Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thursday Funny Picture of the Day

This made me laugh out loud, or LOL as they say on Facebook.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Columbia Mall Shooting

Sadly, Maryland has made the front of CNN for the second straight day.  This time, the circumstances are even more tragic.  A gunman apparently has shot and killed two people and taken his own life.

It's sad how much violent crime has increased recently under Howard County Executive Ken Ulman's watch.  Ken Ulman is a Lieutenant Governor candidate on the Anthony Brown ticket.  Some speculate that Ulman's inability to control violent crime in Howard County may tarnish the reputation of the Brown\Ulman ticket for governor of Maryland.

I'm sure that Ulman will be quick to cite the need for more gun control, rather than strictly enforcing the laws that already exist.  Maryland, as many know, is very lax in enforcing laws.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Child Porn Suspect Dead in Sykesville

It's not often that Carroll County makes the national news.  And when it does, it's usually not good.

Today I noticed one of the top stories on CNN was that a former GOP aide accused of possessing child pornography was found dead.  When I clicked on the article, I realized that the news was reported by the Carroll County Sheriff Department.  Oh, boy.

Apparently, the suspect, a former aide to Lamar Alexander, the Republican Senator from Tennessee, was identified by his IP address as distributing child pornography.  The suspect was found hung in his parent's basement in Sykesville.  Two terrible incidents for those parents.

Come on, Carroll County!  Let's make the news for good reasons!

Oklahoma Center Fire in Eldersburg

The first thing I learned this morning was that the Oklahoma Center in Eldersburg caught fire last night and damaged all units.  The center is most notable for Pap-Pap's, which closed earlier last year when the owner became ill.

Other stores in the center are Habib Kabob's \ Bagel Cafe and Jin's Asian Bistro, and the former Virginia's Rose Consignment shop.  The strip mall is owned by CMI Management in Manchester.  From the Maryland Property Database, it appears that the mall was constructed in 1985 by Slacks Acres, Inc.

The Oklahoma Center just renovated the entire building in 2010 (I think).  Sadly, the building is in bad shape now after the 2-alarm fire.  Liberty Road was shut down during the fire as fire fighters got the blaze under control and later investigated the fire.  There were plenty of footprints in the snow on the other side of Liberty Road at Carrolltown Center, most likely from people stopping to watch the action.

Reports indicate that the fire started in a void above Jin's Asian Bistro and was an electrical fire.  I'm sure we'll hear more soon enough.

I know that ReMax used to reside in the mall as well as Thai Classic.  Does anyone remember what other stores have been there?

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Night With Steve Wozniak

I think I'm becoming addicted to meeting famous people.  And by famous, I'm including quasi-famous, including local politicians.  But I'm ALSO including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

As part of Stevenson University's Speaker Series, Steve Wozniak spoke at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall last week and I was fortunate enough to get invited by the Mayor of Eldersburg.

We were in the 15th row, which is fairly close.  Mr. Wozniak is about what I expected: short, overweight, and a little bit out of sorts.  He spoke quickly and from notes.  His speech was definitely rehearsed, just as I figured the Colin Powell and Robert Gates speeches were.  Did I ever mention that I met former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates?  I think I never blogged about that.  I met him.  He was short.  He had great stories.

Wozniak started his speech from childhood and moved through high school, then college, to Apple, then post-Apple.  The speech consisted of a lot of 'I did this' and 'I did that'.  But, he did do that and he did do that.  It was like an hour and a half autobiography.  But it was entertaining.  At the end, the moderator asked him questions that had been submitted by the audience.

Had he ever read Steve Jobs' book?  No, why would he read it when he lived it?

Did he see the Steve Jobs movie?  Yes, and it wasn't very accurate, which didn't bother him too much, but it wasn't very entertaining, which bothered him more.

Did he own an Android?  He bought every phone that came on the market because he wanted to see what they were capable of doing.

What did he think the next big thing would be?  He said that Google glasses would fail.  They're too distracting and will get in the way.  Interactive and 4K television are definitely going to be successful.  They would be easy to use and the cost will come down to reasonable levels in time.

After the speech, I got to attend the after party where I got my picture taken with him.  Stevenson University will mail it to me in due time.  After the crowd died down, I went back and got him to autograph the program.

I can't wait until the next speech.

Phil Kasten: the Sheriff Candidate With Pancakes!

I had the opportunity to attend Phil Kasten's Pancake Fundraiser on Saturday at the Sykesville Freedom Fire Department.  Phil Kasten is running for sheriff in Carroll County.

Kasten is everything I would expect in a sheriff: tall, thin, athletic, serious, military experience, and police experience.  And did I mention serious?  I'm certainly not poking fun at him.  Imagine a clown like me being sheriff?  No one would take me seriously.  Now that I think about it, I doubt that anyone takes me seriously as it is.  But I'm perfectly fine with that.

Phil Kasten talking with Carroll County residents.
I figured some local dignitaries would be there.  And I was right.  County Commissioner Doug Howard was there, as was current commissioner and House of Candidates candidate Haven Shoemaker, former Freedom Area Citizen Council President Ellen Dix, Delegate Justin Ready, current and soon-to-be retired Carroll County Sheriff Ken Tregonning, and House of Delegate candidate Eric Bouchat.  Unfortunately, I missed Mr. Bouchat.  I'm keenly interested in meeting him as he will be the primary candidate for House of Delegates District 9A, most of which is in Howard County and which my part of Carroll County has been sucked.

After I got my breakfast, I briefly spoke to Mr. Kasten.  He proudly informed me that Carroll County has the lowest Type 1 crime in Maryland.  Type 1 crime includes homicides, assault, battery, rape, robbery, burglary, larceny theft, automobile theft, and arson.

I later spoke to Delegate Justin Ready.  He's a few years younger than me, but is full of energy and very social.  He seems like someone that could be one of your friends - you know, the one that is responsible and actually wants to make a difference.  I mentioned that he lacked a Wikipedia page, which I offered to write.  I asked him if he had any information that he'd like me to add.  He jokingly mentioned that he can bench over 160 and is a part-time superman.  I like a good sense of humor!

At last, I briefly met Mr. Haven Shoemaker, who is a current member of the Carroll County Commission, but is running in a very crowded House of Delegates race for District 5, which includes current Delegate Susan Krebs Justin Ready, Donald Elliott, and Nancy Stocksdale.  More on that later.

Delegate Justin Ready talking with Carroll County residents.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Carroll County Commissioner Robin Frazier Sings State of the County Address

I love living in Carroll County.  I really do.  Great people.  Not too much Columbia big-box overcrowding.  A lot of down-home hard-working country folks.  True - I could easily jet off to Hawaii for the rest of my life, but for now, I like that I live here.

But every now and then, something in Carroll County makes me shake my head and run to the corner to hide in case any one wants to ask my if I live there and know about such and such.

Like the time one of the Carroll County Commissioners sang the State of the County address.  Yeah, I don't know anything about that.  (shaking my head)

But if I wanted to know, I could watch this video and pretend it didn't exist.

May I present Carroll County Commissioner Robin Frazier singing the 2014 Carroll County State of the County Address (singing starts at about the 3:30 point).  Pardon my while I go fill up the General Lee.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Baltimore Muderland - Some Things Never Change

Most stereotypes and derogatives exist for a reason - they tend to be at least partially true.

Bodymore, Murderland.  Baltimore, Maryland.  Synonymous.  Yesterday, Baltimore recorded its 14th murder.  That's the 14th murder in 11 days.  I jokingly stated on the first day of the year when there were 2 murders that the city was on pace to witness 730 murders in 2014.  At the 11th day of the year, I'm still not too far from that.  With 14 murders in the first 11 days, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake's city is on pace for 464 homicides.  At this rate, we're outpacing Detroit and Chicago - much bigger cities.  I wonder if we're outpacing Baghdad.

With temperatures hovering around 0-10° for several days thus far this year, it is puzzling how this many people could have been killed.  You'd think that rather than running the streets looking for trouble, people would be huddling in their warm houses.  Perhaps being cooped up in the house for several days, the thugs are getting antsy to fire off some rounds.

In the immortal words of the late Rodney King, "Can't we all just get along?"

Doug Howard Campaign Kick-Off

Several weeks old, but....

I had the opportunity to attend Doug Howard's campaign kick-off for Carroll County Commissioner back in December.  I've known Doug for about 10 years as he was active in the Carrolltowne United.  Anyone remember that group?  Doug's a good guy.  I brought my camera, but forgot to reload the rechargeble battery, so basically I had a $700 paper weight wrapped around my neck.  Therefore, I had to use my iPhone for pictures. Fortunately, some other guests shared their photos with me.

I didn't know what to expect at this event.  It was held at the Cre-A-TV in the former London Fog warehouse in Eldersburg, which is a really interesting place, Cre-A-TV that is.  Check out their website.  Battle of the Bands is coming!  Anyway, I have never been to a political kick-off.  In fact, I don't think I've ever been to any political event, if you can believe that.

Doug said this would be his last run for County Commissioner, which pleases me as you know that I don't like politicians who sit comfortably for life.  I sincerely believe there needs to be term limitations.  Are you listening Barbara Mikulski, Ben Cardin, and Steny Hoyer, et al?

Much to my surprise, there were some special guests there.  Delegate Gail Bates, who is running for Allan Kittleman's State Senate seat sat behind me.  Allan Kittleman is running to replace Centennial High School doofus Ken Ulman (the guy who's got his head up Martin O'Malley's ass), who is running with New Yorker Anthony Brown (who also has his head up Martin O'Malley's ass - must be a big ass!) for lieutenant governor and governor, respectively.

Also in attendance was Harford County Executive and Republican candidate for governor David Craig.  He was a lot shorter than I expected.  This is not a good thing as everyone knows you have to be tall to be a successful political candidate.  Taller people are smarter, right?

The kick-off included speeches by the local politicians and special guests active in the community.  Doug's son was the master of ceremony and he did an excellent job.  If he doesn't find a role for himself in politics, I suspect he'll be a successful public speaker elsewhere.  Oh, and did I mention that there was food?  Did I ever mention that I like food?

There were a bunch of other local political people, but since it's been a month and a half, I can't remember who they are anymore.  If you read this blog, feel free to help identify this fine looking group of people.  Obviously that's Mrs. Bates on the far right.  Doug Howard is the 4th from the left and David Craig is to the right of him.  Never Mr. Craig is Haven Shoemaker.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Carrolltown Mall Legal Use of Pac-Man???

If you've driven by the minimalist surviving structure of the Carrolltown Mall lately, you probably noticed the arcade game store (formerly the Blockbuster Video) next to the current and hopefully short-lived Big Lots.  Did you notice their outdoor decor?  I wonder if this store has legal approval from Namco, the owner of Pac-Man, to display this likeness on the outside of their store.  I suspect this is not authorized use.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

New Eldersburg Commons Tenants Announced

Black Oak Associates has announced that 7 retailers have signed leases in the upcoming Eldersburg Commons, which is replacing the now nearly demolished Carrolltown Center.

You can read the article here.

The new retailers are:

Chipotle - Texican food
AT&T - cellphone store
Sleepy's ( a mattress store)
The Vitamin Shoppe
Noodles & Company
TJ Maxx

What do you think of the first tenants?

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

How Cold Is It?

What's your best cold joke?

It's so cold that Democrats are keeping their hands in their own pockets.

Why is it so cold?  When Anthony Brown tweeted to Keep Maryland Blue, Ken Ulman turned off everyone's heat.

Even though it's cold, it's still warmer that Anthony Brown's personality.

It's so cold that takes an extra 10 minutes to fry an egg on Anthony Brown's head when he's being interviewed by Jayne Miller and getting angry.

It's so cold that the Martin O'Malley's slush fund is frozen solid.

It's so cold that Democrats are considering burning what's left of the Constitution to keep warm.

It's so cold that Martin O'Malley is considering a cold tax.  It should generate millions.

It's so cold that when Republicans demanded to freeze spending, they reemphasized that it was just spending, nothing else.

It's so cold that Harry Reid decided to have a heated argument with himself to stay warm.

It's so cold that Obama has to smoke IN the White House.

It's so cold that Anthony Brown is now blaming the weather for Maryland's Health Exchange problems.

It's so cold that Kumar Barve is driving under the influence of hot coffee.

It's so cold that Don Dwyer's boat ain't going anywhere.

It's so cold that Al Gore is MIA.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Dude! Coming to Maryland - Pot! Whoa!

Dude!  College kids and former hippy-like heads in Maryland are totally stoked!  Delegate Curt Anderson is working on a like totally gnarly bill that will allow the recreational use of pot in Maryland. Cuz', like, the current law is totally bogus, you know?  Maryland would be following in the footsteps of those totally radical dudes out in Colorado, you know?  Whoa!

Bobby "Rastafarian" Zirkin previously submitted righteous bills to allow the smoking of the grass, but the dudes in the State Senate were totally like, "no way, dude.  We can't have, like, Mary Jane in Maryland."  But now, like polls show that Marylanders are more mellow, and like, more likely to support such a bill.

If such a bill passes, you can certainly expect to hear more people say, "Dude, I'm learning about Cuba and having some food!"  Seriously, dudes, imagine Martin O'Malley - he could totally be like chillin' with some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and be like totally fine. The bill is sponsored by Duncan Hines Brownies.

Would you support a bill allowing the smoking of some doobie in the Free State?

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