Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Inside of Carrolltown Mall

I promised some pictures from inside the mall.  Here you go...

This is the interior of the mall looking toward the front.  I don't remember what was in these stores.

Same as before, looking toward the front.  I remember the Dungeons and Dragons-place on the right.  There was Genesis Hair Salon beyond that.  I'm sure there was something else.

 A look closer toward the jewelers.  Note the rain damage under the windows.

This is looking toward the rear.  This was the food court area.  I remember an Italian restaurant and a Subway in the demolished area.

Looking from the food court toward Peebles.  That's S&N Katz Jewelers on the left.  The table tennis place was beyond that when we moved to Eldersburg.  The Fun Quarters was on the right.

When we moved to Eldersburg in 1999 there was a Mexican restaurant here.  It closed soon thereafter.

Evidence of a paint-ball war.  Note all of the yellow blotches.

This is the S&N Katz Jewelers, obviously.  Just a lot of smashed glass now.

Here is one of the decorative sconces that adorned the pillars.

I think a tree was here and the grate was around it.  Now it is filled with wires and a basketball.  Not sure how the basketball got there.

This cracks me up.  Read the sign.  Exposed rebar, cracked marble, debris.  How in the world can that harm children?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Jon Stewart Attacks Obamacare Website

When the left-leaning leader of the fake news world starts attacking you, you know you're in trouble.  Jon Stewart went off on Obama and the terrible website that now represents Obamacare.  I have to admit, this is REALLY funny.  "The website has 99 problems, but glitches is all of them!"

The Washington Post Hates Republicans

The Washington Post is considered one of the best newspapers in the country for their in-depth reporting.  They are right up there with the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the Rock Hill Herald.  But everyone knows that the Post is left-leaning.  Just read their Op-Ed section.

If you don't believe me, check out today's front page.  Hokey-smoke, Bullwinkle! They even attack Republicans in the Sports section!  I think I read on page 2 that Republicans are spitting on babies and stealing their candy.

Don't get me wrong.  The Republicans are not doing themselves any favors lately.  They're doing a fine job of destroying the party's future. The way to advance your party and your initiatives is not to say, "I know you are, but what am I?".  If the Republicans were smart, they'd take the Obamacare, which I believe is here to stay despite it's enormous flaws, and run with it and make it their own.  Instead, they're wasting time trying over and over and over to repeal it.  It's going to stick around like that ugly freshman girl that had a crush on you when you were a senior.

For example, seems to have been designed and developed by the firm of Larry, his brother Darryl, and his other brother Darryl.  Take it!  Run with it!  Use it to your advantage by coming up with a solution, not a criticism.  Hell, even Jon Stewart is making fun of Obama and the website.

 Oh, Ronald Reagan. Where have you gone?

Add caption

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Colin Powell Speaks at Loyola University

Loyola University of Maryland, formerly Loyola College in Maryland, started a lecture series this year made possible by a donation by Ellen and Ed Hanway.  The first speaker was former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, which I was unable to attend.  The second speaker in the series was tonight and it was former Secretary of State General Colin L. Powell.

The speaking event was only the second time I had been on the Evergreen campus since I graduated from Loyola with my M.B.A. in 2000.  Technically I finished my last class in 1999, but there is no mid-year graduation.  Additionally, of the ten classes that I took to get my M.B.A., only two were at the Evergreen campus.  The remainder were at the Timonium campus and the original Columbia site.  I wouldn't call it a campus as it was a couple of rooms in an office building.  And if you were wondering how the college girls look on campus these days, yeah, they still look very nice.

I got to the campus just after 5pm.  The doors opened at 5:30, so I grabbed some sushi and a Diet Coke, and read some of my current book, The Sea is My Brother by Jack Kerouac.  I went into the theater just after 5:30 pm and got a seat in the 10th row.  This was my view of the Ravens' purple lit stage.

After Loyola President Reverend Brian Linnane took the stage, they changed the colors to Loyola green.  I'm not sure exactly how to refer to the speaker.  He is identified as General Colin L. Powell USA (Ret.) in the program.  However, he could also be identified as former Secretary of State, former Joint Chief of Staff, Four Star General Colin L. Powell USA (Ret.).

General Powell takes the stage to the applause of a boisterous crowd.

General Powell was a great speaker.  Not sure if he writes his own speeches or if he has a great speech writer.  He was very charismatic, filling his speech with humorous anecdotes and poignant stories of overcoming adversities in life.  The General barely made it though school, but with the support of the ROTC, and a highly motivated career in the military, he was able become one of the most, if not the most successful African American to ever come out of the United States Army.

General Powell talked about his quasi-retirement.  Suddenly his limo was gone.  His plane was gone.  His bodyguards were gone.  He said he told his wife that it was going to be wonderful to be home with her every day.  He said she basically gave a 'what the hell' kind of response.  He then went out and got a Corvette.  Needless to say, he got a lot of laughs from the crowd.

General Powell also briefly touched on our current political state in this country.  He said universal healthcare makes sense.  He agrees that what Obama is trying to implement is broken, but we need to fix it and make it work.  There is no getting rid of it.  There are too many people, especially children, without healthcare in this country.  He also said that the infighting in Congress is way out of hand.  In years past, Congress was able to negotiate and compromise.  That spirit of compromise seems to be dead and the fringes of each party are controlling their parties and sticking absolutely to their principals.

As a former Secretary of State, General Powell certainly had his opinions on world affairs, though he admitted that he follows them a lot less today.  He talked of the Arab spring, which seems to be in its third (?) year now.  The foundations for democracy in the Middle East have been laid and we need to allow the citizens of those countries determine what form of democracy works for them.  He admitted that the invasion of Iraq was made with bad information, though he maintains that he has been open about this for a while.  He also said that China is not our enemy.  China and India are possibly the only two countries with the capability of superseding the United States as the world power, and both of those countries are investing in the economy and their people and the United States is key to their growth.

Many of the students sitting around me were taking notes on laptops during the speech.  I wish I would have thought to do that.  I possibly would have remembered more of it.  Regardless, I am happy that I attended and got to listen to this great figure of our generation.  And I wish I would have been able to bring in a real camera. Unfortunately, no real cameras allowed.

See the Interior of the Carrolltown Mall Prior to Demolition

They call me Bond.  James Bond.

Remember when I said I wish I could get inside the mall and get some pictures of what it looks like now?  Yeah, well I did.  All you have to do is ask the right people.

Here is a video I shot from where the food court used to be.  It's a panoramic shot.  Anything look familiar to you?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Little Fall Fishing in Patapsco Valley State Park

It wasn't much of a fishing outing, but it sure was pretty.

I took my son to Patapsco Valley State Park to fish on the Patapsco River as it winds through Carroll, Baltimore, and Howard County.  For this outing, we, meaning I, chose to fish under the Frederick Road bridge just north of I-70.

My son and his friend decided to wade into the shallow water to cast.  We didn't really see many fish.  Perhaps a few blue gills and a couple of carp.  The carp were not interested in anything we offered.  The blue gills are all over the bait like Martin O'Malley over photo-ops.  They never let one pass.

The bridge is actually kind of pretty.  It's an old truss bridge, though recently renovated.

According to the details of this sign adorning the truss on the east-bound side, the bridge is officially called the Patapsco River Bridge and was built in 1934.  I wonder if W.C. Hopkins knew that his bridge would still be standing 79 years later.

Carrolltown Center K-Mart - Demolish Half Complete

I found an excuse to go to the library again today.  My daughter needed to print something for school.  My printer is out of ink, so I could spend $38 to get new ink OR go to the library and print out the pages for 60 cents.

Hard to believe this was a K-Mart.  The demolition seems to be nearly half done.  I would imagine in a day or two the entire backside of the store will be gone.  The demolition crew has also started working on the office areas in the rear of Carrolltown Center, too.

I hope this means that they are recycling the steel.

The demolition crew seems to be hell-bent on demolition.  They even demolished the stop sign!!!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Dollar General Days at Carrolltown Mall

Not sure if the Dollar General store at Carrolltown Mall has closed yet or not, but we were there a couple of weeks ago for some good times.

Is this the greatest thing you have ever seen?  Well, the Ravens winning the Super Bowl again is up there.  But this has got to be in the top 5.

My son's friend told him that he bought 85 packs of gum for 34 cents, so my son said we had to go.

When you arrive there, you see lots of signs in the window.  It's difficult not to notice that they're going out of business.  That is, except for the 'Now Hiring' sign that's in the window.  Are you closing or hiring?  You can't do both.

 While standing in line to pay for our 16 packs of gum that cost 7 cents, my son noticed this sign. You can't even hire people to spell krectly?

Eldersburg K-Mart Demolish Under Way!!!

I'm making it a habit to drive by this mall everyday.  I love to see its slow demolition.  Actually, I'd really like to see its fast demolition, but that would make taking pictures more difficult.

I'm surprised Martin O'Malley isn't all over this.  Seriously, we're moving Maryland forward here.  This is an incredible campaign moment.  Oh, that's right.  He doesn't like Carroll County.  Cuz' we're mostly Republicans.

Are you sad to see the K-Mart go?  Are there any memories that are being demolished with this project?

My best memory of K-Mart was about 8 years ago.  I was caught by one of my neighbors hula-hooping.  I was kicking some serious hula-hooping butt, too.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Carrolltown Cinema Gone!!!

It's been 250 years since it closed.  The last movie that played that the venerable Flagship Cinema at the Carrolltown Mall was Gone With the Wind.  Now it is nothing but a dusty pile of concrete and bricks.

It's been sitting empty for years, but it took only about a week to knock it down.




Now on to the demolition of the former K-Mart.  Wouldn't it be cool to sneak into the mall and take some pictures?  Ghost mall.  Anyone?  Anyone?  I'll accept anonymous pictures.

Funny thing is that nearly every time I stop by to take pictures, there is someone else there celebrating.  Balloons.  Streamers.  Cameras.  Lemonade.  People walking by the demolition have been proudly smiling the biggest smiles seen since the introduction of Viagra.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Turn Lights at Hemlock!

Looks like the intersection of Hemlock Drive and Liberty Road is FINALLY getting a turn light.

Have you ever tried to turn left at this intersection from Liberty Road?  You basically have to wait until the light turns red and hope that not everyone runs the yellow light, then pull in front of them.

Not sure when the official unveiling will be.  Hopefully Delegate Krebs and Commissioner Howard will be there for the ceremony.

Eldersburg Denny's Getting a Make-Over

Someone seems to have decided that it was time for the Eldersburg Denny's to leave the 1980's and enter, perhaps, the 2000's.  Gone are the pink and turquoise and in is the spray painted Earth tones.  And by the looks of this, Denny's will be expanding their dining area to include outdoor seating.

Denny's is obviously piggy-backing off of the upcoming new Eldersburg Commons, on which it sits.  Nothing compliments a Super Wal-Mart better than a renovated Denny's.  They go hand-in-hand with upper middle class bucolic peripheral suburbia.

Hopefully after the renovations, Denny's will offer the same great service and wonderful selection of high quality meals.  Actually, I do love me a little Eggs Over My Hammy.

Carrolltown Mall Demolition Has Begun!

If you've driven by the Eldersburg library to drop off your overdue DVD's within the past couple of days, you probably noticed that the demolition of the former Flagship theater, which is part of the Carrolltown Mall.

I knew the demolition was coming when I saw these excavators with grapplers sitting in the parking lot last week.  They're perfect for pinching, pulling, and destroying.

I saw this pile last night, but my attempts to take a picture of it were unsuccessful.  Too dark, too blurry.  But this morning, it was quite clear.  Looks like there's a pile of metal wall studs and cement blocks.

Remember the old theater?  With its leaky roof?  And torn seats and bad lighting?  The light should be better now that there are these large gaping holes all around the building.

I was really hoping for a Death Star-type explosion for the mall, but alas, there are no Red 5's in the area.  We'll have to settle for the slow collapse into a rubble pile.

Here's the new LBX 350 Link-Belt excavator.  Why?  Because I can.

I suspect that by this weekend, the theater will be a thing of the past, just like bipartisan politics, low taxes, and freedom from government surveillance.  Still waiting to find out what is going on with Big Lots.  I heard a rumor that Black Oak is open to a 5 year extension to their lease.  Big Lots and Super Wal-Mart.  That will bring in the higher-end retailers we so desperately want.  But I don't think what we want is really important.

Are you excited about the demolition?

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Martin O'Malley's Healthcare Exchange Launch a Dud

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley has been touting his Maryland Health Exchange over the last few months almost as much as he's touted his Rain Tax.  He was ahead of the curve at providing health insurance to people who do not have access to health insurance, people such as illegal immigrants.  Yesterday, the Maryland Health Exchange was officially launched.....with a big thud.

Yesterday when I went to the website to see what all of the fuss was about, I got this message:

We are currently experiencing a high volume of traffic on and we want to make the experience as positive for everyone as possible.  Please check back later.

Is it just me, or are they saying "go away!!!"?  The first day of the exchange and you can't even use it.  This is a major failure and embarrassment for the O'Malley administration.  You had one thing to do today and you failed to do it correctly.

I then decided to give them the benefit of the doubt and check back again today.  But guess what?  Another message:

From time to time, the online marketplace may be temporarily unavailable as we conduct additional maintenance and test improvements in performance.

So Day 2 and the website is still not working properly.  Sounds like an untrained IT crew designed, developed, and deployed this website.  Anyone who works in in the IT world knows that you do load tests to ensure that heavy volumes would be handled properly.  But I guess if you contract it out to the lowest bidder, you get what the tax payers pay for.

Go to the website and check-out the thud for yourself.  Click on Start and watch the website stop.

Who links to my website?
Add to Technorati Favorites Add to Technorati Favorites Add to Technorati Favorites