Explain This To Me

Ok, these images have been sitting on my phone camera for some time now. I was irritated as I walked through the construction last month, but I guess not enough to do anything about it. At any rate, they've been mucking with the intersection at Hanover Parkway and Greenbelt Road.

Keep in mind that cars fly along Greenbelt Road. Here is a quick diagram of the intersection:

They're moving the crosswalk from a location that was pretty much parallel to Greenbelt Road to a point somewhere in the middle of the turning lane arc. The green represents the old crossing and the red represents the new one. I have a problem with this placement.

In Maryland, cars are supposed to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalks. They don't always do it, but most of them you can force to stop if they see you in the crosswalk far enough down the road. In the old placement, you could see a little bit down Greenbelt Road:

In the new placement, there's no hope:

Whether or not I can get a car to stop for the crosswalk, I can't get a good look at what cars are even coming. And now, the cars won't know I'm there. This turning curve isn't very tight, so people are slowing down only slightly to get around the corner. There really isn't any way I can see in which this new placement is safer.

So why did they do it?

Never Thought I'd Recommend Going Back to Stallone

Death Race A "remake" of Death Race 2000: for the promise of freedom, prisoners participate in a televised auto race with weapons and armor.
Theater Location: Hoyts West Nursery (Linthicum)
Noise Level: Loud, as might be expected at a movie like this. Also cold.
The Skinny: Not really sure of the point in remaking this movie without the extra points for running over pedestrians. The original was better camp, Running Man was a better "serious" take on the same subject.

Another note: This Hoyts theater has free wireless internet. There are a lot of places that I wish had wireless, but I've never wished to have it in a movie theater. I guess I could have live blogged the movie on my Touch. Dang, why didn't I think of that last night?

Alphabetical Diversity Test

Ok. So that last thing was gross. To get it off the top of the blog, I'm going to do a meme. Memes are fun. There's no 'I' in meme! Meme people rule! Meme and You and a Dog Named Boo!

Uh. Anyway, I get all my iPod related memes from The Greenbelt. Do this to see if your musical collection is diverse enough:

Organize your music file alphabetically by artist then track, and name the first song that's at the top of the list for every letter (or number) by artist and song name.

Artists

  • A: Alanis Morissette (I only have the one song (Uninvited) from a soundtrack, really. Just one song...)
  • B: Basil Rathbone/The Black Keys (Basil is reading some short stories from Poe. The first song is by The Black Keys, also from a soundtrack)
  • C: Calexico & Charlotte Gainsbourg (Hmm. From Soundtrack 2.)
  • D: Dan Russell
  • E: Eddie Vedder & The Million Dollar Bashers (Soundtrack 2)
  • F: Fairfield Four (Soundtrack 3)
  • G: Gabriel Yared (Soundtrack 1)
  • H: Harry McClintock (Soundtrack 3)
  • I: ilyAIMY (So far, this is the only artist I actually realized was on my iPod.)
  • J: Jack Johnson (Wow, my county exec has a song? Oh, this is from Soundtrack 2)
  • K: Karen O & The Million Dollar Bashers (Soundtrack 2)
  • L: Lifehouse (TV Soundtrack)
  • M: Marcus Carl Franklin (Soundtrack 2)
  • N: Natalie Merchant
  • O: Ozzy Osbourne and Miss Piggy
  • P: Paula Cole (Soundtrack 1)
  • Q: NONE
  • R: Ralph Stanley (Soundtrack 3)
  • S: Sarah McLachlan (Soundtrack 1)
  • T: They Might Be Giants
  • U: U2 (Soundtrack 1)
  • V: Vector (I didn't count "various artists")
  • W: Weezer (Same TV soundtrack)
  • X: NONE
  • Y: Yo La Tengo (Soundtrack 2)
  • Z: NONE
  • #: 10,000 Maniacs

I think it's pretty amazing that out of 666 songs, the list of first in the alphabets is so weighted to three movie soundtracks and a TV soundtrack. Can you guess what they are?

Tracks

  • A: Absalom, Absalom - Pierce Pettis
  • B: Baby Can I Hold You - Tracy Chapman
  • C: A Campfire Song - 10,000 Maniacs
  • D: Damaged Goods - Fastball
  • E: Eleanor, It's Raining Now - Lost Dogs (skipped Poe's Eldorado)
  • F: Fallen Star - Vector
  • G: G.O.D. (Good Old Days) - Fastball
  • H: Half a Dance - Gregg Cagno
  • I: I'll Fly Away - Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch
  • J: James K. Polk - TMBG
  • K: Kalhoun - Daniel Amos
  • L: Land of Canaan - Indigo Girls
  • M: M1 A1 - Gorillaz
  • N: Namaste - Tom Prasada Rao (Not sure this counts as a song. Next is Natchez Trace - Pierce Pettis)
  • O: O Death - Ralph Stanley
  • P: The Painted Desert - 10,000 Maniacs
  • Q: NONE
  • R: Rain - Jan Krist
  • S: Sacrifice - Elton John
  • T: Take Another Road - Jimmy Buffet
  • U: Uneasy Lies the Head of the Confidence Man - Daniel Amos
  • V: Valeri - ilyAIMY
  • W: Walking Man - James Taylor
  • X: NONE
  • Y: Yah Moh B There - Tom Prasada Rao
  • Z: Zoom Daddy - Swirling Eddies
  • #: 19-2000 - Gorillaz

Not bad coverage over all, I'd say. I need some help with Q, X and Z for the bands, and Q and X for the songs. Any suggestions other than Queen?

My Cup Runneth Over

I love xkcd. It hovers in that little land of geekitude and moodiness that makes me feel good.

However, sometimes I realize that I'm just a little out of it because one of these pops up that I just don't get. It makes me so mad. Dang it. Explain this one to me internets!

Another Big East

First ride after coming back from a week of flatness in Delaware and a week of walking in NYC. The hills are still here, but I did exactly the same time as before the break.

They've put the digital speed sign over on Hanover Parkway near the south circle. I got it to register 21, which is a surprise. Maybe the thing is miscalibrated.
10.6/0:55

Salt of the Earth

Some of you may be under the impression that it would be silly to have the ingredients printed on the label of a box of salt. You won't understand why I'm irritated that this bit of David's Kosher Salt does not list its ingredients. Well, you people aren't trying to make pickles. Some Kosher and most table (gentile?) salt is not pure salt. It also has an anti-caking agent. For the pickles, I need to have some salt without the anti-caking agent. I was never able to find specialty pickling salt for the first batch, but I did find some pure salt Kosher salt up at the Weiss Market in Laurel. Since I'm in town for the week, I thought I'd make a second batch of pickles with cucumbers I picked up at the farmers market today, but I don't have enough salt. I ran down to the co-op and they had Morton's Kosher salt (with anti-caking agent listed right on the label) and this David's stuff.

Well, I didn't want to drive all over, because we were also scheduled to go up to the Maryland State Fair, so I went with the David's. The cucumbers are sitting in the brine right now. I'm assuming that if there was anything but salt in there, David's would have to list ingredients.

We'll see.

Now, I have to think up the flavorings for this next batch. I wonder what a chocolate pickle would be like...

A Little Late to Start Spreading the News...

Not much blogging here this week because I've been spending my time with a new customer. The customer is located here:

 

I'm in New York City and working on Times Square, which doesn't mean the same thing it might have in the olden days. At any rate, it's a madhouse in this city, gobs of people running everywhere. This startup week has kept me more busy than usual, but that should settle down. I'm back in the DC area for the next week, any way.

Lots to complain about. Not the least of which is: it's dang hot! I'll have to get one of these:

  

Most of the delis seem to have skipped that whole air conditioning thing. Maybe they're worried about the global climate change problem.

Other complaints:

  • My hotel room is right across the street from a firehouse and a police precinct station. Joy.
  • Don't touch the mini-bar! Just jiggling it seems to tell its sensors that I took liquor out of the thing and it gets put on the bill. There's no other refrigerator, but don't put anything in there or it will think you bought something.
  • What's the deal with paying for internet in the hotel? Geez. If I go to a Hampton Inn (a Hilton brand), I get free internet. Here at the more expensive DoubleTree (also a Hilton brand), it's $13.95 a day, unless you want to be able to VPN into the office, in which case it's $14.95. It seems like the more you pay for a room, the more services you should get. Ridiculous.

On the brighter side, I did finally find a self-service laundry mat here in Manhattan. Almost everywhere you go, the places are dry cleaners or drop-off your laundry type places, even ones marked self-service in the phone book. But there's a little one near the 59th Street Bridge. $4.00 per wash, but I could steal internet from someone in the area.

Also, I got a chance to visit the store with 18 miles of books. Heaven:

 

Old News

So, Google Mail has these little sponsored links that change frequently at the top of the email summary. This morning (which is 19 August 2008), the sponsored link looked like this:

Obama Hits Clintons on Democratic 'Dream Ticket'

That bit about the Dream Ticket was interesting considering it's so late in the season. So I followed the link and read:

"With all due respect: I have won twice as many states as Senator Clinton; I have won more of the popular vote than Senator Clinton; I have more delegates than Senator Clinton," Obama said. "So I don't know how someone in 2nd place is offering the vice presidency to the person in first place."

I think to myself, What the Heck? Is Clinton whining again? I thought this was over!

Well, it is. The article linked is from 10 March. This was back in the heat of the primaries. What is the deal Google and ABC? Why are you giving me links to old news that makes me grumpy? Is this some insidious plan by the MSM and the vast right-wing conspiracy to remind us that the Democrats are not united?

Validation

Finally, validation that my hearing "dope" for soda after moving South was not just in my head.

Sign Here

Hancock Live action superhero movie, not adapted from a comic book (I think).
Theater Location: Majestic 20 (Silver Spring)
Noise Level: Good. The kid in the next row kept kicking the chairs, though.
The Skinny: Drunk superhero gets a PR man. Usual believability problems, but I liked the story and Smith's grumpiness.

404 Not Found

There are all these people on the internet complaining about how they can't find 404. Well, this week, I found it. It's on the Delmarva Peninsula.

In Maryland, you can find it by going along US 50. MD 404 starts at the Wye Oak State Park. You can follow it east all the way to Delaware. Delaware has its own 404 that starts right where the Maryland one ends. Delaware calls it the Seashore Highway, but the road doesn't make it to the ocean; it dies at Georgetown.

So tell all your friends on the internet to stop complaining. If it was a snake, it would have bitten you.

Mine Mine Mine

Last ink blot from the beach.



11.9/1:00

Actually, I'm a Cucumber

Well, the pickles I made were finally ready to eat. We popped open the jars and dug in. Sorry, neighbors, that we didn't wait until we got back in the neighborhood, but this was the four-week mark, I was impatient, and since I'll be out of town with MTV next week, we went ahead and did this with the family.

  • dill: I think the dill base was pretty good. I used the same dill base for all. Perhaps the only thing to change about the basic recipe is to try all disks instead of spears, to see if they're more crunchy.
  • cardamon/cinnamon stick: I was the only one to like this flavor. The basic recipe has some of both, but not so as you'd notice. This jar had an entire stick of cinnamon. I thought it was somewhat Indian-like.
  • cumin: This one tasted like taco pickle, which might or might not suit your fancy. Might want to cut down on the dill for that one.
  • jalapeƱo: These were the best of the non-dill ones. There wasn't any spice, but the pepper flavor came out very well. Might want to try a spicier pepper or leave the seeds in.
  • lemon: Pretty good. I think it could do with a little more lemon and a bit less dill.

Over all, I'm happy with the pickling results. Now, we have seven jars of pickles we have to eat!

A Delaware Ink Blot

What do you see?



10.2/0:55

And here's another in our ongoing series of curb signage:

My New Favorite Song

Code Monkey

Code Monkey get up get coffee
Code Monkey go to job
have boring meeting with boring manager Rob
Rob say Code Monkey very diligent
but his output stink
his code not functional or elegant
what do Code Monkey think
Code Monkey think maybe manager want to write goddamn login page himself
Code Monkey not say it out loud
Code Monkey not crazy just proud

Iron Chef - Delaware

The Brunette's family conducted its first annual Iron Chef challenge here in Delaware today. The rental place has a shared community center with a giant kitchen. I was one of the contestants. I wore black to intimidate the other contestants, but I had to take the shades off inside. (The heat was pretty bad in all that black; I don't recommend it.)

Gotta work on that posture thing. At any rate, even though the kitchen was huge, it only had one stove top. So one of the Brunette's brothers was in the big kitchen with me and the other cooked back in the condo. The three of us were told the secret ingredient at 4:15 pm and we had to deliver prepared food by 5:15 pm. It was a lot of fun.

The secret ingredient was: skirt steak (from the Greenbelt Farmers Market).

For my entry, I made three Cinderella carriages, two with acorn squash and one with a small pumpkin. I baked the carriages for nearly the whole hour (with honey, salt, and pepper). For part of the time, they also baked stuffed with skirt steak, radish, mushroom, and squash. The skirt steak for that was sauteed first with rosemary and cut into small squares. The same rosemary steak was placed between the wheels of the carriages, which were round slices of yellow and green squash baked together for ten or so minutes. Finally, each carriage had two deviled egg horses. The filling of the deviled eggs included horseradish, pickle relish, and bits of skirt steak fried in butter and pepper. I won on originality, but came in last overall.

The second place entry was skirt steak fajita bowls and skirt steak Stroganoff. (We only got a picture of the fajita bowl.)

The youngest brother won with three dishes. Skirt steak with a Bernaise, skirt steak and asparagus with a red wine sauce, and skirt steak quesadillas.

Now, I'm not going to say it's unfair that he had his wife and father on the judging panel. And it's no skin off my nose that he used to be a professional chef. Oh, no. I won't even bring it up.

The Delmar Part of Delmarva

I had this great idea. I thought I'd take a quick circle and see the Fenwick Island Lighthouse.

 

The lighthouse, by the way, is in a trailer park.

It should have been an easy ride, because it's so dang flat around here. But I didn't do a great job of estimating the distance and the wind was a big factor. Also, there were these bike lanes that ended suddenly without warning.

But, in the end, I made it safely to Maryland and back in 2 1/4 hours.

This is the marker on the horizontal line between Delaware and Maryland, which sits on the sidewalk in front of the lighthouse. The lighthouse is in Delaware. I was in Maryland when I photographed it.

22.6/2:15

Hard to Ride on Sand

...Even with a cyclo-cross.

Luckily, there are roads here.

I thought that the utter flatness of the landscape would be nice for riding; however, although there are no hills to climb, there are also no opportunities to coast. An hour of biking is an hour of pedaling. Still, this week will bring up my average speed a little.

12.45/1:00

Call for a Slow Code Manifesto

Hey, those of you who work in the software industry: Are you enjoying your job? As Damon Poole might put it, can you still feel the magic? Or have the grinding gears of mundanity and over-attention to consistency sapped the flavor from your passion?

Gosh, I still remember the first time I wrote a program. My high school had one Apple II. (That's as much an indication of where I went to high school as it is how old I might be.) The Apple didn't have much glamor -- green-on-green screen, no mouse. I made a little drawing program, sort of an Etch-a-Sketch with arrow keys. I didn't have something I wanted to draw; I just liked the idea of making it so someone else could draw. I guess I've always been excited about making tools for others to create with. I was proud to turn it over to the other kids to play with.

They drew a penis.

Still, it was cool. I did it and I was the one who understood how it all worked. I still feel that way when I get ClearQuest to play tic-tac-toe or make a Planning Poker game plugin for Confluence wikis. But most of the time, my job isn't like that. It's about meetings or arguments or just getting something done whether it's right or not. I hate that part.

In the '80s, a group of people started noticing that the desire to just get things done was getting in the way of the enjoyment of doing those things. This led to stress and to a general feeling of blandness. To counteract this in the culinary world, they started the Slow Food Movement, which is dedicated to reconnecting eaters with the process of growing and preparing the food they consume. It's all about connecting to the land and to the people around them.

It's time for the same thing in software, I think, so I'm calling for a Slow Code Manifesto. It needs to declare a commitment to connecting with the teams we work on and with the users we work with, a passion for understanding the pathways of decisions to their consequences, a holistic view of process and product that is integrated with daily construction activity.

I believe that we will find that, like with Slow Food and other Slow Movements, we will actually gain time and provide better products in the end. Help me write this manifesto.

Another Blog Idea

You could create a blog based on anti-dog-fouling signs across the world. Here's one to start you off:

How Not to Resolve Conflict:

I didn't get to see what caused this confrontation, but the guy was refusing to let her pass and shouting out that he wanted an apology. She responded with constant honking. She backed up onto the sidewalk trying to get away from him.

The mood of passers-by seemed to be in the guy's favor, mostly because the honking was so irritating. But I think he lost this support when he finally rode off, ran a red light, turned down the next road to ride down the wrong side of the street and forced pedestrians to jump out of his way on the crosswalk.

Let Your Love Cover Me...

...Like a pair of angel wings. -- Pierce Pettis.

So, this morning I noticed a sort of shared leit motif in my iPod's choice of shuffled music. These songs were all played during last night's or this morning's commute (as was that Pierce Pettis song, referenced above):

  • If God Will Send His Angels - U2
  • Angel - Sarah McLachlan
  • City of Angels - 10,000 Maniacs
  • Angels Tuck You In - Daniel Amos
  • She's an Angel - They Might Be Giants

What are the odds of so many angel songs lining up like that? I mean, I don't know how many angel songs I have all together, but I can see how many songs are on the iPod. Let's check. Oh, look at that.

There are 666 songs.

I'm going back to bed. I'll get out when my iPod picks Delaney's Donkey or Margaritaville or something. What do you think would be a good antidote song?



The picture above is dated 1915 and is available on the Shorpy website.

The Tower Treasure (Franklin W. Dixon)

I haven't really been up to visit my great aunt and uncle at the Republican Retirement Ranch (with its new "Liberal Annex for the Ladies") in a wee while. I don't generally feel guilty about neglecting these aging relatives -- not only are they figments of my imagination, the senior living community provides plenty of exciting activities to help them while away the hours without the help of a bookish nephew. Neither Great Aunt Iva nor her brother seem all that interested in reading. Iva tends to social justice and charity and Leadbelly likes recounting stories from The War (whichever one he decides he fought this week).

So you'll understand my surprise to find Great Aunt and Great Uncle facing each other alone at Great Uncle Leadbelly's dining table. They are not enjoying the social opportunities of a game of Rack-o with friends or a class of Tai Chi in the "Instructive Incubator." Instead, they are leaning across the table, each grasping the side of a small brown object. Great Uncle Leadbelly wears a red-faced grimace, his teeth are clenched, and his two or three remaining hairs are sticking up at odd angles. Great Aunt Iva just looks determined.

"Wouldn't you rather be playing Canasta or someting?" I ask.

I suppose that neither of them had heard me enter the room, because they are startled by my voice. They lose their grip at the same time, hands slipping off the object. It falls to the table while the Great Siblings tumble backward away from the table to the floor. Luckily, these places are designed to minimize sharp edges, so neither is hurt in any place other than their pride.

While they struggle to regain footing -- I'm afraid that Great Uncle Leadbelly has been working to remove sharp edges of his own -- I walk over to the table to pick up the object. I am further surprised to discover that it is a book.

"Where'd you get one of these?" I ask.

"Don't be a smart aleck," Great Aunt Iva says. She has taken a seat at the sofa. Great Uncle Leadbelly totters over to the Barcalounger. The Barcalounger is upholstered in a special cloth -- it is covered with small representations of all the Republican US Presidents between Lincoln and Reagan. Or it is supposed to be. I can never find Ford. I expect he's hiding behind a button.

"The book is mine," they both say after catching a breath.

"I distinctly remember buying that book with money I earned on my paper route," Great Uncle Leadbelly says.

"You never had a paper route," Iva counters. "You just beat up the kid who did."

"Still," he replies. "I always thought of that route as mine."

"Uncle Zachariah gave me that book for a birthday present," Iva says. "Uncle Z was always a little weird," she points out to me. "Why he gave books to little girls is beyond me."

"Reading opens up a world of --" I begin.

"What year was that birthday?" Leadbelly says suddenly, but Great Aunt Iva won't be pulled into a discussion of years. It's a risky tack for Leadbelly to take, because she's likely to bring up the touchy question of identifying "his" war. They sit starting at each other. I look down at the aging hardback.

"It's a mystery," I say.

"There's no mystery," Leadbelly says. "It's mine."

"No. I meant the book. It's a Hardy Boys mystery." In fact, the book is the first in the series, The Tower Treasure. I look at the cover page, which has a notice about paper usage during war time. "I'm kinda surprised that you're fighting over this, actually. I've read it. I don't know what the corporate entity that is FW Dixon had against farmers, but he's pretty mean to them. Do you really want to read this?"

"We don't want it for reading," Great Aunt Iva says quietly.

"Hush, woman," says Great Uncle Leadbelly. Oh, Great Uncle, that never works.

"He wants to burn it," Great Aunt Iva says, seizing a straw and pointing it at Leadbelly. "His little gang thinks it's a pro-terrorism book and they're going to make a bonfire. He can't show up empty-handed, either, or they'll think he's soft. They'll stop asking about his great battles."

"I thought you believed that terrorism was a smokescreen to make us forget about Communists?" I say to Leadbelly.

"Yeah, well, this book does the same thing, encouraging folks to point to terrorism to distract 'em. Those boys stage a bombing to distract the proper authorities from their duties. Liberal trash."

"That's a leap, Great Uncle, from terrorism to Liberal," I say. To Great Aunt Iva, I say, "And you're trying to save the book."

Great Uncle Leadbelly snorts. My imaginary great aunt looks at her feet. "Her coffee klatch wants to do its own bookburning," Leadbelly says. Great Aunt Iva is suddenly interested in the bird feeder out the back window. The feeder can be only dimly seen through the pouring rain.

"I'm not sure how much luck either of you are going to have starting a fire in this weather," I say. "Great Aunt Iva, what do you object to about this book?"

"I'm ashamed of the way women act in this book," she says. "Getting all upset because a little jam jar gets broken! Mooning about over some reticent boy! That mother! Two teenage boys who can ride motorcylces all over creation can darn well make their own lunch without Mommy's little catering company."

I stand for a moment trying to figure out what to do. I can't very well let them burn this book, no matter how atrocious I find the writing. Finally, I remember the imaginary laundry bag at my side.

"Great Aunt Iva," I say as I plop the bag up onto the table, "I had brought this laundry for you to do since I know how much you like some good women's work. The thing is --"

I am interrupted by Great Aunt Iva hopping behind the couch.

"The thing is," I turn to Great Uncle Leadbelly, "I left it alone outside and now it seems to be covered in a white powder. You know, I think it's ticking, too. Should I be worried?"

But now Great Uncle Leadbelly is hiding behind his Barcalounger, so I am free to leaf through the pages as I leave the apartment. I only have time to toss off a lame reference to The Bobbsey Twins to my cowering relatives as I wander away.

Soul Searching

A few days ago, I ranted a bit about the police mishandling a raid on the home of the mayor of Berwyn Heights. Since then, other atrocities of the world continue to mount. For example, there is this story about a man beaten to death when he played Good Samaritan. Not to mention that the war goes on, the economy is in the tank, and our own State Delegate had his tires stolen.

As I've been thinking through these wonderful events, I was kinda wondering why I didn't vent some anger about the Beltsville event. I used to live in Beltsville, so I'm familiar with the neighborhood where this happened. So, it can't completely be that I'm disconnected from the area or anything.

And it's also not because I promised just a little while ago not to rant again real soon.

Let me say from the start that I am upset and outraged by the killing. However, I didn't have the energy to comment on it because a) I am directly responsible for the behaviour of the police in my county -- I pay taxes, I elect their leaders -- but the criminals are not in my remit, and b) because we grant power to the police to do stuff that we don't grant to other people and we expect a certain level of respect and restraint in the use of that power -- I guess expectations are at the heart of it: I expect criminals to do bad things; I expect the police to do good things. That doesn't mean I don't want criminals punished. There are people who are doing their best to track down the criminals. But the leadership in this county doesn't seem to be interested in stopping the behaviour exhibited recently by our employees.

What point is there in saying, Bad criminal, baaad?

So, anyway, that's why I ranted about one thing and not the other.

I think.

On the Other Hand...

...the plague has finally reached London, but the fire is still a bit in the future on the world's oldest blog.

OK, No More Ranting fo r a While. Promise.

In my earlier rant about the actions of my county's police, I wondered how our county could be so messed up. Folks, it starts at the top:

--(The story on Barry and the auto claim included a delightful parenthetical, a shocker of a passage about how Barry and his fellow board members are not paid for their service--except for the member who represents Prince George's County, one Marcel Solomon, who gets a whopping $73,000 a year from the county for attending Metro board meetings and other work. Solomon, it turns out, is a longtime friend of County Executive Jack Johnson who formerly served as Johnson's personal attorney. As The Post's Cheryl Thompson and Ovetta Wiggins reported in 2006, "even before Johnson was sworn in as county executive, Solomon received a three-month, $40,000 county contract to help with the Johnson transition into office." One day after that contract ended in 2003, Solomon got the first of several more contracts totaling $331,250 to serve as Johnson's man on the Metro board.)

Odd, considering that PG has the worst bus service of the jurisdictions surrounding DC. If we're the only ones paying for representation on Metro, shouldn't we be getting better service?

Artemesia and Mom

A rare ride to the west gives us a new ink blot! This is a nice ride, in spite of the construction of the bridge in Branchville. I'm not a big fan of the Trolley Trail in College Park because of all the road crossings -- lots of stop signs -- but it's not so bad on a Sunday morning.

11/0:59

Artemesia is a lake in College Park. MOM is an organic market (My Organic Market) in Hollywood (North College Park).

Two for One

Reviews, anyway. Friday and Saturday at the movies:

The Dark Knight Live action comic book adaptation, six gazillionth in a series.
Theater Location: Beltway Plaza (Greenbelt)
Noise Level: Fair. Very participatory crowd.
The Skinny: I didn't think anybody could have beat Nicholson's Joker, but this was a whole 'nother kinda Joker. Pretty good, but too long.

Brideshead Revisited Novel adaptation (or remake of a TV mini-series?)
Theater Location: Landmark Bethesda Row
Noise Level: Good.
The Skinny: Haven't read the book or seen the mini-series, but the movie seemed to rush through all the plot points. Other than that, it was a lovely film. I suspect Evelyn Waugh had some bad times in church as a child. It has Emma Thompson. What else needs to be said?