The World Has Gone Insane

I think the best possible description of the current status is the song of the same name from the musical Jekyll and Hyde.

Yes, it’s remarkably gothic and angsty, but at the same time, oh so very accurate right now.

Do enjoy – this is the recording with the Australian singer Anthony Warlow – who is, frankly, magnificent. He is also that rare beast, a singer who can act, so any videos of his performances will be worth watching.

I saw him play Enjolras in the original Australian run of Les Miserable and was blown away: he’s one of a number of singers I watch for.

That said, I’m doing all right. I’ve determined that my next work laptop needs to have a side-mounted power button so the cats don’t step on the damn thing (I’m not sure how many times I’ve had to reboot because of that, but I will say I’ve gotten pretty good at reaching to cover the bloody thing when they look like they’re taking a wander over the keyboard).

The keyboard for my home machine has the power button disabled for good and sufficient reason.

Everything else apart from the Husband’s workplace shutting down is life as normal. I spend most of the day on the work computer, then I shut it down and turn my attentions elsewhere.

But as far as I can tell, the world outside our house really has gone insane.


  1. Things are fairly sane from my view in North Texas; I’m still working, trucks are still rolling up and down US 287, and other than having to call ahead to my favourite coffee shop and order take-out, life is much the same. Our local poly-ticks haven’t joined in the “close and ban all the things!” social one-upping. (yet.)

    I know that much greater impact has hit my friends, but being the sort of household that stocks like we’re still at the end of the logistics chain, the only things we’ve ventured out for were milk and eggs, and the small town grocery had those.

    (Ok, and lemon juice, which the grocery store was out of. But the liquor store had that in their mixers section, so it’s all good.)

    1. At least some states haven’t lost their collective excuses for minds! Here in PA the whole state has been shut down for a week now. Nothing that isn’t “essential to life” – thankfully payroll meets the criteria. Also thankfully someone pulled their finger out and worked out that firearms also meet the criteria and need to be purchasable along with ammunition.

      Apart from the local supermarkets limiting purchases of paper goods (especially toilet paper) and other popular “panic buy” items to 2 per person per day, things aren’t bad here. What happens as it goes on, who knows?

      Work is staying on everyone works from home for at least another month, so we shall see (to their credit the C-levels are taking big pay cuts, including the CEO forgoing any salary for the rest of the year) and management in general taking smaller cuts. I’m kind of glad I’m one pay grade below that…

      1. You live in Pennsylvania too? Lehigh Valley here, two hours or so north of Philadelphia. Just asking, have you heard the rumor that the Philly PD has said they will only be responding to calls on violent crimes? If true then I really don’t want to think how much of a mess that can become.

        You and your family take care and stay healthy.

        1. I’ve heard and am disgusted. But then, Philly PD does not have what one might call a sterling reputation.

          We’re actually kind of close. I don’t live in the Lehigh Valley, but I work in Allentown.

          1. I don’t know how true it is, but I’ve read that as far back as the 60’s or 70’s PA State Troopers were unofficially ordered that if they had a criminal investigation that went into Philly, they were to complete the investigation without telling the Philadelphia PD about it until it was all done. I think that was back in Angelo Bruno’s AKA ‘the Gentle [Mafia] Don’s’ time?

  2. my old PC casing had a piece of cardboard on a packing tape ‘hinge’ over the power and reset buttons to keep my cats from stepping on them as they climbed onto the desk…. i referred to it as the safety

    1. Kind of challenging to fit one of those to a laptop, especially when the button is right up against the screen. At least I’m getting really good at protecting the thing.

      1. A thin piece of stiff plastic or metal on a clear packing tape hinge can be really thin. I used that on a couple laptops in the past to try to prevent humans from powering them down.

        I’m guessing the cat wouldn’t ignore the felt-penned “Don’t Touch” on the cover, flip it up and power down an essential network service. Sigh.

        1. The cat would play with the cover until he killed it, then stand on the power button…

          And I sympathize. Some years ago, for a prior employer, we had to provide a fix to data corruption caused by customers who decided they needed the system that was running the data sync, so they just force-killed the data sync service rather than letting it shut down cleanly.

          Einstein was right. There are no limits to stupidity.

  3. ESR made a power-protector after discovering that the power button was the exact same size as the paw of a Maine Coon kitten. His readers christened it the Moggy-guard.

    We’ve gone to remote teaching at Day Job. Let us say, it has not been without a steep learning curve on my end.

    1. Good on ESR. Moggy-guards are essential for those of us with felines who view the keyboard as a paw massage. If I had a power button I could do that with I would!

      Having experienced learning curves ranging from “steep” to “overhang with sharp bits” I sympathize!

  4. The cat only wanders across the keyboard when the laptop is actually in my lap. Then, I think he does it on purpose.

    I’m also online teaching. Not too steep of a learning curve for me, but I think my students are experiencing something of a curve which many of them didn’t expect. I know some of my colleagues are. And, for some of them, I *really* wish I could be a fly on the wall!

    1. GoogleClassroom and Google Forms look intuitive. They are not. I have not cursed yet, but I have had uncharitable thoughts on occasion (in part because I do not have a ChromeBook, but have to lock things for ChromeBook only. This adds a layer of challenge.)

      1. Well, I brought a Chrome book home in case my ancient laptop gave out over google classroom only to find out that I can’t put zoom on it because …. Well honestly I don’t know why…. But my ancient laptop can do it. So we had the same faculty meeting as ever … My learning curve has flipped over onto itself and wakes me in a cold sweat at three in the morning.

    2. I find myself growing tired of Zoom meetings already (facing an 8am one this morning that not only could be handled via email, but is a topic really only to signal that the committee chair is doing something).

      I had problems getting with Zoom initially, but once I downloaded the app it works fine.

      1. I participated in my first Zoom meeting – my family gathered there to wish me Happy Birthday. It was wonderful, and just what I needed.

        It needs practice – you need to experiment to get good lighting, decent audio, and – for those with uneven or poor streaming, uh, just do it on your phone. MUCH better than crappy Internet.

        And, a tip for the ladies – dress in something other than sweats, put on makeup.and fix your hair. Maybe even put on some jewelry or a scarf. Trust me. You’ll be glad you did once you see yourself as others do.

        My Zoom persona had wet hair, just out of the shower. Ugh.

  5. Still pretty much normal in suburban San Antonio, too — aside from the grocery stores going mad and certain items being erratically supplied or not available at all. The Daughter Unit and I have been picking up things for elderly neighbors, a few of whom have health issues. The HEB chain has set up a whole new system of free order and delivery for over-65s, and curiously (it was in the local paper) a handful of restaurants are temporarily transformed into small grocery outlets. Sensible – they have food supplies delivered regularly, so if they can’t open their dining areas, why not re-sell the basic groceries? I am embarked on a round of household fixes, and this weekend, I’ll apply myself to the sewing machine and start making fabric masks for our neighbors and the local FD station.

    1. Ooh. Sanity and self-reliance. Whodathunkit? (Yeah, that’s sarcasm. Delivered by the bulldozer-load)

  6. Around here, it almost looks normal from time to time. But then you look again, and you notice the lack of traffic, the empty parking lots, the closed buildings with signs on the doors and masks, lots of masks.

      1. And I just remembered that you’re Canadian, so my response is redundant . . .

  7. Aside from the emergency section local hospitals look like ghost towns, nobody seems to be there at first look.

    If you have a non-elective surgery they will take you. You have to be dropped off at a particular entrance, driver remains in the car. You are then escorted where you need to go, do the surgery/recovery and you are then sent out to meet your ride from another entrance, again driver can’t get out.

  8. I observe that the media have certainly gone insane. I -briefly- check the news in the morning and thereafter ignore it all as hard as possible. The panic and the sheer frothing hatred in the news is… insane. They’ve gone nuts, pretty much.

    I’m pretty much stay-at-home guy anyway so to this point nothing has changed massively for me. I will admit to having been very afraid when the schools got cancelled that we were all far too late to avoid everyone catching it, and it seems I was right. People are certainly catching it. But I’m much less afraid now because most cases I’m aware of are just the cold.

    Downside, our socialized medicine in Canada is -amazingly- unequipped to handle the serious cases coming their way. They literally don’t have masks. Its completely insane.

    I resolved the cat/power button issue by having a dog. ~:D Mr. Maximum Maxwell does have his issues, like the barking and the gnarring on my arm when he wants to play ball, but he doesn’t walk on the keyboard. And he won’t let me sit here and type for half the day straight, which is a surprise benefit. I get more work done when I play ball three times a day or more with the speedy poodle.

    On the craziness/exercise front, I think I may have found a partial solution to sitting around too much. It turns out that cutting water bottles in half with a sword is hilarious fun, and very aerobically demanding. Twenty minutes of playing Secret Samurai in the back yard is quite worthwhile. It is also completely mental, which fits in with this month’s theme nicely. ~:D

    1. That does sound like fun! Hm… I wonder if the neighbors would throw a fit if I did that on the nicer days…

      1. Which will last until some politician can’t go somewhere in proper style because something broke down and the part can’t be had for love nor money…

        1. Or until he can’t sent his housekeeper to get arugula at whole foods because there are no trucks to bring it to the store…

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