Late Winter

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True! More on this later.

I call this late winter even though the calendar says winter runs though the middle of March. But that’s only if you divide the year up based on equinoxes and solstices. Not a bad method but still arbitrary. Weather geeks know that temperatures lag light so even though the days are getting longer in January, the temperatures are getting colder. January is the coldest month of the year with December and February following. So I like to think of winter as December through February.

Which is not to say that moving into March means the cold and snow are over. No, winter typically has a few last tricks up its sleeve. I mean March is similar to November in temperatures but we get more snow in March than we do in November. Just because it takes longer for things to warm back up.

Anyway, we had a seriously cold day on Friday but the sun was out in what seemed like the first time in forever. Sunshine just makes a lot of difference in winter – at least for me. There is only so much grey and gloom one can take. But sunshine in winter is something of a trickster. It just triggers something inside that says “GO OUTSIDE!” but, walking around in the cold just isn’t something I can do for long periods of time.

We did take Rocco to the park yesterday and this morning. At our one park, there is a little lake that had frozen over. When they plowed the walk, they left lots of ice chunks and we noticed several of them on the surface on the frozen lake. We figured out people were tossing ice on the lake and we did the same because it was fun – watching to see how far you get a piece of ice to travel over a frozen surface. I mean you have to look for the little things to brighten your day.

Late winter also means tax time and when you realize just how messed up our system is. Once my wife started her own business and works from home, it just became impossible to do taxes without professional help. But, even to get help, I have to gather all the various forms and answer a bunch of questions. I’m not meant for this. I’m terrible at record keeping. My idea of record keeping is to stack everything that looks important in some pile. Then, I have to sort through it and just hope I haven’t misplaced anything.

I did my first pass yesterday and there are a few things I still need to track down. Which is why I’m now sitting here writing this post and not looking for forms. Its stuff like this that makes me want to just scrap everything and go live in some shack on a beach somewhere where I could spend the rest of my days in shorts and flip flops. But I want to get this into our guys before we leave on vacation so I’ll probably have to stop rambling soon and get to work.

Speaking of vacations, have you seen the video of some guy punching the seat of the lady in front of him? If not, you can actually just search on ‘guy punching seat on airplane’ and you’ll find all the gory details. Long story short – lady reclines her seat, guy behind her has a seat that doesn’t recline, guy doesn’t like lady reclining so he actually hits her seat back.

As with everything nowadays, we know this because the lady filmed it on her camera and the video went viral, as they say. Because we have nothing better to do, people are debating back and forth over who was right and who was wrong. And there are strong opinions on both sides. I don’t know. I just see two people who couldn’t just talk to each other and work something out. So guy takes passive aggressive approach to irritate lady who was irritating him. Lady films it hoping for sympathy later.

I won’t go off on too much of a rant here but it is kind of symptomatic of the social media world we live in. It feels like the majority of our interactions are now online so maybe we are just forgetting what it is like to interact with real people in real time.

But it also shows just how awful airline travel can be. It is a lesson in “be careful what you ask for”. Everyone wants cheap air fares and to get cheap flights, airlines cut costs all over the place. So you get more and more use of small, cramped “regional jets” which really are just flying cattle cars. It is like you are livestock being transported with just the bare minimum space you need. Pack the people in because you need to fill the seats to make money.

Do I have an opinion? Full disclosure – my wife will typically recline her seat because she wants to sleep. Me – I typically don’t. But that’s also because I’m slightly taller than average and hate it when someone’s seat invades what little space I have. I know the seats are designed to recline but just because you can do something it doesn’t mean that you should. Kind of a case by case basis. I suspect the airlines will eventually just fix all the seats so they don’t recline. That’ll solve the problem!

OK, that’s enough distraction. Time to go do adult things and finish tracking down all the tax stuff.

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