How to Tell if You’re in a Cult

A bunch of water had collected in the trunk of my car this morning, and sloshed around on my way to work. Fortunately it didn’t damage my headliner, or seemingly get on it at all. I couldn’t tell where it was actually coming in though, so I guess I’ll have to pour water on it with a hose.

Jacob and I continued with inventory today, which made the day go by quickly, if nothing else. He didn’t want to reset iPads, and I didn’t want to do inventory, so we just split up this time, and I slowly went room to room with earbuds in. We made it back to the shop just a bit before lunch, and Tammy started talking about everyone having to clean out their work spaces to create more separation between our work life and home life. I was absolutely triggered at the thought of having to take all of my shit home, so I was riled up the rest of the day.

Nobody had any idea what to eat, so I suggested Chick O’Fish, since it was something new. When we got there, the menu TVs weren’t quite working right. I hate that places are starting to use more animated menus that flip to a different screen while I’m reading them. The next thing I noticed was that they appeared to have the same menu as Sam’s Southern Eatery, down to Sam’s Special. That’s when one of the girls behind the counter piped up and said that they were identical, with the same owners and everything. What made even less sense was that they were also trying to have table service in that tiny building, rather than let people order from the counter. That would have made it much easier.

After lunch, Jacob and I finished at Oakland. We got done about an hour before quitting time and made it back to the shop, but then Thomas cut us loose. I went home and tried to investigate my leaky car, but got nowhere. I fought sleep for a while, and cleaned up a couple aquarium hoods before Summer told me we no longer had a buyer for the 55 gallon tank.

Eventually I headed up to their house for the evening. I stopped at McDonald’s to spend some expiring rewards points on some fries, got gas, and then made it up in time for everyone to already be in their bedrooms. I was concerned about the water in the succulent pots, so I repotted everything and then wound down for bed.

Somebody drank all of the Kool-Aid…

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.

Jamf Pros

I realized this morning as I headed out the door, that I had unintentionally thrown away my silicone travel straw from the movie last night. Of course it was also trash day, as I heard the dumpsters as they were emptied this morning. I was kicking myself in frustration for the entirety of the day.

I somehow made it into work right on time, and managed to turn out a productive morning. It took me way too long, but I finally figured out enough of the Roblox deployment that I felt confident sending it on to the junior high student devices. Gary came by later and told Greg and me that he wanted to show us how to do something in Jamf after lunch. All of that made the morning go by pretty quickly.

Gary was the only one up for lunch today, so I did my best to suggest restaurants we don’t get to frequent. He landed on Sticky Rice, and I was glad he did. I ordered the combination phở not really expecting much, but the broth and everything was delicious. It was pretty difficult to eat out of a Styrofoam takeout container, but I managed. It had a great amount of heat and flavor throughout. I just wished I had a soup spoon instead of a tiny plastic one.

Shortly after we got settled back into work, Gary came back to the shop and we started updating some certificates in Jamf. He had Greg drive while I took notes to document the process. That will make the whole process a lot smoother in the future. I felt pretty confident with my understanding of everything we did.

The rest of the afternoon was really quiet, and after work I went home for a quiet evening to myself. I cleaned up the laundry room a bit for the upcoming laundry days, and tried to clear up some space in the kitchen. There’s really no excuse for the state of things, and I’ve got to whip it back into shape. The summer heat isn’t going to make it any more pleasant.

Demons are angels too.

Typical Two Hour Visit

Summer and I got up this morning and decided on a whim to go have breakfast at Denny’s since Autumn was working. Eaddie didn’t want to go because she was supposed to go with her father, but after a while he showed up there without her. The restaurant was packed, but there was still no reason any of the service should have taken as long as it did. Every single time I’ve been there, it’s been painfully clear that the place is simply mismanaged. My guess is that if the owners would invest in one good store manager, they could probably turn the whole thing around. Autumn seems to enjoy working there, so I can’t see it being entirely due to staffing issues.

Ronda and Steven were there as well, and stopped by our table to chat briefly on their way out. We were in the restaurant for at least a couple hours, through the rush, and into a pretty quiet time in the early afternoon. The kitchen never got any faster, but after that long, I’d had enough eggs. It’s sad to say that I’m very rarely out of that place in less than an hour and a half, and I simply can’t imagine how they could possibly take that long to scramble eggs.

I dropped Summer off at home to clean house, and then went back to my house. Eaddie was up in bed, but said she never received a call from her father as he had said. I heated up my leftover spaghetti and meatballs, which she enjoyed while we watched the last episode of Stranger Things. We’re super excited for the next season in a few weeks.

I tried getting Eaddie to go out on the Grom for a bit, which she was up for at first, but after some television decided she’d rather be lazy and spent most of the afternoon in her room on her phone. I probably should have forced her outside, but I was still feeling heavy and sleepy from breakfast myself.

Eventually Autumn came by to get Eaddie after staying an hour late at work. She wanted to chat about her day and about some 27 year old she’s crushing on out there. Eaddie just rolled her eyes and pleaded to be taken home while I did my best to briefly explain, without being too negative, that she should probably aim higher.

The rest of the night went by quietly, and was just as dull as most of the afternoon. I made an effort to charge the R1 and Grom batteries, so hopefully they can both come out to play soon.

I can tell you all about guys that hang out with girls 10 years their junior.

That’s Mister Karen to You

I went to Oakland first thing again this morning because they were screening kids for GT. Oddly, they did the screening in the worst, most disruptive corner possible, but I suppose they did what they set out to do. It all felt a little silly to me. Dana had the only kids that needed my help, so my time there was short.

Back at the office, most everyone else was out doing their own thing. It must be quiet everywhere, because I didn’t get any calls from anyone. Gary showed me a fix for something I had been working on, and I deployed that.

After some thought last night, I decided to call Lowe’s to try and return our new refrigerator. There are just too many poor design decisions that I couldn’t make peace with, so I didn’t want to be stuck with it for the next decade. The first girl I talked to seemed pretty receptive and told me she would have the store contact me to arrange for a pickup. Then the assistant store manager called to let me know he had no power to override the 48-hour return window. I attempted to escalate, and almost immediately got a call back from the store manager, who told me the same but in many more words. I called the corporate number back and escalated there, which lead to me talking to an older lady that indicated it shouldn’t be a problem for the store to override the policy. I guess we’ll give them 24 hours to make it right before I really go Karen.

Otherwise there wasn’t a whole lot of anything going on. Nobody left for lunch, so I just had a Soylent between a couple of apples and a bag of chips, and powered on through the day. Autumn wanted me to pick Eaddie up after tennis practice, so I hung out at the high school watching them for a bit. Summer made it back to town a little earlier, so I made dinner plans with her at Brown’s to use my birthday coupon.

After eating way too much, I came home and almost immediately laid down in bed and very nearly started to nap. I felt better for it, but then had recurring cramps in my calves and shins. Since they happened all at once, there wasn’t any direction I could turn or bend my legs to stretch them out, so I just writhed in pain until it went away every time. Hopefully that’s not a look into my future sleep tonight.

Life should be Gooder.

Strange Design

I went to Oakland first thing again this morning to take care of a couple things. Luckily it didn’t really start raining until after I got to the shop, so I missed the torrential downpour until lunch time. It was quiet downstairs because Gary was locked away doing some training in his office.

Greg, Gary, and I met Zach at La Chiquita for lunch, and witnessed some pretty spectacular lightning strikes along the ride. The rain calmed down a bit by the time we got there, and fortunately the storm never got super bad right over us. We made it back to work without incident, but the rest of the afternoon was a challenge in staying awake.

When I finally left for home, Eaddie texted and wanted a ride, so I picked her up at Oakland. We went to my house and started the third season of Stranger Things. After one episode, we went to Burger King so she could get a chicken sandwich, because when I think of chicken, I think of Burger King. My Big Bacon King was too much. We watched one more episode before Summer got back home and picked Eaddie up.

I spent the rest of the night cleaning up my old refrigerator. The right half of it looks pretty nice now, but my arm was too tired to continue with the other half. I also did a little exploring on the new fridge, and discovered the reason for the warm water out of the dispenser. For some reason, the water line travels outside of the refrigerator nearly the entire way. It goes up and into the fridge for the water filter, then comes back out and down to another hole where it goes back into the refrigerator for a cold water reservoir line. After that, it comes back out of the fridge again so it can be routed under and around to the door. This must have made perfect sense to someone who didn’t have to deal with a refrigerator that was powered on, otherwise they would have noticed the heat from the compressor warming the water back up before it gets to your cup.

From that moment on, I went to bed dreaming of trying to perform a return outside the measly 48-hour window at Lowe’s. Maybe someone will pity us for being put out for two additional weeks and scheduling our spring break vacation and one additional weekend around what we thought were going to be deliveries.

Everyone knows backlights are superior. Idiots.

Lessbius

About every other night, I’m up every hour. I still feel exhausted all of the time. I thought I’d get up today and make breakfast, but nobody was hungry. Summer and Eaddie left me for a while, and I started a corned beef in the crock pot, then cleaned up for a matinée. Eaddie wanted to go to the 1:50 show so her boyfriend could come along. His father dropped him off at the theater, and we met him there after I picked up Summer and Eaddie.

I was ready for a letdown after reading some reviews of Morbius. It was pretty bad, but overall I wasn’t upset to have watched it. The action scenes were highly stylized, but mostly garbage aside from that. It was all just blurry, dark, After Effects nonsense. The story wasn’t great either, but I guess I’m used to that from Sony.

After the movie, we had some time to kill before dropping Zane off with his mother, so we went to the park and let them wander around. Summer took a phone call, so we just sat in the car until they got back. Then I dropped him off, followed by the girls, and then went home to add some carrots and cabbage to the crock pot for the last hour.

Autumn worked all day and went straight home afterward to do homework, so just the other two came over for dinner. They ate and watched TV, then went home for the night. I cleaned everything up, and then went to bed as early as I could.

Sony, wat r u doin? Staaahhhhhp.

Witchcraft!

We all woke up early to leave for Eureka Springs this morning. I had to stop by Superfast first though, to check my coolant level again. We took a jug of some extra along just in case it got bad later, but I really shouldn’t have, because at the end of the day we found it had leaked all over the trunk.

It was a long and pretty drive, though the trees were all still dead from winter. Eaddie did great in the car, and we didn’t even have to drug her. We got to the Inn of the Ozarks a little before the last lecture let out for lunch, so we picked up Dad, then Mom and went to the top of the hill for lunch at Myrtie Mae’s.

After lunch, we watched the matinée for Dad’s performance. Then the girls had to cut out partway through the closeup show in order to make their zipline appointment. My parents and I got back up to their room just as the girls finished up, so once they walked back across the street, we headed to The Rockin’ Pig Saloon for dinner.

They had a bunch of menu items with Wagyu beef, including an $85 ribeye that made even our server’s eyes go wide. Mom got a non-Wagyu ribeye for less than half that, and the rest of the table got a pretty good mix of things. Somehow Autumn ended up with a pepperoni pizza, and even it was pretty good. I still think the brisket at Ridgewood is more tender though.

We got back to the Inn just in time for the raffle drawings, and then we watched the evening show. It was a good time getting to see everyone again after putting the event off for COVID. As they closed up shop, we left my parents to go find our hotel across town.

The Statue Road Inn was a cute little motel, at least in the dark. There was some confusion with the check-in process, because I was sure that I paid in full online, but I received an email saying I had to make a partial payment at the inn, and the lady at the front desk didn’t have any record of payment at all. She was super friendly though, and unable to find any credit card history, I felt comfortable making the partial payment. After researching some more online, I’m not convinced that I don’t owe the rest of it, but we’ll sort that out later.

The room was kind of cute, but it looked like they had some renovations going on at the other end of the building. This was the second time I’ve had a physical, metal key for a room I’ve stayed in as an adult. Aside from the miserable water pressure that Summer reported, everything seemed to be on the up and up. I guess we won’t know for sure until morning.

Short trip.

Who’s Afraid of the Big, Black Bat?

I woke up this morning forgetting that I had lost an hour overnight. I thought I’d be up early enough to make breakfast after how early I woke up yesterday, but instead I just heated some cold brew coffee for Summer and took a shower before my parents came to pick us up.

We headed to Conway and, after some deliberation, settled on Sharks Fish and Chicken for lunch. I was worried Mom wouldn’t like how dingy it was inside, but everyone was pretty happy with the food. We’ll have to take them to Sam’s in town sometime, because I bet they’d like it a lot.

After we ate, we were going to shop for refrigerators, but evidently they had already picked out what they wanted in town. Instead, we went to Kohl’s and wandered around for a bit. We left there empty-handed to go to the theater, and fortunately we left early enough to get through some traffic that was caused by a flipped vehicle right off the interstate.

The movie was as long and slow as Eaddie described it, and I was surprised at how much they completely focused on it being a detective story. I guess it made sense, but it was less entertaining than I had hoped. There were certainly scenes that I enjoyed, and styles that I appreciated, but overall I didn’t at all feel glued to my seat. What I perceived as their big plot twist didn’t really carry any weight with me, and overall I thought it was relatively forgettable. The realistic wingsuit didn’t help, but I guess they really focused on realism on this one. There wasn’t an overabundance of having to suspend my disbelief as there has been in previous iterations.

After the movie, we headed straight home. As Summer started to head home, she showed me a piece of her car’s roof trim that had come loose, so I pulled it off to move the retention clips and then hammered the thing back into place with a mallet. Then it occurred to me that I had just fixed her car with a hammer, and that we should probably follow through with a plan before we’re forced to rely on a backup plan.

Once Summer left, I went to my parents’ house for some fish soup with them. We chatted for quite a while before I headed back home to try and get to sleep as quickly as possible. The new superintendent is coming to see the shop tomorrow, and I don’t know whether I’ll meet her or if I’ll be asked to disappear for the afternoon. I suppose I’ll at least brush my hair in case.

Something in the way, mmḿ?

Cheesin Crackas

We got to start an hour late today because of the little ice that remained. I took my cheese, crackers, and salami in to work, but Brody and Zach were the only two that really ate any. Greg tried one, and the girls came and had a couple later, but it wasn’t until the end of the day that they really got popular.

Brody and I went along with Zach and Greg to hang a TV in Dwight’s saferoom. I discovered a photo opportunity with a little trampoline, since we had to hang the TV so high. Greg and Brody just kept playing basketball, but we got the job done.

It was nearly lunch time by the time we got back. We sat around a bit, and then Greg and I decided to chase after Brody to Umami, since it was just the three of us going to lunch for the day. I was surprised at how many people they could pack in there now, but the service was super slow. We didn’t even get our order in for the first half hour. When the food finally arrived, I wasn’t at all impressed with any of the flavors of either the food or the sauces they gave me. I saw Josh walk in and snapped a candid photo to send to the group chat, which turned out to be the highlight of my lunch hour.

When we got back to the shop, Zach had everyone go outside to move some stuff in the graveyard again. We cleaned out the kitchen area and put a bunch of stuff on shelves. As we finished, Brody and Jacob mentioned that they had never seen the murder-basement, so I took them across campus to see that. It was even grosser with all the ice and water.

From then, we didn’t have a whole lot longer until our hour-early quitting time. Ben texted that he was at the arts center helping set up for a church gig, so I went over there and made a cable for them. I thought we’d get more time to visit, but he spent most of his time actually working to get things set up. I spent more time talking to Dustin than anyone else. They did seem to really enjoy the cheese and crackers there, and ate nearly half of what was left.

I went by the shop to see Summer on the way home from there. She was just finishing up and wanted to go to the gym, so I was charged with taking the girls home. They were packed and waiting for her when I arrived, so I didn’t even have a moment to breathe before they started fussing for me to take them home. I got some gas on the way, and then warmed up some old leftover shrimp and salmon to clean out their fridge until Summer got home.

The girls kept busy all night, so Summer and I watched some Modern Family until she was ready for bed. I tried not to stay up too late past that, but still ended up losing a fair amount of time hunting for the perfect phone case/mount/charger combination.

It’ll take just a Moment to find a case with Peak Design for this new phone.