It has been a busy few days. Work has been rather fast paced, with it being Valentine’s Day weekend and all. Alissa had Friday night off, which seemed to upset the chef, he thought we’d be busy enough for that fourth person, I disagreed. We were busy. Saturday night was much more busy though. The restaurant has a special this weekend and for Valentine’s Day for a little rib eye steak and a little lobster tail for a reasonable price. Unfortunately, the lobster is a pain in the butt to shell out. On one hand the exoskeleton is brittle compared to the larger tails we’re used to, so they break much more easily. On the other hand, while trying to pull them out, the shell has so little give compared to the larger ones, which can cause some pain to the fingers. We sold lots of those.

Speaking of pain, Saturday night I had my frequent knee pain and I chipped a tooth. A minor chip, but I had just gotten my teeth how I like them and than that happens. Teeth just came down wrong on a french fry and bam. Hurt like mad.

Thursday, Ryan had got the TV B Gone I sent him for his going away present, and we took it out into the field during our break in between shifts. Let me explain what a TV B Gone is. Do you know what a car lock remote looks like? It’s a little black fob about that size that has a key chain and one button. It cycles through thousands of Ir code frequencies that are programmed for various TV model’s power toggle. Some models of TV that have separate on and off frequencies are the best because it only has the “off”. Our first stop was HH Greg. We made a bee-line for their TV section, which is two different areas that have a few isles of TVs and what we really wanted, the banks of TVs on the wall. Ryan paused in the end of an isle, with the B Gone at waist level, secret style. He pressed the button and immediately two TVs went dark, than another, than another, than another. At this point I’m cracking up laughing, I can’t play it cool. Ryan starts walking, knowing he’s about to blow it too. Keeping it decently cool though he still manages to keep the B Gone out and pointed at the TVs as he walked. Wherever his shadow fell a TV went dark, like he was the Angel of Death for TVs.

After hanging out in the HDTV section to calm ourselves we retreated to the stereo section to regroup. On the way there I looked back and saw that the employees had begun to freak out, which was such an added bonus. They had toggled off the power for the entire TV section and at least one of them was fiddling with buttons on the front of the TVs. While in the stereo section, I overheard two employees talking, saying things like “I don’t know what happened” and “A bunch of them just turned off”. Ryan decided it was time to leave, I suggested one more pass through the TV section, he didn’t want to. I understand that this sort of behavior isn’t illegal, as far as I know, but Ryan seemed to treat it, at least early on, the same way I treated shoplifting, which I don’t do anymore, but when I did… Than we went to the mall. Our first hit was FYE. There are three TVs set up in the back of the shop, the B Gone turned off two of them immediately, and Ryan moved on before the third turned off. Likely he just had the angle wrong on it and that’s why the third didn’t go off. Employees didn’t immediately notice, they were still off when we left the mall itself. In Food Court we tried to turn off the courtesy TVs that the old people watch, but were unsuccessful, range problems, angle problems, or not enough patience to wait for the B Gone to cycle through to that model of TV’s off code. It takes the thing 67 or 69 seconds to get through them all.

Sports Zone, which is some crappy store I’ve never been in, was one of my favorite hits. Ryan just briefly paused in the doorway and darked both of the TVs just inside the shop mounted on the ceiling and than walked off super cool. The thing that made it great was the store’s sole employee was standing under them watching them, so he flipped out a little bit. Sears was pretty fun, they’ve got a similar setup to HH Greg. Ryan gave me my turn in Footlocker and I darked one of their two TVs. Pretend to look at their overpriced jerseys and hit the button and wait. The employees didn’t seem to notice, which disappointed me. We stopped back in the food court, setting up camp in front of Sports Zone and one of the courtesy TVs. Sports Zone went dark again and with a bit of patience, so did the courtesy TV. One of the old women sitting a few tables away had been watching the TV, looked around a little, confused, and than paid attention to the people she was sitting with. Mission accomplished.

We opted not to go to BW3s, which was the plan, since I wanted to knock out the TVs in a sports bar, and went to K-Mart and Wal-Mart instead. K-Mart was a pretty fun run. Wal-Mart was all mine though. Ryan let me do that one. They probably have a bank of 35 TVs in their electronics section, when we left they had about five still on. They were mostly Emerson. For some reason the codes for that brand are either not in the device or so far back that I lose patience.

Some brands go off a lot easier than others. Sony and Panasonic go off within seconds of firing up the B Gone. RCAs are decent. Sanyo’s are probably the most annoying. And the older the TV the more likely it’s code isn’t up front.

Katie came home for the night and we talked. She gave the admission that she wants to be with me and only me, and through the course of the conversation I think we came to a good place. I think, and I’m sure I didn’t communicate this to her clearly, is that I do want to have a toned down version of what we had. We seem to cooperate better in the “break up” times, so keeping it a notch or two down from where we usually have it is good. A little distance, a little time, a lot better. How I feel about her in my heart hasn’t changed through this whole thing, and it’s not likely to change anytime soon for any reason. I’m still nervous about the relationship though. How I feel about her is solid, but the relationship? It’s still rocky. I’m not saying I’m going to suddenly change my mind for no reason and yank the rug out from under it, but just because I’m willing to work just a bit more doesn’t change that I am still very tired. There are a handful of things that if I could be sure of or would be different, marriage would come up as a viable option, that’s how much I love her, and that’s how far away we are too. She knows what my handful of issues are, it serves neither of us good for me to hide them. I’m sure that she’ll read this, and I hope that she understand now that when I type that I have “issues” that prevent me from immediately wanting marriage that it’s not a complaint or a slam or anything like that. I know these are things that every couple needs to work out or every person needs to deal with.

I’m thinking of putting together a little weekend for me and her. I need a vacation, and I think maybe it’ll be good for us.