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those of the author and do not
necessarily represent the views of County
A bit of this
and a bit of that…..
By Susan Olling
I love a good clear out. Not necessarily a whole room, but
clearing stuff, even out of a drawer, is always therapeutic. I
found a bag on the top shelf of a closet recently. The bag
contained a copy of the Washington Post. The Wednesday, September
12, 2001 edition. Needing a break, I spent some time going
through this piece of ancient history. There was a picture of
some of the 535 elected ones at the time standing on the Capitol steps
in a show of unity. Would that happen now? I leave you, the
reader, to answer that one.
We snow wimps here in the D.C. environs (see Mike Causey’s column on
the subject) have had no snow to speak of this winter. It’s been
so warm that a couple of the weeds around the Tidal Basin have started
to bloom. The peak bloom for these non-native woody plants has
been moved up to 14-17 Mar. The earliest on record. If that
happens, the majority of the annual weed fest may take place when the
weeds are leafed out. And two thumbs down to our little subway
system for eliminating most of its planned track work during this
annual pain in the gluteus maximus. Just this weekend, there were
station closures on at least three lines. Tourists who are here
for the weed fest should have to experience the same delays and crowded
platforms that we locals do.
I didn’t vote for either candidate last November, but I was impressed
with the swearing in of the forty-fifth president on 20 Jan. From
what I saw on television, the crowd seemed fairly docile.
What I read about the hordes of XX-chromosome carriers on 21 Jan left
me shaking my head. Geez, what else do women in this country
want? Compared to women in some parts of the world, we are
extremely privileged. I wonder whether those pink things they
were wearing served a function.
And Americans are so good at symbolism. Witness all those
Congresswomen wearing white on 28 Feb for the president’s speech.
Ladies (and gentlemen) of the Congress, we could use less symbolism and
more working together. To those who apparently still
haven’t gotten over the election results, enough already. The
election was months ago. The results won’t change.
I’m having a hard time listening to some of our local
newscasters. One sports reporter, in talking about college
basketball, said that “Bill and Mary” played the university of
something. Uh, no, the name of the school is the College of
William and Mary; you can call it William and Mary for
short. When a news reporter pronounced the name of a famous
French museum like it was a blind, I had to stop listening.
While the school groups are just beginning to arrive for the spring
stampede, some of the little geniuses have already run afoul of park
rangers due to their behavior. An adult with one group had apparently
been fairly oblivious to what the little dears for whom he was
responsible had been doing. He was evidently at the back of the
group yakking with other “chaperones” I always use this term in
its loosest sense to describe adults with school groups. Unless
they’re from the Deep South. Those folks know how to chaperone.
It was bye-bye to Bao Bao, the giant panda, a few weeks ago.
Giant pandas born at the National Zoo are sent to China when they’re
about four years old. We know this. It’s happened before.
Unfortunately, people seem to forget; and everything about a panda’s
departure seems to require an incredible amount of news coverage.
Good grief, who wants to see the plane leaving Dulles Airport and trace
its flight to China? But the local stations cover
this “event” that closely. I’m completely mystified by all the
fuss. There are other animals who live here that deserve more
If you want a chuckle or two, watch the Warrior Canine Connection’s
puppy cam. The current gang is a litter of eight golden retriever
puppies (in the butterball stage), who will, if all goes well, grow up
to be service dogs for veterans. Warrior Canine Connection
moved to a new facility a few months ago. Mr. History volunteers
there. The adult dogs love him. He helps to clean up after
To watch nature fairly up close and personal, go to the U.S. National
Arboretum’s eagle cam. The President, The First Lady and their
two eggs are in a large nest high up in a tulip poplar. It gets
really interesting when the eaglets hatch, particularly when one of the
parents brings in food.