The Existential Review: Year 6

I finally got back on a bike today, and rode the Shadow to work. I knew we had eSCO coming to pick up some more stuff to recycle, but I didn’t have any other real need to haul anything around. Gary split us up into three pairs, and Kyle and I were on a mission to do the work orders Gary hadn’t had time to address. It ended up not being very much, and Kyle really did all the legwork by going upstairs to install Microsoft Office on a Mac.

As soon as we finished up with that, we headed up to the graveyard to make a path to get everything onto the box truck. I convinced the guys to back up to the corner of the dock like they had done in the past, and it made things quite a bit easier. We still have a lot more carts to go, but we can almost see the end of the tunnel.

Lunchtime came around pretty quickly, and Gary decided on Wendy’s. I rode separately to get some bike time, and Zach surprised us there while he was on his week of vacation. Even a bunch of the maintenance guys walked in behind us. We had a good chat and had some time to chill before going back to work.

The afternoon was really quiet. We had to unbox the rest of our new Lenovo Chromebooks to confirm that they wouldn’t auto-update. Then I mostly just hung out in the shop until my one-on-one review time with Thomas. I thought Gary and Zach would be in on it, but it was just Thomas. He ranked me higher than I think Ben had ever ranked mee before – even higher than I had ranked myself, and had some really nice things to say, so I was quite happy. In the end it doesn’t do much for me, but it did give me some additional confidence.

He let everyone leave a few minutes early for the weekend, but I trailed out a bit late as I often do. Eaddie was still out with Maristella, so I went home to start on some more laundry until Summer got home from the gym. Eaddie rode in on her bike just a few minutes after Summer, and we went to Taco Villa for dinner. Eaddie and I both had taco salads, and both of our shells were way undercooked and chewy.

I had ridden the Grom behind them so Eaddie and I could go straight to the high school to practice riding after we ate. She was fussy about it like she always is, but I tried to press her on until she really seemed to just be unable to focus. She still wanted to go for a night ride on the R1 though, so we went home and swapped, and I took her for a big loop around town. I was pretty exhausted when we made it back to the house, so we put everything up and headed up to their house for the night. Summer was already in bed, and I didn’t waste much time finding my way there as well.

Yes, I keep repeating the same things over and over again because you are repeatedly doing none of those things.

Slow Learners

I didn’t sleep great last night, in spite of how exhausted I was from the trials of the day. I woke up a little after eight and laid around in bed until Eaddie called to see if I would pick her up later in the day to take her out on the Grom. I took my time getting around, and eventually got a shower before stopping by McDonald’s to burn up some rewards points before they expired. Somehow, I think the Spicy McChicken ends up being the best value per point.

Summer had to work a bit today, and took Autumn with her. Eaddie was watching TV when I got to the house, so I ate my sandwich with some leftover fries from Popeye’s. Then we went back to my house to get the Grom. We rode to the high school, and even after it was her idea to ride, I still had to endure lots of griping from Eaddie for being out in the “heat” with an aching butt and hands. I pressed her on, though, and we made it to second gear along with a ride around the building out of my line of sight. As kids started showing up for the play at the arts center, Eaddie and I decided to pack it up and head home. She wanted to ride her bicycle to her father’s restaurant, so I just hung out at home until she got back.

Mom and Dad were grilling pork chops and shrimp, but Eaddie was tired and full from eating with her father, and wanted to nap after she got back to my house. I went outside to pick some mint, then ran to the Neighborhood Market for some lettuce before meeting Summer and Autumn at my parents’ house for dinner. Autumn seemed on good behavior, though she surprised us by giving Dad some selective information about our visit from DHS yesterday. After the girls left, I expanded upon what really happened.

Evidently Autumn talked Summer into letting her go to church with my dad in the morning. I thought she said she was going with her own father, so I didn’t think anything of it. Upon further reflection and learning more details myself, we decided not to let her go, and had a talk about consequences when I got to their house. She spent all evening in her room, watching shows and talking on Facebook Messenger on her school laptop. Summer still hasn’t learned how important thoroughness is when following through with punishments, but I let her sleep through her headache. We’ll talk about it in the morning.

Everything means everything.

Pick a Number

We met at the shop again today, and this time Thomas was there while we all shared funny stories for nearly an hour. Eventually he had us all pick numbers, and the closest got to go home. Greg was the first one out, which was funny because he seemed the most eager to work. I went to Oakland and closed three work orders, which got me down to four, which are all basically non-issues. I guess it’s time to come up with some projects.

It wasn’t long after I got back to the shop that Thomas sent everyone else home. I stopped in to see Summer for a bit, then picked up an online order at Walmart before going to get Eaddie for some time on the Grom.

Eaddie did great today, and I think next time she’ll be ready for shifting gears. She rode around a couple of parking areas, and then around some of the paths in front of the school. When she was done, we went back to the shop to see Summer. Autumn pulled in just after we got there, and we went upstairs to eat some chili they made for the crew.

After a while, Autumn took Eaddie home and I went back to my own house for a while. Summer was supposed to leave around three, so I went up to their house a little after then, only to find that she was held up due to some employee drama. The girls were home feigning doing chores, and eventually Summer showed up.

The girls started in on each other with some attitude about who does what, and who likes who better. It wasn’t long before Summer confronted Autumn about skipping wrestling practice and lying about it. That argument took a little while and ended with the loss of phone and car privileges for a couple days. I don’t know that it will fix anything, but hopefully some other structural reinforcements will help.

Summer and Autumn went to the bedroom to watch a movie, and Eaddie and I watched several episodes of House until I was ready to pass out.

Drama Mama

When the Boss is Away

It was a bit more relaxed today with Thomas out to close on his house. I spent the morning cleaning up various work orders while Zach and Gary tried to go through all the old and stale work orders that everyone had. Summer decided really early that she wanted Mulan’s for lunch, but they were closed due to some staffing issues. Zach and I met her at New China instead, and the food was great.

I spent the end of the day at Oakland again, and then took Eaddie with me to the high school so she could ride the Grom some more. She had a much worse time today, and killed the engine so much that I really thought the battery was going to give out. Fortunately it didn’t, and she made a few fussy laps around the parking lot.

Autumn came out to meet us when she finished with wrestling, and then I sent them to dinner and clean up while I did laundry at home. Summer was spending the night in Little Rock, so they decided to stay the night with me, but Autumn didn’t want to do anything but go into the bedroom by herself. Eaddie and I stayed up watching House, but I gave her some diphenhydramine for her allergies that knocked her out before we finished the second episode.

Notate and move on.

Entombed Raider

I got up and out a little bit early today for no particular reason. I didn’t really get to anything I wanted to do though, because of meetings and an overwhelming need to decipher the latest draft of the proposed salary schedule. I actually spent all day crunching numbers on a combined spreadsheet, and it was a nice bit of self-confirmation that I could do that job, and probably better than those tasked with it.

Not long into the morning, several from central office came over for some training. I’m not sure why they didn’t do it in their own conference room, for for whatever reason they did it outside of my office, so I was made to lock myself in and stay quiet in the dark.

I snuck out for lunch with Gary and Greg, and we went to Taco John’s for the first time in ages. My Boss Burrito was mostly beans and rice, but the Potato Olés were on point, and I even let the girl upsell the nacho cheese.

We had a video call with an Apple guy in the afternoon so Brody could ask some questions, but it really just turned into Gary learning things and then assigning work to Greg and me. I guess that’s the job, so I can’t complain too much.

Eaddie had walked to my house and gone out for a bike ride, so I went home after work and then met her at the high school with the Grom. The helmet communicator worked pretty great, and I coached her through some laps around the parking lot as the sun set. We rode back home and then went to their house with some ribs I needed to grill.

Summer eventually made it home from the gym, and we ate while she had a video call of her own. The girls were still doing laundry for most of the evening, so there wasn’t much for me to do besides put some more work into my spreadsheet with some updated numbers from Judy, and then research home Dolby Atmos configurations. If you can have 11.2.8 at home, I can’t think of a single reason that you shouldn’t have 11.2.8 at home.

But what number do they use for the seat shakers?

Ride About, Now

Summer made breakfast this morning, but Autumn and her visitor chose to continue stuffing their faces with junk food instead. Eaddie didn’t want to get out of bed, and I didn’t get home to clean up until the afternoon.

Autumn had wrestling practice in the evening, so eventually Summer brought Eaddie over and we went to the high school so she could practice driving. She didn’t drive around in the car for very long before she was tired of that and wanted to try riding the Grom. We never got out of first gear, but she only killed the engine a couple times. I had the benefit of knowing how to drive a manual transmission when I learned to ride, so I could understand her hesitation.

We didn’t stay for very long, and went to my parents’ house for some phở. Then we stopped by Brody’s house to try and drop off a tripod, but they weren’t home. Summer dropped me off at my house, and I tried to do a little more organizing before bed. It’ll be a short week, and I’m both excited and dreading it.

The funk soul sister.

WOOWOO

You just haven’t lived until you’ve been wooped by a big black guy riding a bicycle as you zip past on your Grom. He may have been making fun, but I chose to interpret it as encouraging excitement for how much fun I was having. The weather was much more mellow today, so aside from some time in a mask in the afternoon, it felt pretty good out.

I worked on some stuff at the shop until a group of us went to La Chiquita for lunch. The carnitas were smaller than I remembered, but I was still stuffed. It was nowhere near as much as Gary’s giant prime rib burrito.

After lunch, I went straight to Oakland for a while to close out, or at least investigate as much as I could for closing on the next trip. A large part of that time was spent in the library shuffling through damaged or failing Chromebooks. As the end of the school day approached, I was run off again, and I returned to the shop for the remainder of the day.

When I left work, I stopped by Casey’s for a free drink, then went by the shop to try and see Summer again. She had been in the pit all day, so all I could see at lunch was the top of her head when I stopped by. They were still busy, so I went on home to change.

I took the Grom back out to go see Mom for a bit. She was insistent that I pick up some potato salad that we left when we cooked out for Labor Day. Julie called while I was there, and we chatted for a little bit. Then I eventually made it back home for the evening.

Uno Uno Uno!

Overtaken by My Own Shadow

It was a quiet, brainy day at work today. I made some progress, but it was slower than I would have liked. I didn’t get distracted much, but I did get frustrated a couple times with others pulling my attention, which I’m sure is why Gary is so grumpy most of the time.

Brody wanted to go to Fat Daddy’s in London, but they were evidently closed due to staffing issues. The same went for Zaxby’s. Slim Chickens was a solid win today with the salad I got, and then we dropped off some strips for Summer, who was stuck in the pit all day.

I left near quitting time today and went by the shop to order some new tires for the Murano before going up to Summer’s to heat up her lasagna. I made it about halfway to her house before I realized I didn’t have keys to get in because I was on the Shadow, so I ran back home to change and get the keys.

As I came back outside, I hopped on the bike and started to pull away, only barely remembering to get the keys. I stood up to get off and immediately lost all balance due to the low, heavy nature of the bike. I had forgotten that I already lifted the kickstand, so the bike tumbled over on top of me and threw me to the ground. I avoided any major damage, but the handlebar controls and mirrors got a bit out of whack. The handlebars themselves were still bent from before I got the bike, so the only new “damage” was to the rear, left turn signal that now rattles from something being broken off inside it.

I finally made it up to Summer’s with bruised palms, and heated up the lasagna and baked some garlic bread. She and Autumn both made it home from work and we ate. Then Summer had to tend to some work business as we waited for the scattered showers to wane enough for me to make it back home for the evening.

I tried to pick up a little, and ended up on a trip down Memory Lane when I found a bunch of folders from my time at NEW. Then I went to bed as hastily as I could, since someone decided that working at 6am tomorrow will be fun when moving some old laptops around at the junior high. At least by then it will have reached the day’s low of 74º.

More like PowerHell.

Ride it Out

Today was much less tense than yesterday. I rode in to work, and everyone was friendly again. It was like all the tensions from the crazy start of the week had just melted away. I didn’t get into any big projects, but got plenty done all the same. We had a lockdown drill upstairs, and I got to walk around with Zach just to see what that was like. It was even more dull than I expected, as none of the adults really practiced anything.

Most of us went to Stoby’s for lunch, and the chicken taco salad I had was pretty great. Then the afternoon was more of the same. Doge just steadily dropped all day, and I kept watching the bounces as an indication that I should stay in, but it just kept going all day long.

After work, I got Eaddie and we went by the shop to set up a projector for Summer. Then I got Eaddie a kid’s meal from Dairy Queen before taking her out on a motorcycle ride all around town. It was just a little cool out for the shorts I had changed into, so I grabbed pants and a light hoodie to take her home. Autumn had a band concert that her father picked her up from, so I was out of any other kid duty for the night.

When I got back home for the evening, I successfully turned the diving Dogecoin around by selling a larger quantity of it. I still have quite a bit, but the needle moves much slower at this volume. I just keep failing to get back in at a lower rate. I guess I should either take the money and run, or hold forever.

I’m ready for my luck to turn around again.

Bike Day

Eaddie and I got up this morning and rode the Shadow to the Ridgewood Brothers for lunch. I called Dad and had him meet us there too, and Grant was so excited to see all of us. I finally got to try the cheddar jalapeño sausage, and it was fantastic. I had the bronco sandwich, which had a link on it, and got an extra one to go as well. Felix was feeling some attitude today, but overall came through in taking care of us.

After we ate, we ran by the shop to share some banana pudding with Summer. Then Eaddie and I took a long motorcycle ride around town. We went around the marina, peeping at houses along the way. Then we took a slow cruise through the park before continuing up the mountain and back down to Old Post. She wanted to get off and play around in the park a bit, so we goofed around a bit and had some swing time. Sheri spotted me and came by to ask if I would be applying for Ben’s job. I appreciated that she at least said I would be good at it.

Once Eaddie got tired of the park, we went back up the mountain and finished the Skyline loop before making it back home. We watched a couple episodes of House, and then she took off on her bicycle while I poked around the garage some more. It was just the smallest amount of organizational progress, but at least it was something. Eventually I needed a break and took the R1 across town to deliver the CPL sticker I had forgotten to bring Grant earlier in the morning. We chatted for a little while more before I headed home.

Eaddie met me there, and we drove back up to Summer’s for the evening. Autumn was feeling moody, I suppose, and secluded herself as usual. Eaddie convinced Summer to watch a couple episodes of Glee, which finally got us started on the final season. At this point I’m just ready to be done with the show. It’s so far beyond everything that I used to love about it, so I’m ready to move on to the next thing.

Riding around town was more fun than the long highway ride to the rally, and the barbecue was leagues better too.