power outages and a bad VPN facilitate procrastination
Monday, April 13 2020
Today was a stormy day, with occasional strong winds and some heavy downpours. Our power and internet survived through all of this, though my colleagues working remotely in Dutchess County lost their power and then we all lost VPN access to the office for a time. Even when it works, that VPN isn't very good. I'm usually able to get 90 mb/s download speeds on new cable connection, but when I use the VPN that drops to 16 Mb/s, about five times what I used to get in the bad old days of DSL. These sorts of issues only contributed to the procrasinatory habits that had me reading stories related to the ongoing pandemic on my usual news sites instead of doing the dull, unrewarding work I should be doing. I tried taking 120 milligrams of pseudoephedrine to help get more purchase on the project, but it didn't help at all.
Gretchen was at the bookstore today working one of her shifts under pandemic rules. As usual, she picked us up dinner from the Garden Café in its capacity as a takeout-only restaurant. One of the specials today was some sort of fancy eggplant-with-faux-cheese on a thick bed of pasta, so she got me that. She also got three units of the soup of the day, which was rich in chickpeas, kale, and carrots.
This evening I'd already taken 100 milligrams of diphenhydramine to help me get to sleep and climbed in the bed when Gretchen came in saying it was tome to watch Jeopardy!. So I got out of bed and went downstairs to grab a beer. Later I drank some booze while checking all my usual haunts on the web. At some point the surprising news came down that the liberal candidate had defeated the conservative in the race for Wisconsin's Supreme Court. That had been the election where state Republicans (aided by the increasingly partisan federal Supreme Court) forced Wisconsinites into voting in-person despite the ongoing pandemic. They literally had to risk their lives in order to take advantage of their right to vote. Obviously the intent by all the terrible Republicans in this story had been to suppress turnout in Democratic-leaning urban areas (where only a few polling places were open due to pandemic-related staffing issues). Thankfully, the plan backfired and the forces for good managed to prevail. Indeed, perhaps a large number of older conservative voters decided to sit out the vote due to their heightened risk if exposed to the coronavirus.
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