Gloomy Monday

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Today was one of those winter days when you don’t see the sun. It was cloudy and rainy all day and it was so gloomy that my dawn to dusk timer on the outdoor Christmas lights got confused and never shut off. It just couldn’t find the dawn I guess. That’s OK, the lights were cheerful. I turned on the Christmas tree inside as well. Let the color cut through the gloom.

To be honest, it could have been a whole lot worse. The temperatures were well above average for this time of year which kept the rain from turning to snow. I think we are getting a brief cold snap mid week but then things bounce back by the weekend. I mean we are only on third of the way through December and there is a lot more of it to go but the start hasn’t been bad.

Did get some shopping in today after my workout. Went to our one fancy mall. Think of a high end retail type place and they probably have a location in that mall. I mean there’s a Tesla showroom in the place. Not that I spent a lot because that’s just not what I do but its a place where you can maybe find some unique things. In the end, it was all mostly just stuff and so I bought a few things that seemed to fit. At least I got some steps in.

The Ship’s owners would fire the captain in a minute though.

Saturday night, I met up with my old work team. When we were all dismissed, one of them issued an invite for a Christmas party and so that’s what we did. It was the first time all of us have been back together since the day of dismissal. Well, technically, one guy had to leave right away because of a sick child so I guess we were one short but I’m counting it anyway.

Listening to the two who still work there, it seems like nothing has really changed which is sad. A few others have left on their own. This is always what happens after major layoffs – people see the writing on the wall and decide to look for greener pastures. There are sad attempts to keep morale up with Christmas themed entertainment but I don’t think it is working.

It was nice to see everyone again. This was the time of year when I took the team to lunch and I miss doing that. It isn’t that work was perfect because it wasn’t. But, on balance, we had a lot more good days than bad days. It is funny because I think I created the type of atmosphere that the company said it wanted (my employee survey scores sort of reflected that) but, when it came down to it, they decided to get rid of us.

And the above quote might be part of it. Getting fired as a group kind of created a situation where we were all facing the unknown. I think having other people going through it provided a support network for everyone. Some of us have decided to leave work behind and I feel for those who are still looking. But we are there for each other. Probably not seeing each other on a daily basis helps as well. Let’s be honest, you see someone all the time and you start to notice the little things they do that irritate you. Put some distance and those things don’t matter and you realize you miss having them around.

(ABRUPT TOPIC CHANGE)

We were out Friday night and came across this bird house covered with seeds. Since we feed birds, we have many around the house but there is one wren that seems to like hanging out on our deck. My wife was concerned that he didn’t have shelter so she wanted to buy the house. I tried to tell her that birds have shelter and wouldn’t use a nesting box for shelter but, in the end, I didn’t object that much.

It lasted two whole days. We didn’t have it in a secure location and it either fell or was knocked off and something (squirrel or raccoon) dragged it off. I was out in the rain looking but couldn’t see it.

More about these in the next paragraph

Birds are an interesting set of animals. The singing is always cheerful. And having the ability to fly is cool enough but the whole migration thing is amazing. I know it is all instinct and learning from the parents – blah, blah, blah. But there is still something kind of special about thinking about what clues they use and how they know to get from point A to point B and then back to point A when the weather changes.

The birds above are Sandhill Cranes. There is a stopover on their flight path to Florida a little bit north of here. We’ve been there in the fall when the skies are full of them gathering from various other parts and resting up for the next leg of the journey.

Our house is apparently near a flight path because we’ve had flocks go by. Had one the other day. Not sure why but they make all kinds of noise as they fly over so you hear them and then have to look to find them. Happens in early spring as the come back from Florida as well. I’m the geek looking up and recording the dots and call on my phone just because I think it is cool.

Although the birds that stay in the area probably deserve more credit. A lot of the mammals just get fat and rest through the winter. And they have fur. Birds have to stay active and they must be cold. So we feed them to help them out.

Well that’s really all I’ve got for now. I’ll just leave with a little motivation. Kind of applied to the whole layoff thing. We spent a good night enjoying each other’s company.

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