Wednesday, August 31, 2011

2Political Episode 61

2PP061 - 24 August 2011

2Political Podcast Episode 61- is now available. You can listen to it or download it from the podcast site, You can leave comments there as well as download or listen to any episode (you can access the five most recent episodes from the list on the right side of my blog).

Only delayed a week! We recorded this the day of the earthquake in Virginia. Then, shortly afterward, Arthur left on holiday but didn’t have the chance to edit or post this before he left. Turns out, he had to re-edit this once he got back.

To start out today, Jason talks about his experience of the earthquake. That leads us onto a discussion of that and of how our perception of the severity of these things varies from person to person. Arthur shares something he posted to Google+ (now included in a blog post) where he complains about snark of people toward thoseon the east coast.

Arthur suggests setting up your cellphone to be able to text to Twitter, Facebook or other social media in order to be able to let a lot of people know quickly—by text message—that you are OK or (in trouble). This is because text messages will usually go through when voice calls can’t connect. At the very end, we even talk about the Mayan calendar (double brain farts led to calling them Aztecs).

Please leave a comment (anyone's welcome—agree or disagree!), or you can ring the 2Political Comment line on 206-350-3982.

Links for this episode:
Six months later – Arthur’s blog post on the Christchurch earthquake that Jason mentioned
Perspective relativity – Arthur’s blog post, which includes what he read on the podcast.
Snow in Wellington – The video Jason mentioned
Shake Rattle and Roll – Jason’s blog post on the earthquake, posted after we recorded
Arthur’s blog, podcasts and videos can be accessed here.

Get 2Poltical Podcast for free on iTunes

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My Brother the Restaurant Reviewer

My brother, Ed, is doing stories for the Springfield News-Leader on the local restaurants around town. Here are links to two of the reviews:



I haven’t been to Pappy’s but I have been to Anton’s.

Anton's is a great place to have breakfast. The food is wonderful and the portions are very generous. The place itself is very eclectic. There are all sorts of menus on the walls from all over the place. Some of them look rather old. There are also pots and pans hanging from the ceiling. You can see that in a couple of the pictures accompanying the article.

And in it’s a small world moment. About a year or so ago when I was out there we there for breakfast. We ended up talking with the owner. We told him that originally we were from northern Illinois. The owner, Anton Tasich, talked about going to a summer camp at a Serbian monastery in Libertyville. It just so happens that the monastery was in the town next to the one I grew up in.

By the way if you every go to Anton's for breakfast, I highly recommend the pancakes with a side order of bacon.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

After the Storm, Part I

Well it is finally over.

I had a few more problems with the power. From about 10:50 to around 11:10, the power went on and off maybe four times. But eventually it came back on and stayed back on. Yeah!

It stayed windy and rainy for a good part of the night. It was still doing both when I looked out the window around 5:30 this morning.

I finally got out around 8:30. Still some light rain and a little wind. The house next door had one of the power lines, at least I think that's what it is, that runs from the house to the street down. Thankfully a tree is keeping most of it up in the air and out of the way. It does end up in the street but thankfully no sparks or anything like that. It is also possible it's the wire for the cable.

I walked down to the Giant and this is what I ran saw. A couple utility poles were crooked and this tree was snapped off.

After the Storm, Part II

The first to pictures show what's left on the shelves in the bread isle at the Giant Foods near my house. The last two pictures show a tree by Rhode Island Avenue that will have to taken down before it falls down. It's right near power lines too!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Lost Power

Lost power for a couple of hours tonight. It went off at about 6:50. It came back a little after 9.

There was a loud crack and everything went dark. What was disconcerting about it was the worst part of the storm is still hours away. Makes me wonder if the power will be one when I get up in the morning.

Here's hoping for the best :-)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Batten Down the Hatches

And anything else that's around.

The hurricane is coming.

There's a whiff of panic in the air.

The usual coverage of hardware and grocery stores having their shelves emptied.

Reporters standing on beaches with the waves in the background. I'm assuming by morning the reporters will be outside being pounded by wind and rain.

Robo-calls from the power company saying expect to loose power.

But as the day has progressed it looks more and more likely the major force of the storm will miss DC.

I got my batteries for my lamp just in case the power goes out.

I got a radio just in case the power goes out so I can find out what going on. Also got it because if there is a lot of rain my TV will go out because I have DirecTV (I do so wish FIOS was available (sigh)).

I am going back to the grocery store to pick up a couple more things. Not sure what will be left on the shelves but I'll find something. But I'm not going to go until at least 10pm. I hope there will be fewer people.

I'm hoping just wind and lots of rain.

Sounds like it could all be out of here by Sunday afternoon.

Here's hoping for the best.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Shake Rattle and Roll

Well we didn't have the roll part thank goodness. But I will say it is not often that you get a headline like this in the Washington Post:
5.8 magnitude earthquake rattles Washington

It started as a slight shaking. Sort of like when a big truck rolls by. Only there wasn't any sound. The shaking didn't stop. It intensified. That's when I knew we were having an earthquake. It lasted for about 45 seconds which is a very long time.

Because I'm in a work station, I and the people around me didn't have things move on us as other people did in my office. I stood up and I could feel the shaking. It's a little disconcerting when you stand up and try to be still and you feel the floor move under your feet.

I do have to say that my first reaction to this was it was a terrorist attack. After all the 10 year anniversary of 9/11 is coming up. But the fact there was no sound wave of an explosion lead me to believe rather quickly that it was an earthquake. Also the fact that the shaking continued and got stronger as time went on reinforced that idea.

After the shaking stopped, people started to react. Eventually, we evacuated the building. People immediately got on their cell phones and promptly weren't able to get through to anyone because of course everyone was on their cell phones. After about 15 minutes or so we went back into the building. I used my office phone and was able to call my dad and brother and a couple of my friends. I had no problems.

I stayed and worked for most of the rest of the day. The problem now was how to get home. Metro was running but trains were only going 15 miles an hour. They will do this until all the tracks have been checked. Hopefully things will be back to normal by tomorrow morning.

I decided I would walk home. I went out and saw the chaos that was going on in the streets. Many stop lights were blinking. Most intersections even where police were directing traffic were in grid lock. I'd thought about taking a bus but discarded that because I'd be stuck in all that traffic. So off I went on foot.

I made pretty good time to Union Station. The bars near there were full of people. I think they had decided to wait things out. Get dinner and maybe a few drinks before trying to get home.

I then headed toward the New York Ave. stop. My plan was to pick up the bike path that is there and then walk to Rhode Island Avenue. I stopped off at the Harris Teeter there to cool off. It wasn't very hot but the sun was very strong.

To get to the path, you have to walk right by the New York Ave. Metro stop. I peeked in and took look at the sign telling when trains would arrive in the station. It showed three trains, three 8 car trains no less, arriving at the station in the next 7 minutes or so. I decided to take a chance. I figured, if I couldn't get on any of the three trains, I'd walk home.

The first train pulls in. Not only was I able to get on but I was able to get a seat as well. I figure my walk from work had allowed Metro to catch up with the number of people wanting to get on. Took a little while to get to Rhode Island Ave. because of the speed restriction but I got there. I have to say I think Metro did a really good job of letting people know what was going on.

I walked home and checked out the house. Everything was fine.

And that was my earthquake Tuesday.

Monday, August 22, 2011

My goal was to do a little shopping and get some gas in my car

I wanted to find some nice short sleeve shirts. I only have one now. I use to have others but they are now too small. I can say rather proudly that they are small in the shoulder and chest area. Only one was too small around the tummy.

My plan was to set out early. I’d go to a place that had both a Kohl’s and a Target. I figured between the two places I would be able to find something. I also decided that I would get my gas in Maryland because it would be cheaper than in the District.

I didn’t start out early things just came up. I also ended up going and doing the last bit of grocery shopping in the morning. It was nice because very few people were there.

I finally get my act together and get going. I know there is a Shell station on the way to the shopping center. I’m going to Shell because of the program it has with Giant Foods. I get 10 cents off each gallon for every $100 I spend at Giant. I get to the place where the station is and there is a big back hoe where the gas pumps should be. Turns out they are digging up the tanks. This should have been a sign of things to come. I know there is another Shell station not too far away. It happens to be on the other side of the street so I decide I go there on the way back.

I get to the shopping center. I start at Kohl’s looking for shirts. There’s lots of things on sale. I take this as a good sign. Unfortunately, I could not fine anything I liked. More to the point I did find a couple of shirts I liked but none of them were in my size. And of course things in my size I did not like. Strike out at Kohl’s

I then went down the shopping are and went into the PetSmart that was there. I’m not sure why I do this. Well actually I do. It is a test to see if I’m ready to get another cat or cats. There were several very nice ones. Muffin was one. She was a calico about 6 years old. She got up from her cage and put her paw out. When I petted her, she licked my finger. There were a couple others that were equally nice. But I got really sad seeing them. I was thinking about how Sam isn’t around. So I’m still not ready. But Muffin was very sweet. I’m not sure I’d want to adopt a cat that was that old. I’m hoping come late winter or spring to be ready.

Heading onto Target feeling a little sad, I didn’t find anything there either.

Well I thought to myself at least I can get some gas on the way home. I drive pass the Shell station. This is right off the road and unfortunately there are only one set of pumps. And the cars were not facing the right way for me to pull in. None of the pumps would have been on the side that my gas tank is on. I’ve tried the over the car reach with the hose and that rarely works.

I decided I’ll go for a short drive and then come back to this place. I do that and there is a delivery truck taking up one side. There are cars on the other side facing the wrong way for me to pull in. So I give up on getting gas.

I decide time to go home. But on the way is a Best Buy and I stop off there. I just wonder around for a while. I look at TVs. I’m thinking about maybe getting an LED TV in the fall. I’d have Best Buy install it and then finally get Netflix set up so I can stream movies.

I head out to my car. It is now starting to cloud up. There is a little rain falling. I’m driving home and I notice another Shell station. What happens next more or less sums up how my weekend worked out.

I have to turn around because I’m in the wrong lane to pull into the station. I get in. It is starting to rain a little harder. But there’s a covering over the pumps. I get my discount from Giant of 20 cents off for each gallon. I put in my credit card get that all done and start pumping my gas. The rain is now coming down harder. It is starting to thunder and lightening. There is a bolt of lightening that hits hear by. The power at the gas station goes out. I’ve only pumped about five gallons of gas.

The pumps try and reset themselves. Of course my transaction is finished. Didn’t fill up the tank. Won’t get the discount if I finish filling up the car. The rain is coming down rather hard now. I decide to just get my receipt and get out of there.

I walk to into the station office. There machines are resetting themselves. I then look back at my car and notice that the gas cap is on the top of the car. I go out and put it where it belongs. It is now raining even harder. I go back in to the station office. The computers are up and I get my receipt. It is now pouring down rain. The awning over the pumps can’t hold back the water. There is a huge amount pouring out on one place. That place just happens to be right above the door to my car.

I believe I said something appropriate and headed out to get into the car. Of course I’d locked the door. The water was falling so fast it was literally bouncing off my head. I get soaked. I am able to get into the car pretty quickly but as I said I get soaked. I am pleasantly surprised that the inside of the car does not get wet.

I drive off towards home. Less than 10 minutes later the sun is out. You would have never know that it had rained.

Happy Sunday.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Wonderful Video

Saw this on the Washington Post site and my friend Arthur's site and several other places too. This is just a wonderful video. The comment I posted on Arthur's site said this: Isn't it wonderful that something so simple can bring out so much joy. Fantastic video.

It certainly made me smile.

Snow on Cuba Mall in central Wellington (HD) from Ro Tierney on Vimeo.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Roller Coaster Ride aka The Stock Market

I used to really love roller coasters when I was younger. I worked at Great America when I was a teenager and really loved going on the coasters there. Over time as I got older I started to enjoy them less and less. I’d get off them and not have a real good sense of balance for a couple of hours. So I’ve stopped riding them.

The way the stock market is acting these days reminds me of being on a roller coaster again. I was going to say it looked like things had sort of settled down but along came today and a drop of 419 points. They don’t seem to be all that settled.

The headline stocks plunge on worries of global slow down. Of course the fact that the market is going down reinforces that impression. You have to wonder at what point does it become a self fulfilling prophecy. The market goes down because of worries of a slow down and then the market goes down again because the market went down the day before and so on and so on.

The funny thing is that the “analysts” try to make out there is some sort of logical reason for all this happening. The debt in Greece, concern about Italy, concern about France. concern about the number of people filling for unemployment. Or is the real reason that Wall Street and other markets have woken up to the fact that the recession is still on for a great number of people.

Analysts also keep telling the small investor, the average guy on the street to remain calm and not move out of the market. You just need to ride it out. After all there really aren’t many places to put your money besides the stock market.

They need to start telling this to some of the larger players. Last week the markets in Europe went down based on a rumor that a big bank in France might be in trouble. Not on the fact it was in trouble but the rumor that it might be. When this can cause the market to tank, it shows all logic and reason has gone out the window. The markets are sort of like a manic depressive/bi-polar person that’s off their medication. Wild mood swings. Big rallies. Big drops. Near hysteria in the financial markets.

I think we have to be really happy tomorrow is Friday. Perhaps over the weekend the markets can get a refill on their prescriptions.

Thursday Laugh

In light of all the turmoil over the past week or so, I thought it was time for a smile. Another funny series from Peanuts. I have to say I agree with Lucy sentiment in the last panel of the first cartoon. Click on each panel to enlarge.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

When In Doubt Call Someone a Traitor

“Printing more money to play politics at this particular time in American history is almost treacherous, or treasonous, in my opinion,” Mr. Perry said.

From the Washington Post:
Meanwhile, spokesman Ray Sullivan declined to walk back the governor’s harsh remarks about Bernanke, though he did not repeat the charge of treason Perry leveled on Monday night. “The governor was passionate and energized by a full day” of campaigning, he said. “It was his way to talk about his views” on the budget and the country’s fiscal problems.

Asked if he thought the language had been too harsh, he said, “You’ll just have to listen to what the governor says every day. The message is going to evolve to be responsive to the news of the day.”

And Mr. Perry should know all about treason. This is the same guy who talked about Texas seceding from the United States.

I might also add you can be passionate and energized on an issue. While at the same time not call into question the patriotism of the people you disagree with.

Perry then went on to question the President’s patriotism as well:
The Republican candidate — who served in the Air Force from 1972-1977 — said he believed that the men and women in the armed forces would have more respect for a president who had served in the military than one who had not.

“That’s just a fact of life,” he said.

He then pointedly noted Obama’s lack of military service. “The president had the opportunity to serve his country I’m sure, at some time, and he made the decision that that wasn’t what he wanted to do,” he said.

I didn’t realize there was a requirement in the constitution that you had to have served in the military in order to run for the office.

I have to wonder Perry's take on ordinary Americans the vast majority who have not served in the military. Are we to question their patriotism as well?

I agree with the what the Post said in the editorial on start of Perry’s campaign:

But there has never been a whisper, let alone any evidence, that Mr. Bernanke’s actions have been motivated by anything but patriotism and determination to see the U.S. economy regain its footing. There was never a whisper, let alone any evidence, that the Republican-appointed Fed chairman sought to help Republican candidate John McCain in 2008, and there is no reason to believe he is playing politics now.

If Mr. Perry has evidence to the contrary, he should present it. If not, he should apologize.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What a way to nominate a president

Here’s a headline from the Post after Saturday’s straw poll: Bachmann wins Iowa straw poll

And a huge number of people 16,584 participated. It means Bachman got an incredible 29% of the vote. Can you say meaningless? I thought you could. I believe no one who’s won this poll has gone on to win the Iowa Caususes which are in five or so months.

From this Monday’s Post:
Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty’s decision early Sunday to drop out of the 2012 Republican presidential race reflected the uncomfortable reality that his poor showing in a straw poll the previous day had made clear: He was the wrong man for the moment.

I think this really shouldn’t come as the much of a shock since watching paint dry was more intresting then listening to Pawlenty speak.

But you have to wonder how a straw poll could have this much impact on a presidential race. Then again it is August and the media doesn't have a great to focus on. Also people seem to love the horse race aspect of the race so the Ames Straw Poll was perfect for that.

Once again how exactly does this show the strengths of a candidate running for president.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Heavens Opened Last Night

A little after 10pm last night the heavens opened up.

It poured like crazy for a solid 30 minutes and then it "slowed" up to just a heavy down pour. For about 15 minutes or so it rained side ways. Here are a couple of pictures that I took from my front stoop of the downpour.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Civil War 150, the Battle of Wilson's Creek

This battle was fought near Springfield, Missouri where my dad, Ed and Jennifer live.

They've had several days of reenactments of the battle. Here are a couple of links to stories and picture of those events. Re-enactors gather to capture Civil War moment and 'Keep the love of history alive for the future'

Here's some information on the battle

Wilson's Creek was the first major Civil War battle fought west of the Mississippi River, and the scene of the death of Nathaniel Lyon, the first Union general killed in combat. Although a Southern victory, the Southerners failed to capitalize on their success. With the exception of the vegetation, the field has changed little and remains in near pristine condition.

Around 18,000 men were involved on both sides. Total casualties was in the area of 2,500 men that included killed, wounded and missing. This was the high water mark for the Confederacy where Missouri was concerned. Although there was a formal declaration of secession, the secessionists were never able to establish control over much more than southwestern Missouri including the area around Springfield. A few months after Wilson's Creek was the Battle of Springfield set in motion the events that forced the secessionist state government out of Missouri for good.

Below are some pictures that my brother took at the reenactment on Friday.

Rush Sells Tea

I stumbled upon this the other day while walking to work.

You can purchase the tea by going to the the web site Two if by tea. And then read some lovely propaganda about Rush.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Get Your Halloween Candy Now

That's right get it right now at the grocery store.

I was at Giant's food this morning and noticed that the Halloween candy is already out. Now there is no display associated with the candy but it is out. There are Halloween Peeps and something called Halloween Taffy (sounds gross) and M&Ms has some out as well.

The candy takes up a good space on the shelves. I'd say at least ten feet wide and four or five feet tall.

So hurry in and stock up after all Halloween is only 10 weeks away.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

2Political Episode 60

2PP060 - 10 August 2011

2Political Podcast Episode 60- is now available. You can listen to it or download it from the podcast site, You can leave comments there as well as download or listen to any episode (you can access the five most recent episodes from the list on the right side of my blog).

We recorded this only the day before it’s being posted! We actually recorded last week, but Arthur was too swamped to edit it, so we dumped that episode and recorded a new one. To try and fix this problem, we’re going to try recording the second and fourth week of the month. It should be easier for Arthur to edit and post the episode in a timely manner.

After Special Days, and some of Jason’s Special Experiences, we talk about the aftermath of the debt crisis, especially the “tea party downgrade”. We speculate on why economics news and commentary is so bad. Do Republicans even understand anything about economics?

Finally, we talk about the latest entrant into the Republican Clown Car Cavalcade, Rick Perry. We don’t think much of him, and neither of us thinks he’s bright, sincere or genuine.

Please leave a comment (anyone's welcome—agree or disagree!), or you can ring the 2Political Comment line on 206-350-3982.

Links for this episode:
Bud Billiken Parade
National Hobo Convention
Battle with the Toilet – from Jason’s blog
Arthur’s blog, podcasts and videos can be accessed here.

Get 2Poltical Podcast for free on iTunes

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

The Downgrade and Beyond

The down slide. The double dip. The double . . .

Pick you term. We’re in trouble. The problems across the sea come home to roost here. The problems in this city come home to roost. S&P down grades. Markets slide.

Wow what a fun couple of days. I’m so glad I never really thought I’d retire. As I always say I’ll be working when I’m dead. And the way things are going that might not be too far from the truth.

What exactly did S&P say in their wonderful down grade message? Here’s a part of it:

The political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we see as America’s governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less effective, and less predictable than what we previously believed. The statutory debt ceiling and the threat of default have become political bargaining chips in the debate over fiscal policy.

Despite this year’s wide-ranging debate, in our view, the differences between political parties have proven to be extraordinarily difficult to bridge, and, as we see it, the resulting agreement fell well short of the comprehensive fiscal consolidation program that some proponents had envisaged until quite recently. Republicans and Democrats have only been able to agree to relatively modest savings on discretionary spending while delegating to the Select Committee decisions on more comprehensive measures. It appears that for now, new revenues have dropped down on the menu of policy options. In addition, the plan envisions only minor policy changes on Medicare and little change in other entitlements, the containment of which we and most other independent observers regard as key to long-term fiscal sustainability.

In other words Congress kicked the can down the road and thought no one would notice. I wonder if the Tea Party people are still saying nothing will happen. Oh right that was on default nothing will happen if we default. Well we didn’t default and a whole hell of a lot happened. 635 points in one damn day. One can only wonder what will happen later today.

Who’s to blame for this?

Well I think a large part of it can go to the Tea Party. Holding the debt ceiling hostage. If it had just been raised we probably would not be facing this. But there are other people at fault too. The Democrats for underestimating the Tea Party. Obama for not getting involved in the talks earlier. And then I’d say politicians in general for playing games with the economy. Little if nothing will happen to the politicians.

Once again it’s the average citizen who’s going to get hit while cleaning up the mess.

Wonder if the Dow can loose another 600 points today?

Tuesday Treat

This is the final couple of panel from Peanuts where Charlie Brown's baseball team quits on him.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Harry Potter in IMAX 3-D

This was the fun part of my weekend (as opposed to what happened on Sunday).

A friend and I went and saw this at the Samuel C. Johnson IMAX Theater at the Smithsonian’s Natural History museum. The screen was huge. To be exact the screen is 90 feet wide by 66 feet high. It was also in 3-D. Let me tell you it was very impressive indeed.

I got the tickets in advance just in case the show might sell out. As it turned out that wasn’t the case. I got down a little early to see if there was going to a big crowd for the show. In the end there were probably around 50 to 60 people in the theater.

This is the way to see a movie. The screen is huge. The 3-D worked really well. There was still a little of that mudding effect of people in the back ground. But with a screen so large it really didn’t happen that often. One other thing it was really funny to see fuzz on the film because you saw it in 3-D.

Again I enjoyed the movie. Really enjoyed the movie. A couple of things I really liked. I like the way they showed how Neville has grown. He scene at the bridge is fantastic. When he kills the snake just great. The scene with Harry, Hermione and Ron is very powerful. Harry decides to chuck the elder wand. The three of them then join hands. Ron then Hermione and then Harry. At the end of the 19 years later scene that’s the way the three of them are lined up again. Ron, Hermione and Harry. In a word brilliant.

I’m going to miss going to see these films They were just so amazing.

Recovering from Sunday

After all the fun with the toilet (see story below), I was rather wiped out for the rest of the day. I'd planned to do some cleaning up around the house but didn't get all that far. I did do laundry and grocery shopping and few other things around the house. They I collapsed on the couch.

Below is my Sunday funny but a day late. This is a continuation of the very very funny Peanuts series about Charlie Brown's entire baseball team quitting on him. Happy Monday?

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Battle with the Toilet

That's what I had this morning a battle with the toilet. Of course not just any toilet it was the toilet in my bathroom.

I used it early this morning. Flushed it. The water didn't start running to fill it up again. Well actually it did but there was so little water coming out it would have taken hours for the toilet tank to fill up again.

Great I think. It is right about 5:30 in the morning. I start thinking what am I going to do. Home Depot doesn't open until 8 am. I go back to be for a little while.

I get up maybe 10 minutes later. I use the waste paper basket in the bathroom to fill up the toilet tank. I'm going to flush the thing again and maybe the refill tube will work properly. The refill tube is the little piece of tubing that goes from the fill valve and connects to the over flow pipe. This is what the water comes out to refill the toilet tank.

I flush nothing happens. No water comes out of the refill tube. There is a very small amount of water that drips off the fill valve. As I recall some choice four letter words come out of my mouth.

Once again what to do. I want to start and try and get this thing fixed right away I don't want to wait until Home Depot opens. I think on this for a little while longer. I then remember that I just might have a Fill Valve kit somewhere.

I go down into the basement. I actually find a Fill Valve kit. I think well maybe just maybe I might be able to do this. After all how hard could it be ( as it turned out plenty).

I open the package and I make sure that I have all the parts. Turns out I do. Then I read the instructions. Here's what number one says:

1. Shut off water supply to tank. Flush tank ans sponge out remaining water. Remove old fill valve assembly.
Now that seems pretty straight forward. I flush the toilet. Get up the excess water. They go do remove the old fill valve. The diagram with the instructions show the old assembly being lifted out of the toilet tank. Not how you disconnect the thing. I'm stumped here.

I go downstairs and Google replacing well you get the idea. Seems removing the old assembly isn't all that simple. Here's what I found later on-line:

To remove the toilet fill valve you first need to disconnect the water line going into it. Next loosen and remove the nut under the toilet tank that holds the fill valve in place. Then lift the old toilet valve out of the toilet tank.

Easier said then done. The water line is of course underneath the toilet. It is also in just about the most inaccessible part of the whole damn bathroom. I have to get a wrench in there some how to loosen the lock nut and coupling unit (see I learned toiled aren't you proud of me). I have to jam myself in a very small space between the wall and the toilet. I've taken off my shirt because I'm on the floor and there's water and it seemed silly to have a shirt on when it is going to get all wet. I'm really really sweating. I wedge myself into the space to get to the old assembly. But the probably is I'm sweating so much I'm literally sliding down the wall.

It takes me a while to do this but I get it done. Out comes the old assembly. I'm actually feeling proud of myself. I think half way there. This should be easy now (what was I thinking!)

I put the new Fill Valve in. At least I try to. I'm a little confused by the instructions exactly what you are supposed to do. I begin to feel that I don't have all of the parts. I read the instructions very very slowly and carefully. This is what I figure out.

There are two parts something called the Shank Washer and something called the Cone Washer. The Shank Washer goes inside the toilet tank at the bottom of the Fill valve. It creates a seal so the water won't drain out of the tank. Depending on the connection you have from the water shut-off valve to the toilet you may or may not use the Cone Washer.

The thing is these two pieces are attached to one another. I Shank Washer is about an inch or so across. The Cone Washer at the most a quarter of an inch. They are both made of rubber. They are made as one piece. You're supposed to punch out the Cone Washer from the middle of the Shank Washer. Thus making both parts usable. The picture in the directions for this is terrible. It shows this process from the side so it is hard to figure out which piece is which as you can see below.

I get the two pieces apart. I'm really concerned that I'll somehow ruin both. Turns out I don't do that. I then get the Fill Valve in. I connect everything back up. I turn on the water. Water starts leaking out of the connection into the toilet tank.

I won't go into all the details or all the choice words I used. I turn the water back off. I try and tighten Lock Nut and the Coupling Nut but even after that water is still coming out. I get even madder if that is possible to imagine. I think to myself maybe I can try and take that thing off and start over. But I'm not able to do this.

For some reason I don't know why I turned the water back on and no water leaks out of the tank. Some how I've fixed it. And that was my battle with the toilet this Sunday morning.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Funny Head Shots

A friend took this picture on her way into work. It is very funny.

Fun for Thursday

Well the week is almost over and the temperature here in DC is below 90. That's reason to celebrate. Here are a couple of Peanuts strips. This continues a very funny series where Schroeder has quit the team to practice Beethoven.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Debt “Deal”

Wow what a mess. No wonder people thing government is unable to solve problems because it seems that it can’t. It kicked the can down the road. Cuts in discretionary spending. No cuts in the programs that really need to be looked at. The programs that will cause the deficit to continue to increase. No realistic look at increase in revenues even through closing tax loops holes.

No focus on jobs as the economy continues to sputter to a near if not complete halt:
Analysts blamed the U.S. markets’ declines on rising worries over the health of the economy, which has come into renewed focus now that Washington has resolved its months-old fight over the country’s borrowing limit.

“I think the market has been surprised by the economic data, and I think they are becoming more concerned about the economic outlook,” said Paul Dales, U.S. economist at the Toronto forecasting firm Capital Economics.

As one commentator said, Congress was able to solve a crisis completely of its own making the debt ceiling crisis. But they are completely clueless in solving the crisis that matters to the average citizens the lack of jobs.

And the way things are going, Congress won’t be looking at that anytime soon.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Rhode Island Row Continues to Develop

Rhode Island Row continues to develop. It looks like there are starting on the last major set of buildings that will be part of the complex.

There has also been a major upgrade to their web site. There are now floor plans available to the various units that will be offered. They range from 1 bedroom/one bath to a three bedroom/three baths. You don't get a sense of the dimension of any of the rooms. A list of amenities offered in the apartments: a pool, grilling area, 24-hour fitness center and garage parking.

According to an article in Urban Turf:
UrbanTurf recently spoke to Vicki Davis, president of Urban-Atlantic, who is developing the Rhode Island Row project, a large mixed-use project at 919 Rhode Island Avenue NE next to the Red Line station. Davis said that starting in October, the first of the project’s 274 rental units will be ready for occupancy, and that potential tenants will be able to start looking at apartments in mid-August.

I'm a little concerned about what this going to do to traffic especially when attempting to get in and out of the Home Depot/Giant parking lot. I think this could be a potential problem especially in the spring when everyone is going to Home Depot for spring plants.

It seems the retail space won't be available until sometime next year:
The two buildings will also have 70,000 square feet of retail between them, although the first establishments won’t open until next March. For now, Urban-Atlantic is staying mum about potential tenants, waiting to make an announcement about retail offerings until the end of the year.

Rhode Island Row Continues to Grow, Part I

Things are moving along at an accelerated pace. There also doing some work on the road that goes into the Home Depot/Giant parking lot.

Rhode Island Row Continues to Grow, Part II

The last pictures shows the development right along Rhode Island Avenue. I think this is the area that will open first. According to the plan this apartments will be available in October.