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A retelling of my life in DC and all the stupid ass sh!t I get myself into...



The Devils Play Thing

My war against Sony (however puny it might have been) is over. You might recall that I was upset with their business practices, although effective, during the Blue Ray/HD DVD battle. That's all behind me as I've jumped on the PS3 band wagon. Yesterday, I hit the Best Buy like it was my job. At one point, I was carrying so many items an employee actually went to get me a cart. Reluctantly, refusing to admit my need for it I eventually took the shopping cart. Shopping cart at Best Buy? You know what that leads to? You just start piling more and more crap into it!! It's not just they system, no no no. That would be too easy!! There's extra controllers, charging stations, games, and the list keeps going. The grand total = $666.68. I tried to get the cashier to give me a $0.02 discount just to finish it off just right! Buuut, no dice.

After getting home and plugging it in, I think I spent the rest of the damn day (& night!) messing with it. The graphics are great. The interface is simple. The fact that the Sony Play Station network is free is a great bonus, and I've actually got it hard wired into the modem. Technically, the PS3 is currently the fastest web connection in the entire house! I picked up 3 games to go with it, Grand Tourismo 5, Rock Band 2 SE, & Fallout 3. I can't believe how far we've come with GT5. I remember GT1 where the cinematic replays were amazing but nothing compared to what the normal game play is in GT5. Amazing.

There's two bits of irony that I'm chuckling about this morning. First, I just dropped over $650 on gaming crap yesterday and this morning I'm still clipping grocery coupons to save $0.55!! Second, I had just rediscovered the enjoyment of picking up a good book and falling into the story that unfolds from the pages a few days sooner and now all I can think of is this shiny new toy! Well, all in moderation, right? A little PS3 time, a little book time, a little DVR time... now, if only I didn't have to work!


Like Christmas morning... only better!!

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 10:04 AM, ,




Totaled

According to the insurance adjuster that came to my house this morning, they are planning to total out the bike. And he strongly suggests that I take it. Sad. I feel like I just got it and just started riding it and it's gone already. I'm not sure I'm ready to shop for another bike now. Perhaps in the winter when the sales are insane since no one is buying anything I'll look at another ride. Or perhaps I'll see an amazing deal next week. I just don't know. Sad to see it go either way. :'(

Perhaps the next bike I invest in should have pedals instead? that could be the ticket. I saw a sweet a$$ Diamond Back at the shop the other day, full disc brakes, trigger shifters, front and rear shocks, nasty knobby tires... mmmmm. I know, Diamond Back probably isn't the top of the list for some of you hard core bikers out there, but I had one many years ago and really loved it.

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 1:46 PM, ,




Drowsiness my a$$!

As you may know, I was in a motorcycle accident last Sunday. And I've finally gone to the doctor to see if I'm ok or not. As it turns out, I've just got some bruising and basic aches, pains, and cuts associated with this type of injury. The doc prescribed me Flexeril and cautioned me that it might cause some mild drowsiness. So, I sat down last night with a sandwich for dinner and some DVR to catch up on. I took one of these little 5mg tabs with food as directed. The next thing I know, it's 13 hours later and I'm late getting up for work!! Wow! I haven't been that knocked out since college when I had strep!

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 9:56 AM, ,




Still? Really?

Sappy alert. If you hate my sappy drivel, just move on and skip this post.


Another trip under my belt, and another couple training sessions done. I work hard to handle all the issues as we travel. To me, they seem simple and trivial, but to my co-worker, she doesn't know how she ever traveled with out me. Good for job security, right? Right. The biggest challenge this time was the training facility which was grossly under powered. PC's with only ½ a gig of ram, some not even connected to the network, and never mind the head ache I had getting onto their servers in the first place. Ugh.

Despite being in a different state, hanging out with different people, my thoughts still float to her. On the plane, she floats through my thoughts like the clouds skimming past the wings. The distant horizons remind me over every time I got lost in her eyes and let the days turn into nights, then into days again. Sleep just seemed to be a luxury I didn't need. I'm sure it's unhealthy to fall that hard for someone, and I'm still shocked that I did. Quite honestly, I can't believe she's still on my mind. But she is. I'm not pining for her to come back by any means, I fully grasp that everything is done and I am moving on. It's just taken longer then I or anyone that knows me had ever expected. Normally, I'd employ the "The best way to get over someone is to get under someone else" methodology, but I just don't really want that right now. What do I want? If I knew that, I'd go and find it now wouldn't I?

In the mean time, not dating or partying hard sure is saving a hell of a lot of money and keeping me waaaaaaay out of the drama. When will I start up drinking/partying hard again? I don't know. Something drove me to just lose the taste for it. Some say it's part of maturing or growing up. Perhaps. Only time will tell me and you how this story will play out. Oh sure, we both have our guesses. But I wanna watch it all happen first hand!

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 6:15 PM, ,




Cool Toys

These machines are freakin cool to me!!

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 4:25 PM, ,




Random Screening?

I made my flight today by the skin of my teeth… well, I guess I could have been a little later but I’d rather not chance it. I got there right as everyone lined up to get on the flight. Perfect! No waiting although I would have liked to grab some breakfast or something to fill the belly this morning. It seems like every time I pass through TSA, I get pulled aside for additional random screening. WTF? Do I look suspicious or something? The machine was pretty cool that they used, but why wouldn’t it be able to tell that I have nothing in my pockets? a. I dumped everything out and I still had to turn them inside out? I think I say this every time, but screw you terrorists. You have made air travel annoying.

Last night I went to see The Goods in an effort to just get outta the house and not lay around with an ice pack. In retrospect, I probably should have just laid around with an ice pack on. The movie was great, but really… I just got into a bike accident. I’m so damned stubborn I guess. I only mention the movie b/c there is an airline portion to it that is all sorts of funny with the main character getting his way on the plane and of course a party starts up almost immediately after. Great movie for a couple of laughs, but no real depth to it. Think The Hangover, similar style of movie. (mmm…. Peanuts - they just served us peanuts on the flight) On that note, I’m out before the baby on the plane starts crying again testing the noise cancellation properties of my head phones.

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 8:23 PM, ,




Already?!


Well, they say everyone lays down their bike. First off, fcuk you 'they' for being correct. I got run off the road today by a Mitsubishi Galant from Jersey. I've driven one and know that those things have crap for visibility so I believe the guy didn't do it on purpose. The bike went sliding (on the right side again) up the street and I went sliding in a diff direction from it. It was either bounce off the car or lay the bike down. I think I made the right call. I ended up bouncing off a curb with my hip/back... Fun!!

The bike now needs a new upper cowl as mine is currently snapped in half. The front brake control is jacked as well as the throttle response plus the exhaust is now loose too. Well, I've been wanting to replace the body work anyways, now's a good a time as any, right? Well, back to the shop for the bike and my paycheck. Man, am I glad I wore all my gear today. I don't know how people ride in less.

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 5:25 PM, ,




Sparse

OMG... WTF? I can't seem to get onto the interwebs and update lately? I assure you, it's not for a lack of activities or thoughts on my mind. I've actually been busy at the office getting ready for some upcoming travel. Work @ work? What a crazy concept! While on travel, I generally have some down time in the evenings to continue to update and today seems to have slowed down a little as well. So... perhaps even a couple posts today? I'll back date them of course for the day they were supposed to be posted on!!

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 1:52 PM, ,




Biker Bash

Yesterday (Sunday) I went out to join DC101's Biker Bash. It's a good ride for a good cause. What better way to spend a beautiful day? Luckily, I didn't stay out too late the night before so I awoke refreshed, well rested, and ready to get out on the road. The ride up BW Parkway in the morning was nice. Not too much traffic and the weather was still very cool out. I arrived 90 minutes early to scope out the area, the dealership, and to get a snack. Even at 90 mins, I was about the 1,000th or so bike there. Wow... crowded! Included in my registration was a cool T-Shirt with the logo you see here on the right and a Biker Bash pin. I snagged 2, one for the roomie!

After a quick talk from the powers that be and the national anthem, we mount up and are ready to go. Looking around all I think is "am I the only one that wears any riding gear?" Seriously, how are there not more dead (or road rashed) riders. Only the ricers seem to wear riding gear out there. One wise old biker said to me "You dress for the wreck, not for the ride" Good statement. I think I'm gonna invest in some new riding kicks next. Anyways, we are off with a freaking TON of riders. I didn't ride with anyone that I met up with b/c the lot was so jam packed, you just had to get in where you were in line and ride with whom ever is next to you. No big as I was able to meet up with them at the end.

The ride was 44.5 miles on a hot hot day of too slow riding if you ask me. Then again, I do ride a rice rocket! The greatest part is the police escort we get on these rides. They closed down the BW Parkway for us and every single exit ramp we passed so that no cars or other bikes could join us. Also, lights and stop signs... well, you get to ignore those on this ride! Very cool. The end was this large bar with two stages and an outdoor sandy area with tables. It's in BFE, but still a cool spot. There's a cover band on the stage that sounds good and some refreshments that'll cost you an arm and a leg. Over all, a nice ending spot. I didn't stay long as I wanted to head back south and get my rock band on!! Yeah, I know... dork! I'm ok with that!

Click here to see the official pix from DC 101!

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 2:37 PM, ,




Transfer

Don't take your frustrations out on this train operator. Or have the balls to say it to my face. Be a man. Fcuk I hate this Job. Next station, Pentagon. Doors opening, left side.

Last night I went out for a nice 5 mile run through muck and gunk and creeks. The area was a little ghetto... Let me elaborate. The cops stopped to watch our circle for our protection. I got to talking to them and as it would seem, there was a car jacking about a block from where we are. The perps jacked a late model Subaru and didn't make it 3 blocks before they got busted. On the plus side, the cops looooove us in area's like this! When they came back later, one cop said he was only here b/c he didn't believe there were 100 white folks around this area and wanted to see it with his own eyes! Ha, his words, not mine. Very cool guys and good to chat with.

So we head back to the metro, in groups mind you, to find a 7 minute delay. No prob, it's late and that's not a bad wait. That 7 minute marker doesn't budge so it's more like 10+ mins when the train finally picks us up. Ok, no biggie, still not too bad. I should have seen this as foreshadowing of things to come! We all ride the train singing rowdy songs and carrying on as it were till it's time to transfer. A few people head over to the orange or blue a few left us for the red, but we await the Yellow line on this occasion. I see others waiting, so I'm sure it won't be too long. The sign says 14 mins. It sucks, but ok. 14 minutes later... The sign says 14 minutes. WTF? An additional 5 minutes later, it now says 16 minutes followed by 18 minutes, then 20 minutes. Metro.. Have you somehow found a way to make time flow backwards?!?!

Ok, so long story short about 45 minutes later a Green line pulls up and proceeds to sit on the tracks for 20 minutes. Really? Move that P.O.S.!! When they finally leave, we are all thrilled to see a shiny new Yellow line train heading our way. Finally!! Only 70 minutes waiting to just transfer here. WTF?? Had they put up that it was a 70 minute wait on a train I'm pretty sure everyone would have happily jumped out and grabbed a cab. When we get on the train and start to pull away from the station, the driver is on the loud speaker smack talking (quotes above) with the station manager. I guess they got into it a little? Personally, I found their spat and the drivers announcement to be the highlight of the cluster fcuk that was this never ending transfer. I'm pretty sure that's what he said and I was glad I wrote it down before I forgot. Tooo funny. What's not funny is getting home around 130 b/c of a metro fcuk up. Come on WMATA. Get your sh!t together.

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 11:22 AM, ,




Riding the Duck

I'm finally getting around to some of the things that I've been wanting to do since I first moved to DC. In this instance, I'm going to ride the duck. I been seeing these things around DC for years, and now I'm finally gonna go take a spin in one. What is this thing? It's a restored 1940's amphibious war vehicle that can drive on land and act as a boat. You basically get in and tool around DC for a few hours and then up and down the Potomac a bit. Oh, and there's a tour guide telling you interesting stuff about the area too. I'm excited.


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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 12:30 PM, ,




Joy Riding

This past weekend on a beautiful Saturday, I woke up, grabbed my gear and went out riding!! My riding was part riding and part party hopping. But hey, you gotta get to the party somehow, right? Heading north around 1ish to get to my first stop takes me up to the far side of Baltimore, which I'd like to note has excellent liquor prices. What? I can't show up empty handed!! Good thing I have that cargo net to hold down a nice bottle of Johnny Black Label. Aside from good liquor prices, I learned that the folks on the road up there freakin fly!! I'm doing like 75-80 with some of the traffic while the rest of traffic is just blowing by me on the left! Wait a min.. aren't I the sports bike? Shouldn't I be the one flying here?!

The party was a great little gathering a house with a ridiculous amount of space and a quint little back yard. Good snacks, good folks, but alas I must move on. Heading south bound I need to make a pit stop at my place to grab my liner. The night before, the temp dropped a lot in the evening and I want to be prepared. The trunk on the bike holds exactly 1 hat, 1 jacket liner, and 1 registration/insurance card. That is max capacity I heard! Finally, a trunk to make the Jeep's trunk look massive!

Grabbing my liner, I'm on to the next stop... Herndon! The plan is to meeting up at the tail end of a pub crawl with some friends from out west. You know, with this bike that commute just doesn't seem that long. Maybe it's the ease that I can get through traffic or the speed of the commute or the fact that the commute is now an exciting journey rather then a feeling of how soon can I get off these roads. Regardless, the distance just doesn't feel far at all anymore. I arrive to a drunken mess (it's a pub crawl, duh!) but a few of the organizers still have their wits about them. One is getting a grill going with some burgers and hot dogs, another is preparing the biggest damn Stromboli I've ever seen. Delish! After some good socializing and some tasty treats, it's time to move on.

Next, I head into the city for a house party and try to catch up with a crew that's doing a send off for another friend. She's moving to China... sad. But, basically the Chinese are paying her to study Mandarin so I guess it can't be all bad, right? Anyways, this party is deff much more rowdy then the previous two with a Vodka filled watermelon and beers flowing freely and quickly for all. This is the same house that has that glorious view of the city from the roof... but it also has a ladder leading to the roof that is absolutely terrifying!! Once the bulk of the party heads up there, I call it time to hop back on the bike.

It's a beautiful crisp night for riding, but not as cool as the night before so no need for the liner. Nice to know it'll fit if I need it tho. Cruising home is pleasant to the point where I don't really wanna go home so I take the scenic route around. But finally, it's time. I think I've put 150-200 miles under my belt today alone which I calculated translates into 41+mpg!! Wow, almost triple the miles I get on the Jeep? Sweeet! Click on the map up top to zoom in for more details on the ride.

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 9:40 AM, ,




Colorado

Colorado, WTF is going on? Why are you stealing more and more of my friends to move out to you? What is soooo awesome out there that's drawing people away from the DC metro? It's not just couples that are going to start a new life, but single folks too. Is it the mountains? Is there a good infrastructure that supports a ton of commerce out that way? What is it? Don't get me wrong, I've been long tempted to go out there and be a ski bum while bar tending full time, but I think at this point in my life I might have missed my window for that. I make you this warning Colorado... Stop stealing my peoples!!!

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 10:09 AM, ,




28 Courses

Last night, I took my mom out for her birthday to a unique location. MiniBar… maybe you heard of it? It is quite possibly the hardest place to get into in all of DC. We were joined by two younger girls who happened to jump on a last minute cancellation the day of and a couple a little older then me. Nice folks. The entire meal is served by 2 chefs as they prepare the intricate little servings in front of you. Our chef's were very good and classically trained in French cuisine I believe. The plan here, is to sample the first one or two bites of each dish since those are the ones that hit your pallet the strongest and let you get a feel for the dish. Ergo, all the dishes are only 1 to 2 bits. The meal went one course at a time with the chef's explaining what they were serving and how to best eat it. Starting with small snacks, moving into heavier foods and finishing up with a desert course.

It was very impressive, but at $1000 for 6 people, it had better be. I found all of the food to be very interesting, but I was more impressed by the techniques the chef's were using, their interactions (team work), and how well kept their stations were through out service. Things like how the dishes come together and q & a sessions were more interesting to me then some of the flavors. I don't think I have a pallet for fancy fancy foods. I really like the concept, and I was impressed... But was I blown away? Nope. I think I learned something about myself... I'm clearly a meat and potatoes kind of guy. This was a very nice experience, I'm glad my mom liked it, and it's something that I can say I've done. But I would have been just as happy at an Outback eating a slab of rare prime rib.

This is the solid Mojito. The outter shell has been frozen by liquid nitrogen, but the center is still a liquid.

This is Almonds and blue cheese served over chilled rocks to keep the shell in a solid state.

This is a cucumber yogurt salad. Notice the frozen scoop of yogurt in the center... it's not traditional yogurt it's a sauce of sorts. Surrounded by cucumbers with the flower petal still on and a balsamic reduction.

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 3:28 PM, ,




Still on the Wagon

As of Tuesday, I'm on day 10 in a row run of no drinking. It's interesting going out with my same crew and watching the show rather then being a part of it or making the show. I'm not sure why, but in these past few weeks I've more enjoyed taking a back seat as opposed to getting all up in the middle of it. Am I growing up? Am I just tired? Am I sick of the poor judgement I exhibit courtesy of alcohol? I don't know, maybe one of those or maybe it's something entirely different. I think I'm losing a little weight as a result, I can see it in my face a bit. But I mean, take away 10,000 calorie evenings and you are bound to shed a few pounds!!

My question... I am hitting the MiniBar for dinner and part of their tasting includes an edible Mojito and a Pisco sour. Does that count as drinking or will I still be on the wagon? I mean, technically these are all items prepared by chef's as part of the tasting menu, but do they count as drinks? It's a fine line and I've gotten yes' and no's depending on who I asked.

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 3:38 PM, ,




Getting Acquainted

Earlier this week, I got the bike back and I figured it's time for us to get to know one another a little better!! What better way then go for a couple late night rides… I <3 night riding! I'm not sure why, but there's something about it that's just so damned peaceful. Just you and the road. It's probably why I love door free Jeep time in the summer at night too. First things first, it's let's get a new jacket to be sure I'm well padded and safe just in case. At first I thought this jacket was soooo damned loud and ostentatious that I wasn't really considering it. But having bought it anyway, I really really like it! Besides, the idea is to be seen so it's supposed to be loud! On the first test run I learned that it accelerates soooo fast, that it pushes the mirrors back! Ha. Ok, I can fix that with the tightening of a few screws. Otherwise, it's been running like a champ! Now I just gotta wait for my new rear LED turn signals that are in the mail. Can't wait to put 'em on. I think it'll be good for me to have some sort of signals vs. the none that are on there now!

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 4:46 PM, ,




I got it!!

After calling every day non stop for over a month, I have finally gotten one of DC's MOST coveted reservations!! A seating for two to MiniBar! Why so difficult you ask? Well, there are only 12 seating's per night. There is no menu, everything is a tasting menu from the chef's themselves. And last but not least, this restaurant works with Molecular Gastronomy which is very hard to find as it's expensive and not easy to do well. It's that last point that's gotten me working so hard to get a reservation. My mom is really into that style of cooking/mixology, and I wanted to do something nice for her birthday. So, Win! Now… what the hell is upscale casual??

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 2:44 PM, ,