Comment Policy 7-22-05

It’s Friday and so a slow day according to the reports I get from my server so I’m going to do a little notice regarding the comment policy here at InShaw.

Short version-

1. Pleeeeeeeeeease initial or ID your posts. It is a pet peeve of mine when people don’t stand behind their words.
2. Censor foul language. With the exception of f*ck, if it wouldn’t show up in the Washington Post, don’t type it here.
3. For certain posts there might be extra limits on the direction of comments. Please abide by them.
4. The Webmistress reserves all rights to remove comments, stop any more comments, or not have any comments for posts.

Failure to recognize 1-3 may result in the comments being deleted. Really depends on my mood.

Long boring version-

When I tell people about InShaw, I say that it’s a blog where I complain and make observations about life in the neighborhood. Early on I had no comments, mainly because Blogger didn’t offer it. Then I just allowed other Blogger people to comment, but that was unfair to non-Blogger subscribers. So then I opened it to everyone and their grandma. The comment feature allow others to chime in on my complaints and observations. Commenters have pointed out mistakes or errors, and have added more or better information than what I posted. For that, thanks.

Many of you are familiar with my pet peeves. People not initialing or claiming their posts is a big one. Comes with letting everyone and their dog comment. Sometimes these things attract a comment conversation and it really helps to keep track of who is who.
Second, I will admit I am a prude, so no foul language. You can hint at it but not just have it out there.
Third, there may be posts where I ask commenters to stay away from certain things. Recently with the capture of a suburban vandal I asked folks not to use his handle simply to avoid having my site come up when he Googles himself. Also I think I know what will bug or anger me enough that I will erase comments. I think it is fair to give folks a heads up.
Lastly, it’s my site and I can do what ever I want. However, I do try to exercise some restraint on the deleting of comments. If you need an outlet to express yourself that would run counter to my comment policy, by all means join a neighborhood discussion group or get your own blog. My goal is not to silence you but rather create a space that is pleasing to me.

Possible condos to go @ FL & NoCap

Over on the Eckington listserv some notes/minutes from the ANC meeting were posted. According to the notes the owner of the vacant lot at Florida Ave and North Capitol NW would like to build a 80-90 unit condo on that space. The proposed building would be about 90 feet high, with parking underground and 8 floors above ground. There would be retail space, but not enough for a supermarket. Someone representing Soul Day Spa was requesting a covenant for 6-12 parking spots from the owner of the lot as well as a request not to bring in competition. As far as I could tell, no support was given or denied (Jim Berry exercising caution)regarding the zoning changes needed for such a project.
Well if things go the way the owner would like, the areas of Bloomingdale (Eckington) and Truxton (SoFL) will get the density needed to bring in some of the businesses desired by residents. Oh and traffic, density will bring traffic.

On the metro

You know the person in the next seat is an alcoholic when they are clearly mixing their Gin & Juice on the Metro. Okay not G&J but something else. This guy on the Green Line heading to Branch Ave had his little brown bag and his cup and saw him pour a little vodka from his Absolut bottle into his cup. Maybe Metro should look into a bar car, get so extra revenue by mixing drinks for people.
Speaking of revenues, I hope Metro is getting a ton of money from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine who have the “Got Lactose Intolerance? Take Legal Action” ads all over. First, I noticed them on the bus (in PG County) to work. Then I started seeing the ads on other buses that go through Shaw. And in the Shaw metro station on the R St. side there is a big ad. Any moment I expect a metro bus or train to be wrapped in one of those ads.
Part of me really doubts anyone, besides the lawyers, will get any real money from a lawsuit with the milk industry. From looking at the site listed on the ads it seems the sponsoring organization just wants to promote a vegan diet. Fine, but the whole lawsuit thing bothers me.
Yeah. I’m black. I have a small lactose intolerance. And I drink milk. Why? Because nothing is better than a cold glass of 1% to go with your slice of dense chocolate mouse cake. Okay, not nothing. A good rich Shiraz or Merlot, but you can’t drive after several glasses of those.

Tonight meeting for Bike Station near Union Station

Wednesday July 20, 2005
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments
777 North Capitol Street NE
First floor Training Room
Washington, DC
The District Department of Transportation will host a public meeting on
Wednesday evening, July 20, to discuss the proposed Union Station Bike
Station. The Bike Station is a public/private venture that will provide
bicycle parking, rentals, repairs and accessories in a small, new pavilion
at the west end of Union Station (near the current bicycle parking). At the
meeting, DDOT staff and consultants will describe the project and take
questions and comments.

Sponsor: District Department of Transportation


Contact: Jim Sebastian
(202) 671-2331


It wouldn’t be DC if I didn’t talk about rats. You know, the rodents, bigger than mice, smaller or about the same size as cats. They have been seen in every quadrant of the District, in most neighborhoods, basically everywhere.
For the longest while I decided my alley had no rats. For one, I had never seen one. Second, we did have a tribe of feral felines residing in the alley, and they kept the numbers down. But apparently there are rats in the alley because the exterminator, after looking at the bait station in the back, said “Rats.”
The reason I had the exterminator out in the first place was because of my mouse problem. I’m not going to go through the details but the mice became a problem again. Mr. Exterminator came and went and now mice are no problem. Yet, since he pointed out the evidence of rats, I’ve become worried.
Next door my neighbors have let their backyard go. They don’t use it. It is just a fenced in wilderness preserve. I went over to them this weekend and told them they need to tell their landlord to cut down the weeds and whatnot so the rats won’t have a place to hide. This week I need to contact the landlord myself and tell him. I want to give them an opportunity to clear it up before I call the city’s rat patrol.

In praise of duct tape

Oh how I love you duct tape, or as I think of you, duck tape.

Duck tape, makes up for lack of talent and skill. Sometimes it makes up for laziness as well and I find it to be an important part of my tool box. It works well were semi-function is valued over good looks. As my regular readers know, my house is old (120-130 years) and has a lot of problems. There are things I have the skill to deal with and a whole mess that I don’t have any skill or talent or know how what so ever.
There are two projects where I had to use the tape.
The first was the gutter pipe. When I got the house my gutter was this galvinized something pipe that went the length of my patio splitting the back into two. In the winter I got a rain barrel and cut the pipe along the house so I could divert water into the barrel. The range of attachments did not fit well with the existing gutter pipe, so I had to do some cutting and fooling around with to get it to “sort of fit”. The next problem was surviving the rain. The plumber’s tape, which was tape with plumber’s putty as the sticky stuff, could resist the water but could not deal with the weight of the water in the bend. Duck tape to the rescue. I still used the plumber’s tape for the parts close to where the water ran but lotsa duct tape to keep the attachments together. So far so good. It hasn’t fallen apart in months.
The other was an indoor project where I lacked skill and the ability to measure correctly. My door does not sit at a 90 degree angle. Actually very little of this house has a 90 degree angle and hasn’t seen a pure 90 degree angle since 1880. So to attempt to keep the bugs and cold out I attached a weatherstrip thingy for the bottom of the door. At first I tried sticky ones but they would get unstuck. Then I tried screwing them in. The problem I encountered there was the steel door coating. That was such a pain to drill a hole into. I lost skin and blood trying to get holes and screws into that door. That did help, but the way the door was angled, I still had a bit exposed and open. So white duct tape to make up for the small gap I never measured correctly. Yes, it looks ghetto, but it works.

A tote bag, a platter of tomatoes, and a bag of dressing, in sandals

It all began with me not RSVPing in time for a cookout. Because I emailed a good 6 hours after COB Friday my pasta salad was bumped. Of course I did not discover this till Sunday morning when I bothered to look at my e-mail for that account.
So Sunday morning, too lazy to actually go to the store and get something, I surveyed my yard trying to figure out what was ripe and ready to be made into “something”. I harvested 4 cucumbers (1 medium, 3 very small), 1 zuchucini, 8 tomatoes, and a handful of basil. The tomatoes had to come off the vine because, due to my uneven watering practices, and despite B. watering the tomatoes in front, they split. I was ok with the splitting because it is mainly superficial and I can cut around it but the ants discovered the split as a way to get into the tomato.
I can make pasta salad in my sleep. “Any other appetizer” suggested by the organizer, harder. After consulting my cookbooks I settled on a Martha Stewart concoction of tomatoes and basil. It called for red onion. I used shallots instead. I cut off the split and exposed areas of the tomatoes, sliced them, arranged them on a platter, covered them with chopped shallots and shreds of basil, then threw on salt and pepper. I made a vinaigrette of olive oil and basalmic vinegar and threw that in an old jelly jar so I could put the dressing on at the cookout, and not have dressing accidentally running on my dress on the metro.
Somewhere in all this I should mention I been wearing exposed toe, not really secure on my feet sandals.
So I head out with my platter of tomatoes, my tote bag, another bag for the dressing, in a sundress and these sandals. I was not really sure what bus I need to catch to get to the party so I was in deep thought at the corner of New Jersey and
R St, when I see this woman screaming “STOP HIM, STOP HIM” running after this slightly chunky kid in a red shirt on a bike. So I started running after him too, with my platter in hand, down one side of NJ and he on the other. He turned in between a house and a church near Franklin Street and I crossed the street. At the alley opening between there I stood, with my hand on my cell, already pressed to 911. Then I froze and asked myself, “what the hell am supposed to do if I catch him?” The only weapons I had were the tomatoes, the jar of dressing, a canvas tote, and sandals that wouldn’t hurt anyone if you threw them at someone’s head. Also I throw like a girl. At that time I see the woman, now in the passenger seat of an SUV tear down the larger alley.
Well, I guess I could do all I could do. So I turned around and headed towards the metro station.
The tomatoes, during all this remained arranged on the platter.

Book Commentary: Promises I Can Keep

Promises I Can Keep: Why Poor Women Put Motherhood Before Marriage by Katheryn Edin and Maria Kefalas was book #2 on the In Shaw Summer reading list because it is a study of the type of people with whom we middle class people share this neighborhood. My, that was a long run-on sentence.
I’m not done with the book and I have a hard time putting it down as it is such a good and thoughtful read. I was chatting with Nora Bombay about how this book makes me want to create a totally new sex ed course. For one, according to the authors, the girls (I’ll use girls as many have kids in their teens) already know about birth control. The problem, they have little incentive to keep it up. And another big surprise, many of their pregnancies were wanted, somewhat (17% planned, 37% unplanned and a big 45% ‘in between’ sorta yes, sorta no). Some girls said their children came a ‘little earlier’ than they wanted, but the children were wanted. So in my imaginary sex ed course I’d include things like “stuff you need to do and not do once you’re pregnant” and “child support 101: making him pay”.
Another big thread I’ve noticed in the book is it does not put men in a good light. They rarely speak for themselves in the book. If I had never met a man in my life and read this, I would think that all poor men are lying, cheating, cowardly, abusive, worthless can’t-keep-a-job to save his life, unstable, criminal, immature, sacks of DNA. The men are crappy fathers. Unlike the fathers of somewhere in a NoVa Home Depot where Saturday morning there are tons of dads with kids strapped to their stomachs roaming the aisles looking for toilet parts. So Nora tells me.
Later, when I’m done with the whole book I’ll write out a full review of this and the other books.

Stupid Suburban Tricks 1

I was reserving this title to describe my aunt’s shopping trip and her energy wasting ways but as I read today’s Post, I get angrier and angrier.

Yesterday a young Mr. John Tsombikos, age 18, was arrested after he and his associates were finally caught spray painting at 7th and V. I am glad. I hope that previous tags where he has defaced city and private property are added on to this charge. But that wasn’t the thing that is getting me going.
The bastard is from Great Falls, a f*cking suburbanite who came to the city to do his mess. What there aren’t any buildings in Great Falls to paint? DC residents who have no real voice in Congress, no representation, really high taxes, crappy schools, and we’ve had to look at his graffiti and clean it off with OUR TAX DOLLARS.
Yeah, I read his ‘reasonings’, a confused mess of trying to pay homage to a dead friend, something about youth, anti-rich people. Funny coming from a guy who graduated from McLean High School. Hey I bet they have air conditioning at McLean and never had to shut the school early because his city school was so messed up that no one could open a window.
Yes, tragic accident being born middle class and all. Some of my closest friends were born middle class, and I don’t hold it against them. But I get very annoyed with middle and upper middle class youth who think they have all the answers to poverty. Hubris. I also get very annoyed with people of all ages and income levels from the ‘burbs who come to the District and flagrantly disrespect the city and it’s citizens. John is no better than the guy from MD tags who pops out of his car to piss on H St or the guys with VA tags who buy drugs in my alley. No better, but better known.

COMMENT POLICY- Note I did not use his tag name. Neither can you. I will delete your post, even if I like you if you mention it because I do not want my site associated with that man.