sights of Washington D.C.

man on rearing horse, cannons, nuclear weapons protester, White House, big phallic symbol

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lovely entryway

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flopped lions
these sprawled guys are a bit more like the real lions I saw in Africa than the usual doorway fare…

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Dedicated To Art
?Renwick Gallery? Can't remember where this was…

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The DAR would not approve

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my reflection among the names of the dead
Vietnam War Memorial

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"Dad" says the card beside a small box
Vietnam War Memorial

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Vietnam War Memorial
Ah, pity this washed out. It was a note to friend listed on the wall, recalling good times together – "that deer hunt in 1964" – and saying "I miss you."

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Reflecting Pool

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Lincoln Memorial

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Freedom is not free.
Korean War Memorial

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cherry buds, tidal basin, Jefferson Memorial

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Washington, D.C., tidal basin, Washington Monument, cherry buds

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the tidal basin & the Jefferson Memorial and one enthusiastic cherry tree

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FDR Memorial 

Men and nature must work hand in hand. The throwing out of balance of the resources of nature throws out of balance also the lives of men.

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No country, however rich, can afford the waste of its human resources. Demoralization caused by vast unemployment is our greatest extravagance. Morally it is the greatest menace to our social order.

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I propose to create a civilian conservation corps to be used in simple work. More important, however, than the material gains will be the moral and spiritual value of such work.

To the right of this fine idea a group of park rangers, black & white, cleancut & long-haired, were working to clean the fountain and laughing and talking together as they did so. Good work.

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Roosevelt's support for the arts, expressed at his memorial

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We must scrupulously guard the civil rights and civil liberties of all citizens, whatever their background. We must remember that any oppression, any injustice, any hatred, is a wedge designed to attack our civilization.

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I HAVE SEEN WAR
I have seen war on land and sea. I have seen blood running from the wounded. I have seen the dead in the mud. I have seen cities destroyed. I have seen children starving. I have seen the agony of mothers and wives.
I HATE WAR.

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The structure of world peace cannot be the work of one man or one party or one nation. It must be a peace which rests on the cooperative effort of the whole world.

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That's a cute little statue of Eleanor Roosevelt, first U.S. delegate to the United Nations, on the right.

 

Freedom of Speech

Freedom of Worship

Freedom from Want

Freedom from Fear

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Jefferson Memorial, cherry buds

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tidal basin, Washington, D.C. 

I really liked this tree.

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Washington Monument from the mysterious little bridge on Ohio Drive near the Jefferson Memorial

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Strange little laughing guy on the mysterious bridge on Ohio Drive near the Jefferson Memorial
I asked a park patrol guy and googled, but can't find the story. Anyone know?

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Jefferson Memorial

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Tasty wine with dinner: MacMurray Pinot Noir 2003
Yes, that MacMurray. Fred MacMurray's ranch, apparently.

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A little work, a little early isn’t necessarily a bad thing

[originally posted to metagrrrl.livejournal.com]

 

I was thinking "Well, this is it. Back to work tomorrow. Ugh. And there'll be a ton of email…" and starting to stress about what a rough day it would be. Then I realized it was stupid. If my brain was going to spend time stressing over work, I might as well be doing it.

So I switched over to my work account, opened the VPN connection, and downloaded that email.

293 messages

165 went to my probable spam folder, and only 3 or 4 were not really spam.

62 went to my inbox (not just to some list I'm on).

Of those,
52 were notifications requiring no action
2 were cc's requiring no action
1 were undetected spam
2 were things I was copied on but which don't concern me

1 was something that I needed to read in detail, but not act on
3 required a less than 2 minute action

Reading through the mail for my lists took about 10 or 15 minutes tops.

That leaves 1 email that I will need to deal with in the office tomorrow, but its one that will take less than 5 minutes.

So, it's only 7:30pm and now I know there's nothing alarming waiting for me and I can right down to the work on the top of my list.

Hooray for the sanity check!

Current Mood: confident
Current Music: Honky Tonk Angel's Medley – k.d. lang

Getting Things Done

I’m just getting into David Allen’s Getting Things Done again and finding this time that I’m really going to be able to implement it. I had adopted some of his approach philosophically on a prior reading, but now I’m ready to put the full process in place. The glory of the clear desk, empty inbox and focused mind await!

In addition to reading the book, I recommend reading Merlin Mann’s 43 Folders website (introduction to his take on GTD, all GTD posts) and Mac users should check out Ethan J. A. Schnoover’s Kinkless KGTD (introduction, endorsement from Merlin).

I’ll be writing more about Getting Things Done in the coming months, I know. I am already feeling the benefits at work.

So very busy.

I’ve been quiet here since I’ve been crazy busy at work. I come home wanting something amusing to escape to and so I’ve been surfing the web, chatting with friends and watching DVDs. Not a huge amount of creative output in the evenings since I’ve been doing so much writing during the days. Admittedly, it is less fun to write & proof read documentation than posts about wonderful weird things seen on the web, but at least my writing muscles are getting worked out.

Not so much my physical muscles. Mental exhaustion can fool me into indolence when what I really need is to move around. The diet I’m on also leaves me with a little less energy, I suspect. Overcoming that pull away from activity is difficult. Today, though, I’ll get a good bit of walking in. I have taken the day off to relax and see the geisha exhibit at the Asian Art Museum before it closes later this month.

Earlier this year I’d talked about taking a vacation, maybe up to visit my aunt & grandmother in Alaska, but then my company decided that one of the other product managers and I should put new versions of our products out twice a year instead of once and that made work fairly insane. I think we’ll get good at it – already it’s forcing us to be more efficient, but it is still a little crazy-making. On the bright side, I’m getting asked to present more at conferences, so that’s giving me a little travel.

I’ll be in Portland middle of next month and will get to take a 3-day weekend before the conference to play tourist. I’ll be staying at the Jupiter Hotel and doing a lot of walking around downtown, visiting museums and parks, and, of course, hanging out at Powell’s Books.

Now it’s time to be a tourist in my own city. Off to ride the trolley to the museum!

Better

Good long walk. Went back to Amnesia at 19th & Valencia which I remembered (har har) being a pleasant place and sure enough it was. Nice bartender Sean (or perhaps Shaun or Shawn, one never knows). I had a half pint of cider which was cheap and not too intense for a Monday night. Listened to Muchas Bluegracias for a while (Mondays are bluegrass night, and I hear that Wednesdays are Jazz). Caught the bus most of the way back and then worked up a sweat coming the rest of the way home.

It’s too darn hot. This does not bode well for summer at all. Time to hit the showers.

Long hard day, warm summerlike evening

Yesterday was mixed. Nice sleeping in. Nice omelette making. Nice visit with Grandma. Icky (rental car) driving. Yucky not making it back to San Francisco in time to return the car early and be done with it. Horrid accidentally scraping the paint on said rental car in the crowded Safeway parking lot by running the front fender across the rear fender of an occupied vehicle. Almost no damage to his car. Obvious paint damage to the rental. Home in a thoroughly desolate mood.

Morning. Up early to return car and fill out damage report. Scramble at work to complete more information for a big presentation to other departments about the next release. Too many phone calls and people stopping by my cube (Is the desire not to be disturbed some sort of attractant?)

Presentation went very smoothly. Stayed on time and covered everything I intended to. Only some people fell asleep a little bit. Pretty good for a 3 hour meeting. Left work early and was home by 6pm. Borderline too-hot – it would be a perfect summer day, but in April it makes me wonder how hot summer will get.

Now it’s night. I want to walk out and sit in some nice cafe or tea shop or bar and experience the city, but then I’d stay up too late and spend money I shouldn’t. Yeah. Fretful Dinah.

Oh, I just hate feeling like a Smiths song, or at least feeling like “How Soon Is Now?” This is dumb. I’m going for a walk. Maybe I’ll come back home feeling “Vicar in a Tutu”.

How to build a crappy evening

1) Don’t check personal email before leaving work and fail to see invite to gathering tonight of people you really really like until it’s half over.

2) Waffle for a while about paying for a cab when you might get there and find everyone was ready to leave.

3) When you do decide to go anyway, walk down your steep hill a few blocks and realize just as you get within hailing distance of empty cabs that your wallet is back at home.

4) Climb back up the hill and fail to reach any of your cool friends on their mobile phones to confirm that they’re still up for hanging out and having fun.

5) Mope in front of your computer.

6) Check email and get nothing but spam.

How to turn around a crappy evening:

1) Receive spam with subject “cancelled guignol”.

2) Chat with one of your bestest pals.

3) Eat Scharffenberger chocolate.

4) Listen to the soundtrack to Triplets of Belleville.

5) Let bestest pal connect you up with more of your pals in goofy new chat interface.

Slowing down

I have an idea in my mind of something I observed, something spinning, and it would reach a point where it hesitated and spun back in the opposite direction. It’s been that sort of day. I slowed, stopped, changed course.

I have surrounded myself with more quiet today than I generally have been of late. Usually I play music, often randomly, skipping what doesn’t suit my mood. Today I listened to the sound of the house and the world around the house drifting in. Tonight I was ready for music again, but I wanted to be wrapped in sound that enhanced the feeling of today: slow, but not sleepy; aware and undisturbed. I listened to Sheila Chandra and I wrote a short piece of erotica and then read ostensibly unerotic writing which nonetheless delighted me in the sensuality of its good form.

I am aware of my vacation which will be starting in a few days. It’s like seeing not just the coastline you’ve been sailing towards, but the actual beach where you’ll come up on the sand.

In the last 30 hours I have been the person I want to be, in the place I want to be, making choices which feel absolutely right. I am calm, centered, content.

Ask yourself:
What do I love? Who do I want to share my time with? When do I feel most myself? How can I pare what surrounds me down to just that which is right in this moment? Why am I doing anything that doesn’t bring me this?

You may find, like me, that you can be extraordinarily selfish, indulge yourself, without making any demands on anyone else. They may, in fact, think that you’ve given them something. [Afterthought: it could be that it only appears this way if what you wanted to indulge in was directing your energy outward. Perhaps they thought I gave them something because I did.]

Ah, there is one exception to that view of my time since my party started yesterday. This afternoon Judith kindly indulged my sudden, childlike, greedy desire for a small scarf made from a particular yarn we saw when visiting Imagi-knit. I bought her some new needles and promised either a pot of tea or a cocktail when it’s done. Seems like I’m getting a great deal, but perhaps she is showing me my own principle in action.

Contentment

I feel great this morning. Last night I had a party and got to hang out with my wonderful friends, nibbling chocolate, drinking wine, eating good food and having the best conversations. I was a smart cookie and remembered to drink enough water late in the evening and slept very well. A thoroughly satisfying evening mentally, physically and emotionally.

Now it’s midday on Sunday, I’ve slept in, enjoyed the sunshine and birdsong coming into my apartment, had another fantastic conversation, read interesting things (another post coming in a few minutes after I go have tea with Judith), and feel utterly relaxed and at peace.

My life is good.