Saturday, February 9, 2008

Sam's Blog Goes International!

Today the blog got a hit from Ireland, so we are officially international!

And speaking of faraway places, Harold is in Durango, Colorado this weekend. There are only two states he hasn't been to yet for work. In the past few months he has been to Alaska, Minnesota, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Florida, Emmittsburg (MD), Ohio and Wyoming. So I have decided to invest in a houseplant, a wandering jew, to keep in the bedroom. I'm going to hang one of Harold's ID badges on it and I'm going to let it hold the TV remote. Hopefully it will produce more oxygen than dirty laundry!

It's a Wonderful Knife

  • The discussion today started with the new plastic knives. Since they are rather flexible, we wondered if they were prison stock or perhaps from the suicide watch wards at the Grove. The knives even caused Doug to change his order from his trademark scoopable bagel to one that could be eaten as a sandwich. Viagra was suggested as a cure for the limp knives. However, the new salt and pepper shakers were admired.

  • Breakfast at the Grove Cafe two Saturdays from now at 8 am on February 23rd. We'll save Dr. Mike a cold bike ride in the wintry months.

  • Now we are tossing around the idea of a Sam's bus trip. Don wants a group to stop off at the Loved Ones store to see what's new in sexy gadgets and lingerie. Please -PLEASE- let's hear some other suggestions. Where would we go, and more importantly, why?

Friday, February 8, 2008

Help A Friend Win a Car

Hey bloggers,
My dear friend, Joan, is trying to help her husband win a car make-over. All you have to do is click on the link below to vote for him and help him win this contest in New Jersey ! Thanks for your help!

Map of Blog Visitors

You may have noticed the counter to the right that is now counting visitors to the blog. I found a free service that not only counts visitors, but shows their general location. I was surprised to see that blog readers are in California, New York, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Virginia, Michigan, Alabama, and Tennessee in addition to the Maryland folks. So tell some of your friends and relatives to check the blog once and we can add more pins to the map!

The gang on our trip to the Grove Cafe

  • Talk about reserving sidewalk space for the parade had neighbors Jeff and Doug reminiscing about parking spaces in front of their homes. They soon were recalling pranks played on each other. One day, Doug raked all of the leaves in his yard until not a leaf remained. After Doug went out, Jeff raked all of his own leaves and dumped them back into Doug's bare-grass yard. Doug returned to find his yard filled with leaves again . Later, when Jeff came home, he discovered ten bags full of leaves hanging in his tree like giant Christmas ornaments.

  • Once Doug got a parking citation and thoughtfully left it on Jeff's windshield. When Jeff found the ticket, he began to rant and rave. Doug let him get really worked up, then called him on the phone and asked what was wrong. He let Jeff complain about the police, etc. before asking Jeff to read the citation to him. That's when Jeff discovered that the ticket was really in Doug's name!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

News from Gwen

  • Well I did it! I got my first free cup of coffee at Sam's today with my card. Andrea and the gang clapped for me. I combined this with my birthday present, a gift card to Sam's in the amount of my years (Yes, it's worth $100) and I had a free breakfast. Wow, doesn't take much to make me happy.

  • Gladys had a card from Gwen , who has relocated to Ft. Myers, Florida. (Gwen used to work behind the counter at the old Sam's building, then became a Sam's regular). She enclosed an article from the Ft. Myers edison paper that she felt would be helpful to Catonsville folks in preparation for 4th of July. Seems that they have an annual event known as the Edison Grand Parade of Lights. For the past fifty years, people have used duct tape on the sidewalks to reserve their spots for the parade days in advance. This year, people began to resort to spray-painting their names on the sidewalks because, they claimed, others had ripped off their duct tape. This type of vandalism can result in a $150 fine. Luckily for the police, the vandals were kind enough to spray paint their last names on the sidewalk . Unluckily for the police, they won't be able to collect the fines unless they witnessed the spray-painting personally. Ft. Myers also sells street and VIP seating for the parades for prices ranging up to $55 per person. Could this spark a new trend here in Catonsville? Will premium sites be sold for viewing the 4th of July parade or will residents duct tape or spray paint their names on lawns and sidewalks? Or will we treasure the time-honored tradition of putting up lawn chairs only to have them stolen, smashed or moved?

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

It's February, This Could be Us

Seventy Degrees Today!

Hi everybody,

Spoke with Jeff this morning and he told me that my last post had crazy formatting and big fonts so it looked like I was yelling at you! That is so weird, because the post and text look normal on my laptop view of the blog. Sorry about that, I didn't intend to have crazy-looking fonts, some formatting code must have been embedded by mistake. So glad to hear from some of you that you still enjoy the blog. So send some news, photos, etc. about yourselves so you won't have to listen to just my point of view. Thanks to Don for the funny video featuring Bailey the snow-loving dog.

This morning one of my elementary school classmates from St.Mark's stopped in to buy bagels for her Dad. Barb and I got laughing about how times have changed. We had 52 kids in our class (yes I mean 52 in 1 classroom with 1 teacher), 208 kids in our grade with just four teachers, usually nuns. We didn't change classes until 5th grade. When it was time for art, we just took the crayons out of our desk and stayed put. When it was time for lunch, we got our lunches from the cloak room, bought milk for a nickel and our desks. For recess, we could run around the paved parking lots which resulted in frequent skinned knees. Music class consisted of singing as Sr. Benetia played the piano, singing such classics as "Oh, Dem Golden Slippers". Didn't even get a gyn teacher until 6th grade. For that, we got to go to the auditorium and do sit-ups and jumping jacks. Girls got to wear shorts to gym....under their plaid uniforms. (At least Mr. Misculinik was the first man we'd seen at school besides the priests, and he was cute) Best of all, when we were really, really good, the nuns would LET us go to the convent...and wash their window screens or woodwork! Yet somehow we all learned to read and add and spell without anyone even paying us to pass those Iowa Basic Standardized Tests!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Dancing Don

How the Kilt was Kill't

Monday, February 4, 2008

Comment or Email the Blog! Please!

You know, I have come to Sam's occasionally over the past 12 years, and I now have 9 coffee stamps on my buy 10-get a free cup of coffee card.......for the first time. IF I get my tenth stamp and turn in my card, that will be my first free cup of coffee...ever. So if you see me, remind me to turn my card in. Think I've earned a free cup!

I am having a mid-winter blog slump. I don't even know if anybody out there is still reading this and I'm losing my motivation. When there are few comments, I start to feel like I am talking to myself, possibly because I am.... A blog is meant to be interactive. It makes it much more interesting to publish messages, videos, pictures etc. from many of Sam's patrons, and I am happy to do so. However, as I am not yet psychic, you actually need to email them to me! So don't complain that I am posting more items from Don and Glenn than anyone else, because they have been the most active contributers. If you have news to share, email me at You must send photos and videos as attachments that I can download (not embedded in the email message).

To leave a comment,just click on "Comment" at the end of each post. The number tells you how many, if any, comments are posted for each item. Just type your message in the pop-up window. You can choose to use a nickname, your own name, or to remain anonymous. When you click on the orange "Publish" button, your comment will appear on the blog. You can comment on other comments too! So get involved - email or comment! It could get interesting!

Homestead Property Tax Credit

Tax Info from Glenn

TO: THE PEOPLE OF LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT 8 FYI: Here is the link to the application which needs to be mailed by April 1, 2008 in order to receive the tax credit. Even if you have completed and mailed one in previous years, you will need to renew it by sending in a new, completed application. And even though it says it applies to persons who bought property before 12/30/07, it applies to ALL homeowners, regardless of when the property was purchased (or so says the person who answered the phone at the Dept. of Assessments and Taxation)

From: Delegate Eric Bromwell [] Sent: Tuesday, January 29, 2008 1:24 PM To: Popp, Karen

Dear Constituent,

The purpose of this e-mail is to provide information on a specific issue. This update may be a copy of a letter or press releas e that I have sent to local news editors, or just a quick note to let you know what is going on in Annapolis. I hope you find the information useful. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, concerns or comments. I hope all is well and as always, I look forward to your feedback.
Eric Bromwell

If you would like to read past press releases and letters to the editor please visit

TO: THE PEOPLE OF LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT 8 A REMINDER TO FILL OUT YOUR HOMESTEAD PROPERTY TAX CREDIT APPLICATION If you are among the one-third of Marylanders who received your property assessment bill in December 2007, you also received an application to renew the Homestead Property Tax Credit. The one-time application must be filled out and submitted by April 1, or you will lose your tax credit. Anyone who bought a new home before December 31, 2007, OR after December 31, 2007, but before December 31, 2012, has 180 days after the date the home is transferred to the new owner to file the Homestead tax credit application. Thirty years ago, the Homestead tax credit was enacted to give homeowners relief from rapidly rising property tax assessments. The credit, given automatically, applies only to the homeowner's primary residence. Homeowners in the Homestead program can lock in the assessed value of their tax increases by no more than the cap set by each county. The law requires that the cap be set at 10% or less. In Baltimore County, the cap is set at 4%. Without the tax credit, the taxable assessed value of the home will increase by the full amount. Although 48 states have some type of property tax cred it, only 13 states have no verification process to determine that the homeowner is seeking the tax credit for a property that is a primary owner-occupied residence. Maryland had no verification process until the 2007 General approved law to establish a one-time application process to screen out property owners seeking the tax credit for vacation homes and rental properties. To apply for the state Homestead Property Tax Credit: Print and mail the application on the state Web site at Mail the application to the Department of Assessment and Taxation Apply online at Call 410-767-2165 or 1-866-650-8783 Electronic applications will be accepted through April l. Paper applications will be accepted for a short time after that dated. Please do not hesitate to contact me on this or any other legislative issue of concern to you. As always, I encourage and welcome your input.