The alarmed clanged at 4:30 a.m. and jolted me from a deep peaceful sleep. I pried my eyes open to darkness and questioned why I would want to repeat this trip especially when the weather report called for rain.
I jumped out of bed, threw on a bathing suit, shorts and a t-shirt. My husband and I filled the cooler with beer, water, sodas, subs and fried chicken, and we loaded the car.
We headed for the Ocean City, Md docks to meet the guys at the sportfishing boat the Kingfisher. By 5:30, we loaded our coolers and boarded the boat.
The engines roared and diesel fumes permeated the salt air and we motored out of the Ocean City harbor. As we left the inlet and picked up speed the engines thundered, our hearts raced while white waves churned and frothed in a V formation in our wake. I looked back and watched the Ocean City ferris wheel fade from sight.
We advanced into the sunrise and wind whipped my hair and salt stuck to my damp skin. Fishing lines dragged in the water, and the mate dumped a stream of red chum or bait chunks behind the boat to attract fish.
The water changed from pea green to ink blue as the water deepened to about 100 feet. Wind blew and the boat bounced like a toy ship in a jacuzzi bathtub with the jets on full force, and worried thoughts about boat emergencies flooded my mind.
Unlike our previous voyage when we watched a huge flat sunfish drift in the shimmering sea and the dorsal fin of a thresher shark slide by, this day we white knuckled any vertical surface as the boat slammed into swells and the sky faded into clouds. Some of my friends turned greenish-white, and one retched over the side.
Suddenly a fishing line zeeeiiinnnngggged as a fish took the bait and swam for its life. Adrenaline pumped and queasiness was forgotten.
My friend Frank jumped in the fishing chair and the mate harnessed him in, so that he wouldn’t get pulled overboard during the fight. After about 20 minutes, the fish seemed to tire, and Frank began to reel it in. As we watched him fight the fish, a wave suddenly surged over the back of the boat.
The swell soaked us and gushed into the cockpit. We grabbed buckets and quickly scooped the water out. The rapid rush of water startled us, but it did not dampen our exhilaration over hooking the fish.
Within 45 minutes, Frank brought a tuna up to the side of the boat. The mate reached over the rail and slammed a large hook or gaff under the backbone of the fish and pulled it onboard. Dinner had arrived and it was time to head home.
Last week Kingfisher CaptainTommy Jones, our captain’s son, won the world-renowned White Marlin Open billfish tournament. He caught an 83 pound white marlin and won about $1 million. The day that we fished, I never imagined that the Kingfisher would become famous.
- Severna Park Man May Have Hooked A Million Dollar Fish (baltimore.cbslocal.com)
- Outdoors column: Stream Weaver takes S.C. series win in Charleston (myrtlebeachonline.com)
- Angler jumps overboard to make rare catch off Hong Kong (grindtv.com)
- How big was that fish? (jacquisenn.com)
Beach replenishment has begun in Fenwick Island. It is necessary to maintain our beaches, but why is it scheduled during the height of the tourist season? According to sources, The Town of Fenwick Island has no control over the beach replenishment schedule.
When I was in my 30’s, I won a company sales contest. The grand prize was a trip to England or Hawaii. I chose Hawaii.
As part of my prize, my company planned guided tours on Oahu, Hawaii. I felt obligated to attend the first tour, and I disliked it and it became my first and last bus tour.
Following are some reasons why this tour influenced me to never take a bus tour again:
1. I had nothing in common with my bus mates who left the bus to take pictures of pineapples in fields and then took close-up photos of them. I wondered if they took pictures of pineapples in grocery stores.
2. My tour mates reinforced that I had nothing in common with them when they stepped off the bus again to photograph field and close-up pictures of sugarcane. At this point, I wanted to return to my hotel because I thought that I was in hell.
3. The bus driver repeated incessantly that there were no snakes on the Island. He said it so many times that I started to suspect that there were some. In addition, I had a nightmare about snakes and the bus driver.
4. I was stuck on the bus all day when I wanted to lie on the beach, enjoy a casual lunch, and read my book.
5. Everyone on the bus carried bags and cameras and resembled Terry and Tommy tourist. I hoped no one recognized me with this motley group — even though I probably fit in more than I will admit.
6. I didn’t like to get shuttled to a tourist-trap restaurant where the bus driver seemed chummy with the owner. The food was terrible and I couldn’t get a cold beer to escape my misery.
7. Everyone on the bus was old — like I am now. But even though I am old, I still won’t get trapped on a bus.
8. I prefer to eat with the locals and determine when my tour begins and ends.
This bus tour affected me for life and left me with humorous memories. However, no matter how old I am, you won’t catch me lined up to board a bus with old people like me, unless I am forced.
- Beijing tourists threatened for not buying enough on tour (wantchinatimes.com)
- Chinese Tourist Tour Bus Burns Down in Flames (pattayadailynews.com)
- Experience space travel – or something like it – on the Star Fighter Day Bus Tour! (en.rocketnews24.com)
- Hawaii Tours Now Accepts Bitcoin (prweb.com)
- TheBus employees approve new 5-year labor agreement – Hawaii News Now (prgnewshawaii.com)
Wednesday night, we dined at Nantuckets in Fenwick Island, Del. As we enjoyed our meal we saw a waiter, who appeared about 20-years old, trip and spill a glass of white wine on a lady at the next table. The waiter looked terrified as the lady ranted about the wine. My husband said to the woman that at least it wasn’t red wine hoping that she would stop berating the waiter.
The woman complained and the manager visited her table. Customers in our dining room made eye contact and smirked at the irate woman. I suspected that her overreaction was a scam to get a free dinner or maybe free meals for her table.
As I watched this minor incident, I remembered how my husband reacted on two occasions when someone poured a large glass of red wine on him — and no it wasn’t me. On both occasions we laughed and he ensured that the person who spilled the wine did not feel guilty over an accident.
On the positive side, the woman’s behavior provided entertainment to the patrons in our dining room.
My Comcast experience this week had been so frustrating that I called the corporate office to get service. You can find the Comcast corporate phone number at the end of my post. Following is a list of some of our phone calls to Comcast customer service:
1. At the beginning of the week, Sunday or Monday, we called 1-800 COMCAST, and we asked for an appointment by Friday — we had been without service for a few days. The Comcast representative told us that they couldn’t schedule an appointment until Monday a week. I did not plan to be home the following Monday, and we thought that was too long to wait.
2. On the next call, a representative told us and that we would have to pay for the service call and we would receive a rebate. We didn’t understand why we would have to pay for a service call if the issue was with Comcast.
3. On the next call, we spoke to a representative who put my husband on hold for 10 minutes twice, while she supposedly spoke to a supervisor. She set up an appointment for Thursday and offered my husband a $30 rebate and free channels for a year. She told him that someone would call my cell phone within 30 minutes to confirm the appointment. No one called.
4. My husband called Comcast again about Thursday’s appointment. We learned that the appointment was scheduled for Friday and it was not to fix our service but to switch our phone to Comcast. We felt that we had been misled.
5. My husband asked to speak to a supervisor and waited 22 minutes to speak to Christopher. Christopher said that he would try to set up an appointment, and we would hear from Comcast. No one called.
6. I spoke to a representative Wednesday who set up an appointment for Friday from 1 – 3 p.m. I asked him if the appointment was confirmed, he said yes.
7. I called Comcast the next day to check my confirmed appointment, the recording said that my appointment was scheduled for Monday.
8. I called the corporate office and spoke to a representative who filed a report and informed me that someone from the regional office would contact me shortly. I waited a few hours, and I never heard from the regional office.
9. I called the corporate office again. The corporate representative gave me the name and phone number of the regional customer service representative who had our case. She said that the representative from the regional office had sent my husband an email instead of contacting me.
10. . I called the regional representative who was handling my case twice, and I did not receive a return call. I called the corporate office again, and they kept me on the line for about 10 minutes while they contacted him.
11. He finally called me and said that he had sent an email to my husband — to an address that never existed.
12. I asked him to please send Comcast service technicians to my home today, Thursday, I was out of patience.
13. Technicians arrived within 10 minutes and spent a few hours and resolved the Comcast issue.
If you can’t get service using 1-800- COMCAST, try the corporate number 215-286-1700.
- Seattle Fines Comcast – Twice – For Being So Bad At Customer Service (consumerist.com)
- Comcast remains closer to Lake Woebegon than Seattle (newtoseattle.wordpress.com)
- Comcast Names Matt Fassnacht Vice President of Comcast Business for the Washington Region (dailyfinance.com)
- Intro to the Intern: Holly Martinez (wacomcast.com)
- Comcast or Verizon: Which Has More to Offer Pittsburgh? (local.answers.com)
- Comcast charges thousands of customers for taxes they don’t owe (click2houston.com)
- Comcast Names Matt Fassnacht Vice President of Comcast Business for the Washington Region (virtual-strategy.com)
- Comcast Home Security Reviews (besthomesecuritycompanys.com)
- Is There A Worse Company Than Comcast? (armyofawesomepeople.com)
- Share Your Most Stressful Customer Service Story (blogs.psychcentral.com)
As I step out of my car and enter the Boca Resort and Club in Boca Raton, (Rah-tone) Fla., I am usually struck by the palm tree, white SunPatiens and fushia-Bougainvillia filled-flower gardens. I look for pink arched stone entranceways, wrought iron railings, spired and clay colored tiled roofs that transport me to an earlier Mediterranean era. On this visit, I can’t miss Doggy John the contemporary French Bull Dog sculpture that sits proudly in front of the resort.
The Boca Resort blends Mediterranean architecture from many eras. Currently contemporary sculptures are displayed throughout the resort from the Baker Sponder Gallery. Guests may pick up a pamphlet at the concierge and tour at their leisure.
Horse With Saddle greets visitors in the middle of the palm tree lined lobby. Cream carved pillars, arched doorways and windows, and flower-carved ceilingsIn the courtyard, near the Adam and Eve sculpture, water splashes into gold, blue, white, green, red, yellow and pink mosaic tiled fountains. The soothing drizzling water reminds me of a rain shower on a book-reading day. Contemporary art is meticulously mixed among Mediterranean design influenced by history. It give the Boca Resort an “old world” but new feeling.
Our cab driver recommended Deanie’s Seafood in the French Quarter for lunch yesterday. I knew that it was a good choice when I noticed policemen and several other local folks dining in the restaurant.
The waitress brought us boiled-red-skinned potatoes with butter before taking our order. They were slightly spicy and filling. When the waitress delivered our drinks she told us about the specials. I was distracted by the huge size of the drinks and I had to ask her to repeat the specials.
My bloody mary was rich and spicy with a hint of worcestershire sauce. Shrimp, green beans and olives garnished the drink. It was a great bloody mary. I know this will surprise many of you, but some how I managed to finish it.
We split barbecued shrimp which were actually shrimp sauteed in a buttery-barbecued-like sauce. We loved them. Next we split grilled oysters. The oysters were topped with seasonings and parmesan cheese. I thought that the parmesan gave the oysters a different twist. They were great too. Bread accompanied both dishes for dipping, and we also used the potatoes. The sauces were delicious and I suspect very fattening. Who cares, we are in New Orleans! My entree was seafood gumbo which had small shrimp and rice.
It was a great first meal in New Orleans. I would definitely return.
The Narrows Restaurant in Grasonville, Maryland offers a taste of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The Narrows is a relaxed fine-dining restaurant with a lovely water view at Kent Narrows near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. The restaurant caters to blue-jean-and-khaki-clad locals and tourists alike. They specialize in seafood but also offer salads, chicken, quail, steak and more.
I have enjoyed their moist-flaky-mild-flavored rockfish, spicy vegetable based crab soup, fried oyster caesar salad and award-winning-broiled-lump crab cakes. Their food is fresh, filling and flavorful.
However, their award-winning-cream-of-crab soup is the best that I have ever had. I don’t splurge often, but when we dine at The Narrows, we always order the cream of crab soup. Lump crab fills the rich, creamy bisque-like soup. They serve sherry on the side which gives it added flavor with a kick. (If the waitress serves it without sherry, just ask.) The Narrows ships their crab soups and crab cakes, so you may order from their website.
I think you will agree that their cream of crab soup is the richest, most delicious that you have ever tried.
If not, who do you think has the best?
Mark Cottman dressed in dark khaki colored pants and a blue short-sleeved shirt relaxes in his chair surrounded by his vivid colored art and discusses his passion.
“I am so excited that the colors come out excited,” said Cottman. “The colors always indicate hope.”
It wasn’t easy for Cottman, but he had hope and a positive attitude. He persevered like the renovators of “inner city” Federal Hill. Today, he is living the dream.
Beginning in the early 1990s, Cottman said that he worked as a stand-up comedian.
“I was always funny,” Cottman said. “You know you are funny when you make your mother laugh and she laughs so hard she tells you to stop.”
Cottman said that he learned stand-up comedy by watching the best comedians and that the funniest ones told stories. Cottman said that he was a good stand-up comic, and he also wrote for other comedians.
In addition, from 1994 to 1999, Cottman said that he worked as an accessibility officer for the State of Maryland. He wrote waivers for construction projects to enable them to meet accessibility standards, ADA codes, for handicapped people. He suggested changes for companies to comply with these standards. However, Cottman said that he was unhappy with the job politics at the State of Maryland for a few years and that he was passed over for a new position.
Cottman said that he decided to paint his “visions” and left his job for six months to promote his art. When he returned to work for the State of Maryland, he said that he didn’t fit in, because he was like “a round peg and my position was definitely a square hole.” His supervisor and HR personnel told him that he needed “mental counseling.” He said that they thought that I “slipped off the cliff.”
“So they slid this application across the desk for me to fill out,” Cottman said. “Two days later I had it upside down, I slid it back across the table and I wrote in big bold letters, I quit,” and he gave his two-weeks notice.
Cottman said that his coworkers were angry with him and that it was painful and he didn’t understand their anger. He said that he spoke to them and realized that they were upset because he was leaving to live his dream and it “reminded them of their dreams they didn’t pursue.” He said in order for them to deal with it they “lashed out at me.”
When he left his job, Cottman concentrated on his art. He also said that he sold his car and bought an old van for cash. He paid cash for his house to avoid debt and keep his expenses down.
“That was my plan and it worked,” said Cottman.
Cottman said he gets his inspiration for his art from life. He said that someone could come into the gallery and sit or talk a certain way and he and Antoinette Powell, his assistant, see it as art.
“I would call myself a universe creative receptor,” Cottman said. “I am always aware.” He said that it is like having a third eye. Cottman said that people who don’t have a third eye look across the street and see a building with glass. He said that we watch colors change and see shadows on buildings and trees. They listen to conversations as people pass and watch to see if someone is wearing an interesting color.
“There is so much stuff going on out there, it could keep you entertained forever,” Cottman said.
Powell runs the gallery. She describes Cottman’s work as different and vibrant. She said that passion drives Cottman and that he loves life and receives joy from his love of painting.
I dragged my husband to the Baltimore Book Festival in Mount Vernon Place which ran from Sept. 28-30. Author signings, cooking demonstrations, workshops, lectures, music, tours and poetry readings were among the featured events. Centerstage participated with an open house for tours, demonstrations, performances and more.
We went to Mount Vernon on Sunday and the weather was clear and warm with a slight autumn breeze. It was a perfect day to people watch and enjoy the outdoors.
There were book swaps and great bargains. My husband purchased four books (which included two hardbacks) for $12. It was a great day and I think that he was glad that he went.
- Baltimore Book Festival 2012 (wbaltv.com)
- Baltimore Book Festival, Refer a Friend Promo, What Is Book Publicity? Tips, and more! (youdopr.wordpress.com)
- Baltimore Book Festival Will Extend To Center Stage & Feature ‘Cupcake Wars’ Champ (baltimore.cbslocal.com)
St. Barths’ runway is 2,133 feet long. It is one of the shortest runways in the world.
Lady Baltimore recommends three polyurethane coats while other companies suggest two poly coats or a water base. (I learned, from experience, that three polyurethane coats make a big difference in preventing wear.) The installer placed a walnut strip between the two floors to separate the old and new floor. I am very happy with their quality, professionalism and customer service.
It is a messy process. They remove all the furniture from the room. They install the floors on day one and sand and stain them on the following day. They hang protective plastic in the work area to contain as much dust as possible. They follow with three coats of polyurethane. The job lasted five days. We could not use the floor until the sixth day.
I chose pre-finished hardwood floors for my bedrooms. Lady Baltimore laid the pre-finished floor next to the old finished floor. They matched those floors almost exactly too. I chose pre-finished for the bedrooms because it took two men four days to install it versus 12 days for unfinished floors. Also, they shifted the furniture from one side of the room to the other instead of removing it. For me, it was worth it.
If you plan to add hardwood floors, call Lady Baltimore. They are a family business with an Angies’s List “A” rating.
- How To Clean Hardwood Floors (answers.com)
- All About: Hardwood Flooring – Kitchen Flooring Spotlight (thekitchn.com)
His phone number is 410-876-6605. He has an Angie’s List “A” rating, and I highly recommend him.
He cleans bolted-in top treatments, jabots, swags, balloons, valances, fabric shades and more. He also cleans upholstery and lampshades.
I used Gary several years ago to clean my window treatments. He was
thorough and professional. Recently, Lady Baltimore Floors installed hardwood floors in my home. I had dust throughout my home from the sanding process. The hardwood floors are beautiful and it was worth it.
I was concerned that I had to replace my window treatments because they were 11 years old and very dirty. Gary made them look new. Furthermore, he cleaned my sofa and did a great job.
Gary’s wife, Lydia, also makes house calls. She makes custom window treatments. Her work was shown in the Baltimore Symphony Show House at The Ritz Carlton Residences in Baltimore. Gary and Lydia are a great team.
Give them a call!