DaedTech Digest: Practice Makes Perfect When Walking Away from Homes
It’s Friday again, making it time for another digest post, in which I recount my traveling circus of a life. Last week I addressed one my least favorite logistics: the mail. Today, I’ll address something that inspires less annoyance in me: my house(s).
What Do You Do with Your House When You Leave for Months at a Time?
First of all, I should explain something quickly. We actually have two houses. We lived in Illinois forever and, about 5 years ago, bought a lake house in Michigan. More recently, we’ve switched residence to the Lake House and have our townhouse in Illinois on the market. With my travel schedule the last 5 years, I was hardly ever there anyway.
I mention this because having an unoccupied second home for a long time provided us with lots of practice when it comes to leaving for a long time. And it’s really not as hard as you might think if you rarely move.
I can summarize the checklist this way for a cold weather house:
- Shut off the water to the house and turn off the water heater.
- Set the thermostat to something really low, assuming it’s winter. In summer, just turn off.
- Make sure you don’t have any perishables anywhere.
- Some kind of security or home automation system probably wouldn’t hurt.
- Call utilities or services, like your cable, and ask about a seasonal plan.
Wait, Really, That’s It?
And, honestly, that’s kind of it. It might sound cavalier, but there’s just not that much to worry about. Vagabonding doesn’t require a lot of luggage for us, relatively speaking, so it’s not like we’re prepping for a move. It’s more like a vacation. A really, really long vacation, but a vacation.
It helps if you have family around to check on the place from time to time. We do in Illinois, so that’s nice. But if you don’t, you can do what we do in Michigan and pay a cleaning service to come do a sanity check of sorts: bring in any mail and walk through the place looking for problems.
And, that’s all we do. It took a lot of practice walking away from a house for a season, but we got there. These days, we’ll pack up for a month or two the way a lot of people would for a weekend trip. And it all works out just fine. It lets us do things like this:
- First of all, I’m sort of embarrassed to say this, but I’m engaged in a random throwback to my college days in the form of playing Diablo 2. It’s been a good 15 years since I played it, so I was expecting a ghost town. Instead, I found that tons of people still play, they’ve been continuing to make changes in gameplay, and they just “reset the ladder,” making it a good time to start up again if you once loved this game.
- I stumbled across a link to a site that helps people create and answer RFPs. Full disclosure, I have not used it at all. But it seems like a great idea and you free agents out there should probably at least give it a look if this is how you obtain business.
- I’m reading a fantasy book called “The Fifth Season,” which takes place in a bleak, post-apocalyptic seeming world. I’m finding it very enjoyable.
- I wrote a post for SubMain about custom automated code review rules you can add to CodeIt.Right.
- For the Rollout blog, I wrote a very detailed guide on the topic of feature flags. What are they, why would you use them, all sorts of background and then coding samples.
- On Typemock’s site, I wrote a post enjoyable titled “Fear and Loathing in Legacy Code.”
- And, on Hit Subscribe’s blog, I posted an anonymized case study (with relative numbers and data) about how we grew traffic a lot through blogging.
Have a good weekend!