Hey y'all. This is the first time I've had a few minutes to post since Saturday. I managed to check off most all the items on my to-do list (see below), except I didn't watch "The Stepford Wives" nor rode my bike, the latter because of the lousy weather over the 4th.
I also hit the ground running when I returned to work. I've been doing my damndest during the past week to track down sources for two stories that took more time and trouble than I expected. Either a lot of people are taking extended holiday weekends or they're just trying to dodge my calls. Silly rabbits. Don't they know it's useless to resist me?!!
I have no problem calling sources at home or on their private cell phones. Either talk to me at work during the business day, or I'll bug you at home while you're watching "Model Fear Factor" on the couch and enjoying a cold beer. Your choice.
One story's about companies trying to get out of paying their property taxes and cities and school districts kicking up a fuss because they depend on that revenue. It's hard to make property taxes sexy, but a few city treasurers and chief financial officers I chatted with tried their best. The other's about a recent IPO, which made multi-millionaires of the two company's Gen X founders.
Metro blues: Last night at 7:15 p.m. I'm on Metro's red line heading home and the train halts in between stations. Just stops cold with no warning. After 15 minutes the train conductor tells us we have to exit at the next metro stop because of "mechanical difficulties."
Great. I'm in sweaty work-out clothes, just having finished a 3.5 mile run, and all I want to do is go home and take a shower. I exit the problem train and miss boarding another train, whose doors close just as I run up to them. The conductor sticks his head outside the window of his cab, looks me up and down, and says with a big grin, "Sorry, honey, you're too late."
Smiling tightly, I think, "The hell with this," walk out of the Metro, and get a bite to eat in a little cafe. The food's pretty good but the service reminds one of Soviet hospitality during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Want some attitude with your fries? No? Well, tough shit.
So, full and trying not to feel irritated, I leave and walk to a different metro stop, next to the U.S. Navy Memorial.
And what do I see? Standing in the middle of the Navy memorial are seven Navy officers in dress whites toting electric guitars, an amped violin, keyboards, drums - the whole bit - and belting out country and western tunes. And you know what? They kicked ass.
They sang The Eagles' "Take it Easy." They sang "Rocky Top Tennessee." They sang a whole bunch of other country or roots rock tunes I've never heard of, but they rocked each one: Their harmonizations were tight, they knew their way around their instruments, and they enjoyed performing for us, a rag-tag bunch of tourists and Washingtonians coming home from work.
Of course the last song was "Proud to be an American" - shameless, I know. And damned if everybody didn't stand up, just like the song asks. The tourists started it, then us locals, feeling a bit shamed by the out-of-towners' unbridled enthusiasm, stood up as well.
Anyway, it put me in a good mood, which lasted even though I had a seemingly endless 20 minute-wait for my train home.