Cold Shock

It was quite a bit cooler out today, and probably would have been a good day to work outside. Nothing at all went according to any kind of plan or toward any real goals. Summer took Eaddie home to get ready for her day at Urban Air. I thought she would come back after Eaddie left, but that wasn’t the case. She didn’t feel up to doing anything, so I just kind of milled around the house all day long.

As the evening approached, I decided to stay in for the night. Later on, Eaddie called and wanted me to pick her up when she got back into town so she could stay the night with me. Then Summer texted and said she was having trouble with Autumn when she was dropped back off at home from her grandparents’. When I picked Eaddie up, we had to take Zane home first, and then she threw a fit when I told her we needed to go stay the night with her mother.

Summer went back and forth along with Autumn’s mood swings, wanting me there, or saying it was fine to stay home. Plans changed a couple more times as I went back out to get some Burger King for Eaddie, but we finally landed on me staying home with Eaddie.

I stayed up a little late trying to get my home theater PC working again, as it had been powered on but unresponsive for several days. I thought the hard drive was completely toast, but it finally booted up successfully just as I was getting ready to give up for the night.

I guess I’ll have to call that a win.

Cartagain Weather III: Certified Pre-Owned

I had completely forgotten that we were delivering carts to Oakland today. I made it in to work, and Gary had Greg, Josh, and Jacob ready to roll. He went to the middle school to scan Chromebooks while the rest of us loaded up the trailer for two trips to Oakland. I got pretty sweaty already, just from the humidity. There was a small chance of rain, but we never saw any.

By the time we finished, everyone was ready for lunch with still an hour to go. We met up with Gary, who had discovered a bunch of the Chromebooks we need to return this summer. I sat down to verify how he was checking his devices, and discovered that I had somehow made a mistake on our original sheet, and we hadn’t been correctly identifying devices the whole time. That meant re-scanning every device in the graveyard.

We loaded some scrap into the trailer, then headed back to the shop for lunch. We picked up Thomas and went to Fat Daddy’s in London. For some reason we always end up there on Thursdays, which is an awful day for specials. I had a pulled pork sandwich, which was edible enough, and fortunately a bit larger than I expected.

When we got back to the shop, I built a new scanning sheet from scratch, then joined Josh and Greg in the graveyard to re-scan devices. We made a pretty good dent in them before we ran out of boxes. It was also about time to head to the Center for our end-of-the-year pat-on-the-back.

With new leadership, this was the shortest event I had ever seen. The whole thing took like 15 minutes, which was insane. We only recognized retirees and the teachers of the year, which was kind of lame, but I guess at least we had an excuse to leave early. Ben called me in the middle of it, and said he was passing through town. Everyone else took off, but I waited there for him, and we ended up chatting for a while until they closed the place down. Tina came around with some plastic bags for the leftover cookies, and let us take a bunch home.

I started on laundry when I got home. Eaddie had been out on her bike all day, and ended up never coming back home. She called a few times to check in, which was good. After going back and forth about it, she decided she wanted to stay the night with a friend, so eventually I had to run some clothes to her.

On the way, I stopped for a couple 50 cent corndogs from Sonic, and a large order of onion rings. After I left, I realized my bag only had three onion rings in it, so I wound up going back after I delivered Eaddie’s stuff. One of the girls ran out with a new order of onion rings for me, and said they knew what they had done, and were just waiting for me to come back. I wish they had been able to just call me to let me know.

I ended the late night just barely missing my goal of washing all of my shirts. I’ve got a performance review at work tomorrow, so I didn’t want to be up too late finishing up, so I left the last load for the weekend.

Little Time

Summer dropped Eaddie off at my house this morning so she could ride her bike during the day. Work was a bit different today, and it was nice moving around instead of sitting in my office all day. We started off finishing the quote for Thomas, and then I spent a little time with Jacob. He was trying to figure out how to transfer YouTube videos to another user, so when Terra retires, her math videos won’t be lost forever.

Evidently Jacob hasn’t had much to do this week, so he spent a lot of time in the shop cleaning up. Then I took him to Oakland in case I needed a hand carrying out some “technology.” It ended up being a single plastic case with a few old headphones in it, so that was easy. We still had some time before lunch, so I took him to the back of the building to try and fix or replace a video cable in the autism room. I didn’t have what they needed though, so I would have to come back later.

We picked Eaddie up before heading back to the shop, because she wanted to go out to eat lunch with me. I picked up Thomas and Gary, and we met Greg at Arby’s for a quick and easy lunch. Then I dropped everyone off at the shop before taking Eaddie back home and going back to Oakland to finish up by myself with the correct part.

The afternoon was pretty quiet. Josh and Greg came back to the shop, and then Gary joined us for a bit of a chat. At the end of the day, I went with Greg to the press box at the high school football field. He wanted to test a new fiber run, and we were able to see a light, but it didn’t want to transfer any data. That took us a little past quitting time, so we headed straight home.

Eaddie had ridden her bike to her private flute lesson, and I offered to pick her up in the heat. She originally wanted to ride home, but changed her mind and called me while I was on the phone with Summer, who was on her own way back home from work.

I picked Eaddie up at Maristella’s house, and then we went to Rose Drug to pick up Summer’s medication, followed by my parents’ house so I could pick up a couple 15-inch speakers he picked up from an old magic buddy that passed away. Summer had an awards dinner with Autumn, so Eaddie and I had a date night at Stoby’s. I didn’t know what I wanted to eat, so I had the waitress pick. I don’t think I ever, in my entire life, would have ordered the barbecue chicken quesadilla, but it was super good.

After dinner, we went back to my house for a bit, and Eaddie decided she wanted to stay the night with me. We went to Dairy Queen for a couple Blizzards, and then up to their house so she could bathe and get some clothes. Then we came back to my house for the night and I finished up with a load of laundry before bed.

Favorite Time

Cartagain Weather II: The Heat is On

It was hot and humid today. Everything made me sweat. I mostly missed out on our morning meeting, since I was having to investigate untruths from Autumn as she realized she was permanently locked out of her Facebook and personal email accounts, and trying to use school as an excuse to get back into them. We arranged to have her laptop returned, and for a moment thought she had skipped school and taken off in the middle of the day. We were able to track her down to a different room though, and all was fine.

eSCO came by pretty early and picked up a little over 20 old laptop carts, and we helped to haul them out the hard way, because they didn’t feel comfortable backing up to the dock. Then I had to scan a bunch of laptops that were brought back to the shop by another group. All the while, Dad was babysitting my house until someone from Rood finally showed up to look at my air conditioner.

I left for lunch early so I could relieve my dad, and my air unit was fixed with a replacement contactor, which is evidently the name of a legitimate part. Richard, the tech, said I would need a new thermostat though, because my Nest was showing an error every time we hooked it back up, in spite of no detectable wiring issue. On the way back to the shop, I just picked up a surprisingly good Big Dill pickle burger and a Red Bull slush from Sonic.

The afternoon was relatively quiet, but I went back and forth helping here and there with different things. I never got sucked into any real projects, which was a nice break from everything else I had been juggling mentally. At the end of the day, Tammy appeared to be having a hard time up front, so I just awkwardly left to run home and change.

Nick was coming to talk to Autumn and take Eaddie with him for the weekend, so I wanted to be there. I beat them all to the house, and had just enough time to finish up some nacho cheese cups that were leftover in the fridge from various visits to Taco John’s. When the girls got home, Eaddie wanted help with an English project because she had to turn in her library book before she finished the project. Then we coaxed Autumn into mowing. Nick showed up with some leftover barbecue for Summer and me, and then sat down with Autumn so we could all talk.

The conversation went about how it always does, but Nick ended it by actually shaking my hand and doing the half back-pat bro-hug thing. It felt really good to feel like I had some validation from him after all this time. With Eaddie gone, Autumn mowed while Summer and I ate. By the time she came back in, we were all exhausted enough to pass out super early.

Fun isn’t something one considers when blocking the internet, but this does put a smile on my face.

Red Hands

I finally got a bike out this morning, and rode the Shadow to work. It was an incredibly slow day, and I had to creatively fill my time. Tammy and Kelsea went to the high school to help with laptop pickup, which was an odd choice. I had to make fun of Tammy, because the boss really did send her to the library, which has been one of her greatest fears.

I convinced Zach to take Gary and me to Sam’s for lunch, and I spent and ate way too much. I was disappointed that they weren’t as generous as usual with the servings, especially since I didn’t get out the door under $30. Zach and Gary both mentioned that it was expensive, but I guess I had just forgotten how expensive it really was.

The afternoon was more of the same. I did have to run across town to pick up Summer’s new Invisalign trays from the orthodontist, since she wouldn’t make it back to town in time. At the end of the day, I had to run home to get the Murano so I could take Eaddie home before her band awards. That was about the time that things really went downhill.

We’ve been watching Autumn’s computer usage since our encounter with DHS, and she continued to make really bad choices all afternoon, the day after we had another heart-to-heart with her. Eaddie and I thought we’d try to catch her at Denny’s with some friends while she was supposed to be practicing for color guard after school. We never encountered her, but while we were there, I triggered an email alert that let her know that something wasn’t quite right. Summer met us when she got into town from work and ate a couple pancake puppies until it was time to get Eaddie to the band awards, and then met me at my house to see how badly I had compromised our operation.

Autumn had locked her account down, but I was able to recover it. We made the decision to take ownership of her accounts and lock her out of them, and then also disabled the internet on her school laptop outside of school hours. With the cat irreversibly out of the bag, we went to the Center to watch the tail end of the awards ceremony, and collected the girls to go home. Autumn continued to try and play it off, but we had already made up our minds.

When we got to the house, Eaddie and I went to the other room so Summer could properly search Autumn for her vape. Then we had another long conversation that basically just summed up how disappointed we were in her choices. She didn’t have a whole lot to say as usual, and exhibited the same kind of behavior we see every time, except now we have no way to monitor her response to her friends. The next step will have to be reaching out to them with her, so she can correct her course. This whole thing is eye-rollingly dull at this point, and we just want it to be over. I’m thinking boot camp in a few weeks.

We’re expecting a bit of a headwind for most of our flight, so sit back, try to relax, and we’ll get you to your final destination as quickly as we can.

Mindcraft

I really wanted to ride again today, but I didn’t since I would be picking Eaddie up after school. It was hot and humid again, for the time of year, and I’m not thrilled about August happening. At this rate, though, I’m not entirely convinced that it will!

I wrapped up my Minecraft deployment this morning, and it looked like it was going to work pretty well. Then I cleaned up some old, stale tickets I had that likely weren’t going to get any response from the clients. I didn’t really get deep into anything else for the rest of the day. Gary, Thomas, and I went to Cracker Barrel for lunch, and I had an excellent chicken pot pie.

After lunch, I just happened to stumble upon the Google I/O stream, and spent a good portion of the afternoon catching up on it. After this past year with my Samsung, I think I’m extremely likely to ditch it for a Pixel 7 this fall, along with the new watch and buds. I’m not even really happy with the look of the Pixel Watch, but I figure the best bet is to match my devices.

Near the end of the day, I fought some unscannable barcodes with Gary. Then I picked Eaddie up at Zane’s house and took her straight to her flute lesson. I tried to convince her to get her phone she forgot at the junior high, but she kept refusing. I dropped her off, then went to my parents’ house to see them for the half hour while I waited.

When I got back to pick Eaddie up, Summer and Autumn were there and were clearly having words with feelings in the car. I reminded her that I was taking Eaddie home to get some stuff for her engineering project, so they went home to let Autumn start mowing the lawn.

Eaddie and I went back to my house briefly, but were held up when I realized my air conditioning was out. My Nest thermostat reported high current on one of the wires, and the compressor wasn’t clicking on outside. In my troubleshooting, I flipped a breaker that killed my internet, so then I had to go inside and swap my UPS battery. Hopefully it’ll be good for a while the next time the power goes out. We ended up leaving to get Eaddie home, so I’ll have to call for service tomorrow.

On the way up to her house, Eaddie started asking if we could get her phone. I wasn’t keen on driving across town after I had tried to get it earlier, so we continued to the house where she proceeded to whine about needing it for schoolwork. I finally relented and took her to the junior high to find it. As we approached the building, she made a comment that she hoped it was there and not in her backpack, which made me want to make her walk home.

She found her phone, and I picked up some McNuggets on the way back to the house. She got her schoolwork done, and I was right about her math homework all along. Autumn finished up mowing, and eventually we all had a sit-down conversation to level-set expectations again. This is the tightening of the leash, and it is all she will know for the foreseeable future. Any leniency will be only for our own convenience, since Summer is clearly still worn out over the whole situation. I’ve dealt with a manipulating sociopath before, so I feel particularly immune, though still annoyed. It really is the worst game of chicken.

This is why I always stay to watch discredits.

Another Beautiful Day Burned

I woke up around 7:30 this morning after only four and a half hours of sleep. I should have just gone back to bed, but I foolishly thought Eaddie would get out of bed to go for a hike with my dad. Summer took Autumn to the gym and then dropped her off at the Quiz Bowl car wash before going to work. I eventually did get Eaddie up, but she was super cranky and just wanted to work on some homework.

I spent the entire day dragging along, knowing how nice it felt outside. I could have gone to sleep at any point and would have felt better for it, but instead I forced myself to stay awake and just barely dozed off in front of the TV for about an hour.

When Eaddie finally got the house cleaned up, showered, and was ready to go, we headed to my house for the evening. By then, Summer was nearly off work, but Eaddie was hangry and needed a snack, so we stopped by McDonald’s for some McNuggets. When we got to my house, we watched the second episode of What If…? before Summer got there with some corn dogs, cheese sticks, and ice cream.

Once I got Summer in and out of the shower, we crashed a bit early. Tomorrow will be busy enough.

Absolutely delusional…

The Longest Con

We had a short meeting today, and then I took Thomas to U-Haul to pick up a box truck. Greg and Jacob took a load of carts to swap out for London, and then we had to clean out the kitchen area. At some point, Zach brought the forklift around and I got to load up a bunch of pallets of trash, and then a couple pallets of Chromebooks into the truck bed. I was just happy not to be doing any of the unloading by hand.

As old carts came back, we had to scan for Chromebooks that went back on lease this summer. We found about five more all day, which was five times what we had found so far. Brody said one of the schoolboard members was frying chicken for the high school teacher appreciation lunch, which sounded really good, but I ended up driving a carload of people to CJ’s instead.

Immediately after lunch I felt a little sketchy from the grease, but I made it. We had to scan a bunch of Chromebooks from Center Valley, but most of my time was spent on deployments. I ended up leaving about half an hour late just because I felt like I was making a little progress on Roblox.

I picked Eaddie up at Zane’s, then took her home so she could get ready before a school dance. Then we picked Zane up and I dropped them off at the junior high. They ended up not wanting to stick around because they didn’t have any other friends there, so after cleaning up a bit at home, I picked them up and took them back up to Summer’s to hang out.

Summer grilled some steaks when she and Autumn got home from the gym, so she and I ate while the kids hung out. Autumn didn’t come out much at first, but eventually made a more permanent appearance for the evening. A little later in the evening she came into the bedroom to chat, and for the first time, apologized directly to me for last week. It was pretty obviously all a manipulation though, once she basically started begging to go back to work at Denny’s. It’s looking like it’s going to be a Shit Kid Summer. I think Summer is finally down to hold her nose to the grindstone, so we’ll see how well we can whip her into shape in the short amount of time that we have.

Afterward, the five of us played a game of Uno. It didn’t last forever since we only played through to one winner. Then eventually I had to take Zane home. I took Eaddie along with me, and we stopped at my house afterward so I could get some clothes for the morning. We decided to finish up Moon Knight before heading back up to their house, which was pretty interesting, if not a little on-the-nose after this past week. I’ve had just about enough of Looney Tunes.

…and the forklift you rode in on!

Normlish

We had a team meeting this morning to go over expectations for our reviews. The tool we’ve always used in my time there has always been pretty poor, but we’re using it to self evaluate, and then compare notes with Thomas. Then he’s inviting us to evaluate him using those same metrics. I spent quite a while just reformatting a digital copy of the stupid form, since it wasn’t a proper fillable form in Adobe. By the time I got around to anything else, it was nearly lunch time.

Four of the guys up front started heading for the door about 10 minutes early, but Gary remembered that I existed, and Thomas drove us all to La Chiquita. I was disappointed by the fajita portions compared to other places, but the food was still good, and it filled me up after a basket of chips.

I worked on some stuff for a little bit back at my office after lunch, but then went to Oakland to wrap up a bunch of stuff there. I left just as school was letting out, and came back to Thomas, Zach, and Kelsea on another conference call with Incident IQ. It was otherwise a very quiet afternoon until I left.

It looked like Eaddie had gone to her father’s restaurant, so I stopped there to try and pick her up. After a couple phone calls, I discovered she had actually just walked to Casey’s and then back to Zane’s house. I picked her up and we went to my house and watched two more episodes of Moon Knight. I liked the last one we watched as things got a little mental.

Summer came by after her workout and then picking Autumn up from her parents’ house. We chatted for a little bit before they left, and then I spent the better part of the night doing further investigations. I really think if we just eliminate the internet from Autumn’s life, she’ll behave much better on the whole. A young mind has to be exercised to grow. All she does is consume, and it’s thrown her into a desperate need for constant attention.

But here I am, writing about my day on a public forum for people to read.

Momma Called the Doctor and the Doctor Said

I took a sick day today, primarily so I could help Summer maintain some semblance of sanity, but also to help shuttle Autumn to a doctor appointment. She came to my house after dropping the girls off at school, and then we waited until time to check her out. It rained heavily all morning, which was fitting for the huffy mood Autumn was in when she came out of class. I dropped them off at Millard-Henry and then just waited in the car, because of course COVID restrictions for one visitor are still in effect.

Aaron messaged me after a while and said I could swing by his office, but I was only there for about five minutes before Summer texted that they were finished. I picked them up at the front door, and Autumn seemed in much better spirits. She wanted to know how there was so much water in the sky for it to rain as heavily as it was, and whether or not we thought she might have dissociative identity disorder. Up until recently we just assumed she was a two-faced sunovabitch, but hopefully a referral for a proper psych evaluation can answer that for us.

After dropping Autumn off, Summer and I were pretty hungry and ended up at Hardee’s for an early lunch. The girl at the counter was so sweet that it practically made my teeth hurt. She hooked us up with a drink cup to share when she realized we didn’t order one with our food. After we ate, we went back to my house for a bit, and Summer was able to nap for a bit while I stayed up for some super sleuthing.

We got to have a sit-down meeting in the afternoon to discuss some options and alternatives for technology, which made us feel mildly better, but Summer and I were still so completely distraught from dealing with this all week. We were both just absolutely burned up with anger, disappointment, and disgust, and bounced between different ideas and timelines for action. We absolutely cannot maintain what we’re doing now, so something is going to have to give very soon.

When school let out, Summer went to the high school to check in on Quiz Bowl, which angered Autumn a bit. I picked up Eaddie and Zane at Oakland, and then dropped him off a couple blocks away at the daycare. Eaddie wanted some Dairy Queen since FBLA was having a fundraiser there. I got her a Blizzard that ended up being poorly-blizzed, and a couple malts for Summer and me.

Back at their house, Summer wanted to have a chat with Autumn. Eaddie was in and out, but mostly just bored that it was happening again, as though it was the Depp vs. Herd defamation lawsuit. Autumn danced around mostly not answering questions, tried to throw some other kid under the bus, and finally admitted some guilt for filing a false report on me. At this point, we still don’t know what reality she’s living in. It certainly feels like it’s just sociopathic tendencies with a constant need for attention. After two hours of that, and then having her walk around the house like nothing was wrong, I was just shaking with anger.

Autumn spent the rest of the night in her room, but Eaddie stuck around and chatted with me some. Summer made it into bed and to sleep. Hopefully I can get some of that action too, because I’m completely exhausted.

“Your hormones are fine; you’re crazy in the head!”