Monday, October 31, 2005


Sirius blows XM away. This weekend I had my first experience with Sirius, and the quality and depth of musical choices was outstanding. As a friend put it, "Sirius is the David Letterman, compared to the XM Jay Leno, of XM choices", and it makes complete sense. Sirius is a little more edgy in its station selection, which was most likely a play for market share, and it succeeds as it puts greater emphasis on the music, to augment a smaller selection of talk stations than XM. Sirius was intelligent to focus on music, as those who have a talk preference, normally opt for the local AM dial, over a syndicated show.

I let my complimentary XM station expire, I am considering a Sirius purchase.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Thank You

Just got back into DC after a quick weekend run to Dallas for a wedding. Will elaborate tomorrow, but to be included:

- Being at a strip mall bar, having two fights break out, and not having a friend being involved in either.

- Cruising Dallas in my standard issue Avis Buick LeSabre.

- The largest woman I have ever seen, at BWI.

Much love to KB for the effort, which is both expected, but always appreciated.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Christmas Screwing

It was announced this week our company Christmas party had been sacked, on account of our efforts to return to stability/profitability in light of accounting errors accumulated over time. From a fiscal/thrift perspective, the move makes complete sense, but is still the wrong decision.

- People begin planning for the Christmas blackout @ September/early October, as it always falls on the 2nd weekend in December. Addressing the situation this late in the game is tacctless and gauche, as people are now scrambling for plans.

- The CEO addressed the issue from the perspective of, "we have so many other important issues to address, of course we are not having the Christmas party". It is an event many employees anticipate, and shouldn't be discarded flippantly.

- Sometimes, in light of troubles, you just have to say 'f*ck it' and go for the morale boost, which we need, after months of ominous correspondence, deflated stock prices, and lack of progress in rectifying our errors.

I would be in favor of ditching the party for a quid pro quo end of the year salary bump ($50, whatever). Any sign of goodwill would be appreciated. Unfortunately, we get nothing, and I hope Uncle Eddie ties a big red bow around our CEO.

The Perfect Storm

Today on the street, I was at a stoplight as a stout woman approached carrying five pizzas. Her heel caught in the sidewalk, and she began to teeter. Her inability to regain balance led the pizzas to fall to the sidewalk. She followed suit by lurching onto the pizzas, rolling to her side, and flailed her arms like a turtle placed on its shell. The slow developing sequence took @ 30 seconds.

Oddly, an event that normally would leave me in stitches barely registered. I am convinced the components of the sequence all reached my laughing reflex at the same time, causing a bottleneck that prevented me from uttering a chuckle. The confluence of events rendered me without an emotive response.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

I'll bet your Socks don't match, Either

Miserable, dreary day in DC. Anyone familiar with the area will recognize the rain particles, that blow sideways like lint, rather than droplets. During inclement weather it astounds me how many people refuse to buy a decent umbrella. Businessmen in slick suits, draped overcoats, and have a rusty umbrella with broken webbing that is smaller in diameter than a dinner plate.

Having a great umbrella is vastly underrated. I took great pleasure in college wielding my 64" Titleist monster on the way to class, while most students perched a UVA bookstore issue blue/orange toothpick that couldn't cover both shoulders. Currently I have an AC Delco Gustbuster of of the same size/girth that was a gift, with the advisement, "AC Delco makes quality everything".

I have a problem with people who skimp on their umbrella. It is rational to believe they are also the type who neglect collar stays, drive their car on 1/8 tank of gas, over-withdraw from the Give/Take a penny, refuse to get their shoes shined, and vote for Jerry Kilgore.

Sunday, October 23, 2005


The going rate for a taxi to drive a total of 2.5 miles, from Georgetown to Arlington. The trip does not include passage through a $9.00 toll, which would make the fee reasonable.

It is a complete joke that taxis can get away with gouging, as DC cabs do not have meters. Thankfully, they are being installed to end the nonsense. Sadly, if I am paying $15 for a cab, I am going to get at least $10 worth of verbally berating the bastard. I don't condone nastiness, but for the inflated fare and profit, he is going to get an earful of my stream of bull----.

Someone could make a killing starting a taxi business in DC that charges a reasonable rate, with nice drivers. I would relish the opportunity to tip generously if such a franchise existed.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Musical Mediocrity

I just don't get how everyone seems to be enthralled with Coldplay. I find their music to be bland, repetitive, and all their albums sound alike, but they go on tour and tickets are outrageously expensive and they are treated like the 2nd coming. They have succeeded in packaging and marketing a sound that is so lacking flavor that no one can really dislike what they produce, it falls within the standard deviation of all music fans, and completely lacks imagination. It would not surprise me if they had already recorded their next five albums, to be released on a bi-annual basis, which they grow rich and prosper doing essentially nothing.

Also, when did the current U2 Tour become the hot ticket? U2's music has been uninspiring since Achtung Baby, yet their appeal has reached an apex. I don't remember any prior tours being such a commodity, yet everyone I know was clamoring for tickets. Don't they tour every year, what are you going to miss by waiting until 2006 to see them in DC? I am sure 90% of their show will mimic their current output.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Blue Dog - RIP

I'd like to mourn the passing of The Blue Dog, in my hometown of Fredericksburg. For the uninformed, TBD was a downtown music store that had been in existence since I entered high school, so @ 12-14 years. The atmosphere at TBD was laid back, the guys who owned the place were extremely cool and knowledgeable, and the place allowed for lounging and listening to music, creating a relaxed atmosphere.

TDB was one of the first places to sell Used CDs, which led to many a visit with my Slaughter/Silver Chair/AC DC gems that they refused to buy back. Additionally TBD marketed for local acts and was the true hub of promotion for the barely existent Fredericksburg music scene.

The tastes of the employees at TBD was diverse, ranging from bluegrass to techno-pop, but they guys were always quick with a suggestion, and the laid back scene was a perfect destination on a cold and rainy afternoon. What I most liked was TBD carved their niche in what has become a commoditized industry, and slowed the money/profit juggernaut to actually enjoy the music, discuss the music, and let their customers in on secret bands/upcoming shows that instilled a sense of belonging. With its passing, commercial radio is essentially dead to me, and I will miss the valuable time wasted behind its poster laden doors and below its CD dangled ceiling.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Blink / The Tipping Point

Blink and The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell, fit into the mold I consider to be the normal arch of success for literature, appeal to the masses, while approaching their respective subjects from a number of atypical angles that are thought-provoking while avoiding the pitfall of full disclosure and explanation. I'm not going to rehash the premises of the books, rather, there are certain areas that were amazing reading.

Gladwell's revelation in 'Blink' that the expressions of the face are controlled by both conscious and subconscious emotions makes for an easy grasp of the idea, but leaves open the avenue for further thought to the ramification of the idea. Flipping TV channels and viewing facial expressions, coupled with dialogue gives a fantastic insight into the actual emotions of the individual. My first thoughts go to using the face-reading ability in a gambling setting, where the "tell" isn't the sustained mien of an opponent/dealer (controlled by conscious thought), but the instantaneous expression of emotion, based on circumstance. Plainly put, I'd imagine if you were to concentrate on a few facial tics of an opponent as his situation (cards) are revealed, you'd have an advantage (coupled with percentages, and your hand).

As confusing as the last paragraph is to those who haven't read the books, I recommend them both. Not outstanding reading, but some of the best reading I have encountered this year. I look forward to reading the source material.

Monday, October 17, 2005


As TV has decreased its impact on my life (can anyone recommend a good sitcom/show that isn't Lost or on HBO?), I was taken to thought on what I do in the creases between work, sleep, and work, and realize I do a great deal more magazine reading than in the past. Below is a list of old favorites and new interests:

Forbes - Concise, good articles. Essentially a People for those who consider themselves intelligent
Golf Digest - Excellent interviews, course ratings, but has gone downhill as advertising has saturated the content.
Golf - Greater content than GD, but too many articles related to golf instruction
Sports Illustrated - Reduced to bathroom reading, articles lack interest and information is often outdated on arrival. I keep reading for nostalgia.
Harvard Business Review - Average 1-2 good articles an issue, but way overpriced for overall quality.
Baseline - Great industry read. In depth case studies and keeps reader interest on otherwise boring topics.
Washington Technology - No real material of insight, simply the DC business roundup.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Vote Tim Kaine

Tired after a long weekend in Charlottesville, capped off by a Hoos victory.

I try to avoid any subjects dealing with my political affiliation, but the VA governor's race goes beyond beliefs, to common sense.

Kilgore is crazy, he's also run ads where VA Police widows cry to the camera and say their husbands' assailants won't be brought to justice if Kaine is elected.

If you live in Virginia, vote Tim Kaine.

Friday, October 14, 2005

C-Note / Food

Didn't realize my last post was #100. I wish offered more insightful metrics, including:

- Blogs materializing between 2AM - 5AM.
- Mental capacity at the time of blog submission.
- Ridiculed/insulted non-UVA graduates.

And from the last metric, I am expecting the standard repartee.

Dined out with friends last night at a local favorite. I, like most, really cradle the idea of having a "go-to" restaurant/bar, much as the allure of a local college bar led to ideas of free drinks/cool scene/good music. I was happy to realize my choice had a very relaxed upstairs for pre-dinner libations, that was overtaken by a band as the night progressed. Additionally, I am looking for a place that has good beers on tap, good wines, a menu with turnover, preventing multiple orders of the same entree' and the occasional pleasant surprise dish (i.e. a good rockfish or interstingly prepared meat dish).

For dinner I went with the ribeye, which I have never ordered in a restaurant (striking it off the list, which now contains only ribs). I realized why. No thickness and taste was lacking. I don't blame the resturant, as there is little that can be done to the particular cut of meat. Sides were shrimp, grilled zuchini, and a casserole/quiche'esque mashed potato/sausage combination that was the highlight. Overall, good night, in spite of the weather that descended off the Thames into Arlington.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Sad State of Affairs

Intent on following the seasonal progress of the Washington Capitals, I went to to see their latest score, and had to stifle a laugh at the miserable state of the NHL website. The MSN header and personal ads that slide down the sides of the screen gave it the appearance of a completed high school assignment, in no way as dynamic as the MLB or NFL sites. How is hockey expected to survive (let alone expand) with a miserable website and distant, odd-angled camerawork on its flagship station...OLN?

Has hockey been passed by the MLS in the pantheon of American sports?

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

JD 20/20

If anyone is interested in reading a worthless article that regurgitates John Daly's past troubles, and labels him as a gimmick, feel free:

I find it shameful that golf columnists have to rehash the "holier than thou" party line when it comes to Daly, who is one of golf's best players. Period. He is a multiple major winner who is on the cusp of qualifying for the Tour Championship.

Additionally, JD has a huge heart, and has made multiple donations to charities/individuals, and dedicates a good amount of time to community service. Hell, his chapter in "Who's your Caddie" by Rick Reilly was the only chapter worth reading, a miracle accomplishment.

To bash JD based on incidents that happened over 6 years ago is trite and does not qualify as journalism of merit.

Monday, October 10, 2005


While channel-flipping this weekend I ran across an old SNL on E! where U2 was the musical guest. It reminded me of one of my ingenious antics of the last five years, where a good friend an I exchange identical Christmas gifts, we give each other the worst three CDs in our collection. I've also made it a point to go the extra mile and concoct a theme to my gift, with prior themes being, "great single, awful CD", "I shouldn't have been allowed to spend my money in middle school on CDs" (ABC - Playground, BBD), and "terrible metal bands" (Slaughter, Testament, Metal Church), but the best theme ever was "bad CD by an otherwise great band".

I don't think a band as good as U2 has ever released a CD as bad as Zooropa, which almost single-handedly broke up the band and relegated singles from 'The Joshua Tree' to serve as filler on Time-Life compilations for eternity. That CD was so bad it had to be wrapped in newspaper. It stunk.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Which is worse?

Not sure if I have ever addressed the subject in a previous post, but last night's discovery of the body of Taylor Behl, and the arrest of the 38 year old suspected of committing the crime led me to forecast his punishment, and how in VA he could receive the death penalty.

Growing up in the mold of Alex P. Keaton, where all issues were blank/white, I had no problem buying into the death penalty, as horrible crimes deserved just punishment.

However, I've come to sour on the death penalty, but for all the wrong reasons. Taking one's life for murder is too easy an escape for the culprit. Those responsible for murder should be placed in a cell too small to stand or lie down, in solitary confinement, with no light and barely enough food to survive, until they waste away. While the death penalty takes away one's life, a protracted decline would waste away one's spirit. Death for the crime is inevitable, why not string it out and make them feel earth-contrived hell for as long as possible?

I realize my thoughts are just as morbid as execution, if not worse, which saddens me, but it seems to be a deserved end for horrendous deeds.

Also, give it time, but Dave Leitao is going to do some great things to UVA basketball.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Somebody had to do It

After a hard fought victory last night, the Washington Capitals are endefeated and in first place in their division (I have no idea of the actual name). The Caps were paced by their phenom rookie, Alexander Ovechkin, who scored two of their three goals;

""It feel very good," said Ovechkin, who became the first Washington player to score two goals in his NHL debut. "I must thank my [teammates] for giving me two excellent passes. It was just a shot. I must only shoot and I score two goals.

"It's my first game in the NHL, we win and I score two goals. It's nice start."

In my head, I hear the Ovechkin quote receiving a voice-over from the late Phil Hartman. With the NHL being relegated to OLN and being squeezed in print between boat shows and high-school golf scored, I figured it my duty to carry the banner. The Caps are predicted to be awful this year, but having not played in a year, how can anyone make a credible guess as to a team's success? Already the Caps have been set up to overacheive, and as baseball draws to a close, I need something to follow, rather than Allen Iverson refusing to dress appropriately.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


I took three minutes to scroll through the songs on my iTunes that are just miserable. They include:

"Total Eclipse of the Heart" - Bonnie Tyler
"Relax" - Frankie Goes to Hollywood
"Power of Love" - Huey Lewis (I remember searching and being unable to find the studio version)
"Falls Apart" - Sugar Ray

Anyone else care to mention songs that make a normal person cringe, but are personal favorites?

Monday, October 03, 2005


Great tidbit of information:

Newly approved Chief Justice Roberts met his wife at Dewey Beach. Six years ago.


Back from an extended weekend at Hilton Head Island for a wedding and figured I'd toss out a few notes of remembrance:

- There is nothing more awkward/anachronistic than watching old people eat chicken wings.
- Charleston is overrated as a city, in terms of food, aesthetics, commerce, and societal intermingling.
- If you are at a reception and are hungry, no one is going to make a fuss if you head for the buffet line. If questioned, just mention you were told it was time for your table to get food.
- XM radio still sucks as bad as it did before my trial subscription expired.
- I may schedule a vacation every year during the Maryland v. UVA game, missing it was a godsend.