Cab drivers, country music, and airborne appliances

November 8, 2007

Another late night at the office. Hours have been a little crazy this week, not so much because I’ve worked especially early or late, but because I’ve been at the office an hour or two earlier and two or three hours later every single day. It happens sometimes… at least there’s overtime. And it’s not like I’ve been Mr. Social lately.

Getting whisked away to Greece isn’t the only perk of working for a big law firm – there are some more regular benefits, too. If I work past a certain hour, the firm will cover both my meal and a cab ride home. I never feel too guilty about the latter, since I-395 runs almost directly from my office to my apartment and the fare is only about nine for the seven-minute ride. And really, can anyone complain about free food? Especially when a Chipotle is mere blocks from where you are? I think not.

After another legal assistant graciously kept me company during dinner, I went through the normal motions of calling a cab. Phone the service, give them info, car shows up… but when I stepped in the car, to my surprise and flying in the face of taxi driver stereotypes, this Central Asian cabbie was listening to a country station. I figured there’s hope for the world if I’m not the only guy in DC who fancies what my college roommate called “hick pop” every now and again – especially someone who according to popular belief should hate the stuff. Garth Brooks came on just as we arrived at my apartment building. I made sure to tip well.

Humming “Friends in Low Places” walking into the front door, I came home to find new Office and Mythbusters episodes freshly Tivo’ed. Despite a “meh” review from one of my roommates, I quite enjoyed this week’s Office (though I really wish they would do more with Jim and Pam now that they’re finally dating). Not the most coherent story, but I loved seeing popular perceptions of Jim and Michael turned on their heads – the dynamic of the office suffers when good old likeable Jim is left in charge for a day, but just as ironic was that mood picking back up once Michael and his obnoxious antics join the party. The exchange between the two at the end was priceless. You see the mixture of ease and panic in Jim’s eyes as he realizes he’s following in Michael’s footsteps. Awesome.

Mythbusters meanwhile tested the tale that a water heater, if neglected, can explode with enough force to send it sky high. Using several test heaters, they removed the temperature failsafe and heat/pressure valve that prevent the water from becoming dangerously hot. Once the temperature reached a critical level in the larger heaters, the myth got confirmed. The Mythbusters crew blasted a water heater hundreds of feet in the air and demolished the model house that held it, sending superheated steam billowing everywhere… just by overheating! In hindsight, it makes perfect sense. Trap enough heat and pressure into a small vessel, thing will get nasty if the container fails. Well, guess who will make sure not to neglect his water heater and its precious safety devices once he buys a home? Yup, I’m in favor of my house having a hole-less roof. And a house that hasn’t exploded. And me, you know, continuing to live.

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