Making 4AM Work

4:14 glowers at me from across the room.

Grumble.  Darkness.


This isn’t working.


Not going to fall back to sleep am I?


Feet hit the floor, grab the socks.

Even Rack doesn’t believe I’m up at Insane O’Clock.  He barely looks up at me through the predawn glow. 

I pad to the bathroom with my way lit by dozens of little Power On LEDs on various clocks and power conditioners.

Take care of business.  It’s now 4:45.  May as well get started. 

I walk out of the bedroom and say “Hello Oscar”.  Rack is still laying in his dog bed.  Oscar thinks I’m insane and tells me so.

Just what I need, social commentary from a bird.  “Ok, Oscar, Good morning.”
“Hello!  Plbtbtbtbtbtbt”.

I think Raspberries, I haven’t had them in ages…

I get Rack’s food and water set up for him and try to get him to eat.  He finally sticks a black nose around the corner.  Slowly moves over to the bowl, gives it a single sniff and walks to the front door.

“Hey, I’m over here.”

I get Rack dressed and we walk outside.  Chilly morning.  Should be, I’m up and walking the dog a solid hour earlier than normal.  It isn’t yet 5AM.  I bet the people I see won’t be all that … normal.   Even the gym is closed.

We stop and sniff.  And Sniff.  And Sniff.   Every.  Single. Step.  It seems we’re in a sniffy mood but nothing really happens.  

The nice thing is that it’s quiet.  I mean quiet in a way that it rarely is in South Florida.   I’m just about in the middle of the sprawl of the city and there’s nothing going on.   I hear a van approaching.   It is approaching for so long that I realize I was hearing it before it was even in town. 

The van passes, we get out to The Drive.   The parking lot was unproductive.

The pavement is wet from misdirected irrigation systems.   The sprinkler heads are pointed in strange angles.  I’m That Guy who walks past a sprinkler that is pointing strangely and re-aims it to do some good.  Besides, watering concrete won’t help anyone.

We make it to the middle of the walk before Rack finally wakes up enough to do what he needs to. 

Still silent, the closing of the trash can actually echos off the big apartment building towards our rear.

It is our city.  Mine and the dog’s.   Walking down the middle of the street with nothing to worry us.  Even that strange barky rottweiler in the house on the corner is sleeping when we walk past.

Really, hair trigger dogs need training.  Shaddap dog!

I spot an approaching car far enough off that we manage to get to the side of the street well before we need to and wave.   It’s an unknown officer from our PD – you can’t see who it is in this darkness and I suspect that is how they like it.  It wouldn’t be the first day I see a cop at well before 6 AM in town, I expect them.

The one thing I realize is that all this is going much faster than usual.  The next walk in a bit more than 12 hours will be the 5PM walk.  Same distance could take as long as an hour.  Every dog in the neighborhood is out watering the park at 5:25 PM.  At 5:25AM you have the city to yourself.

I’m so early that I realize I am back home sitting in my chair having had breakfast, sitting coffee, chair dancing to a Brit-pop RnB song played on BFBS that fades into their presenter giving weather forecasts for the British Forces around the world.

18C in Kandahar, 5C in Kabul, and 18C and sunny in Gib.

That’s Gibraltar to us outsiders.  Gib’s chilly tonight, going down to 9C.

Dance Contest in Germany and a pick-up aerobics get together workout in the Falklands.

By the time the sun is up, I’m already getting restless.  The dog has decided that he’ll just finish his sleep.  I’m deciding on a second cup of coffee.

Checking on email, my part for the computer is on its way, two different websites need attention, the newsletter for the month gets started, and I get a part for a project that will let me sell a computer in a couple weeks.

May as well just be productive if you’re up at 4, you never know who you won’t stumble into.

Have You Ever Had One Of Those Mornings?

I am smiling.  I’m also shaking my head.   It’s been an amusing day, and it’s been the last hour that is the cause of it.

I have a groove.  I know what I will be doing at a given time of day for the most part.  When something shakes up my groove, hilarity may ensue.

I also have people around me who think it’s entertaining to upset my groove.   Those people need to be duct taped to the ceiling fan and then the fan turned on full so they spin merrily above the ground.

Or something like that.

Been up early and got the dog out for his walk.  He dragged me out to the shopping center near the house. 

No. Big. Deal. 

I didn’t think anything of it until we rounded the corner.  You see, Rack is “noise averse”.  Drop something on the floor and he’ll jump.  He was about to experience a lot of noise all at once.  The shopping center has been in the process of being painted for the last month or so.   They do it before the businesses open, so you may not have seen it unless you’re at the gym, walking your dog, or a “leftover” from the last night bar crowd.

No. Big. Deal. 

We got to the place that they were working and his dragging me toward the noise became a big “Nope” and he started dragging me away.   As in total fear toward the loud growly equipment. 

Deal.  You will survive.  In fact it’s good for him to be exposed to it and survive.   He did, we got past and he almost immediately went “normal”.

Whatever the heck that is.

Flying through the normal morning routine… er, whatever that is, I managed to get to the point where I needed to leave.  Not completely, the laptop might be needed and it was sitting stuck at 30% update where it had been for the better part of the last half hour.  

Nope.  Stay home computer, you’re drunk.

Getting into the Jeep, I piled my neighbor into it for a trip out to the Hospital where she was to be dropped off for a procedure.  

On the way… I have to say South Florida Drivers need to stop messing about and concentrate on their driving.

Between the woman in front of me at the light at Dixie and Prospect doing her Mascara, and the woman at the bus stop with the see through bottoms, it was a scenic drive.

I didn’t point that out to my neighbor as I dropped her off and got back into the Jeep.

Heading back I saw two different morons texting, and a fool trying to convince a pickup truck with a giant arrow sign pointing into the center lane moving at a walking pace to move faster.

Not. Gonna. Happen.  Oh wait!  You’re a snowbird.  Go back to Ontario, you’re drunk.

Playing with the radio, the local “Party Station” was talking about the Bronies of Kendall.  I had to think about this one.  I’m all for diversity, I’m pretty “diverse” myself, but I still can’t wrap my head around the attraction of technicolor plastic ponies and the society around it.  On top of it, the presenter made her announcement then went into a story about a barn in Germany that exploded due to cow “wind” followed by every bad pun she could think about referring to Cows, Bulls, and Farming in general.

Better to pull into the driveway and wash the Jeep.  It’s much safer.  The roads are a strange place.

With the music pouring out of the house singing the praises of being in America, I realized that the British Forces Broadcast Services were having an odd day as well.  It ended that song with the presenter telling all the British Armed Forces, and one guy in South Florida about his long nose hair that had to be pulled out.

“Crikey!  That’s long!  That came out of me?”

Weirdness is universal.   We’re all weird.  Some of us just get to do it publicly.  Now, my BFBS Gibraltar Presenter is talking about Going Commando. 

I think “all this in one hour?”  It’s time for another mug of coffee.   It is going to be a strange day.