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Good Beer Comes To Town for the Weekend

savor.png Not that DC isn’t an awesome town for beer drinkers, but in mid-May, it’s going to be the Best Beer Town in America as Savor comes to town. Taking over the Mellon Auditorium for two days in May, bringing brews to town that we don’t normally get. The names are familiar, you’ll recognize Abita, Dogfish Head, Brooklyn Brewery, New Belgium, Stone, Tröegs, Smuttynose, amongst many others. Check out the awesome salons, which include “Getting Started with Beer and Food,” and “He Said Beer, She Said Wine.”

So mark your calendars, beer-lovers, and get your friend who doesn’t drink to drive downtown. Get ready for some excellent beer, and some great catering to go with it. Start setting aside your money, though, each session (there are three) runs $85, so that’s a bit pricy.

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Find your booties

Capital Weather passes on this bit of information: you’re going to get wet. Very.

It’s hard to imagine as I look out the window into a sunny and nice day, but projections indicate we’re going to get a metric ass-ton of rain dumped on us in the next 24 hours. Estimates are in the 1 inch and up range. Happily the expectation is we’ll follow it up with some sunny and above-average temps for the weekend. So run through your Netflix queue tonight and tomorrow and plan for some out-of-doors activities on Saturday.

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Inspection Facility to Make Way for Service Stations

The next time your DC-garaged vehicle needs an inspection you may not have to trundle on down to the Inspection Facility in Southwest DC, a place reviled by my District-dwelling friends. Much like surrounding Maryland and Virginia, DC Drivers may get to use one of 90 DC Gas Stations for inspections instead of the lone facility on Half Street.

There are some concerns to be worked out, still, including how to get service stations to bite on a $200,000 dynamometer, and how to justify an 80% increase in the cost of the inspection (to $45), but proposals will be explored and a recommendation made in March.

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Congratulations, cousin.

Hooray! My google alert on “Elizabeth Whiteside” just barfed up this Army.MIL news release on the soldier I wrote about two months ago. Excellent news.

After reviewing the Article 32 report of investigation as well as recommendations from the investigating officer and the chain of command at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Army Maj. Gen. Richard J. Rowe Jr., court-martial convening authority and commanding general of the National Capital Region and U.S. Army Military District of Washington, dismissed all charges and specifications today, Jan. 30, in the case of U.S. vs. 1st Lt. Elizabeth Whiteside.

I’ll simply say that I’m relieved and pleased.

UPDATE: I guess I should have looked at the Washington Post item that came up in the same search alert. The last item on their timeline: Jan. 29, 2008: Whiteside is taken to the emergency room after she swallows dozens of psychotropic pills. *sigh* The day before such good news.

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Picking a farm share

Or in the case of my darling girlfriend and I, not picking one.

Not because we don’t want to, mind you. We both love veggies and would be happy to eat more of them. DG hates going grocery shopping but is un(willing|able) to let me do it for her, so having someone bring fresh greens to us every week strikes her fancy just fine.

The problem, as usual, is me. I feel less bad about this than I might otherwise since I’m also the prime motivation behind it. What’s motivating me is also what’s making it harder: I finished Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma over the holiday season.

If you’ve read it you likely know what’s bugging me: my goal here is to inject sustainably raised food into my diet and avoid stuff grown with fossil fuel fertilizers or flawed organic methods. I’m not ready to strap on my armor and get on my white horse about that as of yet, but I feel like I can just go shop at my convenience in traditional locations if that’s what I’m angling for.

So I put it out to you bunch: have any of you used any CSAs that you’d recommend? Wayan wrote about Clagett last year but they’re not a 100% strident sustainable bunch – they state “Our priority and focus is to provide excellent quality produce and customer service to every customer while helping to grow, support and encourage sustainable local agriculture. ” That’s great, but “helping to grow, support and encourage” isn’t strong enough for me to feel it’s worth it. Fresh and Local CSA or Olin-Fox Farms appeal to me but the pickup turns off my darling girlfriend. And in fairness, I just found them at random at LocalHarvest.org.

Any input, anyone?

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Night Dreams in Bethesda Caters to After-Church Crowd

Open sundays!
Yep, Night Dreams is now open for your after-church porn needs. Visit this Sunday from 12-6. What? You are scared of looking like a sinner in front of your church pals you might encounter there? Good news – they also have an online store for the bashful heathen in all of us.

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The Morning News: Wednesday is for Drinking Early Edition

DC Charter School Closing in a Month, Stranding 250

The Washington Academy, which serves 250 area children, is set to close in 30 days. It’s not clear how those kids are supposed to be absorbed into the schools system, as many neighborhood schools in that region are set to close if the chancellor’s plan is completed.

Georgetown Student/Staff Data Missing

If you’re currently a Georgetown Student, or work there, your identity may have been stolen yesterday, when a disk containing the records of the 38,000 students and staff of the University was taken from an office on campus. Georgetown is offering free credit monitoring for those affected. Give the University a call at 866-740-2458 or visit their identity site for more info.

More Rail News

Here starts the blame game. Rep. Jim Moran comes out swinging like it’s a little black boy near his car. Moran insists that this is clearly a political ploy to thwart democrats in Northern Virginia, and has nothing to do with potential risk. Meanwhile, the Examiner points out it could be about failing to resolve a series of technical problems in the proposal, that would have resulted in the failure to operate the proposed line.

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Breath of Fresh Air

During my weekend from hell, the Mysterious M and I managed to break away and get downtown to attend a great photo outing hosted by the Washington Photo Safari on Saturday afternoon. The subject was the historic Willard Hotel, which reopened in 1986 after being closed for nearly 18 years. Its renovations have maintained and (I think) enhanced the architectural beauty of the building; the history of the hotel is equally enriching (see the Wikipedia entry here). The atmosphere inside was fascinating – we hung around in the lobby for about half an hour afterwards just people-watching; even for a cold January Saturday, the place had a quiet electric vibe that really caught your attention.

Anyway, the safari – hosted by David Luria – gave us access to the lobby, Peacock Alley (afternoon tea area, complete with harpist!), the Willard Room (formal dining), and the Jenny Lind suite – a 950 square foot two-level suite with a stunning view of the Monument from the massive bathtub. My wife and I managed several fantastic shots throughout the safari – I even grabbed several exposure styles of a few scenes so I can try my (inexperienced) hand at HDR when I have a few hours handy.

It was a very pleasant afternoon diversion and quite economical, to boot. We did end up at Finemondo for dinner – an interesting experience in and of itself, which is probably worthy of another entry in the near future.

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9:30 Club vs. The Black Cat – Ding! Ding!

Or should I say, “Kick ass concert venue versus a bar with a crappy stage?” Yes, I may indeed be comparing apples to oranges here, but they’re both fruit that I like to eat, so by God I’ll compare them if I want to.

OK, OK. I know I may be touching a raw nerve here, one that might get a pie thrown in my face. There are some of you who will probably agree with my assessment, while others may be deeply offended. However in my small concert-going world, these are basically my only two venue choices*, and I far prefer one over the other.

For me there are many factors that take an average concert venue and make it great, a few of them being as follows.

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Arlington Police use YouTube to Solicit Citizen Assistance

As I often do, I happened to find myself wandering around the Arlington County web site and stumbled onto this YouTube video of some asshat robbing a BB&T bank at Rosslyn. Way to go, Arlington Police, for using the obvious technologies for this important purpose. Many departments lag behind because nobody wants to bother learning something new and the old-timers don’t know what to think about “The You Tube.” I am glad to see that our local police are taking advantage of this popular and easy-to-access medium.

If you know anything about this situation that can be helpful to the investigation, or even possibly who this alleged asshat might be, call the Arlington Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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The Morning News: SOTU Hangover Edition

Here’s hoping you didn’t play the SOTU drinking game last night, too. It seems the local news media is definitely on the fence about things today, including some contradictory stories.

Rep. Davis to Retire (?)

Rep. Tom Davis (R-Vienna) is set to retire after 14 years in the House, according to the Examiner. However, according to WTOP, that decision has yet to be made, and it’s “not accurate, yet.” So, maybe he’s retiring, maybe he’s not?

Virginia to Repeal Drivers’ Fees (?)

WJLA says that the repeal of fees has advanced through the House of Delegates, meanwhile, the Post reports that the repeal of fees has hit a legal snag featuring a 130-year-old Virginia State Supreme Court ruling, and that it could not be legal in its current state.

Questioning the General Counsel

It seems that Acting AG Peter Nickles may have been a little more involved in prosecutorial projects than some councilmembers would have liked. In fact, Mary Cheh called him out on it yesterday, specifically for getting involved in the AG’s affairs while general counsel in 7 cases.

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Obama Rally Draws More Than 12,000.

It was cold this morning when I hit the lock button on my car and I shoved my hands deep into the pockets of my greatcoat. I’d forgotten my gloves on the table when I left the house and now I was kicking myself. I’d gone to grab my friend Jeff and I was running late and I left them right there on the table, despite the fact that it was 30 when I got in the car. Dumbass.

We parked the car on University Ave on the western bound of the American University campus. We weren’t expecting the giant line. I wasn’t, anyway. I figured, this was just another stump speech, just another appearance. I was wrong. The line was already four blocks long when we got in line just before 10am. As we stood there, the line grew, both in length and in breadth as it stretched to five and six people wide as the line backed up University Avenue to Quebec St NW.

But how the hell did I, someone who votes predominantly Republican end up in the line to see one of the more liberal candidates?


This is the Line we waited in. Gmap Pedometer says it’s .7 mi.

I was in that line because I want to believe there’s more to politics than fear, loathing and gridlock. I want to believe that we can surpass all the dead and unburied arguments that are bubbling up to the top every time someone named Bush or Clinton or Rove or Carville open their mouths and speak in public. We need to put aside the people that drive us crazy, or we’ll spend our lives fighting the past instead of living the future.

When my friend Jeff asked me on Saturday to go to the Obama event at Bender Arena this morning, I figured it might be a good idea to see what the guy has to say. I find his forward-looking politics to be very intriguing in a town full of old fights and buried bodies, and I agreed. I can’t bear the thought of four (or heaven help us, eight) more years of a Clinton or a Bush in the White House. It just makes me ill to think that our nation would have to endure that much more of the partisan rancor that’s become the predominant method of political discourse in this country. I want the brutal cycle of rage and anger and brutality in American Politics to take a break for once.

I’m not sure if Sen. Obama is the answer to that, but when he said on Saturday night that this was a campaign more about the future than the past, I have to agree with that statement. Time to put away the old quarrels, time to set aside old fights and get some momentum forward. So I figured it was time to see what the man had to say.

Except we got shut out. After waiting almost two hours in the cold and wind, we wound up 500 people from the front door. So now I’ll watch it on YouTube later, or just read the text, I suppose. But there’s something Magic about seeing it live. There’s something valuable in that that you can’t get from watching CNN, even in High Def. I was hoping for that. But I’ll have to wait.

Tiff and I were talking about this recently, and she mentioned that Obama was her “Tiger Beat” candidate, and I think that’s true for more than just us right now. We’re both right of center, but there’s something about the guy that even if he spent our money in all the wrong ways, we could at least respect him for the choices he’d make.

And it goes a long way that we’d be looking for that sort of thing instead of voting with people who share opinions on major issues.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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DC’s Getting Smart

As if DC wasn’t smart enough, we seem to be getting even smarter. Aren’t we considered to be the most educated city on the planet or sumthin’? Well leave it to us to be early adopters of the space saving, environmentally friendly Smart car. Made by Mercedes and starting at just $11,590, this little scooter is likely to be the next Mini Cooper, that is, you’re going to start to see them zooming around everywhere. I remember the first time I saw one of these in London about five years ago, I couldn’t believe my eyes. “You can actually drive that thing? A grown adult can actually fit in there?” Amazingly, they have more room inside than you might think, although you probably won’t be using it to take that new 50″ flat screen TV home from Costco. The beauty of these cars, especially for those of us who have to deal with parallel parking on a Friday night, is that they’ll fit into the smallest of spots that even a Mini couldn’t fit into.

While probably not the safest car to be in with a Hummer speeding behind you, the Smart is a brilliant car designed for city dwellers like us and I expect to see them flood the area over the next few years.

Photo by yospyn.

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The Morning News: Obama in DC

Two big speeches in DC today. One by President Bush at 9pm tonight (street closures), and one by Senator Barack Obama at 11am this morning (doors at 10:30) Sadly, our tickets for the State of the Union never showed, but I did get an invite to see Senator Obama speak.

Virginia Scrambles to Save Dulles Rail

After what amounted to a bitch slap from the Federal Goverment, Tim Kaine and his Transportation crew are working overtime to attempt to prove the worth of the Dulles Rail Extension. I’m not exactly sure what kind of worth study one needs to propose to prove that an airport terminus on the Metro is worth while, but I bet the BART folks in San Francisco can tell you.

Four Days Til Maryland Smoking Ban Takes Effect

While Montgomery County, Prince George’s County and others have had a ban in effect for some time, the rest of Maryland follows suit on Friday. So, if you’re headed up to Charm City, be sure to leave the smokes at home where they’ll only poison you and your close friends. Thanks.

Local Primaries Still in Play

The race for the nomination in both parties will likely still be contested after the Super Tuesday round of primaries in February 5th, making area primaries on the 12th of February more interesting. I like the idea of my vote counting for something…

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Seems fair

Well the snow day phone kerfuffle seems to be more or less done. WaPo is reporting that teen Devraj Kori will serve a Saturday detention for his crimes. Their headline unfortunately states “Fairfax Teen Will Serve Detention for Snow Day Call” which I would certainly hope is not the case – I continue to think there’s no sanctionable action in making a polite phone call to a listed phone number. However a day in detention on the weekend seems quite even-handed as a punishment for posting their home phone and encouraging – either explicitly or by implication – others to call and be obnoxious.

The article says that – as Joe noticed in the comments – the recording is gone from YouTube now, but the two voice links over on this post still seem to work fine. I only mention this since I still think Candy Tistadt should be fired for her part of the transgression and I wouldn’t want to make that assertion without proof.

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Two Great Shows This Weekend


Originally uploaded by tbridge.

Honor By August at 9:30

Saturday’s early-doors show at 9:30 Club is a great (almost) All DC show, featuring Jubeus and The Dreamscapes Project, as well as Folk-Rock act Justin Trawick (who we’ve seen before) before Honor By August headlines the show, their first at the 9:30. I’m really looking forward to this show, as it will be HBA’s first headliner gig at the 9:30 and I suspect they’ll be bringing their A game and hopefully some of the tracks from their new recently released album. Girls, their guitarist Evan, though married, is good to drool over see in person. Tickets are mighty reasonable, be there.

Ali Marcus at Galaxy Hut

Ali_Marcus.jpg DC-born-and-raised Ali Marcus is doing a few shows in her hometown this winter, starting with a show Saturday afternoon at Galaxy Hut. Though she lives in Seattle now, she’s doing an East Coast tour with a show starts at 2 on Saturday at the hut, as well as one at Iota in mid-February. Marcus’ solo guitar and harmonica blues-folk revival is not to be missed live.

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Good Takeout for the Flu?

I wonder what time Oprah comes on? I haven’t watched her show in years. I remember watching her when I was a kid and thinking she was soooo cool. Isn’t she like the richest woman on the planet now? I wonder if she’ll ever run for president? That would be crazy. President Winfrey. I think I’d move to Australia at that point…

Oh hi, DC! I didn’t know you were there. My brain is in a little bit of a fog at the moment. I seem to have caught some sort of cold or flu that’s left me bedridden for the past two days. As if my flu aches weren’t enough, laying in bed makes me even more achy. Seriously, I have a question for you though. What’s the best takeout food for a sicko like me? I really don’t want to leave my house, otherwise I’d go to Whole Foods for a giant bowl of their chicken noodle soup. Do you have any suggestions? My ailing body would really appreciate it.

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Best Ways To Spend Your Rebate in DC?

It seems that a deal has been reached on an economic stimulus package (heh, I said stimulus package) that would put a bunch of fluid dollars into the hands of Americans everywhere. If you make less than $75k, look for a check around $600. Married couple? $1200.

So, if this is truly to be economic stimulus, how can we best spend it in the DC area? I don’t think big chains need any more of our money, so maybe it’s time to look at local businesses that could use a few extra bucks, so that takes out a whole bunch of stores. So, for the best local effect, maybe shops like Belmont TV might be the place to go for electronics and whatnot. Shops like Kramers and Politics & Prose for books. DC is blessed with an abundance of non-chain restaurants, so maybe a night out with your hubby/sweetie would be a good idea, as well.

If you’re going to get stimulated, you might as well help out some of the local businesses, yeah? Where are you going to spend your rebate?

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Carrying a Gun Into National: Totally Possible.

Just in case you still think TSA is a great group of people that Keep America Safeâ„¢ from the terrorists, please take note of this story from last Sunday, when a West Virginia man carried a loaded firearm undetected past security. And, when he realized what he was carrying, he went back to let TSA know of their fuckup, he was arrested by Airport Police for his trouble.

There are moments when I seriously think that guys like Ron Paul have a good point. Then I remember that Ron Paul is batshit crazy and would do equally crazy things like reinstate the gold standard. This does nothing, though, to remind people not to carry their firearms aboard national transit, which I think we should all talk about more.

Want to own a gun? Great. All for that. Just don’t carry it unless you need it. On the airplane? Not so much with the needing that. Please pack accordingly.

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You seem to be confused

We’ve now discussed the Tistadt Audio Meltdown (sounds like the successor to Big Audio Dynamite, don’t it? (oops I think that dates me somewhat)) a few times and I was inclined to let it go.

Till I read Marc Fisher’s column about it in the print edition today.

And now I feel like maybe I’m not ready to let it go, primarily because this tweaks one of my hot button points: people confusing technology issues with societal ones. It perturbs me that Fischer claims that student Devraj Kori “knows no boundaries” because he dared to share an abusive and rude message from a school employee with others, but that’s not what sets me off. What makes me nuts is the quotes from another school employee, Ron McClain, director of the Parkmont School in the District.

It used to be you could have an inappropriate or rude conversation with someone, and it would stay private. There’s a much fuzzier line between public and private now. This is a case where the technology has outpaced our ability to cope with its effects. As parents, we’re way behind.

If there’s an age gap here it’s not the one Fisher and McClain seem to think. I don’t know Fisher’s age but McClain’s bio says he graduated from Harvard a year after I was born, probably putting him about 20-25 years older than me. So here’s your proof this has nothing to do with a “wired age,” folks, since my mom told me very clearly how to deal with the effects of a technology that prevents you from having an “inappropriate or rude conversation with someone” without other people finding out and hearing it:

Don’t say things that you’re not willing to have other people hear.

If Mr or Mrs Tistadt, Marc Fisher, Ron McClain, or any of the rest of you have a concern that something impolite you say to someone else – no matter how much “above” that person you might think you are – then you can exert complete and total control over that disbursal by not saying it at all.

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