Dramatic cat scene ahead

So there I was Tuesday night, washing dishes later than I should have been. Everyone had retired for the evening, but one of the cats came back to see what all this noise in the kitchen was about. As I was scrubbing I didn’t really pay attention to his approach, but he’s got two or three options available to him. However he chose to get there, I looked up, and there was the cat directly above the sink.

Sometimes a light will flash on the ceiling, and that will amuse and astound him, being a cat. Last night, however, I decided to hold the sponge up close to him and squeeze out the water into the sink, so he could see it from above. He’s one of those cats that likes water, so this was a captivating experience. We did this a few times, which lead to a series of photographs.

Why that didn’t wind up in yesterday’s post you’ll just have to solve for yourself.

Tonight we had a dinner and a movie date with colleagues. It was via Zoom. (Zoom has really helped our social lives!) One of them works in our school and the other is in Global and International Studies. We were going to watch a comedy, and instead we just wound up talking for hours and hours.

I was talking when it became obvious that the call was over.

Isn’t that always the way?

People who are still staying indoors — people who have both the ability and desire to do so, that is — are eager for contact. Some of them are talking to me after all. But no one has figured out how to wind down a video call yet. But when those nonverbals kick in … that’s when you can tell.

I wonder if anyone has decided the optimal number for such an interaction. We’ve basically been developing a wholesale interpersonal culture from scratch. Sure, the technology for this has been around, and yes, some people have used it professionally and even some personally, but the wholesale adoption is a different thing. Even if we’re diffusion of innovation laggards — and I’d say we are early or late majority at most — we’ve got to figure this out. Is this a meeting where one person talks to others? Will there be slides and someone droning on and on? Should I mute? Are we using the text chat or not? Do you have to stay backlit the entire time? Are we just being friendly? And isn’t that better than a work video meeting? Are we more, or less, courteous in crosstalk? And why do I keep pointing at things on my screen like I think you can see them?

I haven’t seen any Facebook Portal ads in a while, come to think of it, which is perfectly fine. You’d think they’d be everywhere, having come to market at just the right time. Maybe they are fighting it out over how Facebooky they have to be right now, who knows.

If they promised me only the Muppets could call me, and that the Muppets would answer when I called them, I’d buy one.

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