Hot child in the city


We’re in the process of updating our HVAC system this week. This has been a long time coming and since our old system barely coughed through last summer we decided to just bite the bullet and get it done. Charlie has done most of the prep work for this but yesterday I – cough – still needed to go through ex gf’s my shit stuff. It was a mess, really, but I purged a lot out of there. Then, I started going through my office as it was a mess as well. I cleaned out my desk drawer, and shredded a bunch of stuff (without managing to throw the shredder out the window because it jammed twice). I had to fold up the drum kit and stack it on the other side of the room so they could cut a vent where it was sitting. Although, my large Zildjian ride is sitting in the middle of the living room. You don’t realize what all goes into a drum kit until you take the thing apart and re-set it up again.

After that, we headed to the park with the dogs. It was such a beautiful day. It seemed everyone else in Atlanta thought that, too, because we couldn’t seem to find parking anywhere and discovered we were hungry so we ended up at the Brew House in lil’ 5 points. I love that place. They always have soccer football on. I much prefer that to baseball any day. (Especially, since the Braves s*ck this year.)

Later, our friend, Emily came over. She has been trying to get her life coach sister-in-law to help her with her resume for the last month to no avail. Me, I’m good at this stuff so I created a couple of templates for us to go by and once I got it started she plugged in the rest of the information. We were done less than two hours. She’s been going through a breakup lately (and, the ex hasn’t moved out yet) and is having a hard time. Charlie and I get it but we see she’s still in the denial what’s-wrong-with-me stage. She needs to boot the b*tch out get to angry stage and then she’ll be ok. Honestly, I was glad we had much of the time discussing her qualifications and resume as opposed to what’s wrong with me that stupid Sarah doesn’t want me? She doesn’t want you because she stupid, girl – period. But, you know, you can’t say that. Have to be nice.

Be nice, Lanie. I know, it’s hard sometimes.

Charlie and I finally booked a honeymoon trip to Florida in September. (Yes, I know it’s been two years since we got married) I’m so ready, too. We’re going to St. Augustine and then down to Sebastian to go deep sea fishing and stay in a resort by the water. It’s going to be so great. Live music, beach, umbrella drinks – I can’t wait!


 

Friday the 13th PP 


This is what I feel like all the time. I seriously believe that there are those who just relay on everyone else to make the plans, host the parties, and coordinate everything and they just pick and choose what they want to do. It’s like they have a weekly menu of activities.

Tomorrow, we’re going to go for a motorcycle ride to Athens for the day. Our friend, Drew is coming along which will be good as we haven’t seen him in a while. We’re going to have lunch, shop a bit and then ride home so it should be a good day for it.

I have to share this recipe with y’all that I made last night.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/166163/grilled-macadamia-crusted-tuna-with-papaya-salsa/


I substituted the macadamia nuts for cashews and the papaya for mango and it came out really great! Tonight, I’m making this recipe which I hope will turn out good but probably not as great as last nights.

http://www.whatdoyoucrave.info/2015/05/coconut-curry-ramen-with-turmeric-grilled-shrimp/oil

I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable weekend! Happy Friday the 13th – leave the chainsaw in the shed, peeps. 

photo challenge chex mix

I’ve still been trying to run every day during the week in the mornings. It is a feat in itself I’m able to roll out of bed at 6:15 a.m. to go run -I think, only because the dogs come in and get me up to be let outside – I think this directly correlates with the coffee maker beeping that it’s finished brewing. I would love to be able to get up a few minutes earlier just so I could finish my run earlier and walk a bit to cool off but even now, 6:15 is a stretch. I tried setting my alarm 30 minutes earlier to go off but it only means I hit the snooze. Charlie has been making me smoothies for my after run and they have been great. I went online and found this organic protein powder that tastes really good. She mixes that with some almond milk and fruit. They usually come out looking a bit purplish although the one this morning was more pinkish. She suggested that we get some spinach or kale to add for extra nutrients but I’m not sure about that. It’s enough I drink a protein shake every morning instead of an egg sandwich but another to introduce the taste of @ss into my smoothie.

Work has been good. I’ve been doing a slew of training and practically the whole month of June I will be in classes. Ironically, the classes are right across the street from my old office. I’m going to try and have lunch with some peeps while I’m there. From what I learned so far is that I’m really going to be on my own as far as my learning path goes. I’m not really worried as I feel I pick up things quickly but I will be at the mercy of others to help answer questions. I will probably end up having to sit with someone while they do their designs, too. But, I’m not going to worry about that until I at least have the class under my belt.

So, I bopped on over to Liz’s site today and she has this random photo challenge. First, you open up your camera roll on your phone and scroll one time without looking and put your finger down to stop the scrolling and whatever your finger lands on save it and then post it with a little background story of the pic. Do this about 7-10 times, however many photos you want.

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My first photo was a selfie that Charlie sent me. I believe she took this one night when we were getting ready to go out on a date. (help me out, Charlie, if I’m wrong).

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This was taken the weekend we went up to the Yurt. The campsite had provided this wagons to help you haul your stuff from the car to the Yurt site. Charlie and I were screwing around when right after this was taken a DNR ranger showed up in a pickup truck and rolled down the window and asked us if we were having fun yet. I was saying, We’re not here 5 minutes without getting in trouble.

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Charlie kissing beloved Sadie. Even though she has a coat and hat on this was probably taken in April when the temperature dropped so much we thought we were going to have to turn on the heat. Compared to March where it got up to 78 degrees one week.

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Riverside Café’ when we were in Florida visiting Charlie’s parents. This place is right down the street from her folks. We had gone there one night for drinks before dinner. I remember meeting this really obnoxious couple (we seem to be magnets for them). The husband was heavily flirting with Charlie and leading the whole conversation about him and his wife diving. I was like, Really? You have a wife? I think I did say that and he pointed her out and she was across the deck having a drink and talking to some other people completely ignoring him. I deduced she was sick of him and glad he was socializing with other people. The only good thing about it was for once Charlie’s brother wasn’t dictating the conversation and you could see he was visibly perturbed about it.

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St. Augustine, Florida. Our daughters-in-law (left) is in the picture with Charlie’s youngest son (right). It was a few days before Thanksgiving and we had stopped off for an over-nighter and the boys, daughters-in-law and our friends Bernice and Raphe came up to visit. We had walked around and saw the lights as well as went into this bar and listened to live music. It was a great night. I wished we could have stayed longer.

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This is what is left of the barn on my farm. It was taken prior to Thanksgiving when I went to Indiana for a visit. My sister and I always go out to this farm – it was our grandmothers on our mother’s side. It’s always a shock to go out there because every time we go something’s torn down. This time it was the woods that was cleared. I suspect our father directed the contract farmer to clear the woods for more corn yield. I suspect someday that the barn will be torn down as well.

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The dogs at Piedmont Park. They are great posers. We had put them up on that rock and told them to stay. They’re good for about a few clicks and then they’re done.

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Charlie’s folks and us at a backyard music venue. We were friends with this couple who had backyard concerts where you could bring picnics and just donate to the artist. I can’t remember who it was we saw that night but we all enjoyed it. It was nice that we were able to take them to one of these as since the friends have stopped doing these things.

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Link, Charlie (her biker name is Tazzy now) and I (Wick) parked at the Victory sandwich bar for Tuesday night bike night. Notice we’re early because it doesn’t look like another soul was there but shortly after that almost 50 bikes were parked everywhere.

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Me right after scoring an autographed stick from the drummer of the Blues Traveler.

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A close-up of Sadie.

 

 

Yert squall 

Last Saturday, Charlie and I left the pups with their au pair and headed north to meet Rooster and Shutter at the Yert.We took the long way, meandering and stopping for lunch before we made it to the park. Once there we wove around park roads until we found the Yert portion of the campsite perched on a lake cove. Rooster and Shutter were out back sitting on the deck overlooking the cove. It was a gorgeous view. 


Once we unloaded I decided to go on a trail run because how often am I away from pavement and can enjoy some trails? I laced up and took off on what was named the inner loop trail through the woods. I ran that until I came to a fork. Like the poem, and I- I took the one less traveled by, and paid for it. I ended up going uphill through the woods and then I broke out onto a power easement and ran that for a half mile before turning back. Running back the way I came I found another fork and took the trail I thought was the one I was on previously. Wrong. I ended up doing the entire lower loop trail along the cove and here I was worried in not getting in enough mileage.

I was glad to get back to camp and drink a gallon of water before heading off to the shower because Charlie kept telling me I stunk. Camp showers, lovely. Walking in with everything you own bundled in your arms so you don’t have to touch anything and praying you don’t drop your underwear on the shower floor. I was going to take a cool shower and then realized that I had no other choice. I shivered under the tap trying to wash my hair when suddenly it went hot.

Once back at the Yert I cracked open a beer and joined everyone on the deck until it started to sprinkle then rain. We moved inside leaving both the doors and window flaps open.

These Yerts are good for winds up to 100 miles per hour, Rooster related. Little did we know we were about to test that out. Almost instantly the wind picked up and the rain started blowing in. We decided it was a good idea to shut the doors. The wind picked up even more making the rain horizontal. I looked out the front door and saw pine trees starting to bend and a wall of white behind them.

I’m scared, Charlie said.

We should batten down the flaps, from Rooster who had put on her rain coat and was getting ready to pull the back door open when I shouted, I don’t think I’d go out there, Rooster.

The rain on the canvas of the Yert made it deafening. Finally, it calmed down and we were able to roll the window flaps back up and open the doors. Charlie got out her torch and lit us a fire. Thankfully, we had been able to cover up the wood and keep it dry during the monsoon that just hit. Shutter cooked burgers and hot dogs and I got out the potato salad and spicy slaw we brought. We were able to eat before the rain hit again which was unfortunate because we had a killer fire going.

Back into the Yert we shouted conversations again until we had drank enough whiskey (and, we had enough to sink a battleship) to fall asleep. Until – BOOM – the middle of the night another storm this time with lightening. I was getting sick of testing out the 100 mph theory and now let’s see how the Yert sustains lightening. I finally fell back to sleep sometime early in the a.m. The next morning, we got up and reheated burgers and hotdogs for breakfast with bacon that Shutter cooked on the grill. Charlie and I headed out around 10:00 a.m. for home this time taking the highway to the house. Once back, we unloaded and took the pups to eat a slice of pizza at Jacks. They always feel important when we go there because they get to walk through the restaurant to the back patio. Sadie walks through like she’s a regular and I always have to steer her away from going into the kitchen.

Of course, by the time we got down there it was pouring down rain again. I was over it. Apparently, the storms were so bad that it had taken out the water treatment plant in Atlanta and people in the city limits were drinking bottled water. (Not me, I was drinking beer.) We talked to the two couples at the next table who were really cool. Then, a table full of guys who were not so cool came in and sat at the table next to us and Bailey barked at them probably because they were blowing smoke in her face. I was ready to leave then. We stuck it out until our slices arrived and ate and then left. The weekend went too fast, in my opinion.

I was exhausted from my long trail run the day before and little sleep so we turned in early.
 

Running into the unknown with blankets

 Things have been way better since I started my new job. I swear I was going to die at that other place, it was so toxic.

Since I started, I have began running again and have logged almost ten miles this week. I’m going to try to run the fat off even if that means upping my mileage during the week. I’ve been making myself get up in the morning and run before going in to work because that way I won’t be able to put it off if I do it first thing. Plus, I got myself a Fitbit Blaze for even more motivation.

So, yesterday I go into Best Buy to look at it. I wanted to see what it looked like on my wrist before buying it. Of course, there weren’t any on display but there were a few in boxes with alarms strapped to them. I asked the first rep if there was any way that we could take it out of the box.

“No, I’m only the Samsung rep. I can’t help you with that. Good luck.”

I hate it when people say that. To me that means, you can go ahead but it’s a stupid waste of time.

“Maybe if you’re really nice customer service can help you.”

What does that mean? That I’m not being nice already, I wanted to ask.

Stupid Samsung guy.

I went over to customer service and tried being even nicer. The chick behind the counter nicely told me that, sorry no, we can’t take it out of the box. BUT, you can buy it and then if you don’t like it then take it back.

Again, stupid waste of my time.

I said, No, sorry, I’ll go buy it at Sports Authority instead and maybe they will let me try it on and won’t only have the small with the purple band, I mean, I loved Prince but this is going too far. Prince would understand……

So, down the street. I asked the lady behind the cash register if someone could open the locked case to see the watch after waiting for her to do some exchange for a woman who apparently was taking back what looked like some farkle that went on a golf bag and instead of charging her $7 they charged her $9? This process seemed as complicated as plugging in the correct algorithm to launch a satellite over the eastern hemisphere.

After some time a key was produced and another male associate was called to unlock the cabinet because the lady (who didn’t even try) said she was unable to unlock it. The guy reached in and got the watch in the box and I asked him if we could take it out. He sighed and said, Ok, but when he tried to open it an alarm strapped to the top wouldn’t let him open the box. He sighed again and went to get some tool to disable it. So, I was finally able to take it out and look at it after all that. Thankfully, it looked fine on my wrist and wasn’t like wearing some big, nerdy computer on my wrist. So, I got it.

Out of the box, the battery needed charging and whereas the guide said it could take up to two hours to charge it only took about 30 minutes before it was telling me it was fully charged. I had read that people were having problems pairing the watch to their phone but my iphone picked it up right away and soon as I synched it I was ready to go.

It alerts you when you have texts and phone calls coming in and has a heart monitor without the strap (nice).

This weekend, Charlie and I are going to go up to a Yert to spend the night celebrate Rooster’s birthday. I’m not hip on this whole group sleeping arrangement to be honest but I’m going to take a hit for the team and do it. I’m wondering if these things have showers and if so maybe get in a run in the a.m. The yert is located in this park that I once did this biathlon. It was a 3 mile mountain run, 15 mile bike and another 3 mile mountain run. This was ten years ago and it kicked my @ss then. I don’t think I’d make that now. But, I’m betting that trail is still there and I could at least half @ss do 3 miles. That will all depend on whether or not it’s raining on Sunday morning when we I get up. There’s a 90% chance of rain why we’re driving up instead of taking the motorcycles. In a texting conversation with Shutter the other night asking if there was anything we could bring I happened to ask if we needed to bring bed linens. Her answer was yes, bring sleeping bags. (I really am back at band camp) Ok, glad I asked. So, it will be like going into the unknown……with blankets.  

Last lunch 

Last week was the last week at my former job in fact, Wednesday was my last day. It seemed the minute I resigned the pressure was off. It felt great to finally be able to breathe and not worry or be anxious about things. I thought for sure my direct supervisor would have me running around doing transition meetings with the team and going over projects but I only went over projects with him. I did have to tell my project teams I was leaving and when asked who was taking over the projects I just referred them to my direct and said to contact him. I’m sitting here today wondering if he’s regretting that decision of not assigning the projects prior to my leaving. [believe me I’m not spending a ton of mental capacity on that]On my last day, some of my work colleagues took me out to lunch. There were about ten of us all together including two assistant office heads and the office head. I was surprised so many people showed to be honest [of course my direct supervisor wasn’t there and that didn’t hurt my feelings whatsoever]. This was after my hour long exit interview with one of the assistant office heads who were there. To say I was candid at that interview is probably an understatement. Whether she takes any of my feedback into consideration is another but I don’t’ care. I only hope it helps the next person that my supervisor tries to give a hard time because I’ve felt like I’ve been walking around with a target on my back the past two months there and I’m sure someone is going to be my successor. So, you can believe how great it felt walking out of there on Wednesday and having the next four days off.

Now I’m at the new job and it’s a huge contrast. That’s’ probably the difference between the private sector and the government. The people seem really laid back – even the dress code is more laid back. I won’t have to alter my work wardrobe in the least. It’s going to take me awhile to get my access code and go through training but that’s ok. Believe me, I’m not complaining. I’m just soaking it in. 

i got it!

i_got_the_job

It feels so good to finally be writing this post. I’ve been holding off until it was official but officially I got the job the I took that test for. Whew! What a long process but I’m in and I start on the 18th.

Needless to say my current employer wasn’t thrilled when I put in my notice yesterday but I don’t care. That job was the most stressful job I’ve ever had and both my health and my life have taken a toll from it. I’m so glad my time there is coming to an end and I will not look back, that’s for sure.

On to bigger and better things and hopefully more posts!

testing 1, 2, 3…..

Well, hopefully soon I will be able to slow down a little and enjoy life. I’ve been focusing all my energy lately on trying to stay off of my bosses sh*t list (that means pumping out work from 8-5 all day similar to that of a t-shirt factory in the Philippines) and look for another job.

One of the jobs that I had a bite on recently I had to take one of their engineering entrance exams to see if I qualified. Prior to that, I tried to get my hands on every practice test I could find on the internet and take. These consisted of several logical and mathematical questions that built off the prior one. The first couple of sample tests I had consisted of all water. “You work for a water company and your job is to identify customer service needs, future increase in usages and decline.” It was a ton of math, y’all and you couldn’t use a calculator on the test. Everything had to be done on a scratch paper by hand .I had to go on you tube and refresh myself on videos of multiplication and long division as I haven’t done this stuff since 5th grade.

In the meantime, HR for the company kept failing to upload my status of qualifying to take the test. Every day I had to call this lady and ask when this would be completed as I hadn’t heard anything from anyone about scheduling the thing. This went on for three weeks. It was so frustrating. During that time I just kept studying. Finally, the end of last week I got a call from HR saying they hoped to have it loaded that day and to look for an email. Hours later I got the email confirmation and went ahead and signed up to take it this past Saturday. I was like, Its now or never!

When I got the email confirmation attached were two more sample tests. I printed those out and studied them both. These were, “You work for a power company and your job is to identify…….” You get the gist. Water, power, gas, etc.

Saturday, I drove to the testing facility that also was a tax service. I had to have three forms of ID’s in order to get in to take the test. Which meant that Friday when I got home from work I was sitting on the porch drinking a beer thinking, Where is that social security card……..

That kind of thinking got me out of my chair running into my office, hauling my desk drawer out (which, Charlie says is a nightmare that I need to clean out) and dumping it on the floor going through everything…….no card. My heart started beating faster……….where is it??!!

I opened my locked trunk and looked in there. Nothing. Please don’t tell me I’m not going to get a job because I can’t prove that I’m not an illegal alien!

I went into the bedroom and hauled my dresser drawer out and dumped everything onto the bed. Nothing. I sat down, where could it be?

Finally, I went into one of my files that I keep all the vehicle titles and there it was. I almost collapsed with relief.

When I got to the facility I handed the woman checking me in four forms of identification including my ss card and she laughed.

“I just wanted to make sure I covered all the bases,” I said.

Once I signed this really long form saying that I wouldn’t cheat, lie or steal to pass this test I was led into a room and given a locker key to lock up all my personal items before going into the testing room. There was a computer monitor sitting on the desk and the scratch paper consisted of two plastic dry erase sheets and a marker. By the end of the test I would have used 10 of those things that the lady sitting at the desk watching me take it said, “More?” She couldn’t believe I was using that many sheets. “Yes, please”

Its math, bitch, I wanted to say.

The test was very similar to the sample ones I’d taken. Although, I was having problems with a simple conversion were several questions required that conversion in order to answer. There was a way to mark the questions you’d come back to and I marked all of the ones that I was having difficulty with. It was at least 10 or 12 problems. I had 2-1/2 hours to do this thing, I wasn’t worried until –

-I looked at the clock on my computer and it said I had 54 minutes left and I was only on question 31 (there were 53 total) and I had all those marked ones to go back to.

Don’t freaking panic, you. I told myself. Don’t.Freaking.Panic………OMG! I’M PANICKING…………….BREATHE, BREATHE, BREATHE…….

I practically flew through 31-53. By the time I went back to my marked problems the clock was counting down from 9 minutes.

Breathe, dammit…..

I went through all the marked problems barely having time to read any of them and marked every one of them. Charlie echoed in my mind, Just answer every question no matter what. Finally, I answered the last question as the clock counted down from 20 seconds. I hit the finish button and then they had the nerve to ask me to complete a questionnaire – Oh, but no worries – you have 5 minutes to do it.

Whatever. I didn’t pass. I did my best and now it’s time to go home and drink a beer. I finished the questionnaire, stood up and left the room.

The lady sitting at the desk said, Are you finished?

Yes. I hung my head.

Did you pass?

I don’t know. It didn’t tell me.

Just then, a piece of paper spit out on the printer behind her and she reached around and took it. She looked at it and handed it to me. You passed!

What?! Wow! Really?

Yes, it wouldn’t have said, ‘Qualified’ if you didn’t.

I couldn’t believe it. I went out to the truck after collecting my things and thanking those ladies a thousand times even though it was me taking the exam and took a picture of my confirmation form and texted to Charlie.

I went home and drank several beers after that. So, now you think I can get that job after going through all that? I’m calling that HR woman as soon as she gets in today.

same ol’ sh*t chex mix

This month is continuing to be the mutha-f*cker last month was. I’m sorry I’m so negative but Charlie and I have been hit with a ton of stuff. Things at both of our jobs have been quite difficult which both have to do with staffing needs or lack of help.

The job front is still looking bleak despite my many interviews. I have one small bite but nothing is panning out yet. I’m really ready to move on. Last night, I sat in traffic forever after working late at the office and stopped off at the grocery store to pick up stuff to make for dinner. I thought Charlie and I could sit outside and commiserate over work, have some beers and grill out. What ended up happening was opening a letter from my mortgage company informing me that my property taxes increased and that I owed them $2500 in escrow to be paid by April 1st (the date is not lost on me) and if I didn’t pay it my monthly payments would go up almost $300. I sat on the phone while the escrow woman explained everything to me then I was informed that I was eligible for a re-finance and, hold, while they transfer me over. Then, I was on the phone with a loan officer for another hour going through the application process. If this does go through it will decrease my monthly payments by $300. But, it was exhausting. That was the last thing I wanted to do was hang on the phone all night and talk about my mortgage.

Tonight, I am hoping for a do-over. I don’t want to get the mail or answer the phone. The weather has been exceptional here despite it being March. Last Sunday we rode up to Gainesville to see some friends and to have lunch. It was nice to ride without so much winter gear on and not feeling like I was the Michelin Man. This weekend it’s going to start raining Saturday evening and last for a week. Charlie and I are going to try to get our first landscaping job of the season installed Saturday afternoon before it comes in.

So, y’all haven’t missed much. It’s been the same ol’ sh*t here. You’ll be the first to know if that changes.

an island

Well, the party at Link’s house wasn’t that bad. We had BBQ and jammed down despite my not bringing my drums over. Link’s gf had bought a box of kid’s instruments (kazoos, whistles, wooden knockers, etc) and we filled in background with the guitars and singing. Rooster and Shutter were there playing Link’s bongo drums, and Link pulled out Shutter’s bass guitar and started playing. Val who had been in all week from Maine with with her ex gf (practically all of Val’s friends are ex gf’s) and daughter was singing and playing guitar with daughter on the violin. Martha showed up without Dino in tow which was a relief but I still got cornered in the kitchen by Mike.

You just cannot have a conversation with Mike without him trying to get under your skin.

Mike: So, why are you off FB?

I just need a break from social media for a while. I want to focus on interviewing and trying to find a new job.

What kind of job are you looking for?

I’m looking for a project manager position with other companies.

I heard you completed that project management course are you certified?

No, I still need to study and take the test.

Oh, yeah you’ll need that if you’re going to get a project manager job.

I just looked at Mike. I mean, I’ve been a PM probably longer than he had been an attorney. I will have no problem finding another pm job it just has to be the right fit. But, this is the type of shit Mike always says in a conversation. I decided it wasn’t worth arguing. Thankfully, Rooster and Shutter came walking in to save me and I broke away from Mike to hug them.

I’ve just decided that I’m just not going to let anyone get under my skin. I’m just going to walk away and chill out when someone is trying to make me upset. I am an island surrounded by sharks and no one can get to me. I’m going to end this with a video of Rooster singing a song that perfectly describes what I’m talking about.