April 30, 2008
April 29, 2008
Regular service, as the store's customers know, means your prescription won't be ready when promised. And when you ask about it, they'll yell at you.
(Hat tip: Old Man Josh.)
April 28, 2008
We did, however, come across several Segways showing the game on TV.
Playoff hockey, I'm told, is amazing. But not on TVs zooming around the city at slightly faster speeds than a pedestrian.
April 24, 2008
After the Barack Obama speech that featured three men in Abercrombie & Fitch shirts standing behind the presidential candidate, I learned a few things about the niche fashion industry.
Abercrombie & Fitch, according to Katherine Q. Seelye's reporting, denied having a role in the product placement. The company also said:
- it is not a commercialized brand
- it does not seek that sort of attention
- advertising is too mainstream
Meanwhile, if Obama wants to improve his support among old white Catholic women without college degrees (his weakness, evidently), he probably should find another clothing company to plug at its events.
In yesterday’s New York Times, Christine Kenneally writes:
English, for example, distinguishes blue from green. Most other languages do not make that distinction. Is it possible that only English speakers really see those colors as different?I’m not a linguistics expert. But I’ve taken a few classes over the years in Spanish, French and Hebrew. And I dabble in English. All of which have seperate words for blue and green. Is it true that “most” languages do not differentiate blue from green?
I don't know about "most," but it does appear that many do not.
Huh. Thank you for that lesson, Christine Kenneally.
(Hat tip: SAL and Casey McCall.)
April 23, 2008
In today's paper, Roger Berliner (D) of the Montgomery County Council explains the Maryland county's aim to make green homes mandatory: "We are attacking literally every source of greenhouse gas that exists."
Really? Literally every source? So you'll be going after water vapor, then?1 That should be interesting.
1Water vapor is "the most abundant greenhouse gas in the atmosphere," according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.)
As you know, I dislike the non-stop "crawl" at the bottom of every news channel. Especially the ones that are in all-caps.
But if the crawl moves too fast for you, CNN lets you preserve the news headlines for posterity. Thank you to Elizabeth S. for alerting me that for a mere $15 (plus $5 shipping), the network will print the headline on a t-shirt.
April 22, 2008
On Sunday in Japan, Danica Patrick won the Indy Japan 300, thus becoming the first woman to win an Indy Racing League race.
There isn't a long list of sports in which women compete directly against men.
As a result, Patrick's win seems like a big deal.
I figured the story would be on the front page of the sports section on Monday.
Certainly the fact that the event took place on the other side of the world wouldn't dampen the news, right?
After all, one of the biggest boxing milestones of my lifetime (Buster Douglas knocking out then-undefeated champion Mike Tyson in 1990) took place in Japan as well. In fact, Patrick's win took place about 50 miles from where Buster Douglas beat the most feared heavy-weight in the world.
Well, I was wrong — the Washington Post put its story on page E12, the last page of the sports section.
April 20, 2008
Well, it's Passover.
On this occasion, Jews commemorate their exodus from Egypt by not eating bread, noodles or rice. This is because the slaves fled Egypt so quickly that they didn't have time to let their bread rise. (Wouldn't you know it, Moses chose to lead his people across the Red Sea right smack in the middle of a major bread bake-off competition.)
Jews celebrate this event by eating a full-cooked concoction of water and flour without any leavening agent, called matzah.
But a better way to commemorate the occasion would be to eat undercooked bread, pulling it out of the oven before it was ready — just like the Israelites did in anchient Egypt. Raw cookie dough, for instance, ought to be kosher for Passover. Same with undercooked macaroni-and-cheese.
(Yes, I say the same thing every year.)
April 18, 2008
April 17, 2008
I work near the Washington Nationals Team Store at Farragut Square, so I figured I'd stop by sometime to buy tickets and avoid the Ticketmaster surcharge.
You'd think I would be able to easily find the Team Store's location and hours online.
Wrong. If it's out there, it's hidden.
You'd think I would be able to walk by the store and find out its hours.
Wrong. The store does not post its hours on the door.
You'd think the store would just be open sometime when I walked by.
Wrong. The store opens after I walk by in the morning and closes before I leave work.
You'd think the store would be open during lunch.
Wrong. It's closed for lunch.
You'd think that the store would let me choose the seats I want to buy.
Wrong. It lets fans buy tickets only through its kiosk.
You'd think the kiosk would let me pick the section I want to buy. You know, first-base side or third-base side.
Wrong. It lets fans buy tickets only by pricing tier. From there, it automatically chooses the "best available."
You'd think the store's employees would have a basic knowledge about the new stadium. For instance, they could answer a question about whether Row C is the third row of a given section or whether it starts AA, BB, CC, etc. and doesn't get to C until the 29th row.
Wrong. I was told, "How should I know? I've never been there before."
You'd think the store's employees would have a basic interest about the team.
Wrong. They were watching soccer on TV and didn't appear to want to be bothered by my questions.
At the stadium itself, you'd think the ticket windows would stay open after the game so that when tens of thousands of baseball fans are leaving the stadium and passing by the ticket windows, they can stop and buy tickets.
Wrong. They're closed after the game.
You'd think the Team Store at the stadium would sell gift certificates.
Wrong. They don't sell gift certificates. They do sell them online, I later learned, for a $5 mark-up fee.
You'd think the online gift certificates for the Washington Nationals would say they are from the Washington Nationals.
Wrong. CustomerSupport@SHOP.MLB.COM sent an all-caps email confirmation for a "WAS BLACKHAWK $25.00 GIFTCARD."
Huh? Who are the Blackhawks?
Evidently it's "Blackhawk," singular.
Fine. Who are the Blackhawk?
I have no idea.
April 15, 2008
The Kentons have a great recipe for homemade bagels (although it involves 500° temperatures, far higher than the 115° threshold of Eric and his silly 30-day diet) and made them for us a couple weeks ago.
Last week, it was my turn. (Sort of, SKBK still did most of the work — but I made two by myself.)
We made the dough. We molded it into the proper shape. We boiled them. We covered them with enough toppings to give them "everything bagel" status. Then we baked them.
Best Bagels Ever.
April 14, 2008
Lately, seismologists have reported a bunch of earthquakes off the coast of Oregon.
There have been more than 600 earthquakes in the last 10 days.
These earthquake "swarms" are in the middle of Juan de Fuca tectonic plate, an area that is not known for having seismic activity.
It turns out that thanks to our Cold War paranoia, the U.S. Navy installed a system of hydrophones located on the ocean floor to spy on Soviet subs. This was called the Sound Surveillance System, according to this Oregon State University press release.
These underwater microphones are what alerted us to this earthquake swarm.
Meanwhile, this gives us a chance to discuss Juan de Fuca. He was a Greek navigator who sailed from
Last summer, I called attention to a photo of Robert Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, John F. Kennedy and some bald guy with glasses.
In the comment section, LAL speculated that the bald guy is Kennedy aide Arthur Schlesinger.
LAL was right — according to today's New York Post, it is indeed Schlesinger.
April 12, 2008
When Katy first mentioned that she is going to a conference at the new Gaylord National Resort & Hotel at National Harbor, I had no idea where the National Harbor was.
But lately, the Tennessee-based resort has been in the news a lot, for stuff like breaking its promise to hire minority-owned businesses for 15 percent of the contractors in the construction. Oh and for having mice that have been scurrying around and causing over 100 illnesses.
Still, the photos of the 200-foot atrium in yesterday's paper (which refers to it as "ridonkulously large") makes it look pretty cool.
April 11, 2008
Last May, Tommy Thompson (then a Republican presidential candidate) was asked during a debate whether companies should have the right to fire employees for being gay. He said they did.1
The next day, Thompson said he had misunderstood the question. He hadn’t heard it correctly, he explained, because his hearing aid battery had gone dead. Later, he elucidated his answer by saying he had an urgent need to use the bathroom because he was sick and tired.
Now, I’m not writing about this a year later to make fun of him for being sick. Or tired. Or forgetting to check his hearing aid batteries before going on a nationally televised debate. (Okay, maybe a little bit on that last point.)
But the incident popped in my head after reading Bill Clinton’s explanation of his wife’s erroneous claim about landing under sniper fire in Bosnia, which was that she made the comment “late at night when she was exhausted.”2
See, this is the problem. Presidents are allowed to be tired. But Hillary’s campaign talks regularly about being ready to take phone calls at 3 a.m.
It would be perfectly valid to ask these candidates how we can expect them to respond with a clear head at 3 a.m. if they are constantly flubbing things due to fatigue at 8 p.m.
1John Harris: "If a private employer finds homosexuality immoral, should he be allowed to fire a gay worker?"
Thompson: “I think that is left up to the individual business. I really sincerely believe that that is an issue that business people have got to make their own determination as to whether or not they should be."
John Harris: “So the answer is yes.”
April 10, 2008
I hadn't hung out on P St. in awhile, and walking by yesterday I noticed that ... the Fractured Prune has closed. It turns out that it shut down last August to be come Aioli Meditalian Gourmet.
The Fractured Prune's Web page says: "Due to the ongoing repair of the sidewalk and street we have relocated to Rockville."
Ah, Rockville. The land of ample parking and no sidewalk repairs — a donuterie's dream.
April 09, 2008
SEATTLE — Today we will continue our ongoing series chronicling Marnie eating fruit. You may recall her experience with the calamondin orange, a hybrid of a tangerine and a kumquat. That was fun.
This week, Marnie turned her attention to the Meyer lemon, a cross between a true lemon and a mandarin orange. Since it is sweeter and less acidic than the standard lemon, we didn't get a very interesting reaction out of her.
April 08, 2008
Still, it’s kind of weird. As you can see, it is a nude father and son reaching for each other.