Friday, October 30, 2009

don't ask, and please don't tell

Last weekend's NYC trip started off very very well.

I tensed up for a minute when I saw the long security line at Dulles, but they had things moving pretty well. We made friends with the officer monitoring the line, hearing his stories about all the idiots he deals with on a regular basis. (Water is a liquid!) We got thru the gates without much hassle at all, except from the hyper-sensitive monkey behind me in line, complaining that my picture taking was a security threat.

JetBlue had the plane loaded and ready to go in record time. They called a quick roll of missing passengers, decided that enough of us were there, so they bounced out early. Captain Mike was pretty motivated to get to the city, bc our flight time was quicker than expected, too. We were on the ground 20 minutes ahead of schedule. Whooooohoooo!

JetBlue had free DirecTV on all the seatbacks, and a cool GPS display on one of the channels. I thought this was about the awesomest thing ever. Then I was told that all the airlines have this now. So for you non-frequent fliers, check this out. You jet-setters can just STFU, thanks.

The ride back to the city was a bit more challenging than it should have been. Our ride got jammed behind a tractor-trailer wreck, then we couldn't find each other at the airport, finally we got lost on the drive into the city. Lucky that Cap't Mike had a booty call on his mind, bc our 20 minutes early arrival turned into 20 minutes late for dinner reservations.

We met with a few friends at CrifDogs, downtown NYC. The plans were to eat CrifDogs for dinner, but not at the restaurant, exactly. We were just hanging in the staging area. CrifDogs is a tiny little place, couple of 80s video games on the side (Double Dragon & Donkey Kong!), and counter service at the rear. JB picked up a couple of PBRs for $2.50 a can, and I hit the Gennie Cream Ale for $3.25. Excellent prices for any bar, much less in the city!

The owner of CrifDogs also owns the place next door; "Please Don't Tell" (PDT). It's a classic cocktail lounge with a tip of Bogart's fedora to the speakeasy style.

There is no street entrance to PDT. You arrive at Crif's, enter the old 1930's telephone booth, and pick up the handset to call the hostess at PDT. She confirms your reservations, then opens the secret back panel of the phone booth. For real. It's warm and dark inside, just enough light to see each other, music present, but quiet enough to enjoy the conversation.

At PDT, a cocktail is art. Calling these guys "bartenders" doesn't do justice. They are creative experts, using the finest liquors and the freshest ingredients to present drinks that simply amazing. These drinks are so complex, your head will spin before getting drunk. Please, check out last winter's cocktail menu. You'll understand.

We had 7 people in our party, so we were able to taste dozens of different drinks. I started the evening with a Benton's Old Fashioned; bacon-infused whiskey w maple & orange flavors. It'll be my go-to the next time I'm there. It's perfect. Check out the vid: PDT had a guest bartender, David Shenaut, performing the night we were there. His home bar is at the Teardrop Cocktail Lounge in Portland OR. This made things a little more difficult for us, bc now we had to work thru both the standard PDT menu and David's special menu that he brought with him. Challenge!

So, simply put, Friday night was a blast. Big love to my buddy Jon, who coordinated the evening.

Saturday morning started much too early at Nevada Smith's football pub. My brother-in-law is the president of the Arsenal Football Club NYC fan club, and he def knows the right place to hang out and watch a match. Click the link to the bar, watch the flash vid load, and that's exactly how the place fills. Just before kickoff, there were only a handful of people there. 15 mins later, and it was packed, and loud, and jumping, and singing. And singing. And more singing; 2 hours of singing. And maybe a few pints of beer, with a side order of singing.

Arsenal was the first match of the morning, and they won handily. The whole place was in good spirits. Chelsea Football Club was playing in game two. Chelsea's owner, Roman Abramovich, was in Nevada Smith's to watch the game with his kid (and bodyguard). I did get a chance to meet & chat for a bit, but didn't want to interrupt his day too much. After the game, he posed for this pic with a bunch of the Arsenal guys, in front of the 20' Arsenal flag:

We stayed for most of a 3rd game, before bouncing out to meet the rest of the fam for lunch at some random, but tasty, Middle Eastern place.

After crashing for a nap in the afternoon, it was time to get ready for Halloween night in Grenwich Village. One of the biggest parties of the year in the city that never sleeps. I was stylin' as the scarecrow, complete with extra straw from a wrecked Buffett skirt.

The Halloween party didn't go exactly as planned. Don't ask. Next time, I'll know better.

(pssssst... before I go..... you want one of Mariah's monkeys. Put it on your Christmas list.)

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FloodFill kinna reminds me of Tetris, but with colors instead of shapes.

Guess the Crime is TSG flashified, matching the best mug shots to their violations. Dom, I'm keeping an eye out for your momma's pic.

Kerixep? WTF does that mean? Totally addictive, though.

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My brain at 3am:

If you're online at 3am, make sure to validate your actions. (clickpic for better view)

After all this dirty play, I can't believe nobody had the nads to stand up to this chick:

Brian who?

I miss summer already.

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Saturday, October 17, 2009

slackin' at slackin'

It's been a while since I totally missed a week of posting. I've phoned it in a few times, and turned in less than stellar efforts, but an entire whiff? I suck. Dom says I've been slackin' at slackin', and he's got it pegged.

We've been spun up hard these past few weeks in the office. We're within a couple days of completing the gubmint acceptance of the delivery, and most of the stress & tension are winding down now. They've been twisting and turning our tests in dozens of different directions, many of which are completely senseless. A lot of it is to be expected, as most of the testers don't have a very good understanding of what needs to be done. They're good people, well intentioned, but the gub put 'em into a position they shouldn't really be in.

But we do what we do, and shoulder the stress and tension the only way we know how: butt heads with each other a lot, make up creative insults, and sneak out for 3-beer lunches (mmmmmm..... Jimmy's).

The fall semester at school started at the same time as these 3 weeks of gubmint testing. It's a pain in the tail to have to do office-work all day, then do school-work all night. I'm in a pair of IT classes this semester, so the work is actually relevant to my job. An even bigger annoyance is that one of the professors just doesn't have his shiznit together. I think he knows the subject matter, but he's doing a craptastic job of doling out assignments and grading completed work.

So all this productivity is getting on my nerves. It's interfering with my sanity, and interfering with your good time on a Friday afternoon. I need to get back to the slack.

So I bailed from work early today. Me & the first lady are flying out to NYC for the weekend. We've got a full line-up of activities with family and friends. We have 10pm reservations tonight at the Best American Cocktail Bar 2009. It's in the speakeasy flavor, and I'll have much better info to share next week. (Lemme just say our host has me totally stoked for the maple & bacon-infused whiskey!)

Saturday morning, we're hitting up a Soccer bar football pub for a big inter-London rivalry game. I don't know much beyond "sanctioned beer for breakfast", but as long as I avoid the topic of how often they flop & dive, I won't get my tail whipped.

And to put the cap on the weekend? We're walking in the Grenwich Village Halloween Parade!

By the way, if you're staying in for the night, please don't hand out any of these 11 crappy "treats". It's a sure way to make little kids cry, and motivate teens to soap your windows.

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My eyes feel like they're gonna bleed.

The Smoking Gun contest - match the t-shirt in the mugshot with the band. Entries must be submitted by 4pm.

You shouldn't have to think while working, but as long as you're not thinking about working I guess it's OK. Bloxorz.

You could put a lot of thought into this game, too, or you could just blow stuff up.

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I don't know why the anti-vaxxers get under my skin so bad. Oh, yeah, I almost forgot, it's the fact that their space-cadet viewpoint hurts little kids!

The Droid. Oh, please please please Verizon let me geek out soon. Please. Want.

The FaceBook express lane.... lets you keep up with your friends on FB but removes all the other crap. FaceBook Lite.

Owen Schmitt busts his own head open before the game starts:

The best remix of the SuperDrunkGuy vid I've seen:

But wait, there's more! If you click now, you can get your very own ChiaObama, plus one for Laura!

Awareness Fail (from FailBlog)

Musicians who hate the songs that made them famous. Robert Plant calls Stairway "that bloody wedding song".

One more flash of geekiness before I go....

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

eff that stupid faker balloonboy

So I'm kinna happy that this rainy nasty weather has coincided with all the testing that we're doing at work. Either issue, alone, would have interfered with my bike to work. Since they're simultaneous, I'm only losing out on a week or so. I've been driving to the test facility all week, and I'm really feeling the lack of exercise. I can't wait to get back on a good schedule again.

The first week of gov testing of our delivery has gone really well, even better than anticipated. Testing continues for the next two weeks, but most of that time we'll just be on stand-by for support or Q&A stuff. Boring as hell, but it's part of the cycle. Every delivery has to go thru acceptance testing before they sign off on the product being allowed to go out to the live users.

I started back to class on Tuesday night. Since this is the first week, the workload was rather light. I'm not looking forward to having my next two months of evenings jammed up again, although I'm totally excited about both of the classes I'm taking this semester. Now that I'm in the higher level classes, they're a lot more challenging, plus I actually learn something useful. Kinna the whole point of going to school, huh?

Besides work & school, there isn't too much else to share this week. The kids are all doing well, and they've all been head-down in their schoolbooks, too.

Our plans for attending the WineFestival are on shaky ground bc of the weather. I was pretty stoked about the trip, and we've got a good crew of people planning to go, but a soaking 40 degree rain just isn't conducive to fun times.

I already had the WineFestival loaded in the GPS, too:

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Fat Slice, the game, is a heck of a lot different than fat slice, the punishment for beer goggling. The spider level was tricky, but that damned dinosaur level beat me into submission.

Satellites. For real. Learn something from the Waster for a change.

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BalloonBoy? Eff that. AtticBoy and AttentionWhoreDad. A collection of the best mashups here: Urlesque

Hey! The DC Sports Bog is turning Seth into a celebrity!

MadAtoms shows you what's really on TV.

Got to go, be right back. My mom will be rather disappointed in me when she finds out how much I giggle at this site.

The entertainment industry has misunderstood technology for the past 100 years. Every new development has been attacked as the death of the industry. Idiots.

1-cent appetizers at TGIFridays! Caveats: THU night before Halloween, wear a costume, order a drink at the bar.

From Boston's BarstoolSports... oh hells yes!

I love google. I hate that I love google; I don't trust 'em at all and they know way too much about me. But daaaaamn are they good at everything they do. Here's a tool that lets you compare bing vs google side-by-side and make your own decision.

Dom, seriously, WTH?

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Monday, October 5, 2009

random unpaid sponsorships

It's homecoming at the high school, so the kids are all wrapped in activities thru the weekend. Parades, football, dance, and all that other funstuff. I'm doing a bit of chauffeur-ing, and some picture-taking, but not a whole heck of a lot else.

I'm really looking for a rather low-key couple of days. It feels rather odd to feel that way about a 3-day weekend, but that's the way it is. Part of the lack of excitement is bc we've been so effing busy in the office, I didn't even realize until this morning that the office is closed on Monday. I would have forgotten to check if it wasn't for the bossman telling me about his plans to go out of town.

I don't have much information to offer up this week in the way of updates, either. Just a few bits of unsolicited advertisements to force-feed into your inbox.

Tomorrow we're heading up to SterlingFest for a while. Those of you from the 'Park know about it. Nice & simple community celebration, arts & crafts, fire dept demo, candy & balloons, and a load of "save the whales adopt a dog vote for me in the local election" fundraising.

But the best part of Sterlingfest is Augur! I'll be out at the new Community Center gazebo at 2:45 for their show. They'll be hitting a few rock covers, and I'm really hoping for some original Whiskey to be mixed into the bunch.

Next weekend, we're working on a trip to the WineFest out at Historic Long Branch. It's a ways out in the sticks from NoVA, but definitely worth the drive. Good funstuff for the grown-ups ($25 bottomless glass!) and plenty of funstuff for the kiddies, too.

CrifDogs new video!
(Pretty sure I'm their biggest never-been-there-yet fan.)

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Dots game - does it even have a point?

BoxSpin (no, not meatspin) is a neat little puzzle game. The lack of directions made it a bit difficult to get started. Hint: change all the boxes to the same color. Hint2: if you didn't get the joke, do not google it.

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The 90's in just one pic.

Insects, Raid, a pencil, a good dose of creativity, and definitely too much free time results in comics made from dead flies:

I couldn't decide which to post, so I just grabbed the first. See the rest here and make your own decision over which dead bugs win.

Julie, I'm not passing judgement on your kid yet. Just realize what the future may hold...

(clickpic to enlarge)

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