Monday, December 29, 2014

Pixies: Greens and Blues

"Greens And Blues"

I'm not together, and you know it's true.
My bits all wander in the trees.
And if I ever seem a little strange,
Would you excuse me please?

I said I’m human, but you know I lie.
I'm only visiting this shore.
I'll soon be leaving in the outbound tide
I pray again we will meet.

I’m wasting your time, just talking to you
Maybe best you go on home.
I'll leave you alone, fade from your mind,
Slip into the greens and blues.

I said I'm human, but you know I lied.
I'm only visiting this shore.
I'll soon be leaving in the outbound tide.
I pray again we will meet.

I’m wasting your time, just talking to you
Maybe best you go on home.
I'll leave you alone, fade from your mind
Slip into the greens and blues.

Greens and blues...

I’m wasting your time, just talking to you,
Maybe best you go on home.
I'll leave you alone, fade from your mind,
Slip into the greens and blues.

I’m wasting your time, just talking to you,
Maybe best you go on home.
I'll leave you alone, fade from your mind,
Slip into the greens and blues.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Mark your calendar: March 14, 2015 at 9:26.53

March 14, 2015 at 9:26.53

or, in other means of expression

3.14 '15 9:26:53

the first 10 digits of Pi

Pi Logo

100,000 Digits of Pi

3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375105820974944592307816406286 208998628034825342117067982148086513282306647093844609550582231725359408128481 117450284102701938521105559644622948954930381964428810975665933446128475648233 786783165271201909145648566923460348610454326648213393607260249141273724587006

Sanitized for Your Protection

Are you ready for some FOOTBALL?

Today is the season finale for my local professional football team. They host their arch-rival and, after defeating the Philadelphia Eagles last week, hope to extend their winning streak to two games.  

But as you know, the controversial names of some sports teams have gotten more press than the athletes representing the teams on the field or the games they play. In this age of enlightenment, we can do better! 

The term "Cowboy" is highly offensive. The diminutive "boy" should never be applied to an adult male. "Cattlemen" is better, but the preferred gender-neural term is "Cattle-persons." 

Please join me now in the PC cheer of the day: 

"Go, Washington Fighting-persons of Native American Descent! Score slightly more sports-points than the Dallas Texas Cattle-persons!"
(But don't hurt their feelings.)

My hometown Washington Redskins close out the season today with a 1 p.m. game at FedEx Field against the Dallas Cowboys. Some interesting game day notes and nuggets from the Washington Post are available HERE.

Enjoy the game!

The basics:
Kickoff: 1 p.m. at FedEx Field
TV: Fox (Ch. 5, 45 locally) | Radio: 980 AM; 92.7 and 94.3 FM.
Line: Cowboys by 5.5

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Power of the Crystal

All these days I’ve been broken and hopeless
And I, and I don’t feel like I’m coping, I’m hoping
That I, that I can live and let go
So I can get through it
Yeah, I can live and let go
So I can get through this

See more HERE

What a Ride!

And now we ride the circus wheel
With your dark brother wrapped in white
Says it was good to be alive
But now he rides a comet's flame
And won't be coming back again

Neutral Milk Hotel: Holland, 1945
See more HERE

Monday, December 22, 2014

Create and Share a Personalized Snowflake!

Brought to you by The Book of Everyone, now you can create and share a personalized snowflake like this one I made using the name FoamFan. 

Perhaps you will make a snowflake using your name, or the name of someone dear to you. Maybe you'll even try making one with the words Peace, Hope, Love, and Joy.


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Hilltop Hoods: Live and Let Go

Live and Let Go
Hilltop Hoods
Walking Under the Stars

[Hook: Maverick Sabre]
All these days I’ve been broken and hopeless
And I, and I don’t feel like I’m coping, I’m hoping
That I, that I can live and let go
So I can get through it
Yeah, I can live and let go
So I can get through this

[Verse 1: Suffa]
You know the pain can
Hang in the air like cigarette smoke, right?
Sometimes trying to live and let go
Like trying to talk with a mouth full of cinnamon though
I’m trying to crawl out the skin I'm in so
I can see through the eyes of a loved one, eyes of an enemy
Rising above sometimes takes a pedigree
That I fear that I don’t posses
And turns hope into hopelessness
But I won't depress
Won’t let life wear me down
Staring down as the troubles all rush past
Some part their wary brow
And wear a frown like a handlebar mustache
So we live, I forgive and forget
Rather than to live with regret
It's like living with debt
It’s a weight that'll curve your spine
Living with hurt is like serving time

[Hook: Maverick Sabre]

[Verse 2: Brother Ali]
I pay homage to obstacles
Thin line between honor and horrible
The healing heart knows the eyes must overflow
Tears clear the windows that guard the soul
Now that the water flow, you can scrub the mud out of your land
The blood out of your hands
But you still gotta cleanse your heart that’s trying to beat inside
And it’s only purified by the tears you cry
You can fight all the devils and slay them
But if you’re made hard at the days end then they win
There’s only one force that can solve all this
I want the warm heart that we all start with
Sometimes we march out, ball our fists
I will give it all up for my softness
You will never invade my Holy place
I let the tears dry on my face

[Hook: Maverick Sabre]

[Verse 3: Pressure]
If these walls could talk they’d sing a somber song
And if we stronger from this world that goes on and on
We wear our scarring like armor made our problems from
Void of feeling, time ticking sitting on a bomb
So disengaged, hopin' that this fades
Reaching out but the dark taking focus away
This road’s paved by the brave without knowing the way
Don’t stray bro, they didn't build Rome in a day
Now I don't need to satisfy, seize to set a tie
Just the feeling peace and gratify
If we don’t reach for the stars, only reach for satellite
We'll live in faded color, but dream in black and white
I know our demons walk among us
The struggle is something that we do, not something to become us
So let go of all the suffering and hurt
Yo, unless we ball it up and we burst

[Bridge: Maverick Sabre]
So I can get through this, so I can get through this
So I can get through this, so I can get through this

[Hook: Maverick Sabre]

Neutral Milk Hotel: Holland, 1945

The only girl I've ever loved
Was born with roses in her eyes
But then they buried her alive
One evening 1945
With just her sister at her side
And only weeks before the guns
All came and rained on everyone
Now she's a little boy in Spain
Playing pianos filled with flames
On empty rings around the sun
All sing to say my dream has come
But now we must pick up every piece
Of the life we used to love
Just to keep ourselves
At least enough to carry on
And now we ride the circus wheel
With your dark brother wrapped in white
Says it was good to be alive
But now he rides a comet's flame
And won't be coming back again
The earth looks better from a star
That's right above from where you are
He didn't mean to make you cry
With sparks that ring and bullets fly
On empty rings around your heart
The world just screams and falls apart
But now we must pick up every piece
Of the life we used to love
Just to keep ourselves
At least enough to carry on
And here's where your mother sleeps
And here is the room where your brothers were born
Indentions in the sheets
Where their bodies once moved but don't move anymore
And it's so sad to see the world agree
That they'd rather see their faces fill with flies
All when I'd want to keep white roses in their eyes

Thursday, November 27, 2014


A photo from archives: Me and my little brother

When I am with my brother now, I feel a new and different channel open between us. As brothers, we have experienced a wide range of communication channels over the years. We have been buddies, rivals, and siblings, and we have expressed love, joy, and anger. The common bond of shared parents and shared--even intertwined--life experiences has kept us close all these years. Now it is a different bond that unites us. Today, we share a bond of spiritual love, the type of love that transcends our mortality.

The Greek word agape is often translated "love" in the New Testament. But there are many different types of love--different modes of expressing affection. How is "agape love" different from other types of love? 

Ancient authors have used forms of the word agape to denote love of a spouse or family, or affection for a particular activity. Agape is in contrast to philia, an affection that could denote friendship, brotherhood or generally non-sexual affection, and eros, an affection of a sexual nature. Neither does agape mean “charity,” a term which the King James translators carried over from the Latin. Agape love is unique and is distinguished by its nature and character.

"Agape became appropriated in Christian theology as the love of God or Christ for humankind. In the New Testament, it refers to the covenant love of God for humans, as well as the human reciprocal love for God; the term necessarily extends to the love of one's fellow man." [1]

"Agape is love which is of and from God, whose very nature is love itself. The apostle John affirms this in 1 John 4:8: “God is love.” God does not merely love; He is love itself. Everything God does flows from His love. God loves because that is His nature and the expression of His being. He loves the unlovable and the unlovely (us!), not because we deserve to be loved, but because it is His nature to love us, and He must be true to His nature and character. 

"If we are to love as God loves, that love—that agape—can only come from its true Source. This is the love which “has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit given to us” when we became His children (Romans 5:5). Because that love is now in our hearts, we can obey Jesus who said, “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. As I have loved you, you should also love one another” (John 13:34). This new commandment involves loving one another as He loved us sacrificially, even to the point of death. 

"[I]t is clear that only God can generate within us the kind of self-sacrificing love which is the proof that we are His children. “By this we have known the love of God, because He laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers” (1 John 3:16). Because of God’s love toward us, we are now able to love one another." [2]

Read more:

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Grip

Todd's first words to me: "They keep moving me, and you keep finding me. That is awesome."

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Intergalactic Collision: Star Wars & Day of the Dead

By computer artist John Karpinsky

Oh, my friends, if you love the Star Wars / Day of the Dead mash-up illustrated above, do yourself a favor: follow the link to "Visual News," and enjoy the rest of Karpinsky's work!

And while you are at it, check out the bio of Benjamin Starr, Managing Editor of Visual News and contender for World's Most Interesting Man.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

BrewTours Launches in Washington, DC


DC Brew Tours Launches in Washington DC
 Bringing Brew Buffs VIP All-Inclusive Behind-the-Scenes Access to Celebrated Breweries


Daily All-Inclusive VIP Tasting Tours Offer Beer Lovers a Behind-the-Scenes Suds-focused Experience With Some of DC’s Most Celebrated Breweries

– Just in time for fall and
​ to catch the tail end of​
 Oktoberfest, DC Brew Tours, part of
​the ​
City Brew Tours family, has announced its official launch in Washington, DC. Just like its tours in Boston, MA, Burlington, VT and Portsmouth, NH, DC Brew Tours offers daily all-inclusive behind-the-scenes beer-focused tasting and tour experiences complete with round-trip transportation to brew lovers throughout the metropolitan area – visitors and locals alike.

DC Brew Tours has partnered with Port City Brewing Co, an award
winning brewery in Alexandria, DC Brau, one of the fastest growing breweries in the country, Right Proper Brewing Co, a yeast forward brewpub in Shaw, Capitol City Brewing Co, the oldest brewery in the district, Bardo Brewpub, a funky outdoor brewery in the Trinidad neighborhood, Chocolate City Beer, a
 artisan nano-brewery in the NE, 
3 Stars Brewing Co, a production brewery and homebrew shop, and Atlas Brew Works, to name a few. 

Further elevating the one-of-kind tasting and tour experience, DC Brew Tours has also partnered with some of the most celebrated beer-centric restaurants in the DC area to provide a creative and delicious dining experience. Tour lunches and dinners will be hosted at City Tap House and Capitol City Brewing Co, offering guests an exciting beer-focused tasting menu, exclusive to DC Brew Tours with each course accompanied by a hand-selected beer pairing. 

Whether tour-goers prefer lighter beers or bolder brews, DC Brew Tours provides an educational and fun way to explore Washington’s rich beer history and culture. From Pilsners to Sours, DC Brew Tours’ beer guides will introduce participants to award-winning beers of all styles, flavors, and backgrounds. Keeping in line with City Brew Tours’ ideology, all DC Brew
​ ​
Tour beer guides are active home brewers who are dedicated to sharing their love of craft beer. 

"The craft beer scene in the DC area is exploding right now”, said Chad Brodsky, CEO and Founder of DC Brew Tours. “Between Northern Virginia and DC proper, there are over 10 breweries in the Capital region. As a frequent growler customer and proud beer geek, I find it necessary to sample a brewery’s wares before making that big 64-ounce purchase. However, after a couple pours I’d quickly realize, Hey, I’ve got a nice buzz! Instead of booking multiple trips through car services to each consecutive brewery or even consider drinking and driving, I wanted to create an exclusive full-day brewery tour experience for locals and brew-tourists alike, which combined humor, history, education, food, transportation, and of course plenty of top notch beer selections! DC Brew Tours is not just a beer shuttle service. We have set up partnerships with all of our destinations where we offer VIP tours, 1 to 1 interactions with a brewer, special tastings, and closed to the public brewery visits. In addition, your beer guide is with you throughout the entire experience. DC Brew Tours is also the perfect way to celebrate a birthday, anniversary, bachelor/bachelorette party, team building, corporate outing, client appreciation event, or any other special occasion. We have worked with individuals to Fortune500 companies to craft unique and unforgettable beer-centric experiences." 
The DC Brew Tour will launch with two all-inclusive public tour offerings. The ‘Original Brew Tour’ provides participants with an insider's look into how three different DC’s breweries craft their celebrated brews. Perfect for beginners, connoisseurs, home brewers, and everything in between, The ‘After Hours Brew Tour’ is the ultimate Washington DC nightlife experience. The ‘After Hours Tour’ kicks off by showcasing both the old school breweries and the latest school of Nano/micro breweries open in the district. All DC Brew Tours provide a safe, fun and unique way to experience the region’s top breweries, brewpubs and beer bars. 

For additional information on DC Brew Tours please visit, call 202-759-8687, or follow on Twitter @BrewTours. To book a public tour, please visit For private events call 1-888-623-8687 or email

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Calling all entrepreneurs! ROCK THE VOTE

Please do me a quick favor--30 seconds, max--and VOTE for my Aunt Georgena's AWESOME start-up proposal. She needs 250 votes total by midnight Oct 17, and she already has almost 200. 

Please help! To VOTE Click HERE 

Chase Bank is offering $150,000 Main Street Grants to 20 small businesses with unique and powerful business plans. She has a great plan but she needs more votes for a chance at the grant.

Please help! To VOTE Click HERE  And then, share this information with friends who would be happy to support an entrepreneur. 

Aunt Georgena is a Trauma Specialist. Her business, Beyond Your Grief,LLC, is an educational healthcare company which helps people deal with grief. We all know someone who is struggling with an all-consuming GRIEF and my Aunt Geo can HELP!  But first we must help her get the 250 votes she needs for a shot at the $150,000 Main Street Grant

Please help! To VOTE Click HERE 

Georgena Eggleston teaches Conscious Grieving and Intentional Mourning so people can be transformed beyond their grief. Self-care is foundational to healing. Her dream is to help our country work through grief using an interactive self-care app. Georgena has published articles and book chapters and has a book of her own coming out in February. You can see her website, blog, and Facebook page. 

Please help! To VOTE Click HERE  And THANK YOU for reading, VOTING, and sharing! 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Evidence of a morning well-spent

Along with Melanie Grace (#21,223) and 35,000 of our "closest friends," I participated in the Army 10-Miler on Sunday, October 12th. This was my 7th running of the ATM and the 30th annual edition of the event. I have observed quite a change in the nature of the event over the years. 

When I first ran it in 2000, the race was like a party. People wore outlandish costumes. There were jugglers and acrobats and people playing instruments while they ran. The atmosphere was fun--even frolicsome.

The 2001 edition was canceled due to post-9/11 security concerns, although many people ran shadow events anyway. I formed a team of 6 runners from the Army M&RA and G-1--a group of people who suffered 20% casualties including 29 killed in action on 9/11. We had special t-shirts made with the names of our fallen comrades, and we collected pledge money for the Family Support Group.

After 9/11 and the 12 years of war that followed, the event has gotten more somber., with this edition being by far the most poignant. Instead of birthday cake hats, bare feet, and kazoos, I saw: 

  • people running in memory of someone who was lost, or in support of someone injured. 
  • a Gold Star mother running in memory of her son, SFC Bowen from Maryland Army National Guard. 
  • more hand bikers and wheelchair racers than ever before. 
  • two blind runners, with escort and guards, and t-shirts declaring that loss of sight is not loss of vision. 
  • a number people on prosthetic limbs. 
  • many people carrying Old Glory, or unit guidons, or banners depicting such things as Purple Heart medals 

I suppose the most touching moment came after mile nine when we passed a man on two prosthetic legs. His stumps were sore, and he had his arms around two other men who were helping to carry him across the finish line. I gotta tell ya, stuff like that just really tugs at your heart. 

After the race, the vendors included not just the typical Army recruiting tents, but tents for adaptive sports and tents recruiting people to join Red White and Blue, Ward 57, Wounded Warrior Project, and many more. Of course my brother (fighting brain cancer) was on my mind today. I was running for him and others who cannot.

It's not as if there was no joy or reward in the effort. Melanie and I started and finished the run side-by-side. After being brought to tears on more than one occasion over the 10 mile course, we crossed the finish line hand-in-hand, exuberant and joyful.

Bottom line, I am proud to be affiliated with Armed Forces Services Corporation, a corporation which values service and is the champion for Warriors, Veterans, and Families. As an AFSC employee, I am working for the DoD's Wounded Warrior Program, helping to make a difference in the lives of our wounded, ill, and injured Warriors from all services and components. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

DC and DelMarVa at GABF 2014

I am happy to pass along the results local brewers achieved at the recent annual Denver Bacchanalia known as the Great American Beer Festival. 

My definition of local includes the area inside a 100 mile diameter circle centered on the US Capitol. This includes all of DC plus parts of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. 

My definition of Bacchanalia is 3 days, 5,507 beers from 1,309 breweries hailing from 50 states plus Washington, D.C. in 145 different beer styles--all at a mile high altitude.

Read more (a lot more) here: GABF 2014 

Local Medal Count 

District:  1 
Delaware:  3
Maryland:  5
Virginia:   7

TOTAL:  16 

Beer Name Brewery State Category
Rauchbier Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant - Annapolis MD Smoke Beer
Raspberry Stout Hardywood Park Craft Brewery VA American-Style Fruit Beer
Schwartz Bier Devils Backbone Brewing Co. - Outpost VA German-Style Schwarzbier

The Citizen DC Brau Brewing Co. DC Belgian- and French-Style Ale
Bedotter Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant - Newark DE Belgian-Style Tripel
Choc Lobster Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats DE Indigenous/Regional Beer
Spiced Harvest Old Dominion Brewing Co. DE Pumpkin Beer
Belgian IPA Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant - Rockville MD American-Belgo-Style Ale
Old Pro Gose Union Craft Brewing MD German-Style Sour Ale
Amber Waves Ale Capitol City Brewing Co. VA American-Style Amber/Red Ale
Old Virginia Dark Devils Backbone Brewing Co. - Outpost VA American-Style Dark Lager
Turbo Cougar Devils Backbone Brewing Co. - Outpost VA Bock

Sweet Baby Jesus! DuClaw Brewing Co. MD Chocolate Beer
Gold Heavy Seas Beer MD Golden or Blonde Ale
Alt Bier Devils Backbone Brewing Co. - Basecamp VA German-Style Altbier
"Hydraulion" Red Three Notch'd Brewing Co. VA Irish-Style Red Ale

Monday, October 6, 2014

A map of the Midwest, as estimated by 100 other maps

I grew up in the Midwest.

So, do you have a clear picture in your mind of where I am from? Perhaps you do, but is your clear picture the same as mine, or anyone else's?

Compilation map of the Midwest by Radical Cartography

This compilation map was created by Yale history professor and cartographer Bill Rankin at Radical Cartography, and came to my attention when it was re-published by Vox

And this is important not just because of my origins (born in Nebraska). I think it's important because ambiguity is vanishing. Our rush to standardize everything is crushing the variation that makes being a human being so durned / danged / dog-goned interesting.

Some will look at this map and decry the lack of a single, universal, clear, cut-and-dried standard definition of the Midwest's geographical boundaries. I, on the other hand, see humanity. I see differences of opinion, I see varying perspectives. I hear my Dad's adverse reaction to my decision to attend university "way out east" in Indiana. Sidebar for Dad: I am in Virginia now and I still cannot spit into the ocean--unless I drive 4 hours further east!

If 100 respected cartographers cannot agree on the borders of the Midwest, well, they are merely reflecting the varying opinions of millions of people. These include people who, for some inexplicable reason, honestly believe that a map of the Midwest ought to include Texas.


If James Surowiecki, author of The Wisdom of Crowds, is right, then the "real" boundary of the Midwest is described in the overlapping approximation of independent guesses.  I like the variation. I like the implication that "all of us" is smarter than any one of us. And I like the idea that the hive mind can evolve. Ask the same question in 100 years and I hope there is still a little ambiguity in the reply.

But then again, I am a human being, and just like a lot of folks from the Midwest, I am endowed by the Creator with the inalienable right to my own durned / danged / dog-goned opinion.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

9--make that 10--attempts to explain the crazy complexity of the Middle East

We know the world is complicated, and no where does it seem more complicated than in the region we of European descent refer to as the Middle East.

WaPo's Alan Taylor introduces his collection of nine charts which endeavor to explain the crazy complexity of Middle East in an article entitled 9 attempts to explain the crazy complexity of the Middle East

Does this look familiar?

Compare this chart (one of 9 shown in the article)... my pre-ISIL Aug 28, 2013 effort reproduced below

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Don't Sneak

I consider myself a man's man, willing and able to do what needs to be done. But there are some stories that are guaranteed to render me helpless--and make me cry like a 5-year old boy whose puppy just disappeared.

I suppose there is some deep-seated explanation for "the trigger" and its inevitable, emotional  response. In 50-odd years of walking this earth, I have yet to discover the reasons for this drama, and move them into my conscience for closer examination.

All I know is that I have watched "Remember the Titans" three times, and three times I have been reduced to a blubbering idiot.

And now, this story told on NPR's StoryCorps in which a man tells his adult daughter the touching story about a surprising bit of advice his father had given him years ago, when he was a teenager.

On the surface, the two stories--Remember the Titans and Don't Sneak--may seem to be completely unrelated. But I invite you to follow the link, check out the story with an open mind, listen to the recording if you have the time, and see for yourself what you think.

Patrick Haggerty dresses in drag in 1959. As a teen,
Haggerty learned from his father never to "sneak" around his identity.

Here is the quote that really stuck me to the wall. The father realizes that his son Patrick is, as might have been said back in the late '50's, a little light in the loafers. And this is how this father deals with the issue:

"Now, I'm gonna tell you something today, and you might not know what to think of it now, but you're gonna remember when you're a full-grown man: Don't sneak. Because if you sneak, like you did today, it means you think you're doing the wrong thing. And if you run around spending your whole life thinking that you're doing the wrong thing, then you'll ruin your immortal soul."

Here is an amateur attempt at self-diagnosis. I seem to have a soft spot for stories about the strong father-figure (dad, coach, teacher) who accepts and encourages an insecure young man who desperately wants to do achieve something authentic, bold, and great.



To thine own self be true.

Know yourself and seek self-improvement.

Don't sneak.