Monday, January 21, 2013

Everybody's talkin'

About the weather, but nobody is doing anything about it. At least it's a holiday (Martin Luther King Jr.) and not everyone has to go anywhere. Even here at work the outside temperature is -17F (-27C) . Up at the airport its -24 with a 21mph wind giving a windchill of -47. Damned chilly, if you ask me. It has been considerably colder in the past, but climate change has lulled us into complacency over the last couple of decades. These cold snaps used to last a couple of weeks, now only a few days. It is a dubious benefit of global warming for some of us, but not so good when looking at the big picture.

Today we are inaugurating President Obama for a second term. Officially it was yesterday, but, whatever. The president's hair is graying like many of his predecessors, his daughters are growing up, and Michelle is still classy and hot. I really think the whole country should be taking today off. At least the Cooker and Stitch get to stay home and take care of the horses and clean the barn. Maybe they can have some down time, too.

In four or five months I will be able to take a short walk at lunch and see this again.   

Of course I have to walk past the forklift to get there.
This is the curse of the working class. I ask myself, "why wasn't I born wealthy instead of smart and good-looking?" I may never have the answer. Maybe I'm not so smart after all.

The good thing about "working" on a day like this is that I can write this instead of actually working. It will be a slow day during the slow season and I will actually do a fair amount of useful work-related stuff, but taking a little break to have a little life is an advantage that I can appreciate. Tomorrow I may stay home to take care of the farm as I have to be here on Saturday this week. This is what winter is like in my world. I hope your winter is gentle.

I better get back to work.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

2013, right?

A new year has dawned and we are already a month past the solstice. My attitude improves with each lengthening day. This is "up North" for many people, but winters have been getting progressively milder for a couple of decades now. We are just going into our first cold spell of more than a day or two for the first time this winter. After about 8 inches of snow over the past couple of days the bottom is dropping out of the thermometer. It lets you know this by blow all the accumulated snow into the woods or the big lake. I have a lot of bare ground again! Yesterday the temperature dropped from 27 at 3:00 pm  to -1 by 10:00 pm and the wind went from nothing to 20-30 mph all night. Even with 9-1/2" walls you still hear the wind.

The horses are fat and hairy, but even they decided going in the barn overnight was a good thing. I gave them some breakfast at the usual time, but seeing as how I don't have to go to work today I didn't put them out until nearly 10. They were ready by then. They will likely be put in most nights this week as the cold and wind continue. It means about an extra hour and a half for two people to clean and reset the bark each day. As I noted to myself the other day after doing it alone, " I ain't fifty anymore." It was easier when I was younger.
The horses haven't had to do much tis winter, but a couple of weeks ago they helped teach a couple of our musher neighbors how to ride. They were somewhat bored as you can see by their sleepy eyes.
I have been doing a little reading again. Finally a little down time. I am just getting started on Arnaldur Indridason's detective stories and other writings. The fun thing about those is that while the places are exotic (Iceland) I have been to some of them which gives the settings a familiarity. On the other hand it is also good to read about places I haven't been to try and get an idea of what they may be like.

I haven't been taking a lot of pictures as there isn't much daylight and it's damn cold some days. I have been buying and selling some lenses and cameras in order to make a few bucks to help get some really nice lenses. It is a slow and tedious way to do it and it would be far more efficient to work a part time job for a few hours a week. At least I can do it from home and I get to play with a few "toys" before I send them on to their next home. It keeps me out of the bars. Here is a shot from a while back looking from the barn to the neighbors' house at sunset at about 4 in the afternoon.
Back to the book at hand.