Tag: moving.2008

DMV, redux

I headed over the to DMV this afternoon in order to complete the last two steps of my conversion to Virginia resident: title and register my car. Last time it took about 30 minutes. This time it was about the same. I had everything I needed, my old title from Maryland, my emissions papers, my safety inspection paper. I filled out the application and got it almost all right the first time. (They ask how much you paid for your car. Since I bought the car new back in October 1996, I couldn’t recall exactly and didn’t have my diary in front of me. Turns out I guessed right. They also ask for “Fuel Type” and I put “unleaded”. I was supposed to put “gas” (as opposed to Diesel). I signed up for a 2 year registration, which gives you a slight discount.

I was surprised by two things: (1) I got my plates immediately and (2) I got my new title immediately. When I moved to Maryland 6 years ago, both were mailed to me, the title well after I submitted it to the Maryland MVA. I suppose processes have improved in the last 6 years.

When I got back from the DMV, I put the new plates on the car, along with the registration stickers, and put my new registration paperwork in the glove compartment. The title went back into the safe.

And so that it done. I am a Virginia resident. My car is registered, I have a Virginia license plate and am registered to vote in the state.

And in a little while, I’ll be leaving the state, and crossing into the District in order to play softball this evening.

A Virginia resident

The trip to the DMV was quick and uneventful. I was in and out in 30 minute, and when I came out, I had a Virginia driver’s license. They have a pretty streamlined and efficient system overall. First you get a number. When your number is called, you head off to the window, present your paperwork and pay the fee ($38 for me). You then go to get your picture taken and a few minutes later, they produce your license. I had to take a vision test, but that was easy. I read the letters off so fast that the guy just said, “Uh, good.”

I spent the rest of the late afternoon getting the office set up. I finally upgraded by iPhone to the new software, and downloaded a few applications. One of them is called iBeer, which I think strausmouse would find amusing. When Kelly got home from work, I helped replace the brake light on the back of her car.

We had our first real meal in the new place. I made ravioli tonight, with a spicy pasta sauce. It was good!

After dinner we went for a walk. I spoke to Doug for a while this evening. Also talked to Dad. Found out that Ivan Rodriguez was traded to the Yanks today.

The place is a really shaping up. I took a few pictures tonight and I will post some tomorrow.

Wednesdayt morning rundown

Up around 6:30 after getting a pretty good night’s sleep. Kelly worked wonders on our bedroom, which is now about the most completely unpacked and setup room in the house. Had breakfast while watching Good Morning America on the new TV. Packed my lunch and then Kelly and I headed off to work.

What a pleasure it is to have a 5 minute drive! I do plan on riding my bike, but I need to get it tuned up first. Maybe this weekend? I also got a call from the vet letting me know that the food I’d ordered is in. I have to head up to Riverdale this weekend to pick it up.

The morning flew by. I’m busy trying to debug some incompatibility between Safari 3.1 and some conference room scheduling software we use. It looks like we have it narrowed down to a particular JavaScript call (attachEvent vs. addEventListener) but I still have more digging to do. It’s what I spent most of the morning on, but I had R.E.M. to keep me company.

I ran to the post office to send off my check for the online writing workshop. I sent it priority mail so it should be there Friday or Saturday.

I have a ton of trash in the kitchen to take out this evening. If I can get that cleaned up, and a few other things, the place will start to look lived in, rather than just-moved-into. I might even take some pictures this evening so you all can see what it looks like.

Lunchtime. I already ate my sandwich. I’m going to read for a while before my 2 hours of meetings start up.


We get a “move day” at work and I used mine today. I headed to the old house this morning and arrived there at 9 AM to do the final cleanup. I was hoping to be done by 1 PM, but it took a little longer than I expected. I finished around 2 PM. I turned the keys over to the new tenants, and helped my landlord load some stuff onto his truck. I forgot to get the final meter reading for the water, but the new tenants are going to do that for me.

I hit traffic on the way home, and though I left at 2 PM, I didn’t get home until 4 PM. 2 hours to go 11 miles. Apparently, there was a fatal accident.

Once home, I did several things in rapid succession: (1) I wrote out a check to James Gunn for the writers workshop. I hadn’t had time to do it over the weekend what with all the moving. I put it in an envelop so that it goes out in the mail tomorrow. (2) I finally completed the wording for the info sheet that will go out in the wedding invitations. (3) I took all of the empty boxes (which had been broken down) out to the trash. It seemed to me like there were dozens of them.

Kelly got home shortly after that. She had gone to the cable place to swap out the boxes after work. We hooked up the new box and it works perfectly. So far.

I dashed up to work in order to meet the team for a softball game tonight. I missed the game last night, but I didn’t want to miss another one. Good thing, too, since we won both nights. Tonight we won 23-15, no thanks to my hitting. I went 0-4 with 1 RBI. I started in the outfield and moved to first base because I couldn’t throw; my elbow was bothering me too much.

After the game I came back home. Kelly had gotten our bedroom into near perfect order. It looks great! Things are finally starting to get settled. The cats are getting more and more used to one another, too.

I watched a portion of the Yankees/Orioles game in HD tonight. That’s pretty cool, too.

I haven’t had much of a chance to read these last few days. I’m 590 pages through The Count of Monte Cristo and I am also going to start reading The Science of Science-Fiction Writer in preparation for the workshop.

I’ve had several people ask me about pictures of the new place. Soon, I promise. I have been so busy, I just haven’t had a chance to take them.

For those of you reading this on your Friends page, I have finally gotten around to the backdated posts for the weekend and yesterday: Saturday, Sunday, Monday.

And now I’m all caught up.

Now you see it, and now you don’t

We were up pretty early this morning. Kelly had to go into work, but I stayed home because I needed to be here for the cable guy. I made good use of the time. I got my books unpacked. There are 36 boxes of books and I managed to get most of them unpacked and on shelves. Not in proper order, you understand, but in rough alphabetical order. I will need to go back through and do some rearranging, but it’s good enough for now.

The cable guy arrived at 9 AM. He got everything setup. HD cable downstairs, regular cable upstairs in the guest room/office. High-speed Internet (yeah! we have Internet again), phone service. I got the wireless working, and even have an extended WDS network going so that we can do remote wireless printing. When the cable was set up, I saw HD on my TV for the first time. I watched a portion of Sunrise Earth, and a portion on some show about Dracula on the History Channel. It was pretty cool!

I turned in our move-in checklist, noting all of the damaged items when we took possession of the townhouse. I was careful to note everything, not matter how small. The most significant things were (1) the ice maker does not seem to be working and (2) there is a loose tile in the kitchen floor. Once that was turned in, we got our mailbox keys and I emptied our accumulated mail. My replacement pilot certificate was there from the FAA. Way fancier than my original!

I headed into work at about 11:25 and was in my office at 11:35. Not too bad. It was a busy, hectic workday, despite it being only a half-day, mainly because of some software problems I’m dealing with.

After work, I went home (6 minutes) and did more unpacking. Kelly got home from work and wanted to rest for a while. She napped and I continued to do some unpacking. Later, I showed her the new HD stuff from cable.

We headed out to Target in the evening to do a bunch of shopping. When we got home, we decided to take it easy and relax in front of our new HDTV. And that’s when we discovered that the cable wasn’t working. Turns out that the box was bad, and to make a long story short, after talking with the cable company, and getting a $5 credit for the lost day, we have to swap out the box tomorrow. I was annoyed to no end, but what can you do?

I got the book I’d ordered for the writing workshop, James Gunn’s The Science of Writing Science Fiction.

This post is brought to you in HD

It was kind of hard to sleep in for some reason. I think both Kelly and I were anxious to get started with the settling in and unpacking. Dad, Jen, and Jason went to breakfast while Kelly and I got started on some unpacking. Then we drove over to Sarah’s, dropped off my car, and picked up her SUV. Sarah had somehow manage to slice up her ankle at an OAR concert the night before, and hobbled down to greet us. Meanwhile, Michael was cleaning out the car for us.

We headed back home (our new home!) and picked up Jason, and then headed over to Costco, arriving there right at opening time, 10 AM. Kelly managed to find a parking spot right in the front. I had scoped out the TV we wanted on Friday and knew exactly where they were. We picked up our Vizio 42″ 1080P High-Definition TV–the first for both of us–and were on our way. Well, almost. I had forgotten the checkbook and when I tried paying with my American Express card, it kept saying “Call Center”. Not knowing what that meant, we tried our debit cards, and for some reason those didn’t work either. Fortunately, Jason came to the rescue. He used his American Express card, and it worked just fine. I wrote him a check later.

After we got the TV back to the house, Jason, Kelly and I loaded up the truck with stuff we wanted to donate to Goodwill. We then headed over to Goodwill, dropped off the stuff, then headed to Kelly’s place to pick up another truckload of stuff to donate, and then back to Goodwill. After the second dropoff, we stopped at KFC to get some Extra Crispy Chicken, as Jen was having a pregnancy craving for this. We got enough for everyone and this was lunch.

Jen, Jason and Dad left sometime around 1 PM. Kelly and I headed back to Sarah’s to return her truck and pick up my car. We then headed to her old place to do the final cleanup. On the way there, we were caught in a sudden and torrential thunderstorm the likes of which I have only rarely seen. I crept along the highway at 25 MPH, not able to see much more than a few feet in front of me.

By the time we got to Kelly’s the rain had stopped and the sun had come out again. We were at her place for a few hours, cleaning up. I had to run back to our place to get a set of keys that Kelly forgot. When we were done, we headed to Whole Foods to do some grocery shopping, and finally, finally back home where we could relax a bit.

We don’t have cable until tomorrow, so tonight, I hooked the DVD player to the new TV and we watched a few episodes of M*A*S*H. I am taking half a SAB-day tomorrow because the cable guy is coming in the morning to get us all set up.

The cats finally met today. I think Zeke was very good about it. Maggie hissed at him once or twice, but Zeke, not having really been around other cats, didn’t seem too phased by it. They are all cautiously curious of one another at the moment.

Here comes the rain again

We were scheduled to play a scrimmage game yesterday after work, but we didn’t have enough players. I supposed everyone thought it was going to rain, but it didn’t actually rain until close to 9 PM last night. But when it rained, it poured.

I headed home around 4:30, and it wasn’t until I was ensconced on the train that I realized that I’d left my book at work. This is only the second time in 14 years that I can recall doing that and it’s incredibly frustrating. I wouldn’t have been able to get a lot of reading done last night, but I would have gotten some reading done.

I spent most of the evening collecting bulk trash for pickup tomorrow. When I finished, there was a ton of it out there. I took apart my old bed, which we are getting rid of, and slept on just the mattress last night. I got rid of an old dresser, and a ton of other stuff. The stuff got rained on but even so, I noticed some of it gone (like the dresser) when I left for work this morning, so it has found a happy home in someplace other than a garbage dump.

I feel like I still have a lot to do tonight, but it’s a lot of little stuff. We pick up the keys to the new place tomorrow after work and will probably go in, do a walk through, and bring a few things over.

AJ called last night. They are ready and willing to help with the move on Saturday. Since he11o_sunshine, stubiebrother, and bigblu4 will be here to help if we need it, and since we have movers doing the bulk of the work, I told him that they could come by Saturday afternoon to see the new place.

Big day for vickyandnorm today. Can’t wait to hear the good news from them.

TGI trans fats?

I’m about a day behind on things here because of my lack of Internet at home. Only a few more days of this to go. Things should be back to normal on Monday or Tuesday so bear with me.

Busy day at work yesterday.

On the moving front, I did a few more change of addresses, and some more packing last night. In particular, I got the telescope boxed up and the back room closet all packed up. Tonight is going to be a big night. Another bulk trash night, to say nothing of a whole bunch of stuff getting done around the house in preparation for the move on Saturday.

On the wedding front, called our travel agent today and paid the balance of our honeymoon trip. I owe Mom a list of people for the rehearsal dinner, and I owe he11o_sunshine information for the “info sheet” that is going into the invitations. There simply hasn’t been enough time in the day, but I’ll do my best to get it taken care of today.

Received the September issue of ASIMOV’S in the mail today. Kelly got the checks we ordered in her mail. vickyandnorm would like them: they are Disney checks.

Dad and I went for a walk around Greenbelt lake after work, and then after that, we headed over to TGI Friday’s for dinner. We had a nice dinner, and when it came time to order dessert, I glanced through the menu and immediately decided on their Oreo Chocolate Cake, which I’ve had before, and which I find delicious.

“I’ll have the Oreo Chocolate Cake,” I said to our waiter.

“We don’t serve that any more,” she said.

I was devastated. “Why not?”

“Because of trans-fats.” She didn’t really seem to grasp what this meant.

“Maybe you guys should remove it from the menu.”

“Yeah,” she said.

Dad ordered a Brownie Obsession. When our waiter returned with it, I asked her if I could speak to the manager. I told her it wasn’t about her, I was just fascinated by this trans-fats thing.

The manager came by a few minutes later, and as he described it, “This is a silly corporate thing. They are trying to make us [TGI Fridays] perceived to be health conscious, so we are removing all trans-fat products from our menus. Personally, I love the Oreo Chocolate Cake and think this whole thing is silly.”

“Why don’t they just have a section for low fat desserts and section for regular desserts?”

“I don’t know,” he said.

Later he came back and placed an amusing sticker over the Oreo Chocolate Cake on the menu: “Forced into early retirement”.

Nevertheless, the fact that a restaurant is making this kind of decision on my behalf bothers me. It bothers me for the same reason that soda machines being removed from schools bothers me. It presumes an unalterable lack of self-control on the general public. And it takes the decision out of the hands of a person that has self-control. What right does a restaurant have to determine what I can and can’t eat? What right do they have to determine what is and is not healthy for me? This seems to be a determination for me and my doctor; the restaurant should stay out of the equation.

Restaurants will always have limited menus, and therefore, narrow down our options for us. That’s understandable. But this is the first time I’ve heard of a narrowing down of options because of perception. While I understand that there are health concerns with some of these foods, but like anything, they should be treated with moderation, not banned. I think we have to question this, else what are we to expect next? People abuse alcohol in the same way they abuse food. Alcohol has been shown to have health risks when abused. Should restaurants start banning that too?


Took a sick day today because of a bad night of allergies and arm aches, which led to antihistamines and pain-killers. I’ve put myself on the DL for our game next Wednesday as I think I need to give my arm some rest.

I made as good use of the day as I could, considering I couldn’t log into work to check email. I did more packing, and made good progress on that front. I also did some cleaning. I got a haircut. I put out another ton or so of bulk trash for pickup tomorrow morning. I did my last bit of grocery shopping at the old house and the last bit of lawn mowing and bamboo trimming, too. I won’t miss the latter.

Kelly came over after work and we made dinner: ravioli, veggies, and a salad.

When it was close to sunset, I went into the backyard and sprayed a hornets nest that had formed under the back door. I bought this stuff that shoots 22 feet. I saturated the nest, as instructed, and in theory, I should be able to go out there tomorrow and remove the nest.

There was a full moon tonight and I took the telescope out so that Kelly finally had a chance to look at it. The angle was bad (tree branches, etc.) but I made up for it by getting a clear view of Jupiter the 4 Galilean moons. When I put in the more powerful lens, we were able to make out the bands of Jupiter. It was pretty cool to see.

Not a whole lot of reading today. I’m 354 pages through The Count of Monte Cristo.

Move, wedding and Readercon updates

More progress on move and wedding stuff yesterday:

Moving progress

  • We went over to the new place last night and paid the pet deposit and pro-rated rent for July. We also requested to get the keys a day early so we get them on Friday, July 25, which means we can get an earlier start on Saturday. Also gave them the proof of insurance and account numbers for various utilities that they needed.
  • Confirmed the cable setup for Monday, July 28.
  • Setup automated rent payments so that we don’t have to think about this–very convenient.

Wedding progress

  • I think I mentioned that Kelly took care of the flowers over the weekend.
  • I called the place where we are having our rehearsal dinner and booked a reservation for 7 PM on Friday, October 10. I have to fax them a contract and will do that over the next couple of days.


  • I opted to rent a car in Boston because the cost the rental and the cost of a taxi t the hotel were more or less a wash, and the rental car gives me more flexibility.
  • I still haven’t picked out all of my sessions, but I plan on doing that this evening. I have to cram in as much as I can in the two days that I will be there.