Raya and the Blackest Dragon

Everyone slept super late today. I got up first, and started making breakfast croissants. We had some leftover ham we had frozen a while back, and I fried up slices of that with some eggs and cheese. They were really awesome with the “everything” croissants. It was pretty yucky out all day, but Summer went to the gym and I cleaned up the kitchen before running outside to run the sump and then taking a shower.

We really didn’t do anything after that until dinner time. Eaddie had a bunch of dreams about food last night, so I took that inspiration and made some pizza on toast with leftover pizza dipping sauce, slices of mozzarella, and some hard salami that Summer was letting go bad slowly in the refrigerator. Eaddie and I tried melting some old chocolate to dip strawberries, but that didn’t work well. At least we ate the chocolate and got it out of the cabinet. I was still hungry, so I had some leftover turkey soup.

Summer and I watched Raya an the Last Dragon, and I found Awkwafina’s voice to be completely out of place and offputting for the story. It made the whole movie feel less authentic, and took a lot of weight out of the theme for me. It just felt cheap.

Eaddie didn’t even bother watching with us, and went to her room. Summer quickly went to bed after it was over, and I ended the night by paying some bills.

What is culture, anyway?

Knives Out, and Beaks Bloody

Evidently Eaddie finally pulled an all-nighter to get her sleep schedule back in order. I didn’t realize that when she came out of her room in the morning, it was before she actually got any sleep. I had a coffee and started running more cleaning cycles on the washing machine since I still couldn’t get the pulsator out. Summer got Eaddie back up so she could go to another escape room with some friends, and we decided to try the new Old South for dinner when she got back.

More than anything, I missed the old Dixie Cafe. Old South is fine. The food is fine. The new location seems way better, and they’ve been busy, but the food was average at best. We had a minimal amount of service from our waitress, and all of my food was cold. I’ve got to remember never to get their prime rib, and to stick with chicken fried something with gravy. At least the girls liked their food alright.

Afterward, we went by the old house and I loaded up three boxes full of DVDs to bring home. We didn’t end up watching any of them, and instead we streamed Knives Out. I really enjoyed it, and the sequel is out on Netflix, so maybe I can convince the girls to watch it tomorrow.

Think of a community theatre production of a tax return.

Big Brutus

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

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

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

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

Et tu

It’s Electric

The workday went by in a flash. We had a few people in and out of the office, but I mostly kept my head down and read a bunch of Microsoft documentation. Eventually I’ll have to turn that learning into practice, but for now I’m enjoying the peace.

I went straight home after work and unboxed my Onewheel to get it charging before we went to Conway for Eaddie’s concert at UCA. It was a really small crowd in a fairly small auditorium. They didn’t turn the house lights down at all, so everyone just sat there in the bright light the entire time. The music was great though, and the clinician seemed really cool. It was over and done with in no time.

Eaddie rode the bus home since they had already eaten, so Summer and I drove across town to try LongHorn Steakhouse. Their online reservation system said it may be a 45-55 minute wait, but we were queued for about an hour before they called us in. We just sat in the car until then. They were crowded inside, and the hostess that sat us was really awkward. The service was fine, and the food was decent, though a little bland. It would have been a fine meal for no wait, but I couldn’t imagine why anyone would wait more than ten minutes for a table.

We made it back home and I rode the Onewheel around the house for just a couple minutes before everyone went to bed. I was up a while longer just because I kept getting distracted. Hopefully we can get the sink fixed tomorrow.


Less Than Marvelous

Ben texted that he was too late to meet for breakfast, and I noticed a couple of cars parked outside the Old Mill Bread Bakery & Cafe, so I swung in there to eat instead. The guy was just opening up, and had to leave to take his son to school, so he just left me with another customer in the store. Then Ben called after he realized the sessions didn’t start until 8:30, and met up with me just in time for the guy to make it back. I had a breakfast burrito and a scone with some coffee, but in hindsight I probably should have gotten something on BREAD instead of a premade spinach wrap. The food was good either way, and then we headed to the conference.

I went to a session about budgeting and finance, which I thought would be helpful to start the conversation with my business office and admin team. Hopefully I can come up with a decent proposal, and then use Technology money for a better salary. After that session, I went to Ben’s talk about Burp Suite, which was interesting. I was in a room with a very small number of very smart folk, but I wasn’t sure I had an immediate use for it.

The final session was the closing ceremony. Charlie was in Ben’s session, and he let me have his room key to get into the garage and charge. Then Ben and I sat through the closing remarks and went to the lobby for our bagged lunches. They didn’t have very many left, so we were lucky to get anything to eat at all. I figured he might stick around for a little bit to chat, but he actually ended up sticking around the entire time I was waiting for my movie. We chatted about all kinds of stuff, and then he helped me fix my eSchool student photos, which was awesome.

That left me just enough time to get across town to the IMAX to watch The Marvels. I had a reward for a free hot dog, purchased an ICEE, and sat down in my usual seat. There were only a few people there for the IMAX 3D showing on opening weekend, which I thought would be a good thing just for myself, but for some reason the bunch of old folks just kept talking through the entire movie. It would have been way more distracting if I had been more invested in the movie. I just couldn’t take it seriously at all. It was fine, but it was far from great. The dialog and plot just made it feel like another forced girl team-up movie.

After the show, I finally headed home. I stopped at the old house to check on things and air up my tires. Then I washed my car and headed to the house. Everyone was awake, but nobody heard me come in. Eaddie had left the Murano unlocked, so I made her go out and lock it up. Then I realized she left the back door unlocked, as well as the front door after she went out to lock the car. I don’t know how to correct these habits other than to make her life really annoying by making her go back outside repeatedly in the cold. Summer only got out of bed to use the bathroom while I unpacked and got things put away. I got my acrylic chair mat in, so I cleaned it and set it up under my desk. For one day, it seems like it will hold up alright, but only time will tell.

No appointing here.

Surrounded by Giants

I got out of the hotel this morning and went to a place called Big Bad Breakfast to eat. They had pretty good reviews, but I didn’t really expect it to be quite so “upscale.” I sat at the bar, turned down a mimosa, and had a Creole omelet with some fresh-squeezed, ruby red grapefruit instead. The juice was a bit more bitter than I expected, but the omelet was delicious. The andouille sausage and shrimp were unusual for breakfast, but great.

After breakfast, I headed to the Embassy and got checked into the conference by Darrel himself. Just after I got through, I caught Gary and Ryan coming in. Then Derrick snuck up behind me and said my name, and I chatted with him for just a moment. He was only there by happenstance, and wasn’t even aware of the conference.

I eventually made my way back to the classroom where we got things started. Brody showed up late, but he didn’t seem terribly interested in most of what they had to say anyway. I really don’t have a clue what he does in Clarksville, but I wish I had his job at that salary. The unbelievable luck of that kid is astounding to me.

Lunch at the hotel was pretty good, but awkwardly placed. They had different stuff for tacos, but it was arranged in a poor order for assembling, so I ended up with a huge plate of mush that I just sort of mixed together and ate with cold, crumbly tortillas.

I thought our session was great, and got a ton of useful information out of it even though we ended a bit early. I even joked that we had paid for the full session, and asked for a refund for the unused time. I caught up with Gary out in the lobby while he was waiting for Ryan, and ended up spending the rest of the evening with them.

We went up to Gary’s room for a little bit and chatted some more there while Brody went to the gym. Then we met him at Genghis Grill for dinner, but he was late to that too. The food was pretty good, but I had forgotten just how expensive that place was. When we got back to the hotel, I used Gary’s key card to get into the garage to charge. Then we hung out in the atrium where they had a band cranked up way too loud for being in the middle of an open area in a hotel with rooms facing inward. We could barely hear ourselves think, much less hear each other without absolutely screaming at each other. We could have easily cut the volume in half and been better off.

I was the last one out, and played on my phone in the car for a little while until I finished charging. Then it was back to the hotel to wind down and sleep before a day of cybersecurity.

No fair.


I was exhausted this morning, but I made it to work early again. Eaddie ended up sleeping in and going to school around lunch time, and I was so mad and jealous at the same time. I had to dig into my VMware issues some more, but still didn’t have a fix. It looks like I’ll have to learn some more command line stuff to really fix it. It was a long day, but thankfully my coffee got me through it.

Afterward, I went straight home to charge for a while. I ended up just figuring dinner on my own because Summer made chicken salads, and I was tired of salad after eating one every day at school. I took the Shadow out, and it was a cool night for my first ride in months. I felt bad that I hadn’t taken the bikes out earlier, but I just haven’t had a good opportunity for it in a long time.

I tried going to Taco Bell at first, and it looked like they had remodeled and duplicated the Chick-fil-A method of multiple drive-through lines. Those were packed, but I wanted to dine inside anyway. When I went into the restaurant, there were about a dozen other people standing around waiting for food, and I didn’t see a single person eating anything. I decided to dip pretty quickly, and ended up going to McDonald’s for an equally poor experience. Employees were yelling at each other across the restaurant, my fries weren’t very fresh, and my Quarter Pounder wasn’t made correctly at all. The lady behind me was traveling through, and went Super-Karen because she wasn’t happy with how her food was made either. She kept muttering to herself, and I realized pretty quickly I was in CrazyTown.

I took the bike back home after I ate, and took the Model 3 for a wash before going to the new house. Summer was helping Eaddie study for tests, so I took care of my own chores and made it to bed roughly on time.

It’s the state of the civilization for me.

Let’s Review

I was a shut-in at work again today, stuck in my seat, trying to figure out why I couldn’t adopt our gateway router. Out of nowhere, I got a call from someone at the Department of Information Systems about a support ticket they still had open from January. He indicated our link protocol was still dropping, and wanted to know if we noticed anything. I shared how broken things have been, and welcomed the help.

I also got a call from Jay, the Executive Sales Director at TCW, regarding the review I left them last night. He apologized and offered to refund the money, and even offered a free month of service if I wanted to give them a shot. I felt much better after that conversation, and after hearing that they could offer synchronous gigabit service for the same price I got from Optimum, I’ll really consider switching. Being a smaller company, I think their terms were just a little half-baked, but Jay indicated that I’d be welcome to talk to the engineering team, and that they could work with me on just about anything I needed.

After work, I went home to charge for just a little bit before going to the new house. I took the housewarming gift to The UPS Store for return, stopped at Wendy’s for a quick bite, and then got to work on carpets again. All total, I’ve finished about two thirds of the master bedroom, so I should be able to completely finish it tomorrow, in time to move some furniture this weekend. I’m less worried about the living room since we don’t know what furniture we’re moving in yet, plus we still have ceiling drywall work to be done.

I eventually made it up to Summer’s, just before Eaddie did. She came and sat with me for a bit when she got home, and shared some fight videos from school. I know they had a pretty rough class coming up, so I guess they’re here now.


Deal with the Internet Devil

I had a really hard time getting started this morning. I was sleeping heavily, and had no energy at all. Kim was out, so I spent all day locked up in my office again. It was nice and quiet, I had some good coffee, and I spent nearly the entire day trying to re-adopt the USG-Pro-4 into our network. I was not successful, but to be fair the documentation was absolutely nonexistent.

Paul from TCW called to sell me some internet service. When I talked to him before, he said it would be ready last week. Today he scheduled an install for two weeks later. I didn’t love the idea of a two year contract, especially after all of the buyer’s remorse I’ve had with the new house, so I agreed to pay $10 per month to stay out of a contract. I figured $65 per month for 500 megabits was worth it just to leave Optimum, but then things got weird.

He collected a $50 deposit that would go toward my first bill. Then I got a contract by email that they wanted me to e-sign. The contract had a link to their terms of service, which outlined a whole bunch of things that I like to do that were prohibited. They also offloaded all liability for their own equipment onto the customers, and even threatened to cancel service without notice if you promote a competing internet provider. I decided not to sign the contract, and instead called to haggle with Optimum. They gave me gigabit service for $70 per month and a $200 gift card for signing up. In retrospect, that’s their normal pricing for new customers, so I wish I had haggled harder.

The Optimum service would also be set up before the end of the week, which was nice. I called TCW back and was transferred right back to Paul, which made me appreciate them as a small company. However, after a friendly conversation to cancel my installation appointment, he told me that the deposit couldn’t be refunded. No service had been rendered, and in fact, I called to cancel just 45 minutes after he had called me to solicit their service. He refused to budge, so I’ll just have to dispute the charge as soon as it clears my Discover Card.

I didn’t take a break for lunch, and then left a little bit late. I made it home to change, and then immediately took off to my parents’ house for a quick dinner before going to the new house to clean carpets. Eaddie showed up with a couple of friends and some boxes from the old house, but then acted like she was embarrassed to live in a no-shoe household. Nearly all of the houses I ever visited growing up didn’t allow shoes past the front door, so I don’t know what her issue was. These girls act like they were raised by wolves.

Once I finished shampooing the carpet in the final closet, I stripped caulk from around the tub. There was quite a lot of it under the seam in some areas, so hopefully pulling that all out won’t mess with anything. I’ll just have to re-apply it with a heavy hand.

The girls were pretty well settled in by the time I got to the old house. Summer had a few more things boxed up and ready to go, and everyone was ready for bed. I wrote a pretty scathing review of TCW, and then headed for bed myself, later than I wanted, as usual.

What kind of shady crap is this? And who still uses Usenet, anyway?

Like Cici’s, but Good

We got up a little bit early this morning and I took a shower so we could take a trip to Greenbrier and Conway. We stopped in Conway for Summer’s backpack first, and then she had to do inventory at the Greenbrier lube. Eaddie and I helped count things so we could finish faster. Then I entered most of it into the computer until I started having trouble deciphering Summer’s notations. Once we finished that, we headed back to Conway and went to Larry’s Pizza, which was incredible. I thought it was reasonably priced, and they had a great variety. The “pizza parade” where they walked fresh pies around the restaurant was really neat, but if you missed that, I think whatever was left would go to the bar.

After eating too much of some really great pizza, we went to Target. Eaddie tried on some swim suits, but we didn’t end up buying anything. I ran into Danielle and her parents, and she fussed about the school district and having her department gutted. I had to kind of giggle inside a little bit because I think most people thought they were overstaffed and overpaid anyway.

Next we hit up TJ Maxx and Kohl’s, but still didn’t buy anything. Summer’s car was struggling to run the air conditioner, so I had to send another service message to get an update. I hate that there’s no way to guarantee a mobile service appointment, and they’re slow to switch it from a local appointment. It’s also never clear if we have to drop the car off for multiple days, or if we can wait in the lobby, since it’s such a long drive.

By the time we finished shopping, it was time to run across town for our movie. We originally wanted to watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, but the fact that it was no longer in XD upset me. We decided to watch Blue Beetle instead, which didn’t really impress us much until the final act. It was alright, but it just wasn’t great. At least the graphics weren’t as bad as The Flash.

We made it back home and Noah came over to visit for a while. The new house had been delisted on Zillow, and for some reason some old pictures from the previous owner started showing up, so we got to see it with some different furniture in it. The kids left to go eat, Summer went to bed, and I wrapped up reasonably quickly.

You should know by now.