Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user carstenschmidt

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 and no need to correct people’s grammar. This is a place to vent and/or celebrate things about daily life in DC.

200 Comment

  • epric002

    rant: the ignoramuses who continue to insist that the shutdown is somehow the fault of both parties and/or the president. if you truly believe that at this point then you are either daft or intentionally uninformed.
    rant/rave: got my flu shot on saturday, was exhausted all sunday.
    rave: still ran sunday morning despite the flu shot-induced exhaustion πŸ™‚
    rave: fall weather is coming back!

    • I can’t even with the “both sides suck” people. If you can’t be bothered to either pay attention to the story or talk about it honestly, I can’t be bothered to take your ill-informed opinion seriously.

    • Not that I disagree necessarily, but it’s not like the dems were in the bathroom with the republicans decided to shut down the government.

      • epric002

        what do you think the dems should have done differently?

        • I’m not sure. I know one of the compromises was to delay the ACA for a year. And the dems grew a spine and decided to not agree to that. For better or for worse, they decided the ACA was more important than a government shutdown.

          • Scrillin

            I believe they decided the rule of law, the legislative process, and by extension, the Constitution itself was more important than a shutdown.

          • epric002

            you’re forgetting that the negotiations/compromise are on the budget, not the ACA. that’s why we have the shutdown.

          • You could make the claim that yes, it was about the budget, but that’s not what the ultimate argument was about.

          • epric002

            there are no claims to make. the negotiations are on the budget, not the ACA, which is already law. would it have been ok for the senate democrats to insist upon a repeal of the patriot act as a precursor to negotiating on the budget?

          • I don’t disagree with your argument, but I also wouldn’t put it past dems to do that either.

          • epric002

            oy vey. it’s wrong no matter who does it. that’s the whole point.

        • Meg, you are ignoring or not understanding Walker’s comment. If the Dems cave on this it would fundamentally alter/cripple the nature of our democracy. No matter which side you are on you should be very worried about this happening.

          I’m fed up that the media is doing a horrible job of explaining this.

    • This is clearly the fault of the Democrats. They insist on the continuing existence of the Federal Government and all the Republicans ask in return is that we let poor people and the seriously ill go bankrupt and/or die from diseases that could easily be treated. I can’t believe Obama is flat out refusing to compromise.

      • epric002

        they are such azzholes.

      • I was watching 60 minutes last night and they were talking about disability scams that were rampant in middle states, the same people who continually vote republican under the guise of stopping government handouts…

        There is such a big disconnect from reality in this country, we pay taxes to receive services in return for paying taxes. I have never collected welfare in my life, but I don’t mind my money going to families or single parents in hopes of ensuring their children grow out of poverty.

        If CNN and Fox news stopped giving all these Congressional pigeons all the TV time they get, they would probably be better and less controversial at doing their jobs. They’re not media celebrities, they’re Government employees hired to do a job that they’re not doing at all. >:[

      • +a million

    • This is not a monarchy. If The President had accecpted the minor modification offered by The House on Saturday. the shutdown would not have occurred at all. Sorry to break the news to you. but compromise requires two or more parties willing to give a little and The Administration is not doing this.

      • Your handle is fitting.

      • +a million

      • Scrillin

        Compromise happens during the legislative process, not after the fact.

        You don’t have the votes to repeal. Trying to get around that is not only unfair, it’s unconstitutional.

      • pablo .raw

        What was the minor modification? What I’m hearing is that what Republicans want is to sit and discuss an existing law that is already 3 years old and it’s starting to be implemented. I have not heard anything about the Republicans wanted to sit and negotiate about the Debt ceiling.

      • Overturning the Affordable Care Act (A.K.A. Obamacare) is not a “minor modification”… It’s also a legally appropriated and approved government program that was supported by the voting majority and it’s completely funded already. Asking the president to de-fund it after working so hard on it all these years is like asking someone to chop off their arm, only a 2nd grader would think that killing your own initiative is reasonable. Restructuring health care has been a major legacy effort in government that even Senator Ted Kennedy dedicated his life’s work to achieving.

      • I’m no fan of the TP or Repubs, but this is actually true.

      • epric002

        you are indeed your handle. the compromise between the parties will be on the budget, not on a law that an extreme segment of one party has an ideological opposition to, and has decided to hold the rest of the government hostage with while throwing the ultimate temper tantrum. i recommend you read this article in the NYT http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/06/opinion/sunday/governing-by-blackmail.html?_r=1&

      • special_k

        This reminds me of the Judd Legum tweet from last week:
        Can I burn down your house?
        Just the 2nd floor?
        Let’s talk about what I can burn down.

      • Blithe

        I hope you get that what’ has been on the table already represents a compromise. A single-payer/Medicare type of health coverage was replaced by the ACA — which addresses many concerns, but also supports insurance companies Big Time. And the budget is a sequestration levels — which include major cuts for services and programs. So yeah, I agree with you –compromise does indeed require two or more parties willing to give a little, and the extremist Republicans don’t seem to get that. And neither do you.

  • Rave: Furloughed friends getting news that they will get back pay.
    Rave: We were at the East Potomac pool chilling for the afternoon when the news came through.
    Rave: (e)merge art fair seemed like a total success and my friend’s performance piece was somewhat the star of the show.
    Rave: Uncharacteristically, I enjoyed the heat wave over the weekend.
    Rave: Have a second date this week through online dating. Will wonders never cease?

    • Does anyone know if contractors will be getting back pay? I know this has been hurting a lot of small businesses and their employees with contracts that aren’t getting funded right now.

      • Seconded. One of my favorite people just got furloughed. As a contractor, I don’t think she would be eligible to benefit if the bill to pay gov’t employees during the shutdown passes. πŸ™

      • Lockheed Martin announced that if shut down continued this week they’d have to do layoffs…

        Apparently the’re running “check to check” just like most employees in the US.

        This is outrageous for such a large contracting company to be run that way. so many holes in the system are being exposed and it will only get worse as time goes on. They have very little savings as a company, yet they run lobbies that promote social and financial responsibility.

        This is the problem with this country, a moral and ethical deficit and self righteousness that should be reigned in. Too many people “talk the talk” but can’t live it…

        Retailers running special offers for furloughed gov. employees should be commended supported even after this shutdown. They didn’t have to do it, it’s a great move.

        • They didn’t have to do it, but I’m sure it’s been beneficial to them. Suddenly they have all this daytime business they didn’t get before, and it’s good PR.

        • It’s not good business to keep that much money in a savings account for a “rainy day” so you can pay employees to do nothing. Lockheed Martin is not in the employing-people business. They’re in the money-making business. In our capitalist society, they are not at all being outrageous by running their business this way. They’re being smart.

          • Scrillin

            Well, it’s their lobbying against those who may also live their lives this way that he’s pissed at. Hypocritical of them, and all.

      • It will be up to their company whether or not contractors get paid. The bill to pay government workers is only for civil service (or foreign service).

      • How about hourly workers? Like security guards, docents, and restaurant workers at the museums. Will they get back pay?

    • I heard on the radio this morning that the bill actually says federal agencies *can* give their furloughed workers back pay, but they don’t have to if they don’t have the funds, or need to spend the funds on something else. I’m curious, federal workers–would any agency actually deny the back pay, do you think? Obviously, that would be an extremely unpopular decision, but I wonder if any agencies would go that route?

      • I can see some agencies saying no to back pay.

        • Rant: Saw a veritable fleet of brand new cars (two large SUVs, one Cadillac sedan and one hearse) driving down 14th street, with police style horns and lights imbedded in the grills and headlights/turn signals, all with the Bacon Funeral Home logo on them. If you can afford to purchase four specialized vehicles, you can afford to do something, ANYTHING, to that god-awful eyesore you’ve created. It’s like a big ol’ middle finger to the neighborhood.

          Revel: Saw a cab with the freshly painted red and grey color scheme. Lookin’ sharp!

          • Uggggh. Sorry, this was supposed to be a brand new post…

          • I loathe those Bacon people with the fire of a thousand suns, and this makes me even angrier. And NO ONE in a position of authority will do squat about it!! Graham is probably on the take, he’s been so useless.

    • Emerge was really good this year, although I thought the free-for-all Garage area was much better last year. Which was your friend’s performance piece?

      • Self-Portrait as Jack Torrance.

        I liked a lot of the pieces down in the Garage, I felt sorry for the artists, however, with the heat wave. It was pretty hot down there an I know they couldn’t use the fans in some areas or it would have totally destroyed the art.

        • I felt like the 2nd floor was a lot hotter than the garage. I guess the exhibitors had the options of turning on the AC in their rooms but it didn’t seem like many did.

          • Yeah it definitely depended on the gallery in each room. Also, a lot of them had extraneous lighting that just added to the heat. I can say that the Connersmith Gallery had their a/c cranking!

  • Rant: No running in Rock Creek Park. A small inconvenience compared to folks who aren’t working, but it’s seriously screwing up my workout plans.

    Rant: WeatherBug said it was 71 degrees when I left the house. Weather Bug is a liar.

    Rant: Family drama. Do I spend the $ and deal with the stuff at home for Christmas or find other plans but deal with the fallout from not going home.

    • epric002

      i’m pretty sure everyone else still ran in RCP this weekend…

    • Yes – everyone is using the park as usual – which is exactly what we should be doing! The parking areas are barricaded, but any place where you can park on the street – like near Pierce Mill for the Melvin Hazen trail – you can have access. Some people did pull away one of the barricades at the lot by Blagden Ave. and the parking lot was full of cars yesterday. Park police did show up but I didn’t see them write tickets, just hung around.

      And in non-shutdown news – I watched a cormorant catch a fish in Rock Creek yesterday . The water was so clear you could see the fish swimming and watch the cormorant diving & swimming after them.

  • Rave: Rain and cooler temperatures!

  • Rave: had dinner with a law a school buddy this weekend.

    Rant: we have basically the same job but I found out that my salary (in the private sector) exceeds his by close to $180,000. How does the govt ever expect to attract any talent?? (And how does he get by?)

    • I hope you picked up the check!

    • Yeah, the agency I used to work for has a major problem with attracting and retaining talent. They need lots of people with STEM backgrounds to do a mind-numbing job with not-great pay and few opportunities for advancement. Most people, myself included, leave within a year.

    • How does he get by? Are you making $200,000?

      • I think you found a hidden humble brag.

      • Seriously. Average people “get by” on salaries of less than $100K and still live pretty well. If your salary exceeds another highly paid individual’s salary by $180K, then you are not in touch with reality. I would consider myself rich if I was making $180K, never mind if it was that PLUS more…

        • Yeah, but I’m guessing this guy has some massive student loans if he went to law school.

          • But f he’s earning 180k in excess of what another lawyer is making, then he could pay them off in 2 years.

          • No, I mean the guy who’s making 180k less. Although if he works for the government long enough they’ll forgive those loans won’t they?

          • He is making 90k and has a wife and kid, just like me. I seriously have no idea how he makes ends meet. Granted, we live more of an impulse lifestyle, but I mean how does he even afford the basic necessities in this city.

          • I guess the wife isn’t working? I’ll agree that it’s not easy to support two people and a child in DC on one income, but $90k is still a lot more than most professionals make.

          • A lot of us don’t consider new clothes every season, two+ restaurant meals a week, and two+ resort vacations a year to be “basic necessities”. Our HHI isn’t much higher than your friends, and we feel quite well to do. Old car that runs fine, vacations to friends and family in interesting places (and every place can be interesting with the right attitude), lots of cooking at home, as a family. And, plenty in the bank to replace the roof or handle other major expenses when they arise.
            I think if you’re pulling in over $250k and feel squeezed in this region, you’re doing something wrong.

          • Randall, with all due respect, you are totally out of touch. I live with my husband and daughter in an expensive neighborhood and he makes 90k and we do very well. I am currently not working so we’re not saving as much as I’d like, but that still puts us in the top 1%. You sound profligate and entitled. Yes, DC is expensive, but you have to be crazy to not be able to live off of almost 6 figures.

    • I’ve been a government lawyer for about a decade. I’ve had a lot of opportunities to get out and double or tripple my salery, but I haven’t. I work almost the same hours as my friends in private practice. But in the end I stay because I believe in my agency’s mission. Every day I come to work, I look a problems, and I get to think about what is the best way within the law to fix them. Not how to arrange the outcome my client wants, but the best outcome for the public good. And my coworkers are wonderful. I love my job. That is how the federal government attracts talent (or should attract talent). If at any point in my career any of that changes, I’ll leave and go out to make more money. I will say I have friends who have left the government who have found equally fulfilling jobs in the private sector, but, for now, I’ll stay. It also helps that I didn’t have absurd levels of law school debt.

  • Rave: I had an incredibly productive weekend. The house is clean. Groceries are bought. Home-cooked meals are stocked in the fridge. And I still managed to find time to sleep in and read on the couch. Nice to have a quiet weekend at home considering all the upcoming travel and social obligations.
    Rant: I’m still fighting off a cold.
    Rave: The promise of fall weather (fingers crossed).

    • Me too. Went kayaking, washed the dogs, bought groceries and made a big lasagna, checked out (e)merge and FotoBazaar, finished one book and started another, bought a new dress, did some housecleaning and laundry, and mended some clothes.

  • Rant: Shutdown, still.
    Rant: Congress will vote to compensate us for an ongoing furlough rather than pay federal workers to actually earn their wages? That makes absolutely no sense.
    Rant: DC is picking up Federal garbage on the Mall. DoD is bringing back most civilians. The idea should be to make this shutdown more painful, not less. Time to make this a real, actual shutdown and show people how much they really depend on a functioning government.
    Rave: Rain a-coming. My garden needs it.
    Rave: I have what seems like fifty pounds of tomatoes in my refrigerator, courtesy of said garden.

    • Not picking up the trash on NPS sites won’t “sock it to them” anywhere but here. I think the residents of DC already appreciate how much we depend on a functioning federal government. Shut down Dallas or Oklahoma City and prevent those cities from spending their tax revenues on city services for the duration of the shutdown and this tactic might make some sense.

      • +1. Why make it more painful for DC residents who are probably the ones who understand what is going on the best out of anyone? No need to preach to the choir..

    • If you ever plan on giving away any of those tomatos, I’m in.

    • I don’t think that giving DC a public health/pest problem is going to make anyone but us suffer. The GOP/TP has already shown that they don’t care about cutting off people’s salaries indefinitely, so they are certainly not going to be impressed by garbage piling up or a few more rats. Unless we catch them all and release them into the House buildings. πŸ™‚

    • Refrigerating tomatoes changes their taste and texture & is generally not recommended.

    • Please let me rescue some of those poor tomatoes from your fridge! They’re only good for sauce now, and I’ve been wanting to make a big batch for the freezer…

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: The usual
    Rave: Got my normal brand of contacts Saturday, no more sandpaper in my eyes!
    Rave: I love my sockdreams.com socks! comfy and stylish! I think I need the gingko leaves socks in every color.

  • rave: quiet weekend with longs runs and long naps.
    rant: realizing that 99.5% of my social activities are because I ask people to do things. I can’t remember the last time someone invited me. Should I take it personally?

    • re: your rant….this was me. Organizing everything. I decided that it was too much work – that friendships are a two way street. I get it, some people aren’t organizers and I understand that. But I got tired of always initiating so i stopped. And I never heard from most people again. So you could go that route. But it is frustrating – adult friendships take a lot of work and I think many people don’t want to do the work in this day and age when Facebook and all that is so easy.

    • I’ve dealt with your second rant before, too. About 85%-90% of the time, my friends are able to meet up when I make the plans, so I know it’s not that they’re trying to avoid me/do the “slow fade.” I think most people just don’t like to make plans. (And I really don’t either, but I feel like I wouldn’t see half of my friends if I didn’t!)

  • rant: being told at the last minute to come back to work. The constant jerking around (“uncertainty”) is driving me crazy. No one knows if we’ll get paid on time for working, and we aren’t allowed to take leave. So considering I have a doctor’s appointment at least once a week, it should be interesting. I was told that if I had to take sick leave, it would be considered furlough leave. But if I’m on furloughed leave, wouldn’t I just get back pay if it’s approved?

    I have no idea, and my supervisors have no idea. I know my husband who is working doesn’t get paid until the government comes back, and Columbus Day isn’t a paid holiday, etc. I have no idea how it’s working here and when your supervisors don’t know, it’s frustrating.

    Rave: I think I’m just going to command decision on a last day. In all this uncertainty, it’s impossible to plan and I just have to say screw it, I’m not coming in any more.

    Rant: Where is fall?

  • Rave: the last gasp of summer heat turned my car into a 120F bedbug oven, no need to build a highly flammable contraption in my apartment.
    Rant/Rave: I got rid of at least 8 garbage bags of stuff by ruthlessly cleaning out every category of item I own. Normally I would have donated at least half of it, but I just can’t take the time, money, and mental/emotional energy to dry it all and truck it out there, so it all went in the garbage πŸ™
    Rant: my entire weekend was spent getting ready for the exterminator. I am exhausted and mentally spent. I almost cried when I saw I had dropped a strawberry on my dress this morning.
    Rant: even with the extreme measures, I’m not sure my mind will be put at ease after all of this.

    • Purple Heart makes it really easy to donate– you just go online to schedule a pickup date, and leave your bags out the morning of.

      • As I read it, the issue was not wanting to donate items potentially infested with bedbugs and not being able to deal with the extra decontamination required to make sure they weren’t infested.

      • Yes, but I’m not donating potentially bedbug infested bags of stuff. And after spending 2 nights and 2 full days drying everything-EVERYTHING- I own, I couldn’t take anymore. I feel bad, but not bad enough to subject myself to that.

    • Oh, I’ve been there. The prep for the exterminator is the worst. Also, because we had three treatments, we had to live out of our dining room for a month and a half. At one point I ended up crying on my front porch because of the mental and physical exhaustion from prep.

      Hang in there – it’s worth it to be bug free!

      P.S. I don’t know if my mind will ever be put at ease either. We still check every little speck we see in the bed. Maybe it will help you to know that all we have found since our second treatment is lint.

      • The really exasperating thing for me is that they say “launder and store everything in bags” and that’s it. I used to have a pretty good aseptic technique when I was in a lab, so I know it’s not that simple. My concern now is that I’ll be taking my bedding with me Wednesday morning because the exterminator comes that day. I’ll wash it at the laundromat that evening, then bring it back in. But now it’s not going to be hot enough to kill things in my car, so what if my car gets bugs? I cant get naked at the laundromat, so what about the clothes I’m wearing Wednesday?
        I’m sure I’ll eventually move beyond it, but it’s going to take a really, really long time.
        And yeah, I feel you on the crying/complete emotional breakdown. It’s a question of when, not if.

  • Rave: Falling in love with different aerial arts – I’ve poled for about 3 years now, and have started hoop/lyra and silks — SO much fun!
    Rant: New forms of exercise and new apparatus = new bruises, so I’ll be popping ibuprofen today!
    Rave: Little sister is coming to visit! πŸ™‚

  • saf

    Rant: Stupid Safeway construction trucks did SEVERE damage to my fence/gate. Developer has not responded to my email and the PM is not answering the phone. I want this fixed before it falls down.

  • Rant: Two colds in one week. I had one day of healthiness between them. And, yes, I blame this on John boehner.

  • Rave: found out I’m pregnant a week ago
    Rant: got the flu or a bad cold with a hacking cough the same day and have been feeling terrible since then
    Rave: I’m pregnant πŸ™‚

  • Rave: Fridge full of good food.
    Rant: bus etiquette. Use the BACK DOOR!! (Sorry for the shouting. I feel better now).

    • Ugh yes, this is a big pet peeve of mine. Only exceptions being elderly folks who are sitting up front OR situations when the rest of the bus is so jam-packed that it’s just not practical to work your way toward the back door.

      • Mine too! I don’t understand the people who walk all the way from the back of the bus to the front of the bus to exit. Why??

        • When there aren’t people standing in the aisles or people getting on at the stop, I usually exit in the front. It’s often the direction I’m headed, and if I have to cross the street in front of the bus I know the driver will see me. I don’t have to hope the back door opens or shout “back door” if it doesn’t. It also lets me thank the driver.

    • msmaryedith

      BUT so often the drivers don’t open it! I get SO irritated when bus drivers do this. I am not very loud and I’ve almost gotten trapped on several buses when the drivers just don’t bother to open it/pretend not to hear me when I call out to them to open it.

      I also get annoyed when others in the same situation start yelling “BACK DOH! BACK DOH!” There’s an “r” on that word (says the grumpy English major).

    • In case it was me – I use the front door because they lower the bus in the front. You can’t tell, but I had surgery on my leg and can’t step down the height of the back from the bus to the curb (or especially to the street when the bus isn’t close enough to the curb). I’m sorry to have bothered you.

      • Surely you understand that they mean MOST people, not people with injuries or disabilities.

        • I do, but my point was that you have no idea which is which. I am a 30-something healthy looking person. I don’t normally have a limp. You’d have no idea from just looking at me that I have to use the front door or that I have to sit on the bus/metro. This is at most an extra few minutes (cumulatively trough the bus route) out of your day. It really isn’t worth getting all that upset over, particularly since you have no idea what is going on with the people using the front door.

          • “I do, but my point was that you have no idea which is which. I am a 30-something healthy looking person.”

            This is 12:02 Anonymous again (I really need to get a screename). You are right and that is a totally valid point that bears repeating. Sorry to hear about your leg.

          • Thank you for bringing up this point. I had major surgery myself this year and its a reminder I’m taking my recovery for granted. .

            But also it was just little rant about something minor that I notice which is I thought the point here? It’s better for me than ranting about the furlough and the status of my job.

          • Often people complain about something here and then other people chime in to explain why that shouldn’t be a complaint. Sometimes it’s just to be contrary, but other times (like here, mostly) it is to explain why people might do these things that the OP finds annoying. I know for myself that sometimes (not always, but sometimes!) when I understand why people do something, I then find it less annoying or frustrating when I do see it.

  • Rant: Developed a cold from all the stress from the furlough and house issues we’re having
    Rave/Rant: Started to get used to this staying at home watching netflix thing
    Rave: Despite this cold, I’m trying to get up and move around the house a little more today. I’m having to force some structure into my furlough-life.

  • pablo .raw

    Rant: Red line on weekends. I think Metro should make metro free on weekends if they are going to continue disrupting people’s lives the way they are.
    Rave: I had a great weekend.

    • use the bus system

    • -At least the shuttle busses are free. Not that it helped me, but if you only wanted to go between Union Station, (or maybe it was NoMa?) and Dupont Circle — that part of it would have been free, since you don’t swipe your card on the shuttles.

  • Rave: fun wedding in Canton. Also checked out Gervasi Vineyards and the chocolate factory.
    Rant: I want to go home (free food) for the rest of the shut down but my niece/nephew are in school and my presence just disrupts to their schedules.

  • The mod was on the HHS conscientious clause accommodation in the employer mandate, which doesn’t go into effect until 2015. It was actually pretty minor and would have left PPACA funded and neat completely intact.

  • Rant: U.S. Bank refuses to allow me to settle the her reserve line and close my late wife’s checking account (or stop billing me) unless I supply probate documents that I don;t have because the will never went to probate. It’s “policy.”
    Rant: Rowed like hell..
    Rave: We won anyway.
    Big Rave: Parents in town and daughter up from school..

    • I suggest contacting someone higher up. Most wills never go to probate and so that can’t really be their policy.

    • I’ve spent the past closing & changing accounts. So far I’ve been asked to provide a death certificate, but no probate documents. I would hope that the combination of your marriage license and your late wife’s death certificate — would be enough to close the accounts. It’s miserable — but if you haven’t already done so, keep taking it higher. It really shouldn’t take all that.

    • How strange. I don’t see why a bank would need anything from probate, unless it was an atypical situation (say, if the person trying to close the account was a non-relative or a distant relative, rather than the spouse, in which case it might not be clear that the non-relative had the authority to deal with the estate). Good luck, and hang in there. I’m sure it’s not easy–emotionally in addition to the administrative hassle. (My mother recently had to do this to close out a minor and long-forgotten account of my father’s, and even though my father’s been dead for 15 years, dealing with the death certificate stuff still poked at the wound a bit.)

  • Rant: DoD has to go back to work while the rest of the federal employees get to sit on there asses. Also there is no budget so I will probably be receiving back pay like the rest of the lazy feds on their couches. I’d rather be on my couch getting paid its more conformtable and my home laptop doesn’t block porn.

  • Rant: This weekend I experienced the craziest, most brazen cab violation I’ve ever seen in DC. It’s long, but in sum – he said his credit card machine was closed for the night, refused to show us his face card, admitted to lying about the credit card machine, then threatened to call the police & claim we were holding him hostage… by asking to see his face card.

    Bizarre tale below:

    My girlfriend and I took a cab from Chinatown to our home off of H St. NE. It was a generally uneventful ride. Upon arriving at our apartment, we asked to pay by credit card. The driver said we couldn’t do so because it was too late & because the cab company (Dial Cab) was closed for the night, the machine couldn’t approve credit card transactions. Obviously, anyone who knows how credit card machines work could see through this, as they don’t require an employee in an office to manually approve charges.

    Upon hearing this, we asked to see his face card because we didn’t believe his story (and it was not displayed — which is illegal). He then admitted to lying about the credit card machine and allowed us to pay by card, so we did. We asked again to see his face card, pointing out that it was illegal for him to refuse. We helpfully read him the relevant portion of the Customers’ Rights insert that was on the back of his seat. He once again refused to show it to us, insisting he had done nothing wrong because “I lied, so what. I already let you pay by card.”

    We persisted, asking to see his face card for a third time. He was still defiant, and demanded we leave the cab. He said he’d call the police and tell them we were holding him hostage (?!). He kept yelling at us to leave, then picked up a walkie talkie and yelled “Hello office! Come here! They are holding me hostage!” (It was obvious he was just yelling at his hand & not actually communicating with anyone).

    At this point we just took photos of the cab and left. He was so defiant and angry & it wasn’t worth escalating further. While we don’t have proof (yet), we assume he was illegally operating a taxi, which is why he wouldn’t show us a face card… because he didn’t have one. We’ve submitted a complaint to the DC taxi commission.

    The moral of the story is: if you’re dumb enough to lie to passengers and say your credit card machine is closed for the night, you’re gonna get in trouble.

    (Dial Cab 70, Cab #J647, License Plate H98845)

    • The driver was a glassbowl, obviously, but I don’t understand why, once you paid, you kept going. I’d be terrified he’d drive off and dump me somewhere.

      And don’t hold your breath on hearing anything from the taxicab commission.

    • I’d bet that this guy wasn’t licensed, but was using someone else’s cab. I’ve seen situations in which one guy gets a cab and a license and then various members of the family use it, keeping the car in service 24 hours/day.

  • Rave: Boyfriend opened a new (rebranded and renovated) gym in Mt. Pleasant over the weekend… Lots of work, but the realization that he is making his dream come true is totally worth it. Everyone check out Fit360!!!
    Rant: He works all the time and out time together is limited πŸ™

    • Wow – I hadn’t noticed the change in name/ownership. Great news for the neighborhood! And a potential future rave. I belong to WSC in Columbia Heights but really dislike the instructors and have been looking for other options.

  • Rave: Gotta be thankful for what you got, and I am.

    Rant: It p.o.’s me to no end that my city view is being stolen from me. I bought an amazing condo a few years back and I could see everything from the Library of Congress reading room all the way around to the Cathedral. Then that building went up on 7th and S street and blocked my view of the Scottish Rite temple. Then a building going up in Mt Vernon Square is blocking 3/4 view of the old post office tower, previously I could read the time on the clock faces now I can just see the roof. Now a building going up in NOMA is blocking my view of the library of congress dome, all I will be able to see if the flame on the top. There should be some type of legal compensation for this deprecation of my property value!

    (5,4,3,2,1….. queue the split line arguments of those who commiserate and those those think I feel entitled)

    • It’s like you live in a city, or something.

    • I’m in both camps: I commiserate re: your loss of a nice view, AND think that you feel entitled. And I’m wondering if your amazing condo blocked someone else’s previously amazing view. Full disclosure: Over the past 3 years, I’ve lost my formerly amazing view — so I have much more sympathy for your sense of entitlement than I ordinarily would! πŸ™‚

    • It does suck to have your view taken away. But, I’ve found in this city, it’s something to expect. I just bought a condo with amazing views, and I really hope I don’t lose the views, but I do expect that, some day (hopefully at least a year away so I can enjoy it a bit first), a condo will go up and block my views, and I will be sad, but I will have seen it coming.

    • You sound like the people that bought at the Whitman condo before construction of the Marriott hotel started. Everyone knew if was coming but I think some people assumed it would never happen. “Their” views are gone! How did this happen? It sucks but at least there is progress and more people moving into the city!!

      • OP

        Yes it is progress and that I have to say I love. My neighborhood is getting to be such an amazing place to be. I am in Bloomingdale, and my “Building” (converted row house) has been there 110 years so we never blocked anybody’s view lol nor will we due to the placement. Since one does pay extra for a view as it is part of your property value, you had to see it dwindle away. I do feel entitled because I did pay for it lol : ) The view blocking is not like being right up against a new building, it is the line of site that does the blocking.

    • I read my condo docs and they state explicitly which windows in the building, not just my unit (none thankfully), are “vulnerable.” Did you read your condo docs and was that in there? It stinks to lose your view, but it should come as no surprise.

    • Are DC buildings allowed to buy air-rights?

  • re shutdown: doesn’t retroactive pay mean federal workers are on paid, unscheduled vacation?

    • saf

      No, it does not. They can’t go anywhere. They are on constant call. They don’t know how long they will have to wait for pay. Their projects are stuck and will require tons of catch-up, if they can be salvaged at all.

      It sucks.

      • So it’s more like a staycation.

        • saf

          You just really don’t get it.

          • No, I’m just jealous. πŸ™‚

          • There happens to be a post above from a furloughed worker who is upset about having to go back to work instead of getting paid to sit on his couch and watch porn.

          • Even if I wasn’t getting paid I’d welcome the break. My company doesn’t let me take off an hour or two of personal leave, so it’s really hard to schedule doctor’s appointments and run errands during business hours. I would love a week where I wasn’t expected to be at work to get stuff done.

      • This is the guidance my agency just got: “All currently furloughed Navy Department employees should return to work tomorrow or as soon as practical.” So it sounds like there’s some leeway with return dates. If I’d be furloughed I would have driven up north to visit my family for the week. I still could have packed up and driven back here in time to be back at work tomorrow.

        • saf

          “as soon as practical” refers to those who were on medical leave/disability leave at the time of the shutdown – they are expected to return as scheduled.

          Or at least, so the official guidance implies.

          • Still, 24 hours’ notice is enough time to return from a vacation that’s within driving distance.

          • Oh I do get it. And you are wrong. Paid for not working is a vacation. “constantly on call”?? Cmon man. the GS3s at Energy aren’t cardiothoracic surgeons.

          • Yeah, when you take vacation it’s not like you necessarily have to use it on a trip.

          • Yeah, and when *you* take a vacation you know what it starts, when it ends, that you’ll get paid at your regular times, and oh yeah, half the country doesn’t dump on you for being a useless bureaucratic leech who’s stealing their precious tax dollars.
            I’m not a fed, but even I can see and understand to the extent than an outsider can, that this is stressful and is nothing like a day at the beach.

          • It’s a little different than a vacation, but I still wish it was happening to me!

          • “Constantly on call” doesn’t mean that federal employees are going to be paged for emergencies. It means that if the shutdown gets resolved today, everyone has to be ready to come into the office tomorrow.

      • You’re talking about the furloughed contractors, not the direct government employees.

    • Retroactive pay also doesn’t help so much with bills that are due now, when it’s unclear when paychecks might start coming in again.

    • Plus, there are likely a number of federal employees (particularly if they are on the lower end of the pay scale and have less of a financial cushion) who have bills to pay (ie, rent or mortgage) NOW and whose finances are really adversely impacted by the delay in getting their pay.

      • I’m sure there are a few people in this situation, but it’s sad that there are people that don’t have a 2-week cushion AND don’t know anyone they can borrow the money from.

        • “A few”? Get real.

          • Most people with a steady job are able to budget enough for a 1 month cushion at least.

          • I express a bit of sympathy and someone attacks me over word choices. Y’all are lovely people, truly.

          • Especially that poor lawyer who’s only making $90k. However will he make ends meet.

          • Seriously – “a few” ?? What world do you live in (anonymous 11:42 and 11:57) where most people have at least a month of savings, and have friends/family that can lend them money?

          • We’re not talking about part-time minimum-wage Walmart employees, we’re talking about Federal government employees. The government doesn’t pay well, but it doesn’t pay THAT badly either.

          • saf

            The anons must be republicans. Or single or DINKs with good jobs and the ability to save.

            There are plenty of people who have to support multiple people on one income, or who have health issues that have drained the savings, or house issues or car issues or…

          • More than half of all non-essential Federal employees are living paycheck to paycheck? That’s so disturbing and sad. Sorry, I really had no idea!

          • Where does that figure come from? More than half???

          • I was wondering that myself. Seaf, is that statistic cited somewhere?

        • Yes, it IS sad. It’s sad that many people pay more than a third of their incomes for housing. It’s sad that childcare — particularly in this area — is so expensive. It’s sad that eldercare costs so much, and is usually an out-of-pocket expense. And it’s sad that government policies aren’t addressing these issues. It’s sad that not everybody has family members with major financial cushions that they can “borrow” from. Because those family members often have their own bills, needs and expenses too.
          Question: do you even KNOW how much an adminstrative assistant makes? Ot how much a private duty aide costs?

          • Why is everyone attacking me? That’s what I said. It’s sad. It’s sad that no one can lend a struggling mother with a civil service job enough to cover two week’s worth of bills that she knows she’ll be able to pay back once she gets her backpay.

          • Indeed. But really, these problems exist independently of the furlough.

          • Emmaleigh504

            I think it they are attacking you b/c your wording makes it sound like it is some how their fault for not having money saved and no one to borrow from. I don’t know if that was your intention, but that’s how it reads.

          • Agree with Emilie504 – you meant to express empathy for folks with little savings but some people read it as critical of people who aren’t able to save.

          • No, I was just surprised that more than half of the furloughed employees don’t have any savings. Everyone’s always talking about how good government jobs are and how hard they are to get because everyone wants them, but they apparently don’t pay very well at all.

          • I apologize if my strident response seemed like an attack. I did not mean it to be. I DID mean to illustrate some of the challenges that many — if not most — people have, that might not be immediately apparent if you don’t share them. Many of my friends have had “good government jobs” for over two decades. But “good” is a relative term. They support their children, support their parents, and pay their bills on time. If they’re lucky, they get a week at the beach in the summer. And they are often the people that their family members depend on in a financial crunch.
            And “good” is a relative term. The stability, pay, benefits, and opportunity for advancement that government jobs have offered, has been preferable to the opportunities offered by the private sector. I would argue that this is particularly true for people without professional degrees, and without college degrees. Again, I wasn’t trying to attack — but to explain.

          • Some people here jump at any chance they can get to be mean and nasty.

  • Blithe

    Rave: Lovely weather this past weekend! And I spent part of it having fun at the Fell’s Point Festival in Baltimore.
    Rave: My annual grilled-chicken-on-a-stick fix.
    Rave: Buying a very nice photograph at the festival. I love the photo, and it was nice to get to speak directly with the artist.
    Rant: Same as last week….. And I actually agree with something that Boehner said: No, it’s NOT a “game”. Unfortunately, the ego-focused, power-driven craziness continues.

  • Rant: A good friend of mine died from cancer one year ago today, on his best friend’s birthday, who had also died of cancer a few years earlier. F Cancer.
    Rave: He was treated at NIH for a clinical trial, and said the care he received there was infinitely better than any care he had received previously. No added stress of begging his insurance to approve a test, his doctors and caregivers truly cared about his recovery, but in the end that wasn’t enough.
    Rant: Can not believe Congress is stopping patients like him from going into clinical trials at NIH. This is horrific. At least my friend got one last chance at survival.

    • I’m really sorry about your friend. My partner is trying to get in at NIH right now, and the shutdown isn’t helping. She’s developed cognitive problems over the years that no one’s been able to figure out, and NIH is our last hope. We’ve heard great things about them though.

      • He thought NIH was truly amazing. Everyone had his recovery as their #1 priority. He was able to go right away for a test or see a doctor immediately if something even just seemed off. Completely different experience than any other hospital he was in. Best of luck to your partner. I hope Congress ends this b.s. and he/she can get in to NIH very soon.

        • That’s wonderful. It’s been so frustrating having to wait 2 months just to get follow up visits with doctors that seem to want nothing to do with her.

    • Sorry to hear about your friend. My best friend passed away from cancer April 2012. I still miss him every day.

  • Rave: Rain! Trees in particular really need this.
    And rave: My orchids have been outside in the shade all summer – bringing them inside I saw one is about to bloom.
    And rant: Tea Party/extremists

  • gotryit

    Rant: hyper-partisans who think they’re mainstream. Ears completely clogged to anything other than the “facts” they got from hyperpartisan “news”.

  • Rant: I thought I was posting the below on PoPville but instead posted on Facebook.


    Rant: People who post wild lies about The Affordable Care Act on Facebook.

    Rave: Correcting them.

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