Washington District of Columbia

My First Trip to our Nation's Capital

Our Community Life

One of my very first Youtube Videos back when the pandemic was just beginning.

Bucket of Feelings

I still think I was onto something with this bucket of feelings.

cherry picking history

What is kind of funny about these YouTube videos is that about a year after I made them I was moving into a new house that was an orchard and now I have two cherry trees in my front yard and have written a book on History for people to use to cherry pick examples from. So I've kind of gone full circle with this metaphor.

Possible Marine one sighting

As for the photograph in the background here, I have a short story to tell about it.

I enjoy going to air shows especially at Travis AFB and spending Columbus Weekend in SF for fleet week. I have figured out the game of the Thunderbirds and Blue Angels. They tend to distract the audience by doing something at a level 6 or 7 of awesomeness, and then hit you with a level 10 thing with a low flyover or something crazy right when you don't expect it. I've learned the trick to photographing air shows is to always have your head on a swivel and look in a full 360. That way you can be prepared when the Thunderbirds roll in from behind your head.

So I was standing on Capital Mall a few blocks from the Washington Monument with my back to the Capitol Building. And then I had an odd sense that the military was trying to trick me like I was an air show.

I heard a sirens go off, I looked up and saw a helicopter flying around. But that is no big deal because there were a bunch of helicopters flying around. But this one was a little lower than the others. My air show photography spider sense got tingling. So I started to keep my head on a swivel.

There was a lull in action, the sirens drifted out into the streets the helicopter that was noisy was no longer around. People were going back to being normal, walking around, doing nothing after a few of them were looking around about a minute earlier.

That's when I knew something cool was just about to happen. I was looking away from the Washington Monument when out of the corner of my eye I saw two large helicopters swoop in out of nowhere and one banking hard in the direction of the White House. That's when I snapped into action was able to get this shot.

It appeared out of nowhere and then ducked behind these trees in about 3 seconds. It was unbelievable, I thought it was Marine 1 but I could also be wrong. I heard later on in the news that President Joe Biden or Kamala Harris did leave on Marine One later that day, so this could be it.

thank you

This is my only "Gear Video" on YouTube. I never did a follow up to talk about if it worked or not. Everything worked as planned.

The Op tech usa system is almost foolproof. It is definitely dummy proof which is half the battle. I had zero neck pain, I walked dozens of miles and had zero failures of my camera falling and never used a strap. this quite possibly is the best $20 I've ever spent on camera gear. I liked it so much I upgraded to more of their system and have been enjoying them as well. It's function over aesthetic, but the system functions perfectly and is a money saver.

My trip to Paris 2015
Available at Arts by Dylan dot com

The first Passports issued by the United States of America were hand written notes and letters of introduction vouching for another man's character. The very first ones were written by Benjamin Franklin about Americans visiting Paris during the American Revolution.

A man of good character who was true to his word was a man who should be respected and had the prestige of his peers. A letter by a man as famous and as prestigous as Benjamin Franklin opened doors of opportunity to businessman that would have otherwise been closed.

It was after the USA created the constitution and began trading with foreign countries that the need for a standardized passport arose. Today the State Department issues a passport to Americans as a way to gain entry into international land. As US Citizens it is our government vouching for our character and asking another country to take it on faith and a good word that we as an individual will not cause problems and engage in criminal activity against their citizens.

And like most things in Government that tradition began with a letter and Benjamin Franklin.

City of Secrets and Mystery

What I didn't share in this video is that these chipotle conversations got a little too serious. It started off as no big deal, but then the bosses at travis afb caught wind of conversations with foreigners (Mexicans chipotle hired) going on that existed in the grey area of classification of some kind. So after about a month the bosses put a stop and airmen and women would just come in and be all military like and say "I want a burrito and nothing else, thank you."

Whitney 76

September 1976 Issue of Playboy magazine

I keep the September 1976 issue of playboy in a drawer of my desk to look at every now and again. when Washington d.c. gets a little too off I take this issue out and read the articles. I have found that by reading a good true life story about dick Nixon and the CIA reminds me that Washington d.c. has seen it all before. nothing can shock it. not even Wilbur mills and the Argentinian fox. (also in this issue)

I almost feel like the cover article of this issue should be required reading for every political science student. it probably should be required reading for anyone with a job in politics. I won't spoil all the secrets here because I think people should go read it for themselves, but I will share a few nuggets of information I find valuable that you can pull from the article.

the main idea is "the magic box"

you can put things in and you can take things out. you can take things out that you never put in and you can put things in that will never come out.

in the early days of the CIA in the 1940's and 1950's they were figuring out how to do things. today they tend to know what types of people make the best spies or what the best technology to use is. but back in the 1940's and 1950's there was really only one man in America who had his hand in all the various industries needed to run a spy organization. and that man's name was Howard Hughes.

howard hughes was involved in Hollywood movie production, oil and gas production, aerospace engineering and development, hotels and casinos, and much more. his organization was a prime training ground for potential cia agents. a young CIA recruit could theoretically start working for Howard Hughes in his early 20's in 1955 and in ten to fifteen years emerge as a completely different person with connections and experiences that would be useful to the CIA in his 30's and 40's.

this playboy article makes the argument that the lines that separated the Howard Hughes organization and the CIA were so blurred that it was difficult to figure out where one ended and the other began.

The article goes on to point out that Howard Hughes helped Richard Nixon throughout his political career in California and later in Washington D.c. apparently Richard Nixon's brother don Nixon had a failed restaurant that Howard Hughes loaned money to help save back in 1956. the connections between Nixon's campaigns being former employees of a Howard Hughes company became common place.

loans and payments from Hughes to Nixon continued all the way to his presidency. the relationship was a very sensitive secret during the time.

Arts by Dylan Las Vegas Playing Cards

how does this apply to today?

simply put Washington d.c. is sometimes a "magic box" ideas get tossed into it, sometimes they get take out and put to use in the real world, sometimes they get lost forever in the box, sometimes the idea gets changed so much the original idea that got tossed in doesn't look like the same.

That is one way to view the legislative process or the job of being president. there has never been a President who ended the job the same person with the same beliefs and ideas as he began.

just as there probably has never been a piece of legislation that began its journey as an idea that wasn't changed or kicked around by the time it was passed at the end.

The rest of the issue is full of Washington d.c. fun and worth checking out.

Books are Weapons in the war of ideas

This is from a photograph I took from a WWII era book. During WWII everybody did their part to help with the war effort. This included publishers who had to print books on a lesser quality of paper. This stamp is an indication of a book that uses war paper instead of the higher quality of paper that was used prior to WWII and in the following decades of the 1950's and 1960's. There is a constant War of Ideas going on in a Democracy. Books are weapons in our arsenal to combat the misinformation we sometimes find on social media and elsewhere on the internet.

makers of the flag

Delivered on Flag Day, 1914, before the Employees of the Department of the Interior, Washington D.C. by Franklin K. Lane, Secretary of the Interior.

This morning, as I passed into the Land Office, The Flag dropped me a most cordial salutation, and from its rippling folds I heard it say: “Good morning, Mr. Flag Maker.”

“I beg your pardon, Old Glory,” I said, “aren’t you mistaken? I am not the President of the United States, nor a member of congress, nor even a general in the army, I am only a government clerk.”

“I greet you again, Mr. Flag Maker,” replied the gay voice, “I know you well. You are the man who worked in the swelter of yesterday straitening out the tangle of that farmer’s homestead in Idaho, or perhaps you found the mistake in that Indian contract in Oklahoma, or helped to clear that patent for the hopeful inventor in New York, or pushed the opening of that new ditch in Colorado, or made that mine in Illinois more safe, or brought relief to the old soldier in Wyoming. No matter; whichever one these beneficent individuals you may happen to be, I give you greeting, Mr. Flag Maker.”

I was about to pass on, when The Flag stopped me with thee words:

“Yesterday the President spoke a word that made happier the future of 10,000,000 pesos in Mexico; but that act looms no longer on the flag than the struggle which the boy in Georgia is making to win the Corn Club prize this summer.

“Yesterday the Congress spoke a word which will open the door of Alaska; but a mother in Michigan worked from sunrise until far into the night, to give her boy an education. She, Too, is making the flag.

“Yesterday we made a new law to prevent financial panics, and yesterday, maybe, a school teacher in Ohio taught his first letters to a boy who will one day write a song that will give cheer to the millions of our race. We are all making the flag.”

“But,” I said impatiently, “these people were only working!”

Then came a great shout from The Flag:

“The work that we do is the making of the flag.

I am not the flag; not at all. I am but its shadow.

I am whoever you make me, nothing more.

I am your belief in yourself, your dream of what People may become.

“I live a changing life, a life of moods and passions, of heart-breaks and tired muscles.

“Sometimes I am strong with pride, when men do an honest work, fitting the rails together truly.

“Sometimes I droop, for then purpose has gone from me, and cynically I play the coward.

“Sometimes I am loud, garish, and full of that ego that blasts judgement.

But always, I am all that you hope to be, and have the courage to try for.

“I am song and fear. Struggle and panic, and ennobling hope.

I am the day’s work of the weakest man, and the largest dream of the most daring.

“I am the constitution and the courts, statutes and the statute makers, soldier and dreadnought, drayman and street sweep, cook, counselor, and clerk.

“I am the battle of yesterday, and the mistake of tomorrow.

I am the master of the men who do without knowing why.

I am the clutch of an idea, and the reasoned purpose of resolution.

“I am no more than what you believe me to be and I am all that you believe I can be.

“I am what you make me, nothing more.

“I swing before your eyes as bright gleam of color, a symbol of yourself, the pictured suggestion of that big thing that makes this nation. My Stars and Stripes are your dream and your labors. They are bright with cheer, brilliant with courage, firm with faith, because you have made them so out of your hearts. For you are the makers of the flag and it is well that you glory in the making.”

Putnam’s ready Speech Maker.

history happens everyday

June 20

The Irish village of Baltimore is attacked by Barbary Coast Pirates and more than 230 Irish were forced into slavery in the Algiers; 1631.

- George Calvert the first Lord Baltimore is granted a charter by the King for property rights to land east of the Potomac river near the Chesapeake Bay to be named Maryland; 1632.

- The Charter for the colony of Maryland is given to Cecil Baltimore the son of George, he established the Maryland colony as a haven for Catholics being persecuted by Protestants in Europe; 1633.

- After three committees and several designs over many years Congress finally approves a design for the seal of the United States of America, The design was created by Charles Thompson of Philadelphia and incorporates prior ideas from previous committees and is the Great Seal of the United States of America; 1782.

- Louis XVI and the Royal family are caught fleeing Paris during the French Revolution; 1791.

a book by Dylan Carpowich

Fatti maschii parole femine

Maryland holds the distinction as the only state with a state motto that is Italian in origin. the phrase translates to "manly deeds, womanly words." or "strong deeds, gentle words"

the state motto of Maryland is also a decent metaphor for Washington d.c. Washington d.c. is a place where tough decision are made and very difficult actions are taken that put people's lives in danger for the benefit of saving many more. The actions taken by congress influence the federal government and the lives of 300 million people in both large and small ways.

however, much of the scenery, monuments, work, and overall aesthetic of the city is one of gentleness and calmness. it can be very relaxing walking around the mall even though some high level decisions are being made in buildings all around it. when you are walking around the mall you do not feel the stress of the city as much as other places I've been too.

the mall is lined with art and museums from the Smithsonian organization. the most popular museum in America by far is in Washington d.c. and the best part is that all of them are free to the public. there is a sense walking around our nation's capital that the city belongs to every American equally. anybody from senator, congressman, fbi agent, lawyer, law student, judge, schoolteacher, or Plummer or anyone else can simply waltz right into the Smithsonian museum of natural history and fit in.

one thing I took away from my very brief visit to Washington d.c. was being reminded about field trips. it may sound cliche and something that goes unnoticed. when I was an intern in the capital building of California before it got demolished I was more often annoyed by the hundreds of elementary school kids running around while I was trying to deliver paper from office to office.

but then I sort of had an epiphany about Washington d.c a few months after I returned to california while mindlessly watching cable news.

the real work that is actually getting done in Washington d.c. on a 24 hour 365 day calendar is probably the smithsonian museums educating schoolchildren about art, science, history, math, geology, biology, and so much more.

most of the stuff on the news is far less important then the 3rd grader learning about evolution at the natural history museum with their parents who don't care about politics. those facts and experiences last a lifetime whereas a news cycle is about 6 hours long.

then I listened to someone on the cable news talk about something related to gender and thought they should probably take a trip to the natural history museum because I don't remember what they are saying as being one of the exhibits.

every answer and solution to America's problems could probably be found by walking in and out of the Smithsonians. anybody can walk around the portrait gallery and get inspired by history, then go learn some fascinating history about the people that hang in the gallery, then make better decisions. chances are the problems we face today were prior problems someone else had to deal with already.

I have a lot of cool and interesting books at home. This set I rescued from the Napa County Library during a book sale. It is a 1917 set of books that include the Messages and Papers of the Presidents which was commissioned by Congress at the end of the 19th century and completed in the early 1900's. Some Presidents have included a much nicer version of this same set to be on the shelves of the Oval Office.

Washington to Paris

click the button below to view my trip to Paris in 2015. you can also learn about the fascinating history of the man who first designed the plan for Washington District of Columbia,