Monday, September 30, 2013

Carrolltown Mall Demolition Imminent

When I drove by the derelict Carrolltown Mall the other day I noticed they were installing chain-link fencing around the rear perimeter.  It seems imminent that the mall will be demolished.

TZ Sports has vacated.  The fly-by-night arcade game place has moved to the vacated Blockbuster Video pad.  The luxury movie theater has moved from......oh, wait.  Never mind.  I wonder if TZ Sports gets to keep their sign.  I'm sure they spent a decent amount of money on this.

All 6 churches have moved out.  All 9 fitness places have moved out.  Dollar General will be gone soon.  I think the only thing left is Big Lots.  Someone left a comment on a previous blog post stating that Big Lots signed a 5 year extension.  That would explain Dixon Harvey's comment that a household items store will be in the new center.  I don't think he specifically said a "new" household items store would move in.

The first sign of a wrecking ball at Carrolltown Mall will result in me taking a personal day from work and I'll video tape the entire demolition.  Who's with me?!!!

So much for overflow parking for Carrolltowne Elementary School.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Maryland - We're Best At......

Check out this article.  A study examined all 50 states and determined what every state is best at. And we're not talking about the best schools, the highest income, etc...  We're talking about the things that the states are best at being worst at (violation of preposition rule, I know).  Ugliest residents, most drunk drivers, most porn usage.  You name it.

And believe it or not, Maryland's worst is nothing to be proud of.

What do you think Maryland is terrible at?

Free Food!

If you work in the corporate world, you know that finding free food in the kitchenette is nearly as exciting as finding a $20 bill.  Freeeeeeee foooooooood!!!!!

The other day I went to heat up my lunch, delicious dried-up leftovers, and I found this on the counter.  Unfortunately (for them) I didn't see the sign until I had eaten half of it.  I left my own note requesting a dessert tray of cookies next time.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Carrolltown Mall Burns Down Again....Well, Not Really

Last Saturday I was going to drop off some overdue stuff at the library (heard that before, right?).  I noticed some fire trucks in the parking lot of Carrolltown Mall?  Did it burn down?  Again?  Remember the great Carrolltown Mall fire of 2007?

Sadly, no.  I couldn't quite figure out what they were doing.  The lights were off on the apparatus.  But there were 2 trucks from Sykesville Freedom and another from Winfield.  The trucks look staged.  However, if you look closely, there is a ladder on the side of the building and I saw a few guys on the roof.  Perhaps someone smelled smoke in one of the ventilation units because they finally turned on the heat and all of the dust that has built up over the past 15 years started to cook.

Anyway, the mall is still there.  Unfortunately.  Big Lots seems to be staying.  Unfortunately.  I emailed Black Oak Associates for clarification on what is going on with Big Lots.  They did not respond.  But I did see that Dollar General is slashing prices, so hopefully their filth will be gone soon.  And the fake arcade store moved into the old Blockbuster.  And TZ Sports is now empty.  I emailed them about where they're going and they referred me to their website, which for some reason was blocked at work.

Now that I'm not at work, their website says:

Due to the Carrolltown Mall redevelopment project and excelerated time table we will be  closing our doors at this location. 

The last day of operation will be Friday September 13.

We will continue to update you on our progress in finding a temporary and permanent location via this site. For specific questions about training and programs use the TZ Sports Team link and send an email to the appropriate Coach. 

All of us here at TZSPORTS thank you for your patronage and look forward to serving you in the very near future!

Does anyone else have any Carrolltown Mall updates?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Eldersburg Chick-Fil-A Opening This Week!

This week is the beginning of the end for Arby's and Wendy's in Eldersburg.  There are going to be too many fast food joints in this town to survive the opening of Chick-Fil-A.  That is, of course, unless they do most of their business on Sundays.

The much anticipated opening of Chick-Fil-A will open near the intersection of Route 32 and Barthalow Road.  It looks very nice from the outside.  When I drove by on Saturday, the parking lot was crowded with cars of workers putting the finishing touches on the store.

If you're of the daring type, the first 100 people will get free Chick-Fil-A meals for a year.  I hear that 43 people have been camping out in front of the store since June.  Who in Eldersburg is going to be able to do this on a work night?  We all have jobs or go to school.  It'll definitely be some out-of-town folks camping out.

What do you think the impact of Chick-Fil-A will be?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Matapeake Fishing Report

After an initial disappointing experience at Matapeake State Park a couple of years ago, it has quickly become my son's go-to fishing destination.  Now fishing on Kent Island is about as good as it gets for us.

To me, it feels like we're either in another state or somewhere so remote from where we live.  Being next to the water provides this amazing calming effect. I could go there and just sit and watch people, birds, and boats all day.

We brought my son's friend with us, as we seem to do most times.  We hit the road at about 5:45am.  After a quick stop at Angler's off of Route 50 in Annapolis, we pulled into Matapeake just after 7am.  This is, of course, after paying my $6 fee for crossing the 4.3 mile bridge.  I love that first look at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge when we get there.  It's like we're separated from the madness of everything that we don't like.  I took this with my iPhone, so it's a bit grainy, but I think you can appreciate why I like this view.  This is south of the bridge looking north.

The fishing was good.  It wasn't as good as the last time we were there.  But we certainly caught a bunch of blues.  I think we caught maybe 14.  Blues give you a nice fight.  We caught a few decent spot fish, and my son's friend caught 2 flounder.  I also added a 14 inch striped bass to my list.

I'm always jealous of the people with boats.  We just sit and watch them from the shore.  Check out this meatball's camouflage boat.

There aren't too many large ships traversing the upper Chesapeake anymore.  So when one passes, it's kind of exciting.  This is the Chesapeake Highway, and I'm pretty sure it's delivering new cars to the Port of Baltimore.  That is one of the few things that the Port of Baltimore still does.

Here's my neighbor's flounder.  It certainly isn't big enough to keep, but check out those teeth!  The Hispanic guys next to us were dumbfounded when we tossed it back, along with the 14" undersized striped bass that I threw back.  They kept EVERYTHING!!!  Small flounders, small stripers, small blues.  If the DNR police would have shown up, they would have had a field day.

You never know what you'll see when you're on the water.  We got to see this flying boat.  This is a creative dude.  He mounted a glider and a motor to a raft.

I think in total, we caught about 30 fish over the 9 hours that we were there.  Of course we were tired when we left, which means both of the boys fell asleep while I drove.  Why can't I ever be the one that gets to fall asleep???

All in all, another successful day fishing.

Night With the Orioles & Casey Cares!

Last Thursday my family got to attend the Orioles versus Yankees game with the bonus of watching the game from Nick Markakis' suite, compliments of Casey Cares.  Thank you, Casey Cares!!!

Prior to last year, I had never been to a baseball game between the Orioles and the Yankees.  The game I went to in the playoffs was the first.  Last week I got to attend my 2nd Orioles versus Yankees game.

Just like the spoof of Nickelback's song Photograph, "look at this Instagram".

There was a chance of showers for the game and it was sprinkling when we got there.  As we approached game time, it started raining harder.  And harder.  And harder.  It was obvious that the game would be delayed.  We were joined by two other Casey Cares families in the suite.  Since we were sitting around, we started chatting it up.  Not surprisingly, we found that we've been through many of the same experiences - children fighting cancer.  It's not fair, is it?

The rain finally let up and the grounds-keeping crew came out and removed the tarp and prepared the field.  Prior to the start of the game, the Orioles honored retiring Yankees Mariano Rivera with a gold broken bat.  It was certainly a show of class.  Plus it was handed to him by his former manager, Buck Showalter.

The Orioles ended up losing the game in the 9th inning when Jim Johnson blew the save (if you can believe that!).  But that wasn't the neatest part of the game.  The best part is this sequence of photos that I took of the grounds-keeping crew removing the tarp.  Pretty cool, huh?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Self-Editing Does Not Work at

Found another example of a poorly written article at, if you can believe that.

The article is titled:

County Has Nearly 500 Vehicles Vehicle Thefts This Year

Didn't even have to go far for this one.  The title is messed up.  Perhaps I'm not understanding the lingo properly.  As I keep saying, spend 15 seconds re-reading what you just wrote before you post it and you'll catch stuff like this.

Eldersburg Residence Burglarized By Baltimore Thugs

I should probably add "allegedly" to that title.

According to the Carroll County Times, a couple of young punks from Baltimore stole a vehicle, and apparently 6 more, burglarized a home on Marvin Avenue, before getting into an accident at the intersection of of Route 32 and Route 26.  The driver was eventually detained and the second perp was found sleeping in another stolen disabled car at the Marvin Avenue location.

Perhaps the idea of putting up a wall around Carroll County and seceding from the rest of Maryland is not such a bad idea.

Facebook Removes Places Map

Did you notice that Facebook removed your places map?  Had I known that Facebook was going to get rid of the Places map faster than O'Malley redrew Republicans off of the legislative map, I would have done a screen-shot of my own map.  Instead, I had to hijack this one off of the Internet.

If you weren't aware of it, you could find it by going to your profile (select your name), then go to More, then select the drop-down menu, then select Places.  Every time you checked into a place, it dropped a marker on the map.  Every time you added photos and added a location, it added it to the map.

When you went to your map or someone else's map, you would see giant circles and smaller circles.  The sizes of the circles represents the number of check-in's or tagged locations. The more check-in's or tagged locations, the bigger the circle.  Obviously, the circle was probably going to be biggest right around where you live.

When you clicked on the circles or zoomed in on the map, the purple circles would scatter into smaller circles towards the more accurate locations.  Further zooming took the locations to its most precise locations on the map.  Then, if you click on the individual circles, you can see information from the check-ins and any pictures that you tagged with the location.

For example, on my map, you would see a medium-sized circle around Washington, D.C.  Zoom in on D.C. and you'd see a circle at the Supreme Court.  Click on that and you'd see my pictures.

If you travel a lot (or like to check-in a lot), you could see all of the places that you've been scattered across the country or even the globe.  I thought this was really interesting.  I really thought it was interesting after we went to Hawaii and I saw the big purple circle over the middle of the Pacific Ocean with big circles up and down the east coast.  I had circles from Indiana, Ohio, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida.  I spent a lot of time updating pictures to their actual places.  I was then going to start adding pictures from old trips to New York, Disney World, Texas, and Germany.  But now that the map is gone, MY incentive is gone.  And my time was wasted.

If you're adding locations, I think it makes sense to aggregate that information into a map.  Some of us actually like that.  Did it cost Facebook a lot of money to maintain the map?  I don't know.  But I certainly found it more interesting than the constant requests for me to tell them if I've seen a movie and to rate it.

What do you think?  Do you miss your Facebook places map?  Or did you not even know you had one?

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Eldersburg Big Lots Open During Construction?

If you've driven by the Carrolltown Mall in Eldersburg lately, you may have noticed the sign that says that Big Lots will be open during construction.  On top of this, several people have asked my if Big Lots is staying.  Good God, what could be worse???  They're supposed to demolish the entire mall - including Big Lots, right?

As far as I know, Dixon Harvey said that everything in the main building of the mall is gone and gone for good.  This includes Big Lots.  However, Big Lots does have this banner up on the main sign stating that they will be open during construction.  What does this mean?

I've  been pondering this for a few days.  Then I noticed that the fly-by-night arcade place has moved from the former Peeble's to the former Blockbuster Video.  Perhaps Black Oak will be demolishing the back-end of the mall first, then move to the front-facing stores later?  One could only hope.

I haven't reached out to Black Oak, but I may do that.  Have you heard anything?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

WBAL Begins Reporting on the Future

I am reading the news this morning and WBAL has an article titled Mikulski Supports Military Strike Against Syria.

Okay.  Let's ignore the fact that Senator Babs wants to get the United States involved in another war, despite the fact that nearly 80% of Americans are against it. 

This is like one of those children's puzzle books.  What is wrong with the following:

Monday, September 09, 2013
WBAL Radio

Maryland Senator Barbara Milkulski said on the Senate floor Tuesday, she supports a military strike against Syria.

First, they misspelled her name.  She is not Senator MILK-ulkski.  Secondly, today is Tuesday, September 10th.  At 7am.  Yesterday was Monday.  There has been no speaking on the Senate Floor yet today.  So on Monday, apparently WBAL was doing a little soothsaying.

We all know that Barbara MILKulski spoke in favor of a 4th war for the Obama Administration (Iraq, Afghanistan, Lybia, now Syria) on Monday, not Turesday.  But more on that later.  

Since WBAL has no editors, nor do they reread the articles they post on the Internet, nor do they have a comments section to assist them, therefore I need to inform them of the errors via my blog.  WBAL, you're welcome!

Monday, September 09, 2013

Carrolltowne Elementary Parents - Stand-Down!

We got a memo from the school informing us of a new rule at Carrolltowne Elementary School.  Effective immediately, when a parent visits a child to have lunch with them, they are now ostracized to a new "parent table".

I don't know about you, but when I went to visit my kids for lunch at school, and I've been visiting kids for 10 years, I think it's a great opportunity to interact with my son and his friends and get to know who his influences are.  But apparently, Carrolltowne administrators think we need to not know who my kids friends are.

What do you suspect the reason is for this child interaction ban?  The memo says that a situation occurred recently.  My guess is that a parent heard something that should not have been communicated outside of the school, then went around telling all of the other helicopter parents until it got back to someone who was smart enough to report it.  I generally think that parents are clueless about was is appropriate and what is not.

Fortunately, per the memo, the new parent table will provide a safe environment for our children.  Way to spin it with a double-scoop of rhetoric.

What's the expression the young kids use these days?  Shaking my damn head? SMDH.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Jonas Green Park Goes......Green?

This is a couple of weeks old, but I took my son, our neighbor, and my nephew fishing at Jonas Green Park in Annapolis in mid-August.  I think this was our fourth trip to the fishing park in Anne Arundel County this year.  However, things were a little different this time.  A little more.....Portland, Oregon, if you may.

Fishing, as you probably know, is a poor man's sport, which makes it ideal for me.  This is probably a terrible stereotype, but I think generally it's true.  The white guys have boats and go fishing out on the river or in the Bay.  You can always spot the pompous arrogant asses as they fly by the park in their mortgaged boats that they can't afford, plowing huge wakes behind them, cutting inside the buoys, snapping fishing lines, getting all drunk, laughing.  Sounds like I'm describing Anne Arundel County delegate Don Dwyer, doesn't it?

Everyone else fishes from the shore from parks like Jonas Green.  Cuz we can't afford a boat.  And it's true....I'm probably the only white guy fishing there.  But I honestly don't care.  Everyone there is really nice and I've learned a ton about fishing from everyone.

The fishing was about normal.  My nephew caught a 16 inch striped bass.  It was pulling on his pond rod so hard that he couldn't reel it in, so one of the ladies next to us ran over and pulled the line in for him.  He was pretty excited, except that he wouldn't hold the fish for a pose.  He likes to fish, but he's a bit intimidated by the fish.

My son caught a stingray, but that's not a big deal on the Severn River.  Stingrays are like squirrels. They're everywhere.  I wonder if stingray are good to eat.  Anyway, we caught a bunch of white perch, several spot, and a couple of blue fish.  We used razor clams as bait on bottom rigs, for those interested in tackle.

The thing that really caught my attention on this fishing trip was this new sign on the path leading to the bridge.  Jonas Green is now a "Trash Free Park".  I'm not sure if you've ever been to a fishing pier, but fisherman are not what you'd call "trash-free".  They leave crap EVERYWHERE.  Old line, dried up bait, plastic shopping bags, cans, bottles, snelled hook packages, McDonald's sandwich wrappers..... you name it.  Fisherman a trash-douches.  Except me, of course.  I always come home with a big bag of my trash, and everyone else's trash.

Making Jonas Green Park a Trash Free Park that has "Gone Green", one of my least favorite cliches of all time, means little.  Adding this sign really doesn't do much to improve the park's image.

Now, being a trash-free park is a noble idea.  However, I'm really confused as to the method of implementation.  They put up a sign, but looking at this picture below, you can see that they removed all of the trash cans on the pier.  If you know fisherman, if there's a trash can nearby, they'll use it about 60% of the time.  If you remove all of the trash cans and tell them to take their trash to the dumpster at the far-end of the parking lot, they'll not do that 100% of the time.

Notice no trash cans:

This cracked me up.  What's hotter than fishing?  When some dude brings his hot girlfriend fishing and she's wearing skin-tight yoga pants.  They were so tight that I think she actually just painted herself black from the waste down.  She actually had a decent cast.  You can say I was a bit 'distracted' for a while.

The prize catch of the day was this 5 inch crab.  We steamed him as if we caught a bushel, then we shared him.  He was REALLY good.

And it tasted even better with this Sam Adams Oktoberfest.  And why is it that if you want Oktoberfest beer, you have to buy it in August?  When I go to the liquor store in October and ask for Oktoberfest beer, they fall down laughing at me.

Ever fish at Jonas Green Park?  If so, what is your experience?

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Obama Didn't Draw the Red Line, His Line Was More of a Shade of Maroon

As one comment in this article says, 'Facts are stubborn things, Mr. President.'

Today, President Obama said that he didn't draw a red line about what it would take to get the United States to respond to the civil war in Syria, where President al Assad has been busy killing his fellow countryman by the thousands for several years.  Last week, news revealed that al-Assad had used chemical weapons on the freedom fighters.  Now Obama is saying he did not draw the red line, the people of the world drew that line.

However, read this article.  There are two videos attached. One clearly shows him stating what I just said, "I did not draw the red line" and the other CLEARLY showing him say, "a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized."  Go to the 43 second mark and you can hear it clear and plain.

Oh, President Obama.  Why do you deliberately try to deceive us and the good folks of the world?  Do you really think that people won't remember what you said previously?  We have this little thing now called the Internet where we store video of EVERYTHING you say.  Before you do your next speech, do a Google-search of the facts.  I'm an idiot behind a laptop and I can do that.

So now Obama wants us to get involved in a fourth military action during his Presidency?  We have Iraq.  Obama says we have withdrawn.  Tell that to the 35,000 troops that are still there.  We are drawing down in Afghanistan.  We've taken action in Libya, though President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton decided to wait until U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens was dead, even though Stevens called and asked for help because they were under attack.  And now we want to move in on Syria.

I don't know about you, but I'm about done with this war thing for a while.  Let's fix Detroit first.  What do you think?

Martin O'Malley Saves 368 Babies!

If Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley insists on twisting and misrepresenting the truth, then darn-it, so am I!

Last week, O'Malley declared that he saved 368 babies.  What an amazing feat!  Here's the exact quote: "Since 2008, we've saved the lives of 368 babies...".  I can just picture him rolling up his sleeves and walking through the slums of Baltimore saving babies.  Like, when he's not rocking with his band, he's out saving babies.

Then another part of me says, "How can he brag about saving babies while at the same time endorsing abortion as a form of birth control?  Isn't that like killing babies rather than saving babies?"  Then I'm all confused.  And does the mortality rate include abortions?  Or are they conveniently excluded?  I did find this page of statistics.  Did you know that women in New York City terminate about 41% of all pregnancies?  Wouldn't birth control pills be cheaper?

Anyway, Governor O'Malley made this announce alongside Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. That got me to thinking.....what the heck is mental hygiene?  Is there a process of mental cleansing?  Can I prescribe to some preventative mental therapy to keep my emotions in good working order?  Can I get all of these bad thoughts out of my head?  Is mental hygiene a euphemism for yoga?  I need to look into this.

Then this article mentioned that the infant mortality rate in Baltimore is down to 9.7.  Doesn't it sound like they're bragging here?   This mortality rate is worse than Civil war-torn Sri Lanka.  In the United States, the worst state for infant mortality is Mississippi at 9.67.  Baltimore is worse than Mississippi! I guess this gives Tony Brown an excuse to run for governor.  There's more work to be done.  Because if we elect a Republican, surely we'll lose all the progress we've made in saving babies.

What's Your Favorite Lay's?

Looking through pictures for blog topic ideas.  Found this picture of some potato chips that we purchased at the Wal-Mart in Tappahannock, Virginia when we went their for my wife's family reunion.  We've been looking for these ALL SUMMER!!!  Guess you gotta go down Va'ginia to get them.

The chicken and waffles tasted like maple syrup.  I didn't taste any chickens.  Perhaps they showed the bag to the chickens.  The cheesy garlic bread chips were amazing!!!  There were a couple of other flavors, but my wife would have killed me (figuratively) if I would have come out of the store with 4 bags of chips.

Have you had any of the new flavors?  What is your favorite?

Closed in Eldersburg - Virginia's Rose Consignment Shop

Effective on August 20th, Virginia's Rose Consignment Shop in the Oklahoma Center on Liberty Road closed, which, coincidentally, was probably the last time I wrote a blog post.

On their Facebook page, Linda Szarko announced that they were closing, but gave no reason.  I suspect that there is not a lot of traffic for consignment shops in Eldersburg, especially since there are several, including one in Eldersburg Plaza.

I went into the shop once out of curiosity and it was definitely nice.  Unfortunately for them, I never needed any furniture or accessories.  The LEASE signs went up very fast.

This now makes 4 available units in Oklahoma Center, considering Virginia's Rose as two units, and the former Pap-Pap's as two units.  By the way, I peeked in Pap-Pap's and all of the kitchen items are now gone.  Seems like the evacuation is permanent.

So this leads to the question - what do you think should replace these defunct establishments?  My vote is for a Car Max.  Just kidding.  Perhaps this would be a good opportunity for J&Y Tokyo Market to relocate.  That place is too small and they always seem busy.  And their sushi is pretty good, too, regardless of what they say about Carroll County sushi.

This is Virginia's Rose after they originally opened.

Here are their for lease signs now in the windows.

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