Category Archives: Washington DC

Super 8

Super 8 Motels
~ Worldwide ~

I’ve spent many nights at the Super 8 – some locations are amazing, others can be seedy. It depends on the city and the manager, neighborhood, and environment. They are one of the world’s largest budget hotel chains – with motels throughout the United States, Canada, and China. They are part of the Wyndham Worldwide chain. The chain was started by Dennis Brown in 1972 alongside his partner Ron Rivett in 1973. They started renting rooms for $8.88/night which gave name to “Super 8”. The first motel was in Aberdeen South Dakota, hosting 60 rooms in 1974. It had a stucco exterior with an English Tudor style inspired by Rivett’s father-in-law who did stucco construction for a living, the remaining architecture was created by Rivett. Through the years they kept the English Tudor style as well as locating themselves near Holiday Inn’s as a marketing strategy. The first franchise was sold in 1976 in Gillette, Wyoming. They broke out of the Midwest in 1978 opening up in New York and Washington State. In 1976 they created a VIP club program which was later purchased by Hospitality Franchise Systems, then Cendant in 1993. This was dissolved in 2003 and replaced by TripRewards converting to Wyndham Rewards in 2008. By 2014 they had over 2,390 hotels. They opened their first hotel in China during 2004 in Beijing. They offer their guests standard amenities including free WiFi, a continental breakfast, hair dryers, coffee makers, laundry, and a lobby. Some locations have pools and meeting rooms, while some of the larger Super 8’s have restaurants.

Locations I’ve visited:

  • Lincoln City, Oregon: 3517 N, US-101, Lincoln City, OR 97367; (541) 996-9900. Rating: 4 stars out of 5. This location has a fabulous tourism placement across from a public beach. Its a rather small building and hotel with few rooms. Its less than a mile from the Chinook Winds casino. They have mini-fridges and microwaves in the room, coin laundry, free coffee, truck parking, and a small conference room. Its located along Highway 101.

Rated: 4 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

Like this review? want more? consider donating a chai, coffee, tea, or meal to the reviewer as a way to say “thank you! I want more …”





Continue reading Super 8

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

DC’s 11th annual Goth Prom

Thursday, 22 May 2008
Washington, D.C.

11th annual D.C. Goth Prom “Under a Milky Way” * Town Danceboutique * 2009 8th Strett NW | Washington, DC 20009 * http://www.gothpromdc.com/


11th Annual Goth Prom, Washington, D.C. 5/22/08

After the National Geographic Live and private reception, I headed over to my ‘first’, while DC’s 11th, Goth Prom which is apparently the longest running Goth Prom in the United States. They even had a Prom King and Queen contest. Prior to this event, I was under the impression that DC really didn’t have a sizeable Goth community (based on last two years fly-ins to D.C. and checking out the scene) but I have to say, after this event – the population exists and the support for the night appeared to be pretty phenomenal. I might have to add this one to my annual calendar of events I go out of my way to attend (of course given time off work and funds). This year it was held at the Town Dancboutique, a two floored club with large levels and plenty of room to dance and move about. The event was $15 advanced tickets or $20 at the door, and that didn’t stop the place from filling up. A wide assortment of DJ’s were spinning on both floors – such as Scary Lady Sarah (Berlin, Chicago – Nocturna); DJ Spider (Charlotte, NC); Kelowna (Toronto-XM Satellite, chiarOscuro DC); Liebchen (DC Midnight, XUBERX); 2501 (Chronos DC, Alchemy DC); Dirty B; Shade (Spellbound DC, Alchemy DC); variety acts such as Cheeky Monkey slideshow performing her Amazing Trinket and MabJustMab acts (including glass walking); bellydancing and gothic tribal upstairs including Cerastes (tribal/industrial dance), Romka (tribal fusion bellydance), and others. Vendors ranged from custom made prom corsages and boutonnieres by Lost Moth; to custom art pieces by Arty4ever, wire jewelry by Eleanor Justice, horror kitsch illustrations and paintings by Frozen Charlotte, clothing and accessories by Dry Tear, Creepy home decor by Morbid Decor, Kilts by The Kilted Nation, custom latex/rubber clothing by Slyx, John Holmes of Bloodrose Industries fashion photography, custom hats and accessories by Peacock Blue, handmade beaded jewelry by Camille DeWalder, and custom t-shirt dsigns by Mind Jacket Designs. The music, talent, decor, acts, and performances were incredible. Drinks a bit higher end priced. Excellent job Lori Beth and all who put this on!!! Plus it was excellent to see my new friends from earlier this year Sarah and Alex who as usual, made me feel right at home as if I lived in D.C. Thank you. Goth prom are slowly putting up pictures in their Gallery here. Rating 5 stars out of 5. Visited 5/22/2008.

* apologies for the lack of quality of pictures for this evening. These were taken from my cell phone camera (no flash) as my camera was out of commission for the evening.

Continue reading DC’s 11th annual Goth Prom

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Midnight D.C.

Midnight D.C.
* http://dcmidnight.com/ * Saturdays @ 9 pm until 2:45 am * The Meeting Place * 1707 L Street, NW, Washington, D.C. * $5 Cash cover at the door * 18+, 21+ to drink *

Mardi Gras! – DJs Phae, DuJour, and Gleek; Vending of Gothic goodies by Silver Phoenix. Much more of a sports bar / meeting hall ambiance, so lacked in comparison to its competitor down the street. The music was good and had a larger crowd though. Good dancing and flirtations. Much younger crowd as it was 18+. A different alternative to Spellbound. Rating: 3 stars out of 5.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Spellbound D.C.

Spellbound D.C.
* http://www.spellbound-dc.com/ * Saturdays @ 9 pm until 2 am * Recessions (below the Quincy Hotel) * 1823 L Street N.W. * Washington, D.C. * $7 Cash cover at the door * 21+ *

Mardi Gras! – This particular club-going experience was decked all out for celebrating Mardi Gras. Costuming was highly encouraged as well as donning the beads and masks. Don’t have one, they provided masks at the door for $1. Excellent idea for clubs pushing costumed nights as it helped this weary traveller who walked the streets of downtown D.C. looking for masks to prepare yet didn’t find one. On foot from the local Hostelling International, about 8 blocks away, that came as a welcomed idea. They also beaded us up as we entered the door. I arrived around 10 pm, it was slow to populate, but the music was good minus some speaker issues they were having. I had my fill of the cheap on special themed Hurricane drinks and got some good dancing in. Patrons all seemed to have a good time and the ambiance was very nice. DJs Shade, Transept, and Skunque did a fabulous job. Great music and selections. Great dancing and festivities. Recessions also served some good food, I had the Crab cakes which were affordable and quite tasty. Much more mature crowd at Spellbound.Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Ollie’s Trolley (Washington, DC)


Ollie’s Trolley


Ollie’s Trolley
* www.olliestrolleydc.com * 425 12th St NW
Washington, DC 20004 * (202) 347-6119

A little historic Burger and sandwich joint right off 12th near the National Mall is a burger shack/diner called “Ollie’s Trolley” which is a DC Landmark institution for the last 30 years. Family owned and operated, voted best for its burgers and seasoned fries as well as its shakes. Brightly lit and vivrant, not hard to miss. I had the Crab Cake burger which was fabulous, but wasn’t that impressed by the infamous seasoned fries. Cheap and affordable. Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5. Visited 2/21/09.


Crab Cake sandwich, fries, and coke

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants


McCormick’s Seafood Restaurant

McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants * http://www.mccormickandschmicks.com/ * 1652 K St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001 * (202) 861-2233
Much fancier than the Legal Seafoods competitor down the road on 7th, McCormick’s & Schmick’s was recommended to me by a conference attendee at the 2009 ESRI Federal User’s Conference as the best seafood restaurant in town. So I had to go check it out. Plus I owed myself a birthday dinner so why not? The prices were comparably better than other seafood restaurants I found in town – though still high priced. They say you pay for quality. However, I paid almost the same amount at McCormick’s as I did at Legal, and got better food, better portions, at a better price. A younger company than Legal, and lacking some of the historical charm that Legal Seafoods seems to express; this is yet another chain – much larger than Legal scaling about 80 restaurants since early 1970s when Bill McCormick and Doug Schmick teamed together. They claims to networks only with local reputable seafood purveyors to obtain only the freshest seafood from local waters and beyond. They were running a Lunch (2 course) and Dinner (3 course) special the week I was there. I got the Dinner combo – Shrimp with Mango appetizer, 1.25 lb. Steamed Lobster with corn on the cob, new potatoes, and asparagus; and a mixed berry dish for $30. It was most excellent. The service was good, but the server was less friendly and to the point than I experienced at Legal. Overall I had a great dining experience and would recommend them to any seafood lover. Rating: 5 stars out of 5. Visited 2/21/09.


Fresh lobster at McCormicks

Continue reading McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Hostelling International – Washington, D.C.


Hostelling International – Washington, D.C

Hostelling International – Washington, D.C : * www.hihostels.com * 1009 11th Street NW * Washington DC 20001 * 1-202-737-2333 (Facebook)
As any on-the-budget world traveller knows, Hostelling International is you cost-effective solution to any city in the world that you care to travel. It’s certified, safe, clean, and can always expect the quality that goes with their name. I’ve ALWAYS found that true with Hostelling International. (I can’t say the same for other hostelling groups/networks, some of which put you in seedy locations) With Hostelling, you always meet great new people travelling like you around the world and many new friendships are made … chatting, playing games, watching movies, taking tours, computer networking, hostel activities, making meals together, or being roommates. Hostelling International – Washington DC (HI-DC) is one of those great places where Hostelling International gets a good name. It’s also the only current hostel in the world to be Energy Star certified. HI-DC is located within walking distance from all the tourist attractions, monuments, museums, and shopping that D.C. offers. For me who likes to do alternative clubbing at night, it’s also in the neighbourhood from the only venues I’ve been turned on to. HI-DC offers dormitory rooms ($26/night) as well as private rooms ($69/night). They offer: 24-hour front desk service and security No curfew, no lock-out Rates include tax An environment that is drug-free, smoke-free and alcohol-free A/C and heat in all guestrooms FREE breakfast FREE in-room lockers, linens and towels FREE tours, movie nights and programs FREE Wi-Fi FREE local map and area information FREE books, puzzles, pool table Common room with big, comfortable couches, Internet stations, information center, and pre-paid phone card machine TV room with big screen, 150+ channels, DVD, VCR, library with FREE movies and leather club chairs Fully-equipped, self-service kitchen Outside patio seating Wheelchair accessibility Visa and MasterCard accepted Nearby restaurants, bars and pubs, grocery shopping, pharmacy and other conveniences Individual travelers and groups welcome. They are open 24 hrs/day; every day of the year. Visit the above website for pictures around the location. My visit was fabulous … Highly recommended. Thank you HI-DC! Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Madame Tussaud’s House of Wax – Washington, D.C.


Madame Tussaud’s

Madame Tussaud’s * http://www.madametussauds.com/washington/ * 1025 F Street, corner of 10th and F street * Washington D.C. 20004 *
Just like the rest, with specialties on the city’s attractions, D.C. being politics and history, the World Famous Madame Tussaud’s House of Waxes have that exquisite tourist charm around the world with the great quality wax celebrities you’d come to expect. Wandering in through the history of politics, leaders, presidents, musicians, stars, and newscasters … lots of photo moments with your favorite prestigious people. Wax casting station and ability to get a photo with the new 2009 U.S. President Obama. Learn the history of making the figures and the Madame Tussaud’s. Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.


Madame Tussaud’s

Continue reading Madame Tussaud’s House of Wax – Washington, D.C.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Ford’s Theater (Washington, DC)


Ford’s Theater

Ford’s Theater * http://www.fordstheatre.org/ * Ford’s Theatre 511 Tenth St, NW, Washington, DC 20004 (202) 347-4833
One of America’s most famous historic theaters … Ford’s Theater was the monumental site of the April 14, 1865, assassination of President Lincoln, which makes Fords Theatre a unique place in United States history. The theatre has enthralled millions of visitors since its reopening in 1968, and it is one of the most visited sites in the nations capital. It’s Theatres mission is to celebrate the legacy of Abraham Lincoln and to explore the American experience through theatre and education. The Fords Theatre Society works to present the Theatres nearly one million visitors each year with a high quality historic and cultural experience. Their work is what makes this vibrant historic site an important tool for promoting the ideals of leadership, humanity and wisdom espoused by Abraham Lincoln. This year, 2009, as Fords Theatre approaches the bicentennial of Abraham Lincolns birth, the institution has renewed its commitment to presenting world-class theatre. Within the near future, Fords Theatre will be recognized as a major center for learning, where people of all ages can examine the events of that fateful evening in 1865 and experience the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln. It’s a large building complex, with a modern state of the art rebuilt theater right next to the historic building. The Historic building is managed and operated by the National Park Service. While I didn’t have a chance to go in and see the site, it’s definitely a hotspot of activity and tourism in D.C. Recommended to visit by many.
Continue reading Ford’s Theater (Washington, DC)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Legal Seafoods (Washington, D.C.)


Crab Cake Combo


Legal Seafoods * www.legalseafoods.com * 704-708 7th st, Washington, D.C. 20001 * 202-347-0007
Enter in the historic fishmarket turned restaurant that still proudly boasts to be first and foremost a seafood market with restaurant services. What was once a market is now an eastern chain all with fine dining, personable staff, and great food. They boast the freshest seafood straight from the local fishing ships. While it does somewhat have a modern look of a fish restaurant, it does have fine dining at the tables. My waiter was extremely friendly and helpful with my menu choices and was a top server. Appetizers were overly encouraged. I understand why, because even with the higher priced combination plate of exquisite Crab Cake, a couple of shrimp, and scallops; the portions were meager on the seafood side, except the salad which was at good portions. I had a great experience. Top restaurant, but lacking with the portion size when you compare the higher than average price for the good. Rating: 4 stars out of 5. Visited 2/20/09.


Legal Seafoods

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Exposure at Club Liv (Thursdays, Washington, D.C)


Exposure @ Club LIV

Exposure @ Club Liv * http://www.exposure-dc.com/ * 2001 11th Street NW Washington DC 20001 * 18+ event | cover $5.00 21+/$7 18-21 * open 9:00 PM – 2:00 AM
Nestled in Club Liv on thursdays resides a dark alternative night playing dark synthpop, goth, and industrial by DJ’s Ras DNA, Mindcage, Missguided, Purevil, and Vlad. The night was slow to pickup, but by midnight had about 20-30 perhaps. Plenty of room to dance, drinks were small but potent, and very pricy from what I’m used to in my wanderings. I liked the nightclub space and couches. Everyone was very friendly and social. The music was good. We had a drunken good time. Rating: 3 stars out of 5.
Continue reading Exposure at Club Liv (Thursdays, Washington, D.C)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

2/19/09: ESRI Federal Users Conference, Day 2: Afternoon sessions

Thursday, 19 February 2009
Washington, D.C. – Part II

Washington D.C. Conference Center : ESRI Federal Users Conference: 2009, Day 2: Technical Workshops, Afternoon sessions.

After the ArcExplorer session, we broke for lunch. It was a boxed sandwich set – sandwich, chips, soda, cookie; self-serve. Sat at a table with some folks from USDA, they were social with each other and didn’t really chat with us other two from other agencies. After eating, since lunch was a 2 hour break, headed back to the hotel room for some R & R before the exciting next workshop on GeoPDF’s that I’ve been excited about for a very long time in learning more about to implement. After that, stepped into the Range and Training Area Management workshop which didn’t really capture my interest, so went to the Building Great Web Maps Using ArcGIS instead which was more than fascinating. Continue reading 2/19/09: ESRI Federal Users Conference, Day 2: Afternoon sessions

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

02/19/09: ESRI Federal User’s Conference, Day 2: Morning Technical Workshops

Thursday, 19 February 2009
Washington, D.C.

Early to rise around 6 am, I prepared for the day. Headed off to the Washington D.C. Conference Center for the ESRI Federal Users Conference: 2009, Day 2: Technical Workshops. First class was at 8:30 am. All the classes were very interesting and informative.

8:30-10:00 am
Miscellaneous Environmental Studies
Presentations on:

  • Naval Installation Restoration Information Solution
  • GIS Standard Operating Procedure for US FDA Field Studies
  • The Tigris-Euphrates Basin Water Monitor: Tracking Water Supplies with MODIS

Mark Barnes of the NAVFAC Midlant presented on Naval Installation Restoration Information Solutions demonstrating how the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Environmental Business Line has deployed a web-based centralized GIS database for their multi-million dollar Environmental Restoration Program (ERP). NIRIS (Naval Installation Restoration Information Solution) is implemented at all NAVFAC offices to help Navy and their contractors manage, evaluate, and visual data, documents, and records for Navy and Marine Corps ERP sites at both BRAC and active installations. NIRIS manages all ERP analytical and spatial data, which includes the Munitions Response and Installation Restoration Program (Navy’s Superfund/CERCLA program) data, ensuring institutional memory is preserved, land use controls are maintained, and remedial actions are effective. His presentation provided an overview focusing on discussion and demonstrations of (1) ArcIMS custom tools, (2) ArcGIS via Citrix with custom tools, and (3) Land Use Control tool for managing institutional controls. Presentations then occured on GIS Standard Operating Procedure for the US FDA Field Studies, followed by Jennifer Veilleux of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s “The Tigris-Euphrates Basin Water Monitor: Tracking Water Supplies with MODIS” presentation. Demonstrating how Syria and Turkey lack a trilateral agreement for water sharing of the Tigris and Euphrates Basin. How Iraq depends on this water source for agriculture, hydropower, and industrial/municipal purposes. The lack of official policy has recently emerged as an issue of greater concern due to regional conflict. A series of droughts has further influenced available water resources and regional policy efforts. For several years NGA has been monitoring key reservoirs in this system using date from NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). Relative water levels are used to assess volume and available storage in the reservoirs, year-to-year water level comparisons, and the seasonal timing of peak water levels. The data are checked against rada altimetry and field water-level measurements. These results are used to assess the effects of drought on the health of Iraqi agricultre. This analytical method can be applied to other regions of the world. Interesting ideas and innovations were presented. Rating: 3 stars out of 5. 2/19/09.

Continue reading 02/19/09: ESRI Federal User’s Conference, Day 2: Morning Technical Workshops

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

National Museum of Crime and Punishment (Washington, DC)


Museum of Crime and Punishment

National Museum of Crime and Punishment * www.crimemuseum.org * 202.393.1099 * 575 7th St, NW * Washington, D.C. 20004
A fun and exciting museum covering the technology and science behind fighting and solving crimes, with displays of the heroes of law enforcement, and the dark side of the criminal mind from the middle ages on witches and pirates, to the western outlaw, the 20’s mobster, and serial killers throughout time. Learn to understand crime and its consequences through the eyes of the criminal and the crime fighter to the point of solving the mysteries and mentality of cracking the puzzle. Some great artifacts are within the collection, including: Bonnie & Clyde’s Death Car, John Dillenger’s Car, Celebrity Mug Shots, Famous Firearms, Electric Chairs, Guillotine, Lethal Injection Machine, Cold Cases in America, Al Capone’s Jail Cell, 10 Most Wanted List, Interactive crime scene lab, complimentary fingerprinting for kids, Lie detector test, simulated FBI Shooting range, High Speed Police Chase Simulators, Safe Cracking, Computer Hacking, Harley Davidson Police Motorcycle, Police Lineup, Crime photography, Interactive Memory of a Crime, Personal Safety Challenge, Neighborhood Community Watch, and much more. There is a section on the Notorious History of American Crime (solved and unsolved by greed driven pirates, Wild West gunslingers, gangsters, serial killers, and today’s cyber criminal); interactive games and arcades on crime fighting training showcasing everyday heroes from law enforcement and the crime-fighting skills needed to capture the bad guy, with bomb squad technology, police chase simulators, and famous firearms); A walk through Jail and demonstrations on Punishment – the Consequence of Crime with full-scale model police station, booking and mug shot rooms, actual jail cells, and capitol punishment instruments; Patrons also get to wander into the world of Forensics with the CSI Experience – from the role of witness to a new crime investigator of a CSI unit investigating the scene of the crime while learning forensic science technology as fingerprinting, DNA testing, and facial reconstruction. The America’s Most Wanted Studio I didn’t have time to explore, but its an entire level of the museum dedicated to the year-round filming studios of the television program “America’s Most Wanted” where one can experience the personal history of host John Walsh and see how community involvement in fighting crime led to dramatic results of over 1,000 fugitives getting captured because the show. I really enjoyed this museum greatly and highly recommend it as a not-to-miss stop on your trip to D.C. Rating: 5 stars out of 5. Visited 2/18/09.


Forensics Lab at the Crime and Punishment Museum

Continue reading National Museum of Crime and Punishment (Washington, DC)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Tony Cheng’s Seafood Restaurant (Washington, D.C.)


Tony Cheng Seafood Restaurant

Tony Cheng Seafood Restaurant * 619 H Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20001 * 202.371.8669

Right in the heart of China Town, near the Verizon Center not far from the National Mall, is this large Chinese Seafood Restaurant with Asian delight. A Blue Ribbon Winner restaurant rated Axxes Top 50 Restaurant has great food that this reviewer can stamp satisfaction on. However, on my visit, while friendly, the waittress was pushy and wanting to move customers in/out quickly even though the place was empty and didn’t have too many patrons at the moment which soured some of the experience. The food however was fabulous. I had the Shrimp Kung Pao which hit the spot and was sensational. A side of spring rolls added extra delight. The cost of the dishes were higher than they should have been and that was a dampener as well. Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5. Visited 2/18/09.


China Town

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

02/18/09: ESRI Federal User’s Conference, Day 1: Demonstrations & Keynote Speaker, EXPO

Wednesday, 18 February 2009 – Part 2
Washington, D.C.
Washington D.C. Conference Center: ESRI Federal Users Conference: 2009


Lawrie Jordan and Dan Zimble presenting at the ESRI FEDUC 2009

2009 ESRI Federal Users Conference: Opening Address
As the 2nd part of the afternoon, the ESRI staff demonstrated how ArcGIS tools can be used to support our most critical tasks we face in Government. From natural resources to security to health emergencies, we were presented and updated on important changes that will help us make smarter decisions in today’s economy. Staff presented the new aspects of ArcGIS 9.3, 9.3.1, and the upcoming 9.4. Some of the great new features of which include animation generation abilities, ability to configure the license manager to perform and operate without the hardware key, bookmarks, a bookmark manager, improved indentify toos, quick access to tools and properties, web display, HTML functionality, URL linking, better labelling, layout improvements, ability to Export to PDF with geo-spatial PDF files, weatherization modeling, error system with links to desktop help, and ESRI Resource Center improvements. Also improvements include a new scatterplot matrix tool, geo-referenced PDF’s, embedded virtual earth basemaps, keyless license manager, error solutions, and much more. Pretty incredible stuff, I’m looking forward to the implementation at my workplace with these new versions. I’m very impressed. Continue reading 02/18/09: ESRI Federal User’s Conference, Day 1: Demonstrations & Keynote Speaker, EXPO

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

2/18/09: ESRI Federal User’s Conference 2009 (Washington, D.C.) – Plenary Session


Jack Dangermond, ESRI President


2009 ESRI Federal Users Conference: Opening Address

Each Year in Washington D.C. the world reknown Geographical and Mapping software company, ESRI comes together with all of the Federal Government users – the FBI, Homeland Security, Department of Defense, Army, Navy, Justice, Environmental Protection Agency, etc. to network and discuss the Government applications of ESRI use in the world and beyond. Its also a time for them to present to us what tools, technologies, and innovations they have come up with to aid and guide us in our jobs to make us more efficient, successful, and to improve the world in which we work and live. The President of the company, Jack Dangermond, always opens up the conference and greets his Federal Government customers. He then presented to us examples of how GIS is making a difference in and changing our nation. He shared with us his vision of using the geographic approach for making decisions and solving problems in the federal government. He’s a great and humble speaker with intense knowledge of what needs to be done. Its always inspirational and guiding to hear him present. From wildland fire fighting to crime area fighting in cities; homeland security; to pirates off the coast of Somalia, or economic stimulus payments and car productions; GIS changes the world in how we view it, experience it, and live within it. Jack had several of his staff come up and present on new developments they are working on from versions 9.2 through 9.3, 9.3.1, and 9.4. The soon-to-be released free ArcGIS Explorer 900 with its fascinating aspects making it a Geographical/cartographical replacement for Powerpoint in Geography presentation development. 2D/3D base map galleries accessible on the fly. Integrated use of the Javascript API’s, Layer packages, map disks, web applications, tapping webcams, photos, HTML content, and being able to share all the data online if want to with some control.

John Calkins talked about FedSTAT program that is new, stemming from the Commstat that brings the ability to collaborate between agencies, the public, and communities using examples of tracking and fighting against the pirates in Somalia, and the bird strikes in America. They discussed the various aspects of 9.4 that we could expect to see with improved user interface and performance, templates, powerpoint similiarities for presentation abilities, ESRI Cartographic templates, and abilities they’ve invested a great deal of money into graphic designers to create for them so that you don’t have to be a cartographer to create good maps. Analysis and Dynamic Models you can generate on the fly, CAD integration, image integration, multi-core visualization, and alot of improved work with 3-D presentation/imagery. The ability to do sketching and GeoDesign, geographic designing. Jack discussed motivational talks with his friend and reknown primatologist Jane Goodall and the work she is doing with GIS. Laurie Jordan came up and discussed GIS and imagery integration of GIS and Remote sensing and wildfire applications. They demonstrated Wildfire image management discussing Image Management Serve/GeoEye with integrated FTP/download capabilities of data from the web. New image services they are providing and collaborating with that lets you select data for download and have immediate use of. Fast in access, speed that matters. Discussion of the COTS Exploitation Approach (ITT/ENVI) in the rendering of the thermal imagery of an active wildfire model builder to come up with the data and model to interact layers and simulate/animate the fire spread and progression over the landscape so that its easier to control and fight. Truly amazing and inspirational opening. Good job Jack! Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5. 2/18/09.




Jack Dangermond, ESRI President

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Smithsonian Museum of Air and Space (Washington, D.C.)


Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C. 2/17/09

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum * National Mall, Washington, D.C.
The National Air and Space Museum (NASM) of the Smithsonian Institution is a museum in Washington, D.C., United States holding many of the worlds collections of aircraft and spacecraft. It is also a vital center for research into the history, science, and technology of aviation and spaceflight, as well as planetary science and terrestrial geology and geophysics.Almost all space and aircraft on display are originals or backup crafts to the originals. The National Air and Space Museum is widely considered one of Washington’s most significant works of modern architecture.Because of the museum site’s close proximity to the United States Capitol, the Smithsonian Institution wanted a building that would be architecturally impressive but would not stand out too boldly against the Capitol Building. St. Louis-based architect Gyo Obata of Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum accepted the challenge and designed the museum as four simple travertine-encased cubes containing the smaller and more theatrical exhibits, connected by three spacious steel-and-glass atriums which house the larger exhibits such as missiles, airplanes and spacecraft. The museum, built by Gilbane Building Company, was finished in 1976. The west glass wall of the building is used for the installation of airplanes, functioning as a giant door. Synopsis from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smithsonian_Air_and_Space_Museum.
Continue reading Smithsonian Museum of Air and Space (Washington, D.C.)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Museum of the American Indian (Washington, D.C.)


National Museum of the American Indian, Washington, D.C. 2/17/09

National Museum of the American Indian, National Mall, Washington, D.C. * http://www.nmai.si.edu/
The Smithsonians National Museum of the American Indian is a museum dedicated to the life, languages, literature, history, and arts of the native peoples of the Western Hemisphere. It was established in 1989 through an Act of Congress. Operating under the auspices of the Smithsonian Institution, it has three facilities: the National Museum of the American Indian on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., which opened on September 21, 2004 on Fourth Street and Independence Avenue Southwest; the George Gustav Heye Center, a permanent museum in New York City; and the Cultural Resources Center, a research and collections facility in Suitland, Maryland. The museums architect and project designer is the Canadian Douglas Cardinal of the Blackfoot. Disagreements during construction led to Cardinal’s being removed from the project, but the building retains his original design intent. His continued input enabled its completion. The National Museum of the American Indian is home to the collection of the former Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation. The collection includes more than 800,000 objects, as well as a photographic archive of 125,000 images. Synopsis from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Museum_of_the_American_Indian.
Continue reading Museum of the American Indian (Washington, D.C.)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

United States Botanical Gardens (D.C.)


United States Botanical Gardens, Washington, D.C. 2/17/09

United States Botanical Gardens: (A HREF=”http://www.usbg.gov/”>http://www.usbg.gov/)
is one of the Nation’s most important botanical gardens. It is located on the grounds of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., near Garfield Circle, at the east end of the National Mall. The facility is supervised by the Congress through the Architect of the Capitol who is the groundskeeper of the Capitol. Open daily even on federal holidays (except June 3) until 5 pm. It is the oldest and most continually-operating botanical gardens in the U.S. In 1838 Charles Wilkes set out on the United States Exploring Expedition commissioned by Congress to circumnavigate the globe and explore the Pacific Ocean. During this trip (the “Wilkes Expedition”), Wilkes collected live and dried specimens of plants and was one of the first to use wardian cases to maintain live plants on long voyages. Wilkes returned in 1842 with a massive collection of plants previously unknown in the United States. These dried specimens comprised the core of what is now the National Herbarium, a herbarium curated by the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. The live specimens and seeds came to be housed in the Old Patent Office greenhouse, and were cared for there until 1850. At that time, a botanic garden was built to house the collection in front of the Capitol, where the Capitol reflecting pool is now located. The Building was moved to its present location in 1933 just to the southwest of the Capitol, bordered by Maryland Avenue on the north, First Street on the east, Independence Avenue on the south, and Third Street on the west. The Gardens are separated into the following sections;

  • The Garden Court
  • Rare and Endangered Plants (rare species, endangered species)
  • Plant Exploration
  • Orchid House (orchids)
  • Medicinal Plants (medicinal plants)
  • Desert (desert species)
  • Oasis (oasis)
  • Garden Primeval (primeval)
  • Plant Adaptation
  • Jungle (jungle species; this is the largest of the rooms, and includes a second-story catwalk so that the jungle canopy may be observed from both below and above)
  • Children’s Garden (courtyard; features many thriving temperate annuals used to encourage interest in plants)
  • Southern Exposure (courtyard),on the south side of the building, is surrounded by glass walls, receiving more warmth. It features many plants from the Southeast and Southwest, which would not be able to live in the colder District of Columbia climate if not for the microclimate)

The Oasis and administrative offices are the only places in the complex with air conditioning. Each room is closely monitored by a computer-operated sensors to maintain the environment best suited to the plants in that room. Humidity, sunlight and temperature are regulated by means of a misting system, retractable shades and levered windows. All plants are watered daily by hand. The gardens are fragrant, beautiful, and not to be missed when visiting Washington, D.C. Rating: 5+ stars out of 5.
Continue reading United States Botanical Gardens (D.C.)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

U.S. Capitol (D.C.)


The Capitol, Washington, D.C. 2/17/09

The Capitol * National Mall, Washington, D.C. *
At the eastern end of the National Mall, just beyond the Capitol reflecting pools, stands the United States Capitol building. This is ground-zero as the seat of government for the United States Congress, the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government. The Capitol is the origin by which the quadrants of the district of Columbia are divided. Officially, both the east and west sides of the Capitol are referred to as “fronts.” Historically, however, the east front was initially the side of the building intended for the arrival of visitors and dignitaries. Originating in the September of 1774, the First Continental Congress brought together delegates from the colonies in Philadelphia, followed by the Second Continental Congress which met from 1775 to 1781. Upon gaining independence, the Congress of the Confederation was formed, and convened in Philadelphia until June 1783, when a mob of angry soldiers converged upon Independence Hall, demanding payment for their service during the American Revolutionary War. Congress requested that John Dickinson, the governor of Pennsylvania, call up the militia to defend Congress from attacks by the protesters. In what became known as the Pennsylvania Mutiny of 1783, Dickinson sympathized with the protesters and refused to remove them from Philadelphia. As a result, Congress was forced to flee to Princeton, New Jersey on June 21, 1783, and met in Annapolis and Trenton, before ending up in New York City.


The Capitol, 2/17/09

The United States Congress was established upon ratification of the United States Constitution in 1789. New York City remained home to Congress until 1790,[3] when the Residence Act was passed to pave way for a permanent capital. The decision to locate the capital was contentious, but Alexander Hamilton helped broker a compromise in which the Federal government would take on war debt incurred during the American Revolutionary War, in exchange for support from northern states for locating the capital along the Potomac River. As part of the legislation, Philadelphia was chosen as a temporary capital for ten years, until the nation’s capital in Washington, D.C. would be ready. The Senate wing was completed in 1800, while the House wing was completed in 1811. However, the House of Representatives moved into the House wing in 1807. Though the building was incomplete, the Capitol held its first session of United States Congress on November 17, 1800. Not long after the completion of both wings, the Capitol was partially burned by the British in August 1814, during the War of 1812. Reconstruction began in 1815 and was completed by 1819. Construction continued through to 1826, with the addition of the center Rotunda area and the first dome of the Capitol. The Capitol Grounds cover approximately 274 acres, with the grounds proper consisting mostly of lawns, walkways, streets, drives, and planting areas.


Reflecting Pool 2/17/09


Continue reading U.S. Capitol (D.C.)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Federal Triangle (DC)


Federal Triangle 2/17/09


Federal Triangle Washington, D.C.
This is a geographical reference area just north of the National Mall that stretches from the White House to the Capital building containing many of the key Federal offices and Government buildings that makes our Nation tick such as the FBI Building, the National Archives, the Hoover Building and the Department of Justice.
The Federal Triangle is adjacent to the downtown area and other popular districts such as China Town.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Museum of Art: (DC) February 2009: Pompeii and the Roman Villa

Smithsonian National Museum of Art * 4th and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20565 * (202) 737-4215 * http://www.nga.gov/.


Pompeii and the Roman Villa Exhibit 2/17/09

The second exhibit I visited brought back memories of my Archaeology days and wanderings in Pompeii. What a blast from the past, literally. Pompeii and the Roman Villa: Art and Culture from around the Bay of Naples
Archaeology and Art from the first century BC displaying the picturesque Bay of Naples which was culturally known as a retreat in B.C. for vacationing emperors, senators, and other prominent Romans. Inside their lavish seaside villas under the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, treasures abound flamboyantly portraying leisure, art, life, reading, writing, exercise, painting, sculptures, and decorative arts … enjoyment of their sensuous gardens and views, entertaining house guests and frolicking in the sun. Artists of the region painted murals on the walls, mosaics, paintings, luxury arts, and sculptures. Some of these recent archaeological discoveries are for the first time on display in the U.S. A spectacular 30 minute film is also presented telling the history of life and destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum. An excellent, not to be missed exhibit. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.


Museum of Art 2/17/09

Continue reading Museum of Art: (DC) February 2009: Pompeii and the Roman Villa

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Museum of Art (DC): Pride of Place Exhibit


Pride of Place Exhibit, Museum of Art, D.C. 2/17/09


Smithsonian National Museum of Art * 4th and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20565 * (202) 737-4215 * http://www.nga.gov/.
One of the Smithsonian’s most fabulous of art galleries and museums. Always a fascinating gallery on exhibit from ancient or historic world to the modern era. One of my favorite places to visit in D.C. Two exhibits I caught on 2/17/09:
Pride of Place: Dutch Cityscapes of the Golden Age
From the 17th century comes an exquisite collection of over 48 paintings in a new genre, “the cityscape emerged” which was fostered by the booming economy of the Dutch Republic and its affluent urbanites. Presented in these themes are images of towns and cities with expressions of enormous civic pride. In addition to the paintings are 23 maps, atlases, illustrated books, prints, demonstrating this new genre. Wide-angle panoramas showing the urban skyline with its fortifications, windmills, steeples to renderings of daily life along the canals. Featured are Jacob van Ruisdael’s celebrated “Haarlem with the Bleaching Fields” (ca. 1670-1675), Gerrit Berckheyde, Aelbert Cuyp, Jan van der Heyden, Jan van Goyen, Hendrick Vroom, Pieter Saenredam, and Jan Steen. Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

George Washington Memorial Parkway

side park off GW

George Washington Memorial Parkway* http://www.nps.gov/gwmp/ * Washington, D.C.

Often nicknamed “The Road to Adventure” which was suitable as it gave me my route out of D.C. to the famous Shenandoah National Park. Locals call it “GW Parkway”. This memorial parkway is managed by the National Park Service and was designed as a gateway and greenway for the Nation’s capital. Most of the natural areas on the Parkway have no admission fee, though Great Falls Park does. The CIA’s headquarters are also in the Parks. The parkway is located mostly in Northern Virginia though a small section passes over Columbia Island which is within the District of Columbia. Its joined by Washington Street (SR 400) in Alexandria, Virginia; then runs with Clara Barton Parkway that runs on the opposite side of the Potomac River in DC and Motgomery County, Maryland. There was a fourth section planned but it was never built.

overlooking the Potomac
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

DC’s 11th Annual Goth Prom

Thursday, 22 May 2008 – Part 5 (10 pm – 2 am)
Washington, D.C.

11th annual D.C. Goth Prom “Under a Milky Way” * Town Danceboutique * 2009 8th Strett NW | Washington, DC 20009 * http://www.gothpromdc.com/


11th Annual Goth Prom, Washington, D.C. 5/22/08

After the National Geographic Live and private reception, I headed over to my ‘first’, while DC’s 11th, Goth Prom which is apparently the longest running Goth Prom in the United States. They even had a Prom King and Queen contest. Prior to this event, I was under the impression that DC really didn’t have a sizeable Goth community (based on last two years fly-ins to D.C. and checking out the scene) but I have to say, after this event – the population exists and the support for the night appeared to be pretty phenomenal. I might have to add this one to my annual calendar of events I go out of my way to attend (of course given time off work and funds). This year it was held at the Town Dancboutique, a two floored club with large levels and plenty of room to dance and move about. The event was $15 advanced tickets or $20 at the door, and that didn’t stop the place from filling up. A wide assortment of DJ’s were spinning on both floors – such as Scary Lady Sarah (Berlin, Chicago – Nocturna); DJ Spider (Charlotte, NC); Kelowna (Toronto-XM Satellite, chiarOscuro DC); Liebchen (DC Midnight, XUBERX); 2501 (Chronos DC, Alchemy DC); Dirty B; Shade (Spellbound DC, Alchemy DC); variety acts such as Cheeky Monkey slideshow performing her Amazing Trinket and MabJustMab acts (including glass walking); bellydancing and gothic tribal upstairs including Cerastes (tribal/industrial dance), Romka (tribal fusion bellydance), and others. Vendors ranged from custom made prom corsages and boutonnieres by Lost Moth; to custom art pieces by Arty4ever, wire jewelry by Eleanor Justice, horror kitsch illustrations and paintings by Frozen Charlotte, clothing and accessories by Dry Tear, Creepy home decor by Morbid Decor, Kilts by The Kilted Nation, custom latex/rubber clothing by Slyx, John Holmes of Bloodrose Industries fashion photography, custom hats and accessories by Peacock Blue, handmade beaded jewelry by Camille DeWalder, and custom t-shirt dsigns by Mind Jacket Designs. The music, talent, decor, acts, and performances were incredible. Drinks a bit higher end priced. Excellent job Lori Beth and all who put this on!!! Plus it was excellent to see my new friends from earlier this year Sarah and Alex who as usual, made me feel right at home as if I lived in D.C. Thank you. Goth prom are slowly putting up pictures in their Gallery here. Rating 5 stars out of 5. Visited 5/22/2008.

* apologies for the lack of quality of pictures for this evening. These were taken from my cell phone camera (no flash) as my camera was out of commission for the evening.

Continue reading DC’s 11th Annual Goth Prom

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

NG Live! Voices of Afghanistan and private reception (D.C.)

NG Live! lecture and private reception – Afghanistan: Voices of Cultural Preservation * National Geographic Society * 1145 17th Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20036 http://www.nationalgeographic.com/nglive/washingtondc/s2008/single/afghanistan.html * Thursday, 22 May 2008: 6:30-10:30 pm



This week it’s been an honor as an invited guest, coming up from Colorado to participate and join Fredrik Hiebert’s presentations of the Hidden Treasures of Afghanistan, the press preview, and the NG Live! presentation and repatriation of additional national treasures of Afghanistan that were collected by Homeland Security when they stopped the illegal transport of Afghanistan’s heritage into the United States. The NG Live! presentation and discussion was available (at cost) to the public, held at the National Geographic Society. Presented was a panel discussion on many various elements of cultural preservation issues and concerns surrounding Afghanistan especially in relation to the Hidden Treasures that are currently available for viewing at the National Gallery of Art until September 2008. Omara Masoudi, the Director of the National Museum of Afghanistan discussed the hiding, recovery, preservation of the treasures and the rebuilding of the Museum after its destruction during Afghanistan’s civil war. Reza, the director of AINA, who has photo documented Afghanistan for over two decades presented some of his work and the devotion him and his organization AINA has towards the development of independent Afghan media – including some really well crafted cultural preservation episodes made for children to help teach the prevention of looting Afghanistan’s heritage. Fred Hiebert, National Geographic Archaeologist and curator of the Hidden Treasures while in D.C., was a key role in the recovery and verification of the “Bactrian hoard” – a priceless collection of Silk Road-era artifacts that are among the Hidden Treasures of Afghanistan exhibit; he was commended for his work and presented much of the story of this epic of history. Photographer Steve McCurry the infamous photographer who photographed one of National Geographic Magazine’s most famous cover photos – “Afghan girl” in 1984 – showed a slide show of all of his photos (some unpublished photos) in Afghanistan he’s been photographing since the struggle against the Soviets. Shamim Jawad, the founder of Ayenda, who runs an organization in Afghanistan for improving the lives of Afghan families discussed her projects and the recently released Afghan children’s songbook. Fred Starr, the Director of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute at John Hopkins University moderated the evening. A surprise repatriation ceremony took place at the end when officials from Homeland Security presented and returned a collection of artifacts they recovered from illegal smugglers that were stealing Afghanistan’s heritage. They were repatriated back to Afghanistan. This week and the discussions at NG Live: Voices of Afghanistan presented that there are serious cultural preservation concerns and cultural pleas of help with Afghanistan and timing is critical. The courageous individuals who spoke this evening demonstrated many different ways they and others can take action in defending Afghanistan’s incredible history and heritage. Afterwards, a private reception at National Geographic was held where National Geographic staff, invited guests, Afghanistan’s ambassador and his wife, royal family, benefactors, and those involved with the events came together to wine and dine and network together on the things they’ve done. I had a wonderful visit. Thank you Fred. Rating 5 stars out of 5. Visited 5/22/2008.


Hidden treasures of Afghanistan


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share