December 30, 2017: The Freeze Is Coming

Saturday.  Dominica and I got up this morning and packed up the Nissan Quest.  We got on the road relatively early so that we would have a clear drive up to Dallas.  The cold spell was pushed off a few hours so there wasn’t the panic to get up to Dallas, anytime today would be fine.  It won’t be super cold until very early in the morning, so we are good for the day.

The roads were pretty decent, we didn’t have a bad drive at all back up to Dallas.  We had worried that we were going to have to deal with bad conditions on this drive but it turned out to be just fine.

We got to the house, got the heat turned up, unpacked what we had to from the car, got the water dripping, opened the cupboards, inspected everything that we could, did a little cleaning, and were off to bed before all that long.

The predictions for this week are that we are facing the coldest stretch that we have ever witnessed in Texas.  Not just the longest freeze, but the deepest one.  Last year our pipes froze at twenty four degrees after one day.  This year we are looking at being that cold for about six days and going as low as seventeen degrees!  We have no idea what Dallas is going to be like when it is that cold.

This also starts our long stretch at home without our kids.  Hard to believe that Dominica and I have the house to ourselves for several days, this has not happened in a very, very long time.  Even just one evening to ourselves is pretty rare, but most of a week on our own is unprecedented.

It will likely be frozen out by the time that we wake up in the morning.  We are really excited to be back in our own, super comfortable bed today.  It is amazing how quickly you miss it.


December 12, 2017: Tuesday Alone

DuoLingo Streak: 101 Days

Tuesday.  Home alone for nearly a week at this point.  The house is very cold.  There is only me here and I am using almost no electronics so there is practically no heat being generated in the house and it has been in the forties all week.  So I have been all bundled up trying to stay warm, without running the heater at all.  Why waste the electricity?

I’ve discovered that Jack and tonic water actually works pretty well.  We have some Jack in the house that no one ever wants, so I have been working my way through that.

December 11, 2017: Full Week Alone

DuoLingo Streak: 100 Days

Monday.  One hundred days continuous on DuoLingo Spanish!  I am quite proud of that.  That has been so much work.  Boy can I tell that my Spanish is really improving.

It will likely be a week without news.  I’m home alone more or less without human contact.  Lots of work being done every day.  That’s all.

December 10, 2017: First Sunday Home Alone

DuoLingo Streak: 99 Days

Sunday. The house remains cold and quiet as we go on my fourth day of being home alone.  This is when I start getting super lonely.  There really isn’t anything for me to do but work.  I’m in the mood to put in some time playing Skyrim today, but with the Steam laptop not hear the only video games that I have would be the ones on the Nvidia Shield and there are not very many there and those that are there are not all that gripping and I am not currently into any of them which makes them that much less interesting.  So I am not very likely to do that.

It’s a bright, crisp, sunny day.  I was up at eight and got right into the office.  I did a good number of SAMIT videos yesterday, and wanted to get more done today while the light was not too bad.

Very little going on around the house in Dallas.  With the family in Houston I’m pretty lonely and spending my time just working or watching some YouTube.  I’ve found several educational YouTube shows that I really have been enjoying so have been watching those.

I’m at my limit of enjoying having time to myself already.  It’s only two, maybe three days tops, before the solitude starts to wear on me.  It is going to be a long week.  The current plan is that I’ll be home alone for at least another week.

December 9, 2017: YouTube Day

DuoLingo Streak: 98 Days

Saturday.  Home alone for the weekend.  There was just enough sun today to keep the house “warm” so that the heater did not have to kick on.  The house got as high as sixty six today.

I got a number of YouTube videos done today for my SAMIT channel.  That is really taking off.  I have hundreds of subscribers now and am getting regular comments, loads of activity, and a few new people subscribing every day.  Very exciting.

I unboxed my new Plantronics Voyager 8200 UC Bluetooth noise cancelling headset today that was a gift from Plantronics.  It’s tan and white and very comfy and sounds great and quite stylish.  Not something that I could have bought for myself but very nice to have.  I am going to be using this a lot.

After the sun got low and I could not work on videos any longer, I watched YouTube for a while, catching up on loads of educational stuff that I like to watch.  I watched Spectral, which was a Netflix movie supposedly set in Moldova, but it was clearly filmed by people who had never seen or been to Moldova and was very clearly Hungary which is a totally different looking kind of place and never once did they even bother trying to pretend that anyone knew the name of a city in Moldova, including the one that they were pretending to be in.  The whole movie was shot around a river – which there isn’t one of in Moldova’s capital either.  The movie was really weak, but the cast wasn’t bad.

Before bed I also watched an amazing documentary about Peru on Netflix called Peru: Tesoro Escondido.  I highly recommend it.

Late at night there was a shooting at Baybrook Mall in Friendswood, Texas, which is where all of our family is located and where Dominica and the girls are right now.  They always herald it as the seventh safest city in America and there was a mall shooter just down the street from where everyone was.  We were at that mall just two weeks ago!

December 8, 2017: Snow Covered Southern Texas

DuoLingo Streak: 97 Days

Friday.  Late last night and early this morning, snow fell all over the southern United States in places that never, ever get snow including nearly all of southern Texas including Houston, Galveston, Austin, and San Antonio; but oddly, not in Dallas which gets snow every year.  It was just too dry up here, I guess.  Down in Friendswood, everyone was up and making snowmen in the wee hours of the morning.  I’m not sure if any of the family has ever seen snow down there before and there was a lot of it today.  Enough to go out and play in.

The roads stayed clear, though, so even with this crazy weather they still had school which surprised me as even heavy rain can bring the region to a standstill.

I spent much of the day on the phone today working on one project or another.  I tried to do some work for my YouTube channel today, but my camera battery for the Lumix died the moment that I tried to get started.  So that did not happen.  I only have the one as all of the off-brand batteries that we bought are totally useless and don’t get even one minute of power once charged.  So I have to work from the one, good, Panasonic brand battery.  So the day was lost for that.

This evening I went up to the Dallas Brewing Company in The Colony and had a couple of beers.  Stefany is working up there now and I’ve not seen her in a year.  The DBC has a nice outdoor seating area that is perfect for chilly Dallas nights with a big fireplace and is full of dogs to play with.

Actually had to turn on the heat tonight.  Only a tiny bit, but it was pretty cold in the house.