Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My Morning Jacket on Letterman

Nothing says rock and roll like tuxedos.

Questions? Comments? Concerns?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ravens' Third Down End Zone Guy

This is a fan in the Baltimore Ravens' end zone who took it upon himself to rally the crowd every time the Ravens defense was making a third down play, with hilarious results. Each third down he would descend from the upper section of the 100 level and do his thing. I filmed this at their game against the Oakland Raiders on October 26, 2008 at M&T Bank Stadium.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Election Predictions!

Here are my predictions for tomorrow's elections. Please leave a comment with your own.
  • President: Barack Obama
  • Electoral College: Obama 353, McCain 185
  • Senate Seats: Democrats 58, Republicans 42
  • California Proposition 8 will pass
  • Swing States: Obama will win Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, and Missouri. McCain will win Indiana.
Those are some of the most important/interesting ones. Feel free to make predictions on the ones I've named as well as any others.

Please note that these are my predictions, not necessarily what I hope will happen. Also, don't bother checking my math on the swing states and the electoral college totals, I didn't.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Highly Suspicious!

Last night we went to the My Morning Jacket show at the DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. and got our faces rocked right off, so to speak. I had no idea how hard they rocked live. Wow! My head is still buzzing but thankfully my hearing has returned. There were a few times when the music was so loud and reverberating off the walls in our corner of the hall and the band was jamming so hard that I got dizzy and almost fell. It was two and a half hours of pure rock and roll. What a great show!

I caught a few videos and they turned out really well. I've tried to upload them but for some reason it's not working. As soon as I can get them loaded I'll post them here.

If you ever get the chance, go see them.

UPDATE: I've got the video for 'Smokin from Shootin' loaded and I'm still trying to get 'Golden' loaded. Check back later to see if it's here.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Here's Washington Nationals team president Stan Kasten milling about in front of us at a game against the Mets earlier this month at Nationals Park.

Mmm. That's good milling.

Friday, July 18, 2008

People Who Have Never Been In My Kitchen

Pop Quiz: What do these people have in common?

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy Birthday America!

She has not yet begun to soar, indeed.

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Salad Days
Five years and counting...

Monday, June 02, 2008

This Deserves Its Own Post

This originally was a comment on the last post but I figure it's valuable enough information that it deserves to stand on its own. I give you

my least favorite musicians/bands of all time:

1. Phil Collins
2. Huey Lewis
3. Janet Jackson
4. Spin Doctors
5. Any band named after an American city (Boston, Kansas, Chicago) or otherwise identified as not being from around here (Foreigner) or who had a lead singer named Steve (Journey).

That's mine, how about yours?

Friday, May 23, 2008

True Story

Tonight after my bar review class (seven hours of Wills and Trusts is not good for the soul) I was dying for a donut from Starbucks. You know, one of the chocolate old-fashioned ones. It was evening and when I saw that there weren't any in the display window, I asked the woman behind the counter if they had any. I guess she was just putting them away because she had them on the counter. She asked, "Do you really like donuts at this time of day?" I replied, "Lady, I like donuts any time of day," except I don't think I called her lady, and she might have been a man.

Am I just crazy? What's wrong with a donut at 7:00 at night?

Don't tell Christina about this. I told her I didn't have anything to eat. Good thing she doesn't read this (her!) blog.

Strangely enough, 40 minutes later I ordered a churro at Baja Fresh and no one batted an eyelash.

Related Video: True Faith by New Order (Is it just me or is New Order way awesomer if you don't watch their videos? Am I right?)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Salute to the Negro Leagues Day at Nationals Park

We went to a Nationals game a week ago and had a great time. It was "Salute to the Negro Leagues Day" at the park. They had a few of the Negro League stars and representatives of others, including the great grandson of the Homestead Grays own Josh Gibson. The Nats played the Pirates, and, as you will recall, the Homestead Grays made their home in Pittsburgh before moving to Washington, D.C. keeping the name "Homestead" Grays. Thus both teams that day were the Grays. It was really cool.

Here are a few of the many pictures we took. It's a beautiful park. I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed the look and feel of the place. I've heard complaints that the outside of the stadium leaves something to be desired, especially given the exterior look of a lot of the great new ballparks (and, of course, the old ones), but really, no one is going to be looking at the outside of it. The main entrance (shown in this first picture) is from the direction of the Metro coming from left center field. I really doubt many fans will even be seeing much of the "front" of the building.

So, I'm really pleased with it. I look forward to spending many a Summer night there (and hopefully few Summer days...the game we went to was an afternoon game on May 3rd and it was hot [with "two ts" as Letterman's intern Lyle might say]).

One thing though, why does the Pope get the whole stadium and all the Mormon missionaries get is lousy Section 230?

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Something Actually Relevant to Finals

I'm studying for finals and, I kid you not, I just read this line in my estate planning textbook:

A 'flip unitrust' (FLIPCRUT) is a unitrust that begins as a NIMCRUT or NIOCRUT and, after a trigger event, flips to a fixed-percentage CRUT.

Henkel, Katherine G. Estate Planning and Wealth Preservation, 33-4.

I'm just gonna assume that I can get away with knowing about CRUTs and CRATs and skip memorizing the FLIPCRUT and NIMCRUT jazz. Am I right people?

Friday, May 02, 2008

A Short Finals Diversion

"If You Don't Know Me By Now" by David Brent

Monday, April 07, 2008


Obviously you don't ever want to get into a fight with me.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Opening Day!

How awesome was that Nationals-Braves game last night? If you're the type of baseball fan who doesn't enjoy a pitching duel then this game wasn't for you and you would have done well to watch only the first and the ninth innings. What an ending. In case you missed it here's my rambling, stream-of-consciousness recap: Cristian Guzman led off the bottom of the first with a broken bat single -- the first ever hit at the new Nationals' Park. He was followed with a broken bat double (there were a lot of broken bats in this game) by Nick Johnson hitting third (I forget who hit second, whether it was the new guy from Tampa Bay or Lastings Milledge). This is great news for Nats fans because Guzman went out for the season early last year and Nick Johnson didn't play at all. In case you only remember the Cristian Guzman of 2005, he was actually having a decent year last year when he went down. Christina didn't believe me when I told her yesterday afternoon that I expected him to have a good year. While the Nick Johnson return is good news it's not necessarily going to be an improvement at first base over last year because Dmitri Young took his spot, had an OPS of .869, and was an all-star (Ken Tremendous would murder me for even mentioning that he was an all-star, but I'm mentioning it anyway). They will have a boost at pinch hitter, however. Anyway, back to the game. Johnson was then driven in by Austin Kearns. The only other scoring before the ninth inning was in the top of the fourth when Chipper Jones lined one over the left center wall for the first home run in Nationals' Park history. It probably would not have gone out in RFK and I get the feeling that I'll be thinking that to myself a lot this year. The guy who ended up with the home run ball looked as happy as a clam and all the while I was thinking to myself (maybe I was even saying it out loud) that he should throw it back like they do at Wrigley. Alas, he kept the ball. I probably would have done the same. I guess we'll have to come up with our own traditions. So it stood at 2-1 until the top of the ninth. The Braves got someone to third and I have no recollection of how. Jon Rauch threw a wild pitch -- or maybe it was a passed ball by new catcher/alleged steroid user Paul Lo Duca -- and the runner scored. Disappointing. Then with two outs in the bottom of the ninth the Legend of Ryan Zimmerman added a new chapter when he lined one just over the wall in left center. What a start, what a finish.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Some of My Favorite Podcasts

I have a pretty long commute to school so I've spent a lot of time listening to podcasts the last few years. These are some of my favorites:

EconTalk. This is hands down my favorite podcast. It's a free trade/free market/libertarian oriented podcast hosted by George Mason University economics professor Russ Roberts. I'm no economist but for the most part Roberts keeps the language and concepts simple for people like me to understand. This podcast is part of a trend I see of economists trying to make their field more accessible to the layman.

A Way With Words. I've been listening to this one for a couple years now. It's a language and word oriented call-in show hosted by two linguists/etymologists/"word nerds." I've always been interested in language so I find it entertaining but I think it would also appeal to anyone across the spectrum of interest in language. It's kind of like car talk without the cars.

Fresh Air
. If you're a huge fan of Bill O'Reilly or Fox News you're probably not going to like the fact that I love Fresh Air with Terry Gross. There's just something I love about a great interviewer, and Terry Gross is a great interviewer. Now if Charlie Rose would only make his shows available for free download.

Eric D. Snider's "In the Dark"
. This is a short weekly podcast in which Eric D. Snider basically reads his reviews of the week's major movie releases. He also points out which films are "Hollywood's Shameful Secrets": those movies that the studios don't screen for critics in order to avoid negative opening day reviews. If you enjoy reading his reviews you'll probably enjoy his podcast too.

Friday, March 07, 2008

This Tuesday's post about U2 inspired Christina to surprise me with tickets to the IMAX theater at the Smithsonian to see the new U23D, a movie about Bono and his many sweaty jackets.

I went in not expecting much -- I wasn't highly impressed with the Elevation Tour concert DVD -- but this really was an awesome show. The 3D was brilliant and it was a great concert to make into a film, the last one of the tour in Buenos Aires, Argentina, I believe.

Watching U2 perform is a lot like watching the Stockton-to-Malone Jazz perform: they've been doing it so long together that they instinctively know what the others are doing before they do it. And like Stockton and Malone, it just wouldn't be right to see them playing without each other. If they were ever to separate, say if The Edge left to play guitar for the Shins, he'd probably break his hand and never really make it, kind of like Karl Malone with the Lakers. It's just not meant to be any other way.

The highlight of the show for me was when they played Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own. As they played the song a sort of faceless cartoon man in a suit was shown on the giant screen behind the stage walking toward Bono (shown on another screen) to the beat of the music. It helps to know that he wrote the song for his father and even sang it at his funeral. It was pretty cool.

There's a lot to say about this movie but I'll just keep this short. If you're a U2 fan you'll probably love the movie. If you're not a fan you'll probably still appreciate it and at least enjoy feeling like you're in the the stadium at the show. Like most of what U2 does it was a bit pretentious and preachy and probably too melodramatic at times but it was easy to look past that.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

New York, London, Paris, Wiener Neustadt...Everybody Talk About Pop Music

Anyone who set foot in a bank in Austria during the first half of 1997 should recognize this image. There were stacks and stacks of these fliers for several months. It's an advertisement for the U2 concert which took place on August 16, 1997, in Wiener Neustadt, Austria. Let me back up a moment to explain why this is important to me.

I was a huge U2 fan in high school (still am but they're not really doing it for me lately) and looked forward to the day when I could see them live. I was too young when they went on their Zoo tour and the closest place to Orem, Utah that they played was Las Vegas. There was a rumor circulating in Utah that they refused to play in Salt Lake because of some incident that happened to them there in the early 1980s. I'm sure other people out there know more about this than I do but I've also heard that this story is a bunch of hogwash. So I never had a chance to see U2 live because they never came to Utah on their tours, whatever the reason was. That changed with their Pop tour in 1997. I was getting ready to go on my mission when they announced their tour dates and this time they were finally coming to Salt Lake. Our long, state-wide nightmare was over. A lot of good it did me though because I was going to be in the MTC. But as I looked at their tour schedule I saw a silver lining -- they had also scheduled a date in Austria (where I just so happened to be going on my mission).

The U2 mania in Austria was palpable. Posters and fliers plastered every city and articles in the Krone Zeitung with headlines of Bono declaring "Ich bin Monster und Poet" abounded. Women and girls wept openly at the sight of the charismatic front-man in the media (I'm actually not sure if that's because they were so happy he was coming or if they were sad about his bad haircut). And then the fateful day: Meh, it turns out that I was nowhere near Wiener Neustadt, which is about 40 kilometers south of Vienna (don't ask me what that is in miles). I was in a city in southern Austria called Klagenfurt looking at the world's largest statute of a dragon. It's called the Lindwurm. You should check it out if you ever get the chance. (I should also point out that missionaries aren't allowed to go to concerts so I wouldn't have seen them anyway.)
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