I don’t normally run out to the store on Black Friday. But I wanted to pick up some logs for the fireplace since the temperature is really going to drop tonight and Kelly–who’d already been over to our local Target–said it wasn’t too bad.
Keep in mind, our local Target is a 5-minute walk from our house. And if I was walking, it would be no big deal, but I was taking the car so that I could lug back 60 pounds of logs. So I got in the car, turned up into the Target parking lot–and was surprised to see plenty of spots–even spots up close to the front of the store–in which to park.
I figured that the parking lot must be misleading, but when I walked into the store, it was not more crowded than any other day. I must say, I was bitterly disappointed. I was expecting to see shopping-drunk mothers bitterly fighting over the last Redskins Snuggie while their unsettled husbands shuffled awkwardly from foot to foot, wondering when they could sneak off to check the price on the flat panel TVs on sale. Nope, it was business as usual.
I picked up the logs I was looking for but then I saw a Dust Devil on sale, and we’ve been wanting a Dust Devil to make it easier to clean out the messes Zach makes eating his breakfast in the new car. And then I wandered through Electronics and, seeing how it wasn’t crowded, I browsed for a moment and managed to come away with a copy of Rock Band 3. Finally, I figured I’d go to the hardware section to pick up some stuff I needed for little projects around the house that I hope to get done today. I grabbed some hooks, some duct tape and string.
I thought for certain that the lines would be where I found the crowds. And indeed, nearly every line in the store was open. I walked right up to an empty one and checked right out with no delay.
All told, I was terribly disappointed. There’s been all this hype about Black Friday and the crowds and the sales and the deals and the bargains and I couldn’t find any of it anywhere. The morning news people were predicting a big day, with sales up 2% from last year.
Not sure where they are getting their numbers, but it’s not from my local Target.
Today was supposed to be our cleaning day, and to that end, I think we did a pretty good job. I cleaned two of the three bathrooms today ( I would have cleaned all three but I forgot about the last one and never got back to it). I vacuumed downstairs. Kelly put away all of the holiday decorations and did laundry. And we tried to stay warm.
We did go out for a short walk early this afternoon. Ultimately, I cut it short, however, because it really was cold out today.
At 2:30 PM, I played Tiger Woods 2009 online with John from work. We played Doral and he ended up beating me 66-56 over 18 holes. I couldn’t seem to put well, but otherwise, I played very good. We both aced the #5 par 3. And I had a couple of eagles, including a par 4 eagle. But I just couldn’t get the putting under control and that’s what cost me. Still, it was a lot of fun, and the first time I’ve ever played online.
I did some writing this afternoon, about 600 words of "Rescue", but I thought what I wrote was pretty bad. You know when it’s good and you know when it’s bad. This was just one of those times when it was definitely not good. I am generally even tempered and not sensitive about my writing, even when it is not great, but this was just bad, plain and simple. I kept writing for the sake of getting words on the page, which is what everyone says to do, but they were just words, and not very good ones I’m afraid. On the rare times when this happens, it tends to mess with my attitude for the rest of the day and I’m afraid I wasn’t in the best of moods thereafter.
Kelly and I went out to Sports Authority so that she could pick up some Under Armor for our trip to New York City next weekend. The temperatures are not expected to get out of the twenties.
My new Oakley sunglasses that Kelly got me as a Christmas present have some kind of defect with one of the arms and I have to take it in to see if I can get it exchanged. (According to the receipt, this should be no problem.) We’ll see how that goes.
We had a lazy Saturday morning and finally got our act together and headed out for a while. We took the metro downtown to Archives and then walked to the newly remodeled Museum of American History, where we spent a couple of hours wandering around the exhibits. It is a remodel of the museum, and there isn’t a whole lot that’s new, but it is one of my favorite museums and I had a good time looking through some of the familiar exhibits in their newly remodeled environment. (There’s that giant doll house, for instance, which I like for the sheer recursiveness of it: inside one of the bedrooms is a toy doll house!) The one thing I miss from the museum (and it was gone long before the remodeling) is the old Civil Engineering exhibit, with diaramas of bridges and tunnels. That was so cool. I wonder what happened to it? It was replaced by America on the Move, which is nice, but I liked the bridges and tunnels better.
On our way home we stopped at the grocery store to do some shopping. The rest of the evening was spent quietly at home. It was pretty cold today and it was nice to have a full belly and a warm fireplace to relax next to.
Saturday evening I went to the gym. First, I went with Kelly, early (6 PM-ish) thinking it wouldn’t be crowded, but it was and my elliptical machines were occupied. I went back later, around 8 PM and it was much less crowded. I got in a 45 minute cardio workout. I’ve been watching episodes of Battlestar Galactica while I do these cardio workouts because they make the time seem to pass by faster. I watch them on my iPhone. About 30 minutes into the workout, the phone rang, and so I spoke to strausmouse while I continued to workout. I was pleased with the workout because it meant that I got in all three full cardio workouts this week.
Got through some more of The Best of the Best this evening. Kelly read through the February issue of PARENTING magazine (and thanks again to he11o_sunshine and stubiebrother for that!)
Slept in late again today–got up close to 9 AM, but we were up pretty late last night with AJ and Denisse. I made us scrambled eggs for breakfast and we sat around watching Sunday Morning. I was interested in looking for a messenger bag to replace my backpack and so we took advantage of the cold, but calm weather to walk to the Pentagon City mall (it’s about 2 miles from the house). We ran through several stores before I finally found a decent messenger bag at Macy’s: a Fossil bag that was marked 50% of (vickyandnorm would be proud). We then took the leisurely walk home.
I called strausmouse back and we finalized some travel plans. We are flying up to NYC Inauguration weekend to visit with he11o_sunshine , stubiebrother and Sadie. We managed to get great fares out of Reagan, which is five minutes from our house. We’re going to be gone for all of 36 hours, but it will be nice to see them. Then, we are planning to go up to visit strausmouse and rmstraus in Albany on Presidents Day weekend in February. We’re looking forward to both trips, both for the enjoyment of seeing friends and family, as well as the last whiff of what can be called a social life before the baby is born.
Kelly and I had a very pleasant mid-afternoon nap. We both dozed in the family room and it was very peaceful and quiet. I was reluctant to come out of it. Eventually, though, we had things to do. We took down the Christmas tree today, and packed away all of the trimmings. I then vacuumed up all of the needles from the tree, which meant vacuuming a lot of stairs (taking the tree out of the house caused it to shed what seemed to be half it’s supply of needles). I did manage to get a lot of reading done, however. In the early evening, we did some grocery shopping.
We had a quiet day yesterday. It was cold in the metro D.C. area, with temperatures in the 20s. We went shopping in the morning. First to Old Navy for Kelly to get some maternity clothes, then to Target, where she got more maternity clothes, and where we picked up a few other items. Fromthere we headed to Barnes & Noble where I got a couple of new books: The New Space Opera and The Best of the Best: 20 Years of the Years Best Science Fiction, both edited by Gardner Dozois. While browsing around in Sport’s Authority, we ran into Sarah and Mike. Finally, there was a quick stop at the grocery store and we headed home. I was starving and made a massively tall sandwich for lunch. After lunch, we played Lego Star Wars for a while–until I felt dizzy from the motion on the screen, something that’s happened to me once before a long time ago.
I napped for about an hour and a half and then spent some time reading more of The Hard SF Renaissance. I had hoped to finish this up in 2008, but didn’t make it. I’m close to 2/3rds of the way through the book and I enjoyed the Greg Egan story I read yesterday. I’ll post a short summary about what I’ve read so far soon.
I watched a few more episodes of Battlestar Galactica in the evening, and then it was lights out at 10 PM. Kelly works from home today so I headed into the office a little early this morning.
I didn’t get any writing done yesterday, but I cut myself a little slack. I do have to work today, although I suspect it will be dead here. Snow is expected although I don’t think it will be much. I plan on getting back to regular writing and workouts in earnest next week, although I am hoping to get some writing in before then. As for the workouts, I have been a real slacker, and it shows. I am at my peak weight, and I constantly feel it. I’ve been steadily working my way back to a healthy diet, and plan on starting the workouts up at a simple level, rather than trying to start where I left off.
I don’t have specific New Year’s resolutions. Aside from the arbitrariness of them, it’s hard to plan your year when you are expecting your first child halfway through. We really have no idea how that will affect even the simplest things, like going to the gym. I would say this:
- I’d like to aim for 5.2 million words read this year
- I’d like to complete the novel I’m working on and get it submitted to one place
- I’d like to write at least 3 short stories
- I’d like to sell at least 1 short story
The last few times I’ve been shopping, I’ve seen some odd or amusing things. I took a couple pictures and since I’m sitting in Old Navy while Kelly tries on maternity clothes, I figured I post a few of them.
This one is from The Gap. Tell me what’s missing:
This next one is from right here at Old Navy. See if you can read the legend on this sight:
(It says “dress up the bump.”). Go figure.
Posted via LiveJournal.app.
It was near 70 degrees here in the Metro DC area today–unusual for late December, to say the least. It was almost like we were back in Florida. I slept in until about 8:30 or so. But we still managed to get an early start on our day. First, we headed over to the Apple store to get Kelly her Christmas present, a new MacBook! (Her old PowerBook was on its dying breath.) We were in-and-out in 10 minutes. I also picked up a 1 TB external hard disk for our desktop computer (iMac) so that we can consolidate out entire iTunes media library and have it centralized in one place.
Next, we headed to the grocery store to buy food, very little of which we had in the house. We stocked up and headed home. I ran down to the concierge and picked up the two packages that were waiting for me. One package was a gift from Mom and Dad: Mario Cart for the Wii, with the steering wheel attachment included. We can’t wait to play.
The other package was my copy of mabfan ‘s first book, I Remember the Future, which he signed for me. I was very excited to get it. When I finish The Hard SF Renaissance, it will be the next book that I read, making it book #401 or 402 on my list. (Yes, I’ve read just about all of the stories already, but they are that good. I’ll have more to say on the subject when I am done re-reading them.) Humble though I am, I can’t help but mention the fact that my name appears in thebook twice. I mention this only as a point of fact: it is the first time someone has ever mentioned me in the "Afterward" of a story, and it was Michael that did me the honor. The book looks great, incidentally, and as I have said before, the stories are a perfect introduction to what science fiction is all about (for those who don’t know); and they are great examples of solid science fiction for those who do read in the genre. Buy the book!
There were some additional chores to do: cleaning out the cat litter; taking out a bunch of trash and recycling; vacuum the house (Kelly did upstairs, I did the downstairs).
Spoke to Mom and then e took a long walk in the afternoon. We didn’t need jackets; it was warm and windy.
I spent the rest of the day setting up our consolidated media library. It was a little complicated, but mostly time consuming, copying data over the wireless network. But it’s working the way I want it to work now, so all is good.
Our only "full" day at Treasure Island. It was gorgeous weather today. We were up early, and around 9 AM, we headed out for what turned out to be a 3.5 mile walk on the beach. We lazed around in the morning, and then headed to a local boardwalk at lunch time. We at ate a local restaurant (the name of which I can’t recall at the moment). After, we walked around the boardwalk, walking in and out of shops, taking our time. It was fun.
Back to the condo. Kelly napped for a while, and I read. I read about 50 pages of A Man on the Moon. I then turned to The Hard SF Renaissance. I may have even napped a little. It was very comfortable.
We headed back out to Caddy’s for dinner again. Kelly watched a bunch of Christmas shows while I managed to get through nearly 100 pages of The Hard SF Renaissance. ("Into the Miranda Rift" by G. David Nordley was another great story–one that I actually remember from when it first appeared, but which was a pleasure to read again.)
We were up at 8 AM and on our way to Tyson’s Corner by about 9 AM. We wanted to get to the mall before things got crowded. Indeed, when we got there, things were not bad at all. We had to stop in a few stores to do some holiday shopping (I can’t reveal those stores lest, we give away what we were shopping for). We then wandered into Ann Taylor Loft (I say "wandered", but I suspect that Kelly somehow directed us in there, and just made it seem natural). They were having a big sale on maternity clothes. We found out that they were no longer going to carry maternity clothes in the story, only online. Kelly managed to find several pairs of pants that she got at a steal. I saw some cute pajamas that I thought she’d like too, and we picked up those as well. The discount that we got on the maternity pants paid for all but $3.50 of the pajamas. We felt good. vickyandnorm would be proud.
By the time we left Tyson’s it was crowded and the parking lot seemed full–and we were only there 1-1/2 hours! We stopped home briefly and then headed up to the Pentagon City Mall to meet AJ and Denisse for brunch. We had brunch with them at Harry’s Tap Room, and then proceeded to wander around the mall and do more shopping. AJ needed to go to GNC to get some flack seed (not flack seed oil, but flack seed. I don’t even know what that stuff is). We then headed to Victoria’s Secret, followed by Baby Gap. On the way to Baby Gap, AJ was waylaid by people doing "free" massages. AJ took them up on his offer. His "free" massage cost him only $22 for 22 minutes. Next, we headed across the street to Costco, where Kelly and I picked up a Humidifier. After Costco, we said goodbye to AJ and Denisse and headed home. I set up the humidifier for Kelly and then went upstairs to read. I ended up falling asleep for 90 minutes and waking up all out of sorts.
Kelly was in bed early and I stayed up reading more of The Hard SF Renaissance, finally calling it quits just before 10 PM.
Long day at work today. I was in the office just after 6 AM and worked steadily until heading out the door at 4 PM. I brought in my apple, ale and cheddar soup in for lunch, and brought an extra bowl for Casey to give it a try. He said he enjoyed it.
There was a package waiting at the concierge when I got home: the wedding photo DVDs! Two DVDs totaling 1,206 pictures. We skimmed through them and they really came out great. When I have some time, I will get some posted so that people can look at their leisure.
We headed over to Home Depot tonight and picked out a Christmas tree. We went for a frasier fur tree. It’s about 6-1/2 feet tall. They didn’t trim enough of the lower branches off to fit in our stand, so we have to cut off a few more this weekend. On Sunday, Sarah is coming over and we’re going to decorate the tree.
Watched another episode (#8) of From the Earth to the Moon. I headed upstairs after that and read more of Cauldron, which I am really, really enjoying.
I really slept in late today, not getting out of bed until close to 9:30 AM–two hours after Kelly got up this morning. I started reading Robert J. Sawyer’s Frameshift this morning, and spent much of the day reading–and enjoying it very much. Rob has a knack for telling a good story and I’ve been trying to pay close attention to how he does it.
We went out to Target early in the afternoon to do some shopping. It was raining and cold out, and I anticipated major crowds and trouble parking, but it turned out to be simple and easy, and not nearly as crowded as I imagined it might be.
Kelly took a long nap in the afternoon, while I read. It was very quiet, peaceful. Later in the afternoon, we sat around chatting, and listening to Christmas music, while the fire roared away and the cats lazed on the warm carpet in front of it. With the nasty weather outside, it was very nice.
Kelly had never seen HBOs From the Earth to the Moon, so we watched three episodes of it late this afternoon and early evening. She headed off to bed shortly thereafter and I stayed up, getting just about halfway through Frameshift before calling it a night.
Back to work tomorrow.
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.