10 for November/December: New Restaurants in D.C.

To end the year, my random goal is to scope out a cornucopia of new restaurants that have thrown open their doors to D.C. eaters.

I also have a never-ending goal to visit all the fooderies on Capitol Hill. With fresh ones always popping, I’m behind. Even more are slated to tempt the D.C. denizens in the next month or so.

The restaurant doesn’t have to be new new, it only has to be somewhere I haven’t eaten at yet. New to me, see?

November/December Goal: Eat at 10 new (to me) restaurants in Washington, D.C.





Now let’s look at how I fared for my September/October goal…

September/October Goal: Watch, play in or attend enough sporting events and run enough miles so they total 75

Final stats:

  • Running = 56.11 miles
  • Sporting Events = 19

Total: 75.11

Result: Success!

I don’t want to say this was easy, running never is for me, but I had a chance to shatter this goal. But.

My back went out mid-October, so it kept me from running the last three weeks. It also prevented me from playing a few more flag football games and volleyball matches.

I didn’t attend as many watch parties as I had hoped, for various reasons including vacation.

Oh well. I did it!

Here’s the list of sporting events:

  1. Flag football games played = 1
  2. Volleyball matches played = 8
  3. Ran the Army 10-miler
  4. University of Washington Football Watch Parties attended = 3 (at Lou’s City Bar)
  5. Seattle Seahawks Watch Parties attended = 2 (at Acre 121)
  6. Seattle Mariners road games attended (in Houston) = 2
  7. Texas Rangers games attended (in Arlington) = 1
  8. Monday Night Football games attended: Seattle Seahawks @ Washington Football Club = 1


No peace for the wicked

'Nuff said.
‘Nuff said.

Five Random Photos Shared in October ’14

Once again, I provide the best randomness on the planet. Don’t take my word for it. Trust your instincts.

This way...if you dare.
This way…if you dare.


So Random
So Random


Hey there, I like the shape of your peppers...
Hey there, I like the shape of your peppers…


Monday Night Football, are you ready?
Monday Night Football, are you ready?
Getting pumped to run the Army 10-miler.
Getting pumped to run the Army 10-miler.

Take that!



Just sleeping. RIP my sweet friend.
Just sleeping. RIP my sweet friend.

It’s the Little Things

The little things in life matter. The little dogs in life matter more.

Kuma lived to be 11-1/2 years old. May 2, 2003-October 17, 2014.

He is survived by his two brothers, Riley and Petie, and his mom, Josie (she’s 14-1/2).

He is with his other two brothers now, Auggie and Jango.


His full name on his American Kennel Club Birth Certificate: Little Samurai Kuma

Kuma means bear in Japanese. He was ferocious.

Every decision I made; the shape of my day, about travel, about day trips, about evening plans or whatever, I made with him in mind. What time I had to be home, or who could watch him, or walk him, or feed him if I was out-of-town or just late.

Whenever I traveled, which was frequently, I knew he was at home waiting for me. Worried about me. Whining because I wasn’t there. After a few days, I would start to miss him. By the time my trip was over, I was more than ready to see my dog again.

No matter what shit happened during the day, I knew everything would be fine because Kuma was waiting for me at home.

Every minute that I’ve lived in Washington, D.C. has been with Kuma.

We’ve lived in five different apartments. One in Burien, WA and four on Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.

Kuma has been my dog for all of my 30’s. With the exception of the first 1-1/2 months. My birthday is March 18. His is May 2.

I can’t claim that Kuma is the most well-traveled dog ever, but he has to be in the conversation.

I estimate that at least 23 people have watched Kuma or walked him or cared for him, while I was traveling.

He’s been to 24 US states.

We’ve been on six long road trips (Total of 10,389 road miles)

  1. Bonney Lake-Chicago-DC: 2,772 miles (when I moved to DC, we drove)
  2. DC-Delaware-DC: 242 miles (a day at the beach)
  3. DC-Cincinnati-Detroit-Cleveland-DC: 2,197 miles (me visiting baseball stadiums)
  4. Chicago-Milwaukee-Minneapolis-Chicago: 837 miles (baseball stadiums)
  5. DC-Boston-DC: 876 miles (baseball stadiums)
  6. DC-Gatlinburg-New Orleans-Houston-Arlington-Nashville-DC: 3,465 miles (baseball stadiums)

Kuma has been to 11 of the cities that I’ve visited to see Major League Baseball stadiums. Sadly, they don’t let dogs inside!

He’s flown in an airplane for 47 flight segments. Eight different airports. Mostly between DC and Seattle, sometimes with a layover.

He’s racked up 80,741 frequent flyer miles.

He has seven appearances in the Hill Rag Pet Photo Contest. I don’t know if that’s a record, but I would like to think so.

When out walking, he found all the chicken bones left on the street. People are slobs.

He chewed the stuffing out of all stuffed animals. He went straight for the squeaker inside.

He loved to chew paper and cardboard. If given the chance he would make a huge mess.

His favorite toy was a red Kong.

Goodbye Kuma.


Don't hate me because I'm beautiful.
Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.


Did you get my good side?
Did you get my good side?


He destroyed stuffed animals. He chewed the squeak out of them.
He destroyed stuffed animals. He chewed the squeak out of them.


Kuma's travel carrier. He always tried to get out.
Kuma’s travel carrier. He always tried to get out.




He loved to chew paper and cardboard. Loved it!
He loved to chew paper and cardboard. Loved it!




Good day for a walk!
Good day for a walk!


I eat paper?
I eat paper?


Road tripping
Road tripping


A die hard DC Dawg.
A die hard DC Dawg.


Kuma’s Last Day

On Friday, October 17th, my best buddy, Kuma, passed away.

Anybody that knows me or has read this blog, will recognize Kuma. I post photos and write about him frequently.

It was huge shock. One that I still can’t believe. I don’t know what it means yet to be without my dog.

His back had been bothering him, something that has come and gone over the years. Miniature dachshunds are prone to back problems.

The solution is to have him chill out for a time, and to not jump on things or climb steps. Sometimes he would take pain meds. We’ve managed this before.

But on Friday he wouldn’t eat. If you know Kuma, that’s a huge warning sign. He eats everything. All the time. He was also pacing and laying down in the middle of floor. Only to get up two minutes later and lay somewhere else. He was lethargic.

I took him to the vet. His temperature was 94.5 (98 to 103 is normal). He had pale gums. They rushed him up for X-rays and blood work. X-rays showed a mass in his abdomen. Blood work showed low white blood cell count. They took a needle to his abdomen and discovered he was bleeding internally.

He had no option but immediate surgery. Best case scenario would be a benign tumor on his spleen. But it didn’t look good.

We had to get to the Friendship Emergency Hospital in Friendship Heights. During rush hour in DC.

They performed surgery. A Hail Mary.

He had multiple bleeding tumors. Worst case scenario.

Nothing could be done.

One of the worst days ever.

I had to get that off my chest.

I will honor Kuma in a later post.



Things About Texas You Probably Already Know, So Don’t Mess With Reading This

I messed with Texas in September. Some of it anyway. Houston, Fort Worth and Arlington.

What random facts can I claim knowledge of?

They have amazing BBQ – We tried Riscky’s in Fort Worth and Rudy’s in Arlington.

Let's eat some BBQ at Riscky's
Let’s eat some BBQ at Riscky’s
Hells ya
Hells ya

Their Major League baseball teams sucked (this year) – Yes, the Houston Astros (70-92) and the Texas Rangers (67-95)  finished 4th and 5th in their division respectively. And the Rangers were the worst team in the American league! We went to two games in Houston and one game in Arlington. More on that in another post.


They have more tacos then there are stars in the sky* – Tacos are good.

A la The Taco Diner
A la The Taco Diner
Dessert tacos!
Dessert tacos!

They have fairly decent breweries – Saint Arnold Brewing and Karbach Brewing (Houston) and Rahr & Sons (Fort Worth) Brewing all saw their liquid gold pass through my lips and down my throat. Visionary Brew (pumpkin) by Rahr & Sons and Oktoberfest by Saint Arnold were both solid.

Saint Arnold at the ballpark
Saint Arnold at the ballpark

They like turning ‘ice houses’ into beer gardens/bars – and why wouldn’t you after electricity made the ice houses obsolete?

Everything is big, including the portions – At the Old West Cafe in Arlington they have a 5-page breakfast menu separate from the lunch menu! Or at the Embassy Suites, you get free breakfast and can eat like a pig. Or just get the chicken and red velvet waffle at Onion Creek.

Chicken and red velvet waffle!
Chicken and red velvet waffle!


They like a bit of art – We went to the Menil Collection museum in Houston and had a bit of wander about the exhibits. No photos! Next door was the Rothko Chapel, which literally had 14 paintings of black. Nothing but black. Look it up. Or don’t. Instead stroll around the Discovery Green in Houston.

Outside The Menil Collection
Outside The Menil Collection
Balling on Discovery Green
Balling on Discovery Green


They want you to fear the frog – and you should. The TCU Horned Frog is no joke.




* This claim lacks research, and frankly plausibility.

Five Random TV Shows: No Batman Edition

Like an annoying clock that won’t stop ticking even after silencing it with repeated blows from a ball-peen hammer, I offer up my annual list of TV shows that might be interesting this year.

2014 TV shows to check out, but who has time?

Gotham – A Batman series before Batman. The story of Detective Gordon as he battles the usual suspects (The Penguin, Catwoman and probably more) as Gotham descends into madness. You know, so there’s a reason for Batman. Definitely plan to check it out.

The Flash – Too many superhero shows out there already, you say? True. But if I have to fit another one in, I’ll try this.

Gracepoint – I’m not a fan of US remakes of British shows. When they remade The Office, the idea bothered me. But the US version ended up being better than the original over time. Gracepoint is a remake of the small town murder mystery, Broadchurch, which I binge watched all 8 episodes on a long flight. So, I’m curious what they do differently in Gracepoint.

Extant – Season one, done! Should I catch up? Maybe. Halle Berry in space. Produced by Steven Spielberg. It’s worth a look I say.

Z Nation – Zombies. A terrible The Walking Dead rip-off? Absolutely. Should I watch it? Absolutely not. Will I? Stay tuned…

Eat: The Story of Food – Sounds intriguing. Must eat…errr…watch.


Last year, I thought I might watch these shows. Let’s see what transpired!

2013 TV shows

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – It’s average. Not as great or witty as it could be for a Joss Whedon produced show. It may get there in season two. I’ll still watch.

Brooklyn Nine Nine – Love this show! Must watch!

Almost Human – I liked this show. But it got canceled, so that’s a bummer. Give Karl Urban another show.

The Crazy Ones – Didn’t watch. Now more curious to see Robin Williams in one of his last roles.

The Tomorrow People – Didn’t watch. Won’t.


Get on the couch!


19 for October/November: Mop Up

I made a bunch of bold predictions for 2014. I’ve still got some work to do, so I’ll get cracking over the next couple months.

I also need to do more projects around the apartment – cleaning, sorting, disposing (of bodies) and other minutiae of minor pertinency.

Let’s get bold! Let’s get dirty!

Goal for October/November: Knock enough things off my 2014 Bold Predictions list and do enough projects so they total 19


Here are some of the Bold Predictions I can work on:

…read four ‘classic’ science fiction novels. From this list. Progress to date: 2/4 books read

…participate in three races. Maybe even a sprint triathlon? Progress to date: 0/3 races

…hike more than last year. Benchmark: 17 hikes/177.5 miles. Progress to date: 11/17 hikes (132.25 miles)

…finish watching the American Film Institute’s (AFI) Top 100 movies and all the Oscar Best Picture winners. Don’t get too excited, I only have 18 movies remaining. Progress to date: 6/18 movies watched