Panic Sunday

Not me, but many other people who once again, after hearing that there is the S-word in the forecast, have like crazed lemmings, made a dash for the grocery store.

Not to get weather-anal retentive, but its been another hard winter here, and harder of course for those elsewhere/northward.  To give an idea,IMG_20150227_055827159

Taken as I walked to the worksite the other day from the Key Bridge.  It takes a long, continued spell of sub-freezing temperatures to freeze the Potomac over, which we’ve had.  Could you walk over it?  I doubt it, but there was one winter, the winter of 76-77 during which the Potomac froze over and the ice was thick enough for people to walk on it.

Filled wife unit’s car up this morning and saw this,

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The price per gallon had been perhaps a month ago, just under $2 a gallon and now there’s a creeping spiral up.  Many reasons for this, one which is not well known, is that twice a year,  refiners must switch from one blend of gasoline Summer or winter blend) to another and in doing so,m must flush/clean out their refining infrastructure and storage infrastructure, which adds to costs.

The job?  It get a paycheck which is about all I can say.  Keep applying to jobs that are closer to my full skill/experience set but……Am beginning to wonder is that all there is?

There are funny moments, though few.  Among us is a young Chinese woman, who spent time in Japan and is fluent enough in Japanese & English   for the work we do.  Quiet and has as I discovered last week, a very dry sense of humor.

Mentioned to her my experience with another Chinese woman long ago who took exception to me using ‘The People’s Republic of China’ to called China, China.  I was told empathically, China, is called China.

So asked this woman how she felt and was told, well, we all call it China,  besides, China is not really a people’s republic anyway.

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An Observation

As I work through a pretty crappy Wifi connection at this Starbucks.

At the worksite,  there are 100+ people in a space the square footage of which is I guess equally to the square footage of a large 3-floor house, sharing one small kitchen area and one set of rest rooms.

Given that,  the opportunity, time to have a nice lone, quiet, solitary  moment to oneself is about the same I think as that if one was stuck inside a nuclear submarine..

More snow coming down.  God this is getting old.

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The Only Reason Why I am Up and Outside the House at This Hour

…is wife unit remembered at 6;30 this morning, she had to start work which left me with the chore of cleaning/scrapping off the iced over driveway and shoveling out the entrance from the driveway to the street.  am still  wondering why on earth I bought a house with a steeply sloped driveway.

The trip back home was “interesting” was well.  The forecast did not call for the amount of snow that fell and the rate at which it did.  Luckily when I came to pick her up, most people had sensibly finished their business or had stayed home. But the going was tricky to treacherous, all the more as wife unit’s car does not have all wheel drive (neither does mine) and the tires on her car are not meant for snow.

Funny how some people seem to think  they “own” something.  I am sitting the in the common area at wife unit’s store near to the overhead speakers which are blaring out a bit too loudly, music. There are 2 doors usually closed, but left open for some reason, and on the other side some  woman who tells me these are supposed to be kept open, and if they are closed, the store management will think she is responsible for closing them.

I finally got tired of trying to  concentrate and bock out the music, so I closed one of them.  That brought an immediate response from this woman who seems to think I have violated some holy canon by closing the one door to slightly muffle  the sound.  Told her if she wants to complain to the manger or whoever, please go ahead.

Guess there are those in this world whose comfort zone is so small and constricted that  the slightest deviation is hard to deal with.

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The Bottom did Drop Out

Its was 5 F  yesterday morning, and son unit told me it was -12F (-24C)  in Kentucky yesterday- barely got his car started he said.

Today, its still well below freezing and there’s a real threat of more snow, though again, nothing like what has pounded and pummeled New England this year (7 ft of accumulation and counting). And as is the case here, this has caused another general panic as wife unit’s place of employment is totally packed with folks buying provisions to keep them psychologically comfortable.

Not quite chagrin, but I guess you never know what to expect, as I exited the Metro Center Station, saw the up escalators were once again stopped for no apparent reason, and saw a woman at the top struggling with bags some of which she had left in the middle of the stopped escalator.

Called out thinking she was a tourist struggling with the frequent capriciousness of Metro and told her I’d carry the other bags to the top of the escalator.

The bags weren’t very heavy and a reason for that may be that far from being a tourist, she is homeless.

She thanked me and said ‘God bless you’ and she went her way, I to the worksite.

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Cold and a 4 day Weekend

Its cold here in DC,  and we are told the bottom will drop out tomorrow night.  Its all relative of course.  I could be writing from somewhere in New England where the snow totals have been ridiculous, or the upper Midwest.

Still the snow on Monday afternoon-night provided the Feds for an excuse to close the federal government for a day (did anyone notice?) and thus give us another holiday from the document review. A holiday I am very appreciative of.

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Jesus, Its Been that Long Since the Last Entry?

Finally have the energy to post.

Work has evolved into a haze of metal numbness and fatigue and the days, such as they are, meld into a dark a monochromatic blur.  Yes we have the weekends off and for me,  it means first, Saturday as the day to fully recover physically and mentally, and then Sunday used mostly to get chores done.

Still, we are now in our 7th month, the longest  project I have ever been on,  the money is good and need to earn while this lasts.  Speaking of money, turns out I owe this year in taxes instead of getting back.  part of which probably was the disjointed work year I had last year and second,  a nasty surprise was that while so unit was dependent on us for half of last year,  we cannot claim him as a dependent for his year’s tax filing, i.e., here were not enough taxes taken out/withheld.

Believe I will be changing barbers.  Have been going to one since way back, in Arlington, which is a bit of an out of the way drive for me, for a hair cut as I believe a god barber is like a god doctor, you go even if there is an extra effort.   Yesterday, managed to get an appointment, had the hair cut and because I had no small bills , asked for change for a $20 so I could provide a tip.

Go the change and gave $5 dollars, which the haircutter just tossed causally off to the side of the reception desk.  That hit me as very rude and for me,  as I don’t knowhow much further this project will go and when I will be back on the streets, that $5 dollars is awfully big to me and the gesture deserves better treatment.

Cold today, like 8F in the morning and the forecast for tonight is he bottom will drop out temperature-wise.  Have always wondered then the “polar express” pays us a visit in the Northern Hemisphere, is there a corresponding heat wave in the Southern Hemisphere?

Haven’t been walking to the worksite as much as I have or wanted to do as the weather, either from the rain or the near artistic temperatures, have made such problematic/foolhardy.  On the way n, I walk past an art gallery on M Street, on the eastern edges of Georgetown, which keeps a revolving display of art in the main window.

This  currently hangs in the window to beckon those passing by to come into the gallery.

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While fetching at first glance, the piece on the whole, gives me the creeps, like the Orwellian Big Brother poster, thought in this case, its Big Sister.

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Checking In Ya’ll

Imagine, checking in on one’s own blog, but again  with the work schedule the way there is  no other option.

The monotony of this week was broken up with a short -hour trip to the DC auto show, the second stop in the travelling show that starts first in Detroit at the beginning of the new year.  Former work colleague and friend (not former friend) got 2 free tickets via his remaining connections at Toyota, so off we went.

Last night was especially hard as most people left/leave early (as I usually do) as they max out of the weekly hourly totals.  With the trip to the Auto Show earlier in the week, I had to stay to near closing time and by then the room had gotten disquietingly empty.

The screws at work are being turned tighter.  A memo was sent  out about excessive phone use, both outside the review floor and at the workstations (using the phones to stream stuff instead of working) . More policing is in store and those deemed running afoul will be told to adjust their billing hours.  Give some people an inch and they will take 6 and a half miles.  Its just crappy that all have to suffer.

Had another reminder of the generational gap.  In the course of reviewing a batch of documents, was a piece of sheet music of all things,  for Vie En Rose, sung most notably by Edith Piaf.  Remark to the dude, about son unit’s age about of all the things to find, and the reaction was, what is Vie En  Rose and who is Edith Piaf………………..

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