Archive for November, 2019


21 November 2019 at 9:45 pm
by Jonah

There was a fire inspection at our building at work at this morning at 7 a.m., and someone had to be there to unlock our office. I volunteered last week and immediately set my alarm for Thursday at 5:40 a.m. I put it on both my personal and work calendars and set each to send me two notifications. There was no way I was going to forget. I checked the weather last night (not much snow) and calculated my commute time and and double checked that my alarm was set for 5:40 with the “Bright Morning” sound. I went to bed early.

This morning I woke up with Berck rubbing my belly, which is his way of telling me that my alarm is going off and it has awoken him. My phone was vibrating, which is how I usually set it. It was also going off at its usual time of 6:25, and it said I had a missed alarm from 5:40. In ideal conditions, I have a 40 minute drive to work. I was already late.

I was out the door in ten minutes, dressed and teeth brushed, and engaged in the extreme sport of driving without my windshield defrosted. There wasn’t really snow on the roads, but people were driving sooo slowly. I got to work at 7:20, twenty minutes late. The building was pretty much empty, and I unlocked our office and propped open the front door, hoping they hadn’t gotten to my suite yet.

At ten till 8:00, the fire inspectors finally strolled through the open door, sweeping the ceiling with their gaze, searching for sprinkler heads. “Hi, we’re just here to do a fire inspection!” they greeted me cheerfully. They found all the sprinklers then told me not to use the fire extinguisher because it had been recalled. Then they inspected the fire extinguisher more closely and realized their co-worker had signed off on it. Tsking and taking notes, they told me they would let the property managers know we needed a new one.

It snowed all day today, but it was too cold (edit: too warm) to stick. This is the most dangerous precipitation. As soon as it got dark, the temperature dropped, and all that melted snow on the roads froze. I started up the pass tonight after work and then realized that suddenly the cars in front of me were going REALLY slowly. When everyone around you is doing something out of the ordinary, it is often a good idea to give in to herd mentality. Sometimes there is wisdom in crowds.

So I slowed down too and turned off the radio, wondering how long I had been dangerously driving the speed limit. Eastbound traffic on the other side of the creek had slowed to a crawl as well, and that’s when I realized how many backwards vehicles there were on the side of the road. Once I got high enough, the road dried up and it was safe drive normally again. I turned my podcast back on.

The dictionary definition of luck is “success apparently brought by chance rather than through one’s own actions.” By that definition, I consider myself extremely lucky, because my ability to avoid disaster does not seem to be related at all to my own efforts. Another way of thinking about it is being blessed. Today I’m thankful for luck.

(If you have a Pixel 3 phone, make sure your alarm volume is turned up if you set it.)

And the stars

20 November 2019 at 9:41 pm
by Jonah

And God said, “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, and let them be lights in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. God set them in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:14-18 New Revised Standard Version

And the stars

My commute home this time of year involves driving into the last bit of light after the sun has set. Last night Jupiter and Venus guided me home as I traveled west. In the summer the days are long and I get home with the sun still in the sky. But in the winter I pause before I go inside and look up at the sky when it’s clear. We live far away from the city, and I can see the Milky Way nearly every night that it isn’t obscured by clouds. Right now the Pleiades are visible to the east when I get home and Aldebaran of Taurus is just peaking above the horizon. Stars are not only useful for navigation and time telling but they’re beautiful too. I’m thankful for stars.

For signs and for seasons and for days and years

While last night’s sky was clear, tonight it is snowing and foggy. I drove home slowly. One of the things I love most about Colorado is the seasons. In the South, where I spent my childhood, it’s hot and then it’s not as hot. I used to stare wistfully at the calendar pictures in December and wonder what it was like to experience snow. Now I live in a place with proper seasons, though our summer is pretty short (my car has snow tires on it more of the year than not). Today I’m thankful for seasons.


11 November 2019 at 10:49 pm
by Jonah

Tonight we played Balderdash with cousins. 

I had pumpkin pie with ham (long story… well, not really… I just asked for pumpkin pie with ham and I got it).  But we really wanted something to eat on the way home from Orlando to Apopka.  Berck convinces his mom to get off a highway that starts with a 4, which are all the highways in Florida, to stop at a Krystals.  Because we don’t have those in Colorado.  She really doesn’t want to, especially since it was between two pawn shops and a liquor store (THAT part of town), but she does. Berck orders some Krystals burgers with extra mustard and some chicks. I ask for a large sweet tea. Berck orders me a medium sweet tea, and I didn’t argue, because it’s past midnight and more caffeine at this point is simply not necessary.  We get our order at the drive-through window, and then Berck says, “They put CHEESE on these!”  and orders his mom to drive back around through the drive-through.  Right then, a white dude with dreads and obviously suffering a psychotic break throws himself onto the pavement in front of us and starts hollering and thrashing about.  My mother-in-law, who doesn’t want to be there but who has been ordered to drive back around to the drive-through windows, starts driving forward, and Berck yells, “DON’T DRIVE OVER HIM!”  We manage to miss the psychotic break-dancing and proceed to the drive-through window, where Berck complains that we didn’t order cheese on our Krystals.  We get some replacement Krystals and then continue on our way.  (The schizophrenic dude has now picked himself up and started down the sidewalk.)  We have an argument about navigation, but the computers want us to go one direction, and Berck’s  mom prefers to rely on her memory of the roads in the area. We take a road heading north called Apopka Vineland Road, which Berck’s mom refuses to believe actually goes to the town of Apopka, where she lives.  Berck is trying to convince her that the reason they called it that name was because it goes from Vineland to Apopka.  That’s when we get to a train track with the gates down and the lights flashing.  Several cars in front of us are driving around the tracks, because, it is pretty obvious that the crossing warnings are malfunctioning. There are three possibilities at this point: take our chances flaunting the crossing signals, turn around and try a different route, or stay there indefinitely.  Berck’s mom decides to turn around and try a different route.  We take a detour and end back up on Apopka Vineland road, which, spoiler alert, ends up in Apopka.  

Today I’m grateful for my long-suffering mother-in-law who takes us to get Krystals, even when she really, really would rather not.