Saturday, January 10, 2009

Day 94/365 - Volunteerism

This was the scene at the Washington DC convention center where training of volunteers for the Presidential Inauguration was being conducted. At this point in time, I can neither confirm nor deny that I took part in said training or that I may be volunteering to help out in some teeny tiny way at the Inauguration.

There may possibly be more details to follow in about ten days. Or not.

(Taken with my Nikon D80)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Day 93/365 - Lunch at a Washington Landmark

Despite the fact that they've lived in the Washington, DC area for years, a couple of my coworkers had never eaten at Ben's Chili Bowl. This was a travesty that could not go uncorrected, so today a group of us enlightened these poor, misguided souls by ushering them over to U Street with us for lunch. I'd never been to Ben's for lunch before. Normally when I'm eating there it's because I'm grabbing dinner on my way to a show at the 9:30 Club. Boy does it get packed there at lunchtime.

We all ordered chili half-smokes and then split a few orders of cheese fries. Half-smokes are the only thing I've ever eaten at Ben's. One of these days I'll have to try some of their other fare. In case you're unfamiliar with DC gastronomy, a half-smoke is a small smoked sausage that you eat on a bun like a hot dog. It's a local delicacy and Ben's has the best.

When we got to Ben's we plunked our butts down at a table that we didn't realize had been reserved. The waitress let us keep it though and said they'd just shift the reserving party to another table and besides, they weren't due to arrive there for a half-hour yet and the odds were we'd be done and gone by then. In case you hadn't deduced it, the service is very fast at Ben's. Within minutes of placing your order you're trying not to dribble chili all over yourself as you slip into bliss.

We were just finishing up our lunch when we noticed a group of guys standing over along the wall waiting to be seated. Turns out they were the party who's table we'd bogarted and then someone pointed out that Steve Largent -- NFL Hall-of-Famer, former Seattle Seahawks receiver, former member of the House of Representatives, and current high-priced telecomm lobbyist -- was among them.

Take that, Steve Largent! We just intercepted a table intended for you!

(Taken with my Nikon Coolpix S200)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Day 92/365 - Put Me In Coach!

Tonight I went over to my friends Chris and Desiree's place to watch the OU-UF matchup in the BCS Championship Game. I wasn't that bothered about the game, really. Mostly I just went over to hang out and support my friends. They both went to UF and are huuuuuge Gators fans.

They did their part to bring good luck to their team by putting on their Gators gear and decking out Chewie, their miniature Australian shepherd, in a UF shirt and bandana. It must have worked because the Gators wound up beating the Sooners 24-14.

I think Chewie really wanted to be subbed into the game at running back.

(Taken with my Nikon D80)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Day 91/365 - Delayed Gratification

Today the Christmas presents my sister ordered for me from my Amazon wish list arrived! This year's bundle of boodle consists of a 221B Baker Street mystery board game, a Tarzan movie boxed set (Tarzan the Ape Man/Tarzan and His Mate/Tarzan Escapes/Tarzan Finds a Son/Tarzan's Secret Treasure/Tarzan's New York Adventure), a Gene Kelly-Frank Sinatra movie boxed set (On the Town/Anchors Aweigh/Take Me Out to the Ballgame), a pair of John Wayne movies (The Horse Soldiers and Hellfighters), the last Speed Racer DVD I needed for the full set, and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Score!

I've been wanting that 221B Baker Street game ever since I was in high school and now I've got it. Man, I love getting packages. I'm forever ordering things from catalogs or websites. I think it would be great to be a UPS delivery guy. In my head it would be just like being Santa Claus everyday of the year. Not everyone enjoys seeing the mailman given that his daily delivery often consists largely of bills and junk mail, but who doesn't love getting a package? It seems like everyone would be happy to see you if you were a UPS guy. Plus you get to wear shorts to work. How awesome is that?

(Taken with my Nikon D80)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Day 90/365 - You Say You Want A Resolution

I don't normally make resolutions. It's something I've never seen the point of, really. Most resolutions just involve things you should probably be doing already anyhow. I guess maybe packaging them up as New Year's resolutions though does provide an added bit of motivation to help you get over the hump and bust loose from the hold of inertia.

This year I decided to break with my lack of tradition and set a New Year's resolution for myself. I decided to recycle more. For the last several years, the only thing I've recycled are my newspapers. Everything else just went in the trash. Last weekend, however, I took one of my many Bed Bath & Beyond coupons (which don't expire btw, despite what they may have printed on them) off to the store with me and bought myself a double-sided recycling bin to put in my kitchen. Paper on the blue side, bottles/jugs/cans on the green side.

Now I have to rinse out the bottles and cans though before I stick them in the bin in order to avoid a sticky, smelly, moldy mess. That means I'm using more water than I was before. So I've lessened my ecological impact in one regard but increased it somewhat in another. I guess there's no real way to "do no harm."

As ever, life is a series of trade-offs.

(Taken with my Nikon Coolpix S200)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Day 89/365 - Enter Sandman

Borders sent me a coupon good for 40% off one book today, so tonight after work I detoured by the store to pick up the first 'Sandman' graphic novel. I had a couple people recommend it to me yesterday and with the coupon it only came to $12.50, so that gave me two good reasons to get it.

I was pretty heavily into comics and graphic novels when I was in high school and college. When I left for the Navy though I gave my collection of several thousand comics to a couple of my cousins. Since then, apart from reprints of old newspaper strips like 'Dick Tracy,' 'Jungle Jim,' and 'Terry and the Pirates,' the only comics I've read are a few issues of 'Indiana Jones' and 'The Shadow.'

I'm looking forward now to dipping my toe back in the waters of the illustrated world.

(Taken with my Nikon Coolpix S200)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Twice on Sunday Bonus Photo - Candle Cage

For this week's bonus photo from my archives we have a shot I took of a candle burning in my apartment. I was experimenting with extended, low light exposures and I liked the way this one came out.

(Taken with my Nikon D80)

Day 88/365 - Alter Ego

If I could be any fictional character ever, I'd be Indiana Jones. He's been my favorite ever since Raiders of the Lost Ark came out when I was in junior high school. Indy is a perfect storm of varied interests for me -- travel, adventure, romance, mystery, treasure, history, other cultures, and the 1930s. I love the Indy books, comics, movies, games, and tv show. I'm one of the (apparently) few who even enjoyed the most recent movie. To be fair, though, I probably enjoyed it more for the fact that it gave me a chance to see my favorite character on the big screen again and to buy some new merchandise than for any inherent value it had as a movie.

So what fictional character would you be if you could?

(Taken with my Nikon D80)