That’s a WAP

Thomas was out with pink eye today, so Gary and Zach split the group up to run some more outdoor wireless access points. Since that left Tammy alone downstairs, they told me to stick around, which I was happy to do.

When they got back, Gary, Zach, and I went to McAlister’s for lunch. I thought I had a BOGO soup in a bread bowl, but the coupon was really just for a free bread bowl upgrade. It was way too much bread and not nearly enough soup.

On the way back to the shop, we stopped by my house so I could get a package, but either Bác Vân or Doug had already taken it next door. I retrieved it, but never had a chance to open it because I was sent to the junior high with Josh and Kyle to run two more WAP lines.

The network lines were relatively easy, but it was still frustrating how much standing around there was. It’s like unless there’s a very specific instruction given, there was no ambition to get anything done. We managed to get both lines run with enough time to get to the middle school just before school let out. There, we had to locate a live line that was already in place, and see if it could be made to run outside. We didn’t have the equipment to actually move the drop, but at least the line was hot.

The guys sent about half of everyone home early. I went back to my office to work on my CPPC minutes, but even after staying late I didn’t get it finished. I’d really like to call out the huge increase in pay for at least one administrator. It really wasn’t until that happened that I had to admit that you never truly destroy the “establishment.” You simply replace it.

After work, I went home and started on a few loads of laundry. My work shirts were long overdue, and a couple days of climbing around in the ceiling gave me just the push I needed to get it done.

I’ll do it for half.

Ring Bell for Service

I got up a few minutes early this morning so I could swing by McDonald’s for Mariah’s daily deal. At this point, I’m not even surprised at what I’ll do for random free swag. Unfortunately, the McChicken Biscuit and cinnamon roll were both pretty terrible. The Egg McMuffins and McGriddles are about the only halfway decent breakfast foods there. I stopped by Casey’s for a free water on the way home as well.

Work was quiet again, on account of the impending break. It feels like everything has slowed down, and I’ve been having trouble staying motivated. I just dawdled on a Chromebook issue for most of the morning, and then a group of us went to Taco Bell for lunch.

The drive-through line was out to the road, but there was only one person inside the restaurant. There didn’t appear to be anyone to take orders, so the guys lined up at the kiosks to order. I placed my order in the app on my phone, but it wasn’t until everyone else had received their food that I realized my order went to the wrong restaurant. I tried to cancel it and re-order, but when I tapped to cancel, it said my order was being made. I never even saw anything about checking in, so I don’t know how that happened, but I had to drive across town to get my food. Fortunately we took two vehicles, so Greg took everyone else back to the shop.

When I got to the other Taco Bell, someone else had taken my food off the counter, so I had to ask them to remake it. Then I sat alone and ate my food, basically hating everything for it. It really took me back in time. When I finished, I went back to the shop for a bit before ending the day at Oakland.

I didn’t stay home for long though, since the girls were actually home early. I went to Lowe’s to pick up a graham cracker house that I ordered a few days ago and kept forgetting. Then I went up to Summer’s and ate a little bit of leftovers. Everyone else went off to bed pretty early, so I watched the Amazon Video special on William Shatner going to space with Blue Origin. Then I killed time until bed.

Will security please report to Section 3? Security to Section 3, please?

You Worry Me to Death

I was a little early toward work this morning, so I stopped at Casey’s for a free coffee that put me behind by a couple minutes. I slid into my office with an awkward number of people in the shop area, but nobody was bothered to say anything. Otherwise it was pretty quiet. I never even heard from Brody except for when lunch time came around. Kyle spent the morning and afternoon trying to take his A+ test in Zach’s old office, but they could never get the webcam to work through our firewall.

Five of us went to Wendy’s for lunch, and I tried to take it a bit light with a chili and a little more than half of a salad. After lunch, I spent some time at Oakland, and then made it back to the shop to pick at a few things.

The end of the day came up pretty quickly, so I stopped by Oakland to drop off a laptop on the way home. Julie called me just as I got in, and I was on the phone with her for over an hour. I did my best to shut my thought processes down and just sit and listen. I couldn’t do anything else that required much thought and still effectively listen, so I ended up cleaning my old shrimp tank.

The girls showed up once they had finished at their house, and Eaddie got to studying. Autumn said she needed to study something very lightly, but then went straight to bed and watched TV. Eaddie at least watched her study videos and then confirmed that it was all stuff over which she felt comfortable testing.

I filed some more paperwork, and then Eaddie and I ended the night with two really good episodes of House, followed by one that was kind of back to normal with the procedural drama. I get enough of that on TV. I don’t need any more by surprise.

The universe really doesn’t care.

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?

Watermelon Sugar Is a Helluva Drug

I got up early this morning and went home to get ready for a day in Little Rock with Summer and Eaddie. Summer dropped Autumn off with her parents since she got in trouble last night, and then Summer had to do some more work setting up the new lube shop on Chenal. We hung out at the shop for just a little bit before meeting a couple of her coworkers at U.S. Pizza Co.

The service was pretty slow, but mostly when we were waiting to pay and leave. The pizza wasn’t bad, but reminded me of a worse Brick Oven. We really didn’t get why the others liked it so much, but at least Splash paid.

Afterward, Eaddie and I dropped Summer off back at the shop and then made our way across town to get the car washed inside and out. There were over half a dozen people standing around outside, so they had us done in mere minutes. I didn’t have a plan as we pulled out, so I ended up turning down a residential street. I’ve never seen so many leaves in my entire life. The entire street had a wall of fallen leaves that were all raked up to the edge of the street. I’m guessing they have street sweepers that come along and suck them up later. It was hilly and leafy and pretty, but much too dense of a neighborhood for me.

Eaddie decided she wanted ice cream, so we went to The Original ScoopDog and sat in the car to eat. Neither of us could finish our treats, so we drove back across town to Summer and let her finish them off. Then she dropped us off at the AMC for Eternals. Eaddie hadn’t seen it, I didn’t mind watching it again, and we needed to kill some time before their concert.

After the movie, we struggled to settle on a place to eat, and were also worried about how much time they had before they needed to be at the Simmons Arena. Chuy’s was out because of a relatively small wait, so we ultimately decided on Wendy’s. Summer found one near the arena, but the lobby wasn’t open, so they ate in the car. Then I dropped them off at the arena for Harry Styles.

The rest of the night was just me killing time. I went by the liquor store where I picked up a habanero whiskey a couple years ago, but unfortunately I couldn’t find it again, and I don’t think they carry it any more. I hung out in the parking lot there for just a few minutes before migrating to McDonald’s.

Again, I brought a bunch of things to keep myself entertained, and used absolutely none of them. I didn’t even use my earbuds because I felt super uncomfortable sitting around in that neighborhood. There were far too many people on foot around there, and every single lobby appeared to be closed. I just played on my phone and drank a bottled mojito until I noticed one of the employees writing down license plate numbers.

I gave her a minute to get back inside and then drove on to a gas station for a bottle of water and restroom break. The restroom was super gross, and of course the only soap was a bar that had fallen into the sink and was stopping up the drain. I tried hanging out in the parking lot there for a bit, but got pretty sketched out when some guy started crawling around on the ground right outside my window. He appeared to be using a crayon or something to draw on the concrete, but then he rolled over onto the ground and started “washing his hands” with leaves that had blown up against the curb. I decided to move on, driving up the road a bit and then coming back to settle into a dark Taco Bell.

Eventually Summer let me know they were almost done with the encore, so I moved further down the street to the Shell station near the onramp to the highway. There was even more foot traffic there, so I didn’t hang out long before going back across the street to the Wendy’s next to the McDonald’s where I started. It wasn’t but a minute after I pulled in that they walked up, so we loaded up and headed home.

I had to stop by my house for a package first, but then we went up to Summer’s for the evening. Autumn was staying the night with her grandparents, and the other two went straight to bed after a long day. I don’t think I’ll do this again.

I really hate the city.

Stranger Thanks

We got a much needed slow start this morning. Eaddie and I watched some more House until I went home to clean up. Summer took her to get haircuts, and then I met back up with them to go to a Thanksgiving gathering with John, Melissa, Travis, and friends.

I upset Summer by being predictably surprised by how short her hair was cut, which set her mood toward me for the rest of the night. Autumn was still at Quiz Bowl camp until later in the evening, and Eaddie didn’t want to go, so the two of us left for my house to get some chairs, then my parents’ house to get a folding table.

We arrived at John and Melissa’s at just about the perfect time to be helpful for the setup but not in the way of others already helping. Actually, Summer helped and I mostly just sat by myself until others started to show up. It was a majority of new faces, but it was a good time. We were split up at three tables that were separated just enough to make communication relatively impossible, so Summer and I just chatted with Travis and Veronica, who sat with us.

We never did get to any games, and people filtered out a fair bit earlier than I expected. Summer’s cold shoulder wasn’t helping any, so I loaded up the car by myself and we awkwardly left. Just as we got home, Summer said she had to go check on a customer that claimed to have a massive oil leak after a service today. I took her to the shop, where we picked up Justin and headed up Mill Creek.

They did what they could by flashlight, and ultimately determined that their service wasn’t at fault for whatever was leaking, though they never really did find the source. All they could see for sure was that the filter and drain plug were in place with no signs of a leak in either place.

We weren’t out for very long, and headed back home for the night. Eaddie was in Summer’s bed when we got there, so the three of us watched more House until Eaddie wanted to go to her own bed, and Summer and I talked a bit before going to sleep.

“How is it that you always assume you’re right?”
“I don’t. I just find it hard to operate on the opposite assumption.”


Today was pretty hectic for being in the office. It started quiet enough, and I thought I was actually going to get my project done, but then the calls just kept coming in. Brody was having a hard time remembering how to do things for himself, and it eventually got me in trouble.

Gary came back to the office to fetch me for lunch, and the two of us went to Wendy’s since nobody else was around to go. Zach had apparently spent the entire day walking around with some new access control people that want to replace all of the electronic door locks in the district.

When we got back, Brody called me about a printer issue that ended up with me remoting into the computer he was looking at. What I didn’t realize was that he was remoted into the PaperCut server from there, so I had a ripe case of RDP Inception and didn’t even realize it. I ended up accidentally deleting a bunch of printers from the server, which required us to roll the server back to the last nightly backup. The fix was simple enough, but the whole server had to come down for us to fix it, which caused problems for everyone, everywhere.

I left work frustrated that I wasn’t able to complete my own task for all the calls I kept getting. Eaddie was at Oakland waiting for me to pick her up, so I couldn’t even stay late just to finish up. I picked her up and expected to go home to clean, but she was hungry, so I ended up taking her out for a dinner date.

Summer had to work late and Autumn was still coming back from a Quiz Bowl tournament, so Eaddie and I went to La Huerta to eat. She was super chatty, and we had a good time. We weren’t back home for very long before Summer came over to get her, and left me to start cleaning up the bedroom on my own. I didn’t get as much done as I could have, but I got a bunch of little things done in a lot of places. At least the bed is uncovered now, but I can’t say much about the floor. I’ll have to make a decision tomorrow about running some speaker wire, because I really want the speakers to all be functional for Friday.

Sidetracked? We’re not even on the right train!

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.


My entire day was eaten alive by a surprisingly uncooperative Autodesk Inventor deployment. There’s no reason that software these kids are using should be over 10 gigs. It took forever to download, extract, build a deployment package, and then finally incorporate that into Configuration Manager. I even stayed a couple hours late, but for whatever reason it just wouldn’t install. My only break was a lunch trip to Bocadillo for a beef chimichanga with Zach and Gary.

It would have been one thing to fight and test different things all day, but this took all day to build, and then didn’t actually start failing until the end of the day. I just wanted to shoot myself. Unfortunately I couldn’t even get it to install manually on a single device, so Monday’s deadline for such a massive deployment is no good.

At least apple pie is almost in season again.


I don’t think I slept great this weekend, because I kept getting up out of bed last night as well. I didn’t want to let myself sleep in too late, but I just felt so tired. I cleaned up the last of the taco meat that Summer had, and then took Eaddie home with me as soon as she was ready.

She was supposed to go ride her bike to her friend’s house to work on some homework together, but she didn’t leave for a couple hours. I picked up a little bit in the other bedroom, then took a shower once she did leave. By the time I got out, Summer and Autumn had gotten what they needed from the grocery store and I met them at my parents’ house.

What was supposed to be some super simple grilled sausages for dinner ended up being pretty frustrating. First, about half of the zucchini I brought over fell right through the grill because Mom cut too much meat out of the middle of them and they slipped right through the grates. Then the new jalapeño cheddar sausages I wanted to try from Sam’s were super greasy and caught the whole grill on fire. Everything else was pretty burned after that. All the while, I had to hear Autumn in the background continue to be generally obtuse and uncooperative.

Summer got in the pool for a little bit on her own, but I was busy sweating over the fire. I didn’t get to swim until after we all ate outside. I think I’m learning that I simply don’t care for eating around round tables. With several exceptions, I tend to also become frustrated by having too much other stuff on the table when we’re eating. The sausages had way too much cheddar inside of them, and the cheese overpowered the rest of the flavor. By the time it was all over, I just wanted to make a lap in the pool to cool off. I just felt increasingly tired and aggravated all day long.

The girls went home to get ready for school. I stuck around for just a little bit before going home myself. I was sleepy enough to just go to bed, so I didn’t even risk staying up any later. I only got out for a couple minutes when Bác Vân called me over to get some egg rolls.

-Cap’n Crankypants