Saturday, May 27, 2017

Still Life with Robin: Don't Hang Around My Door

by Peggy Robin

On Monday I returned home after several hours away to find a bright lime-green door hanger stuck into the handle of the my front door. It was very visible from a distance, proof that I was not at home to remove the glaring object. It was an announcement --with offers of free coffee, free pizza, and some other goodies-- of the May 30th opening of the 7-11 at the corner of Connecticut and Ordway.

Whatever people think of convenience stores -- and I happen to think most are overpriced, unappealing, and not all that convenient -- I’m not a fan of a form of advertising that papers the neighborhood. I don’t like flyers stuck under car windshield wipers, either. Someone has left a piece of paper on something you own that you will now have to dispose of – an annoying little imposition on your time. And if the paper isn’t firmly lodged where the flyer-distributor has left it, then it becomes litter in the streets. That’s even worse.

There are so many better ways to distribute a promotion. If the business wants to stay low-tech, they can hire people to hand out flyers on the street – which gives pedestrians the freedom to decline to take one. They can use local media, like the Northwest Current and of course, our very own ClevelandPark Listserv. They can do a postal mailing….although I have to concede that this method is far less effective than it used to be, due to the unreliability of USPS. (I probably shouldn’t use this to occasion to rehash my years-long beef with USPS, whose carriers will sometimes leave my mail in a bundle in front of my front door. On the other hand, it is relevant to the discussion, given that it’s another example of a delivery service leaving the visible proof that there's no one home to take in the mail. I do have a door slot, and they are supposed to use it. And don’t get started on how often my mail is mis-delivered to other addresses, while I end up with mail for other neighbors.)

That said, I do intend to be at the 7-11’s opening day and get my free slice of pizza!

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Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Get Out! The Events Column


We wanted to share some events and activities that list members might be interested in. Have a great weekend -- and week beyond, too. If you know of an event that the 16,900+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @ fastmail.net.

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv

Friday, May 26 starting at 11 AM, Games, Lunch and a Movie, “North By Northwest," starring Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint, directed by Alfred Hitchcock. An assortment of games will be brought out at 11 AM. Lunch is at 12 noon, and the movie starts at 1 PM. If you plan to attend, please reply to guymasonevents @ gmail dot com or call the staff at Guy Mason Recreation Center, 202-727-7527. Guy Mason Recreation Center is at 3600 Calvert Street NW.

Saturday, May 27, 2017, 11:30 AM, Privacy Tools in Action. As Internet Service Providers (ISPs), the largest for-profit engines, applications and social media corporations gain ever greater access to our content and usage of the internet, there have also come into existence creative technologies and best practices that, if put into use, mitigate the view that these organizations have on our internet access. This event will bring together those who like to learn what is going on with the internet and anyone else just curious to look into various technologies built for devices of all sorts that are already available to buttress our digital privacy. To that end, we will have a round-table event, led by Jesse Lambertson, a librarian for an academic institution in Washington, DC, wherein we will delve into those various available technologies, talk about which ones we prefer and install some of them on our devices. Please bring whatever devices you use: laptops, tablets, Chromebooks, phones etc. We will use the library's publicly accessible WiFi to take our digital privacy to the next level. This free workshop is presented by the Friends of the Mt. Pleasant Library, 3160 16th St NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/57016

Saturday, May 27 at 1 PM, Peabody Room Presents: “John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Who Never Combed Gray Hair, Has His 100th Birthday.” Jamie Stiehm, a Creators Syndicate columnist and contributor to USNEWS.com, discusses how Kennedy hailed from the elite, yet had the common touch. At the Georgetown Neighborhood Library, 3260 R St NW, www.dclibrary.org/node/56944

Saturday, May 27 from 2 - 6 PM, The 5th Annual Takoma Porch Music Festival features 50+ performers / 20+ porches/businesses in Old Town Takoma Park. Info about performers at https://www.takomaporch.net/porches-and-bands and map to porches at http://bit.ly/2qh43xV . More info at https://www.facebook.com/Takoma-Porch-463028943707939/ .

Saturday May 27 at 6:30 PM, Jazz@Wesley. Wesley Church presents the warm and wonderful vocal offerings of The Tiya Ade Ensemble this month as Washington moves from spring to summer. Local songbird and songwriter and arranger, Tiya! combines her talents with Alex Jenkins on piano, Emory Diggs on bass, Percy Smith playing drums, and Ben Sands on Saxophone. Resident vocalist at the Channel Inn Hotel for 16 years and lead vocalist with Bobby Felder's Blue Notes Big Band for 10 years. Sweet and savory items and soft drinks available for purchase; complimentary coffee and tea. Tickets: $10 entry; $7 Seniors; 12 years and under, free. Wesley United Methodist Church is at 5312 Connecticut Avenue NW, at Jenifer and Connecticut - enter through glass doors on Connecticut. More info: http://wesleydc.org/?page_id=52  

Sunday, May 28 at 1 PM, Animals of the Night Sky. A Park ranger will talk about animal constellations and tell star stories about animals, and discuss how animals use the night to migrate, survive, and thrive. Ages 5 and older. Free. At the Planetarium at the Nature Center in Rock Creek Park, 5200 Glover Road NW, http://bit.ly/2s0LtGR

Monday, May 29 from 10 AM - 1:30 PM, Memorial Day Tours and Wreath-Laying Ceremony at President Lincoln’s Cottage and Soldier’s Home National Cemetery. The wreath-laying ceremony is at 10 AM. Free. Meet at the bandstand adjacent to Cottage at 9:30 AM. The cemetery tours are at 10:45 AM and 12:30 PM. Free. Meet at the bandstand adjacent to the Cottage at 10:15 AM and 12 PM. Tours last approximately 30-45 minutes. To reserve a spot on the Cemetery tour, go to http://bit.ly/2qhAYm8. Tours of President Lincoln’s Cottage are $5 - $15 and can be reserved at http://www.lincolncottage.org/tickets/. Entrance is at 140 Rock Creek Church Road NW.

Monday, May 29 at 7:30 PM, JFK Centennial at the Kennedy Center. The Opera House at the Kennedy Center plays host to the grand finale of a week-long celebration of the life of our 35th president, held on the actual day of JFK’s 100th birthday. The large-scale show will be studded with stars and will honor the ideals of President. Free admission. The Kennedy Center is at 2700 F Street NW, https://washington.org/event/jfk-centennial-celebration

Tuesday, May 30 from 10 - 11:30 AM, America’s Military and Its Veterans, a lecture by Phillip Carter. America’s military provides for our common defense and plays a significant role in our society. However, for more than 40 years, this military has comprised volunteers who represent an increasingly narrow and insular slice of America. Has it always been this way? Who serves when not all serve? What are the consequences of this civil-military divide for the military, for veterans, and for society? Phillip Carter is a former Army officer and Iraq veteran who leads the Military, Veterans and Society research program at the Center for a New American Security in Washington, DC. He also teaches law as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, and practices as of counsel with the law firm Fluet Huber + Hoang PLLC. This lecture is part of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute series of free programs at American University (in the AU Spring Valley Building at 4801 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Room A-101). Register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/olli-lecture-phillip-carter-tickets-34252141076

Tuesday, May 30 at 12 noon, Open Air Concert with the Washington International School Jazz Band at Guy Mason Recreation Center. Pack a picnic lunch, bring the kids and come for an exciting outdoor jazz concert, presented by the highly acclaimed jazz band of Washington International School. Join in on the fun as the adults clap and the playground kids dance to the music that reverberates throughout the Guy Mason grounds, at 3600 Calvert St. NW. Free - all are welcome. No rain date.

Tuesday, May 30 at 8:30 PM, Adams Morgan Movie Night, showing “Snowden.” Written and directed by Oliver Stone, Snowden is based on the true story of Edward Snowden, famous (or infamous) for exposing the NSA's secret surveillance techniques and then becoming an international fugitive. Part of Snowden was filmed here in Adams Morgan. Kids are welcome, but please no pets or alcohol. Movies will be shown on the soccer field at Walter Pierce Park (Adams Mill Road north of Calvert St NW). Please check the Facebook page at http://bit.ly/2rVjYzd for cancellation information in the event of bad weather.

Wednesday, May 31 from 6:30 - 8 PM, “When the Volcano Stirs,” a lecture by Dr. Diana Roman, Staff Scientist, Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution of Science. Volcanic eruptions pose an increasing threat to human lives and infrastructure in today's rapidly globalizing world, leading to a need for more-sensitive and accurate tools for detecting and interpreting signs of volcanic unrest. Fortunately, most volcanoes give subtle indications of their future eruptive potential that can be detected using state-of-the-art seismic instrumentation. Dr. Roman will explore the recent development of several new paradigms for eruption forecasting and their implications for our understanding of how volcanoes work. Free. At the Carnegie Institution for Science, 1530 P Street NW, https://carnegiescience.edu/events/lectures/when-volcano-stirs

Thursday, June 1 from 10 - 11:30 AM, The Humane Economy: How Innovators and Enlightened Consumers Are Transforming the Lives of Animals, a lecture by Wayne Pacelle. Ringling Brothers has retired its circus elephants. SeaWorld is ending its orca breeding program promising to invest millions in rescuing marine animals. And Walmart is shifting to cage-free eggs. Wayne Pacelle has been at the forefront of this humane revolution. In his new book, The Humane Economy: How Innovators and Enlightened Consumers Are Transforming the Lives of Animals, Pacelle outlines a hopeful vision as he sees the corporate world becoming more sensitive to public opinion about cruel and harmful treatment of animals. Business models grounded on animal exploitation, Pacelle argues, are ripe for disruption and consumers are driving the burgeoning growth of the “humane economy.” Wayne Pacelle took office as the president and chief executive officer of the Humane Society of the United States in 2004, after serving nearly ten years as the organization’s chief lobbyist and spokesperson This lecture is part of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute series of free programs at American University (in the AU Spring Valley Building at 4801 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Room A-101)  Free. Register at: http://bit.ly/2qoijQH    

Thursday, June 1 at 12 noon, “Call It Summer!” Why wait for the summer solstice? Wouldn't it be better to have the calendar divided neatly into 3-month seasons, with each one starting on the first of the month? That would make June 1 the first day of summer. If this sounds reasonable to you, then rally with others to push for national recognition of June 1 as the official first day of summer. That's the way it is in what the English call the "meteorological calendar," but in the US, all the calendar makers follow the “astronomical calendar," which puts the first day of summer on June 21, the summer solstice. By then, who knows how many 90-degree days we’ll have had! We will gather outside of NOAA at 1401 Constitution Ave NW to deliver our petition for recognition of June 1. Wear sunglasses and flip-flops and other summery wear, and bring a beach chair if you have one. All who attend will get a free mint julep! (Or maybe not, as this is the weekly fake event!)

Thursday, June 1 from 6:30 - 8:30 PM, Humanitini: The Cuban Presence in DC. In December 2014, President Barack Obama, Jr. announced an historic opening of American relations with Cuba. Cuban ties to the District of Columbia long pre-date that announcement. Let’s explore the Cuban cultural influences on DC – in terms of music, dance, food, and religion – with a panel of Cuban Americans who have lived in the area all of their lives. Free. Register at http://bit.ly/2rE1PZh. At Takoma Busboys and Poets, 235 Carroll St NW.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Still Life with Robin: Give Peach a Chance

Photo by Lucien Monfils
via Wikimedia Commons
by Peggy Robin

It’s a day late and more than a few dollars short but here’s a “Still Life with Robin” column that violates all the parameters of my normal column.

First, it’s supposed to come out on Saturday -- Sunday at the latest.

Second, it’s supposed to be concerned with some little piece of local color, some quirky event, or the vagaries of everyday life.

Third, it’s definitely NOT supposed to take a partisan stance on anything (a rule that’s I’m sure I must have broken at least a couple of times – most recently on in this piece on the French election: see http://bit.ly/2q4VG8t).

Fourth, I normally squelch my personal desire to call out peccadilloes of grammar, spelling or word usage that others may commit (because otherwise I might be prone to do this with every column; I have such a long list of grammar peeves, starting with people who say things like, “He told the story to Mary and I." People, people, if you would not say, “He told a story to I,” it doesn’t matter how many others come before yourself in the sentence -- you still need to say “me.” Well, you can see why I stay away from grammar as a column topic. It just gets me too worked up!)

And now for today’s column, it’s just one headline and a comment -- which is transgressive of ALL of the above guidelines:

“Official White House Document Promotes Goal of `Lasting Peach` Between Israelis and Palestinians”

On top of everything else that’s wrong with the Trump Administration, no one can proofread! Or maybe all Trump really wants is a nice, juicy piece of fruit….

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Still Life with Robin is a column about local life published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on the weekends….except for when it isn’t.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Get Out! - The Events Column

DC Public Library Image
We wanted to share some events and activities that list members might be interested in. Have a great weekend -- and week beyond, too. If you know of an event that the 16,900+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @ fastmail.net.

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv

Friday, May 19 starting at 7 AM, Bike to Work Day Celebration at Freedom Plaza. Join a convoy of bicyclists starting from the Chevy Chase Circle Bus Turnaround and traveling to the celebration point at Freedom Plaza via Connecticut Avenue. The route will include a left onto Calvert Street for a brief pitstop in Adams Morgan at Columbia Road and 18th Street. Folks interested in joining, either at the start location or further south on Connecticut, should contact Steve Seelig [hal.ninek @ verizon dot net] or just show up at the 7 AM meet-up. At the end of the ride you will get a free T-shirt and refreshments and free entry into a raffle to win a bicycle, if you are registered at: https://www.biketoworkmetrodc.org/

Friday, May 19 at 12:30 PM, Lunch Bites Lecture: "Just Like Washington Crossed the Delaware, General Pershing Will Cross the Rhine." Executive Director Jack Warren shares "Just Like Washington Crossed the Delaware, General Pershing Will Cross the Rhine," a 1918 phonograph record, and discusses how the American Revolution is echoed in the popular music of World War I. The presentation will last approximately 30 minutes with time afterwards for up-close viewing of the record and sheet music. Anderson House is at 2118 Massachusetts Avenue NW, http://www.societyofthecincinnati.org/events/public

Friday, May 19 and Saturday, May 20 from 12 noon - 10 PM and Sunday May 21 from 12 noon - 7 PM, St. Sophia Cathedral’s Greek Festival! Come to this annual 3-day Greek Festival featuring authentic Greek food and pastries, live Greek music, traditional Greek dance performances, vendors of unique jewelry and religious icons, tours of the Cathedral, Mercedes/$40K raffle ($100/ticket - drawing at 8 PM on Sunday), activities for children, and fun for ALL ages!  Free admission. At 36th St. and Massachusetts Avenue NW, https://www.facebook.com/saintsophiadcgreekfestival/

Friday, May 19 and Saturday, May 20 from 11 AM - 9 PM and Sunday, May 21 from 12 noon - 6 PM, SerbFest DC 2017 Spring Festival. Featuring: Delicious Serbian Food - Spit-roasted Pig & Lamb, Traditional Foods, Side Dishes & Desserts - Serbian Beer & Wine; Live Serbian Music & Dancing; Live Serbian Folklore Dance performances; Children's Rides & Activities; and much more! Free admission and parking. At St. Luke Serbian Orthodox Church, 10660 River Road, Potomac MD 20854. Held rain or shine. More info: www.serbfestdc.com  

Saturday, May 20 from 7 AM - 3 PM, Celebrate International Migratory Bird Day at the Rock Creek Nature Center. Activities include bird walks, invasive plant removal, hands-on activities for kids of all ages, exhibits, information booths, a lecture on Presidents in Rock Creek Park at 1 PM, and food. Free! Visit www.nps.gov/rocr. Rock Creek Park Nature Center is at 5200 Glover Road, NW.


Saturday, May 20 from 9 AM - 12 noon, Sibley Memorial Hospital’s 2nd Annual Family Fun Festival, Diaper Drive and Sibley Baby Reunion. There will be games, free health screenings, entertainment, snacks, Zumba, giveaways, and more, including a diaper drive for families in need. If you were born at Sibley, come back for a special Sibley Baby Reunion! Free admission, but please bring a pack of diapers to the diaper drive. Sibley Hospital is at 5255 Loughboro Road NW, http://bit.ly/2pYbs15.

Saturday, May 20 from 10 AM - 1 PM, Acton Children's Business Fair of Washington, DC. It’s like Eastern Market run by kids! The Acton Children's Business Fairis an outdoor market where children ages 6-14 become entrepreneurs for a day. Over 90 children's businesses will be selling original artwork and photography, homemade bread, hand-drawn comic books, natural soaps and body scrubs, greeting cards, and more. This event is free and open to the public and will be held rain or shine. Most businesses will accept cash only. 3400 Connecticut Ave, NW, in Cleveland Park, https://dcchildrensbusinessfair.org/   

Saturday, May 20 from 12 - 1:30 PM, Laser Tag at Rosedale. Laser Tag is an exciting combination of tag and hide & seek. Participants will have the chance to play in two or more 15-minute games. This event is perfect for adults and kids ages 8 and up.  Advanced registration required and is limited to the first 40 people who register and pay in full at http://bit.ly/2riMWLQ. Rosedale is at 35th and Newark Streets NW.

Saturday, May 20 at 1 PM, Lecture: Presidents and Rock Creek Park. Many US Presidents developed a close relationship with Rock Creek Valley and the acres of wilderness that are now part of Rock Creek Park. See more than 100 historic images and hear stories about President Taft taking tea at Peirce Mill to Woodrow Wilson wooing his second wife on park trails. Learn about Teddy Roosevelt skinny-dipping in the creek and John Quincy Adams’ very bad investment.  This free presentation will be led by local historian David Swerdloff, author of the recent book, Rock Creek Park A to Z. The presentation will be held in the lecture hall in the Nature Center, located in Rock Creek Park at 5200 Glover Road, NW.

Saturday, May 20 from 4 - 9 PM, Indigenous Art Party and Jam for #DCReInvest. Join us for Native food, live music, and art builds to support our struggle to divest DC funds from Wells Fargo, a major funder of the Dakota Access Pipeline. We'll be at the beautiful new Uptown Art House (former site of Uptown Tap House/4 Provinces), 3412 Connecticut Avenue NW. Help us create posters and banners for our campaign. This event is family friendly. Hosted by Rising Hearts, the Piscataway Indian Nation, & DC ReInvest.

Saturday, May 20 from 5 - 7 PM, Adams Morgan Summer Concert Series Presents Hollertown, a bluegrass and old-time music band that has played in and around Washington, DC, for over ten years. Playing everything from haunting (and haunted) originals, to old-timey standards, to tunes by Mötley Crüe, Bob Marley, and the Texas Tornados, Hollertown has been known to inspire spontaneous dancing, questionable public displays of affection, and glossolalia. Free - seating is limited, and is first come, first serve, so show up early! Please feel free to bring your own beach chair. In the event of rain, the concert will be canceled for that day. Attendees will be encouraged to stick around after the show and save some money! Adams Morgan Partnership BID will be distributing wristbands that will entitle the wearer to discounts on food, drink, and merchandise at a variety of participating Adams Morgan merchants. At 1801 Adams Mill Rd NW. http://bit.ly/2qxFhZt https://www.facebook.com/events/171126380076929/  

Saturday, May 20 at 5 PM, Concert: Goin’ Home: American Roots. The DC Youth Orchestra Program and the Post Classical Ensemble have partnered to present this free concert featuring world-renowned bass-baritone Kevin Deas and the DC Youth Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Mariano Vales. This concert is designed as a multi-sensory experience engaging the audience on multiple levels. The visuals by Peter Bogdanoff, narrative by Joe Horowitz, music inspired by African American spirituals and American symphonic music will invite the audience to join the journey of ‘goin home’ to an American identity rooted in African American traditions. This multimedia production, featuring works of Aaron Copland, George Gershwin, Antonin Dvorak, Louis Moreau Gottschalk and more, is at Howard University’s Ira Aldridge Theater, 2455 6th St NW, http://bit.ly/2qWhCTr.

Sunday May 21 from 1 - 3 PM, Garden Planting and Cleanup Day at the Tregaron Conservancy. Help plant flowers and clear invasive vines in Tregaron's Klingle Stream valley. Meet up inside the Klingle Entrance (3000 block of Klingle Rd NW). Green thumbs and aspiring green thumbs are welcome. Kids who are supervised by an adult and willing to help out are encouraged to come too. Equipment and refreshments will be provided (and if we're lucky, the bullfrogs in the lily pond will be serenading us). To register, email info @ tregaronconservancy.org.

Monday, May 22 at 2 PM, SpotOn Grownups: Do Not Call Registry Sign-A-Thon. Getting telemarketing calls just as you're sitting down to dinner? Reduce the number of unwanted sales calls you get by signing up for the National Do Not Call Registry. It’s free and we’ll show you how. The DC Public Library is committed to making the District of Columbia an easier place to live, work, learn, visit and play as we grow older. SpotOn Grownups is a micro-learning weekly program designed to help our grownups with technology issues. Stop by the Tenley-Friendship branch, 4450 Wisconsin Avenue NW, on Mondays at 2 PM for short one-on-one lessons. Free. https://www.dclibrary.org/node/56898

Monday, May 22 at 4 PM, Reader's Theatre Features 'Duck on a Bike'. Calling all readers and actors! Please join us in the children's room for Reader's Theatre. Duck on a Bike by David Shannon is the featured piece. A duck decides to ride a bike and soon influences all the other animals on the farm to ride bikes too. This program celebrates Bike Month. Find more local events at Bike Month & Beyond. The Mt. Pleasant Library is at 3160 16th St. NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/56662

Tuesday, May 23 at 7 PM, GTW Inter-generational Learning: How to Investigate a President. The generations have so much to teach each other! Just as we learned from a recent Washington Post column about the GTG program that offers the older generation a chance to learn today’s technology from the younger generation, this new program, GTW - ”Grandparents Teaching Watergate” - offers today’s youngsters a chance to learn about the greatest presidential scandal of their grandparents’ generation, from the people who lived through it. Learn about the “third-rate burglary,” “The Saturday Night Massacre,” and the president who “stonewalled” before deciding to go “the modified limited hangout route.” Oldsters, bring your Watergate memorabilia; youngsters, find out how people communicated in a world before tweets and the 24-hour news cycle. This session will be held in the Arlington parking garage where Woodward and Bernstein met “Deep Throat” - click here for location: http://bit.ly/2riIQ6h. Click here for more details of this unique event.

Wednesday, May 24 at 7 PM, PAL Pajama Party at the Mt. Pleasant Library. It's a Pajama Party... with doggies! Join us in your jammies for a doggie story time and an opportunity to read to a PAL dog. The whole family is invited to join in the FUN! Free. The Mt. Pleasant Library is at 3160 16th St. NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/37654

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Still Life with Robin: Not Enough Outlets

by Peggy Robin

Time to tackle one of the REALLY vexing problems of our age. Not enough outlets for travelers! You know the situation: You are staying at an older hotel, a lovely inn, or a quaint bed and breakfast, and you need to recharge your phone, your laptop, and maybe a few other devices. (OK, I admit it, I am traveling with my full-sized electric toothbrush and its charging stand, but hey -- it wasn’t my idea -- my dentist told me to!) All these things need power, and some of them need to connect to a USB port as well. You may find an outlet or two in the room, but once you plug in one of those big, clunky “brick” plugs, you can’t plug anything else into the same outlet.

Even when you are staying in a modern hotel meant for business travelers, you can run into trouble. You may think you’re OK when you first see that desk lamp with the outlets and ports right on the base. But if you’re sharing a room with someone who travels with the same or greater number of gadgets as you, good luck fighting over who gets to use them first. Maybe you will end up fishing behind the headboard of the bed, looking for some extra plug-in space. You can try unplugging the clock-radio, and take over that outlet. Or rummage behind the draperies, and if you’re lucky, you’ll find a free outlet there. (Of course, when you check out, you will forget all about it, leaving your expensive power cord behind, still plugged in and hidden behind the curtains.) 

I know these problems have been covered by travel and tech columnists before -- and that’s actually what’s led me to take up the question now. On Monday, May 8th the Washington Post’s tech columnist Hayley Tsukiyama gave her readers some advice – exactly the wrong advice, to my way of thinking.  She proposed that we gadget-heavy packers switch over to “analog” items when we’re on the road. Don’t bring wireless headphones that need to be charged, she says -- bring wired ones. Take a low tech toothbrush. Ditch the smart watch for one that simply tells time.

There’s actually a much more satisfying solution, one that lets you continue to pack whatever you like, without substitutions. And it will end the need for future outlet-hunting. You just need to pack one more thing: a power strip/extension cord. You can get a fairly lightweight version that will add just 1.5 lbs to your luggage. Not bad. You know it’s easier to add a pound and a half than to try to cut out things you like to have on hand. If you’re a heavy packer, be yourself, and go with it! Here’s a 5-outlet/2 USB port power strip on a 5-foot extension for for just 18 bucks: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EV3DW5Q?psc=1I’ve. Here’s another without the USB ports, but it will take up to six “brick” plugs, and it’s still just 1.5 pounds: https://www.amazon.com/Quirky-PVP-1-WHT-Outlet-Flexible-Protector/dp/B004ZP74UK. Bonus: It comes in bright teal, hot pink or lime green, so you’re not going to overlook it when you’re packing up to check out.

Stay connected, everyone!
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Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland ParkListserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Get Out! - The Events Column

US Botanic Garden
We wanted to share some events and activities that list members might be interested in. Have a great weekend -- and week beyond, too. If you know of an event that the 16,900+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @ fastmail.net.

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv
www.cleveland-park.com  

Thursday, May 11 at 6 PM, “The Swamp Fox: How Francis Marion Saved the American Revolution.” In honor of the 234th anniversary of the founding of the Society of the Cincinnati, historian John Oller discusses and signs copies of his biography of “The Swamp Fox,” Francis Marion, an original Society member and famous leader of a band of South Carolina militiamen during the American Revolution. The talk will last approximately 45 minutes. Copies of the book will be available for purchase, and a book signing will follow the lecture. Light refreshments will be served. Free. At Anderson House, The Society of the Cincinnati, 2118 Massachusetts Avenue, NW. More info: http://www.societyofthecincinnati.org/events/public

Friday, May 12 from 10 AM - 4 PM, National Public Gardens Day at Tudor Place Historic House and Gardens. Entry is free all day to the historic, 5½-acre garden - no registration needed. Stroll among spring blooms at leisure or join free guided tours (at 11 AM and 2 PM). Tudor Place Historic House and Garden is at 1644 31st St. NW. More info: http://bit.ly/2qYwssi  

Friday May 12 at 7:30 PM, Concert: From the Canon’s Mouth - presenting two jewels, conceived almost a century apart, from the sprawling canon of great Viennese string quartets. The first jewel is Mozart's KV 465 ("Dissonance Quartet"), a member of the composer's set of six string quartets dedicated to Franz Joseph Haydn, and a stunning specimen of Mozart's mature writing. The second jewel, of a remarkably different (but still stunning) cut, comes from the first set of published quartets of an admirer, performer, editor, and collector of Mozart's music: Johannes Brahms. Tickets: $10 - $40 at https://tix.cathedral.org/TheatreManager/1/tmEvent/tmEvent787.html. At the Washington National Cathedral, 3101 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Friday May 12 at 7 PM and Saturday May 13 at 2 PM and 6:30 PM, James and the Giant Peach Jr., presented by John Eaton Elementary's 4th & 5th grade class. All are welcome to this family friendly musical performance filled with magic and heart. Glorious music and colorful creatures help to tell Roald Dahl's timeless classic story of James and his adventures in an unlikely vessel with unexpected friends. Tickets: $7 children and $10 adults. Advance tickets sales at http://www.eatondc.org/eaton-musical.html or at the door on the day of show. John Eaton Elementary School is at the corner of Lowell and 34th Streets NW.

Saturday, May 13 from 7:30 - 9:30 AM, Bird Walks Come to Tregaron! Did you know that Tregaron is a birding "hot spot," with over 76 bird species identified here? Join us for Springtime Early Birds, our first-ever expert-led bird walk. Our leader will be Jim Nelson, who has been birding for over 30 years and regularly leads walks for the Audubon Society, Maryland Ornithological Society and other organizations. Tregaron is at 3100 Macomb Street NW. Space is limited and registration is required: http://bit.ly/2r6Tj1X

Saturday, May 13 from 10 AM - 1 PM, The  2nd annual DCPS World Language Festival at Deal Middle School. DCPS welcomes students, families and community members to come together to celebrate World Language instruction across the District. The theme of this year’s celebration is Growing up Global at DCPS. Get ready for a day full of fun featuring student activities, food tastings from International Food Days, parent and family information sessions, cultural performances, and an exhibition hall with representatives from community partners, and embassies, and so much more! World Language Teacher of the Year and World Language Student of the Year awards will also be presented at the culmination of the event. It is an open event, but please register in advance at http://bit.ly/2pxGKKS. For any questions please contact Allyson Williams, DCPS World Language Specialist, allyson.williams @ dc dot gov. Deal Middle School is at 3815 Fort Drive NW.

Saturday May 13 from 11 AM - 4 PM, Lafayette Spring Fair. Back at Lafayette, Home, Sweet Home, after a construction break last year, join us for this neighborhood event as we celebrate with: carnival rides, relay races, karaoke, face painting, music, food, and more! Bike swap of bikes to be traded in or donated. All local families welcome! Lafayette ES is at 5701 Broad Branch Road NW. More info and advance sales of food tickets and KidPasses at: http://bit.ly/2pC3utx  

Saturday, May 13 from 12 noon - 9 PM, The 8th Annual Kingman Island Bluegrass & Folk Festival - a celebration of spring in DC and the amazing talent of our friends and the natural beauty in our Nation's Capital. As a fundraising event for the Living Classrooms Foundation, it is also a celebration of the fundamentally important role that community plays in lifting up those among us who are in greatest need. Details at: https://www.facebook.com/KIBluegrassFest/ Tickets: $30 general admission at https://www.mt.cm/kingman-island-bluegrass-and-folk-festival-0; higher prices for admission with food/drink included. Enter Kingman Island and Heritage Islands Park at RFK Lot 6.

Saturday May 13 at 3:30 PM, Mother's Day Card Making. Join West End Library Children's Staff as we will be making cards and will have tissue paper on hand for any other designs you have in mind! Free. Appropriate for Ages 3 and up. The West End Library is at 2522 Virginia Avenue NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/56713   

Saturday, May 13 from 5 - 7 PM, Adams Morgan Summer concert series presents Oxymorons. This seriously-fun eight-piece band has been playing the DC area for more than 25 years, reeling off favorite party tunes spanning four decades and witty, well-crafted originals. Free - seating is limited, and is first come, first serve, so show up early! Please feel free to bring your own beach chair. In the event of rain, the concert will be canceled for that day. Due to the nature of the series, there will not be a rain date. Attendees will be encouraged to stick around after the show and save some money! Adams Morgan Partnership BID will be distributing wristbands that will entitle the wearer to discounts on food, drink, and merchandise at a variety of participating Adams Morgan merchants. At 1801 Adams Mill Rd NW, https://www.facebook.com/events/171126380076929/

Sunday, May 14 at 8 AM, Temple Sinai’s 3rd annual Tricia Davis 5K Walk/Run in support of Sinai House, a residential social service program for homeless families in Washington, DC. The race begins at 8 AM at Rock Creek Park Grove 24, 4850 Colorado Ave NW. Sign up for any of 6 different races, including a virtual race or a 5K Walk/Run for Your Dog. Registration fees, $10 - $40 - at http://bit.ly/2pDPfFh

Sunday, May 14, all day, Mudders Day. Yes, it’s Mother’s Day….but it’s also Mudders Day! After so many days of heavy rains, it’s great to see the sun again! But let’s also take this day to appreciate the squishy-squashy greatness of mud! On Mudders Day, you can make mud pies. And you can celebrate the racehorses who run fast on muddy tracks, like this year’s Kentucky Derby winner, Always Dreaming. What song do you sing on Mudder’s Day? It’s “Hello Mudder, Hello Faddah,” of course! Where and when do you celebrate Mudder’s Day? Find all the details here: http://bit.ly/cpfakeevent

Sunday, May 14 at 5:15 PM, Organ Recital: George Fergus. Cathedral organist George Fergus plays a recital on the Cathedral’s 10,650–pipe great organ. $10 suggested donation. At the Washington National Cathedral, Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues NW, http://bit.ly/2r4GeFz

Monday, May 15 at 6:30 PM, The Regulatory Process of Starting a Small Business. Are you interested in starting a small business in the District? Do you know about the necessary regulations to get started? The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) has partnered with DC Public Library to educate prospective business owners on how to start a new business in the District of Columbia. Come and learn about: Business Licensing; Corporate registration; Certificates of Occupancy (C of O); Home Occupancy Permits (HOP); Grant Opportunities; Vending; Farmer markets; Certified Business Enterprises (CBE); and More! No pre-registration required. Free. At Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Ave. NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/55269   

Tuesday, May 16 from 10 - 11:30 AM, The Zika Virus, a presentation by Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the US National Institutes of Health. In 2015, an obscure mosquito-borne virus began spreading in the Western Hemisphere, causing a new pandemic. It received scant attention until the infection broke out massively in Latin America and the Caribbean and was associated with an abrupt increase in birth defects. Since the initial reports of Zika virus disease in Brazil, the pandemic has spread rapidly to more than 60 countries and territories in the Americas. Dr. Fauci will discuss the history of Zika virus, the current pandemic, and the biomedical research response. He is a leader in the worldwide fight against infectious diseases and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Free. Reservations required at http://bit.ly/2r4IyfS. This lecture is part of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) spring series, held at the AU Katzen Arts Center, 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW.

Wednesday, May 17 at 7 PM, A Conversation with Alejandro Palomas. Awarded with the 2016 Spain’s National Book Award for Children’s Literature, Alejandro Palomas joins local author Maud Casey in a conversation moderated by Matthew Davis.Alejandro Palomas is the author of several novels which have been translated into 8 languages. In 2016, he received the National Award for Children’s and Youth Literature for his novel Un hijo (A Son). Free, but reservations required at: http://bit.ly/2qwLjKE. At the Former Residence of the Ambassadors of Spain, 2801 16th St NW.

Thursday, May 18 at 5 PM, Curator Tour: "Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair." Join Curator of Contemporary Art Camille Ann Brewer as she guides you through the exhibition “Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair,” which tells the story of the iconic fashion show and its creator Eunice Johnson through stunning gowns, feathered coats, and statement pieces by leading designers. Free; no reservations required. At George Washington University Museum and Textile Museum, 701 21st St. NW, https://museum.gwu.edu/curator-tour  

Thursday, May 18 at 6 PM, Federal Worker Rights. Attorneys Debra D'Agostino and Sarah McKinin of the Federal Practice Group will discuss the rights Federal Employees have on and off the job. Federal Workers are facing unprecedented attacks and restrictions. Can Feds express political opinions? Attend protests? Raise money? Blow the whistle without getting fired? This important topic will is the subject of the next meeting of the Chevy Chase (DC) and Georgetown chapters of National Active and Retired Federal Employees (NARFE). Free and open to the public. At IONA Senior Services, 4125 Albemarle St NW, http://www.narfe.org/site/dc/