Monday, January 31, 2005

When homeless people grope...

Today we (the interns) went to the National Press Club to hear the speech of NY Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. It was fun.

But on the way there, this homeless lady stood in the middle of the sidewalk as I was walking towards her and stared at me.

I moved around in the group so I wouldn't walk next to her, but with an extra few feet between us.

So she reached out and touched my right shoulder and started screaming something about "Gabriel" as I walked on by.

I don't know what she wanted, what she saw, or what she was doing. Nor do I care, so don't ask.

And people wonder why I've supported concealed-carry laws in the past.

Then again, that would've theoretically given her access to a gun. Crap.

Oh well, back to work.

Too Tired to Sleep

About 20 minutes ago, when my alarm clock said 5:00 AM, I bolted awake, almost violently. I got up, had a drink of water, and layed back down. After just a few minutes of staring at the ceiling I concluded that the direct approach wasn't going to help me.

Something is wrong in the world. Very, very wrong.

Then again, it could just be sleeping problems.

I'm buying some sleeping pills today. Anybody know a good brand?

Sunday, January 30, 2005

The sign of the Hobbit. Posted by Hello

Three weeks down, 11 to go

This is at least the 4th attempt I've made at this blog entry, and it may not be the last. We'll see.

Ok, ok, the fifth. teenth. fifteenth.

And I just deleted four paragraphs of words that I really didn't like. And a sentence that I was going to put after this one. You'd be surprised to know just how many words almost make it onto this blog then suddenly are cut down in their prime my me.

And I just deleted another 5 paragraphs of crappy writing.

Old plan: weekly retrospective/introspective

New plan: Roll Call post

I keep hearing from readers that they'd given my blog URL to a friend of theirs or a friend of mine or someone on the street. That's ok. I just want to know who is reading.

Thus, I do hearby require that every person who reads this post leave a comment on this very post consisting of their name.

Just to be certain, I cursed this post. Everyone who reads this post without leaving their name in a comment shall have their toes grow to the length of their fingers.

Then again, as Willy Wonka said, such a person would be able to play the piano with their feet.

So anyone who wants that, go ahead and not leave your name.

Me, I'm Logan C. Adams, I write this blog, and I suck at music. Thus, why would I want to play the piano with my feet?

Friday, January 28, 2005

Don't ever grow up to be a publicist, ever

Every year the Scripps Howard News Service does a poll of celebrities on who will win the super bowl, why that team will win, and what the final score will be.

Each staffer is given a list of names with contact information. Mine were John Ratzenberger, Pam Shriver (tennis star and wife of George Lazenby, who played James Bond in "In her Majesty's secret service), Charlie Sheen, and Jeb Bush.

I've already gotten answers from Charlie Sheen and Jeb Bush, through publicists.

I just got a call from John Ratzenberger's publicist, and he's working on getting the information for me.

But what's more interesting is what else he wanted to tell me about: the "Girl's Gone Wild Halftime Show." Apperently since this year's show is expected to so "G-rated" the people at GGW decided to have a pay-per-view show during the superbowl halftime, with plenty of "wardrobe malfunctions."

He was pitching a story to me. And he said all this with a solid, collected voice that made me very, very uncomfortable.

To get him to shut up, I told him to email some info on it to me. I just hope to God that pictures aren't included.

I left the office around 5 or so, and was fortunate not to have recieved any further correspondence from the creepy publicist. Thus begins the weekend, and here's hoping it is a good one.

My Own Personal Phone Line

Hey, guys, I shoulda posted this earlier, but I have my own phone line here.

You can call me at:
Phone (202) 326-9865

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Chasing Ernie: some philosophy

If you don't know who Ernie Pyle is, read this and this too before you read further.

In one of the halls of the Scripps Howard Media Center, a.k.a. the bureau, there is an area dedicated to the memory of Ernie Pyle. There's his portrait, copies of his expense accounts, and a picture of the place where he died that was marked with a sign with the date and that it was on that spot the 77th Infantry Division "lost a buddy."

Pyle is one of my heros for the example he set. He was published nationwide and is lovingly remembered by countless people for his writing, yet he rarely paid attention to the big stories. All he cared about was writing about the wonderful little things out there that make life wonderful. He paid utterly close detail to the man on the street, the child in the backyard, and the soldier in the foxhole.

Most reporters, myself included, dream of covering that one big story, that career-making, once in a lifetime piece. Everything else is irrelevant to so many of us, we just don't care about the tiny things, they're too hard to cover.

Pyle found fame, respect, success, maybe even love by persuing the tiny things, the grunts on the ground, the very foundation of the people. That is what matters.

Let's see if I can learn from him on that.

Wire Story

House Judiciary Committee chair announces bill to limit terrorists’ travel

By Logan C. Adams -- Scripps Howard Foundation Wire, Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON- House Judiciary Committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., introduced legislation Wednesday that he said would inhibit terrorists from gaining entry to the United States and staying here.

Calling it the “Real ID Act,” Sensenbrenner outlined its four “common-sense terrorist travel provisions” at a press conference in the Capitol. In a compromise, the provisions were dropped from the intelligence reform legislation that Congress passed last month in response to recommendations of the Sept. 11 Commission.

He said the bill had 115 cosponsors. Just one, Rep. Lincoln Davis of Tennessee, is a Democrat. Opponents said the bill could hurt those who come to the United States fleeing persecution and gives the federal government too much power.

The first provision, Sensenbrenner said, would require all temporary drivers’ licenses to expire along with the visas of their owners. In addition, visitors wanting to get licenses would have to meet “tough rules” to prove their identity.

“American citizens have the right to know who is in their country,” he said, “that people are who they say they are and that the name on the driver's license is the real holder's name, not some alias.” Sensenbrenner said that Mohamed Atta, one of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers, had a six-month visa to stay in the United States but a Florida driver’s license good for six years.

Second, he proposed changing the rules for granting asylum. Citing the case of Ramzi Yousef, mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing, Sensenbrenner said his bill would make immigration fraud less viable for terrorists. He said that Yousef had “gamed” the asylum system before being arrested for the bombing.

Third, he said his bill would waive federal environmental laws that have prevented the completion of the San Diego border security fence, which Congress authorized eight years ago. “Neither the public safety nor the environment are benefiting from the current stalemate,” he said.

Finally, Sensenbrenner said certain terrorism-based rules that can prevent someone from entering the country are not grounds for deportation. “The Real ID Act makes aliens deportable from the U.S. for terrorism-related offenses to the same extent that they would be inadmissible to the United States to begin with,” he said.

Tim Edgar, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, said there are dangers with the proposal.

“We’re very concerned about the asylum provisions of the Sensenbrenner bill,” he said. “They would basically force people who are fleeing persecution to provide documents from the very government that they are fleeing.”

Edgar also said that the driver’s license provision would bring the nation one step closer to a national identification card system because the federal government would be setting requirements for licenses that are the jurisdiction of state governments.

Some Early Morning Blogging

Something I forgot to ask in my previous post:

Is there something wrong with a sandwich made with corned beef, provolone cheese, and saurkraut on white bread?

You see, there's the restaurant on our block that makes good sandiches called the "California Grill." I went there for lunch yesterday and ordered their corned beef sandwich, and they tossed a nice amount of the wonderful meat on the grill for me. They took my bread and asked me if I wanted lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise on my sandwich.

Well, they didn't really ask. It was in the form of a question, but it was really just them telling me they were going to slather it with mayo and dump lettuce and tomato on it if I didn't speak up quick.

I spoke up because I don't like lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise on my corned beef sandwich. I like saurkraut with provolone or swiss. I asked for saurkraut, if they had it, and the cook's eyes damn near popped out of her head in shock.

Now, corned beef and saurkraut is a combination I learned from my mother and have cooked myself several times. They belong together, they just do. Try it, you'll like it too.

She turned and disappeared into the bowels of the kitchen and returned just in time to flip the corned beef. She put my cheese on it, and tossed some saurkraut on the grill next to it, stirred it for a bit with her spatula, and tossed it onto the melted heap.

All the while she called other cooks over to see this strange concoction, and they were aghast at my order too. Apperently corned beef and saurkraut is a combination none of them had ever seen in their entire lives.

Despite their reservations, I will say it was the best corned beef sandwich I ever tasted in my entire life. I'll have to get it again sometime.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

These book titles have one thing in common, can you guess it?

"Diseases of the Stomach"

"Administrative Law"



(hum the Jeopardy tune)

OK, times up!

If you said they're all books you have read, well then, you are a loser twice over: in this game, as well as in life.

The truth is, these books are among the several dozen that line the bookshelf that stands behind the podium in the House TV/Radio Gallery where I covered a story today.

But what's more interesting than the story is what they did to the books to give the speaker some space. The books themselves have all been cut in half so that the bindings and half of their covers still remain. You can actually walk up and pick the halflings off the shelf and read what little remains.

I'm still giddy about going to the hill, or as I sometimes refer to it, el capitollissimo, because I have these cool-ass things called press credentials. I don't have to go to the guest lines, I walk through the "appointment and official business only" lines. I even get a friendly knod from security agents carrying large automatic weapons, which always makes me feel good.

Credentials don't keep me from getting lost, or being blind for that matter, as I walked past the door of the room in the capitol that I needed to get to.


The press conference was on immigration reform legislation, and I think I was the only reporter in the room who couldn't speak spanish.

Whatever the case, I got what I needed and left, made a bunch of phone calls that were not returned so a bunch of Congressmen will not have their voices heard. Their loss, their loss.

I got the story out after a few extra hours of mental thrashing, which is becoming a common thing for me when I write lately, in case you haven't noticed. But it's done, so w00t for me.

Finally, a special message to a special mom out there: I finished that beef jerky today, please send more. Just don't tell Lauren, she'll try to steal it.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Metro: itzza sutcha crazay place!

This is the Metro Center Red Line platform the night of the Inaugural balls. Almost everone in this image is in a tuxedo or a ball gown, and is swarming towards the center of the platform. I was able to get in on the back car of the train when it came, and it left the station mostly empty while the conductor had to warn the people several times to back off when they all tried to get in the center cars. Posted by Hello

Censorship Sucks

This is an interesting pair I saw in Mcpherson Square. They later made it on stage and danced to an anti-Bush song. Posted by Hello

From ten stories up...

Looking down 15th Street at the Inaugural Parade. Posted by Hello

See this picture? This was my only sighting of last thursday's parade.

But what I want you to pay clost attention to the perspective: really freaking high.

This picture was taken from the balcony that the Scripps Media Center has here on the 10th floor, the only floor that has one. I like this balcony very much, because when I'm waiting on something or stuck trying to get around a mental knot or when I just want some peace, not quiet, just peace, I go out there. (It overlooks Vermont and L, after all)

It's a peaceful place because of one thing: distance. The nearest human being you can see, unless there's one on the balcony with you because you didn't block the door, is on the street or in another building, and either way that is nice. You can let go of the confusion, the tension, the consternation, the aggravation, and a whole lot of other negative things that end in -ion.

Except for globalization, that just can't be stopped. Too bad, now back to the fairway, Arnie.

I just came back from the balcony. I finished the Alton Brown story today, I hope, and once the papers of the country have had their chance at it I'll post it here, along with the story behind the story, which I'm certain will have you all drooling. Just remember to wipe that face or you'll ruin your keyboards.

Tomorrow I'm heading to the hill, (as in, el capitolissimo) there's some announcement being made in the House TV/Radio Press Gallery that is supposed to be something, so hi-ho, hi-ho, it's to the house I go, to do some crap then take a nap, hi-ho, hi-ho-hi-ho-hi-ho.

(You sang it to yourself, admit it.)

I'm taking off for the night now. Good night, God Bless, and send me money. Thank you.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Maybe I do miss Kansas...

The last sunset I ever photographed, and my favorite of them all. Posted by Hello
You'd think the protesters would be more concerned over the environment. Posted by Hello

Fort Riley's Finest

This is the Commanding General's Mounted Color Guard from Fort Riley. On the left on the white horse is Capt. Cayla Slusher, her horse is named Cyclone. Posted by Hello

A little breather.

I have been smashing my mind around since 10:00 this morning, and seven hours of that isn't fun. You see, I'm writing the Alton Brown story today, and it's an absolute feature story. I came here with the mindset of hard news, current, direct stuff, and it can be difficult to rearrange a mindset.

How difficult? Seven hours of mental thrashing difficult. There have been points where I've gone to the restroom just so no one would see it when it gets its strongest, as I look like I'm going entirely insane.

But no worries, I'm doing it. I'm getting it done, I'm writing this story, even if I have to stay here late, and come back in the morning.

I'm listening to that Train song, "When I look to the sky," it's a great song, especially for someone who feels alone, who misses someone, or who's lost someone. Just beautiful.

I called my dad this morning on a lark, just before I started with the writing of the chef story. I also wrote my mom a little email, and sent another one to a Kansas friend who'd written about the Fort Riley Horse story. Apperantly she likes using suave on her horses, too. She also said that women used to use horse shampoos, as the provided a better sheen. Who knew?

Well, this story isn't going to write itself, so I'm going to force myself to stop blogging in a second and get back to work. Blogging break is over, time to work again...

Sunday, January 23, 2005

So that's what real sushi tastes like...

Today, after going to mass (OK, mom?), I went out with Lauren, Kate, and Jessie on a trip to Georgetown on a shopping excursion. It was good fun, especially just watching the girls be themselves. It was so funny when, while we were waiting for the bus, they huddled next to an office window between two pillars to escape the wind. Yeah, I got a picture.

I read somewhere on a historical marker or something that Georgetown was started in the 18th century and named for King George II and became... I stopped reading at that point, too boring.

I picked up a copy of Train's live album "Alive at Last" at a FYE in the mall. Train is a truly great band, as anyone with any sense already knows. It has "Meet Virginia," "Drops of Jupiter," and "Calling all Angels" on it, which are three of my most favorite songs on this earth. It also has "When I look to the sky," a song of theirs I hadn't heard before, and that I now love very, very much.

But the absolute highlight of the day was when Lauren got me to eat lunch at a sushi bar with her. I had ice water and a cheap platter of sushi and tempura (fried stuff), and she had a mountain of sushi. Believe me, that girl loves her raw fish.

It comes on little platters, and your only option is to use chopsticks. I used to be awesome with chopsticks. I mean, I could pick up anything from a grain of rice to half a chicken with them, but this time around my hands just couldn't get a grip on them. So I fumbled and such throughout the meal, much to my embarrassment.

But still, it was good. I ate sushi with soy sauce and wasabi. That's right, wasabi, that japanese horseradish whose name I've heard so many of my little brother's friends announce for no reason in particular. It came in the form of this thick green paste that you could use as you pleased, and it did pack a wallop. A chunk half the size of a pea made me reach for my glass of water and take a couple gulps.

After a while, we left. It was fun, and I'm glad Lauren got me to do it. We'll have to go there again sometime. I just hope I don't get food poisoning.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Two weeks down, 12 to go

Well, I've been here two weeks, only it seems like I've been here longer. Not in a bad way, mind you, it's just that so much happens each and every day it seems like I've been here for a month.

I even made fun of all the people here from Texas for not knowing how to get around, as if were an absolute DC native. Shame on me.

After waking up at 11:00 AM, I spent the day not really doing anything at all, except for laundry. It snowed, and it was supposed to be really nasty, so I stayed inside, for the most part. I have gone to the store on several occasions in the past, but evertime I went, I forgot to pick up laundry detergent.

Now, I'm not a smart person... Oh wait, I am, and as a smart person, I know that you need detergent in order to have clean clothes. So I ventured out into the snow, which was coming down very hard at the time, and I got my detergent. And I came home. And I sat down at my computer and surfed the internet for a while longer.

Eventually, I ventured down to the basement and took over half of the washing machines (6 total) with my week's worth of dirty laundry, and yes, it did smell bad.

I got it cleaned, and dried, and then I started ironing it around 5:30 or so. I finished ironing at almost 8:00 PM. I hate ironing, I hate it very much.

After that, I was invited up to the girls apartment to watch a movie with them and some friends of theirs. I had two beers, but as this is an adult-friendly blog, I can't give any details as to what we talked about. Adults aren't mature enough to know.

But if you want a hint, we played "I have never." Well, they played it, and I sat nearby and pretended not to listen as I learned a great deal about my new friends. Perhaps too much.

This is probably not as entertaining of a post, and if that is true, then re-read my inauguration post again without using your memory. Sorry.

Wire story

Kansas soldiers bring Civil War aura to parade

By Logan C. Adams -- Scripps Howard Foundation Wire, Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON - Nine soldiers from Fort Riley represented the Sunflower State in the Inaugural parade Thursday afternoon.The Fort Riley Commanding General’s Mounted Color Guard, led by Capt. Cayla Slusher, marched from the Capitol to the White House bearing the flag of the 24th Infantry Division and the troop guidon, the unit’s flag. They wore uniforms and carried equipment matching those used by Union troops in the U.S. Civil War.

In an interview as they waited in a parade staging area Thursday morning, Slusher and others in the 14-member unit described how they prepared for their important ride up Pennsylvania Avenue.

After a ride in a snowstorm Wednesday, they were ready for the cold weather.To prepare for the parade’s other special circumstances, the unit had to trained to ensure their horses were ready before they left. “We did some training with the [military police] on post to get them ready for police lights and sirens,” said Slusher from atop her horse, Cyclone. “I wish we could’ve practiced with a marching band.”

The night before the parade, the unit washed the horses so they would look their best for the parade and have enough time to dry. Slusher said there are special shampoos for horses, but “Suave works great.”

Spc. Ronald Wilson, of Alta Vista, Kan. displayed his horse, Cincinnati, and the equipment he carried. He said each horse’s saddle has a lariat for tying the horse to a tree; a sabre, one of the weapons with which the unit does demonstrations; a poncho and bedroll for the rider; and a feedbag for the horse.

At 14 months of riding, Sgt. 1st Class James Blecha has been with the unit the longest. Blecha, who has served as a cavalry scout for 25 years with the Army, also rode the most experienced horse, Sheridan, whom he said was in all likelihood a part of the last inaugural parade in 2001.

The unit used an outside service to truck their horses from the Flint Hills to Fort Myer, near Arlington National Cemetery with one soldier, and the rest flew. “Fort Myer has been an incredible host,” said Slusher.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Manure on C street, Wackos in Mcpherson Square, and blisters on my feet: 100 blocks of Inauguration coverage

Today began simply enough, I awoke semiviolently at 6:00 AM Eastern time. Well, sorta simply, because my alarm was set for 6:10 AM. I just woke up early out of nowhere, and after a night during which I did not sleep very well at all.

I showered, I shaved, I dressed myself up nicely. Well, sorta. I was expecting to run into trouble today, so I wore my slightly-less-than-awesome pants, the cheap ones I brought in case I had to abandon a pair to the wolves, or protesters, or republicans. You never know.

I left the residence a little after 7:30 AM in the company of my friend and colleague Kate, with whom I was going to the Senate Office buildings, me to Hart, her to Dirksen.

Kate is a nice girl from "the nose of Iowa," as she calls it. Can't figure it out? Look at a map of Iowa.

Still can't figure it out? Stop reading my blog, go to and never, ever come back. You are not wanted here.

I was going to an open house being held in the office of Senator Sam Brownback. I had two reasons: 1, meet other Kansans here for the inauguration for a potential story. 2, introduce to the senator's staff, people with whom I need to have a good professional relationship.

Objective 1 was an utter failure.
Objective 2, partial success (hey, I'm being optimistic here, you mind?)

I met part of his staff, but many were at home with the day off because the Senator must like them more or something. I dunno.

DC's street system has 4 quadrants, NW, NE, SE, & SW. Which quadrant you are in depends on where you are in relation to the capitol building, which is the center of it all. Thus, there can be a 3rd and C SE, a 3rd and C NW, and two more, theoretically, or maybe even in reality. Whatever the case, it can really mess you up.
***Back to post in progress***

After that, Kate rejoined me and we started making our way towards where I thought a group of soldiers from Fort Riley was going to be, at 3rd and C NW. Somehow, I found myself at 3rd and C SE. No soldiers or horses were anywhere near me. I made some calls, and found out that the soldiers were at 4th and C SW!

All we had to do was walk seven blocks.

And then, after walking those seven particular blocks, it became difficult.

You see, they were waiting inside a Secret service-guarded area. I mean, the dudes running this place had submachine guns hidden on their persons, you could tell by the way they walked. I may just be paranoid, but then it wouldn't be as good of a story.

Another phone call to the Captain in charge of the unit, and a kind sergeant came over and let us in and told the Secret service we were with them. Few things feel as good as being welcomed into such a secure area on such a hectic day.

Kate and I interviewed them, Kate is better at asking questions than I, and she was a grand scale help. I took pictures, said thank you, and we left.

When you take pictures, you focus on what you see in the viewfinder, not on where your feet are going. This is not a good thing to do around a group of horses, as you start stepping in things that have been through their digestive systems.

And for some reason I was dumb enough to wear my nice, formal shoes that day.

On our way out, while scraping my feet on the pavement every few steps, another agent spotted us, demanded ID, and how we got in, got confused really quickly, and ushered us out before any of us got in trouble.

He must not have liked paperwork very much.

So we were out on Independence Avenue, and we walked towards the capitol building again, and it was surrounded by people. Lots of people. People, people, more people, and then, some people. And that's just the politicians, count all human life forms present and, well, you just try to count them. I'll bet you count a lot.

We doubled back, not wanting to fall prey to the human ocean before us, and started going west, through the suddenly appearing throngs of rubbernecked people and towards our new goal, the Ronald Reagan building.

Note: A big building, an airport, and an aircraft carrier. Seriously, they've named enough crap after him, they can stop now. No more Reagan things, please. I'm certain every person out there who isn't a Republican agrees with me.

Well, it was a nice walk to the Reagan building. We came across some anti-abortion protesters, and I honestly didn't give a damn what they had to say after the moment when one condemned the conviction and punishment of a man who bombed an abortion clinic.

We showed them our press passes (I got one just for the Reagan building, soooo coool) and we went in. There were bathrooms and a media area, which wasn't anything special, I'm not even going to use details to express it's unspecialness, it was so not special.

Ok, Ok, it was an open hall by Radio Row and some bathrooms. That was it.

Moving on: we called in to our editor and dictated back some stories. We left, boarded metro, and took it to McPherson Square, which is really a quadrangle, not a square, but who cares?

There were protesters there, organized by Code Pink, me thinks, but me not so sure.

We walked by them, careful not to make eye contact, and went up to our bureau after a stop at the Corner Bakery for Kate to buy lunch. There were protesters inside there. Not protesting, but eating. It was different to see such a peaceful state in those usually mad as hell.

We went upstairs, I handed the camera off the Jody, she loaded the pics, I went back out, got some chinese, came back in, grabbed the camera, leaned off our balcony to take photos of the protest on the square, leaned in, handed her the camera back with more pics, and dug in to my Mongolian beef.

After some eating and some drinking, I was ready for another venture into the outside world. Kate and I teamed up again, and dove into the protesters. She did a bit more talking than I, but I took some great pics for the wire.

At one point, I noticed a large black homeless man, surrounded by all his worldly things, in the middle of the protest. I walked up, introduced myself, and started asking questions.

He introduced himself as "General..." at that I realized this would get me nowhere, and moved on after listening for a few minutes. Hey, I was courteous and respectful.

I worked around the area for a while more, then Kate and I headed south. We came upon H street, which is just north of Layfayette Park, which is just north of the White house.

At the intersection of 16th and H, one block north of the White House, we found a "Die-In," which was sad, because they were representing dead people.

It was also funny, because these "dead people" kept scratching their faces, talking to each other, and using cell phones. I caught them on camera.

Still, I got great pics and did some interviewing, and we then went our separate ways, me and Kate. Her to the apartment to prepare for the ball, me to the bureau, to write the Fort Riley story (look in tomorrow's Capital-Journal and Manhattan Mercury) and other things. Once that was done, I went out on the town, and covered a lot of distance. I took the metro in ever imaginable direction, then set out on foot for a while.

A few hours later, after not really finding or accomplishing much more, i stumbled back into the bureau and sat in this chair and started blogging.

It takes about 12 city blocks to equal a mile I'm told. After going through all my walking routes today, I put in no less than 100 average city blocks.

I'll let you do the math, I'm too tired and my feet really, really hurt. I mean, I'm afraid to take my socks off as I think they're the only things holding my feet together.

It is now 11:50 PM Eastern, and at this point the only way I may ever involve myself with an inauguration again is if it is my own.

Still, I regret nothing.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

It snowed a lot today. And it's supposed to snow again tomorrow. Wait, who was it that told me there was no way it would snow? Was it you?

Alas, my mind is blank. I feel like I need to post, to say something, to make myself heard.

But no words come, no ideas flow.

Wasn't it Oscar Wilde who said "Writing is easy. Just sit down at a typewriter and open a vein," or something like that?

Don't worry, or get your hopes up, I know he was speaking figuratively.

Hmmm, that seems like humor there. I think.

Let's try this again:

Well, this day was much less work than yesterday. I figured out what I'm going to try to accomplish tomorrow, and it was a good day, and I've almost recuperated from yesterday.

There were protestors waiting for us when we got home, they were protesting the Black tie and Boots ball/party/whatever going on at the hotel across the street.

They took off before it got late, so "Code Pink" is ok in my book, for now.

Wire Story

Protesters use Internet to find housing, each other
By Logan C. Adams -- Scripps Howard Foundation Wire, Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON - Many of those traveling here to protest at this week’s inauguration will not be staying at hotels or with people they know in the capital, but with complete strangers.

And many of them have linked up through Web sites such as and, which devote space to matching protesters with free or cheap housing. Political motivation was the main reason for most of those offering housing, but hosts also wanted to help people in general.

“I want to help those who are coming from far away to be able to participate,” said Kim Louth in a telephone interview. Louth, who said she is over 40, is a federal employee who offered room for two people in her house in the suburb of Poolesville, Md., but may take in four.

“I feel that it is in the spirit of community to let others come and stay,” said David Plevan, 30, via e-mail. “It is impossible to get hotels, and if you could they are outrageously expensive.” Plevan, who lives in the D.C. neighborhood of Columbia Heights, worked for a company that produced events for Democrats during the election.

One concern for hosts is safety, as they are welcoming people they’ve never met into their homes. Many check references and continue a dialogue via e-mail and telephone. Some of the online posts include rules on length of stay, pets, substances and behavior.

“If somebody whips out their, like, crack pipe, I’m going to be pretty upset, but I don’t expect that to happen,” said Shannon Daspit, a third-year law student at American University. “People are coming to D.C. to protest. I don’t they’re coming here to, like, rage in some stranger’s house.” Daspit will host six people in her three-bedroom, 1 ½ bath townhouse.

“It’s a little bit scary because you don’t know who you’re opening your home to. It could be anybody,” said Louth.

Some of those who posted online ads received more responses than they expected. Holly Shulman, 22, a political consultant in the District, posted a few months ago that she had room for three people in her apartment in the convenient and trendy Dupont Circle neighborhood. She received more than 200 inquiries.

“I’ve actually done this before,” Shulman said. She said she housed almost 30 people for a protest last spring. “That was easier because I lived in a house, and now I have a studio apartment.”

Shulman plans to have 10 people stay with her, and while she is disappointed with the current administration, she does express bipartisan feelings.

“If someone who was coming in for the inauguration was a Republican and wanted to stay with me, that’d be fine, too,” she said.

Many hosts plan to join their guests to protest issues debated during the election, including social inequality and the war in Iraq.

Jen Turner, 20, an American studies student at American University, and her three roommates will have four guests in their dormitory room. She intends to join three of her friends as “radical cheerleaders,” or what she calls “an interesting sort of political theater.”

The Radical Cheerleaders use chants and actions to raise awareness of such issues as women’s rights, environmentalism and anti-capitalism.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

It is done, sorta, maybe, hell if I know

I interviewed Alton Brown today, let's just get that out of the way.

It occured in a Barnes and Noble in Arlington, VA today at around 3:30. I was happy to meet him, he signed a copy of his book for my mother, and he used my cell phone to call his driver.

The story shall be a good one, I promise, but no further details will be published on this blog because: A. I'm too tired to talk about it, and B. It would be unethical for me to write about it here before giving Scripps their rightful story. Sorry, guys. Check back in a couple weeks if you're one of those pathetic loosers who can't live without AB and want all sorts of inside details.

Still want a new bit o' wit from Logan? Read my last post and try not to use your memory, or look at my old columns on the Collegian website. Sorry, it's the best I can do tonight.

Frozen Cubans and other thoughts

With deepest apologies to my friend Lauren, who will probably still kick the crap out of me for posting this.

Well, today was a rather cold experience, and it was also a very funny one. I was supposed to have the day off, but I went ahead and went into work anyways to finish a story. Because I could.

And because I needed to get a story done so it could be edited in the morning.

The streets were empty as everyone else had the day off too, except the poor souls working the metrorail, the Quizno's I bought lunch from, and the Scripps Howard Media center, which had a skeleton crew in who were impressed at the dedication of myself and my colleague, Lauren. This is where things get funny.

Lauren is a wonderful person whose company I dearly, dearly enjoy. Lauren is of Cuban descent, and grew up in Miami, Florida. You know, that place that almost always is very, very warm. That place where they really don't experience winter. Yeah, you know that place, at least by reputation, right?

Well, poor, poor Lauren, who worked there next to me most of the day doing research, has not adjusted to the climate whatsoever. In fact, I believe this is her first actual winter. Ever.

Well, except for skiing, I think, but that shouldn't count.

Whatever the case, poor, poor Lauren doesn't react well to the cold. Even today, when she wore 2-3 coats, a couple hats, and a hefty scarf over most of her face that looks like a kaffiyeh. Ok, Ok, a Burqua.

So today, when we got done with work, and had to go home, it became a rather... interesting experience.

It's a four block walk (rhyming, it's fun) from the bureau to our subway, and every foot of it was horrible for the poor girl. She buttoned and bundled herself up completely before she left the elevator, but I could tell the cold was getting to her. After a block or so of "It's f*****g cold" (use your imagination, and add a Cuban accent to it) and the like, I threw my arm around her shoulders and joked that this should make her warmer.

Well, as luck would have it, it made her feel warmer. Plus, I was walking on the windy side, blocking the wind. So she told me to keep holding her shoulder close, and I, not wanting to invoke the wrath of a cold Cuban, complied. As we got closer to the station, she actually yelled "Hold me tighter" in a tone of voice that made me fear for my life.

Picture this: a 6-foot male squeezing a 5 foot girl with her face completely covered except for her eyes and screaming incoherently every little while. If we didn't look like an Afghani couple out on a date, I imagine we at least looked utterly ridiculous.

We finally made it to the station, and it was heated, so I didn't have to hold on to her with a deathgrip anymore. It was then that I realized that while she had been freezing her Latina ass off, I had been sweating. (From feeling warm from walking so briskly from the office, not any... unproffessional reasons. Pervert.) I didn't have the spine to tell her.

To be fair, Lauren is a wonderful girl whose friendship and company I always enjoy having, no matter the temperature.

In her defense, I am taking some serious license with this story, just for the sake of making it even more funny. In my defense, hey, you enjoyed reading it, didn't you? You sick jerk.

First off, I showed this post to Lauren. She laughed very, very hard. I was relieved.

Second, it has been requested that I cease the use of profanity in this blog, which is irritating, to say the least, because I had just started using my vast vocabulary of vulgarity. (Alliteration, it's fun)

So here's the deal. I'll keep it clean, ok, ok, I'll try to keep it clean. Now let's see you leave some comments and praise more often.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

I never thought it possible...

Hey guys, Logan here. I'm certain you've all heard how in some cities there's a Starbucks on every corner or block. Usually such statements are made as a joke, because the human mind has trouble believing that any business could be so prevalent and/or popular.

Well, in Washington, D.C., it isn't a joke. It isn't an exaggeration. It's reality, there is a Starbucks on every block in this city. I'm not kidding, this place is infected with them.

This doesn't mean that Starbucks is the only place to go for a cup a' joe, my friends, oh no, hell no. There's plenty of smaller chains, single stores and "local flavors" here too, filling in all the storefronts that Starbucks didn't want.

But still, Starbucks is the Alpha Brewer in this town, often making me wonder:

"Where's an angry, violent, anti-globalization mob when you need it?"

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Weekend Retreat

I'm sitting here, hanging out in with the girls in their apartment, which has become our "place to hang" in the evenings. It's very peaceful, very calm up here, and the view is much better than my apartment, which is three floors lower. From here you can see the National Cathedral, which is a very beautiful thing on a clear night. And I get a better internet connection, and I get to hang out with very friendly women. It's a good thing.

I went for a walk today with some of the other interns, we went north by foot to Cleveland, the neighborhood north of us where there is a blockbuster video, which is very nice. We walked by the entrance to the national zoo, which was something else. I'll have to go there sometime, I've always wanted to see a Panda.

Today was a day of little accomplishment, which is cool with me. I worked five 8-1o hour days this week, and this Thursday, the inauguration, is looking to be an 18-hour day or more. This comes from my boss, mind you, so I expect to be an utter trainwreck one week from now.

Not that I'm complaining, this inauguration is going to be something else. I've already contacted 50+ people who are organizing protestors, and this should become something that is most interesting.

Friday, January 14, 2005

One week down, 13 to go

Well, this marks five days of my life I'll never regret, five days of my life that were unlike anything I've ever experience before. It's utterly amazing to me how much my mindset has changed and how different I feel from how I did on arrival. The subways now seem peaceful to me, the streets no longer feel like canyons either. It's all pretty nice.

From time time I think of those not with me, both those back in Kansas, and those no longer with any of us. It provides me with energy, with drive, to know that I'd damn well better do my best here. That there are those I've left behind, those who will never know the wonders I have known. There's no way I will let one day pass me by up here, that would be a mortal crime against life.

We took a stroll out on the Scripps Media Center Balcony a moment ago, ten floors up from street level. You can see the White House, the Washinton Monument, and Reagan Airport with a most glorious behind them from one side and L street down the other. Glorious. I'll see if I can get you guys a picture some time.

I miss home, I miss my family and friends, but I honestly want to be here. I've been finding peace, I've been finding life, I've been learning and listening, seeing and understanding.

And if all goes well, i may break a big story next week. Or a small one, either way, i'll be happy.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

My first wire story

Sen. Kennedy: defeat is a new beginning for Democrats
By Logan C. Adams -- Scripps Howard Foundation Wire, Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON - The Democrats may be a minority in Congress, but Sen. Edward M. Kennedy said Wednesday that his party represents the majority of Americans.Kennedy, D-Mass., spoke at a National Press Club luncheon.

His speech, “A Democratic Blueprint for America’s Future,” outlined his hopes, plans and dreams for the Democratic Party, which is contemplating its positions and tactics after its losses in November’s election.“In an election so close, defeat has a thousand causes – and it is too easy to blame it on particular issues or tactics, or on the larger debate about values,” he said.

Kennedy noted that small swings in many states could have given Democrats control of the Senate, the House or the White House, in any combination. He said Democrats did many things right but should not feel satisfied.

He dismissed President Bush’s declaration of an electoral mandate for his policies as “deceptive and dangerous,” saying the election had been “dominated by memories of 9/11, fear of terrorism, the quagmire in Iraq and relentlessly negative attacks on our Presidential candidate.”

He said the party should keep away from Republicans’ tactics, which he said “exploit the politics of fear and division. … The last thing our country needs is two Republican parties.”Kennedy called for fresh “progressive vision.” He said that the war in Iraq and the danger of terrorism must be dealt with and reiterated his belief that Iraq is “Bush’s Vietnam.” He added that the “misguided resort to war has created more – and much more intense – anti-American feeling than Osama bin Laden ever dreamed of.”

He called for better education, especially for improvements in math and science. Several proposals would offer tuition to those who study math and science if they promise to teach and would guarantee cost would not keep anyone out of college. “Surely, we have reached a stage in America where we can say it and mean it – cost must never again be a bar to college education,” he said.

The senator said all employers should be required to offer seven days of annual paid sick leave to every employee and proposed “tax advantages” for companies that create new jobs.

Kennedy said that President Bush should be stopped from changing the Social Security system and that Medicare should be extended to all Americans. Under his plan, called Medicare for All, the transition would occur over a decade, starting with those closest to retirement.Kennedy said that a woman’s right to choose an abortion must be protected but that the number of abortions should be reduced by reducing the number of unwanted pregnancy. He also said he supports legalizing same-sex marriages.

Finally, Kennedy called on Americans to be better citizens and commended the nation’s efforts to help those affected by the Indian Ocean tsunami.

In response to a question, Kennedy, who will run for his ninth term 2006, drew a laugh when declined to comment on whether he believes his successor has been born yet.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Yeah, I just covered a nationally-broadcasted speech by a senior senator. What did you do today?

Holy crap, I think I'm shaking.

I had the distinct honor of covering a speech by Sen. Edward M."Ted" Kennedy at the National Press Club today. If you were watching him speak on C-SPAN today, that was what I was covering.

The NPC is located on the 13th and 14th floors of a building located at the SE corner of 14 and F in NW DC. It was an interesting walk from the bureau to the club, especially when a homeless man felt he should tell me he's doing all right. Six times. Don't ask.

I got there, and went on up. For a senator's speech, there was very little telling me how to get to the ballroom where it was to take place. As in, nothing. I ambled about in my fine black suit and eventually found it. That was easy, what was hard was figuring out who I needed to talk to before going in so I wouldn't get thrown out. I asked around a bit and soon enought I discovered the press desk, where I signed my name and picked up my copy of the prepared speech, which was embargoed until 1:00PM, meaning I couldn't publish anything from it until 1:00 PM, when the speech started. You know the cool thing about press credentials? They get you into cool things like speeches by Senators at clubs that cost $500 a year for membership.

The speech was cool, I had to put all my political influences aside to listen to it as it was most "progressive." I just had to be apathetic and skeptical at the same time, which can be hard at times. I think.

Whatever the case, it just went out on the wire a few minutes ago, and who knows who will pick up my story.

Tomorrow's plans: arrange an interview with Chef Alton Brown of "Good Eats" and "Iron Chef: America." He'll be in DC on the 18th for a book signing and interview because Scripps owns Food Network.

Then: work on something else.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

All I can say is w00t!

Ok, so this morning the intern herd of which I am a part went to the Capitol building.

By that, I mean THE United States Capitol, the one that houses the Senate and H of R's chambers. We went there for two reasons. First, we got our shiny, hologrammed press credentials made that give us access to so much of the place, places where no one else can go, like press rooms, and even cooler, the congress press galleries.

You'd think the rooms would be bigger from watching C-SPAN, but they're acutally feel very small when you're in them. The Senate chamber had a nice number of seats for reporters, four of them reserved: two for AP, two for Reuters. We sat in them, just for fun, and/ or spite.

But the most amazing thing, to me, was that there were two spittoons kept in the Senate chamber under the frontmost-center seats. It appears Senator Helms used to frequent them.

Later on, our guide (a 40-year veteran of covering the hill) showed us a few other interesting things:

-the spot where long ago a reporter shot and killed a congressman after discovering the congressman had been running around with the reporter's wife. The reporter was aquitted on the grounds that it was a defense of honor.

-The door to the office of Rep. Tom Delay, House Majority Leader, which had a strange, but very faint stench emanating from it. Maybe it was my imagination.

-I noticed the furniture of Senator Harry Reid out in the hallway, as he is the new Minority Leader and had to move into Senator Daschle's office.

-We rode the subway that goes between the Senate office buildings and the Capitol. Damn that was fun. Just remember, that was your tax dollars hard at work.

I've got great plans for tomorrow, I'm researching a story on Kansans coming to the inauguration and I'm doing a story on a speech Sen. Ted Kennedy is giving.

See you on the flip side.

They've got the tower, these guys have the power, and I don't really care anymore.

Sarcasm ahead.

I awoke this morning, ungently, to the sound of people using their right to assemble. That is, to protest and threaten to strike at the hotel the work at, which is my nextdoor neighbor. They were out there when I got home, chanting again, even more rambunchiously and loudly:

Leader: "Who's got the tower?"
Madding Crowd: "They got the tower!"
Leader: "Who's got the power?"
Madding Crowd: "We got the power!"

This makes me think of a quote from Stan of South Park (correct me if I screw it up):

"Dude, I believe in free speech and all that, but dude, {censored} you!"

No, I don't disagree, they can have whatever the hell they want. I just like getting my sleep, that's all. I do hope they get their contracts soon, though, along with healthcare, dental, and whatever else they want.

Because then they'll stop picketing and all will be well, and quiet.

(Seriously, good luck guys, fight the power, and get your contracts!)

Is this really happening?

Ok, cleansing breath... 1...2...3... oh crap...


OK, now that I got that out of me, a brief post:

Life is good, DC is good, and there are spittoons under the frontmost two seats in the Senate Chamber in the Capitol. Yes, it appears they are still being used regularly.

More to come later.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

From there to here: Part II

After I dropped my stuff off at the Apartment and hung up all my pretty clothes, Scott and I went out on the town to find the Scripps Howard Bureau and a few other things. We walked through where the Inaugural will be in a week or so, and I saw the White House for the first time. I couldn't believe it at first, it was so brilliantly white and looked nothing like the picture I've seen in which it has so many strong shadows on its features. We also saw the inaugural podium President Bush will be speaking from, which looked piss-poor although I will admit it wasn't finished yet.

We found the bureau, and we walked by the World Bank, which while a beautiful building it is surrounded by concrete barriers that are practicically permanent because of the protests they are meant to deal with. Scott also showed me the law school, which put everything Kansas State has to shame. And by shame, I mean Kansas State should be crying in the corner begging for its life. Such technologey, such cleanliness, such...such... hey, it was awesome.

We parted ways at the subway, he went back to his apartment which was 45 minutes away, and I went to mine, which was 10 minutes away, in opposite directions on the line.

I unpacked the rest of my stuff and collapsed onto my bed and slept at around 5 pm (eastern time from here on) and that was that, for a while. Sometime later I got a phone call from Kate, a fellow intern with Scripps, and I answered. I had to ask her later what I said, because I was in such a stupor I still don't know what I said. Neither did Kate, who said she just heard a lot of mumbling through a Kansas accent. I just hope I wasn't vulgar or mean or anything.

Later on I showered and made myself presentable and Kate, Lauren (another intern) and I went to a local shop for some necessities, and came back and talked for a few hours.

This morning I went to mass, and came home, and I discovered I could get online with my laptop. Things are looking up.

From there to here: Part I

Well, here we go:
I got up at 3 A.M. on Saturday (central) and got myself ready. I left my hometown of Council Grove, KS (pop. 2300) at 4:30 with my mom and one of my little brothers to get to Kansas City International Airport (MCI). We got there with time to spare and I checked my bags. I said my last goodbyes and crowbarred them off of my so I could board the plane, and I was off at 7:46 AM.

My first flight was scheduled to arrive at O'Hare in Chicago (ORD) at 10:16 AM, but we were 15 minutes early. We spent that extra time chilling in the plane because they hadn't cleared the terminal out yet for our arrival, and I passed it by reading the emergency manual from the little pouch on the back of the seat in front of me, next to the barf bag. These used to have simple stick-figure-like illustrations in them, but this one had actual photoillustrations done with something like Adobe Photoshop. Sadly, the poor cut-and-paste-work and other blatant mistakes made everyone look mishapen, which didn't help their melodramatic poses.

O'Hare, which is supposed to be the busiest airport on earth, seemed amazingly empty. I mean, there were more people in MCI. I cruised the concourse and went to Mcdonalds in the terminal. I saw the prices and ran. $10.00 for a large order of Chicken Selects, my friends. That is insane, even for an airport. I made my way to the food court, where there was another McDonald's. This one had to deal with competition, and sold that same item for $8.00. (Capitalism triumphs!) The cash register wench had apperently not started english lessons until the day before, and screeched something I can only spell as "Kaa Hewp Yuu?" I got a bacon, egg, and cheese McMuffin, and ate it standing at a bar for people t0o important to sit, or something like that.

The flight from ORD to Reagan National Airport (dca) in D.C. was more interesting than the previous one. It was kinda bumpy, and by "kinda bumpy," I mean it made me wonder if I was on a plane or a paint shaker. Then came time for the landing, which was made all the more fun by the Pilot skipping the plane like a stone on the runway. I kid thee not, we freaking bounced our way to the gate.

It was at DCA I met Scott, who now gets to live with either the pride or the shame that comes with being my lifesaver. Scott is a friend of mine who goes to George Washington University where he studies law. He was kind enough to be at the airport and help me navigate my way on the MetroRail system from the Airport Station to Woodley Park, where I'll be living for the next 14 weeks. He was kind enough not to laugh hysterically when I fell halfway over before catching myself because I didn't grab a bar on the subway before it started moving.

I'll have to get used to that.

I arrived at my apartment, and it was nice. More to come on that in my next post.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005


That's right, only four more days until I leave Kansas for D.C., and I'm trying my best to keep it together in my head, get it together with my luggage, and get out of here with my mind still holding together.
I'm only dealing with the little things now, and there are too many to list, so I won't try.
What I will put down is that I'm fast running out of time, and that puts blogging at a lower priority, so... g2g, for now.