Archive for April, 2005

Screech: Our Bastard Love Child Mascot

As I was riding home from last night’s Nationals game, I found myself reading HomeStand, the rag paper handed out at Stadium/Armory Metro and along the sidewalks leading up to RFK Stadium. In the paper there was an article on the genesis of Screech, our new fluffy mascot, where it was revealed that he (?) is the bastard love child of Slapshot and Youppi!

That’s right, kids, Screech is not only a cross-breed between and eagle and a….a…a…thing, but worse still, Youppi! split town looking for other work before Screech was even hatched! Rumor has it that in addition to being the first mascot tossed from a baseball game, he’s also bisexual.

Folks, we’d best not let the Faith and Family Council hear about this, or poor Screech will be ostracized. But in the meanwhile…can I just say? What. The. Fuck. Who thought this would be a good idea? I mean, I’m glad we didn’t go the back alley abortion route, that would’ve just been wrong, but who says that just because it’s some other local mascot’s kid that it has to be our mascot? Couldn’t we at least have considered some other Eagle for the job? I mean, Sam the Eagle has to be looking for work, he hasn’t had a gig since the LA Olympics were done, or maybe we’d be better off going to the other Sam the Eagle instead. I don’t know, but if I worked in the Nats front office, this has got PR nightmare written all over it: nepotism, bastardy, out-of-wedlock children, genetic-engineering…

Canopy trouble

If you plan to visit the Old Patent Office Building when it reopens next summer, make sure you don’t go on a rainy day. The glass canopy won’t be installed over the courtyard until the winter of 2007. Apparently the canopy costs $20 million more than the Smithsonian has. The canopy has already sparked controversy, not least because it didn’t exist when the building and surrounding areas first came into use. Also because, you know, $20 million is a lot to spend on glass.

Our First Stop on the “Bill Frist’s Washington” Tour


Overnight Champions

The stands at the United Center aren’t empty yet. After losing a third quarter lead, the radio lines in Washington have been lit up with frustrated callers who are incredulous that their miracle team somehow has deficiencies. It’s as if they’ve never seen this team play before today.

****rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb****

My assistant tells me that in fact, no one has actually seen this team play before they actually made the playoffs.

Washingtonians were so enamored at the prospect of having a team in the playoffs for the first time in 8 years, that they conveniently ignored every telltale sign that there was little to no chance they were going to leave the Windy City with two wins.

The playoffs are a new season and the pace of the game changes. A good defense will beat a good offense, and that’s exactly what happened. Washington had every opportunity to gain home court advantage for the first round but could not close out the deal. We limped into the playoffs against a tough hard-nosed team that has a fourth quarter sparkplug in Ben Gordon, who burned us in the fourth again.

Though it’s a disappointing loss, it’s not a crippling one. I for one, think that they ought to be given a parade for the season they’ve had. As a Maryland alum, we’ve seen a lot of bad times and have come to the point where we expect nothing but the best from our teams. The Wizards aren’t at that point yet. Give them a few more seasons to improve on areas that they couldn’t improve on this year, namely defense and having that killer instinct.

Worshipping on New Hampshire Ave

If anyone in the area is up for an interesting drive, New Hampshire Ave north of the beltway in Maryland, offers an amazing collection of houses of worship. If you drive down the road, during a 5 or 10 mile stretch, you come across: Jehova’s Witnesses, the Muslim Community Center, a Ukranian Orthodox church, another Ukranian church that doesn’t seem to be orthodox (but I could be wrong), a Cambodian Buhddhist temple, a Vietnamese Catholic church, at least 2 Korean churches of different denominations, a Seventh-Day Adventist church, several other Christian churches of various denominations, and a “prayer stop” that is a small white shack along the side of the road, sandwiched between two churches. I would have liked to get some pictures of some of them, but I was in the car and that idea didn’t pan out so well. The Buddhist temple, the Orthodox Ukranian church, and the Muslim Community Center are really nice, large and pretty structures that stand out as you drive along the road. I have to apologize that I didn’t dig up links for most of these places–I couldn’t find much information, and I started to get a little lazy.

As I was trying to find out more information about this stretch of road, I came across this article that ran in the Post last year. The article talks about the growing diversity of religions in the Montgomery County area. It’s really something, though, to drive down New Hampshire Ave and see such a diversity of faiths represented. As much as we may moan about the increase in population in the area and the subsequent crunch in housing and on the Metro, it’s nice to know that we can all get along.

Ikea, College Park


I was at the Ikea in College Park looking at furniture this afternoon. When I got back to my car, I found this VW golf parked in front of it. I got a kick out of the placement of the sticker.

acela brakes do not stop

ack! i’ve been taking the delta shuttle to nyc lately, but little did i know that amtrak stopped its acela service last week.

“Cracks were found on the disc brakes on most coaches during routine inspections, Amtrak said in a statement…”

I received a notice from Amtrak that they are replacing Acela service w/ Metroliner for the time being…which adds about 30 mins more to the commute. It will take them through the summer to resolve!!!

wow…amtrak’s already undergoing a tough time to reshape itself and figure out what it means to be a train in a plane world…

Senators Who Flickr?

I’ve got a few Flickr tags in my RSS reader, one specifically for Washington DC, and I was rather surprised to see that Senator Evan Bayh has a flickr account. He’s got some very nice shots of him and his family up there, but I’m betting it’s not him actually doing the uploading. Looking at his tags, I’m guessing this is the start of his grass roots campaign for 2008.

Federalism? What’s that?

So let’s say you bought a house out in Virginia near a Metro station. It would be clear to you from the purchase price of your house that housing is at a premium, particularly near Metro stations. And let’s further say that you’re involved in the local politics of the area surrounding your new home. You would be especially familiar with the difficulties of developing Northern Virginia from the sleepy little towns prevalent in the 70s to the three-piece-suit-and-Red-Bull havens for the entire micro industry surrounding the business of government that they are today. You would further be painfully aware of the difficulties Metro has in funding itself, and how that contributes to poor service throughout the region, especially on the Orange and Red lines.

Now let’s further say that the largest homebuilder in the country wants to develop some spare land near that Metro station from WMATA and add a bunch of high-density, smart-growth new housing. What do you do?

If you’re Congressman Tom Davis (R-NIMBY NoVa), you try to legislate the development out of existence. Because you don’t want all that smart-growth, high-density housing near your house.

And really, God forbid The Honorable Congressman Tom Davis shoud live so close to so many new constituents. I mean, doesn’t he deal with enough of those people at the office? Does he have to actually run into them at the grocery store?

Is it not the sworn responsibility of Congressman Davis (whose office phone number is (202) 225-1492 and office fax is (202) 225-3071) to intervene in local land use matters in order to maintain his personal lifestyle? It’s not as though minor matters like the federal budget or the war in Iraq are demanding his attention. And certainly he knows what the development needs of the area are better than Fairfax Board of Supervisors does. After all, why should Fairfax have the same level of autonomy that Davis wants to give the District? And if the federal government doesn’t fund Metro, why should Metro try to find new revenue sources with which to expand service?

DC Metblogs’ Favorites: Places To Take Out-of-Towners

This is the second in a new series of entries here at DC Metroblogging, called Metblogs’ Favorites, where our authors give out some of their favorite sports to visit, enjoy and experience here in DC. Our second category is “Favorite Place to take your out of town friends.” We know there’s a lot to do here in Washington, between the center of government and the museums and monuments, so we asked our authors to each choose one place they take their guests when they come to town.

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