early friday chex mix

It’s a rainy evening here in Georgia.

Not that I’m complaining of the rain – never. We have grass seed in the back that needs to germinate and I desperately do not want a drought this summer. Yes, I’d take rain any day over a dusty summer. I do realize that we’re still in spring and not quite gotten to summer just yet. I am not rushing it, either. I enjoy these lush, spring days (now that I’ve gotten over the high pollen count with two sinus infections). Charlie is feeling a little under the weather today – something she ate last night, perhaps. It was date night tonight and we went to have pho and then straight home. She has fallen asleep in front of the TV watching some documentary about Africa.

Vacation, f*cking vacation.

I want to be on vacation, honestly. I want to see beaches and smell the salt in the air. We leave for Florida the end of next week and it cannot get here soon enough.

Happy hour.

It’s impossible to get everyone together anyhow for this. I feel like I constantly be the communicator, the planner, the organizer. Maybe one HH a month is enough. We got quite a few 3 people over last week for it but this week we have a bunch of maybes and rain. Maybe’s and rain = Meh, forget it.  Sometimes it would be nice to sit in a cozy Irish pub by a fire (Hey, Marley House) so if it’s raining tomorrow we go there – that is, if Charlie’s feeling better.

We have this friend.

Who I will name DD for Dreary Debbie? Debbie Downer is too common. Desperate Debbie? Yeah, more like that. The girl puts a whole new meaning into that word desperate. Deeeeesperado…….why don’t you come to your senses…….

-it’s like that, y’all. She’s been chasing a dream with two legs for seven-sevenfucking-YEARS to no avail who treats her like a laundry basket or one that holds magazines. Every once in a while you kick it when you’ve had a frustrating day – that kind of basket. So, when she’s Desperate Debbie basket she gets on Tinder.

No good can come from a DESPERATE women in her mid-40’s being on Tinder.

NO GOOD, PEOPLE. No good…..So, you can just imagine the types of people she’s talking to. The ones who ask for money after the 50th text, no snapchat-asses. These are probably men in their mid-50’s using their 20-something year old nieces pictures to elicit money and sex on the internet. We have lunch with Debbie sometimes on the weekends and she shows us dozens of pictures of ho’s women she’s talking to on the internet. Then she gets all depressed that she’s not meeting someone and in the same breath says she’s going to see the woman who treats her like a basket for dinner. We say, Why, why, why, Debbie? You’re going to be on Tinder when you’re FIDDY (50). You don’t want that to happen. You won’t able to swipe left or right because you’ll have arthritis by then from swiping so much. Stop being desperate, Debbie. Stop.

Even Benji had problems with Tinder. Her Tinder woman went cra-cra, said she didn’t want to see anyone and then dropped off the face of the earth (but, probably not off Tinder). They had planz, too. Like going out of town and to a (teeny-bopper 20ish) concert which didn’t happen. Benji was so depressed that she didn’t go – even after trying to talk her into going and giving the xtra ticket to some hot 20-something and having fun. She stayed at home and moped. I would have gone if I were her.

Work. PMP. What am I doing?

I don’t know. We had a “team” meeting on Tuesday and we were told that they found enough old geezers people to take an early retirement that they wouldn’t have to lay anyone off. This is a relief because I’m still trying to find a way to get a promotion to a different department and it’s proving to be equal to landing a federal job interview. That difficult. I know it’s only been a couple of weeks since I got certified but I hope this PMP thing holds more weight than it is holding so far. Part of me doesn’t know what to do with all this spare time I have now from not having to study. The other part is like, what’s next? The company has all these online training classes on Agile Scrum and if I take 22 of these things and take their test I get their company bronze certification in Agile Scrum (notice I said company – by no means is this the nationwide scrum master cert) so I’m doing it so I can add it to my company resume. I’m going to take six months and keep applying and if I don’t get any interviews then I’m going on to another certification – scrum master, Agile, or even Leed. Something.

So, that’s all I got. I hope you enjoyed the snippets of topics – we’ll call it an early Friday chex mix. Y’all have a great weekend! Cheers!

 

thanksgiving chex mix

We made it through Thanksgiving without the house catching on fire, someone ending up in the E.R. or something blowing up, clogging or just busting in some way.

Last week I took off to help Charlie get ready for the holiday. Her older son with his wife were coming as well as the younger with his girlfriend. Monday and Tuesday I strapped on a backpack blower and helped with her landscape clients. Along with that we prepped several dishes for Thursday and ran around running errands and booze grocery shopping.

Wednesday evening they all arrived and we had pizza heating in the oven and beer in the cooler. The first night is always the blowout night and we blew it out pretty good. Thursday we took it easy in the a.m. and really the food prep went off without a hitch. I was surprised nothing caught on fire or the oven going out because I come from a family of holiday catastrophe so I was a bit pessimistic this whole time.

They all went zip lining on Friday and I happily stayed home and dog sat (and their dog, Cooper is really good one on one) and hung out. I was thankful everyone made it back in one piece and that we could begin the shrimp boil. The boil consisted of 5 pounds of crab legs, 1 of shrimp, sausage, potatoes, corn, Old Bay and PBR. It all came out really well and everyone enjoyed a lighter dinner.

Saturday morning the kids all left after breakfast. Charlie and I spent the rest of the weekend chilling out and taking it easy. I felt like I’d been gone from work so long and was all discombobulated this morning getting ready for work. My routine was shot.

Tonight, I’m taking Charlie out for her b-day (I’m not going to say what we’re doing just yet because it’s a surprise) and tomorrow we’re meeting up with some friends for drinks. Friday, we have Charlie Mars again and probably this weekend we’ll get a tree and decorate it.

I’ll leave you with a video of this guy we saw at Edie’s last week with our friend, Sharon. His name is Angie Aparo and if you ever get a chance to see him jump on it!

 

 

Tuesday chex mix

It started out being a relaxing Friday of working from home when – there was a knock at the door and we found the neighborhood code enforcement officer standing on our porch. I knew what this was about, again, it was about debris we had put at the street not being picked up because they suspected it came from one of our landscape customers from outside the neighborhood – which, it didn’t. All the debris we put at the street came from our own backyard we told the officer. She said we had to set up a meeting with the head of public works to review it. I said, Sure, I’ll give him a call right now. Which, I did and we met and I took him and the returning code enforcement officer to the back yard and showed them the fresh cuts off of the crape myrtles we trimmed. After the meeting the city sent the guys down to pick it all up.

The whole thing is just ridiculous and I feel like we’ve been singled out and harassed. I suspect some of this also came from one of our neighbors [who rent, I might add] having an axe to grind and calling the city to complain. Some people just have nothing better to do than to get into other peoples business, I think.  Whatever the case I hope that we don’t have to justify every pile we put at the street to be picked up because I’m going to the Mayor next.

Saturday, we started roofing the gable over the deck. [I was hoping all that nail pounding was driving certain people nuts, too] We got a little over half of it roofed before it was time to get ready and go hear some music in our friends back yard. This was the last back yard concert of the year and we were looking forward to it. I really do hope we can get a similar action going in our backyard but we’ll see. We are going to test out some amp-age pretty soon to make sure we don’t blow a circuit out there. Once we were at the backyard event our friends, Sharon and B. Ferris joined us. It was the first actual chilly night of the fall and everyone was in jackets and standing around the fires.

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The next day we finished the roofing job as beef stew simmered in the crock pot. B. Ferris came over later for crusty bread and stew paired with a wonderful Red Brick Ale -Divine Bovine. Since the turn of the weather I’ve been enjoying stouts more and more. Last night, Charlie and I went out to Brickstore and I ordered a Great Divide Oatmeal Yedi that was pretty darn good. Anyone have suggestions on their favorite stout? [And, yes we’re going to decorate the HALE out of this little shed/porch thing. It’s going to get candy cane poles and it’s own little Christmas tree – you can see Charlie has already put up the chili pepper lights]

Thursday, I’m taking Charlie out of town to (2) undisclosed locations for an early birthday present. I’m so looking forward to getting out of town to explore and relax a bit. I told her to pack her boots and sweaters and we’re going. Any guesses on where?

It will be good to get out of town because after this the holidays will be upon us and both her boys and their spouse/girlfriends are coming for Thanksgiving so we’re going to have a full house. Charlie is already putting together the menu and plan.

Hopefully, the rest of today and tomorrow will go fast!

 

 

 

Friday chex mix

I freaking love Fridays now that I can work from home! The work week goes so much faster when I know that I can work in my boxers on Fridays.

I’m settling in to my new office a bit more and bonding a little more with my team. Patricia doesn’t get on my nerves as much since I know the reasoning behind her questions of my coming and goings is mostly due to a means to make conversation. Ned and Nicole are finally out of their training and are in the office more as well. Both of them have worked together for years and they have a work relationship chemistry going. Yesterday, I got up from designing a job and announced that I needed to get out for a while and get some fresh air. We all loaded into a company truck and rode over to a center nearby and Ned pointed out work that he and Nicole had done in the past. Then, we visited the center where we were supposed to move previously to talk to another member there and I was really glad we didn’t move in to that place. Save for both Chris and Bob there’s no one else in there. It reminded me of The Walking Dead. I’m not so sure I could work by myself over there it would creep me out. I managed to arrange a happy hour for all of us next week so we can bond a little more.

So, some of you have probably been watching this massive hurricane that has been moving up the coast of Florida. Charlie’s folks are down in Vero Beach so she’s been quite worried about them the past week few days. Wednesday we tried to no avail to get them to come up here to stay but her folks wouldn’t move. We were frustrated to say the least but there was nothing we could do short of driving down there and hauling them in the car and driving back but at that point I don’t think we would have made it as it’s a 7 hour trip [at best] there. Charlie was supposed to go down there this past week because the previous week her dad had had a complete hip replacement surgery (another reason why they didn’t want to evacuate is because his movement is limited) but I forbid her going down there to the possible cat 4 hurricane. Thankfully, last night it passed through there as a cat 1 and when she called this morning they said they still had electricity and only lost a screen off of their porch. I really hope for the sake of coastal Georgia and the Carolinas that it veers out to sea before it gets there.

This weekend just happens to be PRIDE weekend in Atlanta along with a bunch of other stuff happening. Tomorrow there’s a neighborhood porch concert fest that our friends Rooster and Shutter are playing so we will probably head down there for a little while. Sunday we will probably try to Uber it down to Piedmont Park to watch the parade and Link and Stiletto ride with the dykes on bikes. Speaking of bikes – it looks like I’m finally going to get my tank and fenders back next week. They have been in Indiana being custom painted since last August. It’s been a process but once they’re back and the bike is put back together it’s going to look HOT. Here’s some pics of the final coat that’s drying.

image000000(that stripe down the front fender is going to look great!)

[For those of you who don’t remember what the old paint looked like it was this:]

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Drewberry is coming over next weekend to help me put it back together and afterwards we’re heading down to the lake near the house for a neighborhood BBQ fest. I’m not sure if Charlie is going to be here for that or not as she’s planning on high-tailing it to Florida as soon as this shit moves off the coast.

Other than that I got nothing except for an answer to Liz + Lina’s podcast question – yes, I need to stay plugged in as that’s what I do. Rarely do I go off the grid but if I do, I’ll let ya know!

Happy weekend! Cheers!

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

end of the week chex mix

I’m just trying to get through this week. The closer it gets to Friday the better. Tonight, we’re supposed to go over to Link’s for a jam party with the Maine folk. Everyone is invited, too. Initially, I was thinking I was going to haul my drum kit over there for the jam but now I’m thinking not. I’m not confident enough of my drumming skills to display myself to Dino and Mike who are going to be there so I’m not even going to deal with their scrutiny. Charlie and I are just going to go and hang for a bit and then call it an early night because it’s a school night.

Yesterday was a good day for a lot of reasons I will go in to later. I came home in higher spirits for once. Charlie and I were sitting out on the porch talking about our music calendar. We wanted to see this artist at Edie’s on Saturday for the early show. I went in to call the box office and I was told they only had one ticket left. I asked the woman on the phone if she could possibly slip in one more and she asked if it was ok to put me on hold. I said, Sure. She came back on to say she was able to get us both in. So, we’re seeing this chick on Saturday:

super bowl 50 chex mix

I’m sorry I haven’t written for so long. I kept hoping the next time I wrote I could say that I had a new job and how great it was gonna be. But no. It seems like it’s going to take some more time for the universe to make that happen.

Things have been such a stressful grind lately between work and interviewing. I need a break for awhile. I hate to complain but I really feel that my job has taken over my life and made it a heck of a lot more stressful. I won’t even get in to my boss(es) on here. But, remember Noel? Yeah, it’s like that. Why is it so hard for people to be NICE? It’s like this:

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I really do feel like I’m becoming one, too. I have to get out!

In the meantime, Charlie and I are having a Super Bowl party and, no, the skanks ladies from last year arn’t coming this year and good thing because I was going to say on the invitation:

This years Super Bowl 50 party sponsored by: 

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and NOT: 

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So, Charlie and I will be grocery shopping and cooking to prepare. I’m going to enjoy it while I can because next week it’s back to the grind unless I hear otherwise.

GO BRONCOS!! 

 

chex mix holidaze

One of the reasons I like being car-less is that when Charlie picks me up from the train station (sometimes with the dogs) we go have a happy hour drink. Remember last year I said I was looking for a new place to hang because the old one was full of obnoxious old men? That we starting going to [ironically] Thinking Man, instead. Anyway, when we started going there the bartenders were always so nice. One, Jess, would always light up and say hi when we walked in. The place never had the best selection in beers – too many IPA’s, I think, but nonetheless it was convenient near the East Lake station.

Before the truck got crunched we hadn’t been there for a while. Then, recently we started going again things were different. Jess didn’t light up when we walked in. She said hi, what can I get you but didn’t hang out and talk like she used to. Something had changed, she seemed harder. I asked how things were going and she said great, talked about her daughter and was ready for Christmas – all the words without anything behind it. I wondered what changed and asked Charlie if she noticed, too. She did.

I read this article about people who have M’s on their palms are supposed to be intuitive and can tell when people are lying or being deceitful. I feel I can always tell when something is up or I’m being bs’d. Although, I can’t explain the crazy guy that sat down next to me on the train the other day with a bug-eyed look drinking his coffee like he was a drinking bird. I changed cars at the next stop.

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I often have to listen to headphones on the train because I can’t stand to hear people talk sometimes. Why can’t people just ride the train quietly so we can all relax? The other night, I had time to kill before Charlie got out of work and rode the train to downtown Decatur. I had my headphones on, thankfully because the guy next to me was just talking his head off to the woman next to him. I had no idea what he was saying but it seemed like she wasn’t at all interested in hearing what he had to say. The woman next to me was obviously listening and I could see her frown and adjust her bag like she was ready to jump off at the next stop which was thankfully Decatur.  I had some time to kill before Charlie got off work so I jumped off, too, and walked into my next favorite pub Mac McGees.

We went to one Christmas party last week, bailed on another and just hung out Christmas day and made a really special dinner of surf and turf. We had torrential rain that day with massive flooding. The weather has been so weird the past week. Saturday and Sunday we both had on shorts and flip flops with the windows open in the house and the fan running. We’re supposed to have another few days of very heavy rain (which, I’m dreading) and then it’s going to cool off towards the end of the week. Charlie’s kids are coming up from Florida so I hope it stops raining by then. New Year’s Eve we’re having a party with Mexican food and margaritas.

Charlie and I managed to get the living room wall painted over the Christmas holiday so hopefully the painting will get hung next week (this is one of the jobs of her oldest to help her do).

Happy New Year everyone in case I don’t get back on here to write again before it happens!

 

running on chex mix

We’re on the fourth week since Charlie’s injury. Currently, she’s able to get around pretty good with her wheelchair and crutches. The other day we were able to go to Sam’s Club and do some shopping pretty easily with her in the chair and me pushing a cart. Originally, we were considering the Farmers Market but it’s hard to get around in there with two usable legs and a hand basket let alone someone in a wheelchair. I probably would have been arrested going after someone for tripping over her leg if we have gone there. People in there are so rude they will push you aside just to get at some cucumbers or they’re not looking where they are going and will run right over you.

I can’t wait for April to get here and winter a distant memory. We don’t have a date just yet for Charlie to lose the cast but we’re hoping by the end of April. St. Paddy’s day we went over to Katherine’s house for a party with the motorcycle group– a mixture of both gay men and lesbians. Yvonne was there – newly moved in with Katherine and just having successfully completed her motorcycle class the weekend prior. I explained to her the situation with quitting and was sorry I couldn’t be there but it couldn’t be helped. But, on the upside I’m available now on weekends to ride and run races. I have been taking Black Fury out on the weekends and doing my in-town loop for the break-in period so last Saturday it was nice out and I took her on the loop and back.

Sunday, I had signed up to do a race with Ellen. Regrettably, it rained the entire race and day. It was a decent race, relatively flat and it wasn’t raining too bad during race. We were still soaked by the time it was all over. A hot shower never felt so great afterwards.