My latest obsession is the White House. The actual building. Last week C-Span ran a seven-night series, exploring its history, its staff, the day-to-day lives of the First Families, and tours of various rooms. They’re repeating it next week, if you want to catch some of it.
I’ve also been exploring an amazing website, The White House Museum, which is full of historical photographs of almost every room in the White House — the Residence, the West Wing, and the East Wing — as well as various features of the grounds, such as the pool, tennis court, and putting green. I think my two favorite rooms are on the third floor of the residence: the music room, with its raised balcony, and the solarium, which opens onto the promenade. (The third floor also contains the workout room — that page shows more of W’s right thigh than I really need to see — and a bunch of guest bedrooms.)
Finally — and coolest of all — there is this guy who is trying to create a computerized 3D model of the entire White House. He has completed the exterior and grounds and the Oval Office, as well as some other parts. He uses a free program called Google Sketchup. If you download Sketchup, you can play around with the models and navigate inside them. I can’t describe how amazingly awesome this is. It truly must be a labor of love.
So, in addition to the White House, Sketchup is my other new obsession. I’ve been playing around with it, and I’ve managed to create a pretty good replica of our apartment. (I’m still working on it.) I was even able to add some of our furniture, for which I found pre-made models in the Sketchup 3d Warehouse.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: God bless the internet.