Range Anxiety

I got up and pan fried some leftover rice and stir fry for breakfast this morning. I figured it was early enough to eat a bit and still be hungry for lunch in Little Rock. I charged up to 90%, which should have given us well over 250 miles of range, and went home to shower before coming back to pick up the girls.

Eaddie didn’t want to go, citing too much homework and studying to do. I offered to push it back, or to take her with Gavin at a later date since I’d have all Thanksgiving break off with her. I picked up Summer and Autumn, and we headed toward Conway to stop for a car wash. The touchless was unexpectedly down though, so Summer went to chat for a bit and then we continued to Little Rock.

As we approached our exits, Tres was showing an arrival with just barely over 50% battery remaining. I had expected to arrive home with quite a bit left, so seeing that we had used nearly half of our energy made me nervous. I decided to take us to Cotham’s, where Autumn wanted to eat, so we could stop at Frankin’s Charging Hub on the way to the movies. The restaurant was closed though, so we ended up just stopping to charge for a few minutes instead. The facilities were really nice, and it looked like a swell place to stop and enjoy a coffee, if you could buy one somewhere. Unfortunately there wasn’t really anything around, so we just waited. Summer texted a handwritten number in the window so she could get an unlock code to use the restroom, and she said it was nice and clean inside. Charging with a level 2 Tesla wall connector was a bit slow, but I couldn’t complain about free charging. The faster ones would have cost, but there were already a couple vehicles there charging.

We ultimately decided to eat at the McDonald’s near the theater so we would still be hungry enough for popcorn and then dinner later. We made it to our movie plenty early, and enjoyed back-to-back trailers for a movie about Whitney Houston. As the movie started, a group of kids behind us continued to talk loudly enough that I had to stand up and ask them to stop. They should have known better, but fortunately they at least knew better than to talk back, and they piped down immediately. Unfortunately, the act of standing up popped the lid off of my soda, and I spilled a bit, but it all soaked in well enough that I didn’t feel all sticky.

The movie was amazing, and really showcased how absolutely terrible DC movies are in comparison. They introduced an entirely new race of people in an entirely new world hidden right in our own, all while making it believable enough within the context of the story. The CG was intentional, and obeyed expected inertial characteristics, and the dialog was fluid and sincere. I just wish DC could get their act together.

After the movie, we decided to drive straight home so we could get Eaddie her promised Popeye’s chicken sandwich. I was a bit worried about range, but keeping with the speed limit made my range estimates more accurate. We actually arrived home with about 4% more battery than I expected. It’ll take days to recharge back to 80% from 19%, but I think it was absolutely worth it.

Summer drove us home in the Montego, and we stopped to get the three of them some Popeye’s. Eaddie felt much better after having some time to herself to study, and I made her a bowl of Yonanas that she gobbled up. After that, it was a quick evening to bed for everyone else. For some reason, I started getting upset about the felt letterboard at work again, so that had me dwelling angrily for a bit before I made it to sleep.

Contain the rage.

First Bath

Summer and I got up this morning and went to Hardee’s for breakfast. She planned to go home afterward, so we drove separately but then took mine back home when we realized I forgot our coupons. Their biscuits were awesome again, and I was glad the recipe hadn’t changed like I thought from a prior visit. They must have just had an off day.

When we finished, I went home to get some quarters and then went to the car wash to get some of the dust and grime off of the 3. I’ve driven it so much in the rain that it’s actually stayed relatively clean, but there was a bit of grime on the back end that I wanted to clean off, not to mention fingerprints showing up on the door handles.

I decided to drive around town a bit to dry off, and went toward my parents’ house. I called Brody to see if he was home, but they were only just leaving church. I chatted with him for a moment before going in to talk to Mom until Dad got home from church. She was being critical of the car again, so I did some quick math to calculate how much I’ve had to spend on fuel. I actually figured it would be more, but it costs me about 0.8 cents per mile for electricity when charging at home, versus a lifetime average of 13.8 cents per mile for gas for the Murano. I know mine is beyond overkill, but having a small, electric commuter just seems like a complete no-brainer.

I finally headed back home to shower before picking up Summer to go to Walmart. We picked up a Yonanas machine on clearance, just out of curiosity, and then went across the store for dinner. Eaddie wanted stir fry, so we got a ton of vegetables and headed home to cook.

Summer and I prepped veggies as quickly as we could, and then I stir fried everything together. It barely fit in the wok, and I overcooked things a bit again, but it still turned out really good. We had things split into “long” and “short” cook bowls, but I really need to split it up better in the future to keep things from getting mushy.

The early evening dragged on a bit just because I wasn’t used to the time change yet. When Summer was ready for bed, I found Weird: The Al Yankovic Story on the Roku channel and we watched the first half of it. I couldn’t quite tell if she was serious when she made comments about it being a true story, but I enjoyed the show. It was longer than I expected, so I look forward to finishing it soon.

Oh Tres, you’ve got chips all over your face. :(

Zero Fawkes Given

Summer had to get up super early this morning to get Eaddie to the high school for an away robotics tournament. Then she had a 10k in Conway herself, but I wasn’t about to be a part of that. I didn’t really sleep in, but I refused to get up that early. I got up and went home just long enough to shower before Summer got home, and then had her pick me up. I had been a bit hungry all morning, so we stopped at Hardee’s for lunch before going to Conway to see Black Adam.

That movie was an absolute trainwreck. I hated it. It should have been straight to VHS. Aquaman was more realistic. The dialog was atrocious. The music was just background noise to distract from the awful CGI. It was just utter trash, and I’m rooting for DC. Shazam was incredible. I was super excited for this movie, but after seeing it, I’m upset that they even brought Henry Cavill back as Superman. I don’t want him connected to this in any way. I loved his first movie.

After that, we went to TJ Maxx and Target to kill some time. We loaded up on leftover Halloween candy and toilet paper. Summer wanted Starbucks on the way out, but she didn’t listen when I suggested we move the car closer, so she had to go get it while I checked out. Then we went to the end of the strip mall to try out Kawaii Boba House. Nearly 20 bucks later, she awkwardly split out the door before I could even set anything down. I felt dirty from shopping and wanted to clean up, but we just left. We ended up trading drinks on the way to the car because she liked mine better. I liked them both fine, but couldn’t see myself paying that much for a drink ever again.

We made our way north to Bee Branch, where her workmate Alice was hosting a Guy Fawkes bonfire. They lived like a mile down a dirt road, so I was super glad I asked about parking before we left. I would have been very angry to drive the Model 3 down the road that far, and wasn’t even sure we’d make it into the driveway.

Summer played a game with washers, we went inside for a tiny bit of food while we stood awkwardly in the kitchen. Then they finally lit the bonfire, and I was able to relax a bit in the dark. There were some little kids around, but no stupid teenagers. I did roll my eyes a bit at the girls that had to have tinny music playing from one of their phones, but otherwise it was a good time. I brought along a box of old firecrackers and sparklers for them to burn, and they seemed to like it. I was just happy to see it leave my garage.

Once Summer had enough, we said our goodbyes and made our way home via a shorter route without passing back through Conway. I was super stressed about wildlife, but we never encountered any at all. We got home, I unloaded everything and put away what I could, and then it was off to bed.

There was a frog on a dog on a hog on a log in the bog???

Poison Gas. Invisible.

We had a pretty long meeting this morning, and I got to go over SCCM and Active Directory with Travis. After that, Gary had me set up a couple little switches for use in the bus yard, but we waited until after lunch to actually deploy them. He had a short meeting right at lunch time, so we waited for him to finish around noon. Then Zach and Greg drove separately to Freddy’s so they could get some stuff from Walmart afterward.

When Gary and I got back to the shop, we loaded everything up and went out to the bus shop to deploy a new distribution switch. We ran into a little bit of trouble there, so Gary had to jump back in to fix the configuration before we could go out to the smaller switches at the towers. Zach dropped Greg off a little while later so we could troubleshoot the fiber run. Greg re-terminated a couple lines until we got what we thought would be a passable signal.

That just about got us to quitting time. I spent a little time up front with the ladies before leaving for the weekend. Instead of going home, I decided to swing by AT&T to show off my car to Kevin. I let him drive us around the block, and he was absolutely blown away with a grin from ear to ear. Then I went inside to chat with him, Hope, and Nicole for a while until Summer got back into town.

Summer drove past me as I was leaving, and we met at my house to park Tres. She wanted steak, so we went to Western Sizzlin for the weekend steak and shrimp on the bar. I thought I did pretty well of not overstuffing myself, but then I had one plate too many. We went to her house and watched Blast from the Past until the girls got home from a play. Then it was off to bed early.

That’s a pretty wide range of reactions.

Egads!

We got up a little early this morning so I could start smoking some ribs. They thawed out completely overnight, so we just had to get them to my house, prepped, and on the smoker. We stopped at Walmart first, so I could get some charcoal. I decided to try some Jealous Devil lump charcoal instead of the Kingsford briquettes that I’ve used my whole life. The smoker specifically called for lumps, and that was what a quick Google search for the “best lump charcoal” spat back at me.

It hardly took any time at all to get the grill going and up to temperature. Summer helped me get the dry rub on the ribs, and we got them onto the smoker at 225º for three hours. She left for the gym while I stayed behind to watch the smoker and eventually get a shower. She came back when the first step was done, and we wrapped the ribs up in some foil with some barbecue sauce and apple cider vinegar. I had watched so many tutorials while I was waiting, that I forgot I didn’t need the sauce until the third cook phase, but it didn’t really matter much.

I was really hungry at that point, so we went to Taco Bell to share a meal before going to Walmart to pick up what Summer needed for potato salad and broccoli salad. She kept getting interrupted by calls and texts from work, which frustrated me since she was originally the one hurrying me through the store. We finally got everything and headed up to her house to start cooking.

Autumn had gone to her grandparents’ house for some reason, though she didn’t actually help with any housework like she was supposed to. Eaddie wanted to go to her friend’s house to work on a school project, so I dropped her off before going back to Summer’s to make some hummingbird food. When the two-hour cook phase was over, I headed back to my house to unwrap the ribs and throw them directly on the racks again.

They were still super soft, and the bones wanted to rip right out of the meat. I was worried that they were too tender, but after an hour they firmed up a little bit. I did make a bit of a mess, and some grease got down into a crack that I can’t really clean. I’ll have to see if I can take that one part off to clean it out. When the ribs were done, I wrapped them back up in some foil and loaded them into a big styrofoam cooler, and went back up the mountain to get the girls.

Autumn arrived at my parents’ house just as we did, and we sliced up the first rack of ribs. They turned out pretty good, but I know I can do better. I think they were still just a little bit too tender, and I’d really like to try a coarse pepper base. I could really use a better place to trim them up as well. Dad made peach cobbler for dessert, and everyone got plenty to eat. Then we watched The Music Man, which I had never seen before. Eaddie had been wanting to watch it for a while, but evidently it was a regular for them growing up. Autumn had to be forced to stay and finish the movie, but slept through most of it.

Autumn went back to spend the night with her grandparents, and it was quick to bed for the rest of us when we got back to the house. I’ve got a good amount of cleaning to do tomorrow, so I won’t be able to stick around for long.

Camelot Cousin’s BBQ, Est. 2022

Now That’s Chocolate Gravy!

The middle school sent us sausage, biscuits, and gravy this morning. It was a good thing that only like half of us were there though, because there wouldn’t have been enough for everyone to eat as much as some of the guys did. Since there were so few of us, Zach made the comment that he would just eat the leftovers for lunch to save some money.

We had a really long meeting, and nobody was in the mood to get up to a whole lot today. Evidently one of the seniors committed suicide last night, but I only really heard anything about it third-hand. I got around to the Transportation office to check out a phone, but mostly stuck around the office. Everyone ended up coming back to the shop to eat leftovers for lunch, but there weren’t enough biscuits or sausage to go around. I finished up the sausage with some gravy and a couple chocolate donuts. It warmed up surprisingly nicely, since the donuts basically acted like fried biscuits. The chocolate just added a little bit of sweetness to the spicy sausage and gravy. Greg was working on a MacBook while everyone else ate though, and ended up having to pick up something for lunch.

I went to Oakland for a bit of the afternoon, and rerouted some cable for a phone line. Fortunately Paul was around to drill some holes for me, so all I have to do is go back on Monday to re-terminate the cable and plug it back into the phone. Then I finished up the afternoon at the shop, hoping in vein to be released a little early.

I went home for a little bit and messed with the rotisserie set I got for my new grill. It was definitely missing the specific parts that I needed, though it had the roasting spits for both the larger and smaller versions of the grill. I sent a message to Masterbuilt, so we’ll see what they say. Summer said she was bringing me something special for dinner, so I eventually headed up to her house as she got back into town. On the way, there was a pretty big wreck on the north side of the bridge, so there were a ton of cops there to direct traffic. The westbound offramp was backed up onto the interstate, but luckily Summer was able to make it through town to get home.

She brought me some Long John Silver’s that ended up being pretty poor in quality, though it still brought back the oily flavor that made me nostalgic. She got some Popeye’s for herself, but they accidentally made the order twice and let her have both. After we ate, she really wanted to watch Something’s Gotta Give. It seemed like a love story for old people, so I wasn’t super entertained by it. Then she went to bed and I waited up for the kids to get back from a travel football game super late.

Experience America!

Tulsa Major

I woke up an extra hour earlier than work today, and headed up to get the girls. We left town just after seven, and stopped at Hardee’s in Clarksville for a quick breakfast before powering right through to Bixby. As time ticked by, I became more and more frustrated by people driving well under the speed limit. To escalate things further, Waze landed us in the wrong place, and we had to switch to Google Maps to arrive at the 181 Ranch.

The girls started their Conquer the Gauntlet race while I went back to the car. I only lasted inside for a couple of minutes before I sweated out, so I popped the hatch and broke out my camp chair. I was so glad I brought it, because I would have had to leave and come back otherwise. The sun was just too much for me. I played Into the Breach until they finished nearly two hours later, and then we packed everything up to head to lunch.

Summer picked a place right in the heart of Tulsa, and I probably should have vetted it first. I guess it was my fault for providing the list of places in the first place, but I found the list on a popular comment on Reddit, and didn’t really have the time or interest to look into them myself. We ended up at a place downtown called Prossimo Ristorante that wanted to know if we had a reservation. To say that we were underdressed would be an understatement. We were seated under chandeliers by the bar, surrounded by people day-drinking champagne. They weren’t even busy, which made the fact that they asked for a reservation even sillier. I could tell immediately that we were about to go on a very expensive date for four. The chef was kind enough to come out and prepare their fresh alfredo for us, but to add protein and a tip, we hit around $175. I was glad the girls enjoyed it, but I surprisingly hated the pasta. I found it to be too salty and too hard.

After we ate, we headed back out of town to find the hotel. On the way, the Murano popped a service light and I stopped at an O’Reilly’s to quickly have them check the code. It said something about an evap system leak, which Summer assured wasn’t likely to be anything serious. We made it to our hotel with additional navigation frustration, because even Google Maps wanted us to take stupid directions. I didn’t understand it at all.

We got checked into our suite, but I wouldn’t call it that myself. The room was the size of a regular hotel room with a king bed and a sleeper sofa. If I had realized it wouldn’t be a real suite with multiple rooms, I would never have paid extra, and I would have gotten a real bed for the girls to sleep on. With everything sprawled out, we barely had room for everything, and clothes and towels ended up absolutely everywhere. We relaxed for a little bit before making the girls come out to the pool with us. I figured the water would be swimmable, but it was super cold. Summer, Eaddie, and I got in, but not for long.

The girls showered when we got back to the room, and then we went out for our night on the town. I stopped at Krispy Kreme first, and was excited that their light was on. Unfortunately that was a lie. Their conveyor appeared to be broken, with some pretty gross-looking donuts sitting on the non-moving belt. We got a dozen assorted donuts out of the case, ate, and then headed on to the Cinemark.

I had never seen Jaws before, so it was cool to get to watch it in the IMAX. The theater was super busy, likely because of the $3 movie tickets for “National Cinema Day.” We waited in line forever to get some popcorn, but we had plenty of time before the previews even started. I thought the movie held up really well. I definitely enjoyed it more than Top Gun. I was sad that they ran out of posters before I could get one at the end of the movie.

On the way back to the hotel, we ran to Walmart up the road for some supplies, and then rounded everyone up for bed. It didn’t take any time at all for the girls to fall asleep. I thought I’d get to bed sooner, but it just didn’t happen. Hopefully we come up with some fun stuff to do tomorrow.

Wing it.

High Schoolers

Summer and Eaddie went to the Cyclone Extravaganza 5k this morning. Autumn was supposed to go, but talked her way out of it and watched TV all morning until I left. I went home to shower, and then the girls were going to come over, but that never happened. Eaddie and Autumn ended up going out together, so I went to get some barbecue from the Ridgewood Brothers. I contemplated a large platter, but I ended up spending nearly as much on just a couple of sandwiches and some sides.

The girls were actually still at home when I got there. Summer and I ate, they left, and then the two of us went to do a little shopping. I was surprised how busy it was, and it was super hot outside. We started at Walmart, but didn’t really pick up much. She really wanted to go to TJ Maxx. We were both feeling pretty dehydrated, so we stopped at PDQ for some drinks before going to PetSmart. They had some tiny shrimp there, but I didn’t feel great about paying five bucks a pop. Summer continued to decline with a headache, so we went back to my house and she fell asleep until we had to go see the girls perform at eight.

We took the Shadow to the high school so it would be easier to find a place to park. They made us pay to get in, and I wished we had just gone in the side gate instead. It didn’t seem to matter to anyone else going in or out, and there were multiple gates open with only one collecting money. The girls got to go out onto the field for individual introductions, which took forever. We watched them perform, got them some concession water, and then headed back home.

I put Prey on, and was surprised that Summer stuck around to watch it. I thought it was a decent movie. The girls decided they didn’t want to come over, which was no surprise to me. Summer let them go home, so we finished the movie and went to bed.

How colorful.

Do Some Pilot Shit!

I slept in a little this morning and then finished up some leftovers for breakfast. Autumn had some trouble mowing because of the dew, and came back inside spitting-mad with frustration, and she wouldn’t just shut up and cool down for a bit, instead choosing to try and fight us over it. We didn’t engage, and eventually she went back to normal and finished the job. Eaddie didn’t really come out of her room all day because she was finishing up her painting, and I’m about ready for her to be over that phase, because we never see her.

Summer took Autumn to retrieve some clothes from the storage unit, and I went home to shower after talking Summer into a matinee with me. I made it back to pick her up as quickly as I could, and we made it just in time to catch the trailers. The center speech channel was coming through super muffled though, and the only other couple in the theater decided to get a refund. The manager on duty didn’t seem to have a clue how to fix it, so she just had us come back for the three o’clock show in the recliners.

We ran home for an hour, and I moved the water hoses around while Summer did some more chores inside. Then we headed back to the theater for the show. There were quite a few more people there, but we had decent seats in the front. A cut in the screen kept bothering me, and it just made me wish we’d get a nice Dolby cinema. I enjoyed the movie quite a bit, but I wouldn’t have missed much if I hadn’t seen the original earlier this year.

Dad said he tested positive for COVID today, so we stopped by Walgreens for some supplies for them. Then we ran by my house briefly before heading back up to the girls. Summer took Eaddie to play tennis while Autumn and I went to Walmart for some extras for dinner. I grilled some chicken breasts with pineapple, and prepped some lettuce, tomato, onion, and avocado for sandwiches. The sandwiches turned out really great, but the grilled banana I made for dessert just tasted like warm banana with a tough, dry skin. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t really worth the effort.

The girls went to bed early for their first day of school in the morning. I wound down as quickly as I could. Hopefully it won’t get too crazy this week. I feel underprepared.

Talk to me, Goose!

Good Old-Fashioned Ultraviolence

I woke up a little late this morning and got the sense that the girls were in a bit of a panic to get the cats out of the house. Evidently Summer got a formal eviction warning letter, and she counted only two days left to have them gone. Since nobody actually addressed me about it, and since I had already expressed my own frustration about the situation, I just did my best to help out with breakfast so they could finish what needed to be done.

After we ate the kielbasa and veggies with eggs, they went to Dollar General for some cat food before taking everything up to Noah’s house, and I went home to shower. I got incredibly frustrated with always being made the villain, and Suzanne said I was “cold, cold like the wind” for being so unsympathetic, but I likened it to God sending people to Hell for eternity because they worked on a Sunday. People show up in droves to worship that guy, but I’m the fucking bad guy here for reminding them that they’re not allowed to have pets.

I had a couple drinks and a shower to relax, and then Summer wanted just the two of us to go to the movies to see Bullet Train. I thought I was the only one that was really excited to see it, but I don’t think she really knew what to expect. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it reminded me a lot of Kill Bill, without being quite so vulgar, but with some classic ultraviolence. All of the characters were great, and I really liked the cinematography.

After the movie, I tried talking to Summer about my feelings on the way home and I blew up for a bit that she kept saying I wasn’t being comforting or supportive. I knew it was hard to watch her kids hurting, but she enabled them by buying all of the cat supplies instead of shutting the whole thing down early, and I needed her to understand that it was okay to take the loss. She didn’t have to try and lessen the blow, and it was okay to just have a bad day and accept that every single one of us did something wrong.

When we got back to the house, Eaddie was still very upset. I learned that they just took the cats outside Noah’s house, so Sweetums got into a fight with his dog and immediately ran up a tree. I don’t even know how big of a tree it was, or if she’ll be able to get down on her own, but even Eaddie knew that she didn’t have any time to associate Noah or his house with anything good. I’ll be astounded if she doesn’t get picked off by a predator overnight, but I don’t know what else I’m supposed to do. I wasn’t present to do the thinking for all four of them, so if it’s two dead cats, it’s two dead cats.

I tried to coax Eaddie out of the house for some fish soup with my parents, but she didn’t want to leave. Autumn wanted to go to her father’s for some reason, so the lawn still didn’t get mowed over the last two weeks that we’ve been asking. I just have to assume I’ll be the bad guy again next weekend when it still hasn’t been done.

I went to eat and visited with my parents for a little while before heading home. Bác Vân called while I was on the way and asked me to come over for a bit. I helped with her iPad for a bit, then went home to do some laundry before bed.

L