Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pay Attention Seniors

Actually the small sign that said "Lunch only $4" made me pay attention

The Power Of The Crystal

No, No, this post has nothing to do with "New Age" healing, this is about Greenleaf Whittier Pickard, a U.S. electrical engineer, who on August 30, 1906 filed for a patent for a silicon crystal detector, which was granted on November 20, 1906 - yes that is today and this is todays history post. In 1906, a U.S. patent,836531 was issued for the crystal detector, which was one of the first devices widely used for receiving radio broadcasts (until superseded by the triode vacuum tube). His patent described it as "a means for receiving intelligence communicated by electric waves."

G.W. Pickard tested over 31,000 combinations of minerals and wires in a search for the "best" detector. The Crystal detector worked by having the ohmic contact, made either by immersing the crystal specimen in a low melting-point alloy (Wood's Metal), or simply with a clamp of some sort. The rectifying contact was generally with a very thin wire, whimsically known as a catwhisker. In all cases, one had to hunt around the mineral surface in search of a suitably sensitive spot. Whoa! maybe too much information there. For our purposes, simply put, a simple radio could be made by using a crystal diode. Crystal radios were popular in the early 1900's and when I was a teenager in school in the 1950's. Well actually they were not popular among EVERYONE in the student population, but those of us with an inquiring mind found them to be interesting.

My in school personal crystal radio was a very simple radio receiver. It needs no battery or power source and runs on the power received from radio waves by an antenna. At that time it would cost about a dollar to make. Simply using a Germanium diode such as a 1N34 or 1N60 for the detector (Use to get them from Allied Radio in Salisbury), an earphone, and a couple of pieces of wire. Wrap one end of a piece of wire around one end of the diode, cut the plug off the earphone and wrap one of the wire to the other end of the diode, In the 1950's there was not air conditioning in the schools (no wimps in my generation) so you could open a window and attach the other wire from the earphone to a metal screen (the antenna). The end of the other wire from the diode would be attached to the heat radiator (the ground) in school (which conveniently was under the window). You could then listen to a radio station. No batteries, easy thing to make. You had no selection of stations what ever was the strongest station in Salisbury you listened to. For a better description you can go here.

These simple radios were useful in World War II, POW camps in Vietnam and survivalist groups. Sometimes called "Foxhole receivers", you can find a number of articles on them on the internet. One article is here

Friday, November 19, 2010

Union Army Invades Accomack Virginia - 1861

November 19, 1861 - New York Times reported that 4,000 Union troops arrived in Accomack, Virginia, from Newtown in Worcester County, Maryland to put down rebel insurgents

THE EASTERN SHORE OF VIRGINIA.; Our Map of Accomac and Northampton Counties, the Destination of Gen. Lockwood's Expedition.
Published: November 19, 1861

We present above a minute and faithful map of the eastern shore of Virginia, the destination of an expedition which Major-Gen. DIX has dispatched from his command at Baltimore. The counties of Accomac and Northampton occupy the lower extremity of the peninsula, of which Delaware is the base, the Atlantic and Chesapeake Bay washing the two sides. The seaboard exhibits the common characteristics of the Atlantic coast, in its numerous islands of sand, with inlets and interior sounds; the principal of these being Chincotague Island, inlet, and sound, famous for oysters, the favorites of epicures. It is from the Atlantic side of Accomac and Northampton that the Northern supplies of the bivalves are chiefly drawn. The Chesapeake shore is closely indented with bays and inlets, often the estuaries of small inland streams. From Cape Charles, the Southern extremity, to Cape Henry, the opposite gate-post of the Chesapeake waters, the distance is about fifteen miles. To Old Point Comfort it is nearly thirty.

Accomac County is only known to fame as long time the home of Ex-Gov. WISE, whose seat "Only, near Onancook," was the place at which his not infrequent letters, public and private, were for many years dated. The county covers some 480 square miles, principally of a sandy alluvium, naturally fertile, but sadly abused by slave cultivation. The population, which is represented to be mainly loyal to the Union, numbered in the census of last year 10,687 whites, and 4,507 slaves. Northampton County, at the southward of Accomac, with one-fourth less area than the latter county, has less than one-half the population. It numbers 2,994 whites, 3,872 slaves; the preponderance being dangerously in favor of the latter; and we discover, what is always noted where such disproportion exists, a community almost unanimously given over to treason. It is not the practice of the insurgent Government to leave such dispositions without encouragement. Troops have therefore been sent across the bay; the inhabitants have joined them in large numbers; and, pushing into Accomac, they have found sympathy at a village, cuphoniously named Pungoteague, which they have intrenched and surrounded with batteries more or less formidable.

It is to repress this this demonstration, and to afford support to the alarmed Unionists, that Gen. DIX has sent a force of about 4,000 men to occupy the peninsula. These entering the Pocomoke Sound and River, had, at the latest advices, landed at Newtown, a point just above the Maryland line, whence they will be able to advance without difficulty in pursuit of the rebels. From this point, also the judicious proclamation of Gen. DIX has been promulgated, and, as we learn, with satisfactory effect.

Proclamation of General Dix to the people of Accomac and Northampton counties.The military forces of the United States are about to enter your counties as a part of the union. They will go among you as friends, and with the earnest hope that they may not, see your acts be forced to become your enemies. They will invade no rights of person or property. On the contrary, your laws, your constitutions, your usages, will be scrupulously respected. There need be no fear that the quietude of any firesides will be disturbed unless the disturbance is caused by yourselves.
Special directions have been given not to interfere with the condition of any persons held to domestic service, and, in order that there may be no ground for mistake or pretext for misrepresentations commanders of regiments and corps have been instructed not to permit any such persons to come within their lines. The command of the expedition is entrusted to Brigadier-General H. Lockwood, of Delaware, a State in some of the distinctive features and is social organization with your own portions of his force come from counties in Maryland bordering on one of yours. From him and from them you may be assured of sympathy of near neighbors, as well as friends, if you do not repel it by hostile retreat or attack. Their mission is to assert the authority of the United States; to redeem your intercourse with the loyal States, and especially with Maryland, which has just proclaimed her devotion to the Union by the most triumphant vote in her political journals to restore to commerce its accustomed guides, by establishing the lights on your to afford a free export for the products of your labor and a free ingress for the necessaries and comforts of life which you require in exchange; and, in a word, to put an end to the embarrassments and restrictions brought upon you by a causeless and unjustifiable rebellion.

If the calamities of intestine war, which be desolating other districts of Virginia, and have already crimsoned her fields with fraternal blood, fall also upon you, it will not be the fault of the Government. It asks ly that its authority may be recognized.-- ends among you a force too strong to be successfully opposed; a force which cannot be resisted in any other spirit than that of wantonness and malignity. If there are among you those who, rejecting all overtures of friendship, thus provoke retaliation, and drew down upon themselves consequences which the Government is most anxious to to their account must be laid the blood which may be shed, and the desolation which may be brought on peaceful homes. On all who are thus reckless of the obligations of humanity and duty, and on all who are found with arms, the severest punishment warranted by the laws of war will be visited.

To those who remain in the quiet pursuit of their domestic occupations, the public authorities assure all they can give — peace, freedom from annoyance, protection from foreign and internal enemies, a guaranty of the constitutional and legal rights, and the blessings of a just and parental Government.

John A. Dix,

Major-Genera Commanding.

Headquarters, Baltimore, Nov. 13, 1861.

The Daily Dispatch: November 25, 1861. Richmond Dispatch. 4 pages. by Cowardin & Hammersley. Richmond. November 25, 1861. microfilm. Ann Arbor, Mi : Proquest. 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm.

Correspondence Between Union Brigadier General Henry H. Lockwood and Major General John A. Dix

November 14-22 1861 Expedition through Accomack and Northampton Counties Virginia


No 1. Instructions to Brigadier General Henry H. Lockwood, U.S. Army

[First letter]

Baltimore, November 11, 1861

GENERAL: You will proceed with the forces under your command into the Counties of Accomac and Northampton, Virginia, and carry out the assurances given in the proclamation to be issued by me on the 13th instant. One of the objects in view, though not stated in the proclamation is to bring these counties back to their allegiance to the United States and reunite them to the Union on the footing of West Virginia. The first step in the accomplishment of this object is to disarm and disperse the military corps encamped within them. If these corps are in the service of the Confederates, they should be made prisoners and sent to this city. A conciliatory course should be pursued in regard to those who are not under arms and have not been in the pay of the Confederate Government. It will require great discretion and prudence in bringing about the desired result; but if the people of these counties but if the people of these counties can be induced to declare their independence of the Confederates, the strongest assurance may be given to them of an efficient protection by the Government.

It will be advised to have a free and frank conference with the leaders of the Union men as soon as you think the time has come for disclosing the wishes of the Government. In advancing into the interior great care will be necessary to guard against surprises. It is understood that the is to carry on a guerilla warfare against you and the character of country favors it. you will, if possible, send me a brief note of your progress each day. As soon as you reach Drummondtown your supplies will be sent to Pungoteague Inlet, and it will not be necessary to keep up your line of communication for supplies with the rear. You will nevertheless consider it advisable, should you be able to disperse with any part of your forsed, to leave detachments at particular points. The best disciplined troops should be kept with you, as you will have no hostile forsed in your rear. The imperfectly trained can be left in detachments of not less than a company where they are needed.

The battery at Pungoteague Inlet must be carried before transports can enter the harbour, and this should be done as soon as possible after you reach Drummondtown. In this, as in all matters, I rely on your prudence and discretion, to which much of the detail of the movements are left.

You will take with the expedition Captain Tyler., who is now with you as assistant quartermaster. I have requested that funds should be placed in his hands to purchase the forage, fuel, and animals to replace any which you may loss.

The utter most vigilance is required to preserve discipline among your troops and to prevent any outrage upon personal property. If any man violates your orders in this respect, you will put him in irons and send him to these headquarters. No distinction should be made between the citizens of those counties in regard to the past. All who submit peaceably to the authority of the Government are to be regarded as loyal. If any persist in acts of hostility, it is for your to decide what measures shall be taken in regard to their persons or their property, and to this prerogative no subordinates can be permitted to interfere. The notion has been far too prevalent that the persons and property of the cessionists may be unceremoniously dealt with by commanders of regiments or corps and the sooner it is corrected the better.

I am, general, very respectively, your obedient servant,

John A. Dix

Major-General, Commanding

_____. War of the Rebellion: A compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Series I, Volume 5, Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1881, Reprinted in 1985: 424. 425.

Excerpt from The Kerr Homestead, Cessford application for the National Register

The Union army felt it was important to occupy the two Eastern Shore counties of Northampton and Accomack for four reasons? They felt it was necessary to pacify Maryland's Eastern Shore, who was fearful of southern attacks. They wanted to run a telegraph line from Maryland through Accomack County and into Northampton County to Chenystone and from there across the Chesapeake Bay to Fortress Monroe. Chenystone Creek was the largest and deepest waterway in Northampton County and was located only 6.7 miles south of Eastville and Cessford. The Union army was interested in these counties to assist them in the blockade of the surrounding waters. These
counties were also known for their growth of oats, which were necessary to feed the horses assisting the cavalry in occupation there as well as Union forces farther North and West.

Dr. Ker closed his home in the fall of 1861, entrusting it and his affairs to William P. Nottingham, who lived just north of Eastville at Hickory ~ r o u n d s ?In November, the Kers left the shore with the Howards of Coventon in a sloop having to pass through the Federal Blockading Squadron to reach the mouth of the York River where Confederate batteries were on both sides. To avoid any noise, they gave the children strong but safe doses of paregoric, which kept them asleep throughout the night. The Ker's fled to Oxford, North Carolina and boarded with an Episcopal minister. Mrs. Ker returned to the Eastern Shore before 1864 and Dr. Ker returned early in 1865 where they lived the Nottingham's until the Union occupation ended.

Brigadier General Henry H. Lockwood, Commander of the Union Army in Northampton County needed housing for himself and his staff during their occupation of the Eastern Shore. The county seat in Eastville offered a satisfactory hub for his headquarters. It was centrally located between the bay and the ocean in the midst of the blockade area. More importantly it was just 6.7 miles north of Chenystone, the terminal for connecting the peninsula to the Western Shore by telegraph. Cessford
was the largest, most prestigious residence in the town. On July 23, 1862, Commander Lockwood notified Mr. Nottingham of his intentions to occupy Cessford as his headquarters.

Mr. William P. Nottingham - It is my intention to occupy for myself and staff the late dwelling of Dr. Ker in the lower part of the village. As I am informed that the
furniture and fixtures of the house are in your keeping, I request that they be returned to the house. I further desire that you will take an inventory of all property in the house - acting conjointly with an officer whom I will name. I will state that the occupation of the house will in no wise interrupt or interfere with the farm or crops thereon.

Commander Lockwood brought his family and staff to live in Cessford and remained true to his notice of intention by not destroying the furniture or home when his occupation ended. However, he did severely damage the family's livelihood when he posted a notice freeing Dr. Ker's slaves.

To W.P. Nottingham agent of the estate of Dr. G. Ker. You will take notice that the
slaves of the above estate will not longer be held otherwise than as freemen and with
his own consent. The proclamation of the President of the 22nd inst. calling attention to the act of July 17" 1860 requires all officers to enforce said act. Here after neither individuals nor the civil government will be permitted to retain as slaves any of those whose masters have deserted them.

Freedom for Dr. Ker's slaves meant he was left with no work force for his plantation once he returned to Cessford in 1865. Dr. Ker used his abilities to rebuild himself and renewed his medical license in April 1865. By August he was able to buy himself a cow and a calf. Until his death in 1892, George Ker was seen as a leader in Northampton County because he was one of the few people the area who were able to recover from the devastation of the Civil War.

An interesting sidenote is the diary entries of James Eusebius Armstrong, then a private in Company H, 2d Maryland Volunteers, Eastern Shore Regiment. I refer you to that webpage which is here Armstrong was station on the Eastern shore during the invasion time.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A New Era For the Delmar Planning and Zoning Commission

Tonight at the Delmar Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting Mike Houlihan gave up his position as chairman of the commission. He has done a great job. As he said some decisions P&Z made, made some people mad and other decisions made people happy, but all were made in the interest of Delmar.

So Planning and Zoning has entered the Carl Anderton Era tonight as he assumed the leadership role as chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission. Delaware Councilman Robert Thompson was appointed to the commission to fill the position occupied by an elected official.

A photo of the full commission, almost

For business tonight Gary Spence came in for sign approval for Loan Max out at Delmar Commons. The sign on the building will be red with a white background. Approval was given for the sign.

Adam Torre came in to present himself to P&Z as the new manager of Full House Poker out at the Stateline Plaza. He said business would continue same as before. It was mentioned Full House Poker has raised $96,000 for charities since it opened.

Tom McGuire, as a member of the public, spoke about a tree that was about to fall on the Maryland side of town and was a danger to the citizens.

The next P&Z meeting is December 16th.

The Commission meeting was over with by 7:20 and everyone made it home to watch Big Bang Theory.

Delmar Change to Fall flowers

I see the ladies of the New Century Club have changed the flower pots in town over to fall flowers - very nice - thank you ladies.

4th Annual Delmar Community Carol Sing

Therein Lies A tale

I saw this truck at the trailer repair place north of town. The front of the top looks pretty well peeled back, doesn't look like the driver was going 5 mph when he hit whatever it was he hit.

Regulations for on-site wastewater systems Workshop

Workshop set for Dec. 6 on proposed amendments to regulations for on-site wastewater systems

DOVER (Nov. 17, 2010) – A free public workshop will be held 5:30 – 8 p.m. Monday, December 6 on the proposed amendments to the regulations for on-site wastewater treatment and disposal systems. The workshop will be held at DNREC’s auditorium, 89 Kings Hwy., Dover.

The proposed amendments presented in the workshop will include: new licensing requirements; regulation exhibit changes; and proposed amendments for residential and community septic systems, including spray irrigation and rapid infiltration basins.

Septic system contractors, wastewater utility representatives, environmental consultants, and the general public are encouraged to attend the workshop and provide comments, both orally and in writing. Written comments will also be accepted by email to by Dec. 6.

The proposed amendments to the regulations and more information have been posted on DNREC’s website, Proposed amendments for on-site wastewater treatment and disposal systems.

For information or directions to the workshop, contact Jennifer Owens at 302-739-9948.

Time Time Time

No not the song, today in 1883, standard time in the U.S. went into effect at noon for the first time due a decision of the American Railway Association. The actual local time, or "sun time" constantly changes as one moves either east or west. With the arrival of railroad travel, the situation raised problems for railway lines and passengers trying to synchronize schedules in different cities. The need for a system of standardized time was evident. The system adopted was first proposed by Charles F. Dowd (1825 - 1904), a school principal in New York state. North America was divided into four time zones, fifteen degrees of longitude, and one hour of "standard time" apart. Sir Stanford Fleming proposed the extension of the Dowd system to the whole world with 24 time zones

Additional article here

The Delmar Planning and Zoning Commission Meets Tonight

On Thursday, November 18, 2010 the Delmar Planning & Zoning Commission will meet at the Delmar Town Hall for their regularly scheduled meeting at 7:00 pm. Looking at the agenda for tonight not much is scheduled. There will be a discussion for approval of a sign at LoanMax presented by Phillips Signs, Inc. and Full House Poker- is Transferring the Business to Adam Torre. Stateline Plaza is having it problems with retaining businesses in it. Well, maybe not Stateline Plaza but more due to the economy and the type of businesses that go in out there. The video gaming place left, Sillie Willie's seems to have moved on, Video Scene is gone, Full House Poker was having problems and now seem to have sold. Who is next to go?

Richard Waller Cooper, Jr

Richard Waller Cooper, Jr was born on November 18, 1942 and joined the Armed Forces in Salisbury, Maryland. At the age of 30, he was a navigator on a B52 bomber that was shot down on a bombing run over Hanoi on Dec 19, 1972. Major Cooper was listed as Missing until 2003 when his remains were identified and he was buried in Arlington National Cemetery on Friday, December 19th, 2003.

Fall Foliage - 2010

The Fall foliage just kinda snuck up on me. A few weeks back when I saw the the leaves turning I thought they were just dieing from the summer drought we had.

and than while running one of the countless errands I have been doing recently I noticed the fall foliage was here and it does look great.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

PRESS RELEASE The Delmar School District

The Delmar School District
200 North Eighth Street
Delmar, DE 19940

Delaware’s Governor Markell Coming to Delmar

Governor Markell and Delaware Secretary of Education Lillian Lowery and other stakeholders are traveling the State for ten public “Conversations about Stronger Schools.” These “Conversations” will focus on efforts underway to improve student performance, support teachers and make sure Delaware’s children graduate ready to succeed in work or college. The Governor, the Education Secretary, and other educators, administrators and private sector employers will talk about a path to stronger schools and give Delawareans an opportunity to ask questions and engage on elements of the plan. This event will take place at the Delmar High School Auditorium on November 23rd, 2010 at 6:30PM.

Parents, teachers, administrators and members of the business community are encouraged to attend these events. You can also find the full schedule at or on Face book. At noon every Friday, a new video message is posted to the Governor’s website and YouTube channel and is distributed to Delaware media outlets. Transcripts of the messages are posted and the audio version of the Governor’s message is available on iTunes as a podcast for distribution to personal MP3 players and home computers. The Governor’s weekly message is currently being carried on the air and posted on websites by various media outlets, and the direct link is:

Howard Comments not school press release;
Gov. Markell on his blog The Governor Blog emphases education and schools this month. There is even a quote from Delmar's own Lorrie Sonnier.

Delmar High School’s Lorrie Sonnier: “My success in the classroom was simply a fulfillment of my teachers’ expectations of me. That is until I walked into Mr. Wood’s tenth grade English class. Mr. Wood would stand on chairs and raise his voice to demonstrate his passion about what we were reading, create the craziest sentences that ensured each and every one of us walked away with new vocabulary whether we had planned it or not. By the end of that year, I had developed an insatiable love of reading and knowledge that has become the foundation of who I am.”

Gov Markell is also on the new federal board; the National Assessment Governing Board
to create school exams

The Mouse Is Born

Today in 1970, a U.S. patent was issued for the computer mouse - an "X-Y Position Indicator for a Display System" (No. 3541541). The inventor was Doug Engelbart. In the lab, he and his colleagues had called it a "mouse," after its tail-like cable. The first mouse was a simple hollowed-out wooden block, with a single push button on top. Engelbart had designed this as a tool to select text, move it around, and otherwise manipulate it. It was a key element of his larger project - the NLS (oN Line System), a computer he and some colleagues at the Stanford Research Institute had built. The NLS also allowed two or more users to work on the same document from different workstations

Wal-Mart Superstores - The hypermarket concept

Today in 1988 Wal-Mart opened its first Super Center at Wheeler, Oklahoma. It carries fresh meat, produce, dairy products, and baked goods, in addition to other standard supermarket products and discount store merchandise.

Back in the 1970's I worked for NCR Corportaion in Millsboro Delaware. As an accountant I had to work with the Research and Development group at the plant. One of the projects being discussed was what, at that time, was called hypermarket stores. They were large stores in Europe that sold merchandise, food, auto repairs, and furniture. Those stores were unheard of in the United States. NCR's R&D group was looking at how to handle Point of Sales cash registers for the hypermarket concept store. Being a very limited person I found it hard to believe that anyone would shop in such a store, after all who would want their food mixed in with auto oil, paint or a sofa. Show how little I know and why I am living off social security today.

MAPP is not going away

I received this email yesterday from Bob Jubic, MAPP Project Manager, about MAPP

In the interest of keeping you up to date on progress regarding the Mid-Atlantic Power Pathway (MAPP) Project, Delmarva Power and Pepco has filed a modified Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) with the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC). A "modified" CPCN simply means that more project details will be outlined compared to the original filing. The key components of the modified CPCN include:

· The reaffirmation of the need and benefits of MAPP by PJM, the operator of the regional electric grid.

· Details on the specific path of the route from its starting point in Virginia, through southern Maryland, across the Chesapeake Bay and the Delmarva Peninsula, ending near Millsboro, Delaware.

Filing of the modified CPCN will restart the Maryland PSC’s CPCN review process

Check Those Tickets

DELMAR — Jay Patel, owner of Delmar Liquors, says he sold a winning $200,000 Powerball ticket Nov. 13, Saturday; however, according to Delaware Lottery officials, the ticketholder has yet to come forward. The winning numbers were 17, 30, 48, 51 and 54. According to Patel, the winner matched all five numbers. Instructions for redeeming the prize can be found on the ticket.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Today in History on Delmarva

1661 - Nov. 16 - Gov. Philip Calvert, Consummate Public Servant and Keeper of the Conscience of Maryland, issued a proclamation stating Va. settlers should be granted lands "upon the Eastern Shore of the providence in any part below the Choptank River"

The Old Circuit City Building

I understand the old Circuit City Building has been turned into a data center for Perdue. Does anyone know for sure? Inquiring minds want to know.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Accident At Foskey Lane and RT 13

My wife and I were driving along at Rt13 and Foskey Lane this morning and saw a van down the embankment and a couple of other smashed up cars from the accident. I saw Tom had arrived at the scene before us and afterwards he has posted about it on his blog Interesting; police, fire department multiple cars and to add to it all a couple of bloggers. Bloggers are everywhere. Tom is the hero of the day, calling for help and assisting where he could so a big thumbs up for Tom.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


There is an interesting article at Expatica newpaper on line on sniffer rats that are being trained to detect land mines. As you know the world seem to be covered in leftover and forgotten landmines from all the wars that have gone on and are going on. Since the rats are light weight they don't trip the landmine. It says it takes 9 months to train them but it doesn't say how long they normally live.