3 Little 2 Late

I woke up early this morning so we could get to Tulsa for lunch. The girls were chittering around the rest of the house, so I stayed hidden away until I was ready to leave the house. They had disappeared in a cloud of body spray by the time I walked through.

I did another software update on my car, which wasn’t long after the last one. This one evidently gave me a 30-day trial of Full Self Driving, which would ironically only get me to the Tesla dealership in Tulsa where I would relinquish my car. I followed Summer most of the way, stopping at Rose Drug, then the Van Buren Supercharger, and finally the Love’s oasis. Somewhere before we hit the turnpike, a truck kicked up a bunch of large pieces of wood. One of them struck the middle of my windshield, but fortunately no damage was done that I could tell. After Love’s, I led us the rest of the way to the dealership where they seemed to be waiting with baited breath for me.

I only had a couple of pages of paperwork to sign, including handing the title back over. Then we unloaded all of the remaining stuff into Summer’s car and left it there to Supercharge while we test drove one of the brand new Model 3s and a Model X. The new Model 3 was incredibly quiet, and had a great ride. The doors were the other big improvement. The turn signals were less of an issue than I expected for normal driving, but in a pinch I would still want stalks to quickly signal and maneuver. The only solace is that the responsiveness of the vehicle makes it nimble and quick enough to maneuver around most other vehicles faster than any signaling might help, in that type of situation. I guess that’s what really matters, and signals can be left for more polite, less urgent driving.

After our test drives, we found a nearby Shoe Carnival to use a birthday credit I had. Then we crossed the street to get a free birthday burger from Red Robin. We were more disappointed than usual with our lack of “bottomless” fries when we sat down, so we ordered a couple more rounds as soon as our server brought our food to the table.

Bellies full, we headed back home with a nearly full charge. Headwinds made us stop to charge for a couple minutes in Ozark, and then we made it home without incident. I went out on the Onewheel to destress and stopped by my parents’ house. I was really sad about selling my car back, but the market price and current upgrades made it the right financial choice. It’s just nuts that I could buy a brand new one and still save money after the whole ordeal.

Once I got back from my ride, I cleaned up Summer’s car and put my aftermarket console trays in for her. All I want now is for her to keep the car clean, but she just doesn’t live that way.

Miss you in the saddest fashion!

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.

Caring for Plants

I was a little scattered and a little off track today. I wanted to make a slide presentation for the teachers on Monday, but I never got around to it. Eaddie wanted to go to the park, so I had her take me to my house while Summer went to the gym. Dad came by to meet Kevin and take Bác Vân’s old mattress to the dump. Mom stopped by at the same time, and then Doug came out to see everyone. I loaded up the bike rack and a couple bikes for Eaddie, which got me super sweaty due to the humidity. It threatened rain, but it never came down.

I eventually had a shower, and then Summer picked me up for lunch. We found Eaddie at Kroger so I could return the bike lock key to her, and then we went to New China. We ran into Sharon there, and she stepped over from their table to talk for a moment. The sentiment about the district seems as shaky as ever.

Summer didn’t feel great after we ate, but we still made time to go by a junk store in the old mall parking lot. I guess they buy pallets of returns and fill a bunch of bins with it, and then sell things for a set price that drops every day of the week until everything finally goes for a buck. It was mostly pilfered junk, but we picked up some Andes mints, a bag of coffee, and the most surprising find of all, a sync module for my Blink camera.

We laid on the couch when we got back to the house, and I played a game on my phone while Summer watched TV. Eventually Eaddie was ready to come home but had to do something with the bikes first, so I met her at my house to put all of that away. Then we came back to the house for the night. I watched Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 with Summer, and then it was off to bed way later than I intended.

Just a little watering routine. Nothing to cry about.


I woke up on my anniversary with Summer, already dreading an evening with John and Melissa. I didn’t realize how emotional the day would become.

Shortly after our morning meeting, I got an email from Thomas saying that he needed to meet with me, and that the meeting was disciplinary in nature. Of course that got my mind reeling, wondering what I could have possibly done. I didn’t know if I had offended someone, or if I just wasn’t keeping myself busy enough. It’s been a slow time of year, but I’ve always offered to help anywhere possible.

I was eaten up with stress for the rest of the day. Gary took Zach, Greg, and me to IHOP where we coincidentally ran into Brody, who was upset that he had suggested IHOP multiple times but we would never go until after he left us.

I went to Dwight right after lunch to return a laptop, but didn’t learn anything there either. I headed back to the shop and eventually went to my meeting in Thomas’s office at 3:30 with Gary, who offered to stand in as a witness, or representation I suppose. I was written up for the parody poem of A Visit from St. Nicholas that I wrote for my CPPC minutes email earlier in the week.

I thought the poem was rather clever, but I have to assume that Ginni took it as an opportunity to twist the words and make it sound like I was speaking ill of the district. Though Thomas wrote the write-up himself, it seemed out of character for him to call me out on something like that so specifically. I have to assume that he was instructed to shut me down by the superintendent, because it’s the only way I can continue working for him for the time being.

My stomach had been in knots all day, so it didn’t even register that everyone left at four. Kyle found me in the office by myself, and then we left for the weekend. I drove by my parents’ house, but Mom was working late. I ended up back at home for a bit before going back across town. Mom was working really late though, and I ended up swinging by Brody’s house to take him for a ride.

We chatted for a bit afterward, and then I finally went to visit with Mom for a bit. We discovered a very small leak under the kitchen sink, so I cleaned up a bit but didn’t actually do anything to fix it. She said she was sleepy after a while, and I went home to trade vehicles and head to Summer’s.

Summer wanted to talk about my day, but I was already completely beaten down by it all. I killed a whole bunch of time and nearly left, but drank myself to bed instead.

What’s wrong with being me?


The Montego didn’t appreciate being started this morning, and the idle bounced around for a bit until I got a “failsafe engine mode” message. I shut it off, gave it a moment, and then started it right back up again without any trouble. I asked Summer if she’d ever encountered that before, and she said sometimes it just happens.

Death trap.

I made it home, but took the Shadow to work again on account of the weather. It was a bit on the cool side, but it didn’t take me long to work up a sweat. I had to walk to the Support Services building a couple times to pick up some old junk, and though the humidity wasn’t reported to be very high, and it wasn’t terribly hot outside, I couldn’t stop sweating.

I had to stop by Transportation for a moment after that, and then I spent the rest of the morning working on things in my office. Lunch time came quickly, and a group of us went to Slim Chickens. Greg had his daughter with him for an appointment in the afternoon, and she was shy at first, but by lunch time she was bouncing all over the place. I had a BOGO deal of questionable value, and took the leftovers back to the shop fridge.

The afternoon was quiet, but I kept pretty busy. I ended the day upstairs with a few new work orders, and then came back to the shop to close up. I had to shoo Tammy out, otherwise she would have kept working late. Autumn had called to ask me to pick up Eaddie because they had a disagreement about who had to do what. Autumn wanted to go mow the lawn at her grandparents’ house, but Eaddie had to finish an assignment for band before she left school. Autumn did a good job of making it sound like Eaddie was the asshole, but of course Eaddie ultimately had other details.

I took my time getting home, wanting to make Eaddie sweat it out a bit since she didn’t pre-arrange for me to pick her up. I stopped for gas at Casey’s, but then changed my mind and went to Shell instead. When I got home, I called Eaddie back and went to pick her up. We stopped back by my house to get some air in the damaged back tire, and then went to Lowe’s to drop off some recycling. As I was walking back to the car, I passed an old guy that had been staring at a riding lawn mower parked behind his trailer since before we pulled in. I stopped to offer a hand, and managed to push it up onto the trailer by myself. He didn’t really have proper straps to tie it down, but I did my best and left the rest to hopes and dreams.

Autumn beat us home with some stuff to bake cookies, but then went out to mow the rest of the back yard. I started grilling some burgers for the girls a little before Summer got home, and then we all ate a mix of a bunch of leftovers. I was astounded by how well the old lettuce and tomato had kept from the last time we grilled burgers, but it all turned out pretty good. I had a slight overflow issue with the deep fryer, but that cleaned up alright.

After we ate, we sat the girls down to talk about how both of them were both right and wrong, and pleaded with them to work on their communication with one another. Then everyone went to bed while I waited up to finish Autumn’s laundry. When I put Summer to bed, she said John invited her to Thanksgiving, but evidently I had done something last year that offended him enough that I wasn’t allowed.

I’m never particularly afraid to offend anyone, but I certainly never go anywhere with that intent. I know I can get into belligerent moods where I say things off the cuff, and then dig in even if things go awry. I don’t think it was really fair to Summer to put her in that predicament, but I’m glad for her that someone chose to be her friend. We both know a lot of people, but I don’t think either of us really have that many that we can call “friends.” I always think that I do, but then when it comes down to it, it’s really just whoever I’m working with most frequently at the time. I try not to feel too sorry for myself because I believe that to be common among humanity. They always joked that if Summer and I broke up, they would keep her over me. I’ll have to apologize, because I never meant to put anyone in a situation that might make them feel the way that any of us feel now. It’s just a sucky situation because of the way that I chose to be.

It always plays better in my head.

Convenience Over Results

Summer made eggs and sausage for breakfast this morning, and then the girls got ready for a long weekend with their father. I showered there before sitting down with the kids to reiterate my role, and the fact that parental decisions would be shared between Summer and myself. I could tell that Autumn had just been playing nice to get permission to drive to Lamar on her own, but Summer wanted a break from shuttling her around everywhere.

Before they left, I went home while Summer went to the gym. I tried setting up an old GPS tracker that I had purchased years ago, but the battery appeared to be completely toast. We met back up at their house to see the girls off, and then we spent the rest of the day laying around.

We watched the original Top Gun, which did not impress me much, in case we wanted to go to the theater to see the new one. Then we went to Colton’s for a steak dinner. By the time we finished there, Summer decided she’d had enough fun for one day and we went back home where we burned the rest of the evening. She watched TV while I laid around not feeling great, and eventually we went to sleep.

So noisy, and nothing’s getting done.

The Parent Trap

Today was our first day of our three week “summer hours” nonsense, and it turned out worse than it had any right to be. I actually went to bed super early, so I didn’t have much trouble getting out of bed. It was cool outside for the drive in, but I knew it was going to heat up to an uncomfortable high on the bike. I kind of assumed I would be left alone again, but instead I was sent with a group to the high school. We had to possibly relocate some network lines to move the student computers in the library, and then remove the old journalism computers from the lab. Beyond that, we had to start inventory at that building, and there’s no mistaking how I felt about that.

Kyle and I rode with Brody, and I convinced them to work on inventory while I did all the network and computer pulling by myself. We ran into Al on his last day there, and I chatted with him for a minute before we started. From that point, the morning actually went really well by myself. Lunch time was an about-face.

Brody and Kyle were slow coming up to the office, and Kyle didn’t want La Chiquita, so I took the opportunity to skip as well while Brody caught up with the others. Instead, I ate an apple and chatted with Tammy at the shop until people started showing back up. Gary was the only one to ever come back, and it took me a while to find anyone else. I had to go back to the high school anyway, so I could unload the old computers from the cart I borrowed.

I finally found Brody, Jacob, and Kyle trying to pull a bunch of network lines to the old journalism room, and I caught them just as they discovered that three of their eight boxes of cable were not long enough for the run. The excuse was that they checked the length of available cable in the boxes, but not the actual length of the physical run. Frustration mounted as we finished that run, and then tried to wrangle up more boxes of cable to make another run. In the end, we decided to wait for a new delivery of cable, and I sent everyone to work on inventory for the rest of the day.

I went back to the shop and just announced very loudly outside the offices of the holy trinity that I needed a safe space where the republicans couldn’t get to me. Thomas jokingly called out to me, and I took his leave to cry exasperatedly at him about my experience with the crew. Zach came around the corner and joined in on the conversation, and we set forth a plan to grow from the experience. I spent the rest of the day hooking up a new-to-me desktop in place of my frustrating laptop.

Summer said Autumn was cooking dinner, so I went home to change before heading up. I was already emotional from the day, on top of being ignored as a parental figure yesterday, so I fell apart once I got there. I took Summer aside to talk to her, and found no comfort. I finally came out to the dinner table and started the uncomfortable conversation about whether I improved any of their lives. I knew what Autumn’s answer would be, but as usual she fell silent when confronted. Eaddie wasn’t any comfort either, but at least backed me up when I called them out for bad vibes. It took a couple of hours of talking, but we finally dug deep enough to find the root of some of the issues, and hopefully the growing and learning will continue with some action.

Obvious Protip: Don’t vent to the children.

Fauxther’s Day

I woke up early in the bright bedroom this morning, and didn’t allow myself to go back to sleep. Instead, I sat on the couch with the cat for a while, until I figured it would be a good time to wake Summer up. She got ready for her hike, and I made a hamburger. I was really wishy washy on whether I wanted to go to Petit Jean as well. Noah showed up, and I decided I didn’t really want to go if I wasn’t going to add anything to their day.

They went to get the girls from Hannah’s house while I went home, but then I decided I would ride the Shadow up the mountain with them, rather than sulk in the house all alone all day. I met them all at Casey’s to fill up, and we made our way to the mountain. Our first stop was the bear caves, and they climbed around on the rock formations while I puttered around on the ground.

Next up was the Cedar Falls overlook for some pictures. Autumn said she wanted to hike all the way down to the falls, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to, and Summer decided she didn’t want to either. Our last stop was the overlook and grave site. They sat on the bluff while I stayed out of the sun. Then the kids wandered around one of the old buildings there before we headed home.

I went straight to my house to get beach towels, and then met them at my parents’ house to swim. Dad had just started the grill when we got there, and threw on some ribs while we swam. Then I started the chicken wings, along with a kielbasa, and some hot dogs for Autumn. We fought the flies to eat outside, but Mom and Julie ate inside.

After a long day, the girls took Noah back to the house and I headed home. Tomorrow starts our three weeks of a modified work schedule that nobody seems to be able to justify. I guess some idiot in a tower just thought it would be a good idea.

to me?


I was surprised that I woke up at 7:30 this morning after going to sleep around three. I walked around a bit, but then went back to bed for a couple more hours before getting up and taking a shower. When I finished, I got Eaddie up and we ended up watching the last episode of Stranger Things from the beginning. Summer left work early, so we headed up to their house after our episode was done, and cleaned up some leftovers for lunch or an early dinner.

Hannah wanted someone to dog and housesit for a night, so Summer took both girls across town to do that. When she got back, she spent the entire night in front of one of the TVs. I burned an old frozen peach pie in the microwave, and then made another mostly edible one in the toaster oven. Then we wound down for an early bedtime.

Running up that hill with no problems.

and Friends

I hardly slept last night. It was hot and humid all day. There were a couple projects going on, but Gary just had me take care of some work orders that had come to him over his long weekend. It was just more time rubbing shoulders with people I don’t normally see, which was fine by me. There wasn’t actually anything difficult, so though it was an active day, it was still really relaxed. I did learn that two of our Mac users were basically only using Apple computers because that’s what they were given, but that they prefer Windows. It is absolutely Jeff’s doing, and I can’t stand it when people make ignorant and irresponsible decisions like that.

I didn’t take a lunch, and had half a Soylent instead. It was just as well, because near the end of the hour, we had a truck with four pallets of Chromebooks arrive. Luckily I had easy access to the forklift, and though Chris said it wasn’t running well, I didn’t have any trouble with it. Once the guys got back from lunch, Zach pulled the truck around and I loaded them up for delivery to the middle school. That meant I had to babysit the second pair of pallets until they came back for them, but Thomas came back from lunch and kept me company.

The afternoon was more of the same until it was time to go. I was hungry by then, so I went home to change, dropped a package off at Walgreens and picked up a Nitro Pepsi, and headed up to Summer’s. The nitrogenated vanilla Pepsi was smooth and creamy, but felt more flat than anything else. I don’t think I’d recommend it. Since it didn’t have any spike to it, I had the can down by the time I made it up the hill.

Noah was there, and watching Stranger Things with Eaddie. I offered to warm up some dinner for them, but they didn’t want any. I made myself a barbecue sandwich and ate, then sat down to watch TV with them. Eaddie asked me at least half a dozen times if I was staying, and then specifically said she didn’t want me to, so I went home, cleaned some algae out of my nano aquarium, watched the episode they started without me, and then went to bed after a Duo call with Summer.

and Godzooooky.