This is a story of a Democrat as he makes his way through this big and crazy city. Finding new places and people one at a time.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

High School Days...

So it is always funny when you come across somebody you know from High School. I guess I have always felt like once I left High School those days would be done. I had a link to the new Warren Miller movie passed along to me the other day. "Higher Ground" is a sick movie that showcases some of the best skiers in the world. As many of you know, I love to ski.

So I started to watch and got more and more excited about the anticipation of winter. As the trailer played, which any of you can watch by clicking on the words Higher Ground in this article, I noticed something odd. One of the girls in the video was Jessica Sobolowski. Not only is she a killer skier who makes difficult terrain look easy. She is a super nice person to boot. Oh, and did I mention I went to high school with her?

So all I have to say is, way to go Jessica! Here is to many more happy years of skiing! Best of luck, and know that you have a lot of fans out there!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

STOP THE HATE!

It has come to my attention that there is a new form of hate in the blogging world. As many of you know I am one of the founders of the Capitol Area Social Society. For those of you who are not members I will let you know a little bit about our group. This is a social networking group that has been established in Wasington D.C.. Our only goal is to bring together intelligent, social and outgoing people in our home town. We simply want to create a relaxing enviroment for people to meet new and old friends alike. We have our own little website as well.

There is now a group out there that is hating on a blog of one of our members, the Cleveland Park Men's Club. For those of you that are members know, we from time to time have events with the CPMC. This is a fun group just like ours that simply want to have a good time. I think that the CPMC and I are all for a little feedback from time to time. One thing that I will not stand for is for these guys to contact our members without our knowledge. Below is an email that was sent out by these people. Please know that this is something we would never send out to our members.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
It has come to our attention that a possible acquaintance of yours, an Adamof the nominal Cleveland Park Men's Club, has made public claims of association with between his organization and our own, the Capital AreaSocial Society. Our former secretary, Mr. Arthur Vandalay, learned of youracquaintance with this individual and obtained your email addressess by investigating area websites. We apologize for our forwardness in contactingyou, but only wish to clarify, and encourage you to clarify to yourreadership, that the Capital Area Social Society has made no such alliance with this particular website. We had not even heard of a Cleveland ParkMen's Club prior to this incident, nor have we properly established that iteven exists, or even if this individual's claims reflect those of his club and its constituent members.The Capital Area Social Society is a fellowship of monied gentlemen foundedin 1972. We do not operate a "blog", but our statement regarding this issueis available at http://capitalareasocialsociety.blogspot.com. If we havereached you in error we apologize for the inconvenience.With sincerity,The Capital Area Social Society.

Please let us know if you get this email. Also feel free to block any email address that comes to you from these people. We will contact you through traditional methds to inform you of any upcoming events. It is with regret that I have to post this. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to read this.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

You need a green card? You just got a red one.



It seems as even when you are trying to do the right thing sometimes you are punished. In the wake of one of our countries largest natural disasters we still to focus on the wrong issue. A recent article by cnn talked about the fate of the bus driver tried to rescue several senior citizens from certain death.

Juan Gutierrez Robles, who originally was credited as a hero was today depicted as abandoning the bus. So, they have decided to hold him on unrelated immigration issues as well. My thought. At least he is working; which is more than I can say for many natural born citizens in the United States. I think many of them would feel too empowered to drive a bus.

I have become upset with recent issues concerning immigration. We need people to come to our country. As we progress we find fewer people to fill the day to day jobs in the U.S.. Maybe we should look to embrace these groups instead of road blocking their chances for growth. And for all of you Republicans ESL programs are not the way to do that. And, neither is "sending them back from where they came."

Mr. Robles could not have prevented the fire lighting the oxygen tanks from catching on fire. Why was he the only one taking care of these patients? Shouldn't the nursing home have provided...I don't know...nurses? But, now we have 20 + dead and a man possibly going to jail on unrelated charges for doing his job. Maybe we should stop pointing the finger at the man who can not defend himself, and start pointing the finger at those who are really responsible.

Monday, October 17, 2005

What is your digital tolerance?

Last week I had an interesting discussion about email tolerance. Such a large part of out daily communication has moved to the space of email or text these days. I on the other hand would still like to be able to communicate through phone, or in person. But, many of my friends feel the opposite of that. Sometimes I feel that I may not have a friendship with them at all if it was not for email, text or voicemail.

So this is what spawned on the whole concept of email tolerance. For example, my tolerance is four. This means that I can only have the situation go back and forth 4 times before I pick up the phone and call the person. So, I guess I would like to know how high on the scale that ranks? Do I need to develop a longer threshold before I pick up the phone? Or, have I waited too long at that point and turned the conversation into a commodity?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Another iPod...

Steve come on you are killing my bank account these days. I am all about the new iPod. Now I have the option of buying videos and TV shows to go along with me as I voyage around the world. Are you telling in conjunction with my iBook I can now watch the entire first season and all current episodes of LOST? This may lead to a total lack of engagement as I cruise the underground of DC on the Metro.

I know for some this may not seem like that big of a deal. But, for me my iPod is a large part of my daily entertainment. In fact in many ways it was already competing with my television. Now it may just take over first place all on it's own. How nice is it having the ability to have a crude form of tivo in my palm and on the road.



When I go to Japan later this year to snowboard, I will still be able to get my fix of Americana! I can simply jump in to iTunes, download the last episode of whatever show and be on my way. How far fetched is it to think that we have just seen the death nail to NetFlix? Can companies now do presentations and through an RSS feed send it to all clients with an iPod? Could this eliminate the company wide email from the top dog? Will you now get a video that you can play during your commute? Think about this! In conjunction with RSS you could globally update your company on strategy changes, benefits or any assortment of other important "memos."

So while sometimes I hate you Steve. Today you may have just opened the door for Gen X and Y to find a new way to revolutionize our work force and lives. Did I mention I have already ordered mine.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Columbus Day...Whatever!


So what is the deal with Columbus Day? Why do we even celebrate this day? I guess I just feel that it might be an insult to anyone who is of Native American descent. Every picture that you see has a figure moving in to his “new” land to invade. I am sure this sits well with part of our society. Honestly, do we celebrate any other movement that results in such a massacre?

So here is what I would like to put forth. Can we just celebrate Thanksgiving twice a year like most residents of Canada. See many Canadians celebrate both the Canadian Thanksgiving, and ours as well. Why can we not do that? I mean who really gets off Columbus Day? Bank and Government employees. God, don’t they get enough holidays already? Seriously every time I turn around these people have a day off. Maybe if they actually worked more than a couple of days a week they might get a little more done. Good thing our elected officials get those nice long summer breaks. I am sure they need that time to pull their thoughts together…

Or, create a money laundering scheme…cough, Tom DeLay?

So I say we just get rid of Columbus Day. It may not be the most PC holiday that we have. But, if you must at least combine it with another holiday where we could all get the time off.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

From Russia with love...

Below is a letter from my friend Stacy who currently is in Russia. Just think when you have it bad, you still have it better than this...

All,
A washed out and pale blue sky looks down on the Land of Oz today and the heat has moved everything to a slow crawl. I’ve been travelling around the mountains of the country a lot more lately conducting surveys on refugee tracks and have discovered what many of you may have known for ages, I am distinctly lacking in common sense.

Why exactly I thought that thick rubber wellies would be a good idea to use for scrambling up and down mountain sides with loose rock and shale I am not sure, but in the end, sliding a fun few meters into the mountain river below, their ability to keep me feet dry also failed as they filled in with the cool refreshing water.

Whilst I sat in the river, Esmet, who only has one arm, asked if I needed help up the mountain.

Later in the day we encountered a young man acting as some sort of sentry for a logging operation. If you’ve met someone wearing bed room slippers, his father’s too large trousers and carrying an AK-47, you will know that it is not polite to smile or laugh while he looks menacingly at you. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of meeting some like this, I recommend you remember not to smile.

The timber industry here makes about 140 dollars per cubic meter for some type of timber. In cost cutting efforts they jam as much wood into aging Soviet era GAZ trucks and then barrel on down the road with the engine out of gear and the doors propped open in case they need to dive out of the truck if things go bad. Esmet get’s nervous in the mountains when I put on my seat belt, fearing I won’t be able to jump.

Around six o’clock that evening we were in an abandoned power station trying to find a road. I realize how absurd that sentence may read, but it all makes perfect sense in context which I won’t get into here. Regardless, six o’clock also seems to be about the time our hero in the bed room slippers daily shoots into the abandoned power station to ensure he maintains his warrior like bearing. After three shots took some of the plaster off the ceiling and several yelled curses, our hero apologized and claimed he had no idea we were there.

This also allowed for Esmet to explain to me some of the beauty and intricacy of both the Abkhaz and Russian languages. He remarked that in America we really only had one adjective for strong language, and though it’s a versatile word he agrees, the Russians have roughly 100 ways of saying f**k, and the Abkhaz a few more. Kind of like how the Eskimos have something like a 100 words for snow, the above may be further indicative of Russian society, but I’m no expert.

We also saw the old burial site of St. John the Baptist, met a monk who invited me to join up because I looked the type, which is a nice change as in Angola, I had a customs officer tell me I looked the type of a drug dealer, bathed in holy and healing waters, visited the monkey reserve (separate from the monks), but sadly found no monkeys, and slept under the stars for two nights in a most idyllic setting.

The idyll was generally ruined if I took out my ear plugs by loud Russian pop music blaring from the cars speakers, but as long as I kept them in I started to give real thought to the possibility that perhaps the Garden of Eden was somewhere in Trans-Kavkaz.

Other than a ride across the ceasefire line on a horse cart and the continued Georgian / Abkhaz hospitality liver treatment, that’s all for now.

Remember, regardless of bed room slippers, if has an assault rifle, don’t smile.

Stacy