Last night after writing the blog, I discovered my work mailbox was full of notices of people taking off Tuesday, and meetings are postponed because they could not be held on Tuesday as the participants were unavailable. I then took Tuesday off.
Now that really means just not signing into my work laptop for a day. And that is what I did, or really not do today. I just started slow and stayed at that speed most of the day. I did watch 18xx how-to-play youtube videos and believe I would like the games and will get my first “beginner” version, 18Chesapeake, on the game table once we can game again. This game presents me with the rather unique play of buying the stock of companies run by people who are good at train stuff or understand the game while driving my companies into the ground.
Lunch was just soup for me, and I did get dressed late. Susie was up before I was dressed today!
I also did some writing today. I am trying to finish my short story of my hero Howard in Amsterdam. I write a story about Howard after or when I travel. We went to Amsterdam for the Christmas Holiday. We also left on December 28th, which is the day the scientist believe that the virus reached Europe. We just missed it!
I write the Howard story in a stream of a consciousness-like process that gets down the events and some of the pure ironies I like in the Howard stories. I also like to write with a stilted style of 1920s horror author for some of it. I then rework the original to adjust the story and make it logical. After that, I upload it into Grammarly and suffer the insults of having all my grammar fixed. I take that and rework it again, trying to ma,ke (Grammarly put the comma there–it has an issue with its editor once in a while) it flow from one sentence to the next. I often find more color to add that I just hinted at in my first writing. Then there are the wording issues that Grammarly missed (growling at the software when I find them) that I try to fix. Back into Grammarly and the last fixes. Then it is done for the moment. I usually put it away for a few weeks and read it again and just can’t believe it when I find mangled sentences. Then it is finally done.
My muse for writing is Constance Hale and her book Sin and Syntax. It is the book that started me on losing my fear of writing. I recommend it.
I worked last night for about three hours until late last night on a software upgrade. I drank tea to help me keep my focus. We managed to finish the work, but sleep was then impossible. I have my usual migraine from lack of sleep and my asthma woke me gasping a bit. Sucks! Inhalants, caffeine, and painkillers have me better, but I am struggling today-tonight.
I ordered Chinese food to be delivered for dinner. I ordered too much. I know what is for lunch on Wednesday! It is from our local folks at Stir Crazy Kitchen.
So I have been going slow. I am reading a lot today. I have found a 1930s English detective I am enjoying: Maisie Dobbs. The settings fit my writing of Horror adventures which are often set in 1930s Europe, and the focus on surviving the aftermath of The Great War mixed with some mysticism keeps me interested. I have trouble putting it down.
The stock market went up today and then back away from the highs when the White House made rumblings about China. Experts were also suggesting that it was too soon to enter the recovery on Bloomberg. I watch Bloomberg for a few minutes for The Close report. My 401K loss for the year has reversed by another percent, now -4.6%. A few more good days without the White House and I should break even by June!
I called the brokers and experts at my 401K holding company, Fidelity. I was checking on my retirement options. I can withdraw from my 401K after leaving my employment without penalty at my age, but it must be the whole amount. As tempting as just taking all the money as cash, 30% withheld for taxes, and all of it treated as income in the year (goodbye 40%) I will not being doing the “party now” plan. More to follow.
My song for today is Wake me Up. “Wake me up when this is all over when I am older and wiser” appeals to me today.
My mother, Barb Wild, is home. As she tells the story, she is lucky to have escaped the hospital. It seems that she enjoyed an army of doctors that wanted to test her for everything. Barb Wild is happy to home. My sister cleaned her house and did her laundry while Bard was in the hospital. Mom is so thankful for that!
The reports I have read show the United States counted today more than seven-hundred deaths from the virus. These rates have slipped to the values reported in March in the USA. The infection rate reported in the USA is nearly unchanged for the last few days. I found this today, and I have been looking for a good version for some time: We Shall Over Come.