Encounter with a homeless man touches a Virginia Starbucks manager


Blog Entries.Local

Looks like a go for another Friday chase

Syndicated From: Storms-R-Us

I’ve been (somewhat) patiently waiting for this morning’s 12Z runs to become available and have just now finished reviewing both the NAM and GFS results. Yep, it’s a go for tomorrow. To save time and space I’ll just post an overall graphic – the Superc…

Caisson Plt., Old Guard

Syndicated From: It Beats Working For A LivingIt Beats Working For A Living

When Is a Cube Not a Cube?

Syndicated From: Musings Over a Pint

When it’s an ice “cube” produced by Suntory Whisky. The Japanese whisky maker is running a campaign featuring what are billed as 3D Printed Ice Cubes.While the computer engineered ice is certainly attractive, I’m not sure how practical it really ice fo…

Earth Day chase

Syndicated From: Storms-R-Us

I suppose it was fitting to storm chase on Earth Day even if the setup wasn’t conducive to seeing much. A cold front crossing the mountains created a lee trough that fired up some cells that didn’t amount to anything given a paucity of moisture (DP’s o…

Adventure Brewing Opens May 15

Syndicated From: Musings Over a Pint

Fredericksburg’s third craft brewery, Adventure Brewing, will open Thursday, May 15. Brewers Tim Bornholtz, Stan Johnson and John Viarella have been hard at work doing construction on the brewery and developing their beers. The Adventure Brewing w…

Couple chase chances this week

Syndicated From: Storms-R-Us

I use “chase” very loosely with respect to tomorrow when a cold front pushes across the Old Dominion. GFS and NAM still disagree a bit on timing as well as the amount of instability so I’m not expecting a lot. It will be a chance to iron out a few more…

That Day I Set Foot In The Oval Office

Syndicated From: O'DonnellWeb

I know a guy that knows a woman that works in the White House, and she generously gave up a Saturday afternoon to take us on a tour of the West Wing. The West Wing tour is not a public tour, the only way you get to do it is to be a big time donor, celebrity, or know somebody that works in the White House. Clearly, I’m in that last category. It starts with a background check several weeks in advance. Security to enter the White House is actually less of a PITA than the airport. At no time did I have to remove my belt and shoes, and my wife’s insulin pump, which always causes all kinds of drama at the airport, was a complete non-issue. I think that mostly speaks to the difference between hourly TSA agents and uniformed Secret Service agents.

My wife at the Big Red One memorial just outside the White House visitor’s entrance.
Michelle at the Big Red One memorial.20140419_163819

Main entrance to the West Wing
Entrance the West Wing20140419_170510

Me in the mud room / entrance hall to the West Wing. No pictures allowed beyond this point.
West Wing mud room / entrance area, and last place I could take pictures inside.20140419_170744

The walls inside are lined with poster sized photos that depict the day-to-day life of the President. My favorite was probably the selfie with President Obama, Bill Nye, and Neil deGrasse Tyson. Also on the wall was the original bell from the USS Constitution. We were at the door to the Situation Room at this point and somebody walked into that room, giving us a quick glimpse inside as the door closed. We also got to hang out in the Rose Garden for a few minutes, which was interesting in that it was completely devoid of roses. It’s a little early for roses to be blooming in DC, but I didn’t even see any roses bushes. The tulips were in full bloom, and gorgeous though. The Oval Office was also open and empty, so we got to look in from the door, where technically part of my foot crossed the threshold, thereby giving me the title to this blog post. I don’t want to criticize the decorating, so let’s just say I really hope that coffee table in the Oval Office is a family heirloom. The Oval Office is also much smaller than it appears on TV. We also got to look into the Roosevelt Room, where we could see Teddy’s Medal of Honor, and Franklin’s Nobel Peace Price, and the Cabinet Room, complete with cell phone caddy outside the door. No cell phones allowed in Cabinet meetings. That was pretty much it for inside the West Wing, so we stepped outside.

charset='Ascii' User comments20140419_173451

While we were out there we saw a shift change or something among the rooftop snipers, and two of them walked right by us. Those are some bad-ass looking dudes. They looked like they had body armor under under their uniforms, and the very large bags slung across their backs probably didn’t have a change of clothes in them. A minute later another sniper came from the opposite direction, headed to the roof with take out from the White House mess. His rifle was just slung across his chest, and it was a little intimidating. After that we hung out in the White House Press Room for a few minutes. It’s about 5X smaller than it looks on TV.

charset='Ascii' User comments20140419_174156

Selfie in the press room.
charset='Ascii' User comments20140419_173954

We ended the day with an expensive, but very good, dinner at Old Ebbit Grill.

More pictures

Previously – bowling at the White House.

Triumph Over Evil

Syndicated From: Musings Over a Pint

AND in the end of the sabbath, when it began to dawn towards the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalen and the other Mary, to see the sepulchre. And behold there was a great earthquake. For an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and coming, ro…

Introducing a Friend to Practical Pistol

Syndicated From: Musings Over a Pint

The first match of the year at the Cedar Mountain Youths range was this morning. The group has changed the format somewhat from previous years; the round count is low, there is little movement, and no steel. At first glance, an avid USPSA sho…

Reprise of an April 2005 chase

Syndicated From: Storms-R-Us

    Given that SDS is rampant this month while awaiting the spring severe season to kick off I thought I’d repost this northern Virginia chase account from 2005:                     …


April Fredericksburg Business Forum Event: How to Write and Publish a Book!

Who: If you are a business owner, business development professional, or just interested in what it takes to write and publish a book, this event is for you! What: I have written two books which have generated substantial returns for my business. This session will detail the process that I used to get those books […]


Fredericksburg Business Forum

The Fredericksburg Business Forum is a group of business owners in the Fredericksburg area who want to take their business from good to spectacular. Its purpose is to give business owners the opportunity to network with their peers in order to form relationships and gain knowledge that will allow them to grow their businesses. Each month, […]


Hardywood Park Arrives in Fredericksburg

“Finally.” That was the common refrain heard at Tuesday’s Hardywood Park Brewery release party and Steal the Glass event at Capital Ale House. The Richmond brewery’s beers have been available around the Richmond area, and I even saw them a couple weeks…


Fredericksburg Brew Fest

The first Fredericksburg Brew Fest took place this past Saturday at the Fredericksburg Fairgrounds. I picked up a couple friends early and we arrived to claim our place near the start of the line before the gates opened. Once in, we picked up our shake…


Blue & Gray Oktoberfest

Colleen was out of town this weekend catching up with friends from college, and our son was spending Saturday with friends doing airsoft. So what’s a guy to do when left to his own devices? The 11th Annual Fredericksburg Oktoberfest at Blue & Gray …



Rappahannock Political Forum 09

Local bloggers are coming to the rescue of local politics again this year in the form of the Bloggers Forum 09. Yours truly is one of several panel members participating in this event to showcase those running for Stafford and Spotsylvania VA superrvisor positions. For more info, click the banner to the right of the [...]


Local Bloggers Pass 4,000 Posts!

Today marks a milestone of sorts. Actually it’s more of a surprise. I was checking some stats and has logged more than 4000 posts from local Fredericksburg, VA area bloggers. Way to go team!
As we grow together, I’m working on changes to the website to group blogs.  You’ll all still end up in the [...]


City Taxes Going UP-UP-UP

For those of you that vote in Fredericksburg VA, here’s who you can thank for higher real estate taxes.
Councilwoman Greenlaw made the final motion to raise the rate to $0.705 of every $100. That’s almost 26% percent. It was seconded by Vice-Mayor Devine.
Councilman Kelly put forward an alternative $.68 of every $100. It was seconded [...]


A few blog changes

First, a new addition. is a photographic view of Fredericksburg, with a bit of history about those places appearing in the shots.
Death of a blog, that’s what happens when things start getting out of hand when ‘friends’ take posts in a direction not intended.  Of course I’m talking about the Fred Vegas Chronicles.  Fredericksburg’s very own [...]


Kindle Mania! Fredericksburg Hits the Big Time

Now get the area’s hottest news delivered direct to your Amazon Kindle! tries to bring together a diverse set of blogging content, and it is now available in more formats than ever.
Hopefully they will drop the price to make getting the local inside story more affordable.