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Trying my hand at planespotting…

November 18, 2016, 11:02 AM

On Tuesday, November 16, Elyse and I went down to Gravelly Point in Arlington and photographed airplanes taking off from National Airport.  In the past, I had photographed airplanes casually, usually when I’m over in Rosslyn, i.e. near the airport, while doing other things (the raw photo set for Urban Demolition II is peppered with random airplane and transit photos, if that tells you anything).  However, this was my first dedicated outing for planespotting.

So I put the big lens on my camera and took it out for a spin, putting the camera in sports mode and going to town with it.  My first takeoff, however, left something to be desired:

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A splash photo that’s open to some interpretation…

November 25, 2014, 1:38 PM

This past Saturday, I got together with my friend Elyse, and we spent the day seeing what we could see, mostly in Rosslyn and Ballston.  While we were in Rosslyn, we checked out the open-air patio on the fourth floor at the Le Méridien hotel (formerly Hotel Palomar) at the Waterview complex.  The patio had decent enough views, but we ended up spending more time taking photos of the fire alarms, and as a result of that, got December’s splash photo:

Two conflicted lovers?

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I’ll bet no one realized that the headstone image was not randomly chosen…

November 13, 2009, 11:11 PM

This was the photo feature that I ran to coincide with Veterans’ Day:

Headstone of Jason Redifer

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Categories: Arlington, Holidays

Meanwhile, about Sunday…

November 2, 2008, 9:57 PM

I had fun today, as I completed the field work for my Rosslyn photo set. I have followed 1815 North Fort Myer Drive from operating office building to hole in the ground. Today, I finished up with photos of the completed demolition. Basically, we went from this:

1815 North Fort Myer Drive

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Categories: Arlington, Silver Spring

Phew! The whole place smells like Sharpie…

September 8, 2008, 10:55 PM

Yes, I pulled out my Sharpies to hand-letter a few signs. I made three. This is the general gist of the message:

"Free Hugs" sign

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Categories: Arlington, Netculture

And they called her “Hanna”…

September 5, 2008, 8:41 PM

As of right now, Tropical Storm Hanna is expected to run up most of the eastern seaboard starting with the Carolinas and going up to New England. Per The Weather Channel, this is the projected path:

Projected path of Tropical Storm Hanna
Image: The Weather Channel

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Mom, Sis, and I had a great time…

June 15, 2008, 10:24 PM

I always enjoy when my sister comes back from Chicago. This time, she took a week and went to Stuarts Draft. However, as my own schedule precluded going down to Stuarts Draft, which meant that we didn’t get to have a the-four-of-us kind of moment this time around, I still did get to see her. Mom and Sis spent Thursday and Friday in DC with me, so the fun was still had.

First off, Mom and Sis met me Thursday afternoon at the office. Mom knows where my office building is, and so after stashing the car at Wheaton Plaza, she and Sis rode on down to Dupont Circle and met up with me in my office.

Getting back to Wheaton, they got to see how much I had done my restaurant homework for them. See, Mom was displeased in her earlier visits about how little I knew about the restaurant scene where I lived. I could tell you everything about places in Pentagon City and Dupont Circle, but nothing right in the immediate area where I actually live. After all, if I’m going to eat near where I live, I’ll just save the money and nuke something at home. But I found a restaurant for us to go to, and in Wheaton, no less. It’s called Umbertos, and it’s a family-owned restaurant located in this cluster of hispanic-run businesses in between Georgia Avenue and the Wheaton Plaza shopping mall. If you’re ever in Wheaton, I highly recommend it.

Then Friday, we headed to Georgetown. Yes, that Georgetown. So after an unexpected shopping trip at the JCPenney in Wheaton Plaza (Mom and Sis seem to be unable to turn down a sale on clothes), we took Metro down to Rosslyn, and then from there, walked over the Key Bridge to Georgetown. Sis’s big thing in Georgetown was seeing the Exorcist steps. And here they are:

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A belated reportback is better than no reportback at all, I suppose.

May 25, 2008, 5:29 PM

Hey, I’ve been busy. So sue me. But I must report back that Katie and I had a great time last weekend. We went all over the place, and had a great time.

However, it started out somewhat rough – Katie took the train up to DC, specifically the Cardinal. And it was late. According to AmtrakDelays.com, on May 16, the eastbound Cardinal, train #50, was an hour and 42 minutes late arriving in Staunton, where Katie got on. Then at Union Station, where I was waiting for her, the train managed to rack up another 44 minutes of delays, and thus ended up getting in at 8:21 PM. That would make it two hours and 26 minutes late. This thing was supposed to show up at 5:55 PM, which would have fit my schedule quite nicely. Leave work, take Metro to Union Station, wait a few minutes, get Katie, and then ride back to Glenmont. However, I found out about the Staunton delay from Katie well in advance, so no problems there. I compensated other places as far as that delay went, and ended up staying later at work, since there were a few things I needed to take care of anyway, and planned to arrive in time for the new delayed arrival. Okay.

So arriving at Union Station, I got in, and immediately checked the boards to see what the deal was. Another delay. Lovely. So I ended up just kind of wandering around Union Station for the next two hours, as I had nothing else to do. I was totally unprepared for a longer delay. However, I did have my iPod, and so at least I got to listen to Randi Rhodes (now on Nova M Radio!). And with headphones on was how I passed a good hour or so of that delay, as I went in and out of stores, seeing what amused me. I also managed to find a relatively quiet corner of the station to make a phone call, finding out about how things were going on the train from Katie. That quiet spot ended up being in a far corner of the parking garage, interestingly enough. But hey, it was nice out, so it worked. I got to watch train movements north of the station, and found out that the initial delay was due to weather, and then heavy rail traffic caused the delays closer in. Okay. Beyond the control of either one of us. What are you going to do, I suppose.

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A very ugly building in Rosslyn looks like it will be coming down soon…

April 11, 2008, 10:34 PM

Remember almost three years ago, back in 2005, when I wrote this Journal entry about the construction of a really tall building (by local standards) in Rosslyn, on a site that currently houses a frightfully ugly building? Well, here’s the building, at 1815 North Fort Myer Drive in Rosslyn:

1815 North Fort Myer Drive

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Categories: Arlington

Hello from… Rosslyn?

April 30, 2007, 11:45 AM

Yeah. Hello from Rosslyn. I’ve found out that Rosslyn Center is just teeming with wireless access points. CommuterStore on the second floor has a free wireless hotspot, and it works in most of the first and second levels of Rosslyn Center. This is good to know for future reference, like if I’m meeting Matthew Tilley on a future railfan trip where the Lappy would play a role (we’ve discussed such a possibility). However, the CommuterStore link, or any other link for that matter, does not work in my favorite part of the building – the way back of the food court, near the windows. I usually go there to read the Express if I couldn’t finish on the Metro. That location is presumably too far away. There’s also a free wireless connection at Tivoli on the first floor. All I have to say is, sweet! about finding wireless connectivity here.

Next mission is to see if I can find a free wireless hotspot over at Pentagon Row. Now that would be nice, to be able to sit outside and get online there…

Categories: Arlington, Computer, DC trips

A photo set update for you now…

November 23, 2006, 2:13 AM

Every so often, as you know, I like to give updates on photo sets, like when things have changed. I think the most notable update has to be in my Afton Mountain photo set, where the Skyline Parkway Motel was torched ten months after I did the set.

This time, though, it’s a DC area update. You remember when I did Urban Demolition? That showed 1117 North 19th Street in the process of being demolished. Then when I did If These Streets Could Talk about a month and a half later, the site was simply a hole in the ground. The most recent update on that site that I provided was in Part 2 of my Year In Review photo set. There, it was still mostly a hole in the ground, but new structural elements were starting to take shape.

Now, check this out:

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Just make them an offer that they CAN refuse…

August 17, 2006, 8:11 PM

First of all, hello from Pentagon City.

I went over to Brookstone while here, and they have this new device that you sit on that’s supposed to work your body as if you’re riding a horse. Okay, fine. So I got on, I sat down, and I gave it a whirl. I made some interesting faces while riding that thing, trying to maintain my balance on there.

So then this group of teenaged girls comes in. They see me on the thing, unbeknownst to me. I got off. They want to see me ride it again. I said, “No thank you, I’ve already ridden it. Why don’t you give it a try?” They declined. They want to see ME do it again. I declined again. Then they start offering me money. One girl offers a quarter. Another a penny. Then someone ponies up a dollar. I still refuse.

I got this feeling that they were making fun of me. And I was through riding that contraption and that was all there was to it. So when they asked how much it would take to get me to ride it again, I went for the big guns. “Fifty bucks,” I said. They were quite shocked at the price I named, and left, which is what I wanted them to do. Because when you’re being made fun of, it’s best to one-up them. And one-upping a group of unsupervised teenaged girls that all share one brain amongst the lot of them is not hard to do.

Seeing these groups of teenagers at Pentagon City makes me think that putting these various groups from out of town in chain gangs is not a particularly bad idea. Since the adult leaders of these groups use Pentagon City as a way to cut these children loose while they go take a smoke or something. So they subject the rest of us, the well-behaved members of society, to these obnoxious children.

Meanwhile, in DC…

December 30, 2005, 12:26 AM

I took an “extra” DC trip this past Wednesday with Mom, Sis, and her boyfriend Chris Lysy. They had previously ordered tickets to see Wicked at the Kennedy Center for December 28, and when I found out that I would be off that day, I asked if I could come along, and Mom agreed. It turned out that my presence was quite helpful, as I knew exactly where I was going, both on the road and on the train, and also knew my way around Washington better than the rest of them. Plus I’m never one to pass up a trip to Washington, after all. Especially one where I didn’t have to pay for gas.

We were also celebrating Sis’s 21st birthday, which was on the 26th.

The trip was, to an extent, run like a regular DC trip of mine. Get to Vienna, park, ride to Rosslyn, go into Washington, run around for a bit, then go to Pentagon City. Our destinations while “running around” were things that Sis and I both picked.

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Fodder for America’s Funniest Home Videos?

December 22, 2005, 8:24 PM

I went up to the Washington DC area once again on Wednesday, and all in all, I had a good day.

The daytime took me all around the Metro doing railfan stuff. I rode the entire length of the system in Virginia, going from Vienna to Rosslyn to Franconia-Springfield, to King Street, to Huntington, and then into Washington via the Fenwick Bridge. While I was at it, by the way, I also rode the entire length of the Yellow Line all at once, riding from Huntington to Mt. Vernon Square. I also checked out the new entrance at King Street, which opens out onto Commonwealth Avenue. It’s nice and new and such, and still harmonizes with the original part of the station, which opened in 1983.

I spent the late afternoon, which is bad for urban photography due to dark shadows cast by buildings (but great if you can avoid it – same goes for early morning), at Dupont Circle and also Union Station. Dupont Circle was basically a photography thing – in, photograph, back out. Then at Union Station, I got a phone call from Mom: “Where did you go today?” This is where we realized that I forgot to tell Mom where I was going. Told Dad, but not Mom. Oops. So I filled her in.

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Talk about threatening-looking weather…

August 30, 2005, 5:15 PM

Categories: Arlington, Weather