Month: January 2009

Pitchers and Catchers Report in 14 Days

On the weekend of the Super Hype Bowl, the Washington Nationals web site notes that we’re 14 Days and 13 Hours (as of this posting) until pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel.  To celebrate, let’s check out question #1413 from Obsessed With Baseball. Which one of these Hall of Fame pitchers did NOT reach 300 career wins? A.  Mickey Welch  B.  Early Wynn  C. Robin Roberts  D. Kid Nichols And the answer is….C.  Robin Roberts Spring is around the corner. More to come… DJB

President Obama Mocks DC Residents’ Response to Winter

The blog DCist has a great post today with a video of President Obama mocking the people of Washington about their response to the weather.  His girls couldn’t believe that school was closed today (which was true for Andrew and Claire’s schools, which are just down the street from Sidwell).  One of the girl’s said that in Chicago they would have gone out for recess in this weather. The DCist response is perfect: President Barack Obama basically called District residents a bunch of wusses when it comes to dealing with snow and ice. We’d be offended if he wasn’t, you know, totally, absolutely correct. Sad but true.  Watch the video…it is funny. More to come… DJB

My New Favorite Off-Season Sport

I just realized that I have a new favorite sport for the off-season (i.e., the non-baseball months of the year).  Hockey.  Yes, hockey.  I’m choosing to watch hockey games on television instead of basketball (especially given that interminable season that is pro basketball). And I’m hooked thanks to the Washington Capitals and their superstar Alex Ovechkin, the Great Eight.  (Ovechkin wears #8 on his jersey.)  He’s a terrific talent – fast and strong with a wicked shot – and he has the teammates to support him. A friend of mine from New Orleans once said Southerners had learned to like hockey because it was the closest legalized sport to cock fighting.  A good line, but the fighting is not what I find intriguing about the sport.   I just watched a game between the top two teams in the Eastern Division of the NHL:  the Capitals and the Boston Bruins.  Although this is just after the All-Star break in the middle of the NHL season, these two teams played at a speed and skill level that was breath-taking.  Incredible …

Exploring LA

Having been in Los Angeles the last four days for work-related meetings, I haven’t had an opportunity to post More to Come…updates.  But I have had time to explore parts of the city with colleagues involved in historic preservation.  As is always true when I’m in Los Angeles, I learned more and more about this city’s many wonderful historic places.  Our meetings were in Santa Monica, and I took some time to visit the historic pier and to sample a nice Spanish restaurant in their funky Main Street – which is more like a neighborhood commercial center these days.  Don’t think I spent hours on a sunny beach – it was cool, rainy at times, and in the 50s. But on Saturday, when we spent 8 hours touring around town, the weather gods cooperated.  While the temperature stayed in the 50s, the rain gave way to partly cloudy skies.  We began our tour on bus and went through a number of neighborhoods off Wilshire Boulevard, before we ended up downtown.  It was my first chance to see …

Live at McCabe’s

I am in Santa Monica, California, for a set of meetings.  For most people, when they think of Santa Monica they think of the beautiful beach and the restored Santa Monica Pier, with its historic carousel and the great Ferris wheel that lights up the night sky.  Those things are all pretty wonderful, but when flatpickers come to Santa Monica they think of Live at McCabe’s. Back in the 1970s, Norman Blake was making his first west coast appearance and he recorded an album at McCabe’s Guitar Shop, which is located on Pico Boulevard here in Santa Monica.  It is a wonderful album for several reasons, but most of all because it showcases Blake’s incredible guitar flatpicking skills.  For those who’ve only heard Blake on O Brother Where Art Thou or on his later albums, there’s always a wonder – as others have noted – at how Blake came to be mentioned among the first guitar greats in the same breath with Doc Watson, Dan Crary, and Clarence White.  When you listen to Live at …

More on the Inauguration

In searching the Internet this morning, I found a post on the Daily Kos’ Street Prophets section on faith that discussed the difference between the prayers of Rick Warren and Joseph Lowery at Tuesday’s inauguration ceremony.  I recommend the entire post, but I loved the ending enough to add it here.  Pastor Dan writes, As a Facebook friend says, “Rev. Lowrey is to Rick Warren as Mavis Staples is to Britney Spears.” Yep, pretty much. That’s a great line…and very true.  If you don’t know Mavis Staples, listen to the following video.  And the images are a poignant reminder of why so many people were quoted yesterday as saying, “I never thought I’d see this in my lifetime.”  More to come… DJB

Views of the Inauguration

January 20, 2009 was a great day to be an American.  It was also a wonderful day to be in Washington.  And although I’m writing this from Santa Monica, California – I didn’t leave Washington until we had a new president. Claire was on the mall with friends and she took several pictures of the inauguration – including the one at the top of the post.  She reports that it was very festive, and this picture captures that spirit. Because I had to fly to California later in the day, and Candice was coming back from a long weekend in Florida, Andrew and I opted to go to Politics and Prose – the wonderfully independent and progressive neighborhood bookstore – to watch the inauguration with like-minded friends and patrons.  It was great.  The staff provided free popcorn, the coffee shop was hopping turning out the hot chocolate and lattes, and everyone was in a very good mood.  Andrew had on his Obama ’08 cap and we enjoyed the view and the company.  There were three different …

Peter Ostroushko Plus at IMT

It wasn’t the concert the Institute of Musical Traditions originally envisioned, but thanks to the professionalism and love for music the performers brought to the evening, it was more than advertised. Andrew and I took in the regular Monday night IMT concert this evening, which featured Peter Ostroushko and Danny Gotham.  However, they were delayed by a major pile up on I-70 that  Peter later told us included a fiery semi that was completely incinerated.  Thanks to quick thinking by the IMT folks, however, they called in friends Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer and in a delightful half-hour opening set they kept the evening moving and proved they’re much more than just children’s artists.  Marxer’s musicianship was in special evidence on her cello banjo and in some sweet swing guitar solos.  Ostroushko and Gotham then took the stage and began with a mandolin duet of tunes learned from Norman Blake.  The second tune in the medley, a Blake original entitled Jeff Davis, got Ostroushko in the mood for some political humor.  He told of a time …

Random Moments from a Holiday Weekend

Random moments of grace from the first half of a special holiday weekend here in Washington… Having the time to read the New York Times slowly.  Many Saturdays I’m so busy with errands I zip through the Times and the Washington Post.  I’m glad I didn’t yesterday.  Gail Collins has a sense of humor that I love, and the start to her Saturday column had me laughing out loud. Right now you may be asking yourself: How am I going to celebrate Barack Obama’s inauguration? You may, of course, have something else on your mind entirely. Like what the chances are that the next time you get on a plane, geese could fly into both engines. Or what the heck geese are doing in New York in the middle of winter when their relatives who worked hard and played by the rules had all gone south months ago. Or you may just be wondering how that rescue in the Hudson River would have gone if it had been led off by the Department of Homeland …

Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Edge of the American West is one of those nice finds on the Internet.  As we head into the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend, I found their post on Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr. (Again) to be worth sharing. In the post, the writer Ari focuses on a King speech entitled The Other America that Dr. King gave weeks before his death.  Ari writes: By this time in his life, though, King openly expressed sympathy for those who embraced other means, for those who would not turn the other cheek: But at the same time, it is as necessary for me to be as vigorous in condemning the conditions which cause persons to feel that they must engage in riotous activities as it is for me to condemn riots. I think America must see that riots do not develop out of thin air. Certain conditions continue to exist in our society which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots. But in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the …