Tags: musings

Me 2

Productivity During a Pandemic

There's been a lot of discussion about being productive in a pandemic. I personally have been very productive at the day job and I've been getting a lot of writing done. That's due to a couple of factors:

1) I've been lucky. My day job involves me having phone meetings with people from London to LA (literally). Working from home has been a non-event for me.

2) I'm an introvert, so the social distancing rules aren't that bothersome to me.

3) I was able to create a new routine. I get up at my usual go-to-work time, shower-shave-eat, and then go to work. The big change has been a shorter commute.

But most of this is wrapped up in item #1 - things have worked out to enable me to be productive. If things haven't worked out so nicely for you, please don't panic. Just do the best that you can and know that this too shall pass. This entry was originally posted at https://chris-gerrib.dreamwidth.org/737531.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
Me 2

I was wrong

The other day I stated that my place of employment was offering discounts on pop if you used a debit or credit card. They are offering discounts, but the reason isn't because it's cheaper to use a card. The reason is they want people to test their new contactless debit card and this is the incentive.

Every once in a while I make a mistake.

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Me 2

Credit is Cheaper Than Cash

My place of work, like many places, has a pair of vending machines in the break room. They recently put credit / debit card readers on the machines in addition to the bill and coin feeds. I just today realized that if you use a credit card to buy something, it's cheaper. Like 85 cents for a pop with cash, 50 cents with card. I assume it's significantly cheaper for the vending company to not have to come out and empty the machine.

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Me 2

Monday Update

Various news, provided for your amusement:


Over the weekend, I reduced the price of the ebook edition of The Mars Run to 99 cents. That will be it's new permanent price. I also set it up so that if you buy the paper version you can get the ebook for free. We'll see if this spurs any sales.

Weekend Update

I did very little this weekend. It snowed all day Saturday in Chicago, so I felt no good reason to go out. I usually go out for dinner and cook a steak on Sunday, but I flipped the script on that. As a result, Sunday dinner was Cajun Pot Roast at Chuck's Southern Comforts Cafe, a local restaurant. It was very tasty.


I have a recurring dream where I'm trying to get office work done. The problem is my workplace isn't an office, rather it's some kind of house poorly remodeled into an office. Either that or it's an old open space where the battered desks are partitioned off by old furniture. In any event, to make matters worse, there's a shortage of desk space and I keep getting moved out. I wonder what my dreams are trying to tell me.

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Me 2


I am a big fan of the Toto song "Africa" and have been since it came out in 1982. (It's recently been covered by Weezer.) Well, for all those years, I thought the lyrics were "I miss the rains down in Africa."

The line is actually "I bless the rains down in Africa." To which I say, "really? Who are you to bless anything?"

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Chicago got hit with a big snowstorm today. I woke up to 5 inches on the ground and another 3 expected to fall. The bank stayed open, so I had to come in, but when I found the roads to be as slick as greased snot I went to Darien, our hot-site and a bank very near me, instead of Oak Brook. We picked up a couple of guest workers here but very few customers. So far, I've been banging through work, largely because my phone isn't ringing. Wish me luck!

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Me 2

The Urge to Create

As you may have heard here, I recently visited The Old Soil, AKA Lithuania. It's a cute country in Eastern Europe with a bad history of getting absorbed by Russia. It's also a small country, with around 2.8 million people, roughly the same population as Kansas.

Lithuania never built any overseas empires, so other than those 2.8 million Lithuanians, there aren't very many people who speak Lithuanian. If you want to get ahead in Lithuania, you learn English, something that's helped by the fact that there's an FM radio station in Kaunas that plays American Top 40 music. (My cab driver was listening to it.)

But people have a strong urge to create. So strong that the Lithuanian folk restaurant I ate at was able to create a several-hour-long mix tape of songs in Lithuanian, including rock-and-roll. The people who recorded those songs couldn't have made a lot of money off of the recordings, but the urge to create was strong enough that they did it anyway.

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Me 2

"Learn Your Craft"

"Learn Your Craft," or how to show one's ass in public.

I was at a neighborhood restaurant over the weekend, and the lady near me ordered Oysters Rockefeller. They were served with Tabasco sauce, as per the menu. The lady found this highly unacceptable, a manager was called, and when Hollandaise sauce or an (in the mind of the customer) substitute was not immediately available our customer told the manager to "learn your craft."

To the great relief of all concerned, the customer left shortly thereafter. There are times and places where getting in high dungeon over a meal in a restaurant is appropriate. When a menu item is served in a timely manner and exactly as described on the menu is not such an occasion.


So, I got some fiction writing done today. I added a new scene in which we get some backstory about a major character and some unanswered questions. Go me!


I have cast my final votes for all Hugo categories I care to vote in. I'm not a graphic novel guy, so I didn't vote there, and I had no opinions on the fan artist, so no votes.

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Me 2

Friday Link Salad

Like the label says, links!

A) The Advantage of Being a Little Underemployed. From the link: Before 1900 the average American worker worked more than 60 hours a week. A standard schedule was ten-hour days, six days a week. The only structural limits to working were lighting and religion. You stopped working when it was too dark to see or to go to church. Or shorter, you worked from "can" to "can't."

B) A bit late, but still good - the story of D-Day on Omaha Beach.

C) Wonder Woman: How real-life athletes united to populate the film's badass Amazon nation.

D) A more humorous take on Wonder Woman - Alamo Drafthouse Apologizes for Starting Manpocalypse With Women-Only Screening.

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Me 2

Woman of Wonder and other updates

Saturday was a quiet day at Casa Gerrib Norte. The excitement of the day was my attendance at an early-evening screening of Wonder Woman. It was a very enjoyable movie, although the last few minutes of the epic battle between the Big Bad and Our Heroine was a bit tedious. Overall, I highly recommend seeing it.

Sunday was for me also quiet, although one of my downstate relatives had a (very minor) heart attack, so I was getting several updates during the day. In part due to the miracle of modern medicine and the nature of the attack, said relative was sent home after less than 24 hours of hospitalization. Go modern medicine!

Now, if I could just find some time and energy to write, all would be well in the world.

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