105 day season
Wednesday, March 18 2009
There was that day in late February when temperatures almost cracked 60, and there was March 8th, when temperatures passed it. Today, though, temperatures climbed slightly above 65 and the environment itself finally seemed prepared to declare this to be the true start of Spring. The Spring Peepers haven't started up yet, but the birds have been singing like crazy and some have found other ways to celebrate the changing of the season.
I saw a raven flying leisurely overhead and then, just because he could, he rolled over in mid-flight, closed his wings, and slid down an invisible slippery slide made of compressed air on his back. It was as if he'd transformed himself into a seal and the sky into Antarctica. After dropping a dozen or more feet, he righted himself, opened his wings, and continued on as a bird.
The weather was so pleasant that Gretchen wondered if we could turn off the boiler for the season. I said that we probably could, but there would be a few more cold days in our future and we'd have to get by with just the woodstove, whose heat can't reach places like the laboratory (my concern) or the bedroom (everyone's concern). But still it seemed like a safe gamble to turn off the boiler. After I did so, I went out and looked at the fuel level in our 250 gallon tank. It still registered the presence of more than an eighth of a tank, meaning we'd only burned 220 gallons of fuel oil in this boiler-heating season (we'd filled the tank before the season began). That's pretty good for a house with over four thousand square feet of indoor space, though admittedly much of that space was either heated by a woodstove or kept uncomfortably cold for most or all of that time. It's also worth mentioning that this just-concluded boiler season had been the shortest yet, only 105 days, from December 3rd to today.
I took advantage of the good weather to do a number of outdoor chores, particularly the clean up, vacuuming, and cosmetic maintenance of the accursed hatchback, which would soon be finding itself on the auction block.
The warm weather even forced me to do a little unscheduled computer maintenance. It became so warm in my laboratory that my computer could no longer keep its CPU cool, and it kept dying. I finally opened it up to see if anything could be done and found that the CPU's heat sink was completely jammed with dust, the fibre-rich kind common in a house full of cats.
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