I'm still wrapping things up from the holiday. This past week was a bit a stretch for some - after the long holidays and week off, it was hard to get back into a rhythm. Reports and projects that were postponed prior to the holidays have returned with a vengeance. We are already working at deadlines and projects due by the end of the month.
At least at home I am making some progress in returning things to a quasi normal state. I took the Xmas lights down after returning from the New Year's rally. In the old days, we would typically leave them up until the Super Bowl, but that was when it was in January. I started dismantling the tree and packing it up in the attic. This year I broke with tradition and change the lighting scheme. Our company was encouraging everyone to decorate in purple (designated color for Epilepsy Awareness) so I bought several purple led strings. Made for an interesting display - purple is a bit darker than the typical white bulbs and most of my pictures did not come out well. I am spending the day packing the ornaments and decorations away while watching the playoffs.
Yesterday, I went to turn in recycling. The city had a hazardous recycling day where you can recycle things like electronics, batteries, chemicals, paint, etc.. Things that are not normally in the recycling chain and you don't want to throw in the trash. I've done two of these before and they were well run. Yesterday was not. I drove by the drop off initially and the line of cars was down the block and not moving. Ran off to do some errands and came back and the line was longer. I didn't have much (got rid of a lot our electronics last summer) - just a couple of cans of paint and some batteries so I decided to try it anyway. I sat in line for a good 20 minutes before I decided (like a few others) to park and just carry it over to the drop off only to be rudely told "no walk ups" and we had to drive through in our cars. There were several other who has the same idea only to be turned away. More than a few simply said screw it and left. I decided to do my bit for queen & country and stick it out. I understand that the people were working hard and it was a miserable day (rain, cold) and they were overwhelmed by the number of vehicles, but 1.5 hours to turn in some cans of paint and batteries? I did the right thing for the environment but many people were unhappy with the total chaos and lack of communication.
At least I did do one good deed over the holidays. While out at the New Year's rally, I had to run into town to get some supplies to make wassail. Went to the small town grocery store in Bellville - Brookshire Brothers. Got my supplies and had checked out and decided to buy a lottery ticket on a lark. While waiting at the counter, a young woman and her daughter came up aside of me. A typical harried young mother with highly energetic and bubbly daughter. Since the woman looked like she had her hands full, I waved her on in front of me. For a brief moment, I started to regret my chivalry when I saw she was cashing her paycheck and had to go through all sorts of confirmation and authentication, but I figured I had time and she didn't. Took a some time for the cashier to verify her id and count out the bills - had to be a decent check since I saw several 50s and a few 100s cross the counter. She wrapped everything up and collected her daughter to pick up a few things in the store and turned away. As I stepped up to the counter I noticed a nice crisp, clean brand new $100 bill still on the counter. Took me a nanosecond to recognize it and where it came from. I picked it up and turned to go find the mother. Fortunately, they hadn't gotten far and I was able to hand it back to her. I can tell she was a bit embarrassed and thanked me profusely. When I stepped back to the window, the elderly gentlemen behind me gave me a thumbs up and nodded in approval. I said that it was the right thing to do. It may be the boy scout in me but I couldn't live with myself if I hadn't done that.