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A different twist on a game we’re all familiar with makes for an interesting evening…

August 30, 2009, 11:25 AM

On Saturday, Matthew Tilley and I went duckpin bowling in College Park. You may recall that we have bowled together before, having played three games of ten-pin bowling (i.e. what most consider bowling) in July.

This was exciting, because neither one of us had done duckpin before, and the rules and the equipment are slightly different. First of all, the pins are shorter and squatter than ten-pin. Secondly, the ball is smaller and lighter, and without any finger holes. The play is different as well, as you roll three balls per frame, and the scoring is slightly different. It’s the same as ten-pin, with the exception of knocking down all ten pins on the third roll. If you knock down all the pins on the third roll, no bonus is awarded.

And one thing that neither one of us was used to was that this was a very low-tech operation. This was a totally manual game. There was no automatic scoring equipment, and you pressed buttons to operate the pinsetter. There were two buttons – one was to reset the pins, and another just to clear the pins that had been knocked down (“deadwood”). This was one of those do-your-best moments. On Matthew’s first frame, we didn’t realize that there was a “deadwood” button, and so we bowled that frame in something of candlepin style, not clearing the pins between shots. On my first frame, I figured that there had to be something to clear the downed pins, and so I wondered if the reset button would do that. So I rolled one shot, knocked down a few pins, and then pressed reset. That killed all the pins, and laid out a fresh set. Oops. Good thing I didn’t do too well on that roll, since I essentially forced a do-over. That’s when we discovered the “deadwood” button, and we were good to go. Now we knew what we were doing.

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Several hundred bad words later, I have a new dresser.

July 29, 2007, 10:14 PM

First of all, let me preface this story by telling you that Mom came up to visit this weekend, and we went to Ikea in College Park. I’ve finally just about figured the place out, and so it’s no longer as intimidating as that first trip was back in May. Mom wanted to get some more silverware and various other odds and ends. In the end, we came out with a dresser for me, since I’d mentioned I needed to look at dressers since my present one was too small.

In the bedroom department, they had dressers coming out of dressers. Mom and I found a dresser that matched my bed – the “Hemnes” style. Very dark wood. And this dresser was really big, too. So after perusing the “marketplace” where Mom got more silverware and various other stuff, we went into their big warehouse and fished out the two boxes that the dresser came in, checked out, and brought it home in the Sable.

By the way, it’s a real you-know-what to carry that stuff up three flights of stairs. Just thought you ought to know that.

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What a lovely day with Mom today…

June 16, 2007, 11:58 PM

Mom came to visit this weekend, and we had a wonderful time. She came up on Friday, and took the Metro down to Dupont Circle to meet me right after work. We rode back to Wheaton station, where Mom parked, and then went back to my place, where we brought some stuff in. She brought me my computer chair (yay!) and also a coffee table. Mom replaced the coffee table in the family room last year, and so now I have the old coffee table. I love it. It looks so good in my living room, and it will certainly enhance the way things look.

Once we brought everything in, we ordered pizza from Papa John’s. There’s a Papa John’s not far from here – in the same shopping center as H-Mart. We got a pizza that could best be described as unconventional – their spinach alfredo pizza, which has an alfredo base rather than a tomato base. We also got mushrooms on it. I don’t even want to think about how many calories that thing had, but it was good. After dinner, we watched TV, and then went to bed. Mom became the first to sleep in my bedroom on a cot that she brought, and then I slept in the living room on the futon (as always).

Then on Saturday, we went to Ikea in College Park, where I finally got that new bed. I got their Hemnes brown-black bed with a nice, comfortable mattress. Queen-size, and all for me. We’re getting that delivered. Mom got some furniture as well, and we also got a chance to look all over their showroom. The place was not nearly as busy as it was on Memorial Day, and so we got a chance to stroll around a bit. Plus, considering that this was my second trip to Ikea, I was not nearly so overwhelmed.

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Well, that was fruitless.

May 28, 2007, 5:12 PM

Turns out I can’t order any of it online. It’s all in-store only. Drat. It means I have to brave that which is Ikea in person again. Well, I’m going to be sleeping on the couch for a while, since I’m not going back there today. But at least I have my list. Next time, when I’ve properly prepared myself mentally for this adventure, I will get the stuff.

And I’m going to go with someone next time I go, I believe. Mom’s likely going to come up on the third weekend in June, and so maybe we can go to Ikea then.

Still, though, I’m just glad that everything’s starting to come together in the apartment. It’s starting to feel like home.

I went to Ikea. That was a touch overwhelming.

May 28, 2007, 4:54 PM

First of all, hello from College Perk coffeehouse! I went to Ikea in College Park today to go bed-shopping. Talk about an overwhelming experience. First of all, the place is bigger than a Wal-Mart Supercenter. And it’s two floors. Then I got over there, and the parking lot was full. I mean full, like park-in-the-back-of-the-lot full.

I went in, and went up the escalator to their showroom. I saw the map coming in, so I kind of knew where I was going, or at least I thought. I got in, and got a bit disoriented. Lots of partitions made it less than straightforward about getting to the back where the beds were. I did find it, though I had no idea what was going on. I ultimately found a salesperson, to whom I admitted I was overwhelmed, and he was quite helpful and helped sort me out. I ultimately did figure out what was going on, though.

Bed shopping is interesting, though. To properly shop for a bed, one must try it out. I’m sure I looked amusing testing mattresses. The way you test them out is to get on them in a sleeping-type position and feel it. It reminds me of a scene from Today’s Special‘s “Shoes” episode. Jodie walks past a row of shoes, and comments on each pair:

Too big! Too small! Not right… at all! Too loose! Oh, too tight! Ah… (puts shoes on) these feel just right!

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My adventure in College Park…

May 26, 2005, 7:51 PM

I went up to the DC area today, and, in an unusual twist of things, spent NO time above ground in downtown Washington DC.

Arriving at Vienna, one thing I quickly noticed in the North Garage was that the contractor had completed work on the first section of the garage to undergo rehabilitation, and had moved to the second section. I’m not quite sure what they did in rehabilitating it, since it looked exactly the same as it did before. Who knows. On the top level, a pickup truck was parked so badly in its space so as to make the opening for the space next to it a little too close for comfort. Thus there was this very attractive looking empty space, but it was a little too tight of a squeeze to get in there. I ended up having to wait for the guaranteed spaces to open up at 10:00, and then parked on the third level.

Getting on the train at Vienna, I rode a mixed consist of Breda 4000-series cars and CAF cars. Leaving the station, the 4000s were in front, and the four CAFs followed behind. The operator out of Vienna knew me from a previous trip.

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