Friday, October 19, 2018

A Visitor from the Midwest

After twelve years, a colleague and friend of ours had a reason to visit us in DC. He had business with the University where he works and would be meeting with graduates who live in DC in search of donations. So he contacted me a couple of weeks back to see if we were up for it - and we were. Whenever we have gone back to Milwaukee to visit we always got together at least for a drink. So we have stayed in touch since we moved to DC. We picked him up at the airport Tuesday afternoon and drove him to the Mayflower Hotel for the first scheduled time slot. After that he was visiting  with some friends in Potomac, and they drove him back to our house. (Of course, we had a flat tire - great timing- when we got home that afternoon and had the spare tire put on at the gas station down the street.) We had a chance to catch up that evening and planned for the next day. It started with a drive to the National Press Club in the morning, then we picked him up so he could make a conference call from home, and then a trip to Union Station for another meeting in the afternoon. We picked him up around 5:30 and took a ride around the neighborhood to see the sights, came home to change and then headed out for dinner at Ambar - he happens to be Serbian, so why not? Then we took an evening ride to Georgetown and saw the monuments at night, came home, and chatted some more. The next morning was an early one for another morning meeting at Union Station at 7:30 followed by a train trip to NY. All I can say is that it was great to see him, we had a nice visit, and were happy to bring him to wherever he needed to be. It felt weird to see someone working and in a suit since my husband and I are both retired. Perhaps the next time both he and his wife can visit and enjoy the city more. Regardless, we had a lovely time! 

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Rush Hour and Early Morning Views

I am not a morning person. I wish I was, but it’s never going to happen. But this morning we had to get up by 7 AM to bring our guest from Milwaukee to Union Station. After that we needed to drive to Alexandria to get our punctured tire replaced at Beyer Subaru service. We got a flat tire on Tuesday - luckily in front of our house, during the daylight hours - and were able to drive a couple of blocks to the gas station around the corner to get the spare tire put on it. The gash in the tire was so big it couldn’t be fixed. So as we drove in the early morning light, in rush hour traffic, the typical sights and views looked a little different. I’m just glad we were going in the opposite direction of the traffic  - away from DC - and thankful that my commute for ten years was walking two blocks to the Library of Congress. What a mess the traffic is on good days. So now we are sitting in the Subaru service waiting area waiting for two tires to get replaced. It hasn’t been a good year for our Forester - a cracked windshield, check engine and several other warning lights that wouldn’t turn off, and a flat tire. I can’t wait to get back home and relax. But that isn’t going to happen because there is a work crew banging around the house digging a French drain. We aren’t getting a noise break lately and it’s getting very old. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Exxon Metro Doctor for a Flat Tire

First, the table lamp halogen light bulb blew out the day before our visitor arrived. That required a visit to Old Town Alexandria to the light store to get a replacement. Then, after picking him up from the airport and dropping him off downtown for a meeting yesterday, I noticed the right rear tire was flat when we were parking the car. Then I saw the low pressure tire light glowing on the dash. Luckily it happened in our neighborhood so we drove a few blocks to the Exxon Metro Doctor gas station on Pennsylvania Avenue. They immediately checked it, but unfortunately it couldn’t be repaired because the damage was too much. So the attendant put on the tiny spare tire and put the damaged tire in the trunk. When we got home I made an appointment with our Subaru dealer service department to get a replacement - which coincides with the timing to have the tires checked anyway. This hasn’t been a good year for our 2016 Subaru Forester. We have been to the service department more times than I care to think about - for a broken windshield, check engine and several other warning lights that kept flashing, and now for this punctured tire. Two of those incidents occurred when we had our of town guests! With all the darn construction going on in this city we have been lucky it hasn’t been more often. When we first moved here we had two flat tires in the same week. You would think by now a new material would be made for car tires. I don’t think that will ever happen. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Holtkotter Table Lamp Osram Halogen Light Bulb

My husband fell in love with the glass cloud table lamp over two years ago. We bought it at Alexandria Lighting in Old Town and I knew at the time we should probably get a replacement bulb for the inevitable - but we didn’t. So wouldn’t you know on Sunday evening the light quit working. I searched for the documentation about the specific detail for the halogen bulb. But I also realized that this light has a fuse, which could also be the culprit. This lamp has a dimming function and a one touch turn off button at the base. So we decided to go back to Alexandria Lighting and hopefully get the replacements we needed. They had the Osram Halolux Ceram bulb in 100w only - this lamp called for 75. The guy said it shouldn’t be a problem. Let’s hope not. So we got two replacement bulbs and didn’t get the fuse because they needed to see the specific fuse to better identify it. And he thought it was the bulb anyway. We’ve been using the lamp every day for many hours since we bought it. The thing about halogen bulbs is that you can’t touch them, and you’re not supposed to look directly at it either. Thank goodness I kept the literature describing the steps to get this thing taken apart and put back together. It is a very interesting lighting fixture, but sometimes it’s better to have the old fashioned kind. 

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Horses, Squirrels, Birds and Fall on the National Mall

This is the first day we had to wear jackets and gloves for our morning walk. It was unusually quiet too. Sunday is always less busy in our neighborhood, but there was something in the air. A lot of the gardens by the Smithsonian buildings have been pulled up and are being replaced with seasonal plantings. I heard the cardinals in the Hirshhorn garden, and caught one standing on the wall. They are my favorite bird and I knew his partner was close by. Along the Mall were park police atop two imposing and beautiful horses. It’s been a while since we have seen those incredible animals. And of course the squirrels were scurrying everywhere. There was a chubby one munching on his latest find getting attention from all the passers by. These squirrels are constantly interacting with visitors and having their photos taken. Almost home we heard the blue jays squawking in the Botanic Garden, hiding in the leaves so I couldn’t quite get a clear shot. This summer was exceedingly hot, so this cool air was a shock to the system. One tends to walk a lot faster when the season turns to fall. But not so fast as to stop looking at all the lovely things around us.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

M Lifemaster Silicone Magnetic Door Stopper

The bathroom door in our very tiny bathroom will not stay open. It did stay open when it was first put in when the space was completely renovated last summer, but it closes shut now. And that isn’t a good thing when you are stumbling around in the middle of the night and your face slams in to it. So until we can get our handy man in to try and fix it - again - we thought we would try to find a product out there that might do the trick. We found M Lifemaster in Amazon. Of course it is made in China, and is made out of silicone and is a magnet. And because the door would need to connect to the bottom of the marble shower, we were hoping the sticky sides on either end of the door “opener” would attach without having to find something that requires drilling and nails. So yesterday we followed the directions and need to leave it “unused” for a 72 hour period. Unfortunately the contact is not exactly parallel - it’s a little “off.” There is a piece of plastic still covering the magnet, so we are hoping once we remove that it will ramp up the magnetic contact. The door isn’t very heavy so we will keep our fingers crossed. The device isn’t in the best place and I won’t be surprised if we inadvertently kick it off. Luckily it wasn’t that expensive. So until we can get the door adjusted, we hope this will do.