PermaLink A spectacular weekend07/24/2006 12:53 PM

The weekends in which Suzanne is here go way too fast.  The weekends in which I have to clean catboxes go way too slow.

A new car, a great party, moderate reconciliation with the neighbor, some very good exercise, and getting to DJ again.  

And muskrats!

Yes, a spectacularly-good weekend.

Suzanne was down here this past weekend, and will be down here again next weekend, mostly so that we can go to a tractor show I really like over in Berryville, Virginia.  She drove down Friday after work, during the time in which I was picking up (and paying for) the new Volkswagen.  The newest member of the household is a 1996 Volkwagen Passat TDI, black with a gray cloth interior, and a five-speed, and it gets phenomenal mileage.  I went over to the Amtrak station at BWI to meet the guy, who arrived with his wife close behind in their (new) minivan, and we traded keys and titles and lots and lots of hundred-dollar bills, and then he went to the airport to fly to the UK.  I went to my favorite pub to wait for Suzanne to arrive.  After she did, we had something to eat, hung out with people, and then went back over to retrieve the new car and take it home.  Illegally, since it isn't registered yet, but that'll be done this week (I "borrowed" the plate off my red Passat).

For some reason, Suzanne got up at 6:30 am even though we hadn't gotten home until after 2am, so it was pretty much impossible for me to sleep too much later than that.  We did some things around the house, talked to the cats (who are all shedding a true storm of cat-hair), then went over to a party some newly-engaged friends of mine were having in Ellicott City.  True to form, pretty much as soon as we got there, it started raining, so everyone clustered under the porch and in the kitchen, enjoying their beers and watching the Chee-Tos absorb all the humidity.   Mmmmm... chewy!  By mid-evening, though, the consensus among the attendees was to move a portion of the party back over to the pub we all patronize, where we could watch sports, listen to music, and generally, get stupid.

The music was my job, since I had the iBook and its complement of more than seven thousand tracks.  Suzanne was amazingly game to come along and watch me ply my avocation, and of course got special consideration on requests.  She is, after all, the DJ's girlfriend.  We thoroughly embarrassed some of the younger people by being all kissy in between tracks, and ended up running out of music, battery and energy just about at closing.  We drove back to the house and slept well into the next afternoon.

The neighbor I talked about the other day came over and we came to an understanding about his contractors' use of my pasture.  He agreed once again to tell me when he'd be having people do work, and to tell them not to leave big-ass ruts in the pasture.  We'll see how long that lasts.

I don't live far from the C&O Canal Trail, which leads over to Harper's Ferry, West Virginia, so we put the bikes on the back of the Passat and went down to the trail, and then rode over into Harper's Ferry to see what was around.  From my house, it's only about three miles to Harper's Ferry along the Potomac, but the last segment of the ride requires you to carry your bike up a set of stairs and walk it across an active train trestle.  Don't worry, they have an enclosed walkway, but it's a little unusual to be walking a bike high over a river with amateur kayakers flopping around in the water forty feet below you.   In Harper's Ferry, because it was evening, there weren't many tourists around, and we rode and explored, and eventually decided to come home.  We had the trail pretty much all to ourselves, though instead of the turtles that we'd seen in the canal on the trip earlier, the only wildlife around seemed to be small ducks, until we spotted first one, then another muskrat, head up out of the water, nibbling on... well, whatever muskrats nibble on, I guess.

I hadn't seen them around before, and you know it's bound to be a good day when you can call "muskrat!"

We went out and had a decent dinner at Outback after just missing dinner at a place I like a lot more in Frederick.  Our evening was thus overwhelmed in pseudo-Australianisms.

Suzanne had to get up to go home (and to work) way too early.  I didn't even think my alarm clock knew how to go off at 3:00am, but it did, so Suzanne collected up some of her stuff, gathered some fresh mint to give to her rabbits at home, and went off into the night.

It's OK, she'll be back on Friday.  I like that.

The black Volkswagen is spending the day at the garage getting inspected and getting a couple of minor things done... light bulbs, wiper blades, and a brake rotor.  Nothing major, and certainly less than I expected.  I still have to fool with one of the rear seat belt assemblies in order for it to pass, but I can do that tonight after work, then take it over and get it reinspected tomorrow and thence to MVA for new plates.  It's been on the policy since Friday, so pretty much that flat steel thing is all I need.

It's a good little car... pulls strong up hills on the highway even in fifth gear.  It swallowed an astonishing eighteen gallons of fuel yesterday, though it was nice to spend $2.99 for #2 diesel instead of $3.09 for unleaded regular.  It'll be even nicer to get over 800 miles out of that tank instead of barely 400 out of the gas tank in the red Passat.

That's why I bought the car, after all...

Muskrat!
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