Friday, June 26, 2009

A Week of Potpourri

This post has nothing to do with potpourri, but do you remember watching the Joker's Wild as a kid (I'm dating myself) and as the cards spun and stopped you would hear Jack Berry say, "Joker. Joker! Potpourri." Never failed. And that category could be anything. Hence, this post.

Weight Loss
I am in a Biggest Loser Club at work and it has nothing to do with my personality. It does, however, have to do with losing weight. Just after I had my hernia surgery I weighed 180. When I began this competition I was 176. Today I'm right around 166. Losing weight is great. Except for the fact that I can now take off my pants without unbuttoning them.

Michael Jackson
Along with Martin O'Malley, I have lost my heart. And it's not at Wounded Knee. I must not have a heart because I'm not mourning the loss of Michael Jackson. Sure, he had some cool songs off of the Thriller album, the first album I ever got when I was a kid. But it's not like I just lost my mother. He was a mentally unbalanced pedophilic nut case devoid of any grip on reality.

And I group Martin O'Malley with the heartless because I was watching Larry King last night and I think Martin O'Malley is the only person who didn't call in to offer respects. However, Randy Jackson called and said that 'dogg, MJ was an icon.' Al Sharpton, the Jew-hating pretend preacher ("If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house"[43] and referring to Jews as "diamond merchants."), called and said that Michael Jackson was the first great black in pop music. I guess Sharpton hates Donna Summers, Chuck Berry, and James Brown.

ABC Loves Obama
This week ABC gave Obama an open platform to promote his plan to socialize medicine. Obama denies that his plan it to socialize medicine. Instead of socialized medicine, he wants the government to be in charge of the healthcare system.

Republicans requested time with ABC to offer alternative viewpoints and to allow fair criticism of Obama's non-socialized medicine plan. They were denied. Obama was then showered with flowers and offered many soft pillows for his Town Hall talk. To help reinforce his plan, Obama avoided tough questions and offered long-winded popular rhetoric instead.

Additionally, Obama claims that it is not his intention to actively destroy the private healthcare system. Instead, the government will begin to offer healthcare and the private companies will go out of business on their own because they won't be able to compete. Unbeknownst to the people that will take the government's offer to use their healthcare system, they will be stuck in a bureaucratic mess when they need healthcare and will probably die before they get services.

In addition to the lowered level of healthcare, tax payers will be on the hook for an estimated $2 TRILLION to get this plan started. With an estimated 46 million working families in this country, this will cost the average family $44,000. If you estimate that 35% of them will not be subject to the costs because they are below middle income, then the working families will owe Obama $67,000 each for his nationalized healthcare plan.

The Cheating Politician
I know you're going to have a difficult time believing this, but another politician cheated on his wife. This time it was South Carolina Republican Governor Mark Sanford. Once considered a front-runner for the Presidential nomination for 2012, there are now cries for his resignation.

I'm wondering how this is any different than when Bill Clinton cheated on Hillary (many times). It is well-documented that Clinton was busy sticking his Cuban cigar in Monica's vagina in the Oval Office during a conference call with the Senate. At least Sanford was having an affair with someone his own age.

A liberal college friend commented that Sanford did this on tax payer money, that's why it's different. I don't buy this argument. If Clinton was in the Oval Office, which is where he works, and he was on a conference call with the Senate, then he was working, and while he is working he is getting paid by taxpayers. Sure, he might not have flown to Argentina, but the President should be held to a higher morale standard, though Clinton never claimed to have any morals unlike the Republicans.

My opinion is that you need to argue consistently. If the liberals think that Clinton can have an affair and his personal life is none of our business, then Sanford's affair is none of our business, either. I, however, think Clinton should have been thrown out of office, and thus so should Sanford.

On a funny note, another friend commented that he just got back from walking the entire Appalachian Trail all the way to Argentina.

Maryland Hates Businesses
This is already well documented. However, this week Democrats Jamie Raskin of Montgomery County and James Brochin of Baltimore County filed a complaint with Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler about the compensation received by BGE CEO Mayo Shattuck. The last time I checked BGE, part of Constellation Energy, is a private company governed by a board of directors and shareholders and their compensation system is not regulated by the government.

However, this is another push by the O'Malley Administration and his minions in the General Assembly to argue that the government should be allowed to regulate and restrict the compensation of employees of private companies. Oh, it will eventually happen.

Why there are any remaining private companies in Maryland, let alone Constellation, is beyond my level of comprehension. The State of Maryland has been harassing Constellation for years with threats, political statements, and lawsuits with the obvious objective of eventually running the company at a state-level. My advice to Constellation - get out now!!! Move to Delaware!!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

It's Bel Air, Hon.

I occasionally read the blogs linked on It is my opinion that they are not written very well. They have facts in them, but there is a bit of a restraint on opinion, which there should be when it's written by a journalist. Sort of the opposite of the Sunday morning talk shows where the journalists give you their opinions.

One of the blogs that I read is written by Scott Wykoff, the hyper and overly enthusiastic news reporter. He recently wrote about the costs of recycling. While I found the information about Baltimore County not offering recycling bins interesting, I was very disappointed to read that he said that Belair does not offer recycling bins. I'm not disappointed to read that Belair does not offer recycling bins, but disappointed that he called it Belair. It's Bel Air. Belair Road is a grammatical\spelling error that's existed for years. However, this error in Bawlmer city does not translate to the Harford County town.

I tried to contact Scott Wykoff, but there was no link to an email address and the addresses that I used all bounced back as undeliverable. But then I thought, he probably reads my blog since it's so good.

So Scott, please update your article to read "Bel Air". Thank you!

The Jungle

I have wanted to read this book for years, but with all of the history books that I bought sitting on my bookshelf, I thought it more prudent to read them first.

Then I went out and bought The Jungle and put it on my bookshelf. Then I forgot that I bought it. Then a friend loaned me a copy of The Jungle. And I read it. Then I found the copy that I bought. It's tough getting old.

The Jungle was written by Baltimore native Upton Sinclair in 1906 and focuses on an immigrant family from Lithuania who move to Chicago to improve their lives. They get jobs with the meat packing companies and quickly buy a house. They think that they are moving up quickly, only to have their lives crushed by the brutal reality of political and business corruption in Chicago.

The book is most famous for its detailed descriptions of the meat packing industry including the slaughter and processing of the animals, and the horid working conditions. This book is to the meat packing industry what Moby Dick was to the whaling industry. Lots of details.

As a result of the book there was a public outcry about the quality of meat and the conditions that the workers were made to endure and meat sales tumbled. This outcry led to the passing of the Meat Inspeaction Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, in addition to the creation of what would eventually become the Food and Drug Administration.

While the premise of the book is simple - the absolute ruin of a family, I found the facts about the writing of the book absolutely fascinating. Sinclair, a card-carrying Socialist, set out to expose the labor conditions of the industry. He disguised himself and got hired by one of the companies and worked there for 7 weeks in order to gain insight and eventually wrote his book.

Though his objective was to expose the working conditions and the labor strife, he actually did little to help that, but was the catalyst to a revolution in food processing. Years later in an interview he joked that he was aiming for the heart, but hit the stomach.

I enojoyed 97% of the book. The last 2 chapters Sinclair must have been smoking the whacky weed because he goes off into this tangent about a speech given by a socialist. This goes on and on. And on and on. Did I mention that it also goes on and on?

The speech blithers about how workers can take control of the means of production and everyone will be happy. Everyone will be equal. The collective will determine what needs to be produced and will determine the best means to achieve the goals of production. His argument is unrealistic and he fails to understand the basic human desire to compete. No one will be equal.

Additionally, with competition, bad products will not be purchased and these companies will fail (unless, of course, the Obama Administration continues to save them). Competition, when allowed to operate freely, but fairly, will better a society. We can all observe the sucess of Socialism\Communism throughout Eastern Europe during the post-World War II era. It didn't work.

So my recomendation is to read this book, but stop reading once he gets to the chapter where he goes to listen to the speech by the Socialists. It will drive you nuts. Or, on the other hand, read it and realize what a screwball Sinclair really was. He truly believed the stuff he wrote.

The Jungle can be purchased on or at any bookstair for very little money.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Carrolltown Mall Update

Carrolltown Mall in Eldersburg, owned by Black Oak Associates, continues to sit in a vat of its own filth, slowly decaying into a suburban slum. Unconcerned Black Oak continues to let the mall rot and die like an unwanted 3-legged runt with a stomach virus.

This past weekend I drove around the mall and took some pictures to show you the continued decline. However, not everything looked bad. Here's the new landscaping theme of the Carrolltown Mall. The theme is either Death of Nature or Year-Long Halloween. Here are two former trees in the rear parking lot. This is on an island in the parking lot. It's easy to spot this island in the parking lot. It has all of the surface cracks in the asphalt full of grass leading up to it. And the mall groundskeeping team is allowing nature to run its course by leaving fallen branches strewn about the parking lot.

You have to give it to the expert groundskeeping team. They went above and beyond with this tree repair. You'll notice the duct tape used to hold the broken top of the tree to the main trunk. This repair easily costs in the hundreds of cents.

Not all of the parking spaces at the Carrolltown Mall are safe for parking. Fortunately for us, the security team at Carrolltown Mall used this 20 ft dropped tree limb to mark off some spots that are unsafe. If you haven't read the safety policy of Carrolltown Mall, section 8 reads, "Do not park in spots containing 20 ft dropped dead tree limbs. These spots are unsafe."

On the west side of the mall between the empty and decaying K-Mart and Hemlock Drive near the Eldersburg Library, you'll notice a row of dead evergreen trees. Ironic that they call them evergreens. They're all black and brown. Perhaps they are now black oaks. I suspect that Black Oak has decided to keep the dead trees there as it offers a natural barrier between the mall parking lot and the street. This will help keep the throngs of pedestrians and car traffic from making inadvertent ingresses and egresses.

Black Oak, not satisfied to just offer the upper middle class Eldersburg fine Class-A shopping establishments like Big Lots, K-Mart, and Dollar General, they now offer top tier 1 storage. This desirable rusted mobile storage unit is located next to the derelict movie theater. If you are interested in storing your personal treasures in this convenient parking lot storage unit, please contact Storage Trailers at 410-287-5277.

So the next time you're in Eldersburg, take a minute and thank Black Oak Associates for the wonderful unused crumbling pile of shit mall laying in the middle of our town. You can call them at (410) 356-5820 and ask for Dixon Harvey or send an email to I'm sure they'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

New Top 10 List

I finally decided to update my Top 10 list on the side.

I had several comments about the previous Top 10 List - 10 Maryland politicians that needed to be voted out of office. My favorite one was the comment about how my blog is full of hate and the person was going to vote for each and every one of the people I had listed. Idiot. Not all of them are in the same district. No one can possibly vote for all of them. Unless of course, the Maryland General Assembly decides to allow early voting and the flexibility to vote anyway, which will allow people to vote early and vote often.

My new top 10 list is the 10 best Maryland Republicans of all time.

1) Helen Bentley - Congresswoman Bentley basically saved the Port of Baltimore and thousands of longshoreman jobs in the city in addition to related jobs around the state. Her activity with the port was so successful that it was eventually renamed the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore.

2) Theodore McKeldin - he was the last Republican Mayor of Baltimore (1963 - 1967). The city named the water fountains at the Inner Harbor named in his honor. This is the same water fountain where you can watch homeless people bathe during the day. McKeldin oversaw the construction of Friendship Airport, now called Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. McKeldin then defeated William Preston Lane Jr for Governor (who had the Bay Bridge named after him) and pushed for state highways such as the Baltimore Beltway, the Washington Beltway, and Route 50. He returned to being the Mayor of Baltimore and began the focus of urban renewal and a plan to create the Baltimore Inner Harbor.

3) Marjorie Holt - served in Congress from 1973 until 1987 and was the first Maryland Republican woman to serve in Congress. In 1975 she refused to sign a Congressional Declaration of Interdependence that would have given up national sovereignty and promoted a new world unity and subjected Americans to International law and redistributed American wealth around the world. She was eventually nominated by President Reagan to serve on the General Advisory Committee on Arms Control and Disarmament.

4) Connie Morella - she was first elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1978 and served until 1987 when she was elected to Congress to serve Maryland's 8th district, much of which covered heavily liberal Montgomery County. Another moderate, Morella opposed the party's stance on abortion, gun control, gay rights, and the environment. Mike Miller, Casper Taylor, and former adulterer Governor Parris Glendening redrew the Congressional map after the 2000 Census to undermine her reelection. Though illegal, their gerrymandering techniques worked and she was defeated by liberal and socialism supporter Democratic Chris Van Hollen.

5) Bob Ehrlich - the most recent Republican Governor of Maryland and the first since disgraced former Governor Spiro Agnew. Despite high approval ratings, rating higher than the current Governor, the moderate Ehrlich was defeated by an unpopular and highly hypocritical Mayor of Baltimore (who probably wants a bridge named after him) who befuddled the Governor with flowery rhetoric.

6) James Glenn Beall - a World War I veteran and one of the longest serving (if not the longest, I don't know), Beall was elected to serve in the Maryland Senate in 1930. Beall was then elected to serve in Congress from 1943 until 1953 when he was elected to the U.S. Senate and served until 1965. He was defeated by Democrat Joseph D. Tydings, who's adopted father had the I-95 bridge over the Susquehanna named after him.

7) John Marshall Butler - another World War I veteran and long-serving Republican politician, Butler was selected to serve the Baltimore City Public Service Commission from 1947 until 1949. He was then elected to the United States Senate and served from 1951 until retiring in 1963. He was preceded by Millard Tydings, the I-95 bridge guy.

8) Gilbert Gude - first elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1953, he served until 1958. He was later elected to the Maryland Senate in 1962 and served until 1967 when he was elected to the Congress where he served for another 10 years.

9) Robert Kittleman - a World War II veteran, Kittleman served in the United States Navy from 1943 until 1946. He served as the chair of the Howard County Republican Central Committee and, as a white guy, was a member of the NAACP. He was active in the Civil Rights movement. In 1983 he was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates and served until 2002 when he was elected to the Maryland Senate. Unfortunately, he passed away mid-term. He was replaced by his son, Allan Kittleman and Route 32 is named in his honor.

10) Allan Kittleman - current Maryland State Senator and one of the few sensible voices in the Maryland General Assembly. Neither a conservative nut job, nor a blind liberal, Kittleman is one of the lonely dissenting voices to the radical legislation that passes through our state government, but he stands tall doing what is right.

Honorable mention - Jeannie Haddaway - once named the sexist politician in Maryland. I have no disagreement with that.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Americans Don't Want Small Cars

I'm starting to get annoyed at all of the articles and television news stories criticizing the auto industry about not meeting the demands of consumers. If you listen to them, Americans want small, affordable, gas-sipping micro-machines, not gas-guzzling SUV's and minivans.

I'm all in favor of the law of supply and demand. Simple macroeconomics. Free market economy. If car companies build the cars that Americans want, they deserve the rewards. If car companies build crap that no one wants, let them fail for making bad decisions. If Americans want smaller cars or hybrids, fine, build these cars.

However, the media is insisting that they know what we want. And the only car companies building these small affordable gas-pissing, I mean gas sipping, vehicles are foreign auto makers. But if you look at the facts, you may find something different. Looking at April 2009 sales, here were the top selling vehicles in the country, courtesy of this website.

1) Honda Accord - 29,212
2) Ford F-Series - 28,757
3) Chevy Silverado - 26,437
4) Honda Civic - 26,252
5) Toyota Camry - 25,324
6) Toyota Corolla - 18,534
7) Ford Fusion - 18,321
8) Dodge Ram - 17,903
9) Chevy Impala - 17,532
10) Chevy Malibu - 14,665

Let's see, that's 3 full-sized pickup trucks, 5 mid/large sized cars, and 2 economy cars. 6 domestic automakers, and 4 foreign companies. If Americans wants fuel efficient cars so bad, then why are they not buying them? Is it perhaps that they don't really want small cars? Or are greedy corporations and Republicans twisting consumers' arms into buying these vehicles?

According to, in May 2009 Americans bought 437,779 light trucks and 488,045 cars. For the domestic auto makers the statistics are very contrasting. Ford sold 94,000 light trucks and 67,197 cars. GM sold 109,872 light trucks and 81,009 cars. Bringing up the rear, Chrysler sold 60,972 light trucks and 18,038 cars.

We all hear that trucks and SUV's are the bread and butter of these companies and according to these sales figures, they are building exactly what they should be building. Why should they refocus on low-profit small cars when current small car sales do not support such a shift?

My argument is that since car sales have fallen year over year, this year one cannot accurately gauge what Americans want to buy. If no one is buying Chryslers, is it because no one wants the vehicles they offer, or is it because no one is buying cars in general?

This pressure comes, not only from the media, but also from the Obama administration. We've heard things like, "There has to a fundamental shift in the way they do business," Why? So they can make less money? Unfortunately for Chrysler and GM, they took bailout money and they are now at the mercy of the socialist Obama administration. Ford, on the other hand, appears to be well-positioned for the economic recovery and will continue to make cars that Americans will buy.

I think that Chrysler needs to be more worried about their partnership with Fiat when they start importing Mitsishitsies and other similar micro-death-traps. Sales could plummet even further. My prediction is that the big SUV sales will never recover to their early 2000 levels(Expedition, Tahoe, Sequioa), and perhaps nor will the sales levels of even the mid-sized SUV's (Explorer, Pathfinder, 4Runner), but Americans will still want a bigger car (Malibu, Camry, Accord) and perhaps smaller SUV's (Excape, CRV, RAV4).

The media's attempt to pressure the auto industry to alter their sales strategy most likely will not work. In the end, free-market economics will win. Americans will buy what they want to buy, not what the media tells us we want. The old saying, "What's good for GM is good for America" no longer applies. America will determine what's good for America. And if one of the auto companies is not on the same page, they can start writing their epitath now.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Letterman Hates Republican Children

My apologies for starting off-topic, but we will lead back into it. I got a response to an older post that I thought was hysterical. Then it kind of got me fired up.

As you may remember in February I posted an article talking about how ridiculous the fee increases were for the Maryland EZ Pass. Four months later I get this comment:

Wow. What a Conservative Republican site this is. Glad you listed all those people you want defeated because I am going to support each and every one of them. Take the “hate” out of your blog and I may return. Be constructive.

A) Yes, this is a conservative Republican blog. Are you surprised to find anti-Democrat statements?

B) This blog is more about humor than anything else. If you don't understand the sarcasm, then obviously this blog is not for you.

C) Hate? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think there's 'hate' in my blog. If I disagree with a politician or their actions, I will criticize them. But I don't think it's hate. When I think of hate, I think of James von Brunn who recently shot and killed a security guard at the Holocaust museum in Washington. And don't categorize von Brunn as a right-winger. He's a lunatic. He's as much a part of the right-wing as Joseph Stalin is a part of the "left-wing" with his mass-executions after World War II. Killing Jews and African-Americans is not an acceptable right-wing belief.

If you want to talk about hate, let's talk about David Letterman's relentless attacks on Sarah Palin and her daughters. Yes, Palin's daughter Bristol became pregnant before she got married, leaving egg on the face of the party that preaches abstinence. But it's been nearly a year now. It's not funny anymore.

This week during Letterman's dialog, he was talking about Palin's daughter who recently attended a Yankees game. Letterman said, "One awkward moment for Sarah Palin at the Yankee game, during the seventh inning, her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez." Sarah Palin attended the Yankees game with her 14 year old daughter Willow. She's 14 years old! That's NOT funny. He then tried to make up for it by inviting Sarah Palin on the show. Oh, goody! She can come on the show to see if Letterman will again say that Palin has the "style of a slutty flight attendant"? How can she refuse that offer?

On top of that, Today Show host Matt Lauer interviewed Palin and parts of the conversation are:
Lauer: "it was a joke"... and... "are you suggesting that David Letterman can't be trusted around a 14 year old girl?"

Palin's spokesperson said in a decline of Letterman's invitation to appear on his show, "...Plus it would by wise to keep Willow away from David Letterman." Palin went on to say, "Willow would want to stay away from David Letterman after that comment."

To which Lauer commented, "Isn't that not perhaps, also in bad taste, Governor, that you're suggesting that a 62 year old man can't be trusted?"

What? Are you kidding me? Is Matt Lauer defending Letterman?

Letterman later (2 days later) commented that he thought it was Bristol that was at the Yankees game and the comment was directed at her. Oh, okay. Because he thought that it was Bristol then that comment was totally acceptable? I think not.

There has been some coverage of this, but mostly it's by the right-leaning Fox News Channel. Almost every channel is covering her attack of Letterman. This is additional proof of a double-standard in the liberal media.

Let's turn the this situation around and see if this is funny or even remotely forgivable. Let's say Rush Limbaugh jokes around that former pitcher John Rocker got Sasha Obama pregnant at an Atlanta Braves game. Is this funny? Hell no. And if he did say that there would be a F-in riot. And how is this any different than what Letterman said?

I used to think that Letterman was the funniest guy on TV. Now I think he's just a jerk. Along with Olbermann, they are the worst people in the world.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Valkyrie - the book

As anyone who reads my movie review blog (FromZekesCouch), I watch movies from both Netflix and the library. At Netflix I have the 1 movie at a time plan. New releases come out on Tuesdays, but if you get your movie into the mail by Saturday before the mail lady gets the booty, Netflix will get your movie on Monday and send you a new release. Normally I get one new release every week. My second movie of the week is always something that's been decaying in the queue for a couple weeks. It is what it is, so I try to manage it wisely.

In addition to getting movies via Netflix, I also get movies from the library. The library also gets new releases, but there are about 8 copies, so, for example, when Gran Torino got released today there were already about 100 people who had put the movie on reserve. Sometimes I get lucky and I'm like 15th, meaning I should get the movie next week.

Recently the Tom Cruise movie Valkyrie was released. I normally would not patronize a Tom Cruise movie because he's an arrogant lunatic. But this movie is about the assassination attempt of Adolph Hitler, something that I had briefly read about and have seen on the History Channel, which was more commonly known as the Hitler Channel back when they actually showed history.

Not getting Valkyrie from Netflix the week it was released I quickly added it to my queue at the library. To my surprise I got notice that it was ready for me to pick up 2 days later. You should have seen the look on my face when I picked it up and I had not reserved the movie, but rather a book of the same name. So instead of Tom Cruise I got Philip Freiherr Von Boeselager, Florence Fehrenbach, Jerome Fehrenbach, and Steven Rendall.

Not wanting to look like a fool, I checked the book out from the library with deliberate actions. And since I was going to Dover for the race in a few days, I decided that I could take it with me and read some of it. Fortunately for.....the book, the wait in the parking lot was long and I completed the entire book in a matter of several hours.

I will admit that the book is not exactly what I was expecting. It was the story of 2 brothers who were a small part of the plot to assassinate Hitler. They were not the main conspirators, those in the cabin with Hitler on that fateful day. Nonetheless, the book was interesting and focused mostly on their battles through France and eventually to Russia and back.

The book was short, only 224 pages. And though it was a good book, it totally did not meet my expectations. I equate it to my wife hollering from upstairs that there's a little surprise in the bed for me, only to find out that someone spilled potato chips on the covers.

I would not recommend the book unless you are really interested in the minutia of war details. The conspirators in the assassination attempt were not well-known and it would not be like reading a familiar story. In the meantime, let's see if I can reserve movies correctly next time.

Futurama Returns!!!

In what could be the greatest announcement imaginable, outside of Martin O'Malley's resignation or Reese Witherspoon casting me to star in a porn with her, 20th Century Fox Television announced today that Futurama will return in 2010 with 26 new episodes.

The highly acclaimed (but seldom watched) show will return to the tube after it's successful run of straight to DVD movies and reruns on Comedy Central.

I don't think I could be more excited. I told my wife and she seemed to be thrilled as well, but she may have been trying to fake it. She had that 'thrilled to pluck out my eye' look on her face. Oh, well. It's coming back and I'm watching it.

Vote NoMalley Hits 20,000

Congratulations, 72.45.10, of Atlantic Broadband in Stevensville, Maryland for being the 20,000th hit on VoteNoMalley. Your search for "welcome to omalley-land whats in your wallet" pointed you my way. Unfortunately, you didn't spend much time here, but we welcome you to come back.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Good Advice

I recently went to Rita's, home of amazing tasty Italian Ice desserts. After we had ordered and were served we stood to the side of the window to eat. It was raining and we didn't really want to eat in the car. I had the Death by Chocolate, which really should have been called Chocolaty Ice, because A) I didn't die, and B) there wasn't that much chocolate in it. My friend CC had a children's Italian Ice, and I forget what WW got.

As it was about 2pm, there weren't too many people around, so the cashier (a middle-aged man) leans out the window and starts talking to us. He asked us where we worked, then told us that we need to start buying bank stocks, because the economy is going to recover in 2010, maybe 2011, and all the money is going to be made in banks. Their stocks are going to take off!!!

We amused the cashier and told him that was really good advice and we'd check it out. But seriously? If you know the future of stocks, why are you a cashier? Not to put him down, but I only take my stock tips from certain people that I know I can trust to provide me excellent and thoughtful investing insight - like the guy at the deli counter at Food Lion, or my unemployed neighbor. These are the people at the heartbeat of the economy. They know what's happening.
To think that a cashier at Rita's knows what he's talking about. Sha!!! That'd be like Obama giving advice to Chrysler and GM on how to make cars. Oh, wait...

Friday, June 05, 2009

Make Quick Money!!!

With the economy being so terrible during this first year of Obama's administration, many people are looking for ways to make some extra money. I had one of my followers dig up some ways to make a little extra money and she didn't fail me. Check this out...make money by selling your gold teeth!!! Gold prices are near all-time highs! Make the most out of the gold in your mouth!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Dover 400 Log

I recently got to attend my first NASCAR race. Here is how it went.

10:30 - Early to bed. Need to get a good night's rest.

4am - Baby wakes up and executes the "See if Papa Wakes Up and Comes and Gets Me Test" to make sure that I will still attend to her if she needs me.
6:30 am - Baby decides that she should execute the same test again to see if the results are successful. I decide to get up and shower, dress, eat, and get my things together.

9:30 - I head out the door on they way to pick up my mother.

10:30 - arrive at my mother's house. This whole race thing is actually a birthday present for her. The only thing she requested for her birthday was to go to a NASCAR race. I'm the only one who wants to can take her. It takes me nearly 10 minutes to contain her as she's bouncing all around with excitement.

11:30 - we arrive in Dover. Traffic comes to a screeching halt and we inch along at a grueling pace. I've never seen so many campers parked on the shoulder of a major road in my entire life. Apparently, wherever a NASCAR race is being held you are allowed to walk around in the street with open containers of beer with your shirt off waving your Confederate flag. Yee-haw!

11:40 - Elvis has blessed us with his presence. It's amazing how Elvis shows up at these kinds of events. What's really funny is that this guy was not intentionally trying to look like Elvis.

11:45 - we are granted quick access to the track handicapped parking because my mother has one of those fake handicapped placards. Okay, it's not fake, but her knees hurt. Whatever. As long as I can park 50 yards from the entrance, I'm game.

11:50 - we rent our video scanners and headsets. They are conveniently out of the regular scanners that rent for $19 and we are forced to rent the $50 ones - provided I give them my driver's license, a major credit card, and a year's worth of Redman Chewing Tobacco.

11:55 - we make our way to our seats. Although Dover is one of the smaller tracks on the NASCAR circuit, it's still a huge place. You could put all of the yuppie polo-shirt wearing NASCAR fans drinking Samual Adams beer into the infield and not have used any space.

11:56 - we find our seat. Well, it's not really a seat. It's a quarter-mile long sheet of aluminum with numbers every 6 inches. Apparently all of the fans are supposed to sit sideways??? My mother sits and I sit next to her and we easily have used up 5 seats. I hope they don't show up.

11:59 - now that I've taken it all in, I break out my book, Valkyrie, and begin reading it. My mom continues to stare at the track and is in heaven. She's the kind of fan that would wear a shirt that says, "God must be a NASCAR fan since he gave life to Jeff Gordon."

12:35 - all 135,000 fans have now arrived. My seat by rule has shrunken to its statistically designated 6 inches. I have some cute 25-ish reddish-brown haired girl in a short skirt practically on my lap on my left side - because there's no space to sit. But I really don't mind. Really I don't. I hope she couldn't tell that I was practically breathing in her ear. It could have been worse. I could be sitting next to her fugly fat boyfriend. What's up with cute girls and fat guys??? Anyway, my mother is leaning on my other side. We're packed in.

12:45 - national anthem and the obligatory fly over of some planes. We get F-16's from New Jersey. It could have been worse. A New Jersey chemical factory could have done a fly-over.

12:55 - the opening prayer. The announcer prays to Jesus Christ asking him to protect the drivers today. I can appreciate that. I want them to be safe, too. He then thanks Jesus Christ for Dover Downs Speedway. Because you know Dover Downs Speedway was created by devine intervention. Then I get to thinking. Are there no Jews in NASCAR? Are we making a big assumption that all NASCAR drivers and fans are Christians?

1:00 - the cars start making their practice laps. Holy C-R-A-P that's loud!

1:02 - there are now 42 cars circling the track grouping up into position being led by the pace car. Holy C-R-A-P that's even LOUDER!!!

1:03 - the pace car pulls off and the race begins. The sea of rednecks rise to their feet shaking their fists and Tony Stewart hats, swearing into their Budweiser cans spitting particles of chewing tobacco into the backs of the heads of the fans in front of them. The cars hit turn one and head our way. Y-A-H-H-H THAT's LOUD!!! The cars then cut turn 1 and head into turn 2 right in front of us. SHHZZZAAAAHHH!!!!! I CAN'T HEAR MYSELF SCREAMING!!!! I immediately put on my headphones, only to be greeted by a high-pitched ringing in my ears. Great, I'm deaf. What?

I've never seen cars accelerate so fast in my life. And FAST!!!! And to think...they're ONLY going about 150 mph in the straight away. Down at Talladega their pushing +200 mph, especially without restrictor plates. Look how fast they're going!!!! (yeah, I don't think a still frame picture does this ANY justice.)

1:10 - okay, I'm bored now. It's one thing to watch a race on television where there is commentary and the camera follows different drivers. I'm looking at the same turn in loud silence. Here they come. There they go. Here they come. There they go.

1:30 - time to start focusing my attention on something other than the race to amuse myself. Hey, there's a funny redneck decked in a Dale Earnhardt Jr t-shirt and a Hendricks Motor Sports racing hat in front of us. This guy must weigh 105 pounds, but is about 6'2" tall. And he obviously lives on beer and cigarettes. He's very tan, leathery tan. With a yellow-stained mustache, probably from the cigarettes. Or too much papaya. Though he looks 47 years old I suspect he's really 22 years old and gets too much sun from teaching the outdoor life skills class at the community college. What really cracks me up is that it appears as if he thinks he's communicating directly with the drivers. He's yelling into his Miller Light, while holding his Marlboro with the other hand, shaking his hands with determination and intentional motions.

1:35 - Suddenly the Pepsi truck gets lost and races out on to the track!!! The crowd is stunned! What's really embarrassing is he passes Joe Nemechek and Mike Bliss coming around Turn 2. But give him credit. He was drafting Bliss coming into Turn 1, then did a sling-shot maneuver around both of them going high in the turn.

1:45 - someone asks the funny redneck how he can sit there without a headset to muffle the noise. He yells, "What?" After several repeats of the question, he says that you don't really need a headset cuz it ain't all that bad. You get used to it after a while. I think most people would call that hearing loss, but if he calls it 'gettin' used to it'.

2:10 - several girls keep getting in the way when I'm trying to take pictures of the cars. I should delete the pictures, but I'll display them to show you how rude they were.

2:55 - funny redneck realizes his communications equipment is malfunctioning. He's trying to get DE's attention, so he begins waving to him. I'm sure Dale is waving back, because they're good buddies and everything.

3:31 - fairly uneventful race. No big crashes. There have been a couple of cautions to remove debris from the track and one caution to pick up a CAT Diesel hat and a Budweiser can that were tossed into Turn 3.

4:21 - funny redneck is on beer #17. He's now angry at the other drivers and is yelling at them incessantly. His taunts must be working because there are several lead changes at this point. I wish I knew what he was yelling, but I'm one of those sissies that wears a headset and all I see is funny redneck giving drivers the finger and moving his lips. At one point he drops his cigarette into his Chuck Taylors that he's had since when he dropped out of high school.

4:39 - At first I thought this guy was an official NASCAR photographer. Then I realized that he is a photographer from one of Eastern Shore's newspapers (Salisbury Times?) is standing in front of us getting photos for Monday's sports edition.

4:45 - the most exciting part of the race for those of us in Turn 2 - someone hits the wall and takes another driver with him, but does a donut burnout and takes off again.

5:01 - some fans are deciding to leave early. This lady has in hand everything you would need at a NASCAR race - a bouquet of flowers.

5:24 - Funny Redneck, whom I've now named Cletus Billy Ray Pickens, is hot. His hat's now on backwards, presumably to keep the sun off of his red neck. He's on his feet giving his drivers the verbal beat-down. Don't mess with Cletus. Apparently Jimmie Johnson leading the race is a personal attack on Billy Ray's personal integrity. He ain't taking it sitting down - or at least he ain't taking it until he passes out.

At one point I hear him yell, "Dale Jr. is a gawd!" I sit puzzled for a moment. Then I realize that he said, "God".

5:55 - the race is getting interesting. There was a pit stop, throwing Jimmie Johnson into 6th place. Out of the pit they race and it's bumper to bumper. 1o laps to go. Johnson seems to be making a pass on every lap. Tony Stewart has grabbed the lead. Johnson has caught up to him. 3 laps to go. Johnson grabs the lead. Stewart gets it back. The crowd is going NUTS! The nuts are going nuts! 1 lap to go. It's neck and neck. Johnson gets ahead. He pulls away. Everyone cheers. They must hate Tony Stewart. He does drive one of them ferin' jobs - a Toyoder. Johnson wins the race. Wow!!! That was really exciting.

6:00 - 134,995 people move out of the stands. My mother and I wait. There's no sense in trying to beat them to the traffic jam.

6:15 - everyone has moved out of the stands. We make our way out and head to the car.

6:25 - we sit in the car and notice that NO ONE is moving anywhere. I convince my mother that we just sit in the car and wait it out. No sense in running the engine and burning gas. It's actually quite nice outside. It's about 70° and breezy. I read my book - and finish it.

6:40 - NOTHING has moved yet. However, some people are backing up and moving to other rows, only to find that they can't move anywhere there either. Everyone is pointing and laughing at them. There's going to be a redneck fight!

6:45 - the smart people are breaking out there barbecue grills and beer and making dinner. Note to self - if I come back to a race, bring dinner.

7:00 - just for the record - no one has moved yet.

7:15 - still - no one has moved yet.

7:25 - some cars start moving. I start my gas-guzzling SUV and pull into the traffic. I notice that the 4-lane road running through the middle of the parking lot has no one in the oncoming lanes. I decide to make this MY lane and gain about 15 car lengths. Jackass SUV driver, I know, but your punk ass is still sitting behind that diesel spewing hill billy pick-up with the Mark Martin flag hanging behind the gun rack that stacked with fishing rods.

7:35 - we FINALLY get to the main road, but it is log-jammed going north. My mother says to go south and find somewhere to eat. Good idea. I'm sure NO ONE decided to go out for dinner after the race. We find this family restaurant called Family Restaurant and pull in. It's surprisingly not too crowded. We are seated and this Asian woman is our waitress. "What you want, lady?" she asks in a thick accent.

8:00 - dinner is served. I got mozzarella sticks, fried oysters, broccoli, and mashed sweet potatoes. good! Mom pays for dinner. I think that's great, considering I've already spent about $200 for this event.

8:20 - we're back on the main road. Still a TON of traffic. However it is slowly moving. We should be home in a day or so!

9:30 - we finally make it to I-95. We're cruising!

10:00 - we see a construction sign. Work being done after Route 24. Heck, that doesn't affect us because we're getting off on Route 24. So we pass Route 543, the last exit before Route 24.

10:00:01 - traffic comes to a screeching halt. Ugh! We sit.

10:01 - and sit

10:05 - and sit

10:10 - and sit

10:15 - finally start moving. 15 miles per hour! At this pace I should have my mother home in 3 more hours!

10:20 - lane shift - right lane closed, merge left.

10:35 - we finally make it to the exit.

10:40 - mom's at home. I pee....for like 7 minutes. The toilet flushed itself 4 times without me doing anything.

10:50 - I'm back on the road. To Eldersville. I decide to forgo the wonderful construction traffic on I-95 and use backroads through Harford and Baltimore County to get to the I-695. Additionally, I like dodging deer in the middle of the night when I'm really tired and jacked up on Diet Coke.

11:55 - I finally make it home. I immediately pee for another 7 minutes.

12:02 - I take a quick shower to get the caked on oil, tire shards, and layers of Marlboro smoke off of my body.

12:05 - I hit the bed and 7 seconds later I am asleep.

12:06 (exactly 1 minute later, or so it seemed) - the alarm clock rings and it's time to get up. I throw the clock out the window at all the damned happy song birds and go back to sleep.

6:25 - Mrs. Eludius tells me to get out bed. I tell her that I'm sleeping in.

??? - I get out of bed, take another shower, get dressed a go to work.

??? - I arrive at work.

??? - I exist at work with ringing in my ears and a blind stupor hanging over me. I go to 2 meetings and have no recollection of the meetings except for the emails from attendees asking me questions about it. Uh......

I feel like crap all day. Like I'm hungover. Without having drunk any alcohol. I can't imagine how Cletus feels. Did he go to work today? Does he have a job? And is he still giving Dale tips as he rounds Turn 2?

I think I'm finally out of the funk. Amazing how long it takes to recover. Note to self - if you go to another NASCAR race, take off the next day, you idiot!
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