Archive for January, 2008

Good Beer Comes To Town for the Weekend

savor.png Not that DC isn’t an awesome town for beer drinkers, but in mid-May, it’s going to be the Best Beer Town in America as Savor comes to town. Taking over the Mellon Auditorium for two days in May, bringing brews to town that we don’t normally get. The names are familiar, you’ll recognize Abita, Dogfish Head, Brooklyn Brewery, New Belgium, Stone, Tröegs, Smuttynose, amongst many others. Check out the awesome salons, which include “Getting Started with Beer and Food,” and “He Said Beer, She Said Wine.”

So mark your calendars, beer-lovers, and get your friend who doesn’t drink to drive downtown. Get ready for some excellent beer, and some great catering to go with it. Start setting aside your money, though, each session (there are three) runs $85, so that’s a bit pricy.

Find your booties

Capital Weather passes on this bit of information: you’re going to get wet. Very.

It’s hard to imagine as I look out the window into a sunny and nice day, but projections indicate we’re going to get a metric ass-ton of rain dumped on us in the next 24 hours. Estimates are in the 1 inch and up range. Happily the expectation is we’ll follow it up with some sunny and above-average temps for the weekend. So run through your Netflix queue tonight and tomorrow and plan for some out-of-doors activities on Saturday.

Inspection Facility to Make Way for Service Stations

The next time your DC-garaged vehicle needs an inspection you may not have to trundle on down to the Inspection Facility in Southwest DC, a place reviled by my District-dwelling friends. Much like surrounding Maryland and Virginia, DC Drivers may get to use one of 90 DC Gas Stations for inspections instead of the lone facility on Half Street.

There are some concerns to be worked out, still, including how to get service stations to bite on a $200,000 dynamometer, and how to justify an 80% increase in the cost of the inspection (to $45), but proposals will be explored and a recommendation made in March.

Congratulations, cousin.

Hooray! My google alert on “Elizabeth Whiteside” just barfed up this Army.MIL news release on the soldier I wrote about two months ago. Excellent news.

After reviewing the Article 32 report of investigation as well as recommendations from the investigating officer and the chain of command at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Army Maj. Gen. Richard J. Rowe Jr., court-martial convening authority and commanding general of the National Capital Region and U.S. Army Military District of Washington, dismissed all charges and specifications today, Jan. 30, in the case of U.S. vs. 1st Lt. Elizabeth Whiteside.

I’ll simply say that I’m relieved and pleased.

UPDATE: I guess I should have looked at the Washington Post item that came up in the same search alert. The last item on their timeline: Jan. 29, 2008: Whiteside is taken to the emergency room after she swallows dozens of psychotropic pills. *sigh* The day before such good news.

Picking a farm share

Or in the case of my darling girlfriend and I, not picking one.

Not because we don’t want to, mind you. We both love veggies and would be happy to eat more of them. DG hates going grocery shopping but is un(willing|able) to let me do it for her, so having someone bring fresh greens to us every week strikes her fancy just fine.

The problem, as usual, is me. I feel less bad about this than I might otherwise since I’m also the prime motivation behind it. What’s motivating me is also what’s making it harder: I finished Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma over the holiday season.

If you’ve read it you likely know what’s bugging me: my goal here is to inject sustainably raised food into my diet and avoid stuff grown with fossil fuel fertilizers or flawed organic methods. I’m not ready to strap on my armor and get on my white horse about that as of yet, but I feel like I can just go shop at my convenience in traditional locations if that’s what I’m angling for.

So I put it out to you bunch: have any of you used any CSAs that you’d recommend? Wayan wrote about Clagett last year but they’re not a 100% strident sustainable bunch – they state “Our priority and focus is to provide excellent quality produce and customer service to every customer while helping to grow, support and encourage sustainable local agriculture. ” That’s great, but “helping to grow, support and encourage” isn’t strong enough for me to feel it’s worth it. Fresh and Local CSA or Olin-Fox Farms appeal to me but the pickup turns off my darling girlfriend. And in fairness, I just found them at random at LocalHarvest.org.

Any input, anyone?

Night Dreams in Bethesda Caters to After-Church Crowd

Open sundays!
Yep, Night Dreams is now open for your after-church porn needs. Visit this Sunday from 12-6. What? You are scared of looking like a sinner in front of your church pals you might encounter there? Good news – they also have an online store for the bashful heathen in all of us.

The Morning News: Wednesday is for Drinking Early Edition

DC Charter School Closing in a Month, Stranding 250

The Washington Academy, which serves 250 area children, is set to close in 30 days. It’s not clear how those kids are supposed to be absorbed into the schools system, as many neighborhood schools in that region are set to close if the chancellor’s plan is completed.

Georgetown Student/Staff Data Missing

If you’re currently a Georgetown Student, or work there, your identity may have been stolen yesterday, when a disk containing the records of the 38,000 students and staff of the University was taken from an office on campus. Georgetown is offering free credit monitoring for those affected. Give the University a call at 866-740-2458 or visit their identity site for more info.

More Rail News

Here starts the blame game. Rep. Jim Moran comes out swinging like it’s a little black boy near his car. Moran insists that this is clearly a political ploy to thwart democrats in Northern Virginia, and has nothing to do with potential risk. Meanwhile, the Examiner points out it could be about failing to resolve a series of technical problems in the proposal, that would have resulted in the failure to operate the proposed line.

Breath of Fresh Air

During my weekend from hell, the Mysterious M and I managed to break away and get downtown to attend a great photo outing hosted by the Washington Photo Safari on Saturday afternoon. The subject was the historic Willard Hotel, which reopened in 1986 after being closed for nearly 18 years. Its renovations have maintained and (I think) enhanced the architectural beauty of the building; the history of the hotel is equally enriching (see the Wikipedia entry here). The atmosphere inside was fascinating – we hung around in the lobby for about half an hour afterwards just people-watching; even for a cold January Saturday, the place had a quiet electric vibe that really caught your attention.

Anyway, the safari – hosted by David Luria – gave us access to the lobby, Peacock Alley (afternoon tea area, complete with harpist!), the Willard Room (formal dining), and the Jenny Lind suite – a 950 square foot two-level suite with a stunning view of the Monument from the massive bathtub. My wife and I managed several fantastic shots throughout the safari – I even grabbed several exposure styles of a few scenes so I can try my (inexperienced) hand at HDR when I have a few hours handy.

It was a very pleasant afternoon diversion and quite economical, to boot. We did end up at Finemondo for dinner – an interesting experience in and of itself, which is probably worthy of another entry in the near future.

9:30 Club vs. The Black Cat – Ding! Ding!

Or should I say, “Kick ass concert venue versus a bar with a crappy stage?” Yes, I may indeed be comparing apples to oranges here, but they’re both fruit that I like to eat, so by God I’ll compare them if I want to.

OK, OK. I know I may be touching a raw nerve here, one that might get a pie thrown in my face. There are some of you who will probably agree with my assessment, while others may be deeply offended. However in my small concert-going world, these are basically my only two venue choices*, and I far prefer one over the other.

For me there are many factors that take an average concert venue and make it great, a few of them being as follows.
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Arlington Police use YouTube to Solicit Citizen Assistance

As I often do, I happened to find myself wandering around the Arlington County web site and stumbled onto this YouTube video of some asshat robbing a BB&T bank at Rosslyn. Way to go, Arlington Police, for using the obvious technologies for this important purpose. Many departments lag behind because nobody wants to bother learning something new and the old-timers don’t know what to think about “The You Tube.” I am glad to see that our local police are taking advantage of this popular and easy-to-access medium.

If you know anything about this situation that can be helpful to the investigation, or even possibly who this alleged asshat might be, call the Arlington Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

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