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I Said, Hey... What's Going On?


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I'm not sure I'd want a cat catching bats with all the crap bats can carry and transmit to other animals. Also, bats are useful, bad cat, go kill hornets or something.

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Not many hornets in England. Just small wasps.

The really strange thing is, Irish cats are scared of snakes, even though there aren't any snakes in Ireland. How can they possibly know?

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My stepmom died last Sunday at the age of 78. She had pretty much been confined to a wheel chair for the past few years and spent three years in a rehabilitation facility learning how to walk again. She and my dad were married thirty seven years. If that weren't enough of a gut punch, my nephew took his own life late Thursday night after being chased by police. He was 20. My dad, step sister and niece have had a rough week. 

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Yeah, sorry man. 
It's been raining ash all day here in Colorado with 100 degree temps.  It's everywhere. It's the most 2020 thing yet, but....in true Colorado fashion, it's gonna snow in two days to battle the darkness. 😀

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14 hours ago, Johnny Sorrow said:

Yeah, sorry man. 
It's been raining ash all day here in Colorado with 100 degree temps.  It's everywhere. It's the most 2020 thing yet, but....in true Colorado fashion, it's gonna snow in two days to battle the darkness. 😀

This got even into the headlines over here. The headline only said "Onset of Winter in Colorado" and I was puzzled why they considered this as headline worthy until I read the text and saw the predicted drop of 100° F (37° C) to 34° F (1° C) within a day, which to me seems crazy.

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8 hours ago, Robert s said:

This got even into the headlines over here. The headline only said "Onset of Winter in Colorado" and I was puzzled why they considered this as headline worthy until I read the text and saw the predicted drop of 100° F (37° C) to 34° F (1° C) within a day, which to me seems crazy.

Oh, it's crazy, but it's not that crazy to us. Blizzards out of nowhere in the Spring , Fall, and Summer is part of living in Colorado. It's the intensity of this. That's climate change, normal weather patterns being more extreme. 
We're also on fire, so either this is an accidental fortuitous side effect,  Snow Miser has had enough of his brother's shit, or I'm now a confirmed agnostic. Which is hilarious. 

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Haven't checked the thread in the while. I probably should have been. Don't tell Phil.

Sorry to @driver for your losses.

In other news...

Chicago schools start this morning. So... yeah. Between my wife working from home, my 2 kids doing google meets all day, and me without a job I am officially trapped. Afraid to make noise or  speak too loud because can't be sure whose mic is live. Having to be on call for my first grader, so he can go from meeting to meeting as the school tries to simulate a "real" day. My older son is using my laptop so that's gone. They're going to be staring at a screen for several hours a day. I'm not sure when I fit in going to the grocery unless I do it on the weekends which is fucking awful.

I know we'll manage. It just sucks. But I'm more concerned about the thousands of kids who are in families that are struggling, or have parents that both have to go to work. How do they even do this?  All these months to come up with a plan and it feels like CPS came up with one that fucks those families the most. It's awful.

The last two hours:

My first grader needs to be logged into a Google Classroom and a separate site called SeeSaw. In Google Classroom he is told by his teacher that he has assignments in Seesaw. If he goes to Seesaw there's a tab for ACTIVITIES. He goes to that tab and there are two assignments. But these aren't the assignments he's supposed to do. So we go back to the Google Classroom message and it has a link to the assignment which IS on Seesaw, just not listed anywhere easily recognizable by pretty tech savvy adult, if I say so myself. 

It tells him his assignment and it says he needs to click the green ADD MY RESPONSE button, so he can do his work. Some of these assignments have these green buttons. Some of them do not. So we sit. And wait. I'm guessing there's a box that needs to be checked by the teacher that allows students to add responses.

Also there's no visible schedule for him to follow. I asked him when was the next time he needed to do a facetime meeting. He said at 1 o'clock. I said what class? He said "I don't know". I had to go find a powerpoint presentation that has a slide towards the end that showed what a typical day should look like. It says that at 12:55 he should log into his ESSENTIALS class. But it doesn't say which class that is on which day. Could be ART. Could be MUSIC.

Another assignment is to trace the letter "a". And there is a picture taken of worksheet on a desk with the letter "a" on it. So I'm assuming I need to blow up this jpeg and print it out. Why wouldn't they just send us the file they used to print out their worksheet so I can print that out. Also, I bought a printer for all of this. So if you don't have one, eat shit I guess.

Teacher said she's in 1 on 1 meetings all day so she won't be available for "tech support". So who do we contact for "tech support?" This answer is not provided. The implication is "figure it out."

Now I know reading all that it sounds like I'm super stressed out. But I knew it was going to be like this. And I was ready for it. I spoke to my kids about it because they feel like they're going to fail because of how uncertain and inconsistent all of this is. But I told them straight up, it's going to be fucked we just do what we can and your teachers have to accept it. Their teachers are clearly struggling too. Everyone is. And worse there are families who have kids who probably have no one around with the time or patience to walk them through what I just described. And those kids are absolutely LOST in this.

I'm not stressed for my kids, my kids will be just fine. I'm stressed for the other kids who come from families like the one I grew up in, because I know they're all realizing right now: the kids with all the devices, and the good broadband, and the parents with the white collar jobs - they get to go to school. They are all realizing, if they haven't already, that when the shit hits the fan like it has during this pandemic they will absolutely be left behind.

 

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Hang in there man.  My five year old started kindergarten and I don't even know what to think right now.  I'm amazed they can keep these kids' attention on laptops for more than 10 minutes.  At the same time, my wife and I, both working at home, need to be ready to drop everything and help out at a moment's notice.  At the same time, the school emails some new shit we need to know and/or help with seemingly every single night.  All this stuff is just insane.  Take solace in the fact that you're not alone in this mayhem, I guess!

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In the long long ago, I could take a mental health day 2-3 times a year when I'm having a bad brain day. If my depression was getting the better of me I could take a sick day and go get sushi for lunch, then go to a movie or hang out at my local bar. And now, what's the point? I have Con Crash despite the con getting cancelled, and if I call in for self care it will still just be me sitting in a shitty apartment being bitter that I could be in the market for a house if I didn't have to rely on Austin's shitty mass transit.

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My wife and I are both ready to take some mental health days. We both deal with the public for most of our jobs and lately it has just gotten nasty. People are stressed and on edge so I understand where they are coming from. Still, it wears you down. But when I'm waking up 3 hours early each night worrying about the next day I know it's getting worse. 

My heart goes out to those struggling with child care. We do not have children yet and I can only imagine the challenges they go through. I feel helpless for those evicted or struggling to put food on the table.

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Two years ago, the we had 9 of the 10 worst-measured days for air quality in Spokane history.  The index topped out at something like 310 or 320.  Today the index reached 484.  We are safe, no fires near us but they are some in the surrounding areas (one town 30 miles away was completely wiped out).  It's awful being outside - the smell is very strong and the air burns your throat and eyes.  And there's no rain in the forecast for at least another 10 days - we have had 0.07" of rain since July 1st.  Even for Spokane, which is always very dry in the summer, this is extremely unusual.  Plus we're getting lots of smoke blown up our way from Oregon.  Not fun.  

Because I have been going stir crazy this summer without being able to do much of anything and our minor league baseball season being canceled, I made plans for the wife & I to go to the Oregon coast for the first time ever.  Been on our bucket list for quite awhile.  Yeaaaaah...that's not happening.  We had rented a condo through VRBO and I reached out to the property manager to inquire about canceling.  They were super-cool and offered a full refund though they absolutely did not have to do so.  

I am doing fine, I'm working from home* and my family is healthy.  In fact, because of all the nonsense, my homeless alcoholic brother-in-law moved in 6 months ago and has been sober ever since.  So things are good.  But, man, I'm antsy as heck to get out of town and do *something*.

 

* - My company is supposed to move into a new building in the next 18 months or so.  They just told us that, because of COVID and everyone working from home, they are re-evaluating how much space we need and may let people work from home permanently.  This is a major philosophical change for our management and would be heavenly for me.  I am loving working from home.  

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This morning I was wearing my work shirt that has the Knorr rice/pasta logo on it (the company I work for services them.) Someone walks by and asks me, “Hey, how’s the pasta game?” I say “good” and move on. Thirty seconds go by and I realize I should have said, “Some days it’s easy, some days it’s al dente.” Godammit. 

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40 minutes ago, (BP) said:

This morning I was wearing my work shirt that has the Knorr rice/pasta logo on it (the company I work for services them.) Someone walks by and asks me, “Hey, how’s the pasta game?” I say “good” and move on. Thirty seconds go by and I realize I should have said, “Some days it’s easy, some days it’s al dente.” Godammit. 

I SO hate it when a snappy comeback comes to you, like you said, 30 seconds too late! You'll get it next time, though.

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7 hours ago, Six String Orchestra said:

My boss told me I should get a different job because I'm the wrong skin color to advance at where I work. As a nearing middle age white guy I'm just confused.

Either way, that is really messed up. Do you mind telling what kind of work you do, at the moment? Not that it should matter, but anyway?

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8 minutes ago, Six String Orchestra said:

I work in a court in Detroit. Knowing all the history here I understand why it was said.

I see. Well, then I get the reasoning behind it, but still, not very appropriate thing to say. So, I guess it's either wait it out, see what happens or start exploring other career options, then?

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46 minutes ago, Shartnado said:

 

I see. Well, then I get the reasoning behind it, but still, not very appropriate thing to say. So, I guess it's either wait it out, see what happens or start exploring other career options, then?

Yeah, kind of a bad time to look for a new job though. It is what it is. 

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