Pictures from around Lumpkin’s Jail

As part of our walk around downtown Richmond last Friday, we decided to talk a walk around Lumpkin’s Slave Jail, which has recently been in the news a bit the last couple of years, due to the work being done to recover part of that history. Obviously with having the possible ‘ties’ to the jail (if the name wasn’t obvious), I do love learning about local history.

I say ‘possible ties’, mainly because there’s no hard link (that one can prove) between my family name and this jail. Lumpkin’s Jail was run by a Robert Lumpkin, who then eventually married one of his former slaves, Mary. Mary eventually went to turn part of the land into a school for freed slaves, which eventually came Virginia Union University in 1899. You can read more on the Jail here and here. There were a few Robert Lumpkin’s alive at that time, which I do have known ties to. But the documentation does not go into detail enough about which (or any) were the particular Robert Lumpkin who ran the jail. From what I have read, we are considered not to be related. But then again, I also find it hard to believe that such a less-common name had more than one family here in Richmond around that time.

(UPDATE: The Smithsonian Magazine has a great article on the Jail on their website as well)

We took a walk around the area, just to see the start of some of the planned historical monuments down around the area. The entire ‘jail site’ is fenced off, and it doesn’t look like much work is being done around there now. But with a lot of the work being done around Shockoe Bottom, im sure eventually more of this will come to light again.

Lumpkin’s Slave Jail on Flickr

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The Start of Spring!

I have a strong love/hate relationship with this time of year. Its great because you can get back outside and start doing stuff after being crammed in the house all winter, but my allergies will destroy me for the next few months.

I didn’t let that stop me this perfect weekend to get a lot of things done OUTSIDE of the house. While Debs and a friend went off to run some errands, I went by Lowe’s and got what I needed to start a small garden at our house. While we both had small gardens at some point growing up, we have never made one on our own. With the continued high price and crap quality (EVEN AT UKROPS) of produce, we decided to grow our own, and save a few bucks. I planted Basil and Dill (which are right in the foreground of the above picture), Tomatoes, Green Peppers, Green Beans, Zucchini, and Yellow Squash.

I also started a compost bucket (which is living in the blue trashcan off to the right). I have no clue how this will turn out, but at least its going to be a fun experiment. Finally, I put out a truckload of mulch around our house we got for free from the Henrico Landfill. The quality was actually better than the stuff we have previously purchased from Lowe’s, and also had a much nicer color. And its FREE!

Sunday started off with a trip through Hanover (Route 1, down Route 54, and then back up Route 301). I personally have not been around that area, but Debs and I drove through it when taking Toby to the dog park a few weeks ago. I thought it would be fun to take a quick drive through there again to get a few shots. Most of these were shot while we parked at the Hanover Dog Park. Finally, we stopped at my Grandmothers grave (which is right on 301).

You can see the rest of the set here on flickr.

We are looking to buy some bikes, and plan on possibly riding through this area again soon. Having a car really limits you to being able to pull off the side of the road to get a few shots (for example, the railroad crossing on Rout 54).

Hopefully this coming Spring and Summer I’ll get to spend more time outside than I have in the past few years, which is something I have really missed!

First real snow in years!

The last ‘real’ amount of snow we got in Richmond was December 2005, with a little over 4 inches of snow. Before that, it had been a few years as well. While Richmond gets really crazy weather, we don’t get much snow anymore. This is a major difference, because through middle school and high school, we had plenty of snow days!

The snow started last night, and at the time of this posting its still snowing (supposed to stop in the next couple of hours). So far (at least at our house) we have recieved at least 6″, closer to 8″ plus right now. Deb’s work was closed last night, while I didn’t find out about mine until 6 AM.

I was able to take a few shots last night and this morning, and plan to take more once I can actually get outside so the camera doesn’t get messed up.

This is also my first try of using iPhoto ’09 Flickr syncing.

Finally, Church Hill People’s News has a post for people sharing their snow photos around Richmond!

Trying to learn Cocoa/Obj-C

So, after messing with it a few times, I’ve decided to really jump in and start learning Mac development (again). As I mentioned in a previous post, the last time I ‘really’ developed for the Mac was in the days of MPW and the classic Mac OS.Well, those days  are long gone (have been for a while), and now there are even new platforms (iPhone) to develop for as well.

I’ve got a few friends that have already started down this path, and just hearing them talk about some of the stuff they can do amazes me. Oddly enough, I think I may the odd one out of the bunch, not really wanting to focus on iPhone development, but actual Mac OS development. Also, i’m coming up with new ideas I could easily hack out in C#, but want to just try on the Mac first.

It’s been such a long time since I learned a new language, its going to be a totally new experience (which is odd…I’ve been a ‘Mac User’ longer than I have been a ‘PC User’). Luckily there are some really good books on the subject, as well as a great local group I get to meet with.

My objective in the end is to feel as comfortable in Cocoa as I do in .Net, and feel more in tune with the systems that I enjoy. I also hope that one day ill have a cool little Mac app that I can share here.  I have a few ideas I have been putting together and outlining, but have yet to sketch out or document. Heck, maybe my first app will be making a native Twitter app that I actually like!