Saturday, January 27, 2007

What is it good for?

I shot this photo during the anti-war protest downtown DC January 27th. The Mall was full of people and lots of dignitaries. I even got a shot of a couple of celebrites - Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins along with the Rev. Jesse Jackson - as the protest made its way up Capitol Hill. It was a great day weather wise. I don't think it will do much to change our leaders' minds, but we'll see. You can see some of my other shots in the flickr badge at right.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Miami, Miami, AAHHHHHHH

One of the privileges of working like a galley slave at VOA is that you get to cover things. This year, it's my turn to cover the Super Bowl. In Miami. In February. How cool is that!? It hasn't been without its struggles though. The new E2 travel system at my job makes taking the trip a real pain. But at least I get to go. And the fact that there are two black HEAD coaches - both Christians - in the game as well as prince doing the halftime show and Billy Joel singing the national anthem, make the hassles worth it. Look for photos and posts here from the game as well as reflections on what it's like to be a working stiff at the Big Game. I promise to load plenty of photos and links to my work at VOA so you can get the Super Bowl flava.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Workin my last nerve!

There are some things that just niggle my last nerve. One of them is when other people have "a great idea" which of course they launch on me at the last minute. My work tends to do that a lot. Maybe I need a new job, or maybe I need to learn how to roll with things.

The Federal Government specializes in ridiculous stuff. Like the travel system where I work. They MAKE us use this thing - call E-2 - which I understand is the next-to-lowest rank in the military.

This thing is like playing Jenga - every choice you make has to be right or the whole thing can fall in. People have described it as E-2 hell. I think it's probably closer to purgatory.

Either way, it's frustrating. And expensive. The flight E2 came up with for me to go to Florida was EIGHT TIMES as expensive as one I could have gotten on Travelocity or Expedia. But that's because I have to get an open-ended ticket (no restrictions) and I am encouraged to use the contract carrier in this case American Airlines.

On top of that my boss thinks I'll have nothing to do while I'm on assignment - he keeps coming up with "requests" for stuff while I am there. I'll try to accommodate everyone's wishes, but somebody is going to get screwed. One person can only do so much, and everything takes time.

We have the technology to make the business easier. And there is NO WAY the Federal Government is going to come anywhere close to what even a local radio station provides for its people. But, I get to go. To the Super Bowl. Yeah, I know. But I'm going to work, not party. It's not a pleasure cruise. It's my job.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Originally uploaded by byrdmn2.
I learned this week that the wife of a missionary from my former church had died. She was young - and the couple has three children, the oldest of which is 15. Her husband now has two sons and a daughter to rear alone.

We can take comfort in the fact that this woman was a Christian, but that doesn't make the pain any less for her family and friends. It is the nature of Christian hope that this life is not the end, but I cried when I read the notice.

I guess I was thinking of how sad I would be if my wife were no longer there. I would be shattered. It would be the hardest thing I would ever have to face. I don't even like to think that my dog will someday die, even though I know that day is coming.

But hope says that this life is not all there is. Time and space are not the final determinants of existence. God is there in eternity, as He is here in time and space.

But the pain of separation causes a sense of loss. I guess a relationship wouldn't be worth anything if it didn't hurt to lose it.

If you think of it, pray for this man - his name is Al. He can use it now more than ever.

Thursday, January 04, 2007


The Congressional types and their clip-board carrying, blackberry thumbing, cellphone ringing, parking place using, cheap-suit wearing minions have returned to Capitol Hill.

Let's hope that this group of "leaders" doesn't turn out to be as useless as the last group. Some of them are the same names. The Democrats have more votes in both houses of Congress, so we'll see if they can get anything done.

Someone once said an army runs on its stomach; Congress runs on money. If you gave a lot of money to this group, look for favors. If you didn't SORRY!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Emerging from the fog ...

awakening 2
Originally uploaded by byrdmn2.
You ever have one of those days?

For me today was one of those days. I am allergic to mold (my doctor says its RAD or reactive airway disease) which means that my lungs go haywire when I get exposed to too many nasty little spores.

And this week in DC, with the warm weather, mold is EVERYWHERE. Even the cherry blossums along the tidal basin are on the verge of budding! That's how warm it is here, and the forecast is for more of the same.But one of the cures for RAD is albuterol, a steroid inhaler, which I found out when I tried to get my prescription filled, is being replaced because aerosol inhalers damage the ozone layer.

Hmmmm. The mold is out because the weather is warm. The weather is warm (so would say) because of "greenhouse" gases, including CFCs and propellents from aerosols. I need an aerosol inhaler to cure my lungs from the reaction they have to the mold that is formed early because of the warm weather because of the greenhouse gases.

Or maybe it's just too many cow farts. That's another theory.

Either way, I need to take a couple of hits on this stuff each day. And one of its side effects is to wire you up like a Christmas tree. Which it did. So I was awake until after midnight. Which means of course I will need more coffee to stay awake to handle my job. Which sucks because albuterol and coffee combined are like the big green muscular guy in the comics when he gets angry. Gonna be shame on somebody.