Compartment3 - November 2003

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Happy Thanksgiving

I'm off until next Tuesday.  Ahh, it feels so good to say that.  A nice long weekend.  Sweet!  

The Missus and I are off to Bowie for some delicious food prepared by my sister-in-law and her brother.  Then later, we travel to the other side of the Potomac Drainage Basin for some more incredible food at my other sister-in-law's in Leesburg.  (Then on Friday you can find me at the gym all day.)

I hope you all have a safe and happy Thanksgiving tomorrow.  Here's a little something to put you in the spirit of the day: Turkey and Gravy soda anyone?

Tuesday Morning Quarterback

Fans of the NFL will enjoy Gregg Easterbrook's weekly Tuesday Morning Quarterback, now to be found at Enjoy!

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Ball's Bluff

Took a hike this weekend in Ball's Bluff Regional Park, which will be within walking distance of our new house (assuming it ever gets built.)  A small Civil War battle took place there in 1861.  Now it's mostly just a nice area of woods, some trails and, at least when I was there, some women jogging with their dogs.  There's also a lonely cemetary, bordered by a low brick wall and marked with an American flag.  There are 54 Union soldiers buried there; 53 of them unknown.  Only James Allen, Massachusetts Infantry, had his name on a marker.

And off to the side, but not in the National Cemetary, is another grave marker:

Clinton Hatcher
Co. F 8th Va Regt.
Fell bravely defending his native state

Though it was a beautiful clear day in the woods, it all made me a little sad.  All those dead kids and we don't even know the names of most of them.

Saturday, November 15, 2003

House update

I had a dream once about buying a new car.  It was a cool two-seat sports car, like an old 280Z.  Except it wasn't old, it was new, shiny and gorgeous.  When I woke up, I really thought I'd bought that car.  I was looking forward to taking a drive down some country road, testing the engine, feeling its power....

Then I looked out in my driveway and saw my old car sitting there.  I guess I knew it was a dream, but for a minute, I was really truly surprised that my old car was there.

Now I kind of feel that way about the house that we bought back in June.  Did we really buy it?  Or was it just a dream?  

The salesman says they are still having some trouble with the county over the plans for the grading of the neighborhood.  Instead of the original "Oct-Nov" date, it's now looking like "late spring or early summer."

Maybe it was just a dream.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Ray's Photos

As I've mentioned before, Ray Flanagan, my brother-in-law, is an excellent photographer.  Take a look at some of his photos here and here.

Sunday, November 9, 2003

New House

We're having a new house built in Leesburg.  It was supposed to be done by the end of November, but I have my doubts.  You might share my doubts if you look at this picture I took last weekend.  Click on the little picture to see a bigger version.  

Our (future) house is that big pile of dirt on the left.

Thursday, November 6, 2003

Wrong Numbers

My work number is 301-240-4322.  Seems like a reasonable number, right?  But, there's a problem.  My part of Maryland (the part that I work in) shares two area codes: 301 and 240.  So, you may ask, what's the problem with that?  

Well, it's all about finger memory.  You don't think your fingers have memories?  Do you know how to type?  If you can type fast, you couldn't possibly do that if you had to think about every letter.  Your fingers remember for you.  They remember phone numbers too.  

Ever since there've been area codes, Maryland's has been 301.  (For some area code geekosity, check out the LincMad website.  It'll tell you everything you'd ever want to know, and more.)  Suddenly, a year or two ago, the area code 240 was created as an "overlay" to 301.  But, and herein lies the problem, people—and their fingers!—still remember to dial 301 first, even if they are dialing a 240 number.  So there's a chance that every time someone tries to dial any number from 240-432-2000 to 240-432-2999, their fingers are going to dial a 301 first.  And they'll get me!

Another wrong number!

Since I get at least two wrong numbers every day, I've had a chance to study how people react to wrong numbers.  There are a lot of "clickers."  They're the people that hangup right after they hear me say, "Chris Gleason, Lockheed Martin."  Most of the people that actually stay on the line are nice enough.  Some even apologize for dialing a wrong number.  One guy started arguing with me—he couldn't believe he dialed wrong.  He hung up on me after I told him to blame it on his fingers.

One of my friends at work has come to dread answering his phone.  (Since we all have 301-240-xxxx numbers, everyone gets wrong numbers.)  My friend was getting calls from an elderly woman who wanted to talk to her daughter.  She thought my friend was her son-in-law and was keeping her from talking to his wife out of spite.  Getting cursed out by an old lady is bad enough—it's even worse when it isn't even your mother-in-law.