Way..... Out there !

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

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Apathy be Damned! It's Annual Meeting Time Again!

Once again the Hallmark Woods Property Owners Association – somnolent though it may be – will hold its annual meeting at the Crofton branch of the Anne Arundel County Public Library System.

Show up in their meeting room Monday, 27 January 2014 at 7 p.m. for the latest snoozer in an ongoing series of tremendously important community get-togethers. There may be snacks (they are traditional) or not as fate may have it. Might even be a discussion of something. And the usual approval of a budget for the new year.

Then we go home again, for another year. The new directors (if there are any) will meet, agree to hire a landscape company to cut the grass, set a date for their next meeting, and also go home.

Peace, if not love.

John Ludwigson

Wow! Fastest Meeting Ever!  

We came, all 10 of us. We met. We deliberated. We voted – passed every issue unanimously. We adjourned after a whole hour of breathtaking effort.

Maybe the tropical warmth of outdoor temps in the teens kept our neighbors away. Maybe they just don't care. But efficiency was ours for one night.

Now to get some sleep. In bed. After a snack. Goodnight all!

John L.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

HWPOA Returns to the Web! — Well, Sort of......

    Once again, our Hallmark Woods Property Owners Association has an official website.

   It's still a work in progress, but we can look forward to local news and direct communications with the new board of directors (named on the site!).

   Please visit. They keep track of these things, and the more neighbors use the site, the more the new guys will be encouraged to keep in touch with the community.

John L.

UPDATE:  It started out all right. Nice format, good photos, helpful posts. But the website seems to have been almost abandoned. Did no one visit? Is the new board busy with other things? I'm still very hopeful, but sorry to see the lack of progress. Maybe the cooler weather will bring a burst of activity. I hope.


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Dancing in the Sky

   Tonite, tomorrow night, and on.... the Moon will be accompanied by Jupiter, the biggest planet in our solar system. And not far away will be the mighty hunter, Orion and his nemesis, Taurus the bull. 

   The whole story is available from Sky and Telescope magazine, from  which I stole the above graphic. 

    But the weather forecast is for at least partly cloudy, at least where I am near Annapolis, Maryland. No problem! Click into the Slooh Space Camera website, whereat you will find, at appropriate moments, a telescope view of the whole thing as the Moon "eats" Jupiter the night of January 21. 

    Enjoy!  But if you miss it (busy dancing at the inaugural ball.... etc.), the principal dancers will be back on March 17th. 

John L.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


    Another year of fun and folly has mostly gone by. But we're mostly still here and looking forward to a visit from St. Nick.

    May the spirit of Christmas live on forever in your hearts. And bring you-all a wonderful and exciting New Year in 2013.

    Here's a treat: The Polyphonic Spree with a song by John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

Peace and Love,

John L.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Politics – The American Way! — Updated Again

Not that I'm biased or anything, but I cannot for the life of me understand why anyone would vote for anyone else for President of the United States.

Barack Obama has a record not only of solid achievements in the face of determined stonewalling by the political opposition, but of genuinely caring about his country and his fellow citizens.

  All his fellow citizens!

Follow the Democrats as they nominate Barack Obama and Joe Biden for President and Vice-President this week in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Visit the White House blog for a quick introduction to the policies and successes of this excellent President. 

 And remember to VOTE* on November 6 !!

John Ludwigson

*  Maryland Board of Elections has all the information you need.

•  Debates are over, but you can still visit the schedule  here at 2012 Election Central

•  Best campaign coverage is on C-SPAN

•  Obama campaign has compiled a (partial) list of his accomplishments so far, with links for further information.  Go to BarackObama.com

•  He won!  Now the real work begins. 


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Green & Growing!

    Didn't think it would grow, did you? But somewhere in there there's radishes and would-be turnips. If I wait long enough there might even be a kohlrabi, or a beet. But there sure ain't enough space for the pepper plant(s) I had planned to put in the middle. At least not now.

    And today I finally went out and sickled the weeds in the main garden. That's not digging or amending the soil, but it's a start. Not bad for a two-footed sloth!

John L.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


It's spring again... and an old geezer's heart turns to thoughts of veggies, springing from the earth in his back yard, a miraculous bounty usually enjoyed mainly by squirrels and sometimes by humans.

Still, he forges ahead, buying a half-whiskey barrel and filling it with dirt from a plastic bag in hopes of future greenery. Perhaps the presence of a catnip bush in the older tub is inspiring.... if catnip can grow so lush, just maybe some radishes or herbs, or even a pepper or two, might happily occupy the new tub.

And working on only the tubs makes it possible to avoid, for the moment, thinking about the hoeing and digging awaiting in the larger garden beds on the hill just behind the tub plantation. There, tomatoes and a panoply of larger veggies will find a home, if only the lazy gardener can get a wiggle on.

For now, too, it's almost therapeutic to watch the birds and squirrels celebrate spring. There's seeds and peanuts for them both in the feeders scattered around the place. Food paid for with songs and clown acts in the trees overhead.

Spring! It blooms in my heart as well as the garden. And now, back to work.

John L.

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