Hidden away in an odd corner of Baltimore City lies the Franklintown Inn, which at one time was probably a hopping place, and most likely was a waypoint for travelers on the west side of town. Now the entry to the bar is around back, which caters to a questionable-looking crowd (I’m sure they’re all fine, upstanding citizens) and the front parking lot holds an abandoned winnebago and a sad-looking boat. Today the front of the inn is closed up and dark, and a second-floor porch holds a heap of random bicycles, with no indication of use.
This sign is in decent shape on one side, but the neon on the other has been battered by the branches of an overgrown tree. It’s another beautiful product of the Triangle Sign Company of Baltimore, who have been in business for seventy-four years, and who are responsible locally for the Brewer’s Hill signage, the Port Discovery signage, and for the new signage at Fenway Park.
Remember those pizza boxes on the back porch? Here’s the result. This was the morning after a 1AM installation session, where we had to move all the furniture into the dining room and jockey the white couch (the 4-ton sleeper) around the tiles as we laid them down. The result is a warm, comfy floor that brings a new color into the neutral space, and lightens up the whole room
Now, to get rid of that hideous brass fireplace surround.
Writing from the Panera this morning, because Verizon DSL is slow as dirt and the tech support dude couldn’t fix the problem inside the tight confines of his script. We have limited connectivity at the house, which means slow upload is now no upload, and download speed is somewhere around a 28.8 baud modem. Meanwhile, I still can’t post pictures to Flickr because it’s banned at this location. Good times!
I’d ordinarily have a picture here, a picture of the Scout on a flatbed truck at the end of my driveway, waiting to make a right turn into traffic and out of my life. I’d have a picture of that here, but it wouldn’t capture the ache in my heart at the sight of my girl being taken away, or the sick feeling that I let her down for the last three years because I couldn’t afford to keep her under a roof, someplace warm and dry, so that her cancer wouldn’t get exponentially worse to the point where both doors wouldn’t open. I had to crawl into the liftgate to make sure the transmission was in neutral for the tow truck guy, and that old familiar smell of rubber, vinyl, oil and dirt hit me, the one that made me feel good when I got in and she fired right up, choppy and unsure, until the 30-year-old engine warmed up and flattened to a smooth purr. No picture could capture the feeling of freedom and youth that I felt when coasting down the highway with the top down, barely able to hear myself think over the dull roar of the engine and the whistle of the wind. No picture I took could have described the pang of guilt I felt when I saw that the left rear tire was dragging, leaving a skidmark on the driveway as the guy winched her onto the flatbed, as if to say, I don’t want to leave. I’ve tried to post the last picture I have of her along with the first, but the fucking Internet is slow as dogshit today. I have many pictures of my Scout, and that’s all I have left. She’s on to a good home, where she’ll be restored and loved and treated well, and I have to console myself with that.
The lights on 34th Street, Hampden.
So, I didn’t buy the Vespa. Nor did I buy the Kustom bass amp (which, incidentally, sold for $401 with no reserve on eBay). Instead, I found a couple of deals on Craigslist that I’m rather happy about this morning:
For $35, a HP LaserJet 4000n: After adding a $98 toner cartridge, I upgraded our office printer to an EnergyStar-compliant 1200dpi workgroup printer that both Macs and PCs can use. Our previous printer, a 14-year-old Apple Laserwriter, was showing its age: printing any document, no matter how trivial, took at least three minutes to process and spool up before spitting out paper. It didn’t like expensive paper anymore (accordion jams look so good on invoices). It had no provision for PCs, and the only reason we hung on to it was because I found two OEM printer cartridges on Craigslist for $30 last spring.
For $200, I found a 22″ Apple Cinema Display to upgrade Jen’s 19″ LCD—almost doubling her viewing area. Now she can see two-page spreads on her monitor without scrolling. I may need to replace the backlight at some point, but for now, it looks pretty as hell.