4 April, 2012

Time Away from the Routine

Category: Dating,DC,Family,Tourists — Moose @ 4:53 pm

Hauling a six year old around one of the most popular-with-kids museums in the Smithsonian system is tiring, to say the least. No sense of personal space, popping around wherever they can. The most amusing part was that she was rushing us through so she could get to what she truly wanted to do – go to the gift shop! She made out okay there, picking up a cherry blossom festival branded panda and some candy to take back to her sister.

It’s been a fun visit, though. Played some on the Wii with her, chatted with my brother, played tourist. Fun stuff. And after we put them on the train tomorrow, the boy has the rest of the afternoon off with me. Not a bad way to spend most of a week.

31 March, 2009

Cherries in the Morning

Category: Biking,Body,Club,DC,Exercise,Habits,Parks,Tourists,Triathlon — Moose @ 7:04 am

Sunrise through the cherry blossoms this morning on my first weekday morning ride of the year. Absolutely gorgeous.

Also pretty darned cold. My little balcony thingey says 46, though the official temperature at the airport across the river says 38. Either way, chilly when you’re cycling. I’m glad I changed my mind at the last minute and put on the fleece tights. As I sit here in the apartment my arms and toes are still a little chilled, but the shower will solve that. This was supposed to be the coldest morning this week, so I’m hopeful it won’t be this bad again this season.

Not my fastest ride ever, but the point was just to get out there and do it, not necessarily to be a speed demon on the roads. Didn’t see anyone else from the club out there (and it’s hard to miss me, between the club jersey, wind vest and arm warmers – I look like superman in the club’s blue with all the red and white on it), but that should pick up as it warms up. I thought I’d see one or two of our die hards, but perhaps they’re avoiding the Point until the blossoms are done and the tourists are gone (and yes, there were tourists out, even at that hour, catching pictures of the sun just hitting the blossoms as it came over the Washington Channel).

I’ve been cutting back on my caffeine intake again, with a goal of eliminating it from my diet during the week. I’m tired of being dependent on it to get going in the mornings, and would prefer to be able to use it more strategically and not as a “must have” drug. So far so good, though yesterday was dragging. All part of getting back to training and getting my body back into shape. I wrote off yesterday for exercise, but I want to get back to the schedule I was on last spring before the injury – MWF Run in the morning, swim in the evening (with Wed as the weekly long run), TuThSa bike, Su completely off. That worked well as I recall, and kept me on track with a single weekend day to be a complete bum (and one night to be able to go out without worrying about the next morning’s workout). I’m still on the fence about the Columbia triathlon (Olympic distance) in May, but if I can stick to that I think I can do it, even if I’ll be slow on the run.

19 January, 2009

The City Abuzz

Category: DC,Food,Friends,Politics,Shopping,Tourists,Transit — Moose @ 5:45 pm

Despite my declarations that I would be holed up inside my apartment until Wednesday morning, I did wander out into DC today to grab lunch with Chris up in Columbia Heights. Our first choice of restaurant was packed to the gills with a line out the door (at 1 pm, mind you), and the second choice had a 45 minute wait. We took the 2nd choice and zipped over to Best Buy to waste some time (setting a phone timer so we would know when to wander back). Got in relatively quickly after we returned, and had a perfectly nice lunch (not-quite-screaming-but-just-occasionally-fussy-baby notwithstanding).

The city is just abuzz. I haven’t seen it this packed in ages, and everyone is just full of this energy surrounding the inauguration, it’s wild. The Metro was busy, but not insane. Lots of “Is this our stop? This is our stop! Quick, get off the train!” type conversations going on, but for the most part folks were getting tickets and getting through the stalls pretty quickly and not being obnoxious about getting in and out of the cars and generally not being in the way. I am, however, glad I’ll not be going anywhere near Metro tomorrow. As busy as it was today, with 8 car trains and all of them relatively busy, tomorrow will promise to be a madhouse.

I’m glad I went out today, it was neat to see all these folks who are so excited to be here.

8 July, 2008

Inaugural Escape

Category: DC,Friends,Tourists,Travel — Moose @ 5:45 pm

As I did 3.5 years ago in January of 2005, I’m planning to escape DC for the inaugural festivities. Frankly, I don’t care which party wins, the people who come to DC to celebrate the victory are obnoxious. Add to that the inevitable security craziness, protestors and entitled politicos and you might see why I don’t want to be here.

This time around I think it’s time to make a much-delayed and much-needed return to the Bay Area to visit/meet folks. I think the main question at this point is how long to go out for.

2 November, 2007

Wandering at Lunch

Category: Commuting,DC,Health,Home,Leisure,Relationships,Stuff,Tourists — Moose @ 1:27 pm

Children should not be allowed out without adult supervision. Case in point, the kids running down the wrong way on the escalator to make the train in the Metro. At least they didn’t stop the thing like the last group of urchins I encountered on their way home from school.

And yes, this does make me a grumpy old man. Which makes the fact that BC’s mom keeps hinting at wanting us to have kids all the more amusing (amusing to me, not so much to him, but then again she’s not my biological mother – my own mother has said nothing of the sort and seemed kind of surprised when I mentioned children).

Heading back to the office after getting a sty looked at. Nothing big, and thank heavens Metro is reliable most days, allowing me to zip out & back without too much delay.

[side note – did we not outlaw mullets yet? Why would someone wear something so bad looking on their head?]

Tourists are out in force today. I’d have expected more of them next weekend rather than this weekend, given the holiday.

Heading to the cooking expo this weekend with BC to drool over ovens & cooktops I can’t yet afford or fit into my kitchen. I enjoyed it last year, and am looking forward to checking out the gadgets. I’d like to find a place that offers a knife skills class that’s both convenient and that won’t try to make me do something like de-bone a duck. I’m not holding my breath on that, but I’ll keep my eyes peeled.

8 October, 2007

Obsessing Over the Small Stuff

Category: DC,Family,Food,Friends,Games,Geek,Habits,Mandarin,Parks,Sleep,Tourists — Moose @ 2:22 am

I had been thinking about gaming systems, but if my obsession behavior the past two days is any indication of how it would be if I got one, I really, really should not. I picked up the new Zelda game for the DS, and it’s been absolutely fantastic. Some of the elements are a bit slow, but for the vast majority of the game I think they nailed it for my gaming likes. So much so that I’ve been up far, far too late the past two nights playing the game. Only had to revert to guides twice, which is a good sign for me.

Big thanks to the folks who came out on Friday, I had a marvelous time, and it was good to see people. That was precisely the b’day celebration I needed – low key and fun chatting and watching folks chat.

My eldest niece and her mother popped up today to play tourist, so we wandered through the Mall and a few museums. She absolutely loved the Metro. It’s a shame Air & Space is still so disorganized and doesn’t have more hands-on stuff for kids – that’s what she stopped at whenever we were in an exhibit, the ‘I can play with this’ things. She also spent most of the day talking about going to City Lights, my now former favorite Chinese restaurant in town.

The service was, in a word, atrocious tonight. They were busy, that much was readily apparent, but that’s no excuse. No one came by to check on drinks. My niece managed to down her water and her soda fairly early, and even after I specifically asked a server to get her a refill of her soda (even handing him the glass), it never came back. Then I couldn’t manage to flag anyone down because they were all flying by so quickly. The one guy I did finally catch was one of their busboys whose English was somewhat lacking, and unfortunately my Spanish is non-existent, but we did manage to get soda refills, at least, for the niece and her mother. To say I’m miffed would be an understatement – this is a place where the more established wait staff calls me by name, in Chinese, when I come in, so it’s not like I’ve never been there before. Hell, I was lying in bed for about 1/2 an hour just now and all I could do was dredge up much-unused vocabulary for expressing in Mandarin exactly how annoyed I was at the whole thing (and it’s amazing what ancient vocabulary can be dredged up in the service of strong emotions). As it was I did get one of the management staff before we left and let them know that this was the most dismal service I’d ever received there.

Otherwise it’s been a lovely weekend. I’m going to get my newest toy hooked up to the bike tomorrow and head out on a ride with a friend after his bike (re)fitting. Haven’t played with it yet, so this is the inaugural run. Should be interesting to see the data once I’m done.

23 April, 2007

It’s Started

So, I’ve finally started training for this triathlon season. Sort of.

Ran this morning, since I didn’t get in a single run this weekend. Didn’t sleep well Thursday or Friday nights, so was too wiped. Friday it was the asshole downstairs neighbors and their incense again. I left a very ugly email for management about not getting that fixed yet. They of course did not come into the apartment today to do anything to the remaining hole in the wall that’s letting this crap in. Someone’s getting an ugly phone call tomorrow.

Anyway, ran this morning, swam this evening. Pool was mega-crowded. One of the few times I’ve had to circle swim at the Y, which always throws off the pacing of a workout for me. The other two folks in the lane were a tad slower than I was, but not too far off. Gave me some time to rest before heading back out. Was an okay swim.

Plan is to get up and bike with the club in the morning, provided it’s not raining.

Should definitely sleep well tonight.

Still have to write up the race report from the previous weekend. Oh, and I signed up for a 10k in two weeks. Because I’m insane. And didn’t have a race in May yet. Though I have a friend looking for a 5k in the area because he’s never done a running race and I said I’d do one with him.

What else? Work was nuts today. We had field counsel in from all over the country and I got to meet some of them in person finally. Otherwise I was buried in my office writing up stuff to go the uber-boss to tell him why we don’t think we have a legal problem with someone another BGA claims is a legal problem. Whee. That and trying to pry more information out of yet another BGA. At least they’re paying me well now.

Mixed messages and missed texts ended up scuttling Saturday plans, so was relatively good and quiet Saturday evening. Biked with my newbies Sunday. Made plans for dinner with a friend on Thursday. The same missed connection from Saturday seems to be missing making plans for this week as well. Oh well, his loss. Plans made for this upcoming Saturday to go to, of all things, an amusement park. Only riding the rollercoasters if they’re not too big. As Bug can attest to, I’m not a big fan. Should be a trip.

My sunglasses broke this morning; ear piece came off. Thankfully I have an eyedoctor appointment on Monday (along with the dentist – double whammy), so I’ll be able to either fix these or order a new set. Also have to get new regular lenses, I’m sure. The ones I have now must not have gotten the scratch-proof coating, they’re all scratched to heck and it’s beyond annoying when around any sort of brightish light. Look forward to being able to read the TiVo screen from my reading chair again. How much we want to bet I’m down another quarter of a diopter again this year?

Otherwise, kicking up the training for my first sprint race the first weekend of June, and settling back into a routine. While includes crashing at not quite 10 pm. Oy.

Oh, and on the removal of The Awakening from Hains Point? Let ’em have it. Maybe fewer tour busses will travel down there now while we’re trying to bike and run.

10 April, 2007

Shopping and Tourism

Category: DC,Friends,Leisure,Racing,Running,Stuff,Tourists,Weather — Moose @ 7:05 am

Shopping, shopping and more shopping.

D’s in town from Brisbane and the first thing he wanted to do was shop. The US dollar is very weak currently compared to the Australian dollar, so everything is relatively inexpensive when compared to home for him. I believe my favorite quote was, “It’s like going to Bangladesh!” Thanks for the monetary and tax policies, Mr. President.

Did get in some proper touristy stuff on Sunday with a visit to the Corcoran Gallery’s Modernism exhibit. If you get a chance to go, I highly recommend it, it was well done. We dragged Tod and Doug out with us and then zipped to a late lunch after. But cold, so very cold this weekend. Easter is not supposed to be colder than Christmas in this hemisphere. Not to mention the brief snow Saturday morning. Brr!

Last day at work this week for me today. More touristy stuff and shopping with D the next two days, then I’m off for my half marathon on Saturday down near my parents. I offered to do a 5k with a friend who’s not done one before when I get back, so looks like I’m adding to my race schedule, though a 5k isn’t going to kill me. And it would be good to have a benchmark prior to my next Sprint triathlon the first weekend in June.

28 November, 2006

Of Dreams and Sudafed

Category: DC,Dreams,Health,Sleep,Tourists,Work — Moose @ 12:56 pm

I love watching people trying to parallel park. I can see tourists doing so all day long on Independence Avenue outside my office window and it provides no end of amusement.

Speaking of amusement, day two of sudafed (yay head cold) is progressing nicely through the floaty feeling stage of the drug. Makes critical thinking oh so much fun. Did manage to avoid taking it last night before bed, so wasn’t up all night, but I did have several fun dreams as I floated in and out of consciouness (I usually don’t remember dreams unless I’m not really deeply sleeping).

The first was a scenario where I was working at a summer camp, likely a scout camp (but not the one I worked at up in Maine). I remember being really excited because I could keep up my triathlon training, though on my mountain bike, not the tri bike (dirt roads), and get in some much needed open water swimming practice. As well as getting some skin cancer sun exposure.

The second I’ve now forgotten. I don’t recall that it was terribly long.

The third and last one was teaching English to junior high school students in Taiwan, which involved me speaking a lot of Mandarin. While it was good to exercise those attrophying language muscles, it made for an odd dream (trying to explain to these kids where the term “alphabet” came from? why?).

Anyway, was good to sleep without drugs (though with a humidifier), but not the most restful night I’ve had. I’m hopeful I can avoid the almost inevitable sleepless night that comes with most of my head colds (and thus causes me to miss a day of work – because if you can’t infect your co-workers, why bother having a cold?).