Ready for Takeoff

I got up early today so we could go hiking on Petit Jean with Tom, Angela, Brandan, and Nikolle. They brought Cutie along as well, and she really enjoyed running around outside. I thought Eaddie was going as well, but she stayed home and slept instead. Summer and I met the others at the Cedar Falls Overlook. That was barely a walk at all, and then we went to the lodge for a restroom break before going to the Bear Cave Trail. That was more climbing than walking, but I think they had fun. Our last stop was the gravesite, and I let Tom drive the Model 3. We weren’t there long before we had to get back to town because Uncle Rick’s family made it into the airport.

I raced home with Summer and had Eaddie load the Model Y for us so we could do a quick swap and go. We loaded up some food and went to get some ice, and met everyone at the airport. Julie rented a big room there where everyone could sit and eat, but everyone eventually spread out across the whole building and outside, particularly while Kevin was giving airplane rides.

I finally got to go flying with him, and it was exactly what I had imagined. I’ve always wanted to fly, but never put any effort into it. The regulations and formalities just sort of made it less fun, which was sort of the same way I felt about ham radio. We flew along the river toward Petit Jean, which was way faster than driving earlier that morning. We scared some birds, skated on some water, and got eye-level with a buddy of his that had flown to a sandbar for a night of camping. I got to fly while we climbed for a while, and then he took over for a couple maneuvers before we landed.

I was the last one in the air, so I got to see the beautiful sunset. The girls had left earlier because Summer was feeling sick and Eaddie wanted to go to the movies with some friends, so they didn’t get to see any of it. I also got brave enough to try out Kevin’s Onewheel, and did way better than I expected. I tripped up trying to get off a couple times, but didn’t fall until I had already ridden around with a little bit of speed. When I did finally fall, I think it was because I was trying to start out on a slightly sloped surface.

Dad finished up the night at the airport with a short magic show, and then everyone helped us load up to go home. Julie and Kevin locked up at the airport, and my parents and I waited for everyone else to make it back to their house to pack some food for their trip home. Then once they left, Dad took me home.

Summer was in bed, and Eaddie and Eli were at the house watching TV, so I showed them a clip from my flight before going to the office to research Onewheels and EUCs. It was tempting to order one at Black Friday prices, but I don’t guess I’d really have much occasion to ride one. It really was fun, though.

The Need for Speed!


I slept reasonably well through the night, so I was surprised at how tired I was when I woke up this morning. I had another annoying shower, fighting with the hot water again. Then it was a McChicken Biscuit kind of morning for the drive to work. It was a bit of a struggle getting Kim to focus, which was especially bad since Denice was in the office for most of the day. Summer sent me a picture of the back of her car where someone must have hit it with something and gouged the paint a bit. She tried to look through the dashcam footage, but couldn’t find anything.

I spent my entire day working on VMware again, and with Gary’s help, I got my log files cleaned up, and everything was working again. I learned quite a bit, but there’s still so much more. They had a pep rally in the afternoon, and then school let out for a three-day weekend that I really needed.

After work, I ran straight to the new house to get my Pixel 8 Pro and Pixel Watch 2. I spent most of the evening setting them up, until the girls got home and I went out to find some food. I went to the Neighborhood Market to see if they had anything interesting in the deli. They did not. Then I went to Kroger and ended up getting some brats to grill.

Summer was asleep by the time I got back, so I ate by myself, tinkered for a while longer, and then finally went to bed late.

Every day, there’s something new.

Smudge, Rattle, and Scroll

I got a message back from Shaun early this morning about the rattle in my car and the smudge in front of the camera that kept triggering my wipers in the dark. That made me feel a lot better after having such an ordeal getting them to fix my windshield in the first place.

It was relatively quiet at work, but I actually had a student come in with a broken screen and payment for the damage fee. That got me in a rush to create a new tracking sheet for damage and repairs, which took most of the day.

They had some pretty decent fajitas for lunch, and then I went to the elementary at the very end of the day to fill up a cart that was missing some chargers and Chromebooks. I left as soon as I finished there so I could get to Fast Glass to meet up with Shaun. We took a trip around the block and discovered the rattle was coming from the headliner, so I babysat his dog Annie while he took the headliner down a bit and taped the rattling cable up. Afterward, he pulled the camera assembly down and discovered a smudge of some kind of residue in front of the cameras.

The rattle was resolved for the ride home, but I wouldn’t be able to test the erroneous wipers until it was completely dark outside. I spent the evening just hanging out at home so my car could charge, resetting the breaker multiple times, and taking a break to pick up some tacos for dinner.

When I finally made it up to Summer’s, she was helping Eaddie study for a test over some historical lawsuits, which fell to rote memorization. I dawdled a bit until they went to sleep, and then I followed along after.

That’s a big payment.

The Center of the Target

I finally got a call this morning from Will, who wanted to work on the trusses at the new house. I missed that while I was in the shower, so I called him back on the way to pick up Dad, and then we ran by the house to get a code to let them in. Then Dad and I headed toward Tulsa, stopping at the Workman’s Travel Center in Ozark for a charge and some breakfast. He had already eaten a little bit, so I just got some junk food from the glass case. From there, we stopped at Casey’s in Van Buren for a bit more juice to get all the way to the first of five Targets in the Tulsa area

They were clearing out some of the Ember mugs, and I wanted to pick up another for use at home since I enjoy mine at work so much. They were out of the travel mug and the rose gold color that was discounted the most, but I did pick up a white one for $75. We didn’t stick around though, and stopped at another Target on the north side of town. They didn’t have anything I wanted, so our next stop was downtown to try Coney Island dogs and tamales. They weren’t bad, but there wasn’t anything special about them. Sonic does it just fine for me.

After we ate, we walked a couple blocks to visit The Center of the Universe, which was sort of an art installation, if you could call it that, where sounds echo off of some round planters and make your voice sound weird when you stand in the middle of the circle.

We continued on from there to another Target with a Supercharger. It was a bit of a walk with no success, and then we found our way to the Oklahoma Aquarium. It was neat as always, and we actually got to see them feed some of the animals. We even touched some surprisingly dense jellyfish.

We fought traffic for two more Targets, and then ended up at Tesla to pick up the Model Y. They did a slightly better job on the paint than the Kansas City Service Center did on delivery day, but by the time we made it to Tulsa twice, I think I stopped caring. We loaded up the two old wheels and headed straight home, stopping in Van Buren and then powering straight home.

I wanted to check out the work on the house since nobody was there to watch. I guess structurally it may be better, but it looks awful and one of the ceiling fans is completely cocked to the side now. We have no choice but to pay some drywall people to come and make it right. I took Dad home, went in briefly to see Mom, and then headed to my house to charge up a bit before going to Summer’s.

Eaddie got home just before I got there, but then everyone was in bed. I stayed up pretty late without purpose. At least I can keep my coffee hot now.

Where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain.

S Drive

I let Eaddie take the Model 3 to school today so I could take the Model S. It was just a little bit rainy in the morning, but I wouldn’t have noticed from my desk anyway. I spent most of the day chatting back and forth with the Tesla Service Center about the Model Y. They had the repair done, but did an unauthorized replacement of the right side trim that River Valley Tinting and Glass scratched, so I was able to talk them out of charging us for it. They also tried to touch up some paint issues for us, which would have frustrated me otherwise on account of our constant battle to get things repaired. Overall, without seeing the repairs, I was quite happy with the results.

My “big win” at work was basically just assembling a huge Monoprice order, and then getting a discount on some headphones from CDW. I found some tiny Type-C headphone adapters that would go on the end of some super cheap, $2 headphones. Overall, we ended up only spending about $10 per headset, compared to $15-20 as expected.

I made the mistake of going to a classroom on the way out of work, and ran into an apparent workaholic teacher who had ALL OF THE QUESTIONS. I ended up leaving about an hour late, so by the time I got home to change, picked up tacos, and made it to the new house, the fact that I needed some other supplies from home really solidified my feeling that it was too late to get started.

Instead of starting carpets super late, I stopped by my parents’ house for some hose washers, and then by Julie’s house to get an old laptop she wanted to return. She and Kevin came out to check out the Model S, and Julie took it squeaking around the block.

I finally made it home to gather what I needed for the new house, and then made it up to Summer’s in time to catch her starting to fall asleep. I didn’t stay up too late since I had questionable-quality sleep last night in my own strange, hot home with a rattly fan and a splashy aquarium.

This is seriously the most embarrassing cool car ever.

The Loaner

I woke up extra early today and made it home for a quick shower before picking up Dad in the rain. We headed west and stopped in Van Buren to charge before making it the rest of the way to the Tesla Service Center in Tulsa. I didn’t even consider it, but evidently I had the car set to avoid tolls, so we took the long way there and still made it in plenty of time.

We started to drop off the Model Y, but they said it would probably be a multi-day repair anyway, so we could do our test rides first. Dad drove the Model X first and took it around some neighborhoods, getting proper lost in the process. We made it back and I took it for a quick spin, and also got to try Full Self Driving, which was pretty cool. I thought it did a great job, but it wasn’t without faults. When we got back, they let us take a Model S, which I really enjoyed, although I think between them, I’d almost rather have an X and a 3 just because of the size difference. The S would be fun if I needed it for the longer range, but the 3 is sportier and handles a bit better overall just because it isn’t like driving a boat.

Once we got the test rides out of the way, we picked up a loaner vehicle. He brought out an older Model 3 at first, but then took it back when he couldn’t get the screen to work. Then he brought out a Model S, which got me excited. It wasn’t until we got in it that I realized how much of a hunk of junk it was. The wheel wells squeaked, and there were random things wrong everywhere, like a cracked windshield, missing driver vanity mirror, a passenger vanity mirror that was taped in place, and more. Not only that, but there was no way to charge my phone, so I just had to hope it would last the day.

From there, we went to the Tulsa Air and Space Museum. Dad enjoyed it, but I found it to be really heavy with the reading, with relatively few exhibits. What they did have were mostly cockpits and engine cutaways. We spent a while covering the floor though, and then went outside to walk through a full size jetliner they had outside. Dad almost tripped and fell down the stairs, but luckily I had my footing and was right behind him with an inertial advantage. I propped him right back up and we continued into the plane.

It wasn’t until we were done that we thought to check the planetarium times. We had to kill nearly an hour before the next show, so we wandered through the gift shop and then back through some simulations we had skipped earlier. Once we got to the planetarium, I wasn’t super impressed with the show. It was probably the weakest one I’ve seen in my memory. The animations weren’t as great, and the first half was just a guy giving a lecture.

We were pretty hungry by the time we left, so we made it into downtown Tulsa to a place called Sisserou’s Caribbean Restaurant & Catering. The food was pretty good, but I expected the flavors to be a little more pronounced with some more heat. We did get some habanero sauce with the bread and butter, which was weird. It was pretty good sauce, but I don’t even know what it would compliment. I did not think it paired well with the crumbly bread, though.

After we ate, we headed right back toward home. We stopped to charge in Van Buren again, and we had trouble getting the charger door open. Luckily I got it unstuck with my finger, so we weren’t stuck without a vehicle. We charged enough to make it to Ozark where we stopped to charge some more. It seemed to be going a bit slower than I expected, so rather than fill up on Tesla’s dime like I wanted, we continued on home.

We visited with Mom for a bit, and then I started towards Summer’s for the night. Along the way, I saw Kyler’s car outside the restaurant and stopped at Ridgewood. Then Grant came out and invited me in for a “family tray” of leftover barbecue from the night. Nobody wanted anything else from it, so they let me have it all. Then they were going to throw out a whole tray of baked beans that they let me take home as well.

Once I got to the house, things were quiet. Summer wound down quickly, and Eaddie made it home from her football game around midnight. She made first chair in a wind ensemble at Tech, so she shared some music with me before bed.

What a piece of junk!

Inverted Coffee

My alarm went off in the middle of a very deep sleep this morning, so I had a really rough time getting going, until nearly lunch time. I had to make coffee twice because I spilled the first one all over the carpet. Then we had a presenter for a cookie dough fundraiser, so we had to go “work the projector” for him. Just before that, Blake came into the office to tell me I was, in fact, having to move into the front office with Kim. It’s just as well, since I can never hear her through the wall anyway. The rest of my career there will probably end up being pretty passive-aggressive.

Summer took her car to Fast Glass again, and just as before, I got a call that they didn’t have the right windshield. At least this time they didn’t rip out the old one, so I called Progressive/Safelite to confirm that I could take the car to the dealership, and then messaged Tesla to see if they would be able to add it to my service. As luck would have it, they actually did have one in stock.

I felt kind of crummy near the end of the day, but made it back to town in time to catch Shaun at Fast Glass to confirm he would get it parked outside their shop before he left for the night. Evidently he had to start disassembly before he could tell they had the wrong glass. He was working with someone else at the time, so I went to see Summer at Superfast before going home to change. Once her car was moved out, I headed back over to move some things to my car, and then went to my parents’ house for some shrimp soup.

After I ate, I headed straight up to Summer’s for the night. Summer was doing work things most of the night, and Eaddie was having trouble with her new piercings she got on her birthday. I spent some time on my résumé, and went to bed way later than I wanted after Summer got off the phone.

This is a normal and appropriate level of anger.

I Can See Clearly Now the Crack Is Gone

I made it to work early today, but forgot my keys at home, so I was more or less tethered to Kim all day. I had to prod a couple of vendors for some quotes they’ve been sitting on for over a week, and still didn’t get responses by the end of the day as promised. We did reach over 70% deployment with Chromebooks, so that was alright. I also fired off what I thought was a pretty slick email denying someone’s request to move some technology.

Otherwise there wasn’t a whole lot to the day. It was busy, but went by much slower than yesterday. I also had to call Fast Glass for an update on my windshield, and was told the glass “just arrived fifteen minutes ago” but they hadn’t confirmed its fit yet. I ran straight to the shop after work and found Shaun working on it, so we would at least get it back at the end of the day. It was a good thing too, because I called Progressive and they would do absolutely nothing to resolve the awful claim experience.

I ran by Superfast to check on Summer, went home to change, and then made it back to get her so we could pick up my car. She went home and I stuck around chatting with Shaun for a while before heading back home to do some laundry.

I picked up some tacos for dinner while I laundered, and then my phone started going off with messages about more school superintendent shenanigans. Evidently Hope had quit, and hung a bunch of dirty laundry out to dry. I messaged her as I fell down that rabbit hole again, and offered to throw any of my fuel on that fire.

Finally I made it up to Summer’s for the evening. She had been asleep for a while. Eaddie pulled into the driveway right after me, having been at school late for band. She stayed up and did homework while I fought their ant problem, and eventually made it to bed.

Moving Day Aproaches


I had to give myself until seven this morning, but then I got out of bed to meet up with the family before people started leaving. Eaddie said she really wanted to go again, and convinced Noah to go as well, so Summer woke them up on her way out to work, and then the three of us headed straight to my parents’ house. I forgot to swap vehicles for the Model 3 so I could give Uncle Mai a ride, so as soon as we got there, we had to head back to my house to get it.

We didn’t head back right away, and instead stopped by the airport where Kevin had taken Dan for a flight, and Dad was watching Julie practice some patterns. When I mentioned Kevin’s name to Noah, he asked if it was red-headed, big-bearded Kevin. Evidently Noah’s father had known Kevin for several years. When we found them by the hangar, Dan was already back on the ground. Kevin brought out his Onewheel and let Noah and Dan try riding it around. We didn’t stick around long enough to see Julie take her first solo flight because Mom also sent us to pick up bread and bananas for everyone back home.

We stopped by Kroger and then headed back to the house. I gave Uncle Mai a ride up and around the mountain without even a moment of silence, and then set him up to try his magic trick on the kids. We socialized for a while longer while Mom continued prepping things in the kitchen. Dan eventually showed back up for a little while, but they ended up having to leave in a hurry as their flight time kept changing around.

After a while, I took Eaddie and Noah back home to shower and rest, since they had barely gotten any sleep. As I headed home, Lelan texted to ask if I wanted any flowers from the funeral. I headed straight to Humphrey to meet her, but then Randall called to see if I knew of a key to let them in to deliver some food to Doug. I just told them to meet us at the funeral home so I could take it to him.

I was the first to arrive, followed by Randall and Danielle. Lelan showed up as we were moving cars around to the back of the building, and then they divvied up all of the plants. I had one in every seat of the car, so I dropped them off at my parents’ house before going home to shower. I figured the kids fell asleep after that, because I didn’t hear from them for a while.

I ended up going back to my parents’ house where Lelan, Randall, and Danielle had all eventually met up. It looked like they were taking turns rolling egg rolls. After a little while, I took Randall and Danielle on a ride in the Model 3. Dad called while we were out and had us stop at Kroger to pick up some more lettuce. Then I let Randall drive us back to the house.

I was there for the rest of the evening to chat. Steven showed up after work, but Lelan had gotten on the phone with Bobby. I decided to take him for a ride as well, but since Summer had just showed up for some dinner, we took the Model Y for a little extra leg room. Of course once we got back, we had to do the comparison ride with the Model 3. Lelan wanted a ride as soon as we got back, and I think she decided she wanted one.

Lelan and Steven loaded up to leave, and shortly thereafter I loaded up the rest of the flowers to take up to Summer’s. I got there and unloaded, but then had to run the Model 3 home for the night. When I got back, she was in bed and the kids were gone, having been bowling, and then out to the Dover Lights for Eaddie’s 16th birthday. I was pretty tired from all the heat and sweat, so I tried to get to sleep at a reasonable hour.

What a miserable place to live.

Elec Man

I took Eaddie to school this morning and made it home to have a bowl of cereal before the electrician showed up. John and two of his henchmen showed up and got right to work, running some conduit up the side of the house and into the attic. I was a little worried about how it might all turn out, but overall I was quite pleased. I did have to climb into the attic once to pass along some tape, but outside of that, we didn’t spot any termite damage, and the Wall Connector powered right up. Dad showed up near the end to check things out, and once the guys were done, he wanted to take me to the airport to see the plane that he and Julie just bought.

I let him drive the Model 3, and we made it about halfway there before he realized he had forgotten the trash bag he needed to clean out the plane. We finally made it to the airport though, and drove past a really fancy jet to get to the hanger.

We stopped in to talk to the guy in the hanger next door, and he came around to chat with us some more while we cleaned just a little bit of trash out of the plane. I got Julie to come out, but she wasn’t in any condition to socialize. As she ran us off, she introduced us to her new boyfriend, Kevin, who would be joining us for Mom’s birthday dinner.

I got back home and put the garage back together, possibly better than it was before. By then I was pretty hungry, so I ran to Taco John’s for a snack and went by Superfast to visit with Summer. She was busy though, and put me to work filling her washer fluid drums. After that I went home and showered so we could go to Pasta Grill for dinner.

Summer had to work right up to dinner time, so I met her at Superfast and she drove us to the restaurant. Julie and Kevin were already there, and of course Mom and Dad were several minutes late. It was a fair time visiting, and most of the food was okay. I ordered the Grill Pasta, which was incredibly heavy. I was disappointed in the portion size, and then it was so saucy that it felt like eating forks of butter. I ended up taking well over half of it home.

When the girls got home from hanging out with their friends, Autumn came into the bedroom to tell us all of Eaddie’s drama, which had me rolling my eyes. Summer called Eaddie into the room so she could tell us herself, and we talked for a little bit. Then after Eaddie cooled off in her room for a while and I watched some TV with Summer, Eaddie came out to the kitchen table and chatted with me for quite a while longer. She felt good about how she responded to her classmates, and laughed at how accurately I described her friendships.

Now if only I could be as successful.