At long last

Posted by – November 17, 2013

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I’ve never seen Gwar or been to the 9:30 Club. Tonight, all of that changes. Advice is welcome.

48-hour vacation

Posted by – November 8, 2013

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If you need me this weekend, check the beach in Florida. I’ll be the guy by the water reading Alex Segura’s new novel Silent City.

Autumn in Dupont Circle—catch it while you can

Posted by – November 5, 2013

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I grabbed this shot on the way to work last week, but it already looks like it was a lifetime ago.

Fall elephant-watching

Posted by – September 29, 2013

Elephant at the National Zoo

You know what never gets old? Watching elephants walk around. We stopped by the National Zoo on Saturday and spent a few minutes by the pen.

George R.R. Martin gets his own Flipboard magazine

Posted by – September 21, 2013

World of Ice and Fire Flipboard magazineUp until recently, I’d been extremely selective about the “Song of Ice and Fire” commentary and analysis I paid attention to. The Westeros.org wiki can be a spoiler-laden minefield to navigate while you’re still trekking through the existing books, and I have no regrets yet about allowing BoiledLeather.com into my life. I was wrapping up an epic read through the latter’s chapter remix of A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons, though, and since it was my first time looking at both of those books, the goal had been to let as many shocks and delights unfold in their full glory as possible.

I’m 100% caught up on the series now, however, so I have no qualms about reading the new George R.R. Martin Flipboard magazine that Random House has launched. The publisher is actually backing two such author-themed ventures right now, one for Martin and one for author Margaret Atwood. And the more I think about them, the more I think these magazines mark a pretty smart move on Random House’s part.

Now, I’ve been on the fence and off again about Flipboard since I first tried it out on my first-gen (now aging, slow and nearly useless) iPad. At first glance, my thoughts were, “Why do I need an RSS reader that shows me fewer headlines at a time and requires more gestures and navigation to see everything I want to see?” Nevertheless, the interface and design have grown on me. Flipboard is a clever platform for tablet (and smartphone) reading when the content plays nicely with it. A lot of publishers just sort of show up, and some barely look like they care about being in Flipboard at all, but when it works, it works well, and I hope the library of accessible publishers who don’t make you click through to a web browser continues to grow.

Fan magazines like this new George R.R. Martin one seem like sensible fits, though, in theory. As I mentioned before, I’m not a big fan of Flipboard stories that require normal web browser viewing, but for magazine-type articles with curated content being mixed in, I could see “The World of Ice and Fire” working out really well. The iPad is where I do most of my novel reading these days, and having a magazine-like experience to complement that makes a lot of sense on Flipboard, both for reader use and an easy option for book publishers, who (let’s face it) can use all the help they can get to corral and connect with audiences these days. I’d love to see some similar Haruki Murakami and Salman Rushdie options show up to the party as well.

NASA’s LADEE over Washington, D.C.

Posted by – September 7, 2013

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The highlight of this weekend so far was definitely watching the launch of NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE). Here’s what it looked like over the U.S. Capitol Friday night as it was headed to the moon.

The Kennedy Center from the Potomac

Posted by – August 31, 2013

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We caught a boat down to Alexandria on Friday. I looked up at the Kennedy Center balcony during the ride and found it hard to believe that it hasn’t even been five months since we were standing up there. It’s been a long, packed summer.

Should we be worried?

Posted by – August 18, 2013

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It’s not on our floor, but it’s right above the entrance we use every day.

It was a really good week for music

Posted by – June 30, 2013

I don’t know if everyone else noticed over the past week, but it was a pretty great week for new music releases. Not only did the new Pixies track “Bagboy” and its video hit.

It was catchy. I hold any band as old as Pixies (with or without Kim Deal) to the standard of “Was this new single or album better than anything Weezer has released in the last few years?” And by that measure this track is magnificent. Even on its own merits with nothing else considered, though, it’s got hooks.

Meanwhile, Nine Inch Nails’ new David Lynch-directed video for “Came Back Haunted” appeared as well.

And then that new Mavis Staples album “One True Vine” hit. My ears are set for at least a few weeks.

Shark teeth

Posted by – June 30, 2013

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We pulled these out of the Chesapeake on Saturday. To the best of my knowledge, they’re all from sharks. (Also, I’m testing out some new WordPress image settings as I upload this photo.)