Welcome to my blog!

I used to blog here mostly using local photos about my neighborhood or Washington DC or other places I visited. But I took a break from the blog for a few months and then found myself posting about crafts and sewing projects I have done or are doing. More recently, my spare time is taken up with selling collectibles and things on Ebay as a seller called Mugsim7. Having a lot of fun with it so far! May your days be blessed with miracles, surprises and creativity too!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Chinese Dragon In the Neighborhood

Apparently the owner of the Chinese Dragon take-away food store on the corner of Rhode Island and First Street in our neighborhood got some money from the city government's facade improvement program (that is, from us taxpayers) to improve his store front. Previously, this was just block letters and there was not a little dragon logo over the store windows. I think the front wall was also repainted yellow and the windows have also been washed too so the whole effect is to make this place look a lot smarter. You would never know it but this food establishment was the scene of some drug related shootings back when we had a serious crack cocaine problem in the 'hood. I think someone was even killed right in front of this place, shot to death on the sidewalk. Back then, this corner was a thriving drug market, thanks to the Washington Post for putting the corner on a map of drug dealing locations they routinely printed (to help suburbanites find inner city drug markets).  Today, however, the neighboring store is a more up-market grocery and wine store than what used to be there -- a liquor store -- and the Chinese Dragon has also gotten fixed up.  I've never bought anything to eat from here as I don't "eat on the street" nor have I thought to go in and see what that's there but maybe I should try it.  Does a cleaned up facade mean the food might be more appealing? Some people think so as two people have given positive reviews of this Chinese Dragon here on Yelp.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Repainted or New Creche in the White House Grounds

Late on Christmas Day we took the bus downtown to the White House grounds to see the annual outdoor Christmas tree. It  was all lit up with blue and green and white and red lights, but it didn't change colors like in previous years. However, they did have set up all the little model trains that go around the Christmas Tree so that was fun to watch.  We also saw the annual Yule Log burning away throwing off sparks and embers at the crowds gathered round in the cold night air. We also were very pleased to see that this year they had replaced or repaired and painted the figurines for the creche display.  The last couple of years we'd seen this display the figurines had all looked a bit in need of repair or patching with some cracks and peeling paint.  So it was good to see the Mary and Joseph and Jesus and Wise Men figurines freshly painted or maybe even new, it was hard to tell. We're glad there is such a display on the White House grounds and there was quite a crowd around it. So,  have you seen Jesus lately?

Christmas Eve Cookies

The very pretty twin girls who live on our street came by on Christmas Eve day to give us a plate of delicious cookies they had made with their mother. They were accompanied by their dad and carried in a plate full of marvelous goodies --  English toffee crunch brownies, gingerbread spice cookies, sugary Christmas tree cookies and chocolate mint biscuits. They were the best cookies to have with either a cup of milk or a glass of white wine! I hadn't got around to making any sweets to nibble on throughout the Christmas holidays -- except for apple jelly and English plum pudding -- so it was wonderful to receive this gift. We've known these girls since they were three years old and now they are in college so it's wonderful to see what lovely young women they've turned out to be. Smart and pretty and know how to make cookies! Isn't that what girls should be! Thank God for girls who bring sweet gifts on Christmas Eve!

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Serious Crash on Route 7 East, Virginia

When I drove home from Leesburg, Virginia today about 5 pm traffic was tied up for about 45 minutes. I suspected an accident but hoped it was just back-up from all the construction going on around Tyson's Corner or maybe just heavier-than-usual Christmas shopping. But about 25 minutes into the 10 mile-an-hour crawl, I saw flashing blue lights and orange blinking lights up ahead and knew that some accident had occurred. By the time I got to the site of the accident they were cleaning it up. The car that had been impacted the most -- that is destroyed-- had been hoisted onto a tow truck. I think there had been ambulances and maybe a fire-truck or two. Apparently a lot of gasoline or oil had been spilled so there was a small crew pouring sand or gravel onto the liquid and then shoveling it up. I couldn't look too long but I was astounded and shocked by what little I was able to see as I drove past (and snapped this photo quickly!). Of course, right after, the road was totally clear and I was able to speed home, at normal speed, you can be sure.  What can the sight of the remains of an accident do for us but remind us at the very least to drive more carefully, more respectfully of each other and to pay closer attention.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Toilet on the Street

This is what the corner of our street looks like for the past eight weeks as the workmen have been replacing some gas pipes. A big bright blue plastic toilet is the first thing you see when you turn into the road.  Not the tree, not the nice stone wall but a big you-can't-miss-this white-roofed Jiffy John. And it's a very nice street corner, overlooked by a cemetery filled with crosses and dead bodies. Of course, the workmen have to have a facility, but did it have to be situated right on the corner? And did they have to litter all the sidewalk with orange safety cones and leave curling yellow pipes scattered about. I suppose I should stop griping about this as at least they have stopped drilling and excavating in the morning and no longer wake me up as I mentioned in my previous post called "get me out of the drilling and digging noises" where I grinched about the machinery, dirt and noise but this street work is just going on too long.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Mad About the Madonnas in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC

I can spend more than a few hours in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC searching out and staring at all the Madonna paintings and statues. Not only are they hundreds of years old and created by  very famous Renaissance artists, but you just know that millions of people have also gazed on them and thought about the contents. Their colors and textures are extraordinary and you can't help wondering what woman and child or person sat and posed for the artist so he or she could create these icons. Of course, not everyone knows the stories of Advent and the birth of Jesus but of the several billion Christians in the world, I would hope that a few of us can gaze on these visual treats and have it enhance our faith. For others, at the least they can appreciate the art's antiquity and value or perhaps catch a glimmer of what they mean. I am very glad that one is allowed to take photos inside the Gallery as I now have my own images of these priceless works to use in a blog like this or to insert inside an email or print out for myself or whatever.  With electronic text and images, there are miracles we can experience every day!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

No, Virginia, the Gingerbread House is Not on Fire!

This was not the winning gingerbread house in the workplace competition, although this is clearly "a winner" due to the number of lighted and fast-burning birthday candles stuck into the roof and grounds of this candy house and due to the speed with which our team whipped this together in about 30 minutes.  The icing glue stuff wouldn't stick very well so the roof pieces kept sliding off so I used (unlit) cake candles as prostheses to hold the roof up. And, knowing no other team used candles, I stuck about 8 candles on it and lit them up so that there was an extraordinary effect.  My team -- of the three teams that participated in this "holiday party" activity -- squeezed in the making of this gingerbread house in between teleconferences and other end-of-year tasks we had to execute so it's surprising we got so far. In fact we were so busy with our regular tasks, the team leader didn't get to even stick on one candy! But, between the green jelly sweets, the raspberry chewy candies and other bits and pieces of sugary doodads, it at least looked somewhat like a gingerbread house when we'd finished. The other teams started DAYS before and spent HOURS working on theirs in comparison. I'm not showing their final products as ours takes the cake, in my humble opinion!  I should mention that during the "holiday party" itself  I smelt plastic and sugar burning and quickly came out into the office lobby -- where all three team's gingerbread houses were displayed -- and discovered that the birthday candles were burning down and starting to light up their plastic holders and the gingerbread house itself!  SO, before there was a need to call the fire department, I quickly blew out all the candles, but only AFTER photographing it for posterity's sake with the miracle of my cell phone. Thank God for silliness, cell phones and sweets!   
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Friday, December 17, 2010

Winter's Here in DC!

Wreaths on 16th Street
Snow on K Street
Well, winter came upon us in Washington, D.C. this week with cold winds and even some wet and sloppy snow today. Although I had a big coat and hat and gloves and managed to stay warm, I didn't have boots on and sure enough stepped into a puddle of cold melting snow and got my shoes and feet all freezy and squishy. Perhaps someone was trying to cheer me up later when they said that it's not really winter until the 21st of December when it's the solstice. So, I looked that up and that's the longest night and shortest day. But when I thought about that it would seem that we would then be moving toward shorter nights and longer days the next day. And this would happen until we get all the way to summer on June 21st which is really when "winter"  starts, back there when I was moaning about the heat and blogging about the fountains here in DC and right after the longest day and shortest night we'd be heading back to winter again. But today it was definitely winter and I was glad to get home to my cozy, Christmas-light festooned house and to rest and think about Advent.  
Snow on 16th St

Franklin Square
14th Street
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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

DC Metrobus G8 Kept Me Waiting in the Cold Too Long!

Twenty-five minutes is too long to wait for a bus on a cold Monday morning! After waiting for about ten minutes in the freezing windy cold at 8:50 am on Rhode Island Avenue along came a bus!  However, it zoomed right past with the driver apparently unable to tell the standing passengers to "move back" so he could say he had no room for the six of us waiting.  So he didn't stop. You'd think another bus would come along within a few minutes? Nope. It was another fifteen minutes later before a bus arrived for us poor freezing passengers. And the driver had draped a jacket over the Coin/Smart Trip fare machine as apparently that wasn't working well either. Or were we given a free fare as we'd waited so long for the bus?  How can DC Metrobus keep on not running enough buses to pick up passengers on time IN THE MORNING?  It wasn't raining. It wasn't snowing. The traffic wasn't even heavy. It's not like this isn't a busy route as there's usually at least half a dozen passengers at this G8 stop every day and the bus fills up. And why the no-fare or broken fare machine?  On reflection, at least once a week I get on a bus and the fare machine is broken or not working or the driver just waves us past. How can WMATA make any money this way?  Just what is going on?
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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Gassy Pizza and Coffee at Emilio's

On the way to visiting my mother in Leesburg, VA recently, I discovered I had arrived a little early and decided to have lunch by myself at Emilio's in Lansdowne, a "village" development on the outskirts of Leesburg. Feeling like one of the Real Housewives -- who always seem to be eating out in brand new restaurants with trendy Italian or similar themes in brand new buildings -- I sat down and ordered a coffee and a pizza. It was a thin crust, the kind I like, and layered with thinly sliced zucchini, red bell pepper strips, some black olive slices and cheese. Not a tomato in sight! Well, it tasted fine except there was a faint odor of the cooking gas underneath the flavors, which is something I really don't like. But the service was very good and the waiter quite professional and friendly, so I didn't really have much to complain about except that gassy taste which is significant in my opinion. You really shouldn't be able to taste the cooking fuel unless it's hickory smoked or something. So, I found myself contrasting this restaurant with downtown DC restaurants. One, there really aren't pizza restaurants in downtown DC. There's a pizza van, but not a restaurant. Two, I was the only customer at 12 noon, although several others came in later to fill about 4 tables of the 20 tables they had. Everyone was white, or seemed to be anyway in this location although I think I did espy one Black person in a car driving by. A typical DC downtown daytime restaurant is usually very busy with most of the tables filled. Three, I parked my car in the street right outside the restaurant. That is highly unlikely in DC, to say the least, where just a couple of hours parking can cost $10 at least. Then, the other patrons were not what you see in DC restaurants at lunch time which are suited men and women, or otherwise dressed in office smart clothing, with a high proportion of "single" people it often seems. In Emilio's was a grouping of suburban ladies in baggy blue jeans and pants, loose tops and anorak coats, and none of whom seemed to have combed their hair or put on any makeup or jewelry that day. They were gaily ordering a pizza and salads and beers and just didn't look like DC lunchtime restaurant patrons. The other table was an older couple, a man and a woman, who seemed to be staring vacantly out the window in between eating their chicken salads. Not really lunchtime patrons in downtown DC either.I'm not sure where I'm going with this commentary other than to say I enjoy living in the city, which is much more bustling and diverse than are the far exurbs and where pizza either comes delivered to your door or you buy it off a truck. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Martini and Tomato Cheddar Soup and Dirty Menu & Place Mats at Finn & Porter downtown restaurant

had tomato cheddar cheese soup w/ tomato sandwich & hummu... on TwitpicWell, the food and service were pretty good and friendly but the dirty menu (splats of lettuce and some dried up sauce) and the place mats were stained with dried up old food somewhat detracted from what could have been a super lunch experience downtown. Well, it was Sunday and maybe they hadn't got to these chores?  Plus I had a very well mixed martini so I didn't complain too much other than to point out the menu problem to the nice and friendly waitress who took it away immediately saying "sorry." The tomato cheddar soup was hot and not too spicy, and the crispy pita bread and hummus was fresh enough so it's not the food that's the problem at the place, but the cleanliness. Oh, did I forget to say too that some of the knives in the place settings looked a bit grimy?. Fortunately, I didn't have to cut up anything but it certainly made me check the spoon before dipping it. I'm glad to give thanks for the means to eat out but really I do expect more hygienic practices.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Winter Leaves But Wisdom Stays

On my way to work the other day I looked up and saw that there were still some maple leaves on some of the trees on the street on the way to my bus stop. With the miracle of my cell phone camera I snapped this photo as I so loved the sun shining through the yellow leaves against the dark branches and blue sky. It's at these moments that I realize how much I have been influenced by a poem I learned as a child. Here it is:
Time to Stop and Stare
What is this life if full of care
We have no time to stand and stare?
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep, or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this, if full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare
--  William Henry Davies 1871 - 1940

I remember learning this at age 7 when we had to memorize some poem for some English literature study we did while being home schooled. Of course, that was back when my mind was blotting paper soaking up new things avidly, not like it is now when the Random Access Memory program occasionally fails due to the  Information Uptake plugin software being "overloaded."   Or at least, that's how it now feels when I have to learn some new text -- it's just too hard to do. But at the least, all the words I've taken in, have had an effect and have lead me to action.  So it's just as well I read the Bible then or I'd probably be a real mess by now.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Winter Beef and Fruit Soup

Today I got creative in the kitchen with some leftover and already cooked sweet potatoes, carrots, apricots, asparagus tips, cauliflower florets, and a cup of home made sweet apple sauce. Most of these were left over from Thanksgiving dinner and not really very large portions. So, I added a teaspoon of curry powder and a dash each of the brown spices (black pepper, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and cloves) and some soy sauce to color it for some extra flavors.  Then I pitched in some cut-up leftover sirloin tips and shredded beef slices. This stew was left to cook on the crock pot high setting for a couple of hours while de-hoarding the garage.  About two hours later we were ravenous and I served this Winter Stew with a little bread, and it was delishus!  Thank God for leftover vegetables, bits of beef and spices!

No Longer Eligible for A&E #Hoarders

Hoard for Removal
De-hoarded garage space
Today I went out to the garage to get the Christmas decorations but, inspired by A&E cable TV channel's program called Hoarders, I found myself clearing out a small hoard of papers, tools, coiled wired, old lamps, books, a chair, a table and a wheelchair. We bagged it all up and then put it out in the alley for a Bulk Trash Pickup which I signed up for online right away to avoid getting a Trash Ticket from the City Trash Ticket Lady.  I did relate to the people on the TV show a little as I found myself saying "I don't want to give this up" about a couple of the items such as my son's baby things or a school paper I'd written years ago. Mostly, however, I found myself saying "Why do I still have my ex-husband's rusted tools?" and "Why am I keeping this bag of nails?" After all, if I'd needed them or he wanted them back, in the twelve years we've been divorced, they would have been used! So feeling very pleased with meself, I then went in to photograph the cleared space. A sleepy little field mouse, looking very large and pregnant, was making her way out from the leftover rubble and dust, and I'm sorry to say, I picked up the baseball bat and whacked her dead. Well, it's not as if mice are an endangered species, now, is it? So with a little clean up -- which took about two hours -- I've gotten rid of some of my hoard. Now, I'm thinking about what else to tackle. Fortunately, I don't have an attic, but the basement and some of the closets could do with some serious garbage bag de-hoarding, so once I get some Hefties, maybe I'll tackle those. Purging is good! 

Get me out of the Drilling and Digging Noises

For the past ten weeks -- or even longer -- they (whoever they are) have been waking me up each morning drilling and digging on the street outside my house. Just when I want to roll over for another 5 minute snooze, the gouging, whirring, screeching, crunching, dragging sound of heavy machinery starts up propelling me to unGodly words and unladylike oaths and forcing me out from under the cozy covers and flannel sheets that cuddle us each night. Apparently, there's some gas pipes being replaced that is causing all the fuss. But it's been a noisy, long drawn process and it's still not over. The street has many large holes in it, covered with one inch thick sheets of metal bolted down and those orange traffic cones scattered about and one of those hideous blue portable toilets smack dab in the middle of the sidewalk for the workmen. All the earth digging has kicked up lots of dust so our cars are covered in dried up clay in addition to the autumn leaves that find their way into every crack of the car. I don't know where I'm going with the blog but it's your basic whine about a public works project and its noise and inconvenience. Don't get me started on the parking places lost to trucks and piles of earth and so-called tree protector fences that aren't protecting anything. Usually, our street in the fall is pretty with orange and yellow maple leaves and the last of the roses and marigolds. This year, it's been mud and dust and drilling and digging noises for weeks and no end in sight.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Telecommunications Titans and Those COAT People

I nearly fell over with surprise at an event this past Tuesday when Rep. Ed Markey of Massachusetts included me in a list of five people that he named and said we were "telecommunications titans." Interestingly, a co-worker snapped a shot of the live captioning behind him as he said it. So here it is, immortalized on the screen behind his head, at the celebratory event in the very grand Caucus Room of the U.S. House Cannon building. The five of us have been called several things along the way as we have lobbied for disability accessible technology policy over the last five years, but this one is the most interesting moniker! I consider it a great honor to have been called out like this in a public venue where there were almost 200 people, including a senator, the chairman of the FCC, several administration appointees and no end of other highly influential Washington DC people! At another event we were referred to as "the COAT People" as our coalition's acronym is COAT. That one made us all laugh, particularly as it was said in a very matter-of-fact tone by a private sector attorney -- that we all loved to work with -- at another public event. Our legislation was signed by the President in October. Learn more about COAT here.

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Google This, Kim Kolchiak!

Well, if Kim Kolchiak can sing a song called "Google Me," then I can certainly post a photo taken in Google's DC office when I was visiting once, using the miracle of my cell phone camera.  I sort of like the fun decor and bright colors and the plant, but you do have to sign in electronically at the nice young receptionist's desk on some great long form that no one really takes the time to read but is probably some sort of non-disclosure thing. There's candy to eat too as well if you like as well as a screen on the wall which gives an electronic picture of where all the Google searches in the world are taking place -- beams of light of higher and lower density coming up from a map of the earth. It really does reveal where or where there isn't electricity on the planet (e.g., there's not that many people googling from the middle of Africa).  Then it sometimes switches to another view, showing all the keywords that people are searching on all across the world in all the different languages. I'd be real surprised to see my name being searched, that's for sure! But I bet Kim Kolchiak gets searched a lot and I wonder if Google likes her new cute song?  Someone told me that the most common things googled for are religious things, like people use Google to search for all kinds of things in the Bible, or when they start looking for God.  Now that's awesome!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Cropping the Basil

Late this summer I planted some basil seeds that someone had given me from their garden and by the end of September I had a good yield. Here's a photo of these little plants that I just harvested before they flowered.  After washing them and brushing off any strange looking yard bits, I pulled the leaves off and put them on paper towels on a cooking sheet to dry them. To speed the process I put them in the oven after I had finished cooking dinner, and so they slowly dried out overnight.  I noticed the next evening -- when I went to cook dinner again in the oven -- that the leaves were not completely dry, so I put them back in the oven overnight for another drying session (that is, after the oven was turned off!).  By the third day they were nice and dry and I could crumble them into a sterilized dry jar. So now I have home grown basil to cook with.  I threw some of the leaves into a soup the other day and when we next make pizza you know I'm going to use these then! There's something very satisfying about growing your own stuff and eating it! Praise the Lord for warm ovens and green basil!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

No ancestor temples in Washington, DC, or are there?

Right in the middle of Seoul, Korea I visited what used to be the sacred shrine of a Chosun dynasty king from the fifteenth century who was buried in a tomb on the top of the hill. Standing next to his tomb are several stone figures of revered administrators as his dynasty was known for organizing the Korean culture and establishing stability in the kingdom. I don't think it likely that we would find such a memorial in Washington, DC to "administration" as it is our bent to make fun of federal employees and the federal government but maybe there is something here in terms of respect for God-given government which does in fact made our world safer and more stable.  I also visited the nearby Buddhist shrine where the the royal family would perform ritual services for their ancestors, such as this king. Of course, off in the background is modern-day Seoul, with residential apartment towers and office buildings scattered over the hillsides which once were agricultural lands owned by the king and the traditional administrative families, who lived in pavilions amid the plum trees, I was told. It looks very different today but this city of over 10 million people seems to be well-run and organized, and the people that these stone figures may commemorate may be proud of their reach into a bustling 21st century world.
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Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Leftovers

This morning on my way to catch the #G8 bus to work I looked down on the sidewalk and saw the remains of Halloween candy scattered about. Of course this was just the empty wrappers of Milk Duds and Snickers, and a candy carrying bag and not the chocolates or candy that the kids had gobbled up already. At first I was kind of annoyed that the neighborhood streets were littered with more than leaves and nuts and other seasonal debris until I realized that these wrappers were seasonal debris and paper wrappers are just leaves and nuts in different form. So then I thought how great it was that kids could freely walk about in our neighborhood and knock on the doors of strangers and ask for tricks and treats and only get treats. In fact I can easily recall when it was not safe for most of the neighborhood kids to go out on Halloween as the drug sellers and buyers were messing up the streets too much, leaving their litter of little crackie baggies and cigarette lighters and occasional needles and condoms. But that was over ten years ago and seems like ages ago. And so it's a good thing -- that children go out and do this.  I also felt sad that I wasn't at our house to give out candy this year as I had to go out of town unexpectedly. I rather enjoy putting on a witch hat and cloak and opening the door and seeing all the angels, princesses, Spidermen, Supermen, bumble bees and spooky characters that ask for candy each year. So this year we ended up giving all our candy to my neighbor to give away for us. Thank God for little kids knocking on strangers' doors and wearing strange costumes!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Rhubarb Crumble and Fish Cake Kind of Day in DC

Rhubarb cake
Cod fishcakes
Today was a Saturday where I puttered around and forgot about time altogether and that's a great space to be for cooking for me. So I made easy rhubarb crumble and fishcakes. I wish I could say it was rhubarb from my garden but we already ate all of that but I'd seen some fresh frozen organic rhubarb from Oregon on Peapod online groceries so I used a bag of that. I also used Bisquick for the cake or crumble part, adding sugar and milk and an egg and put a layer of that in the pan, added the rhubarb and then topped it with the remainder Bisquick mix. It only took 20 minutes to cook and was delicious.  The fish cakes were a solution to the leftover cod from yesterday. I ground them up into flakes in fat free milk in the blender and then added chopped tofu, parsley, some canola oil and breadcrumbs and then baked for about 35 minutes in a  medium oven (about 355F).  With mashed potatoes and lima beans the fishcakes were a delicious dinner. What food blessings we enjoy!
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

No Windmills or Canals in DC

Typical canal houses

View of windmill from canal

Bicycles on bridge
Last windmill in Amsterdam
While looking at my photos from our recent trip to Amsterdam, Holland, I realized how unique that city was compared to Washington, D.C. We had ridden around that city on giant cruiser boats on the canals and saw things like windmills out the window. No such things in DC, for sure! I learned that Amsterdam was also the most densely populated city in Europe, even though there's only about 750,000 people living in that city. However, the living spaces are all small, the streets are narrower and they mostly travel around on bikes and trams. The landlady of the basement studio apartment that we stayed in said that a whole family used to live in there and the nook in the corner was the parent's bedroom and the closet in the back wall was the children's bedroom! That and climbing up the ladder stairs to the street everyday must have made life quite different than what we experience in 21st century D.C. Thank God for the New World!
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Friday, October 22, 2010

Those Wacky Mobile Lounges at Dulles Airport

I thought they'd stopped using those wacky "mobile lounges" at Dulles airport a while ago but no, it turns out, they are still in operation. Coming back recently from Europe, we were herded into these diesel cars that lurch along the edges of the runways and take you from your plane to the terminal, or vice versa. And it was on this trip that I first heard the term "mobile lounges" used by the flight attendant when she announced how we'd get to the terminal. So that's what they are, I said to myself, "mobile lounges," who knew! From the two crazy chimneys to the square windows and high rise wheels, these have got to be the goofiest looking transport vehicles in use at any airport!
Watch YouTube video of a mobile lounge ride.
Watch YouTube video of mobile lounges on runway.
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Trams and Bikes Rule in Amsterdam

While there are cars in Amsterdam the 740,000 city residents pedal around on bikes or take trams to get around.but it seems like bikes dominate. You can't go down any street or alley or go over any canal bridge without practically tripping over a bike locked to a fence or pole. While you're avoiding these, at least a dozen bikes will whiz by you, the users pedalling madly over the cobblestones or transporting any type of good on a front or back bike rack, or on both ends. We saw more than a few parents with children perched on the handlebars and great loads of books and boxes and other material carried along on the back of the bike.  There is even a parking lot for about 9,000 bikes at the train station since commuters leave their bike at the station when they leave Amsterdam to work elsewhere. It turns out that at their destination they may have another bike that they use to go from the train station to the job. It was certainly eye opening to see so much day to day business carried on by bike. And it didn't look one bit like DC at all!
A European city bike, an example of a bicycle ...Image via Wikipedia

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