Monday, November 30, 2009

GW Against Oregon State with the First Family

Some shots of the new set up at the Smith Center and then the arrival of the First Family.

Once my friend Stu and I heard about this game we were fairly certain that if the Obamas were in town they would be showing up for the game.

GW Against Oregon State with the First Family, Part II

This clip is the introduction of the players. Oregon State is introduced first. Mrs. Obama's reaction to the announcement of her brother's name is just great.

GW Against Oregon State with the First Family, Part III

This is the last few minutes of the game when GW made a run at trying to win. With 33.8 second left in the game GW was down by 2 points. Also Oregon State just lost focus and allowed GW to get way too close.

GW Basketball with the First Family, Part IV

The Colonials came close to winning the game in the last minute but fell short. It was interesting that the GW players came over and shook hands with the first family. The Oregon State players were heading toward the locker room when one of them motioned for them to come over and shake hands. He's the first guy you see from the Oregon State team shaking hands.

I also thought it was nice that the President picked up his used water bottle.

It was just a very very cool afternoon. To think I watched a game with the President. Sweet!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

GW Plays Oregon State

This is the first game of the GW season that I've been to. Here are a few shots of the remodeling they've done so far.

There also was a special guest for the game.

Obama at Colonials Game

Pictures of President Obama at the GW game against Oregon State. When we heard about this game on the GW schedule, my friend Stu and I figured there was a very good chance Obama would be there. After all the Oregon State coach is Michelle's brother.

Obama at GW

Here are some more pictures of the President. The first picture is the last play of the first half. GW fell behind 16-0 in the first half. They came back in the second had the ball and could have cut the lead to 4 but blew it. Then in the last couple of minutes Oregon State allowed GW back in the game. GW was behind by just 3 with a minute left. But alas it was not to be.

This from the Post

Obama stayed after the game was over to shake hands with players and coaches from both teams.

"He told us good game, great effort," Bynes said. "Personally, I felt like . . . I can't even explain the words right now. I was very excited to shake his hand. Even with the loss, that was a bright spot of the day."

Once again I'll say I love living in Washington, DC.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Be Italian from Nine

Nine the musical is coming to theaters. It opens wide on Christmas Day.

I remember seeing this on Broadway with the original cast with Raul Julia in the lead. I even have the Playbill. It's one of my favorite shows.

The movie is getting a great deal of buzz. I did a search on YouTube and found one of my favorite songs Be Italian.

I think watching this is a much better use of time then shopping.

Out to the Stores (Not)

Wow some of the local malls around here opened at midnight. Kohl's opened at 3 am. Kmart was open on Thanksgiving. Yes the holiday season has started in full swing. I feel at a great loss that I did not run out and participate.

I missed waking up well before the crack of dawn.

Driving like a maniac to get to the store before it opened.

Trying to find a parking place.

Waiting in line.

Almost getting trampled to death when the doors opened.

Elbowing out of my way fellow shoppers so I could get what I want.

Then standing in hours in line to pay for my treasures.

Wow I'm so sad I slept in.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Important Climate Change Video

A very important message about climate change. And it's pretty damn funny too!

By the way, Sam agrees with the above sentiments.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Suit Shopping

I need a new suit. I discovered this when I was going to see Christine Ebersole at the Kennedy Center. The pants to the suit didn’t exactly fit. They were just a little too small in the waist and as well as in the thighs. The jacket still fit. But I couldn’t figure out a good match with the pants that I have.

I went through all the other jackets that I have. Most don’t fit. Some are a little tight around the waist but most were too small in the chest. So I’m pleased about that.

The hunt has now begun for a new suit.

I went to Macy’s at Tyson’s Corner on Saturday. In less than ten minutes I was asked if I needed help by no fewer than 4 people. I almost left after the last guy asked. But they were having a sale and the prices were pretty good so I decided to take a look.

The first thing I ruled out were suits with three buttons. I really don’t like the way they look in general and I really don’t like the way they look on me. I was hoping to maybe find a double breasted one but no such luck.

I did find several styles that I really liked. So I tried some on. Here’s what I found out.

In the coat a 40 regular is just a little too small while a 42 regular is just a little too big.

In waists on pants the 34 inch is just a little too small (it would be fine if I didn’t have to sit down) and the 36 inch is just a little too big.

On pants inseam the 30 inch is too short and the 32 inch is too long.

What I figured out from this exercise was I need a 41 regular coat with a 35 inch waist and a 31 inch inseam. There’s a snow ball chance in hell that I’m finding something like that.

I will continue my quest. I’m thinking of going to Men’s warehouse over the weekend. They have a buy one get one free sale.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Funny Sign

Here are two pictures of a sign that's down the street from me.

This would be a perfect sign if say the neighborhood was Booklyn as in Booklyn, New York.

But it's not a very good sign say if the neighborhood is Brookland as in Brookland Washington, DC.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sesame Street Turns 40

I'm a few days late on this but happy birthday to a show that changed the way we watch TV and introduced the world to the muppets.

Friday, November 20, 2009

2Political Episode 21

2PP021 - 19 November 2009

2Political Podcast Episode 21 is now available. You can listen to it on the widget on the right side of my blog, or you can go the podcast site, You can leave comments there as well as download or listen to any episode.

Get 2Poltical Podcast for free on iTunes

After special days, we look at the Sarah Palin book. That leads on to a discussion of the rightwing, which leads to a discussion of the problems the Republican party faces from its own right wing. From there it’s the latest madness from the christianist extremists: The increasingly unhinged religious far right pose a major problem for the Republicans, who continue to refuse to disavow the extremist rhetoric.

Please leave a comment (anyone’s welcome—agree or disagree!), or you can send an email to arthur[at) or jason{at], or you can ring the US-based 2Political Comment line on 206-350-3982.

Back in about ten days!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Kalb Report: What Makes 60 Minutes Tick

A very interesting Kalb report last night. Executive Producer Jeff Fager and Correspondent Lesley Stahl were the guests. A wide ranging discussion on how 60 Minutes has lasted as long as did. Some of the triumphs and some of the not so triumphant moments there.

I thought it was interesting that Lesley looked at the opening video montage of the Kalb report to see who was all pictured. She also knew the director of the show Robert Vitarelli who’d been at CBS for many years before coming over to the Kalb report.

Marvin pressed Fager on what the budget for 60 Minutes is. Jeff although pressed would not say. During the course of the evening mentions of costs of various things came up and the audience would laugh.

They both said that at 60 Minutes they don’t have meetings, don’t have memos, don’t have a hierarchy. A story idea is proposed on what is called a blue sheet (they didn’t exactly explain what that was). It was then either accepted or rejected. No explanation given. Lesley said that if someone felt strongly about it they would go back and plead the case for it. It sound like you got three cracks at pushing the story and after the third no it was dead. It sounded like if you made a good enough case the story would get done.

There was a discussion over the cigarette story where 60 Minutes caved to the corporate suits and modified the story because of fear of a law suit. This lead into a discussion about the Dan Rather story on Bush and the National Guard. Neither Jeff nor Lesley were directly involved in what happened so they didn’t have a great deal of insight into what happened.

Other topics of note:

Don Hewitt said you couldn’t just do a voice over for a story. You had to take the viewer along on the journey

Stahl talked about the time she was scammed by a supposed Iraqi defector who said Saddam had mobile biological weapons labs that traveled around the country on trucks. This was not true.

They review stories from the perspective of are you letting the person say what they have to say.

Only about 15 percent of their stories are reviewed by lawyers. It sounded like they had two lawyers that they’ve worked with for years. These would have been lawyers for CBS not specifically for 60 Minutes.

The one gotcha moment for Stahl was when she was on Face the Nation interviewing Margaret Thatcher. The topic was Iran Contra. Lesley asked how Thatcher could ever trust the US again. Thatcher said things were fine. Stahl pressed until finally Thatcher said words to the effect of how Thatcher seemed to like the US more than Stahl did.

Stahl also talked about her interview with Nicolas Sarkozy (there was an opening series of clips from 60 Minutes and they showed part of that interview) where he walked out. Stahl had asked a question about his wife and he left. Stahl said she was told by reporters not to ask that question. She was told French reporter would never have asked such a question. Stahl’s response was to say she wasn’t a French reporter.

During the question and answer session Stahl was asked what one person she wanted most to interview but hadn't. Stahl responded Nancy Reagan. Stahl wanted to try and find out just how much influence Nancy Reagan had.

It was a very interesting night.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Kennedy Center

I went to the Kennedy Center last night to see Christine Ebersole at the Terrace Theater. Here are some pictures of the Center.

More From the Kennedy Center

The last five pictures are taken from the top of the Kennedy Center.

Sunday Smile

Well so all the rain did was inspire me not to be inspired. Today is bright and sunny and warm. All of those things merit a Sunday smile.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Another Soggy Saturday

Yes another one. It's been that way 4 out of the last five weekends. Rainy icky. Makes you want to stay in all day and just take a real long nap.

The last couple of days have been that way too. We got what was left of Ida and then another front came through. More rain. Tomorrow is supposed to be better. I hope so. This type of weather makes me not want to do anything. Like make a blog post.

But since I seem to have nothing but time on my hands, I may make a couple today.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day

Veterans Day or as it was once know Armistice Day. For many people today veterans are the farthest thing from their minds on this day. For some it's a day off. It's a sale at stores.

There are parades and speeches and a recognition to those who have served and are serving. But to me it's not enough to honor what these men and women do for our country. It seems we only seem to remember them on days like these. That's just not enough.

To understand the day a little better here's a little of the history of the day:

U.S. President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed an Armistice Day for November 11, 1919. The United States Congress passed a concurrent resolution seven years later on June 4, 1926, requesting the President issue another proclamation to observe November 11 with appropriate ceremonies. An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U.S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday; "a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as 'Armistice Day'."

In 1953, an Emporia, Kansas shoe store owner named Al King had the idea to expand Armistice Day to celebrate all veterans, not just those who served in World War I. King had been actively involved with the American War Dads during World War II. He began a campaign to turn Armistice Day into "All" Veterans Day. The Emporia Chamber of Commerce took up the cause after determining that 90% of Emporia merchants as well as the Board of Education supported closing their doors on November 11, 1953, to honor veterans. With the help of then-U.S. Rep. Ed Rees, also from Emporia, a bill for the holiday was pushed through Congress. President Dwight Eisenhower signed it into law on May 26, 1954.

Finally on this Veterans Day a salute to those men in uniform who gave the ultimate sacrifice for this country. Those We've Lost. Heroes all.

Pfc. Zachary T. Myers
Lost September 8, 2009 in Iraq

Sgt. 1st Class Duane A. Thornsbury
Lost September 12, 2009 in Iraq

Spec. Demetrius L. Void
Lost September 15, 2009 in Afghanistan

Sgt. 1st Class Bradley S. Bohle
Lost September 16, 2009 in Afghanistan

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Health Care Something

I don't know what else to call it. But health care something. It was important that on Saturday the House voted on their version of a bill for heal care reform. It moves the process along. the next hurdle, in what seems like an endless line of hurdles, is getting the Senate to act.

I'm not sure that Harry Reid is going to be able to get the job done. Well I guess he will try and get something passed but it appears more and more like a final bill will not be passed until next year. This is of course exactly what the Republicans want to do. The longer they can keep the process going; the better they feel they defeat it.

There are of course more lies from them (thus the reason I think the party should be renamed to the Liepublican Party). Dick Army was on CNN calling the bill socialized medicine. There were of course the other usual suspects carrying the party shill about the bill. I don't understand why the media doesn't call this people out more often. But they don't

I guess I'm a little ambivalent on what happened on Saturday. It is, like I said, important to get a bill out. But there is still a long way to go. The President needs to step up and get more directly involved. He did go to the House on Saturday and urge support for the bill. Also Bill Clinton was on the Hill t0day at the Senate. After meeting with Senators he said:

"It's not important to be perfect here. It's important to act, to move, to start the ball rolling," he told reporters after the meeting. "There will be amendments to this effort, whatever they pass, next year and the year after and the year after, and there should be. It's a big, complicated, organic thing. But the worst thing to do is nothing."
I just hope they have enough balls to get this thing done. This country really needs this.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Renwick Gallery

This is the Renwick Gallery which is right by the White House. It's one of the hidden treasures of Washington. Most people don't even notice it because they are heading to or from the White House. But this museum has some amazing exhibits to see. It's grand room is a wonderful place to sit and admire all the wonderful pictures this gallery has.

Right Near Work

Every once in a while I have to stop and remember exactly where I am. Washington, DC and that I work just a few blocks from the White House. So on Friday I walked down there to remind me of just how lucky I am to live where I live. The weather was cooperative too; no rain.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

2Political Episode 20

2PP020 - 5 November 2009

2Political Podcast Episode 20 is now available. You can listen to it on the widget on the right side of my blog, or you can go the podcast site, You can leave comments there as well as download or listen to any episode.

Today we look at some of the results of the US elections. It was no referendum on President Obama or the Democrats, but there was a bit of a one against extremists who were trying to purge the Republican Party of moderates. We also take a look at the referenda in Maine, along with the implications of the much more positive results from Kalamazoo, Michigan and Washington state. We also talk about some of the bigger issues and trends, and that even the loss in Maine is as dire as it may seem to some—though Arthur thinks there are some threats arising from it.

Get 2Poltical Podcast for free on iTunes

Thursday, November 05, 2009

The election results

As CNN put it a Republican Renaissance. As the Post puts it GOP wins reveal cracks in Obama coalition. Yes the Democrats are on the verge of complete and total defeat. As one pundit put it they’ve lost independents and that’s a bad sign for 2010. Another said economic factors make for a grim prospect for the Democrats in 2010. Yes, that’s certainly true but this is 2009. The economy is most likely going to be in a much different place than it is now.

What do the results of the elections have to do on the national level? Not much. These elections were much more about local issues and local candidates and the strength and weaknesses of those candidates.

Yes, the Democrats lost in Virginia and New Jersey. In Virginia the Dems got their clocks cleaned.

With Virgina it would have been nice if someone on TV or in the papers had given an historical perspective on the Virginia governor contest. Here it is. See if you notice a trend
Year     President       Governor
1977    Carter      Dalton-R
1981    Reagan      Robb-D
1985    Reagan      Baliles-D
1989    Bush      Wilder-D
1993    Clinton      Allen-R
1997    Clinton      Gilmore-R
2001    Bush      Warner-D
2005    Bush      Kaine-D
2009    Obama      McDonnell-R

Also about 1.7 million fewer people voted. Now does that excuse how badly the Democrats did no it doesn’t. Deeds was just a horrible candidate. As one of my friends said, who lives in Virginia, Deeds never made a strong case for voting for him.

New Jersey is the more problematic loss. But just about everyone around Corzine and his mother was under investigation and indictment. Also the economy in New Jersey was lousy.

Lost in all of this coverage is what happened in New York in the special election in district 23. A Republican district that’s been Republican for like 125 years was won by a Democrat.

What would have been nice is some balanced coverage about what was happening.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

A Mouse in the House, Again

Nothing more enjoyable than coming home from a hard days work and find your cat playing with a mouse in your bedroom. Oh what fun. The mouse sure wasn't going anywhere. I "trapped" him under a trash can. Put a newspaper underneath the can and then a magazine under that.

Next I took the can outside and released the mouse. Now I'm cleaning and seeing if there are any more visitors in my house. I was going to do a post on the election but that will have to wait until tomorrow

Monday, November 02, 2009

A Spinning Update

Good news on the spinning front. I made it to my class on Saturday. Michelle was there. Instead of just being the sub for one more week, she is now taking over the class. I couldn’t be more happy about this. Saturday morning are back to normal.

Speaking of Saturday the class was a little different. Usually in spinning classes there are more women then men. Usually if you have a class of ten you might at the very most get 3 or 4 guys. On Saturday at the start of the class, there were 6 men and no women. In the end there were 11 of us (people were late it is after all Saturday at 9 am). Five women ended up joing the class once it started. Although one only stayed for half of the class.

I asked my trainer, Ed, why women seemed to be in more of the classed offered by gyms then men. He said the reason was that women know how to do cardio but don’t know all that much about the machines and even less about free weights. He wasn’t saying it as any sort of a put down but that’s sort of the way things work at the gym. He said women should be doing more with machines and free weights to help them out with their bones and posture.

One other bit of training/exercising/weight news and I was below 175 on Saturday morning. The weight is ever ever so slowly moving in the right direction. The goal of course is to have a weight ceiling of 175 pounds and a weight floor of 170.

Like I said slowly getting there!

Sunday Smile (a day late)

Changing the clocks always throws off my timing. Also this is the third weekend in a row when one or both days its been cloudy and rainy. So here's something to smile about on Monday. And I can always use something to smile about on Monday.