Category Archives: Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot

Sometimes, things just make you say “WTF?!”

protractor_measuring_snow_northern_virginia

Winter 2013-2014 post-mortem

You know, I think what everybody wants to read about right now is the never-ending winter we just had, right?

My original intention was to post this concurrent with the spring equinox, but the looming threat of a Nor’Easter had me re-evaluating whether it made sense. Sure enough, we got more winter precipitation this week. It’s becoming a pattern:

This winter, BeltwayLand experienced an unprecedented amount of measurable snow storms. For a while there, it was not that different than the winters I remember growing up. Then it snowed two more times, closing everything in each occurrence. Than it snowed on Tuesday.

This post is also a mea culpa of sorts – at the beginning of the year, I changed jobs and entered the world of federal contracting. Gone were my four weeks of vacation and in was OPM deciding when I could work.

I’m sorry I jinxed us all.

For me, I lost almost a week of work which meant either taking leave or taking a hit. Due to vacation time at my previous job, federal holidays I now get to celebrate and all the FOUR OPM closures, I have not worked 10 work days in a row since the week of Thanksgiving.

Here is a recap of this year’s snow and what I measured:

12.08.2013 – I always celebrate the first snowfall with grilling | Football in the snow is the best football (ehh, they stunk up the joint that day, too bad). Then Fairfax, Loudoun

12.10.2013 – Alexandria, Va. December 10, 2013 snow fall total at 10 a.m. | Tysons, Va. December 10, 2013 snow fall total at 10 a.m. – THE PROTRACTOR IN SNOW STORM!

PROTRACTOR IN SNOW!

01.03.2014 – No measurement, but some sledding the day after
Arlington snow

01.22.2014 – 2 7/8 inches in Alexandria | 6 inches in the Town of Vienna

02.05.2014 – Enough snow for a two hour delay

02.13.2014 – Alexandria, Va. Pitchers and Catchers Day Storm snowfall total at 8 a.m. – 8.5 inches! | Burke, Va. Pitchers and Catchers Day Storm snowfall total at 9:18 a.m. – 12 inches!

Pitchers & Catchers Day storm snow man

02.25.2014 – It snowed during the day, but didn’t stick around

03.04.2014 – Alexandria, Va. final snowfall total for March 3, 2014: 5 inches

03.17.2014 – ErinSnowBraugh! SnowPatricksDay storm dumps over 7 inches of snow on Alexandria, Va.

Capital Weather Gang’s recap is up too: The long, white 2013-2014 winter: Bringing snowy back to the D.C. region (season statistics)The Post

ON THE BRIGHT SIDE

Massanutten Ski slopes view

I went skiing twice during official winter and thrice during meteorological winter. My ski trips in December were the first time I ever made it out in that month, so I’ve got 4 months of the year. I also skied in the Commonwealth of Virginia for the first time at Masanutten. Should the cold return in April, the temptation to go then and clinch a fifth month will be strong. For regional ski resorts, it was a robust season. If Whitetail remains open until next Sunday, they’ll hit 117 days for the season and has already broken a record.

Ski Roundtop also had a strong year:

PRIME SLEDDING YEAR

Remember last year’s weird slush storms in March? State of NOVA blogger Tom Jackman summed it up well:

Safe to say, the childrens were not robbed of a prime sledding year this winter.
sledding-cropped
In Alexandria, we had more sledding days than the previous 4 years combined! Throw in a day of ski camp and ice skating lessons and we embraced this winter and therin lies the lesson.

Don’t fight winter, USE IT.

Now bring on baseball, cherry blossoms and dining al fresco!

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Praise for Mike Pettigano and Bergen Record/NorthJersey.com on breaking the Christie GWB scandal

NorthJersey-com-Christie-scandal-mike-pettigano
The allegations that officials in Gov. Chris Christie’s administration ordered the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to close some lanes of the George Washington Bridge (I-95, US 1 & 9) is disappointing on several fronts. What isn’t disappointing is that my friend and former colleague from my Gannett days (and fellow Penn State College of Communications graduate), Mike Pettigano, has been part of the Bergen Record/NorthJersey.com team breaking the story. Some of you may even remember Mike from when he was running Penn State sports blog Black Shoe Diaries or the preview magazine, We Are Penn State 2013 (He’s doing that again this year).

As for Christie, I’m disappointed the people he selected appeared to have acted in such a vindictive way. I’ll be curious to see what the Record learns about his involvement. I have great affection for the Garden State, having been born there and then visiting family, friends and of course, the Jersey Shore, regularly and I was pulling for Christie to rise in his party. Now, I’m probably not feeling that way.

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Soberman: The hero Arlington needs but doesn’t deserve?

‘Soberman’ Tries to Save Clarendon Bar-Goers from DUIARLnow.com

Suddenly, revelers were met with a most unusual sight — a superhero in a cape and leotard emerging from the Chooser Cruiser. Arlington, meet Soberman.

While his getup produced many laughs, Soberman’s message was serious: don’t drink and drive. Speaking through a police car loudspeaker, Soberman told everyone to have fun and enjoy their adult beverages, but to make a smart choice when trying to get home by using a designated driver, taxi, public transportation or by walking.

For a straight up thug town called Arlington, I can’t decide if Soberman is the hero it deserves, not needs…

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Philadelphia Eagles 33 WASHINGTON REDSKINS 27

It wasn’t that close…

In the pregame radio show, Sonny Jurgensen kept saying “Joe THEEZMAN” as it was “Joe THEEZMAN’s birthday.” By the way, this wasn’t the first time the Skins got blown out on Joe THEEZMAN’s birthday — it happened in 1985 in Dallas. Cowboys fans sang happy birthday to him after his fifth interception I think.

Sonny also said, about three times, that “Robert Griffin III needs to go down to Nats camp and learn to slide.” Remember, Sonny is a hipster Nats fan.

So, that was about it for Skins highlights, wasn’t it? Oof.

Don’t worry though, Siri still loves the Skins

When was the last time a night game with the Eagles didn’t end in a awful loss?

I was flipping back and forth between the Skins and Nats and I stopped flipping because Gio Gonzalez was dealing. The Nats were outscoring the Skins for most of the night.

It is going to be a grumpy Tuesday morning I think.

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Mashable and Daily Motion look back at New Jersey’s Action Park

Inside the World’s Most Dangerous Amusement Park | The Demise of the World’s Most Dangerous Amusement ParkMashable
This two-part feature on Action Park of Vernon, N.J. is getting passed around on social media by all the Jersey natives I know. Since I left the Garden State for Northern Virginia right before I turned two, I didn’t get to really experience “trAction Park” though I remember the television commercials (“there’s no place in the world like Action Park!” from when I was visiting relatives and there was discussion of visiting it during my first few weeks of college. I did go to the successor park, Mountain Creek in 2003.

In short, Action Park’s history lends itself well to a black comedy or a horror movie. There were six deaths due to the poorly designed rides like an alpine slide (with graphic photographs at the top of kids injured on the ride) and attractions, not too mention frequent injuries. The actually had a water slide with a loop which was never quite perfected! A few things, like the water chutes that ended about about 12 feet above the water, a rope swing with a similar drop and a cliff dive were retained for Mountain Creek, at least when I was there.


The Most Insane Amusement Park Ever – Part 1 of 2 by insane-amusement-park

Apparently, a great deal of the staff was drunk teenagers too. The owner/operator, Eugene Mulvihill ran Action Park on the fringe of legality. The second video isn’t embeddable yet, but watch it here.


The Most Insane Amusement Park Ever – Part 2 of 2 by insane-amusement-park

All interviewed look back with really nostalgic for the old Action Park, where they didn’t so much visit it, they survived it. A few years back, the original owners bought it back, brought it up to code and want to bring back the spirit too:


Mountain Creek / Action Park Bonus Footage by insane-amusement-park

Mountain Creek was pretty fun when I went there, but I’m not sure I’d be up for traveling all the way to North Jersey for it again. That being said, these videos are pretty interesting.

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MLB’s Home Run Derby countdown clock doesn’t know what day it is

While writing my post Bryce Harper in 2013 Home Run Derby; Harmon Killebrew vs. Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays in the 1960 TV version (videos of Killer vs. Mickey & Willie!) I noticed that the Home Run Derby countdown clock has a little issue:

Home-Run-Derby-2013

I took a screenshot with my system clock beside it. The Derby is tonight, but the countdown thinks it is on Tuesday. Somebody most have copied over the All-Star Game script and forgotten to change the date. Oops!

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Green card scheme sought for Pa. Turnpike/I-95 funding

Chinese investors to fund turnpike-I-95 connectionThe Inky
The multi-generational saga to build an interchange between the I-276/Pennsylvania Turnpike and Interstate 95/Delaware Expressway just got weirder:

To help pay for the construction of the long-awaited connection between the Pennsylvania Turnpike and I-95, turnpike officials plan to borrow $200 million from wealthy foreign investors.

The investors, expected to be primarily from China, could get green cards for themselves and their families to live in the United States in exchange for their money.

Ummmm, ooookkkkkaaaayyyy.

Some background — this interchange is really, really overdue. The project manager has been working on it since 1984!

Interstate 276, the eastern most number for the Pennsylvania TurnpikeInterstate 95, Pennsylvania shieldWhen the interstate highway system was built, the Pennsylvania Turnpike avoided building direct connections with the new interstate highways. The lack of a direct connection with the eastern part of the Pa. Turnpike and I-95 became particularly troublesome when I-95 through Central New Jersey was cancelled. I-95 was to be re-routed onto the last few miles of the Pa. Turnpike to connect it with the New Jersey Turnpike. That was planned over 30 years ago. The Pennsylvania Turnpike commission has been dragging its feet on construction, because they were happy about having to build it, even though they’ll get toll revenue for it. Now, this crazy scheme.

The first part of the interchange is expected to be completed in 2017.

I still like Terry Madonna’s idea better (need to update it a little though): Madonna: Hugo Chavez should lease Pa. Turnpike

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Nats Racing Presidents adds “Veep” runner

“You can never go too far – Ferris Bueller”

Nats Presidents race to include character from HBO’s ‘VEEP’ – DC Sports Bog, The Post
Making the Teddy Roosevelt character lose for every race for 7 years wasn’t enough.

Adding Roosevelt nemesis William Howard Taft wasn’t enough.

The Washington Nationals in-game entertainment brain-trust is bringing in a Racing Vice President or at least the one Julia Louis-Dreyfus (who spent at least some of her childhood in the D.C. area) plays on television.

Yes, that’s right, the Julia Louis-Dreyfus character from that HBO show — or a presidentialized version of her, anyhow — will partner with Teddy against the team of Abe and Taft in a presidential relay race at Nats Park Tuesday night, in advance of Sunday’s 10 p.m. season two premier. She/it will also be in the center-field plaza before the game, and will be involved in several in-game promotions.

The Selina mascot, made by the same folks who manufacture the presidents, has been cruising around D.C.’s sites in recent days, in preparation for this momentous announcement.

The Nats marketers are really testing the “you can never go to far” view of life aren’t they. Of course, we keep writing about it, so shame on us I guess. Of course way back at the dawn of the 21st century Nats, I would have had a racing donkey and elephant. I also would have had a panda mascot instead of a pelvic thrusting eaglet thing named after a Saved by the Bell character.

If they want to bring Julia Louis-Dreyfus in person, that is another story.

By the way, some of the best weather of the season is going to be here for the upcoming series against the Chicago White Sox, featuring the return of Adam Dunn.

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