Category Archives: Announcements

Definitive Guide to Winning Thanksgiving Political Arguments

Don’t have them.

 

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Things I’ve Learned About Having a Dog

I’m three weeks in as a puppy owner. Here’s some of what I’ve learned to date.

People often say that getting a puppy is a gateway to having children. Perhaps it’s a gateway to children if you a masochist. One trip to PetSmart is not as horrifying as a trip to Babies “R” Us, but it is close.

The amount of bric-a-brac made for pets today is staggering, hilarious, and sort of depressing. I get that people love their dogs, but these type of stores cater to the casual dog owner and absolute weirdos.

The first order of business after getting your dog is to set up the collar, complete with custom bone-shaped name tag. Pet stores offer training classes, and the trainer on duty will corner you while the little engraving machine etches in the details. It’s a trap. If you don’t like being pressure-sold goods and services, order yours online.

Be sure to have enough bags for poop. You’d think your stash of grocery bags saved over the course of the month will be enough for a while, but you’d be wrong. It’ll be tapped dry within days.

The biodegradable (save the earth! free tibet!) bags sold at pet stores are kind of expensive. 100 for $5? Forget that noise. Do what I did and go to CostCo or the Restaurant Depot and get take-out bags. I got 1,000 for about $12 — about a fifth of the cost.

Likewise, in our efforts to save the earth, incandescent flashlights are now going out of style. We’re stuck with the new, supposedly improved LED flashlights that — like new car headlights — will blind you (or the dog) temporarily with the harnessed power of the sun when they make direct contact with your eyes. I’ve resorted to using a poop bag as a lantern of sorts, holding the flashlight in the bag (sans poop) as we walk around to mute its blinding glow.

Kongs are good for about a 10 minute distraction with puppies. Yes, they make puppy-sized Kongs, but their little mouths aren’t powerful enough to squeeze treats out of the toy. If they can’t get it out within a few minutes, they’ll lose interest — unlike destroying carpet. What do the carpet manufacturers know that dog toy makers do not?

In an effort to post fewer pictures of Gus on social media, lest I be a hypocrite for complaining about baby/engagement/wedding photos — I’ve set up a page here where you can see Gus if you’re not in D.C. and don’t want to volunteer to be a dog watcher.

Meet Gus

Meet our new Westie pup, Gus. He’ll be part of the family for the next 12-15 years, so get ready for our little handful!

Gus is short for “Angus.”

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Phone Spam Is No Fun

Over the past month and a half, I’ve been getting robocalls from Spanish-speaking telemarketers. As you can see below, at all hours of the day — violating the law.

Thankfully, I have Google Voice and can block callers, but that doesn’t stop them. They keep coming. It’s happened close to 50 times at this point, and the weird thing is that every call comes with the same prefix and area code as my own cell phone. I’ve tried calling the numbers back to be removed, but they largely don’t work and those that answer don’t speak English or pretend not to.

After the tenth call, I changed my settings to require callers to identify themselves…and that’s cut back on the spam a bit. I figure not all of the 10,000 people who could have a 202-527 phone number are spammers. I’ve submitted a complaint to the FTC, but the problem with regulating activity like this is that technology changes and regulators have a hard time keeping up.

Eat a dick, spoofers.

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Sudden Death Bullseye Cricket

Yesterday I created a new, faster take on the traditional dart game of cricket while horsing around at the FOE. (I’m sure somebody has already created a game like this, but here’s my variant.)

Here’s how you play:

On the very first throw, players are allowed to hit the Bullseye. If they miss, at any point between the first and last throw the dart strikes the Bullseye, they lose the game.

Game is to be played like ordinary cricket, except that one hit in a number category closes the number and opens it up for points. (For example, if on your first throw you miss the Bullseye and hit triple 20, you close it out and get two points.)

Subsequent points are not worth the value of the number. Any point in any number is always worth one point.

When a player has every number closed, they can shoot for the Bullseye.

To win, you must have every number closed and the most points.

Can Bill Nye Claim He Has a Ph.D. on His CV?

On John Oliver’s new show Last Week Tonight, Bill Nye starred in a cameo as a top expert on global climate change — at least as decided by bookers on television shows.

Which got me thinking — what is the etiquette on going by Ph.D. when you didn’t earn one?

Two friends who have attained a Ph.D. weigh in, with one saying: “Technically, honorary doctorates aren’t Ph.D’s at all” while another comments “His doctorate is on par with Kermit the Frog’s.”

What do you think? Is it fair for Nye to claim he has a Ph.D.?

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The Salt Shortage That Wasn’t?

With the polar vortexes ravaging North America, cities and states are finding themselves running out of salt. The media is freaking out, especially after the nightmare in Atlanta.

Here’s a sampling of headlines in my feedly reader:

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Before you freak out, thinking your municipality is going to start spraying salt-heavy cheese all over your roads, the salt experts have something to say:

There isn’t a salt shortage. 

Believe it or not, there is a Salt Institute here in Washington. I suppose if everyone has their own lobbyists and think tanks, Big Salt deserves one, too.

Here’s what Lori Roman, President of the Salt Institute, has to say about the state of salt:

There isn’t a salt shortage—salt is in abundant supply. However, some of the country is experiencing a more severe winter than normal leaving some municipalities and Departments of Transportation with low inventories. While many agencies try to have enough salt on hand in the fall to get them through an entire winter, recent weather is forcing many to order again mid-season which is not an ideal situation as there is a lead time for delivery.

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Fairfax Connector Strikes Individual at Huntington Station [Photos]

Fairfax, Virginia | 11:30pm
A sad story outside of my residence tonight in Fairfax county. It appears an individual was struck in the crosswalk across Huntington Avenue by a Fairfax county Connector Bus.

Police arrived at the scene within minutes, and EMS and fire shortly thereafter. Fairfax One — the county’s helicopter — was also on scene but did not evacuate the injured individual, who was transported to the hospital by ambulance.

The individual’s condition is unknown but presumed serious.

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Photographs property of Bomble LLC and may not be reproduced or reprinted without permission.

 

I’m Back (And Married!)

Had a few bugs with the site lately that I had to fix, but I am back and up and running. Also, the wedding went off without a hitch.

Here are a few photos:

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Cousin Danny and I bring in the Imo’s (we also had White Castle.)

The wedding of Jim Swift and Mary Olds

The wedding party at the Arch.

The wedding of Jim Swift and Mary Olds

Wedding party at Humphrey’s.

The wedding of Jim Swift and Mary Olds

We borrowed a golf cart at SLU.

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First dance.

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And closed the night out with some White Castle and Imo’s Pizza.

Thanks to our awesome photographer, Erik Lunsford, for the amazing photos.

A Great Weekend

I had a great weekend in Madison County, Virginia with my good friends and groomsmen to celebrate one of my last weekends of bachelordom.

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The view from the cabin on top of the mountain.

This photo, taken by Bobby Metzinger, shows the delicious meats we got from Echo Valley Meat Company.

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Three great products make for an excellent breakfast.

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Surrounding hills. Yes. That’s tie-dye you see. No, not mine.

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The exterior of the cabin (click to expand).

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The interior.