An exploration of things to do in Arlington

Friday, May 19, 2006

I Did It! - Bike to Work Day

I did it! I biked in to work today. It's not the first time I've done it (although I haven't done it that much), but it's always very rewarding. You feel very accomplished, like you've just conquered a big obstacle - the least of which is probably the physical part.

Biking to work is a really cool thing to do. You're outside, your active, lots of good views from the Mt. Vernon Trail or from wherever you are biking from / to. There are lots of good things about biking to work:
  • Exercise
  • Save money on gas!
  • Good for the environment
  • Sense of accomplishment
  • It's just kind of cool - at least I think so - what do you think? If someone told you that they sometimes (or all the time) biked to work, what would you think? Would you think that was kind of cool or kind of odd? Post your comments here, let me know what you think.

    So, you probably want some useful information here too. Arlington and really the greater D.C. area is probably one of the easier places to bike to/from work. There are lots of great trails, and bike lanes. For maps and more information, you can visit the BikeArlington website. If you don't feel super comfortable, you can also sign-up for one of WABA's Confident City Cylcling Classes. They're free!

    I highly recommend giving a bike ride to work a try. It's fun and rewarding.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Other Places to find Arlington Info

This post started as some suggestions for finding other blogs related to Arlington stuff (see below). I just found this other site though that, while not exactly a blog, looks like a really good source of information about fun stuff going on in Arlington. It's called Backfence, and it's basically a place to post stuff going on in Arlington, find reviews, etc. I've only just started browsing around, but there's some cool stuff here. For example, I found one interesting discussion about the best place to play pick-up basketball in Arlington. So, if you're looking for other sources of info, check this one out, this one seems to be pretty good ... And now, back to my original tangent.

I don't know what got me started on this tangent, but I just got started thinking about what other blogs are out there about things going on in Arlington. So, I've been browsing around and thought I would share some of my findings. These are by no means comprehensive nor do they intend to be, just some interesting findings in a few minutes of crusing around. If you have something interesting to add, let me know.

  • DCBlogs - a really big list of blogs around the D.C. Metro Area. It's kind of fun to just pick a random one that sounds interesting and read it
  • DC Metro Blogmap - I just think this is cool. Pick a metro station from the map and see relevant blogs.
  • DCSportsChick - a good read if you are a sports fan
  • My Friend Darren - one Arlingtonian's take on where to eat, drink, and shop in Arlington

I guess that's really the summary - of course, there is always DCIst, and Rides in the City (not the most exciting subject, I realize, but Christina is a really good writer so it makes it worth the read).

Do you know of any good blogs about life in Arlington? If so, let me know - maybe we can starting posting them here as an aggregate spot. What do you think?

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Putting your money where your mouth is ... (that's my clever lead in :-)

You're probably getting sick of hearing me say this, but there is a lot of cool stuff that goes on at the library. Admittedly, as the days get nicer it's getting harder to convince myself to go to a 7:00 movie or seminar, but I almost always come away feeling really good about what I had just heard.

So anyway, recently I went to a seminar at Central Library on socially responsible investing. A little background about me. I am, what I would call a very small time leisure investor. I invest a small (very small!) amount of money every month (outside of my 401(k)) just for fun. It's kind of geeky I know, but I think it's fun. In fact, in my monthly budget (also kind of geeky), I actually track the trading costs as leisure spending! I also think of myself as socially responsible - or at least I try to be - but the concept of mixing the two items seemed a little, well, like not a wise financial decision.

But enough about me - the discussion was really intriguing and the information was really good and there was lots of good questions. One of the presenters pointed out that it's a value choice and noted that we often pay higher for a certain product because we value it more than another, even if another may be cheaper. As obvious as that might seem, I had never really thought of it that way. And yes, he is right. I actually pay a little more for my electricity because supposedly I am encouraging more solar energy (although I often worry that I'm gettting duped on that one, and am just a big sucker. Anybody out there work for Washington Gas and Electric and can tell me?)

So, what I can really say about this discussion is that it made me think. I haven't really reached any conclusions, but it made me think, and for that I appreciate it. And if you are interested in learning more about socially responsible investing, check out this website.

And BTW in case you think I just rave about everything (part of the purpose of this blog after all was honesty, not marketing), I also recently went to a seminar on investing online. Eh, it didn't really do it for me. The presenter was OK, but I never really felt like I got the information I wanted. It wasn't terrible, just didn't work for me. But, hey, that will happen sometimes. All in all, most things are definitely worth trying.