Category Archives: DC Life

Driver Narrowly Misses Cyclists then Runs Red Light

This felt like a distracted/aggressive driver situation.

The driver makes a fast wide turn into the right lane where the cyclists are. The shadow of the SUV announces the angle of motion and it’s not good. At the last moment the driver moves back toward the center lane and instead of stopping for the red light, s/he speeds up and goes through even after the first cyclist yells out “RED LIGHT!”

I’m happy nobody was injured because you can see how close the Jeep driver came to causing a collision. Here’s the video:

How to Embed NextBus DC in iGoogle

NextBus launched last week for Washington, DC.  The system easily allows bookmarks for favorite routes but it doesn’t make it easy to take those bookmarks with you to your iGoogle home page.  This is how you setup a new iGoogle gadget to show the status of favorite routes.

  1. Go to wmata.nextbus.com.
  2. Select your route, destination and bus stop and then a blue box at at the bottom of the page shows when the next buses will arrive. This is the piece we want to take with us to our iGoogle page.
    42 Bus to Downtown
  3. Click “Update page address so that it can be bookmarked.”
  4. Using your mouse, Right Click and  choose View Page Source in Firefox or Chrome or View Source in Internet Explorer or Safari. This opens up a new window with the source code of the web page.
  5. The address needed is at the bottom of the page in an iframe tag.  The quickest way to find it is to press Ctrl + f to access the search function. Search for iframeThe iframe looks like this:
    <iframe id="mainFrame"
    src="http://wmata.nextbus.com/customStopSelector/fancyNewPredictionLayer.jsp?a=wmata&r=42&d=42_42_0&s=7018&ts=6905&cssFile=http://www.wmata.com/css/nextbus.css&bookmarkableURL=http://www.wmata.com/rider_tools/nextbus/arrivals.cfm#"
    width="80%" height="700" frameborder="0" scrolling="auto">
    </iframe>
  6. Copy the web site address from the beginning through to the last part before “&css” because this is the direct link to the NextBus page for this route.   In the example below the part to copy is marked in red text:
    http://wmata.nextbus.com/customStopSelector/fancyNewPredictionLayer.jsp?a=wmata&r=42&d=42_42_0&s=7018&ts=6905&cssFile=http://www.wmata.com/css/nextbus.css&bookmarkableURL=http://www.wmata.com/rider_tools/nextbus/arrivals.cfm#
  7. Login to your iGoogle page and click on Add Stuff on the top right part of the page.  Use the gadget named “iFrame” and then add it to your iGoogle page.
  8. Return to your iGoogle page, click the drop down menu for the new iFrame Gadget and finally choose Edit Settings.  Use the settings in this example below.  Most of the gadget’s default settings work but a few need to be changed:
    src: Paste the source link from step 6 here.
    Title: Give this gadget a name so it is easy to find on your iGoogle page.
    Height: The default height is unnecessarily tall.  Try a shorter gadget — 225 pixels worked well on my page.When you’re done click on Save.
    Setup iFrame Setup
  9. If everything worked your iGoogle page will now include a gadget showing your favorite bus route showing when the bus will actually arrive.  Here is a screen shot of my iGoogle page with the new gadget showing NextBus for the 42:
    Next Bus is on your iGoogle Page
  10. Here is this same bus route embedded on this web page to give you a live example:
  11. And if that isn’t cool enough — try going to your new iGoogle page on your iPhone or Android phone.  There you’ll find your new gadget in all of its mobile glory:
    iGoogle NextBus on iPhone

Let me know if you have any issues with this or know of an easier way to access your favorite routes quickly.

Thanks to heryandotus for sharing his custom NextBus page since it inspired me to figure out how to do the same thing for those who aren’t web monkeys [via].

Wedding Location Search: The Lodge at Seneca Creek (with interactive photo)

An interactive 360 degree photographic experience makes a huge difference when you’re trying to find a wedding location. I wish more venues had this kind of feature on web sites. Since they do not, I am happy to share with you this interactive 360+ degree image of the Lodge at Seneca Creek.

Update: this is not where we decided to have the wedding but it is one of many places we investigated. Continue reading Wedding Location Search: The Lodge at Seneca Creek (with interactive photo)

Persepolis: See it and Avoid the Front of the Theater so the Subtitles are Legible.

persepolis
Friday night came quickly this week with the full schedule at work and at school so it was a rewarding break to visit the independent movie theater in Bethesda, Maryland tonight. Lena arranged a night of Persian food followed by Persepolis, a movie about a young girl’s experience during the Islamic Revolution.

It’s late and I need to get sleep so let me get straight to the point. The movie is well done with inventive and engaging animation. The adaptation from graphic novel to movie is a success and the texture added with music, sound and motion bring the story alive. I have never learned so much about the Islamic Revolution in Iran and now I want to know more.

So yes, the movie is worth your time. If you have the inclination, do it. But go early because otherwise you’ll be stuck in the only available seat… the far edge of the front row.

Having just read The 33 Things That Make Us Crazy in the latest Wired magazine I must add my own item to the list: Movie theater seating. So let me get this straight: I get to pay more than ten dollars to sit in the front row, far right side of a subtitled movie and the only way I can see is by slouching down far enough so that I can see the screen. After 20 minutes my legs are going numb and my neck is getting sore. I look over at Amanda and I can tell this isn’t her idea of a great movie experience either.

How about if the seating at the theater were priced like it is at the theater… movie goers could buy a specific seat and the theater could vary the charge depending on the desirability of the seat. Why would theaters have different pricing? Because my living room is the competition and I always get a comfortable seat at home.

Wedding Location Search: The Lodge at Seneca Creek

We’ve been looking at various places to hold a wedding ceremony and reception and I wanted to post some photos of some of the places we have investigated. Tonight let me show you the Lodge at Seneca Creek.

Surrounded by 26 acres of scenic, wooded parkland, The Lodge at Little Seneca Creek is Mother Nature’s ultimate meeting place. This rustic log cabin with its natural wood cathedral ceilings and massive, wood-burning flagstone fireplace is an ideal setting for a business retreat or social gathering.

This is a stitched together photo showing the entire lodge. I want to also post a 360 degree interactive version but for now just click to view the large size:

the lodge

Update: The interactive version is now available here.

A Night of Modern Dance: LEVYdance

LEVYdance performs
Tonight I saw LEVYdance perform at Dance Place and it was a great experience. The above photo is from “if this small space” where Scott Marlowe danced inside of a ~8 foot rectangle of light (there are more excerpts of it on the front page of the LEVYdance web site). The most impressive performance of the evening was the DC premier of “Bone lines” which is apparently about choreographer Benjamin Levy family life. The Washington Post says:

“Bone lines,” a 24-minute work for his youthful troupe, LEVYdance, doesn’t delve deeply into the drama of his family’s flight, but it does investigate cultural transmission: what gets passed on and what gets lost amid everyday life. There’s something about the work’s tender and knotty partnering, the spare walking, the shadowy relationships that suggests a shared sense of loss.

I went with the fellow dance-challenged Colin along with dancers Amanda and Kim. Thanks to the newlywed couple for their delicious dinner and night on the town!

If you missed the performance, read the preview at the Washington Post called A Dance of Culture and Compromise.

A Personal Snow Day

I have extra vacation days so I took the day off from work on Wednesday. Here are the highlights.

  • I slept until 10 am and didn’t really start doing anything until 11.  The day just zips by when i don’t go to work.  Wait, it zips by when I do go to work.
  • Alyssa was my second Skype video call and she gave me a tour of her apartment. She walked me room by room through her home with the laptop in front of her. I never knew she was such an interesting and entertaining tour guide. Call her up and I’m sure she’ll give you a similar tour of her Houston, Texas apartment.
  • Sean, Kat and I had a conference call late on Wednesday and we talked about our web site project.  Working on a web site is a lot of work but it is fun.  My focus is on the calendar for now and I keep hoping that the software improves.
  • It snowed all day and on Thursday morning the temperature is 23 Fahrenheit. Therefore the sidewalks and roads are icy. I did not fall on my walk to work.

Thanks to Alyssa for the bulleted blog idea.