odds and ends

  • Our Internet connectivity at work came back up yesterday afternoon at 4:30. However, that was mostly academic, since I wasn’t really able to get online since:
  • I’m acting division head today in my boss’s absence, which means, of course, that everything that could go wrong has waited until today to do so.
  • No time for lunch. Again, ant that’s becoming too much of a habit. So it was a slice of cold pizza from the cafeteria while working at my desk.
  • Yet again, one of the rare shows on television that I actively seek out, and truly love, is getting the axe. As Gene reports, Showtime’s Dead Like Me has been cancelled. Ah well, at least now I’ll have more time for my Flickr addiction.
  • The morning commute, normally easy–just a mile or so to drop Jeff off at the Pentagon City metro station, and then another three back to my office–was made much more difficult–on the morning when, as acting director, I had to be here on-time for a meeting with my boss’s boss’s boss–by a bizarre accident very early this morning near the Pentagon, when a fuel tanker crashed and exploded at the Washington Boulevard exit off I-395. This is only about half a mile from the condo, if that, but although the news reports indicate that the resulting explosions woke residents all over the county, I don’t remember hearing anything–then again, I wear heavy-duty earplugs due to my nightly proximity to a Very Loud Snorer. Gene, however, who lives about a mile from this morning’s accident, reports that the noise, like thunder, did wake him.
  • On the more positive side, I was majorly cruised this morning by one of the young junior foreign service officers–and a very hot one, he was–here for language training. That’s always a nice ego stroke.

As Jeff noted in his blog, on Saturday night we drove out to Bull Run Regional Park in Centreville for the “Miracle of Lights” drive-through holiday light display. The Saturday right before Christmas might not have been the smartest time to go, and there were very long lines of cars to get in and through; it was also priced at $12 per car, which given the expected 35,000+ cars during the time that it’s open will net them a very handy profit (to be fair, to be given to charity and to the regional parks) even after the $10,000 light bill is paid. Given that we didn’t have an SUV crammed full of nuclear family (we were definitely in the minority, only one of two Priuses the guy taking our money had seen that night), I thought the fee was a bit high for just two of us, but it was nice to get out of the house and into the countryside–dwindling as it is–of the further Northern Virginia suburbs, and to experience some Christmas lights, since we didn’t do much decorating ourselves. We took a number of pictures there, but given that I was driving the car, that the exposures needed to be long because of the dark, and because I’m not all that great a photographer to begin with, mine all turned out blurry; rather than let that defeat me, though, I took the digitized photos and played with them some, giving them a new life as a kind of digital lite-brite art exhibit. Jeff got some nice shots of the actual lights, though.

Both sets of photos, as well as others we’ve taken, are on Flickr, which we’ve both mentioned over and over. Really, it’s the coolest photo community on the web (and Salon thinks so, too). Check it out.

Ah, it’s 4:30 and everyone else has left for the day, leaving me in peace and giving me a chance to check my email and post this entry. Any remaining unresolved issues are now someone else’s problem; starting tomorrow, I’m on leave from the office until next Tuesday.