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MBDC Y3 BBQ: Tomorrow’s Grilling Goal

In just one more day before you too can enjoy MBDC BBQ like Tom here.

Good food, great times, and gregarious bloggers will be converging on Sunday’s Metroblogging DC 3rd Anniversary BBQ, starting around 6pm.

If you’re Joe-cool enough to show, be ready to get all piñata Jedi with choice paper mache representations of your childhood heroes.

We will not be taking prisoners.

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Say No To Mosquitoes Tip #4: West Nile Is Here To Stay

The City of Falls Church has posted a number of tips on how to avoid mosquitoes and West Nile Virus. I am discussing them in a six-part series.

Wait a second – it’s here to stay? Oh, crap. Then why are we talking about this? Are we doomed to a long life of misery and encephalitis?

We very well could be, but that’s not the point. We have so many more dangerous prospects in our future, ways to die have not even thought of, that we should not get our undies in a bunch over this. However, we should think strategically.

It’s just true that West Nile Virus is not going anywhere, but there are things that we can do to lessen our chances of getting it. These might include wearing long pants and long sleeves (I won’t), using mosquito repellent (I rarely do) and using a bug zapper. The bug zapper goes against my philosophy of not harming others, so I am zero for three.

The Falls Church web site also has a fourth suggestion: ensuring that “windows and screen doors are in good condition and free of holes” I don’t know about you, but my window screens are full of holes. That’s kind of how they were designed.

Check in tomorrow to read about Tip #5: Don’t Forget to Spray.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Friday Afternoon Levity: Dramatic Sharpton

Andy Carvin shot this footage last night during the presidential debate, copying the style of the newly popular Dramatic Chipmunk. Correction: Andy informed me that he did not shoot the Sharpton video and that it came from PBS. That’s okay, Andy. We still think you are the shiznit. See both videos here:

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Around 100 in line for iPhones at Clarendon

I waited until I’d had a nice lunch before I joined the line here at the Clarendon Apple Store, which stretched down into the shopping center from their front door past the various outlets into the alley between South Moon Under and the Barnes and Noble. Folks got here early, and the smart ones brought chairs. Me? I’m just the guy with the extra battery and an umbrella. Conditions are currently fair, but threatening rain.

AT&T, though, can bite my shiny metal ass, as their wifi node at the Barnes and Noble oughtta be free today for all those people who’re about to spend $60/mo for two years with them, but instead it’s $4/2hours.


Nice folks in line, come join us. I’m around the corner in the black polo typing on my MacBook Pro.

Updated at 4:25p: The line’s probably 120 or so now, and has been relocated to the horseshoe here:

iPhone Line

Folks are pretty low-key, and Apple’s been great about checking on everyone, up to and including bringing us all some water, which was really kind. There’s a good mix of folks getting 1 or 2 phones, and everyone’s been really great. Not shabby.

The line is gone from the store as of 8pm. All the Apple folks look a bit weary, but good.

This entry sent from my iPhone.

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Foggy Bottom Garden Club + Bunny Figurine

FBGC.jpg redBunny.jpg

(Above, left) I just want to say “Thanks” and “Hugz” to the Foggy Bottom Garden Club for the awesome short-barrel garden planters on the residential sidewalks between Rock Creek Parkway and GWU. They make my walk to work every morning a bit nicer. (Above, right) And another “Thanks” and “Hugz” to whoever was having that yard sale on Eye St yesterday with the box of free stuff. As you can see, Mr. Red Ceramic Bun Bun is liking his new home on my desk with Mr. Blue Beanie Rat and the plushie Oscar Mayer wiener mobile.

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Free Our Streets First Step: Limited Photography Allowed

downtown silver spring
Downtown Silver Spring by Chip Py

Free Our Streets, a loose association of Chip Py and DC Metrobloggers has started to make a difference.

Through our efforts, Montgomery county citizens are now aware that the developers of Downtown Silver Spring feel they have bought control over basic First Amendment rights on Ellsworth Avenue for $1 a year. And MoCo voters are not happy.

The questions they’re asking has led PFA Silver Spring LLC, a development partnership including the Peterson Companies, Foulger Pratt and Argo Investment, to change their stance on photography. But that change is just a start, a first, baby step. As the Baltimore Sun explains:

Last night, the development team, PFA Silver Spring LLC, issued a new policy, allowing photography in the area. And on July 4, it plans to display a “Welcome Photographers” banner on the site.

But Py insists photography is not his sole concern. All types of free expression should be permitted, from political campaigning to handing out fliers and other literature, he said.

“They are telling us it’s OK to take pictures on the street, but we don’t have any other First Amendment rights,” he said. “They don’t want to talk about public-private rights on a street. … We are asking for some First Amendment considerations in our town.”

Free Our Streets is asking for PFA Silver Spring LC to welcome photography, videography, and other filming on Ellsworth Drive, consistent with First Amendment rights as they would apply on any other public street. Not a watered down “photography at our discretion, if we like you” policy for Ellsworth Drive.

The Downtown Silver Spring development includes $187 million in county and state funds and the once completely public property Ellsworth Drive, public investment that should come with public rights.

And so the Downtown Silver Spring Photo Walk is still on. A declaration of photographic freedom on July 4th.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Say No To Mosquitoes Tip #3: You Are Not Alone

The City of Falls Church has posted a number of tips on how to avoid mosquitoes and West Nile Virus. I am discussing them in a six-part series.

That’s right – in the fight against mosquitoes and West Nile Virus, you have friends in your city or county’s health department, park maintenance team and even some housing and human services agencies.

However, you are a key player in this fight. When you come across dead birds and standing water, don’t just walk by and assume someone will do something. Call it in to the health department to make sure something gets done.

If you see that pool of water or rotting bird corpse again, call again to let them know that somebody dropped the ball. And if it’s still there the next day, call again and use some colorful language like “jerkwanker” or “fucknut.” These words don’t have to have established meanings; they just have to be spoken in such a way that people understand through context what you are trying to communicate. It’s great fun!

But know that your local city and county officials are working hard and may not be able to address every concern in as timely a manner as you would like. They are on the case, but it is a team effort to get a handle on this problem.

Check in tomorrow to read about Tip #4: West Nile Is Here to Stay.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Thirsty on Capitol Hill

Thirst quenched yet?

Walking through Capitol Hill, I spied this occupied front stoop. If you look closely, that’s 10 water jugs.

10 five-gallon water jugs or 50 gallons of water drunk.

50 gallons would be 100 days of water at an average of two quarts/liters of water per day. Or 50 if it were two, maybe 30 if it were three or more. Regardless, they would need to be a thirsty household.

Or is this the sign of a mystery “water club” I’ve heard government workers share?

What’s your theory?

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Happy early 4th, warriors.

If you are active duty, reserve, or retired military personnel, or a family member, and planning on using this weekend to work on some home improvement projects Lowes wants you to buy from them – and save 10% across the board when doing it. It’s an early Independence Day sale just for our men & women of uniform and will run through the end of the business say Wednesday. Just take your military ID to one of the area’s Lowes stores.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Metroblogging DC 3rd Anniversary BBQ

I figured you needed a sign. You needed a big neon sign to remember this weekend’s Metroblogging DC 3rd Anniversary BBQ.

On Sunday we will be celebrating three years of Metroblogging DC in the best way possible: going all piñata Jedi on some poor paper mache pig, while eating his well-cooked cousin.

The question is: will you be there? Are you brave enough to reveal yourselves to those you mock? And will you be taking photos?

You know you want to…

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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On the All-American

So, anyone tune into WETA for the All-American at Howard? Wonkette live-blogged it: part 1, part 2 (Content warning: some unwholesome words, adult situations).

Just to be clear, Barack Obama wants you to know that he got tested with his wife, and not with Joe Biden. Also, Mike Gravel is really against the war on drugs. And Hillary thinks Tavis Smiley is funny.

But I have to say, Mike Gravel is definitely it. Don’t believe me? Watch him on YouTube. That’s the video that will rocket him to the White House. Note emphasis on ROCK. Seriously. He will rock the vote. Mike Gravel rocks. Gravel is like the Ron Paul of the Democrats. In 2006, I’m voting Mike Gravel!* I’m just wondering, was that pond in DC? If so, where in DC?

* Disclaimer: I’m not voting Mike Gravel.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Folklife and Photos on Saturday

I recently sent an update about the photo tour I am leading this Saturday evening and my good friend Andy Carvin sent me this link for the 2007 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. I don’t know about you, but I am going to go spend Saturday over in the Mekong area eating larb and papaya salad, trying to recall more stuff to put in the book I am writing.

I am sure a few hot chilies will jog my memory of Thailand and will be the perfect thing to have under my belt, so to speak, when the tour starts around 8:30. Having some fire in you makes you sweat and cool off in the heat of the day, making a person nice and sebaceous when nightfall comes.

Culture is the perfect mid-day date for your sensitive, intellectually curious sweetheart before you go out and sweat away the night at a club or behind the lens. Are you going? If not, what have you found to do this weekend?

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Storm’s Comin’

“Storm’s Comin’. Be here soon,” he said, his basso voice scratchy from a pack a day habit. He’d finish his smoke, flick the butt into the street and head back inside once the first drops had fallen.

He was never wrong.

His name was John, and he sat in front of our office at Thomas Circle most afternoons. He was worn down by life, a grey beard against a dark face. He looked prophetic, his eyes intense and driven, his appearance looked like he’d been without sleep for some time dealing with some level with the angels and demons that haunt us all. But he was never wrong. Without fail, the drops would fall, heavy and menacing, on the pavement.

I didn’t see John again after we moved our offices down to 13th Street. But I remember his words on afternoons like these.

Storm’s comin’. Gonna be a good one, too.

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Adega – An Affordable Wine Bar

Last night, we prepared for the Downtown Silver Spring Photo Walk in Silver Spring, at Adega Wine Cellars and Café, and I was really impressed.

When I heard that we were meeting at a “wine bar”, I was expecting some white tablecloth wine snobbery, but Adega is anything but. First off, the food and wine is a good value – proprietor Walter Rhee even sells wine bottles at retail, not restaurant prices.

Then the staff is very approachable, I watched them spend 20 minutes working with a couple on an odd Sangria wine search with patience and care. They also put up with our raucous debate on photographers rights and Petersons Companies.

Adega even puts out recycle bins to catch glass bottles before they are thrown in the trash and of course, allows photography. That’s Walter patiently posing after a long day’s work.

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Say No To Mosquitoes Tip #2: Take Control

The City of Falls Church has posted a number of tips on how to avoid mosquitoes and West Nile Virus. I will be discussing them in a six-part series.

According to the Falls Church site, mosquitoes only need two tablespoons of water to breed. Me, I need something like a 40 of malt liquor to make that happen. And two straws.

What this means is that any standing water in your yard is the mosquito equivalent of putting on a Barry White album and bathing in Drakkar Noir. You know some boot-knocking is going down at that point, and mosquitoes don’t “suit up” the way respectable humans on E Street do.

That’s bad, I tell you.

Go look in your yard and see where the water is standing or could stand if this humidity ever turns into a downpour. Me, I will be busy throwing all my old tires in the neighbor’s yard in the middle of the night. Don’t expect me to look well rested tomorrow at work.

Check in tomorrow to read about Tip #3: You Are Not Alone.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Petworth Road Test

Say you are driving north on Warder Street, which becomes 7th Street. You are coming up to the intersection with Shepherd and New Hampshire. You see this big arrow in the road:

What might you think the proper course of action to be?

  1. Make a right turn onto Shepherd
  2. Drive forward, and not turn right
  3. Turn right onto New Hampshire, not Shepherd

If you answered #3, you would be right, as Shepherd is a one-way going to the left, but you wouldn’t know that with the big-ass arrow in the road.

I sure didn’t and almost went the wrong way down Shepherd when driving in my own hood. Gee thanks for the confusing arrow, DC DOT!

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Just say no to “duhhhh I don’t know!”

I really don’t understand why The Post chose to run this meandering, uninteresting, ignorance-celebrating piece on Monday. At least with the global warming nay-sayers you get clear statements about what consequences of regulation they fear. I might or might not think they have a point, but at least they have one. Instead we get here a column from Emily Yoffe, who has told us in the past how she tests out at a first-grade level with regards to math skills. I don’t think I’m going on on a limb here in thinking that someone who didn’t make it up to percentages doesn’t have a great grasp of the scientific method, much less a finger on the pulse of the scientific community and a grasp of what’s knowable or not.

I can only hope that once she takes a rudimentary class on addition she’ll take a few minutes to read David Brin’s piece over here about global warming matters. He was writing in response to naysayers rather than know-nothing-ers, but he is going out of his way not to get into a battle of facts and instead talks about what we know and why, cutting right the vaguely heart-like-thing of the second-half-ish-part of Yoffe’s article. Perhaps it’ll convince Ms Yoffe that even though she might be willfully ignorant about science that doesn’t mean everyone is, though I get the sense that she’ll turn up her nose at anyone who actually studied science. What could they know?

If Brin uses too many scientific words like “emissions” and “ecosystems” for Ms Yoffe then maybe she can consider this instead: if you’re going to go around stating that you won’t trust a weather projection for 2080 because “no one can offer me one for August 2008″ then I’d like you to similarly refuse to trust a projection about the economy because nobody can tell you exactly how many loaves of bread will be sold at your corner store next week. Macro studies are different than Micro studies.

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Trash Transfer at Fort Totten

When was the last time you went to the city dump? As a kid, I remember going there often with my Dad when we worked construction jobs and often we would come back with more than we left with – one man’s trash is another man’s treasure (and his wife’s displeasure).

Recently I had old bricks and junk no one would find a treasure. The bricks were all covered in concrete and oddly, seemingly rotten. Anyway, it was time for a trip to the dump, or as they are called in DC, waste transfer stations. The nearest one to me is the Fort Totten Trash Transfer Station.

When you drive up, don’t expect to be on a ramp over dumpsters, like in many rural areas, or a covered building like in other cities. DC is still working on building a proper city dump at Fort Totten and is using a flat cement expanse and a bulldozer + crane in the mean time.

So when you arrive, just pull your truck up to the existing pile and offload. Do watch for rusty nails – one almost got me – and loose debris.

And whatever you do, don’t bring anything back from the dump except an empty truck!

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in the heat of the moment

All four original members

Originally uploaded by tiffany bridge.

I got an email late yesterday afternoon from a friend. “So, I’ve got an extra ticket for Asia at the Birchmere tonight. Want to be my date?” Since I don’t get to see this friend all that often, and since I’m always up for a good dose of geriatric 80s rock, I immediately agreed.

You know you’re in for a quality concert experience when the band advertises “ALL FOUR ORIGINAL MEMBERS” right there on the ticket. About halfway through the show, the lead singer thanked the audience for “keepin’ the faith for 25 years!” (In case you’re wondering, I’m 28, and was easily one of the youngest people in the room by 10 years.)

Since I wasn’t that huge of an Asia fan to begin with, I’ll dispense with the detailed concert review and tell you this:

It was the only time in my adult life in which I witnessed a non-ironic use of the keytar.

But it was a pretty good show- it got a little surreal when they covered The Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star,” (I realize that Asia is a supergroup and that the keyboardist was from The Buggles, but that didn’t make it any less surreal) but they nailed each song, including the encore performance of “In the Heat of the Moment.” Someone needs to help them update their video screen graphical effects though- the band was not the only thing from the 80s, is all I’m trying to say.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs