Friday, July 31, 2009

You know what to do...

The only thing you can do when faced with a situation like this is... take a picture of it and post it on a blog.

(Thanks to my buddy Pete who sent me this shot of the door in front of the Griffith Observatory in L.A.)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Random Art - Crystal City

I found these 10 panels near a little parking lot in the colorfully named Crystal City, VA. I love public art, particularly in areas where it's largely unnecessary and unexpected. These panels are sort of hidden, around the back side of a building, facing a relatively small parking lot.

Good stuff!

Monday, July 27, 2009

WWII Memorial

Wow, it was hot when we went into DC last week (isn't it always?), but I must say, the WWII memorial is a pretty impressive sight.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Found Art

Came across this sign in the parking garage of the Franconia-Springfield metro stop. It just struck me as artistic somehow. I wonder what it means...

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Hey kids, who wants to pretend to have lunch?

(Photo taken in the basement of the American History Museum - and yeah, I cheated a little by leaving out the left-pointing arrow that's next to the word Cafeteria).

Monday, July 20, 2009

Strange New Habit

I've developed a new habit since moving to Virginia. I probably shouldn't mention it on a forum like a blog, but I feel the need to confess that I've started... reading a newspaper.

I know, I know, in the 21st century, nobody reads newspapers anymore. The whole paradigm of yesterday's news printed on dead trees is, like, so 1900's. But, the Washington Post was offering a pretty good deal if you signed up for daily delivery, so we did. Our plan was to just get the Sunday paper, but now we're getting one practically every day.

Some mornings I don't get around to opening it (preferring instead to, say, write a blog post over breakfast). But some mornings I do read it, and you know what? I like it...

Friday, July 17, 2009

Replacing the van...

Well, we're thinking about replacing our nearly 10-year-old van. We'd planned to keep it for a bit longer, but the new "cash for clunkers" program makes it a bit more appealing to do it before November, instead of waiting until next summer. It's only worth about $2500 as a trade-in, and the CARS program is offering $4500 for it. That's not nothin'.

Plus, the poor thing is getting loud, despite the new muffler we put on last year. Just had it checked out and the mechanic said there's nothing wrong with it. It's just loud... and old...

So, any suggestions on a good replacement?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

New Book Starting Soon!

As I’ve mentioned in a few places, I’m writing a non-Boomer Sisters book this year. I’ve started doing some plot outlining and some character sketches, and the current title is The Helper In The Sun.

I’ve generally got the plot & plan together, in a big-picture sort of way, although at the moment there’s a pretty critical detail I haven’t figured out yet (specifically, how the hero will defeat the villain). It’s going to be a fun book, and hopefully a longer book than what I’ve written for the previous four years (at Beth’s request – she said she likes chunky books).

My plan is to start writing in earnest on Aug 1st. We’ll see how it goes!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Riding The Bus

I’m getting the hang of commuting via metrobus. I’ve got a good bus stop not too far from my house, I’m learning that the commuter parking lots near that stop get filled up later in the morning, and I’m even starting to recognize some faces. It’s nice that I get to do some reading (I’m almost through Hemmingway’s The Sun Also Rises). But one thing I’m not used to yet is how much the bus moves.

I don’t mean in a forward direction. I’m talking about the side-to-side & up-and-down movement. The bumping and swaying. Frankly, I don’t like it. For one, it makes writing virtually impossible, which is pretty frustrating for a guy like me. It makes reading a bit difficult, but doable. I suppose I’ll get used to it over time, but for now, it’s pretty distracting.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Cellphone Holders

I've been burning through cellphone holders like crazy lately. Car seatbelts seem to be the main antagonist, but even when I'm just trying to get to the phone, I somehow manage to bust, tear or otherwise render-useless the holster/holder/clip I'm using. The fact that my new uniform's belt is practically a foot wide probably doesn't help either.

The three below are the most recent losses:

Of course, I only spent like $5 on each one, so I guess I shouldn't expect too much. And finally, at the urging of my lovely and wise wife, I plunked down a whole $15 on a tough, nylon/canvas looking thing, with a hefty metal clip. We'll see how long this one lasts...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Note To Self: Hire New Spell Checker

Snapped this shot of a sign advertising "Hot Hands-2," which apparently "works great for all activates."

I wonder if I could use it for different activites too...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Yellow Springs, OH

I took this shot of the top of a church in Yellow Springs, OH, on our last wonderful visit to this fantastic little town. I just liked the way the lines and levels intersected, and the sky was indeed a gorgeous blue that day.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Packaging Wisdom

This little note on the inside of a Reeses peanut butter cup package made me crack up... and I was struck by the opportunity the Reeses people recognized.

Rather than leave the little cardboard tray blank, they took a moment to offer a funny, memorable invitation to buy more.

Yum (and smart).

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tiny Frog!

We found the cutest little frog in the yard of our new house. I mean seriously, this thing is tiny. I can't explain how anyone managed to see it hopping around in the grass that day.

I also can't explain the fact that BOTH my daughters held the little guy in their hands (I figured at least one of them would back out).

It got me thinking about all the interesting-but-unseen stuff that's all around us, all the time. No doubt this isn't the only frog in the yard (but we haven't seen another yet). No doubt this isn't the only yard that has a frog like this. But really, how often do we see these little frogs?

It just goes to reinforce my suspicion that perception is not reality. Perception isn't even really perception. There's so much more going on out there, right under our noses, that we completely fail to see.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tukk Sitta @mii haus

Tukk Sitta is a self-described "virtual art intervention" who inserts himself into people's photos on Facebook, usually with a note like "ii hadd funn @uur haus." I friended him a while back, and was pleasantly surprised to see what he did with this shot.

Aren't these internets fun?

Monday, July 6, 2009


While riding a shuttle bus from one location to another, I glanced down below the window to find this sticker.

Does anyone have any idea what it's trying to say?

Saturday, July 4, 2009


I'd lined up a handful of blog posts for this past week, and I just noticed that NONE OF THEM POSTED!

Yup, I went in to my blogger dashboard to add a few posts for next week, and there they all were, sitting in the stack. The funny thing is - they all said "Scheduled" for dates that had already occurred.

I don't know what happened.

Anyway, I've rescheduled them for this coming week. I'll try to keep a closer eye and make sure they actually show up ('cause some of 'em are kinda cool!)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sunrise, Sunset - Back On Schedule!

As I previously mentioned, Dayton OH is on the western edge of the Eastern Time Zone. In fact, it's possible to drive due south from Dayton and hit some parts of Tennessee and Kentucky (and probably Alabama and Florida) that are in the Central Time Zone.

That means the sunrises and sunsets are quite a bit later in Dayton than in Springfield. I really appreciate having earlier sunrises and sunsets, now that we're back on the eastern side of the Eastern Time Zone. I definitely notice the difference.

And the funny thing is, despite the late sunrise in Ohio, the kids school started at 7:45 (before sunrise for some days in December!). Here in Virginia, school will start at... 9am!