Tuesday, March 03, 2015

I'm Running for Dog Catcher Because....

I’m officially running for Dog Catcher because…
The dog catcher is running for opening on zoning board position because…
Person on zoning board is running for county central committee because….
County central committee member is running for county council position because….
County Council member is running for House of Delegates position because….
House of Delegates member is running for State Senator because….
State Senator is running for U.S. Congressman because….
Congressman is running for U.S. Senate because….
Barbara Mikulski is retiring.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Firetruck Friday

This truck pulled up across the street from my sister's house one afternoon in 2013.  There was a brush fire behind the houses pictured.  The truck is the Bel Air Fire Department Engine 311 2006 Seagrave Marauder II.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Throwback Thursday in Eldersburg

Remember the Thai Classic restaurant in the Oklahoma Center?  It never seemed busy and everyone wondered how in the world they stayed open.  They eventually closed and became Jin's Asian Bistro, which burned down nearly the entire shopping center.  The shopping enter is now partially occupied by AutoZone.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Frozen Severn River

Since we can't go fishing...  Well, perhaps it's better to say that since we CHOOSE not to go fishing, we might as well take some pictures.

I saw on Twitter, via Justin Berk, that the Severn River is frozen.  With the upcoming snow changing to rain, I figured I wouldn't have another opportunity to drive to Annapolis to get these pictures.

My son and I walked to the top of the Route 450 bridge crossing the Severn and it was cold.  The air temperature was 17°, but it was really windy.  Even with UnderArmour pants under my jeans, 3 shirts, a jacket, gloves, and a hat, with wind went right through me and it hurt!

This view is looking east toward the Chesapeake Bay.  The United States Naval Academy is to the right.

This is looking northwest (?), eh, it's up-river.  Normally there's a beach to the right.

Here's the old Route 450 bridge, that is now a dedicated fishing pier.  It is a bit odd not seeing a bunch of fisherman and trash on the pier.

I changed lenses on my camera and it's amazing how much better the pictures are.  This is an old boat pier looking downstream.

The ice was crawling up one of the Route 450 bridge pylons.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Basement Renovation Before And After

I've been working on a basement renovation for the past year.  I'm doing a lot of it myself, which is part of the reason why I've been working on it for the past YEAR.  It's taking longer, but I'm saving a poop load of money.

Here is a picture of a section of the basement after I had emptied it of junk (I actually just moved the junk from one place to another.....sigh).  I painted the walls with Drylok to seal the walls.  I was told that a gallon or two would be sufficient to cover the walls that were underground.  Six gallons later....

I decided that this would be the place for the bathroom and the wet bar.  To me there was no point in having a small hallway to the side of the stairs with a small room against the foundation walls.  Therefore, the bathroom goes in corner and the wet bar goes on the other side of the wall.  That way I could keep the pipe in the wall and the flush valve hidden, though accessible.

I framed the basement with my brother-in-law and a couple of others, with all required permits, of course.  This next phase actually went really fast.  It was amazing how quickly the basement renovation went from an abstract concept to visible reality.  I could suddenly see how the basement would look.  You can see the plumbing and electric in the wall, both of which I outsourced to licensed contractors - Willoughby Plumbing and Hammand Electric.  Both companies did a great job and were professional.  I have to admit, however, that I was a bit stunned at the price.  If any of my kids say that they want to be plumbers or electricians when they grow up, they have my blessing.

I can't believe that I didn't take a picture of the area after the drywall went up.  Perhaps I did and I just can't find the picture in the thousands of pictures that I took last year.  If I do find any, I'll update this post.

Funny story - I contracted a father and son team to do the drywall.  The father was like 80 and the son was probably near 50.  They said they'd be at our house at 7am.  No problem.  I leave for work early.  That morning, I went for a jog at 5:45 am and when I got back at 6:15 am, they were sitting there in the truck.  I said they could come in and get started.  They asked if they could come at 6:15 the next morning.  Sure, I didn't care.  The next morning, I was walking out the door to go for a jog at 5:45 am and sure enough they were sitting there on the street in their truck.  I told them to come on in.  I then told them they could come at 5:45 am.  Of course, the next day I awoke at 5:30 am, looked out the window, and they were sitting there waiting.  Apparently they like to get an early start.

I ordered Norcraft cabinets and a granite counter top from East Coast Stone in Dundalk.  Here's the cabinet story - I picked out the design of the door and chose cherry wood.  They gave me a quote and I thought it was ridiculous.  I then changed to a plain door and maple.  The price dropped by a few hundred dollars.  If I was going to spend that much, I might as well get what I want!

I designed the area to have high-end track lights shining on the cabinets to make it a point of focus.  I got a copper pin hammered sink with a copper faucet (I think - or it's just black).  I think it looks great and I'm really excited about it.

Here's a close-up of the sink and faucet.  The backsplash will come later this year.  I just love my new sink!!!  What do you think?

Coming to Eldersburg - Los Cabos Mexican Grille

It is with mixed feelings that I write about the new restaurant that is coming to Eldersburg.  As you may recall, there was a terrible fire the destroyed much of the Oklahoma Center, which started in Jin's Asian Bistro.

Soon thereafter, the owner of The Bagel Cafe lost his battle with cancer, but right before that, the owner of Pap-Pap's passed away.  That's three tragic events in a short amount of time.

Constructions seems to indicate that a new Mexican quick-food restaurant will go in the place of the Bagel Cafe.  I heard that the owners of J&P Pizza are the ones that are building this new restaurant.  Not sure how they will do against Taco Bell (hahahaha!!!), Qdoba, and the upcoming Chipotle' that is opening in the Eldersburg Commons (where the Super Wal-Mart is going).

Firetruck Friday

I saw this in Ocean City, Maryland at the Surfside 84 condos on, ironically 84th street.  Not sure what they were doing, but the extended the ladder up to one of the upper floors rather than taking the elevator or stairs.  It almost seemed like some sort of training exercise.  But it was way too early in the morning for training.  The truck, I think, is a 1997 Spartan Aerial Ladder, Tower 6.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Throwback Thursday in Eldersburg

Remember Curves in the Monroe Station?  It closed and was replaced by Glazed to Perfection, which closed this location and merged with another group in Sykesville.  As of this writing, the space formerly occupied by Curves is vacant.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Delegate Kirill Reznik Belittles Maryland Voter

Which Maryland voter was belittled by House of Delegates member Kirill Reznik?  That Maryland Voter happened to be me, but that's not the issue.  Look through this string from Twitter.

It all started when Larry Hogan stated that Maryland is broken.  It was a generic statement about how there are too many taxes and now we have another structural deficit problem, just like the one O'Malley complained about for 8 years that he inherited from Bob Ehrlich.  And it's no secret that it costs a lot of money to live in Maryland and that lots of businesses have left for states that are more business-friendly with less regulation, like Virginia.

Tammy Mangan refuted Hogan's statement in this Twitter post by saying 'Maryland isn't broken, We've got the highest median income in the US!".  Anyone who knows economics and logic sees several flaws in this statement.  She's using one single statistic to refute an economic and business climate problem.  Secondly, having the highest median income in the United States without correlating it to the cost of living is useless information.  The cost of living in Uganda is low.  Hey, that sounds great!  However, the median income is terrible.  Not so great!

Maryland does have one of the highest costs of living in the country.  Therefore, we require a high median income.  Otherwise, only rich people could live here.

I told Mangan and Delegate Reznik not to be fooled by statistics.  Delegate Reznik then condescendingly commented how I used a stat to prove a stat at that is was adorable.  WTF???  Obviously he's twisting things around.  As you know, you're limited to like 7 characters on Twitter, so you can't comprehensively prove your point.  But as I mentioned previously, the statistic of the higher income is useful relative to the cost of living, but exclusively it is meaningless.

So why would Russian-born Kirill Reznik attack me with such a condescending remark?  It's a typical retort of the left-wing Michael Busch cronies.  We should expect things like this from them.  They don't really care about the residents of Maryland. They just want power.  Seriously, how can Reznik feel any commitment to Maryland when he hasn't even lived here that long?

And to attack a blogger?  That's just asking for trouble.  Delegate Reznik you want to challenge me? To quote Barney Stinson, "Challenge accepted!!!"

Fire Truck Friday

I saw this fire truck in Sarasota.  It's Engine 31, but I can't find the specific station.  Seems as if fire departments in this area of Florida are not as keen as stations around here in creating websites with photos of their apparatus.  

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