Stupidly Standing in Line

Well, I am a new owner of an iPhone 3G. Fun. 🙂 I thought it was about time that I just up and went to the store to stand in line and get on of the darn things. I had been wasting my regular hours anyways, looking at availiblity chart, perusing apple forums, driving my apple stores to look see as to the length of the line.

Fine. Done. Erg.

I got up this morning at 6am, and took the 7:14 express train down to PA, and promptly got in line at 7:50 – ten minutes before open. I was about 15-20 deep into the line, and the apple employee handed me a card with my phone choice on it, mentioning that this part of the line would be 1.5 hours into the store. Fun.

I did a prequalify, but I had a business marker on my AT&T account, and had to call AT&T to remove that.

I walked into the store at around 9:40. The employee, wanted to chat, but I barely had time, since I had to go to a meeting at 10am. I think he wanted me to oogle the phone a bit more when he opened it, but whatever. I had no time. Just ripped the plastic coating right off. Didn’t really glance at it at all…

Am I stupid? yes. Did I need it? Probably not. But it’s fast…

Doris, did you still want my old iPhone?

Van Hollen visit.


I can not believe this happened today, but I met with Congressman Van Hollen today and asked for his support on the Rett Syndrome earmark.

His legislative aide, Ray Thorn, carved out about 20 minutes of his day to talk about the IRSF earmark and about the way earmarks get approved. I was impressed that Ray had spent some time researching the earmark and when it will be voted on and then the Congressman came in for a minute and said hello and shook my hand, which is when I delivered my “ask” and he said that he would support it! I wasn’t expecting such a definitive statement right then and there, but there you go.

I’m flabbergasted that I got any time with these people – that Chris Van Hollen (the Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee – the 5th highest ranking position among House Democrats, the money man) basically made a detour in his extremely busy day to see me. I am amazed. It never occurred to me that a little guy like me could send some emails and end up meeting with the Congressman.

So there it is. Call your Congressman and make an appointment to talk about stuff that is important to you.

I did not get a chance to take a photo with the Congressman (I was too chicken to ask, but I’m sure he would have done it), but I have a fascinating photo of the cafeteria of the Longworth House Office building where I ate a cheeseburger before my meeting.


Vince is sick.

Vince has been busy this summer, he’s now attending a science camp run by the county at a nearby elementary school. I’m not sure how much science they are learning, but at least he is getting a deep dark tan by going to the pool twice a week.

Yesterday, his camp had a field trip to the local bowling alley (what science was that about? I guess it must be physics) and Vince whined and whined that he did not want to go bowling. He hates doing things in which there is a distinct possibility and an quantifiable way that he is going to lose and he, like the rest of the human race, hates to lose.

Grumbling the whole way (I’m sure), he was pleased to discover that the bowling alley basically converts to a disco-night-club-type thing and no bowling was required. This is how he explained it, “They turned off the real lights and then turned on the funny lights, then everyone screamed like crazy, then the music played and we all danced around.” It all sounds very scientific to me.

Anyways, after all this crazy screaming dancing bowling trip, he came home and promptly got a fever of 40C. (Somehow after our trip to Singapore, I’ve converted over to Celsius body temperature. 36 – good. 37 – a little high but nothing to worry about. 38 – for sure a fever. 39 – for sure a high fever. 40 – for sure into a cool bath, cold compresses, call the doctor if it doesn’t go down with Motrin fever – I can’t believe I just referred to our 2 years in Singapore as a trip, sheez).

Anyways he stayed home from camp today and will again tomorrow, Jeremy stayed home today and I’ll be home half day tomorrow. Hopefully he’ll perk up before one of us goes down, because there is nothing worse than taking care of a sick kid than perhaps taking care of 2 sick kids while you are sick yourself!

Albert Einstein – patent examiner!

I left work early to head to Jeremy’s office down on K street. His office is filled with people who manage to get things done in Washington DC and I met with one of them today for advice.


I think I have an appointment on Thursday to meet with Van Hollen’s folks about the Rett Syndrome earmark and I wanted to know what I should say in my 5-8 minute meeting. I got some advice on the lingo – apparently the word I should use for appropriations is “approps” and I should ask something about the “CR” which now I’ve forgotten what that means already, maybe congressional report? continuation reform? celery root?

Anyways, the good news is that my adviser looked at the earmark request application and said that it was very impressive that IRSF got such strong support from both Hoyer and Kennedy and that it shouldn’t be a problem getting the earmark.

Did you take a close look at Jeremy’s desk?

Who is that at the edge of his table?

Why, it’s an Albert Einstein action figure! Although Einstein is known for his contributions to physics, he was also a patent examiner!


Jeremy got him for helping out on cogito, I’m taking him to work as my wingman.

Fundraising for Rett Syndrome.

I spent some time this weekend editing a letter I’m going to send out in a few weeks asking for silent auction items for this October’s Fairfax Strollathon. I did help organize last year’s silent auction in the sense that I printed up the bid sheets and coordinated the sale that day, the silent auction raised about $5,000 out of the $100,000 total funds raised last year. Joanne, the chair of the fundraiser, did a fantastic job of getting great items for the auction, but I’m a little nervous this year, with the downturn in the economy – I suspect there will be fewer folks donating items and Joanne mentioned that there were no new families in the area to grow the strollathon (which in many respects besides fundraising, is a good thing, it means that this year, perhaps fewer families in the area got diagnosed).

Vincent had his last playdate this weekend with his best friend from kindergarden – they are moving next week to upstate NY. When I picked Vince up from the playdate, they said a quick goodbye as if they were going to see each other next week, even though they both knew that the move is going to happen in 4 days. I stood there with Vince’s friend’s mom and we gave each other a tender look and a firm hug. Perhaps Vincent won’t even remember his friend when he grows up, but I will.



“People move because of the wear and tear of anxiety. Because of the gnawing feeling that no mater how hard they work their efforts will yeild nothing, that what they build up in one year will be torn down in one day by others. Because of the impression that the future is blocked up, that they might do all right but not their children. Because of the feeling that nothing will change, that happiness and prosperity are possible only somewhere else.”

– Life of Pi, Chapter 29