Saturday, June 02, 2007

Off-Friday #1

Yesterday was my first "off-friday". We work 9 hour days mon-thurs, then 8 hours on one friday, and zero on the next friday. Repeat every two weeks.

Charles went back to Atlanta, so Andrew and I went into DC to do some tourist-ing. We went to a bunch of Smithsonian museums. The first one was a art one, it was a circular building. Most of the art was pretty crappy, so we didn't stay too long. Next, we went to lunch in a small bakery type place. I think it was called au de pain. or something, I remember the frenchness and the word "pain", turns out that means bread. Probably bread store or something. Update: It was "Au Bon Pain" (I found a receipt.) It means "with the good bread" as translated by google. We went to the National Archives but the line was very long. From there we walked across the street to the Natural History Museum. Standard natural history stuff (Hope diamond, I wasn't as impressed as a certain female that I know... ), it was cool that you didn't have to pay to get in. I didn't feel like I had to see everything, I could leave stuff for later.

We got some ice cream and headed to the air and space museum. VERY COOL. I am glad that they left the nozzle crumpled on the spaceshipone. Neat to see Soviet vs American MRBM systems. The soviet one was HUGE (comparatively. but i also think it carried three warheads vs our one.. so it might not have been fair...) .. turns out that the SS-20 did carry three warheads later in its life (started with one). They also had the Apollo-Soyuz mock up. It seems that the museum was important in showing how the governments began to work together in the cold war. Most of the information about how advanced our planes are is severely dated. Its not that bad though, the F-14 hasn't been out of service that long. It was closing, so we missed out on many exhibits, which works out, as I am going back a few times this summer with different people.

Next we went to the National Archives. Pretty cool. Congrefs! (yeah, thats how they spelled it!)
That was neat to learn. They had a bunch of stuff about the Presidents up to Clinton (can't make fun of a current Prez). We saw a Manga Carta, Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and BIll of rights. The originals are very damaged, and hard to read. I thought that it was really smart of them to make a copper plate and make prints from it. It is neat that the signatures were captured as they were. I am glad that they reprinted a copy from the original copper plate in the bi-centennial, as you could read it.

We walked to the Washington Memorial. Pretty cool, though I didn't know that they did that much restoration to it. The WWII memorial was very well done. I enjoyed it. It should serve as an example to what memorials should look like. Next, we saw the Lincoln memorial. Also done very well. Next was the Vietnam memorial. That one I did not like. I didn't think it was appropriate and seemed to be more about poking Americans in the side about the mistake that they made. Mistakes could have been made, we just shouldn't take them out on the wrong people.

We decided to swing by the White House. Stood at that fence you see in the movies, looking over the fountain into the front. I fleshed out one of my summer goals while I was there.

Next we went to Chinatown, and decided that the restaurant that looked like you descended into a basement was a good idea. It had tanks of the fish you could eat on the way in. Pretty good food though, I was very hungry. The table next to us had a dude that we affectionately called "jackass". He talked extremely loudly about topics that he didn't know much about such as why people have sex and some form of Chinese taoism. He started off by saying, "I haven't been out much and haven't had too many people to hang out with". We soon found out why. He wasn't that bad, but it did provide ample dinner entertainment. We finally got on the metro and headed home.

On the way home to interesting things happened. I found someone's cellphone. When we got to the last station, I called a number on the phone, no response. So I called another one, and left a message telling them to tell their friend that owns the phone where they could pick it up. Last I saw, it was in the lost and found. Hopefully they get it, I would hate to lose my phone. The other thing was that we had some in-transit entertainment. We sat in the back, and ended up behind a tinted window. A girl was traveling, but did not know where she was going. This dude offered to help, and turns out they were born in the same town, knew people from the same place, etc, coincidences all abound. We never got a chance to see him ask for her number, I personally though he would have gotten it before we got off, he probably got it while helping her with finding her ride.

Side-note: my calculations may be incorrect, but I believe that my last day of work is an off Friday :-).

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