I’m starting my second day of working from home, looking out onto a white wonderland from my desk. It snowed and then rained all day yesterday, changing back over to snow when the sun went down, so there’s a layer of snow, then ice, and snow on top of that. The sun is out today, though, which means it should be heavy but easier to move (in theory). We didn’t lose power, so I’ll have to find some way of storing three loads of firewood I brought in Wednesday night.
This morning we woke to a coat of ice over everything in sight. School was canceled, but I had a ton of things to do and meetings at work, so we bundled up, braved the slick steps, and made it down to an empty train station. While we were gone one of the trees in the backyard snapped a branch and took out a power line, so we’re dark but not cold. No word on when we’ll get power back yet. Jen took a bunch of pictures of our overgrown treeline in the hopes that BGE will finally come out and chop it back, but I’m not holding my breath.
I did some minor fooling around with the Scout today while the weather was warm. One of the easiest things to accomplish was swapping out the windshield wipers. I used ANCO 5913′s, which come with a bolt and nut ready for mounting (Thanks, Mike Moore!). All I had to do was pull the old blades and grind the rivet off with a multifunction saw, and bolt the new blades on. Make sure your kits have the nut included; one of mine didn’t. I had to use a 1/2″ 14/40 bolt and a locknut from my bench stock to hook up the second blade.
Then I pulled the dash bezel off to try and get the radio working again (turned out it was the ground wire, which we had disconnected when we were diagnosing the fuel sender issue back in the fall). Wile I was in there I pulled both purple-painted light bars out and replaced them with clean spares.Then I tried getting the speedo out to replace some bulbs, but couldn’t get it to come through the dash cutout, so I gave it up and put everything back.
Things have been very quiet as of late. Despite the access to multiple high-dollar, fancy cameras, I haven’t shot a picture with one in several weeks. I get up, spend a little time with the girls, go to work, come home, spend a little more time with the girls, and as soon as Finn goes to bed I just want to curl up and sleep. The sub-freezing temperatures we’ve been experiencing through January haven’t helped at all, because the house is so damn cold. I don’t want to attempt any projects in the basement or garage, and the first floor is just breezy enough to warrant a warm blanket.
Looking back through the archives here, I notice that this is a pretty average pattern for us; low temperatures and/or January seasonal blues tend to slow things down around here. I like to think I’d be more motivated in a warmer house, but I think the lack of light and gray malaise of late January has a seasonal, smothering effect on creativity for me.
However, I have started forcing myself to lay down at 11pm instead of staying up later, the positive net effect of which I can feel already. It used to be that I would stay up to “get things done” but in actuality I was just continuing a sleep habit carried over from college which wasn’t doing me any good. I’m feeling rested and fresher this week, and I like it.
Last night I did get some things accomplished: I cloned a brand new 1TB drive for my laptop to swap with the tiny stock drive, making photo storage a possibility again. I’ll be cloning another drive for a friend, who’s been having space issues of her own, and swapping out both drives at the same time, if all goes well. I’ll use some of that consulting money for a TV of some kind for our bedroom, which will be a nice treat. And speaking of TVs, I called Verizon to inform them they’ve been charging us for a set-top box we don’t possess for the past year and a half; apparently when the service guy came to replace it way back when, he never took it off our bill. So next month’s cable bill will be about 1/8th of its normal size. Huzzah!
I had the unfortunate experience of dropping my phone in the parking lot of the train station this morning, and not realizing it until I was pulling in to Union Station. I hurried to my desk at work and fired up my iPad, where I found I had to download an app and log in to see all my iOS devices. My phone wasn’t responding so I set up a lost message on the display and called Jen to look in the car. As she was on the phone with me a nice man called her to say he’d found it, and we made a plan to pick it up this evening at the same station.
I hate losing things about as much as I hate being late. Having the ability to log in and see immediately where my devices are is a huge relief (I’ve used it one other time when my phone fell out of my pocket in a movie theater) and also a little creepy. Recent news has been abuzz with the revelation that the NSA has been tracking users through their Facebook app usage; I have no idea what kind of a footprint I’ve been leaving, but I’m sure they know my routine by now.
It’s about 10° outside today, which means we’re all in our PJs at 4PM. I have had no motivation to do anything today other than straighten up the house, swap my AppleTV out with a new Roku, and help Finn put her final Christmas LEGO set together. She’s now got about eight vehicles, two horses, and a bakery, as well as five of the LEGO Friends characters, and she’s quickly become a pro at assembling the kits.
Down in the basement, I have a new IPA kit fermenting happily; it’s called Sinistral Warrior and it contains the most hops I’ve ever added to a batch of beer (6oz.). It smells delicious down there, which means it’ll be a long six weeks until it’s ready. The pumpkin I brewed a month ago is doing well but needs a kick in the butt for flavoring; I’m thinking Mr. Scout’s method of rum-soaked vanilla beans along with some pumpkin pie spice will help liven it up (it’s heavy on pumpkin but low on flavor). I also know what the next batch will be– a session beer, something lighter and flavorful with a lower ABV. I happened to run into the father of one of Finn’s friends on the train before Christmas, and he expressed an interest in learning how to brew, so I set him up with a beginners’ kit for his Christmas list, and we have tentative plans to get together in the next week or so to get him started.
Elsewhere, there was a shooting at the Columbia Mall this morning, and three people are reported dead. I’m glad we habitually don’t get moving until the afternoon, and that we had nothing to go out for today.