Monday, October 09, 2006

Ice, Donuts, Calendars and a Moose

Ice Skating and Donuts

Sharpen the blades and strap on the boots
Find you some mittens and polish your tuuks
skating is almost here!

Corduroys under red-and-black checkered wool pants, sweaters, gloves, a hat, pack boots with a couple pair of heavy socks, skates (with long laces tied together) slung around my neck and a heavy steel snow shovel held rifle-style over my shoulder, I with my sisters or a couple friends walked to a pond about a half mile away from home.

It’s funny that I don’t remember how long it would take us to shovel off the ice so that we could skate (or maybe my sisters did all the hard work!), but I remember going around Christmas one time after a good snow, a foot or so, and that we didn’t come close to clearing the whole pond. It’s probably about a half an acre. Ah yes, my youth was spent inside a Currier and Ives painting.

I guess that’s why I’m so excited about the opening of the
Capitals Ice Center atop the parking garage of the Ballston Common Mall; it should open by Nov. 1. The idea that starting next month we’ll live within walking distance of ice pleases me.

I know there’s been some grumbling from the neighbors about the large, lighted signs that will hang from the garage’s walls, and maybe they are too gauche for a corner that shares commercial property with residential. I know, too, from an article in a recent Arlington Connection, that the mini-golf course planned for that same corner (the corner of North Glebe and North Randolf Street) is facing some controversy. But I just can’t help but be excited.

I was talking with Beth Lenz, the center’s general manager, at her Spartan office space in the Ballston Common Mall on Friday. She told me the office on the second floor is temporary and that it will move up with the ice, probably in mid-November. Up there on the eighth floor of the garage will be two sheets of ice and a pro-shop for sales, rentals, skate-tuning and other amenities.

Still, I’m a little nervous that public ice time just to skate will be lost to lessons and league play, or relegated to 5:00 a.m. We’ll see.

By the way, I agree with the business owners quoted in the Arlington Connection—that little triangle of space wouldn’t work as a mini-golf place. I think they should set up a couple walk-up store fronts, cute shops, or (dare I say it) a Dunkin’ Donuts! Give that space a wide sidewalk and a little grassy space with trees and make it someplace people would want to walk up to, or a place they’d drop down to via elevator from the 8th floor ice. They need a place that sells hot cocoa and mittens, not mini-golf.

+++++++++++
112 seconds.

That is, nearly two minutes. Or, the amount of time it takes for the
Arlington County calendar to open on my computer. And that was one of the fastest times I got it to load, and I have a DSL connection at home (I just tried it again and got 62 seconds, but there are no events on the list for today!). God help people with dial-up. 19th century typesetters could produce a page more quickly.

Who designed this thing?

Not only is it slow, it’s a secured page (https://...). I imagine that’s needed for the times when people register for events, but couldn’t the security be on another page, the page the person gets when he or she clicks on “register here”?

I’d love to hear from the county about what’s up with this.

++++++++++
Open Season
The whole fam-damily and I went to see
Open Season at Ballston Common mall on Friday. Quite funny and though PG wasn’t bad for my very-youngsters (it’s PG mainly for the scary scenes with knives, guns, huge waterfalls, etc., one shot of a deer pooping and the word “crap,” associated with the aforementioned deer). Even my four-year-old liked it. I know, I know, I’m a bad parent—four-years-old at a PG movie. I was probably 12 when I saw my first PG movie.

++++++++++
Police Notes for Buckingham:
RESIDENTIAL BURGLARY, 10/3/2006, 4300 blk N. Pershing Dr. Between 0830 hrs and 1400 hrs on 10/03/06, someone removed a screen from an apartment window, reached into the apartment, and took several items including rechargeable batteries and a battery charger.

RESIDENTIAL BURGLARY, 10/5/2006, 4400 blk N. 4th Rd. Between 2230 hrs on 10/03/06 and 2000 hrs on 10/05/06, someone entered an apartment through a window and took a laptop computer.

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