Sunday, January 30, 2011

2Political Episode 49

2PP049 - 27 January 2011

2Political Podcast Episode 49- is now available. You can listen to it or download it from the podcast site, You can leave comments there as well as download or listen to any episode.

Arthur was delayed in editing this episode due to the Auckland Anniversary holiday weekend. It happens. We begin today with a story about "a procedure". But the special day is that Jason's cat Sam has been with Jason for 15 years! He's pictured above, then and now. We then move on to the State of the Union message, starting with malpractice insurance, of all things. That leads on to a discussion of Republicans and Congress in general, especially the budget and cuts. We also talk about the two Republican responses to the State of the Union.

Please leave a comment (anyone's welcome—agree or disagree!), or you can ring the 2Political Comment line on 206-350-3982.

Links for this episode:
In the GOP's budget, a surplus of spite – Eugene Robinson’s column in the Washington Post
Paul Ryan is not what you think - Matt Miller in Washington Post’s “Post Partisan” column
Paul Ryan's State of the Union response – Katrina vanden Heuvel, Washington Post
Koch Brothers Feel the Heat In DC, as Broad Coalition Readies Creative Action to Quarantine the Billionaires Gathering in California Desert - Dan Hazen on AlterNet
Jason’s Blog
Arthur’s blog, podcasts and videos can be accessed here.

Get 2Poltical Podcast for free on iTunes

Thursday, January 27, 2011


15 years ago today I got Sam. I had thought about getting a cat. I lived in an apartment and thought a cat would be the right type of pet to have. A cat would be easier to take care of. Also a cat is not a noticeable as a dog i.e. makes. less noise.

I found Sam at a pet shop on U Street called Companions. I was meeting friends from brunch to celebrate the fact I'd gotten a job at the World Bank. I was a little early and decided to go and take a look and see if they had any cats. And there was Sam or Warrior as he was called in those days (yes Warrior what a stupid name for a cat).

I met up with my friends for brunch. I told them about seeing the cat. I said, if he was there when I was finished with brunch, I'd buy him. Well it turned out he was indeed there and I got him. Lucky one of friends at the brunch had a car so getting Sam home was not a problem.

The rest they say is history.

So to celebrate 15 years here are some pictures of Sam over the years. It's what I call a Samathon.


Samathon, Part II

Samathon, Part III

Samathon, Part IV

Winter Storm Hits

It started slow around 6pm. That's when the first shot was taken. After that it really took off. This is probably worse then any of the storms last year. Those were mostly over night. This one hit right at rush hour. And rush hour was anything but a rush. It took people hours upon hours to just get out of the district.

Here's an assessment of what was going on in some areas last night from one of the Capital Weather Gang from the Post:

8:10 pm: A very impressive band of snow with rates of 1-2" in an hour has been raking eastern Montgomery county, northwest D.C. and northern Prince George's county. This band should move off in the next hour. Still, moderate snow will continue after that and snow may not finally taper off until between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. from southwest to northeast across the region. With rapidly developing low pressure systems, the snow sometimes continues longer than modeled. This happened with the Snoverkill storm last year on February 10-11. The longer duration means high end totals, particularly west of the city.

Winter Storm Hits, Part II

These pictures were taken around 10pm or so. It piled up very fast. It was also very wet and very heavy. Power lines sagged. In fact I was looking out my front door and I saw sparks coming off of one of the power poles that are across the street from me.

My lights dimmed a few times but I was lucky my power stayed on. Other's weren't so lucky:

With rumbles of thunder more common to a summer squall, winter descended in force on the Washington region late Wednesday, icing the area down before switching to snow, extending rush hour to an agonizing night-long crawl and turning out the lights for hundreds of thousands as power lines snapped.

Though the sky was clear, dawn brought an unwelcome chill to about 422,000 households without power in the region served by Pepco, Dominion Virginia and BGE.

Winter Storm Hits, Part III

For awhile it seems like it was more like snow rain than actual snow. The snow is so wet and so heavy it's caused chaos throughout the DC area. It made the commute for some people last hours and hours:

Denise Borders spent nearly 13 grueling hours on the Parkway-- "just sitting for hours. Literally. Sitting, not moving"--without food, without a bathroom, without sleep. There were trees down and people whose cars got stuck trying to turn around and get off the parkway, Borders said. But for most of the drivers on the road, the snow was less of a problem than the complete gridlock that enveloped them.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Procedure is Done

That sounds so much better than saying I had my anal warts taken care of. Because having the phrase anal wart in your headline is a little over the top. So I'll just put it in the body of the post.

This is what was found when I had my colonoscopy back in November. And today I got rid of them. It was a fairly quick procedure.

Everything went well. My procedure was at 8am this morning. I needed to get there an hour before so I could get checked in. I was a little concerned about the weather (we had some morning slop rain, snow, sleet) but that didn't play a factor. I got there early and walked around a while before going to the office but they were already opened when arrived and people were there.

While I was checking in, I found out that I had to pay for my part of the procedure right then. I was told someone should have been in touch with me about that. The thing is they did. Except they called yesterday afternoon and left a message on my home phone. Needless to say, I didn't get the message until I came home from work. By that time their office was closed. What I don't understand was why the only called the one number. I'd filled out there pre-admission form on-line. I provided my home, work and cell numbers. Why didn't they try another one? Especially in light of the fact they expected to get money from me. I told them that someone should have been in touch. That leaving a message was not enough.

After that, checking in was easy. I was taken into the back. I changed out of my clothes and then put on a gown and a robe but was told to wear the robe like a cape. I then went in to the prep area. There they took my blood pressure, temperature and heart rate.

The anesthesiologist came along next. She did the routine of asking was I allergic to any medicines. Had I ever had a bad reaction to anesthesia. Did I have any sort of bridge work in my mouth that might come out. If so I would of course have had to remove that. Then she worked in an IV with saline. It was just like the ones I give Sam. I asked for a couple of pointers on the best way to do this since lately I've been having some problems with it. I had a little problem where she couldn't get the catheter all the way into the vein. After a little this problem solved itself.

The next step was to wait for the doctor to show up and then we could get things started. I talked to the doctor at 8:15. I walked into the operating room. They got me all set up. The next thing I know I'm in recovery and it's 9:15.

I was told to put on my clothes. That took a little while. I was a little wobbly on my feet. I'd also worn my work boots because of the sloppy weather in the morning. Wish I'd had a way to record that because that was funny.

Then I was moved to the actual recovery area. I was given a ginger ale and a couple of graham crackers. Before I could go home I'd have to pee. That didn't take all that long. Then I assumed they'd call my ride and I'd soon be on my way home.

Well it turns out that didn't happen. I overheard one of the nurses talking to another patient. The nurse asked if they'd call the person who was supposed to pick them. She said she was going to do it right then.

I decided I'd do the same. It turns out my friend had not been called. I don't know why they asked for the name and phone number of the person who was going to pick me up unless they were going to call them. I could easily have left half an hour sooner. But oh well.

My wart is being sent out to be biopsied. That's done as a precaution. My doctor said it was highly unlikely that there would be any problems.

They are sending the thing out to biopsied. But my doctor said it was highly unlikely that there would be any problems.

I was given a prescription for oxycodone for the pain. The nurse said that I should take one before I go to bed tonight so I have a restful night.

And that is the end of my tale of my anal wart.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Finding Parking in the District Stinks

Well actually I think I should say it sucks. And for those who live here that statement doesn’t come as a huge surprise.

I went to my gym on Sunday. I drove. Although it was a little later in the day than I usually go (I was taking a class at 11am), I thought it wouldn’t be all the much trouble to find a place to park.

All I can say is I’m glad I left myself a little extra time. Finding a space can be a problem.

The number of entrances where you cannot park is just ridiculous. It seems just about every office building has an entrance area in front of the building where people cannot park. And they cannot park all the time. It makes no sense to me why people cannot park in these spots after hours and on Sundays. Because I’m thinking no one is using the entrance during those times.

But figuring out all of the signs is just nuts. I thought I’d find a spot. I parked. I then looked very carefully at the signs that were posted. One said no standing or parking between 7 am and 9:30 am and then no standing or parking between 4:30pm and 7:00pm. Essentially you can’t park during rush hour. I thought to myself, this is fine. I thought that way until I saw the second sign. It said no parking at any time.

How the hell does that make any sense at all. Either you can park during non-rush times or you can’t park all. Why were both signs there? And it’s not as if they covered different areas. It was the exact same area of the street.

So I continued my search. It took another five minutes or so to find a spot but I did find one. I spotted it and of course was in the wrong lane to get it. I was able to go around the block and it was still open when I got back.

So I had some good parking karma on Sunday.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Very Funny Peanuts series

I have to say I've never see this series in Peanuts. Lucy decides that it is time for Linus to get over his blanket. So for the start of the New Year, Lucy takes the blanket and buries it. This is very funny. Enjoy.

Charlie Brown Plays the Good Friend

Here's Charlie Brown being the good friend.

Linus Searches for His Blanket

Here Linus tries in vain to find his blanket.

Final Panel

Thursday, January 20, 2011

2Political Episode 48

2PP048 - 19 January 2011

2Political Podcast Episode 48 is now available. You can listen to it on the widget on the right side of my blog, or you can go the podcast site, You can leave comments there as well as download or listen to any episode.

We begin today with a sad story, which leads us to a discussion related to the Arizona shootings, namely, what to do about people with mental illnesses that could lead them to violence. That leads on to a discussion of violent imagery and rhetoric. While we agree that extreme rhetoric is bad, we disagree about Alan Grayson’s rhetoric.

This leads to an interesting discussion that Arthur kicks off by asking, where’s the line? How far CAN you go in your rhetoric? When does criticism go too far? Jason offers one sort of limit. That leads eventually to a discussion of centrism and gun control. Whew, this is wide-ranging episode!

Please leave a comment (anyone's welcome—agree or disagree!), or you can ring the 2Political Comment line on 206-350-3982.

Links for this episode:
Sad Sighting – the first post from his blog that Jason mentioned
Daily Kos Weekly State of the Nation Poll (Jan 14, 2011 - Jan 16, 2011)
The Flap about the Map – the other post from his blog that Jason mentioned
False equivalence – the post from Arthur’s blog that he mentioned
The Tim Corrimal Show
Jason’s Blog
Arthur’s blog, podcasts and videos can be accessed here.

Get 2Poltical Podcast for free on iTunes

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

An Icy Mess

Tuesday the Washington area woke up to an icy mess. Freezing rain and sleet had fallen the night before. It coated cars and sidewalks and streets and steps. Making it difficult to maneuver on the Tuesday morning commute.

I was up early. My plan had been to go swimming in the morning. I quickly decided not to do that. I certainly wasn’t going to drive to the pool. And walking looked like it was going to be just as dangerous. So I put off swimming in favor of trying to get rid of the ice on my steps and walk.

I didn’t have any problems with getting the ice off the steps. A couple of quick hard hits on the ice with my shovel cracked some of the ice off. Then it was easy to shovel the rest of it away. The sidewalk turned out to be much harder to do. It would have been easier if the had been more ice. But the little that stuck to the sidewalk turned out to be too difficult to get rid of. After about 5 minutes of trying I decided to give up.

With the steps at least clear, I knew I would be pretty safe getting to the sidewalk. I could then very cautiously get to the street which had been plowed and was clear. This is exactly what I did as I headed out to the subway on my way to work. I figured once I got to the subway it would be clear sailing. It didn’t exactly turn out that way.

I had to walk in the streets to get the Metro. The sidewalks were sheets of ice.

Once at the Rhode Island station the problems started. There was a delay. It turns out there was a track problem outside of the Tenleytown station. This forced trains to share the same track between Cleveland Park and Friendship Heights. This of course backed everything up. So we waited and waited and waited at Rhode Island Avenue to move. One nice thing the operator of the train did was he closed the doors which it much warmer in the cars. When people came on to the platform he would open the doors to let them in.

We continued to wait. Finally a train going in the other direction pulled into the station. The operator of our train said that people could take this train up to Fort Totten. Transfer there to the Green Line and take that back down into the city. You could then transfer at Gallery Place to the Red Line.

Sounded like a good idea. Many people decided to do that. But just like you should almost never switch to another line from the one you’re in, this was not a good idea either. I got on the north bound train. The doors closed. Then the train I’d been on heading into the city closed its doors and moved out. Oh well.

Got up to Fort Totten with no problems. Transferred on to the Green Line. Again no problems. I got off at Gallery Place and the place was packed. I decided that I’d walk the rest of the way to work. It isn’t very far. All of the sidewalks were clear too.

A fun way to start a new week.

Monday, January 17, 2011

GW vs. Harvard

I went to my first GW men's basketball at Smith Center on Saturday. GW took on Harvard. GW lead for a large part of the game but in the end could not pull it off. They ended up loosing 67-62. This best sums up what happened:

Not long after the first scheduled timeout of the second half, the momentum shifted against GW. The Colonials had gone up 41-34 on David Pellom's alley-oop dunk and seemed poised to break the game open. But then the Colonials started having trouble putting the ball in the basket. After making 48.1 percent of its shots in the first half, GW struggled against Harvard's zone defense, making only 37.9 percent of its shots from the floor after halftime.

It was a rather frustrating game to watch because they should have won easily. But as they say that's why you play the game.

Sad Sighting

That's the best way I can describe what a friend and I saw on Saturday.

We were meeting up at Bertuccis for lunch. We were then going to go to a GW basketball game. The Bertuccis is located in a mall/office building on the GW campus.

As we were leaving, we saw a homeless man sitting on a bench in the mall area. My friend said to me that's our guy. I said is it. He said yes it was. On looking a little closer I had to agree.

What he meant by our guy is this is a homeless man we have been seeing or walking by for almost 30 years. We first started seeing him not long after I graduated from GW which was in 1981.

In the course of the past couple of days I've been thinking about that man. I've thought of all the things that I've done in my life. The places that I've been. All the fun things I've done. All the holidays with my family. Then I thought of more mundane things like being able to go to a movie or a grocery store and buy food.

This guy has been walking the streets for that same time period.

As I said a very sad sighting indeed.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Flap about the Map

I've debated on if I should comment about the Palin map controversy and finally decided I had too.

I'll say at the outset that I don't think Palin map had anything to do with the nut case in Tucson.

But the response of Palin and company to the criticism of the map is so disingenuous it needs to be pointed out. Rebecca Mansour, an aide to former Alaska governor Sarah Palin said: We never ever, ever intended it to be gun sights...It's a surveyor's symbol" She went on to say that this was done by an outside agency implying somehow it was the agency's fault for using the symbol.

I'm sorry but that looks like a gun sight. Why do I think that? Because of all the gun imagery that Sarah Palin uses. When health care passed she said don't retreat, reload. She talks about taking up arms but then says she means people voting. Really?

Once again this one thing didn't cause the nut case to do what he did.

But it seems to me it's time to step back and take a good long hard look about what we say and what we have printed to further the cause whatever that cause might be.

Concern about the map came from none other than Congresswoman Giffords:

"We're on Sarah Palin's Targeted list," Giffords told MSNBC in March, after the door of her Tucson office was smashed after her vote in favor of the health care bill. "But the thing is the way she has it depicted, it has the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district and when people do that, they've got to realize there are consequences to that action." Giffords, however, demurred when the interviewer noted that such imagery has long been a staple of politics and asked whether Palin really meant it. "I can't say, I'm not Sarah Palin," Giffords replied.

Below is the best perspective on the flap about the map: