Morning Thoughts ($1.21)

Newspaper Thought 1. I knew the NY Times couldn’t hold onto their new format, putting page 2 news on page 7 (see earlier posting), although they stuck to it for two days. Today, I see that there is news creep at the Times, and they have a full page of news on page 6. Of course, they have moved their page 6 ad to page 7, so the third page of news remains on page 8.

Newspaper Thought 2. I see that Howard University has decided to make its campus daily web-only. As no one under the age of forty seems to read newspapers in print any more, perhaps this is a better idea than it seems to be. It is certainly cheaper. I wonder if other universities will (or do) do the same.

Automobile Thought 1. Michelle and Jonathan flew to Denver yesterday. Last night, I received a phone call. Their rental car turned out to be a Prius. So far, so good. They had just left the airport and were on the freeway. They got a little concerned. They had figured out how to turn the car on and how to steer it, but their question was: “How do we turn this car off?” Should I have let them figure it out themselves?

Automobile Thought 2. A relatively new blue Subaru parking on our block has had a chronic problem with its alarm system going off. When it happens, you hear 29 loud beeps, a short silence (I guess you don’t actually hear the silence), 29 more loud beeps, another short silence, and 29 final loud beeps. I assume we are talking about 3-4 minutes from start to end. Several nights ago, it happened early in the morning. Then twice during the day. And then the night before last, starting at about 3 a.m., it happened four times before 6 a.m.

Unclear what can be done. We have told the police. The car clearly has a right to be there. We live on a block that has apartments at one end, and houses at the other. I like it when the apartment dwellers park in front of the house. It’s like we are having company that we don’t have to entertain. But they really should mind their manners.

Last night, no sound. That was good, but I couldn’t sleep anyway. And then, at about 7 a.m., when I had a chance to sleep another hour or so, another horn blared out, as it has on Tuesday and Wednesday. We assume that our neighbors across the street (who are French) are in France for an Easter holiday. But no one told the school bus driver, who has come by each morning, sat with engine idling, and then given two very loud honks before moving on.

Music. While I thought I made an exceptionally good cup of coffee this morning, it was not quite enough to keep me going. It helped, though, when WETA played a recording of Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto with Wilhelm Kempff at the keyboard. Why don’t I try to make a note each time I hear a recording that I think exceptional? Maybe this is a start.

Food. I passed by the new Chop’t salad shop on Connecticut Avenue, as I do every morning. I once had a carryout salad, and it was pretty good. But I don’t like the place for at least two reasons. First, the name. Clearly, chop’t is not a word, and never will be. It doesn’t even look like a word in any language. And how should it be pronounced? I actually don’t know: to rhyme with klopt (also not a word), to sound like “chop it”, or to be “chop-T (like Ice-T)? Equally importantly, they have painted the walls (all visible from the street) the sickest shade of green that they could find. I want them to move on to a side street far removed from my daily path.


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