Tuesday, July 30, 2013

2Political Episode 90


2Political Podcast Episode 90 is now available. You can listen to it or download it from the podcast site, 2political.com. You can leave comments there as well as download or listen to any episode (you can access the five most recent episodes from the list on the right side of my blog).
At the start today, Arthur explains what's been up with the delays and such. Then, we begin this episode with Jason telling us about his going to the Paul McCartney concert recently.

We spend a little time talking about Internet difficulties. It should be easier to change email addresses. It's been awhile since we recorded, so when we move onto politics, we have a lot to say. We begin with the Supreme Court rulings we missed out on talking about at the time. This leads to talk about immigration reform and Republican chicanery.

The last topic is THAT trial. We don't agree about all aspects.

Everyone's welcome to leave a comment—agree or disagree!

Links for this episode:
All Jason’s blog posts on the Paul McCartney concert
Gay Marriage Becomes Legal In The UK Because Conservative David Cameron Had The Guts To Stand Up To His Own Party
Gay marriage reveals surprise contrast between ‘starchy’ Britain and ‘freewheeling’ France – the Washington Post article Jason mentioned
Equal justice under law – finally – Arthur’s blog post on the first Green Card issued to a gay couple
House GOP sponsor wants new voting rights law – The article Arthur mentioned
Arthur’s blog, podcasts and videos can be accessed here.

Get 2Poltical Podcast for free on iTunes

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Nationals' Fan Appreciation Day

What a great day. To actually get down on the field was very cool. By my count 23 of the players came out on to the field.

Here are a few pictures. I'll post a few more tomorrow. And after a great meet and greet, they went on to win the game. Hoping for the same results tomorrow.

The First Guys Out

The first guys out were Kurt Suzuki, Ian Desmond, Ryan Zimmerman and Bryce Harper.

They did a quick walk around. I have to think they were told to do that since they are sort of the big stars of the team and would never have gotten around the field if they'd stopped. Desmond did come out later and worked the crowd but not on the side of the field I was on.

I joked with the people around me that I got some really good pictures of their hats. But you can sort of see their faces.

The Nationals' Pictures Make the Rounds

Then along came the pictures.

I have to say I was surprised at how big Craig Stammen is. I'm not talking about how tall he is but how big his upper body is. I guess I always think of pictures as rather lanky like Tyler Clippard and Stephen Strasburg. Strasburg did a quick walk through like the first guys out. Others like Clippard, Stammen and Gonzalez interacted more with people.

Craig Stammen and Tyler Clippard

Craig Stammen

Stephen Strasburg

Gio Gonzalez

Jordan Zimmermann

More from Nats Fan Appreciation Day

These pictures are from me making my way out of the park.

Taylor Jordan seemed so incredibly pleased to out on the field talking to the fans. His handler finally said they had to move along but Jordan signed a few more autographs before sheepishly saying he had to go.

Adam LaRoche was friendly too.

But by far the most friendly guy on the field and who signed and shook hands with just about everyone was Davey Johnson. He was one of the first guys out and didn't get through half the crowd.

It was great day. Only draw back is I forgot to use sun screen. My neck is very very red. Oh well.

Tomorrow a game and I hope a win.

Let's go NATS!

Taylor Jordan
Craig Stammen and Adam LaRoche
Adam LaRoche
Davey Johnson

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Nats blow it again.

The Nats blow it again. Strasburg has one bad pitch in the second that yields a home run. Then he is flawless for the next six innings.

This from the Post:

Strasburg committed one mistake in eight luminous innings, dragging his teammates toward an opportunity to snap their skid. They kicked and screamed in a 4-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates, another in a string of daily nadirs, an expansion of their capacity for dispiriting defeats. Fans fled Nationals Park during a three-run ninth-inning implosion. The ones who stayed witnessed a blown call that cost the Nationals a chance to come back.

He gave them 12 strikeouts and allowed one run in eight innings. His offense kneecapped him, allowing left-hander Francisco Liriano to flirt with a no-hit bid.

How does the offense respond during that time? Well it doesn't. Relievers give up addition runs per usual. Only scoring by Nats comes in the bottom of the 9th. Werth homers and scores two. But that's it.

Some help for the loss also went to poor umpiring in the 9th. More from the Post:

Span bounced to second baseman Neil Walker. He fielded the ball and lunged to tag Ramos on his way to second. Second base umpire Laz Diaz pointed at Ramos — a tag. Walker flipped to first — the game.

Or was it?

“Nope,” Ramos said. “Not even close. He told me, ‘He tagged you. I didn’t hear it, but I saw it.’ I said, ‘You didn’t see anything.’ Not even close. Maybe he want to go home.”

Replays proved Ramos correct — Walker would have needed Inspector Gadget’s arm to tag out Ramos.

But that's the way things have been going this season for the Nationals. This is the sixth straight loss. They stand nine games behind Atlanta. It remains to be seen if they can stop their race to the bottom. So far they haven't shown that they can.

To quote Charlie Brown. Augh!!!!!!!!!!!

2Political Episode 89

2Political Podcast Episode 89 is now available. You can listen to it or download it from the podcast site, 2political.com. You can leave comments there as well as download or listen to any episode (you can access the five most recent episodes from the list on the right side of my blog).

Arthur continues to have scheduling conflicts, but rather than have yet another Lost Episode we decided to post this much-delayed episode, anyway. There are sound issues—Jason's air conditioner. Arthur tried to remove that, but it made it sound like Jason was talking under water. Instead, he used what seemed the somewhat better version.

After general chitchat, we go on to our first topic, the NSA spying scandal. Like a lot of people, we have concerns, like, who's watching the watchers? We talk about all the swirling interests in the background, from political to commercial and beyond. Toward the end we talk briefly about the Special Elections for US Senate seats and the cowardice of Chris Christie. Could either of us vote for a Republican?

Everyone’s welcome to comment (agree or disagree!).

Links for this episode:
That Equality Thing – Roger Green’s blog post that Arthur mentioned
Arthur’s blog, podcasts and videos can be accessed here.

Get 2Poltical Podcast for free on iTunes

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

All the Presidents Out at Nationals' Park

All of them all together. 

A Plus for Metro But A Big Minus Too

I’m going to talk about the plus from Metro first. The plus is the ease of getting home from Nationals' games. I now know to enter the New Jersey Avenue entrance to the Navy Yard stop. There are way fewer people using that entrance. It also places you where the last car of the train going toward Gallery Place stops.

I wait for an eight car train. I never have any trouble getting on. In fact many times the car is hardly full at all. There are usually plenty of seats. And this with the platform full of people. There are Metro employees on the scene saying the train coming in is an eight car train and to move down the platform but people for some reason just don’t move. The car last night pulled into the station completely empty. Navy Yard was obviously its first stop.

It’s a quick and comfortable ride to Gallery Place where I transfer to the Red Line and head home.

Now the minus. This involves Gallery Place, last Sunday and the Nationals’ game. There was track work on the Red Line this past weekend. They were single tracking around Gallery Place. So trains were only running on one side of the platform. As in trains going in both directions were using the same platform.

I have no problem getting on at the Navy Yard. I get off at Gallery Place and head toward the side for Glenmont trains. Except you can’t get to the platform it’s been taped off. There is one sign that gives very vague directions as to what is going on. So I go over to the other side. I wait for the train going toward Glenmont. It turns out it just so happens to be the next train coming into the station. I get on.

Many people get on who don’t realize this train is not going toward Shady Grove. I tell a couple of people about to get on it’s not going in the direction they want. But they say this is the Shady Grove side. I say there’s track work this weekend and both trains are sharing the same track. The next train will be going in the direction they want to. Several people near me on the train hear this and get off the train. Now what’s wrong with this picture.

I will say the train operator did announced which direction the train was going in. But people don’t always listen to that especially when they think it is going in the direction they need to go.

What’s wrong with this picture. Why am I the person giving out this information to people on the platform. Where are the Metro employees during all of this. Well they are no where to be seen.

Why is it that information to help people get around the Metro system is always kept away from the people who need it the most: the riders.

I described what happened now I’m going to describe what should have happened.

When I got off the Green Line train from Navy Yard at Gallery Place I should have been told  by the operator of the train I was on that only one side of the platform was open. Also that all trains were running on one platform. At area taped off by Metro, there should have been several Metro employees saying to people that there was track work and that all trains were boarding from the other platform. On the platform in use, Metro employees should have been spaced along the platform telling people what was going on. When a trained pulled in Metro employees should have told which direction the train was going. There should also have been an announcement over the public address system letting people know the train now arriving is going in this direction.

Would people have still been confused? Yes, because some people only use the Metro to go to the ball game and for nothing else. But at least the information would have been out there and there would have been people to go to for help.

What does Sunday show about Metro? It reaffirms the complete and total contempt Metro has for its riders.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Great Time with the Food and Friends Gang at Nats Park

Last night was really fun at Nationals Park. The gang from Food and Friends got to together and went to a game. We were supposed to go in June but the game got rained out. So last night was our make up game.

The seats were great. The weather cooperated and the company was fantastic!

Here's the view from the seats.

Everyone met up on time. Diane took the water taxi from Alexandria and shared these views with us.

And here are a few of the gang enjoying themselves at the game.

Cheryl, Bennett and Dave

Diane, Joel and Louise

Cheryl, Bennett and Dave

Diane, me, Joel and Louise. This is a fantastic photo.

A little more about the game later. But it was a wonderful night out with friends!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Having Dinner at Canal Park

I'm having dinner at Canal Park which is right near Nats Park. It's a little cooler today. There's a nice breeze. Enjoying my sandwich while kids are playing in the fountain. 

Wither the Nationals?

At the start of the season it was World Series or bust. It now is looking more and more like a bust of a season. For a team that looked so incredible on paper well looks incredible on paper. On the field it is anything but. There have been more "turn around" moments to this season I've lost count of them.

The last game I went to was on July 4th. Wilson Ramos was back in the line up. He hit a three run home run. The line up was back to where it was supposed to be. This was going to be the start of the run. Since that game the Nationals have gone 5-8. They now sit 2 games under 500, 7 games out of first and in third place.

Nothing seems to be working in their favor. This past series with the Dodgers illustrates that point. The Nationals had two dazzling starts from their pictures on Friday and Saturday and lost both games. In those two games they had 21 runners in scoring position but only 2 crossed the plate. They loaded the bases twice in one game and came up with no runs at all. Sunday Jordan Zimmermann just got hammered in the second inning. That can happen from time to time. The response from the rest of the team was 3 hits. Two were home runs so at least the game wasn't a shut out.

It is painful to go to these games because you know what the talent on the field can do. It's time they start showing that talent now. Or the struggle will not be for the World Series but to see if they can be above 500 by the end of the season.

Zimmermann on the mound on Sunday.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Hey Jude from the Paul McCartney Concert

Paul McCartney singing Hey Jude at Nationals Park. For me this was the highlight of the concert. It got everyone up and it got everyone singing. And all 45,000 plus got to join in on the chorus. Gave me goose bumps. It was soooooo Fantastic!

It's Too Damn Hot

Boy is it ever in DC.  The temperature is bad enough but the heat index is out of sight. The other day when I left work the heart index, according to the app on my phone, was 112 degress.

My from the metro to home I'm reduced to a moist towelette. I literally have to peel my clothes off my me because they are so wet. I then jump in the shower to cool off.

Needless to say the humidity zaps all the energy out of me. I have just enough to make dinner and then I turn into a couch potato. Thus the reason I haven't posted in almost a week.

Today it is supposed to get better. There is front that is supposed to come through and cool things off. I hope that helps me get out of my stupor and I can post some things.

Stay cool everyone!!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Paul McCartney in Concert




Did I mention that it was WOW!!! That would be an under statement to describe the concert.

We went down early to eat. We stopped off at a couple of places. One seats wouldn't be available until around 6 which we thought was too late. Another the menu didn't appeal all that much to us and there was only seating outside (it looked like it might rain). Finally we ended up at Potbelly's which turned out to be a great choice. It wasn't very crowded when we got there so we got to sit down and enjoy our meal.

It also brought us in to the side of the park. We missed the huge crowd that was getting off at the Metro station. Here's a view looking down half street toward the Metro stop a few minutes after we got in.

We were lucky to hear the sound check. We were able to hear at the sound check: Penny Lane, Silly Love Songs and No More Lonely nights. None of these songs did he end up playing at the concert.  

So we got to our seats. I have to say the seats were spectacular.

Then it was waiting to see the stadium to fill in and get ready for Sir Paul

Lisa and Sue all seated all all ready for the show to start!
And it began to fill in rather quickly.

And then out he came and we were off!!!

Here's the set list from our show:

Eight Days a Week
(The Beatles song)
Junior's Farm
(Wings song)
All My Loving
(The Beatles song)
Listen to What the Man Said
(Wings song)
Let Me Roll It
(Wings song) ("Foxey Lady Jam after LMRI)
Paperback Writer
(The Beatles song)
My Valentine
Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five
(Wings song)
The Long and Winding Road
(The Beatles song)
Maybe I'm Amazed
I've Just Seen a Face
(The Beatles song)
We Can Work It Out
(The Beatles song)
Another Day
And I Love Her
(The Beatles song)
(The Beatles song)
Here Today
Your Mother Should Know
(The Beatles song)
Lady Madonna
(The Beatles song)
All Together Now
(The Beatles song)
Lovely Rita
(The Beatles song)
Mrs. Vandebilt
(Wings song)
Eleanor Rigby
(The Beatles song)
Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!
(The Beatles song)
(The Beatles song)
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
(The Beatles song)
Band on the Run
(Wings song)
Back in the U.S.S.R.
(The Beatles song)
Let It Be
(The Beatles song)
Live and Let Die
(Wings song)
Hey Jude
(The Beatles song)

Day Tripper
(The Beatles song)
Hi, Hi, Hi
(Wings song)
Get Back
(The Beatles song)

Encore 2:
(The Beatles song)
Helter Skelter
(The Beatles song)
Golden Slumbers
(The Beatles song)
Carry That Weight
(The Beatles song)
The End
(The Beatles song)

It was an amazing concert to say the least. One of the neat things I noticed were three teenage guys who couldn't have been more than 15 or 16 with one of their dad's. They were up for the entire concert and new most if not all of the words to the songs. That was just so cool.

Also a little more thought into the concert is that Sir Paul sung songs some of which were at least 50 years old and are cultural touch stones. Hey Jude (which went on for almost seven minutes with audience participation). Let It Be. Live and Let Die which because of how it's performed has sort of become the movie theme.

It was just a fantastic wonderful night.

And the seats were great!!!!!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Snoopy Goes to the Vet

Here's is the first in a long series from Peanuts about Snoopy getting sick and going to the vets and then on to the hospital. Here is part one.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Joys of Changing Your Email Address

I switched from DirecTV to Xfinity. I also changed email providers from Earthlink. I thought the switch over from email address would be pretty simple. After all how many places can your email address be.

Well a whole hell of a lot of places. All your credit card or bank accounts. Then all the other sites or services you subscribe to. I’ve also notice that for many places that you receive emails from it is really easy to unsubscribe but it is not as easy to change your email address. In some cases it is impossible to change the address.

Then of course on all these sites you have to remember what your screen name is. Thankfully on most, but not all, sites that’s your email address. Then the fun is remembering what your password is. I know they say you’re not supposed to use the same password for sites but with all the places one has to log into how is that possible. In some cases I have to ask my password be sent to me because I just can’t remember what it is.

I haven’t changed blogger yet or my Apple accounts yet. I’m building up my courage to do that. I hope it will be easy. I’m concerned about my Apple account. If I change the email address will it be changed on my iPhone because you’re prompted for the email address when you download new apps.

My goal is to have this all done by the end of the month. Here’s hoping I make it.

Monday, July 08, 2013

A Great Four Day 4th of July Weekend

There is of course the wonderful fireworks. Actually there were two set of fireworks. The big one on July 4th and the one the night before after the Nats game (the game itself was less than memorable).

There were two baseball games. For a change I got to actually see the Nationals win a game. They came close to snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. But they didn’t for a change.

It was very strange to be heading out for a baseball game a little after 9 in the morning. The reason of course was to get the game over with before the crowds starting coming in for the concert and the fireworks. I wondered if the two beer garden like places near the park would be open that early. Well they were not only open but people were already drinking. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised but I was.

The game was very exciting too. The final 8-5 for the Nats. They were ahead 5-2 until the 7th inning when Brewers scored three runs two of them off home runs. The fans were a little deflated after that. But in the bottom of the 7th Wilson Ramos came up and with two men on hit a home run. This was his first game back from the injury he suffered. His at bats accounted for five of the eight runs. After the home run, the fans kept clapping and clapping until he came out for his curtain call. It was a great way for him to be back in the lineup. It was long game but Nats fans went home happy.

The American flag at Nationals Park.

I went back home and rested and had dinner. Then around 8:15 or so headed out for the fireworks. Amazing as always. See earlier posts for video and pictures.

Friday dawned hot again and very humid. It seems that’s are pattern these days (but at least not as hot as last year when temps were around the century mark). Friday I met up with Stu and saw Dispicable Me 2 at Gallery Place. We liked the movie but thought it had a few too many plot lines especially for a kids movie. The theater was pretty crowded for the show we went to. It was rather funny to see groups of people show up about five minute before the show started and be surprised they couldn’t sit together. They went hunting for seats. In fact seat hunting kept going for awhile since some people arrived after the previews had started.

Then we went across the street to Legal Seafood and had a great dinner. I’d gotten a gift certificate from my brother last year for my birthday and we used that.

Our wonderful food from Legal Sea Food

It was great

Saturday I went to a cook out. This was a last minute invite from someone I’d know in college. We’ve seen each other a couple of times over the past few years. My friend Mark was invited too. So Saturday afternoon I drove over to Mark’s and then we hopped in his car and off we went. I had a really great time. The food was fantastic and the conversation was too. Very fun indeed.

Sunday it was lunch with Tom. A tour of one of the new apartment buildings that opened up in his area and then some fun conversation.

In between all these events I watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows 2 like four times. Well at least parts of it. It was on HBO and I get HBO for free with my new Xfinity service. Then last evening I got out the book and reread the last 75 pages or so.

And that was my very busy four day weekend.