Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Pablo Raw

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.

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86 Comment

  • dcgator

    Rave: Holy Moly, what a beautiful day! I wanna work outside—is anyone doing that today?
    Rant: Climate change, duh
    Rant: Back to reality tomorrow…holding out for…May?

  • rant: Betsy Devos. telling everyone I know with kids to start homeschooling. lol
    rave: this weather we are having! so nice!

  • Rave: Good friend got a kick ass job in another state
    Rant: She has to move
    Rant: I have a SERIOUS case of the green-eyed monster about it and working on my issue of feeling stuck here

  • Reminder: Popville book/home goods swap this Sunday, 3pm at the National Portrait Gallery Kogod Courtyard. (Tell me if this time no longer works for people).

  • Rant: I feel dumpy, but not unwell enough to take a day off. I think I’m going to take a nap on my office floor during lunch. I have not been sleeping well.
    Rave: Baby Artie’s second top tooth has made an appearance, so he seems to be sleeping better.
    Rave: Making a funfetti cake for partner’s upcoming birthday. I may eat half of it by myself.
    Rant: I am just rather negative this week. The world just seems like it is going to sh*t. In some ways, that’s true. But there are also a lot of really good things. I need a perspective shift.

  • Rant: 2 days down, 28 days to go of training.
    Rave: I cannot wait to get back to work after this and be able to look at the internet and keep up on my emails and not have a 1+ hour commute.

  • Additional Rant: Just got one of those Not-Very-Safe-for-Work sponsored content ads at the bottom with some woman’s boobs hanging out of her shirt and people are sitting behind me -_- Ugh.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: really hate how the new metro car lady says “lower”. Is this what sends me over the edge to buy a car and give up metro?
    Rave: Feeling energized at work.

  • Rave: At work earlier than normal. I’m never late, but I need to work earlier to accommodate weekdays off.
    Rave: Snuck in a quick and dirty workout last night. I can do a lot in an hour.
    Rant: Having to leave my credit union after many years. Customer service is just atrocious.
    Rant: Switching over lots of autopay.
    Rave: Already on board with navy Fed.
    Rave: Option a and b weekend plans are both pretty swell.

    • Not sure who you were with before, but you will love Navy Federal. Their customer service is really awesome. I have only had one issue in the many, many years I have been with them. Also, quick plug to SECU, they are also awesome for anyone who can join.

      • Secu is who I’m leaving. The in person customer service is fine, but they have some issues behind the scenes which has hemmed me up on a couple of occasions. The underlying issue is lack of notice for changes.

        • Ha! Good to know. There is a branch not far from where I live now, so when I have had issues, I have found it easier to go down. I was not particularly happy last week when my pay check was held up because of “general direct deposit issues” last week, but other than that I have had no issues.

          • Yea, I’m not near a branch, but even if I was, I’d still expect changes to policies to be communicated rather than me having to find out the hard way. I had no problems for many years, but I fear the recent changes are indicative of underlying issues I’d rather avoid completely.

          • What changes specifically? I am unaware of any… which might be indicative of the issues you are talking about!

          • Fraud dept lowering atm limits with no explanation…phone folks couldn’t give me a reason why.

          • Thank you – I had no clue!!

        • Are y’all both talking about SECU of MD? (As opposed to a different SECU?)

    • I feel you on the poor customer service. My credit union has also been pretty awful for the past year or two. Unfortunately I made the poor decision to switch to Wells Fargo recently (since it’s everywhere I go and my experience with their credit cards has been good) — and they’re AWFUL too! They totally messed up my account straight out of the gate. I moved my money and they said they were closing my account because of a large deposit! It took two weeks to sort out. Geez….

      • I’ve heard good things about td bank, and if you can get into navy Fed, I’d do it. Your job likely offers access to other credit unions…some of them not so obvious. I can join library of congress credit union, for example. Many offer free atms at places like 7-11 & mobile deposit makes the need to go into a physical bank minimal for most. Nerdwallet did a list on near banks, unions, etc for 2017. Might be worth a look.

      • I broke up with Wells Fargo years ago because they were terrible.

        I have a Fidelity cash management account (checking) and love it. I haven’t had any issues with direct deposit and they refund ATM fees. They don’t have very many physical branches in case that’s important though there is one on K street.

    • Quotia Zelda

      We ditched Wells Fargo (after they bought my beloved Wachovia and messed up everything I liked about Wachovia) for Navy Federal, and we’ve had no problems. The few times I’ve needed to call with a question or issue, their customer service people have been super helpful.

  • Rant: Really high PEPCO bills in our new house. Like, north of $400. Gulp.
    Popville – help! Aside from the general tips like lowering the temp while we are out of the house, changing filters, etc, do you have any tips for lowering PEPCO bills? I hear people talk about an “energy audit.” Who does that kind of thing? Any suggestions would be welcome!

    • HaileUnlikely

      Check a few things on your bill:
      1.) How many days was it for? (the billing cycle varies a lot – a bill for a 45 day billing cycle will be way more than the bill for a $28 day cycle, all else equal).
      2.) Did you inherit a previous-owner’s contract with an alternative energy supplier, which you might want for good reason, but which might also be more expensive? (If you did, this will be fairly clear on your bill if you look over it carefully – I have generation charges from Ethical Electric – or whatever they’re called now, they changed their name recently – on mine). Hell, it is even possible that your existing contract is on a variable rate, and that the rate was higher this past month for some reason or another (I wouldn’t know – I’m on a fixed rate – but anyway, that can be a factor).
      3.) If your house has a smart meter (most in DC do now), you can log onto your Pepco account online, click around a bit, and find tools that will allow you to graph your energy consumption daily or even hourly. This might give you some clues as to what the main drivers of your energy consumption are.
      3a.) There is also a tool on there that allows you to make a pie chart showing you where your energy consumption is going (e.g., heat vs. hot water vs. cooking vs. lighting etc). That tool is bullsh!t. Do not use it. These are just based on averages for a home of the age and size of yours. Pepco doesn’t know and can’t know whether current that your house is drawing is being used to power this vs that vs the other thing. Tools that can do that do exist, but they require a lot of set-up. Pepco doesn’t know, and that pie chart doesn’t mean squat.

    • HaileUnlikely

      Also – an energy audit will mainly tell you if there are significant opportunities to reduce air leakage by sealing air leaks or adding insulation here and there. I’d bet you can probably figure out most of these things on your own (are there places with big obvious air leaks? Does your attic have enough (or any) insulation? If you had a home inspection and your inspector was decent, you may already have an inspection report that comments on things like the adequacy of the insulation.
      I had an energy audit done because it was necessary in order for me to be eligible for a rebate on some insulation work I had done a few years ago. If the rebate is still going, you might want to check into this. It was through the DC Sustainable Energy Utility (dcseu dot com)

      • Thank you, Haile!
        So it seems like the utility company is the place to start, rather than our HVAC company?

        • HaileUnlikely

          That’s what I’d do. The stuff with your bill should take all of 2 minutes. After that, the stuff with the website might take 15 minutes to figure out how to get to to the part where you can make the graphs and stuff. I figure this most likely won’t lead straight to obvious answers, but I’d rather start there than pay an HVAC tech and take time off from work for an appointment.
          Also, really dumb question: do you have an electric heat pump? If so, have you been seeing the compressor (outdoor unit that looks like an air conditioner) come on when the heat is running? If not, then you might need to either fiddle with your thermostat or else call an HVAC tech then. (It is normal for the compressor not to run when it’s well below freezing outside, because the heat pump can’t extract any meaningful heat from the air when it’s that cold. If the compressor doesn’t come on when the heat is running and it’s 40+ degrees out, then I would guess that either the thermostat is set to have the “AUX” heat (electric resistance heat, basically like a small electric furnace or giant toaster, which is really inefficient and thus expensive to run) run all the time instead of the compressor, or the thermostat is installed incorrectly so that the thermostat isn’t communicating with the compressor, or else there is something wrong with the compressor and it should be coming on but it isn’t. Anyway, if you have an electric heat pump and your compressor isn’t coming on when the heat is running and it’s above say 40 degrees outside, this is likely the source of your really high electric bill.

          • Yeah, this is the longer version of what I mentioned below. Some thermostats will label this “emergency” heat (or “EMERG”, as mine was) instead of AUX heat…

        • Mine used to be like that. I had a heat pump for my small rowhouse – it was terribly inefficient. I installed a gas furnace and now my (gas) bills are so much cheaper than my electric used to be! My house is so much warmer too. Also, the heat pump was such a piece of crap that insurance paid to replace it.

      • Just a note, because I was initially confused a couple of years ago when I saw an ad on PoPville for the DCSEU — it’s not part of the D.C. government per se, but the D.C. government has a contract with a private company for that company to serve as the DCSEU and provide information to D.C. residents about saving energy, coordinate rebates, etc.

    • My old condo had an all-electric heat pump and the one time I set it to use the emergency heating (because I didn’t know what I was doing or why one might use emergency heat), my electric bill skyrocketed. So if you have a setup like that, you might want to check to see if that is how you’ve set the thermostat to heat your home.

  • That One Guy

    That photograph is awesome, Pablo!
    Rant: I like how my subconscious threw in a dog for me to pet in last night’s dream as a coping mechanism for the rest of the dreamscape, which involved deportation worries. Ugh.
    Rave: A nice walk into the office to clear my head.

  • Rant: I made a curry dish on Saturday, and I can still smell it! We ate it all (no leftovers in the fridge), cleaned the kitchen (no greasy spots hiding) and have taken out the trash multiple times since then. To me, a clean house is one with no smells at all.
    Rave: it’s open-window weather.
    Rant: It’s open-window weather in February. This isn’t right.
    Rant: As I get older, I have to do more just to maintain. If I had been this active, and had this healthy a diet when I was 30, I would have had the rockingest bod.

  • Rave: Beautiful day out!
    Rant: But seriously, this crazy weather week is going to throw my head for a loop! Could we just stay at one temperature consistently for like a month?
    Rant: Feeling helpless about global warming, the attempted destruction of the EPA, the impending devastation to sacred lands in the name of “business.” What is WRONG with people?! Can’t you see the beauty you’re about to destroy?!?!
    Rave: Took Blithe’s advice about scheduling grasshopper time and have 2 yoga workshops to attend this weekend!

  • Hey, I didn’t notice until later that I had some Q’s about my 40lb weight loss since Sept. Answering now:
    1)Started going to a doctor monthly who did put me on a prescription appetite suppressant to help me get started
    2)Cut portion sizes. Filled up on veggies and fruits. Made my own soups, etc. Cut out a sizable amount of alcohol.
    3) Exercise (cardio, running, weights) 6-7 times a week. I know it seems rough but if you have a family history like mine, this is just the way it has to be to get healthy. My metabolism is slow and that’s my cross to bear.

    Good luck as everyone else tries to get out of the winter weight gain season. It is super rough.

  • Blithe

    Rave: BEAUTIFUL photo! Sooo, Pablo: is that the one that won the award?
    Revel: Beautiful weather!
    Rant: The Republicans who used a rule to silence Elizabeth Warren quoting Coretta Scott King. I think that they got off on silencing a brilliant, outspoken woman. I also think that having a rule that you can’t say negative things about a senator even when those “negative” things are true is a horrible reflection on how politicians view themselves. I’m hoping that I don’t have an accurate understanding of this rule?
    Rant: My perfect boots aren’t as perfect as I thought. They’re made out of very nice leather, but there are synthetic bits in the lining — so I now have scars on my ankles, because the synthetic material isn’t malleable like leather would be. So the manufacturers saved a few pennies on some pricey shoes, and I get Ouch. Grrrrr.
    Rant: Betsy DeVos. One more open step towards ensuring that there is a permanent underclass in America, devoid of critical thinking skills, available for low-skilled labor. Open contempt for people who used to be citizens, who now, at best, are consumers, seems to be the rule of the land now. Sigh.

    • Pablo Raw

      Thank you! the award winner one will be revealed at some point 🙂

    • I agree the Warren censure was ridiculous, but for different reasons. There are good reasons for Rule 19 – it’s sad that you have to legislate civility among legislators, but that’s the world we live in. However, the letter was being read in connection with Sessions the nominee for AG, not Sessions the Senator. What th Senate GOP is saying is that the nominee for Attorney General receives less rigorous scrutiny because he is a member of the club than others would. What complete crap (though not unexpected).

      • Blithe

        I get that Sessions shouldn’t get protections that other nominees don’t also get because he’s a senator, so I agree with you there. And I support civility — even among this very uncivil group of people. But :
        the rule states that senators may not ‘‘directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator.’’ Who gets to decide when the rule is violated? But my bigger question is does this mean that if a Senator actually engages in conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming to a Senator (by whatever standards) that there’s no mechanism for calling him/her on the behavior? Are there no checks — including peer scrutiny — on the behavior of Senators? I’m off to scour Wikipedia.
        – Small Rave/Rant: In recent weeks, I’ve been learning a fair amount about how our government works — and doesn’t work.

  • skj84

    Rave: Had a wonderful time in NYC. Hung out in Flatiron for the most part. Love this area, so many fun places to check out. I did dinner in the rooftop bar in Eataly, which was sublime then got a massage afterwards. Glad I did a solo trip, I wandered to my hearts content.
    Rant: I split the trip between two hotels, should’ve just stayed at the final one. I get a deep discount through my sister’s job, and elected to stay in Times Square night one since it was easier to get to my conference from there. (The rate is only availible when there is low occupancy in the hotels, so my choices were limited). I should’ve just taken my luggage with we when I checked out, but decided to leave it there. I didn’t want to drag it around after the conference so I ended up going back up to the hotel during a break, then bringing all the way down to my next hotel in Chinatown, then having to uber back to the conference. I thought I could I could get this all done during the break, and it took me nearly two hours. I ended up missing two panels during the whole ordeal. I like the hotel in Chinatown better, its cheaper than the first, and I wouldn’t have had to deal with luggage woes if I just stayed there the whole time. Plus the first hotel charged to use the gym and check luggage. Oh well, I know better now.

  • Rave: Took the kids to the new pediatrician up here and I absolutely loved her. I have pretty high standards for doctors, and she absolutely met all of them. Personable, knowledgable, great listener, and awesome with the kiddos. She even got a hug from Littlest Anonachild.
    Rant: Littlest Anonachild needs a proper vision test. I think he may have inherited the issues that float around in the males on my side of the family. Hopefully if he does need glasses, he will be complaint with them.
    Rave: This weather. Winter can eff off back to the North Pole as far as I’m concerned.
    Rant: Snow in the forecast for tonight. Ugh.

  • Rave: OMG, Pablo, that PICTURE!
    Rant: Have to find a new hairstylist (made an appointment for this weekend and I am nervous. It was the longest successful relationship I’ve ever had!)
    Rave: Getting together with friends tonight and very much looking forward to catching up!

  • rave: weather!
    rant: New signs in my office bathroom this morning encourage us to use one paper towel instead of two. Meanwhile, the company has two people sitting in cubicles designed for one, with six or seven people working out of the conference room. It’s like they pack us in here and then don’t understand why the facilities are overtaxed?
    rant: I have to clean out a storage unit this weekend, but just being there for a few minutes yesterday made me feel sick (moved out of the last place due to some strange chemical issues). Beyond that, I don’t know what to do with the stuff that’s in there now. I don’t want to move it into my condo, but at least some of it I would like to keep (sometimes for sentimental reasons, sometimes for practical ones). Trying to separate the wheat from the chaff is going to be a literal pain…

    • Accountering

      I would say get a face mask to use, and get rid of it! Keep the sentimental ones, and get rid of the practical stuff on CL. If you need it for your next place, you can always buy it again, but paying to store stuff “just in case” seems wasteful to me.

    • And/or maybe hire someone to handle the stuff, so you don’t have to come in contact with it? (Although I guess if you’re not keeping the storage unit, anything you don’t throw away has to go into your new place?)
      When it comes to strange chemical issues that make you feel sick, I’d try to err on the side of caution. Obviously you don’t want to pay to store stuff you aren’t going to use, but IMO that’s better (at least as a temporary measure) than moving it into your new place and getting sick from it.

  • Rave: Job offer for job that I am incredibly excited about!!! It also comes with a nice bump in salary.
    Rant: I’m supposed to work out outside Thursday. The nice weather couldn’t hold out one more day?

    Taking a week off in between jobs to go to Columbia. Will be around Cartagena area. Would welcome any recommendations.

    • Congrats! Cartagena is wonderful, but I don’t remember a lot of my time there (we drank a lot). If youre in Bogota, make sure to visit Andres Carne de Res (good food, all night party spot)

    • Second the Andres Carne de Res recommendation — though more for drinking/snacks than dinner. There are way better (and cheaper) places for that!

  • Rave: Unseasonably warm temperatures.
    Rant: Global warming.
    Rant: The confused daffodils I was mentioning the other week have continued to sprout, and I noticed yesterday that a bunch of additional daffodils have begun to sprout. I hope they aren’t going to suffer when the temperature goes below freezing later this week.

    • Pablo Raw

      I feel great about the weather but then I feel a bit guilty

    • The bulbs should be fine. Seems that my daffodils and species tulips sprout in winter frequently. Some new day lily leaves also coming up. This morning, I noticed that some of my snow drops are actually blooming. Those are early flowering bulbs, but not usually this early.

      • Thanks. My recollection from last year was that my daffodils didn’t really sprout until late March or early April, so seeing foliage coming up in late January/early February is a little alarming.

  • Rave: Pablo, that pic is great!
    Rave: got to catch up with a dear friend at lunch yesterday. She is always so helpful in giving me new and different ways to think about things. I hope I’m that helpful to some of my other friends.
    Rant: spent half an hour trying to fix my work computer
    Rave(?): the only problem was that the docking station had somehow become unplugged
    Trepidation: had a great chat with my boss about a potential opportunity to expand my dominion (which is apparently what I need to do to move up), but the whole plan hinges on a number of things coming together, so I can’t be getting my hopes up.

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rave: That gorgeous photo.
    Rave: Part 2 of Emmaleigh’s Christmas present arrived yesterday.
    Rave: And so did a king cake!
    Rave: Talked to my dad, and he sounds so much better than a month ago.
    Rant: Pretty much everything that’s going on in the world outside my family.

  • anonymouse_dianne

    Write up on DC lock up by one of the Greenpeace gang.


  • Rant: Saw a flattened dead rat in my alley on Friday night. Filled out a 311 request on Saturday. DPW closed the request on Monday, saying the person couldn’t find anything at the location. The rat was/is still there. I have now filled out another 311 request, this time with a photo.
    If I knew the dead rat was going to be there for 5+ days, I would’ve just disposed of it myself!! Aaargh.

  • maxwell smart

    RANT: Between the daily/hourly political turmoil combined with being 100% over it at work, I’m at the point where I am just a 24 hour fit of rage and despair. Ugh. It’s entirely frustrating because both situations I have zero control over. I need to find a boxing gym before I punch someone in the face.
    RAVE/RANT: On one hand, it should not be this warm in February. On the other hand, it was SO nice to run last night in shorts and short sleeves.

    • Really sorry to hear. How is the political turmoil effecting you? wouldn’t worry too much about what is outside your ‘sphere of control’. If your sphere of control includes 1) what you can control or have power over; 2) what you can influence; 3) what is outside of your control or influence…imagine most/all of the political items fall into bucket #3.

      • I think many people are upset precisely because the political things are beyond our individual control, and because they’re important, regardless of whether they affect us personally.

        • Blithe

          – And even more stressful might be those political things that are beyond our individual control, that do or are that are likely to affect us personally. Waiting for an ax to fall, without being able to predict it or to mitigate against it is about as stressful as it gets.

          • Maybe I’m too selfish. I have enough problems to worry about.

          • I am sympathetic, but ultimately I’m with Erik. I worry about lots of things, but to be so affected by things you can’t predict or control has a damaging effect on your ability to control the things you can and should. I’ll never be happy with Trump in the White House but there’s just no way I can be stressed out 24/7 for the next four to eight years – that’s 5-10% of my time here on earth. It would be a waste and I’m no good to anybody that way.

          • maxwell smart

            That’s my entire. life. Things I can not predict or control. Ugh.

  • Revel: Saw Rep. John Lewis on my way to church last night. Rant: couldn’t think of how to approach him. He’s one of my heroes, and I choked.

  • Rant: someone ashing on my car b/c, in clearing the 15th St/Mass intersection, the pedestrian crosswalk was as far as i could get
    Rant: maryland/dc drivers who race around you…just to sit and wait at the same stop light with you. how long does it take for natural selection to occur?

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