Monday, March 31, 2008

This sucks....

I took this picture near Randallstown, Maryland. There was a bad storm about a week earlier.

Friday, March 28, 2008

My New Camera

I bought a Nikkon D40i from my friend a couple of weeks ago. I've had it for about 3 weeks now and thought I'd share some of my pictures. Actually, I'm really just showing off.

Here's my son and my youngest daughter.

These are the flowers that my wife's friend Beth bought her for her birthday last week. Yeah, my $12 flowers from the grocery store weren't worth photographing.

My son and I went to Antietem Battlefield in Sharpsburg, Maryland last weekend. Here's one of the artistic photos that I took.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sheryl Crow

Guess who's going to see Sheryl Crow in concert in May? That's right. I called my wife and jokingly asked her if she'd be interested in seeing her. She said that she wouldn't mind seeing her especially since (in her words) 'you're so in love with her'.

Who's to say that a woman that is 10 years older than me, is drop-dead gorgious, and a rich liberal millionaire singer wouldn't be interested in a right-wing short balding married guy with an awesome sense of humor and a great personality???

Girls' Softball

My 8 year old daughter decided that she wanted to play softball this year. She has never played on an organized team. She's not very athletic, but I would support any legal activity that she wants to pursue.

I have coached boys and girls soccer for several years now. I played baseball from age 7 through 15. I played in a couple of adult softball leagues since then. I figured it would not be too difficult to coach 8 & 9 year old girls.

Now, I'm not officially the head coach. I am the assistant coach. However, yesterday I was the head coach at practice. The real head coach was not able to make it.

Our team is mostly 4th graders with about 3-4 third graders. Most have played before and mostly since they were 6.

I had helpful parent pitch while I worked with the girls with their hitting. If I was assisting boys, I would have thought nothing about getting behind them, holding their hands on the bat, and helping them feel the motion of a good bat swing. However, with the hot-topic fear of inappropriate touching of kids, I felt really awkward trying to help these girls. I mostly stood next to them and tried to have them imitate my actions. It was tougher than I expected.

All was not lost. We have several really good hitters. Catching and throwing are different stories. One girl, who has never played a game in her life, smacked the first 4 pitches over shortstop. I'm not talking grounders or 2-hoppers. They were line drives. I asked her if she could hit it over first base. On the next pitch - she hit it over first base. I asked her to do the same with 3rd and 2nd. She did it. I then asked her to hit the ball high in the air. She did it. This 8 year old girl can hit the ball with the accuracy and intention of a high school player. I was amazed.

I look forward to the rest of the season and it sure feels good to put on a glove and walk on the diamond.

Zack Sowers' Death

Yesterday was a sad day for all of the people praying and supporting Zack and Anna Sowers. Zack was beaten into a coma last year and died on Monday evening as a result of his injuries.

The part that makes me angry is that f-in' thugs who killed Zack will not face murder charges, let alone face the death penalty. They curb-stomped him into a coma and only faced lesser charges.

According to The Sun:

Arthur Jeter, 18; Wilburt Martin, 19; Eric L. Price, 17; and Ramos were charged with attempted first-degree murder, robbery and related offenses. In December, Price, Jeter and Martin pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery after agreeing to testify against Ramos, who was accused of beating Sowers while Price watched. The other two had observed from the car.

In exchange for their guilty pleas, Price, Jeter and Martin received 30-year prison terms with all but 15 years suspended. They stand to serve about eight.

Apparently the Baltimore City prosecutors thought that they would not have enough of a case to pursue these killer thugs, so they plea-bargained to get them some minimum sentences. Part of the plea stated that if Zack died, they would not face murder charges.

If this had happened in Texas, Ramos would be walking to death row to be lit up like the fourth of July. Fortunately for him, he killed Zack Sowers in Baltimore where he will spend the next few years watching Sports Center, eating free meals, and working out at the gym while he perfects his criminal trade.

Baltimore's paltry record for convicting criminals reinforces the fact that they are more concerned for the thugs than the victims. To the Baltimore City criminal justice system, Zack Sowers is just another statistic to prove that we need to work harder with the community to help our children. To the rest of the state, his death is another statistic proving that you must be crazy to live in the city.

I grew up in Baltimore City, so I am not saying this with empty conviction, looking into the city from the safety of my suburban home. As a kid, my bikes were routinely stolen, as was my motorcycle. My parents' vehicles were vandalized and one of my neighbors was murdered. By the time I was 11 years old, we were not allowed outside after dark. It was too dangerous.

This year, there have been 41 murders in Baltimore City. I don't think there were 41 murders in Carroll County in the entire 20th century. In the past 10 years there have been nearly 3,000 (that's three-thousand) murders in Baltimore City. Is the convenience of living a block away from the nightclubs and bars worth risking your life?

Perhaps to some of our young urban professionals it is. There has been an influx of young residents in the past 10 years. Let's see how many of them stay in Baltimore City when they have children. Will they send their middle-class educated kids to chaotic and dilapidated city schools? I'm sure they will not. They may be willing to take a chance with their own lives, but they will not take the same chance with their own children.

Zack Sowers' death is sad and unjustifiable. But until the Baltimore City Prosecutor's Office starts putting away murderers for more than a couple of years, we can sadly expect more incidents like this with nothing more than a shoulder shrug from our elected officials.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Dear God...

A little boy wanted $100.00 very badly and prayed for weeks, but nothing happened. Then he decided to write God a letter requesting the $100.00. When the postal authorities in Annapolis received the letter to God they decided to send it to Gov. O'Malley.

He was so amused that he instructed his secretary to send the little boy a $5.00 bill. The Governor thought this would appear to be a lot of money to a little boy. The little boy was delighted with the $5.00 bill and sat down to write a thank-you note to God, which read:

Dear God: Thank you very much for sending the money. However, I noticed that for some reason you sent it through Annapolis, Maryland and those assholes deducted $95.00 in taxes!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Spring Is Here!

This is a few days late, but spring is officially here. You know it's here when you see the global warming signs coming out. I saw this one on Liberty Road in Baltimore County.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

MTA Bus Beatings Update

In a surprise move, Judge David W. Young ruled against 5 of the teens in the December beating by 15 year old middle school thugs against Sarah Kreager. I suspect that Judge Young took heart of the issue after reading my harsh criticism the other day.

In a comical statement, the lawyer for the students, Garland Sanderson said that, "I don't understand the state's attorney's argument...All I could gather was that there was an allegation that a group of black kids assaulted individuals on a bus. 'We arrested a group of black kids. They must be guilty.' There is no evidence outside of that."

Hes, he must be correct. Because the police report, the testimony from the bus driver, the medical report for Sarah Kreager - they don't count as evidence. Most likely she fell down at home after slipping on a banana peel.

In an even more hilarious statement, another attorney for the thugs said that, "There's a victim sitting right here, your honor," she said, pointing to Nakita McDaniels, 15. "A victim, and she's charged?"

Oh, that's right. When a middle school thug beats the crap out of a white woman, the middle school thug is the victim. Society must have made her do it. It has nothing to do with the criminal mentality of Baltimore City school children who are mostly raised in broken homes where crime against all people is tolerated.

And does the fact that these thugs are 15 and still in middle school raise a flag with anyone? The last time I checked, kids in 8th grade are 13 years old. Fifteen year olds are in 10th grade. But then again, we're dealing with the remnants of Martin O'Malley's "fixed" school system. I hope he does a better job with the state.

ESPN Still Sucks???

I think I've mentioned before that I hate ESPN. There's plenty of reason to be a hater. For one, their website has too much junk on it. It takes forever to load and it's too confusing to find anything.

There are shows on ESPN about people playing video games. There are shows that pretend to go through a fake college football playoff schedule. Who cares? It doesn't really exist!

And then they don't get their facts correct. Take this poll on their site the other day. The question asks, "3) Which of these head coaches in the East Regional would you most want preparing your team for the NCAA tournament?" The 6th option is Gregg Marshall, Winthrop. Gregg Marshall does not coach at Winthrop anymore. He's been at Wichita State for a year. I shouldn't be too hard on ESPN. After all, their a sports show. You wouldn't expect them to know much about sports would you???

And then there's Skip Bayless. You know he sucks when there's an online petition to have him removed from television. Anyway, he was bashing the tournament selection committee for selecting mid-majors who won their conference tournaments and didn't win the regular season. He particularly pointed out Winthrop.

If Bayless would have done his homework instead of opening his mouth and exposing his ass, he would have known that Winthrop and UNC Ashville tied for the regular season title for the Big South conference with UNCA getting the number 1 seed because they beat Winthrop twice. HOWEVER - UNCA's biggest win was against Winthrop.

UNCA's list of wins includes Furman, Lees-McRae, Campbell, Western Carolina, Tusculum, and Montreat. Other than Campbell and Western Carolina, the other are D-II schools.

Winthrop, on the other hand, had wins against Georgia Tech, East Carolina, Old Dominion, and #19 Miami. Get this, Bayless. Winthrop beat a ranked team this year. And yes, Winthrop had a couple of cupcakes, as well, but the point is Winthrop played tougher games and won some of them.

And let's not forget about last year's first round win against Notre Dame and the fact that Winthrop has been to the dance 4 years in a row and 8 of the past 10 years. I know that previous records have no bearing on the selection committee, but you'd think with Winthrop's rise in the public's eye, Bayless would have a clue. But unfortunately, he does not.

Please sign the petition.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Van Halen III

The original show in Baltimore was scheduled for March 9th. This got date was cancelled, most likely because Eddie either fell off the wagon with his bottle of Jack Daniels or his cancer has returned.

The concert was rescheduled for April 15th. However, this date got cancelled, too. A third date has been announced for May 15th. Let's see if David Lee Roth is still the lead singer by this point.

I have a feeling a will never get to see a DLR-led Van Halen concert. I saw them with Sammy Hagar. Unfortunately, I was 11 years old when DLR quit the band to strike it rich as a solo artists. He never struck it rich. And I'm still waiting.


I spent the majority of the weekend doing my taxes. If my wife and I were just two average wage earners, I could have done my taxes in an hour. But no. My wife has been running a licensed daycare out of our house for the past 8 years, and for about $10,000 in earnings per year from this business, I get to spend about 45 hours doing paperwork for expenses and such.

Fortunately, we are getting money back. This year it seems to be close to $5000. That bad news is that it's almost $5000. If I was smart, I would be able to figure out my deductions on my W-4 so that my W-2 wouldn't show as much money in taxes being taken out. I basically gave the American government an interest-free loan for $5000, which they used to pay the interest on loans to the Chinese. I should have been earning the interest on that money, not giving it to the Chinese.

What am I talking about? Oh, yeah. Remember that the United States government sells bonds to raise money to pay for wars, bail-outs of companies that made bad mortgage loans, and social programs to help the people that just don't want to work (God bless them)? Well, the Chinese buy most of those bonds, so all the interest that we pay on them goes to the Chinese, who invest it in government owned-factories that sell cheap lead-based crap to Americans, which we buy using our tax refunds, money returned to us from the government that we overpaid and let the government borrow tax free. It's a vicious cycle. And we're the chumps.

I did notice, however, some changes on the tax forms this year. At the top of the form there was a line that said:

Would you like to give $5,000 to the Presidential Election campaign so that public can elect Presidents that they don't like? Of course, I checked 'No'.

I also saw this on my Maryland form:

Are you in the computer industry? If no, please just sign your tax form and do not bother calculating your deductions. You have no organized lobbying group and the Maryland General Assembly wants all of your money. We dare you to move to another state.

Fortunately this did not apply to me.

Oh, yeah. Another question on the 1040 asked if I was a mortgage lender who made risky loans to unqualified home buyers. If so, I could apply for a free loan to wipe out my expenses. I'm glad they are rewarding shikesters for taking risks.

The risk-free rate of doing business is getting higher and higher as people know the government will come to the rescue when they make bad decisions. People who practically ruin the economy will get rewarded with government bailouts, while towns who display festive plastic manger scenes at Christmas are deemed right-wing religious hate-mongers by the government. Hmmm.....

Friday, March 14, 2008

MTA Condones Violence

The MTA, officially known as the Maryland Transit Administration, celebrated two victories yesterday.

First, nine charges were dropped against the teenage thugs that beat the crap out of Sarah Kreager. Other than Sarah's battered face and testimony from the bus driver, police had little evidence to proceed with the case. It appears that Sarah was actually banging her face against the fists and shoes of her alleged assailants. Attorneys for the students claim they are innocent and they are actually the victims in the case.

I'm not sure that the MTA will support this statement, but it appears that the MTA and Judge David W. Young, the judge that dropped the charges, condone violence on the mass transit system. Most high-profile cases of assault and battery that occur on the MTA are dropped for various reasons.

In another incident, a 71-year old attendant was beaten by a patron who allegedly had a disagreement about the fair. The MTA subway, which in suburban culture is nicknamed "the Mugger Mover" and the "Fright Rail", is fraught with violent activities. As a 4-year rider of the mugger move, I can attest to the craziness.

I believe it is unwritten MTA policy to have the blind eye look the other way when the daily violence occurs. If you ride the Maryland MTA, you are putting your life into the hands of people who could care less about your well-being.


Cooking is often the topic of the guys in the locker room at the gym. You'd be amazed what comes up in the locker room. Cooking can be very hard. Or it can be uplifting. It depends on your mood. And the types of foods that the guys use in their recipes is amazing. What types of foods do they have?

Some guys have geoducks.

Some guys have mushrooms.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Important General Assembly Laws

We are in the midst of some great heated debates in the Maryland General Assembly. The state's business is at hand. Legislators are carefully crafting the path for the future of our state. What is the topic of the day?

Affordable health care for the elderly? No.

Gay marriage? Try again.

Repealing the disdainful computer tax? Nope.

Trying to decide what the official state dessert should be? Hooray! You got it!

Yes, thousands of Maryland tax dollars are being spent while the debate rages in committee. A bill has been submitted to make the multi-layered Smith Island cake declared the official dessert of the State of Maryland.

Some Democrats are upset and are complaining of a right-wing push to have the chocolate caramel crumb pie be the official state dessert, but House Speaker Michael Busch said he will not stand for this frivolous debate. Mike Miller even said if the Republicans do not cooperate and follow the will of the people of the great state of Maryland, he will quash them and bury them for 20 years.

Elliot Spitzer's New Book

This book may be slated for release later this year.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Elliot Spitzer and his Prostitute

Proving that corrupt personal behaviour is not just a Republican fad, New York Democratic Governor Elliot Spitzer is facing demands for his resignation after it was unveiled that he used the services of a prostitute in Washington, D.C.

Spitzer, who fought white collar corruption and made it his personal goal to destroy as many financial institutions as possible, has not admitted to the allegations, but nor has he denied them either. In a press conference in which he took no questions, he admitted to an undisclosed personal discretion, which in layman's terms means he had sex with a woman who was not named Mrs. Spitzer.

Spitzer, meanwhile, has endorsed Hillary Clinton for President. I am sure Mrs. Spitzer can now relate to Hillary Clinton, as both of them have husbands that have cheated on them with other women, though Bill Clinton, to his credit, usually stuck to fat interns and assistants, not hookers. Now Hillary can claim that she's been endorsed by the most prominent Governor who's been accused of having sex with a prostitute. I wonder if Obama has been endorsed by anyone who's had sex with a prostitute.

Anyway, Elliot has yet to resign from office, but given that many other politicians have been charged with sexual indiscretions and did not resign (read Bill Clinton, Larry Craig), I do not expect Spitzer to resign. He will continue in office pretending nothing ever happened. He will claim that his relationship for his wife and his family is strong and they have forgiven him. They will work together to overcome this challenge and it will bring them closer together. We all know this is a bunch of B.S.

Fortunately for politicians, most voters are really stupid and will not remember anything about this in 3 months. And if it is brought up again in the next election, the Republicans will be charged with playing dirty politics.

Elliot Spitzer optimizes the image of the hypocritical limousine liberal. "Do as I say, not as I do, or I'll bring you before a grand jury and destroy your reputation and your career. Oh, and ignore that prostitute under my desk."

Best quote that I have seen regarding Spitzer: "We should elect milkmen to be politicians. They never get caught."

Monday, March 10, 2008

Winthrop Dances, Again!

In case you are living under a rock and don't realize that Winthrop University is a small dynasty basketball team, then you probably didn't know that Winthrop is going to the NCAA Tournament again.

For the 8th time in 10 years, Winthrop University's basketball team has won the Big South basketball tournament. They defeated University of North Carolina at Asheville 66-48, an 18 point upset. After scoring 22 points in the first half, the Eagles were able to score another 44 points in the second half.

The win gives Winthrop their 4th consecutive appearance. Basketball fans may recall last year when Winthrop ousted Notre Dame in the first round, only to lose to Oregon in the second.

The Eagles were led by seniors Michael Jenkins who scored 33 points and Taj McCullough who scored 14. The Eagles were able to shut down 16 foot center Kenny George.

Go Winthrop!

Friday, March 07, 2008

The Good, The Bad, The Beautiful

The Beautiful

My daughter's art work was selected to be on display at the Carroll County Arts' Council in Westminster, Maryland. Several students from each grade from elementary schools all over the county were selected. We were surprised to learn that in addition to her picture, 2 of her friends, our neighbor, and 2 of my son's friends had artwork selected.

The Carroll County Arts' Council is in the old movie theater in the historic section of downtown Westminster. It was a really neat building.

The Bad

After the art fair, we decided to have dinner. We first went to The Olive Garden. By now it was after 6pm. I went in and they told us it would be an hour wait. An hour? On a Thursday??? That's crazy!

We decided to go to Applebee's instead. We quickly placed our order and got our drinks. The baby was fussy sitting in the car seat, so I got her out. She immediately began diving for things on the table (as all babies do). She was a handful all evening. Not in a bad way, just a busy-body.

My appetizer arrived in a reasonable amount of time - mozzarella sticks. Mmmmm.....fried cheese! The only way to make it better would be to wrap it in bacon and dip it in cheese. Mmmm!!!

We finished our appetizer and waited for the main meal. Then we waited some more. And for fun, we waited some more. Finally the waiter comes over and apologizes. He said he put in the order a little late, but it would be out soon. So we waited. And waited a little more. By now it has been 45 minutes.

Am I a magnet for crappy service? Or is it my wife? She always the one that finds hair in her food. One time she even found a finger nail clipping. Gross!!! That was at Mackey's in Ocean City. We don't go there anymore!

Finally the food arrives. Guess what? My Mac'N Jack'N Cheese with chicken pasta is cold. No, I don't mean it wasn't hot. It was cold. Like when you grab a dish of leftovers out of the refrigerator. I accept the fact that they do not cook food in restaurants anymore. It's just frozen dishes that are microwaved. However, this was not acceptable.

I called the manager over, explained the problem and asked him to return the dish and remove it from the bill. (You never send food back and ask it to be returned to you!) He was very apologetic.

About 15 minutes later we are ready to leave and the waiter comes over. He told us that we are good to go whenever we are done. Applebee's was picking up the tab. Free meal. How about that? That's what I mean by good customer service. The time I found a shard of ceramic in our crab dip at Liberatore's in Eldersburg, they offered us a free replacement appetizer. Oooo!!!! Guess where we haven't been since that incident?!!! Guess how many people I told that Liberatore's serves crab dip with ceramic shards? A hell of a lot!!!!

The Good

After we left, we meandered over to Hoffman's, a family-owned ice cream joint. They have GOOD ice cream. I got peppermint. Yummy! My wife got cake-batter. It certainly tasted like cake batter, though I'm not sure that I'd enjoy a whole cone-full of it.

On the way out, my son complains that he doesn't like cones. Since when??? We've been coming here for years and he's never mentioned that he doesn't like cones. Apparently, however, I was supposed to know this and he was really upset with me.

And not 1 minute in the car ride away from Hoffman's he starts screaming. He dropped the cone on the floor of the minivan. Now if you are in a family and you have a minivan, you know how disgusting this is. I pulled over and picked it up. It had pretzel crumbs, hair, dust, and several unidentifiable objects sticking to it. Again - this was my fault. I should have known.

I got him settled and returned to Hoffman's. I handed them the cone with its unique sprinkles and told them we had a little accident and asked for a new one. I pulled out a $5 and handed it to the girl behind the counter. She wouldn't accept it and said it was okay. What a wonderful place! And if she wasn't in high school, I'd tell you how cute she was.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Lisa Gladden Pro-Criminal

Hard left-wing liberal extremist Lisa Gladden is showing her support again for criminals when she submitted a bill calling for the end of the death penalty in Maryland. Criminals and Democrats (one in the same?) across the state are applauding her efforts to help keep criminals alive and hopefully to be re-released onto the streets so that they can commit more crime.

Fortunately for victims, there are a few politicians in Maryland that don't hate them. Republicans seem to favor victims' rights, as do a few Democrats including Baltimore County State Senator Jim Brochin.

It is sad that Democrats have worked so hard for many years to radically minimize the voice of the victims in favor of the criminals. However, one must keep in mind that the criminal element are a huge Democratic voting block, especially in Maryland. Maryland Democratic politicians love their large voting blocks, even if they are criminals.

Opponents of the death penalty will try to argue that the death penalty is racist. I would say that the death penalty should be applied equally regardless of race. On the other hand, one must understand that one demographic overwhelmingly commits most of the crime. That's not the fault of the penalty. That's like saying more Hondas are in car accidents than any other car, therefore we should limit the number of Hondas on the roads.

If you premeditatedly kill someone you should get the death penalty. If you kill a police officer, you should be tortured, then suffer lethal injection. If you kill a child, you should be de-skinned, salted, tarred, feathered, shot, stabbed, hung, and then quartered. And when that's done, bump the body parts in a pit and burn them.

Again, it boggles my mind how liberal extremists like Lisa Gladden can be against the death penalty, which executes murderers, but be in favor of abortion, which murders unborn children who've committed no crime. It's a paradox future generations will never be able to understand.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Van Halen Concert Cancelled???

Rumors are running rampant that remaining dates of the Van Halen concert tour are being cancelled. This really sucks for me because my tickets are for the fabulous Baltimore First Mariner Civic Center Arena on Sunday, March 9th. It really sucks for my friend who bought the tickets because he'll need to come up with the $1200 in cash to pay us back.

Hopefully this is just a tired rumor.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

What a Weekend!

Hokey Smoke, Bullwinkle, it sure was nice this weekend! Due to the warm weather we were forced to get out of the house this weekend and walk around the pond behind my house. I am happy to report that fish (mostly blue gill) are up and ready for feeding. My kids and I fed them a healthy handful of Martin's finest white bread. The mallards decided to join them. My 6 month old daughter, however, wasn't too impressed until they started quacking. Then she tried her own version of quacking. It was very funny.

I won't be able to post much this week, if at all. I'll be working in our downtown office most of the week showing vendor demonstrations to our business groups. This means my days will be extended by an hour an a half each day. Hoo-ha.

I am happy to announce that my 8 year old daughter's art work was selected to be displayed at the Carroll County Art's Council in Westminster, Maryland starting on Thursday. We are excited to go as we have yet to see her picture. It will be displayed for about 1 month.
Who links to my website?
Add to Technorati Favorites Add to Technorati Favorites Add to Technorati Favorites