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.

Ring Bell for Service

I got up a few minutes early this morning so I could swing by McDonald’s for Mariah’s daily deal. At this point, I’m not even surprised at what I’ll do for random free swag. Unfortunately, the McChicken Biscuit and cinnamon roll were both pretty terrible. The Egg McMuffins and McGriddles are about the only halfway decent breakfast foods there. I stopped by Casey’s for a free water on the way home as well.

Work was quiet again, on account of the impending break. It feels like everything has slowed down, and I’ve been having trouble staying motivated. I just dawdled on a Chromebook issue for most of the morning, and then a group of us went to Taco Bell for lunch.

The drive-through line was out to the road, but there was only one person inside the restaurant. There didn’t appear to be anyone to take orders, so the guys lined up at the kiosks to order. I placed my order in the app on my phone, but it wasn’t until everyone else had received their food that I realized my order went to the wrong restaurant. I tried to cancel it and re-order, but when I tapped to cancel, it said my order was being made. I never even saw anything about checking in, so I don’t know how that happened, but I had to drive across town to get my food. Fortunately we took two vehicles, so Greg took everyone else back to the shop.

When I got to the other Taco Bell, someone else had taken my food off the counter, so I had to ask them to remake it. Then I sat alone and ate my food, basically hating everything for it. It really took me back in time. When I finished, I went back to the shop for a bit before ending the day at Oakland.

I didn’t stay home for long though, since the girls were actually home early. I went to Lowe’s to pick up a graham cracker house that I ordered a few days ago and kept forgetting. Then I went up to Summer’s and ate a little bit of leftovers. Everyone else went off to bed pretty early, so I watched the Amazon Video special on William Shatner going to space with Blue Origin. Then I killed time until bed.

Will security please report to Section 3? Security to Section 3, please?