Archive for May, 2006

DCA Police Get Your Mosey On

Thinking of flying out of National this weekend? Hoping that a loved one will be there to pick you up at DCA on the return? Or better yet, are you picking up a loved one flying in to Washington National for the weekend?

Either way, don’t be lollygagging in the DCA arrivals driveway. See this police SUV below, the ones with the lights on? It will be slowly circling the airport arrivals section, hitting its lights and writing tickets if needed, to move you along if you’re waiting for someone.

Remember, the sign says “Unloading or Loading Only” not “Waiting Lazily for Someone”. There is a parking garage. It has a free grace period. Use it. And use it enough, you’ll not need Fitness Boot Camp

Reports of Gunfire in Rayburn Garage?

Yesterday it was Amtrak outages screwing up everyone’s lives, today it’s Gunshots Reported in the Rayburn Office Building Garage. The original alert to Hill staff was issued via email, since it appears that literally everyone on Capitol Hill are addicted to their crackberry. That message read (according to WTOP):

This is a message from the U.S. Capitol Police
If you are in the Rayburn HOB then Shelter in Place. Quickly move into the nearest interior office space or interior hallway and away from windows. The Capitol Police are investigating reports of gunfire in the Rayburn HOB.
If nearby, grab Go-Kits and personal belongings.
Close doors behind you, but do not lock.
Remain calm.
Await further instructions. Do not leave the building.

Nothing like a good panic on a Friday morning to twist up everyone’s knickers. Thanks unknown gunman, for freaking out a whole section of the city.

Whereabouts of Congresswoman McKinney during the incident are currently unknown.

Haze arrives late this year

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Yesterday afternoon, the summertime haze that will be here into October arrived in the nation’s capital. It was actually about four days late since it typically, arrives by the third Saturday of May, just in time for the Andrews Air Show.

This year the haze came solo with the heat and humidity part of the dreaded D.C. weather trifecta holding off until today. Lastly, the late arrivial means that the hazy, hot, and humid weather will actually be around for Memorial Day weekend, as opposed to most years when it takes a holiday too. Hopefully, you enjoyed the spring because it is pretty much done, the weather and air quality are about to get oppressive.

There’s no crying in baseball

In one of the odder events of the season, Nats skipper Frank Robinson turned into Dick Vermeil yesterday following an 8-5 victory over Houston (The Post). Crying as he spoke, Robinson explained that he had to pull C Matt LeCroy after he made two errors and allowed seven stolen bases. To LeCroy’s credit, he understood the move and bore Robinson no ill will.

Video from Comcast SportsNet: Part I | Part II. Go to this page and scroll down if you cannot make it work from the two previous links.

The game itself was the third in a row over the Astros for the Nats. They won the four game series to make it two series in a row. Nats play-by-play man Charlie Slowes says it may have been the most exciting Nats game ever, with lots of scoring, the aforementioned 7 stolen bases, and great defensive plays. They host the Dodgers for a three game set starting tonight with day games on Saturday and Sunday.

When the going gets weird…

…the weird turn pro.

After the weekend’s raid on Congressman Jefferson’s office, and the “Separation of Powers” flap between Congress and the FBI, the President has decided to slap a 45 seal on the records that were seized from the Congressman’s office.

What exactly are the pols up in arms about? It’s not like the FBI didn’t have a court-issued warrant. Or videotape of the Congressmen accepting $100,000 in cash. Or found $90,000 in his freezer. Why are they trying to prevent the conviction of one of their own who is clearly a crook. I mean, it’s not like someone planted $90,000 in his freezer. Or he’s not on tape. I mean, any idiot can see this guy belongs behind bars and not in the US Congress.

Why are the Congresscritters trying to stop the removal of criminals from their midst?

O’Jays’ Throwdown Kicks Off Wolf Trap Season

It was a relatively hip scene for a black tie DC fundraiser at Wolf Trap’s annual kick-off of its summer season on Tuesday night. It was the 35th year for the spring gala, which celebrates both the opening of the Filene Center for outdoor concerts and raises money for the Wolf Trap Foundation’s education programs – one facet involves putting master artists into schools to train teachers. With its rolling lawn and a cavernous wooden hall that’s best suited for acoustic music, Wolf Trap has been a favored destination for those who love symphonies in the park and Show Tunes!, but its line-up has often left a lot to be desired for concert-goers with more diverse or more youthful tastes. That has been changing. This year’s schedule shows the venue’s continuing effort to ditch its stodgy ways, although the Trap is still largely catering to a boomer audience. Yes, A Prairie Home Companion is the Memorial Day opener, but the June 1 Lynyrd Skynryd show is sold out. And there’s the naked grab for the youth market with a double booking of moe. and North Mississippi Allstars on June 10.

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At the gala–where tables of 10 went for $5,500 to $20,000–local and national politicians and captains of industry boogied to the 70s sounds of the O’Jays.
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Memorial Day Traffic

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Photo courtesy of Eric Z. Grey

So you’re going away for the long Memorial Day weekend? So is over 80% of the country. Despite the bitching over $3.00/gallon gas, the majority of us will drive and over 15% of us will drive over 50 miles.

But here are some survival tips from this hardened driver who regularly runs the 6 hour DC to New England gauntlet in his Plastic Mexican Jetta.

1. Leave early: Duh. If you can take Friday off, do it. If you can take Tuesday off, do that as well. Most drivers will leave after Noon on Friday and after 4 on Monday. Don’t be stuck in gridlock on the Bay Bridge, desperately having to pee, because you left work too late or wanted to enjoy a little more grilling. Stay the night, or leave early.

2. Plan your route, keep the radio tuned, and eyes on the road: You’d be amazed what a little forethought and quick thinking can do to save you time. Fill up your car at home rather than on the way (the 15 cents extra per gallon won’t kill you). Check with AAA Live Traffic Information before you leave, and plan your route accordingly. Keep your radio tuned to the traffic network. If you spot a jam ahead, quickly pan and scan for exits to an alternate route and SAFELY go to them. I once avoided a massive road closure because I learned the side roads ahead of time.

3. Bring an EZ Pass or Smart Tag: For the love of God people, use a damn EZ Pass or Smart Tag. They cost little to get, they will save you time, and you won’t have to be stuck behind some asshole begging the attendant to let him through because he forgot to bring cash. Of course, you’ll still have to deal with the lane changers (who block the EZ Pass lane), who in my opinion should suffer death by spooning.

4. Keep Safe and Go with the flow: Don’t let this rollover happen to you. Drive defensively and keep yourself and the others on the road alive. And keep your speed within reason. If you get caught speeding, you WILL be late. Cops on Memorial Day like nothing better than to waste the time of speeders. You think they’re running your plates? Hell, no, they are listening to sports radio and planning where to buy charcoal.

5. Keep the Rug Rats Occupied: If you are cursed blessed with children, keep them occupied, so you don’t kill them. You parents probably already know this, and have yourself freed Barabbas a few times on the holidays. Since it is only a matter of time before baby strollers come with a DVD player built into it with 72 hours of Barney, seize the day. Spend that $35 to buy a new DVD or portable game and enjoy the 2 hour respite.
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Comcast Required to Carry Nats Games

This is one of those bizarre moments where I have to wonder what other solution was possible. Yesterday, Mayor Williams signed into a law a bill requiring Comcast to carry the Nationals games. I hate seeing fiats like this come from the District because it’s a bad law. But yet, Nats fans may rejoice, for soon enough you’ll get to watch all the Nats games instead of just a paltry few here and there.

I still kinda hope that Angelos wakes up and cedes the DC market back to the Lerner group. This petty bullshit has gone on far too long, and though I hate both Comcast and Angelos, I think it’s time we got some response for our viewership here in DC.

Bizarro High School Robbery

I don’t know why I listen to Washington Post Radio. I don’t. But it’s like a train wreck, sometimes I can’t stop. Today while I was running errands I heard a little snippet concerning this story. Nutshell version is that five kids from Whitman High School in Bethesda robbed a Smoothie King at gunpoint. Well, four of them did, the fifth guy worked at Smoothie King and was the inside guy. The real issue, though, appears to be that four of these kids are high school athletes, one of them was awarded the prestigious “All-Met” status by the Post.

Of course, one would expect that the Post Radio would focus on “The charges carry a maximum punishment of 93 years in prison and a $1,000 fine.” Instead, they’re squabbling over whether or not the juniors would still be eligible for athletic scholarships. Worse still, the morning host went on and on and on about the banquet for these All-Met athletes and how many of them are deeply involved in their community, helping little old ladies across the street and, apparently in their spare time helping needy classmates rob their places of employment at gunpoint.

Why can’t we be asking questions like, “How quickly can we send these guys to trial?” and “If they’re guilty, how does 20 years in prison sound?” Instead of “Should we give these guys scholarships to play football?”

On today’s episode of jackass patrol…

…we’ll start with this fellow, who wants to badly to sell his RAV4 that he doesn’t mind risking his life and yours by driving around with 1/3 of his windshield obscured. I used to think the “remove before driving” printed on those sunblockers you put on your windshield when parking in the sun were laughable legal CYA manuvers. Nope, they’re apparently critical information some people need. Cross your fingers and hope that he gets hit by something he can’t see off to his right before he hits YOU when you’re off to his right…

Moving from dangerously moronic to jerkishly selfish, with have Jackasses numbers 2 and 3. If you live right off Route 7 and discovered that your yard is now a garbage dump, you can thank these two. You might think there’d be room in that thing to keep their soda bottles till they get somewhere with a trashcan, but you’d be wrong – that’s what the now-slightly-less great outdoors are for, it seems. If you see them out on the road, wave em over and ask what it’s like to be more special than everyone else.

Let this also serve as my official notification that I will no longer argue with people who claim our drivers suck more than everywhere else in the continental US. And to certain folks with persecution complexes who think I only bag on vegans – I’m an equal-opportunity hater.

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