After the debacle that was the famous Dave’s spicy pickles I needed something to raise my spirits. I took a gamble and reached for another new jar of spicy pickles. A risky move, but I was desperate.
Claussen did not fail me.
I love spicy pickles. They are one of the greatest food items of all time. I saw these in Walmart and decided that since Famous Dave’s has a really good reputation for hot sauces. ( I love their ‘devils spit’). They were pretty cheap too so I picked one up.
Bottom line, they are disappointing.
This Saturday was the 7th annual Stafford Cardboard Boat regatta. Run by the North Stafford/Rockhill Ruritan club and held at Aquia Landing in Stafford. As a member of the Stafford Cardboard Yacht Club I was required to build a boat for the race. In past years our semi unofficial group has built pirate ships, viking ships, battleships, aircraft carriers, and Gilligan’s Island… (the whole island). But those projects involve weeks of work, hundreds of pounds of cardboard, and gallons of expensive glue. So this year we decided that it would be better if we all made separate boats. SCYC members Bill Schlotter and his son Jason constructed a replica of the civil war ship “Monitor”. My dad, John Schumaker, along with some basic boats for kids, made a sea monster paddle wheeler and a fishing boat that could be hooked together. Wade and I, knowing that we didn’t want to spend a lot of time on the boat, spent two nights making a sleek speedboat.
I would say that for me this years race was the most fun I’ve had at the races. It could be because I hadn’t spent 4 weekends in a sweaty garage huffing contact cement.Â But I’d like to think it’s because the Ruritan Club is getting really good at running the race. They had a good sound system with music and an announcer that was really good at calling the races. Especially for the kids.Â The registration and judging went by quickly and they added 2nd place ribbons so everyone could be involved.Â All the kids looked like they had a great time and everyone was talking about what they were going to do next year. I even recruited some friends to do the race next year, we may participate in the Lake Accotink race in Fairfax also.
This weekend was jam packed with summer fun. Friday night we went out for the worlds longest happy hour at Dogfishhead Brew pub in Greenbriar for Laurel’s Birthday. We ate and drank in shifts with about 10 other people, but never more than 6 at once. We stayed up till 3am talking with friends at our place while I made the helmets for the next day’s activity: The Cardboard Boat Race.
Then I got up at 7am to finish painting the helmets, drove to Wades house. Loaded up the boat on top of his car, then drove 45 minutes down to Stafford for the race. The race was the funnest it has been in years. That’s probably because we didn’t burn our selves out working 4 weeks on some cardboard monstrosity. We built a solid speed boat and put more of out energy into costumes and positive attitudes. I think that made it more fun for everyone, but that will get it’s own blog post when I get all the pictures and videos.
The race ended around 230 and we fought 95 summertime traffic to get back to Oakton so I could get ready for the Jack Johnson concert at Merriweather at 7pm. Got back with just enough time for a quick shower and then threw everything in the car and got on our way. We got there just in time to claim the last good spot on the lawn. Jack Johnson is apparently very popular now. (again, I’ll elaborate later in another blog post). The concert was fun and we had decided before to get a hotel room near the venue because we had to be back in Maryland the next day anyway.
But the fun doesn’t stop there!
Easy like Sunday morning as we slept in and then ate breakfast at the friendliest Bob Evans restaurant ever. Then it was off to Laurel’s Birthday lunch at her Grandmothers apartment in Silver Spring. A casual lunch of turkey sandwiches, Salmon, and fruit salad while we discussed how a new Draft would speed opposition to the current wars and why American politicians don’t care about the millions of dead Iraqis. Later Laurel and her cousin looked on the internet for wedding dresses while we all looked on.
Then around 6 we headed back to our house. Got there just in time to leave for the 7:50 showing of Inception (awesome, but now blog post because I can’t discuss it without giving spoilers.) We got back around 11:30 with just enough time to get ready for bed before the weekend officially ended.
I can’t do every weekend like this, but it was fun!
In an undisclosed location in Fairfax County there exists an abandoned land. At one point it was a home to a family and a thriving business. But because of ignorance or contempt for zoning laws the family and business were forced to move. What was left behind has become much more interesting for me. I’ve always been interested in abandoned houses and buildings. I’ve spent many hours online looking through pictures of old hotels, houses, and hospitals that were left, for one reason or another, to rot. I find it interesting when nature reclaims its’ land.Â Here are some of the galleries I’ve bookmarked on delicious, I tagged them Abandonia.
On this plot of land there are 2 houses and one large office/garage area. The houses were once in pretty good shape but are now succumbing to the forces of rain, snow, and teenage aggression. The office building is another story, it’s pretty industrial so there’s not much to fall apart anyway. I went back there last week and took some pictures of graffiti left there by what I can only assume are local teenagers. It’s such a strange mix of things, Nature wearing down on the roofs and then teenagers helping it along by breaking all the windows and smashing the walls. It’s also an interesting mix of symbols on the wall. Clearly drug fueled, they have hippie flowers, mixed with rap lyrics and money signs. I find it hard to believe that these two groups run in the same circles, but they apparently shop at the same spray paint section.
There are some strange sights. The wood floor from the entry of one of the houses has been carried from the house and laid out on the floor of the garage, in a pattern that was clearly intentional. Somebody must have been really really high.
I found this dollar bill attached to the pole in the middle of the room in what is clearly some sort of trap for bourgeouis capitalists. That’ll show em!
It’s semi unsettling atmosphere. It’s not unlike coming in to a house after a party the night before and wondering what has gone on here. it’s interesting to me to imagine what it was like. I know it seems silly to read this much into a bunch of stupid drawings by some stoned teenagers. But I think we can learn from anything. When archaeologists look back at ruins they are mostly looking at the broken pottery and trash left behind. What were they thinking when they wrote, imagine… shit.
What was once clearly a thriving business has become a party zone for stoned teenagers.
Picture gallery after the break.