Archive for July, 2006

Heat Kinks

The WMATA is warning passengers that if temperatures approach 100 degrees tomorrow, it will slow down afternoon trains and increase the time between them. Since this is highly likely, expect longer wait times on that platform blast furnace, and more crowding than usual. Great, just great.

But as Tom points out, August is the big month for vacations so perhaps the crowding won’t be that bad. But you will still have to endure waiting longer in the heat.

“The purpose of expanding train time departures and reducing train speeds during the afternoon periods will help Metro conserve electricity, and reduce the amount of power needed to operate the trains,” said Steven Feil, Metro’s Chief Operating Officer for Metrorail. “With these changes, passengers should prepare for delays and crowded conditions on all rail lines.”

They are also planning on keeping an eye on the tracks due to a peculiar condition know as “heat kinks,” which can happen if the rails overheat causing them to expand and “cannot be constrained by the cross ties and ballast supporting the track.” That sounds real safe.

Tunnel To Dulles!

Well, that’s what the American Society of Engineers said to Metro. A tunnel to Dulles may add a quarter billion dollars to the cost, but take up significantly less above-ground real estate. The 4-mile tunnel would take something like $4 Billion to make, and likely wouldn’t be completed in any of our readers’ lifetimes, but it would extend the Orange Line out to Dulles Airport by way of Tysons’ Corner. The whole run out to Dulles is roughly 23 miles and would parallel the Dulles Toll Road for the run to the Airport.

Ad Awesomeness

A while back, Wayan saw a fun ad for a local political campaign that showed up in our adfeed. Today I provide you with this ad straight from the league of whackjob spellers:

Funny Ad

Varginia? Varginia?! For Real?!

Wow. This is silly. Spellcheck, people!

Counterpoint: Keeping Soriano not necessarily the worst decision of all-time

I respectfully disagree with the my esteemed colleague Mr. Bridge, who thinks the Nats have erred by not trading Alfonso Soriano. While I would not have minded him being shipped off for some good prospects, it is quite probable that no team was willing to part with any/enough good prospects for a mere two months of Soriano’s services. It is possible that the Nationals braintrust determined the prospects that they could acquire would not better than the two draft picks in the 1st round that they will likely be granted should Soriano file for free agency. The always excellent Capital Punishment provides a breakdown of the situation.

So, what are Nats fans left with now? For starters the opportunity to see Soriano approach a 40-40 season. He is having a very special year that will likely stand as the finest individual season in Nats history for some time. Additionally, those two extra draft picks the Nats get if Soriano leaves the team as a free agent after being offered arbitration could become the building blocks of the organization.

Time will tell whether or not this was a good move, but my initial analysis suggests that at the very least, it was not a bad move.

dj lil’e spins me…

For those of you who missed dj lil’e's Right Round Mash-UP! at the Black Cat on Friday night, you can download many of her fantastic mashups here. Might I particularly recommend “Domo Arigato, Mr. Brightside.” It’s a personal favorite.

The party was awesome- people danced straight through until 2:15 AM- and a little birdie tells me that she’s planning a sequel…

Legg Mason Classically Empty

In a stunning surprise, on a Heat Advisory day, the 2006 Legg Mason Tennis Classic stands are empty, as you can see here from a 4:30pm photo emailed to me by one of my supermodels.

Sam Querrey of Thousand Oaks, CA is battling it out with South African Wesley Moodie in oppressive heat. You can follow along in the comfort of your air conditioned home on the ATP website.

Currently its Querry giving Moodie a good schooling.

Soriano Watch: No Trade!

Well, we’re down to the last few minutes of the MLB Trade Deadline, awaiting word of Soriano’s fate with the Nationals. Watch this space for an update.

Well, the deadline has come and gone, and no word of a trade involving Soriano. Looks like Jimmy Bowden couldn’t do it…

Update, 4:30 ESPN is saying they’ve received word from the Nationals that they will NOT be trading Alfonso Soriano. Please allow me to be one of the first to say “Wow, That’s Really Fucking Stupid.” Instead of trading for a bunch of prospects to rebuild the Nationals decimated farm-system, the Nats have opted to keep Soriano for 2 months. Instead of getting the rights to some young player for six years, Bowden has opted to keep Soriano as the ship is sinking.

Way to go, guys, that’s really fucking dumb.

WMATA’s PR Brilliance

Last week, WMATA announced that they would preview the new 6000 series railcars at National Airport today form 9:30am to 12:30pm. Being a closet transit foamer, I put it on my lunch hour to-do list.

Arriving at 12:04pm sharp, I expected an interesting walk-thru of the new and shiny railcars. Silly me!

The train conductor would not let me on, even with 5 minutes of cajoling, and I had to placate my enthusiasm for the new cars with photographs through the glass.

Thanks for the great PR opportunity WMATA! Nutting like passing by your riders to garner love with your fans.

August in the District

Today’s the last day of July, the last day of civilization in DC for a month. August’s hot, muggy, hazy, uncomfortable nastiness is upon us again. Congress is out of session, gone until the weather improves, or so the tradition says. Gone just in time for the Heat Wave of the Decade according to Capital Weather. My dashboard weather widget refuses to even put temperatures up for tomorrow and wednesday, instead just leaving the word “shitty” in anti-aliased serif text.

All the Pols have left. All the vacations happen now. The Hill is blissful quiet. Downtown even slows as the K St Lobby and Law firms empty their doors of everyone but the summer interns, all heading out of the district. But yet, we stay.

The dog days of summer are here.

Bus-ted

So, it’s like five million degrees out, and it has taken me not an insignificant amount of time to get ready in what I think will be an outfit that might make it till 930a without sweat stains. I even don my new hat, which is way too fantabulous for Adams Morgan, btw. I totter out to the bus stop, a vision of cool in the summer heat.

Twenty minutes later, I am still standing there, waiting for the dratted 42 bus to Metro Center. People are now lined up at the stop three deep, and my cool is beginning to fade. Two, then three busses pass. None are mine. Finally, saints be praised! My bus is on the horizon! Fingering my fare card, now damp with sweat, I await the bus. Which, half full, sweeps by our stop without even slowing down, even as several people wave their arms (and me my hat) like it was the last helicopter out of Vietnam. Now I’m mad. I run at a good clip towards the next stop, fairly fast considering I’m wearing shoes not meant for running, arms akimbo, screaming for someone up there to tell that jerk to wait.

I make it. I call the driver a name which doesn’t match the outfit I am wearing, and climb onto the bus, a disheveled pile of sweaty, cranky, jangly nerves. I sit down to catch my breath and ask the driver why he didn’t stop. He doesn’t answer. I say I won’t pay. He shuts down the bus and turns the air conditioner off and says he won’t move until I pay $1.25. I’m ready to hunker down, but see the blank faces of fellow passengers start turning ever so slightly hostile. I see no one will back me up on this. I grumpily hand over my fare, but call the Metro line to lodge a complaint (202.637.7000)–within earshot of the bus driver, of course. Will it do any good? Unlikely. But it only furthers my resolve to do a series for this blog on this city’s bus drivers…the stories behind the wheel, so to speak. Maybe I’ll end up retrieving the empathy for them that I had when I left my apartment this morning.

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