The Stir Crazy Files – Episode 56

Windows! Driving me nuts!

My company uses an in-house designed calendar/scheduling application. We use it to book meetings, conference calls, vacation time, everything. We’ve been using it for years and it works great.

In two weeks we’re junking most of it in favor of Google Calendar. I’m okay with the move. The transition is going to be annoying, but I’ve been using Calendar pretty much since Google released it and I know my way around pretty well.

One thing our app does is push notifications onto the Windows desktop. Five minutes before a meeting starts we get a little pop up box on the lower right corner of the screen and it stays there until you either click it off, or five minutes after the meeting’s start time.

Google Calendar has a similar function. In our early testing it would sometimes show up in the browser window and sometimes on the desktop. I think someone was tweaking our system under the covers because now it’s always on the desktop. Weird. For me, it was disappearing after a few seconds though. That isn’t good. If that notification goes away as soon as it displays, I’m going to end up being late for a lot of meetings. I mentioned it at our daily group meeting today and everyone seemed to have a different experience. Some aren’t getting it at all, some are only getting it for a few seconds, and some are seeing it stick around for a while.

Well… it’s gotta be a Windows thing then, right? I’m not anywhere close to what you’d call a power user on Windows 10, but I can usually fake my way around. I brought up the notification settings to see if there is a way I can change the length of time a notification displays. Nope. Nothing. Well that doesn’t make sense. I spent a good 10 minutes clicking around trying to find this parameter setting that I know should be there, while admitting that it might not actually exist.

Eventually… off to The Google. The notification parameter wasn’t under notifications, it was under display. Muthapussbucket! I set it to five minutes, which is the max, even though I was hoping to set it to 10 minutes. It worked.

I feel Windows dumb. Of course the notification setting was not under notifications! Of course! Dummy.

I’m not sure how this relates to being stir crazy due to COVID-19, but the two things have to be connected somehow. Everything connects back to The ‘Rona.

Planning for the Future? What?

I just had a chat with my wife. There is something I might want to do in the future if everything works out right.

What needs to work out right?

  • A COVID-19 vaccine is thoroughly and successfully tested
  • A COVID-19 vaccine is approved and made available to US citizens
  • A COVID-19 vaccine that is available to US citizens is actually attainable by US citizens (those are not the same thing)
  • We all take a COVID-19 vaccine
  • The COVID-19 vaccine doesn’t have side effects that cronenberg the crap out of us and turn us into flipper babies
  • Biden wins the election.

I asked her, if all those things happen, does she want to drive down to DC and attend the Inauguration? Can we swing bringing the kids?

COVID-19 Numbers

Here’s what I have for today. Well, yesterday actually:

  • Methuen, MA
    • Total Cases: 1054 (up 29 from the last time they shared, 15 days ago)
    • Deaths: 61
    • Death Rate: 5.79%
  • Massachusetts
    • Total Cases: 116,684 (up 502 from yesterday)
    • Deaths: 8,580
    • Death Rate: 7.35%
  • United States
    • Total Cases: 4,414,834 (up 84,397 from yesterday)
    • Deaths: 150,447
    • Death Rate: 3.41%

Five minutes after I posted that Methuen wasn’t sharing numbers anymore, Methuen posted numbers. It had been 15 days and the curve is still pretty flat. Not flat, but flat-ish.

Massachusetts looks bad. Really bad. One day isn’t enough to be a trend, and it’s not time to worry about a negative turn around, but the new infections yesterday (confirmed + probable = the number I wrote above) was almost double the day before. There were also a lot more deaths for a day than we’ve been seeing of late. The numbers are disturbing.

Speaking of disturbing. The United States is a disaster of biblical proportions. To say it is insane is the understatement of the decade. We are getting close to the magic day when there are 100,000 new cases in a single day. 2,149 deaths in one day is a single day record that is massively higher than the record it broke. 150,447 deaths in four months.

And we still don’t have a national plan to combat the virus.

150,000 Deaths and 10th Place State

I am still keeping my COVID-19 spreadsheets. One for Massachusetts, one for the entire United States, and one for Methuen. Methuen hasn’t updated their numbers in weeks, so I’ve kinda given up on that one. The other two are still going, updated once a day. I still update the sheets as soon as I see that Massachusetts has posted their numbers. Generally that’s about 4:00pm. They are an hour late today. Some days they post on time but I don’t get to it until later. I try not to look at the US numbers until it includes MA.

I cheated today. I just looked at the US numbers, though I didn’t update my sheet. Two items of note. First, North Carolina caught us. We were one of the states with the highest infection count for months, but things have quieted in Massachusetts enough that a bunch of states have passed us. Today North Carolina dropped us from ninth most infected state to 10th.

Second, the United States of America has officially topped the 150,000 mark for deaths.

One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Dead Americans.

But I’m sure that’s just fake news, right? Isn’t all science fake news? Isn’t all math fake news? Isn’t all fact fake news?


We’re trying to walk again. Jen’s been going on a long walk in the morning before work. My back and my legs aren’t ready for that yet. We’ve been taking shorter walks once or twice a day together. Today we went to the fallen branch and back.


Exercise… I hate doing it, but even my fat ass can admit that I really, really need it.

Miami Marlins

What passes for the Major League Baseball season this year opened on Thursday. Four days ago.

Today the Miami Marlins had to cancel their next game because 14 of their players and coaches have tested positive for COVID-19.



Now I knew the chances of making it through a 60 game season and a 16 team playoff were pretty much nil, but I really thought it would take a couple of weeks before the system started to collapse. I thought it would last for more than four days.

The Stir Crazy Files – Episode 55

I have had the hardest time keeping my glasses clean. It’s just a massive annoyance to me as I try to work. Jen bought a package of pre-moistened lens paper and finally something helped.

Earlier today I was thinking my glasses needed a cleaning, but I want to conserve these magical lens wipes and I put it off. Then, I took a swig of Diet Pepsi out of a 16.9 ounce/0.5 liter bottle and a single drop of liquid splashed out of the bottle and splattered right on my right lens.


Note, I was going to use the word bitch as a negative. I don’t think I can do that anymore. Republican congressman Ted Yoho recently called New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez a bitch on the steps to the US Capital Building.

To me, if AOC is a bitch, then we as a society need more bitches, because she is going to save us from the cesspool our nation has become.

Sun downing is a Thing

10 years ago (approximately) when my mother was first diagnosed with cancer we learned about a new thing: Sundowning. It seems for some patients, their behavior changes drastically right around the time the sun goes down. My mother went from strong and confident to mean and whimpering and pretty much impossible to reason with.

It happened again today. Due to Covid-19, she is only allowed one visitor for the duration of her stay. It’s my sister. She gets to the hospital when visiting hours start and leaves when it ends. My father wanted to do it but he can’t handle sitting in those uncomfortable chairs for 12 hours. If he tried we’d be checking him into the hospital too.

So my sister had to take the full brunt of the sundowning. Both barrels, BLAMMO! It was awful. My mother waffled from inconsolable to telling my sister right off. She called my father once and told him that if he doesn’t come and bring her home he must not love her. So yeah, dad took both barrels too.

We know that by morning she’ll be back to her normal self again, but for the night time? It’s just awful.

Feelin’ Fine

Everything is okay today. My mother is still in the hospital but she’s improved by leaps and bounds already. Maybe one more day and she’ll be good to go.

There is nothing wrong. There is nothing to be upset about. There is nothing out of whack anywhere in my little sliver of Universe.

Why then do I feel like I’m two heartbeats away from screaming?

What the fuck, bro?

The Stir Crazy Files – Episode 54

It’s Tuesday July 21st. It’s my sister’s wedding anniversary. Happy anniversary, Lisa and Ken! That’s not what has me stir crazy today.

I woke up early today and took out the trash, brought the garbage barrels out to the street because it’s trash day, cleaned out the litter box and brought that out to the street, did a load of dishes, did a load of laundry, took the garbage barrels back in from the street after they were emptied (thank you, Methuen), swapped the office chair I’ve been using at my work desk for a bigger one that was hiding in the cellar, watched the first episode of The Watchman, and ate some eggs for breakfast. All of that before I punched in to work. Yikes! That’s not what has me stir crazy today though.

I’ve had the same password to my work network for something like six months. I was prompted by the system to change it yesterday. I’ll do it today. When I went to log in to work I had forgotten it. After six months? How is that possible? I completely forgot it. That’s not what has me feeling all stir crazy today though.

Twice in the last 24 hours my eye has felt itchy and I’ve reached up to rub it, completely forgetting that I had glasses on. Boom, finger prints on the lens.

That is what has me feeling stir crazy today.