This weekend is the last weekend I’m home before leaving on a jet plane for a couple of weeks.

Going to go back out to the remote site for the last time, they tell me. Of course, last time, they told me that that would be the last time. I deliberately set it up so that, next time, they could sent out any old person who knew how to use a computer, was familiar with the applications, and could read a dang document.

BUT NO. They said “we wanted to change everything, upgrade the applications, and make it so that all of the old documents needed to be updated. So we have to send the guy who is the expert out there.”

So I’m flying out to the Middle East one last time.

Which means that, this weekend, we have to prepare for my trip. So I have to hit the various grocery stores to make sure that Maribou has Kraft Dinner at her disposal and, presumably, hot dogs to chop up and put within said Kraft Dinner. Get the various other staples from the various other specialty stores littered around town. Maybe assemble something in the crock pot for her to cook on Monday or Tuesday.

We’ve got kitty litter. We’ve got cat food. We’ve got bottled water. We’ve got peanut butter. We’ve got frozen pizzas.

I’m sure I’m forgetting something. Well, we’ll get that on Saturday or Sunday while we’re running about.

There’s also New Year’s Eve this coming Saturday night but ringing out the old and seeing in the new entails something like “staying up past midnight” and we’ll see if something like that happens. I don’t know that it will. Saturday and Sunday seem to be pretty full. Gonna need to hit the sack by 10, probably.

But, all in all, it’ll be the “hey, honey, are you sure you don’t need anything else until I get back?” errands and then, in the evenings, doing the stuff that I wish I could be doing for the next two weeks, instead of spending my time in some faraway land away from my wife and kittens and bed and computer and frozen pizzas.

So… what’s on your docket?

(Image is “Play” by Clare Briggs. Used with permission of the Briggs estate.)

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Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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72 thoughts on “Weekend!

  1. My wife and I usually order pizza for new year’s eve. We go back to Big City on new year’s day and back to work on Tuesday. Not a bad life.

    Good luck and have a safe trip!


  2. Of course, last time, they told me that that would be the last time. I deliberately set it up so that, next time, they could sent out any old person who knew how to use a computer, was familiar with the applications, and could read a dang document.

    The last time I switched teams, I wrote up everything I did for the old one and scheduled two days of meetings to be sure everyone knew what their new responsibilities were and where to go for info about them. The first time the old team needed some new code written, guess who they called.


  3. Safe travels!

    I had an ultrasound today and Surrobaby is big enough to actually look like a baby now! Everyone is so excited, and I think it’s a relief for the dad. I’m sure it’s hard to feel real to him when he’s not the pregnant one and this is his first child. We heard his heartbeat twice, and the intended dad even let me have my own copy of the ultrasound to show my son. He seems like a really nice guy. We set up a lunch date for next month. I’m hoping we can become friends.

    I have a three day weekend, and Junior comes home from a five day stay at his father’s house tonight, so we’ll be doing the last round of holiday gifts and cleanup. I’m finally starting to get a little bit of energy back, so we’ll venture out to the children’s museum or planetarium. Maybe both! We’ll probably indulge in a New Year’s Day hike since Oregon has a little campaign going this year. I’m determined to workout every day this weekend. I’m in the mood for a little mother and son yoga.


  4. Other than UFC 207 tonight (Rousey is back!) this should be a very quiet weekend. We have our 3 nieces visiting from Washington DC, so we’ll dote on them a bit, but mostly i always use this time to mentally prepare for a productive New Year. To-Do lists updated. Goals set. New calendars unwrapped. Blank pages filled with possibility. New Year’s Day edges closer to being my favorite holiday every year.

    Back to work on 1/3 for me.


  5. [Much more personal than ever …]

    After 24 years of practicing law, I’m done. I’ve hit complete burnout. I just loathe my job (and myself for lacking the courage to quit) every single day. At 52 years old, I’m crazy to try to find new work, but I just can’t do this any more.

    So, my weekend is going to be spent talking to my wife about what salary I have to have so that we can pay our mortgage, and what might be a good fit for me to do next.


  6. Tomorrow will be digging through the fireworks stash. Nothing airborne, just ground effects. Had a good time plinking last weekend, will probably do some more this weekend.

    Saturday will end the marathon week of Harry Potter. Ame said for years she would only watch the entire series, so it’s been this funny thing for years, and the conditions just kind of aligned on this week.


  7. Weekend Part II:

    As a consolation prize for my being willing to quit, my wife is willing to invest a few grand in a computer system that games better than my aging Dell laptop.

    I do love Skyrim, but by the time there are three people fighting and a spell being cast, things move reallly slowly.

    So, assuming that I have (frex) $3,000 to spend on a gaming system, what do people recommend?


      • Has anyone heard of this?

        I’ve been thinking about downloading it, but wasn’t sure if it’s legit. (I’m a novice at such things, but the game seems really cool.) It’s supposed to be a free, open sourced version of Axis & Allies.


          • Sorry the link didn’t embed, but yes, that’s what I was referring to. Supposedly, it has AI’s. I’m not a big fan of human opponents, either. Or rather, I’d like to have the option to play the game against a computer. That’s mostly because it’s hard to find others willing to play the same games with me and even harder to find those whose schedules meshes with mine. That’s one reason I never got involved with role playing games as a kid. I liked the idea–and my parents had even bought me a D&D set one Christmas–but I couldn’t find others to play it with. There were a couple of solo games (kind of like choose your own adventure, but with dice) and those were fun, but few and far between.

            Anyway, I might give tripleA a try.


  8. My weekend just started with the “You’re gonna have to remove your kid from your car insurance” followed by digging up quotes that say said kid (20 and planning to move out next month) is about 18 kinds of screwed.

    Admittedly, his fault entirely — not the greatest driving record.

    But we’re talking tripling his car insurance. He can’t drop coverage down to liability only (which would represent only a modest increase) because, you know, the car is owned by the bank still.

    He can’t not drive because he lives in the Houston area, which is designed to punish people without cars.

    So far, I’ve identified three options for him: 1: Accept a tripled payment he can’t afford. 2. Stop driving for somewhere between 1 year and 3, depending on how long insurance companies track accidents. (While still paying for the car he can’t drive) and bum rides to work/use Uber as this is the Houston area and public transportation doesn’t exist, and “walk-able” is an insult.. 3. Find a way to rapidly pay off his car, and drop to just liability, and hope he’s past his sucks as a driver stage.


      • Whoa, flashback to my freshman year in college in 1972. The US was still in Vietnam, the draft was still running, my lottery number was very low, and I had to make a choice. One of the options was the list of women against the war in Lincoln, NE who were willing to marry male students with low draft numbers (student deferments were long gone, but being married still kept you out). I was about a day short of walking down to the Air Force recruiting office — who were willing to keep me stateside programming computers — when Nixon suspended the draft. Despite all his other flaws, I’ve always figured that I owed Nixon one.


        • I’m told my father had a similar story. His number got pulled but Nixon suspended the draft a week or so prior to him having to show up… and he just didn’t show up at the building and nobody ever knocked on the door to complain about it and, next thing you know, Saigon fell.

          No politics, of course.


      • What’s probably gonna happen is I’m going to give him my 120k 2009 Prius in return for his 2013 Coralla with 20k. And then make him still pay half the car note for the Coralla (it’s a three year loan he was already paying, so it’s a discount) because while I’m trading up, I’m having to get rid of a car I love in return for….just a car. A reliable car, but not one I really like.

        Because if I’d known all this when we BOUGHT the stupid Corolla, I’d have bought a newer Prius under my budget instead of a reliable car under his. (And when it pays off I can always trade it in for a Prius…I like my Prius, dangit).

        He can swap to just liability, reduce his car payment a bit, and move out on schedule. If he wrecks the Prius he may never get a Christmas gift again.

        Ugh. Cloth seats and no backup camera. Barbaric.


          • Well, he was going to move out next month. But there’s a difference between “expected car insurance increase of 25% to 50%” and “triple”.

            Liability only drops him to “25%” (even going above Texas’ mandated minimum coverage).

            I love that Prius, darnit. First car I bought brand new. Had everything I wanted, exactly as I wanted it. I’ve driven that 120,000 miles. I’ve kept it in great shape. Yeah, technically this is a massive upgrade but it doesn’t feel that way.


          • I literally just bought the thing. Like two months ago.

            Kid wrecks his car. Kid has to replace car. Kid goes with Corolla (good price, reliable, etc). Kid gets surprise insurance hike two months later of 300%. Kid now needs to drop to liability only.

            Which means “no car loan” — so cash on the barrel, as it were.

            Frankly, given his budge (what’s left after trading in the Corolla and paying off the loan)t, my old Prius is probably a far better car than he can buy outright. High mileage, but in great shape with one owner. So straight swap, and he’s got three years of half payments to replace what he broke. (It doesn’t work out if he breaks a car and I end up with a car payment. But since it’s an upgrade to swap, I’ll take half the payment now).

            I mean that’s the thing in the end: He can’t have a car loan for somewhere between one year and three years, not and afford the required insurance. He’s got to stick to liability only (and uninsured motorist, but that shouldn’t scale with your record.)

            So it’s either pay off the Corolla (unofficial family loan) or straight up swap and negotiate a deal on the Corolla with, well, me.

            It’ll work out, it’d just be nice if we lived somewhere with actual mass transit. It’d give him some other options (like just not driving for a year or two).


            • Ah… I saw “2013” and figured you’d had it for a few years with minimal use.

              That really sucks.

              Does your son appreciate the situation? My parents let me learn a lot of real world lessons in real time, but they took care of our car insurance for a long time (which probably makes sense in the vast majority of situations when doing so is possible) but they never really talked to me about it so I had no idea how it all worked or what to expect it to cost or any of that when it came time to handle it on my own.


              • Also, Houston sucks. Easily my least favorite city I visited. Though when I was there, I remember lots of fanfare about the street car system they had just opened or whatever [insert eye roll].

                I do remember having phenomenal Vietnamese food and a fun little spot called Bombay Pizza (which probably tells you I was there for work and never was out of eye sight of the (godawful cruise ship themed) convention center).


              • Oh, he gets it. He was shocked to the core to hear what his new comprehensive quotes were. He’s been paying his own car insurance since he started driving, and he was paying for the car note on the Corolla (it was his car, after all).

                I’m really down to figuring out what’s fair on trading cars and the responsibility on the car note.

                Also, close to the convention center is a bar call “Neil’s Bahr” which is grungy, geeky, cheap, and often has a guy making decent grilled food on the porch. More fun with friends, though.


    • I know we are in way different areas of what is called Houston (a 100 miles wide blob if you count from Galveston to Conroe – I’m in blessed GOOF, formerly Garden Oaks-Oak Forest, but GOOF is so post-millennial ), but I’ve found Uber in Houston exceddenly good, and surprisingly “cheap”

      Alas, all will be different after the Super Bowl, I’m told


  9. I am going to see Sleater-Kinney tonight.

    This year ended up being pretty rough for me. Not because of all the celebrity deaths or Trump’s election. I was laid off in March as I have mentioned before. Turns out the place I was working is sort of known for frequent and random lay-offs. I ended up doing okay financially but only because of random and dumb luck that caused me to get a really good freelance assignment during the summer which led to just enough freelance work to keep me okay through the fall. The original great summer gig ended because of appropriate randomness.

    There were some other freelance assignments which helped but those were short.


  10. Oh man… big plans…

    This weekend was all about Mayo delivering on some of his birthday gifts: Saturday all-inclusive passes to the AMNH with his Pippe (my stepdad, a science professor and the resident family nerd) and Sunday a cupcake baking class with his Nonna (my mom). Then Zazzy was going to take the boys for the day while I went to watch football with the guys and slept it all off on Monday. WAHOO!

    But… then I learned that what I thought had been the flu turns out to be pneumonia. So now I’m re-quanratined, cut off from the world, and on an anti-biotic that might cause my achilles to rupture. HUZZAH!

    ETA: Mayo will still do all his stuff so everyone ELSE will be having fun.


  11. I’m at the tail end of what is going through. A bout of really nasty influenza A, which lasted from before Thanksgiving right up to Christmas. Then on the day before Christmas Eve my “good” ankle does this thing it does about once every 18 months or so, which is to swell up and in extreme pain. Now I’m 99.9% done with the flu (occasional light cough of two, maybe once a day, but feeling fine) and my ankle has gotten to where I can walk without crutches with just a slightly noticeable limp. (It should be gone completely by next week.)

    My New Years Eve weekend looks to be a busy one, though most of it is work. I have three pieces I’m working on right now, one for MC and one for a new Rupert Murdoch (!) venture. I also need to get everything behind the scenes ready so that tickets for the February 7 Deadly Sins show can go on sale next Tuesday. And on top of that, the people who backed 7 Deadly Sins have asked us to produce a new, second, very different regular show at a different theatre, and that needs some tending to as well.

    Otherwise, I’m going to be diving into the deep pile of books friends and family gave me for Christmas and my birthday: Hillbilly Elegy and the related Strangers In Their Own Land, Karen Russell’s Vampires In the Lemon Grove, Lab Girl, Ted Chiang’s Stories of Your Life, Jim Lynch’s Before the Wind, Dave Eggers’ Heroes of the Frontier, and Shawn Levy’s Dolce Vita Confidential, which is about the heady and swinging days that were the film and cinema world of 1950’s Rome.

    Oh, and I think I’m going to see La La Land tonight, and maybe Rogue One tomorrow.


  12. Getting in the car, going to the airport. Stuff will be intermittent for the next couple of weeks, know that it’s not from a lack of love!



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