Thursday night.

Is it sad that the most exciting thing to happen to me this week is my raging caffeine withdrawal? The headache isn’t as bad today, and it didn’t appear until the second half of the day. I’m not quitting the stuff for good (that’s no way to leave), I just want to make sure that I can survive without it. Treating my habits the way you would an overloaded computer: just shut down all the tasks until you’re left with bare necessities, eh. (I’m curious what effect caffeine and/or cider will have on me once I end this experiment a few weeks from now.)

Work is taking up ever more time… Still, this is my 12th peak season with the company, so very few things surprise me anymore. Even with the pandemic, this isn’t the most challenging Q4 I’ve ever seen. Just a matter of perspective: a few more weeks, and it’ll be vacation time.

Yet another new project to keep things from getting stale: I’ve started re-reading the entire Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher. It chronicles the adventures of a broke wizard/private investigator in Chicago, and it’s a ton of fun. The first book, Storm Front, wasn’t his finest, but that’s the price of admission – it gets a whole lot better afterwards. Book #17, Battle Ground, came out just a few months ago, and there’ll be a few more to come. Just throwing this out there in case you’d like to experiment with some urban fantasy.

In covid news, the US is setting multiple grim records. The official covid death count has crossed 250,000. Around 2,000 people died of covid in the last 24 hours – the worst day since May. (There goes the six-month reprieve.) The total confirmed cases in the US exceed 12 million: the new 12th million showed up without much fanfare. The media isn’t splashing the 250K number all over the front pages because, well, folks are mostly used to it now… There’s also the law of large numbers at work: tell someone that 10 people died in terrible agony, and you’ll get an emotional reaction. Tell them that the death toll has gone up from 200K to 250K, and they won’t be able to visualize it, or react accordingly. We may see a day (or even more) with over 3,000 covid deaths in the US…

The CDC might be getting its mojo back, but it’s too little and too late. Their new official guidance advises Americans to avoid traveling for holidays. With Thanksgiving just a week away, though, that seems like a just-in-case CYA (cover your ass) exercise, since a lot of tickets have probably already been purchased, and will not be refunded. By this point, very few people are still on the fence.

California has announced curfew (10pm-5am) that will last for a month, from November 21st through December 21st. Considering the god-awful PR scandal involving California’s governor Gavin Newsom and his non-apology apology for dining at an incredibly fancy restaurant to celebrate his lobbyist buddy’s birthday, a lot of people online are not taking this well. This is Leadership-101: practice what you preach, and leaders always eat last. Because of that one ridiculous meal, Newsom destroyed his own reputation and will likely make more than a few people violate that curfew when they wouldn’t have otherwise. This is fuzzy math – you can never quantify just how much a single high-profile action will disrupt the system, but I’m sure this defiance will result in at least a few extra covid cases.

Stay safe, folks.