Washington DC

Wednesday, October 22, 2008 – 6:45 AM

LincolnIn case anyone was wondering where I’ve been I just got back from a brief vacation in Washington DC. My family live in the UK so the east coast is a convenient middle point. Every year or so we try to pick a new city an meet up.

This year we chose DC which was rather appropriate, given the forthcoming election. We were also exceptionally lucky with the weather so spent a lot of time wandering around looking at stuff outside. This included a tour of the city by Segway which I can completely recommend.

DC has a lot of flagsWe also went to George Washington’s farm at Mount Vernon. I learnt a lot about the man himself in the education center. The main thing I came away with was his reluctance to assume power. They wanted to make him King but he declined. They unanimously agreed to make him the first President and he did it largely to hold the county together. He finally drew the line when offered a third term.   

I was very impressed to discover that the National Archive still has the paperwork for the Louisiana land purchase and one for Alaska too. Given that I can’t find the receipts for stuff I bought last week this is that much more amazing. Interestingly it turns out that the reason less of this type of really old paperwork survives in Europe is because every time there was a war people pillaged libraries to make paper cartridges for their muskets. So much for medieval literature. Not to mention periodic burnings of books and people who had fallen out of favor.

The Washington MonumentAll of this was food for thought as to whether I want to finally become an American citizen. This is the first election I’ve wanted to vote in for a very long while. The fact that my truck has a bumper sticker on the back suggests that maybe it’s time to go fill out a mountain of paperwork for the INS.

A you can see I took my Nikon D40 and 18-200mm VR lens on the trip with me. More photos will probably appear in the photo gallery on my climbing and travel web site very soon.

Normal blogging about agile and software development will now resume…    

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