Hardware Store Trips

In the past four days I’ve made three trips to local hardware stores. In retrospect I am sure at least one of them could have been avoided.

Herb Garden [365portraits: 179]On Friday, I went to McLean Hardware and picked up some cute little black metal pots to plant the basil and parsley plants that I received from my CSA. They didn’t have any bags of rocks to put in the bottom (since there’s no drainage) but I figured I could find those anywhere. (A co-worker suggested styrofoam packing peanuts, but I ran a test on them and as it turns out, yes, water does melt them like I’d thought.) But I had the pots and they looked pretty cute, and also fit on my narrow windowsill.

It wasn’t until I was getting ready to leave work that I went to raid my bag of potting soil that I keep in the office and discovered that I’d used it up and forgotten. Whoops. So, on Sunday, I headed over to Cherrydale Hardware and got not only some dirt but also a bag of small stones for the bottoms of the pots. (It’s amazing how hard it is to find lots of little rocks when you need them.) I’d never been to Cherrydale Hardware before, although it’s just a few minutes drive away from me, but I love it already. Small hardware stores are just so nice; it’s probably just as well that I don’t own property or I’d have to take out a second mortgage to afford everything I’d want to buy. And hey, look how good the herbs now are on the windowsill! (I also had a dill plant but I gave it to my mom, since I’m not a big dill fan and she had expressed interest.)

And today? Another trip to McLean Hardware when I discovered that after buying a combination lock a month ago, I have forgotten the combination. Brilliantly, I wrote it down exactly zero places. With the new one, it’s now recorded in two different locations. The frustrating thing is that I remember looking at the combination for the other lock and thinking, “Wow, what an easy combination to remember!” Apparently, not that easy. I thought I remembered two of the three numbers, but all attempts to use those to get it open have failed so far.

Hopefully now that I’ve bought two different locks, the two padlocks that have gone missing in action in my home will finally show up. Argh. Oh well, at least the local hardware store got some more business from me. And now I have a lock to use tonight at the pool for my first lap swimming class. (While Fairfax County uses coin-operated lockers, I have been told that Arlington County pools use padlocks.)

Darn Kids!

A few weeks ago, I went into work early, then around lunchtime tried to use the pool then. Mornings at the rec center near my office can be a little crazy crowded, so I thought that this might be a good way to get some exercise without having to fight for a lane. I was thrilled, then, to get there and find multiple lanes entirely empty. Heaven! Doubly so since mornings have gotten more and more busy over the past month at the pool.

Since then I’d gone for a few lunchtime swims, and with great success. That seems to have been put on hold, though, now that school is out. Julie and I went to the rec center on Monday and discovered that summer camp is now running from 12-3:30pm every day for about two months, taking up almost the entire pool. Ack! So, I finally buckled down and signed up for a lap swimming class through Arlington County’s rec centers and got the final slot; it starts next Monday evening and runs for eight weeks. So that should be fun, at least, and it locks in some time that I will get a good swim in.

I do find it a little funny, though, that now it’s summer the indoor pool that is suddenly so crazy busy. Shouldn’t people be flocking to the outdoor ones?

On a different (running) note, while I enjoy my old Garmin Forerunner 301, I’ve been starting to think it might be a good idea to upgrade it to one that holds onto a signal stronger. The new Garmin Forerunner 405 looks lovely, is nice and small, is supposed to be super-accurate, and you don’t have to plug it in to get the data onto your computer. It also, by all reports, doesn’t work if it gets at all wet. After reading a dozen reviews from runners who all started it with, “I sweat a lot when I run, and this thing is useless as a result…” I realized that the 405 is not for me. There’s the 305, which was the previous model, that I can consider. Much less expensive, but a litle clunky.

Alternately I’m half-tempted to go for the rather-inexpensive 50, which doesn’t use a GPS but a foot-pod instead and which is supposedly pretty accurate. If it is accurate, well, it would certainly make me not have to worry about GPS signals anymore, but instead I guess there’s always the worry that I might have a foot chopped off. (I suspect at the end of the day I will just stick with what I have for now.)

Ka-boom Ka-boom

Have you ever had one of those moments where every time you turn around, something has blown up? First thing this morning was when I shut the mirrored medicine cabinet (after taking out my allergy medicine) and it promptly swung back open. Turns out the magnet on the door itself is no longer attached to the door. Fortunately I think some kind of really strong glue should do the trick there.

Then I got out the Norelco Bodygroom electric razor so that I could shave and shower before heading off to the pool this morning (30 laps/1500 yards, a new record for me!) only to discover that the trimmer/shaver foil was mysteriously missing. I checked the box from the Container Store that I keep my clippers and such in. Nothing. Next I checked the floor around the closet where the box is. Nothing. I even scoured the path between the bathroom and the closet, but came up empty handed. Argh. At least replacement foils are available and so I should have a new one arriving on Wednesday.

In the future, I would like this sort of thing to happen once I am fully awake, because I’m not entirely capable of dealing with it at 6am. (Normally I’d have just fixed the mirror right then and there, for instance.)

On the bright side, I don’t believe that bad things happen in threes, so with any luck that will be the end of it for today. Maybe?

(Tune in tomorrow when we discover that a trip to the gym after work resulted in Greg getting his toes snagged on the chain on the rowing machine.)


Dear Photos.com,

I know that many of your photos are cheesy and inappropriate. I’ve come to accept that. If I’m looking for a picture of someone who is angry, over half of the photos are over-the-top exaggerated poses with people chasing co-workers with hammers. It’s not helpful, but I at least know that’s coming.

I’m afraid I have to draw the line at your usage of the keyword “sneaky,” though. Out of the 308 photos in your library labeled as such, why is that 85 of them are of hamsters? I mean, hamsters are amusing, I get it, but 85? Really?

Sneaky? Really?

It’s very cute, and it gave me a good laugh, but it really isn’t helping me on this project.

Thanks for nothing,

CSA Week 1

Last week was my first CSA delivery! Kale, spring onions, asparagus, and strawberries.

CSA: Week 1

Tragically, my drop-off day is Wednesday, when I normally have spinning class. (Although last week, more importantly, I had a friend’s birthday dinner and ate quite well that Wednesday.) So on Thursday, I sauteed the spring onions, then added in some cider vinegar, dried cranberries, garlic, sugar, and salt. After a few minutes, in went the kale and I cooked it down.

Sweet and Sour Kale

It was a pretty tasty dish, and while most would use it as a side, it was dinner on Thursday night. Then on Friday, I took the rest of the kale and brought it into lunch along with the asparagus, which I roasted in the oven with just a touch of parmesan cheese, in one of my bento boxes.

Bento Lunch -- 2009-06-04

The strawberries were snacked on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Duh. Very tasty too. Can’t wait to see what this week’s food adventure will be!


I think I’ve mentioned here earlier that I am finding myself increasingly forgetful. I say “I think” because of course, I’m not sure if I have or not. I am afraid that I hit a new low today, though.

The worst part wasn’t forgetting to swap out the shorts in my gym back for pants, meaning after I went swimming this morning I spent the rest of the day a little cold because it was soooo not shorts weather. (I left for the gym in my swim trunks already.)

The worst part wasn’t discovering when I got into the car that I’d had a birthday card sitting on the front seat of my car since yesterday, when I went to a friend’s for dinner and forgot to give it to him. Whoops. (Fortunately, the wine and the bar of bacon-chocolate did make it inside.)

No, the worst part was that yesterday I’d bought a huge rice krispy treat half dipped in chocolate, half dipped in the white icing that this bakery uses for its black and white cookies, saved said treat to be eaten at work today… and then I forgot to eat it. I realized five minutes after I left the office that it was still sitting, hidden, in my office. (I hid it yesterday so I would not be tempted to eat it.)

Argh. Oh well. I guess I know what half of lunch tomorrow is, right? Provided I remember.