Wednesday, September 27, 2006

What? Is My Button Pressing Not Good Enough For You?

When people get on an elevator, why do they feel the need to press the button that I’ve clearly pressed already? Are they unable to see the backlighting that indicates which floors the elevator will stop at? Maybe they feel awkward getting on the elevator and press the button to keep themselves busy or to make sure they don’t look lazy.

Don't even think about it.

All they did was just walk on the elevator, but I not only walked on the elevator, but also pressed the button. While I’m at it, why do some people keep pressing the same floor button when they get onboard. Once it’s illuminated, the elevator’s computer knows where you want to go and pressing it more than once isn’t going to speed things up. If anything, it’ll slow us down because you’re asking the elevator’s computer to consider the extra button pressing instead of letting it (and us) go on its way. When the floor’s button is already pressed, it’s okay to just get onboard and keep your fingers to yourself.

You're not getting away this time.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

2006 Tecmo Super Bowl

Someone updated the Tecmo Super rom so when it's run in an emulator like Nesticle, it has this year's rosters...Reggie Bush is there, Donte Stallworth is on the Eagles, the Baltimore Ravens actually exist, etc. There's also a Tecmo Bowl Players Circuit if you think you're ready. Thanks to Brian for pointing me to this article that lead me to the files.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Politicians Are Good At Aerating the Soil

With a full slate of elections in the DC metro area, comes an abundant, or rather gross amount of campaign signs stabbed anywhere grass is growing and people cross. As someone who did not invest any time learning out about the candidates and issues, I know for certain that seeing a politco’s sign on Wisconsin Avenue will not sway my vote. There are more signs per square yard than you’d see at a WWE event, including those provided to the fans by steroid Vince McMahon’s subordinates.

Attack...of the killer signage!

Is it really necessary to have 10 Adrian Fenty or Linda Cropp signs on the same plot of grass? Is Joe Six-Pack going to think, “Oh, I’m going to vote for Adrian because he has so many more signs than Linda, and I like his name because Rocky Balboa fought for his female counterpart’s heart. Therefore, he’s the best person to run DC (or at least reap the benefits of a new baseball stadium, while the education system won’t see any improvement again)"?

I am full of hope that I’m hopelessly na├»ve in thinking that some voters will choose someone solely because they remembered his/her name from a sign. Actually, that’s most assuredly the case. It’s how it’s done these days so you might as well play the game. No matter anyone’s reason to vote, it would have been nice if everyone could have voted that wanted to, unlike a few hundred people in MoCo. The right to vote is a wonderfully democratic power, but you can’t empower a voter’s power by not having electronic voter cards ready on election day.

Area soil loves election time.

I will be happy once these elections are finished and the signs, printed at Kinkos and attached to wood from Home Depot, are finally removed. I haven’t heard of any campaigning about environmental issues, but the candidate with the most signs could claim he/she is doing the most for the environment once the signs are removed, afterall, they’re not only campaigning, they’re also aerating the soil.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

My Pilgrimage to Mike’s Famous Harley Davidson

Two weekends ago, I was looking for a place to eat, equidistant between DC and NYC, and near I-95, so some of the SO’s family and I could enjoy some food with my parents. The most convenient restaurant was Mike’s Famous Harley Davidson in New Castle, Delaware . I’ve passed Mike’s plenty of times in my commute to and from the tri-state area and always wondered if it was any good. I never needed to stop at that point because it’s just before (going north) the Delaware Memorial Bridge and I’d much rather get over the bridge and reach the Turnpike while I can before any traffic builds. This gathering gave me a legitimate reason to stop at Mike’s. We started our drive on a Friday afternoon that would normally take a little under two hours without traffic, but it being Friday afternoon, the drive morphed into a three-hour slug. It’s this reason that I always wait until after 8 PM before driving home.

Bikes, bikes, and more bikes.

I'm looking for a bike with chrome, got any suggetions?

The five of us arrived 30 minutes before my parents so we had time to checkout the dealership and buy some shirts. True to its billboard’s claim, there were tons of shiny and chromed bikes in the showroom. Souvenirs for us non-riders adorned every wall including Harley clothes for newborns, because it’s never too early to get them started. Since this is a legitimate Harley establishment, there was plenty of gear and accessories for real riders, in addition to a repair shop. There was a Harley museum, but we didn’t go there because 1) We didn’t know it was there and 2) Even if we had known about its existence, we would’ve passed on it anyway.

Chrome, chrome everywhere!

One thing I quickly realized about Mike’s is that it is much much more about selling and fixing Harley’s than it is about feeding people. The indoor dining area (there were a few outdoor tables) was almost non-existent. About the size of a single-bedroom apartment in NYC, there were booths along two walls (that did hold 8 adults) and 3 circular tables in the middle. The menu was what you’d expect at a Harley dealership’s diner with burgers, grilled chicken sandwiches, bowls of chili, etc. No surprises there, but the options were too few and far between. All seven of us sat in a booth and were comfortable enough to make it through the meal aside from the occasional elbows. My non-interior decorator knowledge allows me to note the furniture was more industrial than comfortable. Wooden booths with little padding and metal seats around metal tables don’t exactly exude easiness for your backside. If you wanted to sit at the eating counter that faced the cashier, you had your choice among medieval torture seats that required you to alter the natural curvature of your back. They weren’t occupied when we visited.

Recipe to ride a harley: Mix 1 part chrome with equal parts leather.

What would a Harley-Davidson eatery be without the three stereotypical Harley guys sitting at the room’s center tables? I suddenly felt like I was in a scene from “Roadhouse” or any other run of the mill pre-bar fight movie atmosphere. I glanced their way and avoided eye contact so as not to seem that I was staring and asking for trouble. With their bandanas, leather vests, tattoos, and goatees, I made a mental note of the nearest wooden chair in case I had to break it over their backs. My two weeks of Karate in third grade (earning a yellow belt by the sheer fact my parent’s paid for it) probably wouldn’t have held up with those guys. I knew I shouldn’t have quit just because the class occurred at the same time as the Cosby Show.

Did I mention they had bikes for sale?

At Mike’s you go up to the counter and place your order, only to have your “waitress” bring it to the table. I swear it must be the easiest waitressing gig because you don’t have to take any orders, write up the meal’s check, or necessarily get drinks (I got up and got my own from the readily available fountain). You just have to drop off the food once its ready. Though we were joined in the room by the three Harley guys, the entire staff insisted we remember and correctly recall the table number we were sitting at so our orders wouldn’t be confused. Anyway. I got my burger and it tasted fine. By that point I would have inhaled anything you put in front of me, except chopped liver – an all-time worst tasting food, but loved by my dad.

The engine makes a lot of noise even when it's not running.

We had sat down around 7ish and before we knew it, it was 8. For some reason (other than it’s not a big part of Mike’s’ business) the restaurant (along with the entire dealership) closes at 8. All those times I considered stopping there for some food after 8 would have been a waste. I’m still flabbergasted that a place that does such heavy billboard advertising about serving food would close so early. We made our way outside, said goodbye and started our journey south, ultimately making it home in well under two hours.

For the lady riders.

Mike’s was interesting because of so many pristine Harley’s for sale in one room, but that was it. I wouldn’t recommend Mike’s as a good day trip because the food was quite lacking and you can see plenty of Harley’s together at any area dealership. Sure Mike’s might be #1 for Harley sales and service in Delaware, but what reason has anyone ever had to actually stop in the “ First State” (outside of no taxes)? Let Delaware continue to serve as that 15-minute drive between Maryland and New Jersey while we keep wondering why it hasn’t been ceded or swallowed by any of its neighboring legitimate states.

In focus pictures are so overrated.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Metro Time Saving Tip #1 (of 1)

From the “Too Much Time on the Metro Department”…If you ride the up escalators in the Rosslyn station and want to save time, make sure you choose the middle up escalator (second from the right). Over the course of an entire ride, you’ll finish two steps faster than the right-most escalator. A whole two steps saving you three seconds! Amazing! Check it out and you’ll be amazed, or you’ll just roll your eyes that someone would notice this type of thing.

Not all escalators move equally.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Not Laboring Through Labor Day Weekend

Despite hurricane/tropical storm/tropical depression Ernesto's best efforts, this weekend went really well. After my SO was the ultimate trooper in joining my parental units and I at a family reunion on Saturday afternoon (that we hadn't attended in some 6+ years), we rolled back to MoCo and went back to my #1 crab eating establishment - the Dancing Crab. We arrived around 7 and expected a decent wait, but thanks to weather and the unattractive equipment (being used to remove the antenna) outside the front of the restaurant, we immediately found a booth. Though 4.5 dozen extra large crabs were available, we settled on 1.5 dozen.

To warm our pallettes, we ordered two seafood samplers, but I wasn't much of a fan with the raw oysters and clams. I'd pass on the sampler (as did we on ordering the "tomato-based" crab soup that wasn't impressive a few weekends ago). To ensure we actually got full on actual food before the night was done (as crabs are akin to eating Chinese food), we ate two crabcakes that were very very good. Just as with crab soup, if you want to make great tasting soup or cakes, you can never have too much crabmeat. Our waitress dropped off the crabs and asked if we needed the bibs. "We don't need any bibs, we're professionals," I rebutted. Chortle, chortle, chortle. The crabs were spectacular! Tons of meat, lots of "mustard", and the right amount of spices. If the Dancing Crab could repeat the great crab selection everytime, the only thing that Jimmy Cantler's Inn in Annapolis has over it is a tremendous atmosphere. Of course, if I lived closer to Cantler's than the Dancing Crab, I'd choose Cantler's, but you can't do better for a legitimate crab establishment just inside the DC city line.

That night, my parents ponied-up the money to watch "Keeping Up With the Steins" on their room's pay-per-view (PPV). For $15 you catch lots of movies well ahead of their regular PPV showing and subsequent DVD release (remember when it was a VHS release?). It was a nice flick about the competition of Bar Mitzvah parties as they overshadow the more important ceremony, as well as some typical father-son generational issues. It didn't overdo the easily made jokes about being Jewish as other flicks like the "Hebrew Hammer" did (I turned it off after 2 minutes). The shot of Shamu jumping through the Star of David while wearing a yamulke was worth the price alone. We took in lots of calories at breakfast the next morning and were off to the Maryland State Fair.

I had planned on doing another pictorial (the G-rated kind) of the Fair's sights, but, surprise, surprise, nothing was different this year except we went with my parents. We had another another great time, but we're going to pass on it for at least a few years. After eating my fried twinkie, riding the ferris wheel, and making up for a few missed cotton candy purchases at Paramount's King's Dominion, there wasn't much left to do. I briefly considered playing one of the bogus, unfair, rip-off, waste-of-money games, but paying at least $2 for a 5-cent stuffed animal just didn't get my competitive juices flowing. My mom did well with the dart-balloon game and had a medium-sized turtle to show for her skills (and $10). Sure, the basketball game looks easy, but considering the rim is smaller than regulation, the ball is like a medicine ball, and it's impossible to get a "shooter's bounce", I'd rather buy a turkey leg three times over.

My parents were making their way up I-95 when they came upon an accident with an overturned car in the southbound lanes near exit 4 of the Turnpike. My mom's critical care nursing skills/instincts immediately kicked-in and she ran out and helped whoever she could. Unfortunately, one person's fate had already been decided, but she was able to get a bottle of water from my dad and comfort the person's family. Amazingly, several other people helped including a few off-duty EMTs. It puts my faith back in people/the general public, if only for an afternoon.

On Monday, my SO and I went to a free boot camp exercise class to see if we could be all we used to be. It definitely kicked the crap out of me and my SO. Actually, a little too much. Me and my old man river body were tired and my SO's knee was really giving her trouble. Once her knee is better, we'll consider it again, but first we've got to get ourselves able-bodied for the Army 10-miler. A headache nixed my plans to shoot around with a friend so I made my way through several hours of ESPN Classic shows on TiVO. All in all, a very nice Labor Day weekend.