Introducing Archer Sophia Vota

Hanalei’s little sister has arrived! Please welcome Archer Sophia Vota, the newest edition to the Vota family. She came into this world this evening as her mom was laughing, and now she can’t stop crying. Yet her parents and her family are overjoyed by this new bundle of love. Archer…

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Apple iPhone Boarding Pass: United Airlines Innovation


Swipe your phone, board the plane

It’s not often that you can use the words “innovation” and “United Airlines” in the same sentence, without a “lack of” first – but with the new iPhone boarding pass, you can, and you will!

Last week, I was headed to Inveneo’s offices in San Francisco for my bi-monthly check-in with the team. Before I ran out the door, I skipped one step that we’re all familiar with – the boarding pass printing.

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Petworth Poop Patrol Featured in Washington Post


Poop patrolling in Grant Circle

Some Washingtonians take the matter into their own hands in a more productive way. Wayan Vota lives in Petworth. He enjoys walking his dog, Taxi (a “Muttus Americanus,” Wayan said), in Grant Circle. He was alarmed by how much orphan poo they encountered.

“I started picking up other dogs’ poo, too,” Wayan said. “Finally, I got very annoyed, and on a very cold morning last year decided to pick up as much as I could and see how much it weighed.” He told his friends it weighed five to six pounds.

“No one believed me,” Wayan said. And since it was only an estimate, he had no absolute proof. So a month or two later, he went on another poop roundup. This time he videotaped the weigh-in. The bulging Safeway bag weighed a staggering 13 pounds.

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How to Get a Free River Birch Tree in Washington DC


My new river birch tree

I’ve always wanted a tree in my back yard. While my neighbourhood, Petworth, has beautiful old trees, all I have is a tree stump in my garden. The previous owners of my house cut down the tree that was in my yard, and now my west-facing back yard gets hot! in the summer.

A tree in my yard would provide shade, visual interest, a place for birds, and be one small contribution to cooling the District of Columbia, replacing its tree cover, and reducing rain runoff. That last reason, runoff, is where the District Department of Environment comes in.

Petworth, like much of old Washington, DC, is on a single sewer line system, which means that when it rains, the rain water goes into the sewer system and overwhelms the Blue Plains water treatment plant. In the past, they just dumped raw sewage into the Potomac. Now the city is trying to stop this practice at its source – the hundreds of thousands of downspouts across DC.

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4 Reasons Why RunKeeper is the Best iPhone App for Runners


Welcome our new child

I’m a runner. I love to run. And I run around the world. But I really dislike most of the run tracking tools.

Then I found RunKeeper, by the way that its been most influential on my running – a Facebook post. I saw a cool run map on Justin Thorp’s profile and clicked through to what is an amazing iPhone application. Here’s the 4 reasons why Runkeeper has bettered my runs:

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Segundo: The Best 37th Birthday Present Ever


Welcome our new child

I turned 37 years old today, which means its only 3 short more years till I’m 40. Or mid-life. Halfway from birth to death. And I couldn’t be happier.

Just three years ago, I was a whole different person on my birthday. No wife, no kid, no house, and no dog. I was young and free, sporting a fine Puerto Rico tan. But I was all alone.

Today, I am much different person. I’m blessed with a wonderful, loving wife, an angle child, our own (affordable) home, and the amazing Snow Dog Taxi. Today, I am so much happier than 3 years ago.

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Snowpocolypse 2010: A Taxi Dog Delight


Snow Dog Taxi on patrol

What happens when you mix 30+ inches of snow and one Taxi Dog? You get happiness that can only be expressed with a yelp of delight. That’s how “Snow Dog” Taxi greeted the great Snowpocolypse 2010 in Washington DC.

First out the door as the snowflakes started, Snow Dog Taxi is in love with the white fluffy stuff from above. She knows it means extended exploration of the neighbourhood as her owner shovels the sidewalk. She can also cross streets without care, as cars are rare, and when present, slowing to a crawl to keep control.

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Driving 35 Hours with 1 Year Old Hanalei


Which way to go?

Just think about this for a minute – driving 35 hours with a 1 year old daughter. Any parent starts to cringe, preparing for a tale of crying, seat-kicking, marriage-ending woe. You’ll read about that in some other place, for here, I have only happiness to report.

Amy, Hanalei, Dog Taxi and I – that’s 2 parents, 1 child and 1 dog, drove from Washington DC to Atlanta, to Vero Beach and back to Washington DC over Christmas without a single scream, tantrum, or pork rind. Yeah, I’m in shock too.

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