Oh, it’s gonna be *that* kinda day

One where you wake up 45 minutes before your alarm and it’s still dark out and you just decide, Fuck it, I’m awake, let’s do this.

In Covid news, we have confirmation that 45 is an unmitigated ass who doesn’t give a shit about anyone. Also – what an idiot to think he could somehow make himself look good with Bob Woodward.

It’s not really shocking though – we all know he just shrugged his shoulders and said “It’s not like I’m going to get it” and went on his merry way, because we saw that play out in real time.

And for that, we’re have nearly 200,000 dead and god knows how many who will have lifelong health consequences, and none of us has had anything remotely resembling a “normal” day for over six months now.

The photos coming out the west coast are just insane. Green. New. Deal. Like, we needed that yesterday. Maybe with that we could stop yelling at people for having cars when we have a country with shit public transportation and maybe do something about the industrial polluters who are responsible for the vast majority of this.

One of many disheartening bits of all this (and there are so many) – 200K dead and half the country is *literally* on fire – and there is going to still be a big chunk of the population that loves its racism and sexism even more than you know, *living*, and will be voting for 45 this fall.

On that cheery note, time to go grind the gears for capitalism.

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Gooooooood morning!

Extra good cause I’ve got the day off, LOL. Hardware store has already called and my order is ready, so as soon as breakfast is done, it’s back out and about and off to the races on the final leg of Lily’s door. I wasn’t expecting the call until this afternoon, so it’s good to be able to get it sooner, but also, fuck, wasn’t mentally ready just yet!

First day of school here in the county and we’re all online at least for the fall semester. I know it’s frustrating for everyone, but hey, no getting caught behind school buses on the way to and from Starbucks this morning! (Though I did see one school bus when I was out and about and I was very, “Wait, what?”)

I’ve also just realized I forgot the one thing I specifically went out for this morning after Starbucks – a newspaper to put down under the wood for additional painting. Got distracted by pineapple and chocolate swirl pound cake at the market.

At least there is a Walgreens next to the hardware store, and they should have newspapers.

Welp, time to go get at it. Have an excellent day.

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Tiny disappointment.

So, yesterday I cooked up some pork tenderloin with the jerk seasoning I found a few weeks back. It was good – but not what I remember my Mom making. Dammit!

My Mom wasn’t making her own white-people-no-spice version of jerk seasoning, it was a commercially available product, but damn if I have any idea what brand it was or where she got it. I think it definitely had more black pepper in it than anything I’ve stumbled onto to date, but beyond that, it’s hard to articulate what’s different.

I’ve now tried three different types of jerk seasoning, and all have been good, but just not “it” – close, but just not quite there. (Well, one was way more Moroccan tasting than Jerk, but still good it its own way.)

We also got some pineapple to go with it, so guess who is having pineapple with smoked sea salt for breakfa–err, lunch? How the hell is it almost 2PM? I was up before 9 this morning? WHERE DID THAT TIME GO?

I’m gonna blame the pandemic on that one.

In other ways the pandemic is mucking with my head big time: My gas station has been stocking these wipes – just plain alcohol wipes, unscented, not sticky, etc, and they’re great.

Oooh, 75%!

Now, every time I pop in there, I am finding I have a very difficult time *not* buying another pack of them. I don’t go through them that fast, but they’re really handy and damn if I have this irrational desire to have MANY, MANY PACKS OF THEM in my possession.

The amount of therapy I should probably *already* be getting thanks to the last 6 months.

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Happy Labor Day! Thank a Union!

Every industry in this country needs a union. Every. Damn. One.

I’m not a recent convert to being pro-union by any means. I remember way back at the start of my career watching the uncompensated overtime with no comp time stacking up and thinking “damn, why can’t accountants have unions so we’re not drilling ourselves into the ground with these fucked up hours?”

The number of places I’ve worked that intentionally understaffed knowing they could get any hours they wanted out of us because we were all FLSA “exempt” (HA) and no one could do anything about it… Sheesh.

Even where I work now – it’s not horrible, but yeah, tech workers need unions, too.

Everybody needs unions.

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At least temporarily. As I was tacking the screening in, I realized I had inadvertantly created a spike strip on the other side – the tacks are ever so slightly longer than the thickness of the wood. Oops.

I thought through it, figured out how to fix it, realized it would need a hardware store run. No problem, I can then get the plywood for the platform too.

Placed order for pickup. Get email that 5 of 6 items are actually out of stock, but they have ordered them for shipment to the store. OK, I’ll pick them up next weekend, I guess. Not the end of the world. Then get an email that the order for those items have been canceled. Um, fuck?

Called the shop, they don’t know why the system would have flat out canceled the order, but we re-ordered and things will be in Tuesday.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t super disappointed. But – I have Tuesday off, I should be able to get a fair amount done and hopefully Lily will have her outside time next Saturday.

Guess tomorrow will be housework. Yay?

It was going quite well!

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Ow. Ow. Ow.

So, I didn’t finish Lily’s screen yesterday, but I made some fantastic progress. What I did not think about was that in putting this together, there was quite a lot of sitting in odd positions and such while doing “measure/cut/sand/attach/jump up and check fit in door”.

My body reminded me of that very loudly this morning. Oh my god, my legs are killing me. But look what I have!

Look what I did!!

I made the executive decision to only paint the side that is facing outward. I only have so much time and patience, LOL. If you look closely, it’s totally amateur hour, but I am really pleased with it.

Today’s tasks:
– Tack in the screening
– Add reinforcing pieces to corners on the back (already cut, just need to glue/clamp)
– Add a box frame around the section where the tunnel will be attached to keep that section extra stable (already cut/built/painted)
– Put gaffer tape on both side of the screen within the box for additional reinforcement
– Carefully poke holes in the gaffer tape and attach tunnel with zip ties (though also wondering if I can just smush the tunnel into the hole w/out permanent connection – we’ll see)
– Cut center area out of screen
– Put frame in door
– Watch Lily refuse to walk through!

I also have to improvise a platform/ramp as there is a bit of a drop between where she would walk through and the porch floor, but that should be easy enough given the beer cases & Amazon boxes I have about the house. Maybe Tuesday or next weekend I can make another trip to the hardware store and grab a piece of plywood and braces to make a proper platform.

Right now my only concern is that the tunnel may be a bit too short when all is said and done, but if that is the case, the one I got can be attached to other tunnels, so – may just snag a second one if necessary.

When all is said and done, it may have been cheaper to just buy a new storm door with the pet door built in, LOL.

Only two minor “measure twice, cut once” incidents – one piece of wood cut too long, easily fixed. Another – measured correctly, except for exterior dimension vs. interior dimensions. (Only lost two small strips of wood to that.) The internet lied to me, and the replacement staples for my ancient tacking stapler did not fit – but if you snap off 3 or 4 staples so you have one really wide staple – you can just pound them in with a hammer!

But, this has really been a fun project and I’m glad I decided to do it.

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What a difference a day and a cold front makes

It’s 69º (niiiice) out there and it felt good to throw on a hoodie when I headed out to Starbucks this morning. High today will be 79º – perfect for working outside.

For the main screen frame, I only have to measure, cut and attach 5 pieces of wood, and same for the bracing. Why does that feel oddly daunting? Probably because everything feels daunting these days.

I keep reminding myself how damn accomplished I will feel when this is done. And I know I *will* feel like a rockstar. I just have to haul myself out to the damn carport and get going, LOL.

I swear, inertia is my biggest enemy. Once I get going on something, I’m usually good to go – it’s the getting going that is the hardest damn part most days.

I don’t know what state & local officials are doing elsewhere, but here in Virginia, we’re not relaxing what few restrictions we still have for Labor Day weekend (good) and they’re talking about being cautious and all when doing things for the holiday. We’ve had spikes after Memorial Day and July 4th, and even with everyone knowing what they’re supposed to do, I suspect we’ll have yet another post-holiday spike.

Here at Chateau de Chatte, we ain’t doing shit for the holiday that involves other human beings. I’ve got a nice pork tenderloin that is defrosting and real jerk seasoning for it and I’m going to cook that up tomorrow and will be the extent of celebrations here.

Well, that and hopefully having some porch time with Lily.

And on that note, time to go build things!

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Lily’s project will have to wait until tomorrow.

It is far hotter and more humid than I’d anticipated today and after the Post Office, spraying down the yard, gas station and grocery store – now I have what I can only describe as “heat gross”.

It does not rise to anything like heat exhaustion, but just being outside for a short amount of time and I am just…blech.

I did get a load of laundry going, which is good.

But, it’s time for a nap.

Yay for long weekends to do that.

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Long Weekend!

Since the pandemic fucked all my baseball plans, I’ve got leave to burn, so taking today *and* Tuesday off!

I was trying to figure out the other day how I seem to have so much leave, given that I’m really bad at taking a day off just for the sake of taking a day off – and it hit me this morning: Fucking On Call weekends. Whenever possible, I took the Monday after those weekends off, cause even when there were no calls, those weekends were fucked, and I was just trying to get time *back*.

Well, that’s 5-8 days of PTO right there. No wonder this year I have extra days and I’ll still be able to take the week between Christmas and New Years off.

And I’m already off to a rip roaring start. Up before my alarm, Starbucks acquired, and I’ve gone to the Post Office to ask them to please look for my package that was put on a truck for delivery on 8/28 and was never delivered. I’m guessing it is just still in a truck and a driver doesn’t realize it, but I want it found. There may have been a way to do this online, but it wasn’t obvious, so sometimes you just need to do things in person.

It was just a small Etsy purchase – but it was the seller’s first sale. This is the LAST thing you want to happen. She had messaged me to see if it had arrived, and when I told her not yet, I also assured her this is NOT HER FAULT. If they don’t find it in the next couple days, I will commission a replacement – at commission rates – because I still want the thing I ordered, and I want this seller to keep making things and not have this discourage her.

The next project for today is fighting the mosquitos in the front yard. The garden next to the carport is a damn marsh, which I have to assume is 90% of the problem. I’ve gotten some eco-friendly repellent to hit the areas around the carport & porch, but we’ve just had rain every day since it got here and I need a dry day to put it down, and today should be that day. (I really wish I’d thought of this earlier in the season.)

Then – now that I have all the tools and dry weather and time – Lily’s catio!! I’m hoping I can get the bulk of it done today, and I do think I can definitely have it done and installed by Labor Day. I hope she likes it.

More than anything, I’m going to try to use this extended weekend to do a solid mental reset and get in a good headspace for the fall. On the whole and considering everything, my mental health has been fair to middling through all this, it’s taken a few hits the past few weeks. I need to get myself to a place where my life is more than just work and ignoring things that need to get done around the house.

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That was a weird start to the day

So, this morning, a couple minutes after the alarm went off (and I hit snooze) – I heard something outside.

“Let meeee iinnnnnn! Let meeee iinnnnnn!”

Not being totally awake, I thought, “that’s a weird bird”, then I realized it was a little kid’s voice. I snap to, yell out the window, “It’s OK, I’m coming outside!,” grabbed pants and actually had the presence of mind to get a mask and ran outside.

And…nothing. No one around anywhere.

I think I may have heard an adult voice as I was putting on my jeans. I have to assume someone’s kid got themselves locked out of the house and then a parent heard and got them back inside.

But jesus, that was…fucking weird, and not the adrenaline jolt I needed at the start of the day. And it occurred to me later “dumbass, that’s how people get murdered in books.”

I definitely need the rest of this Tuesday to be less weird. (Yes, it’s Tuesday, I had to check.)

I hope your day is downright boring.

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