Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Halloween Light Show in Odenton, MD

(Update 11/2/14: Looks like they were forced to change the music so a new video is linked. If you're not able to watch the embedded version go to YouTube.)

Just to get you in the Halloween mood, here's a video from the Halloween House in Odenton, MD:

As the article below explains, the light show runs from 7 PM to 9 PM nightly till Halloween. Tune your radio to 98.5 FM at the site to hear the music in conjunction with the lights.


Smithsonian Innovation Festival: November 1st & 2nd

This weekend the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum on the National Mall in Washington, DC will host a family-oriented Innovation Festival jointly sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution and the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Exhibits will include a 3-D printer (3D Systems), inflatable seatbelt (Ford), remotely-operated construction equipment (Caterpillar), and other recent inventions, and will provide an opportunity to talk to inventors and patent examiners.

The event is free and runs both Saturday and Sunday:

Dates: November 1-2, 2014
Time: 10 AM to 5 PM
Location: National Air and Space Museum, Independence Avenue at 6th Street, Washington, DC

Innovation Festival:

Smithsonian Will Host Innovation Festival at National Air and Space Museum

Festival Is Part of Five-year Collaboration Spotlighting American Ingenuity and Inventors
October 27, 2014
The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum will host an Innovation Festival Nov. 1 and 2, a collaboration between the Smithsonian and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The festival will highlight accomplishments of American inventors and the spirit of innovation. It will feature displays, talks, performances and craft projects for children and adults.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

It's Coming...A Halloween Skelemingo Friday!

The ghost birds mark the spot of the Halloween festivities to come...

A Skelemingo lurks in the bushes

  • The hosts will provide water, plus a few sodas left over from the picnic, and outlets for the chili crockpots. Anything else is up to you!
    • We also have frozen hamburgers left over from the picnic if anyone is willing to grill them. Please let us know!

  • Amazingly, as of this date, we have ten chili entries -- seven meat chilis and three vegetarian chilis, so it looks like a real battle is brewing. :) 
    • The chili entries have been closed but if you still want to enter, let us know on the RSVP form and we'll find room. What a terrific turnout!

For your convenience, here's the schedule once again:

5 PM - 6 PM: Set-up
  • Bring your treats, potluck, chairs, etc. to 9832/9834 (Allie & Daphna) by 5:30 PM
  • Bring your chili also by 5:30 PM in a crockpot
6 PM - 8:30 PM: Halloween Block Party & Chili Cook-Off
  • Chili tasting and voting between 6 PM and 7:30 PM
  • Food, drinks, treats, and a friendly "howdy" for everyone who comes by!

In the meantime, I'm working on my secret competition chili recipe:

Monday, October 27, 2014

Autumn Walk HOA Meeting and Elections (11/17/14)

The 2014 Autumn Walk HOA Meeting is scheduled for Monday, November 17th at 7 PM in the Emerson Clubhouse.

  • The proposed 2015 Budget for Autumn Walk (effective January 1, 2015) will be discussed and voted upon by the Board.
    • Assessments will remain the same in 2015.
  • An immediate Board vacancy needs to be filled to serve till the next formal election. 
    • No experience is necessary to be on the Board -- just an interest in your community and attendance at 2-3 meetings per year.
    • A formal Board member election will be held at the Annual meeting in June 2015.
  • Please contact the CAS Community Manager if you have any questions.
We hope to see all of you there!

Time to...Fall Back!

Don't forget to set your clocks back one hour this weekend! Daylight Saving Time (DST) ends at 2 AM on Sunday, November 2nd.

Since 2007, most of the US and Canada have observed Daylight Saving Time from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November. Next year, DST will resume at 2 AM on Sunday, March 8, 2015.

It's not clear how to set this one back an hour

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Maryland Early Voting Has Started!

Early Voting started today in the state of Maryland and will continue for the next week, and will continue until next Thursday, October 30, 2014.

The closest Early Voting center is at Ridgley's Run

I fought my way through the long lines to vote

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Early Voting Begins Oct. 23rd

Early voting in this year's elections, including the Maryland Gubernatorial race, will run from October 23-30, 2014, including Sunday 10/26. 

You can vote at any of the three Early Voting locations (below) in Howard County, but on Election Day you must go to your assigned polling place.

Quick Facts:

  • Early voting: Thursday, 10/23/14 - Thursday 10/30/14, 10 AM - 8 PM

Friday, October 17, 2014

Howard County Police "STEP" Up Traffic Enforcement

The Howard County Police Department (HCPD) has announced that it will increase traffic enforcement in targeted areas with higher than ordinary levels of accidents, DUIs, and speeding violations.

The Specialized Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) analyzed data for traffic incidents and aggressive driving and found that they were clustered in specific areas of the County during certain hours on recurring days.

Traffic Enforcement Zones (TEZ) with increased Howard County Police
presence (click map for larger size)

HCPD officers will conduct high-visibility enforcement efforts on Baltimore National Pike (US 40), Route 29, MD-175, Route 1, MD-100, MD-108 (Waterloo Road), Snowden River Parkway, Little Patuxent Parkway, and Main Street (Ellicott City).

Howard County Police Department News Release (from their Facebook page on 10/14/14):

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Emerson Elections at Annual Meeting Nov. 24th

Update 11/3/14: Ballots/proxies have been mailed to all households. There are six candidates for the three open Board positions. Two of the candidates are incumbents, the third did not file. Proxies for those who cannot attend in person are due by 12 noon on the day of the election (11/24/14).

Candidates for the Emerson Board are:

  • Erica Root Cikanek (current member)
  • Narsimha Doma
  • John Jurgensen (current member)
  • Laurel Lloyd
  • Sae Ro
  • Katie Schneider

Emerson's Annual Meeting will be held in the Clubhouse on November 24th and three Board positions will be open for election:

Date: Monday, November 24, 2014 (this is the Monday of Thanksgiving Week!)
Time: 7 PM (registration begins at 6:30 PM)
Location: Emerson Clubhouse

Some notes about the election:
  • You should have received a mailing with the Call for Candidates and Nominating Form.
  • 3 out of 5 Board positions will be open for 2-year terms. (The other two positions are appointed by the Developer, Howard Hughes Corp., and represent Hughes and Knott Realty respectively.)
  • Candidates must get 20 Emerson Residential Lot Owners in good standing to sign the Nominating Form, which is due no later than Monday, October 27th, 2014.
  • For the election, you can submit a proxy (absentee ballot) for the voting to CMC prior to the meeting. The list of candidates and proxy forms will be mailed by Monday, November 10th.
  • Emerson has a fairly high quorum requirement (1/6th of Class A Residential units or 168 units, and 1/6th of Class C Commercial properties or 2 representatives). If quorum is not met, the election will be held at the next meeting and quorum will be established by whomever is in attendance. Proxies can carry over.
  • Immediately after the election is finalized, the new Board will select its new officers.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Water Heater Pilot Light

(Update 10/21/14: This post has been corrected as some steps were inadvertently left out in the procedures for relighting the pilot light.)

I recently lost hot water in my home and found that the pilot light had gone out. In case you aren't sure how to check this, these are the instructions for a Bradford Model M-2-XR65T6FBN 65-gallon gas water heater as was typically installed in Autumn Walk.

If you're unable to light the pilot light after trying these procedures more than once, then something has likely failed and you'll need to call a plumber.

Your water heater may be still covered by the Bradford White Manufacturer's Limited Warranty. In the model listed above, the part number means:

  • Model M2
  • 65 gallons
  • 6 year tank warranty (and hence also a 6-year parts warranty)

Instructions as posted on the water heater itself:

1. First check that the red temperature knob is turned on and that it is at the temperature setting you want.

Base of the water heater

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

2014 Autumn Walk Halloween Block Party and Chili Cook-Off

Update: We've had such a great response we're going to have to cut off the chili entries! (But if you still want to enter let us know and we'll find room.)

Either way you're still welcome to bring something else, or just to stop by. Thanks everyone!

Last Halloween we had a semi-impromptu Block Party, with hot dogs left over from the Autumn Walk Picnic roasting on a brazier to complement the Halloween treats being passed out to everyone visiting our neighborhood.

Many people also brought Potluck contributions of food and drink.

It was so much better than waiting huddled in our homes for the doorbell to ring! :)

So as an encore this year...

Maria and Hung were the hosts last year

Halloween in 2014
This year, a group of your neighbors are expanding the concept to add a Chili Cook-Off in front of Allie and Daphna's houses (9832 and 9834), so start getting your recipes together...

Please let us know if you plan to set up additional activities on Halloween or will be making an entry in the chili cook-off!

The plan so far:

Emerson Fall Children's Costume Event

Update: Emerson HOA moved the RSVP deadline up to Wednesday so they can order the pumpkins.

In case you missed the notice, Emerson's Master HOA has announced that the Fall Children's Costume Event will be the weekend before Halloween in Sterling Park.

Date: Saturday, October 25th
Time: 12 PM to 1 PM

The children participate in a small parade in their costumes, and receive a trick-or-treat bag.

RSVPs are requested by 3 PM Wednesday, October 15th to the CMC Community Manager for Emerson in the Clubhouse.

As noted below, this event is for Emerson Residents only.

Here's a reposting of the notice from Emerson:

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Columbia, MD: Money Magazine Top 10 Places to Live for 2014

(Updated: Columbia named #1 in 2016)

For the fifth consecutive time since 2006, Columbia/Ellicott City, MD has been named to the Top 10 in Money Magazine's list of "Best Places to Live in America."

This record of consistency is only more remarkable when you realize that it is the only community in that timespan to remain in the Top Ten each year, with some other highly-ranked communities falling completely out of the Top 50.

As you know, Emerson is on the southern boundary of Columbia and shares the same top-rated Howard County school district and library system.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Orioles, Nationals Exit Baseball Playoffs

The Orioles lost to the Kansas City Royals in 4 games in the American League Championship Series, putting an end to hopes for a local team in the World Series.

The O's had swept the AL Division series with the Tigers 3-0, but the possible dream World Series for Maryland and DC Metro baseball fans fell through early in the NL Division Series as the Nationals first lost the two games of their opening homestand, and then eventually fell in San Francisco in four games, three games to one.

The Orioles were trying to make their 7th World Series. Baltimore has three world championships (1966, 1970, and 1983).

So all too soon local sports fans have to say..."wait till next year!"