Monthly Archives: August 2009

Maryland State Fair 2009

Last weekend I went back to Pa for the Lark family reunion and let a threat of rain deter me from having a good time. Well, Friday was the first day of the Maryland State Fair in Timonium (which has its own light rail stop).


Once again they forecast a 50% chance of rain, but I wasn’t about to be fooled twice. I put a poncho and baseball cap in my backpack and headed straight for Mt Royal station. I get off the train at the fairgrounds, walk 100 ft to the entrance, pay my admission fee and made my way into the fair.


I get to the midway, far away from the nearest shelter, and it starts pouring with a few intermittent flashes of lightning. I put my poncho and cap on and made my way to the nearest building. I think it was all lottery tickets and state transit agencies with a few kitchen & bath companies strewn in for good measure.


After an hour or so the rain let up enough for me to get to the next building. This place was all quilts, crochet and kids toys made from Popsicle sticks. To be fair, they also had woodwork and photography, but most of the stuff in that building was junk (okay, “prize winning” junk).


I don’t think I have to describe what the animal barns were like. Also, the equine shows continued in the rain, but the pig races did not.


I made it back to the food pavilion in time for the rain to start up again, but at least this place had food (unfortunately, the tables were alfresco).


The rain finally stopped around 3:30pm, and I was able to walk around the midway, overpay for funnel cakes and watch the entertainment (pig races rock!). I even saw a man carve a UM Terrapin with a chainsaw.


At 5pm, I made my way back to the light rail stop. I would have stayed longer, but the ATMs weren’t working.

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Reunions, birthdays and other pressures

Last weekend was the annual Lark family reunion, held this year at Knoebels Amusement Resort just a few miles from Shamokin. Honestly, I didn’t know about it until 2 or 3 days beforehand, but its not like I anything else to do either. There was only one teensy problem:


“Rain. A rumble of thunder or two is possible. High 91. Chance of rain 50%.”


Red or black? Unfortunately, I chose ‘black’ and it didn’t rain or thunder the entire day – not one drop. My whole day was wasted for nothing.


You can probably imagine what the primary topic of conversation was at dinner that night. Naturally, I wasn’t a part of it. In fact, I wasn’t a part of it for the whole hour they waited to take our order. The service was downhill from there, but the food was decent though.


Sunday was the party for my nephew’s first birthday (his actual b-day was Wednesday), and it was held at my brother’s river house. The place was a mess of kids, but “Gampa Dennis” set up an inflatable water slide in his backyard to keep the older kids happy (my niece Katie, “the brave one,” wouldn’t go near it). Cake was served at 3pm, and Luke made a cute mess of himself figuring out how to eat it (if I knew how to post photos to this blog I would).


Monday, the day I came back to Maryland , but it was also when my mom had scheduled me to see the doctor about the chronic pressure in my left ear. I don’t know why doctors have you make appointments just so they can make you sit there in the waiting room for an hour.


“This is one of the biggest walls of wax I’ve ever seen,” the doctor said when looked into my ear.


In fact, it took the nurse 12 shots of water to finally clear the blockage! They also cleared the other ear that by contrast only took about 4 shots to clean. My ears were sore for the next 2 days, but at least I was home if only for the weekend.

Categories: coal region, family | Leave a comment

Outrage – Forbes disses UM in college rankings

Riptide reported this week that a new set of college rankings from Forbes magazine (!) lists the University of Miami as 479 th out of 600 schools ! This despite our otherwise highly rated Medical School , state of the art Nursing School , world class theatre program and, probably most important of all, our own line of high quality licensed scooters! 


The problem, Riptide finds, is the magazine’s utterly ridiculous methodology. The criteria they use is almost comical (number of alumni in Who’s Who of America 2008), but it is their assbackwards scoring system that is the real joke (25% of a school’s score is derived from!

This got me thinking, if the scoring system is backward, than the results they produce must also be backward. This would mean that the University of Miami would actually come in at a more respectable 121 st out of 600 ! It’s not the 51 st that Us News & World Report gives us, but at least, it’s a start. Who knows maybe Forbes will get it right next year.

Categories: editorials, UM news | Leave a comment

Blog at