Voted "Best Blog With No Readers", 2009 Blogspot Awards.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Two Hamsters, One Wheel: The Director's Cut

Save this and watch it when you need a dose of hamster fun.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Your Guess is As Good as Mine

Just what breeds are we looking at here? Bloodhound and Beagle? Dachshund and Black Lab?


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

That Poor Car

I saw this Taurus wagon a few years back in a North Bethesda parking garage. Here is why you should always have a camera with you. I shot several pictures all around the car before realizing there was someone in it.

I've seen other cars filled with junk, but I doubt whether some of them are driveable. This one rolled. If you look closely, you can even see the driver.

(click for bigger)

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Travel Bug Made Me Do It

(click for bigger)

It's not just any travel bug, it's a MEDCOM travel bug. That means its owner wants pictures of it at US Army locations. Montgomery County offers a wealth of opportunities for seeing sites dedicated to medicine and the military, but I know of a place called Forest Glen where they intersect most appropriately for this TB.

I used to ride my bike around there as a kid. I remember the pagoda and the "miniature european city". The old city is gone now, replaced by semi-detached housing. On the other side of the road, the Army does their business in a big blue building named after Senator Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii.

I figured I would just pass through the area sometime and stop there to take pictures with the TB. As it turned out, I didn't get that opportunity for so long that its owner emailed me wondering if I still had it.

So I made a road trip down Beach Drive, turning right at the Emerald City, under the beltway and left. Then right and up one of the steeper hills in the area. Then left and go straight. The WRAIR is the place on the right with the fence and guards. The picture above is of the old front gate over on Brookville Road. If you click on it and look closely, you can see the esteemed Senator's name over the entrance.

I probably gave their security people something to do for a while. I'm sure they got better footage of me than I got of them. I imagined an official vehicle rolling up and some guys with badges wanting to know just why they shouldn't send me to Gitmo. I used to ride my bike in there. Times have changed.

Friday, October 10, 2008

It's Hard Out Here for a Christian

It seems the Christians in India are just too good at converting Hindus. The message of peace, charity, and "least of my brothers" (Mat 25:40) has found an audience, particularly among the Dalits, or "untouchables", mostly in the eastern Indian state of Orissa.

Of course, this has upset many Hindus. The murder of one of the Hindu religious leaders, Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, on August 23, 2008 gave them the excuse they were looking for. Never mind that Saraswati was killed by Maoist rebels-- the rebels are too hard to find. Instead, these Hindus have gone after the Christians and their churches.

According to the Roman Catholic Church, in the past several weeks, about 300 churches have been burned, and about 50,000 Christians were made homeless. Did you catch this on the news? Probably not. The media must have been too busy to tell you.

Black Friday

In honor of the stock market's biggest one-week drop ever, I give you a classic by Steely Dan:

Monday, October 6, 2008

One Hell of a Race This Weekend

I don't mean that demolition derby in Talladega. I'm talking about the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. Ten hours of furious driving and non-stop action from start to finish. Sometimes endurance races like this are won by a margin measured in laps. This one was won by less than five seconds. It took a thousand miles to get there.

I have to say right here that if they want to capture an American audience, giving it a poofy French name won't help. But let's try to overlook that. Some of the best drivers in the world went down to Georgia, looking for victory. The best automakers in the world sent their best cars, seeking bragging rights. Audi, Acura, Chevrolet, Ferrari, Peugeot, and Porsche were all there. Thirteen automakers in all, from six countries: Germany (2), France, Japan, USA (4), UK (4), and Italy.

In the LMP1 class, Peugeot sent a great car, seeking once again to break Audi's dominance. Just like Le Mans in July, they won the pole and led many laps, but were passed by an Audi late in the race and went home in frustration. The real winner was us, who got to see the good stuff. This was the kind of racing I live for.

Chevrolet, having chased away all competitors in GT1, had only themselves to beat. They sent two evenly matched Corvettes and left them to fight it out. Fight they did, with more of the fender-banging that's become customary between the teams at Corvette Racing.

Acura squared off against Porsche in the LMP2 class, but a series of mishaps left Acura's hopes dashed. Roger Penske's Porsche teams pulled off a 1-2-3 finish.

The GT2 class was another classic Ferrari-Porsche slugfest. Just like Sebring was in the spring, with the Ferrari F430 GT of Risi Competizione battling the Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR right down to the wire. Back in the spring, they had an incredible fight to the checkered flag at Sebring, trading paint and leaving dents. Petit Le Mans was incredibly close too, with Ferrari winning by seconds.

For race fans that really get into the dirty details of why and how race teams put cars on the track, this is the best thing going. And for those of you who just watch for the wrecks, there were several of those, too. Look on YouTube.

You've got one more chance to catch these cars this season, at Laguna Seca. It'll be broadcast October 19th on NBC. Check your TV guide for the exact time, or go to

Moribund the Burgermeister

Back in the Middle Ages, a curious phenomenon would sometimes occur. Many people would suddenly go insane, with hallucinations and wild dancing. In 1969, it would be called Woodstock. Back in 1569, they called it Saint John's Dance. Nobody understood it, so in keeping with the times, they blamed it on the devil.

Modern scientists believe it was a manifestation of ergotism, caused by a fungus which infests grains, particularly rye. It produces chemicals similar to LSD, so it really wasn't much different from Woodstock after all. Come to think of it, I'm sure there are people who think that Woodstock was the devil's work, too.

Leave it to Peter Gabriel to write a song about it. This is one of his very best. He never made a video for it, but a fan put his own on YouTube. Play it loud.

Friday, October 3, 2008

I'll admit it, this was clever

At least I didn't have to listen to that damned song again.

Reading List

  • Man Is Wolf to Man, by Janusz Bardach
  • Don't Swallow Your Gum! by Aaron Carroll & Rachel Vreeman
  • Instant Replay, by Jerry Kramer and Dick Schaap
  • New York, by Edward Rutherford
  • The Mother Tongue, by Bill Bryson

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