Saturday, February 29, 2020

Leap Day This-And-Thats

Happy Leap Day, if you celebrate such things.  Today, while sunny, has only just reached the freezing point.  There has been some snow and some melting since I last posted two weeks ago.  You can just see the upper row of blocks of the firepit in the back yard now.  Spring should be so close, yet is still so far away.  I won't go into it again because I did that in my last post.  Since then, I've felt I should write something yet there really hasn't seemed to be much to share, so you know what that means - time to start typing and see what comes out!

  • We ordered new phones from Amazon the other night.  I don't want to say much yet because it's a new brand to us, and my wife will get hers in about a week while I have to wait about a month.  If we don't like it then things might change.  What was shocking, was the same phone was $170 cheaper in a less attractive color.  My wife got the cheaper color, and I feel like I should have, too, but I spent the money for the vanity black one.  This will only be my third cell phone ever, and I had to spend the last several years with a white phone, so I spent the money for black even though I will have it in a case.  There may be more to come on this, or else no news is probably good news.
  • Last Saturday afternoon I was sorely tempted to trudge a path to the firepit, empty the snow, melt what was left inside with the garden torch, trudge a short path to the wood rack and then start a fire.  The temperature was about 40ºF, the wood was dry and I just miss being outside.  But I didn't, and I can blame laziness and sanity equally.
  • I'm almost afraid to mention it, but we've only had mandatory overtime once (a week ago) in the last several weeks now.  If you've been reading for a while, I'd been on mandatory overtime (as much as union rules allow my employer to mandate) for over a year and a half.  It is such a relief to only work 40 hours, only 8 hours a day.  I want a regular schedule again.  I want to sleep later again.  I want to not be tired all the time or just not have time again.  You know, I just want normal life back, but I'm still not at ease yet.
  • I'm very aware that I've not had a Latest Listening Pleasure post since Alice Cooper last summer.  I've not attended any shows nor have I heard anything that really, really grabbed me in quite a while.  Oh, there's been good albums and good videos that I've heard and seen and enjoyed since then, just nothing that I really dug enough to overflow my musical joy and spill over to share here.  I came close once, but while I enjoyed them there were things that annoyed me as well.  Highlight right of the arrow, if you want to know the band's name. >  New Years Day
  • There are two 1' by 2' boxes full of albums in my closet.  I do have a record player in the closet, too, but no place to set it up even if I thought I would actually play the records.  These are mostly the albums I grew up with, either bought new, traded with friends, or sought out and collected.  Most are from the 1980's, and I've not even seen them in years now.  I should sell them, but first I need to go through them.  I may not be able to part with them all, but I really should part with what I can.  It's just one of those things I know I should do but keep putting off.
That's enough brain spillage for one sitting.  I've not really taken a lot of nice pictures lately, but I took a look and here's some views from here at the desk from past pictures.  To everyone out there, it's just that time of year - I've not been very outgoing, social, or even healthy and happy yet, but Spring is coming, and it won't be a moment too soon!

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Firepit Deep

The snow is about firepit deep in the back yard.  It was a bit deeper, but for the normal settling and melting, and the dark metal firepit insert melted the snow above it just to show me where I could be having a fire, except for obvious reasons.

All in all, I can't really complain about our winter so far this year compared to how I know it can be.  Still, I'm starting to get a bit of cabin fever, even while the more sunlight/longer days makes me feel better.  I've talked about how the cold this winter really hasn't affected me much, as in not having to wear bulky winter gear while still being comfortable, or ever being outside long enough to get that cold, but I just don't get to be outside then.  And that gets old.

I'm tired of wearing socks and long pants.  Long sleeves and layers.  And laundry - there's so much more to do in winter.  I look forward to the times of shorts and flip-flops, grilling out and firepits, bike rides and open windows, summer and warmth!

For perspective, here's a similar picture from last May 31.  The maple tree seeds littered the lawn then, and the hostas weren't quite yet fully grown.

I know spring is near, but we've plenty of winter left for anything to happen.  It's still been a winter, and I'm starting to get pretty tired of it.  But that's normal, and that's okay.  I think it may actually make spring that much sweeter.  And may explain why we Wisconsinites wear sweatshirts and long pants at 50ºF in the fall and shorts and t-shirts at the same temp in the spring!

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Alternate Side Snarking

This just happened.

We have alternate side parking in the winter.  This means that on odd number days you park on the odd side between 1 and 7 a.m., and vice versa on even number days.  This is designed for snow removal.

This afternoon, knowing the parking rules, my wife parked across the street in front of a neighbor's house - as everyone does, all the time.  This is not unusual, people.  Now, normally my wife doesn't happen to park in that particular spot but circumstances today made it so.  And a very nice parking job it is.

A few minutes ago, while my wife was out back for a smoke, the doorbell rang.  I answered, and it was the owner of the house in which my wife parked in front.

A little back story.  We seemed to like her when we met her, when she moved in not too long after we did.  Then we noticed, um, things.  Lets just say I call her "princess" when we talk about her.  She seems very entitled and we have many examples.  For one, she once asked me to get a motion light for my front door light because our light, and I quote from her text, "shines right in my window in my eyes."  Really?  There's more, but onward.

"Hi, I hope I didn't wake you up!"

Eh, I'm pretty beat so that's not a knock.

"I was hoping I could get my spot back?  I know it's not 'my' spot, but you leave so early in the morning that it wakes me up!  My bedroom's right there!"

Pointing to the areas in question as she goes.  And my wife leaves at a reasonable hour.

"I'm sorry to ask.  I'm asking nicely!"

Now this whole time as she's talking my only response is to say her name, 3 times total, while glancing down and shaking my head.  You know the tone I had, the 'I-can't-believe-what-I'm-hearing' tone.  I had to put a rather quick end to this nonsense.

Without using her name here, I said "Neighbor, it's time to start Adult-ing."  With that, I shut the glass door as she said something about that not being very nice.  And then I shut the front door.

What would you have done?

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Sick Musings and Funny Videos

It's been over a week since I posted that I had the flu and I'm still sick.  No longer the flu, but the upper respiratory stuff, while much better, continues.  I still have a bit of a rattle in my lungs when I cough and still going through tissues like they're going out of style.  Other that, I've just been trying to stay rested and hydrated.  I really hope this goes away soon.

I've been around the internet while sick but haven't chimed in or commented anywhere.  Ghosting, you could say, as I've been feeling miserable and my attitude has often matched.  Best not say much until I feel better, I think.  With that thought, this will be a short post.  In fact, I'm not sure what else to say right now.  Let me take a quick look to see if I have anything to share.

All I can find or think of at the moment are two YouTube channels I recently found and have been enjoying lots.  They've both been around for a while now, but they're new to me.

First, the Manitowoc Minute.  A comedian from Wisconsin makes fun videos about, well, Wisconsin things, usually.  I featured one of his videos in a post last month.  Always fun to laugh at yourself, I find.  His channel is here, his latest video is below.

Second is a channel I'm still discovering.  It's by an ex-pat Englishman living in the Midwest U.S., currently Chicago, called Lost In The Pond.  That channel is here, and his most recent video is below.  But for a real good laugh see the video I first found of him called '5 U.S. States With Way Colder Winters than Britain.'  You just know Wisconsin is on his list.  In fact, that will be the video below, from just about a week ago.

Fun stuff.  Good times.  Hope I feel better soon.