Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user ep_jhu

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.

187 Comment

  • Rave: Lots of helpful gardening advice here yesterday, thanks all!
    Rave 2: I have family in town this weekend and we’re going to do a lot of fun things.
    Rant: Work is really slow right now and it’s making the days draaaaaag.

  • Have a podiatrist appointment today, just for a consultation. I’ve never been before, what should I expect? What kinds of questions should I ask…. I hate going to Drs appointments, I get nervous like a first date. Basically…my feet always hurt, are changing shape (and are rather smelly but I think that’s genetics haha), I’m not sure what else to bring up/ask.

    • I went to mine for the first time last week, podiatrist appointments are not as nightmarish as others. Ask them to take x-rays of your feet, this will help them to determine how your feet are changing and what you need to do to ensure better comfort. If your feet are smelly, ask them to take a culture of a toenail or maybe shave off some skin to figure out if you have some type of fungus. If you’ve got any callouses/corns ask them to shave those down for you (mine was nice enough to rub lotion on my feet afterwards…not sure if that was standard routine though lol). Oh! And lastly, ask them about what shoes you should or shouldn’t be wearing.

    • hope you have better luck than I did – I went about a year and a half ago for continuous internal pain in one foot. Had blood tests, x-rays, an MRI, and the doctor could not figure out what was wrong – wouldn’t even return my calls at the end of it all. I was told to exercise regularly and not wear flip-flops.

      But, if it makes you feel any better, I apologized for my sad nail polish on the first visit and the doctor scoffed and was like “unless your toes are actually rotting off the end of your foot, it’s not the worst thing I’ve seen.”

    • epric002

      tell the doctor exactly what you wrote here: my feet always hurt, are changing shape, and are rather smelly. the dr should then ask you questions about what kind of shoes you wear, how much walking you do, etc.

  • skj84

    Rave: Job Interview today! Fingers crossed.

    Rant: Former employer sent me an email requesting me to send my sync cable for my phone back. Which is not unreasonable, but every time I tried to get in contact with them about the status of my job, whether or not I would be receiving a paycheck and just general questions about what I was supposed to do I would get stonewalled. Not to mention all the misinformation they sent my way. But no sending the damn sync cable asap is the most important thing for me to do . It’s at the bottom of my priorities this week.

    Question: What are peoples thoughts spending for a Premium Linkdin account. I’m thinking about making the investment if it’s worth it.

    • Good luck!

    • I had a premium LinkedIn account for a year. I suppose it was worthwhile because I did end up getting a really big client out of it, using one of the “in” emails that are included in the account. But I didn’t end up renewing because I didn’t feel like I was using it enough to warrant another year. If biz dries up, I may renew. But, I’ve also gotten clients through LinkedIn by emailing or calling a desired contact who is connected to several colleagues, not using “in” mail, but just regular old email and phone, so I’m not sure the subscription does a lot of extra for you that you can’t do yourself (besides see who is looking at your profile, but I never found that to be particularly helpful).

  • Rant/Amazement: at how far the garbage pick-up folks can throw our cans. I found our can almost 8 houses down this morning.
    Rave: contract ending soon, but I have lots of job options on the table – which makes the transition less daunting.

  • Rant: Left the nats game last night before the ‘epic’ comeback.
    Rave: They won – maybe us leaving ignited the #natitude?
    Rant: A little nervous about kickball and seeing the girl i have a ‘moment’ (or like 5 minutes) or kissing.
    Revel: Going with the flow πŸ™‚

  • Rant: My agency will have to move from the 2nd floor of my office building to the 7th floor.
    Rant: After years of having the 2nd floor to ourselves, we’ll have to share the 7th floor with another agency.
    I think a disaster is coming. My coworkers value silence so much that they complain about volume of office related
    phone calls regularly to our director. I met some people in the other agency and they are some loud folks.
    Rant: Don’t know how I’m going to move my 9 years worth of work without help.
    Rave: meds from psychiatrist are finally working. Feeling better.
    Rave: Started working on short story again.

  • Rave: The DC DMV reversing its stance on the Real ID. We don’t have to get our licenses changed until they expire. Yeah!! See item #6 on their page – http://dmv.dc.gov/page/real-id-credential

  • Rant: FedEx has a key fob to my building and my number is on the buzzer, but they didn’t leave the package I desperately needed last night.
    Rave: I only had to go to the Eckington location to get it and it was surprisingly fast and easy once I got there.
    Rant: I never feel like I do a good job being supportive of my friends and family when they’re having a hard time. I don’t know what to say, but I genuinely do want to help them. Having two pretty difficult conversations about two important things that weren’t going well was draining for me, though of course not as bad as it was for them. Hopefully just my listening was some comfort.
    Rant: I have a group of external volunteers who are not doing enough work. They don’t even call in to confirmed conference calls. If this event doesn’t come together it’s on me, but I can’t do their job for them or I wreck the mission of the event.
    Rave: it’s my Friday and I’m dancing all weekend.

    • I think sometimes it’s just the listening that helps. And it’s totally fine to say “I don’t know what to say, I can’t imagine what you’re going through, but if I can do anything to help I’m there for you.”

      • +1 to this! A month or so ago I was going through a hard time and reached out to a friend of mine and honestly hearing her say “I’m just not sure what to tell you but know that I want to help” made me feel better. Problems in people’s lives are so finely tuned their situation that its almost impossible to know how to help 100% of the time and that’s okay.
        I hear you on the exhausting part of it though. I woke up to a call from a friend on the West Coast going through a hard time and had no idea what to say/how to help. We are polar opposites so I felt like anything I would say would be the wrong course of action for her so I just tried to listen. Anyway, point is, it threw me off my morning game and can’t stop thinking about the things I should’ve/could’ve said, so I’m having trouble focusing at work (not my best in the early hours haha).

      • Agreed. One of the best things that I’ve ever had a friend say is “I’m always on your side and I love you”. Sometimes it just as simple as that!

    • I haven’t wrangled volunteers for anything critical since I did advance on the the Dukakis (remember him?) campaign, but those memories and memories of years spent press-ganging bodies for relatively simple and short-term school functions makes me deeply sympathetic to your plight. With any luck, one or two real mensches will emerge and heal your wounded faith in the simple decency of human beings.

  • Rant: Listening to discussion of rape on college campuses on NPR today is making my blood boil. Such a silent epidemic. And most universities still have a long way to go in adequately supporting sexual assault survivors.
    Rave: Going home this evening for a dinner with the service program I did after college. Looking forward to see a lot of old, friendly faces.
    Rave: Feeling very grateful and lucky these days. Life is just really good. Happiness is NOT something to be taken for granted.
    Rant: Caterers who do not get back to you. I want to give you money. Email me back.

    • +1 on first rant

    • I am so happy that my college was not silent or glossed over the subject of rape. I lucked out going to a really transparent school. The year before I started there was a rape on campus and apparently the place went on a full offensive of opening up a dialogue. There were support groups , rallies, and other initiatives to stop future sexual assaults.

    • I highly recommend RSVP Catering if you’re interested! I used them for my wedding and they provided detailed cost estimates and menu options, and were incredibly responsive (www.rsvpcatering.com)

    • What service program did U do?

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: My building scheduled happy hour for the same night as the unofficial Popville happy hour.
    Rave: building happy hour will have free food and starts earlier, so I’m going to hit it first & then hit the Popville HH.
    Rant: Allergies are killing me, and I feel very whiny.
    Rant/Rave: Dosed with benedryl so it took way too long to compose this RR comment. And I keep staring into space instead of working.

    • When is the unoffish Popville HH? I keep meaning to attend but either I forget or something comes up.

      • It’s next Wed, April 30th at Acre 121. I think it starts at 6ish?

      • I am super disappointed we picked 4/30! I have my select a seat at Verizon for Caps, and this is likely the only year (unless they stink again next year) that I will have a chance to move up. It sounds like we have a chance to move up a couple of rows in the club level.

        Rave: We are pre-gaming, and post-gaming the select a seat. Oh how I wish the Caps were in the play-offs haha!

    • I’d like to come to the HH, but probably can’t get there until around 8ish. Hope everyone’s still there.

      And Kyle-w — I’ve heard from others that they say you don’t have to run and there will be plenty of time to pick seats, but everyone else runs and you probably have to as well. Wear comfortable shoes.

      • Appreciate the advice. We are getting there early, haven’t done this before. Just hoping to move down a row or three from J to maybe F or H in section 217. With that said, I will follow along with the lemmings in hopes of making that happen!

        • justinbc

          What is this? You just go and stand where you want your seats to be for the year and they give them to you? That sounds like mayhem…

          • That is what I am worried about. Sounds like there should be a way to do this electronically…

            But knowing its going to be a madhouse, makes me a bit happier I am pre-gaming it/happy houring it

          • justinbc

            Yeah it sounds like a logistical nightmare for the staff. I would not want to be in charge of a bunch of drunken hockey fans arguing about who got to a spot first.

          • I haven’t done it, but from what I’ve heard, there are several groups with assigned times, depending on how long you’ve been a season ticket holder and some other things. They have something posted on the seats that are available so when it’s your groups’ turn to go in, you have to run to the available seats you want and grab the card for those seats. It’s big enough that you can see from far away which seats are available, but if you want them, you have to race everyone else to get to them. If there are two or more people in a group, sometimes they try to hold several sets of seats while deciding which ones they want. If you don’t find other seats you want, you can keep your old ones. The available seats change with each group that goes in as people select new seats and thus give up their old ones. I think some can become available while you’re in there so keep an eye out for that too.

            Please let us know how it goes for you. Maybe you can come to the happy hour afterwards and fill us in directly!

          • justinbc

            What do they do for people who are elderly or have disabilities that prevent them from “running” to their seat?

          • I think its clear that “those people” would just have to sit behind me πŸ™‚

  • The topic of bad car tickets has come up before in this blog, so I wanted to recommend an interesting story on WTOP regarding how DC is unfairly penalizing MD and VA drivers. Basically, while other jurisdictions like Montgomery County or Arlington County run careful checks to ensure that they are not sending dilinquent notices to the wrong driver, DC doesn’t bother to ensure they are getting the right person. MoCO and apparently a lot of other places make sure that the license plate on the ticket matches the model of the car before they issue a letter. Currently, drivers may get a dilinquent ticket from DC that has their plate number on it, but the ticket is for a Mercedes instead of the Toyota they are driving. The DC DMV chief’s indifference to improving their process is an embarassment to DC and further proof that our local gov is run by amateurs. She basically is quoted in the story as saying, we don’t have time and it is is not our responsibility (all while her peers in other places are taking just these precautions so that innocent citizens are not forced to waste time and money defending themselves over tickets that weren’t correctly issued to them in the first place!). I still think the ticketing scheme we have going on in this city is a racket.

    • Since there is no commuter tax I’m happy to see tickets on cars from Maryland and Virginia.

      • Disagree, and I’m a car-less and biking District resident. It’s the principle of the matter. We shouldn’t support government agencies that practice bad policy/procedures. We should be known for efficiency and fair policies, not gross incompetence and stupidity (or maybe even calculating money-making schemes). Compared to the surrounding counties, we look like the kids surrounded by grown-ups when it comes to our ticketing practices and adjudication procedures.

  • Rant: When I was growing up all the TV shows and comedians used to joke about how they had to beg their wives for sex just to get it like once a year, it seemed to be a universal thing. Well I don’t know if they were just lying or women have changed drastically since then but I keep finding myself with the opposite problem. Whatever women I’m with seem to want 3, 4, 5 times as much as I do. I just honestly don’t care about it, never have. It’s definitely not an issue of attraction, I always wind up dating women way hotter than me. I know for some guys this “problem” would be a blessing but for me it always winds up ruining relationships because they become resentful or start to feel self – conscious like they’re doing something wrong. I’ve loved them all immensely, I just don’t know how to get past this…

    • We’d probably be a good match!

    • Rant: Why is patio furniture so darn expensive?! Does anyone have any suggestions on where to look other than Ikea or Walmart? I actually really like some of the Ikea furniture, but I wouldn’t mind having some other options to look at.
      Rave: The garden is coming together and I can’t wait to be able to sit back and enjoy it after I’m done planting! (Hopefully in new patio furniture).

      • Oops wasn’t supposed to be a reply. Not sure how that happened.

      • saf

        Giant has some, as does Target.

        How fancy do you want to go?

        • I’m looking for a modular sectional type of thing so I can reconfigure for different occasions and provide enough seating when we have people over. It’s in a screen porch so it can’t be huge. Most sectionals I’ve seen (even small ones) are $900 and up. Definitely don’t want to spend that!

      • I’m looking too! Check out CB2, Wayfair, Overstock, World Market, Kmart, Sears, Home Depot, and Pier1.

      • It’s expensive right now because it’s the beginning of the season. Buy it in September to get big discounts.
        Also, look on Craigslist and buy used patio furniture. It’s outside and exposed to the elements, it’s not like you need to obsess about keeping it in perfect condition. Go pre-owned for a big savings. People who are moving are usually willing to cut a good deal.

      • This was awesome πŸ™‚

    • Hah, I am exactly like those women and it does end up ruining relationships. I definitely ended up feeling incredibly self-conscious and unattractive, which eventually led to resentment. The best advice I can give you is to compensate in other ways – make sure she knows its not an attraction issue. I know for me it would’ve made all of the difference in the world if the guy had initiated even once a while or said that he loved/appreciated how often I wanted to have sex, or even mentioned how attractive he found me. Its best to just be honest and communicative about the issue early on – the more you talk about it the less likely the resentment will accumulate – once its at that stage (at least for me) there was nothing to be done, it wasn’t going to go away. Anyway, just my two cents! Hope it helps a little!

      • Thanks. I definitely agree about communication. It has helped me some but at some point it only goes so far. There are times where I can go two weeks and not even think about it, then I’m like oh shit guess we better have sex and I know it probably doesn’t seem genuine. Good to know from the comment above that I’m not the only one who feels this way.

    • Sexual compatibility is important. There’s nothing wrong with you if you want less sex than your partner, and there’s nothing wrong with your partner if she wants more sex than you (though society’s stereotypes about gender would have you believe otherwise). It may just mean that you’re not compatible.

    • I think this is emblematic of an evolutionary process. I’ll explain further if anyone is interested.

  • Incredibly random: Popville was in my dream the other night. I dreamed that Popville people commissioned me to make a bunch of DC themed desserts.

    I think that means I need to have some marionberry ice cream or pie. Too bad marionberries are hard to come by outside my native Pacific Northwest.

  • I’m not sure if this has been touched on here before, but does anyone have any thoughts about the benefits of buying a co-op vs. a condo? Or if a co-op is a generally bad investment?

    • The fact that you’re looking at your primary residence as some sort casino-type investment is already problematic. If you want to be a real estate “investor,” then you shouldn’t be buying either.
      The answer you’re looking for: it depends. It depends on your life circumstances, the amount of money you have, whether you need to rent it out in the future, etc. Co-ops have a lot of advantages for people who don’t have high incomes. If you have plenty of liquidity, a condo might be better. There’s no good, universal answer.

      • This is silly to rag on the guy for this. This is very likely the biggest financial transaction of this persons life (so far) and to look completely ignore the financial implications is insane. Yes, it is a place to live, but the decision you make on what to buy, can have a HUGE impact on your near-term and long-term financial situation.

        • Seriously. Of course a house is an investment. I don’t know many people buying real estate who think “so what if I lose all my money because this is just a place to live and I need that.” You want to at least make back what you put into it and ideally some profit as well.

      • houseintherear

        I bought my house because I wanted to *invest* my money instead of paying to rent. There is nothing wrong with investing money in a home. Not sure why you’re being mean… maybe you’re having a bad day.
        Back when I was looking to buy, a realtor friend told me that it’s really apples and oranges. You have to factor in how much of the co-op fees will be tax deductible (interest) or will include things like electric bills, real estate taxes, etc. Doing some straight up math can make the decision more clear. So whenever I looked at a condo or a co-op, I’d go home and do the real math to see how it would look financially on a yearly basis. There are lots of calculators online to help do this. Figure out your tax bracket, loan amount, how much interest you’d pay yearly, etc, and analyze.

        • The biggest issue with a condo – and it’s a huge unknown – is that you can get slammed with a massive assessment fee if there’s something wrong with the building at any time. The legal structure of the co-op allows it to collectively borrow money to finance major repairs. Each co-op owner owns a share of this debt and can deduct the interest for it. In a condo, you can easily get a $20K hit to fix random structural damage or something similarly complicated/expensive. Do you have that kind of cash laying around? If you decide to finance it, you’ll pay a higher interest rate as a condo owner than a co-op collectively financing the fixes.
          Co-ops tend – but not always – to be more restrictive about usage of your residence. There might be limits on how long you can rent out your apartment or the percentage of owners who can be renting at any one time. You’ll need to go over all the rules, documentation, schedule of fees, and finances very carefully of both co-ops and condos. That said, it does appear that co-ops are more difficult to sell and sell at a discount in DC, compared to similarly sized condos.
          Personally, if you’re a middle class person who is in a stable job and plan on living in the residence for a long time, then I’d go with a co-op. If you’re a high income earner or need lots of flexibility with your living arrangements, I’d be more likely to consider a condo.

    • I owned a co-op for 3 years, and a condo for 9. Some pros of the co-op are: usually cheaper for relatively the same space, although that’s a con when you’re selling); the ability of the corporation to take out a corporate loan provides more flexibility when dealing with major repairs; there generally are fewer renters in a co-op (though many condo bylaws limit the number of renters as well). Cons: It’s harder to get financing for a co-op – there are far fewer lenders, they often have to be approved by the board, and the interest rates are higher; there are restrictions on what you can and can’t do (though that’s a plus sometimes), And they’re often harder to sell than a condo (especially in a tough market) because many people don’t understand them, or are intimidated. Just my experience, hope this helps.

  • Rant/Rave: When I filed my DC taxes this year, I ended up owing DC money. No big deal, I did everything online so I put in my bank’s information and DC OTR deducted what I owed from my bank account. But then last week I got what was supposedly my tax refund in the mail in the form of a Visa card. It is not a small amount of money. I suppose it’s possible that I made a mistake on my tax return, but it’s kind of hard to make a mistake when you only have to file the DC-40EZ. I will probably call OTR to make sure this wasn’t their mistake, just in case they try to get their money back later. Has this happened to anyone else?

    • Yes, this happened to me as well.

      I put the visa card in a drawer waiting to get a notice saying it was an error.
      I even thought that it could be someone filing a fraudulent return (but then the city should be aware that two returns were filed).

      I should also get around to calling OTR.

    • Why the hell are they giving out a Visa gift card rather than depositing the money into your bank account?
      That just seems really weird.

      • Visa prepaid card is an alternative to direct deposit or paper check – you can choose which way you want your refund. But OP wasn’t even expecting a refund, which seems to be the real issue here.
        If it were me, I’d call OTR right away. If it’s not my money, they’re going to come after it eventually.

      • It’s a new option this year for receiving your refund, and it’s what they do if you don’t give them your bank info. (http://otr.cfo.dc.gov/page/new-2013-individual-income-tax-returns-district-columbia-tax-refund-visa-prepaid-card)

        As noted in my post above, I actually wasn’t supposed to receive a refund according to the tax return I filed. Which makes me think that this is a mistake, since I had to give them my bank info in order for them to withdraw what I owed, and yet they mailed my “refund” as if I hadn’t given them any information.

        • Are you sure there’s actually money on the card? Did you register it online and check the balance?

          • The letter it came with says “Card Value: $xxx.xx” so I assume that it has money on it, yes. I can only activate it over the phone, not online, and I don’t want to do that until I know it wasn’t given to me in error.

  • Rave: Moving out of this insane asylum to the burbs
    Rant: Got a parking ticket this morning.

    • I’m on month 10 in the burbs. They can make you crazy as well. Just for a whole other set of reasons. Good luck with your move, I hope it’s everything you want πŸ™‚

    • Enjoy the traffic! My most recent fun one when I had to stay at the parents house was an idiot who swerved to the right, then swerved in front of a guy in lane four of the beltway after he thought he got cut off at the HOV merge. He then proceeded to get out and scream at the guy, all while blocking two lanes of traffic.

      I suppose DC is insane though!

  • Stupid bike question: I’ve been riding a hybrid for years and I’m ready for my first road bike. I’m planning to buy one this spring, and spending less than $1,000 on it. I don’t need the top of the line, best availabe, used by pro model, just one good for beginners. I already have my eye on one I can afford.

    My stupid question is, will the thinner tires on a road bike withstand some of the bumps and small curbs I have to ride over on the paved trails I ride? I’ve never gotten a flat or tire damage on my hybrid (except for punctures from broken glass.) I ride on the road and paved trails and I don’t want a bike that will easily get flats and/or damaged tires.

    • Not to get personal, but how much do you weigh? At a little over 200 pounds, I used to trash my thin rims pretty quickly. Towards the end I just bought a pair of cheapo, thicker rims and a cheap cluster (and hex nut bolts rather than quick release) and used the good rims only for long rides.

        • You should be fine then if you’re able to be “light on your feet” going over bumps or curbs. Just keep in mind that you’re not on a mountain bike and you should be fine. There are plenty of youtube videos out there of bikers performing some pretty crazy stunts on skinny road tires that seem to hold up fine.

    • Yes, I think you’ll be perfectly fine. I’ve ridden on a variety of sizes from near the thinnest they go up to hybrid size, and I rarely get flats. If you’re that worried, you can buy Specialized Armadillos or Continental Gatorskins (that are designed primarily to resist punctures), and swap them onto the wheels when the set that comes on the bike begin to wear.

      • Thanks, that’s reassuring. I do see a lot of road bikes where I ride and seldom see anyone fixing flats. Just thought I’d ask to get some more advice.

        • Not a problem at all. What model are you thinking about buying?

          • Maybe a Giant. My hybrid is a Giant. Last time I got a tuneup, I asked one of the guys at the shop where I bought it about beginners’ road bikes. He recommended two Giants they sell (one for around $00 and one for around $1000) and offered me a pretty good trade-in for my hybrid. I’m going to go back there but also shop around.

          • I would highly recommend that you consider buying used. You can often get 2x the bike if you buy a used bike – just be sure to check that everything’s in tip-top condition.

          • I’m not that familiar with their current bikes, but I just looked at their site and it looks like they’re all carbon, aluminum or a composite. I’ve always ridden steel frames, and feel that they’re more durable for city use (curbs, potholes, locking up at bike racks). The trade in offer is nice though.

            What’s your intended use? Commuting and general exercise, or do you want to go the whole spandex roadie route?

          • Reader, I use my current bike for commuting (2 mile ride to and from Metro, then take Metro to work) fun and exercise. I ride over 1,000 miles a year and I did my first century and half century rides last year. Now that it’s getting and staying warmer, I’ll be doing 15-30 mile rides most weekends. I ride on paved trails and roads. I’m pretty serious about riding, but not like those guys who wear jerseys and always try to go as fast as possible. I like to have fun when I ride.

            Like i said, I’ll shop around, but the Giants were the ones the shop recommended. Anonymous, I don’t think I want to buy a used bike. With most new ones you get a warranty and service plan. I’m really considering keeping my hybrid for commuting/short rides, but I could use the trade-in money and owning two bikes would lead to storage problems.

          • They might be a good fit for you then. Since I’m assuming you keep the bike locked up at metro all day while you’re at work, I’d advise you do keep the hybrid and continue to commute on that, if you can make the storage situation work. A new $1k road bike is a much more tempting target to thieves than a older hybrid. Even if they can’t get your wheels or frame (which they can if they really want them) it’s not uncommon to have saddles and other components taken. Good luck with whatever you decide, though!

          • I would recommend going to a couple of shops to try out different brands of bike. They all have slightly different frame shapes, and what fits one person doesn’t fit so well for the next. I totally appreciate the value of a good relationship at your local bike shop, but I think the value of a bike that fits is even higher (and you can still bring it to “your” shop for service).

          • I echo the comment on buying used. You can get a great used steel frame bike, that’ll be much more comfortable. If you go with a new $1000 road bike, you’re paying for components that really only make a considerable difference for racing, and getting a less comfortable frame. Either way, throw some 28c Gatorskins on the wheels and you should be able to handle the bumps in the road just fine.

          • Reader, yup, five cents an hour for secure storage. Sure beats $4.50 a day to park my car there! Every metro station should have one of these.

        • Reader, I lock it in a secure storage facility at the College Park metro:


          I see all kinds of bikes there and I’ve never had anyone try to steal my bike or mess with it. I used to take all of my accessories off it after locking it, but it’s so secure that I haven’t bothered doing that in over a year. I’m pretty sure an expensive bike would be safe there.

          • That’s pretty awesome. I wouldn’t be worried about theft either. Is it really only 5 cents an hour? That’s great.

    • GiantSquid

      Get a pair of gator skin tires. They give added protection against the street elements. Mine are holding up really well even with all the glass, gravel, and who knows what else on the roads and trails.

  • Rant: The keys on my keyboard are sticking. So when I start typing quickly, my words don’t always come out right. My last email looked like I was new to English. Brutal! Gotta start proofreading and stop eating at my desk. I’m sure the sticking is somehow mustard related!

  • Rant: I’m not ready to date.

    • any further details?

      • Left a long term relationship recently. I’ve dabbled in online dating and have a date coming up but I just don’t feel that it’s right, whatever people say about casual/low pressure/etc.

        If it really takes half the length of the relationship to get over one, then it’ll be a long time coming till I feel like I can date. Too bad that I’m still somewhat impatient and wishy washy over dating so soon.

        • The idea that it takes half the length of the relationship to get over someone isn’t a rule that everyone must follow. Each person is different, each relationship is different. Go on your date. If it doesn’t feel right, then don’t go on a second one. If you’re not ready to date at all then maybe deactivate your online dating account and spend some time on yourself and be alone for awhile. Good luck πŸ™‚

        • Honestly, don’t date until you feel like it. If you’re forcing yourself it’s disrespectful to you and to your date. Definitely go out and have a good time, meet people, do fun things if you’re up to it. But don’t start dating until you’re ready to – it may take a month, it may take a year, there’s no rule. (For me, it was about 7 months, *much much* less than half the length of the relationship.)

          • leftcoastsouthpaw

            I agree with Anon. No need to rush into it. I made the mistake after my most recent break up and in the end I was just wasting their time and mine. Oddly enough, the half the length rule seems to be playing out for me, but I think that is just coincidence.

    • I know the feeling. I rejoined OKCupid to sort of get out of the house after the end of a long term relationship. My heart wasn’t in it. I thought my ex and I could rekindle stuff, but we never really could even coordinate a “talk” so, yeah. Just enjoy the beauty of spring and friendship until you’re ready!

  • Rave: Ran the farthest and longest I have this spring without a walk break last night. So exciting to feel myself getting stronger each time I go out for a run! The weather is perfect for it right now, too.

    Rave: Second knitting project is coming together – a beanie for a friend who’s going through some health issues. I hope it looks as good as the pattern photo said it would.

    QUESTION: Does anyone have a dermatologist they’d recommend within walking distance of either the Dupont or Bethesda metro stations? The United Health website is just completely unhelpful (looks like a glitch), and I’d like to get a check-up soon. Thanks!

  • epric002

    rave? 23 hours later, our work IT issues are finally solved. oy.
    rave: tacos last night mean taco salad for lunch today. delish πŸ˜€

    • I wish ours were. Problem with Java is preventing people from completing their timesheets. People tend to get upset if they think they won’t get paid.

      • epric002

        that’s annoying. some genius in IT reassigned almost every office in our space to another network, so they have to go back computer by computer and assign us back to the right network.

    • Out of curiosity: got any taco salad pointers? Mine fall short of the mark every time and I’ve yet to figure out why

      • epric002

        hmm. i put leftover black beans, rice, and faux meat in one container w/some cheddar cheese. in another container i had diced tomatoes, lettuce, and guac. heated up the first container, dumped the cold stuff on it, and then ate it with tortilla chips. that probably wasn’t helpful, but it was certainly delicious. what do you think is wrong with yours?

    • +1 πŸ™‚ I had tacos for dinner last night too!!

  • justinbc

    Rave: First ever helpful employees at the Rhode Island Avenue Home Depot location last night (2 of them even!).
    Rant: Somehow going into the store and ordering entry doors makes them 2x as expensive as ordering online. Wtf?
    Rave: Picked up a Nest thermostat while we were there, will be playing around with it this weekend.
    Rave: Day off tomorrow, hitting the tulip library then French Market in Georgetown. Hopefully it’s not too rainy.

    • Where is this tulip library??

    • You’ll love the Nest! Takes all of 5 minutes (less?) to set up and everything is very much intuitive. Make sure to connect to your home wifi and get their app – being able to remotely monitor your heating/cooling is great.

      • Yes, it’s amazing. I’ll even admit that sometimes I adjust the thermostat from bed because I am that lazy.

      • I love gadgets, but have balked at the Nest due to the price. If you already have a regular programmable thermostat, is there really much more benefit than being able to remotely control it?

        • Probably not, to be honest. I do like that it automatically goes into “away mode” if it hasn’t sensed any activity for a while just in case I forget to switch it to “away” when I step out of the house.

          • My issue is I have dogs and a basement tenant who is home most of the day so I can’t really switch my AC or heat off during the day. I have it running on a set schedule, so I’m thinking the Nest really wouldn’t change much functionally- it would just look cool and I could adjust it from bed haha.

          • We also have dogs (but no tenant). One of the nicer aspects of Nest is that you can set a different temperature range while “away” so that it never gets too hot or too cold. But that won’t help with the tenant situation I don’t think. But it does look super cool πŸ˜‰

      • Question about the Nest – my thermostat is in a part of the house that isn’t much (the corridor to the back bedroom) – would that mess with its usefulness? Isn’t it supposed to recognize when people are in the house to adjust to the occupant’s activities? I like the concept, but wonder if it would work in my house.

        As for HD – I think they probably price match their online prices. At least they did once on a faucet for me. But that was a long time ago at the Alexandria store.

        • justinbc

          For regular stock items, yes they will generally match. With things like windows and doors if they don’t have them physically in the store they will call it a “custom order”.

  • Rant: I’m begging, does anyone know a good gutter cleaner? I used one guy for almost two years until he started showing up at my house wanting to borrow money. The next guy I hired had a second job of breaking and entering. Gimme a break.

  • Random question: does anyone know where The Coffee Bar (TCB) at 12th and S Streets NW gets their weekend donuts? I need to buy a lot of them and put in a large order.

    • Sorry, but I have to ask: did you ask the Coffee Bar where they get their donuts?

      • Not yet. I’ll ask them this weekend when I stop in.
        But I was wondering if anyone already the info.
        That said, in my experience many coffee shops and restaurants selling baked goods from elsewhere are hesitant to give up the name of their suppliers.

        • You could probably ask them today by calling on the phone.

        • justinbc

          From their website:
          “We also serve an assortment of breakfast pastries from Hawthorne Fine Breakfast Pastry and bagels from Bethesda Bagels”

          • They don’t do the donuts; Hawthorne does all the other pastries (which are quite good).
            TCB only has the donuts on the weekend. I need to find this secret weekend donuts vendor!

  • Rant: “Based off”. As in “based off my experience…” It’s “based ON”!

    Also, “save 25% off the sticker price”. No! It’s either “save 25% on the sticker price” or “take 25% off the sticker price”.


  • Rant: Wow, Washington Sports Club just sent an email, ccing me and 840 others (yes, I can see all their emails) telling me about how my account has a balance and to either call or log in to update my info. They’ve called me about it 5 times in two days. Other rant, when I log in, my new card info is there correctly displayed and my account balance says zero. Seriously?? They are so unprofessional. Other than the Better Business Bureau, anywhere else I can complain? It’s the only gym close to me so I’m stuck with them.

  • Rave: this weather.
    Rant: Impromptu 6:45 pm meeting last night. Turns out my boss can drone.
    Rant: knock on my office door at 10 am. I said “come in” several times. No response. Found out it was my boss, “making sure I was in.”
    Rave: brought a memory card so I can take pics after work.
    Rave: coordinating beach trip with friends.

    • Oh man at least you were in! haha. That reminds me of a boss I used to have who would walk around seeing who was still in the office at 5:30 pm. I usually was, but one time I had left early, and I got an email from her at 5:40 pm: “I stopped by your office, but, you were gone.” Nothing else. I knew exactly what she was doing but I refused to play along, so I responded “Yes, I was not in my office, but I am available all evening. Should we set up a call to discuss something?” and she wrote back “No, not necessary.” She didn’t even have anything to discuss. Just wanted me to know that she knew I had left. She was crazy.

      • My issue (aside from the useless, morale-hurting “gotcha” aspect of it all) is what if I was in the bathroom or grabbing coffee or talking to a coworker? The assumption, even if I’m not needed, is that I’m not in the office and am therefore in the wrong.

        • That’s pretty ridiculous. I’ve been feeling a little blah about my job lately (been here five years) but it’s such a flexible work environment as far as time off/start and end time, etc. that it’s hard to leave. I’d hate to be stuck with a boss who keeps track of every second you’re at work and counts off if you have to leave five minutes early for whatever reason.

        • I once had a Chief of Party (my direct supervisor) who would do things like this. It always bugged me when she would tell me that MY employees weren’t at their desks at a certain time. I was their manager, I knew what they were doing. Not only did I let them work on flex time when they gained my trust, but I also encouraged them to spend time face to face with admin staff and other colleagues. And then there was the issue of the fingerprint scanner to clock in and out (small field office, totally unnecessary). It got really frustrating explaining that time spent at your desk does not translate to more work being done. It just encouraged going on Facebook during a lull rather than organizing our storage room, brainstorming new ideas with people on other programs, etc.

    • Rant: my inability to not overshare on here.

  • I just got confirmation…the Happy Hour is on from 6-8pm on 4/30 on the patio at Acre 121. Specials include $5 drafts, select wines, and rail drinks; the Popville bang specialty cocktail for $7; and half-price appetizers. People are also welcome to stick around afterwards for live music that night: http://www.acre121.com/events/the-hummingbyrds/ and $5 drink specials resume from 9-11pm.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: People who don’t understand how a library catalog works. No you cannot keyword search through a book using the catalog, that is not what they are there for. And why in the Hell did you think you could keyword search through and actual physical, paper book using the catalog? I blame google, it’s making people dumb. I also blame schools for closing school libraries.
    Rant: Trying to explain to people how the catalog works and having them tell me I’m wrong because they know about databases. Clearly not.
    Rave: These people give me job security.

    • Lol somehow it doesn’t surprise me people think like that. Makes me feel ancient when I think back to the library catalog we used when I was in school- when it was comprised of actual cards in drawers and we had to learn the Dewey Decimal System!

    • During my first library job (early 90s, yeah, I’m old) we had a restructuring and the library became part of IT. The guy they put in charge of us was the guy who ran the phone systems. When he asked me about what kind of work I was doing I tried to explain a little bit about online searching to him. He thought that an “index” was something in the back of a book. He (thankfully) was laid off during the next restructuring.

      I’ve also heard people say that libraries are no longer needed because you can find anything you need with google.

      • Emmaleigh504

        It doesn’t help that everyone at my work is a know-it-all. Once during a class I was teaching on how to use the catalog I had some asshat argue with me that it was antiquated, because he knows about databases and stuff. He said if we knew what we were doing everything in our collection could be keyword searchable through the catalog. I’m not saying our catalog is the best, but 1. that’s not what catalogs are for and 2. even our electronic items have license agreements that would make this impossible, never mind the actual print items. The only thing that got that asshat to shut up and let me continue class was telling him that I had no control over it and he would have to contact the big boss with his brilliant ideas.
        Yes we teach classes on how to use the catalog and people still don’t understand. Thanks google.

  • Help! Crowdsourcing a google docs issue that I can’t find an answer to using google itself.
    I often need to open 10-20 google docs into separate tabs. Is there any way to open them all at once (I imagine something like clicking the little boxes next to the file names and then selecting some menu option)? I can’t find anything that works other than opening them one by one by one, but that involves tons of tedious clicking…

    • If you use Chrome, you can save them all to the same bookmarks folder, then right click on that folder and choose “Open all bookmarks”. I assume other browsers have equivalents. Are they always the same set of Docs?

      • Thanks for the workaround! Lifesaver!!
        Not ideal, sometimes I only want to open a subset of the files (those that have been updated by others since I last checked them, for example). For the files I use all the time this will suffice. But I often find myself wanting this feature with other sets of files on Drive. It really can’t be such a rare need or difficult to program, I don’t know why it’s not a basic function.

        • Happy to help. I’m guessing that if everyone were doing this all the time it would strain their servers too much, with all of the simultaneous requests? I just looked around their product forums a bit out of curiosity, and from the way that the right-click “Open” option disappears after you select a second file, and the fact that this is requested a fair amount and there’s silence on Google’s end, I think it must be a deliberately missing option.

    • Middle click should open each document in a new tab in the background.

  • Rave: rental market finally cooling down? Just got my annual lease renewal terms for my rent-controlled studio in the Logan Circle area, and the landlord increased the rent less than permitted (3.4% increase permitted under rent-control law; actual increase only 1.6%).

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