At what point is it okay to cry?

Crying is acceptable for men in certain situations. Certainly during Field of Dreams. Insulting a man for crying when Kevin Costner plays catch with his dad is actually a valid legal defense for murder in 29 states. But what about spilling a beer? I maintain that if that said beer is a Bell’s Two Hearted, and if it’s Sunday after 8pm so you can’t buy any more, crying is totally acceptable. The wife disagrees, but it wasn’t her beer. Fortunately, I didn’t spill it. I told her I almost did, and that I would have cried. She said she would have called me the “P” word. I’m not sure where to draw the line, though. If it were just a regular ale? What if it had spilled on my computer (Which it probably would have)? What if it were my work computer? Does the amount of beer (1/3 bottle, in this case) make a difference? How many left in the house (At that point just one more with my name on it)?

Move over, Sean, we’ve got a new jouster

This one happened across the pond, not in DC, but this story is nearly as good as our local hero who beat DC parking enforcement. They decided to change some parking rules in (near?) London. To do this, they paint double lines on the street right next to the curb. This is in stark contrast to the ridiculous signs they put up here in DC, or sometimes the total lack of markings, requiring you to just know that you can’t park within five feet of an alley. So this woman’s car was parked legally before the unpublicized change to the rules. After the change, she would be illegal. So what did they do? They lifted her car off the ground, painted the lines, and put the car back down. Parking enforcement then came by and towed her for parking illegally. The article linked above has an awesome picture. She eventually got her MP involved and was refunded the 2400 pound fine (I think the exchange rate is better now than it was last time I was over there, but that’s still nearly $4000). By the way, Express, feel free to quote me again, but try to get it right this time.

Adam Dunn owes me big

I’ve been to three Nationals games this year. I went to the home opener against the Phillies, I went to see the Cardinals in my second failed attempt to watch Albert Pujols, and I went to the Orioles game because I’m actually a fan of the Orioles, despite Peter Angelos’ attempts to the contrary. I just realized that Adam Dunn might wish I came around more often. Not only are the Nats 2-1 in those three games, but Dunn is hitting .455 with four home runs and 11 RBIs. His OPS is 2.175. Small sample size, sure, but I have yet to see him play a game in which he does not hit a home run, and he hit two against the Orioles, one a game-winning grand slam. If only I were a Nationals fan.

Doing a little gardening

Originally uploaded by thetejon

Up until this afternoon, it could have been argued that I lived in a dentist’s office. The front yard, such as it is, was clearly designed by someone who didn’t want to offend anyone. Unfortunately for him, I was offended. What are those grass-bush-things? They’re ugly. Especially after they got a little brown over the winter, and then they started growing again this spring. They looked terrible. I’ve been saying I wanted to replace them with something else pretty much since we moved in over two years ago. Today, I put my sweat where my mouth is. The wife, the kid, and I went to Garden District and got plants and mulch and a little spade. They were quite helpful there.

Originally uploaded by thetejon

We picked out a rose bush, some blue flowers, another bush that should flower late in the summer, and some marigolds. I don’t remember all the details, but I know I had a marigold garden when I was about four years old. I’m sure I did most of the upkeep work. In my opinion, clearly unbiased, it looks amazing. We’ll have to wait and see if anyone else in the building acknowledges my genius. One already told me it looked good, but he ran into me while I was cleaning up, so he pretty much had to say nice things. It remains to be seen if anyone else will do it unprompted. Luckily for me, a much improved garden is its own reward.

My kid is way cuter than that

I found out today that is having a contest to get your cute kid on the cover of their magazine. No offense to little Trevor, Cover Model 2008, but my little clownfish is a bazillion times cuter. We have no plans this weekend beyond her first baseball game (Orioles at Nationals on Sunday). So I’m planning to take some really cute pictures. What I need from you, readers (All of you who are still paying attention after the lack of updates these recent months), is suggestions on cutening up my daughter. She’s already off-the-charts cute, but I need more. I need photos of her that will literally make your eyeballs melt with cuteness. Like a puppy raised to the kitten power. I want to make Anne Geddes’ babies look like little gargoyles. How do I do that? Any suggestions are welcome. She’s a very smiley baby, so that isn’t an issue. What makes a cute baby photo?

Has Columbia Heights turned a corner?

The wife and kid and I went to D’Vines yesterday to get beer for the Celtics game (Probably should have gotten more considering the end result). Out in front of the Columbia Heights Metro were beggars from Greenpeace! While avoiding eye contact as much as possible, the wife and I were secretly thrilled that these organized panhandlers had branched out from the fancy spots like the P St Whole Foods to come to our neighborhood. Of course, now I’d like them to go away. I don’t like being accosted for my wallet every time I go near DCUSA.

Do you need a free custom honeymoon registry?

When I got married, we had a honeymoon registry. We had both been living on our own for a while, and then together for a bit, and so we had a lot of the things that people typically put on a wedding registry. It was fantastic for us – because so much of the honeymoon was paid for, we felt free to splurge a bit on things like a helicopter tour of the Twelve Apostles and mass quantities of wine in downtown Melbourne. A friend and his wife did the same thing for their wedding. It was easy for us because both of us are software guys, and know how to build a website. It may not be easy for you. That’s why he and I created After the I Dos. It’s a totally free (except for Paypal fees) honeymoon registry site. You can set up a registry and let your guests help finance your honeymoon. I mean, do you really need another set of towels? Wouldn’t you rather let your guests help pay for your skydiving adventure, wine tour, resort, or whatever you plan on doing for your honeymoon? All you need is a few minutes to set it up and a (free) Paypal account. You’ll get a website you can send out to your guests, and you can even show links to your other registry sites, or maybe your wedding site at The Knot or whatever. An added benefit is ease of thank-you notes. All you need to do is take a picture of you and your spouse doing whatever it is the person helped pay for, print a copy for 12 cents at Target, and write a quick note about how much fun you had. No more making excuses for why you haven’t used that expensive food processor that Aunt Greta bought you.

Guest post – Baltimore sucks, too

I do a lot of complaining here about the DC government. Turns out Baltimore has its share of problems, too. Here for your reading pleasure is a guest post from Gary at Vinotrip. Baltimore has a lot of problems. What big city doesn’t? I’ve lived in or around the city for most of my life and, as most Baltimoreans do, I give the city a pass on the problems that it faces. Sure, some things are nuts and don’t make sense, but it’s a good town. Two weeks ago, City Councilman Edward L. Reisinger (who represents me and my district) sponsored a bill to raise off-leash fines for dog owners from $100 to $1000. To little fanfare, the bill passed. Along with the good men and women of the Baltimore Police Department, Animal Control swept down on Riverside Park and started handing out $1000 fines. Needless to say, everyone is bitter. Smart move, Ed. Pass a ten-fold increase in fines targeted at dog owners in your district, then hold a neighborhood meeting about it. I get that dogs have pretty much taken over Riverside Park and if you are afraid of dogs, God help you because you’re going to fear for your life in this neighborhood. There is a leash law in the park, and that leash law should be enforced along with the law about picking up after your dog. Got all that. But the problem is sending several police officers and Animal Control officials to the park for days at a time. In Baltimore City where we probably have more important things to do besides extort taxpayers in a park. Well, city officials, your free pass is over. My self imposed gag-order on bitching about Baltimore has been lifted. Early last week, on Tuesday April 28th, a water main ruptured underneath a major downtown street. Water poured out, shut down streets during morning rush hour, closed businesses, and pretty much ruined the day for lots of people. They still haven’t gotten it fixed. Finally today, an entire week after the main broke, the city got up a sign on the major freeway heading into downtown regarding the major crosstown street shut down. For a full week, people rolling into the city found out the hard way that Lombard Street was still closed. The city can’t fix it. The city can’t put up a sign about it. The city can only bitch and moan and pander for Federal stimulus dollars. The best part is the quote from Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon at a press conference

“This is an example of what happens when you having a very aging infrastructure system,” Dixon told reporters.

You. Are. The. MAYOR. Don’t tell me we have a problem. I know we have a problem. GO FIX THE PROBLEM. Were I Dixon’s speechwriter, her news bite would have sounded something more like

“This is an example of what happens when you having a very aging infrastructure system,” Dixon told reporters. “But things aren’t all bad. We have a per capita murder rate so bad that if we had New York City’s population, there would be over 4,000 murders per year. Property taxes are 2.2% but we still can’t get water mains to stop exploding underneath downtown. We couldn’t even describe what a fully funded school looks like. Half the homes in low-income neighborhoods are boarded up and vacant. We send out Traffic Officials to stand under the traffic lights and direct traffic like we’re in North Korea. As your mayor, I’m riding around in a hybrid taxi trying to smile while being indicted for fraud But don’t worry everyone, we have that Riverside Park dog problem handled. I am on top of the dog issue. I’m sending more units down there as we speak.

It’s enough to make you cry. For all the problems going on, we get $1000 tickets dished out for having a dog off-leash. Maybe they can put that money toward fencing off a dog park, or the schools, or more police, or the water mains, or the traffic light timing…