Sweet home

I'm going to be in Chicago this weekend for a wedding. Be back Monday.

Last time I went to Chicago, I almost stayed because it was so much more awesomer than Washington.

Um, so if you never hear from me again... I stayed.

Isn't there an audience?

Air America Radio, the liberal talk radio network, is not being carried in Washington. But you can pick up the streaming audio feed from its Portland affiliate.

It's a shame this isn't being broadcast here. A liberal radio network finally gets set up, gets some sardonic and funny people to host, and apparently there's not even enough bandwidth on the AM dial in Washington to carry them. I'm pretty sure the demand is there; at least, I really wanted to listen to the debut episode of the hilariously named "The O'Franken Factor," primarily because, if I want to listen to syndicated political discussion on D.C. radio, these are my choices:

Laura Ingraham
G. Gordon Liddy
Glenn Beck
Michael "You should get AIDS and die" Savage
Jim Bohannon
Michael Graham
Rush Limbaugh
Sean Hannity

So, yeah. The ones I recognize are all conservative. A lot. (What's worse: listening to Michael Savage, or listening to "Here Without You" by Three Doors Down for the umpteen zillionth fucking time? Tough call.)

You would think there might be an audience for a liberal talker here in politics central, but apparently it's not enough to overcome the bandwidth problem, for now.

Speed tax

The speeding cameras near Galludet University in Northeast D.C. are officially in play. In the first 48 hours of enforcement, 788 drivers were caught speeding, bringing in a total of $23,000 in impossible-to-fight fines. More cameras are coming.

Glad I'm not trying to date in D.C.

Funny post at Frolic referencing a Post story on bland lawyers getting hooked up with each other.

I'd really like to here more from people who have tried dating in Washington, since I have no perspective on the subject.

Like nothing else


I saw a Hummer driver filling his tank the other night in Fairfax as I pulled up to the pump next to him. He continued to fill his tank as I filled mine. And as I paid for mine. And as I drove off. I noticed he was up over $50 by then.

Really... is this kind of vehicle really necessary in an urban or suburban area? Or, for that matter, anywhere you can drive on roads (for example, the entire country)? How many times in your life are you really going to need a vehicle that does this:

Hummer goes swimming

I love the outdoors and everything, but I never once have wished I could drive through a stream in my car. (Ah, streams; they're nature's axle grease remover.)

I really can't think of any civilian applications for this vehicle, unless the Hummer has the ability to have Meeno Peluce drive it back in time and hook up with the Lewis and Clark expedition, to make their lives a little easier, maybe get poor Sacajawea off her feet.

As it is, without the time travel ability, the H2 weighs over four tons, gets 10 miles-per-gallon city and 12 highway, and holds a whopping 32 gallons of pure, precious gasoline.

In a completely unrelated story, everybody's in a panic today over rising gas prices due to OPEC cutting production.

(NOTE: To learn more about Lewis and Clark, take a voyage down to your local library. It's all in books!)


Puritans rock!

I had heard that Fairfax County had nixed a showing of the film musical 1776 in a middle school class due to sexual innuendo, but I didn't realize until now exactly how ridiculous that is. Here's the scandalous verbal exchange in question:

Jefferson is balking at staying in Philadelphia to write the declaration and protests to Adams: "I've not seen my wife in six months."

Adams responds, "You write 10 times better than any man in Congress, including me. For a man of only 33 years, you possess a happy talent for composition and a remarkable felicity of expression. Now, will you be a patriot . . . or a lover?"

Jefferson, clearly preferring the latter, says he "burns" for his wife, at home in Virginia.
That's it?

That's it.

If Jefferson had said: "Now if you'll excuse me, I find the need for a booty call to be self-evident!" Then, maybe I could understand. Or if Jefferson had said, "Mr. Adams, I must get me some slave love! Do not deny me hot chocolate! I must go jism into a black lady!" That, I could see why there's a problem.

But this? This seems kinda tame.

Don't let the door hit your Fatherly ass on the way out of the country

John Gorenfeld reports that Rev. Sun Moon, owner of your Washington Times, is leaving the country. He had this to say in his latest speech:

The reality is, if America doesn't follow heavenly ideals, it will perish. Homo marriage abuses blood lineage. Step-parents enjoy each other but no lineage, cannot give True Love. America will perish.
It's a pretty good indicator of how Washington works, that this fanatical cult leader can spew hate speech like this, and still garner active support from members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, due to his astounding wealth and the fact that he's willing to publish an ultra-conservative daily paper here.

Don't get me wrong. If I was a billionaire, I'd probably publish a newspaper and give away tens of thousands to influence lawmakers too. But I'm pretty sure I'm not half as insane as Moon, and I'm certainly don't have plans to crown myself the new Messiah anytime soon. (Although that sounds more and more attractive every day.)

P.S. Sunny, can't you take Jen Waters with you? Reading her columns is like having teeth pulled.

P.P.S. (I'm kausfiles all of a sudden): John Gorenfeld's blog is one of my new favorite reads; he's really on top of Moon's sketchy activities.

P.P.P.S. More commentary here.



Independent forms of personal expression shall be discouraged.

In D.C. Area, It's the Day Of the Cicada

The frighteningly named "Brood X" is coming to town... with a vengeance. Because my crappy apartment doesn't already have enough bugs.

Sounds even worse than the usual summer tsetse flies.

Happy bloggiversary

Wow, I've been blogging for a whole stupid year.

I'm still not over the time Slate linked to D.C. Blows instead of me.

INS1PID: Personalized Virginia license plates I have hated (part 11 in a series)

Today's special: Self-reflexivity (i.e. "Look what I'm driving!")
On a Mazda RXZ: RXZILR8
On a blue car: CAR BLUE
On a red car: REDDD
On another Mazda: ZOOM ZMM (i.e. Mazda's advertising slogan)
On a black Ford Expedition: BLKEXPO


Agenda for today

Ahh, 72 degrees. Let's go with:

  • Ditch work early (sayonara, Reston MFers)
  • Have lunch in Georgetown with my lovely wife, preferably outside
  • Bike down Mt. Vernon Trail, ogle Georgetown co-eds
  • Hit local bar; imbibe; root for Xavier, Georgia Tech
  • 3.25.2004

    That's Our Bush

    Bush put on a slide show, calling it the "White House Election-Year Album" at the Radio and Television Correspondents' Association 60th annual dinner, showing himself and his staff in some decidedly unflattering poses.

    There was Bush looking under furniture in a fruitless, frustrating search. "Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere," he said.
    Oh, ha ha! Good one!


    Hm? Too soon?

    Got Item!

    Nintendo has put out a bookmark promoting its Gamecube party game, Mario Party 5. It reads:

    "Taxes? Yawn. Foreign policy? Bigger Yawn. Forget politics and join the party with Mario Party 5. Over 60 mini-games make the party all fun and no politics. . . . Mario Party. Luigi for Vice President.
    Oh, I am so on board with that! Of course, a Takoma Park Elementary parent who discovered the bookmark in possession of her daughter insists on being a party pooper (second item down):

    Bethany Karn, whose daughter Sonya, 7, is a second-grader at the school, was not amused. "Aside from the annoyance of having still more advertising thrown at my children -- this time in the guise of an educational bookmark -- I found the message a little shocking," she told us. "But then again, I'm probably just one of the 'old people' who still think politics is important."
    Shocking? Really? (Um, can seven-year-olds vote now?)

    This is the absolute right message to be sending our children. Politics is crap (and, honestly, seems to consist mostly of seven-year-olds screaming at each other). Video games are awesome. Especially Mario Party. I mean, look at this:

    Adorable! I'm switching my affiliation, post haste! Forthwith!


    D.C.'s Anti-Poverty Agency Is Under Federal Scrutiny

    They steal from the poor, and give to themselves...

    Among the issues raised were UPO's impending purchase of a $200,000 pleasure fishing boat; questions about a $500,000 contract paid to a Medicaid consultant; a trip to Hawaii in December by board and staff members; and $14,000 a month in cellular telephone charges by staff members.
    OK, go stand in the corner with the United Way guys.

    I have GOT to start a cult

    Lots of attention being paid lately to Rev. Sun Moon, or as I call him, "Mr. Crazy Pants," the cult leader-slash-owner of the Washington Times. Jokes about holy handkerchiefs notwithstanding, I still can't believe that members of Congress actively support this whackjob, who earlier this year plugged his role as Messiah by stating:

    There will be a purge on God's orders, and evil will be eliminated like shadows. Gays will be eliminated, the 3 Israels [Christianity, Judaism, Islam] will unite. If not then they will be burned. We do not know what kind of world God will bring but this is what happens. It will be greater than the communist purge but at God's orders.
    My previous rant on the subject is here.

    Uh-oh, somebody's been a-Googling!

    It was bound to happen sooner or later. You may recall a young man named "Oba Opesanmi", who had this to say during the, ahem, "student gathering" following Maryland's ACC title win:

    "I've never been to a riot before, and I wanted to get in on the action," said Oba Opesanmi, a freshman wearing only gym shorts and socks who had just posed triumphantly in front of the line of stern-faced police officers. "We killed Duke."
    And then I said:

    Somebody ship this kid off to Haiti. Please.
    The implication being that, with all the political unrest and whatnot going on in Haiti, I'd like him to see him dropped in the middle of some of the real ultraviolence, rather than this fake-ass student riot, so that maybe he's not actively wishing for it.

    Apparently, Mr. Oba used a high-tech Yahoo search to uncover all the web commentary about his quote in the paper. He posted this using the comment feature, although somehow not in the thread containing his quote. So while I don't know where the actual comment is in the blog, it is showing up in my little Haloscan master control program. His rebuttal as follows:

    just wanted to let u know, that if u were any more ignorant, that the "riot" as u call it was merely just a friendly gathering of several students. no one was harmed, no one was arrested and no one got into trouble. plus, the newspaper misquoted me; i had on a t-shirt, shorts AND sneakers (suprised?) oh and one more thing: im not from haiti. do your homework! ignorant bigot.
    All I can say is, OMG... WTF... LOL. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Maryland class of 2007.

    Again, I don't know where to begin. The fact that this was merely a "friendly gathering" of students, despite the fact that police were suited up in riot gear? The idea that somehow the newspaper misquoted which clothes he was wearing? The fact that he thinks I think he's from Haiti?

    Also, is it really that hard to type out all three letters in "you"? I'm sure he used the extra 1.7 seconds he saved doing that on something useful, like studying.

    (Note to Oba: that's called "sarcasm.")

    I feel justified

    In a survey of cities by AOL Travel and Travel and Leisure called "America's Favorite Cities", Washington was ranked 25th by both visitors and residents in the People category.

    That's 25th out of 25.

    Ugly, unfriendly, and lacking style! BOO-YAH! It's the unpleasantness trifecta!

    You can click the image for more info and other categories. Washington also finished last in the Romance category, but did finish first in Sightseeing because of all those monuments.

    The thing is, though, that monuments just kind of sit there. They don't really serve any other function, or do anything for us. The Washington Monument is just a big phallic hunk of mismatched marble. Giant Abe Lincoln is never going to jump out of his chair and start fighting invading UFOs. (Unless the Robo-Lincolnization Act of 2016 makes it through Congress, as per my plans.)


    Carpal tunnel syndrome, here I come!

    My mouse hand is starting to hurt. Turns out that working on a conference room table all day is not all that ergonomic.

    Whee, I have arthritis at age 28.

    Why I got out of journalism: a not-really-on-topic rant

    What would it have been like if I had pursued becoming a journalist?

    I wonder about that sometimes, in these days of annoying bosses and boring technical work. I worked on the newspaper in college for four years, as a reporter/editor for most of that and a designer the rest of the time. I thought about making a career out of that, as hard as that would be; in the newspaper business, you really have to pay your dues in smaller towns for years, making very little money, before making any career headway. Plus, the more reporting I did, the more I realized that I was less and less interested in digging up stories and interviewing people, which you kinda have to do to be a good reporter. (Of course, I still write mostly in AP style, which is almost a subconscious decision at this point.)

    But that wasn't the only reason. I could tell, about seven or eight years ago, that media in general was becoming more and more consolidated. New deregulation allowed companies to own multiple radio and TV stations in one market, and the advent of the Internet and 24-hour news on cable was starting to cut into newspapers' subscription rates, causing many two-newspaper towns to become one-newspaper towns, and resulting in a few companies snapping up ownership of more and more papers.

    And consolidation of the news media, in my opinion, is very bad for the public. Journalism works best when there's competition. Just like any other business, if one company is putting out a better product, you would expect that product to prevail in the marketplace. When there's only one company putting out a product, that company has no motivation to improve the product or ensure that it's as good as it can be. If the product is crappy, but people need it anyway, they have nowhere else to go.

    This is especially dangerous with news media, which is at its best when its providing a public service to people through factual reporting of the news. Last week, USA Today revealed that one of its star reporters has been making up stories for the past 10 years. Now, I can stop reading USA Today (not like I ever really did, except for its great football coverage). If their reporters are going to print falsehoods, there's no reason for me or anyone else to trust them. But even if a lot of people stop buying the paper, market forces are not going to drive McLean-based owner Gannett out of the journalism business, or even out of profitability. Look at the company's holdings: 101 daily newspapers in the USA; 17 daily papers in the UK; 22 TV stations covering 17.8 percent of the country. Gannet can repeatedly print fabricated stories like this:

    The evidence strongly contradicted Kelley?s published accounts that he spent a night with Egyptian terrorists in 1997; met a vigilante Jewish settler named Avi Shapiro in 2001; watched a Pakistani student unfold a picture of the Sears Tower and say, "This one is mine," in 2001; visited a suspected terrorist crossing point on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in 2002; interviewed the daughter of an Iraqi general in 2003; or went on a high-speed hunt for Osama bin Laden in 2003.
    ...and get away with it, because they're rich, beeyotch. Same goes for the New York Times Company and its famous plagiarizer, U. of Maryland alum Jayson Blair: 19 newspapers, eight TV stations, two radio stations, 40 web sites, and annual revenues of $3.2 billion. They're not going anywhere, no matter how many questionable reporting decisions they make.

    This other big problem is that these big media congolomerates tend to depend on profit above all else, which means redundant news people are fired when their empolyers are acquired. When Clear Channel can buy seemingly every radio station in town, it doesn't have to employ a news staff at all (or any?) of them. The result is that the public gets screwed. When authorities need a radio station to alert us to a disaster over the airwaves, Clear Channel is not necessarily going to be on call.

    So that's one of the big reasons I got out. I'm thankful for blogs; the good ones have replaced some of the public service that Big Media no longer provides, taking over the "watchdog" role in a lot of cases. Too bad the media corportations still have a much bigger audience.

    I drove all niiiiiiiight

    A Virginia company has submitted a proposal to develop "HOT" lanes, in which drivers can buy their way out of heavy traffic at a rate of about 15 cents a mile. No word on whether the remaining free roads will now be known as "Hispanic" lanes.

    Meanwhile, my money goes to Richmond and doesn't come back, as transportation funding gets axed again. "If two lanes is good enough fer Roanoke, dag nabbit, it's good enough fer you!"

    Lead information fair today

    I hope they have rides.


    This is why I hate politics

    Watch this video from Dennis Miller Live. Whenever I talk about politics, I always feel like the guy being interviewed.


    Red Line Mania

    When Pierre L'Enfant foolishly designed exploding manholes into D.C., he apparently also slipped in a spontaneously combustive Metro electrical rail cable box. Thus, single tracking and no-tracking on the Red Line for a while, and a lot of people chose to walk the rest of the way.


    Police Break Up D.C.'s Largest PCP Ring

    The story doesn't say it, but I'm almost positive Cleopatra Jones had something to do with this.


    D.C. Lead Issue Was Debated for Months

    Yeah, the regional EPA office knew about lead in the water back in November 2002. They swear they sent an e-mail. (If the D.C. Department of Health got it, they didn't do anything to address the problem or alert the public.) The closest you'll get to an apology is:

    "We were dealing with it as a compliance issue," acknowledged Jonathan Capacasa, director of water quality for EPA Region III. "In hindsight, we missed some opportunities . . . to engage earlier."


    "In fairness, the best minds were trying to make the best decisions at the time," Capacasa said. "We're all working feverishly now to solve the problem and correct it."
    Yeah, the buck stops sort of nowhere. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of people have been drinking lead for the past several years. And not because it goes down smooth and easy.

    Hey, here's an idea for the people at EPA, WASA, and D.C. Department of Health: DO YOUR MOTHERFUCKING JOBS. EPA: your job is ensuring our environment is not killing us. DOH: your job is protecting people's health. WASA: your job is making sure the water is not lethal and/or making us retarded. SO COULD YOU GUYS PLEASE MAYBE START DOING THAT? Thanks, that would be great.

    Lazy-ass fuckers.


    Lead Zeppelin

    As you might expect, D.C. has tackled the lead-in-the-water problem with top-notch leadership in a time of crisis, good communication with residents to educate them about the dangers, and a well-coordinated effort to solve the problem.

    Ha ha, Ides of March Fools!

    Trashiest. Fans. Ever.

    Apparently, Maryland beat Duke yesterday to win the ACC basketball title. And, as we all know, the only appropriate celebration of Maryland's athletic accomplishments is to booze up and riot. Congratulations, Maryland, on likening yourselves to West Virginia.

    Actually, it wasn't that bad compared to the past. Just some bonfires lit, and street signs torn down, and people jumping on cars. But hearing these trashy Maryland fans attempt to justify their actions to the press is still the best part. Twenty years from now, I want these kids to Google themselves, find these quotes, and say, "My God. I was stupid back then."

    "I've never been to a riot before, and I wanted to get in on the action," said Oba Opesanmi, a freshman wearing only gym shorts and socks who had just posed triumphantly in front of the line of stern-faced police officers. "We killed Duke."
    Somebody ship this kid off to Haiti. Please.

    "My parents went through this kind of thing with protests of Vietnam," said Jason Zarro, a sophomore computer science major. "Even though this is not of the same magnitude, it will be part of my history."
    I have so many issues with this statement, I don't know where to begin. What bothers me more? Is it the fact that this douche thinks that protesting Vietnam is akin to boozy college kids celebrating a basketball win? Is it that he thinks that following the alpha-male herd mentality of destruction is one of the most important moments in his life? Is it that his generation has its own pointless Asian war-slash-quagmire that he could be protesting, instead of ripping up town in the name of a basketball win?

    Kids, this is for your own good: you're both uber-retarded.

    Here are some more classic quotes:

    "We were just following people," said Lydia Morrison, a freshman general business and management major. "I'm just embarrassed for the SWAT team because nobody paid any attention to them."


    "I was like, 'Wow, that's a van. I gotta jump on it,'" said sophomore journalism major Clyde Ireland.


    Margarita Morales, an accountant in the university's Office of the Comptroller, snapped photos of her 8-year-old son, Ricardo, in front of the phalanx of riot police armed with nightsticks and pellet guns.

    "We are always with Maryland. We love the Terrapin team," she said. "When we won the championship [in 2002] we came down to the street. I'm used to it because I'm from Colombia, and that's how we celebrate the games."


    The crowd booed Prince George's County firefighters and yelled "Assholes!" as the firefighters extinguished one of the two major bonfires in the middle of Route 1.


    Kyle Klapac, 17, a city resident who said he goes to an area private school and lives on Harvard Road, ran to Route 1 with several friends after the game.

    "It's fun. We're joining the crowd," he said.

    Klapac's friend, Lisa McAllister, 16, a junior at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Wheaton, said she was in the city during the 2002 championship riots.

    "There were more fires last time," she said.

    McAllister and Klapac said city damage didn't seem to be much of a problem.

    "I don't care," McAllister said. "It can be fixed."

    "We don't pay for it," Klapac said.
    Ah, fantastic. I believe the children are our future.

    P.S. Go Yellow Jackets.


    Kids, be like Alias: be a spy

    Be sure to check out the CIA employment promotional spot starring TV's Alias, Jennifer Garner.

    It's hilarious to me, primarly because I've seen several episodes of the show, and have determined that her character is the worst spy ever.

    Not that I'm a spy as far as you know, but even I know that if you're working as a double agent, when you meet with your handler at a secret location and do that secret-talking-to-each-other thing, it's a bad idea to make eye contact with each other. And it's an even worse idea to exchange gifts.

    Plus, I guarantee you working at the CIA is not as interesting as the show makes it out to be. You'll be having a bland lunch in the cafeteria, trying to memorize 1,000 acronyms, and wondering why your roommate hasn't been replaced with an evil clone yet.

    Now, if they had gotten Alias' dad to do the spot, I might sign up. Um, that is, if I could pass a polygraph.

    And they call it... yuppie love

    Funny anecodtal story by Michael here.

    The District, a.k.a. the "Poverty Diamond"

    I was disappointed but not surprised to learn that the case for a D.C. commuter case was dismissed in court yesterday. The judge basically said, "I'm sympathetic, but can't do anything. Only Congress can." Which, of course, will happen, oh, never.

    It's not that I'm advocating socialism. Or maybe I am. But it isn't fair that 500,000 people enter D.C. every day, make a fortune, and then drive home to suburban Virginia or Maryland (or West Virginia or Pennsylvania), which gets all their income tax dollars. (Generally, a city commuter tax on non-residents is deductible from the home state's income tax, resulting in no net increase for the individual.)

    And granted, D.C. is pretty bad at spending the revenues it has already, but that's not a good reason to keep it from imposing a commuter tax and forcing its residents to shoulder all the financial burden of running an international capital with almost 1 million people inside its borders during the week. The District can't impose taxes on non-residents, and it can't tax the federal government for property; exactly where is it supposed to get revenue from? Plus, most of the high-paying contractors seem to have established their headquarters outside D.C. (which explains why I'm writing this in... bleh... Reston), so D.C. sees no benefit from that.

    Of course, a commuter tax would cause the suburbanites to complain about taxation without representaion, which is a familiar refrain around here. But really, if you're commuting to D.C. on work days, using its roads or potentially its civil services, and making a good salary off the federal government or otherwise, I think you have something of a social responsibility to support D.C. financially, just a little bit. At least enough to try to bring D.C. out of the shitholiness in which it seems to be constantly mired.

    So whatever, I don't claim to be an economist or anything. But what worries me the most is that the situation in Washington will become the situation for the rest of the country, as we move away from progressive tax rate schedules. In other words: Washington (e.g. Congress) is trying to make the rest of country like itself. I really don't want that.

    Escape from D.C.

    Washington extends its ugly tentacles to ensare us and keep us from leaving town on Friday afternoons.

    The weapon: a rush hour that begins at 3 p.m. and doesn't let up for hours. Anybody who's ever tried to get out of town on Friday in any direction has experienced it. (My favorite: I-85 south toward Stafford County. It takes about two hours to go maybe 30 miles.)

    The quaint notion of leaving town after work on Friday and getting somewhere with the time and energy to do something, spending two full days on activities and returning Sunday night has virtually disappeared. Traffic has added at least an hour, and often much more, to trips that used to take two to three, added time that is enough to defeat the whole point of a quick, close vacation.
    But why would you ever want to leave Washington at alllll? You should stayyyy. JOINnnnn USsssss. There is no escape!



    I don't think anybody wants to read any more about how I hate my new job that I've been shunted into. So, I'll let you listen about it instead (.wav).

    (Thanks to AT&T for the female British computery voice.)

    INS1PID: Personalized Virginia license plates I have hated (part 10 in a series)

    GR8T SAX (Wait, isn't "GR8" enough for "great"? "GR8T" is, like, great-tt.)


    Procrastination nation

    Mleh. I've been tasked to write something called a software design document. I have a document that describes what I need to write. It's nine pages long. A similar software design document my company recently produced was 115 pages long.

    My boss the project manager, a total ass, just gave me two weeks to write this one.

    I can't even get started. It's one of those deals where I should be white-knuckled and starting on this thing, but I'm so jaded and bored that I can't even focus on it for more than five minutes.

    But this is a good lesson for anyone working in the technology sector: never let them know you can write. You will be stuck with every boring fucking writing assignment that comes down the pike, and not actually get to work on any tech stuff. And, as you might expect, technical writing for the government is more tedious on a geometric scale (PDF) than writing for the private sector.

    Accident snarls traffic on toll road

    People, you gotta slow the fuck down.


    Class Action Lawsuit Happy Time Theater

    We knew this was coming: a class action lawsuit over lead in D.C.'s water. The city and the EPA's response to the lead problem has been predictably awful.


    Mmm, that's good lead

    A couple homes in D.C. had lead levels several thousand times over the EPA safe limit.

    But, clearly, I'm being too negative about all the lead in the water. There have to be some benefits. Like, umm... Superman won't be able to figure out where I hid those diamonds I stole, if I swallow them, because the lead in my bloodstream will block his X-ray vision.

    Can you think of any benefits?


    Uh-oh! Time to JOCK IT UP... Redskins style

    First, allow me to mock someone who left a comment about the Washington Redskins cheerleaders.

    Several months ago, after attending a particularly awful game, I posted various rants about the team. I made a throwaway, knee-jerk reference to the "cheerleader whores". Then, recently, I added the comment capability and republished the whole blog, resulting in comment threads for all of my old posts. An anonymous person calling themselves "A little respect" left a comment on this old post, that went a little-a somethin' like this:

    If you're such a hater of the 'Skins why do you go? ...at least they are smart enough to get your money. And if you don't know the time and committment the cheerleaders put in, or don't know the hours on end they practice to bring a bit of home to soldiers around the world, or hours they volunteer reading to children, visiting hospitals, etc...you are so sad. Whores? If you only knew some of them personally. you are truely a sad person.
    Oh, man. Obviously, throw a big [sic] tag over the whole thing.

    I love the phrase, "at least they are smart enough to get your money." That's so Washington. What's the Worthington Law, from Mr. Show? Ah, yes...

    More Money = Better Than

    "That's right, Bob. Listen to your friend. A person who makes more money than you is better than you, and therefore beyond criticism." Clearly, team owner Daniel Snyder subscribes to this law. "Why, I'm rich! I own a helicopter, dammit! Of course I'll be able to pick football players good! Get Keyshawn Johnson on the phone!"

    What's weird is: I didn't even spend that much time criticizing the cheerleaders. I mean, they're a bunch of nubile young 20-somethings in hot pants and cowboy boots, dancing and kicking to "Cherry Pie" by Warrant. For 10 weeks straight, without changing their routine. Do you expect me to believe they were hired for their dancing/musical abilities, and not their inherent whoreiness?

    And, as much as I would like to get to know some of them personally, I don't think that's likely to happen.

    Or is it...?!



    Anyway, after a dismal 5-11 season, the Redskins are once again in all-out spending mode, as Snyder peruses the free agency pool looking for players that a) he's heard of, and b) can overpay.

    Here's a summary of the Redskins' recent moves:

  • Overpaid for QB Mark Brunell. I liked him back in the day in Jacksonville, but can't get over the feeling that in 2004 he falls into the Old and Busted category. His best year was 1996, when he was allowed to scramble around and had both Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell to throw at. Later, after being taught to stay in the pocket and be less mobile, he was less effective, and the injuries started to mount up. His signing...

  • Pissed off QB Patrick Ramsey. The signing of Brunell rightfully angered the second-year quarterback, who himself was forced to take a beating thanks to a mentally-challenged offensive line. Granted, Ramsey was a reach as a first-round pick, but he's shown some promising talent when he's been conscious. Now, he may have to be traded away, and once again the team will likely see a promising player racking up stats for another team.

  • Overpaid to re-sign LB Lavar Arrington. Eight years and $80 million. Granted, he's been to three straight Pro Bowls. But he's also so full of himself that you get the sense he's not really willing to take direction or learn football discipline; his level of "freelancing" on defense occasionally resulted in an easy TD last year. And, his new contract...

  • Pissed off CB Champ Bailey. Bailey has been my favorite player on the team; he's super-speedy and he's been consistently disciplined, unlike his teammates. Plus, he showed that he has more patience and intelligence than Snyder with this quote from last year, after a bad loss:

    "If it doesn't work out, you get so frustrated and paranoid and feel like changes have to be made. But sometimes you've just got to be patient. It's like this every year here. I love the fact that we're trying to get there. But sometimes you just have to stay on the course you're on because sometimes it takes time."
    OK, so if Champ knows that, why doesn't Danny?

    There's no question in my mind that Bailey was the most talented player on the team, and one they absolutely had to keep. So of course the team...

  • Traded Bailey (and a 2nd round draft pick!) for RB Clinton Portis. Not that going after a strong running back is necessarily a bad thing. Of course, when you already had a good running back that you released for the purpose of concentrating on the passing game, it doesn't seem like such a good idea to sacrifice one of the best cornerbacks in the game, plus a high draft pick, to acquire Clinton Portis a year later. But since we're up to Plan Nine for Rebuilding the Team, changing direction and focus once again, team management thinks it's justified in making Portis the highest paid running back evah.

    Is he really that good? Up to Jim Brown and Walter Payton levels? I don't think so. And there are rumblings that the Redskins are overpaying Portis by a lot, considering that he was already under contract at a minimum rate for the next two seasons and had no bargaining leverage. That will make his agent happy, but it will also make it harder for the team to fit 51 other players under the salary cap.

  • Signed their latest savior head coach, Joe Gibbs. I'm not convinced that Gibbs' expertise is enough to overcome Dan Snyder's ham-handed management. Gibbs, of course, has been busy running a NASCAR team for the past decade or so. Here's what his team's car looks like this year:

    HA! Well, at least he has Jesus on his side. And we all know how much Jesus loves to make his favorite football teams win.

    Anyway. No more season tickets for me; I've had enough bad, overpriced football to last me a lifetime. Instead: trip to Europe this summer. Woot!
  • 3.01.2004


    Be sure to read The Smoking Gun's samples of some of the 200,000-plus letters received by the FCC after the Super Bowl.

    I'd like a new job, but not bad enough to have to read through all these.

    So... very... sad

    A big new supermarket opened in Sterling, Va. This is apparently a life-changing event:

    Then, along with their four children -- ages 2 to 8 -- they were first in line at 5:20 a.m. yesterday for the 7 a.m. opening of the new Wegmans market in Sterling.

    "I've been waking up all night just to make sure we didn't get here late," said Antoinette, who was joined by about 400 other foodies at the sunrise opening. "I'm a supermarket connoisseur."
    No, this is a supermarket connoisseur:

    "I say, Lovey! These smoked cheddarwurst samples are an absolute abortion!"

    [Thurston Howell mode: off]

    Link props: Swamp City.

    INS1PID: Personalized Virginia license plates I have hated (part 9 in a series)

    8NTIAQT (i.e. "Ain't I a cutie")
    On a BMW Z3: BMW ZEE3

    Scary, scarier

    Scary: being struck by an SUV on the Interstate while changing a flat tire.

    Scarier: being dragged 8.5 miles without the driver noticing.