Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Holy Smokes...

We had two snow squalls run through the Frederick County area tonight. It took me three times the normal time to get home. No state of MD salt trucks or snow plows were visible, several Frederick County salt trucks were around the roads. It was a mess.
What's crazier, I took the train home and all through Montgomery County, MD...Nothing!
Snow on the grass, sidewalks, lots. Nothing on the shoulders or surfaces of the roads.

Near the entrance to the development, there are 5 cars abandoned at the bottom of a hill on the side of the road.

It's crazy! I hope everyone is better prepared for Thursday's predicted snowfall. Kudos to Frederick County though for apparently reacting faster than the State, who I guess were being sent onto the interstates first.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Nicky the Anglo-Irish-German...

Well, here's my one chance to delve into the world of sports prognostication. Ask Wacky Neighbor about how good I am at this. He's made about $100 off me over the past few years with my annual exercise in doomed hope, aka The Washington Redskins.

So, Superbowl XLI. Colts vs Bears. On one hand you have a monster experienced QB in Peyton Manning. But he hasn't been to the Superbowl and he's got pressure to succeed. He has an excellent RB and WR set. And the Colts Defense is much improved.

Against this you have Da Bears. Rough and tumble defense, fair offense. QB with a spotty record, who also hasn't ever played in a Superbowl. But they're Da Bears.

My heart says Chicago, but my head says Indy by 17.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

It's Bawlmer Hon...

Went to Cafe Hon in Bawlmer last night for dinner. It was to celebrate my little bro's birthday AND see his new place.

Both were neat. I highly recommend the crabcakes at Cafe Hon.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Someone is working on a practical ray gun.

Now I need to get me one of those and a mute Korean butler/cheuffer/henchman who kills people using his bowler hat.



Oh man, wow, that's so stupid it's funny. Talk about someone needing to pick their battles...whew.

Brat on a plane...

Boo-Hoo...the media seems to be picking up the banner of this family who couldn't control their kid on a plane. After 15 minutes of what I'm sure was a LOVELY show that the 3 year old was putting on for the passengers, AirTran kicked them off the plane.

I have to say, I support AirTran on this one. I've seen this crap, and yes, this is crap, all too often at restaurants, airports, train stations, malls, libraries and museums. Kids out of control and the parents not taking care of the situation. She's three years old she's crying, this is what you do so you don't get kicked off the plane:
1.) Pick up child. (Yes, you can do this. 3 year olds, unless they are marine mammals or horses are very portable.)
2.) Place child in seat. (Again, this can be done, seats have flat open surfaces that can accept the posterior of an individual.)
3.) Strap in child to seat.
4.) Fly home. Vow never to take child on plane again if she EVER pulls a stunt like that. Ground child. Perhaps even speak...in a loud voice...to make sure the point is made. (This can also be done, it's called discipline for bad behavior.)

112 other people paid for their seats to fly to Boston here. Because two parents could not control their child the plane was delaying its departure. After 15 minutes the crew did the right thing. They thought of the rest of the people on the plane rather than the family that can't sit quietly.

So, kudos to Air Tran and a big EFF-U to the media for taking the side of the family. Those of us who do not have children and have no intention of being inconvenienced by the poor parenting skills of others, salute you AirTran and will consider you for our next flight in hopes of it being brat-free.

(Yes, I totally know this makes me sound like a heartless curmudgeon. But you know what, when I was little I only had to do something like that once to learn the hard way that acting like that was unacceptable. I see kids who have not learned how to behave in public too often these days and when I'm on the Metro on a weekday evening, I don't want a temper tantrum. I want to go the hell home in peace and quiet. I'm tired, I've worked at my job for 9 hours. I don't want to hear anything. Just the rumble of the train as it whisks me to my car. The same goes for people who yak on their cell phone so loudly that the entire car can hear them. Those people should be shot on sight and their corpses hung from cell towers as a lesson to all who may transgress the bounds of cell-phone etiquette.)

Monday, January 22, 2007



From my 2004 trip to Chicago.

Go Bears!
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Trains and Snow and Work...

This is what I got to see at work today. We had some snow this Sunday in the area. I took my camera to work to catch a shot of snow blowing out from under a thundering intermodal train. Instead I got ice covered snow that didn't blow. But still, a neat shot.
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Thursday, January 18, 2007

My Hobo Name...

Microfiche Roy the Side Scroller

Steal your own Hobo Name Here.

For if given a chance they would steal your name without hesitation and then try to sell it back to you.

Thanks to AP for turning me on to this book.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

So this is what the Dodos felt like...


Apparently, redheads may be extinct in 100 years.

Colts 15 - Ravens 6

I'm really disappointed in the Ravens. They didn't let Peyton Manning score a touchdown the entire game and they still lost.

Major failures:
Ravens O-Line was getting mauled by the Colts. They just couldn't push them back.
Steve McNair making several questionable throws. Two of which ended up in interceptions
Ravens not running Lewis 30 times. Even if he doesn't get yardage, it keeps the Colts thinking.

The defense did it's job. No touchdowns and two takeaways. I don't think they should feel bad about their part in this game. They fought like hell. But Steve McNair or someone from the offense needed to get angry and fire up the team. I just saw him sitting on the bench calmly watching the game. Steve, dude...WTF?

Well, today it's DAAA BEARS vs the Seattle Seahawks at Chicago. Then the Patriots at San Diego.
My prediction, Bears 200, Seattle -4. Patriots beat San Diego by 3 in a low scoring affair.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Colts at Ravens...with Nachos

The Colts are coming back to Baltimore to play the Ravens in a playoff match. I've invited the UMBC Gang over and plan to serve various nacho dishes.

So far:
Buffalo Chicken Nachos
Nachos con Carne
Nachos and Salsa

How many people say "hell yeah!" and plan to come by will determine how much I should make.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Easy come, Easy Go

I'm flying solo again. Sigh. Well, better to find out now.

Yay Kim!

Kim finished the Disney Marathon!

Here are some of her stats:

F START ------- 5 Mile------- 10 Mile ---- Half----------20 Mile----- FINISH
6:10:41 AM EST 1:07:17 ------2:13:33 -----2:57:46 ----- 4:48:34 ---- 6:24:17

TIME Chip Time: 6:24:17 Clock: 6:32:28 Pace: 14:39

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Ding! New Book into the Line

I finished "The Men Who Loved Trains" on the ride home tonight. EXCELLENT READ!!!
It's a train book that's not written for train geeks. Wacky Neighbor would love the business and policy stuff in it.

Now batting: "Plenty of Blame To Go Around: JEB Stuart's Controversial Ride to Gettysburg" by Eric Wittenberg and J. David Petruzzi

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

What I'm reading...

Yes, it's not what I'm watching or what I'm listening to, but what I'm reading.

Johnny U: The Life and Times of John Unitas by Tom Callahan

I got this for Christmas, I've gotten veklempt for the old days of the NFL twice. This has been an excellent read.

The Men Who Loved Trains: The Story of Men Who Battled Greed to Save an Ailing Industry by Rush Loving, Jr.

I got this for me, it was on my Christmas list but nobody bought it. This is the story of the death and rebirth of the American Railroad Industry. So far, pretty good. It's a book about business and economics and the personalities involved. I'm enjoying it...especially since it's about the death my railroad's (The B&O Railroad) arch-rival, The Pennsylvania Railroad. HA-HA! Take that Simon Cameron!

Flags of Our Fathers by James Bradley and Ron Powers

I got this as a Christmas present from my girlfriend. We went to see this movie as our first date. (Yeah, real romantic, storming Iwo Jima and the aftermath of being used for selling bonds.) You have to understand we're two history majors. She has an ancestor who fought there and I specialized some in military history. So far this has been an excellent book. I haven't gotten to the real rough spots, like what really happened to Iggy Ignatowski, but I've gotten a bit veklempt reading through this too.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Goodbye Aunt Dale...

Today was my Aunt Dale's (Dad's brother's wife) funeral. She had fought stage 4 stomach cancer long enough to see her children graduate high school, one to get through college, and get engaged. Her second child is well on his way to being a fine adult once he finishes his last year at college.

This has been rough for us. Aunt Dale was a triathlete and the healthiest of us all. How she of all people could have gotten stomach cancer surprised us greatly. I think many of us are struggling with the "Why her?" question.

Her 6 year old great nephew had a great response. He was talking to his grandfather (Dale's sister's husband) about why Aunt Dale is sick and said, "God must have a job for her."

And now as I've been mulling over that sentence and Aunt Dale's life, I think the kid is right.

Still, we all miss you Aunt Dale.