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Stir crazy … not to be confused with stir fry

It’s a pretty lonely place at the Herald these days.

Like so many other businesses, we are trying to work as much from home as possible, risking a certain stir-crazinesses in the process.

For the most part, the office is occupied only by myself and Heather Ryks with the occasional visits from our publisher Crystal Miller along with Michael Stoll and Rocky Hulne.

It’s a weird concept to get used to, and I’m finding some form of understanding with Buster when he enters a room at home and he’s the only one. He looks around a bit, his tail drops some and he cries mournfully.

I too, will walk into the Herald some days, look around and cry mournfully, and if I had a tail, I would imagine it would drop.

Listen, I know this isn’t my best column so we’re just going to have to deal with it.

I will be the first to tell you that I’ve always been just fine by myself. I grew up an only child and while I had plenty of friends, there were often times I had to entertain myself.

This was always fairly easy thanks in large part to a VERY healthy imagination. Ask my parents sometime, I’m sure they would agree. In fact, when Heather had to call my dad to help with his online subscription, I’m sure had she a little more time she would have gleefully gotten something out of him.

I’m not exactly going to rule out she just doesn’t call them randomly sometime and they will oblige.

So yeah, I’m easily entertained and my sanity doesn’t require other people around. I like people generally, especially reader No. 22. He gets me.

I’m suddenly not sure where this is going, but trust me, I can get by alone with ease. However, being cooped up in a building for a majority of the day, staring at a computer screen and seeing the outside world only when I go home for lunch or supper, puts a strain on a man.

I thought about this not long ago when Heather and I took two chairs onto the roof and took a break in the first sun we had seen in a while.

Aside from giving staff at the Jail and Justice Center something to talk about — like, “why are their two crazy people chillin’ on the roof?” — it was a chance to get away from work and give the ole peepers something to look at that wasn’t a computer screen.

Also, it was a 30 minute break from asking, “Now what?”

Even still, I find myself jumping at the opportunity to go outside and socially distance with someone for a story. It affords me time outside, gets me talking to people, and it’s not a computer screen. Besides, I’m really good at socially distancing myself from things. I entered the pro ranks of social distancing at high school dances back in the long ago day.

I know, I know … I’m so debonair you say. So worldly. Hard to believe.

Of course, social distancing with a camera sometimes looks suspiciously like stalking and we want to avoid that all together.

So with all of this nonsense of fixing online subscriptions, breaking on the roof of the Herald and entertaining oneself out of the way, I would like to sincerely thank all of those readers who are still dropping story ideas at our doorstep.

It’s not an easy time for anybody and while we understand that we have to cover the story of the day in COVID-19 (a new swear word that’s worse than any of the four-letter variety at this point), it’s nice when we get to tell stories of people having fun and making the best of it.

So, if you have any of those stories, send it to us. You can either email them to photodesk@austindailyherald.com or newsroom@austindailyherald.com or just bring it up to me as I dance awkwardly by myself in the corner.