Tag Archives: weather

A Warm January Day

The weather cooperated with us this year. More often than not, when we leave for Florida in December, the weather here is cold and nasty. By the time we cross the St. Mary’s River from George in to Florida, the skies are clear, and the temperatures are warm. I open the windows to soak it in. The reserve is usually true on the way home. We leave Florida’s sunny, warm January weather and arrive home in sleet and cold.

This time was different. We did, indeed, leave Florida with blue skies and warm weather. But we arrived home with almost equally warm weather. It was 72 degrees here in Arlington, Virginia yesterday!

Our house backs up to the local park, and when I took a walk through the park yesterday afternoon, it was flooded with people; more people than I think I have ever seen at one time. Each of them had dragged out their New Year’s Resolutions and were making their way around the park, walking, jogging, biking, skating. Dogs owners obediently followed their charges. My ducks were out in enjoying the warm air. Squirrels were everywhere. I saw one petrified squirrel trapped in the middle of a playground full of children. It ran one way, and halted, its path blocked by a toddler. It ran another way and found another toddler blocking its way. It hid under a slide, until identifying a clear path and making its way to a tree.

According to this morning’s paper, yesterday’s warm weather did not set a record for this day in January. The record was 75 F and we only reached San Diego weather of 72 F. Still, for us thick-blooded Mid-Atlantians, it felt like an early summer day.

It was so warm that Nature was fooled, and I saw buds in the trees.

Buds in the trees in January.

It rained overnight. I woke up around 2 am and it sounded like an ocean crashing down on our roof. But when the sun came up, the sky was clear and blue and the temperatures were still in the mid-60s. It made for a pleasant morning walk.

We spent 3 weeks in Florida between December and January. We swam in pools, in the Gulf and in the Atlantic. It sort of spoils you for the cold weather when you spend that much time in winter in warm weather. So it was nice to come back to weather that helps to ease the transition.

It will cool off over the next few days, but it will by no means be cold. 56 F tomorrow, 53 on Tuesday, 60 on Wednesday, 54 on Thursday. Next weekend it looks like it will return to normal around here.

When I lived in New England as a kid, I remember an occasional warm period during winter and it was always a treat. I’m grateful that the Internet didn’t exist back then, and that HBO (in its very early days) played Star Wars over and over again. I’d seen it 20 times. It meant that when the weather was unseasonably warm, we were outdoor, playing in the woods, or in the frames of the unfinished houses being built in our neighborhood. Only reluctantly would we return indoors, drowning our sorrows in MTV videos of Duran Duran’s “Rio”, Peter Gabriel’s “Shock the Monkey,” and the Buggles “Video Killed the Radio Star.”

I shudder to think that was nearly 40 years ago.

Spring has sprung

I think we’ve made it through the mildest winter I’ve experienced in the nearly 10 years that I’ve lived in the metro Washington, D.C. area. I didn’t even have to break out a shovel this winter. Granted, we are still in winter for another 12 days. But I think we’ve left the winter weather behind us. It was 70 degrees here today, with warm, Santa Ana-like winds blowing. It is going to cool off a bit this weekend, but then next week, we’re back in the 60s and 70s and there is no end in sight. (And besides, I consider it spring once we enter Daylight Saving time, which we will do early this Sunday morning.)

I’m not complaining, mind you, but spring has just a little less zing to it when it follows such a mild and ineffective winter. I mean, seriously, this winter was so mild it doesn’t even deserve the appellation.

My favorite writing weather

I often hear writers talking about their favorite time of day to write, their favorite coffee shop in which to write, their favorite office space or chair. But I don’t think I’ve ever heard a writer describe his or her favorite type of weather in which to write. I was thinking about this recently because I was thinking about my favorite types of weather. Fall in the Mid-Atlantic states does that, I suppose. I have three favorite types of weather, all of which are based on experiences in that weather.

First, there is the approaching thunderstorm rolling in across distant fields on a farm. When I was a kid, I would occasionally go to rural Utah to visit some relatives, one of whom lived on just such a farm. At night, when it was clear, it was amazing how many stars you could see. But I especially liked the days when a storm was rolling in. You could see the billowing cumulonimbus clouds across the fields and over the hilltops. The thunder rumbled, it didn’t crash; it was as if the entire sky was groaning. You could catch a flash of lightning here of there. But it was the electric feeling in the atmosphere that made it so thrilling. Before a single drop of rain fell, you could feel it in the air. The breeze would turn into a wind, the pressure would change, you could smell ozone mixed with the manure from the fields. And you could just stand there on the porch and watch the storm roll in.

Continue reading My favorite writing weather

Earth, wind, and… fire?

Early this week we had an earthquake measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale. Tomorrow we are facing Hurricane Irene. In our part of the mid-Atlantic, it will likely be tropical storm-force, as opposed hurricane force. The rain is supposed to start tomorrow morning and get stronger throughout the day until tomorrow evening, when the strong winds and heavy rains arrive. Estimates in this area are winds around 30 mph and 1-2 inches of rain.

We have stocked up on various supplies. We have plenty of milk, bread, and emergency water. Our pantry is full. We have diapers and wipes and stuff for the baby. We have flashlights and plenty of batteries. One of the cars has a full tank of gas. My iPad has a full charge. If the power is out, I can still read book for more than 10 hours. The Little Man can watch videos.

The news is making a very big deal of this storm, especially up in New York. I have a hard time believing the storm will live up to the expectations–at least in my area. But we are still taking the necessary precautions. Of course, if the hurricane shifts to the west, we could be in for a rough time. I suspect we may have a power outage. I’ve received email from our cable company letting us know about potential interruptions in service and what they will be doing to mitigate the interruptions. I’ve received a similar email from AAA. I guess we’ll find out the reality of it tomorrow evening.

The thing is: with the earthquake and the wind from the hurricane, it does make one wonder: is fire next?

Saturday morning

Somehow, we managed to sleep in late this morning, even for us. I didn’t get up until 9:30. Kelly was already up. We made waffles for breakfast and then Kelly headed off to the gym while I did some reading.

Spoke to Denisse this morning. She and AJ are coming over for New Year’s Eve and the four of us will be ringing in the New Year together. I’ve got to do some grocery shopping this afternoon, and we’ll be heading back to my house shortly so that I can do that and Kelly can do some laundry.

This evening, we are going to Kelly’s friend Sara’s house to watch the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots, thereby ruining their perfect season. I can’t wait for that, and I’m not even a football fan.

Weather is supposed to be pleasant today. Partly sunny with temperatures in the upper 50s. Not as nice as this time last week, but not as cold as it is going to be in Minneapolis where Trevor and thepopeswife live.

Rainy days

It’s been pouring out since the middle of the night, but it’s actually kind of nice. It’s one of those days where I don’t have to be out in the rain, I’m in my office, surrounded by co-workers, and feeling generally productive. But the rain is really coming down, and a cold front is on it’s way.

It was actually very mild last night. I stayed late at work for a meeting and then met Kelly for dinner after work. We walked to the Cheesecake Factory and the weather was very nice. It almost felt warm. There was a pleasant breeze. And this morning, it’s raining and growing steadily colder. Supposed to be sunny for the weekend, though. I think we’re hanging out with AJ and Denisse on Saturday.

Okay, back to work…

Here comes the rain again

It was actually warm last night and never really cooled down. When I went to bed, I let the bedroom window open and even in the house it didn’t cool down. But it rained, and the sound of the rain was wonderful and helped to lull me to sleep.

It looks like its supposed to be overcast and rainy throughout the day today. It might even begin to cool off the latter half of this week, which means it may begin to feel more fall-like. I can’t wait.

Lots of phone calls last night. I spoke to Dad. He and Mom were at the airport in Vegas waiting to fly home. As usual, Mom won. Dad bet on the Mets in 2008 in the sports book. That’s team loyalty for you. I also spoke to he11o_sunshine, strausmouse, and vickyandnorm. Looks like a bunch of us will be getting together for a visit on Veterans Day weekend.

I am finally caught up on The Shield. Over the course of the last 2 weeks or so, I’ve gone through all 6 seasons, something like 70+ episodes. Season 7 is scheduled to start in January and I’ve already setup a Season Pass for it on TiVo.

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.


Early in the morning

I’ve been getting to bed pretty early the last couple of nights. I was in bed before 8 PM last night and had the lights out an hour or so later. Also been sleeping with the bedroom window open because it’s been nice out, cool, but not cold. (Of course, today that might change–it will be close to 90 today and tomorrow and I may need the A/C again.)

I’m up early for the gym–cardio day–and I wanted to point out that just because I get up extremely early (4:20 this morning) doesn’t mean that it’s easy for me to do so. Friends at work seem to make this assumption. I actually woke up around 4:10 and I more or less stared at the clock for 10 minutes wondering if there was any way I could get additional sleep. When I realized that there was no way I could do that without forgoing the gym, my next step was to begin to think about when I would be able to sleep next–my lunchtime nap. I also thought about how early I would get to bed tonight. So what that it’s season premier week, that’s why I have Tivo, right?

And speaking of Tivo, yesterday I watched the Star Wars episode of Family Guy, which Tivo had recorded on my behalf. I’ve seen only one other episode of Family Guy–one that AJ insisted that I watch while visiting him and Denisse one day. But the “Star Wars” episode was rather hilarious.

Last night was quiet. I watched some TV, did no reading or writing and in general felt and acted lazy. I did call Andy and talked to him for a little while. He sounded pretty tired on the phone, but that’s what one would expect from someone with a newborn on his hands. I also spoke to Dad. And I played phone tag with Doug.

I’ve got to head over to the metro in a little while to catch my train into work.


I slept in this morning, getting up at just about 10 AM! I watched the Red Sox pound the Yankees late yesterday afternoon, and then watched a couple of movies before going to bed. It was pretty late when I finally got to sleep, which explains why I slept in so late this morning.

Tivo had recorded Singles, the one Cameron Crowe movie that I somehow never managed to see, so I watched it this morning. As always, good cast and great music. I watched Real Time with Bill Mahr afterward and he had me rolling in the aisles.

Thinking about getting started cleaning out the garage today. There’s a ton of junk in there that can be gotten rid of and I need to start somewhere. I want to get it done before winter when it’s too cold to be out there for any amount of time. I’ll probably work on it slowly, over the next couple of weeks.

The weather cooled off today. In fact, it was downright chilly last night. It’s not cold today, just cooler, much more like fall than summer.

Big Yankees/Red Sox game tonight at 8 PM on ESPN, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to watch it. I’m planning on getting up at 4:20 AM for the gym and that means getting to bed pretty early.

Ah, fresh air

It’s been fairly hot and humid these past several weeks but it cooled off substantially yesterday and last night, I was able to go to bed with my bedroom windows wide open. It felt great to sleep in the cool, dry air. So much so that I really didn’t want to get up for work this morning, but as usual, I dragged myself out of bed before my alarm went off at 5:30 AM.

Lots of stars out at 5:45 AM when I headed out to the car. I don’t know why I don’t always notice that, but this morning, perhaps, the sky was so clear and clean and there was little surrounding ambient light, that the stars just kind of jumped out at you. Pretty cool!

Hump day

Trouble focusing on tasks today for some reason. I’m getting things done but not as much as I hoped. Maybe part of it is the bright blue sky I can see just out my office windows. The weather cooled off a bit today. It’s in the 70s and absolutely beautiful out.

Had Chinese food for lunch which is incredibly rare for me.

Forgot to mention a strange coincidence yesterday. I sent off a handwritten letter to Trevor and thepopeswife because I owed them one from months ago. Later in the day, I got a call from Trevor saying that they were coming out Virginia in early October, so I’ll get to see them soon, which is nice.

I’m halfway through The Reagan Diaries (my reading has slowed down this last week for a variety of reasons), but it is still an interesting read, even if I still don’t think much of Reagan.

A mini happy-hour after work today at 6 PM. I was staying late anyway for a meeting at 4 PM.