Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Not a good week to be a lightbulb in my house....

Over the past several days it seems we've been going thru a lot of lightbulbs. First was a compact fluorescent bulb - the kind that is supposed to last a million years - died in the garage. And it wasn't a dollar store compact fluorescent, it was a GE brand. Then on Saturday the big expensive bulb that is in our big screen tv died. A new $120 bulb is being delivered soon (I hope) via Fed Ex Ground. Then last night I noticed the light in the refridgerator went out. I found it hard to believe it was broken so I figured I would test it by taking out a bulb from the bathroom vanity and trying the fridge bulb in a different socket. I then proceed to drop the bathroom vanity bulb on the sink shattering it. And the refridgerator bulb was indeed dead. And tonight the bulb in the lamp by DH's computer died. Just really weird to have all this happening within just a few days.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Lusby Maryland in the news today

I wish the story coming out of Lusby today was about how some yardsalequeen in Lusby found a Picasso or unknown spare original of the Declaration of Independence, but it's not. Tragically, it's a very horrific story of abuse. Child Abuse Story Just pure evil. The mother can't blame the economy (Smile would easily cloth and feed a family in need) and it doesn't sound like mental illness. Just pure evilness.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tire Planter Project - half way done

I cleaned out our shed a little while ago and one thing to get rid of was an old tire. I read that our neighborhood was going to be having a "free throwaway day" in October and thought we'd just get rid of it then. But then I read the fine print and tires is one of the things not accepted. For the heck of it I googled "old tire craft" for ideas on what I could do with it. One craft was making an old tire into a planter. tire planter website

So yesterday I decided to give it a shot. The above pic is what I have so far. On another website it says that if you pick the wrong tire (one too new), you're better off trying to wrestle a grizzly bear. I believe them. My arms are sore today. And I still haven't completed it. I'm sort of a point where it is stuck. Maybe if I just leave it outside for a few years, it will soften up and I can someday finish it.

Some websites also were opposed to making tire planters saying that the tires leach chemicals etc into the soil. There's millions of tires on the roads now wearing off bits and pieces of rubber all over the highways and roads and no one is complaining about that.

When I grew up, my brother & sister and I all played in a big tractor tire sandbox (directions: plop an old tractor tire in the yard, fill with dirt/sand. play).

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Tried doing the Maryland Lighthouse Challenge Today...

and for the third year in a row, we failed miserably. It's the same weekend once a year where people who are really *into* lighthouses plan on visiting all the lighthouses in Maryland over the course of two days - here's the website. To me, it sorta seems like a waste of gas for the fact that participants don't really stay at any one lighthouse for a significant period of time, since it's all about getting to the next lighthouse and getting your book stamped or something. As usual, we saw 2 out of the 10. We took the free transportation to the above lighthouse which is normally closed to the public. I need to do something about the big fat fingerprint on the lens.

I had a sort of a last minute yardsale yesterday - the Parks & Recs indoor yardsale that was scheduled for a few weeks ago got rescheduled to yesterday. I signed up on Thursday so I had Friday just to gather and price stuff. With the date for the sale changed, I don't think they advertised it very well. I only made about $90 selling small crap. But some of the stuff I am glad I got rid of. And I got to buy stuff early from other sellers during the set-up time. They had kept the doors locked so there were no early birds shopping, except for me really.

I just took the pics off both my cellphone and my camera and found some pics I had taken last week. Here's a pic of my old Nissan Maxima in the parking lot at Smile. We sold it 3 years ago to someone in the neighborhood and ever since, once in a while I see it parked at Smile.

And here's a pic of Vintage Value. It looks very non-descript. I don't know why they are trying to keep it a secret and not having the name advertised on the building.

While I was in VV last week, I spotted this beautiful dress. It's so gorgeous that I can't believe someone donated it. I mean, really, its the type of dress you can just about wear anywhere, weddings, funerals, church, yardsales, etc. The only thing that could make it more gorgeous would be if it was pink. Then it would be identical to the dress my bridemaids wore for me back in 1989. I'm sure if I asked my bridesmaids, they'd agree that it is quite possibly the most beautiful dress in the world and they still wear it as often as they can. Mark my words, the whole idea of wearing a bow on your butt will come back in style very shortly.

ps. Now that I think about it, the above dress isn't a dress you would want to wear to yardsales. Because the seller would see that you are a person of impeccable taste and are used to the finer things in life so they would charge you more for the junk you are buying.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Please Vote for Sassy Signs

One of my long time advertisers - Sassy Signs asked for my help in getting the word out about a contest they are trying to win. Sassy Signs is a very small company started by two Minnesota moms who wanted bright and attractive yardsale/garage sale signs for their sale, but they couldn't find any to buy....so they had an idea to start a company to sell bright and eye-catching signs.

You don't need to register or anything to vote, just click on the vote button in the green box. Here is the link: Vote for Sassy Signs You can vote once per day, everyday, for the next month or so.

Ok ok, I know what you're thinking...WIIFM???? (What's in it for me????) Well...ok, lets assume you vote and vote. And everyone else votes and votes. Then Sassy Signs wins the contest (the prize includes a lot of free nationwide media promotion). Then because you voted and they won, the Sassy Signs Company gets all that free promotion and grows and grows. So more people will hear about Sassy Signs and buy the eye-catching garage sale and yardsale signs. So that is how it will benefit you...with everyone buying Sassy Signs, you won't have to deal with the aggravation of trying to read awful homemade yardsale signs. And with Sassy Signs, they are re-useable so the people who buy them will take down the signs and save them for their next sale. Not like the people who make ugly signs on cardboard and leave them up for months. So what's in it for you? Basically, you are helping to keep America (and in a larger sense, planet Earth) beautiful. Ok, so now go do your patriotic duty and go vote. It's a win win situation! THANK YOU!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Six for a penny nectarines

Did some grocery shopping today (had to go to Giant anyway to return my free Redbox movie rental from last night. (Watched The Brave One starring Jodie Foster, who by the way, likes garage sales. She mentioned it during a 60 Minutes interview years ago).

Anyhow, I made the rounds in the store, first checking out the Day Old bakery section (got nothing there) and then saw they had stuff on the "Not the Best, But Still Edible" Produce cart. Well that's not the real name, it's actually "Not the best, but still a good buy" cart - which I think is a stupid name.

They had some packages of apples and packages of nectarines. I am not a fan of nectarines but this package did catch my eye. Six nectarines for a penny.

Someone obviously mis-marked it. It was the only package marked for a penny. So I did what any bargain shopper would do - I bought it. Ok some of you may have taken it to the Manager and said "Excuse me, someone mismarked this, I want to pay more for it". But I am not you.

I figure whatever old produce didn't sell today, it was going in their trash anyway, so at least they got a penny out of me. Oh and I had a coupon to save 5% off my total order, so.....I got 5% off that penny.

Now, what do with them. I don't think DH likes nectarines and trying to get Jacob to eat one is out of the question. Maybe I can peel them, cut them up and make some sort of Nectarine Crisp with lots of vanilla ice cream.

Big Brother finale tonight on TV. I am so glad its down to Dan and Memphis. I'm hoping Dan wins. My guess is that Jerry will win that bonus $25K.

p.s. Above I mentioned getting the free Redbox rental. I think I've mentioned it before but sign up at Inside RedBox and every Monday afternoon get (via email or text message) a free Promo code for a free one day rental (good on that Monday only).

p.s.s. The above pics were taken with my trusty, banged up and abused Cybershot camera.

My Sony Cybershot Camera - It takes a licking and keeps on clicking!

I spoke too soon about the demise of my old Cybershot. When Jacob got home from school yesterday he went right for it, pressed a few buttons, and voila - it started working! I have no idea what he pressed to get it working again, but it seems to be working fine.

Thanks to the blogger who suggested I call Sony (since some Cybershots had been recalled). I was going to call them today and act stupid but now I don't need to.

I will keep my eyes peeled on ebay though - in searching old auctions, I saw an identical camera (that works perfectly) sold for $13. It would definitely be worth it for me to buy a cheap back-up for Jacob.

Monday, September 15, 2008

My Sony Cybershot finally bit the dust - I wonder why

Ever since I got my new camera back in February (new camera blog entry) I've still been using my old camera but also letting Jacob play with it (the old camera). Here's one of his last photos that he took using it. Looks suspiciously like a finger going for the lens. It still turns on, but the display screen is black and it acts like its taking a picture but turns out all black.

So now I need to start using my new camera exclusively. And find a good used cybershot for Jacob to use. Cuz once he sees my new camera he will want that, and I know I cannot let him play with it. I even tried digging out my old old crappy Canon digital camera that I had years ago, but it won't power on. I thought for sure when I upgraded cameras that it was still working. oh well.

I don't think the above pic was the nail in the coffin for the camera since there were more...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Deleting and Decluttering Food

Ok, I know I could probably make better use of my time than taking pictures while grocery shopping, but I saw this sign and thought it was funny. They are going to be deleting a particular item off the shelf. Not discontinuing it, but deleting it. LOL. I guess I just find it funny since I say that too. Like when I cleaned out my closet, I thought to myself how good it felt to delete 4 bags of clothing. I wonder how many guests a grocery store gets....

Lately I've been on a kick of trying to get rid of old food. Not throw it away of course, just making it. Today I made a Duncan Hines cake with a "better by" date of December '07 and the frosting was a can with a "better by" date of Jan. '06.

Tomorrow for dinner I am making porkchops that were bought December '06. I think after the porkchops, I'll be caught up on old food. Then will have to start eating 2007 food :)


Here's a pic of some of my yardsale buys from this weekend (the most "valuable" thing I bought was a sealed DVD set of Season 1 of Lost for $3.). Oh and the Remington Tight Curls hair curlers (paid $2) will probably resell for around $30 - $40 The Campbell Soup Labels were free - I will probably end up mailing those to the Rowlesburg School in WV.

Got most of this stuff free:

Jacob has that bowling game already, but I left the batteries in it and they got corroded and ruined that top piece. So I am happy to find a replacement piece for free!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Christmas Gift Buying via Yardsales

My Bermuda vacation is coming up (next month) and I already got my mom a combination Christmas gift/vacation souvenir from it. I was at a yardsale today and saw these two new, crisp Royal Caribbean Bingo t-shirts. The seller had a bunch of clothes marked $1 each and I thought about buying them but passed them after making small talk about cruises. When I looked at them the second time, she told me just to take them. Yea! I may keep one for myself - maybe I'll wear it when I check in at the ship - the cruise employee will see my shirt and think "hey, this must be one of our bingo high-rollers, let's upgrade her to our royal oceanfront suite". I did buy some other neat stuff today, but a picture will have to wait.

My mom is a bingo-aholic. And she likes t-shirts that have stuff written on the back so I know she will like the shirt. The pic above shows the front and the back. I also bought her a ceramic "Casino Money" ceramic jar with an old lady sitting at a slot machine (it was .50)

Speaking of my upcoming Bermuda trip, I am still taking applications to be my friend while I am in port (yardsalequeen@comcast.net) My new Bermuda friend or friends should be available to act as a tourguide/chauffeur during my stay in Bermuda, pick up the tab at lunch, carry my shopping bags, basically just being at my beck and call. In exchange, you will be in the presence of moi and my charming personality and witty humor (and my sister will be there too).

Do not fret if you're one of the hoards of Bermudians who've already submitted an application and you haven't heard back yet. I'm waiting for all the submissions to come in then make my royal decree.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Belated Thank You

I got a nice surprise a while ago from Shara at Monkeybox Blog Before I opened it, there was a note that said "Saw this and thought of you". That kinda scared me a little because who knows what sorta thing it could be. She sent me the cute wall hanging which, of course, I put above the marital headboard. haha.

If you need a laugh, go to her blog and look around the mid-August timeframe and see the cake she got for her birthday. It made me LOL.

Update on the ticks. I knew that they were ticks - but thought they were just baby ticks - didn't know they had a specific name of seed ticks. I was just in denial when I euphemistically called them bugs. Yesterday, I did make sure they were all picked off, but still had to put my sneaker back on when leaving the park - then got home and saw that some had transferred from the sneaker to my foot. So I got them off too. I'm just glad I got them instead of Jacob. My sneakers are still sitting outside. The ironic thing is, today my DH is complaining that his ankles have bug (tick) bites all over them and they itch like hell. I told him he should have walked faster. My ankles don't have any red marks on them the way his does.

After having to miss yardsales last week due to the big storm we had, I'm looking forward to hitting the sales tomorrow. There is a big church yardsale first thing in the morning, then plan on hitting the other yardsales.

Mushrooms, bugs and candy

Yesterday after Jacob got home from school we all decided to go to the park for some family time. What a mistake - haha. Should have stayed home and frittered away my time on the computer.

I did see some kinda gross mushrooms growing out of a tree. No, I didn't take any home to smoke or eat.

The park also has a large playground made out of old tires. So while I was sitting on a swing watching Jacob climb the big ship tire sculpture, I noticed my ankle was itchy.

And then I see all thes little dots on my sock and they're moving and bunches of them are on my ankle. Uggh. I tell DH and he in his wisdom says "that's just dirt". I'm like yeah right. So of course I take some pics. And then start plucking them off. I took the sock off and turned it inside out. There are no trashcans at this park - to encourage people to take out what you brought in. So I didn't want to litter my buggy sock. I took it home and washed it with some dog flea shampoo. No need to throw away a perfectly good sock. (and even with my old socks, I don't throw them away - I put them in the textile recycling bin at the recycling center).

DH says the reason the bugs got me and not him or Jacob was because I walk too slow (so the bugs had time to jump aboard). So that was our nice family outing.


I went back to Walgreens this week (I went 3 days this week). Funny how they had a cart full of that clearance laundry detergent one day, and I go in the next day and it's all gone. They also marked down some back to school supplies - I got a super cute little book light for .74. I went back the following day for more and they were all gone.

I noticed they had Russell Stover candy on clearance for $2.59 and I had $2 coupons so one day I went and bought 3 (so they were .59 a box plus tax). Then I went home and found a few more coupons so I went back the following day and got the last 2, for a total of 5. Here's a pic I took when I just found the first 3 and meant to do a blog posting that day but didn't.

Monday, September 08, 2008

CVS Summer at 90% off

CVS was having a 2 day sale (for Sunday and today) so I wanted to get some .99 nail polish. (Actually it was $3.99 but at the checkout you got a $3 coupon to use on your next purchase - known as Extra Care Bucks (ECBs). I walked in and saw a glorious sign that said "Summer 90% off". Ahhhhhh. I have no idea when the 90% off started but I saw a few things I couldn't live without.

The had kiddie pools - normally $39.99. So 90% off would be $3.99 I have math phobia but when it comes to figuring out a discount - no problem. Plus, it's super easy to figure out how much 90% off something would be. Just take the original price, example $39.99 and then just mentally chop off the last number and move the decimal point one space so 90% off $39.99 is $3.99, $8.99 /.89 , $12.99 would be $1.29 and on and on. I bought the Finding Nemo kickboard for .69 (was $6.99)

So I take the pools to the register and they don't ring up on sale. The cashier punched in $9.99 each. I feel kinda embarrassed for the cashier to have to tell them what the correct price should be - but so what. I will probably put the pool in the backyard for Jacob next year and maybe keep the second one as a back-up? Or maybe put a $10 price tag on it during my next yardsale....I'm not sure. There was a third pool, and my hoarding tendancies told me to buy it, afterall it's only $3.99, but I was good and left it for someone else to buy. Freeze-pop popsicles were on clearance for $2 a box (bought 4 boxes). I also got some other bargains using ECBs but nothing too exciting.

Also went to Walgreens. Where I live, I can't go anywhere really without having to pass it, so I always stop in to see what's on clearance. Today they had a cart full of laundry detergent at 75% off (I bought 4 bottles at $1.44 each)

Then stopped at the libary and got this book out. When I was in NY in August, I saw my friend (and former coworker) Bev, who told me that one of our other former coworkers wrote a book. We all worked at a book publisher. It was a book publisher that specialized in all things boring - scholarly books about humanities and social sciences, philosophy, religion, political science, regional studies, women's studies, cultural studies, and environmental studies...snooze fest.

Yes, the books there are boring (in my opinion) but I remember my years working there fondly (maybe my brain cells are dying off now). It was the "good ole days" for me - no responsibilities, living the crazy single life, etc. And I met my life-long buddy there - Beverly.

So when I saw this book by my former coworker - I just knew it wouldn't be boring. I'm proud to say that I am already on Chapter 4.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Went to a Top 10 Shell Beach today

A while ago, a travel magazine put together a list of the top 10 beaches for shells. They named places like Sanibel Island, Florida, Kauai and world famous (haha) Lusby, Maryland. If you don't believe me, you can read the whole article here.

Well today that particular park was having a free family day thing, so we went. I don't like swimming in the Chesapeake Bay, but Jacob doesn't seem to mind. We should buy an annual pass (its only $15) - the water there is real shallow. The beach in our neighborhood gets pretty deep quickly. And dogs on leashes are allowed. Whiskey is not a water dog, but I think he'd enjoy sniffing some different stuff.

And at this beach, you an get a water view of the best nuclear power plant in Maryland. One of the buildings can be seen in the above pic. Click on the pic to enlarge it. The big thing in the water is a liquidified natural gas terminal. We do love our energy companies here.

If you found this website thru today's article in the Anniston Star (Anniston, Alabama) - welcome. I would link the article but you have to be a subscriber to access their site.

Yes, the message board is experiencing some glitch. Apparently its some problem caused by the hosting company. However, it's my responsibility to figure out how to fix - and as you know, I am not a computer person. It happened once before a few months ago but I got it fixed pretty quickly. But this error message looks different. I hate programming stuff since I have no idea what I am doing. I will call the hosting company tomorrow and see if they can walk me thru the fix.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Waaaaa! No yardsales today

As I suspected, no yardsales to speak of today. I had my fingers crossed that maybe the indoor Parks & Recs yardsale would take place - but it didn't. Too much rain and people freaking out about the hurricane or tropical storm or whatever it was. Was not a big deal at all. I think our lights flickered a few times but that was it.

Our local Food Lion also freaked out. I stopped in to buy a few things today and they entire frozen food and dairy section was empty. I don't mean picked thru - I mean E-M-P-T-Y. They were afraid they were going to lose power so they moved everything to their big freezers in the stockroom that have generators. What a bunch of scaredy cats.

I did manage to list a few things on eBay. Need to list more. A ton more. If you want to see what I have listed - take a look. I got a ton of Burger King coupons to sell - so if you were planning on doing any Burger King eating within the next month or so, it makes sense to save money and get some coupons. I was surprised that a Whopper is now $2.59 - I only get them when I have a Buy 1 Get 1 Free coupon.

In high school and college, I worked at a Burger King. When I worked the late shift, I was allowed to take home a leftover sandwich. I got in a habit of doing that for a while and remember being disgusted with myself when I tipped the scales at a Whopping (haha) 130 lbs. Oh have the times changed.

Anyhow, I digress. If you want to see my ebay auctions - take a lookee YSQ Auctions

I'm tentatively sheduled for one day of jury duty next week. So....if that court date manages to be cancelled, that means my month long jury service to the local justice system will be fulfilled. Until I get chosen again.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Stupid Hurricane

I understand Mother Nature likes to do hurricanes every so often, but geez, why on a Saturday? It's 100% chance of rain tomorrow. A Sunday hurricane would have fit better into my schedule. Going yardsaling during a hurricane is a challenge (but not totally out of the picture).

Here's my food bargain lunch from the other day. A local chain of pizza places is always giving out $1.99 pizza & soda coupons so every so often I'll stop in for a $1.99 pizza & diet coke ($2.14 with tax). Gotta love unlimited Diet Coke. Then on my way home, I noticed the new Rita's Ice was giving away free Italian ice. I had the cherry flavor and I know Jacob would not have liked it - it had little chunks of maraschino cherries in it. He doesn't like surprises in his food. I think he'll be having a lot of the custards from there.

Then for lunch today my DH had half the day off so we ate at Jaspers. It was our first time there (I had a Buy 1 entree get 1 Free coupon). The inside was neat - we ate in the bar area (huge bar with jumbo screens all around). And they cook on a wood fired grill - hard to explain but when I was walking to the restroom, I could see hunks of wood burning right on the grill where the food was being cooked. I had a salad with chicken. It was good but to me a salad is not a salad unless it has cheese on it. Everything tastes better with cheese. Well maybe not an Italian ice, but most things taste better with cheese.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Haven't forgot about ya....

Just not a whole lot going on at the YSQ Castle. Today I did manage to clean up around my computer a little (sorry no pics - otherwise I'd be having the clutter police knocking at my door). When I was yardsaling in New York in August, for $1 I bought one of those under-the-office-chair plastic thingys. So I vacuumed some and got that thing under my chair now.

No exciting buys to mention. Did stop at Walgreens today and bought a brand new rice cooker for $4-something. Was originally $15.99. We have a rice cooker/steamer that works fine but....I can't stop buying stuff - haha. Our other rice cooker is old and it's big and bulky. This one is more like a little crockpot.

And I stopped at Food Lion and bought a few things. I mainly do my grocery shopping at Food Lion and Giant. I do buy other food items at other places occasionally - like Walgreens and Super Walmart. Back when the government was sending out those free money checks (economic stimulus checks) in the spring and summer, Food Lion had a deal that if you bought a $300 gift card with your check, they would make the value of the gift card $330. We ended up getting three $330 cards on 7/22/08.

And here it is in September and I am still working on using the first card. I still have $175 left on it. Which means I've only spent $155 on groceries in the past month and a half at Food Lion.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Saturday's Yardsale Results / Sunday Trip to National Zoo Washington DC

I rented a space at the weekly fairgrounds yardsale/flea market on Saturday ($10 space rental and the space you get is huge. However, I only bring as much stuff that I can cram into my mini-van. Some people have big sized vans and pull a trailer etc, and have helpers etc. I'm just little ole me and my junk. I ended up selling $144 worth of stuff (so I took home $134 after the rental fee). I tried running around and shopping at some other sales, but its a little hard to do and still watch your table.

I ended up buying a $2 Spongebob DVD for Jacob. At another table I saw a seller selling DVDs for $1 each, so I bought $5 worth of some of the ones that I thought would I could resell quickly (Bourne Ultimatum, Minority Report, etc) and sold them for $2 each at my own table.

It's pretty amazing how picky or tight some people are with their money. I had VHS tapes priced at .50 each, which I think is a good deal. There was this young man in his 20's who spent a good few minutes reading the description of the tape and then instead of just giving me two quarters for it asks "Do you know if this has been watched a million times or not?" I felt like saying "geez, its only .50 for crying out loud". I told him I didn't know and he didn't buy it. I should have taken the tape out of the case and flipped the actual tape thing open and yanked out 6' of the tape and say "Hmmm...looks pretty good to me". Just to see the look on the guy's face would have been priceless.

Then had another customer leave her empty disposible coffee cup on my shelving unit. Granted, there are no trash cans available, but put the damn thing in your car, it can't be parked very far away. This is a small flea market, I would guess maybe 40 or so sellers at most on any given Saturday. So you don't have to walk very far to park. If I had seen that person leave the cup, I would have said something but try to make it sound helpful, not bitchy.... "Oh Miss, you forgot your coffee cup". I did see a woman with a coffee cup in her hand, so I know it was a woman who left it, but of course I couldn't remember what she looked like.

The above pic was taken after I had already sold a few things...it really doesn't look like I brought much to sell, but believe me, my car was packed.

And at the end, this is all I had to pack up. I am going to go thru what didn't sell and donate the some of the still good and useable items to Smile. Blurriness in the pic is due to a dirty cellphone camera lens.

On Sunday I suggested to DH that we drive to DC and go to the National Zoo. I haven't been there since the early 90's. DH and Jacob have been there a few times within the last several years. Jacob went there two years in a row for a field trip (preschool and kindergarten class) and DH was a chaperone both times.

It's free admission to the National Zoo, but you have to pay to park if you drive there. We took the Metro (subway) instead since riding on the subway is an adventure all in itself for Jacob. The nearest Metro station is about 50 miles away from us and parking there is free on the weekends. Roundtrip for the 3 of us on the Metro cost less than $15. It probably would have been about that much to park, and we wouldn't have had the *adventure* of riding the Metro. And with the Zoo, you can bring backpacks in, so I loaded up a backpack with a few sodas and some pretzels. I brought some of the Diet Pepsi Max sodas that appear in the food picture from last week - I think they were about .20 each since I had coupons that were tripled.

So we actually didn't buy anything at the Zoo, plus, it was so crowded that even if we wanted to buy something at one of the food stands, the lines were ridiculously long. And Jacob has no interest in any of the overpriced souvenirs they sell at the gift stores. It's not like he wants a stuffed panda bear. Now if the souvenir stores sold a National Zoo Paradise City Playstation 3 game, well that may be a different story.

I do think some of the Metro stations are cool looking - went on the longest (and steepest) escalator ride of my life.

The National Zoo is one of the a few in the country that have pandas. They had just put out food for them. One is eating an apple and the other is having fun licking a crate. They must have spread some good stuff on that crate, is all I can say. The pandas do have a big outdoor enclosure thing - I think they just feed them while inside so people can have a closer view.

I took this picture of the tiger enclosure. The zookeeper had just thrown out some chunks of meat so the tigers were active. When I get home I see what looks like a person sitting in the enclosure. Or maybe I captured the Virgin Mary cradling a baby Jesus? It does look like something. I can't figure it out, but it has to be some weird sun reflection on a rock or something. Maybe just a ghost.

The pics aren't that great because I only had my cellphone with me. I couldn't find my regular digital camera - the one with the taped up battery compartment. I let Jacob take pictures with it and that's the camera I usually still use but as we were leaving the house, I couldn't find it. Of course when we got back home, I found it within two minutes.