Archive for November, 2005

If it talks like a Christmas Tree, walks like a Christmas Tree

Congressman Denny Hastert has called on the Architect of the Capitol to go back to the

Candy Politics

What says love more than chocolate? And what says fun more than M&M’s? And what says DC more than politics? And what could be better than mixing the three?

Not much in my book, so get your candy on!

You can now make custom M&M’s and ship a four pack to your friends and family just in time for Xmas. I’m sending my bag o’ message to every DC Council member. I might even send one to Tom. I know how much he loves my political views.

Pouring Out There

Radar Map
It’s absolutely pouring out there right now, coming down in buckets and buckets, sounds like drumsticks on my windowpanes. For the first time since Hurricane Isabel in 2003, my satellite service went out. Of course, it wasn’t out for long, but just a cursory 2 minutes outside making sure the dish was aligned properly left me feeling like I’d gone into the shower with all my clothes on. Oy. This is the next to last day in November?

Bubbles & Boom Times

Certain dear readers will be happy to know that signs are supposedly showing of a slowdown in DC’s overheated (some say overvalued) housing market. Though real estate experts (not to mention ol’ Greenspan) have been warning of a bubble in the area for months, October marks a noticeable rise in the inventory level of existing homes in the area according to the Post. This means houses are staying on the market longer than before, and the mad days of a place being sold on its first open house may be coming to a close. Also becoming apparent is that the preponderance of new so-called “luxury condos” (I’m really begininng to hate the devaluation of the word ‘luxury’) will cause a glut that may drive prices in that market down.

Now, I’m no expert in real estate at all, but I did have a market assessment done of my house a few weeks ago, and the very intelligent agent, instead of dazzling us with an outrageous selling price, stated honestly that the market is “normalizing” to more of an equal footing between seller and buyer, good news for those who want to join the world of homeownership. He said sellers need to start adjusting their expectations of extremely high asking prices (oh, perhaps like the guy down my block who asked for 900k?) and sudden turnaround to a more traditional real estate market.

I certainly don’t want the market to take a total dive, but I do want it to normalize. Speculation makes me nervous; I can’t help thinking of the 1920’s crash or, closer to heart, the 1990’s internet bust. And I have many friends who want to buy right now and just can’t justify or afford it. So let’s hope we can find a more secure and reasonable footing in the DC housing market.

(Though of course the Post also is reporting that sales of new homes hit a high last month, so who knows what the hell is really happening!)

It’s Dorothy Time!

Like in the Wizard of Oz, cuz DC Alerts says: National weather issued a Tornado Watch for the District Of Columbia and surrounding jurisdictions until 1AM. The strongest storms will be capable of producing an inch of rain in an hour along with damaging winds up to 60 MPH.

Who needs a blog when you’ve got a license plate?

The endless flow of commuters traveling in and out of DC from neighboring Virginia – where a vanity plate only costs an extra $10 – provides for a pretty good amount of reading material on the roads. Sometimes, however, seven little letters just won’t suffice. That’s when you need foot-high letters that communicate your message. I doubt any of us understand what that message is, but we all saw it – possibly even from orbit.

Even though I can’t quite figure out the meaning here, this glittering abomination is still better than the plate I saw several years ago, which I’ll place below the fold for our more delicate readers.

Butterstick Video

Butterstick This morning, our dear butterstick met the press in his enclosure in the Zoo. Even though they insist his name is Tai Shan, we all know better. His public debut, for which no sexual favors are required, is next Thursday. But if you haven’t gotten a chance to lay eyes on the cute and fuzzy panda bear, the video above is worth a look.

A look at old DC

View from Capitol Westfront 1977 1

Originally uploaded by smata2.

Flickr user smata2 has uploaded a bunch of scans of images of Washington almost 30 years younger than the one we live in now. I love seeing old Washington, when you could climb the Capitol steps. What a timeless city!

Be sure to catch the other shots in the series.

Productivity v. Health

I’m sitting at work feeling the beginnings of a cold. Or is it a virus? Or the dreaded flu? Who knows, it’s just annoying. Swollen sore throat, sniffles, starting to feel flushed. Not good no matter what you call it.

Then I begin to notice I’m not the only one. Two co-workers complain of the same symptoms. Another is roaming the halls hacking out her lungs. So of course the debate inside my head begins, “Should I go home? Try to sleep it off? Or should I wait it out, perhaps feeling worse and staying home tomorrow? Can I stay home tomorrow?” Argh.

In the years I’ve worked in DC, it has seemed to me that people here tend to work sick. A lot. Even in this day of crackberries and easy work email access at home. Is this really just a DC phenom, or it is more widespread, more of a national problem? I hear people who, let’s be honest, are just not that essential (myself definitely included) moan and agonize about taking sick days. Why?

A co-worker once proudly boasted to me that he’d never taken a sick day. Not never gotten sick, mind you, just never stayed home. That man is the Typhoid Mary of the DC office world. I’m mystified.

What about you?

D.C. Traffic Camera Map

While I’m glad I don’t need it, you commuters are gonna love this newest map from Google hackers – D.C. Traffic Camera Map. This cool Google map mashup has over a 100 live camera feeds for the Washington D.C. area.

I’m gonna spend tomorrow’s rush hour sitting back with a beer and a smile, looking for Suspicious Activity on I-270

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