Something a Little Bigger Than a Microblog

I wouldn't say it's pouring out, but it's raining pretty good. It's cloudy and dreary, and warm for this time of year. When I was younger, maybe 20 years ago, we got quite a bit more snow in this region.

I am now a homeowner, and have to shovel snow when enough accumulates. When I've had to do that it's obvious I may have romanticized snow more when I was younger. I mean, I did have to help shovel back then, but I also got snow days and did things like hike and build snow forts with friends. Now I have work to drive to (although I can work from home sometimes), and other stuff I need to commute to. Snow has different implications.

Still, I actually like getting a nice layer of snow each winter. It would be nice to have it around the holidays, but if it hits come January or February that's still something.

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I bought a cat perch for George years ago. It didn't appear to be the greatest quality, but it held up at first. Now, years later, it's still holding up, although it's a little shaky. He can still jump on it, hop around on the platforms, and curl up in the little cylindrical cubby hole.

On the other hand, one of the posts was wrapped with jute twine, and that's more or less come undone. There's enough there that he can still claw and shred it, but it could use a re-twining. I think you can buy it at various home improvement-type stores.

Actually, cats tend to love that kind of twine, or similar surfaces. I'm not sure what it is but scratching it must feel good. It's advisable to have something like that, so that they don't find something else in your home to scratch and shred.

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Halloween is winding down. I'm just hanging out and watching the Simpsons Treehouse of Horrors episodes, and drinking a beer. I'm laying on my couch, with my cat on my legs. My orange lights are on and will stay on all night.

Not too many trick-or-treaters. Actually, just two. I've gotten more in the past. I don't know if it's the uphill climb, or if they just started earlier this year. So now I'm stuck with more candy.

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It's nice to get out someplace new for a while. Maybe 24 or 36 hours. I try to now and then, for no particular reason. Or for some reason. The important thing is that it's outside of a normal routine. IE, not necessarily for work or a semi-regular trip to visit relatives.

I'm doing this now. Nowhere drastic, just a couple hours away for an event. It's fun, although I do kind of miss my own bed and certainly my cat. I had a good dinner, and my hotel room is nice. I'm messing around on the internet and listening to Bill Evans before I get ready for bed.

It's amazing to think that you can travel a hundred miles or so in a couple hours. I have mixed feelings about cars, but this is quite an amazing thing when you think about it. A trip like this could take days on horseback back in the day, although it wouldn't be bad on a train either – assuming the train goes where you need to go.

It's something to take advantage of now and then, the ability to just pick up and go somewhere not quite on a whim, but close. Or on a whim if that's what you want.

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I'm traveling today. It's cool out, rainy, and cloudy. I'd hoped to catch part of the eclipse, but that was out of the question.

The leaves are still fairly green, but they're changing. Despite the gloom today fall is actually looking pretty nice. It's cool, but you can still do things outside if you want.

October is a beautiful time of year around here, and I think it's peak fall. Not that November isn't nice, but there's a little bit of summer left over, and the trees look great.

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I need to do some cleaning. The house isn't too bad, but I've been putting it off for a while. Mostly, I need to vacuum, but there are a few other things. For one, there's algae growing on one side. I scrubbed it off on a different side a few weeks ago, and it looks great.

I should mow the grass too, but it's not too bad yet. Leaves will be coming soon, which need to be raked/blown uphill, always good for a workout.

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George is curled up on a pillow at the table I normally work at when I work from home. He's taking his nap, and he might be there for hours. He'll probably be there most of the time I'll be in the office this afternoon.

I've usually been working half-days at home. This morning in a meeting George was in my lap and attacking my hand, while I spoke to something I was working on. I'm actually decent at that by now. Of course, he wanted some more food and to play, so when I was done talking I fed him and ran him around.

I can't imagine working from home without a cat. Or any pet, or even another human. It's easy to get sucked into what you do, and having a distraction of some sort is key here and there.

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We have a week or so of summer left here in the Northern Hemisphere, but it might as well be fall. It's cooler out now at night, so much so that I'm not sure I need the air conditioner in my bedroom anymore. I'm going to wait to put it away just in case, of course, but I think we're done with that part of the year.

It's still plenty green out, even though some leaves are starting to fall. The plants look nice, and I actually have a pumpkin starting to grow. They've been this late in the past, I'm not sure why. I suspect I need to be a little more on top of the watering and fertilizing. Still, I may actually get one later in the fall, probably not in time for Halloween.

Days are shorter, but still a decent length. There have been some nice clouds too, but still a good amount of sun. The solar panels in my mini off-grid power system still get enough power for to run my laptop during the day – more than enough in fact. As we get into winter I'll have to go easier on it, just because as I live on-grid there's not much need to stress the battery. I'll use power if it's sunny, but otherwise try to keep the battery topped off. Power outages do happen, and it's nice to be ready.

I need to look at the furnace. It should be fine, but it's good to do a trial heat run before it really gets cold, just in case it's got any big problems.

There might be some maintenance I try to have done before fall. Definitely some wood work that would be good to get out of the way.

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I wanted to throw together some sort of system to automatically water plants, or at least to let me control the watering remotely. I never completed it, but there are solenoid valves available, and Raspberry Pis and similar single board computers have GPIO you can use for that sort of thing. I've got some of the parts, and will put it together one of these days.

Right now, I go outside and turn the hose on for a sprinkler in my garden. I've got a setup nearly complete with some black plastic pipe that runs to some key areas, which will reduce the need for a garden hose. It's a step in the right direction. But I'd like to be able to log in to something from anywhere in the world, and turn the sprinkler on for fifteen minutes.

I'll add it to the list of projects. It is kind of important, considering that I'm trying to actually grow things in my garden other than weeds, and I'm occasionally out of town. Plus, honestly, it's kind of a neat project.

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It's hot outside. I think it said abut 88 degrees F in my car. It's clear out (no wildfire smoke), and the sun is out in full force.

I like summertime, and it's nice to have this much daylight. But the heat is not my favorite part of it all. Yes, I like that it warms up, and I like that it makes swimming more fun (and possible). But the heat itself is tough for me.

Luckily, there's air conditioning, and pools at various opportune moments. So I manage.

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