Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Declare that Ditty

"I need to hear some sounds that recognize the pain in me, yeah.
I let the melody shine, let it cleanse my mind, I feel free now,
But the airways are clean and there's nobody singing to me now."


I "covered" my little brother's baseball game last night with my 20D and fresh out-of-the-box 70-200MM 2.8L. Simply put, I dived headfirst into sports photography and, miraculously, I survived. I posted almost 80 of the 685 images I shot last night to my photoshelter account and will distribute the address to parents of the kids. I also posted my best five to AIW.

That's right, 685 pictures. I filled my 2GB card.

Shooting was fun, and I must admit I liked the reactions I got with my huge (to their eyes) lens. Some photographers call it a pet peeve, but I had no problem answering their questions about shots. It was also great when one kid recognized me for my work with fireworks and said how much he loved it.

Oh, and did I mention how much I love my new lens? First off, it is solid. I could knock you out with it and then photograph you getting loaded into an ambulance.

Second, it's fast on two accounts: It's got a wide maximum aperture, so lots of light gets in and I could shoot at ISO 200 most of the night. And it focuses faster than it takes me to realize it's focusing. It has the Canon USM motor which actually uses utrasonic waves that we can't hear to turn the focusing elements, which make it quick as the devil but totally silent. At least, silent to me. Some animals that hear in the Ultrasonic range are known to react to it when used.

When I got home, I put my card into its drive and loaded the 2 GB in under 4 minutes, God bless the guy who thought of making a 32-bit PCMCIA CF reader.

It took twelve minutes to back that data up on my iPod.

I went through the pictures with a demo of PhotoMechanic I got with my Lexar Card, selected 77 good ones, and told my computer to upload them to photoshelter. Then I went to bed, and when I came back down this morning, they had loaded.

I can't wait until the next game.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


Things are going a wee bit rough for me at the Mercury the past two weeks. The reason? I've made four mistakes in three stories in those two weeks. Before that, I had made none, as far as I can tell. But this rash of corrections and clarifications has probably turned my reputation into a steaming cow pie.

However, I am also feeling kinda happy because my Canon EF 70-200MM 2.8L USM lens came in today. This thing is solidly built, and focuses practically in an instant. It feels a little heavy, but I could hand hold it for hours of use. I'm leaving for a baseball game in 45 minutes, I'll post pictures later on.
Untitled Posted by Hello
Untitled. Posted by Hello

funny video

Photographers work with their eyes.

Of course, it helps if they're pointed in the right direction.
Here's my cousin Angel and her Clone Army. You should have seen her mother's face when I showed her this picture. Posted by Hello
My little brother, in a hurry. Posted by Hello


Something is wrong in the world. I just know that something is very, very wrong.

Declare that Ditty and a little extra

"The sun still shines in the summertime,
I'll be yours and you'll be mine,
I tried to change but I changed my mind..."

And check out the new fireworks pics.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Declare that Ditty

"I dream of you last night, in a field of blood and bone.
The blood began to dry, and the smell began to rise."

Gee, thanks Supreme Court

The US Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal of two reporters who refuse to break the confidentiality they gave to their sources.

Read the Story Here.

I can say, from personal experience, that the Supreme Court seems to be personally out to get journalists. They freaking hate us, and we're trying our best not to return the favor.

Then again, maybe we should show just how mean we can be. Maybe we should have herds of photographers chasing them everywhere they go; call it the Supreme Court Papparazzi. Catch Justice Thomas buying Coke, Rehnquist picking up his cancer medication, Souter shoplifting bengay, who knows?

(I'm kidding)

I just want to know why the hell Robert Novak hasn't caught any flack for this.

Oh wait, I forgot, he's Bush Administration Property.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

I joined Photoshelter

Friday, June 24, 2005


I just posted a new chapter of Needing A Title Here.


Thursday, June 23, 2005

I call it "Difficult choice." Posted by Hello

My Confession

I have burned an American Flag.

I admit this of my own free will, no one has influenced me into this -- other than congress -- and I gladly accept any consequences as a result of having committed this heinous crime.

It was several years ago, when I was senior patrol leader of my Boy Scout Troop. The American Legion asked us to help them perform a flag retirement ceremony. I was put in charge of the entire ceremony. I gave the order, literally, for the flag to be burned.

Thus, I take full responsibility for its desecration. I can be found and arrested at work tomorrow at Adams Service Center. I will perform my punishment with honor.

Now, you guys are all saying "that wasn't desecration, that was an act of respect, you did nothing wrong."

But how do I know? I mean, laws govern what we do, not what we think while doing it. I may have felt nothing but love for that flag, my heart may have been burning for passion for the principles and freedoms it represented, but I am responsible for its destruction and I must face the law for my actions.

Or maybe I'm on to something. Maybe we shouldn't have a constitutional amendment banning the burning of the American flag, because it's the government telling us what we can and can't think.

It would be the legislation of thought. In this nation, we have the freedom of speech. Shouldn't the freedom of thought be a given?

Declare that Ditty

"and all at once you look across a crowded room and see the way that light attaches... to a girl."

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

OK, that's it. Neal is no longer allowed to use the cloning machine. I am locking it up! Posted by Hello

Declare that Ditty

"But at the courthouse, they didn't laugh, because to type it up it took the entire staff.
And when they were through the title weighed 50 pounds."
My little brother Ryan and I had a little fun with a tripod, a cable release and Adobe Photoshop. Took me 10 minutes from first shutter-release to print-ready. Enjoy. Posted by Hello
Here is my 2GB Compactflash Card and my 32-bit CF reader that came today and fits perfectly in one of my laptop's PCMCIA slots. Posted by Hello

Declare that Ditty

"Well they said she died easy of a broken-heart disease, as I listened through the cemetery trees."

Tuesday, June 21, 2005


I'm thinking about buying one of these for portraits and stuff.

Please, look at the lens and the galleries and tell me what you think of the effect a Lensbaby creates. Thanks.

The Muzzles!

I met Robert M. O'Neil, director of the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression in DC. He came and talked to us interns for a while about the first amendment and hinted to us about 2005's Muzzles, awards simliar to the ig-nobles and razzies in that it's not that much of an honor to get one.

Read them here.

My Fresh Online Gallery

Declare that Ditty

In honor of Karl Mueller:

"Like a madman laughing at the rain, little out of touch, little insane, it's just easier than dealing with the pain."

Monday, June 20, 2005

Declare that Ditty

"Later in the evening as you lie awake in bed,
with the echoes from the amplifiers ringing in your head,
you smoke the day's last cigarette, and remember what she said."
The very first frame to come off my Canon 20D. Posted by Hello

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Fun with the Urban Dictionary

Wow, this is amazingly fitting for me: Logan Powers.

Seriously. I can sit in a room full of people and none will realize I'm there unless I do something drastic, like throw things at them. Similarly, I can walk off from a group of friends and/or colleagues and none will realize I am gone.

Then again, there's also:




Logan Airport
Michael Gehrz on page 2A Posted by Hello

Paths cross again

I found a surprise this morning on A2 of the Topeka Capitol-Journal. It came in the form of a small picture of a soldier eating. The caption:

"U.S. Navy hospital corpsman Michael Gehrz eats lunch at a U.S. Marine base about 200 miles west of Baghdad, Iraq." The photo credit was Jacob Silberberg/The Associated Press.

As soon as I finish this post, I'll put a pic up of the page.

The name was special indeed. In Washington, I interviewed a photographer from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune named Jim Gehrz who won the 2004 photography award from Scripps. (I wrote the story about him that was in the program for the awards dinner, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer, by the way).

During the interview, Jim talked a little about his son, Micheal, a Navy medic who at the time was shipping out to Iraq. Guess what? He's the same Michael Gehrz seen in today's Capitol-Journal.

I emailed Jim about it, and he confirmed it as some colleagues had shown it to him when it came off the wire. I scanned the page and sent it to him, call it a spare father's day gift.

And I find it ironic that I'm talking to an award-winning photographer again, when my new digital kit arrives tomorrow.

Declare that Ditty

"Lebanon, Charles de Gaulle, California Baseball.
Starkweather homicide, children of thalidomide"

Declare that Ditty

"I am love and I am hate,
I am your late night drunk debate.
But youll never put your finger on me"

Saturday, June 18, 2005

The Ghosts of Wah-Shun-Gah Days Past

I haven't been making as many major posts lately, and I'm sorry to those who depend on this site for guidance, inspiration, and the will to live; all three of you, wherever you are.

DC: I wanna go back, waaaah
It's been two months now since I left Washington, D.C. and two weeks since I made a short visit to see all the places I had been missing. The trip was both surreal and bittersweet. I had believed it would be much longer than a month and a half until I came back to Washington, and as I walked by the government buildings and monuments it was very strange. I had missed these things and I was happy to be so close to them once again, but I was not longer a credentialed DC reporter and could not do the one thing I wanted to do the most: cover something.

WSGD: Hiding from the tourists
-This weekend is Wah-Shun-Gah days here in Council Grove; it's a crappy little small-town festival complete with parade, flea market, and carnival. It's named after the last full-blooded Kaw chief -- guess what his name could be -- who died some time ago on the tribe's reservation in Oklahoma.

I guess you could say taking his people's land wasn't enough, we took his name as well.

-The town is full of indian-wannabees covered in feathers and leathers and slapping their mouths while screaming thinking they're honoring someone's heritage, maybe even their own.

-There were two interesting things during the parade: first, my two youngest brothers won first and second prizes for "kid on bicycle." I'd be proud, but they were the only two that entered. They split the prizemoney and are now each $37.50 richer.

The second interesting occurance was that these guys were in the parade, the same ones I interviewed at the Inauguration.

My new camera: it's about damned time
I ordered my new camera Wednesday from B&H photography, it'll get here Monday.

Here's what I have purchased:
B&H Canon 20D Kit: $1,599
Spare Battery: $49
Remote Cord: $49

After Shipping: $1,731.45*

And I just went on to buy this, cause they had the best price:
Lexar Media RW021001 Adapter, Cf 32 Bit Cardbus Adapter

*There's a $100 rebate

Declare that Ditty

"I took a guess and cut a portion out of my heart.
He said that's nowhere close enough but it's a damn good start."

Friday, June 17, 2005

Declare that Ditty

"It's a name for a girl, It's also a thought that changed the world
And when she walks on the street, You can hear the strings"

Let's get morbid!

I bet Elmer Fudd would enjoy this book that I spotted at Barnes and Noble last week.

Warning: not for the weak-stomached, the easily offended, or anyone who loves Rabbits a lot.

Declare that Ditty

"And the waitress is practicing politics, as the businessmen slowly get stoned.
Yes they're sharing a drink they call loneliness, but it's better than drinking alone."

What is a journalist?

Yes, I'm linking to a site run by Arrianna Huffington. :P

Just read it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Declare that Ditty

"She never mentions the word 'addiction' in certain company,
She'll tell you she's an orphan, after you meet her family."

Two Evils?

Rupert Murdoch may be going up against Wal-Mart (see later part of story).

Geez, it's like watching two evil monsters fight each other.

Like, Murdoch-zilla v. Wal-Marthra.

Declare that Ditty - I'm not giving up

The answer to yesterday's challenge is "September when it comes" by Roseanne and Johnny Cash.

Today's lyrics:

"Chances thrown. Nothing's free. Longing for what used to be.
Still it's hard, hard to see. Fragile lives, shattered dreams."

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

100 things about me. Damn, I'm a trend whore

So this is the latest thing for people to do on their blogs these days? Write down 100 facts about themselves at random. Ok, wish me luck... I stopped at 31.

1. I got into journalism before I learned about Watergate.
2. That puts me into a serious minority of reporters out there,
3. There are several holes in the blue jeans I am wearing right now.
4. Most of my work clothes are already filled with holes, or should I say emptied by them?
5. I consider myself to be good at writing.
6. I am a genius at massage.
7. I know this because I once had to stop rubbing a woman's neck and shoulders because she was becoming aroused and started too... umm... use your imagination.
8. I cannot resist a pretty woman with long, black hair.
9. I have a tendency to fall in love against my will.
10. Pieces of my own pottery are my favorite thing to give to people I care about.

11. My record is six beers.
12. I have had 4 of my photographs published on the Scripps Howard News Service photo wire.
13. I think guys who say the most beautiful part of a woman is her personality, mind, or soul are lying; or have just never seen a woman.
14. I do, however, believe that the most important part of a woman is her personality.
15. I carry a 20GB iPod.
16. I respect Ernie Pyle a whole hell of a lot more than Bob Woodward or Carl Bernstein.
17. I don't have anything against Woodstein, I just really, really respect Pyle.
18. I will always miss the city of Washington, D.C. when I am not there.
19. I wish I could bottle up the way a good camera feels in my hands and let others try it out.
20. I like women very much, even though they absolutely terrify me.

21. I haven't photographed a sunset since October 9, 2004.
22. I don't think I'll photograph one for a long time, if not ever again.
23. I haven't written a column since December 8, 2004.
24. It may be a long time since I write another, too.
25. I'm perfectly OK with 22 and 24.
26. I used to buy my mom flowers and have them delivered to her at work from time to time, just to make her feel good.
27. It was also so that she wouldn't notice I didn't do my chores.
28. I live by the Woody Allen quote "I would never join any club that would have someone like me for a member."
29. I have gone three and four days at a time on many occasions without having a conversation with a single person.
30. People find it incredibly easy to ignore me, giving me a remarkable ability to disappear in plain sight.

31. I stopped liking this at 4.

Declare that ditty

"I plan to climb outside these walls, close my eyes, and see.
And fall into the hearts and arms of those who wait for me"

Yes, I admit it, I stole the concept from Scott Minneman.

I'd say "so sue me," but he works in law and just might do that.


I had a dream two nights ago that I can't get out of my head. I don't know what it means about me or the world around me, I'm not even certain if this was a dream where I made decisions or simply watched events happen. I'm keeping it vague and nameless because I'm not comfortable with sharing the full-detailed version. If you want to ask me about it privately, go ahead. I'm sorry if it scares or bothers anyone, I just can't keep it to myself anymore.

I was walking through a strange room I'd never been in before that looked like a library and went up a short set of stairs, and walking there was a deceased friend of mine. Only she was alive. She was dressed in white, and glowing with that same energy she radiated in life.

I called her name. She turned and smiled, walked up to me, and we shared a hug; a strong, lasting one you'd give to a friend that you'd thought you'd never see again in this life.

I told her I thought she died, and then her mother appeared and told me it was all a mistake, a misunderstanding, and that she had never passed away. She'd been here all along.

I asked about the person for whom she cared the most; we needed to find him and tell him. Her mother said he already knew and was on his way to find her.

Then my friend pulled my ear close and spoke.

"I'm O.K., Logan. Everything is O.K.," she said.

Then they left, and I was the happiest I'd been in my entire life. Her death, the grief, the sadness, the pain; none of it had ever happened. She was just fine, her family was just fine.

I just took it hook, line, sinker, net and stringer, so I deserved what I got: a rude awakening.

I woke up for no reason at all. It was 3:12 a.m. The cold, hard truth closed in. I dealt with it having just been a dream, and for a while it was like being stabbed.

Then her words returned to my mind, they were both soothing and confusing.

"I'm O.K., Logan. Everything is O.K."

Monday, June 13, 2005

Hello, American people?


Bill O'Reilly has done some work in the past in investigative work, so I'll let that slide.

But Rush Limbaugh, a journalist? Are you all mad, or is this a right-wing conspiracy to make me ashamed of my country?

Because if it is a conspiracy, it's working!

Saturday, June 11, 2005


Check out my work from Independence Day 2004.

Friday, June 10, 2005

A new lens and terror in the Barnes & Noble parking lot

I went to Wolfe's Camera in Topeka today and picked up a 28MM lens for my Canon FD kit. Before now, the widest I had was my 50MM 1.8, which isn't wide at all, it's just a normal lens.

I also checked out a Canon 20D while I was there. It was the first time I was able to actually hold this camera and see how much I liked it. Up until then, I was still trying to decide between it or the Nikon D70, which I had handled in the past. Here it what I decided:

The 20D's Magnesium body has more heft to it than the plastic body of the D70, it felt like a tool in my hand while the Nikon felt like a toy. The controls are also in better places and feel more comfortable on the 20D, and the Autofocus array looks much more useful.

So it's final: I'm buying my 20D next week.

Wolfe's closed at 5:30, kicking me out in the process, so my family and I went to Kohl's/Barns & Noble on the other side of Topeka. We parked in front of the building that housed both stores, and went our seperate ways.

The following happened in the course of 3 seconds:

As I made my way, something inside a minivan caught my eye. It was the outline of a tiny bald head.

Oh God, I thought, it was a baby still strapped into its carseat, alone, on a sunny day. I was almost in shock, I thought that some idiot parent had somehow managed to forget their own child.

I looked even closer. It wasn't moving, it wasn't breathing.

My blood ran cold.

"Logan, that's a dead baby," said that annoying voice in my head that always states the blatantly obvious.

My stomach tied itself into a taught line hitch while my mind short-circuited and my eyes looked closer through the hot glare.

And then I realized I wasn't looking at a baby's body; I was looking at a baby doll that some kid had strapped into a real carseat so she wouldn't have to carry it into the store.

I can't remember a time I was so happy to have been wrong.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Returning, Revisiting, Reminiscing: Forever the DC Hobbit

Friday, June 3, 2005 - You can never go back... or can you?
My trip back to Washington began with yours truly waking up at 3:20 AM, showering, dressing, grabbing my backpack and leaving the house with an strong sensation of impending doom. The lightning in the northwestern sky didn't help.

I was at the high school at 4, the time we were all supposed to meet, and the lightning continued. The students were ready, as was I, and we only had to wait a few minutes for Mr. Otero, the art teacher and trip organizer who talked me into coming, to appear with some freshly-printed sheets of paper.

We hit the road in 3 vans, and after a few hours of music from my iPod and a breakfast stop at a roadside McDonalds we had arrived at Kansas City International Airport. The sky seemed eerily sinister, but we never saw any rain. Vans were parked, boarding passes were distributed, and the plane was loaded ten minutes early.

The pilot had informed us that a big thunderstorm was headed our way so he was trying to get us airborne before it hit. If he failed, we would either be stuck in Kansas City for a few hours or die in a horrible crash. Naturally, we found little trouble with accomodating his request.

Not long after takeoff, the pilot let us know we made it in time, and that the airport had just closed from the storm. I was worried until I remembered that we were going around 500 miles per hour away from it.

We touched down at DCA at the terminal farthest from the National Airport's Metro Station, and I learned just what I had gotten myself into as we walked the long hallways to the train. You see, I walked fast, as any Washingtonian does. If you're going somewhere, you walk with purpose and direction and by gum, you do it quick.

But my tourist hoarde was 100% Kansan, and like Kansans, they walked as slow as they could. Some made me wonder if they were moving at all. I spent the rest of the weekend walking, stopping and waiting for them to catch up, and repeating ad nauseum.

We got to the station and traveled to the Tenleytown Campus of American University, where we were to stay in the Capital Hall Dormitory. Mr. Otero had this all planned out, we were to take the shuttle bus to our dorm and unpack, so I let him lead the way. And then we missed our stop, which was only a block away from the metro station in the first place.

Twenty minutes later, after touring both AU campuses by bus, we got back to the offices and checked in to our rooms. I then took them deep in DC to the National Art Gallery; hey, they're art students, what would you expect?

Hours later, it was 4:00 PM, and the kids were whining for food. I had no sympathy for them, but their cries were enough to convince the chaperones into taking them to a McDonalds, the nearest one I knew of was at the Woodley Park Metro Station, so we went there and then on to AU to chill out for a little while and then go to dinner on campus, for they had already paid for it.

We ate, and after we regrouped at the hall, I took the group to see the White House, the Capitol, and the Supreme Court. We got all 3 branches in one fell swoop. Once that was finished, we returned to AU, but I got off a few stops early to run an errand at Woodley park.

What's funny is that when the train stopped, I was at the door and on the other side was a very surprised Iraqi man: Marwan Sadiq, my old roommate from my internship. I shook his hand, he picked his jaw up from the floor, and we exchanged friendly words and promises to make contact soon before going in opposite directions.

Finally, we got back to Tenleytown, but stopped at 7-11 for one of the students to buy deoderant. I had a slurpee; Sour Watermelon and Blue Raspberry = a fine way to end your day.

Saturday, June 4, 2005 - It wouldn't be Washington without Sleep Deprivation and Foot Pain
I was out of my room and ready to go a little after six, as was everybody else in our merry little group. We took the Red line to Woodley Park's McDonalds again, this time for breakfast. If you've been counting, that's 3 meals at McDonalds in less than 30 hours. Morgan Spurlock would be proud.

We ate and left, taking the Red Line to Chinatown, where we transferred onto the Green line that we took into Southeast DC to the Waterfront station. This was my first time to ever ride the Green line, my first time to ever need to do so.

We popped out of the ground, and I searched for a landmark that would tell me which direction to walk. Only there were none. We were at the intersection of M and 4 SE, I needed to see another street to know which way to the Potomac Spirit, our boat to Mount Vernon.

I'll be the first to admit it, I guessed wrong and wound up at 3rd street, turned the group around, and went the other way. We had no more troubles after that in getting to the boat.

The trip 80-minute trip downriver went without any trouble, and they dropped us off at the estate of George Washington for a 3-hour tour. (Say it: "A 3-hour tour, a 3-hour tour").

There were two real highlights to the place. The first was his mansion, where we walked upstairs while gripping the Walnut Bannister gripped by the Marquis de Lafayette and many of the Founding Fathers who came to visit and stay at Washington's home. You could literally feel the history held in that piece of wood as you ascended.

The second highlight was the pigpen; because it was poorly maintained. So poorly, in fact, that four of the black piglets dug their way out but stayed close to the fence, near to the sow. It was really special because all these city kids -- this being the first time they saw a farm creature with their own eyes -- would creep up and try to catch them.

The piglets would squeal and run a few feet, only to be stalked again until the parents made their kids move on and let others have a chance. Even Mr. Otero's son Isaac gave it a few tries.

Soon enough, all the paths had been walked, all the sights had been seen, and our minds grew bored and our bodies weary and we wound up waiting the last half an hour for our boat to return.

Burgers and drinks were sold to the students for lunch on the trip back, but I chose not to eat. I had other plans, but they come in later. We got back to our dock, went back to the Subway with a stop at a nearby Safeway because the chaperones and a few students wanted to buy drinks. From the length of time they took, I could've sworn they'd eaten a meal in there.

I took them to the Museum of Natural History, and set them loose as I really didn't care to see the place, and neither did my feet. I noticed the National Archives building nearby and circled it in search of the entrance wanting to see the Declaration of Independence.

However, when I got back to where I started and realized the large crowd there was the line to get in, I chose to skip the documents. Instead I walked over to the Ronald Reagan Building, boarded the train at the Federal Triangle stop there, and took it to McPherson Square, which is near my old bureau at Scripps Howard.

Scripps is closed on weekends, so I didn't try to go up. Instead I went to the wonderful chinese restaurant in the basement, the one I'd eaten at so many times during my internship, and had a platter of fried wontons and a coke in memory of good times gone by.

After that, I walked to the Farrgut North Station on the old route I used to get to work every day this spring. I looked to my right at the Washington Post with hope between Vermont and 16th on L, then looked over my left shoulder while crossing 16th at the White House. It would be the last time I'd see that building.

I took the Red line back up to American University to go to bed for a while, and discovered at least 5 fresh blisters, four of them on my left big toe.

A few hours later, the kids returned from their museum and we all went to dinner. That went without disruption, and after returning to our rooms I guided the troupe down to the Mall where we visited the WWII Memorial, the Lincoln Monument, and the Vietnam Memorial. Whils sitting on the steps of Lincoln's monument, I called Marwan and had a chat. Turns out he had a friend in from Baghdad and couldn't hang out. Oh well. By the time I got back I had a slight limp but was still walking faster than anyone else.

Sunday, June 5, 2005 - Ditching the Students, once and for all

I meant to get up early in the morning and pack, only I didn't hear my alarm. Instead, I was broke to the world of the fully conscious by a few knocks at the door and Mr. Otero telling me that everyone was waiting on me.

I packed up my entire backpack so fast I'd have made a Marine Drill Instructor proud, or least I like to think so.

I took the motley crew back down to the Mall, where some got off to see the monuments again and others chose to go straight on to Union Station, a mall and train terminal by the Capitol where they'd finish off their time in Washington. I went back to Woodley Park, hoping to make 10:30 Mass.

I got there at 10:35, and discovered that it's actually 10:00 Mass. Then I thought of Taft Bridge, my old favorite place to walk. So I crossed the sucker, took a few pictures, and crossed it back and discovered just how hot it was that day: I was covered in sweat.

Fortunately, few things seem to dry a person off like cool Subway air. I took the Red line down to Metro Center, ate a slice of pizza and some sushi, and bought a Counting Crows CD.

I then got bored, and took the Red line out to Silver Spring Maryland and then took it straight back to meet up with the Kansans. I was thirsty, drank a bottle of Ice Tea that tasted good despite being sweetened and lemon-flavored. (I'm a bitter-tea type of guy).

We left Union Station a little after 2 and I took them to the National Airport Stop, and realized I'd dropped my Metro Pass on the ground. I guided them through the airport all the way to their terminal, and one of the students let me have his pass because he sure wasn't going to need it anymore.

I then rode back out to Woodley Park and met with Jody Beck, my old supervisor from Scripps. We had coffee at a nearby Starbucks, which was interesting. Up until then, I always had black coffee, and only when it was cool outside. It was steaming hot that day, and Starbucks had a menu of cold drinks set up. I had never ordered anything at a coffee shop before.

It gave me an idea: Starbucks should set up a menu dartboard for newbies and daring regulars. Just pick up a dart, toss it, and that's what you drink. Hey, let's face it, your odds of liking whatever you order are just as high if you stand there for ten minutes trying to figure out what you want, or why the smallest cup is called a "Tall," a medium is called a "Grande," and a large is calle a "Venti" or something.

The drinks were ok, but the conversation was much more fun. Jody worked for the Washington Star during the Watergate Scandal, and can honestly say she broke at least one story on the Watergate break-in that Bernstein and Woodward didn't have at all. Seriously.

Towards the end, I asked about meeting the new interns, who had just moved in that weekend, and letting them pick my brain. Jody loved the idea, and told me how to recognize them when they got back from the store. (She said that one of them, a girl from Khazakstan named Nadya, would be wearing a "Future President" T-Shirt)

We parted ways with a hug, and I went over to my old apartment and called the Scripps rooms to see if they had gotten back yet. No answer.

So I sat down, put on my shades and headphones, and did some people watching with all the traffic of tourists on their way to the National Zoo. I enjoyed it very much, but after half an hour I was tired of waiting and walked over to my old church and dropped in for a bit of prayer.

When I came back, there was a girl walking out in a shirt that said "Future President." Yes, it was Nadya, and we got along great from the start.

The lesson, of course, is to never underestimate the power of prayer.

Nadya and I walked down to the store so she could buy a phone card and then we went back to her place.

Hmmm... That sounded dirty.

Cleaner version: we walked back to the apartment and she introduced me to her roommates, and I let them pick my brain for about an hour. Nadya was very nice, she even got me a glass of lemonade and I didn't even have to ask. Nadya gets an "A" for effort.

At 6:45, I walked down to the other apartment, introduced myself to the other 3 girls, and let them pick my brain for another 45 minutes before going to church. I left my contact information with the girls, and enjoyed Mass. After that I ate dinner at my favorite Woodley Park chinese restaurant: the Violet Garden.

A plate of noodles, a Pepsi, an Egg Roll and a fortune cookie later, I said goodbye to Woodley Park again knowing full well I might never see it again. 45 minutes after that I was at my friend Scott's place in Wheaton, Virginia to stay the night.

Scott was out of town for an unexpected but important reason I am not at liberty to discuss, which really means I don't know but want to sound cool about it. Thus, his roommated let me in. He went to bed, and I could tell quickly that the entire townhouse was in bed as well. I spotted a couch with a pillow on it, and turned in.

Well, sorta. I was exhausted to the point of collapse, but for some reason, I couldn't sleep a wink. I stared at the ceiling for five hours before actually falling asleep.

Monday, June 6, 2005 - Farewell to the city and the love of my life, at least I left before I had to go

I woke up an hour before my alarm was supposed to go off and stared some more. Scott's roommates were silent, the area was peaceful, the temperature was fine. I should have slept like a worn-out baby.

Whatever the case, I felt well-rested when I awoke. In fact, I had trouble getting to sleep that night back in Kansas.

I showered, shaved, and left the same time as one of Scott's roommates so he could lock the door behind us. I mean, what kind of guest lets theives into his host's home?

I rode down to the airport, got my ticket and went through security without trouble. I read my post while waiting for takeoff, boarded at the appropriate time, and went home on Midwest Airlines. Midwest, by the way, bakes chocolate chip cookies on the plane and gives two to each passenger after handing out drinks.

I'll do some trip analysis later on.


Monday, June 06, 2005

To hell with Tourism

So, I've gotten back to Kansas safely, and I intend to write about the entire trip.

Once my laptop stops being a jackass, that is, and lets me use it instead of the crappy computer across the room with the keyboard that I don't like.

So instead, I shall augment my blog with a list of the best posts. Check back later to see said list.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

I'm going back. Yes, already.

Here's what should be happening on my trip this weekend:

Friday June 03, 2005

4:30 Leave Council Grove High School
6:45 Arrive At MCI Airport (Security/ Board)Depart MCI (Midwest Airlines #50) 11:00 Arrive At DCA (Ronald Reagan Airport)
11:30 Board Metro (Get Pass)
12:00 Arrive At National Mall (look For National Art Gallery)
12:30 Check in National Art Gallery
1:00 Start One Hour Tour (West Building): break up into Groups: Museum Natural History, Smithsonian Castle, or Museum of Air And Space
4:45 Re-Group and board Metro
5:30 Eat Dinner (Teneley CafÈ)
6:45 Check In to Rooms (Capital Hall)
7:00 Friendship Heights Mall
9:30 Return to Dorm
10:00 Lights Out

Saturday June 04, 2005

5:00 Wake Up
6:00 Breakfast (Teneley CafÈ)
6:45 Leave For Metro (Waterfront Pier #4)
7:30 Arrive Pier #4 (Pick Up Boarding Passes) Board The Potomac Spirit (Includes Roundtrip fare and Mount Vernon Tour)
3:00 Arrive Back At Pier #4
3:30 Board Metro Rail (AU)
4:30 Eat Dinner (Teneley CafÈ)
5:30 Board Metro Rail (National Mall) Arrive At National Mall (View Memorials: Washington, Lincoln, Vietnam. and Jefferson)
10:00 Board Metro Rail
10:30 Arrive at AU
11:00 Lights Out

Sunday June 05, 2005

7:30 Wake Up
8:30 Breakfast (Teneley CafÈ)
9:30 Check Out Au (Capital Halls)
10:00 Board Metro Rail (Union Station)
10:30 Union Station (On Your Own)
2:30 Re-Group
3:00 Board Metro Rail (DCA)
3:30 Arrive at Airport (Check Security/Boarding Passes)
5:00 Depart Washington D.C.
6:40 Arrive MCI
7:00 Eat Dinner (McDonalds)
9:30 Arrive Council Grove High School

I am Logan Adams

Logan is the #523 most common male name.
0.017% of men in the US are named Logan.
Around 20825 US men are named Logan!

Adams is the #36 most common last name.
0.174% of last names in the US are Adams.
Around 435000 US last names are Adams!