Way..... Out there !

Way..... Out there !
Deepest, most colorful Hubble image yet of our universe. Click for info.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Ho, Ho, Ho...!! It's that time of year again – solstice, Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa – when we wish each other a joyous celebration and a a new year filled with only very good things. Such as no more two-foot snowdrifts!

So, from me to the world...

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

John L.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Hallmark Woods Annual Meeting – updated

Our illustrious board of directors has set Wednesday, January 4, 2012, 7 p.m. at the Crofton Library for our next Property Owners' Association annual meeting.

Wisely, they have decided to ignore the slings and arrows of legal purists and have averred that this will be the only meeting, quorum or no quorum. So, if you don't show up, tough luck, you lose.

It will be interesting to see if, unlike last year, anybody will volunteer to serve as a director, other than the incumbents. The job is certainly not taxing; meetings can be as rare as twice a year; all the issues seem to be a.) landscaping at the entrance, and b.) maintenance of insurance on the common areas to protect us all from legal liability.

With any luck, this meeting should take all of 30 minutes. If that.

John L.

Update: Well, the meeting took all of 40 minutes, still a record for HWPOA. A whopping 14 people, including the four directors, attended. We discussed the budget, added some $$ for leaf removal on Hallmark Drive and tree trimming on Branchwood Court, suckered, uh, welcomed one new resident to the board, and then ran for the exit. Oh yes, as for the old HWPOA official website, the president admitted he and his colleagues just couldn't figure out how to edit it, so they gave up entirely. Hasn't been exactly a groundswell of protest from the neighbors either, as far as I can tell. (sigh) See ya next year.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

–– Steve Jobs ––

Steve Jobs has died.

The tributes are pouring in; Twitter is ablaze with sad and admiring posts from all over the world.

For me, it's the end of another era of my life. I've had Apple Macintosh computers since the mid-90s, each one better than the previous one. For a while, it appeared that Apple Computer (as it was then known because of a conflict with the Beatles record label) was going to self-destruct. But Steve came back and it's been rocketing upward ever since.

The hashtag on Twitter is #RIPSteveJobs. Check it out.

John Ludwigson

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Loose Ends — Still

Not a peep out of me in months. Been busy on Twitter (oldbot) and Facebook. Busy on home improvements. Busy taking lots of naps. And watching our country go down the drain due to deliberate Republican intransigence in the U.S. Congress (and unfortunate Democratic wishy-washy response).

Perhaps the debt downgrade by Standard & Poor, and the current slide in the stock market, and global meltdowns in national economies will shake American voters out of their lethargy. Just "throwing the bums out" isn't a solution. Electing intelligent, caring, patriotic (in a genuine way... not just flag-wavers) representatives to the U.S. Congress as well as state and local offices is the only answer.

Or we can all go back to sleep and to hell with the United States of America, a once-great nation.

Wake up, people! It's not (yet) too late!

John Ludwigson

Much Later (23 Sept.): Doggone, it looks like I just wrote this. Not much has changed. And it's raining today.... again. JL

Friday, March 11, 2011

Save Our Libraries ! UPDATED AGAIN !!

Public libraries are essential to our civilization, our future, and our freedom. They support our children, directly and through the schools; they are a resource for businesses small and large; they support parents and senior citizens; and they provide information and entertainment for all the people of our county, state, and nation.

NOTE added later: This week, April 10-17, 2011 is National Library Week! Visit your local library and let them know how much you love them!

Yet, as governments watch their tax income dwindle from the lingering effects of the recession, libraries have become vulnerable to the budget-cutters' axes. This is particularly true for the Anne Arundel County Library System. Already cut to the bone, this treasure of our area is now being asked to cut back even more, threatening all of us with a loss of its essential services.

This week, Bay Weekly – an excellent newspaper distributed free to all here – has joined the fight to protect and, if possible, to restore our beleaguered library system. Take a look at their great reports on the system's new administrator, "Skip" Auld, and on the slightly better-off Calvert County Library System.

Then show up at one of the three remaining Town Hall meetings: March 17 at the Annapolis branch, March 24 at North County, and March 31 at South County – all at 7 p.m. – to pledge your support for our county libraries. And – especially – write, call, or fax our county executive and council members to let them know just how important these bastions of knowledge and support for our children's education are to you.

The phone numbers, email addresses, and postal mail addresses are all available from the AACPL homepage (click on the "to learn more ... click here" link), the Bay Weekly story, and at the Town Hall meetings.

Save Our Libraries!
John L.

Update: The St. Patrick's Day meeting in the Annapolis library was packed! More than 300 people jammed into the library's main room (too many for the meeting room), SRO (standing room only)! They even gave a round of loud, sustained applause for the librarians! Maybe there's hope yet... The final Town Hall at the South County Branch (SCO) in Deale was again a full house, SRO! Among those present was our District 7 County Council member, Jerry Walker who pledged his support. With any luck, these boffo performances will translate into a blizzard of constituent correspondence and a corresponding improvement in the library system's financial situation.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Democracy in Action...

Lackadaisical homeowners, a willing candidate, and – surprise! – a community in metro Virginia has elected a dog as their community president.

Shows to go ya what happens when the inmates of a community aren't willing to do their homework.

The Washington Post has the story here.


John L.

Note to Anonymous: Yes, that was the point. JL

Monday, February 7, 2011

Culture Corner

by David Williams

Potato, sojourner north, first sprung
from the flanks of volcanoes, plainspoken kin

to bright chili and deadly nightshade,
sleek eggplant and hairy tobacco,

we could live on you alone if we had to,
and scorched-earth marauders never bothered you much.

I love you because your body's a stem,
your eyes sprout, and you're not in the Bible,

and if we did not eat your strength,
you'd drive it up, into a flower.

*Stolen from today's Marlboro College newsletter,
The Town Crier

John L.