Politics, open government, and safe streets. And the constant incursion of cycling.

Month: August 2007 Page 2 of 4

Late night

Alexander Bar, Hotel Grande Bretagne
Athens, Greece


Situations like this are the only time that I wish I had a decent cameraphone. I go to hotel bars primarily to relax and have a drink. But so many of them present such fantastic picture opportunities that I hate to pass them up. And few things are more conspicuous and disruptive than breaking out a camera in a quiet bar, late at night. Ah well. One day.

WABA’s 50 States Ride this Saturday

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association is running it’s annual (well, it tries to be annual . . .) 50 States Ride this Saturday.  This ride will help me accomplish a goal I’ve had since I moved here 10 (!) years ago: it covers all 50 state streets in all 8 wards of the District.  According to WABA, it’s a 60+ mile ride.   Meet at the WABA offices (see below) at 7:30 am with the ride leaving at 8:00 am.

If that seems a bit much for you, but the idea sounds cool, consider WABA’s alternative offering:

[T]ry our shorter 15 mile 13 Original Colonies Tour. 13 Original Colonies Tour goes on each of the avenues named for one of the 13 original states.

Both rides will begin across the street from the WABA offices at 1753 Connecticut Avenue NW (the corner of S street and Connecticut Avenue NW).   I’ll be the guy in the Bibendum jersey on the Gary Fisher Sugar (which will look pretty silly with it’s Conti T&C’s, but it’s for a higher purpose, I keep telling myself . . .).

Who Broke Blogger?

Someone must have kicked the cord out of the wall at the Googleplex, as I can’t access a single Blogger-hosted site. Or even the status page. Oops.

Update: Huh. Looks like a lot of people are asking the exact same question, by the looks of my stats page. Sorry, all, I can’t help. Google broke it, I guess. Go ask them. How? Just follow the yellow brick road . . .

Or stick around here while you’re waiting for the rest of the world to come back online.

Update II:  Looks like the wizard sobered up and has things running.  I know that Google is supposed to pay $$$ for everything, but here’s a free idea: they should really separate the hosting of Blogger and the Blogger Status pages.  I know some good hosts, if they need some leads.

New M.I.A.

The new M.I.A album – called Kala – dropped today.  M.I.A. took heavy rotation in my 2005 listening (click on her MySpace page here, and then start “Galang” for a sample), and I’ve very much looked forward to seeing whether she had more than one album in her.

The verdict, halfway through the new one?


And, if you want to get an idea of the force of personality that is M.I.A., click over to this Pitchfork interview:

And that’s what this album is about. It’s filling in the bridge and the gap so that somebody in Liberia can articulate exactly what they want to say without having this middle-man person who has to be from the first world. And that’s what this album is about, it’s like “guess what: I came from the fucking mud hut and I got here and I’m here and I did it in 15 fucking years flat.” It’s not a three-generation experience like people in America.

Check it.


Who knew?

I learn something every day.

More Puppies!

A comment in a thread elsewhere about Vick highlighted this Jen Sorenson cartoon, which is amusing – and then not so much, when you realize how right it probably is.

Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act of 2007

Howling Latina brings us up to date on the most recent efforts in Congress to get rid of the absolutely ridiculous prohibitions on American citizens traveling to Cuba.   It sounds like we might actually get somewhere on the matter.

I’ve never understood the point of this specific policy (beyond the Miami pandering and making Jesse Helms feel good).  I still remember cluing into the fact that my government actually prohibited me from traveling to another country.  It was right after we moved back from West Germany.  Where I’d been to East Germany.  Which was horrible because it wouldn’t let its people travel.


Tools: An Excellent Mac Photo Tool Review

Like Rui Carmo over at Tao of Mac, I’m one of those amateur photographers who has long chaffed against the confines of the basic consumer photo management offerings (e.g., iPhoto), but hasn’t quite sorted out whether pro-level tools such as Aperture or Lightroom will be worth the effort and expense of adoption.  If you’ve found yourself in a similar place, I highly recommend this review/comparison of iPhoto with Adobe Lightroom.   It didn’t persuade me that Lightroom is the answer (tho’ we both agree that iPhoto is not the answer), but I’m glad to find someone with the same concerns as I have (library management, ease of access to/integration with editing, etc.) who is also willing to spend some time taking a critical look at these programs.

Just beyond the edge

Started the morning at home, but a couple of flights, a few hours of driving, and a bit of walking later, I was beyond the range of most everything.

Like a . . .


Really, I can’t help myself.

But anyway, I just booked on America’s newest domestic airline, Virgin America. IAD to SFO. Given the reviews, I’m pretty excited about it. I’ve long since decided that US airlines could use some real competition. In the past four years, I’ve taken domestic flights that are better than US flights in the following countries: Kulula in South Africa, Jet Airways in India, Dragon Air in China, and Air Blue in Pakistan. Seriously people – *Pakistan* has better domestic service than the US.

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