Tag Archives: furlough

Lessons learned and things accomplished

While I’ve been out on furlough this week, I accomplished a few things around the house (though not perhaps as much as I would have liked) and in the process I learned a few things about myself.

  • I handle hot weather now about as well as I did when I was twelve, which is to say I handle it badly.
  • My hands do not have the same steadiness when painting a room, as they had 10-15 years ago.  While the overall job doesn’t look too bad, some of the trim work was done to less than my old standards.
    • Along those lines, I have to say I do not particularly like these foam brushes.
  • Honey-suckle bushes produce a lot of pollen.  Pollen that sticks really well to the leaves on a honey-suckle bush and which you won’t necessarily notice until you’re trimming the honey-suckle bushes and pulling out large branches.  Naturally the branches of a honey-suckle bush tend to intertwine themselves, so you have to pull really hard to get them out and yes, pulling them that hard also flings the pollen up off the leaves and directly at you.
    • While I’ve never been officially tested, I think I can safely say I am allergic to the pollen of a honey-suckle bush.
    • Also, if my wife ever convinces me to be the one to trim those bleeping bushes again, I will –at the very least– have to wear some sort of dust mask to keep the pollen from my sinuses.
  • I still hate plumbing projects.
    • Especially unexpected ones, like having your toilet break.
    • On the bright side, the toilet didn’t leak all over the floor and it was a repair simple enough I could do it myself.
    • But I still have plumbing.
  • All programmable thermostats are not created equal.
    • In particular, having one that divides the day up into 4 blocks that do not match your schedule just as bad as not having a programmable one.
  • A bike that has been reasonably well cared for and put in storage (e.g. hidden in back of garage) for a few years does not cost very much to be put back into ridable condition.
  • Riding a bike around my neighborhood is just as enjoyable now as it was when I first learned to ride.
    • After building up a good amount of speed, you start to coast along and it feels kind of like you’re flying.
    • While my knees & legs certainly don’t care for all the various hills around my neighborhood, those hills will help me get into shape as I ride around more.
    • And since Cedar Rapids is trying to be more “bike friendly” maybe some day I’ll be able to ride my bike to work.
      • That won’t be happening this year as: a) I need to get into better shape first and b) I still would have to get across Collins Rd during rush hour. *shudder*

Awfully Hot Out Isn’t It

So far this year, the weather has been just incredibly mild; we’d only hit 80+ degrees once prior to this week. Naturally this long string of lovely weather inspired me to save up some household tasks for this week, when I’m out of the office on furlough. And naturally enough, Mother Nature decided to punish me for that decision by making this the week that summer-style weather kicked in. Rather than those upper 70s to do my painting of the bathroom, cleaning out the garage, trimming the hedges, etc… I get upper 80s with a high enough humidity to make it feel like upper 90s. Of course, that’s just in the morning; this afternoon the prediction is for the temps to reach 95 degrees.

Blech.  This is like the North Carolina summers of my youth. I didn’t handle hot weather very well then and I don’t handle any better now. Double blech.

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