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2006-03-01 - 7:30 a.m.

Happy Birthday, Hub!

Today is the Hub 's birthday.

I'm afraid that a mid-week birthday is kind of a bust. We'll celebrate on the weekend. You know, gutting more of the house and getting ready for the dump truck that is coming next week for more of our house trash.

In my infinite kindness, I have refrained from bestowing gifts of a purely practical nature, like paint or a dumpster rental or table saw or an arc welder, though thatís really dictated by financial restraint and my complete naÔvetť on the subject of buying such an appliance more than it is based in kindness, since I know the Hub would find that present to be sublime. I, however, fear the day when we own an arc welder, though Iím looking forward to custom-made iron fencing and the possibility of an arty bed frame.

We celebrated last Saturday with a trip to D.C. and an appointment to see Butterstick, which was unnecessary, since he now spends his days outside in full panda-view . Heís quite the crowd pleaser, and everyone who hangs out there regularly (thereís a whole flock of baby panda groupies) fancies themselves experts on the subject of giant pandas in general and Tai Shan specifically.

Then, in a tradition that has brought us to Jacqueline B-K-O's summer home, several museum exhibits, a haunted lighthouse tour, Frankenmuth Michigan and various other finds, treasures and oddities, the afternoon held for us another, surprise appointment, which turned out to be a visit to the fantabulous Squished Penny Museum where curators Christine and Pete bestowed squished penny lore and knowledge on us in their amazing 1880ís house that they are restoring.

Then it was off to Chinatown for tasty lunch with our friend Miss C, who has decided to run the Ukrops 10K with us.

We ended the day with a stop at Ikea, which was a first time for me. I have to honestly say, I think Swedish discount furniture you assemble yourself is kind of like communism. In theory, itís a great idea. Put it into practice, and it blows. Especially once the fascist implementers (ie sales people) of the system get a hold of it. (Yeah, Iím talking to you, mean Ikea workers who wouldnít help me find those knick-knack houses I was eyeing up in the overly Euro-designed bedroom in the showroom!)

I did buy a garden gnome.

Iím a sucker for a garden gnome.

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