Call It Saturday

Today feels like Saturday.

So did yesterday, and the day before. I suspect that tomorrow will also feel like Saturday.

Lot of reasons exist for my feelings about the days of the week. One, I’m a writer. I write every day. I retired from outside employment a few years ago. My days of the week stopped being labeled work days and non-work days.

Two, I stream, and watch little broadcast television. I’ve been streaming for ten years, and cut the cable nine years ago. That means that I’m not looking at any guides or schedules to see what’s on television, which was always guided by the day of the week. For example, I don’t think, “If this is Thursday, then a new episode of X will be on.” I wait until all episodes are out and then I start streaming them on my schedule when they’re available. When they’re out depends on a date, not a day of the week.

Three, COVID-19, of course. The pandemic and the actions being taken to flatten the curve has dramatically affected social activities. Hence, we’re no longer going out dancing at the lake on Saturday night or heading for beer on Wednesday night, erasing another reason for tracking what day it is.

Four, it feels like Saturday because of my conditioning. Back when I did work, Saturdays were days for doing errands and chores. It was also a day for sleeping in a bit. No need to leap out of bed, do some quick exercises, eat, shower, dress, jump into the car and hurry to work on Saturday. I could catch another twenty minutes.

Everyday in COVID-19 land is like that now. There are chores and writing, but no errands. I can sleep in, if the cats agree.

The cats have never worried about the day of the week. To them, it’s always Caturday.

I get what they mean, now.


Friday’s Theme Music

Out walking the beach under glorious weather – seventy and sunny – a few days ago at Yachats. Out came a Tommy John song, “Draggin’ the Line”, 1971. I heard it as a fifteen-year-old. I took it to be about working, and accepting that he had to work, because he was in love with a girl. He’s not hurrying or complaining, he’s just doing what must be done, and – to reference another song from another group – they’re happy together.

Makin’ a livin’ the old, hard way
Takin’ and givin’ by day by day
I dig snow and rain and the bright sunshine
Draggin’ the line (Draggin’ the line)

My dog Sam eats purple flowers
Ain’t got much, but what we got’s ours
We dig snow and rain and the bright sunshine
Draggin’ the line (Draggin’ the line)
Draggin’ the line (Draggin’ the line)

I feel fine
I’m talkin’ ’bout peace of mind
I’m gonna take my time
I’m gettin’ the good sign

h/t to

I later heard that it was about doing cocaine. That didn’t make sense to me. Today, after thinking about the song, I checked Wikipedia. “Asked about the meaning of the title in a 2009 interview, Tommy James said: “”Draggin’ the Line” just meant working every day. Nothing really very mysterious about it.””

h/t to

Let’s mellow, children.




The Micro-Code Dream

This is a recurring dream. I had it twice, maybe three times in the past few weeks. It’s also a sequel to another dream. The first dream was dreamed at least twice. Both dreams evolved in its depths and complexity, or my ability to remember them. As always,  I wonder how much I remember and how much I manage to fill in gaps through my imagination without being aware that I’m doing so.

In both, the backdrop is that I’m with IBM. The first dream has me being given a project. Not uncommon. I have a print out of several pages. Most of the back pages are lines of micro-code. The first page is an explanation that this list of hospitals need to be notified of these micro-code changes by a specific date. It’s a Friday afternoon. The date is the following Monday.  So, YIKES. The next four pages are lists of hospitals where this code needs to be applied, with identifying fields.

The first thing I do is get a yellow highlighter and a list of hospitals that are our customers. Then I go through the list, highlighting the hospitals that are our customers. I also make notes in black pen.

Follow-up is to create the letter to send these customers. I do this on a computer, merging the letter with the data fields from the hospital lists, import the letters into email, and send them out. Done and done. My boss checks on me. I confirm with her that it’s done. She’s surprised that it was done so quickly, and I show her what I did and how. Done and done.

The second dream has me at some team party. I work in a one-deep position, from home, so I know few people, but I’m on this campus with my team, who are usually just voices on the phone or names in emails. I’m wandering the party and encounter some product engineers. They heard that I took care of the hospital micro-code notification. They have questions. Essentially, they want reassured that it went okay.

First, I sit with a senior guy with the micro-code in a room full of computers on desks and in frames, with people working on things all around us. It’s very noisy with the sounds of fans, hard-drives, and conversations. He shows me the micro-code and begins to ask who and what questions.

Excusing myself, I go to my computer bag in the other room and get my working company, along with a print out of the letter that I sent, and another print out that shows who it went to and when. I give these to him and tell them what they are. He’s surprised and asks me why I gave them to him. I tell him, that’s what I would’ve wanted to know if I was following up.

Everything is quickly answered with these papers. Other of his team members come by to ask and see, and he tells them what I gave them, and they’re all relieved that it’s been done. Time to party.

But first, another team comes up to check on the project, too. The first team gives the second team my papers, tells them what I did, and everyone is satisfied.

As this ends, another engineer is talking loudly at a table. She’s talking about a modem’s identification and wondering who was dumb enough to use last names as part of a modem’s identification. As I turn, I hear another person say my full name, because that’s the name used as a modem identification.

I go over and tell them it was me and answer questions. Yes, it was ignorant, but I was ignorant about the process, working alone, and learning on the job. She said she can change it for me. I shrug that off, because we’re not using it anywhere except the lap now. It’s older and we use new stuff for production and operations, but the old stuff is helpful for trouble-shooting customer issues who are using old stuff.

That ends. Everyone is going off to the party in the next room. I begin a drift that way. Others find me and congratulate me for the work on the project. That amuses me because it seems like it was such a quick and easy project.

The main party is in a huge ballroom at the end of a hall. Music is blaring and people are dancing in there. That’s also where the restrooms are. I need to use one but can’t get to them because of the dancing crowd. I make a long detour around the crowd until I find a place where I can cut through, go in, use the bathroom, and come back out.

When I do, I’ve decided to look up some people while I’m there. I find several and huddle with them. Speaking loudly over the music, in a huddle with our arms intertwined over one another’s back, I tell them that I’ll be leaving soon, but I wanted to thank them and tell them how much I enjoyed working with them.

The dream ended.

Depressing Dream

Last night’s featured dream was so depressing. I’d rather not recall many details. I awoke upset, and that’s enough.

The dream’s gist was that I’d been fired. I worked for a few years as a teenager, was in the military for twenty years, and then worked as a civilian for another twenty. I was never fired from anything, so being fired in a dream upset me.

Oddly in the dream, I did things to provoke them to fire me. And then I was surprised when it happened. After being fired, I had to go tell my wife. It gets weird, here; homeless, we were living in my office of the company that fired me. I had to wake her up and tell her that we needed to leave because I’d been fired. Then friends and co-workers arrived to clean out my office. As they did, they passed a wall where I was featured as employee of the month, quarter, year, etc. Although we were civilians in this dream, my boss in this mess was a former commander of mine. I was a senior NCO and he was a colonel, but we enjoyed one another’s company, often seeking each other out, so being fired by him made it feel harsher, and very personal. The words he used that stay with me was, “Get your filth out of here.”

Remembering and writing, of course, I’m calmer about it. Many psychological aspects of the dream are exposed. Calmer and more distant from it, I’m able to see the messages I’m sending myself, or the veins of doubts and anxiety being uncovered.

Later today, I’ll probably think more about it and even have a chuckle. I might need a glass of wine to reach that stage.

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