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.