Friday, February 24, 2017

Not the neighbors from hell

One more benefit to my new house:

Evidently there’s a brew pub not too far from me. And my Viking Maiden friend is making an introduction to her daughter, who lives nearby, and is acquainted with the pub.

What more could you ask for?

Thursday, February 23, 2017

New neighbors

Here are a couple of benefits to my new home:

I look out my back windows and see cardinals, juncos, chickadees, finches, blue jays and robins. Friday morning, when I went out in search of something to cover over the nasty sticky liner crap in the kitchen drawers and shelves, I was actually brought to a halt because I heard birdsong.

Imma have to find squirrel-proof bird feeders. I tossed out some Fine Tunes for the song birds I saw loitering about, but squirrel radar picked up on it while the birds were still trying to ascertain whether it was some sort of Evil Avian Trap. I am not the Sciuridae smorgasbord.

Also: I have no idea what this is, but it’s scattered around the back yard:

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Treasure hunt

Update from last week’s move report:

I did find my down jacket. On Saturday. 

It was stuffed in a drawer in the file cabinet.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Light and space

Well, there’s more floor to be seen than there was a couple of days ago:



I figured out a kludge to restart the stuck garbage disposal (no hex wrench, but a slot screwdriver worked fine), and I believe I have enough food organized that I don’t have to shop for groceries until next weekend.

One of the things I love most about this place is that the back of the house faces south—even on cloudy days, the living-dining area is bright enough that I don’t have to turn on lights.

Which is good because you would not believe what the previous owners have for a dining room light:

Not only is it butt-ugly, and a hazard to ambulation because it hangs down to about five feet off the floor, but it throws absolutely no discernable light anywhere because it was fitted with a single “eco smart” bulb that has a cold, dim output of about 3 watts.

I looked at it yesterday: there was only the one bulb, although there are fittings for two. I put in the single, dim “eco smart” bulb that had been in the one, functionally useless overhead light in the kitchen. The light is still cold and uninviting, but it’s now marginally less dim. Still marked for replacement.

What’s interesting about the kitchen situation is that the overhead light is clearly wired for two lamps, but whoever installed this didn’t even put in the receptacle for a second bulb. I have to hire an electrician to even get the second dose of wattage. I swapped out the “eco smart” bulb for a 100 watt one, but that’s still inadequate for doing much of anything in a kitchen.

But it’ll have to do for a while.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Gratitude Monday: Settling in

As you know, last week I moved house. Since last Wednesday I’ve unpacked most of my kitchen (and put away about 80% of it), have nearly all my books put away, and can see floor in a few of the rooms in the new place. The new water heater is in place, and the USPS letter carrier is delivering stuff (mostly come-ons from mortgage insurance scammers who obviously troll public records) to the mailbox that’s sitting on the ground because I don’t have concrete bits for a drill.

Or a drill.

But a couple of things that aren’t necessarily Great Progress have inspired my gratitude today.

My first glass of champagne in the new place:

My coffee machine was packed in its original carton, so I could have latte my first morning in.

I found enough bits and bobs to lay out the tablecloth, placemats and napkins that my BFF gave me years ago, and I sat down to dinner at my candlelit dining table. I cannot tell you how wonderful it feels to be able to do that again, after living in a cavern for the past year.

Friday, February 17, 2017

The earth did not move. Yet.

Okay, after my rant the other day, I ended up giving the four guys who effected my move $20 each. They were competent, and of an ethnic group that puts them at risk for illegal visits by ICE, so I just forked over more than I’ve ever tipped movers before.

I’m not happy that the end price was about 12% higher than the quote, and I’m still looking for my down jacket that one of them packed in some carton not with any of my other clothes, but I guess I should be glad that his crew chief asked me what I wanted done with my handbag before it, too, ended up in a carton.

I’m in my new place, where I was greeted by chickadees and juncos—have to get a bird feeder tout suite, because I am not throwing stuff out to be gobbled up by squirrels—and I have a new water heater, connectivity and TV. I reckon I’ll eventually figure out the rest.

But I do have to go look for that jacket.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Staying within the lines

Here’s a view I probably won’t be seeing for a while:

Sunrise over the Capitol, riding into the District They Call Columbia on the Yellow Line.

I’ll be a Silver Line girl soon.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A moving tale

Since I’m moving house this week, I went out yesterday to the nearest bank to get smallish bills for tips. The nearest bank in this instance was Bank of America, an institution I’ve despised since the 70s, and they didn’t disappoint even now.

Because having legal currency of the United States isn’t enough for them to exchange for other denominations of legal currency; you have to have an account with them for them to move their arse.

So, no tenners for the movers.

But on my walk back to the office I considered that, since this moving company is charging me 25% of my total costs of moving from the West Coast to the East last year to haul my kit from one NoVa county to the next, I should perhaps expect them to be paying their staff so well that tips are not welcome.

As an aside, I got a quote from this same company for the cross-country move, which came in at about $5K more than the next highest one. And the estimator this time, in surveying my effects to come up with his 25%-of-a-3000-mile-relo quote, glanced at my pictures on the wall, got the vapors and said, “You’ll want to move those yourself.”

Evidently charging more than two large for a 20-mile move doesn’t include packing and transporting anything that might break.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The writing on the wall

I was attempting to clear out my hard drive—a task which I find exceedingly difficult because it’s kind of like your junk room: you just heave stuff in there willy-nilly until you’ve got a right mess, with the added layer of complexity that usually you only heave one thing into your junk room, but there is pretty much an infinite number of times you can save a file to your hard drive, if it’s living in different folders—and came across this photo I shot a few years ago.

The tagger decorated the wall outside my condo complex, and I wondered what statement s/he was trying to make.

About foolishness?

About fuel consumption?

About some conflation of the two?

And was the number 1 appended to distinguish it in a limited series of tags? Like lithographs by Andy Warhol?

Sadly, the condo association washed it out shortly after it appeared, so I’ll never know.

I’ll also probably never know how many copies of this I’ve saved to my hard drive.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Gratitude Monday: Fade to black

As follow-on to my Gratitude Monday post last week, I am truly, madly, deeply grateful today that the dag-blamed pitch is in the can.

Well, since we are in the Digital Age, technically I’m glad that the video is on my hard drive, a jump drive and in the cloud.

I’m a girl who likes redundant systems.

I can’t believe how long it took to get this 90-second piece put together: more than two hours shooting take after take (including another session this past Friday because, after viewing what we shot the previous Sunday, I was so appalled that I suited up and drove out to west nowhere Fairfax County to do it all over again), and then almost two hours with the editor to lay in the background and a cool fade to black at the end.

So today I’m grateful for two things: I’ve got friends who went to the bat for me, setting up, shooting and editing. And I’m looking at the damned thing in my rear view mirror.