Autumn slept in this morning and didn’t shower like she promised, before going to get Eaddie and heading to Clarksville. This shocked nobody, and I was a little upset there wasn’t more screaming involved. It was a nice day without the kids though. I made ham sandwiches for breakfast, and Summer worked on the jigsaw puzzle for most of the day.

Eventually we got out of the house in the rain, and went to Walmart to look for turkeys on sale. They still had whole turkey breasts for a buck a pound, so we picked up five for me to practice smoking. They had enormous Butterball turkeys for 75 cents per pound, but I didn’t really want a turkey that large. We wandered through the rest of the store before making our way out, where I managed to wade through some pretty deep water in the parking lot.

We made another stop at Sally Beauty so Summer could pick up some tools for nail art, and then I got a McRib on the way back to the house. Once there, Summer took off to go to the gym and then I killed more time working on the jigsaw puzzle.

Eventually I made it home to start some laundry and shower. It took me a while to get everything sorted before the Eagles concert, but hopefully I got everything. I finally made my way back up to Summer around midnight, and it was off to bed.

Lot about birds, lately.

Da Boiz

I woke up a bit early today after staying up to late last night. Eaddie was up before I was, and made herself breakfast and started cleaning house. Both of the girls were having their boyfriends over, so they had to get everything cleaned up before then. I tried to clean up some leftovers for breakfast, and then went home to shower before meeting Summer at Walmart.

Summer went to the gym, and then had most of the stuff picked up for chili by the time I found her. Then we made a quick run through the rest of the store before heading up to the house. Gavin showed up in the early afternoon with a flower in a vase. Eaddie had fallen asleep again because her head cold was draining her, but she got up and I eventually took them to the Valley Park Center to wander around.

Adam didn’t show up until after I left to pick up Eaddie and Gavin again. Then they played some Mario Kart and watched TV until it was time for me to take then to Pasta Grill. When I got back, Summer had chili ready for the four of us. Adam was well mannered enough, though he didn’t eat much. Autumn warned us that he was a picky eater, but he let slip that his father took him to CiCi’s before he came over.

After we ate, the four of us played a game of Monopoly. Adam seemed to enjoy it, but was mostly quiet and didn’t seem to fully understand all of the mechanics. We taught him about making monopolies, and coached him through buying houses. I tried to get the game going pretty quickly, so it was a good time until I had to go pick up Eaddie and Gavin again from the train depot.

When we got back to the house, the two couples split up to watch two different TVs. I laid down in bed until Summer came in to find me, and then made me periodically wander through the house to mind the children. Gavin had to be home by 10:30, so Eaddie and I took him home in time for that. We saw lots of deer and a raccoon, but fortunately nothing jumped out in front of us. I had to make Eaddie ride up front with me on the way back, but then she was super talkative for the whole drive home.

We stopped by my house to get the Montego and my neti pot since her head cold had just gotten worse all evening. Right as we turned onto Main Street, we could hear and feel that the car had a flat tire. I pulled over in front of GameStop, and the rear left tire was completely flat. Summer had to come pick us up for the evening, and we’ll have to go back tomorrow to try and air it back up.

Adam was gone again by the time we got home. Autumn was in her room. Eaddie showered and went to bed. I chatted with Summer for a bit, and then it was off to bed for us as well.

Just be a well-rounded, good-intentioned human.

Clever Boy

I thought it was going to be another quiet, uneventful day at the office, but shortly after I dug into some work, Gary called and asked for help with a couple guys from Raptor that were there to test and troubleshoot our alerting system. Evidently among all of the brightest minds there, not one of them thought to “think different” and bring along an Android device.

I headed to the high school and had to sit while they discussed some things before we actually got started. Then we wandered to a couple places, both inside and out, in order to test different scenarios, logging in and out of the app repeatedly until we had enough data points. I don’t think we unearthed anything groundbreaking, but hopefully they were able to take back some good feedback.

We worked into lunch, but then the guys offered to buy lunch. Terry gave them the option of CJ’s or Old South, and we went for the southern comfort food. I should have gotten the chicken fried steak breakfast platter that Albert ordered, because it looked awesome. My fried catfish wasn’t bad, but I was definitely jealous.

When we got back to the high school, Gary sent me off to meet up with Greg in Chrissy’s office. He was having trouble with the Macs over there, but unfortunately I wasn’t much help. We also checked on Daniel’s, which he ended up taking back to the shop. I spent the rest of the afternoon, quietly in my office. I did managed to get a couple things done, and then headed up to get Eaddie for tennis practice after work.

While I waited for Eaddie to finish, I set up an Echo Show, which didn’t really impress me much. I haven’t really liked the Blink Mini camera that came with it either. I don’t think I’ll return them, but I just don’t care for the quality.

Autumn and Summer made dinner back home, which made everyone quite happy. Then I suggested a game of Phase 10 before everyone was ready for bed. I did my best not to stay up too early on account of how behind I’ve been on sleep. Weekends happen too fast and too far apart. I don’t know why I can’t just live on a boat forever.

Or in a robot car…

Gone Finishing

Today was our last day of “summer hours,” and I was so excited to “sleep in” for half an hour to make it in to work by eight. Gary brought Shipley’s donuts instead of our usual, and they tasted very different from our usual. They were good, but I think I like the traditional ones better. I don’t know what they’re doing to their dough, but it just has a different taste and texture, and they’re glazed hot, which seems to melt most of the glaze off.

We sent Kyle to the junior high to finish up the imaging. Tammy was out, so I stayed in the shop to watch the phone that never rang. Gary took Zach and Greg to move some equipment around in a rack first thing, and then I think they spent the rest of the morning at the shop. Greg came back and chatted with me a little bit while I looked at CompTIA Net+ practice tests.

Greg insisted that we were supposed to go home at 11:30, so the other two followed him out. Kyle and I both independently worked until the dictated noon time, but he just left straight from the junior high. Gary ended up coming back with some lunch because he wasn’t sure anyone cleaned up the coffee pot. I had already taken care of it, so I just sat in the breakroom with him while he ate.

I went straight up to Summer’s to pick up Eaddie so we could watch the last episode of Stranger Things. I didn’t realize Autumn would be home, so I relented and invited her along too. Evidently Eaddie told her it was just going to be the two of us, so Autumn pitched a fit before I got there, and then refused to come with us. On the drive home, Eaddie mentioned that Rick really had contacted her for her Social Security number, and said that it was so he could put her in his will. That seemed very sketchy to me, especially as she described him as doing well with his new girlfriend. She seemed to acknowledge that it was weird for him to be so vague about what he was doing, so hopefully nothing comes of that. It’ll still have to be a parent talk soon though.

The season finale was pretty awesome, but I kind of felt like it was longer than it needed to be. Some of the scenes dragged on, and I thought they could have built the story about the main ‘tagonists a bit better. It just felt a little shallow, when otherwise it’s been an excellent show. As soon as we finished, Eaddie rushed me to take her home and wouldn’t even finish the credits because she said Summer told her to clean her room.

We made it back up to their house and Autumn was still lumped in front of the TV watching mindless YouTube videos. Summer eventually made it home, but then took Autumn to the gym while I made her a fresh salad, and fried some cod fillets to make sandwiches for Eaddie and myself. I felt a little bad not having anything explicitly for Autumn, but she didn’t set out any new food, and I cleaned up all of the leftovers in the fridge. She just didn’t want what little was left.

After we ate, Autumn was in a pretty good mood and wanted to play Monopoly, so Summer and I joined her. It was a comparatively fast game, and I went out early to help Autumn secure the win. Then everyone was off to bed.

You sank my battleship!

Who Are You Calling?

I woke up pretty early this morning for how late I went to sleep. We just laid around though, until it was time to get ready for the movie. We’ve had plans to see Ghostbusters: Afterlife for about a week, and I invited my parents along as well. As soon as I was cleaned up, I picked up the girls and met my parents at UEC.

The movie was pretty great, though I could see why others felt like it spent too much time pandering to fans of the originals and not enough time on a new storyline. It’s been a while since I’ve seen either of those, so I couldn’t say how it compared in laughs per minute. We were all quite happy with the movie though, and I’m anxious to see if they do anything more with it in the future.

After the movie, we headed back home to meet up with Noah for dinner. Summer made chili and I grilled hot dogs, and we all had a mix of chili dogs or Frito chili pies. Then we played a long round of UNO FLIP until Noah went home. Finally, Eaddie and I wrapped up the night with two more episodes of House.

Four feet above her covers!

Taco Fury

I woke up to breakfast after sleeping in today. Autumn went in for an “interview” at Tropical Smoothie, and was basically hired on the spot by a friend of her father’s. Summer went to the gym while I went home to clean up for a partially planned day.

We never made it out of town to do anything with the bathroom tile, but I did finally go to the DMV to get the Shadow title transferred. Not only that, but after five years, I got the boat re-registered with its new hull identification number. I lucked out and didn’t have to wait in line at all, and the girl that helped me was super happy to be there.

As soon as I finished, I picked up Summer and we went to Walmart for some materials for taco night at John and Melissa’s. We prepped as much as we could at home first, then carried everything over at 6.

Travis was already there, so I started cooking the taco meat while everyone chatted. I thought the food turned out awesome, but crunchy tacos are pretty addicting for me. I think John and I simultaneously had the idea to use Melissa’s bean dip as a layer between a flour tortilla and the crunchy taco shell. Then all the fixings went inside for a loaded, crunchy treat.

After we finished eating, John got out a card game called Ramen Fury that initially started out pretty confusing, but turned out to be pretty simple after going through the motions of one throw-out game. I think we all enjoyed it well enough to play again.

We didn’t stick around too long after Travis left, and packed up some of the food to take home. Autumn stayed with her grandparents, so Eaddie and I watched some House after Summer went to bed.

No one’s yelled “son of a bitch” yet!

Never Trust the Banker

Summer felt well enough to go to work today, and left me to fetch the girls from their friends’ house. Autumn ended up getting a ride from another Explorers friend to their meeting at Old Post, so I just had to get Eaddie. We stopped by Hardee’s for a little lunch to take to Summer. Then we went to my house so she could ride her bike.

Summer got busy and forgot to get Autumn, so I headed across town. Just as I got there, Autumn called to tell me she passed me in someone else’s truck. I mentally scolded her as I turned around and headed back home. Then I pushed some leaves around in the yard and did a bit of rearranging in the garage while Eaddie spent the entire afternoon at her grandparents’ house. I finally had to call her back home so we could go eat dinner.

We arrived back at the house just before Summer, so it worked out well. Autumn had cleaned the house as she was supposed to. Summer and I ate some leftovers while Eaddie went out to try and mow the lawn. She couldn’t get the mower started though, furthering my hatred for simple combustion engines.

Autumn wanted to play some Monopoly, so Summer and I finished the evening with that. They decided to gang up on me to prevent any possibility of winning, even after overcoming the already incredibly bad odds, so I took matters into my own hands just to see if Summer would notice. Stacks of money later, my allergies got the best of me and I decided it was time for bed.

One for you, and one for me. Two for you, and one, two for me. Three for you, and one, two, three for me. Nyah.

On Time Management

Summer worked again today, which left me on kid duty. We had a fair amount of stuff to get done, but I only knew about a tenth of it before I went home to shower. Sara and Zach invited us over for cards in the evening, so we had to get dinner made so Summer could eat as soon as she got home.

I got a call from someone about my extended leave from work due to COVID while I was in the shower. Summer wanted me to pick up lunch for her, so I couldn’t call back until later. I also had to call the eye clinic to order my contacts so they could put them on this year’s insurance. That was a quick call, and then I grabbed some Burger King for Summer.

As soon as I left there, I had to get Autumn and take her to therapy. On the way out, I got stuck for about 15 minutes by a train before I could get home to make my other call. As soon as that was done, I ran to Walmart to get everything for tonight’s dinner and Christmas.

Of course Walmart was a freaking zoo, and I was stressing pretty hard physically just to get out of there. I kept coughing all over the place, which got me lots of looks from the increasing number of maskless people wandering the aisles. As soon as I could get out, I picked up Autumn and we headed home to cook as quickly as we could.

Autumn wanted to make ratatouille out of some squash and zucchini they got from their friends’ mother. Instead of looking up a recipe that would also use the fresh tomatoes they got, she had me buy a can of tomato paste. She also completely missed the fact that she was supposed to do something with the chicken breasts we thawed out several days ago, so suddenly that was my problem.

Things escalated when she wanted to cut all of the vegetables with a steak knife instead of one of the half dozen chef knives she’s brought home this year. It took her forever to slice anything, and I made an entire chicken casserole and had it in the oven, AND pan fried some leftover chicken that wouldn’t fit in the casserole, all before she even finished slicing her vegetables. I kept giving her instructions that she continued to ignore until I blew up at her and she stormed off to her room.

Once I had all the food at least cooking, we made our apologies. I got some gas while we waited for the food to cook, and then we actually had a really delicious, modified ratatouille with mozzarella instead of mascarpone for dinner. Unfortunately the casserole was too big to have cooked all the way through before we had to go, but it will make a great dinner tomorrow when all the kids are here to open presents.

We got up to Zach and Sara’s place quite a bit later than we wanted, and played a couple games of Unstable Unicorns with them and Gary. Their girls just wandered around harassing the cats most of the night. I know Summer was tired, but Autumn and I at least had a great time, and Eaddie got to eat a bunch of little hot dogs.

As soon as we made it back home, the usual suspects shuffled off to bed. I stayed up until the casserole was cool enough to put in the fridge, and Eaddie came out to watch an episode of Jessica Jones with me. As soon as it was over, it was finally bedtime.

Presentation only matters when time allows, and it turns out you can eat the eggplant skin.

Good Vibrations

I got up this morning and made bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches. It all slowed down quite a bit from there after my tummy got the rumblies. We wanted to get some more cleaning up done around the house, but we ended up just mentally rearranging furniture instead. I do think it helped to visualize an end result though, since we’ll have so much furniture to manage.

Julie called in the afternoon and wanted to chat about our vacation. I think our usual flow of conversation escalation made Summer a little wide-eyed, but it was nothing new for us.

Eventually we went to the Neighborhood Market for something healthy to whip up for dinner. On the way out of the parking lot, Mom and Dad were pulling in and invited us over for curry. We continued on to get the girls from their grandparents’ house, then went on to my parents’ since I wasn’t in the mood to argue with the universe’s obvious plans for us.

We didn’t have to wait very long for my parents to get back, but we dug out Dizzy Dizzy Dinosaur and started a game anyway. When they did get home, dinner was actually ready to dish out, so we didn’t waste any time eating. Afterward, we finished our game where the reluctant-to-play Eaddie ended up winning the game.

I dropped the girls off at home at the end of the evening, then headed back home to go to sleep with the cat. He curled right up next to me, so I didn’t have the heart to put him outside again.

Might as well get the carpet cleaner ready…

The Boys Are Back in Town

For the first time in over a week, I went straight to the high school this morning. My first job was to deliver a box of hotspots they had been screaming about for days. Al said some parent was blowing them up on Facebook about not getting her free internet from the school. I told him to snap back at her that she must have internet if she’s on Facebook. I think he appreciated the irony.

It was overall a pretty relaxing day. I caught up on a few things, but didn’t wear myself out trying to get to everything. I still have plenty of rooms to visit in the near future. Lenovo shipped me three huge boxes of parts, so I ended up taking a late lunch. I just picked up some Burger King to eat at home so I could check on the cat. Autumn was still there, but Summer picked her up before I left for work again.

I went back to the shop in the afternoon just to see some people again. That ended up being an adventure in charging cart deliveries with Ben. Then I wrapped up the day back at the high school.

After work, I went by the house for a little while until Summer got home from work. Then I went up the hill for a dynamite spaghetti dinner that Autumn threw together. Then we played most of a game of Phase 10 before I headed back home.

The cat still seems to be eating pretty steadily, but he’s still really loose. At least he’s enjoying getting outside more, and I’m not going quite as crazy cleaning up after him.

Should I stay or should I go now?