Thursday, June 07, 2018

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

The Poppy Memorial



This past Memorial Day weekend the The Poppy Memorial appeared on the National Mall:
Visitors to the National Mall on Memorial Day weekend will encounter a wall of bright red poppies, installed to commemorate the men and women who have died in uniform in the century since World War I.

Retired Navy Vice Adm. John Bird tells NPR the project uses 645,000 synthetic flowers — one for each American killed in an international conflict since the start of World War I — pressed against acrylic panels, which are backlit for dramatic effect.

"The Poppy Memorial visualizes the magnitude of that sacrifice and reminds us all of the price that was paid," said Retired Vice Admiral John Bird, the automobile association's senior vice president of military affairs. "We are grateful to the National Park Service for allowing us to display this inspiring and educational exhibit among the permanent monuments, as a testament to the enduring bravery of our men and women in uniform."

It was a very moving tribute and brought home how many people we're lost.










Birthday Baseball Returns



It was a tradition for many years that there would be a baseball game on my birthday.

One of my favorites was in 2012.

But last night's was pretty special too. In part because it was the first time in three years that I'd been to a game on my birthday. Mostly it was because of the performance of Max Scherzer. He is always amazing to watch. But tonight was something special. He had what is called an immaculate inning.

Here's how it unfolded:
The perfection began with a slider for a called strike against Johnny Field, who had doubled for the Rays’ first hit in his previous at-bat. Scherzer, taking no chances, finished him off with whiffs on a slider and a change-up. Next up was poor Christian Arroyo, tasked to pinch-hit against a revved-up hacksaw. Fastball looking, fastball swinging, change-up swinging. Strikeout. Two outs.



That brought up Daniel Robertson, Tampa Bay’s leadoff hitter and on-base-percentage leader. Robertson put up a valiant fight, fouling back a fastball, but that made it 0-2 and Scherzer wasn’t about to let him escape. He challenged Robertson with a 96-mph fastball. Robertson swung through it for strike three, giving Scherzer his second career nine-pitch, three-strikeout inning. The only other pitchers in baseball history known to have completed two such innings are Lefty Grove, Sandy Koufax, Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson. All are in the Hall of Fame. Scherzer continues building his case to join them.

“I honestly didn’t know it happened,” Scherzer said. “Then I walked off the field and I was like, ‘Wait a second, I think that was it.’ So, yeah, that’s cool.”

We had two sets of sets too. A friend was going to go to the game. Her husband gets tickets from his office. She said she was busy every night this week and so wanted one day off. So she offered me the tickets. We sat in the seats through the 6th inning. Then we went for ice cream. After ice cream we sat in our regular seats. It was a really good night.






Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Visiting Arlington National Cemetery



It seemed very appropriate it being the Memorial Day weekend to visit Arlington National Cemetery.

More on Arlington:
The Army National Military Cemeteries, consisting of Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia and Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., are under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Army. The Secretary of the Army consolidated authorities and created the Executive Director position to effectively and efficiently develop, operate, manage and administer the program.

Arlington National Cemetery conducts between 27 and 30 funeral services each week day and between 6 and 8 services on Saturday. The grounds of Arlington National Cemetery honor those who have served our nation by providing a sense of beauty and peace for our guests. The rolling green hills are dotted with trees that are hundreds of years in age and complement the gardens found throughout the 624 acres of the cemetery. This impressive landscape serves as a tribute to the service and sacrifice of every individual laid to rest within the hallowed grounds of Arlington National Cemetery.





More from Arlington

The mast of the Maine which blew up in Havana Harbor

Remembering the Challenger.

No matter what direction you look all the tomb stones are in a straight line.




The Tomb of the Unknows



More on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier:
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery stands atop a hill overlooking Washington, D.C. On March 4, 1921, Congress approved the burial of an unidentified American soldier from World War I in the plaza of the new Memorial Amphitheater.

The white marble sarcophagus has a flat-faced form and is relieved at the corners and along the sides by neo-classic pilasters, or columns, set into the surface. Sculpted into the east panel which faces Washington, D.C., are three Greek figures representing Peace, Victory, and Valor. The six wreaths, three sculpted on each side, represent the six major campaigns of World War I. Inscribed on the back of the Tomb are the words:

Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God

The Tomb sarcophagus was placed above the grave of the Unknown Soldier of World War I. West of the World War I Unknown are the crypts of unknowns from World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Those three graves are marked with white marble slabs flush with the plaza.




More from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier






The Kennedys' Graves Sites









Changing of the Guard at Arlington National Cemetery

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Scooter Scourge

Scourge might be a bit over the top to describe this new trend but it's not too far off.

Scooters and dockless bikes have shown up in DC.

And they're something of an annoyance.

You can see part of the problem from these two pictures. The scooter was just left right in the middle of the sidewalk. The bikes take up even more space.



I don't have a problem with the scooters or the bikes. I have a problem with the people who ride them and have no common sense when they do.

Here's what's happening in cities around the country:
Cities are struggling to figure out how to manage transport options that aren’t built around personal cars. Where, exactly, are scooters supposed to be stored — should you have to pay for parking? Scooters left haphazardly on sidewalks and in front of doors are a serious impediment for wheelchairs and the elderly. (PSA: To not be a jerk, the correct way to park is at a bike stand or against a wall, away from pedestrians and entryways.)

And this:
Tensions are particularly high in San Francisco, a dense city that was also the first to encounter Uber. Scooters dominated a meeting Monday in City Hall as lawmakers, citing hundreds of citizen complaints, weighed how to regulate them.

“It is clear that many of these companies continue to build their corporate empires off a basic premise: making massive profit always trumps protecting the public, and innovation is only possible by cutting corners,” said Aaron Peskin, a city supervisor.

Having encountered these my problem is people drive too fast on them. They weave in between pedestrians. There is the expectation on the part of the scooter rider that pedestrians should get out of their way. When actually it's the scooter rider who needs to slow down and stay out of the way of pedestrians.

I had the same problem when Segways came along. Nothing more enjoyable walking down a cobbled stoned sidewalk in Georgetown and have to get out of the way of one of these things. After awhile I didn't. I got some dirty looks from the Segway guys but it was worth it. I'm going to start doing the same thing with the scooters. They can slow down.

I have a feeling that in a year or so most of these scooters will be long gone. The fad will have faded

Monday, May 28, 2018

The National Museum of the Marine Corps


A couple Fridays ago Stu and I went and saw The National Museum of the Marine Corps. It's located in Triangle, Virginia. It's about an hours drive from DC. It was very impressive. Here are a few pictures from the trip.

More about the museum:
The National Museum of the Marine Corps, under the command of Marine Corps University, preserves and exhibits the material history of the U.S. Marine Corps; honors the commitment, accomplishments, and sacrifices of Marines; supports recruitment, training, education, and retention of Marines; and provides the public with a readily accessible platform for the exploration of Marine Corps history.
  • The Museum collects and provides responsible stewardship for objects related to the history of the Marine Corps; interprets the history of the Marine Corps through public exhibitions, collections-based publications, and other public programming venues; conducts collections-based research and shares the results of that research through publications, exhibitions, and public programming; and develops educational materials and conducts education programs for educators, students, and families to increase their awareness of the history of the Marine Corps.
  • The Museum contributes to the recruitment, training, education, and retention of Marines by informing and inspiring visitors through exhibitions and other public programs; by providing a backdrop for recruitment initiatives and an understanding of what it takes to “make a Marine”; by hosting classes for the Training and Education Command; and by providing opportunities for continuing education.


Marines the Early Years — The American Revolution


A little on the gallery on the American Revolution:
This is the first of six historical galleries. The Continental Congress authorized two battalions of Marines on 10 November 1775. According to legend, Captain Samuel Nicholas began recruiting men on that date at Philadelphia's Tun Tavern. Visitors follow the Marines from their beginnings during the American Revolution on through the long years of a country divided by Civil War. As Thomas Paine said, "Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered," but the first Marines did their part to win America's freedom from the British, usually from the fighting tops of ships. In early 1776, Nicholas led 234 Marines in their first amphibious landing in the Bahamas. This gallery portrays life aboard a fighting ship. Marines were not only expert riflemen, they were also good seamen, and they sailed to the "ends of the earth" fighting the enemies of the new republic. Weapons and tools of these first Marines, including muskets, swords, powder horns, and boarding axes, are displayed, along with art work and dioramas.