May 29, 2015
May 28, 2015
I have mentioned before about my lack of a college degree. This has forced me to compensate with effort. That could be one of my problems with the aforementioned counterfeit productivity. I tell you this as it is my largest work weakness followed by people talking down to coworkers. The second foible applies to my new work nemesis. I need to be really careful here as it is unfair to take shots at real people in my life without their knowledge. I am a say it to your face person and I like to stay consistent but when I brought it up to the individual things went in an "I'm rubber - you're glue" direction.
I am not going to write about specifics because coworker issues were not the original point of this post. The person I mentioned is so opinionated that it completely flips my bitch switch. There is no better way to get me to NOT do something than to tell me that I HAVE TO. My reflexive answer is "no, I don't." and it tends to push my opinion that way as well. This is where I wanted to begin my original thought. Some folks are so caught up in their [insert everything you can think of; car, cell phone, computer, part of the country, lifestyle, etc.] that they cant help but lecture others on why its better.
Case in point my current work stumbling block. (what in the hell does stumbling block actually mean? To the Google! Crap, sorry I asked)
“Do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block in front of the blind, but fear your God. I am the LORD” (Leviticus 19:14)(I am completely screwed according to that scripture because my arch enemy in High School was a deaf girl and I cursed at her all the time. Oh well. Once more thing...)
I mentioned to someone else in the room that I was considering a change back to the Appleverse and he chimed in with 10 minutes on why I would be an idiot to do so. Wasn't even talking to him and I got a MY WAY IS THE BETTER WAY soliloquy. If my contract would have been up I would have driven to an AT&T store that minute and been holding a shiny new iPhone before things fired up the next day. But here I sit, waiting in a holding pattern, knowing I have to see this assclown next week again.
Which brings me to my point. (finally) I am going to make a concerted effort to stop extolling the virtues of my stuff. I don't like what the love of this nonsensical crap does to me. No way to stop myself from being a rampant consumer unless I radically change my life. Like fake my death and build an off grid homestead change. But I can slow down my brand evangelizing. None of these large corporations give shit one about me so I need to return the favor.
May 27, 2015
I realize that this thing might have been a bit bumpy to read lately but as always it is a direct reflection of my mental state. I have painted myself into a financial corner and its keeping me up at night. The whole concept of paring down life into few possessions and minimal living quarters is so appealing because it would allow me to step off of this hamster wheel. Earn more spend more wash rinse repeat is exhausting but such is my current lot in life.
The thing that has me jammed up is trying to see some light at the end of this particular tunnel. Some of that is due to the staggering amount of stuff hanging out over my head right now. This garage remodel was triggered by a Rube Goldberg machine of events. My office moving into this space is a necessity but that doesn't make things any less annoying. As of this writing I have just enough money to insulate the room up to my towns standards. That leaves electrical work, drywall, hvac, carpet, and trim work all undone. If money were no object I'd be typing this from the there right now.
But money is an object (what in the hell does that mean?) so I'm staring out my son's bedroom window in a holding pattern. It has worked for a couple years but for some reason it feels like a move is past due. The boy deserves his own space so I need to sack up and provide it. But this is just a sprinkle in my money worry storm. An unexpected summer school has popped up as well as the reality that my wife's gig is ending. She and her coworkers did such a great job that the school district is rolling their program into the school... minus the teachers.
This shouldn't really bother me as she already has another job offer for the fall but the way it went down has her heading back to grad school. Just when I thought double tuition was over... Anyhow, it just seems like no matter which direction I turn it comes up money or my lack there of. And so I am trying to book as much work as possible in an effort to dig out but that means more travel blah blah blah.
Then that effing sweet minivan needed an axle. Out of nowhere the wallet takes another nut shot. This has no end point other than my pledge to stop writing about all things financial. Everyone has their relative health (mental excluded) and I'm sure at some point things will normalize again. I really wrote this in an effort to exercise these thoughts from my head. A not so funny side note: out of desperation or curiosity I checked on the earnings from this site and can confidently report that $7.38 will not solve a single pending anything. So I've got that going for me.
If you read this to the end I apologize. The whining will end with this post. That is if I ever hit the publish button.
May 26, 2015
My backlog of projects around the house is daunting as well. I'm not going to bore you with he complete list but I really need to get some stuff done. The car decided to make a new noise on the trip back from Cincinnati. I'm no car doctor but the internets seem to think I need new front bearings. or need a new axle. super. I am going to drive this thing well past 200,000 miles or until it strands me somewhere. In which case I will light a bag of chips on fire, toss them on to the middle seat, and start walking. If you wait around for the authorities there will be all of those pesky questions and such that are better answered with some time and distance between the act... and from the comfort of your own home.
So with no car today or most likely tomorrow I will be attempting to blast through things around the homestead. The garage has turned into a storage facility of all sorts and it will only get worse as the eldest returns home for good tomorrow. Tonight will be spent organizing the boys (son and all friends keep stuff here as the court with the nets is right across the street) hockey gear as well as everything else jammed to the rafters. We are even storing some art school friends possessions for the summer while he goes to work at a fish processing plant in Alaska... You have to love my wife or you just have to get out of her way as she helps yet another stray.
May 25, 2015
What could go wrong while cleaning a deck you might wonder? Well it seems that we were told one thing about staining the wood and reality was something very different. Our contractor told us to wait at least two months before we put any kind of sealant on our new deck. Because we built in the winter that was easy and by the time the weather cooperated and I actually had time to do it we waited almost eight. So I slathered on the water protection and everything looked great for the first summer. Then these little, hairs is the best way to describe them, started appearing. Almost like corn silk but way more annoying.
I'm really writing this as a way to dodge heading out to a store to buy some sanding equipment. The home improvement places are filled to the brim with people taking advantage of the day off sales. I don't shop well anyway and throw in a holiday plus deal hunting crowds and you have a recipe for tomzaster. I am already cranky and walking by my work phone to see three missed calls and messages is not helping. Some folks think if they are working so should the rest of the world. I need a nap.Which brings me back in a tight little circle to being a d-bag...
May 24, 2015
I woke up late and had to scramble to get the boy to Saturday workout at the school. I rarely sleep in and NEVER when there is something to do. This was already an omen of sorts. No idea what was going on throughout the day but everything seemed just a bit off. In the midst of mowing the lawn I was hit with the overwhelming feeling that I swallowed a midget and he wanted OUT. That subsided after fifteen minutes or so and it was barely enough time to concoct a plausible story just in case I had consumed a small live sentient being in my sleep.
The rest of the day was a roller-coaster ride, wait, strike that. It was a small fishing boat on rough seas. Even when I wasn't clenching up a hill or rocketing down another there was a constant sense of sick. I eventually felt good enough to drink a couple beers. Didn't really eat all day. You can probably see to the end of this where I couldn't whilst living it. Today has been a challenge to say the least.
The boy and I headed over to watch the niece play soccer and see the aunts who were in from out of town. Back to Mom and Dad's after the game for some grub. After my test plate gave me no grief I went back for normal portions. BIG mistake. (and yes the unofficial theme today is all caps emphasis) I type to you now from an undisclosed location where I sincerely hope that I am not offloading anything I will need later.
I'm not sure if an over-the-counter (no-idea-why) stay awake drink can liquefy human organs but right now I would testify as an expert witness. remotely. on camera. head shot only. directional microphone.
May 22, 2015
Having no idea that this isn't important they relax. For all they know I am typing a string of texts to my friends and that is just how I like it. You would think that none of this would work as I am paid to come in and help make the business better but you would be wrong. Once they relax bad behavior abounds. Maybe I am equipped with a heightened sense of self preservation but a consultant in the next cube would put me on my best behavior.
Specific details would be poor form but we trained for the entire first day I was here and I just listened to the exact opposite of said same training. I'm beginning to get a little cranky and that is not the mood these folks want me in when I present to their ownership and senior leaders this afternoon. Holy craptacular shitsticks this is frustrating. I might have to deliver one of my coveted Too Stupid To Work awards. Owners rarely like those but I guarantee the employees like them less...
I am going to stop now as I have some course correcting to do. I'll tell you I do kind of like rearing up to my full height with a scowl on my face aimed at the offender. Weird how that always reminds them about the training we just did.
May 20, 2015
I am officially tired of the road but even more tired of writing about it. In other news all this out of town work is strengthening the office building fund. I put the wall and the window up *pictures pending* then proceeded to run out of money. Next step is insulation and as luck would have it my village (yes I realize this is a ridiculous name for a town and it evokes images of medieval Europe but it is what I'm stuck with) requires a higher R Value than is achievable with bat insulation alone in my thin ass walls. Luckily I have friends in that business but even with the tom discount... foam aint cheap.
After I figure that out then it will be time for drywall and finish electric. Two jobs that I know better than to attempt. After that I will need a mini-split for heating and cooling. You should have seen the inspector when I asked if I could install a small boat heater to warm the space. It must be nice to spend other people's money all day. And speaking of spending money how about an unplanned summer school jaunt and an exhaust system that basically got scraped off the bottom of a car. Holy crap I am crying like a baby. This post doesn't feel right...I think I will call it a night ans quite possibly a week. Not sure if I'm tired or having some kind of incident and don't really want to know. good night everybody.
May 18, 2015
Ironically I will be driving back to Cincinnati tomorrow so I will get to take the graduate and her friends out to dinner one night after work. Seats are coming out of the chick magnet so I can bring a load of college home next weekend. Things are moving fast and this guy (thumbs pointing back at me) is tired. But, working hard is much better than hardly working so I push on.
This recent travel block has me reconsidering my breakup with Apple. Don't get me wrong, I love my phone but as I've stated many times before not to any crazy point. I just want the thing to work and here in lies the rub. The four people that I communicate most with in the world are all iPhone users. This means that as the only outlier I am missing out due to some genus business practices on Apple's part. The voice text thing doesn't work for me neither does face-time. Pictures and videos they send me and visa-versa get re-sized and generally screwed-up. (sorry about that... went a little hyphen crazy there for a second) And finally my text color identifies me as a poor person to anyone in the Appleverse.
This wont be for a while but I am seriously considering a switch back to the evil apple. Could just be the lack of sleep talking or the fact that the android world of choices is exhausting.
May 17, 2015
Cropped from a not-so-stealth shot during the roommate graduation celebratory dinner. This picture is worth a thousand words. He was great and I tipped a full 25% to include a modeling fee.
I need to start sketching out decorating ideas for my cell in hell. Fireproof picture frame, check.
May 16, 2015
When she was born it was earlier than expected. In fact, we were told more than once that she might not live. Then as if to make us feel better or, more likely, to cover their asses, they began to list the lifelong struggles she would most likely endure.
She could have any number of development disabilities, might be blind, breathing disorders, musculoskeletal (had to look that up after they said it but it's now trapped in my head) and she would have lifelong troubles learning.
I'm not going to bore you with the story of throwing the social worker out of our hospital room or her difficult first two months living in a neonatal intensive care unit because I'm already one the edge. Lack of sleep plus sitting here at her graduation is getting to me but I will tell you that all of those "experts" were full of shit.
This child has grown into a better person than I could ever be and I know she will do great things. She has impressed me at every major turn in her life and I don't see that changing any time soon.
My wife has been crying like a sprinkler all morning and I need to keep it together. Today is a really good day.
May 15, 2015
I was laughing at the black storm clouds rolling in until I remembered that I was in the land of Dorothy and Toto. Black clouds here don't mean a couple tree branches down or an inconvenient hour without power. Here you go for a ride and you would be lucky to land in OZ. If my phone severe weather warns me one more time I might get worried.
I'm thumb typing this in-between (or is it just between? I never know) radar refreshes so it might be a bit more disjointed than usual. And speaking of disjointed I am having some real live joint troubles today. My knees feel like someone gave me a playground sand transfusion. The grinding sound in my knees somehow reverberates through my entire skeletal system. I have had the willies and goose bumps a dozen times today. I am hoping that this isn't a new permanent development as I do not look good in full body chicken skin.
May 13, 2015
My phone slipped off of the nightstand probably after I bashed it for annoyingly attempting to wake me at 5:30am. Not really the phones fault, drink induced operator error the most likely cause. Anyway, I knew it was somewhere close but couldn't find it due to bolted down bed and weird morning light.
So I strolled over to the house phone to call the hidden object and thankfully that subtle warning card was there. That is a pile of cash for a one minute call. When are they just going to get rid of room phones? It just don't make no sense.
My room is pretty sweet and right across from some outdoor mall type area built in 1922 according to the hotel staff. Best part, real live Hare Krishnas! These guys were not ready for me but I had an hour to kill and a big pile of questions.
I won't bore you with a play by play as I burned more than a half hour with the dude. I know they practice for as many eventualities as they can think of so I aim to be the anomaly. Yesterday I concentrated on how their whole thing worked. Like if they had a pamphlet or annoyance quota? How many sets of peach pajamas are issued to each one? How many things can the orange sash be used for?
Every time he thought he brought me back on script I would zig. "Are you allowed to drink Diet Coke and Coors Light? Because that could be a deal breaker." He finally gave up when I wanted a picture. And then my room was ready. Happy ending for all.
May 11, 2015
The previous day my bride ran a Tough Mudder race and no I did not misspell Mother like Bugs Bunny. I could go on and on about the problems with that entire concept of people who need a race to declare themselves tough and the people who design the course just trying to be dicks but it was something she wanted to do and once a desire has burrowed into her skull there is no dislodging it. (see white dog...) Anyway, mom was already a tad tired and sore from that event and trying hard not to show it to anyone, me included. Apparently I can communicate I told you so with my mind.
The day was well laid out and it began with her heading down to clean out middle child's dorm room. There is something about not paying any type of fine for cleanliness or damage in play because I could have easily swept the space and sprayed the bathroom from top to bottom with chemicals but no. So she left early and headed into the city.
I will sum up here for a lot of reasons. One, to keep things moving as the trouble spread itself like napalm over the next six hours. Two, because a lot of this fight was taking place at a remote location and I was a text and brief crying/yelling phone witness only. And three, my self preservation Spidey Sense is going off. So middle child is nowhere to be found, my wife goes from angry to concerned to relieved to nuclear. Child is sorry, then really sorry, then not coming home.
Caught myself yelling more than once in an attempt to be heard over the insanity. You get the picture, BIG mess. It didn't help that they got stuck in horrendous traffic on the way back and we were going to be late for lunch with my mom. Traffic and my wife do not mix. No one likes it but few HATE it with her passion. I spend the rest of the day agreeing and trying to triage wounds while picking the random pieces of collateral damage shrapnel out of my own skin.
Lunch was great, the car ride home was blissfully quiet, and everyone retreated to their own spaces as soon as we hit the door. Lights were out before the sun was down leaving the boy and I to roam around in relative peace. Happy Mother's Day from my shitshow to yours.
May 9, 2015
After that long week of travel it was back to the grind at home. Middle child needed to be packed up today and the wife was running in a tough mudder race. I will write nothing about that race as I am only experiencing the aftermath. So I spent the five hours packing and moving. I'm beat as well but tomorrow is Mother's day so I am writing this as a break from cleaning.
Also the snakes in my head are screaming for me to find another writing platform. Once I get a little time I will try and fix the picture problem I'm having our move on. Like most people I just want stuff to work. But I'm not afraid of a little problem solving legwork. This has gone beyond normal troubleshooting. Note I'm annoyed.
If you're reading this on a weekday and it doesn't have a random picture in it then the clock is tickling on blogger.
Spy shot of the child and a friend as I waited for them in the parking garage.
And finally the shot I will delete from my phone after I post to see if it sticks. This is my main problem, and if I can't post pictures then this thing is useless.
May 8, 2015
I find myself struggling this fine morning. I did manage to crack myself up first thing. I woke up not quite undressed for bed clutching a 40oz Diet Coke like a wino guarding his stash. I bought the forty at a truck stop because it was a size that I didn't know existed and made me happy when I found it. I put it in my minifridge when I checked in and my lizard brain remembered it and tried to hydrate before the complete system shutdown.
I need to buck up and rally because I have a half day of teaching followed by a half day of driving but enough about me. Back to the mysteries out of the windows.
It is believed that the world's first modern skyway was built to connect the two towers. The skyway connects the building's 17th floor with the adjacent 16-story Merchants Bank Building which is part of the same property. It is the tallest skyway in the Twin Cities. The skyway with six tinted windows was built in 1931 in conjunction of the finishing of the building.
May 6, 2015
So I have to stare at this every time I train in town. I have no idea what these triangles are for but I'm becoming more and more convinced that they were put there to set off my OCD. It's a mild case usually reserved for my office space, my closet, my bag, hotel rooms. Okay maybe mild is an understatement but that is beside the point. When the people I teach are working on something I look out the window and eventually find the triangles.
So I fixed it. Now I feel better. That and the fact that I just ate a burger at the Red Cow in St. Paul composed of 60% delicious ground beef and 40% ground bacon. Then we split a burger called the breakfast. Bacon, egg, peanut butter, burger on sourdough toast.
May 5, 2015
The little lizard that my roommate ate on a bet was pretty awesome as well. When he dropped it into his mouth the thing grabbed on to his tongue for dear life with all four claws. It's head was far enough down Matt's throat to make him gag and the tail was sticking out of his mouth moving all over the place. He was retching and choking everyone watching was laughing and I distinctly remember my own tears from laughing so hard. This story is longer than I've got time for but it ended with a call to poison control that I would give a finger to have recorded.
I need to get out and find a bar to watch the Blackhawks. They are playing blocks away from me but my broke ass cant afford a scalped ticket. I will leave you with justification for my no sitting on hotel couches policy.
May 4, 2015
Eldest child is moving back home, middle child will be attending summer school, and youngest is too big and too old to share his space with Dad anymore. This all works out to me trying to figure out how to get that thing turned into an office. And so I am going to hit the road in an effort to earn my way out of a hole. The hole isn't too deep, chest height maybe. Had some unexpected expenses hit after signing the contract and writing the deposit check that would have otherwise delayed construction. Anyhow, it is with this in mind that brings us to today's telling.
A call to my cell phone from an insurance agent would not normally be something I would answer but seeing as I reached out to him in an effort to lower some more bills I took the call. Before I could explain what was going on he started in on why the changes I proposed in my email were a bad idea. I tried to interrupt but I was on the phone with a heretofore unknown bulldozer. The more he pushed - the more I tuned out. It had to be a three minute soliloquy and I didn't notice he was done until he said my name for a second time asking if I was still there.
I said "Okay, don't change anything..." and he was once again off and running convinced that his earlier filibuster had changed my mind. When he finally finished congratulating me for my decision making and took a breath I got to finish my sentence. "...while you were talking I got a couple quotes online that were much lower than yours and I'll be switching to one of those companies when I get around to it." I really enjoyed the silence that followed. So much so that when he tried to ruin it with words I hung up.
In the three hours since this exchange he has tried to call me back twice wondering if we were cut off and sent me an email. I said all I am going to. If I came with an instruction manual it would be thick but easy to understand. This section would be entitled IF TOM IS YOUR CUSTOMER AND HE ASKS YOU A QUESTION. The instructions would then read: 1. answer it. 2. await further questions and or direction. I don't think I'm oversimplifying things here as this is basic human interacting. This page might also include a warning about attempted hard selling and a resulting severed relationship but that could also be covered in a do's and dont's page or under troubleshooting.
I need to give this manual thing some more thought. This could prove very useful.
May 3, 2015
As long as I was breaking things I decided to make a run of getting rid of that really long blogspot address and I think I did it. You should just see stupidtom.com in the address bar at the top of your browser. And while I had the hood up I began screwing around with the look and feel of the place to the point I got distracted and bored. Now I have no idea what it looks like as I am typing this from my phone and too lazy to turn on a computer. Plus I have already mentioned that reading my own stuff can sometimes give me full body douche chills and I don't feel like a case of chicken skin at the moment.
So if you are one of the four dedicated fans who wrote to complain about the site being down I thank you and sorry for the interruptions. I will go back to just writing for a while.