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Marilee J. Layman

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August 30th, 2007

05:50 pm: Light! Er....
I need new lampshades in the living room and asked my friend Mark about it before the furniture store closed and he didn't know since the local lighting place had closed a few years ago. One of his salespeople overheard and dug out an extra card from her pocket -- it was a place up in Fair Lakes and I put the card on my desk to remember to schedule going. Then there was a TV commercial for a fast casual restaurant called Red Robin (music) with "gourmet burgers." I looked them up online and found our closest one was in the same shopping center as the lighting place, so when I made this week's schedule, I put it on today.

Now, last night, I accidently hit the hanging lamp in the dining room (I'm just shorter than it is, so it doesn't matter that I walk under it to/from the desk) with the dust mop while I was putting the freshly washed & dried mop back on the stick, and all the lights went out on this side of the condo. I got my wind-up flashlight out of the drawer and went and reset the circuit and came back to see what happened. I had to take the heavy glass bottom off and as I was taking it, I could hear the bulb rolling around inside, and I managed to catch it before it hit the floor, while holding the glass bottom. The weird things: 1) I was told this was a halogen bulb, but it's slightly bigger than standard edison bulbs, b) most halogen bulbs are bayonet, but this screwed in, and iii) it was the glass part of the bulb rolling around -- the screw part was still in the socket. I know how to take that out with a needlenose plier, but the only way to keep the socket from turning was to hold a nut above the shade tight clockwise while turning the needlenose pliers counter-clockwise, all above my head. I tried several brief times and then emailed a friend from bookgroup. He's going to come help tonight. He's never taken broken bulbs out before, but he's stronger than I am, and taller than the lamp.

So I stopped by the credit union and put my pay-off papers for my home equity loan in my safe deposit box and got a roll of dollar coins, then headed north to Fair Lakes. The lighting place was actually half of a store, the other half being a Hallmark. Odd. The lighting guy measured my shade and checked -- they only had one with the pleats, they had two (which I need) plain. I like the pleats, they give a bit of softness without being frilly, so they put that one on hold and will get the other one in on Wednesday. While I was there, I got a new halogen screw-in bulb for the hanging lamp, so it was kind of convenient that I was going today anyway.

Then I headed to Red Robin and as I approached, I had a double-take: there's a brick and concrete sort of wide entry way, and the handicapped spots are on the brick part. It's great -- nobody without tag/plate will think to park there because it doesn't look like parking spots! There's concrete where you get out, just brick under the cars. Then when I went in, there were stairs and I asked the woman if there was another way to the dining floor and she said yes and led me to a very nice railed ramp. Not obvious, Here Come The Gimps!, and very useful (I saw the staff using it a lot, too). I mentioned to the server that I hadn't been there before and he pointed out the parts of the menu to me and went off to get iced tea. I decided to try the pot roast burger (chunks of pot roast, grilled onions, cheddar cheese, and horseradish) and everything comes with bottomless steak fries. The lady next to me said she had just finished a pot roast burger and really liked it and we talked briefly about where we lived and why we were there and then she paid and left. The pot roast burger was really good, as were the steak fries, but I just ate the ones in the basket.

I asked the server to ask the manager to stop by (nothing about him) and I complimented the manager on the accessibility and he said they took pride in that, that they could serve everybody gracefully. He said I should come back and I told him I'd be up next week, but it was a bit of a distance from Manassas, and he said they're putting one in here in about six months -- about three miles from the condo. I might have to read the salad part of the menu next time.

Then 3:30pm rush hour traffic home, check the DSL (no), and on with online.

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