Celebrity Death Watch: Sid Caesar was a comedian and television pioneer. I will admit that I had not actually realized he was still alive until he wasn’t. His role in the development of what we think of as comedy can't be underestimated.
Shirley Temple Black started out as a child star and had a second career as a diplomat. She also has some personal significance to me since I have a Shirley Temple doll, acquired in a rummage sale when I was a child. (I should note that for years I claimed I don’t collect dolls but my mother thinks I do. At a certain point, I gave in and admit collecting them.) I liked the doll mostly for the mess of unruly, curly hair – something I have tangled with forever.
Ralph Kiner got less attention, but those of us who grew up with the Mets will always hear his voice when we think about baseball. Nothing could be finer than to listen to Ralph Kiner.
Weather: We got completely socked by a snowstorm Wednesday night through yesterday. I was not expecting it to be as bad as it was. Predictions were for 5-10 inches and I was guessing on 6. Instead we got about a foot in my neighborhood. That meant the government closed down (but my company, despite having an emergency code available to charge to, expects us to work from home if we can, about which more later). OPM put on a two hour delay today. I think that’s a bad call, given that transportation is still pretty iffy. The buses that serve the Land that Transit Forgot are not running, so even if I wanted to go in, it would be hard to.
But it also meant that the reception I was supposed to go to Wednesday night was cancelled. And it has me worried about my flight tonight, though United is claiming it is on time. The biggest hassle is that I have to get to BWI. That’s something I normally avoid, but it was a lot lot cheaper.
By the way, the Washington Post is calling the storm “Snochi.” It took me a while to figure out that’s a reference to the Sochi Olympics, but once I did I decided that’s much better than the stupid Weather Channel name “Pax.” If someone has to name winter storms, I nominate the Capital Weather Gang.
Working From Home: The good things about working from home are having a supply of good coffee right at hand and the ability to do minor household chores when taking breaks. The bad side is that my back is killing me because I really need a new desk chair.
Credit Card Fraud: I got a fraud alert on my Chase Sapphire Preferred card. There’s no doubt it was (attempted) fraud – several attempts to charge $5 from a site that a quick google search suggested is used to test the legitimacy of credit card numbers. I am fairly sure the source of the compromise was Marriott, since I use that card pretty much entirely for travel-related purchases. The most annoying part is that, despite them saying they’d overnight the new card, with the weather situation, it did not get here overnight. Which means I can’t use it for this weekend’s hotel.
Don’t Analyze This Dream: I woke up in a bit of a panic on Tuesday night / Wednesday morning. I had been having a dream that I was in a hotel and I had forgotten to pack any shirts. I could plainly see my white shirt in my backpack, but I was sure I had no shirt to wear.
Travel and Bad Weather: United says my flight tonight is on time. So does flightaware.com, but the latter has a very strange and physically impossible track for the inbound flight. In short, I am reasonably sure that the plane that will become a BWI-IAH flight cannot be flying from IAD to LAX two hours earlier.
Flightaware was being somewhat flaky yesterday, too. Exactly how can an airport have 500+ flights cancelled but that amount to 0%? It didn't help that the FAA had not updated their web site either, so they were showing no delays at any of the area airports. Er, yes, I am a bit obsessive about this flying thing.
Anyway, United did change their weather waiver late in the afternoon yesterday to cover today (previously, it had only been for Wednesday to Thursday). So I tried to see if I could switch to a flight from IAD or DCA. The agent, who was less than helpful, said everything was full up and I should have called on Monday. But, had I tried to change on Monday, they would have charged me about $1500.
On a Lighter Note: The DMV sends a mobile van down to the Land That Transit Forgot about once a month. They can do various things, like driver’s license renewals and vehicle registrations. The list of services also includes hunting and fishing licenses. I understand the hunting part – pedestrians and cyclists are in season year round in Virginia. But fishing?