The Old Man and the Pleas

I got up this morning and forced myself into the day. With my school board hearing approaching at a dreadnought’s pace, I had to formalize my thoughts into something I could actually present. I had some coffee and finalized some plans for our weekend trip first, since that happens first. Just as I was nearing time to head home, Allen texted and invited me out to lunch.

I met him at New China, and we spent the hour catching up. He said he lost his aunt that raised him, but he was more interested in what I’d been up to lately. I filled him in on the craziness, and he wished me well. I somehow managed to make it out of there without a bellyache, and he insisted on paying for my meal. I gave him a quick ride around town in the Model 3, and then I headed toward home.

John, the electrician, hit me up for some money again. I tried to withdraw it from an ATM, but I guess the amount was too high. It didn’t tell me why, but it declined the transaction and spat out my card. I headed home instead, to clean up for the day. Then I went to a location with humans to get his cash. He eventually showed up to my house, and I clarified what I wanted done. He seemed insistent on doing something completely different, but hopefully I got my message across about what I’d really like done. I’ll probably have to clean out the corner and precut some holes to make absolutely certain, but I gave him a little over half the cost of the job, and he was on his way.

I spent the rest of the afternoon recompiling what I wanted to present to the school board. It didn’t look as pretty as I had hoped, but maybe most of the text should be saved for myself anyway. I can always have a couple copies of that on hand, while giving out mass copies of my supporting documents for closer inspection. I’ll have several hours of uninterrupted time with Summer in the car tomorrow, so that will be my chance to really fine-tune everything.

It started to storm after nightfall, so I rushed to pack and then visited Dad before heading up to Summer’s for the evening. It got late fast, and I tried to pack too much into my evening. In the end, I made it to bed by midnight after a nightcap to calm the nerves. I’ll set an alarm for the first time in a month, and it’ll be one foot in front of the other for the foreseeable future.

Boldly going forward ’cause we can’t find reverse.

I got up when everyone left this morning, and made myself some fried rice out of some leftover egg yolks from a cake that Summer baked. Then I went home and got showered before my Tesla service appointment. Jacob came over a little before 11, and we kind of laughed at the fact that they sent him out for basically nothing since they denied any fault in my autopilot complaints. After that, we stood around talking about motorcycles for a while. He made a comment about the Grom, and it turned out he knew Chase from the group of guys that gets together to stunt ride.

Dad came over just as we were finishing up, and we went next door to work on Bác Vân’s patio door. We kept fighting getting it out from the inside when we should have just started from the outside. The fixed glass door was actually way easier to remove, so even though we had to lift more things, it was way less trouble than going out the wrong direction. The rollers didn’t seem to be in awful shape, but they were a part of a bracket that ran the width of the door.

We went to Lowe’s first to try and find some replacement rollers, but they didn’t have any. We saw Manuel on the way out, and he tried to help even in plain clothes, but he didn’t think they had the whole bracket, so we headed to Leonard’s. They had just the wheels, but they bolted on and we weren’t sure that would work with the bracket we had. In the end, we knew we were missing a screw to lower the rollers on one side, so Dad picked up a replacement and we headed back. I spotted Allen on his old Kawasaki on the way back, and it looked like he was enjoying the ride.

The replacement screw ended up not fitting, but after going through a couple drawers and several cookie tins of random screws, we actually found the original! I just had a feeling about it, and luck was on our side. We got the door back together and it was marginally better, but then the locking mechanism kept falling down. We went back to Leonard’s and picked up a new one, but then we had to Dremel the opening a bit in order for the latch to fit.

The project snowballed on us quite a bit, and we could still fix it better, but that was enough for one day. We put everything back together, Bác Vân forced some money on me, and some shrimp and rice on Dad. Then he went home and I waited for Summer to come get the paperwork to request a new title for the Pathfinder.

Autumn dropped Eaddie off to go ride her bike, and then Summer got her paperwork for the DMV. I waited around, exhausted, for Eaddie to finish, and then I took her home. It wasn’t long after that she wanted to go to the mall to do homework with some friends. I dropped her off, and then remembered I left my valve stem caps off for my appointment. I ran home to get them, and then headed back up to Summer’s.

Julie called me about another Entergy job I asked her about, and we ended up talking for quite a while, even as I had to pick Eaddie back up. It seems that no matter what happens next, it won’t happen fast. I’m fortunate to have savings, but we had plans for all that money I was making. Hopefully my hearing next week will keep that flowing at least for a little longer.

There’s gotta be a better way. I just haven’t started looking for it yet.

We Have a Date

Eaddie woke me up from a pretty deep slumber this morning, and I hopped right up to get her to school just in time. Summer was at work, and Autumn left super early because of an Ed Rising competition out of town. I made it home after dropping Eaddie off, and it was a cold, slow start to the morning for me until I got an email from Judy with only a single date and time for my hearing.

After that, I went outside to try and reset the Pathfinder’s anti-theft system, but after pulling the battery and jumping through hoops with the ignition, I finally called a locksmith that told me it was most likely a bad computer that would just have to be replaced. That, of course, means either finding another old one to swap myself, or taking it to the dealership since it would involve reprogramming the keys anyway. That whole car just hardly seems worth the trouble, but hopefully airing it out today will at least help with the smell.

Later in the afternoon, Bác Vân called and asked me to come oil her back door because she was having trouble opening it. I felt bad for Doug, because she kept griping about him not fixing it, but apart from replacing the rollers, there wasn’t much else we could do. I guess that can be a project for tomorrow.

I thought I might accomplish a bit more than that today, but my mind just kept spinning in circles. I need a way to reboot myself, but I just don’t know what I need and at this point it feels impossible. At least I have a date for my board hearing, so that should help destress me. Maybe.

Eaddie got a ride home from a friend after her band buddies program. Once Summer got home, I headed up and grabbed some tacos along the way. Then I spent all evening trying to plan a couple days in Kansas City again. This is all just so much happening at once, and I’m done having it all on the back of my mind.

At least I’ve got rewards.

Can I Speak to Your Manager?

I got up this morning and made breakfast burritos. Autumn didn’t want one, so I had two. They were pretty great. Summer had to work, and the girls wanted to go out shopping. I went home for a bit, and then had the girls take me to Superfast so I could get the Pathfinder. I took it to Splash to vacuum out the inside, and then ran it through the car wash. It took hours to get the thing clean, and it still smelled awful. I thought it smelled like cats, but Summer said it was just mold or mildew from holding so much water for so many years.

Eventually I made it home, but was caught in limbo waiting to hear something back from Mark. I really wanted to send my request for a hearing yesterday, but that turned into this morning, which turned into “before 4:30,” which turned into “freakin whenever.” I eventually got it sent, and this was the easy part.

I headed back to Splash to catch Summer on her way out. She had to close shop late, and then we headed up to her house. The girls came out for a little bit while Summer ate some leftovers and I picked at some summer sausage. Summer got ready for bed, and then I got a message from Ernie, who wanted to chat on the phone. I called and talked to him for a little while, and he kept wanting to get together sometime. While I’d enjoy hanging out for a bit, the kilt club drama sounded a whole lot like the furry club drama I had just read about. I guess that’ll teach me to hang around Facebook.

I’m shipping up to Boston, whoa!

Mark My Words

Summer took Eaddie to school today, so I laid around for a little longer this morning. Eventually I got up and had some tacos for brunch before prepping a corned beef in the slow cooker for dinner. Then I went home to try and gather my thoughts for a bit before getting some last-minute help. I felt like I had everything pretty well organized, but I should have reached out for help sooner.

The afternoon was there soon, and the girls headed home with Autumn’s boyfriend in tow. Eaddie went to her room for most of the time, which meant I had to keep an eye on Autumn and Adam so I could call them out later.

Finally I was able to meet up with Mark at their new building, and I gained what perhaps what shouldn’t have been such a surprising level of insight. He definitely looked at things from a different angle, but I wasn’t too far off with some of the things I had considered. I found myself wishing I had involved him sooner, though I still felt like when the time comes, I’ll screw something up. My best-case-scenario is just a moving target, and it stresses me out.

When we finished talking, I headed up to Summer’s where she had just gotten home to an empty house. All the kids went to the movies, and ended up watching Shazam! Fury of the Gods. Summer and I ate our traditional corned beef, and then I got to work assembling my documentation into its final form. The girls eventually made it home and I talked to Eaddie a little bit. Autum talked to Summer while she settled into bed, and eventually everyone went to sleep.

Hey, I’m the victim here!

I Liked the Original Better Than the SQL

I woke up late today, but then immediately threw my leg into a charley horse. Once I worked it out, I realized the girls had already left for school, apparently with Autumn at the helm. I messaged Summer to check, and sure enough, Autumn had called for permission while I was asleep. In reality I have no idea how hard she tried to wake me, but usually Eaddie can just whisper my name and I hop out of bed. I did have a pretty sleepless night though.

I got around to a bean burrito, and then poked at some job listings. I found a couple to apply for, and even got a response from one with a test to complete. I decided to wait until I got home to start that, since they said it would take about an hour.

It rained most of the day, but I got home in a short clear period. Summer was at a ribbon cutting at the new Greenbrier wash. I didn’t consider doing a whole lot beyond looking at jobs. I started the test after I had a shower, but I wasn’t expecting it to be so heavy with coding. The job description mentioned SQL experience, but the test actually asked me to write some code, so I gave up at the last few questions.

Autumn made it home, and Summer picked Eaddie up from robotics. They went out to dinner to catch up, and I went to my parents’ house for some fish soup. They weren’t really expecting me, but the soup didn’t take long to reheat. After I ate, Mom asked about work and I explained the predicament I’ll have to fight. She seemed eager for me to dig in as well, so it seems my path is set.

I eventually made it up to Summer’s for the evening, and Eaddie and I watched an episode of Breaking Bad while Summer did her nails. Then everyone was off to bed.

DELETE FROM Prospective_Jobs WHERE CompanyName=’MagView’;


I dropped the girls off this morning and went home to relax since it was raining outside. I ought to spend some time cleaning up indoors, but it’s still cold, and difficult to motivate myself in the early morning. It’s either too cold, or too hot though. At some point, I’ve just got to get stuff done. I ended up not feeling great in the later part of the morning, and ended up taking a long bath after applying for a random remote SCCM administrator job that I found online.

I made it to the high school just in time to be out of the road, in line to pick up Eaddie. Then we made it across town to get Autumn since she spent the entire day “teaching” at Dwight. Aaron saw me and came out to say hi, but the conversation didn’t go any further than just that. Autumn wanted to go to her grandparents’ house, but she said they weren’t going to be home, so I just took them to the house after we dropped off Autumn’s overdue book at the county library.

Summer met us at the house and had to talk to Eaddie for a bit before we could head to Conway for her work meeting. We ended up getting into town a bit late because of it, but we still had time to get dinner at Golden Corral first so I could use my free birthday meal.

After we ate, I took her to Splash for a team meeting. Before they got started, I let Jason take the Model 3 around the block. Then I drove a few blocks away to charge outside the Holiday Inn Express. The chargers outside the Comfort Inn appeared to all be powered off, but the Holiday Inn looked a bit nicer anyway. I managed to get about 10% in the hour I sat there.

Once Summer was done, I picked her up and we ran back across town to Old Navy and Kohl’s to spend some rewards money I had saved up. I didn’t even get anything for myself, which was only slightly aggravating because Summer didn’t want to go in the first place.

We made it home after that, with a couple more instances of abandoned manual lane changes in Autopilot. Once everyone went to bed, I filled out a big support ticket for the Enhanced Autopilot frustrations, as well as the troubles I’ve seen with the visuals and sensors, or lack thereof. Then it was off to sleep.

Dream big, and never have the money.

Apply Yourself

I dropped the girls off at school again this morning, and then went straight home to work in the yard again. I was by myself this time, which was fine. It was a little cooler, since I started earlier in the morning. Unfortunately I still had trouble getting a good fire going, but I burned up a bunch more leaves and trampled some of the crispier plant stalks that were left standing. I may be able to mow some of it down tomorrow.

Once the fires burned out, I came inside to take a shower. Then I went by Taco John’s and took a late lunch to Summer at the wash. Autumn had been texting us both to try and come up with an alternative to getting back into a car with me, but when the time came, she got over it. I dropped her off at the wash, and then went to Walgreens to drop off the floormats that I needed to return.

Eaddie had a band buddies meet after school, so she got a ride there and then to Dairy Queen, where the FBLA kids were hosting a fund raiser. Desha spotted me, and then Dustin came around and got to hear my exciting story. Otherwise, the Diary Queen experience was pretty awful. The poor teen that was running the place was stressing over a downed computer system. Then the food was all cold and overcooked.

When we finally finished there, I went home to swap cars. Mom and Dad popped in for a moment since they were next door, but then I headed up to Summer’s for the evening. I finished filling out an application for what would essentially be my dad’s old job. Brody texted to basically tell me he was keeping a seat warm for me at Clarksville. If I have to go through the pains of learning a new job, I at least want a raise out of it.

I probably don’t have 43 more years in me though.


We dropped Autumn off at Dwight again today, but then went to my house to swap cars before dropping Eaddie off. She had made a comment yesterday about not getting dropped off in the Tesla, so I figured, “why not?”

I tried not to get too comfortable once I got home. I’ve spent too long wallowing and getting distracted. I got to work building a timeline of my career with the school, and felt pretty good about what I had. It may be false confidence. It usually is.

Bác Vân and Doug were outside all day working in the yard, and I wanted to go out to help, but I was afraid of getting too distracted. Instead, I only left the house to get some tacos for a late lunch. Then I got to work translating my résumé from the old Word file. I was worried about how it would look in Google Docs, but they improved the DOCX conversion, and I was able to copy and paste in large chunks instead of having to hand-type everything again. The hardest part by far was making the last, intentionally blank page, though that seemed counterintuitive.

Autumn had asked in the morning to go to the junior high concert after school. I confirmed with Eaddie that she actually wanted to go, but then Autumn wanted me to shuttle her boyfriend around afterward. I just knew she only wanted to go for that reason, so I shut it down. It was such a surprise when she decided she’d rather just go home after basketball practice instead of sticking around. I took her to Taco John’s for a cheap dinner, where Patrick came around the counter to chat for a bit when she went to the restroom. Then we made it back to my house just in time for Summer to pick her up and head home.

I waited the rest of the evening until Eaddie was ready to be picked up from the concert, and then we headed up the hill as well. I warmed up some leftovers for her while she chatted in bed with Summer. Then I had to change some settings on her iPhone to get MMS messages to work. Evidently the phone remembered that the Fi app was installed with my account, and wouldn’t associate with her data. With that, everyone was off to bed, leaving me to dawdle online. It may be time to do something about the attention deficit.

Never quit never quitting.

Shitty Universe

I only slept from about three in the morning until about seven, because Autumn was talking loudly to Summer right outside the bedroom door. I felt incapable of sleeping by the time everyone left for school and work, so I got up and eventually made myself a burrito. I looked for some jobs and chatted with several people. Travis was the only person from work to text me, since we didn’t have each others’ phone numbers already, and it was really nice to hear from him.

I would have liked to be more productive, but I just felt sleepy and groggy all day long. I was definitely too hazy to do anything too cognitive, and my emotions cycled through confidence, frustration, anger, depression, anxiety, and doubt. As the clock ticked on, I finally made it home to shower before having to get the girls from school.

It seemed clear outside, so I took the car for a wash before going to pick up Eaddie at hour-early dismissal. She responded that she had stuff to do for robotics while Autumn was at basketball practice. That nearly messed up Summer’s plan to start teacher conferences as soon as the doors opened.

I ended up getting Summer from Superfast, and then coming right back to the high school to try for conferences. As we pulled through the parking lot, I saw Travis and Sarah walking into the building, so I circled the lot and we happened to see Eaddie. I wasn’t in the mood to fight the stars and their twisted plot, so we took Eaddie to a friend’s house to work on their National History Day project. Then we went to Staples to get her a flip chart before going back to the high school to get Autumn from basketball.

We went back to get Eaddie and took the girls home, and then went to Las Palmas for dinner before going to conferences much later than we originally planned. Those went well, and I shared my news with lots of old coworkers, to a surprising variety of responses. The kids are lined up, but I’ve got more work to do tomorrow. I took Summer back to the Murano at Superfast, went home to trade vehicles myself, and then made it up to their house for the night. I thought I’d crash earlier than I did, but at that point I wouldn’t turn my nose up at going to sleep “on time.”

Collect the facts.