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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 attention.
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 the puppies.
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.

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