The mall I grew up in, back home in Howard County, Maryland just had a shooting.
My heart goes out the the victims and people in the mall. I wanna pray for everyone there. God I just pray that you would take control of this situation! God you know these people and I just pray that you will be with them as they go through a tough situation like this oh lord! Be with them. Protect them! Show them they are safe in your arms!! Amen!
I just found out on twitter, then my sister snap chatted me, and then my mom texted me. I honestly cannot believe this happened at my childhood mall!! It always felt so safe and innocent!
I found out that three victims were shot and died. And they just found the shooter and he shot himself. Honestly what has come of this world. I tell you there is just one bad thing after the other…every day!! It sickens me!! I don’t understand how someone can be completely crazy like that!! I am certainly glad that I don’t have to deal with that because I have Jesus in my heart!!

But please be praying for the victims!!

Major Event and Concert EMS Part 2 with Dr. Kevin Seaman and Episode 403

Major Event and Concert EMS Part 2 with Dr. Kevin Seaman and Episode 403

Carbon monoxide save, improving dispatch software, paying patient’s parking ticket, and we’ll get back with Dr. Kevin Seaman from Howard County Maryland EMS with part 2 of our segments on their system’s response to major events and concerts. If that’s what you’re looking for, you found it, right here on this week’s episode of the MedicCast.

This episode is sponsored in part by Physio-Control.…

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Seamless Gutters in Howard County Maryland

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I love this place, too, Wordbones.

Yesterday was the memorial for Dennis Lane. (Watch a good recap of it here.) For two-plus hours friends and family members of Dennis shared memories of the man who was a huge part of the community I live in. He can never be replaced, but after the outpouring of love I saw yesterday I don’t think he’ll ever be forgotten.

His friend Tom talked about how Dennis’ blog had a line that said, “I live here, I work here, I love this place.” I love that line. I love this place too.

I moved to Columbia because my husband, then boyfriend, lived here. I didn’t get it at first, it was just like any other place I’ve lived, but you couldn’t find anything! Seriously, I just found the 7-11 last year. Anyway, over time the more time I spent here, the more the HoCo magic rubbed off on me and I not only fell in love with my hubby, but I fell in love with the HoCo too. I can’t imagine ever leaving it. Parks, recreation, city, country, drama, it has one of the nation’s top 10 cities to live in, excellent public schools, the library of the year…I could go on, but you get the idea.

When I found the HoCo Blogs network, it was just one more thing to add to the list of reasons why I love it here. But aside from all that, I’ve found that what I love most about this place is the people. The people in this community, from the bloggers to the politicians, and from the kids riding their bikes to the Columbia Bike Guy, most (there’s always the exception) everyone here seems to have a genuine interest in the community and the lives of those living in it.

Take for example my bee infestation last week. Home ownership is pretty new to me, so when I got a call from Hubby telling me that we had bees swarming in our laundry room I had no idea who to call to get rid of them. Not to mention, they were honey bees and my tree-hugging self didn’t want to see them exterminated.

One Tweet asking the #HoCo community what to do led to seven people answering me with advice or re-Tweeting my distress call. (All but two I have never met personally.) How amazing is it, that there is this network of people, some only connected through the place they live and a social media account, willing to help out community members they have never met? 

HoCo is like that because of people like Jim Rouse, people who have a vision for a community where people live, work, play, eat, and love. Dennis Lane embodied that spirit, and with him gone it is more important than ever to carry on the banner. For HoCo, for the people who live here, and for our future. 


Watch on

In October 2002 I was stationed in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, for my first tour of duty in the Navy. That’s where I met Hina, the lab/chow puppy who was rescued by my friends C & J. C & J also had another dog named Ilio, as well, and I was Hina and Ilio’s dog sitter when C & J were on the mainland. Hina’s name comes from the Hawaiian Goddess for the moon and Ilio is the Hawaiian word for dog.

Ilio passed away in 2004, so that’s where he leaves our story. Off and on during my time in Hawaii I got to know Hina and by the time I left in January 2006, Hina and I had a bond. In fact, I watched her my last week or two on the island, and on my last day there J told me Hina missed me after I left.

Later in 2006, C got picked up for a commission and during his transition, Hina went to stay with his parents in Massachusetts. From what I’ve been told, Hina had a wonderful time there, as C’s parents live on some land and Hina was free to roam about as she pleased. I think Hina liked it so much there because C’s Mom & Dad spoiled the pooch, as one look from her could convince Henry VIII to give up his turkey leg.

In 2007 C & J were stationed in California. That September they were blessed with a little bundle of joy, but as many military dads do, C had to deploy shortly after she was born. Around that time I happened to be telling J how much I missed Hina, and how I would love to get a pooch like her. By then I was stationed in Washington D.C., and living in Alexandria. It was then that J asked me if I would like to adopt Hina, as she felt Hina wasn’t getting the attention she deserved while C was deployed and J was taking care of a newborn baby. Of course, I jumped at the chance.

That’s how in January 2008, Hina came to be my dog, though she’s not really my dog. Like Dennis Lane did in his life, Hina has made an impact on each and every life she has touched. J is known as Hina’s other Mom to all who know us, and C’s parents still write to me asking about Hina. Hina gets her own special invitations to family events, and she and my Hubby’s mom have a special bond that I think is deeper than the bond she has with Hubby and me. It could also be because she feeds her more than we do.

For me personally, Hina has been a lifesaver. In late 2007 I went through a major depression. Her coming into my life when she did made a huge difference, so much so that I nicknamed her thera-pup. It’s amazing what dogs, and animals in general, can do for a person’s mood and well being,  and Hina is so tuned in to my moods that she knows just when to come comfort me if I’m feeling blue. 

That’s why I decided to share her story with HoCo today. For the past few days, HoCo has been in mourning for the loss of Dennis Lane. I thought that by sharing her story it would help in the healing process. 

I also know, from the numerous blogs that have been sharing tributes about Dennis, that he was a dog lover, and I think he would have appreciated the sentiment. 

And in case you’re not smiling yet, just try not to smile while watching the video at the top of this post.



Today I went about my normal Saturday routine like everything was normal. Yoga, shopping, and walking the dog, but today wasn’t normal. Today was the first full day that the world had without Dennis Lane. 

Like many other HoCo bloggers, I won’t get into the details of what happened because they don’t matter. What matters is a man who was an integral part of this community is gone. 

I didn’t know Dennis well, but my heart still hurts knowing that I will never get to see him smile at another blogger happy hour, or that Tales of Two Cities won’t update in my RSS reader anymore, and it especially hurts knowing that a family is in turmoil over the loss of Dennis and hundreds of people who knew him and were friends with him are hurting as well. 

I met Dennis at a HoCo Bloggers happy hour in February 2012. I went to the party by myself, not knowing a single person. I had been reading some HoCo blogs though, so I went with a plan and that plan was to meet as many of the bloggers as I could. I wanted to start blogging, and I needed help. I met a lot of people that night, but Dennis stands out in my mind because he and Cliff cornered me at the bar, bought me a beer and proceeded to talk to me for about the next hour. I learned a lot about HoCo that night, and I really appreciate what they did to make me feel like a part of the gang. 

The last time I saw him was at the latest happy hour, in February of this year. He asked me why I had stopped blogging because he really liked my writing. That simple question inspired me to get back on the blog wagon.

A little while later he took a photo of the host, me and a few others (which Icopied from his blog about the party). I also asked him to get in a shot, which he did, but I unfortunately never got around to asking him for a copy. I thought afterwards, oh I can just ask him at the next party and I’ll make sure to have a business card with my email on it so he could send it. 


Today I woke up and it was eerily quiet. It’s normal for rain in early May, but I think this morning the grey day and the quiet birds were because of something else. I think it was nature mourning for the incredible hole Dennis left here when he was so tragically taken from us. 

Like I said, I didn’t know Dennis well but I believe that he lived well. He may not have lived each day like it was his last, but you only have to read his blog archive to know that he lived each and every day instead of just going through the motions like many of us do. If there is anything we can take away from this tragedy it’s that life is precious, and it can be gone in a flash. As one of my yoga instructors likes to say, the only thing you can’t recycle is time so don’t waste it. If you truly want to honor Dennis’ memory, live your life to its fullest, be nice to people, and drink good beer.


New York City Customer Service Jobs Classifieds

New York City Customer Service Jobs Classifieds

And, the good thing is the neighborhood D.C. marketplace (including D.C. itself, northern Virginia and Montgomery, King George’s and Howard counties in suburban Maryland) stays one of many nation’s best areas to discover a job, using the variety of job seekers per opening less than in just about any other metropolitan area in the united kingdom in July. The key, selecting experts claim, when you…

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The first time I visited Alpha Ridge landfill I was impressed by its orderliness. The recycling area is organized and it’s easy to find where you need to go: cardboard on the left electronics on the right and everything else in between. Even the household trash area is a model of efficiency, once a bin fills up a tractor comes and hauls it away to a magical place that the average Hocoian never has to see or smell. This is a definite improvement over my previous experiences with landfills, where you drive up to a giant hole in the ground and dump whatever it is you brought on top. Alpha Ridge is just another example of what makes HoCo awesome.

As amazing as ARL is, I just don’t understand why everywhere I look around the HoCo there is litter and trash. I noticed it in the median on 175 by Costco and on Little Patuxent by the college. It’s in the woods along Governor Warfield and in Wilde Lake. I assume some of what’s floating around is what blows out of trashcans on trash day, but there is so much of it I can’t imagine all of it is from that.

I try to do my part by picking up litter when I see it, but there’s a point where it just becomes too much (and too gross). I don’t know what the solution is here, but I know that we can do better. There is so much about Howard County that is wonderful, and it takes all of us to keep it that way, year-round.

Don’t wait for the next Columbia clean-up day. Do you part to secure trash on trash day, pick it up when you’re out-and-about enjoying the paths and most importantly teach your kids not to litter.



What’s happening at Clyde’s?

Clyde’s is one of my favorite places to have a beer, they have totally embraced the microbrew revolution and I love all the different varieties they have on tap. So, since it’s been more than a month since they closed, I thought I would stop by and see the progress and see if maybe they had a sign saying when they’d reopen. I hate having to drive for my microbrews. 

When I first walked down the stairs, I noticed the statue of the Rouse brothers, and I thought a photo from their point-of-view would be cute. Boy, I was dismayed to see the graffiti on the back of James Rouse’s statue. Really? Graffiti? Some people, ya know? Anyway, they are doing a good job supervising the progress despite the lack of respect for their position.

Getting closer to the restaurant, you can see that the outer wall has been bumped out. I’m not sure if those are new windows or not, but you can see through them to see how much construction is going on. I hope they reuse or restore the original bar, it was such a nice feature.

Over at Tomato Palace there is a sign in the window, though it doesn’t say exactly when the restaurants will reopen. The text under the part about “coming up with a new space” says they will reopen approximately 8 weeks from when they closed, which was Feb. 3. If that’s the case, then we can look forward to them reopening soon! I hope so, because I am looking forward to another beer festival in May!


“What You Need To Know Now Regarding The Tenure Track Job Market”

“What You Need To Know Now Regarding The Tenure Track Job Market”

And, what’s promising is that the neighborhood D.C. marketplace (including D.C. itself, northern Virginia and Montgomery, King George’s and Howard counties in suburban Maryland) stays one of the nation’s best places to discover a job, with the number of job seekers per beginning less than in any additional metropolitan-area in the united kingdom in June. The trick, selecting experts claim, when…

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Construction Begins.

Driving on Brokenland Parkway next to the mall the other day I noticed that I could see more of the mall. Must be because construction for the new development in the Warfield neighborhood has started. Sure enough, after I safely pulled over and parked my car, I took a stroll around one of the two lots where you can see dirt has been removed, trees cut down (oh the horror) and cranes have moved in. Can’t wait to see what this becomes, and I hope that some small businesses move into the spaces they have planned for the restaurants. I’m thinking a smoothie joint and a Bon Fresco satellite would be nice!