30 April, 2008


Category: Exercise,Swimming — Moose @ 11:15 pm

I suppose the little note by the door of my gym on Monday was the universe’s way of giving me a little nudge, a small push to take advantage of something I’ve thought about for a while. The note itself wasn’t very big, or rather the typeface wasn’t very big. The message, however, was huge. After years of fighting to keep the facility open, the YWCA board had finally had enough and was throwing in the towel in two weeks, closing for good on the 19th of May.

So, after I got over the initial shock I went and swam my final workout there, cleaned out my locker, and headed home to figure out what the heck I was going to do for a pool. I’ve settled on the little gym in my neighborhood. It has the huge (to me; I’m lazy) advantage of being 3-4 blocks away, but the annoying disadvantage of having a non-standard pool – 18 meters instead of 25. Calculations will be a bit more challenging (so a “50” is actually 54, and three lengths instead of 2), but having the pool so close will mean fewer excuses not to go swim, especially since it’s literally on my walk home from work.

I dropped by the facility yesterday to get a guest pass, swam there this evening, post-haircut. I need to dig up the coupon from the local rag for $30-40 off the “initiation fee,” and sign up for good next week. The rate is slightly cheaper than the YWCA was, a nice additional benefit. Going to take full advantage of the free week first before I give them any money, though.

Swimming in the shorter pool was, well, odd. Drills were easier, but straight up swimming was, well, short. 9-10 strokes to get to the end, versus 14-17 on the 25 yard pool. It’ll do, at least until full summer and the outdoor pool at Hains Point opens. A 50 meter pool sounds really nice right now.

We’ll see how the rest of the facility shapes up this upcoming week, but I’m 99% sure this is where I’ll end up. Closer, smaller, hopefully better.

26 April, 2008

Flatware Drama

Category: Family,Shopping,Stuff — Moose @ 9:05 pm

Dragged my ass all over Tyson’s Corner today. Multiple times. Finally settled on the Collins design from Poverty Barn. It’s a nice, simple design and had a solid feel in the hand, and wasn’t all ugly and/or frou-frou like most of the other patterns (patterns seemed to fall into two categories: 1. frou-frou crap; or 2. nice but odd feeling in the hand). The stuff is currently running through a short cycle in the dishwasher.

Did finally find Mom’s old pattern online after confirming that it was an Oneida branded pattern, called Betty Crocker: My Rose. You can see why I wasn’t terribly upset to part with it, though it’s not been an awful pattern. Not one I would have picked out, but it worked.

The only problem with the new stuff is that it had about 6 serving pieces, 4 of which were useless to me (gravy ladle, pie server, etc.). Ah well, means I get to hunt for more serving spoons when and if I need them, and can mix & match. Means a more interesting table, I think.

And yes, I do have secret dreams of being a house husband one day. Not.

Photos from the day

Category: Body,Greenthumb,Pics — Moose @ 8:04 pm

I bought some plants & two new planters for the balcony (I blame Marn. And Martin.) So, without further ado, before and after pictures:

Empty Balcony 1

Empty Balcony 2

Two pots full

Two new planters, full

And I just discovered, post-planting, why it is that I was feeling so warm:

Left arm

Right arm

Teach me to go out without sunscreen. ;-p

Getting Back Into The Groove

Category: BC,Biking,Exercise,Mood,Shopping,Stuff — Moose @ 1:26 pm

Not quite two hours on the bike this morning, and not quite 31 miles. I was pleased, if a tad sore toward the end. The training log for the week actually looks like it should, minus the swimming, without major gaps between workouts. Most, most pleased. And my mood is much better, now that I’m actually exercising regularly again.

Plan for the day is shopping, shopping, shopping. Flatware, various household items, etc. Maybe some clothes. And if I can get in touch with himself I’m dragging him with me. Regardless, I think I’m going to head out soon and hit the ‘burbs to try and track some of this stuff down.

24 April, 2008

Paid in Full

Category: Edumacation,Finance — Moose @ 10:54 am

After much hemming and hawing over which bill to pay with my unexpected tax refund, I just scheduled the final payment for one of my student loan companies. They are, of course, fussy about wanting to be paid at a date in the future and not immediately (cue the rolling of the eyes), so I had to schedule the payment for next week and not today, but it’s in queue and set to go. One company down, three to go (private graduate school was expensive). This one had the highest interest rate of any of my companies, and this is an early payoff, so that’s interest saved, and a little more money in my pocket each month. I have to say, it was very nice to see one less red number on the side of my account listings in Quicken.

23 April, 2008


Category: Exercise,Food,Mood,Motivation,Work — Moose @ 10:40 pm

Unfortunately, between work and the need for more food in the house I did not get in a run this evening. Got home from yet another meeting with more Hill staffers this afternoon to once again talk about The Project From Heck and was just utterly wiped out. So, the last of the frozen pasta got cooked, some homemade sauce added to, and then much deliberating over which store to hit and which food to put on the list. If I don’t end up biking in the morning I might not bike at all tomorrow – it’s laundry night and I’ll be in a world of hurt if I don’t get to that tomorrow.


Category: DC,Food,Shopping — Moose @ 10:05 pm

I zipped out to Harris Teeter over at Pentagay City this evening to do some much delayed, much needed grocery shopping. Decided that I really didn’t need to use the local Safeway (which has a deservedly awful reputation, as do most of the Safeways in DC), that I had a car, and could choose to go somewhere nicer, so I did. I hadn’t been in this particular grocery store before, and I have to say, it was an eye-opening experience. The produce was nice, there was plenty of it. The aisles were wide enough to walk down without hitting people (and there were no displays stuck in the middle of them around which one would have to navigate). And people were polite – I heard lots of “please” and “excuse me” and even the young person who almost backed into me while on his cell phone had the good social graces to look slightly embarrassed and stutter out “my bad, my bad” when he saw me. Oh, and they had wine and beer in the store, so no need to run to a different one to pick up some of that, too. It was altogether an incredibly pleasant experience.

I realized on the drive home that I was feeling like an abuse victim who had suddenly realized the world didn’t have to be as bad as it had been, that there were better people out there with whom I could associate. It was at once an astonishing and an awful revelation. And a telling one, that living in DC has made my customer service expectations sink to such a low level that minor things like polite phrases and helpful employees make a mere shopping trip feel like a life-altering event.

22 April, 2008


Category: BC,Exercise,Family,Home,Motivation,Sleep,Stuff,Work — Moose @ 11:12 pm

Getting a tad better at the exercise routine this week. I’ve been trying to switch my schedule back to getting up earlier and getting to bed earlier. It’s gradually working, but not quite as quick as I’d like. So, it’s been evening workouts so far this week. And with another meeting with congressional staff tomorrow, the pattern will repeat again tomorrow, too – long run will be in the evening, and no swim for moi. Hopefully I’ll have the sleep back to normal next week and swimming can resume then. Hell, maybe I’ll be back to normal Friday. Who knows at this point. But it’s 214 days to the Ironman, so gotta get that set and fast.

I’ve been told asked by Mom for her old flatware back (so she can stop shuttling the stuff they have between the house and the motor home). I inherited it from them many, many moons ago when they upgraded decided to change to a different pattern. I won’t shed any tears of giving up the rose pattern, but it does mean I have to shop for the stuff, which I’m sort of dreading. I’ve looked at the stuff in the past, but never with any mind to actually buy. Now I suppose I should pick something out before I go down for mother’s day so I can present her with her flatware. Good thing she hasn’t asked for the old Pfaltzgraf or then I’d really be screwed. Though plates that weren’t vintage 70s might look nice.

BC should get back Thursday or so. Miss him a lot, it’s been a long week without regular contact.

20 April, 2008

Running a Fledgling Empire

Category: BC,Club,Exercise,Food,Friends,Games,Geek,Home,Weather — Moose @ 10:57 pm

It was wet and disgusting pretty much all day today, so I spent the vast majority of it sending my minions after various and sundry bugs, zombies and of course gold. Managed to find myself a mistress to redecorate my tower, forged some new armor, and killed off two more of the bosses. ‘Twas fun, if exasperating at times.

Did some tri club work this evening, coding of pages and sending out schedules for the other co-leaders to help decide when our next events are through the beginning of June. No bike today because of the thunderstorms, and didn’t feel like running since I’m supposed to run in the morning tomorrow.

Did get a lovely visit with JT last night – Thai food and good company, always a good combination. Almost dragged myself out to the local garden store, but decided to wait until next weekend when BC’s back in town and make him help. If I can drag him out shopping, that is – dunno what sort of time at home he’s going to need after seeing his grandparents and being out of town.

19 April, 2008

Out and About

Category: Annoyances,Club,Drinks,Friends,Leisure,Neighbors,Pests — Moose @ 12:42 am

Friday was a glorious day off. I biked to get new running shoes, a new biking jacket/vest (convertible!), lunch with J, and new tubes for the blown one I had to replace on the way out the door.

Dinner ended up being liquid bread, aka lotsa beer, at Nellie’s and then Cobalt (birthday of a neighbor dragged me out for once). Ran into Don, who I really hope took home the cute, tall man who was attempting to hit on me (and Don!) before I had the chance to explain that, while he was tall and cute and would be tempting, I was taken and not amenable to breaking that particular promise. They disappeared, but not before I told Don he’d be a fool not to grab that one. Heaven willing that wasn’t bad advice.

The urchins are sort-of screaming outside. Someone called the cops earlier, which got rid of them around quarter to midnight, but they’re back outside again. I have an early bike ride in the morning (“Hi, this is what you’d look like hung over. DON’T DO THIS!!”), so I’m hoping they stay quiet and I don’t have to call the cops on them myself. As with all things in this city, I’m crossing my fingers but not holding my breath.