Friday, August 24, 2007

Mass Transit in Carroll County?

Hellllll, no!!! If you're from Taneytown, then it's probably pronounced, "Hay-yalll no!"

Recently, Socialist-sympathizer Michael Dresser, a writer for The Sun who claims that he is not an editorialist (though his "journalistic work" is full of his opinion), wrote that it is time for Carroll County to get on the bus. He states that he started an investigation as to why the bus bays at the Owings Mills Metro station were not used - ever. Here is what he says:

It seems the good folks of that county were horrified at the idea of mass transit. They feared it would bring all kinds of bad people from Baltimore up to the bucolic country - ready to pillage and plunder.

Wow, do you think he came up with that on his own or do you think he gathered that by talking to the thousands of people who live in Carroll County that formerly lived in Owings Mills or Hunt Valley that were terrorized by crime and intimidation when the mass transit expanded to their area? They don't call it the Mugger Mover or the Fright Rail because they bring too many middle-aged women pushing baby buggies.

Do you remember when Owings Mills Mall was considered a nice place to go shopping? There was a Saks 5th Avenue, Macy's, Lord & Taylor, Hecht's. The smaller shops within the mall were plentiful, the eatery presented nice places to get lunch. Now - forget about it. The eatery is dominated by McDonald's. If you can get a cashier there to tell you to have a nice day, I'll give you $100. And within the mall - you have Stick's-N-Stuff, a bunch of ceramic animals stores, day-glow golf, and plenty of places for rent. And the clientele? Let's just say that you don't go there after the business day is over. You WILL get robbed. It may not be in the mall, but you'll get whopped in the parking lot.

Now, I'm not opposed to a long-haul bus that goes from Westminster to a stop in Owings Mills or straight downtown. The muggers and looters would have little reason to ride this bus. They'd have to have a pass to get on and it's not like you can victimize the mall in Westminster, run across the parking lot with your MP3 players that you just stole, slash a few tires, break a few windows, and hop on a train and you're out of here.

I don't want to sound like a cynic who's just on a soapbox. I actually rode the subway for 4 years. I had my window smashed. I have friends whose cars had their tires slashed. I have friends whose cars had a key taken to the side of them. I've been in a train car with a gang of 12 year old hoodlums in my face saying they were going to F'k me up and walked away laughing. I heard the profanity - from little old ladies. I watched people throw their garbage on the floor and tell everyone on the train to F-off. I watched as people strolled from car-to-car trying to sell their wares - batteries, socks, CD's. These aren't entrepreneurs! They are thieves. They are selling stolen goods. Is this the kind of activity that we want in Carroll County? Of course not.

Doc Cheatham, the President of the Baltimore National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said that there is a cultural divide between the city and Carroll County. I would have to agree with him. There have been over 2000 shootings and 201 murders in Baltimore City this year. I don't even think there's been 5 shootings in Carroll County in the past 2 years.

The streets of Baltimore are controlled by roaming bands of armed drop-out, drug-addicted thugs. The streets of Carroll County are controlled by roaming bands of groundhogs and deviant weeds, though the State Highway Administration has done a good job recently of keeping the grass cut and timely removal of the flattened ground hogs.

In Baltimore, when someone reports a crime, the criminal element responds by fire-bombing your house, as happened this week. In Carroll County when someone reports a crime, the person kindly moves their car away from the yellow-painted curb. No one is shot. No houses are fire-bombed. They may even go to Hoffman's for some ice cream so that they understand that there's no hard feelings.

There is a cultural divide and for good reason. People want to live in safety. People want to live where they don't fear for their life. People want to live where they will not be harassed. People want to live where their kids can go to good schools. People with more money will always gravitate to where they can live and have the lifestyle that they want. Homogeneity shouldn't be a crime. Income redistribution is an expected part of life. Population redistribution shouldn't have to be a part of life.

So when Doc Cheatham says there is a cultural divide, no one should disagree with him. When Michael Dresser says that Carroll County needs to get on board and have mass transportation, someone ought to make him ride the mugger mover for a week.

Spam mail

Every now and then I check my junk mail folder at work just to make sure that there's nothing there that I actually want delivered to in InBox. I rarely find anything that I want, but occasionally I'll find that random email from a long lost friend or relative.

Today, I went looking for something important. It was an invitation to a online war game that my friends started. I needed the invitation to login. I found it without trouble. But my curiosity got me to looking at the other emails. There's quite a bit of amusing mail that people send out.

For example, here are some of the subjects that I see (with my comments in blue):

Want a harder E-rection? Um, no! My god, wouldn't that hurt???
Don't Ignore me, I have the solution to your problem. Excellent, you've found a way to make me taller!!!
While the Windows 95 screen is still visible, the cracker executes a warm reboot procedure. Can't believe this didn't catch my attention earlier.
Hot offer on coolest jet set style chronometers - As soon as someone tells me what a chronometer is, I'l all over this.
Real man's manual - oh, my gosh, they finally published my book!
Great deals on '05 new cars - let me hop in my DeLorean and we'll check out these "new" cars.
A Flatter Tummy - Flush up to 20 lbs from Colon - yeah, I'll just go to the gym instead
Real Estate Profits: 80K in a week! - Awesome, I love preying on victims of mortgage scams
She'd twigged him from a block away, climbing down from her cabriolet - yo-yo-yo, what up dog?
Never Scrub Your Toilet Bowl Again (July only) - you would have sold me had it not been for the July only tag. Isn't that like false or misleading advertising?
Hey U, have Sex with locals - Now, are we talking about the cute mommies that I see at the bus stop or the barefoot fatties walking around Wal-Mart? It makes a differences.

Well, my Junk Mail is now cleared out. That was fun!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Disease Outbreak at Schaefer Tower

A person working in the William Donald Schaefer tower in downtown Baltimore has contracted Legionnaires' disease, a deadly bacterial disease affecting the lungs. More than 1000 employees from various Maryland government agencies work in the tower. Fortunately, the person is being treated and has been released from the hospital.

Link to the article in the Baltimore Sun:,0,3584878.story?coll=bal_tab01_layout

Fortunately, Governor Martin O'Malley has come to our rescue and told us that the tower is safe. Rumors spread quickly that he arrived at a press conference donning his red cape and Superman Underoos. However, this rumor was refuted when a young lady said that he was allowing the women to squeeze his biceps when he took off his shirt. Neither statement can be confirmed, but the O'Malley press office has not refuted the story either.

Details of the outbreak should become available later in the day or tomorrow. There has been no confirmation of the source of the outbreak, though I suspect that the Baltimore Sun's Jennifer Skalka and Michael Dressens will blame former Governor Robert Ehrlich. They will site Ehrlich's inability to increase the gas tax and the sales tax caused a revenue shortage that compromised the health, safety, and protection of our hard-working loyal government workers.

Beating the Dog and Beating the System

On Wednesday, the NAACP indirectly endorsed illegal dogfighting and supports allowing criminals to return to high-paying jobs for attempting to skirt the law. R. L. White, President of the NAACP, wants NFL thug Michael Vick to return to the Falcons after serving his sentence.

This would put the NFL in an awkward position. The league, which routinely bans players from the league for using illegal substances and behaviour unbecoming of a professional athlete, would look like a big fat idiot for allowing a dog beater back in the league while possibly banning Pacman Jones who was suspended for paying for fun with some ladies of the night.

There is no word if Jesse Jackson will respond to this demand. Jackson routinely uses illegal extortion - techniques to drop boycotts in exchange for contributions to his Rainbow Coalition, to manipulate companies.

White, who's a nut in his own right, said that he does not condone dog fighting. In fact, he says that dog fighting is as bad as hunting." The only difference is that dog fighting is illegal and for pleasure, while hunting is legal and used for eating food. Now, if Vick could only convince the jury that he intended to eat the dogs after the fight, they may show some leniency.

Stab the Pirates

Here is an article from the Baltimore Examiner:

Man Stabbed Over Parking Spot Dispute
(AP) SILVER SPRING, Md. A Silver Spring man is recovering from being stabbed repeatedly with a screwdriver during fight over a parking spot. It happened on the 900 block of Bonifant Street in Silver Spring. Police say that Edward Banya, a 42-year-old Hyattsville man, got into an argument with the driver of a car that looked like it was ready to pull out of a spot, because that driver was too slow to leave. The 28-year-old man was actually waiting for someone. Banya then pulled a screwdriver from his car and stabbed the other man repeatedly in the hand and torso. Officer Rodney Barnes is a police spokesman. He says the victim's wounds were all superficial, and the man was released from the hospital last night. Police are not identifying victim. As for Banya, not only is he charged with first-degree assault and reckless endangerment -- but police found thousands of pirated DVD movies in his car. He's also charged with copyright offenses.

Moral of the story? When you're pirating thousands of DVD's and you gots dem in ya' ride, ya'll don't be stabbing da' man with the screwdriver.

Monday, August 20, 2007

More New Baby

Baby Story Part 2

So as I mentioned before, my daughter was thrilled to get a sister, my son - not so thrilled. After making the announcement in the waiting room, I took my kids back to the room. My daughter's expression never changed. She went from thrilled to thrilled. My son, however, was immediately transformed into a little kid, no longer the youngest in the family, to a big brother, enthralled by the small size of his new little sister.

The next few hours were not too memorable. Family came to visit, friends came to visit. That night was filled with dim lights, intermittent sleep, and a continuous convoy of visiting nurses overcome with boredom, seeking to check the baby to fill their inactive night.

The night melted into daytime. The nurses' shifts changed, they introduced themselves, and took the vitals. I asked when breakfast was served. I was told 8:30. I wonder why they serve breakfast on bankers' hours. Or is it elementary school teachers' schedules? There was no way I was going to last until 8:30. I was forced to eat 3 bed sheets, 2 pillows, and 14 napkins. Fortunately, this held me over until 8:30.

That day we were visited by all the "experts". The house physician stopped by. She was very nice. She also mentioned that it was nice to visit a newborn who has a married mother and a father who is still involved in the relationship. Another plus was that we weren't teenagers. For a moment I thought I was in Baltimore City.

The last thing of our stay that stuck out in my mind was when the nurse came to debrief us before we left the hospital. She told my wife, "No sex for sex weeks", to which my wife responded, "you mean '1 year'?" The nurse laughed and said that "you'd be surprised. The 16 year old parents get really pissed off when you tell them that."

Come again? The 16 year old's shouldn't even be in the maternity ward unless it's to see the birth o their parent's "accidental & irresponsible night of passion" souvenir love child. There I go showing my age again.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I have 3 kids - one of each

That's an old line that my dad used when people asked him if he had any kids. No, that's not to imply that any are transvestites or anything. So my excuse for not blogging recently is the best excuse ever. My wife gave birth to our third child, an 8 lb girl. She's a wonderful addition to our family and since it was such as easy pregnancy and delivery, perhaps she's not the last addition to our family.

Despite being the third child, this delivery had it's little surprises and funny nuances. My wife called me at work at 10:30 to let me know she was in labor. I knew that she was to have a doctor's appointment at 10am, so perhaps he initiated labor??? Nonetheless, I begin my panic. My wife then asks what we should do with the kids. Being a 20 minute ride home from work, I wasn't too worried about the kids yet. I told her that I would hurry up and leave and call her back when I got in the car.

I get off of the phone and I announce to my coworkers that it was time. Several jump to their feet as if they are going with me. One exclaims, "Oh, my goodness, my heart it racing and it's not even my wife!" I shut down my computer, grab my things and as I'm turning the corner to leave my cubicle, one yells out, "did you set you Out Of Office reply on your email?" Are you kidding me? That's not exactly a priority at this point. Could you imagine that conversation with my wife? "Sorry I missed the birth of our child. I had to set my Out Of Office reply on my email."

I called her on the way home and we decide that we would drop the kids off at our next-door-neighbor's house. Normally, there is little on the way home to impede my journey. This time, Estelle, Gertrude, Mertyl, Betty, and Ethyl decide to pull out in front of me and speed up, slow down, and time it just right so that we hit every red light and I miss every opportunity to pass them. When I turn at the light to my neighborhood, I see them all giving thumbs-up to each other. Blue-haired bitches.

I arrive home and the minivan is not in the driveway. Where in the world could she be? Did she tell me to meet her at the hospital? I go into a panic. I leave my truck running in the street and race to my neighbor's house. She answers and says that my wife dropped the kids off at a friend's house so that she could go to the doctor's office, so she had to return to that friend's house to get them and bring them home. I run into the house and start getting essentials. We already packed a suitcase. I grab my travel bag with toothbrush and deodorant and such, along with a couple of magazines, the portable DVD player, some DVD's (you never know how long with is going to take).

My wife arrives, we shuffle the kids next door, and we hit the road. I ask her if I need to drive really fast or just take it easy. She looks at me and starts laughing. "You're more nervous than I am" she says. I take it easy and we get to the hospital a bit before noon. We arrive, get to a room, and get settled. Her doctor visits and wants her to take a bag of penicillin because she tested positive for Strep B. She says it will take an hour for her to absorb the bag through the IV.

An hour passes. Then 2. My wife asks the nurse to page the doctor. "If she breaks my water, it'll be done in no time" she tells them. 5 o'clock, they finally find the doctor. it's been almost 5 hours (for those of you who attended schools in Baltimore City, the difference between noon and 5pm is 5 hours). She breaks the water and guess what? 15 minutes later she can see the tip of the head. Two long hard pushes and out flops with white-slime covered beautiful baby girl. She has all 13 fingers and toes.

After a quick power washing and a few minutes under the Burger King heat lamp, the swaddle her and hand her over. She passed the test. I head out to the waiting room where my kids wait with my parents, my mother-in-law, and my sister and her family. I pull my kids to my side and whisper to them that they have a baby sister. My daughter jumps for joy. My son lowers his head and buries it in my chest - ready to cry. He wanted a little brother. Don't worry. He's come to love her.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this story.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Companies That Suck

People often ask me, "What companies should I avoid when I'm looking for good services or products?" Keeping a tight pulse of the market, here is my response:

1. Cingular (now At&T Wireless). I have been a Cingular customer for about 6 years. Their commercials are true - they really do have the most dropped calls and the worst coverage. Oh, wait, they advertised that they have the best. Well, that doesn't seem to

Sorry, I got cut off. And on top of that. When I upgraded my phones last year, they decided that it would be better if I converted my Family Plan to 2 separate plans at $80 a piece. And on top of that, they wanted me to call them 25 times and speak to 25 different people to get it resolved. And if that wasn't enough, they decided that I didn't qualify for the rebates that I was offered when I got the phone. If you ever hear some guy holler, "Cingular doesn't honor their rebates!" when he walks by the kiosks at the mall, that's probably me.

2. Adelphia Cable - they just got bought by Comcast, but before that - they sucked huge wankers. My Internet connectivity was intermitant. To call and complain, they wanted me to call long distance to an office in Westminster, Maryland. I opted to call the toll-free number and ask to be transfered, then wait on hold for 20-45 minutes at a time. Plus, they tripled my rates in the last couple of years, while simultaneously advertising that I as receiving the best entertainment package available and I now have more choices. You've heard the argument. I don't need WE, and Bravo!, and CSPAN42. That'd be like celebrating that you now get to choose from 10 different kinds of Brussell Sprouts for dinner. Who the hell wants it?

3. Len Stoler Ford - located in diverse suburban Owings Mills, Maryland, this dealer has cornered the market on crack-smoking customer service reps. I took my car there once because I needed to replace the serpantine belt. I called ahead, told them what I wanted, identified the part that was needed, scheduled an appointment, and promptly dropped off the car. I get a call later that afternoon and he said that I needed $1300 worth of repairs. I'm like, "How do you figure? Were you able to determine this when you replaced the belt?" I think it was more like, "Pass the crack pipe, dude, I think we got another sucker. Tell him he needs an engine flush." What's that? It's like a super oil change where we drain the engine and refill it. You mean, like a regular oil change? No, not really. We really flush it real good. Fantastic. You're not only dumb, but you're also stupid.

4. Liberty Ford - not looking good for Ford. My car received another recall notice once. (I've only received 2 notices in the 12 years that I've owned my hot-rod Mercury Mystique) Again, I call ahead, tell them the what I needed, identified the part that was being recalled, scheduled an appointment. I take the day off to get this done. However, I also feel like crap. My head is pounding, my body aches. I feel dizzy. It feels like strep coming on. I go in anyway. I drop off the keys to the guy at the service desk. I tell him that I'll be in the waiting room. An hour passes. I finished reading the magazine that I brought as I wasn't too interested in reading Field & Stream. An hour and a half passes. I'm burning up. My head hurts more. I go into the service area and look at my car in the shop through the windows. I go back to the waiting area. Two hours pass. I start to doze in the seat. At almost three hours, I've had enough. I go back in there and ask for the status of my car. He pulls out the paperwork. Here's the ensuing conversation:

"We called and left you a message at home over 2 hours ago. We ain't got that part in stock."
"I told you I was going to be in the waiting room."
"Sorry, I didn't write that down."
"What? And why don't you have the part? I told you when I made the appointment what part was being recalled?"
"Well, we don't like to order the parts until we know that's what we need"

"But the recall notice said you had to replace it."
"You know how those things go. Sometimes they're fine."

"Get my car please."
"Would you like to reschedule my appointment"
"Sure, with a different dealer."

4. Wal-Mart We all know that Wal-Mart is an idiot magnet. You have to be an idiot to work there. You must be an idiot if you shop there. I live in a fairly affluent area. When I see '83 Chevy Malibu's in the parking lot with no hubs and the rear door held on with duct tape, I have to wonder, "Where are they coming from???" Try finding something in Wal-Mart that's not made in Communist dictatorship-goverened China. American-made? What's that? What's even better are the American flags that they sell. Yes, they're made in China, too. Oh, yeah, and that idiot. Yes, he's me.

5. Advanta - (formerly Colonial National Bank) I got a credit card from Colonial National Bank. It had no annual fee and no other fees to speak of. Then they got bought or merged or something, but they became Advanta. That's when all hell broke loose. Like all companies, they send out the terms of the new contract in an undescriptive pamphlet written in a 2 point font that no one reads. One of the new terms introduced me to the new annual fee of $35. When I got the charge, I promptly called to complain. Not their problem they tell me. I should have read the terms. Then I want to cancel the card. Okay, there's a $25 cancellation fee. What???? Okay, then I'll hold onto the card and never use it. Oh, by the way, sir, there's a $15 no-usage fee. Fight fire with fire, I say. For three months, I charge 14 cents worth of gas to my Advanta credit card. It would have been less, but I couldn't click the gas nozzle any quicker. I figured it cost them 27 cents to mail the bill, plus the paper, the return envelope, then they had to pay some poor schmuck who couldn't get a job at Wal-Mart to process the check, etc... I called them after the third month and asked if they would find it favorable if I cancelled my card without charges. They politely agreed.

Who's On Your Top Ten List?

A co-worker once asked me who would be on my list of people that my wife would let me trade her in for. This is, obviously, hypothetical, because the chances are to be too remote that it would ever happen.

One of the people on my list, and fortunately for the sanctity of my marriage, is no longer living and if she was, she'd be really old. She is Audrey Hepburn. I saw her in Breakfast at Tiffany's. Other than the fact that George Peppard (of the A-Team) was in the movie, so I thought I'd watch it. Then I fell in love with Audrey. Yes, the movie was made in 1961, like 25 years before I saw it the first time. She was very pretty, seemingly sophisticated (okay, I realize that she was an actress), and had an irresistible charm to her.

Earlier this year I saw her in My Fair Lady. She made this movie in 1964 with Rex Harrison. Same reaction from me. 00-la-la!
Last night, I watched Sabrina. No, I'm not talking about the teenage witch. This is the Sabrina that she made when she was 26 yrs old and it starred Humphrey Bogart and William Holden. How odd it is to have a crush on a lady who would be 78 years old!

So who else is on my list? It changes from time to time. And this is in no particular order.

1. Sara Foster - actress in the Big Bounce with Owen Wilson. I've never seen a bikini look so good.
2. Amy Acuff - Olympic High jumper. This one's kind of odd. But she's cute!
3. Sherryl Crow - she's not has hot as she used to be, so I'll say the Sherryl Crow from the 1990's.
4. Edie Brickell - this is about as Bohemian as this conservative gets
5. Maria Sharapova - she caught my eye before I was legally allowed to claim she was attractive. And whoever thinks that Anna Kournikova is hot is nuts. At least Maria can win at tennis.
6. Dina Napoli - former Channel 11 news anchor. Hell, I don't even remember what she looks like anymore, but I remember that she was easy on the eyes.
7. Jessica Simpson - yes, she's probably about as smart as Homer Simpson, but she's definitely the nicest looking Duke in Hazzard County.
8. Jennifer Garner - from Catch Me If You Can to Catch and Release, she's a cutie.
9. Sandra Bullock - she's in her 40's, but those brown eyes...
10. Angelina Jolie - so she's running a refuge camp our of her house. All I can say is that Gia is great on pause.
11. (bonus) Melissa Stark (seen left) - former University of Maryland girl, she's gone from ESPN to the Today Show, but she'll always be a touchdown on my screen.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Oh, Baby, where's that baby?

My wife is now 38 weeks pregnant. We're (mostly she) is at the point that we just want the baby to be born. My son was almost 9 lbs when he was born. My wife, who is 5'2" and 105 lbs with her shoes on, practically got stretched inside-out giving birth to him.

When she went to the doctor after she got pregnant, the doctor told her that she probably wouldn't want her to go much beyond 37 weeks because the baby would be too big and she didn't want her to go through another tough pregnancy.

Well, here we are at 38 weeks. My wife went to the doctor yesterday, fully expecting them to schedule an induction later this week. However, the doctor was like, "Looks like you're doing fine. You're 6 cm dilated. See you next week. Oh, can you pass me that crack pipe?"

My wife was furious, and not about the crack pipe. She explained her concerns - having a large baby, tough labor, her absolute misery in trying to get around, not being able to sleep comfortably. The doctor's reaction was something like, "I understand, can you please pass the crack pipe?" Seriously, the doctor said if they induce they can get in trouble? Trouble? With who? The insurance company? Are we letting under-paid accountants make medical decisions again? I thought we learned our lesson when they invented HMO's. They're going to be in more trouble if they determine my wife needs a c-section because the baby is too big. I'm sure Steven L. Miles would like to sue them for negligence and malpractice. Let's talk about it.

Anyway, my wife gets angrier. She says she's going to schedule next week's appointment for late in the week, because what's the point of coming every 7 days if all the doc is going to say is, "That's nice, have you seen my razor and mirror?"

So last night, she starts to have several bursts of contractions. However, nothing came about. She woke up this morning, several pounds heavier, a few hours less sleep, interupted by several dreams of the doctor stealing spoons and lighters out of all of her patient's purses.

Will keep you updated!

Little People, Big Trouble

There are some very aweful shows on television. And TLC is the source of many of them. From Big Medicine to Little People, Big World, they are corning the market on obscene reality television.

Take the Roloff's, for example. They are the midgets from Little People, Big World. They are the most annoying people on television. Have you seen their house? It's totally trashed. And their kids? Let's see if we can find the most annoying disrespectful kids around. Oh, wait, they're all on MTV. Who's left? The Roloff kids!

To top it off, Matt Roloff, the legendary papa midget, just got arrested for driving under the influence. (And I'm not implying that the influence was over top of him) And look at his mug shot. He actually looks like he's having fun in prison.

Can you just imagine the roadside sobriety test?

Officer: Mr. Roloff, please walk a straight line. I said a straight line!
Officer 2: Mr. Roloff, take your finger and touch your nose and reach out and touch my pen cap.
Matt: I can't reach your gadamn pen cap, you moron!!
Who links to my website?
Add to Technorati Favorites Add to Technorati Favorites Add to Technorati Favorites