Friday, September 7, 2007


Check out the new site, and provide any feedback you wish. Just doing some testing, but pretty happy so far.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

The Blacksburg Bender ...

also known as Labor Day Weekend, provides for an extra day of rest from our weekly routines, rings in the college football season and reunites us with old friends from the year previous. But this season would be very different; 37 seats would be empty and ESPN College Game Day present [Note: yes, Erin Andrews IS as hot as she looks on TV ... Kirk Hierbstreit is not.] -- adding to the already much anticipated Virginia Tech home opener. Here is a meager sampling of the weekend's wholesome, as well as solemn activities.*

The Man, The Myth, The Legend ... with his Mom. From Roanoke to Rosslyn, there are no more faithful fans than these two. Season tickets are spread out on the kitchen table several months prior, flights and hotels booked well in advance and new tailgate toys ready to be on display from the technician himself. [Not in this picture; home mending the anal cavity of his injured animal Otis. Seriously. He arrived shortly after this photograph was taken. ]

Yes, that is someones deck on top of a minivan. Several new inventions/games/technological feats were on display in the commuter parking lot. It's always nice to see where tuition money is being spent -- on future engineering achievements. After all, "WE ARE VIRGINIA TECH". Personal favorite: washers. Two pieces of wood, with three holes drilled into them, spaced equally apart, stand roughly 25 feet away from each other. The teams then proceed to toss thin, doughnut shaped washers into each until one team has managed to put each washer into each of the three holes. **** off Einstein, we have Uncle Char.

The Victims Game. There wasn't a dry eye anywhere during the In Memoriam video tribute to the victims. Yours truly, not even having attended the school, struggled with the emotion. After a brief discussion with a Domino's Delivery man/student, nearing the completion of 40 delivery's to that point [On a normal Saturday, usually only 10] it sounded like Cho didn't have it very easy either.

*Not included here is what happened Sunday. Some things are just too sacred, they just shouldn't ever be talked about. Ever. Know this, it involved: a pair of Dobermans, six inflatable tubes and a stuffed elks head. That is all.

Friday, August 31, 2007

PC Update: ¡despej√≥ totalmente!

In their infinite wisdom, it has been communicated to me, they feel your's truly has satisfied all paperwork requirements and is officially cleared on all levels. Let's hope they do some sort of second round evaluation to make sure. For everyone's sake.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Biking for Burritos

Last year was about becoming accustomed to the new landscape. Biking from Alexandria to Silver Springs to the DC crap in between. While not having the most mountain-bike welcoming of trails, the area provided for easy access to some good eats; leaving impressions difficult to erase. Such was the case off the Capital Crescent trail. So difficult in fact, re-visiting a Mexican/Salvadorian abode was a two-part, patience-testing process.

Over the weekend, yours truly thought in his infinite wisdom it would be easy to remember roughly where this little shack was, maybe that even it would be metro accessible. I couldn't have been more wrong, and walking around in the 95 degree, 95% humidity hell wasn't helping the memory bank. I needed some assistance from a source who also would appreciate the hunt for great Mexican food.
"Pat, I need to borrow that tire pump u have."

Following a serious re hydrating session, rain storm and making sure no newly pumped air in my bike's tires had been lost, the next morning, with a renewed sense of vigor, I biked the exact same path taken a year ago. Roughly ten miles later, it was there just like I remembered it. Squeezed in between a run down auto parts store, frame shop and dump truck yard. However, not even close to the metro and been open since 10 a.m. serving cervezas to the soccer faithful, in walked one sweaty gringo. "Cerveza por f$%^&ing favor!" was going through my mind, but rather I politely ordered a carne asada burrito and Tecate. Probably not going to be the last time I make this trip.

Let's be clear about one thing: certain digestive items are worth a long bike ride, burritos being one of them. Vanilla-soy-latte-half-crap-decafs, are not. While most peopled plunked down in the froufrou coffee boutiques in Bethesda, up the road at El Norteno, across from Walter Reed Medical Center, was a belligerent biker enjoying a half English, half Spanish conversation with some soccer fans and two giggling waitresses. When one saw me yawn, she recommended "a shAWt tequila", I think. Suddenly, Saturday didn't seem so bad.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Who's the real Vick-tim?

My mother and her rabid miniature poodle "Buddy" are going to hate me for this, but another angle needs to be at least entertained. It wasn't lassie and rin tin tin fighting in the VA backyard of the Falcons QB. Terriers and chihuahuas weren't food deprived and sent after each others jugular. It's even hard to categorize them in the dog family. Try beast. There is a reason this species is banned from most major cities in the United States [San Francisco, Washington DC, Denver, the list goes on]. Placing them in the backwoods of Virginia where they can go at each other, rather than our toddlers, seems just fine to me. Not Central Park.

Theses aren't the kind of canines you find with a red ribbon bow around their neck on Christmas morning. Rather, it's their lock-jaw around your neck. It's hard to feel bad for a beast whose whole existence seems to just prey on other, well, mammals. Not claiming in the least to be a zoologist, I struggle to recall hearing one of them coming to the rescue of an old lady, or pulling a little girl from a snowy mountain pass. Any form of animal brutality and torture are never acceptable, and condoned here! [ie, electroshock, drowning] , however, putting two human-hating things to fight each other, rather than little Susy walking down the street, might be the best option. What else are you supposed to do; rehabilitate the rottweilier? Yeah, let me know how that goes.

Personal favorite: the PETA protesters outside the courtroom with rover shrouded in"Sack Vick" signs. Hmm, no pit bulls present. No Rev.'s in site, so you can throw out the race card. As far as the gambling allegations, please. We bet on dogs all the time. Sure, they aren't killing each other at the race track, but what are those roosters doing with their heavy-weight boxers, and with razorblades attached to their talons in South Carolina? They get to use weapons, a luxury not afforded my mom's poodle if cornered by a pit bull.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Authentic Oasis in Arlington

Compounding on previously noted restaurant escapades, a forgotten former endeavor has resurfaced. Let me explain. Maneuvering through the intricate Metrobus system afforded the vehicleless, bound for an REI pickup [more on this later] one discovers an area stretched along the Fairfax-Arlington County border, bedecked with some of the best Mexican-Salvadorian establishments for miles. Being overlooked for it's lack of name brand strip malls, Starbucks and froufrou dives, it makes up in big way with authenticity. Feared by some, to the sacred hole-in-the-wall seeker, it's heaven sent.

Options are infinite when it comes to capping off, or celebrating the arrival of much anticipated gear. Bundled excitement is released. Before going any further, here's the REI plug. Despite being the biggest outfitter, its hardly WAL-MART-like. First, it's not really cheap. Though it's not linked on this site as an outfitter, it too, like senior citizens, can still serve a purpose [i.e. trying on things like shoes and sandals, and backpack molding - kind of hard to "e-mold" an Osprey Aether 85 to your beer belly.] Plus it's cool every now and then to see, in-person, all the really cool new shit. And, there's a lot of it. Okay, gear distraction over, more food.

Roughly a year ago dos gringos es uno senorita drove up and down the street looking for, yes none other than, a real authentic place. Shocker, right? Blown away by its authenticity, from the the chips and salsa and yucca, to the beans and burritos laced with a thin queso, we forgot it's name. Swear it, we were all sober. One year later, it returns, and in omen like fashion. ATLACATL [that's right no website]. This time a gear-satisfied nut walked in on foot. Place hadn't changed a bit. The menu was a collage of old pictures glued together with rubber cement. 50 million little wooden framed pictures of people who could be anybody painted the walls, with Salvadorian flags hanging from the ceiling. Soccer on the one TV, a Telemundo soap opera on the other. Not even the waitress smiled when I said gracias here. To help us not forget again, I stole three 5x7 refrigerator magnets and a carry out menu.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Of all places ...

Rarely do I post about good articles; due to the fact that much of the mainstream media is questionable. However, when pieces are objective and have addressed the multiple angles of an issue being discussed, its worth a glance, and maybe even a read. This caught my eye in a local deli [Sidenote: no BS, it has the best chicken salad sandwiches in the city ... shut up, this is very hard to find!] today and I decided to look it up.

If I'm not mistaken, the locale was the subject of several Spike Lee "joints", (making it all the more intriguing) where emphasis was placed on racial and ethnic shit storms. Allegedly, times have changed. Here's what they seem to think makes the difference:

Elsewhere in the world, some of these people — Muslims and Jews, Russians and Ukrainians, Pakistanis and Indians — are at each others' throats. Here, Krase says, "They grasp it almost immediately: This is not the place for that."

Nor is it anywhere else. These people "get it". Get over the past and move on. The article has some great photos included as well.