Friday, June 12, 2009

Amazing video

A fantastic musical interpretation ... of why I'm allergic to crossing the Potomac.

Incredible. Friggin' incredible.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Screen on the Green: Nope.

BREAKING!

Friend of the blog, TA, has alerted us that Screen on the Green will not be occuring this summer.  We don't have much information as of this time, other than an unofficial confirmation from the National Park Service.

At this point HBO has not applied for an permitting in relation to the Screen on the Green series, and knowing the headache in getting a permit from the NPS, you would assume they would have done so by this point.

So ... enjoy your outdoor movies somewhere else ... :-/

Friday, May 8, 2009

Student Loan Companies -- Destroying America

I just received an email from Citi, my student loan provider, and I am FURIOUS!!

Not only are they draining Americans of bajillions of dollars every year, these scam artists have now taken the time to draft an email telling me why the federal Direct Lending Program will hurt people. They couldn't be more wrong - greedy bastards.

In Obama's budget cuts, he has proposed that the federal government issue all federal loans directly, rather than referring them to private lenders. I remember seeing Hillary stump about this, and nothing on her platform got me more excited than this idea. The loan companies want nothing to do with this, of course, as this would severely slash their profits.

The money that the government saves by not outsourcing these loans to private lenders will go directly to increase Pell Grants, which would allow SO many more students access to college. The email I received from Citi is below, and their reasoning seems to be nothing more than the typical capitalist argument of "let the markets decide." I feel like I become more of a left-wing nut everyday, I realize, but give me a break Citibank.

WaPo has a great article here to make sense of what Obama is doing.

May 7, 2009


Dear CHARLES LEIZEAR,

Thank you for the opportunity to help you obtain the education of your choice. As a student loan provider for the past 50 years, Citi has provided financial aid assistance to millions of students and parents nationwide.

Given the challenging economy and continued increases in the cost of higher education, it is critical that the U.S. student lending system serves the best interests of students and their families. If you believe that competition and choice among student loan providers is valuable, you have an opportunity to make your voice heard.

Why Get Involved?
The government budget outline proposes offering federal student loans solely through the federal government's Direct Lending Program starting July of next year. While this proposal will not impact a borrower's ability to obtain a federal student loan, it will eliminate your ability to choose a student loan provider. It will also substantially increase the national debt since each and every federally-insured student loan will be funded by the Federal Treasury through the issuance of treasury securities. This proposal impacts you as a citizen - both as a taxpayer and as a borrower.

Why Does Competition And Choice Matter?
Without private lender involvement through the Federal Family Education Loan Program, students and their families will not enjoy the benefits that competition has made possible for more than 40 years. This competition has provided not only a choice of lenders, but also innovative products and services, such as:
  • a variety of borrower benefits that lower your cost of borrowing
  • financial literacy programs that educate you on how to borrow responsibly
  • web-based tools and resources to advise you about your financing options
  • default prevention services to help you pay back your loans
Competition also has driven increased customer satisfaction as a result of the responsiveness, personal attention and on-campus support that student loan lenders have provided to borrowers and schools nationwide.

Make Your Voice Heard
If you value the ability to shop for, evaluate and choose your student loan provider, make your voice heard by contacting your Members of Congress and by signing one of the online petitions that support borrower choice and competition in federal student lending.

Sincerely,

The Student Loan Corporation

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Go Humans Go

My favorite ads ... check this out:
http://atomische.com/img/Go_Humans_Go

Monday, April 13, 2009

Go...


Go Humans Go

Friday, April 10, 2009

Sigma Chi ... Anchorbowl

If you are in the Greek community ... go to Anchorbowl to see Sigma Chi win.
If you are not in the Greek community ... go to Anchorbowl to see Sigma Chi win.

Amazing video.  Props guys.


Friday, April 3, 2009

Sucess, Failure and ???

Google 

  • Success
  1.  Google Search - Easily one of the best search engines out there, with everything at the click of a bottom. It provides the best searches, and in a godly quick fashion. It has really been what google has strive on. The google search design is really where it got started. Its simple, sometime funny design 'Google' is all that sat on the first page. The term google, originally mean to describe a number now became a Company and a Verb. Something only Shakespeare could do.
  2. GMAIL - Abbreviated for Google Maile, GMAIL continues to increase the Market share on Internet web browser email. With contracts to schools like GW and Hofstra Gmail continues to grow. The simple design with the send bottom at the bottom has propelled its success under average users. Where google really does well in Gmail is their ability to fit the needs of the user. If you get 1000 emails a minute, Google allows filters, and labels to help you organize, something other web emails do not do.
  3. Calendar and Doc's - Now with PDF and Tasking, it makes reading and scheduling a lot easier.
  4. Reader- Most likely how some of you will be reading this!
  5. Maps/Street View
  • Failures
  1. Orkut- ??? Feature linked here . This was google's attempt to take over Facebook. What happen, I'm not really too sure. Introducing a new social networking site may have been a bit too early, especially when facebook was doing so well.  Although thousands of users complain about the new(er(er(er))) facebook, they still continue to have hits on the website.  I feel like someone in high school made this website for a class and sold it to google. I honestly hope google does not invest time in money on this, because it looks really sad.
  2. Knol ??? Linked Google's version of wikipedia. Fail! Another early release, and much needed work on the site has prevented a mass exodus against wikipedia. Although there have been talks that google did not intend to infiltrate the non-profit, it still makes google's web developers look pathetic.
  3. Notebook- Not even available as a plug in for chrome, it appears google gave up on the side project
  • Ok, why google?
  1. Sketch 3D - Although i have always wanted to draw the Underground in a 3 dimensional way, i don't know why google invested in this. I think all of six people use it to be honest.
  2. Sites - I think only Mike has ever used this feature. I have attempted to make several using patch stats, but i found it too confusing at some stages. I think it has potential, but what market is google going after?
  3. Patent - oh right Coca Cola has a patent, why is google telling me this?
  4. And Lastly ... Google Sets? I don't think anyone has heard of this, but if you write five things that are common google can make a list of 75 things in common. Example - Colors Blue, Green Orange, White Black Pink... gives you 75 colours.

Where have we been?

From Ireland

Updates on our Readers and Writers 
  • Tim  Graduated preschool got a new job with G.W. . Since he will be working with The George Washington University his email(s) will remain the same. Although his knew blackberry has google talk, and the chirping noise. His job still does not provide him a computer, sounds a lot like bisnow if you know what i mean.
  • Charlie finally slept! He slept after reading [insert actual amount here Charlie]  essays and applications, Charlie helped pickour future (or at least GW's). He also has been traveling the country a lot, preventing him from posting his favourite places to eat in DC. 
  • Morgan is still basking in the glory of March 17th. Just a reminder, that was half a month ago.
  • Patchus has been too busy Exploring the world, and taking pictures.  Studying Abroad is Stressful.
  • Lori is on her way to getting her masters, and is only a class or two away.
  • Marc Abanto finally got let into the party of the the Real World. He now works for a campaign, and could really use your help.  Email him if you want to intern, work or even just help him out.
  • Chris "Friend" Rotella & Katie Ross both got into Grad School, though for different reasons, Rotella to establish a monoplistic empire (an MBA), and Katie to study it... as long as it is in America.
If some how I missed your update, please reply to this thread


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Express yourself!


I think these advertisements look great.  I saw one on a bus this morning and then this one at the Bus stop at 16th and Euclid later.

Good job WMATA.  Honestly, I really like these ads.  "Express yourself" - great tagline.

Now if only the S9 saved more than 8 minutes off of a commute (bus lanes anyone?)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

LEGOS!

I know that everyone has seen this by now - because it has been on just about a hundred blogs, but I wanted to show it again.  I wanted to put it up here a long time ago, but never got around to it.


The NYT post is from Christopher Niemann, who shares with us his fun with LEGOs while in Berlin for a few years.  I have copied two the images here, to show you how cool they are and get you to actually go to their site. Here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patrick's Day!!



What a day! St. Patrick's Day (more like St. Patrick's Week...) is one of my favorite holidays. Besides the usual revelry and hooliganizing that comes this time of year, I also appreciate the chance to celebrate Irish heritage and culture (hooleys, bodhrans, or grog anyone?).

Growing up in Pittsburgh, like many northern cities, St. Patrick's Day was like Christmas come early. Parade attendance was virtually mandatory, regardless of your background (though nearly everyone I knew growing up claimed some Irish ancestry) and every civic group, marching band, politician, and pub fought for the right to march. Then there were the competing festivals and musicians following the parade, and the obligatory bar crawls. My Irish Father usually rolls his eyes and mutters something under his breath about "Americans igits and their parades. F***ing amateurs...", but even he eventually gets into the spirit.

More importantly, after 8 years of that teetotaler in the White House, we finally have a president who knows how to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. I'm not usually a particular fan of our new president, but today he's come a long way in my book. First of all, the water in the fountains at the White House have been dyed green in honor of the day. As is traditional, the president is meeting with Irish leaders in the White House today as well; first with Taoiseach Brian Cowan in the Oval Office, and later with the two leaders of the power sharing government in Northern Ireland (Robinson and McGuinness). After a nice luncheon on Capitol Hill with Speaker Pelosi, President Obama is hosting not 1, but 2 cocktail parties at the White House! I have every intention of finding a way into one...

Most exciting of all: Obama announced this morning that Pittsburgh Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney has been appointed Ambassador to Ireland! Great man, from a great city, representing one great nation to another. America!!

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

Friday, March 13, 2009

Shocker...

I thought Bojangles (Jim Graham) being Chairman of the WMATA board was going to be a good thing for everyone.

Nope - turns out he is out to screw us over again.  That's right -- Bojangles is at it again.

This lovely article (here) quotes him as being vehmently against fare increases, he doesn't even want them discussed.

If you weren't aware Metro still has a $29m shortfall for their upcoming fiscal budget.  The news this week is that they want to use Federal Stimulus money to operate (exactly what it shouldn't be used for).  Which is unreal.  Bojangles would rather cut service than raise fares -- which is ridiculous.

You can not be cutting service.  No way.  No how.  No Graham.

Do what is right ... raise fares.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

HELP & The Serve America Act

Just a quick note...

Yesterday the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing on the 'Next Generation of National Service". While the committee Chairman, Senator Sir Edward Kennedy, KBE, was unable to attend, it was still a very productive and informative hearing, and also a chance to see which members (if any) opposed the Serve America Act, the main national service bill being championed in Congress.

I've written on the issue before, but as a recap: The Serve America Act (SAA) is a bill introduced by Sir Edward Kennedy and Utah Republican Senator Orrin Hatch that seeks to reinvigorate national service in a variety of ways. Specifically, it would provide $5 billion over five years to fund 250,000 volunteers in energy, the environment, healthcare, and education. The bill also seek to encourage and empower social entrepreneurs by creating 'Community Solution Funds' to serve as a type of venture capital for innovative approaches to civic issues. The SAA would also support various means of measuring the impact of these social investments. Specifically, by adding America's Civic Health Index, currently produced by NCoC, as part of the census.

The bill was mentioned specifically by President Obama in his appearance before a joint session of Congress in February, and has a prominent list of coponsors. At yesterday's hearing the Senators present all spoke in favor of the bill (Hatch, Mikulski, Murray, McCain, Enzi, Dodd). Additionally, testimony was heard from a variety of leaders, including the head of City Year, the Chair and Vice Chair of the Corporation for National and Community Service, and others.

Senator Mikulski said she hoped to pass the Serve America Act before the April Easter/passover recess. To help urge the Senate on, please go to ServiceNation's website and become a “citizen co-sponsor” of the Serve America Act.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Good news

Monday, March 9, 2009

Monday Stock Tip: GE

General Electric.  America.  GE is one of the world's largest companies - it was in the top ten as of this past summer, but due to the nose dive of its stock I doubt that is the case anymore.

GE's stock has been in that nosedive for good reason, they have really leveraged themselves over the past few decades as a financial firm.  Something that really helped them when things were going well, but is now really coming back to haunt them.

What does GE do?  Well ... they don't just make light bulbs anymore.  They are involved in almost everything imaginable - making tons of different consumer goods, and they also have a large financial/credit business.

Is GE going to go bankrupt?  No.  Now I could be completely wrong in saying that, but I just don't see it happening.  The financial sector will return, as will GE's business in finance - and hopefully GE decides to devote a little less of their company towards those markets in the future.

So what is GE doing that makes it a buy ... Well in my opinion it is trading lower than it should be (as is everything these days), but GE is really a great company.  Though it has been called into question recently whether or not GE is truly still a Blue Chip (a blue chip is generally a well established company with stable earnings and no large liabilities).  While GE clearly has more liabilities than it should (and more than most investors would like), I believe the company is inherently stable.

Additionally I like their strong movement into the renewable energy market.  Along with BP and XOM, GE really stands out as a company that doesn't need to be investing so heavily in renewable energy - but realizes that it is where the future lies.  Additionally, GE and Google have been partnering on green initiatives around the world, which you can read about here.

All in all ... I am not sure what else to tell you, except that I think GE is a good buy.  I mean afterall, Warren Buffet invested ... and he is never wrong!


Disclosure: GWSkank owns some GE, but he had no influence on me writing this.  And I used to own GE, but that was quite a few years ago.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Did it? Done it? Do it!


I signed up for this site - I am not quite sure how useful it is, or if it will be another fad.  I guess we will just have to wait and see what becomes of it.

You can get to the site by visiting them here: http://www.diddit.com/

Anyway - the concept is kind of interesting, you check off things you have done (basically anything) and denote things you might want to do.  It is a place to share your life experiences, and discover new experiences to partake in.  I guess its the newest form of social networking - trying to meet people who like to do things that you do.

I have to confess I have not actually checked off anything that I've done, but maybe I'll go do that now.

The site is currently in Alpha, so there is hopefully more to come ... but certainly check it out

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sir Edward and Dr. Dean


Once again it has been some time since I've written. I'm seriously going to work on that.

But today there are a few stories about American Heroes that simply could not be overlooked

-----
That's SIR Ted

Today, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown addressed a joint session of Congress (a rare honor afforded only to our closest friends... though he's the 5th UK PM to do so). In his speech, he announced that American hero, and long-time Massachusetts Senator Edward M. Kennedy would be granted an honorary knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II, saying:
"I hope that you will allow me to single out for special mention today one of your most distinguished senators, known in every continent and a great friend.

"Northern Ireland is today at peace, more Americans have health care, more children around the world are going to school and for all those things we owe a great debt to the life and courage of Senator Edward Kennedy.

"And so today, having talked to him last night, I want to announce that Her Majesty the Queen has awarded an honorary knighthood for Sir Edward Kennedy."

Specifically, Kennedy is being made an honorary Knight Commander in the Order of the British Empire for his contributions to U.S.-U.K. relations and for his work on the peace process in Northern Ireland. Because a non-honorary appointment requires an oath to the Queen, all those who are not citizens in a realm where the Queen is head of state are made honorary Knights. As such, technically Kennedy will not be able to use the "Sir" as a title before his name, but may use the post-nominal "KBE".

I say, if Gordon Brown can call him Sir Edward, the same goes for everyone. I look forward to him being addressed as such upon his return to the Senate.

----------
Speaking of Sir Edward

Have I ranted yet about the Serve America Act? It's a major piece of legislation that is jointly sponsored by Senator Sir Edward Kennedy (or is it Sir Senator?) and Republican Orrin Hatch. The bill has almost 2-dozen sponsors and has gained momentum in recent weeks. It is notable that while it wasn't passed in the last session, Senators Obama, McCain, Clinton, and Majority Leader Reid were all among the major cosponsors.

The bill has been reintroduced and President Obama mentioned it in his speech to Congress last week as a national priority. The bill would create and expand national service projects like AmeriCorps, Vista, Teach For America, and other programs, while also creating/funding innovative new metrics for the impact of these projects. Specifically, it would nationalize America's Civic Health Index (a topic I've written about before) and provide a more clear year-by-year snapshot of civic engagement by making it part of the annual census. The National Conference on Citizenship has produced the CHI for the last several years, but this funding would allow for a greatly expanded version.

You can find more information on the Serve America Act here, at the Voices for National Service website, or here with ServiceNation.

Get involved, join the cause, pressure your elected officials. Sir Edward needs you!

-----
DEAN

Sir Edward aside, Howard Dean is clearly one of my greatest political influences. As a young turk in high school I eagerly joined the Deaniacs' 2003 Endless Summer Tour and I've been part of the movement to take my country back ever since.

In all seriousness, Howard Dean led a generational shift in American politics. He by no means did it alone, and he certainly is receiving little credit for his efforts, but I firmly believe in years to come his influence will begin to be fully appreciated. In 2002/2003, at a time when Democrats were cowering to Republicans on all issues in the wake of 9/11 and the bully-boy tactics being employed by Bush & Co, Dean was an unapologetic anti-war Democrat. He was ridiculed as a fringe element at first, until his campaign made unprecedented use of the internet and surged in the pre-primary hooplah. While his campaign eventually fizzled out (that scream...), his message of 'taking the country back', saying that he was representing the "Democratic wing of the Democratic party", revolutionizing the use of internet fundraising and social networking in campaigns -- all laid the groundwork for the Democratic resurgance we're enjoying now.

This is all even before his very successful stint as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee (a position he won controversially and without the tradiational backing of the party stalwarts). He used his 50 state strategy to lay the organizational groundwork for the party in coming elections -- a very controversial move at the time, especially with then-Congressman Rahm Emanuel. But no one can argue that those investments didn't pay off when looking at the vast gains in Congressional races or the unexpected states that turned Blue in the 2008 Presidential Election. Certainly Obama had a lot to do with it, but you can't give him sole credit for winning redder than red states like North Carolina.

I'm not the first person to gush for Dean, and I hope I'm not that last. In fact, there's a great must-read piece you can find here about Howard Dean being a latter-day Democratic Barry Goldwater; setting the stage for a resurchange in their party. But the point of this all is: Give Dean his due. He's not politically loved in insider Democratic circles, but the guy has done a heck of a job. And that's not even counting his stellar record as governor of Vermont...

-----

I've got some more coming up later, but tis all for now. Feel free to comment or discuss any of the above named Heroes of the Republic.

Circulator Spotted in Adams Morgan!



AHHH -- it's here!!

Working from home today, I noticed that there was a Circulator bus crossing 16th Street at the 16th/Harvard/Columbia intersection. The front of the bus said "Training Bus" ... does this mean Adams Morgan/Columbia Heights is getting its new Circulator bus asap?!


UPDATE: The Circulator training bus came back around about 20-30min later and was full of metro employees in reflective yellow vests. It was following the 42/43/H4 route around the 16/Harvard/Columbia park. Here is a photo of the bus across from the Embassy Apts. It went up Mount Pleasant Street after this, and I don't know where after that.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

West End Bistro: Amazing.

Eric Ripert.  Eric Ripert.  Eric Ripert.

I was hoping that maybe if I said his name 3 times fast he would show up, and my life would be complete ... but he isn't here and I'm hungry :(

Lucky for me I happen to work just three blocks from Eric's DC restaurant - West End Bistro - and I have had the pleasure of going there twice, and hopefully will get to go many more times in the future.  My last occasion - and the prompting for this review was on Christmas Eve (yea I know, I planned on writing this a while ago ... but time just flies away).  I had the occasion of bringing my lovely friend Lauren with me for a great candle-lit, pre-mass dinner - at which we had an amazing time.

You'll have to forgive me, because I don't remember what we had on this occasion and I might be thinking of the other time I went -- but either way I have tried the food and it is absolutely amazing.  I will say it right now, West End Bistro is one of the best restaurants in DC.

I will start with the most important course of any meal I am at - drinks ... we both ordered margaritas.  When I say these margs were perfection, I'm not kidding - they were amazing (and also $12 each, so you clearly got what you paid for).  I can't speak for the rest of their drink menu, but something tells me that if you are bothering to make a margarita that good (and your speciality isn't margs), your other drinks will be amazing as well.

For appetizers we got the Calamari - which I didn't not try - but Lauren said it was absolutely amazing.  And I am fairly certain I had the Pan Roasted Quail - which was amazing.  Perfectly cooked and just generally amazing.

For the main course I got the Classic Burger - with Cheese.  Now, it would seem kind of odd that I would get a burger at such a 'fancy' restaurant - or that Ripert would even bother putting it on the menu ... but trust me on this one - try it.  I had read somewhere (I think maybe in Washingtonian) that Ripert claimed to have perfected the burger.  He apparently tooled around with different recipes, sizes of buns, silces of vegetables, etc ... and eventaully found something he thought was perfect.  I am fairly certain he figured it out.  While I am a fan of messy burgers with all kinds of different toppings, and generally will order burgers - I rarely find one that I really say WOW, I want that (aside from Five Guys).  Ripert has done that, and I'm not really sure how, but I was quite impressed.

Lauren got the Shrimp and Grits - an interesting combination in my mind, but one she really enjoyed.  I honestly didn't try them - but I'll take her word on it that they were good.

We also shared some helpings of the Mac & Cheese and the Green Beans as side dishes - both of which were cooked fairly well.  I was not overly impressed with the Mac & Cheese, I generally prefer mine to be cheesier, but it was very well cooked - and flavorful.  I would be pleased if I served that to any guest in my home, so once again good job Chef Ripert.  And the Green Beans were lovely as well.

West End Bistro is truly one of the best restaurants in DC ... pony up the cash and go.

Tim Shea: 5/5

Sidebar: Apparently Eric Ripert is getting his own show on PBS this fall - read about it here.

Friday, February 27, 2009

OMG! iPhone in metro??!


Heyyyy!  I come bearing great news ... from WMATA!

No longer are Verizon and Sprint a part of the exclusive club that can use their cell phones on Metro ... everyone is joining the party.  And we are going to get upgraded service, so you can actually browse the internet and such in the system.

Additionally Metro is scoring a new public safety and communications network.

This will all be in place by the end of 2012, but twenty of the busiest underground stations will have the service by the end of this year!!

Metro is also making big bucks off of this - which is good during the budget shortfall!

The press release is here.

Now I wonder when we talk about Quiet Cars... Because that will be necessary - ASAP.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

DC Voting Rights Act

Thank god for this:


DC STATEHOOD NOW!!!!
Not this crazy crap.

Metro. Metro. Metro.


Hey ... In case someone who reads this blog isn't my Facebook friend - Metro is on Facebook.

Yea ... I am really excited.

They are here.

And yes you should add them as a friend.

Additionally - as you don't know.  I've been meaning to write a post about all this garbage with Metro considering service cuts due to the budget shortfall.  I am being extremely lazy and have not been able to get around to writing it (sorry), but I'm sure you've read it on every other DC blog.  Though no one is advocating for fare increases as much as I am.




Anyway ... WaPo ran a story over the weekend about Metro's fan page, and decided to quote me (though they didn't inform me that they were doing so) ... needless to say I am quite flattered/excited.  The article is here - you should go check it out and give WaPo some hits.  I'm not sure if it was published in the actual paper, but I doubt it - after all who reading a physical paper knows what social networking is.  And I took a little excerpt from the article, so you should enjoy:

Metro could certainly use friends like one poster named Tim.

"I really think that Metro needs to stop talking service cuts and start talking fare increases," he wrote. "I understand that we raised fares only a year or two ago -- but I would much rather be paying an additional 50 cents per trip than I would have to deal with trains/buses coming less frequently (they already don't come frequently enough)."

Me, My, I?


What...?

Ask anyone of my friends and they will tell you that I am not exactly on the up and up with my grammar ... eh it happens.  It's not the end of the world.  I try when I can, but I'm not going to break my back over it.

So The Paper of Record has an interesting Op-Ed piece regarding Obama's use of 'I' instead of 'me' ... read it ... enjoy it.  Here.


Oh - also here is the full text of Obama's speech before the Joint Session of Congress

Monday, February 23, 2009

Gays at the Oscars



I'll be brief, but I wanted to highlight how excited and touched I was by the two wins for MILK last night at the Oscars. Dustin Lance Black (only 34 years old) won for Best Writing in an Original Screenplay and Sean Penn won Best Actor.

It's not often that we sit down together as a country, and hell, with people around the world watching, it's not often we sit down as a global community ... and discuss gay rights. In a forum with as much viewership and impact as the Oscars, these two wins meant an enormous amount to me. My heart swelled listening to these two speeches ... I got the chance to truly feel proud about who I am.

Many will say that this is just the first step, there's so far to go, or the impact of this will be lost because of this or that ... but I'm going to savor it.


Black's acceptance speech:

" ... When I was 13 years old, my beautiful mother and my father moved me from a conservative Mormon home in San Antonio, Texas to California, and I heard the story of Harvey Milk. And it gave me hope. It gave me the hope to live my life. It gave me the hope one day I could live my life openly as who I am and then maybe even I could even fall in love and one day get married.

I wanna, I wanna thank my mom, who has always loved me for who I am even when there was pressure not to. But most of all, if Harvey had not been taken from us 30 years ago, I think he'd want me to say to all of the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight who have been told that they are less than by their churches, by the government or by their families, that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value and that no matter what anyone tells you, God does love you and that very soon, I promise you, you will have equal rights federally, across this great nation of ours. Thank you. Thank you. And thank you, God, for giving us Harvey Milk."

Friday, February 20, 2009

Gossip Girl


Gossip Girl.

Who watches it?  

Can someone explain the appeal?  

Should I start watching it?

It has always sounded like a really interesting show, but I want to know what I am getting into before I watch it.  

What shows is it like?  

Do you feel as though it is worth your time?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Earth to Coleman: You Lost

How much longer is this Minnesota Senate election going to be contested? We've had a full scale ballot-by-ballot recount (and let's keep in mind Minnesota has probably the best established mechanisms for recounts in the nation) and we're in to week 4 of a Court case further challenging the recount, with no end in sight. Democrat Al Franken remains ahead by 225 votes (an unbelievably small margin), but the challenges to his certification seem to be unending.

Yes, it was an incredibly close election. But at some point former Senator Norm Coleman needs to realize that he's probably doing himself, his party, and certainly the people of Minnesota a disservice by prolonging this agony.

It has been more than 100 days since the election and Minnesota is being greatly under served by only having half it's Senatorial delegation at work. Senator Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota's other Senator, has been overwhelmed with constituent requests on every topic from Social Security, to veterans benefits, and beyond. Also, in a Senate so closely divided (Democrats are currently 2 votes shy of a filibuster proof majority) this one vote difference does have a measurable impact. The recent hubbub over the stimulus package, in which 3 Republican Senators essentially controlled the entire process, is a perfect illustration of how every Senator is important.

But beyond the representative and philosophical arguments, this is just really looking bad for the Coleman camp and Republican Party. Can you imagine if a Democrat had ended up with just a few less votes than the Republican in a major election and not only demanded a prolonged recount but then took the results to court when they didn't like the result? Oh wait, a Democrat did come up short in a major election recently and the Republican filed to have the recount stopped. Instead of putting the nation through more agony, then-Vice President Gore conceded, despite all the major questions and issues raised by the inconsistent electoral process.

My point here is not to re-hash the 2000 election or even paint a purely (though I admit, I do paint a somewhat) partisan picture. However, it is almost impossible for me to imagine a case in which Coleman was 225 votes ahead and Franken would have taken the issue this far past election day. The Republicans would cry foul and scream and rant that Franken was simply a sore loser and was trying to hijack the election.

It's even more suspect that on election night Coleman insisted he was the winner and there was no need for a recount (for the record the margin was so close that it triggered an automatic recount under state law). Franken insisted that he would only stay in until every legitimate vote was counted. During the recount Coleman routinely tried to supress previously rejected ballots from being counted. Now that he's behind in the vote totals, Coleman has reversed his position and his main arguments before the Minnesota Supreme Court have been that more ballots (curiously all from Coleman-leaning counties) should be included in the totals.

Clearly I hope that this all ends with a Franken victory, as I have all along - I don't deny that. And there are two sides to every coin, and there are bound to be slight inconsistancies in any politician's stance on an issue. But the overt double standard that is being applied here and Coleman's unabashed flip flopping is beginning to be embarassing for him and his party. At this point I'd say he has a better chance of letting it go and coming back next round. It's not like Franken can claim a real mandate here. Bowing out, saving what's left of his integrity, and running in a few years makes the most sense.

Give it up, Norm.

Perez Hilton ... IDIOT

Excuse me while I rant...

I am so sick... of Mario Armando Lavandiera Jr. (more commonly know as Perez Hilton). I was never really enamored with his website (it actually really annoyed me), but he always had some interesting gossip and the graphics were funny at times. [I made my own little Perez graphic for this post] Anyway ... as I said, I never really actively read his website, like I did the NYT or Engadget, but if something pointed me there - I would go and look around for a bit.

When I started using Reader I decided that I would monitor Perez and see what stuff he had - so I added him on a trial basis. I don't remember what was occurring around that time, but I recall him breaking a few things that no other blog had for at least 15-20 minutes -- so I was impressed. Things were good, life was good, no complaints. Perez remained.

Of course since my start with Reader, I've added much more - growing from a few feeds, to way too many. Of late I've picked up the Daily Intel (a NYC based blog), which I really like - and I suggest you check out (here). They usually have any gossip that I might otherwise get from Perez. But I've gotten ahead of myself -- why did I start hating Perez.

Well for one, he slams my Reader with entries - probably like 40-60 a day, which is too much for a non-legit news source. I just don't care about celebrity gossip that much ... and apparently his readers do. But aside from that, scrolling through garbage gossip doesn't really bother me ... but two things he does do bother me.

ONE. Perez seems to think it is his right to out every single person he thinks might be gay. Now calling someone gay who isn't actually gay is one thing - that's just like making fun of them. But calling someone gay who is actually gay but has not come out yet - that's a problem. As a gay man Perez should understand exactly what he is doing - if someone doesn't want to be out, it is not his right to tell them that they should be. He's just a jerk in that sense.

TWO. More recently, as you may or may not be aware, we have been in a recession. Companies have been laying people off, and there has been a lot of news about the economy. I get really pissed off when Perez posts a layoff (often times a few days after it has been through the media cycle) and lists the title as "R.I.P." ... I'm sorry, the company is dying, no one has died ... these people have lives and futures - no one is dead. It really bothers me that he does that - even more so than the fact that it is often quite late. Additionally most of his news regarding said companies is misconstrued - if not blatantly incorrect.

THREE. I know I said there would only be two, but sue me - there's a third. This goes along the same line as the first two in that Perez doesn't know what fact checking is. I get it - he runs a gossip blog and feeds off gossip ... that's fine. I don't care if you report that Madonna had a baby if she actually didn't. What bothers me is when he reports on the news and current events - more times than not he does not seem to understand what is going on and completely misstates the situation.

This third reason finally reached a culmination yesterday when I saw a post Perez made regarding Facebook. First off, the rest of the world had the story on Sunday/Monday - so please don't make it seem like you are breaking the news on something when you know you aren't. Not only that, but Perez basically made it seem like Facebook was evil and stealing things from you. While I agree that Facebook's modified ToS were quite dangerous, Facebook wasn't stealing content from you. So shut up Perez. Please just shut up. After reading that post I went into my Reader settings and immediately deleted the feed. It had been a long time coming - and I will still see anything 'important' that Perez decides to post because people will share it, but I'm personally glad to be rid of him.

In writing this post I went to Wikipedia to do some research (and to get his real name ... and this CC-licensed picture). As I suspected Perez has a lot of lawsuits pending against him - not only for defamation of character, but also for stealing images. The wiki page is here. But it seems that not only does Mario know nothing about current events, he doesn't quite understand copyright law either. While I'm sure his lawyers could make a great case that his stolen images fall under the category that he is using them to achieve humor or satire ... I'm not sure how it would hold up that a good portion of his website (and income) is based around these images that he steals and then writes in Paint on. Stop Stealing.

I'd also like to say that PerezHilton.Com media player is the WORST media player on the web. I would compare it to my disdain for any of RealMedia's players - even though it is built in.

So that's it ... I'm over my rant, but take what I wrote into consideration. If you are a Perez reader, just pay attention and make your own judgement as to if you think this is a website you really want to be supporting. And if you are not currently a Perez reader, I wouldn't recommend starting.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Millenial Watch: 2 Openly LGBT Elected Officials... under 25

As usual, leave it to the young people to lead the way.

It seems that there's been a lot more news on the LGBT front in recent, months, but maybe that's just me. After Prop 8 there's been a general upswing in activism. We've also seen marriage, civil union, and domestic partnership progress in several states recently (Hawaii, Maine, DC... etc).

But for the second time in a week now I've seen news that, while creating little hubbub, seems to me just as (if not more) important. Twice now I've seen a young, progressive, LGBT leader acknowledge their sexuality and that it has no bearing on their candidacy for public office. By being out and part of the Millenial generation they're overcoming two massive hurdles most candidates don't have to encounter.

Of course it's big news anytime that an openly LGBT person declares their candidacy for, or wins, public office. We're emboldened by such leaders as the Mayor of Portland (sans scandal), Bruce Kraus of the Pittsburgh City Council, Barney Frank and Tammy Baldwin in the U.S. House, and more. Each of these people are an inspiration and a unique, trailblazing part of the LGBT-equality movement.

But it's personally even more inspiring for me to witness members of my generation taking the reigns now in leading their communities. For all the talk of many of our leaders, activists, and policy makers, it's still very difficult for young people to get much cred in some circles. It's even harder still for Millenials to be given the benefit of the doubt when it comes to public office. Organizations like the Young Elected Officials Network and their Front Line Leaders Academy are fueling the movement by training young people with an interest in public service, and helping to remove that age barrier.

First, I saw a news story and several blog posts about Newark, Delaware City Councilman, and friend of the blog, Ezra Temko's announcement last week that he is bisexual. In his short time on Council, Ezra has been at the center of efforts to expand LGBT rights and nondiscrimination in Newark. Discussing his decision to come out and dating his boyfriend Drew:
When we started dating, it struck me how many rights we don’t have. I’ve always been very family oriented, so the limitations on our future made me recognize the level of privilege I had been assuming in my life, which motivated me to step up my advocacy in this area. From that, I began to see what states and municipalities around the country are doing and I asked myself, ‘Why isn’t Newark doing this'?

Nick Schalosky is a college junior in South Carolina who was just elected the first openly gay official in the state! Nick used Facebook to organize a last-minute write in campaign for the Charleston County Constituent School Board. After noticing that no one was running for the position, but too late to register for the ballot, he used online organizing tools to communicate with voters, organize his campaign, and reach out to (new) media.

Schalosky, 21, is also the Secretary of the local Stonewall Democrats Chapter and has written a great article about online organizing, community involvement, and a reflection on his candidacy here.

Congrats to both of you gentlemen! If you hear about any more Millenials or openly gay officials making waves, let us know!!

Rants and Revels

Alright, so once again I've failed to post for a little while. However, here are a few important things on my mind that I'd like to share with you. I apologize ahead of time if this heads in the stream-of-consciousnss direction.


First of all -- and I know that it's Wednesday and this post is overdue -- last Friday I went to the Ben Folds/Jason Mraz concert at GW's Smith Center. It was great! I'm not normally one for concerts (especially ones where you don't get a plush seat), but I was thoroughly impressed. Both performers were last at GW my freshman year there (that was almost 6 years ago for those of you without an abiccus) and while I saw Mraz (with Guster) I sadly missed Ben Folds. Thus, I was inspired to make it out this time.

I went into the night with a thoroughly pro-Ben Folds outlook, thinking of Mraz as icing. Folds was great to watch and did a few of my favorites, but Mraz was electricfying. His stage presence and overall charisma was just much more fun, regardless of whether you've ever heard anything he's done.

Bottom line: if you have the chance, see Mraz. But Ben Folds is still good too...

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Little known fact: Southern Delaware is not unlike rural Alabama. I have family in northern Delaware and visited many times in my childhood. However, it wasn't until this past weekened that I spent any time in the far southern reaches of the state. Let me say that my eyes are now open.

Sheam, Skank, and a few others journeyed to our dear friend Chad's family estate in lovely Seaford, DE to celebrate President's Day. Among all the festivities, we had the opportunity to do some sight-seeing and visit with the locals. Everywhere we went (most notably a thoroughly enjoyable tour of the manor once owned by Governor William Ross) we interacted with people with a very pronounced accent. If I hadn't known any better I would have gussed we'd landed somewhere in Mississippi. It turns out Delaware, as a slave state, was a little divided on the secession issue leading up to the the Civil War. While most of DE wanted to stay with the Union, the people of Seaford and other southern DE regions sympathized with the south.

Pure conjecture: but it seems to me they're still passive-aggressively rejecting their northern neighbors and putting on those phony southern accents.

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Voting Rights!!

The Senate has moved the latest incarnation of DC voting rights legislation out of committee (even some Republicans voted for it, though not John'Curmudgeon' McCain). This bill, like one passed by the House but filibustered in the Senate last session, would give DC a full voting House member and give Utah an additional member (they're next on the list to receive one by population). Majority Leader Reid plans to bring it up for debate soon (next week?) and anticipates that they will have more than enough votes to overcome a filibuster, thanks to the November election.

The House has yet to really act on the bill, but it passed last session by an overwhelming majority and we can only expect those numbers to go up.

Exciting news!! While it's far from a solution, leaving DC unrepresented in the Senate for instance, it's a great step forward!

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Also -- I'm officially endorsing Howard Dean for HHS Secretary! I've actually been ranting to my friends/twitter following/facebook for a few days on this matter. He's quite the ideal candidate in my book. Dean is a doctor, was a very successful Governor (who reformed and greatly expanded healthcare), very successful DNC Chairman, and he's shown that he's a skillful manager (ala DNC, Vermont, etc).

All that said we're not likely to see Dean at all active with this White House. The new President's enforcer / chief of staff Rahm Emanuel has a notoriously bad relationship with Dean going back to Dean's DNC Chairmanship and Emanuel's time running the DCCC. Emanuel scoffed at Dean's '50 State Strategy' of investing in Democrats nationwide, instead of targeted spending that would have helped Emanuel's colleagues in Congressional races.

Apparently Obama, though the obvious benefactor of the 50SS success, seems to agree with Emanuel. Last month when the new DNC Chair Tim Kaine took over and Obama held an event to celebrate, they failed to even invite the outgoing Chairman Dean. Talk about arrogance.

I honestly fail to realize how at a time like this, facing innumerable national crises, our leaders can still afford to not put skilled and experienced people like Dean in key positions like this. I realize that there are going to be personality conflicts, and Dean's presidential campaign didn't end on a particularly high note (well, actually maybe the note he hit was a bit too shrill...), but at some point let's realize that ability to do the job and do it well should be paramount.

In any case: Dean for HHS!!

That's all for now. Feel free to share thoughts, idea, disagreements, etc below.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Narrows: Go.

To be honest I wasn't that thrilled about going to The Narrows (3023 Kent Narrows Way S, Kent Narrows, MD), but we were going to meet a friend who was driving from Delaware and we wanted to meet somewhere good that was still equidistant from both DC and DE.  We settled on The Narrows, which he recommended, and that suited me fairly well as it was just a bit over the Bay Bridge.

The Narrows is your typical waterfront 'fancy' restaurant, and I put fancy in quotes because most waterfront fancy restaurants just aren't really that fancy.  There is something about the waterfront that causes a restaurant to loose 'class' (although never price); I'm not really sure of the phenomena, but in my endless travels up and down the Eastern seaboard I have noticed this, albeit with a few exceptions.  Basically the prices and the food would indicate that you could not wear jeans to this place, but you could totally pull it off - especially in the winter when business is down a bit.

I don't think I have ever been more impressed with a restaurant that did not seem like it would over the top.  Although the server was delayed in getting to our table, once she had come she was extremely attentive.  The only thing bad were the drinks - they were just not very good at all.  Anyway... Soup.  French Onion = amazing.  Clam Chowder = apparently amazing.  Caesar Salad = amazing (also comes included with the entree).  As my entree, I got the braised pork ... I forget what my other two guests got.

All in all this meal was amazing ... so if you happen to be crossing the Bay Bridge towards the Ocean and get a craving - stop at The Narrows.  Or plan your trip around it, you won't be disappointed.

Tim Shea: 4/5 

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Random Acts of Kindness

While checking the Adams Morgan Yahoo message board (usually overrun with nonsense and rude comments), I was pleased to find something pleasant, and much to odd/hilarious to keep to myself ...

Apparently, we are in the midst of "Random Acts of Kindness Week!" Who puts this on, you might ask ... well none other than the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation! Can you imagine getting a business card from someone in this organization?! Unreal!

To support this en masse , Adams Morgan is encouraging folks to utilize the 18th and Columbia kiosk (as they did for Festivus) to post ideas for the week. You can also log into the above website and send kindness e-cards. What random acts of kindness have you done this week??


So how this is funded and who runs it? ... this is the information on the "About Us" page on their website:

The Foundation is privately held and funded. We accept no donations, grants, or membership dues. We do not provide financial assistance to individuals or organizations. The Foundation has no religious or organizational affiliations; we encourage the practice of kindness in all sectors of society.

The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation is the United States delegate to the World Kindness Movement, an organization that includes various nations. People in these countries promote kindness within their countries' borders and are creating a global network of kindness and compassion.

As people from different cultures and from all walks of life are joining to spread kindness, they are creating a powerful, synergistic action throughout the world. Please join us in bringing kindness and compassion to our local and global communities!


Looking past the absurdity that is this organization, I must say that this is a great idea. Go forth and commit random acts of kindness this week ... and stay tuned for World Kindness Day and World Kindness week in November!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Facebook Friends ... returned

If you recall I made a post (here) about Facebook friends back on January 15th.  Well it seems Doug Quenqua over at The Paper of Record is an avid reader of Connetiquette, because on January 28th, he published an article about Facebook friends as well (here).

BTW ... I promised to check on my friends everyday, but I forgot.  On the 15th I had 1, 325 friends, as of February 9th, I have 1, 331 friends.

It seems that Mr. Quenqua decided to write his article after the whole Burger King friendship scandal ... he just really talked about facebook and the different qualities of friendship.  He mentioned an idea that I have always thought about (and mentioned) - different categories of friendship.  Because clearly all your facebook friends do not share the equal standing as "friend."

Though I did take note with the fact that he said "While some people prefer the term “defriending,” a quick survey of user-created groups on Facebook shows “unfriending” to be the more popular choice." ... I personally use the term defriending, I think that unfriending is weird.  

What do you think?  Please comment with your feelings.  Defriending, or unfriending?


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

DC Fire and EMS ... disaster

I caught wind of this from Eric Wemple over at the City Desk (his quick post is here), but Washingtonian has a 14-page (yea ... it is looooooooooong) article about DC Fire and EMS.  They are mainly discussing the EMS component of why DC FEMS sucks.  Props go to John Pakkanen for writing a great article - and one that is indeed quite thought-provoking.  Pakkanen makes note that during his campaign, Adrian Fenty had promised that he was going to break up DC FEMS into two separate departments - because things clearly were not working.

We all know that FEMS sucks ... you hear of long response times, horrible care - just absolute disaster.  Remember over the summer those two ambulance companies that were found to be sitting in a radio dead spot up in NW to avoid calls ... and that occurring in a city that is already short-ambulanced.  GREATTTT.  That is after the whole thing back in 2006 where a reporter for The Paper of Record, David Rosenbaum, suffered a head trauma and FEMS treated him as if he was intoxicated.  They took hours to get him to the hospital - stopping at one of the EMT's house to pick up something.  Unreal.  

It seems to me after reading this article - in which Pakkanen outlines failure, after failure - you are better off stealing a car and attempting to drive yourself to the hospital in most cases.  That is pretty sad, and quite dangerous.  Actually after reading this article I fear having to call 911.  

But the article did answer some very interesting questions for me - like why does a fire engine ALWAYS show up, even when it is just a routine medical/EMS call.  It always seemed to me like an incredible waste of resources, since the engine could not transport people - and more often than not it seemed like the firefighters were just standing around.  It would make sense if they were all trained EMTs, which I did think for a while - but this article completely debunked that theory.  While DC FEMS doesn't seem to have an official reason for doing so, fire calls have dropped by one-third in the past 20-ish years and yet budgets and staffing levels have stayed the same.  It seems that sending the engine just justifies reasons to keep staffing levels and keep up with the newest and best equipment in the fire houses.

Firefighters hate EMS personnel and vice versa ... its a bad situation.  And instead of fulfilling his campaign promise to rectify the situation and break the two departments up - he is doing exactly the opposite.  He is going along with the plan to fully integrate the two departments - basically truly making it FEMS, eliminating the separate arm of EMS.  All firefighters would be trained as first-responders, and all EMTs as firefighters.  Sounds like the worst idea ever ... clearly he has never watched Third Watch.  Firefighters and EMTs are completely different personalities; you have firefighters who are macho and love to jump into burning buildings to save people, and conversely you have EMTs are do love to save people - but aren't that keen on jumping into burning buildings.  I hate to generalize, but it seems that basically firefighters are not into it if there isn't something on fire.

I'm sure EMTs and paramedics can be jerks too ... but it seems to me from the my understanding of the situation (and everyone's accounts - including the firefighters), that firefighters think they are better than EMTs.  Hmmm ... I'm not quite sure about that.  Not to really rag on firefighters - but their jobs were made close to obsolete with a little invention called the sprinkler system.  And while we do have first-responder aids, such as AEDs, we still rely on EMTs to transport us safely in the event of a medical emergency.

Both units obviously perform very important functions, but I personally think they really need to be separate entities.  How do you feel about it?  What did you think of the article?  Did you think my portrayal of the situation is accurate, or do you feel that the services should remain under one umbrella?

I've babbled on enough - here is the actual article.

Morning Zen


I just thought the entire world might like to see this ... doesn't it give you a warm-fuzzy feeling on the inside?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Monday Stock Pick: X


Okay ... trading has stopped for the day, so here is your Monday stock pick ... US Steel.

Yea - I know ... China makes cheaper steel and what not - but we are the United States (and since we make most of the steel abroad), so we will always have the more superior product.

Seriously though ... USX is trading extremely close to its 52-week low of 20.71 - the stock closed today at 35.05 (up .89, probably on news that this blog post would be published).  On the opposite side of the spectrum, the stock has a 52-week high of 196 (how the mighty have fallen).


Why do I think you should buy this stock?  Well, let me start with why I think you shouldn't buy this stock - there are two reasons.  The first is that the company is headquartered in Pittsburgh, any company stupid enough to base their operators out of Pittsburgh has a few screws loose.  Heinz does it - and they make good ketchup - so I guess there must be some redeeming qualities about Pittsburgh (cue a deluge of posts from Corrupt).  The second is that they like unions ... you know how I feel about this one, but we have seen what unions and Nancy Pelosi have done to this country - and it's not pretty.

That said ... what is good?  USX is undervalued - that is a fact.  The company took a hard hit due to the downturn in car manufacturing and the end of the building boom, but people have failed to realize that Obama and his team of magicians have dreamed up a huge infrastructure investment ... and you can't rebuild this country without steel.  Steel is all over the structural backbone of this country and will continue to be ... additionally one of these days people are going to start buying cars again (and yes, even hybrids use steel), and people are going to be building office buildings again.  Steel is here to stay, there is no question about it.

Also of a sidenote - it seems that the company pays a dividend, which is a nice little bonus.  I don't personally believe that a company whose stock has been sliced from 196 to 35 should be paying anything, but that is their choice ... I guess the board wants to keep people invested, but I would not be hurt or shocked if they decided to eliminate the dividend.  They also had really good 4th quarter earnings - which has been helping their stock work its way back up.

You can check out all the good deets at Google Finance: here, but save yourself that step and just head to whatever online brokerage system you use and buy the X.  P/E is 1.94. EPS is 18.08.


Disclosure: If I can find some cash I am planning to buy some US Steel, probably no more than 100 shares though.  I believe what I write. 

Friday, February 6, 2009

LOL!

Two posts today ... both lacking real substance.

I just nominated this for BEST OF on Craigslist ... you should do the same.  Missed Connection,  m4m.


"I am looking for an old friend that used to live in the DC area, My Dignity. We were extremely close up until college, where we remained in touch, but slowly drifted apart, seeing one another less and less. I seem to have misplaced his number and have not seen him out in quite a while, although I frequently go out looking for him. I have searched everywhere... Nellie's, Town, JR's, Cobalt; the list goes on and on. I have solicited the help two of my best friends, Jack D. and Jim B, but I think they may only be hindering my progress. As evidence of my persistent nature, I have even gone home with a majority of men in the District to check if My Dignity was hiding out in their pants or their beds, but alas, no such luck. I know this is a long shot... but if you see this, nothing would make me happier than to be reunited with you, My Dignity."

It's A Reader Poll

Okay ... 

I am conducting a poll!!!!  Please fill it out below - or if you are having issues with this please CLICK HERE.




Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Thursday Morn

Happy Thursday!

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Victory!

First order of business, our great friend Cocktail (aka Marc) has posted a long-overdue note on his blog (Marc's GChat Status Expanded). Some will recall that we led a successful write-in campaign for Marc to include Pittsburgh as a separate entry in his 'Why do people like being from...' series. Well, I ran into Marc last weekend and he promised if the Steelers won the Super Bowl he'd do the post asap.

Well it's finally ready.

If you like Pittsburgh, it's worth a read. If you hate Pittsburgh, it's worth a read, too. While trashing on some of our (my) worse habits, he also admits to some of the good things.

Read it here

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Iceland: Gay

In other news, Iceland new PM is an open lesbian. Johanna Sigurdardottir took over after her predecessor stepped down for health reasons, after announcing that elections are to be held later this spring.

Leave it to Iceland figure out the wisdom of putting a gay in charge after their entire economy has collapsed. In any case, good luck!!

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You're getting very sleepy...

It looks like someone may take on Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman in 2012. Those of you with a conscience will remember that Ned Lamont won the Democratic primary against Lieberman a few years back. But Lieberman (DINO) still won the seat. He now identifies as an "Independent Democrat" in the Senate. What does that mean? It means he does what he wants, endorses the Republican candidate for President, speaks at their convention, and yet somehow retains the Chairmanship of a powerful committee while the Democrats have a strong majority in the Senate. The only possible explanation is that he's a hypnotist. Perhaps a witch-doctor. In any case, I hope this guy has what it takes to get rid of this Democrat in Name Only.

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More later, it's still early...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Day the Music Died

Today, Feb 3, marks 50 years since that a sudden plane crash took the lives of 3 Rock n Roll up-and-comers, Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and The Big Bopper. Don McClean's "American Pie" goes on that this was the day the 'music died' and how it influenced an entire generation.

Well, there's a great article here about how the music didn't die, but instead Holly's influence lives on.

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In other news, those of you paying attention know that Skank, SHEAm, and I routinely ride the 42/43 bus line for our morning/evening commute. Well, apparently we're in somewhat famous company. MSNBC reported yesterday (yes, from that plump pumpkin of a commentator, Keith Olberman. I know, I don't usually like him either...) that former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld attempted to board a crowded 42 last week, just north of Dupont Circle. Instead of boarding he was booed by passengers and told that the bus was too crowded to accommodate him. He reportedly walked instead.

I have personally seen Rummy on 3 occasions in the past few months, sometimes in the Dupont area and sometimes in the Golden Triange south of Dupont. Have you seen Rummy recently??
We are going to start a Rum-Sighting series here on Connetiquette. Email or post anytime you see Rummy!!

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In Cabinet news, the Senate voted and we now have an Attorney General (whoo hooo!) who doesn't promise to not prosecute the war criminals from the last administrations. Thank God.

Similarly, Republican Judd Gregg was announced today for Commerce Secretary. Though this came at the price of Democratic New Hampshire Governor John Lynch promising to appoint a Republican in Gregg's place, so as to not change the balance of power in the Senate. If the Dems get one more seat they'll have a 60-person supermajority that will be able to withstand a filibuster. As it stands now, on most issues there are one or two moderate senators who can be picked off and convinced to join the majority. But it's still an interesting little dance they're doing.

Finally, HHS nominee Tom Daschle, former Senate Majority Leader, has withdrawn his name from consideratino. He's gotten a lot of flak over the past few days on some tax issues (seriously- this is the 3rd Cabinet nomination to have this prolem. Was nobody looking into this?!). While I personally think Tom Daschle is a great man and would do wonders for this country in the realm of healthcare (especially leading a task force on universal care), I have to agree that these issues are a best a distraction from everything. I just hope that he's still around for a non-cabinet appointment to work on healthcare reform. It would be a waste to not put his experience and relationships with Congress to good use...

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Finally, just a small note on this weekend. What a game! I'm still surprised it went from snooze-fest to a really exciting, edge-of-your-seat game. I've already commented on my pride in the Steelers and the Steel City, but there were also some great ads. In lieu of posting my own recap of each ad, I'm actually going to defer to fellow blogger-extrordinaire Cocktail and his commentary. I fully agree (be sure to check out his upcoming post on the Emerald City). Some of the best were the movie previews. I'm absolutely obsessed with the fact that this summer so many great movies are coming. We have Transformers 2, GI JOE (so pumped), STAR TREK (even more pumped), and the newest Harry Potter flik (which has been uber delayed). I can't wait. There will be posts on all of this very soon.

That's all for now folks