Legendary Classic Rock DJ Cerphe Signs Off as WTGB Switches Formats – washingtonpost.com

No more Zeppelin. No more Skynyrd or Tom Petty or Rolling Stones. And not a whole lot more Don Cerphe Colwell, either.

Classic rock and the DJ who brought that music to local radio audiences long before the rock was considered “classic” are both fading from the airwaves. Beginning Monday, Colwell’s station, WTGB (94.7 FM, “The Globe”), will switch to playing contemporary pop tunes. With the demise of the region’s only classic rock outlet, the music that helped transform FM radio into a cultural force in the 1970s will become just another baby boomer memory.

Just 2 years ago I blogged about the new format for 94.7 to “The Globe” featuring classic rock. Lots of goals for a greener more community based station. As I suspected, it didn’t last.

Radio in DC sucks.

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I love this kitty! You can see all of Nora’s video on YouTube or visit her site.

Outlaws at the Art Museum (and Not for a Heist) – NYTimes.com

I should have mentioned this one last week but I just forgot.

See the photograph above: The three gentlemen work for the registrar’s department at the National Portrait Gallery (left to right – Dale, Mark and Todd). Normally they don’t dress this well to install art but it was a special occasion. Besides, it’s nice to know they scrub up so well and are still able to lift large art with style. The title above the portrait and the hidden label to the left of the portrait were created and installed by me.

The portrait was recently given to the museum and installed the Saturday before the inaugural. It was a pain to do at the last minute but I really love this piece. It really outshines the Bush portraits.

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Obama quartet admits faking performance at inauguration – Times Online

Deep down I suspected this was true because it just sounded too good to be a live performance in such cold weather. I don’t want to know it was a recording. I want to cling to the illusion.

I’ll get over it. Sigh.

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Assessing the Bush years | The frat boy ships out | The Economist
I know I said I would try to be more positive in my entries but I just couldn’t help myself. On this day of the historic inauguration of Barack Obama, I find it strangely comforting that a publication as conservative as the The Economist is more than willing to comment on the deficiencies of “W” and his administration and legacy.

Mr Bush relied heavily on a small inner core of advisers. The most important of these was Dick Cheney, who quickly became the most powerful vice-president in American history. Mr Cheney used his mastery of bureaucracy to fill the administration with his protégés and to control the flow of information to the president. He pushed Mr Bush forcefully to the right on everything from global warming to the invasion of Iraq; he also fought ruthlessly to expand the power of the executive branch, which he thought had been dangerously restricted since Watergate.

The two other decisive figures were Karl Rove, Mr Bush’s longtime political guru, and Donald Rumsfeld, his defence secretary. Mr Rove was obsessed by pursuing his dream of a rolling Republican realignment, subordinating everything to party politics. Mr Rumsfeld regarded the Iraq war not, like his boss, as an exercise in democracy-building, but as an opportunity to test the model of an “agile military” that he was pioneering at the Pentagon.

The fruit of all this can be seen in the three most notable characteristics of the Bush presidency: partisanship, politicisation and incompetence. Mr Bush was the most partisan president in living memory. He was content to be president of half the country—a leader who fused his roles of head of state and leader of his party. He devoted his presidency to feeding the Republican coalition that elected him.

This is a great article and well worth the read. It’s refreshing to read a point of view from outside the states.

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Bong! Big Ben still rings out 150 years on – Times Online
As we ring out the old year and ring in the new year here in DC, I remembered that it’s already next year somewhere else. I can’t imagine a better place to do that than in London to the chimes of Big Ben. I had no idea that the clock is still hand wound — take that digital technology! So it’s not the most precise instrument (head to Greenwich for truly precise time keeping). I’m chronically 5 minutes late in my life so I can forgive a clock a few minutes here or there.

2009 seems likely to be a strange year for me personally (I’ll be 50 in August) but I truly hope it will be better for everyone. Looking forward to a new (better?) president, some kind of better economic upturn, and a little more peace anywhere.

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Karolyn Grimes

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Child star Grimes’ Wonderful Life

Click the above link to a very interesting interview with Karolyn Grimes. She played Zuzu in the holiday classic film It’s a Wonderful Life.

Here’s a quote from the intro:

Grimes was Bailey’s six-year-old daughter Zuzu and uttered the now immortal closing line: “Teacher says every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.”

Her Hollywood career was brought to an end in her early teens with the death of her parents, which led to her being sent away to live with her “mean” aunt.

She became a medical technician but experienced more tragedy with the death of several close family members, including the suicide of her son.

But since being “rediscovered” by a journalist in the 1980s, she has travelled the world as an unofficial ambassador for It’s A Wonderful Life – a film, she has since discovered, that has brought comfort to many a person, including herself.

I love this film and never tire of it. It’s one of the finest Christmas films but not because it takes place at Christmas. It’s about the good in everyone and the potential of every human life. However, it didn’t shy away from showing the meanness in people, too.

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National Portrait Gallery | Face to Face blog

I admit I’m not in the loop at work. I go in, do my job, I go home. I tend to ignore the other stuff. As a result I miss things, too. This is one thing I missed. The National Portrait Gallery has a blog called Face to Face which updates the public on events. It’s a pretty good blog, too.

Today, there was a truly special event – the unveiling of the portraits of the president and first lady. It’s the first time that a sitting president has had a portrait added to the collection for permanent display. I’m not going to comment on the portraits themselves since that’s not the focus of this entry. Draw your own conclusions. ‘Nuf said.

Anyway, check out the Face to Face blog. That’s the good thing for today.

I was hard pressed to find something good today and feel lucky that I stumbled upon this so late in the day. Whew.

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Whenever I need a lift, I’m sure to wander over to icanhascheezburger for some fun with LOL cats. How can you resist them?

Dress ur cat in gay apparel

Dress ur cat in gay apparel

This picture illustrates exactly why I don’t dress up Sumi for the holidays. I’m certain she would kill me in my sleep as punishment.

Like Charlie Brown, Christmas depresses me on the whole. Perhaps because the build-up is so long and disappointment is practically guaranteed by the time the day arrives.

I confessed this sentiment last year and I still stand by it. I’m trying to get better – really. These days I’m sorely tempted to blog all depressing stuff but I really shouldn’t. We know everything is going to crap these days but I don’t need to rub anyone’s face in it. Instead, I’m going to try to find some funny stuff (although not necessarily Christmas stuff) and hope it makes you chuckle. Here’s my effort for today (the article title alone is great):

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Ginkgo-Lined D.C., Capital of the U.S., and Now P.U.

The bouquet of a ginkgo tree’s fruit has strong notes of unwashed feet and Diaper Genie, with noticeable hints of spoiled butter.

For the District government this winter, it is the smell of defeat.

This year, arborists working for the city tried a new solution for the stinky fruit, which has plagued residents for decades. They injected more than 1,000 ginkgo biloba trees with a chemical to stop them from producing the fruit.

Whoops.

The chemical didn’t work, for reasons that scientists still don’t understand. Now, instead of less ginkgo stink, Washington has its worst case in years — a bumper crop of nastiness that is studding sidewalks and sliming dress shoes from Capitol Hill to Kalorama.

“Uuuuugh. Uuuuugh,” said Christine Lombardi, working the front desk of the Hotel George near Union Station. Out front, a ginkgo had been dropping berries for days. “It’s just awful because people step on it outside, and then they bring it inside the hotel, and people think somebody got sick.”

I always knew that Washington stinks but I had no idea I should be blaming the ginkgo. Go figure.