Saturday, January 15, 2011

Recently on the Cleveland Park Listserv

Cleveland Park Listserv Iconic Photo
Blogging, twittering, Facebook status updates, Flicker photos, website comments -- these are some of the many different kinds of social networks that we participate in. But the most enduring --and still popular-- kind of social network is the humble email list, also called a listserv. Listservs have been around for eons, and in the DC area there are dozens. All Life Is Local is itself a an offshoot of the Cleveland Park Listserv, the largest neighborhood email list in the United States, with over 10,000 members.

What kind of questions get asked, what kind of issues are discussed on neighborhood listservs? Here is a sampling of messages posted recently on the Cleveland Park Listserv. To join the Cleveland Park Listserv, send an email to cleveland-park-subscribe @ or visit The Cleveland Park Listserv is fun, enlightening and calorie-free (unless you're tempted by the restaurant and chocolate store reviews on the Cleveland Park Listserv).  Google is great, but email lists can give you the kind of answers that only real people can provide.


Including the first DSL failure December 13-14, I, too, count five such incidents in the 3500 block of Macomb. The first three were blamed on a "cable;" the last two on "Central Office" equipment. I did insist on and was promised four days of credit to show up on my next bill. We'll see.

The 800 number if you want to speak --after all sorts of automatic menus-- to Bangalore is 1-800-567-6789, but I've gotten slightly better service by calling Vera, a Northwest DC Verizon staffer, at 1-888-239-2944. The man who answered Vera's phone at midday Thursday was courteous and did call back in the early evening to report the "Central Office" problem cleared. At least by calling the 888 number, I was able to get the outage (or outrage, as I'm coming to think of it) reported quickly.

If you're changing your locks anyway, you might want to consider going keyless. Schlage makes a nice line of keyless deadbolts for about $100. (see for example You can choose your own 4-digit code, and create additional codes to give to people who need temporary access to your house (neighbors, house guests, contractors, babysitters, etc). We put these in a few months ago, and it's been a great solution. We were always making additional copies of our house keys, but it was never enough and someone was always getting locked out. Now we never have to worry about it, and it's one less thing to think about when you're leaving the house.

Each Monday and Wednesday at 11:15 AM, Adas Israel Congregation, 2850 Quebec Street NW, holds free yoga classes for seniors. The synagogue has parking and is accessible by Metro. A Kosher lunch follows at noon for a suggested donation of $3. For more information, call Aviva Atkin, (202) 363-7530. There's more information at (opens as a PDF).

Homeopathy is based on two principles. The first is the so-called "law of similars," in which a minute quantity of something that causes disease is supposed to cure it by stimulating the body's defenses against that disease. For example, onions, which cause eyes to tear, are used to treat hay fever in homeopathic cures. Homeopathic compounds are diluted 6, 10 or up to 30 times. After so many dilutions there are are no onion molecules (or other homeo-molecules) left in the solution -- it's just water.

The second principle behind homeopathic remedies is the "memory" of water: The water in which homeopathic remedies are diluted is supposed to retain a "memory" of the original disease-causing substance. The greater the dilution, the more potent the homeopathic remedy is said to be. For homeopathy to work, we would need to toss out a large chunk of what we know about chemistry and biology. Homeopathy defies science. And indeed no study has ever proven that homeopathy has any biological effect.

I want to thank all the people who helped me find a vet for my bird. The outpouring was astounding! I actually received over 30 responses on who to go to or just well wishing. Thank you everyone who gave me places to go or just saying "I hope your bird is OK." Thank you, Cleveland Park Listserv. You are so much appreciated.

We are planning to install gas logs in our operational wood burning fireplace. Always wanting to be as energy efficient as possible, we are considering the Non Vented logs vs the Vented, even though they are not as fire like. What experiences or advice does anyone have with the installation of either type of log sets? Thanks for any thoughts.

Based on the amount of canine droppings one observes in strolling around Cleveland Park, we have either a lot of stray dogs or a disappointingly large number of grossly inconsiderate dog owners. Aside from the other unattractive aspects of this practice, DC Rat Control officers identify dog excrement as a source of food for those unwelcome neighbors.

Yes! We've seen the hawk. It's very large. I actually think I saw an example of group behavior in squirrels that I've never seen. The hawk was ruffling a squirrel nest in a tree on our hillside, (is this the baby time?) when a whole group of squirrels began squeaking, running up and down branches, and as far as I could see, trying to distract the hawk. I banged on a metal pan, and the hawk slowly and disdainfully flew to a very high tree across the street, where it stayed for more than an hour as still as a statue, before disappearing. During that time, a group of about 8-10 squirrels ran crazily up and down several trees, across the top of our fence, everywhere but the tree where the nest is, almost without interruption. It seems the hawk got its squirrel, though!

The Bag Tax, which seemed so onerous 13 months ago, has apparently worked out in spades bringing in 2 million dollars according to the AP (and reposted in Bloomberg, )

On one hand the 2 million dollars is far below the 3.5 million that the fee was expected to bring in, but what a great legislative idea by the city council. We went from 270 million bags to 55 million bags, that's an 80% reduction! Of course this mayor will probably blow through that with the enormous cost of replacing the city signs, the inauguration and other costs in a couple of days.

It's too bad that we can't have any movement on a bottle bill to help reduce the litter on the streets.

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