Sunday, June 29, 2014

Cat Adoption Fair Today

My friend, Yolanda, is a volunteer with the Washington Humane Society. She's sponsoring a cat adoption fair this Sunday.

The fair will be at Annie’s Ace Hardware, 1240 Upshur St NW, Today 12pm – 3pm.

So if you are looking for a furry friend and companion, stop by the fair this Sunday and see all the wonderful cats ready to be adopted.

More about the Humane Society:

The WHS Mission
The Washington Humane Society inspires and creates a community where all animals have secure homes and where people and animals live together with joy and compassion.

About WHS
The Washington Humane Society (WHS), the only Congressionally-chartered animal welfare agency in the United States, has been the area’s leading voice for animals since 1870. As the open-access shelter in the Nation’s Capital, the Washington Humane Society provides comfort and care to over 43,000 animals each year through its broad range of programs and services including sheltering for homeless animals, a comprehensive adoption program and off-site adoption events to find new families for the animals in our care, low-cost spay and neuter for pet owners and other local organizations, an aggressive TNR (trap-neuter-return) program for feral cats (CatNiPP), investigations of each allegation of animal cruelty or neglect through the Humane Law Enforcement, lost and found services to help reunite lost pets with their families, pet behavioral advice to help resolve issues that lead to animals being relinquished to shelters, working with breed rescue groups to find more homes for more animals, volunteer and foster programs to allow other members of the community to help us help more animals and an award winning Humane Education program that teaches kindness to animals to the next generation of animal lovers.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Happy 88th Birthday to My Dad, Jack

Wishing my dad, Jack, all the best on his 88th birthday.

Well now what I really wish for him is that he had fantastically fun, incredibly wonderful, super duper happy happy happy birthday.

There that's better. When you wish someone a HAPPY BIRTHDAY someone like your dad, you need to make a real celebration not just happy birthday.

So thank you for all the wonderful things you've done for me over the years. Love you.


A few pictures

One of my favorites. This is when Jack came out to DC for a visit and we visited  Civil War battlefield.

Near Springfield one of the winners of the biggest pumpkin contest

At the Ozark Steam Engine Association Steamorama.

Here are the boys. I'm waiting to catch a plane to head back to DC

This was part of his 85th birthday celebration

At Bass Pro in Springfield.

All of us at the MS Ride

My dad with his brother Harmon

Harmon and Jack

Jack at Christmas time

Metro Musings

The other day I was exiting Metro and got a message that I needed to add money to my Smartrip card. I went over to the add fare machine and put in a twenty. The machine promptly spit it back out. I tried again and it did the same thing. I then noticed that it only takes ones, fives and tens.

I got out my wallet and fished around inside until I found a five. I have to say I wasn’t sure I had anything smaller than a twenty in my wallet. I put the money in the machine. This time it excepts it. My card is updated and I get change.

I got a nickel and three one dollar coins. Two of the coins were the recent ones with the presidents on them. The other was the old Susan B. Anthony coin of so many years ago. I realize it would be very difficult for the machine to give out change in the form of paper money. But I was trying to figure out what I was going to do with these coins.

I needed to add fare to my card. I figured I’d use the coins for that. The recent one dollar coins the machine had no problems with. The Susan B. Anthony dollar coin the fare card machine would not except. Which I have to say I was not all that surprised at. But it does seem a little odd that Metro would have a dollar coin given as change that couldn’t be used in the other machines.

Then there’s this. One side of the escalator down to the platform level at the Bethesda stop is being repaired. It’s been that way for months. There’s a sign from Metro telling when the escalator will be back working. It first said April, then May, then June. Now the sign says the escalator will be back working in September. Let’s just say I’m not holding my breath on that. In all likelihood it won’t be back working in September either.

This underscores the problem people have with Metro. If you say something is going to happen in a certain time frame make sure it does. We the escalator that’s an additional six months to get to up and working. That just shouldn’t be acceptable.

But again it’s Metro.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Times Square at Night

I am always amazed at the number of people that are in Times Square. It seems no matter what time of day you are there it is just full of people.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Morgan Library

Sunday morning went to the Morgan Library. A fantastic library and museum:

A complex of buildings in the heart of New York City, The Morgan Library & Museum began as the private library of financier Pierpont Morgan (1837–1913), one of the preeminent collectors and cultural benefactors in the United States. As early as 1890 Morgan had begun to assemble a collection of illuminated, literary, and historical manuscripts, early printed books, and old master drawings and prints.

The largest expansion in the Morgan’s history, adding 75,000 square feet to the campus, was completed in 2006. Designed by Pritzker Prize–winning architect Renzo Piano, the project increases exhibition space by more than fifty percent and adds important visitor amenities, including a new performance hall, a welcoming entrance on Madison Avenue, a new cafĂ© and a new restaurant, a shop, a new reading room, and collections storage. Piano’s design integrates the Morgan’s three historical buildings with three new modestly scaled steel-and-glass pavilions. A soaring central court connects the buildings and serves as a gathering place for visitors in the spirit of an Italian piazza.
What an amazing place. The next couple of posts give an idea what the collection and building is like. Just wonderful

Taking in the Morgan Library

These pictures show the wonder of the library and its collection. First picture a book from the 13th century. The next two show just how large the collection is. Remember this was actually a home. Next a musical score by Bach. The final is Elizabeth I's signature.

More from the Morgan Library

First picture shows a first edition of the Star Spangled Banner. The next two show the ornate work on the ceilings. The last picture shows the incredible work done on one of the fireplaces.

Last from the Morgan Library

If you take a close look at the two close ups of the arm of the chair you will notice the figure of a lion. Look more closely and you'll see that they are not the same. Very cool.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


A little recap about getting to Cabaret.

We get off the bus at 1:35. The show starts at 2. The theater is 27 blocks from where the bus dropped us off. We get to the theater with about 5 minutes to spare. Thankfully they didn’t start exactly at 2.

The seating area was set up like a cabaret! It was very neat. We were in the back bar area. Essentially the last row. We had bar seats which means we had more room to stretch out. That was really nice after the long bus ride. Also the extra room meant it was easier to recover from our sprint up to the theater.

There were small lamps at each of the tables and there were lamps along the bar in front of us. When they were performing in the cabaret this lights would light up. When they were not at the cabaret they would slowly dim out. It was such a cool effect and a great way to delineate the cabaret from the other sets.

Here’s a little from the USA Today review:

But even if you saw it last time, you are strongly advised — no, urged — to return. The reasons to do so include both a familiar face in the cast and a few new ones. Alan Cumming, whose indelibly naughty, biting performance redefined the role of the Klub’s Emcee, revisits the character with renewed senses of mischief and urgency that will leave you riveted, from the moment he introduces a deliciously bawdy Willkommen to his final, chilling adieu.

The Scottish Cumming is joined by two of today’s finest American stage actors, Linda Emond and Danny Burstein, who lend fresh insights to the key parts of Fraulein Schneider, a down-on-her-luck spinster running a boarding house where Sally briefly holes up, and Herr Schultz, the Jewish fruit vendor who wishes to marry her. Their doomed romance is more than a subplot; it underlines the horrors that lurk in Germany as Hitler takes his first steps toward assuming power.

The start of the second act Cumming picked two people out of the audience to dance with. One woman and one man. With the man he said well you’ve done this before. The implication was dancing with another man. It was funny the audience laughed and so did the guy.

Another interesting thing was the band:

Played by a 19-piece brass-heavy band whose members double as Kit Kat performers, the superlative score -- there’s not a weak number in the show -- has rarely sounded better. Credit goes to Patrick Vaccariello’s music direction and Michael Gibson’s punchy orchestrations. Just hearing the entr’acte instrumental of “Cabaret” performed with such verve by the disreputable-looking bunch, crammed into designer Brill’s crooked frame, is a joy.

The end of the show is very symbolic. Cumming appears on stage in a large trench coat. One that Hitler could have worn. The other members of the cast are far upstage. You can't see there faces because there is bright light coming from behind them. Cumming then takes off the coat revealing a concentration camp uniform with the Jewish Star of David and the pink triangle noting what he was in the camp for. Essentially everyone in the show would have died in the camp except for Cliff who went back to America. It is a very sad reminder of what was about to happen.

This is Evan D. Siegel he plays Rudy and is part of the band where he plays alto and tenor sax

Danny Burstein who plays Herr Schultz

Alan Cumming as the Emcee

Bill Heck is Cliff Bradshaw

Michelle Williams plays Sally Bowles

I got a Fitbit

I'm not sure why this never got posted because I did this over a week ago. So here it is finally

I got this for my birthday. I have the Fit Bit Zip model. It is very small. Certainly is a step up from the regular pedometer I’ve been using. There are all sorts of things the Fit Bit monitors. Calories, distance, steps (of course) all of which a regular pedometer keeps track of but the Fit Bit sets up an account on-line. This way you can keep track of all these things over a much longer period of time.

It also has a category called very active minutes. This is when you are doing exercise at a higher level. In walking it means when you are really out for walk as opposed to walking around the house or office. So when I walk from my house to the subway and the subway to my office these are counted as active minutes. I haven’t found out exactly when very active minutes kicks in. I’m assuming after you’ve walked so much time without stopping that’s considered active minutes. It’s very easy for me to meet that goal because of the walking I do to and from the subway.

The program sends you emails in the course of the day as you start reaching your goals. Usually with around 2,000 steps to go is an email telling you that. Then one when you reach the goal. Then if you surpass the goal by a large margin you get another email. My step goal started at 10,000 steps a day. I can usually reach that by the time I get home from work. I’ve raised it to 11,000. I still think that will not be too hard to reach.

Then there are badges you get for reaching a certain number of steps walked. They are in 5,000 increments. I have all of them up to 30,000 steps. I was going to try for 35,000 on Sunday but didn’t make it.

There is also an area on the site where you can record the food you eat. It’s divided up by meals. There are also sections for snacks and then a category called anytime. You type in the food you want to record say banana and it will list all sorts of options for banana. You pick one and the calories are added to you food total. There’s a section called food plan which shows the number of calories you can consume for the rest of the day.

This total varies. It’s based on the amount of activity you do in a day. In fact it goes up as the day progresses because of course you are being active. That seems just a little strange to me. I’ve left a thousand or more calories uneaten, so speak, in the course of the day.

The food plan is very helpful. But some of the totals are a little off. Most of the calorie counts are pretty much spot on. But the amount of sodium seems to be very much a hit or miss proposition. Sometimes being accurate and other times being way off. It took me awhile to find the right listing for tuna because the sodium count for several of the choices were like two to three times the amount on the can.

It's a fun thing to have. Keeping track of the food really helps. I'm hoping it helps enough so that I actually loose some weight and keep it off. Fingers crossed.

Monday, June 23, 2014

New York Trip — Spectacular as Always

It was an amazing trip (but then again all of them seem to be that way).

So very glad I got to see Audra McDonald in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill. A performance that all you can say is wow. More details and plenty more pictures to come in the next few days.

A Few New York Pictures

Times Square was jammed with people. In part because of some construction but mostly because it was such am amazing day. And well it is Times Square. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

To New York City

In New York for a couple of days. 

The bus up had a problem. It didn't work so we switched to another one. Ended up leaving about 30 minutes late. 

Did well until we got into New York. The bus driver decided to take a short cut to the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel. Really didn't work all that well. 

We got off the bus at about 1:35. The show we were going to was 27 blocks away and started at 2. We made it with  a few minutes to spare. 

The show was Cabaret and was fantastic. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Oh What a Beautiful Morning

And it certainly was. It might not actually rain today which I think would be the first day this week. I can actually leave my umbrella at home. Yeah.

A most incredible morning to say the least. Here's a little of what I saw on my walk on this bright, sunny and cool morning.