5 Ways to Be Productive When the Sun Interferes With Your Cable
Sunshine on his shoulders might have made John Denver happy — and it’s certainly welcome after a stretch of cold weather — but for brief periods twice a year, the sun can interfere with your favorite cable TV shows.
Fortunately, these outings are brief, usually lasting between five and 15 minutes. In the spirit of making lemonade when life gives you lemons, take advantage of that short down time by doing something fun or productive.
Come to think of it, you could even make a pitcher of lemonade.
Why Sun Outages Occur
For several days every spring and fall in the Northern Hemisphere, the sun lines up directly with ground-based satellite dish antennas, interfering with cable TV reception. These sun outages don’t only affect Golden West; every cable provider, regardless of size and geographical location, will experience a temporary disruption of the digital signals responsible for programming.
This year’s spring sun outages are occurring from around Feb. 27 through about March 8. Though exact times are impossible to pinpoint, they usually occur between 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Mountain time.
Tips to Maximize Your Time
Time is our most valuable resource. Don’t think of a sun outage as an inconvenience — view it as an opportunity! While waiting for your signal to return, try doing any of the following.
Organize your junk drawer. Most households have a junk drawer — a repository for an eclectic assortment of odds and ends. It’s where random packets of soy sauce, spare batteries, rubber bands, matchbooks, and pink highlighters go to die. How many times have you thought to yourself, I really should clean that out, only to get distracted by more pressing matters? Take advantage of that programming lull and start your purge.
Plan your meals for next week. If you find yourself aimlessly wandering the grocery store aisle after work, hoping to find inspiration for that evening’s supper, you know how a rumbling stomach can derail your best intentions. Avoid impulse buys and Frosted-Flakes-for-dinner by planning out a week’s worth of meals in advance. You’re more apt to have a healthier variety of foods and will avoid that last-minute scramble.
Start a load of laundry. That dirty pile of socks in the corner of the bedroom isn’t going to clean itself. Haul it, and the rest of your soiled clothing, down to the washing machine and get a load going. It’s dirty work, but somebody’s gotta do it. Might as well be you, right now, while you’re waiting for that pesky ball of light to get out of the way of those satellites.
Take a walk around the block. Or up and down the stairs, if the weather isn’t cooperating. Either way, get your feet moving and your heart pumping. The more steps you accumulate in a day, the better your overall health. Bonus: you’ll feel less guilty if you also decide to…
Bake a batch of cookies. Bobby Flay describes cookies as “the unsung sweet” and says, “A plate of cookies is a great way to end dinner.” Who are we to argue with an Iron Chef? Bust out the mixer; raid the pantry for ingredients like flour, sugar, and chocolate chips; and whip up a batch of cookies for dessert. While they’re baking, the scent alone will have you going, Sun outage? What sun outage?!
If you experience an unusually long outage that persists longer than 20 minutes, please contact Golden West at 1-855-888-7777, option 2.