Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Sam Video

I was going through my videos on YouTube the other day. In part because one of them has been challenged. It's the one from the Labor Day Concert on the Capitol that had the Sousa march. There's a link next to the video when you click on it it goes to a page that says in part:

Your video, Labor Day Concert on the Capitol , may include content that is owned or administered by these entities:
Entity: Music Publishing Rights Collecting Society Content Type: Musical Composition

Not sure what if anything will come of it. And that's about what the pages says as well. As we say in my family we'll see.

Anyway here's a very short but very cute video of Sam:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Washington by Bike

Here is a great video a guy did. He rode his bike on all of the 50 state avenues showing off landmarks that happened to be on those streets. It is really a great video.

The National Book Festival

This weekend was the National Book Festival on the Mall. This year it was two days. As always this is a wonderful even to go to. There are so many different authors to see it's hard to pick who to go and hear.

Authors at the National Book Festival

Here are the authors that I heard speak at the Festival: Eugene Robinson, David McCullough and Toni Morrison.

David McCullough at the National Book Festival

Here's a clip of David McCullough at the National Book Festival.

Monday, September 26, 2011

My Last Nationals Game for the Season

Saturday I went to the next to last home game of the Nationals. I only got to three games this year. Went in May. Tried to set something up in June but that wasn't in the cards. July was just way too hot. August was timing again. The plan had been to go on Friday but it was a very rainy day. We decided not to go. Of course it cleared up but that's how these things work out sometimes.

But Saturday the rain held off. In fact the sun came out for a short while. The game was very enjoyable. A couple of the presidents showed up at the Metro to greet people as they arrived.From the Post:

Chien-Ming Wang did nearly everything right in the final game of his comeback season.

Wang pitched six effective innings and drove in a run with his first career hit, leading the Washington Nationals to a 4-1 victory over the scuffling Atlanta Braves on Saturday.

Making his 11th start since returning from a two-year layoff following shoulder surgery, Wang (4-3) allowed one run and four hits, struck out four and walked none. He lowered his ERA to 4.04.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Digital Camera Problems (again)

I seem to always be having problems with my digital cameras. The covering to a light falls on one. Everything works except for the shutter button. Can't do much with that. I drop the thing with the lens extended. The lens get all screwed up.

Out of the blue yesterday the lens cover won't open and close all the way. This happened when I was at the Nationals game. It still takes pictures but I have to use my finger to help the cover open. With this camera I got an extended warranty program. When I got home from the game, I immediately went to Best Buy. (In a funny side story, the friend I went with to the game lives in Virginia. I got home went to Best Buy and was on my way home before he got home. Granted he walked to the Capitol South Metro stop and then there were train problems but still.)

I was told they would send the camera out to be looked at. It would take 3-5 days. In two weeks I'm going to New York. The camera wouldn't go out until Monday. I started thinking this might cut things rather close especially if it took longer than what they said. So I'm going to wait until after I get back to get it fixed. I have a really old camera that I'm going to use today for the second day of the National Book Festival and for any other pictures I want to take. I'll only use the other one when I got to New York and hope for the best.

Stumbling Across Pictures of Sam

While I was seeing if my old digital camera could upload pictures to iPhoto (see above story), I came upon so old pictures of Sam. I thought I'd post a few. I do miss him very much. All the pictures are great. I especially like the first one. Who could resist that face!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Just about Friday

Here's a very funny strip from Peanuts. Click to enlarge. I'm still trying to get over this unending headache that I have. Hoping it will go away sometime soon. Of course it would help if the weather wasn't so lousy. But this strip helped me get in a better mood.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

2Political Episode 62

2PP062 - 12 September 2011

2Political Podcast Episode 62- is now available. You can listen to it or download it from the podcast site, You can leave comments there as well as download or listen to any episode (you can access the five most recent episodes from the list on the right side of my blog).

Arthur’s editing of this episode was delayed because of the annual Pride 48 podcasting extravaganza. He thinks, based on the evidence, that maybe he should teach Jason how to edit podcasts.

Today we mainly talk about the 9/11 anniversary, beginning with where we were. We move into more general thoughts about the attacks and its the legacy. Toward the end, we talk about the Republican “debate”.

Please leave a comment (anyone's welcome—agree or disagree!), or you can ring the 2Political Comment line on 206-350-3982.

Links for this episode:
Remembering that day – Arthur’s blog post on the 9/11 anniversary
9/11 — Ten Years On – Jason’s blog post on the 9/11 anniversary
Fifth blogoversary – Arthur’s post on 5 years of blogging
The Cult of Death – The Truthout article Arthur mentioned
Arthur’s blog, podcasts and videos can be accessed here.

Get 2Poltical Podcast for free on iTunes

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The New Television Season

I remember in years gone by eagerly awaiting the new TV season. One of the biggest issues each year for TV Guide was the fall preview issue. In fact some where in my house are many years worth of those issues. There was once upon a time an actual premier week in which most show would be launched. Now it may take several months before an entire network’s show are on the air. Also way back in the day there were only three networks.

I’d get the issue and read the descriptions of all the new shows. A friend would come over and we’d have dinner and the look over the issue. We’d talk about which shows we thought were good and then which shows we thought would make it (good did necessarily correlate to a show that would survive). Then we’d each pick the show we thought would get cancelled first. We’d also pick out which shows we thought would be really big hits.

We’ also review the time slots shows were in and what was matched against what. Which show would win the time slot. We’d also look at the counter programming one network would do against another network’s big night and if that would work. And back in the day Saturday night was actually night people watched TV and there was original programming on that night. I know that’s hard to imagine today.

Sometime we’d have disagreement over which show in a certain time slot would do better than another. One of those disagreements was when The Golden Girls first came on the scene in 1985. My friend didn’t think it was going to do all that well. It was up against a series with Robert Wagner in it. The Golden Girls beat it handily in the ratings and went on to become one of the most important comedy series on TV. (I still watch the reruns and still laugh out loud at the show.)

Then of course we would discuss the shows that just looked so stupid you had to wonder who came up with the ideas in the first place. Here’s a trip down memory lane; let’s see if you remember any of these TV gems (I picked years at random): Hawaiian Heat-1984; Our Family Honor-1985, The Wizard-1986, The Famous Teddy Z-1989, Bakersfield P.D.-1993, Mr. Rhodes-1997, Daddio-2000, My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss-2004, The Ex List-2008, Lone Star-2010.

I don’t buy the fall preview issue any more from TV Guide. I keep the one I get from my subscription to Entertainment Weekly. I have to say these days I rarely read it as attentively as I did similar preview issues in the past.

I’m not all that much interested in the shows that are on today. Part of it is the “fake” reality shows after awhile they all look exactly the same. And with the X Factor this year, is it really necessary to have another talent show on the air. I think part of the problem these days is with TV I have the attention span of a gnat. I’m constantly flipping from one show to another during the commercial breaks.

Of course the other reason could be is the shows just aren’t as good as they used to be or as good as I remember them to be. After all there were a lot of dogs in the list sited above. Guess the best thing to do is surf and see what strikes my fancy. You never know what you might run into.

Falling a Little Behind

I'm a little behind in my blogging. The last couple of days I've had the headache from hell. Just close enough to almost be a migraine but not all the way. I even got the fun aura but it didn't last that long.

Yesterday I left work early. It was hard to look at my computer screen.

I think I'm over the worse of this and hope to get back on track with my posts in the next couple of days. In the mean time pass the aspirin.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

At the Smithsonian

The other day, when I was at the Smithsonian's American History Museum, I saw this very cool exhibit on money. Here are a couple of pictures from it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tuesday Treat

After all the coverage on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, time for a smile. Here are two panels from Peanuts featuring Linus.

Monday, September 12, 2011

9/11 — Ten Years On

Can it be 10 years?

I remember the day very clearly. It was a bright sunny warm day. It was wonderful in fact. I was off work that day. I was going to have a physical. I walked up to my doctor's office at DuPont Circle.

I was a little early and stopped off at what is now a Cosi near the office. The TV was on and they showed the top of the Twin Towers. It took me a while to realize what I was seeing. I knew I should know what was on the the TV but it took a while for my mind to understand what was going on. They were on fire. I found out from someone that planes had hit the Towers. How was that possible?

I went to my doctor's office and checked in. People at the office were aware of what was going on. I think it was at this time that someone came in a said the Pentagon had been hit too. A guy sitting next to me asked what was going on. I told him. He immediately got on his cell phone to try and contact someone. I knew he was going to have problems with that one.

I was shown in to an exam room. There was a TV on. Just when my doctor walked in the first Tower collapsed. We looked at each other and I said we can do this another time. He asked if I was sure; I said I was.

I then walked back down to my office. I was walking south; everyone else was walking north. It was not easy. And in a it's a small world moment I ran into someone that I had worked with at the World Bank.

I went back to the office to see if anyone might want to wait out the crowds at my apartment. There was no one there. So I walked back to my apartment in Foggy Bottom and turned on the news. I also tried to get in touch with people. It proved a little tricky but eventually I was able to contact everyone.

Below is the front page of the Washington Post from September 12, 2001. The headline says it all.

September 11: Remembrance and Reflection at the Smithsonian

Last Wednesday I saw this incredible exhibit at the American History Museum at the Smithsonian. There were items from all three sites. They were just on tables so you could get right up to them and look at them. It was very sobering and incredibly moving.

September 11: Remembrance and Reflection at the Smithsonian, Part I

September 11: Remembrance and Reflection at the Smithsonian, Part II

More from this incredibly moving exhibit on 9/11. The pictures speak for themselves.

9/11: Ten Years Later at the Newseum

Also on Wednesday, I went to the Newseum to see 9/11: Ten Years Later. The moderator was Charlie Gibson. The panelists were Victoria Clarke who served as a Pentagon spokesperson. Ari Fleischer who was President Bush's press secretary. Jim Miklaszewski who is and was NBC's Pentagon reporter.

Some of the highlights of the discussion were these:

Gibson said on September 12 before Good Morning America went on the air he checked in with the correspondents that were stationed at New York area hospitals. They taold Gibson that no one was there. Gibson said that you either lived or you died.

In that vein, Fleischer related how Bush was told at one of the military hospitals by doctor wish we had more people here.

Fleischer also told how Air Force One had satelite TV but they only had reception when the plane was over populated areas. Since the plane was on a zig zag pattern because of a percieved threat against the air plane there where periods of time when they didn't see what was going on.

Also from Fleischer, the Air Force One pilot had someone stationed at the bottom of the stairs leading up to the cockpit (Air force One is a 747) with orders to shoot anyone if they tried to rush the cabin. The pilot did this because at the time there was a concern that maybe there was some sort of agent on board the plane.

All of the panel quickly realized they were under attack. The first reports had said a small commuter plane had crashed. But the damage done was far too great for it to be a small plane.

This story from Miklaszewski about his wife getting a suit case going on the Metro to a hotel near the pentagon with 5 days of clothes for him and getting back on the Metro. Metro was essentially empty. Then letting him know they were there and telling him to be safe.

Gibson related how one of his daughters was coming out of the subway when she saw one of the planes hit the Trade Towers. He also talked about getting a call from his wife who was a principal at school asking did she need to evacuate the school and what should she tell her students. Gibson said she needed to get the students out but didn't know exactly how to answer the second question.

There was a question about how the coverage would be different if 9/11 happened today. All of them talked about tweets that would be coming from the people trapped in the towers. There would also probably be video. How would you tell which tweets were real? Would it be right to put the video on air? None of them had answers to those questions.