Posts Tagged ‘ nature ’

2012 Was A Busy Year!

The stats helper monkeys (their words, not mine) prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 7,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 12 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.


Thanks for making this blog popular in its own little corner of the blogosphere! ¬†See you next year ūüėČ


Winter’s Doldrums…

I used to think that Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD) was a bunch of excuses for why lazy, whiny people aren’t happy during the winter. ¬†I’m sure there are all kinds of studies which make SAD a legitimate condition–a lack of sunlight produces a lack of Vitamin D which somehow affects the dopamine levels in your head, for example–but my goal here is not to prove or disprove it. ¬†I know exactly what causes my irritability and frustration levels to go up, and my patience level to go down, each year around this time. ¬†I’m working to change these factors (or cope with them), but here it is.

My Dad’s been gone for a couple of years now, and it still hurts during this time of the year–his birthday is November 28th. ¬†He would have been 68 in a few days here. ¬†As it gets colder and greyer out each year around this time, I am constantly reminded that his birthday is in November, he won’t be there at Christmas in December, and he passed away in January (the 8th). ¬†This part of the year more or less sucks for me (and my siblings and Mom), and that’s why.

There are other things that happen each year that don’t help things much–like rarely being able to make it home for Thanksgiving, and always having to beg, borrow, and steal for time off from work around Christmas–but these are things that will change as my career changes, at least. ¬†This year, I’m merely frustrated at our financial situation because we can’t sustain taking two weeks off around the holidays to be with family (who can, these days?)…that time is so precious to us that it is Christmas gift enough just to give our families a hug in person. ¬†But again, I have hope that my efforts this year will change that for next year. ¬†It’s one thing to lack money, but another entirely to lack optimism.¬†

I guess it’s mere coincidence that Dad’s months of birth and death make a sandwich with Christmas, but it’s why SAD is true for me, at least. ¬†I know that all of you have painful anniversaries and memories that are tied to the calendar in some way, and it occurs to me that SAD is a real thing, no matter what time of year it happens to you. ¬†When is your SAD season? ¬†I appreciate you listening to me, and if you decide to share, I promise to listen to you.

Old Man Winter’s A-Comin’!

Old fuel–the sludge is on the bottom.

Hey folks, it’s finally getting to be my favorite weather outside–what my friends and I have called “HoodieWeather” for as long as I can remember. ¬†Well, quick on the heels of Autumn is going to be Winter which, depending on your geographical area, will entail cooler (or colder) temperatures at the very least, and at worst, an emergency trip to the Home Depot for shovels, snowblowers, and generators when a good blizzard comes through and locks up normal life for a few days or a week.

Well, are you prepared to deal with winter this year?  Or with a crazy storm, if it comes through?

First, if you don’t have a generator, get one. ¬†When all else fails, a source of electricity is a life-saver. ¬†If you have the space, get two of them, and the next time your whole neighborhood is in the dark, you could probably find someone to rent your spare to. ¬†Do this enough times, and it shouldn’t take five years to pay itself off! ¬†If you already have a generator–write this down, it’s important–chances are good that it’s been sitting all year in your shed or garage, untouched. ¬†The problem with this is that the gasoline has probably begun to deteriorate into a sloppy, slimy gel at the bottom of the tank. ¬†This will clog your fuel injectors, and prevent your motor from ever getting started when you need it most. ¬†Take your generator out, bring it back to life, and run it a few times now, while you have the time to figure things out if it won’t start. ¬†Engines like to run, so knock the cobwebs out of yours now!


Second, get your furnace a tune-up. ¬†You can replace the filter yourself, but get someone out to your home to give your furnace a thorough inspection. ¬†The last thing you’ll want to have to deal with is losing your home’s heat on the coldest night of the entire year (which, as Murphy’s Law states, is exactly when it will happen).

Not the Porsche!

Third, check on your water pipes. ¬†When your pipes aren’t insulated correctly, they can freeze–and when they freeze, they can burst. ¬†Who needs to deal with a near-freezing lake in their basement? ¬†And actually–to add to that point, it wouldn’t hurt you to know where your main system water shutoff valves are located. ¬†You’ll save yourself time and energy simply by knowing where these are, because there’s a fair amount of panic involved when a pipe bursts, and every second the valve is open can cost you 20 or 30 extra minutes of cleaning up after a gusher.

Do the same with your gas shutoff valve, too–any leak is cause for immediate evacuation, and not knowing where the valve is could cost you dearly when the temperature in your home drops, and your furnace decides to try to kick on. ¬†BOOM!¬†Here’s an easy way to find both of them.


There is still plenty of time to get these things done–get after them now, and you’ll thank yourself later. ¬†A little preparation goes a looooong way!

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