got some rain on thursday night and the neighbor’s tank cars were shining bright when I got to work friday morning. then it clouded up for a few hours, sun came back in the afternoon but the cars had dried by then. I took this photo in the morning but the distance, and digital zoom made for a picture that really doesn’t do the original scene justice.

sun on wet tank cars

I need a plan

I’m great at starting things and not finishing them, and I always thought I was just easily distracted. Yesterday, while on break, I watched this video:

While watching it, I realized I actually have zero project management skills in relation to the projects I never finish. I’d like to say I have zero project management skills, but I do manage to complete complex projects at work, with a general plan, but nothing actually written down and mapped out; it’s usually all in my head.

thankfully I’m uninspired to make a cake baking robot, although I do think I could improve the design.

my thermostatic digital temperature controller is still about 50% done. I haven’t touched it since I lived in Hawthorne. I’m now about 75% on a back yard foundry project. I haven’t made any progress on my grill resto since I got it in storage. I still have two worm drive skil saws for resto from 2013 or so.

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Make-The-Mini-Metal-Foundry/

I’ve got like 300 pounds of cardboard to recycle, but I haven’t found a place that buys used cardboard that has a truck scale yet.

I’m frequently motivated to do the things that aren’t the most productive.

I don’t have trouble sleeping, but I have trouble going to bed on time, largely but not solely because I have trouble eating dinner on time.

The tires I want finally went on sale, buy 4 get 1 free, so I bought all 4. As it stands now my RL tire is pretty new (about 6 months old). FL has horrible alignment wear but holds air. FR is holding air with 35 oz of tire slyme in it, which makes it unbalanced and shakes at 45 mph, it has horrible alignment wear, and the inner sidewall is damaged from rubbing on the suspension due to being mounted on the wrong wheel. RR has 10% tread remaining but it’s sprung a new leak, and I’ve already slymed it once. Plus my spare is shredded, and I have another 10% tire with holes in the sidewall. The plan is to get rid of the two extra tires and the two rights, use RL as the new spare, and keep FL as a loose tire. Planning on getting an alignment and rear diff inspection when I get the tires mounted.

one of the things I wasn’t expecting about not drinking at all is how much I enjoy it.

a week in I bought some beer thinking I’d quit for two weeks and just pick it up again. now it’s been a calendar month, and I feel fine with continuing not to drink… except that (expensive) beer is going to go bad. A while back I did a bunch of experiments with aging beer for various lengths of time, different beer types. Came to a pretty clear understanding that unless the beer is brewed specifically to be aged for a certain amount of time, it’s best fresh, and it’s gross after a year. Stone brewing makes an IPA that’s supposed to be aged for a year, and it works great – aging actually improves the taste. But two years and it’s gross.

in honor of today’s GSA sale going fairly well, I’m having some beer tonight. The online auction provider went down today, apparently for at least northern california, and that delayed everything, but we ended up running the sale without them. Totally not our fault.

this week’s air report

Monday: Smelled like smoke in the morning, but no noticed effect on visibility.
Tuesday: Smelled strongly of smoke in the morning, and driving directly into the rising sun did not require the normal sun shade.
Wednesday: Visibility less than 1/4 mile. Strong smell of smoke, falling ash. Able to look directly at sun. Got to work, had trouble breathing. Wasn’t sure if I could make it through the day but the wind changed around noon, and by 2 PM the air was mostly clear.
Thursday: Smell of smoke, normal visibility.
Friday: Some smoke smell, normal visibility.

Solved the calendar problem on the third wipe. Wipe, restore, disable calendar sync, sign into cloud, turn calendar sync on.

my birthday gift to myself this year is a day of complete sobriety, but I’m putting it off until next weekend so I don’t disrupt my work week too much. Tomorrow is my two week anniversary of not drinking. I’m thinking I might try and quit caffeine for a couple days. I drank an energy drink on thursday because I was feeling sluggish, and I had trouble sleeping thursday night, so I drank an energy drink yesterday, went to bed last night around 11:30 PM and got up at 1 PM today. I’m tempted to go full retard and do a juice fast that day, but that would mean basically doing nothing.

I managed to keep my sleep schedule mostly normal through my first week of not drinking by pushing myself physically. Everything went to shit friday night. Let me back up a little bit first. I haven’t been smoking as much weed, I’ve been trying to get high mostly from vaporizing cannabis oil in pre-filled cartridges that I can buy at a clinic. It’s a lot less harsh, but I still like to keep some flowers around, because vaporizing is not the same, and sometimes I need both. So early last week I picked up some of the strongest flower I could find, just to have on hand. I like it, but I don’t want to waste it, so I bought some cheap medium grade flower on friday to have over the weekend.

So I smoked some of the medium stuff on friday night to try it out. Went to bed around 10:30 PM, woke up at 3 AM because the Carbon Monoxide alarm battery was low. I didn’t figure out what was beeping until 6 AM. finally got back to sleep around 6:30 AM and slept til 1 PM. I was up for 8 or 9 hours, smoking weed and playing video games, and eating, but I could not keep my eyes open. I went to bed super early, and now it’s 3 AM Sunday and I’m wide awake. I just awoke from a super crazy deep brain dream about a girl I knew briefly in Chico. Naomi was one of the first girls I ever cared about; feelings weren’t mutual. We cuddled under the stars once on a magical night I can’t believe I can still remember. 18 years ago.

None of that was in the dream. Everyone was younger – or perhaps timeless, I’m not sure. It wasn’t in a set place or a set time, but there was a wonderful feeling of normalcy, of casual intimacy, as me and my companion (whose identity is blocked from me at this time, they weren’t strange in the dream) encountered Naomi while traveling, somewhere, and she got some time off work to go with us somewhere else and talk and laugh. Things went better than I expected and we had sex. Me and my companion continued on our vacation or trip or whatever, and Naomi went back to work and life went on. In the dream, Naomi was a blonde pixie from days past and familiar, nameless. Everyone was nameless. Dreams are weird like that. I awoke quite suddenly, just as I was beginning to reminisce about my sexual encounter to my companion and wonder if there would be more. BOOM.

I awake with a start, and this next part doesn’t usually happen. Usually I forget the dream, or vaguely remember the contents, but today, I woke up and brain said, You know what? That was Naomi you just dreamed about. I was in shock. Then I remembered the parts of the dream I just wrote about. The brain is a strange and mysterious thing. I don’t think I’ve thought of this chick in many years. I don’t know what her last name is, where she lives, if she’s alive, or ever got a degree. I can’t say for sure she’d remember me. I feel like I knew who my companion was in my dream, but some sort of line was drawn when I woke up, and when Naomi surfaced I blocked out the other person. My memory of them in the dream is literally blurry, like their identity was hidden in a photo.

Now I’m struggling to not assign meaning to coincidences.

I haven’t had anything to drink this week, so far. I haven’t decided how long my break will be.

I picked up a free propane BBQ on Monday after work. It was a couple towns south of work, and I didn’t think I’d be able to secure it at my apt so I left it in the back corner of work’s employee lot. I cleaned it up yesterday during lunch and after work. I need to order some parts for it, but the main body is ok. It’s got four burner banks, a rear burner, a rotisserie, a side burner, and a side table. Sorta like yours except it’s cheaper shit from home depot. I’m going to try to fit stainless components into it, since the original components rusted out, and were already replaced once. This is the second set that’s rusted out. I broke one of the grill plates hitting it on the ground to clean it – it’s made of cast pot metal and it shattered like glass. Today I loaded up the main body and stuck it in storage. I have best examples of the parts I need to replace here at the apt, and the grease catcher, which did rust out, at work. Once again I wish I had access to a sheet metal brake. Dunno if I’ll be able to find that part, don’t think it’s repairable, but might be able to just stick something on top.

I went for a 4.8 mile bike ride after work yesterday.

Wrestling with the grill today wasn’t nearly as taxing as Monday, as I was able to significantly reduce the weight; nevertheless I don’t feel like going for a ride. Maybe I’ll go for a walk in the morning.

surreal cat

I thought about how I’d post this entry a few times, I ended up forgetting I hadn’t actually posted it. A couple weeks ago, I was preparing for the GSA auction, and I was over loaded with work and trying not to get stressed out. I went for a walk before work, on Tuesday, I think. I did the 2.1 mile loop I had walked before. I left my apt around 6 AM. About 10 minutes in, I hadn’t seen anyone, everything was quiet and still, and I come across a cat wandering around a driveway, it sees me, darts under a car, and watches as I walk on by. When I’m next to the car I say “good morning” to the cat. Continue walking down the street, cross the street, see another car already chilling under a car in a driveway, so this one I “meow.” This is happening relatively quickly – the first two cats were about 3 blocks apart. I’m walking, and up far ahead I can distinguish a lady walking her dog. I’m not focusing on that, I’m just scanning for rocks and keeping a rhythm. All of the sudden I hear meow meow meow meow meow so I look up, and there’s this small grey cat walking fast down the sidewalk towards me, meowing the entire way.

When it got to me, I stopped, and said “Good Morning Cat,” and it rubbed against my legs. I put my hand out and wiggled my finger, and it reared up on its hind legs and nuzzled my finger. Meow meow meow meow. I said “Goodbye Cat,” and continued walking. I didn’t look back, but the cat didn’t follow. By far the friendliest cat I’ve ever encountered. Definitely a surreal experience.

I passed the lady with the dog a couple minutes later. She picked up her (small) leashed dog to walk past me on the sidewalk, and almost didn’t return my “Good Morning.”