Friday, September 28, 2007

Good Reads - This is a story about the Amish who forgave the man who killed the Amish children at a school last year. They even reached out to the man's family. It is a good example of what forgiveness truly is and is not. - having worked in the banking industry for many years, I find it hard to believe this guy wasn't in on the plot. How did the "bad guys" know where he lived? Did they break into his house in the middle of the night? It just seems fishy to me. - anyone else think this is a poor idea? So they are going to dump poison into the lake to get rid of one species. It will kill everything with gills, but never mind that, they will just re-stock the lake with the desireable fish once the "bad" fish are gone. Then they will have everything just the way they like it, just the way it was. Keep dreaming. They don't even know how the pike got into the lake in the first place. They have tried to get rid of them once before and failed. Is anyone concerned about dumping poison into lakes anymore or is it just me? - a republican governor would never get away with this in MD. Mayor, er, I mean Governor O'Malley, is planning to cut education because MD just doesn't have enough money to fund something as frivolous as education. People, this state has some of the worst public schools I have ever seen. It's not like they are talking about cutting out special programs like introduction to basket weaving or something. My daughters once attended a school that had only a few textbooks for the class to share. They never had homework because there was no book to bring home. Now, when O'Malley was the mayor of Baltimore he would have blasted the republican governor if he ever suggested cutting education like this. No one in this state seems upset with O'Malley suggesting it. He must have a good enough reason because he is a democrat and that makes it OK. It's not OK. It's not OK for children not to be educated. - So glad to have my Nokia. I wouldn't buy one of these phones anyway. I would not buy a phone that I had to send away for service just to replace the battery. I know, there is an Apple store near me so I would be lucky. But what about all the people who are not fortunate enough to have a store near them? I also just don't like the idea of the phone maker telling me where I have to have my service. It just seems un American to me. - male contraception. I have to admit, my first got reaction was,"What man is going to use that?" But when I think about it, maybe there are men out there who don't want to take the chance of having unwanted children. Maybe they don't want to risk having a child they will not be able to raise. Or maybe they just don't want to be stuck paying child support. Whatever, more choices are always good.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Be There or Be Square, Hon

The Baltimore Book Festival is happening this week in lovely Mt. Vernon. The festival features authors reading some of their work, various vendors and tents, and of course, books for sale.
The Yankees are in town for a sereis of games against the Orioles that will be completely meaningless to both teams. The Yanks are already in the playoffs and the Orioles are so far below 500 that it makes no difference. Of course, we have tickets to all three games.
The Ravens are on the road this week.
I am afraid that is all I can come up with for this weekend, but the Fells Point Festival is coming right up and perhaps some Oktoberfest activities...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

All About Arcadia

First off, I am very disappointed not to be able to post a picture of Arcadia. I am tempted to start taking these photos myself. I was able to find a website for the Arcadia neighborhood association and they have lovely pictures on their site, but they are not stills and I couldn't figure out how to get one for my post. So go there and see for yourself just how lovely some of thee homes really are. I am not very familiar with this neighborhood. Of course anyone who knows CharmCityGirl personally, knows that she is from the "westside" and doesn't know as much about some of the neighborhoods on the east side.

Anyway, Arcadia seems very nice. With Most Hold Redeemer Cemetery to the east and Herring Run Park on the west, it is a nice residential city neighborhood with the feel of a suburb. There are approximately 450 period homes dating back to the 1920's, small bungalows, large four squares, a limited number of post war brick row homes. This neighborhood offers a little of everything.

Herring Run Park was voted the best city park to go for a run in the annual "best of" edition of the City Paper which just came out last week.

The Arcadia neighborhood was founded by Gottleib Heckel who moved his family to a log cabin in the area sometime during the 1880 - 1890's. He bought 19 acres and farmed it, hard to imagine it now.

This neighborhood has amenities. There is a large supermarket, some shops and restaurants. It's always a plus to have an active neighborhood association.

According to 2006 data the average home price in Arcadia was $200,792.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Charm City Girl's Review of the Week

OK, so as soon as the weather starts to cool down I start thinking about food.

Simply Recipes is my favorite online recipe liste because there is plenty to see, it is easy to navigate and the pictures are wonderful.

There is an easy to navigate index of recipes on the left. Just choose your category. Most recipes are filed under more than one category, so you don't have to worry about looking in the right place. There are special categories too for people with wheat allergies or those looking for low carb options.

Elise will tell you about how great truffle oil smells on her roasted potato recipe. She will share her grandmother's recipes. She will tell you where she found a particular ingredient if it is unusual.

The comments tell me I am not the only one who is enjoying this site.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Baltimore Sports

OK, so the Ravens won, barely. If it wasn't for Matt Stover, we would have had to go into overtime. It is good to see Kyle Boller do well enough to put together a series in less than two minutes that got them close enough to attempt the winning field goal. I like Kyle and always thought he got a bum wrap when he was thrust into the starting role his first year out of college and with an insufficient offensive line. But, this should have been an easy win for the Ravens. It was Arizona for Pete's sake. It should have been a real yawn of a game. I am concerned.

I will not even pretend to know what the Orioles did this weekend. I'm sure it was spectacular.

The only other sports I watched and/or participated in this weekend were bocce, horseshoes, and a riveting game of catch and toss. Hey, it was my DD3's birthday. She turned three. She got some new sporting goods for her birthday and we had great fun. Most of the bocce was witnessed at a family picnic. It was an eye opening experience.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Good reads - the scent of a man. I don't know why I find this sort of thing interesting.,6176,s1-11-67-1882-1,00.html - Dieting advice on how to feel like you are full, even if you're not really full. I read this stuff but do I follow the advice? Nope. - wow, 900 pounds! I guess this is why I read the articles like the one above. - Jena 6. I could go on and on about this, but it seems like everyone else has beat me to it. I think it is shocking and sad that racism is still so alive and well. If my son ever hung a noose from a tree, the last thing he would worry about would be the punishment he might receive from others. He would fear me more. I think all of this begins at home, not the school, not "society", at home. OK, I am done. - Why are there not more people like this in the world? I heard this man interviewed on NPR on my way home from work the other day. He is sincerely trying to develop an electric car that will work, that will be practical, that people won't be embarrassed to drive. He's not doing this to make money, he is doing it because it is the right thing to do. - flaming taxi? Two taxis have burst into flames in NYC this week and I almost missed it.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Be There or Be Square, Hon

Hmmm, Charm City Girl will be out of town on Saturday and has not really found much else to do anyway. Here it is -

John Prine will be performing at the Meyerhoff on Saturday from his latest album, Standard Songs for Average People.

Ravens vs. Cardinals - This is a 1 pm game and should be an easy, home win for the Ravens. I really shouldn't say that, seems like the Ravens rarely have those. Get there early for some good tailgating opportunities.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Allendale is a quiet residential community on the west side of the city. It is comprised of brick row homes with front yards and landscaping. There are a few wood frame single family homes scattered about. A good portion of the neighborhood houses a cemetery, there are a few schools and churches. There is an Allendale Community Association which got it's start back in the 1950's.

The average sale price of a home in Allendale was $84,329, according to 2006 data.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Charm City Girl's Review of the Week

This week I couldn't think of what I wanted to review. I made a list of sites that have been helpful to me, but none of the choices jumped out at me as what I really wanted to talk about. I wanted to review something I felt was truly useful, something that would help just about anyone. I was stumped. Then it hit me, flylady. If you are challenged in the field of "home management" I would suggest you click on the link imediately. This site could easily save your, marriage, save your sanity, or at least, save your time.

First off let me say that the first time I went to the site, I was turned off right away. The cartoonish look holds no appeal to me. I don't think it's cute, I don't think it's effective, I think it is a major turn off. Also, the home page is so ridiculously long, that is a turn off too. The site has been around for years and has not been modernized as far as format goes.

Get over it.

This site is a wonderful resource for people who truly want to have order in their home but have no idea where to begin. It is completely free. The site will walk you through cleaning your home, one baby step at a time. The site offers tools to help you along the way, but the most basic tool you likley already own, a kitchen timer. You can opt to have reminder emails sent to your inbox. Beware, they send out alot throughout the day. Or you can opt for a condensed version. There are success stories that offer hope.

There is also instruction on how to organize your household information into a "control journal" so that you never hunt for that important address, telephone number, medical information, etc.

There is also an emphasis on fitness. They update the site with new ideas all the time. I have known about the site for quite a while and this morning I noticed some new information that I hadn't noticed last time I was there. I recommended the site to a woman from my church who said that the site pretty much transformed the way she keeps her house. Her house is cleaner and more organzied than ever and in less time than ever. What more could you want?

The funny part to all this is, I haven't been able to really use it since I found out about it! I didn't know about this system when I was living independently and I don't feel comfortable trying to get my mother to change. Someday.

Monday, September 17, 2007

B'more Sports

Ravens defeated the Jets on a beautiful fall weather day for the home opener of the season. The final score was 20 - 13. It was closer than it looks. If not for Ray Lewis making his 24th career intercetption, the game would have gone into overtime. I am not a stats girl, but it seems to me that Ray has alot of interceptions for a middle linebacker. Both teams were relying on their back up quarterbacks to get the job done and neither one disappointed yesterday. I, for one, was happy to see Kyle do a good job. His arm is unbelieveably strong and even better, he just seems like a nice kid. He has taken alot of slack from Baltimore fans.

The Orioles also defeated the Blue Jays in extra innings yesterday. I really have no details other than that becuase in Baltimore, it is football season.

I also watched the Yankees defeat the Red Sox. It was the ESPN game last night, after the Ravens game. Of course, NJG is a Yankee fan, so I have a partial interest. Anyway, the Yankees made it past the Red Sox, so all will be right in my world. I must admit, it was the bottom of the 9th, that hot shot closer for the Yankees had the bases loaded, and someone they were calling "Poppy"? was coming up to bat. That was when I fell asleep, but I must assume Poppy went down swinging or something. I am sure I will hear all about it, all I know is I woke up on the couch and it was 12:30 am.

Oh, one final note, I have opted out of all fantasy football this year in an effort to be a little less obsessed with the game. But I have been participating in a weekly pick 5 against the spread contest on the Ravens message board. This week I have 2 winners, last week I picked 3. I don't think I am in any danger of winning any prizes. So I am 5 - 5 so far, better average than the O's anyway.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Good Reads - author convicted of murder he wrote about, this guy just wouldn't rest until he was caught. - engineered soil for parking lots. The environment is something I care about. It's not that I am a tree hugger, I just think it is our responsibility as human beings to take care of the earth. According to my Bible, it was "job #1" for Adam in the garden of Eden. But whether you believe in God or not, most people should care about leaving behind clean air and water for their great great great grandchildren to use. So I think it is cool to read about new technologies. - banksters. Are we supposed to believe that banks just happen to have more branches in the Wall Street area as opposed to the Bronx for no apparent reason? Bankers do not care about people. Bankers care about profits. Bankers are always trying to sell you what will most help them. Whatever product they are pushing is the one you just can't live without. I know, I was one of them, and I was successful too, and I hated every minute of it. Banksters also take gross advantage of disabled people which makes me sick. People who are on SSI for a variety of disabilities, including mental and emotional impairments, are told they must have direct deposit. The government pushes it as a way to save money and the banks are all too eager to get these deposits too. Why? Fee income. When these people overdraw their checking account they incur fees. I knew people who lived on their SSI checks of about $500 a month and paid out a high percentage of that in overdraft fees. The bank knows it will be paid when their next direct deposit comes in. The poor get poorer, the rich get richer. Anyway, I digress, this article is not about how the banks take advantage of the poor and disabled. Can you tell I have strong opinions about this? - I love to read something from a foreign country every now and again. This is an article about internet friendships from an Irish point of view.,+08:00+AM - Yes, I am such a homer. Baltimore was ranked NUMBER ONE in the nation for NFL tailgating. Please, tell me something I didn't already know.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Be There or Be Square, Hon

OK, here are the events available in Charm City this weekend:

First up, Hamdenfest 2007. There will be lots of really good alternative style music, including one of my local favorites, The Oranges Band. While they weren't at their best the last time I saw them, I gotta believe they are still worth seeing. Apparently they play around 4pm. There will be street vendors and cool music, what more could you want?

Friday, September 14 - Vincent Courtois, cello

Sylvie Courvoisier, piano

Ellery Eskelin, saxophones

Saturday, September 15 - Carl Grubbs & Friends, Coltrane Birthday Concert

Carl Grubbs, saxophones

Lafayette Gilchrist, piano

Steve Novsel, double bass

Yoron Israel, drums

Please check the An Die website for a complete list of entertainment and ticket information. An Die is a very cool venue, check it out.

Taste of Baltimore - OK, os I almost forgot this one. It is also happening on Saturday, when I can't go. It is at Camden Yard from 11 -6. You can check out all the good food we have in this city, and b'lieve me, Hon, we have good food here.

Ravens vs. Jets - It is a late game I believe, 4:15. This means even more time for tailgating. Baltimore was rated number one for the best tailgating in the NFL. Read 'em and weep Kansas City. Even if you can't score tickets to the game, come down to the tailgating. It is amazing. I might do just this, since I haven't scored any tickets for myself yet.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A is for Abell

Today I begin something I thought would be fun. Every Wednesday I am going to tell you about a specific neighborhood in Baltimore. Baltimore is known for its distinctively different neighborhoods and I thought it would be fun. It will be a way for me to learn something about my own city, as there are places I have never been. I am going down the list in alphabetical order. This will take a while, my little city has over 200 neighborhoods!

Abell is a small, residential community on the north side of town. It was named for the Abell family which owned the Baltimore Sunpapers. The family's large summer home known as Guildord, was located just north of this neighborhood.

The first Oriole Park existed in this neighborhood in 1889. It was considered to be too far from the city and was abandoned after only two years. In 1914 another field was established in the neighborhood and became known as Oriole Park after the Federal League Baltimore Orioles started playing there. In 1937 the new electric scoreboard was billed as the largest in the world. The stands and scoreboard were destroyed by fire in 1944.

The Huntington Baptist church was established in at the corner of 31st Street and Barclay Ave. in 1836 as a Sabbath school for ailing soldiers. The soldiers were sent to Abell from Fort McHenry because the higher ground was considered a healthier atmosphere and safer from malaria. The church that sits on this site today is not the original, it was built in 1922, replacing the older structures.

The Abell neighborhood is home to the Waverly Library, the Waverly Farmers Market, and one of my personal favorites, The Book Thing. This is the place to go if you want to donate your old books and browse for some new ones (well new to you). There is no limit on the free books you can take or drop off. It is fantastic. They have the books grouped by category but if you are expecting anything more than that, go to a bookstore. When I went there I felt like I had struck gold walking out with all those books for free. I have no idea how they do it.

The average price of a home in Abell according to 2006 data was $248,625.

Next week.....Allendale.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Charm City Girl's Review of the Week

I have customized my home page at the office to give me plenty of interesting places to visit on the world wide web. I spend almost all day at my desk and often have little to do until this project gets more underway.

One of the items I chose for my desktop was tips from ProBlogger. Now, I am not there to try to make money online, I would just like to figure out ways to draw more people to my blog because it inspires me to write every day if I feel like someone really is reading. I have only been reading a few short weeks.

The advice has been invaluable. Some of the tips have been amazingly simple. Believe it or not, I never thought that if I actually started to comment on the blogs I read that I might get traffic on my own blog (duh!). Some of the advice is way over my head. But that just gives me something to aim for right? The articles are short and easy to read. There is the occasional video also. There are useful comments from other bloggers.

I would have to say that I highly recommend this sight to anyone who wants to increase readership on their blog for any reason. You will find excellent advice whether you have been blogging for years or just starting, whether you do it for fun or for profit.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Are you ready for some football?

Tonight the Ravens start their season against the Bengals in Cincinnati. I don't know yet where I will watch the game. I don't like to watch at home because the rest of the family isn't really into it and I like to enjoy a beer or two with the game and I never drink alone. I guess I'll come up with something. Perhaps a visit to GL Shacks in Catonsville.

Apparently they have changed Monday Night Football entirely. I knew they moved it to ESPN and changed the time to 7pm. I thought that made it pretty unfair to the folks out on the west coast seeing as the game would start at 4pm. Then I heard this morning that there are two games. The 7 pm is the "early" game. There is another scheduled to begin after that. Which of course means that everyone on the east coast will be up very, very late tonight. I mean, if you are out at a bar watching MNF and having a good time, what are the chances you are leaving early? We'll see.

I am in a pick 5 against the spread contest at the message board (link to the right). I opted out of fantasy football this year. I don't have the time to dedicate to it anymore and I don't like to just do it halfway. I try real hard to give everything my best.

I stopped into Safeway this morning to pick up a new pair of pantyhose and overheard one of the employees telling the other that there will be lots of purple around town today. he was very excited about the game and it was great. It is what I love about this time of year.

Sunday I watched the Men's final match at the US Open. Federer again, surprise, surprise. He won in straight sets but the first two had to go to tie breaks.

And finally, in college news, my daughter's football team, Shenandoah University, lost the second game of their season on Saturday. But apparently, a good time was had by all.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Good reads

OK, so I will be doing this every Friday. I will be supplying links to the things I have read this week that were beneficial in one way or another. - I tried to zero in on just one post here, but they are all pretty good. I think most of them will make women feel pretty good, good remimders of how hard marriage can be. - all I have to say is favorite STD party?,0,4288620.story - Science related. - tennis anyone? - great idea, I'm giving it a try

Ok, so that is all I can remember as far as what I read this week. I will keep track of what I read and post links to whatever I found interesting or entertaining during the week.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Leakin Park

I cannot believe that I have lived here almost my entire life and I had never before yesterday, explored Leakin Park. When I was a child, Leakin Park was where stolen cars and dead bodies were disposed of. No one I knew ever went there for anything. I thought it was silly when they stopped the I-70 highway from plowing through the park to connect to the city. It would have been such a qucik easy commute downtown. I had never been there. I was making judgements on it when I had never been there.

So yesterday NJG was reading about a few events available for our enjoyment on a picture perfect Sunday. He came across this performance happening at the Gwynns Falls trail, traihead #2. Not beign from the area, he had no idea that this was a dangerous place to go. I warned him, that although I had heard they were trying to improve the park and I had heard they have a bike trail and a nature preserve, I still wasn't convinced that we could go there without seeing stolen cars and dead bodies. The event was art related. It sounded like it could be really, really awful or really cool. They talked about the performances as experiments in sound. There was also visual art in the woods.

So I threw together a picnic lunch and we headed off, DD3, NJG, and I. At first I wasn't even sure how to get there. I knew one road for sure that went past this park, but the bridge is out so we had to find another route. We drove into another area and there were about 6 pristine tennis courts sitting empty. There was a great playground. There was a mansion back there. We determined that we should park there and hike in.

We found the spot, which to me looked like we were invading a family picnic. The crowd was small. The art was spread all over, some in the woods. There was a picnic table available for us. There was a large grassy area for DD3 to explore and make friends. The performaces were very cool and unique. The park is beautiful, with trails to explore, a mansion where they give tours. It is clean. There is no vandalism. We will be back and will be glad to have the place to ourselves. As long as everyone else thinks about the reputation the park once had, it will remain a pristine gem for a few of us to enjoy.

I encourage any readers to look for gems like this in your own back yard.

Today we are going to visit DD1 at the university. She wants her siblings to see where she lives. More later.