Random Reader Rand and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user wolfpackWX

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.

85 Comment

  • Rant: According to this article, DC pays way more on average for internet than any other large city in the country: http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/dc_utilities_carry_above-average_cost/8031 Going through the links introduced me to Bloomingdale Bridge, a group that uses the broadband “middle mile” network created by the DC government (DC-CAN) to create a “wireless cloud” in Bloomingdale. I’d love to learn more about this and get involved in expanding it, but the website (http://www.bloomingdalebridge.org/) doesn’t have any info about how to do so. Does anyone in Popville know?
    Rant: It’s very cold. Still.
    Rave: Weekend’s almost here.

    • The Bloomingdale wifi project is defunct. The DC wide backbone pilot that supported it wasn’t renewed; 9no doubt under pressure from the telco lobby). I don’t think those signals have been active in almost 2 years. It was pretty great while it lasted.

      • Wasn’t Mt. Pleasant doing something like that?

        • I have always wondered why neighbors don’t band together and share internet. I have probably 10 different wifi networks in my apartment, but I’ve always been too shy to suggest to my neighbors that we should just split the cost of a good connection. It seems like you could probably patch together entire blocks on, maybe, 5 actual internet connections.

          • My boyfriend splits the internet bill with the couple living in the other half of a duplex. In my case I don’t know (or even really see) my neighbors so figured organizing it and making sure everyone paid was slightly more hassle than the amount saved would warrant (plus people with cable TV and/or phone along with internet wouldn’t want to join in).
            Then there was that thread on here about how you can be held responsible for anything anyone else downloads on your internet connection and it didn’t seem like a great idea anymore!

          • Well, that’s horrifying.

      • Thanks for the update! Sad to hear that this died, and even sadder to hear that DC doesn’t support the infrastructure they spent all that money to build. I wish there was a vigilante local internet cooperative I could join to break the oppressive yoke of Comcast.

  • Rave: The ice in the small tributary creeks – like the Melvin Hazen – in Rock Creek is spectacular right now – all lacy with clear crystal patterns.

    Rave: Monster Truck show tonight at Verizon center. I have no idea what it is about, but tickets are cheap and I have earplugs.

    Rant: Off to Home Depot to replace a bathroom light fixture & switch. Growing up, I don’t remember ever having to replace light fixtures or switches. The ones in Grandma’s house worked for over 60 years.

    • Oh that sounds beautiful about the creek! I’ll have to go to the park this weekend and check it out.

    • skj84

      The Monster Truck show is hilarious fun. And definitely use the ear plugs. I took mine out at one point and was nearly deafened during a big moment of the show.

    • skj84 is totally right — the Monster Truck Show is tons of fun. Went with some friends on a whim a few years back — most fun I’ve ever had at Verizon Center. You can’t help but say ‘Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!” over and over again. Have a blast!!

    • Rave: We don’t have to replace the entire back of our house!!! Windows were replaced pre-us and not sealed properly, leading to rotting wood and an interior wall that moves when you press on it. Fun times! But the fix is going to be easier than our worst fears, and we have a great contractor working on it.

      Rant: Clientsss;lkdsfj;lfkgj;dkjg;alkjd;skja;dsfkj ;lskdfjsd;kj;avd kvj;fkjaf;. I love them, but they are challenging these days.

      • Rant. My wifi is sucking this week. And I look like a tool for replying to a post with a rant/rave that isn’t a reply. And I’m “ON” the Hill, not “ONE” — damned autocorrect. Get off my lawn.

  • Rant: The bullshit shooting that went down in front of my house last night at 10:21., had to have been at least 15 shots fired.


    Rant: The fact that it took MPD over 30 minutes to arrive after I called twice and told them there are numerous , visible, bullet casings laying around on the sidewalk in front of my house.


    Rant: Officer told me that it appears to be random. He also said they were shooting at a neighbors truck (old man) which got hit multiple times. Officer said it could be as simple as a dare or somebody trying to prove something.


    Rant: Flat tire this morning.


    Rave: My family and others families are safe as nobody was injured.


    Rave: They recovered the gun and two of the suspects. They apparently jumped on the bus after right after the shooting. The gun was recovered on the bus as well.

    • pablo .raw

      Sorry to hear that Kam, is your tire flat because of a bullet?

      • Thanks. No, the car was parked across the street from our house and it was on the opposite side of the car from the shooting.

    • I’m just so thankful no strays came through the window, it EASILY could have happened. I know of too many stories of innocent people (adults, kids and even babies) killed just by sitting in their house. I have a 8 month old baby girl so I feel some kind of way right now. We deal and dealt with a lot but this is this is the last straw, we will be moving soon.

      • I’m glad that you and your family are okay, and I’m glad that they caught the perps (how dumb can they be to hop on a bus with the gun right after the shooting? Guess it was some kids being dumb) but they response from the cops is very disturbing, though not surprising.

        • gotryit

          @textdoc #theirdumb

        • “but they response from the cops is very disturbing”
          Well, they caught the suspects and recovered the weapon, so I’m not sure I would necessarily draw this conclusion. Sounds like the cops may have done just fine, although we’d need more information to really tell one way or the other.

          • I was referring to the fact that it took them 30 minutes to respond after Kam called them twice. Maybe that’s normal. But I still find it disturbing. You don’t have to draw the same conclusion as I did.

          • I believe that they may have responded to other calls which likely occurred. My issues is the lack of response to my call (which may not have been as important in the big scheme of things) and telling them that their are shell casings laying around in the snow. They easily could have kicked around, disturbed or whatever but like I said, maybe it wasn’t important.

        • Thank you. Unfortunately, hopping on a bus after committing a crime is actually fairly common.

    • gotryit

      Where was this?

        • Yikes. That’s my old hood. It had been my experience that if cops even showed up at all, they’d just do a “roll through” and whatever was happening that you called for would cease until they drove off and then start right back up. Sounds like their response hasn’t gotten much better in the year since I left. Glad no one was hurt, and I don’t blame you for wanting to leave. I have certainly not regretted the decision!

    • Glad that you and your family are safe!

    • Ugh, Kam; that’s awful. Glad to hear that you and your family (and neighbors) are safe.
      Maybe you can try following up with the district commander or the head of your Police Service Area to complain about the lapse of time and your having to call twice? It might be a screwup on the part of the Office of Unified Communications (the people that handle the 911 calls) rather than on MPD’s part, but they need to figure out where the screwup occurred and fix it.

      • Thanks. Yeah, I was thinking of following up with a commander. The more and more I waited for them to show up the angrier I was getting. The officer was cool though so I let it go but I need to follow up on my concern.

    • If it took 30 minutes to respond, how on earth did they catch the guys jumping on the bus? Were these people just hanging out for 30 minutes out there? Or were the police responding without you knowing? There are missing details here (which you may not have, I understand). Glad everyone is alright. Probably better that you’re moving especially with a baby. I too have heard of innocents being killed in their homes when idiots were out shooting in the street. If you can afford to get out of there, I would in a heartbeat.

      • Maybe I wasn’t clear but they took 30 minutes to show up to my call. I’m not saying the weren’t on their job, hell they could have caught moments after for all I knew at the time (later I did find out they caught them on the bus, presumably the X2). I do wonder how they knew it was them but then again their are cameras and bullet spotters around so I guess they can figure it out. I can’t imagine they would get far because there are normally cops parked in the vicinity whether on 21st, Ross parking lot, laundry mat. I did also see them going down the street with lights on a block away but like I said, nobody came down my block/to my location for 30 minutes and I told them there were casings outside.

      • MPD has one of the most sophisticated gun noise pinpointing systems in the country I am sure they just went to you after they caught the folks on the bus.

  • Rave: I’m alive and in good health. Sounds trite, but I’m getting old enough that I don’t take it for granted anymore.
    Rant: So over this weather.

  • Rant: my bedroom is a lot colder than the rest of my place. My unit is long and skinny and the bedroom has two exterior walls and the living space has one short one, so I guess it makes sense, but it’s been so cold that it’s been over 10 degrees different lately. I insulated my outlets with spray foam and those foam outlet sheets (Thanks Annie’s Ace!) and I hung bamboo shades with back out lining, but it’s not enough. Once I’m done painting in there I’m planning to add curtains, so maybe that’ll help more, but I don’t think it’ll help 10 degrees more. No one lives in the unit below mine yet, so maybe that will also help.
    Rave-ish: I can mostly fix the problem by sleeping with my bedroom door open, but as the sun starts coming up earlier that’s going to be less and less successful.
    Rave: thrifting date tomorrow!
    Rave: brewing on Sunday, it’s been too long.

    • I’m experiencing a similar situation. Bedroom at the far end of a long, skinny unit with 2 exterior walls. I also have a door to outdoor deck which isn’t helping either. As much as I love snow, winter has just about lost all of its luster for me.

    • I have a similar issue (probably not a 10* difference, more like 5. I actually kind of like it, I sleep better b/c the room is cool/cold, but then I have a warmer room to get ready in (I pull the blinds and use my living room as dressing room).

      • I start be pre-heating my bed with my heated mattress pad, I turn off the mattress pad after I get in, then I’m okay-ish if my feet aren’t ice, but then I wake up in the middle of the night way too hot, but I can’t stick any limbs out because it’s too cold. With the door open it’s not that bad, but the sun will wake me up on weekends and later in the winter.
        It’s not the worst problem since it has a pretty decent solution, but it’s annoying. It makes me wonder if the insulation sucks or the windows aren’t very good.

        • Oh, I have some homemade hand warmers, fleece heart shaped pouches with rice inside, I microwaved those and threw them in the bottom of my bed last night and it was perfect.
          Okay, first I shoved them in my slippers, then I reheated them and put them in the bed.

        • try a hot water bottle. Those things will stay warm for hours, but you won’t want to get out of bed in the morning.

    • justinbc

      I can tell you that curtains will definitely help. Not 10 degrees, no, but you will notice a difference for sure. How are the seals around your doors? Weatherstripping is a pretty easy, cheap fix that a lot of people ignore. Also check outside your windows and see if anything needs to be re-caulked.

    • My bedrooms is freezing…last night it was about 45 degrees. I sealed my windows with the plastic wrap, use a heated mattress pad. But while it is an exterior wall I also have those dual AC/Heat units which dont do either very well and are at the top of the wall so the heat just rises anyways. THe heated mattress pad is a product for a 90 yro person but in this case it is a great product I am proud to say I use.

      • Omg that’s terrible! I would never sleep, I would lay there in distress like a small trapped animal.

      • gotryit

        how high up is that unit? You shouldn’t have a 30 degree temperature difference over the height of a normal room. Also, a dual AC/heat unit should work fine as long as the rated BTU/hr output is appropriate for the size room that you’re in. Maybe it’s malfunctioning?
        Also, if that’s a rental unit then you can demand better from your landlord.

  • Rave: I got my project finished a day early, so I get to actually take today off after working every day for the last two weeks – weekends, holidays, and snow days included!

    Rant/question: I’ve been feeling more and more run down in the last year. Doc has been running thyroid tests and levels have been steadily rising and thinks it is time to see an endo, but only knows endos in the hinterlands of VA. Anyone have a good one in DC/close in VA/MD?

    • Dr. Mark Sklar has an office on Washington Circle in Foggy Bottom. I assume you’re asking for endocrinologists.

    • Dr. Jerold Share is an Endo in NW DC on New Mexico Avenue near AU. I only just recently started seeing him myself for similar issues. While his office is a little old school (no electronic medical records, just him and a nurse). He seems like a great doctor who really takes the time to explain everything and answer as many questions as you may have. He is also up to date on all the new standards for Thyroid levels.

  • Rave – Going to Florida for a conference next week!
    Rant – The weather will be rainy with highs in the 50s while I’m there. So lame! I really wanted to soak up some warm Florida sunshine.
    Rave – It will still be warmer than DC.

  • Rant: A package was stolen from my enclosed front door area yesterday. What kills me is that they took the time to open the box and just take the contents, leaving me with a box filled with bubble wrap and a shipping receipt. It happened between when I left the house around 9 AM and when my husband took the dog on a walk at 2 PM, freakin’ middle of the day and we live right off Irving street by the CoHeights metro, people are ALWAYS around. Still waiting to find out if I can get a replacement from the seller through Amazon. I hope you thieves enjoy MCT oil!! Anyone ever have problems getting a replacement on a stolen package?

    • gotryit

      Sorry, but Irving st right by the metro is just about as prime a location for petty crime as I can think of. Unfortunately, I would expect the worst of people around there.

    • I think that’s a location where the fact that “people are always around” is the problem, not the deterrent.

    • I live right down the street, and it happens all the time. I now have everything delivered to my office.

    • Sorry that happened to you! My building has a buzzer and an unattended lobby, but if the driver doesn’t use it there’s nothing we can do. Some good Samaritan found packages opened (but nothing stolen??) yesterday and brought them inside.

    • Going to pick up a camera shipped to Best buy since I dont trust my packages outdoors anywhere in this city.

  • Rant: Joint pain has gone from being tolerable to unbearable. Hard to concentrate at work because my shoulders and fingers are so stiff and sore. Was hoping some hot yoga would help but I’m not even sure if I’ll be up for doing that tonight. Guess it’s from the weather?

    • Have you or anyone around you been in the great outdoors lately? It is unlikely, but worth looking for a bulls eye rash to see if you could have possibly been bitten by a tick. That kind of extreme joint pain can be a sign of lyme. If it persists, might be worth a trip to the doctor, just in case.

      • I’ve had it on and off since I was a teenager (though it’s gotten worse in my late 20’s). My dad got early arthritis too. I think that’s all it is.

  • justinbc

    Rave: Last day leaving the house in near single digit weather for a while.

    • Hope so! This is like the first day, since I moved here 3 years ago, that I didn’t walk to work. Too cold even for me!

      • Ditto. I metro’d, which I almost never do in the morning. 2.5 miles is the perfect walk to start the day, and without it, I’m all antsy and unfocused at work.

        • justinbc

          That’s about how far my walk would be too, if I didn’t take the bus. I would have to get up half an hour earlier though (my current alarm setting is 6:20) to do it.

          • When I factor in walking to metro, changing lines, waiting for trains, and walking from metro to the office, it’s a time savings of no more than 10 minutes. (Basically, it takes me 30 minutes to metro, 40 minutes to walk.) Bus might be a smidge faster, but so unreliable down either 14th or 16th.

          • justinbc

            Oh yeah man, I wouldn’t trust those 16th St ones at all. I haven’t lived over there since they got those extra buses approved (no idea if they’ve actually started running), but my stop would get passed by half a dozen full buses on any given morning before one would stop. Never really had a problem with the 52/54 on 14th St though.

        • Ugh, same with me. I’ve been skipping out on my 2 mile walk and taking the bus to work this week. What a difference that morning walk makes! I’ve also been feeling antsy all week.

    • justinbc

      Side Rave: Shearing everything. Seriously, this stuff is like having warm clouds all over your body.

  • Rant: Winter feet.
    Rave: Ped egg: gross – but effective.
    Query: Has anyone ever done one of those fish pedicures?
    Rave: I’m healthy, I”m safe, I have “enough”, and usually MORE than enough. Those are not things that I take for granted.

    Shalom y’all!

    • Rave: Friday Question of the Day
      Rant: Now I’m jonesing for sable, kippered salmon, and spinach & egg salad — and have no idea where I can find them in DC.

    • I didn’t have the actual fish pedicure, but I stuck my hand in a tank full of those fish once. I left it in for as long as I could stand the tickling, and it made no difference to the callouses and hangnails and such. My hands are much softer than my feet, and my feet are much more ticklish. So… I can’t imagine it would do much good. Though maybe there’s some kind of preparation, or maybe they keep their fish hungrier… who knows. Seems like a gimmick to me.

    • I have had a fish pedicure. Felt more of a novelty to me than actually getting a real pedicure. It is also surprisingly hard to keep your feet in the water, just mentally, with the little fish knawling at you.

    • Anonymous and mvexplorer — thanks for the info. I’ll stick with my ped egg — and look forward to starting my pedicure cycle when it gets a little warmer.

  • Rant and question: We had a skylight put in our bathroom last summer. Later I noticed debris in the tub on occasions that was clearly coming from above. I called the installer and they said it was likely just settling in…time passed and debris would still come in however when it rains, no water ever gets through so that left me really confused because surely water will find its way in if there is any opening…fast forward to present day and when it is really cold and windy outside, our bathroom is freezing. Does anyone know how this might be or what is going on?

    • It’s possible water is coming in, but instead of dripping down where you can see it is running along the ceiling or roof or wherever.

      • This. We had a leak in our upstairs bathroom, but the water was running along the joists and settling on the drywall. It was a very slow leak so not like it was gushing out. Eventually it built up enough that it started coming out of the nearest light fixture and we found out it had been slowly leaking for quite a while.
        I’d get up on a ladder and feel the ceiling around the skylight to see if it’s damp. Sometimes you can’t tell just by looking at it.

    • gotryit

      It could be a hole that is allowing air / debris to get in, but for some reason water is deflected away from it.

    • Small bits of debris could be coming in from your vent too.

    • Never thought about the water being directed elsewhere while debris is possibly be blown/falling down. Thanks everyone.

  • skj84

    Rant: Still working reduced hours to slow business.

    Rave: My extra day off has been Fridays. Enjoying my 3 Day weekends immensliy.

    Rave: I have been very productive today. I caught up on all my calls and emails before noon. Now I just have some work to do around the house and I’m good for the day.

    Rant: Still looking for a second job/better paying one. Its been hard and my purse strings are getting super tight.

  • Rant: First off, I’m the owner of two dogs. Did I miss the memo that said dog owners do not have to pick up their dogs poop in the snow? Is there something magical about the snow that makes dog owners think they don’t have to pick it up if it’s in snow? Do they think it looks pretty in the snow?
    Dogs love to walk and play in the snow. Be respectful of other dogs that will stumble upon your dogs poop while doing so. Come on people!

  • Two days ago I observed a homeowner pouring Antifreeze all over the sidewalk in front of his house in Logan Circle to melt the snow and ice. I thought I was going to lose it. Do people not understand that ANTIFREEZE KILLS DOGS. There is no recovery, a couple of licks and they die. A lick of their paw with Antifreeze on it and they die.
    People PLEASE do not use Antifreeze on your sidewalks.

    • That is insane. Not only that it’s horrible for the environment too. Any wildlife that comes in contact with it will also die. Some people just have zero common sense.

    • You are correct about ethylene glycol. However, it is possible that he was using propylene glycol, which is not toxic and has a GRAS (generally recognized as safe) rating from the FDA. It is used in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.

      If is usually dyed pink, and is sold for winterizing RVs and Boats (poured into the toilets and plumbing traps).

      If it was pink, calm down; if it was green, you have a right to be upset.

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