Friday, September 30, 2011

Washington Monument Climbers

Yesterday I posted a few pictures of the architect/climbers hanging on the Washington Monument, trying to capture the damage done by the earthquake with their IPads. Today we drove by again on our way to Georgetown and they were a little lower down the side than yesterday. The full view really shows the height and scale of these "brave" souls.
Wonder what they'll find?

Paolo's in Georgetown

My husband needed to have his Apple phone checked for a glitch, and wanted to get in a walk as long as it was nice outside. Rather than go to Arlington (which he does not like) or Alexandria (which we love), we headed to Georgetown - a place we go to about every six months. It is always a pain in the neck to go to Georgetown because it is always busy with tourists and residents and students, but also there is never any parking. The metro does not go there, so you either pay an arm and a leg for parking, or hope for the best and find street parking somewhere in the residential area. We drove around at least 45 minutes until we came upon a place that was many blocks from our destination. So that would definitely meet the walking requirement. It was also just down the street from the Apple Store on Wisconsin Avenue We hoped we would still have time to take care of business after lunch. We have been to Paolo's once before- it is across the street from Martini's (Martin's), a place the Kennedy's frequented. (They say it is the spot that Jack asked Jackie to marry him.) Paolo's looked worn and old, and need I say that it wasn't very good either. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that we were completely disgusted by the time we drove around, finally parked, got seated, and the bright sunny day turned to clouds and wind. But the food wasn't any good either. We are really spoiled- and that's why we like Alexandria so much. But there isn't an Apple store there.
Everything looked stale

Along Wisconsin Avenue- a headache to drive

Never a place to park

We're almost there (from 10 blocks away)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Washington Monument

Since the earthquake a few weeks ago, there has been a lot of news about the damage sustained by the Washington Monument. At first, it sounded like there was only a "small" 6 foot crack at the top. But lately, there appears to be a lot more affected than was first thought. I can't imagine how it had to feel being on the very top with the swaying motion created by the earthquake. We were on the third floor in the office and it felt like the building was going to crash. I think the sight has been closed to visitors since the event. And this week, there are engineers/climbers hanging outside the monument to capture pictures of the destruction and compare them to older ones that were taken from a renovation that occurred several years ago. This is all being done usng IPads. There are a lot of people hanging around watching the "climbers" as they do their work. We happened to pass by the monument and saw all the action too. There are some jobs that I know I could not possibly do- but thank goodness there are others out there who will.



Pork Chop

Our son was working irregularly long hours all last week and was finally home at a reasonable time. He also enjoys cooking. When my husband brought our grandson back home after school, he was asked (by our son) if we would like to join them for dinner, or take home some pork chops that he was grilling. Because we thought it would be nice if they could finally have some time together, we opted for the carry out option. So my husband came back with 2 good sized pork chops on the white ceramic plate. So we did not have to think about what to make for dinner. Moments after my husband returned, the doorbell rang. There was our son bringing over the rest of the dinner... figs wrapped in bacon, brussel sprouts, and the best looking bread you'd ever want to eat! This would never happen in Milwaukee because we had no family members who lived anywhere near us (though we did have some spectacular neighbors.) There is something nice about having family members close by - especially the ones that cook!
Our son is an excellent cook/chef- takes after his Dad

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I had a Linkedin account when I first moved to DC from Milwaukee, but I really didn't bother with it. Then my cousin from Boston sent an invitation a couple weeks ago, and it got me thinking about all the people that I have known and worked with over the past 20-30 years. So I started searching for folks, and starting inviting folks, and started getting some really nice notes from a lot of them. What's great about living in DC is that it is not unusual for people to come this way for business or otherwise. And there is a chance I may get to see some of my friends and colleagues once again. So I'm glad I reconnected with so many of my professional friends, that may not quite fit the criteria for Facebook (whatever that is), and are definitely worth staying in touch with. And that includes a friend from Florida State that was a real surprise to hear from again, and a young man from France (the son of a friend of my husband) who stayed with us for a few weeks in Milwaukee over ten years ago. So now when I have a question that pops up at work, I can think about someone from my past that probably can answer it better than I ever could. I love technology, and I like this part of it the most.

A great way to stay in touch

Monday, September 26, 2011

Men in Black

I usually take a mid afternoon walk to get out of the office and away from my desk. I have a tendency to sit and stay in one place much too long. The Madison Building takes up a full city block and is one of the largest Federal buildings in the country. Walking around on eight floors equals about 1 and 1/2 miles. So, with walking to and from work, coming home for lunch, and walking the halls in the afternoon, I'd like to think that I get a reasonable amount of exercise in. You never know who you will run in to along the way. I did not recognize anyone in particular in this bunch, but was amazed at the fact that they all pretty much looked the same... all in dark suits. The casual uniform, particularly during the summer months, is khaki pants and a buttoned down collar blue shirt. Now that it is officially fall, the uniform has also changed to more "formal" wear. It just seems that wearing a jacket and tie is overkill. But I guess that is why the guy at the shoe shine place is doing so well.
All in black except for the lady in white

By the time I took this photo, several had turned the corner

Only to see them again on the other side

This is the elevator I took when I came here for my interview

Sunday, September 25, 2011

President Motorcade?

While we were waiting at a stop light on Independence Avenue right next to the Washington Monument, and a few blocks from the White House, a line of police on motorcyles passed by. We knew right away that someone of "importance" was being taken somewhere in a hurry. Close behind were about 3-4 black Cadillac Escalade SUV type vehicles, followed by a limo, and even more SUV's and police on motorcycles. Because the windows are darkened, it was impossible to tell who was actually in the limo. Obviously it is commonplace for this parade to occur. But we are not usually in the front row to watch it.
One of many more to come

Another one of many

Wonder who's inside?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

National Book Festival

This is the first year that it was neither raining nor hot as heck to walk to the Mall and stroll the Book Festival. This year it was located closer to the Washington Monument. There was no one in particular that we wanted to see or hear, so we just walked around and hoped for the best. I had heard that Julianne Moore had written a children's book... if my husband didn't tell me to take the picture, I would not have noticed her. I was actually looking at the person next to her, didn't recognize her, and didn't see the point of taking it. And every year we always see the Librarian - my boss. I also occasionally see him at work moving about. I got a good picture of Hoda Kotb's driver. It was very crowded this year- probably because it was very pleasant outside, and also because it is a free event. They ran out of the turquoise book bags by the time we got there. On the way home, we ran into our neighbor, who had just been to the festival too. It's like a small town within a big city- the best of both worlds.

Julianne Moore

Friday, September 23, 2011

National Book Festival

The posters have been circulating around the Library over the last several months, and the marketing campaign has been in full swing over the last 10 years. The National Book Festival started with Laura Bush, and has continued every year since. The Building Services group and a host of other folks are setting up all the equipment and tents today, as the event starts tomorrow on the National Mall. We have attended regularly since we moved here. I got some autographs from a few authors- I always liked David McCullough. Now I have even more interest in books, particularly children's books, and digital books at that. I got some good news today that something is about to happen (stay tuned!) The weather has never cooperated for the event, which is now a 2 day affair. It is either really, really hot or raining cats and dogs. As a Library employee, we have an opportunity to volunteer. And many of us take advantage of that. Tonight there is a big celebration dinner in the Jefferson Building for the authors and the sponsors, along with a lot of notable characters. Obviously that affair is by invitation only, so we never get to go. But every once in awhile we run into some of the folks wandering in the hallways, and that's what makes living here an interesting event just about every day.
A whimsical poster on display every year

Just to name a few- something for everyone

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Since the Trucking Company completed the renovation of the building across the street (that took five years), there are now more options for Congressional staff receptions and other events. It is not unusual to see the signs for these events posted in the Library. On my way home, signs are now routinely posted along the sidewalk for the "honorable" such and so. The sign I happened upon today was for Congressman Ribble. I had no idea who he was, and immediately looked him/her up and was surprised to find out that he is from Wisconsin- quite a coincidence. We lived in Wisconsin for thirty years. The odds of this reception being for the person from the state we had a connection to was curious at best. Wonder if he stopped off first by the shoe shine station in front of Bullfeathers- just down the street?
A very nice site for a reception

He's from Wisconsin

Across the street from our house-
the Library is 2 blocks away, and Bullfeathers is one

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Shoe Shine

There is a very lavish shoe shine stand in the Cannon House Office Building as you pass through the underground tunnel. I'm sure there is even a more lavish one on the Senate side. Since Congress came back to town a couple weeks ago, a young man has set up shop right outside of Bullfeathers. Since he's been there, and every time I pass by, there is typically a customer seated in the chair. I have no idea how this type of "business" works- is it like a lemonade stand where all proceeds are for the taking? We'll see how long he stays there as the weather begins to change. I've never seen anyone using the option at the fancy stand- maybe the price is significantly different. I just can't imagine needing this type of service in this day and age. Wearing a suit and a tie to work just seems so passe.
I wonder what Bullfeathers thinks of it?

This is the half way point and I'm back at work- just 2 blocks from home

Hawk 'N Dove Closing

We thought we better visit the Hawk 'N Dove before it closes at the end of the month. We wanted to feel the sticky tabletops and eat the worst kinds of fried foods one more time. There are no more menus available because they have been confiscated by all the old timers as souvenirs. We were handed xerox copy non-sticky replacements instead. We have visited here many times over the years, long before we moved here. And the place has been in existence long before that. I understand that the name has something to do with the Viet Nam War- to placate both sides of the isle, so to speak. It has been regularly filled with "staffers" and football fans. There was a special room set aside for Packers fans. I don't know what they are going to do this season. The place will be closed for renovation over the next several months. I'm not sure if the name will stay the same. We just hope it doesn't look like all the other "new" places around town. We kinda liked the sticky table tops. That's part of the charm.
Always a customer

The old Packers room

Chicken wings, presidents & bathrooms

The clock doesn't work

How can we live without Hawk N Dove?

A grand display

So long! Goodbye to the water damaged ceiling- a mainstay in this town