Antisocial distancing

The outside is still there. We’re just not making as much use of it lately.

No child likes homework. And damn few adults like working from home full time, once they’ve given it a whirl.

Oh, sure, some of us are cut out for it. Truth be told, without the option to work remotely, some of us wouldn’t be remotely employable.

So as you noobs open your laptops on the kitchen counter, launch Skype, and settle into The New Normal, remember the Old Abnormal. We’re still here, in our three-day beards, unbrushed teeth, and soiled yoga pants, taking regular meetings with the voices in our heads.

We pioneered this shit. Homesteaded it, you might say. And we like it.

So, welcome to orientation.

First, the bad news: The voices in your head are not the ones you’re used to hearing around the water cooler in the office.

The good news? You can tell them to shut the fuck up and they won’t rat you out to HR.

Yes, it’s another thrilling episode of Radio Free Dogpatch!

P L A Y    R A D I O    F R E E    D O G P A T C H

• Technical notes: It’s another bargain-basement broadcast. I used the Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB mic, and skipped the Zoom H5 Handy Recorder in favor of recording directly to the MacBook Pro using Rogue Amoeba’s nifty little app Piezo. Editing was as usual, in GarageBand. The intro music is by Your Humble Narrator, assembled from bits and pieces in the iOS version of GarageBand on a 9.7-inch iPad Pro. Angry shouting and background music (the latter by Doug Maxwell/Media Right Productions) is courtesy of the YouTube Audio Library. Cash register by kiddpark at Freesound.org. Herself was voiced either by Elle Macpherson, Tyra Banks, or Rosario Dawson, I can’t decide.

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23 Responses to “Antisocial distancing”

  1. Pat O'Brien Says:

    I pardon the expression, but I’m not sure if I was supposed to.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Badaboom, badabing!

      • psobrien Says:

        It was the comedic pregnant pause that gave me the clue. Thanks for keeping my little gray cells active. It was a fine podcast.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Thank you, sir. That was Round Two you heard. The reason the podcast was late this week? I did a much darker version first, channeling my inner H.P. Lovecraft, and asked Herself to give it a listen before I uploaded it to Libsyn.

        She was not entertained, and so it was back to the ol’ audio drawing board for Your Humble Narrator.

        Ah, well, it’s not like I have much of anything else to do around here while I wait for that first Socialist Insecurity check (or for the goldurned feddle gummint to collapse along with society at large, whichever comes first).

        At some point I might post the original here, limiting distribution to the Blog Dogs. My sense of humor often takes strange detours but quien sabe? The road less traveled sometimes appeals to others as well.

  2. Hurben Says:

    My daughter in Melbourne is working from home, I loved this email from her.

    ‘had a conference call this morning, make up, blazer, slick hair, glasses….. Pyjama pants 😉’

    Take care out there

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Well played. I started working from home before videoconferencing became a thing, so I never had to create the illusion of sartorial professionalism.

      Also, as a guy who spent the bulk of his newspaper career as a copy editor, a deskbound type who rarely meets the public, I stretched the boundaries of the dress code. A supervisor once chided me for wearing T-shirts and jeans to work … right after I had endured weeks of working without days off because the outfit couldn’t keep the copy desk fully staffed.

      That was when I started looking for work … again.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        For a long while in the 80s, my uniform of the day, when ties were required, was a blazer, oxford shirt, Irish wool ties, jeans pressed with a crease, and sneakers. I got a bit of a reputation for my odd but distinctive look. I went to NSA to brief a bunch of engineers on how we used early computer models to take the mean time between failure data they gave us and determine our spare parts acquisitions and maintenance plans. After the briefing, many of them told me they were glad I was wearing what they were told to expect. Beauty, heh?

  3. Larry T. atCycleItalia Says:

    I’m very fortunate in not having to do much of anything related to work these days. Needless to say, our cycling program in Piedmont Italy doesnt require much these days so I’m free to study Italian online (some live lessons via SKYPE start next week with the only instructor ever able to really teach me, BTW) and work on passing the Italian driving license test when things get going again. Meanwhile, they’ve just shut down everything here except for essential services, so lots more folks will be joining me in having nothing to do and all day to do it in – as long as it’s inside and not outside.
    Stay safe wherever you are!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Good man y’self. Find creative ways to fill the hours. Language lessons in particular are a great way to stretch the brain-muscle.

      I should find some online Spanish lessons. My Español barely qualifies as Spanglish. Muchas palabras that can get you a chingazo in la boca.

      • Larry T. atCycleItalia Says:

        Your Spanish sounds a lot like my Italian. Most of my instructors have loved to use me as an example for the rest of their students who when asked a question, usually responded by acting if the answer was written on the classroom ceiling!
        Yours truly will instead respond with something that is almost always grammatically incorrect and with a gawdawful accent, but would get the point across…which the instructor would always remind the students is the POINT of language. Francesca, the one I’m now working with on SKYPE nicknamed me “Il Disastro” in her class, but always knew she could call on me to come up with something, even if I was pulling it outta my…while the others sat there in silence, afraid of making a mistake.
        My wife met Francesca in person once and remarked to her that she was the only one of all my Italian language instructors who could challenge and motivate me, which is why I searched her out for some private slapping around….er…tutoring. I’m REALLY gonna need it to pass the Italian driving license exam!!!

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          And dialect is such a bitch. The formal Spanish I was taught in high school bore almost no resemblance to the Spanish spoken in Colorado’s San Luis Valley, or down here in New Mexico.

          There’s a meeting in “The Milagro Beanfield War” in which a local describes a lawyer as speaking “a funny Anglo Spanish you can hardly understand.” The lawyer, of course, learned it as an adult, a formal, classical variety of Spanish. Everybody else grew up speaking it, beating on it, mutating it, and passing the changes around.

  4. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Dos cervezas por favor. Y donde esta el bano?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Hee, and also haw. That’s about as far as my high-school Spanish will take me, too.

      I did run around with a bunch of San Luis Valley Chicanos in college, and managed to pick up a few more words from them. But most of them aren’t really useful unless you’re an accomplished brawler, which they were.

    • DownhillBill Says:

      That’s exactly what I remember from third year college Spanish. I can only assume el professor doctor Cardounel passed me because he never wanted to see me again.

  5. Libby Says:

    Highlights: A cameo from Herself and the Walter Brennan/Donald O’Connor reference.
    “Make ‘em Laugh”. The tune is a ripoff of Cole Porter’s “Be a Clown” from an earlier MGM film “The Pirate”.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Isn’t that a nice bit of work from Donald? This is from his obit in The New York Times:

      Mr. O’Connor was frequently asked how he came to dance as he did in the ”Make ‘Em Laugh” number. He explained that Gene Kelly, who co-directed the 1952 film with Stanley Donen as well as starred in it, told him he could do anything he wanted, so when the music started, he made up his dance as he went along.

      Whenever he did something clever, he stopped and told somebody off camera to ”write that down.” After he completed the sequence with the cameras rolling, he was told that the film had been overexposed, so he did it all over again, achieving what he thought was a better take.

      • Libby Says:

        O’Connor is extraordinary! I saw this movie for the first time decades ago. It was the best experience- exhibited in a very old movie theater. The whole movie is terrific and every cast member is marvelous down to the smallest part.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        The face bit he did after running into the brick wall was a master class in comedy and slapstick. Thanks Libby. That helped us make it through the day.

  6. Hurben Says:

    Announced by the PM at 1:30 pm today, in 48 hours, New Zealand goes into total lock down, everything except essential services closes & we’re all expected to stay at home for 4 weeks

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Are you well stocked for the long haul, Hurben? I’m thinking it can’t be much longer before we’re in a similar situation. If the governor had seen what passed for “social distancing” on the Foothills Trails yesterday she would not only have us on lockdown, she’d have a few people imprisoned. Maybe more than a few.

      • Larry T. atCycleItalia Says:

        Key phrase: “except essential services ” means you DON’T need to stock up for the long haul. It seems every English-speaking country is going bananas over f—king toilet paper and weapons (I assume) to defend it with?
        I think for us starting this week fresh fruits and vegetables might be a bit tougher to find as even our daily outdoor market has been shut down, but until ours run out I’m not going around to look for any.
        One of my ex-neighbors in Sioux CIty, IA said they have their first positive case and things are quarantined there – so morons are packing into the casinos and bars over in South Dakota. You know what my wife says…

      • Hurben Says:

        We’re good. As Larry said ‘essential services’ means that supermarkets, chemists etc will still be open. I went to pickup my wife 30 minutes after the announcement & the supermarket near where she works was just chaos. Supermarkets are crying out for shelf stackers & have reduced their hours just so they can get product back on shelves.

        Daughter in Melbourne has had to order Toilet paper online because they can’t find any in the stores.

        Interesting times.

  7. GeekonaBike (@GeekonaBike) Says:

    Who knew, Ernest T Bass was a visionary!

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