I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who has mentally checked out for the week. With the massive snowstorm (we'll get to that) and Christmas coming up, it's so very tempting to sit here, put the phone on do-not-disturb and run the clock out for another 2 days. But, we've all got to earn our paychecks.
But yes, let's take a minute to talk about Snowmageddon 2009. Hell totally froze over. That's right, we got flinty and we took the 20 inches like men. It helped, of course, that the snowstorm arrived over the weekend, but still. DPW and DDOT deserve some credit for getting the streets back in working order fairly quickly, and let's also give Metro a hand for not having 20 head-on snow-related crashes. We got nearly 2 feet of snow and things were pretty much back to normal on Monday. In fact, the biggest headline to come out of this whole thing was the MPD detective who went nuts at the snowball fight. Obviously the Large Hadron Collider has thrown us into some parallel universe where the Department of Public Works didn't screw something up during a blizzard. Jesus, Don Henley's career is spinning in its grave and there's no amount of old men sitting on stools that can save us from this creepy alternative universe where political careers may be saved by a snowstorm, and police careers ended.
In other Metro related news, the Silver Line is going to have some sweet bathrooms. We're not talking about the camouflaged bathrooms hidden behind the "FIRE EQUIPMENT CABINET" doors, but rather actual public restrooms. Yeah, there will probably be some "issues" with "security" in the restrooms, but considering the length of a ride from say, Eastern Market to Dulles Airport, having bathroom facilities that don't require a secret password and looking like you really need to go, is probably a plus.
The Examiner takes a look at the problems facing John Catoe, and throws his mug up on the front page again. To be fair, we do enjoy the benefits of one of the best transit systems in the United States. I think that says more about the lack of good public transportation in the United States than it does the quality of public transportation in Washington, D.C. Catoe does face an extremely uphill battle with safety. However, it looks like Metro might be making some positive changes, so I am moderately optimistic. It's unfortunate that it's taken getting to this point to inspire some real changes.
Woman dies in rowhouse fire. A woman was found unconscious in a burning rowhouse in Brightwood last night. The woman, estimated to be around 45-years-old died at the hospital. The rowhouse was vacant, so I'll go out on a limb in guessing the woman was likely homeless. There are too many tragedies like this during the wintertime. With fewer available shelter resources, sadly no one should be surprised by this.
On a moderately-related aside, I was watching "Meet the Natives: USA" on the Travel Channel over the weekend. It's a show about these men from the island of Tanna (part of Vanuatu) who come to America to experience our way of life and spread their message of peace. It's interesting to watch the interactions with Americans, and generally the men of Tanna have some good insight into our misplaced priorities. I particularly enjoy that one of the Tanna natives occupation is "Happy Man." One of them (I think their Chief) while in New York City saw some homeless people and remarked that it was strange that in a city with so many buildings, there was no where for these people to go when it gets cold.
From the common sense files: It's illegal to lay claim to parking spaces. WTOP gives us a whole story dedicated to the fact that even if you personally shoveled a street parking spot, you don't own it. Putting a road cone or lawn chair to block anyone else from using it is not cool. Of course I've heard stories of much worse in some cities, where people stand guard over spots with a shotgun, or they build walls around parking spots. Just give us some time, and we'll catch up.
Now back to work. Our gracious new Sno-verloards gave me the day off for my birthday yesterday, but now I've got to compress a whole week's worth of work into roughly 2 days. Anyone else in the same boat? Or has pretty much everyone just taken the whole week off?