Jogo bonito

June 30th, 2006

Portugal jerseyTerrible, dark photo taken in a mirrored window.

I learned a valuable lesson today while walking around downtown with my direct-from-eBay Portugal jersey — people are going to expect you to know something about the game. An article I read somewhere said only 6% of Americans are following the World Cup at all, so at least I know I’m in that demographic somewhere. But judging by the number of jerseys I’ve seen today, that number must be significantly higher in metro D.C. And when people see you sporting a team’s jersey, they’re going to want to talk soccer with you.

While walking up 18th toward K St., I was a little startled when a passing England fan patted me on the shoulder and offered his condolences in his best British accent: “I’m going to feel bad when we beat you guys tomorrow.” Rather than showing off my command of the Portuguese language, I chose instead to laugh nervously. Thankfully, he was walking much faster than I was. Also, I don’t know any Portuguese.

Later, the other passenger in the elevator ride upstairs noticed my jersey. “Did you see the Argentina game?” he asked.

“Not the whole thing,” I lied.

“But did you see the end?”

Another nervous laugh from me and the conversation ended just as I reached my floor. Clearly I need to start paying more attention to the games or give up the jersey. Downtown D.C. is not safe for fair-weather fans.

Speaking of fair weather, I took advantage of the uncharacteristically dry D.C. weather to try out the improved camera on my Sidekick 3. Despite a few shipping mix-ups which were pretty much all my fault, I managed to pick up the phone at the UPS office in Landover, MD, last night and so far I’m pretty happy with it. The trackball seems like a big improvement over the scroll wheel, and I’ve already got the meager 64mb miniSD card loaded up with an assortment of MP3s. While I hunt down a flash card with a little more room, take a look at the shots I grabbed over on Flickr.

With your help, I know we can [insert goal here]

June 27th, 2006

Got an email from Bill Clinton today on behalf of the DCCC, and I think it contains some sort of logic puzzle like the one the websites are now requiring for sending email to representatives. Here’s the part where I get stuck:

The DCCC has set a goal to raise $500,000 by June 30th and thanks to everyone’s generous support the DCCC has already raised $X, but your immediate help is vital to them reaching this important goal.

It’s been a while since high school calculus, but I think we need to know the value of X to determine the difference between that number and the final goal. Maybe there are clues in the rest of the email, or maybe I need some sort of DaVinci Code-style cryptex to figure it out… I’ll keep looking and report back.

links for 2006-06-27

June 26th, 2006

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June 22nd, 2006

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June 21st, 2006


June 19th, 2006


A guy wearing a Pittsburgh Steelers hard hat passed me on the sidewalk a little while ago. His job must make him wear protective headgear, but I guess he figured out a way to comply while still showing support for his team.

I wonder if they make NFL-logoed motorcycle helmets — surely there’s a market for that type of thing.

DSCC: not just for Democrats anymore

June 14th, 2006

Sen. Chuck Schumer, chair of the DSCC, unveiled a new committee policy during a press briefing today — Schumer is apparently prepared to back an independent candidate in a race against a Democrat.

As Ned Lamont continues to surge in polls leading up to Connecticut’s primary in August, rumblings are that Joe Lieberman is seriously considering running as an independent. And just as Lieberman has repeatedly refused to rule out the possibility of abandoning the Democratic Party, Schumer also refused to rule out supporting an independent Joementum bid for re-election.

The bottom line is that if Democratic voters in Connecticut choose Lamont to be their Senate candidate, the head of the DSCC is on record saying the committee would support Lieberman’s independent candidacy — this despite the fact that the stated mission of the committee is “to elect more Democrats to the United States Senate.” (Note that it doesn’t say “to keep the same old, white guys in office no matter how cozy they get with the Republican president.”) Markos calls it a declaration of war on the grassroots, and I’m not so sure he’s off the mark.

As a recent transplant from Pennsylvania, I was frustrated to see the behind the scenes maneuvering that knocked Barbara Hafer out of the Senate race, ignored the candidates who wouldn’t step aside, and declared Bob Casey, Jr. the nominee before the state’s Democrats had cast a single vote. But this latest turn of events sort of signals the D.C. establishment is taking things to a whole new level. The DSCC has their candidate in Connecticut, and the process — not to mention the voters — will not be allowed to get in the way.

Hotline’s Chuck Todd points out it might not be all that easy for Schumer’s DSCC to back an independent over a Democrat, but something tells me they’ll figure out a way to get around any sort of rules or regulations that might complicate things. The real question after this latest move, though, is whether they’ll figure out a way to convince Democrats who are paying attention that they should continue to support a committee which seems to have gone so far off track.

links for 2006-06-13

June 12th, 2006

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June 6th, 2006

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May 29th, 2006
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