Working Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Bob pulled all the conversations we had about writing the Liz books off of Spike and gave them to me edit (it took him hours), so that’s what I’ve been doing. The books, all three of them, clocked in at just over 300,000 words. The conversations to make them? Well over 600,000 words. It’s gonna take some time.

What work took up your time this week?

54 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, May 17, 2023

  1. One of the best things about being completely and totally retired is having little or no work that must be done to a deadline or schedule. Even as a hobby, however, gardening has certain rhythms that are ignored only with consequences. Witness the loss of several lettuce plants because I didn’t feel like eating salad for a stretch. Lettuce will go to seed.

    And still I bought a new unit, Lulu, and more seed pods to grow in it.

    The dotter will take me shopping today. I hope I can convince her to stop at Home D’pot* as well as the FNFL**.

    *Home Depot. With the trend toward legalization of hallucinogenic hemp, I expect their gardening department to add cannabis to the annuals and perennials.
    **FNFL = Friendly Neighborhood Food Lion, my favorite grocery store.

  2. Like Gary, I am fully retired. Right now (< 3 weeks post-op for hip replacement) my time and energy are being spent at recovery, but I spent a wonderful afternoon with my daughter and granddaughter at a local outdoor mall yesterday. Temps in the 70s, bright blue skies and low humidity.

    We walked quite a bit (they walked a longer distance than I), had lunch and talked about a trip to Antarctica in January. A lovely day! Today will be spent with ice packs, Tylenol and reading. 😉

    1. I’ve also been to Antarctica, but it was 20+ years ago, so my trip info might be outdated (not that Antarctica has changed much beyond some melting).

  3. We did not win a project that I travelled to North Carolina to do a sales pitch with the team. Licking my wounds today and then…onward and upward.

  4. I don’t think I mentioned I bought an e-bike to ride to work. I live on a very steep dirt road so a regular bike wouldn’t cut it. I need help to get back up the hill.

    The ride down the hill is terrifying. It’s steep, rutted, washy-boardy, loose sand and gravel and one side is the hill going almost straight up and the other drops over a cliff into a cow pasture. Okay, it’s not really a cliff – just a bit of a drop off and the trees can mostly catch you if you are in a car. Not so much a bike.

    Also, it’s not really a bike, it’s a trike because balance is not my forte.

    I talk myself down the hill – “You are not going to fall,” You are perfectly okay” “Just take it easy, you will be fine,” This is how I get myself to work. Periods of terror with moments of peace (the flat spots on the road) interspersed.

    Today I made it all the way down the hill to the sharp turn (still sandy/gravely), took the wrong line, went too slow for centrifugal force to keep me upright, was too close to the ditch, and fell over into the ferns at the side of the road. Sigh. I am not hurt. I brushed the dirt off (that I could see – when I got to work there was a twig in my helmet, no wonder people were waving this morning.)

    I am fine. My pride is hurt. I am questioning my decisions. But damn it. I want to ride to work. So I will keep at it and will ride down the middle of the road next time I take that turn. I will not call the town garage and blame them for my fall. That would be petty.

    1. Don’t turn in the middle of the road if cars also use that road! But much respect for your persistence.

      1. It’s a one-lane dirt road with very little traffic (Thank goodness) I have as much chance of getting hit on the side as in the middle, unfortunately. But I do pay attention to my surroundings and promise not to drive in the middle if there is a car coming up or down the road! <3

        1. That’s the way we do it around here. My road is not…quite…two lanes.

          1. Kate G, I think you’re a tough cookie to ride your 3-wheeler to work and back. Sounds terrific!

            And you’re wise not to call the town garage. In less that 15 seconds after you hung up, everyone in your county and the next closest would know all the details and be concocting more. That’s what small towns are for.

        2. I’m on a one-lane road, too. At first I was skeptical but now I love it. Nobody comes down this road except neighbors and delivery vans. It’s great.

    2. You go, Kate! I had a mo-ped for a couple of years for transportation in Connecticut. I even rode it across the Gold Star Memorial Bridge. It was either that, or use a car, for which there was no parking. Years later, I upgraded to a scooter.

    3. You are very brave, and resourceful. I hope it gets easier as you continue along.

    4. Would it be worth walking the trike down the sketchy part of the hill and then getting back on to ride to work? Or is the hill too long to be worth it?

      1. I was going to suggest that. I used to walk down the really steep, twisty bit of the lane from the cottage to town – if I tried to cycle, I’d go far too fast and was at risk of crashing into any vehicle coming the other way.

      2. It’s a long hill, and because it’s a trike the rear wheel keeps running over my foot. I think it’s almost as scary and it’s frustrating trying to control it while waling down the hill. I’ve tried it a couple of times and I always give up and get back on.

    5. Perhaps walk the bike. H and I ride bikes for the Golden Gate Bridge and parts of Sausalito. I walked parts of both. Asthma and narrow parts but I did it, two separate trips. Stay safe, Kate.

  5. I had it in my mind that I should start a new project – a lovely kit I had purchased that didn’t need to go into the stash. Just a panel and 7 borders – I should knock that out in the weekend. Well, as usual, my estimates of my time investment in these things are out of whack. There were decisions to be made, and thinking to be done – even with a kit where everything is handed to you. I’m working on border 4, which is pieced, so it’s taking a while (and I got side tracked by a different project below).

    In the meantime, I’m prepping for a different new project with my quilting buddies and I got the bright idea that I should “shop my stash” for my preferred colors. That led to me taking fabric off shelves, sorting it by color, deciding which were appropriate . . . and then deciding to wash and fold it all before putting it back!! That little time sink took up most of the weekend – and I’m still only half way through that process. I’m glad I did it though.

    And there was Mother’s Day. We celebrated with my MIL and the extended family, including her great grandkids, so it was a really fun afternoon.

  6. Saturday we took the grandog to the town hall for her rabies shot, not without incident. I had prepped her all week by giving her a CBD dog wafer a day to help her calm down. An hour before we left, I gave her the last one. We had our usual battle for the passenger seat, I won. When we got there, she proudly walked in gripping her leash in her mouth to which the vet said that she wished she caught that on camera. And that’s when the action started. She saw what was happening and went into defensive mode. She would have fought them tooth and nail, but she was muzzled. It took three people to hold her down, my husband, the vet and a technician. I sorta ran (senior citizen here) and closed the door so when she slipped her collar she wouldn’t run out. They gave her a treat which she spat out; she was having none of it. All of this for a jab to the butt. That was our adventure for the day.

  7. Hot as snot in smoky Alberta, Canada so saving energy exclusively for going to work in air-conditioned dental office. I did take the border collie to a beautiful off leash park Sunday but we both suffered from the heat (Migraine Monday).

    1. Aha! That’s how you knew people take Beta Blockers for anxiety in the dentist’s office. I want to thank you for steering me in that direction, even though that particular remedy wouldn’t work for me.

    2. I keep checking the air quality reports for GP and thinking “How to breathe???”

  8. I finally got the rattle in my truck taken care of for twice what the shop owner quoted me. I will be asking him to call me with a true estimate, from now on, before doing any work. $90 worth of labor for repositioning a piece of metal and torquing some screws! I’m glad to have the rattle gone, but this is the end of the blank check for the shop. My son, the BMW shop owner, questioned the cost, and said the man should have called me before going ahead.

    Jenny, what are you going to do with the dialogue? Will you publish it? I had to laugh at how many more words were in the dialogue than in the book, but I guess that makes sense, as you are negotiating a lot, there. I’m sure the Zombie Pirates are responsible for thousands of those words!

  9. Man oh man — so many of you guys are coping with BIG hassles in your lives — all my sympathies vis-a-vis dogs, dentists, putdowns, treacherous hills, vets, stashes, Bob conversations and ohmigod FIRES IN ALBERTA!

    Workwise, my weekend was all about big outdoor projects including major debris sweeping, pond revivifying, pruning, digging and composting, plus post-yardsale cleanup & reorganizing. Sunday night exhausted.

    This week, trying to figure out all the steps & arcane changes that will be involved in moving from an office with a desktop to a company laptop with VPN. The people who write the guidance for these things actually know all about what’s involved, so they are the last people who should be guiding the rest of us, the clueless, the unwashed, the inexperienced and the Old Geezers From the Days of C Colon Backslash.

    1. Will laptop+ VPN mean regular WFH? I’m a fan. 🙂

      In 2020 when my employer’s US offices all went remote with 2 weeks’ notice, they already had some work-from-home architecture because of my practice group (patents), a cross-office group for years pre-pandemic. Remoted staffers were given a WFH hardware stipend, which I used to get the biggest ultrawide monitor that would fit on my desk.

      We also spent $$$ on a UPS (uninterrupted power supply) stack that will keep me working for a full 8 hours even if the neighborhood power goes out – as long as the internet doesn’t go out too! – and extra wireless routers for stable signal. As it happens, the office servers have gone down much more often than my home internet.

      Final big spend was for a Progressive desk base so I can spend some time on my feet every day (average 3 hrs/day) which I love. Overall, my home ergonomics are vastly superior to those at the Actual Office. Highly recommend making the investment even if your employer doesn’t kick in for it.

      1. I work strictly from home. Our VPN is a mess. I don’t know what VPN means but it is blamed for going out in the middle of phone calls. And this is a different one meant to replace the old one which did the same thing.

        1. VPN – virtual private network. It’s meant to keep bad guys from stealing your information.

  10. Today I have an appointment with the chiropractor, a meeting with a group of new agents, and my son has a comedy show tonight at nine so it’s going to be a very long day.
    Last night I went to the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood to see the touring production of hairspray. It was wonderful. But weird stuff happened,
    the ushers came up to me and said how wonderful I was in jury duty. And a bunch of audience members wanted to have their picture taken with me. I have never been famous before and suddenly I am. this feels so very odd.
    earlier this week my son, Christopher Corbin, and his three year old son, Eugene got on the picket line for the writers Guild And people kept coming up to me and telling me how much they love the series. Jury Duty is really snowballing. It’s funny because I always wanted a part in a sitcom three funny lines and off and that’s pretty much what I have in jury duty. I hope I get another one. That cast and that production office are so amazing. I don’t think they can repeat this series with this cast because Everybody knows us. Really is strange. I did get some editing done on Monday.

    1. Sounds fun, while it lasts – I think I’d just want a limited dose, myself; but then I’m not an actor.

      1. I agree with you. A limited dose is fine.
        I was married to Barry Corbin, and when northern exposure got popular things got very crazy. At first the kids loved that their dad was so popular but it got to the point where if someone asked Jim if his dad was Marisa dolphin exposure he would say no, my dad‘s a janitor because he was tired of being interrupted when he tried to have a conversation with his dad. It’s lovely to meet fans of the show. I do not expect this to last and I’m happy with that. I would love it if it led to some work because I really love acting.

        1. Northern Exposure may be one of the most important shows that moulded me, but I strangely forget about it and usually remember Star Trek The Next Generation, Buffy:TVS, and Firefly.

      1. Coming from somebody, I consider a true star that is an awesome compliment

  11. I made a good start last week on getting to grips with how the Ramblers (UK walkers’ organization) are handling the revived research into lost rights of way that I’ve volunteered for. But then had to stop, and may not be able to get back to it for a few weeks. This is because I’m not, alas, completely retired, and I’ve at last got a big book to proof-read – just when I’ve already got other things going on. It’s a biography of Monet, so an interesting subject, but there’s a lot to pick up, so I’m worried about how I’m going to fit it in alongside a couple of lots of visitors. I overdid it yesterday, and fried my brain. Evidently needed to show myself yet again that it’s counter-productive to try and do too much.

    It’s also a crucial time in the garden, so I’m there as much as possible. My walking regime has gone to pot – something’s got to give.

  12. Saturday I wrote a mother’s day essay for the blog.

    Sunday I worked through the edits for my next JMS release. Want to skim it all once more before I turn those in.

    Monday after work I spent an hour on pre-vacation preventive yardkeeping. Fairly sure I’ll spend most of Memorial Day Weekend cleaning up outside because the weeds have rioted. Fortunately most of them have flowers so they don’t look too obnoxious.

    Yesterday I went to Actual Office for the whole day because one of the patent managers had organized an after-work happy hour. That was nice, a chance for face and talk time with people I haven’t seen in person for 3 years, plus to meet some new folks.

    Today it’s back to remote sign-on. Need to do laundry. Fingers crossed for no new disasters in the work in-box. Mentally on vacation already.

  13. I’m trying to get my books set up on Google Play. It’s been a week, and Google says I’m still “in review”. I hope it doesn’t take much longer. *sigh* Wilde & Dangerous needs to be edited next week for upload. And then there is all the karate work I still have to finish. Never a dull moment.

  14. In my area (mid state NY) they asked homeowners to try to do a “no mow May” so the bees and other insects that have been in hibernation will have plenty of flowers (weeds and all), for sustenance after a long winter. I tried, I really tried to go for it but I succumbed over the weekend and mowed my lawn. The dandelions and grasses were too high and my yard looked like the place was abandoned. So I mowed and the lawn mower almost got bogged down in a few spots. After that, I went a little yard work crazy and started pruning the dead wood from the roses, the lilac, as well as a maple tree that was growing in my hedge. I am now sporting several bandaids thanks to the rose thorns and various nefarious twigs in said hedge!

  15. I want to put this out there first: I’m looking for an accountability partner. I will be held accountable for words towards a wip novel (no reading or critique involved). I could hold you accountable for whatever you need.

    That said – session two brainstorm- sort of – is up as a blogpost.

    I also started a short story and wrote some poems that got ok feedback from critique.

    In home news painting the house is in the works.

    Fallout from the recent eruption of my personal abuse survivor volcano has calmed down. This time I’m seeking therapy.

    And my joy de vive right now is planning a trip for September 2024 with a friend.

  16. We evacuated yesterday but are all safe. Fires are about 16 kms from town. The fire group impacting us is the Grizzly complex, fire 063. This is also the one that hit my parents’ place. This fire has burned 92,700 hectares or roughly 360 sq miles/927 sq km.

    Dogs are at their favourite kennel and the cat is staying at a cat kennel. She’s happy today because she’s getting lots of pets and attention.

    Paul and I are in a hotel. I’d say we got 95% of our irreplaceable stuff out so that’s good.

    Think rainy thoughts, Argh people, and send ‘em my way!

      1. Happy that you and Paul are safe in the hotel and the dogs and cat are settled into their respective kennels. Hope some rain drops soon.

    1. Thank you for posting! I have been worried about you — we continue to get Alberta smoke over on the U.S. east coast; it’s mostly just a slight haze on a sunny day or clear night sky, but from time to time we can actually smell it.

      Are you able to stay updated on what is happening in your own neighborhood? It must be SO worrying for you and everyone else in that area! Good luck to you all!

      1. We are able to see what’s going on in town. The population is only about a thousand people so the whole town is my neighbourhood. People with doorbell cameras are posting pictures as are some of the people like firefighters who stayed behind/are allowed in.

  17. I’m sure I did stuff at the weekend but what’s gone a bit blurry. Sunday afternoon was garden work, mainly mulching leaves and chopping things but, but I can’t for the life of me remember what I did on Saturday. Oh, that’s right, I cleaned the oven and then we had people over.

    My latest painting is going well. I’ve got bushclad hills that look like bushclad hills, and even look well-balanced and appealing. And I’ve painted some trees into the foreground, which I’m going to overpaint with heavy mist. It’s a weird feeling, painting something that I’m going to paint over, but my tutor tells me I need to have the hints of what’s under the mist, so the trees need to be there.

  18. I got more of my annuals planted; I still have 9 market packs of portulaca and a lot of zinnia seeds to go. Then I start trying to figure out where it looks thin … yes I am addicted to garden stores.

    Taking care of the final chores for the first commitment ceremony and trying to restart planning on the second one (we are actually in good shape except for someone to play the music my s i l picks out.). Still need a dress for me.

    Also parenting my nephew. He is 21 and doesn’t know how to cook and will be alone in the house for about 18 days all told so I’m trying to teach him enough basic recipes that he won’t starve or go broke doing take out.

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