Sunday, March 30, 2008

Cherry blossoms

One of Washington's most popular spring attractions is the blooming of the cherry blossoms. Today, some coworkers and I headed down to the Tidal Basins to check them out, a week or so before the blossoms are supposed to "peak." We were hoping to beat the crowds. We didn't. But even with the huge crowds, it was a great day. It started with a visit to the National Museum of African Art, which had some really cool stuff. No photos are allowed, so you'll just have to come visit me and we can go see it in person. But I did get some photos of the blossoms on the National Mall and along the shores of the Tidal Basins. Enjoy!

I loved this policeman and the little kid wearing his hat:

And, apropos of nothing, a gratuitous dog shot:

Friday, March 28, 2008

Soy una celebridad de radio

This is a point of great amusement in my life right now: Earlier this evening, I gave a 10-minute interview on BBC Radio South America in Ecuador. This is how I spent my Friday night.

Spread the word

Now there's no reason not to recycle old ink cartridges and small electronics:

Free Recycling Through the Mail
WEBWIRE – Monday, March 17, 2008
U.S. Postal Service Starts Service in 1,500 Post Offices

WASHINGTON, DC — Free and green. Those are the goals of a pilot program launched today by the U.S. Postal Service that allows customers to recycle small electronics and inkjet cartridges by mailing them free of charge.

The “Mail Back” program helps consumers make more environmentally friendly choices, making it easier for customers to discard used or obsolete small electronics in an environmentally responsible way. Customers use free envelopes found in 1,500 Post Offices to mail back inkjet cartridges, PDAs, Blackberries, digital cameras, iPods and MP3 players – without having to pay for postage.

Postage is paid for by Clover Technologies Group, a nationally recognized company that recycles, remanufactures and remarkets inkjet cartridges, laser cartridges and small electronics. If the electronic item or cartridges cannot be refurbished and resold, its component parts are reused to refurbish other items, or the parts are broken down further and the materials are recycled. Clover Technologies Group has a “zero waste to landfill” policy: it does everything it can to avoid contributing any materials to the nation’s landfills.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


He is for those of us who find ourselves increasingly dismissed by both the partisan Republicans and the partisan Democrats. Those of us who are liberal in politics but conservative in temperament. Those of us who, I think, are in the majority in this country. And yet, somehow, this race has become so ugly that he isn't the inevitable Next President of the United States I once thought he was. And that really, really makes me sad.

Obama is being beaten down by a Clintonista machine that is DETERMINED to do whatever it takes to win. They realize now that they won't win the nomination this year, so their next strategy is to make Barack Obama, the unquestionable Democratic nominee of 2008, totally unelectable ("he can't answer that red phone, he gives too many feel-good speeches, he has too much hope...") so they can come back in 2012 and say, "See, we told you so. We told you that nominating Obama in 2008 would lead to yet another four years of a Republican in the White House." They will do whatever it takes to win. And I do say "THEY" intentionally - Bill Clinton is running for a third term, and so is Hillary Clinton. They aren't so much a marriage as a political team. And I have given them credit for a lot of things - I think the '90s were generally great, and they led us though it - but there is no question that the Clintons are giant opportunists who care primarily about themselves. They jumped into Somalia and then jumped out because they were scared of looking like failures. They ignored Rwanda. They instituted Don't Ask Don't Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act. They led the country through the psychological minefield of infidelity. Hillary made us believe that to be a feminist means you have to support a woman who only got to where she is by marrying well and allowing your husband to sleep around. And yet, somehow, they remain popular among a key group of partisans and nostalgists, a group that won't give them up even when presented with a real alternative, a man who is to liberalism what Reagan was to conservatism, a man who can unite ALL of us behind a common purpose, regardless of politics.

Obama is being beaten up by the right, by a Hannity-Limbaugh-Beck machine that really, really wants to run against Clinton because a) she would be so much easier to beat and b) if she did win she'd be really, really good for business in angry right-wing talk radio. He is being given guilt-by-association lashings for standing by and listening to an angry black preacher (the reality in this country, which you can choose to ignore or confront head-on) rather than bolting for political expediency. (And at the same time, the right wing, who hate McCain, is giving McCain a pass even as he proactively seeks the endorsement of theologians who said America brought Sept. 11 on itself by being so gay- and feminist-friendly.) The Rev. Jeremiah Wright has said some ridiculous things. So have a lot of people I have seen speak in churches I have attended. But the Rev. Wright has said some important things, too, just like a lot of people I have seen speak in churches I have attended. Everyone's spirituality is a personal journey, and you progress on that journey by listening to what others say and taking it with a grain of salt. Obama does not think Wright is always right; he does, however, recognize that he represents a major faction within black America that deserves to be recognized, that must be addressed. No, the United States did not infect blacks with HIV. No, Sept. 11 was not God's punishment for slavery. Yes, there is still a vast difference between the White American Experience and the Black American Experience, and Obama is able to see that. He doesn't leave his spiritual home simply because the preacher has some anger that he himself doesn't harbor. I firmly, firmly believe that Barack Obama is completely free of the baggage Jeremiah Wright represents. But I also am certain that this baggage will be a huge detriment to his candidacy, and that is WRONG.

Barack Obama should be the next president of the United States. You all know that I have some strong opinions, but that I hate to be too aggressive with them. But this is a cause more important than any I have ever felt in my life. If Hillary Clinton is nominated by the Democrats (yeah, right), I will vote for John McCain. As I vote for John McCain, I will probably be in mourning. This is a pivotal moment in American history, and I am watching as we are about to blow it. I didn't think we were capable of blowing it. Now I see how we are. He is being attacked by the right and the left. If that isn't proof that he's the best choice, I don't know what is.

I can't stop posting tonight


I think everyone knows where I stand on the great Hillary-Barack divide. But one thing I think we can all agree on: Thank heavens they hate each other. Thank heavens they aren't, you know, procreating:


As promised, dog park videos. I've realized I'm really just posting these for the handful of people out there who miss Edison and just might think it's fun to see him in action - these videos are certainly nothing exciting. Dogs are a lot like kids - as soon as you point the camera at them, they stop doing the cute/funny things they were doing before. Ah well. Enjoy.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Our new favorite place

Spring in Washington, D.C., is fantastic! The cold is finally (mostly) gone, the hot humid summer isn't here yet, and all I want to do is be outside. And the good news is that there is lots of great outside stuff to do here. The cherry blossoms, apparently, are breathtaking. We're about a week from them peaking, and I hope to get out to see them (you'll get photos). I already walk almost everywhere I go; now, I REALLY walk just about everywhere. (Last week, we went to Eastern Market, an outdoor flea market/farmer's market in the SE quadrant of D.C. I live in NW, but the weather was so nice, I decided to walk home. Factoring in the detour to Lincoln Park, that's a little more than 5 miles, according to the Gmap Pedometer.)

And maybe most fun of all, Edison and I have a new place to add to our list of favorite outdoor spots: Walter Pierce Park's dog park. Not that it's a new park; it's been there much longer than I have, less than a quarter-mile from my house. I had always heard rumors of a happenin' dog park near my house, but its entrance is not all that conspicuous so I never really knew where it was. Now that we've found it, it's a great place to hang out after I get home from work. Now, some pictures:

Edison loves to be part of the greeting committee whenever someone new arrives:

Conga line!

Follow the leader:

A new friend:

Learning to share:

Off to the action:

I have a few videos, but YouTube is down and I need to go to bed, so I can't wait for it to come back up. So look for a post in the next day or two with live-action dog action. :)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The world's newest musical instrument

The Tenori-on. I don't really get what's happening here, but wow - I love the 21st century!