Friday, November 29, 2013

Why Doug Gansler Will NEVER Be Governor

If you've listened to the news over the past few weeks, you've heard an ear-full about Maryland's Attorney General Doug Gansler.  His actions speak louder than words.  And his words are blithering non-sense.  And this is not a guy you want as your governor.  But don't worry.  He will never be governor if Martin O'Malley has anything to say about it.

I'm sure Mr. Gansler wants to be referenced in your typical political parlance.  He probably wants to be called the honorable General Gansler.  However, he is anything but honorable.  The former State's Attorney from Montgomery County gained notoriety from the prosecution of the Beltway Snipers, Lee Boyd Malvo and John Muhammad. He insisted that the snipers be tried in Maryland where there is no death penalty.  Fortunately, there are better heads in the Federal government and they were tried in Virginia where they rightly believe in capital punishment.

Gansler then succeeded Martin O'Malley's father-in-law Joseph Curran as Attorney General of Maryland.

Mr. Gansler has not been one to shy away from controversy.  He recently commented on Lieutenant Governor Tony Brown's campaign for governor saying Mr. Brown's campaign slogan should be, "Vote for me, I want to be the first African-American governor of Maryland."  How would Gansler like it if we said, "Gansler's campaign slogan should be 'Vote for me, I want to be the first Jewish Governor of Maryland since Marvin Mandel"?  If a Republican would have said what Gansler said, he's be in jail right now.

Then the story broke about how Gansler has absolutely no respect for the law.  Apparently he thinks the law does not apply to him.  The Attorney General gets a State Police escort.  However, Gansler has at times insisted on driving the police escort SUV and many times driven with the police lights on.  This is a violation of policy and certainly a violation of privilege.

Then, WBAL broke a story that Mr. Gansler received a speeding ticket from a speed camera in Washington, D.C.  He then refused to pay it.   That was until WBAL's Jane Miller got on the case.  Then he paid it - 16 months late.

Gansler wasn't out of the spotlight for a week when someone "mysteriously" leaked photos of him partying it up with seemingly under-aged kids, with some of them bumped and grinding.

Two weeks ago it was revealed that a tracker is following Doug Gansler and recording his every word and action.  This seems like something Martin O'Malley would do.  Pester the crap out of someone just waiting for a gaffe.  But it's not O'Malley that's using this dirty political tactic.  It's his protégé, Tony Brown.  It's a dastardly tactic, but Tony Brown is following on the heels of the master dastard.

It's sad that politics comes to this.  Politicians, like Tony Brown, have no respect for fair campaigns, nor privacy.  They have no interest in a campaign where the candidates discuss the issues and the people decide the winner.  They are out to destroy their competition at all costs.  Tony Brown is a political thug just like O'Malley and if Maryland votes for Brown, then God help us.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Carrolltown Mall: Peebles - GONE!!!

I drove by the former Carrolltown Mall one morning last week to drop off a movie and it was quite windy that day.  Looking at the demolition site, it looked like one of those days where you get a light dusting of snow and it blows around.  This was just dust from the rubble and debris.  I feel bad for the folks that live behind the mall.

On the backside of the mall, we eventually got to the point where we could see Liberty Road from Gemini Road.  See Carroll Station there in the middle?  We are looking through what was formerly the food court and Dollar General \ Rite Aid.

This is the back-end of the Big Lots!  See the steel beams piled together. Gone is Fun Quarters, Zumba, and the Freedom Church.

Here we have the former Peebles, which I now understand was a Jamesway prior to that.  The entrance has been sufficiently demolished.

Here's a close-up of the former Peebles.  You can see right through the entrance.

Here is the former TZ Sports, which is a combination of two store, one being the former NAMCO patio furniture, and I'm sure that something else was there prior to that.  This space also included the former hardware store.  What was it? An Ace Hardware or a True Value? I don't remember.

I believe this pile of debris to be the entrance sign for TZ Sports.

Today, I saw that both Peebles and TZ Sports were gone.  Well, all except this tiny corner on the right.  You can see all the way to the library now.

Here's where TZ Sports was.

And in case you're wondering, Wendy's, Denny's, and Bank of America are still open.  As is Big Lots!  or is it Big ! Lots?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Oscar's Ale House - A Review

Oscar's Ale House
1438 Liberty Road
Eldersburg, MD 21784
(410) 795-7001

My wife and I just celebrated our 23 date-iversary.  Meaning - we started dating 23 years ago.  We always celebrate this seemingly odd day, but it is special in our life.  I asked my wife if she wanted to go on a date, maybe go to dinner.  She agreed. I threw out some suggestions - Baldwin Station, Johannson's, The Grille At Harryman House.  She chose Oscar's Alehouse.

Oscar's opened probably a year ago.  I heard the opening was an absolute disaster.  Not sure if what I heard is true, but I heard that the kitchen staff walked out on opening night. Oscar's is the successor to Cobblestone, Meiklejohn's, and The Chop House.  Did I miss any?

I made reservations for 2 at 6pm.  This place is always crowded on Fridays.  You can how crowded they are by the number of cars that are illegally parked in the fire lane.  If Carroll County and Maryland State Police were smart, they'd swing by every Friday evening and handout about 2 dozen parking tickets every hour.  Imagine the revenue that would add up over time.

My wife and I were fortunate enough to get a seat right by the front window.  The seat and the table are awkwardly spaced.  Not sure if there is 3 feet from the back of the chair to the table so that fat people can sit there, or if it is just the way they had to divide the space evenly.  I had to sit at the edge of my seat to reach the table.  Really weird.

Our waitress was prompt and courteous, as was the staff that delivered our meals.  I wasn't sure if my wife wanted a drink or not, so we ordered a round of waters first.  We're not like most couples who both drink and get lit at dinner, then drive home drunk.

My wife finally decided she didn't want a drink, so with my dinner order I ordered a Victory Golden Monkey, which is a Belgian-style ale from Pennsylvania.  It was really good.  If anything, Oscar's Alehouse has a nice selection of beers.  They have varieties of beer from Dogfish Head, Brooklyn Brewery, Rogue, Heavy Seas, and Harpoon.  And if you don't like beer, they also have Budweiser and Miller Light.

We ordered appetizers, if you classify soups as appetizers.  I got a bowl of French Onion soup.  Instead of having melted cheese over top, there was a slice of cheese on top of a slice of bread.  The cheese was nearly melted, but it seemed like a lame attempt to make French Onion soup.  My wife ordered the Maryland Cream of Crab soup.  It was orange.  She said it tasted like cheese, by the menu said it was prepared with Sherry, so I suspect the Sherry is the cause of the orange color.  She was not impressed with the soup.

For dinner I ordered the Oscar's Creole Pasta.  Instead of pasta, I got it with wild rice.  It was served with blackened chicken, which is fancy food talk for burnt chicken, shrimp, and Andouille sausage, peppers, onions, and a spicy cream sauce.  When they say spicy, they're not kidding.  I LOVE spicy food.  I drop hot sauce on everything.  I could not eat this dish.  It was so freakin' spicy that I drained my glass of water and my entire beer putting out the flames from a quarter of the dish.  The taste?  Not sure.  The main flavor of the dish was fire.

My wife ordered the Wood Grilled Shrimp and Bacon club.  Her only response was that it was, "eh...".  When we finished, she confidently stated, "We're not coming back here again."

I could give this restaurant a second chance, but it may be a while.  They have half priced burgers on Mondays and was told that the burgers are actually pretty good.  I may go there with some friends and drink some beer. But I doubt I'll be taking my wife back there again.  She was too disappointed to want to go back.

Overall, Oscar's looks very nice.  It has a nice ambiance.  The staff are dressed neatly, though not professionally, and they were polite, friendly, quick, and responsive. Oscar's seems like a great place to hang out.  That is, unless you want to order dinner and actually like food that tastes good.  I'll admit that I spoke to someone that says that the Friday food always seems to be worse than food served on any other day.  Perhaps the kitchen staff is in such a rush on Fridays because of the crowd that they prepare food with the intention of getting it done fast rather than getting it done well.

It's hard for me to recommend this place.  Have you been there before?  If so, what do you think?

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Carrolltown Mall Demolition - the Ongoing Saga

Here is a panoramic video of the Carrolltown Mall demolition from earlier in the week.

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