48 thoughts on “September 17, 2020: Memory Lane”

  1. News is too close these days part 1.

    A white collar business here in my southern Minnesota town has called all of their employees (> 1,000) back to work in the office with no exceptions for underlying conditions. I'm perusing the site and reading things like:

    All workers who are able to work from home must continue to do so.

    It doesn't seem particularly confusing. Friends who work there have notified the employer that they are violating the governor's order. The HR response is basically, "We've done everything necessary to make sure you're safe."

    People at the company are scared to report the violation because they figure if the company is this bold, they won't have any concerns about firing them as well. I would consider reporting, but I don't want to be identified as the reporter. If someone is going to report anonymously … it might as well be an employee. Ugh. So disappointing.

    (Related, I feel like the virus is really hitting hard down here right now. Yesterday alone we heard through Facebook and friends that probably 10 different people we know, or one step removed from knowing, have the virus. We'll see if the numbers start confirming that perceived growth.)

    1. Has the company installed HEPA air filters or other enhanced air filtration strategies for the office space to address aerosols? Is it requiring staff on-site to wear masks?

      No exceptions for underlying conditions sounds like lawsuit bait. Reasonable accommodation time. Requires doctor's note or other documentary evidence to support the underlying conditions. Of course, if infection rates in your town are low, there may not be much ground to stand on.

      1. I don't know about the air filter thing, but I suspect yes. Masks are a yes. They had a well-known Minnesota medical care company come in and help them get set up. So they did something for some reason.

        And maybe that is enough to allow what they're doing? Maybe there are hoops that can be jumped through to be authorized? But the state's website (and emails I've seen from them directly) do not say anything but "if you can work from home, you must work from home." If there is some alternative path, it should be shared somewhere.

      2. fwiw, Steele County has reported only 506 confirmed cases (about 1,400 cases per 100,000 population); Olmstead County 2,237 (also about 1,400 cases per 100,000). But these are cumulative. (my home county, Mower, by contrast, has had 1,253 cases, which is around 3,100 per 100,000 pop)

        The Minnesota COVID dashboard suh-hucks. No data per date on cases or deaths or tests or hospitalizations. Instead you have to go to https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/situation.html to see some of those, and that page isn't linked to the dashboard page at https://mn.gov/covid19/data/covid-dashboard/index.jsp

        1. California is tracking tests, positivity rate, cases, deaths, and hospitalizations by date at the county level, and setting criteria for "opening up" based on (somewhat arbitrary) standards on those measures. Lots of transparency, even if far from perfect.

  2. News is too close these days part 2.

    Months ago I turned on The Current and felt like I heard a DJ name from deep in my history. I remembered a close friend of mine who back in high school used to talk about his friend from the town he lived in before moving to my hometown. His friend loved to make mix tapes and he was really a connoisseur of music.

    So I texted my friend and asked, "Hey, is that your friend on The Current?" He said, "That's him. Though I'm no longer in touch with him these days."

    Then comes the resignation. I was reading through her letter and was struck by one particular passage. I'm nervous to identify it, but I'll say it was a passage that discussed a tight knit community which had confirmed that the DJ was no longer welcome there for reasons of his behavior. That community is one that my friend was also a part of.

    This was all before a name came out. I texted my friend to say, "Hey, this particular piece struck me. I'm concerned about who the DJ might be now." My friend's response was. "Yep."

    Sure enough, the name was the name. Ugh.

          1. he typically plays three songs on acoustic guitar. One for the offering; another with him also singing; the third with him starting Silent Night before the organist jobs l joins after the first verse.

  3. So the local paper ran an article in 2008 about a DFL headquarters opening up in my town.

    Fast forward to today: I received 3 calls at my business from people wanting complain about Biden/Harris signs. Callers all said our phone number is listed on the internet as the number for DFL headquarters. Sure enough, I google "Alexandria DFL" and the second item listed is that newspaper article from 12 years ago! Great search engine there. So, I have that going for me.

    1. My phone number is one off from the Shakopee Goodwill. I had one person call me the straight times asking what time we open. I finally just told them 10 am. My kids freaked out that I did that but it was the only way to get them to stop calling!

        1. When I worked for GW, the number they gave me apparently was the former number of a urologist at the GW Hospital. I was amazed at the number of people who left incredibly detailed messages despite me clearly identifying myself and where I worked.

          1. At some point after I moved out, the phone number I grew up with in Spamtown became a close variant of that of one of the pizza shops in town. Eventually my dad stopped telling people they had the wrong number and just took their orders.

            1. I used to frequently get people calling my number and then leave long, drawn-out messages looking to buy very specific car parts, so I must have had a number close to someone who sold those sorts of things. Unfortunately the guy with the car parts business was also named Mike, so my voice mail message was no help for letting them know they had the wrong number.

              Once I picked up the phone for one of those calls and they were incredulous and eventually angry that, even though my name is Mike, they still had the wrong number.

              1. When I was the pastor in North Sioux City there was no church office, so my cell phone because the church phone. That worked fine until it was time for me to leave. After I got to Gettysburg I'd still get calls from people in North Sioux City looking for the pastor. Complicating matters was the fact that the new pastor's name was also Jeff. So, people would call asking for "Pastor Jeff", and I'd talk to them for a while before realizing they wanted the other Pastor Jeff.

    2. In Brooklyn, some guy gave out Mr. NaCl's phone number to people he didn't want calling him (presumably he totally unaware who the number belonged to). Every so often Mr. NaCl would get a phone call from a collection agency going after the other guy, and it would take him quite a while to convince the caller that he wasn't the person they were looking for.

  4. Football Manager is the soccer equivalent to OOTP baseball as crazy, intensive, realistic game about running a soccer team with with the focus being on strategy rather than actual gameplay. I last played the 2015 version and it was crazy great. The 2020 version is currently free. However, I no longer have a laptop (or desktop) at home*, so I'm unsure if it will just completely grind a tablet to a halt by requiring too much juice.

    *Well, we did just get a new laptop for Honest Abe to use for kindergarten, but it would likely be frowned upon if I commandeered it to play games.

    1. I tried FM but you kind of need to be a football guy to really make it work, it baffled me. Whereas, with OOTP, I can bring a rebuilding Brooklyn squad into first place in my first year.

    2. The amount of free games available on PC blows my mind, between Epic (thanks for reminding me to check it out!) and Twitch I have a backlog of games I would really like to get to in the event of free time. Football Manager could be a fun one to play while mindlessly watching TV.

      1. Also, if you have Xbox Game Pass Ultimate or just the PC version, Crusader Kings 3 is available and it is incredibly awesome. Its relegated basically everything to my back log because I can't stop playing it.

    3. Oh, also, I played Among Us last night for the first time and its a blast. Its only $5, but only one person in the group needs to own it for others to play (you just have to deal with ads). Highly recommended.

      1. My kid is all over this. We moved him into our dining-room adjacent porch for schooling, so now there is lots of headset-yelling from in there while the rest of us go about our quiet ways.

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