My Social Media Postings
- 29 December 2023 — I'm donating blood today, how about you?
- 29 December 2023 — Always great to see the #7 Flushing line with its impressive background of the Queensboro Bridge and midtown Manhattan as emblematic of NYC's subway and American public transit. Used it as youngster and teenager, brings back fond memories of living in Flushing
- 30 November 2023 — Make them more lifelike and maybe you can use them to avoid tolls in HOT lanes.
- 25 November 2023 — We hope your family had a bountiful and enjoyable Thanksgiving!
- 13 December 2023 — This was after the current Board Chair was ousted in a primary by a candidate opposed to the development. The old board, with the lameduck Chair, approved the development when its approval by the new board was in doubt.
- 27 December 2023 — This is a recurring problem. When wayfaring signs are incorrect, folks who depend on them are mislead, while those who know just ignore them. Why bother if you can't bother to do them correctly?
- 27 December 2023 — Does this look like the Springfield Interchange looking at it from the north?
- 17 December 2023 — One should read a book one has chosen to use to swear an oath, rather than take it on face value that is worthy. It's as bad as asking for a book to be banned that one haven't read because others tell you it's bad.
- 17 November 2023 — Let's have more 3rd party candidates! The few votes diverted obviously won't have any impact on the anti-Trump vote (I'm kidding)
- 6 December 2023 — That's my response whenever I'm asked this question, I'm a member of the human race!
- 28 November 2023 — If she's really a she, then no one will stand under her when her fruit is ripe. Most places that plant ginkos make certain to plant only the males to avoid the unpleasant odor.
- 25 November 2023 — Yana Stasiv - Thinking of you. Just dropped Sarah, Andy, Jacob and Joey at Dulles Airport for their return to Minneapolis. Keep well and out of harms way.
- 26 November 2023 — Also same with Rt 15 in Maryland north of the Potomac River till its intersection with US 340. Several of the overpasses were built with future expansion in mind
with a series of half-buried wrecks on the west side warning folks how dangerous that stretch of road was
- 6 December 2023 — Not to them, but to people in Gaza, for whom they care not an iota.
- 7 December 2023 — To those who celebrate Hanukkah, and those who fight against religious oppression or for their freedom, let the light of these candles inspire you on this first night of the festival.
- 18 October 2023 — Mass supervision has managed to make us less free and no safer, all at great cost. As policymakers look to reform their supervision systems, they should consider reducing — or, for some groups, eliminating — probation and parole supervision, replacing them with services offered by nonprofit and volunteer groups, and carefully studying the outcomes.
A number of states have downsized supervision, saved money and improved public safety. In Missouri, policymakers reduced probation terms by 30 days for every 30 days of compliance while under supervision. In the first three years, 36,000 people were able to reduce their terms by 14 months, the number under supervision dropped by 18 percent, and reconviction rates for those released early were the same as for those discharged from supervision before the policy went into effect. If less supervision has better outcomes at lower cost, it's plausible that no supervision — and investing the resulting savings in community supports such as housing, employment, and drug and mental health services — might yield even better ones.
After nearly two centuries, probation and parole have failed to prove their worth. Let's carefully experiment with, and assiduously study, the alternatives instead.
- 16 October 2023 — October's Dulles Area Democrats Breakfast was with CIA's Former Chief of Disguise Retired CIA Officer Jonna Hiestand Mendez.
- 14 October 2023 — Three more years to Main Street!
- 17 October 2023 — GOP lawmakers have raised fees significantly on electric vehicles, arguing that they need to make up for lost gas taxes. Critics say the fees are punitive.
At least eight states, all but one controlled by Republicans, now require drivers of electric vehicles to pay a hefty annual registration fee of $200 or more. GOP lawmakers say it's an effort to make up for lost gas tax revenue. EV advocates say it's an effort to block sales of environmentally friendly vehicles.
- 14 June 2023 — In 2005 my family and our French friends visited Andalusia in Southern Spain. The intricate decorations on the walls of the palaces reminded me of his work. It was only after we returned home that I found that M.C. Escher had visited there and studied the moorish art.
- 28 June 2023 — Back in my hitchhiking days, the early 70s when my car was disabled and I needed to get from Syracuse to Flushing, Queens, one of my rides dropped me off on the New Jersey side. It was an eerie and strange sight walking across the bridge at four in the morning, it was as if I had the whole bridge to myself. In Manhattan I got on the IND line and made my way back home by dawn.
- 28 June 2023 — Being a hacker was an interesting experience.
In my college years I drove a yellow NYC taxi during the summers to help pay my way. On a warm Labor Day my taxi broke an axle on the upper level of this bridge on the Queens-bound side, just after the sharp right-hand turn.
In the early 1970s, there was no radio in the taxi, so I had to walk down the ramp to the nearest pay phone to call into the dispatcher's office to report the problem. They eventually sent a car to change my tire, which wasn't the problem. He drove back to the office and had them send a tow truck. Each of these visits had to cross from Queens, where our fleet was located, over the bridge to Manhattan, and then back through the traffic that I was causing by blocking a lane.
I spent much of my time in the right lane of the bridge ramp before the turn, waving traffic to the left lane so as to ensure nobody ran into my taxi blocking the lane just after the turn. In any case, I spent two hours being the chief item of interest in all the radio stations' traffic reports!
- 1 July 2023 — Back in the days of the elevated lines of NYC, before they were all torn down, trains ran from the elevated Queensboro station, located just below the picture. The infrastructure for the tracks can be seen until the roadways start using them. The Queensboro station was an eight track double level facility served by both the IRT and BMT in shuttle mode.
- 17 July 2023 — My command of the language is limited to what I remember what my grandma would mutter to my mom or me as in "Shlogn zikh kop in vant", "to bang your head against the wall" when I wanted something I couldn't get or have
- 19 July 2023 — The residential street is tree-lined, the business one isn't. Do you think that trees on the residential street would work on the business one? Could you find the stores you were looking for? A better contrast would have been two residential streets, one with trees, one without.
- 20 July 2023 — Prior to the pandemic, I participated in the study that WMATA organized to get feedback on the various options discussed below. Although the option below will add capacity and new stops in the District of Columbia and Prince George's County in Maryland, it won't do much for Northern Virginia. I advocated for a route that would allow a strait run from Reagan National Airport to Dulles International Airport, connecting the southern part of Fairfax and Prince William County to Northern Fairfax and Loudoun County.
Will Metro Go Ahead With Its Biggest Rail Expansion Since The Silver Line? | DCist
- 20 July 2023 — Last fall my wife and I traveled via train from Strasbourg, Fr, to Amsterdam via Frankfort. This a great aerial picture of the city's train station. From the station our hotel was just a short tram ride away.
- 19 July 2023 — Back in the day of video tape cameras half of the footage would be my feet walking.
- 22 July 2023 — I am disappointed in the Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. He turned an opportunity to establish nonpartisan ethics rules for the US Supreme Court into another political battle, ensuring it will not be enacted.
For instance, his remarks introducing the bill could ended after his reference to billionaires, without the gratuitous mention of MAGA extremists.
"And right now, sadly, Americas' trust in the Supreme Court is understandably shaken. They see Supreme Court justices accepting lavish gifts and vacations from billionaires and MAGA extremists ÃÂÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ not your ordinary run-of-the-mill billionaires but true ideologues"
- 31 May 2023 — I rode them back then!
- 23 July 2023 — Over the last two years I listened to the Good Earth trilogy, the original followed by Sons and then A House Divided. It took me almost a year of occasional solo driving, this was during the pandemic, so it was rare for me to be driving solo, but the time was well spent. The three generations of the protagonist's family became my family, their troubles and exploits mine. Take the time to read them all!
- 24 March 2022 — Madeleine Albright said she didn't know she was Jewish until The Post told her.
- 25 September 2022 — Shana Tova u'metuka, wishing the congregation a good and sweet new year. May you be written in the books of health, well being and life!.
- 8 June 2023 — Last night we attended the first preview performance of Theatre J's staging of "One Jewish Boy", the best show of the season so far. We highly recommend it!
- 31 May 2022 — Here's a link to the 1975 US postage stamp honoring Haym Salomon as a "Financial Hero", a "contributor to the cause." I remember when I saw the stamp thinking I had learnt about him in our synagogue's after school classes, not the religious part were we learnt Hebrew, but the English-speaking classes, where we we taught our Jewish heritage.
- 12 July 2023 — In 1963 or 1964, when my three-year younger brother and I would ride the NYC subway system carrying a lunch packed by our mother, one trip took us on the Franklin shuttle. The northern terminus was in a bad section of Brooklyn. When the other riders heard of our plans, as we had to walk across the street to make the transfer, they told us not to make eye contact or speak to anyone as we walked from one station to the other.
We survived the transfer and continued on our merry way, eventually, over the course of many excursions, exploring every inch of the NYC subways, including the SIRT and eventually the Hudson Tubes.
- 20 July 2023 — United uses Dulles International as a hub, and allowing longer distance flights at Reagan National would compromise their ability to do so efficiently.
In addition, residents near Reagan National have complained bitterly about the noise of the flights in and out of that airport. Until recently, that hasn't been a problem at Dulles, so it seems that moving flights from Dulles to Reagan would be counterproductive
- 23 July 2023 — Might be protected site, water feature, rare or threatened flora or fauna, many reasons
- 27 July 2023 — Since I lived in North Flushing, almost in Whitestone, I hated to see one of these trains, they stopped at the penultimate station, and I need to go to the last stop in Flushing
- 27 July 2023 — A scene of the Flushing-bound #7 train that can't be taken now
- 11 June 2023 — The last of the Guinness brewery tasting, a fantastic combination birthday and Father's Day treat.
- 6 July 2023 — My not yet seven year self had the opportunity to ride the trolley in its last day of operation!
- 27 July 2023 — Last night I spoke at the Planning Commission on behalf of the Joint Sully District Land Use and Transportation Committee against Fairfax County's proposed Zoning Ordinance Amendment on Parking and Loading and Related Changes, popularly known as "Parking Reimagined". My testimony starts at 2:58:10. The Joint Sully District Land Use and Transportation Committee resolution on Parking Reimagined can be read here: http://www.sullydistrict.org/resolutions/20230717_JSDLU&TCResolution_ParkingReimagined.pdf
- 28 July 2023 — After the Joint Sully District Land Use and Transportation Committee passed a resolution at its 17 July meeting in opposition to Fairfax County's Parking Reimagined proposal, the resolution was distributed to all the local TV stations as well as the usual suspects. Last night WUSA9 reached out and asked if I'd be available to discuss the proposal.
Matthew Torres with a videographer drove out to my house where interviewed me for over 15 minutes. He also asked if I knew someone who could speak to the opposing view. I suggested my other co-chair of the Fairfax Federation's transportation committee, Carey Campbell. You can see by our contrasting views why the Federation was not able to generate a consensus statement on the proposal.
- 29 July 2023 — Against The Dark: As the nation faces a spike in antisemitic hate crimes, a little-known private security team in New York City offers a model for how to combat violent threats against Jewish targets
- 3 August 2023 — It was only after watching Beverly Hillbillies that I learnt that ladies and men shirts were designed differently!
- 2 August 2023 — Had a great time there last December. See our pictures!
- 26 August 2023 — I remember reading, in my teens (1960s), paperback versions of both his books, Kon-Tiki: Across the Pacific in a Raft and Aku-Aku: The Secret of Easter Island
- 27 August 2023 — Aim low
- 25 August 2023 — Walking distance from my co-op in North Flushing
- 31 August 2023 — This weekend was the sixtieth anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington. In 1963 the Marchers started at Union Station and eventually made their way to the Lincoln Memorial. On their way, as it was a March for Jobs and Equality, they stopped at the Department of Labor at its old HQ building. Ten years ago I worked at the DOL in its new HQs (named after Frances Perkins, the first female Secretary, who was appointed by President Franklin Roosevelt) where it moved in the 1970s.
I rook several pictures from the Perkins' building sixth-floor patio as the 50th anniversary marchers passed by the Perkins building. The full set of photos can be seen here
- 24 September 2023 — Random pictures of West Virginia in a posting extolling it's "country Roads", key John Denver. But I know exactly where the top two photos are located. When my family heads west from our home in Virginia, with the ultimate goal of getting on I70 or I76 in Pennsylvania we don't take the PA turnpike, but the back roads through Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland to I68 and then north either via US 48 or I79. In any case, we head west to Winchester, VA, then via US 522 to Va/WV 127 to the Forks of Cacapon, where we head north to Paw Paw WV and thence to Cumberland, MD, via MD 52, and then I68 west from Cumberland. At the Forks, you go north on Rt 9 (which eventually ties into VA Rt 9, Charles Town Rd, and Hillsboro, VA). But if you're going to Paw Paw rather than Charles Town, you want to bear left at the Rts 29/9 fork (top left photo). As you head into Paw Paw you descend to the Potomac River flood plain, and see the Welcome to Paw Paw sign (top left photo). So of all the possible roads that could be used to illustrate West Virginia's county roads, I knew two of them!
- 22 September 2023 — We have, in this great nation of ours, the ability to care for both.
- 22 September 2023 — This might be the end of the Nostrand Av line, where Nostrand intersects Flatbush. Lived on E31st St in the mid 70s
- 18 June 2023 — Memories of growing up in Flushing!
The summer that the Pentagon Papers were published I was hacking a yellow taxi in NYC to earn money for my college education. Evey morning I'd grab yesterday's NY Times, as my mom had first dibs on the current edition, after all, it was she who was paying for the subscription, to read while stuck in traffic or waiting for my next fare. This was back in the days when the NY Times still was published in an eight-column format (they didn't switch to a six-column format until 1976). I tried to read the daily installment of the Pentagon Papers but always had a hard time keeping track of where I previously left off reading having to read the article in dribs and drabs, as traffic would allow.
And to complete the memory of Daniel Ellsberg, who Leaked the Pentagon Papers, Daria and I just last month finished watching HBO's series on the White House Plumbers, detailing how G. Gorden Libby and Howard Hunt burglarized his psychiatrist's office trying to get incriminating information on him, but failing.
Ah, the seventies, what a time to be in my twenties!
- 18 September 2023 — The September Dulles Area Democrats breakfast at Jimmy's Old Town Tavern featured the Commonwealth Attorneys of Fairfax and Loudoun counties, Steve Descano and Buta Biberaj as well as the Dranesville Supervisor Candidate Jimmy Bierman
- 17 September 2023 — Amazingly enough, although I live in a subdivision entitled Chantilly Highlands, where the majority of the streets have Scottish names, my street is named after this Pharaoh!
- 11 September 2023 — We all have our personal memories of where we were and what we were doing on 11 September 2001. Mine is that I was on my way to work at Skyline Towers not too far from where Columbia Pike and Leesburg Pike intersect at Baileys Crossroads.
Just as I passed the outlet of Lake Bancroft on Columbia Pike, I heard the loud rumble of a jet plane flying low overhead heading northeast. This was extremely out of the ordinary as there's no airport in the direction it was going, and no plane should have been flying that low over a populated area. When I got to Baileys Crossroads going from Columbia Pike to Leesburg Pike, the ramp took me higher and I could see in the distance black smoke pouring high in the sky. I also heard the sound of what I assumed to be thunder, but which turned out to be jets cracking the sound barrier. I turned off the cassette I was listening to, and switched to the newsradio where it was reporting first one plane and another had crashed into the Twin Towers. It wasn't until I got to work a few minutes later that the news of the plane that flew over me had crashed into the Pentagon trickled over the news sites.
We're in a US government office, and people watched the events unfurl in bewilderment on their computers. Administrative leave was declared and people started to head home only to be caught in a reverse commute nightmare as all the traffic signals and lane markings were still setup to get people to work rather than send them home.
I stayed at the office monitoring events and trying to accomplish the work I could. Eventually, around half past two the buildings were locked down due to security concerns and we were all sent home. By this time the traffic had ameliorated and my commute home wasn't bad.
Daria was attending a conference in Reston, not more than six miles from our house, when people began to leave the conference hall to watch the big screen TVs in the lobby. There they watched the morning's events unfold. Attendees left the conference and headed home, with Daria reporting it took hours to cover what could normally just take twenty minutes.
- 14 October 2023 — When we lived in Brooklyn just a block from the end of the Nostrand Av line, the constant sounds of the subway were bothersome at first but we eventually got used to them.
Then one day we woke up to a strange silence. Something had had happened and the trains were no longer running. It was that absence of the reassuring sounds that the city was alive and functioning that caused us to awaken!
- 12 November 2023 — One of my first trainee positions (~1976) was to accompany a DCASR Atlanta Quality Assurance Representative to a retread facility there. I watched as the old tires were stripped of their treads and brought to their base level, the application of the glue, the placement of the new tread and the curing process, as well as reviewing the curing process control records (key factors: time and temperature).
When I mentioned that I was always seeing portions of retread littering the sides of highways, and had doubt on the efficacy of the process, the response was that if the process wasn't as good as it was, with most trucks using retreaded tires, the sides of roads would be littered with retreads, and the fact that they were relatively rare showed how good the process actually was
- 30 November 2023 — The exclusive manatee!