It's Black Friday. The one day of the year I allow myself to buy stuff I want instead of stuff I need. I put away $100 a month all year long in order to afford things like better quality clothes... tools for my wood-shop... electronics. You know... stuff.
This year I had to spend $380 of my Black Friday savings on a ridiculously expensive WiFi router when my old one died. Then I had to spend $470 on crazy stuff like food and HOA dues. So... $350 left. The plan was to put it on a new Milwaukee Tool table saw. But it’s conveniently "sold out" absolutely everywhere so stores can exclude it from their sales. I’m sure it will mysteriously be back in stock come Monday. That’s the way 2020 goes, it would seem. I’d buy some new clothes, but what for? I’m not going anywhere. So who cares? I guess now I have a $350 head start for 2021. Just think of all the superfluous crap I can buy next Black Friday!
I did treat myself to a bowl of Apple Jacks though, so I guess my Black Friday wasn't a total loss?
Apple Jacks. The apple cereal that tastes absolutely nothing like apples... but I love it anyway. I just can't eat them every day. Because sugar. Loads of sugar.
When I was a kid, however, I had a bowl of sugar-infused cereal every single morning before heading off to school. As I started working and traveling heavily in my twenties, I eventually phased breakfast out of my diet. It was either too inconvenient or too expensive to consider. The only time I ate breakfast when traveling was when it was included in my room rate, because that meant I could save money by skipping lunch. Occasionally I slip back into a cereal renaissance where I'll eat it for a while, but I always end up moving away from it again. Because sugar. Loads of sugar.
When my mom was living with me, getting her to eat anything was tough. The only way I could get her to eat was to take her to a restaurant because the environment set her in a headspace where she knew she was supposed to eat. Most days I was taking her out to breakfast, going to work, coming home to check on her and grab a bite, then taking her out to dinner when I got home. It was an expensive way to live. And a monotonous way to live. Since she couldn't hold anything in memory for more than five minutes, she would forget the restaurants we just ate at and want to eat there again. Many times this ended up being Denny's, for which I was grateful, because they had a big menu with a lot of selections. Mom could eat eggs and toast for breakfast and dinner every day because she had no memory of it. I, however, could not, and would need to mix things up a bit. The chef at our local Denny's probably did not like seeing me walk in because I was trying to get creative with their dishes to make something vegetarian and interesting that I could eat. I tried to tip well though, so maybe it was okay? I have to say though, it was nice that my mom and I were recognized by name all that time.
Not that I didn't want to order banana caramel cream crunch pancakes with extra whipped cream every chance I got. But, alas, sugar. Loads of sugar...
Mmmmm... dessert for breakfast!
I don't eat breakfast very often now-a-days. So when I do, don't I deserve banana caramel cream crunch pancakes with extra whipped cream? Or at least a bowl of Apple Jacks?
When traveling in the winter... especially a place with the possibility of a notorious winter like Maine... I always add a day before and after my work dates so I can be sure I'll still make my start-time if there's a weather delay. This time I got my start-date too late to have much choice in my flights. This means there was no getting here a day early. If a problem pops up then I'm probably screwed.
So of course air traffic into Seattle last night was slowed down, which meant I'd be landing late and might miss my connecting flight to Boston. Then they moved up the flight to Boston, which made it even more likely I'd miss it.
Lucky for me, my arrival gate was right next to my departure gate and I managed to make it onboard ten minutes before they closed the door. Thankfully I didn't have to check any luggage.
After landing at Boston Logan International Airport, I retrieved my rental car so I could drive 2-1/2 north to the job site. But first? Breakfast.
Usually I just stop at McDonald's for an egg & cheese biscuit. They aren't great, but they are edible (unlike Burger King's shitty Croissan'wich). My biggest problem in eating at McDonalds is that most of them don't know how to ring up an egg & cheese biscuit. They ring up a bacon, egg, & cheese biscuit and remove the bacon. This is hardly fair because I end up paying for meat I don't eat.
But here in New England, Panera Bread restaurants are plentiful. This means I don't have to eat at McDonald's and can get one of Panera's "Egg Over Easy with Cheddar on a Brioche Bun"...
So far as breakfast sandwiches go, I've found nothing better...
All-in-all, my highest possible recommendation if you're near a Panera and are hungry for breakfast!
I had a few hours before work started, so I took a nap. Or, more accurately, I tried to take a nap. It was one of those bizarre situations where I was so exhausted that I was having trouble sleeping. No idea how that works, but it's incredibly frustrating.
And now... I'm at work.
Where the internet is broken, which means that this will have to be posted when I get back home.
Five hours down, eleven hours to go...
Today I finally made the time to have my winter tires changed over to summer tires.
My plan was to arrive just when the tire store opened because you can usually get right in. Except there was an accident on the bridge into town so I was delayed 20 minutes. By the time I finally got there, the wait was up to an hour-and-a-half, and it would have been faster for me to change my own tires at home with my emergency car jack and a lug wrench.
It was a bummer, but it wasn't the wait that bothered me.
It was the reason for the wait.
As somebody at the tire store noted, there was no skidmarks on the bridge. Which means that the car (van?) which crashed into a car (which then crashed into another car) never made any attempt to stop. Which means they weren't paying attention. Which means they were probably texting or changing their baby's diaper or cooking a steak, or whatever the fuck it is that people do when not looking at the road like they're supposed to be.
Apparently the distracted driving "no-texting" law that Washington State passed has done nothing to solve a serious problem that's only going to get worse. Which begs the question... how many people have to die before this starts being taken seriously?
And speaking of dying...
As I've said many times before, I love McDonalds... despite constantly taking shit for liking McDonalds.
My favorite breakfast is a McDonald's Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Biscuit, no bacon, substitute round egg instead of spongey yellow powder egg. I could eat them every single day because it's just such a perfect breakfast food. The reason I don't eat them every day is that A) McDonald's is a 20 minute drive from my house, and B) they are expensive as hell. But right now McDonalds is running a special where you can get two of them for only four dollars! So, naturally, after getting my tires changed I did not pass GO, I did not collect $200, I went straight to McDonalds for a late breakfast.
It was, as expected, delicious.
Except I made the mistake of looking up the Nutrition Facts for my breakfast while I was eating it.
We'll set aside the 80 carbs in two Breakfast Biscuits and skip right to the 2100mg of sodium... 88% of the sodium that you're supposed to have in a day. And saturated fat? 11g which is 106% of the recommended daily ammount!
I've never been so grateful that McDonalds is 20 minutes away and their McBiscuits are usually so damn expensive, because I'd be dead if they were next door and, you know, affordable and all.
Except they are on sale... and I am driving over the mountains tomorrow... so it looks like I may be courting death once again. Curse you McDonald's and your delicious breakfast!
A much nicer day today than yesterday.
Probably because I had to leave this morning!
Since my "lakeview" room at the Hard Rock didn't have a view of the actual lake, I stopped off at a "viewpoint" along the way to see if I could get a photo of Lake Tahoe. Sure enough...
And here's a pano of the whole schebang...
But before I drove back to Reno, I returned to the Lucky Beaver for a fried egg and avocado breakfast sammy... which was amazing. Even though I had to get up at 7:00am to get one...
The drive was fairly uneventful. Though I did run across somebody who loves A) Scotland... and B) Clifford the Big Red Dog... very, very much...
Much to my surprise, I ran across a Back to the Future slot machine at the airport. I refused to waste more than $10 on the thing, so I didn't get to see much... but it was very cool just the same...
What are you lookin' at, butt-head?!
Annnnnd... so much for my trip to Reno and Lake Tahoe.
There's new products.
And then there's dangerously new products.
After I got home from work, I saw a commercial for "Krave," which kind of blew my mind...
Because, seriously... IT'S CEREAL FILLED WITH CHOCOLATE CANDY! Isn't it glorious?
Pour a shot of Jägermeister on top, and you've got a party.
My work Mac has been dying for a while now. It's been in near constant use for six years, so this isn't surprising. I'm just happy that it has worked so well for so long... and especially pleased that Apple supported it all this time. So far as I know, you can still run all the latest software on the latest version of MacOS X, which is pretty remarkable. Sure it runs slow, but not prohibitively so. If the video and hard drive controllers weren't flaking out, I probable could have gotten another year or two out of it. But, alas, the video gets jittery even when I replace the video card, and I keep losing files and having crashes, soooooo... I guess it's time.
At first I was looking into getting another Mac Pro. But then I noticed that Apple seems to be distancing themselves from their desktop computer line. It's rarely updated and no real innovations have been happening there for a while. Where the action is at is in the iMac line...
The top-of-the-line iMac is over twice as fast as my current computer. That's not as nice as a new mid-level Mac Pro, which would be four times faster, but an iMac is half the price, so there you have it. It's also pretty. So I ordered a tricked out a 27-inch iMac and we'll see how it goes.
Nothing quite like adding even more profit to Apple's bottom line to make you feel alive.
Today's word in the TWENTY/TWENTY meme is "love."
And I decided to take it to heart and show some love to myself for a change. I made plans, made time, and made decisions that benefitted me today. Sure it's selfish, but I've been working so hard for so long that I think I've earned it.
It was a great two hours.
After that, I needed to think of something other than myself to love so I could post an appropriate photo.
I decided that I love breakfast. Mostly because I so rarely have the time to have a good one. Like this order of Banana-Macadamia French Toast I had in Maui a while back...
Or this fantastic Scrambled Egg Breakfast Burrito I ate for Carb Appreciation Day a few years ago...
Or these sweet Mickey Mouse Waffles I found at Walt Disney World...
Breakfast is awesome!
But tomorrow it will be a can of Coke as I rush out the door, as usual.
If I really loved me, I'd make time for breakfast.