Wednesday, February 11, 2009

God damn Last Word!

Once AGAIN I sent something in to the Last Word, only to have it edited in moronic ways. Here's what I wrote:
It seems ridiculous to have to wait 20 minutes to check out at a store with 30 check lanes. They can afford to have a few more clerks on staff during busy shifts.
And, as printed:
It seems ridiculous to wait 20 minutes to check out at a store that has 20 check-out lanes. I'm sure it can afford to have a few more clerks on staff during busy shifts.
I can understand the grammatical changes, they want everyone's entry to sound alike and fit with the style of the newspaper itself. What I don't understand is why the number 30 was changed to 20. It makes no sense.

This is a new trend, too. Things I sent in years ago were never changed. I'd sent in dozens of comments, all of them printed word for word, until last summer. It's really pissing me off. What good is a public forum if what you're saying is being edited by the powers that be? They should just print whatever they're sent - poor spelling and grammar included - because people know it isn't the Gazette writing these comments. Everyone knows that the Last Word is written by the paper's readers.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Tweeting the Inauguration. Pictures too!

I was lucky enough to be able to attend President Obama's inauguration last month, and I was using Twitter to keep track of what was going on. I'm just going to duplicate my inauguration-related tweets here, so they're better organized and easier to find for future reference. I'll put pictures where appropriate as well, but there were times where I focused on photos instead of Tweeting or vice versa.

In downtown DC, picking up our inauguration tickets. :-) :-)
6:15 PM Jan 19th from txt

So very excited. We got tickets to the swearing in ceremony!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
10:01 PM Jan 19th from TwitPic

En route to DC. :-D
5:14 AM Jan 20th from txt

@dannythedemon 103.5 fm reporting loooong waits on metro. I'm en route to Vienna stop myself.
5:17 AM Jan 20th from txt in reply to dannythedemon

Stuck in traffic, but definitely worth it.
5:36 AM Jan 20th from txt

Ridiculously long line for Vienna metro stop. Moving somewhat quickly at least. Hard to text with gloves.
6:49 AM Jan 20th from txt

Already on train, line moved very quickly considering.
7:16 AM Jan 20th from txt

Ashley just had the best "thats what she said."
7:28 AM Jan 20th from txt

I'm still in disbelief that this is really happening. AND WE HAVE TICKETS TO THE SEATED AREA!!!! :-D :-D
7:31 AM Jan 20th from txt

Sprint data network still working great. Twitpic... Not so much.
7:48 AM Jan 20th from txt

"sick passenger" delaying trains on inbound metro orange line. I hope nobody pukes on me. :-(
7:50 AM Jan 20th from txt

At&t being weird for Ashley. sprint is awesome as always.
8:06 AM Jan 20th from txt

I'm surprised at how friendly everyone is. It's really quite something. Still on the Metro...
8:53 AM Jan 20th from txt

Off the train, but at a standstill in the station. Oh well, we're close!
9:46 AM Jan 20th from txt

Finally in the orange ticket line. It's VERY long.
9:48 AM Jan 20th from txt

The cold isn't bad at all. Everyone still in high spirits in line.
10:01 AM Jan 20th from txt

Past security checkpoint with no problems. Making our way to the southwest standing area.
10:16 AM Jan 20th from txt

Still a long walk from orange security to the west lawn. Lots of people here. taking 2-4 tries to send each of these messages
10:27 AM Jan 20th from txt

In SW standing. So close, but can only see jumbotron. I don't care, the atmosphere here is amazing!
10:46 AM Jan 20th from txt

The crowd loves Bill Clinton.
11:18 AM Jan 20th from txt

A surprisingly calm crowd here, but I can hear cheering from natl mall.
11:37 AM Jan 20th from txt

The ceremony has begun!
11:48 AM Jan 20th from txt

That was awesome. :-)
12:37 PM Jan 20th from txt

We hopped on the Metro ASAP after Obama's speech, and beat the crowds. Almost back to Chantilly now.
1:33 PM Jan 20th from txt

EDIT: Here's an album with all of the pictures I took. Some are crappy and/or blurry, but I was too lazy to deselect the bad ones before dragging into a gallery.

We went back up to DC on the Friday following the inauguration to see the sights we couldn't because of the crowds. The pictures from that trip are here.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Stupid Last Word

I wrote the following to the Last Word:
Shame on the Berkeley Middle School teacher who refused to let his eighth grade class watch the Inauguration on Tuesday. Several students asked him to turn on the TV, and he told them it was "silly." I have to question the competence of a teacher who doesn't understand the educational and historical importance of this event, regardless of their personal political affiliation.
Here's what they actually printed:
Shame on the middle school teacher who refused to let a class watch the inauguration on Tuesday. Several students asked to turn on the TV, and were told it was "silly."
I know they edit for space, and I knew they would remove the name of the school and grade level. They have a rule that any criticism is edited to not include peoples' names, company names, or names of services. I suppose that's fair, to a point. It's the removal of the last sentence that upsets me.

I'm honestly baffled as to how any teacher could ignore the importance of this inauguration. I feel as though the teacher did not allow students to watch the coverage because of his own personal and political beliefs, and that suspicion was basically confirmed by a student in the class. I understand that he may not be a Democrat, or he may not follow politics, or maybe just didn't want to waste time in class. Hell, I even understand if he's racist; not that I understand racism, but I accept that a lot of people in the south are racist. Regardless of the reasoning behind it, a teacher denying their students the opportunity to watch history being made is just plain wrong.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Short film ideas?

Julian and I have decided that we want to shoot a short film while he's in town. A comedy, most likely. Five to ten minutes long. Problem is, neither of us are writers, or even a little bit creative. So, does anyone have a story idea we could use? We'll write dialogue, we're just looking for a funny story.

New Blog

I've decided to transfer my blog posts from my own hosting to Blogger. I'm also going to try to blog more often. We'll see how this all works out.