Archive for the ‘Old Free Colony Life’ Category

Over four years, I wrote a post welcoming the new incoming head coach of the Washington football team, Mike Shanahan.

In that post, I had the following piece of advice for Mr. Shanahan…


You are stepping into a buzzsaw that has obliterated the likes of Norv Turner…Steve Spurrier, and the legendary Joe Gibbs (a winner of a few Super Bowls). A coach is only as good as the players around him. You are only as good as the players around you. You won two Super Bowls with John Elway and company. Without John, you only won one playoff game. You do the math!

Unless you are given powers and responsibilities that differ radically from all those who have come before you, you will suffer the same fate and have your polished reputation tarnished.

After four seasons with the team, only one playoff appearance, three fourth-place division finishes, and an overall record of 24-40, Shanahan was fired.

He was not “given powers and responsibilities” that were vastly different from those who came before him and he indeed did suffer the same fate.

Into this buzzsaw of coaching talent now steps Jay Gruden who has signed a five-year contract.

For grins and giggles, I have to remind the reading audience that Mike Shanahan was also signed to a five-year contract, but was dumped after only four years.

Mr. Gruden, my belated advice to you is the same as it was four years ago to Mr. Shanahan…RUN!

I leave you with words I wrote four years ago regarding Mr. Shanahan but I feel they are also quite applicable to you, Mr. Gruden:

There is an exchange from the movie Dune which sums up your predicament:

Paul: “Many have tried and failed?”
Reverend Mother: “Many have tried and died.”

Sorry to say, Mr. Gruden, but you are merely one more notch on the belt of Dan Snyder, owner of the Washington football team.

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Oh happy day!

The news came out today that Steve Martin will be bringing his banjo-playing goodness to the National Mall to perform at the annual A Capitol Fourth concert for Independence Day.

O happy day for those of who live in the Old Free Colony area!

Being able to watch Mr. Martin pluck his strings in person more than makes up for the blizzards and sweltering heat.

Play on, Mr. Martin, play on!

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Here’s an easy way to determine what type of person you are.

Read the snippet below from this article

A Leesburg, Virginia couple was charged April 29, after a Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office investigation revealed the two were conducting unlicensed dentistry from their home.

During the course of a separate investigation by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Gang Intelligence Unit investigators learned of the operation that apparently catered to the Latino community. A search warrant conducted on April 29 at their home…revealed what appeared to be a full-service dental office and examination room in the basement of the home. The area included a receptionist desk, a waiting room, and a dental chair that was situated in a separate room.

If your reaction to reading this was:

a) “Good for the authorities. All law-breakers must be punished” – – you are a law-and-order type.

b) “How horrible that because it was a Latino couple, the authorities assumed they needed the Gang Intelligence Unit” – – you are a politically correct, diversity-loving person.

c) “I wonder what type of out-of-date magazine they had in their faux-waiting room?” – – you are a comedian.

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I have been humored this week to hear that my first-grade daughter, Ophelia, has been watching episodes of Bill Nye The Science Guy in class to learn about science.

The irony, to me, is that – according to Loudoun County Public Schools – this week had been designated as “Screen Free Week“, the time to get kids to turn off all screens (computers, iPods, televisions, etc.).

I guess the schools don’t count.

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Honest to goodness and cross my heart and hope to die, these were the two side-by-side headlines from the front page of my latest (April 6) edition of the Loudoun Times-Mirror:

Tax Rate Cut for 2012 Budget


Schools Face $7.7 million in Budget Cuts

Hmmm…Property taxes go down and the schools face budget cuts.

I do so love living in a country that fully expects to have its cake and eat it also.

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So it’s that time of year again in the Nation’s Capital known as the National Cherry Blossom Festival. The trees, a gift from Japan, that dot the National Mall and Tidal Basin are in bloom despite the sub-normal patch of temperatures the DC area has experienced lately.

Instead of a lovely slide-show of the pix I took from the Mall, instead, you can enjoy the sights of the blossoms from the tree that inhabits our front yard. Since I know blogs full of photos are popular…please enjoy.

Sideways and Out of Focus Blossom

Blossoms Against Gray Sky

More Blossoms Against Gray Sky

Blossoms Against Green Grass

The best part is I didn’t even have to wade through hordes of tourists to see these gems of spring

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So with all the troubles and problems facing the state of Virgina (transportation, taxes, education, budget), it’s so pleasant to see the legislators in Richmond put their heavy intellect to work and tackle the truly weighty issues of our time.

Congratulations to the Virginia General Assembly on their passage of SB940, which designates the striped bass as the official state saltwater fish.

There was much rancor and debate, as mighty issues always have, as proponents of the menhaden wanted their side to win the coveted designation.

With that global-size issue out of the way, maybe the over-acheiving legislators in Richmond can take time out of their busy schedules and work on designated a state sport, like their neighbors in Maryland have.

(Remind me again how much do we as taxpayers pay these people?)

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Now that the government has finally decided who won the contract to build the next generation of air refueling tankers (it was Boeing, just in case you hadn’t heard), I can honestly say I am glad it is over.

Now I can watch the television, read my newspaper, and listen to my radio without having to hear or see any more advertisements featuring “real” Americans bash one Boeing and their rival EADS North America. I also won’t have to deal with any more advertisements with the ominous music or baritone narrators describing how a win for the rival company will doom our economy.

Well, I have until the presidential primaries to not hear ominous music or baritone narration.

And while I am on the subject of commercials that I cannot stand, the latest advertisement that annoys me is full of poop…honestly.

This commercial for Luv’s Diapers, entitled (no joke) “Poop – There It Is”, features three animated babies in an American Idol-like setting.

Would that they were in a signing competition.

No, the battle they are waging in front of the judges is to see who can poop the most and thus see how much their diapers can hold.

I don’t need to be watching the backside of babies expand out their diapers with gobs of animated poop.

Please, Luv’s, pull the ads. There’s enough poop on TV.

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One of the absolute joys of living near the nation’s capital is that fact that over a long weekend – like the one we are about to celebrate now to celebrate George Washington – I and the family can travel down to the National Mall and enjoy the cornucopia of museums that reside within the federal district.

There is the crowning jewel of them all, the Smithsonian Institution, with its myriad of building celebrating Air & Space, Natural History, and American History.

Off the beaten path, but no less enjoyable, are the National Pinball Museum, the International Spy Museum, and the National Museum of Crime & Punishment.

With the temperature forecasted to be in the mid-50s, the children, wife, and I may even plan a picnic in the shadow of the Washington Monument.

If you can, come on out and join us.

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Dear Blog-O-Sphere Inhabitants,

I’m a parent.

I’m a parent with three children who all attend public schools in the Loudoun County area.

I have concerns as a parent with three children who all attend public schools in the Loudoun County area.

When I have concerns, I often wonder who to call to voice these concerns to.

Apparently, I did not get the memo that The Washington Post has established a hotline that parents can call when they have issues and concerns and then can see their issues in subsequent editions of the paper.

Think I’m kidding…Here are stories just from the last 30 days or so.

A parent in Prince George’s County (Maryland) is annoyed at receiving a robocall at 4:00am informing him that his children’s school has been closed for the day. He gets his story published.

A parent in Arlington County (Virginia) is upset her child is suspended from a Montessori school because her 3-year-old was not sufficiently potty-trained. She gets her story published.

A parent in Anne Arundel County (Maryland) is upset that his children were placed on the wrong bus. He gets his story published.

I’m not too pleased at times at how my children’s school is being run.

Will someone please let me know what special number the Post is handing out to disgruntled parents.


Nolan M.

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