Thursday, December 22, 2022

Happy Birthday to Me

I was born on the solstice, when the daylight has ebbed to its lowest and the longest night of the year awaits at sundown. Perhaps this is why I have always loved the quiet darkness of the night more than the frenetic light of day.

I had a lovely birthday yesterday, and if it was perhaps a bit more frenetic than it might have been it was still a good day.

We had travel plans to visit my relatives in Tennessee over Christmas, but the increasingly grim storm forecasts and the correspondingly dire warnings from various agencies charged with monitoring travel conditions finally convinced us that this would not work. There was an interlude of activity involving more permutations of schedules than I could possibly deal with – fortunately Kim enjoys and is good at this sort of thing – and alternate plans have now been made, though the upshot is that we will be home for Christmas this year.

It will be nice, though. We have all we need here.

Once that plan got made, I went out and fortified the chickens against the coming storm and then we went to collect Lauren from school and run a few errands while we were there.

For example, both Oliver and I needed to visit the Apple Store. It turned out that he needs a new battery for his laptop, which will take some time. I wanted them to look at my iPhone to see if I had any settings wrong, or failing that to explain to me why I can’t take decent pictures with it. The tech looked at some of my photos and said, “I see what you mean,” and then made a couple of small changes to my settings but in the end he told me in the politest way possible that this was basically an ID-10-T problem* and I should log into their YouTube channel for some helpful instructional videos or come by and take a class. I suppose it’s nice to know that the problem is not the phone itself and is therefore within my control to fix, but I was really hoping for him to say, “Oh – you have THIS setting wrong. Here – you’re ready to be the next Ansel Adams now.”

Alas, it was not to be.

We also looted the Costco for supplies. Costco is a dangerous place that way. For one thing, they have a lot of great stuff. For another, you are constantly getting Warehoused when you’re there. You stand there in this vast open warehouse of a store staring at the Thing you’re going to purchase and you think, “That is a reasonable amount of Thing to have,” and then you get it back to your nice cozy home and that’s when you realize you have a burlap sack of Thing that will last you until the next millennium. And this lesson never sinks in! You will do this again the next time you’re there, or at least you will if you’re like me.

We picked up Lauren and her friend Chase, who also needed a ride back to Our Little Town, and went out for my birthday dinner at a place that had tasty food but a heating system that was only partially operational on an evening where the outside temperatures were about 9F or -13C, so we sat there in our coats and talked about old movies and the recent World Cup and had a generally grand time, all of us together. And that is what I will remember – sharing a meal in a slightly absurd place and time with family and friends.

Isn’t that what birthdays are supposed to be?

We came home and unpacked, and mostly just hung out in the living room for a while, all four of us together.

It was indeed a lovely birthday.


* Or PEBKAC, if you prefer that label.


LucyInDisguise said...

Most of the storm passed to the North of us, but the bottom did fall out Monday to -12°F. The big truck wouldn't start. Once I did get it started, the fuel gelled, and I ended up having the thing towed in, result: two unscheduled days off followed by four days of work crammed into the remaining two days this week. Fun times.

A belated Happy Birthday unto you.

And a Delightful and Wonderfilled Christmas to you and all whom you love as well.

Lucy & Sue

David said...

We didn't get the monster snowfalls that they were predicting - we got somewhere around 6", if what I'm seeing outside my window is right - but we did get the 40mph winds and the ass end fell off the thermometer as well here. Last night we matched your -12F, and it was still -10F when I got up at 8am. Yeah, it's a good time not to be traveling.

That is the problem with days off when you're out of elementary school - the workload just gets crammed in. That was a sad discovery for me, as I recall. But how many days to retirement for you now?

Thanks for the birthday and Christmas wishes!

A happy Solstice and holiday season to you both!

LucyInDisguise said...

My Viking decided that the holidays weren't going to be fun enough this year, so she went out and adopted a Christmas Puppy to up the ante. But, oooh, not just any puppy - an eight-week-old Great Pyrenees puppy. She is cute (Mother Nature makes 'em that way so you don't kill them on sight). The four other dogs and all of the assorted cats have differing opinions.

And her name is Pickles. ๐Ÿคจ

Don't ask.

But, that breaks our tradition of choosing names for our animals from the Greek and Roman Pantheon ... so, I guess we're going to start with comic strips? ¯\_(ใƒ„)_/¯

As of this morning, the 23rd day of December 2022 CE, I have 306 days remaining with this company. But don't tell the boss - he don't wanna know.



David said...

That's a lot of dogs!

Pickles seems to be a popular name these days for pets. I know three cats with that name, though yours is the first dog. On the plus side, it is a good comic strip. :)

Your secret is safe with me! And the rest of the internet, or at least that subset that comes to visit here.

Hey - we're up to -4F! Perhaps we'll get to a temperature with a real square root today after all.