Pass the Olives

A Jumble of Opinions on Living, Thinking, Reading, and Making Things

Category: Pass the Olives: Opinions

The Olives includes opinions and memoirish entries on my main interests: politics, citizen governance, making things, and pretty much everything else. If you don’t like olives, you probably won’t want to read these.

Democracy in Crosswalks

This one is a rant. Sorry but I couldn’t think how to make it entertaining. The freedom to walk across the street without fear of being run over by a car is matter of democracy in crosswalks, where pedestrians are supposed to have the right of way. Equal time. Equal space. Yes, pedestrians are as irresponsible as drivers and the difficulties of getting laws changed are gargantuan. Groups have been […]

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Cars Improve Our Quality of Life?

The incalculable costs of cars are in medical care, road building and maintenance, traffic control (though there seems to be little of that), dead car and rubber tire disposition, emergency vehicles for accidents, building and maintaining parking, etc. The air pollution is not just from driving but from manufacturing and processing the raw materials.

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Walter Reed (Army Hospital) Development

The need is for an entrance on the west side of the Takoma Metro Station, one that looks like an entrance — open, light, with a sign. Not just for Walter Reed but for everyone else on the DC side. Since this is not likely to happen now that Cedar Crossing, the Gables, and the soon to be built Metro-Village are all big buildings blocking the possible development of a visible entrance, perhaps some other solution could be found. A trolley is planned to go from Georgia Avenue across Butternut Street up Fourth Street to the Takoma station. Maybe before they get the trolley, they could put a big sign on the overpass. Something attractive and old-time trolley-friendly, like the one that would have been there before the Metro was built and a trolley served the area.

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Academic Technology

Typists had to type the body of the document in the computer, print it on the form, then put it in the typewriter to fill in the data at the top. This was so time consuming that it was easier to just type the whole document, ignoring the computer. The Academic VP who commanded the design of academic forms, had no understanding of typing or printing and her Assistant VP had no understanding of filling out forms so nothing happened, neither believing it was a problem. This situation went on for years, more than doubling the requirement for clerical staff.

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Just One Pronoun

A Quote Worth Quoting: “Misplacing just one pronoun can totally confuse a listener. And when you communicate in writing, as more and more of us do in this age of e-mails and texting, you may not even know whether the recipient misunderstands. When you’re an adult, you may not remember the difference between transitive and intransitive verbs, but that was never the point. The point is to understand grammatical principles […]

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Books Kids Will Sit Still For 3: A Read-Aloud Guide

One reason to blog about books is to tell people about them. Another is so I won’t forget them myself. This one is both. It is a reference book for school librarians which means if you work with kids or read to kids a lot this is where you look up ideas about what to read and why. Reference also means it’s 900+ pages and heavy. It includes everything about […]

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Color Schemer

This entry on a computer software application, Color Schemer, is Part II of a two-part entry on Color. Part I: Colorist Painting may contribute to your appreciation of color and thus of this program. If you love color, and especially if you hate it because you never get it right,  I highly recommend an inexpensive software program called Color Schemer.  It is both useful and captivating. It allows you to create color […]

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Colorist Painting

This post on Colorist Painting is Part I of  an entry on color. Part II is on Color Schemer, a computer application for creating pallets of color. Once you read this you may enjoy Color Schemer even more. I’m a colorist. I paint because I want to study and create the experience of color. “Colorist” has been appropriated by those who add color to cartoons and graphic novels (translation: comic books) or to adjust […]

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Is Michelle Rhee Out of Control?

I’m not defending Rhee’s rude to the point of self-defeating behavior, like refusing to meet with the City Council for the first part of her tenure, but I’ve learned that for women being a real bitch is often the only way you can effect enormous change — or any change at all. High hopes take high chutzpah. You have to go out there and get it done. All your energy […]

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