Posts tagged 'Local'

Huge Line At Foggy Bottom Metro Station

I was dumbfounded at the number of people waiting in line to enter the Foggy Bottom Metro Station in Georgetown this evening. Only one of three escalators was open causing the people who wanted to come up to share with the people trying to walk down. The line went around the block from both sides as you’ll see in this video taken by my fellow co-worker, Paulo.

This isn’t the first time escalators have plagued Foggy Bottom. I skipped the ridiculous lines and instead walked to Farragut North a mere 8 blocks away.

Fix Loose Screws In Wood With A Match

This weekend my roommates ventured to a Linens-N-Things store for a going out of business sale. They ended up bringing home a Kitty Litter Hideaway cabinet. Why did they buy it? Who knows. Puck sure hasn’t taken to it unless there is a treat inside.

As they were putting the unit together they realized they made a mistake. The trouble with these cheap furniture pieces is they aren’t made for mistakes. By unscrewing the pieces from each other, the pre-drilled hole no longer gripped the screw. Luckily I learned this little screw-tightening trick from my dad. Take a match and break it off so it is even with the screw hole. When you screw the screw back in the wood the match tightens everything up. Great for these self-assembly furniture items.

match in screw hole

A Halloween Fit For A King

The roomies and I decided to throw a Halloween bash this year after carving our pumpkins. As hosts of the shin dig we knew we had to have the most elaborate costumes. Kristina spent all week sewing our King and Queen of Hearts costumes out of old clothes and fabric from the thrift store. You can read more about how she brought everything together at but the results speak for themselves.

Russell and Kristina as the King and Queen of Hearts

Our roommates dressed up as a cop and a Mexican. Their costumes provided lots of laughs.

Jaime and Josh as a Cop and a Mexican

Our friend Pammy and Chris took the laid-back approach going as McCain and Palin via the Chicago Tribune campaign 2008 masks.

McCain and Palin Paper Masks

But by far the most interesting costume of the night went to Matt and Toni. At first we thought they were a yellow tear drop and a bear but later we realized they were pee and poop.

Pee and Poop Costume

We didn’t get any trick-or-treaters but we still had a great time hanging out, eating lots of candy, and playing a rousing game of Apples to Apples.

Our Pumpkins Are Carved For Halloween

Roommates carving pumpkins for Halloween

Tonight the roommates and I carved our pumpkins for Halloween. We put out cut up paper bags on the dining room table and proceeded to extract the orange, stringy pumpkin guts. We each picked our own design and sat in silence for about an hour as we patiently cut out the pieces. They all came out great.

Four Carved Pumpkins

My pumpkin featured a portrait of Oogie Boogie from The Nightmare Before Christmas. The template was made by Frank Jonen who made a 3D model to make sure it would work.

Oogie Boogie Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkin Carving

Need some help carving your own pumpkin this year? Check out these resources:

What does your pumpkin look like?

BarCampDC2: Bigger, Geekier, And More Food

This past weekend the second DC area BarCamp took place. Like last year’s event, a horde of local techies came out to teach one another and collaborate on new ideas.

My favorite presentation was from Jeff Brown, a high school teacher who considers himself a webucator. His talk was about how he is teaching proper, standards-compliant web development techniques at Damascus High School in Montgomery County. Here’s a picture of the back of my head (I’m in the blue shirt) taken by kenyaoa during the session.

Jeff Brown is a Webucator

Another memorable event was an impromptu session about Expression Engine, a flexible CMS. I was so inspired from the small group that the next day I tried the free version out myself.

The Washington Post was there covering the event and there was a small write up in the business section this morning. They interviewed Charlie Park, a friend of mine I met at the first BarCamp, who started an online budgeting app. The reporter called the space where we were meeting a “Georgetown basement” but it was actually generously donated by the Center for Digital Imaging Arts, which is a part of Boston University.

When you get over a hundred developers together all day, they’re going to get hungry. Thankfully this Barcamp was loaded with food. A full breakfast was provided including an assortment of bagels, muffins, and coffee. Candy, nutrigrain bars, and granola bars were available for snacking on throughout the day. And for lunch, the organizers ordered 100 pizzas for everyone! I think that ended up to be half a pizza for every attendee. As you might guess there was some extra food leftover at the end of the day so the Barcamp organizers donated 40 pizzas, 60 bagels, and a heap of muffins to a local homeless shelter.

Donating Extra Pizza

The after party took place at McFadden’s and since there was extra money left over in the budget we got to blow it on free drinks and food. Our waitress did a great job of keeping the group’s glasses and bellies full.

Overall it was another great DC tech event. A big thanks to all the people who helped organize the event and deal with the logistics. Another big thanks goes to all the sponsors who made BarCamp possible. Their donations went a long way so everyone could have a great time.

Other posts from around the interwebs:

BarCamp DC 2 Is Coming

It seems like just yesterday I was telling you guys about SocialDevCamp East. But the other day I got word that the 2nd DC area BarCamp is happening on Saturday, October 18th. This time it will be at the Center for Digital Imaging Arts at Boston University in Georgetown. Why there is a Boston University in DC is beyond me. But lucky for me, the conference is right across the street from my work so I’ll be familiar with the area.

Last year’s BarCamp was the first technology conference I had ever been to and I had a great time meeting other like-minded web folks like myself. I gave a presentation about Firebug which was pretty much by the seat of my pants. This time I hope to present again except this time around I will come better prepared.

I hope to see you there on October 18th for BarCamp DC 2! More details can be found at the official website and wiki.


Center for Digital Imaging Arts at Boston University
1055 Thomas Jefferson Street NW
Washington, DC 20007

SocailDevCamp East Fall Edition Is Coming!

Social Dev Camp East Logo

I just got an e-mail today from Dave Troy, the SocialDevCamp East organizer, announcing the fall edition of SocialDevCamp East! Like last year, this unconference is taking place at the University of Baltimore’s Thumel Business Center Building. If it is anything like the first SocialDevCamp East then expect to meet lots of interesting people and sit in on a bunch of great talks.

So if I’ve piqued your interest and you’re free all day on Saturday November 1st, then I’ll see you there! If anyone from the DC area wants to go and needs a ride up to Baltimore then let me know. I’ve got a mini-van and live right next to the Glenmont metro station (red line).

Time and Place

Saturday, November 1, 2008
8:30am – 10:00pm
University of Baltimore
1420 Charles St.
Baltimore, MD

View Map

Other Resources

How I Helped Get Two Co-Workers On TV

Paulo on Fox 5 News

My co-worker Paulo was on Fox 5’s News Edge at 11 last night. He shot some video of a large crowd at the Foggy Bottom metro station yesterday morning. For whatever reason two of the three escalators were stopped with the third going down. There were more people trying to go up and out of the station that a huge line formed as grumpy commuters trudged up the long flight of stairs. Some people even decided to go up against the moving escalator fighting the sparse crowd trying to enter.

With a little help from social networking and a lot more luck, Paulo’s footage made it onto the local news. Here is the chain of events:

  1. Paulo shoots the footage on his way to work.
  2. Paulo posts the footage to the DC-centric blog
  3. The story gets submitted to the social news site where I throw my support behind it and give it my vote.
  4. Stories that I digg get posted to my mini-feed on Facebook because I have linked my Digg and Facebook accounts together.
  5. The dugg story ends up in a friends news feed who happens to work at Fox 5.
  6. My friend IMs me thinking I shot the video but I forward him on to Paulo.
  7. Fox 5 sets up an interview with Paulo later that afternoon.

And this is the final result.

Another co-worker Mike Weinstein (guy in blue shirt) made a brief appearance in the video by simply showing up at the same time as Paulo’s interview. I had nothing to do with that one.

Be sure to check out Paulo’s take on all of this.

A Visit To Brookside Gardens

Man do I feel ignorant. I have been living in Glenmont for a year and half and it wasn’t until this past Sunday that I discovered one of the best gardens in Maryland is located right down the street from me. Kristina and I visited Brookside Gardens to scope out a possible wedding location. Brookside Gardens is Montgomery County’s incomparable, award-winning 50-acre public display garden situated within Wheaton Regional Park and a mere mile and a half from my apartment. We spent the afternoon wandering around the mile-long trail and looking at flowers and wildlife.

A group of geese by the pond.

The geese were particularly friendly allowing us to walk right up to them to take pictures. I was worried they would flip out at any second and start chasing Kristina and I but they kept their cool although on high alert when we were around.

Three turtles playing in the water.

The Japanese Tea House provided a great view for a swarm of turtles swimming in the pond. There must have been at least 25 of the shelled- amphibians clustered around.

Two turtles laying on a rock by a pond.

Kristina even got a shot of the turtles soaking up the sun.

Kristina and Russell sitting in a log

Kristina and I also found a great new home. How roomy.

Russell gesturing to a statue of a frog reading on a bench.

Inside the visitor center was this statue of a frog reading. I gave him a few tips.

In the end we found Brookside Gardens didn’t quite meet our needs for a wedding venue but we had a wonderful day anyways. In the future, when the weather get cooler, I hope to take my macro lens out to photograph the bugs and flowers. The pictures in this post were taken by Kristina with her Sony T300.

For Sale: One Interesting House

When I was in elementary and middle school I would walk to and from school. And everyday I would pass this unusual, dome-shaped house hidden away in a drove a trees. Apparently it is up for sale.

Exterior of 10696 GRAELOCH Rd LAUREL, MD 20723

Garage view of 10696 GRAELOCH Rd LAUREL, MD 20723

Besides the odd shape, all of the windows are triangular making it a nightmare for buying curtains and blinds. The ceiling also appears to have fuzzy carpeting on it.

Triangular windows at 10696 GRAELOCH Rd LAUREL, MD 20723

Fuzzy ceilings at 10696 GRAELOCH Rd LAUREL, MD 20723

If I owned it I would paint it orange like a pumpkin with a green chimney for a stalk. But considering how small it seems, the asking price is $475,000 ($45,000 less than the original asking price.) You can see all the details on the Redfin listing or the slideshow.