Tuesday, May 11 2021

miles birthday weekend 2

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everybody. How are you feeling today? I'm pleased to report that I managed to get ready this morning without any accidents. All that's left to do is to write in the journal and head upstairs to start the workday. I think it's safe to say that I'll be enjoying a much more normal day today.

It feels so good to be back on schedule. Today is like my spiritual Monday. After a crazy weekend of family and travel, I've been really craving a return to routine. Waking up on time, chores, coffee, and writing. There's no sweeter sound than the machinery of my morning routine clicking back into place.

Sip. Happy Tuesday, everyone. I believe when we last left off, I was still in the process of marching through Miles' very exciting past birthday weekend, but I don't want to miss yesterday's highlights either. While I was taking it easy on the living room couch, Marissa collected a small cubicle package from the front step. She unfurled the corner of the box and backed away after peeking inside.

"I think your worms are here," she said.

Inside the box, the worms tumbled around a sealed mesh bag with a big wad of paper. If you held your ear close to the bag, you could even hear the scraping of their feet on the paper. It sounded like the pattering of a hundred tiny typewriters.

I had already bleached, rinsed, and dried the terrarium. It was loaded with fresh oats, and I even added a decorative toy version of the Interceptor from Mad Max to spruce up the place. I took the box into Rodney's room so he could have a closer look before it returned to the high bookshelf. I handed him the pair of metal snake tongs. "You can't touch them," I said. "But you can pick them up with these gently."


Rodney picked up the fattest worm that was still nibbling on a carrot. The other worms burrowed down into the oats.

"Hi honey," said Rodney quietly. "My name's Rodney - I'm four. There you go, little guy."


They're fascinating little worms. The carrot slices have been popular. They seem to feed in waves. A few times I've walked by the terrarium and it's looked completely empty. When all the worms are hiding beneath the surface, you have to stare at the oats to catch the tiny tremors in the substrate.


So that's the big worm update. Let's shift gears and finish up this birthday weekend, shall we? When we last left off, Rodney and I hit the pool, the boys had a quick Panera lunch with Poppa, and we ran the brutal gauntlet of packing the dogs and the kids away in time to checkout. We had a long, quiet drive. Zapped from the weekend, there wasn't much talking to be heard. Marissa shut her eyes for half the drive, then gave me a turn to sleep.


We'd arrive home in the early evening - just in time to order some food and curl up on the couch. We unloaded everything from the car into the dining room, slowly chipping away at it until after the kids were in bed. I removed my writing laptop from the sleeve in my backpack, plugging it in at the coffee bar and giving the power button a quick mash. The laptop hummed, but the screen remained black.

"What do we have here?" I muttered. It appeared that schlepping my writing laptop around in my backpack must have knocked something lose. The power button still worked, and the computer would even boot and display things on the screen, but the light behind the screen was out.


My process for fixing laptops isn't very exhaustive. I just open it up, clean out the parts, and re-seat any cabling that looks related to the issue. I narrowed it down to this little clump of cables just above the hard drive.


The thin grey cable ran all the way up the back of the laptop to the display. It seemed like the type of cable that would get knocked lose in my backpack. I blew all the dust away and fastened it in place. It booted.


A typical Thinkpad adventure - whenever something on these things breaks, it always feels like it's going to be catastrophic, but Thinkpads are survivors. If you are brave enough to peek under the hood, they will reward you for it.

We slept in on Sunday. I beat Marissa to the kitchen so I could throw together a Mother's day breakfast. On the way up to our bedroom with her omelette, I threw a piece of paper and a pencil into Rodney's room. "Hey dude," I whispered sharply. "It's mother's day. You gotta make a card."

Rodney rolled over from his pillow and smacked his lips. "Um, maybe we can draw something tomorrow," he suggested.

We spent the rest of the morning getting the house ready for the Recker side - our first all-vaccinated get together. My sister Sarah would arrive a little early. We ate lunch while her dog Hendo frolicked around the yard.


The rest of my family trickled in. We hugged. The kids played.


Miles ate a piece of cake. Still keeping score? This would be his third cake smash of the weekend.


Thanks for stopping by today. See you all tomorrow, and have a happy Tuesday.