Archives For February 2014

I hope this is the final chapter in my Snowpocalypse 2014 entries for the year — but you never know!

We rode out the last two severe winter weather episodes at the house.  I had no intention of leaving the house and hoped the utilities would hold up.  Okay, maybe not the Internet access — being able to work from home means you’re expected to work even when snowed in.

We only suffered the minor inconvenience of having our sewer back up during the first storm.  Luckily we caught it in time and didn’t have to deal with any nasty clean-ups.  After the weather cleared up, we had it taken care of 48hrs after it began.  That and reading about the experiences of others prompted me to plan for a few different situations should we have a repeat of nasty weather the remainder of this winter or next.

It’s a short list but of big problems should we have to face one of them without being more prepared than we were:

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Yesterday I wrote a light-hearted rant about Snowpocalypse 2014 and I thought I’d follow it with some observations I’ve made and practical applications I believe would benefit everyone.  I’m optimistic that many Atlantans have already arrived to the same conclusions and done the same.  Cautiously optimistic.

The first rule of fight club severe winter weather travel is: Don’t.  Not if you don’t have to, anyway.  If Americans stink at anything, it’s distinguishing between a “need” and a “want.”  I’d suggest that “have to” and “don’t have to” are a close second.  You probably know someone personally, or at least heard a ridiculous news story of someone that didn’t have to be out on the roads but chose to anyway and suffered for it.

Luckily, I was neither trapped nor had to travel anywhere until after the weather cleared — so I was spared from all of the drama others had to deal with.  While I was at home listening to the carnage on the radio, I took a mental inventory of all the items I usually have rolling around on the floorboard of my vehicle AND what I should be adding to the list.

Here are a few new seasonal items I’ll be adding to my vehicle in preparation for next time:

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Now that The South has thawed out and enjoyed an entire week of sixty-degree weather, I thought it would be a perfect time to blog about the “Polar Vortex” that swept through the United States recently.  That’ll probably be the last time I use that term.  The rest of us just call it what it is: winter.

If you watched or listened to any of the weather predictions, news reports or subsequent updates (especially from the first front), then you know all about the drama that befell metro Atlantans from all over.

My primary personal observation was: a lot of upset residents cursing local community leaders about their shortcomings and abject failures to plan for or execute any sort action to deal with the effects of the bad winter weather.  I had the unique position of both not having to deal with any of it and hear all about it from various sources.

Before I get started on this rant, I should warn you that I’ll be attacking a few stereotypes, making sweeping generalizations and outright ignoring most exceptions to the rule.  You’ve been warned, let’s get started!

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A Quick J-Man Update

February 21, 2014 — Leave a comment

It had been a couple weeks since I had seen J-Man.  Some of the delay was weather-related and the rest of it was just my bad attitude.  I had errands to run before the next front of bad weather rolled through and I was honestly a bit miffed at J-Man’s behavior the last couple times I saw him.  Or didn’t see him, as the case were.

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Life After Detox

February 14, 2014 — Leave a comment

I intentionally omitted a few details from my detox post yesterday.  Partly because I was too lazy to drag out the post and partly because I wanted to see who would return to hear the rest of the story.

Something I didn’t completely disclose is why I decided to participate in this detox.  The creator of the detox recommends undergoing the program with an accountability partner.  The obvious reason being that you’re much more likely to succeed if you have someone to suffer with support you.  The not so obvious reason is they sell the program to a second person.

I can’t believe we paid for this privilege. 😀  (Actually, we didn’t.  Sarah suckered her Mom into doing it with her and I was along for the ride.)

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A while back I had alluded to this crazy diet/detox I was on during the month of January, but I haven’t taken the opportunity to blog about it, until now.  If you know me personally, you’re already familiar with what I’ve been through — but I thought it’d be nice to write it down for posterity’s sake (and elicit some well-deserved snarky comments, I’m sure).

But before I begin — you may know the company promoting this particular detox or have heard me talk about it.  I won’t mention them since they’re making good money and they aren’t paying me to advertise for them.  I don’t expect this to be a puff piece — just a summary of my experiences and results.

On occasion I’ve heard of other folks going on a detox for a few days at a time but it’s never really appealed to me.  Either because I found the method of the detox to be quite unappealing or because I didn’t have a particular interest in changing my meal planning to eat less-than-appetizing meals.  I can assure you that in this particular detox program, you’ll be receiving a healthy dose of the latter.

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EL_Wire_HoodieMy most recent package from Adafruit arrived today containing Sarah’s long-overdue birthday gift: An EL Wire Starter Pack (in Aqua color).

A couple things I learned during this project:

  1. True to warning, it does emit a high-pitched sound that can be heard.  Not enough to interrupt a conversation or maybe be overheard by someone else in the room — but the wearer can hear it.  Only a minor inconvenience, really.
  2. The wire is somewhat rigid and will attempt to retain it’s coiled shape even after being unwound.  I recommend spending time straightening the wire before you sew it to any fabric.  It’ll improve your results.

It took some trial-and-error to figure out how to securely sew it into the jacket but in the end I’m mostly pleased with the results.  I say mostly because I’m less-than-pleased with the hood at the moment.  I intend on ripping those stitches and redoing it differently (in the near future).

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Happy Wedding Anniversary!

February 6, 2014 — 1 Comment

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Five years ago today, on a frozen Florida beach, I married this beautiful woman.  Sarah, I can’t believe that five years are upon us already and there isn’t anyone I’d rather have spent it with.  Thank you for being for being a Proverbs 31:10 wife.  I am truly blessed beyond measure!

I’ll be posting a surprise for you in a couple days.  I hope you enjoy it. <3 Aaron

Do Not Disturb

February 5, 2014 — Leave a comment

A quick update: This evening I attempted to visit with J-Man… only, that didn’t happen.

As I approached his tent, I stopped about 20 feet away and announced my presence.  Normally he immediately appears from within the tent — only tonight, he didn’t.  I’m mostly certain he was “home” as his shoes were just outside the door.  However, I called twice with no answer.

I don’t know for sure if he wasn’t there… but since I don’t have the habit of walking into friend’s homes when they don’t answer the door — I didn’t advance any farther and just left.

On the way out I passed L who informed me that he was headed to remind J-Man that W was going to pick him up tomorrow morning to take him in for his medical examination.  W and I were supposed to have lunch tomorrow, but he figures this will be an all day ordeal.  I’ll be checking in with W tomorrow evening to see how things went — if they went.

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I believe I’ll lose the repetitive “Helping The Homeless” title.  It’s neither very catchy or informative.

Yesterday I checked in with J-Man to see how he’s been doing.  Aside from his odd behavior at times, he’s always a pleasant host and inquires about what sort of day I’m having and if there is anything exciting going on in the world.  I told him the Seahawks won the Super Bowl on Sunday and I’m afraid that’s about as much insight as I could provide on the game since I stopped watching after half time and spent the first two quarters socializing.

Speaking of odd behavior… I have to clear my mind of a few things that J-Man does that (internally) aggravates me.  Said simply, it’s his complete lack of foresight/forethought for the future.  Although, you might argue that may be what placed him in this position to begin with…

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