Thursday, December 31, 2009

The year in books (2009)

This was the year of Tech. Kindle 2, audiobooks. Amazing how few paper books I have read.
  • Revelation Space - Alistair Reynolds - Interesting read. Very heavy SF. Deep future and some interesting twists and turns.
  • On Basilisk Station - David Weber - Yes, a re-read. I love the Honor Harrington series. Sooooo much.
  • Crusade:Destroyermen - Taylor Anderson - Second book of the Destroyermen saga. Very interesting alternate world that they get inserted into, aiding on race against an aggressive other race, while still dealing with some Japs who came with them.
  • The Honor of the Queen - David Weber - More Honor Harrington.
  • You Suck - Christopher Moore - A cute little vampire romp. Had some great lines "crazy monkey sex" (AB)
  • The Short Victorious War - David Weber - More Honor Harrington
  • Field of Dishonor - David Weber - More Honor Harrington.
  • Flag in Exile - David Weber - More Honor Harrington.
  • Honor Among Enemies - David Weber - More Honor Harrington.
  • Pandora's Star - Peter F. Hamilton - Ready good beginning of a series. 400 years in the future with widespread wormhole tech. (AB)
  • In Enemy Hands - David Weber - More Honor Harrington.
  • Echoes of Honor - David Weber - More Honor Harrington.
  • One Second After - William R. Forstchen - Very interesting story. The bad guys detonate EMP nukes over the US and the short and long term effects on society. (AB)
  • Ashes of Victory - David Weber - More Honor Harrington.
  • Maelstrom: Destroyermen - Taylor Anderson - Third book. Further tales of the WWII destroyer thrown into another world.
  • War of Honor - David Weber - More Honor Harrington.
  • The Lost Fleet:Relentless - Jack Campbell - More tales of the Lost fleet. Very entertaining Space Opera.
  • At All Costs - David Weber - Latest of the Honor Harrington saga. I hadn't read this one before. Very much enjoyed it!
  • The Dreaming Void - Peter F. Hamilton - 2nd Book of the Series. 400 years in the future with widespread wormhole tech. (AB)
  • Mazer in Prison - Orson Scott Card - Prequel to the Enders Game series. Very interesting set up. Too bad it was a short story. (AB)
  • With the Lightnings - David Drake - Lt. Daniel Leary (How can I not like a series with a guy who shares a name with me?) RCN series. A lot more political intrigue than my normal books. But fun.
  • Weapons of Choice - John Birmingham - 1st of the Series. mid 2020's fleet is dropped into the beginning of WWII. And then bad things happen. (AB)
  • Designated Targets - John Birmingham - 2nd of the Series. Not sure if I am a fan of the way that the author jumps forward a couple of months/year between the books. 6/18 (AB)
  • Final Impact - John Birmingham - 3rd of the Series. Not sure if I am a fan of the way that the author jumps forward a couple of months/year between the books. 6/18 (AB)
  • Lt. Leary, Commanding - David Drake - Lt. Daniel Leary RCN series.
  • The Far Side of The Stars - David Drake - Lt. Daniel Leary RCN series.
  • Judas Unchained - Peter F. Hamilton - Another story in the Pandora Star Universe.7/19 (AB)
  • The Way to Glory - David Drake - Lt. Daniel Leary RCN series.
  • The Strain - Guillermo Del Toro, Chuck Hogan - Pretty interesting first book. I really enjoyed it and look forward to the next book. 8/26 (AB)
  • The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger - I was actually pretty entertained. Tragic love story... 9/30(AB)
  • The Lighter Side - Keith Laumer - Classic SF Short stories. Very entertaining. 9/15
  • The Ghost Brigades - John Scalzi - Sequal to Old Mans War. Neat premise and an interesting tale. 10/6
  • Of Fire and Night - Kevin J. Anderson -Book 5 of the Saga of the Seven Suns. 10/12 (AB)
  • Metal Swarm - Kevin J. Anderson - More of the Saga of Seven Suns 10/21 (AB)
  • Galactic North - Alastair Reynolds - A couple short stories from the Revelation Space Universe. 10/30(AB)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Blogger HH..

I have never been one to turn down a HH, so yesterday (Friday), me and CupcakeGirl went down to to Public Bar after work. After picking up an empenada across the street (and finally realizing where the bar was) we popped in, scoped out the place and got the most important thing done (obtaining a drink and getting served the largest onion rings I have ever seen (more than an inch tall) we then decided to be social). After getting approached by Francobeans while waiting for our apps we then joined the main party. Saw some faces we already knew (Lexa, Maxie), some we only knew through pictures (Lilu) and some totally new faces (Patrick of The Definitive Dmbosstone). It was fun to put some faces with all the blogs that I read.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

DC Rollergirls Games

This was my second Rollergirls event (my first was almost 9 years ago with a friend down in Austin TX). I had been planning to go an event here in DC for years, but the timing was always wrong (either a drill weekend or something else). So when I saw that they were playing this Saturday? Me and Cupcake Girl took my nephew C to the game.

It was slightly different than what I had seen before (since this was flat track, not the curved one I saw down in Texas). Still it was pretty fun.

To start with there was the bake sale!!! Delicious cookies for reasonable prices. We also had some candy that was thrown out to the crowd, popcorn, beer and soda.

Then on to the game. Sadly the first game didn't end so well for the local team (it was the Philadelphia's Heavy Metal Hookers vs DC's Scare Force One). They pretty much got their buts kicked after taking a brief lead (something like 45 points unopposed before scoring a few points at the end). The first bout comprised 2 20 minute sets, with pretty much non-stop action.

Then after a brief show the main match was on. 2 DC teams, Cherry Blossom Bombshells vs the DC Demoncats (or as I was telling C, the Pink team vs the Black team). This game had a lot more parity and was gripping until the end. We watched the second half of this game from down on the floor, a comfortable safe distance from the danger zone.

All and all an entertaining way to fill a late afternoon/early evening!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Grammar/Spelling Nazi Drive-by

I love using Yelp to review restaurants ( I feel that since it aids me in finding places to eat I feel like I should put my 2 cents in. Often the reviews are typed on my iPhone just after eating there. It leads to occasional (~ 1 per review.... Always words that I always spell wrong) spelling errors. But today I got the following message from another user:
Hint: your reviews will get more notice if you run that little abc (spell checker).
And her pic? Classic Grammar/Spelling Nazi.

So I am sticking by the headline, Spelling Nazi Drive-By.... film at 11.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Vampire Diaries

I watched all 9 episodes of Vampire Diaries this weekend with my good friend M.

I really wanted to not like this show... And the first 3 episodes? They were making me feel pretty smug in estimation (it was feeling very Twilight-ish). But then it was like they brought in a new writing team. There suddenly was this bigger universe (more people aware of the vampires, magic, more vamps and a whole new universe. Hell, they even make fun of Twilight ("This Bella chick seems really bossy", "Why don't you shimmer?")). And now I find myself eagerly awaiting the next episode.

Bravo for turning something that easily could have become a CW suckfest and given me an intriguing new show to watch. Now you just have to keep it up.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Leadership and Being in Charge

I was the Company Commander for my Army National Guard Company (~60 people) last weekend (when the bosses went off and played at a central party) and it got me thinking....

I never thought I would ever be in a position of authority like I am for both my civilian and military careers. I know that I when I was a kid? Never really crossed my mind. I never dreamed or imagined that anything more than a few people would ever consider me to be their boss (maybe a small programming or engineering team). It.... never... even... occurred to me.....

But I look at where I am now, being an Executive Officer for my Army Company and a soon to be GS-14 for my government job (where I manage a 24x7x365 shop with 30+ people with a budget in excess of $6-7 million) and I had that moment, like from the song "How did I get here?"

Obviously on some level I must have searched it out. Particularily on the military side where I spent 2.5 years working to to get my commission. I know that some of it comes from a strong sense of duty, where I look around and ask myself, if I don't step up, who will (or worse, that someone who is less qualified than me steps up and doesn't do as good of a job as me). And while I have taken very little in the way of management courses I think I can see where others made mistakes (and successes) and what I do not (and do) want to do when I am placed in situations where I must lead.

I just think that it is funny that for someone with very little ambition when I was little ended with so much, and in the future I will probably have more.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Two fun treats last night.

And that is not even counting the election results....
Left 4 Dead 2 Demo was released on the Xbox 360 yesterday. Fun!! I like the wider variety of weapons, from the new melee weapons (ranging from a guitar, nightstick, machete to skillet), the wider range of regular weapons (multiple pistol types, new variations on weapons), new special zombie types (even body armored ones!) and just overall coolness. I cannot wait for my copy of the full game to arrive in the mail... my friends and family will know this has happened when I stop tweeting and emailing for a couple of days. Between L4D2 and COD:MW2 this is a good time for games!

And last night I watched the premier of V. And enjoyed it. Well done, interesting adaptation of the storyline, updated tech and more sinister Vistitors (having them already infiltrate Earth is a cool twist). I love that they are having a counter-terrorism expert get involved in a resistance cell, it will be interesting if the skills used to hunt cells can be used to avoid detection as well. Overall it was good... good enough that it lured in my non-SF watching roomie (who requested that I keep the episodes and not delete them until he gets back from travel).

Monday, October 26, 2009

Marine Corp Marathon

So, in compliance with Operation RFR, I rany the MCM yesterday. Great experience. I was on a 10:30 pace until Mile 18.5 (where everything seem to cramp up.... thigh, calf, and groin... and weirdest of all? Both my biceps and my one of my pecs.... they also cramped up at the end as well. I am so glad that I didn't face plant when it happened). Everything past that was power walking (I tried running a bit, but more than a 1/4 mile and everything cramped up).

The only issue that I noted in the entire race? At the beginning the race started on both side of the road... The left entry chute into the Start gate was twice as large as the one on the right... Kind of frustrating (and completely ruins the whole concept of starting people in flights when you have runners twice as slow crossing the start).

My parents met me at the beginning and the end, and Cupcake Girl met me there as well as the 10 and the 16 mile points.

Final Time? 5:17. Almost exactly a 12 minute pace. I think I will let that stand as my best (and only) marathon time!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


So for the past 9 weeks thanks to Uncle Sam I have been a tenant of "The Great Place" aka Ft Hood TX. I will forgo talking about the actual training (not for OPSEC since that really doesn't apply in this case... just because I am trying to get over the fact that the 10 weeks of training could have been condensed into 4, maybe 5, weeks and there is so much wasted time in this stuff that it makes me sad... when I find myself fondly wishing to be back at work? I am bored).

Not exactly where I wanted to be (since I get to miss 4 of the 8 weeks in DC where the weather is pleasant by my standards) but I am a true believer taking lemons and making something approximating lemonaide, so I took it upon myself to explore the heck out TX (I spent 5 months in Houston in 2000, but never got over to this side except for one trip to Austin). I went out drinking on 6th Street in Austin, made my arteries cry out for mercy when I went to the TX State Fair, explored Austin and San Antonio pretty extensively with Cupcake Girl and my parents, and even went in and went to a University of Texas game (vs Colorado).

I think I will borrow from some other bloggers and present some of the good things and some of the bad things in a list:
  • Friendly people - really.... My favorite story is that after walking around for 2 hours in 90 degree heat we were looking among the tailgaters at UT for a beer to buy. My Dad said that he was a tourist, was hot, tired and just wanted to buy a beer. The man just reached around, grabbed into his cooler and gave my Dad a beer.
  • Great BBQ - really, some of the best!
  • Best Tex-Mex ever
  • Short work day (average day started at 0800, broke for lunch from 1130 to 1300 and then was done by 1530). I think going back to working 8-9 hour days is going to kill me
  • Lots of space for long runs (training for MCM and the Army Ten Miler)
  • Surprisingly bad trails. Sidewalks ending, poorly maintained... Kind of surprising on an Army base.
  • Interesting (new) things to run into the trails. I had to hop off one when a M2 Bradley APC came roaring up past me. Also a whole new assortment of wildlife, snakes and cattle. And because of the cattle? They have these things called cattle guards that are meant to coincide with streams etc that were meant to keep the cattle constrained. Large bars about 9in separation.
  • Driving... everywhere.... Distances that I would never drive had to be driven because walking was just unsafe.
  • The motel I spent this time in. Completely sealed (poor ventilation that can lead to mold if not run continiously), crappy shower and right next to the cannon at the 3 Corps HQ.
  • Living on base. The above mentioned cannons that go off every weekday at 0600 and 1700.... Very hard to sleep through.
  • And yes, being so far from home
But in just another 2-3 days I can leave. 1500 miles of driving and I will be home!!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Whip It!

So I gotta say I am pre-biased in favor of this movie.... Beyond the whole Drew Barrymore affinity that I freely admit to, I have been to Austin TX a number of times (love the town and the culture) and have even attended a Roller Derby event in Austin.

I loved this movie. Very entertaining, lots of LOL moments and was even engaged for the action scenes. There even was a surreal moment as they show the characters watching a movie in the Alamo Drafthouse in downtown Austin (the same place I was watching the movie). The story, the development of the main character from a meek girl to an empowered young woman is good and believable, the characters are likeable and relatable, and you leave the movie with a good feeling.

Really, if you have a chance? Check it out.

Friday, October 09, 2009


For someone with my fascination with Zombies, it is kind of surprising that I haven't seen it until now (though in my defense the past weekend was hectic, with the ATM, family in town(including me) and a DC United game to see.

Loved it! Classic zombies (though maybe a bit smarter... one zombie actually turned the doorknob in one scene), stereotypical characters (but with some fun twists).... In some ways it almost feels like a movie adaptation of Left 4 Dead.

Love the surprise guest (Bill Murray) and overall it was an enjoyable 1:20 (are movies trending shorter again? Haven't seen a film this short in a bit.

4/5 Stars! Not Zombie perfection but lots of fun.

Peace Prize?

Really? Maybe you should, I don't know, actually do something before they award it to someone. He should mention GWB in his acceptance speech, since in many ways this is a "Congrats for not being GWB" award.

I thought it was a joke when I heard about it this morning (my first thought, it is not April 1). But this is the same org that gave the award to a renown terrorist, Yassar Arafat, so I pretty much discount everything it does, this is just the the sprinkles on top of the icing..

Saturday, September 19, 2009

So apparently I am a racist....

Whatever..... because I have the nerve to disagree with the President (wasn't that patriotic last year?) on issues that I care about and am concerned about. Obviously the big subject now is the whole health care issue (public option? No thanks... I have dealt with government controlled health care and is frustrating and annoying). I think it can all be handled a lot easier with these 3 items:
  • Tort reform.... not on the table... given that so many of the people making laws are lawyers, it does not surprise me that this remains off the table. But it is one of the biggest factors for impacting our service... the insurance to protect against some of these insane lawsuits is crazy.
  • Multi-State Portability - competition is good. Forcing a company to only operate in one state or creating sub-companies for each of those states? nasty inefficiency.
  • Eliminating the concept of pre-conditions. If you are eligible for insurance by employment or purchase? You should be able to buy insurance. Now there needs to be some controls, in particular for those people who through their behavior or decision didn't sign up for insurance.
So I am sorry if people seem to find any disagreement with the President to be disrespectful (most of my adult life has shown me that not to be the case, from both parties) or racist, but I just do not find the current plans to be acceptable and I am not afraid to voice my disapproval.

Friday, August 21, 2009


How odd is it that it is cooler here in Texas than back in DC?
Last week me and the GF (Cupcake Girl.... she keeps shooting for a new nickname but that is not happening) drove from DC to Ft. Hood Texas.... Not too bad of a drive actually... lots of good food along the way (the main fast food/chains that we hit was Sonic and Cracker Barrel... all the other meals were local places). 36 hours, 1400 miles (at a good 45mpg) and we finally got in, got a place to stay for the night and then hit Austin for a whirlwind tour. One nice long walk and an awesome brunch (very Texas with lots of bbq).

Sadly the material I am learning here is very basic by my standards. Stuff that, while I never really learned it (like the ins and outs of IOS (Cisco's operating system for its routers) has never really been in my required learning sphere and is really meant for a lower tier technology type person... why half the class is officers (8 Commissioned, 2 Warrants and 6 enlisted) boggles my mind. All I know is that this stuff makes me look like a genius (because while I don't know the material I understand the foundations and have learned a lot of OS's, shells and programming languages over the years, this is just another one). That and things like binary arithmetic are pretty much second nature at this point. Oh well, hopefully I will get something out of this course that is costing me so many opportunities (I cannot even bring myself to mention them since I am still so angry that I am here and not taking advantage them).

BTW, my favorite line that I have uttered about Army bases? Me to CG - "You will never see so many uterus's in use in any other place other than around a major army base."

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


So as the minority here in the blogger-verse (in particular the DC blogger-verse), it is hard to describe the amusement that I am getting in the pure act of flipping channels as of late (flipping between Fox News and CNN). The sheer outrage that I am seeing from the Left is heightened by the fact that the Right (in particular the group that has been so often silent) is having the sheer audacity to use the same tactics that Lefties have been using for decades (and vehemently defended that they are tactics of a vibrant democracy) are now suddenly anti-democratic and a hindrance to the entire process (maybe because they have the nerve to dress well and take a shower more than once a week). Ah, it is pure comedy gold.... You can taste the hypocrisy. Congress in particular is finally getting the attention that it deserves.

PS, does anyone else out there wonder what dirt Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has on the President? He is so stupendously awful that for once in my life I am actually noticing a press secretary. When I find myself thinking that I could almost do his job as well as him, that says a lot. But I do heartily encourage BHO to keep him on, he is doing an awesome job of making his message become garbled and provides constant amusement to TV watchers.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The rare Army post

Now that I am finished training you may notice that I am less likely to talk about the Army (for various reasons, ranging from the ever present OPSEC to the near certainty that someone will eventually read my writing (I remember 2 people in BOLC II commenting that they knew about my blog in the parking lot one evening... they thought it was cool since they could point their relatives toward it and not have to describe things in minute)).

I am proud to say that I finally am no longer a "butter bar"!!
Though leave it for the Army to let me know by posting the document in my online file and not notifying me otherwise. I think my CO is going to do something but given that it is pretty much a time in grade promotion I am not making a big deal out of it. Now when I get my Captain bars? Maybe a little party.
Other than that things have been quite on the Army front. I rolled a critical fail on dodging from a task that will have me out at Ft. Hood TX for 10 weeks starting mid-August where I learn the details on the new communication system (can you say lots of time playing video games and working out (good since I have the races in October)? Me and my Xbox 360 will resume our relationship down there.
I also got bumped up to becoming the Executive Officer (XO in military parlance) for my Company so that is going to suck up more time.
The rumor mill continues to mention the possibility of a deployment sometime in 2011, but I am choosing to not address it until I see something concrete.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Really, in the general scheme of things? I could barely point this country out on a map, not a country that enters into my consciousness at all..

My first reaction was, "oh, another Latin America coup? Shocking, not." But since it was a slow news day I took a closer look at the reporting. And started to get angry. At my government and the news. First clue that we were on the wrong side? Chavez was taking the same stance as us. Then you get down to the facts, the guy, Zelaya, was in a feud with both his Congress and the Supreme Court there. He seemed intent on violating the rule of the land and install himself as President for life, circumventing election laws and ignoring the law.

What I think really has me cheesed off? Multiple references to a military coup...... Um... The military acted at the direction of Congress. No military leaders were placed in charge, the president of their Congress was selected to act as President pro-tem.

And from the opinion polls? Barely 30% wanted Zelaya in office. Basically it comes down that the geniuses who came up with the Constitution did not put in an impeachment capability.

Zelaya wants to violate the Constitution (at least 8 parts of it), ignored the rulings of the Supreme Court and (this is just me) is guilty of having some bad allies (Castro, Chavez, and others of his ilk). The US is in the wrong here. We should back off and let them take care of their own problems.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


It continues to amaze me the amount that we, as a society, are prone to let slide in those with talent. Be it sports (too many to count, in particular in the NFL and MLB arena), music/art (really, this is the only field where it is expected that the most skilled are expected to be addicts of some type), politics (sexual improrities as well as financial abound) and (to a lesser degree, which says something about our society) business. We just seem too be horribly accepting of their (massive) flaws and let it slide as though their skill was an excuse. In particular when the individual has recently died (human nature to not speak ill of the dead I guess).

I and at least one other blogger friend have been less than understanding about the national/international mourning for the loss of Michael Jackson... CG actually said, "I have never seen someone hate child molesters as much as you." There are few things said about me that I am as proud of as statement like that... I just cannot understand the amount of sadness/mourning for someone who has shown himself to be such as despicable human being. Rot in hell Michael.... Every bit of good will that was earned for your skill in music was lost for your depicable behavior.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Dear Iranian protesters. Good for you. You guys have more balls than I do (and definitely more than the long haired protesters here in the States). To step out like that and protest something wrong, when the potential consequences for you can be so grave? I admire and respect your bravery and determination.

I am embarrassed that my government remains silent in your struggle (we get so much flack from your government even when we remain silent. We might as well say something that deserves condemnation. Really, silent or speaking, we can do no right in your governments eyes. We might as well just issue words of encouragement to you to, supporting something that we hold so dear.). I apologize on behalf of my country.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Summer TV

Even though Summer is the slow season for TV affictionado (my list of shows on my Tivo's is rapidly shrinking as I watch though some of my second and third tier shows that were accumulating) it definitely has changed a lot since the time of my youth. Good god it has changed for the better. Thanks to cable (which pretty much owns the summer) there are a number of great (or interesting) shows that are on now or coming on soon:
  • True Blood - HBO finally booted something out of the infield. Looks like they have a home-run here. I got addicted to it last fall and was eagerly awaiting the new season. And based on the one episode I have not been disappointed.
  • Burn Notice - It has Bruce Campbell in it. Do you really need any more reasons? If you do, these should cover it; Good plots, engaging characters...
  • In Plain Sight - My new favorite basic cable show. Mary and her crew are just fun, with each episode being able to stand on its own rights but skillfully interwoven.
  • Pysch - Still watch it. Still entertained.
  • Eureka - SciFi Channel (I am going to ignore your new name since it looks like the product of the marketing retards), you consistently produce shows that I really do enjoy watching (BSG, SG, SG:A). The average joe surrounded by the big brains? It just makes for fun TV.
  • Warehouse 13 - Color me intrigued. I will definitely be giving you a shot. I eagerly await the chance to see this story expand.
  • Nurse Jackie - I liked the first episode. I am amused that it already has been renewed.

It is also the time for the burnoff. We have already seen the end of Pushing Daisies (those last 3-4 minutes felt so rushed but at least they offered a little closure) and the upcoming burnoff of some of the cancelled shows (Cupid, etc). I do look forward to the handful of episodes of Better of Ted (so happy that show dodged the axe).

And I would be remiss to not mention my 2 favorites of the summer network reality shows: Wipeout (god I love the big balls... I so, so, so want to do this show... though I think my little brother D may try and kill me if I do) and I Survived a Japanese Game Show.

Rhodeside Grill

Ever been to a place that does something (in this case, brunch) pretty well and thought, "maybe I should try them for dinner?" I did and I was sorely disappointed.

I truly think that the brunch at Rhodeside is pretty solid, some original dishes and nothing to really complain about. And of course most everyone knows that it is a pretty good place to get a beer (very solid selection of them) because of it's kickball notoriety (at least in Arlington). But I made the mistake of hitting them up for dinner recently.

We started off with calamari. Bleh. Rubbery, the sauce was about as bland as can be, the breading was seriously meh... We did not clean then plate like we would for a good meal.

Then on to the main course.. Rack of ribs for her, Fish and Chips for me. Fries were not well cooked, lacked taste and more than a few were cold. My first sign that things were going to be bad for the main course was the fish and the onion rings had the same breading as the calamari. And darn if I wasn't right. The fish itself was ok. The breading was bad. The ribs were cooked right but they were overwhelmed by the tangy sauce that tasted as though it came from a bottle of KC Masterpiece. There was food left on my plate at the end of this... which for those of you who know me, means that it was bad.

Rhodeside, I will miss you for the brunch, the beer and the convenience, but I will not miss you for the food other than brunch (Rhodeside Grill is on the chopping block due to expansion of the Teachers building that is adjacent to it).

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Family Weight Loss Challenge

So I have joined my brothers and my father in a little Biggest Loser B Family style.
I definitely need to lose some weight, in particular with the races I have coming in October...

263lbs at the weigh in, target is 235. I wish I could have pushed it back to after this weekend (I have a wedding to head to with my ex-roommate). So hopefully next time (in about 2 weeks) I can show at least some forward progress...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Upfronts: Fox

  • Really only one sad note. Poor Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Good show. I would have liked to have seen it play out a bit more
  • Dollhouse. Really, it still is a a happy note, even now... A pleasant surprise. A rare survivor of the "Death Slot" aka the slot that Fox sends SF shows off to its early death.
  • Fringe. Really good. Took a bit to catch but I really enjoy it now.
  • 24 - needs to redeem itself for the meek ending of the last season
  • Bones - solid fun TV
  • Human Target - could be interesting
  • Family Guy - seems to be on a steady decline.
  • All the new shows. As always, the jury is out. Will I watch them? Yes. Will I give them much of a chance? Nope....

NBC Upfronts

  • Chuck. I know kung-fu.... 'nuff said!!
  • 30 Rock and The Office. Solid comedy.
  • Heroes. I want to see how this goes. It got a lot better in the second half of the season.
  • Day One. Intrigued am I...
  • Parks and Recreation. Just not impressed.
  • My Name is Earl. Probably should die but this show, like According to Jim, has nine lives and will reappear on another network.
  • Jay Leno - Dude.... you just killed like 6 hours of prime time scripted TV. You and your jaw are officially on my shit list. Right above reality TV.
We shall see
  • whatever else new. Other than Day One nothing really leaps at me. Hopefully the new comedy on Thursday is better than the drek that was Kath and Kim.... Talk about a low bar....

CW Upfronts

Since I am displeased, lets start out with the ugly...
  • They killed Privileged.... :( Cute show, well written and entertaining. One of the closest sucessors to Gilmore Girls.
  • And Reaper... not quite so tragic but still entertaining
  • How is One Tree Hill still alive?
  • And the same to Smallville.....


  • Supernatural got renewed. At least one more year of fun
  • Gossip Girl is also coming back. Another no brainer....

Meh, we shall see

  • Vampire Diaries. Somehow it just feels like Twilight, the TV Show.....

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

CBS Upfronts

Yes, I am doing these out of order... It's my blog and I will blog when I want to


  • Well, Amazing Race got another season. Hands down the best Reality show on TV so that is always exciting, since it always seems to be on the bubble....
No Surprise But Happy that I get more of them
  • Big Bang, HIMYM, 2.5 Men, NCIS, the CSI's (more meh than anything, but good background), Numb3rs
  • Much as I appreciate JLH breasts, Ghost Whisperer needs to crossover into the light.
  • Same to you Medium. Time to move on to the next plane.
  • Everything new. I might watch it (and NCIS spinoff will get a real look) but nothing to get worked up over.

ABC Upfronts...

Ah, the exciting times for a Media Addict. While we have gotten early confirmation that some bubble shows (Chuck, Better off Ted, Dollhouse) have been renewed it is interesting to see where it all fits together...

Yep, late.... busy at work....

  • Better off Ted is coming back!!
  • V, Flash Forward and Eastwick all look like they are worth a look.
  • Looking forward to the last season of Lost!
  • Jim is dead.... now we cut off the head, sew in Garlic to the mouth and bury it in a crossroads and hope it stays there.

Apathy/no surprise

  • Grey's, Private Practice, Brothers and Sisters. And that's pretty much all other than the above that I watch...
  • The new sitcoms... I will give them a try, but I am not expecting much...


  • Samantha Who?.... Cute show. While not tragic,
  • Scrubs - Was this necessary? While I love me some Scrubs, this years ending felt like so perfect of an ending that this just leaves me conflicted...

Monday, May 18, 2009

MCM Historic Half

What a difference training can make. Final result time of 2:14:04, a 10:15 pace for 13.1 miles (including the grueling 10-11 mile stretch where it seemed to be constantly uphill). That represents a good 11 minute decrease from the National Half Marathon. And of course it didn't also come with the near shock levels of reaction that I had to the last race (I was in seriously bad shape at the end of the National HM... like sick for 2 days bad).

And what a difference competant management can make. Adequate water, poweraide, and even sports beans at one point. None of this running out of cups crap like at the National Marathon. Strong presense of volunteers, no shortage of medical personnel, and a well organized ending. It was downright refreshing.

Though I could have done with a little less rain. I was a serious drowned rat by the end of the run, with a period intense rain just as I got to the downtown proper area. I literally wrung my pants out a couple of times during the race and my feet were soaked halfway through. I know that on some level I had more confidence on this court because I used to live in (and run around) Fredericksburg so most of the course was known to me. The course itself was nice, relatively flat, plenty of interesting things to look at and (given the hour and weather on a Sunday) a good crowd of supporters.

A very pretty course and I highly encourage people to do it, it was a great race and course.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Really Arlington?

Moving your Health Department from the middle of the County(Clarendon) off to a fairly remote corner right by the gates of Ft. Myer? Poor planning. You are removing the following:
  • Ease of access. The Clarendon location is right on the bus and Metro lines. The average people you have heading to these services? Not so car friendly.... And it pretty much makes it basically impossible for the employees to use public transportation to get to work.
  • Parking. Easily this is what is going to affect both the general public and the businesses that operate in the Clarendon area. This will mean no more free parking after 6 for that area other than the pitiful street parking.

Toss in a snow job of the County board by the County management by forcing this through with little regard to little things like, y'know, review (hmm... this sounds familiar). So much for transparency of Government, at least here in the PRA (People's Republic of Arlington).....

Friday, May 08, 2009

Star Trek.

Really, really good. Go see it.
This is one of the most approachable of the Star Trek series. You could go in with no knowledge of Star Trek and enjoy it (CupcakeGirl is a good example.. she said she liked it). Very action oriented, much more of a "realistic" feel (some things I liked, there was actually things like military discipline on the ships, the tech level felt more believable (engine room, bridge), fights seemed realer (bodies, vacuum)) and was quite a fun night.

I watched this on IMAX, but the theater was so full by the time we got there so we were way up front. I really hate how we Americans fill in a theater, even when it was packed. So much lying (I am saving that seat = my fat ass doesn't want anyone sitting next to me.... I did look back at least once or twice and saw that a number of those "saved" seats were empty... why was I not surprised).

PS, J.J. Abrams, you are officially banned from the lens flare effect... are you kidding me? You just used up a lifetime pass, something like 200+ uses...

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Media Notes

  • I Love You Man - saw this while I had freetime at drill (shocking). Pretty entertaining.
  • Dollhouse - Still loving it, all the way to the end. Me and CG gasped when we saw the reveal (I called it a little before it was stated). Next week looks... fantastic!!
  • Chuck - OMG. I know Kung-fu!!! God, I love this show and really hope that all this bubble talk is just that. I really want to see how this plays out.
  • Amazing Race - Really, the editors of this show are great. While there are no teams that I really love, there are a few I don't like (yes, I am looking at you deaf boy.... your mom sooo carried your whining ass)
  • 24 - really, I think this may have been the most twisty season yet... Go Jack! Go Chloe (kick Janeane Garafalo's characters ass.. that woman pisses me off so much)
  • Big Bang/How I Met Your Mother - This must be just about the best comedy block on TV right now. The season enders/near enders have just been entertaining..
I think my external drive for my Tivo is about to die. Already moving some shows off and have a replacement ordered....

Video Games
  • I got nothing... a few games of Halo 3 and that is about it..... Rare for me..

Monday, April 27, 2009


So my family (parents, a brother and my GF, CG) decided that it would be a good way to cap off the weekend by taking advantage of a fantastic deal that Piola only run on Sunday from 5PM to 10PM. All you can eat pizza for $15.
Basically they have a set list (for the night, they rotate every week) where they come around and offer whatever comes out of the oven to you.

Let me tell you... it was fantastic!! Luckily there were only 2 pizza with the fungus so CG and I were quite happy. I think I got to try every item on the list (minus the ones with fungus on them) and quickly found my favorites (and ones I didn't like... yeah.... I am looking at you eggplant). Very good deal and a great chance to try some pizza's that you wouldn't necessarily commit to an entire pizza of, sight (and taste) unseen.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Who buys DVD's anymore?

I recently wracked my brain and tried to remember the last time I bought a DVD (or BluRay or HD-DVD... pretty much any physical disc). As you can see above, I used to buy them... A lot.... (I probably have around 1500 disc's.... mainly Anime). I don't count games (since you pretty much have to buy them in disc form) but I think it came out to be the middle of last year (where I bought a collection of my of my favorite TV shows). I also can understand people with little children (who have the ability to watch the same show something like a billion times) or special excemptions for shows that you just love (like women and "Pretty Woman", "Sex and the City", etc).

But with all the options out there (Netflix, Tivo, etc) who really needs those physical discs cluttering up their environment? I know that I (and a couple of people I know that used to buy a lot of stuff) have seen our activity slow to a trickle....

Monday, April 06, 2009

Army Cupcakes and Cakes

This past Drill I had 2 soldiers retire from my unit (one SSG with 29 years of service and one SFC with 35 years of service). Check out the awesome cupcakes and cakes that one of the Soldiers (who was also leaving, though she was just ETSing) prepared for the "Hail and Farewell" party we had at the end of Drill. She did an awesome job (and the cake/cupcakes tasted as good as they looked).

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Taste of the Nation

So yummy!!!!
So full!! (I woke completely full this morning, after passing out from a food coma)

There were so many tasty treats that it is hard even to start. Lots of favorites (Co Co Sala had some awesome stuff), lots of new places and some really great drinks (tried the mixologists drinks.... no wonder they are so popular if all their drinks were as strong as the one the poured last night. As well as good friends like the belgian beers). A very pleasant way to spend an evening (and the best part was that most of it went to a charity).

Saturday, March 21, 2009

National Capital (Half) Marathon.

What a nice morning for a run! I completed the race (13.1 miles!! This is actually the longest run that I have ever completed in a race. As part of Operation Run Fatboy Run this is the first of series that I am running (next weekend is MCM Run to Register 10K, so that I get my spot in the MCM next fall) in just a shade over 2:20(so basically around a 11 minute mile).

The good:
  • Pretty course. I can't think of the last time I have been through some of these neighborhoods and it was a really great way to see DC
  • Overall a fairly level course
  • Good crowds. I liked the one neighborhood where people had beer available to the runners (I did not partake. I had been contemplating having beer at the end, but my body disagreed).
The bad:
  • Wow, DC roads are in bad shape. There really is no point where you are not looking at the ground making sure that you have good footing
  • Running out of cups. Really people.... this is race management 101. Having people take water/poweraide from gallon jugs was just plain awkward.
  • Not training enough. I was destroyed after the run. Like by the time I made it to the Metro with CupcakeGirl? I was warming my hand in her hands. For those of you that know me, that is unheard of. By the time I made it back to Courthouse? Teeth chattering, slight nausea.... I am only feeling human now, some 5 hours after the race.

yes, I am a fashion disaster when I run....

Friday, March 20, 2009

Kindle 2

So I have been an e-book reader for a long time. Way back when I was pounding through e-books (mostly DRM free stuff from my favorite publisher, Baen... Anytime I can buy 5 books for 15 dollars and use a device I had already (normally a Palm or MS PDA) it is a great thing). I decided to join the Kindle wagon with the release of the Kindle 2. 2 weeks (due to a bad zip code on my package) it arrived. I happily loaded the 177 DRM free ebooks that I already had and was ready to rock and roll.

And less than 24 hours later? This....

But I will give Amazon credit. They had the replacement in my hands in barely 24 hours!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Watchmen and other Recent Pop Culture stuff.

The GF (who now bears the name of CG, Cupcake Girl) and I went to see Watchmen on Friday.
All I can say is whoah! That is a whole lot of blue penis.... (there may have been blue balls (hehe...) but in the standard hetero manner all I saw is penis and I then had to reframe what I saw of the scene). They may as well call it the blue penis movie....

After that it was off to drill (oh yeah, I am in a good mood this week... nothing like 2 workweeks sandwiching a weekend where I am under even more stress than while at work.). I didn't even get back until around 10 PM since for some reason we decided that it was a good idea to run a land navigation course from 1300-1700 on a Sunday afternoon, so of course it ran long.

Some of the shows on my hot watch (shows that do not sit on my Tivo for any period of time)
  • 24 - The wait was long but OMG.... this season has been awesome! Is it wrong that I want to see bad things happen to the Senator (Red from That 70's Show) and Janeane Garofalo(who joined the show because she hated Jack Bauer!)? Nope, not really..
  • Lost - It really has picked up this season. I watch it every week with CG and the twists and turns are a lot of fun!
  • Life on Mars - Poor show. I liked it. At least it gets a chance for a graceful exit.
  • Chuck - Please do not cancel it. This show is great TV!
  • Gossip Girl - Another fun series. I am so not in the target demo, but it is still entertaining to watch.
  • Dollhouse - Love it! Like all Whedon shows, it takes a bit to "burn in" and establish itself.

Monday, March 02, 2009


God I love snow! We get it so rarely here in the DC region that I think I am always in shock when we actually get it here.

So anyone want to take bets the Prez makes another snarky comment about DC not being able to handle snow? The over/under here at the office is very much in favor that he will. I am so sorry that the DC region decides that it is not a good fiscal investment to have the same level of snow removal capability as locations that are more like to get his fine white stuff.

Oh well, at least I got my 2 hours (no g-d 7 AM teleconference).

Friday, February 27, 2009

Well that took all of a month

And the gun crowd? Not shocked in the slightest.

Obama to Seek New Assault Weapons Ban

The best part of this (and pretty much all anti-gunner drivel?), they can't even get their story straight. How does banning the import/manufacture of semi-automatic rifles here in this country affect the Mexican gangs using, "Grenades and automatic weapons." I have never in my life seen a live grenade for sale anywhere in here in the US and automatic weapons? Really expensive (price of the weapon plus $3000 transfer stamp? God no) and not all that common. AG Holder looks like a moron to anyone out there with a spit of common sense. (Really, this is not the way to sell this to the American public, "I think that will have a positive impact in Mexico, at a minimum." This builds up exactly zero sympathy from a majority of the public)

Orders for those evil high cap magazines? Have been placed... It may be the best investment I have made in the past year (they will probably appreciate to 2-3 times their purchase price in the next couple of years...).

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Blogger HH

So I decided to convince my GF, H, to come and meet the people whose stories I was always forwarding to her. Not too hard since we didn't have anything planned for Friday night and there is always the fascination to put the in-person face of the people that are writing these stories.

We made a night of it, heading down to U Street early to grab dinner. H made the mistake of offer 2 choices, and for me? When I am presented with a noodle place it is hard to pass up. So after getting off the wrong exit, we had a nice stroll over to DC Noodles. I really like my choice (the seafood Spicy noodle soup. Just a touch of spice (its hard to outspice me) and all the stuff in there was really pretty good). We started off with Pumpkin Empananas and Meat dumplings. Overall I was quite pleased and would happily eat there again.

Then over to Marvin's for drinks. I liked the choice, because overall it was a neat bar with a fantastic selection of drinks (I worked my way through the 5 beers on draft, all mostly Belgian beers). The bar itself was really neat, I liked the outdoors component (the heat was a great plan to keep it available on this very chilly night).

After looking around for a bit (I told H that if I was a cop the criminals would be very safe, since while a number of the bloggers had pics, I had only really met 2-4 of them).

I am glad I got the chance to talk with 2 of the hosts, and Arjewtino. I had a great DC/Soccer chat with I-66 (because there really is a lot to talk about right now, with the stadium and of course US Mens National Team WC Qualification).

We had a great time and got to chat with a bunch of awesome people (further reassuring H that not all bloggers are dorks like myself)
Great meeting everyone and I hope that the fates align and I (as well as H) can make another one in the near future!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Freedom takes another hit.

Virginia Passes Smoking Ban
While I personally appreciate the fact that I will be able to come home from VA bars and not smell like I rolled around in an ashtray (given that I do not, now, in the past or in the future, smoke) I kind of appreciate it.
Whatever happened to personal responsibility (no one is forcing me to go to these bars)? Or, y'know, pesky things like property rights (those owners of the establishments should decide what goes on there. A number here in Arlington are smoke free already by choice (choose... yes, I like that word, choose). They decided to see if the market was right for them, and offered a choice to the consumers.

I know that a lot of y'all are celebrating this, but in this Libertarians world? I am seeing another spark of freedom being extinguished.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Lotsa Food!

So this week is Restaurant Week! And I love trying me some new places to eat.
I am going to include one that did was not RW dining experience.
  • Co Co Sala - H and I went there on a Friday night (for V-Day, since she had to work the next night). My this is a yummy place. We started off with 2 delicious drinks (I had a MMM (Malted Milk Martini... it had Bailey's so of course I couldn't resist) and she had a Disia (Lychee Puree)) then ordered 4 Coco Bites (everything is small plate nowadays). My god they do good Mac and Cheese (we ordered one of each) as well as 2 sliders. We followed of course with Chocolate, going with the Aztec Experience with an extra order of tiramisu. So full and satisfied after that evening.
  • Georgia Browns - My RW Dinner. We went with beers with this meal. I went with the Black Bean Soup (meh.. it was okay), Sassafrass BBQ St. Louis Ribs (with Mac and Cheese.... this was so yummy. It just about fell of the bone) and Chocolate Pecan Pie (Good god this was good... chocolate with pecan pie. Who would have thunk it). H had Duck Spinach Salad (pretty good actually), Blue Cornmeal Fried Chicken (I liked it, also really good) and Coconut Cake (really good but not as good as the pie). Yet again, I left stuff. The breads (Cornbread stick and buttermilk biscuits) with Peach butter was fantastic!
  • Pinzimini - I took my Mom to lunch here. Not sure what to expect but it is a really nice modern restaurant. We both started with the asparagus crepes (big portion and really tasty), I had the pizza (all Italian meats) and my mom had the fish (Sole, breaded), both were very tasty and the portions were overly generous. We followed it with the tiramisu.

Also in the past week a number of us went to the DC Food and Wine Festival at the Reagan Building. So many wines. It further confirmed my love of German wines (so sweet).

Friday, February 13, 2009


In the interests of allmighty OPSEC, I will be circumspect about my unit, exactly when I am being mobilized and where we are going...
But that said, in the past 2 weeks it has come to light that sometime in 2011 (general enough OPSEC gods?) my Brigade will be heading to foreign lands. I kind of had an inkling before this, though I would have more likely bet on 2012 or 2013, but based on accelerated fielding of systems to my unit and others started to lead me to other conclusions. Which were confirmed on a recent trip where I was with senior members of the Brigade and they let slip the information. So I played the clueless LT and tried to see what other information I could get. Based on the information gleaned from that trip and the information from the senior officers, I really could deny it no longer. Daniel now has a date and destination for me to heading off to war.

So after a bit of personal coping mechanisms (see item (a) and a couple of his friends below) I slowly began the reachout. Of course I shared it with my fellow officers who are in the unit that is deploying, then one or 2 friends who are way off and I never get to see in person. Then began the planning of how to tell people this little factoid.
I am a big fan of the FTF (no one wants to learn about this in an email or FB status update). I had drill that weekend so after that? Began the task of letting people (everyone from my parents to my lovely GF) know the general details.
Obviously it is surprising, but also not (it's something that I had to kind of expect in the post 9/11 world). Luckily they are getting things more straightened out and the deployments are only for 12 months (3 months of workup, 8 months in theater, 1 month demob). But it is also more than 2 years away so obviously things may change in time. (as my standard response goes, "Obama will fix it"....)

Makes me glad I picked a field that will keep me far away from the bad guys.

Since it is so far away I am just rolling with the flow now... It is something to keep in mind for my planning, but overall isn't going to impact my daily life (at least for another 12-18 months... then I might really be stressing... I am somewhat of a homebody and the thought of being away from my place, with my things, my family for that long is really hard to contemplate).

Item (a) - $3 for a Liter of Shiner Bock

And now for the denial, where I try to pretend this isn't going to happen (hopefully I can keep this phase going for a good year or more before I can't deny it anymore).

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Friday Night - Fox's Slot of Death for SF shows

So I am somewhat concerned... An interesting show with an awesome show runner (Joss Whedon) and a great actress, Eliza Dushku, has been slotted in what I call "The Death Slot." (Alternatively titled the slot that only "The X-Files" survived) I fear for Dollhouse....

I know Fox thinks it is clever to put 2 SF shows (the show being "The Sarah Connor Chronicles") in that slot (since, y'know, geeks/nerds don't go out on Friday nights..) but this really has never worked in the past. As noted, only one show has really survived this slot, and given that Fox is steadily becoming the master executioner (a momentary dip and onto the scrap heap you go) it is not looking good for either show..

Monday, February 09, 2009

Busy, Busy....

Lots of wearing of the uniform this past week.... I am pretty much done with it for another couple of weeks (assuming I don't get tasked to attend another Army conference next week). We are getting a lot of new equipment in the next 12 months (yes... I am slightly suspicious of this...).

Last Monday to Friday I was out in Austin (I am in shock.... The Army sent me to a place where I wanted to go... I better not get used to this). I love Austin. It is plainly an awesome town.
The running/walking paths around the lake (I was in the Radisson downtown, right next to the infamous bat bridge) are just top notch. On the 3 days that I ran I got in 16+ miles of running (which is important given that I have a 1/2 marathon in only another month or so). Everyone there seemed to be out running/walking/biking... There even were water coolers set out for everyone to use in the parks.

I also availed myself of the fun on 6th Street (very cool, on Thursday they even block off the street to traffic and you can walk down it). And of course BBQ (The County Line provided another fantastic meal).

Then I got back on Friday at 1300 (in Richmond), drove back to DC, spent some time with the GF and then was heading down to my unit (3 hour drive) at 4 AM the next day. We didn't wrap up until 8PM Saturday night, then off to dinner together (officer and senior enlisted bonding time). I didn't get to bed until 1030.. I was so dead. It's funny that as an Officer I never got to spend any time out in the fantastic weather, instead having to see the occasional FB post on it.

I was so wiped after everything that Monday was a serious Mental Health/Physical health (I was seriously wiped and the travel left me with a tickle in my throat). Hope y'all had a good day.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Like tank treads..

Yes, that is how I describe them. My trusty Yak Trax. This lovely little gift from my Mom 2 years ago has prevented me (a person with questionable grasp on walking in the normal times) near perfect traction in days like the past 2 days. I all but aim at the most imposing terrain, certain that these sweet little shoe coverings will save me from myself. While the first pair that I got is just about ready to be DX'd, a new pair is waiting in the wings. When the weather gets cold, these handy little pieces of metal and plastic get tossed into my commute bag, taken out only when I believe that the weather has returned to the safe side.

PS.... Mr. President. I have seen your mocking of the way that the DC area handles storms. I view this more on the side of thrifty-ness. To waste money on a snow system that would get all the side streets safe enough to drive on would be extremely wasteful. The reason we handle it so badly is because of that and the fact that we don't just get snow. We get the god-awful wintery mix (a little snow with sleet/freezing rain) that is very hard to handle and often lures less observant drivers to their doom.

PPS Mr. President... yes, we saw you try to use the window as a door. This is why I know that the press is on your side, if President Bush had done it the mocking would have been merciless(actually he did have some door issues, and the press in fact ate it up).

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Now I see the advantage of the cold temperatures... It allows the wonderful snow to stick!

Glad I walk to work, hope everyone stays safe out there.

PS and fingers crossed, maybe we will get an early dismissal!

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Really? What is not to love?

I did spend a lot of time at the poker tables (I won't bore you other than mention this one hand where I got quad 9's on the river and took in an almost 300 pot!!). I actually left Vegas with more cash in my pocket than when I left (so while I had budgeted more than $600 for gambling I used up none of it... all told with meals and whatnot the trip cost less than $500).

Coolest part of the trip? I went to the Penn & Teller show and got picked from the crowd to be part of their gun trick (shocking I know for anyone who knows me). Still working on exactly how the trick works, but it is pretty cool. My brother, D, wanted to kill me when I stuck my hand up and volunteered to get up on stage... it was pretty funny! It was pretty cool to be up there (Army has taken care of my fear of crowds and public speaking... and embarrassment...).
Lots of good food (breakfast in Paris, last dinner in Mandalay Bay's buffet). Best find of the trip? Ellis Island Casino. They have this fantastic meal where for 6.99 you get: a imperial pint of beer (their own brew), a salad (big and not adorned by anything other than dressing and croutons), a side of garlic green beans (not a fan of green beans mostly, but these were fantastic), a potato and a 10 oz steak (very good). It was right around the corner from Paris (if you went the quick way... not so around the corner if you choose the wrong direction).

O'Sheas Casino has beer pong!! Pretty cool!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Goodbye Mr. President

I think only time will tell how your work during these crazy years is evaluated. We do not have the perspective to evaluate your performance in doing what may be one of the hardest jobs in the World during one of the more tumultuous times in history.

Thank you for your service and may God bless you in your coming years.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Italian Store

First of a bunch of reviews of places that I love to eat (generally corrosponding with me eating there the night or day before):

God I love this place. While I of course have my Arlington bias (notable since I can often go a week or more and not leave my beloved A-town), The Italian Store is one of the best places for 2 notable items in the area:
  • Hands down? The best NYC style pizza in the area? Whatever they do, its so close to a good slice in NYC that it defies description.
  • Great classic subs. Awesome bread (I always do hard so I cannot comment on the soft), quality ingredients, and top notch meats and cheese.

I had the pleasure of dining there (or picking up for a night in front of the TV with some gread subs and some good TV(finished True Blood) and a great girl to watch them with). We got a classic slice, the Tradizionale, (just cheese) and a slice of the supreme, Pizza Suprema (tomatoes, pepperoni, onions, italian sausage and black olives). Then we got subs to go with them, The Capri (Prosciutto (a delicately cured ham) blended with genoa salami, provolone cheese andspiced capacola ham) and Philly (Genoa salami, capacola & Danish ham, and provolone, on a hard crusty roll finished off with lettuce,tomato, onions, peppers, oregano, & our famous olive oil dressing).

I think I am still full today.. We didn't even have room for the dessert that we picked up there.

They also have an excellent selection of wines and pretty much everything else you need to make a delicious Italian meal.

I consider that I am lucky that I live so close to this awesome store. And other people seem to share that opinion since the wait to get a sandwich at the prime times are impressive, somtimes exceeding 30 minutes.

The Italian Store
3123 Lee Hwy
Arlington, Virginia 22201-4207
Phone: (703) 528-6266

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I still have to wait another 4 days til Vegas?

Darn. Though I will enjoy the coming days since my GF will be back tomorrow from her work obligation.

I am so pysched. Not only that, I get to avoid the commotion that surrounds this coming event (where the crown and sceptre are bestowed and the throne is sat upon... they had to get them specially made for this event).

On the running note? I am now registered for the National Marathon (the half version), the Marine Corp Race to Qualify (to lock me in for the MCM) and the Fredericksburg Historic Half. Nothing like races to motivate you to get out there.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Operation Run-Fatboy-Run is in effect

So I got lazy... I enjoyed the food a bit too much, slacked off on a few workouts. I have basically treated the time since I got back from my Army training as a bit of a vacation. I put on a few lbs that I can ill-afford to put on (both from my health and in terms of what I as an Army Officer should allow myself to be). So back to watching my diet, increasing my workouts until I return to my better weight. While I can still run long and hard (I did 8 miles on Sunday), I just need to focus a bit more on the other side of fitness as well, the diet.

This is the year of the running. I will make my second attempt on the Marine Corp Marathon (with a better plan and more time spent in training beforehand) and I will succeed this year.

Next race on the agenda? That I already have signed up for? The National Half Marathon on March 21.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Vegas Baby!!!

What to do when you want nothing to do with the coronation, sorry, inauguration mess that is about to descend on your hometown?
Head far away to the land that is American Capitalism at its best and worst.

From the 18th to the 21st I will be living it up at Paris and enjoying all that makes America great!

Friday, January 02, 2009

Lets go Hokies!!!

Hokies 20 - Cincinnati 7. This game kept me on the edge the whole night!

Really!! What a great way to start out a new year!!!

So worth it to stay up late (though I should be in bed catching up on sleep after the New Years Eve revelry).