Go see that Michael Moore movie. Will it crack that American state of denial that We Have The Best Health Care System in The World? Probably not, but it's worth a try.
Elsewhere in the health care realm, heartburn = pre-existing condition? Take it with a grain of salt and all, but the fact that this is at all feasible says plenty.
Punishment to fit the crime dept.: Torture, still bad, and seriously, should not be inflicted on anyone no matter how evil they are. Here in Virginia, the new transportation bill includes huge "abuser fees" for traffic violation, which is not proving popular. Some commenters to this Fredericksburg opinion piece somehow portray opponents as arguing they should be allowed to break the law with impunity, but just wait until they get fined three grand for not using a turn signal and we'll see how they like it then.
Also still bad: the Iraq war. And Ann Coulter, but you knew that.
After all that depressing stuff, we clearly need a Muppet video. Something about smaller Muppets being swallowed whole is immensely amusing.
How long before some right-wing blog, with plenty of posts about John Edwards' hair, denounces the Mitt Romney dog-on-car-roof story as petty and trivial? I give it about five seconds.
1. Seen at the mall: an ad for a new series called Greek, about fraternity and sorority life at a fictitious college. This will run on the ABC Family channel. Binge drinking and humiliating hazing = fine family entertainment!
2. Every time I see kids in Hurley-brand clothing, I think "Why are they wearning the old Hilton hotels logo?"
I had this drafted on Thursday, and before going out of town Friday I was going to log in and publish it. That worked well.
Watch the whole way through, because the best part is at the very end.
I've been to some seroius home-team beatings in the Nationals' brief existence. I sat through the 9-2 and 9-3 debacles to open this season, I sat through 33 innings of the Nats not scoring in 2005, and in 2006 I saw the Mets beat them senseless 13-4 and the freakin' Devil Rays paste them 11-1. So congrats, ballclub, in reaching new heights of losing in taking a 15-1 ass-whoopin' from the Tigers last night. I actually quit keeping score around the fifth inning.
We made it interesting by sneaking down from the upper deck to section 208 round about the sixth inning. There have been reports of ushers cracking down heavily on seat poaching this year, but as is usually the case these rules are inconsistently applied. The ushers we walked by didn't seem to really care, but one section over we could see an usher tossing poachers about every half-inning or so.
Lots of Tigers fans in the house last night; apparently they've been brought out of the woodwork by the team's success of last year. They were mostly good-natured, and when they did start a "Lets Go Tigers" chant in the 8th inning or so, there weren't enough Nats fans left to drown them out. I pondered asking "If you love Detroit so much, why don't you live there? Oh that's right, it sucks! It's cold and no one has jobs!" at high volume, but thought better of it. (I fully expect FoolBlog reader Andrew F to respond to this in comments.)
The only other highlight was scoring tickets for July 4. The belated "Season Ticket Holder Benefits" package we got in May included a coupon good for four tickets to any regular season home game (emphasis mine). At the Pirates game a couple of weeks ago, I tried to redeem it for the July 4th game, and was told it wasn't good for "premium" games. Funny, that doesn't jive with the definition of "any" with which I am familiar. I had to contact the season ticket holders' help line, and to their credit they called me back and straightened things out. I'm quite sure the seats I got last night aren't as good as I could have gotten two weeks ago (in fact, I couldn't score four seats together, and we'll have to ask some strangers to move for us), but we'll live with it.
We had a good week in Bethany. I left the laptop at home, and couldn't pick up any open Wi-Fi signals on the PDA, so no e-mail or web surfing for me all week, which was a good thing. Our little townhouse section had an arguably private beach, populated but not overly so, and we spent our share of time playing in the sand and splashing in the surf. I went all the way in the water exactly once, and immediately got back out again, on account of the water being so cold I couldn't freakin' breathe.
Bethany's main drag of shops and restaurants is pretty typical beach town stuff. We got our postcards and tchotchkes, but didn't buy anything particularly exceptional. I was a little disappointed in the restaurants; I went out the first night in search of good takeout seafood, and went to four different places before I found what I was looking for (and that was underwhelming).
We went up to Rehoboth a couple of times, and liked it a lot. It's a little more yuppified, I guess, but it has more shops that sell more things than just standard beach junk. We had a good meal at Dogfish Head, got cones at the place that sells bacon ice cream, and had a good ol' time at Funland, whose games and rides were just the right speed for the girls.
Ocean City, Maryland, on the other hand, is a frickin' hellhole that should be avoided by everyone younger than 17 or older than 22, maybe even 20. It's perpetually Senior Week there, so it was overrun with high school kids. To their credit, we didn't see anyone particulary drunk and disorderly. Still, the language and the awful fashion choices made me feel plenty old. These kids just do the stupidest thing possible every single second of the damned day! Now get off my lawn!
Given the vast amount of vacation time I have piled up, there may actually be a Beach Week II in September. If not, we're debating where to try to stay next year, both in terms of which beach, and what kind of location. This year and last we went for an easy walk to the beach, but now I'm wondering if we don't want an easy walk to shopping and restaurants. With two little kids, going to the beach is a commitment--it's not like we can just go over there for a half hour, really. If we were closer to the boardwalk or other beach tomfoolery, it would be easier to fill in those little times between, say, nap and dinner.
And of course: if any Friends o' the Fool own a beach house that you've never told me about, and you're willing to rent it to me on the cheap, please advise.
She was a good playset, with a big green slide, a rope ladder, a little rock-climbing wall, and three swings. She had a big platform and a tarp to protect kids from the sun, and that upper playhouse could serve as a pirate ship or an airplane with just a little imagination. The children loved her, sliding down the slide over and over again and swinging on the swings until their parents had to physically carry them away. Seasons and years passed, and she always promised to play with them any time they wanted, forever and ever.
Time passed, and the children grew older. Their interest in sliding and swinging dwindled; they were more inclined to play video games or go to the mall. The playset was alone for weeks, even months at a time. Eventually, one gray afternoon in fall, the father and another man came with their ratchets and wrenches, and dismantled her piece by piece. She cried out for the children to come and play, to save her, but they didn't hear. The pieces were placed in a pile near the back fence, and she lay in this disassembled coma for months.
So she was scarcely aware of being loaded into a truck and being driven across town. She awoke to discover that it was now summer, and she was in a different yard, with a different fence, two maple trees, and a garden with unkempt tomato plants. Two men and a woman were putting her back together. Could this mean... new children? Yes, a little girl of perhaps four kept coming near, but the adults shooed her away.
Finally they reattached the slide and hung the swings, and invited the little girl and her sister to come and play. The oldest slid down the slide over and over, and the youngest swung on a swing until her father had to physically carry her away.
The playset wept with joy, and promised the little girls that she would play with them any time they wanted, forever and ever.
Don't be surprised if there's no posts next week. We're going on vacation, and I'm pretty sure that if I brought the laptop with me, Mrs. Fool would slap me.
Props to FOTF Tor for his guest post on Bitch PhD regarding the Supreme Court's decision regarding gender-based pay discrimination.
And teh wacky: I dunno, how about robotic cow tongues. That sounds good.
Live or work in Fairfax, Centreville or Chantilly? Want to take your kids out to eat? Here you go.
The rest of you, go play a game or something.
OK, the 3D virtual seat-picker for the new ballpark that I linked to the other day is now official.
Section 313 or section 409? I can't decide. Help me out here.
I haven't been as thorough this year about posting wrap-ups from Nats games I've attended. Mostly it's because there are so many Nats blogs writing gamers and other comments that I feel like my input is redundant, and it's not like this is a full-time Nats blog by any stretch. Still, if I want to achieve my dream of an existing, high-traffic Nats blog asking me to be a co-contributor or vacation fill-in (paging BallWonk! anyone seen BallWonk?), I should actually write something.
I picked the right game to attend in this series. 10-0 and 5-0 drubbings at the hands of the Dodgers had me recalling the 33-inning personal Nats scoreless streak I endured two years ago. But Zimmerman busted out the home run in the first, Micah Bowie pitched decently (though the Nats' long bottom of the 5th may have contributed to his not finishing the 6th), and they broke it open with five runs in the 8th to win 11-4. Gotta love Guzman, Zimmerman, and da Meat Hook (official favorite Nats player of FoolBlog for 2007) going a collective 9 for 12 with 7 runs scored and 5 RBIs out of the 2-3-4 spots (we'll just ignore Fick's K in the 8th, there).
Favorite play: With one out in the fifth and runners on second and third, the Dodgers intentionally walked Church to get to Brian Schneider, which didn't help them in any lefty-right matchups, but they were clearly looking to get a double play. Schneider made them pay with a base hit, driving in two.
I'm skipping work next Thursday for the afternoon game against the Pirates. So should you.
Apologies for missing the cookie break on Wednesday. It will return next week.
Teh sports: good video of Aaron Hill stealing home (fast forward to the two-minute mark), but it's a great example of "Why were you filming that, exactly?" I suspect that some people now film things all the time in the hopes that something cool will happen and they can post it on the intertubes.
WAIT WAIT I GOT ANOTHER ONE: I know, country folk are the only Real Americans, and it's northeastern liberal elitist of me to make fun of their accessories. But holy crap, look at what you can get out of the Cabela's catalog. Be sure to read the reviews.
Via CP, we've found this 3D mock-up of the new ballpark, with ticket prices. No word of this from the team, but this is too detailed to have been done for grins. It's not as bad as I'd feared, as far as being farther away and more expensive.
If I transferred over my current seats, they'd be in the 400 level right behind section 313, except that there's a big ol' press box right where my seats should be. So do I move down to 313 and pay a little more money (and give up being under a roof, which is something I like about my seats at RFK)? Or do I hop back to, say, section 409?
UPDATE: Apparently, we weren't supposed to see this yet. It's been password-protected.
Here's a tale that could be cross-posted on Why I Hate DC.
Last night after the Nats game we caught an orange line train at Stadium-Armory. My associate got off at Metro Center, and a gaggle of twenty-somethings got on, yammering loudly about some unbelievable thing that had happened at some meeting. I did my best to ignore them and read a magazine.
A few stops later, one of the young women said, "I feel like we're... outside." I was chuckling at her inanity when another one said, "That's because we're at Arlington Cemetery." What?! But no, I hadn't boarded the wrong train; we were on one of the newer cars, and the interior message board still said ORANGE. The train had actually gone the wrong way and headed down the blue line instead.
We sat on the platform with the doors closed for a good five minutes, probably while the driver went "What the hell'm I gonna do now?" The interior message board went blank after a while, no doubt so Metro could say "This has ALWAYS been a blue line train. What are you talking about?" But eventually the driver said "We're going to go back to Rosslyn; you'll have to go down to the lower level and catch an orange line train there." Which was exactly what we did.
I understand if people get lost on all the roads and highways that meet around Rosslyn and the Pentagon. I'd expect Metro's tunnels to be somewhat easier to navigate, but what the hell do I know.