Sounds Like Disco

I survived my first week WFH with all my mental faculties intact. I’ll consider that a win.

And actually, I was quite productive, though I always seem to get more done at home versus the office. I’ve gotten really good at tuning out the distractions and focusing on assignments when working from home, whereas at Ye Olde Media Company there’s often a dog in my face or a popcorn machine beckoning or social banter taking place. Don’t get me wrong, these are all good things—but they slow me down. I think, when this is all over, I’m going to try to do this regularly, maybe once or twice a week.

I’m also proud of the fact that I’ve gotten dressed to go to “work.” Hey, when your commute is measured in steps rather than miles, it’s tempting to lounge around in a smoking jacket all day.

OK, fine. The only reason I haven’t done so is because I don’t own a smoking jacket. If I did, though…


Ahh, dare to dream.

Tomorrow, I was supposed to be going into the office for a couple of hours to co-host a webinar about working from home. Which is kind of ironic when you think about it. But then my supervisor had an idea to do a split-screen format where I’m home instead, which does lend more of an air of authenticity to the whole thing. Looks like we’ll be heading in that direction instead.

Really wish I had that smoking jacket now, ha!

I’m not crazy about video conferencing, though. I mean, up until two weeks ago, I had never even heard of Zoom. Now, Zoom is all I ever hear about (other than social distancing, shelter-in-place, stay at home, and all these other buzzwords that, quite frankly, I hope to never hear again once this crisis is over). I feel a bit self-conscious knowing that millions of people all over the world are tuning in live and hanging onto my every word.

OK, it’s more like a few dozen in the immediate Rapid City area. But still! It’s slightly intimidating (though less so than if I were in the office, I suppose).

Link-Happy Positivity

I’ve got to say, I like the way Ye Olde Media Company is responding to the crisis. We are trying to focus on the positives while providing useful information to others struggling to get through these trying times.

If you’re interested in some of the “serious” articles I’ve written (as opposed to the usual fluff here on my blog), feel free to click on any of the links below. The topics are self-explanatory based on the titles.

How to Work from Home Productively

Why Tone is Important in Times of Crisis

Stress Will Make You Sick

I realize that linking to professional articles renders the whole Ye Olde Media Company alias unnecessary, but hey, I like it. YOMC. Sounds like a disco song.

Taking a Time Out(side)

When Tara arrived home Friday evening, she texted me to ask for help unloading a few things from the truck. So I slipped on a pair of shoes and went out the front door to meet her.

“Oh, my god!” I exclaimed, arms outstretched, gazing around in wide-eyed wonder as I took in the fresh air. It was all quite theatrical, like the hills-are-alive scene in The Sound of Music. “I’ve forgotten what the Great Outdoors feels like!”


It was then that I realized I hadn’t set foot outside in two and a half days and vowed to remedy that situation. Saturday morning, since the weather was delightful, I drove the few miles to Hanson-Larsen Memorial Park for a bit of hiking. The park, called M Hill by locals (probably because there’s a giant M painted on the side of the hill or somethin’), has a network of some 50 or so hiking and biking trails totaling over 20 miles. Obviously I didn’t do them all, but I did manage to knock out four miles and got to enjoy some great scenery while doing so.

There were other people out and about. Not a lot, and the few times I crossed paths with somebody, we gave each other the CDC-recommended six-foot-wide berth. It was just nice to not be surrounded by four walls for once.

I’d make a crappy prisoner, I guess.

Note to self: don’t break any laws.


18 thoughts on “Sounds Like Disco

  1. Dogs and I average about 30 walking miles a week. In one 3 mile drive today, I saw more walkers, joggers, skateboarders, and cyclists in my neighborhood than I have seen in the entire last decade. Cabin fever is real.

    Also, I think you should get a dog because a) it will make sure you get out every day, and b) you are far too productive at home and clearly need one in your face.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just took a walk around the neighborhood myself and it’s the same story here. Lots more people out than usual. It’s great, except for walking across the street to avoid them when they get too close!

      My coworkers are pushing me to get a dog, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Mark, funny you mentioned ZOOM because I just recently experienced it as well. A lot of 2nd part job interviews are using ZOOM. But like you, I had never heard of it before.

    Happy to read that you enjoy working from home and that you’ve been productive, that’s awesome! Like you, I too have been getting up every morning, shaving, showering, and getting dressed because for me, it keeps me motivated and productive. However, unlike you, I’m off work until further notice because of the type of job it is. The company has to be very careful about sanitation and health. But still, I keeping my days active and productive doing all sorts of things.

    One of things I’ve been NOT being doing is remaining in solitary confinement all day. Not only do I need to go outside to purchase groceries, but on really nice days I’ve been spending a few hours in the park (socially distanced, of course) because I need to be outdoors at times to keep my sanity. A lot of people here are doing that, but keeping their distance. Philly is, by nature, a very paranoid, suspicious, and uptight city; therefore the coronavirus has only magnified all that. I waved to a woman walking by me in the park this afternoon and not only did she not wave back, but she gave me the most evil look. As if she were the illegitimate daughter of SATAN. I kid you not!

    Your photographs are STUN-NING!

    Have a FABULOUS week, my friend! And be well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OMG. I can’t believe the lady in the park didn’t wave back to you. WHAT HAPPENED TO THIS WHOLE “CITY OF BROTHERLY LOVE” THING?!

      I’m glad you’re getting outside on a regular basis though, Ron. I took a walk around the neighborhood about an hour ago and it was nice to see so many other people out and about. I didn’t wave to anybody, but we exchanged friendly greetings (from six feet apart, of course).

      Have a great week!


  3. “I’m also proud of the fact that I’ve gotten dressed to go to “work.” ”

    Excuuuuse me while I choke on my wine here! lol 😛 🙄

    In fact, I not only put on a bra, I also put on mascara today. ON A SUNDAY. There was neither work, nor homeschooling (that starts tomorrow). Nor did I go anywhere other than the back porch. And the front porch. Boo.

    But in all seriousness, it sounds like you had a good intro to the whole WFH thing. Hope it continues. Most people say that productivity is up when WFH, and now that the novelty of this whole coronavirus has worn off somewhat (we know we have to weather the peak still here in North America but there isn’t much to do other than to stay at home to stop the spread) we can actually tune out for a bit and focus on the tasks at hand. Right?

    Good luck next week. I’m going into week 3 of this sequestering…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think employers are the last ones to believe that productivity actually goes up when people work from home. I know that was an issue at my job in WA, and one of the big reasons why they didn’t let me work remotely when I moved. Yet, so many studies back that up! The numbers don’t lie, guys.

      Good luck with week 3! Especially with the homeschooling!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My brother’s employer in Vancouver refuses to allow WFH. Claims people ‘don’t work’ at home. How can he state that if he hasn’t let them try it?

        I don’t know if their province mandates it (Ontario does) and my brother isn’t thrilled, but most people do say productivity improves at home. But, most people who do it though prefer to have a day or two of heading into the office, just for a change of scenery…

        We’ll see how work climate changes after this pandemic situation is over.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m wondering the same thing, I bet I’d be rolling in the dough now!

      Also, Tara totally needs to get you a smoking jacket for your birthday or anniversary.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. My daughter and I have been using Zoom for group gatherings with various church groups we are involved with. It works great!

    I’ve taken a walk everyday for the past several weeks. It’s really helped with the cabin fever, but omg there are lots of rude folks who don’t even try to social distance on the paths.

    I bet you are happier than ever with your move. I imagine the numbers will stay low out there!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We’ve just surpassed 100 cases statewide. No place is immune, but by virtue of our lower population, at least we shouldn’t see crazy-high numbers.

      Is it just me, or do people get ruder the farther east you go?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I like your admonishment in your article to:

    Instead of…




    While your intention probably wasn’t to make the reader laugh, I did laugh. Such a great example of the power of words. Perfectly explained. Timely, even.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I have to do a video interview on Thursday. I am NOT looking forward to it. I feel your pain. This will be watched by far more than a few dozen people in the Rapid City area.
    You should suggest to your boss that the company change its name.

    Liked by 1 person

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