I don’t know what crawled inside there and died…

4 minute read

December 24, 2008, 8:30 PM

The question is, what crawled in the refrigerator and died? Gross. This very short workweek was my week on kitchen duty in the office, and ahead of being closed for a week and a half, I cleaned out the refrigerators. I will say this, though – the refrigerators don’t get cleaned out nearly as often as they should.

My guideline for this particular fridge cleanout, given that the office would be closed for a while, was first and foremost for people to take home anything that they wanted to keep that might go bad during the time off. On anything that was left, I was pitching anything without a name on it, anything with an expiration date prior to when we’re supposed to come back, and of course, “fuzzy” stuff.

We have two refrigerators. We have a small one and a large one. I started with the small one. That entailed just pulling a trash can up next to it, checking dates, and pitching stuff. The small refrigerator is generally not too bad. There were a few fuzzy things in there, but generally speaking, it wasn’t too bad. Now the second refrigerator, that thing was nearly full. So I pulled up a chair and a trash can, and got going. The thing that usually gets me in trouble, by the way, is when I open a container of something with the intention of dumping out the contents and saving the container. There was this container of rice in there. The container looked fairly new, and so I opened it with the intention of dumping out the rice. BIG MISTAKE. That rice was thoroughly rancid, and smelled every bit of it. It’s one of those smells that makes a beeline for the nose and then lingers there for a while. What an awful smell. I did not know that rice could make that smell. It can, as I soon found out. And it is not pleasant. It’s one of those smells where, as soon as you smell it, you wish you had just tossed the container sight unseen, but too late now, because the cat is out of the bag. If you ever need to remove wallpaper, this smell will do it. Put a flower next to it, and the stench will make it will turn brown instantly. Yeeew.

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Categories: Work

So the last day with the coworkers before vacation went well…

2 minute read

August 23, 2008, 4:21 PM

Indeed, I a fun time was had by all at our all-staff retreat. One of the fun parts of it is that I maintained an open-Kodak policy. Anyone who wanted to fire off some photos on my camera was welcome to do so, and so we had a number of photographers over the course of the day. We had a catered lunch together, we hung out and socialized a bit, and we went on a three-mile-or-so hike. Check it out…

A number of us, including myself, played a few hands of Spades out on the deck.
A number of us, including myself, played a few hands of Spades out on the deck.

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Categories: Recreation/Exercise, Work

So the fire drill went well.

2 minute read

August 13, 2008, 11:20 PM

So the fire drill at work went off without a hitch. At 11:15 AM, the fire alarm went off, and all of us on “Team Wheelock” (since the signals in our building are Wheelock) put on our safety vests and hard hats and got down to business, doing a sweep across the floor, making sure that everyone was clear before leaving. And after the fire drill was over, here’s Team Wheelock, victorious:

"Team Wheelock" during the fire drill

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Categories: Fire drills, Work

Fire drill at work tomorrow…

3 minute read

August 12, 2008, 7:20 PM

Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve been in an honest-to-goodness, genuine fire drill? It has been five years, since the last time I was in an actual, planned fire drill was back in Potomac Hall in 2003. In fact, I got to pull that alarm. That was fun.

So now for tomorrow, we’ve been notified by the building management that we’ll be having a fire drill. They’ve given themselves a 30-minute window in which to conduct the drill, and that ought to be that. The alarms in our building are Wheelock 34 horns, and then those horns are attached to Space Age light plates. Thus we have these horns:

Wheelock 34

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Categories: Fire drills, Work


< 1 minute read

July 30, 2008, 3:12 PM

You have to admit, with this being my kitchen week at the office, that this is a cute way to announce that the dishwasher will be running soon…

Lolcat dishes

Yes, the concept of the Lolcat is alive and well. I got the original image from Gumuz on Flickr, and then lolcatted it up using the Lolcat Translator.

Categories: Netculture, Work

Even if it does just pain you to get a water cup, you’re not supposed to overtly show it…

3 minute read

July 16, 2008, 8:37 PM

This week, I’m not at the office as I usually would be. I’m at American University all week at Plone Bootcamp along with two of my coworkers. It’s been very interesting, as I’ve been learning about Plone, an online content management system that’s somewhat similar to a few things I’m used to, but on a far deeper level than anything I’m used to. It’s interesting, and I’ll get the hang of it. And I’ve been taking the Lappy along for this, and so we’ve been bonding all week. I figured that rather than borrow one of the Mac laptops from work, for this week, I’ll just use my own personal laptop, a Dell Inspiron.

And then meanwhile, there’s the lunch hour. I’ve had a wonderful time getting to know various other people in the class. There’s an Einstein Bros. in one of the buildings near where we’re having the class, which is where I’ve been getting lunch. And obviously, they didn’t hire the woman with the mustache working behind the counter for her personality. She is not a pleasant person. Her style is almost confrontational in asking us what kind of sandwich we wanted. After all, who are we to be asking for a meal from her? Puts me slightly on the defensive as soon as she says it. And I don’t even get a custom-built sandwich. I get the Italian chicken sandwich, where the only question I get is whether to get lettuce and tomato on it, and then I get a fruit cup with it.

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Categories: Some people, Work

Let’s all say, “Go, team, go!”

< 1 minute read

June 25, 2008, 9:27 PM

I think that would be appropriate. Food & Water Watch, where I work, has a team for a summer volleyball tournament on the Mall. And on my way home, I ran into them on the Metro heading towards their first game. So here’s everyone on Breda 4058 this evening…

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Categories: WMATA, Work

“You are one cheap bastard.”

2 minute read

June 7, 2008, 3:16 PM

Yes, I will quote Zach, one of my coworkers at Food & Water Watch, when he said to me, “You are one cheap bastard.” I’ll take it as a compliment, since frugality is important when one is single and living on one’s own. I say it’s being frugal, but Zach, both parents, Sis, and a host of others, would be more inclined to quote the Car Talk guys and say, “Oh, you mean your cheapskatism?” This was after I explained how I’m loath to run the air conditioning unless I absolutely HAVE TO (like today, where it got up to 100 degrees).

Otherwise, though, Friday was fun. After work, a bunch of us went down to the Sala Thai restaurant just west of Dupont Circle for dinner in order to celebrate with Meg, one of our coworkers who recently took a position with Greenpeace. I had this wonderful vegetarian dish that had eggplant and mushroom in it among other vegetables in a spicy sauce, with rice on the side. Really tasty. Very hot, too. And we had such a wonderful time.

I have to say – I love my FWW coworkers. I could never go out socially with Wal-Mart people in a group like that.

And then after dinner, we headed into the land of Metro, and Marianne got a photo of everyone on the train:

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Categories: Work

What are you talking about? Coffee’s supposed to taste like sludge!

2 minute read

June 5, 2008, 10:50 PM

It’s funny… at work, the coffee drinkers have for the most part gone into two camps. There are the ones who would happily make it so strong that the spoon stands up, and those who like weak coffee.

I’m part of the “sludge” crowd. There is a dedicated group of us who gets to the Bunn-O-Matic in the morning and make strong coffee. Some people describe it as being like castor oil. I prefer the term “sludge”, myself. And if anyone asks why I like the coffee like sludge, I just smile. And not just a regular smile, either. It’s that kind of smile that’s so much so that it works muscles all down your neck and on your chest. The I’ve-had-too-much-caffeine smile. I love it.

Of course, I always cut myself off at noon. No more coffee past noon, which paves the way for a nap on Metro some evenings. Yesterday after work, I really must have been pooped – I fell asleep before Brookland-CUA, and next thing I knew, it was Glenmont. Usually, if I fall asleep on Metro, I briefly wake up around Fort Totten or Takoma, and then also around Forest Glen or Wheaton. Usually if it’s Wheaton, I end up staying awake to Glenmont, because I don’t see any point of nodding off again, being so close.

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It’s like when worlds collide!

3 minute read

May 9, 2008, 8:32 PM

This was definitely a fun day at the office today! I got to meet my predecessor at Food & Water Watch, a woman named Lis. She left so much information for me as far as how to do the job while I got the hang of things, and now I finally got to thank her. Additionally, Leah, a former Food & Water Watch coworker, was also in town, and so with these two visiting, we had a little office get-together after work. So fun. Knowing they were coming, I brought my “duckie” camera to work – the yellow rubber-covered Vivitar camera. And so here you are:

Leah, Lisa, and Lis

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Categories: Silver Spring, Work

iMac takes Metro?

2 minute read

February 10, 2008, 11:51 AM

This past week, I had two things that were worth a shot or two, and so I thought I’d share…

First of all, Katie and her mother went up to Leesburg in northern Virginia to see her brother and his family. And while she was up there, we also got together. The surprise of the evening was that prior to my arrival, her brother’s wife styled her hair. So here’s a photo of the one and only time she’ll be all curly, taken here at Chili’s, where we had dinner:

Katie with curls

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Categories: Katie, WMATA, Work

I should have gotten “Technology Czar” put on my new business cards…

2 minute read

January 10, 2008, 7:40 PM

Yes, if it’s in the office and it plugs in, takes batteries, or has a screen, it falls under my domain. One of the fun things about my job is that when we get some new electronic toy, I get to be the first one to play with it and figure out how it works. Case in point: We got this new direct fax system, where everyone now has their own fax number. I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited to fax something than I’ve been with this. Usually, I hate to fax stuff. The conventional fax machine is a pain in the butt, you see. You put your number in, feed the document, and then maybe it will work if the moon is in the proper alignment with Betelgeuse, Pollux, and Deneb. So yeah, I got the new system running today, in my newfound role as “Phone Czar”, and I faxed. I think I sent about six faxes. And they all showed up one after the other as a PDF in my inbox. How nice! No longer do we have to wait for the fax machine to slowly spew out what we want. Now, it just dings into the Email. Yay!

Meanwhile, it’s been eight months to the day since I moved up here, and I’m embarrassed to say that my car still has Virginia plates. That’s a bit of a work in progress. I have a Maryland driver’s license, and I’m registered to vote in Montgomery County, but legally, the car is still from Stuarts Draft. I’m getting a Maryland inspection done on it this weekend, so things will hopefully be going on that front soon. I just can’t get over how long it’s been since I moved, and that I still don’t have Maryland license plates. Well, at least I’m getting more time than I expected out of my Virginia registration. My Virginia plates’ month is April, and I figured, that’s 35 bucks down the drain, as I was expiring and, at the time I went in to renew, I knew I was moving up to the DC area, but not exactly where yet, but probably on the Maryland side (it’s a tad pricier in northern Virginia). And with that move happening within a month’s time, I was convinced bad timing had cost me 35 bucks for about a month’s worth of use. That’s what, $1.16 a day for a month’s worth of useful registration. After all, the 35 bucks is less than the ticket I’d get if I’d adopted a wait-and-see attitude about it and went around with an expired tag waiting to figure out where I would be living. However, it’s taken me ages to do anything with the whole car thing (I’ve been busy, yo!), so I’ve stretched that registration out to nine months. Still, yeah, time to get that done…

Categories: Mercury Sable, Work

One starts to question one’s own sanity…

2 minute read

January 6, 2008, 12:40 PM

One starts to question one’s own sanity when one spends a Saturday night… in the office. One of these days, I am going to realize that spending time in the Resources and Conservation Center in DC on a day that starts with “S” is an inherently BAD IDEA. I originally came in to drop off some stuff that I’d purchased for the office. This was stuff that I wasn’t about to take on the Metro, so I drove down and brought it in that way. But then since I had to wait on a process to complete anyway once I was in there, I turned on my office Mac (bad idea) and started doing other work, and then it was two hours later and I realized I still hadn’t gone to Pentagon City, which was Objective Number Two on this trip. The idea was to drop the stuff off, then go to Pentagon City to buy a neck warmer.

At Pentagon City, I bought a neck warmer by The North Face. The intention is for it to replace my gray scarf, which isn’t quite working out for me, as it’s too floppy and prone to twisting up at inconvenient times, letting all kinds of coldness in. We’ll see how the neck warmer works out on Monday, when I’m waiting for the bus once it gets cold again. It’s going to be warm around here this week, being in the 50s and such. And this is January

Now here is where I start to realize there’s a problem: I go back to the office after Pentagon City. I took time to set some stuff up in my own individual office, and do a lot of stuff all around the place that I’d been meaning to do. And I put all the stuff away that I bought. Oh, dear…

I didn’t get out until almost 1 AM, but at least I got a lot done. I was productive! And then arriving back home, I came back to discover that the pilot light had gone out on my heater, and so I had to place an emergency maintenance call to get that re-lit at two in the morning. But at least I got to watch the pilot light get relit.

Categories: Retail, Work

This marks the third day in a row that I’ve been watered…

< 1 minute read

December 6, 2007, 5:46 PM

Today marks the third day in a row that I’ve gotten watered over the course of the day at work. Tuesday, I was getting ready to pour a glass of juice for myself. I usually always shake well before opening, and this time, the top was not on, unbeknownst to me at the time. So I shook well as I usually do… and the juice went all over the front of me. Greeeeeeeeeat. Then yesterday, I was cleaning out one of those big coffee pots that get used at meetings, and managed to shoot myself with water out of a spot in the pump. At least it was clean water and not coffee that I got shot with. Then number three was today. I’m demonstrating a feature on the water cooler, grab a nearby pitcher that had an inch of water in the bottom of it, and it’s watering #3 as I grabbed it a little too fast and got water all over my leg.

Thankfully, I dry out pretty quickly, though. Still, if I had this much trouble with water, I’d hate to say “I don’t know” (ha ha).

Categories: Work

Have you ever seen an iMac with the skin off?

3 minute read

November 30, 2007, 9:21 PM

Well, you soon will. I had the opportunity to do a memory upgrade on a first-generation iMac G5 today at work, and so I got to open one of those puppies up. So this is what the iMac looks like with the skin off:

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Categories: Computer, Work