I went back to work today, after having been off for 17 straight days. I had a nice long holiday break, where lots of nice things occurred. Anne is not quite as hasty as me and will more gently ease herself back into the workforce tomorrow, with half a day of school in the afternoon. I must say that I was ready to return to work, which is a bit unusual for me. Never the less, I’m sure that it is a feeling that will soon pass. Although it is also a feeling that concerns me what with my plans to retire in the not too distant future. I’ll have to give more thought to what activities I will busy myself with once I stop working full-time. I don’t want to end up playing solitaire all day, or in my case Civilization V, like I did this last weekend. In my defense though the weather was atrocious and there really wasn’t anything better to be doing.
Today, I transitioned from home where computers are basically just gaming consoles, back to work, where in the words of Joseph Campbell, “Computers are like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy.” Of the many large computer runs that I had launched before the Christmas break, enough of them finished successfully, to be able to call my 17 days off most productive. A couple of the jobs died piteously, part of that no mercy aspect of computers. One of them was my mistake, but the other one was one of those unexplained phenomena that plagues my line of work. I just picked them both up again, dusted them off and resubmitted them, with hopes for more success this time.
Speaking of men and work, the Upshot column of the New York Times has this interesting interactive map on Where Men Aren’t Working. This map was compiled from census data and is only the second such interactive map that I am aware of that Upshot has published. This map shows the percentage of men, ages 25 to 54 who are not working. Considering that the national average is 20%, which I found shocking, then consequently, the demographics around Saint Louis might not be all that surprising. What I was surprised by were the numbers for Chippewa County, MI. Anne’s family has a summer cabin there, so we vacation there regularly. If you mouse over an area that region’s numbers will appear. This map zooms all the way down to the census blocks.
While this is not work related, the first Upshot interactive map that I found was a Map of Baseball Nation that was culled from Facebook posts and proves once and for all that there are way too many Red Sox fans. This map zooms in down to the zip codes. Moussing over the regions on this map gives you a breakdown of the demographic leaders. I bet that there are more such maps just waiting to be discovered and/or produced. I’ve programmed both of these links as pop-ups, so please allow them to do that, if you want to view the maps.