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Vote “Clean Up Your Signs”

I love the American election process. I do believe it is the foundation on which our great country is founded. However, I don’t like its accompanying visual pollution.

Mr. Jenkins, do you have to staple your signs to every post between Arkansas Avenue and the White House? Do you think I’ll vote for you then?

I don’t know who I’ll vote for yet, but I know what would win my heart: a simple promise to remove every political campaign sign the day after the election.

Yep, Democrat or Republican, that’s the issue that will sway my vote most. Until then, you’ve lost my vote Mr. Jenkins, because I know I’ll see those signs still come mid-November.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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You Beat Me To It

No, I didn’t go to the Air Force Memorial dedication ceremony a couple of weeks ago. Are you kidding me? Fight with traffic, idiot cops, and crowds of people? No thanks. Not worth it. That being said, I’ve been dying to go over there (assuming I could figure out how to cross the Potomac) to take some shots of what I think is an amazing looking memorial. My degree is in structural engineering but it still amazes me that they can design and build something like this and have it actually stand up.

I have combed through Flickr and every shot I’ve seen of the memorial is pretty ho-hum. I kept thinking to myself, “There has got to be a shot that no one has taken yet. THE shot.” You know, kind of like photographing Iwo Jima with the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument in the background? That kind of shot. I knew there had to be one for the Air Force Memorial. Well suffice it to say, this is it. jtnhogs beat me to it. This shot shows the symmetry of the structure and the contrasting lighting that you see from below. Personally I would have taken some of the noise out of the sky and probably taken the shot in the morning or evening, or with some cool clouds in the background, but overall, well done Mr. Got To It First. Well done.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Social Media Brainjam Beer Whatever

I went to the launch of the DC Social Media Club last night. I went with a little bit of trepidation, because first of all, “social media” isn’t that descriptive or useful a term, and yet I somehow know what it’s supposed to be describing. Secondly, every single event I’ve ever gone to that’s been like this has devolved into Blogging 101- some n00b asks what a trackback is, or makes some ridiculously facile observation about company blogs linking to company press releases and then pauses for dramatic effect, or whatever. Suffice it to say, I haven’t been impressed and had been trying to find/start a better group for some time. Clearly, I didn’t have the juice to get it started, but Chris Heuer does.

It was an interesting time- lots of interesting PR and marketing people who know they have bad reputations asking themselves why they have bad reputations, and how they can get back to doing things in such a way that engages people rather than alienating them, and exactly what does that kind of approach look like, blah blah. Finally, someone asking the questions that I want to talk about now that I’ve already figured out what “this podcasting thing” is.

Anyway, it was a totally good time if you’re a big web nerd like me, so I recommend that you check it out. With a little work, there will be another event in the not too distant future.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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I love Halloween

Seen between my garage and my office this morning:

- A guy in a REALLY impressive parrot costume. Like, as if the parrot were a mascot for something. I thought it was a promotion for something until I remembered what day it was.

- An older lady (or man, hard to tell) in a very normal looking red sweater and pair of khaki pants… and a long, straight, lavender fright wig.

(Sorry, no photos, can’t upload from the office.)

But I love Halloween.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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The Melanie Boyer Interview – Part 1

It was a hot and sweaty night this summer when I met Melanie Boyer, the Washington City Paper’s About Last Night.. columnist. Hoping to add her to the supermodel harem, I did my best drunk Wayan moves – divining her undergarments down to type and model of manufacture.

Unimpressed, I was slighted for a hot vet, but we kept in touch none the less, which is fortuitous for all. After scooting out from underneath a heap of work we can once again concentrate on a favorite subject: sex.

Better yet, we’ve done a two-part interview series all about it. Best of all, we used porn judo and both posts are relatively safe for work!

Now, if you would be so kind as to join us after the jump, you’ll learn the amazing answer to tantalizing questions like:

Straight or curved? Cut or uncut? Trimmed or wild? Length or girth? What matters most? Or does it matter at all?

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That ain’t Borat!

Check out the post-plywood chrysalis on the lawn of the Kazakhstan Embassy to the United States and Canda.

While its no Borat, the monument to Kazakh independence dedicated by Nursultan Nazarbayev makes me wonder.

How can Kazakhstan celebrate independence with a hunter on a griffin? Neither founded the modern Kazakh state.

A more appropriate statue would incorporate Stalin, the delineator of the Kazakh republic within the Soviet Union, and Yeltsin or Gorbachev, both of which can claim credit for Soviet devolution.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Tommorrow’s the last night for the Freak House

No, not (insert lame-o political joke here), I mean the Cherry Red-Lobsterboy collaboration on a haunted house! One of the saddest days of my life in DC was when Ian announced that Cherry Red Productions would stop doing regular shows in the DC area. No more shows like Spamlet or Worm Girl? Who will bring us the next Poona the Fuckdog and Other Plays for Children? Say it ain’t so! Alas, it was.

However.

You can’t keep a good man down bent mind straight and so we have Freak House, a guided tour through seven rooms of horror and disgust. I’m not sure about the horror but if there’s one thing that Cherry Red always seemed able to get right it was disgust. Really. I expect there’ll be humor there as well, though sadly I will be unable to report back on this – I have to get on a plane tomorrow and will miss the last opportunity to go. I’d love for someone to go and report back, though. Any takers?

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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The Nature of Loyalty in Supporting the Home Team

Did the Redskins play yesterday? Judging from their web site I don’t think they did but other than that I would have no clue. You see, I am not a Redskins fan. Or a football fan or a baseball fan. I think sports are a nice diversion, even fun to play and watch but to me that’s all it is – a diversion, not anything important or even terribly interesting.

This attitude has gotten me some strange looks down here when I say, “No, I didn’t watch the game,” or, “I thought the World Series happened weeks ago.” This all much better than the trouble I used to get into during my brief stay in Massachusetts when I admitted not caring any more about the Red Sox than the Yankees or not being interested in the Patriots and their latest draft choice. This is a fighting issue up there. Down here it’s just cause for disapproving looks.

Who cares? I always thought. More than that, I have to wonder what it means to support the home team. Is my geography the ultimate arbiter of which teams I should support? If so, doesn’t that remove the fundamental and necessary emotional component of what loyalty should really mean? To me it’s all just plain silly and meaningless.

When you get down to it, all sports are equal in their ability to help us drink beer together and talk about spirals, running games, scores and statistics. And beer while cheering for the Redskins is just as intoxicating as beer while cheering for the Cowboys.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Sledding on Metrorail

Say you in the Blue/Orange Line Metrorail tunnel under the Potomac and the lights go out on the rail car as it stops. Not a sound you can hear, not a sight you can see. Just as people start to freak, cell phones showing panic, you see a light and hear an authoritative voice.



A stock MEC-4

It’s WMATA to the rescue on a MEC-4!

Or so is the scenario that the Metro Transit Police Department (MTPD) is prepping for with the purchase of a 4 Man Motorised Electric Rail Cart.

Dropping $20K of Homeland Security money on the electric cart, MTPD will use it get to an emergency on Metrorial and safely transport people who are unable to walk out of the area.

Interestingly, WMATA got a deal on the cart – it’s usually $40K, if they would sell show it to other Transit Authorities. Or maybe that’s not such a deal. A WTOP commenter says:

Sounds great until you find out these type of vehicles aren’t allowed on the rail system. Why? They can’t be seen by Central Control and therefore pose a risk to everyone’s safety. Think I’m wrong? Ask how much money has been spent on Rerail vehicles and how many times they’ve been allowed to fulfill their true potential.

What do you think? Rather be on the MEC-4 sled or walking the tracks back to Foggy Bottom?

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Politicians and Their Porn

With all the foofaraw attached to the Virginia Senate Race, I didn’t think it could get weirder. Then It Did (thanks Wonkette!). Senator Allen’s campaign brought up Jim Webb’s written fiction novel. Which, of course, drove Slate to drudge up all the pornographic writings of previous and current politicians. The best part? It’s a Quiz! Match the written samples with the politician that crafted them. Featured are Ken Starr, William Cohen, Barbara Boxer and William Buckley. Below the cut are some of the choicest samples. Who knew our leadership had such dirty minds!

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8 Days Left. Who Are You (Not) Going To Miss?

With just 8 days left until the Midterm Election of 2006, most of those who are up for reelection have log since abandoned the District for their home turf, where they’re stumping and fundraising and speaking and putting up attack and defense ads on television. It’s likely that several incumbents might find themselves short of a seat when the returns are all in.

Tell me, gang, who will you miss when they’re gone? Who won’t you miss at all?

I know I won’t miss Mark Foley, and I’m fairly sure the dearly departed Tom Delay won’t be on my “man, I wish he was here!” tally, and as dire as Santorum’s race looks, I don’t think I’ll miss him much, either. I’d be interested to see how Michael Steele would do in the Senate, and of course, there’s always the battle royale between sexist Jim Webb and racist George Allen…

Tell us your faves and your passes. Who you do you want in? Who do you want out?

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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A Multiple Fashion Violation Morning

I don’t even know where to begin.

Maybe by questioning the thought pattern that thinks those boots work with that skirt.

Maybe by wondering about the physical discomfort of riding a bicycle in a short skirt on a cold morning.

Or maybe by calculating the inherent danger of a spiked boots/short skirt combo on a bike in morning commute traffic.

Regardless, I’m calling the fashion police, if only to save her from herself.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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The Machine

I’d actually intended to just do a roundup of the interesting outfits and shirts I’d seen and have just one more marathon post, but I got diverted by this woman: Jaimee Joroff. Funny shirts are one thing, flags – for all their additional drag – are another. But firefighter gear? That’s some serious shit, even if she did concede to wear sneaks rather than boots. So I punched her number up in the MCM website and googled her name.

Un-freaking-believable.

Near the top of the list of results was this 2004 MD press release. Ms Joroff is apparently wearing EMS gear because she is an EMS technician. An EMT who finished training despite being in an arm cast. A year after graduation she participated in a challenge that involved climbing seventy-five flights of stairs. In full protective gear, tank included. I don’t know if any of you have ever SCUBA dove, but I have enough trouble lumbering my ass over to the edge of the boat and letting gravity do the rest of the work to get into the water. Even if the tank is one-fifth the weight… I don’t think I’m making 75 flights if you strapped helium balloons to me, much less a metal air tank.

One of the other Google results was about the 2005 winner of the Harpist of the Day award given out at the Richmond Highland Games and Celtic Festival. No no, it’s not Ms Joroff…. she was the 2004 winner. That year’s event was the 23rd and 24th of October. The week before she was running the marathon to raise money for the Burn Foundation’s Summer Burn Camp for Children, according to the above-linked MD press release.

All the other results are similarly race results and/or information on monies raised for charity. If she’s not working hard to save lives at work she’s doing it to save lives indirectly, though she might take some time off to make money for charity with her harp playing.

Here’s to you, Ms Joroff. I appreciate that you’re out there working to help us all and it tickles me to know that someday I might have my life saved by an award-winning harpist marathon runner with a heart of gold. Thanks for making the world a better place in what seems like your every waking moment.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Fernandes Out, Gallaudet Hosts Giant Kegger

Jane Fernandes is done at Gallaudet after the Board of Trustees voted to terminate her appointment as the president of the University, resulting in a jubilant scene on Florida Avenue where the protestors not only burned Fernandes in effigy, but exulted in their triumph after 27 days of demonstrations.

They’re not out of the woods, yet. There have been no promises of a blanket amnesty for protestors, and they’ve promised to continue to protest until they are granted amnesty from reprisals from the administration.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Congrats to the first timer

Please join me in congratulating Kristen, seen here at mile 22, who would go on to complete her first marathon with a time of 04:27:54. The addiction seems to have set in – a few hours after finishing she was indicating to us her desire to do it again and finish in under 4:00.

Congrats Ms K. I don’t understand what possesses someone to do the marathon but I admire the devotion to setting and preparing for a goal that it displays.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Odd marathon sightings

I mean aside from otherwise reasonable people deciding to push their bodies to the point where they’ll need days to recuperate. No, in this case I’m talking about The Sport and Health Dancers who were on-hand to dance to entertain…. someone. They were fairly talented – check out a short video clip after the jump – but were in the unfortunate location right next to the running lane, making seeing them a bit challenging if you’re a spectator and a 2 second experience if you’re a runner. They probably should have been up on the raised stage off to the left but since they were performing between bands I guess they wanted to take advantage of that time to do teardown & setup for the next act.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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DC Photo pages link deleted due to self-respect

When I was writing about Markoff’s Haunted Forest I was going to use a photo from DC Photo Pages since they have a whole gallery of Markoff’s photos. In the end, though, I decided that their copyright page was so obnoxious that I didn’t even want to give them a hotlink. Paragraph one says all their content down to HTML code “cannot under any circumstances be cached for optimization, retransmitted, copied or altered without the explicit written permission of the owners” and then paragraph three says that if you submit anything you grant them “right to use, reproduce, display, perform, adapt, modify, distribute, and promote the content in any form, anywhere within” their site.

Sorry guys, I don’t want to play with folks who write the rules that one-sided.

Hmmm, I bet that quote above qualifies as a violation, huh? Tsk, better warm up my lawyers.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Hurry To the Finish!

If you are planning to cheer on a loved one in today’s 31st Marine Corps Marathon you better get a move on.

As you can see here, runners are off the National Mall and headed into NoVA.

If you are a techno geek like me, you are getting runner updates sent to your cell phone and are using them to estimate location with great accuracy.

If you’re not, be ready to face scan at a massive pace. Either way, the marathoner in your life could use the support right about now.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Marine Action We All Can Support

As the last of the runners in the Marine Corps Marathon pass, these recruits spring into action.

Cleaning up the mess of too many thirsty and hungry runners, uncomplaining marines quickly return the city to its usual pristine state.

Thank you US Marine Corps. From the famous Iwo Jima Memorial to the middle of Independence Avenue, the 31st Marine Corps Marathon is a great success!

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs