acroyear: (timing)

American Landmarks Series

I posted these, one every half hour (give or take) today on FB.  Here they are collected...

The Jefferson Memorial
The Apollo Project
The Giants of Sequoia National Park
Dr. Seuss
The Grand Canyon
Jim Henson & The Muppets
Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine, FL
New York's Central Park
Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek
Great Smokey Mountains National Park
The National Mall & Washington Monument
The Wright Brothers' Plane
Times Square, NYC
Zion National Park
The Cherry Blossoms of Washington, DC
The Great American Southwest
San Diego Harbor at Sunset
The Fender Strat
Yosemite National Park
The Las Vegas Strip
The Shelby GT Cobra
acroyear: (Default)
One piece of good news: drivers won't need to worry about the biggest NPS-maintained roads. The four major parkways in the D.C. region — the George Washington Memorial Parkway, the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, Rock Creek Parkway and Suitland Parkway — will stay open during a shutdown. That’s according to Park Service spokesman Bill Line.

But other surface roads within the parks will likely be closed, Line says. Those include Beach Drive, Anacostia Drive SE and Fort Dupont Drive SE in D.C., as well as roads in Great Falls Park, Manassas Battlefield Park and Prince William Forest Park in Maryland and Virginia.

In Rock Creek Park, for example, only four of the many roads through the park are expected to be open during a shutdown: Rock Creek Parkway, Military Road NW, Tilden Street NW connecting to Park Road NW, and Porter Street NW connecting to Klingle Street NW.

In general, the final say on whether a specific road through a park will be closed lies with the superintendent for each individual park, according to Line. Be alert for barricaded roads whenever driving through any National Park Service areas during a government shutdown.

Line also says it’s possible parts of Constitution and Independence Avenues in D.C. will be closed, although that’s less likely, he adds. All local roads in D.C. would remain open.
D.C. Roads Will Be Hit Hard By Government Shutdown - News - WAMU 88.5 FM - American University Radio
acroyear: (fof oooh perty...)
From The Sunset Collection

ISO 100, f/13, 13 second exposure, focal length 18. cropped a bit to take uglier cars out. :)
acroyear: (don't go there)
Two people killed outside vehicles on D.C. area highways:
Two people were killed on major Washington area highways Friday in separate but similar incidents that occurred after the victims got out of damaged or disabled vehicles.

One incident happened shortly after 1 a.m. on the Baltimore- Washington Parkway in the Laurel area, and the other about 3 p.m. on the Dulles Toll Road near Tysons Corner, according to authorities.

The most recent accident occurred after a taxicab and a pickup truck collided in the eastbound lanes, and the drivers got out, said a spokesman for the agency that operates the airport and the road.

A sport-utility vehicle hit the other two vehicles, which were in a center traffic lane. The pickup driver, who was apparently near his vehicle, was fatally injured.
acroyear: (number 2 judge)
Felony charges for alleged bar trick scrutinized in Fairfax:
Stilwell said Rogers and Fedorchak were each arrested and charged with manufacturing and using an explosive device; setting a fire capable of spreading; and burning or destroying a meeting house. They also were charged with several statewide fire prevention code misdemeanors. Both were released on $1,000 bond.
What that really means is that they're hitting them with the felony charges, two of which won't stand up in court under the evidence (manufacture of explosive (a terrorism case? hardly) and burning a meeting house (the building was not burned, only removable the bar top)), in order to set up a plea bargain on the misdemeanor charges instead.

Me personally, I'd have left the building, possibly without paying, if I was there when a bartender lit up booze in the place like that.  Some restaurants have carefully controlled means by which they have lit drinks, and those usually involve NOT lighting them up at the bar itself, surrounded by spilled booze and potentially drunk patrons.  They involve licenses, inspections, and demonstrations of the technique.  Follow the law and be safe, fine.  These bozos weren't doing that - they were showing off something they saw in California without really thinking of the consequences.  I won't abide by the trumped up charges I mentioned, but the rest should still stand to trial.

As for the "flaming shot" itself?  This video says all that needs to be said.


Still, better than the situation in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where a SWAT team raided a family's house fully armed (with a 5 year old inside), found absolutely no evidence of any drug use whatsoever, and so charged them with a "disorderly house"* in order to not walk away empty.  If they'd walked away with an apology, the family might have cut them some slack.  Now, I would actually be willing to pay their lawyer to sue like hell for child endangerment and false search.

*Disorderly house is described as a building or room where someone “resorted to for” illegal activity involving drugs, alcohol, gambling or prostitution, according to a city ordinance.  In other words, another totally trumped up charge that can't possibly stand up in court.
acroyear: (photo album time)
I decided to take a little sanity break, get off my arse, and go hiking. Went across the river to the C&O Canal National Historical Park to see what Great Falls looks like from the Maryland side. Not bad, but not as nice as the Virginia.

However, the canals and other rocky formations can be quite beautiful, especially at sunset. Unfortunately, the haze kinda kept the rocks from getting as nice as they could have been, but still. All of this was done on my little point & click Kodak M863. I might go back with the "good" camera (the Canon XTI) later, but I wanted to familiarize myself with the area first.

acroyear: (this is news)
A list of projects that have been delayed or canceled:
Budget constraints have led to the delay or cancellation of dozens of road projects in Virginia. Here are some of them:

Loudoun County

Belmont Ridge Road from the Dulles Greenway to Route 7, widening

Waxpool Road, re-pavement on gavel road

Fairfax County

Telegraph Road from South Kings Highway to Hayfield Road, widening

Rolling Road from Hunter Village Drive to Old Keene Mill Road, widening

Franconia Road and South Van Dorn Street, interchange improvements and tunnel

Arlington County

Clarendon Circle, at Washington, Wilson and Clarendon boulevards, and North Irving Street, pedestrian and road improvements

Rosslyn, assorted pedestrian and road improvements

Prince William County

Aden Road Bridge, Nokesville, repairs

Old Delaney Road Bridge, repairs

Balls Ford Road, widening
acroyear: (decisions...)
I know it is St. Patty's and all, but they could time things better.

Monday, March 15 has *two* separate Irish concerts.  In VA at The Barns at Wolf Trap will be Altan.  In MD will be Kevin Burke and Patrick Street at the Kreeger Auditorium (an IMT concert).

sigh...yeah, it caters to those who love Irish music but hate to cross the river on a school night, but still...

also in town that week:
  • Eileen Ivers @ GMU on March 14
  • Battlefield Band at Wolf Trap March 17
  • Celtic Woman at the Patriot Center March 17
  • Solas in Germantown on March 18
earlier, Gaelic Storm at the Birchmere March 3, Celtic Crossroads at wolftrap march 6 & 7,

and later, Moya Brennan (Clannad) at Wolf Trap April 8,  Lunasa in Reston April 11 and at the Birchmere on April 16, Great Big Sea in Easton (across the bay bridge) April 27, Bonnie Rideout at Wolf Trap April 30, and Karen Casey (former Solas singer) May 17 for IMT

Update: Seven Nations is also coming to the area.  On the 14th they'll be at the Shamrock Fest in RFK (along with Black47, Scithian, Enter the Haggis, and some mash-up club djs), and for a somewhat quieter night they'll be down in Fredricksburg on the 17th

more updates - cape breton style
Natalie MacMaster with Donnell Leahy is coming to Fairfax Feb 27th (but I'm busy, pooh)

we're #1!

Feb. 10th, 2010 05:39 pm
acroyear: (bad day)
It's history: Winter 2009-2010 snowiest on record - Capital Weather Gang:
Reagan National Airport (DCA) reported 1" of snow between 1 and 2 p.m., upping its storm total to 9.8". It has received 54.9" this year, exceeding the 54.4" of 1898-1899.
acroyear: (Coff E)
are on facebook as many have already seen.  for those that don't have it, they're open to the world and you find them
  • here for the storm
  • here for the aftermath
highlights behind the cut )
acroyear: (bad day)
the temps are going to drop, FAST, as in into the 20s by noon.  the next big snow waves will be the fine crystal of last weekend rather than the heavy clumping stuff of yesterday.  What we're going to get today is the actual front from the west (an west->east low over north carolina border) rather than the super-moisture noreaster of last night, which is moving on to new england.

This means...
  • anything melted, even with chemical, stands a chance of refreezing into ice, and in the daytime at that
  • you won't see it because it will be buried by the continuing snow
  • the snow will HURT your face while you're shoveling
  • unlike yesterday's solid stuff that shoveled so nicely, this stuff will drift - every 5 inches you shovel will be filled up again by 2 just from what falls next to your shovel path.
  • it will also suck for snowballs - kids, you'll have to dig a couple of inches down to get the good stuff
in short, today is teh suck.  big time.

IAD (Dulles) had a roof collapse on a hanger - private planes damaged.  DCA canceled everything today.
acroyear: (fof oooh perty...)
1999->2000 was probably the busiest NYE I'd ever had.

The morning was simple enough, morning tea (I hadn't started the coffee addiction yet), watching the PBS coverage of each time zone's NY moment (at that point, things were already starting in China and SE Asia, and I'd missed New Zealand and Japan already).  I can't remember exactly when [ profile] faireraven arrived, if she'd been around for a while or arrived that day. Things do blur as a result of the rest of the night...

Most of the afternoon was also a blur, as it was mostly prepping for the night.

430-530pm, faireraven and I have dinner (and I have a beer) in Old Town Alexandria at Virginia Beverage (now long gone :( ), watching the midnight events of Jerusalem, Finland, Cairo, Moscow, and South Africa.

For all of the fireworks and music and dancing, South Africa's New Year was probably the most stirring: President Nelson Mandela led a candlelight vigil through the prison he's spend most of the last 30 years in.

Unfortunately, I missed seeing GMT's change (London, Paris, Mike Oldfield in Berlin) due to having to be at a coffee shop closer to the King Street Metro, as a courtyard on King Street was the location Foggy Bottom Morris had been assigned to entertain audiences at First Night Alexandria.  We did one stand, then a beer or two in Hard Times, then another stand, freezing, but the audiences seemed amused.  First time I'd played "Devil Doubt" in the mummers play, 'cause Bill had to leave early for events in Maryland.  Fortunately, I didn't have to freeze anymore as I wasn't among the two picked to dance Lord of the Dance with Revels' performance at First Night Alexandria over at the courthouse square.

We leave Old Town Alexandria and head up Braddock Road to the Clan McArgh dinner party, which was amusing as always.  As that faded, we head to my office. 

Yes, my office.

No, I didn't have to work.

At the time, my office building was the triangle-shaped SRA building by the Courthouse in Arlington.  My window had THE VIEW - I could see unblocked from the Cathedral all the way to the Pentagon.  It was an annual tradition to gather up there, 11th floor, to see the fireworks on July 4th.  So knowing this, we came up to watch the fireworks on the mall for the New Year.

It was a bit of a mess, really, as they had the fireworks in two waves - the first wave was small one that happened right at 12, and then a subsequent wave happened at about 12:45, coordinated with the show actually happening on the mall (a show running horribly behind schedule, as usual - DC's gotten better since then).  We were listening to the radio broadcast of WTOP through the 'net to find out what was going on, as even they didn't know.  We also flipped through and saw the grainy video of Philadelphia's party as well.  Nobody reported any major Y2K bluffs at all...

Come 1pm, show's over, we head home, forgetting that like July 4, most of the Potomac roads I know are closed.  Oops.  Takes about 45 minutes to get back to Burke.  Zonk and good night.

Next day was (I *think*) our first visit to the [ profile] queenmaggie First Day party in Frederick, a tradition that sadly is no more (but we'll still see her tomorrow!).

So that was our day, 10 years ago.  What was yours?


Dec. 24th, 2009 11:37 am
acroyear: (feeling old...)
Longtime NBC Sports Anchor George Michael Has Died | NBC Washington:
George Michael, the longtime NBC4 sports anchor known nationally for his syndicated sports highlights show “The George Michael Sports Machine,” passed away early Thursday morning at Sibley Hospital.

Michael was 70 years old.

Known for his boisterous, energetic storytelling and sense of humor, Michael served as sports director for WRC-TV, NBC’s D.C. affiliate, for 27 years. Started as a local program in the early ‘80s, “The Sports Machine” was syndicated in 1984.
acroyear: (car1)
After 30 years, traffic reporter Bob Marbourg is still the Jam Man at WTOP -
Bob Marbourg never wanted to spin records or read the news on the radio. One thing, and maybe only one thing, fascinated him: the mad struggle of a few million people trying to get from Point A to Point B each day.

And so for 30 years -- he celebrated his on-air anniversary this week -- Marbourg has sidled up to a microphone at radio station WTOP and narrated the breakdowns, slowdowns and fender benders that make up Washington's so-called rush hour (not much rush, and a lot longer than an hour now).
acroyear: (news)
Airport board raises rates for Dulles Toll Road -
Frustrations of married women trying to get IDs at DMV -
It took Earley four visits to the Fairfax/Westfields DMV office to get an ID card. All because her birth certificate didn't have her current name on it and that, according to new state and federal laws, means it doesn't prove that she is a U.S. citizen.

For women in particular, the passage of the Real ID law, which created standardized, federal identification standards in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, has made the process of documenting who they are far more complicated, frustrating and unreasonable.
My wife carries her marriage license (well, a notorized copy) with her every time we leave the country, just in case someone gripes about name A != name B on any of the other documents she has.
acroyear: (car1)
Airports Agency Takes Over Operation of Dulles Toll Road -
The governing body of Reagan National and Dulles International airports officially takes over the operation of the Dulles Toll Road from Virginia on Thursday in what officials say should be a seamless transition for road users.

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which is managing the construction of the Metrorail extension to Dulles, is using toll revenue from the highway to help pay for the $5 billion project.
The biggest change is that "Metro" police, the police of the airport authority, now have enforcement rights on it, and by extension, probably take an additional cut for every ticket they cite.  Previously, they only had authority on the airport access road, which is why there was always a "cop" there writing tickets for speeders but never a cop on the toll road itself except at night when they were more concerned with drunk drivers.

Thus again is a core principle violated: when a commercial enterprise has an profit incentive to enforce the law by getting a per-citation incentive rather than a flat fee, they will cite more invalid tickets.  This happened in many jurisdictions when the stoplight and speed cameras were installed: the speed cameras were often not calibrated, and the stoplight camera sites all shortened or varied the length of their yellow lights to catch more innocent drivers.

Not looking forward to this...just know on the toll road that the white cop cars are now the ones enforcing speeding laws, not the state police's dark grey cars.
acroyear: (fof not quite right)
In Fairfax County: the Great Outdoors, Sponsored by . . . -
Would Burke Lake lose some of its value if it were named after a hotel chain or a defense contractor? How about if the Super Slide at Audrey Moore RECenter at Wakefield Park suddenly had the corporate logo of a technology or telecommunications firm plastered on it? What if the Water Mine Family Swimmin' Hole in Reston were named after a bank, a grocery store or a clothing outlet?

Cash-strapped Fairfax County is looking at whether selling the naming rights of its 24,000 acres of public parks and facilities could pull in enough revenue to offset some of the millions of dollars in budget shortfalls that have hamstrung many county programs and operations.
acroyear: (coyote1)
Metro to Shut Reagan Airport Station This Weekend -
Metro will shutter Reagan National Airport Station this weekend, forcing Labor Day weekend travelers to use shuttle buses or other forms of transportation during what could be one of the busiest holidays of the decade.

The transit agency plans to close the airport station, as well as the Crystal City and Pentagon City stations on the Blue and Yellow Lines, from 9:30 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Tuesday for extensive maintenance. Many of the last trains along the two lines will leave about a half hour earlier than usual.

The closures are the result of long-planned track work, Metro said. Regular service is expected to resume in time for Tuesday morning's rush hour.

Shuttle bus service will be provided between the Pentagon Station and the airport, but passengers should add 30 to 45 minutes of travel time to and from the airport "or they should consider using alternate transportation to the airport," said Metro spokesman Steven Taubenkibel.
acroyear: (bite me)
but it's still the case now, and will be for the rest of the month and well into September.

As such, no Harry Potter IMAX here in the DC area, while an IMAX theater will basically sit mostly empty holding a blockbuster that's outlived its usefulness in theaters, even to the studio that made it and is now much more concerned with pushing GIJoe.

I know part of the movie was filmed there, but enough is enough guys...

acroyear: (fof good book)
Pastor of Sterling Church Says IRS Is Investigating Handling of Finances -
The pastor of a Sterling church says the IRS is investigating his control of church finances, which include $8.5 million in church real estate and hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of vehicles that he and his wife use in a "racing ministry."
"They're just doing the work of the Lord. In a Farrari, they can just do it faster!" - Dom Deluise in Cannonball Run.


acroyear: (Default)
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