Five Things

Today is the Ides of March, which is historically when people in the Roman Empire were expected to settle their debts. While we don’t have a specific deadline for this activity anymore, it’s something that could make a good deal of sense for those who seem to always be in debt. This describes the entirety of my 20s, with student loans, credit cards, and the typical monthly bills that come with living on your own. It would have been nice to be mostly debt free, if only for a couple of days a year. That said, now that I have a mortgage to pay down, being devoid of debt is something I will not be able to declare until some point in my 60s.

Such is life in the modern age.

Lamentations on debt aside, it’s time for another Five Things blog post where I get to ramble about more than two topics in a single article.

Ubuntu 20.04 Is Almost Ready

Despite being well into middle age, I still find the LTS releases of Ubuntu Linux exciting. The platform has come a very long way over the dozen or so years that I’ve been using it and there is a great deal of buzz over many of the features and updates that are part of this next release. While the servers I run will remain on 18.04 until the fall when 20.04.1 is released, the development notebook will be upgraded on the first day.

Still 2019

The older I get, the longer I seem to write the previous year in SQL queries and on documents. There was a Pickles cartoon in the paper some 25-odd years ago where Mrs. Pickles is at the bank and filling out a deposit slip, then says something akin to “Oh, shoot. I wrote the wrong year again.” The teller says that people usually need a couple of weeks to adjust, to which Mrs. Pickles says she wrote 19741. This is probably going to be true for me, too. By the time 2040 rolls around, I’ll still be writing 2027.


Generally when we make our way through crowded areas, we try to calm ourselves and be patient with others. Not everyone will move at the same pace, or with the same manner of intent, or even pay attention to their surroundings nearly as much as we might. So rather than get angry and push people out of our way for what can certainly be classified as willful ineptitude, we give people the benefit of the doubt that they are just distracted or physically unable to quickly complete a task. This is particularly true when it comes to children and the elderly.

Unfortunately, my patience has all but run dry over the last few weeks on account of the isolation that’s been recommended by the government, the frustrations at work, and the hassles involved with doing just about anything outside. When the opportunity to head out for a quick walk does avail itself, the last thing I want to see are oblivious Pokémon Go players blocking walkways and otherwise being hazards on the pedestrian park trails.

Phantom Vibrations

The phone hasn’t vibrated in months. The tablet doesn’t vibrate. The notebooks do not vibrate. Everything that did buzz and shake with every notification has been subsequently silenced so that I might actually be down during the weekend downtime. Despite this, there are still vibrations at certain parts of my body as though the phone received a message.


Despite all of the challenges, responsibilities, and activities that arrive throughout the week, an overarching feeling of boredom permeates my mood by mid-morning, every morning. I can stave it off from time to time by changing the activity that I’m doing, but this isn’t always feasible. Boredom in and of itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but in excess it can lead to some reckless decisions.

Hopefully the mental rut can be broken in the near future.

  1. Why I can remember this comic strip from a newspaper a quarter century ago but not important things from meetings last week, I just don’t know.