Thursday, December 31, 2009

A LITTLE more news on Bill Hitch

I see where the News Journal has a brief article about Bill Hitch. Again not much information on Hitch (who admitted taking money from the school payroll account), but making a plug to approve the funding for four new schools in Laurel and not to hold the fact they couldn't control the money they have against them in the vote for new schools.

As one of the comments on the article said; Why isn't he in jail? It seems to be a government thing that government employees never go directly to jail - they get a break by an audit being performed. The school district has no ideal how much money was taken or how. I had heard it was by him paying himself overtime but who knows? Was it planned to release this information prior to a two week break when you can't get up with anyone in the school office to ask questions? Maybe they figure with a two week break everyone will forget it. The money taken is one thing but will this be another case where his retirement will go thru at some future point and be untouched, like Wicomico County?

The Governor's Wife Speaks

"His sweat doesn't stink"
Carla Markell, wife of Governor Markell
Altho meant as an amusing remark in a News Journal interview it does reflect on One Eyed Jack Markell's outlook.

The Avenue

I see where the Old Movie Theatre in Delmar is advertising floor space available. Altho I refer to as the Old Movie Theatre it has of course been renovated

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

46 Years Ago Today

I received this information and photos from C. R. Hook and I thought some of my readers might enjoy it. Naturally I too remember the Ulmans. My next door neighbor, Ronnie Brewington's, father was manager at Ulmans so every Saturday we use to go to the show. I think it cost a dime to get in at that time, maybe around 1950.

Located on Main Street, the Ulman Theater was a part of the Salisbury entertainment scene since 1888. In the late 1940's and early '50's it was packed on Saturdays with kids. The Ulman specialized in double feature westerns preceded by 3 or 4 cartoons. At the end of the decade and going into the early 1960's it became a teen mecca on Saturdays, showing monster pictures and B films.

On December 30th, 1963 shortly after lunchtime the 4-4 commerical alarm signal sounded at Headquarters company. When the engines arrived, smoke was pouring through the front doors. Station 2 sent their equipment and volunteers as the firefighters entered the burning building. Smoke conditions were extremerely heavy and Chief Wilson Taylor called on help from Fruitland, Hebron, Delmar & Parsonsburg. Cracks began developing in the front wall so all firefighters were ordered out of the building.

My Mother worked at Benjamins at the time and I have gone down to watch but police were driving all spectators back up Main St. behind barricades so I went up to the second floor of Benjamins and joined the employees watching from the windows. It was cold and all the water being poured into the Ulman and hose lines on Main Street were turning to ice. Very treacherous for the firefighters. It was late that evening before everything was brought under control. Luckily no serious injuries were suffered by either the firefighters or spectators. Nor were any other Main St. buildings burnt although some had smoke and water damages.

The Ulman Theater was never rebuilt. It was located next door to the Thomas R. Young Music Store (now called Parker Place). The gap next to that building was where the Ulman once stood.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

You smuggle drugs - you die.

In China today a British citizen, caught smuggling heroin, was executed by lethal injection . Solves that problem and no expense keeping him in jail for 10 years than releasing him so he can go back to doing the same thing. I only wonder why they waited two years to do it.

Packing Away Christmas Decorations


Yes, you can fully expect to see these newspaper headlines one day concerning Howard's house. I have spent the morning packing up and hauling Christmas decorations back to the attic. The attic is on the third story so I have been huffing and puffing most of the morning - pretty near had a heart attack hauling that stuff. Finally am taking a break and having a beer and a cigar to recover from it all.

Monday, December 28, 2009

A Very Long Engagement or Un long dimanche de fiançailles (2004)

Since I wrote about President Reagan in an earlier post it also links some what to a French movie that I enjoyed called “A Very Long Engagement” or the French Title “Un long dimanche de fiançailles”. It is a 2004 movie starring Audrey Tautou and Gaspard Ulliel in French, with subtitles. The movie takes place in World War I and after WWI in France. A young girl seeks what happened to her fiancée who disappeared and was assumed dead and in turn it explores the lives of five men. It has enough battle scenes to hold my interest and is very romantic.

Included in the film is Jodie Foster as Elodie Gordes. Yes - the Jodie Foster of John Hinckley – President Reagan fame who left this note to Jodie Foster on his way out the door to shoot President Reagan.

Dear Jodie:

There is definitely a possibility that I will be killed in my attempt to get Reagan. It is for this very reason that I am writing you this letter now.

As you well know by now I love you very much. Over the past seven months I've left you dozens of poems, letters and love messages in the faint hope that you could develop an interest in me. Although we talked on the phone a couple of times I never had the nerve to simply approach you and introduce myself. Besides my shyness, I honestly did not wish to bother you with my constant presence. I know the many messages left at your door and in your mailbox were a nuisance, but I felt that it was the most painless way for me to express my love for you.

I feel very good about the fact that you at least know my name and how I feel about you. And by hanging around your dormitory, I've come to realize that I'm the topic of more than a little conversation, however full of ridicule it may be. At least you know that I'll always love you. Jodie, I would abandon the idea of getting Reagan in a second if I could only win your heart and live out the rest of my life with you, whether it be in total obscurity or whatever.

I will admit to you that the reason I'm going ahead with this attempt now is because I cannot wait any longer to impress you. I've got to do something now to make you understand, in no uncertain terms, that I'm doing all of this for your sake! By sacrificing my freedom and possibly my life, I hope to change your mind about me. This letter is being written only an hour before I leave for the Hilton Hotel. Jodie, I'm asking you to please look into your heart and at least give the chance, with this historical deed, to gain your love and respect.

I love you forever,
John W. Hinckley

Anyway it turns out Jodie Foster is fluent in French and I thought she did a good job in the movie. I don’t speak French - it took me the longest time when asking for the magazine OUI to find it was not prounced ou-ee but instead wee (go figure), so I can’t comment on her French.

As far John Hinckley this past summer he was given the ability to visit his mother for nine days at a time from the mental institution he is in and have a driver license. A problem just waiting to happen.

Health Care

We just can’t trust the American people to make those types of choices … Government has to make those choices for people.

First Lady Hillary Clinton commented to Representative Dennis Hastert, R-Ill, regarding her national health care plan and the issue of who should oversee the distribution of funds, 1993

Scumbag Republicans

“Retired lieutenant-colonel and conservative pundit Oliver North will be the keynote speaker at the annual Kent County Lincoln Day Dinner on Friday, February 19, at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino.

“We’re letting the public know now because Ollie North is attracting folks from across the region regardless of political affiliation and people are already making reservations” said David Burris, Kent Co. GOP chairman.

Cocktails and a silent auction will begin at 6 p.m., with dinner at 7 p.m. Donations for a silent auction are also being sought.

Individual tickets are $100, with corporate sponsorships available from $300 to $2,500. Upper level sponsors will spend a private cocktail hour with Col. North, then sit with him at the chairman’s table at dinner. For more information and updates click on or call 302-747-7579.”

I have given this free plug to the Kent County GOP and their Kent County Lincoln Day Dinner because they are an insulting group of bottom-feeding scumbags. Of the many people I hold in contempt Oliver North has a special place in my black heart. Now he happens to be only a couple of months younger than me and I understand he is battling prostrate cancer and I truly wish him well in his fight against cancer.

Today Oliver North runs a public speaking operation, as many people view him as a hero as related to the Iran-Contra affair, I of course do not.

Back in 1985 and 1986 he was a well known personality. He worked in the presidency of Ronald Reagan – one of the most corrupt and economy deficient presidencies in the history of the US of A. By the end of Ronald Reagan’s presidency, 138 administration officials had been convicted, indicted, or subjected to official investigations for official misconduct and/or criminal violation. Reagan’s economic recovery was made possible because it was purchased on credit as the U.S was transformed into the world's greatest debtor nation. He created an environment from 1981 to 1989, of lying, stretching the truth, bending laws, government doublespeak and just encouraging his underlings to run illegal operations as long as it was covered by the title of patriot. Elected at age 70 his mind was shot and he allowed other people to run the details of his office.

Now some people will say Howard is a Democrat just out to run the good and true Republicans party down, but no I am a registered Republican. A Republican that is frequently embarrassed by the people we put up to run for office and have elected. A Republican that has not voted for a high level Republican elected office in a number of years, of course I also haven’t voted for a high level Democratic, the people the Democratic Party have had elected aren’t any better. Good Old Bill Clinton, who taught a generation of school age kids that “oral sex isn’t really sex” and it is Biblically sanctioned (cited Genesis 38: 8-10 where Onan is reluctant to impregnate his brother's widow and "spills his seed on the ground.") and quoted Black's Law Dictionary which states that oral sex is not technically adultery. Today we have Obama, who at this time doesn’t appear to be screwing anyone but the American Taxpayer.

Back to Oliver North. Oliver North was involved in the Iran-Contra Scandal and just how "Iran" and "Contra" came to be said in the same breath was the result of complicated covert activities, all carried out, the players said, in the name of democracy, with Oliver North standing in his Marine Uniform swearing he did as he was ordered to do.

In two separate parts of the world the United States stuck it’s nose into other countries government. In Central America the United States (under President Carter) had helped the Sandinista’s overthrow the Somoza government of Nicaragua and establishes the Sandinista government. Once that government turned against the United States again, thru our CIA, we funneled money and arms to the various rebel groups opposing the Sandinista government, know in Spanish as la contra, short for “la contrarrevolucion,” or in English the term "Contra" . Between 1982 and 1984 the congress in an effort to stop the involvement passed three U.S. legislative amendments called the Boland Amendment. The amendment outlawed U.S. assistance to the Contras for the purpose of overthrowing the Nicaraguan government.

Meanwhile over in the Middle East Iran and Iraq were at war with one another. In addition in Lebanon the Hezbollah organization were kidnapping and holding hostages (96 foreign hostages between 1982 and 1992). At that time the American hostages in Beirut were; Father Martin Jenco, Terry Anderson, David Jacobsen, Thomas Sutherland, and Peter Kilburn. The Hezbollah was thought responsible for the killing of 299 American serviceman in the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing. President Ronald Reagan did not fight the Hezbollah instead he withdrew the Marines from Lebanon. He later would invade Grenada and turn it into a little Club Med war as a PR stunt so he could show democracy rules. Altho the President swore there would be no ransom for hostages he was two faced. He left it to the National Security Council to work out the details. The Iranians did not have the hostages but could generate influence on the people who did and the Iranians need arms for their war. The United States thru middle men and Israel sold to Iran over 2,500 TOW Anti-tank missiles and a number of HAWK anti-aircraft missiles plus spare parts. By using middle men the letter of the law was not violated but the spirit of the law was. Some hostages were released and than more taken hostage.

Centered in both Central America and Iran covert operations was Oliver North. The Boland amendments, prohibited the Defense Dept., the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), or any other government agency from providing military aid to the contras from Dec., 1983, to Sept., 1985. The Reagan administration circumvented these limitations by using the National Security Council (NSC), which was not explicitly covered by the law, to supervise covert military aid to the contras. This operation was directed by NSC staffer Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North.

The money made off these sales were so large that Oliver North figured there was no reason to turn it all back to the United States Government and he directed a part of it to the Contras. Of the $30 million received for arms to Iran only $12 million was turned back to the US coffers.

The Lebanese newspaper "Al-Shiraa" printed an exposé on the clandestine activities in November 1986, Reagan went on television and vehemently denied that any such operation had occurred. (On Nov 13th President Reagan address to nation: "We did not-repeat-did not trade weapons or anything else for hostages nor will we.") He retracted the statement a week later, insisting that the sale of weapons had not been an arms-for-hostages deal. Reagan defended the actions by virtue of their good intentions.

On November 21st Reagan asks Attorney General Meese to conduct an inquiry of the Iran affair to get facts straight. Oliver North and his secretary begins shredding documents. Upon further investigation, Attorney General Edwin Meese verified the report and an independent special prosecutor Lawrence E. Walsh was appointed to investigate the activities surrounding the arms sale and the Contra aid. On November 25th National Security Advisor John Poindexter resigns and Oliver North is fired. President Reagan appoints the Tower Commission to review Iran Contra and in February they issue their report which is critical of Reagan.

In July and August of 1987 Oliver North testifies in Senate hearing where he claims he had approval from superiors in all matter. The outcome of all of this was Oliver North was indicted on twelve different counts ranging from Obstruction of Congress to Concealing, removing, mutilating, obliterating, falsifying and destroying official NSC documents relevant to the Iran/contra matter. He was found guilty by a jury of only three minor counts in the original 12. The convictions were vacated on appeal on the grounds that North's Fifth Amendment rights may have been violated by the indirect use of his testimony to Congress which had been given under a grant of immunity. Over the six year period that this played out it was media circus. A number of Senators and Representatives used the media resulting from the Iran-Contra affair as free publicity for themselves. In truth it was a distraction from the main issue as to rather or not President Reagan should be impeached.

On Christmas Eve 1992, President George H W Bush issued presidential pardons to all indicted in the scandal. Bush said the "common denominator of their motivation -- whether their actions were right or wrong -- was patriotism." The Iran-Contra Affair was ended. North's conviction was expunged on the grounds that he had acted strictly out of patriotism, which insulted all Americans who follow the law. I truly feel Oliver North, the same as Bill Hitch, knew he was wrong in what he did. Oliver North did it for personal gain by an attempting to carry out an assignment well and be promoted to full Colonel. He can swear on a stack of bibles as long as he wants that he was a patriot and I will never believe him. We can not exempt ourselves from a law nor can we play games with the spirit of the law. For all of us who attempt to obey the law, both to the letter and the spirit of the law, the support shown him by the Kent County GOP is an insult.

The Christmas Bubble Burst

Ok so I ate too much, drank too much and exercised too little, maybe insulted a few people, and perhaps Christmas was not a remake of “It’s a wonderful life” but it has come and gone and it has been placed in it’s proper place of Christmases past. With the burst of the Christmas Bubble there usually comes a day of mediation as the extra high sugar level my body acquired over Christmas begins to ramp down to something close to normal and I start to think about Christmas bills, heating bills, packing up a mountain of packaging material and wrapping paper and wondering what happen to the Green initiative we had tried to start but forgot about as the commercialism of Christmas sucked our souls and wallets dry and made the Chinese rich. Without a doubt looking at outside Christmas decorations on a winter’s day, blowing in a wind is as depressing as it gets. In addition I and a large number of other people for the past few days have thought about what kind of person would kill an eleven year old girl? What kind of Maryland court system do they have that allowed sex offenders to have a list of criminal charges dismissed and still be allowed to walk our streets free and commit more crimes? And in Delaware what kind of Doctor would harm from one to one hundred children who seemed to have been under the age of five? This is a Christmas I won’t forget but I look forward to it being in the past.

Making Friends Since 1786

John Molson was born today in 1763. Born in England he emigrated to Canada in 1782, where he started the Molson Brewing Company. Now I always pick at Canada for a variety of well deserved reasons but even I will say they brew really good beer, eh. So good, that when they merged with Coors I pass Molson products off to my friends as being American beer brewed in Canada.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

New Look For What A Smell

Over at What a Smell there is a new spiffy look. Uncle Paul has some format changes and added some high tech touches.

Studded Tires

This bit of snow and ice reminds me of when we use to use studded tires in the winter. Back in the 1960's and before it snowed more on Delmarva, than we stopped receiving consistent snows (OK an occasional one that buried us)until perhaps this winter. Studded tires in Maryland (except for the far Western countries are illegal now. Studded tires are legal in Delaware and Virginia from October 15 to April 15th. I would guess that if snow tires are legal in your state and you drive in Maryland it is ok. There were a number of reasons for banning studded snow tires all together or limit them to a few months. They did some damage to the highway when there was no snow or ice for them to bit into, occasionally a stud would fly loose and hit another car, they made noise while driving, and on wet or dry roads (no snow or ice) it took longer to stop. If you drove a car in the snow with them on your vehicle they were great, so I guess the states decided; better for someone to occasionally end up in an accident dead or paralysed from the waist down than to have to repair roadways. I think the main reason you don't see them that often now days is due to the limited amount of snow we received most people just stopped buying snow tires of any type.

For those too young to remember studded tires they looked similar to regular tires except they had deeper tread and tiny holes for studs. The tire dealer would install the studs for you. The more studs, the more expensive the tire. The studs consisted of a small jacket made of steel, aluminum, or plastic, and a tungsten carbide pin that protruded 1 to 2 millimeters from the surface of the tread. As I recall you had to buy a set of four you couldn't drive with just two studded ones and two regular tires.

Passing Thought

God made pigs. Man took pigs, made bacon, scrapple, hot dogs, sausages, pork chops, pork rinds, and barbeque. If only pigs peed beer, they’d be the perfect animals

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Today's Quote

"God bless y'all real good." or the long version "God bless y'all real good with continued success and happiness."
The amazing Louis Lazarus Goldstein (1913 – 1998) the Longest serving Maryland Comptroller, as I recall he even came into Delmar Delaware at election time seeking votes.

Bill Hitch Jr and his self help program

The Laurel Star must be one of the first newspapers to report anything about the William Hitch Jr problem. William Hitch Jr was the Director of Finance for the Laurel School Board and has been in that position for a number of years. He recently resigned from that position, admitting he made unauthorized payments to himself over the last three years. Now the first I heard of it was the post Frank Calio made on the subject. I called around to a couple of people I know to get some information on the matter, because as readers of this blog know this is my favorite topic. To my surprise no one was talking. If anything people acted hurt and disappointed that it had happened as they say he is a nice guy. The Laurel Star article said very little about the matter and I don't know anything so we just have to wait and see how much money was involved and how it happened. If I can find out anything I will post it as being a retired accountant I am particularly unforgiving when these things happen. The Accounting profession has deteriorated so bad in the last 30 years that it is running about neck to neck in reputation with lawyers. Where is Tom Wagner?

Delmarva Sportsmen Blog

I was reading the Delmarva Sportsman blog by Biazzio. It is an enjoyable blog, well written, pretty much aimed at hunting, fishing, and ducking. He posts frequently enought for you to be rewarded when you look at his blog, nothing worst than to waste your time looking at someone's blog and finding out they haven't posted in two weeks. He gives out cooking recipes and he seems to actually eat what he kills (part of the if it dies - it fries philosophy). He talks about the high cost, due to government licenses, of fishing and hunting. His profile says he lives in Delmar and he talks about hunting etc in spots you have been too or at least heard of. Take a look at it, if you enjoy those activities I think you will enjoy his blog.

1937 Christmas Menu at Snow Hill CCC Camp

In the 1930's the Civilian Conservation Corp had a number of camps set up on the Delmarva. My father and his brother were both in one of the camps, altho not at the same time, located in Snow Hill. Below is a photo of the Christmas Day Menu for the 1318th Company of camp S 62 located outside of Snow Hill Maryland.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Here's to you Mrs. Robinson

Long before the title Cougar was developed we had Mrs. Robinson.

Benjamin: Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me.
Mrs. Robinson: [laughs]
Benjamin: Aren't you?
Mrs. Robinson: Benjamin, I am *not* trying to seduce you.
Benjamin: I know that, but *please*, Mrs. Robinson, this is difficult...
Mrs. Robinson: Would you like me to seduce you?

Today in 1967 The movie The Graduate, a film directed by Mike Nichols, was released, with Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft, and Katharine Ross, plus a sound track by Simon & Garfunkel and an uncredited role by Richard Dreyfuss.

The movie was based on the 1963 novel "The Graduate" by Charles Webb. Charles Webb life is as strange as the movie. He wrote the book at age 24, shortly after graduating from Williams College. Charles Webb's Elaine was Eve Rudd (who has changed her name to Fred). They lived for many years in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY. She was notorious for greeting people at the door stark naked. Their lives has had many ups and downs. Webb sold the movie rights for a one time payment of $20,000. He wrote the book at age 24 at the poolside bar of the Pasenda Huntington hotel and supposedly it was based on his affair with an older, wealthy, married Pasadena socialite. He, himself, however now says he never had the affair.

For an interview with Charles Webb go here.

Today, Canal, a French media company owns the rights to "The Graduate."

"I know that without having money it becomes a preoccupation, obviously, and people think of it that way. I don’t know why people have to keep thinking about money. I know you don’t have enough,” he says diplomatically, “but people who, once they have enough and they keep thinking about it, what’s that all about? It’s a boring subject.” Charles Webb

Monday, December 21, 2009

December Joint Council Meeting

The December Delmar Delaware and Delmar Maryland Joint Council meeting was held tonight. On the Delaware side of town Councilman Robert Thompson was missing. On the Maryland side both Carrie Williams and Marlena Hodgins have resigned. Must be some reason the Maryland Council isn't happy. There was about 7 or 8 "Public" at the meeting. My usual disclaimer is; I am not part of the council and what I write is my personal views, not the minutes of the meetings. It is also just the parts I want to comment on or write about. If you want to know the real story - go to the meeting.

food collected for the Tom McGuire/Maryland Food Bank collection

more food.

Newly re-elected Mayor Niblett put forth two names for the resigned commissioners positions; Karen Wells, an 18 year resident of Delmar and a previous blogger. Karen has interest in youth Sports and the fire department. James Henderson the second person put forth is a member of the Planning and Zoning commission and resident of WoodCreek. Naturally they were approved.

Karen Wells and James Henderson being sworn in by Mayor Niblett.

The Stop sign at 4th and Chestnut was discussed and finally approved with Karen Wells abstaining.

Additional lighting was approved for Elizabeth street after 16 crime incidents were reported.

Animal Control Officer Robert Kenney is retiring due to health problems. He has been the town animal control person for 17 plus years.

Director of Public Works Jerome Reid's mother passed away, our prayers go out to him and his family.

Town manager Sara Bynum-King discussed plans for offices at the old Bank Of Delmarva building. The bank's final day is the 31st and they will remove the ATM in January.

Since Sara Bynum-King had not shared floor plans or asked for input from the ten members of the councils this put Maryland Commissioner Carl Anderton into a snit. He felt the council people should all have input into where the offices are placed, if for no other reasons than they would have to explain the floor plan to the public.

Delaware Councilman Payne had issues about the flyer Tom McGuire handed out for the food drive.

Speaking of Food Drives the Middle/High school recently had a very successful food drive. A letter from Terri Addlesberger (Mary Lee Pase's daughter) is below that shows the success of it. Click on photo to enlarge.

Below a photo of a photo showing the students at school on the canned food drive

and as a final note; Jamie Rostocki's wife gave birth to a boy. Congratulations Jamie

December Delmar Utility Commission

The Delmar Utility Commission had their December meeting tonight. Robert Thompson and Marlena Hodgins were missing. I understand Thompson is in Florida and Hodgins has resigned.

Nothing of any great importance's was discussed. The Tidewater Draft agreement Revisions (which I am against) is still being discussed. Our engineers gave us information on the town sewer collection system. A great piece of information that I may share with you in the future. I complimented the Public Works department for the work they did on clearing the recent snow from the streets, given our limited budget and equipment.

It is slippery out there

It is icy out there and going to get worst as this mess continues to freeze.


Reminder Delmar Joint Council Meeting For December

Tonight at 7 PM in town hall the December Delmar Joint Council meeting will be held.

Among the items on the agenda;
an Oath of Office
Richard Evans- Request to hunt on 200+ acres annexed into Town
Resolution 2009-12-21 Employee Pension (MD, DE)
TESI Agreement Revisions
Proposed Zoning Code Change
Stop Sign- 4th Street and Chestnut Street- Survey Results
Lighting on E. Elizabeth Street

The Winter Solstice Is Upon Us

Survivor Samoa winner 2009

Well last night we saw one pissed off Russell “the Puppet Master” Hantz. Clearly someone who expected to win Survivor Samoa winner 2009 and didn't. Just goes to show, don't count your chickens before they hatch and at some point in the game shut up. It would appear there was a backlash against Russell for his arrogance's and gloating about how stupid his fellow Survivors were. I saw nothing Natalie White did to win the game, other than tag along and receive the positive outcome of the backlash against Russell. Natalie White, the 26-year-old unemployed pharmaceutical sales rep beat out both Russell (supposedly a millionaire) and Doctor Mick Trimming (lets face it even at $300,000 plus in debt no one thinks a Doctor needs the money). Ultimately due to Russell's mouth and backstabbing and the editing of the TV show I think in monetarily value Russell will come out with far more than a million dollars from promotions and TV appearances.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

ABC ad

Memory Blackout

For the life of me I can not recall which store had the talking reindeer at the old mall in Salisbury at Christmas time. Was it Hutzler's or Hecht company? I think it was Hutzler's as I recall they had live models, at one time, instead of mannequins and they would freak everyone out.

Going to Work

No not me, but the wife had to go to work today. As to be expected the doors were frozen shut and it took a half hour of her working on them and the windshield before she was ready to leave.

The Delaware Christmas Tree

Since 1923, the United States has held a tradition of lighting a National Christmas Tree in Washington, DC. and on December 3rd it was lit for another year. Surrounding the National Christmas Tree is what is known as the "Pathway of Peace" and consists of 56 decorated trees representing all 50 states, five territories, and the District of Columbia. Sponsoring organizations from each state provide the decorations and each decoration is encased in a plastic globe to shield it from the weather. Every year one-of-a-kind ornaments are made to hang on the 56 trees. For the Delaware tree the Art Therapy Express Program has been chosen for 5 years to represent the state of Delaware in creating the decorative ornaments for the Delaware State Tree in Washington, D.C. The Delaware ornaments were made by 40 children with cerebral palsy working as a team with non-disability volunteers. What would we do without art programs in Delaware?

My daughter sent me these photo of the Delaware tree.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Obama Administration Stumbles

The Revolution evaporates, & leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy
Franz Kafka

What is the difference between a snowman and a snow woman?


Stockton Electric, Ice and Power Plant - 1945

Misc Saturday Morning Post

Old Section of Delmar about 7:30 AM.

I guess the big news is the Snow. It is a heavy snow (a real heart attack snow) that seems to be changing to rain. Public Works have plowed the streets early this morning. I am sure there is not a loaf of bread or gallon of milk to be had in any store on Delmarva.

Since it is Saturday we can't seem to get any local news early on TV. So we watched Marty Bass on WJZ. He has been around since what maybe 1977? I was watching back in 1984 when he ditched the toupee he had worn up to that time, that certainly got a little attention. I always liked him but there is a (large) number that don't seem to care for him as he was voted the "Best Reason Not to Watch WJZ-TV".

School at Delmar Middle and High School let out yesterday for Winter Break. They are off until January 3rd, may God have mercy on us.

My youngest got out of college for winter break yesterday. She decided about 9 PM last night to drive home and "beat" the snow storm. A tribute to the theory that the more education they have the dumber they get. About 5 AM this morning we got a phone call from her to the effect she had slid off the road and was waiting for a tow truck to pull her out of a ditch. She was in Harrington and it is ironic that after driving around Edinboro Pa where it has been snowing for a month, she would slid off the road in a snow storm in Harrington Delaware. The above photo is of her finally getting home about 8 AM.

I see Black Belt World has moved from downtown Delmar. I don't know where they went.

We drove over to the Western Shore yesterday to do some shopping. Thrilled me. It was a test of my Christian forbearance and a tribute to gun control laws that prevent me from carrying a loaded gun on the front seat of my car. I was impressed that so many farmers were out with their combines in their soy bean fields. I would have thought the ground was too wet but I guess with the expected snow they figured now or never.

My niece Lisa Dennis graduated at UMES yesterday. She received a doctorate degree.

As some type of historical note today in 1686 -- Robinson Crusoe left his island after 28 years.

"& thus I left the Island, the Nineteenth of December as I found by the Ship's Account, in the Year 1686, after I had been upon it eight & twenty Years, two Months, & 19 Days; being deliver'd from this second Captivity, the same Day of the Month, that I first made my Escape in the Barco-Longo, from among the Moors of Sallee."

Delmar lone Christmas Decoration.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Slavery, 13th amendment and Delaware

Today in 1865, Slavery ended in the United States as the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was declared in effect.

During the American Civil War, Delaware was a slave state that remained in the Union (Delaware voted not to secede on January 3, 1861). Delaware had been the first state to embrace the Union by ratifying the constitution and would be the last to leave it, according to Delaware's governor at the time. While most Delaware citizens who fought in the war served in the regiments of the state, some served in companies on the Confederate side in Maryland and Virginia Regiments.

Two months before the end of the Civil War, however, Delaware voted on February 18, 1865 to reject the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution and so voted unsuccessfully to continue slavery beyond the Civil War. Delaware symbolically ratified the amendment on February 12, 1901—40 years after Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. Slavery ended in Delaware only when the Thirteenth Amendment took effect in December of 1865. Delaware also rejected the 14th amendment during the Reconstruction Era

From Delaware in The Civil war

Delmar Planning and Zoning Meeting - Dec 2009

Delmar Planning and Zoning Commission had their December meeting last night at 7 PM in town hall. Once again commission member Joy Slabaugh was missing. I think the last meeting she attended was back in March. The other members; Vice Mayor Michael Houlihan, Ed Ferro, James Henderson, William Boyan, Maryland Commissioner Carl Anderton, Jr., and Joe Dixon were present

A certificate of appreciation was given to William Boyan and Joe Dixon by Michael Houlihan for volunteering their time on the P & Z commission.

A discussion of what type of house and which direction it should face was held on the two houses Lou Alberti is building in West Delmar.

Frank Ferrogine and Barbara Stockford of Subaru came to discuss obtaining permits for having a Subaru dealership in the old Saturn building. It will be called Gateway Subaru of DELMAR. He said they were interviewing people now for jobs.

Mrs. Stewart of Full House Poker Parlor requested approval for signs. She presented a very open ended sign presentation. At first she just wanted a sign on the building saying POKER. No name of the operation etc. It reminds me of when you drive thru the seedy sections of a city and see signs that just says STRIP CLUB or GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS. Well that's what you wanted Delmar. Anyway the commission felt it should have the name Full House Poker on the sign - Yea looks better already. They also will have a smaller sign advertising another business in the shopping center.

Anthony Dunnatelli of Rexel Electrical appeared with his sign man to discuss signs on the Rexel building on RT 13 and south of Foskey Lane. It is always good to have another business in Delmar particularly Rexel which is world wide and has 34,000 locations (that's what the guy said). They have hired two people and are looking for a third one.

This building was being looked at by a waste management company back in the spring and the potential buyer came before the P&Z commission and discussed the site with them. The Commission told him how they wanted the face of the building to look and what the landscaping etc should look like. Rexel comes in paints the building that dark blue color puts up fencing etc and doesn't ask the P&Z commission anything. Remember that each time the Town Council or the P&Z Commission says they can control a business if it is in town.

The final item was what was referred to in the agenda as "Revision of Zoning Code." It was of course pertaining to the casino. The town seems to like to downplay any advertising of this fact in their agenda etc. I think it can be summed up in Mr Anderton comment that the code changes to allow a casino "was done solely for the proposal of Mr. Rostocki".

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thoughts On Christmas Shopping

I can think of no difference between being dipped in snot and sent to hell and going to the Centre of Salisbury Christmas Shopping.

Miss Vicki and Tiny Tim Get Married

Today in 1969 Miss Vicki (Victoria May Budinger) age 17 married Tiny Tim (Herbert Khaury) age 47 and received her 15 minutes of fame. They married on the Tonight Show and had an estimated 40 million viewers, which shows how desperate people were for entertainment in 1969.

The couple had a daughter -Tulip Victoria - on May 10th 1971. Miss Vicki filed for divorce March 6, 1972 and it was granted in 1977. Miss Vicki went on to have a number of marriages and at last reference to her was married and living in Tennessee.

Tiny Tim was best known for his rendition of "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" sung in a distinctive high falsetto/vibrato voice. He was generally regarded as a novelty act, with a cult following. He would marry three times in his life and die on November 30 1996.

More than you would ever want to know about Tiny Tim can be found at the Official Tiny Tim website

Of interest in 1968 he released his first album called "God Bless Tiny Tim". On December 19, 1843 Charles Dickens would publish his Christmas classic "A Christmas Carol, In Prose, Being A Ghost Story of Christmas" from which he took his name.

Homemade Apple Butter

About twice, maybe three times, a year I will get a craving for apple butter. The commercially made stuff satisfies that craving and usually I end up throwing the jar away with half or more still left in it once I have got my fill of apple butter. Apple butter however is easy to make. I started a batch last night in the crock pot and completed it this morning. Tasted good to me. The recipe is about as simple as it gets.

Peel and core about five apples, slice or chop them and dump them in a crock pot. Add a half cup of water. Let it cook on low over night. The next morning add one and one half teaspoons of cinnamon and a half cup of splenda. Using a stick blender blend the cooked apples until smooth. That's it. Additional spices you can add would be allspice and cardamon if you want. Warm out of the crock pot it is good on toast or pancakes or whatever you desire.

Paul Cadmus

Paul Cadmus, noted artist, was born today December 17, in 1904. He died December 12, 1999. His paintings are noted for their homosexual orientation.

In 1934 he painted "The Fleet's In!" while working for the Public Works of Art Project of the WPA. This painting, featuring carousing sailors, women, and a homosexual couple, was the subject of a public outcry and was removed from exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery in the 1930's. The publicity on this painting alone helped to launch his career. The painting today is hung at the Navy Art Gallery, Washington Navy Yard, where, unless it is on loan, it is on public display

Hinky Dinky Parley Voo, 1939

Middle School Chorus Concert Tonight

The Middle School Chorus Concert will be held Thursday, December 17th at 7pm in the Delmar Middle school/High School auditorium.

If I Were Mayor I would..

No I am not dreaming of running for Mayor. Over at the Maryland Municipal League website is an entry form to enter a contest called "If I were Mayor I would..." The contest is open to all Maryland students in the 4th grade. A written essay not to exceed 275 words is to be completed on the subject of "Using Community Volunteers." Essays must be received by April 1st. It is unknown as to what the prize will be.

Dog Licenses


Planning and Zoning Meeting Reminder

As a reminder the Delmar Planning and Zoning meets tonight at 7 Pm. Among the items currently listed on the agenda are;
Parker & Associates. c/o Dr. Chandrasekhara ( comp. development plan 10 unit strip mall )
Lou Alberti- New Construction of home
Gateway Subaru, LLC. Zoning Approval for MVA license and business license
Zoning Code Revision (Casino)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Oral Roberts - "Something good is going to happen to you!"

Oral Roberts, now there is a history item for you. Back in the 1950's my family, as well as thousands of other families, watched his healing tent crusades revivals on TV. We never had much belief in him, but a large number of other people did. As he would work the healing line he would grasp cripples, shake the hell out of them, and make them walk. Okay the man is dead so there is no reason for me to belittle him.

He says he was cured of tuberculosis at a revival when he was 17 and turned to the ministry. He created evangelistic TV and was a household name.

In 1965, he created Oral Roberts University, a fully accredited university, located on a 500-acre campus in south Tulsa, OK., with enrollment now at 3,140.

He did a lot in his lifetime and I think he believed in what he was doing. Even down to talking to the 900 ft Jesus Christ that told him to collect money or die.

Oh, the "Something good is going to happen to you!" is a trademark saying he used a lot.

Jane Austen

A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of. - Jane Austen

Jane Austen was born today December 16th in 1775. She has been a popular author since her first successful book "Sense and Sensibility ". The outcome of her books are a wide selection of movies, miniseries, Plays, Jane Austen Book Clubs, Jane Austen blogs etc. If you love money you have to love Jane Austen as her books mention it often. Certainly Miss Elizabeth Bennet, of inferior position, first thoughts on Mr FitzWilliam Darcy is his annual income of 10,000 pounds. Even Bridget Jones is enticed by Mark Darcy income in the comedy movie take off of Pride and Prejudice. Didn't Colin Firth play both Mr. Darcys? Jane Austen's books remain over the centuries amazing and very entertaining.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

December Delmar Board Of Education Meeting

Instead of listening to joyful music tonight at the High School Band Concert we entered "The District Office" for the 7 PM Board Of Education Meeting

The District office meeting room is small so only about fifty people could sit in it others waited outside in the office area.

Board of Education Members David Burton and JoAnn Gum were missing as they were sick. I wasn't sure there would be a quorum until Shawn Brittingham slipped in at the last minute.

Other Business for the night included thanking Mrs. Franceschi for 21 years as a guidance counsellor. She is retiring.

Presented to Jodi Hollamon for being in the University of Delaware Women's Hall of Fame

A presentation to Christy Parsons for being teacher of the year

A presentation was made to Coach Hearn for the Division II State Championship

Getting down to the business of the night for most of us. Principal Shawn Larrimore gave a power point presentation on the Trimester Project.

Some literature was passed out pointing out features of the trimester. Click on photo to enlarge it. One point made was Delmar students graduate with the lowest number of credits in the State of Delaware (22) with the trimester system it could be increased to a possible 36 credits.
The Trimester schedule is used alot in Michigan.
Student classes per day would go from 8 to 6
It would be three trimesters of 12 weeks each per year called Fall Winter Spring
Final Exams would be based on the 12 week period instead of a Full Year exam
Since there are fewer classes there a fewer class changes resulting in less disruptions and discipline problems

Some of the drawbacks mainly concern elective subjects. There will be three marking periods instead of two, this results in core elective subjects only being taught in two of those three marking periods with the third period being a bridge elective. Whereas Band and Chorus would be allowed to continue and have continuity over the three marking periods, art subjects, language subjects and some other electives would have a marking period that would break up a subject prohibiting the continuity of the subject. As an example Spanish could be taught in the Fall and Spring marking period but a different but related subject such as Latin America Culture would be taught in the winter period. I don't see how you can learn a language if you study 12 weeks, take 12 weeks off, than study it again for 12 weeks. Likewise with art subjects there are times when you need the full year to do an art project. I don't think any art classes were removed under the trimester system. I mentioned Arts and language but there is a wide range of elective subjects this will alter and I don't know the effect on them.

Judy Hearn gave some counter points on the presentation and pointed out some of the success stories of her students and some highlights of her 12 years of teaching Art at Delmar.

Many in the audience were previous students of Judy Hearn. They gave a very emotional testimony to her teaching ability. Those that were in college pointed out with a trimester system you could not develope the required art porfolio to be accepted into an art program at a college.

Some of the audience talking of the talents of Judy Hearn

This is an early proposal of a trimester plan. It is not the final version and it will be talked about for some time to come so if you have questions please contact the school. I like a number of points in this ideal but I do think it needs more work. I am sure in the half hour or so that trimesters were spoken of there was a great deal I didn't understand and no doubt a number of points that totally went over my head.

After the discussion of the trimester we left, there was still more business for the board to resolve.