Fall is a time of changes. Weatherwise, the changes in Atlanta are subtle this time of year. There is not a hint of color in the trees, nor will there be frost for a long time. But it is noticeably cooler at night, more comfortable (yet still warm) during the day, and best of all - it is far less humid most of the time. We can finally turn off our air conditioners and rely on fresh air from the windows. Still summery, but with that indefinable "something" in the air that hints of things to come.
Some things don't change, unfortunately. Georgia's extreme drought conditions are projected to worsen over the next few months. The long-term forecast calls for a warmer and drier winter than normal, extending our rain deficit into next year. Usually we can count on a wet fall and winter to help refill reservoirs, lakes and streams. Not this year. The persistence of sunny days has led to a change in outdoor water use restrictions. The tight restrictions have been replaced with a total outdoor watering ban for the entire northern third of the state. I'll miss the gardening I would have done - autumn is a great time to plant new perennials - but the region needs to conserve water for drinking and power generation. We are also obligated by law to release a certain amount of water downstream, and this far exceeds the reduced inflow to the lakes. Our water sources are at historically low levels. Lake Lanier is likely to reach a low not seen since it was first filled.
Yesterday was no exception to the fair fall weather pattern. Sunny skies and a warm, but not hot, afternoon made for excellent football weather. I had low expectations for this game. Change was in the air at sold-out Bobby Dodd Stadium, where Georgia Tech was able to engineer a reversal of fortune over their previous two games. The victory over formerly undefeated Clemson was a much-needed confidence builder for us. Our passing game still needs work, but special teams and the defense were spot on! Running back Choice was back to his normal performance, gaining 145 yards in spite of his injured hamstring. The team pulled together to overcome a bad start in our conference this year and to avenge last year's loss to Clemson. Close games are exciting, but difficult to watch when you care about the outcome. The fans of both teams were rocking the house during the entire game. We were finally able to relax with some cold fried chicken and beer at an impromptu post-game celebratory tailgate party. An added bonus was the hassle free exit from campus, long after most of the crowd had dispersed.
There is more change afoot in the sporting world: TBS will no longer broadcast Braves games nationwide. "America's Team" has been canceled due to declining ratings and a changing TV landscape. We will still be able to see them on TV here in Atlanta and in much of the southeast, but for the first time since 1977, the Braves will no longer be a big part of nationwide baseball programming. I can't help but feel sad about this. During my 12+ years living in New England, being able to turn on the TV and find a Braves game helped me feel less homesick. Even when I was too busy to watch, I would sometimes leave the game on just to hear the familiar voices from back home. The Braves on TBS made me feel more at home and less alone.
And speaking of television, the changeover from summer programming to fall programming is in full swing. Monk, Psych, and Rescue Me are on seasonal hiatus. Eureka and Doctor Who end this coming week. Heroes arrived again last week, along with newcomers Chuck and Journeyman. Looks like Monday is our new "couch potato night". This week brings the return of Dexter, and new show "Pushing Daisies" looks interesting.
And last but certainly not least, there are big changes in the works at my job. It has been handled rather strangely. We have a new physics schedule starting on Monday, and all of us know what it is from the grapevine, but I have yet to see any official notice/memo/email regarding the change. They usually have a short meeting to announce big changes, but not this time. I am going back to the schedule I like most (100% at the main location, so no more switching back and forth). Because this is what I wanted, I was afraid to get my hopes up about it until getting the official word. But official or not, apparently it is a go. I can't help but cynically feel that it will change again in the future, and I will once again get an assignment I don't care for. All I can do to fight that is to work my butt off at the main location and try to become indispensable. The rest of it is out of my control.
Edited to add: Speaking of changes, I have cleaned up my links list and added some people that I have been reading for some time now. They are in no particular order, so please don't anyone get your feelings hurt. Some day I will shuffle them into alphabetical order or whatnot. Don't hold your breath. I've been meaning to spiff up the graphics for nearly a year now, and the blog is still black and plain.