Archive | April, 2011

iPhone bling

29 Apr

In honour of the release of the white iPhone, why not get an old school Nintendo Cartridge Case (designed by Meteor) for it?

(via Gizmodo)

I don’t have one yet, but I think I’m going to get a white iPhone 5 when they are released. I was one of those Verizon people, and now I’m sweating the price of the data plan.  But for the newest and best in white… I think I’ll fold.

Do you have a custom case?  If so share it! There are a ton of neat ones, like the elusive Carbonite Steve Jobs

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Being Social: The Weekend of April-May 2011

28 Apr

I know I work a weird shift schedule at work, but still… somehow I lost winter and spring and now it’s May.  Crazy.

Anyhoo, this weekend there’s a ton to to, and hopefully the weather will cooperate!

OMG ROYAL WEDDING! </3

There are a ton of places that will celebrate (or heckle) the marriage of the young British couple of Prince William and [title yet to be announced] Kate. There will be a chari-tea party at Dupont Circle Georgian Manor on the eve of the wedding, and Royal watch parties will be starting at 4am Friday morning at The Mansion on O Street, P. Lawrence Bridal Wear, all Union Jack’s locations, and the Ritz Carlton in Georgetown to name a few.  More party places can be found at Metromix.

For those that like their sleep, fear not! The brand new and awesome looking Queen Vic British Pub on H street will be offering select food and drink for $5 and the wedding will be on a loop from noon on Friday until 3 a.m on Saturday. Plus they will have raffles every hour on the hour and will give away free shots for fancy wedding hat wearer!

I so need to get me a hat!

April 29-30th

Visit the Georgetown French Market, which runs through Saturday and includes live music, shopping, free children’s balloon sculptures and, of course, French cuisine (food is not free of charge). Many of Georgetown’s boutiques will also be offering substantial discounts on their wares. [via WaPo]

April 30th

1-4 pm: Barracks Row taste of 8th.  Just south of the Eastern Market metro stop, there are tons of restaurants to choose from.  Each offers its on atmosphere and great choices on food and drink.  I recommend Belga Cafe and DC3 hot dogs.  Beware Matchbox pizza, though.  Although some swear by their spicy pizzas, whenever my friends have eaten at this location, they have gotten sick 😦

And for geeks’ sake, there is apparently a Croquet Match between St. John’s and Navy on Saturday as well.  That is hardcore!

May 1

Noon-6pm: National Cinco de Mayo festival on the National Mall at the Sylvan Theatre.  It will have performances, musicians, dance, children’s arts and crafts, food, games and activities for the entire family.  Just remember, booze isn’t allowed on the mall.

Noon-Night: The Sweetlife Festival is some indie salad-and-froyo-shop-inspired party in Columbia, Maryland.  It will have all sorts of live music, so your best bet is to check out the Sweetlife Festival event page for more info.

3pm: At Domaso Trattoria Moderna in Rosslyn, there will be a Top Dog Half Smoke Challenge!  Competing chefs include including Domaso’s Paul Healey, The Source’s Scott Drewno, Liberty Tavern’s Liam LaCivita, and Jackson 20’s Dennis Marron. Tickets are $20 and can be found at brownpapertickets.

Remember these guys?

8pm: This last one is a ways away… in Annapolis, Maryland, at the Rams Head Tavern, the vocal group Rockapella will be performing.  You may remember them from Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? on PBS (or even Where in Time…).  For a bit of nostalgia and some good music, tickets are being sold online.

Rockapella! Rockin’ it A-capella! Hoo!

Also, since Cinco de Mayo is next week, here are a couple of food specials I have stumbled upon… My favourite pizza place, Z Pizza, is celebrating by offering free samples of their Mexican and Santa Fe pizzas (MEXICAN PWNS) and their Pollo Latino sandwich from 11am-12pm and 4-5pm at participating locations.  Also, mention Cinco de Mayo when you order a Mexican between now and the 5th, and you’ll get $5 off.  Trust me, even a full price Mexican pizza is worth it.  Their ingredients are incredibly fresh and flavourful.

mmmmmmmmmmmmm

And for dessert, there will be free Pinkberry Yogurt on May 5th.

Pollen, the Fail of Spring

26 Apr
Spring is synonymous with way too much pollen in the District.  Every year, the whole region gets blanketed in yellow spores in the springtime. Seriously.
This District Geek has serious allergies that have only gotten worse since moving here.   As such, I thought it would be fitting to explain exactly why I suffer so much in this city, as compared to my hometown of Buffalo, or places like the Southwest US: DC sucks with tree pollens.

Oak pollen has grainy spores, which can float for miles, as well as these “catkin” tentacles which fall on my head.

To visualize how pollen is measured, the National Allergy Bureau lists pollen counts on a scale from Absent to Very High, based on the amount of pollen spores per cubic meter of air.  On this chart, a “moderate” tree pollen count  is 15-89 grams, high is 90-1499, and “very high” means more than 1,500 grains per cubic meter. So far this year, there have been two “very high” spikes in pollen counts in the District. The first was during a spat of 70-degree days in February.  The second was during  last week’s warm, dry weather [via pollen.aaaai.org].   I know firsthand that Oak and Pine blasted us last week, as outside District Geek central there are massive Oaks which dusted my parking area from afar, and to the south a line of pines rained pollen down on the unfortunate cars that parked under their shade.

You do not want to sniff this.

Walter Reed Army Medical Center reported that on the 19th the pollen count was 2302.4 grains per cubic meter.  Such a high concentration of pollen sounds (and feels) insane, but last year, it hit over 4,000 from April 6-8, and the highest pollen count ever recorded in Washington, DC was 4,539 in 2009. The District Geek was present for both records, which spearheaded her continuing Allergy shots in order to try and minimize her suffering.

And although more spring rains has been forecast for this week, which knocks pollen out of the air and washes it off cars and sidewalks, Thursday is meant to be very high once more.  Let’s hope that because of the rain, we won’t have astronomical pollen counts.  Plus, we are nearing the end of the major tree pollination time for this year, so hopefully the end is nigh.
Allergy Medicine

Until then, keep taking your drugs!

Conspiracy theorists take note, some claim climate change is to blame for the longer, stronger allergy seasons.  The linked study  uses two decades worth of data to support their claims.  To quickly dip into my environmental science geek background, although I have noticed that winters in Buffalo are milder now than they were when I grew up, I still believe that a change in weather patterns may not be due to a massive overarching Climate Change.  Humans haven’t measured weather for long enough to claim that, as weather patterns vary within every large cycle of ice ages and thaws.  We are also most likely in a warming period within an ice age, so such changing weather patterns could still be completely within the earth’s cyclic patterns.  Plus, the recent Fukushima/Sendai earthquake changed the tilt and spin of the earth, affecting the Milankovitch cycle, so maybe that 9.0 earthquake is more to blame than Global Warming!
Just food for thought.
Feel free to post your own tales of pollen misery and/or arguments about climate change (I know it’s always a cause of controversy…)!

Which is a more Epic win?

25 Apr

A couple weeks ago, the Escapist posted a story about a character who capped in World of Warcraft without killing.  I must admit, I’ve never played WoW, because I know that I’ll get addicted.  I am a Diablo freak (expect me to pre-order DIII if it ever comes out!).  I love video games where the point is to collect shinies; Pokemon, Banjo Kazooie, and Torchlight all fall under this category.  But I digress.  When I read this article, I thought that this way to ‘win’ was completely awesome, because all she did was gather and adventure! For that, she may be one of the coolest WoW characters out there.  How did she do it?World of WarcraftAccording to the Escapist, “Night Elf Druid Everbloom of the Feathermoon server pulled the feat off by only engaging in gathering professions and exploring, which both offer experience points of their own. She, who may or may not actually be a he, took on mining, herbalism, and archaeology, in addition to traveling to every possible nook and cranny of the game’s world. Everbloom wrote on the Blizzard forums that she’s been playing World of Warcraft since the day it was released back in 2004, and still discovered new landmarks in her quest.

“Everbloom hit level 85 after dying just 25 times, though she absorbed 3,000,000 damage along the way too. She says she chose a Night Elf Druid for its healing abilities, rooting abilities (which can freeze enemies in place), and flight transformation.”

Bulletstorm for XboxNow, compare that to Bulletstorm, the recently released bash-’em-up-game on Xbox.  The game, though it has a weak plot, appears to be mostly about trying to get every one of the 131 types of kills possible in the game.  This linked video from gamesradar shows them all, but beware: it’s pretty damn gory and full of win.  It reminds me of all the different fatalities in Mortal Kombat.  Now, who didn’t love trying to get every single combo finishing move in the game?

Which is better? Good or Evil? Black or White?  I must say, in games like Red Dead Redemption and Fable, I tend to go evil.  It’s a rush to be able to steal and make others suffer at your behest, knowing it’s just a game.  But still, it seems like so much more of a challenge to be pure and good.

So, I ask you all:

Which is more Epic Win? A pacifist lifestyle to the max, or the maximum amount of gore/evil/violence possible?

Holiday Special: Easter Peepshi!

22 Apr
District Geek Peepshi close-up

Maybe not as tasty as Sushi, but more fun to make!

A new trend in Easter food experimentation is PeepshiPeeps Sushi.  The premise is simple: instead of fish on rice, use marshmallow Bunny and Chicky Peeps on Rice Krispies, and tie them together with dehydrated fruit strips instead of seaweed.

Last night a friend from CUA and I ventured into the world of Peepshi, and they turned out pretty awesome.  The only ‘issue’ is that they have SO MUCH SUGAR ❤  If you need instructions, there are some on Serious Eats, but we just winged it and they turned out just fine.

District Geek Peepshi

Tada!

On a related note, apparently this week is Peeps Week.  The only thing I have figured out that it entails is making everything you can out of Peeps, and then eating them all on Easter Sunday.

Locally, the Washington Post held a Peeps Competition, where creative minds vied for the title of “Best Peeps Diorama”.  A selection of the competing Peeps dioramas will be display at the Artisphere in Arlington from May 7-31.  As it’s only a few blocks from District Geek Central, I’ll try my best to make it out there and report on my findings.  If you can’t make it, allegedly the entire collection can be found on the Washington Post Peeps Page.

(M.C. Escher Peeps! Photo by James M. Thresher/The Washington Post)

Being Social: The Weekend of 4.22.11

21 Apr

There doesn’t appear to be much going on around town this weekend (as it’s Easter, maybe?), so why not enjoy the nice weather by going to the National Zoo and check out the Lion cubs?  Plus, if you go on the 22nd, they’re hosting some Earth Day events, recycling, and crafts.

Or, if you are the Easter type, there are a ton of places to brunch (and more to brunch!) or you could go on Easter egg hunts!

(via 8screensavers.com)

And don’t forget it’s hockey playoffs time!  Downtown will be buzzing Saturday afternoon, as the Caps try to win their first round of the playoffs against the Rangers!  Go anywhere within ten blocks of Chinatown, and you’ll be sure to find a party.  Rock the Red!

Cook Bacon, Win Prizes!

19 Apr

Okay.  Bacon is win. But winning with bacon?! Epic!

Raw Tasty Applewood Smoked Bacon

Even uncooked, you can't deny the allure of bacon.

Instructables.com is hosting its annual Bacon Challenge, where you compete to make the most epic food/art out of bacon.  While creating your masterpiece, document the steps, then submit the complete how-to collection for a chance to win a custom-etched iPad (suck, I just bought one!) or an All-clad skillet.

I think I have to enter. I’m thinking either Bacon Transformer or Bacon Nintendo 8-bit controller.

Any Suggestions? 

If you enter, please let me know!