I Feel the Earth Move Under My Feet

Newsflash:  Earthquake on the east coast today.  Duh, you already knew that, unless you live under a rock of course.  I just wanted to share a few things from the day that come to mind:

1.  The east coast is not used to earthquakes.

2.  Residents of the east coast are not used to the feeling of an earthquake and get a “deer in the headlights” look when the building/earth begin to shake.

3.  Earthquakes are scary – especially when it sounds like the building you’re in is going to collapse because all you can hear is screeching metal as the building sways.

4.  Just because you’ve lived in another place in the world that has bigger and badder earthquakes doesn’t mean you can invalidate everyone elses nerves and/or fear.  It makes you an asshole.

I get it.  We had a relatively minor 5.8 earthquake that wasn’t exactly life shattering.  Shit fell over, people got scared, but life goes on.  Did I freeze when the building shook and creaked with noise?  Yes.  Did I make my way outside to an open parking lot with my coworkers when it intensified?  Yes.  Did I go back to my desk 20 minutes later and continue with my day?  Yes.

Today was a freak event for the east coast, just let us have our little moment to deal with it and move on.

Speaking of moving on:

:)

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A380 = Love

Everyone has a “thing” right?  My thing is airplanes and I have no idea why.  Maybe it’s the sheer power that they possess.  Or the fact that something that big and heavy can somehow fly across the world.  Whatever the case, I love watching airplanes up close and personal and would consider it one of those weird things about myself.

A few weeks ago, Chris and I were driving near Dulles airport, when over the trees, an enormous, larger than life airplane appeared above us.

“It’s the A380!” Chris exclaimed.

“No way!!!” I yelled (he hates when I yell in the car, but I did it anyway)

I didn’t know the 380 was actually a passenger jet already!  I remember a few years ago my BFF calling me from LA where she worked at the time telling me that it had just flown over her for its first landing while it was still in testing.  At that point, I didn’t understand the magnitude of the plane  and it’s size, but have since watched a documentary (nerd!!) about it and can really “grasp” just how awesome it is.  The science that went into the design is completely fascinating.

As we watched it fly above us we were silent, just staring.  It was so big that it just kind of hung there, slowly climbing, foot by foot.  I can’t even compare it to anything I’ve seen, it’s something you have to see for yourself to comprehend.  It’s amazing.

A380 during testing before it was released as a commercial aircraft.

Ever since it suddenly appeared over us that day and I realized it was a regularly flying plane, I’ve been trying to figure out a time and place to actually go watch it at Dulles.  It takes off and lands at 1pm and 5pm respectively each day, so I really want to go and be prepared to see it in all it’s glory one of these days. (Twice a day on Air France, not sure if Emirates has a 380 at Dulles yet, but if so, that doubles my viewing chances!)

There aren’t many airlines who currently have it in service, but I imagine Chris and I taking a trip on it one day, with the airplane being the highlight of the trip.  Imagine – a trip to Paris, Singapore or Sydney on the worlds largest airliner.  How amazing would that be?   I asked Chris if he thought people flew to random destinations just to fly on the plane and he looked at me and said “Uh, yeah!!”

Current airlines with A380 in service. I'd take any of them!

 

Silly.

Nice engines.

I’ve been begging Chris for the last two weeks to take me to the roof of the parking deck at Dulles to see it take off, but we’ve been so busy between work and wedding planning that we haven’t had any time.

Today, I was driving home from the mall (near Dulles) but it was after 2pm so I wasn’t looking into the sky like I do if it’s closer to 1pm, but then, I heard it.  We had just had a torrential downpour and nasty storm and out of the clouds, the A380 was just above me.  It’s four engines were the dead give away (not to mention its football field wingspan), and it took all of me to not pull over on route 7 to jump out of my car and marvel at it.

Thanks to driving and a wet windshield, I got the worlds worst picture of the damn thing.  This picture is totally anticlimactic and I don’t blame you if you think I’m a complete idiot for being infatuated by such a thing.

A380 in person!

I was about five miles from Dulles, so that’s why it’s still fairly high up, but it’s freaking enormous.  Someone explain to me how that can fly!

I still plan on an afternoon on the roof of the parking deck to see it take off or land because I think it’d be pretty rad to see it up close and personal.  I also realize that this entire blog makes me look like a total freakshow, but you all can suck it.  I love airplanes, and I especially love the A380.

A Shattered Surprise

Life is just full of neat little surprises, right?

I got a call from Chris around 4 o’clock today and he had a little bit of excitement in his voice when he asked if I was sitting down.

“Uh, yeah, I’m at my desk,” I told him.

“Okay, well, I just got home, and the sliding glass door in the kitchen is shattered,” he told me.

I immediately had visions of a giant hole in the wall, glass on the floor, Hunter in the backyard and Delilah hopping the fence.

“Oh my god, where are the animals,” I whispered in a panic from my desk.

“They’re fine, the glass hasn’t come out of the frame yet,” he told me.

Then I was confused.  He said the glass shattered, why wasn’t it all over the floor?

It turns out, we have double pane doors, so the piece on the inside shattered and was being held up by the outside panes. Lucky break?

Chris acted quickly and called the general contractor we used when we had the floors done a few months ago.  Lucky for us, he had availability first thing tomorrow, so he’ll be on our front steps at 8am tomorrow to check out our interesting situation.

I met Chris at Home Depot right after work to try to determine what this mess was going to cost us, but unfortunately, they weren’t much help.  I swear that place is hit or miss.  One day there is someone to help you every 10 feet, and on days like today, you wait 15 minutes for help to arrive, and they never show.  We decided to leave and let our contractor access the damage before dealing with the Depot.

The house is almost 20 years old and we knew the door was going to have to be replaced sooner or later, but we didn’t think it would be in this manner.  There has been condensation in between the window panes since we bought the house (apparently a seal broke at some point, I really don’t care know), so we think that with the extreme heat we’ve had over the past week, the water in the window built up pressure until it literally exploded.  Either that, or Hunter really wanted to go outside while we were at work.

Fingers crossed our contractor friend can resolve the problem tomorrow.  I’m hoping we can just replace the door and not the entire thing.  Though the frame is totally warped and we have to wiggle the door closed the last 4 inches, so maybe it’s just best to replace the entire thing all together at one time as opposed to doing it in pieces.

Ah, home ownership is fun.

Shiny, New and Weird

I’ve been working on a research paper, and some of it has involved the city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.  I’ve heard all kinds of stuff about how wealthy Dubai is, and how they’re basically creating a new world from scratch, but until I saw the pictures below, I had no real concept of just how wealthy they are.  They are in the midst of creating man made islands, underwater hotels, the worlds tallest structures, and more…Honestly, it’s insane.

World's largest man-made marina.

World's largest man-made marina.

One of their metro stations.  SERIOUSLY!

One of their metro stations. SERIOUSLY!

Metro stop.

Metro stop.

Worlds tallest skyscraper, scheduled to open in 2011.

Worlds tallest skyscraper, scheduled to open in 2011.

After seeing all of this, I have to say that I’m not sure it appeals to me.  Yes, I’d love to have a metro like theirs, but everything is almost too shiny and new.  Where is the culture and history?  It looks like Vegas on crack.

Count the F’s

Read this sentence:

FINISHED FILES ARE THE RESULT

OF YEARS OF SCIENTIFIC STUDY

COMBINED WITH THE EXPERIENCE OF YEARS.

How many F’s do you see?

Scroll down for an explanation, but NOT until you count the F’s.

There are six F’s in the sentence. A person of average intelligence finds three of them. If you spotted four, you’re above average. If you got five, you can turn your nose at most anybody. If you caught six, you’re a genius.

There is no catch.

Many people forget the “OFs.” The human brain tends to see them as V’s and not F’s.

I’d like to thank school for making me feel stupid.  I only got 3.