Archive for February, 2006

Dogs in DC hotels?

So what do I spy in my San Francisco hotel room but a dog checking in with her owner. A short conversation later I learn this is a common guest in the west. And here I thought that dogs, like smokers, should be kept outside.

Do any DC hotels allow pets in rooms, especially ones as big as Precious here?

Watch Out Arlington Parkers!

If you’re one of those people that definitely wants to take Metro in to the city each morning, but is super confused by the bus system (ok, maybe that’s just me that’s confused) or hate paying for that Metro parking garage each day, watch out for newly increased meter violations.

I’ve never done this myself, and I have to say only because I haven’t thought of it, also because I have a parking spot under my building. If I had to Metro every day I’d most likely be trying to think of ways to scam not having to take the Confuser Bus to the Metro. E9? A14? Sounds more like Bingo than commuting to me… but I also know I’m not willing to pay the new $40 zone-violator rate!

South of the border south of the city

Whenever my darling girlfriend and I drove past Taqueria Poblano we’d say “we should try that place.” This had gone on for two full years before we finally reached our snapping point last weekend and went there for an early dinner. I’m almost sorry we did, because now I think about all those meals I could have eaten there and cry myself to sleep every night.

Okay, not really, but it’s a close one. The food is superb and the prices are reasonable, which is apparently no secret to the people in the Del Ray area; by the time our food arrived the joint was packed. My darling girlfriend pronounced their salsa “the best ever,” an opinion I do not quite share. Part of the joy of a tomato is the texture and TP makes their salsa as finely chopped as it is delicious and I prefer a chunkier style. This is not to say that we didn’t both damned near ruin our appetite eating it and the equally excellent warm chips.

Feel free to bring your lawn apes and rug rats. To judge by the clientèle on the evening we were there they’re exceedingly family-friendly. While we weren’t the only childless couple there, we were one of the few mono-generational tables.

Got Property?

Bubble? Bubble? What Bubble?

Real Estate assessments are up 21% on average. Trinidad is up 47%. Congress Heights up 41%. Median House price in the District is $400,000 right now. But it’s not all painful news, as the homestead exemption’s up to $60,000, and the rate per hundred dollars has gone down to 92 cents, but that does make the annual tax bill on a $400,000 house over $3,000.

I know from personal experience that the assessments went up in Arlington, as I’m looking at yet another net increase in my taxes, though the rates won’t be set until mid April. How’d your assessment go this year?

good morning dc

I love living on the east coast. We are the first to know and do in the nation. The leaders if by time zone alone. Leadership that is magnified whenever I head west.

This morning for example, I went for a long run at 6am before most were even awake. Well those in San Francisco anyway.

DC was already leaving me voice and emails before I made the first mile.

Satellite Radio Tax?!

Virginia’s trying to pass a bill that would add a 5% tax on Cable TV, Satellite TV, Satellite Radio and “Wireless”, amongst other various and variegated other little bits of interest. XM is, of course, up in arms over the whole thing and has asked their Virginia based subscribers to write or call their state Senator.

See, it’s not like XM has physical property in Virginia. Their property is instead floating in space, high above the Earth, sending down radio waves. Those of us who paid for the receiver and subscribe to the service, we get to listen in on good radio. So, why exactly does Virginia think it can tax XM for that? Never understood that… Time to write my politician…

Mardi Gras!

It’s Mardi Gras! Everyone quick hurry up and get your sin on, because Lent’s a-comin’!

Well, here in DC, we’ve got Lulu’s Club Mardi Gras with DC 101 sponsoring, so Elliott is likely hammered and slurring his love for Flounder over on M St. this morning. I mean, can’t you just see him slumped over, barely holding on to some guy’s shoulder, pointing at Flounder and slurring out “I llllloooove you, man,” because, well, I can.

Of course, up in Dutch Country, today is Fasnacht Day, which means that giant hole-less doughnuts are fried in fat, then served with hot coffee and honey. Not too shabby. Of course New Orleans has the only game in town, what with the parades, and the beads, and the drinking, and the nudity.

Happy Mardi Gras Everyone! What are you up to tonight?

Get Human

Unless you are one of these “I don’t watch TV” people, you’ve probably seen the Citibank ad in which the poor guy is desperately trying not to reveal the name of his pet, or his equally embarrassing password, while riding on a crowded commuter train. After finally getting through to a real person, the train hits a tunnel and he loses the connection. In my own frustration with these IVR (Interactive Voice Response) systems, I’ve found that it’s actually easier (and cheaper) to go to the nearest Sprint store in order to solve my problem. So much for the ease of global communications and instant customer service.

Enter gethuman, a community and growing database of tips and tricks so you can learn how to bypass all the crap and talk to a real person quickly. Started by Paul English after a post on his blog landed him on the news and even an article in People magazine, the site claims to be “powered by over one million consumers.”

For you Citibank customers, press 0#0#0#0#0#0# (just one of 400+ entries in the database as of this post).

House O’ Pancake Eaters

Speaking of pancakes… if you’re a carb-inhaler, sugar-craver, or plain old breakfast-yummies frequenter, you’ll probably already know that tomorrow is National Pancake Day. NPD falls on Fat Tuesday, and the friendly IHOP folks are offering a FREE stack of pancakes to celebrate! So, between 7 am and 2 pm tomorrow, get your pancake on at…

Maryland IHOPs.
Virginia IHOPs.

It looks like you’ll have to travel out to Virginia or Maryland, though. No IHOPs actually in the District. What is this about?

On The Matter of Ports…

Lately, there’s been a bit of a tempest in a teapot concerning the purchase of the old P&O Ports company by the Emirate of Dubai, especially given that one of the ports involved is just north of here in Baltimore. The thing is, this whole matter just smacks of racism, and our friends at Metblogs Dubai have a great take on the whole situation.

Given that 70 of the 80 port terminals in the USA are managed by foreign companies, this whole matter has proven that our citizenry, especially out legislatures, are perhaps not as open minded as we’d like to think.

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