Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is always good for a good rant. Today he was on the Senate floor, railing against the EPA and he shouted this:

“Only GOD determines when the wind blows! And only GOD determines when soybeans have 13 percent moisture! ”


As I was cycling to work today, I saw a street not far from me blocked off with police tape. Quite the force was there — several fire trucks, DC police cars, Howard University police and a “special forces” car.

I stopped and asked one of the Howard police guys what had happened.

His reply: “What happened? Oh nothing. Just a bomb threat.”

I was relieved.

It’s hard to start blogging again after such a long hiatus. After letting the blog sit dormant, it seemed like I should either just continue to ignore it or come back with some sort of SUPERPOST.  I can’t seem to commit to either course. But I do keep noticing small things I would like to blog … so why not just report them instead of waiting for that SUPERPOST that may never come?

And who knows, gentle reader, perhaps if you stick with me, you will one day read The Great American Blog-post.

I ran the long way to work yesterday, across town and down Rock Creek Parkway.  Daffodils, those friendly messengers of spring, are in bloom aplenty along the parkway.  Being the kind of person who really does stop to smell the flowers, I halted my run to admire them, much to the amazement of other runners and cyclists on the trail.  I whipped out my blackberry and took a few pictures.

These two look particularly Lenten  to me:

Death and resurrection

Death and resurrection

hanging on the edge, photo courtesy

hanging on the edge

Last night when I took the recycling out, I was surprised to see many police cars and our entire street blocked off with police tape. I called out to Ned to come take a look at the excitement. He, another neighbor and I gathered on the sidewalk to chat about what might be going on…for a moment, at least. Just as we started to wonder, two police officers, one with a police canine, walked by. One officer said to us: “Can you please go inside?”

Yes, yes I can. Some weird stuff has gone down in me neighborhood before, but that was the first time a police officer has asked me to get inside. So he didn’t have to tell me twice. I turned and BOLTED inside the house. For the next hour or so, I alternated between hiding and peeking out the window, wondering what sort of criminal activity might be a afoot.

When the police forces dispersed around 10:30ish pm (heavy on the “ish” — I’m not sure of the time),  I heard the scoop from my next-door neighbor. She had walked down to the corner earlier to ask the police what was going on and got stuck there. They would not let her walk back to her house (for safety, not because they were questioning her).

Was it a drug bust? A raid? A murderer on the loose?

Nope. A suspicious package. Apparently someone on my street works at an embassy, which will rename nameless on this blog. Said embassy has been getting some bomb threats. She got a package at work that they forwarded to her home, and she did not know what it was. She called the police.  Preliminary inspections revealed it did indeed look suspicious. So they had to shut the street down while they investigated it more.

Until they discovered that the package was…

wait for it …

a wah-wah pedal.

How perfect is that? It is as if the pedal were laughing at the shenanigans. Oh, that every police mystery could end with such a zany, harmless little zinger.

When I started this blog, we lived 3 blocks east of gentrification. Now I would say it’s more like one or two. We’re still the kind of neighborhood where some people plant flowers and others pee on them. But it’s mostly flower-planters, not urinators, that are moving into the neighborhood. And the signs of the gentried classes seems to be getting ever closer.

For instance, a new wine and dessert bar is soon to open soon just five blocks from us!

I’ve joked with my neighbors that I will watch the vagrants’ liquor store on our corner turn into a wine and cheese shop.  Perhaps I’ll be right.

One of my favorite things about the blogosphere is its ability to connect people with similar interests who might not find eachother in real life.

I believe Kathy Lee Gifford complained on the “Today” show that the blogosphere is a public forum for things that ought to be said among friends. But blogs can connect people who are not in close proximity. But well, what if your friends aren’t as into knitting as you are? Or if you have cancer and find comfort in reading blogs of others battling the same sickness? Or if you just want to share something interesting, or check in with friends you don’t see every day (ala this blog)?

Or if you really hate unnecessary apostrophes and quotation marks, but it’s not the kind of thing you can bring up among friends because people think you are just being an elitist grammar snob? Well, here it is. I have a thing about apostrophes and quotation marks. (But I confess I use the em dash indiscriminately. I love the em dash with an unquenchable love.)

I share this quotation and apostrophe passion with my sisters. As in, we would all shout out as we would drive to church and see a sign in front of the Piggly Wiggly that said:””SALE’ ‘FRESH’ ORANGES” Is it really a sale or are you just calling it that? It’s nice you call the oranges “fresh,” but how old are they?

If you sent us an email that said “Welcome to the Freeman’s,” our heads might explode. (the Freeman’s what?)

So it was with great delight that I stumbled upon this blog, “the ‘blog’ of ‘unnecessary’ quotation marks.”

Thank you, internet. I am laughing.