Archive for March, 2009

Sports Chatter: The Terps Do Better Than Expected

From: p_pho@hotmail.com
Subject: Time To Dance!
Date: March 16, 2009 11:35 AM EST
To: Frank J. Lattuca

You know what got me excited today?

The start of March Madess. The network is down in my office today so e-mail is problematic, printers don’t work, however internet is ok. So everyone is working on their brackets for the Office Pool- to which I am managing this year.

I have to say that DC dodged a bullet with Maryland making it in there- Were we really going to be excited for an American team that mostly likely will be done by Friday? However Maryland is also playing that day and we could be without a DC team before the first weekend. I have a feeling our expectations should be with NIT domination rather than NCAA domination- did you see Mason is a 7 seed over there, maybe they can make a Cinderella run and get into the NIT Final Four!

From: Frank J. Lattuca
Subject: RE: Time To Dance!
Date: March 16, 2009 4:44 PM EST
To: p_pho@hotmail.com

Yeah maybe-I’d give them a much better chance than either UMD or American. In the post I’m putting together right now (which will feature some of our not so great teams, and our two dancing ones) I put it out there that I think American has the better chance of an Upset than UMD. I just don’t believe in the Terps-sure they are hot…but I don’t know. Bad feeling. and Cal (from what I’ve heard) is a fairly solid team.

Villanova (who American plays)-well sure they are Big East-but not every Big East team is going to advance. WVA, Marquette, Syracuse, UConn, Pitt, Louisville-these teams will advance. Last year, American played Tennessee tough-real tough. Some of that is going to carry over this year-and we could see our very own Mason part II-at least until they play UCLA in the next round or Texas/Duke a round after that.

Okay-I’m dreaming. American has no chance-but it wont’ stop me rooting for them.

Can you send me the NIT brackets? I have to think Georgetown is in there too, right? GW probably is in that third tournament-if anything. Ugh they were so bad this year!

 From: p_pho@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: RE: Time To Dance!
Date: March 19, 2009 10:27 PM EST
To: Frank J. Lattuca

Well the first day of games is over, I have to say things aren’t looking so good with my bracket in my office pool. Like you I thought Maryland kinda barely made it into the field and were set to bow out- and they pulled off the upset you didn’t think was going to happen. 

I was watching the game and I have to say the Terps looked good. Their man Grievis Vasquez did what he had to do and racked up 27 points- but I really thought with just him they couldn’t pull it out.  

But you know what- college basketball is all about 3 pointers and even though Cal (the one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the nation) got off more than Maryland, they had the better completion percentage. Looks like Turtle Power was able to throw the Bears off for a game.  

Sad to see American take another bow but it wasn’t like we saw it coming. Villanova wass pretty much playing a home game. Do you think Jeff Jones will be lured away to another team? He’s certainly shown himself to be a contender.

From: Frank J. Lattuca
Subject: RE: RE: RE: Time To Dance!
Date: March 19, 2009 10:45 PM EST
To: p_pho@hotmail.com

Thankfully my brackets are in tact-sure I thought MD wasn’t going to pull of the upset, which is exactly why I put them as winning in my bracket ;-) I’ve learned to go against my gut on close games, and it has worked out pretty well so far.

Yeah Maryland did look good, and Memphis didn’t look so hot in their opener-so the optimistic Terps fan is going to start thinking “Hey-we can do this!” (That’s a CBS message board with some optimistic UMD fans waxing poetic about a possible upset.)

It is this person’s humble opinion that, no, you can’t. Memphis is awake now and will not take UMD lightly. Expect Memphis to come out of the gate running, Maryland to keep it interesting-but never really have a shot at winning. Just saying, you may want to stay in on Saturday night after the Maryland game-lest you get caught up in what seems to be a UMD tradition in College Park-rioting.

And yes, very sad to see American drop the ball against ‘Nova-A gallant effort, to be sure, but ask John Feinstein and George Mason how far gallantry will get you. Still-they had ‘Nova on the ropes for a while and did their school, their fans, their conference and their city (our city) proud. Next year Golden Eagles, next year. They now have a legacy of at least playing tough in the tournament-with last year’s near upset against Tennessee and this year’s “much closer than it looked” game against a Big East power house basically on a home court.

Will Jones leave? I don’t know-he had a good career at UVA before he came to American, and frankly has turned that program right around. Back to back NCAA appearances and Patriot League championships speak highly of his abilities, and he has been there 9 years now. So he’s probably ripe to be picked. I guess it will depend on the offer and his loyalty to American. He’s the winningest coach in their history and so he’s got a nice little set up there, for sure. He might just want to keep doing what he’s doing rather than move on to a project that is too big for him.

Okay must sleep. Long day of basketball…I mean, uh…work….tomorrow.

Daily DC Item: I-66 Gets Wider

"Traffic" courtesy Flickr user mvjantzen

"Traffic" courtesy Flickr user mvjantzen

When I was growing up in Massachusetts I always hated Route 3. It was a two lane  North/South highway that connected New Hampshire and the suburban region where I lived with Boston. It was often packed during rush hour but was much emptier on the weekends.

Moving to Arlington I had the same feelings about I-66- except it’s always in a state of congested. This past weekend I was driving out to Tyson’s Corner and had to sit through the jam packed stretch from Arlington to Sycamore St. Looking at how many cars were out there I know I wasn’t the only one that wasn’t happy with the commute.
So you can imagine how happy I was to see that there has been some steps taken towards a widening of I-66 westbound. Yesterday I read a Washington Post article on the Capital Region Transportation Planning Board’s decision to reverse their original stance and allow phase one of a three phase widening of I-66 to go forward.
Now don’t get too excited, it looks like a completed project is years away but I was happy to hear that somebody is actually trying to do that.

I am a big fan of widening efforts- when that Route 3 road back home added a lane it made a huge difference to traffic. While I don’t think it’s the absolute answer I hope it does make some sort of impact to weekend and non-peak traffic.
What do you think? I’m interested in hearing some of the arguments against.

DC NCAA: And Then There Was One

In case you missed it:

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The city of Washington is without a team in the big dance-despite a great effort by the American Golden Eagles.

However:

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the Washington Area dances on.  U-MD plays #2 Memphis this Saturday, check your local listings for game time.

Oh, and apparently Georgetown lost in the NIT on Wednesday.  You know…if you care at all.

Daily DC Item: Obama Makes His Pick For March Madness

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Pete Souza for ESPN.com

On the day millions stop working and start tuning into the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, I thought I’d let you know that you won’t be the only one tuning in. Tuesday afternoon Obama met with ESPN’s Andy Katz to show America his picks for the tournament. He even said he’ll be keeping track of the scores as the tournament starts up. “I think the chances are high,” President Obama answered when asked by Katz if he’ll be sneaking a peek at the games.

In Katz’s related story on ESPN you can see that President Obama sought council from his cabinet, most notable from Press secretary Robert Gibbs. ESPN even managed to get Obama’s original handwritten bracket so you can keep track of his picks at home. If you want to see all of his picks you should watch the video linked below, however you should know that he has already called out his top pick to, “not embarrass me in front of The Nation.” I wonder what kind of pressure you have to be feeling when The President tells you to win.

All I can say is that Obama is the coolest President ever. However I thought he just as cool when he filled out a bracket last year.

Watch the video of Barack Obama making his NCAA picks!

DC Science Fair – Wow!

pie

The fair was (appropriately) held on Pi day. Pixprops to pauladamsmith on Flickr.

Enrollment in the DC public school system may be down, but participation at the 63rd Annual DC Mathematics, Science, and Technology Fair was clearly up.  As I said last month, I’ve been going to this fair for more than 10 years, and I found this year to be one of the best (if not the best) turnouts I’ve seen.  

The staff was great, getting the projects in the right slots and coordinating the judges.  Even the food was tasty!  The kids were enthusiastic and many were well-versed on some sophisticated topics. Several presented their projects in more than one language, which really impressed me.  I was particularly pleased to see the parents taking an interest in the fair and their kids.  Okay, they did need to get off the floor so the judges could, you know, talk to their kids, but we’ll take interest over obedience any day.

Kudos to the folks from WRAIR who organized it all, the folks from McKinley Tech (which looked great), and especially all the judges who took time to come talk to our best and brightest.  Oh, and check out this bit from the Post for some great pictures!

Daily DC Item: White House Goes Green & Obama Goes Irish

0317091804Some people were drinking green beer yesterday- others were drinking green water.

Well if you were the White House fountain you were enjoying green water, I learned from some a local DC blogger that the White House changed the color of the fountain to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. The story in the Politico today confirms that and also reported more on the part Irish Barack Obama (3.1% Irish!)

Did anyone else see the White House fountain yesterday? I’m sure a lot of you were partaking in other activities or were you?

It is always hard to party when a drinking holiday such as this one occurs during the work week, I was keeping tabs on the posts over at Going Out Gurus where the bloggers encountered a morning of empty bars. They say that maybe the revelers aren’t morning people- and they might not be, but you can’t also factor in the fact the working citizens of DC might have been out if it was on a more convenient day.

The last interesting note of yesterday was Obama’s announcement of his nomination for U.S. Ambassador to Ireland: Dan Rooney, owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I hope he gets the gig and we see a few NFL games over on the Emerald Island.

Crisp & Juicy Holds It’s Own On The Peruvian Chicken Scene

dsc01971It’s official. I am on a Peruvian chicken kick.

After discovering the bliss that was El Pollo Ricoearlier this month, I got a lot of comments from readers including suggestions that I should try Crisp & Juicy. These suggestions came with words such as “better” and “way better.”

Well I couldn’t let the honor of El Pollo Rico be so shamed- and at the same time I am always looking to find good places to feed my indulgences, so I took some time last week to check out Crisp & Juicy.

Even though there is a nearby Crisp & Juicy off of Lee Highway in Cherrydale, I was told that it was worth the extra time to go to the Falls Church location. Well during a “mental health day” last week I did exactly that. The Falls Church Crispy and Juicy had a look that was more similar to the other Peruvian chicken places I’ve seen around town. The storefront resembled what you would expect at any fast-food chain. The shop was empty since I was getting lunch at 2 PM on a Thursday.

I ordered the “Super Platter” because I had a super craving for chicken. The half chicken came with salad, a roll, fries, and a familiar assortment of sauces.

It definitely appeared that the main difference with Crisp & Juicy was with the skin. The outside of the chicken is crusted in an assortment of spices and definitely had a crisper texture. While the chicken itself was very good, I don’t know if it’s better or worse than El Pollo Rico- just different.

What was really good with the platter was the sauces. Their sauce was also creamy but had the strange ability to have a spicy kick- but not leave your mouth hot like other spicy foods. I was dipping fries and anything else I could find in my house with the sauce. This past weekend I went to the Arlington location and found myself eating pretzels with leftover sauce.

After going to the two restaurants I have come to learn the following about Peruvian Chicken:

  • It is truly a good cheap eat
  • No matter where you go- the fries will always be second rate
  • It doesn’t matter if the fries are second rate because the sauce is amazing

I think Peruvian chicken is now a regular part of my weekends- does anybody else have a place I should try?

Daily DC Item: Not Everybody Knows The Washington Monument

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"Washington Monument" courtesy of Flickr user "CrimsonMage"

Can you believe there are some people out there that don’t know what The Washington Monument looks like?

In fact there are, albeit they are probably tourists from outside the United States and tourists that also don’t know who The President is.

I read an article in The Washington Post about plans for a new signage system on The Mall that would help identify the many attractions, everything from the Lincoln Memorial to the Jefferson. While the National Park Service sees the need to help direct and point out these places, the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and local residents disagree.

The article goes through both arguments of the planned improvements, the Park Service would like to make The Mall more accessible for those that visit it, and others feel it may detract and that the landmarks are so famous that identification marks are not needed.

Isn’t it a tad presumptuous to think that everybody knows The DC monuments? Sure if anybody that lived in the city didn’t know these places we’d ask if they have been living in a cave. However we do need to consider that while word of these places have reached many countries and the tourists from these countries that visit, they may not know exactly the location of them or what they look like.

We have to come to terms that those outside the U.S. just aren’t as smart as us when it comes to knowing U.S Landmarks. What do you think?

Daily DC Item: I Still Think Meghan McCain Is Hot

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xm002GGqp74[/youtube]

High School Never Ends.

After taking shots at celebrities such as Kirstie Alley and Jessica Simpson, it appears we must now make criticize bloggers and children of politicians when it comes to, “who’s too fat and who’s too thin.”

Don’t we care more about what they write and less about how they look? I mean is anybody telling Newt that he needs to lose a few pounds? Maybe it’ll give him the edge he needs to take back the GOP from Michael Steele.

Last night I was reading Anne Schroeder Mullins’ post which brought my attention to the story. Apprently radio host Laura Ingram said that blogger and presidential candidate daughter Meghan McCain was, “too plus-sized to be a cast member on the television show The Real World.” McCain has since fought back on her blog over at The Daily Beast and also told Ingram to “Kiss my fat ass” on The View.

As a registered Democrat I will take sides with McCain on this issue, let’s not sink ourselves down to base remarks on appearance. We should be valued for our opinions and ideas, not about how hot we are.

On the flip side, I also disagree with Ingram’s negative view on Meghan McCain’s looks because I actually think she’s very good looking. I blogged about it when I first discovered her during the election. I mean for gosh sakes she has enough trouble as it is with her dating life. If Meghan McCain was reading this I’d tell her that there’s nothing wrong with her.

Are The Nationals a 600 lbs J-Lo Look-a-like?

"Yep-I said it.  For Real"

"Yep-I said it. For Real"

“Why did I sign with the Nationals?” Tavárez said on Sunday. “When you go to a club at 4 in the morning, and you’re just waiting, waiting, a 600-pounder looks like J-Lo. And to me this is Jennifer Lopez right here. It’s 4 in the morning. Too much to drink. So, Nationals: Jennifer Lopez to me.”

I’m sorry…what???  I have to admit when I first read this I thought Deadspin was just messing around-but no it was in the WaPo too.

I really don’t know what to do with this quote-On one hand it’s incredibly sexist and demeaning to a team that just signed him to a contract.

At the same token-he’s exactly right.  What does it say about the Nations team if a fella needs to get drunk and desperate to sign on the dotted line?  Isn’t the Nationals money just as green?  And why would you say that about someone who just hired your stupid “couldn’t get hired” ass?

Of course he’s going to be in the minors for a while, but the good news for the lonely and desperate is that if you are looking to hook up with a MLB player your chances will greatly increase when he gets brought up to play in the bigs.  I’m guessing a lot of weekend sightings at Adam’s Morgan for Mr. Tavárez, and if you the reader, are willing to put aside some self-respect, then you can very easily play on his self-esteem.

In the comments leave thoughts on pick up lines he’d use, pick up lines someone else would use on him and any “make fun of Tavárez when he gets to DC” signage you can think of.

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