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And so now I lease an apartment full of glorified paperweights…

July 26, 2010, 6:08 PM

Right now, it seems that would be the case. At least until the power comes back on. With no electricity at home (I’m composing this entry from the office after work), all of my electronic devices are essentially glorified paperweights. The refrigerator doesn’t work. The microwave doesn’t work. The toaster doesn’t work. The television doesn’t work. And most importantly, the computer and the Internet both don’t work. No electricity to power it all, after all.

You may have heard about strong storms coming through the DC area on Sunday. Well, Montgomery County looks like a disaster area for it. Seriously, this storm, which came and went in about ten minutes, did a whole lot of damage. First I noticed it was when I heard wind, and the trees were blowing about crazily. Then the rain came down really hard, really fast. It rained so hard that water from the gutters on my apartment building overflowed onto the balcony. It was crazy. And then the lights went out. And came back on. And then went out again. And came back on again. And then went out for good. I went out on Sunday evening in order to break the boredom of being in a house without electricity, and discovered lots of downed branches and such, including a very large downed tree limb in the far right hand lane of southbound Georgia Avenue near Leisure World. That blocked the entire lane.

Whether you had electricity or not was somewhat hit-and-miss. Some blocks had electricity. Others didn’t. One traffic light would work and another wouldn’t. I happen to live in an area where a large chunk of area was affected, from Bel Pre Road just south of Leisure World all the way down to Reedie Drive in Wheaton. No traffic lights were operating between Bel Pre Road and Reedie Drive as of this morning, and driving down Georgia Avenue last night was a rather dark affair. Still, it was weird. You’d drive through a section of road, and everything was pitch black. Then go a little bit further, and everything’s lit up like nothing’s going on. Then a little further, and it’s black again.

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Categories: House, Weather

As days go by… it’s the bigger love of the family…

July 21, 2010, 11:27 PM

So today, while still in Chicago, we visited the Family Matters house. I have never gone out and photographed a famous TV house before, and so this was a new experience. We did the research ahead of time, and determined that the house was at 1516 W. Wrightwood Avenue in Chicago. I found the address and verified it as the correct location on Google Earth, and then Sis determined how we were going to get there.

From our hotel near Jarvis station, we took the Red Line to Fullerton station. Then we took the 77 bus to Greenview Street. Then we just walked up to Wrightwood Avenue, and there it was:

The Family Matters house

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Categories: Chicago, Family, Television

Welcome to Club Acela…

July 18, 2010, 3:05 PM

Welcome to Club Acela in Union Station. This is where the people with sleeper accommodations stay before boarding their train. But first you have to get there, and we got Alstom 6083 from Glenmont. I was disappointed to find that Mom had not read my Distinguishing Metro Rail Cars page, and thus was not able to identify our train as an Alstom. Of course, Mom was a little anxious about the whole thing. I ride Metro every day. I know what to look for, and I know the drill. She was hurrying, and I wasn’t. The destination sign wasn’t lit. The train won’t leave until the destination sign is lit. I quoted Jerry Seinfeld when he spoke about riding horses: “All right, hopalong, I know the trail.”

Then at Union Station, we went to the Swatch store. Mom ended up getting three watches (can never have enough of those), and then we went down to Gourmet Station in the food court. I love that place – it has some really good food. I first discovered it on a DC trip back in 2005 or so, and have always enjoyed it. Then after that, off to the club…

Meanwhile, I’m going to be hitting the Twitter pretty hard on this trip, and so if you’re not already following me, you should. And I’ve already been uploading to Twitpic, like this one where the sign talks about “safety and security”. Don’t you love it when people will throw around “security” for anything? I would dare say that the requirement to be on board two minutes before departure is more about maintaining the schedule than it is about safety or security. After all, they have a train system to run. You can’t run a train system effectively when people are late. Let’s just be honest about it. People have become accustomed to hearing people justifying everything by saying “security” for everything. Honesty is the best policy. You need to do this to maintain the schedule? SAY SO!

So we’ll be on the train in no time… see you in Chicago!

Categories: Amtrak, WMATA

Do what you want ’cause a pirate is free… YOU ARE A PIRATE!

July 17, 2010, 9:34 PM

Yes, today was Anonymous DC’s annual “Sea Arrrgh” raid, where pirates was the theme. We usually do pirates in June, but due to problems with scheduling and then weather, we ended up scrapping the June raid and doing pirates in July.

The big thing about this raid was seeing the most recent development that came out of Sparrow’s solo raiding that he does during the week. Yesterday, Sparrow received an official Suppressive Person Declare, which is the Scientology equivalent of being excommunicated in other religious groups. I got to read his SP declare, and it was absolutely hilarious, with a number of things that just seemed “canned”, but in Scientology’s own little (alien) world, I’m sure it means something totally serious.

And meanwhile, here’s Sparrow, all smiles as a declared Suppressive Person:

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Categories: Family, Project Chanology

No longer a Nutella virgin…

July 14, 2010, 9:27 PM

So on Monday, with the encouragement of Elissar (coworker of mine), I tried Nutella for the first time. I was inspired by photos that Elissar had posted on Facebook of Caitlin (another coworker) doing the same thing – trying Nutella for the first time. The idea was to get a little dollop of Nutella on your spoon, get some “before” pictures, and then taste the Nutella for the camera. So here goes:

Posing with the Nutella and the spoon.  Posing with the Nutella and the spoon.
Posing with the Nutella and the spoon.

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Categories: Food and drink

So I had a fun weekend…

July 12, 2010, 9:21 PM

I certainly had fun this past weekend, spending it in Stuarts Draft. The goal was twofold: to attend the wedding of Patrick Jarrett and Anna Duncan, and to help Mom clean out some of the junk in the house in preparation for new flooring in the bedrooms.

Coming down, I took I-66 to I-81, on what had to have been one of the least stressful runs ever. Seriously, the ride went better than I’ve had in a long time. I made really good time, and I reached Waynesboro before you knew it. I only made two stops. At the second one, at the southbound rest area near New Market, I got an interesting picture:

Anyone want to guess what this is? Anyone have any idea what this might be? I'm stumped, and my gut reaction was joking to myself that BP has been busy, spilling more oil.

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Categories: Family, Friends, Katie

“And every Friday, he calls me a bastard!”

July 9, 2010, 9:23 AM

And he will again, because… it’s Friday, ya bastards!

Of course, yesterday is what really felt like Friday for me, because I took the day off today. See, I’m going down to Stuarts Draft today, because then on Saturday, Mom and I are going to Buena Vista for my friend Patrick Jarrett’s wedding. Pretty cool, if you ask me. I’ve known Patrick for around ten years, and I’m really excited and happy for him that he’s getting married. And of all the places for Anna (his bride) to be from, she’s from Stuarts Draft! How cool is that.

Of course, that means I have to drive down, which I’m not particularly looking forward to. It’s just a dull drive is all. I try to alternate taking I-81 and US 29 down and back, and so since I took 29 down and 81 up last time, I’m taking 81 down and 29 back this time. So I get to deal with a sea of tractor-trailers early on this time, and then deal with traffic lights on the way back.

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Categories: Friends, Stuarts Draft

So I decided to talk and drive again…

July 8, 2010, 2:19 PM

So on Wednesday evening, I decided to talk and drive again. I set the cell phone in the GPS holder once again, and started talking. I started at approximately 16th and T Streets NW, heading north on 16th Street:

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So we went from box to parts to bike…

July 6, 2010, 10:50 PM

So I finally finished the birthday present process. My parents got me an exercise bike for my birthday, and the monthlong process of actually getting it ready for use is finally complete. It wasn’t supposed to take a month, but you know how things happen. But yeah, about a month ago, we ordered the exercise bike from Sears – a ProForm recumbent cycle. A couple of hours later, it was ready for pickup at the Sears in White Oak.

As a side note, by the way, the Sears in White Oak is the biggest Sears store I’ve ever seen, and the only standalone Sears I’ve ever seen. It’s got a footprint the size of a large grocery store, and it’s two stories. If that building used to be something else, I would be surprised, because it looks like your typical mall-based Sears with multiple exterior entrances, but without the mall attached to it.

So I headed over to Sears, and picked the thing up. The gentleman in the store helped me get it in the car (it’s things like this that make me glad I have a station wagon), and I took it home. However, getting this massive thing up the stairs was another issue altogether. But I somehow managed, and ended up with this:

The exercise bike, still boxed up (but in the house!)

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Categories: Furniture

My favorite phrase in the evening…

July 2, 2010, 7:12 PM

My favorite phrase in the evening is definitely “51 NORBECK P&R“. That’s my bus, and it means I’m going home. And it looks like this:

51 to Norbeck Park and Ride

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Categories: Ride On, WMATA