Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Good Thing I'm Wearing My Striped Socks

At work today they announced that we're under a Tornado Watch.

My first thought was, "We need an office pool about who the house drops on!"

Friday, April 22, 2011

All Hopped Up

Next Best Thing

According to South Park, you should ask yourself, "What Would Brian Boitano Do?"

If you're still not sure, ask me. Brian Boitano and I went to the same high school (he was a few years behind me), so you've got that going for you.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Elegance. Class. Presence.

Long live the Queen.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Adventures On My Lunch Break

You may recall that I'm eccentric and still use fountain pens when I write. Since my office moved last year and we now work in downtownn Washington D.C., I've been meaning to wander over to visit Fahrney's Pen Store. Fahrney's has been in business since 1929, located within a block or two of where they're at now. I needed a few doo-dads for my pens, and since I was making the walk a nice bottle of ink was well deserved, and today was the day.

Fahrney's is located on the other side of the Ellipse from where I work, so I found myself braving crowds of tourons seeing the sights. Walking past the White House, there was excitement in the air, and I saw the First Dog out for his noon constitutional. Handsome animal, and very calm considering the ravening hoard barely contained by the tall iron fence between them. Of course, Bo was attended by a staff of two, one of which looked to be in a tux (White House staff perhaps?) and the other looked - honest to God - like a Secret Service agent. One of the gentlemen carried an umbrella, for himself or the dog is unknown. I saw no canine bodily functions on display, but like I said, I was on my way and just passing through.

Not long after, rain drops started to fall and I walked into the store just in time. Imagine a long, narrow space about the size of a single-wide trailer, immaculately maintained and elegantly appointed (the high ceiling had carved wooden moulding), and that's the interior of the store. I expected it to be much larger than that. Even so, no less than three people were behind the counters, and a fourth was in a small workshop/office in a back corner, the clutter hidden away from casual view.

I made a quick tour of the place, but because I had a list of exactly what I wanted and because I was on my lunch break, I dawdled just long enough to let the brief rain pass outside. I did note that the most expensive pen I saw there went for just shy of $3,000.00.

With my modest purchases in my happy little hands (simple pleasures), I headed back to work. Past the White House again and spotted the Presidential Vegetable Garden, meticulously maintained (by the riff-raff no doubt.) I was pleasantly surprised to hear conversations in Chinese, Korean, French, German and a few others I couldn't identify. It's kind of neat when you think of it, that so many people from around the world would come to America to see D.C.

Probably not one in ten knew what it was, but there was a huge plot of bright red tulips in full bloom. Standing at the base of the bed, you'd realize that it was a tribute to the First Infantry Division - The "Big Red One".

According to Google Maps, it was a two mile walk. Very pleasant, very touristy. I can't imagine going to Fahrney's again for a year or two, so y'all are probably spared another post like this for the forseeable future. *insert sigh-of-relief here*

Monday, April 18, 2011

Because I Haven't Posted Anything Truly Scary Lately

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday Morning

After the powerful storms that blasted through here yesterday, we woke up to a glorious spring day. I went out back and spent about a half hour doing garden chores, then made a cup of tea to test my new backpacking stove (made it yesterday while stuck inside - it works like a champ).

As I was sitting there, enjoying the tea and sunshine, I noticed unusual bird calls from the woods behind the house. I grabbed my monocular and spent a relaxing hour watching the hawks play. There were several - more than three, maybe as many as six - zooming around each other, circling high before diving in close strafing runs, just generally having fun. There was no mid-air attacking or general agressiveness that I saw. A couple of times, I spied pairs sitting side by side in the top branches of the trees, making me think it may have been mating displays going on.

The other clue were those unusual bird calls. Those hawks weren't making ordinary hawk sounds. They sounded like a dog's squeaky toy. Sharp and high pitched and wheezy, kind of a goofy sound for a bad-ass bird like a hawk to be making.

I guess love makes fools of us all.

Good Isn't Good Enough

I'm not a big Dairy Queen fan, but after seeing this commercial, I'm going. They've earned it.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Rare Linkworthy Link

Rare, as in I usually am too lazy to do so, not rare as in there are few worthy of being linked.

Behold greatness.

Sounds Like A Plan

Thursday, April 14, 2011

It's Harder Than This, Rebecca

Then again, maybe it isn't.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Evil Banking Corporation Cares More About The Troops Than The Current Placeholder In The White House

Remember last week when the troops were told that if the government shut down, that they'd only get half a paycheck on payday, then no more until the government reopened? Of course, they'd still be expected to fight in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.

Remember last week when President Obama vowed to veto the continuing resolution that would have funded the military for the rest of the year?

Kudos to Navy Federal Credit Union, who announced that any military member who had a direct deposit account (translation: virtually all) would get a full paycheck. In other words, the Credit Union would front the rest of their pay and members could settle up with the Credit Union when the regular paychecks started again and the retro pay was in hand.

Glad it wasn't needed, but very cool nonetheless.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Dirt Watch - Weekend Edition

Planted two squares of lettuce today, eight heads in all. I'll plant another two squares in two weeks to stretch the harvest.

Peas and broccoli are doing great, spinach is sprouting like crazy and the radishes are already popping their zesty little greenery up into the sunlight. My onions aren't doing so hot... I think. I have a couple that seem to be doing great, but most of them are just kinda there. Since they're underground doing their thing, I can't really tell if they're taking the final dirt nap or merely resting. Time will tell.

No word yet on the Swiss Chard or the carrots. For some reason, because of the "Swiss" in the name, I feel like I must capitalize the chard.


Friday, April 08, 2011

Shut. Down.

I've been declared "essential" during the Government shutdown, but only for 4 hours a day. I guess that makes me half-essed.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

No Honey Badgers in the DC Government

Saturday's annual Cherry Blossom Parade has been deemed "non-essential" and will be cancelled if the government shuts down.

You should hear the anguished screaming.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Concentrated Essence of Honey Badger

Alternate title: A whole heap o' stuff you don't give a shit about.

Dirt Watch. I planted broccoli and onions just before it snowed last week. Broccoli and onions don't give a shit! They're doing fine. I saw the first of the peas emerging (from seed). I did a nipple check and yes, I was excited. Something was fucking with the garden. I'm guessing birds. They scratched a couple of holes in the loose soil and knocked over some of my popsicle stick markers. I plant Swiss Chard today.

I camped out in the backyard again last night. Temps to the mid-30s. I tweaked my sleeping setup a little and was toasty comfortable all night. I've already told them at work that if the Government shuts down and I'm not essential, I'm going for a long hike.

To that end, I tested some trail recipes at work for lunch. Knorr (Lipton) parmesan noodles, powdered milk (Nido, not that nasty Carnation crap), butter buds and diced pepperoni. Throw it in a freezer ziplock, add near-boiling water to cover and tuck it into a cozy for 20 minutes. Freakin' awesome, and smelled good enough to make the local cubical denizens jealous. Did some curry rice the same way another day.

Our dog is wearing an inflatable collar for a few days. There's an area around his butt that's irritated and he won't leave it alone to heal. A little mockery ("li'l donut head") and some cortisone spray and it's looking much better already.

I'd ask if you enjoyed this, but I've been taking pointers from Honey Badger.