Winter

It’s the day after Labor Day so today is the official first day of winter in New England. Damn it.

I wanted to cook dinner on the grill tonight even though it’s winter and I’m quarantined and pretty much everything sucks. I suggested the usual, burgers and fries. Jen suggested an alternative turkey burgers with the hamburger buns toasted on the grill.

That wife of mine. Can she pick ’em, or can she pick ’em. That was so good. Grilled turkey burgers on toasted buns. Just… epic.

The universe has screwed us out of summer two years in a row. I think it’s time to move somewhere that has summer year round. What do you think?

At least we can still grill turkey burgers.

I’m Tired of Snow

I don’t have anything really important to add to the universal discussion today. Just working the day through. I’m on lunch right now, in the last few minutes of my break, and I just wanted to state to the public that I am sick and tired of snow.

It’s March 8th. Spring is less than two weeks away. The entire ground is still covered with snow. I’m tired of it. I want to see grass again, even if it’s dead grass. I’m done with snow. I want it gone. Screw you snow. Screw you winter. It’s our second Covid-19 March and if we have to suffer through more lock down then I want my freakin’ Springtime and I want it right freakin’ now.

Thank you. I patiently await the Universe’s response.

THE STIR CRAZY FILES – EPISODE 74

Today is the magical day.

Back story: I’ve been working from home for over 11 months now and there hasn’t been a single instant, not even a nanosecond, when I’ve missed commuting. Not one. I do not miss cramming my fat ass into a metal box for 80 minutes or so, working 8.5 hours, and then getting back into the metal box for another 80 minutes. I don’t miss it even one tiny little bit.

However… When I was commuting there was one day of each year that was sort of magical. It was sort of a light at the end of the tunnel. The tunnel of which I speak is winter. It does not involve a groundhog or anything like that, it only involves the sun.

My shift ends at 5:30 PM. That’s 1730 for you military time folks. During the winter, when I left the building to go home it was dark. During the summer it’s light. You know how the sun works and seasons and all of that, right? You know what I’m talking about.

The one special, magic day each year was the first day when the sun set at the same time my shift ended. 5:30 PM. The sun would, of course, be down by the time I actually go out the door, but that’s not the point. The point is from that day forward, the days were not only getting longer but I could actually perceive them getting longer. Does that make sense? Sunset at 4:30 or 5:00 didn’t affect me at all because I was inside the whole time and I didn’t actually get to experience the extra minute or so of light each day. Once the sun started setting after 5:30, I did get to experience the extra light.

So every year I would check the times of the sunset and quietly celebrate the symbolic moment when the sunset started happening after my work day.

Today is that day. It’s Friday February 25, 2021 and the sunset in Methuen, MA today will happen at 5:30 PM Eastern Standard Time.

Happy 5:30 day, everyone. Enjoy.

Icy

I took out the trash a few minutes ago and saw this:

Cool, I thought. I’ll take a picture. When I moved closer to get the pic I saw this:

Well now that’s too bad. Ouch.

I hate winter. I’m thankful that we have a power grid that can handle our winters and we’re not saddled with the disaster that folks in Texas are dealing with right now. Hang in there, people. Forecast for Austin calls for sunny with temps in the 40’s tomorrow. Bundle up, don’t run your gas grill in the house and don’t run your car in the garage. The end is hopefully in sight. Wishing everyone the best.

Shoveled

The driveway has been shoveled.
The walkway around the side of the house has been shoveled.
The fire hydrant has been shoveled.
The street has been shoveled.

(pause for dramatic effect)

You read that correctly. This is not a complaint, just a comment. The plows did a very good job on most of my street. Unfortunately there was a five or six foot stretch of unplowed road between the end of my driveway and the snow bank.

Some winters they do an extra good job widening the road. Some winters they don’t. This is one where they don’t. Again, not complaining. Just observing. I am very thankful for the work they do. If I need to drive somewhere today, I will be able to. That’s what matters.

I effing hate winter though. I just freakin’ loathe it.

I now have 61 minutes until I need to punch in to work. I think I’ll shower for about 57 of them. Wish me luck!

Still a New Englander

We’re getting a minor snow storm today. Forecast is 1-4 inches of heavy, wet snow and as of now the forecast looks correct.

In the year of Covid, it has been a long time since I had to prove my New England Metal by driving in a snow storm. There haven’t been many this season, but with full time telecommuting I haven’t had to drive in any of them. A small part of me has been worried that I might lose my New England membership if I didn’t get out in at least one snow storm and prove I still have what it takes to drive like a maniac* in the worst possible conditions.

Proof has been provided. I drove in the snow today. In the immortal words of Bilbo Baggins, there and back again. Like a New Englander in Wintertime Boss.

*I did not drive like a maniac. Other people did, but not me. I drove like a smart person. Just so ya know.

I’m Pretty Smart, I think

I’m pretty smart… I think.  At least I always thought I was.  My grades in school were always good.  In college I blew a curve on a test in Calculus II, and I got an A- for the semester in Calculus III.  I’m not saying I’m some kind of rocket scientist or anything.  Don’t expect me to do anything Earth shattering like building the better mouse trap, okay?  I’m not dumb though.  I have a decent brain and it usually gets the job done.

Taking that as truth… why the hell do I still live in a place where it snows?  I mean… I thought I would be smart enough to know better.  My wife, now she’s super smart.  She’s gotta be the smartest person any of us have ever met and yet she still lives here too.  My step kids?  Smarter still!  If anyone is going to build that better mouse trap it’s absolutely going to be one of them.  Yet… the four of us all still live in a place where it snows.

I just think that maybe after all this time we would have done something to fix this little snow falling problem.  Something like… move to Southern California.  You know, something like that.

Snatch Monkey

Two members of my band, me and Mike the bass player, were once in a band called Stormbringer. Fitting that we now play in a band that has a gig on a day when we are going to get a Spring Nor’easter.

April 1st… snow… figures. It’s not going to be so bad here, or in Plaistow where we’ll be playing, but we have to go see my step daughter in a chorus concert during the afternoon and that’s happening up around the foot of snow zone.

Crap.

To cheer us all up, let’s all watch this video that compiles all of the utterances of the words Harry and Potter from the eight Harry Potter movies.

Know What I Hate?

Do you know what I hate about this time of year?

Everything.  Absolutely everything.  That’s not what I am talking about though.  I mean something specific.

I’m working from home today.  I’m taking my lunch break, eating a sandwich and sipping some soda, checking my work email so that I don’t find myself 50 messages behind when I finish my lunch.  I look out the window and the sky is blue and the sun is out and the reflection of the sun off of the snow that kicked our ass two days ago blinds me.  That’s what I hate about this time of year.  Snow blindness.  Looking out the window at the sunny almost-Spring day should not hurt, but it does.  Now my eyes hurt and reading those work emails is painful.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again:  Screw you, Mother Nature.

Why did I start this blog?  Can anyone tell me?  I can’t remember exactly when it happened.  It was either Monday night just at the moment when I was dropping off to sleep, or Tuesday morning just at the moment when I was coming out of sleep.  The thought popped into my head, I should go back to wordpress.com.  By the time I was up and about on Tuesday the idea was solidly in place and would not go away.  Damn it.

I posted on myspace and then myspace went away.  I posted on blogger for years and then suddenly switched to wordpress.com for no apparent reason.  I posted there for years and then switched to medium.com, again for no apparent reason.  I think I lasted about a year or so on medium and now I’m back to wordpress.  Why?  What’s wrong with me?  Why do I have this need to start over?  Why can’t I just start an account and stick with it?  I drive myself nuts sometimes.  I feel like such a tool, bloggily speaking.

I will get this page up to speed, it just might take me a while.  Last time I did this I was full on psyched about a new blog account and I was throwing widgets and crap onto the screen like they were goin’ out of style.  I was a madman.  Now?  I’m just gonna take my time.  I’ll have a set of links that might include the old blogs, and Flickr, and Alonetone.com and all that stuff.  Maybe a list of podcasts that I have been listening to.  I’m all about podcasts right now, because how can some one who is an insufferable nerd start doing things that could make him even nerdier?  Right now I have a hockey podcast playing and they are ripping the NBC hockey broadcast team with a ferocity that is almost but not quite frightening.  I agree with every word.  In other words, podcasts are good.  I’ve been thinking… if I start a podcast, what would I talk about?  Nothing work related, obviously.  Cover band behind the scenes stuff?  That topic would dry up in seconds for me.  Guitar gear?  Only if I could get free stuff to review.  Yeah, I’ll be a shill if it gets me new fuzz pedals.  Oh yeah.

Back on topic.  New blog.  Do I want to do anything different this time?  Based on the last couple of paragraphs, maybe I should go all stream of consciousness and just throw out disjointed word associations…

Naw, I’ll just post pictures of my cat.