Thursday, September 11, 2008

Live in Just over TEN MINUTES!

Folks, Brian Kapur and I will be going on the air in just about ten minutes. Please listen in, today and every Thursday at five... here's a simple phrase to remember it by... Live at Five! Here's your link guys:

http://www.wmucsports.com/sports-high.m3u

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

New Desk Setup!

Wow, this makes me feel much more like I'm at home. At home, I have a desk setup where i can look out the window because i dont have the awkward shelves on top of them. But at Maryland, I had the shelves there and was facing the wall. But now I can see something else besides my boring old wall. The shelves have been removed and I am now facing the door. I can look outside and see people! But nobody comes in and talks any. I'm going to put up a sign encouraging people to be friendly. Also, my wall is blank. Pictures are necessary.

Oh and by the way, Ike is going to smack the Texas coast on Saturday. Going to take a break from this storm for a bit.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

5pm Sat: Hanna Update

Wow... before I could even get time to put another update in, the storm exited the area with much less bite than the bark that they were calling for before it hit. Winds only gusted to 34 mph, which is 5 below the lower bound of Tropical Storm force. Sustained winds didn't pass 20 mph... which was a lot better than I expected. I was thinking that we could get close to sustained 40, but gusts didn't even approach that.

I'll put up my full post mortem tomorrow, including grading my forecast. TS Warnings do continue, so the winds will be decent. They could actually be stronger now than while it was raining. All in all, it was a pretty weak storm. Now our attention turns to Ike, which could make Mike Tidwell say I told you so. Louisiana had better watch out for this one. I'll be keeping an eye on that. Next update will be tomorrow's post mortem on Tropical Storm Hanna. That's all for today.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

11 pm Thu: TS Hanna Update


There you can see it. The track has shifted west over the past few hours, and I'm still sticking with my guns... Charleston, SC will be the landfall point. I might have to revise that as things change. Tropical Storm Watch is still out... and I think this thing rolls up the I-95 corridor. The NHC is underplaying the 25% chance of TS winds in the DC area, because the storm will be closer and it is such a big storm. Those chances will rise tomorrow as the storm approaches the coast. Landfall tomorrow evening. Then we have to watch the effects approach the DC area. Live blogging will take place with embedded radars and what not. This is going to be a fun storm to follow, and it should be a rather quick blow. Get ready guys -- this is our big storm for now.

Next update will be post 8 am advisory... maybe holding off til post 11 am.

5 pm Thurs: Hanna Update


We're still at Tropical Storm intensity, but only just. And the DC area is just to the left of dead center in the cone. And there's going to be impacts. We're talking about winds 40-60 mph if not more... and heavy rains, on the order of 3-6 inches. On this side of the storm, tornadoes probably won't happen with any thunderstorms. But we'll have to keep an eye on that.

We're also under a Tropical Storm Watch. That means Tropical Storm force winds could be possible in 36 hours or less. There will have to be an eye kept on that as well. A Flash Flood Watch has been issued in case the rain gets really heavy. Again, I'm not letting any guard down at this point. We're in the cone, so we need to watch out. Anyone outside the cone but nearby needs to keep an eye out too. Next update will be after the 8 or 11 pm advisory, whichever one warrants an update.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

11 am Wed: Hanna Update


The gods must be crazy! This thing is going everywhere, and I think a New Jersey driver must be behind it. Anyway, it's going all the heck over, and until the shear relaxes, we won't really know where it's going from here. I still think a landfall in South Carolina, racing northward through NC and VA and off into the Northeast. I-95 is going to get some high winds and much needed rain. The reliable models still follow yesterday's path, and I'm sticking with them. I think we're going to know a lot more after the 2 pm and 5 pm advisories today, once this thing starts moving again. It's moving north at 6 mph, and should start moving towards the northwest again and picking up its speed... moving away from the area of high wind shear... and strengthening. We should be at hurricane strength again tomorrow or Friday. All eyes should be on Hanna all over the Southeast coast. Keep it tuned here, and the next update will be after the 2 or 5 pm advisory.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

11 pm Tue: Hanna Update


Here's your 11 pm update... we could be talking about a hurricane again on Wednesday or Thursday, and by then it will be moving through the central and northern Bahamas. Then it starts to accelerate, turn more to the north and make a landfall on the Southeast Coast probably on Friday. From there, it makes an impact on our area for late in the week and into the early part of the weekend. How much of an impact is still uncertain at this point... but should become more known in a day or two.

However, what we do know, or think we know, is from the 120 hours starting at 8 pm this evening, there is a 20-30% chance of tropical storm winds affecting our area through 8 pm Sunday. Then there's the possibility of (as of now) 5-6" of rain accompanying it. So it'll be important to keep a very close eye on this system. Next update is most likely going to be after the 8 am advisory tomorrow morning... but if I'm still up around 2 then I'll post one then. That's all for now.

5 pm Tue: Hanna Update


Okay it's a bit after the 5pm advisory, but now all the graphics have been updated by the Weather Channel. We still don't know exactly the full effects of this storm. Look at how wide the cone is. By Saturday afternoon, it could either be in the Ohio Valley weakened because of how much time it has spent over land, east of the Outer Banks of North Carolina, or somewhere in between. What a spread. It should start heading to the northwest sometime today, and that should mean a better forecast confidence. My guess is a hit in South Carolina... that means right down the center of the cone... but the reason I'm saying that is because I've looked at the models, and it appears to be heading in that direction. I think it then goes through North Carolina and rips right through the center of Virginia. As for effects on us... it's too early to tell. But if history continues to be an example, it could be pretty decent. I'll keep everyone posted, and will have an update later this evening... probably after the 8 and/or 11 pm advisories.

11 am Hanna Update


Here's the very latest with now Tropical Storm Hanna. It weakened slightly overnight, meaning it may not hit the Southeast Coast with as much strength as previously thought. However, it looks like we're still going to feel some impacts. Saturday looks like the most likely day for the most impacts, as you can see by the projected path on your right, which was updated as of 11 am today.

I don't know what the full effects of this storm may be, considering it's still a few days out, but there's a 10-20% chance that we could see some TS strength winds with this system. Those chances could increase as it approaches a landfall sometime on Friday. Exact landfall is still unknown, but it could hit anywhere between Florida and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I'll be tracking this storm throughout the day, and the next update will likely be after the 5 pm advisory... due to classes I probably won't be near a computer when the 2 pm one comes out. That's all for now.

Hanna Headed Toward Us?


Well apparently we could be under the gun by the end of the week... from Hurricane Hanna, which is currently hitting the Bahamas. As of the 11 pm advisory and projected path, we are officially in the "cone". What I'm hearing is there could be some decent rains and some fairly decent winds.

Every advisory (except for probably the 2 am and 5 am ones), I'll be updating on this storm, and highlighting the threats that we could see. I'm also hearing we could see close to 5 or 6 inches of rain, as well as some 35 to 40 mph winds... SUSTAINED. So we will see what happens, as this is a pretty decent threat to be a weekend spoiler. Hey, at the beginning of the year, the experts said the East Coast has gotten fairly lucky over the past few years... looks like things might be changing by the end of the week.

I'll post another update before class tomorrow. Probably after the 8 or 11 am advisory. That's all for tonight.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Maryland vs. Delaware

Okay, so I'll be trying my hand at live updates from the Maryland vs. Delaware football game today! Please check out my Twitter page which this blog links to. We'll see how it goes and make a decision on future updates.

That's all.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A Huge Change

Forget what I've said in the past about firing people. Forget that I mentioned Lenny Harris, forget that I named Jim Bowden, forget all of it. After taking a serious look at the team over the past few weeks, I'm convinced that Bowden is doing his job. Let's first start off with the question that will pull everyone into this argument: Did anyone else seriously expect to finish anywhere besides last place in the NL East? Didn't think so. Sure, I thought 85 wins were in the picture, but it was really more wishcasting than anything. There's now no possible way that 85 wins can happen by the way - 82 is the most that can happen, and that'd only be 2 games above .500. And it would have to take a perfect record the rest of the way to happen... and that's not happening. Even the best teams can't finish out the season 38-0 (except the 21 game winning streak that the Rockies had last year). Face it - there's probably going to be a couple more years left in the struggle, but I'd like to call out all the hypocrites.

Who got Lastings Milledge from New York? Who got Elijah Dukes and Ryan Zimmerman and Jesus Flores? How about our young pitching? Who started rebuilding that staff? That's right... Jim Bowden. Before you guys criticize a guy like Bowden... put yourself in his shoes. Try to do his job better... if you can, I'd honestly like to see you try and get a guy like Aaron Crow to sign for $4M... still too much for an unproven rookie. Do we really have the money to invest in a guy like that? He hasn't shown us anything on the major league level. What if he goes in and can't perform at anything above AA ball? 9 of 10 picks signed... and we get another pick in the first round next year... 9a, and if the season ended today, we'd also get 1.

On that note... I've decided I'm going to analyze each part of the Nats after September 1st callups for next year. A bit of an early preview, but it's never too late to start looking ahead. On another note, speaking of September, that signals the approach of the hockey season... and so to kick it off, I have launched a brand new blog about the Capitals... take a gander at it over at A Capitals Affair - and depending on what happens in the next couple of days, that blog could get quite exciting. I'll hint at this... if certain things fall into place, we could be talking about a Nats320 equivalent in the Capitals blogosphere. That is, not to get a big head or anything like that. SBF is a great journalist... and it'd be a very lot to ask to be able to compete at his level.

That's all for tonight.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

SWEEP!

How do you like the infield now? Bonifacio and Gonzalez being acquired before the trade deadline, and providing STABILITY for a losing team. The Nationals, winning just five games in July, have played three games in August, and have won all three! It's quite exciting to see them doing so well and establishing the killer instinct that will be so necessary in the next few years as the rebulding process continues and the team starts to win (hopefully).

In other news, I pitched today, and it didn't look very good. Four earned runs in eight innings pitched, and hopefully better results are to come. The first inning looked excellent - I had three up, and three down. I will pitch again tomorrow and see if I can do better then.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Twitter

Taking a clue from a local blog, I decided to try Twitter. It's basically like a mini blog, but also like Facebook statuses. Basically I can update from my cell phone (for free!) and I can also use the web to update it. For example, this morning I posted the Nats score and welcomed the new players to the lineup. I have yet to update from my phone but probably will try that out later. Anyway, if you want to have a look, take a look at my Twitter page.

11 pm Update: Added my page to the blogroll and link sections on the right side of this blog. Plan on seeing me update Twitter for things that aren't newsworthy enough for blog posts, etc.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Rebranding the Tidal Wave

I've noticed while working with my swim team that there are a few different logos that the team uses... I counted a total of three. First you have the t-shirt design, then you have the car magnet design, and last you have the design on the banner. This needs to change, and in order to find a better team identity, I think one logo will work. I'm calling for brand new t-shirts, brand new caps, brand new EVERYTHING. We're the Virginia Hills Tidal Wave, and our colors are yellow and blue. However, I think for a logo package to really hit home, there needs to be a third color. Right now, I'm thinking red, but we'll have to see what comes of it. I'm working on it as we speak and hope to be done in the next few weeks. Once a rough design has been worked out, I'll see if we can get it cleaned up and maybe I'll upload something as soon as a rough sketch has been made. I'll keep you updated.

Another thing I want to mention on Virginia Hills -- I was SO proud of everyone at Divisionals. So many signs that the young ones on this team are ready to jump up and take control of this team. I think people are tired of being mediocre and are ready to assume control of this swim team. Go for it guys!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Estrada DFA'ed

That's right, Washington's fourth catcher has been designated for assignment! And what a jerk way to go out too... ungrateful for the chances that the Nats gave him. But I am still wondering why he was signed (and Lo Duca as well) when Flores and Nieves are both very capable catchers. This team really has been making some ridiculous moves lately. Maybe we can see the rebuilding process. Maybe someone had a talk with Jim Bowden. Whatever it is, the rebuilding process, this Plan that has been talked about so much, is starting to make some sense.

You can read more analysis on DCSportsFan.com.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Near Death Experience Prompts Blog Name Change?

Well last night was going to be a routine night... campout at Virginia Hills for the swim team. But things went horribly awry when water polo started. I was walking across the bottom of the pool to try and move around on defense... and I slipped and cut my toe on something... be it a rock or some tile, we do not know. This caused me quite a bit of pain, and I used some colorful language. Brought myself to the edge of the pool when I noticed it was bleeding quite profusely. So I went up to the side of the pool and sat down to see if it had stopped, and I realized that about three toes were now SOAKED in blood. Off to the guard shack when I didn't think it was that big of a problem. But then my queasiness kicked in and I was put on a bench where they took good care of me. An EXCELLENT job by board members, the lifeguard, and the parents who were there. Very quick reacting to call my dad and get him up to the pool to bring me home. When he got there he said we were going to have to go to the hospital. So we went into the car, and went home first so we could grab my health insurance card. When I was changing out of my wet swimsuit I bumped my toe on a snowglobe that was on the ground... and guess what... it started bleeding again. So I applied the pressure and we called for an appointment at Falls Church. Drove out there and checked in (via wheelchair!) and waited in the waiting room for a bit - then went in to the doc's office. He unwrapped it and took a look and then re-wrapped it, while stating I would probably need some stitches. So I got a bit worried knowing my history with blood and medical procedures! Then it was off into the "procedure room" where he cleaned the wound and let me wait for the nurses to come in with the stitches. Got the novocaine shots (which hurt a LOT!!!) and then got the stitches which I didn't feel. After that it was bandaged and then I was off. Quite the exciting night.

Then today I was thinking of blogging about the injury and remembered that I am considering a name change. Or maybe a second blog, one having to do with just the Nationals themselves. We'll see what comes of it. Could it be Nattily Attired? Or something else?

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Dukes Hurt, Nats Lose Again

Left fielder Elijah Dukes injured... a strained patella as announced by Carpenter and Sutton on MASN this evening... thus begins the daily report...

One thing that I can not stand for is when athletes do not hustle. I can understand when athletes get injured, but when they don't try and just don't even show that they care is absolutely ridiculous. I see it all the time, and it's not just with the Nationals. When swimmers on my swim team show that they just don't care about the sport, their individual performances, it brings me down. What that tells me is that it doesn't even matter what I do, what I say to these swimmers, that they won't respond. I don't care if you're not the best, but if you are at least trying to get better, or trying to care, that is what I notice. And, it will translate to the meet results. Times will drop, and that's everyone's goal.

On the other hand, concerning the Nats, I noticed that in the bottom of the 9th in tonight's affair in Cincinnati, Willie Harris showed a lot of hustle. He played the ball well and fired a great throw to Jesus Flores. Unfortunately Flores could not handle the ball and the Reds won.

Anyway, the Ice Cream Social is scheduled for tomorrow evening, and I'd love to address the team on these concerns. It will all depend on certain factors, especially how many people show up.

On a different note about the blog, I'm considering a name change. It would come with a launch of a new link. This blog would become more of a personal blog, and the new blog would be completely Nationals. There are a few names that I'm considering, and we'll see if it happens. Name suggestions in the comments box would be greatly appreciated.

Friday, July 4, 2008

I'm Not Waiting Anymore

Normally, after I watch a game, I wait until I see Manny Acta's comments to make some reaction statements. However, today I feel as though I shouldn't.

This has gotten just ridiculous. NO runs scored. Scoring opportunities were thrown out. Here's what I think is wrong with this team. That is, here is what I would do if I were Jim Bowden. I know there's been a few of these posts already, but why not throw it down from a different slant? A different blogger, maybe some different thoughts.

Outfield:
LF: Keep Dukes exactly where he is. I like what this kid has, and I really wanted to see what he would have done had Guzman gotten on base in the top of the 9th.
CF: Get Bernadina out of there and make Willie Harris your everyday center-fielder. Harris has experience and can actually hit the broad side of a barn. Of course, when Lastings Milledge returns, he goes into center field.
RF: Continue using Austin Kearns. He has to be one of the best right fielders in the game. Sure, his hitting this year has been subpar, but the guy just got off the DL, so maybe he will improve as his health gets better.

Infield:
1B: It's gotta be Dmitri Young. He's been batting really well this year (2 for 2 today!). Yeah, you can question his defense, but you'll see why I put Young here at first and not Boone. I'd put Nick Johnson in here, but since he is unlucky and hurt yet again, I can't. However, when Zimmerman returns at third, platoon Young and Boone.
2B: Bench or trade Lopez. I'm sorry but when you go three for your last thirty-four (.088), that's not good enough for me. I'm putting Belliard in at second because he actually contributes something to the offense.  This is why Young is at first and not Boone, because Boone is more versatile and can play third.
SS: Guzman. No question.
3B: Boone for now, but when Zimmerman returns, you platoon Boone and Young at first so there is some competition.

Pitching:
I like the starting rotation as is. However, when Shawn Hill can return from the disabled list, I'd like to see someone go in favor of Collin Balester. My choice is Odalis Perez, because I'm concerned about how long he can keep up this very good season. His history has been shaky but I'd like to keep him around in case one of the other starters falters.
The relief pitching I really do hope gets better once Ryan Wagner returns to the bullpen. Not having Chad Cordero is a huge loss, but I hope Wagner can provide some stability. When Wagner comes back, I'm sending Ayala or Colome to the minors so they can get a wake-up call. I like what Rivera has been doing, I like this Shell guy, and Rauch has been a strong point.

Well, there you have it. Comment away. My FULL Tim Redding interview will be up on Monday, what with the day off and such.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Bullpen Blunders

Sorry if this blog does not seem very coherent - my thoughts are all over the place. So it'll be tough to get everything all together. With that, here's today's entry...

It seems as though every starting pitcher has given us the chance to win a game, but the bullpen just isn't doing it. The announcement of reliever Chad Cordero being DONE for the season is a huge dagger. It weighs on the rest of the bullpen. Today the job fell to Jesus Colome to keep the Nats in the game. But a huge error (that was MISTAKENLY charged to Dmitri Young) made the Nats lose it. They were tied and had a chance, but Colome let it go by the wayside. Loading up the bases with one out is no way to keep this game close.

One thing I noticed in watching this game - the offense looked okay. Better than it has been in the past couple weeks. Austin Kearns is back! And he got a hit, which brought in a run! Goodbyes were said to Kory Casto, who has not been performing lately, so we'll see what he does in AAA ball. What is with this Bernadina guy? Batting under .100, but I suppose we should give him some time. After all, Elijah Dukes started out the same way. Hopefully Lastings Milledge will make a speedy recovery.

By the way, my interview with Tim Redding is now up on DCSportsFan!!! Take a look at the link on the right bar there. PLEASE take a look at it -- the full interview will appear here shortly on the blog. Haven't decided when, but most likely about the time that the next ESPN Zone appearance will take place. That's July 9th at noon, and the player has not been announced yet.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A Few Moments with Tim Redding, Pt. 1

Well, part one of the article will soon be posted at DCSportsFan.com. You can take a look at the link on the right in one of the sidebars! That part of the article is going to be up, then in the next couple of days, I will work on the other part. Then, sometime in the near future, I'll post the transcript IN FULL! The next ESPN Zone appearance is July 9th, which is one week from tomorrow. Not sure who is going to be there, but I do hope that I'll be able to make it and grab another interview.

I wonder if and when the Nats will trade Felipe Lopez. Might help, but then again, I'm not actually sure. Collin Balester has been called up! We'll see how he does tonight. Hope for a recap afterwards. 

Well, my swim team is 1-1, having lost one at the beginning of the season, but then defeating Pinewood Lake to give us our first win in over two years. But we did it. Something else that is really making me proud of the job us coaches have been doing -- just about 100% of the swimmers who show their faces to practice every day have been dropping time throughout the season. Something that tells people -- go to practice and you WILL get better. This weekend we get to face Hollin Hills, at their pool.

Also, one more thing. PLEASE feel free to email me, comment on my blog, etc. I really want suggestions on how I can improve this thing.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Killer Instinct

Before tonight's game, the Nationals had a meeting. A closed door meeting with the players, the managers, the coaches, and the front office. I'm assuming it was to discuss what was wrong with the team. The giving up attitude when the team is down in games. Letting games get way out of hand way too quickly. The lack of caring. Whatever was said, it appears to have worked. The killer instinct was back. Twice the Angels came back, but the Nats kept punching and punching and finally got it. Flores with the walk-off RBI single to score Dukes. It's about time. The killer instinct was back.

Nick Johnson can't seem to get a good break... he'll be out for the rest of the season with his wrist injury. Just really disappointing how such a great player and a great man just can't seem to get it going. A hot streak at the beginning of the season spoiled because of this unfortunate break. I really hope he is well for next season and can play a complete year in 2009.

Yesterday, Tim Redding spoke to fans at ESPN Zone. I was there, in reporter mode. I was also successful, getting an interview with Tim after he signed autographs and such. Spoke to the Nationals and they said if he has time I could get an interview. He had time! I'm working on that article for completion in the next few days. Of course, one of the articles is due tonight -- a discussion about the last week's performance. I also spoke to a couple bloggers as well as radio announcer Charlie Slowes. I do really feel as though journalism is my calling in life. We'll see what happens!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I'm Pullin' Outta Here to Win

Yes, that's the last line of Thunder Road by Bruce Springsteen. Tim Russert's favorite song. And something that describes the state of the Nationals. Not much hope, but something can at least be done. They're young and foolish, and make lots of mistakes, and there is room for improvement.

Clearly, Washington is not a winning city. Not for the Nationals, at least. Another poor performance makes the Nats keep adding to their loss column -- now 16 games under .500. I'm going to make this nice and short and sweet, because I've already put this idea out before, but I'm going to make it again. Something has to change in the coaching staff. The Nats aren't hitting very well... I wonder where I'm going with this? If anybody understands what I'm getting at, maybe you could relay it to the front office. They don't read my blog... at least yet!

Hey, on Tuesday, things could change for my journalistic future with my first (potential) interview with a Nationals player! At ESPN Zone at high noon, starting pitcher Tim Redding will address the audience that attends, and then sign autographs. I hear there is a possibility that I can get an interview, and I'm hoping it works out. The first thing I must do is work on a bunch of questions and purchase a recording device to get the interview on tape. Then I can go from there.

Next three games are against the Texas Rangers. At home. If we can win at least two of those three, it's two series victories in the last three attempts. Which is pretty good! I'll be in attendance at the game on Saturday night. Another thing, new DCSportsFan article is up. Click the link to the right.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Not Enough

Just not quite enough yesterday from the Nationals. Not enough offense to support a solid start by John Lannan. They just didn't do enough to get the job done, and now they are right on the cusp of getting that 30th win. If they get it tonight, that means they've won four of the last five. However, if they don't, then it will be a little bit of a slump they are in. Win and the confidence goes up. Lose and you're stuck in a losing streak.

Anyway, like I said, Lannan was terrific. A few mistakes here and there, such as the two-run home run from the breaking ball pitch that he left hanging. But other than that, Lannan was absolutely excellent, and he's only 23 years old, meaning he's just going to get better (we hope). Paul Lo Duca stepped in as designated hitter, taking the place of Wily Mo Peña (thank God!). I am sorry but I just don't see much value in Wily Mo anymore. Can the Nats convert Lo Duca into an outfielder to take the place of this struggling slugger? It would be nice. Maybe even a first baseman, and Kory Casto can take the outfield. Anything to bench Wily Mo, who just hasn't been producing.

As SBF over at Nats320 said, we really need a slugger who can create the spark to get the offense going. That was what was missing last night. Someone who can get the home run or the extra base hit in order to spark the offense on a rally. None of that from the Nats last night. If we can get one, the picture gets brighter.

Jason Bergmann takes the mound tonight against the Twins. Can he rebound from a couple bad starts and go back to pitching at an all-star level? In his last start it appeared as though he gained back some of the confidence that he lost in the shellacking a couple weeks ago. We'll see, but I have my full confidence in this man. A 26 year old who will hopefully continue to improve.

Last night, the Celtics did exactly what I expected them to do. Win in 6 games over the Lakers. At the beginning of this series... I called it - Celtics would win in 6. Unfortunately I didn't blog about it, but please believe me! That makes me 2-0 on my NBA finals prediction... lifetime. The other series I called was way back in 2001... when I didn't even care about basketball. This year I gave it a shot... so we'll see what happens with it.

Tim Russert's remembrances will be televised from the Kennedy Center at 4 pm. I'll be watching, and I hope many of you will be too.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A New Feature

Bit of new features for you on the blog today... to the right you'll notice an updated blogroll. It shows you the last time the site was updated and the article title in that update. Click around some of the links.

Nationals begin their series in Minnesota tonight. I hope I can sneak a recap up on the site after the game, but if I can't, look for it tomorrow. John Lannan takes the mound for the Nats against Livan Hernandez of the Twins... yes, the former Nat. So we'll see what happens with that game.

The man I've really started to respect as of late is manager Manny Acta. The article in the Sports section today really does it. It shows you what a great man he is and how the dugout fight the other day was something out of the norm. Acta normally has a cool head, and I've heard him speak about that before. If he turns over a table or kicks things around, it's not going to change anything with the game. If he argues and yells at umpires, it's not going to change their minds or anything. Which is why I wonder why so many people criticize the job Acta has done. And I'm not talking about Nationals fans, but fans of other teams. They say that if he is such a great manager, they should be doing better. I saw a prediction before the season saying 59 wins this season. Acta and the Nats are on pace to defeat that. So, yeah, Manny's doing the job, I'd say. You'll see in a few years when these minor leaguers come up and show how good they are. Honestly, I'm telling you... give 'em a few years and these Nationals will be taking the next step, on their way to a playoff berth.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Big Russ

The media, the field of journalism, and the political world, all lost a respectable figure today in Tim Russert. He died of a heart attack at the young age of 58. Coronary thrombosis. Someone I woke up to on Sunday mornings to watch after coming home from 9:00 Mass. Someone that related politics to me and guided me in selecting my candidate for the 2008 Election. I always awaited to see who he had picked for the Sunday morning show, and always waited for the end to see what he had to say about the Sabres, the Bills, or any other Buffalo related news items. It was always a joy to watch Tim on these Sunday mornings.

I received the phone call this afternoon while cooking up my lunch and watching A Haunting. As scary as the episode was... I honestly thought I was asleep. My dad asked if I was watching the news, and I knew the news didn't start until 4:00... and it was well before 4. He told me the news and I didn't believe it. Thought he had read a joke on Wikipedia or something. What really made me think it was a lie, a sick joke was that the media hadn't even started reporting it. Then a few minutes... MSNBC broke in with the sad story. It all hit, but in the same sense it still hasn't hit me yet. Tomorrow I'll wake up and it won't have happened. Everything will be normal and it will just be a normal Saturday, and then Sunday will have the same usual Meet the Press episode with Russert grilling another politician.

Russert was also a native son of my second home... Buffalo, New York. There was a stretch in high school that I felt that Buffalo was almost a better home than the one I live in currently... a thought that I have since found wrong. But Buffalo has always been good to me, and for the fact that Russert was from Buffalo really made me pay attention to him even more. He felt the same way I did about the Sabres... through their losing streaks and their winning streaks, and all the boneheaded moments. Buffalo really lost a great man. He went to Canisius High School, a few blocks down from my sister's alma mater, Canisius College. Right across the street from where my grandma is residing in the Skilled Nursing Facility at Millard Fillmore Gates. Just down the road from Forest Lawn Cemetery, where Millard Fillmore himself is buried.

Russert had season tickets for the Nationals. Over at Nats320, Screech's Best Friend noted how he and Russert always spoke to each other about the Nats. I tell you what, the Nats are going to win it tonight. They have to in order to pay tribute to Russert himself.

This breaking, bad news gives me all the more inspiration to succeed in the journalistic world. I told my dad that because Russert was probably the journalist who had the MOST impact on me... without a doubt the most impact on me, I would pay tribute to him if I got a television show. The typical signing off that Russert does on every Sunday morning. He always did it in the most special way, that would always make the viewers wait until the bitter end to see what he had to say about Buffalo and to tune in next week. My next post will be on Sunday where I pay another tribute at the end of that upcoming entry. Remember, if it's Sunday, it's Meet the Press.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Hmmmm

Ten men left on base today. Eleven hits with only five runs scored. Where the hell is the offense? I just can't believe how frustrated I am with this team. When is Manny going to learn to bench Wily Mo Peña, one of the SLOWEST outfielders and the WORST hitters in the game? A sure fly out with any other left fielder in the game... but Wily Mo is Wily Mo... and it just almost looks like he's not even trying in there. Bench Wily Mo and hopefully the offense improves. Even Langerhans would be a better bat.

Elijah Dukes is showing the bright future that so many expect him to have. He hits that ball HARD! An RBI triple that hit the ground before the right fielder could even take two steps! Amazing! His fielding skills are impressive and he has an absolutely ROCKET of an arm that he occasionally displays even when he doesn't need to. If he stays out of injury and out of trouble, he could be the future of the left field. I say left field because once Austin Kearns comes off the DL and back to the lineup, he'll be thrown in right field, I'm sure.

Jason Bergmann struggled today, but sort of got out of his funk. Hopefully his next start will be better, and hopefully that ERA will drop throughout the season. He didn't find his spots today in the first and second innings. That's definitely something to work on. In the first inning, he took a ball off the butt which was ruled an error for some reason. But hey at least it didn't count as an earned run when Doumit homered. Should the Nationals send Bergmann down for someone else? It might just be time to do that. You don't want to lose control on the part of the team that has been the best all year. If they do send down Bergmann, it would be smart to call someone up other than Garrett Mock or Tyler Clippard so that others can get a bit of experience. I'll keep an eye on the Bergmann situation to see if anything happens with that.

So we head to Seattle for a three-game series that goes for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Maybe they'll win a series for the first time in five attempts (last series win was May 15 against the Mets). The time is right for the offense to step up.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

DC Sports Fan article!

Hey everyone - there's a new article I wrote over on DC Sports Fan! It's been posted now.

To access it, click the link on the right sidebar, or go here.
Kenny

Dugout Fight?

The news has recently come out about a scuffle between outfielder Elijah Dukes and manager Manny Acta. The Washington Times' Nationals beat writer Mark Zuckerman even went as far as calling for Dukes to be cut. Although a slightly unprofessional comment by Mr. Zuckerman, this move has been brought up by fans who are tired of Dukes' off-field issues. But wait... this is the only issue we know about since Dukes came to the Nats. It seems as though after Milledge's home run last night, he and Dukes began to celebrate with what seemed to be a previously thought out celebration sequence. Acta yelled at him, and a bit of a verbal argument started. It didn't seem as though any punches were thrown. If Dukes were to be cut, what would happen with our outfield? Right now, we have Dukes-Milledge-Peña out there. Once Kearns comes back, I'm guessing that Peña will sit down. And if any problems transpire with Dukes, then after Justin Maxwell gets off the DL in the minors, he might be called up to replace him.

It's good to see Manny Acta getting on top of the unprofessionalism. If he keeps doing that, maybe this team will finally buckle down and get going. And speaking of unprofessionalism, why is Zuckerman writing as a fan rather than an unbiased reporter? Maybe Acta should give him a talking to as well.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sweet Victory

When you're at your lowest performance, in a funk, it's tough to pull out of it. It's tough to put bad showings behind you. So when the Nationals fell behind tonight 4-1, it was easy to say this team was finished. But not all was done, and the Nats, thanks to a huge seventh inning and a huge contribution by a lot of players, stormed back to knock off the Pittsburgh Pirates, IN PITTSBURGH, by the score of 7-6.

Ronnie Belliard came off the DL today and had a FANTASTIC game. Three hits in four at bats, including TWO home runs. Two home runs that showed everyone the Nationals can be an offensive minded team. Two home runs, that when joined by three others, proved to be the difference. How about Elijah Dukes, Cristian Guzman, Lastings Milledge, and Jesus Flores continuing to swing hot bats? Milledge and Flores had two of the other home runs tonight (Dmitri Young had the one not yet mentioned). Guzman had another two-hit night and so did Dukes. Just a few of the folks who continue to step up in the face of all the injured players.

The lineup simply hasn't been the same without Johnson, Zimmerman, and Kearns in it. Young and Boone - I love having you both in the lineup, but you have been struggling late and Johnson was really performing quite well this season. Kory Casto just isn't the same as Zimmerman. And let's face it - Wily Mo Pena is just flat out bad. A slugger who only has ONE home run as of tonight. A 298 pound Dmitri Young has more than that. Pena has been pitiful. Also, the bullpen suffers without Chad Cordero. When he is back, Luis Ayala and Saúl Rivera will have less pressure on them. So will Jon Rauch. Or will Jon Rauch be the closer? That's a question for another day.

Until these guys all get back off the disabled list, for now let's enjoy Curly W #26, and let's give a tribute to Ronnie Belliard, who really stepped it up tonight. Maybe he's the spark this team needs to get back on track. We'll see tomorrow.

Another Loss

The pain just keeps coming. Day after day the Nationals continue to botch their chances. Yesterday seemed different. In the bottom of the eighth inning, somehow the Nationals managed to load up the bases with two outs. Felipe Lopez up. He's been in a slump lately; isn't this the perfect time for him to break out of it? A hard hit to right center - this should score someone! But the right fielder was shading towards center and made the easy out. The rally was done and the Nationals, hoping for a curly W, instead managed to get "curly L" number 40. Another new pitcher, this time another one who was immediately sent down to the minors. The future is bright though and with a bit of refining I feel confident that one day these new pitchers can take over. When Perez and Redding are finished, maybe Mock and Clippard can take over and do a good job. 

Lastings Milledge continues to swing a hot bat, and so does Elijah Dukes. In fact, Milledge hit a home run the other day. The rest of the offense is struggling. But, we've heard good news in the past week or so. Chad Cordero is throwing again. Ronnie Belliard was called up from the minors - hopefully to sit Lopez down on the bench. Zimmerman was evaluated yesterday and Kearns says he has never felt better. Lo Duca was throwing the other day, but with Flores playing so well, who knows where he will end up? When you have eight players on the DL, it is tough to win. Maybe Belliard will provide that spark in the dugout that this team needs to get on track.

Another thing I want to bring up is my earlier prediction of 85 wins for the Nats this season. I originally thought that these guys would come out with a strong offense. But again, I must say, EIGHT players (FIVE of which were starters) on the disabled list is a tough thing to swallow. I do believe this team will get better when these players return from the DL. When they return is another question. Tonight maybe we can turn over a new leaf for this team. It enters a nine-game road trip, with series against the Pirates, Mariners, and Twins. If the Nationals can scrape a winning record on this trip, that would be huge momentum for the return home.

One last comment I have is about attendance at the ballpark, which has been really good. The average attendance at Nationals Park has OUTPACED THE FIRST PLACE DIAMONDBACKS. The team enjoyed an attendance of over 30,000 fans again yesterday even with the triple digit heat overwhelming the area. So, Mr. Peter Angelos, what was that about no Nationals fans? Have you gotten your ass on the Green Line by the ballpark before game time? Because believe me, those people on the Metro aren't just riding to work. They're going to see the best baseball team Washington has to offer.

Back on the Running Trail

First day back running. Started at 9 am or shortly after and got in 2.4 miles. Tomorrow at 8 am I run again and we'll see how day two goes. Quick post I know but I have to get to bed.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Notorious Nats

Something is wrong with the Nationals. Something has been wrong from day one, and it continues until today. It's called a lack of run support, and it's been turning regular average everyday pitchers on opposing teams into all stars. Something's gotta change, and I know what. Let's see if the organization decides to do it. You'll see what I mean if or when it happens.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Another Excellent Story... Again!

Time and time again, swimmers on this swim team continue to step up and perform past their level. A young five year old swimmer, known for holding onto walls and sometimes not listening, completed his first full lap of freestyle yesterday. After that, he never touched the wall except for at the end of the pool until the end of practice. A huge step that he made yesterday that he may not have known was so huge. High fives all around and yet another sign that the next generation of swimmers is READY AND WILLING to accept the torch. They are ready to go ahead when a huge class of swimmers graduates at the end of this summer. More new rookie swimmers continue to come to the team too in the middle age group which is an even better sign. A huge shout-out from the younger group that they too are competent swimmers. If this great progress continues - could this be the sign of things to come in the future?

Also, a very exciting yet unnerving note about the weather the other day. They are investigating the possible tornado in Huntington (which is not far from me at all). More tornadoes have been mentioned in the investigation of this recent June 4th outbreak. An outbreak that does not surprise me after recent readings. Especially that Mike Tidwell book. It was very scary experiencing something like that. Seeing the VERY LOW dark clouds rushing overhead with a green backdrop. Then noticing that the sky was indeed spinning. Running into the back room with the power flickering after the storm hit. A very disturbing couple of minutes that I hope are not repeated, but I will not be surprised if they are. Excessive heat watch for the weekend and Monday. Heat wave #1, here we come! Will we scrape the 100 degree mark?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

TORNADO WATCH (447, 454)

AS OF 8:00 PM, the Tornado Watch has been extended until 1 AM. Stay tuned.

BREAKING NEWS (5:00 PM): There has been a storm report of a possible tornado in the Huntington neighborhood of Fairfax County and also in Falls Church City. Stay tuned.

Tornado Watch until 8:00 this evening. Follow along with some of the maps below. Each image can be clicked to make it larger. Refresh for latest update.


Alert Map Key
REDTornado WARNING
ORANGESevere T'str WARNING
YELLOWTornado Watch
LIMEFlood Warning



^ Radar map of DC area.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Another Swim Team Story that the Nationals Could Use

I can't stop raving about the swim team I help coach and how certain individuals continue to take the time to step up even when they don't have to. Time and time again, these people continue to impress me. At the oldest age group practice today, we had one swimmer show up. Just one. In the face of the bad weather, she took the time to drive to the pool and get in the water. Selflessly caring for her performance and the performance of the team. So when she showed up and fifteen minutes into the practice, I knew that this would be a sign of dedication. Pushing through knee pain and practicing breastroke and constantly coming into the wall out of breath. Showing that she wants to improve herself and that she wants to help the team. Something maybe Our Washington Nationals can take back to the ballyard. Someone step up and show that dedication. Work for yourself and work for your team.

Coming Out of Your Shell

Today, at swim practice, we had a great moment. Great moments like these and great performances like these help define who we are as humans. I am talking about the brilliant phenomenon that happened at practice with a 6 year old girl who had never swam backstroke before. Didn't know very much about how to float on her back AT ALL. However, I worked with her through practice, using a handy tip from the head coach, and she was swimming FULL STROKE backstroke by the end of practice. It is performances like these that feature young athletes COMING INTO THEIR OWN that really make us happy about ourselves.

This story could be used to inspire some backup Washington Nationals players that are getting their chances to shine. Eight players now on the DL. Nick Johnson. Ronnie Belliard. Ryan Zimmerman. Paul Lo Duca. Johnny Estrada. Austin Kearns. Chad Cordero. Ryan Wagner. Maybe their backups should hear about a young 6 year old who never knew how to float on her back but learned backstroke in about FORTY minutes. These young Nationals also need to learn how to float. Maybe they can also inspire others to do phenomenal feats.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Rejection Comes So Quickly

If you've been talking to me in the past couple days, you'll know that I was trying to interview a Washington Nationals player, namely Austin Kearns. So I sent an email to the media relations lady and was hoping to get an email back tomorrow. However, to my surprise, before dinner I checked e-mail and received a swift reply! Very professional, Ms. Pagano. However, this was not the e-mail reply I had hoped for... it was a rejection letter, saying Austin was not available for an interview at this time. So I'll think about what I want to do next, and I hope I can scrape up an interview later on this year. Will keep everyone updated.

PS - Today is Memorial Day - please remember what our soldiers have done for us so well for so many years. Always remember the fallen, and pray for those who are fighting. Also never forget POW and MIA soldiers. We thank them so much for their contributions and sacrifices. Whether you support or oppose the war, EVERY American citizen should stand behind our troops.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Going Green


Yes, that's right, you read the title right. I sat down last night to unpack some of my school things from all the boxes and I ran across the first year book that I was supposed to read for freshman English (a first semester course). A Ravaging Tide by Mike Tidwell. Naturally, I blew off the assignment - still receiving a B in that class - and didn't worry about it. Then last night I decided to read a bit of it. Which turned into almost one hundred pages as the morning stretched to about 2:30 am. And so I've decided. This summer I am going green. Much to the dismay of my conservative friends, it's time to change things. I've read this book and it's swayed me. So my first step in my going green process is swapping out all of the incandescent bulbs in the house and going to compact fluorescent (CF). That picture there, that's a compact fluorescent bulb. Costs about 3 dollars apparently. And they could last up to FIFTEEN TIMES longer than the incandescent ones. And give off less heat. I could go on but that would be boring. See Wikipedia for more.

So I'm going to have the talk with my parents. Not that talk, mind you, but the kind of talk that could save them some money in the long run. That's a talk they like to hear while paying for two out of state tuitions.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Observations, etc.

Went to the Nationals game yesterday against the Phillies - and they got drubbed. Full story on http://www.dcsportsfan.com

But on the way I noticed some things that I want to note and even complain about. When the Yellow Line pulled into Huntington, it was absolutely PACKED. I am talking about the MOST CROWDED I have ever seen the Yellow Line. Ever. I tell you what, I believe that the higher gas prices are finally going to drive people onto the Metro. Then we boarded the Yellow Line. New train. With the interior signs that are SUPPOSED to display the next station and what side the doors are going to open on. Unfortunately, because Metro plans poorly, they placed an OLDER train without that technology ahead of it. So no working signs. The Green Line was PACKED TO THE BRIM when we took it to the stadium. I mean there was NO possible way to stuff any more people on that car. Then after the game, we left late because we met a couple of bloggers (http://nats320.blogspot.com). And there was virtually nobody at that Navy Yard station waiting for a train. And when it pulled in from Anacostia - it was also quite full. This was at 10:30 in the evening. Guess what - signs didn't work on the front two trains. Unacceptable for the amount of money Metro paid for these cars.

Then on the Yellow Line, it was less crowded - and the signs were working! Yes, they were finally working! Except - when we left Pentagon, it stayed on Pentagon until the Airport, at which time it finally started working. A trend I noticed when I took the Yellow Line the other day. It stayed on Pentagon until we left Pentagon City, I believe. Another thing Metro should iron out. Bring this system into the 21st century. All it takes is a little bit of change, and it would make a much better rider experience.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Summer

Well I know it's tough to think about summer with cold and rainy weather and my room being very close to flooding, but since I am only A WEEK away from getting out of school, I figure now is as good a time as any to look ahead.

This summer, I'll be holding three jobs. Well, more specifically, two jobs and an internship. We'll start off with the first piece of employment news that I received. In the winter, I applied for a job coaching the swim team I have been on for so many years. I applied as the head coach, but since I did not have enough experience I was not selected to that position. However, a few days later I received some remarkable news through the magic of e-mail. I would be assistant coach for this team, and I was selected because of my new ideas to re-energize the team.

Then, on March 30th of this year, I went to the Washington Nationals home opener. Friend had to write an article but had a lot of work to do, so I did the article, and he helped. I was given the by-line, and a few days later I was accepted as an intern at DCSportsFan.com, specifically writing one article every week about Our Washington Nationals. If you would like to read some of the articles, click here.

Later this year, I realized I would need a second job because Virginia Hills would not be enough to sustain me for next year. Walked around Springfield Mall and looked at American Eagle and Aeropostale. Applied at both places, and was called back for an interview for both. After my interview with Aeropostale I was informed that I would be able to work there. But I held off because I preferred American Eagle. Today I called them and received excellent news - and therefore I will be working at American Eagle this summer. I'm very excited. Orientation next week and then I will start soon after I guess.

And that's what I'm going to be doing this summer.

Friday, April 4, 2008

We Have Had the Onion Snow

Well this is it folks. A bit of light snow mixing in with the rain today that I believe was the onion snow. Therefore, we can officially say it is over and move on to spring! Although today didn't feel much like a spring day, tomorrow should be better... 60s possibly? Maybe close to 70? Either way I'm hoping for no rain on Saturday when I tour the ballpark.

And speaking of baseball, this summer may bring this local 3-1 baseball team a little bit closer to me. Details on that if it actually pans out. I'll keep you posted as always. We'll watch them face the Cardinals in St. Louis tomorrow night at 8:15.

Oh and another thing: the Sabres missed the playoffs, forcing me to cover up the Sabres logo that adorns the wall with a message that reads: SOME REAL HOCKEY TEAM THAT IS NOT A JOKE AND HAS A GOOD LOGO. Tomorrow I plan on changing it to just a black background, in mourning of this terrible season. Maybe next year.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Big Plans for the Swim Team

Well now that it's April, it means that next year is the start of the swim season for the NVSL and my team the Virginia Hills Tidal Wave! I'm assistant coach, and there's a lot of things I want to see implemented this year. They'll have to be run by our great new head coach who is also excited to start. Some of the things I want to see from this season include:

- New logo

- Return to tradition

- VH Newsletter

- Increase in team identity, sportsmanship, cheering

I'm working on the new logo and have some design ideas in my head that I want to see happen, and I think that a new logo thats better than the current "designer" wave would definitely help. I have yet to come up with any ideas on paper and have rejected my own design that I made last summer.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Hibernation Has Ended

Well, I've come out of hibernation from this blog, having written nothing since March 9th. A lot has happened in that time period, with two emotional breakdowns and all. But I swear I'm a new person, and basically it's been a few people who have brought me back up when I've been down, and I thank them profusely.

So, the Nats are 2-0!!! I know it is very early in the season, but it's exciting to see your team on top, especially considering how poorly the Sabres have done this year, with a late season collapse to keep them just out of playoff reach (although I still have some hopes that they can grab 7th or 8th). The stadium is amazing, and so beautiful. So many food options and it's just great to see a ballpark that really opens itself to DC fans. Speaking of which, my review can be found on DCSportsFan.com. You might have to look around a bit but thanks to Brian for the edits.

And now I just realized when my cursor isn't in the body text, and I press Enter, it publishes the post. So that explains the half-post for a bit.

Also, I believe that winter is now over, so that should be declared once and for all, and it's good that it is over, because I was getting tired of cold and no snow. I believe that when it's cold it has to be snowing to be enjoyable. So we are warm now, and it's a beautiful day, so I have my window open and I'm waiting for the 7:05 start for my undefeated Nats to take on the winless Phillies. Should be interesting!

And today is when I start to tag my post with labels... it's something new I'm trying out to keep some of the posts organized. So now I will start to label all the old posts and we'll see how that goes.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

On the Bubble

So Maryland is on the bubble and needs to win at Virginia tonight to be helped out. Of course, UNC beating Duke last night and American winning again today helps the RPI, which may be the thing we need to get into the tournament. Of course, I will say that losing to American may be the one thing that saved our season. It woke our team up and now we are playing a lot better. What may have killed us, however, was the collapse against Clemson, when we were up by 20 points and still managed to throw the game. That brought me to remember a recent e-mail that my mom got from her co-worker, who graduated from Maryland, who said:

Maryland could be up by 20 points and still find a way to lose.

That was after the home game against Duke. So of course, I as the optimist said that will never happen, and then of course, last week, I probably experienced perhaps the most heartbreaking sports moment of my life so far. I threw my hat, hit it against the chair, stomped on the ground, what have you. It was disgusting, and it really just was not a good way to give the seniors the proper tribute they deserved. Of course, that whole debacle prompted an Uncyclopedia user to post this as the UMD fight song:

Beat Duke, Lose to Clemson, Miss the Tournament!

Too bad we didn't beat Duke this year, or maybe we would actually have a shot nowadays at actually making the tournament. Just might be the NIT for us, along with our nearby "rivals" at American University. Unless of course, they make the Big Dance, and we miss it. That would be really humiliating.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Quasi Flash Freeze

We are experiencing a quasi flash freeze... temperatures that were once in the 60s have fallen dramatically. Expect temperatures to keep dropping as the next round of t'storms comes through. Very windy outside with tropical storm force winds... power outages are possible, as are trees coming down. Next round of storms is rolling through the DC metro as we speak. Winter is not over yet...

Tomorrow is going to be cold as well, but already we will see a warming trend into next week, so the cold will be short lived. But just remember that we are yet to reach spring, and this will be a reminder for a lot of people.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Nationals Opener

Well, I was able to get tickets... but for the exhibition opener, and it's thanks to StubHub that I got them. Two 200 level tickets. But the real farce was when I tried to get tickets for the opener against Atlanta, a process in which I was unsuccessful. I had both of my browsers online waiting to get in for tickets (which it turns out they let people in BEFORE 9 am) and I was calling the hotline. I finally got a computer on the hotline... which said there were a bunch of sections open. Then I heard the computer say something about a technical difficulty. Then I was linked over to a guy who told me that they were all sold out. So then my next step was to try StubHub... which was ridiculously overpriced, so I figured I'd try the exhibition. And I was successful!!! I believe Section 228, Row N... so I am very excited!

That's it from here. Enjoy the amazing weather outside (just ignore the spot of wind).

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Tornado Watch (no longer) in Effect

2:00 am update: Tornado Watch has been discontinued for the DC area. Rain will end from east to west between 2 and 4 am.

Live, local radar from Weather Underground

The folks over at the NWS have issued a Tornado Watch on top of the Flood Warning that's already out for us. Tornado Watch goes until 3 am Wednesday morning... full coverage can be found by clicking on the Capital Weather Gang link on my blogroll.

The map below will update as alerts are issued or changed by the National Weather Service (refresh your browser for the latest map).

Image credit: National Weather Service, Sterling, VA
Legend: Yellow = Tornado Watch, Red = Tornado Warning, Purplish-Red = Severe Thunderstorm Watch, Dark Green = Flood Watch or Flash Flood Watch, Light Green = Flood or Flash Flood Warning

Monday, March 3, 2008

Nationals Park photos at long last!

So I finally uploaded and posted the pictures from my trip to Nationals Park and the neighborhood surrounding it (Near Southeast). I have pictures from the neighborhood, but these are much more important and newsworthy. So here they are... descriptions are underneath each photo...
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View looking north from First at N... you can see the parking garage off to the left of the picture.

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Looking inside the parking garage. This was shortly before I got kicked out of First Street and had to clear out of the "construction zone". So I wasn't the happiest of people, but there are ways in which I could work around that...

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The building that is over the Metro station and the big pit that exists right next to that building. This is all going to be the district immediately to the north of the stadium, but it won't be ready by Opening Day 2008.

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This is the view of the gate that Metro-goers will use. Note the work being completed on the sidewalk.

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Western parking garage, the one that faces South Capitol Street.

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View showing the two parking garages... west is closer, east is further away.

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Detail of the sign on the corner of the west parking garage, showing the different gates that can be used to get into the ballpark.

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Kind of trying to get a shot into the park. I think this is the left field gate, but it didn't used to be there so when I drove by I could sneak peeks in on the stadium's gigantic scoreboard.

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Closer view of scoreboard... bit tough to see, but you can at least see that it is HUGE.

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Another directional sign showing different gates, as well as the team store!

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The curly W's on one of the gates!

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Here is a view of the southwestern entrance... from the median of South Capitol Street. This is where I had to walk down to get pictures of this side of the stadium.

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Looking up South Capitol street. Note that the stadium's facade almost "points" to the Capitol Building.

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Looking down Potomac Avenue... stadium on the left and the lack of development on the right. What an eyesore! Boswell was right...

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View from the Douglass bridge that you see when you drive over the Anacostia River.

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Close up on the Nationals sign that shows itself on the south facade of the park.

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Closer view of southwestern entrance, showing that this path has yet to be completed.

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Another look up South Capitol Street. The Capitol Building is much bigger when you see it in person.

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Another view showing the park and the lack of development.

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There you go... the park points at the Capitol Building. It's about this size when you see it from there... maybe a bit smaller, however.

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Looking up South Capitol again... I'm obsessed with the fact that it points straight to the Capitol.

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From the median again, a bit more zoomed in to show the Capitol a bit bigger.

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Southwestern entrance, but a bit more zoomed in this time.

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Slightly different angle of the western facade of the stadium. It almost doesn't even look like a stadium from this angle.

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Told you the Capitol was much bigger than it appeared in those pictures!

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Gates fronting South Capitol Street.

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Looking south on South Capitol Street this time, showing how the stadium connects to the admin building.

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Viewing decks? Not sure...

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View into the stadium at a few of the upper sections.

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Again, looking south on South Capitol Street at the western side of the stadium.

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Closer in view of the entrance that Metro-goers will use. Note the Red Porch restaurant at the background, close to where I will sit on Opening Day... if I'm lucky!

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View into the stadium. This is about the best view into the stadium I could get without actually going into the stadium itself, as the parking garages are now in place, obscuring most of the view.

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More detail of the sidewalk work that is going on.

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And this is the view from about where you get off the Metro at Navy Yard station. Where the Clark sign is is the actual entrance to the Metro. So it's about a block away from the Metro station. Not like RFK.

That completes our tour of Nationals Park. I hope this thing is ready for Opening Day, because it really is something special that I think most Nationals fans will really enjoy. It really is a treat for this team. I'll try and get some pictures from Opening Day, and I'll update how the stadium looks as it opens!

Blogroll Added

Hey folks!
Added a list of my favorite blogs on the right hand side... so go ahead and check them out when you have a chance! Soon I plan on adding a list of links, but that won't happen for a while, if it even happens. It all depends on how many links I want to add.
So check out those links while I get crackin' on those photos of Nationals Park!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Nationals' Stadium UPDATE!

4:00 pm March 2nd UPDATE: I'm uploading the second of two batches. Once that is done, I will work on the next entry which will contain the photos and updates!

5:45 pm UPDATE: The first batch has been uploaded... here is a test... you can click and enlarge if you choose:


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Uploading photos to Photobucket as we speak... once they are all up there, I hope to put some pictures up here of the stadium. Keep it tuned here.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Switching the Label

So today was the day I announced the biggest change to my political ideas since 2005, when I made the switch to liberal from moderate. In the past few months, I've been rethinking a lot of things, and one of them is my political preference. It's gone full circle. Originally when I entered high school I was a Republican, and I supported President Bush in 2004. I supported the War in Iraq. But then high school continued and my political compass swung left. I got my feet wet in the libertarian ideas, which turned out to be not for me. However,As I met new people and discovered new ideas, I became more of a progressive, a liberal. I was a pro-life Democrat. That was the one thing holding me back from being a true Democrat. 

Then I reached college, just as my political compass began swinging back to the right. I became more moderate, and chose to identify myself with the Independent side of things. However, I wanted to pick a side. Would I return to my leftist roots or would I continue the swing? The answer came today as I was thinking about politics. Then it just came to me... take a few quizzes and determine where I stand. A few of them showed me as dead center. But as one pointed out, there were just a few issues that polarized me a bit to the right of center. It was official, I picked the conservative side of things, and I even made it Facebook official.

But why the changeover? It's really my opinions on morality in society. You see, I've learned things in college... certain aspects that are abnormal to how society works are just weird. A friend of mine the other week talked about what happened in his sociology class concerning gay marriage. He said it is just weird... you do not see it happening in the animal kingdom do you? Males go for females; females go for males. Also, my position on abortion continues to drive what I do every day. I am extremely pro-life, and that brings me farther to the right than any other issue. Just considering my moral stance on everything shows me as quite the conservative.

So what makes me stay towards the center and away from the very far right of the political spectrum? It's my views on capitalism, rights, and overseas conflicts. All of my positions concerning those areas of politics are moderate.

You might ask if there's anything else that has spurred on this change, and the answer is yes. While I was a Democrat, I supported Barack Obama. But, I continued to keep my mind open and researched other candidates. One of the biggest factors that started me switching to a conservative (again, read: conservative, NOT: Republican), was Mike Huckabee. Huckabee has many good positions, and he's one of the smartest choices for the Presidency. He may not have the best chance at winning, but he'd make a darn good President. Also, after listening to Obama's message of change, it is just that: a message. Just a symbol of change, and not real change. America needs someone who can clean up from the Bush era without being too radical about it. And that means Huckabee or John McCain. And that is what makes me say I am a conservative as of February 25, 2008. Not a Republican, but a conservative.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Nowcast - 9:00 am Fri

9:00 am update: Looks like some freezing rain falling outside. I heard the scrape of shovels but that is done. I'm assuming it was too tough to shovel the ice, because I haven't been outside and am guessing that the ice layer is fairly thick from hearing observations around the area. Looks like we're in for a bit more ice, as the radar shows. My guess is we do get close to the quarter inch of ice, and it also appears that the cold air is holding tough, except directly in the city of Washington. Closest observing station to me is reporting in the upper 20s. We'll see how long the cold air can hold on, but my guess is it isn't going anywhere soon. Next update will either be around 10:30 or noon (depending on when I wake back up again - UMD closed til 11!).

4:00 am update: Nothing falling in CP, but the radar echoes are continuing to fill in. Looks like we will get our precip after all... just less snow than expected. Will update in 4 and a half hours... be careful on roads in case of slick spots!!!

3:00 am update: Still no steady snow in College Park, but we have had off and on light snow/sleet for a bit. Radar seems to really be filling in a lot more, and apparently pressure values are falling off the Carolina coast... so if that means a coastal is forming, a bit more moisture could be thrown our way, giving us a shot at the significant snow and ice that we snowlovers so truly desire. Still watching that southwestern edge for the filling in of the dry slot. Next update will probably be at 8 am tomorrow.

1:15 am Update: The snow has started, very light, here in College Park, but it's already tapering off. Radar shows the first batch moving out, but it almost appears as though it's filling back in over in the Charlottesville area. Let's watch to see if this fills the entire DC area with snow. Next update (I hope) will be tomorrow morning, 8ish. If I'm still up, I'll update around 2:30 am.

Original Post (9:00 Thu): Everyone over on the boards at the Capital Weather Gang blog is getting discouraged. There's a big dry slot... and it's something that could bring down snow totals. But what if that snow hole closes up and we get some snow from now through tomorrow morning? It's a possibility, and as I write this, College Park just came in with a report saying that there is a light snow shower. So the snow is on the way in. But how much will fall is the question... and I'm holding with a dusting up to 2 inches... more to the north, less to the south.

Snow begins between now and 1 am across the area, and light snow will continue overnight. Expect a changeover to sleet and/or freezing rain sometime tomorrow, and I'll nail down that changeover in a later post. So, it may not be snowing where you are, but just keep the faith. Hopefully the snow hole can fully fill in and that dry slot can fill in with some snow too. Keep it tuned.

Next Storm... Tonight!

Next storm coming in. Brief comments. I think anywhere from a dusting to three inches of snow before a changeover to ice. Yes, the snow range is broad but there are concerns over the dry slot forming and whether or not that closes up. If not, only a dusting (if that) can be expected, but if it does, it could be closer to three inches. Then significant ice tomorrow, unless something changes. Still a lot of unknowns, but could be around quarter to half inch of ice. Winter Storm Warning in effect... batten down the hatches, folks.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I Don't Know What the...

Well, I've decided I just don't know what the hell is wrong with me. Couple weeks ago i hit my head on the wooden leg of a couch and didn't worry too much when I had a headache for a few days afterwards. Then this past Friday I fell out of a chair and think I hit my head on the ground. Now I've had a headache for a couple of days and have been kind of out of it. So I don't really know what's up with that... Now I do have a reputation for being a hypochondriac, which is why I think that I might be overreacting... maybe it's just a passing illness that happened to hit me at the right time. Coincidence... possibly. Tomorrow if I don't feel better, it's off to the health center for me.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

11:45 pm Update

Conditions drastically improving out there... this doesn't count for the entire area though. It's going to be interesting tomorrow morning... the temperatures are going to be right around freezing through the night, but should start to rise shortly. I'll keep an eye on it.

Sirens are Wailing... 9:30 pm update

Sirens are wailing out there in College Park, and that means icy conditions. It's going to stay cold (27 right now) overnight... probably warming above freezing sometime tomorrow. Very tricky forecast, but the Ice Storm Warning remains until 7 am... numerous cancellations and/or delays tomorrow morning. Travel is going to be very difficult, and I will say that this storm surprised many people... it was supposed to be above freezing by now.

Stay tuned.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Another Case of Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda

Well it was a mistake not waiting in the mile-long line that was for the Obama speech here on campus today. Even though it was a mile long (and yes, I measured it, and it's all thanks to the folks at USA Track and Field that I was able to do it inside where it was warm -- 0.98 miles, which is close enough to call it a mile), I should have waited and I still could have gotten in. Oh well, we learn from mistakes every day. That's one of them. I was still able to catch the speech on News Channel 8, though, and that was good.

Huckabee is still my top choice, though, and it's really because of his stance on abortion. Obama is right behind him, and then there is a drop off before you get into the territory of McCain, Clinton, and... Ron Paul and Mike Gravel. The thing is, my political views are so odd and across the board that the extreme folks really cater to my whims... which is why many people are questioning my huge support for Huckabee. Btw, I got to meet Huckabee after his speech on Saturday... got a photo, autograph, and handshake, and he also answered my question about Roe v. Wade and how it would most certainly be gone if he were to take office in 2009!

It really does need to snow around here, as it's been a while. People are calling this winter over, but I'm not ready to wave the white flag yet. It seems as though there are some signs of La Nina, which has been roaring away for the past few months, finally giving out. Could this mean more snow? That's a good question, and it's something we really need to watch for. Tomorrow could be interesting with a spot of wintry weather, but I honestly do not see it as a major threat. However, things can always change, and as always I will provide updates if needed.

Goodnight, Maryland, and vote smart tomorrow!

Also, an explanation on my politics...you'll remember I've taken this test before:

You are a

Social Moderate
(43% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(35% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Centrist (35e/43s)










Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Huckabee and Obama!

So Huckabee and Obama are coming to Maryland and I can't wait to see both! This comes on the heels of my political quiz results... Huckabee had a score of 25, Obama 22... followed closely by Hillary... I know that there is such a low chance of this, but I'd love Huckabee to get the nomination. More on these two candidates later...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Upset!

Maryland beat UNC! 82-80! Bring it Duke!

That's all for today, more tomorrow...

Friday, January 18, 2008

Okay, so, next storm?

Yes, another one could be coming this way Saturday. It's a close call right now. But whether we get 0.1", 1.0", or 10" is another story... I'll keep an eye out for this one.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Who Called It?

Okay so there was no set entry on the storm, but I'd like to say I got this one right. Last night I saw the storm coming in quick, and I said that we would get some more snow than the local mets predicted. I didn't like the maps they were issuing and I instead chose a forecast of more of a gradual increase from east to west. Generally, from what I have seen and heard, I was correct. I called for 1-2 inches immediate metro DC and south and east... inch or less and rain further out... and more snow off to the west. I nailed this one, and I'm hoping I nail the next one, coming up on Saturday.

Right now I'd place the possibility of accumulating snow at 20%. But we'll have to wait and see... there's tonight's teaser.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Snow is coming in sideways!

In vantage here, snow is coming in sideways! This is probably the heaviest snow I have seen in a few years, but unfortunately it won't amount to much. Half an inch at most with no accumulations on the sidewalks or roads, really. Unless it starts getting colder, as I've got 36 here, which actually just dropped to 28 so I guess some accumulations are possible before it ends here within a half an hour.

But I'm excited for the next couple weeks. Cold air coming in, conditions going just right!!! I'll probably be quiet so I don't jinx anything... but I think the next few weeks could be much more interesting... let's leave it at that.