True Story [DOT 6/6/21]

The header image is about what I’m doing this weekend. I have to run over to Costco and pick up my new glasses (exciting!) but other than that I will be holding down the couch. I had two G&Ts, did three loads of laundry and cooked 4 steaks yesterday. I’m exhausted!

Good job, gun nuts:

Does he sounds worse somehow??


El Salvador looks to become the world’s first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender


For my birder pals:

The racist legacy many birds carry


Have a great day!



  1. If this is really an open thread, I have two topics for this steamy Saturday (supposed to get up into the low 90s here in NYC today; good luck Meg, I assume you’ll get that with a nice heaping of humidity thrown in):
    1. For the FYCE contributor who has everything:

    2. I read this very lengthy article/opinion piece, replete with results from many polls, that described how the vast majority of Americans can’t wait to return to their offices/workplaces. Could this possibly be true? As someone who very happily went out on his own a decade ago I find this unfathomable. I suppose if I had a super-demanding job, young children running around, and operated in a Zoom-obsessed culture I might feel differently. 
    You would think that I would feel differently, because I am off-the-charts sociable and The Better Half also works from home, has for years, at a job that requires him to be on the phone 10 hours a day, including some weekend days, speaking very loudly to clients all around the globe, but I don’t. Part of the reason is because as a freelancer/contractor I am kind of an interloper and I feel self-conscious just chatting with fellow cubicle dwellers, even though they’re the ones who initiate these insight-sharing sessions. Also lunch options, at least in Midtown Manhattan, are appalling: way overpriced pre-prepared sandwiches and salads made from the dregs of failed harvests, as far as I can tell, so I have to cart in my own lunches and snacks. The subways are much less crowded, that’s true, but that’s offset by lingering fears of contagious disease (though I am fully vaxxed) and the armies of the criminal/mentally ill who seem to have arisen seemingly out of the blue and at very short notice.
    No, The Better Half and I are quite content in our Fortress of Solitude, and I assume the Faithful Hound likes to have us around for diversion.
    So I ask you, friends: are you really longing for pre-pandemic work life?

    • …I think for some people there’s a combination of factors…at least for the people I’ve spoken to?

      …in some cases it isn’t practical for both halves of a couple to work from home due to there only really being one good spot in their place so having an actual desk & drawers & a printer someone ele is responsible for making work is an appealing prospect…I know one person whose company more or less maintained a policy throughout of allowing some people to go into the office on a sort of borderline mental health basis, even

      …& I think for quite a lot of people (at least of the subset who seem to want to return to the office) it’s got a lot to do with the latter principle…it’s something that quantifiably represents a big chunk of what they think of as things “getting back to normal” & a fair few people have spent a lot of the last year & a bit trying to not think too hard about how long they could deal with things not returning to normal before they’d have to wonder if they could in a way that’s profoundly unsettling to some?

      …that said, even those people (at least the ones I’ve spoken to) don’t want to entirely go back to a 9-5 thing 5 days a week so much as a mixture of that & working from home now that they’ve discovered each has some benefits…whereas some of the people who’ve been paying for unoccupied office space for months on end & would like to cut costs in some cases don’t seem as pleased at the prospect of sticking with offices big enough for everyone to be at work when it seems like they can get the work out of them without picking up the tab for the office itself

       …so I’m guessing there’s more to it in terms of nuance/specifics than my anecdotal examples cover?

      • You raise a good point about commercial office space. If that market collapses, or even shrinks in any significant way, we Gothamites are all doomed. In New York costs are assumed to be fixed, like the sun rising in the east, with absolutely no possibilities of savings or increased efficiencies. Commercial real estate taxes pay for a huge chunk of all this bloat and wastefulness, so I guess I should now wish for as much of a return to office life as possible. Better them than me.
        Same for the subways, which have been a financial black hole for decades. They used to be privately owned and turned a profit; that’s why they were built. They were much cheaper and more efficient. In 1925 the fare was 5 cents, which is equivalent to 76 cents today. The fare now is $2.75 and the short-term and long-term deficits are in the tens of billions, despite the fact that in 2019 (last pre-pandemic year) ridership was about the same as in 1925.

        • I think there was a story on Marketplace this week about a major city (maybe NYC) looking at converting office buildings to residential space.  That would be…interesting.

          Fuck going back to the office.  When I was in audio, the last few years of it was WFH and it was glorious.  It looks like the hospital has finally lurched into the 21st Century because they are now openly talking about giving people the flexibility to be anywhere from 100% WFH to 100% in the office and anywhere in between.  Of course, because they resisted this until they were forced into it last year–and because they never really can think ahead–they’re just now trying to sort out how all that would work.  My hope is that I can ditch my grandfathered train pass and just stay home.

      • @splinterrip basically most of that, for me. Plus my office has a gym so i am a lot more physically active when I go to work. When i wfh i am lazy and fuck around. I get my work done, but I’m constantly checking my phone and doing non-work. I built up a lot of bad habits in a year. 

    • My job was considered “essential”, so I only did work-from-home for about 2-3months, and I’ve been on location for about a year now.
      I’m more interested in other things opening up, I’d like to go see a concert again, go see a movie in the theater and go drink and read in a bar, have public transit resume normal schedules, etc.
      As to work, we might start doing some field work again, which may be interesting, and get more student workers, and similar stuff.

    • Not a single person I know is looking forward to going back to the office most/all of the time.

      I’d be interested in how they sliced and diced the questions in order to get the answers they did.

      Like, was it “I am looking forward to going back to the office” or “The kids will be going back to school fulltime and I am looking forward to going back to the office” that sort of thing.

    • Speaking of the past, where I am most comfortable, I am a huge fan of “Murdoch Mysteries,” which takes place in Toronto a few years on either side of 1900. The show’s charms are many but one of my favorite aspects is that they often manage to weave in “guest stars,” who implausibly find themselves in Toronto for various reasons. It’s very clever. Last night I saw two episodes. One had President Theodore Roosevelt and the other Al Jolson. Emma Goldman has shown up, Carrie Nation, Thomas Edison, Jack London, and many others whom I’m forgetting. I really should recommend MM (again) in a Brain Drain.

  2. I’ve worked from home for over a decade, and much prefer it. On the plus side, there is no commute and parking expense, I control the noise level, coworkers rarely ping me for small talk ( which is not to say that there isn’t a ton of interaction), I don’t need to spend money on professional office attire, I can have four dogs, and am productive in a way that was not possible in a shared space. On the con side, hardware problems are a pain to deal with, it is difficult to disengage, especially with staff in multiple time zones, and I have lost the use of a spare room in the house as it is dedicated as my office. Also, the doggy girls are old and remember when I left the house each day, so they are fine when I do need to go out. The doggy boys, however, are young and only know 24/7 human servant availability. They lose their tiny minds when I go out. Their crying can be heard outside.

  3. Oh no, tuxie kitty! Look at that face! You can’t be annoyed no matter what asshole thing they did today, and my cat knows this, knows that I will end up laughing no matter what the shenanigans. 

  4. A few things, I’m of the belief many want to go back to the office to have time away from the family.  My dad (who ironically had my mom has his secretary for awhile late in his career) said “I married you for better or worst but not for lunch.”  
    On the Trump speech, have you seen everyone is saying his pants were on backwards?

    I’m having a great weekend, my sister texts me yesterday my mom fell and broke her femur/hip.  She is having surgery in a few hours.  At least my weekend is not as bad as my brother’s…today is his birthday and he is dealing with this and his mother-in-law got bit by a pitbull yesterday!  Not a good weekend for the Shaq family elders!

    • …damn…hope everyone recovers swiftly

      …I did see some stuff about the speculation about the trousers thing, too…I think I’m more inclined to go with them being some sort of pull-on no-fly deal than that people let him go out in public with a zipper running up his ass…but as long as people are deriding the man I’m happy to call it a win?

    • I feel for you, man. My mother’s in the second month of her rehab and she was lucky that only the femur neck broke and the hip was okay, so the surgery and recovery was as good as can be hoped for. Still freaked us all the fuck out for a week.

      • She is about to turn 95 and was having trouble walking and wouldn’t do her therapy so this was only a matter of time.  Now she will probably never walk again and we have to move her if she makes it out of the rehab facility to a place with a higher level of care.  Not looking forward to this and of course it happens at the hardest time for me to get back home.  I appreciate everyone’s support.

          • One of us calls her every day & my sister & all her kids are close so she gets lots of attention & reminders.  She’s out of surgery so that’s good, still waiting to talk to her.  My wife has access to all her medical charts so that is helping know what’s really going on.

  5. I’ve worked from home for 5 years.  I enjoyed it except for:
    1) I gained weight.  Ate too many snacks and exercised too little until I realized I had a gut.
    2) Lost touch with coworkers (felt isolated somewhat)
    3) Worked longer hours than I did.  More than a few times I would get up at 2am and finish something because I had figured it out in my sleep.
    4) I had a jealous housemate.  Apparently he thought I did nothing and would act out like a spoiled shithead leading to several big screaming matches.  The worst and last one was after he came home and wanted to watch the TV in the living room (which was mine) while I was on a conference call.  The stupid asshole didn’t care and I lit into him while I was getting lit on my review.
    “It’s not my goddamned fault you don’t have a fucking job you can work from home at.”
    Admittedly I worked mostly in my PJs because it pissed him off.  I’m spiteful like that too.

    • One of the points mentioned in the piece I read quoted a study that said people who abruptly switched to work from home gained an average of 29 pounds! And I totally believe this, since I, at my heaviest, gained exactly 29 pounds. Then I got sick and three weeks in the hospital, followed by two in rehab, of healthy eating, daily light exercising, and evacuating enormous amounts of body weight caused me to lose 41 pounds (in five weeks!) so that now I weigh less than I did 20 years ago. Effective, yes, but the absolute worst weight loss method.

  6. Every year I do/pay for one or two major home improvement/repairs.  In this case, it is the driveway and epoxy painting the garage floor.
    The driveway contractor has already ripped out the old asphalt and put in new gravel on top of the old gravel.
    I was hoping to do the garage floor myself but I’m starting to have doubts that I can do it so well as it is a lot more work than I hoped.  Also to do it right takes more time and energy than I have.
    1) I need a diamond edged grinder/floor buffer pad with floor buffer to scrap everything smooth.
    2) Epoxy primer (which they don’t sell at Home Depot.)
    3) Three coats (including clear top coat)
    So I’m also getting contractors in for estimates  to see if it is better for me $$ to leave it to professionals.

    • My criminal father was one of the best bad examples I had in my life.  Among many things, one of the major lessons I learned from all of his variously failed attempts to DIY, is Get The Damned Professional To Do It.

      • I had a good laugh reading your comment because it is so true.  My dad is/was a very smart man, but I also remember some of his DYI disasters and the fact it took 6 years for him to fix something that a contractor only took several days to repair.
        Yeah, I probably will let the pro do it but it is just a matter of financing and conflicting priorities.

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