ALEXANDRIA, Va. — My son and wife pitched in with a snow measurement from WWN headquaters – 1 inch of measurable snow. It started falling after 6:30 this morning. It may have rained first too — can’t say for sure, but during my commute I hit rain near I-395 and the George Washington Memorial Parkway. I have details for the ride and changing weather on tumblr.
TYSONS, Va. — It is kind of hard to believe, but after last winter’s snow drought was followed by some measurable March snow, we’re already into our second winter storm of the 2013-2014 winter. In as many days, no less. The snow wasn’t really measurable yesterday; just enough to make it pretty before the mixed precipitation started. Today though, there is enough, only I had a problem — I can’t find my ruler at work. A co-worker offered this solution:
The official WWN Weather Bureau reading – 3 inches, though some may be from yesterday. I hope to have one more protractor-measured reading around lunch time.
Kansas City Chiefs at Washington Redskins, Fex Field, Landover, Md.
Minnesota Vikings at Baltimore Ravens, M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Md.
Detroit Lions vs. Philadelphia Eagles, Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pa.
Oakland Raiders at New York Jets, MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
There is also a winter storm warning, in particular the D.C. region. From Capital Weather Gang – Winter storm watch issued for much of D.C. area Sunday into Monday:
The onset of precipitation across the area is most likely between mid-morning and noon with the precipitation probably starting as snow but changing to sleet and or freezing rain by late afternoon (in most spots)…
…Snow is likely for the commute to FedEx field (and for the Ravens game in Baltimore) with the snow changing to sleet and freezing rain during the game. Sleet or freezing rain is likely for the drive home.
The storm will also hit Philadelphia and the New York area, though seemingly not as hard around game time. Accuweather says:
While a large amount of snow is not expected, the city could receive its first inch or two of snow of the season, joining some of the northern and western suburbs from Friday night’s storm.
Warmer air is forecast to move in during the storm Sunday evening through Monday, causing a changeover to a wintry mix, then rain from the coast to inland areas.
In short, travel on the I-95 corridor could be pretty tough on Sunday, though most major Northeast Corridor traffic bypasses Philadelphia via the New Jersey Turnpike. On the other hand, MetLife Stadium is directly adjacent to the Turnpike. FedEx Field can be bypassed by using the Baltimore-Washington Parkway (unless you are a truck) and the opposite side of the Capital Beltway. M&T Bank Stadium is right near the terminus of the B/W Parkway, but the Harbor Tunnel Thruway provides a bypass too.
There is also a New England Patriots vs. Cleveland Browns game in Foxborough, but the forecast there is sunny and 34°.
I don’t know how much these games impact I-95 in general (an interesting question), but whatever that is could be magnified this Sunday.
Silver Line To Start Service In April, Says Warner – WAMU
The first phase of Metro’s new Silver Line will delayed until April 2014 according to Virginia Senator Mark Warner. The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is building the Silver Line and will then turn it over to the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority.
Warner says Metro will fail to collect $2 to $3 million in fares each month the Silver Line is delayed. The project was delayed a second time earlier this week so testing on safety software could be completed. Warner says Silver Line won’t open now until April.
A letter Warner sent to MWAA outlines his concerns and is included in the link above.
Of course, Sen. Warner isn’t the one who makes the decisions:
— Martin Di Caro (@MartinDiCaro) December 5, 2013
The Silver Line was supposed to open between Whiele Ave-Reston and East Falls Church via four Tysons stations, this month until a delay was announced in June 2013.
Perhaps having a federal airports authority build a rapid transit rail line wasn’t ideal. That being said, at least it’s getting built, I guess.
Music Tuesday! remember that? No. That’s okay. I dropped it in favor of just putting songs up on my tumblr, but right now youtube and tumblr aren’t getting along, so it’s onto the mothership.
The influential, but unliked, @PancakeCatapult introduced me to this instrumental a few weeks ago and I’ve listened to it often since then. Banjos, harmonica, flutes, trumpets and strings (real or synthesized) each get their moment as the song slowly builds to a slight crescendo and wraps up shortly thereafter. While it sounds like the end of something and is therefore bittersweet, it is quite agreeable, relaxing and interesting — easy listening for the 21st century.
You may have seen it on EDSBS and like I mentioned earlier, that was probably Mr. Catapult’s influence.
The Washington Nationals completed a seemingly lopsided trade for Detroit Tigers for Doug Fister. From the press release:
In 33 games/32 starts in 2013, the 29-year-old went 14-9 with a 3.67 ERA and ranked among American League leaders in GDPs induced (tied first, 26), home runs allowed per 9.0 innings (2nd, 0.60), ground ball-to-fly ball ratio (3rd, 2.17/1), walks per 9.0 innings (4th, 1.90), fielding independent pitching (6th, 3.32), wins (tied 8th), strikeout-to-walk ratio (9th, 3.61/1) and quality starts (tied 9th, 22) in his last of three seasons with Detroit.
Fister joins the Nationals after going 32-20 with a 3.29 ERA in two-plus seasons (Aug. 2011-2013) with the Tigers. Fister is 3-2 with a 2.98 ERA in eight postseason games/seven starts, all with the Tigers, who won six of Fister’s seven playoff starting assignments (2-0 in 2013, 2-1 in ’12, 2-0 in ’11).
Utility infielder Steve Lombardozzi, LHP Ian Krol and minor leaguer LHP Robbie Ray. It looks like highway robbery by DC GM Mike Rizzo.
Fister could prove to be an interesting change of pace in a rotation with Strasburg, Gio, and JayZ. His fastball tops out at 88mph.
— The Nats Blog (@TheNatsBlog) December 3, 2013
Are we sure Dog Fister doesn't have lupus?
— Chris Needham (@needham_chris) December 3, 2013
— Duffy's Irish Pub. (@Duffysirishpub) December 3, 2013
Nats GM Mike Rizzo finally makes trade that gives me goosebumps when we visit MIL …P Doug Fister will stay @ The Pfister!!!
— Steve Ray (@AMandFM) December 3, 2013
I want MLB Network to break into its programming of a million countdown shows, and just show Rizzo dancing to Bustin Loose.
— Jon Hoffman (@JonFHoffman) December 3, 2013
Love the Fister pickup. Big time sinker. Pounds K zone, doesn't give up HRs. Strong postseason resume.
— Dave Jageler (@DaveJageler) December 3, 2013
Every time there’s Rizzo skepticism, we get a deal like this. That’s some pretty solid wheeling and dealing, Mike. Good work.
— Tom Bridge (@tbridge) December 3, 2013
Also worth noting: All 5 #Nats starters under team control for at least 2 more seasons.
— Mark Zuckerman (@ZuckermanCSN) December 3, 2013
Doug Fister was a groundball pitcher in the AL behind a a poor infield defense. Hard to imagine his numbers won't get even better in DC.
— Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) December 3, 2013
WHAT ARE THE TIGERS THINKING?
My friend J.J. from Michigan says: Sure does seem like a steal for your Nats! Doug Fister is a great pitcher and I have no idea why the tigers would make such a trade! Congrats I guess ..
Reformed newspaperman Vince Guerrieri is a Cleveland fan, but he lives closer to Detroit and follows the teams up there a bit:
Fister came in a mid season deal with Seattle in 2011. He was 3-12 for the Mariners, but went 8-1 down the stretch as the Tigers pulled away from the Indians to take the Central.
His contributions to the rotation were overshadowed by a pair of Cy Young winners, Justin Verlander in 2011 and Max Scherzer this year, but he was always a dependable starter.
The bigger picture is the remaking of the Tigers roster. Scherzer and Prince Fielder have been dealt and Jhonny Peralta left via free agency. Also, Jim Leyland retired. The Indians are facing question marks with their rotation, but my Tribe fan friends are positively giddy. It could be a wide-open division next year.
SB Nation Tigers blog Bless You Boys: Doug Fister trade is a terrible deal for the Tigers
BEAT WRITER REACTION
If there are fans who want Nationals Park to have a roof, the Venn diagram of them and fans upset that Lombo is gone, is are concentric circles.
Maryland House to Reopen in Early 2014 – Aberdeen Patch
Maryland House, the first service area on all of northbound Interstate 95 is now expected to reopen in early 2014. A specific date was not mentioned. Previously, Maryland House was supposed to open this month.
However, there was significant work to be done at the 50-year-old Maryland House, where remediation of fuel-contaminated soil cost $2.6 million, according to The Baltimore Sun.
Part of the Maryland Transportation Authority’s John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway, Maryland House service area closed in September 2012 after 49 years of service, for renovations. The other service area along I-95 in Maryland, Chesapeake House, will closed down to be rebuilt after Maryland House reopens. Each of the service areas has a unique design; Maryland House invokes the letter “M” while Chesapeake House is designed to look like the letter “C.”
Several years ago, the Delaware Turnpike service area along I-95 was also rebuilt.
DID YOU KNOW? Service areas like Maryland House are not permitted in the interstate highway system. However, the I-95 service areas are grandfathered in since they are primarily along toll roads that were planned prior to the prohibition and were noted funded by federal the federal government.
Whitetail and Liberty post earliest openings since 2002 – WUSA
The two ski resorts nearest to Washington, D.C., Liberty in Carroll Valley, Pa. near Emmitsburg, Md. and Whitetail, near Mercersburg, Pa. are OPEN this weekend. Additionally, the next closest, Roundtop near Lewisberry, Pa. is also open, including Monday. Whitetail is considering a Monday opening as well:
@doubleuefwhy Hi William, that is still being determined.
— Whitetail Resort (@whitetailresort) November 30, 2013
This is a great start to the 2013-2014 season — of late, December has been a no-go. I think I’m going to have to investigate.
Christmastime means toy trains and every year, I try to take my son to some of the following model railroad displays around greater Washington, D.C.
U.S. BOTANIC GARDEN
One of the most elaborate annual model railroad displays anywhere can be found at the United States Botanic Garden:
“It wouldn’t be the winter holiday season without the fantasy train display in the East Gallery, which chugs along more than 800 feet of track through imaginative structures created with plant materials. Explore the “World’s Fair” and see many familiar creations that resulted from a long history of public exhibitions.”
Metro: Federal Center SW
It sounds as though the Norwegian Embassy train is back:
“However, after much work and renovation ou rHoliday Train will once again be on view in the Main Hall. The train features 3 G-Scale LGB Steam Locomotives running on 200 feet of track. The train is to scale at 1:22 the size of an actual train. A mountain landscape with 40 new structures, 25 trucks and vintage cars, 100 trees along with people, dogs and cats make for a realistic setting. This year’s festive setting will be open from 10am-7pm daily for our guests to enjoy. Happy Holidays”
Of course a trip to Union Station is usually worth it in its own right, even more so around the holidays.
Metro: Union Station
OLD VIENNA TRAIN STATION
The Northern Virginia Model Railroaders have a large layout at the old Vienna W&OD train station that gets displayed throughout the year on a limited basis:
“Open House visitors include people of all ages who enjoy watching railroad activities that realistically depict an actual railroad that existed in North Carolina in the 1950’s. That railroad was called the Western North Carolina (WNC) and every hill, town, building, locomotive, rail car, and industry on our layout is modeled after those places and things as they looked in that era. Well, almost everything; we must admit that to satisfy popular demand, an occasional sighting can be made of Thomas the Tank Engine and a few of his friends chugging around among the bigger steam and diesel locomotives.”
The Vienna train station is only open on December 2 (6 p.m. to 9 p.m.) and December 15 (1 p.m. to 5 p.m.)
OTHER TRAIN DISPLAYS
There are even more model train displays, often part of a larger holiday celebration, such as the National Zoo’s Zoo Lights and the National Trolley Museum. A thorough list of model railroading in the greater D.C. area and beyond can be found at Grandpa’s Holiday Train Garden Page for 2013 by the The Washington, Virginia & Maryland Garden Railway Society. On the weekend of December 7-8, they will host Fairfax Station Railroad Museum 24th Annual Model Train Display, an “all scales” display at Fairfax Station Railroad Museum.
A great find on youtube, a film (in color!) of the Oct. 13 1946 game between the Washington Redskins and New York Football Giants from Griffith Stadium in D.C. Sammy Baugh led Washington a 24-14 win over New York (Pro Football Reference boxscore).
The half-time show and other festivities get more attention than the first game. A second game, featuring a trip to Philadelphia’s Shibe Park for an Eagles game, is also featured. Even weirder is a 1947 game against the Green Bay Packers in Baltimore.
The narration is by Harry Wiese, long-time Skins radio play-by-play man and future owner of the AFL’s New York Titans.