Saturday, July 24, 2010

Hello my name is Howard and I am an air conditioning addict

Okay so once again today we are being hit with;

Beat the Peak today, July 24th, between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

GREENWOOD-Because of the hot temperatures over our region, Delaware Electric Cooperative and Choptank Electric Cooperative are asking all of their members to voluntarily conserve or limit energy usage between the hours of 3 pm and 7 pm, today, July 24th, when our membership will be using the greatest amount of electricity and as a result the cooperatives will be purchasing power from the market at extremely high prices.

During “normal” load periods we pay only pennies per kilowatt-hour for power. However, during “Peak” demand or energy periods when the temperatures rise, we can pay up to one dollar per kilowatt-hour and in turn, we must pass these higher costs on to our members which may have an impact on rates.

Between the hours of 3 pm and 7 pm, today we are asking our members to turn off all unnecessary lights and appliances that may not be needed. We would ask that our members delay major appliance usage such as dishwashers, washing machines and clothes dryers and delay any hot water usage.

Other important steps to take might include closing window shades and adjusting thermostats up 3 degrees during these “Peak” times.

Okay we know that is bullshit. If you reduce electric consumption they are only going to increase rates to cover their "costs" so burn that electric.

Back in the 1960's I lived in Florida and I found out in spite of all the advertisement for the great sunshine no one left their houses because THEY HAD BECOME ADDICTED TO AIR CONDITIONING. I swore we would get by with a window air conditioner that was only used part time. I was 25 at the time.

So along comes 2010 and I am now 66 and I will say I have become addicted to AC - Hello my name is Howard and I am an air conditioning addict (the start of another Air Conditioning Anonymous meeting). I don't want no 12 step program to break my self of it. Damn if it isn't hot out there today.

Our country is addicted to air conditioning the same as it is addicted to fossil fuels. But I will live with my guilt of using AC that in turn will gobble up one fifth of the nation’s energy and to hell with the nitrogen and mercury generated by fossil fuels that falls into the Chesapeake Bay, it is hot.

Today is National Tequila Day

Yes, an excuse for drinking tequila as if we needed one. Today is National Tequila day!!! Viva Tequila and long live blue agave (resembling a cactus, agave is actually related to the families Amaryllidaceae and Liliceae which include amaryllis and lillies) altho they say it is not a cactus I would swear in my earlier years I have picked cactus needles out of my tongue the day after.

by Shelly West

Oh, it's Sunday morning and the sun is shining
In my eye that is open, and my head is spinning.
Was the life of the party; I can't stop grinning,
I had too much tequila last night.

Jose Cuervo, you are a friend of mine.
I like to drink you with a little salt and lime,
Then I kiss all the cowboys, then I shoot out the lights,
Then I dance on the bar, then I start up a fight.

Now wait a minute, thing don't look too familiar,
And who is this cowboy asleepin' beside me?
Well, he's awful cute, but how'd I get his shirt on?
I had too much tequila last night.

Oh, those little shooters, how I love to drink them down
C'mon, bartender, let's have another round
Well the music's playing and my spirits are high
Tomorrow might be painful, but tonight I'm gonna fly.

Jose Cuervo, you are a friend of mine.
I like to drink you with a little salt and lime
Every time we get together, we sure have a good time,
You're my friend, you're the best, mi ami-go

Jose Cuervo, you are a friend of mine.
I like to drink you with a little salt and lime
Then I kiss all the cowboys, then I shoot out the lights,
Then I dance on the bar, then I start up a fight.

Jose Cuervo, you are a friend of mine.

Historic Hurricanes Of Colonial Delmarva

Once again we are about to enter the Hurricane season. Since hurricanes have been around forever, I thought I would write a bit about some of the hurricanes our ancestors experienced. For the purposes of this post the Colonial period on Delmarva is defined as starting in 1630 and ending with the start of the American Revolutionary War period in 1775.

In 1631, the Dutch tried to settle in Lewes Delaware. The Eastern Shore of Virginia initial settlements started by the English in 1616, when a salt making operation was established and the Maryland’s Eastern Shore was starting to be settled by the English about 1640.

The "Dreadful Hurry Cane of 1667.” -- At a time when the Mid-Atlantic states of North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland agreed to temporarily halt production of tobacco, a strong hurricane ripped through the Mid-Atlantic region on August 27th. While there was no recorded statistics such as where the storm made landfall, its track, and its forward speed and intensity. It destroyed 80 percent of the tobacco and corn while destroying some 15,000 homes in Virginia and Maryland. The effects of this storm were first felt on September 6th, although news sources of the day indicated that the violent rain accompanying the hurricane continued for 12 days and nights with such force that people were unable to leave shelter to obtain food. Agricultural impacts included the destruction of much of the corn crop and enough of the tobacco crop that many farmers suffered greatly, and some lost their entire annual crop. The intensity of the wind was sufficient to tear trees up by their roots, blow down entire woods, blocking roads with debris, and to collapse many houses. A twelve-foot storm surge was reported with extensive flooding; assessment of the surge should be based on the fact that the population did not primarily live on the coast at that time, but rather along the Chesapeake Bay and up the major rivers.

The Accomack Storm of October 1693--This storm was captured by Mr. Scarburgh at his residence in Virginia's Eastern Shore. Described by many weather record keepers as a very powerful storm, the Accomack Storm "cut inlets as far north as Fire Island, near New York City." The great storm on October 29, 1693 passed the Virginia coast, causing considerable alterations to the Eastern Shore's topography. There are no reports that Virginia's inland counties suffered ill effects from this storm aside from heavy rain and winds. However, on the Atlantic coastline of the Eastern Shore the seas cut new channels through the tidal marshes behind the barrier islands, as well as closing up long-existing ones.

The Fall hurricane in 1706 caused havoc with a shipping fleet that departed Virginia for England as the storm arrived off the Virginia Capes. Fourteen unidentified merchantmen foundered on the coast north of Cape Charles, with the complete destruction of their cargo, and several others are reported to have been otherwise lost. A large number of ships that managed to survive had to return to Virginia ports to repair damage sustained to masts and sails. Storm surge from this event inundated two fishing villages on the Eastern Shore.

The Great Gust of 1724--According to Rick Schwartz's book, "Hurricanes and the Mid-Atlantic States," two hurricanes brought significant wind and rain to the Mid-Atlantic region in 1724. The first storm moved through the area around August 12th, and caused torrential rains and devastating winds. Less than a week later, another violent storm system came through on August 17th, 18th, and 19th with violent winds and rain. These two systems are among the most significant tropical storms to affect the Mid-Atlantic during the colonial period of the late 1600s and 1700s.
Lieutenant Governor Hugh Drysdale reported on the Great Gust in a letter to the Council of Trade and Plantations in London, fixing the date of the storm as 23 August. He noted its effects on local agriculture as destroying the complete tobacco crop and also greatly reducing the available corn supply. Drysdale noted this storm followed a poor corn crop in 1723, and further disrupted corn prices by damaging the 1724 crop. The economic stress in Virginia was so acute that shortly after the hurricane a temporary prohibition was placed on the export of Indian corn .

Hurricane of October, 1749--The storm was perhaps one of the strongest storm ever in the Mid-Atlantic. According to Rick Schwartz, the hurricane produced a huge tidal surge of 15 feet. Based upon that observation, many experts believe that this system was a Category Four on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. Known as the October Hurricane of 1749 it tracked through Tidewater Virginia on October 18th and 19th, 1749. The eye of this storm appears to have passed a short distance off the Virginia coast. A contemporary account of destruction at Norfolk relates that on the night of the 18th, the wind began to blow hard, and by 1:00 am was blowing violent from the northeast with rain. The highest intensity of the storm was felt between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm on the 19th, with the water of the Chesapeake Bay rising fifteen feet. According to an eyewitness "the tide kept continually fluxing and run at the rate of five knots an hour, overflowing all their streets and has carried some small craft near a mile from common highwater and left some in cornfields" . At least 50 vessels are reported to have been driven ashore along the Virginia coast, with a loss of 22 lives

The Great Storm of August 18, 1750 caused significant damage to the Carolina coasts and sank four ships of the New Spain Flota under the command of Captain General Juan Manuel de Bonilla off Cape Hatteras. Three other Spanish ships were lost on the Virginia coast, the Nuestra Senora de los Godos off Cape Charles, the La Galga 60 miles north of Cape Charles, and an unidentified brigantine 24 miles north of Cape Charles. Two Spanish vessels sought shelter in Norfolk but were lost two weeks later with 12 English merchantmen in another hurricane.

The Great Chesapeake Bay Hurricane of 1769--This hurricane plagued the Mid-Atlantic coast from North Carolina up into the Chesapeake over the two days of September 7-8, 1769, and was probably one of the strongest storms in the Mid-Atlantic during the 18th Century. It made landfall near New Bern, North Carolina, and laid that town in ruin as tides rose 12 feet above normal. Most notably, it caused widespread damage to the Stratford Hall plantation, which belonged to the family of famous confederate General Robert E. Lee.

The Independence Hurricane of 1775-- A hurricane roared up the East Coast, came close to impacting Georgia and South Carolina on September 2nd before moving ashore over North Carolina. The storm then picked up steam through Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. One of the more notable casualties of the storm was the roof of the Maryland State House, which was replaced by a wind resistant dome.

Like the Indians in the area, most of the beginning settlements of the English were on the rivers and as such the hurricane storm surge created great flooding of farms and towns. The damage from a hurricane in the 1600’s was just as bad as today only in the 1600’s they had few resources other than themselves to correct the damage. Most people when they think of a hurricane think of high winds and the storm surge when a hurricane makes it's first landfall. The effect of a major hurricane however is more long term. Substantial damage to the trees from winds, from uprooting to simply blowing every leaf off the tree occurs. This large pulse of litterfall containing above-average concentrations of nutrients and labile organic carbon . This litterfall by itself will cloud over the bays and streams but it also creates increased levels of Nitrogen, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium and that will flow into the rivers and streams restructuring the type and species of fish and shellfish in the bay and ocean for a number of years. The High levels of bacteria from litterfall will get in the drinking water making it unsafe to drink for humans and animals.

Given the time of the year hurricanes occur the amount of litterfall may dry out in a few weeks after the hurricane and create the material for enormous post-hurricane forest fires. In the 1600’s people just waited until they burn themselves out.

For those people living near the salty water of the ocean and southern Chesapeake Bay, besides erosion, the waves would flood the land dumping salt on to it destroying any chance to grow crops again for a number of years. In the 1600’s and 1700’s major manpower was required to clear new land of trees and underbrush in order to plant a new crop of tobacco or corn. There was also that period of starvation when all the crops were destroyed by the high winds. When studying family trees immigration patterns develop following these hurricanes as the farms and livelihood of families were destroyed so they decided to move west. So hurricanes are not new, they were just a little more difficult to recover from back in the 1600’s.

Some data for this post came from; Historic Hurricanes, The Electronic Journal of Disaster Science and CLIMATE CHANGE, HURRICANES AND TROPICAL STORMS, AND

Who’s Your Cousin?

In this week’s Laurel Star was an interesting article called “The genetic effects of having related parents” by Dr. Anthony Policastro. Now this is an interesting Genealogy topic. We know Delmarva was an isolated area cut off from the mainstream population until the widespread use of the automobile. The available selection of people of marriageable age was smaller due to the smaller population in the area. As such marriages between cousins (consanguinity) did occur. Consanguinity occurred most often doing the initial settlement of Delmarva in the 1600’s. When you look at family trees in that time period, simply because of the limited number of families in the area, cousin marrying was much more common. Not only was the relationship between families established by blood it was also established by naming convention of the time. Typically in tracking my family tree on the Eastern Shore of Virginia I encounter intermarrying of the Bayly’s and Scarbourghs family. Sometimes when that occurred the offspring of say; a Bayly female and a Scarbourgh male, that offspring, rather male or female, would be named Bayly Scarbourgh thus establishing the relationship of this offspring to the world or at least to the Eastern Shore of Virginia. I won't even go into the complexity of my Hastings, Ellis, and Hearns relatives.

In Policastro’s article he speaks of consanguinity, which refers to children born of related parents. He also speaks about first cousin marrying and their offsprings having 25% common genes which would include abnormal genes. For second cousins about 12% of the genes are common. Third cousins are at 6%, fourth cousins are at 3% , fifth cousins are at 1.5% and so on. He points out it is important to give any degree of consanguinity to your doctor. This is but another reason for family tree research; it helps you avoid marrying your cousin. Laugh but in today’s world where divorce is common, the frequency of mixed (as in your kids, my kids, our kids and kids that just tagged along from a previous divorce) marriages, unmarried woman having babies without naming the father, and the lack of close extended family contact, determining who your cousins are is more difficult. This is but another good reason to attend that family reunion.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fusion Candidates

Two interesting and opposing views are held by bloggers on fusion candidates in Delaware. Slavens Says thinks they should be allowed (Superior Court denied the rights of a fusion candidate today) and over at Frank Calio's Blog he thinks the judge decided correctly and they should have never been allowed in the first place. Now fusion candidates are those people running for an office in one party that decides to also run for that office in another's party primary election. I have to take a middle of the road opinion on it, first, I agree with Frank (yes I occasionally do agree with him but I try not to do it too often) an office seeker should pick a party and run for that party, not other parties, but I can also say that if fusion candidates have been allowed in the past to do so then they should continue to be allowed. The current change stinks of the two major parties freezing out the smaller parties. Years ago I asked how could the Delmar police arrest someone in Delaware than take them across the state line into Maryland to process the paper work (The police station is on the Maryland side of town) and the answer from the Delaware town attorney was it has always been that way so the precedent set is the law. Same way for fusion candidates.

Tom's Cove Chincoteague

Well for the past three weeks I have been fuming about our Tom's Cove episode. Each year for a number of years we go to Chincoteague for the Pony Swim and usually camp at one of the campgrounds there. About three weeks ago we drove down to Tom's Cove on Chincoteague to make reservations for a camp site (can only be made in person or by mail - none of that Internet stuff). Now we were aware Tom's Cove require a three day minimum reservation during Pony swim week. So when we get there we get the usual song and dance about location of available camp sites ( we have waited in the past until the day before the pony swim and still gotten decent camp site at Tom's Cove). The price is up, once again, to about $43.00 a day. The desk person insisted the only available space was in some hot, treeless area, by the dirt road leading into the central part of Tom's Cove, but than she told us our three day minimum would be Monday Tuesday and Wednesday. Our plans were for Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday but who is she to tell us which three days we would pick. I find Chincoteague as far as hospitality goes to get worst and more expensive each year. I think this will be our last camping on Chincoteague and we will look at just day trips down. We made reservations over at Maddox Campgrounds which I can only hope will be better than the disaster we had last year there.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

National Baby Food Festival

In Freemont, Michigan the National Baby Food Festival starts today and goes thru the weekend. Fremont, the Baby Food Capital of the World, is the home of Gerber Products Company. Don't laugh, it seems to be a well funded event with such features as; the original bed race where real beds on wheels are raced down the street. Baby Food Cook-Off - Baby Food isn't just for babies anymore. Contestants present their delicious creations for a panel of judges. Public welcome - recipe cards available! Parades and entertainment. The Adult Baby Food Eating Contest - Put on your bibs! One of the most unique contests that you will find at a festival. The two person team with the fastest time feeding baby food to the other while blindfolded , Bike decorating, bubble gum blowing and baby food eating contests, baby crawl and so much more!

As parents, do we all recall those exciting days of strained peas, carrots etc? The way my body is aging I may be returning too a more personal encounter with baby food shortly.

Mmmm, strained meat, now there was a phase of bringing up children I would not be interested in repeating.

Maybe later today I will do a post on the Beech-nut Baby Food Apple juice lawsuits from the 1970's and 1980's

Today's Heat Related Weather Records

From Charlie Wilson's Column, a couple of high temperature remarks;

Today in 1930 Millsboro set Delaware’s all-time record high temperature with 110°.

Today in 1934 The all-time high temperature record for Ohio was established with a reading of 113° near the town of Gallipolis. The temperature reached 109° at Cincinnati, OH to cap their hottest summer of record. A brutal heat wave peaks during the Dust Bowl summer with a high of 104° at Grand Rapids, MI second only to the 106 and 108 degree readings from July 1936. Temperatures reached the mid and upper 90s even right along the Lake Michigan shore

Today in 1942 The only occurrence Miami, FL has ever seen of 100°.

It is still dry and it doesn't look good for a rain. The saving grace is this week the Delaware State fair opens and it always has at least one torrential rain in the time it is open.


On July 21, 1968, Lcpl. Edward A. Willing (born 28 August 1949 in Wilmington DE) left the Marine base near Da Nang to return to duty at his observation post at Tu Cau bridge on Highway 1 in Quang Nam Province, South Vietnam.

Soon after Willing left the gate, friends heard shots in the vicinity and a
perimeter guard saw a man in black pajamas running toward a treeline with a
rifle. A group of children were dragging something that possibly was a body.

During the next several days searches were made of the area. Villagers were
questioned and a reward was offered, but no information was ever obtained.

Willing had been in Vietnam nine months, having first been assigned to an
artillery company as a radio operator shortly after his arrival. He had been
in the Marine Corps since November 1966.

Since there existed the possibility that Willing might have been captured,
he was listed Missing in Action, and the Vietnamese could probably account
for him. However, since the war ended, the Vietnamese have denied any
knowledge of Edward A. Willing.

Edward A. Willing was promoted to the rank of Gunnery Sergeant during the
period he was maintained missing.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Armed robbery At Delmarva Inn

NEWS RELEASE: Incident: Robbery
Date of Incident: 18 July 2010
Location: 9500 block of Ocean Highway, Delmar, MD
Suspect: 1. Patrick O. Vetra, 20, Delmar, MD
2. Steve A. Wallace, 43, Harrington, DE

Narrative: On 18 July 2010 at 12:06 PM, deputies from the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office investigated a reported armed robbery that occurred in the parking lot of the Delmarva Inn located in Delmar, MD. Deputies received a report that the vehicle carrying the suspects in this case was travelling away from Delmar at a high rate of speed with the victims following in a separate vehicle. The deputy located both vehicles and after stopping them and inquiring further into the situation discovered that a robbery did take place back in the parking lot in Delmar. According to the victims, Patrick O. Vetra displayed a handgun and took U.S. Currency from the victims before leaving in a vehicle driven by Steve Wallace.

The suspects were discovered to have the money allegedly stolen from the victims in their possession.

Both Vetra and Wallace were arrested and transported to the Central Booking Unit where they were processed and taken in front of the District Court Commissioner. After an initial appearance both Vetra and Wallace were detained in the Detention Center in lieu of $100,000.00 bond.

Charges: Robbery / Assault/ Theft/ Conspiracy

The Delmar Tot Lot

I walked pass the Delmar Tot Lot today. Now this is a nice playground and it is rarely used. Most of the equipment was replaced a year or so back.

The one draw back is the gates to the playground are gone. Now if I was a parent with two or three kids playing there I would want gates and I would want them shut so the little brats wouldn't run out into the street.

This playground has it ups and downs. It is next to the Havest Temple Revival center (which use to be an old pool hall), a block or so away from a retired and removed Delmarva Power PCBs laced electrical transmission facility, and next to a wooded area where people either live in the woods or hang out. It should however be safe for adults and children to use.

Another Legal Joke

Former finance director of the Laurel School District—William Hitch Jr. has agreed to pay back $151,000 that he stole, serve a year’s probation, and the other 96 felony counts against him were dropped. He pleaded guilty in Sussex County Superior Court to theft, tampering with public records and misusing a computer system — one count each. Hitch will not face jail time. He was indicted earlier this year on 99 counts of theft and tampering with public records. What is next - to expunge his record so that he can get his old job back?

"Prosecutors said they were satisfied with the deal. “The sentence we obtained today requires that the defendant, now a convicted felon, literally pay for his crimes,” said Jason Miller, spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office."

Is this a fucking joke?

I have spent my life trying to play by the rules, not steal from anyone, and when I worked for a living I tried to represent the accounting profession in it's most ethical light, and the Delaware State Attorney Office shoves this shit in my face and tells me I was a damn fool.

State Rep. Greg Lavelle has Asked the Attorney General to Toss Plea Deal

“How is it possible that a person who blatantly and wantonly misused and
betrayed the people’s trust is able to reach a plea agreement with the Delaware
Department of Justice that requires him to serve no prison time,” wrote State
Rep. Greg Lavelle (R-Sharpley) in a letter sent today to the attorney general’s

Rep. Lavelle said he was also mystified that a fine and the payment of interest on
the money taken were not part of the plea agreement.

“The Justice Department should have required that Mr. Hitch repay taxpayers
with interest and required an additional fine to compensate the state for the
money spent to prosecute this case,” Rep. Lavelle said. “Because of this
oversight, taxpayers will have to reach even deeper into their pockets pursuing a
lawsuit the Laurel School District has filed against Mr. Hitch.”

Rep. Lavelle said “We’ve required no fine, no interest on the restitution, and no jail time. At best, we’ve slightly inconvenienced Mr. Hitch.”

Rep. Lavelle is calling for the attorney general’s office to withdraw its deal and
either move forward with prosecuting the case or enter into a new agreement that
includes punitive measures and protects the interests of taxpayers by requiring
interest payments as part of the repayment of the stolen money.
"The public’s trust has been violated, not only by Mr. Hitch but also by our justice
system as the result of this plea deal," Rep. Lavelle wrote. “When a crime has
been committed, appropriate justice should and must be served. I find it very
hard to believe that the vast majority of the public would consider that Mr. Hitch’s
punishment was appropriate."

Rep. Greg Lavelle said back on January 5th that he was concerned that district officials (Laurel) turned to state education officials and the auditor rather than police for assistance.

"It is an understatement of grand proportions to say that it is disheartening when this kind of 'event' occurs in our schools," Lavelle wrote in a letter to state Education Secretary Lillian Lowery. "As you are well aware, it undermines the good work of so many and has the ability to negatively impact the future of our districts in terms of referendums and related issues."

Lavelle said he was disturbed state education officials did not advise Laurel officials to turn to police for help.

Painting - D E Bolen - 1947

Monday, July 19, 2010

Hard Headed Woman

Today in 1958 the song Hard Headed Woman sang by Elvis presley was the No. 1 hit on the Billboard charts and went to number two for two weeks on the R&B chartnumber one hit. Aw yes to be riding along in the wienermobile, eating ice cream and listening to Elvis on the radio, could anything be better for an old person.

A-well, a hard-headed woman,
A soft-hearted man,
Been the cause of trouble,
Ever since the world began.

Oh, yeah! (Oh, yeah!)
Ever since the world began. Ah-ha-a-hu.
A hard-headed woman,
Been a thorn in the side of man.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

National Ice Cream day

If it is the 3rd Sunday in July it must be NATIONAL ICE CREAM DAY!!! Hurrah

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! Rah, rah

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed July as National Ice Cream Month. He also established National Ice Cream Day as the third Sunday in the month. It was one of the few things he did right.

As a part of the ice cream festivities popular ice cream company Baskin Robbins made a big announcement. The company announced on July 15, 2010 they planned to retire five of their signature flavors; this coincides with the company's 65th anniversary so the ice cream giant is celebrating in a big way.

The flavors being retired are Caramel Praline Cheesecake (1970), Campfire S'mores (1975), Apple Pie a La Mode (1976), and Superfudge Truffle (2007). The fifth, and longest lasting retiree, French Vanilla, has been in the Baskin Robbins lineup almost as long as the company has been in existence, having been introduced in 1945.

So where in Delmar can you celebrate National Ice Cream Day?

Wienermobile - 1936

Today in 1936 The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile was invented. It is a giant hot dog on wheels. Invented by Carl Mayer, nephew of Oscar Mayer, it was built by General Body Company at Chicago, Illinois. There are now a fleet of seven. Now who wouldn't want to ride in one of these.

More about the wienermobile here.

Some of the Vanity license plates the wienermobile uses;

Clover Farm Store - 1947