Saturday, May 29, 2010

Delores G. Kelley - MIA Since 2006

As you read earlier this week in my post about the lack of economic activity in Randallstown, one of the State Senators whose district includes Randallstown is Delores G. Kelley.

The 74 year old State Senator has a website. It is I like to receive newsletters and updates from various politicians as it gives me an inside eye into what they are doing. State Senator Kelley has no such feature on her website. But that's okay.

She does have a link to newsletters. Ah! This is good enough, right? Well, not quite. There's a link to the 2001 General Assembly session. And 2002. And 2003. And all the way up to 2005. And as we all know the world ended in 2005. Or so it appears that's what State Senator Kelley thinks.

There's another link to the bills that State Senator Kelley has sponsored. Okay. This should give me some more information on her. Except that it is a link to the 2006 session. Hey, at least it's sooner than 2005. But then again, this data is 4 years old. So perhaps the world ended 4 years ago, not 5 years ago.

There's an awards link. And this provides great information from 1995 all the way through (drum roll).....2006. Interestingly she won Legislator of the year several times from various organizations. Perhaps she hasn't won an award since 2006.

On the scholarships page - we have some current information! And by current I mean a year and a half old. It proudly states: Welcome to my scholarship page. (Updated, January 31, 2009) (my emphasis added).

So, State Senator Kelley, where are you? Do you remember that you have a website? Or are economic times so bad that you had to fire the person that updates the website? It appears that you've paid the same amount of attention to your website as you have the western portion of your district.

Voters in State Senate District 10 - it's time to vote for someone else!!!

Friday, May 28, 2010

What Do You Do With a Drunk O'Malley?

It has been report that Martin O'Malley's 18 year old daughter was found unconscious near the Inner Harbor after attending a graduation party from Notre Dame High School. Tara O'Malley was transported to Harbor Hospital (God help her), treated, and released.

For all intents and purposes, we will call this "getting drunk" and "passing out".

For most people in the middle class who grew up in the suburbs, hearing that someone got drunk and passed out is not that big of a deal. In fact, it's probably more of a right of passage. Unfortunately for Tara, she's the Governor's daughter.

I wish no ill will on the O'Malley family. But I think this proves that they are human just like the rest of us. And like her father, Tara is prone to make mistakes. Let's hope that her mistakes are much less significant than her father's mistakes. And as the O'Malley's put it, let this be a "teachable moment".

New Roads in Owings Mills

Two new roads in Owings Mills are bound to change traffic patterns - Dolfield Boulevard and Owings Mills Boulevard.

It seems like Baltimore County has been building the Dolfield Boulevard viaduct since the late 1990's. I have watched it go up as a drive down the narrow one-land bridge of Pleasantville Road which nearly parallels the new Dolfield.

For a while you could see signs all around Owings Mills protesting the bridge \ connection \ extension (whatever you want to call it). "Stop Dolfield Rd!" Fortunately, since it's not in my back yard, I'm happy to report that the bridge is now open and my drive to Target is reduced by at least 5 minutes - and that's what's important.

Another road that's been on the books forever is the Owings Mills Boulevard extension that will connect it from Lyon's Mill Road all the way to Liberty Road. This week I noticed a construction crew at the end of OM Blvd and throughout the week they have been clearing trees.

During the previous week I noticed that trees were being removed along Lyon's Mill Road and the new telephone polls popped up about 20-30 feet farther back. Obviously Lyon's Mill Road is going to be widened in conjunction with the new OM Blvd intersection.

I'm not quite sure where OM Blvd will hit Liberty Road or if it will intersect with Liberty Road as originally intended.. I suspect that it will wind behind the old farm (which is slated to become 700 or so houses on less than 100 acres (I think)). From behind the farm the new road could plow through Wildwood Park. As you know we have no use for parks and trees and such. This will allow commuters to quickly get to the ever-expanding jobless Randallstown.

According to Baltimore County's website, the extension will cost $10 million and will take 2 years to complete. However, this website claims that the boulevard will only extend to Winands Road, which is where you find Randallstown High School, not all the way to Liberty Road. If anyone has any different information I would love to see it.

Even Peter Franchot is Scared

I signed up for Peter Franchot's fan club a while ago so that I could get information about what he's up to. For the most part I don't have a problem with him in his new job. When he was in the General Assembly he was a first class divisive instigator. But since being elected as the Comptroller he has taken a more pragmatic view of politics and I think he's done an okay job.

In an email that I received this week, Franchot's spokesperson said:

Tuesday's elections in Pennsylvania and across the country confirmed what we already knew: 2010 will be an extremely difficult election year for incumbents. Two Republicans have already declared their candidacy for Comptroller, and more will likely follow. It is more important than ever for the people of Maryland to have a strong, independent advocate for fiscal responsibility overseeing the State's finances.
As you can see, despite being in a relatively comfortable situation by being a liberal Democrat in Maryland, incumbents are scared. And they should be. Incumbents should always be scared. We should not have the 90% re-election rate of incumbents. Every day we see examples of the destructive abuse of power. Term limitations I tell you!

Randallstown's Economic Destruction

I hate it when politicians take credit for when the economy does really well. Anyone who has taken Introduction to Economics, be it macro or micro, knows that the economy is bigger than the politician. They call it a business or economic cycle for a reason. It goes up. It goes down.

Bill Clinton once claimed that he had beaten the business cycle. He said this during an upturn on the market. He didn't say too much during the downturn in 1994. And he's been very quiet during the downturns that have followed since his Presidency.

So turning local, have you been down Liberty Road in Randallstown lately? There's nothing there! So if politicians want to take credit for the good times, let's place the blame squarely on their face for the bad times.

Here's one of several empty stores in the Deer Park Shopping Plaza in Randallstown that Elijah Cummings has let fail. He's been unable to get new tenants that will generate tax revenue.

Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith loves this empty car dealership because it allows his entourage of gas-guzzling SUV's a good place to turn around and head back to safer ground. Remember all those speeches that he gave recently about how we need to bring businesses back to Randallstown? No? That's because he didn't give them. He doesn't care about Randallstown because he's too busy gearing up his campaign for State Senate.

Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger (2nd District) has allowed several car dealerships to go out of business. I haven't heard him hollering about needing to help this economically depressed area. I can only assume he doesn't care about Randallstown.

Remember Prestige Imports? They always had exotic Italian sports cars for sale such as Lamborghinis and Ferraris, in addition to other high-end used cars. As you can see there isn't much going on there except dead trees and unkempt lawn. I haven't heard Ben Cardin talk about the loss of jobs along the Liberty Road retail corridor, so we can only imagine that he doesn't care about Randallstown either.

District 4 Baltimore County Councilman Kenneth N. Oliver doesn't buy his cars from Antwerpen Automotive in Randallstown. Why? Because they went out of business. I guess he now has to shop for cars in Kevin Kamenetz' District 2. Councilman Oliver - why have you allowed this economic destruction of your district to occur?

District 10 House Delegates Emmett C. Burns, Jr., Adrienne A. Jones, and Shirley Nathan-Pulliam - you won't be buying food for your Memorial Day cookouts from Giant in Randallstown Plaza, will you? Nope. Because it's been closed for a couple years now. Dozens of employees are now on the state's unemployment role. And this large building sits empty. The three of you should work together to get a thriving food retailer back in Randallstown. Instead, you've sat in Annapolis and have been ineffective leaders.

State Senator Delores G. Kelley - are you embarrassed that there are so many empty stores in strip malls throughout your district? You have been so busy blowing sunshine up Martin O'Malley behind that you have totally ignored your district and the jobs are now all gone. And it's your fault!

Senator Barbara Mikulski - you are responsible for the entire state of Maryland. We depend on you to help us grow. But instead, we've watched your failures. Look at this picture of one of dozens, if not hundreds, of abandoned and empty retail buildings in Baltimore County. Why have you allowed so many people to lose their livelihood? It's not fair! Do something about it. And by doing something I don't mean more government jobs or extended unemployment benefits. I'm talking about creating an economic environment that will allow those so called greedy millionaires to open new stores and hire people. Because the last time I checked poor people don't hire people.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Carroll County Chamber of Commerce Push to Take Over Trash

In a move that should shock most Carroll Countians, the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce is exploring the possibility of taking over public trash collection in the county.

Most residents of Carroll County probably don't realize that this is going on because most people don't read the minutes of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce. I only noticed it because of a small article on page 15 of The Advocate of Eldersburg and Sykesville, a small local newspaper.

The article says:

"One idea is that the county would contract one hauler for the best price for the whole county."

I realize that many jurisdictions in the state, including Baltimore City and Baltimore County provide public trash pick up. But I wonder why people think that trash collection is a function of the government? This is where common-sense thinkers question the role of government. Should government be bigger to provide services that private industry can do for lower costs? This is a prime example of where the government needs to stay out.

You should contact the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce and let them know that the government should not be involved with trash pick-up. The board of directors are:

Valerie Balaz, Marlene Titus, Kristen Beck, Sanady Bertamini, Brenda Fisher, Jenny Gambino, and Steve Aquino, Tom Alessi, Jeannine Morber, Steve Wantz, Nancy Lynch, Mike Shank, Christine Walters, Mike Fox, and Rich Haddad, Chamber President.

You can contact them with the information on this link.

Related to this exploration is an idea proposed the Carroll County Commissioners (Dean Minnich, Michael Zimmer, and Julia Gouge) that would require all trash haulers to deposit their collections in the Carroll County landfills.

This idea is very anti-capitalism. If the Carroll County landfills are not offering competitive rates, trash haulers have an obligation to their customers and shareholders to find the lowest price with the most efficient facility to deposit their haul in order to provide the best value to both. Requiring them to deposit all of the collections in the Carroll County landfills may result in higher prices for customers and lower profits for the owners. If Carroll County is not able to provide a low-cost efficient option for these companies, the companies should not be forced to use them. They should be allowed to find alternate sites.

For a county that's as pro-business and pro-Republican\Conservative as Carroll County is, I am astonished that these ideas were even proposed. Are liberals infiltrating our political system? Don't stand for this. Let them know that you do not agree with these ideas!

Be A Teacher Fail

If you don't find this funny, then you're dumb.

Rainy Night With the Orioles

Last week American Amalgamated Corrugated Conglomerates of American rewarded my hard work on the new amalgamating machine by giving me 2 tickets to the Orioles game. The truth is they offered the tickets to over 300 people prior to me and no one wanted them. But I ALWAYS take free tickets.

When I got home I asked my son in an overly excited manner, "Overconfidus, do you want to go to an Orioles' game with me?" Overconfidus responded, "Not really. They suck."

I was caught a bit off-guard. Technically he is correct. In fact, my son is 8 1/2 years old and they've NEVER had a winning season during his entire life. How do they expect to make fans out of today's youngsters if they NEVER win?

So what strategy could I use to get him to go to the game with me? "They're playing the Kansas City Royals!" "Oh, I love Kansas City! I'll go!" Ugh. I just lured him to going to the game to cheer for the other team. Are the Orioles truly that bad? Sadly - yes. Owner Peter Angelos has made this the worst team in baseball nearly 12 years running.

The day was rainy and I wasn't sure if they'd be playing. When we arrived all 35 fans waited under the upper deck to stay dry. We did find, however, Dick Hall, Larry Sheets, and Dave Boswell signing autographs. Anyone remember them? I remember Sheets. He was a good hitter and now owns that sports place up in Westminster. I know that Dick Hall was a pitcher. I hadn't heard of Dave Boswell, but acquainted myself with his statistics and background the next day on Wikipedia.

Dave Boswell:
Dick Hall:
Larry Sheets:

Finally game time arrived. All 200 fans rose for the National Anthem. I sat in row 19 in the lower section behind 3rd base. I think there were about 25 people sitting in the entire section. Unfortunately, 4 of them were right in front of me, 4 more were beside me, and 4 more were behind me. For real? All of this empty space and everyone is sitting right around me? I found it no different than being at a sellout back in the 1990's. Remember sellouts at Camden Yards? If you tell young people these days that there were sellouts at Camden Yards - well they won't believe you.

Matt Wieters up to bat:

The 4 guys behind me took it upon themselves to move up to one of the THOUSANDS of empty seats up close. You're not going to believe this - Peter Angelos made the ushers go down to those guys and make them go back to their seats. I kid you not. They were not happy. You'd think that if this game was televised you'd at least want to fill up the seats behind homeplate. Nope.Peter Angelos must want empty seats. Edward Bennett Williams must be screaming in his grave.

Here is a picture of the left-field side, probably about the 3rd inning.

The people in front of us were total clowns. It was 1 guy and 3 ladies. He must have been a salesman because the conversation was small and they seemed to have no interest in the game, let alone any knowledge of baseball - or sports in general. At one point the dude says, "How about that gulf oil spill? That has to be the worst natural disaster ever!" I shook my head in disgust. It's NOT a natural disaster. And he obviously has never read any history. Weren't there a couple of volcanoes (natural disasters) that removed several cities and villages from existance? He must be a product of Baltimore City Public Schools.

The game was fairly uneventful. The Orioles starting pitching did okay, the relief pitching sucked. The hitters mostly sucked. Then in the bottom of the 9th inning with runners on Miguel Tejada got out and the game was over. I guess you can't ask too much of a lying "former" steriod-using cheater. The euphemism in MLB for this kind of player is 'veteran'.

This was actually the big highlight of the game for me:

So the final paid attendance was about 6,000, but I think only about 1200 of them showed-up. I hope the same happens in the general election in the fall. With the liberals being apathetic and the conservatives rallying behind new change, we may actually make some progress in Maryland rather than new and shiny empty rhetoric.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

No More Tilburg

I hadn't seen my favorite beer, Tilburg Dutch Brown Ale, on the shelves for a long time, so I asked the manager at Eldersburg's Total Discount Liquors if he could order a case for me. He said that shouldn't be a problem. I have asked for this beer before as a present.

Much to my chagrin, I received a call today and the lady informed me that the Tilburg Dutch Brown Ale is no longer available for distribution in this area. What? I guess I need to find a new favorite beer. Any suggestions?

Naval Academy Goes Safe

In an effort to keep our future officers of the seas safe, the Naval Academy has decided that it will no longer honor the tradition of greasing the Herndon Monument and make the new class scale it.

Earlier this week the Superintendent of the Naval Academy said they have decided to breed of generation of super weenies that will be better equipped to command the new line of pink naval vessels.

We must protect our young sailors from the dangers of the greasy obelisk. Because we know that they will not have to face more dangerous challenges upon graduation. No Somali pirates. No attacks by North Koreans. No need to provide sea support to our troops in the Middle East. Nope. These are the no men and women of the Naval Academy who will pick the flowers along the Potomac.

In contrast to previous classes in Annapolis that learned teamwork & strategy, and overcame the challenges presented to them to scale the monument, the new class merely climbed upon each other and scaled the monument in 2 minutes and were greeted with muffled applause as older generations of graduates shook their heads.

So here's to you - the Class of 2013. May your journey be safe, flowery, and pleasant.

O'Malley Ads on WBAL

So what's the deal with the totally obnoxious ads being played by the O'Malley campaign on WBAL radio?

If you look at the demographics, the vast majority of the listeners are conservative, working families, who want common-sense government. This is in total contrast to the average O'Malley voter.

WBAL, on the other hand, must accept these ads in all fairness. And if you're a business, you're not likely to turn down good money.

I suggest that the O'Malley campaign is running these ridiculous 'fairly tale' ads with the sole purpose of annoying the voting base of Bob Ehrlich. Think about it. Are these ads going to change the minds of these listeners? Not at all. Will the listeners suddenly want to vote for a governor who is championing massive spending programs funded by borrowed money - money that will have to be repaid with massive tax-hikes that will strip the middle-class of their lifestyle?

If you are a liberal pro-O'Malley voter, I would think that you would be fairly irritated that the Democratic Party in Maryland is wasting your campaign contributions on such frivolous, unproductive, and wasteful attack ads.

But if that's how O'Malley wants to waste your money - I'm all for it!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Thank You, Sinai

My wife had to have a couple of minor procedures done and her doctor works out of Sinai. Today we had the pleasure of getting up at 4:30am, leaving at 5:30-ish, and sitting in a freezing cold waiting room until the staff arrived at 6:30.

However, when they did arrive there were the friendliest people I've met since I lived in South Carolina. Everyone said either 'hello' or 'good morning'. It was a nice change.

Her operation started about 8:30am. They told me it would last about an hour and a half, so go get some breakfast. And that I did. The cafeteria food actually looked pretty good. Or I was that hungry. I got the breakfast bar, which included eggs with ham and cheese, potato pancakes, sausage, and bacon and an orange juice for $6. Cheaper than Denny's!

I slowly ate, checked in on my kids and finally headed back after being away for 45 minutes. I then sat there for another hour and a half. Finally the doctor came out and said they were done. He took good care of her. We finally got out at 1:40pm. I had sat more or less in the waiting room for 7 hours. But I did manage to read 75 pages of East of Eden by John Steinbeck. Which, by the way, is a 600 page book. My progress has been slow.

One funny story - there was an older gentleman there to get surgery. He was there quite early. When they finally called him back the nurse asked if he had any valuables in his pocket. He reached in and pulled out something and asked, "Is this valuable?" I don't know what it was, but it made me laugh. Then he came back out about 30 seconds later to let his wife know he was going to get ready. Then he came back out about 2 minutes later to let his wife know that she could come back with him. I was totally expecting him to come back out and ask if Wheel of Fortune was on yet. I hope he is home doing well.

So today I'm home again helping out, but Mrs. Eludius is making good progress.

One thing that I need to mention, and would not have noticed this unless I had a wife who just had surgery in the car with me - the roads around Sinai SUCK!!! They're all bumpy and wrecked up. They need to do something about that! They should pass a beverage tax or something so that they can repair the roads!

So in summary - thank you to all of the hard-working friendly folks at Sinai!!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Dover - Year 2

You'll remember last year when I took my mother to Dover for the NASCAR race. She said that before she dies she wanted to go to a race. That was a pretty good hint that she wanted to go to a race. She had such a good time that I decided to take her again this year. And because we had such a good time, my father said he wanted to go, too.

My father is not much of a people person. That's why he was a teacher. Well, maybe that's why that didn't work out too well. And he doesn't like loud noises. Which is why he likes racing. Well, maybe that's contradictory.

This is the view from our seats this year:

Anyway, last year we sat in turn 2. Looking back, that wasn't too bad of a place to be. You can see the cars zooming out of pit row back into the turn and you see them coming toward you. Plus the seats were cheaper and that's where a lot of the hot redneck chicks with cowgirl hats were sitting.

The Monster Mile Monster:

This year, my dad suggested we sit along Earnhardt Row, which in Dover parlance is down the front-stretch along pit row. Tickets were a bit pricier, but we sat at the end of pit row.

We made good time getting there. Both of my parents were excited when I got there. They did the last long hard suck on a cigarette that they would get for over an hour. We stopped in Smyrna, Delaware for $5 footlongs at the Subway\Dunkin Donuts. There they got to suck down a couple more cigs.

What was funny is that you could tell the race was in town. These weren't your usual Delawarians. Or is it Delawarites? I'm talking deisel-driven pick-ups on over-sized tires belching thick black clouds of exhaust. The operators of this vehicles stopped for donuts and coffee leaving their part-time jobs at Home Depot for the day. They proudly displayed their American flags, shit-kicker boots, and dirty jean-shorts. Their hardened hands caked in Pennzoil, Skoal, and last night's barbecue sandwich.

Another 30 minutes or so we stroll into Dover and slowly make our way to the parking lot. My mom has a handicap parking pass that she got on the corner of Biddle Street and North Milton Avenue. She got it in exchange for a hot chrome 45 and a couple of nickle bags. (I am kidding, of course).

We were directed to the rear parking since that's about where we were sitting. Turning into the handicapped parking I see state troopers checking for identification. See - you're supposed to have a card to accompany your placard. My mom cannot find her card. The state trooper asks my mom for her driver's license and a bag of Doritos. He asks what her reason is for having a handicapped tag. " pain. And it really hurts today." After about a minute of inspecting her driver's license, he relunctantly let's us in. Finally my dad says from the back seat, "You could have come up with something better than that!" Seriously. I didn't think he was going to let us in. In reality, my mother was in a car accident when I was about 11 that dislocated her hip and she's had problems with it ever since. Lesson learned for next year - "Why do you have a handicap tag?" "Because I was in a car accident that dislocated my hip."

What's worse, as we pull into the "handicap spot" most of the people around us are war veteran amputees with prosthetic limbs. Oh, boy.

With my friend's 55-220 lens I capture this guy hiding behind the garages. Security did not catch him trying to sneak in a fan inside his pants.

Here's the Richard Petty Hall of Fame car. The NASCAR Hall of Fame was opening the following weekend.

We finally make our way to our seat. It feels as if we walked a 'monster mile' to get there. Our seats are about 40 stories up from the track. Meanwhile, I'm hauling all of the gear since my parents are both in their 60's and would no way be able to carry our stuff. So I'm hunkered down with 2 coolers with sodas, water, and ice, a camera bag, a backpack with magazines, sunscreen, snacks, and other miscellaneous stuff. I either looked like a paratrooper ready to be dropped behind enemy lines or someone standing outside of Wal-Mart on Thanksgiving waiting to get in at 4am the following day to get a discounted Wii. Not only that, I don't have a shirt advertising my favorite driver. I stick out like Martin O'Malley at a pro-business development meeting.

F-16's doing the fly-over during the National Anthem, which was such by Joe Nichols.

After about an hour of sitting in the blazing sun the race finally starts getting ready. The pace car is rolled out - an electric hybrid Toyota Camry. How far has racing come when the pace car is an electric hybrid built by the Japanese? You know die-hard NASCAR Americans are cringing at this sight. One solid American in front of me starts grumbling about how un-American it is. I tell him that in 15 years all NASCAR's will be hybrids and they'll need to take 30 minute mandatory pit stops in order to recharge the batteries. He got even more disgusted at my prediction and starts swearing about how Obama is destroying this country. I love it.

The race finally starts and my father comments about how loud it is. I told him that I warned him how loud it was. He says, "But I didn't think it was going to be this loud!!!" This is even with our Sprint FanView sound-muffling head sets. NASCAR Sprint FanView® is your ultimate race day companion!

Martin Treux Jr coming in for a pit stop and a tire getting away from the pit crew. I'm sure he got docked points for that.

The race is a bit melodramatic. I think 4 guys kissed the wall, one in turn 1, the others in turn 4. Fortunately I didn't see any guys kiss each other. An exciting point in the race came when Kyle Busch and Jimmy Johnson were fighting for the lead. Both landed in pit row for new rubber and more juice. Johnson, being at the beginning of pit row, pulls away first and when he sights Kyle starting to pull out Johnson floors it to beat him out. Of course, there is a speed limit in pit row for safety reasons and as soon as he did that the black flag was thrown and he had to do one lap and come back into pit row and quickly make a commercial about the dangers of not having cable television.

This basically took the air out of the race. Kyle Busch was now safely in front and unless he wrecked, he would win the race. But out of this stewed the hatred of Kyle Busch from 90,000 Dover race fans. This guy, who I'll call one of the Dover Boys, reminded Mr. Busch that he was number one in redneck world - though he used a different finger. And not just once. Or twice. He did this for the remaining 27 laps.

Kyle Busch is #1 (or something like that).

Kyle Busch doing his burnouts in front of the finish line.

Here's Kyle Busch doing his Polish victory-lap.

Here's a picture of Dover Boy with his best friend Bud.

And here's a picture of his dad, Bud.

After the race I had to turn in the Sprint FanViews (do I get royalties for pumping them in my blog?). I told my parents that I'd be a few minutes and to wait for me. When I got done, they were gone. How far could they have gone? My mom has a bad hip and they're both in their 60's. I looked for chairs. I looked for a Howard Johnson. I looked for a television that my be broadcasting The Wheel of Fortune. Nothing. Where could they be?

I waited for about 10 minutes. Nowhere to be found. So I slowly began to walk toward the truck. I perused the souvenir stands. Nothing. I finally took my 80 pounds of gear back to the truck and dropped it off. I headed back and made a few circles of our path back to our seats. Finally I find them wandering aimlessly about 45 minutes later. Fortunately they were able to smoke a couple of cigs.

My dad says, "I was just getting ready to go up to a cop and tell him that I can't find my son." I thought that was funny, but I'm sure it would have generated unnecessary panic.

We finally got back to my truck, waited for a while, then decided to head out. I remember from last year that traffic was ridiculous on Route 13 north. It wasn't moving at all. So this year I decided to head SOUTH on Route 13 and pick up DE Route 1 around the Air Force base. Awesome idea. We get on DE Route 1 and there is hardly anyone around. We finally hit traffic a few miles up, but for the most part it moves and we make decent time. I got to my parent's house about 8:30, dropped them off and I'm back in Carroll County by 9:30. Much better than the 1am from last year.

Year 2 of Dover was a success. My dad liked it and I wouldn't be surprised if he joined us next year. Care to join us?

The drivers leave via helicopter. This is what you see for like an hour after the race. Look how low he is.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Eludius - Illegal Immigrant?

I received an email from the HR department a few weeks ago informing me that my I-9 form was incomplete and I needed to come on one of 4 days and complete it at one of the specified times.

I-9? What's an I-9 form? I looked it up on the Internet and learned that this is the form that you can pretend that you are an American citizen or someone of non-U.S. origin that is eligible to work in the United States - unlike the millions of Mexicans illegally working in meat-packing plants in the west.

I thought it was odd (notice I didn't say that I "felt it was odd" - thinkers versus feelers). I had been working at American Amalgamated Corrugated Conglomerates of America for over 13 years. And they now just realized that there was a problem with my form? Is the Obama Administration doing a blind audit ignoring the factual stereotype of the typical illegal immigrant. Sorry - I meant to say undocumented worker.

I was unable to make it to the first two dates. On the third assigned date I clicked on the link to print the form and noticed in the instructions that I needed to bring in my driver's license and another form of identification, either a birth certificate or a social security card. Tarter-sauce! I didn't have either of these with me.

Fortunately, I have both of these forms of identification. And I'm not like the thousands of illegal immigrants who have identical social security numbers because they're stolen. My number is all mine!

So on the fourth and final day I get a warning email that I'll be deported to Parador unless I complete the form TODAY. Slightly after 9am I show up in the HR office, which oddly is staffed ENTIRELY by women (sarcasm?). There is an older woman with a somewhat faux happy disposition. She welcomes me, I identify myself, and she pulls out my form.

She then surprises herself and exclaims, "Oh! Looks like all you need to do is sign the form!" I'm beside myself. I aggravated myself several times and all I needed to do was sign the form? She didn't even ask to see my identification. For all she knew I could have been Muhammed Jose' O'McMurphy.

Then as I am about to hand her the form I notice that an entire section is incomplete. "Should I complete this section, too?" "Oh, my! Yes please."

Here's the punch: "Perhaps I should have audited my own form." Ohhhhh - she didn't like that! Her friendly disposition sprints out of the room and the devil who didn't get his morning coffee fills the empty space. The glare from her eyes is burning my skin. I quickly complete the section and dash out of the room.

Lesson learned - people in Human Resources have no sense of humor - especially when you point out how incompetent they are at dong their job completely.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Twin Kiss for Sale?

I can't believe this. My favorite place to get a frozen treat is for sale. If you've ever been to Dairy Queen - you've paid way too much money. You can get nearly the same thing at Twin Kiss for much less money. And the service is great.

But, alas, it is now for sale. I didn't see any sale signs on the property when I drove by this morning, but here is the listing.

For only $650,000 the Twin Kiss is yours to own. I hope that the buyer decides to keep it a family-owned place. How about we all chip in $100 and buy it ourselves?

Preakness Balloon Makes Appearance in Eldersburg

While playing baseball with my son in the yard this evening one of the Preakness balloons passed overhead. It was quite a site. It was so low at one point we were talking to the passengers.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Where's Eludius?

Honestly, folks. I haven't given up. Between an increased work load, coaching my daughter's softball team, assistant coaching my son's baseball team, and my daughter having mono, I have been swamped. Softball ends soon and American Amalgamated Corrugated Conglomerates of America is hiring another Corrugator Specialist, which should lighten my load and allow me to get back to what's important - blogging!

As Arnold Schwarzenegger said, "I'll be back!"
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