Petworth Dog Walk Halloween 2009


Freaky dogs in DC

2010 marked the second year of the Petworth Dog Walk Halloween – a celebration for dogs and their owners. Domku Restaurant in the Petworth neighborhood hosted pooches from all over Washington DC in a fun and furry competition for the best costumes and tricks that dogs and their owners could perform.

And the best way to really appreciate the tail wagging good time is to watch this video:

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Portland Brewpub Beer Tours


Looks like beer-topia!

Beer – is there a better reason to visit Portland? For Amy and I, that was reason enough to celebrate her birthday in Portland, Oregon. She had never been, but heard all my stories of good times in the land of hops. My tales of beer-topia, where every bar is a brewpub and bathrooms are denoted by sign of barley or hops – guess which is which!

To help us navigate such tricky beer house rules, we enlisted my good friend Dieselboi, of VBC Brewpub Tour fame. Accompanied by his loving and patient wife, the four of us went beer tasting.

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Taxi Dog Pool Day in Washington DC


Jump in Taxi Dog!

What’s the best day for a dog in Washington DC? Doggie pool day!

After Washington DC’s pools are closed for the season, usually around Labour Day, the DC Department of Recreation opens a pool or two for doggie swim day, before the city drains the pools. The pooch pool time is greatly enjoyed by both dogs and their owners – check out the photos!

Also check out Dog Taxi transforming into a canine seal – barking as she eats all the pool’s water:

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Meet me in Nairobi, Abjua, or Accra

going to Africa
How I roll in Africa

I’m headed to Africa soon for three weeks of meetings and trainings in Nairobi, Abuja, and Accra for Inveneo. I’ll be in each city about a week, and would love to meet up with loyal Belly Button Window readers if you’re around.

See, while I am a fanatic proponent of web-based discourse – I’m publishing at least six different blogs right now – I’m convinced that online discourse is an amplification of offline, in-person connections. In fact, I believe that online conversations are not possible without some level of face-to-face discussions between participants.

Or as a friend once said “meatspace has the highest bit rate” And I haven’t connected with that many Belly Button readers in a while.

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Petworth’s July 4th Fireworks – Does Yours?


Taxi loves the fireworks

Washington DC has a peculiar tradition of intense 4th of July fireworks. Now, I’m not talking about the national spectacle that you see on TV. That tourist-only event on the Mall is far removed from our lives in Petworth. I’m talking about the neighbourhood-based fireworks that put the Mall to shame.

From mid-afternoon on July 4th, to well past midnight, the city is besieged by amateur fireworks displays, each block showering the night sky with hundreds, if not thousands of dollars worth of fireworks. And as luck would have it, our neighbourhood congregates at the end of my block for fireworks central.

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Minding the Future in Myrtle Beach


Al smiles on the beach

For six months, Amy and I have not left Hanalei’s side. For six months, we have traded off parenting roles, day and night. For six months, we showed our love though our presence. Yet this weekend, we have tossed all that aside.

For two blissful days, amy And I have abandoned our child. We’re in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for a wedding, while Hanalei is back in Washington, DC. Yet do not fear for her, do not fret that she is truly left hone alone. She’s being watched closely and safely by Amy’s parents.

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Running Past My First Father’s Day


Best use of a bike lane

Today is the first of what I hope to be many happy Father’s Days. And even though she is too young to tell me what she’d do for this special day, I knew what would make both of us happy: a long run through Petworth.

No, Hanalei isn’t running yet – she gets the easy ride in a baby jogger. Better yet, in the car seat, in the baby jogger, protected and after the first few blocks, asleep. Then its up to daddy to keep the speed, so she can have a cool breeze while she sleeps.

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Putting Pride into Petworth Medians


Thanks for the attention!

This morning, my Councilmember Muriel Bowser took time out from her busy schedule to meet with community members around the construction of Petworth Medians so they can support trees and community-maintained plantings.

For those that are following along, New Hampshire Avenue is getting a nice brick & granite median from around Park Road all the way to Grant Circle. So far,construction is proceeding from Georgia to Grant Circle, but some in Petworth have an issue with the way it was proceeding. The medians were not being excavated to a depth that would support trees, per the original design, and plants and shrubbery, per community desires.

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Help for My Green Thumb: Ladybugs!


Better than a bath inside

So a while back I decided we needed a garden in our back yard. The first year was very experimental – I even hired a gardener to help Amy and I understand the process. This year, I’m rocking!

I have two raised garden beds here and here that have exploded with greenery with an amazingly wet spring. I have lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, carrots, and beets all reaching for the sky as they put down roots in the amazing Smartleaf compost.

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New Yorkers Love Hanalei Stockard Vota


Making friends at Starbucks

I’m not sure when I realized that New Yorkers love my daughter, Hanalei. Maybe it was the cab drivers, always willing to wait while I buckled in her car seat. Maybe it was the waitress who made space for her stroller at the table. Or maybe it was when the cute college girls stopped everything and played with Hanalei at Starbucks.

Yeah, that was it. When I could get random women to put away their iPhones and boyfriends to babysit my daughter in a busy Starbucks, I knew she’d won the hearts and minds of the Big Apple.

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