August 28, 2006

Who else feels a draft?

Suggestion for Dems in 06: Make a racket that the current administration not only screwed up royally in Iraq, they want to take us down the road to war with Iran and/or Syria. And if we go down that road, expect a draft to follow, because the Army is stretched far too thin as it is.

Yes, this is based largely on idle speculation, but considering that Republicans feel free to make up all kind of crap about Democrats--that we'll let Islamic fundamentalists take over the country, that we'll have teenage girls fastening dildos to their prom dresses, what have you--it's really not that far-fetched. And an actual draft would turn douchebags like this guy into giant-puppet-carryin', tie-dye-wearin' peaceniks so fast it'll make your head spin. Why not get people thinking now?

Posted by Carl at 04:04 PM | Comments (0)

It's not the KOT, it's the COT

Friday night I finally made the corn-okra-tomato dish that is my #1 summer side dish farmers' market special.

Trim and slice one-third of a pound of okra. Cook it in a frying pan with about a tablespoon of butter over medium heat for five to seven minutes. Cut the kernels off two ears of corn, chuck that in the same pan (add more butter if it looks dry, or if you just want to be gluttenous), and cook for ten minutes more. Chop one good-size tomato, and add to the pan along with a teaspoon of sugar and salt & pepper to taste. Cook for three more minutes, and enjoy.

"But I don't like okra, it's slimy!" Naaaaaaaahhh. Most of the slimy cooks out at the start, and what's left is thinned out by the tomato's juice.

Posted by Carl at 09:04 AM | Comments (0)

August 25, 2006

Linking Fool Friday

Digby on the dim bulbs that make up too much of our electorate. Me, I've heard too many stories about people voting for who they think will win. Not who they want to win, but acting as if it's some prediction mechanism and they win a prize for guessing the right candidate.

A commenter at TBogg: failure should keep your party from getting reelected.

Best commentary on the awful New Jersey immigration counterprotest.

BushCo wants to ruin DC rush hour for the sake of a George Felix Allen Junior campaign event. Thank you, VDOT, for standing your ground on this one.

Speaking of George Felix Allen Junior, here's a good piece on S.R. Sidarth, aka "Macaca." Sounds like a great guy, smart as hell, but according to George Felix Allen Junior he's not a "real American," probably because of his skin tone.

Teh sports: Happy fun time ballpark tour photos. Read the posts before and after for details.

I couldn't find a wacky item to end with. Anyone got suggestions? Post 'em in comments.

Posted by Carl at 04:33 PM | Comments (0)

A picture of my girls

Because it's my blog, and I can. And because I'm having a crappy week, and I need this to cheer me up.

LFF coming.

Posted by Carl at 01:57 PM | Comments (0)

August 18, 2006

Linking Fool Friday

Do the thwarted UK terror attacks prove we need to give away our civil rights? No, because they got warrants and followed the rule of law for those arrests. And it's worth noting that the supposed plan of this plot isn't terribly feasible, but nonetheless we'd better all give up carrying any liquids on board a plane.

Denis Leary and some other guy learn the Red Sox's Kevin Youkilis is Jewish. Hilarity ensue at Mel Gibson's expense.

Kung Fu Monkey refuses to be terrorized.

The DCeiver evaluates the Post's reader poll.

Teh wacky: Trekkie? Monty Python fan? Both?

Finally, this post by Neddie Jingo.... oooohh. eeeee. rrrrgh. I will kick yooouuuuuuu...

Posted by Carl at 11:53 AM | Comments (1)

Restaurant Week: 21P

Now see, this is how Restaurant Week should work.

Last night Mrs. Fool and I ventured to 21P, just off Dupont Circle. They offered their full menu for the special pricing, with a surcharge for fancy-ass items like rack of lamb. I had curry-seared scallops with pineapple chutney and coconut milk grits, jerk pork loin, and a flourless chocolate cake that was basically like eating fudge. She had a roasted garlic appetizer, braised lamb shank with white beans (a bit wintery for this time of year, but enjoyable nonetheless), and bread pudding with a Heath bar topping.

Everything was delicious. Good service and good atmosphere, as we sat out in their atrium that's like being out on the sidewalk without actually being outside. $30 a head represented a decent discount, not a huge one. Unlike a certain Spanish restaurant that shall not be mentioned again, I'd come back to 21P in a heartbeat.

Posted by Carl at 11:22 AM | Comments (0)

August 17, 2006

Restaurant Week: Taberna del Alabardero

So why is Taberna del Alabardero on notice below? It's Restaurant Week here in DC, and as I am wont to do, I picked a day and time, then sorted by dollar signs, and this place, "one of the best Spanish restaurants in the country," was the winner for Tuesday lunch.

It's a nice enough room, and the service was great, but they really didn't put their best foot forward for RW. The tapas sampler appetizer was nice enough--chorizo, broiled shrimp, and a potato salad. However, five of our six diners got the salmon entree, and it was woefully overcooked and uninspired. The one guy who got the chicken said it was OK but not overwhelming. Dessert: chocolate mousse or rice pudding, again just OK.

To a degree, I can understand the move to offer dishes that are easily cranked out en masse. But I had a vision of thirty plates of salmon sitting under a heat lamp. If you can't avoid overcooking fish, one of the more deadly sins a restaurant can commit, what makes you think I'll come back another time and pay full price? I'm sure they'd do better off the regular menu, but... not impressed. Pass.

Tonight: 21P in Dupont. I know little to nothing about it, but yet I'm looking forward to it.

Posted by Carl at 10:04 AM | Comments (0)

Everybody's got one

Get yours here.

Posted by Carl at 09:54 AM | Comments (0)

August 15, 2006

George Felix Allen Junior

What an ass.

Jim Webb for Senate!

Posted by Carl at 09:54 AM | Comments (1)

August 14, 2006

Bobblin' around RFK

Yesterday's game marked the shortest time I've spent in my seats in 515. Since yesterday was the Screech bobblebelly giveaway to kids 12 and under, I took one of my two favorite under-12 people (the one who can walk by herself) to be subjected to Mets fans. We got there a little late, and after scoping out the food court and settling on regular ol' hot dogs 'n' sausages, we got to our seats for the top of the third.

Then I noticed the bobblebelly voucher card said "redeem by bottom of the fourth," so after just one inning we were off again, schelpping to the far side of the park where they were handing out the Screech dolls (plenty of which were in the hands of people who didn't appear to have kids with them). By the time we got through that (and missed the Presidents' Race), I didn't much care about heading back to 515, so we just headed up and found seats in the outfield, somewhere around section 547. I have to say that dropping the outfield ticket prices to $5 and $3 is a stroke of genius by the Lerners; those sections are much more filled than they were at $10 and $7, and getting those people in the door means they shell out for concessions, where the real money is. For $3, those are good seats, just like Charles Shaw is a good wine for two bucks.

We spent about an inning and a half there, then wandered off to find popcorn, which was essentially Lizzie's lunch, since she just picked at her hot dog. (I let her stand on the chairs, too, which she can't do at home. Dad's a slack disciplinarian at the ballpark.) We resettled on the right field line, section 504 or so. It was there that we saw the turning points of the game: First, the unearned run in the 7th. Disappointing, not just because it tied the game, but ruined Armas' shutout bid. The Nats have a very real chance at becoming the first team in major league history without a single complete game, but Armas looked like he was trying to put an end to that yesterday.

Next, Soriano's bases-loaded at-bat in the bottom of the 7th. I was firmly in the "trade Soriano" camp in July, but maybe there's something to this "Nationals' superstar" business. Soriano gives us what I've always called an "Oh Shit" guy--when you as the opposing pitcher walk the preceding hitter to load the bases, you look over and see him in the on-deck circle, and go "Oh, shit." That's exactly what happened when the Mets walked Big Daryle Ward (who may actually be my favorite Nat with Livan gone), and the fans got fired up for Soriano in a way they wouldn't have for Nick Johnson or even Zimmerman. Unfortunately, Fonzie couldn't deliver, grounding out to end the threat.

Finally, there was Zimmerman's baserunning goof. After his single and a pitching change, Nick hit one decently, but that was run down easily enough by the center fielder. And there's Zimmerman all the way around second heading for third. I thought maybe he thought it was a double to the gap off the bat and was trying to score from first, but no, he just thought there were two outs, like a beer league softball player. He was esily doubled off first, and the game was all but over (though the Nats did get the winning run to the plate against Billy Wagner in the ninth). Let this be the most embarassing play of Zimmerman's career.

We didn't witness that ninth, however, because we went to get in line for running the bases. That line stretched from the entrance to the Diamond Club in left-center field, well past third base and halfway to home. Yikes. But once it finally started moving, it moved pretty quickly. I asked Lizzie if she wanted to run by herself, but she demanded I come with her. Yes, it was hard on me, running the bases on a major-league field, but like the good dad I am I endured it.

Sadly, I'm going a month between home games at this point. Between our upcoming trip to Texas and games I sold off for other reasons, I'm not back at RFK until September 15. In the interim, though, I expect to add Major League Ballpark #25, that stupid little box in Houston.

Posted by Carl at 11:19 AM | Comments (4)

August 11, 2006

Linking Fool Friday

First of all, something I've been meaning to write about all week: I am embarrassed to live in Virginia right now, as we are preparing to have a referendum to ban gay marriage in the state constitution, and ">folks are acting surprised that gay people might move out of state. Money quote: "I think it's extremely sad they would leave because of something they were never allowed to do anyway," says some bigoted chump. Ass. Making it worse, a hate crime over in Loudon.

On top of that, surprise! oil prices are going up again, cable news and conservative bloggers all suck, and they still keep representing that anything but complete deference to President Bush means you don't take terrorism seriously. It makes me want to visit the anger bar.

But then, The Editors at last present a serious, serious plan for fighting terror.

On to the more amusing. Who is Gnarls Barkley?

Teh sports: Guide to beer at RFK! Neal Pollack writes about moving to LA as a lifelong Dodger fan.

Lastly, moose graffiti moose graffiti moose graffiti moose graffiti moose graffiti moose graffiti moose graffiti moose graffiti moose graffiti moose graffiti moose graffiti moose graffiti moose graffiti moose graffiti moose graffiti.

Posted by Carl at 03:21 PM | Comments (0)

August 07, 2006

¡Adios Livan!

El Caballo traded for two double-A pitchers.

Probably the right move. It bums me out though, because Livan was the Official Favorite National of My #61 T-shirt is now obsolete.

Ryan Zimmerman now wears the title. #11 T-shirts accepted for Christmas and birthday gifts.

Posted by Carl at 02:53 PM | Comments (2)

What I cooked this weekend

Bon Appetit is fond of branding recipes as "The Ultimate." The Ultimate Turkey, the Ultimate Ribs, blah de blah. Late last week I took a crack at the Ultimate Steak, a T-bone with a paprkia-chipotle spice rub, served with toasted bread with creamy gorgonzola. Pretty good, but the Ultimate? That would be a no, Bob. For home cooking, this coffee-based spice rub is way better. And I'd love to know the secrets to the coffee-based rub that was on the best steak I've ever eaten.

Yesterday we had some aunts 'n' uncles over. I grilled up some chicken breasts, and served with enormous macaroni salad that says "serves 6 to 8" but could easily handle 12 or more. I also stewed up a pot of beans with the secret ingredients of Coke and Sprite. These were surprisngly good.

Posted by Carl at 11:56 AM | Comments (0)

Tax-free HELL

It was a perfect storm this weekend: a bonus paid in the form of AmEx gift checks, a 30% Gap discount card from a friend who works at their corporate HQ, and tax-free shopping in Virginia for clothes and school supplies. We got our shop on at the Leesburg Outlets.

If a retail store announced a 5% off sale, they probably wouldn't generate much hoopla, but tell people "tax-free shopping" and they go nuts. The outlets were packed with a fury normally reserved for Christmas. We had to do that shadow-a-pedestrian thing in the parking lot, hoping someone would get in their damn car and drive off so we could actually get a space.

What truly pissed me off, though: If all we hear is how Americans are fat fat fat and getting fatter, how come I can't find my pants size at the Gap outlet? They seriously cut off what they carry at the size right below mine. Yeah, I'm a big dude, but I don't consider myself walrus-esque; apparently, though, one of the most prolific clothing retailers in the country thinks I'm too husky to be bothered with. My haul at the Gap consisted of one bright orange T-shirt, which cost me $2.80 after our discount. Fortunately, we got a bunch of stuff for Mrs. Fool and the Littlest Fool there, and I got some filthy rags at Joseph A. Bank, so it wasn't a complete waste of time.

Posted by Carl at 11:47 AM | Comments (1)

August 04, 2006

Linking Fool Friday

Not a single new post all week! So, so lame. It's the heat. Yeah, that's it, the heat; it's entirely unrelated to my complete lack of original thought.

This one's been sitting around for a while: a first-hand account of attempting the L'Alpe d'Huez climb on the Tour de France ride. I wonder if Rob Dibble would ride that and still think it's easy.

Via Kevin Drum, Progressive Realism as an alternative to the current administration's terror policy.

Rush Limbaugh channels Osama bin Laden.

Teh sports: best overall post on the Nats' non-trade of Alfonso Soriano.

Lastly, teh funny: you don't have to be a Star Wars geek to laugh at this one.

Posted by Carl at 04:44 PM | Comments (0)