Tag: seasons

To my poor, suffering SoCal friends and family

It has come to my attention from a number of sources that you are experiencing some exceedingly warm temperatures this weekend. Beach weather is predicted to be sunny and warm with temperatures in the upper 70s. I just want you to know that we east-coasters are suffering with you in spirit. While you are forced to bask in the harsh sunlight, our winter will be just beginning to change course. The subfreezing temperatures we’ve been experiencing for weeks on end will begin to inch up above the freezing point, the mercury rising into the 40s and even the 50s, hinting that in the not too distant future, spring is on it’s way.

What’s spring, you ask? Forgive me. Though I lived out there for nearly twenty years, I sometimes forget that you don’t have spring in Southern California. I suppose if you’ve never had it, you don’t know what you are missing–like those people who’ve never tasted chocolate. Except that spring is infinitely better than chocolate. There’s nothing like arising out your winter hibernation, buried in snow and cold, cheeks freezing in the morning commute, to that first sunny day of spring: the sun is radiant, blinding in the clear blue sky (yes skies are actually blue my friends, despite what you see overhead). The air loses its chill. For the first time, you can feel warmth on your skin as you step outside. You can feel it on your bare arms and your cheeks. It is invigorating.

And the smells in the air! It’s the scent of new life. Of leaves forming on trees, of flowers blooming, of mulch and soil and nitrogen all packaged into a crisp freshness. Twenty years in Los Angeles and I never experienced a smell like that. Olfactory heaven.

There is a day when you know that winter is nearly over and spring is approaching. It is the day you wake to the sound of birds chirping. In the winter you don’t notice it at first but the birds go away, the mornings are dark and silent, but as spring approaches, the birds begin to sing as the first sunlight begins to brighten the eastern horizon. And then one day, you hear the warm rumble of a lawnmower engine early in the morning and you know that spring has practically arrived.

Without winter, none of this is possible. Without the snow and the wind and the cold and the ice; without the shoveling and scraping and school closures it is impossible to appreciate the spring. Even when winters have been particularly bad, the springs that follow them always make the winters worthwhile.

So my heart goes out to you, my poor, suffering friends and family in Southern California. You don’t have a winter and therefore don’t have a spring. You can’t know the beauty of it, can’t revel in the ecstasy of the season. All you have is a bland sameness where winter, spring, summer and fall merely mark off time, divide the calendar into four equal parts. To me that is painfully sad.

Finally fall

Driving home from work yesterday I noted that the trees around here are at their most riotous.  It has been unseasonably warm for the last few days, but last night a windy cold front blew in and this morning in was in the low 40s when I left the house.  It’s that combination of cold air and the smell of decaying leaves that I love so much about the fall and that I was simply unaware of for the nearly two decades I lived in Southern California.  This is the best part of the season, right now, with leaves colored in ways that even Crayola cannot match, with pumpkins on every stoop in the neighborhood, and skeletons, zombies, princesses and superheroes running around the neighborhood.

I’ll try to get some pictures this weekend and post them for you to see, especially for my friends and family living in those sad places where autumn doesn’t exist, except as a marking of time between September and December.

It’s going down in the 30s tonight.  It’s finally fall.

More evidence that autumn has finally arrived

When I headed out to the car this morning, there was a thin layer of ice on the windshield. I had to pull out the old ice scraper. This means that I need to start warming the car up in the morning. I’m not sure what the low hit last night, but it was low enough to allow ice to form for the first time this fall.

Where is the fall?

Yesterday was probably one of the nicest days I’ve seen all year. Warm, spring-like air with temperatures hovering around 80 degrees. A warm breeze blew leaves off the trees and around the streets. The sky was a clear, deep blue. Sure, the leaves have started to change color. Sure the weather yesterday was delightful. But where’s the fall? That’s what I want to know.

It is not supposed to be 80 degrees 23 days into October in the Washington, D.C. area. It’s supposed to be a little bit cooler, a bit more brisk. Jacket weather. World Series weather, with guys blowing into their hands. Part of the reason I like the east coast is that I like have four seasons. But so far, fall is missing. It’s been replaced by a kind of spring-manque. I want it back.



My lawn is more or less covered in leaves. It’s that time of year, I suppose, and it means that there will be raking taking place in the next week or two. Here’s the weird thing: it’s still in the upper 80s and low 90s here. There is some sort of cosmic incongruity when the temperature is 89 degrees out and there are leaves all over the yard. The leaves indicate fall. The angle of the sun in the sky indicates fall. But the temperature still says summer. It’s unsettling.

“First of all, it was October…”

“…a rare month for boys.”

It’s one of my favorite opening lines to a book, ever and I can only use that line once a year or so. If I’m being repetitive, well, what’s new really?

Some bills paid today, rent, phone bill, and a few others. Had a letter from Trevor and thepopeswife over the weekend, as well as a thank you note from amo2761 (which explains why he emailed me asking for my address earlier in the week).

Today is the first day of Fiscal Year 2008 at work, but it still seems as though there is some focus on FY2007. It’s silly if you ask me.

The leaves are just beginning to change color around here, just barely and in patches but I imagine it will pick up over the next couple of weeks. It may have already started up where strausmouse and rmstraus live; possibly where vickyandnorm live too.

I had an amusing message from AJ and Denisse yesterday but haven’t had a chance to call them back yet. Maybe later this evening.

October is certainly not a rare month for birthdays: Andy, Carmen, Jim, Kelly, and Norm all celebrate birthdays this month. Possibly more people, but I haven’t checked the calendar yet.

And as I was writing this entry, the mail was delivered and I received the December 2007 issues of both Asimov’s and Analog.

2 walks and a firefly

I went for two walks this evening to clear my head. The first time around I was trying to clear my head from the days thoughts, mostly work related, class and UML work for an application I am working on. I did a lot of white-boarding in my office today and that kind of thought usually takes it toll on me. The second walk was to work out some plot complications in a story I’m working on, and for a wonder, it worked!

Best of all, on that second walk, I saw my first firefly of the season. It lit up just as I walked by!

My vacation is just around the corner. 4 weeks from tomorrow!

Spring, spring, spring!

It occurred to me that today is the vernal equinox, also known as the first day of spring, and what better day to start a short vacation than on the first day of spring! I’ve been trying to decide what to listen to this morning to get into the springtime mood. There’s Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire’s rendition of “Spring, Spring, Spring”, there’s George Burns’ “It Might As Well Be Spring”. But then I remembered that in my senior year in college, I listened repeatedly to the Grease soundtrack because it made me think of spring, graduations, and the coming of summer. So this morning, in honor of spring, I’ll be listening to the Grease soundtrack.

The weather is beginning to change, too. It’s going to be in the upper 60s in the metro D.C. area later this week. Of course, the weather for Orlando is mostly sunny and in the low 80s through the weekend. More summer-like than spring, but I’ll take it.

Autumn is here

It cooled down to 47 degrees last night, and while I didn’t have the heat in the house on, I did turn on the space-heater in my bedroom to take the chill out of the air. Autumn has definitely arrived (although it is supposed to get back into the 80s in the middle of the week.)

I did some fall shopping this morning. I needed some jeans and socks. I went to Old Navy and picked up socks and a few cheap shirts. But their jeans suck. They have 90 varieties and none of them are plain ordinary blue jeans. They are all faded, or boot-cut, or stone-washed. Whatever happened to regular jeans? I normally get Gap jeans, but they seems to wear out quickly relative to their price. There is a Gap in the mall below my office so maybe I’ll check it out on Monday. If they have normal blue jeans it might be worth it.

Odds and ends

Just a bunch of miscellaneous stuff before I head off to the gym:

I had it in my head this morning that today was the last day of summer and that tomorrow was the autumnal equinox (I think I’ve got the right terms this time, mabfan). But when I checked, I found out that the autumnal equinox actually begins on September 23 this year. In fact, I don’t think it ever falls on the 21st. (It occasionally “falls” on the 22nd.) I don’t know what I was thinking. But hey! Two more days of summer!

I went to bed early last night, right after House was over. I checked the Yankee’s score and then went to bed. While I was asleep, AJ apparently called something like 4 times. He left two messages. The first was rather funny becuase it was completely incoherent. It sounded like laughter. I thought I heard Denisse in the background. Who knows what was going on. The second time he managed to leave a more coherent message.

I’m just about halfway through The Demon-Haunted World and I am really enjoying it. I remember very little of it from the first time I read it ten years ago, which is a bit disturbing. With a book that good, I should have remembered more. Much of the book thus far has been spent on a detailed analysis of reports of alien abductions, which Sagan then proceeds to debunk in a calm and rational manner. It’s a fascinating subject, actually, but I’ll save for another time my thoughts on the matter.

I got email from the Democratic party today asking for a donation. This isn’t unusual since I am a Democrat and I’ve donated money in the past. I’ve mentioned before, however, how these campaigns use fear more and more as a tactic to obtain votes, and whether Democrat, Republican, or Whig, I dispise these tactics. This time, it wasn’t the fear part that annoyed me. This time, they were asking for money specifically for television ad campaigns. “It is their single biggest expense,” the message read. That filled me with confidence. I’d donate money for them to have the courage to withhold their lame ads from TV. But I can’t see giving them money for ads that I hate to watch anyway, even if they are my party.

Finally, congratulations go out to Lisa on her recent office upgrade, and accompanying promotion to go along with it.