Friday, December 31, 2010

Coach Freidgen - You're Fired!

Congratulations University of Maryland football coach and winner of the A.C.C. Coach of the Year Award. You just won the inaugural Military Bowl. Guess what?!! You're fired!

Who's running the show down there in College Park? What happens in Prince George's County continues to surprise me, though it shouldn't. Whoever is making those wonderful decisions in PG County, you're qualified to work for the government!

Scott Sanzone Charged with DUI

I'll be catching up on a lot of stories. I like to point out politicians who get in trouble with the law. Since they write the laws, I never want them to think that they are above it. However, that doesn't always seem to be the case. There are plenty of politicians who have broken the law, but seem to have the right connections and plenty of money to get out of trouble (e.g. Kumar Barve).

In October, Sykesville Town Councilman Scott Sanzone was arrested for Driving Under the Influence. According to the Carroll County Times, Sanzone was arrested by a Maryland State Police officer near Jeroby and Village Roads in the town of Sykesville.

I hope that Councilman Sanzone doesn't morph into the likes of former Baltimore County Councilman Sam Moxley who has had at least two run-ins with the law over drinking and driving.

Dear Martin O'Malley....

Dear Martin O'Malley,

You thought you were rid of me, didn't you? You are not so lucky. To the contrary, while my misfortune has been to your benefit, you can consider your reprieve over.

To fill you in, my youngest daughter was diagnosed with leukemia. Keeping you honest has not been a priority of mine. However, you will be pleased to know that she responds well to treatment and is currently in remission, though her chemotherapy will continue for at least another 2 years and 4 months.

Maryland has some great hospitals and doctors, but I don't want you to take credit for that because you have nothing to do with that benefit. I have a great employer who has been very supportive during our challenging times, but I don't want you to take credit for that, either. You have nothing to do with employers supporting their employees in Maryland when in fact you seem to go out of your way to chase profit-seeking companies out of the state because they are greedy big businesses.

I must say that your defeat over former Governor Robert Ehrlich was a win-lose situation for me. I lose because you remain as Governor. I win because I can continue this blog to point out why you and many of your cronies do not deserve to be in office.

So, in summary, you can put your guard back up, start spinning the news, and release the rhetoric. Eludius is back, Buddy-Boy.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Delores Kelley Throws Down the Race Card

Delores Kelley, the Baltimore County state delegate whose district covers the economically impoverished Randallstown, has been throwing out the race card lately. You'll remember back in May when I criticized her for running a stale-dated website. Now that website doesn't even exist. Is this the power of Eludius? Am I becoming a mover and shaker of the Maryland General Assembly's least effective members?

Anyway, Delegate Kelley was recently criticizing Democratic Baltimore County Executive candidate Joe Bartenfelder. She said that Bartenfelder, a farmer, donated a bushel of collard greens that were used as a donation to a food bank. Baltimore County Councilman Ken Oliver, who is black, said that Bartenfelder offered them during a meeting at Delegate Kelley's house and that everyone took some. She disagrees with the story.

Delegate Kelley said Bartenfelder's actions were offensive and stereotypical. Stereotypical of what? White people? Politicians? Racists? Oliver, meanwhile, as explained in the article, said no one else found it offensive.

And why was this brought up a week before the primary and not two years ago when it happened? Is she doing this to help Kevin Kamenentz in his bid for Baltimore County Executive?

In the last part of the article by Bryan Sears, it states: "Asked if she thought this was a campaign issue, she said: “I don’t know. I guess it depends on what point you’re trying to make.”"

So, is she saying that her point of view is that she doesn't like Bartenfelder and wants him to lose? Or that she herself is a racist? Or is she saying that she's been an ineffective state delegate for years and is now trying to play the race card, which is always effective in getting attention? Is she saying that she is trying to deflect attention away from the fact that her district is nearly in financial ruin?

There are so many open questions on this. And if Delegate Delores Kelley's website were up and running still, I would certainly pose the questions to her. But unfortunately, she neglected her website just like she seems to have neglected Randallstown and now we cannot reach her that way.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

More Calamitous - An Asteroid or Martin O'Malley?

I read today that two asteroids came within lunar distance from Earth today. What that means is the two asteroids flew between the Earth and the moon. Fortunately they were far enough away and didn't hit the planet. The asteroids were said to be about 20 to 40 feet in length and were only discovered on Sunday.

What caught my eye in the article, other than the liberal hysteria that our asteroid detection programs need more money from the White House, is that we need to do more work to find rogue asteroids that might hit the Earth.

What in the world are we going to do if we find an asteroid projected to impact our planet? Send Bruce Willis up in a spaceship to blow it up? Do we really want to know that one will hit us and we're all going to die?

That'd be like knowing that Martin O'Malley is going to win another term as governor. Would you want to know that? Would we want to prolong our suffering knowing it was going to happen? I think not. Just don't tell me if it's going to happen.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Stolen From My Yard - Doug Howard

I got a call on Saturday morning from my neighbor.

"Look outside."
"Our Doug Howard signs are gone/"

It was true. In the middle of the night someone had stolen our "Doug Howard for Carroll County Commissioner" signs from our yard.

Oddly though, the Mike Zimmer for Carroll County Commissioner sign was still standing in my other neighbor's yard. Coincidence? You be the judge.

Both my neighbor and I quickly posted on Facebook that our signs were stolen. Not half an hour later Doug Howard showed up with new signs for our yard. I love this guy!!! He means business. And I think you should vote for him. He understands how legislation will impact your local community and businesses.

On a related note, I saw Mr. Howard's opponent, Mr. Zimmer at Wal-Mart on Sunday, I think it was. He was all decked out in his Vote for Zimmer t-shirt. He also had his shorts hiked up. And he missed half of his belt loops with his belt. And his socks were all hiked up to his knees. He's lucky he wasn't arrested by the fashion police. How embarrassing would that be? Can you imagine the headline? 'Carroll County Commissioner Arrested for Dressing Like a Dork'.

New To Eldersburg - Shell; Gone - Texaco

You probably have seen the face-lift the old Texaco is getting at the corner of Ridge Road and Liberty Road (Route 26). It's across the street from the ghetto mall - Carrolltown Center.

Gone is the Texaco Station. Here is the Shell station. You'll remember that prior to being a Texaco gas station it was a Crown gas station.

Previously, the closest Shell station was at the corner of Oakland Mills Road and Route 26 between the two Liberty Reservoir bridges. It is now a ghetto liquor store slash auto dealer - Liberty Reservoir Motors and Liquors I think it is called.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Delegate Michael Vaughn Caught Lying About Fake NFL Career

Thanks to one of my secret operatives for this story.

Seems that Prince George's County Delegate Michael Vaughn got caught red-handed (what color are their hands now? - Great Muppet Caper).

You should read this article on Yahoo Sports. It's very interesting.

Vaughn pumped up his resume' with some claims that cannot be validated or are downright erroneous. He claims to have played for the Dallas Cowboys, a claim the Dallas Cowboys deny. Of course, the Dallas Cowboys may also deny that Drew Bledsoe ever played there, but that's another story.

Hint to anyone who plans on becoming a politician - don't lie. You will get caught. On the other hand, the halls of the Maryland General Assembly has been occupied by elected criminals for many years - not all of them, but some.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

New to Eldersburg: All About You hair studio

After being closed for what was probably a year, the Silver Blade Salon is now the All About You hair studio - 716 Liberty Rd. They are currently having their Grand Opening and you no longer have to get your hair cut by cussing cigarette smoke-saturated amateurs at The Hair Cuttery.

We went to the Silver Blade for a long time. The owner was a great person, remembered my kids' names and all of the employees were super nice. But then she sold the shop and a little while later they closed. Prior to being in the new plaza, they were Genesis Hair Salon in the ghetto mall across the street, Carrolltown Center, which is being neglected by its owner Black Oak Associates, who we all assume hates Eldersburg.

Black Oak Associates
10055 Red Run Blvd. Suite 130
Owings Mills, MD 21117

Phone - (410) 356-5820
Fax - (410) 356-5822

Saturday, August 21, 2010

WBAL and the Ron Smith Show

Have you listened to the Ron Smith show lately? Yeah, neither have I.

Within the past month or so the Ron Smith Show moved to 9am and the Shari Elliker show became the Afternoon News Journal at 3pm.

I can't get an AM signal at work so I can't listen on the radio. I could listen online, but the bandwidth police at work will shut you down after a while. And besides, I have to work. Can't just listen to Ron's show.

And Shari? Sorry. She's just not that interesting. She's not very opinionated. She just wants to hear what you have to say. Her show basically goes like this: "I don't know. What do you think? I guess there are several ways to look at this." She should change her show's name to "Sitting on the Fence". Come on. At least fake a position on the issues.

So, I don't get to listen to Ron Smith anymore, which is a shame because I love that show.

Why did the change happen anyway? I have no idea. I can't think of any reason for the change other than Ron requested it. Think about it - who are they gaining in their audience? People that don't work during the day? They're certainly losing the commuting home crowd, which I would imagine would be larger than the old people and stay-at-home mom's and the unemployed.

What do you think? What are you listening to now that Ron Smith is gone?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Open In Eldersburg - Virginia's Rose

This has been there for a while, but I recently visited this store and thought it worth noting.

Virginia's Rose is a consignment shop that opened in the Oklahoma Plaza where the ReMax used to be and is next to the Thai restaurant that I suspect is owned by the mob because no one ever eats there but they never go out of business. The entire Oklahoma Plaza recently underwent a renovation making it 2 billion times nicer than the ghetto mall across the street, Carrolltown Center I think it's called - owned by Black Oak Associates.

Black Oak Associates
10055 Red Run Blvd. Suite 130
Owings Mills, MD 21117

Phone - (410) 356-5820
Fax - (410) 356-5822

The store is nice, mostly crafty inside. There is a lot of nice older furniture. Don't expect to get cheap deals there. They sell nicer furniture, so expect to pay a couple of hundred dollars for a dresser. But it is a really interested shop and the owner is super nice.

Check it out!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

O'Malley Campaign Losing Traction

Late week when the Ehrlich campaign delivered a debate proposal to Martin O'Malley's band of reveling fools, an O'Malley spokesman said that "Ehrlich is losing momentum in this campaign because he represents the past...".

Today, with the Ehrlich campaign continuing to lose momentum, they have caught up to O'Malley in the poll numbers. A Rasmussen poll now shows that race for governor is statistically tied, with Martin "I whiten my teeth" O'Malley receiving just over 45% of the vote and Ehrlich getting over 44%, but with the error margin at +/- 4%, they are statistically tied.

A recent Gonzales Poll showed similar results, declaring that there is no clear winner.

O'Malley, on the other hand, while taking breaks from brushing his hair and applying makeup, likes to cite his own doctored numbers which shows that he is the greatest Governor in the history of the land and that voters favor his massive historical tax increases and look forward to additional massive tax increases next year when there is no more stimulus money to fund current fixed expenditures.

Critics of both polls say that respondents do not include clueless people who have no phones (or clues) and will blindly support Democrats on all issues regardless of the consequences.

Hopefully O'Malley supports will take the advise of 30 Rock's Tracy Morgan and "Don't vote!". Of course he also said, "Did you know that in the amount of time it takes to vote you could play three games of pool? Three! Now that's fresh."

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Birthday Prizes

This week was my birthday. Yes, I'm 29. Again. Heck, pretty soon I can start claiming to be 39.

Anyway, it was another good year. I took off from work and spent time with my family. I started the day by sleeping in. What an awesome present!

My daughter then made homemade muesli. Yummy!

I then ran errands. Stuff's gotta get done, right? I first stopped by the Sherwin Williams in Eldersburg for some paint and Goo Gone. I've never heard of Goo Gone, but my daughter insisted we needed some.

We then headed off to the MVA's VEIP in Owings Mills to get my Honda Pilot inspected. Did you know those rollers and fans are gone? I pulled up and there was one car in front of me. I pulled out my book, John Randolph of Roanoke by Russell Kirk, and kept glancing up for my turn. I finally hear this "yoo-hoo", but I couldn't figure out where it was coming from. Finally I spot a man 2 bays down signaling me over.

I was in and out in about 2 minutes. I love the new system! All they need to do is plug in your car.

After that was lunch at Fuddruckers, a quick stop at Target, Penn Camera, and finally back home. Dinner was at the Outback. And finally home for a swim in the neighbor's pool and off to bed.

My family got me this Nikkor lens for Father's Day, which was a part Father's Day, part birthday gift. I love it!

I also bought myself a couple of things. I bought this Husky 2 gallon air compressor. This is for pumping up soccer balls and my ego.

I also bought this Chicago 10" telescopic miter saw off of a guy on Craigslist. I drove down to his house in Howard County. I think his name was Cigarette. He had an entire garage full of what I presume to be stolen tools - or he's in the wholesale business. He was pretty shady. He asked if I was looking for any other tools. I mentioned that I'd love to get a combination fixed base plunge router. He said he had one in the basement if I wanted to follow him. All of a sudden I was in a hurry. My wife asked what I was going to do with a miter saw. Cut things, of course.

So all in all, another great year. Here's to 100 more birthdays!

Credit Card Fraud - Qdoba Responds

In a previous post I had mentioned that I many of my friends and coworkers have been the victim of fraud in the past 2 weeks. One of the suspected originators of that fraud was the Qdoba in Owings Mills.

Today I received a comment to that posting directly from someone at Qdoba. I thank them very much for this detailed response. I shared this with my affected friends. Hopefully this will be a lesson on how to more effectively manage everyone's credit card. It's better to actively watch those statements rather than wait until the end of the month. Minimize the use of your debit card. Once that money is gone - it's gone! And always remember - cash is King!

Here is Qdoba's response:

I'm sorry that this happened to you. At Qdoba, we take our food safety and guest’s personal safety very seriously.

That being said, there was a recent credit card breach at this single franchise location in Owings Mills. As soon as we were alerted of this breach, we actively initiated the proper procedures to remedy this. Immediately, the particular location in question was taken offline so that no additional information could be transmitted. Additionally, FishNet Security, a third party security group approved by the Credit Card Consortium came to this particular location to remove the hardware to conduct a forensic investigation.

Before this system is brought back online, we will replace all the affected components and the Franchisee will work with the credit card processor to re-certify this system as being PCI compliant.

In the meantime, as with any credit card breach, we are recommending that guests who believe they were affected to contact their credit card companies directly to have charges removed and to receive a new card.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any additional questions or concerns. We can be reached at

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Credit Card Cyber Terrorism in Owings Mills?

What in the world is going on with stolen credit cards lately? As mentioned in a previous post, my credit card number was stolen and hundreds, no thousands of dollars worth of charges were racked up on my credit card.

In the course of talking to my friends and coworkers, there appears to be a rash of stolen credit card numbers in the past 2 weeks.

In all, ten people that I know have had their credit card numbers stolen. Many claimed that the numbers were stolen locally in Owings Mills. Many had visited Qdoba, Home Depot, and Chick-Fil-A.

Is it a coincident or are there a cyber terrorist ring in Owings Mills where they are stealing numbers and running up charges?

Some of the unauthorized charges are showing up in Mexico and the Philippines.

I know of at least one complaint made to Qdoba, who subsequently cried libel and slander for saying that the false charges originated from their restaurant. Everyone denies everything, but the charges keep showing up.

I don't own a business, but if something like that happened to my establishment - I wouldn't be accusing the victims of a crime. That's not good business. And for that - Qdoba and their arrogant attitude can kiss my business good-bye for a while.

Cash is King!

Monday, August 16, 2010

O'Malley - Duplicitous As Always

As reported on, Republican candidate for Governor Robert Ehrlich sent the O'Malley camp a letter requesting several debates. The letter proposed 5 debates between the current governor that everyone despises and the former governor that everyone loves, but can't believe they didn't vote for in the last election. Even my liberal friends are saying that Ehrlich didn't deserve to lose that one.

Anyway, the O'Malley camp said that they would love to debate Governor Ehrlich should he win the Republican primary. Like he's really going to lose that one. Just another liberal jab to pretend that Ehrlich's candidacy is anything but certain.

Meanwhile, in their response, O'Malley says that they originally challenged Ehrlich to a debate in April, prior to when Ehrlich had declared himself a candidate in the race, a debate which Ehrlich never responded.

Let me get this straight - O'Malley was ready to debate Ehrlich when he was not an official candidate for governor, but now that he is an official candidate for Governor, he wants to wait until he wins the primary so that they are certain that it is he that they will be debating?

O'Malley - Maryland's First Class Jerk - Moving Maryland Around in Circles.

Arundel Mills Mall - Crime Central

I like to venture down to Arundel Mills Mall once in a while. Sure, I know that it's fairly likely that you'll get busted over the head with a baseball bat, or you'll find yourself with a chrome 45 in your ribs as you are packing your car. It happens all the time there. That's why when we go to Arundel Mills Mall, we go early. Hopefully the thugs are still in bed recovering from the previous night's muggings.

On our last visit, we went there to take advantage of tax-free shopping to get clothes and shoes for the kids. We purchased some sneakers from the Nike Outlet, some pants at Old Navy. And I'm sure some other crap. We had lunch at Chevy's Tex Mex Grill (or whatever it's called). We love eating there. Good food!

Our last stop was Bass Pro Outlet. My wife and older daughter did some more looking around while I entertained my son and youngest daughter while looking at the fish in the tank. I find it hysterical that my son corrects me on the types of fish. He's knows his fish much better than I do.

We finally left about 4pm, went over to the airport to watch some planes take off, then over to Trader Joes for some odds and ends, and finally to home.

That night my wife realized that didn't have the Nike sneakers with us. We searched the car, the living room, the bedroom, but they were nowhere to be found. Being late at night I had to wait until the next day to call the Lost and Found at the Mall. I knew exactly what happened - I set the packages down when looking at the fish and never picked up the bag of sneakers.

Early Monday I called Bass Pro. The nice old man transferred me to the office where I left a message. I then called Arundel Mills Security and they confirmed that no one dropped off a package. I called Nike - no answer.

I never heard back from Bass Pro, so I called back later in the day. And was transferred to the office. And left a message.

The next day, after not hearing back again, I called Bass Pro. And was transferred to the office. And left a message. This game was repeated until this Saturday when I finally got through. The nice lady looked around and confirmed that there were no Nike packages. She asked why I waited so long to call.

So this morning I get the email that my credit card cycle has ended and I went to my account to see what I owe. +$6000. WHOA!!! I normally owe about $2500 during the cycle. I started going through the charges:

Forever21 - my wife and I aren't desperately holding onto our youth to that degree
Panda Express - lunch on me!
Arundel Mills kiosk - yeah, I don't buy anything from those annoying vendors
J.C. Penney - my wife and I aren't over 65, so we wouldn't shop here either - especially the one in California
Marshall's - junk
Kohl's - yes, we do shop here, but not at the one in Fresno, California.
Liquor Store - I buy bear now and then, but not over $100 in a single visit - in California.

And there are requests for 3 cash advances.

What I cannot understand is that my credit card is not gone. My wife and I both have our cards. So how could someone use them in Arundel Mills without the actual card??? I can understand making Internet charges with just the number. Is there a credit card conspiracy going on at Arundel Mills?

Another oddity - while I mention that we ate at Chevy's, we were never charged for our meal. The waitress was hungover as crap, so I attributed her unusual behavior to the cheap beer and cigarettes. I may give them a call today.

I find it really annoying when I shop at Arundel Mills Mall. They always ask for my identification when using my credit card. I always say, "We're not in Carroll County anymore!"

But this really shouldn't be a problem anymore. I refuse to go back there. It's not worth the pain in the ass. The clientele of Arundel Mills currently steal your money through various and nefarious methods. And if O'Malley gets his way with the slots parlor, there will be another way for people to steal your money. Gotta love this state!

Ground Zero Mosque - Jean Marbella Doesn't Get It

There has been a lot of uproar courtesy of Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich about a planned mosque in South Manhattan. This shouldn't be too much of a concern to most people, except that it is very close to "Ground Zero", thus earning the nickname The Ground Zero Mosque.

Jean Mirabella of the Baltimore Sun jumped onto the bandwagon supporting the mosque and shaming the critics. Her critique states that within the distance of the planned mosque and the actual ground zero, there is a nail salon and a gentleman's club, but they should not be considered The Ground Zero Nail Salon nor The Ground Zero Gentleman's Club.

But what Mirabella is ignoring (not realizing?) is that New York City and the World Trade Centers were not attacked by a nail salon. Three thousand people were not killed by a gentleman's club.

I know it's already been 9 years, so liberals like to forget the facts, but these events were caused by terrorists who were Muslims. And putting a Muslim place of worship near a hollowed ground, hallowed ground which was the direct result of Muslim terrorism, is offensive to a lot of people.

I'm not endorsing either side of the argument, but I think it's clear to say that Jean Mirabella is defending the argument based on invalid opinions.

Eldersburg Library - Drive Thru

When I saw the signs that the Eldersburg Library was getting a "drive-thru" (why do we insist on spelling this incorrectly?) I wondered, where in the world are they going to put it? The entire building is wrapped in sidewalks are parking spaces. I can only imagine that one of those will be gone.

I went by the other day and I found out what is going away - the parking spaces. I'm not sure if I like this idea. If you've ever been to the library you'll have to agree that the parking layout is not that great. The doors are in the middle of the building, yet the parking is on either end. I realize that the plot of land restricts the parking accommodations. But that should have been considered 30 years ago when they constructed the building.

Now the limited parking spots are being swept away for the convenience of fat people who don't want to get out of the car and walk the books and DVD's all the way up to the drop-box.

Additionally, I would have to believe that the direction of the parking lot lanes will have to reverse. How will the cars be able to drop off the materials if the current egress requires them to pull up passenger-side to the new drop-off window? It's a mess I tell you!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Worst Person in Baltimore - Pat Jessamy

The nonsense in Baltimore City seems never-ending. The city is nicknamed 'the city that bleeds' for a reason. Fortunately, the 300+ murders per year during the Schmoke and O'Malley administration are gone (at least for now). But while murder rates are down over the last few years, shootings are not.

One has been consistent in Baltimore City over most of that time - Baltimore City State's Attorney Patricia Jessamy. It's her office's job to convict criminals and put them in prison. Instead, her office has the conviction rate mimicking the Orioles batting average. As anyone who is a family member or friend of a victim, it seems as if her office goes out of its way to protect the criminals.

And this is just some of the background of why Patricia Jessamy is an unqualified incompetent nut. Things got even crazier lately.

For a while, Baltimore City was going through Police Commissioners like heroin addicts go through needles. I don't think the mayor's revolving door ever stopped spinning before the guy in charge was dismissed for another.

Then along came Fred Bealefeld. Under his leadership, murders have gone down even more than under any recent commissioner. I'm not sure about shootings, because the news seems to lead off with about 4 or 5 every evening. However, from the perspective of us fearful residents looking in from the county it appears that he's doing a good job.

Then Commissioner Bealefeld decided to put up a political sign to endorse Gregg Berstein. Who's that, you ask? Why - he running against Patricia Jessamy for City State's Attorney. And all hell broke loose.

Immediately Miss Jessamy started hooting and hollering how it was inappropriate (for him to endorse someone other than her????). Then she demanded an investigation of him, which pretty much everyone ignored. Jessamy then received a tepid backing (though he would not endorse her) from former high crime mayor Martin O'Malley.

And then to prove that she continues to have diarrhea of the mouth, Miss Jessamy said:

"(Bernstein) doesn't understand the state system. I think he has spent all of his time or the majority of his time in federal court. Federal court is like a private school in a high-rent district. The Baltimore city state's attorney's office and Circuit Court are like a public school in a low-rent district. He does not have a clue."

She wants to complain about inappropriate? I think this is near the top of the list. Mr. Bernstein is clueless? Honey - look in the mirror. It is you that are clueless.

And for this, Patricia Jessamy wins this month's award for the Worst Person in Baltimore.


Friday, August 06, 2010

Jesus and the Democrat

A Republican, in a wheelchair, entered a restaurant one afternoon and asked the waitress for a cup of coffee. The Republican looked across the restaurant and asked, "Is that Jesus sitting over there?"

The waitress nodded "yes," so the Republican requested that she give Jesus a cup of coffee, on him.

The next patron to come in was a Libertarian, with a hunched back. He shuffled over to a booth, painfully sat down, and asked the waitress for a cup of hot tea. He also glanced across the restaurant and asked, "Is that Jesus, over there?"

The waitress nodded, so the Libertarian asked her to give Jesus a cup of hot tea, "My treat."

The third patron to come into the restaurant was a Democrat on crutches. He hobbled over to a booth, sat down and hollered, "Hey there honey! How's about gettin' me a cold mug of Miller Light?" He too looked across the restaurant and asked, "Isn't that God's boy over there?

The waitress nodded, so the Democrat directed her to give Jesus a cold beer. "On my bill," he said loudly.

As Jesus got up to leave, he passed by the Republican, touched him and said, "For your kindness, you are healed." The Republican felt the strength come back into his legs, got up, and danced a jig out the door.

Jesus passed by the Libertarian, touched him and said, "For your kindness, you are healed." The Libertarian felt his back straightening up and he raised his hands, praised the Lord, and did a series of back flips out the door.

Then, Jesus walked towards the Democrat, just smiling.

The Democrat jumped up and yelled, "Don't touch me ... I'm collecting disability."

Sunday, August 01, 2010

On the Road to Indiana

Three weeks ago we went to Indiana for a week. Some friends of ours moved there and invited us to come visit them. I don't think they actually expected us to go, but we did!

The relationship with these friends is unique. Though we both seem to deviate from our paths, we always seem to get back in touch. When I was in high school I worked at a Burger King. My friend Kevin was a porter (cleaned up stuff at night). I was a closer. I made $4.00 an hour. If you weren't a closer you made $3.35 an hour. I was making the big buck!!! Anyway, from there at Burger King we became friends - chasing the same girls, going to concerts ( AC\DC, Van Halen!!!), going to parties (@ Keith's, Todd's, Scott's and Dave's). We didn't go to the same high school, but that didn't seem to matter. We had friends all over.

His wife went to my high school, but was a freshman when I was a senior. So of course she knew me, but I didn't know her, because I was too cool.

I went away to college and lost touch with Kevin. One summer while home my girlfriend (now wife) and I were in Wendy's. When we were leaving Kevin and his girlfriend (now wife) were entering. Not recognizing her, I thought she was rather young and said to him, "robbing the cradle again, are we?" We laughed.

I didn't see them through the remainder of college. After college we lived in Bel Air, but I was commuting to Owings Mills and my wife to murdertown, U.S.A (Baltimore). We decided to move to Carroll County where it would be a short commute for me and she could ride the mugger mover (Metro Subway).

We moved into a neighborhood in South Carroll in 1999. We didn't know anyone for a while, so one day when there was a knock at the door I was startled. I open the door and there's Kevin with a little girl. I asked how he found me. He said his lives in the neighborhood and his wife saw me drive by one day, so he looked me up and found out which house I live in. Too funny!

We reconnected, my wife started a daycare, their 2 girls became our clients, and we eventually became their godparents. Then a few years later they decided to move to Indiana to be closer to family, and once again we drifted apart.

Then last year they returned to the area for Christmas and we got together and had a great time. They invited us to come visit them this summer - and we did.

We decided that we should take 2 days to get there since it was 600 miles and about 10/11 hours. Sure, some people can do it in 9, but I'd like to do it legally. Therefore, we decided to go to Canton, Ohio for our first portion of the trip.

We left on a Sunday in the wee hours of the morning - about 4:45am. I think we were past Hagerstown before the sky started to light up. Let me tell you there's not much traffic on I-70 on Sunday mornings(notice I didn't incorrectly say Route 70 - that's in North Carolina).

We're not in Maryland anymore!

We drove through the Sideling Hill cut, then into West Virginia before the kids even woke up. We stopped in Morgantown for a potty break and a quick cultural lesson in hillbilly. The mountains (big hills) of Western Maryland, West Virginia, Southern Pennsyltucky, and Southeastern, Ohio are really spectacular. Every town has either a Bob Evans or a Cracker Barrel. And they are always crowded. And if it's a really big town, like Zainesville, Ohio - they they have BOTH!!!

Sideling Hill - what a magnificent site!!! Check out how the rock layers bend upwards on both ends. Notice the camper at the bottom. Big hill!

Our journey took us west on I-70, then onto I-68, then north up I-79 toward Pittsburgh, then west on I-70 again (to avoid the Pennsylvania Nightmare Turnpike), then north on I-77 up to Canton. My wife drove the first leg. I drove for a couple of hours until we needed gas outside of Cambridge, Ohio. However, when an 80 year old woman in a 1979 Buick Le Sabre passed us my wife made me stop so she could drive again. She drove the rest of the way to Canton. And the rest of the way to Indianapolis. And the rest of the way back to Maryland. Hmmm....

Western Maryland - very beautiful, though there were a lot of dead trees along long stretches of highway. Is there some kind of bug infestation going on???

I can't wait to get to Indiana! Oh, wait. Slots.

Differences between Ohio and Maryland? No political signs littering the roads. That was nice. And Jesus loves Ohio. They tell us all the time. I don't think Jesus loves Maryland. It could be because Montgomery County had him extradited.

And then after seeing Jesus, we see a sign for Tom Raper. He sells houses, RV's, and boats. Would Jesus buy a boat from a guy named Raper? I probably wouldn't.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

O'Malley Assigns Blame for Baltimore Murder

After much media hoopla and finger-pointing over the murder of 23 year old Johns Hopkins researcher Stephen Pitcairn, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley has decided to jump on the blame bandwagon and has assigned the blame to Judge John Howard.

Judge John Howard twice released murderer John Wagner who was sent back to the streets to release his violent wrath upon society.

After learning that Judge John Howard was appointed by former Governor and current opponent Bob Ehrlich, it is easy to see why O'Malley is jumping on this. Though absolutely ludicrous, he will surely assign the blame of Stephen Pitcairn's murder to Bob Ehrlich. If Ehrlich hadn't appointed John Howard to his seat, then he wouldn't have released John Howard back on the streets and John Wagner would still be alive. Watch - it will happen.

In fact, O'Malley went on to say, "Whenever I appoint judges the question I always ask each and every one of them is will you send people to jail when they have a history and they are found guilty in front of you of shooting, robbing, committing crimes of violence against others". I'm sure he really says that. But the timing of the rhetoric is good, right?

The ridiculousness of this argument is obviated by the fact that judges and prosecutors in Baltimore City routinely release criminals back onto the streets. Thousands of criminals were released back onto the streets while O'Malley was mayor of the city that bleeds.

John Wagner is no anomaly. In fact, he's the status quo of the Baltimore judicial system. Two weeks ago Martin O'Malley would have praised John Wagner for giving these victims of society a second chance. Now the table has turned and he surely will use it as an opportunity to reassign blame.

Trust me. It will happen.

Friday, July 30, 2010

More Cars Ransacked in Eldersburg

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, my truck was ransacked in the middle of the night. Fortunately, the only thing they stole was a pair of sunglasses and my peace of mind.

A friend who lives in Carrolltowne II said that the night criminals hit her street this week. I know for sure that 3 neighborhoods have now been hit. I searched the local websites and Googled "Eldersburg Car Ransacked" and found nothing.

So if you live in Eldersburg, be aware that someone from Randallstown or Baltimore City is sneaking in at night and ransacking our cars. Keep your doors locked and your guns loaded. And call the cops every time it happens. If the State Police and the County Sheriff start getting more calls about this maybe they'll start patrolling the area.

How Bad is the Economy?

Courtesy of spam email....

The economy is so bad that I got a pre-declined credit card in the mail.

I ordered a burger at McDonald's, and the kid behind the counter asked, "Can you afford fries with that?"

CEO's are now playing miniature golf.

If the bank returns your check marked "Insufficient Funds," you have to call them and ask if they mean you or them .

Hot Wheels and Matchbox stocks are trading higher than GM.

McDonald's is selling the 1 /4 'ouncer'.

Parents in Beverly Hills and Malibu are firing their nannies and learning their children's names.

A truckload of Americans was caught sneaking into Mexico .

Dick Cheney took his stockbroker hunting.

Motel Six won't leave the light on anymore.

The Mafia is laying off judges.

BP Oil laid off 25 Congressmen.

Congress says they are looking into the Bernard Madoff scandal. Oh Great!! The guy who made $50 Billion disappear is being investigated by the people who made $ 1 .5 Trillion disappear!

And, finally... I was so depressed last night thinking about the economy, wars, jobs, my savings, Social Security, retirement funds, and our bleak future, that I called the Suicide Life line and was connected to a call center in Pakistan . When I told them I was suicidal, they got all excited, and asked if I could drive a truck.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

O'Malley Praises Baltimore's Crime Enhancer

O'Malley, in a show of Democratic solidarity, praised the Baltimore State's Attorney for the wonderful job she is doing letting criminals have easy sentences which allow them to go out and kill more people.

On Sunday night, 23 year old Steven Pictairn, a research technician at Johns Hopkins University, was stabbed to death by 2 thugs, husband and wife duo nonetheless, after robbing him of his wallet. The thugs, John Wagner and Lavela Merritt, are no strangers to crime. Both had earlier robbed people in the area and were apparently staking the place out for victims. Additionally, John Wagner is a convicted violent career criminal and both have long rap sheets. And for some reason, they always seem to get out of serving their sentences in their entirety.

Time and time again the court system in Baltimore City, from judges to attorneys, seem to have made it their priority to not try too hard. Their efforts to ensure that violent criminals remain on the streets has been successful. While in office as City State's Attorney, Jessamy's watch has repeatedly seen criminals released back into society where they commit more crimes and kill more people. Jessamy has helped maintain the fact that Baltimore is one of the most violent cities in the country. And she seems fairly proud of that fact - well, she seems proud of her work, but that's the most obvious accomplishment.

And on Thursday, Martin O'Malley praised her and her office for the hard work they do. If the hard work they are doing is putting criminals back on the streets, then Martin O'Malley must love the murders that happen in the city. If Martin O'Malley really cared about reducing crime in poor urban areas, he would do more than talk about the hard work that prosecutors and judges do. He would actually implement strategies that actually reduce crime - like locking up criminals for a long time.

I'm no criminal justice major, but to me it seems like if you lock up all of the criminals, they won't be committing as many crimes on the streets. If you give them short sentences or just release them altogether, then they will be on the streets and they WILL commit more crimes.

So Marty, you need to realize that the people of Maryland are not that stupid. Praising Patrician Jessamy for her continued failure as a State's Attorney is a failing strategy. But I encourage you to continue it so that you can start you new job early next year.

Coming to Eldersburg - Five Guys

There was a rumor that Five Guys was coming to Eldersburg, and today I know it to be true. It is in the old Hallmark Greeting Card store in the shopping plaza with Safeway. Do you want a greeting card? Or a cheeseburger that you can order with custom fancy toppings - like lettuce, tomato, pickles, ketchup, and mustard!!! Where else can you get such toppings?!!!

And by the way, here is a list of all of the new stores coming to Randallstown:


Monday, July 26, 2010

You Have A Call From Hell

George Bush, Queen Elizabeth, and Vladimir Putin all die and go to hell.

While there, they spy a red phone and ask what the phone is for. The devil tells them it is for calling back to Earth.

Putin asks to call Russia and talks for 5 minutes. When he is finished the devil informs him that the cost is a million dollars, so Putin writes him a check.

Next Queen Elizabeth calls England and talks for 30 minutes. When she is finished the devil informs her that the cost is 6 million dollars, so she writes him a check.

Finally George W. Bush gets his turn and talks for 4 hours. When he is finished the devil informs him that the cost is 50¢.

When Putin hears this he goes ballistic and asks the devil why Bush got to call the USA so cheaply. The devil smiles his devilish grin and replies: "Since Obama took over, the country has gone to hell, so it's a local call."

Friday, July 16, 2010

O'Malley Admits "Tactical Mistake"

You've probably heard those hideous attack ads that O'Malley is running on the radio. I've blogged about them before. Funny how the incumbent is already on the attack. I thought it was the person running against the incumbent that was supposed to run the attack ads.

On WTOP radio today our smiling buffoon admitted that his attack ads that implied Ehrlich's guilt and involvement in the Gulf oil spill and his votes in Congress favor of big oil (which were bipartisan votes - meaning both parties voted for the bills) were "tactical mistakes" not lies like they really are.

O'Malley had repeatedly lied and implied or stated directly that Ehrlich was in the pockets of big corporations. You know the ones - the big corporations that are fleeing Maryland's high taxes and taking jobs with them. The big corporations that hire thousands of people. O'Malley hates big corporations that hire thousands of Marylanders.

Part of the problem with O'Malley is that he has two opponents. The first is former Governor Ehrlich, who now is creeping into the lead with probable voters. The other opponent is himself. People just plain don't like O'Malley right now. They don't like his arrogance. They don't like his condescension. They don't like his rhetoric. And they don't like the fact that he constantly blames everything on Ehrlich. As my wife always tells my kids: "Take responsibility for your actions." And O'Malley is just not doing that right now.

And probably most importantly, people don't like O'Malley's record as a governor. And that is haunting him. And because of his incompetence and failures, he is running against his own record.

This may be an election just like 2002. People didn't really vote for Ehrlich. They voted against Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. It's starting to look like people may again not be voting for Ehrlich, but against O'Malley. We'll see how it goes. Hopefully it's a nice repeat of 2002

What's Shaking in Eldersburg?

At 5:05 am this morning, I was sort of twilighting. You know - not awake, but not totally asleep either. Then all of a sudden a loud bang shook the house. The windows, the doors - everything shook loudly for a hot second, then stopped.

I jumped up out of bed and whispered to my wife, 'What the hell was that?" She had no idea. I ran to the window and threw up the sash. And what to my wondering eyes should appear? Wait, wrong story. I expected to see birds fleeing the trees, or a big truck going down the road. Or a low-flying jet. None of that was to be seen.

My wife demanded that I go check on the kids. After a quick peek I determined they were okay. I went downstairs to check out the house. I flicked on the spotlights. Nothing outside.

Well, I'm awake now. I turned on the television and decided to look at the news. I jumped on the computer (not literally. It couldn't take that kind of abuse) I got on Facebook and had several friends that posted "WTF was that?" and "Did we just have an earthquake?" Okay, so I wasn't the only one.

A few minutes later WBAL reported that a small earthquake centered around Gaithersburg had indeed shook (shaken?) the area. And then the flood gates opened. Some of my nerdier friends posted links to the U.S. Geological Survey's website declaring that we had an earthquake. Other links pointed to the site where you could input your information to help determine the magnitude of the quake and any possible damage.

This was the first time that I consciously experienced an earthquake. Scary at first, but now I find it intriguing and exciting. (BTW - Blogger's spellcheck does not recognize 'consciously' as a word. Huh????)

And I'm sad to report that it did not cause the Carrolltown Center to collapse.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Eludius - Robbed. Literally.

When I went to get into my truck this morning I noticed that something wasn't quite right. My driver's-side door wasn't shut tight. I immediately went back in time trying to determine what I was doing when I last got out of the truck.

The previous night I had gone to Pizza Hut to get breadsticks (buy 1 get 1 free coupon!). I was waiting for my son to get out of the back before I locked it (my Honda doesn't lock until all of the doors are closed). I was startled by my wife who was sitting on the bench on my porch and we began talking. And I never locked the truck. Dang it!

So I open the truck and look around. The glove box is open and its contents dispersed (Maryland map, some paper, and the manual.) The center console is open. Luckily they didn't steal the 2 bottles of water that I had in there. My sunglasses. Where are my sunglasses? They stole my $12.50 sunglasses that I just bought at Kohl's the other night. Now I'm REALLY mad.

I get in the truck and notice the other door is open. I reach over and close it and head off to work.

When I get to work I call the Carroll County Sheriff's department to report the incident. The officer tells me to call back when I'm home and they'll send a detective to take fingerprints. I send my wife an email letting her know what happened (she's still asleep).

Over the next couple of hours I learn that another neighbor's car was hit. They busted out the back window of his pickup and stole some of the contents. They called the sheriff and seeing him there my wife went to talk to him.

Since I had already driven the car, he said, I had contaminated the crime scene. However, he did take a report. He said that it happens quite often in Carroll County. And it's usually some punks from the city or western Baltimore County (read Randallstown).

I read this to be another example of Martin O'Malley's failed crime prevention policy. If Martin O'Malley truly cared about reducing vehicular crimes, he would do more. He's not moving us forward in this regard. He's moving us backwards. This is an obvious failure in his inability to properly fund needed crime prevention programs.

Later in the day I learned that another neighbor also had her car ransacked. And this is on top of kids ringing door bells in the middle of the night. I think it's about time I sleep on the porch with my Louisville Slugger.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Too Bad It Wasn't Peter

When I walked into the gym today I saw on the news that George Steinbrenner had died. That's too bad. He's a good example of someone who runs an organization and after years of meddling and running it into the ground he finally figured out that he should hire someone competent to run it for him. And now the Yankees are a dominating force in baseball. You can hate them all you want (and I do!), but you have to admire their ability to play by the rules (bad rules at that) and win year after year.

I turned to a friend and said, "Too bad it wasn't Peter (Angelos)."

"You're going to hell for that! Wouldn't you feel terrible if he died next?

Honestly, not really. Peter hasn't figured it out yet. He's made Baltimore a baseball embarrassment in what was once a proud baseball city. David Letterman and Jay Leno makes jokes about our city because the Orioles suck so much. The team is on it's way to it's 12th consecutive losing season. 12th. Twelve! TWELVE!!! My children have never seen the Orioles play over .500 baseball, let alone make the playoffs. They are going to grow up hating the Orioles because they suck.

I restated my comment to another friend later in the day and she agreed with me, then added a twist. "Would you feel bad if O'Malley died?"

While I can't agree with O'Malley and his failed policies, I can honestly say that I wouldn't wish him dead. He's a father of young children and it wouldn't even be remotely funny to joke about that. There's still hope that Papa Marty will see the light and stop moving Maryland forward toward a bottomless black hole and get us moving toward economic prosperity again. And I'm all in favor of allowing Bob Ehrlich help take this task off of O'Malley's hands so that he could focus on other things.

And for the record, I don't really wish Peter would die (at least not because I wished him to). I just want him to sell the team to Cal Ripken.

O'Malley Hates MARC Train Commuters

Since this blog is supposed to be about Martin O'Malley and his destructive socialist-leaning policies, I should probably blog more about him. Seems like I've blogged pretty much about every thing except Martin O'Malley.

While I was away on vacation I saw on the news that a MARC train had to stop because of heat or a train broke down or something. It seems that MTA officials have no idea. And in the MTA's infinite wisdom (leadership comes from the top down, right?) they decided that the best policy for commuting the train problems to the passengers was to not communicate with them. In fact, the temperate outside was a scorcher - upper 90's, maybe even 100°? And the officials or train conductors refused to allow the passengers to open the doors to get a breeze. It wasn't safe, I'm sure they said. Because being in a +100° rail car is safer.

Part of the MTA system is the money-losing crime-ridden failing Light Rail train.

Think of it from the MTA's and Governor O'Malley's perspective - do you really want to tell the passengers who are suffering from heat exhaustion and lack of hydration that you are sitting on the train because something's broken? (Or as they would say in south Baltimore - something's broke. Or as they would say in Edgewood - something's all broked up). That just let's them know that you're incompetent. As any good lawyer (like O'Malley) would tell you - it's better to say nothing than admit you did something wrong.

Then something startling happened. Governor O'Malley and Senator Ben Cardin rode the Apology train. And they loaded the train with lots of apologies and promises along with a few bottles of water and Michael Dresser from The Sun. There they got to enjoy stunning photo ops with their bigg cheesy insincere smiles. I have to admit, however, that the rolled-up sleeves made it look like he was getting down to business. They promised to do more so that this would not happen again. Most people on the train just looked pissed off.

The next day - another train got stopped on the tracks. It wasn't for hours like the previous day, but according to the news the MTA actually kept the passengers informed this time. "Attention passengers, we are stopped. We'll let you know when we're moving again."

Why do I sound like such a cynic? Because I was an MTA rider for 4 years and know exactly what they were going through. No communication. No bathroom. No water. Sometimes not even any air conditioning or heat. It seems to be the policy of all of the MTA systems.

The liberals want more people to ride public transportation. I'm okay with the concept. But when you treat your clients like inconsequential pieces of rat turds (as is the implied policy under O'Malley), then it is ridiculous to even think that anyone should use public transportation.

O'Malley will say that they've made the necessary changes to make it a better system. Nice reactionary policy there, Gov'nah! So when this happens again (it always does - it's the MTA!), then what will he say? He'll say that it's Ehrlich's fault for not properly funding public transportation years ago and that he's now moving forward. Unfortunately for the MTA passengers (and most Marylander's in fact) no one is moving forward. We're just spinning around in circles.

Coming to Eldersburg - Glory Days Grill!

As you read last week, I heard a rumor that Red, Hot, and Blue was coming to Eldersburg. I was mistaken. It's actually a Glory Days Grill. My bad! Thanks for the correction, DB!

Friday, July 09, 2010

Coming to Eldersburg - Red, Hot, and Blue?

I heard a rumor that the nice building next to the Wal-Mart in Eldersburg will soon be occupied by the chain restaurant Red, Hot, and Blue.

The building was constructed what seems like several years ago and has sat vacant ever since. I heard a previous rumor that the debt-struggling Mikhaeljohn's (sp?) was going to move in after they moved out of the plaza over by Arby's. That turned out to not be true - or the rumor was true, but unfulfilled.

Anyway, after that rumor had quieted, I later heard that Goodwill would be moving into the building, which seemed absolutely preposterous on many points. Why does Eldersburg need a Goodwill? Why would someone rent out perfectly good office\restaurant space to Goodwill?

Fortunately, the rumor proved to be partially untrue. Goodwill is moving to Eldersbug (totally ridiculous), but is going into a soon-to-be-built building next to Wal-Mart and behind the rumored building.

So while it's nice to know that we're getting a good BBQ place (or should I say another - Hi, Smokey's!), I am still shaking my head as to the new Goodwill store. Aren't there hundreds of acres of abandoned properties in Randallstown? Does the average family in Eldersburg that makes over $100,000 need a Goodwill? Is Goodwill truly serving the needs of their clients by opening a store in Eldersburg? This just seems to be a terribly misguided decision.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Funny Sign

I saw this truck at a red light while visiting the in-law's in Bel Air recently. This really made me laugh. Double-click the picture to enlarge it. When I used to live in Harford County, we called in Hazzard County. And this is one of the reasons why.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Closed - Luna Rossa

While stopping at Radio Shack to pick up a splitter for my kids' earphones before our trip to the beach, I noticed a sign on the front door of Luna Rossa, the garlic-laden restaurant next door.

I had never been to Luna Rossa. I heard mixed reviews. Food was good, but too pricey. Too much garlic. Really? Just because I can small the garlic from Denny's?

Anyway, I asked the guy in Radio Shack what happened. He said that the restaurant was run by 2 ladies. They got into a fight and the next morning one of them came early and changed the locks on the door. And it's been closed ever since.

What an awesome way to end it! Now if you want Italian food you're stuck going to Liberatori's and getting crab dip with ceramic shards (happened to my wife - Liberatories said, 'oops'. They didn't seem to be too concerned that someone could have chocked on the chard and died.)

So anyway, here is a picture of the sign on the door. Apparently they didn't know how to spell 'until' and I wonder how long it will be until that further notice? And I love the "". What's with the dramatic pause?

How Hot Is It?

It was so hot yesterday (I feel like Johnny Carson) that the Eldersburg branch of the Carroll County Library system was closed. A sign posted on the door stated that it was due to lack of air conditioning. I will admit that the library is usually full of hot air, though not as much as there is in Annapolis. Anyway, I unfortunately did not have my camera with me to snap a picture of the sign.

My 2 year old daughter and nephew were disappointed that we didn't get to go into the library to play on the computers and pick up 45 Barney DVD's (12 of which are usually duplicates). But I did drop them off in the quick drop slots on the side of the building.

In related news, the Eldersburg library is getting a drive-thru drop-off. Not quite sure how they're going to do that. It'll either be in a Post Office-style drop box at the edge of the sidewalk on the main drive or they are going to have to wipe-out a bunch of parking spots to connect it to the main building on the side. If you know more about how it will work I'd love to know.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Faith Lutheran Church's New Electronic Sign

There are signs that Black Oak Associations is not the only ones that are trying to bring Randallstown to Eldersburg. Faith Lutheran Church on Liberty Road, ironically, right next to the ghetto dead mall Carrolltown Mall, recently put up this lit sign.

Like other low-class fly-by-night establishments offering check cashing and bail bonds, Faith Lutheran installed this red-lit sign on their front lawn facing Liberty Road.

Now we'll be able to see from a mile away what the message of the Lord is as it scrolls by with its flashing yellow-ish lights.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Closed - Wine Country

As the recession toils along, another establishment has fallen victim. While Obama talks about cleaning up the oil spill in the Gulf (with less discussion about stopping it), a more important matter is taking place.

One of the local liquor stores in Eldersburg has shuttered its doors. Wine Country next to the Shoppers Food Warehouse (SFW to the cool cat crew) is now closed. The sign on the front door directs its customers to the nearby Eldersburg Total Discount Liquors.

President Obama. Martin O'Malley. Why did you let this happen? Why are you letting small businesses close? Is it because you have your hands in the pockets of big liquor?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sports Authority - Yes, We Suck

Since we were going on vacation by ourselves this year, we needed a few things that my in-laws normally provide at the beach. One of the items was a collapsible canopy.

My wife spent a good amount of time researching the deals on the Internet and the fliers in the newspaper before ordering a collapsible canopy for our trip to the beach this summer. She found the best deal on Sports Authority's website.

The canopy is the 10 x 10 E-Z Up Dome II Instant Shelter with Roller Bag to haul it. She ordered it on a Sunday the 13th. The website stated - "Guaranteed to be there on June 19th or it's free." Perfect, because we were leaving on the 19th.

She went to the website to track it that week and it showed that it was not going to be delivered until the Monday the 21st, past the guaranteed date. Suck 1. She immediately called customer service to complain. The representative said she didn't purchase it until the 15th, which is untrue, she purchased it on the 13th. She was able to prove this with the credit card information. Suck 2.

(Update) After speaking to a customer service MANAGER, she confirmed that we did indeed call on the 13th.

The customer service representative apologized and said that we would have to call back on Saturday to initiate a claim to get our money back. Suck 3. He then informed us that we would not be eligible to get our shipping charges refunded. Suck 4.

(Update) After speaking to a customer service MANAGER, she initiated the claim for us and we did not need to call ourselves. Additionally, our shipping charges were refunded.

However, we need to leave for the beach on Saturday, which will require us to call from the car on the Eastern Shore where there is spotty cellphone coverage with printed information about our purchase. Suck 5. (see previous update)

Now we have to drive around this week to different places and buy one in person (while toting the kids) and most likely pay a higher price. Suck 6.

(Update) We went to Dick's Sporting Goods in Columbia and purchased our own canopy for about $79 and it was actually really nice and of high quality.

Additionally, when looking up the information, I found 2 different locations on the website for the identical product with 2 different prices. One is for $112.49 (item #2780798). I'd link it, but the link will be stale soon. The other item is $97.49 (Item #2417313). I read the details and there is no difference. Suck 7.

(Update) Sports Authority discovered that they had the same item posted twice on the website with 2 different prices. The incorrect prices was being removed from the site.

So, it appears that the Sports Authority has a master plan for going out of business. This master plan consists of misinformed customer service, offers that are not honored (or extremely difficult to file a claim against), and inconstant website information.

Do you think they will get any more of my business? Probably not. Should they get your business? If you're smart you'll avoid the Sports Authority at all costs. However, let it be heard that if you complain and get up to the customer service manager, you may be able to get your issue resolved.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Ehrlich for Governor? Not Much on Route 50

I wish I had pictures to show to prove this, but I did all of the driving home and I wouldn't ask my wife to take the pictures. A) she's a Democrat (I know - can you believe it?!!!) B) She already thinks I'm a dork, so I don't really need that pointed discussion on the 3 hour ride home from the beach.

Anyway, to and fro Ocean City, I noticed a plethora of signs begging people to vote for O'Malley \ Brown. The puke green signs litter the roadside like roadkill for nearly all 150 miles that we travel to the beach. So much so, in fact, that I wonder if O'Malley's band of stooges were placing these signs on state-owned property. And if so - is this legal? Many of the signs seemed to be posted in odd places.

And everyone knows that O'Malley is a big proponent of dirty tricks. You've heard his misleading advertisements on the radio, right? You konw - the ones that take things out of context and try to association Ehrlich with the oil spill in the Gulf?

Anyway, Ehrlich, on the other hand, did not have as many signs goin' down the ocean. When I did see signs, they were clustered with Andy Harris for Congress signs and Eric Wargotz for U.S. Senate signs, not sitting there alone like Kumar Barve on a roadside sobriety test.

We all know that the Eastern Shore is fairly conservative. Not quite as conservative as Carroll County and the other western counties, but the Eastern Shore would appear to be a pack of right-wing lunatics when compared to the irresponsible spending liberal extremists of Montgomery County.

However, I have to give O'Malley credit. He's not really campaigning on the Eastern Shore. He knows he's going to get his donkey kicked there. However, he is campaigning to the thousands of people from Baltimore County and Anne Arundel County who will probably determine the winner of this year's gubernatorial election.

Attention, Governor Ehrlich - if you want to win, you need to get more signs on the road going down Route 50.

Owings Mills - New Roads - Pictures

Now that I'm back from vacation (more on that later), I want to complete some unfinished work.

I had hoped to have pictures of the new Dolfield Road ready soon after I posted my original piece a while ago, along with some pictures of the new Owings Mills Boulevard extension.

Well, here they are. This is a view of the new Dolfield Road bridge. It's very pretty. Fortunately, progress was made despite the protests of the NIMBY's. Click on the picture for a much more detailed view. I took this as a 5MB resolution.

Here are some pictures of the construction occuring at Lyon's Mill and Owings Mills Boulevard. Nothing too exciting, but we'll have the "after" pictures in due time.

Okay, I thought I had another one, but I can't find it. Maybe later. But you can see that most of the trees were cleared. There are now (or were prior to going on vacation) about 6 tree clearing pieces of equipment on the site. I'll find out tomorrow what it looks like now.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Jim Smith - Soon To Be Former Politician?

I always find it interesting when a prominent politician calls it quits. There's always more to the story, but we never hear about it.

You'll remember during the Maryland Gubernatorial election, Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan called it quits during the Democratic primary because he was depressed. Depressed? He didn't seem to depressed clobbering O'Malley and Ehrlich as an outsider. I really enjoyed his commercials. Rumor is that Duncan was draining the Democratic war chest and O'Malley needed the money for the general election, so the O'Malley mafia took care of the situation.

Now it's like déjà vu all over again. This time it's Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith who previously announced that he was running for State Senate in District 7, a district being abandoned by Republican Andy Harris who is rerunning for the 1st Congressional District against incumbent Frank Kratovil. Now Jim Smith says that he will not run for State Senate.

Why is he not running for the open state senate seat? Does he have an undisclosed illness? I hope not. We wouldn't wish that on anyone. Does he think he's too old? He's only 68 years old. Does he think he's too short? There are unconfirmed reports that the Executive is 4 ft 11 inches tall, making him the perfect size to kiss Martin O'Malley's derrière.

Did Smith stumble into an alley and meet the MoM thugs? You know the kind - 'we're going to make you an offer you can't refuse.' I think that was Doug Duncan's case. Can't prove it, but it makes the most sense. Perhaps MoM told Smith that he shouldn't run and if MoM wins, there's a spot in his cabinet for him next semester.

Does Smith think that he cannot defeat the Republican challengers? He would go up against either former House Minority Leader Al Redmer or Delegate J.B. Jennings, who was endorsed by Governor Ehrlich. And being that it is District 7, a mostly conservative district, he (Smith) would probably lose.

It would be interesting to find out the truth. But politics being what it is we will never know the truth.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Ocean City Air Show 2010

After hearing about the Ocean City air show from my in-law's last year, my wife and I decided to go this year. We made reservation for both Friday and Saturday, figuring we'd go down on Friday night after work and stay until Sunday afternoon.

Russian Yak-9

My sister-in-law later informed us that my niece's high school graduation was also Friday night, so we canceled our Friday reservation so that we could see her.

Sunday morning we woke up at 4am and packed my Honda. And let me tell you Jane Fonda doesn't have a motor in the back of her Honda. We got on the road a little after 5am. We do this because without a doubt if we leave after 6am we get stuck in traffic. We crossed the Bay Bridge a little after 6am. We pulled into Easton at 6:30 ready for breakfast. I was wondering if anything would even be open yet. Traffic was building and the sun was up, so otherwise it looked like the middle of the day.

Air Force Thunderbirds

We got some Burger King to go (took way longer than it should). Did you know that nearly everyone that works at the Burger King in Easton is Hispanic? I didn't realize that the Eastern Shore had a significant Hispanic population. I thought they all lived in Anne Arundel County and in White Marsh.

I just missed the F-18 that flew over at this point.

Back in the car we hull out of Easton while slamming our over-priced greasy food. Outside of Salisbury everyone fell asleep. Even me! I got behind someone on Route 50 who was taking the speed limit literally. And another person directly next to them in the slow lane was going the same speed. This kept up from the Shorebirds stadium all the way to Berlin. It was absolutely ridiculous. You would think that if a big old SUV was 2 feet from your bumper flashing his lights and swerving from side-to-side that you would understand that you're going way too slow. But not this moron.

A C-5 Galaxy fly-over from Dover Air Force Base.

We pulled into Ocean City a little after 8am. We parked right on Coastal Highway near 7th street. We walked for a bit on the boardwalk and finally decided that we would take our stuff to the beach and set up for the day. I heard it was senior week, so I wanted to get a good spot before all of those gray-haired retirees got on the beach. Much to my surprise, I was surrounded by hundreds of 18 year old girls in bikinis, not a bunch of seniors!

I loved this woman. She looked like she was ready to give birth on the beach. Her belly was peeking out of her tankini. Tell me this isn't cute.

One of about a dozen aerobatic fly-arounds.

Another plane passed right by us and I again missed the shot.

Several planes flew by. They had nice tail fins. But these girls got in the way. Speaking of tail fins....

Check out the Coast Guard ship patrolling the waters.

Here's another good shot of the Coast Guard ship. It was patrolling to keep recreational boaters away from the zone.

As you can see there were several boats on the horizon. Many boaters went out into the ocean to watch the show. I bet it was a great view from out in the ocean, but I have to admit it was also a great view from the beach.

Again, the seniors turned out not to be 65 and older. Too bad.

Some Navy Seal parachuters landed just beyond these umbrellas. I missed getting their picture.

Though the view from the beach was good, I'll have to admit that these 'seniors' had a potty-mouth. F-this. F-that. I wanna **** you tonight, baby. Good, Lord. Time to get the children off of the boardwalk.

We stayed until 7:30 on Sunday evening, but didn't leave before we got some Candy Kitchen, Dolly's popcorn, and some new Reef's from K-Coast. We got home a little after 10:30 ,but would have made better time if we hadn't gotten stuck at the Bay Bridge for an accident that had already been cleared, but the impact to the traffic was already done.

Overall it was a good time and I can't wait to go again next year!
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