Day 4: Working from home (with outage)

Today was a bit less frustrating as I worked for another day from home. Some of the discussions made some issues more apparent. My blood pressure was not spiked today.

I spent hours and hours on video conferences. It is odd to start up the first part of a major software project with almost everyone remotely connecting. We start major testing and conversions next week, all remote.

I noticed much more video usage today. Folks I think are getting more comfortable with the being on camera and the view of each working space is interesting. I am sitting in front of a wall of board games, and that did get some comments. With all the social distancing, folks are getting more social!

I called PG&E, our electric company, after my first meeting to check if they are still replacing a telephone pole and that I will get to enjoy four hours disconnected (i.e., no power). Their call center is also now folks working from home. The gal checked with the leader and, “yes, they are coming.” And just before my second set of meetings started, poof–no power.

I walked down to the worksite and thank the PG&E folks for working today. I did notice that you can’t exactly do social distancing in the bucket. It took them four hours to replace the pole.

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During this time I used my iPhone BlueJeans app, the software is called Bluejeans that Nike uses for video conferencing, to participate in the meetings. The tiny screen was hard to use for some of the displays. But I could expand the items to read them, and I stayed outside and enjoyed the nearly perfect weather we should not be happening in Oregon in March. When I speak, I turn on the video on the iPhone, and they could see me with my cowboy hat on walking outside. Sometimes the sun would flash behind me, giving me a halo. That drew some comments.

Today is the first day of spring, and usually, here in Oregon, this day is just rain and more rain and no different than the previous grey days and the next three months of grey days.  I should not have been outside enjoying the sun. Climate change is pronounced in Oregon this year–the weather is excellent! Hard to not like global warming here.

With the power out, I then headed to Safeway to pick up some groceries. I had no meetings for a bit. There was no toilet paper to be purchased still, and other items are now gone. I told someone that this was not the end-of-the-world because there are bagels. She replied, “the end-of-the-world will not happen when there are muffins.” I found these–Susie’s favorites, carrot cake muffins!

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Indeed, the end-of-the-world is not today.

I thanked the Safeway folks for working today. I washed the cart handle and then washed my hand with a cleaning towel they supply. I told the cashier that I had cleaned my hands before I had handled anything. She was much relieved.

I returned to more online video meetings for work with the power restored and a new pole in place. I started cooking dinner too. Bean soup with chicken. We had soaked the beans overnight and part of the morning. Added chicken stock and started the beans cooking. I also baked chicken thighs (with skin and bone) during the meetings. I slipped the chicken into the oven between meetings. I like to use shredded baked chicken in soups.

The stock market recovered. As usual, my own Apple computer was playing the financial news. I and others were expecting that this week the market would normalize. Today it started. I received notification that Nike was increasing my 401K contributions as I had requested. I want a bit more while the stocks are cheap. Here is my retirement song: Bob Roberts Society Band. “They don’t play loud…”.

Work finished. I returned to the chicken–it was baked and cooled. I removed the one bone for the chicken thighs and then cut them up and added them to the soup. It was perfect. Susie liked it.

My prescription was delivered today. Happy to see that my 90-day items can still be filled.

After dinner, I worked on re-learning another board game today: War of the Worlds, The New Wave. This is a new game using a deck-building mechanic and figures on a game board. I was in the Kickstarter for the game and have the premium version. While relearning the game, I discovered a rule I got wrong before and played myself. It is a two-person game, but I like it enough to play both sides. The human side survived this time.

Today I remembered that there is a Doctor Who episode where folks are trapped in cars (flying) that are now homes. They all sing a song each day to help each other make it through another day trapped in their cars. Sound familiar? Here is the singing part Old Rugged Cross (Doctor Who version).

The death count for the virus passed ten thousand today. So another hymn to help us go on: Here I Am Lord.

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