Jan 28, 2014

The End. (aka goodbye blogger)

Yup, time to draw it to a close.  Never fear…..where one door closes, another opens….AniMal's Trax  

Jan 24, 2014

FoTo FriDay 01.24.14

Yes, it does snow (a little) in the South. 
Yes, it's bizarrely paralyzing (for days!) to virtually every school and business

Mt. Vernon Trail @ National Airport

(Note the proper name of the airport,,,,,)

Jan 23, 2014

Breaking Host Records

Records and marks exist for everything. We'd be in the money for 'Entertaining or Hosting Friends in a Twelve Month Period'. Key being friends---not associates, operatives, or (unfortunately) even family--but friends. People we could (and have, and do) call out of the blue and request a favor or make an announcement with no judgement. People who are rare to find. That's who we mean. 

Night Out @ The Bottom Line
A couple days ago we ushered out our latest; Claire being our 11th set (or solo) in ten months. Wow--really, an average of one each month. I guess that sounds about right. We have a handful of others we thought (hoped) might make the trip. Perhaps something will strike them and they'll reconsider over the next couple of months. After all, the worst time to be here is late April through September so we're running out of time for the hard-core tourist types.

Great Run to T.Roosevelt Island
We've had a disproportionally small number during the more favorable November-January period. Sure, leaves have dropped, the sun dips early and people watching pales that of the summer. However, it's mostly great weather, lines as short as they'll ever be and still far more to do than can ever be done. One more on deck within the next couple of weeks. I'll need to make a judgement call on the count total--he's visited multiple times. A much different guest visit pattern developed in Tucson---90% of all visitors over a four year period showed up between February and April. Yes, part of the cool season but only part of it. I blame the end-of-year holidays. Partly.

One, of many projects, shortly after returning to AZ will be to learn more about the area that can be communicated to others. It's far more than hundreds of miles of bike lanes and paths and desert mountains to climb. It's got just as much culture, entertainment and (almost) as much history as the DC area--only it's considerably more spread out and not accessible by public transit. It'll be a mission to compile a better working knowledge of the area to drive (more) traffic during different times of the year. 

Jan 22, 2014

Remember, Don't Forget, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

MLK Day 2014
By now most, and I'd put it at a very high majority, of Americans have put the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day activities and messages clearly in their rear-view mirrors. That's unfortunate; almost tragic. With our collective interests focused on ---the next thing--- and our increasing individual short attention spans even something as meaningful as the legacy of Dr. King tends to fade from top of mind. The weather, the airline delays, Target layoffs, the latest governor scandal, The Superbowl, basketball wagers and the potential terrorist threat more than 5000 miles away have all shoved Dr. King out of the front pages. A life's work for a cause impacting millions of Americans shoved out by the Superbowl line. We truly have some issues as a nation, as a culture. 

Our service host/emcee delivered perhaps the most succinct charge on behalf of Dr. King: "Treat others as you would treat yourself.  I wouldn't hit myself, I wouldn't shoot myself, I wouldn't talk bad about myself…..because I love myself". 

She also made the point that King was about far more than the I Have A Dream speech. In fact, he delivered hundreds upon hundreds of notable sermons and messages, several notable ones can be read here: MLK Jr's Speeches.  

We selected the service at the National Cathedral for a few reasons, some as simple as timing and showing off the cathedral to our Tucson guest. 

Claire & Amy Silencing Phones @ National Cathedral

One we didn't know of until a few minutes into the ceremony took over as my favorite: that the large pulpit at the front of the great hall was the site of the final Sunday sermon Dr. King ever delivered. Part of the recording of that sermon was replayed during the ceremony, sort of a chilling reminder. It's long--and well worth the read for the patient. 

While the service wasn't as we expected; we anticipated more about Dr. King's teaching, perhaps even more recorded sermons. Instead we were treated to more than two hours of largely black-American edu-tainment. Spoken word, song and dance all powerfully delivered and sprinkled with messages of hope and peace. I was moved enough to make my own personal pledge, inspired in part from his that final Sunday sermon. 

In that speech he says, '……through scientific and technological genius we have made this world a neighborhood and yet we have not had the ethical commitment to make it a brotherhood. ….we must all learn to leave together as brothers or we will all perish together as fools. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly."

Pledges typically must be simple to be repeated--to be sustainable. Mine is.  

Part I: Create and leave the smallest footprint reasonably possible. 
Part II: Be nicer

If I use less I'll consume less. If I consume less factories will need to produce less. If factories produce less perhaps/hopefully wealth-motivated owners may make a couple pennies less in turn lessening the unsustainable wealth gap. Yeah, it's not much. In fact it barely registers but it's one thing I can do on a consistent basis.