So, where have I been since Snowpocalypse '09?
Much of the DC metroplex is still digging out from under what has been dubbed Snowpocalypse 2009. At least where I live, the main roads are in pretty good shape, albeit they're down about three feet of clearance so they're more like one-and-a-half lanes in both directions. The side and back streets haven't really been plowed and are still touch and go should you need to drive on them. Generally speaking, unless stoplights are involved the snow removal strategy seems to consist of sunlight melting the snow, brave drivers breaking up the ice as they go, and the powers that be hoping that the gutters don't clog up. Traffic into and out of DC is even worse than usual when you take into account the holiday season. On Tuesday night, on my way home from work it took a little over two hours to make the drive from Greenbelt to the car dealership in northern Virginia.
It seems that I wasn't the only person dumb enough to try braving the snowstorm on bald tires. Judging by how busy the car dealership was (they'll be open later than usual until next week at the very least) and what everyone was having done (getting their tires replaced), a lot of us were slapping our foreheads last weekend. For what it's worth, once I got the tires switched out for brand new ones and the alignment fixed (one was at +8 degrees, another at -9 degrees off vertical) my car handles much better than it has in months. To give you an idea of how busy things were on Tuesday night, the mechanics at the shop were passing around menus for the local Chinese takeout joint. The restaurant didn't even ask for our address because they knew exactly where to deliver to: the same place they'd been delivering to all day, fighting traffic in both directions the whole way.
I haven't been posting a whole lot lately because I've been getting settled in at my new job. Late in November I resigned my position at the Prometheus Group to take a job with an aerospace contracting company called Emergent Space Technologies at NASA as a software engineer. For the past month or so I've been busily navigating bureaucracy, producing documentation, battling paperwork, and teaching myself how to get to and from work, and inhaling online classes as fast as I possibly can. I've also been retraining myself to handle the commute to and from Greenbelt, Maryland, a trip of one hour each way under ideal conditions, two to three under... normal beltway rush hour traffic, truth be told.