Saturday, July 04, 2009

Laurel 4th of July Parade

We started the fourth off watching a slightly smaller Laurel Parade than we have seen in previous years. It had the usual make-up of Fire Trucks, Politicians, Clowns and Beauty Queens. As usual click on photo to enlarge

Delmar Streetscape

It has been a few days since I have posted scenes from the Delmar streetscape.

Well the street was paved, most of the concrete work is done, and the bricks are mostly laid. What is still missing is street lights and a fire plug or two.

Naturally on Saturday morning there are a few beer cans in the street.

What is somewhat odd is there is a handicap ramp at each end of the block on to the sidewalk but not in the middle. You would think in a commercial area (maybe one day it will be a commercial area) there would be a handicap ramp in the middle of the block.

Another Fourth of July

What a joke this country has become. From one that was established based on all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, to what it is today. Our forefathers would turn away from us in shame to see what their sons and daughters have produced. A country in which government is the largest employer. A country that is so far in debt it jumps to the command of the Asians and Arabs. A country whose military has become a mercenary force hired out to whatever country controls the finances of the US of A. A country where personal liberties are removed everyday while citizens who don't want to get involved allow it happen and yet while the fireworks are going off and some patriotic music is played will get a little misty eyed in thinking they still live in the best country on the earth. Well people at 65 I have seen this country slip downhill to what it is today and why? It is because the people of the U.S. of A. have let it become the shit pile it is today.

Again let me quote from the book "Shantaram" by Gregory David Roberts, altho he is referring to the world at large it can just as easily be applied to the US of A;
The world is run by one million evil men, ten million stupid men and a hundred million cowards...There are only one million of them, the truly evil men, in the whole world. The very rich and the very powerful, whose decisions really count -- they only number one million. The stupid men, who number ten million, are the soldiers and policemen who enforce the rule of the evil men. They are the standing armies of twelve key countries, and the police forces of those and twenty more. In total there are only ten million of them with any real power or consequence. They are often brave, I'm sure, but they are stupid, too, because they give their lives for governments and causes that uses their flesh and blood as mere chess pieces. These governments always betray them or let them down or abandon them, in the long run. Nations neglect no men more shamefully than the heroes of wars....and the hundred million cowards..they are the bureaucrats and paper shufflers and pen pushers who permit the rule of the evil men and look the other way. They are the head of this department, and the secretary of that committee, and the president of the other association. They are managers, and officials, and mayors, and officers of the court. They always defend themselves by saying that they are just following orders, or just doing their job, and it's nothing personal, and if they don't do it, someone else surely will."

Friday, July 03, 2009

Snake Egg or Fungi ?

I was down to my mother's today planting flowers and came across this egg. There was just one and I thought at first it was a snake egg but usually snake eggs are in a group of several. The outside was white and the photo is several hours later after I cut into it so the color has changed to gray. The egg had a rubbery feel to it.

As you can see the inside is much like an egg. It looks like a center yolk surrounded by brownish stuff encased in a gel-like outer layer. It could of course just be fungus. Click on photo to enlarge it

Personal Spending in Shirley's House

Shirley Vandever over at The Delaware Curmudgeon has an excellent post on personal spending . She says she has been doing this for over a year, I have been doing it since the wife and I had kids. Damn but they are expensive.



Incident: Search Warrant

Location: 12 E. Chestnut St., Delmar, MD Apt. B

Date: July 2, 2009

Suspect/Arrested: Katelyn M. Briddell, W/F, Age 20, Delmar, MD

On July 2, 2009 at 6:15 AM officers of the Delmar Police Department executed a Search and Seizure Warrant for the premises located at 12 E. Chestnut St., Apt. B, Delmar, MD. Upon execution of warrant officer located quantities of suspected cocaine, and marijuana, along with paraphernalia and U.S. Currency. Katelyn Briddell along with a juvenile was located within the apartment at the time of service. Both individuals were arrested and charged.

Charges: Katelyn Briddell
Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute
Possession of Marijuana
Possession of Cocaine
Manufacturing a controlled Dangerous Substance
Maintain a Common Nuisance

Juvenile was charged with Possession of Marijuana

Thursday, July 02, 2009

A re-visit to King Syrup

The ad for King Syrup I posted a couple of days ago got me to thinking about King Syrup. King Syrup was a staple when I was growing up. The big red tin was out and we would pour it over our French toast and pancakes and occasionally a biscuit. As I recall we always added butter to it, when we used it.

With the memory in mind I purchased a bottle of King Syrup (no cans anymore) today at Food Lion in Delmar ($2.98 for 32 ounces). The ingredients in King Syrup are; corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, refiners syrup, water, potassium sorbates. At 17g of sugar and 130 calories per 2 tbsp (who would only use two tbsp?) it is not a low cal syrup. And you know - it is still good stuff. A nice change from the maple syrup the yankees have convinced us to buy. It gives you an instant sugar high.

King Syrup was a Baltimore company (Mangels-Herold) when I was growing up. Now like Natty Boh (National Bohemian) and Gunther Beer, it is long gone from Baltimore. It has moved to Buckner, Kentucky where it is now owed by Carriage House Companies. King Syrup was first produced in 1904.

Another quest I have is to find a ginger ale/beer that approximates Nehi Ginger Ale. The closest I have come is the Jamaican Ginger Beers like D&G or Goya. A distant runner up would be the Spicy Ginger Ale by A-Treat you can find at some convenience stores.

Happy Birthday Mike Castle

Today in 1939 Mike Castle was born. He is currently the incumbent Republican U.S. Representative, serving his eighth term. I have always been a supporter of Mike Castle until he backed the Bail Out Bill now I am looking for someone to replace him. But much like Michael Jackson he did great things years back until he has progressed to what he is today. Nevertheless Happy Birthday Mike Castle and many more!!!

My wife, oldest daughter, and Mike Castle in 1991 at the Indian Pow wow.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The Limeliters

Today in 1959 the group The limeliters was formed. The original group was Lou Gottlieb (bass), Alex Hassilev (baritone), and Glenn Yarbrough (tenor). They fell into that 1960's period of Hootenanny, folk musicians and other groups of the time such as; Peter Paul & Mary, the Kingston Trio, The Brothers Four, The New Christy Minstrels and The Serendipity Singers. They had a number of well listened to songs in the 1960's but never a real top ten number. The group broke up and reformed a number of times. Today's Limeliters have none of the original performers. Some of their better known songs were; "There's a Meetin' Here Tonight," "City of New Orleans," "A Dollar Down," "Have Some Madeira M'Dear," and "Lonesome Traveler." Not so well know but my favorite by them was "Last Class Seaman." ( a Woody Guthrie song)

Gay Elizabeth Hommel - Not Guilty

This morning in the Daily Times was an article about Gay Elizabeth Hommel being found not guilty by a jury. Hommel was accused of pilfering about $3,500 from the not-for-profit cheer leading group, Eastern Elite Allstars, using a debit card bearing the name to catch up on rental payments for her Delmar home in 2006. Well I have faith in jury trials so I suppose she was not guilty in the eyes of the law. Ethically, I would say she is guilty. The defense argument, from what I can understand of it, was Hommel volunteered up to 40 hours a week with the cheer leading group and at times she purchased small expense items for the group from her own pocket, so the money she took was "owed" to her for the time she volunteered and for the small items she purchased. Now as we all know there are usually procedures in any organization for reimbursement and I am still a believer that if you volunteer you do so for free, with no expectations of any benefits being received (other than personal satisfaction) for your time and effort. This not-for-profit group had a board of directors that consisted of Hommel, her husband and her daughter. I think the group got what they deserved. Any group that lets one family control them without a couple of non family members on the board deserves to be taken to the cleaners. No doubt they also did not do an audit on the funds. So will this set a precedent for future "volunteers" who decide their organization "owes" them and they should be allowed to take what they want as "payment" for volunteering?

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Annual Delmar Drinking Water Quality Report

Yes it is out, the Annual Delmar Drinking Water Quality Report for 2009. Today I had the report left on my door knob, so I assume everyone else in town has received it also. The end result of the report is we had no violations for 19 different tests for chemicals and contaminants. The town is required to issue this report as directed by the Delaware Division of Public Health in conjunction with the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. Kudos to the Public Works people working on the Delmar Water System.

The Delmar Casino

While I was away a developer, James/Jamie Rostocki, announced he was looking into building a hotel with convention and entertainment facilities, a restaurant, retail shopping and a CASINO on the Delmar Delaware side of town. This all would tie into the Delaware International Speedway. Frankly, I know nothing more about it than what I have read in the papers and my talks with a couple of council people. I have not talked with Mr. Rostocki.

Now Jamie Rostocki had presented to the council and obtained approval for his Chesapeake Bay reserve, which would have 478 lots on 206 acres in the development. With the economy in the shape it is in this has sort of gone dormant. This Casino development is talking about 130 acres. I am unsure if he has added another tract to his original 206 acres or what is happening.

The 130 acre property is being advertised on Land and Farm Real estate as Offering 15 acres of a 130 acre assemblage for a projected 200 doors for buyer's Senior Living Model. Project is fluid; seller will adjust acreage per buyer's requirement and is willing to sell other portions of the property for another commercial or residential development model. Similar offering on the Maryland side: Hebron, 400 acre PND. Is Waller Landing up for grabs also?

It strikes me they are just throwing out ideals and seeing which one might materialize and bring some money in to keep these projects a float so they can sell it and get out of it. I don't think anything will come of a casino. My understanding is the property is not zoned for a casino, nor any other property in Delmar. Planning and Zoning would have to amend their zoning ordinances to accommodate casinos. That would, in turn, have to be approved by the Delmar Delaware Council. Only two years ago this council was giving Delmar Commons Shopping Center hell over just having a sign advertising the Canton Inn, it would be two faced of them to now allow a casino in. If they get the zoning changed to allow a casino Rostocki's next step would be to convince the State people to allow them to put one in. A long and complicated process.

I am of course against a casino in Delmar.

White-Livered Widow

Some times you hear strange bits of conversation in men's rooms. On this last trip South I happen to overhear two men talking about a white-livered widder. Now I haven't heard that expression in years. Maybe the last time I heard it was thirty or more years ago. The theory is a woman with white spots on her liver has an abnormally powerful sexual drive that incapacitates or kills a spouse or significant other by literally draining them of their vitality through incessant coitus. Usually after she has killed off a couple of husband she was referred to as a white-livered widder.

Back a long time ago, I worked for a company that was installing a gas pipeline. On the construction crew was a man of about 30 years old. His wife had had a previous husband who had died and he had recently married her. He use to give us our cheap thrill for the day by telling us how often he had sex with his wife, which was often. Anyway as the summer wore on he became more worn looking. Between laying pipe all day and laying her all night the man was visibly becoming a shell of his former self. As I recall the pipeline finished up in August and she buried him in the fall. One of the older men in the company referred to her as a white-livered widow, which was the last time I heard the expression. Now I know the story sounds made up as I have heard versions of a young wife killing off her husband by too much sex (is it possible?) but this did happen on Delmarva.

Cheryl M. Benson

Cheryl M. Benson, 46, of Milford was arrested for stealing $80,000. She was the general manager of the Atlantis Inn in Rehoboth Beach. Benson was charged with the four counts of theft over $1000, 43 counts of falsifying business records and 125 counts of unlawful use of a credit card. She was later released on an $88,000 unsecured bail. So if she stole $80,000 and had bond posted at $88,000 she really only had to come up with $8,000 in bond money. The Daily Times article is here.

The News Journal version is here.

Sam Bynum

I heard today that Sam Bynum passed away last night. It did indeed come as a shock. Sam was, at one time, a councilman on the Delmar Delaware side of town and later he was Mayor of Delmar Delaware. His family has had a great impact on Delmar. My prayers go out to the Bynum family.

The Libertarians Tip Card

I am always being harassed by people on my 5% tip policy. Would it make it any better if I also left one of these cards?

Thank You... for providing good service to me. In appreciation of your efforts, I choose to make this GIFT to you. I am permitted by the tax code to make income tax-free gift transfers to family, friends and others as long as they do not exceed $12,000 per year. Because this is a GIFT and not a TIP, you do not need to report it as income on your tax return.

Wait! the cost of the card is $3.50 per hundred, if I left a 5% tip and the card I would be tipping 8 and a half percent on a dollar purchase or should I deduct the 3.5% from my usual 5% tip and just leave 1.5% tip? Would knowing the 1.5% was a gift that they didn't have to report to IRS endear me anymore to the waitress? It would certainly attract a lot of restaurant related people to the Libertarian Party. The Libertarians do make my life complicated.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The North Carolina Vacation

We took a short vacation to the land of grits, BBQ, Cheerwine, waterfalls, Piggly Wigglies, kudzu and some of the most gracious people in the U.S. of A. Yes, it was a camping trip to the Smoky mountains. My wife, two daughters and I traveled in a van loaded down with camping supplies and luggage. The van moaned and complained like a government worker asked to do work when it hit the mountains. It certainly gave the transmission and brakes a good work out.

We stopped in Asheville North Carolina for lunch at the Fiddlin Pig Bluegrass and barbecue - excellent barbecue, with a selection of several sauces to go with it. I think the mustard based South Carolina sauce was the best.

Back in the 1980’s I worked for NCR Corporation and they were closing their Millsboro Delaware plant and opening a new plant in western South Carolina. One of the unique things I came across on my trips to South Carolina was "Beach” music. It seems to be known by that name from Virginia to Georgia. It’s a Carolina's thing, much closer to doo-wop and R'n'B than to Southern California surfer music. The main dance was the Shag. It was so big that in 1984 the South Carolina General Assembly declared the Shag to be the official state dance. We left our shaggin' shoes at home so we were out of luck this trip south. My family however had doubts about my shaggin and beach music story. Happily the waitress at the Fiddlin pig was able to back it up. I left her even more than my usual 5% tip in gratitude.

We camped at Kirkland Camp grounds in Bryson City North Carolina. It was cool there, didn’t need an air conditioner at all. Our camp site was by a babbling brook , which was restful listening to it as you went to sleep, but for an old man listening to running water all night merely called for several trip to the bath room.

One of the additions we added to our camping supplies were these solar lights we placed at the end of the guy wires holding part of the tent up. It helps greatly when you get up at night. You can see in the dark where the guy wires are and not trip over them, bringing half the tent to the ground and creating a never ending camping story about the mishap.

Now if you believe the Delmar Fire Department they say you can't have a camp cook out fire in your backyard in their fire district, DNREC says you can, maybe we will see this 4th of July who is right.

Unlike staying in a motel you tend to actually meet people at a camp grounds. Our neighbors at Kirkland were Zack and Beth and their three kids, They were from Jackson Mississippi. Their children were all under the age of four so I think they were adventuresome going camping with them at that age. They were enjoyable people.

Several unique things about this area, first, it is one of the oldest explored areas by white people in the United States with Hernando de Soto, who in 1540 traversed through the southern Appalachian mountains and later the Spanish explorer, Captain Juan Pardo,took an expedition, in the summer of 1567, thru Asheville and Marshall before traveling into East Tennessee and the Great Smoky mountains. Pardo established forts and trade in North Carolina and South Carolina. It is interesting that all were searching for gold and gems and they passed over one of the few areas in the Eastern United States that has those items.

It is also part of the area a group of tri-racial people called Melungeons or Portuguese call home. The Melungeons are like our Moors of Delaware, or the Jackson Whites of New Jersey, or the We-Sorts of Southern Maryland. Okay I have to tell the We-Sort Joke. The joke goes is the name "We-Sorts" came from "we sorts of Mulattos, we sorts of Indian, So we are called We-Sorts”.

The Melungeons are a people of Mediterranean descent who may date back to 1567 when Captain Juan Pardo established forts thru out North and South Carolina and Georgia. The men at the forts no doubt had sex with the Indians, producing mestizo who interbred with the blacks later on. In pre-integration times they usually had separate schools from the whites and the blacks. No one knew where to place them racially. Anthropologists use the term “tri-racial isolates.” to describe them.

The ride thru the Smoky Mountain Park was, of course great, what with the scenic views. The last time my wife and I had been there was back in the 1960’s, nothing much had changed. I huffed and puffed my way up the half mile trail to Clingman’s Dome and for a change it was clear so you could see out into the distance. If you want to see how out of shape America is, the short hike to Clingman Dome will show it. It was littered with overweight, under exercised people walking a couple of minutes and resting ten minutes.

One of the enjoyable things we did was panning for gems. They must have about two hundred mines and gem panning places in the area. We went to the Sheffield Mine first as it is the better known mining operation and has been featured on TV. We arrived at 11 AM and was told there would be a two hour wait before we could pan for gems so naturally I left. We went to Rose Creek Mine just a little ways from Sheffield and enjoyed ourselves. It takes about and hour to sift thru a bucket of dirt so we spent a couple of hours there. The people who run it are very nice and helpful. They even ID the types of rocks you find in your dirt and put them in plastic bags with the names written on them for you.

Above Howard with his trusty garden trowel at Biltmore gettin ready to get upclose and personal with the Biltmore Garden.

Above Mount Mitchell

About two weeks before the trip I developed a foot inflammation (Plantar fasciitis ) that really killed me when I walked. After the trip to Biltmore in which I did way more walking than I had planned, the next day I had to force my self to do any walking at all. However we did walk up to Mount Mitchell observation tower (the highest ever recorded temperature at the top of Mt Mitchell is 81 degrees) and we walked to an over look at Linville Falls. Walking in general was difficult for us. Since we are from the Eastern Shore and it is all flat we naturally only pick our feet up an eighth of an inch when we walk so encountering hills and rocks cause a good deal of stumbling on our part.

Above Linville Falls

All thru out the Blue Ridge Parkway and Smoky Mountains Rhododendron is in bloom. Not just by the roadside but deep in the woods. It is really great to see. I could not tell if it was Carolina Rhododendron or Catawba Rhododendron.

There must be a thousand or so waterfalls in this area and I think they all have a story about a Indian Princess connected with them. Bridal Veil falls was one of the better falls, not so much as the amount of water going over it but you can drive behind it and under it.

Krispy Kremes and Cheerwine - you know you are down south.

It is always good to go away on a vacation but it is always good to come home. It looks like it will take a few hours to unload the van, grass is up tall, van needs a good cleaning, the wife has a mountain of dirty clothes to wash, the van may need a brake job after this trip, but we are home.

F Scott Fitzgerald

After returning from North Carolina we stayed a day with our daughter in Germantown. Since the grave of F. Scott Fitzgerald is in Rockville Maryland (a short ways from Germantown) we stopped by to look at it. Graves of writers usually have mementos placed on the grave by admirers. Fitzgerald is no exception. The most common items I have seen are pens, flowers, candles, coins and stones.

Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was, of course, the well known writer of "The Great Gatsby". Zelda, his wife, and Scott were celebrities in the 1920's and 1930's. He died in 1940. His wife, Zelda, had mental problems and was in and out of mental institutions. In 1948 she had committed herself to the Highland Hospital in Asheville North Carolina. A fire broke out and Zelda was burnt to death (identified only by her slippers). I had planned to stop by the Highland Hospital when I was in Asheville but since the original hospital burnt completely the only thing to see would be the site so I decided not too.

Coins and stones

Beefeater's and candle holders

Both are buried in St. Mary's cemetery in Rockville Maryland.

By the time a person has achieved years adequate for choosing a direction, the die is cast and the moment has long since passed which determined the future. Quote from Zelda Fitzgerald

An author ought to write for the youth of his own generation, the critics of the next, and the schoolmaster of ever afterwards.

In a real dark night of the soul, it is always three o'clock in the morning, day after day.

Quotes from F. Scott Fitzgerald.

MML Convention

Today starts the beginning of the Week long festivities of the Maryland Municipal League (MML) convention at the Ocean City Convention Center. I understand our Delmar Maryland Mayor and Commissioners will be attending.


I have been off on a short vacation and have just arrived back. I have a week worth of newspapers and mail and too catch up with. Apparently a number of Delmar things have happened from a possible Casino/Hotel to Lumber Liquidators. My grass is ankle high once again. I will start posting again later today.