Journal Entry

Okay, that’s another long week without updates. The sad fact is, I’ve gotten to a point where I don’t really do much on computers at home. I’ll play a video game if I’ve got hours to burn up, and I update our finances regularly, but I don’t really do a very good job of doing the daily sort of chores on my computer at home. I do that stuff in between work projects at work.

I don’t think I’m admitting anything particularly damning there. I have a pretty gappy sort of a job, where how busy I am, at any given time, is entirely dependent on breaks in the engineers’ meeting schedules. If I’ve done my work (and I’m a remarkably fast worker, when it’s just a bunch of work for me to do on my own), and everyone I’m supposed to be working with is in meetings, then I’m looking at free time, no matter how packed my schedule is.

Anyway, sometime in July I got into the (good) habit of posting regularly in evenings, following my daily walks (another short-lived good habit, but more on that later), and in the process I stopped doing my blog posts while I was at work. Probably a good thing, because a blog post is a little more dedicated personal time than, say, paying an electric bill, but if I did it daily the blog posts didn’t take that long.

(Oh, yeah, I’m stuck in a nothing-to-do-until-I hear-back-from-any-one-of-four-different-engineers gap right now, that’ll probably carry right through to the end of the day. So here I am.)

Anyway, I haven’t been writing much at home, and what I said about not doing chores on my home PC compounds depending how much of a chunk of home time I’ve got at once. Weekends, I barely do anything (not even the finances). Holiday weekends, less still. So you lost me for five days straight after my last blog post. Of couse, I can only blame laziness for the two days since that.

But here’s my roundup:

Thursday, August 30th
Work, as predicted, was awful. But I also predicted having a pretty good weekend following that, and that came through as well. In fact, in spite of the somber tone of my justifyin’ and excuse makin’ up above, I’ve had a really great time since last I posted.

Thursday night was the final preseason game for the Cowboys, and it was against the Vikings. I don’t think I explained last week why that was a big deal, but B– is a big Vikings fan, and the Vikings also picked up Adrian Peterson (amazing OU running back) to start for their team this season, so all of us were really looking forward to the game. We even convinced B– and E– to come watch it with us.

So, after work, T– and I packed up the baby, hit Wal-Mart for me to get some Cowboys gear (can you believe I didn’t have any? I got my first ever jersey) and then we headed over to K– and N–‘s place. B– and E– and D– all showed up a little while later, so we had quite the party going on. Vikings put in Adrian Peterson for the first play, he ran for, I dunno, six yards, and then they took him out for the rest of the game. Cowboys had their third string in from the start. That was kinda lame. But the group was fun, and we all had a good time.

T– took the baby home relatively early, as they were both pretty tired, and the B– and E– followed a little while after that. D– had agreed to drive me home, so we stayed through the end of the game. There was some talk of going to watch Transformers (mixed in with making fun of K– for having to work on Friday), but then D– and I left and just went driving. We talked about hitting a bar, but it was midnight on a Thursday. Everywhere was closed. We talked some, drove around for a couple hours testing out the new car, and then I finally got home around two in the morning. I crashed.

Friday, August 31st
Friday morning I mowed, after two weeks without it. It was quite the ordeal. I didn’t bother doing it the smart way, either. I just kept cramming the mower into too high grass, letting it die, and then backing up and starting it up again. Rinse and repeat, for over an hour. That was no fun.

I spent some of the afternoon playing video games, then some of the evening watching TV with T–. Most of that time I was on her laptop, because I decided to finally update the ID3 information on all our mp3s. We have a lot of music, and almost all of it has either no meta information, or completely wrong information. I never much cared about that, but it was really undermining a lot of the usefulness of her iPod, and I hated to see that opportunity wasted, so I decided to put in the hours to get everything up to date. I ended up working on that all weekend.

A little after 10:00 that night, Mom and Dad got in. At that point, I pretty much expected them to just crash, but we sat up talking until easily midnight, maybe later.

Saturday, September 1st
I was planning to wake up pretty late on Saturday, but didn’t really make it. I got up a little after 8:00. I blame the waffles.

Mom and T– went shopping, looking for ideas for new furnitures for Mom’s redecoration. Dad and I stayed home with AB, talked some, and I showed him the new version of Heroes of Might and Magic (well, new to us — it’s over two years old at this point, so antique). Then the girls got back, and D– showed up, and it was the men’s job to go buy groceries and liquor for lunch. S– called to say she was coming over early, so we waited for J– and took him along.

Wal-Mart gave us all the groceries we needed. We were standing in line, unloading a cart full of groceries (mostly soda), when D– noticed that the only meat in the basket was a bunch of chicken breasts. He insisted that it was wrong to say we were “having a barbecue” if we were only cooking chicken. He was horrified at that, so he talked Dad into grabbing a package of brats. Whatever.

Then the liquor store. Now, for some of us (mostly me), the idea of us having to “buy groceries and liquor for lunch” is completely normal, but in case it sounded weird to you, I should point out that we were trying out a recipe for Friday’s Jack Daniel’s dipping sauce. So, y’know, that was where that came in. I did end up having a Jack and Coke while I was grilling, but that’s no great sin. It was after noon, anyway.

The dipping sauce turned out great, as did all the food. B– and E– came for that, too, and K– and N–, and we had my parents and my sister’s whole family, so it was a full house. Everyone had a good time, though. Around 4:00 Mom and Dad had to leave.

After that D– and I headed over to K– and N–‘s to watch the season opener for OU football. T– said she was just too exhausted after the day’s work hosting the party, and I can’t really blame her. The rest of us went to get snowcones, though, on our way up to Edmond, and while we were waiting on the snowcones K– noticed a restaurant in the parking lot there called Ron’s Burgers and Chili, or something to that effect. He mentioned it, and D– and I mentioned that we’d both heard really good things about the place, but never been there. So K– checked the hours (it was after 6:00 by then, but we’d had a late lunch), and then we went to their place to watch the beginning of the game.

At 7:15 we paused the game (thank Heaven for TiVo), and went for chili burgers. N– went next door to Mr Sushi (or Sushisandesyo, as the Japanese would say), because she’s a girl. I tried some, and it was foul. Whatcha gonna do? The chili burgers were amazing, though. Best I’ve ever had. Yumm.

Anyway, then back to watch the absolute thrashing that was the rest of the game, and I could go on a rant about not going ahead and scoring one more touchdown at the end of the game to set a school record, but I won’t. Not here. Ask me about it anytime, though, if you want to hear me seethe.

After the game, it was late, so when D– dropped me off…well, naturally I stayed up catalogueing my mp3s. It was the only reasonable thing to do. I think I got through the M’s before sleep called me.

Sunday, September 2nd
D– joined us for church Sunday morning, which was a pleasant surprise. Afterward, we went to Jason’s Deli for lunch by an equally surprising consensus among the decision makers (read: girls). Then as we were closing that up, K– asked if I’d be willing to help him check out some grills at Lowe’s or Home Depot. He has a natural gas hookup right on his back porch that would be perfect for a grill (and he’s thought that since the day he moved in), but he hadn’t gotten one yet.

So a quick lunch stretched into an all afternoon commitment, but it was a fun one. We hit both places, and K– found the grill he wanted at Lowe’s, and then we had to make arrangements to get it moved (he borrowed a truck from a friend from OC), and then we decided to install it. Initially he had intended it to be more a research outing, intel gathering style of thing, but somewhere along the way he decided he wanted to do a Labor Day cookout on Monday, so that’s what we worked toward.

So, sometime around 5:00 we all ended up back at K– and N–‘s place, reading through the directions of the propane-to-natural-gas conversion kit and trying to figure out how to connect a 3/8″ hose to the 1/2″ pipe sticking out of the wall. Still, with surprisingly little difficulty we got his grill set up and attached and tested, and it worked great. We went to Falcone’s for some New York-style pizza, and then Johnny’s for some delicious-style gelato, and then to the dollar movie to watch Die Hard 4: Live Free or Die Hard. D– was the only one watching it for the first time, but it was still a really good movie. T– stayed home with AB, but I promised to take her out to a movie tomorrow to make up for it.

Monday, September 3rd
On Monday, I slept late. When I woke up, T– and I ran to the grocery store for the week’s shopping, then K– came over to help me drag a two-month-old pile of branches out to the curb for Big Trash Day (which was Wednesday), and he took AB home so T– and I could go to the movie. We went to see Stardust, which was even more fun watching with her.

As soon as that ended we headed over to K– and N–‘s for the cookout dinner. D– showed up a little later. We had inch-thick steaks and grilled veggies, and grilled Bananas Callypso for dessert. It was all perfect. For his first try cooking on his new grill, it went as well as it possibly could have. After that, we hung around and talked for a while, then finally headed home and let the long weekend come to an end.

I spent an hour or two working on the mp3s, and mostly finished up that process before heading to bed.

Tuesday, September 4th
Work on Tuesday was pretty brutal. I spent most of the day chasing down info for the project of the engineer who I’d neglected during all the day-long meetings of the previous week. I also learned yesterday that I’ll be spending full-time on that same project next week (including overtime), because the deadline for the manual has been bumped up from “before the end of the year” to “close of business next Friday.” That is a significant change of pace.

Anyway, I went home from that exhausted. Tuesday night we started a two-month marriage seminar at church based on the book His Needs, Her Needs (which my Dad highly recommends). The class went pretty well, and I’m pretty optimistic about the rest. There are about eight couples, including K– and N–, several families from our small group, and T–‘s chiropractor and his wife.

On that note…she’s been trying to talk me into trying out the chiropractor for a while. I periodically wake up with just severe lower back pain, but I just kind of thought of it as one of those things that comes with having a back. I’ve never had a great deal of faith in the chiropractic practice, since I’ve never known anyone who seemed to get fixed by it. It didn’t seem to have any more long-term effect than, y’know, a massage. But T– insisted I was wrong about that, and I just happened to get some bad back pain in the last week, and, hey, my insurance covers most of it, so why not try?

So I made an appointment with them while we were chatting after class on Tuesday night.

After that, we went home, watched some TV, then went to bed. There were weird noises, and I just wasn’t comfortable for some reason, and, basically, I didn’t get any sleep all night. Pretty much the same thing for T–.

Wednesday, September 5th
So, when the alarm came on and I shut it off, I crawled right back into bed and told T– that I was staying home for the day. She had to do some work and had had trouble finding a babysitter, so I offered to watch AB while she went to work, and that somehow justified my skipping a full day. I dunno.

Anyway, I got up around 9:00 when she left, and I played with AB all morning. It was fun. She didn’t eat well when she was supposed to, but she was laughing and smiling and we crawled all over the living room, exploring. I put her down for a nap that she didn’t really take, and I went to try to take one which she prevented (by way of crying), and so I finally got up and took her out of her crib and tried to feed her again (and she still didn’t eat well), and basically I kept doing that until T– got home and took over.

After that, I tried to take a nap but couldn’t get to sleep, so I played some Overlord. Best use of an afternoon I’ve made in some time. At 4:25 I remembered my 4:45 chiropractic appointment, so I headed down to the clinic. He took XRays and did a preliminary adjustment, and asked a lot of questions that all had the same answer: “Well, it comes and goes, but sometimes my lower back really hurts.” He said it would take some time for the results to come back, and made an appointment for the same time next day to discuss my treatment.

I rushed home from there and picked up T– to meet K– and N– for dinner at Arby’s (we’ve seen a lot of them in the last seven days — it’s been nice). Dinner was okay, but not a patch on last week. We expected D–, but he never showed.

After that, K– and N– went home so K– could play with his new HD TiVo. We went back to the house, and probably watched some Dead Zone. If not that, then I played some Overlord. Or, in all likelihood, both. I got to bed early, though, and we set up a fan in the room for some white noise. It did the trick. I slept like the dead.

Thursday, September 6th
Hmm. I already told you about my big bombshell schedule change for work. That was the big news for yesterday. T– took AB to the doctor for some shots, and she said AB handled it like a little trooper. So that’s good news. After work, D– offered to bring us something for dinner, but he had to work out first so it was going to be late.

That worked out for me, anyway, because I had to visit the chiropractor and then run another errand before going home. Chiropractor said that I have two pinched nerves at the base of my spine, and rated my condition as serious transitioning toward severe, and it’s going to take twenty-four office visits to fix it. Ugh. He showed me some XRays, but for all I could tell, they could have been stock photos of a spine. Anyway, he did an adjustment, I agreed to pay a whole lot of money, and then I ran by Blockbuster before heading home.

D– showed up a little while later with boneless buffalo wings for all, and we ate and watched Simpsons and King of the Hill. After he left, T– and I watched a Dead Zone, and then realized with surprise that the night was already over. I played half an hour of Overlord, then headed to bed.

And now it’s today, and I’ve burned a significant portion of my afternoon, but I’ve still got an hour left until I get to go home. I’m going to see if I can find something useful to do. Everyone have a good weekend.