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December 2006 Archives

A funny Christmas Carol

Saw "The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society's production of A Christmas Carol" - highly recommended for a fun evening with family.

See the review by DC Theater Reviews.

This is the closest you will get to seeing a Holiday panto in DC - playing through December 31st - go!

"The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society's production of A Christmas Carol," through December 31, 2006, at the Church Street Theater, 1742 Church Street NW, Washington, DC, near DuPont Circle, 800-494-8497

We parked for free on the street near Malaysia Kopitiam, where we ate a delicous dinner, then walked to the theater (just east of Dupont Circle).

December 29, 2006 10:47 PM   Link    Living in DC    Comments (0)

What you can do - right now - for our troops

I am frequently asked the question, "What can we as individual Americans do for our troops, particularly those serving overseas?"

I have two answers and a recommendation. The two answers are to pray for them and to say, "Thank you," when you encounter serving military personnel and veterans.

The recommendation is to "send a few dollars to Operation Call Home."

Operation Call Home is the brainchild of Ladd Pattillo, an Austin, Texas, businessmen, U.S. Army Reserve colonel and personal friend.

"Operation Call Home," by Austin Bay, TCS Daily, December 21, 2006

You can buy calling cards for our troops through a Department of Defense Military Exchange program: Military Exchange Prepaid Calling Cards. Cards are distributed through the American Red Cross, Air Force Aid Society, Fisher House, Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, USO, and the Soldier & Family Assistance Center.

December 26, 2006 08:17 AM   Link    Holidays and Celebrations ~   Military    Comments (0)

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Crèche at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC
The Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Crèche at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC
November 21, 2006 - January 7, 2007.

We're off until January, so no posts until 2007 ... Merry Christmas and Best of the Season to you.

December 25, 2006 09:37 AM   Link    Travel    Comments (0)

How to take great Christmas photos

Good tips for taking photos at Christmas

It’s three days until Christmas so I thought a quick tutorial on the topic of Christmas Photography might be appropriate.
Here are 16 tips and ideas to try that come to mind for digital camera owners wanting to capture the big day.
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3. Set up a DIY ‘Photo Booth’

"16 Digital Photography Tips for Christmas," Digital Photography School, December 22, 2006

And to photograph Christmas lights:

The best time to shoot is before it gets totally dark. Arriving around sunset will give you time to plan your shot before the good light happens. You may have to ask your subject to turn the lights on early - most people don't flip them on until the good light is already gone.

"How to Photograph Christmas Lights," Strobist, December 13, 2006

December 23, 2006 09:57 AM   Link    Caught Our Eye    Comments (0)

George Gershwin - oxygenator

The writer and playwright S. N. Behrman observed that George Gershwin "oxygenated" any room he entered. Other friends agreed. Commandeering the piano with a cigar clenched between his teeth, Gershwin dominated any gathering, yet instead of sucking the air out of a party he enlivened it. In the same spirit he oxygenated American music, inspiring a new and expanded sense of its possibilities, from pop songs to orchestral works to opera. Nearly 70 years after his death at the age of only 38, he remains America's most protean and popular composer.

"Fascinating schism: How the uniquely gifted George Gershwin fashioned masterpieces in both popular and classical music," by Ken Emerson, a book review of "George Gershwin: His Life and Works," by Howard Pollack, in The Boston Globe, December 17, 2006

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December 21, 2006 04:07 PM   Link    Caught Our Eye    Comments (0)

Don't let the bed bugs bite!

Bedbug (Cimex lectularius), from Wikipedia
In a city where people already depend on Ambien for a good night's sleep, the thought of bedbugs has wreaked havoc on circadian rhythms from homeless shelters to $2 million loft apartments. The thought of them is making people itch--not the bedbugs themselves, whose numbers don't even quite live up to the media hype. What has yet to be quantified--but what has become an urban infestation of its own--is the paranoia that the bedbug craze has produced. It turns out, perhaps no surprise in a city as neurotically obsessed as New York, that something as small as a bedbug can grow colossal in the minds of millions.

"Bed Bugs & Beyond: An outbreak of paranoia (and lint) sweeps the city," by Mara Altman, The Village Voice, December 12, 2006


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December 20, 2006 07:37 AM   Link    Caught Our Eye    Comments (0)

Best sentence I read today

For some bizarre reason, we seem to have settled on always, always, always giving users undo for such critical operations as deleting a single character. When users delete an entire document, however, we offer no possible recovery. That, in the real world, would be evidence of insanity.

"The Scott Adams Meltdown: Anatomy of a Disaster," by Bruce "Tog" Tognazzini, Ask Tog, February 2006

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December 17, 2006 09:47 AM   Link    Caught Our Eye    Comments (0)

MP3 player or Pioneer Inno (XM)?

Looking at a gift, trying to decide between an mp3 player like the Creative Zen Vision:M or the Pioneer Inno for XM radio. Anyone have any suggestions? Use the comments or email hobnobblog at Thanks.

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December 15, 2006 10:47 AM   Link    Comments (0)

Best quote I read last weekend

"The cash register did more for human morality than the congregational church."

"Academic Economics: Strengths and Faults After Considering Interdisciplinary Needs," by Charles Munger, at the Herb Kay Undergraduate Lecture, University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Department, October 3, 2003 (25-page pdf)

Thanks to John Jay for the link ("Educated Beyond our Intelligence," Chicago Boyz, December 4, 2006)

I met Charles Munger once at a business meeting in 1995, where representatives of two publishing companies were discussing a potential relationship. Within the first ten minutes, the impact of online delivery on publishing came up. I was the only one in the room who did not know who Mr. Munger was, and I peppered him with questions for the better part of the rest of the meeting. Afterwards, I told my boss, "That guys gets it. He really gets it." My boss laughed and told me he was Warren Buffet's partner.... Charles Munger is not only one of the smartest business people I have ever met, he was gracious to boot.

December 10, 2006 12:15 PM   Link    Economics    Comments (0)

Panto in DC - and Malvern, PA

If you want to see a holiday panto this Christmas, we found one in DC and another in Malvern, PA. Let us know if you are aware of others in or near DC.

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December 10, 2006 09:27 AM   Link    Entertainment ~   Holidays and Celebrations ~   Humor    Comments (0)

Creative Zen Vision:M

A friend asked for advice on an MP3 player. Although we don't own one, we have read many positive reviews of the Creative Zen Vision:M. Froogle prices. Don't forget to get the silicone skin, AC adapter, and some screen protectors.

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December 9, 2006 12:27 PM   Link    Technology    Comments (0)

Affordable eyeglasses

New blog, "Glassy Eyes- Shattering The Eyeglasses Scam"

December 8, 2006 10:07 PM   Link    Caught Our Eye    Comments (0)

"An Exclusive Club"

A prospective client is in the office. He has an interesting case. He needs a lawyer. Without good legal advice he will be in real trouble. He cannot afford legal fees. The lawyer listens. He repeats to himself his personal resolution not to take on another no-pay case. But he makes the fatal mistake of continuing to listen to the facts. He peruses the documents. He asks more questions. He knows the scheme and he knows the swindlers. He shuffles the documents into chronological order. It is likely that this poor fellow will lose the little he has. The lawyer is hooked. Vanity enters the picture. The lawyer thinks (and says) he can outsmart the swindlers.

There is an exclusive lawyers’ club whose members cannot turn away an interesting case just because the client has no money to spend on legal fees. I am told that a lawyer seeking admission into this club must satisfy application requirements that far exceed those of Harvard, Yale, Georgetown, and Stanford.

"An Exclusive Club," by Jacob Stein, Washington Lawyer, December 2006

Legal Spectator & More, by Jacob Stein
Legal Spectator & More, by Jacob Stein

December 4, 2006 12:57 PM   Link    Caught Our Eye    Comments (1)

AP provides "shoddy goods"

When a company defrauds its customers, or delivers shoddy goods, the customers sooner or later are going to take their business elsewhere. But if that company has a virtual monopoly, and offers something its customers must have, they may have no choice but to keep taking it.

That’s when the customers, en masse, need to raise a stink. That’s when someone else with the resources needs to seriously consider whether the time is ripe to compete.

"Say no to AP’s shoddy work," by Jules Crittenden, The Boston Herald, December 3, 2006

December 3, 2006 04:47 PM   Link    Caught Our Eye ~   Fourth Estate    Comments (0)