Sunday, January 31, 2021

Dashcam fun

Haven't really been doing anything other than working. I got a dashcam for Christmas and have taught myself (it's not hard) to edit videos because it records in 3 minute blocks and even on one video, it started at the end of a 3 minute block and continued in the next so I had to figure out how to combine them. I posted them on my You Tube channel, mainly for my own safekeeping but they are public so I also had to mute the sound on the videos because they were getting marked with licensing problems because of whatever music I had going in the car.

I haven't really gotten anything crazy yet, but here's what I got so far.

This first one was on my way home from work. I got stuck in a long line on one of the back roads. A lot of people turned around but after work, I'm in no hurry so I just chilled, listened to music and waited. I waited less than 10 minutes before starting to move again. When I finally got to the intersection, I see this. A semi trailer hauling a trailer home couldn't quite make the corner and was up in the grass and took out the stop sign.

I don't know what this guy was doing. Both lanes turn left and the the lane he is trying to get into at first, ends after the turn so I'm confused at what he was doing. Apparently he was confused about everything.

This was filmed after the stop sign on the first video (different day). I was doing about 50 mph when this lady looked like she was going, stopped and then pulled out when it was too late.

Posting these videos isn't the reason I got a dashcam but it's a fun bonus. I don't have to tell my wife about the idiots on the road, now I can show her. I got the dashcam because I don't trust people and don't want to get blamed for an accident that I had nothing to do with because people are stupid. For proof, see the videos above.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

A Week in the Life of

I'm still finding my way around these posts. They are essentially what happened in the last week. I haven't really had an order to them yet. I just went through my "A Day in the Life" posts to see if I had anything to talk about this week. I'm not going to rehash my Instagram posts, you can follow me on there if you want to see my post a day.

Monday night we didn't have much to walk so I searched for a movie. If I don't already know of a movie, I just pick one of the streaming services or on demand and go through it until we find one. We ended up watching Unknown, I believe it was on Netflix. It stars Liam Neeson and we hadn't seen it so we figured why not. It wasn't anything special but it was a decent movie. Enough to entertain us for just under 2 hours.

Had Taco Bell this week. If you don't know my history with Taco Bell, here's a quick reference. Used to love it, had it all the time (see my stats post). Last year they took a bunch of stuff off their menu, including most of my usual order. Haven't been going there nearly as much but my wife likes the Queserito so I would just grab some chili cheese burritos. The problem with that is her order can only be ordered through the app, not a problem, use it anyways, but the chili cheese burritos aren't on the app, no idea why. So basically I get annoyed every time I go there because I have to do an online order as well as one at the drive-thru. When I get to the last window, they'll hand me one order and I always have to explain that the next one is mine as well. Like I said, it was just annoying.

Well this week when we grabbed it, I noticed a Club Chalupa and tried it. It was pretty good so I can order that now instead of having 2 orders. They also announced that they were bringing back their Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes which is one of the items they took away that I liked. So my Taco Bell intake is looking up. I just hope the Club Chalupa isn't a promotional, it wasn't listed there on the app so I think it might be a regular menu item.

I pass a mall on the way home from work and it's a dead mall (see above). A really dead mall. There are only a few stores left in it besides the anchors (JC Penny and Hobby Lobby). There are supposed to be 4 anchor stores and even 2 of those are empty. Basically, it makes it nice to walk, not many people and warmer than walking outside right now. I see more mall walkers than customers. I ended up walking 3 days last week. I started Tuesday, went back on Wednesday. Thursday my sister-in-law and niece were visiting my wife so I came straight home after work to see them. My wife tends to visit all of her family in the middle of the week while I'm at work so I don't see them often. My mom ended up meeting me out there and we walked on Friday. I went over 2 miles each day which is my goal, for now. 

Part of the problem I have with walking at home (other than it's winter right now) is by the time I get home, I just want to shower and relax so I talk myself out of walking. That's the main thing on why this mall walking might be good for me. We'll see how long I sustain it though, because to be honest, I really don't enjoy walking.

We had to work yesterday (Saturday) and I might have stopped there on the way home but I had made plans to have lunch with my youngest daughter. Her girlfriend and my wife, neither care for Hacienda and we both like it so we tend to go there. It's the second time we've done it, I'm going to try to make it a regular thing. Every month or two or something. Otherwise, I don't see her much as she doesn't visit us much more. Even though she is in the area all the time. Damn kids!

I ended up walking 7.75 miles at the mall this week. Hopefully I can make it a regular thing since last time I went to the doc, for the first time I was over 300 lbs. Being 6'3" helps we wear it better than most but I would like to get rid of some of my gut. I've been pretty steady in the 290's for a long time so it's not like I put on a ton of weight but there's something about that number, 300 pounds just seems like a lot.

Not to much going on at work. The city surprised us with an inspection on Wednesday. During our Q&A, he mentioned that he only schedules us for an hour because he knows the walk through never takes long because we are always on point. He said some places he goes he has to schedule 4 hours. Everything went well, he even contacted our EHS coordinator and told her that he was impressed with our staff (which is me and our EHS person) so that's always good to hear.

The wife and I went out Friday night, it seems to be becoming a regular thing where we drop my son off at work and than go to 5-Guys burger and fries (they have curb side pick-up) and than we just sit in the parking lot in our car and have supper. Afterwards we run down to Steak 'N Shake and grab a couple of shakes, and again, sit in the parking lot and have our dessert. It really is the perfect date night for us. We enjoy the food and I would rather sit in the car, listen to our tunes and enjoy a meal than be stuck in a restaurant where people are annoying and it's usually loud so you can't really talk that well. My wife has issues with a lot of noise, it makes it hard to focus when there is a lot going on so it's a nice date night for us. We can even stay in our PJ's which is what we tend to do. Don't worry, our PJ shirts are regular shirts so you won't notice unless you see our PJ bottoms.

Not sure how much this will continue though because my son is taking his driver's test on Tuesday. Hopefully, he'll pass it so we don't have to drive him anymore. The taking him isn't a big deal. The picking him up between 10 and 11 pm is because on work nights, I'm in bed around 10 and my wife has trouble driving at night. She goes and gets him, luckily traffic isn't really bad and it's not real far. Her eyes have issues with the lights coming at her as they don't dilate very quick so she can't go from darkness and than a light in her face.

I guess that's all for last week. No real plans as of this week other than my son's driving test. Hopefully see you all back here next week.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

New Family Member

I didn't post one of these posts last week because I did my annual stats post which takes some time to set up but I did post. I just went back and looked at my posts in January each year and it's usually higher than most months. The last few years it's been almost half the posts that I put out for the year so I'm guessing I usually tell myself this year, I'm going to make sure I post and by the time February hits, I've stopped. Hopefully this year will be different.

One thing I have been doing so far this year, is using my Instagram account. I send out daily Snaps on Snapchat to my daughter and my mom (called streaks) so I said how hard would it be to take a daily photo on Instagram, so that's what I'm doing. I used to have a widget over there on the right side but it stopped working awhile ago. I tried updating it but apparently everybody wants money for it so screw them. I'll just post the content right here. I do encourage you to go to my Instagram and follow along. You can click the Instagram icon above this paragraph to go to it. So here's getting you caught up since the 1st, next week, I'll just do the past week.

January 1st we had freezing rain and the 2nd it all got covered with snow.

January 3rd is our cat in her princess pose, January 4th I had to go back to work.

January 5th was my first Tuesday morning Taco Bell breakfast, the 6th we brought home a new dog.

January 7th is our cat again, in her daily position on my recliner, the 8th I tried to visit my daughter at work.

Yesterday, the 9th, I wore my new hoodie.

As you can see, nothing really exciting but a little look into my life. I haven't taken a photo for today yet so I guess you'll see that next week or on Instagram later.

Milo, Duke, Kitty and Trevor

On Monday, we drove to Michigan City to see "Dude" at the local human society. We were looking for a companion for our dog Milo. We wanted someone that would play with him but also be a pretty chill dog as we have a pretty quiet household. On Tuesday morning, we got the call that we were selected to take him home so we drove out again to pick him up. We took Milo with us so they could meet and that went well but they really wanted us to bring 2 cars to take him home. Well, it's an hour drive and because of my wife's MS, she can't drive at night because her eyes don't react quick enough to the lights coming at her. So we took my son and told them we'll be good, we brought the teenager to separate them if we need to so we eventually talked them into letting us bring him home. They both pretty much laid on each side of him all the way home. You wouldn't have even known there were dogs in the car.

He's a German Shepherd/Lab mix. He is a pretty sweet guy, he likes to cuddle more than Milo. Although we did have to change his name, we didn't want to because if he's used to a name, it would be cruel to change it but we couldn't leave it Dude because my wife uses that word so we change it to Duke so it sounded the same and he wouldn't be confused. 

My wife has occasional doubts on whether it was the right decision or not. She's a very clean person, likes things orderly and in their place and Milo was pretty good about that, Duke, not so much. When he drinks he walks away from his bowl and drops water all over the place. He licks himself on the couch and leaves big wet spots so stuff like that just drive her nuts. We moved all the squeaky toys downstairs and kept the noise free, rope ones up here because they like to tug against each other.

They've been good for each other though and Milo is definitely playing a lot more than he was which is good for him. 

Ignore my wife's meds.

That's what has consumed our week so far, it's starting to get into a normal routine more and more each day and than we won't even think about it.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

2020 Stats

Another year has passed. My immediate family came through it fairly unscathed but I had plenty of family members who ended up with Covid and even a cousin's kid who was a step away from being put on a ventilator, he's only 23, before he recovered.

One thing that hasn't changed, is that I kept record, or stats of a lot of what I did. I've been doing it awhile as you can tell here.

2013   -   2014   -   2016   -   2017   -   2018   -   2019

While I kept stats in 2015, I didn't do a post, therefore, no link. We moved into our new home this week in 2015 so I was a little preoccupied.

So here we go.
As always, we'll start off with where I ate for the year.

1 Time - 7-Eleven, A&W, Between the Buns, Chili's, DAV, the Golden Egg, Hacienda, Macadoo's, Nelson's Port a Pit, Olive Garden, Panda Express, Panera, Papa John's, Red Robin, Smith's Food Mart, Texas Roadhouse and Walmart Deli.

Lots of places in there, a couple of mini marts (7-Eleven has a great hot dogs and Smith's has great pizza puffs). I love Hacienda but the wife doesn't like it so I don't get it often. Most of it is more expensive than we normally spend (Chili's, Olive Garden, Red Robin and Texas Roadhouse) or it's something I got at work (Nelson's, Papa John's and Walmart Deli.)

2 Times - Dunkin' Donuts, Flippin' Cow, Long John Silver's, Simonton Lake Drive-In and Wing Ect.

Dunkin' Donuts was at work. Flippin' Cow is the best burger joint but it gets expensive so we don't get it much.

3 Times - Cracker Barrel and Jade Garden.

Love Cracker Barrel but again, wife isn't a huge fan of their chairs because they kill her back. Jade Garden is where we do Chinese food take out.

4 Times - Gerace's Pizza and Martin's Deli.

Gerace's is the expensive pizza they get us at work when they are really generous and Martin's Deli is the local grocery store but the Deli has the best fried chicken.

5 Times - Copper Creek Cafe and Mancino's.

Copper Creek Cafe is our go to breakfast place now that we just found this year. Mancino's we grab grinder's.

7 Times - Arby's, Chick-Fil-A, Jimmy John's and Nedderman's Steak Place.

These are all fairly regulars even though 7 times doesn't seem like it. Nedderman's we just discovered at the end of last year so it really jumped up this year.

8 Times - 5 Guys and KFC.

I've always loved 5 Guys but my wife didn't like going all the way to the mall to get it but in the last few months she's been craving it so we've gotten it a lot which is great for me. KFC we don't do for chicken, Martin's Deli is better, but we do love their famous bowls.

9 Times - Culver's.

We love their fries so we go here fairly often, we normally eat there most of the time but we have stopped just for fries once or twice.

Now for the double digit restaurants. Normally we have 5 or 6 but this year, we had 10 with over 10 times eating there. Of course, 5 of those were at the minimum times.

10 Times - Burger King, Dairy Queen, Domino's, Little Ceasars and Wendy's.

Burger King is our go to for fast food burgers. Dairy Queen my son works there now so we'll grab it dropping him off. Domino's is what we prefer for fast food pizza and it just became local. Little Ceasar's was our go to fast food pizza before Domino's came in plus we get it at work every so often. It'll drop a bunch next year. Wendy's we'll do because of the 4 for $4 to feed the kids.

13 Times - Bruno's (last year - 17 times) and Sonic (last year - 4 times) and Steak 'n Shake (last year - 4 times.)

Our go to "real" pizza place is Bruno's. This has slowed down because my wife loves Domino's crust but I still encourage this place even though it's way more expensive.

My wife loves Sonic, I think it's more the loaded tator tots but she's the one that always suggest this. I usually get a Philly Steak N Cheese just because it's one of the few places I can get one.

We usually go here after Sonic just to get Shake's. We used to really like their burgers but when we would go in, the places were always dirty so we just do shake's now.

35 Times - McDonalds (last year - 42 times).

We really don't like most of their food but my wife like's their breakfast when we need something quick and I like the McRib's when they are in which they have been in December. We'll occasionally grab it for a Fish sandwich but that's about it.

48 Times - Taco Bell (last year - 46)
This used to be our favorite fast food but no so much anymore. They've removed the majority of what I like off the menu so I find it harder to find something I really want. What my wife likes you have to order on the app (which we usually use) but the one thing I still like isn't on the app so I usually have to place two orders and they always want to give me one and I have to tell them the next one is mine too. I do love their breakfast still and I get the twice a month when I have to drive over to the other plant to pick up samples but I expect them to lose their reining (last 2 years) spot on this list next year. I haven't added much to it in the last few months since they changed the menu.

These are the totals since I started keeping track. We're up this year because my son started working so I drive him to Dairy Queen and that just leaves the wife and I so I'll just grab something while I'm out.

Next up is my reading. Goodreads always asks you to set goals and I had set 25 books. I generally only read on my breaks at work so I probably would have hit the 25, but I had a month off because of Covid and then I had 2 weeks off for a surgery so my numbers were down.

Last year was my lowest since I started keeping track. Although if you count my pages, I read more than 3 other years listed above. I stuck to the same stuff the whole year though, here it is by authors.

Jim Butcher - 8 books
Stephen King - 6 books
Dean Koontz - 2 books
Kim Harriston - 1 book

Jim Butcher, I was reading the Dresden Files and Kim Harrison released another book in the Hollows series. Stephen King and Dean Koontz are just 2 of my favorite authors so they are my go to when I'm looking for something to read.

You can follow the books I read on Goodreads.

Next up, movies. I do track the TV shows I watch as well but I watch a ton so I'm not going to show that here.

Our movie viewing was down and as you can tell, DVD's have disappeared again and with the shutting down of theaters, I only saw 1 there. Streaming, we have access to Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and Peacock. TV, we have access to Xfinity on demand which we rarely use because we've usually seen most everything on there.

You can follow the movies I watch on Letterboxd.
Sports viewing was definitely down as well because of Covid. Baseball had a really shortened season and to be honest, Michigan football was so bad this year they were hard to watch.

I still got my baseball viewing in because before the season started, they were playing games from 2005 and I watched every game they played. Basketball is down because of the delayed start to college and I don't watch the NBA games anymore. Same with football, don't watch any NFL either. The lone hockey game was last year around this time at Notre Dame when Michigan was in town.
I started off on a blistering pace that was going to blow my previous numbers out of the water, then Covid hit.

At the start of the year, I was the team lead of my department so I was getting over 10,000 steps a day for the first couple of months. I was almost at 90 days of 10,000 steps or more after only a quarter into the year. After I came back from Covid, my job changed because they brought less people back and I was the only one who could do a certain job so I did that and my steps went way down. I still set a record for most days with over 10,000 steps but as you can tell by the less steps and miles overall, I had a lot more days with very little steps. Again, the month off with Covid as well as the 2 weeks off with surgery didn't help that any.

I keep track of the mileage of all our cars but that might change this year because Drivewise with Allstate is changing from tracking the car to tracking on your phone and that will be a lot less accurate.

The Equinox is my car. You can see I knocked 10,000 miles off mine from last year. I changed my route to and from work. I used to take back roads where I could fly but now I drive through town with traffic. They take about the same amount of time but it makes it a 40 mile round trip compared to a 56 mile round trip. The Gallant was my old car that I let my daughter have that she killed by not putting oil in it so it's gone now. The Impala is the car she's driving now. She's a teenager so she's pounding the miles on it. It had quite a bit of miles on it when we bought it so I doubt at the rate she's going that it will last longer than she's making payments. The Outlander is my wife's car, as you can see, she doesn't go to too many places. I just gave her car her annual oil change.
Now for the drink portion.

You can see where the Coke and Mountain Dew are down. That's because I quit buying it for home so the only time I drink pop/soda is when we go out to eat. I didn't do that until the last couple of months of the year so that's why there are still a couple of hundred. Water should go up as well since that is all I drink at home now. is where I track my music. I listened to 37,946 tracks in 2020 and 1,397 different artist. I made it a point at the end of the year to listen to music I haven't heard before so I get more artists. I've added some of them to my playlists.

Here's my top 10 artists listened too.

There's a lot more music this year because of the job change, I can listen to it more often. My work playlist is pretty much all Rock and Country which is why you see the artists above.

You can follow my main playlist on Spotify or follow the music as I listen to it on LastFM.

That's all I got for you today, if that wasn't enough. I always enjoy these posts because I like the stats. There are a few other things I track but nothing anybody would be interested in.