Moe’s Fights Against Downtown Chipotle Location – Annapolis, MD Patch

Downtown Annapolis’ burrito war heated up on Tuesday night as attorneys for Chipotle and Moe’s Southwest Grill argued over whether the former should be allowed to open a location at 36 Market Space

via Moe’s Fights Against Downtown Chipotle Location – Annapolis, MD Patch.

 

(I don’t live in Annapolis but I did weigh in on the legal battle and the food I would rather eat as a consumer. Capitalism is corrupt. It has been for many years. Layers and courts decide for us what we can or cannot eat.  Consumers have limited choice. Destroying your competitor by any means available is the root norm. It is a base, amoral business behavior that we should all deplore. Thanks to the Patch for bringing this all to our attention.)

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FTC Leads Joint Law Enforcement Effort Against Companies That Allegedly Made Deceptive “Cardholder Services” Robocalls

The Federal Trade Commission escalated its campaign against illegal, unwanted robocalls announcing that it pulled the plug on five companies based in Arizona and Florida allegedly responsible for millions of illegal pre-recorded calls from “Rachel” and others from “Cardholder Services.” State partners in Arizona, Arkansas, and Florida also took legal action against similar companies.

via FTC Leads Joint Law Enforcement Effort Against Companies That Allegedly Made Deceptive “Cardholder Services” Robocalls.

(These calls were coming in as late as last week so I doubt the FTC has done anything to dissuade perpetrators. The calls have been coming in here for over five years so I also wouldn’t say the FTC has led the way. I’ll believe it when the calls finally stop.)

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Fed up with BGE @myBGE

I am FED UP with BGE. We are forced by our socialist masters in Annapolis to pay this derelict company when the power is out for days. They don’t suffer but of course WE do. This company is now installing smart meters to make their work easier but they DO NOT KNOCK ON YOUR DOOR BEFORE IT IS INSTALLED. We have contractors in my neighborhood as I type this going from house to house removing meters and installing the new ones.

It makes no difference to BGE if you are home working on a computer, working at home, or just watching TV. They can do what they want with their power and your home.

When I called I just got excuses and a promise they would route the complaint to the appropriate person. I demanded that a supervisor show up and monitor the work of these morons contracted to install the meters.  No they couldn’t/wouldn’t do that. I requested a call back with a disposition and, “Oh no we can’;t do that.”

These large energy providers are full of happy-think and spin but when it comes down to doing the right thing they are missing in action. They can’t do it. The do not know how.

When the wind blows we lose power. When a trickle of rain drops we lose power. When the storm is twenty miles away we lose power. BGE even waited two solid days once to reset a switch on a power pole outside my home while the rest of my neighbors had power.

How have YOU been treated by BGE? Just how bad has this company become? I’d love to hear your story.

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Chase Bank Credit Card: You can’t make a payment!

I am ENRAGED that your are REFUSING to accept another credit card payment within ONE day of the previous payment FORCING me to schedule it three days hence INCURRING additional INTEREST charges is absurd. Good for you and bad for me. But that’s the whole point isn’t it.

I will be contacting Amazon  regarding this sleazy business practice. You folks have some nerve. A merchant takes its money instantly but you, the big bank have incredulous bureaucratic illogical rules that are designed to increase earnings at the customer’s expense. Customer NO SERVICE.

I should be able to pay on my account WHENEVER I PLEASE and not when YOU SAY SO.

I just tried to pay an additional amount on my card balance but your computer system is refusing to take it. Aside from just dropping your card for cause what are my options besides waiting three days?

Don’t try to spin your answers with company procedural issues. Those are none of my concern. You should be interested in taking my money when I want to give it to you. That fact that you are not tells me that the policy is designed to enrich the bank at my expense.

 

(Editor’s note: I stopped dealing with MasterCard because of sleazy practices. These big lenders can do as they please because they have the lawyers and the money to beat down the millions of little guys that keep them in business.  Our ONLY option is to simply let them know how their practices make us feel and then we choose with whom we will do business.  We chose a long time ago to only use cads when we absolutely had to or use cards where walk-in payments were accepted.  Chase is engaging in a business practice that has no basis or purpose other than to help you forget that second payment and increase your interest paid.  It’s a damn shame that Amazon picked this company for their rewards card because I for one will no longer use it for that purpose.)

 

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eFAX Messenger: No Support

Before considering signing up with this service you should take into account that even for customers with LONG service histories they couldn’t give a hoot.
See the following computer chat from the eFax Messenger people:
j2 Global Communications
6922 Hollywood Blvd., 5th floor
Los Angeles, CA 90028
USA
Please wait for a site operator to respond. You are currently number 1 of 1 in the queue. Thank you for your patience.
Chat InformationYou are now chatting with ‘Matthew’
Doug Smith: I want to TALK to a HUMAN. I cannot get past your phone tree. HELP ME
Matthew: What are you trying to get help with?
Doug Smith: My number is 410-535-xxxx and my efax number is 443-xxx-xxxx. I want to change the billing credit card and I do not have my login info anymore. I have to go to work and do not have hours to get this done. I want to talk to a HUMAN
Matthew: I can take care of it for you now.
Doug Smith: Your phone numbers throw me into a helpless phone maze that does nothing but increase blood pressure
Matthew: Please type the following here:
Matthew: .
Matthew: Billing address
Doug Smith: I don’t give credit card numbers on chat.
Matthew: Credit card number with exp date and 3 digit cvv code
Matthew: There’s nothing I can do for you then.
Doug Smith: You have got to be kidding me. Forget it. If I have to I WILL CANCEL MY SERVICE
Doug Smith: You have got to be kidding me.
Matthew: You can cancel with support.
Chat session has been terminated by the site operator
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Property tax: Benefits of tax break for homeowners are not spread evenly across Baltimore – baltimoresun.com

The situation on Clement Street is playing out on block after block across Baltimore, an investigation by The Baltimore Sun has found. Since the late 1970s, when it was devised as a low-cost way to keep a lid on tax increases, the homestead credit has morphed into a massive subsidy fueling widespread inequality — a problem made worse by errors in billing and inadequate oversight.

via Property tax: Benefits of tax break for homeowners are not spread evenly across Baltimore – baltimoresun.com.

Franchot, O’Malley are you listening? Where have you been? Spending the money I think. So Democrats in Annapolis are redistributing the wealth. Stop it. Get this fixed.

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Gear and Gifts: The Rembrandt of Shuckers

The ultimate gift for the oyster lover.

Opens horizontally, keeping juices in the shell.

Now anyone can open oysters, safely!

via Gear and Gifts at Chesapeake Bay Magazine.

 

(DougWeb: Just when you thought it wasn’t possible to find the ultimate gift for the shucker in your life.)

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Michelle Malkin » Document drop: What Scholastic is teaching your kids about the Occupiers

If you have kids (or remember from your own grade-school days), Scholastic puts out news bulletins that get sent home weekly or monthly.

via Michelle Malkin » Document drop: What Scholastic is teaching your kids about the Occupiers.

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Ravelo Rests

Our devoted Moon Conure, Ravelo died this morning at Falls Animal Hospital in Baltimore. We took him there last night as he was in terrible distress. We believe it was a crop infection.

The little man had just learned to fly having grown in all of his flight feathers at just over one year of age. He had a vocabulary:

“Hey Ravelo”
“Hey Baby Bird”
“Hey Tink”
“Wing tickle, wing tickle, wing tickle, wing tickle” among others.

He loved to tease his big sister Tinker and hum “You’re in the Army now.”

We only had him for a year. He was a happy loving little boy bird with a gregarious desire to please us. Rav Man as I called him helped me through my terrible time with dystonia loving me and cuddling asking only for water and pellets in return.

I love you Ravelo. I miss you.

Ravelo, our Moon Conure. Rest in Peace.

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Fire Paddle 2011 | Sup Journeys

On August 2nd, Ben Chalmers and Shane Austin will begin their stand up paddle journey from the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland, and will paddle for 24 days before reaching New York City.

via Fire Paddle 2011 | Sup Journeys.

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Jay Hancock’s blog: BGE flipflops, says it won’t again shut AC completely – Business news: Stock markets, banks and economic observations with columnist Jay Hancock – baltimoresun.com

Baltimore Gas and Electric Company Transitioning Immediately to a Lower Level of PeakRewardsSM Program Activation During the transition period, all customers who voluntarily enrolled in the program are cycled at the reduced 50 percent level

via Jay Hancock’s blog: BGE flipflops, says it won’t again shut AC completely – Business news: Stock markets, banks and economic observations with columnist Jay Hancock – baltimoresun.com.

 

(It is a long time from 1130 to 8:00 PM and counting. We did opt for it to save money and this is the first time we have been inconvenienced by it. If we are at 50% instead of 100% then we probably have a long time yet to go.  When does 50% end exactly?)

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Consumer Extortion in the Alarm Industry

Sign up for monitoring or pay exorbitant fees, outrageous markup. “That’s just the way it is in our business sir. We help our customers.”

Like hell.

You have a local alarm system installed in your home. You paid about $1500 for it. The alarm company you purchased it from went out of business. One element of the system is malfunctioning. You misplaced the manual. The beeping is driving you crazy.

My first idea was to go through the Yellow Pages. I like to try and focus on local business so I start there. The first company doesn’t call me back and when I call them the guy on the other end is too busy to talk to me. “Click.”

The second company, up front, makes it CLEAR they are selling subscription service and isn’t interested in servicing a local system. $85 per hour and almost twice what I first paid for the part five years ago. Total cost for what will amount to a 30 minute visit – about $300.

American business hasn’t figured it out yet. There are all kinds of customers. Maybe the ones like me are in the minority but wouldn’t it pay in the long run to help folks where you could? Holding out for boom economy rates in a busted economy is a sure sign the business just doesn’t get it. There is more to staying in business than sticking to a script. And they probably wonder why business is bad!

Apparently I will not get help with a local alarm system in Calvert County Maryland installed by a long-gone company even though the system is a well-known GE product still in use in hundreds of thousands of homes. Why? Because business insists on selling you something you cannot afford and committing you to a contract you do not want – whether you like it or not. When you stick to your guns they price your work as if it was a fine or punishment for not cooperating with the sales pitch.

All I need is a smoke alarm alarm replaced and a new manual for the control unit. Thirty minutes. Heck maybe a photocopy of the manual will allow me to bypass the malfunctioning element.

The alarm industry in America is steadfast! No subscription you pay – big time.

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‘Moustache’ Graffiti Artist Arrested – Local News – AllMediaNY

It’s a sad day in New York City subway graffiti history—the “Moustache Man” has finally been caught, according to CBS New York.

via ‘Moustache’ Graffiti Artist Arrested – Local News – AllMediaNY.

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ALERT: Job Screening Agency Archiving All Facebook

f you’re still not using any of the privacy settings on Facebook, here’s the most compelling reason why you need to change that as soon as possible.The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has given the thumbs up to Social Intelligence Corp, which keeps files of Facebook users’ posts as part of a background-checking service for screening job applicants.

via ALERT: Job Screening Agency Archiving All Facebook.

(Remember, Facebook is NOT the Internet. None of us has to use it, it’s just that everyone seems to.)

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Federal Judge Prohibits Prayer at Texas Graduation Ceremony – FoxNews.com

Should a student violate the order, school district officials could find themselves in legal trouble. Judge Biery ordered that his ruling be “enforced by incarceration or other sanctions for contempt of Court if not obeyed by District official sic and their agents.”

via Federal Judge Prohibits Prayer at Texas Graduation Ceremony – FoxNews.com.

(It’s a sad day for America, or is it spelled Amerika? I’m sorry but there are now a majority of people offended and suffering irreparable harm in Texas. One fringe family has a smile on their face. I hope their kid has his way and later discovers that the government won’t care for or guarantee  his idiosyncratic ideologies every time. This ruling is ridiculous.  It’s not Constitutinal and it is AMORAL. America is feeling more and more like Amerika.)

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The Chesapeake Might as well be the Wild-Wild West

People pretty much boat as they please regardless of safety concerns. This afternoon looking out over  the Bay I’ve seen an over-loaded boat towing two kids on a tube, two children bow riding – legs over the bow holding on to the rail while the boat came on plane, PWCs in swimming areas near swimmers and paddle craft, paddle craft occupants in deep water with NO life jackets.

It’s no wonder the first two boating deaths of the season were off Breezy Point. Folks around here just haven’t the sense, have not taken a boating safety class, or we are just too far off the beaten path of law enforcement. Like I said, the wild-wild west of the Chesapeake.

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Parrots hate me

20110520-013848.jpg

The computer mouse. When I use mine my parrot objects. It must have something to do my hand spending more time on the mouse and less time giving her a head rub. Parrots are peculiar that way.

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Graffiti: The News Is Not Good

Is anyone reading the latest news about graffiti vandalism? The news is not good. Every day, Google sends me the results of a search on one word – graffiti. Today as I reviewed the news items in that search I realized things were not good for victims or for vandals. It worries me that we as a country might be ignoring or developing a social insensitivity to this problem again.  It does tend, like most things in life, to go through cycles.

Today the search reveals:

1. Accused top graffiti vandal arrested in Phoenix

2. North VGancouver RCMP Tag Graffiti Vandals

3. Police Make Arrest in Church Graffiti Spree

4. Teen Arrested in Connection with Racial Graffiti in Wales

5. Graffiti Spree in Central Park

6. Graffiti Artist (sic) Killed by D-Train (There is no such thing as a graffiti artist.)

7. Anti-Graffiti Lawyer Gets Message Spray Painted on HIs Building

8. From Mastadons to Graffiti

9. Teen’s Graffiti Causes $11,000 Worth of Damage to Property

10. Photo Mural Showcasing Humanity Defaced by Graffiti

 

The truths of graffiti vandalism are always evident in the news.

There is no honor among vandals. Graffiti vandals deface art and vandalism and claim to call it art. The difference, however, between graffiti and art is and always will be – PERMISSION.

Young vandals are still being killed pursuing their criminal thrills.

Community structures, including churches, are victims of senseless vandalism.

Racial and hate graffiti is always going to be used by cowards to make their point in shameful anonimity.

Vandals are ultimately arrested, convicted, and sentenced for their crimes.

Graffiti is still tied to archaeology to help us feel better about it. Obfuscations of vandalism still abound.

Is there still an anti-graffiti sentiment in our communities? Do our communities still have citizens cleaning up after the vandals, teaching our children to respect the property of another, and insisting on vandalism enforcement? It might be time to look at our communities to make sure we have not been taking these things for granted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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CTV Montreal – Juvenile graffiti murderer sentenced to six-and-a-half years – CTV News

The boy, whose name cannot be revealed because he is a minor, snuck up on Kachur, then 19, and smashed him on the head with a brick and then dumped his body into the St. Lawrence River.

via CTV Montreal – Juvenile graffiti murderer sentenced to six-and-a-half years – CTV News.

(Fifteen-year old graffiti vandal kills another graffiti vandal for writing over graffiti and then is tried as a juvenile. This is a VERY sad story.)

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‘Revok’ graffiti writer sentenced to 180 days in jail | L.A. NOW | Los Angeles Times

The graffiti writer known as Revok, whose work is displayed in the “Art in the Streets” exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art, was sentenced Monday to 180 days in jail after a judge found that he had violated the terms of his probation in a previous vandalism conviction, court officials said.

via ‘Revok’ graffiti writer sentenced to 180 days in jail | L.A. NOW | Los Angeles Times.

(Like I keep saying, the difference between graffiti and art is permission.)

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Martin O’Malley applies for federal high-speed rail funding | TBD.com

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) announced Tuesday that the state has formally applied for federal funding toward high-speed rail projects.

via Martin O’Malley applies for federal high-speed rail funding | TBD.com.

(Your progressive Democrats at work. This is funny money. It’s borrowed. It isn’t real. The money is part of the outrageous national dept we cannit repay without harsh cuts and a major change to our way of life. O’Malley and his cronies in Annapolis and Washington continue their spending spree despite the writing on the wall. We can’t afford this now.

There is no money there to grant. It is nothing but feel-good politics, smoke and mirrors.

Get your hands out of my wallet.)

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WTOP.com – Md. Senator proposes steep fines for outages

WASHINGTON — One Maryland lawmaker is hoping steeper fines may get utilities to work faster to get the power back on, or even prevent the outages in the first place.

Maryland Senator Brian Frosh felt a provision to fine utilities $10,000 a day for each violation wasn’t enough.

His amendment would allow the Public Service Commission to fine up to 2 and a half percent of their gross revenue, which is equivalent to tens of millions of dollars.

via WTOP.com – Md. Senator proposes steep fines for outages.

(Great idea! Barely Gas & Electric left our power out 22 hours last month. The first 14 started late in one day and wasn’t fixed until the next. The ONLY thing wrong was a tripped switch on a transformer. It took one lineman five minutes. I’m just guessing but I suspect it had something to do with calling people out on overtime or some other financial reason. Only four houses were out on this circuit so they probably figured we could wait. Our money must not be as good as the rest of the customers.

I recall in California that the Public Utilities Commission went after PG&E for not adequately maintaining infrastructure after long outages. Power outages have been an issue for us for years on the BG&E grid. It’s very frustrating.)

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Stop th MUD!

Stop the MUD

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