Hanging in There?

But enough about me, how are all of you doing?  Are we all hanging in there?  Are we all doing the right things and staying safe while somehow not losing our minds with all this crazy?

Okay, maybe a little more about me.  I have done so much laundry over the last few days it’s out of control.  All of it washed, dried, folded, and put away.  The put away part is like a miracle on top of a miracle.  I haven’t gotten dressed out of a laundry basket once this week.  I am frankly amazed.  Yesterday was bed sheets, the kids are in for a clean sheet treat when they come over tonight, and today is bath towels.  With the exception of the clothes we are currently wearing, and a couple of items that are currently in the washing machine as I type this, neither my wife Jen nor I have a single article of dirty clothing between us.  Dishes too.  Our dishes are looking at us like, we’ve never been this clean before.  More over, we’ve never been this clean so soon after being used to cook dinner!

All of that is down to Jen keeping me on my toes.  If it were just up to me we’d be living in squalor and the house would have already collapsed around us.  She’s keeping me honest.  She’s keeping me sane.  I don’t know if she realizes how important she’s been to my well being over the last month or so but she’s been a lifesaver.

I had a good day at work yesterday.  I was asked a question that originally came from one of our customers.  They were asking for a way to do something that would make their handling of COVID-19 patients about 0.0000001% easier.  I immediately knew how to handle it but it turned out I was wrong.  If they made one teeny tiny change to their workflow I would have been right, but it also would have defeated the entire purpose of said workflow.  Yesterday morning one of my coworkers made a suggestion that changed the way I looked at the problem (THANK YOU!!!) and I had it up and running in-house a few minutes later.  Today it was presented to the customer and it made them happy.  That in turn made me happy.  I was dumb for not thinking of the fix myself but I was close and I just needed a little nudge in the right direction.  Fortunately for me I have great coworkers.

There is no seed in the bird feeders, but there was just a woodpecker sitting on one of them.  I just thought you should know.

What is it about working from home that makes me need to clean my glasses two or three times a day?  I think it’s the light in the room combined with the curtains being open and the size of my monitor, but while I’m working at the office I feel like I clean my glasses once a week or so.  Now that I’m working from home every day?  I am cleaning them all the time?  What’s up with that?

Speaking of the office, can I just say that as someone who drives an average of about 70 miles each business day, I haven’t needed to put gas in either one of my cars for about four weeks?  Do you have any idea how unbelievable that is to me?  I’ve been commuting to one of this companies buildings for over 15 years now and I can probably count the number of work weeks that didn’t include at least one fill up on one hand.  I might be able to count them on one finger.  This feels… universe altering… or something.

I’m eating too much junk food.  Almost all of it is down to stress eating.  I have cut back this week, which is good, but I don’t think I can stop the stress eating entirely without removing the cause of the stress… and that ain’t happening any time soon.  I’ll figure it out somehow.  We’re all making sacrifices.  We’re all adjusting to this new (please please please let it be temporary) normal.  I’ll figure it out.

In closing, I hope you’re all doing okay.  I hope you’re all hanging in there.  We’ll get through this together.  One day at a time, kids.  One day at a time.

The Stir Crazy Files – Episode 14

I took out the garbage.  When I came back in the house my beautiful bride, Jennifer, was standing in front of the cabinet in which we keep our box of garbage bags.  I said she needed to take a step to the left….

I then proceeded to pull the entire chorus of Do The Time Warp from The Rocky Horror Picture Show out of my teeny, tiny, little brain.  Now, I’ve never been much of a Rocky Horror guy.  I saw the movie.  It was goofy but okay.  I would guess I’ve heard the song Time Warp maybe… three times in my life?

And there it was… the whole chorus… spewing out of my idiot, stir crazy head.

The Stir Crazy Files – Episode 10

Tuesday is trash day.  This morning when I was getting ready for work* I had to ask my wife what day it was, and I had to make sure yesterday wasn’t some weird holiday too.  I needed to double check that it actually was Tuesday.

I didn’t do the dishes after I made dinner last night (chicken breasts, instant mashed potatoes, and canned green beans.  Jen told me I did good).  I was going to sneak them into the dishwasher while Jen was eating breakfast.  A few minutes ago I heard some noise from the kitchen.  She was putting the dishes in the dishwasher.  I went out and helped, but I missed my chance to surprise her.  Curses!  Foiled again.

*I still get up at the same time I get up when I have to drive 15 hours to get to work.  I still shower and get dressed every day and I am all put together as if I had to leave home at 7:15.  We’re also still making the bed every day.  There aren’t many things we can control, but we can still do that.

Please Take This Seriously

Well we sure had the rug pulled out from under us yesterday.

Social Distancing.  We’re doing it.  We’re working from home, we’re staying away from other people as much as humanly possible, we’re cutting back on our trips to the store and all that fun stuff.

We’re not necessarily staying at home, though that might change, but we are not coming anywhere near other humans.  We are taking walks around the neighborhood.  Other people are around and we wave and say hello, but we aren’t approaching anyone.  We also go for drives.  We only get out of the car if we’ve been going too long and need to stretch our legs, in which case we find an empty parking lot, or if we need gas, in which case we don’t go near other people.

We thought that was the way it was all around.  We were wrong.

Our first quarantine road trip was just a couple of exists up route 93.  Our second was much longer.  We drove to Concord, NH and then to Rochester, NH and then home.  Yesterday, for road trip three, I had the bright idea to drive up to the ocean and wander up the coast.  I suggested it for two reasons.  One, seeing the ocean always feels good.  Two, it would be fun to see the beaches empty on a weekend day.  You know, everyone will be home so we’ll have the road to ourselves.

Wrong.

We drove to Salisbury Beach.  We didn’t approach the beach itself, but at the end of the runway there were some cars parked on the road and a few people could be seen in the distance.  Nothing much different than what I expected.  The parking lots were empty.  Then we turned north and headed to Hampton Beach across the state line and the bubble burst.

Hampton Beach is much bigger than Salisbury, and the ocean can be seen from the road.  That’s why I like that drive.  There is crap tons of parking and nice sidewalks for folks to hang out on before walking onto the beach.  Yesterday we were shocked.  The parking lots were nearly full and the sidewalks, while not mobbed exactly, were really busy.  I didn’t see any specific groups of larger than 10 people.  I saw what looked like a family of seven, and a group of eight older teenage kids.  No one was in a group of 10, but on the sidewalk there were 100 or so groups of two and three, all walking up and down the street together.  Were they all six feet apart?  Absolutely not.  It was a typical busy street.  The traffic was crazy too.  It wasn’t summertime at the beach traffic, but it was about normal for a cold day in early spring.

If one person in that sidewalk crowd was carrying the virus without showing symptoms then hundreds (at least) of people were exposed.  What the hell were these people thinking?  Worst of all?  Almost all of the people we saw were middle age and older.  They were almost all in the high risk group.  All of them.  Hundreds of them.  Again, what the hell are these people doing?

I felt stupid just being in the same time zone as these people.  I thought we were being as safe as we could be.  Now this.  Just amazing.  Every single one of those people had their head shoved firmly up their own ass.  I still can’t believe it.  It makes me want to stay at home with the doors locked.  I knew that the average person in America was kinda dumb (half of them voted for Trump after all) but my faith in my fellow man has been completely shit on.

Stay home, you friggin’ morons.