Monday, June 30, 2014

Kindness; Drug Deaths; Lobster Stew; Bigfoot; Older Drivers; Boomers; Tattoo; Bergdahl; North Korea; Caliphate; Guns; Hobby Lobby; Union Dues

Nice day... Summer temps are edging up... may get to 100 tomorrow.  Welcome to Central Maryland.

01.  Random Kindness

The Carroll County Times has a cover story today about a nice blogger named Amanda Costley (, who invites all people to do one random act of kindness every day for 30 day.  Very nice, Amanda, but there are already people who do so every day of their lives. Some of us have been trying to do nice things for many years.. why?  Because we are members of the human race.  For those to whom doing kind things is something new.. let me recommend it.. you will feel much better for yourself and feel that you are contributing to the betterment of the world.  Amanda, keep up the good work.

02. Drug Deaths

The newspaper also reports that heroin overdose deaths have risen 88% in three years.  A lot of these deaths are attributed to heroin users finishing their jail terms and going back to their addictive ways.  Unfortunately for them, when their addictions ended in jail, they also lost their tolerance for the amount of dope they took before incarceration.. and so.. they die of overdosing. 

Also, addicts may be combining drugs these days.. especially with potent stuff like fentanyl.  When I had constant 10 level pain with my legs, I took oxycodone and also had a very strong fentanyl patch. When Hopkins cured my legs, I had to endure a long period of drug withdrawal so that I would not get addicted.  During the withdrawal period, I also lost 30 pounds of weight.  Guess what.... its back.

03.  Yum Yum!

I saw an ad today for Lobster Tail Stew.  This stew is a so-called "fish and seafood stew" guaranteed to please.  It is served on Tuesdays at the Shamrock Restaurant in Thurmont, Maryland.  The telephone number is 301-271-2912.  The cost?  $21.50.  Not a bad price for lobster  lovers like Elaine and me.  (or is it Elaine and I? Get out the grammar book, Joe.)

04.  Sasquatch?

I can hear loud Sasquatch yelling on TV.   Elaine is watching one of her favorite shows... something like "In Search of Bigfoot."  The searchers are always upbeat and seem to just miss finding their prey by a few hours or days.  They have been searching for years... surely somebody will have bumped into one of these 8 feet tall behemoths in their travels by now.  Maybe he only comes out late at night and early in the morning jumps into a lake and travels through underwater caves and tunnels to where he spends time with Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster.

05.  Older Drivers

First, let me give you my credentials.  For seven years, I taught safe driving for AARP.  Toward the end of that time, one of the leaders realized that I was not having my students prepare action plans to carry in their cars and refer to as needed.  As I do now and did then, I thought that was a ridiculous thing to require adults to do.  But, since I didn't do it.. they fired me.  A few days later, they called me up and asked me to be in charge of all the AARP driving instructors in Maryland.  Go figure.

However, the AARP Driver Safety Course is a good one, and I would recommend it to any driver, regardless of age.

An opinion piece in today's paper talked about older drivers and suggested that their relatives should discuss driving with them if they feel the older driver is not performing properly when behind the wheel.   This is, of course, a good idea, except, what older driver who has been driving for 60 years without an accident is going to listen to a  young whippersnapper who hasn't anywhere near as much experience?

This has been a problem for  years.  The Maryland legislature studies the situation almost every session and sometimes comes up with the idea of a test for drivers aged 65 or older.  The idea of a test goes nowhere because how many older voters would vote for one of their representatives who suggested they didn't know how to drive.

Well, what most people do not know is that all State Police Officers are given a red-colored brochure that lists things to look for as automobiles drive by.  Some of the "things" relate to how people are driving.  State Police are allowed to stop drivers they suspect of erratic driving and investigate.  If they feel that the person is too old or disabled to be driving, they can make a recommendation to the MVA for them to ask the driver to attend driving classes.   (I may not have the details exactly right on this.. but you get the picture.)

06.  Lots of Boomers

Baby boomers, those people born between 1946 and 1964 (like Elaine) now represent 24% of Maryland's population.

07.  Decoration

One of Carroll County's "most wanted" has an identifying feature..  a skull tattoo on his stomach.

08.  Five Year Term

Five years ago today, Bowe Bergdahl went missing from his base in Eastern Afghanistan and was captured by insurgents.  He's home now, and facing another five year imprisonment.

09.  North Korean High-jinx

Two American "tourists" are about to be "tried" by North Korea for "hostile acts against the Country".. perhaps they laughed too loudly at the stupid action of their "fearless leader."

10.  Bow Down

A new Islamic Caliphate was created today by Radicals who expect Muslims worldwide to support it. This action caught even our Government by surprise and more information is needed before the US would know how to handle it.

11.  Guns

During a gun fire duel in New Orleans  yesterday, sixteen people were caught in the crossfire and nine died.   When?  When? When? When?

12. The Supremes Rule

a. Hobby Lobby wins a 5 to 4 "very limited, closely held decision".. whatever that means..

The issue: Can a for-profit corporation claim that its religious freedom allows it to be exempt from a law?

Ruling: Certain not for profit companies can claim a religious exemption to the Obamacare requirement that they provide health insurance coverage for contraception.

b. Unions lose in another 5 to 4 decision that non-union employees do not have to pay union dues, even though they will profit by union initiated management changes.


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Squash; Tea Party; The Draft; Benghazi Villain; KKK is back; Pizza Stabbing; the Globe Theatre; Small Change; Snakes; Immortality; Migrant Kids; Working Man; Iraqi Freedom

Nice warm sunny Summer day with a refreshing breeze.   I got to plant yellow squash and zucchini squash in two of my Earth Boxes.  I didn't follow the Earth Box rules, just used them as growing pots.. we'll see if that works.  Maybe I can do the other two boxes tomorrow and plant two cucumber  plants.

Let me try something I used  to do today and see if it works.  I'll do a dozen things to think about.

01.  Attack on the Tea Party

Jim Lee, editor of the local newspaper, the Carroll County Times, wrote a scathing editorial about the Tea Party and their my-way-only philosophy that is killing the Republican Party.  I like his statement:
"Compromise is not a dirty word.  It is not something that should be avoided at all costs.  In fact, our ability to see past our differences and forge a way forward based upon a shared common vision is what has always contributed to our greatness."  Amen!

02. Reinstitute the Draft?

David J. Iacomo wrote a letter to the Times advocating a renewal of the Draft, with very few deferments... "... to eliminate draft  dodgers like former Vice President, Dick Cheney, from getting five deferments."  I didn't know that.  But Mr. Cheney has always had heart trouble.  Maybe that was the reason for the deferments.  Surely he wasn't afraid to go to war. (Did  you know that in the Civil War, a young man could sell his place in the draft, and not have to fight?)

03. Benghazi Villain?

Stop blaming Hillary for Benghazi, Abu Khatala is here now.  The Lybian is in DC to be tried for masterminding the attack on the 11th anniversary of the Sept 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.  He has said that he is not guilty.. He may make a plea deal to avoid the death penalty. .. 

04. The KKK is Back

On June 28th, members of the Maryland Traditional Rebel Knights met and expounded at the Gettysburg battlefield.  Their Vice President, Albert Fike told the crowd of 50 people that "minorities" would never be equal to white people, and denounced inter-racial relationships, homosexuals, and President Obama.

05. Pizza Stabbing

The pizza guy that was stabbed by 3 persons, was actually stabbed by 4 hungry teen-agers, who will now get to have their food delivered to their cells by Chester Proudfoot.

06. I didn't know that.

On this date in 1613, London's original Globe Theatre was destroyed in a fire caused by a cannon shot during a performance of Henry VIII.

07. Click and Clack Survey

The automotive experts wanted to find out why men never pay with change, while women will root around in their pocket books until they find the right change.  So, they did a survey. These are some of the results:

a.  Men can't count.
b.  Men like the feel of heavy stuff in their pockets.
c.  Women are better able to handle details.
d.  Men put change on their bureaus every night and it gets stolen by their kids, so they don't have change to put into their pockets in the morning.
e.  Women keep every bit of change ever received, in their pocketbooks, forever.

Well, it sounded funny on the radio.  Sorry.

08.  Do snakes like music?

A bagpiper called Click and Clack for advice on how to get  snakes out of his car.. they have found a home behind his dashboard.  (He should have contacted Tammy McCormick, who I mentioned yesterday, who has a snake catching company.)  C + C advised him to sit in the back seat and play Amazing Grace over and over on his bagpipes while a front window is left open..  It won't take long before you will see those slithery creatures racing to escape the sound.

I wonder if snake meat is one of the ingredients of Haggis?

09. Immortality?

We talked a bit about this yesterday and today NPR had an hour long show that I was only able to listen to sporadically.  A man caught a 50 pound lobster!  Why so big?  Because Lobsters have no cell breakdown material (whatever that is called).  So, their cells keep being rejuvenated.. and theoretically they could live forever.. unless hungry humans capture them.

Tortoises have been found to have 120 or so of rejuvenation material for their cells.. after 120 rejuvenations, their breakdown material kicks in and they get ready to die. Tortoises can live to be way over 100 years... Humans, unfortunately, have only 50 or so of rejuvenation material, so we get the proverbable 70  years, or a few more if we retain our ability to reproduce.  When we are no longer able to reproduce, nature may feel that we are no longer important in the chain of life... at least that might be true for men... what about women who lose their eggs and still live long lives?

A scientist who studies worms with a 14 day life span, has been able to manipulate their rejuvenation material and give them a 28 day active life span.  She says that eventually she will be able to give them a much longer lifespan.  She has formed a company to look into somehow doing the same thing to humans. With  the worms, she takes the "Grim Reaper Gene" and replaces it with the "Fountain of Youth" gene. Her company is called The Elixir Company.. look for it on the stock market.

I warned you that I did not hear all of this program, so some of the information above may not be accurate.  However, I think there is enough there to allow you to do some Google searches, if you are so inclined.

10. Immigrant Kids

In 2008, George W. Bush signed into law a bill that says we have to take care of any kids who appear from other countries on our "doorstep."  We have to get them together with their relatives or find a way to send them back home.  (What?  back to abject poverty and gang violence?  What does it say on the Statue of Liberty?) 

The President is trying to follow the law with all of these kids who are suddenly coming to America, so why is he being ridiculed by the GOP?

11.  The Working Man

With the increasing distance between the "haves" and the "don't have much of anything" in the good old US of A, country music is trying to talk about it.  Check out Toby Keith's song: "Get Drunk and Be Somebody."  The verse about the boss:  "I give him forty hours and a piece of my soul..Hell, I don't even think he knows my name."  And the chorus: "Well, all week long I'm a real nobody/But I just punched out and its paycheck Friday/Weekend's here, good God almighty/I'm going to get drunk and be somebody."

12. But are we out?

The Nation Magazine quotes a tweet from Senator John McCain. "Last American combat troops leave Iraq.  I think President George W. Bush deserves some credit for victory."  The Nation says "the Republican senator from Arizona, remembers to thank the man who launched Operation Iraqi Freedom."  (looking for non-existent Weapons of Mass Destruction.  says me.)

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Burnie; Snakes; Fines; Drugs; Prize; Cancer Detection; Paid Parental Leave; Pop Up Weddings; Georgia Guns; Green Dot Scam; Voting; Immortality

Hot and windy but nice and sunny.  Only problem, our "neighbor" down the  hill that we call "Burnie" is at his favorite nighttime sport... burning pine pallets outside on his patio... the smell is very bad and the wind always pushes the smoke up to our house and we have to keep the doors and windows closed in order not to breath in the fumes.  What do  you do about that?  We can tell that if we complain, we will have bigger problems with him because he has lived in this vicinity for many more years than we have, and resents our development anyway.  I don't begrudge him doing his "macho" fire thing, but I wish he would do it when the wind is not blowing.  Unfortunately, that is not very often.

I spent a long time reading the local paper today.. lots to think about.

Eek! A Snake!

Today's Carroll County Times had a front page article about Tammy McComrick, who is a Frederick-based snake catcher.  She has a busy schedule from March through November, the time when snakes like  to visit human's houses and barns.  I'm afraid of snakes because I don't know which ones are venomous.. Tammy says that only the rattlesnake and copperhead are poisonous in Maryland... those are the same two that inhabited Massachusetts when I lived there.

When I had a big garden in Gamber,  I would go down my rows of pea plants, picking pods.  One day, I suddenly looked up from my picking and saw what looked to me like a cobra about to strike.  I immediately did a complete backflip and scooted out of the snake's vicinity.  My son, Chris, and his friend were nearby and saw the action... they had a hard time stopping their laughing.. it was just a harmless big black snake.  Well... it could have been a cobra.. well.. maybe not.

Carroll County Pays another Fine

Actually, we taxpayers are on the hook again because of what  our representatives do or don't do. This time the fine was for $40,000 after the County failed to comply with Federal water pollution and quality standards.

Crime in the Country

The Westminster Police, acting on a tip, arrested three Westminster residents in the act of preparing drugs for sale.  One of these guys had close to $1,000 in his pocket.  That's why these guys keep violating the law and are willing to take the risk.. because it's lucrative.  What other profession allows 20 year-olds to walk around with so much cash?

Boring Advertisement

For a long time now, the Carroll County Times has run the same ad, proclaiming that Michele Carroll won a $100 grocery gift card by accessing their online newspaper site.  Hey, guys, this is boring.. its nice that she won, but stop reminding us about it every single day of the week.

Prostate Cancer Detection

Fellow NARFE member, Dave Pyatt, wrote an important column about Prostate Cancer testing.  As he says, sometimes the search kills more that the condition, and men over 70 should avoid being tested. I agree.  At my age, I would probably not live long enough anyway  for a cancer to reach maturity.

Paid Parental Leave

Harold Meyerson, editor at large of the American Prospect, had an interesting article in the Carroll County Times today.  Harold lambastes the Republicans for holding back progress in providing paid parental leave.  He cites a study of 185 Nations and Territories, where representatives were asked if they have some kind of paid parental leave.  182 did have.  Only 3 did not.. guess who:  yes, the good old US of A again, in a league with Oman and Papua, New Guinea.  For shame !

Surprise Wedding Bells

Good news!  To save money, contact this young couple:  Very tall Officiant, Steven Gaudaen and very tiny, pink-haired photographer, Maggie Winters,  will arrange a "Pop Up" wedding for you.  PopWed Company lets you skip the usual expenses and instead helps you "pop up" some place interesting,  often where weddings are never held.. like museums and the like.  Maybe even in front of the White House, if they can get away with it.  (Incidentally, an Officiant is someone who is willing to marry you, and who probably is not a preacher or a Government official.  Bob Leffler and I are able to be Officiants at times, if we feel it is appropriate.)


By law, Georgia will be allowing school staff to carry guns while in school.  However, Georgia teachers are not too happy with that.

Also, I'm not sure, but Georgia might also be allowing hunters to put silencers on their rifles.   Home owners in the Country are not in favor of that.

The Green Dot Scam

A new scam has been reported in Maryland:  BGE Customers are being contacted by  telephone and told that their service will be terminated unless they make a  payment to purchase a Green Dot Visa Credit Card.  If you get contacted, you should contact BGE's Customer Center at 800-685-0123.

Why Vote?

The candidates for the District 2 Council in Prince Georges County are separated by only 13 votes.  The outcome will be determined by provisional ballots.  (The Kennedy campaigns in Massachusetts recognized that voting counted.. and they would provide buses to Nursing Home residents and carry them to the poling places, giving them a little coffee or treat while on the bus... guess who those people voted for?  A few trips like that could get out enough votes to tip the scales in an election.) 

1914! 2014! 2114!

Radio Lab did an interesting retrospective on the year 1914.. 100 years ago!  So many amazing things have happened in that period ..  just think of what changes will probably occur in the next 100 years! Hopefully, there will be a cure for cancer and other nasty bodily problems... in fact, people may even be able to trade in their old bodies for newer, younger ones.  Why not?  We're almost there now.  Wouldn't you like to have immortality?


Friday, June 27, 2014

Tomatoes; Mr. Cate; Governor's Race; Climate Change; Prayer; Boehner's Lawsuit; Supreme Court; Buffer Zones; IRS; Pedophiles; Church; Phyllis Diller; Death Squads; Tulips and Feynman

Nice partly sunny Summer day at 80 degrees.  I was able to push my big fat butt to put the rest of my flowers from Daughter Diane into individual pots and to  put another tomato cage up.  In so doing, I found 3 rather large green tomatoes hiding out under the foliage.  Nice.


The other day, I wrote a quote attributed to "Henry Cate VII".  The quote was: "The problem with political jokes is they get elected."

I had never heard of Mr. Cate, so I attempted to track him down.  I found that he had submitted this  quote to a 1987 Usergroup titled .Rec.Humor.Funny  I think that the Usergroup is still in existence. Jokes were accepted on a daily basis for this group and Mr. Cate's submission was not questioned.  Now... 27  years later, it is.   More on this... maybe.

Governor's Race

Well, as expected, Larry Hogan has started his campaign to win the Governorship of Maryland by fiercely negative advertisements.  Looks like a long stretch of crap coming down the pike from him and his election committee.   Mr. Hogan has no political experience to brag about, so he will try to draw attention away from that fact and on to Mr. Anthony Brown's problems with Obamacare. When he gets tired of  that, he will probably somehow involve Brown in the situations with Benghazi and Bergdahl.

Climate Change

Also, as expected, Michael Zimmer finally got around to disputing Climate Change and Global Warming in his monthly newspaper column.

Some More Prayer Nonsense

The Carroll County Commissioners seem to think they understand it all now and will have one of the Commissioners open each meeting with a prayer, and then they will say something like "now I will pray"  instead of "now, let us pray".  But.. once again, they have not read the Supreme Court's Decision.  It said that it  would be ok for a Preacher or Priest or Rabbi or Imam to recite a prayer, not a Government official.  The goal is to have the opportunity for prayer extended to all clergy.

Boehner's Suit Against President Obama

Hey.. who will be paying for Boehner's law suit?  Why, the taxpayers of course.  The Speaker is asking House members to  pass a bill to allow him to sue, as he desires to do.

The Supremes on Buffer Zones

Someone pointed out today that the Supreme Court has a buffer zone around their DC building to keep protestors from bothering them.

The IRS' Investigation of Non-Profits

There was a lot more information on CSPAN radio today about the targeting of Non-Profit groups by IRS to determine if they really are non-profit.  The commentator mentioned that they used key-words to target groups to question.  And, of course this is why the Maryland Senior Citizens Hall of Fame was targeted and our non-profit status canceled until we got a lawyer and fought to get it back after $1,000 expense money, that we could hardly afford to pay.

The keyword?  Why "Mischief" of course... a natural assumption can be made that a group would cause mischief to another political group.  However, our only "Mischief" was with our acronym: MSCHF.. Maryland Senior Citizens Hall of Fame!

Catching Scumbag Pedophiles

In a sting operation involving online investigators pretending to be 12 to 14 year old children asking for sex, California police caught 275 idiots as they showed up for sex with the "kids"... just like that TV show.. unbelievable.

Welcome to Church

The Catholic Church  will be opening a synod in October, to debate how they can upgrade their "welcoming image" and still remain true to their core beliefs.


Phyllis Diller, in her 90's donated a filing cabinet filled with 50,000 of her jokes to the Smithsonian in 2011. 

Bad Teens!

A short time ago, Shiite death squads killed more than a dozen young Iraqis for wearing Western-style "emo" clothes.  The Interior Ministry singled out the "emo" subculture, made up of youths who listen to Western music and wear tight jeans and long hair. Some teens were stoned to death and others beaten severely.  What a great place to live!


Richard Lederer, Mensan and word expert says that the tulip's shape may remind you of "two lips", but that is not how the flower got its name.  Instead, the Dutch borrowed the word Tulip from French tulipan, who had stolen it from the Turks tulbend.. so named because it reminded them of a turban.

Hawkeye Says

Word to the young:   In the 1990's, Alan Alda led the collaboration that created "QED", a play about the brilliant scientist, Richard Feynman, with Alan playing Dr. Feynman.   If one would desire to be a smart person, it would behoove them to study Dr. Feynman's unorthodox life, starting with the reading of this play.


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Voting; Robobcall Guy; Disneyland Lady; Liberal Win; Boehner Suit; Supreme Court; Appointments; Bergdahl; Home Rule; Aereo; Bank Money; Womens Rights; Search and Seizure; Eli Wallach; Flicks Pub

Another hot, sunny Summer day.  Nice.  Lots of stuff to talk about.


Voting in Carroll County Maryland

A total of 114,000 people are registered to vote in Carroll County and only 28,000 voted.  The Carroll County Times says that is either 24% or 20%.  Either way.. its not very good.    People are dying around the world and would love to be able to vote and decide their future and we just don't give a damn.. or, are we so satisfied that we don't need to vote.

Dan Rodricks said it in his Baltimore Sun Paper column yesterday:  "... its depressing as hell to see so few people taking part in a process that ultimately affects their lives and their livelihoods.  Other people walk many miles, and stand in long lines, shouldering through all kinds of intimidation, to vote..."

Robocall Guy Lost

Julius Henson, the guy who sent out a misleading robocall so that African-American voters would stay home, lost out on his bid for election.  It was the height  of arrogance for him to even file as a candidate, but it definitely will not be the last that we will hear from him.

Disneyland Lady Lost

Marilynn Bland, who, while a member of the DC School Board, took her children with her to a Disney World conference trip, and later showed off her new Mickey Mouse doll at the next DC meeting, had a real hard time in this election.  In fact, she was rejected by the voters in her bid for reelection as clerk of the Circuit Court.

Liberal Win

Brian Frosh, a champion of gun control and environmental protection, defeated Jon Cardin and Aisha Braveboy for the Democratic pick for Maryland Attorney General.  (Even name confusion with his cousin in the Senate did not work well for him.)

Conservative Attacks

Speaker of the Disfunctional House

The Speaker announce today that he will be suing the President for going around Congress to achieve his own agenda.  Will this be a "fill in" activity so that he and his colleagues will have something to do between hearings on Benghazi and Bergdahl?  I would advise the President to countersue Boehner for stupidity (in my opinion). 

Presidential Appointments

Incidentally, The Supremes did rule today that some of the President's appointments were not valid because Congress was still in session, even though they fibbed that they were not.  Let's see how Mr. Obama handles this.

Sargeant Bergdahl

Also, after 5 years of imprisonment by the Taliban, Sargeant Bergdahl faces 5 years imprisonment by the U.S. military, if he is found guilty of desertion.  What the hell next!  Leave the man alone!

Home Rule Issue?

District of Columbia leadership has ruled that, for someone arrested for possession of Marijuana, if the amount is less than an ounce, the holder will just be fined $25.  This should cut down on the number of poor folks ending up in jail, and pot is heading for legalization all over the US very soon.  However, Maryland Representative Andy Harris is dead set against drugs of any kind and is pushing an amendment to a hot House bill, that will kill this DC law.

Its funny, that a minor in possession of a regular cigarette, could be fined $50; but in possession of a small amount of pot, they could be fined only $25.  Strange.

More Supreme Court Activity

Allow No Aereo TV Transmission without $

The Supreme Court ruled 6 to 3 against Aereo, who planned to give antennae to people and then let them receive "over the air" TV programs, that they could have received free, if they had taken the appropriate computer fix suggested by the Government some time ago.   The Court said that Aereo will have to pay broadcasters whenever it takes TV programs off the air and transmits them to its clients, because they will then, in a sense, be acting just like a cable TV company.

Stop that Naughty Bank Activity

The Supreme Court also unanimously ruled that employees who accused their bank management of evil doing by investing their retirement money in their own bank, knowing the bank was on shaky grounds financially, were right to do so.   That was a bad thing for the banks to do.

Assist Abortion Sidewalkers

The Supreme Court struck down the Massachusetts law mandating a buffer area on the sidewalk outside of so-called Abortion Clinics.  Freedom of Speech requires that the sidewalk be open for people to exercise their right to communicate with clinic patients as they enter the facility.  This is similar to the case where the Court ruled that scumbag church folks must be allowed to get up  close to funeral attendees and be obnoxious to them and to the memory of the deceased. I do not like people getting into other person's faces about what they are doing; especially when they probably have never had to go through special birth situations.   I guess that brands me as a Women's Rights Advocate... so be it.

Kill a Helpful  Police Procedure

The Supreme Court also decided unanimously, that police may not search a smartphone or similar device without a judicial warrant.  I understand the privacy issue, but I can see the Police viewpoint too.

World Cup Bite

Suarez, of Uruguay struck again and bit an Italian player during a game.  People are taking bets on whether he will bites someone else in another game next week.   I bet he does.

Famous Actor Dies

Eli Wallach died at age 98.  The son of Polish Jewish immigrants in New York, Eli liked to play cowboy types, and he was great in many movies, such as The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, a classic.  He was also marvelous on the legitimate stage.  I wish that I had seen him play in The Rose Tattoo or in Mr. Roberts, two of his best parts, I'm told.

Finally.... Good News for Thirsty Senior Citizens

The Lorien Assisted Living outfit in Taneytown, Maryland, has opened a restaurant and bar called Flick's Pub, named after former mayor, Bob Flickinger.  I Served with Bob on the Carroll County Commission on Aging for a few years.  Bob is a nice guy and I'm glad they named the pub after him. I wondered how many customers the Pub would get out of the Assisted Living community, and then I found out that an over-55 community nearby was running a trolley back and forth during the day and night so that residents can easily make the special events like Happy Hour. 


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Primary Results; Iraq; Nigeria; Growth Hacking; Lawyers; Heaven; Bible; Porgy and Bess; Mr. Bubbles; Chopin Whiskers

A nice sunny windy Summer day after the Maryland primary elections.  I batted only 33% in my predictions on winners and losers.  The three Tea Party guys got selected to fight it out with three incumbents in November.. I was hoping they would lose because education is important and we can do without a loss in funding.  DeLeonardo beat Jerry Barnes for Carroll County States Attorney.  Jerry had been in his position for over 20 years, and I guess the voters wanted a change.

Robin Frazier was defeated as I thought she would be.. acting as crazy as she usually does (in my opinion).  However, her partner in such antics, Mr. "Conservative"  Rothschild survived.  And it looks like Susan Krebs might survive the Gerrymandering. 

So, some positions are already taken through this election... a few will have to wait until November.  This gives them time to do more crazy stuff while still in office.


Tom Zirpoli said it right in his column today:  "These folks have been fighting each other for hundreds of  years, and no outside force, including American advisors, troops or drones can solve this problem for the Kurds, Sunnis, and Shiites.


"Extremists"  have kidnapped 91 more people, including babies."   No hope for this country in terms of liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  However, if the United States could just make some kind of deal with Nigeria to tax the money their people take in from gullible Americans, we probably would be able to cancel the outstanding National Debt.  In return, we would send English majors to teach them to write emails like Americans do and let them have a little of the tax money mentioned above.

New Geek Scam

"Growth Hacking" is what happens when APPs go beyond their usage and go viral by sending misleading notices to all of  your email friends about how wonderful the product is.  Hopefully, someone is making a list of APPs like that.


Did you hear about the terrorists who took a courthouse full of lawyers hostage?  They threatened to release one lawyer every hour unless their demands were met.

It Ain't Necessarily So

At Hopkins, an ordinary looking guy handed me a brochure with the title: Am I Going to Heaven?  The brochure lists all of the things that one would think head you in that directions.. for instance: Obeying God's laws and commandments.. or Living a good life.. or Going to church regularly.
The authors of the brochure say: No!  These are members of the Sowers of Seed, Inc. out of Fort Worth, Texas and they have their own idea on how to get to Heaven. .

The Seed guys quote John 3:18.. "He that believeth on Him is not condemned, but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the Name of the only begotten Son of God."  This confusing passage sounds like it might be something believed by a Moslem, maybe a Christian, but certainly not a Deist.   But, what do I know?

Remember the song from Porgy and Bess... "The things that you're liable to read in the Bible.. It ain't necessarily so!"

Mr. Bubbles

That reminds me of the Harlem hoofer who played "Sporting Life" in the original production of Porgy and Bess.. the marvelous Mr. Bubbles..  I think his first name was John.  I met him once in Garmisch Germany when he put on a great USO performance for the soldiers and airmen who were vacationing there.  Man, could that man dance!  He had a partner.. his brother, I think.

Back in 2000, my wife died during a heart by-pass operation at the Washington Hospital Center.  That facility had a 99.98% survival rate for such procedures... However, on Bastille Day, my wife was unlucky, and another patient was also not lucky on that day.. Mr. Bubbles.

No Chopin' Whiskers?

Another story from the Victor Book of Musical Fun:

"At one time Chopin shaved off the whiskers on the left side of his face.   He explained this by saying that although they grew very well on his left cheek, there was really no occasion to have them there because he always sat with his right toward the audience."


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Carotid; Typos; Voting Day; Smokers Lose; Spruce Essence; Drones; Robocalls; Airbags; Tires; Tsunami; Marathon Fraud; Musical Fun

Sunny and windy Summer day.  Today, Elaine had the five tests that Medicare will not cover. When I had them done some time ago, the tests showed that my carotid artery on one side was almost  totally blocked.  They also found something else, but I've forgotten what.. in any case, I followed up with my regular doctors.  I had the carotid artery cleared out and now I'm much smarter than Einstein.   Just think about my cousin Allen Vaughan.  Both of his arteries were almost 100% blocked and he was due for a stroke.  He had both opened up and now he is smarter than both me and Einstein.  Elaine will get her results in month or so.

Local Advertisement

Fogle Termite and Pest Company has a slick advertising paper going out all over Carroll County.  The top of the sheet says: "Don't let ants and termite (sic) invade your home! Get personalized Pet Protection!" Those damn cats are always bringing home those ants!


I'm guilty of typos too.  I just  looked back at one of my blog entries where I meant to say that my tomato plants were growing... instead, I said they were glowing. 

Primary Voting Day

Let's see my score on these predictions (actually wishes):

Robin Frazier will not survive the primary.
Susan Krebs will not survive the primary..
Rothschild will not survive the primary.
The three Educational Tea Party guys will not survive the primary.
Mr. Rausch will not survive the primary.
Mr. Getty will survive the primary.
Mr. Barnes will survive the primary.

Smokers Lose Freedom

Westminster has 14 park properties, 13 of which will shortly become smoke free.  Belle Grove Square will stay the stinky, cigarette butt haven that it has always been.

Now, we can look for the letters to the local paper, complaining that the UN is the root cause of the loss of this essential freedom:  the right to give themselves and others nearby lung cancer.

Spruce Essence

Nice guy, Fred Teeter, who is the executive director of the Carroll County Historical Society announced that on August 1st, the County will celebrate "Hops in History".. a kind of love story for beer drinkers.  They will be serving beer that they are preparing now.. at 4 1/2 % alcohol, it will be a little different from the beer originally brewed, but probably as tasty because they will add Spruce Essence.  I've always thought that the reason Lowenbrau Beer tastes so  good in Germany and so lousy in the U.S. is because the Germans add Spruce Essence.  I could be wrong.  My German contacts insist that the ancient German rules for beer are still in effect and additives like Spruce Essence are definitely not added.  Ich sage Kuhscheiss!

Drone On

Get ready for more drones in our airways.  A new Federal law opens the air waves to drones of all kinds says the Carroll County Times.  It also says that from 2001 through 2013, there have been only 47 severe drone crashes.  Outside of the U.S., an estimated 4,000 people have been killed by our drone strikes since 2009.

Unbelievable Gonads!

Remember Julius Henson, who put out robocalls on election day in 2010, telling African Americans that they didn't need to vote.  He served just 30 days jail time for that offense and is now running for a seat in the Maryland State Senate!

What's in Your Airbag?

Hot air and high humidity are causing certain airbags made in Japan to explode.  They are probably standard equipment in US cars.

What's in Your Tires?

I know that some air has been leaking out of my tires for about a  week.  Today, I found out why.  There is a nice 2 penny nail sticking out of my right front.  So, I get to  take it in tomorrow.  In the old days, I would have taken the nail out myself and patched the hole... however, these are new days, and I think I'd better get it fixed by somebody who knows a  lot more than I do.

A Puny Tsunami

An earthquake on an island 1,400 miles south west of Anchorage, Alaska, triggered a tsunami.  However, the tsunami turned out to be just a couple of inches high.  Lucky folks.

Another Marathon Bombing Victim Fraud

Two Boston brothers tried to say that their long-deceased aunt had lost her legs in the Marathon bombing that took place in 2013, and filed for insurance compensation.  Both brothers are from "Southie", the area of Boston that was the home of Whitey Bulger, the crime boss and murderer captured last year after a long search.

The FBI fingered the brothers for fraud, gave them a phony check, and then arrested them. Instead of a  lot of easy money, they each received 3 years jail time.

Victor Book of Musical Fun

I love this book.. it contains lots of musical quizzes, stories about famous musicians, jokes, and wonderful cartoons by a guy named Galen.  Here is one of the jokes:

Two ladies who ran a store near Carnegie Hall allowed their windows to be filled with concert posters, and in return they were given tickets to a symphony concert.  They arrived late and were seated after the overture.  Turning to the man next to them, one asked what the next number would be.  He answered that it was Brahms's Fourth Symphony.  The lady turned to her partner and said Bitterly: "I told  you to hurry.  We've already missed three symphonies!"


Monday, June 23, 2014

Fishing; Dog Cruelty; Obamacare; Conservatives; Win!; Henny Youngman; Mark Twain; 727; Machete; Henry Cate; Harpers Index; Christians

Happy Summer!  But, some people are complaining that we have had too much rainfall this year.  In fact, we are 7" above normal to date in Central Maryland and higher in other parts of the state.  This excess rainfall is causing spillage over the Prettyboy Dam and making problems for fisherman who fly cast in the streams that flow from the dam.

Strong currents are knocking fishermen over and the brown trout habitat is being eroded by having hiding places removed as the water moves the pieces of wood that the fish use for shelter.   Another result of climate change?

Animal Cruelty?

The Baltimore Police Officer who slit the throat of a 7-year old Shar-Pei dog is named Bolger, the same last name as the infamous Whitey Bolger, Boston crime boss.  Could they be related?

Why did they have to kill the dog  that way when it was secured by a hooked device?  The dog was reported to have bitten a woman, but she states that it was just a nip on the hand when she tried to read the dog's collar.  Baltimore police had all supposedly had classes last year about how to handle animals, after another incident where a dog was killed by a cop.  


Quote of the month:  Conservative Columnist, Byron York, argues that "Obama's good news applies only to the poor."  Duh?!

And Conservatives have finally told the real reason why they don't like programs like Obamacare.  Its because those programs require helping the less fortunate with other people's money. 

A Winner!!

My son in law, John,  has always had luck with drawings and lotteries.  On Sunday, he was awarded the grand prize at the Sacred Heart Church Lucky 21 Drawing.  $3000 big ones! I'm sure he will be able to put that to good use.

A bunch of stuff:

Henny Youngman Saying

My grandmother is over 80 and still doesn't need glasses.  She drinks right out of the bottle.

Mark Twain Saying

Water taken in moderation cannot  hurt anybody.

Plane Talk

Swiss artist  Christoph Buchel has secured local permits to bury a Boeing 727  38 feet under a patch of the Mojave Desert.  Visitors will take a tunnel down in order to  tour the 153' long plane.

Another Machete Man

An unidentified man was taken into custody in Chesapeake, Virginia, after he rushed into the Regional Medical Center with a machete and a can of gasoline, and demanded to know "the test results."

Henry Cate VII Saying

The problem with political jokes is that they get elected.

Harper's Index

Percentage  of the world's Christians who lived in Sub-Sahara Africa  in 1912:  1%
Percentage of the world's Christians who lived in Sub-Sahara Africa in 2012: 24%

Why the big increase?

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Civil War; New Windsor; Frederick Dielman; Ganzler; Krebs; Obamacare; Frasier; Murdock; Emily Howell; Emmy; Jambandit; David Cope

Lots of gigantic clouds in the sky and temperature is a balmy 78 or so.  Its Summer now, so that's ok.

Civil War

Today's Carroll County Times has a nice piece about the Confederate raid on New Windsor, Maryland on July 9th, 1864.  (The piece was written by Historian, Frank Batarick.)
The South was losing the war, and they were desperate to show that they could be a continuing threat to the North, and sent raids into towns fairly close to the District of Columbia. A raiding party of 800  Confederate Cavalrymen spent some hours looting and pillaging in New Windsor, Maryland. When they got tired of harassing the folks in New Windsor, they embarked for a raid on neighboring Westminster, where I live. I can visualize them riding their horses on a dirt road within an eighth of a mile of our house.

During the New Windsor melee, a young man drew an amazing picture of the action, which was later published in Leslie's Weekly.  The young man's name was Frederick Dielman, and he was only 17 years old at the time.  He was born on Christmas Day in 1847 in the German town named Hanover, and was a graduate of  Calvert College in New Windsor.

Young Frederick's draftsmanship was recognized and he was given the opportunity to study in Munich, Germany, where he received an achievement medal.  He came back to the United States and opened a studio in New York City and embarked on a long artistic career.  His work illustrating books and magazines was well-known and he also provided historic murals for Government buildings, including the Library of Congress. He died in 1935 at the age of 88.  ( I really like his work and I am surprised that the leaders of New Windsor have not advertised his links to their town. Maybe they have.. it seems to me that there is a Dielman House there.. I'll have to look into that. There is a lot that I don't know about Maryland history.)


Doug Ganzler For Maryland Governor?

Sorry, Mr. Ganzler, but I detest the negative ads that you are putting on various media about Anthony Brown.  I can't believe you want that Governor job so badly that you would malign someone who seems to me to be a "good" man.  So, no vote from me to you, Doug.

 Susan Krebs for reelection to State Office?

Susan, it seems from what I read in your ads,  that your main claim to fame is: "I voted against Obamacare!"

There will come a time, probably very soon, when the so-called Obamacare will be loved just like Medicare and Social Security.  Short-sighted politicians didn't like those programs when they were passed, but they soon came to be relied on by people and the nay-sayers disappeared from the scene.  So, Susan, you need to be careful about what you say.  Republican Party endorsement isn't really worth it.. you need the endorsement of the common person, your constituent, who needs the provisions of the Affordable Health Care Plan.

Robin Frasier for reelection as Commissioner?

The newspaper says that she has raised more money than the other candidates.  $31,000+.  This is supposedly $20,000 more that she raised last time.  Why?  She seems to think its because she has had more money-seeking campaigns.  I wonder who the donors were. Do voters get to see who the donors are?  I can't remember. Probably not.. because of privacy issues.  But... how does Doug Ganzler know who and how much was given to Anthony Brown? 

People of Note

Who is Dr. Mike Murdock?

Today I listened to an NPR program where a man told how he broke into Mike Murdock's home and stole his heavy safe, hoping to find lots of money inside.   However, all he found was a couple of $2 bills and a note suggesting a donation of $58, which God would increase for you 100-fold.

Until this time, I had not heard of Mike Murdock and his money making activity.  Apparently, he promises that God will increase money you donate to his causes and return it to you.  He usually asks for that $58 figure, but will harass you for $1,000, if he suspects you have it.  Sounds like he usually gets what he asks for.  May I say.. this sounds like a great Ponzi-like scheme.. but better, because he doesn't give money back to you himself, he lets God do so.  Wow!  I'll have to add this to the TRIAD list of situations that Senior Citizens should avoid.

Who is Emily Howell?

David Cope is a Computer Engineer, Author, Scientist, Composer, and former Professor of Music in California.  He had a great idea, where he programs a computer to analyze the works of famous composers, like Mozart, Mahler, and others.  Based on this analysis, his computer can create musical ideas in the style of those composers... these ideas can be turned into nice music by Professor Cope.

He calls his computer Emily Howell... shortened to Emmy at times, like when he publishes an album with the title something like:  Emmy's Mahler.  Sounds like he has a lot  of fun with this.. it reminds me of when I programmed an interactive psychology program that talked to you by feeding your statements right back to you, like a psychologist does.

The good doctor now has developed an APP called JAMBANDIT, which I think is similar to Music Minus One.. where you can include yourself in a classical piece.   Also sounds like fun.


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Too many notes, Herr Mozart!

To celebrate my 300th entry for  this blog, I want to talk a bit about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

The BBC Music Magazine had a large spread about Herr Mozart and his marvelous music a few months ago.  They also had some myths to squash and some new ideas to try. I know that many of you do not have access to this remarkable magazine (and I highly recommend it!) so, I'll list some of their findings.. I don't think they will mind.

Mozart Myths (outlined by Wordsmith Misha Donat)

1.  He died in a pauper's grave.

Not so.  He was buried in an unmarked 'simple' grave like other members of Vienna's middle class.

2.  He had Tourette's Syndrome.

Not so.  His scatological letters would seem to indicate that, but such talk was common in middle class Vienna.

3.  He died rehearsing the Requiem.

Not so.  The last rehearsal sing-through happened earlier.

4.  Salieri poisoned him.

Probably not.  Even though his wife said the dying and delirious Mozart mentioned it.   She didn't believe it.

5.  He wrote Symphonies No. 39 to 41 as a testament to himself for posterity.

Don't think so.  He was a pro, not an egoist.

6.  As a teen, he wrote out Allegri's Miserere after one hearing.

Probably not.  But he could have.

7.  He threw dice to trigger musical ideas.

No evidence of this, although he might have used alphabetization on parts of his music.

8.  Mozart increases your intelligence.

No.  BBC reports.. but I believe it.  Look what it's done for me. (Hmmm)  I didn't get admitted to Mensa until I had become a fan of Mozart's music.

9.  He wore brightly colored wigs.

No.  He rarely wore wigs, in spite of what is shown in the movie, AMADEUS.
BBC's Unusual Uses for Mozart  (Wonderfully written by By Jeremy Pound)

1.  Making Wine

A Tuscany wine-maker pipes Magic Flute music over his vines and makes a special wine called Flauto Magico.

2,  Stopping Student Drunkenness

Officials at Pittsburgh University pipe Eine Kleine Nachtmusik throughout the campus from 10 pm to 2 am.  They claim that it reduces drunken activity.

3.  Making clearer water

A doctor of alternative medicine claims that water that has had Mozart music played at it produces nice clear crystals when frozen.

4.  Making Contented Cows

A Spanish dairy farmer plays Mozart's Concerto for Flute and Harp to his 700 cows and they reward him with an extra six liters of milk each.

5.  Making Tastier Eggs

In 2003, Mannheim Mozart Festival organizers played Mozart music for 14 days to 3,000 hens.  Production didn't rise much, but everybody said the eggs were very tasty.

6.  Calming down Dogs

"It's quieter in the kennels now," say the keepers.

7.  Trying to get sharks horny

They played Eine Kleine Nachtmusik to a shark.. didn't work.

8.  Increase smartness of rats

Mozart music made them move more quickly, but rock music made them slow down.

9.  Sportier Greeks

A trainer subjected his Greek athletes to Mozart music before each workout, and four months later the team won six gold medals.

10.  Get rid of obnoxious young people

In London, lots of wise guys were hanging around the Metro and making trouble, so Mozart music was piped out to them.  They immediately left and didn't return.

11.  Fattening Premature Babies

Playing Mozart melodies to premies in Israel, it has been found that they get bigger sooner and are able to go home earlier than would be expected before.

12.  Fattening Fish

Bream in Athens grow more rapidly when exposed to Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.

13.  Making ham tastier.

Pigs get  a little Mozart at night, it calms them down, they sleep better, they wake up refreshed... they dash off to piggy heaven, and the honey ham is delicious.

14.  Dissolving sewage more quickly

Berlin sewage workers say the Magic Flute music stimulates microbes to do a better job in breaking down waste.

15.  Making plants photosynthesize more quickly?

A 2001 paper from Trinity University, Texas, made this assertion.  However, the paper researchers were listed as B. Spears, J. Brahms, and W.J. Clinton.


Don't forget to try Mozartkugeln!

Paul Fjuerst introduced his Mozartbonbon in 1890. Mozart Balls are marvelously delicious... a pistachio marzipan center wrapped in nougat and dipped in chocolate.... ummmmmm!  Go to Salzburg for the best ones.. their birthplace.  Also, if you are adventurous you might try Bachwuerfel (Bach Cubes).. square coffee and nut truffles... also delicious.


Beeping; Letters to the Editor; Starbucks; The Dow; Radio Shack; Religion; Early Voting; Candidates; Guns; YO App; Butt-dialing

Today is a Red Letter Day!  It's the first day of Summer, and the longest day of the year.  But its a little overcast and dismal.   But still.. its 70 degrees, so what is wrong with that?

We woke up this morning to a loud beeping from one of our smoke detectors.  I called our Security Patrol, that replaces batteries for us old folks that can't reach high places.  The guy who showed up is in his 70's, so his ears are no better than mine with high notes.  We both wandered around, trying to find where the beep was coming from.  After some false starts, we determined that it was coming from the detector on the roof in our so-called Great Room.  The ceiling there is 25 feet high, so our Security guy had to scout up a very large ladder and risk his life climbing up to the sky.  Even with the high ladder, he had to stretch up on his toes.  But he got 'er done.  Afterwards, the detector sat there quietly until our hero left and then, just to preserve its dignity, it emitted a loud beep and shut up for the rest of the morning.

Some Follow-ups

Kurt lambasts Fred who lambasted Zirpoli

I wrote about Fred, who is a fellow NARFE member, and who wrote a letter in which he said that he did not like the liberal writing of Professor Zirpoli.  He also did not like the actions of President Obama and compared some of the President's actions to those of Hitler.  (Fighting Words!)  Now, into the squared circle has come my friend, Kurt Wenzing, a real nice guy who was a fellow worker at Social Security.  Kurt lambasted Fred, calling some of the observations in his letter childish and disgusting.  I'm waiting for Fred's reply.

Starbucks Money

I wrote about Starbucks about to pay the tuition for online College courses for their employees.  Before coming up with this idea and expense, CEO Howard Schulz said in March that Starbucks would not be raising prices.  Well.. the newspaper today writes that Starbucks will be increasing the prices for certain drinks from 5 to 20 cents.


The Dow

After a small drop, the Dow is back up to within striking range of the 17,000 mark.   Us rich get richer all the time. Ha....

Radio Shack

In 1999, the price of Radio Shack was $79.50.  Yesterday it was 92 cents!  Should we buy a lot? Maybe not.. I tried that before and lost my buttocks.


The Reverend Mike Taylor has the Religious Column today.   Mike is listed as an evangelical outreach preacher and I want to quote him:

"I know that God is raising up a company of men and women both inside and outside of the Church that will fear no one but God... their way will be the way of peace..."

"Pray that God will grant us the ability to be delivered from the land of our enemies and that we might serve Him without fear all the days of our life."

Questions:  Will the company be a militia?  Posse Commitatus?  Who do these people fear now?
Who are these enemies?  Why would we want to be delivered anywhere but where we are now?

Who is the Reverend preaching to?  The downtrodden?  Who are the downtrodden?

Mike... I want to know what you are talking about.  I am very curious about your words.


Early Voting

This was a big success this year.  The Carroll County Times reports that 4,395 early ballots were cast in the 8 day early voting period.  Earlier totals were: 2010 = 1,770   2012 = 1,894. Very good progress!

Candidate Support

A lady wrote the newspaper about her support for a certain candidate.  She said: "I have been with A. at the shooting range.  She is totally for the rights of gun owners."   Also, "She will not vote for a liberal agenda."   Unfortunately, the refusal to accept anything the Maryland Democrats propose is akin to shooting yourself in the foot at that shooting range.  The Democrats are in control, and until Republicans in this County learn to compromise with them on matters, our County will be receiving very little monetary ammunition.

Gimme my guns!

A total of 75 guns were confiscated from a convicted felon.  He wants them back and has hired a lawyer  to get them for him.  The lawyer should not be telling his client that he can get the guns back because under provisions of the Federal Gun Control Act of 1968, convicted felons are prohibited from possessing firearms.  (By the way, 3 of the guns appear to have been stolen and others are being examined to see if they were used in criminal activity.)

New Hot APP!

The YO! App is all the rage right now.   I gotta get me that App, so I can send and receive the e-message "YO!".


I had forgotten about this danger.  Keeping your cell phone in your back pocket where driving over a bump or doing certain exercises can accidentally dial your phone.  I get a lot of calls from people saying.."Oh.. I didn't mean to dial you.. I must have bumped against something and it dialed in error."
(Just think of all the trouble you could get into if you accidentally butt-dialed your old girl friend while doing some aerobics with your new girl-friend!)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Cholesterol; The VA; Food for the Poor; The Bible; Supreme Court Cases; Violence in the News; Meals on Wheels; GOP Leadership; Illegal Fundraising; Iraq Again; Facebook.

Low humidity, temperature in 70's.. nice sunny day!

Yesterday, my GP doctor told me that all of my blood tests came back within normal ranges, even my cholesterol, which; however, is sneaking slowly upward.  He suggested an increase in one of my medications.. but, since I will see my Cardiologist today, I need to ask him if he agrees.  I'm tired of taking pills, even though they are doing me good!

I get copies of the Progressive Populist delivered to the house.  It's boring to Elaine, but I find lots of interesting stuff within it's pages.  For instance:

The VA

A quote from the editor, James M. Cullen: "Any Republican who claims to be 'pro-veteran' and 'pro-life' but votes to deny VA benefits in Congress or Medicaid expansion at the state level is a hypocrite who is more to blame for the denial of health care and avoidable deaths of veterans than Eric Shinseki is on his worst day."  AMEN!

Food for the Poor

Jim Hightower writes that we should be helping the poor get adequate food, and not helping pay for gourmet meals for "fat-cats."   AMEN!

The Bible

Don Rollins, a Unitarian Minister,  writes that billionaire Hobby Lobby president spoke to the National Bible Association in 2013.  Steve Green is the guy who is involved in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby  currently being considered by the Supreme Court.  Green told the Bible association that we need to know the Bible, because if we don't know it, our future will be very scary. So, the Mustang, Oklahoma school board, near the headquarters of Hobby Lobby,  is beta testing the first 108 units of a four year program of Bible study that Mr. Green is promoting.  The ACLU is closely watching.

Back to Local News

Creative Violence in the News

An Eldersburg policeman has been suspended for slitting the throat of a biting dog.

A Manchester man clubbed another guy with a 2x4.

New Mind Candy

An Eldersburg studio is filming a new game show for TV called "Pong Wars",  people try to put ping pong balls into tubes, based on answers to trivia.  BORING!

National News

Disgusting Criminal

A Pennsylvania criminal followed a Meals on Wheels delivery vehicle, in order to find elderly and disabled persons to target.  At one point, he even got so bold as to barge into a house receiving a delivery and say that he wanted to do repairs on the house.  Told "no", he then asked for a drink of water, and even got up to get it himself, on the way helping himself to prescription drugs and the elderly lady's pocketbook.  Apparently, that became his modus operandi until he got caught.

Religious Switch

Presbyterian Church leaders have now voted to allow clergy to perform same-sex weddings.  This is a major reversal in their stance.


Illegal Fund Raising

Prosecutors say that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker took part in a nationwide criminal scheme to coordinate illegal fundraising with Conservative groups.

House Majority Leadership

The GOP, by secret ballot, has elected Kevin McCarthy of California  as House Majority Leader after Eric Cantor's defeat in the Virginia primary.  Louisiana Rep Steve Scalise was elected to replace McCarthy as Whip.

Here We Go Again

Apparently, the Hawks have talked President Obama into sending some American soldiers to Iraq.  Can they teach the Iraqis to stop running away in the face of opposition?  Will we end up bombing the so-called insurgents?  Bombing Syria? Will we end up sending lots of "boots" to Iraq on another fruitless mission.  Will the Sunnis and the Shiites ever learn to live together? And what about the Kurds and the Christian minority?  .... and..... as the song says:   "When will they ever learn?"

The Supremes Have Spoken

The Supreme Court has ruled that public employees cannot be fired for testifying against their superiors.  (Does this invalidate Delaware's law that employees or former employees cannot sue their current or former boss?)

The Supremes and Facebook

A man threatened his wife on facebook.  Scared, she filed suit and the case is now before the Supreme Court.  The husband says he was only joking.  So, was it an actual threat or a joke?

Facebook Alone

A daughter sent her mother a bouquet of flowers for Mothers' Day.  The mother thought it was so beautiful that she took a picture of it with her cell phone and posted it on Facebook.   Unfortunately, in the picture is a card from the daughter that shows the daughter's name, address and cell phone number.  The mother refused to remove the picture, so the daughter asked Facebook to remove it because she was afraid of what would happen if a criminal saw her information. 

Facebook refused to remove the picture because they did not want to get in the middle of a family fight.   What do you think?


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Southern Poverty Law Center; Adolf; Candidates for Public Office; Early Voting; False Ads; Email lists; Chickens; El Rey; World Cup

A day of contrasts.. sometimes 90 degrees, some heavy rain, sometimes 70 degrees, sometimes sunny, some times overcast and 80 degrees.  Typical weather for us.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) publishes their Intelligence Report, which points out what hate groups are doing these days.  I find it very interesting and often the things that I read seem to be impossible in the U.S.  However,  there are strange people everywhere and they like to do and say strange things.  Maybe you haven't heard about some of these things, so I'll mention some below.

Adorable Adolph

The SPLC reports on the Barnes Review (a bi-monthly journal SPLC says is dedicated to the denial of the Holocaust.)  That publication released an article this  year with the title: "In Defense of Adolf Hitler." They supposedly once suggested that Hitler was unfairly overlooked as a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize!!  (I warned you.)

Candidates for Public Office

The SPLC also wrote about some current candidates for public office, and had some interesting things to say about them:

Man running for the Senate from West Virginia:  Wants photos removed from drivers' licenses, because digitized photos contain "the mark of the beast."

Woman running for Commissioner of a Tennessee District:  Is fighting against the construction of a mosque and is against LGBT people adopting children, because that will be like authorizing "pedophilia and sexual molestation."

Man running for Governor of Massachusetts:  Helped to get the draconian anti-LCBT bill passed in Uganda.  He wants to restore "respect for masculinity and male authority in the home and community."

Man running for the Senate from North Carolina:  Describes food stamps as being comparable to slavery and insists that States do not have to follow Federal law.

Man running for the Senate from South Carolina: Once introduced a bill to ban all abortions in SC, and another to criminalize the Affordable Care Act, which he likened to Hitler's Brown Shirts, trained by President Obama.

Man running for the House from New Jersey:  He blogs on the "evil Jews" and on the evils of synthetic sweeteners, good nutrition and why womanizing is bad for you.  However, he says he has been a past master at womanizing, because of his "good looks."

Man running for the North Carolina State Senate:  Was in support of Uganda's anti-homosexual law that included the death penalty.  He wants homosexuality abolished  to avoid the pitfall of effeminate Christianity.

Man running for sheriff in Wisconsin:  He believes that the Government is going to round up all Conservatives and place them into concentration camps.

Man running for Anne Arundel County Counsel, Maryland:  He has claimed that the gay rights movement will lead to "forced Homosexuality".. and called on local officials to prosecute women who have abortions for murder.

Another man running for Anne Arundel County Counsel, Maryland:  Claims that there is such a thing as Biblically justifiable homicide.. especially for abortion doctors.  He has also advised members of his church to buy but not register guns.

Woman running for State Rep in Florida:  She once claimed that there is a mind control plan operating at policy meetings open to citizens.  She also claims that climate change is a lie perpetrated by the Government.. she also advocates getting rid of all computers.

A former Congressman, running for Governor of Colorado:  Wants a complete moratorium on immigration, the bombing of Mecca, and more of the same.

Apparently, the SPLC hasn't been following the Carroll County, Maryland candidates.  Otherwise, they might have a couple more to add to their list.


Today was the last day for early voting and I was surprised to see quite a few folks in line at the opening time.   I was there to run the monthly TRIAD meeting.  We had lots of old and new scams to talk about.  Yep.. those scumbags are still out there preying on Senior Citizens.  The more we know about their scams, the better able we will be to avoid them.

Candidate Trickery?

One of our CC candidates put out information that he was endorsed by former State Agricultural Agent, Bob Jones, and also Mayor Utz of Westminster.  They both denied that they were either endorsing or supporting the candidate.  I guess he misunderstood.

Commissioners Do It Again

All but one of our Carroll County Commissioners refused to turn over their email lists to newspaper requests.  Now they are under another court order to do so and pay expenses of $92,000.  Where will this money come from?  Are the citizens on the hook again for the stupid actions of the commissioners?

Over Light, Please

Rent-a-hen is going strong these days.  You can rent a chicken and coop for four weeks for $160. and another $125 for four weeks more... or you can buy the coop for $615.

World Cup vs the King

Spain has shown where its priorities lie.  Crown Prince Felipe ascended the Spanish throne on Wednesday and replaced his abdicating father, Juan Carlos, who, at 76, still loved to shoot elephants in Africa.    Instead of a big show of support for the new king, the Spaniards wisely chose to stay home and watch the World Cup on TV.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

School Debt; Fishing; Ocean Preserve; Rio; World Cup; Benghazi; Jails; Pay

Another 90+ day with a 30% chance of thunderstorms... looks like Maryland is now a northern Florida.  Hope this heat is good for the crops.. everything looks nice and green.  Every year my grandfather would say: "The grass is so much greener this  year!"

Reducing School Debt

Local Democratic candidate, Dan Rupli, reports that Tennessee has a program where publicly funded tuition for the first two years of college or trade school is available through proceeds of the State lottery.  It was initiated by Republicans.  Sounds great to me.

I already mentioned Maryland's program for full tuition funding if the student agreed to be a teacher in Maryland for a fixed number of years.  

Something Fishy

The Mid-Atlantic Fishing Management Council dramatically lowered the amount of anadromous fish that can be harvested by trawlers while catching other fish.  I wonder how New Bedford is taking that.

anadromous fish: born in fresh water, spends most of its life in the sea and returns to fresh water to spawn, like herring, salmon, smelt, shad, striped bath and sturgeon.

catadromous fish: lives in fresh water and enters salt water to spawn, like eels.

Fish Room

The Associated Press has announced that President Obama will soon be creating the world's largest ocean preserve by expanding the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, a remote part of the Pacific Ocean set apart by President George W. Bush. (Why hadn't I heard of this before?)


As a reporter was enjoying a street festival and preparing a report on the World Cup, she was mugged by two teen-agers on a motorcycle.

World Cup

Yesterday, as we ate at the Hollywood Diner, we watched some of the Brazil/Mexico game, along with excited kitchen personnel and wait-staff. I'm sorry to say, we were not excited. I confess that Baseball puts me to sleep and Soccer comes in second in my soporific scale. 

But... I did notice something that made an impression on me.  Some of the coaches (owners?) yelling on the sidelines were chubby... but all of the players were slim and muscular.  Let that be a lesson to me to get off my dead ass and get moving!


Our criminal catchers got another one.  A guy who was involved in the Benghazi terrorist attack.  The President said: "When Americans are attacked, no matter how long it takes, we will find those responsible and bring them to justice."

American Incarceration

Chase Madar says in the Washington Spectator, that America leads the world in the number of people put in jail.  He says that we lock up more people than  Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and China. He cites the Soviet Union's Cold War rate of Goulag incarceration, and says that we are not far behind that rate.

Take Home Pay?

The Washington Spectator also mentions information from the Institute for Policy Studies that spotlights the salaries of certain CEO's.  For instance:  YUM! Brands CEO David Novak received $67 million in performance pay during 2012 and 2013. That was in addition to the $232 plus millions in tax-deferred retirement benefits provided to Novak over a 14 year period.

Workers in YUM! restaurants, such as KFC and Pizza Hut, make an average of $8. per hour, and many are subsidized by the U./S. Government (us) because they earn such a low raise.  As a YUM! shareholder, I apologize.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Heat; Hopkins; Traffic; Last Whaling Ship; Voting Circus; The Supremes on Guns; African Vilolence; Billionaires

A bit hot today.  In Westminster, it was 90+, and in downtown Baltimore, where we were, it was 95, except in the Hopkins parking lot, where It was 104!

I saw a Hopkins dermatologist and he said my legs looked ok.  I am to continue wearing Jobst support stockings each day, and he suggested that I buy some  more so I won't run short while a couple are being washed. 

While at Hopkins, we also got to see Nurse Kelly Carnacio (sp?) ...  I gave her one of my Joe Vaughan Fan Club pens and congratulated her on the award she got from my write-up.  She is a great nurse, and a nice person.

After Hopkins, Elaine and I went to the nearby Hollywood Diner for lunch.  Elaine had a bountiful spinach salad, followed by chocolate cake.   I had a vegetarian omelet, grits, and two orders of wheat toast with butter and preserves.. all washed down by about 5 cups of decaf coffee.  Good Baltimore stuff.

We left the diner at 4 pm and got caught in a super slow traffic backup.. by masterful taxi driver maneuvers, I was able to extricate ourselves from the snag.. and we made it home by 6:30 PM.  Two and one half hours for a one hour drive.  Oh Well... I'll bet there are still some cars left in the backup.

New Bedford Shindig

We got an invitation to help celebrate the "homecoming" of the whaling ship The Charles W. Morgan to its former homeport of New Bedford, Massachusetts.  This was the ship that I played on as a kid.  On June 28, there will be a Homecoming Gala, consisting of a tour of the refitted vessel, cocktails, dinner and appropriate seafarer entertainment.  I'd love to go, but our medical situations would not allow it. 

Westminster Circus

Carroll County election officials raised the devil last week about candidates and their helpers blocking the Senior Center entrance and taking up all the parking spaces.. and also  acting like it was a "circus" instead of a serious attempt at early voting. But the circus atmosphere did not seem to deter people from voting.. so far, the total votes cast early has exceeded those in 2010.  (I wonder if it's anything to do with all those people who switched from Democrat to Republican to game the system, like folks may have done for a certain big-shot candidate from Virginia.)

Supremes on Guns

The Supreme Court has now ruled that the Federal Government can strictly enforce laws that ban a "straw" purchaser from buying a gun for someone else.  The case concerned a Virginia man who bought a gun, with the intention of transferring it  to his uncle in Pennsylvania.

African Violence Again

In Nairobi, Kenya, Somali Al-Shabab members went door to door in a coastal town.  They asked the inhabitants if they were Muslims and spoke Somali.  If not, the men were killed as their wives watched.  (The year is 2014, and we still have monsters killing their fellow humans.. and, of course, stealing young girls.  Civilization.. where are you?)

Interesting Person

Sixty years ago, Martin Rothblatt was born.  At age 34, he had sex-reassignment surgery and became Martine Rothblatt.  She has been married for 32 years, and has four children. In 1960 she founded a company that evolved into Sirius XM Radio.  Currently, she has teamed up with a biotech company to develop pigs with genetically modified organs for transplantation into humans.  She has a lot of money and has the motivation to use it for the good of all.  Let's hope she and Bill Gates give more money to cancer research.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Kid on School Board; Maryland Gerrymander; Weapons; Hoarding; World Cup; Hidden Money; Elvis; Casey; the Supremes; Starbucks Tuition; Fourth of July Fact

Hot and sunny.  It's Summer already in Maryland.

I had blood work done this morning.. fasting.. so when I did get to eat, I pigged out on scrapple and eggs with 2 coffees instead of my usual one.. now I feel bloated.

Local Stuff

School Kid on the School Board

Mathew Saxton, a high school junior will be a member of the Carroll County Public School Board of Education for two years.  He's been quite a volunteer during his short life, and should bring a student's viewpoint to deliberations.  I wonder how he will make out if the Tea Party candidates are successful in this Primary Election.  From their issuances, I would say that their viewpoint will be  decidedly negative and destructive. 

Gerrymandered Districts

Most of Carroll County's Republican delegates will be "contained" in a marvelously contorted District 5, that stretches across the State.  Democrats feel that this will keep them as even less an irritant as they are today.  Some of the other delegates will be included with Howard County and Frederick, thus further diluting Carroll County issues.  Of course, I could be completely wrong in all I am saying.  I need to revisit the situation after the Primary is over.

National and World Stuff

Creative Weapons

Crooks know that if they use guns in the commission of crime, they could possibly be shot themselves, so they are using other weapons, at least it says so in the Baltimore Sun.

A robber using a machete has struck twice in the same community.

A robber using pepper spray has hit a bank.

Oh Oh!

A 66 year-old female hoarder in Connecticut has been crushed under the collapsed floor that held part of her treasures. (Let that be a lesson to me and Elaine.)

Expensive World Cup

Rio's astronomical prices, referred to as the "Custo Brasil" (or Brazil Cost) is quickly depleting the pocketbooks of tourists.  If you have any money left after the pickpockets have gotten you, you might have to pay $17 for a cheeseburger, $35 for a pizza, and $10 for a cocktail.

Hidden Money

Copying somebody in a TV show, an anonymous guy from Howard County has been hiding money around Baltimore.  Some people have already found $50 or $20 bills in creative locations near the Inner Harbor.  Anonymous says that he  likes to see people smile.


Elvis Pista, a so-called flamboyant Kosovo politician with spiked hair, has been gunned down as he exited a restaurant in his hometown.

RIP Casey

"Top 40" DJ, Casey Kasem, passed away this week at 82.  I listened  to his distinctive voice for 40 years.  In addition to his music career, Casey did "voice-overs" for 10,000 commercials.

The Supremes

By the end of June, the Supreme Court  should have rulings on the following 6 questions:

1. Do the owners of private companies have a right to refuse to provide their workers with contraception material thru Obamacare, if it violates their religious views?  (Hobby Lobby case.)

2.  Can Massachusetts enforce a 35 foot "quiet zone" near abortion clinics? ("Sidewalk Counselors" want to be able to use that space to try and talk patients out of abortions.)

3.   Did Illinois violate home health care workers' rights when it authorized them to be unionized and pay a fee if they refuse to join a union?

4.  Can police examine the contents of a suspect's smartphone?

5.  Can a company rent antennas to customers and use them to stream over-the-air broadcast  signals without paying licensing fees?

6.  Did President Obama stretch the law by allowing regulators to require that power plant permits include measures to reduce carbon emissions?

School Money Deal

Students who work at least  20 hours a week at Starbucks and enroll in an online Bachelor Degree program will get half of their tuition paid (up to $6,500) and full tuition for the final two  years.

Some  years ago, the State of Maryland agreed to pay for four years of education, if the student agreed to work as a teacher in Maryland for a stated period of time.  Lots of people took advantage of that.  Why couldn't we do that again around the country.  Let's be creative on this, just like Starbucks.

Amazing American History

Three of the first four Presidents of the United States died on the Fourth of July!  Both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on the same day in 1826.  James Monroe died on that day in 1831. 


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day; Politics; Voting; Candidate Ratings; Obama; Oh Say Can You See; Rogue Cow; Famous Naughty Historians; Guns.

A nice hot muggy Father's Day.. but beautiful.  Some of my wonderful family accompanied me for lunch at our so-called Bistro.  Nice!

More "stuff" from the news


Our local paper had an editorial about political parties and said: "... while others got the 'book' from their party..."  Huh?  I think they meant 'boot'.   There are a lot of these "spell checker" errors in this paper.  I would recommend a read by a human before publication.

At one time, my late wife got tired of these errors and betook herself to the newspaper office and offered her services as a proofreader.  Even though she brought many examples with her, they still insisted that they did not need a proofreader.


Elaine and I did our duty and voted early today.  She had a nice fat ballot to consider, while I, as an Independent, could only vote for three out of seven candidates for the School Board.  I probably should have changed affiliation in order to feel as though my vote counted.. but I didn't.

Candidate Ratings

The local "Sportsmen's Association" published their ratings list today.  The scores are based on "questionaires, records, and the personal knowledge of members."  Wow!

Even though you probably don't know these folks, but they all got A's.

Ken George
Charles Lollar
Joe Getty
Sue Krebs
Robin Frazier
Richard Rothschild
Jerry Barnes

Some interesting names there.  All are Conservatives (or say they are) and a couple are constantly breaking whatever rules they feel do not pertain to them.

Sportsmen?  Are these the guys who shoot Bambi?  Today, I read about something Thomas Jefferson said.  Instead of sitting around and playing board games, one should take walks carrying guns.   ??

Crazy King George of England.. when he was about to die, his minions carried him outside so that he could enjoy shooting his weapons.   Before he finished that night, he had shot and killed hundreds of little birds, flushed out of hiding by servants.  Great sport, hey George. Go directly to Hell!

Fred is Mad as Hell

A fellow member of the local NARFE chapter, Fred Frevert, does not like President Obama very much.  In a wild letter to the local paper, he blasts the President for his stand on the Ukraine and for the Bergdahl prisoner swap.  Fred seems to be quite gentle in person, but I guess Obama rubs him the wrong way.

Baltimore Celebrity

John Waters has written a book called CARSICK, about hitch-hiking from Baltimore to San Francisco.  Might be a fun read.

Francis Scott Key

Don Rodricks writes in the Baltimore Sun about handsome Phil Key, son of the famous 1812 lyricist. Mr. Phil was messing with a Congressman's wife and that got him shot by Dan Sickles, who was acquitted because of "temporary insanity".  You remember General Sickles from the Civil War.. same guy.


Oh.. that Rogue Cow that I reported on recently... it was really a steer.  I apologize to my bovine friends.

Naval Historian

Samuel Eliot Morrison, famous naval historian and author of the great book about Columbus.  Well, his grandson walked out of the U.S. Navy Archives with three boxes of files used by his grandfather. Still missing is a letter written by Lincoln, WWII maps of atomic bomb targets and a ring that belonged to Lyndon Johnson.  Other stuff was recovered in a raid on his home.  Some had been sold to a Baltimore bookseller.

Presidential Historian

Another theft of archived material was undertaken by Barry Landau, who was sentenced to 7 years in prison.  He was caught stealing documents from the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore. (I am a member.)

A 2013 Harper Collins Publishers biographic piece about Landau praised him as "....a Presidential historian and one of the foremost collectors of historical memorabilia and artifacts. " (Well I guess so.)  Landau's latest book was "The President's Table".  I wonder how that is selling right now.

Guns Again

This week, a 14 year-old shot and killed a 17 year-old as he sat  in his car in York, Pennsylvania.