Buffer

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I made a mistake. I think (at least I think I think) I knew better, but I ignored my better instincts that told me I should do something that I did not.

I should have left a buffer day between returning from vacation and going back to work.

This getting home late and then getting up early for work stuff is terrible.

Of course, now I am on the second day back at work but I can now see that yesterday was a terrible day. There was just too much to do on the personal side of things to get caught up on time to work on the work side of things too. That cause stress…probably self-imposed stress, but stress nonetheless.

I think it is smart to include that buffer day. A day to catch up on home stuff, ease back into the regular schedule, and mentally prepare for what is to come once back at work. I didn’t do the buffer day because I was trying to be frugal with the vacation days. Not that I have to be, that’s just the way I am.

Anyway, regular schedule is back in full swing and I am not fully adjusted. But, it is what it is.

Retirement looks better and better, 20 years from now…

The road seems so long.

Travel day

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The trip home will begin shortly and I don’t like using the app the write. So, I’ll update you on how the return home goes tomorrow.

I already know there will be a less comfortable trip based on an email I got a couple days ago…so there’s that to look forward to.

Catch ya tomorrow!

Tug-o-war

The tug-o-war is a struggle while on vacation. You are being pulled this way and that. You are torn between two sets of family who both have missed you, who have looked forward with anticipation to your arrival, and ultimately have planned out every waking moment of your visit.

Here in Arizona, there are two sets of relatives to visit – the inlaws and the sister-n-law’s family. When you only have a week during your vacation, your time has to be split between both and that is the challenge. How do you keep both happy and feel like you have spent enough time with both? In the end, someone is likely going to feel like they got the short end of the stick.

So, this vacation isn’t shaping up to be all that relaxing. It will be go go go the whole time and if it isn’t one it will be the other.

Yesterday’s adventure left out one family but it did have provide for a unique experience as there was a visit to a national park where wild horses roam free. There was a good chance the horses wouldn’t be spotted since they go where they please and one would never know where to find them unless you were in a helicopter looking for them.

Anyway, as it happens, we got very lucky and they were literally less than a hundred yards from us since they had come down to water at the river. A magnificent site they are! Kind of felt like the Old West for a moment. Just sitting there on the bank of the river, watching and listening as they did their thing. I am sure the horses probably feel the tug-o-war war between modern society and the quiet solitude of the wild, something they really have no control over.

Well, despite the push and pull of family obligations, this was a gratifying experience and I am thankful that I was lucky enough to catch this site on the very first visit.

“Walmart” of the sky

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It’s been a month since the last vacation. In the scheme of things that isn’t a whole lot of time, but I gotta say that taking a vacation once a month is kind of feeling nice. I wish it could happen again next month.

Anyway, I have flown two different airlines in roughly the last five weeks and it is interesting to see how they have handled (or are handling) the pandemic a year from it’s start. Yesterday’s trip was less fabulous than the first trip. Now, I have flown other airlines, but there are two that I fly that I have liked in the past and those are the two I tend to check first when looking for flights, Alaska and Southwest.

About a month ago, I was on Alaska. The plane are newer, and feel more spacious, even if they may not actually be. The crews were friendly but not overly friendly. The planes felt clean, given the current situation, and the flights were directly to the destination (going and returning). The service inside the cabin was good. Alaska served nearly their full complimentary menu, so a light snack and beverage of choice was available.

Yesterday, I flew on Southwest Airlines. Southwest took a direct flight to Phoenix and routed it through Denver. This notification came just four days after purchasing the tickets. So, a roughly three hour flight turned into an all day affair. I wasn’t real pleased about it, but what can you do once you have already purchased the tickets? The first leg of yesterday’s trip wasn’t too crowded. But the crew wasn’t very friendly and the plane didn’t feel all that clean. It probably was, but it likely also has something to do with the fact that Southwest’s fleet is aging. Also a surprise, the in-flight service. The voice over the intercom announced they would be service iced water and a snack.

That’s it. Essentially, you are getting “bread and water” for flying with us. They, of course, told us this was because of the “current situation in the world.”

The water was a plastic cup with ice and water in it. It wasn’t even bottled water! Wow! So, apparently it is safer to serve an open cup of water in the era of airborne viruses. Go figure!

I asked a buddy who works for Southwest about it, as I was a little taken aback for the lack of services considering the experience just a month prior on a different airline. His response, “Anything to save a buck. We’re basically the Walmart of the sky, so you can’t expect much.”

I guess that is probably about right. It was a cheap flight. The second flight was much more crowded, the “empty middle seat” for social distancing was not a thing on this flight, and the plane didn’t feel any cleaner than the first one.

All in all, it was just a flight to a destination but I have come to expect a little more than what we got yesterday, even for a discount airline.

Am I spoiled or have they set us up to expect more? I am not sure.

Worst ever

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There are a lot of lists out there for lots of different things: best, worst, most visited, most traveled, highly valued, etc etc etc. I am not going to jump into that trend because quite frankly the news media outlets do that crap just to generate clicks. I am not much of a bandwagoner so I will avoid that trend.

But, I am going to give a “worst ever” item. The list is only one item, so it won’t take long to read.

So, here we go…the three worst words to see or hear:

“Vacation is over.”

I was standing in the shower and I realized that I don’t like hearing or seeing those words in that order!

I have about 24 hours left of vacation and it has been a very relaxing and restful time away. I don’t want it to end. I just want it to keep on going.

Today’s post will be short and I am going to get off of here and go soak up as much of this vacation as I have left.

See ya next week.

Just like home

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I don’t want it to be just like home.

Vacation. When you leave home for vacation, especially when you live in the Northwest where it is cold and wet all the time, you want to leave for a place that will be warm and sunny. Whatever happens, you want the weather to be different than what you had at home.

Palm Springs hasn’t delivered yet, and the forecast says it won’t the rest of the week either. Last week it was in the 80’s.

Yesterday, the first day here, it was cold, wet, and windy. It was actually stormy. Today, the sun is out to some degree but the dark heavy clouds are zipping my at a high rate of speed since the wind is blowing harder than the blower at the end of a car wash.

Disappointing, to say the least. I was expecting some warm weather down here. Not so much.

Guess there really will be time to relax since I’ll be stuck inside.

Bummer.

Screeching

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The Christmas break for schools is over and that can only mean a screeching halt to the quiet days at work. Also, that means a screeching halt to anything that resembled my days off.

I had three days in a row last week where I got more than 8 hours of sleep, and I must say that felt really nice. The time off for the holidays was both relaxing and productive, if that makes sense.

There is a lot of screeching going on today.

Now, the clients are back to screeching in our ears about the endless issues they seem to have, all related to the fact that each month they have the same issues in completing their job tasks as they had the month previous. How many times do we have to help people do their jobs?

People screeching about the election (still).

People screeching about covid (still).

People screeching about the weather (always).

People screech about their sports team and whether they are in or out.

People screeching about their health.

People screeching about a stimulus they don’t really deserve (or need).

The media screeching about some crisis they want us to pay attention to so they can generate clicks and money by being concerned about the next thing they want us to be concerned about.

People on social media screeching about some perceived injustice so it can be the flavor of the month for something that isn’t really an issue until they decided to make it an issue.

People screeching about WHATEVER.

Can you all just shut up now?

I prefer the peace and quiet of what were four days off of nothing. That was the ticket. I need more of that.

197

brown and black wooden wall decor

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Today marks the return back to work, from vacation.

Coming off the “worst” vacation ever (see previous Day 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 posts), getting back to work is still tough.

Last night as I enjoyed some down time I began to think of the things that would need to get done on my first day back to work…several things that didn’t get done before I left and, knowing there would be a crap ton of emails while I was gone, newly assigned things for my return. As you might imagine, the dread for the coming work day started.

Not to disappoint, 197 emails filled my inbox. Fortunately, that is likely a number that is down from the usual vacation absence since schools are not operating as normal so support needs have dwindled slightly. So, I have been wading through those this morning. After an hour and 15 minutes, I still have 87 more emails to get through. Yes, there are some that just need deleted as they are quick communications between team members for innocuous things. I am glad for those. It makes that number go down faster!

Anyway, I better get back to those emails. Oh, and I have a meeting right off the bat too.

Where’s my coffee?

Day 5

man sitting and closing eyes on teal bench

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Vacation, Day 5:

The last day of official vacation.

It has been one for the record books. Not so much that it was epic but more like it was about as uneventful and boring as if I was sitting at home on the couch. Oh wait! I was doing that…mostly.

Today’s plans? More of the same. The sun is out but should I be optimistic about sticking around? Come on, do you know me by now or what? LOL Maybe I’ll go for a drive and reacquaint myself with some countryside I have seen in a while. Maybe not.

The only thing that isn’t the same today is that it is my youngest’s birthday. She is 17 today. There was already a Zoom birthday party for her in the middle of last week (queue the cancelled vacation plans this week), so I am not even sure I’ll get to see her today other than virtually. That sucks, but as she is getting older with more responsibilities so I know it will become more common regardless of a lockdown or not. Still, not sure what today holds for that and her.

I am pretty sure I’ll end today with a fire and a beer. Can’t decide if the fire should be in the fire pit or just set the house on fire and enjoy the fireworks from the front lawn.

This was the most uneventful and worst vacation ever.

Day 4

Vacation, Day 4:

Irritation. Irritability. That’s what’s on the agenda today.

No plans and it sucks.

Mother Nature decided to give us the gift of sunny weather this week for spring break (it wasn’t supposed to be, plus this is the PNW where it rains all the time). The downside of this gift is that everyone is stuck at home: vacation plans cancelled, with money but don’t want to spend it on big projects because no one is sure how long the lockdown will last, and no place to go but the yard.

Thanks. Thanks a lot.

I guess I’ll wander aimlessly in the garage again today and see if I can find something else to put away or organize. I guess there is always more to do in there…

Vacation, Day 3 Update:

The murder plans went well. All the spray has been used. The results should be evident starting as soon as today, but for sure in a couple more days . No humans or pets were harmed.

Oh, and I started working on a project yesterday that didn’t go as planned (actually just finishing up something started long ago). So I am still stewing over that too. Don’t you hate it when things don’t go as you envisioned them in your head?

This is going to be the worst vacation ever.