What’s Good in Tater Town 2/23/20

It’s pretty easy to do one of these after a four day weekend and then a Friday off. It will get harder next week when I work a normal week and have no meetings out of the branch,

  1. As mentioned above, I had a four day weekend since Monday was a holiday and Tuesday was my birthday leave day.
  2. The kids were both here for dinner Sunday night and we went out to a good seafood place to celebrate my wife’s birthday.
  3. The free birthday food continued Monday with free subs at Firehouse subs.
  4. Tuesday was my day off alone. I watched TV, got my free birthday sandwich at Mission BBQ, and just relaxed and tried not to think about the stressful stuff.
  5. I didn’t work until 1 on Wednesday so I got a bonus few hours off before going back to work.
  6. I only had two days of work and then my Friday off because I worked Saturday.
  7. I went to Panera for my free birthday pastry. I also got coffee and sat and read for a little while.
  8. After some cleaning when I got home, I took some more time to relax and read. Those days make me long for retirement.
  9. One last stop Friday night on the free birthday food tour. This time and entree at Houlihans.
  10. One last week of limited exposure to toxic people.

One more day off today and then back to normal life.

My Week in Books, Movies, and TV 2/21/20

I had a four day weekend so plenty of time to read and watch TV. The trick is remembering what I read and watched.

Movies – We watched Harriet Sunday night while the kids were home. We are not generally a biopic family. My wife likes action movies and others lack the attention span. Everyone actually wanted to watch this one. It was a very good movie. I didn’t realize how little I actually knew about Harriet Tubman. I usually get restless during long dramas, but this one held my interest. We also watched Terminator: Dark Fate. I loved the first two Terminator movies and was excited about this one but then worried when it didn’t do well. I thought it was a good addition to the series. If you liked the first two movies you would like this one. I guess the really bad ones they did after the first two soured people on the series. It’s unfortunate. I think the new direction could have spawned a few more decent movies. I also watched Coach Carter because it was on TV. I love a good sports movie. I had forgotten that Channing Tatum was in the movie. It’s always fun to stumble on someone’s first movie.

TV –  We spent a lot of time watching shows I DVR and save to watch with my daughter. I’m happy Brooklyn 99 is back and still as good as ever. The Party of Five reboot is still surprisingly good. Even my wife loves it and she is not typically a family drama fan. The plan for the rest of the week was to keep watching shows on the DVR but then Netflix announced that season three of On My Block was being released next month. I loved season one, but never remembered to watch the second season, so I spent this week watching it and finished last night. I still love it. The actors are very good The story is compelling with a good mix of humor and drama. I love how it shows everyone as real people, even the gang members. It’s so easy to show gangs as villains with no humanity. It’s harder to do what On My Block does which is show both sides of it – the danger and the family. If you haven’t watched binge it now so you are ready for season three next month.

Books – I read two books this week.

Dig by AS King – This one won the Printz Award for young adult literature. It took me a while to get into it. I think that was because there were really short snippets about multiple characters so it was hard for me to really get invested to start. Some of the characters also didn’t have real names to start. I almost gave up, but read a little more. It did turn out to be a very good book. I’m glad I stuck with it. I won’t give any sort of plot summary because it is hard to explain without spoiling the book.

They Called Us Enemy by George Takei – This is the graphic novel story of Takei’s family being held in internment camps after Pearl Harbor. I’ve been meaning to read this since I saw him talk at a conference. I liked it. It is a quick read and a good way to learn about his experience in a part of history a lot of people don’t know much about.

On Deck – We still need to watch the Escape Plan movie I mentioned last week. Zombieland: Double Tap is on hold for me a the library. I  also have Last Christmas and The Good Liar. I’m not sure I want to watch either of them. I’m reading The Museum of Desire by Jonathan Kellerman. It is the latest Alex Delaware book. I still love them 35 books in. The biggest TV for me this week is the return of The Walking Dead. I might try Gentefied on Netflix at some point this week as well.

Cheaters

selective focus grayscale photography of baseball

Photo by Rachel Xiao on Pexels.com

Every day I see more reaction to the Houston Astros heating to win the World Series. I’m in agreement with those who think more should have been done. At the very least, the win should be vacated and the record books should show no champion for that year. I disagree with the commissioner’s assessment that it is just a piece of metal. I also think that if he feels this way he should probably not be in charge of the league. It’s depressing to me that the start of the baseball season is marred by another cheating scandal. Depressing but not surprising. It seems that cheating is the norm these days.

We’ve had the Patriots deflating footballs and filming opponents illegally.

We have an FBI investigation into shoe companies paying players to go to certain schools and basketball coaches colluding with them to do so.

We have wealthy parents bribing their kids into the top schools(See my GIF summary of that here)

We have a long tradition of politicians cheating their way to power.

We have a long tradition of athletes using drugs to enhance performance.

We have an epidemic of flopping in soccer and basketball. Not really cheating, but deception to gain an advantage, so, in my eyes, cheating.

People cheat on their significant others.

People cheat on their taxes.

People cheat on tests in school.

Is it really a surprise that the news is full of stories about cheating?

Baseball is not our national pastime, cheating is.

Cheating is to the point that it is hard for an honest person to succeed. It’s hard to explain to kids why cheating is bad Cheating has become the norm and as long as the people in charge let people get away with it with a slap on the wrist it will stay the norm.

It’s time to get tough on cheating. People need to see there are consequences for their actions. Let’s make America honest again.

On the Other Side of 50

Yesterday was my birthday. I am now 51. As a friend helpfully pointed out on Facebook, last year was so special and now I’m just old. The only thing special about this birthday is that I once again get a four day weekend. Today we are closed and tomorrow I am using the birthday leave MPOW gives me.

We did go out to eat last night, but last night was to celebrate my wife’s 50th birthday. It was Wednesday, but yesterday was the day both kids were available, so we did the celebration then. We went out to the restaurant of her choice and she got a free slice of cheesecake from the restaurant. It was mentioned once that it was “technically my birthday” and I did get cards and a gift from my kids, but it really was back to the typical it’s just another day type of birthday. Big difference from last year when we had lunch in DC and spent some time walking around after.

I will spend today and tomorrow getting my free food from various places. I have a free Firehouse Subs sandwich and a free Mission BBQ sandwich so meals are covered for my days off. I will try to relax as much as possible and not find myself thinking I should clean bathrooms are something. I will probably spend my time out during the day longing for the day that I can retire and have all of my days free. I’ve spent the last 30 years or so working in some sort of job. I feel like I should get to quit now so I have plenty of years to enjoy not working so it will equal out. That seems logical. 51 seems old to be out there looking for a new job, but that’s where I find myself.

So, how does 51 feel? Not much different than 50. 51 for me is a time to reflect on where I am in life. 51 for me is time to find a career where I can be content until my career days are over. 51 for me is the time to stop letting others steal my joy. 51 for me is the time to cut ties with people and places who don’t respect me and my contributions. 51 for me is the time to forget the fear of the unknown and take that leap.

Here’s hoping for a good year and good news.

What’s Good in Tater Town 2/16/20

It was a long week. I worked seven days in a row. Noting has changed there. I ended the week with a clear indication that it is way past time for me to make a change. Let’s see what was good.

  1. My son came home for dinner Monday night.
  2. The all winners edition of Survivor started Wednesday.
  3.  Free birthday egg sandwich from Einstein Bros before my meeting Thursday afternoon.
  4. I took personal leave after the meeting instead of going back to the branch.
  5. They had a party at my old workplace next door to my meeting so I got more food.
  6. I saw a lot of friends at my old workplace while having snacks.
  7. A less stressful Friday due to the absence of the reason for the stress.
  8. My daughter came home for the weekend.
  9. This is day two of four days off.
  10. It’s my birthday and we are going out to eat with both kids tonight.

I am starting a week where I have two days off, work two days and then have Friday off before working Saturday. Hopefully, that means next week will be a good week and not that all of the stress and stupidity I deal with will be condensed into two really bad days.

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My Week in Books, Movies, and TV 2/14/20

I started the week strong on reading due to deadlines and finished the week mainly watching TV and not able to focus enough to read more than a couple of pages at a time. Here is my week:

Movies – We watched Rambo: Last Blood Sunday night. My wife is a big fan of dumb action moves so we watch a lot of them. I like Stallone and I liked the Rambo movies, so I was not mad about watching this one. It didn’t have the ending I expected, so that was nice. It was very much a “Rambo kills all the bad guys” movie, but Stallone does a good job of playing the aging super-soldier. If you like Stallone and Rambo you should watch it.

TV – The big TV event for me was the premiere of the 40th season of Survivor. It is the long-anticipated all winners edition and a lot of my favorites are back. I enjoyed seeing Boston Rob, Amber, Parvati, et al back on my TV. I’m not a huge fan of the Edge of Extinction twist. I think once you are voted out you should stay voted out. At the very least, the one and only person allowed back from Edge should come back at the merge and then the rest go home and Edge is closed. I do get that they want to get as much TV out of the favorites as they can. I can’t say that I’m mad that I am guaranteed more of my favorites even after they lose. I just hope they end it after this season and that the winners won’t be dumb like the people last time who gave the win to a guy who barely played the game. That sucked. I do think the other twist with the coins might be interesting. It adds another layer of strategy to the game. I think this season will be very good.

Books – I read two books this week. Both assigned to me due to book clubs.

The Museum of Modern Love by Heather Rose – I had to force myself to finish this one. It was well written and I can see why some would like it. I just prefer books that have some sort of plot. Nothing much happened here. Just snippets of the lives of people who went to see the artist’s display.

Boar Island by Nevada Barr – another one I had to force myself to finish. The story was underwhelming. The characters annoyed me. The reader of the audiobook annoyed me. I think I might have liked it more if I had read more of the series. The people in book club liked it. Maybe it’s just my mood.

On Deck – I have three movies from two libraries: Harriet, Motherless Brooklyn, and Escape Plan: The Extractors. I’m sure I will watch all three Harriet with the kids, Motherless Brooklyn on my Tuesday off alone and the bad sequel to a mediocre Stallone movie with my wife on Monday. I’m reading Dig by AS King(the Printz Award winner). TV will be more of catching up on recorded shows. We will finally watch some Brooklyn 99 while my daughter is home.

Tater Takes a Small Step.

Just a quick note for those who have followed my posts about my needing a change.

Today I moved from talking to action. I have submitted my first application for a new job. Same field, very different location. I will continue my search over my four day weekend.

Now that I’ve decided to stop balking at messing up my ability to retire in five years I feel free to look for a wide variety of jobs. I would rather be happy at work for 10 years than miserable for 5.

I will post any updates as they happen.

Some Tuesday Tater Thoughts

I don’t think I have anything that would make a decent post by itself. Some would say that has never stopped me before. Some would be correct. Let’s see if the few things I have a little to say about make for a decent post.

The Oscars – I didn’t watch the Oscars. I never watch the Oscars. I never watch any award shows. It isn’t that I don’t care who wins. I do. I just get bored with the shows. I thought about watching and writing about it. I might have if I was alone, but I didn’t feel like I should make my wife watch them so I could write about them. Maybe if I was being paid, but not for a sad little blog. Anyway, I’m happy about Parasite winning Best Picture. It was very good. I was also happy with Brad Pitt’s win. I’m a fan and I thought he was very good in the movie. I’m pretty neutral about the rest of the awards. I did actually watch three of the movie nominees before the awards this year. That’s pretty good for me. By the way, I’m wearing sweats by Walmart and shirt by Special Olympics Maryland…

Art Imitates Life – I’ve made no secret of my dissatisfaction with the current state of my career. I was watching The Unicorn last week and one character was bored and dissatisfied at work. He talked to his boss with ideas to shake things up and was fired. When he finds a new job in the same field he realizes he is still bored and dissatisfied because he is doing the exact same thing he did in the last job. In the end, he decides to quit the new job and figure out what he wants to do with his life now. I really wish I could do the same thing. I would love to be able to 6 months or so off from working to reset and decide what to do with the rest of my life. Maybe I could take the time to try writing stuff people would actually pay me to write. I doubt that ould happen, but I would have the time to try. I could always be a substitute teacher. It would give me summers off and some flexibility in when I work. Anyway, 6 months off could help be get clarity on the next step. Now to convince my wife…

Winter – Winter is missing here. We keep getting rain and mild weather. It finally gets cold here this weekend after the precipitation stops. It looks like no snow for me this year, so I’m ready for spring. If it is going to rain, it might as well by 70 degrees outside.

Free Birthday Stuff – My birthday is Sunday. I’ve started to get all of my birthday freebie emails. I already had my free Krispy Kreme donut and coffee and my free Red Robin burger and fries. I’m going to try to leave early for a meeting tomorrow to get a free egg sandwich at Einstein Bros Bagels for lunch. I still have a free Mission BBQ sandwich and a free entree at Houlihans and expect to get a free pastry from Panera and a free drink from Starbucks when it is actually m birthday. I love my stretch of free food for my birthday and I have a four day weekend coming up so I have time to use them.

And now my brain is empty…

What’s Good in Tater Town 2/9/20

Another week close to retirement…

Here’s the good:

  1. I had a nice relaxing Sunday watching old sports movies while waiting for the Super Bowl to start.
  2. The team I wanted to win the game actually won.
  3. Both of my kids came home for dinner Monday night.
  4. Schedules continue to help limit my time with certain people.
  5. We’ve hit the point where it is still light outside for a few minutes after I get home from work.
  6. I had a free donut and coffee from Krispy Kreme for my birthday so I had a nice treat on my Friday off.
  7. With my 10 cent rewards discount, I paid $1.99 a gallon for gas Friday.
  8. Time with friends last night after work.
  9. More free birthday stuff in my email this morning.

That does it for this week. Still looking for that change that makes it easier to make this list every week.