Happy Hump Day

And today’s exciting staycation activity is…taking the car to the dealership, LOL. And I’ve just gotten a text from them letting me know I can do contactless check in. But, there are no instructions on how to get them the keys, so yes, I’ll be checking in with a service advisor when I get there.

And they’re gonna loooooove the assignment, because unless the onboard computer has log files they can download to possibly see why the car decided the audio system should shut off – they’re going to have to go in and manually check every speaker connection in the car, and that is gonna be a hella pain in the ass. At least my brother is following my up there and I’m just leaving the car so I don’t have to sit around and try to entertain myself while they work on it.

And today it’s in the 70s, threatening rain, and humid as fuck. The indoor temp is right in that spot of “too warm for the heat, too cool for the AC” so I woke up to an icky, sticky house. I’ve cranked down the AC because though the temp may be fine, the humidity has to be dealt with. (Yes, I know it’s a dumb not-really-a-problem problem.)

Ooh, other fun thing, it’s Outback day! If I can’t eat my way through Williamsburg this year, at least I can pick up a nice steak and baked potato tonight.

Well, time to go navigate the gargantuan parking lot of a car dealership I’ve never been to before. Fun times!

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I am not staycationing well

It’s only Tuesday and it’s not that I want to be back at work, I just don’t really know what to do with myself and I feel like I should be doing *something* with the time.

You’d think as much of a lazy ass I am on the weekends, this would be a breeze, LOL. Maybe I should have planned it out a little more, but with the pandemic bullshit, there isn’t much to do.

I am getting a fair amount of stitching done, so that’s something.

Work in progress of Christmas wreath cross stitch, about halfway done
Love seeing it come together

I looked at the county vaccination numbers today and it’s just infuriating. We’re just shy of 65% of the total population vaccinated. 5 months of everyone being eligible and this is where we are. We’re never going to get out of this unless Delta manages to burn itself out somehow. We’re averaging 179 cases a day in the county with no real end in sight – we’re down from a recent high of 205/day, but our last dip back to “substantial” from “high” transmission only lasted 3 days.

And it’s all because folks won’t get vaccinated and have just decided the pandemic is over and aren’t taking any precautions, and the Governor won’t do another mask mandate, because he’s more focused on the economy and the election, and the OSHA mandate for vaccination doesn’t seem to be driving up our vaccination numbers at all yet.

Really fucking annoying.

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So, it’s staycation time!

And this is weird. I have been trying to think of any time I took more than a long weekend where I had no “reason” to be off work and I am coming up empty.

But, I do have a few things on tap for the week. Acupuncture appointment tomorrow, and I was able to switch it to the afternoon so she could give the after-work slot to someone who needed it, so tiny good deed there. Friday I am getting my hair done. And Wednesday, I have to take my car to the dealership, OMFG.

Twice in the last week, I’ve gotten “audio system unavailable” – the googles tell me it does that if it thinks one of the speakers has blown out (dumb, IMO) but I know all the speakers are working, so I suspect a loose connection to one of the speakers somewhere. At least it is warranty work. (I will not be paying jack for repairs when the car doesn’t even have 1500 miles on it yet. Fuck that noise.)

I did remember to take a picture of my saved Sirus stations this morning, because I am betting they’re gonna have to disconnect the battery, so at least I will be able to get those all set back again.

And today is long hot shower & extra yoga day, because last night I went to get something out of the car and didn’t realize I was on the edge of the driveway, stepped off into the grass, rolled my ankle and fell on my ass, all while my arm was still firmly holding on to the car door handle. I don’t have any specific injuries, just everything is a little “ow” today. Not the ideal start to the week, but I’m not in traction, so I can deal.

You enjoy your day, I’m gonna go self-medicate with the water pik shower attachment and lots of stretching.

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Achievement unlocked

Found the hood release (well hidden) and wiper fluid reservoir (very well marked) in the new Jeep. This is a result of discovering a new feature on the car this week – a light when the wiper fluid is low. At first I was very “WTF?” and then I thought about it for a moment, and yes, I have been using an inordinate amount of it. (Like every time I am in the car – that windshield sparkles!) And the warning light is again off, yay!

And vacation time is here! And it’s kicking off with the Mount Vernon Colonial Fair today. All outdoors and should be a good time – tons of vendors and while it’s not my beloved little local fall festival, it will work. I also bought an annual membership since they have stuff happening year round, and I should take advantage of it since it’s not that far away. (Not me thinking about discounted tickets to the whisky tastings.)

My brother has been getting me all caught up on the Marvel movies and last night was Infinity War. WOW THAT SUCKED AND I HATED IT. “Oh, did you really like that character? GONE NOW!” (I know what happens next, but, still.)

Well, time to go play tourist!

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It’s FRIIIDAAAAAAAYYY!!!!!! And you made it, despite everything. I am very proud of you, and you should be proud of yourself.

And I have a mere 8 hours of work and I am off for the week. Work has been fine, but it’s time for a break. (We need 4 day workweeks, like, yesterday.)

Lily is bereft this morning because I closed the basement door and will not allow her to scream at my brother and make him come upstairs to brush her. We had a cuddle, and I have instructed her to eat her feelings for the moment. (And yes, that is water on her face from drinking from the bathroom faucet.)

Close up of Lily, a black and orange tortoiseshell cat, with water drops on her face from drinking from the faucet
I am being oppressed!

I am so excited for some time off. Work really hasn’t been bad at all – I’ve managed to get it through to She Who Assigns The Bugs that I am not doing umcomped overtime (without actually saying it) and my workload has been downright reasonable – when they ask how much testing time I have, I say 6 hours a day. That takes care of meetings/admin stuff/training/something went sideways and takes longer than expected and I am not working 50+ hours a week.

Thing is – even the guy running our scrum meetings told a dev, “When you’re trying to figure out how long something will take, figure 6 hours a day that you can work on it, cause of admin stuff” so I’m not just pulling this out of my ass. Happy coincidence, but when I added up all the “not testing stuff” – it’s between 1.5-2 hours a day.

And, helping my workload a wee bit is that one of my coworkers from my old department moved to a new department. He was totally overwhelmed and struggling and I’d get “oh god, please help me” emails multiple times a week. None of the requests were unreasonable or took an inordinate amount of time, but a half hour here and there every other day adds up. (I was happy to help, but I’m also enjoying the quiet.)

And I’ve gotten a little Pomodoro timer app. I’d just been using the timer on my phone to schedule out “hey, take a short break” time, but this little interval timer somehow works better. (IDK how, you’d think a timer is a timer, but here we are.) The “default” for work focus was 25/5 x3, then 25/15. But 25 minutes isn’t enough, but 50 is perfect, so I do 50/10/50/15.

It’s a bit eerie how often that 50 minutes lines right up with a good stopping place in my work. And I know, “that’s a lot of time to not be working” – but at the end of the day, if I worked through that break time, I’d be useless the last hour or so of the day, so it’s a wash there, and I am not so mentally fried when quitting time runs around. And invariably one of those breaks hits at lunch and the end of the day.

And in using this, I can’t help but think about how this would never fly in support. We would have 2-4 hour blocks of blind incoming phone time – no breaks there, and the rest of the day, someone was always pinging you for something – either clients or coworkers and it was sad how often I would be gleeful that 6PM hit because it meant I could actually work. So glad I made the move – I genuinely enjoyed helping clients figure things out, but the conditions were just godawful. (And haven’t gotten better from what I hear.)

Well, time to go get those 8 hours in so I can be lazy for a week!

You have a great Friday!

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Friday Eve!!!

And hopefully today will be better than yesterday – it was one of those days where everything took 3x as long as it should have. Here’s hoping today isn’t filled with, “Fuck, I have to do that again” and/or “Why is this so slow?”

I’m getting oddly excited about my week off. 1 day, 10 hours, 16 minutes! While I’m getting better about taking a long weekend here and there just for the sake of having a long weekend, I honestly can’t remember the last time I took extended time off without a *reason* so it’s a little weird.

But, I’ve decided that since I can’t eat my way through Williamsburg next week, one night we are getting Outback takeout – sure, it’s not welsh rabbit with a rasher of ham and a big mug of Old Stitch in the taverns, but it’s a treat.

I’d say it’s a damning testament to capitalism that I’ve always felt very weird taking a day off and just puttering around the house vs “having a specific thing to do with the vacation time to justify taking the vacation time” since well, I started working near 30 years ago. Though, this is the first place I’ve had “use or lose” vacation – everywhere else, it either rolled over or got cashed out. And dammit, I’m not going to lose this vacation time.

And I’m thinking I may be able to get the Christmas wreath cross stitch done next week since I’ll have a ton of time to work on it. Yesterday was a lot of greens:

Christmas wreath cross stitch - center ring done, 3 apples stitched in and more green at the bottom
So much green…

Welp, time to go to do thing to earn the PTO to use and not go anywhere.

Happy Friday Eve to you!

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Happy Hump Day

And my 0730 meeting is off today, thankyousweetbabyjesus. Nice to have a little more time to get all my brain cells facing the same direction for the 8AM meeting.

And thank you California for not fucking up your recall – now, get your recall procedures tightened up, otherwise you’re going to be looking at this bullshit every time you turn around. (Every blue state should be taking a look at their recall procedures – make it at least a little bit of a pain in the ass to do this.)

In other political bullshit, I realized why we don’t have a statewide mask mandate here in Virginia, despite high statewide community covid transmission. Someone has told the Governor that it will hurt the D’s chances in November. That’s the only explanation I can come up with, and it’s too damn plausible to ignore. Especially when the messaging has shifted SO HARD to “look how good our economy is!” from “hey, let’s not kill each other!”

Our county’s case dip was temporary – we’re back where we were right before the vaccines were available to everyone in April. Great fucking progress there. On a state level, JFC, we’re back where we were at the end of January and it looks like we’re gonna try really fucking hard to get back to our January peak. (This is why I am not traveling next week…)

We’re at 2 days, 10 hours, 28 minutes to a week of stitching and sewing! As much as I wanted to take a little road trip, I am starting to look forward to this.

Speaking of stitching – we have 3 apples!

Work in Progress of Christmas Wreath cross stitch - center ring of greens done, with 3 apples

Time to go make the money so I can fucking retire and do cross stitch all day.

You have a fantastic day.

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Happy Not A Winner Tuesday!

Once again, I have not won the Mega Millions or Powerball, so we continue the life of a cog in the wheel of capitalism, LOL. I did win $12 in last nights drawing, but it’s not *quite* enough to chuck it all and go live on the beach.

As cog life goes, I did give myself a good scare yesterday morning thinking that I’d not factored my time off next week in my to-do list spreadsheet – it was quite the OH FUCK ME moment until I realized that yes, I had taken that into account, and everything is in fact well in hand. We are at 3 days, 9 hours and 43 minutes to staycation time!

I watched the MetGala via Twitter last night and I’ll admit, I don’t get it, but I enjoy the spectacle. And folks bitching that AOC showed up – I honestly don’t really give a shit who goes, and for all the “she should have told whoever bought her ticket to spend the money elsewhere” – that ticket still would have been bought, just given to someone else.

Time to go live that glamorous life of a software tester. You have a fantastic day.

*They are at 383 and 432 million, respectively. I’m certainly not going to judge you if you throw down $10 for some tickets.

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Good morning!

It’s another Monday and I have not won the Mega Millions or Powerball, so I guess I’ll be working instead of leading a life of leisure and philanthropy. Ah well.

The BBC is showing an “ugly tomato” event somewhere in Europe. Silly, but I’m glad they found 30 seconds to not cover death & destruction.

The weekend was lovely – got all my (admittedly bared boned) items ticked of the to-do list yesterday by noon and spent the day stitching. I somehow mucked things up a bit on the left – it’s too wide, but I know how I’ll work around it and how to fix that far left apple if it still looks too wonky when I get done.

Work in Progress of Christmas wreath cross stitch, center done and two apple added in the lower left
Happy Stabby Time

And it’s countdown to staycation time! 4 days, 9 hours and 42 minutes! Which also means some extra admin time this morning looking at my to-do list schedule and making sure that everything that needs to get done, gets done. (Everything should be in fine shape, but I don’t want to realize on Friday morning, “oh shit!”)

Still super pissed I’ll be stuck at home, but I’m working on fun things to do with my time. Be interesting to see where are case counts are – we *may* be off the peak for Delta here in the county – as of Friday we’d been down to “substantial” for 3 days – we’ll see if the trend continues when they update the numbers today. (I so wish they’d not stopped updating on weekends.)

Welp, time to go to the thing so I can take vacation time. You have a great day!

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How am I up so early?

Seriously, I was up before 8:30 this morning. A SUNDAY. But I’ve got a big coffee, a cat at my feet, and big plans of not a damn thing for the day.

Yesterday’s stitching was excellent – added a new color! It’s also finally looking wreath shaped! It may be done by Christmas!

Work in Progress of Christmas Wreath Cross Stitch, starting to look like a wreath, lots of green stitching and now some red
Ooh, tiny red stitches!

I’m so glad my brain decided yes, focusing on stitching was nice, and that I got the stand to hold the work. LOOK AT ME WITH A HEALTHY OUTLET!

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