11.14.2006

wakable communities


half the banner is missing
so I give you half the message

tonight I went to the ANC meeting with involved and open discussion on the bike lane and traffic calming issue in Mount Pleasant
was thirty minutes late
in short... there was stuff to do at home
hung out with the boys
actually got home pretty early as my post work ride was pretty much straight home
well... pretty much
got 45 nice fall minutes in the dark canopy of Rock Creek Park

once home
hung with the boys and the new babysitter
the wife got home from a post work hike with the dog and then joined us on the deck out back
we quickly moved inside as we said our goodbyes to the new babysitter
only after a short little guideline about no McDonalds... okay... once a month
it was taken a little harsh
but that was not my intention
just starting to set guidelines

thus far the new babysitter is awesome
the kids love her
and she is very active and keeps the kids entertained
it is either a play date or a trip somewhere

once home and inside lisa started to cook some fajitas
grilling flank steak that she had marinaded overnight
while I worked with Dean on homework project that had been overlooked
we had it all weekend without glancing at the instructions
but at Dean's alert we started on the little indian doll project
it was a toilet paper roll, some yarn, and some cloth
which was supposed to morph into a Hopi Indian doll whose name I forget

as dean did some darth vader stuff
and grant ate some avacado I plotted the direction of the toilet paper roll becoming a Hopi Indian doll

some slips
some cuts
the enlisting of a few more pipe cleaners and I was started
by this time the glue gun was warming up
while I cut some of the cloth to size

with some effort I got dean involved in the project
we were ready to roll
so I brought him in with momentum
first we looked for a head for the doll
a ball would work
I found a golf ball
dean thought it would work
but I lured him to pic a larger ball that could be more easily written on

we returned to the dinning room table where Dean traced with a sharpie pen the smiley face I drew on the ball
tracing for a five year old is not a given
Dean did an excellent job
a job that involved coaching and verbal guidance

the project gets moderately adult guided from here
the pieces were cut
so I instructed dean with the glue gun
it it an awkward tool
not easy for a 5 year old
rather than lines of glue
I learned that Dean needed to just to dabs
even that was not easy
as the trigger onthe device is not so fluid
just the nature of the glue gun

in no time we had the basic fabric glued on the indian
dean placed the feathers on the head
a rubber ball where he had drawn the face
I tied the feathers in place
piece by piece dean put glue on the cloth
then I put the cloth on the tube

dean weaved pipe cleaners through the tube for arms
then dean wrapped ribbon for a belt on our little indian

then dean cut the remaining pipe cleaner so I could fabricate bow and arrow
the crowning jewel of a doll for boys

it all turned out pretty cool

but
even after getting home early
this had me leaving the house late

left the house and marched up to the ANC meeting that had an open discussion about the bike lane issue in Mount Pleasant

I was a half hour late
not cool
but... I am less than perfect

walked in late
things were formal and going through a process

I would have loved to arrive early
but ended up arriving late

basically walked in and got handed the mic (microphone)
I had no desire for any public speaking
I love to talk
but I hate public speaking
yet I had to answer a question

a local resident wanted to know why bike lanes were part of the traffic calming effort
and well
I had to answer how these things got paired
as it turns out
I know this guy
rob and i are on the same mountain bike team
we have ridden and raced together

the meeting went by
a few more times I had to hold the mic
there was some one minute time limit issue
well... I did not come prepared
time limits are not my strength

there was talk
there was discussion

there need to be bike lanes
there needs to be a study
bikes need to be measured when they do this study

not sure what was established

I need another glass of wine

oh
the Hoppi doll turned out quite well
dean contributed a fair amount
I was concious not to be the dad doing the sicience project
I have a Phd dad
I know about a dad doing the science project

dean was involved
it was a parent child project
with a definite parent touch

2 comments:

Nick said...

I'm working on a location based mtg product that rewards existing communites based on their "walkability" determined by proximity to a clustering of lifestyle facilities - Post Office, grocery, schools, etc.

Cool, huh?

gwadzilla said...

that is super cool...

I have always thought that there needs to be an urban center

as you said
clustering "lifestyle facilities"

downtown Bethesda fails to create a community

nothing is linked

people park their cars and do their shopping
rarely having any interaction with anyone other than the person at the register

although I do not live in Bethesda
I grew up there
and watched it expand

it always boggled my mind how they failed to design things more community oriented

there is a post office
but it is not near the coffee shop
etc
etc

Bethesda Ave by the Capitol Crescent Trail should shut down to car traffic
they should brick the road for one bloc
and put in a mini-post office
let pedestrian traffic rule the streets
lose the 20 parking spaces
and gain a community

the same could go for many other parts of the area

like the mentioned walking malls of Burlington and Boulder