Archive for June, 2009


Loudoun County Fireworks Shows and Date listed by Community: 4th of July

Friday, June 26, 2009

2009 Fireworks Displays in Loudoun County for Fourth of July Independence Day celebrations — General Listings about where to go and how to plan your festivities. Things to do for Dulles Technology Corridor residents.

Listed here by community area… fun activity for children and parents — a patriotic thing to do to celebrate the holiday with friends is to plan a meet-up with family and friends to watch the fireworks together as an annual event. Fireworks displays make a wonderful low cost date night alternative, too!

EARLY DATE!!! Tuesday, June 28th

  • Brambleton Fireworks Display – 9:30pm (rain date June 29)
  • Dulles Town Center – 9:30pm (rain date June 29)

Friday, July 3rd

  • South Riding Display at SR Golf Club- 9:30 (rain date July 5)
  • Waterford – 9pm (rain date July 5)
  • Lansdowne Resort- 9:25pm (NO rain date) ** There will be a concert beginning at 7:30pm.  Fireworks will follow.
  • Eastern Loudoun Independence Day Celebration – 9:15pm (event is hosted at Sterling Golf Club)
  • Lovettesville Community Center -9:15pm (Parade will begin at 5:30 at the community center.  DC3 will provide entertainment at 7pm)

Saturday, July 4

  • Franklin Park – 9:30pm (rain date July 5)
  • Ashburn Village – 9:30pm  (rain date July 5)
  • Middleburg Community Center – dark (rain date July 5)
  • Hillsboro Community Center – dark (rain date July 6)
  • Claude Moore Park (old fashioned 4th of July) – Events held all day from 10:30am – 3pm (donations suggested)
  • Ida Lee Festivities – 9:30pm (rain date July 5) – Parade begins at 10am.  Gates open at 6pm for live entertainment before the fireworks display.

For more information about fireworks displays in Loudoun County for 2009, please visit


Twitter Journalism site gives How To Use Twitter Effectively as a reader tips and tricks

Thursday, June 25, 2009

How to verify a tweet

Twitter is the great equalizer. It doesn’t matter if you have 100 followers or 10,000, you can break news. That’s because all tweets are recorded and indexed at If someone types the right keyword(s), they can find your tweet.

Breaking Tweets prides itself on giving many different types of Twitterers credit for breaking news, whether it be someone in Honduras with a dozen followers recording the first “earthquake” tweet or a news organization providing the first details of a major story.


The big question of the day about news posted and retweeted on Twitter is, “How do you know a tweet’s legitimate?”

Here’s some methods [they] use at Breaking Tweets that you can try too:

1. Timestamp: Anytime something breaks with hundreds of tweets in minutes, like a natural disaster, it’s good to type various keywords and keep paging back until you find the first few tweets about the news. Unless these Tweeters are psychic, they’re probably among the first to have knowledge something’s up and they may have additional context depending on the story.

2. Contextual tweets: Immediately check the Twitter user’s page for related tweets around the tweet you found. You’d be surprised how often someone posts a follow-up tweet later or precedes the ‘breaking tweet’ with other pertinent info. This could provide additional context for the story, but it can also help verify a person, especially if they’re posting pictures or other content from the scene.

3. Authority: Check the Twitter user’s Bio. Is this a journalist? Is it a random person off the street? Is it a prankster? How about a comedian? Check their Web site or blog if they have one listed. See what you can learn about them here. It’s important to have some idea who the Tweeter is as you assess the validity of any tweet.

4. How many past tweets: Be leery of new Twitter users. If it’s one of their first tweets, it could be anybody starting an account and claiming to have info on a breaking story. The newer the account is, the more skeptical you have to be.

5. What are the past tweets: Check for context by examining the person’s Twitter stream. Go back several pages and see what they normally tweet about. Do they interact with people? Check the accounts they interact with for additional background on piecing together who this person might be. If they say they’re in Paris, are they talking about Paris a month ago? Are they tweeting in French? If not, why not? Evaluate the person and get a feel from them as best you can based on past tweets.

6. Google them: Google their Twitter name because sometimes people use a Twitter handle as their user name on other sites. See if you can find a LinkedIn page, a Facebook page and other sites that add to who these people might be. If they don’t list a full name on their Twitter page, and their user name doesn’t turn up much, you have reason to be more skeptical. The more information the person hides, the harder it is to know who they are. Likewise, the more open they are with info, the more likely they’re legitimate.

7. Check for related tweets: If someone says they heard an explosion in Lahore, what are other people in Lahore tweeting about? Check that and see if anyone else is reporting this. Chances are if a series of diverse people are tweeting about it at the same exact time — and they don’t appear related from looking at their accounts –, something’s up.

8. Talk to them directly: Send an @ reply. Start following them and try to send a direct message. Get a conversation going. Ask for more information and build a relationship as best you can. This will help you create a profile of this person and piece together their connection to the story.

These are ways that Breaking Tweets works to verify a tweet. It’s all about context, really – the person’s past tweets, other tweets that support their tweet, seeking more information about them specifically, and seeking more information about the topic.  And of course the timing of the tweet is critical too. If you stay on top of the tweets and follow these sorts of steps to verify tweets, you’ll be well on your way to finding great story tips and breaking news well before traditional methods.

Date : June 25th, 2009

Category : How To’s

Author : Craig Kanalley


The Official Twitter Commands: Learn how to use Twitter more quickly and effectively for business and to communicate on the go with friends and family (that’s the Twitter Plan)

Monday, June 15, 2009

twitter is confusing computer confusedThere is no don’t ask don’t tell policy at the Twitter company.  So sayeth the Twitter Mods. But what does it all mean — and how do people who love the program seem to use Twitter so effectively?

Article excerpt advice directly from the marvelous moderators at that will help explain how the service can be used from home or on the go to help you build your business or keep in touch with friends and family all around.

The Official Twitter Text Commands

“Did you know: you can perform certain actions [while using Twitter], like following or marking a friend’s update as a favorite, by using the designated Twitter commands?  Use the commands listed below from your phone, the web update box, or your favorite third party application.” Yeah… and that means what?

Turning Twitter off and on: device notifications

Notifications are simple; in computer speak, “notifications” mean that an electronic gadget you own is going to notify you when another user somewhere in the online world has something to say to you. If you want to be kept tightly in the loop, you might want to have your notification settings turned on to warp drive mode, having all notes delivered right to your hand help phone by text so you will always know exactly what is happening on the computer in “real time” (as it happens) any place you go. However, if 24/7 communication is not for you and you are old enough to remember what life used to be like when you actually left home without your phone, then you might want to turn certain notification features off. Translation — when you scream and cry at all the constant barrage of talk, ideas, and noise and want yell out loudly into the void, “PLEASE MAKE IT STOP!”

Twitter says these are the definitions for the following options on their set up features (the back end of the site where you input your personal preferences settings choices to try to make the program do what you want):

  • ON: turns ALL phone notifications on.
  • OFF: turns ALL phone notifications off.
  • STOP, QUIT: stops all messages to your phone immediately
  • ON username: turns on notifications for a specific person on your phone. For example, ON alissa.
  • OFF username: turns off notifications for a specific person on your phone. For example, OFF blaine.
  • FOLLOW username: this command allows you to start receiving notifications for a specific person on your phone. Example: follow jeremy
  • LEAVE username: this command allows you to stop receiving notifications for a specific person on your phone. Example: leave benfu

Fun Stuff: friends, favorites, and stats!

Okay — so TWITTER is all the rage with the under 30 crowd. What happens to those of us who are part of the “them” crowd? You know who we are. We’re the ones that are old enough to remember that those people over 30 are not to be trusted and with that magical birthday age become one of THEM.

Well, we’re out here floundering about in the cyber world and are ready to give a shout out to let the Me generations know that the Greatest Generation, the Baby Boomers, the Disco Ducks, Gen X, and Gen Y are out here and that life over the birthday hump is not all that bad.

As 65 is becoming the new 40 with so many folks unable to retire in a recession economy, there is a new wave of interest in learning how to use online social networking programs to continue to promote business. That’s where online tutorials and how-to lists come into play. With Twitter being the new “thing to do” activity that needs to become a habit and part of most professional people’s day, this report on command-type features will help new Twitter users Tweet away effectively and efficiently each day.

Here’s what the mods at Twitter say:

There’s more to Twitter than OFF and ON! Use the commands below to send private messages, mark updates as favorites, or even remind someone to update their Twitter page if you’re wondering what they’re doing!
  • @username + message
  • directs a twitter at another person, and causes your twitter to save in their “replies” tab.
    Example: @meangrape I love that song too!

  • D username + message
  • sends a person a private message that goes to their device, and saves in their web archive.
    Example: d krissy want to pick a Jamba Juice for me while you’re there?

  • WHOIS username
  • retrieves the profile information for any public user on Twitter.
    Example: whois jack

  • GET username
  • retrieves the latest Twitter update posted by the person.
    Example: get goldman

  • NUDGE username
  • reminds a friend to update by asking what they’re doing on your behalf.
    Example: nudge biz

  • FAV username
  • marks a person’s last twitter as a favorite. (hint: reply to any update with FAV to mark it as a favorite if you’re receiving it in real time)
    Example: fav al3x

  • this command returns your number of followers, how many people you’re following, and your bio information.

  • INVITE phone number
  • will send an SMS invite to a friend’s mobile phone.
    Example: Invite 415 555 1212

Noteworthy Facts

  • using on/off username from your phone only stops notifications to the place the command comes from; you’ll still collect a person’s updates on the web.
  • using follow/leave username from your phone is the same as using on/off username
  • following someone from a phone for the first time will also cause you to follow them on the web
  • there is no way to stop following a person on the web without visiting their profile and removing them. The off, leave, stop, and quit commands will only disable updates for the device(s) from which they were sent.
  • you don’t have to use ON/OFF username from the phone, you can also set individual notifcations from a person’s profile page, or check your following page and manage all phone notification settings there.

Have more Questions?  Ask TWITTER!


Enthusiasts from Northern Virginia and DC Metro welcome Ferrari Club rallies to Gilligan’s Island Event in Chesapeake Bay Region

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Excerpt from the Exotic Car Examiner

Members and friends of the Ferrari Club of the Mid-Atlantic region will be gathering Saturday June 6, 2009 [or Sunday June 7, 2009 if rain sets in on the Mid-Atlantic region] for a very special special afternoon car show event. Showcasing some of the finest Ferrari cars and creating an open and friendly outdoor Concourse BBQ environment, host Dennis Gilligan of Craftsman Developers ( and family would like to invite all Ferrari fans and exotic car enthusiasts nationwide to attend his Italian auto-show Americana-inspired charity benefit for the Hospice of Chesapeake Bay. Visit for more information.

# # #

Gilligan’s Island

Charity Event benefiting the Chesapeake Bay Hospice Center
Saturday, June 6 (11:00 – 5:00pm)

Rallying at the Maryland waterfront estate of Dennis and Peggy Gilligan, car owners from all over the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic region will be showcasing more than 50 privileged Ferraris, all pristine and displayed Concours D’Elegance style at this second annual summer kick-off party event. There’s more news however, as the Italianizzato Club muscle has been hard at work again.

Just this week, host Dennis Gilligan has expressly agreed to extend the invitation for other brands of exotic cars to plan a day trip down to visit the estate and showcase their vehicles. That’s big news for owners of other marquees like Maserati, Lamborghini, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, and custom American muscle classics and exotics like the Ford GT. You see, originally, the rumor spread that Ferrari club guys were not going to allow non-owners to visit or other car models on the private acres if we tried to attend.

What did event host and property owner Dennis Gilligan say when he heard that other exotic car club members were not being included in the Ferrari event invitation? “Are you kidding? My place is huge. Everyone I know in the Ferrari club is friendly and loves all kinds of cars. Everybody is welcome”

The Gilligan family says, “Bring your Exotic Car (or boat for that matter as dock slips/anchorage are available) and share our home and pool overlooking Rock Creek. Reservations [on the main field] will be limited to the first 75 Exotic Cars and there is room to display 75 more” Dennis also indicated that there is ample parking for all methods of transportation on his land. All he’s asked is that the Ferrari field, as a Ferrari club sanctioned event, exotic or show cars, and daily driver commuter parking be kept separate for the purpose of photography and creating ambiance.

Included in the cost of admission is a catered lunch by Annapolis favorite barbecue restaurant Adam’s Ribs. Cost of entry includes beverages, “All the sodas and beer your can drink” says Dennis (sorry kids — 21 and up on the alcoholic beverages and yes, ID will be checked). The cost, just $45.00 per person, is fully tax deductible with 100% of the proceeds provided to the Hospice of the Chesapeake. You do not need to own or be showing an exotic car to participate in this event. All guests over the age of 16 are welcome; please contact the event host to make special arrangements for wheelchair or handicapped participants.

Early registrants planing to display cars sent check by postal mail to the event location address: Dennis Gilligan, 1316 Water Oak Drive, Pasadena, MD 21122. Late car show entries should immediately email the EXOTIC CAR EXAMINER at to express interest in joining the show this weekend (and include .jpg photos of their car along with make, model, year, and other pertinent contact details for the Gilligans to help be prepared for post-event coverage). Photos from the event should also be mailed in high resolution .jpg format and bundled in Zip file format.

Please email Dennis Gilligan (
or call 410-320-5878 for more information
about the Gilligan’s Island Event,
including for assistance with directions.

Expect Dennis Gilligan and son Conor of Craftsman Developers to help host an awards ceremony featuring People’s Choice and various door prizes.


Craftsman Developers (host)

Adams Ribs (catering)

Ferrari Club of America – Mid Atlantic Region

Maserati of Baltimore

Ferrari of Washington (Jack Davis, sales)

Italianizzato Club

Compitzione & Sports Car

Radcliffe Motorcar Company

Porsche of Annapolis (Mike Mauer, sales)

Artist – Randy Owens (festival art)

Exotic Car Examiner by Connections Prep (Media Marketing Services)

Ron Spangler

Bruce Hamilton’s F430 Challenge Car “Smurf” for Wounded Warriors Project

Related Links
Gilligan’s Island Event Promo
Auto Pop Media Event Promotion Services
Special Event News for Ferrari, Maserati, and Lambroghini Enthusiasts

US Postal Service rates raised in May of 2009: How much does it cost to mail a letter, large envelope, or package in the United States?

Monday, June 1, 2009
U.S. Postal Service postage rates

NOTE: The price for a one ounce First-Class stamp increased from 42 cents to 44 cents on May 11, 2009.

U.S.P.S. rates for domestic mail
U.S. postage rates for Current
Standard First-Class Letter (1 ounce) * 44¢
Standard First-Class Letter (up to 2 ounces) * 61¢
Standard First-Class Letter (up to 3 ounces) * 78¢
Postcard 28¢

* Shape-based pricing
The shape-based classification system has brought significant and rather intricate changes to sending many First-Class mailings. Postage rates are now based not only on weight, but also on the shape of First-Class Mail and parcels. Mail that fails to meet any of the shape-based pricing minimum or maximum dimension classifications for standard mail are subject to additional surcharges.

NOTE: The cost to mail a standard post card or standard First-Class letter sent to or from Alaska or Hawaii is the same amount as those sent to any other U.S. state.

U.S.P.S. shape-based pricing (maximum dimensions)
Shaped-based category Maximum length Maximum height Maximum thickness Maximum weight
Postcards (postage is 28¢) 6″ 4 1/4″ 0.016″
Letters * (44¢ for 1st ounce) 11 1/2″ 6 1/8″ 1/4″ 3.5 ounces
Large envelopes (Manila, Tyvek� and similar large, flat envelopes)** 15″ 12″ 3/4″ 13 ounces

* If your letter exceeds any of the above letter dimensions it will be classified and priced as a large envelope (flat). All First-Class Mail nonmachinable letters are subject to a 20-cent nonmachinable surcharge.

** If your large envelope (Manila, Tyvek and other similar large, flat envelopes) exceeds any of the above large envelope dimensions it will be classified and priced as a package. Large envelopes must be flexible, rectangular and uniformly thick. A large envelope that exceeds 13 ounces is classified and priced as Priority Mail.

*** Postage for parcels is calculated at a rate of $1.22 for the first ounce and 17 cents for each additional ounce. Any package that exceeds 13 ounces is classified and priced as Priority Mail.

NOTE: Mail that has clasps, strings, buttons, or similar closure devices, or mail containing items such as pens, pencils, loose keys or coins that cause the thickness of the mailpiece to be uneven, may incur a nonmachinable surcharge. Items that are too rigid, too small, have excess corner radius, or irregular shapes, such as square envelopes, or tubes may also require additional postage.

U.S.P.S. shape-based pricing (minimum dimensions)
Shaped-based category Minimum length Minimum height Minimum thickness
Postcards (postage is 28¢) 5″ 3 1/2″ 0.007″
Letters (44¢ for 1st ounce) 5″ 3 1/2″ 0.007″
Large envelopes (Manila, Tyvek� and similar large, flat envelopes) 11 1/2″ 6 1/8″
First-Class retail flats (Manila envelopes)
Rates for Manila, Tyvek and similar large, flat envelopes Current
First-Class Mail retail flat (1 ounce) 88¢
First-Class Mail retail flat (up to 2 ounces) $1.05
First-Class Mail retail flat (up to 3 ounces) $1.22
First-Class Mail retail flat (up to 4 ounces) $1.39
First-Class Mail retail flat (up to 5 ounces) $1.56
First-Class Mail retail flat (up to 6 ounces) $1.73
First-Class Mail retail flat (up to 7 ounces) $1.90
First-Class Mail retail flat (up to 8 ounces) $2.07
First-Class Mail retail flat (up to 9 ounces) $2.24
First-Class Mail retail flat (up to 10 ounces) $2.41
First-Class Mail retail flat (up to 11 ounces) $2.58
First-Class Mail retail flat (up to 12 ounces) $2.75
First-Class Mail retail flat (up to 13 ounces) $2.92
First-Class retail parcels
Rates for boxes and similar parcels
(For keys and ID devices, add an additional 72¢)
First-Class Mail retail parcels (1 ounce) $1.22
First-Class Mail retail parcels (up to 2 ounces) $1.39
First-Class Mail retail parcels (up to 3 ounces) $1.56
First-Class Mail retail parcels (up to 4 ounces) $1.73
First-Class Mail retail parcels (up to 5 ounces) $1.90
First-Class Mail retail parcels (up to 6 ounces) $2.07
First-Class Mail retail parcels (up to 7 ounces) $2.24
First-Class Mail retail parcels (up to 8 ounces) $2.41
First-Class Mail retail parcels (up to 9 ounces) $2.58
First-Class Mail retail parcels (up to 10 ounces) $2.75
First-Class Mail retail parcels (up to 11 ounces) $2.92
First-Class Mail retail parcels (up to 12 ounces) $3.09
First-Class Mail retail parcels (up to 13 ounces) $3.26

(Any package that exceeds 13 ounces is classified and priced as Priority Mail)

USPS Fees and Service Charges
U.S. rates for Current
Certified Mail $2.80
Restricted delivery (Fee, per item, in addition to postage and other fees) $4.50
Money Orders (up to $500) $1.10
Money Orders ($500.01 – $1,000.00) $1.50
Postal military money order (issued by military facilities) 30¢
USPS Delivery Confirmation services
U.S. rates for delivery confirmation Current
First Class (Retail) 80¢
First Class (Electronic) 19¢
Priority Mail (Retail) 70¢
Priority Mail (Electronic) 0.00
USPS Signature Confirmation services
U.S. rates for signature confirmation Current
First Class (parcels only) Retail $2.35
First Class (parcels only) Electronic $1.95
Priority Mail (Retail) $2.35
Priority Mail (Electronic) $1.95
USPS Return Receipt rates
Return Receipt (In conjunction with another service) Current
Return Receipt requested at the time of mailing (receive by mail) $2.30
Return Receipt requested at the time of mailing (receive electronically) $1.10
Return Receipt requested after mailing (USPS form 3811-A)
(receive via fax, mail or e-mail)
USPS International Postage Rates
International Postage Rates Current
First-Class Mail International (Airmail Letter-post) to Canada (1 ounce) 75¢
First-Class Mail International (Airmail Letter-post) to Canada (2 ounces) $1.00
First-Class Mail International (Airmail Letter-post) to Canada (3 ounces) $1.25
Postcards to Canada 75¢
Postcards and Letters to Mexico (1 ounce) 79¢
First-Class Mail International to Mexico (2 ounces) $1.34
First-Class Mail International to Mexico (3 ounces) $1.89
Postcards and Letters to all other countries (1 ounce) 98¢

NOTE: Internet Accuracy Project is not affiliated with the U.S. Postal Service, UPS, DHL, FedEx or any other mail or parcel delivery company.

Internet Accuracy Project