HTT: How To Autumn

There are certain signs.

Signs that indicate the terrible summer is almost to a close.

And by 'terrible summer' I mean the beginning of March where the A/C starting kicking on and I had to roll down the windows before getting into my car.

It has been nine long months of heat, and frankly, I can't wait to have an entire pair of underware last me all day without be dripping wet by noon.

But there are signs.

Signs that Fall is almost upon us.

I wouldn't necessarily say that the heat is diminishing, yesterday was in the mid-nineties, but as I got up to take my child to school, I saw clouds in the sky, and felt a little tingle in my toes and considered socks for the first time since April.

There are halloween decorations, and new Simpsons episodes, and ingeniuous news ways of adding pumpkin spice to everything from coffee to tampons.

So Today's 'How To Tuesday' is all about making the most of this seasonal transition.

Step One: The Closet.
Oh . . . you know which one I mean . . . the one in the hallway that you've been throwing things into as you cleaned up the rest of the house because guests were coming. The one with the pile of shoes that you were never going to wear in this heat. The one filled with snow jackets, and sweaters, tennis rackets, and rolls and rolls of wrapping paper with dancing reindeer that your wife won't let you use for a neice's birthday present 'cause it's too christmas-y and you're like "But she's turning two, she'll never know the difference." and your wife's like "Other people will know!" and you're like "So?" and she's like "We're not wrapping a birthday present with christmas paper and that's final." and you're like "Fine!" and she's like "Fine!"

That closet.

Anyway, hidden deep down in the murky depths of 'That Closet' are a few items you're going to potentially need or throw away and replace. First is the light jacket. The windbreaker, or hoodie sweatshirt. You're gonna walk out of the house one day and realize it's just a bit too brisk for the Daisy Dukes and halter-top and you're gonna wanna have something quick an warm to throw over your ensemble.

Also hidden, at least three different umbrellas that you've purchased over the years. The little one for the kid, and several that you've received whenever your bank is running a promotion. Get them out of there, take them outside, and check to make sure they're not broken or too big or too small. Leave two by the front door so when the rains do come (pleasepleasepleaseplease) you don't end up looking like the unpleasant fat guy at the wet T-Shirt contest who nobody feels comfortable saying anything to.

Step Two: The inside of your car.
No I get it. No one likes to clean their cars in the heat. So there is a very good chance that your vehicle is loaded with empty snack wrappers and half empty water bottles and coffee mugs and possibly all the umbrellas that never made it back in to the closet. There also might be a few jackets as well because of those days where it was jacket weather in the morning and sports-bra weather by the afternoon.

Anyway, you've got a tiny window between the heat and the rain where it is paramount to clean out that SUV.

Hey, if you're lucky, you might even find a few french fries to chew while you're throwing things away.

And don't forget the airfreshener.

I hear you can get them with lowfat pumkin spice scent.

Step Three: Ants
The rains are gonna come, and no one is going to be more unprepared for it than the colony of ants that have been burrowing holes into the foundation of your house. Their poor little tunnels are gonna be flooded and they're going to be rushing to the higher ground that is your kitchen.

Now I have always had success with those little ant poison traps. The smell of the spray stuff isn't good for people, pets, and wifi connections and only kills the little buggers on sight. I've heard that Fabreeze can kill ants too, so there's that for you Pinterest people, but the best way is a three tiered approach. Clean the surfaces, drop the traps along corners and entryways, and find the place in your walls that the ants are sneaking in from and caulk that crack up.

If you're out of the stuff, than make sure your wife is home and resting on the couch and then scream loudly "Hey Honey. I'm going out to get some big strong caulk!"

That'll get a helluva response.

Unless you're married to my wife, cause her response will be like,

"Whatever, just pick up some wrapping paper while you're out."

Step Four: The Apple Update.
I know this is a total white suburb problem (cause so far these have beeen so universal), but every September Apple releases a flurry of new products that coincide with a new revolutionary operating system.

Now, I love my iPhones, I love my iPads, I love my iMac, my Apple TV, and I still even love my classic iPod for when I want to listen to music and not take any calls.

But as of this writing, all of those things are working great. I don't need or have cash for any upgraded hardware.

So we're all kinda stuck with the existential October question of "To update, Or not to update."

To update one, means to have to update them all, and if you have a peripheral that is more than two years old, then there is a good chance that the update will slow that shit down.

Also, you may run into a problem where one of the programs you've relied upon for years will also have to be updated. Which could cost all kinds of paypal credits.


Now I will say this: I went PC once . . . once . . . and every time it updated . . . I had to go out and buy a new printer . . . and in two cases . . . entirely new programs that wouldn't talk to the old ones. I lost two years of music work because of this . . . so . . . you know . . . maybe $14.95 for an updated version of iMove isn't a tragedy, but still.

Now in days of future passed, my technique was to wait until the absolute last minute and then upgrade everything all at once, but I'm too poor for that kind of conspicuous consumption, so this year might be a crap shoot.

Anyway, here's the trick: Wait a month or two. Then do a little consumer research. Last year's update pretty much dismantled the iPhone 4, but the iPhone 4s was just fine, so wait until the jury is in and decide if updating is going to be okay, or if it's gonna cost you a visit to AT&T.

Patience Grasshopper. Patience.

Step Five: Discover the great outdoors.
Now is the time, while the temperature won't melt your sun-glasses, that you can take your wife on a picnic and go for walks and throw the frisbee to an uninterested nine year old. Take advantage of this time. All seven seasons of the Gilmore Girls can wait until the rain really gets going.

Last Step: Prepare for indoor activities.
Not much can be done once the monsoons begin in earnest, so you're going to wanna stock up on board games, lego sets, and crossword puzzles. Soon, the nine year old is gonna get antsy with no one to ride bikes with, so gather all your quarters and prepare to drop him off at Chuckee Cheese so that you and your wife can get a little quiet time.

Unless, of course, you notice that she has a faint scent of pumpkin spice. Then, well, chocolate and flowers are your best bet.

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