winter

Days Grow Shorter

The great push to get all timely side projects done before the Holidays begins. “The September and October surge” tasks I know I should start before the snow and ice sweep across the land.
Summer is over and suddenly, as if by total surprise, approaching seasonal imposed deadlines become priority. “Didn’t I just come off the Spring – Summer surge?” It’s the yearly temperature influenced push that some might misinterpret as productivity preparedness. If you plan on working within some level of comfort from the cold you should start thinking about things you can do before the weather changes. Pace yourself and avoid the last minute frenzy. Most likely there will be a few late nights where the wind will be howling and the cold will have to be kept at bay in order to focus on work. Maybe now is a good time to find my hoodies.

Of course this is a bit melodramatic, but it does make sense to get as much done before the holidays begin and frosty mornings become the norm.
This time of year has some positives; there will be less daylight to distract me from my tasks at hand and limit the temptation to step into the winter sun – if there is any this year.
Yes, the dreary weather and gloomy skies will be perfect for staring at the computer screen for hours and hours, but first any outdoor work that can be done before the approaching ice age will have to be squeezed in. Managing time to accommodate both in and outdoor work is sometimes a challenge.

Once I think I have everything perfect for working late into the night, I can settle and focus on writing, learning new computer skills, or testing out new Linux developments. Ill have the radio playing quietly in the background. Sometimes Ill just sit and read through a few technical manuals for hours.

Hot coffee from a thermos I bring out to my workshop is usually close at hand. It may not seem too exciting, but I enjoy working late into the night. There’s always something new to learn, or sometimes old skills I rediscover.

At least I won’t have to worry about the heat and humidity that limited the amount of time I worked in my shop this summer.

I’ve been following Hurricane Dorian developments. There’s not much if any impact due where I am, but as the tracking changes it does make me wonder how well we actually predict the weather. It does underscore the need to prepare for rough weather even when skies are clear. I don’t see any particular weather event in the near future, but I’m positive the cold is coming as it does every year.

Summer’s End

As the end of summer approaches in late August – (not officially the end of summer, but for practical purposes – in the north, it’s over at the end of August)
I start to think about winter. This time of year you realize that you may only have a few opportunities to get ready for the cold weather, shorter daylight hours, and snow. This is especially true if you have a lot of work to do outside before the weather turns bad. While I’m writing this a Tornado warning has come across every phone in the area. It’s raining again, so we are already losing time for any outdoor work that I should be doing in preparation for a long winter. Lately the winters haven’t been as brutal as they normally are, but what is normal anymore?
Aside from regular day to day living preparation for winter, there are also a few things I can do to prepare for any down time should the weather limit travel. Along with making sure my computers are all running their best – which is a continuous challenge, I like to have a few good books on hand to read.
This usually consists of a few up to date Linux books – which there seems to be fewer released each year. Nevertheless I have a few that are still relevant and use for reference on occasion if I come across noteworthy challenges. Of course there is always the Internet that everyone seems to rely upon for information, but I still prefer using books for any research I may wish to do.
If the Internet connection is down, a book will still work – even by candlelight.
I don’t necessarily believe everything I see on the Internet, or on television for that matter.
I usually have a few laptops loaded with various Linux distributions to tinker with. I’ll usually have one laptop to run the latest Windows release on, but it’s not something I would use for much more than running a few Windows versions of similar applications I use on Linux – mostly for comparison.
I have a few tools for any minor repairs I might need to attempt in a pinch, and a nice little workshop to work, or just read in.
In the winter I can still work here in the shop provided it’s not too cold outside. A thermos of hot coffee makes everything seem perfect. If it gets too bitterly cold I go back to the house and work by the fireplace. This is also not so bad. At least it won’t be as humid as the summer has been. The last few years have been cold and wet most of the year. The nice warm summers we all look foreword to in the winter tend to go from cold and damp spring to hot humid summer with very few super nice days. There are a few each year and we try to make the most of those days, but it’s a given that we will see some colder weather soon enough. I suppose it’s best to get ready for another cold autumn and winter.

I’m sure I still have a few trips to the local hardware store for all sorts of miscellaneous stuff, and I’m certainly planning on stocking up on chicken soup as usual. If the weather is bad, I like having the option of staying in.

The old adage of not going out in a storm if you don’t have to is good advice. New tires for my truck is also not a bad idea. Who thinks about picking up wool socks in late August when it’s hot out? Well I do, and while I’m at it, it might be time to get some new hoodies.

If retail stores can start advertising for Christmas, then I can start thinking about getting ready for snow.

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