I might have caught a break in my neck recovery. At my scheduled six-week follow-up last week, the doctor examined x-rays and said everything looked fine, and that I probably was just enduring muscle spasms. I was given a few exercises to do, and I’ll be darned if the next few days I was back to my old self again! But just to be sure they suggest doing an MRI to give a clearer picture. Hopefully that also shows nothing major and I can just rehab and recover through neck exercises. Nevertheless, there will be no tomfoolery until I’ve explicitly been given the clear.

I had some time to myself here in Austin the past few days, with Lauren taking Johnny to Iowa. To the best of my recollection, this is the first time I’d been home alone for more than a few hours since Lauren traveled to New York for work in 2014 before Johnny was even born. I think I spent my time wisely, enjoying one night at local bars while spending most of the rest of the time at home getting doing house projects. From fixing the recycling slide-out drawer to laundry to some dangerous electrical work to painting street numbers, it was time well-spent.

Lauren and John will get even more one-on-one time as I fly to Minneapolis for my annual solo trip this coming weekend. Along for the fun are three Austin friends—Bart, Mike, and Julio. With those guys plus the usual gang from Minnesota, we’re planning to hit the town pretty hard and take in two Twins-Royals games.

And that will officially be my “last hurrah” before Baby Girl arrives! So, for the record, I’m going to be a disgusting pig all weekend in Minnesota, snarfing and gulping down whatever looks delicious in the moment. But upon return, it’s going to be a big cleanse. My lack of activity during this neck recovery time has added quite a few pounds to the old frame.

I also made these two vector images of historic Carpenter, SD landmarks for fun.

The still-standing Carpenter Post Office.
The old, no-longer-standing Carpenter Cafe.