Friday, January 30, 2009

MARC it to the Market

What did I do with those two snow days? Well, Tuesday, I was just about at school by the time I got the news- it only started to snow around here at 9am. But I continued to school to see if I could get some work done. Concerned that the train might slip up, I took that 80 all the way home- seeing no H1. Yet, we went out to the Fortune Star buffet near White Flint. An easy 30-minute Metro ride, and just around the NRC complex- 1 block. Great food, Great price.

And on Wednesday, after a nail-biting minute or two while turning on the computer, I found out I was redeemed for another day. So what do I do? Take a MAryland Rail Commuter train to Baltimore- a little of a rush to get on. Nice conductor, did not charge $3 surcharge. I guess that's kept for the bumps on a log who just lounge inside the train for 20 minutes. SO monstrous thuds were heard as peals of ice came off the roof. Seabrook was the first station outside the DC Metro. In less than an hour, the train pulled into Penn Station, and down the little stairway to the lightrail. Nice, clean, and pretty empty. Lexington Market for lunch. Nice place on the weekends. Sort of sad on weekdays. After 20 minutes, a lightrail came to take me downtown. Camden Yards en route to Cromwell. Very icy and cold. Stopped at two hotels on the way to the harbor. Harbour iced and frigid, and all was for $$$.Balt. Tower? $5, Aquarium? $30. Exactly. But at least Barnes and Nobles at the power plant was free. Mother did not like the place this time of year (she thought it was a clone of Norfolk), so we got out of this town on an earlier MARC.

So... when one travels to Baltimore, free entertainment is spread out!

And when school was back in session, I was told, "Snow days are for you to stay home!" Whatev.

Snow Forecast
At the unbiased mercy of an egghead in Rockville, snow accumulated and frozen water on Monday night will ensure a closing on Tuesday. That is, if the weatherman is right.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Snow Day

SNow Day- and a texas hold em day just now. Buffets and such.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Presidential IQ

It's just too bipartisan- ranges for Bush the 2nd range from a paltry 91 (low-average) to 125 (above average). And many presidents were over 150- which should be a rarity- Nixon at 155, JFK at 174, and Clinton at 182--or, according to some, a significantly lower 137. And everyone's been wondering at Obama. The staunch Republican put Obama at 116 based on his LSAT guesstimation- an IQ just above average. Actually, many think he is the smartest president ever.

The thing about Bush Jr. having exactly 1/2 of Clinton's intelligence may be just a political hoax, according to reports.

To my knowledge, no official data or records have been released or sleuthed.and IQ's don't measure performance- Reagan measured in at 105.

It just doesn't work.

Whups--- what bad journalism. Based on scientific fact, his IQ is probably between 105 and 125. He just didn't act it. I said these #'s were biased!

Sunday, January 25, 2009


My legs are tired, and my head is tired. My gait has gone awry, but some sleep should do the trick. It has to do with all the weaving, I think. Well, it's off to bed.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Whitetail Report

Well, I'm sort of tired now. But I went on a ski trip to Whitetail, one of three resorts around here. The cost was covered, less $40, by that brunch about 2 weeks ago. The place is 17 years young, with major improvements fresh for this year. The facilities were very nice, but holding a near-monopoly grip on the lucrative DC ski market (did you know lift tickets cost <$100!?). There's only 2 others. Well, we split into two groups- those who have skied, and those who haven't. So as a morning treat, we went up to a blue trail. Soon, after frantic weaving slowing measures, I lost control and performed a whiteout to avoid serious injury. The leader was on me like a hawk. So I was saying that this was not my morning coffee, he nevertheless had me come down, occasionally slipping out of the skis, and tripping over the pole. Somehow, I made it down, and headed for the relaxing bunny slopes. There were two lifts- a quad and a u-me double. For some reason, the quad was frequently stopped for the twinkie who left the lift the wrong way. Actually, it was poor exit design. But there were no problems on the intimate double. So that was fun. But quickly, it was lunch time- packed- would I pay $4 for a soda!?!?! So then it was up to the advanced greens and easier blues on a quad. Yet, it was sort of icy, and the weave-slowing, a time and energy consuming process, was required from losing speed control (as what happened on the shock starter in the morning). And it was 5pm, and time to go. Somehow, in the dark at 6:30pm, I fell asleep. And conveniently, I woke up inside the Beltway.

PS- I recommend the slope for snowboarders- they seemed to thrive on the rough conditions and steady downward gradients.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Obama and the NPS

So the magical moment came, and before the poet spoke, people left. Or at least they tried. All the people encaged from 7th back to 12th were routed through one open gate link. Riots? Against Bush for supposedly stealing the election? Yes. Incompetent management? SURE!! Not against Obama, though. SO the 12th street gate was locked and deserted (It was supposed to be an open station at Federal Triangle!!!!) and there was the arduous task of getting to the 14th street gate. It was crowded, to say the least. We got around the johns, which were being used as barricades. However, the line was stopped solid. So reverse, and come around the other side, where people were sliding through the crack to the Washington Monument area. Stationed cops prevented access to the 14th st. bridge, and all gates to Constitution sealed off by IMF_grade tower barricades. So at least it opened up at that point. Getting through the next gate at 17th- no access north, though. Past that point, there was easy egress towards the Foggy Bottom Station. Well, by the time I got to a Metro Station, I was already so close to home.

WHEW! Time to warm up those chilly hands and toes.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama and The Bad Song

I might have been hunkered at home, with the viral online video attributed to the GOP (not necessarily Republicans or Conservatives) running. Barack the Magic Negro, playing in a repeated fashion while red-washing the wall, lamenting the butterball cronies who are losing their jobs today. Turning off the TV at 11:50am to not see change.

But I got down to 7th street, the demarcation for the non-ticketed zone (after 6:30am), at about 8am, and waited a long, long time until the concert started- the replay from Sunday. But it was something to kill time on the Jumbotron. Then, at about 10:00am, the choir sung, and the dignitaries for life piled in (that is Capitol Hill- if you get elected one and don't do something too stupid- such as b.t.m.n., you have a job for life). So then there were all the retired presidents that still breathed- Carter and Bush HW(ages 84), and Clinton and Bush W(ages 62). at just before noon, Biden was sworn in. A few minutes after noon, Obama was sworn in. I thought it was to average the time to noon- but it was just that my watch was off.

Another great speech by The Man, after which exit was of utmost need.

As the Governor (and Barack pal) pronounced, Old Virginny is Dead. Yes, that song with racist connotations, sort of like the "Magic Negro" incident, was removed as state song about 10 years ago. But Cheney is moving to his new ranch in McLean. Of corse, it takes a while to wipe something out completely.

Monday, January 19, 2009


In the "90210"- stereotyped county of Montgomery, there was an official county MLK day concert, as all pc places have. Dr. Samadari's Orchestra, the DMYOP from Suitland, was one of the performing groups. That was me there, too, and just before the happy clappy Chinese performance. I missed out on part of the action, the awards ceremonies, but got back in time for the Howard Univ Choir- great soul.

Yes, there were a lot of county-elected officials there, as well as the House Rep for the area.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Wine Cooler

I have no use for it. Neither does the family. A neighbor decided he/she did not want their barely-used "Wine Enthusiast" in the potter's field. SO that's when I adopted it, only on the fact that it isn't a worthless thing- about $250. SO, since it's out of the box, but otherwise unused, I concurred that $95 is not a bad price to get it off my hands. Now I have to get to ebay...

PS- it's a 28 bottle model with stainless steel trim, and there is no law saying that people under 21 can't own one- it's just that they don't/

I Saw Him

Receiving a call at 12:35am must have been a traumatic experience. But someone had to answer that 3am phone call. Yes, I did speak coherently for 2 min 24 sec, and regretted not turning off the cell phone before sleep. Then, I wake up, and didn't really remember that I answered the phone during sleep.

And then, today, I saw Him. It was at the concert on the Mall, and He came out and spoke to us. It was another fresh speech of change. And I was there live, and caught it on video. He was The Barack Obama, and I heard him live, and saw him over the jumbotron.

And that brings me to last Sunday. As was religious duty,it was church at 7:45 am. That meant being woken at 7:30am, just with a mere 41/2 hours of sleep. THen came the task of cooking the eggs again. Soon, it was time to serve. The mimosas offered some comfort to the diners, but we were running slow. But we caught up, and I was transferred to the unglamorous task of dishwashing. And you get paid <$6.50/hour for that!? That's life, I suppose, as a comfortable desk job rakes in 3x as much or more. So I had to deal with the unwieldy equipment, and the cumulative amount of spray soaked my outer shirt. Well, the job was done by 1pm, and I had the chance to join the others and dispose of the balloons, i.e., shove them into the new elevator. Our church, like many others, joined the fad of building new buildings. Ours was completed only about last month, and the rooms were still unoccupied. I felt like an explorer roaming the winding staircases and sloping halls and mezzanines, untouched to suited men. SInce we had done so much, the rest of the mess was cleaned up later.
Boy was I tried come Monday Morning. TG for tomorrow's holiday.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

My Awesome Church Adventure, Part 3

With 200 balloons, we had to do something with the 150 that weren't strung on the wall or placed on the table. So we threw them down in the new, just-varnished atrium, and played slow-mo volleyball with them. That burned enough time until 1am, when we then pulled out a hardcore gamer's X-Box. I had again surpassed my record on self-wasting.
I can't remember the name, but I was like HALO- totally violent, but it's the type of raunchy material the Army loves to hear about- Can you believe that the point and shoot techniques in HALO actually help real-life gunmanship? So curfew was 1:45, then 2, then 2:15. By the time I was asleep,and small-talking about sometimes hateful people at school it was 3.

Friday, January 16, 2009

My Awesome Church Adventure, Part 2

Over supper, which was a snazzed up frozen lasagna, with those brownies that make life worth it, we were fed a pop quiz on what we learned over the past five months- indeed, I got the second highest score, at 60% (top was 65%). Since we all talked, we all zeroes, and the curve brought us all up to 100. Then, we got to expend our breath on blue and white balloons while having a kitchen reality show to see who could make the best hollinadaise sauce.Blowing balloons- gotta remember to blow from the abs. My sauce came out just by the book, until the yolk started to turn into scrambled eggs. And I never knew one could burn butter. The thing didn't come together correctly- lumpy texture. Burn.

Somehow, it was midnight.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Miracle on the Hudson

We interrupt the regular programming to bring some inside details about US Airways Flight 1549-

Lower heights of buildings north of 96th street allow planes to take the U-turn described on graphics. The plane did not come perilously close to the GWB at 181st street. LGA is located at about the place of 125th.

The most famous water landing disaster was the 1982 AirFlorida flight 90 on the Potomac River. The Floridian pilots did not understand what ice was---it actually happened about this time of year, 27 years ago. Only 6 people survived the wreck, 1 of them died before leaving the water. The bridge that was partially damaged by the plane was named after him- The Arlene D. Williams 14th Street Bridge.

Differences exist- the AirFlorida pilots were incompetent and lacked much brain ("regulations and deicing are just regulation"; "We don't have enough thrust", Nah, we'll dodge that bridge"). The USAIR pilots were attentive, and understood geography- Teterboro, with a short but salvageable runway was an option they crossed out in 15 seconds- they judged it to be too far, and executed a rarely successful intact-fuselage water landing- as commonly seen on those safety cards. A full aircraftSunCountry now flies from Dulles, a no-brainer beginner's airport with ample space to correct mistakes.

With by-the-card evacuation and a rapid rescue, an unprecedented 155 people escaped with the most serious injury a broken leg.

Miracle on the Hudson seems like a plausible name for a new ACI.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My Awesome Church Adventure, Part 1

Just a briefing:

Pop Tarts for those 5-minute lunches are great.
On such a meal, it was a Main House supervictory- undefeated in every qualifying game in volleyball. Well, we did falter on championship game 2, and it was looking sad, "If you don't want to hit the ball, then don't be on the team". The tough love that was used surely secured victory rather than the normal rotation that forces good players out as often as the bad. Main pulled off the 3rd game to be #1.

So Saturday, 2:15 pm. I just got back from orchestra as I ran and packed bags. I siad I would be there at 2:30pm, so I had to rush. Well, I got there at 3pm, but that was fine anyway, as I had the alibi of having to scour the church for the group. Yes, they were already hard at work in the kitchen. After some stop-and-go moments, the kitchen was at full swing for two hours, poaching 220 eggs in six small pots, one at a time.

So the survivability rate rolled around 87%, much better than the previous 50% of 2007, including breeched yolks, and one-eyed monsters that lost their albumin in the pot. The time passed quickly by...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Travel Around for Cheap

Before I get to what I did last night, which will take a while to explain, I want to get these points off the top of my head

Skybus failed about 14 days too short. At that later date, what Skybus shocked the world with (no free checked luggage or pillows) became standard practice. That's just bad timing then.

Gishigo really doesn't work for squat. I tried on multiple occasions, but "it don't work". If you want to actually find a ride somewhere in America, Craigslist is a good place to look. You can get trips to the ordinary busable distances (under 500 or so miles)with people who do not want to be hit by a barrage of surcharges on a plane or several when riding a hound (Can't sue me, hee hee).Or you can go all the way to Canada, California, or Mexico (just see what pops up under the nyc craiglist). I suppose most of these people selling seats are normal, but as a prudent law school grad student said: I'm not promising anything, but no drugs or minors or anything else illegal.

One caveat: bring plenty of cash (or a simple credit card)for airfare home!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Wet Socks and Lots of Essays

It rained a lot on Wednesday. In fact, it was just so wet it was a downer. Not to mention it was just above the freezing mark- exactly. Terrible news for drivers- patches of black ice rather than a day to avoid all ice at simple terms, a snow day would have been better for society. And then lots of essays that took me away for the past two days...

So then, after burning out, I took the 80 all the way home from school- it was a 1 hour 5 minute went fine until New York Avenue on North Capitol. Just a lot of red lights. So I arrived at 25+Virginia and sort of regretted it, until I found out about the Red Line- just a minor track dinky that broke camel's back...I do applaud Metro about how fast they do resolve these problems when they happen.

Blue skies for miles tomorrow, I think.

Here I am posting on random forums

"Is this even constitutional? While congress has full power over DC, I don't think that they have the authority to close roads in Virginia for this purpose. And anyway, Rich Joe wants to get from McLean to a party in Palisades. He normally would use Chain Bridge, but now he must use the American Legion, wasting let's say a gallon of fuel and lots of harm to the environment. PS-Metro is not an option for Rich Joe, yet.

But on the upside, Congress wanted a transit-oriented city by the early '70's. In the chance that forcing people out of their cars at the suburban stations and onto the one-day BRT and Metrorail works, we might have an utopia. However, it won't work for the long term. DC People are Americans at heart."

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

My Escalator!

I am happy to report that the central exit escalator at the Foggy Bottom Metro Station is now back in commission, as of 5pm, serving streetbound passengers with a smooth ride. For some reason, this specific escalator has drawn attention from the press from sources such as the Northwest Current to the Washington Post Express. Now will there be freezing rain as promised tomorrow, specifically in MoCo land? Some of us sure do. (That's Montgomery Co, MD- it doesn't pop up in the search engine)

So in the mild chilly rains this afternoon, I frosted my hands and dirtied my suit as I measured water levels. This lab better come out good for the toils of dedication:)

Monday, January 5, 2009

A lonely CD

When sending big files just won't work... we have to revert to IP over messenger disk.

The technology existed in the late, late 1990's, but the fun has never been greater. In our new times of broadband internet, and those mp3 and sd cards and stick drives, the fun of sticking in a CD -and maybe it self-ejects when done, is lost. Yet, it can be recreated relatively easily. Copy your files. Make a music video. Trade the freedom of press around. But... don't copy my bloggy!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Tommorow is the day (did I spell it right?)

Fact: School starts again in less than nine hours.
I get to find out a lot of the exam grades, and get a lot of assignments. But, going through the big, heavy bag, I realized that I would be bearing that burden as I will run in the dark towards the station. Well, well, to get to sleep earlier than recently.

Oh, and I should review again the History reading- the socioeconomic conditions at the Enlightenment.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

FIlm Day

It totally sounds reminiscent of the classic blog post of the $500 in coins going to the bank, in my younger and more vulnerable years, but I had to relive the past. So when Walgreen's came out with the awesome offer of 10 cents per print, digital or old-timer film. Well, since it got so expen$ive in recent times ($6.95 and such), a lot of rolls of film, dating back as much as 5 or 6 years, got stacked up on the shelf. Eventually, we would get them printed. Now the chance had come. At 10 am, we sent over 13 rolls of film. With one hour processing at the rate opf $2.40 a roll, this job was done quickly, and with excellent prints, considering the age of the film, we sent another 20...this afternoon, another 11. In all, 44 rolls, adding up to the grand sum of $105.60. Blue folders filling two large bags...It'll take a long time to admire those last generation of film prints. That's just the price of procrastination in photography.

Link from JMAG

ipolomac43's Christmas video

Friday, January 2, 2009

Journalism in Print

The print version of Jangoo Publications. I've been toying with the idea of a free publication. Yes, all the daily newspapers are failing, but some are succeeding. Anyway, with the new newseum, it's sort of inspirational. Actually, I was in a very creative mood today. Planes and aeroships and the whole works.

JMAG is coming out soon.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

For those who love to eat and see chickens

It's about 7pm in Silicon Valley this waning first day of 2009. In 19 days, the popular president elect will actually become president, and we will plant a bush back in Texas.

Sorry, the rest of this is not too vegetarian-friendly The fact that I acknowledge this is a good thing on the step to so-called ending cruelty.

On the subject of the day, chickens.
The chicken at Chick-Fil-A was quite superb as always. TGIT, and not Sunday!
At the quite new Dulles Town Center, I saw an unusual take on a calendar- Chickens
And I saw a chicken at the last farm between the Beltway and Leesburg.
Trying to find a BP (for which we have a rewards card valid until Saturday), we stopped at Boston Market to pick up dinner. The second chicken came for just $1.99. The chicken was indeed superb- the nicely browned skin and all. I recommend them too.