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.


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.

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.

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.

Not-So-Happy Monthiversary

Yesterday was the 16th anniversary of my first day working for my current company. I literally cannot believe it’s been 16 years. Does not compute. Syntax Error. Core Dump. Happy Employmentiversary.

On a significantly more depressing note, today marks four months since my last day at work in the office. Four months ago today, 1/3 of a year ago, I packed up my PC and drove home and haven’t been back since.

There are rumblings about going back in September, but nothing is settled. Some folks are traveling to customer sites again, some folks are back in one of our many Massachusetts buildings. Not a lot, but some.

I looked back at some of my posts from March and April the other day and they were all talking about how none of this felt normal. Well, after four months it’s all pretty normal now. It’s all pretty routine. It’s really nice being around the kids more, and we are always having dinner as a family and all that good stuff. There’s no traffic to worry about. I still haven’t put gas into the Mazda since this all started. We’re still making the bed (most of the time) and I’m still getting up and ready for work by 7:30-40 or so. We haven’t started sleeping super late or staying up super late. We’re still being good doobees.

The stir crazy has us though. We’re thinking about trying to find a cabin or an air bnb in the mountains somewhere this weekend and seeing if we can go do all of the same shit we do at home only in a different place. Probably not going to happen, but we’ll see.

As for the state of the nation? Florida had 15,000 new cases yesterday and Disney World re-opened. Our country is a shit show of world ending proportions.

At least we’re doing the right things in this house. We’ve got that going for us. I guess.

COVID-19 Numbers

Here’s what I have for today:

  • Massachusetts
    • Total Cases: 111,110
    • Deaths: 8,296
    • Death Rate: 7.47%
  • United States
    • Total Cases: 3,158,183 (up 69,270 since yesterday)
    • Deaths: 133,777
    • Death Rate: 4.24%

I never intended to post numbers on consecutive days, but Jen clued me in to a missing piece of info in the Massachusetts COVID-19 dashboard. I mentioned that we stopped counting presumed cases. I was slightly wrong. We didn’t stop counting, we just stopped adding them into the total in the summary. She found the spot on the daily post where they list the presumed numbers, so from now on I am going to add them back in on my spreadsheet. The Johns Hopkins page I use for national numbers was already re-adding those cases in for Massachusetts, so now my numbers reflect that site more accurately.

Just shy of 70,000 cases in the US in the last 24 hours. Yeah, let’s all go out to eat. Fucking psychopaths.

COVID-19 Numbers

Here’s what I have for today:

  • Massachusetts
    • Total Cases: 105,138
    • Deaths: 8,053
    • Death Rate: 7.66%
  • United States
    • Total Cases: 3,088,913
    • Deaths: 132,934
    • Death Rate: 4.30%

Methuen hasn’t given updated numbers since June 30th. I am disappointed in my city. A month or so ago Massachusetts had a huge spike in cases and deaths. Turns out they had changed the way they were counting and had started including presumptive cases along with the confirmed cases. Last week they did they opposite. The infection count dropped by over 5000 as they stopped counting the presumptive cases.

The US has topped three million cases. We are a plague pit. We are a joke. We are the laughing stock of the international community, and we totally deserve it. Wear a fucking mask, you prick.

The Stir Crazy Files – Episode 53

Two stir crazy posts in one day?

It’s lunch time. I’m looking in the fridge. There’s a package of hot dogs. I could go for a hot dog for lunch. Do we have any hot dog rolls?

We do have some hot dog rolls, but they’ve been on the shelf for a while. Are they still good? I inspected them through the bag and I didn’t see any mold. I think they are still good! Hot dogs for lunch, it is!

I cooked the hot dogs. When I opened the bag full of rolls I saw a little spec of mold that I missed. Crud. It’s just one though, there are other rolls that still look okay.

Or do they?

Next time you inspect an older package of bread, make sure you look between the pieces, not just around the edges. Holy science experiment, Batman!


The Stir Crazy Files – Episode 51

This one can be subtitled: M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E.

Or, it can be subtitled: Mouse Day.

Or, alternative to the alternative, it could be subtitled: Ewww, Gross!

Jen and I both took vacation days today. At first the plan was for me to do music and her to do… work. I know, it doesn’t seem logical, but when you’re as high up on the management food chain as she is, sometimes telling people you’re on vacation is the best way to get a lot of work done.

That plan didn’t last long though. As I was finishing up the mix on the song in the previous post, Jen asked if we could just take a drive to get out of the house. That sounded like a great idea to me so we loaded up the car with face masks and rubber gloves and hand sanitizer and off we went.

Something in the Kia smelled funny. I smelled it last week when I was doing car music, but despite the gigantic honker on the end of my face, my sense of smell is pretty wimpy. I smelled something when I got in the car, but by the time I started the engine it was gone.

Jen does not suffer from my weak sense of smell. She’s the opposite. Nothing gets past her. She smells it all. When she got into the car it turned her stomach a little. Something back there smelled bad. I got out and started investigating. I found some old juice boxes in the trunk. Was that it? Probably not. There were some candy wrappers and some empty drink bottles AND A DEAD MOUSE!

Yup, that was the problem. A little dead mouse in the back seat, passenger side foot well. Just lying there all dead like. I removed the poor bastard and gave him a proper burial. After that the smell was gone. I didn’t actually touch the corpse but let’s just say that a significant chunk of that little bottle of hand sanitizer was put to emphatic use.

The question everyone is asking now is, why does this rate as a stir crazy file?

Simple. The reason that mouse was allowed to somehow crawl into the back seat of our car and die is because we never use the cars anymore. Well, let’s say rarely instead of never. There’s no way this would have happened if we were driving to work and back each day. Mickey wouldn’t have had the time to find a way into the cabin and probably would have been killed by the motor somewhere or other while trying.

So when push comes to shove, COVID-19 killed that mouse. We need to add one to the count for today. Bastard.