March 31, 2004

Bureaucracy

We here in the Nation's Capital know and love the big red-tape filled corridors of governance. And every encounter with the DC government is a Long Story.

Today, I encountered a really fantastic example of federal B.S. My company is submitting a proposal, for a three-tiered research project. For this proposal, we must submit cost sheets, technical information, CVs, and experience blurbs. Cost sheets and technicals must be separate for each of the three tiers, but while the rest is the same, those bits also must be attached to each of the three sub-sets. All this has to be duplicated 18 times, bound, each copy with a proposal-evaluator-specific cover letter, and delivered by courier (no, not by mail, not by FedEx, not by one of us....a Federally Approved courier) to the agency by 9am on a certain Monday in April.

Incidentally, things seem to be the same in other places too: my friend Sarah recently ranted about Japanese governmental bureaucracy.

Posted by at 2:06 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Confusion on the Red Line

Five minutes into my commute this morning the conductor of my red line train had this to say,

"Excuse me customers, but please, customers with baggage and small children, please keep them close to you. This train will get a bit crowded this morning. The train that is supposed to be in front of us is, unfortunately, behind us."

The bewildered expressions on the faces of fellow commuters in reaction to the announcement was priceless.

Posted by cs at 10:10 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 30, 2004

Belated Explanations...

By way of belated explanation, I wanted to introduce our "guest bloggers" for the week, while Randolph is off exploring merry England and I am travelling on business. I'll allow them to post their own introductions, but needless to say, DCSOB will continue to bring you the finest in DC-related postings from both our standard operating team and those bloggers who were kind enough to chip in and take time away from their own blogs to join us.

So, guest bloggers, please feel free to use this space to introduce yourselves. And thanks for the continued support!

Posted by amg at 7:17 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

March 29, 2004

DCSOB hearts stellastarr*

What are you doing tonight? Stalking D.C.’s sexiest villain, Donald Rumsfeld? Making faces through the White House fence? Going to see Scooby-Doo 2?

Well, you can do all that tomorrow. Tonight, head over to the Black Cat and check out stellastarr*, playing with The Killers and Ambulance LTD. Doors are at 8:30 p.m. and stellastarr* go on at 11:00 p.m. We here at DCSOB have never seen The Killers or Ambulance LTD live, but most of us are stellastarr* junkies.

It’s like listening to a soundtrack to your favorite John Hughes movie, only live. (And if you’re into pretty-boy lead singers, look no further.)

So, once again. What are you doing tonight? Oh, you’re going to see stellastarr* at the Black Cat? We are also! See you there.

Posted by nm at 1:47 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Sports Math

Baseball is not something I know a lot about, or follow very closely. As a result, I was not aware that batters get beaned more often in the American League than in the National.

But, this is apparently the case, and, is now the subject of scientific research. Researchers at the University of the South, who clearly need better facilities so that they can work on things like curing cancer or eliminating beehive hairdos, have formulated a theory that the AL beaning phenomenon is due to the designated hitter rule.

The explanation is believable, from a psychological perspective, but they don't give data so we just have to trust them.

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Lock up your children

Mr. Jackson comes to Washington this week. The African Ambassadors’ Spouses Association will present Michael Jackson with their Humanitarian Award for his humanitarian works worldwide, particularly in Africa, on Thursday, April 1, right here in D.C. According to the press release posted on a Michael Jackson fan site (www.mjfc-jam.com) by publicist Raymone K. Bain, "Mr. Jackson will be attending a host of meetings while in Washington, including private meetings and events." Keep and eye out for Jacko this week—you may catch a glimpse of America’s favorite accused child molester.

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Leisure Time

The New York Times today reports that Nielsen ratings show a big drop in the number of young men watching TV. They seem to be spending time on the internet, avoiding commercials and other TV annoyances.

I know I spend much more time on the internet than watching TV (which I do approximately three rimes a week). One thing that puzzles me (or maybe highlights TV's doom) is where the CBS exec says the effect of men watching less TV "should have been seen gradually over time...[not] all of a sudden." Why's that? Given the speed of growth of nontraditional media, and the total stagnancy of TV programming, why should it take guys so long to adapt? We're not stupid. And there are boobies on the internet...

Posted by at 7:44 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 28, 2004

A Plague?

Those of us who were in the area seventeen years ago are about to experience a rather uncomfortable sense of deja vu. There is a teeming mass just beneath our feet, "billions upon billions" of creatures are biding their time, waiting to make an appearance and walk among us surface dwellers. That's right folks, Brood X is about to return-- the the seventeen-year cicada is back.

They're getting ready as you read this, preparing to crawl up from the ground and mate. There will be billions and billions around here, for sure," says Smithsonian entomologist, Gary F. Hevel. I hope none of our readers have an issue with insects.

Posted by cs at 11:41 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 27, 2004

"People are going to be at one another's throats."

At midnight tomorrow, the Republic of Ireland will become the first country to ban smoking in all workplaces: offices, pubs, theaters, even movie sets.

Northern Ireland, which does not have any such ban on the books, is preparing for an onslaught of "cigarette tourists."

I am wholly opposed to bans like this. We all know smoking is unhealthy, and so is second hand smoke, but that's why places have nonsmoking sections. There are also whole nonsmoking bars and restaurants that exist without needing to have laws passed. This will wreak havoc on the economies of everywhere affected (including Northern Ireland), and for what will probably be only marginal public health improvement.

Plus, actual science has shown that smoking and drinking go together.

Posted by at 2:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 26, 2004

Aah, the cherry blossoms

The big festival is starting this weekend. It's being advertised as a celebration of 150 years of U.S.-Japanese friendship without any mention of a certain four-year gap.

It's the event of the spring, and I'd be down there with all the tourists, but I'll in London, sopping up the culture (and beer) for the next week. So expect reduced posting volume, as fellow DCSOBloggers CS and AMG will have to pick up the slack.

Cherrio!

Posted by rj3 at 10:29 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 25, 2004

Half an hour of happiness

What could be more saisfying during a ho-hum working Thursday than stepping out to a nice day with gentle breezes and bright sunshine, cashing in your frequent-customer card, getting a free sandwitch and eating it as the restaurant plays Beck's Midnite Vultures, reminding you of your college days?

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March 23, 2004

Looks like I'm not gonna score with Wonkette

There is an alternate DC out there - one where every New York institution is transferred to some opposite but not-quite-up-to-equal equivalent. The Black Cat covers for all of Williamsburg/LES, Howard Kurtz is Page Six and Graydon Carter is .... ummm, John Kerry (?).

In this bizarre town (we'll call it Wonkington, DC), Dupont Circle is the Stonewall Inn, writ large. Which is to say that you're not likely to find a straight person there.

It's a good thing we straight Duponters don't live in Wonkington's Dupont. If we did, as soon as our moving vans pulled away, we'd be assaulted by the thousands of flamboyant drag queens who populate the streets all day, fill up all the bars at night (Front Page and Brickskeller too) and fix the burritos at Chipotle.

Well, that might not be exactly what Ms. Wonkette is getting at. Maybe everyone in Dupont is gay because the sheer gayness of the neighborhood makes you into a gay stereotype just by living there.

If so, I suppose I must live in Rockville or something without even knowing it.

Posted by rj3 at 1:37 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Burying the lead

Did you notice something was a little amiss with Express this morning? Perhaps, you noticed how the Bush administrartion's attempts to discredit former terror point-man Richard Clarke ran on page 1 while Clarke's allegations ran on page 3. Does that order strike you as a little off?

On an unrelated note, check out this sorta sad story about a lonely rabbi in a supermarket.

Posted by rj3 at 8:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 22, 2004

Bizarre observation

I just got back from Cleveland Park and it hit me: that neighborhood must be the coldest place in the universe. When I arrived back in Dupont, I was struck by how warm it was (relatively). Even the neighborhood where I work, which is colder than Dupont due to the windswept boulevards and soulless office buildings funnelling the wind, isn't as cold as Cleveland Park. What gives?

Posted by rj3 at 7:28 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 19, 2004

You can take the boy out of New York...

It may not to you, but the picture I found here makes me soooo hungry. Where, oh where, can such a thing be found around these parts?

Posted by rj3 at 3:18 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

On smoking

From the Idaho Statesman, hardly a bastion of logic (check out the other letters):


Having a smoking section in a restaurant makes about as much sense as having a urinating section in a swimming pool.

Chuck Logan, Boise

Posted by rj3 at 8:59 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 18, 2004

Washington, meet New York

On the Daily Kos, RonK combines impenetrable business management drivel with impenetrable political drivel and comes up with ... something I may or may not completely understand.

Finally, I understand why the framers thought it would be a good idea to separate the nation's financial and political capitols.

Posted by rj3 at 12:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Cop Couture

New shell, same gooey filling.

Posted by rj3 at 11:32 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Smoke in the tunnel

DUN DUN DUN... DUN DUN DA DUNNN...
picture(1.jpg

For all of us who had to walk down to Farragut North, at least it wasn't raining...

(And for those of you who can't decipher my cameraphone picture, it's of firefighters taking the escalator down into the Dupont Circle station. If it was really important, they'd have been at least walking down the escalator, like I do every morning.)

Posted by rj3 at 9:08 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 17, 2004

Just like the Berlin airlift

...except that the blockade won't be Soviets, it'll be the 495. It's nice to know that someone's planning to airlift in supplies should the unthinkable happen.

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At least you don't live in...

Today's edition, Georgia, where they're doing this instead of fixing the crippling traffic engulfing more and more of the state:

One of the proposals at issue Tuesday would allow local governments to display the text of the Ten Commandments in courthouses and other public buildings.

Reps. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Sharpsburg), Jack White (R-Blue Ridge) and Jimmy Skipper (D-Americus) all introduced versions of the measure. And all three bills were moved out of the Rules Committee, which means they could be voted on by the full House today.

But partisan barbs dominated the Rules meeting and caused Smyre to warn legislators to be civil.

Minority Leader Glenn Richardson (R-Dallas) complained to Skipper about the wording of his faith-based amendment bill, prompting Skipper to tell Richardson that he majored in English and that anyone familiar with "diagramming sentences in the 5th grade" knew there was nothing wrong with the language.

Rep. Tom Bordeaux (D-Savannah) asked Westmoreland why no mention of Jewish religious heritage was made in his bill, which calls for posting the Mayflower Compact, the Magna Carta and other historically significant documents.

Rep. Bob Holmes (D-Atlanta) complained that no documents of significance to African nations was mentioned, either, to which Westmoreland responded: "Do they have any documents?"

(Emphasis mine.)

Also, isn't Jack White from Detroit?

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WASA-matta?

A couple of weeks ago, my housemates and I decided to have our water tested for lead by WASA. Well folks, the results are in and, as it turns out, the seven residents of my comfortable row house in Mount Pleasant have been drinking water with a lead concentration of more than three times the EPA limit.

A couple of months ago, this fact would have really irked me, but in light of the current situation (which includes a house in nearby Columbia Hights with lead levels 1600 times EPA levels), I'm actually a bit relieved.

Or perhaps I'm just that much more stupid from lead poisoning.

Posted by cs at 8:32 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 16, 2004

You call that a riot?

College Park: Just some people out in the street, keeping their distance from riot police, all watching a small trash fire. Florence and Normandie, it's not.

Posted by rj3 at 3:24 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 15, 2004

Bugger!

With the Senate's attempt to impose its puritanical will on cable TV, it's nice to see some of your favorite TV actors swearing a blue streak on this British TV ad. Americans will recognize most of the cast of West Wing, Six Feet Under and Scrubs and others saying things you won't hear them say stateside.

(via Route 79, one of my favorite blogs on daily life.)

Posted by rj3 at 9:58 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Advanced Parking Theory

Imagine, if you will, a street with a north side that is cleaned on Tuesday mornings. This street is in my parking district, so if I were to park on the north side of this street on a Wednesday evening, it should stand to reason that I can park there until at least until the following Tuesday morning at 9:30, when the street-sweepers move in.

Right? Wrong.

I found my car with a $30 ticket on Sunday afternoon, allegedly for violating an "emergency" order. Obviously, if it were a real emergency, my car would have been towed or otherwise dragged to safety to make way for a fire truck, ambulance, Ghostbusters wagon or whatever else they brought in to solve the emergency.

Of course, they put up those "emergency" signs whenever someone moves (which they do on the block in question alarmingly often), but wouldn't it make sense to require the signs go up at the very latest the day of the latest street-cleaning, so people don't park their car and ditch it until the next cleaning?

I should fight this, I really should.

Posted by rj3 at 3:44 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Waiting for Sandra Day O'Connor Boxers

Mike and I were at Stetson's Saturday night - both of us waiting on friends and looking to go elsewhere as soon as possible. The place is a hole, and despite some history (the Bush daughters got caught drinking there once), it has very little to offer.

However, there was someone there who did have something to offer. Word circulated around the crowd that someone just gave away a pair of "Rehnquist panties." As a dork, I assumed it was regular women's underwear with stripes on the side, like the gold stripes the Chief Justice customized his robe with during the Clinton impeachment fiasco (see below).

But no. They were regular old white cotton ladies' underthings with a picture of a smiling Rehnquist right smack in the middle.

Is this a statement about reproductive choice? Women's rights? Potential prosecution of future wardrobe malfunctions? I think not. What we have here is simply irony. Congress has for years had a reputation as being home to some pretty seedy people. President Bush engenders such strong feelings on both sides that any underwear bearing his visage would be a statement. But the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court - so important, yet so esoteric - is perfect for underwear. Just imagine fooling around with a woman, peeling off clothes to end up with Mr. Chief Justice staring at you.

On second thought, maybe it's for birth control.

Posted by rj3 at 10:34 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 12, 2004

Bit*h set me up with popcorn and soda

Did you know that former New York City mayor Ed Koch writes movie reviews for the city's official website?

It seems like a good way to keep Marion Barry out of trouble.

Posted by rj3 at 10:25 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Shorter Moonie Times

It was R. Emmett Tyrell who wrote it, but it's the whole paper's line of attack.

"Democrats are Democrats because they're dumb. And French."

UPDATE: The more you read the MT, the more crap you get. Shorter Robert Stacy McCain:

"If there is a protest outside a government-funded public health conference, the protest itself is government-funded and should be cut from the budget as wasteful."

Posted by rj3 at 9:37 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 11, 2004

Next stop, verbosity

So, the as-yet-mythical New York Avenue metro station will not be called such. It will be the New York Avenue-Florida Avenue-Galludet University station, going up there with Woodley Park-Adams Morgan-Zoo and U Street-Cordozo-African-American Civil War Memorial-Ben's Chili Bowl-9:30 Club-Saint Ex station as one of the longer names in the system. We really need to cut down on some of the longer station names.

I propose starting with taking the "I funnel illegal funds to the contras by selling arms to the Iranians in exchange for the hostages, I think Ketchup is a vegetable, trees cause pollution and I get away with it by acting like a nice, albiet occasionally confused, old man," out of the National Airport station name.

Posted by rj3 at 12:34 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

March 10, 2004

Dupont Circle Haikous

Find what you're seeking?
At Kramers, it's Dickens? No.
The hottie with Proust!

Who will bother me?
LaRouchies? Jews for Jesus?
Metro entrance sucks.

Soviet Safeway:
No Diet Coke. Whither my
Jiffy corn bread mix?

Pinko nutjobs screech
Yuppies. Pooping dogs. Chess games.
I love the Circle

Posted by rj3 at 3:35 PM | Comments (27) | TrackBack

March 9, 2004

WASA in haikou form

Inspired by this George W. Bush haikou, I decided to make one up for D.C. WASA:

Flush taps ten minutes
Use your filter and maybe
You won't get dumber


Posted by rj3 at 12:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Great paper-pushers of history

A turn-of-the-century Agriculture Department apparachik shows us how its done.

Posted by rj3 at 10:41 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 8, 2004

Sounds of the City, Weather Edition

Overheard in an elevator somewhere on 15th Street NW:

“I can’t believe it’s so cold out there.”

“Yeah.”

“I can’t believe it’s snowing”

“Yeah, it was 70 degrees on Friday.”

“It’s what the Bible said… Last days…”

Posted by cs at 11:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 7, 2004

Make up your mind

Is it the Penn Quarter, Old Downtown, or the East End?

I'd go for Old Downtown because Penn Quarter sounds so contrived and there are plenty of neighborhoods farther east then the patch of land in question.

However, it would be amusing to call the yuppies moving into the new condos in the aformentioned neighborhood "EastEnders."

Posted by rj3 at 2:00 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 5, 2004

9:24 p.m., 74 degrees

...according to the SunTrust Clock on Dupont Circle. Just think, not two months ago, we were doing this.

Posted by rj3 at 9:37 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The Passion of the idiot teacher

It's in the DC schools now. Sixth grade, no less.

And BTW, would Jesus pirate movies?

Posted by rj3 at 11:27 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 4, 2004

Did we kill Dale Earnhardt too?


For chrissakes!

Posted by rj3 at 12:27 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Why hate when you can mock?

Why mock when they do such a good job themselves?

"We're going into a new phase of the campaign," LaRouche said. "It'll largely be [John] Kerry and I."
Posted by rj3 at 10:25 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

March 2, 2004

Time to rough up some scabs

Wanna mess up CNN election coverage while taking out your aggression on those who would undermine the right to collective bargaining? Well, now is your chance.

From one of the many random email lists I'm on:

ACTION TONIGHT! 7:30P, The Old Post Office Pavilion, 1100 Pennsylvania Ave (Meet by the press area inside the Pavilion. Look for cameras on tripods.)

For almost 20 years, CNN has gathered and broadcast the news
with union engineers and technicians represented by the National
Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians (NABET-CWA).
Now CNN is replacing these professionals with non-union people:
will the quality of its coverage now be as suspect as their
motives in replacing union workers?

Join NABET-CWA tonight at CNN's Super Tuesday Election Night
coast-to-coast coverage: "It will be a party!" promises NABET
Local 31 .

Posted by rj3 at 2:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sad.

Lopez of the Kirk, Mark and Lopez radio show on Baltimore's 98 Rock (WIYY 97.9) has advanced lung cancer. When I lived in Baltimore, my alarm was set to 98 Rock and I heard them every morning I decided to wake up before 10. Somehow KML managed to have a macho talky morning show that didn't make you feel icky listening to it.

According to the Sun, Lopez will resume doing the show from home, where they've set up a studio. I'll be listening all I can from now on.

Get better, Lopez.

Posted by rj3 at 11:54 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

One fatty model

food.jpg

Photographing the food at the new restaurant on Connecticut and R, Sette, Friday afternoon.

Posted by rj3 at 11:19 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Stupor Tuesday News Flash

Computerized voting machines at an Annapolis polling place ain't working. We've ranted about electronic voting machines before, but I'd like to make an additional observation: not sure I'm too thrilled about selecting the President using the same technology that allows me to steal copyrighted music and view countless acts of sexual perversion.

Posted by cs at 9:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Our host sucks

Sorry for the downtime. Rest assured knowing that a foot is swiftly headed, as I write this, toward some tech guy's ass for depriving you of DCSOB.

Posted by rj3 at 9:21 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack