Tuesday, September 28, 2010


We don't watch movies that much, because we can't agree on what to watch. Kate is a sucker for the Rom-Com (Romantic Comedy) and I like just about everything else. So our options are a bit narrow. You can only watch When Harry Met Sally so many times, you know?

So we gave up Netflix fo a while and then they came up with a new service that allows you to stream stuff straight to your computer. Its awesome. We stream (usually TV shows) like Californacation, The IT Crowd or Entourage, meanwhile, we still get a DVD sent to us as well, like some other show we have been meaning to watch.

I streamed Iron Man for Jack a few weeks ago and loved it. Jack, not so much, he is more of a Kid-Com kinda guy. Anything that is cartoon and he becomes the television. Mouth goes open and I swear I saw him drool one time.

Anyway, Netflix is cool, so if you miss the old Blockbuster, give them a try.

Panera's Free Wi-Fi

You are reading this because Panera Bread has free WiFi and I decided to take full advantage when I got a call that someone else wanted to look at our house this afternoon. Its free, so that is cool.

Its also across from a school, so a few minutes ago I watched 9 kids walk in, 8 of them tripping over a foot rug, none of them stopping to straighten it, just stepping over it. Just like lemmings.

I also got a sandwich as well, the Turkey Bacon Bravo is excellent.

Udvar-Hazy Visit

We went to visit the Smithsonian Udvar-Hazy, which houses many planes, helicopters and even an old space shuttle on Saturday afternoon. Its really a horrible name, but I am sure he contributed something in the way of flight technology for them to name a hangar after him that houses a premium selection of some of the worlds best aircraft.

Its free to get in, but costs $15 for parking, so take a van and pack it full if you go, that way its much cheaper. Not that $15 for a few hours of fun isn't cheap, relative to this areas other recreational choices.

Truth is, we needed to get out of the house so people could come by and look at it so, well, I am not sure why a real estate agent wouldn't want the owners around, maybe answer questions or address concerns. I think if we mentioned the 90-foot snake that lives under the house and eats small children, they might be ultimately responsible because they sold a house that had a huge, 90-foot long snake that ate children under the house and didn't put that in the contract of sale. Its easier to act like "Sammy" isn't there. Where's Jack?

There he is, at Udvar-Hazy, with Kate and me in front of various planes, helicopters and even an old space shuttle, the Enterprise.

This kid has no fear (or common sense?), because I got vertigo just looking down from here because the windows actually juts out a few feet, so you get a feeling of floating. Jack steppped right up and wasn't afraid at all. I'm going to have to keep an eye on him when atop buildings.

Kate and Jack.

We went to the top of the tower they have and its a great view, of course, even up there, I saw a stink bug. Little guy was probably showing off for his buddies.

Even though the space shuttle was huge, it really wasn't as big as you might think. I did wonder how they got it in there, since the doors at teh back of teh hangar are shorter than the tail of the shuttle. Hmmm.

Jack next to a huge engine taht was used for a rocket.

An SR-71 sits in the center of the hangar. This stuff was once just science fiction since the Federal Government denied that there even was an SR-71 until the 80's when the Stealth program came along.

A Spitfire.

The Pathfinder space mission module.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Verizon Experience

We switched banks a few months ago and when we did that, we changed all of our billing for this when we made that switch over. That way, companies continue to get paid and we enjoy their service, such as Verizon and their FiOS.

The only problem is that Verizon has decided to not go along with this plan and keeps on asking the old Bank (Bank of America) for the funds to pay our FiOS bill, which Bank of America laughs and says, no, they don't have an account here anymore. Verizon decides to add that last months bill to this months bill and probably a hefty late fee charge.

So, since we signed up for this FiOS service at the Fair Oaks Mall Verizon Experience store, we decided to go back there and check with them on our billing. Maybe make a change so they can get their money and we continue to enjoy FiOS and our home phone service.

We walk in and there are people all over the place. Two guys manning the front desk. He tells someone that we ave a billing question and within a minute a young guy comes up and directs us to the very back of the store. He quickly determines that we do not have cell phones with Verizon and says he can't help, we need to talk to someone in their billing department.

We walk to a small stall in the middle of the store and meet an older man who asks us for our phone number to determine our account. He gets a text message on his phone and picks it up, reads it while we are standing there. I am thinking that this is a little rude, to stop helping a customer so he can read a text message. I mumble to Kate "Can you believe this?", but she has faith in that this guy can help us. He does not look the least bit interested in helping us.

He says he can't do anything about it and that we should call Verizon Billing on Monday since they are closed on weekends. I ask why they can't do anything about it here at the store where we signed up. He replies that its a long story. He gets another text message and he reads it instead of listening to us. (I mouth to Kate, "Can you believe this?" again)

The guy says, "Well, they're Union". Like we know all about this or something. He continues that they once had that power, but Corporate took that function away and now customers have to call in Monday through Friday to Verizon Billing. He seemed somewhat frustrated over this, but he seemed more interested in his text messages.

We shall call Verizon billing and get this all figured out, I hope.

To Be Continued...

Iron Man

Jack has become somewhat obsessive about Iron Man, the movie. even though he has only seen about ten minutes of the original movie. And they say advertising doesn't work.

He started mentioning it a few weeks ago, so I decided to see if it was streamable on Netflix, which is so cool, by the way.

I got it and we decided to watch it, but he is just like Kate and detests any entertainment that is stressful in the least. Kate gets stressed out over any type of movie that has action or thrills, it makes her nervous and Jack is the same way. Kate likes to drive fast, but a movie that involves any sort of excitement and she is out. So it wasn't a big surprise when Jack thought that after the first 15 minutes of Iron Man, he didn't want to see any more.

He did express some interest in an Iron Man toy figure, so he got that and he decided this year for Halloween that he would be the Iron Man (militarized version) that Tony Stark's best friend wears in Iron Man 2.

Here he is in his costume, which turned out to fit him perfectly. Hope he doesn't grow any in a month and a half.

Jack Posing as Iron Man.

Stink Bugs

When I went to pick up Jack at Daycare, these guys were all over the windows outside, looking for a way in. They are horrible fliers, too. They will fly right into you and bounce off. No Asian driver jokes, please.

Here's one that fell to the floor up stairs.I flushed him - he had a burial at sea.

So these stink bugs (or shield bugs) have been here for a while. Apparently back in the late nineties, a pregnant one hitched a ride on one of the many Chinese freighters that drops off the latest plastic crap for your local WalMart and thought it would be nice to stay for a while. Procreate a few million more times and, without any natural predators, they have proliferated in this area.

If you squish them or threaten them, they emit this stink that is as close to what the devils ass must smell like. They should be called skunk bugs because they behave exactly like skunks.

They are everywhere and nowhere. Since it is starting to get a little colder out at night, they are trying to find their way into every crevice and crack they can find into your nice, warm home, car or structure so they can lay eggs and repeat their life cycle.

Thank god the dog or cat hasn't decided to show any interest in these guys and hunt them, they would quickly find that they are nasty.


I LOVE to catch a misspelling on signage, trucks or other advertising medium. I think I was a editor or proofreader in a former life or something, because it make me cringe when I see these things.

This one is offering "Eyelash Estensions".

For the record, I have no idea what a Digital Perm is, either.

For Sale

We decided to put the house up for sale a while ago and they have placed one of those awful posts in our yard with the big sign that says the house is for sale.

The hard part was deciding to decide to sell it. Once we did that, it was all about those little things such as fixing some paint here, some caulk there, getting all the crap out of the way and deciding to what to put into storage.

Now its all about getting out for a few hours at a time while complete strangers go through your house and figure if they want to buy it or not. We've had some traffic, but no offers yet.

I still need to finish up some painting on the outside and maybe some more caulking.

Artwork In Progress

I have been working on a piece lately that is taking a long time to complete, only because its so darn complicated. Its basically, everything. Below is a picture of the piece as it stands now, about half done. If I created a list of all the little things that are on there now, it would be about 3 or 400 items long. I still have to come up with other things to fill up the rest of it, so I think I will include a kitchen sink. That way, if someone asks, I can say it has everything including the kitchen sink.

When I finish it, I am going to make a laptop cover out of it and maybe a small poster along with a list of all the items so people can try to find them all. Obsessive/Compulsives should like it.


The people that are responsible for the All American Restaurants have decided to get into making Italian food by opening "Ozzie's" in Fairfax Corner. Since I work close, I recently had a chance to stop by and found out that they are opening September 24th. Like most of their restaurants, they usually have a wait to get in because they do not do bad restaurants or food. It should be interesting to see what they do with Italian.

We will have to go sometime soon and check it out.

My Obsession

Mah Jong is a game I got for my iPhone a while ago and its just about the only one I play now. I am not a big gamer, but this one is tough to beat. My best time has only been 2:43. Best 99 cents I ever spent.

At the end of the game, you get your time and a fortune.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Cigarette Chuckers

So, maybe you notice that I post a lot of stuff about people while I'm at a light. Its because I am waiting and I notice the stuff around me and the general disarray of those that I share the road.

Every few dozen times when I am at a light, I will inevitably see some asshole with his arm out the window, sharing his cigarette smoke with those around him. He will usually drop it. I have seen it enough that I can almost predict when he/she will do it. Its not hard, if the cigarette is getting low, its only a matter of time before they drop it, sometimes slyly, sometimes chucking it.

When I was at a light today I noticed a guy doing this behavior and decided to record a short blip and sure enough, he did not disappoint.

A little reminder; Virginia passed a law a few years back which reclassifies cigarettes as "Trash" and when throwing trash from a vehicle on a state highway, that fine is $700.

So a word of warning to all those self-hating assholes that feel the general public street is their own personal trash can. If you think BUYING cigarettes has gotten to be expensive, imagine how expensive throwing them away could be. Virginia State Police could close the budget gap if they decided to pay attention and just hang out at stop lights every once in a while.

Landscapers Truck

Just get a bigger truck, dude. Or learn how to pack more efficiently. Would you want to be driving behind this guy on the highway?

Fall for the Book Award

I picked up the Fall for the Book awards from the award people today and they turned out nice. Sam, the head honcho of the Library is presenting. When I picked them up, the lady said she liked the logo for the Fall for the Book, I told her I did it. I am getting some good mileage from that logo since I have now seen it on the website, posters, programs an now awards.


These pants are now "trendy". God help us all. This guy waited forty years and he is now back in style. The problem is that he never thought he was out of style.

Booty Pop

This is a product we ran across at Bed, Bath and Beyond the other night while searching for a vacuum cleaner. It has an ass on it, so it caught my eye, of course. Its a thing for girls with flat asses that gives them the look of more "Junk in the Trunk".

Its official, America has now run out of things to invent. The original concept for this is called Doritos, you eat those and your Booty will "Pop" out. But this generation wants it now, they don't want to wait. Instant satisfaction.

I love CostCo Bumper Sticker

Seriously? You love Costco soooo much you felt you needed to put a bumper sticker on your car? Apple, yes. Oakley, maybe. Redskins, sure. Costco?

Why Do People Leave So Much Space?

I snapped this while waiting at a light. The guy next to me left like, three cars lengths ahead of him and I see this all the time. I don't understand it. Why so much room? Do they think their car will somehow lurch forward a few dozen feet before they are able to bring it under control again? Can they not see well? Do they need a running start? What the hey?

As a tidbit, you should stop just far enough behind the person in front of you so you can see their wheels just over your hood. Enough room so that you can turn if an emergency vehicle comes along, but not enough room so that you are taking up more than your fair share.

Seriously, people - the world is small, don't take up so much room. Rude.

Gerbara Daisy

At the beginning of the Spring I planted two of these on the front porch, so when we come home, its a little happy welcome home. Well, these keep blooming and popping up every few weeks. They are very happy flowers. I am partial to the yellow ones.

What is a QR Code?

QR Codes are graphical codes displayed in B&W images that can display a website or general information. This one says "WTF?".

You can read these with a smart phone that is eabled via software to decode these. My iPhone does this easily and there are several apps that can decode these and even, as in this case, actually make a QR code.

In Japan, these are all the rage. Look for these to pop up in the US a lot more in the next few years.

1925 Penny

Going through old stuff here and there and you come across weird stuff. I went through a few drawers and found a lot of change. One of the pennies I picked through turned out to be a wheat penny that was minted in 1925! Amazing that this thing has been kicking around for 85 years.