Monday, December 19, 2016

NoVA Lights Chorale — Wintry Mix

NoVA Lights Chorale put on a wonderful holiday concert on Sunday. Here's one of the highlights. The song is called Nutcracker Jingles. I'll have more pictures from the concert later.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

A Little Freezing Rain

Yesterday was a day to stay inside. The weather made it so. Just a little freezing rain to spice up the morning. I went out side, as in down two of my front steps, to take these few pictures and even that little time out was dangerous. But there are some amazing pictures.

A day later it is almost 6o. Go figure.

A Little Freezing Rain, Part II

Saturday, December 03, 2016

More Lights of the Season

The Sights and Sounds of the Season

I'm not sure what store this is but it's right across from Rockefeller Center. Each year they put on a spectacular light and sound display. Here's this years.

I did a some quick research the store is Sachs. Here's another display form 2013.

A Foggy Ride Up to NYC

And it was really really really foggy as these pictures show. All the way up even in New York City.

But the real fun of the trip happened once we got into New York.

We were running at least half an hour late. It was due to the fog. Traffic into New York wasn't too heavy but getting through the Lincoln Tunnel always takes time.

We finally get through the tunnel. A few minutes after that the drives pulls the bus over to the side of the road. He then announces that he's reached his time limit for driving and can't drive anymore. Needless to say people were not pleased. There would be a replacement driver and that person would drive the rest of the way.

The question was how long would that take. We were in the city proper. So people asked if they could get off the bus. For some reason there happened to be a policeman nearby. The policeman said people could not get off the bus it was too dangerous.

So we waited. The policeman eventually left. Once he did people started leaving to. I was just about to leave when the bus started moving. There was no announcement that was going to happen. And people were jostled. Finally reached the drop off point about an hour late.

I cannot understand why his happened. Seems to me you wouldn't have a driver driving the bus with so little driving time left. This is especially true with the type of weather we had that day.

Once that little hiccup was out of the way the rest of the trip went well.

A Great Trip to New York

It was certainly a great trip to New York. I saw Waitress and, finally after many years, Wicked. Both shows were great. More on those but first the Christmas decorations!

Christmas Time is Here

It so cool that the lights on the tree change colors.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Frenzy at Food and Friends Preparing for Thanksgiving

I volunteer at Food and Friends most Thursdays. I've been doing it for about 12 years. Here's the more on Food and Freinds:
Founded in 1988, Food & Friends began in the basement of the Westminster Presbyterian Church with 20 volunteers enlisted to deliver 15 meals/day serving a total of 1,800 meals to 60 clients. Since our inception, we have moved from the cramped church basement to our own state-of-the-art kitchen and pantry facility and initiated new programs to meet the changing needs of people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-challenging illnesses in the Washington, DC metropolitan community.
Mission Statement
The mission of Food & Friends is to foster a community caring for men, women, and children living with HIV/AIDS, cancer, and other life-challenging illnesses by preparing and delivering specialized meals and groceries in conjunction with nutrition counseling.
Food & Friends Values
Accountability: At every level of our organization we are accountable to our clients, donors, volunteers, staff and the public - with unwavering integrity of program services and financial standards.
Community: Partnerships and collaborations are vital to our success, both inside and outside the organization, as we build communities that invest in the welfare of others.
Compassion: With hearts open to the needs of all, we believe friendship, empathy and kindness are as much a part of the sustenance we provide as the meals we prepare.
Dignity: Through confidentiality, respect, and a commitment to quality of life for all, we recognize the dignity of every client, volunteer, donor, staff member, and guest.
Diversity: The caring, loving, fun and dynamic nature of our organization is made possible by the diversity of the people we serve and those who help us serve.
Excellence: At every level of operation and public engagement - from food planning and preparation to nutrition education and workshops, from volunteer coordination to special events - we are committed to the highest standards of quality and excellence.
Reliability: As safety, trustworthiness and dependability in all aspects of our operations are the cornerstones of our services, our clients, volunteers, staff and guests can rely on us to fulfill our mission without fail every day.

Since I've been unemployed this past few months I've volunteered on Tuesday afternoons. This past Tuesday it was all hands on deck as they prepared for Thanksgiving. Somewhere in the area of 650 turkeys were cooked or being cooked when I arrived.

My job was to get the turkeys ready to be packed up for clients. I had to remove the pop up timer. Then the plastic piece that holds the legs together. Next I picked the turkey up and let the extra juice run out of it. Once that was done, I moved the turkey on to another tray. I did close to 100 turkeys in the two hours I was there. It was frenetic atmosphere to say the least.

I hope I contributed just a little to those who aren't doing well so they could have a happy Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Fall Color and Summer Flowers Too

This is probably the last time the leaves and flowers will be out the same time this year. This weekend its supposed to get cold.

Saturday, November 05, 2016

The Cubs Win

Wow who'd have thought it.

I tried to stay up and watch the game but the rain delay did me in. I had no idea how long it would last. I also knew that if the Cubs won I would stay up and watch every last minute of the coverage. As it was I woke up at 4:30 and turned the TV to see what happened. Also MLB Network replayed the game later in the day. It was a condensed version of it; they got it down to two hours.

The final game certainly did have as much drama as possible. The Cubs go ahead. The Indians come back. David Ross hits an amazing home run. The game is tied in the 8th. Then there is a rain delay. Cubs come back out and win the game.

The joy these guys had when they won was just amazing. And the reaction of the fans back in Chicago was equally great. This is a story that transcended sports. The long long long times between wins 108 years. That says it all.

The best part of the post game celebration came when David Ross is interviewed. Before the interview is over Ross is lifted off his feet and put on the shoulders of his team mates and carried off the field.

As I kid growing up north of Chicago, I went to many Cub games. I remember vividly each year Ernie Banks would come up with a rhyme like the Cubs will shine in 69. All pointing to that year being the year the Cubs would finally win the World Series. It never happened.

I also distantly remember a going to a game over a Memorial Day weekend. The whole family was in town for a wedding. We decided to go to a game before Ed and Jennifer headed back home. I was leaving the next day. The day was cold very cold. So cold my dad went got out winter clothing for us to wear. It was a cold day with the wind coming off the lake. I think hot chocolate was the big seller. As I recall we finally decided we had had enough that is my mom, dad and myself. We were heading to the car. It was just too cold. The Cubs were up and I believe Andre Dawson got a hit and drove in the winning run.

One final note on the game: 

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

A Guide to Early Voting

Here's a guide to early voting for the people I know around the US. Hope this helps people get out and vote!

California Any voter registered in California can vote early in person. Dates vary by county. You may vote early in person at your county elections office or at other early voting locations.
Florida October 29 – November 5, 2016
Illinois Sept 29-Nov 7 Any voter in Illinois can vote early, without an excuse required. Check with your local elections authority, below, for dates
and hours.
Maryland Oct 27-Nov 3 Early voting starts the 2nd Thursday before an election through the Thursday before an election. Designated polling places will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. during the early voting period.
Missouri Not available
Montana Voting: Oct 8-Nov 7 Montana does not have traditional early voting but you can cast an in-person absentee ballot starting no later than 30 days before the election.

New York

Not available
North Carolina Oct 27-Nov 5 North Carolina has "one-stop voting," which allows registered voters to vote early at all county board of elections offices
during regular office hours. Some county boards of elections offer additional one-stop sites within the county.
Texas Oct 24-Nov 4 Contact your local County Voter Registration Officials for information specific to your county.
Utah Oct 25-Nov 4 If you are registered to vote at least 30 days prior to the election, you may participate in early voting in the counties where in-person early voting is offered. Check the link below for information about the early voting hours and locations in your county.
Virginia Virginia offers in-person absentee voting.
Washington In addition to sending ballots by mail, they may also be returned to a designated ballot drop box or returned in person to the county elections department by 8 p.m. on Election Day.
Washington, DC Oct 29-Nov 05 Voters can vote early in person. Early Voting Center hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Wyoming 30-Sep Starting Sept. 30, voters may submit an in-person absentee ballot at their county clerk's office.

NoVA Lights Chorale Presents Faure's Requiem

NoVa Lights presented a wonderful concert this past Sunday Faure's Requiem. Here's more information on NoVa Lights.

Here are some pictures from the performance.

Denise Gulley and Matthew Joseph Minor

Barbara Stefan directing the chorale

Matthew Joseph Minor, baritone

Anna EunJoung Ko and YoungMin (Stephen) Kwon

Alex Glaubitz

Denise Gulley