Saturday, August 22, 2009

Day 318/365 - Hammering

It was raining again at Nationals Park tonight. The Nats aren't going to set a record for losses this year (thank heavens), but it's starting to look like they may set a record for rain delays. If it weren't a bobblehead night, I probably would've just stayed home.

It was though, so I ventured over to the ballpark, picked up my Frank Howard bobblehead, bought a Jesus Flores t-shirt from the team store, had a beer and an order of chili cheese fries to counteract the salad and diet Snapple I had for lunch, and then gave up and came home.

It was raining when I left the ballpark and still raining when I got home. Hang on, let me check and see if they've gotten around to starting the game yet...

Yikes! It's the second inning and Milwaukee is ahead 7-0. So much for turning on the tv to watch the game. I originally intended for the title of this post to be a bit of a play on both the rain coming down and the blistering Frank Howard's statue at Nats Park is giving the ball in the photo above. Now I guess it's also a reference to what's happening to the Nats on the field. Bummer.

I'm not really sold on this statue or its two brethren (Walter Johnson and Josh Gibson), btw. They're all done with the same "motion tracking" style. Big Frank's statue is supposed to capture his swing and give a sense of energy to what is typically a very static art form. It's a good concept and all, but it really just makes him look like the six-armed bastard child of a Hindu deity with seaweed clinging to his bat.

(Taken with my Nikon Coolpix S200)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Day 317/365 - H O T

After a mild start, summer in DC has taken a turn toward the miserable. It's hot and the air is as thick and sticky as syrup. Being outside is like walking around with a wet woolen blanket draped over you.

I had thought about going to a county fair tonight, but then I decided I'd rather just stay in the air-conditioned indoors and watch some old movies off my DVR. Given that it rained pretty hard earlier, I think I made the right call. Plus I got to watch one Stewart Granger-Grace Kelly movie ("Green Fire") and another with Clark Gable and Susan Heyward ("Soldier of Fortune").

BTW, this shot is part of a sign in the Potbelly's sandwich shop at work. I swung by there this afternoon for an Oreo milkshake. I'm not all that crazy about their sammiches, but they do make some mean milkshakes.

(Taken with my Nikon Coolpix S200)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Day 316/365 - Brew at the Zoo

Hot, tired, and still half-drunk. I'll write a description at some point tomorrow.


Okay, I’m sober, awake, and air-conditioned now. I’d heard about Brew at the Zoo but never been before. It’s a fundraising event the National Zoo hosts every summer where they bring in around thirty breweries to set up booths at the Zoo and give out samples of their beers. For the price of your ticket you get a nice glass mug with the Brew at the Zoo logo etched on it and all the free samples of beer you can drink in three hours.

There is a sample line etched on the mug and many of the brewers were strict/stingy about only filling your glass up to that mark. I did notice that the women in attendance generally were given more in their glasses than guys, probably because most of the people working the booths and pouring the beer were guys. The booths are arranged in a loop at the back end of the zoo and you just get a sample and then move to the line for the next and drink your beer while you wait to move up to the head of the line. Which means that it’s pretty much just continuous beer drinking for hours. Because your mug is only getting filled to sample size, it doesn’t seem like you’re drinking that much but it adds up quickly.

I was supposed to go with a couple friends, but something came up and they were unable to go so I had to fly solo. It’s an event that would be more fun with friends, but it was still pretty good on my own. They should’ve handed out a map though showing the different brewers’ booths and listing their beers because if you find one you enjoy and would like to buy at the store, it’s hard to remember what it was after trying so many different ones (not to mention the memory fog brought on by simply drinking so much beer). Of the ones I liked, there are only two that I can remember by brewery – a porter by Flying Dog and a hefeweizen from Starr Hill. They were both delish.

My only gripe about the event is that it’s held at the worst possible time of year. August in DC is like a summer vacation in Hell. It’s so hot and muggy that the entire city feels like one big outdoor sauna. They should push Brew at the Zoo back until September when the weather is less brutal. Especially given that you have to hump it back up the hill to the zoo entrance after the event ends. I can’t lie, I had to stop twice and take a break on a bench for a few minutes (whether from the beer I’d drunk or the oppressive heat I don’t know. Possibly both).

If I go again next year I think I’ll spring for the VIP ticket. Then they throw in a free t-shirt, appetizers, and you have your own private beer booths so you don’t have to wait in line. Plus you’re under an awning in case it rains. After all, you don’t want the rain watering down your beer.

(Taken with my Nikon Coolpix S200)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Day 315/365 - Lunch with "Tony Plush"

My buddy Chris and I went to the ESPNZone for lunch today to catch a question and answer session with Washington Nationals centerfielder and lead-off man Nyjer Morgan, whose on-field alter ego is "Tony Plush."

It was a fun session. He's a very lively, entertaining, honest guy. He talked about how he left home in San Francisco when he was 16 to play hockey in a Canadian development league before hanging up his skates and going to college in Walla Walla where he started playing baseball.

He's become one of my favorite players since the Nats acquired him a month ago in a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He's an excellent centerfielder who can chase down nearly any ball, a deft basestealer, can hit for average, and seems like an all-around good guy.

Go Nyjer, go Nats!

(Taken with my Nikon Coolpix S200)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Day 314/365 - It's All Good!

Who cares if the Nats comeback against the Rockies fell a little short tonight and they lost 4-3, at least the game wasn't delayed by rain as I feared it would be. And, best of all, last night at one minute to midnight the Nats signed top draft pick Stephen Strasburg, the best amateur pitching prospect in the past 10 years!

So what if no pitcher taken number one overall in the draft has ever lived up to the hype and that even if Strasburg does he'll likely bolt to another city as soon as he's eligible for free agency, for the next six years he's going to be a Washington National.

Over the next several seasons I'll be looking forward to a lot of strikeouts, a fair number of wins, a couple playoff appearances, and a Cy Young award. The grass is always greener at the ballpark, even when it's home to a last-place team.

(Taken with my Nikon Coolpix S200)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Day 313/365 - Not a Work of Art

For this week's self-portrait, I took a shot of myself with my D90 and then ran it through the watercolor effect on an old version of Microsoft Photo Editor to give it the look of a painting rather than a photograph. This is me tired after a busy day at work.

(Taken with my Nikon D90)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Twice on Sunday Bonus Photo - Uniformity

This week's extra photo from my archives is a shot I took of the Navy Honor Guard at the Navy Memorial in Washington, DC last Veterans Day.

(Taken with my Nikon D80)

Day 312/365 - Post-It Note Impression No. 9

Time for me to make a fool of myself again with another Post-It Note impression. Quick, who am I this time?

(Taken with my Nikon Coolpix S200)