Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Obvy09

You can talk about whatever is on your mind – quality of life issues, a beautiful tree you spotted, scuttlebutt, or any random questions/thoughts you may have. But please no personal attacks. I’ll open this thread every morning at 10am.

86 Comment

  • Does anyone know how easy it is to add a fireplace to an existing structure and does anyone know the restiction/building code on adding one?

  • The general answer is that it isn’t easy or cheap. However, it can get really out of hand depending on your situation. I am assuming you are talking about a wood burning fireplace as there are many direct vent gas fireplaces that don’t need chimneys at all.

    1. If you live in a row house and are looking to put the fireplace along your common walll with your neighbor, you can stop right now. As they won’t let you do it without fireproofing both you and your neighbors walls, ceilings, joists attics etc. For the cost involved, you would be better off just buying a house with a fireplace.

    2. If the party wall isn’t the problem and you don’t live in an historical overlay then it should be as simple as tearing up the exterior wall of every room from basement to roof and installing the proper flue and supporting structure. I’ve known 2 people in DC to add fireplaces to additions they were adding to their homes (single family detached). The fireplace option cost them anywere from 14-25K, and that was the cost to build it while in collaboration with their addition. Going in after the fact and just adding one (assuming you meet the above considerations) is going to cost you somewhere in the neighborhood of 35-40K by the time you fix every interior space affected and roof.

    • Question:

      If an existing fireplace is in a common wall, but it is set up as gas burning right now, how involved is it to convert it to wood burning?

      • Less involved that building a new one but it is still going to cost you.

        Two things have to be installed:

        1. A firebox where the wood burns) to code (which is also incredibly heavy and will likely require floor reinforcement if you aren’t putting it in the basement).

        2. A flue liner in your chimney. You can get away with the cheaper stainless steel flexible liners in SFD housing but since the existing chimney shares a party wall with your neighborh you will have to install a ceramic liner.

        Figuring in the above, you are legitimately in the 20K range.

  • talula

    Rave: After traveling for work and being away for a week, it felt really good to come back to my apartment and my neighborhood. DC is finally starting to feel like home.

    Rant: Monday, back to the grind, etc.

  • rant: back at work. again. same sh!t different day.

    rant: didn’t sleep well. coffee isn’t working.

    rave: had a good weekend at least.

    rave: i want change. and at least knowing that, is the first step.

  • me

    Rant: Hate my job. But, that isn’t different from any other day.

    Rant 2: Ladies, we are all adults here. Can we please learn (or re-learn) how to use a toilet without making huge messes?

    It’s Monday. I need a smile. So, I propose that we list our favorite short jokes here. My friend just told me this one last week, and while it made me groan, I still laughed.

    What is brown and sticky? …… A stick.

    • How do you make holy water?

      You boil the hell out of it.

      (insert groan then lame laughter, here) Hope your day gets better! 🙂

    • Emmaleigh504

      This was my favorite joke when I was about 4. It pretty much only appeals to kids of that age, but I love it all the same.

      Knock knock
      Who’s there?
      Paintbrush who?
      Paintbrush come to paint your bathroom pink!!

    • I’m with you on Rant #2 (how appropriate.) It amazes me how (some) adult women seemingly don’t know how to clean up after themselves.

    • Worried man walks into doctor with pregnant wife. Doc asks why are you worried? Man says, I just read in the paper this morning that one in ten American children speak Spanish. Doc says I don’t see why this worries you. Man says, Doc, we already have 9 kids and neither of us speak spanish.

    • A doctor reached for his pen to write a prescription for a patient. When he looked down and realized it was a thermometer not a pen he proclaimed “That a**hole stole my pen!”

    • How do you make a tissue dance?

      Put a little boogie in it!

    • Did you hear about the magic tractor? It turned into a field!

      What does a snail say while riding on a turtle’s back? Wheeeee!!!

      How do you catch a unique rabbit? Unique up on it. How do you catch a tame rabbit? The tame way.

      (I have a small child. Humor in my house is… different now.)

    • What’s the difference between a beer and a booger?

      You put the booger under the table!

    • Why did the football player go to the bank?
      He wanted to get his quarter back.

      What do you do when your nose goes on strike?
      Pick it.

    • How did the Dairy Queen get pregnant?

      The Burger King forgot to wrap his whopper.

      yuk yuk yuk.

    • Two slugs were at a bar having a few beers. As they left, they were mugged by a vagrant snail. When the cops asked how it went down, the slugs replied, “Sorry officer, it just all happened so fast.”

    • What’s the funniest kind of motor?

      A YamaHAHA.

    • GiantSquid

      A ham and cheese sandwich walks into a bar. Bartender looks at him and says “we don’t serve food here.”

    • Pete and RePete are sitting on a log. Pete falls off – who’s left?
      Pete and RePete are sitting on a log….

    • What do you get when you cross a zen buddhist and a hot dog cart? One with everything.

    • Two muffins are baking in an oven. One of them says, “Wow, it’s hot in here!”
      And the other muffin replies: “Holy s*&%! A talking muffin!”

    • A small girl wearing a skirt tell her mom “mom mom when I was playing with the kids from the neighborhood, they wanted me to climb to a tree so that they can see my underwear” before the mom can answer she reply “but I was very smart I removed it before I climbing”

    • A man walks into a shrinks office wearing nothing but saran wrap. The doctor says “I can clearly see you’re nuts”. LOL!

    • Q: What do you get when you cross a cocker spaniel, a poodle and a rooster?
      A: Cocka-doodle-doo!
      (heard that from a 9 y/o with Downs Syndrome, totally made my day)

      Q: What is Beethoven’s favorite fruit?
      A: Ba-na-na-naaaaaaaaaaaa (guess you need sound to get the full effect)

  • Kalorini

    Rave: Spent a really nice weekend in NYC with my boyfriend. Great night sleep last night!

    Rant: Drank too much in NYC, broke my big toenail and it looks gross, felt like I didn’t have a “weekend”

  • Rants 1&2: Same as anonnnnn

    Rave: Four day work week.

  • claire

    Rave: Fun birthday shindig on Saturday – great food (I went all out and cooked 10 different dishes), great friends, etc.
    Rant: No one was hungry enough for me to bake up my bacon-wrapped dates.
    Rave: Leftover bacon-wrapped dates.

    Rave: Amazing bday present of a high-end Wusthof chef’s knife.
    Rant: When I opened it, it was defective (chip off the end) so now I have to wait through the exchange process before I get to start using it.

  • Rave: Saw some daffodils in bloom in front of the Petworth library yesterday
    Rant: Was going to take a picture to send to my mom, but there was too much trash around the flowers for it to be a nice picture. I should go pick up trash from around there someday, but people should also learn how to use trash cans.
    Observation: The end of January is way too early for daffodils.

    • I was at the Petworth library briefly on Saturday afternoon and was thinking the same things — I was pleasantly surprised to see the daffodil, and was lamenting all the litter.

      I’ve seen people (I think city employees?) picking up litter there before. It’s a shame that new litter keeps getting dropped, though.

      In my own neighborhood (northern Park View, just south of Petworth), litter is an ongoing problem. I did a really thorough pickup on Saturday, and was disappointed to see a bunch of new items on Sunday and this morning.

      I don’t think my efforts are for naught — people would probably litter even MORE if there were litter on the ground already — but it’s still discouraging.

      • Granted some of the re-accumulation of litter is indeed people littering but don’t be too discouraged from this past weekend. It was pretty windy and trash was blowing all over the freaking place (even out of pretty full trash cans). I noticed a LOT more litter than usual in my ‘hood. Though there is usually some, I chalked it up to the excessively windy conditions.

        It would be really nice if people really did start using the trash cans though.

    • I saw these two kids, not more than 8 or 9 years old walking down the street yesterday and just throwing their trash on the ground. I was standing right there so there was obviously no shame or second thought about it. My 4 year old knows not to do that. My guess is these kids were never told to respect their community and not litter. It seems like such a small thing but it isn’t.

  • Rant: Chronic boredom at work, but the out of this world compensation package makes it really hard to leave. The only interview I’ve had is for a job with a crappier commute, less pay, less benefits, and less responsibility. No thanks.

  • Rave: Djokovic’s awesome Australian Open victory

    Rave2: Djokovic’s awesome abs

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Forgot tea.
    Rant: Women at work talking about giving birth to their children IN DETAIL.
    Rant: One woman had like 8 kids and we get to hear about her giving birth to each and every one IN DETAIL.
    Rave: Thanks to modern medicine I never have to have kids.

  • Rave: the guy in CH who turned around and followed us for a couple of blocks yesterday until he caught us at a stop light to let us know that we’d left our (DSLR) camera on top of the car. That was pretty awesome of him.

    Rant: temper tantrums. I’m happy to lend out my two-year-old as a very effective form of birth control if anyone needs it.

  • Rant: Worked over the weekend.
    Rave: Came into the office this morning to a clean desk (moved tons of important papers up the food chain for the higher-ups to deal with).
    Rave: Spending the evening outside at the barn in decent weather! Yay for being outdoors and active.

  • Rant: Do not shoot, speed away from cops, and flip your van on top of an MPD cruiser.

  • Rant: I have a terrible cold and have been sick since last week.

    Rant: Had to work all day yesterday, and the project still isn’t finished today because the second-in-command is the worst micromanager and has to read everything over and make stupid changes because he has no respect for the extremely capable people in my unit. He just needs to retire, dammit.

    Rant: I feel guilty for complaining about my job because it’s a really good one, but I hate it with the fire of a thousand suns. I could be helping people or something.

    • Meh, I am supposedly helping people, but I still hate my job. Hate working, hate doing the same thing for 15 years, hate the added responsibility that comes with moving up the career ladder. Many, many people would love to have my job, but I’m over it.

  • Weekend brainstorm: If Congress decides to nationalize DC’s WWI memorial, there must be consequences. If it happens, DC should rename Texas Avenue SE “National WWI Memorial Boulevard”. Tit for tat.

  • Bear

    Rave: Super fun time Saturday night.

    Rant: Paid for it yesterday. I hate being old.

  • Rave: Beautiful weather this past weekend. Was able to go for a nice long run and took a stroll through Malcolm X park.

    Rant: It’s Monday. Ugh.

    • Rant 1: Had to call 911 early yesterday evening when I was being aggressively followed by a driver who was swerving all over the road, tailgating me, appeared to be drinking a beer while driving and driving without lights on.

      Rave: 911 dispatcher was very nice, and called back to ask for more details about make and model of the car and appearance of driver.

      Rant 2: I have no idea if the police caught him because I pulled over in an alley and could only give his present location to the dispatcher. I hope he didn’t hurt anyone or himself (or his passenger).

  • Rave: The sun is shining, and I’m feeling pretty great.

    Rant: It is going to cost a fortune to fly the fam to my cousin’s wedding. It’s awesome having 3 kids, but it sure does get expensive sometimes.

    Rave: I did some family history research to find out more about my Grandpa’s mysterious grandfather. The grandfather died relatively young, and my Grandpa never knew much about him. I was able to fill in some of the gaps, and my Grandpa was so thrilled. It makes me so happy that I was able to help.

    • Very cool, congrats. If you don’t mind me asking how did you conduct the research? On ancestry or by other means? I’m really interested in doing some research of my own but would prefer not to spend a pretty penny… for now. Thanks.

      • I did part of the research on Ancestry looking through census records. That was not easy, as he was the son of German immigrants to the upper Midwest. Tons of other guys with his name! It helps that I’m a historian and could tease out the answer through contextual clues.

        I also did a lot of research on the truly awesome Chronicling America site (chroniclingamerica/loc.gov), which has digitized old newspapers from a number of states.

    • Emmaleigh504

      But did you learn any thing more about the seeing-eye boy???

    • me

      Ancestry research is awesome. I have found out that my mom’s middle name isn’t spelled correctly on her birth certificate (or she has been spelling it wrong her whole life), and we also found out that my great-grandmother’s name (first AND last) wasn’t even close to what we thought it was and what is on her tombstone. It is so fascinating to me.

    • A small girl wearing a skirt tell her mom “mom mom when I was playing with the kids from the neighborhood, they wanted me to climb to a tree so that they can see my underwear” before the mom can answer she reply “but I was very smart I removed it before I climbing”

  • Rave: all these jokes! keep them coming please

    Rave: Motivated myself to get up early and hit the gym before work…hoping I will keep this up.

    Rant: Homework. It’s a super easy assignment and I’m really excited about starting grad school, but it is tough to get back into school mode.

  • Rant: I ripped brand new stockings this morning on my door grate. My pesky cat dashed out the front door and I had to go after her, causing an uncoordinated crash into the grate.

    Rave: A busy day at work. Last week was sloooow.

    Rant: I’m busy doing boring, boring things. I’m so impatient for actual important work, but I’m only 24 so it’s still dues-paying time.

    • We should totally go for a run, keep an eye out on our pesky cats, and oogle Djokovic on TV sometime!

      Rave: I think I’ve found my female doppleganger.

      Rave2: Had good runs this weekend despite the wind, but now my legs are sore.

  • RANT: St. Luke’s church–why do the parishoners think it is ok to park in the bike lane? and why will the church do nothing about it? They are horrible neighbors–won’t even shovel the sidewalks when it snows.

  • RANT: a person in my building let their dog run down the hall unleashed this morning. and then the dog pooped on the carpet in the hallway!

    REVEL: the owner was appropriately mortified.

    Further revel: it’s supposed to be in the high 60s on Wednesday!

  • Rave: The wooden box I bought at the relocated Ruff and Ready

    Rant: Wish Ruff and Ready was still near U

    Rave: People who include the fact they have hiked the entire Appalachian trail on their resumes.

  • q: what’s irish and stays out all night?

    a: paddy-o-furniture!

  • Rave: Moving to a new apartment in Cleveland Park this weekend.

    Rant: When did RCN become so expensive? I used to love them when I lived in MD, but they seem to be so much more expensive than the evil empire of Comcast.

    Rant: There’s an 85% carpet rule in the building I am moving to. Does this apply only to foot-traffic areas, or all areas of the apartment?

    • Are you moving to a Daro building? That’s in my lease as well, but they don’t give a shit.

      • Nope, it’s a condo building with mostly owners. I don’t think it’s a bad rule, but I don’t want to spend too vast a fortune on rugs if I can avoid it.

        • I would say try to cover 85% of heavily trafficked areas, but don’t worry too much about everything else. And thank you on behalf of your new downstairs neighbors for being considerate. I’ve lived below people who didn’t put down any rugs and depending on the building, sound really carries.

          • I have 2 people who live above me, old bldg with hatrdwoods.

            I am awoken every weekday morning at 7:15 by the woman walking in her heels back and forth and back and forth. This also occurs Sundays – back and forth for over an hour.

            Then the man gets up, and puts his heels down so hard on every step Thump thump thump. He is worse in the am… but when he comes home on saturday nights, he drops heavy items on to the floor. Last 3 weeks I have been awoken between 1:30 and 3am by this.

    • Just take off your shoes. There’s nothing worse than a hi heeled lady galloping abound the room above you. Socks + carpeting isn’t that much better than just socks.

  • rave: new crush
    rave: first smooch
    rant: no concentration at work whatsoever

  • Rave: Lots to do so today went super fast!
    Rant: This weather! I want at least ONE GOOD SNOW before the winter is over.
    Rave: Have a new place to live! Relocating from Bethesda to the Hill!
    Rant: Can’t move there until June…thus have to put up with crappy housemates until then.
    Rave: Found an awesome coat at the Loft on Saturday – it has a fur collar and immediately became my power coat.

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