Please, for the love of all that is holy, let this be good. Kick-ASS good.
I’ve been speed-reading a lot of detective fiction on the train over the last year, but I took a break this week to crack open Allen Guelzo’s Gettysburg, the Last Invasion. It’s a thick, scholarly tome which takes the first 250 pages (of my e-book version) to set the stage before the first shot is fired along the Cashtown Pike. It’s a good read, although I got weary of the buildup after a while and skipped to the opening skirmishes. I’ve got two volumes of Edmund Morris’ biography of Theodore Roosevelt standing by; if I can downshift into history for a while, perhaps I can dig into these too.
Scales of Justice Dept.: A jury convicted all four Blackwater operatives of the Nisour Square shooting back in 2007. This is good news, but it should have happened seven years ago. The fact that it took this long to come to its conclusion is another sad postscript to the shit foreign policy of a shit Presidency.
Also, it was great to see they convicted this asshole too.
I’ve got another month or so of class left before the semester is over, and I have to admit I’m looking forward to getting back to a normal schedule. Getting up at 5:30 to be in Washington by 7:15 two days out of the week has my sleep schedule completely out of whack. With all that’s going on at work, I need the time I spend traveling back to stay ahead.
Hey, look! I’m internet famous for a day: The On Think Tanks interview with Bill Dugan. This is about the interactive piece we did for the Guardian a while back.
This weekend I caught up on a pile of things that I’d been meaning to get to over the last few months:
- Hauled 60 cubic feet of mulch from the Home Depot to the hedge, front bed, side bed, and rear bed of the house.
- Weeded and raked said hedge and beds, bagged up the product, and hauled it all to the edge of the driveway (18 bags or so). Mulched everything.
- Hauled the crib to Christi & Glenn’s, and picked up our spare chairs and stepladder
- Fixed and sealed the gutter on the garage
- Cleaned out and organized about 50% of the garage in preparation for the summer
- Hooked up the hitch wiring to the CR-V
- Mixed cement and sealed up the funky hole in the brick under the front stairs
It doesn’t sound like much on paper, but I’m wiped out this evening.
The Rotopax is finally in! I realized I could access the inside of the rear fender through an opening between the inner and outer sheet metal aft of the wheel. I drilled four holes and had Jen push on the bolts while I aligned the backing plate and screwed the nuts on. It sits snug to the floor and up out of the way. No more 1 gallon can bumping around the bed of the truck. And it should be out of the way of the cinch straps for the soft top.
Here’s a video I shot and produced for my colleague Forbes outside the Capitol Building a few weeks ago. He talks about how climate change has directly affected he and his family. Everything was great except for the gust of wind on his mic at the very end.
We had a quiet Easter weekend as a family. Saturday was the neighborhood egg hunt, which was windy and a little chilly but still enjoyable. I brought my camera but only wound up taking about four worthless shots; such are the difficulties of having a six-year-old for a subject.
Sunday evening I brewed my thirtieth batch of beer, a hefewiezen, for the spring. I’m really enjoying the session IPAs I’ve been brewing, and so I think I’ll brew up another of those next. The Irish Stout has been sitting since November, which means it’s time to bottle (ugh). I’ve got about five cases of empties in the basement waiting, so it’s just a matter of timing an empty dishwasher correctly.
As it turns out, there was some reshuffling of classes at UMBC in the fall, so instead of teaching some kind of theoretical interactive course, they offered me a capstone design class in the evenings, which is right up my alley. I have yet to get the syllabus but I’ve seen some of the final work from past years and it looks like it’ll be fun.
Operation Honda Hitch is complete. The instructions blithely state, “If necessary, enlarge forward access hole.” That six word sentence translated to about an hour of trimming small holes in the subframe in order to fish an 11/16″ carriage bolt and spacer block up inside. Luckily the Dremel tool I bought a month back made short, surgical work of the problem. The tough part was feeding the hitch up and around the muffler, threading each of the bolts through the holes, and getting everything lined up. I had to use the jacks from both cars to slowly move the hitch up into place, and then get each nut started on each bolt without pushing them up into the frame. Luckily, it worked.
The wiring is still in the mail, so hopefully that’ll show up this week.