Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunday 07.25.10 sun, storm, Red Cross HQ and a family from Puerto Rico

Triple digit temperatures continued today but I had three bottles of water, gatorade and sun screen spray. I checked the hourly predictions and it promised ot be hot all day until ~ 4 pm when there was a "Severe Thunderstorm Watch" with a serious chance of thunderstorms and  high winds.

I picked up this very nice family of 4, one boy and one girl, near the White House to take to the Lincoln Memorial. My cellphone was buzzing text warnings all day of the bad weather coming and to take shelter.

 (If you want to be prepared and get almost realtime emergency alerts in DC go to  and register your cellphone or digital device.)

Thought I would just get shelter at Lincoln but the sky was darkening and the winds were really whipping up. There had been a Boy Scout parade commemorating 100 years of Boy Scouting so Constitution Avenue was almost empty. A Park Police Officer in a  pickup truck opened the window and said get to shelter, there are 56 mph winds coming, so I turned off to go up to 2025 E St., the American Red Cross HQ where I knew we could find shelter. The State Dept. and Office of Personnel Management didn't seem too inviting, so pedaling uphill as fast as I could we went.

We ran in and I called the security guard and then out came the smiling VP for Disaster Services, Armond Mascelli, working on Sunday, not surprisingly with all the disasters all over the country. Our Puerto Rican father was a warrant officer in the National Guard and so had plenty of Red Cross experience.

20 minutes of storm left 30,000 without power and the Natioanl Capitol Area Red Cross activating shelters.

A tropical rain poured but we were safe inside. So sitting inside, I continued the tour in Spanish and English lecturing on the Einstein Monument, showing the phone message of the recordings of Einstein and commentary I have stored on my cell for science nerds like me. (202) 595-1836.

I often tell the same historical stories as we pass or visit  the Monuments (and am preparing the stories in Spanish and Italian and checking for grammatical correctness.)

 "Einstein was famous for the photoelectric effect where particle and wave nature of light was demonstrated when a certain frequency of light can knock out an electron from metal and ionize the metal. As a young patent clerk, he derived the general theory of relativity. He was also famous for the equation relating the release of energy in a nuclear reaction, much greater than a chemical reaction, to the speed of light squared. Finally at the end of his life, Albert Einstein worked for international peace and disarmament."

"Moving towards the Lincoln Memorial, we pass the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Maya Lin designed this gash in the earth where 58,267 names are inscribed on the stone walls when she was an undergraduate at Yale. My father, a Lt.Col. in the Marine Corps buried in Arlington National Cemetery never visited The Wall because he said he had to write letters home about "somebody's Mother's son." who will return home in a body bag.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Microsoft Partners and a sanitation workers' family

Microsoft partners conference at the convention center brought geeks (“solutions providers” as we used to refer to ourselves in the software development biz) from around the world. Had a great chap with a couple Italians who actually work for MS. Francesco told of a press conference today about the new Apple i4 iPhone booboos. (Competition can be good for a species. In ecology, there a graph of competition vs. resources and population. At one end of the graph is extinction where a species eats itself out of its environment; another end of the asymptote is monopoly where one species completely dominates (MS?) , but the best equilibrium are where the asymptotes meet and the dynamic of competition hums alongs - birth, consumption, death, depletion of resources/renewal of resources)

Italy-grazie mille, Californian, Khazakstan – Rakhmat; Belgium and France bienvue – merci; Nigeria – one can usually tell by cheekbone structure if a Yoruba – Oshe or Ibo-  Daalo or Hausa – most are statistically Yoruba.

Picked up above the White House a Larger African American family – he is sanitation worker (garbage truck driver) from Cleveland OH . Had to share the tour with my Turkish friend, another rogue driver with his own rig had to cut short the tour for costs and crying baby.

He repeated the happy wife = happy life maxim cited previous posting.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Americans on both sides of the aisles pedicab through the 4th of July : Happy birthday America!

He had a huge silver and gold belt buckle and a very Texan hat, she had her big toes painted in an American flag. "We're from Texas and very conservative and listen to Fox News, " she proclaimed. Took this nice couple on an hour or so tour to Jefferson, Lincoln, driving past FDR and Dr. King's future memorial between TJ and Abe.

Then on my way back to the shop picked up a Chicago building union man and his wife, and made their night special by taking them to Jefferson Memorial, one of the most spiritual monuments we have. Originally they wanted to just go to the other side of the White House, and then they shared they just had a tour of the West Wing. I asked how they were able to get the tour. She was a State Senator from Chicago!

Then at Mass at St. Dominic's I heard the priest say, "Conservatives and liberals need one another's corrective action. We all need to listen to and learn from each other."

Happy 4th America! The experiment continues! I sure hope God continues to bless America.

"I tremble for my country when I reflect God is just." carved into stone at Jefferson.  Off to get a pedicab with a shade covering on this day that will get into the high nineties...