Saturday, February 23, 2008

coffee, crows, and comics

The weather was a blanket of fog and the setting in of a sleety, snowy mix on Friday so I decided to take the Ballston-place skyways from the Metro to the Mall. As one might expect, there are many a Starbucks about the commuter center of Ballston. What I realized as I entered building number one is that a man had just left that Starbucks and was heading back up to his office in building number two, the National Science Foundation (NSF) - which is across the first skyway. I immediately wondered what the difference in travel might be from the NSF to this, the first Starbucks and the second Starbucks across the second skyway in the mall. I backtracked to the door and began a pace count: 127 paces from coffee to the NSF door. At that point I started over and stopped, mid-crosswalk when I hit my second 127 paces. It ends up that unless you jaywalk and sneak through some bushes it's an extra 94 paces to the further Starbucks. I plan further research because I suspect there's a backdoor out of the NSF that might lead to some sciencers actually using the further (but closer...) Starbucks. I don't even like Starbucks, if you're getting that impression, it's all merely a crazy man with his iPod thinking too much.

Here's you're biannual (or semi-annual) Old Crow Medicine Show video link. This is from last summer when they performed on Austin City Limits - you get a wonderful version of Wagon Wheel with good camera work and no crazy crowd screaming over the lyrics.

I stumbled into a part of D.C. this morning that I hadn't been through with any extensive walking before - it's a revitalization in progress area around 14th St. NW and S St. A few of the anchors in the area are the Black Cat music club, Arena Stage, and Cafe Saint-Ex. A number of boutique shops and other locally-owned businesses are beginning to populate that three or four block stretch of 14th St. I had headed down to find a comic book shop, Big Monkey Comics, so I could buy some more graphic novels or comics for G. He seems to be pretty happy reading fantasy and adventure stories and graphic novels are a great way to keep everyone's interest. The guy manning the till knew just what I was looking for - most of the novels are marketed to a much older audience - and we spoke at length about the popularity of genre. It was exactly the kind of customer service you hope for but rarely encounter.

I came home after a stop at Eastern Market only to find that Corey had taken the WonderTwins to a jewelry shop. I've no idea exactly what he might have been thinking; maybe there was a frying pan to the head or a trail of bacon. How would one get roped into that mission? I also brought home two bunches of mint because X has purchased an old crazy silver tea set and wants to make Moroccan mint tea. When I told her I'd nabbed some mint she clapped her hands like a baby seal but suddenly stopped,"We'll need gunpowder green tea to do it right," she said. My thoughts exactly...


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