Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain Picks Palin As Running Mate

So I'm watching the Democrat's news station, CNN, and they are attacking McCain and Palin. This one douche bag just asked, "How can someone with only 2 years of experience as Governor of Alaska be qualified to be Vice President?" Let's see - probably the same way that some guy with only 2 years experience as an Illinois Senator could be qualified to be President, maybe???

Funny how the liberal media thinks Joe Biden, who's guilty of plagiarism, said he would vote for McCain before he ever voted for Obama, and said that Obama was articulate and clean (usually considered racially insensitive statements), could be praised as a VP candidate, yet Palin is attacked. They are asking how she can be VP with 5 kids, one of which has Down's Syndrome. Is the liberal media suggesting that a mother of children should stay home and raise her babies? Are the feminists going nuts right now or are they severely confused?

Obama or Ravens?

Yesterday afternoon I was given the option of going to soccer practice, attending a soccer coach's meeting (which I honestly forgot about) and watching Obama bin Biden or going to the Ravens' game. After half a second of careful consideration, I decided to wait until the soccer practice was canceled, which it was.

And I wasn't really interested in Obama. More of the same - we need unspecified change and this is a momentous moment. Tom Brokow and Brian Williams were just as giddy with excitement in anticipation of Obama's upcoming speach. The were bursting at the seems. Want to bet that they lethargic and highly critical of McCain?

Anyway, we (my friend Dave, his daughter and my daughter) left for the game at 4:30 and go to the parking lot about 5:15. This was after passing a sign stating that there was a 4 hour back-up leading up to the Bay Bridge. Think we need another bridge? I'd say so. It's only another billion dollars. Just end the Iraq War a day early and there's your money.

After tailgating for a while, the 4 of us head into the stadium. There's not many people in attendance today. Perhaps they're all home watching the guy with 2 years of national political experience accept the Democrats' bid for the presidency.

Highlights of the night include a bunch of people arriving mid-2nd quarter to jibes of, "The game started at 7 o'clock!!!" And some drunk-ass guy walked into my aisle, stood in front of me and said in a jerk-head way, "Get up, pal. You're in my seat!!!" I stood up to his face and said, "let's see." I pulled out my ticket. Section 503, Row 15? "No, I'm in row 16." "Well, I guess you're sitting behind me now, aren't you???" ('huckfead' under my breath) After that he was as nice as could be. He must have apologized 4 times. Whatever. Good rule of thumb - don't act like a F'in Jackass until you know that you're right.

For Mort - sorry it's blurry. Not quite the same as an Orioles game on a hot July night. It was about 65 degrees and raining. Boooo!

We left at halftime, because the kids had school the next day. The game was melodramatic. A couple of decent passes, but nothing spectacular. Though it looks like yet another season of a dismal Ravens' offense.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

No More Pickles and Chocolate Ice Cream

I had the weirdest dreams last night. And the crazy part is that I vividly remember them. First, I was a hostage in Afghanistan. Not funny at all. My captors kept making me do weird stuff, but never demanding anything from me.

Afterwards, while living in my grandmother's house in Newark, Delaware, I was pregnant. I could feel the baby moving. Ladies - that's just weird. I'm sure it was just all of the food moving around in my belly, but ugh.

So, the lesson learned here - no more fried pickles, salsa, beer and brownies before bed.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Vacation Part V - Walters Art Gallery

Though my wife wanted to attend, there was no reasonable way to entice my 6 year old son to visit an art museum. My daughter, however, seems to have the refined fine arts appreciation chromosome that most of my family lacks.

On Thursday, we ventured downtown to Mount Vernon, named in honor of George Washington, the beneficiary of our visit two days prior. I made a wrong turn and somehow ended up near the Lyric. It could have been worse. I could have ended up on Monument Street in East Baltimore. I finally versed course and found the museum, which lies a block from the Baltimore Basilica and the Pratt Free Library.

After parking my Honda Pilot in a secured lot away from the vandals, we make our way inside. Like the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Walters Art Gallery is free. That's FREE, like Alright Now. No money. My favorite kind of place.

Inside the museum is a piazza that Mr. Walters had built here after an Italian university. It houses statues, busts, paintings, and more. Additionally, there are exhibits on ancient Egypt, Muslim art, and religion. Each room has a guard standing by to apprehend any potential thieves. As expected, these guards boast admirable 300 pounds frames which would instantly spring into action should they awaken.

I finally saw some Bohemian woman snapping pictures, which I figured to be strictly prohibited. I felt compelled to inquire with one of the sleeping giants and was informed that it is perfectly fine to photograph anything in the museum. So let me get this straight - Martha Washington strictly prohibits me from taking pictures of her 200 year old rooms, but Mr. Walters has no problem with me taking photographs of 4,000 year old Egyptian artifacts? Where is the logic?

Our tour was brief, probably less than 2 hours. Sadly there were very few visitors to the museum. I found it interesting, though not fascinating. Perhaps I only retain half of that artistic chromosome. We left about 1pm and headed to lunch at one of those fancy schmansy restaurants, sort of a treat to my daughter and her high-dollar, yet distinguished taste buds.

Too many clowns, not enough circuses. Seriously, I have no idea where she gets it:

All in all, it was a good day, one that a father and daughter can enjoy. Definitely not a place to bring a whole family unless they are all bent on reading an admiring.

The original "peace out":

And the original Budweiser, "Wazzzzzup?"

Monday, August 25, 2008

Osama and Obama

I'm not trying to imply anything here, but wow.
Obama And Biden
Osama Bin Laden

Vacation Part IV - Mount Vernon

What's really funny is that my vacation was a week long, yet it's taking me about 2 weeks so far to write about it.

On Wednesday, Mittwoch (pronounced mit'vock) as they say in German, I convinced my wife and kids that we hadn't done enough site-seeing at Presidents' houses. Though I must admit that the chloroform and hypnosis helped my cause. This time we went to Mount Vernon in Virginia, the home of our first President George Washington. My wife feared driving through D.C. on a weekday. If you are not from Washington, rush hour lasts from 5 a.m. until midnight. Sometimes it lasts longer if there is construction.

Our trek takes us down I-95 to the Capital Beltway (I-495), and across the newly rebuilt Woodrow Wilson bridge. Like the former Democratic President during World War I, the bridge refuses to give women equal rights until the last moment before the election. It is a pretty bridge and if it had not been for the fact that my wife made me drive, I'd have 45 pictures of it to show you. She went ballistic when I reached for the camera bag and asked her to hold onto the wheel.

Mount Vernon is located about 8 miles south of the beltway off of the George Washington Parkway, or the GW parkway if you are in the D.C. in-crowd. Fortunately, the parking lot was under reconstruction, but they still allowed us to park in it. This gave ample opportunity for rocks to kick up and nick the paint and for vast amounts of cement dust to lay all over my windshield.

The visitor's center is very nice - mostly glass and brick. I got a sweet picture of the kids and me hanging with #1 and his family.

We viewed a 20 minute movie in the amphitheatre, which is now required of all restored Presidential houses (hint-hint, Mr. Jefferson!). The movie depicted Washington's early life as an officer in the French & Indian War in western Pennsylvania. It was somewhat violent and involved some nearly naked Indians (or Native Americans if you're one of those PC-pansies), which my son decided to reenact as a totally naked Indian when we got home. He also seems to think that the Indians had machine guns, rather than the single firing flint-lock rifles, but we'll work on that.

After the movie, we learn that I left the pacifier in the car, so I lightly jogged in the heavy humid Virginia heat to the car and back. As I returned back a guide asked if she could help me. Without breaking a stride I excitedly told her that 'the British are coming!' and continue the job back to the family.

We make it around the grounds and find the line to tour the house. It's nearly as long as the line of illegal Mexican day-labourers at the Alexandria Home Depot. My wife grabs a spot in the queue and I drag the kids to walk around the gardens to look at the exciting flowers and vegetables. I'm reaching for straws now to keep them entertained. I tell my son that there might be snakes and spiders and there's a maze, which gets his attention.

Fortunately, the line moves fairly swiftly until we get to the house. Again, no photos are allowed in the house because Martha Washington hated flash photography. The house is not as interesting as Madison and Jefferson's house. It appears more like a large farm house. The color choices are gaudy. Different shades of green in the dining room, which we are told were really expensive in the 1700's. I told the guide that if an AMC Gremlin cost a million bucks it wouldn't make it more attractive.

The tour snakes through the house, through the upstairs and is generally interesting. The tour guides are stationed throughout the house and you just follow everyone else. If you are in a room too long you hear the record skip and start repeating. Some bee-ach foreigner insisted on getting in front of me to look in one of the rooms, because you know, no one in front of her wanted to look in that room, so it's okay to walk in front of them.

Lunch was pretty sweat. Who knew that George Washington had the foresight to build a deli and a Pizza Hut at Mount Vernon? Genius!

After lunch we head down to the Potomac River and hop on a tour boat. It takes us up to Fort Washington and back. The view of Mount Vernon from the river was nice. I can't understand why Washington would want a big house on the top of a hill overlooking a big river? Former Maryland Governor Paris Glendening would have condemned this as egregious urban sprawl.

On a side note, my 8 year old daughter was leaning on the railing at the aft watching the wake when a young boy came up to her and started talking to her. I got a few photos of it, but we won't tell her. Very cute!

After the boat docked, we checked out the Washington's grave and that of his slaves. Another note - Washington was the only President to free his slaves after he died. And that action nearly bankrupted the estate.

We then trotted (shuffled is probably a better word since it was uphill) back to the house and toured all of the gardens and work houses. Highlights included the giant moth, acorns, and really cool sticks leaves. This is from my son's perspective, of course.

When we had arrived I asked the lady that was handing out maps how long it would take to tour everything. She said to expect to stay there about 2 hours. This was at 10:30 in the morning. We left at 6pm. She was only off by 4 1/2 hours (I took out the hour for lunch).

Again, my wife refused to allow me to take pictures of high schools for Wikipedia, of which Mount Vernon High School was right there on the outskirts. The drive home was not that bad. Perhaps people knew who I was and stayed off the road. To that I say, "Thank you."

Who was that...

punk driving down the road last night with the megaphone in Eldersburg? First time he drove by was about 11:30pm. He yelled out, "What the hell is that?!!!" It woke me up, but I figured out what it was rather quickly and thought, "That's actually kind of funny."

However, when he did it again at 12:15am, it wasn't so funny. This time this punk-ass yelled, "Everybody wake up!!!" I hope Ward gives the Beaver a good whooping tonight.

New Look

After nearly 2 years I decided to make some updates and actually make the blog look nice. Everything I did was a result of experimentation. Let me know if you like it. Or if you have any suggestions.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

You Know You're In A Bad Neighborhood When...

you are behind cars that have eulogies printed on the rear window. What started this trend? Why does the world need to know that your relative died? Do the memories of your loved ones stay stronger by expressing them on your ride? And why do you see this in predominantly lower socioeconomic neighborhoods? And what am I doing in a lower socioeconomic neighborhood? This is something that I do not understand and need someone to explain to me.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Jimmy Buffet Tickets Anyone?

Bueler? Bueler? Anyone?

I have a friend who has 2 great tickets to sell for the upcoming Jimmy Buffet concert at the Nissan Pavilion in Virginia. Unfortunately, his boyfriend decided to schedule a hair frosting appointment at the same time and cannot attend, so he's selling the tickets. Let me know if you're interested and I'll put you in touch with him.

A Day At the MVA

On the third day of my vacation I decided to take a day trip to the MVA (Motor Vehicle Administration) to renew my driver's license. My other day trips took all day and I expected nothing less from the MVA. And they did not disappoint.

I tried to renew my driver's license online. I entered all of my personal information and submitted my credit card information, which they promptly charged. However, I received a letter a few weeks later that said that my picture was corrupted and I needed to visit a conveniently located facility to do this in-person, but I would not be charged. I think they meant 'not charged again' because I already paid. But this is the MVA that we're talking about. I called and tried to convince them that my picture was not, in fact, corrupted. That is really what I look like. She insisted that I come in.

My wife told me to go to the Westminster MVA because no one knows about it and you can get in and out in a few minutes. As I pulled into the parking lot and couldn't find a parking spot, I knew that I was in trouble. Even the handicapped spots were taken. I would have expected the elderly to have already taken care of their business when they arrived at 7am.

I walked into the building and it was packed. There is a Information Desk line about 6 feet from the door to handle the 50 or so people waiting to find out where to stand. This 6 foot line constructively handled the people in line, especially when the guests got creative and practically were standing on top of each other. Can you say claustrophobia and invasion of personal space? I don't need to smell your deodorant (or lack thereof).

A lady came up to me and asked why I as there. "To get a beer and a hooker", I reply. She handed me a ticket that said that I arrived at 1:25 and my number was 187 and she pointed me in the right direction. I look into the area where she was pointing and there were about 60 seats with about 100 people in them. Plus the people standing, most of which were illegal aliens stopping by to get their free driver's license because Maryland does not require illegal aliens to show proof of citizenship since we are a sanctuary state. We (Martin O'Malley) love our illegal immigrants who come to steal jobs from Americans. But think of the bright side, illegal immigrants generally vote Democratic in the general election, so it makes sense.

I find A seat. I look up at the counter and they are on number 128. Awesome! Only 65 to go! To make matters worse, I'm there with my 6 year old son and nothing to do. I figured that after about 10 minutes I could calculate the number of people served and determine how long I will be there. After 10 minutes, I calculate that I'll be there an hour and a half. There are 5 administrators helping people at their respective windows. However, after 15 minutes, one shuts down and goes to lunch. Arg!!!

As the clock slowly ticks past, I begin watching the light from the skylight creep across the floor. It starts near the counter. Slowly it moves toward me. It's square shape transforms to a trapezoid as it traverses the linoleum floor. I watch it cross line after line. I look up at the counter. We're on 140. OMG, I'm going to die here.

I decide to start being nosy and listen to everyone else's conversation. Unfortunately for my entertainment, English is my primary language and I know a little bit of German. The people around are speaking neither. I know I hear Spanish. I also hear some Ebonics and some Japanese. The girl next to me jokingly told her boyfriend that he was a stupid mother-fucker. It was a good thing she said this loud enough for the entire waiting room to hear this. We actually thought he was a welder. Glad she corrected that.

My son is super restless. He's climbing all over me. He can't sit still. He wants to get out of this place. So do I. "Can't we just leave and go fishing." For once I would prefer to go fishing.

An hour has passed. We're now up to 160. Yippie! We're flying now! I speak too soon. The really fat administrator, not to be confused with the somewhat fat administrator, decides that she needs a refill on her 72 oz Gordo Big Gulp and shuts down. Now there are only 3 administrators handling the 100 or so people and illegal aliens waiting.

I glance around the room. All seats are taken. The walls are lined with people. I see what appears to be a 25 year old illegal alien standing. He's wearing a "Daddy's Little Angel" t-shirt and a "Lesbian Pride" baseball cap. He's definitely not from Eldersburg.

Another 20 minutes pass and El Gordo returns with a full cup of Mountain Dew. She's ready to return to duty. Luckily the next 10 numbers that are called are for people that gave up and left. I hop on the chute and move to the front of the class. I get up there, state my business, get my picture taken, wait 2 minutes for it to process, and BAM!!! I'm out of there. Why did it take everyone else 10 minutes to get their business done? Idiots!

As I walk to the front of the building I see that there are dozens of people standing in line at the Information Desk. The line snakes out the door and the doors are conveniently being held open so to allow that nice cool refreshing air to escape and allow the blustery heat to enter.

Outside the greeter from Wal-Mart is standing on the sidewalk handing out literature for Lyndon LaRouche asking us to encourage LaRouche to run for President again. I ask if he has a Spanish pamphlet. He just smiles and gives me a yellow smiley face sticker. It's time to go home.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Vacation Part III - Monticello

On Monday the 11th we got up at the crack of dawn - 8am. All of us suffered from stiff backs and sore necks, while the boys additionally suffered from stiffies.

After cleaning up and loading the car we took off for Charlottesville for breakfast. We grabbed bagels and bagel sandwiches from this cool place near the college. After eating we drove off to Monticello., the home of Thomas Jefferson.

By the time we got there it was between 10:30 and 11. The parking lot was already packed. They are building a new visitor's center and gift shop, which looks really nice. Looks like we came a couple of months early. We'll have to come back in a couple of years. Yeah, me!

We finally find a place to park in the east lot about 10 miles from the ticket office. I get up there and get in line. Some Donkey walks up to the front of the line and thinks he can casually pretend he's just asking a question and then sneak in his ticket purchase. Fortunately, the People's Liberation Army of Elders start waving their canes and corner him with Rascals. He aquieces and returns to teh end of the line.

I must have been in line a good 20 minutes. Every Lt. Old Guy has to ask 15 questions. "Is this to buy tickets to Monticello?" "Do you offer a senior citizen discount?" "Do you have a room where we can watch Wheel of Fortune at seven o'clock?"

Finally I get up there and my entire transaction takes 10 seconds. "I need 2 adults, 1 kid, and 2 children under 6." Oh, yeah. We had to convince my son that he was 5. He is short for his age. When we were at Montpelier, the ticket office office on more like a toll booth. My wife is driving so she tells the lady '2 adults, and i have an 8 year old, a 5 year old, and an infant.' From the back of the van he's hollering, "MOMMY!!! I'M 6 NOW!!!" 'shut up!" I start distracting him with varous questions about dinosaurs. It worked, but it was close. As we pulled away we explained that he's free if he's 5, but $8 if he's 6, so if he's 5, then we can use that extra money to buy more Star Wars light sabres. He agrees that this is a good idea.

So back to Monticello, after purchasing tickets, you get on the short bus and they take you up to the house. We get off of the bus and the tour guide takes our tickets and informs us that our tour will be at 1:30. Yikes! That's a lot of time later from now! And there's no cafeteria. How will I survive???

We tour the gardens and admire the magnificent views. I we then tour the slave quaters and the workshops. Much as I expected and similar to what you've seen on the history channel. With some time to spare, we make our way into the 10 foot box that they call the Gift Shop. I purchase some Monticello wine and some more books. My daughter gets another spoon and my son wants an oversized pencil and a gun, but we agree to the oversized pencil and a Coke. Oh, and I got a matted print of Thomas Jefferson that I plan to hang in my finished basement when I finish it in 2157.

Finally we are ready for the tour. This tour guide is super boring. And there are no old people in the group. I almost miss them now. Inside the house they explain the architecture and the construction. Surprisingly it is a lot smaller than I expected. As we enter each room, the guide closes the door. There are about 25 of us packed in these little rooms. The walls start closing in. The temperature rises and the ceiling starts to spin. I'm gettin claustraphobic. So are my kids. I tell them to sit on the floor. Some good-intentioned sunshine girl keeps asking the tour guide, as if she's on a school trip and taking notes, "Are these original?" Not once. Not twice. But in every room. And sometimes several times per room. Oy, vay!

The main room is big with a tall ceiling. to the side are smaller rooms, one of which is his study/bedroom, which I'm sure is where his concubine, Sally Hemmings, his favorite slave, spent much of her time.

Now, history has shown despite the extended travelling that TJ did during his time as the Governor of Virginia, the ambassador to France, the Secretary of State, the Vice President, and finally as President, Sally Hemmings always gave birth about 9 months after his last visit home. And many a traveler commented that Sally's children had a strange resemblence to the President. Sally was a mullato, the child of an slave and a slave owner. Therefore, her children, which probably were fathered by TJ, were quadroons and very light. Several passed as whites in their adulthood.

So anyway, the tour is just a circle of the house and we're not allowed to view the small upstairs. I only say 2 bedrooms and can only suspect that there's not that many upstairs. Where do all of the guests sleep? And I'm not allowed to take any pictures inside of the house, because as you know, old things blow up and catch fire when you take their picture.

The tour is quick but nice. We walk the grounds once more before deciding to walk back to the parking lot instead of taking a ride on the short bus. We stop and visit Thomas Jefferson's grave site. It's very quaint and there are several recent additions, so apparantly his family is still being buried in his cemetary. Did you know that Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died on the same day? In fact, they both died on July 4th, 1826, exactly 50 years to the day after they crafted the Declaration of Independence. Providence? Perhaps.

On a side note, once home, I decided to look at Monticello from Google maps. (check out the ariel view!) In Jefferson's diary his wrote about long rides on his horse into the mountains and the vast views from his home. I now wonder if you normally used I-64, which must not be more than a quarter-mile from this house, or did you use VA Route 20. Sometimes I think it's sad that modern times are swallowing our history.

Another quick history lesson - Jefferson is considered the father of the Democratic-Republican party, the which split into 2 parties, one of which is the modern Democratic Party. Unlike his successors like the tyrannical Martin O'Malley, Jefferson believed in small government and rule by the people. Modern day Democrats like Martin O'Malley, on the other hand, believe in large invasive and over-bearing goverment that suppresses the people in submission.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Vacation Part II - Camping

I'll begin with the end of Day 1, but I didn't want to drag out Day 1 in the first posting.

We left Montpelier and in my awesome map abilities I predicted that it was about 8 miles from Montpelier to Charlottesville, Virginia. We leave and I jump into my book and shut off everything around me. After about 28 miles my wife asks me how many miles it was again and are we going in the right direction.

I sort of freak and whip out the map (Excuse me while I whip this out - ghasp!). Okay, we're still on the right road and we're going south. Oh, 8 miles was on the road near it to another town. It's actually about 30 miles to Charlottesville, which isn't too bad because we're almost there!

Now, I usually love Google for directions. Even Mapquest is okay. However, it dumped us through bum-f-in' Charlottesville. And if you've been there, the good parts don't look all that great, so image the bad parts. It had us winding through back streets and up hills. "Lock the doors" I hear. Finally, we dump right back onto the road we were on about 10 minutes ago. Stupid directions.

We pass through Charlottesville and head down to the KAO campground about 8 miles south (8 miles, right?). This time I was correct and we stroll into the campground. So did everyone else. I used to go camping, but I was a lot younger and a lot more naive. But camping people now scare me. Clem and Cooter with the camper on the back of their Dodge 1500 and Mildred and Vance, the 60 year old semi-hippy-nudists. Yeah, they're in front of us waiting to check in. Cool. We're going to see some naked old people!

After about 20 minutes I finally sign in. The place is run by 2 Europeans (and if you're not a-poopin', then you're a-peein'). Her name is Ursula. She may have been a hippy. I didn't see any dandelions in her hair. I'm sure there are other tell-tale signs. But I never learned what they were when I was in the Young Republicans club in Kindergarten.

So we're finally in our cabin. It's a nice little 2 room cabin, probably about 400 square feet. it has 5 beds - one sort of twin bed and 4 bunk beds. The bunk beds are about 8 inches wide, so if I lay on my side and harness myself to the wall I shouldn't fall out. Luckily the beds are padded with vinyl mattresses stuffed with clam shells. We eat some dinner that we brought and my son begs us to take him fishing. If he can't have a light-sabre battle with some shadow phantoms or go fishing he'll go crazy.

We look at the map and find that there's a nature trail around the camp that leads to a pond. Says there's blue gill, catfish, and some other turd fish in there. So we head down the trail and because no one in the family can carry fishing rods without getting them tangled in branches or whacking them against the evil trees that are attacking us, I'm now lugging 3 rods and tackle box. It's okay. I'm the dad.

We finally make it to the pond, but not before creating a few of our own trails because they got quite narrow and we could see the pond and it appeared that the other trail went away from the pond. I sure hope we can find our way out of there - especially if we're in a hurry.

So we get to the pond and I drop the gear and take a deep breath. "Hurry, Papa! I need a fishing rod!" I'm quickly trying to untangle the fishing lines, because the idiot that carried the rods to the pond allowed them to wrap around each other.

"Holy SHIT! There's a bear! Oh, my God! Oh, my God! Run! How do we get out of here?"

"What?" My wife if frantic. She's panicking. "A bear" she yells again. Dumbfounded I begin looking around the pond. "Where?" "Run, you retard from Tropic Thunder!" I see nothing, but grab the gear and coerce the family up the hill of no trail and scamper back to the camp ground. I'm checking behind us to see if he's trailing us, but no bear in site. Everyone's heart is racing. I'm all sweaty.

"Mommy, did you say you saw a ship in the pond? I didn't see a ship." Yes, my son is clueless. Thank goodness.

"Mommy, I knew something was wrong because you were using a lot of bad words." My daughter is not so clueless. And she saw the bear. Apparently he was about 20 yards away from us. He and my wife made eye contact and he did a 180 and took off. She feared he was coming around the pond to us, but fortunately, he's just as scared of us as we are of Martin O'Malley. And this time we didn't suffer a 20% increase in the sales tax.

The panic of my wife lingers. She can't sit still. Okay, get in the car. Let's go for a drive. We drive back to Charlottesville and I decide to find the University of Virginia. I know they suck at sports, but I heard that a pretty cool guy founded the place.

We find the college and tour for a while. It's getting dark, but the campus is really nice. I take some pictures and use a setting for allowing the camera to absorb as much light as possible. So most of the pictures are slightly blurry.

We walk down the main street, grab some frozen Italian ice at Rita's and finally head back to the campground. We get back and I start to build the fire. It's perfect. Logs are lined up properly. There's leaves and small sticks to use as kindling to get it started. I grab the suburban lighter (the long thing non-smokers use to light charcoal grills and candles at birthday parties). Click. Click. Click. Clickclickclickclickclickclickyoustupidclickmotherclickfuclickingpiececlickofclickshit! Yeah. My brother-in-law sat at my daughter's party and clicked it so much that it now no longer works. Great.

"How are you going to light it?" I'm asked. "I'm not" I reply. "We'll just aim the flashlights at the wood and wiggle them and pretend we have fire." No one finds any humor in that. So my wife decides to walk out to where the RV campers and find the one that doesn't have any pedophiles and ask for some matches. She finds an RV with kids and the mother happily gives us matches. I finally make my fire and it's a glorious fire. The skies shine brightly and the gods bless my fire with long laps of flames and snaps. My kids are amazed that I can actually do something that's not on the computer!

As we sit there I see my wife looking over her shoulder. There's no one around us. The RV's are on the other end of the campground and the tenters are in the other direction. There's no one in the cabins but us. And that imaginary bear that she keeps hearing. It goes without saying that she will not sleep tonight. It also helps that my son is now afraid and wants his mommy and wants to go home and my baby daughter is feeling needy and wants mommy to hold her. Good night!

Pain in the Neck, Day...27???

So, today is almost 4 weeks since I saw my doctor about my neck. I called that day to make an appointment with Advanced Radiology and it has been all downhill ever since (or uphill? Or both?). Still haven't had an MRI.

I called AR yesterday and asked them what the hell is going on. They said they're still waiting on University of Maryland to release the records. Great. They must be run by the government.

The lady at AR recommended that I call my doctor to see if she could put the hammer down on them, so I called her. I left a message with the receptionist and, surprisingly, she returned my call a couple of hours later rather than ignoring my call like everyone else or calling back weeks later. The doctor changed the order to get an x-ray instead.

I informed my wife of this change and she told me that I'm a retard, just like those people that made Tropic Thunder. She says that an x-ray will not provide ample imagery of neck muscle, only bone. If the problem is not a bone problem, then I'll still need an MRI. Ugh.

So today I decided to write a scathing blog post about the inadequacy of the medical system, especially the bureaucratic nightmare at the University of Maryland. And I'm going after the guy or gal that's in charge. I'm putting his name on there and everything. If (s)he does a Google search on their name, they will find my fury. If they really cared about their patients, they wouldn't make them wait several weeks to find out if they are going to die 2 weeks ago. So I started doing some Internet searches.

University of Maryland Hospital Medical Records - nothing.
University of Maryland Hospital Medical health records - nothing.
University of Maryland Hospital patient medical records- nothing.
University of Maryland Hospital record request form - nothing.
Dumb shit that is in charge of medical records at the University of Maryland - oh, here it is. Just kidding.

So I call them. After about 10 minutes I get a warm body. She tells me that the Health Information Management department retrieves the records and it usually takes up to 21 business days. I tell her it's a good thing I'm not dying. Silence. She does, however, offer to look up the status of my request. AR requested it last week. What???!!!! I spoke to them more than 2 weeks ago and they said they requested it. Somebody's an F-in liar. She then tells me that there's no status change for my records, but offers to resubmit the request. She actually remembers submitting my request the first time. Ok. That's fine, I guess. You got me by the balls, so you might as well pretend to stroke them while your twisting them in your clenched fist with that stupid grin on your face.

So anyway, I go back to Google and look up UMD Health Information Management. Nothing. It's ridiculous that we know more about the secrets of the Freemasons than we do about the patient medical records at your hospital!!! I found plenty of links to career websites for jobs in the department, but nowhere is it identified on the University of Maryland website.

So if you're listening, Mr. Department Head of Health Information Management (whoever you are) - you're an asshole and your department sucks!!! If someone's life depended on you they'd be dead and you don't seem to F-in care. I get better service from the Wendy's in Owings Mills - and that sucks! Perhaps the high school drop-out that takes my order who can't tuck his shirt in properly or say, "Hi!" ought to have your job. At least he gives me extra fries, you jerk.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Vacation Part I - Montpelier

For the first time that I can ever recall, I took 2 weeks off in the same summer. You may recall from a previous posting that my family went to Ocean City, Maryland for a week in July. The scenery was wonderful!

I get 5 weeks of vacation each year and every year I get into November with about 2 weeks of vacation left. So this year I decided to take time off in the summer when it's warm and my kids are home from school. What a novel idea!

So this year I thought the best way to torture my family would be to take a week off and drag them kicking and screaming to some historical places. I planned a vacation to Charlottesville, Virginia. My wife wasn't too resistant to the idea. She actually planned the lodging. She decided that it would be fun to go camping.

Now, my idea of camping is certainly different from her thinking. I went camping as a kid and we slept in a tent and cooked food on a propane stove. We showered in dingy community showers that had lots of spiders. Her idea of camping is a 2 bedroom log cabin with a minifridge. She was somewhat reluctant because the cabin did not have indoor plumbing.

We left on Sunday morning and I convinced my wife to drive. She's a horrible passenger and must watch everything I do and monitor signs on the road (despite the fact that she's a horrible navigator and has no idea if we're going north or south (or east or west)). I, on the other hand, can read, sleep, talk, whatever, while she drives. So I read my book on Oppenheimer.

It took about 2 1/2 hours to get to Orange, Virginia, just outside of James Madison's home of Montpelier. For those of you from Baltimore City public schools, James Madison was the fourth President of the United States. We stopped at Hardees for lunch because, duh, it's a Hardees. Who doesn't love a Hardees cheeseburger?

After lunch we head to Montpelier. Now, don't be confused. Montpelier is also the capital of Vermont. We did not go to Vermont. Montpelier is the estate name for James Madison's home. The house is on a large estate complete with woods and a horse race track. As we are driving up the way to the parking lot, we see the stately and majestic brick Georgian house near the top of the hill.

We purchase our tickets for the tour and are led to a small amphitheater where a short movie is shown. After the movie the tour guide asks us if anyone has ever been to Montpelier. An old man raises his hand. She asks him how long ago he was here. He says, "Three weeks ago." "Well, not much has changed in 3 weeks, sir!" We all laugh.

I notice that we are the youngest family in the tour by at least 60 years. This is not good. Several guests are on Rascals. Nearly all of them are wearing cataract glasses. (did you hear that Kim Jong Il went to the eye doctor and was complaining about his eyes? His doctor gave him an examination and said, "You have cataracts." "No!" Shouted Kim Jong Il. "I have Rincoln Continentals!"

So anyway, we start making our way to the house. I learn that the house was originally built by James Madison Sr., our President's father. James Jr. adds on and the 2 families live there together. After Sr passes away, Jr owns the house. After he becomes President, he adds 2 wings to the house and the front portico.

Before we enter the house one of the guests asks if the house was every occupied during the Civil War. Instantly several centurions' ears perk up and they start verbally jockeying for position. In your thickest Virginia accent (pronounced 'Vah-gin-ya') "Well, my great-grandfather was in the 165th Infantry Division under General Whitestead (madeup) and he was stationed over in Bourbonsville outside of Orange County and blah blah blah..." Another volleys back, "My great-grandfather worked for the Southern Railroad and they blah blah blah..." Only to be digged and returned over the net with a, "the bricks were forged in the East Mecklenburg foundry using clay from Appomattox using the blah blah blah..."

If ever you wanted absolute esoteric information, this was the group for you. My wife's eyes are spinning. My son keeps asking me why these guys are so old.

Finally we tour the house. There is no furniture, paint, tapestry, or wall coverings. We are informed that the structural renovations were just recently completed and tours just begun. However, the plaster takes 18 months to cure, so the house will not be furnished for another 2 years. Ah - an excuse to come back! She does tell us that Chief Justice John Roberts (you know the Supreme Court guy that the liberals said was going to tear all of our civil rights away and return blacks to slavery? How's that going for you?) is going to rededicate the house in September and that we are all invited. I'm sure it will be a small gathering of the great-grandchildren of the men of the 165th Infantry of the Confederacy.

The house is actually really pretty inside. Madison had a knack for architecture, much like you see with most houses from that era. They are not the cookie-cutter McMansions on a quarter-acre with the obligatory Japanese maple tree on the corner of the house of the current era. There is much detail in the windows, doors, bricks, and trimmings. I took about 50 pictures in the house, only to hear Lt. Commander Old Guy ask the tour guide if pictures will be allowed once the furniture is restored. She says in fact that pictures are not allowed now, but she was turning a blind eye. Meanwhile, Ethel, Mildred, and all the other cataract-glasses-wearing old ladies are eyeing me in disdain.

What I find most interesting about the house is the changes that were made by the subsequent owners, most notably the DuPont's, yes the famous DuPont's of the Delaware chemical company. When Madison died, the house was 12,500 sq ft - slightly larger than my own garage. After the DuPont's made some minor renovations, the house totalled 39,000 sq ft. Yes, you are reading this correctly. 39,000 square feet. I could fit my house in that house 20 times. To make matters worse, the brick was overlayed with pink stucco. How ugly!

Fortunately, when the last DuPont passed away in the 1980's (I think), her will stated that she wanted the house retored to the Madison's original house. The house was bequeethed to some National Historic Trust. Thus far they have spent $23 million to renovate the house. That's almost the same amount of money that Baltimore City Public Schools spends per student each year. That's a lot of money!

Meanwhile as the tour progresses, my children are bored to tears. However, I must give them credit. They did not complain too loudly, did not run around, and were very well behaved. Great-aunt Betty came up to my wife and complimented their behaviour and asked if she could give them some candy. My wife said that was fine. Out of her over-sized purse she pulled a glass dish with a bunch of hard candy, but they were all stuck together, so she just gave them Life Savers instead.

We toured independently for the next hour or so and spent another half hour in the gift shop. I purchased some books (imagine that) and got my son a Civil War cap and my daughter got a spoon. I convinced her that she could collect spoons from each of these places and she could put them in a shadow box. She took a liking to the idea. Plus it's fairly cheap. Each spoon usually costs $5-$10.

After leaving the gift shop, my son dons the Civil War cap. He asks me what I think. At the same moment we are passing a group of the Sons of the Confederacy. I tell my son, "Your hat's nice. But why did you pick the hat from the side that got their ass kicked by the Union?" Fortunately for me, the volume must have been turned down on their hearing aides. I can't imagine that I'd make it out of south-western Virginia alive after that comment. Thus our tour of Montpelier ended.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Pain in the Neck

For the past 2 weeks I have had bad neck pain and it has gotten worse over time. I'm not sure if this is remnants from my accident in December or perhaps I injured turning my head really quick to check out some girl at the mall.

So I finally decided to make an appointment with the doctor. Unfortunately, my doctor recently kicked all UnitedHealth patients out of his practice because UHC only pays the doctors $3.14 for any claims. It would take 300,000 office visits for a doctor to make his first million. So just to confirm that he no longer accepts UHC, I called to ask.

Do you still accept UHC?
No, but you can still come to our office and we will bill you. You pay us then you can settle your claim with UHC and hope they reimburse you.
So, I pay over $4000 per year in health insurance and you want me to gamble with being reimbursed? I think the Maryland Constitution says we cannot gamble yet.

So I make an appointment with my old doctor, Mrs. Nopersonality. I got a quick appointment, but because I hadn't been there in 6 years, they threw out all my records. Therefore, I had to complete 45 forms asking everything from Are you a smoker? to Did you ever get a rug burn when you were 3? And then there's the 18 pages of the privacy notice that you must read and sign. And then they will send you the harassing reminders every other month in the mail telling you how they respect your privacy.

I finally get into the office and Dr. Nopersonality comes in. She asks me what the problem is and I tell her my neck is hurting and getting worse and I cannot rotate my neck to my shoulder any longer. She then takes my vitals and says that I have a heart murmur.

I know this. It was discovered when I was in the hospital when I was 11.
You need to get an echocardiogram to make sure you're not getting ready to have a massive heart attack and drop dead. And Advanced Radiology wants that $3.14.
What about my neck?
Hear, take these pills. (she has not touched my neck or asked me to turn or demonstrate anything. This is all based on my word.)
But I can't turn my neck.
Okay, go to Advanced Radiology and get an MRI.

I call Advanced Radiology.
I need to schedule an appointment for an MRI.
What kind?
Cervical Spine.
Who's your insurance company?
UnitedHealth Care.
Great. Another $3.14. What's your authorization number?
My what?
Authorization number.
What's that?
The number that authorizes you to get an MRI.
Well, duh. How do I get one?
Your doctor has to get it for you.

Now I'm back on the phone to Dr. Nopersonality's office.
I called Advanced Radiology and they said I need an authorization number.
You don't need an authorization number.
They said I do.
Let me check. Okay, we can get you an authorization number. It will take 10-14 business days. The doctor has to call it in.
Did I mention that my neck hurts? In 10-14 business days my head will fall off.
We have no control over this. That's how long it takes.

Now I'm on the phone to UnitedHealth Care.
I need an MRI and the radiologist said I need an authorization number.
You don't need an authorization number.
But that's what Advanced Radiology said. So how do I convince them otherwise?
Did you try sending them $3.14?

Now I'm back on the phone with Advanced Radiology.
I need to schedule an MRI.
Can I have your information. (information is exchanged - no mention of an authorization number. And hell if I'm going to bring it up!)
Are you a welder?
Are you a welder?
No, why?
Do you work with sheet metal?
No, I stare at a computer and play on Facebook all day. Why?
People that work with metal usually cannot get an MRI because the metal will get sucked out during the procedure. Kind of like Aliens. Do you have a pace maker?
I'm 35.
Do you have a pacemaker?
No. Do a lot of 35 year old's have pacemakers?
Stay with me, sir. Do you have a shunt?
Why, yes I do.
Where is it?
In my side with attaches to the spine, and the valve has tubing that dumps excess fluid into the abdominal cavity.
Is it metal or plastic?
I don't know. I was 12 when they did it.
Who was the doctor that performed the operation?
I was 12. And sick. Maybe....Dr. Robinson???
What's his first name?
Again, I was 12. It was 24 years ago.
Where was it done?
University of Maryland Hospital.
We'll have to contact them to get the information. We'll call you back.

Several days now pass. I have not heard from them.
Hi, I'm calling to see if you got the information that you needed from the University of Maryland about my spinal shunt?
No, since it was in 1984, the records are in storage. They need a written authorization to retrieve your records.
Were you going to call and tell me that they needed written authorization?
Okay, then what do I need to do?
Go to the University of Maryland hospital and complete an Authorization for the Release of Medical Information Form.
I have to go there and do that?
What do you mean "No"?
We could do it for you.
But we need you to come to Westminster to complete the form.
double Gasssssp.
Can you fax it to me?
Oh, sure! Not a problem! What's your fax number?
You were going to make me drive to UMH, but you can fax it to me?
What was your fax number?
(passing of information)
How long with this take?
Just a few days. We'll call you when it's ready.

Several more days pass. Neck is getting tighter. And more painful. Time to call again.
Advanced can I help you?
Yes, I'm calling to see if you have received the medical records from University of Maryland Hospital.
Let's see. No. We have no record that you requested this information?
We have no....
I heard that. I spoke to Sally Dontgiveashit on Monday and she said she was going to fax the form to the records department to get the information.
Well, she's on vacation until the middle of next week. You can call back on Friday and....
Isn't there someone else that can do this?
How can I do this myself?
You can call the UMH.

Yes, I need to know how to retrieve my medical records from when I was 12 in 1984.
You need to complete a form which we can mail to you. Once you receive it, mail it back and in 10-14 business days we'll send the records to you. Oh, and it costs $21.16.
And 16 cents?
That's correct sir!
Do patients normally request this information?
Do medical facilities normally request this information?
Do you ever provide additional information other than the direct question?
Okay, would you be able to tell if Advanced Radiology requested my records?
Do you want me to do that now?
No, next week would be better.
Yes, could you do that for me now? I would really appreciate it.
Okay, hold on.
(time passes slowly)
Sir? We have no record of Advanced Radiology requesting this information.
Thank you.

Another call back to Advanced Radiology.
Yes, I just called and was tyring to do your job for you. I need to coordinate the transfer of my medical records from UNH to you.
Your name?
Okay, you must have spoken to someone else. I see that you called on Monday and we got the form that you faxed to us for the Authorization For the Release of Medical Information.
Ah! Now we're getting somewhere.
We faxed it to UMH yesterday.
Yesterday? That's 3 days after I faxed it to you.
It's better than it used to be.
Well, UMH has no records of you requesting this information. And did I mention my neck? It hurts.
Would you like me to try faxing it again?
Okay. It'll be 10-14 business days and $3.14. We'll call you when we hear back from them.

Shoot me now or shoot me later? The entire medical community needs to be drug out into the streets and shot. Who designed this system? And what makes it worse is that they can be the biggest jack-off fuck-ups in the world and there's not a damn thing you can do about it. You need them. They don't need you. So who gets screwed? That's righ.

Fire in Eldersburg

Sometimes you see something that really makes you thankful that your family is safe.

Last night some vicious thunderstorms rolled through southern Carroll County. After one of these brief, but heavy downpours that were accompanied by fleets of banging lightning, I loaded up the kids and headed to a friend's house to borrow a canopy for my daughter's birthday party on Saturday. While there we heard a lot (read A LOT) of sirens.

When I left I kept my eyes open for flashing lights for an accident or something. Eventually I came upon Johnsville Road, just west of Route 32. I saw heavy smoke billowing from behind Wesley Freedom Church. I immediately turned onto Johnsville and as I passed the church I realized that the smoke was coming from a group of high-density townhouses.

High-density town houses are six to eight in a group with no rear entry. On the back of these units, are six to eight abutting units. So your back wall is the back wall to someone else's house. So you basically have one way out - the front door.

As we turned onto Piney Ridge Parkway, I saw the flames flickering through the roof and into the sky. We quickly pulled into the parking lot of the church, because everyone else was. There must have been several hundred people there.

The roof had totally collapsed. The dormer to one unit was just laying in the attic. While we were there fire companies from 10 stations had come - Freedom (Sykesville), West Freedom (Howard County), Winfield, Westminster, Reese, Gamber, and Glyndon (Carroll County), and Liberty Road, Reisterstown and Franklin from Baltimore County.

Fortunately, everyone got out in time and there were no reported injuries. Unfortunately, at least 6 families were displaced by the fire. The Red Cross is helping to place these families until they can get back on their feet. The cause of the fire had not yet been determined by today's article, but it appears that it was from lightning

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Baltimore City School Suspensions

There was an article on today stating that Baltimore City Public Schools saw a significant drop in suspensions last year. The suspension rate dropped 12.5%, which is a significant amount.

I suspect that the drop in suspensions has more to do with being in compliance with NCLB (No Child Left Behind), but Dr. Andres Alonso, Baltimore City School Chief, said that the change is a result of his policy to discourage suspensions for non-violent offenses. His reasoning is that students who are suspended tend to drop out of school at a higher rate than those that are not suspended. Fair enough. However, I suspect that the correlation may not be directly tied to the statistics. If fewer students are suspended, don't be surprised to see that the statistics later show that the drop-out rate increased with students who have not been suspended.

The most striking part of this article, however, is not so much the decrease in percentage terms, but the raw numbers. Suspensions dropped by more than 2000. 2000!!! That's two-thousand. That means 11 fewer suspensions per day last year than in the previous year.

Let's look at some more numbers. There are 180 days in the school year. Last year there were 14,649 suspensions in Baltimore City Schools. Holy City-Stat, Batman! That averages to 81 suspensions PER DAY!!!

But it was better last year than the previous year. In the previous year there were 16,752 suspensions. That's sixteen thousand...never mind. Anyway, that averages to 93 suspensions per day.

And the best part? City School officials are bragging that it is a lot better than in the 2003-04 school year when there were 26,295 suspensions. I cannot fathom that many suspensions. And again, this averages to 146 suspensions PER DAY. I would imagine that Baltimore City Public schools would need an entire army of suspension personnel just to keep track of this.

No wonder O'Malley and Dixon fought for billions of dollars in school funding. They need all that money to track the thousands of kids that they kick out of school.

Monday, August 04, 2008


A coworker whose addicted to all things not work-related has been bugging me to get on Facebook. He spends at least 7 hours of the 5 hours he's actually at work chugging away adding photos, pinging people from his first grade class, and writing on the wall. Another coworker has tempted me, as well. She spends most of her hours when the boss is away playing this word game and she has a really high score. So no one can challenge me to a word game and think that they'll get away with it.

So I signed up for Facebook, picked out some quick friends, found the game and played it. And Played it. For hours. And Hours. AND HOURS. Okay, her score was 39,000 and some odd points. My best score? 9500. How in the H-E-double hockey stick did she get to 39,000 points? I sent her a message and she said that she just goes for the longer words and moves on. If I could get the longer words, I'm sure that I'd have a higher score, too!

Here's how you play. You're given letters, such as E I S T L E S. The game gives you lines for each of the possible words. It starts off easy enough. SIT SET LESS LIST TIE TIES LISTS SITS SETS But then time expires and it shows you the remaining words that you did not get. LES. What's a LES? And the big word? It's always something like ESTILES. What the hell is an ESTILES? (perhaps I suffer from estile dysfunction) So I have succumb to making up words to see if they are really words. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't. No - TLESSEI is not a word. Damn it!!!

Additionally, I was sent several applications that I MUST download. One is titled How Hot Are You? It gives you 2 pictures of Facebook members and it lets you rate which ones hotter. It's amazing how many ugly people are on Facebook. And to all those teenage wannabees out there - that "look in my drunk and sexy eyes" look does nothing for you. Now, the only problem with this game is that it allows you to be rated against other people. This doesn't sound to bad, but it shows you the picture of the person rating you. Why are so many guys rating my picture against other guys? I feel like I've been violated. Furthermore, I'm losing! I'm not as sexy as Marco in Tampa, Javier in Brownsville Station, and I even lost to Bruce, the purple-haired freak with black lipstick in Lansing, Michigan. How depressing! Even gay guys think I'm not hot.

And since I opened up my profile several college and high school friends have pinged me to re-become their friends. And a couple of former coworkers are on there, too. Not a bad way to stay in touch. We'll see how it works. I don't plan on using all of my work time on this site. There's too much Wikipedia to do. (I added photos of Overlea High School, but my original objective yesterday was to add photos of Fallston High School, pictures that I cannot find along with my pictures of Ralph Nader.)

Free Credit Monitoring

In the past few years we have been inundated with news stories of irresponsible banks, insurance companies, and even government agencies that have left their networks open allowing the security of their data to be compromised. This year it was my turn.

I received a letter dated July 10th (yes it's been a while) that said that on February 27, 2008 BNY Mellon Shareowner Services, which is the agent for the Walk Disney Company stock that we own, let Goofy take boxes of back-up data tapes home with him. Unfortunately, he left the boxes in his car and Snidely Whiplash broke into his car and stole one of the boxes. In the boxes that Goofy left in his car for some unexplained reason, were data tapes containing my name, postal address, Social Security number, and all of my share ownership information.

Apparently, there was a delay in informing me of this personal security infraction because their Legal Department was trying to figure out a way to recuse themselves from any liability and transfer said liability to someone else, most notably - me!

For my "inconvenience", they are giving me 1 year of free credit monitoring service. Now, if my credit gets all fucked up because of Goofy's dumbass actions over there at BNY Mellon Shareowner services, I wonder what they will do for me then. I suspect that because I signed up for the free year of credit monitoring services, Bone-Head Mellon will be absolved of liability. Does anyone know how this works?

Why do companies continue to have such problems with their electronic data? Because they just don't care. When it's time to cut costs, cut the technology budget first. Because the President of the company cannot take a paycut. He'd leave the company - and then you'd have to pay him $400 million severance pay, even if he only worked for the company for 8 months. That's how it works. Screw the little people. It's all about the executives and their golden compensation. Of course it's fair that the top 3 executives at the company earn 50% of all compensation paid by the company. They are the ones responsible for making your 10 shares of the company go up 5% last year. Whoo-hoo!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Google Conspiracy?

As you may know, I am also a guest contributor to along with about 20 other conservative blogsters in Maryland. However, Google recently blocked our access to the site. I went on last night and found this message:

This blog has been locked due to possible Blogger Terms of Service violations. You may not publish new posts until your blog is reviewed and unlocked.

This blog will be deleted within 20 days unless you request a review.

I read through the Terms of Service agreement and cannot find any terms that we may have violated. A note on the site indicates that Google has determined that Red Maryland is a Spam Blog.

I know there is one person that is happy that Red Maryland is blocked - Martin O'Malley. He hates it when the truth comes out.
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