Monday, November 22, 2010

What a crazy, snowy day

The first snow of the year, in a town that doesn't get snow at all. I don't mean Seattle doesn't see its fair share of the stuff – we get a pretty nice amount every other year or so. I mean we don't get snow. It befuddles us. We can't walk in it, drive in it, we can't dress for it, we can't predict it and we cannot deal with it when it arrives.
My commute this morning was nearly two hours, because of a couple of wrecks on the Aurora Bridge.

Once I finally got past the blockage, I discovered that my power steering had stopped working. Great. 

I struggled with the car until I got to work, called the dealership, and got a few things done before leaving again at 1:00 to take the car in.

To my great surprise, when I started it up and left the parking garage, the steering seemed to be fine. I called up the dealership: "Do I really need to bring it it?" I was dreading the repair cost, because while I love my car very much, it's never cheap on those few occasions that I have to get something fixed.

"Yes, bring it in. It went out once, it could go out again."


I was actually not unhappy when I got there and found that I'd been awarded this shiny red convertible as a loaner car.

As of right now, I still don't know what's wrong with my steering, whether it will in fact go out again, and what it'll cost to ensure that it doesn't. They won't even be able to look at it until Friday. In the meantime, the red car will do just fine.

However, having recently peered out the front door, I'm not at all sure I'll be going anywhere tomorrow. We already have a couple of inches, at least; it's still coming down and may just go all night.

I'm glad we're stocked up on soup.

Mina, sweet and silly hound that she is, loves the snow. It makes her run around like a crazy beast, huffing it up and chasing snow ghosts. We throw snow balls and tell her to catch or fetch them, which puzzles her as they disappear into the rest of the whiteness on the ground.

But she adopts a cheerful and zenlike attitude about the whole thing, and eventually goes inside to watch the snow from her chair in the living room. Sometimes she barks to let us know that a car is trying (and usually failing) to make it up our frozen hill.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Back to blogging and the sandwich incident

It's been forever since I actually posted anything here. Since the rise and domination of Facebook, blogging seems outdated and cliched. But there have been times lately when I have things I want to say that can't be contained in FB's limited status area - what is that? Maybe 400-some characters? Damn, I have opinions that just won't fit in that space.

I'm quite aware that pretty much no one will be interested in reading this, and if anything, that's a bit comforting. I'm not looking for readership or attention, just a place to write a few words from time to time; to keep in practice with forming thoughts longer than those 400 allowed characters.

Also, with the constant availability of a small, portable computing device, I can actually keep track of thoughts at times when I'm not near a desktop computer. Amusingly, just before I typed this sentence, I had the following exchange:

Guy walks up to my table: "Excuse me, can I ask a question? Is that all right?"
Me: "Yeah, sure!"
Guy: "Is that an iPad?"
Me: "Yes, it is..."
Guy: "Ok, thanks." Walks away.

Wow, I hope he got what he wanted out of that exchange.

The other funny thing that happened just now, during this very lunch hour, has to do with my lunch itself. First, I should explain that I'm eating in a cafe of sorts, in our building — it's really more of a cafeteria than anything, but "cafe" is in the name, so there you go. This place is run by a group that helps rehabilitate ex-cons by providing them employment here in the kitchen, as servers, and at the cash register. They're all pretty nice folks, though the food's a bit less than gourmet, if you know what I mean. Anyway, I've been trying to eat better, so I asked the lady at the grill if she had the caloric info of the items on their menu, specifically the garden burger. She went in the back for a while, and came back to tell me: "The garden burger is 140 calories."

"That's all?" I was surprised; surely the bun alone would be more than that.

"Just the patty," she said.

"So what would it be with everything on it?"

"I'll go ask..." and she disappeared again. A line was building behind me and I felt conspicuous.

She came back and said that she wasn't able to tell me how many calories were on the burger as prepared, but listed what was on it. Feeling that it was time to stop holding up a busy lunch line, I said, "Ok, that's fine: I'll just get it and figure it out later."

So I took my number, sat down and read for a while, and shortly a cafe employee walked up with the red plastic basket that burgers come in. In the basket was:

A garden burger patty.

And nothing else.

It only took a few minutes to clear up the situation, and I got my garden burger, but you can bet I inspected it carefully in case someone was pissed off and had decided to spit in there. It seemed fine and was tasty. Still..huh.

Happy Friday!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad