November 26, 2003

This weekend, we'll just be hometown SOBs

The cast, crew, management and interns that make DC SOB possible are going home for Thanksgiving weekend, so don't expect any new material until Monday.

Happy Turkey Day!

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It's 1972 all over again

Republicans are stealing Democrat's internal documents. At least they aren't using Cubans with crowbars any more.

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November 25, 2003

More Metrocheck whoring

You know, I think people are getting too many of these things at work.

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Down the memory hole

Do you find it just the least bit odd that the Baltimore Sun still has composite photos of the white box truck on its sniper full coverage page?

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Those crazy NoVans

So Herndon won't approve a property tax increase to extend Metrorail through Tyson's to Dulles and Reston. Why? Hurt feelings.

Frankly, I don't understand most people from Northern Virginia. Most are either antitax nutjobs who wonder why they sit in traffic for three hours a day or they're addicted to the so-called safety of their massive residential compounds, too afraid to venture into the city. Then there are the nice ones, who are few, far between, and usually spend their time on my side of the Potomac, where I meet them.

That being said, there are three (and only three) reasons to go to NoVa.

1. Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse
2. Trader Joe's sells beer and wine
3. Dixie Bones BBQ in Woodbridge.

Best Buy and Ikea used to be on that list, but since other branches opened in Tenleytown and College Park respectively, there's no need to plunge into the gray sprawling morass.

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November 24, 2003

Observe their strange culture

Did you know that Florida has its own embassy in Washington? I suppose it makes sense, seeing as that they have their own unique election system that bears no resemblance to our own.

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Name games

Here's a good editorial in an Oregon newspaper proposing the Memphis Grizzlies and Utah Jazz switch names so as to better reflect their hometowns.

In Washington, we have our own NBA name problem, created when the Washington Bullets became the Wizards -- some PC jerks decided the old name hit too close to home.

No matter the justification, the new name just doesn't work. What we need is a more realistic name, but one that's inspiring and appropriate to the area.

What says "support the troops" and "we never win" better than the Washington Generals?

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November 23, 2003


14th and T St., NW

Without the illustration, I would have had no idea what they were getting at.

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Tax reform in VA

Considering the fact that Northern Virginia politics is a wholly owned subsidiary of the developers and the rest of the state resembles Alabama, where a similar tax reform plan failed miserably earlier this year, I'd say Gov. Warner's big plan is Dead on Arrival.

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November 22, 2003

DCSOB Top 5 list

From the home office in Northwest DC: Top 5 congressmen whose names would also make good band names:

5. The Shelley Moore Capito Experience
4. Obey
3. Shimkus
2. The Ruppersbergers
1. Oberstar

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November 21, 2003

Temporarily Offline

Due to technical difficulties with our host, DCSOB has been down for most of Friday. We will continue to provide updates over the weekend. Thank you for your understanding.

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Readers Poll

Fundamentalist Christian cartoonist Johnny Hart has faced some flack for incendiary and insensitive cartooning in the past. Is he up to it again? Or are people just reading to much into an innocent (and not very funny) cartoon? Berkeley Breathed agrees with the former, Garry Trudeau, the latter.

What do you think? Let us know, and then check out the Washington Post article.

Posted by cs at 8:33 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

November 20, 2003

WAMU deep in the hole

Our local public radio station is deep in the red. I'll take this opportunity to publish my wish list for the station, couched as honest concern for the station's future. WAMU needs to do these things to survive:

  • No more bluegrass.
  • No more early musical recordings.
  • No more mid-century theatrical radio.
  • Instead, give people what they want on weekends - replay "Car Talk," "This American Life" and "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me," later in the day, when people are actually awake.
  • Give Kojo a music show. I think it'd be good - as long as it doesn't feature bluegrass.

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Living in the past

Did you ever wonder why the Washington Times, founded in 1982, has a Civil War section?

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November 19, 2003


What a great pick-up line. Not.

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November 18, 2003

Muhammad Guilty

The verdict surprised me. I was sure it was two caucasians in a white box truck. Share your sniper memories in the comments.

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November 17, 2003

More Beltway barbs

Check out this barely-literate letter to the editor of a Salt Lake City newspaper about plans to store nuclear waste in the Utah desert:

"If Washington, D.C., were a part of Utah, President Bush would be totally against it. He would probably do everything in his power to stop it from happening. What did Utah do to deserve this punishment?"

Like, totally. Maybe if more people chose to live in the land of 3.2 percent alcohol beer and more Mormon missionaries than you can shake a red pitchfork at, it might not be so attractive as a place to stash nuclear waste. Read the whole letter -- it's hilarious.

Posted by rj3 at 11:13 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

20 Second Museum Review - The National Building Museum

I had a chance today to re-visit the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. We'd headed down there to visit one specific exhibit: Up, Down, Across - Elevators, Escalators, and Moving Sidewalks, which chronicles the development and impact of people transporters across the last hundred years.

The National Building Museum is housed in the former Pension building directly across from the Judiciary Square metro stop. It's a beautiful building and worth a trip down just to see the structure. It rivals the architecture of the old-style train stations, with a wide open main concourse and stunning balconies. Exhibitions range from architectural studies to the history of WMATA to tool-inspired art. For anyone interested in planning, policy, and transit, it's a must-visit museum.

Admission is a suggested donation of $5.

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November 16, 2003

20 Second Bar Review - HR-57

1610 Fourteenth Street NW

I'm hesitant to dub HR-57 a bar, that's selling it short. It's full name is HR-57 Center for the Preservation of Jazz & Blues, and it may be the only non profit club in the area. Named for the House Resolution passed in '87 designating jazz a national treasure, HR-57 deserves to be recognized for the local treasure that it represents.

Come for the music (they've got the best jazz open mike nights in town), sample a small selection of beer, wine, and food or bring your own.

Wobbly tables and booths only add to the atmosphere. Don't want to sit too close to the performers? Have a seat in the back and play a game of chess.

Above all, visit HR-57, don't let it become a victim of Logan Circle's transformation.

And as you leave, expect to hear a sincere, "See you next week," from the staff.

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NIMBY, simply

Why must liquor licenses be a constant issue? The Post has a story about Adams Morgan's Blue room's problem selling enough food to get a restaurant license. In Washington, restaurant licences is harder to get than bar licenses, since neighbors put up more of a fight when a bar moves in. To maintain that license, "restaurants" have to sell a certain ratio of food to booze, a standard which might change to minimum annual food sales per seat.

Blue Laws and their bar permit cousins are an anachronism, a centuries-old sop to temperance activists. If people want to live in a place where entertainment is at their door, they shouldn't act so surprised when it's noisy at night. I agree that their is a problem with Adams Morgan. I once lived there and had to deal with it on occasion. I don't go up there as often as I used to because the Bridge & Tunnel crowd is very often out of control. Most people are perfectly capable of drinking in large groups, but there are some people who can't, and that's the problem, not the presence of bars. The police are hesitant to do anything except talk amongst themselves, lest they cause a panic.

What should be done: First of all, close 18th Street to car traffic on weekends. Too many people cruise it at slow speeds and walk in the street, so traffic slows down to a crawl. People sit on the cars parked on the street, which is a always a fight waiting to happen when the car's owner shows up. Put up a garage somewhere, and tell people to take Columbia Road.

In addition, bars need to be better neighbors. Bartenders should cut people off earlier and bouncers should refuse entry to people who are obviously too drunk.

And while I'm at it, liquor stores should be open on Sundays and supermarkets should be allowed to sell beer.

Posted by rj3 at 1:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 14, 2003

Slots for naught

Maryland Gov. Bobby Ehrlich thinks slot machines at racetracks around the state (including Prince George's County) will help reduce the state's defecit. Here's an example of the perils of this plan, writ small:

One of Hobson City’s primary revenue sources is dropping by more than half. Attendance has been slacking at I-20 Bingo, decreasing the city’s revenue from the operation from approximately $2,000 a week to $700 a week, Pyles said.

That shortfall adds up to $67,600 a year, or about 10 percent of the city’s $698,720 budget. Pyles said the decreased revenue will force budget cuts and he encouraged council members to consider ways to increase revenue.

What do they do now? Ask people to gamble more?

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Stuttering captions

Look at today's Express, page 12, bottom picture. The caption reads:

"The same heavy winds that hit the District blew over this truck to be blown over on the Severn River Bridge along route 50 near Annapolis, Md. on Thursday."

That's not a typo. On my part, at least.

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November 13, 2003

Why we don't need baseball

First of all, don't get me wrong -- I'm a dedicated baseball fan who went to games all the time back home and I'd probably go if they were in Washington, too. Nevertheless, I don't think we should have a professional baseball team here. Look at the Milwaukee Brewers, who bilked the city for a new stadium, slashed the payroll and are usually languishing in the cellar.

The joke about a Republican being a Democrat with a steady job aside, I pay very high taxes to live here. That's OK - living in Virginia or Maryland would just be too depressing and would require me to get up way too early in the morning. I'll pay taxes for services, not for private firms who charge me through the nose for substandard service and support pampered jock lifestyles in the process.

Fans of losing teams always complain that the Yankees spend their way to success, but they spend George Steinbrenner's money, not mine. They play in a 75-year-old stadium without gourmet panini at every concession stand in a rough neighborhood with insuffient parking. Yet they realized the way to make money wasn't to bilk your neighbors, but to field a team people want to see.

Besides, look at yourself, Washington. Half of you are probably wearing a Red Sox or Indians hat right now. Just watch any Yankees game at Tampa Bay during the regular season. You won't have an attachment to the team anyway.

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No multiple-shootings here!

This is the funniest small-town crime report ever.

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Frist things Frist

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist likes to post polls on his website. That's all well and good, but should be be resetting poll numbers and changing the question when the responses aren't to his liking?

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November 12, 2003

Shake it like a... oh, forget it

DC SOB to Craig's List moron: It's called "Hey Ya," not "Hey Ma."

And My Brother's Place sucks.

Over and out.

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The Pigpen Brigade

If you see a giant plume of smoke walking into Reef on Friday, don't be alarmed -- it's just Ban the [smoking] Ban's Adams Morgan bar crawl, raising awareness (and hypertension rates).

Don't get me wrong -- I agree with them 100 percent that people should be allowed to smoke in Washington bars, since it beats doing so in the street. Besides, if you bum a cigarette from a regular bar patron, you're a cheap asshole. If you bum a cigarette from a Ban the Ban bar-crawler, you're expressing solidarity.

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Redbox, we hardly knew ye

It had to come to this. Redbox, that wonderous, wonderful gigantic vending machine, is no more.

I remember the day I moved into my current apartment. Having lugged a few boxes and inflated my mattress, I went out for a few drinks in Adams Morgan. Drunk as the proverbial skunk, I wobbled down 18th Street to get back to my new home.

Amazingly, I remembered that I had no toilet paper at home and that it might come in handy should I need to, well, use toilet paper. In addition, I happened to be showing around some new-in-town interns I met at Gazuza earlier that night. How do I stop for toilet paper without stopping in the over-lit vibe-killer that is CVS?

You use Redbox, that's how.

I demonstrated the Redbox, impressing the ladies and fullflling what was soon to become a pressing need.

Thanks, Redbox.

Posted by rj3 at 9:16 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 11, 2003

A monument to civility

Let's face it: Most of the young people who arrive in D.C. every year to work in law firms, think tanks, magazines and on the Hill spent their high school years as student government nerds, debate nerds or journalism nerds (I was two out of three). Therefore, many Washingtonians have at least passing familiarity with Robert's Rules of Order -- it's a handy little book that shows you how to hold any kind of meeting in a civil manner.

Very few people know that Henry M. Robert, who wrote the book, was also a famous engineer and Washington resident. His former house, 1812 N St. NW, has a plaque out front with a short biography. Click on the thumbnail image for a larger (readable) version.

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DCSOB Stalker

At lunch, I saw a guy who looked exactly like Dick Cheney. Same hair, glasses, hunch and scowl. I am so not kidding.

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November 10, 2003

YYYs (Heart) DC

So I saw the Yeah Yeah Yeahs at the 9:30 Club on Saturday (actually Sunday, since they went on stage at 1 a.m.). Lead singer Karen O comes on stage wearing a clear plastic panda hat. What DC-area attraction sells more panda hats than any other attraction in America? That's right, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs went to the zoo. No word yet on what they thought about the zoo's infamous "elephant giving birth" video.

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PR nightmare redefined, part II

Hyattsville: We're not dangerous, really.

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November 7, 2003


I know this is a little off-topic, but this is just about the most dispicable thing ever. Makes me want to go commie. Or at least Swedish.

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One reason to like Express

There aren't many, to be sure, but here's one: Since it's all wire stories anyway, they don't have to worry about sending reporters to cover events around the world. Therefore, if something happens in a far-off land that catches the editor's eye, we hear about it. I like the fact that all week, Express has run stories about the power grab in Sri Lanka. Why? Because I would never have known watching TV news.

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PR nightmare redefined

Washington state to the rest of the world: We aren't a hotbed of serial killers.

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November 6, 2003

Metro for morons

I don't know why, but this is funny. It makes me feel good about hating tourists - they're not confused, they're that dumb.

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Talk to me

Is the phrase "no problem" really the cause of the decline in civility?

I blame hip-hop.

No, wait... working mothers.

Or perhaps athiests.

Naah, Bill O'Reilly has nothing to do with it.

Posted by rj3 at 11:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 5, 2003

20 Second Bar Review - Capitol Lounge

229 Pennsylvania Ave SE.

Imagine your favorite filthy old hometown sports bar. See the uniforms on the wall, yellowing newspaper clippings from the last time the teams were any good. Smell the beer and smoke. Revel in the darkness.

Take that bar, and replace all the sports crap with political crap. Replace Joe Namath or Joe Montana with Marion Barry. Swap out Tom Landry and swap in Nelson Rockefeller. This is the Capitol Lounge - the sports bar for whom politics is the sport of choice.

The atmosphere is authentic, the beer is average and the people are self-absorbed, but jovial. If you have to show someone Hill nightlife in half an hour, this is the place to go.

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November 4, 2003

You sexy region

DC is attractive to young, educated singles.

Young educated singles are attractive to me.

I suppose what we have here is a confluence of interests.

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November 3, 2003

BBQey Goodness

Yes, Virginia, DCSOB really is a team. And to prove it to you all, I'm here to post my first entry, a ripping read about a visit to a small town BBQ shack.

As avid BBQ fans, DCSOB has made it a policy of checking out all the local (and not-so-local) BBQ restaurants in the D.C. area. As one of us is a southerner, there are high standards to be compared against. So, on the recommendation of some of the most knowledgeable food people in D.C., we headed down to La Plata, Maryland, to visit Johnny Boy's.

Johnny Boy’s, about a 45 minute drive from the city on U.S. 301 (take the beltway to Branch Ave. to 301), is little more than a shack with a smoker and a set of picnic tables. There is the ubiquitous smoky BBQ scent that fills the space immediately surrounding any BBQ joint. To add to the authenticity, DCSOB’s automobile of choice was the only non-American car in the gravel lot, parked next to Ford SUVs, Chevy Pickups, and aging Harleys. The shack has an old school style menu and sells only the basic – BBQ rib platters, pulled pork, chicken, and beef by the pound, and various sides.

Good BBQ restaurants rarely survive without a strong reputation, and Johnny Boy’s rests its reputation on its ribs, so RJ3 sauntered up and ordered a rack of ribs. I decided to be difficult, as usual, and got a plate of pulled pork. After ordering, we walked around to the side of the shack and, with rising anticipation, waited to be called. When the food finally arrived, RJ3 clearly had the better deal. His half rack of ribs was piled so high the top wouldn’t close completely. Certainly good value for the price. And while my pulled pork platter didn't carry the same impressive bulk, I was none too disappointed when we got to the table. Tender pulled pork, served with a side of beans, and that great culinary accomplishment – the fruit cup. Yes, that’s right, next to the various piles of meat, beans, and potatoes, there was the nod to the health nut: a cup of fruit that appeared as if it came straight out of the Dole can.

Even without the fruit cup, the BBQ was good. The pulled pork was certainly up there on the list, but not the most amazing I’ve ever had. RJ3’s ribs were scrumptious, but did not live up to the hype that had been promised. Either way, it was worth the drive, although possibly not for a second time. But have no fear – DCSOB will be back with more hard-hitting, press-stopping BBQ reviews soon.

Randolph just has to add: I have one bone to pick with Johnny Boy's, and that is that I had bones to pick. Good ribs fall right off the bone, but Johnny Boy's ribs, as smoky and awesome as they were, were stubbornly stuck to the bone. However, the place was great -- there was a big stack of wood out front, a rising plume of bluish smoke coming out of the chimney and the amazing smokey taste you just can't get from the liquid substitute. There is something behind the notion that there are some things you just can't do right in the city.

Posted by amg at 2:48 PM | Comments (110) | TrackBack

We're #1!

Most murderous city in America. Yay.

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November 1, 2003

Halloween Don'ts

If people were dressed up last night, DCSOB was there. Our crack team (it was a team, they just haven't posted yet), checked out the slutty nurses at the Midtown Bar Crawl, the Catholic priests and Scottish Highlanders in Dupont Circle, the walking Union Jacks in Mt. Pleasant and the complete freak show in Adams Morgan. There was good, there was bad, and there was ugly. In the interests of serving the public, DCSOB presents some tips for avoiding making a fool of yourself next year:

Do your homework: If you want to be Jam Master Jay, don't wear a big clock around your neck - that's Flava Flav. If you want to be Flava Flav, don't wear all black jumpers and a porkpie hat - that's Jam Master Jay.

If you're Madonna and you're on a long line next to a Britney, you have to make out: Don't fight it. We saw plenty of combos passing each other, especially on 18th Street. The fact that there was no "Vogue"-era-Madonna-on-"Baby One More Time"-era-Britney action was a travesty.

Wearing a green wig is not a costume in itself: Sorry ladies. You have to do better in 2004.

There's Uma and then there's Uma: We saw five Kill Bill-era Uma Thurmans walking around last night. If you had the yellow jumper and samurai sword, you were a copycat. If you tussled your hair, cut the outfit a bit and liberally applied stage blood, you had it going on.

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