Category Archives: DC

As Jesse would say….

I'm Back

 

I know, I know.  It has been way too long.

I have been a little busy over the last year and really just didn’t have a real desire to come back and write…anything…anywhere.

But after a year that has brought about a new job, a new living arrangement and the fun that is “The Beetus”, I guess it was just time to come back.

I will be starting to post frequently once again so stay tuned.

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DC Derecho Aftermath: Quit bitching about your power

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How had most of us gone through our lives and never heard the term “derecho” before? Friday’s storm was insane. I had never seen a storm of that intensity and I will admit that I was pretty freaked out while it was going on.

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Over a million people had their power knocked out. Damage was so widespread that there are a lot of people still without power four days later. With the temperature hovering around the 100 degree mark during the duration, it really does suck for some people out there.

While it blows to not have power, I am getting pissed at these assholes all over any and all newscasts that are demanding their power be restored yesterday. It is as if every channel is going out of their way to find the frumpiest housewives in the area to loudly complain about their respective power company. It is as if they think all it takes is someone from the power company to flip a switch and everything will just turn back on.

It doesn’t work that way. These crews are busting their collectives asses to get power restored.

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It takes these crews a long time, in sweltering and dangerous conditions, to get these repairs done. For example, right down the road from my place there is a stretch of road that was really hit hard. It looks like King Kong burst through the trees and demolished a whole stretch of power lines. (It is this stretch of road where a young guy was killed when one of those trees landed on his car on Friday night.) There have been at least 3 repair crews working on this one area, nonstop, since Saturday morning. They were still there when I drove by there about an hour ago.

3 crews working on 1 block for over 3 days. Consider that more than half of the Metro area had their power knocked out. Now try to figure out the manpower it will take to completely restore power to the region. I can’t even begin to wrap my head around the numbers. I am pretty sure there isn’t this fleet of cherry picker trucks and an army of technicians to man them that are just lying about waiting for a storm like this one.

I keep hearing people complaining about how unprepared the power companies were for this disaster. It isn’t like this was a hurricane where we have 3 to 5 days to prepare for the brunt of the storm. This was a hurricane force storm that developed mere hours before it raged through our neighborhoods. There was nothing they could have done to brace for this.

But as I sit here watching the news it is still nothing but people complaining about the power companies doing nothing. Even though, in Northern Virginia alone, more than 400,000 of the initial 470,000 people without power are back on the grid.

People should be treating these guys fixing their power like the residents of Colorado Springs are treating their fire fighters. Bring them drinks and snacks if they are in your neighborhood, shake their hands and say thank you.

But please, if a news crew from a local TV station is in your face, quit bitching about your “ineffective” power company.

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News of the day: In the summer it gets hot outside

I know it is hard to believe but it really does get hot outside during the summer months.  It seems like 4 or 5 times a day I see that someone posts a picture on Facebook of their car’s thermometer with numbers exceeding 100 degrees.  Guess what gang, this isn’t news to us.  We know it is fucking hot outside.  Unless you are posting this for that one friend that is on some scientific expedition in the Arctic Circle it is not news to anyone.

We all get it.

It’s hotter than a crackhead’s crackpipe out there.

Your car is not 2 miles closer to the sun than everyone else.  The only way I will give a shit about the inside of your car breaking the century mark is if it’s the middle of January and you are driving through the Yukon.  You see, that would be interesting and newsworthy.  But it isn’t when it is the last week of June and you live below the god damn Mason-Dixon line.

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Game of Thrones: Disappointment is Coming!

First, let me start off by saying that I am a fan of both the books and the HBO Series.

The books are second to none when it comes to political intrigue and “WTF moments” in a fantasy setting. And being the nerd that I am, I love a fantasy setting. Granted, each book could be two to three hundred pages shorter if Martin didn’t find it necessary to go into the minutia of what every single character is wearing or eating. I honestly could not possibly care less about every single item of clothing or what is on the buffet table and I don’t think it adds to the story in the slightest. I am pretty sure that you could shave off a year or more of the wait between books if George would just relax a bit on his descriptive diarrhea.

And the TV series is, in my opinion, one of the most perfectly cast adaptations that I have ever seen. Almost every single character is exactly how I pictured in my head while reading. Every set and scene is brilliantly shot and depicted. And just about every actor is delivering their roles flawlessly (the only characters I really have any issues with are Craster and The Hound, but I just think that is because his role has been poorly written and directed and is not the fault of the actor…so far.)

That being said, With last week’s episode, “A Man Without Honor”, we have reached the halfway point of Season 2 and I have to admit that I am disappointed in this season so far. I think that my frustration with this show is entirely based on having read the books before watching. I know that the credits say that the show is “based on” the books but did they have to go with “so loosely based on the books to almost be unrecognizable”? The Dragons get stolen? Really?

I realize that the writers have to cut and/or condense scenes and I have no problem with that, when it fits. For example, the capture of Arya, Gendry and Hotpie by the Lannisters actually works. They pretty much nailed all the key points of 3 “Arya” chapters into one scene. It does leave a bit of the “Arya is a badass” out of the story. But really, does anyone watching the show not think she is freakin’ awesome? So leaving out that bit of the story does nothing to hurt the series.

My problem lies in all the scenes and stories that they are adding to the show or just flat-out changing. This last episode alone had maybe two scenes that were actually in the books. And the whole second season has been like this. I already mentioned the part about the dragons but there are so many others:

  1. Jon Snow and Ygritte –  I can’t help but wonder if this was changed so that Jon will remain heroic and not have to “turncoat” like he does in the book.
  2. Stannis and Melisandre – Pretty much the entire character of Stannis and the “relationship” with Melisandre. There is no way Mr. Holier-than-thou Baratheon is bangin’ that red bitch (even though she is pretty damned hot).
  3. Yarra – The name change of Asha, to Yarra, cause we are just too stupid to tell the difference between Osha and Asha.
  4. Jojen and Meera – I love these two characters and not having them there to educate Bran irks me. Using Osha to embody both of these characters really left a bad taste in my mouth.
  5. Talisa Maegyr – Is this supposed to be Jeyne Westerling? They are setting up this character like it is but if so why did they change the name? I can almost understand the Asha/Yarra change but this one makes no sense. And if she is supposed to be the character of Jeyne then even establishing her on the show doesn’t make sense to me. When she shows up in the books it is a surprise to both Catelyn and the reader and has such far-reaching implications that changing her entrance into the series doesn’t make much sense. I think they should have played up on the betrothal of Robb to one of the Frey girls this season instead. Then, when Jeyne/Talisa shows up out of the blue it would be a surprise to the viewer like it was to the reader.
  6. Qarth – Pretty much every scene dealing with Dany in Qarth is fabrication by the screenwriters. The way things are going in Qarth I am wondering if significant portions of Dany’s story will go untold. Will they leave out the characters of Arstan Whitebeard and Strong Belwas? Will the trip to Astapor and acquisition of The Unsullied not be on the show? It has to be though, doesn’t it? I mean, Astapor is where “Beggar Queen” Dany becomes “Oh No you, didn’t!” Dany.
  7. Harrenhal – Like Qarth, almost every scene so far hasn’t been anywhere near the story in the book. Jaqen H’ghar’s part was rushed and felt nowhere near the badssitude that it did when I was glued to the pages. (Oh and by the way, the recasting of The Mountain is distracting. The actor from Season 1 was perfect. This new Gregor does not have that same menacing feel to his look. Just looks like some tall and skinny dude in armor.) Where is Vargo Hoat and The Bloody Mummers? Gonna be a few pretty important scenes with those guys down the line a bit, just ask The Kingslayer. While all the scenes with Arya and Tywin are great it bothers me that they just didn’t happen like that on the written page. And speaking of Arya…her mantra (Joffrey, The Hound, Gregor, Amory, The Tickler, Polliver, Chiswyck, Weese, Ilyn, Meryn Traunt, Cersei, Dunsen and Raff the Sweetling) should be prominently featured at least once or more per episode and yet I have only heard it once. It is part of what made her my favorite character and hearing those names slowly, one by one, being removed from that list is a highlight of the books for me.

The series is still really good but I sometimes wish that I had not read the books and that I was just watching this show with fresh eyes. But then I see the confused look on Deb’s face every Sunday night before I hit pause so that I can explain all the narative lost on those that watch without the knowledge gained from reading the books. I really hope people who watch the show have someone sitting there with them to fill in all those blanks.

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American Idol: Seriously?

Really?  Spellcheck?

I could even cut them a break if this was a live show…but come on now.

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How do these people get interviewed?

So last night, after watching the preview of Touch (which was awesome btw), we were just in a lazy mood and started watching the news.  And then a story about some guy that is attacking women came on.  The story itself was awful but we couldn’t help but laugh our asses off at the people that they chose to interview.  It is like they found the two biggest cartoon characters they could find and wrangled them in front of the camera.  Check it out…

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Another reason we are going back to Run For Your Lives next year…

Zombie Deb

A little over 3 months ago now, Deb and I were brimming with excitement to get our Zombie on and try to terrorize some runners at the inaugural Run For Your Lives event up near Baltimore. For those that don’t know, Deb and I were zombie volunteers and it was our job to try to “kill” runners during the 5k obstacle course. Unfortunately for us, Deb is the one that got “killed”. What started out as a day of fun turned into a pretty nasty ordeal.

My poor woman was trucked by one of the thousands of runners coming down that crazy hill we were on during the race. What we initially thought was a sprained ankle turned out to be a pretty bad break. The trooper that Deb is, she walked on that broken ankle back to the volunteer’s staging area, through the throngs of partying/drunk people who had finished the run, and to the long line to get on the bus to get back to the car without much complaint. Had our situations been reversed….had I been the one with the messed up leg, there would have been no walking anywhere. One of those bastards would have carted me to an ambulance and I would have been in the emergency room with tears in my eyes. I am a pussy. My chick is not.
It turned out that not only was the leg broken but it was broken so bad it needed to be surgically repaired. A titanium plate and 6 screws were required to hold my girl’s leg in place so it could heal. Luckily she has a great job where she can recuperate while working from home and that she had someone with nothing better to do so I was able to be her live-in care giver. Over the 85 days since her little mishap I have been only away from her for 2 nights: Thanksgiving and Christmas. And over the one night during Thanksgiving she slipped and fell in the kitchen and it was very close to a “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” moment.

But after her surgery and physical therapy, Deb is finally able to put some weight on her leg now. She is still in a boot and on crutches but getting a little better every day. She can now get around using one crutch and she is excited to do things like get a glass of water on her own now. Her leg still swells up like that is it’s job when she is up on it for long but in a week or two she should be out of the boot and back in shoes…and that is making her giddy with anticipation.

If there was one bright spot for Deb during this period of injury it has been when anyone asked her, “So…how did you hurt your leg?” Most people are asking and expecting a typical “slipped on ice” or “missed a stair” broken leg story. And when she gives her, “I was run over when I was a Zombie” response everyone…and I mean everyone…has to dig deeper and hear the entire story. Everyone from the surgeon to her cat’s veterinarian have been amazed by the story and even a few of them have said that they want to go next year. If someone could go through this much shit and still talk about the fun they had it must be awesome.

And pretty much everyone has been on the Zombie bandwagon this holiday season. Deb pretty much had a Zombie Christmas this year. There was the tree covered in Zombie ornaments:

And I think she received Zombie gifts of one kind or another from just about everyone. She got a Zombie plush doll (which is now in her office):

A Zombie cookie jar that, oddly enough, really matches her kitchen pretty well:

And Zombie books, bumper stickers, candy, and car freshener (but it wasn’t the dead body smell we were hoping for):

And just when we thought that the Zombie gifts had stopped rolling in there appeared a package at our front door yesterday. It was a care package from the folks at Reed Street Productions (those nice folks that brought us Run For Your Lives). You see, back in early November I had sent an email to their staff explaining what happened to Deb. In the email I explained that because of Deb’s injury we were unable to stick around after our Zombie shift and try and grab some souvenirs from our experience. I asked if they had anything left from race day that we could have or buy from them so that Deb could have something to frame or put in a scrapbook (the scrapbook that she keeps saying she is going to make but I doubt ever will get made). I had pretty much given up on hearing back from these guys because I sent the email back when they were getting crushed with emails from angry people the week or so after the race. But when we opened the box we found a nice little letter from the RFYL team:

And with the letter there were a couple of race medals that went out to the people that ran in the race, a bit of the RFYL police tape and a little Zombie rescue kit (which is freakin’ awesome) for Deb to add to her Zombie collection at work:

This little gift was unexpected and greatly appreciated.  It really brightened up Deb’s smile yesterday as we went through the box.  While we had both really wanted to come back next year (Deb is just gonna be a spectator and take pictures this time around though) it is the attention to detail and the care that these guys show for their customers/participants that is bringing us back again for sure now.

Thanks Guys!  See you next year.

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What would you do during a Zombie Apocalypse?

Week 6 of taking care of Deb after she broke her leg during the Run For Your Lives event back in October.  She would totally be in the Red area of this pie chart.

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Dr Pepper Ten’s 23 Flavor Combination?

I couldn’t believe it when I saw this commercial the other night:

Dr. Pepper has been around for over 100 years now. A big part of their marketing over those 100+ years has always been that the unique taste comes from a unique 23 flavor combination.  And now they have come out with “Dr. Pepper Ten”, a 10 calorie version of the drink that is supposed to be just for men.  I have no idea why the good folks over at the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group think that a 10 calorie drink is more manly than the zero calories in the already available Diet Dr. Pepper.  The only thing I can think of is that they have modified the 23 flavors to be more mantastic.

So after consulting with several highly trained theoretical faux scientists and spending countless hours breaking down this new beverage to a molecular level, we have determined what those 23 flavors are that make up Dr. Pepper Ten.  As you can see from the results…there is a reason that only men will like this drink.

The 23 Manly Flavors

1.  Bacon
2.  Sweat
3.  Dirt
4.  Football
5.  Old Spice
6.  Steak
7.  Beer
8.  Motor Oil
9.  Sawdust
10. Denim
11.  Fire
12.  Farts
13.  Explosives
14.  Porn
15.  Guns
16.  Socket Wrench Set
17.  BBQ Grill
18.  A DVD Copy of Braveheart and/or The Godfather
19.  Crowbar
20.  A big scar with a good story behind it
21.  WD40
22.  Fresh Cut Grass
23.  And last but not least…Vagina

So go buy some if you think you can handle it.
Pour yourself a nice tall glass with some ice.
Kick back, close your eyes and take a sip….
See if you can taste the manliness.

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Run For Your Lives: 33% of the day was great zOMBie fun.

I wish I could say that the entire day was a blast…but it wasn’t.

Saturday was the Run For Your Lives Obstacle Course Zombie Race. Deb and I had looked forward to this for months and couldn’t wait to get “zombified” and get out on the course to terrorize some runners. (Watch the video at the bottom of the post to see what happened on our day of Zombie adventure)

The basic premise was for runners to navigate a 5k race through various obstacles while also avoiding being “killed” by zombies that would be stumbling or chasing after them. Each runner would start out with a set of flags (a typical flag football belt and flag setup) and the zombies would try to relieve them of said flags as they worked their way through the course.

We were really looking forward to this for months. We spent the night before the race really getting our costumes nice and grimy out behind Deb’s place. We stomped and dragged our clothes through dirt, mud, grass, leaves and puddles to get them that crawled-out-of-the-grave look. Neighbors were really looking at us strange until we explained what we were doing.

The morning of the race we got up extra early and jumped in the car and got on our way. We left 5 hours before our scheduled shift as zombies was to begin. We wanted to make sure we made it the 90 miles with plenty of time to spare so that we could take in the entire experience.

But we were not that fortunate.

We made the first 86 miles with no problem but once we got off the highway the logistical nightmare began. We sat in traffic for nearly 3 hours just to get into the parking area. The parking area was an enormous field of what appeared to be foot deep car devouring mud. Cars were getting stuck everywhere and making navigating to an available spot an adventure.  We had to park so far in the back of the parking area that there wasn’t any mud…but there was 3 foot tall grass to get through instead.

Then, once we found a spot, we had to stand in an hour-long line for the shuttle bus to take us to the event.  By now, we were already beyond our 1pm shift start time.  Without the traffic backup we would have arrived right around 10am…but almost 3 hours had passed and we were just getting on the bus.

And then the bus dropped us off with about a half mile to walk until we reached the check-in area.  Luckily checking in was fast and we were quickly inside the event area and on our way to get into our Zombie gear.

It really didn’t take us all that long to get our clothes changed and rushed through the makeup and blood and grime application process.

Getting into makeup

Getting nice and bloody

And then we were ready to head out to our little hill to try to kill off some runners.

Zombie Deb

The zOMBie

From the moment we stepped onto the course we were having a great time.  Our little area was a hill not to far from the main party area and it was on a pretty severe slope.  The runners would start at the top of the hill and then come barreling down into our group of zombies.  I was slammed into, knocked down and jumped over.  There were also times when I was straight up pummeled with forearms, shoved, punched and kicked.  While we were having a great time stumbling around and trying to grab the flags I do have a few things I would like to ask any future runners to take into consideration:

  • The Zombies aren’t real.  We are just people (like you) out there trying to have a good time.  There is no need to throw punches, stiff arms or knees.  Seriously, the odds that you are going to actually win a prize is so slim that there isn’t really any reason to try and hurt someone volunteering to try and make your race that more enjoyable.
  • Flags on your crotch.  Really?  Do you really think that is going to stop us from trying to grab your flag?  All it did was get all of us zombies together, in an Us vs. Them mentality, and make us want to go after your flags that much more.  After jamming my fingers on about 100 crotch shots I finally decided to go in fist first.  So if I punched you in your junk or slapped you square in the hoo-haw…it is your own fault.
  • Don’t be a cheater.  If your flag gets grabbed just suck it up and move on.  Don’t pick one up off the ground like a little punk.  Also, don’t wrap your flags around your belt, tuck them into your pants or hide them under your low hanging gut and XXXL t-shirt.  Saw so many people doing each of the items above that it was ridiculous.  Have a bit of class.

Even though there were an inordinate amount of dicks barreling down that hill it was still a fantastic time.  The other zombies were making the day so much fun.  That was until Deb had a runner slam into her at full speed and knock her down and out.  She immediately moved off the course saying that her ankle was really hurt.  She was being really tough about it and kept telling me to stay out there and have fun even though I could see she was in some serious pain.  She did take a bunch of videos with the Flip while she was sitting on the sidelines but I felt so bad for her.

After 2 waves of runners had passed and Deb was still hurting we decided it would better to get out of there and make sure her ankle wasn’t messed up bad.  So she leaned on me and we made our way back to the Volunteer shack to see if we could find some help.  We found a couple of nice people who said they were EMTs but I am not really buying it at this point.  Everyone felt that Deb had a pretty bad sprain but we weren’t offered any help other than wrapping up the ankle.

Even though we could see carts zooming passed the doors of the shack every few minutes we were told that they weren’t allowed to give us a lift to the busses to try to make it back to the car.  So we had to slowly start making our way to the busses.  That is a half mile of Deb struggling to take every step and me trying my hardest to carry all of our bags and have most of her leaning on me.  It seemed to take forever but we did make it to the busses and then back to our car.

And after visiting the doctor today we found out that my little soldier did that all on a broken leg.  A broken leg that is more than likely going to have to have surgery to repair.  So yeah, thanks for the help EMTs.

So pretty much, the first third of our day sucked with the traffic and parking situation, the middle third was just awesome and the last third was just ultra shitty.  My poor woman is now going to be laid up for at least a month with this injury and I feel so bad for her.  But this is how cool she is…she said it was all worth it because she loved that middle third so much and she is ready to go again next year.

That is one crazy lady.  And that is why she rocks.

See you again next year Zombies.

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