Tag Archives: working

Our month on Cape Cod—day 20

~Thursday~ It was with great pleasure that I hung out both my figurative and literal, respectively, out-of-the-office message at the end of my work day.

Gone fishing sign Gmail O-O-O autoresponse

Bob walked for about an hour-and-a-half today. He visited the miniature golf course as part of the Red Barn collection of shops. Not exactly sure if that rabbit is getting ready to take a dump or get hit with an errant golf ball in a place that’ll really hurt.

Putt-Putt donkey
Putt-Putt goat Putt-Putt rabbit
Putt-Putt pig

And saw potential retirement editing work for me should we decide to retire in this quiet little town.

Dinning Missing 'on'

Speaking of signs, look at the Roger-superscripted-s Barber Shop. I sort of like it. It’s like a portmanteau of an apostrophe and the possessive “s.”

Barber shop Barber shop name
Pets welcome, people tolerated, mannequins abandoned
People & pets sign Mannequin in door window

The art of art. Buoys-as-art seems popular here. That dentist office sign has a lot going on. Is it a dentist office? Is it an art studio? Is it a dentist with her art displayed in the waiting room? Is it the “fine art of cosmetic dentistry?” It seems to be the latter if her website provides any clarity. And with all that said, she’s very accomplished.

Humanity sign Buoy art Fine art of dentistry

One of my favorite people from high school arrived late this afternoon, and we had a wonderful evening eating, catching up, and playing games. Bob made dinner and Kathy provided the homemade Boston Cream Pie for dessert. Bourbon and wine may have been consumed throughout the evening.

Catch Phrase
Dinner Boston Cream Pie

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Our month on Cape Cod—day 19

~Wednesday~ Bob made a grocery shopping run to the Stop & Shop this morning.


We took separate walks again today, with Bob doing his during the work day, and me doing mine after work, which felt a little bit rushed because sunset was at 4:28 today. Thanks, Daylight Saving Time.

Bob walked 3.84 miles to and back from the Cape Cod Bay coast, where he passed this (closed) thrift store and peered into its windows:

Thrift Store Thrift store window 1
Thrift store window 2 Thrift store window close-up

and spent a little time on the shore, where he saw various and sundry things.

A rocky shoreline
Sunset on the bay
A horseshoe crab
And its innards
Horseshoe crab under
Some seaweed
Some seaweed
A crab
A crab

My walk was 1.34 miles, and I captured the signs of several of the little “shopping centers” that are within walking distance of our place.

Seatoller Eastham Common Main Street Mercantile Village Green

I also came upon this strange looking building, which really stood out due to its color. Almost all of the other houses here are that classic Cape Cod gray color that the top part of this one is.

The place was all closed up, with a cinderblock standing in front of the side door. And through the window, you could see stairs, which seemed to be right in front of the window, leading to a second floor.

And two final things—one from my walk and one from Bob’s.

A roadside ghost bike
A sign of kindness

Tomorrow is my last day of work here, and I plan to start early and finish early, as my high school friend is arriving in the late afternoon.


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Our month on Cape Cod—day 18

~Tuesday~ I had no work meetings today, but I did have a 5- to 10-minute impromptu video chat initiated by a colleague who’s good about keeping in touch.


We both took walks today, Bob’s earlier in the day and much longer than mine. I did mine after work, and, no, I didn’t purposely walk a route that would look like an erect penis in the MapMyWalk app. It just happened—like good, morning wood.

Bob’s walk: 2.9 miles
John’s walk: .65 miles

Before I set out on my walk, I checked out the laundry and book exchange building, which Bob has been in several times now, but I hadn’t yet seen.

In checking out the book collection, I saw the book Bob just finished reading (highlighted in red) beside the book he contributed (highlighted in green) to the collection.


This was my first walk just to get some exercise (which I had planned to do every day while we were here since we don’t have access to an elliptical machine, but I haven’t done it), and I went into the US Post Office, which Bob also has been to several times, just to check it out. It’s much bigger than I had imagined.

I also noticed that this building that I thought was a house is actually a bank. Other than the mention of an ATM (and, admittedly, the “Member FDIC” notation, if you know what that is), it’s not at all obvious it’s a bank. Maybe if instead of the “5,” it said “nickel,” or the “5” was paired with “& Dime,” it’d’ve been obvious.


Bob made a “Fall River staple” from my childhood for us for dinner tonight. It was “beef chow mein,” as we added ground beef to it along with the sliced celery and chopped onions. Yummy!


It’s time to brace ourselves for the evening (and probably days to come) with some bourbon and champagne on hand (for various outcomes) as Election Day 2020 unfolds.


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Our month on Cape Cod—day 17

~Monday~ Today is the first day of my (short) last week working while we’re here. I’m taking off Friday, all next week while my sister and her husband are here, and the following Monday, which is the day we drive back.

Today I thought about the clocks that we’ll have to adjust the time on when we get home.

There are 12 of them, and these are in addition to the 6 that we have that adjust themselves. Why in the world would 2 people have 18 clocks you wonder, and where in the heck are they all? Good question about why so many, and here’s the inventory:

To be manually adjusted Self-adjusting
  1. Primary bedroom nightstand (digital)
  2. Primary bathroom (digital)
  3. Music/TV room (digital)
  4. Music/TV room (analog)
  5. Living room (analog)
  6. Kitchen radio (digital)
  7. Microwave (digital)
  8. Stove (digital)
  9. Office desk (digital)
  10. Guest bathroom (analog)
  11. Back porch (analog)
  12. Ford Fusion (digital)
  1. John’s Lenovo PC
  2. Bob’s Dell PC
  3. John’s iPhone
  4. Bob’s iPhone
  5. John’s ThinkPad work laptop
  6. Shed radio

Bob did some laundry today, and he took advantage of the little book exchange there to borrow The President’s Lady.


I started on my 62nd book to add to my collection of 2020 books read to date.


Like a lot of people in our country tonight, we’re anxious about what tomorrow will bring, but at least we’ll always remember where we were for Election Day 2020.


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Our month on Cape Cod—day 13

~Thursday~ It was my “virtual Friday” and the highlight of my work day was listening to the finalists of the We Are Red Hat Week Open Mic event. Such incredible talent across this great company of ours:

A baton twirler—complete with 2 fire-burning batons—skillfully avoided catching any of her hair, body parts, or clothing on fire; a ballcap-wearing, fisherman-looking guy singing a song from a Broadway musical; and a whirling-Dervish-like dancer to Bollywood music were among my favorites.


The chair I’m using as a desk chair is, well, let’s just say it’s not very comfortable. In addition to the back support cushion, I’m up to 2 pillows on the seat to make it comfortable enough to spend 8 hours on.

I did a Google search on “office furniture rental desk chairs” and actually found a place that rents a pretty decent chair for $37 for a month. But then, I calculated that I really only have 4 more work days here (Mon – Thu of next week), and I might take Thursday off. The following week (11/7 – 11/11), and the Monday (11/16) after, I’m on vacation, so I’m just going to make it work for another 3 or 4 days.


Bob made a walking trip to the post office to mail some postcards, where he came across this “Stamposaurus” project —”a collection box for cancelled stamps was set up for school children for art projects and for stamp collecting for all ages”—that’s been going on for 30 years. You can learn more by clicking on the “How the journey began…” photo.

He also took note of the Eastham Public Libraries Activities board, and stopped by the General Store where they’re really getting to know him.


There is a 100% chance of rain, pretty much all day tomorrow, so we looked for something we can do indoors. We’ve settled on, temporarily at least, visiting The Sandwich Glass Museum in, well, Sandwich, MA, some time tomorrow.

I’ve made a note of a few restaurants near the museum in which we can stop for a sandwich in Sandwich. Two leading contenders are: Bob O’Malley’s Whaleback Restaurant and Bobby Byrnes. (Hmmm, I see a theme here with these restaurant names. Do you, Bob?)


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Our month on Cape Cod—day 12

~Wednesday~ We’re getting excited about my sister and her husband coming up in a week-and-a-half, and she and I had a discussion last night about a couple of things.

She’s going to bring some food when they drive up, and she asked if I was still dieting. To which I responded with: “This is our ‘snack corner’ of the counter. Does this look like I’m still dieting?” ☺

The reality is that I am eating this junk, but I’m also practicing portion control when doing so. There was a time when I would eat a whole bag or container without giving it a second (or first) thought.

Another thing we talked about is that there are essentially 2 primary bedrooms on the first floor—with a trade-off situation. One has a TV in it, but its bathroom is smaller, with only 1 sink. The other one doesn’t have a TV in it, but its bathroom is bigger, with 2 sinks.

We asked them if they have a preference, because we don’t care. We’ve been in the one with the TV, but we haven’t watched it at all, and won’t. (We don’t have a TV in our bedroom at home.)

They chose the one with the TV in it, so Bob spent some time today moving us from one room to the other. These are the “after” pictures:

Bedroom with the TV, but a smaller bathroom
(it’s ready for Vivian & Jeff)
Bedroom with no TV, but a bigger bathroom
(we’ve moved into it)

We check our home cam each day just to make sure we’re not missing anything. We told our neighbor to feel free to park in our driveway so that it looks like someone’s coming and going there during our month away. It always makes us smile when we see their car there.

Bob always checks to see if he’d be mowing the lawn or how many leaves he’d be raking if we were there.

I always check to see if our across-the-street neighbor is still parked on their lawn at their front door.

I had a late/early meeting with a colleague of mine who works in Australia—7 -8 a.m. (tomorrow) her time, 5 – 6 p.m. (today) my time, so there was a slight delay to the start of our happy hour today.

Tomorrow’s my “virtual Friday” leading into my long weekend.


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Our month on Cape Cod—day 11

~Tuesday~ Each year in the last week of October, we celebrate “We Are Red Hat Week” at work, which consists of a lot of activities you can opt into. Today, I participated in:

We were matched up with 5 other Red Hatters we didn’t know, from around the company, and after introducing ourselves to each other (i.e., name, team, and time with Red Hat), we answered 7 ice breaker questions. Here they are with my answers:

1. What’s your favorite part of your job?

Editing the Command Line Heroes transcripts; editing webinar titles, abstracts, and speaker bios; and editing the Red Hat Summit session titles and abstracts.

2. What’s something you love about your work at Red Hat?

Getting Red Hat Rewards and my fun, creative, and smart team.

3. What’s the most special item on your desk or in your travel bag? If you have the item, show it on the video, if desired. Briefly share why it is special, or why you like to keep it with you at your desk or when you travel.

I have a 2-picture frame of my sister receiving her doctorate’s degree and the acknowledgments page of her dissertation, which includes a thanks to me for inspiring her research.

4. What is one of your workday morning rituals? Whether it’s working out, meditating, spending time with your children or pets, do you have something you regularly like to do before you start your work day?

I’m not a morning person, so all I do before starting my workday is shower and have breakfast. I do have an after-work ritual of doing the USA Today Crossword Puzzle online with my husband. (It’s an everyday ritual; we do it on the weekends, too.)

5. What has been one of your biggest challenges during the pandemic? Little or big, what’s something you’ve been challenged by during these strange times?

Not being able to meet my friends out at a local bar on Friday nights, which we did very routinely.

6. What’s something you would never want to change at Red Hat? As we grow, change is inevitable. But, what’s something about our culture, our norms, etc. that you feel is so special that you would never want to see changed? Why?

When we’re working in the Red Hat Tower building, free bagel Wednesdays in the cafeteria. Why? Because I love both bagels and free.

7. How do you describe life at Red Hat to your family and friends? Working for the world’s largest open source software company can be unique. When people ask what it’s like to work at Red Hat, what are some of the things you describe?

I usually talk about the flexible work hours, feeling like I’m seen and heard there, how great my team is, and how much I enjoy doing work that I love.

I really enjoyed meeting the people in our group and hearing all of their answers to these questions.


Bob went on a couple of walks today, the first included a stop by the nearby post office to mail some postcards and a greeting card. There are still plenty of flowers in bloom here.

On his second outing, he saw these 2 vehicles that surprised us because we’ve passed a roadside sign, several times now, that says “John Martin” on it, and we’d both assumed—for some odd reason—that the person was a realtor. But as it turns out, he owns a local excavating company.

One rather bizarre sign Bob came across was this:

Although we’ve never heard of them, meat raffles are definitely a thing. We might just participate in this one on Saturday if when we get there, it looks like it’s being managed safely with regards to the pandemic.

Snarky aside: Not exactly sure what that orange with the bone shoved up its hind end is doing in the picture, but whatever. 😉

Have you ever attended, or even heard of, a meat raffle? If so, do tell.


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Our month on Cape Cod—day 10

~Monday~ Our Red Hat marketing organization had a “virtual offsite” today, even though we’re all offsite all the time now. When we’re in the office, this is a meeting that we have away from the office in a local establishment, which includes a catered breakfast, lunch, and an open bar “happy (2-3) hour(s)” at the end of the day.

Obviously, we can’t replicate all that virtually, and even though there’s, proverbially, “no free lunch,” we were authorized to expense our lunch today in the spirit of the meeting. Bob and I ordered takeout from a local restaurant that we’ve had our eye on since arriving.

John’s order
California Chicken Sandwich: sprouts, avocado, queso fresco, 1000 island on wheat
Bob’s order
Cape Cod Reuben: fried cod filet, coleslaw, swiss, 1000 island on marble rye

Bob had a busy day today—doing our grocery shopping for this week and doing our first load of laundry here in the quaint little laundry (and small library!) area that’s part of the deal here. He also cleared away our bar that we’d set up on the countertop over the dishwasher, because the owner had a new dishwasher installed today. (See what it looked like prior to being cleared.)


To top off Bob’s busy day, he cooked homemade hamburgers for dinner on one of the two Weber charcoal grills that are here for our use.

That’s it for today.


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Our month on Cape Cod—day 6

~Thursday~ I’m pretty lucky in that I usually have just 1-2 work meetings a day, and often I don’t have any at all on 1 or 2 days of the week. That was not the case today. I had meetings from 10:00 to 4:00, with 2 of them overlapping, which I had to choose between. Our team meeting won out, because it’s usually fun, and I love our team.


Bob took another walk today, this time to the east coast of the Cape where he encountered the Nauset Lighthouse of the Cape Cod chip bag fame.

Also in that area were The Three Sisters lighthouses, which earned their nickname because when looked at from afar, they looked like black-hatted women dressed in white. (Full disclosure: The hyphen is my own. I don’t think they meant “Black, hatted women,” and if they did, they should have capitalized the word black and added that comma. But I digress.)

And, of course, he found the Atlantic Ocean coastline.


I received an interesting message and photo from my first cousin about our paternal grandparents’ grave that I talked about yesterday: “Just thought I’d show you that our paternal grandparents’ grave is not buried. It’s one of the graves I monitor, and I just called the office to have the stone raised.”

Manuel Martin: 1893 – 1966; Mary Martin: 1903 – 1991

One interesting thing about this picture is seeing that “M.” in my grandfather’s name. It’s my understanding that he didn’t have a middle name, since my dad was named Manuel Martin, Jr.—and he was proud of that junior and always included it when he said/wrote his name. If my grandfather did have a middle name, and my dad didn’t, dad would not be a junior. I’ll have to follow up with my aunt (dad’s sister) about that.


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Our month on Cape Cod—day 5

~Wednesday~ Another uneventful workday, which is exactly what we like.

Bob took a drive to Orleans for a Stop & Shop grocery store run and a TJ Maxx stop (considering a door mat, some potholders or oven mitts, and a couple of wash cloths).

After lunch, he took a walk to the nearby Cape Cod Rail Trail, one of the national rails-to-trails conversion projects.


At the grocery store on Sunday, we saw this lobster already removed from the shells for just under $19 for the package. And in our typical fashion, we hemmed and hawed about spending that much money on something, but ended up buying it. It was totally worth it!

Happy hour: Eggnog-amaretto-bourbon cocktails, lobstah, and drawn buttah


We’ve begun to think about things to do this long weekend. All of my weekends while here are going to be “long” weekends, because I’m taking all Fridays off.

A couple of things we’re considering so far, one of which was suggested by a Facebook friend who knows we’re here, include:

  • The Edward Gorey House in Yarmouth: In what will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me well, I’m interested in the current exhibit there called “He wrote it all down Zealously: Edward Gorey’s Interesting Lists.” one should resist the urge to write it downI love lists, tracking, spreadsheets, and charts, and if you need any more proof of that, visit my My quantified self page. It’s a list of lists, essentially!

  • The Portuguese Bakery in Provincetown: I want some malassadas (“Portuguese doughnuts”), which always remind me of my Portuguese paternal grandmother who used to make them for us as children. (She’d roll over in her grave if she could see what they’re getting for these at $3.15 a piece!)

  • The city of Chatham: At least 3 of my Facebook friends have spent time in this city, and we want to check it out.

  • Notre Dame Cemetery in the city of Fall River: I grew up in Fall River, and although we plan to spend a full day there when my sister and her husband are visiting later on in our stay here, Bob and I are thinking about going there on Sunday to most likely visit the cemetery where both sets of my grandparents are buried.

    I visited there last year about this time, and this time I will bring a trowel with us to “dig out” my paternal grandparents’ in-ground headstone if it’s still in the same shape as it was then and shown here.

    Yes, my paternal grandparents’ headstone is under there
    (This is the grave in which my grandmother would be rolling over about the malassadas.)
    My maternal grandparents’ grave

Getting excited about the weekend just creating this entry! Tomorrow’s my “virtual Friday.”


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