Archive of April, 2005
April 29, 2005:
This move didn't go very well for me. Don't get me wrong; I'm glad I'm here and I like my job. It was just the process of getting here that sucked.
As always happens when I move, I rented a U-Haul truck. I'm pretty careful about driving them around, since you could fit about half a dozen of my Honda in the cargo area. This time I wasn't careful enough. I clipped a truck turning from Penn Circle onto Highland Avenue without knowing it. A City cop tracked me down (I was kinda hard to miss, what with the big orange truck and all) and told me to go back and exchange information.
Except the guy hadn't stuck around. I wandered around the Home Despot parking lot, and looked in the Goodyear lot across the street and couldn't find him or his truck. I wound up driving my car over to the Zone 4 station and leaving my contact information. I haven't heard anything since then, so I guess the U-Haul insurance I bought took care of it. Best $40 I ever spent, if that's the case.
(I'll have you all know that, contrary to what people may say about my driving ability, this is the first accident I've been involved in that was my fault.)
The drive to Centreville was uneventful, except for the part where the truck lost the ability to climb hills or exceed 50 MPH. That was fun, I tell you. The guy at the U-Haul place in Manassas was all over the need to examine the engine: "It could need work, or it may just be a piece of shit." Slow down there, buddy; no need to get technical.
On the minor-annoyances front, I managed to not notice the large notice on the side of the truck warning about the overhang over the driver's door. Stepping up into a large metal object is only a good idea if you're Mario or Luigi. I also managed to spend $103 on gas as I was returning it, requiring two credit-card authorizations. Do you have any idea how long it takes to pump that much gas?
I also managed to make Htet Htet and Cory late for an appointment by driving from Centreville to Manassas in the middle of rush hour, turning what would have been a 45-minute round trip into a 90-minute excursion. The fact that the Pittsburgh U-Haul gus wrote the wrong mileage down for my truck, thus making it appear to lose a few thousand miles, didn't help any. Though the same guy did make me chuckle when he asked, "can I keep a copy of your papers? I need to make sure someone in Pittsburgh has a bad day."
And that was just the moving part of the program. WHen you change states there's a bunch of other stuff you have to do. Which, looking at how long this has gotten, will be in its own entry.
Coming soon: How the DMV and my stupidity tag-teamed to ruin my Saturday.
April 28, 2005:
There was a bird in the office last week. I heard something fall over in my office and went to investigate (thinking, who's dumb enough to rob an office in broad daylight?) and saw a bird fluttering around on my floor.
To his credit, my coworker did not assume I was on crack when I told him there was a bird running around the floor of my office.
When catching our avian intruder in a trash can failed, we decided to try corralling it out the window. We forgot that birds have no concept of those vertical stretches of solid air (the stuff us walking apes call glass). Poor guy pretty much knocked himself stupid trying to fly through the upper pane of the window, while the lower one was open.
I have to admit, watching it stagger around like a drunk was a lot more amusing than it should have been.
Once the bird got his second wind, we shooed him out the appropriate part of the window and congratulated ourselves for only being outsmarted for a little while by a creature with a brain half the size of a pea. Then we got to the really fun part of the program.
In our efforts to entice the bird to go where we wanted, we closed all the doors in the office. It turned out that my door was locked. It also turned out that there was no key to my office. It also also turned out that the boss came back to the office as I was futily trying keys in the lock.
The boss decided the only viable option was to break into my office. While I'm familiar with breaking and entering into my own space, since this required damaging (destroying, frankly) the lock I'm kind of glad the guy who pays the rent on the office was the one to do so.
Oddly enough, this doesn't seem to have affected the boss's estimation of my intelligence. I'm not sure whether that's good or bad.
April 26, 2005:
In mid-March, right after I got the job and right before I went down to Manassas to live in a hotel for a week, I had to drive back to Pittsburgh to pack up my work clothes for the week.
On the Pennsylvania Turnpike I saw, not one, but two accidents. Both looked pretty serious. But the thing that got me was, the weather was pretty much clear. It's like both cars just randomly drove off the highway.
Just after I got on the turnpike in Breezewood, traffic slowed to a standstill as our first contestant got up close and personal with the Jersey wall between the eastbound and westbound lanes. The fire was out by the time I got there, so all I got for my trouble was this one photo.
Somewhere near the Somerset interchange I noticed an ambulance going full-blast coming up the on-ramp. I moved over to let him on and he took off up the highway. Being the sicko I am, I followed behind him, though at a respectable distance in case there were cops looking for speeders. Once the ambulance pulled over I saw this entry, who I must declare the winner. Looks like the aftermath of a demolition derby.
April 25, 2005:
It gets light earlier here than it did in Pittsburgh or Akron. I like that; I need daylight to wake up in the morning. I can't say for sure, but hopefully come wintertime I'll at least have twilight when the alarm goes off at 6:30.
Since I'm a few degrees farther east, sunrise and sunset both happen a little bit earlier here, which as I said before is fine -- I want my daylight when I'm waking up, not when I'm already in for the evening. And since I'm farther south, I get more daylight in the winter and less in the summer. Not by much, but again those extra couple minutes in the winter may be the difference between being semi-alert and slogging through my morning routine.
Of course, since we're past the equinox, that means Akron's and Pittsburgh's days are both longer than mine down here in NoVA. I'll take the trade-off though.
April 22, 2005:
Sorry about the lack of updates this week. I actually have a handful of entries to write (one going back to March) but just haven't had the motivation to do so. I'll try to get them typed up this weekend.
April 18, 2005:
I switched registrars recently, so there may be a gap where the site doesn't appear (it shouldn't happen though, since any server you ask should use either the old record, or the new one, and both point to the same place).
So if the site disappears entirely, the was a cock-up of monumental proportions in the DNS system. If it just goes a long time without an update (like from Friday to 1:00 PM on Monday) that's just me being a slacker.
April 15, 2005:
I think the jump from 0-hour days to 9-hour days is finally catching up with me; I'm beat. I think I'm just going to take this weekend to kick back and relax.
That means I'll miss Carnival, but given how things have gone the last few years I won't really be missing much. Every year it seems less like an enjoyable event and more like a chore. And if I really want the Carnival experience I'll buy a case of MGD and listen to 80s music -- that should about cover it.
April 14, 2005:
I was mildly annoyed with myself for not writing an entry for today -- I don't like falling behind.
Then I pulled out onto Pickwick to go to work and actually got to see a Chinese fire drill in progress. Two guys dressed up like they were going to work pulled over, hit the four-ways, jumped out of the car and switched seats.
And here I thought that was only done by drunk high-school students.
April 12, 2005:
I got a request over IM to make it so people could request an e-mail when someone replies to their comments. Since I'm apparently incapable of refusing an RFE for the site, I sat down and cranked it out. Feed in a valid e-mail address and click the checkbox, and you'll know if anyone reads this and replies to it besides you.
April 11, 2005:
Sunday I learned that there's a pretty good Burmese restaurant in Falls Church. I also learned that Burmese people like to leave the fat on their meat when they curry it instead of cutting it off and letting the liquid tenderize the meat. I learned that mushy, barely-solid fat is pretty much disgusting. But you can ask for the meat to be cooked sans fat, which I will next time, so I'm willing to write that off as a one-time thing. Now I just have to remember how to get there.
April 08, 2005:
I finally got around to hooking up my rear surround speakers earlier in the week, and needed a way to test them out. So I did what I do every time I need to "test" my system: I threw in The Matrix and cued up "I know Kung Fu." After watching Keanu Reeves get bounced around (and through) the set, I skipped ahead to the lobby scene and helicopter rescue.
And it was good.
April 07, 2005:
Wednesday it was eighty degrees and fairly humid. In early April. I'm a dead man come August.
April 05, 2005:
I woke up kind of early Sunday morning, with sunlight coming into the bedroom even though the big window points north. As I got out of bed I saw it was just after 8.
When I sat down at the computer to check my e-mail (yeah, I check mail as soon as I wake up -- I never said I wasn't a dork) I saw the computer's clock was off by about an hour. I checked against the clock on the stove and my cell phone, and they both agreed it was 8:00 or so.
Then I remembered it was a Sunday in April. A quick check of the newspaper's site verified that the switch to EDT had snuck up on me.
Fortunately, Windows manages to remember these things, or I would've been an hour late to work yesterday.
April 04, 2005:
With my allergies subsiding, I've finally been able to put together enough motivation to do some more unpacking. The giant piles of boxes are mostly gone, and I can walk around at night without worrying about stubbing my toes.
The average observer just might conclude that someone lives here, instead of renting a very expensive storage space.
April 01, 2005:
Tuesday and Wednesday I was walking around with a really nasty dry cough. Made climbing the two flights of stairs to my apartment a real winner. Thursday the cough went away only to be replaced by allergies. I've been doing the nasal-faucet thing since about 9:00 this morning, and have to wait until I get home at about 5:30 to do something about it.
On the upside, everyone in the office knows where I am at all times.
And Now For Something Completely Different, 1:23PM: Those fucktards at Cox just might be even more incompetent than Verizon, which I didn't think was humanly possible.
This morning I got a call from a guy who had just finished his English As A Forty-Third Language course, saying he was from Cox and that I had an appointment for between 1:00 and 3:00. After trying in vain to understand what the hell he was saying I gave up and told him I'd call customer service to find out what was going on.
Customer service says there is, in fact, an appointment for between 1:00 and 3:00 for my broadband connection, but that the guy won't have to enter the apartment. Fine, I say.
Skip ahead to just now, a somewhat cranky Cox rep says the guy's been outside my apartment for 15 minutes. I pass along what this morning's rep said and she asks, but didn't you request a modem?
For the love of---
I have a modem, I say, I just need you to turn it on. She says OK and hangs up. For fuck's sake, I called on the 30th, trying to set up my account, and gave the rep my modem's serial number and MAC address. Why on earth I'd want another one is beyond me.
All I can say is that I'd goddamn well better have connectivity when I get home tonight.