Saturday, April 25, 2020

New Keyboard for a New Normal

A new normal? I used that term in some language I was drafting for work. I don't really know what I'm talking about. After more than a month of pandemic-related isolation, we've all found a "new normal". Here's where I put a full stop to typing another word about being stressed when I see images of cars lined up for food distributions and people fighting to get their unemployment benefits. Let alone the daily life and death struggles for anyone infected or caring for the infected.

Still want to read about my new keyboard? I didn't think so. But, that's not going to stop me from reviewing my new Karura2 gaming keyboard from Reddragon. $27 is what I spent to get a comfortable and quiet keyboard. It's not as quiet as my laptop keyboard and the pressure for different keys is inconsistent. BUT - the keys are illuminated with any color I choose and it's nice to have a larger footprint and a (123456789) keypad. For $27 this thing is a bargain. 

Another suggestion for your home office set up: a cheap laser printer. Julia has been printing a ton of worksheets for school and our old Epson inkjet was costing us $50 a page. You know that's a huge exaggeration - but is it? Every time I ran out of cyan or magenta, it wouldn't let me print just black. I know I could have set my print preferences to grayscale but even after the thing sat for a bit I'd still have to clean the print heads and that cost me half a cartridge, it seemed. For the price of two full ink refills, I bought a laser printer. Now I don't have to clean any print heads and we're getting 1,000 sheets per toner cartridge. I just bought a replacement cartridge for $21. I'm not doing the math - all I know is I have on-demand black and white printing at a fraction of the cost. 

That was the dullest thing I've ever written for this blog. I should be punished, somehow. 

The cat, Simon, sits behind me on the buffet and puts his paw on my back until I pet him. He obviously has become accustomed to having us here all the time. He has developed new needs and habits based on unlimited human attention whenever he demands it. He's now looking at himself in the mirror. He finds himself fascinating. I just gave him major pets. I feel better. I hope he does, too. 

I just had a text conversation with Davin. Now I'm thinking about making wine in my basement. This setup, below, looks like something I could hide in a prison cell. Perfect for my needs. 

I should get started. It'll only be a few weeks and then I'll post after I've sampled it. 

I can't wait. If you thought me going on about laser printer cost savings was interesting, just wait until I drunk post. I just know I'll have some real insights then. 

Saturday, April 18, 2020

I Was Gonna Go Deep

I'm sparing you. You, dear reader, don't deserve what I was about to unleash on you. I went for a walk tonight and during that time I thought of a theme and a loose outline for this post. I had big plans. I was going to hit you with some truth and it was so profound your mind would be reeling for weeks. 

I started by looking up "Memento Mori". That should give you some clue where I was headed and why I decided to turn around. 

It's not as if I wouldn't have a decent excuse to bore the shit out of you with my ideas about the transitory nature of life. I'm living through a pandemic after all. The news I'm seeing, the statistics I'm hearing, the masks, the gloves, the weird looks as I move six feet away from someone on the sidewalk or at the store. I have an excuse. 

But, now that I'm here typing away, my appetite for serious reflection is gone. Now I'm thinking about all the jellybeans I've been eating lately. You see, I take a tiny pill every day that blows open my capillaries and veins so I don't squirt blood out of my tear ducts whenever I bend over to tie my shoes. The prescribed pill is smaller than the jellybeans I've been eating. I just ate 40 jellybeans. Am I naive enough to think that this 40:1 ratio isn't impacting my health? I've done my reading. I know that sugar is basically poison. So, why can't I stop eating them? Even the goddamn grape ones. I don't like grape but, I'm popping them in my mouth at an alarming rate. 

It doesn't matter. It's not important. 

I'm going to go to be and dream my weird, social distancing dreams. I posted to Instagram about dreaming about being trapped in a daycare owned by Don Rickles. It was called "RicklePals". I have a feeling I'm going to have quite a few more tonight. The pump is primed. 

I should just keep this post as a draft because it's worthless. But I just spent ten minutes typing so. . . 

Friday, April 10, 2020

One Month In

What struck me last night, as I thought about what I needed to accomplish the next day, was the fact that I know where I'm going to be. No unexpected travel for business. No plans for dining out. Should we check out the new Bond movie? I know that every workday I'm going to be sharing the dining room table with Deb doing my job. I know where I'm having dinner and pretty much what I'll be doing at 8:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. and where these activities will occur. It's not that I'm unaccustomed to a routine - a rut, even. What is unusual is the almost absolute certainty of it.

Last night I suggested we go for a drive and the four of us got in my car and wound up in Troy's driveway. It was a lot further than we expected to travel but, it was good to feel like we were free to roam where we wanted. We shouted at Troy from our as he stood on his front porch looking really confused and totally unprepared for company. We shouted at him, "We're here to play Twister!" and, "What's for dinner?!" Then we rolled up our windows and drove away. 

Allie goes to work tomorrow at the grocery store. I found an N95 mask and was insisting she wear it. She said she would feel self-conscious wearing a mask that should be worn by health care providers during this time. Her mother and I simultaneously told her, in a rather blunt way, that we didn't care about perceptions and wanted her as safe as she could be. I'd prefer that she stay at home. Allie doesn't agree. I'm hoping the middle ground is a decent mask. 

I wore a mask out for the first time last night. I stopped at Walgreens for a few things that we could live without but wanted. I was a tiny bit self-conscious as I was the only person in the store with the mask but, I also appreciate that the CDC would endorse my behavior. I'll wear one later today when I head out to the grocery store to get food for this weekend's Easter dinner. During our car ride, we decided to have corn, sauteed green beans and mashed potatoes with our tiny little ham. 

The Easter Bunny is still coming. I have a sense about these things.