The More I Think About It…

…the happier I am that I am not going to San Diego in a couple of days for the madhouse that is Comic-Con International.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of friends that I only really see once a year, and it’s when I take the trip out to San Diego. I mean, we are talking about a lot of friends. So not seeing them? That really stinks. Plus it’s good for networking with publishers and creators, and to just get a good idea of what the proverbial pulse of the industry is beating these days.

But first CCI announced that the 4-day passes sold out. (It wouldn’t have been a worry for me, my pass would’ve been taken care of months ago.) Now, the Convention Center in San Diego is huge, holding something like 130,000 people in it. For it to sell out? That’s madness. And now individual passes for Saturdays are sold out, too. And then I start thinking about how crowded it was just back in 2005, when it wasn’t as bad, and it still looked like this:

Just another San Diego Crowd
(click here for an even larger view of the terror)

Oh dear lord. What was I thinking? Yes, I will enjoy not being in San Diego this upcoming weekend. Even though I will miss all my friends terribly. (Especially Kelly Sue, if only because I figure I could try and rub her belly and then make a run for it before she clocked me by way of response.) But this weekend? Well, I’ll think about two good friends running the San Francisco Marathon and note that it would be less exhausting than being at Comic-Con. And then? Take a nice long nap, I think.

Seasonal Disorder

Seasonal DisorderAll right. I understand that weather in the DC area is more in line with September than July, right now. (Heck, I had the windows open this morning.) Fair enough, it’s lovely out.

How that meant that the local Giant Food felt it was now time to put out Halloween-themed M&Ms, though, I’ll have no idea. The wrongness is just killing me, here.

Non-Bulleted Bullet Points

Life’s been busy busy busy as of late. And when that happens, this is the first thing that falls to the wayside, it seems. Which is better than a lot more important things getting neglected, I suppose. My hunt for the elusive 36-hour day continues to be fruitless, alas.

After listening to everyone’s advise, I ended up creating a private “to-do list” webpage on my site that I can update every day. It works in concert with my full calendar, in that I regularly copy things off the calendar and onto the list, but I see it much more than the calendar and is more short-term themed than long-term. So far it’s been working out pretty well, so I can’t complain too much.

A Ray of HopeI am delighted that the temperature has finally dropped here in the DC area, just in time for our 16-miler this weekend. Hopefully it will go well; the really high temperatures at the 12- and 14-milers made them both a little uncomfortable. But what’s up with the lack of earth-shattering kabooms in the way of storms? Every time this summer we’ve had a cold front with big storm promise, we’ve gotten the cold front but a distinct lack of storm. It’s half the fun of the temperature drop, after all. (The other and more obvious half being, surprise surprise, the actual dropping of the temperature from “armpit of Alabama” levels into just “blistering shoulder.”) The best we get are threatening looking clouds that don’t deliver.

It’s Harry Potter Mania Night, and I almost hate to admit that I don’t have a copy pre-ordered. In fact, I’m not buying a copy. Not because I’m anti-Harry Potter (they remind me in a very good way of reading Roald Dahl’s books at the age of seven) but because last year I gave away my copies of the hardcovers because I decided that they were taking up too much space, and it’s not like the library has a lack of copies if I want to re-read them down the line. So, I have a copy reserved at the library and will no doubt have a copy in a couple weeks. Perhaps sooner if Karon finishes hers quickly and is then kind enough to lend it to me.

I am really looking forward to a long weekend in Lost River, West Virginia that I have planned for mid-August. I want an agenda primarily filled with swimming, hiking, reading books, eating, Scrabble, and sleeping. Not necessarily in that order. I think it’s going to be really fantastic. Especially since it will be right after two and a half weeks of doing both my job and someone else’s (who always has more on his plate and the stuff is generally more complex). So a perfectly timed vacation.

Speaking of Scrabble, being able to play it on Facebook is wonderfully evil, yet at the same time relaxing. I like being able to take a 2-minute break and stretch my brain in a different way to think of a new crazy word to play on the board. (Best word so far: ANTIQUE for 101 points. Although I am somehow more proud of my 61-point OLEANDER.)

Things are going very well with Charlie, thanks.

The new Suzanne Vega CD is pretty by-the-numbers Vega (same thing with her last album; I hadn’t realized how much her ex-husband Froom had brought to the production of 99.9F and Nine Objects of Desire until it was gone), but still enjoyable. On the other hand, I fully blame Matt Evenden for accidentally hooking me on last year’s Take That reunion album. I’m so ashamed. Oh, and Clive Davis can kiss my butt, he was utterly wrong and My December is fantastic. Kudos to Kelly Clarkson for sticking to her guns.

Ok, time to go running and then off to National Airport to pick up Charlie from his latest business trip.

Life? Busy, but good.

A Nagging Problem, Solved

Back in January, I was driving home from a friend’s birthday party in Alexandria when a massive crack appeared across my windshield. I’d had a small ding in the windshield from when a rock hit it, but (at the time having not realized it was something easily and inexpensively fixed) had done nothing about it. All the snow coming down had meant that the shift in temperature brought the imperfection to a head, and suddenly my car was “smiling” at me.

In the spring, I used birthday money to get the windshield replaced, and that was the end of the saga. Or so I thought. Soon afterwards I noticed that I could hear air getting in through one of the corners of the windshield, although only if I drove over 45mph. Was it my imagination, paranoid from the swapping out of windshields? After debating for a couple of weeks, I made Julie and Laura get in the car to verify or deny what I was hearing. Sure enough, they heard it too.

Well, twice Albert from the auto glass company came out to try and squirt a little more sealant into that corner, to see if that would do the trick. And, twice, it didn’t seem to do much. Even Albert didn’t seem convinced that it would do the trick the second time, but recommended waiting to let it fully set and see if that was that.

Windshield Now OptionalLast Friday, Albert and his assistant came out and pulled the windshield off entirely to see if the fault was the glass itself (they’d brought another one just in case) or not. As soon as they pulled it off, Albert saw where the seal was off by about 1/32nd of an inch. “Not much,” he said, “but that’s all it really takes.”

So, his assistant (who as it turned out used to live in my apartment complex) cleaned off the glass while Albert scraped off the old seal in its entirety. And I must say, it’s very odd to look at your car and there to be no windshield there whatsoever. They put a new seal down, put the glass back on, and lo and behold the problem was finally fixed. (The irony? The next day I drove down to see the friend whose birthday party I was leaving back in January when the windshield cracked in the first place. And no, it did not break again.)

The funny thing about it is that I hadn’t really realized just how much this was bothering me until I was driving around afterwards and felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. That quiet whistling, whooshing noise was finally gone. Driving had actually become painful while it was there, a constant reminder that something wasn’t right. It being gone is one of the best feelings out there, that there’s finally some sort of pleasure in driving my car again. I wish I’d gotten this fixed much faster, but if nothing else it’s given me a greater appreciation for the job now being done properly.

I may not have an hour (or longer) commute like many in the area, but even the 40 minutes (total) that I have to spend in the car each work day? They’ve suddenly gotten that much better.

365pictures: Days 211-240

Two-thirds of the way there. Oof.

This is perhaps the most of the “mixed-batch” yet for me; some that I really love, others where I was scrambling to find a picture for the day. I am glad to be in the “home stretch” even though (as of this morning) I still have 123 more to go. Come on, November!

Meanwhile, I have my heart now set on a camera from Canon that (with a slightly newer model available) has been marked down a couple hundred bucks, and has a 12X optical zoom. (My current camera has a 3X optical zoom.) I blame this project for me wanting that.

Anyway, as always, enjoy! (And if you’d like to see the full set, they’re available at this link.)

Ghost TrainGum of HappinessCan't Sleep, Flowers Will Eat MeMixing ColorsTangle
FlingingDizzyingViolationForest of SteelAnyone Want a Book?
DiagonalFood Product, or Throat Culture?BoardwalkLakeside ViewPreviously on Doctor Who...
The Colors of MusicHouse of KabobDevouredRestoredA Glimmer of Good-Nature?
Literal Bird's Eye ViewFragile SkinsLet Me In!TemptationI Heart Flowers
Fixing the NewsPushing Back the SprayInspirationMeditationLove Without Rules