Don’t block the box

While commuting, nothing steams my clams more than blocking the box. What is this blocking of the box you ask? At a four-way intersection, this is when the lanes of traffic selfishly stack up into the intersection in a failed attempt to make it through, and then block other lanes of traffic. It takes every ounce of self control not to viciously attack these people.

Observe a typical blocking of the box scenario

Observe a typical blocking of the box scenario

The people who commit this act must not be very intelligent. Maybe this is a little extreme, however perpetrators of this heinous crime are rude, short sighted and inconsiderate. I often try to imagine what they are thinking inside of their tiny heads, and how they have justified their actions. The short answer is that I can never find justification for their actions. Imagine the scene in the picture above.The bus and cars headed towards the top of the picture have decided that they are more important than everyone else, and they will now intentionally impede traffic in order to assure that they get where they are going. However they will end up not doing this, and simply create a larger mess aka gridlock. This is the equivalent of being mad that there is a line for the toilet, then proceeding to pee on the ground and everyone else waiting for the toilet, thereby encouraging others to do the same and ultimately causing pandemonium and the breakdown of society.

DC has had enough, likely due to them knowing how mad it makes me.

So next time you think it wise to block the box, instead follow these easy steps:

  1. End yourself
  2. Repeat step one

F*@# the woods, give me some toys

As I’m sure everyone knows, the outdoor community is outraged with a Toys ‘R’ Us commercial that has recently come out. Basically, it shows a gaggle of children getting onto an outdoor education bus, and then being pleasantly surprised that they will not be learning about the outdoors, but instead going to Toys ‘R’ Us. See the commercial below.

Needless to say, my fellow outdoor enthusiasts are totally un-stoked about this, because of the obvious association that says the outdoors and outdoor education are boring, and materialism and toys are good/better.

I’m torn on being upset. How about the fact that my fellow outdoor amigos and I spend inordinate amounts of money on material items called ‘outdoor gear’ (but really toys one uses outdoors). And dig a little deeper here towards the ‘behind the scenes’ and one learns that these children are from Boys and Girls Club, Big Brothers/Big Sisters. So these kids could use a toy, and the outdoor community could perhaps learn to chill a bit.

Regardless of their deserving manner, it appears this is not really touched upon in the advertisement. What is touched upon is that the outdoors are boring, and toys are fun/better. For a 6-11 year old, I sadly think this might be true. But this is likely due to the fact that they don’t really have fun associations with the outdoors. Children grow up in suburbs or cities with no positive association to the woods and the outdoors. And the outdoor education cliche of being boring is frankly speaking, often times true. What 6-11 year old wants to learn about trees and leaves? Lets immediately fix this by making the outdoors fun for the same reason adults love the outdoors, it’s an adventure. Children love adventures, and they love fun, which is why they love toys. The second we make the outdoors fun, is the second that children will grow up cherishing them, and thus have the desire to protect and defend them later on. I say we need more programs that bring children to the woods to play, that turn the outdoors into a playground, that make it an adventure. Let’s present the outdoors to children in a manner that a child would understand, not in the manner that a botanist would understand.

This kid is having fun outdoors, and will always have fun outdoors

This kid is having fun outdoors, and will thus always have fun outdoors (sadly this is not me as a child)

I loved the outdoors at a young age. This is because I was fortunate enough to be a part of groups that put me in adventurous and fun outdoor programs, as well as having parents that supported my desires to explore local trails and country parks. Once the activity is fun, then the desire to learn and be an advocate will follow.

Also, if I had a nickle for every time I ran through Toys ‘R’ Us like a maniac as a child, I would be able to afford that new GoPro.

Tiny femurs, bummer

Whenever you do something a lot, you generally want to do it better and better. And by better and better, I mean you want it to stop hurting when you do it. No I’m not talking about a more efficient back hand for the S&M club, I’m talking about bike fit.

"same rules as a mechanical bull"

“same rules as a mechanical bull”

Finding the right position on a bike can open up a whole new world of insecurities, because it makes you dwell on all the things you thought were correct but now  know are wrong (kinda made me think of creationists who read a book for the first time). Knowing all the false knowledge you shlept around for all these years, just think about what else is wrong? I like to think I took it in strides. Things I learned:

  1. My femurs are off the charts! like in a bad way though, they are super tiny.
  2. My feet are big, and my shoes are likely too small. And seeing as how they already look like boats, this does not bode well for an already over-taxed shoe rack.
  3. I fit in-between two different bike sizes. So neither will be amazing, both will be solid.
  4. When an onlooker asks if you’re a professional because you “look serious”, say yes; don’t say “no I only do this for fun”. Because the follow up of a confused yet insulting stare isn’t worth it.

In all, my bike fit was an enjoyable and professional experience that I can honestly say was totally worth it. You leave more comfortable, and depending on how you handle criticism, better off for it.

A special thanks to the good folks at Bike Doctor Waldorf!

Black gold down

I, like many, enjoy coffee.

I’m not over the top per say, however I do enjoy what some have referred to as black gold (some say this is actually a term for oil, however coffee is number two next to oil for most traded commodity, so lets roll with it).

One thing that anyone can figure out right away is that coffee can cost a good amount of money. Purchasing a good ol’ cup of Joe these days is a real drag, and will certainly leave you broke. The solution? Buy a coffee machine!

The first coffee machine I have dealt with? It was Mr. Coffee. Mr. Coffee was a real POS. He was in the apartment and was something we dealt with. He had no features, and simply was there. He never really broke, but was never something anyone really liked, as the coffee always left a ‘whatever’ sensation. Coffee machine number two, Senor Cafe, wasn’t even a coffee machine, it was some kind of cheap, older espresso type machine. I’m told it worked at some point, however I never witnessed this. During its first use, it failed to work, and during maintenance it exploded, literally. Next on the timeline was RoboCoffee, which was a coffee machine of the future, complete with gadgets and screens. It was a cool machine, right up until it died, unceremoniously. What then you ask? Well I’ll tell you what, I gave up with the modern world, and did french press, Monsieur Cafe we called him. All this lasted until Christmas, when I was gifted a real game changer, a fully functional espresso machine from Italy.

All hail, the mighty Signori!

All hail, the mighty Signori!

Thus began the reign of The Signori. The Signori was a fantastic machine, capable of producing any espresso beverage, however was used mostly for single and double shots. As this beverage evolved to  define me as a person, so did the Signori ingrain himself into my life as an integral and requisite part of who I was. However, as all things in life, the term of the Signori was cut tragically short. He died, from unknown causes in July.

Now I am again without a special somebody in my life, helping me brew delicious beverages. The happy ending here? Non so far. Its just a sad tale of coffee machines, and how they come into my life, and then break my heart, time and time again.

I’ve got three to four problems, and a derelict coffee machine is all of them.

UPDATE: The warranty gods have spoken, and they have said “here’s a new coffee machine”. I therefore welcome to the history of coffee machines The Signori Duo. Live long and prosper little dude.

Those two glowing lights can mean only one thing, cafe time!

Those two glowing lights can mean only one thing, it’s coffee time!

The war on lunch

I’ve been watching a lot of animal documentaries lately. And the one thing I can say about them is they make me very hungry. Just watching all those happy lions and wolves and other large predators bite into a tasty animal, makes me really look forward to my next meal. This increase in excitement for meals sadly makes me angry as of late, because I am seeing what I can only describe as a war on lunch.

This animal is about have a fantastic lunch

This animal is about have a fantastic lunch.

Now by war on lunch, I mean people are not taking their food as seriously as I am. And by people I mean the restaurants near my office in Penn Quarter. I don’t always bring food to eat at work, because I’m human and I make mistakes. However no mistake I have ever made is as large as the one I see every day during the war on lunch. And that is of course the complete and utter lack of Chipotle near my office.

What hell-scape were the drugged up leadership of Washington D.C. thinking of when they made Penn Quarter/wherever the hell I work? Was it by accident, or did the city government of Washington D.C. willfully want my lunch to be the sadder than Vince Grays molest-a-stache?

What he actually said was, "It it feels so good....when I prevent Chipotle from building a location in the Penn Quarter"

What he actually said was, “It it feels so good….when I prevent Chipotle from building a location in the Penn Quarter.”

I think, nay I know, that someone is out to ruin me. They want me sit in sea of lunch options that wreak of corruption and plot to rip me off. Countless overpriced options attack me during the war, making it seem like there is no escape from the endless and daily pain of restaurants like Le Pain Quotidien.

There is hope though. I see the light. Just this day I walked by a building being demolished.

Heres your chance DC, build me a monument of gastro-happiness

Here’s your chance DC, build me a monument of gastro-happiness.

In this space left by this embarrassment of a building, I propose a monument to the gods, Chipotle. Now some of you crafty enough to look at Google maps or drunk enough to look at bing maps might say, “oh well there’s a Chipotle at China Town, you should go there.” To this I would say nothing. I would say nothing because I would know that you are mentally ill and it would be a fools errand to speak to you ever again. This once great hope of a restaurant is besieged daily by the scourge of the earth. The only people you will find there are those with no respect for Chipotle and those who insist on making this once happy place a good case for the often proposed final solution/extermination of mankind.

For all these reasons is why I propose a 10 story Chipotle in the place of this derelict building, where there is never a wait, never a stomach left untouched, and never a person standing in line wondering what sad dark corner of the earth the developers of Penn Quarter were born in.

Together we can win the war on lunch.

UPDATE:

It has come to my attention that members of congress are spending $2,500 a day at Qdoba. With the leaders of our nation forced to eat at the mockery of burrito production that is Qdoba, it’s no wonder our country is in the difficult position we find it in.

You win some you lose some

Sometimes things move so fast it’s hard to even focus on what is happening. These are the times when important things tend to happen, both good and bad. I am now eager to share a couple things that have happened to me recently. I found a job, and thus began the process of setting down some roots. I quickly found a house, I moved into the house, and the house was burglarized almost immediately. This unfortunate burglary has ironically given me several things, one of which is an immediate free pass from ‘white people problems’ for at least a month or so. The event has also made me a little bit jumpy, afraid of my own shadow, and it has additionally given me a great excuse for why I choose not to share my sad little thoughts with the internet for some time.

Although I jest slightly about my poor luck, it does raise some interesting issues. One of which is my general malaise about the entire event. I am not super angry, I’m not super freaked out, and the only aspect I’m really thinking about on a regular basis is did the bandits get my new carpet dirty (it appears like we are in the clear). But I do want to know why I’m so blasé on this. Have a lifetime of white people problems allowed me to handle this decidedly real life issue in a mature fashion? Has my hectic schedule of the past couple months made me too tired to react? Many potential answers exist, however I’m no closer to an answer than I was the moment I walked up to my “artfully” disassembled front door and then emotionlessly reacted from then until now.

I truly wish I could have made my burglary more exciting, but I wasn't even home alone.

I truly wish I could have made my burglary more exciting, but I wasn’t even able to use my extensive knowledge of Rube Goldberg devices.

The burglary took from me not only my false sense of security, but also my porn machine/face book device. My appliance held numerous pictures I had set aside for a large and potentially lovely jaunt down my past several months since returning from my adventure abroad. However I will now simply have to share all the things left over on my phone. Please enjoy,

I’ve got very few problems

…and they are mostly white people problems.

Entertainment and distractions come at us from every direction these days. Whether it be on your phone, on your tablet device, your computer, your laptop, or your brand new hybrid laptop/tablet that serves no purpose, the modern human is seeing more than they ever have. However let’s be frank, not all means and methods are created equal.

I am not even talking about the hardware we use to view things. I’m talking about the programs and service providers. Some have come to be synonymous with online viewing, such as Netflix or Hulu. However even these stalwarts of online streaming are not super cool anymore. I wont say anything bad about Netflix, however Hulu is truly looking for a swift kick to the pants. There was a time when I groaned furiously when they added a 20 second ad at the beginning of my program. Now I spend more time “customizing my ad experience” via choosing what type of Jeff Goldblum PayPal rant I want than I do actually watching the newest New Girl. Do I want Jeff talking super fast with medium hand gesticulation? Or perhaps just fast but with heavy hand gesticulations? Or would I prefer full on stereotype jewish man? The choice is truly mine. It’s too bad that this doesn’t save you from still watching ads within my program that are neither relevant nor interesting to me.

Jeff imparts his wisdom concerning online payment sites

And then there are the upstarts who are so close yet so far away. I’m talking to you HBOgo. How does this go wrong? With such a novel idea of on demand HBO programing whenever you want, it seems impossible to mess up, however it often is. The fatal flaw is that the menu of options is fantastic, nearly every show and every season with movies and even dirty movies. However its the menu you can only see and never watch. This is because for whatever reason, it rarely if ever works. It simply loads forever, or just crashes. As I write this pathetic rant I meant to show screen shots, however the program wont load on the computer. And when it does load, it breaks the basics of good streaming by having the worst interface bar ever. The volume can only be operated by someone whose mouse has the sensitivity to perform surgery via the internet, and you can’t even pause with the space bar. I mean come on!

So really you can tell several things are going on here. One, my life is rather dull if all I can find time to complain about is online streaming sites, and two that my life is really dull because I must be spending all my time on online streaming sites.

Which is true.