The Art of Exploration · a diary of day trips, natural places, and miscellaneous adventures

January Busy Work

Saturday, January 16th, 2016 in Colorado
January Busy Work

I’m back in northern Colorado after several weeks in the UK and I’m gradually adjusting to the time shift and easing myself back into a routine of sorts. My productivity was low for the first few days after my return but I’m making progress. Which is good, because January always seems to be one of the busiest months of the year for me.

On the job front, I usually receive a flood of new projects and responsibilities that need my immediate attention and require many hours of overtime. On the personal front, January is when I get organized. I sort through filing cabinets and clothing closets alike, trimming and streamlining wherever possible. It’s also when I like to get my taxes sorted out and I often finish my part and then spend several weeks waiting for a fistful of tax forms to arrive in the mail before I can send the whole lot to the IRS. It’s ridiculous really, taxes can actually wait until February. Deep down, I know that.

This year has been no different. Already I’ve tackled a huge backlog of tasks for work and I’ve sorted through several piles of stuff. Old clothes, neglected books, and outdated electronics are now ready to be recycled, donated, or included in the next neighborhood garage sale, as appropriate. It’s a wonderful feeling to complete my annual clutter cull.

Lumpy Ridge
Lumpy Ridge

January also seems to be the time that I shake things up behind-the-scenes at this website. My current web hosting plan expires in February and this makes January the perfect time to consider new hosting options, clean-up code, and optimize page load speed. This year, I’ve concluded that it’s time for a change of host. To that end, I’m leaving Bluehost and am migrating to SiteGround. Most of the heavy-lifting of the move is complete and so far I’m thrilled with my new host. SiteGround offers a set of powerful site management tools that I didn’t have before, and all are easy to understand and implement. And my new hosting plan costs considerably less too. Win, win.

Changing hosts involves a lot of work and a dash of uncertainty. One hurdle that I must navigate is that of images—I’m taking this opportunity to upgrade all of the photographs presented on the site. This means that, for the next several weeks, many of my posts will lack images. I’m working quickly to get all the missing pixels back online, but it will take time.

Over the many years that I’ve tended this website (13, YIKES!), I’ve learned that I’m never finished with it. In fact, I’m pretty certain that all websites, especially blogs, are works in progress. They need constant care and attention—pruning, feeding, watering, nurturing … and occasionally a good bit of hacking. I hope my current tinkerings will result in improved performance, robust and responsive design, and top quality images (or at least the best my photo-making skills will allow). In the meantime, please excuse my mess.

Lumpy Ridge
Lumpy Ridge
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Assortment

Scout Lookout
Scout Lookout
When we set out this morning, we had planned to hike the Zion Narrows as far as we could from the bottom up, starting at the Temple of Sinawava.
Lichen Loop
Lichen Loop
Today I made a quick exploratory visit to Heil Valley Ranch. This was my first visit to this park and I was pleased to find that it is yet another nearby area that offers plenty of beautiful landscape, interesting geology, and many miles of trails.
Mitchell Park Conservatory
Mitchell Park Conservatory
January is getting to me. I made it through most of the month without complaining about the weather, but I can take it no more. I am finally and officially sick of winter. It’s cold, its grey, and I’ve had enough.