delicious. The couple at the table next to me marveled at how good their food was too, but I was pretty sure it was just because someone from upper management was there.

I beat Ben home by just a few minutes, and Sarah came out to chat when she heard me pull up. The kids came out, and Ben and I got straight to loading the refrigerator into his truck. We absolutely could not lift it off of the ground and into the bed, so we ended up just laying it on its front side for the ride.

After we loaded up, I let Ben drive my car and we gave the two youngest a ride around town. Then I took Sarah and Eli for a quick jaunt before coming back to deliver the refrigerator at my house. Dad arrived with perfect timing, and we tore right into it. It would barely fit even without the packaging still on it, and we even had to take my front door off its hinges to get the fridge in. David walked over from next door and offered a dolly, but I didn’t think it would be quite as good as using the straps and harness.

I didn’t get a chance to inspect for any scuffing from bringing it inside, but I’m really hopeful that it turned out fine. At least we removed everything sharp from the doorframe. I had to leave the garage in a mess and get back to Ben as quickly as possible, so I took off as soon as we got the fridge into the house. The whole process took nearly an hour.

I topped off the gas tank and picked up a couple blueberry muffin KIT KATs that I saw in the gas station. Then Ben and I chatted for a surprisingly long time once I got there. When I made my way home for the evening, I decided to go straight to Summer’s to stay with the girls. I knew I didn’t want to stay up late cleaning out the garage again, though I still stayed up late trying to help Eaddie with homework. Autumn was in our bed, so I had to kick her out. Otherwise I made it to bed as close to midnight as I could.

Under Compressor!

Smokey Bros

The holiday doldrums were in full swing today, and I think everyone is just ready for a break. I went to Leonard’s at the start of the day to get some nylon washers to put between my vanity license plate and the screws. After that, I didn’t really deep into anything today, and spent most of my time watching a progress bar as I moved files off of our old SCCM server. Even after running all day, I’ll still have more to do tomorrow.

Dad stopped by in the morning to deliver a pumpkin cake, and Tammy didn’t realize who she had let into the building, which caused a bit of a stir up front when he completely bypassed the front of the office. A couple of the guys up front took off after him until Gary recognized who it was.

The junior high invited us for Thanksgiving lunch, but Thomas was having none of that. We were going to Taco Tuesday. Gary and Josh rode with me, but as soon as we got into my car, we realized my screen had frozen. The music would play, but I couldn’t touch any controls, change the volume or climate controls, or even see a speedometer. I didn’t want to force a reboot and have to wait to drive to Taco John’s, so I got us there and then started the reboot once everyone was back out of the car. Allen was there to eat with us again, and then when we left, my car was back to normal.

I went to Dwight for a bit in the afternoon, and then stopped by the Ridgewood smokehouse on the way back. Grant was there, and actually needed a ride to get his car from the tire shop anyway, so I let him drive. It was kind of gritty on the roads after the rain, so we didn’t get to have very much fun, but he got a taste. After that, it was a dull day back in my office until quitting time.

After work, I went back to the smokehouse and hung out with Kyler and another guy while the bros were in the kitchen doing an interview. They were tending the first fire in one of their new smokers, and seasoning the grill before they could check it for hot and cold spots with some biscuits. It was cool to chat about that stuff for a bit, and then I got a better look at the rest of the building once they finished up with their interview.

Eventually I headed home to charge, and then picked up some Popeye’s on the way to Summer’s. The girls all came out to eat, and then it was early to bed again. I think getting dark early just helps. Everyone was tired and ready to crash.

Smoked, dried, floor biscuits.

CBD Nuggets

There wasn’t much going on today, so I spent several hours watching Network+ training videos on CBT Nuggets. I was really pleased with the guy that was doing those videos, because he wasn’t terribly dry to sit and listen to for long periods of time. The videos themselves were broken up into relatively short topics, which at least made me feel like I was making progress. Whether or not I’m retaining any of the important stuff remains to be seen.

Gary, Thomas, and I were the only three to go to Taco Tuesday, and the tacos were pretty sad. The hot sauce changed and was less thick, but spicier out of the packet, but the tacos were stale and thin. We didn’t stick around too long, because they had another interview right after lunch. When we got back, I packed up and went to Oakland for a couple hours.

The end of the day came and went quietly, just as the rest of the day. I felt a sprinkle or two, but never saw any heavier rain. I rode straight to my parents’ house and caught Dad blowing leaves in the driveway. We stood outside for about an hour, talking until Mom got home from work. Then we went inside to pick at leftovers.

I noticed that the Sulphur Springs Truck Patch was going to be at a farmer’s market downtown, which I didn’t even realize was a thing, so after we ate, I rode to the train depot to see if Bryan would be out there peddling flowers. They were tearing down for the evening, but he had one more bouquet left unsold, so we chatted for a moment before I stuffed them into my backpack and ran home to get the key to the Murano.

Summer was meeting with the ATCC kids, so she was there late while the girls were at marching practice. I stuck the flowers in the car and luckily had some leftover water for them in my travel mug. Then I headed on home to poke around under my leaky sink. I didn’t feel like digging too deep into anything and then quitting halfway through, so I actually didn’t get much of anything accomplished. I thought Summer might come over, but instead she and Eaddie just sat around confused about how flowers ended up in the car. I had to remind her of how many times I’d brought her flowers, and she suddenly remembered how nice I am.

I wrapped up the evening as quickly as I could, just tired from running around all day. Hopefully tomorrow will afford me some more time to study for my Net+ so I won’t be completely lost in Mike Meyers’s training class at ACOT next week.

It’s Homestead Runner!


I was phlegmy all day today, which was no fun. I went through two cups of coffee to keep my throat soothed. The office was quiet again, except for when it literally wasn’t. The girls up front were cackling over something, so I had to give them a hard time. I got into a few different things that people sent me, but nothing too difficult.

I wasn’t super hungry until right at lunch time, and someone suggested Western Sizzlin. I probably should have stayed at the shop to eat my leftover chicken mac, but I figured I would feel a little less guilty if I started with a salad.

Just before school let out, I went to Oakland to take care of a couple small things. I ended up staying longer than I originally planned, and left after most of the kids were gone. Everyone had wound down at the shop by then, so I was quickly out by quitting time.

I was supposed to pick up Eaddie from school, but Autumn called just as I was about to leave and offered to pick her up and take her to the football game “so she could hang out with Maleea” instead of going to karate like she had planned. I knew immediately that she was full of shit, but then she asked whether I was going to spend the night with them, and said she would take Eaddie to school early in the morning if I didn’t. I took the opportunity to stay home and spend a bunch of time cleaning up the garage while the weather was nice.

The mosquitos eventually got to me, but I was happy with the dent I had made in all the junk in the garage. I came inside to watch the latest episode of She-Hulk, and then Brandie texted out of the blue to check in. I shared with her our new week of drama, and it sounded like she has a pretty busy rest of the year.

Summer eventually called before going to sleep, and I showed her around the garage. She had called her clinic for an update, but both her doctor and nurse were out, and the neurologist referral apparently wasn’t able to get her an appointment any earlier than mid-December. When we finished talking, I wrapped everything up and did my best to keep from getting distracted from going to sleep myself.


Not Much for Surprises

I had to go to Oakland a couple times this morning, but the work orders were easy fixes. I don’t think anyone else was super motivated around the office, but I kept fairly busy until lunch time. We went to Taco John’s as usual, and I ran into the Cochrans on their way out. We chatted for a little bit in the entryway about their retirement and my bikes. When everyone else showed up and we sat down to eat, Ben showed up. Evidently he had been around town meeting with some schools, and arranged to meet us for lunch.

I took the afternoon off and went by Superfast to check on Summer. She had a bit of work to do before her MRI, so I went home and waited for her to pick me up. As soon as she got there, we went to Saint Mary’s and filled out paperwork. We had to wait a little bit, but then she went to the back for the MRI while I waited in the lobby. The girls had dentist appointments after that, so we surprised them by showing up to pay their copays. Autumn was in a mood, and Eaddie just rolled her eyes about it. On the way out, Summer got a call about her MRI, which reportedly showed something odd about her frontal lobe. She spent the rest of the day Googling that, which would have been more upsetting if I hadn’t been present when her nurse did almost exactly the same thing.

We went to their house for a minute, but then left the girls to go back to their after-school activities. Then Summer and I headed to Conway for her work meeting. She couldn’t decide where to eat, so I tried the old trick where I told her I had the perfect place that she loved, but made her guess where we were going. She got super excited when she guessed Shark’s Fish and Chicken, but afterward changed her mind to Mexican. She really liked a place right off the highway called Los 3 Potrillos, so we went there. I’m not sure what made my parrillada so expensive, but all of the food was pretty good. The tortillas were so fresh that our server literally had to go make them for us after he brought out our food.

After we ate, we went to the shop and Summer got settled in. I waited around until I could show her how to make a Google Form for a sign-in sheet for the training she was giving. Then I went across town to Target to try and find a deal on some Google Nest mesh routers. They had one in stock that was marked at regular price, but they rang up for $80. I wished they had more than one, but I was happy with my find.

I made a quick run through the rest of the store, but nothing really jumped out at me. On the way out, I texted Ben to see what he was doing. He invited me over to his place, which was way out on the west end of town. It took me forever to get out there, and the neighborhood was a lot more tightly packed than I expected, but it was a nice place. The kids all came out to show out for company, and we eventually made it upstairs so he could show me his urinal and the bar, complete with a soda gun. He wanted to get rid of it, and offered it to me for half of what he might be able to get online. Prices seem to vary pretty wildly, but I figure I’ll probably end up with it eventually.

I left after a little while, knowing that it would take me a bit to get back to the shop. I arrived just as Summer was finishing up, so it was great timing. I was really glad I didn’t wait for her to text. We made it home without any fuss, and then everyone was off to bed.

Life’s less disappointing if you always assume the worst, but then again I am the positive one of the bunch.


The Montego didn’t appreciate being started this morning, and the idle bounced around for a bit until I got a “failsafe engine mode” message. I shut it off, gave it a moment, and then started it right back up again without any trouble. I asked Summer if she’d ever encountered that before, and she said sometimes it just happens.

Death trap.

I made it home, but took the Shadow to work again on account of the weather. It was a bit on the cool side, but it didn’t take me long to work up a sweat. I had to walk to the Support Services building a couple times to pick up some old junk, and though the humidity wasn’t reported to be very high, and it wasn’t terribly hot outside, I couldn’t stop sweating.

I had to stop by Transportation for a moment after that, and then I spent the rest of the morning working on things in my office. Lunch time came quickly, and a group of us went to Slim Chickens. Greg had his daughter with him for an appointment in the afternoon, and she was shy at first, but by lunch time she was bouncing all over the place. I had a BOGO deal of questionable value, and took the leftovers back to the shop fridge.

The afternoon was quiet, but I kept pretty busy. I ended the day upstairs with a few new work orders, and then came back to the shop to close up. I had to shoo Tammy out, otherwise she would have kept working late. Autumn had called to ask me to pick up Eaddie because they had a disagreement about who had to do what. Autumn wanted to go mow the lawn at her grandparents’ house, but Eaddie had to finish an assignment for band before she left school. Autumn did a good job of making it sound like Eaddie was the asshole, but of course Eaddie ultimately had other details.

I took my time getting home, wanting to make Eaddie sweat it out a bit since she didn’t pre-arrange for me to pick her up. I stopped for gas at Casey’s, but then changed my mind and went to Shell instead. When I got home, I called Eaddie back and went to pick her up. We stopped back by my house to get some air in the damaged back tire, and then went to Lowe’s to drop off some recycling. As I was walking back to the car, I passed an old guy that had been staring at a riding lawn mower parked behind his trailer since before we pulled in. I stopped to offer a hand, and managed to push it up onto the trailer by myself. He didn’t really have proper straps to tie it down, but I did my best and left the rest to hopes and dreams.

Autumn beat us home with some stuff to bake cookies, but then went out to mow the rest of the back yard. I started grilling some burgers for the girls a little before Summer got home, and then we all ate a mix of a bunch of leftovers. I was astounded by how well the old lettuce and tomato had kept from the last time we grilled burgers, but it all turned out pretty good. I had a slight overflow issue with the deep fryer, but that cleaned up alright.

After we ate, we sat the girls down to talk about how both of them were both right and wrong, and pleaded with them to work on their communication with one another. Then everyone went to bed while I waited up to finish Autumn’s laundry. When I put Summer to bed, she said John invited her to Thanksgiving, but evidently I had done something last year that offended him enough that I wasn’t allowed.

I’m never particularly afraid to offend anyone, but I certainly never go anywhere with that intent. I know I can get into belligerent moods where I say things off the cuff, and then dig in even if things go awry. I don’t think it was really fair to Summer to put her in that predicament, but I’m glad for her that someone chose to be her friend. We both know a lot of people, but I don’t think either of us really have that many that we can call “friends.” I always think that I do, but then when it comes down to it, it’s really just whoever I’m working with most frequently at the time. I try not to feel too sorry for myself because I believe that to be common among humanity. They always joked that if Summer and I broke up, they would keep her over me. I’ll have to apologize, because I never meant to put anyone in a situation that might make them feel the way that any of us feel now. It’s just a sucky situation because of the way that I chose to be.

It always plays better in my head.

Getting Things Done

Autumn had a Quiz Bowl tournament today. Summer and I got up and had some leftovers, and we mostly left Eaddie alone. After I ate, I went home and started up the grill to season the griddle top. I forgot to open the vents, so it didn’t start as quickly as it could have, but once it got rolling, the seasoning process went really well. I poked around the garage a bit while that cooked off, but I really need to start making big progress. I think tomorrow I’ll need to clean up the back yard so I can move some things out to the shed.

After a shower, I picked Summer up and we headed up to Justin’s baby shower. I didn’t really know anyone, but eventually some other guys from Superfast showed up so I wasn’t quite as outnumbered by the girls. They had a pretty great spread of finger foods, and it was actually enough that we didn’t eat for the rest of the day.

We left the shower and went straight to my parents’ house to help cover the pool for the year. Then we stopped by my office to get the leftover gravy for breakfast tomorrow. When we got back to the house, Eaddie was about ready to go to the fair. I watched Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog with Summer, and when she was ready, I dropped Eaddie off at the fairgrounds.

The rest of the evening was pretty quiet. Autumn was home when I got back, but she had plans to go to the fair and would bring Eaddie back at the end of it all. They came back a couple hours earlier than they planned, but I guess they didn’t have quite as many friends turn up as they expected.

Stop dawdling.

Cog no sEnce

As soon as I walked into my office this morning, I got called over to Oakland, because they didn’t test the sound system in the room they wanted to use before they invited a guest speaker. I took care of that and a couple other things quickly, and then went back to the shop to dig into my Cognos reports. That’s all I did for the rest of the day.

Gary took Zach, Thomas, and me to Zaxby’s for lunch, where we met Brody and then had a surprise visit from Wesley. He told us that Cindy planned to retire at the end of the month, which was a bit of a surprise to me at least.

The afternoon was quiet and slow. Dad wanted to borrow my electric mower when his wouldn’t work. Then Eaddie wanted me to get her after school, but decided to walk to the house instead. When I got home after work, she wanted to go home immediately, so I dropped her off and then came back home where Dad had beaten me to return the mower.

I was chomping at the bit to get my new grill assembled and out of the way, so Dad helped me with that. It took us quite a bit longer than I originally expected, and we were surrounded by a cloud of mosquitos the entire time, but it felt good to have that done. We came up with an extra screw somehow though, so I’ll have to go back over the instructions later to make sure we didn’t miss anything. I’m super excited to cook on it though.

I was completely drenched in sweat by the end of that, so I decided to take a shower and then ran a hot straightening brush through my hair really slowly to try and burn off anything that might have taken up residence up there. I was super sore and exhausted after all the bending around the grill, so I doped up and wrapped up my evening as quickly as I could.

It’s teppanyaki time!