Here’s a kind of disjointed “state of Chuck’s life” post. Enjoy.
It’s always tough to come back to work after a long weekend, especially when I have to look forward to a giant dog-and-pony show (where I get to spend the majority of the time as ringmaster) up in Northern Virginia later this week. That’ll be good for a sixteen hour day when you build in the commute.
I got a little bit of downtime this weekend, but not as much as I’d like, as is always the case. I also feel like I got bent over a barrel (or, you know, maybe groped by a presidential candidate, if I wanna be topical) by the cell phone store. My lovely spouse and I, at her urging, mostly (the kids’ hand-me-down phones were starting to show their age…this is true, but I think she also wanted a new toy), went to the local T-Mobile store to upgrade our phones so we could pass our old S5s down to the teenagers. In the end, it’s gonna increase my phone bill by a totally reasonable fifteen bucks a month, but it ended up being over a hundred bucks out of pocket in “setup fees” and whatnot, and when I got home, I found that two of the SIM cards they set us up with weren’t activated anyway. While I’m very happy with the service I get from this company, I feel dirty and slimy after visiting any sort of mobile phone retail outlet; the same way you do after visiting a buy-here-pay-here used car lot, a payday loan storefront, or, say, shaking hands with then-senator Rick Santorum.
Anyway, I got the SIM business taken care of over the phone, the new Galaxy S7 is nice (and not the one that explodes), and we managed to get a couple hundred bucks of bluetooth accessories out of the deal. I didn’t really need these things, but the Logitech speaker thing I ended up with is kinda nice for background music in my office, and she got a set of Beats headphones, which are totally not worth the retail price and use some deceptive manufacturing costs to lend the sheen of quality, but when they’re kicked in with the phone deal, I can live with it.
Anyway, the kids are happy, especially the boy, who now has a handset he can play Pokemon Go with.
The other big news of the weekend was Mary’s prospective student visit to Sweet Briar College out in the western part of the state. She got a tour of the place, got to stay overnight in the dorms with a student hostess, and audited a few classes over Sunday/Monday. She kind of fell in love with the place (and the stuff I’m hearing encourages me as a parent), and although it isn’t cheap, I guess I kind of have to make it work, especially because we have a couple of alumnae friends, one of whom has been talking her up something fierce to their old faculty advisors, which carries a lot of weight at these smaller private liberal arts institutions. I’m not going to break her heart; when she manages to get in, I’ll manage to make it happen. Everybody comes out of college with loans now; mine would have been a lot worse, but I came out of it without a dad. All told, I’d rather have the loans.
I’m worrying about college tuition for someone who’s not me. I’m an old.
Finally getting around to the other bit I reference in this post title, Autumn has officially settled on us here in the RVA, after we got out of Hurricane Matthew pretty much unscathed (several of my friends east and south were dealing with flooding and power loss). I woke up yesterday to find the temperature dropped enough to reduce the psi in my tires enough below the recommended levels to set off the monitor light.
It’s not the appearance of pumpkin spice in everything or the leaves changing or the school fundraiser papers that let me know summer’s gone for another year, it’s that one day each year when the car tells me I need to put some air in the tires.
Finally, of all the cool news coming out of NYCC, the little bit of Doctor Strange footage that slipped out really got me excited; a lot of us were worried by all that Inception-style folding buildings imagery, but stuff like the screen capture below from the neat little featurette about the film’s visuals is full-on Ditko psychedelica, which is exactly what I’m looking for in this movie.