Winter Solstice 2018

The winter solstice was actually yesterday but I was busy entertaining myself troubleshooting browser issues and realizing how little I enjoy spending my time troubleshooting things anymore. Which is not a great thing, since it’s also my living. Oops.

Anyway, yesterday was the shortest day of the year, meaning that today and every other day this year (all nine of ’em) will keep getting delightfully longer. Or to be technical, the sun will set later, giving us a smidgen more daylight.

So although December 21st marks the official start of winter, for me it signals the official countdown to Daylight Saving Time (I advocate switching to this year-round–make it so, government people in charge of clocks or whatever) and the beginning of summer, the best season of all.

I’m already thinking about my first sunburn.

The bitey breeze

Today it was sunny. But it was also windy. And the wind felt cold.

Now I must truly admit that summer is over. The summer wind doesn’t feel bitter, it feels playful, except when it’s whipping up forest fires that burn down half the province. But still, it’s at the very least pleasant to feel against your skin. The summer wind, not the forest fires.

What I’m saying is I’m glad I wore my hoodie today.

A side effect of taking lots of nature-type photos is I’m paying a lot more attention to seasonal changes, so I’m noticing things like the leaves on trees changing color, or flowers starting to fade and die a lot more than I did before. Some things, like so many chestnuts on a sidewalk it feels like the sound stage of a slapstick comedy, are harder to miss even without my new heightened awareness.

I swear the next post will not be about the weather.

It’s October, the Octoberiest month of the year

It’s time for a list, specifically an October list! More specifically, several October lists!

What I expect in October:

  • 31 days
  • 31 nights
  • Temperatures to be on average cooler at the end of the month than at the start
  • Many leaves on the ground
  • Rain
  • Air conditioners put away until next June or thereabouts
  • Halloween
  • Halloween candy
  • Halloween candy to share shelf space with Christmas candy
  • Thanksgiving
  • A pseudo-turkey (a real one doesn’t work well with only two people to eat it, unless you really, really like turkey leftovers

What I have planned in October:

  • To maybe drop below 160 pounds for real
  • Don’t laugh, I’m serious
  • To avoid all Halloween candy
  • To also avoid the Christmas candy
  • To probably avoid fudge
  • Mmm, fudge
  • To pick my NaNoWriMo 2018 novel and outline it in preparation for the glory of NaNoWriMo in November
  • To finally settle on what I’ll be using for writing the above-mentioned masterpiece. Still leaning toward WriteMonkey.
  • To run at least on weekends, no matter what the weather
  • To take more pictures, especially of trees and their leaves
  • To continue spring cleaning four months after spring ended

It’s three months until Christmas

And that means eggnog has started showing up at Save-On Foods. Fallnog, perhaps.

Also, it just seems weird that a few weeks ago it was 30ºC and now it’s cold enough at nights that drinking hot chocolate is inviting and my little desk fan is gathering dust.

I even started looking at base heaters on the Home Depot website.

The transition from spring to summer, on the other hand, is this teasing, long build-up where the days gradually lengthen and get warmer, flowers bloom, trees bud and blossom, and finally you bask in the verdant green of summer.

Summer to fall is more like admiring the view from the top of a flight of stairs, then someone pushes you down and at the bottom it’s suddenly 15 degrees cooler and everything is turning brown.

And this is why I’m not a poet.

Fall on me

It’s the first day of fall and everything is falling into place (see what I did there?)

Anyway, the trees are already donning their orange, red and yellow coats, the nights are now cool enough to make the air conditioner optional and the opportunity to wear shorts outside when not going out for a run are dwindling.

It’s also raining again semi-regularly.

So it’s very fall-like and now it’s official. And I’m okay with that. Early fall is something like my fourth favorite part of a season, when everything is balanced on the edge between the last days of summer and the first days of autumn, but we are still a ways from the trees being bleakly devoid of leaves, the sky perpetually gray, and the threat of snow becoming all too possible. For the moment it can still be sunny and pleasant, everything is green and splendid and I’m not both leaving for and coming back from work in the dark (it’s now dark, but the sun is still up for over an hour yet when I get home).

If I was a poet I’d write something eloquent about fall, but I ain’t, so you get a haiku:

Fall is in the air
Sun, rain, wind and shorter days
Just say no to snow

The first day of summer 2018

Today is the first day of summer and it also marked the abrupt end of the current heatwave, with temperatures in the high teens and cloudy skies, with even a few drops of precipitation in the morning. Yesterday it was around 30ºC and the older SkyTrain cars were like communal sweat boxes thanks to the lack of air conditioning.

So I’m not complaining, exactly. Yesterday was hot. Today I wore a jacket to work. I’d like some more sun, just not Africa Hot sun. The forecast through the end of the month is a crazy quilt of mainly sunny, light rain, cloudy, partly sunny and who knows what else. Meanwhile, the FIRE DANGER signs are in no, er, danger, of going up any time soon.

Again, not complaining. And as I type this the sun is trying to poke out from the clouds, so perhaps it’s time to step outside.

UPDATE: Later in the afternoon it became sunny, with a high of 22ºC or so. Not-a-complaint rescinded!

The spring list

Things to do, things to suffer through, things that just happen. This is spring.

  • warmer weather, yay
  • allergy season, boo
  • bees are back. As long as they are not killer bees, yay
  • still kind of rainy, boo
  • but now the sun feels warm again, yay
  • it’s still light after dinner, yay
  • still dark early in the morning, boo. But it’s early in the morning, so not a big boo.
  • next season is summer, yay
  • Easter weekend has two stat holidays, yay
  • Easter eggs, yay

On balance, spring is a pretty good season.

The first day of fall 2017: Not too shabby

The first day of fall was nicer than the last day of summer, with pleasant, mild conditions, some sun and all that stuff.

Because it was nice out and I suddenly did not feel like sitting around again for my lunch break, I went for a noon-hour walk for the first time since pulling the muscle in my upper left leg. The leg seems to have survived intact, even after I picked up to a more typical pace by the end (I walked a little over 4 km in total).

After work I hung out with a few guys from work and a former guy from work (that is, someone who formerly worked at Langara, not someone formerly a guy) at a pub on False Creek and it was quite nice by the water, though it got a bit chilly once the sun ducked behind a cloud.

I got home shortly after 7:30 p.m. and it was already dark. I was sad. It still seems bizarre that there are times in the past when I would start a run as late as 8 p.m. to beat the heat. I’d need night vision goggles for that right now. Plus I’d probably barf if I actually tried running in the dark wearing night vision goggles.

Anyway, I must come to grips with the change of season. It’s official now, there’s no going back unless time travel becomes a thing (but if it was a thing, wouldn’t I already have gone back? Wouldn’t I in fact be living in a perpetual summer, constantly skipping back to the warm days and long nights? Now I am sad again.)