See other templatesSee other templates

Welcome!

Thanks for joining us! We write about sports, food, life and anything else interesting here in Ashburn and Loudoun County, all while cramming as many features into the site as possible.

Our staff consists of one old man and a dog named Maggie The WonderBeagle. Want to know more? Click on the icon below:

About Us

2

Sometimes, You Need A Little Help From Your Friends

Earlier today I wrote a story analyzing the chances of various teams in the ACC Tournament.

I apparently didn't properly credit the assistance I received from a certain hound dog in drawing my conclusions, and Maggie the WonderBeagle is not happy about it.

So I'm posting this brief story to make sure she receives the proper credit that she believes she is due.

Maggie, for some reason, likes to sit in my lap when I'm writing, and when I'm staring too long at a screen, she will prop herself up to see what's so important that I'm looking at it for such a period of time. This morning, as you can see in the picture on the right, she sat up in my arms and seemed to be following along with me as I tried to see which teams could potentially be facing Virginia Tech when the Hokies finally play in the ACC Tournament Thursday night. 

Sometimes I will even ask her which team she prefers, and she usually responds with a look that says "did you ask me if I want a treat?" Other times I'll just ask her if she agrees with what I wrote, and she also will respond with a look that seems to say "did you ask me if I want a treat?"

She doesn't answer all questions that way. Sometimes she'll give a look indicating she wants to go outside and chase a squirrel. But it's usually food that drives her decision making tree.

So this week she will be watching basketball with me to study up for her potential upset picks when she fills out her NCAA Tournament brackets next Monday. And considering the degree of luck versus skill it takes to pick the NCAA Tournament winner, her guess is as good as anyone's.

Well, as long as you ask her if she wants a treat :)

2
Continue reading
Recent Comments
Dave Fulton

Helping Paw

Every writer can use a helping paw from time to time.
Monday, 08 March 2021 12:50
Dave Scarangella

And as we both know....

...every dog has its day
Monday, 08 March 2021 13:15
0

Living With Aunt Bea, Serving Our Time At The Rock

There is a power struggle going on in my house today, and I don’t like it one bit.

You see, traditionally I’ve been the tough guy, the one who doesn’t cave over emotional pleas, and sticks to my guns about discipline and doing the right thing.

Today it’s different. Roles have been reversed.

It involves a furry little angel named Maggie the WonderBeagle. Traditionally, every dog we’ve ever had has gone outside every 4 or 5 hours, and there’s never been an issue. Most of that was because my wife and I went to work every morning and there was no other option. We’d take the dog out before leaving for work at 7:45, come home around lunchtime to provide relief, then not be home until 5:30 or 6.

Previous dogs had no problem with the schedule.

But in these long days of our pandemic house arrest, we don’t go to offices any more and are here all the time. Right before all this happened, Maggie took a circuitous route through a South Carolina kill shelter that ended up with my house being her forever home when she was 8 weeks old. That first night, she weighed her options and decided the best place to sleep was on my lap watching a football game, and you could say I’ve been a bit smitten with her ever since.

Maggie has also gone as long as six hours without going outside, as she’s exhibited whenever we’ve had contractors working in the backyard and her area to run around has not been available. It didn't bother her either.

But today is different.

When it goes from freezing temperatures to 66 degrees like it did yesterday, and there had previously been ice and snow on the ground, everything turns to mud. Since Maggie likes to run a few laps around the backyard before settling down to focus on her primary purpose for being outside, this creates a huge mess with her paws. We keep a stack of towels down in the basement to deal with this matter, but frankly, it’s a pain in the backside for both owner and canine.

I hate doing it, and Maggie isn’t real happy about it either.

4
Continue reading
4

With Maggie The WonderBeagle, You Snooze, You Lose

There is a game that goes on every day in my house.

It involves wherever you are sitting. And Maggie the WonderBeagle.

Most dogs I’ve had are quick to jump up on furniture, so that’s nothing new. Previous dogs in my house weren’t even allowed to do that, as a wonderful Black Lab I had for 12 years named Butch used to make it an art form to sneak up on a sofa when no one was looking. It was his few minutes of heaven until Dad came into the room and asked “what do you think you’re doing?”

Just as we spoil our grandchildren and let them get away with things we never let our children do, the same happens with dogs as we grow older. Maggie has never given it a second thought about whether it’s OK to get up on furniture. She just assumes it comes with her ownership of the house.

But even that’s not enough.

To Maggie, she doesn’t just want to sit on the sofa. She wants to sit in YOUR seat on the sofa.

4
Continue reading
Recent Comments
Bonnie Sumner

Time

Dave, Thank you for the reminder about how fast time passes and how our dear pups age quickly, too. Happy to see Maggie!... Read More
Wednesday, 17 February 2021 11:26
Dave Scarangella

It's the single biggest differ...

Maybe its just a function of old age. But all my dogs have lived to at least 12 years or longer, and at their end, I've just wante... Read More
Wednesday, 17 February 2021 12:19
Dave Fulton

Same time next week

Does Maggie ever bark out the plot in the Hallmark movie when she notices in first 2 minutes a childhood girlfriend & boyfriend ba... Read More
Wednesday, 17 February 2021 13:22
2

Stop Me If You've Heard This One: I Can't Believe It. Again.

I’ve watched Virginia Tech football and basketball for close to 50 years, and never have I been so convinced that the Hokies had lost the game I was watching as I was around 1:45 PM today.

Shows you what I know, as for the second time in the last seven days, I had to admit it: I could not believe what I just saw.

After leading by 11 with 8 minutes to go, the Hokies started making silly mistakes, which led to Miami going on a 10-0 run to put the Canes back in the game. As that familiar uneasy feeling of blowing a game down the stretch started getting bigger and bigger to Hokie faithful, the teams traded baskets until Justyn Mutts hit a free throw to tie the game at 71-71 with 11 seconds left.

Long-time Hokie watchers knew what was coming next, and Miami’s Isaiah Wong did not disappoint. He launched a 3-pointer in the final seconds that was dead-center perfect, ripping through the nets as Miami players danced and celebrated. I immediately thought “well, that’s two losses in a row, goodbye top 25 rankings, this one is really going to hurt.” Probably the toughest loss of the Mike Young era.

Or was it?

With 2.4 second left, the odds of tying the game were right up there with winning the Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots in the same weekend. Technically there was a chance, but realistically there was none. A pass to halfcourt was batted away by Miami, giving the Hokies the ball with 1.7 seconds.

Then Al Michaels was back in my ear asking “do you believe in miracles? YES.”

Wabissa Bede threw a perfect pass to Hunter Cattoor as he came around a screen in the corner. Cattoor calmly took one dribble, turned, went straight up and drilled a 3-pointer crisply through the nets. Pandemonium ensued. The game was tied, and the game went to overtime.

4
Continue reading
Recent Comments
Bonnie Sumner

You weren’t alone

As regulation neared the end, one of the girls I grew up next door to who has lived in Suffolk for years texted me a broken heart ... Read More
Saturday, 06 February 2021 22:53
Dave Scarangella

Only downside was my dog Maggi...

She's been looking at me warily the rest of the day as if to say "you're not going to yell like that again, are you?" ... Read More
Saturday, 06 February 2021 23:17
2

But Dad, You Just Don't Understand....

At 7 AM this morning, there was something beautiful going on here in Ashburn, as snow continued to fall since starting some time during the night. It was peaceful too, as the falling snow acts as nature’s soundproof barrier and blocks off all the noise of the world.

Well, it was until a certain hound let out a blood-curdling scream of a bark that made people wonder if my backyard had become a crime scene.

My house is situated right off a bike path that runs along my backyard’s fence. On the other side is a protected nature reserve, where there is a big creek for rain to run off into, and as a result draws far more animals than you routinely see in a metro area. It’s not surprising to see groups of deer, frogs, snakes, hawks, squirrels, racoons and several other species just roaming the area as if it were their home.

This morning, a new type of animal made an appearance. Sauntering down the bike path like it was just wandering home after an all-night bender was a small red fox, occasionally looking up at the snow like it was annoyed by this white stuff falling in his eyes. Those eyes opened just a little wider when his presence was discovered by my dog Maggie.

I call Maggie a WonderBeagle because that’s what she looked like as a 7-pound puppy, but when her legs grew to the size of a giraffe, we realized she was a different breed: An American Foxhound. Maggie is the gentlest, sweetest dog I’ve ever owned, but the AKC web pages on the breed warn when it is in pursuit of something it wants – namely a fox – it genetically can’t control itself and won’t listen to commands.

The AKC wasn’t kidding, as I watched this domesticated hound that sits on the sofa and watches television like a teenager turn into the Tasmanian Devil. The fox – showing it may be a bit of a jerk in the animal world – calmly stared at Maggie as she’s trying to break down the backyard fence, almost giving it a wry smile before slowly trotting off into the snowy woods.

It was if it were saying “my work here is done.”

3
Continue reading
Recent Comments
Daniel P. Lundberg

Foxhounds Coonhounds

Sounds like the first time our Coonhound, well, found a raccoon that had sauntered into our backyard. Complete and utter chaos ens... Read More
Sunday, 31 January 2021 14:35
Dave Scarangella

We had thought after a few mon...

But then after the vet said she was a foxhound, and the AKC had the nerve to post a pic on its foxhound page that looked exactly l... Read More
Sunday, 31 January 2021 15:06
0

If A Tree Falls In The Forest, Does Anyone Read Its Post?

Just as I threatened to in my New Year’s Resolutions, this is the 25th straight day I’ve written something for the site. I’ve kind of gotten into a routine, and for the last week, I’ve even started each morning saying to myself I was going to take the day off, only to see something happening in the world and write another story.

Some of them I’ve been pretty pleased with. Which is now creating a minor dilemma for me.

I’ve never cared about numbers on this site, because it’s not a commercial site. But I also think anyone who creates something - and then thinks it’s pretty good – becomes proud of it and wants people to see it. This is where the numbers – or lack thereof – come in.

Nothing written here is ever going to go totally unseen because I’m blessed without about 60 subscribers who don’t mind me turning on a program that emails them a notification every time I post something new. I know that’s happening because any time I post something, you can see within about an hour that 20 or 30 people read the story immediately. (Shameless plug: there’s now a subscribe button up on the menu bar to make it easier)

This is a bit of a contrast from being on social media, where I believe you could post a link with only a picture of a rock and 200 people would click on it. That’s the advantage of sending a link out when you have thousands of people following you, and I’m fine with the smaller audience on most stories.

I also get the added benefit of what I really wanted in the first place with the email notifications in that because they’re getting an email telling them of the story, they don’t have to deal with likes or comments or anything out in the open. They can just reply to the email, and that allows for not only comments about the story, but additional comments of a more personal nature about life, family, etc. that I greatly appreciate. It builds a nice sense of community.

But then you get something like Friday’s story on Hank Aaron. I think it’s rare when more than 2 or 3 people take the time to write you and express a view on a story, but in this case, I got nine emails from subscribers indicating they really liked the story.

Cool, I thought, momentarily going all Sally Fields and thinking “hey, they like it.”

Then I checked the stats on the story from the control panel. Only 17 people had read it.

It was like the old saying about if a tree falls in a forest, does anyone hear a sound? So I answered two of the emails, asking one to repost the story on Twitter and the other to do the same on Facebook. Within an hour it was over 200. People who saw the story seemed to like it.

2
Continue reading
0

She's Always Going To Be A WonderBeagle To Me

Yesterday, I got a late start on my daily writing because it was time for Maggie The WonderBeagle to go see the vet.

Judging from the vet’s reaction, she now understands why I call her a WonderBeagle, even though the last time she was there, they had the audacity to say she wasn’t even part beagle.

That’s because when we first bought her to the vet the week after we had adopted her as a rescue in December of 2019, she weighed about 12 pounds and looked like a beagle. Our long-time vet said that she looked a little like a beagle, but she also seemed to be a plain ol’ hound, so her guess was she was a mix with more hound than beagle.

Because of the way vets work in these days of house arrest, the last few visits have involved dropping your dog off and whoever is available looks at her. But last December, our usual vet saw Maggie and came out to see me in the lobby.

“Is this that little dog you got from the rescue people that we talked about a year ago?” she asked. I nodded and she said “well I was wrong. This is a 100 percent American Foxhound. Beagles don’t weigh 65 pounds.” Sure enough, I looked on the AKC site and under American Foxhound is a picture that looks exactly like a male version of Maggie.

Sounds like the ghost of Elvis is trying to tell me she ain't nothing but a hound dog.

Elvis also sang "don't be cruel," so with all due respect, she’s still a WonderBeagle to me. And yesterday, she showed why to the vet who treated her.

Maggie is the sweetest dog I’ve ever had, but what makes her unique is I honestly think she believes she’s a human. As you saw a week or two ago in this picture, she doesn’t just crawl up in a chair or sofa and curl up in a ball. She sits up like a human.

If you’ve ever been to a vet’s examining room, then you know there is always an examining table, and right next to it is a chair, meant for the comfort of the dog’s owner, not the dog itself. When the assistant met me at the front door, she took Maggie back to a room, and when Maggie saw the chair, she assumed it was her.

She jumped up into it and sat there like a human, waiting for the doctor to make her next move.

4
Continue reading
0

Maggie On The Mic

For a brief time in December, I got interested in podcasting. That led to unearthing some old audio equipment, which led to buying new equipment to go with the old equipment, and now I have wires, cables, mics and all sorts of other related things dominating the desk in my office.

It was in the course of participating in one podcast with Ricky LaBlue that I noticed he had one of those scissor mic stands you see a lot of podcasters use. Since he was younger than me, and looked cool using one, that meant I had to have one.

It was delivered today.

You can easily move it from one location to another (it works with a U clamp on the bottom of the main bracket), so I started off by setting it up near my easy chair where I do all my writing. Maggie the WonderBeagle, who is as much ham as she is dog, immediately jumped on the ottoman, believing the equipment was for her, as you see in the picture to the right.

If that dog could talk, she’d probably be better than 90 percent of the podcasters out there.

Then again, even not talking, she’d probably still make as much sense as half of them 😊

2
Continue reading
3

Today's Pic Of Maggie The WonderBeagle, Deep In Thought

The WonderBeagle has been a little standoffish today. Maybe it’s because she owes me a few bucks after taking Ohio State and the points last night.

All I know is she wandered in here a few minutes ago and told me to hold all her calls, and that she wouldn’t be returning emails or texts for the next hour or so. Said she had a bone to pick with someone.

As you can see, she wasn’t lying 😊

2
Continue reading
Recent Comments
Charles Gordon

Love the Maggie Posts

Hate to see you leave Twitter. Love to see all of the Maggie content and your sports takes. Twitter is a much better place with yo... Read More
Tuesday, 12 January 2021 19:59
Dave Scarangella

Wish The Same To You Too!

We'll have fun over here. And if you look closely next time you are in Cassell, you will see Maggie's cutout in the second row, ri... Read More
Tuesday, 12 January 2021 20:07
mike dean

Ditto -

miss you on twitter
Tuesday, 12 January 2021 20:29
2

There's A Lot A Certain School Could Learn From Watching Alabama

You could tell by the end of Alabama’s first touchdown-scoring offensive series, Ohio State was in trouble last night.

Alabama is going to lay 50 on these guys, I told my faithful dog Maggie, the WonderBeagle.

Since she had chosen to take Ohio State and the points, she immediately got down from my lap, and as you see in the picture to the right, kneeled down and prayed I was wrong.

Her prayers - and Ohio State’s -  were not answered.

Part of it was certainly the tremendous athletes Alabama has, but Ohio State had great athletes too. Yes, the Buckeyes also were missing a key player in injured running back Trey Sermon, but he wasn’t playing defense.

The part that caught my attention, however, was how Ohio State approached playing defense against this powerful offense. It looked pretty predictable, and made Alabama’s drives look relatively easy. ESPN, as it does in national championship games, provides multiple feeds for the game, including a “film room” with coaches, and they did not appear impressed.

Former Auburn coach and UNC defensive coordinator Gene Chizik noted Ohio State was playing so much one-high safety, Alabama’s offense could pretty much pick what they wanted to do. Liberty Coach Hugh Freeze, who knows a thing or two about offense and has actually beaten Alabama as a head coach, echoed that by saying you could see clearly what Ohio State’s defense was going to do when you came to the line of scrimmage.

Alabama’s hard enough to beat when you DO confuse the quarterback; letting him easily see what he’s facing is just inviting a boat race. It creates a situation where I kind of thought Alabama QB Mac Jones was just having a ho-hum night, making throws that were good, but nothing spectacular. Then you realize he threw for 464 yards and 5 touchdowns while completing 80 percent (36 of 45) of his passes.

Ho hum, indeed.

3
Continue reading
Recent Comments
Guest — Jack Slovic

Hello

Dave On point analysis- communication growth and stability critical to success Look forward to getting your long form commentary ... Read More
Tuesday, 12 January 2021 19:33
Dave Scarangella

Thanks, Jack!

Welcome to the site!
Tuesday, 12 January 2021 19:44
0

At Least One Of Us Came Out A Winner Yesterday

­Yesterday had all the makings for a very peaceful day: Cold and gray outside, a 9-pound pork shoulder cooking in the oven, a few good books to be read. And for the most part, it was.

Well, until my oldest friend Doug decided he wanted his own Navy.

I was in the middle of reading two books: Was finishing up James Patterson’s Deadly Cross, and by mid-afternoon would finish that and then start James Grisham’s A Time For Mercy. Patterson’s book was good rather than great, and after a few hundred pages of Grisham’s book, it seems to be the superior story. Part of that is Patterson seems to write an Alex Cross book about every 3 weeks, so his stories start to feel like a formula. Figure out a fast-paced story line, then plug in the cast of familiar characters.

But this latest one had its moments, particularly if you live here in the DC/Northern Virginia area, as he name-drops a lot of places throughout the region. You can tell he wrote the book more than a year ago because he talks about watching a game between the Cleveland Browns and the Washington Redskins, not calling them the Washington Football team. He even mentions the Washington Nationals.

What made it cozy finishing the book yesterday was I had a pork shoulder cooking all day for last night’s dinner of barbecue and cole slaw. It went in at 5:15 AM for a 10-hour slow roast, and by about 11 AM, there was an aroma throughout the house that had my detective WonderBeagle Maggie hot on the trail to discovering its origins. Patterson has a recurring character that is Alex Cross’s grandmother, and about every 50 pages she’s cooking something similar, with detailed descriptions of how good the house smells.

It is in the midst of this peaceful reading I get a text from my old friend Doug. Apparently, the amounts you can win for both Powerball and MegaMillions were over $400 million. He thought I should know, leading to this conversation:

1
Continue reading

Login

Current Subscribers Log In Here

clear sky

42.1°F

Ashburn

Clear Sky

Humidity: 45%

Wind: 3.44 m/h

Mon

scattered clouds

26/53°F

Tue

few clouds

36/62°F

Wed

sky is clear

41/63°F

They Finally Did It...

They Did It

After a long and bumpy road, The Washington Nationals finally won the World Series. And made an old man in Ashburn cry...

Never Grow Old...

Never Grow Old

A trip to Spring Training reminded me we're all still kids at heart, and no matter how old, you keep playing until they get you out.

If You Absolutely Insist...

Donate

The site is a labor of love, so we don't expect any help. But if you absolutely insist, here's how you could do it...Just click here.

Go to top