Friday, January 06, 2017

Weekend Links: The Back to the Routine Edition

This post is going up late today because I was slower than usual on my Friday rollerblade and didn't have time to write the post before I had to pick up the kids and then make dinner. It was a nice rollerblade, though.

A rolling photo

I predicted I'd be slow on my first outing after the holiday break, and intended to leave early. However, I was determined to finish my end of year accounting and 2017 goals and financial plan before I went. The accounting took longer than I'd have liked. I was off by $20.10. I went through every single transaction for the year looking for my error and could not find it. Finally, I decided that this represented an error of much less than one-tenth of one percent in my overall balance sheet and I'd just make an adjustment and move on. 

I'd already written a solid draft of my 2017 work goals and financial plan, so it didn't take long to finish those up. This means that I have all my goals for 2017 written. I'll write about them next week: the personal and family fun ones here, and the work ones at my Founding Chaos newsletter.

Anyway, on to the links.

First, a reminder of the Annorlunda Books news: Caresaway is now available as a Kindle book or paperback, and I'm looking for submissions for 2017.

If you're still struggling to get back to productivity post-election, John Scalzi has some suggestions. I also wrote about how I'm maintaining productivity over at my real name work blog back in November.

I will say that the thing that helps me the most is setting aside a small amount of time every week for activism. I make phone calls and do other activism type things for 30-60 minutes every Wednesday morning. Knowing I have that time coming helps me focus on my work the rest of the time. This week was unusual, in that I also made a couple quick phone calls on Tuesday morning (the House ethics office) and this morning (the Senate Judiciary committee). For someone who hates making phone calls, I've been talking to a lot of bemused interns these days. They have all been very nice, even if their amusement at getting a bunch of calls from people clearly reading scripts they've found or written for themselves shows from time to time. I can understand: listening to somewhat nervous callers recite a soliloquy about the need in depth hearings about the fitness of the nominee for Attorney General (for instance) would be a weird job.

Speaking of activism: the sister district project is an interesting idea.

A friend of a friend has a Twitter account and Google group dedicated to a weekly action item list. And/or you can check in with the Indivisible Guide team to see if they know of a local group organizing to take action.

"... you brought your fists to a glitter fight.
This is a taco truck rally and all you have is cole slaw.
You cannot deport our minds; we won’t
hold funerals for our potential. We have always been
what makes America great."

The poem is a little more dismissive of those who are nervous about the changing America than I feel, but I get where it is coming from. I am a sap and still hold out hope for an America with room for all of us. Cole slaw is pretty good with tacos, to be honest.

Jason Kander, Missouri's outgoing Secretary of State, is one of the up and coming Democrats to watch, I think. Here is his piece about what he learned as a Democrat in a red state.

Like a couple other of the new Democrats I'm watching (Tammy Duckworth and Ruben Gallego), he is a veteran. (You might remember him from his Senate campaign ad in which he assembled an automatic rifle blindfolded.)

Has the center really fallen? I think some of us are still trying to hold it. This piece argues that the historical task of the left right now is to help hold the center.

Republicans may be backing away from Repeal and Delay. There are concerns from some of their own Senators. However, if you care about the Affordable Care Act, you should keep calling representatives. Read this Jonathan Chait piece about how Repeal and Delay would be forever if you need more motivation.

I haven't had time to read any of the articles about the newly released intelligence report yet, so I guess you can look forward to those links next week.

I'm mostly done with the "understanding Trump voters" genre, but there were two pieces I read this week that seem worth sharing:

And the NY Times article that a lot of people shared about why some blue collar men are unwilling to take the jobs that are available. I think some of those blue collar men would be surprised to learn that a lot of women who do "caring jobs" would rather do something else, too. However, before you dismiss the men in that article, ask your husband about it. Mine stated flatly that he could never do nursing work. I pointed out that he does great with the caring work for our kids. I pointed out that empathy and performing caring for strangers are skills that you can learn. Nope. It isn't that he thinks the work is beneath him. It is that he thinks he'd hate it and suck at it. His back up plan if automation kills his current career is food prep.

We have a lot of adjusting to do to get ready for the new realities of work, I think.

If you don't know what lutefisk is, look it up and then you'll see why I am laughing at the idea of a lutefisk hotline.

Mostly my family has pickled herring. And lefse! Now THAT is something that needs a hotline. I had some delicious lefse over Christmas, courtesy of my aunt and uncle who flew in from Minnesota.

And of course, we need to end with some bunnies.

Lots of bunnies.

Happy weekend, everyone!


  1. I have seen a lot of my women friends go back to school for nursing degrees over the past 5-10 years. I think it's a great career. I know it's not for me. First, I can handle blood (when Mr. Sandwich cut off the tip of his finger, I found it and then packaged it so well that the ER doctor was impressed), but I absolutely cannot take mucus. Second, I think nurses have to be much better at science than I am. Maybe that depends on the job level, but I'm pretty sure it's true overall. I know things about science, and I find it interesting, but it is not my strength.

    But what bothers me about that NYT article is not its overt message, about the mismatch between work and identity that many men feel (I feel it to, FWIW; my current job is not one I'd pick, but it's the one I have, and no--I didn't pick it, which is another story). It's the just-barely-not-overt message that these "women's" jobs should pay more so that they can attract men. Maybe they should pay more because they're worth more, regardless of the employee's gender.

    1. I think we'd be in a much better place as a country if we'd stop trying to bring back jobs that aren't coming back and instead focus on making the jobs that are here good jobs. Raise wages, improve conditions, and stop looking down on them.

  2. My husband wouldn't have a problem being a nurse if he had to be, other than the blood wooziness he gets (part of the reason he isn't a doctor). But his mom is a nursing professor and he knows how to do bed corners.

    Having asked him he says it is really far down in the list of jobs, mainly because it is a customer service job in many ways and they're not given the respect they deserve and there's a significant amount of menial labor and you have to stand on your feet all day. He would pick it over food service because it pays better.

    1. Oh. Bed corners. I'd struggle with that! I don't get woozy from blood or vomit or any other bodily fluid, though, so I guess I can retrain if needed.

      I'm not sure if nurse's assistants (which is what people could retrain to most easily) get paid more than line chefs. I suppose I could look that up. But the way people rule out options is interesting to me. I'm sure there is some class of work I'd rule out, too, but I haven't thought of what it is yet. I'd definitely be better suited to some options than others, but if all that is on offer is something I think I wouldn't like, I think I'd still try. But I am definitely grateful it hasn't come to that.


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