Coming to ABC in 2005: The Capitol Club is Marked For Death

Be sure to read about the Capitol Club. It's the fraternity after college.



Murder up. The counter that is. By three, today. Unless they're counting cicadas, that's not a good sign.



The wife of a senator gets in a catfight at a D.C. garden center over... parking.

Is there something in the water here, or what? Does drinking lead make people want to kick each other's asses?

Hi, I'm James, a second-class consumer

A recipe for disaster: driving a car with a non-working tape deck, having my commute to and from work expanded to 30-40 minutes now that I work in MFing Reston, and being forced to listen to Washington radio stations. I have very nearly harikari-ed myself on several occasions.

So I made a few calls to see if I could get a new in-dash CD player installed before my New York road trip last weekend. Myer-Emco in Fairfax said they could install one Thursday evening, so I drove down. I walked into the car stereo showroom and browsed a bit. There was one fairly simple model on sale for $120, which looked reasonable. I jokingly tried out one of the $1,000 touch-screen models for fun. Then I waited for some customer service. And waited and waited.

Fifteen minutes later, one of the creepy sales reps walked up, with a customer trailing him. "Have you been helped?" he asked. "No," I said. "OK, someone will be with you in a minute."

I listened as he explained to the other customer why he needed a $500 extra addition to the $3,000 stereo he was about to buy; because that extra $500 would make it "10 times better". Then I watched as they walked out into the parking lot to the customer's Porsche, where the sales rep explained how the stereo would be installed.

That's when I realized I probably wasn't getting a stereo that day, if only because the sales commission on a cheap CD player for my crappy '91 Maxima kind of paled to what this other guy was spending. Sure enough, after waiting another 15 minutes, a different creepy sales rep informed me that they didn't have the wiring harness necessary to install the radio in my crappy '91 Maxima. Nor did any of their other branches in Northern Virginia. Which would have been nice to learn on the phone earlier. Before I wasted an hour of my workday. Oh, apparently they usually have the wiring harnesses in stock. Just not that day.

Thus, I drove back to work radio-less. For shame, that I would labor under the delusion I can compete for attention at area retail outlets, when other Washingtonians are throwing around money like that.


Good seats still available

This has to be the worst big city for pro sports in the country.

NBA Wizards (25-57, .305): Jerry Stackhouse pulls himself out of the lineup for the year after an "injury". Then comes back at management's insistence. Christian Laettner is on the weed. Kwame Brown started to play closer to his potential, which, in accordance with Bullets/Wizards tradition, means it's time to trade him.

NHL Capitals (23-46-10-3, 59 pts, .360): Owner Ted Leonsis punched a fan who made fun of him. The team started awfully and traded away everyone. Peter Bondra cried.

NFL Redskins (5-11, .313): The less said about them the better.

Average winning percentage: .326. None of them are even close to .500, let alone the playoffs. You'd think that at least one of them could have made it interesting. But no. At least they're saving me money by making me not want to buy tickets to see them.

Just for the hell of it, let's throw in these:

- WNBA Mystics: 9-25, .265
- MLS United: 10-11-9, 38 pts., .422
- MLB Senators 0-0, don't exist. At least they had as many wins as losses.

Oh, all right

By popular demand, I put back the murder counter. We'll see how good I am at keeping it updated. As it was pointed out to me, by a reader and by 50 Cent, summer is murder season. We'll see if homicides shoot up when the cicadas come out.

I'll still try to make the occasional post here. I feel a little bit out of the loop, being stuck all the way out in Reston now, but if anything really infuriating goes down I'll try to mention it. Be sure to check out some of those links to the left to read about some of the wacky things that go down in D.C., especially Swamp City, Washington Oculus and Wonkette.


Sorry for the lack of content

I've been busy with awful, stupid work, and also working on starting up a new blog project.

I have a meeting on Thursday morning with my project's uber-boss, who is apparently unhappy with our progress. I'm sure I'll be in a great mood after that. This place always puts me in such great spirits! Now, how can I get them to fire me?


Oh, here we go

You know I like baseball, but paying for the stadium with all public funds is not the best idea. Especially knowing what went down in Milwaukee with Miller Park, where the attendance has dropped to half capacity and the team remains uncompetitive, despite promising that a new park would lead to better teams.

And knowing that D.C. could probably better use the funds for, like, hospitals, schools, fixing the roads, adding light rail, etc. and so on... yeah. Fully-funded public stadium bad.

Mayor Tony: please do not bargain with Bud Selig and Major League Baseball. You want no part of that.


It's on, like a plate of neck bones

Two gentlemen, one from New York City and one from D.C., have decided to take a trip down Trash Talk Blvd. Their respective cities face off in the squared circle at NYC-DC.

I'm a NYC fan. Don't know if I could live there, but my honeymoon there was perfect, and I'm excited to be going up there in a couple weekends for a wedding. (Strand visit and Mets tickets already lined up.)

(Link via the Oc.)

I got nothin'

Absolutely nothing is going on in my life. I blame work. Also, I'm boring.

I need to go be social Friday night. Maybe go out for dinner someplace unsuburban, then go someplace where I can get a drink and relax, without having to dress up. Where should I go?


There is no escape

When you take miserable, crowded BWI airport, and add a security breach that requires the evacuation of one of the terminals, it's a recipe for hilarity.

Meanwhile, a potentially dangerous Molotov backpack was defused at Union Station.

Baseball is like Eamon

MLB's all like, "____ you Washington, I don't want you back." (And then Washington rebuts like Frankee and is all, "Your game was wack" anyway. Ahem, end hip-hop interlude...)

I'm a huge fan of the game. I've got three composition books at home full of homemade box scores dating back to 1991, when I would go to Great Falls (Mont.) Dodgers games in the summer while visiting my dad. When I moved to Atlanta, I became something of a regular at Braves games, even working for their fan magazine as a writer and assistant editor for a time.

And yeah, you can argue that baseball is too slow or boring to be interesting. But one of the reasons I like it so much is because of its leisurely pace, which is perfect for summer. There may be no better feeling than sitting in a stadium on a warm June night, watching a game unfolding while working through a big bag of peanuts and a soda. For me, nothing is more simultaneously relaxing and engaging than watching baseball. It's a celebration of everything summer should be: warmth, relaxation, camaraderie.

Since those three things are banned in Washington, we don't have a baseball team. (Granted, not for lack of trying.) But as far as the majors go, my interest is starting to wane a bit, primarily because the playing field is so uneven. The NFL works so well because each franchise has relatively the same financial resources to work with, due to revenue sharing and a salary cap. Not so in baseball, where individual teams are responsible for raising their own revenues. This, of course, skews things a bit. Here's last year's payroll chart:

NEW YORK YANKEES $ 152,749,814
NEW YORK METS $ 117,176,429
ATLANTA BRAVES $ 106,243,667
TEXAS RANGERS $ 103,491,667
SAN DIEGO PADRES $ 47,928,000

The Yankees pay out almost 10 times what Tampa Bay does, because their various revenues are so much higher. Naturally, they're in the playoffs every year and can sign the best free agents, like Alex Rodriguez. For the teams at the bottom of the charts, if they do manage to put a good team together, they can bet that their good players will be signed by the rich teams later on as free agents.

It's an inherently unfair competitive structure, which come to think of it, suits Washington quite well. But the lack of balance makes the regular season predictable, and it's less and less fun to watch, with really no way to fix it. Maybe we shouldn't want any part of that.

On the other hand, minor league baseball manages to retain the fun, the balanced competition, and the affordable ticket pricing that have historically been a part of baseball. So, I would really like to know why Washington doesn't even have a minor league team. Surely a Triple-A team could make its home comfortably in RFK stadium, once the home of the Senators. Surely a few of the millions of people who live around D.C. would be starved enough for baseball that they'd be willing to drop a few bucks to check out tomorrow's stars. Surely some folks would be willing to ditch work for a day game once in a while. Surely some families would welcome the summer diversion... right? I can't imagine why AAA baseball wouldn't be viable here. Not that I have the venture capital to find out, but somebody's got to make some calls about this.

In the meantime, I'm not really satisfied with my options. Frederick, Md. is about an hour away; they have a single-A team. Bowie has, I think, a double-A team to the south (not sure how long it takes to get there). They're both affiliated with the Orioles, who are just not really a convenient option for me to check out on a regular basis, now that I work in MFing Reston (that's my new pet name for it).

For example, Boston is playing Baltimore on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. Let's say I had a hankering to go. If I wanted to pick up my wife in Arlington, and then go up around the Beltway, to I-95 and into Baltimore in time for the start of the game, I would need to leave work 20 minutes ago. That's not really going to work for me.

Oh well. Another year sans baseball.

P.S... go Yellow Jackets.

See also "Hubris, destroyed by"

WASA is asking for a 5 percent rate increase. That lead ain't gonna pay for itself!

I'm back

But out of the loop, as usual. I have no idea what's going on in this town right now. But I do know you should be reading John Gorenfeld's blog about Sun Moon, who looks quite smashing in this modest ceremonial garb: