You know your program is having a bad week when the forklift backing into the satellite isn't the really bad news. That's probably about all I need to say about work, other than mentioning that I didn't get out of the office much before six any day all week. Oh, wait, there was the bomb scare, too. I got to the building at 7:45 or so on Friday morning only to find that it had been evacuated while the bomb-sniffing dogs went through the whole place. We weren't let back in until about 9:00. I spent the interim up the street at the offices of one of our contractors, but if I'd been smart I'd have hung out at a nearby coffeehouse.
As for non-work, I went on the White House tour yesterday. They only do group tours nowadays and it needs to be set up by a Senator or Representative about a month in advance. So I jumped at the opportunity when my alumni association announced it. The list of things you can't bring is lengthy and somewhat absurd. For example, pens are listed under prohibited items (because they're pointed) - but umbrellas are permitted. The pain in the neck part is that no bags of any kind are allowed, so I was actually glad it was a cold enough day that I could wear my parka, which has a good inside pocket for my wallet. By the way, no cameras are allowed either, not that I would have brought one if they were.
To be honest, the tour, which is self-guided, is not all that impressive. You really just get peeks at a bunch of public rooms that are used for receptions, with Secret service Agents (and/or other White House staff) in each room to answer questions. My main comment is that the rooms you see are, in general, smaller than I expected. After the 45 minutes of so inside the White House, I went over to the White House Visitor Center (which is nearby, in the Department of Commerce building), which I found to be far more informative. That's probably because I tend to be more interested in stories than in furnishings. The video at the Visitor Center had tidbits like the Truman's piano crashing through the floor, which triggered a major renovation of the building.
Last night was a story swap, which was fun, as usual. Margaret told a very enjoyable French folk tale which had a nice twist on the usual frog prince theme. And today was knitting group, where I tried out an experiment with mosaic knitting. This is a sort of two color knitting in which you use slip stitches, instead of twisting yarns. It worked better than I expected and was pretty fun. It's also always interesting to see what other people are working on.
So, let's see, that makes three weekends in a row which I've had fully occupied. And I have things to do the next three weekends. Hmm, the next four, come to think of it. I have to keep reminding myself that I like being too busy.
Copyright 2005 Miriam H. Nadel