How I’m spending my winter furlough

I was already taking vacation time from Christmas Eve through New Year’s, so even though the government has been closed since December 22 I’ve only been not working as planned since January 2. As a government contractor I’m using my paid time off so I can continue to be paid while the government is shut down, but later this upcoming week I’ll be out of paid time off and will be taking advantage of my company letting us go negative on our time off balance. So, at least I’m still getting paid, but I don’t know how much of a negative vacation balance I’ll be able to accrue or what I’ll do if the shutdown lasts longer than my company wants to keep floating us time.

In the meantime I’m trying to keep myself occupied. So far, including the time that I was on vacation, I:

  • Took my girlfriend to Rehoboth Beach to visit with her family
  • Had a board game night with my girlfriend and her friends
  • Flew down to Texas to visit my sister and niece in Houston for Christmas
  • Visited the Houston Zoo
  • Went to a friend’s place for a board game party
  • Went to brunch with my girlfriend and her family
  • Went to the National Building Museum
  • Watched the HBO art documentary “The Price of Everything”
  • Went to another friend’s place for New Year’s Eve and to play more board games
  • Took a 4-mile hike
  • Started studying PHP and am learning how to give a database and shell script project of my own a web front end
  • Reconciled a spreadsheet I use for tracking my paid time off for work with my actual PTO balance
  • Cleaned out my inbox of papers and documents
  • Triaged my OmniFocus inbox of tasks
  • Reviewed and updated my website’s Apache settings to reflect the access control changes in httpd 2.4
  • Took out my girlfriend’s Christmas tree and sawed off the bottom stump to later be made into an ornament
  • Fixed my girlfriend’s bathtub
  • Read “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”
  • Removed an ethernet cable that had been set up to provide a wired network to a (now dead) iMac in my parents’ basement
  • Deployed a new Mac mini at my colocation facility as my new production webserver
  • Cleaned out my living room closet
  • Cleaned out my kitchen cabinets of unwanted dishware
  • Removed everything from my kitchen countertops and gave them a thorough cleaning
  • Tossed expired food from my kitchen cabinets
  • Cleaned out my toaster oven
  • Polished my stainless steel appliances (dishwasher, oven)
  • Updated my résumé and LinkedIn profile
  • Read “Shackleton’s Boat Journey”
  • Went swimming at my neighborhood rec center’s indoor pool for the first time

Further bulletins as events warrant…