Masking Up

The Company is now requiring all employees to wear masks to prevent the spread of the Delta variant. Shop workers need to wear masks 100% of time. Office workers do not need to wear their masks while sitting at their desks. However, if they are not at their desk a mask is required.

And this is required for fully vaccinated or un-vaccinated people.

What gives?

Most of the workers who wear masks don’t cover their noses. So, what’s the point are wearing a mask if it’s not worn correctly.

I don’t get it. But, I’m not the expert or a politician.

I became fully vaccinated before I was recalled to the office. I thought that was the end of my mask wearing days. I guess not. Prior to this new mandate issued by the Company, if you were fully vaccinated and could prove it then you did not need to wear a mask.

First thing in the morning the Owner Narcissist made his complaint about the new company policy known. And he is the owner, at least one of the owners. I witnessed other workers moving about the office without their masks. It will be interesting to see who complies. I noticed the Service Narcissist walked into the office without a mask.

I wonder why masks and other face coverings are not required during the flu season? Maybe I am ‘out to lunch’ but doesn’t the flu kill or sicken just as many people as Covid does? Why does the government not require masks and face covering for the flu?

Sunflower. iPhone 7 photo taken by Dave O on July 28, 2021.

Yuck

I bought a package of Italian sausage last night from Krogers. There were five links in the package. At first I thought the Italian sausage were Johnsonville Brats but the label said it was Kroger’s version of Italian sausage.

I cooked and ate four links. I didn’t prepare anything else, no bread or vegetables, no potatoes or anything else. Just plain Italian sausage brats.

I bought the ‘hot’ variety. And, they were spicy hot. I didn’t intend to buy the spicy hot Italian sausage but I didn’t read the label correctly while standing in the store. I just saw the word ‘Italian Sausage’, saw the package was similar to the Jonsonville Brats package and assumed it was regular Italian sausage.

About six hours later I was awoken with a mild case of diarrhea. Ugh. Yuck.

That last time I ate sausage the same event occurred. So, I’m guessing that sausage isn’t the best thing to eat as it seems to cause indigestion and diarrhea for me. Yuck.

I have been keeping to my ‘new’ eating plan for a couple of months now. I’ve lost a few pounds, the clothes are fitting better. Usually, I stick to the canned chicken, but lately I expanded to cooking frozen chicken. I thought I would expand further and try Italian sausage as it is an Adkins friendly food as chicken is. But, I’ll go back to chicken if sausage brings on the diarrhea and indigestion.

Lost Credit Card

I lost my credit card. Ugh.

So I had to cancel the card with bank and I am now waiting on a replacement card. The bank said it would be 7 to 10 business days before the new one arrives in my mail box.

It is kind of frightening to feel like you don’t have any money. Of course there are dollars in the checking account and I can use my debit card so it is not like I am totally broke. But, I don’t like to use the debit card as it draws the dollars right from the checking account. The credit card doesn’t dip into the checking account. Of course, I pay the balance in full each month. But, I still like the buffer the credit card provides. I feel totally exposed when using the debit card.

Plus, the credit card offers these cash-back dollars that I can save up for cool stuff, like a new iPad Pro.

I wonder how the homeless survive without money. I can’t imagine sleeping on the street, wondering where the next meal will came from. Without money, I guess you just sit around and do nothing. What else can you do?

If I was van dwelling, traveling around the country, I would still have money to fund the travel. It wouldn’t be 5 star resorts every night nor at all, but even scaled down to the bare minimum, you still money to provide basic goods and services.

The Inspirational Nomad has a You Tube channel full of advice to people living close to the ground and not high on the hog.

My last road trip was in August 2018. I drove to Colorado and back. I stayed in a KOA camping cabin in Alamosa for two nights, camped in a tent at a Colorado state park near Trinadad, stayed in hotels in Fort Scott, Kansas and Colorado Springs and slept in the car for two nights on the drive home. It was probably the cheapest vacation I’ve ever taken. I saved all the receipts but never calculated the total expense for that trip.

I am planing a road trip to Wisconsin and North Dakota in September, 2021. In the past, I created detailed itineraries for my vacations, trying to cram all that I want to see and do in the allotted time I had. But, for this Wisconsin/North Dakota trip I just plan to drive to the 45 x 90 Geographical Marker near Poniatowski, Wisconsin and to the Geographical Center of North America in Rugby, North Dakota. I might drive to the 14′ pink bra in Grand Forks, North Dakota, drive along 109th ST NE in Niche, North Dakota to the International Peach Garden and then back home. Maybe.

A sunflower. iPhone photo taken by Dave O on July 26, 2021.

My Value

This morning, I learned my true value here at the Company.

A new employee is introduced to the Service Narcissist, who is also the service manager, so he was given the responsibility to start the new employee’s orientation. The first step of the orientation is to watch a video that walks the new employee through the ‘new employee’ manual, taking the new employee page by page, explaining what key policies are, what forms to fill out, information about health insurance, disability, vacations and much more.

Of course it is not a MCU type of video with super heroes flying in and off screen to keep the new employee’s attention. Of course, it won’t win any grammy award for most excellent employee video.

As the Owner Narcissist handed off the new employee to the Service Narcissist he said, concerning the new employee video, “It is a riveting production keeping you on the edge of your seat”. Of course he said it as sarcasm, his gist is that “I hope you stay awake” or “sorry, it something we have to do for the legal team so you won’t sue us because all the details are in the book and video and you are now aware of your rights and responsibilities as a new employed here at the Company and nobody wants to personally sit in front of you and explain the crushing details to you”. In other words, the video sucks and it is a waste of time.

I put a lot of effort in that video. And, I put a lot of effort in producing the employee manual. Of course it won’t win a grammy, of course it’s not viral on You Tube. The production budget was the cost of my wage.

Fuck him. He owns the Company, brags about owning the Company. If he hates the video so much, if he doesn’t believe it is good enough to keep a new employee’s attention, if the video doesn’t do what it is intended to do, then order another one produced. He owns the Company. He can make it happen.

But, alas, that is his style. He condemns and criticizes everything else, belittles other people’s efforts, dismisses others as trivial and beneath him, thinks he is charming because he is so witty.

Yet does absolutely nothing about it.

Many, many years ago an employee in the ON’s department said of my effort for the Company, “I don’t know why we need a Graphics Arts Department” which was a personal slam as I was the Graphic Arts Department. I don’t know why that guy said it, he was actually a nice guy. He probably thought that the position was created just for me since the daddy owned the Company at that time, which is probably true in one manner but desktop publishing and graphic arts was beginning to take hold in the corporate world at that time and it made economical sense to have a skilled person on staff to do this kind of work instead of hiring third party vendors. I have that skill.

So, the ON doesn’t believe my effort has value, he probably hasn’t watched the video in the 20 plus years it has been in existence and updated and revised numerous times. If he did, he probably would have caught the Easter Eggs I left in the video.

Thankfully, due to the meds I take, losing some weight, the Cabin debacle, the “last laugh” text, I just don’t care anymore. If the ON doesn’t believe my effort is worthy, then fuck him. Fire me, let me go, escort me out the door, I don’t care.

I only stay because there are over forty thousand reasons and more on the way and for the health insurance and I actually enjoy the work. The pay isn’t too bad either.

So there.

Sunflowers on July 24, 2021. iPhone 7 photo by Dave 0.

Yard Job

Yesterday afternoon, July 21, 2021, I was cutting the front yard. It was a bright, sunny, cloudless afternoon with a slight breeze to cool the 85°F ambient.

A utility truck pulling a small trailer enters the intersection in front of the house. I have a corner lot in the neighborhood. The driver doesn’t stop at the stop sign but swings to the right and begins to U turn in the intersection.

Of course, the utility truck doesn’t have the turning radius to make a clean U turn inside the intersection. So, he drives into my yard to attempt the turn.

Of course, I am witnessing this in real time. That corner of my yard seems to be the hot spot for trucks, buses and cars to make a U turn inside the intersection and need to drive over the curb and into my yard to complete the turn because whatever they are driving doesn’t have the turning radius to make a U turn in the intersection. There is always a rut in that corner of the yard from drivers who can’t put forth the effort or take the time to make a three point turn. Or better yet, just go around the block.

I ran over to the truck and asked the driver why he was driving through my yard. He replied and said that the corner of my yard is an easement and he can drive where ever he wants and I can’t do anything about it.

I called him a few choice words for his attitude and disdain for other people’s property. He could have cared less. I asked who he worked for. He said ‘the state’. Then he drove off.

He came from the crew that was working one block from the yard. So I walked down to the crew and asked for the ‘supervisor’. He was a young man. I told him what just transpired. He wanted to see the damage to the yard. So we walked together to my yard.

The driver of the utility truck happens to pass by, he slows and tells the supervisor what an ass I am for calling him a MF for driving through my yard. We exchange further words and then he drives off. He gets to the same intersection and makes a left turn. Now, had he done that the first time, when I was watching, there would not have been an issue. I said to the supervisor, ‘he can make a left turn now but had to make a U turn before?’.

The supervisor took photos of the rut in the yard. Admittedly, the rut wasn’t deep and would eventually smooth out in a few months. But, as I told the supervisor, a deep rut or not, the driver shouldn’t be driving onto other people’s property for his convenience, to save a few moments instead of driving around the block.

A neighbor, who lives on the same corner, put in large boulders and shrubs to keep cars, trucks and buses from cutting the turn too tight or attempting a U turn and running into his yard. Maybe I should do the same?

Lunch Time Nap

I haven’t taken a lunch time nap in the Honda in a very long time. I haven’t been as sleepy and tired as I was today since I’ve returned to the Fabled Office. And I hardly took the Honda out to pick up lunch while in Quarantine. But today, I took a 30 minute nap in the Honda.

I left the Office to dash to the local Burger King. Ate three bacon cheeseburgers in the parking lot. And, took a nap. Thankfully I woke up in time to be in the Office on time.

Wow, I’m refreshed now. It could be the combination of food and nap that has made me feel better. Or just the nap, or just the food.

Hung Over Again

Coming into work hung over is starting to become an issue, or a habit. I’m not sure what it is.

Ugh.

Yesterday, on my way home after work I stopped at the liquor store to buy beer. At home, I immediately open one beer and then quickly drink two more. As I’m working on the MCS (mulch containment system) it begins to rain. My daughter comes over. We go to Hooters. I drink more beer and fall in love with Laura. We come home and discover the power is out.

This morning, I over sleep. I’m an hour late to work. I don’t believe anyone noticed. The power came back on this morning just as I woke up, an hour later than normal. In the past I would have scurried in haste to be at work as soon as possible. But, this morning, I go through my morning routine as normal, just an hour later than normal.

Hopefully by 11:00 pm or shortly after lunch I will start to feel better. At this moment, I am dizzy and hung over, having trouble concentrating.

Ugh.

Running Again?

I may take up running … again.

I used to run, a lot. Although I was never a contender for any kind of medal or cash prize at any event I enlisted in, I did participate. I got a medal for participation but everyone gets one of those. Got the T-shirt, too.

At my zenith, I ran (probably) 20 – 25 miles a week. Usually outdoor, sometimes on a treadmill. I’ve run a few half marathons, haven’t done a marathon, many 5Ks and 10Ks. At my fastest, I was averaging about 9 minute miles. I once ran a 7 minute mile when I was in my 20s.

I gave up running shortly after Nikki left. I started drinking heavily and over eating. I couldn’t find a reason to continue running as the joy faded from it. What’s the point if the love of your life is gone. In those years, I bloated to over 220 pounds, felt lethargic, fat, useless, worthless.

I bought a new pair of running shoes about four years ago. Haven’t opened the box.

Now that I’ve lost some weight on my new eating plan, I may take up running as a form of exercise and meditation. In the past, I would get up at 5:00 am to run a few miles before I had to clock in at the desk. I would like to do that again.

I’m not interested in 20 mile weeks. I don’t want to be a contender. I don’t want to be on the cover of Running Magazine nor do I want to join a Running Club. But, I would like to get back into shape and run a few 5Ks before too much time passes and I kick the bucket.

Painted Parade Lady from the Fountain Square 2014 Art Square Parade.
Nikon D600 photo taken by Dave O on September 20, 2014.

Younger Girls

The other night, I went out to dinner with my daughter. She is 32 years younger. We sat in a small booth. The restaurant was busy with people passing by our table. From my seat I could see the foyer of the restaurant where people were standing waiting for a table. One girl in particular attracted my attention as she stood there. She was a bit cubby, had golden hair and a round face. I thought she was, maybe, a teenager. She stood there for fifteen minutes and I occasionally glanced at her. I tried not to stare but she did catch me looking at her.

Later, the hostess lead her and her girl friend into the bar area. Since only people older than 21 could be seated in the bar area I immediately concluded she was over 21. They were seated at a table close to my daughter and myself. I had a clear line of sight to her and she caught me a few times looking at her. She order a mixed drink. She seriously looked like she was 17 or maybe 18 years old but she was obviously over 21.

I wondered what she thought of me, if she had any thoughts of me as I sat there with my 26 year old daughter. My daughter and I have a great relationship and we laugh together, share stories and dreams. It could appear that we were on a ‘date’, which we actually were but not in the ‘dating’ sense. We were just having dinner as father and daughter.

I wondered if she thought my daughter was a sugar baby, or that I was one of those types of men that only dated younger girls. She eventually left. I watched her leave. She was my type and being over 21 was a benefit and maybe she could be a dating possibility. My daughter says that I am not allowed to date anyone who is younger than she. I wanted to slip the girl a note asking for her number but I didn’t muster up the courage. I just watched her leave.

Bubblegum slot machine at the Indiana Grand Casio. iPhone 7 photo taken by Dave O on July 10, 2021.

Bad Attitude

Ah … the Owner Narcissist returns to the Office after a ten (work day) vacay to his condo in Wyoming and to the Skywalker Ranch somewhere in California. I believe this is his fifth two week vacay this year. Of course, I’m probably wrong about that but most employees in this Company get only ten days a year. But, of course, I’m not an Owner. Why he is an owner in (what used to be) a ‘family’ business is beyond my comprehension other than realizing he was in the right spot at the right time.

Please bless him.

But, certainly if you analyze things in detail I wasn’t worth of the family business since the day of my birth. I don’t believe he is worthy of the business either. But, I didn’t make those decisions. There were certainly different standards for different people when its said the same standard applies to everyone.

I just have a bad attitude this morning. It came on when the ON (owner narcissist) enters the Office bragging about his ten day vacay and his experience at the Skywalker Ranch. Then, the SN (service narcissist) enters the Office bragging how his grilling prowess is legendary. It was too overwhelming.

For some reason I remind myself that I have a chip on my shoulder. I must have several chips sitting on my shoulder if silly conversations by silly little narcissists can give me attitude. And again, I remind myself that I am just an employee, that I have been just an employee since I started working here in 1992.

I looked up Skywalker Ranch on Google. The only information I could find was this article. It references most of what the ON said. Maybe he just read this article and really didn’t go to the Skywalker ranch.

The Patio at Chilly Waters. Nikon D600 photo taken by Dave O on August 9, 2020.