Thursday, June 28, 2007

Dog Days

The dog days of summer are already upon us as the heat index reached 99 yesterday. It wasn't quite as bad on Tuesday when we had practice, but it was close. A front is due through today to lower the temperature and provide relief for the weekend.

For Tuesday's practice we were short a rower to make up two Men's 8+s. We were also short a coxswain necessitating one of the rowers coxing one of the 8+s. Hence making us two rowers short. I got to row 2 seat on the 8+ with only 6 rowers. The advantage of rowing with 6 rowers is it makes the boat lighter. This made it possible to hang with the other 8+ at least for most of the time. The disadvantage is without the extra weight, the shell rides higher in the water and makes it that much more difficult to set or keep level. The shell flopped a lot from side to side so the run of the boat was compromised to some degree. We did three 12 minute pieces against the other 8+. Overall we did ok with having just 6 rowers. We tended to fall behind on the corners as the other 8+ usually managed to turn tighter while we went wide. This is ok for practice, but a killer during head races. With the heat and humidity we were all soaked through by the end of practice and our water bottles close to empty. Should be more of the same this evening unless the thunder storms roll in early and effects practice.

Our house is almost 30 years old although how that is possible is beyond me. We need to replace the windows. They're still the original ones from when the house was built. Almost all of them no longer open and you can really feel the draft through them during the colder months. We had the first contractor drop by last evening. I'm not sure all what he was expecting, but he definitely wasn't prepared to give us a quote. There was a lot of talk of the windows they use (Heartland) and what great work they do and he did a quick look at some of the windows, but he gave the impression he was sort of the second team guy. He originally thought we wanted just a few windows (like 4) replaced and not all of them (we have 24) plus two sliding doors. I'm sure the owners themselves would have shown up if the signals hadn't gotten crossed somewhere. Anyway, a return visit is schedule for Saturday afternoon to give us some hard numbers. We also asked for a quote on replacing the siding. We'll see how it goes. Plus we need to get a few more quotes from other contractors. I hate this part of it.

With the 4th of July falling on a Wednesday, I've decided to use some of my vacation time and take the Monday, Tuesday and Thursday off. With this Friday being my regular Friday off, that will give me a week off. Works for me. Now if I can just avoid Ann making me a To Do List.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Happy Birthday To Our First Born

Yesterday Daughter#1 turned 27. It hardly seems possible at times. She was our first and, hence, was our practice baby. The twins (aka The Son and Daughter#2) had it much easier since we sort of had the feeding and caring of a baby down by the time they came along. We had no idea what to do when the Doctors handed over Daughter#1 to us in the Birthing Room. All in all though, she seems to have turned out pretty well.

When Ann and I decided we were ready to start having kids, things moved right along. Apparently Ann was quite the fertile woman. After waiting the appropriate 9 months and a few days, Daughter#1 (which we didn't know was Daughter#1 at the time) announced she was ready to come into the world. Sort of. Ann's water didn't quite break as sort of started leaking. I remember it was on a Thursday because Thursday was softball night. Our workplace had a softball league and all the younger types and some of the older types all played. When I picked Ann up, she announced that she thought her water might have broken, but she wasn't sure. This would turn into a recurring theme through out the whole birthing process. In what turned out to be a stroke of good planning, Ann's OB/GYN was right on the way to the softball field. We owned a Triumph Spitfire at the time so we rolled down Shirley Highway to Seminary Road, top down and no clue what lay before us, and whipped into the Doctor's office. They confirmed that indeed her water had broken or was leaking and stand-by to have a baby. We were naturally excited, but seeing as Ann hadn't starting having contractions, I saw no reason to pass on the softball game so off we went. Now as important as the game was and having a baby is, what really mattered was the pizza and beer after the game. Its tradition you understand. So after getting a few laser eye looks and a few "You better watch your drinking Mister" from Ann, we hustled on over to Angie's for pizza and beer with the rest of the team. I think some of this was lost on Ann since she couldn't drink and she didn't want to fill up on pizza before birthing a child. I ate and drank her share so as not to be rude to the owners. Contractions began about 10:00 that night - sort of. Ann had back labor and she had a hard time telling when contractions would start and stop. We had a stop watch and it was my job to time the contractions and how far apart they were. Now after a day of work, a game of softball and much pizza and beer, I was pretty tired and wanted to sleep. So most of the night went like this:

Ann: I think I'm having a contraction!
Me: (Starting watch) Are you sure?
Ann: I think so.
Me: Ok. Let me know when it stops.
Ann: Ok
Me: (Falling asleep)
Me: (Waking up several to many many many minutes later) Has it stopped yet?
Ann: I not sure. I can't tell, Were you asleep?
Me: Of course not. (falling back asleep)

Repeat for several hours. At about 3:30 in the morning Ann decided it was time to call the Doctor. I asked her if her contractions were getting close enough to warrant the call. They weren't, but Ann was all in a panic about getting caught during rush hour traffic on I-95/I-395 as we made our way to Alexandria Hospital and having to give birth on the side of the highway. The last thing she wanted to hear were traffic reports over the radio about some woman giving birth on Shirley Highway and traffic was backed up to Quantico. I told her it was too early to call. She was a crazy pregnant lady in labor so she made sure I made the call. So I lied to the Doctor about how far along things were. He said come on in and so we did. We checked in at the hospital and made our way to the maternity floor. The Doctor took one look (a look - not an exam) at Ann and said "No way you're close to being ready to have your baby." But I guess he was use to dealing with first time parents to be and crazy pregnant ladies and didn't send us home, but rather sent us off to walk the halls. Ann had previously decided to go the natural childbirth route, no drugs and they put us in a nice birthing room. Not that we used it very much those first hours as we were busy walking the halls. The contractions really started to kick in around 7:00 or 8:00 as I remember and Ann took to her bed with a fetal monitor attached. It was kind of freaky watching the strip of paper print out the ups and downs of her contractions. I don't think Ann was that fascinated by it. Go figure. As the intensity of the contractions picked up, Ann started rethinking the whole no drug thing. However, her doctor wasn't at the hospital. Rather he was over at their office about a mile away doing normal appointments. He would drop by from time to time though to see how things were coming along. Around 10:00 Ann decided to heck with this natural childbirth stuff, just bring drugs and lots of them. No Doctor though. The nurses told us they would tell him as soon as he made a return visit. When he arrived, he did an exam and told Ann she was progressing nicely and drugs? Heck she didn't need any drugs, besides she was too far along now. The scream that echoed down the hallway was not from a contraction. I think she wanted to strangle him, but I'm not sure. Anyway, Daughter#1 came along at 11:30AM. Blonde haired and blue eyed and we welcomed her into the world. Its been an interesting first 27 years. I just wish she would learn to balance her checkbook. Happy Birthday Kid!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Special Treats

Some days it pays to come into work. Not often, but it does happen. This morning we were surprised by one of our co-workers bringing in a blueberry cobbler. Mmmmmmm...yummy. That should hold me till lunch. Of course between the cobbler and my Coke, I'll probably go into a sugar coma around 9:00. I hope I don't end up drooling all over my keyboard.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Mystery Solved

So it turned out the reason Sandy Run and the lower Occoquan was closed was so that the local police could run a training exercise. Or so we were told. Maybe they did practice dragging for bodies.

Friday was a work day for me, but I slipped out for a lunchtime row. I rowed up to Fountainhead and back, a total of seven miles, but it wasn't fun. It turned out to be much windier than I thought. I checked our local Weatherbug before I left the house and the wind was well below 10 mph. Out on the water it was an entirely different matter all together. At Fountainhead, it was so windy, I thought I might flip turning the shell around as I came sideways to the wind.

For Saturday's practice I was put in a Quad with two other experienced rowers and one that had never sculled. It didn't go well. We did four two thousand meter pieces. The idea was for us to race a Men's 8+ plus a mixed 4+ consisting of two men and two female college rowers. The 4+ would go first, followed by the Quad and then the 8+. After two of the pieces, it was obvious with our inexperienced sculler (he has rowed sweep for years though), we weren't in a position to keep up with the 4+ or the 8+. A Quad with decent rowers should be able to beat a 4+ and be somewhat competitive with an 8+. We just rowed on our own for the last two pieces. On the final piece is slowly started to come together and you could feel the boat jump with each stroke. I hope I get a chance to row in the Quad again since its a fun boat to row - usually.

Sunday after getting the laundry started, I headed out to the W&OD Trail for a bike ride. I did my Rt 28 to Leesburg ride today (Mile marker 24 to 34). 43 minutes out and 40 minutes back. It was a beautiful day to ride. It was sunny with moderate temperatures and no wind. I lucked out in getting one of two remaining parking spots as I got there about 30 minutes later than I wanted. The rest of the day was spent watching the Nationals beat the Cleveland Indians, walking the furry children, bbqing some steaks, sipping a few Coronas and starting a new book. Well new to me "Up Country" by Nelson DeMille. Tomorrow its back to the grind.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Strange Goings On

So practice last night as a bit of an ordeal. Not so much that practice was challenging, although it was. More that the air was so thick with humidity that it was tough catching one's breath. We finally had enough guys to take out two 8s. We did our warm-ups coming out of our cove and headed down river toward Sandy Run and the race course. About half a mile upstream from Sandy Run a string of red buoys had been strung across the river. Our coach and coxswains didn't understand the meaning of those and we rowed past them. Not 30 seconds later here comes a police boat heading right toward us blue lights flashing. Now the Occoquan has a size limit on outboard motors - 9.9 hp so you'll see mostly small boats an occasional bass boat, but to see this big as boat with two huge outboards on it was quite a sight. We quickly turned around and headed the other way. They followed us for a short time to make sure we didn't' return. I'm not sure what is going on down there that requires a police presence. We got a notice about two weeks ago that Sandy Run would be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. There looked like two small tents had been set up outside the George Mason boathouse at Sandy Run but it was hard to see. Since the notice was out out in advance, its not like they're dragging for a body. Someone suggested they were pulling up the water quality survey buoys. If that were true, they wouldn't need to block access to the race course and need a police presence to keep people away. All very mysterious.

Anyway practice. We did three 10 minute pieces at a low rate 24 strokes per minute. For the first piece, my boat was given a 15 second lead and even with that we lost. On the first turn we got taken on the inside and they made up the lead we had almost immediately. By the end of the ten minutes they had us by about 4 seats. After a 5 minute race we started out again. This time we kept our lead. The second piece, from my view in the #2 seat, looked much smoother and the set was better. The third piece was much the same as the second. We started with the 15 sec lead and held it. During the last 2 minutes our coach let them bump up the rate to a 26 and made us drop to a 20. Even with that stroke differential we maintained our lead. Of course that was the point he was trying to make. It maters more to stay long, row strong, don't rush and let the boat run. I'm sure he'll try to build on that lesson over the next several practices. Needless to say with the heat (low 90s) and the humidity (same), we all came out of the boat dripping wet. How I love rowing in the summer.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Father's Day

I hope all fathers had a wonderful Father's day and a good time was had by all. My day was excellent and I was able to do some fun things. Because I had rowed on Friday and Saturday, I decided to take a day off and go for a bike ride. I tried to entice Ann into going with me, but she seems to have developed an attitude that she'll only go riding if the temperature is between 69 and 71 degrees. Virginia, in the summer, is rarely so accommodating. So I headed off to the W&OD Trail for a ride by myself. Normally when I ride on the W&OD, I'll start at Rt28 and ride to Leesburg and back a round trip distance of 20 miles (W&OD mile markers 24 to 34). Since I was by myself, I decided to go in the opposite direction and see what that part of the trial was like. The first 3.5 miles was not much different then had I headed west. Then I hit the town of Herndon and Reston and things got a lot less rural and a lot more parkways to ride over (Reston Parkway, Town Center Parkway, Fairfax County Parkway, etc.). The trail is buffered by a heavy amount of foliage on either side though and it gives the impression that its more out in the country than it really is. I rode slightly past the 14 mile mark before turning around and taking a water break. I passed a group of about 15 in-line skaters out for a morning skate. I assume they're a part of some club or group. On the way back I knew I was out of water, so I rode past where I had parked my car and rode out to Smiths Station where I knew there was a water fountain. I took a short break and filled up my water bottle. Overall I rode 25 miles in just under 2 hours. my legs felt a bit rubbery, but in a good way.

After driving home, I got calls from Daughters#1 and 2 wishing me a happy Father's Day. Daughter#2 was headed out for a picnic lunch with the In Law clan somewhere in the Shenandoah National Park. Daughter#1 was headed to dinner at the boyfriends parent's house. We ate an early dinner during which Ann gave me a new windbreaker and The Son gave me a new pair of Concept 2 rowing shorts. The reason for the early dinner was so we could head out to for the last part of my Father's Day, which was a trip to Wolf Trap to see Riverdance. It was my third time to see Riverdance live at Wolf Trap and we were able to score really good seats - third row center. It was amazing being so close to the stage. Almost too close. When the dancers would move toward the back of the stage, it was difficult to see their feet. I've seen the tape of Riverdance so many times with Michael Flatley and Jean Butler, it takes me a while to get use to other lead dancers. It took a dance or two, but I quickly warmed up to the performance. I love when the whole troupe is out dancing. The only thing that bothered me was that the female lead dancer didn't look at all Irish and for some reason that bothered me. A minor complaint at best as she danced really well. Another surprise was the performance wasn't sold out. I realize it was the last performance and it was on a Sunday evening and it was Father's Day, but I don't think I've ever been to Wolf Trap for any performance that it wasn't sold out. The lawn was packed, but the reserved seating was only about 3/4 full. The upside of that was we got out of the parking lot pretty quickly and we were home by 11:15 - only 45 minutes. Because we knew we would be out late, Ann and I decided to take Monday off and just relax. We couldn't have made a better decision.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Seat Racing Sucks

Saturday the men took out two 4+ and one 8+ in order to seat race. The way our coach runs it is that a pair from each 4+ will race a pair in the other 4+ (i.e., bow pair vs, bow pair or stern pair vs bow pair, etc.). The 8+ was along just to be able to furnish fresh rowers and a rest area for those that already had rowed. I was stroking the 8+ so I didn't race till the very end of practice. Everyone raced at least twice, one a 2 minute piece, the second piece lasted for as long as it took one boat to get open water on the second. They could last 30 seconds or run forever if the pairs were evenly matched. This is about as physical as we get. Rowing by pairs in a 4+ is gruelling. Besides racing the other 4+, you're trying to move, in most cases, 500 lbs (not counting the boat and rigging itself) of dead weight - the pair not rowing plus the coxswain. You're straining with each stroke. Being the lightest of all the men, our pair was at a distinct disadvantage and we lost the open water piece after about a minute of racing. As we headed back to our boathouse, our coach decided a race into the cove where our boathouse is located would be a fine idea. As in the first race, we fell behind early, but then held our own and even made up a little. About that time I caught a small crab from which I recovered fairly quickly, but by then the other 4+ was well ahead and our coach called an end to it. I don't know how long that piece was, but certainly longer than out first race piece. I was gasping for air and came close to puking over the side. Luckily for me and especially for our female high school coxswain, I was able to hold it at bay. After docking, we did our usual Saturday check over the boat and clean it up to make sure everything is in good working order. After putting the shell away, we indulged in what our club calls a social Saturday. Once a month, one of the crew groups bring breakfast type items for the club members to enjoy. This time it was the Competitive Women's turn. Its a chance to mingle with our fellow members, which is something we often don't get to do in the rush to get into boats and out on the water. After sampling my fair share of goodies, I decided I liked the cinnamon buns the best.

Since it was a special weekend, we headed out to Tim's for lunch and steamed mussels and crab legs. After lunch, Saturday turned into a lazy summer day and I hung out on our deck reading a book and taking a nap. There are worse ways to spend a day.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday on the Water

Today was uncharacteristically cool for Virginia in June. The temperature was in the 60s most of the day and overcast. Since it was my day off, I headed over to Sandy Run for an early morning row. I got there around 8:00 and only a boat or two was out. I ran into a rower heading out who is also a member of my other rowing club. She's a professor at George Mason and rowed at Carnegie Mellon. She was on their team, if I remember right, in her late 20s so she more than held her own against the younger rowers. I launched about 15 minutes after she did and ran into an immediate problem. The shell I was in had its seat tracks adjusted further to the stern of the boat then I realized. When I set my foot stretcher in my usual position and pushed back my seat hit the end of the track. My legs were at a half slide position when I pushed back and hit the end of the track. Not a good thing. I turned the boat around and headed back to the dock. I figured it would be easier to adjust my foot stretcher at the dock than on the water and risk capsizing. My first attempt to dock was a miss as I misjudged my approach and ended up parallel to the dock but not close enough to reach out and grab it. The second go around was more successful and I was able to dock, make the adjustment and off I went. The water was particularly calm and it was easy to make the boat run. I headed upstream in the direction of Ryan's Dam. I made good time and passed three boats heading back including the Professor. I was feeling good and continued for two miles past Ryan's Dam. Its the furthest I've ever been in a single. The round trip was a total of twelve miles and took, with breaks, about two hours. My hands have a few new blisters to show for the effort. Its back to sweep rowing in an 8 tomorrow with my other club.

After rowing I headed out for lunch with Ann. She's embarked on a new fitness regime herself having joined Curves and made a new commitment to walking as often as she can. To that end we've also been trying to eat healthier. So for lunch we went to Red Lobster for lunch. I got blackened cod and Ann got Lobster pizza. I also had some Bass Ale with lunch. Have to carbo load you know. After lunch we made a trip to Target to stock up on some essentials like toilet paper and dog food. Ann also wanted to get some new sport bras.

We were going to go watch the Potomac Nationals play tonight as John Paterson, the Washington Nationals No. 1 pitcher who has been out most of the season with arm problems, would be making a rehab start. When I went on line to purchase tickets I discovered the game was being played in Frederick, MD and not here in Woodbridge. Ooops. So much for baseball. We did stick with having hot dogs for dinner though. I had a hell of a time getting the charcoal to light in our grill. I use the Kingsford Match Light charcoal. We've had a recurring problem with the charcoal as it gets to the bottom of the bag. Its like it loses whatever they infuse it with to make it light with just a match. Its almost impossible to get it to catch. I'm not sure what the problem is. I did manage to get a few coals to light and moved them around the grill to get some of the others to gray up and put out some heat. All in all, it took about 20 minutes for the grill to be ready. Very annoying

Daughter#1 was off to a Gaelic festival tonight and is then going to see the Mets play the Yankees at Yankee Stadium tomorrow. I'm somewhat envious. I lived in the NJ/NY area my first 13 years and never got to go to Yankee Stadium. She also had another celebrity sighting. She saw Matthew Perry at one of the local watering holes. She's also off the bf's parents for Father's Day. I'm not sure what Ann and The Son have planned for me, but lets hope its something fun.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Some Lessons Need To Be Relearned

Every year it seems I need to relearn the lesson on when not to row. On Friday I did manage too slip away during my lunch hour working from home for a quick row. The temperature was in the high 80s and it was very humid pushing the heat index into the low 90s. When I launched my single, there was a slight breeze and all seemed well. By the end of the first mile, I knew it was going to be a long exhausting row. The further I rowed, the more the sun just sucked the energy right out of me. I usually stop at Jacob's Rock, which is the two mile mark, to take a break and get some water. At that time of day (noonish), there is no shade. I had water with me but it provided only brief relief. I continued on to Fountainhead Park (another mile and half past Jacob's Rock) and turned around. It was a long row back to the boathouse. Not only was the sun blistering, but my body was also tired from rowing the previous four days. I had to take a lot of breaks getting back. My legs were tired and my back was sore. It actually was a pleasure rinsing the boat off afterward and cooling myself off. I've had this happen to me before. Rowing in the midday sun is for mad dogs and Englishmen. Its a lesson I seem to have to relearn every year.

The Son returned from his trip to Panama City, FL. He was originally scheduled to fly into Dulles at 11:30PM. We heard on the news that there had been some sort of air traffic control problem in Atlanta that affected flights in the southeast. His flight out of Panama City was cancelled, but he managed to catch an alternate flight. He called us from the Atlanta airport where he was making connection and said his flight was being delayed. It was originally schedule to depart Atlanta at 10:00. They delayed it several times until it finally took off at 12:40. There is nothing like having to pick someone up at the airport at 2:00 in the morning. I finally got to bed around 4:00AM. Definitely not an auspicious start to the weekend.

Friday, June 8, 2007

A Full Week of Rowing

Yesterday was the fourth day of rowing in a row and my quads are feeling it. The weather has been gorgeous and the water flat as glass. The rowing camp novices are being so spoiled. Speaking of our rowing camp, we now have them rowing by 8 and on the feather. Its amazing how quickly they can pick things up when rowing with experience rowers. I also imagined they're a bit disappointed when they start going out on their own and they have to set the boat themselves. I'm sure they'll manage just fine. On Saturday, their last lesson, we have a little miniregatta set up for them. Its a graduation of sort for them and gives them a little taste of what its like to be in a race. Everyone usually loves it and we'll have some refreshments when we get back to the boathouse. Some have already signed up to continue to row with us and I expect many more will. Whats not to like? We have the greatest water on the east coast to row on and a great coaches and a great group of rowers and programs to satisfy the most competitive amongst us and for those who just want to row for fun and fitness.

Our regular Men's practice are starting to warm up a bit. We've had a hell of a time getting off the dock in a timely manner though. Last night the men were going to put an 8 and a 4 in the water. After getting both boats out of the boathouse, it was decided that the 4, a midweight boat, wouldn't hold the 4 men picked to row it and that we needed to get a heavyweight 4 out instead. Only problem is the heavyweight 4 wasn't rigged. So it took forever to get the 4 out and put the riggers on and get it out to the dock. So that cost us about 30 to 40 minutes of practice time. We did several short race pieces against the 4 and over all it was a good practice, but you can tell we're just getting out on the water. Our timing is still way off. It will come with time. Supposedly we'll be doing some seat racing on Saturday. Seat racing is placing trying different combinations of rowers in the boat to see what best combination moves the boat the fastest. I like seat racing better than stacking a boat with the top rowers based on erg times. I'm probably the smallest of the competitive men. I'm the only lightweight (less than 165 lbs). Consequently, I can't match up very well with my erg times. However, I have more experience then anyone. I like to think my technique is better than most. Being a monster on the erg doesn't always translate to making a fast boat. So I"m hoping to make the boat run well based on technique over brawn.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

It's All About Rowing

This week my life is all about rowing. I belong to two rowing clubs. One I row out of for fun. The other, which I'm much more involved in, being a Board member and all, I also row for fun, but also to compete. This club had its first practice on Saturday. We'll row through our last regatta, which is the first weekend in November. We practice three days a week. But this week there is more. As a way of introducing our new members to the sport, we hold a two week rowing camp. That started last week. Experienced rowers go out with the new members. This lets the new members see how things are done not only on the water, but for things like getting the shells in and out of the boathouse safely, setting up the Coaches's launches, getting the oars, etc. The experienced rowers not only demonstrate the stroke out on the water, but they're also there to hold or set the boat while the new members learn how to row. We've found over the years that this method really gives our new members a jump start plus it makes it a lot less frustrating for the new members. They effort goes to learning the rowing stroke and not floundering with a boat that can flop from side to side if not balanced properly. So regular practice and the rowing camp overlap this week so I rowed on Saturday and Monday and I will row Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I might try and slip out for a row in a single on Friday, but we'll have to see. This is Ann's least favorite week of the year. During the week with practice, I don't normally get home until 8:30PM. Its hard planning for dinners around that and I appreciate her patience.

Our first practice on Saturday was a bit ragged as one would expect. Practices are split bewteen the competitive women, competive men and recreational rowers. The competitive men constitutes the smallest group of the club. Saturday was really about beginning to shake off the cobwebs since we last rowed and give our coach a chance to evaluate the group as a whole. Some have kept in shape over the winter and spring and some have not. Some have access to boats and have been rowing all spring and others have not. Some have rowed in high school and college and most of us have not. Most of our group are returning from last year so things should move along pretty quickly. Our first race, the Capital Sprints, is in about 40 days. Most other clubs have already been practicing for 90 days so we're definately behind.

Sometimes karma has a way fo coming along and kicking your butt. About two weeks ago The Son made a run to the grocery store to purchase some things. Upon his return he couldn't find his wallet. A search of his room and the rest of the house plus his car didn't turn up the missing wallet. He called the store and they had it. Apparently he left it at the checkout. Ann and I gave him grief about it, of course. Its not the first time he'd left his wallet someplace. Fast forward to last week and our trip to Tim's. The Son had agreed to pay for dinner since it was his Mom's birthday. Since we had to wait for a table, I paid for a round of drinks and used my credit card. It was silly crowded and I didn't have a seat at the bar. I was reaching between two seated patrons to pay, balance drinks, sign the check while Daughter#1 was telling me to hurry since we had been called for our table. Fast forward again to this past Friday and we were out for lunch eating BBQ. When the bill came I reached in my wallet and no credit card. Ooops. We did the search the house thing again once we got home and no credit card. The last time I remembered using it was at Tim's so I called them figuring there was no way in hell they would have it. Turns out they did. Amazing. So we returned to Tim's on Saturday for another dinner and to pick up my credit card. We had great seats right on the water and The Son did the minor celebrity thing as our waistress, again, was a sister of one of his friends he known since elementary school. It never ceases to amaze me how many people know him since it seems to me he's always spent most of his time in his room playing computer games. I guess not.

Sunday it rained all day. I had to get up early to take The Son to Dulles for another business trip. He's down in the Florida panhandle this week and he'll be back on Friday. His return flight gets in 11:30 at night. Thats past my bedtime.

Monday Ann and I missed our vanpool. We're suppose to meet it at 4:45. They'll wait 5 additional minutes if you're running late. We were and pulled in the commuter lot about a minute after they had left. The car we were in was not the one with the base sticker to get us on base so we would have had to go home, switch cars and drive in on our own. We decided to say the hell with that and work from home instead. Our bosses were very generous and granted us permission. Sure beats the long drive, especially coming home and not being able to use the express lanes.

Ok time to go change into my spandex rowing shorts before the ride home. I'll leave you with that visual.