Taxi Dog Pool Day in Washington DC

Pooch pool happiness
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:

I’d like to thank the Department of Parks and Recreation and Mayor Fenty for giving our dogs their day at the pool. This is DC at its best.


Millions of Cairenes in Cairo

Scoot over, I need more elbow room

crowded enough?
Packed in like sardines
cars in cairo
Make that metalic sardines
Flying into Cairo, Egypt, you might get the impression that you’re going to land in a village. From the air, all you see is empty yellow desert, with a streak of green through the middle. But when you land, you are almost instantly thrown into a maw of urban living. People everywhere.

Most sources say around 7.7 million people live in Cairo, squeezed into the Nile Valley which is only few kilometers wide at this point, or on the near desert plateau. Official government statistics estimate the population density of Cairo at 31,000 person per square kilometer.

This is almost unimaginable coming from Washington DC. We have around 500,000 people in the Capitol with a population density of 3,597/km. How can so many people live in such a small space?

Like Hong Kong’s vertical living, Cairo goes up. Large apartment buildings dominate its skyline, but these are not sleek New York City towers piecing the sky. No, Cairo has a skyline similar to Washington’s – large squat buildings dominating most or all of a city block, imperial yet human in their size.

Waiting for a train in Alexandria, I calculated that the row of apartment blocks visible behind the station housed around a thousand people each, for a total of 10 thousand people on one long city block. Expand that block to a city, and you can understand the volume.

But you can never quite comprehend all the cars required to move those inhabitants. In the Giza section of town, there are so many people with so many cars, traffic, parking, any auto-related transportation activity was a exercise in frustration.

Yet the Nile provides for all this humanity and has for several thousand years too. The great river, feeding, washing, nourishing millions of Cairenes. That is the most amazing aspect of Cairo’s population to me, especially since I’ve white-water rafted the Nile’s source. How a ribbon of water 6,700 kilometers long can sustain so many people, and for so many years.


Sixteenth Annual St Patrick’s Day 10K

Do you ever follow a pink ass?

Nice view, eh?
Do you see Lauren?
Note the coffee-cup runner
They sure do!
We rock!
And so can you

Wow! This is so beautiful. Here I am, in a crowd of 5,000, all of us running down Pennsylvania Avenue, and I am doing what I do best. I am following the pink ass.

Past the running juggler (or is he a juggling runner?), past the ‘Be like a tiger’ guy listening to Eye of the Tiger over and over again, past the ‘International Pimp Association’ crew who aren’t really pimping it, past them all. I am focused. I am following the pink ass.

And I have to say it’s a nice ass to follow too. Lauren knows this, which is why she wears her hot pink running shorts to big races. Just so guys like me will power out personal best times following her pink ass.

And I follow that pink ass; telling all those we pass to watch out for it. Girls stare, men drool, and I follow. Or at least till we passed the new American Indian Museum, when Nicole, my usual running buddy, and I passed Lauren. We left her to with her own visuals, a crew of Marines, as we looked for new inspiration.

Nicole found hers, several times, and would sprint up to say ‘Hi’, leaving me to huff & puff my way up to her. Or at least until we passed the Asian Art Museum, when I passed Nicole. I left her when I felt the need. The need to motivate us all to a faster and funnier race.

Overcoming my usual quiet and demure self, I started the shout-outs. Telling random Japanese tourists, ‘We do this every Sunday.’ Encouraging those that were fading, ‘Look, there is the finish line!’ And to the silent spectators, ‘We run, you cheer!’

So many and so loud, that my Peace Corps friend Stetson caught up to me with a great line of ‘I though I heard a Wayan’. Or at least he tried to, cuz when I saw that finish line myself, it was all turbo. Turbo I didn’t know I had. Turbo that took me across the line in 51 minutes. Yeah, you do better!

Oh, wait. That’s not the end of the day, mind you, for the real physical challenge came next. Next we rolled over to Fado’s Irish bar and spent the afternoon drinking back all those calories. Five shouts later, make that five shouts of Guinness pints later, Nicole (52 min), Lauren (54 min), Lisa (67 min), Mark (79 min) and I (51 min) finally had enough. We called it a race, a finish, a great Sixteenth Annual St Patrick’s Day 10K.