Friday, June 5, 2015

Friday Grab Bag

A surprising amount of stuff tweaked my “oughta blog about this” sensors this morning, all before I even got to my desk. And since I’ve been bad about posting this week, I figured I might as well try to get them all in before another crazy whirlwind weekend comes and goes.


Pay no mind to what the date on the calendar says, it is officially summer here in the nation’s capital. The way I can tell, as always, is because the trains on Friday mornings are virtually empty. As soon as summer begins, loads of people (mostly government civilian employees) start taking Fridays off, either using vacation time or switching to a modified schedule for Monday through Thursday. Not me, though. I’m still stuck going to work every day between now and the next holiday (July 3rd).

I swore at one point this morning, though, that the train was literally going to fly off the tracks as it rounded a curve. I think the engineer usually hits the turn at a certain speed which takes into account the ballast of every seat being filled with a two hundred pound adult rider. That was not the case today, though, and yet the velocity was undiminished and the train definitely tilted a bit more than I was a hundred percent comfortable with. Obviously we didn’t crash. I’m hoping the engineer took note, though.


It was drizzly and chilly when I got off the train, fairly borderline in terms of whether or not I would choose to walk through the underground rather than straight down the sidewalk. But I didn’t hesitate to cross the street and enter the retail catacombs, mostly because that underground route would take me past a Dunkin Donuts and I wanted to rubberneck at how long the lines were for Free Donut Day. Much to my surprise, the lines were almost non-existent. The lack of Friday commuters far outweighed the promotion. Is it possible that some people aren’t glued to social media at all times and didn’t even know that it was Free Donut Day? (NB: Yes. Yes, this is entirely probable, and it always does well to remind oneself that not everyone is focused on the same distractions from first world problems.)

I didn’t jump in line, myself. I just wanted to get to work on time so I can leave on time.


So I got to work and as you should know if you’ve read this blog for any length of time, I work in a secure government facility and have to flash my badge at a guard as I walk in. Usually this is a pretty pro forma exchange every morning where I hold up the badge and watch the guard’s face to make sure he or she nods or waves me in or otherwise acknowledges that we’re cool, all without me having to slow my gait. That was true today, as well, for me at least. For another gentleman trying to get into the building it was a bit more involved. He had a badge, that wasn’t the issue. He just also happened to be carrying a very large kayak paddle.

So as I walked in the guard on duty was multitasking, scrutinizing my badge and nodding at me while also talking on his walkie-talkie to someone higher up the chain of command about the fact that there was someone trying to enter the building with a kayak paddle; said individual cooling his heels leaning against the far wall. With his kayak paddle. So many questions! Where was his kayak? Was he loaning the paddle to a co-worker? What other items are on the list of Unusual Non-Weaponized But Still Slightly Alarming objects which get you detained at the security checkpoint? And was the guy going to eventually be waved in or not? I didn’t stick around to observe any of the potential answers. I had already passed up free donuts and wasn’t going to be late to work to satisfy a curiosity.


It’s tough to top the kayak paddle, but I would be remiss if I didn’t note that once I made it to the elevator I got on a car with four other people. Between the four of us we hit the buttons for the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th and 11th floors, lighting up all the buttons on the left side and only the buttons on the left. The mildly OCD part of my brain was very pleased.


And somehow it took me most of the day to jot all that down and post it! But having done that I feel justified in calling it a week.

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