Friday, August 22, 2014

Glass Door

One of the panels of the upstairs glass door had fogged up, either because the guys who did the residing project weren't careful enough or just because it was twenty years old. I looked at replacing the whole door and frame, but the estimates were in the $1300-1800 "and probably more" range. So we dropped back to the idea of just replacing the glass in that door.
I called Binswanger and set up a time on Friday for a guy to come measure. They rescheduled to Monday. They rescheduled to Wednesday. They never showed up Wednesday--"he'll call you right back" didn't happen.
So I called Atlantic Glass. They called me to confirm the appointment (instead of me calling them), and the estimator showed up right on time. It was a custom size, so the estimator didn't work out the price right then and there, but the office called within an hour--and when I said "go ahead", they called back within 30 minutes to confirm that the factory had the order and promised to deliver it by the date I wanted it. A couple of days ago, they called to say "It came in early, we can install it Friday if you're ready." And today, the team called me, showed up on time, and got it done in about 20 minutes instead of the hour they had anticipated. I particularly liked that they took the effort after the install to get the glass spotless; there were some gummy bits at the top, and it would have been easy for them to just leave them and say "We're done", but they got out a razor and scraped it clear. Well done.

Thursday, August 21, 2014


Saw a bald eagle again this morning, about 10:15, as we were having breakfast on the deck. Third time this summer, and each time he's been flying north over the river.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Diana really enjoyed going to Mannino's for her birthday last year, and had mentioned several times that she wanted to go back there. So, for her birthday, I told her to be ready to go out--but didn't say where. And  I drove to the oceanfront, which is opposite of where she knew Mannino's to be.
Except they opened another one last month, at the beach. Win.

Monday, August 18, 2014


Got my copy of the new DnD 5th Edition Players Handbook today, preordered from Amazon. My initial impresson is "much simplified from 3.5th Edition, much less Video-game-on-a-tabletop than 4th Edition". More at my Battle Honors blog as I get into it.

Point of view

Diana: "It seems ____ has a new boyfriend. Is this the guy you met? What did you think of him?"
Me: "She did not solicit my opinion of him, and I did not interrogate him."
D: "But did he seem like he might be weird and dangerous?"
Me: "If so, I would probably like him."

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Blueberries, Part 2

As recounted in Blueberries last month, we had blueberries but no that time.
A week or so later, we saw a squirrel helping himself to Our Blueberries. I shooed him off, but he just went over the edge of the deck and waited a few minutes before slipping back for a second helping. This time, I quietly got the hose out, turned the water on, aimed...and Mr Squirrel got an instant bath, which he didn't like at all. In moments, he was off the deck and three trees away, and I haven't seen him come back.
And then a male cardinal discovered the buffet, and his method was to land in the bush, nab one berry, and dash off. He wasn't taking many, and he was such a handsome bird, and anyway he was gone before you could do anything about it, so we didn't. And then we looked out one afternoon and there was the male, swooping in and dashing off as usual, and furthermore there were three females who swooped in and stayed for second helpings and dessert. There were a few unripe berries left, plus empty husks of blueberries on the ground.
Diana has decided to let the birds have them, and just buy blueberries.

Anzac Biscuits

I've made Anzac biscuits for the first time. Slightly burnt, which may be from cooking too long, or not using real butter, or a combination; nonetheless, still quite good.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Dinner at the Nawab

Dinner at the Nawab: Bewali chicken, chicken subz salna, Peshawari naan, and mango kulfi. The Peshawari naan, with coconut and cherry, was particularly good, and I enjoyed the bewali chicken. I'd have enjoyed the kulfi more if it had been a different flavor; the texture was a bit heavy for "ice cream" but if I'd expecting "frozen custard" or something along those lines, I'd have been okay.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Just finished the last session of my Intro to Photography class, given by the Museum of Contemporary Art. I don't know that I learned anything I couldn't have learned from the camera manual and a photography book...but I hadn't done that, so I'd say it was a valuable class. The camera's auto settings usually do a good job, but it doesn't handle low light well, and the class taught how to manually adjust things so I can get a good picture instead of a fuzzy blob.


Just received the starter set for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, which I've heard described as "D&D 2.5". The starter set includes an adventure module and pregenerated characters, so I'll put them on the table for a test run this week.

Also got Victory Point Games Moundbuilders, which looks interestin both from a historical standpoint and as an engine for generating a game campaign background.

Monday, August 4, 2014


Saw an eagle, once again as he was flying north up the river.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Moving Day

Josh was changing from his own apartment to renting a room in a house, and called at 1:30pm on Friday to say "Could you come up this weekend and help move?" So by 3:40 we were on the road. Stayed at the Farm on Friday night, drove to Blacksburg and made a couple of trips back and forth to the new place in Christiansburg, then back to the Farm for Saturday night; stuffed a few end tables and such into the back of the CRV and drove back to Blacksburg on Sunday morning; then home to Virginia Beach.  870 miles in 52 hours. Did not see a bear this time; however, the dense fog/light drizzle while coming up Bent Mountain was enough excitement to last me a while.