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Thursday, April 27, 2006
If you want to waste a few hours drawing 3D objects and moving them around, download SketchUp. There are tutorials for learning to use the software, the best of their kind that I've ever seen. It takes about 5 minutes to learn the basics. Once you've got a good model, place it in Google Earth. Haven't done much with the later, but it seems like this could be a great tool for visualizing the results of proposed developments.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006
 No time to blog 
Even though I only officially work for about 24 hours a week, I seem to have no time even to blog. Where does the time go? Lately there has been a lot of advocacy work, primarily trying to get a bicycle coordinator in Fairfax County. It looks like the work, under the quise of Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling (FABB) is paying off. The county Board of Supervisors passed their budget on Monday and it included a bicycle coordinator position and funding for a bike map. That's great news and maybe there's hope for the county becoming bicycle friendly one day.

There's other advocacy work as well, mostly related to trail and sidewalk projects. There are land use committees and web work related to all of the above. Then there are the household projects like repairing old wood on the deck and fixing the fence. Once in a while there's time for the fun projects like cleaning up and overhauling an old Mercian road bike.

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006
 Sunday Post 
It's not every day that I have my picture on the front page of the Washington Post. In Sunday's Post there was an article on a plan for a sidewalk along Spring Hill Road just north of Tysons Corner. One of the holdouts for granting an easement is Zbigniew Brzezinski. He's making a number of demands in order to sell the easement; which isn't unusual when the proposed sidewalk or trail construction results in trees and fences being destroyed. Sounds like he'll eventually come around, and the process hasn't even been underway for that long. I was asked to comment on the situtation, and ended up agreeing to appear for a photo op.

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Saturday, April 08, 2006
 Print fair 
Attended the Washington International Print Fair today in Rosslyn. Parked at the East Falls Church Metro station and rode the train to avoid any possible parking hassles. There were some beautiful prints on display, and at the fair it's possible to go through stacks of valuable prints, spending as much time as you want admiring them. That's all I could afford to do, as most were worth several hundred dollars into the several thousand. I particularly liked the prints of a couple of artists who were new to me that were somewhat affordable: Asa Cheffetz and Gordon Grant. The Cheffetz prints were high contrast woodblock prints of rural scenes that were very detailed. Also saw several Ernest Roth prints that I loved. They are affordable, in the $350-400 range, and sitting here looking at images online I'm tempted to return to the show tomorrow and purchase one. I'd settle for a good reproduction, but there don't seem to be many available. Roth's prints are less expensive than they might be had he numbered each print. The dealers did not know how many prints were made, so it's anybody's guess whether there are 10 or 100.

There's a physical limit to the number of good prints that can be made from a plate, so the edition is limited but unknown. Collectors are very concerned about the edition number as it affects the value of a print. I could care less about the numbers; I'm only concerned about the quality of the print.

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Sunday, April 02, 2006
 Sunday ride 
It was a beautiful spring day today so we decided to ride downtown on our yearly pilgrimage to view the cherry blossoms. It was actually the second trip down. On Monday we were disappointed to see that the blossoms were just barely popping out, with about 10-20% of the trees in bloom (Washington Monument photo and one of the Jefferson Memorial). The earlier trip was fun; there were few crowds and we could easily walk our bikes around the Tidal Basin.

Today the trees were in peak bloom and there were thousands of people walking the circuit. We stopped briefly to take a quick look, then took a ride around Hains Point. There is a loop around the point with steady but light traffic on a wide two-lane road. The road is lined with cherry trees in bloom.

The round trip is about 50 miles. On the return trip I spent a little time handing out leaflets about the upcoming Fairfax County budget hearings, to try to get people to contact the Board members to support the hiring of a bike coordinator. People were very enthusiastic.

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