Tuesday, February 28, 2017

At the National Museum of African American History & Culture

Sunday I went to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. It is an amazing museum.

I wanted to start off with the statues. They are so life like you expect them to put on their hands and greet you. The detail is just amazing. Not just the faces but the detail of the folds of the clothing. The wrinkles in a coat when the arm is bent. The detail is just as defined whether it's the front of the statue or the back.

Simply fantastic.

More about the museum:
There are four pillars upon which the NMAAHC stands:
  1. It provides an opportunity for those who are interested in African American culture to explore and revel in this history through interactive exhibitions
  2. It helps all Americans see how their stories, their histories, and their cultures are shaped and informed by global influences
  3. It explores what it means to be an American and share how American values like resiliency, optimism, and spirituality are reflected in African American history and culture
  4. It serves as a place of collaboration that reaches beyond Washington, D.C. to engage new audiences and to work with the myriad of museums and educational institutions that have explored and preserved this important history well before this museum was created.
I hope to have more information on the statues in an upcoming post.

Monday, February 27, 2017

The Retaining Walls are FINALLY Finished

We signed a contract in July. Made a down payment in August. The walls along with the railings were finally finished last Friday. Only seven months to get this done.

Do they look great? Yes they certainly do. In fact I'd say they looking amazing. A friend came over last weekend and said he barely recognized the front at all. He thought they looked great. Everyone I've shown pictures to has said the same thing.

I'm glad they are finally done. Hopefully they will last for years and years and years. Because I sure as hell don't want to go through something like this again.

A series on constant delays. I know this was not the builder's fault. What was the builder's fault was the inability to let us know what was going on. I'd asked on several occasions when they were going to start working on the walls. Never got any sort of answer at all. Then all of a sudden they were working on them.

The final straw was breaking the gas line. It was clearly marked where it was. I will admit it seemed to be rather shallow but still you don't break the line. That might have been fine if there had been some acknowledgment of what has happened. I'm pretty sure the builder was down the block talking to his men when the gas company was on hand and I was standing outside my house. But could he come over and see how I was doing? No. Was there an email apologizing for what had happened? No. There was essentially no response to it at all.

As I said the walls look great but I would never hire these guys again.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Spring Is Busting Out all Over

I think it's actually June is busting out all over but this is so appropriate.

It's hard to believe it's the last week of February and these trees are blooming.

It made for a beautiful morning walk.

Spring Arrives a Little Early!?

The bees were out in force in this tree.

The bees were certainly enjoying this tree.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Some Strange February Weather

It was in the 70s today. Very weird weather to be having in February.

In fact from the Capital Weather Gang:
When it seemed like the February warmth couldn’t get any weirder, it got weirder. Yesterday’s high of 75 — the fourth day of 70s this month — was the warmest the city has been this early in the year since the thermostat hit 77 in February 2011.

We can now state somewhat confidently that this month is likely to go down as the warmest February on record. The current top spot is held by February 1976, when the temperature averaged 46.9 degrees. This year, it seems our final average for the month should end up somewhere in the general range of 47.2 to 47.8.
 On my walk this morning I saw cherry blossoms about to burst into bloom. Then later in the day I went down to the National Gallery of Art's Sculpture Garden and watched people ice skate.

Very weird indeed.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Expert Kite Flyers

Saw these guys on the grounds of the Washington Monument. They put on some great moves with their kites.

My favorite Memorial — The Lincoln Memorial

A few weeks back I played tourist in DC. I went to the National Archives and the Natural History Museum. It was such a great day that I decided to walk to the Lincoln Memorial.

It is my favorite memorial in DC. I had my new high end camera and wanted to see how well it would take pictures. Here are a few of them.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Unsubscribing to all Those Job Sites

During my time being unemployed I signed up on several job sites to get emails for potential jobs. Once a day they’d send me a list of jobs. It seems they shared my information with other job sites. So my few daily emails turned into a whole lot of emails each day. I think I was easily getting fifteen or more each day. Who knew there were so many job sites.

Thing is that the job listings had a habit of repeating themselves. There was some variation from one site to the next. That was usually based on how many miles you wanted the search to look for jobs. And usually after Wednesday all you got was what I liked to call reruns. The job listing just started to repeat themselves.

Now that I have a job the need to keep getting all these daily emails is not necessary. There are a couple that I will keep just to see from time to time what is out there.

So I’ve been unsubscribing from the sites that I really don’t want to get anything from. Like the ones that offer all sorts of jobs with Uber. Not sure how a job with Uber fits into my search criteria of desktop publishing or InDesign. Needless to say I’ve opted out of those sites.

Sometimes when you unsubscribe, the site wants you to give a reason for leaving. The list includes found a job, getting too many emails, etc. Now on most sites this is optional. If you don't want to fill it out you don't have to.

On one of the sites in order to unsubscribe you have to fill out a reason for stopping getting emails. I found this a little annoying. I clicked other. If you do that you have to actually put something in for the other reason. So I put down cat. It's the first thing that came to mind. Well actually it was the first thing that came to mind that was not offensive to write down.

It seems to me if you request not to receive any more emails you should be able to stop receiving emails. You shouldn't have to provide a reason. Needless to say if I'm looking for a job again I won't be signing up on that site again.

Monday, February 20, 2017

A Smile to Start the Week

It certainly was a wonderful day here in DC. Much much warmer than normal. Highs in the 60s. I did not have the day off but it was nice to go for my morning walk with no one around. The streets had fewer people on them than a Sunday.

Hope everyone who had the day off had a good one.

Here's a very funny strip about Sally stealing a crayon and all the ramifications from it.

Have a good week everyone.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Russians are Coming the Russians are Coming

Oh wait I guess they’ve already arrived.

It would be really funny if it wasn’t so serious. Michael Flynn suddenly remembers that he sorta maybe did indeed talk about sanctions with the Russian ambassador. And then kinda sorta mislead the VP on what was going on. The reason Flynn was asked to resign wasn’t because of what he did but because Trump had lost trust in him.

Not that there was any promises to the Russian on sanctions. Oh not all. The Obama administration announces sanctions against the Russians. The Russians say the will retaliate. Then they decided not to. What happened between those two events Flynn talked to the Russian ambassador. Just a coincidence? Yeah right.

And it seems there have been all sorts of contacts between the Russians and the Trump organization throughout the campaign.

It seems pretty obvious that nothing would have happened unless this had come out in the press:
Yet the situation didn’t come to a head until the public disclosure last week of what Flynn says was his faulty recollection of the call — and specifically, the fact that it included talk about sanctions, which Flynn and Vice President Pence had both denied.

Which leads to the question: Was the White House concerned that Flynn had apparently lied to them — or at least done something he shouldn’t have and failed to disclose it? Would it ever have taken corrective action if the situation hadn’t been made public?

At least some Republicans in the Senate say they will look into exactly what is going on here. Then again there’s Rand Paul who says why bother to investigate people in your own party. The House is even worse where the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz is essentially a Trump shill. Chaffetz didn’t see an investigation he didn’t like when it was Democrats or Hillary Clinton in particular. But when it comes to Trump well little or no interest.

This from a column by Jennifer Rubin in the Post:
In response to this farcical dereliction of duty, ranking Democrat Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (Md.) said in a written statement, “Chairman Chaffetz appears to be taking his marching orders directly from President Trump’s tweet yesterday — instead of investigating General Flynn’s lies and his troubling ties with Russia, he chose to target those who brought them to light.” Cummings added: “Congress should be doing independent oversight of the Executive Branch and protecting whistleblowers, not running interference while the White House conceals their abuses and misleads the American people for weeks. Chairman Chaffetz said he didn’t want to go on ‘fishing expeditions’, but that’s exactly what he’s doing here.”
She goes on to say:
In contrast with Senate Republicans, who seem to have perked up and see legitimate grounds for at least investigating Trump’s Russia ties, Chaffetz remains a Trump enabler, blocking essential investigation of raging scandals. So long as the Senate plunges ahead, however, the real damage here is to Chaffetz, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and the GOP majority. If the GOP won’t do basic oversight on the biggest scandal to hit the White House in decades, why not put the Democrats in charge?
I have rarely agreed with Rubin (because she is way too conservative for me) but in this case I agree.

It is important to find out just how deep the Russians hooks are in Trump. What exactly Flynn promised to the Russians? And most important did Flynn act all by himself or at the behest of someone.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Valentines Wasn't Over and the Easter Candy was Out

I went to the store last night. It was after 9pm I will admit. But all the Valentine's Day candy was gone. There were still flowers available and like giant cookies saying be my valentine. The candy was not to be seen.

However, the Easter candy was out in force.

Now I love Cadbury eggs. Just LOVE them.

Still it does seem a little early. On the other hand Christmas stuff is up right after Labor Day these days so I guess I shouldn't be too surprised.