Politics, open government, and safe streets. And the constant incursion of cycling.

Month: June 2007 Page 2 of 3

Pop Quiz: How Many Branches in the Federal Gov’t?

Three, you say?


(Background and context at this NYT story.)

Watch the Space Shuttle Chase the ISS

Courtesy of this reminder by Brian at Outdoor Type, I just watched the International Space Station and Space Shuttle streak across the sky.  Awe inspiring.  Depending on where you live, you may still have another couple of chances to see it.  If you live in or around DC, see this link.  If you live elsewhere, drop your city into the “Sighting Opportunities” query engine at NASA and cross your fingers.  So very very cool.

Tejada v. Zimmerman v. Favola: An Arlington County Smackdown

There may have been two pro races in the Arlington/DC area this past weekend, with an impressive undercard of am races, but this race featured the real action – the 2007 Crystal Rides Celebrity Trike Race.


Joe Witte, the Channel 7 meteorologist, appears to be a little confused by the concept . . .

Look, Barb . . .

“Look, Barb, I’ve got this locked up.” – Walter Tejada talks trash to fellow Arlington County Board member Barbara Favola

Putting some fear into the competition, DC Divas linebacker Donna “Animal” Wilkinson is maybe a little too pumped. Mitchell Schear, to her right, wonders if perhaps this wasn’t such a good idea after all.

It would all be decided on this stretch of asphalt in gleaming downtown Crystal City.

Birds of Prey – Barbara Favola seems unaware that the mascots of the Washington Wizards and Capitals are eyeing her.

Joe Witte, “avid cyclist” that he is, shows us how it’s not done. (Howard Bernstein, his cross town weatherman rival, does seem suspiciously happy, though.)

And they’re off. (You really need to view it here to get a sense of the competitive glory.)

Arlington County Board member Chris Zimmerman finds his form early (and is desperately trying not to get girled by Donna Wilkinson . . .).

Arlington County Board member Barbara Favola testing out the “slow and steady wins the race” saying. Didn’t really work out so well . . .

Gets ugly, as Mix 106.7 personality Jimmy Alexander eats pavement.

Race winner Walter Tejada enjoying his moment in the sun. This man’s ambition knows no bounds. I understand that he was later heard yelling “In your FACE, Zimmerman! I’m the NEW Arlington, you’re the OLD Arlington!”

I think.

For the sake of the children, I’m not going to talk about what happened next.

A good time had by all. From Left to Right:

Maurisa Turner Potts (Crystal City BID), Mitchell Schear (President, Vornado/Charles E. Smith), Barbara Favola (Arlington County Board Member), Chris Zimmerman (Arlington County Board Member), Walter Tejada (Vice-Chairman, Arlington County Board), Donna “Animal” Wilkinson (Linebacker, DC Divas), Howard Bernstein (Reporter & Meteorologist, Channel 9 News), Joe Witte (Meteorologist, Channel 7 News), G-Wiz (Washington Wizards Mascot), Slapshot Mascot, (Washington Capitals), Major General Robert L. Smolen (Commander, Air Force District of Washington), and half of Jimmy Alexander (MIX 107.3).


Laura Van Gilder

Above is Laura Van Gilder on her way to (once again) the top spot on the podium. Lots of great cycling action in Arlington and DC proper this weekend, not enough time to get it all up. So check out Mike May’s excellent GamJams site until I can get my own photos and notes up.

Richmond Racing: More Fun Than a Primary

For once, the most interesting race in Richmond doesn’t have anything to do with politics. This weekend, Richmond will play host to the XTERRA East Championships, where athletes will swim, run, and ride a mostly off-road course (1000m swim / 29k mountain bike / 11k trail run). This race will determine eligibility for the national championships in Lake Tahoe this September, as well as world championships in Maui this October. If you’re interested in going to watch, check this map out.

Would you rather ride than watch, this weekend? The XTERRA main event is closed, but you can still hit interesting parts of the course on Saturday. How? Check out Richmond Sports Backers’ MTB Urban Assault:

Competitors will choose between an 8 mile or 15 mile loop of the XTERRA Mountain Bike Course, which is considered the most technically challenging on the XTERRA Tour. The mountain bike course includes steep up hill and down hill single track trails, stairs over railroad tracks, tunnels, bridges, creek crossings and lots of natural obstacles.

There are plenty of classes (beginners through pro), so there’s something for everyone.  You can register online until 9pm today, or you can register in person at Brown’s Island.  Registration is $35 today, and $45 on race day.  (Wish I could do this one myself, but I’ve already got another race scheduled this weekend.)

Not quite up to an “urban assault”, but still want to be part of the vibe this weekend?  Try the “Cruise for a Cause” the same day, at 2pm.   You still get to be part of the action, but no worries about how to make it down a rock staircase on your bike.  As an added plus, all of your registration fee will go to support the Richmond chapter of the best MTB advocacy organization in the area – the Mid Atlantic Off Road Enthusiasts.

Hailing from the DC area, I’ve got a well-supported bias against Richmond, but events like this keep impressing me.  Keep it up.

Goodbye, Mr. Wizard.

There weren’t many good things about my childhood move from Hawaii to New Jersey (really, what kind of horrible thing is that to do to a kid?).  But one undeniably good thing was that the new local television station carried Mr. Wizard.  I *loved* that show.  Science was never cooler.

Don Herbert – Mr. Wizard – died today, aged 89.  Thank you, Mr. Herbert, for everything.

Why I Can’t Vote for David Cameron: An Illustrated Guide

I, and many of my fellow countrymen, have been extraordinarily disappointed with Labour of late. Putting aside (work with me here) Blair’s unfathomable shadowing of Bush in Iraq, Labour’s domestic policy initiatives – National ID, expanded CCTV surveillance, anti-social behaviour laws, among others – have me running into the arms of another party. You know, if there *were* another party to run to. The Lib Dems? One trick ponys. The Tories? Ha.

Which brings me to the point of this post. Honestly, I’ve been fairly impressed (in a relative sense) with where David Cameron is trying to drag the Tories, but I just can’t imagine myself actually casting a ballot for his party.  Why?  Because this is what the Tories have always been,  and may always be, to me:

Go on, click it for the high res version and all of its detailed glory.  Wait.  To be clear, it’s horribly racist and ignorant and only (really really) funny if you paid attention to the Tories in the 70s and 80s.  When I hear “Tory”, two things come to mind: Enoch “Rivers of Blood” Powell and the sort of mindset that could create this map (sans humour).  To be fair, I’ve not lived in Britain for forever and a day,  and maybe the Tories are honestly and truly changing.  But I doubt it, and David Cameron & Co. will have to work pretty hard to overcome this map.

(This post courtesy of my exploration of the many glorious maps highlighted by Waldo’s link to StrangeMaps.)

Friday Notes

Okay, let’s get this out of the way: ha ha!

I am anti-cat (unless, say, we’re talking about solid fuel replacements), but this is great. Follow the photo tour.

More lies about New Orleans? I’d really like it to turn out that this guy is overreacting, but I don’t think he is at all . . .

If you’re interested in amateur racing in the DC/Mid-Atlantic region, and you haven’t checked out GamJams.net yet, do it. Mike May keeps us up to date on which races are coming up, and what happened in the races that just finished. And yes, I’d say he has an excellent eye for header graphics . . .

The Economics of NYC Businesses. Whether it is to my detriment or credit, I’m not sure, but I’ve no particular interest in making money for the sake of making money. But I always find the bottom line economics of a given store or industry fascinating. It’s a well organized quick read – check it out.

I used to think it was a big deal when all the tanks used to come rolling down Gersfelderstraße in my old village. But I never saw anything like this.

Bush and Cheney Set Standard for Acceptable Language

Okay, the title of this post isn’t really accurate at all. But lord, is this funny. In rejecting the FCC’s new enthusiasm for fining TV stations for broadcasting even a brief and unplanned use of an expletive, the Court of Appeals:

Adopt[ed] an argument made by lawyers for NBC, [and] cited examples in which Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney had used the same language that would be penalized under the policy. Mr. Bush was caught on videotape last July using a common vulgarity that the commission finds objectionable in a conversation with Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain. Three years ago, Mr. Cheney was widely reported to have muttered an angry obscene version of “get lost” to Senator Patrick Leahy on the floor of the United States Senate.

Fucking brilliant.

It’s about damn time.

Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) indicted. Now let’s see a competent prosecution and be done with it.

Skeptical Brotha has something for us.

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