Meditations on a Tuesday Evening

It is freaking cold again. I’ve been bumping into door jambs as I walk around the house. It makes a satisfying thwack. Tonight is the only night of this week I have to go to the gym, or to cook anything somewhat complicated, but I’m making “Skillet Sensations” and glaring at my dumbbells, not in a guilty sort of way but rather as a sort of dare. Sometimes laziness is its own reward.

Fairfax Connector has an interesting training policy: all new drivers get turned loose on my bus route without a map or compass, and have to find their way back through blind luck. In retrospect, I should’ve been more anxious when our driver stopped to ask directions, but I never expected that he would miss the toll road exit this afternoon, taking us on a 30 minute tour of the Greater Fairfax area. Oh well, it got me further along in Quicksilver anyway.


Delivery-date: Wed, 28 May 2003 15:17:08 -0400
From: “Chase” <>
Reply-To: “Chase” <>
Subject: Protecting Your Account


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I’m holding out for the Illustrated Guide to Robbing Our Bank (Now with Vault Codes!)

Speaking of McD’s…

I noted tonight as I got my Super Size #2 that there is a new breakfast sandwich, the
. I guess this has been around a month or two but I hadn’t heard of it yet. In case there is anyone else not in the know, the McGriddle is like a normal breakfast sandwich, except instead of a biscuit or english muffin, they trap the meat between two syrup-flavored mini-pancakes. I have to ask: did we really need this? Is there a large number of people out there thinking, “hey, bacon egg and cheese is great, but I think we could do better!?”

Butter up that bacon, boy! And bacon up that sausage!


Today I went to everyone’s favorite foreign furniture store, IKEA! I needed a table, badly. I like IKEA (even though I have to go all the way to freaking Woodbridge to get there) because not only do you get inexpensive furniture, but you also get a nice project to work on when you get home.

Well, as it turned out there are a couple of things I should’ve known beforehand, as was obvious to anyone standing around in the parking lot, including the middle-aged man who offered me help (thanks dude!):

1. The dimensions of my trunk. While I did measure them beforehand, I measured only the opening and decided that anything that could get in the opening could ride with me since I have the ability to let my seats down. Not true. The opening to the seat portion is exactly 1/2″ smaller than the table width.

2. How to tie a knot. The guy who helped me suggested I just tie it in the trunk since it was clear at this point that the table wasn’t going to fit in my Civic anywhere. Of course, it is now out of the box so taking it back to schedule a home delivery is out of the question. Tying knots is one of those things I always plan to learn before ‘next time’ but never manage to do. So in typical male fashion I thanked the guy and sent him back to his car to watch in amusement while I haphazardly created some complicated system of double square knots and tried to remember how a half hitch works… (the rabbit goes around the tree and down the hole.. wtf is the tree?). The important thing here is that I did NOT ask for help even though it was obvious I had no idea what I was doing.

Well, somehow I got it home in one piece, despite the occasional slam of the trunk door onto the back of the table surface.

Next thing I learned when I got home: the instructions were printed on the box. The box, as you may intuit, is still at the store. Well, because I am SO SMART, or, possibly, because the IKEA designers are that good, I figured out where everything went. Here it is all put together:

Ok, two things. First, it’s bigger than it looks. The super godzilla vs king kong sized coke from McDonald’s throws off the depth cueing. Second, the power cord to my laptop is actually plugged into my modem jack, which I discovered an hour later.


Listening to the lower half of the dial this afternoon. Some guy is interviewing a jazz pianist about harmony, and then they interview, and I am not making this up, an interior designer about harmony. WTF? How are these things at all similar aside from the attachment of that dual-meaning h-word? Then I found myself wondering what kind of person still finds the non-news portion of NPR relevant. If that person exists, I bet I wouldn’t like them.

Fink Ployed

I went to see some Pink Floyd tribute band tonight at the State. I was drawn like a moth to the promise of bright flashing lights and music that I knew all the words to. I suppose it was okay and a decent way to spend an evening. It wasn’t $17 okay, however. Of the 11 musicians that took the stage, I would say that 6 pass muster: the three backup singers, one of the keyboard players, the sax guy, and the drums. Here is what is wrong with the rest:

  • I am better than the lead guitarist. Moreover, it really irks me when guitarists use that method of vibrato where they grab the neck tightly like they are trying to strangle it, then they move their fingers back and forth along the string instead of bending the string. For me that is the tell-tale mark of a novice guitarist as it produces almost no vibrato on a fretted instrument and it also looks really dumb. Hey I even read an interview of David Gilmour once who said he hates when guitarists shake their fingers as fast as possible instead of making a smooth, easy vibrato.
  • The singer was merely okay. He didn’t quite have the voice of Roger Waters (and I thought I would never say that of anyone).
  • The rhythm guitarist sucked, but that’s expected of rhythm guitarists.
  • The bass player did fine most of the time, but sometimes his attacks were jarring. Passages that are legato in the original sometimes came out staccato which made me want to hurl an audience member at him, perhaps one of the couple that was sucking face right in front of me the whole time.
  • One of the keyboardists, the one who played on Time, ironically had no notion of time. And many of his samples just sounded wrong.

Also the band wasn’t as tight as they should’ve been. If we had the good keyboardist and the backup singers, Soundriver could definitely take them.