I have not been motivated to post much here recently, because quite frankly, life has been kind of repetitive over the past few months. I wake up, eat breakfast, bike/walk/hike/run/climb/etc., work, sleep, repeat. Not much to write about, but there are signs that normalcy is slowly starting to return. In a few weeks, our entire family will be fully vaccinated against COVID. Work has told us that we can return “en masse” starting July 6. The weather is warming up, and we’ll soon be swimming, and sometime in the next week or two, I hope to take the kayak out for the first time in 2021.
The return to the office is going to be the biggest shake-up in my daily routine since we all became instant telecommuters in spring 2020. There are things I like about working from home, but I really need to get back to the office just for a change of scenery. I also have missed commuting by bike. I can’t say exactly how my weekly routine will eventually shake out, but I think I’m going to start by going to the office 2 days a week and working from home the other 3. One of the challenges is going to be getting a proper ergonomic workspace set up in both places. I’m going to take my VariDesk sit/stand desk back to the office, which means I’ll need to get a standing desk for home to use with my treadmill. I’ll probably also need a new iMac. Lots of stuff to think about, but I’ve still got several weeks.
The other big news is the emergence of the 2021 Brood X cicadas. It seemed like they got a slow start this year because the first half of May was so cool, but I don’t have an exact recollection of when they started emerging in 2004 (let alone 1987). However, they’re out now, and making their presence known. A lot of “early bird” Brood X stragglers emerged in 2017, and a geocaching.com log I wrote on 5/25/2017 mentions that they were quite loud in Columbia on that date. So, maybe they’re more-or-less on target after all. I have a lot of memories of periodical cicadas from 1987 and 2004. The cool thing about them is that they provide reference points for different stages of life. In 1970, I was an infant; in 1987, a teen; in 2004, a young parent; and this year, a middle-aged father of two teens, one about to start college. Next time around, in 2038, I’ll be retired, and my kids will be in their 30s.
I’ve read up a lot on perodical cicadas over the years, and know a lot more about them than I did last time they showed up. I’m trying to learn the differences between each of the 3 species. I have noticed that the so-called “pharaoh cicada” (Magicicada septendecim) begins singing earlier in the day than the other two species. My son likened the sound of these cicadas to the sound the rails make at a train station when a train is approaching. The other two species (M. cassinii and M. septendecula) sound somewhat similar to each other, and kind of like a cross between a weed-whacker and a garden-variety summer annual cicada. These two species seem to begin singing a bit later in the morning than M. septendecim — after the sun is up and the day is warming up. It is hard to believe that we only have about 6 weeks with these guys before they die off and the 2038 brood hatches and burrows underground. I will miss them when they’re gone, but look forward to seeing them again later in life.