When it rains, it pours

After a week of hell, I thought maybe we’d be in for a light weekend, but I was wrong. I also thought the weather might clear up.

Friday was decent. I got into work fairly early, got over for a massage which was good at the time, but the effects evaporated with work stress. Still, I eventually reached a stopping point, and headed home around 6. I made some hot dogs for me and Jill and hung out for a short while before heading over to the Old Dominion Beer Fest. I’d purchased passes online and we breezed right in. Our first stop (after buying drink pogs) was for Magic Hat #9, then hit several other tents in the next hour, then headed over to the stage to catch emmet swimming. Rain was threatening, and I told Todd beforehand I hoped he wasn’t going to play “Rain Pours Down”. They didn’t (although they did tempt fate by playing “Tom Collins”, with the line “I’d love one more Tom Collins as the rain outside pours down”, during which a few drops fell). Don’t think they planned this, but they played “Blue Moon” right as Jill was finishing her Blue Moon beer. A good show, with a nice mix of old and new(er) songs.

They meant to take a break in the middle after “Hey Jesse” (Todd said they wanted to do “4 small sets with big breaks”), but were asked not to since rain was approaching (but it held off anyway). I completely missed “Turnstile” as I went for a refill after “Hey Jesse” (another Magic Hat #9 – good in a bottle, better on draft). New drummer Nate Brown (formerly of Everything) was in fine form, but the highlight for me (as most shows) was “Broken Oar”, but I also liked the return of “Lose Yourself” (a request), and Scotty’s interjection of “Flower People” (the Spinal Tap song) right before “Down Under” during “So Lonely”.

Saturday we slept in a little, then I got up, walked Illa, then we got Jill up and had waffles. We cleaned the house because it badly needed it, and I watched my usual DS/CR/JL plus Hex. We left after 5 for Dave Matthews Band at Nissan Pavilion. We stopped at Baja Fresh in Manassas for food, with the intention of getting there and tailgating. No luck, as traffic was a bear, and it took us nearly 45 minutes to go the last 5 miles, so we ate as I did the start/stop thing. As we were pulling into the parking lot, the battery light started flashing on my dash. It went off when I put the car in park, and I was concerned, but I checked the connections and everything seemed ok, so we headed in.

We got to our seats just in time for Gomez’s last song, which was a shame as I quite like their CD. Our seats were great, in the orchestra pit, but there was a problem. I hadn’t been wearing my ankle brace from Wednesday on, and the previous night had done a fair amount of walking and standing at the beer fest, so my foot was aching and I was wearing the brace. I hadn’t thought about it before, but I realized this was not a good night to stand throughout the show. I thought about just asking someone in the front row of 102 or 103 to switch, but Jill suggested we just ask someone at the venue about the accessible seats up front, and they hooked us up. Nice to sit down – only bummer was we were off to stage left, and when the rain started coming down hard, we got a little damp.

We left before the encore because I was worried about my car, and with good reason. It was a rough start, and I never got full power to the headlights. I tried it on the road, but started getting the battery light flashing again, and pulled into the nearest gas station. I idled for a while and tried it a couple more times, but it was no good. So I gave up, backed the car into a parking space, and called AAA. They said the truck would be there within two hours, so we opened the door, got some drinks at the 7-11, and chatted and read while we waited, happy to at least made it out of the pavilion parking lot.

The tow truck driver showed up by 11:30, about an hour and a half later. He was very talkative, telling us all about the water rescues he’d done so far that night, and may be able to find us a new mattress (not very romantic, but it’s Jill’s first choice for a birthday present). We dropped the car off at our mechanic, then dropped us at home. We were pretty burned out, but not yet sleepy, so we started watching Beavis & Butt-Head (I’d never seen the very surreal Thanksgiving special with Kurt Loder).

Sunday we had to get moving quickly, as we had to be at my Mom’s for lunch with a salad, cake and drinks. We had lettuce from the CSA farm, but Jill had to go out and get strawberries, onions and dressing. Meanwhile, I just needed to package and ship a CD from half.com. Of course my printer ran out of ink, and when I put a new cartridge in, it wouldn’t go online again. I gave up after wrestling with it for 45 minutes. We headed over to Cold Stone Creamery where Jill picked out a Snickers Supreme for her cake, then I paid while she hit Starbucks. We got over to my mom’s around 1, and hung out and chatted (and I advised my sister on routers and DSL connections) until my dad arrived, then we started grilling burgers and dogs. We had lunch around 3, then the aforementioned cake and strawberries with shortcake and whipped cream my mom made.

We dashed home in the rain to let the dog out and grab tickets. Of course on the way int the cooler (which was sideways to fit in the leftover cake) opened and a beer bottle fell out and smashed on the steps. I cleaned it up as Jill took Illa out, then we headed off to Wolf Trap. It was our Encore Circle (Wolf Trap’s VIP lounge) night, and a better night for it I can’t imagine. We got caught in crushing rain on our way out of Herndon, getting out of it half way there. We relaxed in the lounge, and surprised ourselves by actually having something to eat from the little buffet. Riverdance was fun, made more interesting by nature’s fireworks going on outside. We hit the lounge at intermission, getting our feet soaked (and only one other couple braved it out then), then went back for about half the second act before heading home. We watched a little more Beavis & Butt-Head while we played with Illa.

Today I caught the bus to work – turned out I needed my alternator replaced. Jill took a while to drive through the worst of the rain tonight, then we had fajitas with leftover steak when she got home. Not as much stress this week (so far) – plus it’s a short week. Also found out this weekend we’d spaced on making reservations at the kennel for Illa – luckily our pet sitter does overnight visits and wasn’t fully booked yet.

TGIT (reprise)

Ok, now I’m glad it’s Thursday. Wednesday was the longest day of the year in more ways than one.

Wednesday I got to work extra early without breakfast so I could put in some extra hours and make it to a doctor visit in the middle of the day. But Jill called right before 11 to let me know the trapper was on his way and she couldn’t stay and had to leave for work right then. So I headed home and made a roast sandwich while I waited for him. Good news, last raccoon caught and we’re free of critters at last (not counting Illa, of course).

It was close to 11:30 and I had a 11:45 appointment, so I headed over to Reston Hospital. I was early when I arrived, but the orthopedists had moved to the new building and I was late when I finally I got to their office. I had to fill out paperwork and wait, then they x-rayed my ankle and I had to wait some more while those were developed. I finally got to see the doctor, and he felt I should keep wearing the ankle brace and see a physical therapist because my heels were turned out funny. I set up an appointment for next week, we’ll see if it helps. The pain has been less today, but I’ve also been working on the trigger points in my legs.

I had an HOA meeting after work and didn’t get home until 8:30, not long before Jill did. She wasn’t hungry (didn’t eat ’til 4) so I made an omelette for myself, then she quilted while I read the paper and some comics, watched DS/CR/JL (Daily Show/Colbert Report/Justice League), then went to bed.

I felt better today after 8 hours of sleep, then got to work just in time for my current project to go crazy. Had to work long today to make things work, and Jill ended up staying longer too. Jill had an idea for green beans and Canadian bacon for dinner, along with squash, both tasty. I watched my usual DS/CR/JL, then headed up here to beat the storm headed our way. Going to bed soon as I need to make into work early again as I have a massage right before lunchtime that I had to move from Wednesday.


Someone had a case of the Mondays yesterday. I got up around 8:30 to check if there were still critters in the attic. There were, so I called the trapper. He could be there within the hour, so I showered and waited for him. We went up in the attic, saw movement but they were too far down (dang vaulted ceilings). Then I saw what was wrong with the attic for myself, because it was the first time I’d been up there in daylight – the entire roof vent was gone, whcih meant there was a lot of sun coming in. He left traps up in the attic and left, and I went downstairs to eat breakfast – only to read about heavy thunderstorms on their way later in the day. I didn’t have time to deal with it then, went to work (not realizing I was still wearing the crappy sneakers I’d worn in the attic).

I’d planned on listening to the new DMB songs in my car, but forgot my adapter. And the packages I had to mail from my eBay auction. Of course things were crazy at work with a lot of changes on my project, and I still had to get calls in to roofers. I had a couple of leads, and eventually found someone to come out and put something on the roof that day and come out later in the week and give me an estimate for replacement – something we were planning on doing this year anyway, but may as well get it done now.

The worst part of the day was yet to come. Boston radio station WAAF, sponsors of next week’s Extreme show, were giving away front row tix to the show, just had to be the 107th caller when they played an Extreme song after 5. So at 5 I started listening to the audio webcast, and called in when the song came on. Yes, I was caller number… 104.

A long day, and I felt like rewarding myself later, so Jill made pasta and I watched Serenity for the first time, finally (damn you, Joss Whedon).

This morning started better. Got up at 8 to meet the trapper, and one of the kids was in a trap. The other wouldn’t come out, so he brought the one down (Illa was very curious about the trap, but we didn’t let him get close). I heard noises and went back up afterwards to see the last one crawling around, but he wouldn’t come near me (I was thinking about grabbing him and forcing him in a trap). I remembered to bring my adapter and the packages, as well as a lunch. Work was not quite as crazy, plus I worked only 8 hours today, though tomorrow looks rough.

Of course when I got home there was no phone service. Took me 15 minutes of checking things out and another 15 minutes on the phone with Verizon before I realized my old speakerphone in the office had managed to turn itself on. D’oh!

Lazy weekend

Lazy weekend, at least for me – Jill got some good progress on her quilting. There were a couple concerts I wouldn’t minded have going to (Getaway Car at Jammin’ Java Friday, Pat McGee Band at Alexandria Waterfront Festival and Butter Sweet at the Ice House Saturday, and Styx at the Loudoun Summer Music Fest Sunday), but my ankle was bugging me and I decided the best thing for it was rest.

Saturday we slept in some, I was up around 10:30. I walked the dog, then made egg sandwiches while I watched Hex. I’m liking that show more and more, think I will stick around for the season. Jill ran some errands, then came back and we watched the last three hours of 24. She had a craving for Don Pablo’s, so we headed there around 6. There was a big line, so we put our names down, then headed across the parking lot to Total Wine to pick up some beer and wine, then returned just in time to be seated. Jill had the Primo combo, and I had the new Mezcal caliente chicken enchiladas (good – didn’t expect something with a kick from Pablo’s) along with our usual queso. Afterwards, we stopped at Lowe’s for big ass pliers (to take apart the sink plumbing, sandpaper (to hold Jill’s quilting, and grass seed). Later, we watched the last three hours of Desperate Housewives (sense a theme here?), then since we weren’t tired, Mean Girls (SNL was a repeat and I needed a Tina Fey fix).

Sunday was lazier. I hadn’t turned on the AC and it was a scorcher, so after a quick walk and breakfast, Illa and I retreated to the basement. Jill managed to sleep through most of it, not getting up ’til after 2. I read the paper, then some comics. We decided to beat the heat by going to the movies, finally catching X-Men 3 in Tysons Corner (Jill had an AMC gift card). I liked it, nice recycling of the plots from Astonishing X-Men and the Dark Phoenix saga, though my favorite moment was the nod to Days of Future Past at the beginning. I had marinated chicken in a lime juice/oil/spice mixture, and grilled that as I made a salad for dinner, and watched the Simpsons and Family Guy.

My phone’s speaker stopped working after I started plugging in the adapter for the car, so Saturday night I took it apart, having found a site that talked about a similar problem with the Treo 650 (I have a 600). But bridging the contacts didn’t change anything, so I searched for more things tonight. The solution was Freedom from Toysoft, also the guys who made a way to record video using the Treo’s built in camera, which I’ve been using for a while. I’ll see if I can get by with using the trial version. else I’ll buy the software – much better than the $180 an out of warranty repair costs from Palm.


Is that a great word or what? Full explanation here, but this is a taste:

Slacktivism is the search for the ultimate feel-good that derives from having come to society’s rescue without actually getting one’s hands dirty, volunteering any of one’s time, or opening one’s wallet.

Found while reading an article on the great snopes.com debunking site about the uselessness of internet petitions. I won’t be signing any more now, better to call or write your Congressperson over a particular issue – have you asked your Senator to save the Internet?

Local beer

I just got an email – the new site for both RFD and the Brickskeller is www.LoveTheBeer.com.

Don’t forget – next weekend is the Old Dominion 10th Annual Beer Festival. Admission is $20 (includes weekend admission to the beer fest and souvenir glass), or $18 in advance (through the web site or brewpub). We’ll be there Friday night (because emmet swimming is playing, natch), and maybe on the afternoon Saturday or Sunday (leaning towards Saturday when the Brindley Brothers are there).