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.

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.

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.

45 x 90

Recently I was refining my agenda on the Great North Dakota adventure I plan to take someday. Hopefully soon.

While researching where the Geographical Center of North America is I came across the 45 x 90 Geographical Marker page on Atlas Obscura.

And, I must go there … I must stand on that spot … I must take a photo.

As it turns out, the 90th meridian of longitude intersects the 45th parallel of latitude is in a bean field near Poniatowski, Wisconsin.

I’ve stood on the 45th parallel many years ago while camping in Traverse City, Michigan. I believe that was in 2004.

According to Google Maps, the 45 x 90 is approximately an 8 hour drive from the house. It could be a three day weekend drive. Or, maybe, a quick two day drive. Drive up, turn around and drive home. Maybe an overnight in Wausau, Wisconsin. Or, a side trip to Eau Claire to visit some of my second ex wife’s family.

Sculpture at the Krannert Museum of Art, University of Illinois.
Nikon D600 photo taken by Dave O on May 27, 2017.

The Next Day

By mid afternoon on Tuesday, I recovered from Monday’s hangover and started to feel better. By the time the 5:00 pm bell rang, I was back to my old self. On the way home I stopped at Korgers to pick up groceries. I bought canned beer at Krogers. I had two cans at home chilling in the fridge. I wondered to myself if I could survive the evening on only two cans of beer? I decided to give it a try.

The two cans were quickly consumed. The fresh cans were sitting in the fridge but were not cooling down as quickly as I wanted. I held one can in my hand to judge its internal temperature. It was still warm. I decided that it wouldn’t be satisfying to drink warm beer. So, I only had two cans of cold beer last night. My doctor would be proud as she says that two cans of beer is the absolute limit per day.

Last night, I started work on Phase Two of the MCS (mulch containment system). This phase of the total MCS project will not take as long to work on as the length of this segment is roughly a third of the total length of Phase One. Plus, I will try to avoid digging post holes for this Phase.

I saw a rabbit sniffing around the area where the work on Phase Two will be done. I hope I don’t destroy his habitat. I’ve seen two chipmunks sniffing around as well. I believe the rabit and chipmunks live under the deck.

Taxman Brewing Company. iPhone 7 photo taken by Dave O on July 3, 2021.

Hung Over ?

Shit. I believe I am seriously hung over.

Shit. This is not good.

Yesterday (July 5, 2021) was a relationship day. I got several chores done around the house, but the afternoon was spent at a cookout and the evening was spent drinking beer at the local Hooters with my daughter.

We left the Hooters place after it closed. We went home and talked for another few hours. It was after midnight when she left.

I don’t remember driving home from Hooters. Ugh. That is not good. Shit. I don’t even have a glimpse of a memory driving home. Thankfully, all must have gone ok since there are no dents in the Honda and my daughter and I are ok. But still, the lack of memory frightens me, very much frightens me.

I do remember my daughter getting hit on by a guy who bought us a round of beer. I remember the bartender’s eyes and smile. It was a great time.

I just wish I could remember walking out of the place, walking to the car and driving the mile or two home. Geez. That is not good to not remember it.

Sunday night (July 4, 20201) was spent working on the MCS (mulch containment system). Over Saturday and Sunday (July 3-4, 2021) I moved most of the top soil that was delivered on Friday (July 2, 2021). By Sunday evening I had finished moving all the dirt I needed at the time and was screwing in the 1x4x8 boards to finished that section of the MCS. Of course, I was drinking my favorite beer and had already spent a few hours at the local Hooters drinking beer. I remember stumbling as I was screwing down the boards. I don’t remember anything afterwards. Ugh.

Overall, the 3 Day Fourth of July weekend as a great balance of relationship and productive work. Probably should reduce the amount of beer drinking I do. Probably should.

Three cubic yards of top soil, on my drive way. iPhone 7 photo taken by Dave O on July 3, 2021.

What to do on a July 4 Three Day Weekend?

With the upcoming July 4 three day weekend almost upon me, I wonder what I will do with those days as (at this moment) I have no personal or relationship obligations. I have a potential list?

  • Take a bus ride to downtown Indianapolis to watch fire works.
  • Drive to Spring Mill State Park, or Veevay, Indiana or Versailles State Park.
  • Work on the Mulch Containment System.
  • Draw.
  • Read.
  • Clean house.
  • Visit Newfields.
  • Drive to Lexington to visit the art museum on the campus of the University of Kentucky.
  • Drive to the Bad Dad Brewpub in Fairmount, Indiana.

I don’t know about hanging around downtown Indianapolis after dark waiting for a bus to take me home. Indianapolis has become like Chicago in the gun violence department.

Driving to Spring Mill or Veevay or Versailles State Park would be a bonafide day trip.

Probably will spend a lot of time on the Mulch Containment System as I bought three cubit yards of top soil ($130) plus $60 worth of shipping to fill in and level the ground contained by the MCS. I will need to buy a wheel barrow now. Probably will need to rent a truck to get the wheel barrow home as it probably will not fit in the Honda.

Of course I want to practice drawing. I hope I make time to do so.

Of course I want to read. I haven’t read much lately as I been working on the MCS with most of my free time.

I need to clean the house. And the bathroom. And the fish tank. And my desk. And the kitchen.

I could go to Newfields. They’ve open the Beer Garden. I can get a good buzz and walk around the gardens taking photos.

Driving to Lexington to walk through the UK art museum would be another bonafide day trip.

After browsing the Brewers Association member directory to find a brewery to drive to I found the Bad Dad Brewpud. It fits, as I’m a bad dad too.

Plastic Snail at Newfields. Nikon W300 photo taken by Dave O on July 8, 2019.