376 to 76 to 70 to 270 to MD-28 into the suburbs of DC. Yesterday morning, thatwas my trip. Unfortunately, waking up meant that I arrived late, and that meant that the person I was going to stay with and I missed the first meeting when I finally arrived (it took me roughly 3 1/2 hours to get there, at an average speed of around 90MPH). Instead, we wandered around DC from around noon until 6. We saw the exterior of the Canadian embassy (which had very novel architecture), a number of outdoor areas, a fantastic African art museum, and ate at a so-so Indian restaurant. Finally, we made the later meetup at 6, and I met the rest of the gang. It was mostly a gathering of male non-computer geeks, most roughly my age, a few much older. One appeared to have Asperger's, with the usual Bakerish dysfunction (and usual reaction of those around -- doing our best to ignore his attempts to socially interact with us). We eventually got around to talking about organization of a local chapter of the Wikimedia foundation, something which I think might be a good idea, but there hasn't been a strong case for it. The thought is that we could do a lot of things as a user group, from fundraising to possibly getting press passes or private access to material for articles. Apart from the latter, which is questionable on feasability grounds, there were no concrete benefits for organizing stated. There was a lot of hand-waving as to brainstorming that still needs to happen to decide what we would do, and some talk of things that'd definitely be outside our scope, like general charity. I hated to be the one to pop the balloon, but I didn't think we should go further until and unless we can find a focused purpose and means to it. Apparently we're going to talk further on the mailing list. After the "official" stuff ended, we wandered around getting ice cream, and then ate at a combo restaurant/bookstore I ate at before when I was in town with Nicole in late 2004. I got some good pictures. There was a zoo walk scheduled for today, but I decided I wanted to get home -- only half the people were going to show up for it anyhow. I departed for home around 2, and with some sleep at a rest stop factored in, I arrived back home 24 hours after I left.
As a post-note, while looking up Aspberger's on Wikipedia, I came across a link to a hilarious and sad site: Institute for Study of the Neurologically Typical. Some afflicted people cannot deal with the idea of having problems, so of course they employ the very human trait of redefining things so they can feel better about themselves. By their logic, they're happy to be autistic, and presumably wish everyone were. This is not unlike pro-cripple groups that are happy at the birth or enstatement of every physically damaged person. Lose a hand in an accident? Have a developmental disorder? These are good things, and full-fingered and fully-functional people are our equals .. oh, no, I mean they're inferior. ... Yeah, right.
It was nice to get out of the city, and it was a good trip. Most of the people seemed cool. DC seems like a fairly decent town -- the endless suburbia and the land around it is fairly ugly, but it's culturally interesting and the sheer number of museums is very impressive.