Year: 2023

Pets, Places, & Things, Road Trip

From Deale to Annapolis In a Day…

By Bob Tagert …sort of. This month’s Road Trip started out as a day trip but by the time we reached Annapolis, we decided to stay the night. It was a good decision all the way around. Having more time in Annapolis is always a bonus. About forty years ago, when I still had a motorcycle, I would take day trips to the waterfront towns in Maryland. One of my favorite stops was the Swamp Circle Saloon. A bawdy kind of place and very inexpensive. It is no longer there, but we decided to take the drive to see who remained. Our first stop took us to Deale, Maryland on Tracy’s Creek and Happy Harbor Restaurant. Happy Harbor has been there alongside the creek as long as I can remember. As one comment read, “Great local place that is no frills, but good food with realistic pricing. If you’re looking for a local place to enjoy some live music without breaking the bank, get happy and happy harbor. Try the crushes, there’s enough variety to keep you coming back for a while!” This truly is a view into the life of folks in Deale. Hard working, fun loving people that know what it is all about. Happy Harbor has their own charter fishing operation and story has it the captain always finds the fish. On our day there, the place was standing room only but we found two seats at the far end of the bar. Our bartender was Peggy who is fantastic. Clearly she is part of the fabric which is Happy Harbor. The earlier quote was accurate. The price of the drinks alone encourage you to stay. Once you settle in, it is hard to leave…but we did. Our next stop was Skippers Pier – across and a…

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Let's Get Crafty, Wining & Dining

A Super Bowl Bourbon Tasting? Why not?

By Timothy Long When you think of the Super Bowl, you naturally think of beer. Beer and Super Bowl go together like chips and dip, hotdogs and mustard, or wings and buffalo sauce. But why not bourbon? Why isn’t bourbon an integral part of this great American tradition? Bourbon is a national treasure. Yes, so is beer. But beer comes from the old country. Bourbon is part of our national heritage. It’s part of who we are. Bourbon is the only American spirit regulated by the U.S. government. According to The Federal Standards of Identity for Distilled Spirits, bourbon made for U.S. consumption must be: Produced in the U.S. and its Territories (Puerto Rico), as well as the District of Columbia. Made from a grain mixture that is at least 51% corn. Aged in new, charred oak containers. Distilled to no more than 160 (U.S.) proof. Entered into the container for aging at no more than 125-proof; and Bottled (like other whiskeys) at 80 proof or more. No other U.S. made spirit is so thoroughly regulated. Congress made bourbon purely American. So, why shouldn’t it be part of our Super Bowl tradition? It should be! It’s time to add a festive activity to the traditional Super Bowl Party. And don’t just put out a couple of bottles of bourbon. Make it fun! Many people have never tasted bourbon, or any whiskey for that matter. So, have a Super Bowl bourbon tasting. I can read your mind right now; people are going to get sloshed. No, not if you do it correctly. Tasting is not the same as drinking. You use small pours and take your time. This will help to reduce the chances of someone getting snockered. It’s not about doing shots. Below is a five-step whiskey tasting guide from worldwhiskeyday.com….

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Pets, Places, & Things, Urban Garden

What Flowers Say Above Love

By OTC Staff ‘My love is like a red, red rose, that’s newly sprung in June…Scottish bard, Robbie Burns ‘Sweet flowers alone can say what passion fears revealing’ Thomas Hood While we realize that this column is normally dedicated to what we all should be doing during the month of February to ensure a beautiful garden during the rest of the year, we are stepping outside the box with a piece about the meaning of many of the flowers that you have growing or plan to grow this season. In the spirit of the season, we all recognize the red rose as the ultimate flower symbol of love. A red rose is the traditional romantic gift given to your love on Valentine’s Day, however, different rose colors can send other messages. Some of which are listed below: Red – True love White – I love you not Yellow – Jealousy Pink – Innocent love and happiness Orange – I love you vigorously Purple – I will love you forever Wild rose – Uncontrollable desire Moss rose – I admire you from afar The following information was garnered from several sources that may be a bit subjective since not all of the “experts” tend to agree on some of the meanings; however, we hope you find the information entertaining and enlightening in some fashion. For hundreds of years flowers have held hidden meanings, derived from mythology, folklore, religious and historical symbolism. The floral bouquet you send or receive brings a special coded message, depending on the flowers you choose. The study of the meaning of flowers is an actual science known as floriography, and it reveals an extra underlying meaning to sending or receiving flowers – subtle and secret messages can be passed through the different blooms. During the 18th century…

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Pets, Places, & Things, Single Space

Lessons in Love

By Lori Welch Brown Holidays can be brutal. For some, just getting through December takes Herculean efforts, and then the Universe rewards you with Cupid bearing down on you, arrow poised to pierce your heart every time you turn the corner at Walgreen’s and Home Depot. Used to be there was at least some breathing room for your Visa, your liver, and your poor, aching heart before you were trapped under a cloud of pink and red carnations. Not so much anymore. Life is just one big opportunity to buy a gift and/or decorate a door. For readers a little long in the tooth—if you even know what that means, chances are that you are—you’ll recall that I was for many, many years this publication’s perpetual single’s writer, penning the aptly named ‘Single Space’ column. Yep—that’s right.  Old Town’s very own Carrie Bradshaw—a young writer with cool friends, a penchant for happy hour and Marlboro Lights on a quest to find love, albeit without the designer shoe collection. Like Carrie, I was single for a few seasons.  There was no ‘Big’ floating back and forth on the scene, but quite a few dates gone wrong moments that made for good writing material. So even if you’re out there trying to make love happen in all the wrong places with all the wrong people, remember than even the bad dates have potential to make good stories. But, back to my point—Valentine’s Day. There was nothing worse than being at work as those floral deliveries started arriving. For a nano-second a fleeting thought would render me weak at the knees, “Could it be…,” but then some other young admin would whip over to the front desk, beaming with delight.  Then I’d head home to hide out or join some other pals at…

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From the Bay to the Blue Ridge, National Harbor

2023: The Year of the Rabbit

By Lani Gering For the last few years I have dedicated the February column to the Chinese New Year themed installation in the Conservatory at the MGM Grand. I just love the Chinese New Year “stuff” and I really get excited when I go to a Chinese restaurant and they have the place mats that have all of the years and animals on them. You know, the ones that tell you who you are and aren’t compatible with, what your personality is like, etc.  According to my reliable source – Chinesenewyear.net – Rabbit is the fourth animal in the Chinese zodiacs. About said Rabbit…legend has it that Rabbit was proud – and sometimes arrogant – about its speed. He was neighbors with the Ox and always made fun of how slow he was. One day the Jade Emperor said the zodiac order would be decided by the order in which the animals arrived at his party. Rabbit set off at day break but when he got there, there were no other animals in sight. Thinking that he would obviously be first, he went off to the side and napped. However, when he woke up three other animals had already arrived. One of them was the Ox that he had always looked down on. This year’s display, as in the past, has elements of Chinese gardens, the likes of pagoda’s and koi fish, along with 16,000 flowers, massive Chinese lanterns and a glistening pond where the beautiful silk rose koi fish is frolicking. The Money Tree is back as well. As far as the animatronics go…the Rabbit moves his ears and there are wild birds chirping in the trees along with the water fall and koi pond. While not as impressive as the Year of the Tiger – it seriously is…

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Go Fish, Pets, Places, & Things

Fish Count

By Steve Chaconas Groups of tournament bass anglers gather nearly every weekend and often during the week as well. They launch at safe light and return with their day’s catch in the early afternoon. With two fishermen on the boat and a five fish limit in a field of 50 boats or more, at least 500 fish are brought to the scales alive. They are released alive at the launch site. With several events conducted concurrently, thousands of fish are released in the launch area every week. In VA and MD there are nearly 1500 tournaments a year. It’s called stockpiling. Tournament release fish pile up at launch sites. More than 70% of the country’s fisheries managers are concerned with this catch and release side effect. Studies aren’t conclusive as to what happens next. Various methodologies are used to track released fish. Moving fish around and handling stress are major concerns of fisheries managers. Tagging studies monitor rates of dispersal from release points to capture areas. Return is dependent on how far away they were released. Also, higher stress limits return. When displaced more than 20 miles, return is more unlikely. To address and curtail stockpiling, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Black Bass Advisory Committee is encouraging several Best Management Practices. Reducing the number of fish released at the site can be accomplished with a redistributing plan, to include moving fish by boat or truck or long chutes to move fish away. Working as a partner with tournament organizers, MD DNR will coordinate with organizations to redistribute some fish when requested. If considered biologically necessary and if the organization offsets expenses and provides volunteers, arrangements for release trucks can be set up. Creating fishing off-limits areas at release sites gives fish an opportunity to recover and disperse. By using…

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Beauty & Health, From the Trainer

Press On!

By Ryan Unverzagt I hope everyone had a successful January. It takes some time and discipline getting used to a new habit (I’m talking about exercise), so don’t give up. This month’s exercise is the bench press. It targets the pectoralis majors & minors, anterior deltoids, serratus anterior, and triceps. There are many variations to the bench press. However this one is performed on a flat bench using a free-weight bar. Standard Olympic bars weigh 45lbs without any weight plates on them. If you are trying this exercise for the first time, you now have a reference point when deciding how much resistance to use. It’s also a good idea to have a spotter ready in case you need assistance. Lie on your back with the hips, shoulder blades & head in contact with the bench. Knees are bent 90 degrees with feet flat on the floor. Grab the bar on the rack with a slightly wider than shoulder-width grip. The bar should be directly above eye level. Lift the bar off the rack and position it over your upper chest (Figure 1). Slowly lower the bar toward the bottom portion of your chest (Figure 2). You can either touch the bar to your chest or stop a few inches above, but do not bounce it off the chest! Without pausing at the bottom, push the bar up and slightly back toward the rack to finish with the arms straight. The bar should be directly above the upper chest and shoulders. Remember to keep your hips in contact with the bench during the upward phase. If you find that you need to arch your back to lift the bar, you have too much weight on it! Try 3-4 sets of 7-12 reps with moderately heavy weight if you want to…

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Beauty & Health, Fitness

Healthy Habits

by Nicole Flannigan Now that the New Year is in full swing and we have all climbed back on the treadmills and weight machines, it’s time to make sure we can keep going. The most difficult part of changing your habits is the change itself. The best way to make a lasting difference in your life is to change things a little bit at a time. Even when you have the workout part down to a science, it’s what you do outside the gym that counts as well. We all know that exercise is not the only answer to solving our weight loss problems.  With a well-balanced exercise and nutrition plan you will get much more out of your workout and your everyday life. It is not your imagination, sitting at your desk all day can really make your behind as wide as the chair that you sit in. Many people who work in an office building don’t get much of a chance to be active throughout the day. As a result, that nine to five job just gave them an extra 10 to 20 pounds. Here are some ways to whittle that waistline while you’re hard at work. Reduce those rolls: Replace that ordinary desk chair with a ball. By trading your chair in for an exercise ball you will help your posture and strengthen your core improving your stability and burning calories. Walk and talk: If you tend to take a lot of calls during the day get headset and walk while you talk. Get a pedometer and track how many extra steps you take in a day. An Extra 500 steps per day burns about 25 calories. Over the course of a whole year that can mean a weight loss of up to two pounds without even…

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Beauty & Health, First Blush

Happy “Hair” Days Are Here Again….

By Kimberly Putens As if the cold, blustery weather of winter isn’t enough to make most of us want to crawl under our covers and not come out until spring, the havoc it wreaks on our hair is, well, hair-raising. Static electricity, moisture depletion, and not-so-nice texture can make for very bad hair days. To combat the winter hair blues, its best, in theory, to start in the fall before the winter blast hits. Developing a strategy of move frequent trims and treatments in the fall will ensure smooth sailing into winter. The best strategy is to whack off those dead ends in the fall so that the hair has a fighting chance by starting off healthy. Like most of us, that’s all well and good, in theory. So, what to do? First off, it’s never too late to get your hair trimmed. So, book an appointment with your stylist to get your ends trimmed and looking healthy again. That in and of itself will instantly give the hair a boost because dryness starts at the ends. Other things to consider are avoiding and repairing the dryness that winter brings upon our hair. Most of us know that the dryness outside can cause dryness to our hair, but it’s also the dryness inside that exacerbates the problem. Going from the cold, dry climate of the outside to the warm, dry climate of the inside puts a lot of stress on the hair. One strategy for keeping hair looking good starts with a hat. Yes, a hat. We all know how keeping our head covered is key to keeping warmth in our bodies; the same is true about maintaining moisture levels within your hair. Wearing a hat to prevent split ends and breakage is tantamount to wearing gloves to keep your…

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Personality Profile

Child of love. Eros. Amoretto…..Cupid!

The mention of Cupid typically conjures up images of a cherubic infant wielding a bow and arrow, but this wasn’t always the case. Long before the Romans adopted and renamed him—and way before his association with Valentine’s Day—Cupid was known to the Greeks as Eros, the handsome god of love. Cupid and Greek Mythology One of the first authors to mention Eros (circa 700 B.C.) was Hesiod, who described him in “Theogony” as one of the primeval cosmogonic deities born of the world egg. But later accounts of the lineage of Eros vary, describing him as the son of Nyx and Erebus; or Aphrodite and Ares; or Iris and Zephyrus; or even Aphrodite and Zeus—who would have been both his father and grandfather. Armed with a bow and a quiver filled with both golden arrows to arouse desire and leaden arrows to ignite aversion, Eros struck at the hearts of gods and mortals and played with their emotions. In one story from ancient Greek mythology, which was later retold by Roman authors, Cupid (Eros) shot a golden arrow at Apollo, who fell madly in love with the nymph Daphne, but then launched a leaden arrow at Daphne so she would be repulsed by him. Cupid and Psyche In another allegory, Cupid’s mother, Venus (Aphrodite), became so jealous of the beautiful mortal Psyche that she told her son to induce Psyche to fall in love with a monster. Instead, Cupid became so enamored with Psyche that he married her—with the condition that she could never see his face. Eventually, Psyche’s curiosity got the better of her and she stole a glance, causing Cupid to flee in anger. After roaming the known world in search of her lover, Psyche was eventually reunited with Cupid and granted the gift of immortality. In the poetry of…

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