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We had nearly 70 degree weather today and it was terrific.  We were up around 7:30 or so.  After breakfast, we headed out for an early walk to enjoy this mini-spring.  We took the basketball with us, but were disturbed by the fact that it kept getting stuck in the net on the court.  Kelly headed to the movies with friends around 11:30 and I headed to the grocery story.  Then it was back home.  My plan was to get through as much of my backlog of science magazines as I could.  I sat on the porch.  I sat indoors.  I read, read read.  When all was said and done, I got through all three back issues of NEW SCIENTIST.  Only the most recent issue of SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN remains.  I plan on finishing that up tonight and tomorrow.

Sunday is my full day off.  No workouts, and a little bit more lax on diet (but not much).  I also decided to try an experiment today.  I wanted a "disconnected" day and so today, I avoided checking email, facebook, or even going online all day long until just now, to write this blog entry.  Can I say that despite the general laziness of the day, I felt pretty productive not feeling compelled to check email or browse the web.

This afternoon, Kelly and I took a leisurely walk up to Shirlington and back.  The weather cools off a bit tomorrow but then warms up again mid-week.  I’m off to bed by 9 PM.  I plan on being up at 4 AM tomorrow and head to the gym at 5 AM.

Catching up, part 2

I went upstairs to read at 7 PM last night and couldn’t get through a page before falling asleep.  I woke up at 6 AM and Kelly and I decided to stay in bed (and keep warm) until 7:30.  So I basically slept for 12 hours last night.  Then it was off to a busy day in the office.

The days are flying by and blurring into one another.  I only got to the gym one day this week.  On the other hand, I did a good deal of writing and I’m happy about that.  I’ve been trying to catch up on NEW SCIENTIST.  I was two issues behind, and now I’m only one issue behind.  But that’s taken time away from The Best of the Best.  I hope to make better progress on that  front.

Kelly’s belly is getting bigger.  People other than me can tell she’s pregnant.  She’s generally been feeling much better than she was feeling in the first trimester.

The garage door didn’t work again this morning. This marks the fourth time I’ve had problems with it, always on cold days, and I ripped the maintenance manager a new one, I’m afraid.  I asked the to replace the garage door opener, seeing as how I appear to be the only one having the problem.  I played the "pregnant wife" card and made it clear that I didn’t want Kelly to have to manually open and close the garage door.  The damn thing is just defective.  They "fixed" the problem today by adjusting the tension, but even after that, I went to the office and made sure that I wanted it replaced.  It involves paperwork and going through the management company, but I’m not backing off this one

Re-upped my SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN subscription through 2012.  Received three of The Year’s Best Science Fiction in the mail yesterday.  I’m slowly going to work my way backwards through the series.  And today also marked two straight weeks of packing my lunch for work.

It was extremely cold here today.  Below 0 at times.  Right now, the temperature is 7 and 0 with the wind chill.  At least the heat in the house is working.

We head to New York tomorrow to visit he11o_sunshine  and stubiebrother  and Sadie.  Yup, we’re flying US Airways to LaGuardia and back.  A couple of people have pointed this out to me so I’m just confirming it.  We are looking forward to seeing Jen and Jason and meeting our niece for the first time.

Inauguration is Tuesday and I haven’t described what it’s like in the D.C. area with respect to that, but it will have to wait for another post because I’m getting ready to go to bed.  Suffice it to say, it will be interesting here over the next four or five days.

Just finished watching the season premier of Battlestar Galactica and I thought it was good.  Looking forward to the remaining nine.  (And when there are only five episodes left, I can already predict the tag lines:  "Don’t miss the ‘final five’".

And I’ve got a small headache.

Monday wrap-up

An unusually warm day today.  Temperatures were well into the 60s!  I had to run an errand early this afternoon and I went outside without my jacket and it felt great!  Back to winter weather tomorrow, however.

Lots of mail today, including the February 2009 issue of ASIMOV’S and the December 13 issue of NEW SCIENTIST.  Also, a package from stubiebrother  containing a bunch of books for expectant parents (and mostly for dad’s).

This evening we watched the remaining episodes of Dexter, Season 3.  Well, I watched them all; Kelly still has the season finale to watch.  She was tired and had to call it a night.  Still a good show after three seasons.  I still have to actually see the first season, although at this point, it would be all back-story.

I’m 315 pages through The Hard SF Renaissance and really having a ball reading it.  Tonight, as I finished up Robert Reed’s "Marrow", I thought about the stories I’ve read, and I don’t think I ever wanted to be a science fiction writer more than I did at that moment.  True, I’ve got one professional sale under my belt, but these guys–these guys are the big leagues, they are the real pros and I so want to be able to do what they do.

I had a kind of mental list of tasks to take care of today, and completely blew it off.  Better luck tomorrow, perhaps.  I’m going to try and squeeze in one more story before calling it a night.

Rock Band

Kelly and I are back home after playing Rock Band at Kevin’s for 5 hours!  We got there around noon, went to Boston Market for lunch, and then headed back to play Rock Band.  We started sometime around 12:30 and we finished just before 5:30.  I spent about half the time drumming and the other half singing.  It was a lot of fun.

When we left, we walked outside and it was snowing!  Lightly, but still, enough snow had fallen to leave a thin layer on the car.  We’re home now, all toasty and warm.  It’s still snowing out.  Nothing is sticking yet, but I don’t know how much snow is expected.
 

Gettin’ caught in the rain…

It was unusually warm yesterday, over 70 degrees by mid-morning.  Kelly and I walked up to Pentagon City where we had brunch at Harry’s Tap Room.  We then wandered around the mall for a little while, popping in and out of various shops, just browsing, not buying.  We walked back home and about halfway, the skies opened up and it started to pour.  The last time this happened, we were on bikes.  This time, since we were on foot, we dashed up into a grove of evergreen-like trees and, believe it or not, they were enough shelter to prevent us from getting any more wet than we already were.  We waited out the rain shower (about 5 minutes) and then continued our walk home.

I headed straight for the mail box and still no NEW SCIENTIST, much to my dismay.  I continued reading the online version throughout the lazy afternoon.  Later, Kelly napped and I watched Forrest Gump.

I spoke to Dan this evening.  Later in the evening, I played more Tiger Woods 2009 and on the 5th hole at Wolf Trap (a par 5), I had my first ever double-eagle (for which I got a $3,500 bonus!).  From what I understand, a double-eagle is the hardest shot to get in golf, and it was pretty exciting to see.

Slept in until about 9 AM and then we watched Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood.  Much colder today, and very windy.  Sunday Morning was good.  They did a profile of Steve Miller, which put me in the mood to listen to some of his music today.  They also did a piece on the Oxford Project, which was really interesting.

I was looking for Apple, Ale and Cheddar soup recipes online.  I couldn’t find any for all three, but I found partial recipes.  I may try concocting my own Apple, Ale, and Cheddar soup this evening based on what I found online.

Kelly worked on the last batch of thank you notes last night and this morning.  We should get those in the mail on Monday.

The autumn leaves of red and gold

We could not have asked for better weather today.  It was an absolutely gorgeous fall day, with temperatures above 70 degrees.  So nice was it, that Kelly said that we should go for a hike.  We pulled out a book of hikes in Northern Virginia and finally decided on a hike around Burke Lake, a roughly 5.1 mile hike, through the woods, on a level surface, easy but fun.  We drove out there and it was gorgeous.  I wish I’d brought my regular camera, but I did get a couple of pictures on my iPhone. 

The leaves were falling but the colors were vibrant.  I don’t know if we are quite at the peak of the turning season yet, but it really was gorgeous.  It took us roughly 2 hours to do the 5 mile walk around the lake.  We walked at a leisurely pace, being passed by bikers, joggers, and even other walkers, but we didn’t mind.  The forest smelled wondering and I kept taking in deep breaths, trying to take it all in.

By the time we complete the walk, we were both hungry and thirsty, so we got into the car and found a nearby Quiznos, where we both fell on our sandwiches like a wolf on a lamb.

It’s hard to remember a fall day in a woodland as riotous as this one.  It reminds me of just one of the reasons why I am so glad to be leaving on the east coast.

Today’s reading: NEW SCIENTIST (Nov 1).

Slow Saturday

It was a slow day today, but that was nice, especially since it’s the last weekend before returning to work.  We lazed around for much of the day today, although we did manage to get in some Wii playing early this afternoon.  I did some chores at home, and started reading Walter Isaacson’s Einstein.  I was looking for something to read and Kelly was watching the movie IQ, which reminded me that I had the book and I hadn’t read it yet.

Spoke to Rich today, the first time I’ve had an extended conversation with him since he got back from Iraq.  He sounds good.  He is in Upland right now with Tricia and the kids, and he will be there until November 1st, when he heads back to Texas.

There was a pleasant breeze today and I had the screen door and front windows open to enjoy it.  As the breeze picked up, this created a wind tunnel and the house became a virtual disaster with paper flying about here and there, and a clock falling off the counter.  Much to my dismay, I had to close the screen door.

Sarah and Jim came over this evening and we headed to Alexandria (Old Town) for dinner.  We ate at a tiny place called Trattoria Da Franco and it was actually very good.  I had an excellent linguini al pesto dish, along with some wine.  It was a small place and we were placed at a small table, but I enjoyed the atmosphere of it.  Afterward, we went back to the house and the four of us played Wii for a few hours.

There will come soft rains

Hannah hit Saturday early afternoon with lots of rain and wind, but not much of anything else.  It was a lazy day for us.  We didn’t sleep in late, but we took a lengthy nap in the middle of the day.  It was pleasant listening to the rain pound on the roof and wind whip through the rafters.  In the morning, I actually sat through 1-1/2 hours of VH1 Classics watching "Totally 80s" videos.  About the best video I saw was Def Leppard’s "Armegeddon It".  About the only thing I actually did during the day was fill my car up with gas.

Lazy, lazy, lazy, and then, around 7 PM (after the rains had stopped and the skies had mostly cleared up), we headed over to Pentagon City to pick up AJ and Denisse.  We headed to Shirlington, where we had dinner at Capital City Brewery.  We then walked to the movie theater to see the 9:10 PM showing of Vicky Kristina Barcelona.  Something about the introduction made me think it was a Woody Allen movie, and sure enough, it was.  It featured Scarlet Johansson, which was a plus, but it also set a personal record for me.

It was the first Woody Allen movie I’ve ever seen that I really didn’t like.

This lead to minor controversy after the film.  I tried to explain what bothered me about the film.  The characters didn’t really change, for one thing.  They ended up exactly where they started off.  I didn’t like the narrator.  It seemed like the narrator should have been Woody Allen, but it wasn’t.  Furthermore, the narrator’s dialog read like a Hemingway novel, with these terse sentences that seemed to talk down to the audience.  All of the performances (including, yes, Scarlet’s) were muted, and the best performance was provided by Javier Bardem.  As is often the case when I don’t like something, I’m sure it’s more my failings than the films.  Nevertheless, I really didn’t like this one.

After the movie, we headed back to our place and sat around chatting until almost 1 AM.  I took AJ and Denisse back to the metro station and when I got back home, we went to bed.

Book-walking

Up at 6:40-ish and into the office shortly thereafter.  Another productive morning, but an afternoon stuck in meetings.  Fortunately, a meeting that was scheduled for 2 hours only lasted an hour.  That was a pleasant surprise, considering it’s usually the other way around.

I left the office around 4 PM, and walked home.  But I read while I walked.  This meant I walked and read at a slower pace, but it seemed to fly by and I was home before I knew it.  I stopped by the concierge to see if they found the package that they misplaced yesterday.  Sure enough, they did:  it was a small envelope from the Welcome Wagon stuffed with coupons.

We hosted poker night at our house this evening.  Todd, Jenn, Karl and Lee came over and we played poker.  Of the three poker nights we’ve had, this was my worst so far.  Lee ended up winning ($60 total).  We used the new deck of "Vote Obama" playing cards that I bought today.

The rains from Tropical Storm Hannah have arrived.  My softball tournament, scheduled for tomorrow, was postponed until next weekend, which is probably a good thing.  We can relax tomorrow during the day.  I think we’re getting together with AJ and Denisse tomorrow evening.

I’m about 215 pages through Rainbows End and I just may finish it this weekend.