Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Kids + Ice Skating = Funny Falling Follies

Over the weekend I made it out to the Cabin John Ice Skating Rink (not pictured below). I arrived an hour into the 2-hour session, but didn't really mind since my feet and interest would suffer if I had been there any longer. Despite a near sellout crowd, I had a few close parking spots to choose from my parking space family genes. Anyway, I eventually got my hockey skates (though for some reason I thought figure skating skates would at first be easier to use) and laced them as tight as possible. However, as tight as possible still meant lots of ankle wiggle room...do I hear a twisted ankle anyone? I waddled over to the ice trying to avoid slashing anyone's sneakers with my blades. It's a lot harder than you'd think with a few birthday parties worth of kids running around at the same time. Hey, if they get cut, they shouldn't have put their foot in my path. It's walker beware.

It's just like rush hour traffic except every pedestrian and car is a little kid with no traction, brakes, or sense of direction.

My gang and I made it to the ice and pushed off. About 20 feet into the skate, the balls of my feet were sorer beyond soreness (just go with it). None of us were great skaters, but we managed quite a few laps. A few laps in, two people in our group were helping one person around when they all fell. I was skating behind them to, um, stop them from falling, but they fell forward. I started laughing only to trip myself while trying to stop. Karma I guess. One person got a solid bruise as the day's only injury as long as you don't count sore ankles and legs. I was nervous to skate and do some lateral movement with my right leg and all (having already turned down a basketball game earlier), but thought this was nowhere near as intense as bball. I did fine and my leg should really be safe to use again, but I'll wait a little more until I've got enough courage before playing a real game.

I love seeing how my ankle rolls while I skate.

Since we skated in the later-half of of the session, the ice was pretty torn, but what do I know anyway? I'm just a big oaf with a high center of gravity who has skated a handful of times in his life. This made for a bumpy ride, but also provided lots of kids falling. Though some were wearing helmets, it never took away from my internal laughter and smile with each America's-Funniest-Home-Video-worthy-fall. Kids were running into each other, into the boards, or just plain falling on their own and I couldn't stop laughing. One older woman fell and seemed to have sprained or broken her arm, but everyone else's falls made me chuckle.

Take that you punk trying to showoff!

One of the renegade (young) rink workers and I skated into each other twice, but I caught him and held us upright. It's funny how a really good skater could run into me as I make same oval over and over again. Look, just because you're a good skater, doesn't mean you should skate as fast as you can, zig-zagging among us not-so-good skaters (that also pay your salary) and then stopping on a dime. Free skate sessions are not when you practice your speed skating or figure skating spins. We all know you're good, fine, now please move on with your life. As if we don't know that you really practice in an empty rink all the time. We know nobody really does their sincere practice during an open skate so stop acting like a fool before I "accidentally" lose directional control and check your face into the boards so hard you'd think it was a real hockey game. Thanks, I feel better now.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Valentine's Free Chipotle Deal

Just so you're in the loop like I am with Chipotle...

Buy at least a $5 Chipotle gift card from January 31st to February 11th and then bring the receipt back on February 12th, 13th, or 14th to get a free burrito.

Friday, January 27, 2006

I'm Electric....boogey-woogey-woogey

It's okay if you admit to knowing what song this entry's title plays on. Lately, I've been building up way too much static electricity while walking around my company's floor. It only takes a few steps-worth of walking to get a shock from any door handle or electric device. I usually touch some of our unused metal handles (as a courtesy to the resident germaphobes) when I can so it doesn't hurt when I have an electric discharge. Of course, if I need a caffeine alternative, I'll let the charge build and slowly move my metal watch toward a handle and see a nice current pass between them and through my hand.

She's exagerating...just a bit...of what I go through everyday.

I used to think I was getting shocked only when I wore my brown pants, shoes, and socks. Unfortunately, it (literally) feels like any combination will do the trick. My usual black shoes will build current with any of my socks ranging from navy blue to black so I don't have a choice when it comes to shocking. I'm sure it doesn't help that I walk pretty flatfooted and ususally drag my feet just above the carpet. And yes, I have tripped on flat carpet because I don't pick my feet too far off the ground. Having to ground myself whenever I want to leave my desk is getting a little annoying so it could be time for some new shoes or maybe I should just come to work in sneakers.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

It's Fitness Made Stupid

I'd like to thank John Basedow for oversaturating the local cable advertising market with your poorly shot, edited, and produced commercials and even worse videos for "Fitness Made Simple". Granted, I haven't seen any of the videos, but I think their quality can be inferred. Come on, like you don't laugh when you see the older guy wearing the Chicago Bulls jersey in the before and after. Those pictures are supposed to sell more videos, right? Some of those after shots are a little disturbing with fake tans and oiled bodies that shouldn't have ever been tanned and oiled. It's hard to see that much improvement in most of those shots, even with people sticking out their stomachs in bad lighting for the before, and then getting cleaned up and sucking it in for the after.

If it's okay with you, I don't want to look like this guy.

The thing is, I bet he's sold tons of his corny videos, while every exercise and diet advice you get is available on the Internet. Damnit, why did I come out with my own line of videos? I'm sure some suckers would by mine just b/c they're on TV. Then again, I don't have the credability of a "fitness celebrity".

Hi, I'm John Basedow. I dehydrate myself for a few days to show "defined" muscles and always have pictures taken of me with a slight twist in my torso.

Here's John Basedow...
He's going to show you how.
To reach your potential...
And turn your whole life around.

It's fitness made simple...made for real people.

It's changing real lives!

Living a better life!

It's fitness made simple....made for real people.

I actually found a picture of him with a shirt on. Of course, next time we see him, he'll have an even worse tan and his hornet's nest hair will be a different color.

Here's one blog of many discussing his oversized head on his chicken body. I'd also like to apologize for putting the video's song in your head the rest of the day.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

No TV Before the Super Bowl

With about 10 days to go before Super Bowl XL (that's 40), it's time for me to avoid any sports pundits/experts (who are really just paid guessers). There is so much hype and overtalk before the game that it's too much to take. Any fan of the league shouldn't need these talking heads to get them ready for the game. By the way, Why does the NFL keep using roman numerals? It doesn't add any class or stature to the game. It just forces kids to learn an outdated numbering system in elementary school that they won't use, but once a year when it's gametime.

All you have to know is the Steelers and Seahawks are evenly matched. Nobody knows how either team will play so any pre-game talk and overanalysis of Jerome Bettis' return to Detroit is pointless. Look, everyone thought Indy would destory everyone, but they went against what everyone thought and lost. If sports history has shown us anything (see: Pats/Rams Super Bowl) predictions are just wasted breath. There's a reason things are settled on the field. I know it's the media's job to talk about sports, but they won't get any of my attention.

So join me in avoiding all sports media, especially ESPN (and not just for Stuart Scott or the fact that less highlights are shown than ever before). You'll never get the highlights you've been waiting to see unless you sit through a breakdown of why Pittsburgh's decision to stay with white uniforms matters. Is that so important to know? Incessant talking about the same topics until they're beaten into the ground is for 24-hr cable news networks.

The sports division is like any other news division...if there's no legit news, they'll talk about the same old news until either their heads explode or something newsworthy actually happens. Unfortunately, the later always occurs just in time.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Real Men of Genius - Chris McCray Edition

In light of MD basketball's academic eligibility issues with Chris McCray, someone on the MD message board posted this funny take on the "Real Men of Genius" ads:

Narrator: The University of Maryland Men's Basketball Team presents ... Real Men of Genius

Singer: Real Men of Genius!

Narrator: Today we salute you, Mr. Star athlete notorious class skipper

Singer: Mr. Star athlete notorious class skiiiiper!!

Narrator: Despite given a free education, you decided to keep it real and focus your time on a much greater endeavor: impregnating unattractive white women.

Singer: Daaaamn she ugly!!!

Narrator: Not only does your quickness, agility, and strength help you throw down monsterous dunks on the court, but also from avoiding and resisting arrest off the court on the weekends.

Singer: Pleeeeeease hold still sir!

Narrator: When it's all said and done, the only thing slower than your release is in fact your ability to compute simple arithmatic problems in pre-algebra on Tuesday mornings.

Singer: Wheeere's your tutor?

Narrator: So go to the bar and crack open another cold one with your teammates. And if some teacher aint given you your props, slap that bitch across the face and tell her "I'm from Maryland and nobody can teach me"

Singer: Mr. Star athlete notorious class skiiiper!

Cheesecake Factory - Good Food and a Sore Back

I visited the Cheesecake Factory for dinner over the weekend and ordered my usual Cajun Jambalaya pasta dish. It was a solid meal of which I had the usual leftovers. I've never seen anyone actually finish an entire meal there. The portions are huge, I should just order one and split it. It seemed like the second you ate a forkful of pasta, they secretly put more on your plate through a little hole underneath it all. It's an incredible magic trick. It's like the Never Ending Pasta Pot.

What the cajun jambalaya plate looks like after you've been eating for 30 minutes...that's right, it never ends.

The White Flint location was no different than any other Factory that I've visited, especially with its long wait time. I put my name in at 6:15 and didn't get seated until 7:30ish. Well within the "55-70 minute wait" we were told, but it's still a long time. I almost laughed when I heard people putting their names down when we were seated and being told the wait will be 90 minutes. If you want to eat there, get there early because there'll be a really long wait otherwise and you may not have a mall to walk around and kill time.

If you want good food, your back and wallet will have to pay. Couldn't someone have tested the seats by sitting in them before going nationwide?

I had no issues with the meal though if I could talk to the restaurant's builder, I'd ask for some seats that don't make your torso perpendicular to the floor. The booth seats offer no cushioning even with my junk in the trunk it wasn't comfy. I found myself adjusting and hunched over most of the meal. With zero padding and lumbar support, my back would have ached if we stayed longer. I wouldn't mind having some NJ diner booth seats instead. The food is a safe bet, but just remember to bring your own seat cushions or make an appointment for a massage/chiropracter right after. By the way, we didn't go for the cheesecake because our stomachs would have exploded, but I'm sure they're tasty.

Mock New Jersey as you will, but at least we know how to sit comfortably.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Matt Lauer's Jewish Twin Brother

Is it just me or is the pharmacist pictured on the M Street/Navy Yard CVS poster (or any CVS poster for that matter) a dead ringer to be the twin brother of Matt Lauer? I think his (fake) twin brother definitely show's Matt's Father's Jewish roots. Not to be an SHJ, but look at those facial features!

Of course Matt and I are related.

I cross my arms in publicity shots to look tough.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Where are ya'll from?

In lieu of the nice migraine I've been battling from my bed since early this morning, I invite you to add yourself to a map of my visitors. As you can see, it's already quite full with all of one entry from Bethesda. Though I'm sure it'll never get too full (or even include more than myself), I thought it'd be cool to see where you're visiting from. Though it asks you for an email address, you don't have to register so I'd just enter a fake one. Of course, be sure to put in the right zipcode.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Kyocera 2235, Thanks For the Memories

I am thankful to have gone quite a few months without writing one my obituaries, but in the same vein as the death of KITT and Randy the rambunctious Raccoon, it is time to put my Kyocera 2235 six feet under. Well, not really six feet under because of environmental issues, but its services ceased on Wednesday as it no longer gets a signal for more than 30 seconds a day. I've made it through my 2-year Verizon contract and have been month-to-month for about a year so it's time I make the cell phone model and provider switch to Cingular. Of course, I've been putting off this switch for the last year, but this expedites things just a little.

It was so sleek, so reliable, and so good. Now it's not so sleek, not so reliable, and not so good.

On January 11, my nicknameless phone decided to stop capturing Verizon's signal and drain my battery while doing so. I've lost battery power before while it searched for a signal, but never in my office nor home where I always get all of my signal bars. A few turns on and off yielded the "searching..." message for a millisecond and then a random picture shown when you hook the phone to your computer for data. Fortunately, just before I started my drive home on the 12th, the phone didn't go to that screen, but didn't get a signal either. Despite showing 5% battery life left, I made it home in time to plug it in and type away.

You can count on this more than my phone.

Since I have an old school phone without a SIM card, I had no other choice but to record my 3 years of peeps the old fashioned way. Though this means I'll have to punch all of them into my new phone, at least I have the data. You never realize how popular you are until you have to do this. I mean, I knew I had some friends, but wow, I seem to know everyone. Ok, well we both know that those two sentences are completely false and most of my contacts were either doctors or my immediate family's numbers, but it was fun to write anyway.

"Brick Attack" was just like this, well, except for having no music, less control, and being black and white.

The 2235 was a fine "candybar" cell phone, with its keyguard preventing accidental dialing to voice recognition calling, it suited me well. I had few major complaints and made myself enjoy two of the games to pass the time. "Cavern Crawl" (I once reached the 58th cave, but never was able to use and therefore understood the point of collecting all of the objects) was a poor man's "Legend of Zelda". "Brick Attack" (personal high score of 2431 which is nothing impressive since the game really tests your ability to ignore boredom as you eventually lose turns on purpose so your high score is recorded) was a solid copy of "Breakout". Ok, this reads more like a review of the phone so let me bust out some obituary-speak.

I know I need a new phone, but forgive me, I'm just a caveman.

While this phone was replaced two times for poor audio and power issues, I enjoyed the run I had with it. The 2235 didn't act like a fool by trying to impress. It stayed true to its grayshade and blue backlit roots. It was a true original by keeping it real. From reliable signal strength to using its blue light to help my friends find me in Cole Field House, I could count on it. It had an Internet browser, but I never had any use for it. Of course, as times change, so does cell phone technology. I know my phone is old and I'm the last you'd expect not to have a cool new phone, but the jump in cell phones is pretty remarkable. I sound like a caveman lawyer, but I hear (chortle, chortle, chortle) cell phones have really improved over the last 3 years. Apparently there are cell phones with color, that take still and motion pictures, let you watch TV, and actually work. Time to overresearch my next phone.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

I called WTOP's traffic line, and yes, I'm a loser

Sure, WTOP is hard to listen to these days with there "read straight from a PR release" stories, annoying chatter, and even more annoying laughter. Nevertheless, its saving grace is the traffic report on the 8's that I always catch. While driving along Canal Road on Thursday morning, I came upon a broken down car in the left lane. Being the considerate rush hour driver that I am (unless you cut me off when I didn't leave you enough space), I called WTOP's traffic line and reported the quickly building delay. Five minutes later, everyone in the DC metro area knew of my call. You're welcome.

Sure her laugh and banter with WTOP's anchors makes me want to change the station, but when it's the only reliable report in town, you make sacrifices.

Then, proving that I'm not a 2006 one-hit wonder (as I've called a few times in the past), I called again today after learning about a stalled car on Canal Road just after the Chain Bridge. When I got to the site, the car had been moved to the left so I did my patriotic duty and called the traffic line again and spoke with one of Lisa Baden's peeps and got my message across. She and the morning anchors are way too bubbly and easily amused for my taste, but at least I get the traffic report. If I had my way, I'd have Bob Marbourg (though anyone but Lisa works for me) report traffic in the morning as well as his afternoon slot. He doesn't deal with the dumb-downed anchor talk and gets right to business. While I was around the city this weekend, it was nice listening to 1010 WINS' longer traffic reports that were all business.

Another day of police cars, Jersey walls, and traffic in the district.

I recognize feeling giddy when a call of mine is reported is sad on lots of levels, but I have my reasons. You may ask, who actually calls the traffic line with traffic tips? If I'm already stuck for taking the wrong road, why should the next guy get the help I didn't? Well, I guess this just means I'm a good and courteous driver afterall...riiiiiiight.

Star light, star bright,
the first star I see tonight.
I wish I may, I wish I might,
why is there so much goddamn traffic tonight?

It's all about the pay it forward (never saw the movie, but I think I got the idea), you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours (after you wax that hair) way of thinking. Many of WTOP's best traffic tips come from the drivers who are, hello, stuck in traffic. The tips I hear are usually from others who have made the cell phone minute sacrifice to let me know, so I'm just trying to keep the circle of life/traffic flow intact.

How do you get yourself out of a dead end without making a u-turn?

Even after I pathetically call, I get all excited (no, not down there) knowing it'll be on the next report. It's kind of like being an anonymous tipster who knows what'll be reported before the general public. You know, like those government people who leak stuff to the press and know what the Post will lead with tomorrow. I should have outgrown this feeling after a few years of hearing my writing read on TV news, but I haven't. I'm just trying to get my discredited 15 minutes of fame. That's why most of us blog anyway.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Don't Visit Hospitals, According To WTOP

Among the things I can count on each morning is at least one story on WTOP that is ridiculous and has zero substance that makes me waste 30 seconds of my life. Many times, these stories derive from a lobby group or the latest medical study to suggest that food abc is good for you and food xyz will kill you. Of course, since there's no time for a complete story, we never hear the other side of the study to argue holes in its logic or why respected parts of the medical community completely dismissed it. Nevertheless, WTOP seems to always run dry on stories so everything is reported in the hopes that something will stick.

Don't ask for a CT scan, it's not worth the risk of a hospital visit.

At 6:43 this morning, WTOP managed to talk about health news and get on its knees to spew some more lobbyist garbage speak. Instead of giving any context like background information, opposing viewpoints, or even how it was determined, WTOP reported that you'll get sicker by visiting a hospital. That's right, don't go to the hospital when you're feeling sick. Of course, they teased this story to no end. Nothing compares to creating a frenzy among your listeners by making them think they can't go to the hospital for help. What is this, the local Fox Radio affiliate now?

Though he only had strep throat, he got Gumby disease by visiting. He's a reminder why WTOP said hospitals are the last place you should go when you're sick.

WTOP quoted some research (from a Denver Post column) that said, "100,000 Americans die each year from hospital-acquired diseases." And just what respected medical association/university put this together? The Service Employees International Union did. There's nothing like quoting a fact sheet distributed by a union with clear intentions. That's not to say facts should be ignored, but their source should be greatly considered. Nevermind that 100,000 (however they compiled that number and chose what categories to include is beyond the report's depth) is an incredibly low percentage of patients seen each year. I'd like to think the average listener can see the big picture of total patients, but I doubt it. If you can't see what I mean, I found a random hospital, the White Plains Hospital Center, and found in 2004, it alone had over 100,000 patients visit its radiology department.

Why get an operation when you'll just sicker and die from entering the hospital anyway?

What did WTOP expect its listeners to think after hearing this information? Thanks for this great reporting. Now when I need an emergency appendectomy, I'll ask the ambulance to take me to the nearest CVS to get medical supplies and do the work at home. I mean, I wouldn't want to go to a hospital where, according to WTOP, I'd get sicker and die because it's not like this area doesn't have a handful of world renown hospitals. All I'm asking is if you're actually going to report something as drastically stupid as this, at least give some background to it. It's hard to think any editor would give the okay to a story that simply says, "don't visit hospitals, because you'll just get sicker and even die," but then again, this is WTOP.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Best California License Plate Ever!

And with that, I will direct to you to Turtle Soup, whose author wrote exactly what I'm thinking today about last night's game.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

You'd Laugh Too

It seems no matter the office space I work in, I'm always within earshot of this vibrating noise from a drill or mini-jack hammer that makes me laugh. It's not your typical virbrating construction noise, but more of a thumping. It's the kind of noise that sounds a lot like the thing we all do, some better than others, that changes the smell in the air for the worse.

That's right, everyday, as construction is being done on an adjacent floor, it sounds like someone is farting (commence laughing), also known as breaking wind, cutting the cheese, passing gas, and letting one rip. I can't help but think like this when I hear the drill used.

It's along the same line as laughing when someone says, "It's my duty." From elementary school to the present, I still laugh when I hear that and think of "doody". I know, I shouldn't at my age, but I also know I'm not the only one who still does. I guess this can't be my postcard secret anymore.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

New Redskins Fight Song

Since I can't stand all of the TFW talk this week, I decided to reword the lyrics to their stupid fight song. Don't worry, I won't watch Saturday's game, just as I've missed all of this season's games. Sure, I'm a little bitter that the Giants didn't move on, but my hatred wouldn't be so bad if news about the TFW wasn't always overblown.

Bail on the Deadskins!
Fail Victory!
Cowards on the Warpath!
Bite one for old D.C.!

Trip or fall we never score -- we're such a snore!
Cheat 'em, can't beat 'em,
Hey fans! -- we've got sores!

Plight on, trite on 'Til Sonny J is done

Bastards of Wash-ing-ton. Shut your jaw!

Bail on the Deadskins!
Fail Victory!
Cowards on the Warpath!
Bite one for old D.C.!

I'd like to channel the play of Gus Frerotte into Mark Brunnell.

The updated original sad song:

Hail to the Redskins!
Hail Victory!
Braves on the Warpath!
Fight for old D.C.!

Run or pass and score -- we want a lot more!
Beat 'em, Swamp 'em,
Touchdown! -- Let the points soar!

Fight on, fight on 'Til you have won

Sons of Wash-ing-ton. Rah!, Rah!, Rah!

Hail to the Redskins!
Hail Victory!
Braves on the Warpath!
Fight for old D.C.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Skunked At Home

So we've made into the second round of the NFL playoffs and my beloved NY Giants failed to make it past Carolina. Actually, they really just failed to even show up by getting shutout 23-0. I prepared myself for a bad game by chalking it up to Eli's first playoff game in only his second season, but that didn't mean everyone else had a built-in excuse as well. There was no shame losing to Carolina, as it hits its stride at the right time after being a popular Super Bowl pick, but getting skunked at home is embarrassing. I turned off the TV a few minutes into the 3rd quarter.

Home field advantage is nice, but it doesn't matter when you're not playing well when it counts in the playoffs.

New York's front seven has been banged up all season so maybe it finally showed this weekend. Since the level of play in the playoffs is much higher than the regular season, the defense looked liked it just ran out of gas and they were happy just to make it. Somehow New York made it through the regular season with lots of non-starters, so it just caught up to them when they had to play even better against a quality opponent. Strahan and suprising DE Osi Umenyiora helped the defense all year long. However, that doesn't mean the defense is allowed to miss tackle after tackle in the playoffs.

Luckily for you (and us Giants fans), we'll buy the excuse and say "you're still learning and there's always next year" for a few more years.

I give Eli a pass (haha) this week because it is his first playoff game and it should be noted his brother didn't win a playoff game until his fourth try, so I can be patient with this kid. Quarterbacking in the NFL takes lots of time and a quick fix is rare, so Giants fans, as difficult as it'll be, should just take a deep breath and give him some time (like two to three years). Of course, I just hope that the team is still following Coughlin's discipline way of coaching by then. It's only a matter of time before his act grows old on the players and an entire year is wasted while they rebel by not following orders.

Yet another broken tackle.

It really seemed like the Panthers knew what the Giants were calling on every play. Besides the fact that the broadcast showed a clip of Carolina's QB, Jake Delhomme (or Del-Homey as I purposely mispronounce it) mimicking the Giants defensive playcalling hand signals, Carolina's coach was New York's defensive coordinator from 1997-2001, so this idea isn't much of a stretch. It's too bad really, b/c Tiki Barber had the 2nd highest total yardage in NFL history and it's unlikely he'll match that effort next year. Of course, he'll still have a strong year, but it would have been nice to ride his career year a little further into the playoffs.

I'm sure we'll hear tiki "take back" what he "didn't mean to say" in a few days once everyone calms down.

The worst thing about New York's loss is that the team from washington (TFW) went to Tampa Bay and won. The TFW is playing well despite its missing offense on Saturday and I still don't believe in Seattle which is probably due to the fact that the Giants almost won in Seattle (while the TFW did in OT) and that I haven't used the Seahawks in a videogame in the longest time. Granted, the most recent game I had until buying NFL Blitz: Pro yesterday was Madden '98 for Genesis, when I'd blitz their rediculously fast CB for an ungodly number of sacks, and then move Joey Galloway into the slot for lots of TDs because the CB wouldn't move in time when I put Galloway in motion. This Seattle team was legit, at least in the regular season, but the playoffs are much different than the regular season, so we'll see. At least for one week, I'm a Seattle fan and the early line favors Seattle by 9.

At least we know the "Giants" name isn't cursed thanks to Rick Moranis.

Friday, January 06, 2006

A Perfect Way To Die

I can't believe I went a whole day without posting some miscellaneous/boring entry. That's what happens when my usual writing time is "interrrupted".

I've never been much of a bowler, so I've got a long way to match Ed Lorenz's career. Having already been inducted into the Kalamazoo Metro Bowling Association Hall of Fame, Lorenz, at 69 years old, bowled a perfect game last week. Sadly, in the fifth frame of the next game, he died. He went out at the top of his game. It was a career moment for Lorenz who had bowled two other perfect games in 2004 and was a member of four bowling leagues.

You know it's old skool bowling when you have to keep score.

Lorenz had been bowling since 1957. Since 2002, his bowling achievements [now] include three 300 games, a 299 game, two 298 games, two games of 11 strikes in a row and two 800 series. Lorenz ended last season with a 223 average.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Where's the shopping cart bar?

This weekend I was doing my early morning Target food shopping ($3.39 for Lactaid milk can't be beat) and was pushing my shopping cart around. It was nothing out of the ordinary until I tried resting my foot on the cart while my partner in crime was choosing her granola bars. My foot rose from the floor and was placed along the cart's backside only to hit the floor again.

Is it too much to ask for a foot rest?

That's right. In my unclearest way of telling you, there is no bar on the back of Target's carts. It is such a nice convenience to rest your foot there or even try riding it like a scooter, but you can't do either at Target. Maybe with a bar, cart pushers would have more control so situations I've faced before in the supermarket wouldn't happen.

What sick world do we live in that doesn't allow Target carts to be used as scooters?

This happened at the same Rockville Target that has a shopping car lifting escalator, but no shopping cart bar on the back. If this was done to prevent kids, punks, or youth from using the carts like scooters, well then Target doesn't have enough faith in its parental shoppers' ability to stop their kids from acting like fools. I agree some kids seem to do what they want, especially around the toy section, but there's no need to penalize all of us older, (even maturer), kids from resting our feet or having some fun.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

D.C. Traffic - We Hardly Knew Ya

Just when I was getting used to 4-day workweeks and holiday traffic patterns, the great rush hours experienced from Thanksgiving until New Years are over. Gone are the days when unregulated merges never occur, less people wait until the final second to cut you off, radio traffic reports are all of 30 seconds, and late arrivees can't say that traffic held them up.

Winner, winner, chicken dinner...you get a traffic-free commute!

We became incredibly spoiled over these last six weeks, just admit it. While my commute into work rarely gives me any significant traffic, my drive home inevitably used to be a traffic crap shoot. The last 10-15 minutes of my drive are the most hazardous to my personal time as I make it around the inner loop of the beltway by 270. Most of the time I run into some bumper-to-bumper traffic, at least by Old Georgetown Road, if not before the curve, but holiday season rush hour turns 495 into bizarro world. I flew around the inner loop without any traffic on 75% of my trips home. It was like driving on Saturday morning. I kept thinking, shouldn't there be more traffic at this time? Did I miss the evite to a huge happy hour for beltway commuters? I wasn't complaining, but just a little miffed by the whole experience.

Watch closely as these elephants reenact DC traffic in real-time.

It was a glorious time of year. The next low-flow time is the summer vacation season and it can't come any sooner.