I slept fairly hard last night, and woke up to the girls talking about the escaped dogs again. I took the Onewheel, but found Stilgar two houses down, coming out of a storm drain. He came over, and then walked off into the neighbor’s yard and laid down in their inflatable kiddie pool. I didn’t notice at first, but Muad’dib was inside their fence playing with two of their big dogs. After I took Stilgar home, he got out on his own and followed me home as well. They just wanted to get out and play and explore.

I got back in and made a couple bagels for Eaddie and myself, and then I hooked up an old printer and started messing with it. It would confidently print blank pages all day long, so I figure the print heads were just completely clogged. We had to get Eaddie to band camp though, so we drove separately and printed a form at Superfast before meeting with Eaddie at Tech to check her in.

Summer wanted La Huerta for lunch, so we ate and then headed back home so she could do some work. I was absolutely exhausted and kept dozing off on the couch while I waited for her. Then she made a comment about soaking in the tub, which upset me because I had told her we would go to see Dad for Father’s Day when she was done. She said she was waiting on me, but I was the one doing absolutely nothing while waiting on her. I was tired, but it still felt like another day wasted because she couldn’t get her priorities right.

We eventually made it to my parents’ house, and Mom was prepping bánh xèo. Dad was outside finishing some mowing and then took a swim. Summer knew I wanted to swim as well, but hadn’t considered the fact that she lost her swimsuit and has refused to find another one. We ended up just waiting for Mom to finish making dinner, but then Summer had to go to work for an after-hours team meeting just before we started eating.

Dad eventually took me home after dinner, and Stilgar was in the front yard. He ran up to us, but I didn’t see Muad’dib right away. Dad went home and I got on the Onewheel with a leash to try and find him. I should have put Stilgar away first, but I thought he’d stick with me for a short ride. I didn’t figure Muad’dib had gotten far, and then I saw him across the street fussing at that neighbor’s dogs. He came to me and I got the collar and leash on him, but then he freaked out and started choking himself out as he jumped and yelped. He held a grudge against me the rest of the evening. I ended up taking the collar off of him thinking he’d behave better and just follow me home, but after choking himself, he didn’t want anything to do with me. The neighbor ended up coming out with a handful of treats to help me lure him home, and it was still a struggle.

I rode back to my parents’ house just before dark to borrow a staple gun so I could try and seal our gate for good. It was dark when I got home, but Summer pulled in right after me and was able to come out to help. Eaddie came home from band camp since she wasn’t staying on campus, and played with the dogs for a while. Summer was obviously the first to bed, and I eventually made it just before midnight.

The dogs have more friends than we do.

Runner’s Day

I was up way too late, and ended up sleeping in a little later than I really wanted. Summer and I went to the old house to pick up some things, and then Walmart to get groceries for our big steak dinner for everyone. We made a quick detour to Lowe’s for a couple free Mother’s Day plants, and then it was back home to start prepping.

I had a little trouble with the fire again because I’m always stubborn and don’t go straight to a nice, clean, oil-soaked paper towel. I even spilled a bit of oil on the deck, so that spot may just be water resistant forever. Summer helped prep everything for the twice-baked potatoes, which I decided to cook in the smoker this time. This ended up being a learning experience as well.

We picked up a rosemary plant at Walmart so I could try and make a garlic herb butter for the steak. It was a neat addition, but I don’t think anyone felt particularly strongly one way or the other. The smoker was a super dry heat on the potatoes. I had a water pan with them, but I ended up cooking them way too long for such a high temperature, and the outsides got overly charred. The one plus to this was the fact that the flesh was super easy to scoop out of the hard shells. Once I got the potatoes re-stuffed, I stuck them back on the grill and took a quick shower.

My parents, Julie, and Kevin all showed up pretty close to the same time, just as I was putting steaks on the grill. I got them seared and they cooked quickly, so we all went inside to eat. I really wanted to try the sous vide cooker again, but that would have been too many new variables for one meal. Ultimately dinner was pretty good, and everyone was reasonably chill apart from just forgetting how to sit down and eat.

Summer had to go in to work for a while, which I thought was for a meeting, but she actually did work stuff for a while and got home late. I cleaned up as much as I could, and got to bed late. Hopefully I’ll sleep well, but now I need to get someone out to troubleshoot our air conditioner.

Why is the air so thick in here?

This Is Just a Tribute

Summer and I got up early for breakfast, which was a lot of “fresh” berries, yogurt, bagels, and some frozen bacon, egg, and cheese bagel bite things. There was also some kind of hashbrown-looking fried meat patty that wasn’t terrible. Eaddie didn’t come down, but we brought some food back to the room for her.

Once we were all ready, I rode the Onewheel back down to the car, and the girls decided to just walk on down as well. We took the car downtown to look for a place to park, but it was busy enough that there weren’t a lot of options. We ended up circling around and going up the mountain a bit, through a part of town I don’t think I’d ever been. We found Grotto Spring, and then drove up around the post office. The girls got out a couple of times while I babysat the car, and then we ended up heading back to the convention center to pick up my dad.

We went to the Pizza Hut Classic, which was a minor blast from the past with their old tablecloths, light fixtures, and posters. It seemed unremarkable to everyone else there, and they still didn’t have a buffet. We had some pizza and then went back for the matinee magic show. The girls enjoyed that, and then we headed back downtown to walk around.

We couldn’t find parking again, so we went back to the top of the hill to charge, and bought trolly tickets to ride to the opposite end of the strip. We leisurely walked down the hill, and Eaddie picked up a couple trinkets. We made it back down to the lower station just in time to get back to the hotel and then meet Dad for dinner.

Dad always likes to go to the Bavarian Inn Czech-German restaurant, and we’d missed it for a year or two. I think the girls liked their food alright. Mine wasn’t bad, but I didn’t realize it was what I had the last time. It gave me a little bit of a stomach ache though. Afterward, we took Dad back to his room, and we went to ours to kill some time before the evening show.

The evening show was entirely a tribute show from Ring 75 to Bill. I was a little worried about some of the laypeople, but the show eventually produced some entertaining tricks with less back story for the inside jokes. The girls enjoyed it, which is my barometer for the quality of the show, since I’ve been behind the curtain for so long.

After the show, I took the girls back to the room, and I ended up going back to the “afterparty” at the suite to let Larry drive the Model 3 around the parking lot. It wasn’t an ideal area, but nowhere in Eureka is. The trip home in the morning will be a different story.

Might as well have been an Unbirthday weekend.

Body Bonk

Summer woke us up with omelet burritos for breakfast this morning. Then we got ready for our trip to Eureka Springs. We didn’t have any real time table to meet, so we left in the afternoon and fed the fish at the old house, and then aired up tires at Superfast before we left town.

We stopped in Ozark to charge, but we really didn’t need to. We made it with plenty of charge left, and the Osage Creek Lodge was right across the street from the free public charger. It was a slow charger, but I figured I could park there overnight and ride the Onewheel up the block to get back to the room.

I knew there was a dispensary on site, but I didn’t really expect the hotel lobby to smell so much like marijuana. Fortunately the rooms were all smoke-free, and they seemed to be kept up well. Once we got unloaded, we drove up the road to find Dad at the Best Western. We took him for a ride downtown, though we didn’t stop anywhere. He didn’t have long before the first evening show.

We went back to the hotel to research things to do, and I got the Onewheel out to ride around the parking lot. There were some speed bumps I wanted to try and jump, which went fairly well. My foot placement shifted a little, but it wasn’t unmanageable. Unfortunately I jumped a little too high on a smaller bump in the pavement, and I fell pretty hard in front of the girls. I got some pretty gnarly bruises on my hands and left arm, but no major breaks in the skin. The worst damage was some light scratching on the camera bar on my phone. The camera lenses themselves were fine, but I was still upset at the damage.

We eventually made it back to the conference center for the show, and then the four of us went back downtown to eat at The Spring on Main. They were open late, but only a couple other tables were there the entire time we were there. Mitch called me briefly before we got our food, but I’d have to catch up with him later. The food didn’t come out super fast, but it was super good. We paid way too much for slices of breaded avocado, but the burgers were fairly reasonable for being upscale.

After we ate, we dropped Dad back off at the hotel and then I took the girls back to our room. I drove back over to the public charger and got the car charging, and then rode the Onewheel back to the hotel for the night. The girls showered, and then we watched the end of Iron Man 2 and then the first part of Fantastic Beasts before bed.

Grip Affected

Forty Lost

I had to stop by the agri building first this morning because the teacher out there was fussing about still not having internet. I didn’t even make it back to my office in time for my call with Robert, but that didn’t seem to matter. Once I had him remote in to take a look at our setup, he didn’t seem to do much other than skim over pages of the Unifi system rather aimlessly.

While I was in the agri building, I fixed an issue with a switch that was in the simulator room because someone created a loop that shut down the upstream switch port. I didn’t know how to hook the simulator up correctly, so I left it until I could research how it was supposed to be hooked up. Evidently that caused a problem for the teacher, which led to a phone call, me having to go and talk to Blake, who set the thing up originally, and then ultimately to a long email chain between the teacher, him, and myself. I thought I held my ground well though.

I spent the afternoon slowly updating switches, so as not to disturb a huge group of people at once. That went more or less pretty smoothly, and then I went back by agri to take pictures of the correct simulator setup on the way home. It was easy enough for a superintendent to fix, so I don’t know why it should be so difficult for a teacher.

I fed the fish and then went home and hopped on the Onewheel. Eaddie had a robotics banquet in the evening, so I went by my parents’ house and then had to find out myself that Summer wanted to meet me there instead of coming home first. It was nice out, so I decided to ride the rest of the way there. I was worried I might be a hair late, but I was still early and ended up catching Summer just as she got out of the car.

New China donated the food, which had a disappointing amount of rice, but the noodles were good. It seemed like there were a lot fewer parents than last year, but I couldn’t be certain. We ate, didn’t really talk much, and then headed home for the night. I doped up on some cough medicine, and tried not to stay up too late.

Just stop it.

Downtime, Downtown

I was actually early for work today, but I got a text from Kim just as I was pulling in that the internet was down. I spent the entire day trying to get the switches to respond again, and nearly overheated in the server room. I had to take a break for lunch, but ended up there again at the end of the day. I installed a pretty big upgrade on the Ubiquiti controller, which I had been saving for some downtime. Forced downtime won, but I couldn’t tell if the upgrade actually helped or not. I had Kim call DIS to try and get some help, but as soon as she got to an agent, she handed the phone to me, not even waiting long enough to hear that the poor girl couldn’t troubleshoot, and would only be submitting a ticket for us.

I eventually got the switches back online after school let out, and then I got into some fast traffic to get home quickly. Robert called from DIS, and we scheduled a call for the morning to check for the cause of the day’s outage. I fed the fish and grabbed a couple things, and then ran home to get the Onewheel.

Dad wanted to know if anyone wanted to go out for my birthday, so I rode the Onewheel across town to the carwash to find Summer. Along the way, I spotted a couple girls at James Park that looked like they stepped straight off the streets of Grand Theft Auto. Then I crossed the tracks and rode through the Superfast lot before crossing the street and coming into the back side of the wash.

Summer was slow to leave work, and was back and forth on whether she wanted to eat. In the end, Mom wanted New China, and the two of us met them there.

I thought about riding the Onewheel home after that, but Summer made a B-line for the passenger seat again. I drove us home, and settled down pretty quickly after a tough day.

Did I just get catcalled by a daywalking prostitute?

Quick Cuts

I took Summer’s car to work so she could have mine in town for service. The guy never actually talked to either of us, and just did the work on the car while she was working. One of her employees said the alarm was going off, but I never got a notification, so I don’t know whether that was really true, but hopefully my bolts are there to stay for as long as I have the car.

Otherwise I felt super productive at work today. DIS finally got Cognos going again, and I fixed a bunch of our scheduled tasks and PowerShell scripts. My SCCM client appeared to install correctly, but I wasn’t sure about another part of the setup, and I’ll have to continue that tomorrow.

After work, I decided to head home and grill some steaks for Valentine’s Day with my parents and the girls. I ran home to feed the fish, and then stopped by Kroger and Neighborhood Market for several different cuts of steak and some zucchini, squash, and salad. I probably could have gotten more squash, but we still had a little bit left over. Dad baked some sweet potatoes to go along with it all, and met us at the house a little after Summer got home from work.

It was a quick dinner to throw together on the grill, and Dad got to share about their trip to California while Mom fell asleep on the couch. Eaddie dipped a few leftover strawberries in chocolate, but they didn’t last very long. Once my parents left, Eaddie packed up for her weekend at All-State, and Summer went to bed. I would have gotten there sooner if I hadn’t been distracted by Prune.

Porterhouse, Loin, Strip, Ribeye

Grocery Gettin’ Fool

Summer made sausage and eggs for breakfast this morning, and then Eaddie sent a video of some strawberry cheesecake cookies that she wanted to make. I took a shower and then rode the Onewheel to the Neighborhood Market for some flour, brown sugar, and strawberries. On the way back, Beth and Mark spotted me and stopped to holler at me.

Eaddie had been at a robotics tournament all day, so when dinner time came around, I thought we could go to New China for a lunar new year’s meal. We ate, and then went to Walmart to walk around a bit. I mostly wanted to look at some plant pots and solar lights for the front walkway. We ended up getting a watering can with a long spout like I had been wanting for a while.

We didn’t do much else since it was a bit rainy out. Summer suggested that she would be interested in trying to ride the Onewheel after hearing how much fun I’ve had on mine, but we didn’t want to get out in the wet or dark. Eaddie eventually made it home, but pretty much went straight to her room. Summer went to bed early as usual, and I stayed up late learning how LEDs work.

Just call me Max Speed!

Big Brutus

The weather was pretty mild today, so Summer considered taking Eaddie out for a walk when she got out of bed. I thought I’d join them, but we quickly switched gears when my parents decided they were up for going to see Wonka at UEC. Summer went to check which showtimes were in the better theater while I showered, and then we met my parents there. The trailers didn’t do much for any of us, but to our surprise, the movie was an absolute delight. It’s been a little while since we’ve seen a movie that made us feel anything. The original was so beloved, and the Deppificated remake had us nervous. Wonka was, by all accounts, a great movie.

We headed back home where Summer was working before I could even make it in the door. Eaddie jumped up and was ready to move some more stuff, so she and I went to the old house and picked up my bedside chests of drawers. They were really dusty, but we got them cleaned off and rearranged more of the spare bedroom so she could fit things into her room. The desk won’t be easy, but we’ll figure it out.

As we got settled in after that bit of cleaning, we realized that we hadn’t had a meal all day. Eaddie wanted Little Caesars, so I ordered and then spent about 45 minutes in the store listening to a bunch of dimwitted employees as they continually messed up orders, including forgetting to make half of mine. Every time I go into that store and have to either watch a slow-motion train wreck with another customer or deal with some minor catastrophe with my own food, I think to myself how wonderful it might be to open up my own competing pizzeria called Big Brutus. It can’t be that hard.

I made it home and we ate one cold pizza, and one more fresh, along with a free order of Crazy Bread that I got for waiting so patiently while the manager failed to call out that my order was complete. Then we watched two episodes of Loki, which left us with the most thrilling of cliffhangers. Episode four was a perfect lead up to midnight, but we beat the clock by about 12 minutes.

Et tu

Holiday Beef with the Grill

I was the first one out of bed this morning, and started early on cleaning the potatoes to be baked. Eaddie came in from a night outside with the cat, and I made her and myself a couple breakfast croissants. Then I got the potatoes baking in the oven so I could shower and get ready for everyone else to show up.

Kevin and Julie were the first to arrive. Dad brought over the bacon for the potatoes, but had to go back to get Mom. Noah showed up out of nowhere, which was a little bit of a surprise in spite of the fact that we were expecting him.

I had a lot of trouble with the potatoes because they weren’t completely baked through, and I had to put them back into the oven after they had cooled off a bit. When I finally did get around to starting the grill, I couldn’t figure out why the coals wouldn’t light. We all just kind of assumed it was the humidity from the rain, but over an hour later, multiple attempts at lighting more oily rags, and even a guest appearance from the leaf blower, I realized the blower fan was blocked by the bag of charcoal I had under the grill. Once I removed that, the temperature shot up from 140 up to 500 degrees pretty quickly.

Everyone had already given up and started eating salads, but I got the steaks and eventually the vegetables onto the grill once it was hot enough, and everything turned out pretty good. I got lucky with the grates being close enough that I didn’t even have to use a special pan with the squash and zucchini. I lost a couple asparagus, but retrieved some of them later. The steaks cooked a lot faster than I expected, so they went beyond the medium rare I was targeting. I guess the thermometer lied, because I definitely found a cooler spot in the one I measured.

Everyone enjoyed the food, we had a nice fire in the fireplace, and everyone but Mom participated in the cookie decorating tradition. It was a lot of fun, but I only get through a couple of cookies before I’m done, especially after a long day of cooking.

After the cookies, people started filing out. Eaddie talked about pulling an all-nighter to try and catch Santa Claus, but Summer went straight to bed. Eaddie spent a little time with the cat, but it was loud and rainy, and we found the leak in the roof over the bathroom, so she ended up coming inside. I had been tired for hours, with smoke-filled eyes, so it wasn’t long before I made it to bed too.

Kidnap Mr. Sandy Claws!