Happy Birthday, Mom!

I’m in Richmond, Virginia, on my way to an IBM meeting near Paris. The geographically-challenged among you may not think that this is anything worth writing about, but trust me — Richmond isn’t on the direct route from Los Gatos to Paris.

But there were good reasons for taking the indirect route — it let me be in town for my Mom’s [redacted]th birthday (as well as being here for a late celebration of my nephew’s 8th birthday).

My travels were easy until I got to the Hertz booth at Dulles Airport; they’d moved my reserved car around on their lot but hadn’t updated the display, so I had to go and talk with people instead of just driving away. I took advantage of that to get a car with Sirius Satellite Radio, and then I drove off into the rain and rush hour traffic.

When I got into the car, I noticed that the windows were a little foggy, but I assumed it would go away quickly. It didn’t, and changing lanes was a scary experience. Fortunately, there wasn’t much traffic on the Dulles Toll Road, but when I got onto the Beltway, things were different, and very frightening. So I got off and went to Tyson’s Corner to have dinner, clean off the windows, and wait for rush hour to end.

90 minutes later, I was back in the car. The rain was mostly gone; the traffic was mostly gone; and the schmutz on the windows was mostly gone. And I made good time until just a few miles north of Richmond, when the rain returned big-time. But it wasn’t too horrible, and I eventually arrived safely at my brother’s house.

I was glad to have had a Sirius-equipped car — otherwise, I would have wound up listening to news and weather all the way down, or cursing at commercials. Or both.

Today was the big [redacted] birthday — I helped fix up some technical issues at Mom’s place, and then we all went to Maggiano’s Little Italy in the new Short Pump Town Center, which is an outdoor mall, probably more suited for California’s climate than Richmond’s (though they had shovelled almost all the snow out of the way of the shoppers).

Birthday Girl: Happy Birthday, Mom!