Half full or half empty?

Not Full

I’m neither a half full or half empty, I’m more of “There’s never enough” kind of person. Which I guess that would make me a half empty person? I guess it depends on the size of the container.

How to use a crosswalk

automatic city control crossing
Photo by JESHOOTS.com on Pexels.com

People have been confused for decades about the real meaning of the crosswalk signals. The red hand doesn’t mean stop, it’s waving at you, telling you it’s safe to cross! The other signal is a chalk outline of a dead guy informing that you will perish if you try to cross.

I’ve always heard those crosswalk buttons don’t have anything to do with the traffic signals. Crosswalk buttons are installed because pushing a button will give a sense of control before you’re flattened by a city bus you didn’t see because you were too busy checking your twitter. There have been several occasions where people crossed in front of my car and told me to stop with their raised hand. I had no idea they had the right of way to cross a busy intersection while I had a green light. I finally get it, I’ve had these crosswalk signals mixed up all along!

If you visit a big metropolitan area you know it’s safe to cross when the city folk begin entering the intersection before the signal changes. Trust them.

Don’t ruin your trip to Washington DC


Stay in Virginia

Unless you like throwing away money, you can stay at a similar hotel in Arlington Virginia for a fraction of the cost. I recommend the Homewood Suites near the Rosslyn Metro station. They have a free shuttle to Rosslyn Metro which will connect you to the Orange, Blue, and Silver lines.

Use the Metro Rail

If you love driving around and seeing endless brake lights, then by all mean, hop in your automobile. Overcome your fear of confined underground metal bacteria tubes and use the Metro Rail. I’d suggest starting at $20 per rider and refilling it as needed. You can get to all the major sights by using this transportation method if you don’t mind a little walking to and from the Metro stations.

Contact your Senator

If you plan ahead you can contact your state Senator and book a White House, Capital, and Library of Congress Tour. The Capital tour was my favorite because it was a small group and our guide was very knowledgeable. We also got to ride the underground people mover from the Senator’s office to the Capital Building. Plus we got to go in rooms not available to the general public.

Pack Light (most of the time)

For Government buildings, you will be restricted to small purses or handbag. Don’t bring a backpack with everyone’s lunch or water bottles. If you take a capital tour with your Senator’s office, you can leave your backpack in the air-conditioned office and pick it up when you are done. You can take pictures and they will let you know with vigor when you can’t. Small point and shoot camera or your smartphone are fine. Do not attempt to bring your SLR with a 600mm lens.

Bring a reusable water bottle and snacks

For times you can bring a larger bag (museum days), fill a reusable water bottle with ice from your hotel. Most places have those filtered reusable water stations that remind you haven’t killed any sea turtles today.  There aren’t many options to eat at the National Mall, so pack a few snacks so that you don’t have any hangry meltdowns.

Minimize your walking

Don’t try to do the National Mall in one day. Going from the Capital Building to the Lincoln Memorial is quite a haul. We did it, it is possible, but I regret it. Try to plan your museum visits based on your metro stops.

Use the DC Circular

To help minimize your walking there is a large red bus that will stop at all major spots in and around the National Mall. It’s only $1 for as long as you ride. Some drivers will let your kids on for free. Good for getting from one end of the National Mall to the other.

Suggested YouTube Channel: Trip Hacks DC


Is it time to stop owning your media?

For as long as I’ve had money and ears I’ve been purchasing music. I started with cassette tapes in the 80s and moved on the CDs in the 90s followed by iTunes in the 00s.

Music (Yes)

I have a disappearing collection of CDs as they have all been put into apple audio or mp3 format. I rarely purchase a physical CD anymore unless I sign up for a Kickstarter campaign and get the artist to sign it. I purchase soundtracks for my favorite movies and have the physical CD and the auto-rip from Amazon. I finally subscribed to Apple music family plan, and for only $15 a month, my family and I can listen to anything we want.

Books (Maybe)

I’m slowly removing all my physical books from my shelf and replacing them with their digital counterpart. I’ll keep a few on the shelf because I could never part with them. My Grandmother’s study bible and hymnal, and my personal bible collection, and a few Star Wars books. But other than that I have everything on my Kindle. Let’s hope Amazon doesn’t close it’s virtual doors anytime soon.

Movies (No)

I still own many movies, I have VHS (but no VCR), DVDs (dwindling collection) and many Blu-rays and 4K discs. I also own the original non-special edition Star Wars films on Laser-disc (and a Laser-disc player). Blu-rays are superior in my opinion because they don’t buffer like streaming services. You get the highest quality picture and sound.

It’s a neat idea to have all your media in the cloud, it would put those time life CD infomercials out of business because you can dig in the virtual crates and find all your favorites, all for the easy payment of $9.99 a month.

Binge watching is the new standard

closeup photo of person holding panasonic remote control in front of turned on smart television
Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

I have all but quit watching TV shows when they air. I believe I stopped watching live TV shows when Friends went off the air, before DVRs were a thing. I don’t like commercials and with Netflix, Hulu and other knockoffs, you can watch an entire season rather quickly. Once the streaming services became available it made it too easy to watch what I wanted on my schedule. There are some shows that I like to keep up to date on so I will wait about a month until they get at least 4 shows in the books before I begin watching. Then there’s that awful period of waiting for them to get another 4 episodes in the queue.

I’ve never been nor ever will be a fan of Game of Thrones. I’ve heard enough people talk about it to know that I won’t like it. However, if I ever do watch it, I will wait until the series finale, then watch all the seasons in about a month.

I’ve caught the first 5 seasons of Last Man Standing and now have to wait for season 6 to come out to Hulu, since Netflix decided to drop the show. Which means, I have to subscribe to yet another service to see what I want. If it wasn’t for the Marvel shows on Netflix, I would drop them. I find that I search Netflix more than I watch. And now with Disney pulling all their content it will make the decision easier. Here are a few of my favorites that I’ve binge watched over the years ranked from Happy to Depraved.

  • The Office (Netflix)
  • Parks and Recreation (Netflix)
  • Justified (Amazon Prime)
  • The Sopranos (Amazon Prime)
  • Dexter (Netflix)
  • Friends (Netflix)

The last three I really didn’t like the last few seasons, I just wanted to complete them so I could be disappointed with the endings.

Whole Foods vs Everywhere else

I don’t live in a nice enough part of town to shop at Whole Foods, so I have slum it and make do with what I have available. I typically only shop at three stores. Aldi, Walmart, and some sort of big box warehouse store. Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea of Whole Foods, but don’t feel it warrants the price for the food. The human bodies digestion system it pretty amazing and I don’t think it matters how much the food costs. Organic doesn’t mean that much to me and if it only takes a few extra years away from my life, I’m OK with that.

Hopefully I’ll be able to get Whole Foods delivered to my door inside of a brown UPS box via Amazon Prime soon!

Should you make fun of any president?

I’ve been voting for several elections now and I don’t recall so much hostility towards any president as much as our current one. I’ve never seen so many commercialized insults towards President Trump and now it seems that candy companies are throwing their hat in the ring. Just because you have freedom of speech doesn’t give you the freedom to be disrespectful towards your fellow humans. Well I guess it does.

But let’s remember that even if someone is “your enemy”then treating them with kindness is like dumping burning coals on them. Got that from some book, not sure which one. I think it’s the same one as the golden rule or something.