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I thought we were past this

It's too damned hot again. We had a blissfully cool weak or so, but now the heat is back to torment me some more. I mean, at least it's not in triple digits any more, but as far as I'm concerned anything over 80 is too hot to even go outside. The climate control at work also hasn't figured out that it got hot again, because it turned on at least once during the day. I was going to go to the theater after work and try to use the MoviePass again, but the movie I wanted to see wasn't for two hours and I didn't want to wait around in the heat. Tomorrow is supposedly going to be mid-70's so maybe I will have better luck that day.

I did end up going shopping after work, with the help of my movie buddy. I really only needed to replenish my supply of lentils, but once we got there I went into the freezer area (just to cool off) and discovered you can get a box of twenty-four ice cream sandwiches for six bucks. Since I had vehicular assistance for once, I gave in to the urge and bought them. We got stuck in some pretty bad traffic on the way back, but the sandwiches were mostly still structurally sound when I got home.

After a long stretch of not recognizing any of the guest actors on NCIS, I saw two episodes tonight with people I like. One of them had Zack from Gilmore Girls, and another had Weevil from Veronica Mars.

turn around, bright eyes

Today was the day of the total eclipse. It wasn't quite total in Beaverton, but it was something like 99.5%? Of course in the stress of the weekend I completely forgot to try and hunt down some eclipse glasses. Fortunately, a ton of people had them at work, so I was at least able to borrow a pair for a few seconds of staring directly at the sun during the height of the eclipse. It was pretty cool, but what really struck me was the unreality of the light while it was going on. The world just didn't look real, and that was only exacerbated by the large crowd of mostly stationary people standing in a parking lot staring into the sky. Another really cool thing was what the eclipse did to the shadows of sunlight through the trees.

Other than the excitement of the eclipse, today was fairly bland. Especially compared to the chaos of the last couple weeks. I don't think we have any more major deadlines coming up, so things should be settling down now. Time to get some more people trained up on the stuff I used to do on swing shift! I do like working overtime, though. I double checked and I should have twelve hours of time-and-a-half on this check, which is pretty exciting.

I've started sorting the next set of cards, which is 2014 Topps Baseball Series 2. It's pretty exciting to be doing a set that has all kinds of parallels and insert sets and weird relics and things, so that's good. It's also an extremely large set, so I don't know how well my coffee table is going to handle the sorting. I may not be able to Netflix for the entire process. I might have to bring it back upstairs and use my two card tables. Gonna put that off as long as it's practical, though, because while the weather is cooling off now, it's still much more pleasant on the ground floor.

shut up, Danny

Finished watching The Defenders. Overall, I would say it is a little better than Iron Fist, but still pretty low on the Netflix Marvel hierarchy. I really enjoyed watching the various heroes interact with each other, but the plot wasn't particularly interesting. Actually, it felt like the whole miniseries was mainly there to wrap up all the loose ends from Daredevil and Iron Fist, which would be good except all the loose ends were from plot threads nobody really cared about. It did get me fired up to watch more stories set in this world, though. I think Punisher is next, but after that we get more Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, which are the two I'm most excited about. Jessica Jones is still the only one I've watched a second time, and I may watch it again in the near future.

Still no word back from MoviePass. Seems a lot of people are having similar troubles right now. General consensus seems to be that the rush of new sign-ups caused by the price drop is more than their infrastructure was able to handle. I will probably give them another week or two to get their act together, and if I don't see some improvement by then, it may be time for me to finally pull the plug after four years of excellent service. If so, my budget may need some difficult and dramatic adjustments.

I did finally finish the card set I've been working on sorting. The next one is a little daunting, but it may go a little faster because it should have more interesting things in it. The last few I've done have had hardly anything fun about them. Just base sets with no rare cards or interesting insert sets. This one shouldn't have that problem, but there is an awful lot of it to go through. We'll see how it goes.

Aug. 19th, 2017

Somebody else decided to join me for overtime today, so I didn't end up having to work twelve hours after all. With both of us working top speed, we were able to finish up all the backlog of work within six hours or so. I almost wish I had stayed to work longer. We had unlimited overtime approved today, and I still have plenty of other projects I could really use an extra six hours to work on. However, by the time I had worked six hours and was forced to take a lunch break, I found that I had hit a wall and no longer had the energy to work any more hours. I ended up going home after six and a half hours.

I was supposed to see a movie this evening with my coworker buddy, but I am still having MoviePass troubles. I'm pretty sure the reason they can afford to only charge ten bucks a month is that their service just flat out doesn't work anymore. Not only is the card being declined every time I try, but the app isn't displaying half of the movies or their showtimes. I've reached out via email, their in-app chat, and even on Twitter. Hopefully somebody will get back to me.

In happier news, The Defenders just got added to Netflix! This is the miniseries that all the Netflix Marvel shows have been building up to. I'm a little over halfway done with it. I'm really enjoying it so far, although I still think Danny sucks. Honestly, though, it helps that Luke Cage keeps verbally smacking him down over his privilege. I gotta get some sleep. I've been up since four in the morning, and I'm running on three hours sleep. I'm not entirely sure how I'm upright at the moment.

stood up by a taco truck

Today ran a lot more smoothly than yesterday. Well, at least it did until I left. I managed to keep on top of everything I needed to do, and even found the time to do some extra things. Everybody did all the work they were asked to do, and hardly anybody had any irritating questions. Pretty much the only thing that went wrong was that we got stood up by the food truck we had scheduled for noon. No idea what happened there. Fortunately, I had the last of my fancy sandwiches to comfort me.

After work, my movie buddy and I went to see The Hitman's Bodyguard, which is an action comedy where Ryan Reynolds plays the bodyguard hired to escort a hitman (Samuel L Jackson) to a trial where he has agreed to testify. The bodyguard is a meticulous, fastidious planner who is extremely good at his job but not so good at going with the flow. The hitman is an uncontrollable force of nature who dives into everything headfirst, and somehow managed to come through every situation on top. About half of the movie is them bickering, and the other half is violence. Both halves are fairly entertaining. It's a dumb, dumb movie, but everybody involved seems to be having a good time. And if the entire point of the movie was just to let Samuel L Jackson sing an original song over the end credits, that's money well spent.

In less happy news, I am having major issues with my MoviePass since the price dropped to $10 per month, and I haven't been able to get through to anybody via their phone number, email, or app chat. I'm hoping this is just because they are overloaded with new users after the price drop. I would hate not to be able to use my MoviePass after finally getting switched to day shift!

In more stressful news, after the movie I got a text from my swing shift buddy who told me that FIFTY-TWO submissions came in after I left! And tomorrow is the deadline, not today, so there is a good chance we will get even more. Overtime has been authorized again. I get to be at work in *looks at clock* crap, seven hours. Better try and get to sleep.

smooth in some ways

Today was surprisingly exhausting and moderately stressful. Apparently covering for a lead on day shift is way harder than covering for a lead on swing shift. I didn't even finish half of what I normally accomplish on a weekday, although technically I was doing the work of one and a half people. (I don't think the day shift lead ever does a whole person share of work!) The biggest part of it is answering all the n00b questions. It's a lot easier to handle at night when there are fewer n00bs. Anyway, despite stress I think I did a respectable job. I worry that tomorrow will be much worse, because we have another case deadline on Saturday. We've acquired authorization for overtime just in case we need it.

As I mentioned, I decided to spoil myself with fancy salami and cheese the other day. I've been trying different breads to see which makes the most pleasurable fancy sandwich experience. I tried a fancy sourdough, and a fancy "rustic white" bread, whatever that is. (It actually tastes a lot like an English muffin!) Yesterday, I restocked my non-fancy sandwich ingredients at Cash & Carry. Today, I tried the fancy salami and cheese on my cheap-ass hoagie rolls from C&C, and they actually made much better sandwiches than the fancier bread. Possibly the best sandwiches I have ever made. Aged Irish cheddar, truffle salami, and garlic herb turkey. Delicious!

Jughead has requested authorization to sign me up for Imperfect Produce and deduct the cost from the card sorting money, and I have agreed. Their Portland service goes live in in about a month, which gives me a hard deadline to bludgeon my kitchen into shape. That's one reason I agreed. Another is that it will motivate me to learn to cook and to eat more vegetables. I absolutely hate wasting food, especially if it's costing me money, so this is another level of fierce motivation. My only concern is that I will probably get at least one or two things I don't eat in each box. I just need to figure out which friends will take tomatoes or beets or bananas if they should appear.

the golden age of cold open monologues

Say what you want about this administration, it has certainly led to some powerful statements by talk show hosts. I mean, that's not a whole lot of comfort, but it's always refreshing to see comedians seething with barely contained rage and saying things that deeply, urgently need to be said. Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers in particular had some good ones this week. I still despair of anything actually being done about the national embarrassment that is our president, but it's nice to briefly feel like it could happen.

In more positive news, N.K. Jemisin just announced that TNT is adapting The Fifth Season into a television show! It's one of my favorite books of the past decade, so of course I am very excited to see how this adaptation turns out. I hope it's a huge smash success, and that we get three full seasons at least to tell the story of the books. What's also making me happy is just how many authors I follow are just as excited about this show as I am.

I'm so close to finally being done with this current set of cards. If I had enough time to watch one more episode of NCIS, I think I could have finished it tonight. Well, I should definitely be able to tomorrow! And then I can FINALLY start opening something new. Well, not new, exactly. New to me, though! It will be nice to deal with something that has the potential for rare cards and fun insert sets, which the past two sets did not.

what is even happening

Lord DampNut had a press conference today, and apparently he went WAY off book. I'm pretty sure we've seen the last public press conference (and possibly the last public speech) for a long time. He bent over backwards to sympathize with the murdering neo-Nazis who murdered a woman and severely beat several people of color in Charlottesville over the weekend, and it was so wrong-headed, so indefensible, even Fox News has turned on him. That's pretty amazing in itself, considering they have been acting as his propaganda arm. More and more Republicans are speaking out against him, which I find a little cowardly but I am still glad it's happening, whatever the context. I suspect that all of these people are fed up with him, but most of been waiting for him to do or say something so egregious that they can jump ship without pissing off their base.

Other than the horror show that was the news, today was fine. Had a productive day at work, plus I learned that the day shift lead we all dislike is going to be off on Thursday and Friday! This means I will have to work a bit harder, but I think it's worth the trade-off.

I decided to buy myself some FANCY meat and cheese for my next batch of work sandwiches. I went to Market of Choice for the first time in many months, and I got some moderately fancy bread, some noticeably fancy turkey, some even fancier cheese, and some of the fanciest salami I've ever bought. I expect these sandwiches to be seriously intense. Maybe even a little too intense.

OH! In incredibly shocking news, Movie Pass is dropping its price to TEN BUCKS A MONTH! I think the CEO may have gone mad. You can't sell a service that causes you to lose money every single time one of the people who buys it uses it even once! I'm not crazy, right? This doesn't make a lot of sense? Well, either way I am very excited about it. And if you have ever been jealous of my ability to see a movie at any time, now is the time to jump on that bandwagon.

well, this all seems horrible

I know I've said it before, but this past weekend really felt like a tipping point in the implosion of Lord DampNut's administration. In Charlottesville, a bunch of white supremacists held a rally, and it was a spectacularly ugly situation. People walking around with Nazi and Confederate flags, carrying torches, shouting Nazi slogans, and beating the hell out of people of color. Eventually one of them drove his car full speed into a crowd of anti-fascist protesters, killing at least one of them. Apparently killing a white woman was a bridge to far, because even Fox News wasn't able to spin it into anything positive. Oh, and our president waited THREE DAYS to denounce these alt-Reich assholes. So, yeah, people are PISSED at him. Especially in New York, where he made an appearance today. At least that's what I hear.

In less horrible news, Portland's fever has finally broken. Today was the first day in I think two months where I didn't have to put on my hat before venturing outside. I was even briefly tempted to eat lunch outside at work, but then I remembered all the nice benches are near the smoking sections. No rain, but it was lightly cloudy pretty much all day.

I had a small culinary brainstorm today that I feel like I should have had a year ago. I'm almost looking for interesting flavors to add to my rice and lentils. Over the weekend, C-Cakes reminded me that you can buy the Yumm Sauce from Cafe Yumm, and I can't believe I've never bought it for adding to rice. I mean, a Yumm Bowl is basically just rice and veggies and this sauce, and the sauce is freaking delicious. I went hunting for it, and I found some at Uwajimaya. I got distracted running errands and got home too late to actually try it out tonight, though. Tomorrow, for sure!

broccoli cloud

BlackDotBug really outdid herself on this morning's breakfast. Easily her most spectacular morning feast to date. I think she put seven people into a food coma before noon, herself included. Naturally, I had to chronicle everything for posterity.

There was a zucchini bread:

There was a sort of hobbit chow with multiple kinds of potatoes and bacon and bell peppers:

There was also a truly spectacular broccoli soufflé which was one of the lightest, fluffiest things I have ever eaten. Only somebody who has tried to cook one can truly appreciate the full majesty of this work of art:

There was also a strawberry and blueberry bread pudding:

As well as plenty of leftover berries and whipped cream:

After this glorious feast, I made my way back home to decompress for a little while, and then went out again for adventures with C-Cakes. She found a new vegan burger joint called Next Level Burger. It was actually surprisingly impressive. Lots of different kinds of patties, very convincing fake bacon, and a soda fountain machine with way weird and more delicious local sodas. Will definitely be going back there in the future to try more kinds of burger. After our late lunch (or early dinner), she had some errands to run, and then we both headed our separate ways. I've spent pretty much every moment since I got home doing something card-related. Now I am ready to pass out. This might be the first time in two months that it's cool enough for me to sleep without the fan on!