Tag Archives: DC

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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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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DC Earthquake Aftermath: Rebuilding, One Step at A Time

The Process of Rebuilding Has Begun

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DC Earthquake Devastation Assessment

About an hour ago we had an 5.9 earthquake here in the DC area.  For those of you wondering if we are safe and if we had any damage I have walked around and documented all of the devastation:

The Patio Chairs

The Fallen Soldier

How will I change the channels now?

 

The Poor Little Nationals Hat

 

Angus' Build-a-Bear box will never recover

Recovery will be a painful process but we will endure.

Pray for us.

 

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Winter Classic 2011: Our Roadtrip Recap

What a day for a hockey game!

Bright and early on the first day of the new decade P, Red, Josh and I all climbed into the minivan and headed up to Pittsburgh for the 2011 Winter Classic.  We had been looking forward and planning this trip from the day it was announced that the Caps and the Pens would be playing outside on New Years Day.  To say we were excited would be the understatement of the year (both old and new).

The game alone was enough to have us talking and dreaming about it all year long but over the last few weeks the excitement was amped up a thousand percent.  With HBO’s killer documentary series 24/7 showing the “Road to the Winter Classic” we could barely contain ourselves.  The series started out showing our beloved Caps at their lowest low and the hated Penguins at their highest high.  That first episode was enough to make even the most optimistic Caps fans hang their heads and start to prepare themselves for the fact that playing on the biggest stage the NHL had to offer might not be the best thing at this time.

But thankfully, over the last few weeks, the Caps had started to turn the corner with wins in 4 out of the last 5 and the only loss was the shootout loss to the Pens.  I think that was the first time that I had ever come away with a loss feeling great about the team.  We had outplayed the Penguins for almost the entire game and losing in a shootout (which I still think has no business ending any regular season contest) was fine by me.  We really looked like we were ready to take them on.  The optimism was returning.

Then the weather reports started coming in.  For the week before we were dreading the news and each day the outlook grew worse and worse.  Weather in the 50s and rain in the forecast had all of us banging our heads against the walls.  Was the game going to be able to even be played at all?  After all this anticipation would the game be called off?  Our hourly checks of the weather for the entire week was just getting us more and more nervous.  But then, on New Years Eve, the announcement came that the start time of 1pm had been pushed back to 8pm.  I know I stood up and cheered as I watched the announcement on the NHL Network.  This was the first time in my life where hearing about something I was so excited about had been postponed and it was a good thing.

Not only did this mean that we wouldn’t have to get up at 5am on New Years Day to drive up to Pittsburgh but it meant we would be playing at primetime under the lights.  We were all ready to be asleep by around 10 and ring in the New Year with snores but now we could drink it up and enjoy the night.  We already had a low-key affair planned and we stuck to it but we did have a few more drinks than we had planned and got to see Dick Clark (poor poor Dick Clark.  Dude, you really need to call it quits ringin’ in the New Year on television.  It is quite depressing) pathetically count down as the ball dropped in Times Square.

We were all up bright and early and had smooth sailing all the way up to Pittsburgh. I don’t think I have ever seen P so nervous though.  He was complaining about the butterflies and feeling sick for the entire trip.  The anticipation inside the van was almost tangible.

We were in Pittsburgh for all of 5 minutes before the first verbal assaults started.  We were just standing outside the hotel starting to unload the bags when no less that 6 cars drove by hurling insults at all of us standing around in our Caps gear.  I have never been called a faggot more times in such a short period of time in my life.  But we basked in their taunts and (for the most part) just let them wash over us without firing  shots back at them.

It was quickly apparent that our fears of showing up and being one of a few Caps fans in attendance were unfounded.  Everywhere we looked there were Caps fans.  We were starting to feel like this was going to be something really special and it was confirmed when we read this article in the Post:

“For one weekend in Pittsburgh, it was hard to ignore how much progress the franchise has already made. Washington sports fans are famously thin-skinned about the never-ending fan invasions staged by opposing teams, with Pittsburgh’s Penguins and Steelers particularly enthusiastic trespassers.

On this weekend, though, the streets of Pittsburgh were thick with young Washington area residents wearing red jerseys and chanting for their team. Security employees at the Hofbrauhaus – a downtown bar – said on New Year’s Eve that they had never seen as many visiting fans, for any team, in any sport.

“You can’t turn a corner without seeing a handful of [Capitals fans], on every corner,” said Howard Frame, 38, a Capitals fan since 1986. “You walk into any bar or restaurant and it’s like the Red Army’s invaded.”

And it was so true.  There were Caps fans everywhere.  It was amazing.  Really, it was the first time ever where my chest was puffed out with pride by the fans of my team.  To see this much support for a team that could barely give away their tickets a few years ago was just something that made all of us beam.

We tried to sit in the hotel room and rest up a bit before the game but soon found out that was an impossibility.  We were just too antsy to hang out and do nothing.  So we packed up all our game gear and headed over to the Rivers Casino for the last few hours before the gates opened.  We figured that we could get some drinks and work off a little of our edginess.  P and Red both tried their hands at the tables while Josh and I wandered around with blank stares.  One thing that wasn’t hard to notice though was the amount of Caps jerseys in the casino.  In every direction you looked there were friendlies.  It was great to be able to walk around behind enemy lines with your gear on and really not have to worry about being jumped by some drunk Pens fan.  There were just too many of us…we were everywhere.

We all had a feeling that the hockey gods were on our side even before we made it into the Casino.  As we were making our way up the parking garage to find a place to park they closed off the 7th level on the car right before us.  So we followed behind a the Victory Security Guard up to the 8th level of the garage which just happened to be the Red level.  So we followed Victory to Red 8.  This game was going to be ours.

Soon it was time for the gates to open.  We went back to the van and packed on our winter gear in anticipation of the falling temperatures and then headed over to Heinz Field.  The walk over was filled with good natured banter back and forth between the fans from both teams and everyone was in a great mood.  It was actually quite impressive how well everyone was behaving.  For the most part the Pens fans were cordial and the Caps fans weren’t as “dicky” as most of the visiting fans are when they come to DC.

Game time was so close we could taste it.

We made our way to our seats and could not have been happier.  They were really great seats and as we looked around we noticed that our section was dominated by Caps fans.  Awesome.  As the crowd slowly made their way to their seats we could see Red everywhere.  Every section had big red blotches mixed in among the black and blue Pens fans.  And when the National Anthem was being sung it was readily apparent that we were there in force.  The “RED” shout seemed louder than it ever does at Verizon.

I think that my voice was already starting to go before the first period was even half way gone.

When Erskine and Rupp dropped the gloves, all 68,111 screaming fans were on their feet.  When Erskine beat up on Rupp and made him quit the fight by calling in the linesman the entire Caps contingent exploded.  But when Malkin scored so quickly into the 2nd period the Caps fans were quickly drowned out by the bloodthirsty Pens fans.

But scores by Fehr and Knuble before the 2nd was out had the Caps fans going absolutely nuts.  And we never looked back.

What we really couldn’t believe was that Styx was playing between the 2nd and 3rd.  Styx?  Really?  That is the band that Steelers fan’s use to get pumped up on game day.  Wow.  I mean, I guess it works but Wow.

When Fehr got his second of the night in the 3rd period on a breakaway the game was pretty much over.  The only thing left to do was wear out what was left of my voice cheering as loudly as I could.  It was great to look around and see all of the Pens fans with that dejected look that we are so used to when playing these guys.

Even the 3 hours it took to get out of the parking garage after the game couldn’t put a damper on our spirits.

Can’t wait to watch that final episode of 24/7 on Wednesday.  Even if I wasn’t a fan of the Caps this would have been such a great series.  The team that was just painful to watch in the majority of the first two episodes comes back to beat up on the NHL darlings in the final episode.  This is what great sports movies are made of.

Even the food tasted better after that win.  My Steak, Potato, Eggs and 2 orders of Bacon were just delicious at the Cracker Barrel as we drove home.

Here is to hoping that this New Year is as good as that first day.  Let’s Go Caps!

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Caps vs Flyers: How Suite It Was…

Last minute changes in plans last night lead Deb and I to a whole lot of fun at the Verizon Center.  P and Red called me up and let me know that he had a couple of extra tickets if we wanted to go to see the Caps play the Flyers last night.  We weren’t all that sure if we wanted to ditch our existing plans and go at first… that was until P explained the tickets to us.   The tickets that he had were for a suite that were given to him from Mrs. Boudreau (the coach’s wife for those of you who don’t know).  So once we heard about the suite we decided that going to a Caps game and having our own little box was a chance that wasn’t going to come around every day so we had to go for it.

P’s job as a bartender at one of the better restaurants in DC pays off so many times and I have no qualms with enjoying the fruits of his labor.  I really do think this was the night where I became to spoiled to enjoy going to a hockey game in any other way.  Being able to stand up when you want to, walk around when you want to and have our own bathroom was just too good.  Seriously, the Caps scored a goal and I just had to run to the can and I was back in my seat in about 45 seconds.  That is priceless.

The game was an incredible one even though we didn’t come away with the win.  But the Caps were on the backend of back-to-back nights and they looked pretty sluggish for most of the game… especially Ovechkin.  I don’t think I have seen him look much worse.  Usually leaving a game with a loss feels bad but in this case I was actually happy that we left with at least a point.  And you don’t get many more exciting games.  Coming back from down 3-1 to tie it and then coming back to tie it again at 4…it was crazy, crazy stuff.  I still haven’t regained all of my voice.  We didn’t look particularly good in the shoot-out but hey, a point is a point and we are still in First place…so it isn’t all bad.

But we really had a great time at the game.  So thanks for having us hitch a ride for the fun, P.  Hopefully there will be at least one game this season where there isn’t a kid sitting right next to us so you can let all of the F-bombs fly without the dirty looks that accompany them.

Lets Go Caps!  Only 41 days until the Winter Classic.

Watching the Game From the Suite

The View from the Suite

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The Best of The Rally To Restore Sanity/Fear

What a beautiful day for a Rally down on the Mall.  You could not have asked for better weather to be out and about with a couple hundred thousand of your closest friends.  So how could Deb and I pass up the opportunity to be right down in the middle of the fun.  There were so many people down there that at times it really felt a bit claustrophobic.

While we didn’t actually see the stage…we did hear Ozzy singing Crazy Train.

This is as close as we could get to the stage (the part in color)

But we really didn’t care about getting to see the stage.  We were just there to be part of the awesome event with the better half of our nation…you know, the ones not in the same general area for the Hatemonger Rally a couple months back.  The whole vibe was just something special.

The signs that people were carrying were just awesome and here were some of the best that we saw down there…

Fear the Amish

 

The cake guy and his kid
The Big Sign
The Hell Beast
Touch Myself and The Witch
Where The Heart Is
Mario
Praise Cheezus
My favorite sign
She wants Jon to stick it in her
The end isn’t as near as we thought
Any chance to bash Beck is fine by me

I think my favorite groups of “protestors” were this Star Wars trio.  Is it wrong that I find Han Solo really kinda sexy?

And then my other favorite were the Zombies:

But my favorite pics of the day were of the Superhero taking a break from his hard life of fighting crime to just come to DC and take a minute or two to himself:

And then, of course, the one of my lady:

Yeah, yeah…I know, pure cheese.  But it is true.

It was a great day though.  Kudos to you Mr. Stewart and Colbert for a great day out on the Mall.

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