Thursday, December 29, 2022

Three Interesting Things

1. A barbershop owner opened up his shop to people in Buffalo stranded or without heat during the storm.  
2. Two cats were saved after an apartment fire in DC.  
3. This column pointed out something about corporations these days, in light of the Southwest Airlines scheduling system failures - the outsourcing of public interface for companies to folks that are often low paid, and certainly not the decision makers, is intentional.  The corporate decision makers are shielded from talking to the heartbroken people impacted by the effects of their decisions.  And the hope is that you will yell at the gate agent, the customer service agent, and then move on, having vented.  So people yelling at customer service agents is bad, but it is in some ways a feature and not a bug.  (To be clear, I am not in favor of yelling at customer service, I work in customer service.) Anyway, read this post.  

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Years and Things

I really hate setting standards I don't consistently meet, so the pressure to pick a word, or set some sort of goal or resolution as we all tack a new number onto the end of the year has always bugged me a little. It is of course very much an if it works for you, I am pleased for you, situation. 
One of the things I sort of love is that while many of us across the world have decided to agree to change the number at the end of the year at the same time, there's not agreement on when the new year really starts. There are Academic Years, Fiscal Years, and various cultural new year celebrations that occur from about August to April. And likely there's more that I just haven't happened on to yet. 
Which honestly, how cool is that. If the changing of the year helps provide a clear before and after market for a change you wish to make, there's nearly always one around the corner. 
And goodness knows, I am absolutely planning to spend the first week in January crunching the numbers on last year's reading, and take a look at all my Storygraph charts. 
So, I hope food, drink, and warmth are in your weekly forecast, along with whatever other plans you may have to mark the changing of the numbers. 

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Three Interesting Things

1. I confess, I have two friends who used to write things to do columns, so I may have been a little more aware of this.  But figuring out what to do, which briefly got easier with the rise of the internet and social media, is now super hard.  This post dives into some of the work involved.  
2. If you are a city dweller who will gather with less citified relatives in the upcoming weeks, feel free to reference this handy dandy statistic about city dwellers living longer. (If you are a non-city dweller, I of course wish you a long life.  A lot of statistics about life, are really about access to hospitals and healthcare, which yes, everyone, city or not, should have access too.)  
3. As someone who lives near one of the streets that is now just a very nice pedestrian/cyclist way, this look at streets that ended up being great outdoor spaces that were not car-centric, has been interesting.  

Monday, December 19, 2022


My apartment gets a lot of morning sun this time of year. I sometimes feel like a plant, sitting on my couch, letting the sun light and warm me each day. My cat often places herself just so, half in half out of the sun, as if making sure she gets the exact right amount of sunshine.
This time of year in the Northern hemisphere, we are often moving around more in darkness. It can be hard to remember the sun is still there. But soon, we will begin moving in the other direction, gaining a few more minutes of sunshine each day. 
The lights folks put up and out, that we all reflexively turn on all provide brightness and light, but sunshine still feels a little different. 
Of course the seasons shift, and the instinct to hole up, sleep and eat a little more, to be cozy, is for the most part good. Seasons exist, and they can remind us that there are changes, shifts in the rhythms of the planet, and that wishing to make changes in our own activity can make sense. Most flowers bloom for only part of the year. Hibernation, resting, or just reaching out to loved ones, are all things that can help us become the people who are ready to face the next year or the next season. 
And it can be a nice reminder that just as the waves of the ocean shift back, that eventually the sun will hang out with our hemisphere a little more too. 

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Three Interesting Things

1.  These photos of the changes to the Dead Sea are heartbreaking. 
2. This story about the Kapemahu stones being retold thanks to an animated short (and also a picture book) is important. 
3.  And a local teen discovered the assignment he did for art class was chosen to be the Vice President's holiday card.  

Monday, December 12, 2022

Adaptability vs. Arranger

So, before I get into this, I'm referring to Clifton Strengths, which are one way of looking at your skills and abilities. I find them super useful, but obviously YMMV.
So I am high (as in top ten) Adaptability and Arranger. So, as you may suspect, I am good at pivoting, and good at organizing or arranging stuff. These skills can work great together, and can sometimes clash. 
Sometimes when a plan changes, it's not that I can't change or pivot, it's that I need to have a moment of sadness, for that plan that was. Because we can't just go to Y instead of X, we also have to factor in all these other things that had all previously been aligned. 
But it's one of those things, where sometimes I have to remind myself and others that like it's cool. In like three minutes I'll have built a new vision. But I just need a moment to be sad about the one that was.
It's a time where they may be more or less plans in your life, and lots and lots of people to factor into these plans, and so there can be a lot of pivoting and accommodating.  Taking a breath doesn't mean you hate the new plan and everything is terrible, it may just mean you need a little time to readjust.   

Thursday, December 08, 2022

Three Interesting Things

1. Trishop Hersey, aka the Nap Minister talks about her work process
2. I am very biased, but I love this story about the egg fights
3. In a story light on details but still intriguing, a cat was in someone's luggage.  

Monday, December 05, 2022

7 Things About COVID

So, I got COVID. Not over this past week, but I benefited greatly from experiences others shared, so I wanted to pass that along. Obviously my experience is my individual experience. 
1. Right now, between DC and the federal government, I have a good stash of free to me rapid tests. As an allergy sufferer who is sniffly about 9 months out of the year, I've been rapid testing regularly. I did not think I felt sicker the day I tested positive, so it was good that I tested so I could shift my behavior. 
2. I have been spacing out unmasked interactions, and trying to stick to outside ones at that, so I had one person to notify. It does help that my day job is 100% telecommute.
3. I had received the latest bivalent booster about three weeks before. So I was at peak antibodies.
4. I have been masking with a KN95 pretty much everywhere that is not my apartment, and not me eating outside with vaccinated friends. I probably do not always have the best seal, but the masking I'm sure helped reduce the amount of virus I was exposed to.
5. I have, during the pandemic shifted to buying groceries in larger quantities, so that I had enough food to stay inside while I isolated. 
6. I was also able to access the anti-virals. 
7. And having tests on hand meant I could retest after I finished the anti-virals and retest again several days later in case of rebound. 
Still would have preferred never catching it. And of course, now I really don't want it again. And I went and got my flu shot and pneumonia shot, so that hopefully I'm covered for most respiratory viruses. But the pandemic isn't over, especially not here in the US. 

Thursday, December 01, 2022

Three Interesting Things

1. It's no surprise I'm a big fan of NaNo. This post takes a look at some well documented shady practices of one of this year's sponsors is concerning. It appears NaNo is taking a look, but this post goes into a little more detail, and references Writer Beware, which is always a great place to check. 
2. DC set  romance novels! Also, full disclosure, I do know Thien-Kim Lam as both a fellow writer and a fellow romance reader. 
3. And someone has rated the DC accuracy in video games