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Fun day in Lynchburg and Roanoke on Wednesday…

December 2, 2005, 1:21 AM

I got a late start, but things still went well. When I go to Lynchburg, I usually take a back way – 610 to 664 (Mt. Torrey Road), which changes to Delphine Avenue when you hit the Waynesboro city limits. Then I take I-64 to Charlottesville and then take US 29 south to Lynchburg.

This time, I did things differently – partly by choice, and partly by necessity. I intended on taking Route 610 to 664 and then to US 250 over the mountain, and then follow Route 6 to US 29 near the Nelson County Wayside. I was on a bit of a no-interstates thing on Wednesday. No interstates (except for the dash back home from Roanoke), and nothing controlled-access, either.

The by-necessity change started on Route 610, which was impassable due to the flooding from the day before. Unlike the people in their pickup trucks, my van with its low ground clearance wouldn’t stand a chance if I crossed the water. I think I’d more likely be dead in the water. Visions of June 5, 2004 came to mind, when I hit a large puddle coming off an exit ramp, which caused the car to strain at 25 mph. Thankfully in that case, I was already at the end of my trip, and had less than a mile to go, so I just limped into the parking garage at Vienna and parked. This time, it was at the beginning of my trip, and would have wrecked the trip if I’d had that happen again. So I turned around and took an alternate route. I ended up taking US 340 into Waynesboro like I would take to go to work, went past Wal-Mart, down Main Street, and then up the mountain via US 250.

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Raining cats and dogs yesterday…

November 30, 2005, 7:23 AM

Seriously, it was raining like mad yesterday! Over the course of my day at work yesterday, it was all over the scale. Surprisingly, it was not raining both on my way to work, and walking to the building from the car. Then the rain started – a nice steady pour. Then it continued to rotate between really heavy rain (where it sounds like marbles hitting the roof) and lighter rain. And lots of wind, too. Around 1:00, we got thunder and lightning with that rain. And the lightning was sufficiently big that we could see it through the skylights, during the day. That is significant.

We also heard rumors of some flooding in the usual areas, since it was some pretty heavy rain, and had been raining for a couple of days before this. Going home from work, the river I cross on route 608 was considerably higher than normal, and then a low portion of 608 that usually floods over due to poor drainage (and repeated failed attempts to fix it) was flooded over.

And of course, it was doing heavy rain when I got home – it figures, doesn’t it? And Mom was wearing a poncho and up on a ladder fixing a problem with a gutter. I’m just like, what the heck.

Today, it’s a beautiful day. Cloudless and sunny. Colder, but that’s fine. I like the cold. However, due to flooding, Augusta County Schools opened one hour late. Go figure.

I’m just glad I got good weather today. I’m going to Lynchburg and to Roanoke today. Yay!

Categories: Weather

The weather held out, though it looked likely to rain at any moment.

September 1, 2005, 11:43 PM

My trip to Washington DC on August 31 was a good trip, though I was expecting some rain to keep me indoors for much of it. If that turned out to be the case, I was going to go explore the Crystal City Underground (by the way, here’s an interesting article about Crystal City’s future). But it turned out that the weather would hold out for me, and so things went differently.

But on the way, up, I got quite an unpleasant surprise:

Gas prices at the Sheetz in Mt. Jackson, Virginia

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Talk about threatening-looking weather…

August 30, 2005, 5:15 PM

Categories: Arlington, Weather

Rain, thunder, and lightning… that ought to break the heat wave!

July 27, 2005, 5:21 PM

The last three days in this area have been best described as HOT. The temperatures stayed just barely under 100 degrees, and the heat indexes (i.e. what it really feels like) were well over 100, with Weatherbug showing today’s heat index at 105. I think I could likely cook an egg on the driveway with all the heat it’s absorbed.

And now, clouds have rolled in, and thunder and lightning are up to their old tricks again. And it rained a bit. Nothing like a good rain to help dissipate the heat. Hopefully it will cool things off a bit.

Now tomorrow, it’s only supposed to get up into the upper 70s. Compared to these last few days, that’s winter-coat weather. And I will welcome it with open arms, since it’s just been awful. And we may recall that my car has no air conditioning, which makes things just awful in there.

And I’m still deciding if I want to go anywhere or not, but I think I’m going to go somewhere on Thursday. Today I decided to stay home, which worked out for me, since I’ve been romping around on my little “intellectual playground” of Wikipedia, and trying to get something done on this site as well.

Categories: Weather

The toilet is in the bathtub!

July 25, 2005, 5:17 PM

So what’s missing here?

Notice anything missing?

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Categories: House, Weather

DC can be so fun, but in this heat, the fun is best had in the shade or indoors…

July 21, 2005, 10:03 PM

I had fun in DC on Wednesday the 20th. It was a long day, but fun nonetheless.

However, the fun didn’t start right away. Oh, no. The drive up to Vienna was “more challenging” than usual. For those of you who don’t know, my car will have been in our family for fifteen years this month. So it’s an old car as these things go. And it’s seen fairly continuous service for those fifteen years. As a result, things start doing strange things as they age. My cruise control can be a little tricky sometimes. When it wants to work, I get up to speed, start it up, and then set it. It will catch, and it will work fairly well. However, other days, it will do one of two things. It will either try to catch and miss, or do nothing at all. In both cases, the cruise control light blinks several times, and then goes out, and the light will not come on again until the car is restarted. The end result is no cruise control until the car has had several hours sitting turned off.

So coming off of VA 608 in Fishersville onto I-64, I set my cruise. It caught and we were sailing. Changing to I-81, I always come off of cruise control, since it’s too tight a curve to take at full speed. Then once I get back onto I-81, I set the cruise control back to where it was. And life is good, don’t you see. Today, coming off the ramp and onto I-81, in re-setting my cruise control, it missed. So no cruise for me on the way up! Thus instead of just sailing up there, I was kind of doing an up-and-down thing speeding up and slowing down, since my mind wants to be on cruise control, but my car just won’t agree to it. I’ll get up to the proper speed, and then accidentally let it drop. Not a good thing. So we have to start over, getting to the right speed again. It’s a vicious cycle. After my stops at Sheetz and Wal-Mart on the way up, I checked my cruise again to see if it would come to life again (it sometimes does), but unfortunately no. No cruise for me. Several blinks and then dark. But at least it’s during the day, and I’m still fresh as a daisy.

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What a wonderful two days off I had, and now back to the salt mines…

July 15, 2005, 5:35 PM

Wednesday and Thursday were such wonderful days off. I ran some errands, ran around a bit, and also got a lot of work done on the computer.

On Wednesday, I spent much of the day out. I first went to the RadioShack store in Waynesboro to return that RF switch that I ended up not needing to hook up my Super Nintendo. Interestingly enough, it wasn’t the switch that was the problem, but rather where along the line I was hooking it up. So no problem. The Super Nintendo works, and I got my thirteen bucks back.

Then I went over to Staunton. Since the Harley-Davidson shop moved to its new location in Staunton, I’d heard a lot about it. Add to that the fact that they had their first annual “Rally in the Valley” about a month or so ago, and that generated a bit more buzz about it. So I went over to take a look. Now I’d never been to the old Harley place when it was in Waynesboro, so I had nothing to compare this to. Still, I was favorably impressed, even though biker stuff isn’t exactly my thing. First of all, the sense of space really gets you. The place is huge. And that’s not even the whole place. That’s just the main salesfloor. And on the salesfloor, there are bikes on display, there are sections for parts and accessories for one’s motorcycle, sections for men’s, women’s, and kids’ apparel, a section for shoes, a section with hats, helmets, sunglasses, and goggles, and even more. Then on the other side of the building, there’s a service area, and a well-appointed waiting area for people whose bikes are being serviced. And then outside the building, down a hill, is a course for people to take on their motorcycles. With it being down a hill from the main building, it makes for a great viewing area. As I said, I was favorably impressed with the place, even with biker stuff not being my thing. The place is very high-visibility (it rises high above the VA 262 loop), but actually getting to it is a little weird, since you have to go south on US 11, turn left onto Rolling Thunder Lane, which is almost right after you get onto Route 11. Then Rolling Thunder Lane is a longish, slightly-curving road with the Harley place looming up at the end.

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Talk about a trip gone off course…

July 1, 2005, 12:35 AM

First of all, welcome to July, which means I close out the journal file that I use for the first half of 2005, and open a new journal file for the second half. So that’s why none of the previous entries are showing on the front of the Journal. They’ve been swept off the page because I’ve switched journal files.

Otherwise, though, I did add one new feature to to the Journal with this new journal file for my own information. Now, whenever I post a Journal entry, it will capture the remote host name of the place where I posted the entry. Most of the entries will show the host name for my regular computer, but there are times when I post from elsewhere, like that time in the middle of March when I posted an entry on the Infoshop‘s computer while I was up in Washington on my first post-surgery DC trip. From your perspective, there will be no change in your experience. The host name information will not show on the site.

What’s ironic about this new feature, though, is that with this first entry in the new journal file that captures the host name, is that I’m writing it offline, thus there is no host name to capture. Why? A few reasons. First of all, my Internet connection is down for some unknown reason, and thus the online form that I usually use for it is inaccessible. So I’m writing this directly into the database. Secondly, I’ve not yet done any of the changeover work on the site for the new file. And lastly, this entry was not supposed to be the first July entry, but rather the final June entry, but a fly got into the ointment while I was out today after work, which made me FAR later in getting home than I wanted. That story follows.

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When things go so well, you wonder where in the ointment that we’ll finally find the fly…

June 23, 2005, 10:37 PM

As anyone who read my away message on Wednesday saw, I was in the DC area. And things went smoothly. Very smoothly. The kind of so-smoothly that makes you start to wonder where the kinks are going to show up. I got up right on time before my alarm clock (unlike the late start I got last time), and got out without a hitch. My cruise control held up for the entire trip (it’s been known to cut out from time to time), and I encountered no major traffic jams on eastbound I-66 coming in. Usually I encounter traffic at around milepost 41 (just past the Haymarket exit), and it usually doesn’t clear until milepost 46 (just before the Manassas exit). Clear sailing right on in. Traffic only really got thick right around the Nutley Street exit, which is the one I take to access the Metro station. Beyond Nutley Street, and approaching the Beltway, however, was where the traffic was. I’ve often contemplated skipping Vienna and driving a few miles further to park at West Falls Church (where I noticed the new parking garage was underutilized), but all that traffic kept me at Vienna.

By the way, I currently am comfortable in driving to two Metro stations: Vienna and Franconia-Springfield. Vienna of course is my Metro station of choice. I always start at Vienna. Out of all my trips to DC, I’ve only not originated at Vienna twice (and one of those is only half a non-originate at Vienna). Once was my first trip ever to DC, back in 1994 at the age of 13. Our family went with friends, and we stayed over at another friend’s house. We ended up driving around to Pentagon City in Arlington, interestingly enough, and parked at the parking garage at Pentagon City Mall. That’s how I learned of Pentagon City Mall’s existence, and I still go there all the time, as I love Pentagon City, though for differing reasons over the years. I used to actually seriously shop there, but now the mall is more like a hangout, where I spend about $5 there to get something quick to eat and get a newspaper and then park myself somewhere to enjoy it all. I have no idea how to get to Pentagon City by car (I wasn’t driving), but could probably figure it out.

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What a nice day I had on Friday!

March 26, 2005, 11:26 AM

I went OUT on Friday! I went down and did that Lynchburg-to-Roanoke-and-back circuit, and it seems to work for me. I got a late start, but it still worked. The weather, unfortunately, did not cooperate, which was a shame. I wanted clear skies so I could do a Photography set on downtown Lynchburg. That did not happen. So I skipped it. Downtown Lynchburg, at a glance, looks like a downtown with an older charm to it, but not too old of an older charm. The most prominent building on the skyline is the Bank of the James Building, which was built in 1972. Downtown Lynchburg is going to be fun to do when I get a good-weather day.

In going through Lynchburg, I take US 29. That one has a few different names in Lynchburg. It starts out as Memorial Drive, then changes to Fort Avenue, and then to Wards Road. On Wards Road, I stopped at River Ridge Mall, where I found an interesting sight – a train! I stopped to look, needless to say. I also got a few photos…

River Ridge Express  River Ridge Express

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What kind of shoe are you?

February 23, 2005, 6:25 AM

Categories: DC trips, Winter weather

Be careful what you wish for, because in this case… I got it!

February 3, 2005, 9:46 AM

Yesterday, in this space, I said, “Still, I’d like to really see a snowfall that will cause several inches to cover my car, requiring me to really use the brush on the end of my scraper. Or perhaps give it one good blast with my windshield wiper.”

Today, this is what I got:

My Toyota Previa, covered in snow

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Categories: Winter weather

Always be careful what you wish for…

January 22, 2005, 11:45 PM

We got snow again. Fun stuff. And not just a little dusting. This was SNOW, like snow snow, like make-the-parking-lot-treacherous snow. It snowed while I was at work. Coming in, the roads were perfect, and so I was able to run at full speed, set the cruise control, and then slip right into the parking lot. Going home, however, the parking lot was badly plowed, leaving a layer of packed snow on the lot, making walking pretty rough. I was actually partly blocked in by the snow plows, as they had to plow around my car, and thus there was a ring of snow around my car. I had to back-and-forth my way out of my parking space. Getting the tires to “grab” something was a challenge, but somehow I got out, and then it was smooth sailing from there, albeit slippery sailing. I was fine until I was almost home. There’s a stop sign right across from our driveway. I stopped. And then started spinning my wheels. Not a good thing. I was thinking, of all places, right in front of the house. At least it wasn’t in the middle of 340 or somewhere remote. And I also soon got a grip on the road again, and rolled right into the driveway.

It was also amusing to see Wal-Mart before and after the snow. Before the snow, everyone and their mother was at Wal-Mart, cleaning us out. It was like Christmas all over again. Then it started to snow. The crowd dropped off quickly, and it became a BORING day, with everyone kind of wondering how their trip home from work is going to turn out.

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Categories: Winter weather

Finally, it’s snowing! How long have I been waiting for this?

January 16, 2005, 7:53 PM

Finally, winter came back after two weeks of spring-like temperatures. And tonight, the snow is falling. I am so happy.

And I’m also happy that I’m back home. I had to drive home from work in the snow. And let me tell you… it’s looking a bit ugly out there right now, as snow is not only covering the ground, but also the roads. That was fun to drive in – ha ha ha. It was a long, SLOW trip from Wal-Mart to home. But the car and I made it home in one piece, so that was good.

Now, though, I wonder how much snow we’ll have come morning.

Categories: Winter weather