Thanks Everyone!

Given that my last post was an off-tangent rant (really sorry about that folks), I wanted to at least provide a follow up on what I ended up choosing as my door/window combo for the CC. Based on the comments on my post, random emails, and to my surprise, getting sidelined by coworkers who found my blog….I chose….

The Victorian set. I don't what they're called, but we're calling it this because I'm too lazy.

The Victorian set. I don’t what they’re called, but we’re calling it this because I’m too lazy.

Yes, BK initially chose this combo. And no, it wasn’t because I caved in to my husband. Most of the comments pointed that this set worked better with the bigger windows. And the more I looked at them, it did make sense.

When I did tell BK that his choice got some pretty solid backup from you folks…all I can say is that his reaction was the spitting image of this.

This…pretty much is an accurate representation of my husband’s reaction. From http://thedarkemerald.deviantart.com

After leaving my husband to bask in the glow of marital victory (I let it slide….because again, he knows his limits if he wants to be fed), I did want to do something about the door. Granted, I like the “glass” part of the door and all…but the design wasn’t flying with me (ebmagpie, if you’re reading this entry, I totally agree with you on the window leading!).

So what I did I do about it, you ask? Well…I replaced that bad boy with this.

New window leading

New window leading

Work the last 2 weeks really took a beating on me. If I wasn’t swamped at the office, I was equally swamped during the evenings. So ironically, the only times I could really devote time to the hobby were either early in the morning….or during my lunch hour on the weekdays. So for the door, I bought this “stained glass” window pane on eBay….and actually brought it to work with me to cut down to size during my lunch break.

After installing the new window, I set up the door and windows into the CC…and it looks better right?

But what made me happy though, was when I turned on the lights…

Man, those lights are bright.

Man, those lights are bright.

…folks, you have NO idea how eager I am for the weekend to start. I want to jump back into working on this and the ARC. Even continuing my 4th Circle of Hell (aka, making more egg carton bricks and stones)….

So again, everyone who gave me feedback….thanks so much! I’ll need to come up with something as a form of gratitude…..

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Roadtrip!

Because the work week pretty much forced me to spend my evenings finishing up additional office work, I didn’t make any progress at all with the bricks & stones for the CC. Suffice this say, this entire weekend was spent in my dining room, cutting them out of egg cartons in between other things. Bummer. 😦

And this post is going to be one of those “between other things”. Hopefully you’ll get a good laugh out of this.

While as much as I’d love to house my modern minis in structures like PRD Miniatures’s M112 PODS, or by the Contemporary Home in Miniature, or even the Lake View Kit by DHEMinis (to name a few), I tend to gravitate towards the more “traditional” kits by Real Good Toys, Duracraft, and even the ones from Earth & Tree Miniatures. Particularly kits that are no longer manufactured.

Typically, I resort to eBay to find these vintage kits. But I don’t know about you, but lately I’ve noticed sellers are selling kits are rather crazy prices. Heck, some of the listings have prices that are more than what the actual manufacturer actually sells! 😡

Sorry, I digressed there. Onwards to the post.

So while I rely on finding vintage kits on eBay, I will occasionally check Craigslist. Most of the time, I’ve managed to score some pretty items there…and have in the past been willing to drive up to 2-3 hrs to pick up my finds. Despite living in an area where it’s been ranked as having one of the worst traffics in the country (#10).

And it’s from the above paragraph, my dear readers, that I will begin my tale…of what should have been a relatively easy drive became an observation of how dumb drivers can be in my area.

(Yes, this is a rant. And yes, I know not ALL drivers in the DC metro area are this stupid. But it seems like competent drivers are in a minority here…)

It all started when I found an ad on Craigslist of someone selling a bunch of dollhouse kits. A bunch of them I knew I could easily get anywhere. But the seller had some vintage kits that really caught my eye — and I really wanted them. So after a couple of emails were exchanged (and even got a quote to ship them — it wasn’t worth it), I was given the address for the pickup and a time to meet on Saturday morning. That was great and all…until I found out on Google Maps where it was (north of Baltimore, MD), and how long it was going to take me (about 1.5 hrs).

But I figured, hey this shouldn’t be too bad, right?

When I told BK of my gameplan, he reminded me to be careful. Why you ask? Because in his view, whenever I go on a solo drive to pick up things (be it miniatures, dollhouses, or a piece of mid-century furniture for our house), he sees my road trip to be either an episode like this:

Or like this:

I will have to say though, I do experience weird things while on the road sometimes. But at least I NEVER get lost. That’s the more important thing. Oh yeah, and coming home alive.

Anyways, back to the story.

Because I had to meet the seller around 9:00 am, I left my home around 7:00 am in order to fill up my tank and get cash at the ATM. According to the directions, it should take me about 1.5 hrs. That wasn’t bad…until I got onto the highway to begin my journey.

During the course of my drive, I encountered the following. (Images are from Cracked.com and other random sources). The titles for the type of drivers….these what BK and I personally call them  during our drives. We probably have at least a dozen or so types we’ve given names, but these were the ones I encountered during my drive.

1. Jerk Jumpers
These are the drivers who will do whatever it takes to squeeze in front of you. Even though you’re already caught in a cluster of traffic. Nice buddy! It must feel good to know you wasted a couple of dollars of expensive gas and probably had to do some crazy maneuvers for what — maybe moving an inch?

In scenarios like this, I do wish I had a carton of eggs to chuck at such drivers. From Cracked.com

2. J@ck-Snoozers
More than likely you’ve experienced this when driving on the passing/left lane. You’re behind a driver that’s going either at or below speed limit. So you find an opening to go to the adjacent lane, intent of passing and getting in front. But the minute you drive past the J@ck-Snoozer in order to complete your manuever, it just seems like he/she just woke up….and proceeds to drive faster to essentially c^ck-block you.

And what’s worse? If you do end up getting behind them once more…they go back to driving slow again. Ugh, what j@ck-@asses.

BK said to not confuse J@ack-Snoozers with the drivers who are on the left side of a two lane and are driving at the same speed as the car on the right lane (and hence causing a cluster behind him/her). We refer to these folks as the Cluster Corkers.

A good visual explanation of a J@ck-Snoozer in its natural habitat.From Cracked.com

3. Slow to Start (StS)
These are the drivers who, the minute the light turns green, it seems to take them 30 minutes to a couple of minutes to realize that “hey, I should start moving”. And sadly, by the time they finally move, the light has turned red….and left the rest of us to sit and wait for light to turn green again.

So you StS’ers….remember that adage your driving instructor told you? You know, that adage “Green means go, red means stop?”. Please pay attention to the first part. Lest you want my shoe up your butt.

4. The Careener
You must have seen this….you see a driver on the far left lane on the highway, who realized “oh hey, my exit’s coming up on the right.” And proceeds to literally careen through all lanes of traffic in order to get to said exit ramp. And probably give you a heart attack in the process as you try to not swerve and hit somebody else.

And my the last one I dealt with…

5. Multitask FAIL
This pisses the crap out of me. The folks who apparently are on their phones or scoping out their GPS screens while doing one (or more) of the actions listed above. It’s not just dangerous, but just ridiculously stupid.

And I have to say…this is the most common site I’ve see on the road when I drive around. Especially in Maryland — where ironically, they have a law where you can be fined if caught driving while using a mobile device. Granted, I’m sure there are folks out there who can use their mobile devices while driving like badass bosses. But from what I’ve seen around my area? Fail. Absolute fail.

Say it like it is Dos Equis dude! From Chucklesnetwork.com

Thanks to the above – my 1.5 hr drive to the pickup point became 3 hrs. Mostly because after almost being broadsided by three drivers who were a #4 & #5, I ended up getting off the highway once I passed Baltimore, MD and getting to my destination via local roads. Which didn’t exactly help at all, because now I dealt with drivers who were either a #2 or #3, combined with #5.

Suffice to say, when I got to the pickup point, I was seriously considering finding a strong drink to calm my nerves.

But it was all worth it — because I met with the seller and I was proudly stowing away the following into my trunk.

A Tamarack dollhouse kit from Real Good Toys.

The New Neighborhood....

And a Bayberry Cottage from DuraCraft.

And the best part? I got both for under $100. Score!!

And even better? The place where I picked up the items — it was in a shopping plaza that had a cafe serving Amish food. Amish breakfast! Oh hells bells yeah! The nerves definitely calmed down after tucking in a meal of bacon, eggs, and fluffy pancakes. Oh, and a slice of pie. Hey, I’m not turning down homemade pie!! 🙂

Once I had my meal (and profusely thanked the staff for their hospitality and giving me directions back to the highway), I made my way back home. Figured maybe this time, I will get home in 1.5 hrs.

I was so, so wrong.

Why you ask? Because traffic was crawling through because everyone had to slow down and gape at three “accidents”. And these “accidents’ were just simply folks who were changing their cars’ tires. Seriously, if I hadn’t filled my stomach with the awesome meal I just ate, I’d probably start screaming and banging my head against the steering wheel.

(I didn’t get home till almost 4 pm. Instead of 1.5 hrs, it was a 4 hr drive through hell to get home).

So note to self. If I see an ad for kits being sold outside my area — I need to slap myself. Or someone else has to do it.