This was not what I meant when I said I wanted to try Corona.

If there’s one good thing that’s come out of this whole Covid-19 mess, besides me having time to actually do moderately useful things with this platform, it’s that I finally get to see how I’d do if I had a mostly working from home job. It helps that nothing about my job requires I physically be in the office to begin with, but it’s nice to be able to quantify what that means. That being said, I was kind of hoping my first Corona would be just slightly different–and, ideally, not result in the ruining of anyone’s life but my own.

I don’t know if the fact this mess came on so quick scares me more, or the fact most places still have no clue what to do with/about it and we’re a month into this thing. Surprisingly, neither our provincial nor our federal government have entirely gummed up the works yet, but there’s still plenty of time for one or both to trip over themselves–and both Doug Ford and Justin Trudeau are shockingly good at tripping over themselves at inopportune times. But right now, I don’t feel like slapping either of them. That’s a first.

I haven’t touched this thing in over 2 years, which I think is the longest I’ve gone without at least making sure it was still breathing. Note to self: this was a good habit to get into–stay there this time. Unfortunately, me not touching this thing for a couple years didn’t do this place any favours. Code that hadn’t seen an update since 2015 was still floating about like it had a place to be. So a quarantine project of mine has been to clean that up. Half the junk that was here I’d forgotten I put here, so that’s a thing. Now, at least, when I remember to use it, the platform should run slightly faster. Or it’s fired.

Life’s been pretty much turned up side down everywhere. Except probably a couple places in the US that are up for nomination at this year’s Darwin awards. If I had a routine of any sort, the province’s not quite a lockdown would have probably torn it to pieces. As it is, I’m noticing even the small things I would normally do just because they were handy have gotten complicated. Going for a walk to the convenience store next door just for an excuse to be somewhere else, for example. And coming back with a couple slices of really good, really cheap pizza because I might as well seeing as I was already there. Stuff I don’t notice I do semi-regularly until it becomes no longer an option.

I’m not sure if I’ll like where we’re going once we come out the other side of this thing. Mostly because I have no idea what the other side will look like. Will there be more working from home? Will talk of a basic income actually go places? Will I land somewhere that wants to do more than pay peanuts for a metric ton of work? I have no clue. A bunch of people who are presently working from home would like to think this is the new normal. The way the government’s spending money now on an emergency response to Covid-19 than any level has ever spent on a social safety net in as long as I’ve been breathing, and there’s a bunch of people who don’t currently qualify that are hoping this becomes the new floor. I got an email from an HR person saying they want to talk to me after the dust settles, so I’m semi-hoping there’s a job offer attached to that conversation. But I have absolutely no clue. The only thing I know for certain, this was not exactly what I meant when I said I wanted to try Corona. Yall can have this back, now.

7 months and still a geek.

So remember when I had all these plans for doing all this stuff and junk? Remember when that was going to be a thing? Yeah, neither do I. But apparently that was in August–7 months and 2 days ago, at least according to the last time I touched this website. So what’s kept me busy?

The short version: Life sometimes sucks. The slightly longer version: I’ve been alternating between doing the job I’ve had since last February and getting my life something vaguely resembling back in order. It’s resulted in no shortage of doing everything at once and forgetting I’ve left half of it in the air, but that’s apparently how 2017-2018 me rolls. It’s only because I happen to have found half an hour while at work that I can even give this thing a poke here and there for old time’s sake. Perhaps this time around I’ll actually, you know, stick with it like I used to before it all went to hell.

While I’ve been ignoring this thing, a bunch of stuff’s happened. Like Ottawa eventually at some point maybe possibly getting Lyft, assuming we ask nicely. And my hockey team actually looking like there might be a slim chance the next time it gains the playoffs it’ll do slightly more than roll over and play dead. And if this management’s worth more than the last one, it won’t do something braindead in the off season–like, for instance, deciding they can’t afford to keep Austin Matthews. I swear to chocolate, that is probably the one thing guaranteed to have me not watching another Leafs game. Not that I’ve been watching much hockey this year–yes, I know, I’m surprised too, but you’ll have that.

The job itself’s going well, even if the pay itself isn’t. I’m still getting my hands dirty at every opportunity, and there’s been plenty–one of our customers is currently putting up with a pretty major outage, so I’ve been spending the bulk of the day poking around inside their equipment and waiting on other people from other companies in other parts of the country to get their asses in gear. I’m learning a lot about technology that I thought I knew about from school, only to find out they only slightly scratched the surface, which is both extremely nice and way freaky. For example, going into this job I assumed a router was a router was a router. Oh, I know business level routers and such are a hell of a lot more flexible than, say, the router that comes built into your ISP’s modem, but they get a lot more involved than that. In particular, if you can afford to set up a proper VOIP system, you’ve got separate connections for your voice circuits and your data circuits (read: your phone and internet run through separate lines). Apparently, there is such a beast as a router explicitly designed to handle voice connectivity. This I did not know until I started working at Nova, and only because at times like today’s major incident I end up needing to poke at one. So I’m getting paid, albeit not well, to take the things I’ve been paying to learn and spin them around a few times, occasionally spitting out something slightly more useful than I had an hour ago.

Beyond that, though, it’s been pretty routine. Get up, go to work, come home, chill, try to find that social life–I’m actually figuring out how to use that again, and–oh yeah–replace a dead desktop–the thing was over 7 years old and finally gave up the ghost in October. That gave me an excuse to poke around inside the thing, which of course having nothing to lose I did in about 45 seconds. The long and short of that poking? Computer’s dead, hard drive’s perfectly fine. So one USB enclosure later and the data that was on my now retired desktop llives on one of my external hard drives. As for the drive that used to belong to that desktop? It has a new life now as someone else’s video drive–I already have 3 external drives, I did not need a fourth. The drive itself is maybe 3-4 years old, so has plenty of life left–it was the only part I ever had to replace in what was essentially a hand-me-down computer. And just as soon as I get my financial life in slightly more of an order, a desktop that is not a hand-me-down computer is on my shopping list.

That’s life, if you’re me. There’s a bunch of other things too, but this post’s already longer than it should be. Perhaps hell will freeze and I’ll remember what this thing’s supposed to do. And perhaps I’ll land a job that wants to pay me $50k. Let’s see which one of these things is likely. While we’re seeing, let’s see if submitting this makes the site crash. Hey, you’d freeze and panic too if you ran into something you’d forgotten how to do–like, for example, tolerate my pointless rambling. There will be actual content. Just, well, perhaps not today. Mostly because chasing other people has fried my brain. A lot has changed, but sometimes, technology is still wicked evil.