Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Sunny, with chance of LOUD

It has been a hot, wet, humid summer in my corner of the world.

The hot and humid parts aren't too unusual for the Philadelphia area. But the mini-seasons of monsoon followed by baking heat followed by more monsoons added a few wrinkles to summer fun.

What I’ve been waiting for were the temperate days when I could work with windows open. That’s one of the joys of working from home.

It’s also one of the problems when your home is in a suburban neighborhood.

If it’s nice enough outside for open windows, it’s nice enough for neighbors (or their contractors) to do outside – and often quite noisy – work. Think lawn mowers, leaf blowers, power washers.

The day could start wonderfully peaceful. Birds singing. Crickets chirping. Quite the pastoral audio background for my conference calls and client interviews.

But the minute I pick up the headset and start dialing, one or another lawn service pulls up and starts revving its engines. Guaranteed.

I’m not complaining. Really. After 13 years of the freelance life, I’ve learned to shake my head – and close the windows.

I just bring this up as word of warning. I’m always eager to take calls from clients and colleagues. But if it’s a little noisy on my end, it’s probably a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Watch me

Time stood still for me last month.

Every single watch I pulled out of the drawer was stopped.

It’s not that I wear watches often. I fell out of the habit in my corporate days, when I drove myself crazy constantly checking the time because, well, it was right there on my wrist.

Taking the watch off was quite liberating.

Since becoming a freelancer back in 2000, time has been mine to manage. Now I enjoy the few instances when I wear a watch -- for client meetings and to time my runs.

So it was odd that all my watches decided to quit at once. Maybe those replacement batteries from the discount store aren’t such a great deal after all.

I took the whole bunch to a jeweler. It was like the good old days, when it was easy to find a craftsman to fix aging but beloved items.

I'll admit it felt strange not to fix something with a download or a patch or an app. There was no software to install. No engaging in an online chat or phone call with customer service.

I walked into the store and dumped my whole stash of watches on the counter. A short time later, they were good as new.

Time marches on, and now I can once again tick off the minutes.