Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Weekend Assignment # 352: Busy Season

For Weekend Assignment # 352: Winter Work, I asked,

Weekend Assignment # 352: Winter Work
Now that the new year has begun, most of us are back at work, with only a few holidays to look forward to over the next several months. Most of us in the Northern Hemisphere wake now to cold, dark mornings, and may see little or no daylight on our morning and evening commutes. What is this time of year like for you? Are you more productive in the bleak midwinter, less so, or neither? What is the weather like where you are, and do you enjoy it?

Extra Credit: Are you still working on unfinished business from last year? 

For quite a few years now, excluding the ones in which January found me unemployed or nearly so, this has been my busy season. When January hits, accountants and many bookkeepers are faced with such "year-end" tasks as generating W-2 and 1099 forms, solving the arcane mysteries of correctly booking accrued payroll, and beginning the process or tracking down last year's errors and proving that the resulting numbers are the correct ones. This year I'm working on two or more of these tasks at both St. Michael's and St. Matthew's, and trying to nail down a reasonable 2011 budget ahead of our parish's annual meeting. Oh, and I also bought a car last night to replace my beloved Eagle Vision, which had developed multiple transmission fluid leaks. And tomorrow I drive up to Phoenix to pick up my almost-88-year-old Dad, for a really badly-timed 4-day visit!

But at least while he's here he's likely to encounter some of the best weather in the country. We've had some cold nights, including some that dipped below freezing; but the days have generally been in the fifties and sixties. I think this weekend we're expected to get back into the seventies. January sometimes gets winter rain, but I'll be surprised if Dad sees any of that, so no snow on the mountains. Frankly, winter is most of why people move to Tucson in the first place. I much prefer January in Tucson to January anywhere else I've lived, from Syracuse to Satellite Beach, Florida. Well, okay, I mostly just visited Satellite Beach, where my mom lived for many years, but you get the idea.

It has snowed in Tucson in winter, maybe once every five years or so; I think it was closer to once a year a quarter century ago. That picture in the graphic above shows my Eagle being snowed on during one such night, shortly before I drove back to work for a near all-nighter. How's that for drawing together the threads of this rapidly unraveling post?

And oh, yeah, I have plenty of unfinished business to attend to, mostly lots of accounting stuff and house cleaning. So what else is new? I'm also in the home stretch of a silly one-story-a-day Doctor Who marathon that started last year, and falling behind. The events this week in Tucson are much more compelling and important than watching my favorite tv show. I just wish I had more time to cover every activity that requires my attention right now, from professional responsibilities to family ones, and the need to join the country in reflecting on what happened last weekend, what it means to us as a country and the best way to move forward. It seems clear now that Jared Loughner had no coherent political philosophy, and reacted far less to any politic figure than to his own inner demons. I don't think it helps the country for people to demonize each other, but this young man apparently managed to demonize his local member of Congress all by himself. The question now is, where to we go from here?


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