Wednesday, September 30, 2009

On the Metro

A couple of interesting things have happened to me on the Metro this week.

Monday a friend and I were going to a Nationals game (they actually won). We took the Metro down there. At the Waterfront stop we ran into a small problem. The doors would not close properly. The doors opened and closed and opened and closed. The conductor came on and said that he would have to off load the train unless the doors closed. The cars were of course full of people going to the game.

It seemed that we were going to be off loaded. There was a Metro employee who came into out car. He was checking the doors. He told the conductor to try and close the doors again. Still no luck. The guy in our car stepped out onto the platform and told the conductor to close the doors again. This didn’t seem to work either.

The conductor said he had to off load the train. But the employee in our car kept working. He determined the door that wasn’t closing properly was the not the one facing the platform but the one that was staying closed at this stop. Someone had gotten something stuck in it. Once that was removed the doors were OK. This guy talked into his walkie-talkie to central control not to off load the train. So shortly after this the conductor came on and said for everyone to get back on the train and off we headed to the game.

The other happened on the way to work on Tuesday. I got a seat near the doors. At Union Station a guy gets on. He stays near the doors. I look up and see his reflection in the glass of the door across from us. He’s dressed nicely. A dress shirt and dress slacks. Then I notice that he has nothing on his feet. And I mean nothing. He has no socks or shoes, no sandals or flip flops or anything else. He is in his bare feet. I almost asked the guy sitting next to me to take a look and tell me if I was right but I resisted the temptation.

And that’s been my Metro experience lately.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I got these from a friend from work who got them from someone from work. These are pictures taken of the various protesters against Obama's policies. The signs are just completely hysterical.

And yet at the same time very scary too. But good for a great laugh!!!

Gratuitous Pictures of Sam

It's time for some pictures of Sam. Here he is doing one of things he loves attacking my shoes.

Thoughts on the Trip Back from Springfield

Some thoughts on the trip back to DC. Well the second day I started out from Hebron, Ohio. A couple of miles into the trip it started raining and I mean raining. Even with windshield whippers on high I couldn’t see the road in front of me. Then the rain would come to a complete stop. The road ahead looked dry. I’d drive another ten or so miles and then it would start pouring again. This lasted for about an hour but finally the sky cleared and the rain stopped. I was very happy about that.

Here are a few pictures from the drive back. They had the original mile markers from what was considered the first interstate in the are which I believe was route 40. The mileage markers were based on where the road ended. So you get the mileage to the end of the road and the mileage to the previous maker. In this case it was Zanesville, Ohio. There was also a plaque dedicated to Eisenhower as being the father of the modern interstate transit system.

Within a year after Eisenhower became President in 1953, he began to push for a system of interstate highways across the United States. Although federal highways covered many areas of the country, the interstate highway plan would create 42,000 miles of limited-access and very modern highways. Eisenhower and his staff worked for two years to get the world’s largest public works project approved by Congress. On June 29, 1956 the Federal Aid Highway Act (FAHA) of 1956 was signed and the Interstates, as they would be known, began to spread across the landscape.

Driving through the hills/mountains on 68 were a challenge. I’m not used to driving in hills and it made for an interesting drive. If I go out to Missouri, I’m going to divide both driving out and back into two days. Driving on 68 in the dark (which I did on the trip out) is just not much fun.

Once I got into the DC area things really got fun. The GPS took me around the Beltway to Georgia Avenue and from there I drove into the city. All I can say is that people on the Beltway drive like they’re nuts. I was going at least 65 miles an hour and felt like I was standing still. If you’re not in the correct lane when an exit comes along you are lost. The thing is there are several exits that are on the left hand side of the road. Next time I plan to exit at Wisconsin Avenue.

In all I had a very good trip out. The drive was not bad except for that one patch of rain I had no weather problems. I also got great gas mileage. I average 30 miles a gallon or above. Last time out I was averaging in the high 20s. I think part of it had to due with the fact I went to Jiffy Lube before I left and they cleaned out the values or something like that. That’s supposed to be done once a year and I’m going to make sure it’s done before I go out next time.

Here are some pictures from the trip back. The last couple show the leaves just starting to turn.

Monday, September 28, 2009

National Book Festival

Saturday I went down to the National Book Festival. As always it was a treat. I recorded some of what the authors said during their talks. The sound is not as good as I'd like. I got down to the Mall a little late and so didn't get a seat. I ended up standing for the three sessions but it was well worth it.

Gwen Ifill

The first person I saw was Gwen Ifill. A great way to start. I especially enjoyed her comments on the controversy surrounding her at the time of the VP debates last year.

Dan Balz and Haynes Johnson

Next I saw Dan Balz and Haynes Johnson. They discussed their book The Battle for America 2008. They had some very interesting things to say. I wished I got what they said about Sarah Palin. As Dan Balz said she the story that keeps on giving.

Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan at the National Book Festival

The final speakers I saw were Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan. They talked about their PBS series on National Parks and the companion book.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Cider Days

Sunday was cloudy and cool. We had a wonderful late breakfast at a place called Aton's. Then we went to Cider Days.

The first couple of pictures show a woman playing the according while another woman is dancing with a hula hoop.

The other pictures show what else was at the street festival. The band was particularly good.

Cider Days Music

This is a band that played at Cider Days

MS Ride - Pictures Part 1

The first pictures show how I got my bike out to Missouri. I'd hope to take off the front tire but the quick release mechanism was neither quick nor did it release but I got it in anyway.

This is the school where everyone met up to start the ride.

Here we are at the school. Making our last preparations before the ride.

MS Ride - Pictures Part 2

We're getting ready to head out. Because Jennifer and Teresa were part of the top fund raisers last year, we got to go out with the first group of people. Riders went out in waves of 200.

Here's Ed getting ready.

Our bikes. Mine's in the middle.

Jennifer is all pumped up for the ride.

This gives you an idea of the number of people who rode. The count was over 800.

Riders coming into the first pit stop of the day.

MS Ride - Pictures Part 3

This is the first pit stop. In the first picture Ed is at the far right.

As I got closer to the lunch stop I had more and more problems with my legs. My thighs were getting really really tight. And to make things even more difficult there was a hill to get into the parking lot. I got a cramp in my right thigh when I went up the hill. I got off the bike and thought I was going to fall. Thankfully that did not happen. I use the bike to support myself until the cramp passed.

Here's some blue stuff that my brother had to drink at lunch. I think it was Powerade.

Ed and Jennifer at lunch.