Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Life Along the Potomac River

Life Along the Potomac River

I have been in the Washington DC area for five years.  Prior to this I lived in Kentucky for a decade, far to far away from the water.  I was only here a few days when I stepped outside one morning and I could smell the water, the joys of living within half-a-mile of a major waterway.  It reminded me of Florida, where I lived near the water for a couple of decades (I am getting old.)

Potomac is an anglicized version of a native American name Patawomeck.  Where the river passes the City, it is over a quarter-mile wide - broadening out as it moves south to about a mile in Alexandria where I live. The river is shallow, with a boat channel in the middle. The river moderates the climate along it’s shores.  In a typical winter the river will get a glaze of ice for a few days in the deepest of the cold.  Potomac is just one of the strange river names in Virginia, the Occoquan River is only about 10 miles south of here.

I love being near the water, I like the smell of the water, the humidity and the moderating effect on the area along the river.  About ⅓ of the time I ride my bike to and from the office, about 11.5 miles each way.  Over 6 miles of that is on the Mt. Vernon Trail that runs along the river.  

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Nice Afternoon along the Potomac

The new probe cooking thermometer went bad and tried to tell me it was 183 degrees at room temperature.  I know I can be hot in the kitchen, but not that hot.  we went down to Old Town Alexandria to exchange it.  Sur La Table was very nice and efficient. No fog on the Potomac today. 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Fog on the Potomac

Strange weather here today.  It was 73 degrees this morning, then rain moved in.  The temperature dropped about 10 degrees,  with lite fog on the river this afternoon. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

From Erik at http://erikrubright.com/blog/


1. Do you still have a land line?

 Yup, it comes as part of the cable package.  I live in a high-rise building, and need a landline to remotely open the front door to the building.   

 2. Which cell phone do you use and why?

Samsung Galaxy S4. I narrowed the selection down to this and an HTC One, the Samsung had a brighter screen, and changeable battery.

 3. Which provider do you use? Is there really a difference?

 This fall I moved from T-Mobile to Verizon and there is a real difference.  The network coverage and signal strength are much-much better. 

4. If you call someone and they don’t pick up, do you leave a message?

 If I want to talk to them, and if they usually listen to their messages. 
5. When you have a missed call (with no message), do you call the person back?

 Rarely, if it is my sweet-bear or my father yes.

6. Do you text willingly or reluctantly? How are your skills?

I have taken up texting in the past couple of years.  I still don’t do a lot of texting, but I do it willingly.  Skills?  I use too many words, and full words.  I have learned to use voice to text.

7. Has your cell replaced your camera?

 I am about 50% along in my phone replacing my camera.  I still like a good wide angle and moderate telephoto lens, and I have yet to see a phone with really good lens options.  Electronic zoom, is not the same as good glass.

8. Selfies….

 Yes, I travel alone a lot.

 9. How many apps do you have? Which is your favorite and why?

Less than 10, Starbucks, bike-share locators, a couple of work related ones. 

10. What would life be like with no cell/smart phone for one month?

It would take me two or three days to get over email withdrawal, with periodic email panics.  I have gone three or four days without email service a few times since my first “smart-phone” and it is a struggle.  I can live without the phone, email runs my life.



How much has your cell phone become a part of your sex life? Sexting, hookup apps, selfies, video, GPS, more?

 Not at all.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Post 500

John Gray at Going Gently http://disasterfilm.blogspot.com/ has posted 10 questions. Here is my take.

1. If there's one chocolate left in the box, do you have to eat it, or can you leave it sitting there?
I have little self control, especially with chocolate.

2. What do you want to remember most of all, if you survive to be very old?  That happiness is inside us, not something from outside.  

3. Would you enjoy being a very rich and famous celebrity?
Being rich would be nice, but I am not interested in being famous.  I enjoy being anonymous.
4. What piece of music do you personally find most emotionally moving?
Difficult  to choose one. “Over the rainbow.”

5.  How do you deal with depression, anxiety and bad times?
By reminding myself that 90% of what we worry about either already has happened or never will happen, by practicing active forgiveness.

6. What do you love doing that bores everyone else stiff?
Keeping records and writing reports.  

7. Did you ever encounter an inanimate object that seemed to have a will of its own?
Certain inanimate penguins and sheep are real and do what they want.

8. What is your very favourite hotel or restaurant?
Antico Forno in Florence is the one restaurant that stands out. Probably the best hotel of the past 10 years was the Hilton Tower Bridge in London (out of over 250 hotel nights in the past 10 years.)

9. Do you think prisoners who have committed particularly vile crimes should be segregated in jail for their own safety?
For their safety, or the safety of others?  I have a poor opinion of prisons, they do little to rehabilitate or prepare inmates for living in society.  I truly think the money could be better spent.

10. What do you wish you had known when you were 18?
How important it is to be true to my own self.  

Sunday, December 08, 2013

The first snow of the season

A nice gentle snow is falling, the first of the season.  A nice way to spend a quiet Sunday at home.  I have beans baking in the oven giving off a heavenly scent.  Relaxing at home. 

Sunday, December 01, 2013


I was surprised to see evidence of Beavers along the Potomac just south of Alexandria this afternoon. This is in an area known as Duke Marsh. It is a recovering industrial area. Amazing resilience.  The earth will recover after man quits abusing it.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Bucket List

My oldest brother turned 62 this fall and remarked that he needs to write down his bucket list, the list of things he wants to do before he kicks the bucket.  I have not made a list, I have done a lot, experienced many of the wonders of the world.  But there are a few things left on my to do list. Riding in a blimp is one.  I passed the Goodyear blimp someplace north of Jacksonville Florida this morning.  Riding in a hot air balloon and landing a plane on skies on a glacier are also on the list.  The last time I checked K-2 aviation in Alaska offers the glacier landing.  

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

The turkey is in the oven.  If my middle brother who lives 28 miles away makes it over, we will have mom and dad and all four kids together for the second time in 30+ years.  We kind of scattered across the country and have seldom coordinated travel schedules.  I suspect we will not have too many more opportunities.  Mom is slipping fast and dad appears to be running down.  86 years have taken a toll. Spend the day with those most important to you. Happy Thanksgiving DG

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Florida coast

We are visiting family near the space center in Florida.  I ran down to Port Canaveral this morning for fresh fish and a glimpse of the Atlantic this morning. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

One of my daily blog reads has passed the million page view mark.  A major accomplishment in blogger land.  The secret fear of all is throwing a party and not having anyone show up, or writing a blog and having no one read.  Congratulations to John at Going Gently http://disasterfilm.blogspot.com/2013/11/fame-at-last.html?showComment=1385468571979#c1787602432750314374 Stop by for a daily glimpse into the life of an animal lover in a small Welsh village.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Spo Meme

What you like most about being a blogger?
For me it is all about the pictures.  The blog gives me a place to share pictures of travel and everyday life, with a little text to explore what I am thinking.
How many bloggers have you met?
Three, but sadly all of them have moved on from blogging to FB and other media.
Do you ever go back and read your old entries?
Rarely, but once in a great while.
Do you share your job skills here?
No, I try to maintain a separation between my personal life and my professional life. Client confidentiality and an employer who claims ownership of everything related to my work, make this my best option.
Have you changed your views about anything thanks to blogging?
The value of the everyday mundane.
Do your coworkers know about your blog?
Not that I know of.  But I am careful not to say anything I would be embarrassed by if they do find the blogg.  I work in DC, always assume that someone is watching what you are doing.
What advice would you give for successful blogging?
Make posting a habit, something that you just don’t feel right about if you don’t do it.  
What is your opinion of aardvarks?
We need more of them. I am in favor of an aardvark in every bed.
Do you publish everything you write ?
If you could make ‘three rules’ for blogging, what would they be?
1# Do it, even if you don’t think you don’t think you have anything to say today.
2# More pictures, fewer words.  
3# Tell us about your life, we are all voyeurs at heart.
Do people help you write your blog?
Who are your blogger super-heroes?
Spo, Ken, Walt, John Gray - my day is not complete without checking in.
Final question (if you dare!) :
Have you slept with any of your fellow bloggers?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Hotel Options

So a friend asked me to check out a hotel in Savannah the she is thinking about using for a meeting. Great hotel, but all residential around it. No restaurants within easy walking distance.  Such a shame.  Nice place, elegant lobby. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Fall Color

It has been kind of a bland fall here in the DC area. It really makes the and the brightest stand out. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Train time

One of the reasons I wanted to live in DC was the metro system. I love commuting by train.  I have 30 minutes of me time to read, blog, or just watch the world go by.  No traffic, less stress. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

You are free to browse across the country

My first airline trip since they decided my Kindle or your Playstation won't make the plane fall out of the sky.  It is nice, being able to read, not having the flight attendant screaming that if you don't turn it off now, she will turn this plane around.  Now if we can address the plague of idiots trying to carry on everything they own and stuff it in the overhead bins.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

It's Beginning to Look a Little Like Christmas

The first Christmas decorations showed up at Target in September, but now that Halloween has passed things are getting serious.  I kind of like it, though by Christmas I will be ready to pack it in. Lately I am hearing a song in my soul. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Who is Looking at You

Countries look over one another's shoulders, always have, always will.  No one should be surprised by this.  Countries know and do things that would be harmful if others knew about them. Disclose results in the death of people trying to protect their country.  

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Election Day

I voted this morning.  An off year election for state offices.  I skipped an election a couple of decades ago, and spent the next four years telling myself,I can't complain I didn't vote for or against the idiot.  Go vote, be entitled to your opinion. 

Monday, November 04, 2013

Clear and cool

Clear and cool this morning,headed into DG's office.  We are going to try to get back to posting regularly. This will mean less travel and more everyday life,observations and gripes.  Likely a running commentary on bicycle commuting.  Good Penguin weather this morning as we head into DC.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Chicago a couple of months ago.  A very nice little trip.  The construction crane is a good sign, work on that building had been stopped for 2-3 years and it is back on it's was to being finished. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A parking place in the office garage

DG finally has a parking place in the office garage, for a bike. Nice way to commute.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Teddy Roosevelt Memorial

Long slog around the swamp and then back to the hidden memorial, on the island.  It feels like we are a thousand miles away, and yet we are surrounded by the City.  TR


Out for s stroll, along the water of course. TR

Friday, June 07, 2013

Friday, May 31, 2013

Hot Morning

It is a hot morning as we start our morning commute.  Being a Friday, and being a little later in starting, there are fewer people then usual.  It will be another swampy hot day, a day when the humidity is so heavy you can almost swim down the sidewalk.  TR

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Waiting at O'Hare

Good visit to Chicago. We took at river archetectural tour.  Met up with friends.  Went shopping and walked and walked and walked.  Slept 11 hours Saturday night.  Waiting for the flight back to DC.  Travel

Monday, January 07, 2013

Ice Skating In the National Sculpture Garden
Every winter the fountain in the National Sculpture Garden on the National Mall in Washington DC, across from the National Archives, is transformed into a skating rink.  A winter wonderland, in the shadow of the national monuments.  This winter the weather has been moderate, no reason to freeze to enjoy a little icy fun.