Working the Graveyard Shift

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With a new market opening up today in Europe it was decided that staff needed to be in the office at the start of business (Europe time) to cover any issues that may arise. So here I am, working graveyard from midnight until 8 am.

Surprisingly, I have gotten a ton of work done. I’ve caught up on a ton of e-mails, reports, etc and I’m only 4 hours into this shift. It’s crazy how much work one can get done when there aren’t a ton of people in the office.

I am tired, though.

Boy, Am I Tired

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I don’t think I’ve been this tired for a long time, and that is saying something especially since in the past few months I’ve worked a marathon convention and for two days helped a warehouse ship at about 500% of it’s normal capacity. But I’m tired today.

I have a new respect for my wife and what she can get done in a day. I never even got to shower today because I got up later than I wanted (although still early enough) and had to take the kids to school early so I could register my daughter for pre-school. I got to the school 5 minutes earlier than normal sweating bullets the whole time because the little “out of gas” light was on whole trip and if I stopped for gas I would be late and she wouldn’t be accepted for pre-school. Aparantly they time stamp the applications so time was really important.

After that I cleaned my parent’s rental property. I can infer that the previous tenant smoked in the house (which was forbidden) and was fond of ice cream (which was all over the freezer in frozen puddles and was fond of soda (which was everywhere inside the refrigerator). But I was amazed all the places I found food residue: on the walls in the kitchen, on the ceiling, on the walls of the bedroom, in the bathroom, on the front door. I’m not sure how that happens really. I’ve been in my house 10 years and I’ve never gotten any food on the ceiling or doors even accidentally.

Then back to school to pick up my son, then back to cleaning, then back to school to pick up my daughter and then back to cleaning. I did manage to finish up the cleaning and repairs about 5:30 PM and then went out to dinner at the one place my son was willing to eat. No, not Chuck E Cheese (which is a swear word in my house), but rather that all night purveyor of coffee and pie: Dee’s Family Restaurant. My son only eats the cheese fries and mashed potatoes. That’s it, that’s all he orders.

I ordered the teriaki mushroom swiss burger which I have very strong memories associated with from way back in 2000. For some reason it was a shining beacon of contentment and pleasure in an otherwise bleak time in my life. That sounds pretty crazy, doesn’t it?

After dinner it was back to the rental property then to take the kids home and put them to bed. That’s when I started the weeks worth of laundry. Monday is “Laundry Day” at our house and I’m a full day behind. Well, that’s not true, I have 3 loads done and I’m about half way.

Worst of all I missed Erin’s phone call. I was on the phone ordering DSL service for a friend who desperately needs it and I heard another call come in. Not having caller ID on the phone I couldn’t see who it was but statistically it was another telemarketer or someone calling for a hair appointment, so I it go. When I did check out the caller ID is was foreign, I could tell that. But caller ID doesn’t support as many digits and some foreign numbers have so I couldn’t call back and Erin never called again. Bummer.

Sorry I Missed You…

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Much to my surprise today my wife called me on TokBox but I wasn’t logged in at the time. She sent an e-mail to my blackberry but I get so many e-mails I didn’t bother to look. So I missed talking with my wife today who should be in southern Germany looking at castles like Neuschwanstein.

The kids did not let me sleep in this morning which was a big disappointment. But we had a good time playing a Wii game called Wario Smooth Moves that borrowed from my sister. That right there is cheap babysitting. So far I’ve gotten about 4 good hours out of it.

I managed to get the kids to church even though we were late. My youngest refused to wear anything I picked out (either too itchy or not cute). I was at the end of my rope when my oldest daughter decided to help. Out of nowhere she opened up another chest of drawers that I completely forgot about! And it was stuffed full of clothes that she would wear! Behold my salvation! It’s kind of stupid really since I helped build them but honestly I don’t get my daughters dressed very often (read: never) because of how picky they are. My son is, of course, no problem. He could wear the same thing for a week–even if it is dirty. He would go naked if I let him and he frequently does. This morning he was Going Commando this morning but didn’t realize there was a name for it. Now that he knows there is a cool name for it he begged me all day–even at church–if he could take his underwear off.

But we got to church even if we were late.

After church we went over to my parent’s house and while the kids played Legos I went over to the rental property my parents have (and that I now manage) to see how the previous tennant was coming along moving out. Since I don’t move and this is my first time managing a rental property I was astounded by the filth that was left along with the junk. I had to rent a carpet cleaner and clean all the carpets as well as wipe down everying with 409 (which gave me an amonia asfixation). The sad thing is that I have about 5 more hours of cleaning I’ll have to do tomorrow before the new renter can move in. Next time I’m hiring Merry Maids.

Our annual Carson Family Christmas Party was tonight and, as always, a family tradition. Although participation, or should I say enthusiasim, has declined over the years I think this year was a new low point. I myself am also to blame for this since I had to leave early to clean the rental property and my bother had to come with me. One of my sisters lives out of town and the otner one was totally late and I think left early. My wife is in europe which left just some of my cousins there without anyone but their immediate family to talk to. I hope that we can brainstorm ideas to make it better next year.

So much for a day of rest, I’ve gotten 3 work emergencies today–the lastest of which happened at 9:30 PM and is probably still going on. My boss thinks that this coming week will be slower than usual because almost all of the management is off-site for a conference but I’m skeptical. I think the managers do more work than people give them credit for. I hope she is right, though.

If anyone is wondering why I’m writing like a journal it’s because this is how my wife knows what it going on here at home while she is on her trip. She is always able to find a computer somewhere with Internet access (“excuse me, could you look up this page and print it really quick for me?”) and can get an easy printout. Accessing e-mail is longer and phone calls are expensive. So after the trip you will get the same boring posts you always did. ^_^

Here is something of interest though. I’m still paying ArchLord (level 35 now) and I keep running with players from Germany and France. For the German groups I just speak German but for the French I keep a browser open to Babelfish and translate off-line. Sometimes I’ve been in a group speaking English, French and German. Part of the fun is trying to figure out the German word for something in the game like “farming” or “power-leveling” or even “critical hit.” People laugh when they see what I come up with and often the word is just a Germanized version of the English (“leveling” = “levelen”). Still, it is fun to keep up on my German.

Well now, my oldest daughter just came in to ask me what I’m doing and I’m thinking “What am I doing? What are YOU doing still awake!” Oh bother. No time for myself.

Dad! Dad! Smell my armpit! I used my toothbrush to make it smell good!

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Yes, just before bed, my son came up to me and said “Dad! Dad! Smell my armpit! I used my toothbrush to make it smell good!” Well, what does one say to that espeically when he is pointing it at my face as I sat on the floor reading to my daughter? It’s special moments like these that make being a dad worthwhile.

The day started out with the stomach flu and kids that didn’t sleep in even though they stayed up late. I made the standard Saturday breakfast of french toast with nutmet, cheesy scrambled eggs and toast. But it snowed during the night leaving an easy 6 inches of new snow outside so after breakfast I bundled up, fired up the snow blower and went at it.

I sure am glad I have a snow blower. My mother always had the opinion that they were for rich snobs who don’t like to do real work so I adopted that attitude as well until about the 5th year living with a driveway that is 20 feet wide and about 90 feet long and after marathon shovelling episodes I finally said “I’m hot and my back hurts. I’m buying a snowblower.” to which my wife replied “I know you are hot, that’s why I married you.” Well, honestly she didn’t say that, it was probably more like “I’ve been waiting 5 years for you to come to your senses.”

But I got a big surprise around lunch time when my wife called me from Salzburg, Austria. She had found an internet cafe and used vonage or something to call me! The static was horrible but it was good to talk to her and it was cheap. After talking about 10 minutes we hung up and then she called me back. She had access to a webcam in the cafe so we fired up TokBox and we had a video conference. The kids loved seeing her (so did I) and I got to show her how much it snowed and how the kids still hadn’t gotten dressed even though they had gotten undressed and were running around in their underwear. Well, the boy was.

I thought it was awesome. It’s pretty incredible that it can be that easy to see and speak with someone on the other side of the planet.

My wife kept asking me what I wanted her to bring me and I said “oh, nothing.” But then about 10 minutes ago I remembered that my second favorite treat in the whole works are Motzartkugeln and they are made in Salzburg! (My most favorite being the Wispa bar available in England).

The rest of the day I spent shopping for groceries with the kids. That was fun. Not really. My youngest daughter refused to wear anything but her red sparkly shoes so I had to carry her everywere so she didn’t step in puddles or slush or snow. Looking back on it now I think she played me.

Dinner sucked and I had to make Raman Noodles (for the girls) and cheese pizza for my son which he refuesed to eat because he claimed it was burned and the wrong kind of cheese. Luckily I had broken the pizza in half and only baked half knowing he would never eat a whole pizza. So I pulled out the second half and cooked it letting him determine when it was done. I think he ate it cold. Why the hell are kids so picky when eating? Counting what I made myself for dinner I made 4 different meals. That’s the damn stupidest thing I can think of! But I did it and I can’t think of why (except it did include a lot of crying on the kid’s part). I’m such a sucker.

I’m sure tomorrow will be better.