California, 1998. Age 16: “I can’t believe those suckers passed me.”
Washington, D.C., 2006. Age 24: “I can’t believe they mercilessly shredded my California driver’s license right in front of me. I hate this city.”
Virginia, 2008: Age 26: “Oh thank god I’m no longer a D.C. resident. I hope they let me personally shred my D.C. license.”
Yes, I finally got my Virginia driver’s license this weekend. It kinda looks like some kid designed it in Photoshop and then printed it out on his HP Deskjet printer, but whatev. Also, I’m now registered to vote in Virginia as well, thus ending my participation in California’s elections. So sad.
Although this was my sixth trip to New York City, it was the first one in which I visited a few of the typical tourist sites. After the Yankees game, we went to the top of Rockefeller Center, which rises 70 stories above the streets of NYC. Unfortunately, I did not run into my hero, Jack Donaghy.
I met my dad and brother in New York City this past weekend to see the Yankees play the Royals at Yankee Stadium. This was something I really wanted to do this summer, as Yankee Stadium will be demolished following the end of this season, and the Yankees will start their 2009 season in a new stadium currently being built across from the original stadium.
Despite my extreme dislike for the Evil Empire, seeing a game at Yankee Stadium is an incredible experience. Fans in the bleacher section chant each player’s name until he looks back and waves to them, and the cops are regularly called into the stands to eject fans or meditate disputes. The stadium was packed, with only a few seats vacant, and this was for a game against the Royals, who are currently in last place in the AL Central.
While I was a student at GW, pious Yankees and Red Sox fans (I can’t stand Boston either) would constantly complain about fairweather California baseball fans and how we always arrived to the game late and left early. Personally, I never do this, but whatev. So I was thrilled to see a ton of Yankees fans not only arrive during the second inning or later, but leave at the bottom of the ninth (during a tied game no less!)
Concessions were pretty basic. Near our section there was the typical fare: hot dogs, pretzels, peanuts, popcorn, dipping dots (WTF is with dipping dots anyways?!), and pizza. Miller Lite, the “beer” at the concession stand, was a ridiculous $7.50/9.50 depending on the size you ordered. The hot dog was nothing special (I’ve been spoiled by Ben’s Chili Bowl at Nationals Park), but the pretzel was pretty good.
Anyways, I’m glad I got to see the stadium before they demolished it. Maybe next year I’ll try to hit up Fenway or Wrigley Field. Now, on with the photos…
How could we forget?
View from our seats
Groundskeepers doing “YMCA”
New Yankee Stadium
Over the past week, Georgian officials have made several claims that the Russians were bombing an area through which the BTC and South Caucasus Pipelines run. An article in today’s edition of the Wall Street Journal seems to confirm these claims:
A neat row of large craters in a field in southern Georgia strongly suggests that Russia dropped bombs near oil and gas pipelines bringing fuel to the West.
Georgian officials say Russian warplanes dropped bombs in an early Saturday raid close to the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, which pumps some 850,000 barrels of crude a day — or 1% of total global oil demand — from Azerbaijan to the Mediterranean. The bombs narrowly missed the line, but one exploded just 10 feet away from it.
If the Georgian claims are correct, it isn’t clear whether Russia intended to score a direct hit or merely give the West a scare about the security of its energy supply.
Zurab Janjgava, general director of Georgian Oil & Gas Corp., said he believes Russia wanted to blow up the pipeline. “These were pinpointed attacks,” he said in an interview.
Russia has categorically denied attempting to bomb pipelines on Georgian soil. Georgian officials were unable to furnish definitive proof the craters were caused by Russian bombs.
But the physical evidence of a recent air attack, witnessed by a reporter, is compelling.
The line of craters left by the alleged Russian attacks runs through the middle of a hilly, mostly uninhabited plain some 15 miles south of Tbilisi, near the town of Rustavi. The area lacks military or even human targets. The only sign of civilization is a small farm surrounded by haystacks and grazing herds of cows and sheep. The 45 craters — each some 60 feet across — scar the hillside like footprints left by a giant.
Close by lies the BTC pipeline, operated by British oil company BP PLC and buried at a depth of nearly six feet. It is identified only by small markers spaced out at one-kilometer (0.62-mile) intervals along the pipeline’s route.
Mr. Janjgava said another raid Tuesday appeared to have been aimed at a second pipeline, known as Baku-Supsa, which brings Azerbaijan oil from the Caspian Sea to a terminal in Georgia’s Black Sea town of Supsa.
The craters are concentrated in an area close to where BTC and the Baku-Supsa line intersect, near BTC’s 15-mile marker. There were no other reported Russian attacks for many miles around.
The raids suggest Russia wasn’t only aiming to humiliate its neighbor militarily but also to damage its reputation as an energy corridor.
The outbreak of hostilities in Georgia and vulnerability of the energy infrastructure there certainly does not bode well for any future projects such as the Nabucco and Trans-Caspian gas pipelines.
Seriously, I cannot believe he gets paid to write this stuff:
President Bush could cash in on his close personal relationship with Putin by sending him a copy of the highly entertaining (and highly fictionalized) film “Charlie Wilson’s War” to remind Vlad of our capacity to make Russia bleed. Putin would need no reminders of the Georgians’ capacity and long history of doing likewise to invaders.
Right. And while Bush and Putin are conducting their own personal Netflix relationship, maybe Putin can send Bush a copy of Russia’s greatest hits from the Chechen wars, including footage of Russian forces leveling Grozny.
Some of the back and forth between the Obama and McCain campaigns is listed here, and Robert Amsterdam has a great editorial on the subject:
It is a great pity that while thousands die in Georgia, so many Americans can only see the issue for how it can help put their horse ahead. Having McCain and Obama fighting about this is pushing many parties into the margins, and does not contribute whatsoever to the preparation of an intelligent and effective response.