Saturday, August 11, 2007

Sweet Relief

Today we could actually breathe. After 7 straight days of highs of at least 97 degrees and three days in a row of 100+ temps, today's 87 or so humid degrees was downright pleasant. I didn't have it so bad since I at least had a cool office to go into, but J was stuck at home and our system is incapable of cooling the house more than 20 degrees below the outside temperature. Sure enough, the last couple of days as the temperatute outside rose to 103, 104 degrees, the thermostats in the house were reading as high as 82 (and there were parts of the house that were definitely higher). J did a great job of trying to keep it regulated, covering any window that didn't have curtains, keeping lights off, etc. But when the overnight low is 78 or 79 degrees, it's tough.

In addition to my escape into the office every day, I had an unexpected night in a hotel in Northern Virginia after my flight home from DC Thursday was cancelled. This was supposed to be one of my day trips up and back to meet with my customer, but my 5:30 return was originally delayed until almost 7pm and then was cancelled. I managed to get through on the cellphone and get booked on a 7:30 for Friday morning, then stood in line at a couple of different airlines to try to get out that night. While standing in lines with the rest of the sheeple, I worked the cellphone, first trying to find a rental car so that I could drive home (gave up after 4 firms said they had nothing) and then trying to secure a hotel room so that I didn't end up sleeping in National. Luckily I was able to get something in the Marriott Crystal Gateway just one Metro stop north of the airport (and by luck my favorite hotel) and got there in time to drop off my briefcase and head up one more stop to Pentagon City to hit Macy's for something to wear on Friday. So I actually got a decent meal at the lobby bar and a cool night's sleep while J was sweltering at home.

Looks like after another upper 80's day tomorrow, we're back into upper 90's for the rest of the week. Guess we'd better get used to it, huh?


Thursday, August 09, 2007


Of all the quite accomplished folks that I've been friends with over the years (and I know and have known a number of very talented, accomplished people), there's probably no one that I'm prouder to have been friends with than Clive Stafford Smith. If you're a commuter like me that listens to NPR in the car, you may have heard him in the piece earlier this week on Morning Edition about Guantanamo detainees that are fearful of being sent back to their country of origin for fear of torture or death (I see the NYTimes picked that story up today). Clive was on the program as he represents the person that was featured as well as a number of other detainees. Certainly laudible as it can't be easy to find people willing to represent them. His focus over the last 25 years or so is just as needed and just as tough - he has been a very vocal international advocate for the abolition of the death penalty. I'm not sure that he's the first person I've known that has an extensive Wikipedia entry, but I'm fairly certain he's the first OBE I've known.

Clive and I had Freshmen Honors English together at UNC and were part of a group that threw darts down at the Cave (unsurprisingly Clive consistently won - I think it's in the blood). He was also the Minister for Un-hyphenated Double-Barreled Last Names in our mockternity, Beta Upsilon Lambda Lambda - for someone that has devoted his life to such a serious topic, he had (and I'm quite confident maintains) a wickedly wonderful sense of humor. It was wonderful to hear him coming through my radio speakers - his is a voice that needs to be heard more often and more loudly.


"No, it really is the heat."

I'm not sure which was more frightening - hearing the WUNC announcer say that it was 102 degrees at 6:30 last night or looking up on my way to the airport at 5:30 this morning and seeing that it was 82 degrees. I know we really shouldn't complain - we were the only reasonably comfortable place in the lower 48 a few weeks ago when it was flooding in Texas and 116 degrees in Vegas. But damn.


Comment of the Week

"The Clinton years of relative peace and real prosperity has left this nation with a wound which will never heal." - Mooser commenting on the Smear Watch post on Political Animal.