Something Sort Of Like Normal

I work from home. Have since March 2018. For me, the sudden “work from home” that everyone else fell into earlier this year wasn’t much of a hiccup. Instead, book sales tended to sag (if you weren’t in one of the subscription services, which saw a boost when people were suddenly worried about expenses). Hoping they will recover in Dec.

But for the last six months or so I have been navigating a new world where we weren’t ever going out to dinner, weren’t doing much shopping, and generally staying away from everyone. Didn’t help when Fabulous Publisher Babe(tm) got what we think was a mild case that knocked her down for a few days in April and gave her about a month of brain fog. Hard isolation at that point, but I never developed symptoms.

So what was the summer like? My favorite restaurant–Krain Cafe just north of Enumclaw, WA– went for a while to take-out only, so I would go down on Friday afternoon and get a pair of breakfasts I could heat up, partly to support them and partly to get me out. My regular D&D gaming went away, but I found a different online/zoom group to play with, remote only for a while, although we have met in person a few times.

Mostly, for me, it was never going into town. I have the farm based on studies I did in the late 80s and early 90s talking about the possible fall of the american republic in 2020. (Yes, that long ago the trend lines of what was possibly coming were apparent, if you studied certain things.) I am away from everyone, remote, and generally quiet. 6+ acres, more than half trees and ponds. Fruit to harvest in the summer/fall. Herbs for the garden to cook with. Not survivalist mode, but we went into 2020 prepared for storms that would knock out power and trap us for a week at a time. Coffin freezer with half a pig and other things frozen. Etc. (Seattle, by the way, might have made the news this summer. She would have been able to smell the tear gas clouds from her old house up on Capital Hill downtown. Possibly breathe them.)

But I used to write all morning and then head into town in the early afternoon to run errands. That went away.

Today, I actually got another little bit of normalcy back. Had to run down to drop off ballots at the drop box. (Not trusting the Postal Service as long as those jackasses run it, regardless of what the rank and file can do to mitigate stupidity.) Went by and dropped off recycling as well. (I burn anything paper, compost anything organic, recycle anything we can, and end up going to the dump about every 4-6 weeks for four cans of trash.)

Decided to hit the pawn shop at the east end of Enumclaw while I was down there. They bought out a couple of video stores at some point, and have something like two shipping containers of dvds and blueray to get rid of. Most of it is weird schlock, as one might expect, but I keep a spreadsheet of my video library and a short list of things I’m looking for to fill in gaps. Like having the Fraser Mummy movies 2 & 3 but not 1. Found that today. Got a couple of other oddities, like a double feature of 2001 and Clockwork Orange. Haven’t seen the former in ages and not sure I’ve ever seen the latter, although I have read the English edition (with the extra chapter the American version chopped off the end.)

I have a Synology NAS on an airgapped local network. 4@6Tb drives in a RAID 5, or a metric shit-ton of space, so I have ripped every dvd I still own (after a massive purge I occasionally regret) and then go back to fill it in and buy/rip new disks. We don’t have cable. I hardly ever watch entertainment on the screen (tv shows, sports, etc.). But I do watch movies occasionally, and I have a low trust of the big streaming services. The things you want to watch will vanish one day, because there will peak out at around 20 such services, and everyone will hoard their IP rather than making it generally available.

I can watch whatever I find and own. Better this way. Fabulous Publisher Babe(tm) isn’t sure what caper she’s going to write one of these days, but her writer-brain has her rewatching all of Leverage, since it is now ripped and she can just pull a few episodes at a time to watch while doing other things. I need to get back into the habit, but there are few tv shows I want to watch. Might buy all of Star Trek TOS and TAS just so I can rip those and work back through them, but that might take me years.

I don’t binge, because in the summer my afternoons are working on the farm. Winter I’m a little more stuck inside, especially this coming one where I expect infection spikes because every time I go out I see idiots who don’t cover their nose. Sometimes, they don’t even mask, but a lot of places have gotten stricter now that the state has started cracking down and issuing fines to businesses.

But, you know, idiots.

So old stuff, mostly to put information in the backbrain. I wrote a book one in a new epic space opera series where the bridge of the massive starship is absolutely taken from the floor plans to Space: 1999, because it was completely different from any other SF I can remember, where they are always either WW2 submarines or TOS/TNG for design. Both work, but that means everyone else looks alike. Sounds alike. Is alike.


So today I got to have an almost normal afternoon. Shopped with my drapery mask on (that’s what the cloth was from in my pile when I needed to sew something that fit me comfortably). Squirted the hand sanitizer as I paid. Brought home three new cases with all manner of weird.

Getting into a new normal, if the old one is forever gone.

What are you doing to build a future instead of lamenting a past?