A freakish storm came through here last night, knocking out power in our area. It also dropped the temperature down to about 14 degrees F. The wind was harsh, and the windows in our apartment are ill-fitted to stop the cold from seeping in. The power went off temporarily at about 10 p.m. and then came back on for about an hour before going off again for another 10 hours. Before the power went off I found a battery-powered clock my sister had given me for my birthday, and I set it up so that it would wake me up just in case the power failed again (which it did). I didn’t know whether the power would fail again, but sure enough this morning we had no power. The apartment hall lights and elevators were working, backed up by a backup power generator. However, the rest of the building was dark and cold.
I still went to work today. I decided to leave our car with my wife in case she needed to evacuate the family to a warmer place–like a nearby mall. Thus I had to use mass transportation to get to work. I caught the apartment shuttle to the Metro station, then took the Metro to another shuttle that then took me to work. Easy enough, but unfortunately a train had stalled on the Blue/Yellow line, causing significant delays. I was absolutely freezing waiting on the platform for the train to arrive. 14 degrees isn’t extremely cold, but after Saturday’s balmy weather it was a shock to my system. Everyone waited in huddled masses for the train, and once it arrived we crammed into it Tokyo-style. I’ve never been on such a crowded Metro train before. I held my breath and finally made it to my destination, catching the shuttle to work. After that I was fine until the power went off at work. I thought, “Oh no, here we go again!” Fortunately, the power came back on about an hour later.
My wife picked me up after work, and we ran Christmas errands. I missed that car! We shopped for presents, delivered a Christmas gift to someone, and waited an hour at the post office to mail our Christmas presents to loved ones. Christmas is the one time of the year when everyone waits at the post office in pressure-cooker fashion and yet manages to be polite and cordial to one another. Waiting at the post office to mail packages made me wonder whether e-tailing would really do away with in-store shopping. I talked to a store clerk last weekend who mentioned that Christmas sales were down because more people were shopping online. I still saw a lot of people shopping for Christmas the old fashioned way. As for me, I bought one gift online this Christmas, but for the most part I went the traditional route and went to the mall and factory outlet stores. I limited my gift card purchases to two. It just hasn’t been a good year this year for me to exercise creativity (too busy).
D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams and Council Chair Linda Cropp met today to discuss stadium financing options for the Washington National baseball club. It sounds promising; hopefully they can broker a deal before Christmas that will bring the club to Washington, D.C. The next time I return to D.C. I hope to watch baseball in their new ballpark.