Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Rukasu1

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

96 Comment

  • Rave: Bike to work Day!!!! Loved the bicycle traffic all around my neighborhood.

    Rave: It is gorgeous out and I can work outside for a bit today- awesome.

    Rave: Plus, it’s Friday and the weekend is so close 😀

    • austindc

      I don’t think we should have to go to work on Bike to Work Day. I don’t care if that doesn’t make sense.

      • I think we should have car/metro free day. If you don’t want to walk or ride your bike to work, you get to telework. And if you can’t telework, you get a freebie day 🙂

  • rant: having trouble getting tickets for Saturday’s Nats-O’s game – when did Nats Park get so popular? I know it’s a Saturday game against another local team, but wow. Clearly it’s been too long since I’ve gone to a baseball game….

    • Are you trying to get them directly through the Nationals or through Stub Hub? I’ve always had much better luck with Stub Hub. For some reason, there never seem to be decent seats available directly through the Nationals.

      • Hmm…so I just checked Stub Hub for Saturday’s game and you’re right, it’s sparse. That’s very odd. I wonder what it is about this series that’s making it so popular. In the past, I haven’t even had trouble getting late tickets when the Phillies are in town.

        • Regional rivalry games are usually really popular. It’s also a promotional day- free cap to the first 30k people in the door. Luckily I bought this game way ahead of time with mini-season ticket packages 😉

          • Is there actually that much of a rivalry between the Nats and O’s? I hadn’t thought one had developed much yet. But who knows. I missed most of baseball last year for a variety of reasons and I might be behind on these things.

          • There isn’t normally because they are in different leagues. But interleague play, especially crosstown rivalries, draw bigger than usual crowds. In most cases it’s because the fans of one team really hate the other team (see Chicago Cubs?White Sox and NY Yankees/Mets), but I’m guessing here, fans go see games at the other stadium and see games of the other team on tv fairly often. I’m sure they are trying to build a rivarly.

            But also, the free caps look pretty cool…

        • Both teams are playing really well so far this year, which has not been the case in year’s past. Orioles are in first place at present and Nationals just fell out of first. That has something to do with it. Plus, this series is always one of their better attended one’s given the regional interest. Many baseball fans growing up in DC, grew up O’s fans because DC did not have a team. You get the point.

    • Uh oh, a group of us were planning on just buying them at the gate. I hope that is still a possibility.

    • How many tickets do you need? I have 2 for sale. $30/each (face value is $39)

    • I tried both the Nats website and then stub hub. I was hoping to stay under $45 (per ticket for four people), which is possible – but I think only for the upper levels (which seems a bit overpriced). Our original plan was to just show up tomorrow but I decided to check out likely options in advance. Do you think calling the ticket office would help?

    • Revel: Even though it must be annoying trying to get tickets, it makes me super happy to know that at least one game is actually getting good attendance! Baseball lives!

  • rave: this weather!!
    rant: dating is a frustrating disaster in this city.

  • Rave: It’s Friday!
    Rave: Had a good phone interview yesterday with a company for which I would really like to work, and in a new city in which I would really like to live. They invited me for an in person interview.
    RANT: They need someone to start immediately, like at the end of this month. AND, the pay is about a 50-60% cut from what I make here. Now, I know the COL is a lot lower in the new city, but DAMN, not that low! COL calculators that I looked at said I would need to make 10K more than their range to have a comparable COL that I have here on my salary, and I don’t even make that much by DC standards. I had to pass on it. 🙁
    Rant: Hello again, square one.
    Quest: Anyone know of any good day trips, about 1 or 2 hours from DC, kind of woodsy, nature-y, secluded, desolate, etc… ie WVA, MD, or anywhere?

    • If you like history, you might enjoy visiting George Mason’s home, Gunston Hall. The grounds are beautiful and it is a nice change from the city. Also, this might be outside your two hour limit, but James Madison’s home, Montpelier, is also very worthwhile for visiting. Besides visiting the house itself, the walk on the grounds itself is beautiful. Perfect for a day trip.

    • Harper’s Ferry. It’s close, there’s tons of history there, and I love the hike up Maryland Heights.

    • Congrats on clearly kicking ass in phone-interviewing! Too bad about the pay, that’s a serious bummer. I’m glad you aren’t selling yourself short!

    • Harper’s Ferry is good. Little Devil’s staircase. The Billy Goat trial on the Md. side of Great Falls can easily fill a whole day and it’s only about 30 min. drive.

    • Patuxent River Park off 301 near Pennsylvania Ave. I like to take my kayak there.

    • Blithe

      This might not be far afield enough for you, but last weekend I went to the Arboretum — which, by my standards, is VERY woodsy, and nature-y. We all had a great time, and plan to go back soon. The bonsai are beautiful, and the extensive grounds are truly lovely.

  • Rave: Friday!

    Rave: Kings season tickets we bought as an investment are killing it! We have 6 upper deck seats to the entire stanley cup, and are selling them for ~10x our cost 🙂

    Rant: Wish the Caps were playing the Kings..

  • Rave: 3 day weekend edging closer… It’s been so long!

    Rant: Only 10 hours of vacation each month, I’ve really gotta negotiate harder on my next job offer. Vacation time is just as good as a raise at this point in my life…

    Rant: I need new rock music in my life, The Deftones don’t put out albums frequently enough to keep me happy.

  • Rant: Although I was in Senegal, I contracted “Nairobi Eye” from a too close encounter with Paederus Sabaeus or Nairobi fly (found in E and W
    Africa) that carries toxins in it’s blood. Very swollen eye not yet responding to megadose of steroids….

    Rave: A great NP, a quick referral to a tropical medicine doctor and health insurance.

  • Rant:

    So…”bike to work” day was just as big of a disaster as usual.

    On my 3.5 mile drive within NW DC to a meeting I had on K Street, I counted 26 cyclists completely blowing through red lights, just ignoring they were there. Not trying to make a yellow light that was turning red…”full on red for atleast 5 seconds” lights.

    I also witnessed a group of 5 cyclists cycling the wrong way down a one way street

    I only mention red lights anymore because as soon as anyone mention crazy bikers, cyclists immediately resort to the “but, but, but, drivers roll through stop signs too, somehow trying to justify their actions by equating it to others.

    The wholesale ignoring of redlights is something cyclists have only to themselves, and is likely the most dangerous traffic law to ignore, which is why I mention it.

    I of course saw others I didn’t count, blow through stop signs (one forcing a UPS truck who had no stop sign and the clear ROW to swerve to avoid hitting them), one jump from street, to sidewalk, back to street in less than a qtr of a block at full speed to avoid waiting for other lights (forcing more than a couple pedestrians to jump out of the way), cross three lanes of traffic (forcing one car to lock its brakes to avoid them) without bothering to signal or turnaround to see if it was wise.

    All of this took place this morning during a 13 minute 3.5 mile drive. Ridiculous.

    • I like biking. It’s a great thing to do. I would think the worst day of my life would be the day I accidentally hit a bicyclist with my car. But it amazes the audacity and sense of entitlement that some people have on bikes when they’re outweighed by 900 lbs at least in car vs. bike.

    • Right you are- there are some very bad riders out there. That’s not changed because of bike to work day! But, all of the pit stops I saw had info on good bicycling behavior, maps to sort out how to safely get to your destination, etc.
      On the flip side, I’ve stopped counting/documenting all of the ridiculous behaviors I see from cars on my 2 mile commute to work on my bike. 2 miles and multiple death-defying experiences due to terrible driving. So it goes both ways.

    • On the flip side of the coin….

      Rant from a cyclist commuter:

      On my 3.7 mile ride from Farragut to Cap Hill (last night) —

      “The wholesale ignoring of redlights is something cyclists have only to themselves, and is likely the most dangerous traffic law to ignore, which is why I mention it.”

      I counted no fewer than 5 cars blowing through various Red lights trying to get out of the city. Including one fellow that blew through the red light but decided to stop in between the median of penn ave and the traffic lanes but ending up just going anyway. I find that drivers typically use the streets of DC as freeways and often ignore traffic laws.

      “I of course saw others I didn’t count, blow through stop signs (one forcing a UPS truck who had no stop sign and the clear ROW to swerve to avoid hitting them)….”

      We all know UPS/fed ex drivers can’t drive anyway. there usually no fewer than 3 – 4 delivery trucks blocking the bike lanes on my way home. I signal my intent to take the lane and do it much to the chagrin of the driver.

      Let’s see what else…

      -Pedestrians (usually with headphones on) crossing the street as bike/car traffic is incoming and stopping in the bike lane. Usually right around Ronald Reagan at 13th.
      – No fewer than 2 cabs making [illegal] u-turns on Penn ave to pick up fares.
      – Cars blocking the box because they don’t want to wait at the light. I saw the cops cops starting to write tickets.
      – Driver not signally their intent to make a right hand turn and turning into me.

      • The UPS guy was on a one way street with no light or signal and the biker literally ran his stop sign without slowing a bit or looking, and its the UPS drivers fault? Hardly…

        Considering there are 49 times the number of vehicles on DC streets (literally tens of thousands more per day) as the number of cyclists every day (according to DDOT), one is going to see higher numbers of cars doing things in general, but the percentage of cyclists flagrantly ignoring the most critical of traffic laws in my anecdotal evidence of the years, far, FAR exceeds that of vehicles or pedestrians.

        • Your screen name is great, because you must be joking. You should be counting accidents, first of all, not anecdotal observations of people breaking the law. Where it counts, motorists are exponentially worse in property damage, injuries caused, and loss of life.

    • I can’t believe that joker is complaining about bikers! I assume there will be a post later today complaining about dogs.


      • Nope, just the owners who let the dogs crap wherever they please and leave it while simultaneously thinking they are doing the rest of humanity a favor.

      • This literally made me LOL as this is EXACTLY what I was thinking when I got to this point in reading the posts….

        BTW, still laughing…


    • austindc

      I’m with you Joker! As a cyclist myself, I would like to see much more enforcement of traffic laws for cyclists and motorists. I think we can agree that both groups seem to have some bad apples. In all probability, a lot of them are the same idiots just switching their modes of transportation, so it’s not really an us vs. them thing.

      I always wonder why I never see anyone else stop at the stop signs with me. It’s nice to know that you’re out there stopping at stop signs too, and that we are just never crossing paths because we’re always at least one stop sign apart. So I am making your rant my rave. Thanks for making my day!

      Second rave: all the free snacks at Bike to Work Day! Thank you sponsors!

  • Rant?: A pretty good friend of mine from high school that I lost contact with was just arrested for robbing two banks in my hometown to support his oxycodone habit.

    Rave: Whatever ways I have effed up my life, I still didn’t eff up that bad.

    Rave: After less than a week on the market, my parents’ house has a substantial offer on it. My mom is going bonkers because she didn’t think she’d have to move this soon.

    Rant: They’re moving to Maryland and don’t have a place to live yet.

    • me

      Hopefully, getting nabbed for robbing a bank will help them get on the right path and straighten out. Someone I went to high school with ended up passing away from an oxy OD (he moved on to crushing them up and snorting them), and I wonder if he actually would have had consequences to his actions instead of his parents always trying to bail him out of trouble, he could have made it.

  • RANT: Picture makes me want to rant about ticket prices to United games which can be quite spendy considering the lack of people who make it to games… maybe time to start thinking about increasing attendance by decreasing prices…

    • United has been offering more ticket discounts (Groupon, LivingSocial, College Night, etc.) this year than any other year I can remember. As far as I know they are still the cheapest “major” sporting event in town apart from the cheap seats at baseball games. I also think that with the (lack of) amenities the RFK has to offer, if attendance went up measurably, the game-day experience would be noticeably worse than it currently is, which would lead to decreased attendance.

      What the team really need is a new stadium with smaller capacity and better facilities (for both the team and fans).

  • Rant – people answering the Friday question of the day on a Thursday. I am way behind on a good controversy because you guys can’t follow the rules.

  • Double Rant: A rubber band somehow broke on my face this morning. It made me laugh so hard I peed a little in my pants.

  • Rave: Getting married in 7 weeks.
    Rant: My church and officiant. They cashed the check but they are completely MIA, which leaves a giant, gaping hole that we should not have at this juncture of planning. I resent them having this power over the big day.

  • Rave: United game tomorrow night!

    Rant: The picture on this post since they still play in RFK, while other teams are getting shiny new stadiums around the country.

  • Rant: I am too nervous of a biker to try out the new route to work (from Arlington to downtown)

    Rave: First interview for a decently paying part-time job went well enough to get asked back for a second on-site interview. The extra cash would go a long way in easing my financial stress.

    Rave: I finally have functioning internet and tv service in my apartment. Still a few snafus to work through with Verizon/Directv, but for the most part I’m connected.

    • Congrats on the interview!
      As for the bike ride- can you try it out on a Saturday or Sunday when traffic is less? Or outside of rush hour so that you feel more comfortable? If I bike earlier in the day (like 7:30 to 8:15) I find the streets are pretty easy to handle in downtown.

      • Thank you! Yes, I’ve thought about that, maybe will try this weekend. Luckily my works starts at 8 am so i would have to leave my house by 7:20 anyway. Just a little concerned about bridges, traffic, and my own confidence. But it would be great to save money on commuting!

  • I have been sleeping with the windows open with screens in place. However, I wake up every morning with bites on my arms, legs, and sometimes my feet. I have checked my mattress for bed bugs, but I have seen any. Bed bugs are in my building and everytime I see a bug in my apartment, I get paranoid thinking it might be a bed bug.

    • Uck. I’d continue to look for them, but I’ve read they’re more commonly attracted to people’s torsos. I haven’t heard of them attacking feet as much since they go for the warmest part of a person’s body. I’ve unfortunately had first-hand experience with this when my roommates and I had them a few years ago. One roommate had the bites on her stomach, which prompted our search. Still makes me shiver.

    • Check in the corners of you mattress and along the seams. That’s where they hang when they’re not creeping around. You can see brownish residue in those places if it’s BBs.

    • I was waiting for my slow dog to come inside last night and had my face against the screen door. Watched a mosquito (must have been a new/baby one- white, small) land on the screen and squeeze itself through one of the tiny squares. I swatted that one, but I have a few new bites this morning so a few more must have found the same way in. :/

  • Rant: Am I wrong for this? A girl I know spanks her dog when it makes “mistakes”. This includes, going through the lidless trashcan that she leaves out in her kitchen and bathroom trashcan. Now she’s upset with me because I told her that she’s handling this all wrong and that I should mind my own business and this is how she trains her dog. Well if this is training, how come it isn’t working? I don’t think she’s abusing the dog, but it hurts me when she mentions spanking him and because I don’t know for sure how hard she’s spanking him. I do know she’s a hot head and I just feel so weird about this.

    • It’s never a good idea to spank a dog. All it does is ruin any trust that the owner and dog may have previously established. Your friend will end up with a dog that flinches every time your friend raises her hand.
      Positive reinforcement is the way to go. Instead of spanking the dog when it looks into the trash can, she should praise it when it walks past it without looking in. A quick “HEY” or “NO” when the dog makes a mistake is more effective. It jolts the dog enough to interrupt its current unwanted behavior without hurting it or the established trust.

      Sounds like your friend may not be ready to have a dog if she can’t “train” it without hitting it…maybe get a her a plant and say “start here”.

      Do you think explaining this to her or maybe getting a book on training dogs using positive reinforcement would only make her more upset at you?

      And for what it’s worth, a “friend” that can’t take constructive criticism from time to time or be open to an honest discussion about a somewhat touchy subject doesn’t sound like much of a friend to me. Perhaps she is a little too immature to have a friend like you?

    • For what it’s worth, she’s not training the dog she’s punishing the dog. And the dog probably has no idea why it is being spanked. Especially if she spanks the dog when she gets home and sees the dog has gone through the trash some time ago.

      What would work? An easy solution is to put the trash out of the dog’s reach, or use bitter apple spray on the trash for awhile. Hitting the dog will NOT work.

      • +1 to this comment and the one above it. Your friend sounds like she has no business owning a dog. Hopefully you can tactfully discuss the issue with her. And for the dog’s sake, let’s hope she changes her ways and learns to raise and discipline a dog properly. They’ve got classes for that if she needs help.

    • I don’t know about the dog, but the owner’s an idiot. Buy the dog a trash can.

    • My understanding was that physically punishing a dog doesn’t accomplish the desired results.

      It seems like the easy solution to your friend’s specific problem would be to replace the lidless kitchen and bathroom trash cans with lidded ones.

      However, I have a bad feeling that she’s probably hitting the dog for other “violations,” not just this one, and that’s troubling.

    • Thanks! I’ve already told her that just like with kids, you have to baby/doggy proof the house. I’m actually going to meet with her this weekend to talk about this and clear the air. I’m thinking maybe she was a little shock that I gave her unsolicited advice. And I think I’ll hit up a book store during lunch to get her something on positive reinforcement. I know she’s a good person, but she’s doing this whole dog thing all wrong.

      • Kudos to you for caring and being willing to reach out in a tactful way that will get through to your friend. So many people would dismiss it (“It’s a DOG, people… let’s focus on HUMAN suffering!”).

      • Hope your talk with her helps! I’d recommend Patricia McConnell’s book “The Other End of the Leash” – she also has a great blog with resources on dog training.

    • For what it’s worth…

      When I was in the emergency room a few months ago with my father (who’s OK now), his temporary “roommate” on the other side of the curtain was a guy whose nose had been bitten off by his dog.

      Since we were there for several hours, I heard a good bit of what the injured guy told the various doctors, family members who arrived, family on the phone, etc. The incident had occurred when the guy was hitting his 1-year-old dog with the Washington Examiner because the dog was chewing a rug. (My impression was that the rug-chewing was an ongoing issue.)

      The dog’s 3-year-old mother was apparently incensed at seeing her son being hit like this, and leaped at her owner and bit off his nose.

      Maybe this isn’t an issue in the OP’s friend’s case, depending on the dog’s temperament, but I thought it was a good story of Why Not to Hit Your Dog.

      The guy seemed particularly upset because it was “only the Examiner,” i.e., not a big, full-sized paper!

  • pablo .raw

    Rant: staying home for 2nd day but feeling better than yesterday. The to-do list is loooooooong!
    Rave: Hopefully I’ll go through my to-do list today!

  • 3 Stars Brewing Co. is opening a homebrew shop along with their brewery! This is great news for those of us tired of dealing with Seven Corners and the crazy traffic in Virginia. Growler fills and supplies? This is the best beer nerd news ever.

  • Rant: Sadly, I think I’m finally beginning to understand burnout in the nonprofit world firsthand. I’m exhausted most days and things are slipping through the cracks that never ever would have slipped even a year ago. And I’ve got no clue what to do about it.

    Rave: Sun! Weekend! Anniversaries!

    • Rest and relaxation usually help ease symptoms of burnout – getting out in nature, spending time in peaceful settings, getting a massage…think about what you can do on a daily basis to rejuvenate and recharge.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Have to do a stupid dry run of a class I’ve taught a million times because head honchos are insecure about technology. It’s a 2 hour dry run.

    Rave: My allergies are killing me, so I’m all drugged up. That should make the dry run more entertaining.

  • Rant: Too much fun at happy hour last night made getting to work pretty rough.

    Revel: It’s almost the weekend! Nats game tomorrow with the alumni group! Warrior Dash on Sunday!

  • Rant: I legitimately think spending too much time on the internet is making me depressed. So much is wrong in the world and with people, and everyone is just so judgmental and angry and non-empathetic towards everyone else. Basically, online comments have left me convinced that everyone is an asshole.

    Revel: Off to spend the next four days near the mountains and with my family, where hopefully the internet will be forgotten!

    Rant: Soooo much to do before I leave tomorrow morning.

  • Rant: Doctor’s offices billing departments and insurance companies. Why must I always call you after every single bill and try to fix your mistakes?

    Rave: COLOR RUN!!!!!!!!!!!! So excited about having color thrown on me and looking like a rainbow after finishing a 5k!

  • Rant: People on the Fojol brother’s post are missing the point. It is not racism, it is discrimination on the basis of national origin. Get it straight will ya.

  • Rant-Had a heart breaking reunion with a very recent ex who I am no longer dating for reasons I can’t understand because we get along like peas and carrots in just about every way. Listened to Morrissey for the remainder of the day, which didn’t help and reminded me of my time spent as an occasionally sad-sac cheesy high schooler. That said, “The More You Ignore Me” has never seemed more poignantly relevant.

    Rave-rediscovered my love of Morrissey after more than a decade. If sadness from the aforementioned event continues, tonight will involve a trip down memory lane set to “The Queen Is Dead.” Dancing about in my room after downing a bottle of rose to “Vicar In A Tutu” sounds like a decent way to spend an evening.

    • Love this – go on and dance. Been there – done that – totally worth it. There are endless futures for the – right but not right – person. It might be years down the road, but that’s the great scoop of life isn’t it.

    • i have an ex like this too. it used to break my heart whenever i would see him because we fit together. it was hard, but i cut him out. makes it less painful in the long run because if they don’t want to be with you in a relationship, why give them the satisfaction of having your friendship, when its so hard for you.

      • Amen and thanks for helping me validate my actions because I just told him he can’t have a place in my life. This is harder than I thought it would be…

  • I just had an awesome first date over lunch in a park. Haven’t been this excited about someone in a while.

  • Rant: Spent most of my day screwing around with a printing project. Life–and by life I mean my job–would be MUCH easier if we had a color printer! And a scanner…!

    Rant/Rave: I have to come into work on Sunday, which is even worse because the shuttle doesn’t run and there’s no metro. BUT I’m helping with a memorial for the babies from the NICU who have passed during the past year. Glad to be a part of that.

    Rave: Nats game tonight! Perfect night to sit outside and enjoy my friends–err, I mean the baseball game.

    Rave: Legwarmers concert tomorrow night!!! Can’t wait to break out the blue eye shadow!

    Rave/Rant: Todd Snider will be at the Ram’s Head next Wednesday night…but I have no way to get there! Sad.

    Rant: I have an MRI coming up in two weeks. Wouldn’t be so bad if I weren’t *claustrophobic…*

  • Why wait until next week? Called Congressman Trent Franks’ (R-AZ) office to complain about the need for more police presence around a nearby rec center. Encourage everyone else to do the same if you can’t drop by his office in person. Call (202) 225-4576 and ask for constituent services. I’m off next week so I plan to call everyday with a new issue. Just remember to be nice and polite to the poor staffers who have to answer the phone.

  • Afternoon rave: Phone screening/interview with the international development firm went really well…my fingers are crossed so hard it hurts

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