Saturday, January 03, 2015

June - A Month in Review

June started off with the sad news of the death of Ann B. Davis, better known as Alice from the Brady Bunch.  Oh, Alice.

Pop music sensation Miley Cyrus was robbed over the first weekend of June.  Reports indicate that the thieves got off with jewelry, her Maserati, and what was left of her reputation.

You'll recall that President Obama announced a time table for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq.  This was a controversial move, since most pundits predicted that the terrorists would just lie low until the soldiers were gone. Obama assured everyone that wouldn't happen.  And then it happened.  An al-Qaeda splinter group calling themselves ISIS have basically retaken Iraq.  Baghdad still stands, but Obama said no U.S. troops will be sent to help, but the Air Force will do flyovers to monitor the situation.  I'm glad that Obama clarified that the men and women of the Air Force do not count as troops.

Legendary disc jockey Casey Kasem passed away after months of sordid rumors of  his family's fight

In Maryland, New Yorker Anthony Brown, aka Martin O'Malley, defeated New Jersey-born Doug Gansler and Illinois-born Heather Mizeur.  Apparently Marylanders don't run for governor in Maryland anymore.

Facebook uses us as lab rabbits.  They decided that it would be funny to play psychological warfare with their users to see what would happen.  Now that everyone over 35 users Facebook as their sole source of communication with everyone, we're now committed to being their lab rats until something better comes along.

In tennis, Maria Sharapova and Rafael Nadal won the French Open.  I'm not sure if chicks dig Nadal, but as we all know guys only watch tennis to hear Sharapova have massive vocal orgasms on serves and returns.

July - A Month in Review

Germany stunned host-country Brazil in the semi-finals of the World Cup by beating the 817-1.  It was Brazil's largest defeat ever in a World Cup game, leaving fans in tears, just like when Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley announced that he was going to tax the rain.

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was sentenced to 10 years in prison for a bribary scandal.  The crooked mayor is best known for his gross mishandling of the city's management during and after Hurricane Katrina, which he indirectly blamed President George W. Bush.  Nagin also infamously declared that New Orleans was a chocolate city, implying that white people weren't allowed.

Former Playboy model Pamela Anderson filed for divorce for the 817th time, equaling the number of goals scored by Germany against Brazil in the World Cup game.

Israel and Hamas made the news in July when they decided to toss missiles at each other.  The well-funded terrorist group doesn't have the fire power of the armed Israeli military.  Israel decided it would be pretty cool to launch 500 missiles and bomb at the Hamas-controlled Gaza strip over 24 hours.  It's more exciting than the New York City 4th of July Fireworks.

July marked the 6th month anniversary of the legalization marajuana in Colorado.  When politicians and prominent leaders in the business community were asked what the impact of the legalization of marajuana was on the community, business, and government, most responded, "Ahhh.....dude!!! All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine!"

The NBA announced it would raise the salary cap for teams to $63.1 million.  NBA Commissioner Adam Stern declared with a higher salary cap, teams would be able to sign more big-time slam-dunkers to help continue the diminishing respectability of the game.

In New York, a fat dumbass who fell asleep during a game and was broadcast on live national television filed a master piece lawsuit full of spelling mistakes and grammar errors.  The plaintiff is suing the New York Yankees, ESPN, television commentators John Kruk, Dan Shulman, Major League baseball, television makers Panasonic, Mitsubishi, Sony, in addition to Hostess, Tastykake, Breyers, Oscar-Myer, and David Hasselhoff.

Seeking the glory that it held during the 1960's, Vladimir Putin has continued down a Russian warpath.  For shits and giggles, the Russians or a group sympathetic with the Russians thought it would be funny to shoot down a Malaysian passenger airline.  Everyone denies involvement and have even denied access by investigators to the crash site.

One of my favorite actors, James Garner, passed away in July.  Jim Rockford, Bret Maverick, The Scrounger, Lieutenant Commander Charles Edward Madison, and Sergeant Major Zach Carey.

August - A Month in Review

ISIS continued its war in Iraq taking over town after town.  President Obama remained stumped as to why the terrorists waited until after all of the U.S. troops left Iraq, a date of the withdrawal which he globally announced several years earlier.

The great metropolis of Ferguson, Missouri made the news in August when an officer shot multiple times and killed an unarmed man who allegedly has his arms raised in defense.  To protest this horrendous act, the great townsfolk of rioted and looted their own city and made national news.  Nothing says we hate police brutality by plundering our own towns.

The White House announced that President Obama was going to make an announcement about sending in troops.  Pundits immediately began wondering if he was sending troops to Iraq or Missouri.

The Dead Poet's Society gained another member in August with the passing of comedian Robin Williams.  Often considered a comedic genius, Williams suffered from depression that led him to take his life. The entire international AP press wire came to a screaching halt with the news.  To hell with the war between Palestine and Israel. Robin Williams died! Nah-noo-nah-noo.

Not a day passed after Robin Williams' death and Lauren Becall died.  Her connection to Humphrey Bogart was immortalized in Bertie Higgin's song Key Largo.  The sultry actress' most famous quote was probably, "You know how to whistle, don't you?  Just put your lips together and blow."

Major League Baseball made a major announcement in August when they announced Commissioner Bud Selig's successor.  Bug Selig, as you will all remember, was the owner of the Milwaukee Brewers, a conflict of interest the MLB refused to recognize.  The new commissioner will be Rob Manfred, the owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, whose claim to fame is TV blackouts to baseball fans who fail to subscribe to the correct cable channels.  It's been rumored that he hates young baseball fans and wants nationwide blackouts in as many markets as possible.

You know the old saying, 'Never bring a knife to a gunfight'.  At pop star singer Chris Brown's house, the policy is, 'bring yo' guns to the knife party'.  In Brown's latest trouble, some party-goers brought guns and opened fire on people.  As they say, 'just another day at Chris Brown's house.'

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge swept Instagram and Facebook.  Millions of people recorded themselves dumping water on their heads and challenging others to do so, or donate money.  Sadly, the overwhelming majority chose to dump the water than to provide the funds needed to help with research for this debilitating disease.

In France, the extremely unpopular Socialist President Francois Hollande dissolved the government, demanding a government more friendly to his radical ideas.  It is expected that the new government will be a 2 pound soft ripened Brie cheese wheel.

China issued a stern warning to the United State in August.  "Stop spying on us!" was the warning.  After hours of stomach-wretching laughter, the official response to China was, "Yeah, yeah, okay.  No problem."

In Oklahoma, a team of medical examiners performed an arduous autoposy on a death row prisoner after his execution and determined that the prisoner died of the lethal injection that he was given.  There's money well-spent.

Justin Bieber was arrested again. Is that really news?

Maryland's Transportation To Do List Part 2

Recently I posted about Maryland's public transportation to-do list, where I highlighted current transportation options, plans for the future, and the faults with some of those projects.  Now I want to focus on the roads.

Maryland is known for its gridlocks and its maze of ramps to nowhere.  Interstate 70 ends in a park and ride.  There are multiple ramps to nowhere along I-95 through Baltimore.  As I've said before, it seems as if the transportation model in Maryland was designed by a politician.

As a tax-paying citizen of Carroll County in good standing, I'll start there.  Everyone knows that Route 32 south of Sykesville is a mess.  Yes I realize that this is Howard County.  And yes I realize that the state is now working to widen some parts of this road.  However, we cannot deny the fact that thousands of vehicles are commuting on this road each day to Baltimore, Howard County, and the suburbs of Washington, D.C.  The current Route 32 cannot effectively handle the volume during peak hours.  Route 32 should be a 4 lane highway from Eldersburg to at least I-70.  I'm not talking about divided medians and cloverleafs or fly-over ramps.  But at a minimum it needs shoulders and a center turn lane.

Route 140 from Baltimore County to Finksburg is another bottleneck.  It seems like at least once per week there is a deadly accident at the Baltimore County \ Carroll County line.  This area needs to have an expanded bridge with highway dividers.  Again, I know the state is working on this, but I'm not sure to what their plan is.

Route 140 in Owings Mills.  Especially at the intersections of Owings Mills Boulevard and Painter's Mill Road - this is already a nightmare.  When they complete the Wegman's at Foundry Row, this will be even worse!  I'm not sure how they could accomplish this without destroying the local businesses, but there needs to be an overpass at that intersection.

I-70 intersection with I-695 Baltimore Beltway.  I don't think this junction has changed since it was built.  I'm not sure when it was built, but I suspect it was in the 1960's.  The I-95 eastern junction with I-695 was recently restructured from a ribbon interchange to fly-over ramps.  I think the I-70 junction needs to do the same.  You can run into traffic at this interchange at 10pm at night.  It's crazy!

For the past 20 years or so, the state of Maryland has been expanding Route 50 to be a highway all the way to Ocean City.  It seems as if they are done, but it begs the question - aren't they going to do soething with Easton and Cambridge?  We no longer have to go through Vienna and Salisbury, but Easton is a freakin' mess.  There is an Easton Expressway, but that doesn't seem to shave any time off of the commute.  Cambridge generally moves okay, but you'd think the state would have made a route around the town rather than expanding the existing route through the town.

In Southern Maryland, a huge bottleneck is the Route 301 bridge over the Potomac River.  The bridge is known as the Harry Nice Bridge.  There is a plan in place for its replacement, but I can't seem to find when it's going to be done.  The current bridge is only 1 lane in each direction, whereas the approaching roads from either direction are four lanes.  This means that both ends of the bridge have a 2-1 lane merge, which is an excellent source for traffic bottlenecks.  Once the new bridge is completed, the old bridge, which was opened in 1940, will be removed.  Hopefully they'll blow it up with a big bomb.

I-68 though Cumberland.  If you've traveled through Western Maryland, you know it gets weird when you get to Cumberland.  Most of I-68 is wide-expansive highways with plentiful shoulders with gentle to rugged hill climbs.  Then you get to Cumberland.  The speed limit slows to like 40 mph, there are no shoulders, and the on-ramps have about 8 feet for mergers.  And these are the problems in the summer.  Add in Allegheny County's plentiful winter weather, and the highway becomes a veritable ice capades demolition derby.  Cumberland's natural layout doesn't provide much flexibility for changing the interstate traffic pattern, but I think an improved highway network around the town will also help improve their economic state.

On the Baltimore Beltway, or officially the McKeldin Beltway, from Pikesville through Towson, there are shoulders that are 2 lanes wide.  This is also where the highway is 4-lanes wide, but gridlocked for miles every day during rush hour.  Is it time to make half of that shoulder space lane #5?

I haven't traveled the entire state, but I've seen a lot of it, and I think these are some of the better improvements that can be made.  What do you think should change?

Obama Writes His Own Laws

President Obama's recent executive order, which is a de facto amnesty program for illegal immigrants to stay in the United States without following the current law, has come under extreme scrutiny.  Now the whole charade has been mocked by Saturday Night Live.  You know if SNL is making fun of you, you must suck at your job.

This isn't the first time a President has abused his powers and declared law through executive order.  Franklin Roosevelt declared over 3,000 executive orders.  That's nearly 200 per year over his 12 year Presidential term.

A Month in Review - December

December picked up what November threw down.  Protests and riots continued across the country.  Hoards of angry people are protesting the fact that a police officer shot and killed an unarmed teenager in suburban St. Louis neighborhood of Ferguson.  The teen struggled with a police officer when he tried to arrest the teen, then the teen refused to back down as he came toward the officer.  Let this whole incident put police officers on notice - if a perpetrator or a suspect gets aggressive with an officer, the officer must back down and allow the perpetrator or suspect to acquire the officer's service revolver and shoot him.  Any other action will not be tolerated.

In totally unrelated news, a white man was beaten to death in St. Louis by 2 black men and a Hispanic man.  St. Louis police chief Sam Dotson indicated that this incident doesn't appear to be race related, unlike the previous incident where the police office inappropriately tried to defend himself.

Kobe Bryant passed Michael Jordan for 3rd all-time on the NBA's scoring list.  Fortunately for Michael Jordan, no one noticed because a) no one gives a crap about the NBA anymore and b) Kobe Bryant is a jackass.

The anti-police / pro-Ferguson thug constituent celebrated on December 15th as a Baltimore Police Officer was shot and sent to Shock Trauma.  This same crowd is hoping that police have learned their lesson that they're not allowed to defend themselves.

The world lost its greatest writer ever in December with the death of Norman Bridwell.  Don't know Bridwell?  He was the author of the Clifford the Big Red Dog series.

Sony Pictures made a startling change in December when it decided to allow communist North Korea decide which pictures it could and could not release.  This is the first time in the history of Sony that a North Korean communist.has been in charge.

One of the hottest Christmas items of 2014 was Cards Against Humanity's box of bull shit.  They reportedly sold 30,000 boxes of it, though there are endless supplies available from your politician.

Roger Goodell reportedly informed the St. Louis Rams, the San Diego Chargers, and the Oakland Raiders that they may not move their teams to Los Angeles next year.  Ironically, all of these teams have previously played in Los Angeles and they all left.  There's a reason they all left.  All three of them.  Why does no one get this?

Rocker Joe Cocker lost his battle with cancer.  The singer, known for such hits as his rendition of With a Little Help From My Friends and You Are So Beautiful, was 70 years old.

The NFL regular season came to an end.  The ferocious 7-8-1 Carolina Panthers limped into the playoffs with a losing record, reflecting the power-house NFC South's ineptitude.  The day after the regular season saw the typical year-end firings, with Rex Ryan being the obvious coach to be fired, with Marc Trestman of the Bears, and Mike Smith of the Atlanta Falcons also getting their pink slips.  In a surprising move, legendary quarterback Kyle Orton announced his retirement, thus cutting short his big comeback to solidify his Hall of Fame career.

Another airplane disappeared around Indonesia.  People are now starting to wonder if the Bermuda Triangle has shifted to a new location.

Two army captains got phone calls that their wedding needed to be relocated at the last minute because President Obama decided he was going to play golf at the venue.  No word on whether or not they got their deposit back.  But knowing people's luck with Obama, they probably didn't get their deposit back AND they had to pay a fine.

October - A Month in Review

The Baltimore Orioles headed back to the playoffs.  Despite finishing the season with the 2nd best record in MBL, the Detroit Tigers were the favorite to win the series.  After the underdog Orioles swept the Detroit Tigers in 3 games, they learned they will play the Kansas City Royals who returned to the playoffs for the first time in 29 years.

Joe Biden continued the United States' contemporary tradition of apologizing for everything.  We apologized for the atomic bomb, slavery, Bryan Adams, who is Canadian.  This time Biden apologized to the Arab states for suggesting that they helping ISIS in their radical campaign to rid the world of infidels.

Rumors continue to circulate about North Korean President Kim Jung Un who has not been seen for over a month.  The lunacy from above the 38th parallel seems to have subsided a bit.  If he is not seen in another couple of weeks, the Chinese government has stated that they will hire Scooby-Doo and friends to see if they can determine who's hiding under the mask.

Barack Obama, the Prince of Oops (his Vice President Joe Biden is clearly the King of Oops) mistakenly called Washington, D.C. a state.  Okay, I get that Obama is not actually the one posting on Twitter.  So why do high-profile people let idiots continue to post for them?

The NBA signed an $8 gagillion contract with ABC\ESPN\TNT this week.  If this contract were a state, it would be larger than Delaware.  Under the new deal, the contract will run until LeBron James is 107, when it's expected that he'll return to the Cleveland Cavaliers again after winning 3 more NBA titles with the Jacksonville Celtics.

The NFL fined 49er's quarterback $10,000 for wearing the wrong kind of headphones during warm-up.  Yes, the NFL has that much power.  Isn't it ironic that the NFL also has an anti-bullying campaign?

Maryland Governor and 2016 Presidential candidate Martin O'Malley, trying to differentiate himself from Hillary Clinton, declared that Wi-Fi is a human right.  If I understand this correctly, prisoners deserve Wi-Fi, yet unborn babies do not deserve the right to be born.

Celebrity deaths starting pouring in in late October.  SNL legend Jan Hooks died in October after a secret battle with cancer.

Fashion mogul Oscar de la Renta passed away at the age of 82.  The maker of high-end men's fashions and suits will reportedly be buried in flip-flops and a track suit.

A report surfaced that NBC wanted to hire Jon Stewart as the host of Meet the Press, thus confirming speculation that they were converting the show from a valid talk show with a panel of guests to discuss current events to a comedy show where they make up stuff and poke fun at Republicans.

Elola continues to be the big news in Dallas.  The CDC has reassured the public that Ebola can only be contracted when an infected patient with full-blown symptoms vomits into another person's mouth or when a person baths a a cocktail of the infected patient's bodily fluids.  Unfortunately, it appears as if 2 healthcare workers in Dallas did just that.  Or the CDC is lying.

Jack Bruce, the bassist for the band Cream, passed away.  He was 71.

HP, formerly known as Hewitt-Packard, finished cornering the market on unicorn blood and thus decided to spin-off the highly profitable printing business into a separate company.  Currently, the price of Cyan unicorn blood goes for $25,000 per ounce.

The White House security perimeter was breached for the third time in several months when a man from Harford County Maryland scaled the fence and jumped onto the lawn.  As everyone knows, the White House is a place where common people are not allowed.  The average tax-paying citizen will be savagely beaten and prosecuted for trying to get on the grounds of this sacred area.

The San Francisco Giants bought the World Series in October, this being their 3 purchase in 5 years.  

Elizabeth Norment of Netflix' House of Cards, passed away, she was 61 years old.  She portrayed the secretary to the conniving Frank Underwood and his weasily assistant Doug Stamper.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Federal Do Not Call Registry - Fact or Fiction?

This is your second and final notice to save money on your credit card bills.

You have been selected to receive a free cruise to the destination of your choice to participating in a short survey.

Our records indicate that your car's warranty will run out soon, so you must act now!

Press 1 to be annoyed by a salesman who can't pronounce your name.

Press 2 to acknowledge that you received this call so that we can sell your phone number to other marketing companies who want to steal your money with fake offers.

Press 3 if your States' Attorney General has no intention of trying to enforce the Federal Do Not Call Registry because it is a useless unenforceable concept.

Press 4 to hear this message in Spanish.

Press 5 if you don't understand what we just said in option 4.

Press 6 repeatedly if you're tired of getting sales calls.

Seriously - is this thing for real or just something to appease the people until they realize that the sales calls will never stop?  If you listen through the call, then speak to a salesperson, as soon as they realize that you're on to them, they hang up on you.  I've even had them hang up on me when I ask a question.

It seems as if Maryland State Attorney General Doug Gansler hasn't done anything about it.  I doubt newly elected Brian Frosch will do anything about it either as he will be too busy trimming his mustache.  If you can't have a Tom Selleck mustache, then you shouldn't have a mustache.

New to Eldersburg - Cigars

It's not exactly new.  It's been open for a few months.  But I'm a really latent blogger, so there you go.  Hard to be relevant when you are finishing your basement by yourself, have a family, a job, and a family, and coach sports, and have a family, and a raging Hot Wheels addiction.

So new to Eldersburg in the Carroll Station shopping plaza is Cigars, which replaced The Silver Blade, which moved to Peddler's Square.  I expect Cigars will compete with Tobacco in the Country Village Shopping Center and the Tobacco Shop in Eldersburg Plaza.

I don't partake in any smoking hobbies, so I won't be going there.  But I do like thriving businesses in Eldersburg.  To success!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

My Christmas List

I think there is no finer tradition than writing my preposterous Christmas list.  I apologize for being a little late, but there are still some good sales going on, so you may be able to catch a few of these for your favorite blogger.

This item may have been on my list longer than any other, because sadly, no one has gotten it for me yet.  I've been extra good this year.  Hopefully this is the year!  This is a Ferrari 308 GTS.  I'm not too particular about the model year.  Heck, it could even be a 328 GTB.  Either is fine.  Black or red.  But I prefer red, but I'm not going to be too picky.

We've been doing a lot of fishing over the past few years.  We have been humbly casting our lines from the shores around the great state of Maryland, watching with envy as overpaid executives and spendthrifts cruise by on the boating and fishing vessels, silently laughing and mocking the shore casters.  Wouldn't fishing be a lot better in this Top Fish center console fishing boat with 3 Mercury Marine Verado engines?  I promise - if you get this for me, I'll even take you out on it.

This next item is a bit more reasonable.  I used to get this all the time at the Eldersburg Total Discount Liquors,  But now they don't carry it anymore.  And you can't order liquor through the mail in Maryland, because everyone knows kids will by alcohol and get drunk.  Martin O'Malley told me so. This is Kajmir Vanilla Liqueur.

Since we're on the topic of alcohol, my favorite beer has been MIA for several years.  If you can find it, that would be awesome.  This is Tilburg Dutch Brown Ale.  Yummy!

I love photography.  However, my old Nikon D40X has seen better days.  There are minor issues, such as the graphics on the buttons have worn off.  And bigger issues such as focusing and response problems.  What a great opportunity we have here to upgrade to a Nikon D7100.  With this gift from you to me, I'll provide you with endless artistic masterpieces that will entertain you to no end.

This year I'm all about simplicity.  I'm not going to overburden you with an endless list of things that I'd like.  I certainly don't want to come off as greedy.  Hopefully you can find it in your heart to pick up one or two of these.

Merry Christmas!!!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Let's Go to a Concert

I've been in a concert mood lately.  In fact, I've bought tickets to at least 5 concerts and one show in the past couple of months.

In October, I bought 2 tickets to the Evil Dead the Musical show at the fabulous Strand in York, Pennsyltucky.  My daughter wanted tickets for her birthday.  We bought the tickets and gave them to her as a present.  She asked who was going to take her to the show.  My wife said, "If you have a boyfriend, then he can take you."  I then responded, "So it sounds like you're going with me."  So needless to say, I took her.  And we had a great time.  The show was hysterical!  Yes, Evil Dead The Musical was a comedy.

Next up was the Mistletoe Meltdown, hosted by 101.9 Lite FM and Mix 106.5.  It featured Ingrid Michaelson, whom I've seen before when she opened for Sheryl Crow; O.A.R., whose full name is Of A Revolution, Daughtry, which spellcheck constantly wants to change to Daughter, and Train.

Ingrid Michaelson was a goofball when I saw her before.  She's the same.  But she's a likeable character.  Her music is folksy and this time I recognized Girls Chase Boys.

I have heard of O.A.R., but I didn't recognize any of their music.  However, I liked their music and have decided that I will acquire some of it soon.  Plus they're local boys.  They're from Rockville.

Next up was Daughtry.  I know he's loud.  But he sang acoustic and wasn't too loud.  I liked his singing, but I thought he was a bit of a dick.  At a concert, people naturally want the singers to sing their favorite songs.  Some fans were shouting out what they wanted to hear.  Daughtry said something like, "you keep interrupting me and I won't be able to sing all of the songs."  Uh......okay.

Finally up was Train.  I know several Train songs and I like them.  Who doesn't like 50 Ways to Say Goodbye?!!  "I got run over by a black and purple Scion!"  I didn't realize how many other songs I knew.  Did you know they sang Calling All Angels?  I also knew Drops of Jupiter and Hey Soul Sister.  And they rocked it.  For the finale, Daughtry came out and Pat Monahan and he sang a cover of Aerosmith's Dream On. That rocked!!!

So that was the Mistletoe Meltdown.  I also bought tickets to see Barry Manilow for my wife; he's her favorite singer.  I also got tickets to see Kenny Chesney and Jake Owen, and finally Nickelback.  Yeah-yeah, I like Nickelback, so shut-up.

I still need to see ZZ Top, Aerosmith, Def Leppard, and Toby Keith.  And Van Halen if they come around again.  Though I've seen them 3 times before.  But I've also seen Barry Manilow three times, so the upcoming show will make 4 and I cannot in good conscience tell people that I've seen Barry Manilow more times than any singer.

So who else have I seen?

The Who was the first concert I ever saw.  I saw them in 1989 at RFK in D.C.  I've seen them twice, though I cannot remember where I saw them the second time.  Maybe the U.S. Air Arena?

I saw Great White, Tesla, and Badlands in Towson.  The highlight of that concert was when the stoned lead singer of Badlands climbed up on top of the speakers, then needed stage hands to bring out a A-frame ladder to get him down.

I saw Van Halen with Alice-In-Chains opening for them at the U.S.Air Arena in Landover, Maryland.  This was the Sammy Hagar era Van Halen.  And it rocked.

I then saw Genesis at RFK.  It was part of Phil Collins "I'm depressed and all these songs suck" era.  

Oh, I forgot that I once saw Little Feat at Carowinds in Charlotte, North Carolina.  38 Special was playing after them, but my college roommate had somewhere to be, so we left before 38 Special played.  Can you believe that???

I saw AC/DC at the Capital Center on the Thunderstruck tour.  That was cool.

In about 1992-ish, I saw Faith No More, Metallica, Guns-N-Roses.  That was a long concert.  But it was awesome.  We got lawn seats, but there were no seats and we had to stand for 9 hours.  We didn't get home until like 3am.  But we did get to see a lot of boobies.  That's pretty cool when you're 20 years old.

I saw Sheryl Crow, Ray Lamontagne, and aforementioned Ingrid Michaelson several years ago.  I blogged about that concert.  You should read this.

I saw Barry Manilow the first time in Salisbury, Maryland.  Why Salisbury?  Rumor is that his boyfriend is from Salisbury.

I saw Barry Manilow at the Warner Theater in Washington, D.C. the night before he was testifying before the Congress.

I later saw Barry Manilow again at the First Mariner Arena.  I got 6th row center seats for my wife for her birthday.  The upcoming Barry Manilow concert will be at the Verizon Center, so four Barry Manilow concerts at four different venues.

My whole family saw Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley, and Jimmy Wayne with special guest John Oates, also at the First Mariner Arena.  That was awesome.  I think that was my first country music concert.

I saw Dierks Bentley again with Miranda Lambert and Thomas Rhett, again at the First Mariner Arena.

I last month my wife and I again saw Dierks Bentley, Randy Howser, and Eric Pasley, at the former First Mariner Arena, now known as the Royal Farms Arena.  That was cool, too.  Not the First Mariner Arena, but the concert.  And yes, I've seen Dierks Bentley as many times as Van Halen, but I like Dierks, so that's okay.

I saw Rush last year, again at the First Mariner Arena.  That concert wasn't all that great.  I can probably rattle off 15 Rush songs,  Yeah, they didn't play those.  They played other songs.  Most of the crowd sat the entire time.  That's not the sign of a good concert.

I also Bad Company and Lynyrd Skynyrd last year, as well.  That was a great concert.  This was down at Jiffy Lube in Virginia.

I also saw Van Halen at the First Mariner Arena when the reunited with David Lee Roth the 8th time.  Not sure who opened for them, but I didn't see them.

I then saw Van Halen again when Kool and the Gang at the Verizon Center.  That was an interesting combination.  It was after the release of the Different Kind of Truth album.

I went to Sunday in the Country at Meriweather Post Pavilion a few years ago.  That was Bucky Covington, Joe Nichols, The Band Perry, Gloriana, Eric Church, and Lady Antebellum. That was a LONG concert, but I enjoyed it. 

Oh, I almost saw INXS in 1991.  I got into an accident on the way there (everyone was fine, but my car insurance went from $1,300 per year to $2,100 per year).  So I guess that one doesn't count.  

I almost saw Hootie and the Blowfish in college, too.  This no-name band was playing at The Money, the college bar across the street.  We went and it was PACKED!!!  We decided not to go there.  Then I saw the same band play on Letterman a few months later, then they got really popular.  Then I learned that they were Hootie and the Blowfish.  Can't believe I didn't see them now!!!

Did I miss any?

Were you at any of these concerts?

Monday, December 01, 2014

November - A Month in Review

November starts with the global All Saints Day holiday.  Bless the saints, and more importantly, I hope they bless us!

The month started off on a sad note as Tom Magliozzi, one of the founders of NPR's car talk, passed away.  This guy was funny.  People don't give NPR enough credit.  There are some good shows on that station and Car Talk was one of them.

Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to guide Russia's economy in a downward spiral in his attempt to reclaim his country's rightful position as a super power.  Massive Russian bank debt, economic sanctions for their hostilities against Ukraine, soaring inflation, and Putin's general incompetence are helping to plunge Russia from a 2nd world nation closer to an nuclear armed third world nation.  That's a deadly combination that's almost as volatile as a Mississippi dirt pie in front of Oprah.

Brittany Maynard, the Death with Dignity advocate and brain cancer patient, gained national notoriety when she announced she was going to legally take her life with the assistance of a prescription medication on November 1st.  As the date neared, she cleverly informed the media that she had changed her mind and they went away.  She then went through with her promise.  Sometimes I'm happy that the media is so naive.

Bad news continues to haunt the Baltimore Ravens.  Molly Shattuck, the former Ravens' cheerleader and wife of former Baltimore-based Constellation Energy corporation Mayo Shattuck, has been arrested for sexual contact with a 15 year old boy.  Some people are condemning her deplorable behavior, while others are saying, "Dude, lucky kid!"  They wouldn't be saying that if the child was a girl.  But somehow because it's a boy some people think it's okay.  Mayo Shattuck responded to the media attention by using company resources and parking a dozen or so of the company trucks all along the street so that the media could park their own vehicles.

Republicans clobbered Democrats in the mid-term elections in November.  In perhaps the biggest upset, Lt. Governor Anthony Brown lost his presumed appointed election for Governor to challenger and Republican businessman Larry Hogan, whose father was once a Republican Congressman for Maryland.

Other interesting results are that Republicans took over Governor mansions in deep blue Massachusetts, and traditionally blue Wisconsin, Michigan, and Iowa, and purple Colorado.  In the Senate, the Republicans took over with key wins in North Carolina and Georgia, subsequently demoting Harry Reid to Senate Minority leader, but not demoting him low enough to match the scheming reprobate that he is.  Republicans also managed to hold onto the House.

Comedian, or is he supposed to be a singer?, Clay Aiken, was one of the big losers in this election cycle, again losing in his bid for a Congressional seat in South Carolina.  His luck may have been better if he was invisible.  Blahahahaha!

In the 'Be Careful What You Ask For" category, former Maryland state delegate and Muslim activist Saqib Ali pushed for Montgomery County Public Schools to recognize Islamic holidays, despite only about 1% of students being Muslim.  Instead of getting what he wanted, he made Facebook's top trending stories list when MCPS stripped everyone of religious holidays.  Now Montgomery County will celebrate Winter Solstice Day, National Fowl Consumption Day, and Rosh Hashanah.

Jose Canceco's finger fell off.  How much more do you need to say?  He accidentally shot it off, the doctors tried to sew it back on, but it fell off during a poker game, which explains it all.  We expect within the next few months his head will fall off.

Continuing with crazy celebrities, famous for no other reason than for being famous Kim Kardashian tried to break the Internet when she released naked doctored photos of herself.  It's obvious that the photos have been modified as her waste is a svelte 15 inches and her ass a voluptuous 72 inches.  Incredibly, she has a perfect golden shiny moist tan and no stretch marks from giving birth.  It didn't take long before the "gotta see it like a train wreck picture" of her full frontal hairless body was released.  Later in the month another picture of her ass was released, however this one looked like husband Kanye West.

Click here to see a totally naked picture of Kim.

Bill Cosby, the 77 year old comedian known for The Cosby Show and Fat Albert, became embroiled in controversy in November in what may become known as the Jell-O pudding scandal.  He's been accused by 157 women of "pudding" his dick in their vagina when they didn't want him to.  Is America's favorite ugly-sweater dad a sexual predator?  I expect the indictment to go like this: "I tell you......a story.  heh-heh-hehhhhh!!!"

Tensions were high in Ferguson, Missouri when a grand jury failed to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting of Michael Brown.  Mass hysteria erupted on Facebook praising love and remembrance to Mr. Brown, who struggled with Officer Wilson while being arrested, then Brown tried to grab the officer's gun, who then got into a position to defend himself and shot the teen.  Apparently a LOT of people think that police officers should not defend themselves when suspects try to take their service revolver.  More hysteria erupted in Ferguson where protesters decided that the best civic protest would be to burn down their town, burn down the places where they work, menace anyone that came across their path, and to destroy everyone else's personal property.  Protesters got even more upset when the police moved in to try to restore order.

In space news, the European Space Agency landed a probe on a comet.  This led to a viral hashtag-posting of #WeCanLandOnACometButWeCant.....  There were such whimsical responses such as:
      convince the self-checkout machine there's nothing unexpected in the bagging area”
get Justin Bieber deported.
Stop feminist double standards
feed the homeless in a park without getting arrested.
stop talking about Kim Kardashian's moon.
get a vending machine to accept a wrinkled dollar bill.
find that malaysian airline plane and the 227 people that were on it
believe it's not butter
get Chic-Fil-A on Sundays
get a nicely cooked steak at Golden Corral.
tell the difference between "your" and "you're"
insert a USB properly without flipping it 3 times.
turn earth back to how it was in the beginning, a cube filled with screaming red skeletons

The world's most famous crack cocaine addict, former Washington, D.C. mayor Marion Barry, passed away in November.  The mayor coined the phrase, "Bitch set me up...I shouldn't have come up here...goddamn bitch", which is now widely used in preteen shows on MTV.

In the "Holy Shit, I Can't Believe It" category, Sesame Street's Ernie got a colonoscopy on a live episode of Conan O'Brien.  They reasoned this medical procedure on a character from a children's show with the fact that Ernie is now 45 years old and needs to start getting regular colonoscopies.  Results show that his ass is filled with cotton and fabric.

Thanksgiving was on the last Thursday of the month, just like it is every year, except in Cleveland, where it is on the 3rd Thursday for years that are divisible by 13.  And like every year, what most people look forward to at Thanksgiving are the Black Friday sales.  This year's sales seemed to be uneventful, with sales down 11% compared to last year.  Apparently people are learning that getting a cheap-ass HD television for $35 is worth getting a television for $35.  Plus, stores are now open all day on Thanksgiving and the sales start on Wednesday, so what's the point?

What's a Black Friday without a stampede at Wal-Mart or a shooting at Nordstrom's?  Chicago, the city that bans guns from everyone except criminals, saw a shopper get murdered in the prestigious anchor store when a gunman went crazy.  In other Black Friday news, a fight broke out in Norwalk over a Barbie at a Wal-Mart, 3 were arrested at a Kohl's in Ocean City, Maryland, and a fight in Annapolis Mall caused widespread panic and pandemonium.  Go here to get all the news on Black Friday fights.

Travelers who called ahead to their airline in Chicago were greeted with tips to arrive 85 hours prior to their flight.  In spite of the generous advice, lines to get through security at Midway Airport were estimated to stretch for 1.2 miles.

November 30th marks the end of No Shave November, or Mowvember.  Thank God, that's over.  I hate people that look like bums.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

More Proof that Nancy Pelosi is Either an Idiot or a Liar

Jonathan Gruber is making news by basically saying that Obamacare got passed because the American people are idiots and the government intentionally withheld the truth.

So watch this first:

Now watch this:

Politicians really hope that Americans are stupid.  Too bad that they forget that the Internet exists and people record and archive everything they say.

Too Many Wires in Eldersburg

Have you ever noticed how many wires are strung from pole to pole around Eldersburg?  This is mainly evident down the Route 26 and Route 32 corridor. This seems a bit crazy to me.

Here is the intersection of Route 32 and 26 in front of the Exxon station.  I count 31 wires.  I think there are enough wires strung across the road to stop a moving ship. Perhaps there should be a project to start burying our wires.  They are as unsightly as the DVD cover of any Melissa McCarthy movie.

Friday, November 07, 2014

Anthony Brown - What's Next?

As much as I've bashed New York-born Anthony Brown over the years, I do feel bad for him.  Let's consider the facts.

Anthony Brown served in the military, rising to the rank of colonel and serving in Iraq.  I have a lot of respect for people that served in the military and sacrificed a part of their life, giving up time with their families, their jobs, and life as they know it.  I can't imagine what soldiers goes through to make the sacrifices they make.  However, in the end, an impeccable military record does not qualify you to be a governor.

In 1998, Anthony Brown started serving in the Maryland House of Delegates representing Prince George's County.  Delegate Brown then gave up a safe seat and perhaps an opportunity to rise to the Maryland Senate in order to run as Martin O'Malley's Lieutenant Governor, which at the time was not a sure thing.  Fortunately for Brown, O'Malley won, then won again.  I think Brown dutifully served Martin O'Malley for those 8 years, even if I totally disagree with the direction they took this state and the changes they made.  However, in the end, dutifully serving a governor does not qualify you to be the governor.

Near the end of this second term, Brown most likely became the fall guy for the failed Maryland Health Exchange.  The "state" used over $200 million of taxpayer money to create a website that didn't work.  They then had to buy another website for God-knows how much more money.  Brown put his name on the project, but I honestly don't think he actually did anything other than promote it.  He certainly would have taken credit had it been a raging success. Howeer, it was an abominable failure, therefor he gets credit for that outcome, too.

Now Anthony Brown is out of a job, as far as I know.  Will he go back to a lesser political job?  Will he get his first job (?) in the private sector?  Will he become a lobbyist?  Perhaps he'll be O'Malley's campaign manager.  The future may be unclear for the Lt. Governor, but in the end I'm glad he's not going to be our governor.

That Old Abandoned Farm House Revisited

Three years ago I wrote a post about the old farm house owned by the Patton family on the farm just prior to crossing the Morgan Run bridge at the Liberty Reservoir.  The house has not been renovated.  It continues to get more run-down.  The only thing that really changed is that the tree in the front yard fell during a storm. I think the owners are waiting for the house to also fall down so that they can sell the land for billions of dollars.

Here's what the house looked like 3 years ago.  What do you think of abandoned properties like this?  What do you think should be done?  Anything?

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