Frederick’s

I was cold and tired again this morning, so climbing out of bed wasn’t easy. The girls made it out of the house early, and it was warm enough outside that I didn’t have to waste any time defrosting to make it to Oakland on time. I made a couple quick stops there, then made my way to the shop.

It was mostly uneventful there. Zach was back, but out doing things most of the day. I saw Greg a couple times, but not for long. Kyle was in and out while Josh stuck around the shop and worked on the Mac stuff some more. I think we’re all a bit annoyed that the person with the most Apple computers hasn’t really done any of the work here.

We went to Sumo’s for lunch, and the tempura chicken lunch box turned out to be more food than I was expecting. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t supposed to get the fried vegetables and the chicken, but it was awesome that I did.

I went back to Oakland for a quick stop after lunch, and then went to the high school at the end of the day to help Brody with something in Jazz’s room. We couldn’t figure anything out there though, so I left for the day and picked Eaddie up from Oakland, then went home.

Summer was worried about a banging sound she heard on the drive home from Conway, so I met her at the shop to investigate. She thinks it’s a part of the rear wheel well, so we don’t think it’s catastrophic yet. It’s still approaching the time to really consider buying a new car though.

When we finished at the shop, Summer went to the house and I went through Freddy’s drive-through for some frozen custard. The line just barely creeped along, but by the time I thought to time the wait for each car to get their stuff, they had sped up to just a couple minutes per car. I wasn’t very impressed with the volume of custard or toppings though, and the chili cheese fries left a lot to be desired.

It was a pretty short evening after we ate. Eaddie has been staying in her room, Summer watched TV in the living room, and I washed a bunch of dishes before getting ready for bed.

Were you ever in tune with the song life was humming?

You’ve Got to Build Bypasses!

We got up early this morning and headed to Cabot, stopping just outside of Conway at a Sonic for breakfast on the road. Summer met up with the managers of that new location to deploy tools and set up anything they could. I left them pretty early to go to Walmart across the street.

I wandered around the store just checking things out at first. Then I circled back through to pick up a few things. I found some Fruity Pebble flavored Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup, a Zelda Game & Watch, and some slap bracelets. When I left there, I stopped by the Goodwill in the adjacent shopping center, but they had absolutely nothing even remotely interesting to me.

Back at the shop, it appeared to be an extremely slow day, and not at all a full day of work worthy of the drive out there. It was lunch time, so we tried to go to Chef Candace, but the doors were locked. We ended up going across the street to Deer Creek Fire & Stone. Our server said it was her first day, but appeared old enough that I didn’t really believe she had never waited a table before. Service was slow, but the food was alright. I was most disappointed that she said the pot pies, which were on the lunch specials menu, “weren’t ready yet.”

After we ate, we went back to the shop and put together a few more things. I helped hang a couple charging banks in the back room, and then helped assemble the desk for the office. When we finished, we headed toward Bryant to pick up my order from Target, but went through the car wash in Benton first.

We walked all around Target, picking up some Christmas clearance before going back to the front to pick up my order. They actually had two of the Tron: Legacy vinyls, and I got both. Then we headed to Little Rock for dinner. Traffic was heavy, but not unmanageable. We were welcomed home at the Star of India, and had an incredible meal. The food came out quickly, but otherwise the service was very slow. A couple of boys circled around the place like buzzards and made sure my water was never more than an inch below the brim. We really could have just split what I ordered, but instead we just left with a bunch of leftovers.

It was straight to bed once we made it home. The girls were still in Clarksville, and Summer was sore from her day. Evidently she’s got to work in Maumelle tomorrow.

You no touch plate!

How the Grinch Stole Chromebooks

I made it through McDonald’s and Casey’s for my freebies again this morning. Then I rolled into work a few minutes early, where we sat around the shop chatting for about an hour. Thomas started to split us into groups to see who could go home at nine, but I wanted to finish swapping Chromebooks at Oakland, so I left.

I was alone in the building most of the time, but as I made my way back to the front of the building, I saw Librado and Brittany coming through with their vacuums. I finished up pretty close to noon, stopped back by the shop to drop off the old Chromebooks, and then went to see Summer at Superfast for a couple minutes.

When I got home, I spent some time picking up and filing old paperwork. Eventually Autumn dropped Eaddie off so we could go practice riding or driving, but all she wanted to do by then was ride her bicycle. I let her take off, and then I spent the rest of the daylight putting together one of the storage cabinets I got the other day.

Eaddie got back as the sun was setting and wanted me to take her to her grandparents’ house for the night. On the way, I mentioned wanting to try The Crackhouse food truck on 4th Street. We stopped in long enough to learn they couldn’t take credit at the time, then ran home for some cash. When we got back, I ordered a variety platter, burger, and shrimp plate.

By then, it was too late for Eaddie to be of much use at her grandparents’ place, so we went home to eat with Summer. The food was really good, but super overpriced. The crab was small and difficult to extract, but the shrimp was great. Eaddie really wanted to stay the night at my house, but we ended up staying put for the night. She and Autumn spent some time together in Autumn’s room while Summer went straight to bed. I was pretty exhausted myself, so I went to bed early too.

Give me a break, give me a break!

Alright, Bud

I woke up feeling pretty sick this morning after last night. I made it through my shower and to work, but it didn’t get better for quite a while, and I never quite made it back to 100%. Thomas was at work, but Zach and Gary were out. The others got together and split up into groups to close old work orders, and I went to Oakland to swap out old Chromebooks.

Brody called and said they were going to Fat Daddy’s downtown for lunch, so I went back to the shop and picked a group of them up. After we ordered, our server told us they were slammed with a short staff, and it showed when it took an hour to get our food. That would have made more sense if the food was actually hotter or fresher. They never cease to disappoint me, this time with a tough, dry tortilla, lukewarm filling, and dry, tough brisket. All of that was $17, and of course the server stands over you while you pay on their handheld device that everyone else has touched, making tipping accurately very awkward. I was out the door for just under 22 bucks, which absolutely disgusted me.

I spent the afternoon with more of the same, not quite finishing what I had started. I should be able to finish tomorrow for our half day though. As I finished, I started a support chat with Google because my Pixel Buds have been giving me trouble with battery life. My right bud constantly dies very early, after only two hours of playback. The battery percentage always reports with some disparity, but the right one has consistently been giving me less than half of the life it should have.

After work, I went home to change and then went to my eye appointment. I nearly fell asleep in the exam room waiting for the new doctor. She was kind, but I don’t think I got great news. It’s odd, because my vision doesn’t seem worse, but she seemed to indicate sub-optimal results. I guess we’ll see in 2023, because I dropped vision insurance for next year.

I went back home and waited for my UPS package, and then went up to Summer’s for the evening. Eaddie and I watched an episode of House while Summer and Autumn watched TV in the living room. Then everyone went to bed pretty early.

Just turn down your muchness.

Fat Patty’s

I had to take Eaddie to school this morning, but I jumped right into my morning routine and finished up about half an hour early, which meant I spent the rest of the time waiting for her to get ready. Miraculously, I managed to drop her off and get to work right on time. My office had a revolving door for most of the morning, but I got a few things done, and cleaned up some more work orders.

The morning went by pretty quickly, and four of us went to Fat Daddy’s downtown for lunch. I’m always opposed to eating at either Fat Daddy’s just because the food is almost always pretty bad for barbecue, but I tried the burger this time, and it was great. It could have used some vegetables, and my jaw hit the floor when our server told us it took 25 minutes to make, but it was one of like three things there that I can actually recommend. I very nearly went with the chicken strips, but the cost of everything was superficially high.

After lunch was pretty quiet. Shane came by with some cookies from Howard, and I ended the day at Oakland again. Eaddie was outside, so I took her home to watch an episode of House before Autumn showed up to take her to their last night at karate.

I tried booking a room for next week so Summer wouldn’t have to drive Eaddie home from the Harry Styles concert, but somehow the date changed on my reservation and I was given false hope for finding an open room anywhere near the arena. Without being able to walk to the hotel, I figure they might as well just drive home instead. Traffic is infuriating after that place unloads. I guess we’ll see what we decide as the date approaches.

It’s like a musical tug-of-war.

K├Âttbullar

We slept in a little this morning without losing much time, thanks to daylight saving time coming to an end. We went downstairs and loaded up on breakfast, and then cleaned up and packed for the return home. We still had a full day planned though, so it was a slow drive across the city to find an Ikea.

I’ve wanted to go to an Ikea for ages, and we never had a chance to stop the last time I saw one in person in St. Louis. There were two to pick from in the Dallas area, so we went to the one up north. Summer thought I was kidding about meatballs, and the look on her face when she saw the sign at the entrance was worth the drive all by itself.

Having never been, we were really impressed with the showrooms as we wandered through the maze. Some of them looked really incredible, and I could really see us building something entirely out of what they had available. As we finished our way through the upstairs showrooms, we entered into the restaurant where even there, you could get a push cart for your trays full of food. Summer got the regular Swedish meatballs, and I tried the salmon meatballs so we could share. Everything was pretty good, and it was a neat break from shopping.

After all of that, we really had to rush through the downstairs area in order to make our movie on time. I wish we could have spent a bit more time there, because there were actually a couple things we wanted to buy, but we ended up grabbing a couple bottles of fruit juice with mulling spices that totally wasn’t real wine, and running out the door.

The drive back to the AMC wasn’t too bad, but parking was a chore. We finally found a parking garage and briskly walked to the theater just in time to get settled in before the show. The theater was incredible, with countless Dolby speakers on practically every surface. As the previews came on, they barely scratched the surface of the experience. The seat shakers felt natural, and brought an additional layer of depth that I loved. I just wished the movie had lent itself more to that kind of theater.

I enjoyed Eternals, though I understood that it wasn’t exactly a blockbuster style action film in the traditional way. I couldn’t see it being rated poorly though. There were some things that probably could have been done better, but overall it had a nice pace for how long it was. It wasn’t like Dune that felt super slow the entire time, and then ended just as things got good.

Once out of the movie, we made the drive home. The GPS took us on our alternate route this time, heading north through Oklahoma. It was a slightly shorter drive by distance, but also shorter in time with the lack of traffic leaving the city. We stopped once for gas and food at a Moe’s inside of a Pilot, where we got surprisingly good service worthy of a tip.

Eaddie was still awake when we got home, but took a shower and went to bed as Summer crashed. I still had my own routine to go through, but then it was off to sleep as well.

Literally hundreds of speakers.

Over and In and Down and Out

I slept in a little bit today before getting ready for our trip. Summer had to work, but thought she might get off earlier than expected. That ended up falling through, so we left around two and headed toward Little Rock. We stopped at the Splash in Benton for a quick car wash, and then we headed practically straight through to our destination.

We stopped in Rockwall, since it was the first In-N-Out Burger we encountered. I’ve wanted to try it for ages, and we finally had a chance to stop in. Summer got a double-double, and I had to go with the triple-triple. Overall I guess it really was comparatively cheap. The biggest surprise was the poster advertising the pay for new hires. I also wasn’t quite sure how masks would be down here, but only like two people we encountered there were wearing them, and neither were employees.

The last bit of the trip was hectic, even for a night drive. We made it through traffic in the dark in unexplored territory, and nobody died. The hotel was relatively easy to find, and the studio room was pretty cute. Summer pretty much crashed as soon as she hit the bed, so I didn’t dawdle before wrapping it up for the day.

Hopefully COVID doesn’t mess with you guys…

Lil Pops

Today was another really chill day at work. Kelsea brought a chocolate cake for Gary’s birthday, along with a 3D-printed topper. I eventually made a “candle” out of a stripped piece of Cat 5e cable with the exposed wiring inside making up the flame. I helped with what I could in the morning, and then most of us went to Sumo for lunch for dinner and a show. It was pretty muted with everyone in masks, but the food was alright.

I spent some time at Oakland in the afternoon, and then came back at the end of the day for some cake. My final act was sending out the CPPC minutes, and then I headed home for the long weekend.

It wasn’t long before Summer reminded me that the girls’ father was having a soft-open at his barbecue joint, so eventually she came by to pick me up for that. The girls were already there, but hadn’t really had dinner since they were waiting on us. He had run out of ribs, so I tried the nachos with some brisket. Unfortunately I couldn’t find much of the brisket under the canned nacho cheese. Eaddie’s bologna sandwich looked pretty good though.

After we ate, the girls headed home. Summer dropped me off, and I spent the night prepping for the trip. It got quite cold inside, and I ultimately settled down and watched Shazam! until bed. I’ve really got to find some quality Atmos content.

Time to find out who really shot J.R.

Mouse Toss

It was a little warmer today, but still cool out. It made for a really great day to be moving stuff around outside, which we did. We ordered several hundreds of computer mice and headphones, and split them up for delivery to every campus. Even Thomas came out to help us toss mice into the trucks, which ended up being super fun. I had some sort of back pain going on all day, but it started before we did any of that, and I never felt much worse throughout the day.

They ended up going to lunch about half an hour early, but I made the mistake of meeting them at Fat Daddy’s in London. I’ve just never ever been impressed with their food there, but for some reason the others like it. The problem today was that they tried to meet Brody at Dwight, but Brody showed up at Crawford on accident. I just waited outside the gas station/restaurant until they showed up, and then ordered a sloppy, overpriced, uninspired plate of nachos.

It was a relatively quiet afternoon, and I didn’t get too deep into much of anything. We put a couple metal shelves together for our storage room. Then near the end of the day, Gary brought me a basket of hotspots he found and asked me to test them. All but one appeared to work normally.

When I left work, I stopped by the shop to find that Summer had already left. From there, I had to wait for a train, then made my way home to set up the storage stuff I had ordered from Kohl’s. Summer and Eaddie came by to Eaddie could try on an old Papa John’s uniform as a Halloween costume. Then they left so Eaddie could go to her boyfriend’s birthday party for the evening.

Eventually the kids made it back to town, and I picked Eaddie up at Zane’s house. Summer was still awake when we got there, but we closed her up in the bedroom while we watched an episode of House before bed.

Beanelephant

A Do Be

Weeks are flying by. I barely remember what I’m doing at work. Tomorrow is Friday already. I spent a little time with Greg trying to help with an Adobe issue he had, but we didn’t get anywhere. Most of us took a break and went to CJ’s for an overpriced lunch and a disappointingly small patty of meat. There’s just no way that’s a third of a pound of meat.

When I got home, I drove myself crazy trying to use lasers and a compass to align my speakers. Compasses don’t work great around enormous magnets.

It’s curtains for me!