Sunday, July 27, 2008

First Annual Veggie Dog Eating Contest!

So, it's been a year since I've been a vegetarian. And it's been a year since I saw the spectacle that is the famous Nathan's Hotdog Eating Contest in the news wondering why there hasn't been a Veggie Hotdog Eating Contest, and pondered my chances of winning should I be afforded the opportunity to participate.

Well, I finally had my chance. Compassion Over Killing has teamed up with Sticky Fingers Bakery and Tofurky to present Washington DC's first competition. Admittingly, I was a bit conflicted, wanting to participate in an event that would promote vegetarianism for its many benefits, and disgusted at the whole idea of the gluttony of it all and its contradition to many of my reasons for going vegetarian. Finally I said "what the hell..." and signed up on the last possible day to register.

So, day of the competition I showed up a bit ill from too much merry-making the night before, and failed miserably. That's okay, the whole event was fun to participate in and watch, and it was, after all, for a good cause. A portion of the proceeds at Sticky Fingers that day went to Compassion Over Killing, a 13 year old DC based advocacy organization focused on animal rights and promoting vegetarianism.

The competition was originally to be a 10 minute all-you-can-eat contest, but due to the popularity of the contest with an overwhelming 34 registered participants (DC has its fair share of do-gooders/freegans), the plan had to change. The all-you-can-eat portion of the competition was shortened to 8 minutes, but there was an elimination round first. The elimination round would pit two competitors against each other in a battle won by whoever could finish two veggie dogs first. Long story short - I only got down one as my competitor finished his second and advance to the main competition.

The results of the main event were (with their stage names): DAG, receiving the Bronze, ate 8.5 veggie dogs. Raz, silver medalist, finished off 12. The gold went to Invader, who appeared to be a pro, managed to put down 14 veggie dogs, all in the span of 8 minutes.

The event certainly was a success, giving a bunch of DC vegetarians an opportunity to get together and do something silly, while promoting a good cause.

Here are some pics:

Before the first elimination round

Just before the main event

In the thick of it all

Winners Left to Right: Raz (silver), Invader (Gold), and DAG (Bronze)

Monday, June 2, 2008


Okay, not likely to be the scandal of the year, month, week, day...perhaps in this five minutes:

DC Councilman Graham's car parked illegally.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Great environmental tip!

I love Chinese food. I love that I live within walking distance of no less 20 carry-out Chinese places, though it puzzles me how most of their business is in selling American food (burgers, chicken wings, and the like).

As an aficionado of Chinese food and as an environmentalist, and...well, cheapskate, I have amassed a large collection of plastic containers – so large it is difficult to shut our cabinet. I started recycling them when we decided we had enough (if not too many).

As my girlfriend has pointed out, recycling is not the ultimate solution to the environmental problem of plastics that will never break down – reuse is (and preferably with something that will break down at a point). With reuse, there’s no need to continually produce these things we’ll ultimately discard or recycle. Brilliant! Makes perfect sense, and much more efficient all 'roud to boot.

But how do you start?

I got this idea to try bringing in my own container to one of these carry-out Chinese places to see if they’d be willing to refill it. Also, I’d request that they not give me a bag (bring my own), and not give me any utensils, napkins, or condiments (I also have enough soy sauce packets at home to give the entire Red Army a stroke)
I started this out at the friendliest of the local carry-outs: ULike at the corner of Lamont and Georgia. Graciously they agreed.
I tried it a second time. The girl behind the counter even remembered me and knew right what to do with the container I placed in the pass-through of the bullet proof glass. Yay!

So, a small victory with huge ramifications. If people start reusing containers for carry-out food the way the movement is towards reusable grocery bags and such, just imagine the impact!

One question remains for me, though. I know in the state of Virginia (excuse me, the Commonwealth), they do not allow you to use the same plate at a buffet for health reasons – you must get a new plate every time. So I see it potentially being a problem with reusable containers, too. We’ll see. At least it's cool in DC.

Alas, it turns out my idea is not original. That’s okay, though! If it were, I’d put a big banner out saying “Steal This Idea!!!”. My gal sent me a message today telling how The Argonaut (DC's own pirate themed restaurant) at 1433 H St, NE, has started offering to take back their “To Go” containers in exchange for a $1.00 off a future meal. Cool that going Enviro-Friendly has become so hip.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Theft in DC

This is just down the block from our house.

A common site in DC - broken car windows. The sidewalks around town are covered in safety glass.

I've got to get a new job...

As seen in nearby Alexandria - vultures above the door of my office building. There's just something just a bit ominous about having these guys darkening my doorstep, literally.

Parked in front of Busboys and Poets at 14th and V, NW DC

In advance of the 5 year anniversary of the Iraq invasion, found the next day at Union Station:

New Marketing Concept:

Advertisment seen on the metro that screams:
"Rent our apartment and hot women in fishnets will give you head."

3/29/08 - Cherry Blossoms!!! And my, what crowded streets

Many gathering on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial

Trees along the Tidal Basin

Two DC residents trying hard not to look too touristy

Washington Memorial

Many kites surrounding the monument.

Pod People in the courtyard of the Hirshorn Museum