Due to circumstances which you’ll soon read about, I haven’t been able to update The Cutter Rambles lately. So I’ve decided to discuss everything in one super-sized blog.
Power out again
At first, I was inclined to say that this particular incident wasn’t Pepco’s fault. Considering the widespread damage done by the storm, I can’t blame them for the initial outage. What I can blame them for is the excruciatingly slow repair times and horrendously inaccurate reporting of possible restoration times.
And with 87 hours, Pepco managed to set a new record for the longest time we’ve gone without power, topping the fifty-some hours from the 2011 Snowpocalypse. At least then, I could partially understand the lengthy outage. There was a heavy snow coverage, so it was hard to drive, and all the equipment might not have been accessible.
But this particular storm was relatively brief, and when it was over, I didn’t notice much snow on the ground. So what was the problem? Apparently, they didn’t anticipate such a large outage, and they were slow to call in outside help.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: F*** Pepco. I mean that with all my heart.
The Cutlet turns two
We had some nice plans for the Cutlet’s second birthday. We were going to go to a local park where we would ride a carousel and train, and then she would open the play kitchen we got her as a gift. Unfortunately, we had to change things up a bit.
The day before her birthday, I was able to take advantage of the power outage. My office was closed, so I got a free day to spend with the Cutlet. We went to the National Zoo, and she got to see pandas, elephants, zebras, and several other animals.
As for her actual birthday, we had to abandon our home. After a couple of days of living by candlelight, we finally decided to leave. Being on the bottom floor, we stayed relatively cool without the benefit of air conditioning, but it was still getting a bit uncomfortable.
More importantly, considering we didn’t have much food left – we lost everything in the fridge and freezer – and we didn’t have anything to cook with aside from the stove, our food options were limited.
Thankfully we were able to take refuge at my sister’s house. She and my brother-in-law were nice enough to put us up for the night, serve us dinner and they even bought a cake for the Cutlet’s birthday.
Plus, the Cutlet got to hang out with her cousins and go to the Air and Space Museum. So all in all, it wasn’t a bad birthday for the Cutlet.
We weren’t able to give her the kitchen on her actual birthday. We tried to assemble it in the dark, but we needed the use of an electric drill and screwdriver, and those were sitting uncharged in our closet.
Once the power was restored, we charged our tools, and the kitchen was assembled in a short amount of time. The day after her birthday, we presented it to the Cutlet and she seems to enjoy playing with it.
Yes, it is a little hard to believe that our little baby is now two years old. She’s growing up so fast!
Last weekend, Mrs. Cutter and I went to Milwaukee for the wedding of one of her sorority sisters.
I had never been to Wisconsin before, and I realize that my only knowledge of the state comes from watching NFL broadcasts. In my mind, I imagined a cold place with a bunch of fat guys walking around in cheesehead hats and Brett Favre jerseys.
Surprisingly, I didn’t see one person wearing a Packers jersey. But that might have been due to the heat. While it may have been cooler than the record highs of the DC area, it was still plenty hot.
Naturally, when visiting Milwaukee, we had to take a tour of the Miller (now MillerCoors) brewery. These factory tours always kind of disappoint me. I go in half expecting to see something out of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but then you get there and it’s just a plain factory without an Oompa Loompa in sight.
Regardless of my expectations, the tour really was kind of underwhelming. They showed us a couple of videos, including a terrifically cheesy one starring the Miller High Life “Girl on the Moon.” We were then taken into the “historic” caves where they used to store beer, and took us through a couple of packaging lines.
I don’t know if it was just the day that we were there, but the factory seemed to be mostly producing the beer Old Style. I had never heard of Old Style before, but they certainly were churning out a lot of it. I have since learned that the beer is popular in the Midwest, specifically Chicago. They apparently love it at Cubs games.
I suppose they figure that most people are there for the beer tasting, since they quickly ushered us into the beer garden. The first sample they gave us? Miller Lite! I know I was quite excited to finally get to try Miller Lite.
After a couple more samples, the tour resumed in the brew house. How would I describe the brew house? Hot. Incredibly hot. They have a bunch of ovens running, and combined with the mid-90s temperatures outside, that made it almost unbearable in the room. Fortunately, that part of the tour didn’t last very long.
As for the wedding itself, they had a full Catholic Mass for the ceremony, which always makes me feel a little out of place.
The church was quite beautiful, although I was kind of frightened by the “abstract” Jesus they had hanging from the ceiling. On the bright side, I thought it was nice that they helpfully provided a bowl of holy water to cool people off in the hot weather. I wasn’t too impressed by the taste, but maybe since I’m not Catholic, it tastes different to me?
At the reception, they had a good amount of food. Not an excessive amount, but enough so that you didn’t leave hungry. Although I almost did leave hungry since Mrs. Cutter decided that she now likes steak. She ate about a third of my portion.
As for the entertainment, they had a live band. While I concede that bands can do a good job, this particular band did nothing to change my opinion that DJs are a superior choice in wedding entertainment.
After missing a decent amount of work due to the power outage, Independence Day, and the Milwaukee trip, I had a lot I needed to get done. But that work would have to wait a little longer, as I was called to serve jury duty on Monday.
I served on a jury once before, and it was an decent enough time. It was a civil trial in which passengers on a bus sued a driver who hit the bus. It lasted two days, and was mildly interesting, so I found it to be a positive experience.
Due to work obligations, I was hoping that this time around, I could avoid being chosen. Especially when they called my number to report to a court room, as it was clear that this particular trial would probably be neither quick nor easy.
It was a criminal case with a whole litany of serious charges, including attempted murder, armed robbery, and assault. The judge informed us that the trial would likely take five days to finish.
The length of the trial made me even more hopeful of not being selected as a juror. After a lengthy and boring process of questioning the potential jurors, the lawyers went to work at selecting the twelve lucky people who would comprise the jury.
There were quite a few jurors rejected, and I started to get nervous as they approached my number. Finally, before my number was called, they had settled on the lucky twelve. I thought I was free.
But my hopes were dashed when the judge announced that the trial would require three alternate jurors as well. And sure enough, I was selected as the third alternate.
So I would be sitting through the entire trial, and likely wouldn’t even deliberate. Unsurprisingly, my employer was not happy about this news.
I almost pulled a Homer and accidentally got myself booted off the jury. While waiting in the hallway I was seated directly outside the courtroom. Apparently, I had missed the instructions to sit on the opposite end of the hall. The judge was concerned that I might have overheard something that I shouldn’t have.
So I could have simply lied and said I overheard something, and I likely would have been sent home. But I wouldn’t have felt right about it.
You may wonder why I didn’t just lie from the beginning. I could have implied that I was racist or biased against the police. I won’t lie and say that I wasn’t tempted.
So why didn’t I lie? I figured that I was as capable of anyone of serving as an impartial juror. I went in without prejudice and an open mind, and I was certainly capable of making a fair decision based on the evidence presented. If I was ever on trial, I would want others to show that kind of courtesy, so how could I deprive others of the same?
Fortunately, the trial went quicker than expected, and by Wednesday afternoon, they were ready to deliberate. Since none of the regular jurors were dismissed or had to leave, they did not need the alternates. So I was sent home and thanked for my service.
I am curious as to what happened. I’ve tried to find a record online, but the last thing I found was that the jury couldn’t come to a decision on Wednesday, and deliberations had to continue on Thursday.
It’s a good thing that I didn’t have to stay, since I had plans for Wednesday night.
The Amazing Spider-Man
I went to see the Amazing Spider-Man movie, but I’m not sure exactly what I thought of it. It had some fun action scenes, although I thought they didn’t utilize the 3D as well as they could have.
The main question I have is: Did we really need another Spider-Man origin story this soon?
The original Spider-Man came out only ten years ago, and this one was very similar. I think if this had been the first Spider-Man movie, I would have enjoyed it more. As it was, it just seemed kind of unnecessary.
I did have some questions about the movie. (Spoiler warning)
1. Why didn’t Peter die from the spider bite? Hadn’t they said that all the test subjects up to that point died? It wasn’t like Peter provided the altered formula before he was bitten. And perhaps more importantly, shouldn’t he have shown a little bit of concern that he might be dying?
2. Why did Spider-Man all of a sudden stop chasing after the guy who killed Uncle Ben? I guess he thought the idea of fighting a giant lizard was more appealing than avenging his uncle? It’s like they wanted to do an origin story, but then they got bored with it, and introduced a super villain.
And so that is July thus far. Will the rest of the month be as eventful? We shall see.