Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Federal Do Not Call Registry - Fact or Fiction?

This is your second and final notice to save money on your credit card bills.

You have been selected to receive a free cruise to the destination of your choice to participating in a short survey.

Our records indicate that your car's warranty will run out soon, so you must act now!

Press 1 to be annoyed by a salesman who can't pronounce your name.

Press 2 to acknowledge that you received this call so that we can sell your phone number to other marketing companies who want to steal your money with fake offers.

Press 3 if your States' Attorney General has no intention of trying to enforce the Federal Do Not Call Registry because it is a useless unenforceable concept.

Press 4 to hear this message in Spanish.

Press 5 if you don't understand what we just said in option 4.

Press 6 repeatedly if you're tired of getting sales calls.

Seriously - is this thing for real or just something to appease the people until they realize that the sales calls will never stop?  If you listen through the call, then speak to a salesperson, as soon as they realize that you're on to them, they hang up on you.  I've even had them hang up on me when I ask a question.

It seems as if Maryland State Attorney General Doug Gansler hasn't done anything about it.  I doubt newly elected Brian Frosch will do anything about it either as he will be too busy trimming his mustache.  If you can't have a Tom Selleck mustache, then you shouldn't have a mustache.

New to Eldersburg - Cigars

It's not exactly new.  It's been open for a few months.  But I'm a really latent blogger, so there you go.  Hard to be relevant when you are finishing your basement by yourself, have a family, a job, and a family, and coach sports, and have a family, and a raging Hot Wheels addiction.

So new to Eldersburg in the Carroll Station shopping plaza is Cigars, which replaced The Silver Blade, which moved to Peddler's Square.  I expect Cigars will compete with Tobacco in the Country Village Shopping Center and the Tobacco Shop in Eldersburg Plaza.

I don't partake in any smoking hobbies, so I won't be going there.  But I do like thriving businesses in Eldersburg.  To success!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

My Christmas List

I think there is no finer tradition than writing my preposterous Christmas list.  I apologize for being a little late, but there are still some good sales going on, so you may be able to catch a few of these for your favorite blogger.

This item may have been on my list longer than any other, because sadly, no one has gotten it for me yet.  I've been extra good this year.  Hopefully this is the year!  This is a Ferrari 308 GTS.  I'm not too particular about the model year.  Heck, it could even be a 328 GTB.  Either is fine.  Black or red.  But I prefer red, but I'm not going to be too picky.

We've been doing a lot of fishing over the past few years.  We have been humbly casting our lines from the shores around the great state of Maryland, watching with envy as overpaid executives and spendthrifts cruise by on the boating and fishing vessels, silently laughing and mocking the shore casters.  Wouldn't fishing be a lot better in this Top Fish center console fishing boat with 3 Mercury Marine Verado engines?  I promise - if you get this for me, I'll even take you out on it.

This next item is a bit more reasonable.  I used to get this all the time at the Eldersburg Total Discount Liquors,  But now they don't carry it anymore.  And you can't order liquor through the mail in Maryland, because everyone knows kids will by alcohol and get drunk.  Martin O'Malley told me so. This is Kajmir Vanilla Liqueur.

Since we're on the topic of alcohol, my favorite beer has been MIA for several years.  If you can find it, that would be awesome.  This is Tilburg Dutch Brown Ale.  Yummy!

I love photography.  However, my old Nikon D40X has seen better days.  There are minor issues, such as the graphics on the buttons have worn off.  And bigger issues such as focusing and response problems.  What a great opportunity we have here to upgrade to a Nikon D7100.  With this gift from you to me, I'll provide you with endless artistic masterpieces that will entertain you to no end.

This year I'm all about simplicity.  I'm not going to overburden you with an endless list of things that I'd like.  I certainly don't want to come off as greedy.  Hopefully you can find it in your heart to pick up one or two of these.

Merry Christmas!!!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Let's Go to a Concert

I've been in a concert mood lately.  In fact, I've bought tickets to at least 5 concerts and one show in the past couple of months.

In October, I bought 2 tickets to the Evil Dead the Musical show at the fabulous Strand in York, Pennsyltucky.  My daughter wanted tickets for her birthday.  We bought the tickets and gave them to her as a present.  She asked who was going to take her to the show.  My wife said, "If you have a boyfriend, then he can take you."  I then responded, "So it sounds like you're going with me."  So needless to say, I took her.  And we had a great time.  The show was hysterical!  Yes, Evil Dead The Musical was a comedy.

Next up was the Mistletoe Meltdown, hosted by 101.9 Lite FM and Mix 106.5.  It featured Ingrid Michaelson, whom I've seen before when she opened for Sheryl Crow; O.A.R., whose full name is Of A Revolution, Daughtry, which spellcheck constantly wants to change to Daughter, and Train.

Ingrid Michaelson was a goofball when I saw her before.  She's the same.  But she's a likeable character.  Her music is folksy and this time I recognized Girls Chase Boys.

I have heard of O.A.R., but I didn't recognize any of their music.  However, I liked their music and have decided that I will acquire some of it soon.  Plus they're local boys.  They're from Rockville.

Next up was Daughtry.  I know he's loud.  But he sang acoustic and wasn't too loud.  I liked his singing, but I thought he was a bit of a dick.  At a concert, people naturally want the singers to sing their favorite songs.  Some fans were shouting out what they wanted to hear.  Daughtry said something like, "you keep interrupting me and I won't be able to sing all of the songs."  Uh......okay.

Finally up was Train.  I know several Train songs and I like them.  Who doesn't like 50 Ways to Say Goodbye?!!  "I got run over by a black and purple Scion!"  I didn't realize how many other songs I knew.  Did you know they sang Calling All Angels?  I also knew Drops of Jupiter and Hey Soul Sister.  And they rocked it.  For the finale, Daughtry came out and Pat Monahan and he sang a cover of Aerosmith's Dream On. That rocked!!!

So that was the Mistletoe Meltdown.  I also bought tickets to see Barry Manilow for my wife; he's her favorite singer.  I also got tickets to see Kenny Chesney and Jake Owen, and finally Nickelback.  Yeah-yeah, I like Nickelback, so shut-up.

I still need to see ZZ Top, Aerosmith, Def Leppard, and Toby Keith.  And Van Halen if they come around again.  Though I've seen them 3 times before.  But I've also seen Barry Manilow three times, so the upcoming show will make 4 and I cannot in good conscience tell people that I've seen Barry Manilow more times than any singer.

So who else have I seen?

The Who was the first concert I ever saw.  I saw them in 1989 at RFK in D.C.  I've seen them twice, though I cannot remember where I saw them the second time.  Maybe the U.S. Air Arena?

I saw Great White, Tesla, and Badlands in Towson.  The highlight of that concert was when the stoned lead singer of Badlands climbed up on top of the speakers, then needed stage hands to bring out a A-frame ladder to get him down.

I saw Van Halen with Alice-In-Chains opening for them at the U.S.Air Arena in Landover, Maryland.  This was the Sammy Hagar era Van Halen.  And it rocked.

I then saw Genesis at RFK.  It was part of Phil Collins "I'm depressed and all these songs suck" era.  

Oh, I forgot that I once saw Little Feat at Carowinds in Charlotte, North Carolina.  38 Special was playing after them, but my college roommate had somewhere to be, so we left before 38 Special played.  Can you believe that???

I saw AC/DC at the Capital Center on the Thunderstruck tour.  That was cool.

In about 1992-ish, I saw Faith No More, Metallica, Guns-N-Roses.  That was a long concert.  But it was awesome.  We got lawn seats, but there were no seats and we had to stand for 9 hours.  We didn't get home until like 3am.  But we did get to see a lot of boobies.  That's pretty cool when you're 20 years old.

I saw Sheryl Crow, Ray Lamontagne, and aforementioned Ingrid Michaelson several years ago.  I blogged about that concert.  You should read this.

I saw Barry Manilow the first time in Salisbury, Maryland.  Why Salisbury?  Rumor is that his boyfriend is from Salisbury.

I saw Barry Manilow at the Warner Theater in Washington, D.C. the night before he was testifying before the Congress.

I later saw Barry Manilow again at the First Mariner Arena.  I got 6th row center seats for my wife for her birthday.  The upcoming Barry Manilow concert will be at the Verizon Center, so four Barry Manilow concerts at four different venues.

My whole family saw Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley, and Jimmy Wayne with special guest John Oates, also at the First Mariner Arena.  That was awesome.  I think that was my first country music concert.

I saw Dierks Bentley again with Miranda Lambert and Thomas Rhett, again at the First Mariner Arena.

I last month my wife and I again saw Dierks Bentley, Randy Howser, and Eric Pasley, at the former First Mariner Arena, now known as the Royal Farms Arena.  That was cool, too.  Not the First Mariner Arena, but the concert.  And yes, I've seen Dierks Bentley as many times as Van Halen, but I like Dierks, so that's okay.

I saw Rush last year, again at the First Mariner Arena.  That concert wasn't all that great.  I can probably rattle off 15 Rush songs,  Yeah, they didn't play those.  They played other songs.  Most of the crowd sat the entire time.  That's not the sign of a good concert.

I also Bad Company and Lynyrd Skynyrd last year, as well.  That was a great concert.  This was down at Jiffy Lube in Virginia.

I also saw Van Halen at the First Mariner Arena when the reunited with David Lee Roth the 8th time.  Not sure who opened for them, but I didn't see them.

I then saw Van Halen again when Kool and the Gang at the Verizon Center.  That was an interesting combination.  It was after the release of the Different Kind of Truth album.

I went to Sunday in the Country at Meriweather Post Pavilion a few years ago.  That was Bucky Covington, Joe Nichols, The Band Perry, Gloriana, Eric Church, and Lady Antebellum. That was a LONG concert, but I enjoyed it. 

Oh, I almost saw INXS in 1991.  I got into an accident on the way there (everyone was fine, but my car insurance went from $1,300 per year to $2,100 per year).  So I guess that one doesn't count.  

I almost saw Hootie and the Blowfish in college, too.  This no-name band was playing at The Money, the college bar across the street.  We went and it was PACKED!!!  We decided not to go there.  Then I saw the same band play on Letterman a few months later, then they got really popular.  Then I learned that they were Hootie and the Blowfish.  Can't believe I didn't see them now!!!

Did I miss any?

Were you at any of these concerts?

Monday, December 01, 2014

November - A Month in Review

November starts with the global All Saints Day holiday.  Bless the saints, and more importantly, I hope they bless us!

The month started off on a sad note as Tom Magliozzi, one of the founders of NPR's car talk, passed away.  This guy was funny.  People don't give NPR enough credit.  There are some good shows on that station and Car Talk was one of them.

Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to guide Russia's economy in a downward spiral in his attempt to reclaim his country's rightful position as a super power.  Massive Russian bank debt, economic sanctions for their hostilities against Ukraine, soaring inflation, and Putin's general incompetence are helping to plunge Russia from a 2nd world nation closer to an nuclear armed third world nation.  That's a deadly combination that's almost as volatile as a Mississippi dirt pie in front of Oprah.

Brittany Maynard, the Death with Dignity advocate and brain cancer patient, gained national notoriety when she announced she was going to legally take her life with the assistance of a prescription medication on November 1st.  As the date neared, she cleverly informed the media that she had changed her mind and they went away.  She then went through with her promise.  Sometimes I'm happy that the media is so naive.

Bad news continues to haunt the Baltimore Ravens.  Molly Shattuck, the former Ravens' cheerleader and wife of former Baltimore-based Constellation Energy corporation Mayo Shattuck, has been arrested for sexual contact with a 15 year old boy.  Some people are condemning her deplorable behavior, while others are saying, "Dude, lucky kid!"  They wouldn't be saying that if the child was a girl.  But somehow because it's a boy some people think it's okay.  Mayo Shattuck responded to the media attention by using company resources and parking a dozen or so of the company trucks all along the street so that the media could park their own vehicles.

Republicans clobbered Democrats in the mid-term elections in November.  In perhaps the biggest upset, Lt. Governor Anthony Brown lost his presumed appointed election for Governor to challenger and Republican businessman Larry Hogan, whose father was once a Republican Congressman for Maryland.

Other interesting results are that Republicans took over Governor mansions in deep blue Massachusetts, and traditionally blue Wisconsin, Michigan, and Iowa, and purple Colorado.  In the Senate, the Republicans took over with key wins in North Carolina and Georgia, subsequently demoting Harry Reid to Senate Minority leader, but not demoting him low enough to match the scheming reprobate that he is.  Republicans also managed to hold onto the House.

Comedian, or is he supposed to be a singer?, Clay Aiken, was one of the big losers in this election cycle, again losing in his bid for a Congressional seat in South Carolina.  His luck may have been better if he was invisible.  Blahahahaha!

In the 'Be Careful What You Ask For" category, former Maryland state delegate and Muslim activist Saqib Ali pushed for Montgomery County Public Schools to recognize Islamic holidays, despite only about 1% of students being Muslim.  Instead of getting what he wanted, he made Facebook's top trending stories list when MCPS stripped everyone of religious holidays.  Now Montgomery County will celebrate Winter Solstice Day, National Fowl Consumption Day, and Rosh Hashanah.

Jose Canceco's finger fell off.  How much more do you need to say?  He accidentally shot it off, the doctors tried to sew it back on, but it fell off during a poker game, which explains it all.  We expect within the next few months his head will fall off.

Continuing with crazy celebrities, famous for no other reason than for being famous Kim Kardashian tried to break the Internet when she released naked doctored photos of herself.  It's obvious that the photos have been modified as her waste is a svelte 15 inches and her ass a voluptuous 72 inches.  Incredibly, she has a perfect golden shiny moist tan and no stretch marks from giving birth.  It didn't take long before the "gotta see it like a train wreck picture" of her full frontal hairless body was released.  Later in the month another picture of her ass was released, however this one looked like husband Kanye West.

Click here to see a totally naked picture of Kim.

Bill Cosby, the 77 year old comedian known for The Cosby Show and Fat Albert, became embroiled in controversy in November in what may become known as the Jell-O pudding scandal.  He's been accused by 157 women of "pudding" his dick in their vagina when they didn't want him to.  Is America's favorite ugly-sweater dad a sexual predator?  I expect the indictment to go like this: "I want......to tell you......a story.  heh-heh-hehhhhh!!!"

Tensions were high in Ferguson, Missouri when a grand jury failed to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting of Michael Brown.  Mass hysteria erupted on Facebook praising love and remembrance to Mr. Brown, who struggled with Officer Wilson while being arrested, then Brown tried to grab the officer's gun, who then got into a position to defend himself and shot the teen.  Apparently a LOT of people think that police officers should not defend themselves when suspects try to take their service revolver.  More hysteria erupted in Ferguson where protesters decided that the best civic protest would be to burn down their town, burn down the places where they work, menace anyone that came across their path, and to destroy everyone else's personal property.  Protesters got even more upset when the police moved in to try to restore order.

In space news, the European Space Agency landed a probe on a comet.  This led to a viral hashtag-posting of #WeCanLandOnACometButWeCant.....  There were such whimsical responses such as:
      convince the self-checkout machine there's nothing unexpected in the bagging area”
get Justin Bieber deported.
Stop feminist double standards
feed the homeless in a park without getting arrested.
stop talking about Kim Kardashian's moon.
get a vending machine to accept a wrinkled dollar bill.
find that malaysian airline plane and the 227 people that were on it
believe it's not butter
get Chic-Fil-A on Sundays
get a nicely cooked steak at Golden Corral.
tell the difference between "your" and "you're"
insert a USB properly without flipping it 3 times.
turn earth back to how it was in the beginning, a cube filled with screaming red skeletons

The world's most famous crack cocaine addict, former Washington, D.C. mayor Marion Barry, passed away in November.  The mayor coined the phrase, "Bitch set me up...I shouldn't have come up here...goddamn bitch", which is now widely used in preteen shows on MTV.

In the "Holy Shit, I Can't Believe It" category, Sesame Street's Ernie got a colonoscopy on a live episode of Conan O'Brien.  They reasoned this medical procedure on a character from a children's show with the fact that Ernie is now 45 years old and needs to start getting regular colonoscopies.  Results show that his ass is filled with cotton and fabric.

Thanksgiving was on the last Thursday of the month, just like it is every year, except in Cleveland, where it is on the 3rd Thursday for years that are divisible by 13.  And like every year, what most people look forward to at Thanksgiving are the Black Friday sales.  This year's sales seemed to be uneventful, with sales down 11% compared to last year.  Apparently people are learning that getting a cheap-ass HD television for $35 is worth getting a television for $35.  Plus, stores are now open all day on Thanksgiving and the sales start on Wednesday, so what's the point?

What's a Black Friday without a stampede at Wal-Mart or a shooting at Nordstrom's?  Chicago, the city that bans guns from everyone except criminals, saw a shopper get murdered in the prestigious anchor store when a gunman went crazy.  In other Black Friday news, a fight broke out in Norwalk over a Barbie at a Wal-Mart, 3 were arrested at a Kohl's in Ocean City, Maryland, and a fight in Annapolis Mall caused widespread panic and pandemonium.  Go here to get all the news on Black Friday fights.

Travelers who called ahead to their airline in Chicago were greeted with tips to arrive 85 hours prior to their flight.  In spite of the generous advice, lines to get through security at Midway Airport were estimated to stretch for 1.2 miles.

November 30th marks the end of No Shave November, or Mowvember.  Thank God, that's over.  I hate people that look like bums.

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