Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user ekelly80

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.

121 Comment

  • Yes, Baltimore! Thanks for reminding me I need to go see the lights on 34th soon.

  • Rant: The pulled back muscle I thought I had last week and the rash I thought was due to a side effect of the ibuprofoen over the weekend is actually shingles! Cancelling trip to visit family over the holidays. : (

    • Not to be indiscreet, but may I ask your age? I had CP as a kid and asked my Dr about the shingles vaccine. He told me not to worry about it until I hit 50 as it would not start until after then.

      • I’m 55. Was planning on getting the vaccine and never got around to it.

        • I have been getting shingles since I was nine–I get a flair up every five years or so. The doc always does an HIV test, just shocked that I get them. But in any case, i think more common then one would expect. Def get the vaccine and load up on pain meds! Good luck!!

      • It’s definitely less common, but not impossible among younger folks–I got shingles in my mid-20s, although fortunately it was a relatively mild and manageable case. I don’t think the shingles vaccine existed back then, not sure if doctors would recommend it to someone younger now, given the low risk of a shingles outbreak at that age.

      • My two cents:
        I have had two bouts of shingles, the first in my late thirties and the second in my early forties, with no contributing factors other than having had chicken pox as a kid; the first attack was totally out of the blue. So, I certainly not a doctor, but my experience would seem to contradict your doctor’s line of reasoning, unless he has some reason to think that your particular circumstances would delay onset.

  • Rant: This photo makes me miss Baltimore! Grew up near Johns Hopkins University and would go with my family to visit 34th Street lights ever Christmas.

    I’ve lived in DC for 10 years and am curious, is there any neighborhood that does anything similar? I’ve never heard of anything, but maybe there’s a well-kept secret?

  • This pic is everything…

  • My two brothers were in town visiting last weekend and we decided to go spend some time in the museums around the mall. I was parked on Jefferson (a one way street) between 7th and 4th in front of Air & Space.

    We came back to the car to leave, and, I was looking over my right shoulder (checking behind me) as any sane person does when pulling out (remember, it’s a one way street), started to pull out and this biker, who was going the wrong way on this one way street, started screaming as I nearly hit him with the front of my car. After jamming my brakes to avoid him and giving him a belated toot of the horn, I sat there inwardly swearing at the average cyclist in DC and how ridiculous they’ve become and listening to my brother go on about how I nearly had a new hood ornament. As I started to pull out again about ~ 10 seconds later, I heard a loud bang on the rear passenger window. The biker had circled back and thrown (what we later found out was a empty can of soda) at my car.

    Brother 1 jumped out of the car as the biker was trying to bike away and caught him from behind by this bike seat. The biker couldn’t get his feet out of the clips fast enough and so fell down in the middle of the street. Brothers 1 and 2 dragged him/bike back to the curb by his rear tire as I reparked. Brother 2 then saw a DC cop waiting at the stoplight at 7th street 50 yards away and ran to flag him down as Brother 1 and I confronted biker. Biker just wouldn’t let up. It was “you’re an a-hole driver”, “you stupid MF’er etc, screaming at the top of his lungs.

    Cop: Everyone calm down. Lets see some ID’s so I know who I am talking to. He collected all our licenses, including the bikers, then “One at a time, I want to hear what the issue is. You (biker) go first”.
    Biker: I was biking down the street and this a-hole nearly hit me with his car. Even after he nearly hit me, he honked at me, so I came back, threw a can at him and they grabbed me, and now I want to press charges.
    Cop: Ok, who was driving the car (I held up my hand), “Your turn”.
    Me: I was pulling out of my parking space, looking over my right shoulder for cars approaching from behind. I heard a screaming at the front of the vehicle, and jammed on my brakes as he (biker) rode by me, going the wrong direction on this one way street
    Biker: “So f-ing what? I have as much right to the road as you, you have to share the road a-hole”.
    Cop: Calm down, let him finish
    Me: After sitting there for 10 seconds calming my nerves I started to pull out again and I hear a loud bang on the rear of my car. He had thrown that can (sitting on the ground). That’s when my brother jumped out of the car and detained him, while I reparked and my other brother flagged you down.
    Cop: (To biker), were you biking this direction (cop points the direct he was biking) on this street?
    Biker: Yes, but who cares. I have as much right to bike on the road as any car and he wasn’t paying attention.
    Cop: So let me see if I have this right in my notes. You (pointing at biker) admitted to me that you were illegally biking the wrong way down a one way street and you nearly got hit, and instead of taking your luck to the nearest 7-11 and buying a mega-millions ticket, you decide to escalate the situation by coming back and illegally throwing a projectile at a moving vehicle. Is that about the sum of it?
    Me: Yep
    Biker: “I didn’t escalate anything, he nearly ran me over. I have as much right to the”…cop cut him off
    Cop: Yes you do, when you operate on the road in a legal manner. Bikers aren’t allowed to make up what rules they want to follow. Whether you agree with it or not, you were illegally biking the wrong way on this one way street, and had he killed you (pointing at me), he wouldn’t have even had to pay a ticket. Do you understand?
    Biker: F this, I am going home.
    Cop: Not until I say so, and you are going to stand here until I write you tickets for biking the wrong way, and throwing a projectile at a moving vehicle.

    Biker swears and keeps talking as the cop writes him two tickets. Takes about 5 minutes. Cop wants to get some additional info from me, so I am waiting and laughing at the biker with my two brothers.

    Cop hands him two tickets and tells him he is lucky to be alive and to stop biking the wrong way down one way streets. Biker is mumbling under his breath the entire time and then takes off down Jefferson, again the wrong way. Cop turns around and sees him go, and gets “Well, I see he takes direction well..” (This is where it gets really funny).

    That’s as far as he got because someone who had just parked halfway between me and 7th opened their passenger door and doored the biker, who was again biking the wrong way and ran full on into the front of the cars passenger door. Passenger door glass shatters and biker goes ass -over –teakettle, and lands on the street.

    Cop swears and starts jogging over to the accident scene. I follow with the brothers in tow. The three of us are collectively shaking our heads.

    Bikers left arm is clearly broken and he is bleeding from his leg, but conscious and aware of whats going on, cop calls on his radio for an ambulance. His bike front wheel is now oval shaped. I stand there, and couldn’t help it but I get right in his face and give him a little golf clap and walk away as he glares at me. I imagine he got a couple more tickets. That biker made my weekend.

    • I shouldn’t say this… not at all. But THANK YOU for this story.

    • Your story is way too long to read, and I see a reference to a biker so I don’t want to get involved, but I’m just amazed you were able to get parking on Jefferson during museum hours. That’s some incredible luck there!

    • Wowza. I don’t have anything beyond that.

    • It’s pretty mean-spirited of you to gloat about this, but I guess that’s what the internet is for now.

    • I mean, if this is actually true (and it sounds a bit far-fetched), the biker is a jerk. Though I wouldn’t go so far as to take pleasure in the fact that he was injured. That means you’re also a jerk.

    • For those of you in the tldr camp, that story is pure gold. It’s worth reading- I promise.

    • So… Yes. The biker made several minutes of your life difficult and frustrating. But you clearly won. And now you’re taking pleasure in the fact that he was injured? That’s disgraceful.

      • Scrillin

        The biker was behaving terribly, and got what he deserved when he purposefully – spitefully – broke the law again after the cop “reminded” him that he shouldn’t be biking the wrong way on a one-way street.

        Don’t get me wrong, if I had my druthers, there wouldn’t be any cars allowed in the L’Enfant City, but this biker sounds like a pretty terrible person, and a little Schadenfreude is warranted here.

    • That’s a good story. I can’t feel happy about someone getting a broken arm, but still.
      My only thought it that you probably shouldn’t rely on this kind of reaction from the cops every time. It could just as easily have gone the other way, with the cop supporting the biker against your brothers who grabbed him and knocked him to the ground.

      • Yeah, my girlfriend and I tried to detain a road rager who, among other things, had made violent threats against her elderly mother who was in the passenger seat of our car. The cop that showed up gave us a lecture about how we shouldn’t be wasting their time unless the guy actually followed through on his threats, and then he made my girlfriend apologize to the guy. This was in NoVA though,where road rage is more culturally accepted.

    • You have admitted that Brothers 1 and 2 assaulted the biker. I hope his lawyer reads this blog.

      • Yup, I have recently learned that posts on popville can indeed be admitted as court evidence.

        • Care to elaborate? How so?

          • Because of the legal action, I can’t and won’t speak specifics. But something I posted here was admitted as evidence in a civil case.

          • Were these comments made as Anonymous or under a unique name?

          • We’re all shaking in our boots now. 😉

          • I’m not saying you should be shaking in your boots. In my case, posts I made under a username/IP were admitted as evidence in court. I didn’t say it was good evidence, but it was used nonetheless. So just wise to the wary is all.

        • Makes sense.
          If someone subpoenas POP’s records and can establish that a post originated from a certain IP address, then it can be used in court like any other business record. However, what it can be used for depends on the circumstances and what you’re trying to use it for, subject to things like the hearsay rule and its many exceptions.

      • I’m not sure detaining someone who just threw something at your car qualifies as assault.

      • And you have no idea what you’re talking about. They are allowed to detain someone who assaulted them by throwing a projectile at a moving car. As long as they didn’t use excessive force the biker and his lawyer are out of luck. And besides, what exactly are the damages here? He wasn’t injured from being detained, and getting a ticket for illegal conduct isn’t a compensible injury.’
        Nice try, though.

      • You aren’t related to the biker in some capacity are you?

        • Nope. OP’s post follows a familiar pattern in which the writer and his/her actions appear perfectly reasonable and the object of the post is a pure asshole. Reality is never so simple, and so I don’t take at face value OP’s characterization of what happened.

    • anyone with a tl;dr?

    • + a million. this story made me laugh so hard at work! thank you! i am so sick of bikers thinking they are invincible.

    • I’m calling complete BS on this story. Had this really happened, the cycling interwebs would have heard about it in some fashion, regardless of the slant. Nice try on an entertainingly smug story.

      • You actually think WABA would come to the e-rescue of a biker who bikes the wrong way down one way streets (twice), gets a bunch of tickets for that and throwing things at cars when he was clearly in the wrong, then gets injured by doing it again?

        I would think WABA would be smart to be silent on this one. They are constantly trying to convince everyone bikers are like little two wheeled rainbows and that they can never do any wrong. Defending this guy would be bad for business.

        • No, I’m not saying WABA would do jack as support. What I am saying is this story in some fashion would have come up in the various cycling circles of Metro DC. If this guy felt so wronged, chances are that his version would have popped up, especially if getting pulled off a bike, tickets issued and bodily harm was involved. I am not saying, if this story is true, the biker is in any way in the right. But, this would have popped up by now so I doubt the validity of the original story.

          • The biker making this public would be like some gun nut posting a video of him shooting himself in the foot.

            Unless the biker completely made up the story, how exactly is he supposed to explain why he got two tickets, was biking the wrong way down a one way street then got doored by the front passenger side of a door, without sounding like the total tool that he is?

            If I was the biker, I wouldn’t say a damn thing, and the broken arm would be from “rock climbing”, or “rescuring a kitten from a tall tree”, or anything that didn’t reveal how big of a Darwinian gas bag I am.

          • It’s hard to type with a broken arm.

          • I don’t deny it would be embarrassing to admit all that. The big issue here is someone laying hands on a cyclist, despite the circumstances. That is a HUGE deal. One way or another, that would get out if true so that’s why I doubt the validity of this .

        • TeeHee… two-wheeled rainbows

    • You were gloating as he stood there bleeding? Yes he was wrong, but your behavior is disgusting. How is it remotely acceptable to laugh when someone is injured?

    • Hilarious!

      Karma is a real pain in the butt and considering the biker was biking the wrong way down a one way street, and then did it again right after being ticketed for it by a cop, he deserved every last thing he got. I see this kind of biker crap multiple times a day, every day of the week.

      I feel worse for the people with the damaged car door than I do for that cyclist.

      • ^^^ jerk!
        Even though the biker was wrong, enjoying somebody was bad injury is quite disgraceful. Karma sometime can bite you back.

    • Fantastic story, and I’m glad the cop sided with you. Bikers (for some reason) are the angriest people in the world. They need to understand they must operate on the saw laws as cars. I bike all the time, and always make sure I obey rules just like I would in a car. It is definitely for your safety.

      • gotryit

        “bikers are the angriest people in the world.”
        How about “Angry people are the angriest people in the world.” I’ve seen ridiculously angry in all modes of transportation – and they tend to stand out the most.

        • Different types of anger, though. An angry driver is truly terrifying in their rage, whereas an angry biker is more like a child throwing a tantrum.

    • Man where’s the video. I’m going to search liveleak tonight to see if someone by chance got it on film.

    • I too call BS on this story. No one that has clips on their bike is going to go one way against traffic down Jefferson. If they want to avoid traffic they’ll either go down Madison or Pennsylvania. Or if they don’t need a bike lane then they’ll take the lane and go down independence. This sounds more like the behavior a CaBi rider.

    • gotryit

      +1, as a bicyclist also. Hilarious. A broken arm is a better lesson than being killed as he runs a red light screaming “I have as much of a right to–“.
      Thanks for handling the situation well, and to the police officer too. But that’s not the average person biking in DC – that’s the average a-hole biking in DC. Lots of us are courteous and obey laws.

    • Yikes. Not touching this with a 10 foot pole.

    • I just want to say THANK YOU for sharing this story. Totally ‘effing hilarious!!!!!!!

    • Wow. This story sounds so… fictional. Very, very fictional.

  • Rave: Finally got my new (to me; it’s actually about 30 years old) record player and receiver set up with brand new speakers. It sounds great. Finally I can listen to my records again!

    Rant: My poor pup started having a terrible cough today. He’s been hacking up a lung all morning.

  • Update: I quit smoking the weekend before Thanksgiving, and it’s going quite well. I’m using Chantix, which eliminates the satisfaction of smoking. I still had cravings, and occasionally indulged them, but got nothing out of it. So I just ended up standing out in the cold getting stinky for no payoff. Now, three or so weeks later, the cravings are gone. I’ve started to find other people’s smoke mildly offensive (whereas before I hardly noticed and only got offended if they threw their butt on the ground). It might actually stick this time.

    • That’s great to hear! Thanks for the update.

    • What has been the worst side effect of the drug, if any? I have heard some pretty crazy stories about side effects with Chantix and I’m curious about your experience. Also Congrats!!!!!

      • Yeah, I was worried about the side effects too. They make it sound pretty dire, don’t they? But for me… nada. I can’t identify a single change in my physical or mental wellbeing, other than just not getting anything out of smoking anymore.

        On the downside, I can’t identify any change in my wellbeing related to not smoking. I’ve always read “I quit smoking and feel a hundred times better!” testimonials, but I guess I just wasn’t smoking enough to get that kind of effect. Missed opportunity? 🙂

        • Thanks for letting me know. You seem to be one of very few people I have heard about who have had good results. Good luck!

    • Have you have any side effects with Chantix? I have heard stories that it can give you some pretty nasty side effects which is why I have been so hesitant to try it. Also, congrats !!!

    • Been trying to quit forever. I have a few questions for you, if you don’t mind. Do you have any memory loss or anything from the Chantix? Are you a man or woman? I have tried other drugs that really messed me up. I found out later that there is a real difference between the impacts on women and men.

      • Woman, mid 30s. I was smoking, at most, 5-6 a day. Full strength, but still… not a whole pack or anything.

        Memory loss? I can’t say… but then, maybe I just don’t remember. 😉 Aging is a bitch; lots of things (including memory and focus) begin to change (for me, over the last year or two) and all you can do is shrug and say hey, it’s better than dying young, right? But as mentioned above, I haven’t had any of the side effects of Chantix that they warn about.

      • My friends have had success with e-cigs. None of the side effects associated with Chantix and you can “step down” the nicotine strength. They consider it to be a god-send.

  • Rave: I am feeling like a human being today! Antibiotics are amazing. Now the key is not to push myself too hard while I’m recovering.
    Rave: At age 35, finally mastering the art of eye liner (it is the little accomplishments in life that matter, right?).
    Rave: Looking forward to a quiet week before the holiday hoopla begins.

  • Rave (and rant): New computer => moving from windows XP to Windows 8, from old MS Office to 2013, from Outlook Express (desktop) and Apple Mail (laptop) to Thunderbird (both tops). Trying to learn how everything works.

    • I’d love to hear how this works out. I’m also in XP and love Outlook Express – but know I will have to switch eventually.

      • My move wasn’t so much because XP isn’t going to be supported but because my computer got really buggy. But the timing was good to make the move.

  • Rave: Props to 4D Cop! I was inside my house and heard a dog getting mauled outside. I go to the window and what do I see, but a 4D officer on scene breaking up the dog fight, both owners and both dogs rolling on the ground in Petworth. Incredible timing, he must have been driving by right as the fight started and intervened really quickly. The owner of the little scared dog was pretty pissed at the lady with the big tough (mean) dog.

    • Why do you assume the big dog was the aggressor? In my experience often times it’s the little dog starting the fight and the big dog gets in trouble. Sounds like you are placing the blame without really knowing what happened and then accusing the bigger dog of being “mean” based on how he/she looks.

      • Entirely based on the reaction of the little dog’s owner and seeing the effort to break it up. It was pretty clear from the cops efforts to break it up that the big dog was clamping down on and hurting the little dog. The big dog wasn’t the one yelping for mercy for 30 seconds and still yelping in pain after the fight. The big dog looked like a pit bull mix of some sort.

        • Ok, but the fight still could have been instigated by the little dog. Just because a dog “looks like a pit mix” does not mean it caused the fight. Unless you actually saw how it started you are really in no position to cast that blame.

  • epric002

    Rant: norovirus. Husband and i are home sick today after staying up spewing all night. This is the pits.

    • This is my nightmare. We only have one bathroom and occassionally I worry about something like this happening and what we would do. I hope you and your husband feel better soon!

      • A big reason why our “must have” list when house shopping included a second bathroom, or at least a half bath.
        Our house in Philadelphia was the cutest little three-bedroom twin. We thought it was perfect for a couple’s starter house. And then a neighbor told us that a previous owner had raised FOUR children there. With one bathroom! What happened when they got the bug??

        • I grew up with 7 people & 1 bathroom. Which was an improvement over what was there earlier – what we called the “bath on the path” (before my time but not before my parent’s time)

        • My grandfather grew up in a family of 13 with one bathroom. I guess they had a lot of buckets on hand.

      • epric002

        Thanks. Our onsets were staggered, so he’s feeling better than i am right now. But we did have to share a bathroom so we wouldn’t infect the one our houseguest uses. My colleague & his wife have it too 🙁 the.worst.

  • pablo .raw

    Rave: Got the most hilarious tweet ever from a guy whose nickname includes “felatio” = “Pablo raw was my porn name back in college buddy. Ol Pablo used to put the hurtin on those hunnies”
    That’s it for now.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: I’m in a rut and don’t know how to get out of it. Goals? can’t think of any.
    Rave: I guess life is ok if I can’t think of anything I want to change or add..

    • I saw a similar post you made the other day and it made me sad – I always smile at your comments! Everyone is entitled to feeling exactly how they feel so I certainly don’t want you to take this as a “cheer up” post – just know a random stranger is thinking of you and wishing you well.

    • Careful… that kind of thinking is what got us our baby. (Couldn’t think of anything else to do once the careers and the house and the other big grown-up stuff was sorted.) We like our baby, though, so it’s all good.

      • Emmaleigh504

        My uterus is a no baby zone 🙂 However, this kind of thinking might get me a bad haircut.

        • That’s what *I* said for our first ten years of married life! And all the years that came before marriage.
          “Kids? Blech,” I said. “I’d be a terrible parent,” I said. “Besides, I like to travel and sleep late.”

          • Emmaleigh504

            That’s you, I know myself. NO FUCKING BABIES

          • +1 to Emilie504

          • houseintherear

            That’s so condescending, good lord.

          • Reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend as we approached college graduation. My desire to not have kids was well known, so he asked me what the heck I was going to do with my life otherwise. So I ran down a long list of life goals (some of which I’ve since abandoned in favor of others) but he still thought it wasn’t enough. Other people were sure I’d change my mind when I got older. But I’m 31 and I’ve been in a serious relationship for over 5 years, and still have no desire. I don’t think it’s ever going to happen, honestly.

  • Rave: Christmas Card photo session with Pabloraw
    Rave: Popville Happy Hour where I met Pabloraw a few weeks ago

  • houseintherear

    Rant! I’m tired of being screwed over as a public school teacher. Now it’s talk of extending the school day, but no extra teacher compensation. No raise in 7 years, and work load added on every year in mass quantities, and now this?!!

    Rave: I handmade 80% of my Xmas presents to give away this year. Rant on the rave: It wasn’t any cheaper than just buying something, grrrr.

    • Yeah , but it’s better stuff than you would have bought, no? And people will appreciate it more (except that pn recipient who you already knew was an ingrate).

    • Just a question – are you in DCPS, Montgomery, Fairfax, etc.? I’m trying to understand the STEP program in Fairfax, but it looks like that’s actually not been happening for several years but I could be wrong.

      • houseintherear

        I’m up in MD. Fairfax has a S.T.E.P. program, which is something having to do with graduation/diplomas. But all teachers usually have “steps” in their pay scales, which pertain to how many years you’ve worked and how much education/credits you have under your belt. Most counties in the area, and probably the country?, have been stuck at one step for many years now. Our pay actually went down this year, not due to furlows but because of tax adjustments (like everyone else in the work force) and health care cost adjustments. So all of the salary advancements we’ve been promised as an incentive to be a teacher have not happened in 7+ years… not even cost of living adjustments. Nada. It’s really sad. But I do have a new multi-thousand-dollar smart board in my room this year, so that makes a lot of freakin sense! #*$@!

  • KSB

    Rave: Had an honest-to-God sick day yesterday, which consisted of planting myself on the couch, drinking tea and honey, and watching hours of Scandal on Netflix. Feeling exponentially better today and glad I just stopped life yesterday and let the body heal.
    Rant: Kind of wish I could do the same thing today, but feeling well enough to be out and about and working. Oh well…

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