Compartment3 - April 2004

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Another House Update

They finally got the correct windows in.  For a while they had the wrong ones in our future living room.  They have finished the HVAC system and are now working on the plumbing.  At least that's what we've been told.  Since our house is now seven months late, it's hard to know how much to believe them.


Wednesday, April 28, 2004

An Old Movie

I love old movies.  Turner Classic Movies is one of my favorite cable channels.  Not so much American Movie Classics any more.  They run commercials now.

DVD's of old movies are good too.  I own some, use Netflix for others (they have a great selection.)  Still others I borrow from my friend David, who's a big Jimmy Stewart fan.  He recently lent me The Man Who Knew Too Much, an Alfred Hitchcock movie starring Jimmy Stewart and Doris Day.  It's a pretty good movie, featuring a classic Hitchcockian mystery, a kidnapped child, international intrigue and espionage, and of course Doris Day singing her hit tune "Whatever Will Be," a.k.a. "Que Sera, Sera."  All right, forget about that last part; she did sing the tune, but that's not why I think the movie's pretty good.

What I like best about this movie, and other old movies, is the glimpses into the past they provide.  The Man... was released in 1955, almost half a century ago.  From this movie, I've learned a few things:

1. No matter where you go, if you are a man, you need to be wearing a jacket and tie.  Stewart's character, Dr. Ben McKenna, is traveling with his family through the Moroccan desert on vacation.  Sitting in the back of a sweltering bus, of course he's wearing a jacket and tie.  Later that night, dinner at a nice restaurant: different jacket, different tie.  Chasing after the men who kidnapped his son: jacket, check; tie, check.

2. It's perfectly acceptable to sedate your wife before you give her bad news.  When good ol' Doc McKenna needs to tell the wife (Doris Day) that their son was missing, he first reaches into his pill bag, containing more drugs than Whitney Houston could use in a year.  "Don't worry, dear," he says comfortingly, "I prescribe drugs for a living."  I guess marriages were easier back then.  "Honey, I have some bad news to tell you, but first can you take some of these red pills?"

3. If your wife is an international singing sensation, star of stage on Broadway and in London, of course she'll give that all up with nary a peep and come to live with you in Indianapolis, that swinging metropolis of the Midwest.  Don't think they'd get away with that one today.  I couldn't get my wife to move to the other side of the Potomac River.

4. Why don't these stupid people just remember to carry their cell phones.  It would keep them out of a lot of trouble!

Watch an old movie and learn some things yourself.  Have fun!

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Over a Year!

Wow!  It's been over a year since I started this blog!  I missed the actual anniversary on March 25th, but you can always take a look at my first entries here.

Not that exciting, but hopefully I've grown on you, my Faithful Reader(s?).

One year, and I'm still making mistakes.  I realized that the posts I did between today and April 12th never made it to the server.  So, for the first time anywhere, enjoy....

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

The Edge of Seventeen

Stopped by the Wal-Mart in Leesburg to pick up The Matrix Revolutions and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World on DVD.  I had seen both movies already, and liked them enough to purchase them.  That's the modern way to judge how you feel about a movie: is it good enough to buy when it comes out on DVD?

There's also a second-tier of DVD purchases, aided by the great prices at Wal-Mart.  They have a bunch o' $9 DVD's.  That's cheap enough to pick up some interesting movies that might not make the cut at $29.95 or even $19.95.  I picked up The Battle of Britain, a great World War II movie.  I also bought Titanic, and no not because of Celine Dion!  The scene where Leonardo DiCaprio drowns is alone worth $9.

When I was checking out, the register beeped when the R-rated Matrix movie was scanned.  "Can I see your ID?" the girl asked me.

I started laughing and said, "Seventeen years ago I was older than seventeen!"  The guy behind me in line found that humorous, but the checkout girl did not.  Upon reflection, maybe it isn't so funny.  I'm old!

Saturday, April 17, 2004

Diabetes Expo 2004

The Missus and I volunteered today at the American Diabetes Association's Diabetes Expo 2004 held down at the Washington Convention Center.  My wife the nurse was assigned to help with health screenings: blood sugar, cholesterol and other medical tests.  Since I have no medical skills whatsoever, they wisely stationed me as far away from the medical stuff as possible.  I was assigned to Registration.  

First let me say that I had a great time and plan to volunteer again when the opportunity arises.  The women (and one other man) that I worked with were all really nice and we had a good time this morning.  Also, the ADA is a great charity and is fighting a truly terrible disease.  I encourage you to give your money and time to help.

Having said that, let me gripe a little.  I have this problem with inefficiency.  It's not that I'm so efficient—I'm not.  It's just when I see other people being inefficient or disorganized, I get upset.  I think it's a German thing.  My three-quarters German blood takes over when I see a disorganized group and I get the urge to conquer them and impose my will upon them.  I can't help it.

The Expo organization could've used some conquering!  They brought us in way too early.  I sat around for an hour and a half with nothing to do before they let us start selling tickets.  The Missus said I was lucky someone at least showed me what to do, nobody ever came to talk to the nurses.  Hopefully the next one will be better organized.

Like any good German, I volunteer—to be in charge!

Monday, April 12, 2004

House(s) Update(s)

Apologies to my Faithful Reader(s?) for sparse blogging.  Hope everyone had a nice weekend.  How about that Phil Mickelson, huh?

We go to settlement on the "old" house in early May.  We'll be renting back for a while—hopefully a short while—until our new house is ready.  Here's a couple of pics of the new house.  It's now green!  

They're making steady progress.  Hopefully this rain won't slow them down too much!


Tuesday, April 6, 2004

House Sold!

It's definitely a Verkäufermarkt out there!  Pardon me, I seemed to have slipped into German.  What I mean is that it's a seller's market out there.  We picked a very good time to sell our house.  The house went onto the MLS on Friday afternoon, and by Saturday night when we met with our realtor, we had eleven contracts.  I feel somewhat bad for people looking for a house right now.  The Missus and I remember how hard of a time we had three years ago when we were looking.  It seems to be a lot worse now.

We worked really hard cleaning and hauling away the clutter.  (We filled the storage unit we rented.)  But it paid off!  The first words my realtor said to me Saturday night: "It was a very good day for you my friend."

Here's a picture of the house with the For Sale sign up.