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Saturday, May 19, 2018

Talbot County Council 2018 Primary Elections - The Other Nine Candidates for County Council

Estimated readi time: 15 minutes

If I could vote in the Talbot County election, I only have one more seat to decide who, of the nine candidates I didn't endorse, will fill it.

Ok, let's back up.  If you haven't read Talbot County Council 2018 Primary Elections - Four Endorsements, you're coming in on the middle of the story.  There are five seats on the county council.  Four of the incumbents are running to retain their seats.  The above link explains why I endorse those four running for re-election.  More importantly, the above link explains who I am so you can judge how biased or unbiased my opinion is.

Welcome back if you had to depart for a moment to read the above link.  Now let's get down to looking at the other nine candidates vying for a seat on the county council.

Whether you agree with my four endorsements or not, you're still a human resource hiring manager who needs to look at the résumés of at least one (more if you don't agree with my four endorsements) to determine who is most qualified to fill the seat(s) of the Talbot County Council. 

As a reminder, the four incumbents (Chuck Callhan, Corey Pack, Laura Everngam Price, and Jennifer L. Williams) are all Republicans.  There are two more Republicans seeking a seat, so a total of six Republicans are looking to fill the five available seats.  That means there are seven Democrats seeking to fill those same five seats.  It'd be a rainbow world if the thirteen candidates could share all five seats in perfect harmony, but that's not how our system works.  You have to look at all thirteen candidate's résumés and say, "You're hired!" to five of them come the November general election.  

The link above gives you the résumés of the four incumbents in the form of the Comprehensive Plan 2016 as well as an individual, less than fifteen minute YouTube interview of each candidate.   Let's look at the résumé packages of the other nine candidates.  We'll start with the two remaining Republican candidates and finish with the seven Democrat candidates. Other than party grouping, the candidates are listed in no particular order other than what the official candidate list put them in.

Oh, wait a minute.  I reckon I should explain how I judge the candidates as if I were a hiring manager.

I am in the job market right now and have had a rude awakening.  In my day (yeah, I'm kind of Jurassic) I would visit companies I was interested in or companies that had posted specific job openings I was interested in.  I would be handed an application by the Human Resource person, which I would hand back after I filled it out. I would also hand in my résumé and any other supporting documents that pertained to the job I applied for.

Today, job seekers needn't waste their time going to a company in person.  The application and any tests or evaluations are done online.  If anyone at the company wants to talk to you, a company employee (or computer) will call or email you.  Funny thing is you have to fill out an application, but they want your résumé, too.  Redundant, I know, but now the résumé needs to be tailored to each job you apply for with proper keywords and everything so the computer - yes, a computer, not a person - can make a preliminary decision if you're qualified for the job.

For the first time, I sat in front of my computer for almost three hours going through an application process that, two and a half hours in, ended with an online screening interview (what most of us would call a personality test).  Without ever talking to a real person nor a real person ever looking at a thing in my application package, the computer decided I would no longer be considered for the position because I wasn't competitive enough.  I reckon the computer made the decision because I answered superlative questions like "You would do anything to get ahead" with "Somewhat agree."  I couldn't answer "Completely agree" because I wouldn't lie, cheat, or steal to get ahead, meet company goals, earn a promotion...well, you get the idea.  The computer saw my reluctance to lie, cheat, or steal as a disqualifier for employment.  Now I understand why cameras watch my every move in Walmart and I get so much attitude when I deal with customer service.  It all starts with their hiring practices and who they hire.

That said, if you think I'm harsh on my hiring criteria for the candidates below, I'm really a pussycat compared to the technology doing the hiring today.
 

Republican Candidates


  • Frank Divilio
    The candidate listing only has his email contact.  A couple of minutes of Internet sluething uncovered additional links:

    The only link that really talks about his qualifications for a Talbot County Council seat is the Friends for Frank Facebook page.  To summarize: he and his wife were born and raised in Talbot County and are raising their children in the county.  Therefore, they have deep roots and he knows a lot. 

    His "deep roots" and "love of Talbot County" messages get lost when you realize his insurance agency, his family's bread and butter, is located in Queen Anne's County, not Talbot County.  That's business tax money being spent in a neighboring county instead of his home county he claims to love so much.  According to Buzzfile, his agency earns $126,413 per year and employs two people at the Centreville location in Queen Anne's County.  How much business tax money is being spent in Queen Annes County is unknown.  Also unknown is if the two jobs his business created are filled by Talbot County residents.  Perhaps as his campaign progresses, he can address those questions.

    Most concrete goal I could find - "It is my goal to help Talbot County realize its immense potential and be the place my sons choose to raise their families in the years to come."  He does not give any indication how he will help Talbot realize its "immense potential" nor even what that immense potential is.  Adding that he hopes to make Talbot an amenable place for his sons to choose to raise their families is a nice, down home touch to an otherwise empty campaign.

  • Lisa Marie Ghezzi

    The candidate listing only has her email contact.  A couple of minutes of Internet sluething uncovered two POSSIBLE additional links.  I emphasize possible because she has a unique last name and the accounts show Easton, MD, but I cannot verify these accounts are associated with the candidate.   
    As a hiring manager (voter), it's not your job to go looking for the candidate's qualifications and, best I can tell, there are none anyways.  Even if she is qualified to be on the county council, how would we know?  I can't easily find one political stance or vision she has for Talbot.

Democrat Candidates


  • Keasha N. Haythe
    The candidate listing has her email contact and a website that matches the email.   A couple of minutes of Internet sleuthing uncovered a plethora of links by local media outlets as well as her campaign Facebook page.  


    Keasha is a Talbot native and her family goes back at least three generations as she mentioned her grandfather was a waterman.  Her "about me" on her website gives you a good feel for who she is, her strength of character, what she sees as being important, and a short list of what she has done to promote community strength. 
     

    Unfortunately, she is short on specifics. Any résumé should list specific accomplishments.  That tells the hiring manager (you, the voter) what she is capable of and what she can bring to the table to make tomorrow better for Talbot.

    She says she has "...championed education, entrepreneurship and expansion of existing businesses as key economic drivers. Spearheading development of a Regional Technology Park and the mid-shore’s first technology incubator," but does not give specifics.


    Ok, what specifics?   Résumé and hiring experts teach job seekers to use power words with hard facts and figures to show you're someone who accomplishes something.  "Championed education..." states exactly what everyone else can claim.  I mean, who doesn't champion education and all those other things?  How she "championed education..." is a mystery at this point.

  • Naomi Hyman
    The candidate listing has her email contact as well as her Facebook and Twitter accounts.  All of the account suffixes and/or names pair up.  The links mentioned and other links a couple of minutes of Internet sleuthing uncovered:

    Despite the impressive Internet presence she has created for herself, best I can tell is she's lived the last twenty years in Talbot (not born and raised on Delmarva) and her goal is to make sure everyone has a voice, but she doesn't tell us how she intends to give everyone a voice.  I went through every link and failed to find any vision of substance or accomplishments in her career that would translate to a possible benefit for Talbot.  Her overriding theme is her Jewish faith qualifies her for the position.  Just as I run from a Christian who claims his/her faith somehow qualifies him/her for public office, I have to run from a candidate who implies, somehow, her Jewish faith qualifies her for public office.  The Talbot County Council is not a church, synagogue, temple, nor pulpit. 

  • Pete Lesher
    The candidate listing has his email contact and Twitter account.  His Twitter account consists of one tweet on Mar 7th.  He has eight followers and follows seventeen.  In other words, he has a Twitter account that looks like he's forgotten about.  A couple of minutes of Internet sluething uncovered additional links:

    His Facebook page shows 474 friends, but little else, probably due to his privacy settings preventing those who aren't his friends (that's like almost every voter in Talbot) from reading what he shares.  Nothing in his "about" page mentions running for county council nor does his LinkedIn page.  In short, he's a candidate.  The only question remaining is, "Does he know he's a candidate?"


  • Robin K. Page

    The candidate listing only has her email contact.  A couple of minutes of Internet sleuthing turned up absolutely nothing.  Even a Google search "Robin K. Page for Talbot county council" produced zero results other than other sites claiming she is running.

  • Rosalee "Rose" Potter

    The candidate listing only has her email contact.  A couple of minutes of Internet sluething uncovered one additional link:
    A couple of months ago, she had an official website, but it appears the website has been deleted.  Her Facebook page makes no mention of it and a Google search for "Rose Potter for talbot county council" or variations of her name (Rosalee is her first name) produces no results other than her Facebook page.

    I did see one campaign sign for Ms. Potter on the lawn of someone in Easton, but other than the one sign and her Facebook page, there is no indication she is actively pursuing a county council seat.  If she is still an active candidate, one can only guess her sole purpose for running is to tilt the odds in her husband's favor to rid the courtyard grounds of the Talbot Boys monument.  Yes, she is the wife of Richard Potter, the president of the Talbot County NAACP and the leader of the effort to destroy the monument honoring Civil War veterans who fought on the Confederate side. 

  • Maureen Scott-Taylor
    The candidate listing has her email contact as well as her Facebook and Twitter accounts.  All of the account suffixes and/or names pair up.  Unfortunately, Google searches turn nothing up on her candidacy.  Her email contact suggests maureen4talbot.org was her website, which, two months ago when I first started researching this article, was a valid website.  It no longer exists.  It appears she has unofficially withdrawn from the race.


  • Dominic "Mickey" Terrone
    The candidate listing only has his email contact.  A couple of minutes of Internet sluething uncovered one additional link:


    Mr. Terrone is a one issue candidate.  Google "Dominic "Mickey" Terrone" and you'll find pages of stories about his involvement with trying to remove the Talbot Boys monument, a monument honoring veterans who served on the Confederate side of the Civil War.  It is reasonable to assume Mr. Terrone decided to run for the county council in hopes of helping his friend, Richard Potter, revive the issue and have the monument removed, if not melted down and destroyed.

    On his website, he lists himself as an "avid U.S. Civil War Historian."  I reckon the keyword is "avid," which for you and me translates to "obsessive hobbyist", aka a self taught expert.  The fact he listed this hobby is a strong indication of his single-issue candidacy status.


    I wouldn't be so harsh on Mr. Terrone if his website offered more than a laundry list of job titles and colleges he attended.  For example, he says (in third person, no less)
    "Mickey served as Chamber of Commerce Executive in Brooklyn, New York, where he served in the General Manager role to initiate programs to benefit small businesses and revitalize the downtown area of the borough."  What programs did he initiate?  How did his initiatives benefit small businesses?  What measurable revitalization of the downtown area resulted because of his initiatives?  How will he translate those efforts to benefiting Talbot County?  Bottom line: a lot of people show up for work every day, but that doesn't mean they do anything.

    I emailed Mr. Terrone two months ago with specific questions about his candidacy.  As of this publication, he has not responded to my email.  What I'm left with is his well documented  efforts to tear down the Talbot Boys and scant evidence that he has given any thought to making Talbot economically and socially a better place tomorrow other than his opinion to tear down a monument will some how make Talbot a better place.


    Perhaps he'll catch wind of this article and layout, in specifics, his vision for Talbot County.

So who would I endorse?  


Voting is so hard...beer or mixed drink tonight?
My choice comes down to Frank Divilio (R) and Keasha N. Haythe (D).  Ms. Haythe, even though she is scant on measurable specifics, comes across as more goal orientated whereas Mr. Devilio, also scant on measurable specifics, comes across as more self orientated, that is, he's doing it for the prestige and his family.

Now here's where my bias comes in.  Eight years ago, when Ms. Haythe talked about the Regional Technology Park proposed for Dorchester County near the Bucktown Airport, I expressed my concerns that a technology park wouldn't offer meaningful employment to the local watermen and farmers being squeezed out of business by burdensome regulations.  She bent over backwards to try to understand what was happening to our watermen and farmers, pointed me in directions to get answers to some of my ideas, and even offered to come down to the watermen's community to discuss options that may be available to the watermen to make living on the Bay profitable.

Unfortunately, then, like now, I wasn't a community activist and I had a full time job to pay my bills so we never got past the talking phase.  But ten years later, I still haven't forgotten her genuine concern and desire to make a change even if I couldn't hold up my end due to lack of experience and knowledge.

Given what I know at this point, if I could vote for who should fill that fifth seat, I'd have to vote for Keasha N. Haythe.  I just wish she had written a better résumé.  Maybe as her campaign progresses, she'll be more specific with her accomplishments.



TL;DR Folks:
For this article to make sense, you should read Talbot County Council 2018 Primary Elections - Four Endorsements first.  That article explains why I endorse the four incumbents running for Talbot County Council.  This article breaks down the other nine candidates to fill the fifth seat.  My endorsements for the primary in June - Chuck Callhan, Corey Pack, Laura Everngam Price, and Jennifer L. Williams, and Keasha N. Haythe.  Ms. Haythe is the only candidate not currently on the county council.  Primary election is June 26th and you have until 9:00 pm, June 5th to declare or change your party affiliation to be able to vote in the primary election.



Related Links:
Talbot County Council 2018 Primary Elections - Four Endorsements
 
 
 
For your listening pleasure: 


Posted by Five Drunk Rednecks

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Talbot County Council 2018 Primary Elections - Four Endorsements

Primary elections are coming June 26th.  It's the election that registered voters can decide who they want from their party to run for office in the general election come November 6th.  If you need to register to vote or want to change your party affiliation, you have until June 5th, 9:00 pm to do so.  Those are the two important dates to remember: June 5th to register or change party affiliation and June 26th to vote for whom you want from your party to run in the general election this fall.  You can find the complete election schedule (primary in June and general in November) with the dates, times, and early voting schedule here.
Now that I got the administrative stuff out of the way, let's talk candidates for the Talbot County Council.
You're probably rolling your eyes and wondering why you even vote for the clowns running.  Most couldn't hold down a real job so they figured out how to make a living off the backs of the rest of us who put in an honest day's work.
While that mischaracterization makes me chuckle and I probably could point to a few elected officials it may apply to (starting at the White House and working my way down) in general, there are a lot of good elected officials doing a dang good job and a lot of candidates who show promise at being good statespersons.  The problem is we remember the clowns and most of us are much too busy to really know the other candidates.
You, as a voter, are thrust into the position of a human resource hiring professional.  That, in itself, is a full time job so how can anyone expect you to put your real job aside while you do your homework and decide who is best to fill available positions in your government?  We manage and one of the ways we manage is by reading the opinions of those we trust or who at least sound knowledgeable.  Now it's time for full disclosure from me.
I'm one of those who needs to change party affiliation by June 5th.  With the exception of social issues, I no longer see a difference between Democrats and Republicans.  I leaned Republican because, at one time, they held to the values of fiscal responsibility and less government.  I also support individual rights as described in the Constitution and voted against any law that resembled a move towards a police state or a politician who advocated for police state type solutions - two basic tenets Republicans have distanced themselves from.  I never supported nor voted based on the letter following a candidate's name nor for a law based on the letter following a bill's sponsor's name.  I reckon that makes me an Independent, not a Republican.  I need to change my party affiliation to Independent.
One last disclosure: I live in Dorchester County so I won't be able to vote for the Talbot County Council.  Because of my involvement with the Talbot Boys, I have had plenty of experience in Talbot's politics and am at least knowledgeable of the many players, but I won't be able to cast a vote for any Talbot County Council seat.
Four of the five current council members are up for re-election.  All four - Chuck Callhan, Corey Pack, Laura Everngam Price, and Jennifer L. Williams - earns my support even if I can't vote for them.  Yes, all four are Republicans, but they did something during their tenure that speaks volumes about their statesmanship qualities. 
When the issue of a monument honoring Confederate veterans came up, they didn't take the easy way out of the controversy like their counterparts in Baltimore City and across the country did.  They didn't call in the bulldozers in the middle of the night and quietly remove the monument.  Instead, they held a series of public meetings and listened to all sides of the debate.  When voting came, they held their ground against the demolition fad sweeping the country and voted to keep the monument where it's at.  The monument honors veterans and they felt we honor all veterans regardless of the war.  We do not second guess their motives for fighting based on faddish revisionist history standards and strip them of their honor for their service.
Wherever you stand on the Talbot Boys decision, there's no denying those four council members acted on what they felt was right after hearing all sides of the argument.  They didn't compromise to try to make everyone happy.  They didn't go with the prevailing sentiments sweeping the country to boost their political careers.  And they didn't let the possibility of a political career setback threatening their future ambitions sway their vote.   Based on the facts the two sides of the issue presented, they voted for what they believed was right.  That's what real government leaders do - they listen to all the facts and then make decisions based on the facts they hear.  
They did what they thought was right and moved on to bigger issues facing the county.  They worked diligently on a the Comprehensive Plan 2016, a nine chapter plan that guides public policy for the foreseeable future.  From the plan, itself:
The comprehensive planning process determines community goals, aspirations, development, and preservation. The Comprehensive Plan guides public policy for many complex issues including land use, transportation, extension of utilities and public services, preservation, use, and protection of natural resources, development, tourism, and community design, among many others. The Comprehensive Plan covers the entire County and addresses a broad range of topics and long-term goals. As declared in its Vision Statement, "The primary goal of Talbot County's Comprehensive Plan is to promote a high quality of life, to preserve the rural character of our County and to protect the health, safety and well-being of its citizens, in a resilient community."
Undoubtedly, there are a couple of candidates who will probably make the Talbot Boys a campaign issue.  Don't let their rhetoric sway you.  Instead, take a look at the plan, or at least skim it.  You'll see a plan that allows for smart growth while preserving Talbot's rural character.  Developing this comprehensive plan is a much bigger accomplishment with more impact on the citizens of Talbot than a decision on a monument could ever have.  They have given you, the human resource hiring manager, a comprehensive résumé package to help you decide if they are qualified for the job as council member.

In the end you are tasked with deciding who has a better vision for the future of Talbot County...your future.  After you have reviewed the Comprehensive Plan, you, the human resource hiring manager,  should be well equipped to judge the qualifications of the four existing council members up for re-election who helped produce the plan - Chuck Callhan, Corey Pack, Laura Everngam Price, and Jennifer L. Williams.


TL;DR Folks:
When it comes to our civic responsibility to vote, nothing is too long to read.  When you have a free five minutes, please come back and read the full article.


Related Links:
Talbot County Council 2018 Primary Elections - The Other Nine Candidates for County Council



For your listening pleasure: 
All four county council incumbents seeking re-election in a "year in review"
interview in 2015.  You can judge how well they did based on their interview
three years ago (in no particular order other than the one determined by
the YouTube search):





Posted by Five Drunk Rednecks

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Delmar Weather Guys

Estimated read time: 10 minutes

I don't recall exactly how I learned about the Delmar Weather Guys.  In fact, I don't know if the three high school students who built and maintained the Delmar_Weather social media platforms referred to themselves as the Delmar Weather Guys, but it was a nickname I adopted for them whenever I shared their predictions on my social media platforms.

I learned of them about four years ago.  Mr. Seymore started the Delmar_Weather page back in 2010.  (If you love nostalgia, you can still visit his original Facebook page.)  Through social media and a shared love for weather (the three didn't go to high school together), Hunter Outten and Kyle eventually joined the page about a year later to become the group I colloquially referred to as the Delmar Weather Guys.  Yes, Kyle has a last name, but I'll be danged if I remember it.  As of this writing, Kyle has not responded by email to contribute to this article.  Don't read too much into that.  It simply means he's probably very busy starting a career and maybe a family and hasn't had time to reply to the email request.

I'm sure it was through social media when I first heard that these three high school students predicted our winter storms more accurately than the meteorologists on TV.  They were mentioned because a winter storm was brewing and the three friends were saying something completely different than the official forecasts.  The three high school students nailed the predictions.  The professionals scrambled to make excuses for their inaccurate predictions or simply pretended no one would notice they were wrong.

Their enthusiasm for anything weather was infectious.  One couldn't help but share their love for everything weather.  From pictures of clouds with an explanation of how they were formed to pictures of a storm's aftermath to video taken from a drone flying over their neighborhood so we could see the snowfall totals for ourselves, they made their followers a part of their learning experience.

Then they graduated high school and had to get educated for their future careers.

They maintained their Delmar_Weather social media accounts for the next couple of years, but by the time Mr. Seymore graduated from the University of Delaware, the accounts were disbanded and the Delmar Weather Guys began their journeys in adulthood on separate paths.

I first discovered the Delmar Weather Guys had disbanded when I visited their Twitter account to get their take on a predicted snow storm this past winter.  Their Twitter account was gone.  I searched for it, but all I discovered was Mr. Outten had gone solo.

A couple of months ago, I caught the weekend weather forecast on our local news station, WBOC TV.  Mr. Seymore delivered the weather and I immediately recognized his name as one of the Delmar Weather Guys.  My first reaction was gosh, I'm old.  It seemed like just yesterday he was in high school running a weather FaceBook page and now here he was on my TV, in suit and tie, telling me what to expect in the weather for the next five days.

It took me a couple of days to get over the shock that, yes, I'm getting old.  Then I thought, "They had several thousand followers and appeared more than once on Susan Monday's radio talk show.  I bet all those fans would love to know what happened to the Delmar Weather Guys."

I did some Internet sleuthing and reached out to Mr. Seymore at WBOC.  Here were three young adults who weren't glued to the cell phones or video games and they had an inspiring story to tell.

Mr. Seymore enthusiastically responded to my initial email and said he would reach out to the other two.  Mr. Outten enthusiastically responded about an hour later.  Unfortunately, Kyle hasn't responded, but maybe at a later date, I will be able to update his story.

I sent Mr. Outten and Mr. Seymore about a half dozen questions via email.  I figured their fans would want to hear what's new in weather and what it takes to be part of the career field.  And who better to hear it from than the three high school students who created a bit of a stir on Delmarva with their forecasts?

So you want to be a meteorologist

 

For starters, you will need at least a Bachelor of Science to even be considered for a job.  According to Mr. Seymore, a bachelor's degree is sufficient to land a job as an on air weather forecaster, the weather job we're all familiar with and rely on from our local news.  Most other meteorological positions require a higher degree.

Mr. Seymore says only about 10% of meteorological jobs are as an on air forecaster.  There are jobs with the National Weather Service, airports, and as long range forecasters for farmers and pipelines, and as researchers.

Mr. Outten added the necessity for long range forecasting to save lives.  A lot of research needs to be done, but meteorologists are getting better at it.  By accurately predicting major weather events weeks in advance, such as tornado outbreaks and Arctic cold spells, disaster preparedness professionals can prepare for the worst while hoping for the best.  Farmers can hold off on the planting in anticipation of a late cold snap.  Shipping companies can anticipate bad storms and adjust their routes and estimated times of delivery accordingly.

Both meteorologists expressed excitement over the new GOES series of weather satellites.  I know.  You're reaction is probably, "Boys and their toys.  Yesterday it was flying a drone over their neighborhood recording snowfall totals.  Today it's flying satellites in space recording every action and reaction in the atmosphere...and probably counting how many beers I drink on a Saturday night."

The big question on most minds of the people living on Delmarva (especially the watermen living along the shores of the Chesapeake who depend on the Bay for their livelihood and farmers whose livelihood is at the mercy of the weather) is how will global warming affect our weather and coastlines.

Delmarva in 1979 and 2016.  Click pic for larger,
more detailed view.  The yellow lines are the 2016
coastlines.  How small changes erased an island and
booming waterman community within 100 years:

“Forget me not is all I ask. I could not ask for more.”
Mr. Outten and Mr. Seymore agree that global warming will bring us more weather extremes.  Our summers will tend to be warmer and our winters will fluctuate between very cold to very mild, a trend we have seen for several years now.  Our storms will become stronger or more intense, too.  Stronger storms means more coastal flooding and erosion.  In the next fifty years, our coastlines will be significantly different than the current form and many of our Bay islands will be gone.

(While global warming certainly has a significant impact on our rising Bay waters, another factor plays a significant role - geology.  Dan Satterfield, Chief Meteorologist at WBOC posted an excellent article on WBOC's weather blog explaining how geology has doubled the rate of our sea level rise on Delmarva.)

Keeping up with the Delmar Weather Guys

 

Ok, enough weather talk.  Most of you probably want to know what the Delmar Weather Guys have been up to for the last four years.  As I mentioned, Kyle is missing in action.  With any luck, maybe he'll read this article and I'll gladly update it to reflect what he's been up to.

You might want to create a folder in your bookmarks to save some of the links below.  While the Delmar Weather guys may be on their own paths now, their passion for the weather and desire to make weather prediction more accurate than ever makes following their progress and forecasts just as important and as much fun as it was eight years ago when the friends teamed up and formed Delmar_Weather.


  • Alex Seymore:




    Mr. Seymore graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Meteorology and Climatology from the University of Delaware in Newark, DE.  You can currently find him on WBOC TV 16 delivering your weather on the weekend evening news. 

    As he said in his email interview, "Everyone on-air starts out with nerves and not knowing exactly how they want to present their forecast, but with time they learn the best ways to interact with their viewers and present their forecast."  For the short term future, Mr. Seymore plans on perfecting his on air skills to deliver you reliable and accurate forecasts.

    Mr. Seymore added one last note in his email interview.  He thanked everyone for their support since the formation of Delmar_Weather eight years ago and thanked everyone at WBOC for their support as he sets out on his career.  His words were humble and sincere, ending with "If they would like to continue to follow me...."  One can't get more humble and polite than that.

    You can follow Mr. Seymore on Facebook and on Twitter.  Of course, if you are following WBOC 16 TV, his contributions at his new job may pop up in your news feed and you can always catch him on the weekend evening news on WBOC 16 and Fox 21.


  • Hunter Outten:




    Upon graduating high school, Mr. Outten was unable to attend college for a couple of personal reasons beyond his control.  Despite the setback, he remains active and optimistic while not losing sight of the fact that he'll need to return to school. 

    Everything Mr. Outten knows about weather is self taught over the last eight years.  He noticed many years ago that the weather tends to work in cycles.  Studying these patterns, he has developed the Pattern Recycle Theory that he continues to refine and share with researchers and college professors.  Accuweather also showed interested in his theory and he did some freelance work with them.  Some case studies involving his theories include the April 27, 2011 massive tornado outbreak that was predicted three weeks in advance.  Hurricane Sandy was predicted two and a half weeks in advance. The winter of 2014-15 Arctic outbreaks were predicted one month in advance.

    Throughout his email interview, Mr. Outten stressed the importance of accurate forecasts to save lives when the weather turns severe.  Through his Facebook page, DelmarvaWx, he offers an app for your cell phone that will alert you of severe weather even if you're asleep and your phone is silent or locked.  As he pointed out, last summer Delmarva experienced a couple of middle-of-the-night tornadoes.  For people who don't own an NOAA radio, the In-Telligent app could be a life saver.  In three months, he got over 7,000 subscribers, an impressive feat and a clear indication that there is a need for accurate and reliable forecasts.  You can download the app here.  At the present time, the app is only compatible with iOS devices.  You can also follow DelmarvaWx on Twitter here.

    Mr. Outten wants to expand the DelmarvaWx effort to cater to businesses that rely on timely and accurate weather forecasts such as landscapers, contractors, sporting events, and insurance companies.  He's building a website for DelmarvaWx since, as he put it, hiring someone to build it is expensive.

What the future holds

 

Predicting the weather is a more exact science than predicting what the future holds.  These two young adults have the passion and drive to pursue their dreams they've had since high school.  Mr. Outten and Mr. Seymore know the impact they've had on thousands of followers across Delmarva and are grateful for their support.  Their story illustrates a lesson I first mentioned in another young adult's story, Icky_Sheikh and Lessons Learned - never underestimate the impact you have on others.  When I started following the Delmar Weather Guys several years ago, their efforts inspired me to write about Stu Kerr, my all time favorite meteorologist (they were actually called weathermen back then).  Now they have inspired me to write about the two new and upcoming meteorologists clearly on a path to become a future generation's all time favorite forecasters.


TL;DR Folks
The Delmar Weather Guys, the friends who got people on Delmarva abuzz over their highly accurate weather forecasts, have now embarked on their own career paths.  That doesn't mean you won't here from them any more.  Heck, I wrote a whole article about what they are up to.  They're on their own career paths, now, but you can still rely on them to provide you with the forecasts, updates, and weather information you've come to rely on.  Their individual social media links are included in their short bios above.


Related Links:
“Forget me not is all I ask. I could not ask for more.”



Updates:

 05/06/18 - Added link to original Delmar_Weather Facebook page.  Clarified the three high school students did not attend school together.  Added Alex Seymore had started the Delmar_Weather page and through social media, met Hunter Outten and Kyle, who joined the page as team members about a year later.



For your listening pleasure - flashback 1981:


Posted by Five Drunk Rednecks

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Icky_Sheikh and Lessons Learned

Estimated read time: 8 minutes

The all too common refrain being passed off as truth is young people are too busy glued to their cell phones taking selfies, texting, sexting, keeping up with the Kardashians, or playing games to be to be cognizant of the real life all around them.  I used to ascribe to that view of young people, but young people are teaching me a thing or two.  Take Nathan as an example.

Ok, Nathan might not be his real name.  I'm terrible remembering names.  His Sound Cloud account shows his name is Nick Lopez so maybe I at least got the "N" in his name right.  Since his handle on his Sound Cloud account refers to him as Icky_Sheikh and I'm pretty sure I heard him refer to himself as Icky in a couple of his songs, for the rest of this article I'll play it safe and refer to him as Icky.

Icky...what a name.  I'll never understand nineteen-year-olds.  Heck, when I was nineteen, I didn't understand nineteen-year-olds so it shouldn't come as a surprise I still don't understand them.

Within the first fifteen minutes of meeting him, he referenced his rapping at least three times.  There are three genres of music I don't care for, rap being one of them.  He talked; I sort of listened politely.  He's a kid who likes to rap and I'm a grandpa who likes to rock so we didn't really have much in common.

Being polite and since we had a long drive to Annapolis, I asked him, "Do you live on Delmarva or are you visiting?"

I reckon I'm not a good journalist because I didn't take notes of our conversation.  I haven't mastered the skill of driving and writing at the same time and even if I had, I'm sure there's a law against it.  I reckon my memory isn't that good any more, either.  I remember the gist of our conversation, but not the conversation word-for-word.  From this point forward, anything you read in quotes should be taken as my recollection of the gist of our conversation as I recall it and not an exact replication of our conversation.

"I grew up in Salisbury," he answered.  "It's a trip down there.  The KKK or some group like them always shooting at me and my friends.  I live in Annapolis with my girlfriend now."

And thus began an engaging, forty-five minute conversation.

"Really?  Shooting at you?" I probed.

"Yeah.  You know how it is.  Bunch of rednecks shooting to scare us more than anything."

"Unfortunately, Delmarva is about thirty years behind on their diversity training, maybe fifty or more behind when you venture south of Salisbury.  I asked a local in Pokomoke how to get to a state park.  She gave me directions, but warned me to tread lightly because the KKK down there don't take kindly to strangers snooping around," I added.

Icky laughed in agreement and took the conversation in the direction of current events and politics.  He expressed his thoughts intelligently and not in slang or street language.

"Are you in school?" I asked.

"I want to study history, but I can't afford to go back to school right now.  I know I have to go back.  I'll get there some day."

"It's important you get back to school.  I'm still paying on loans and haven't been able to go back, but some day I will get my degree.  Don't do like me and procrastinate, though."  I glanced up in my rear view mirror.  "Really?  History?"

"Yeah, man.  That's the problem with people my age.  They don't know history that got them where they are today.  That's why they're running around tearing down monuments.  But you're right.  I gotta go back to school."

"Have you heard about the controversy over the Talbot Boys in Easton?"  I probed, knowing the young man had a story to tell.

"No, I haven't."

I told him the whole story of the monument recognizing Talbot's Confederate veterans and how I was working with a group of other people to build a monument recognizing Talbot's Union veterans so the whole story of that era could be told.

"My grandfather will be happy when I tell him about this.  He gets mad anytime he hears about Civil War monuments being torn down.  He's White and I got a few relatives on the White side of my family who fought on both sides of the War."

"Sounds like your family has a story to tell.  I would love to tell it."

"A lot of people don't realize that slavery was the spark that ignited the war, but it was a war of brother against brother, not about slavery."  Icky looked up from his phone.  "I just followed you on Twitter.  I'll work on collecting the family stories for you."

When I got home, I opened my Twitter account.  Icky took the time to follow me to read my stories; the least I could do was listen to his stories.  He's one of the few people I know who could seamlessly weave a story of the KKK, backwards politics turned tragic comedy, the Civil War, rapping, and the importance of family all wrapped in a neatly bowed package.

From his Twitter account I followed his link to his Sound Cloud account that I linked at the beginning of this article and was greeted with a dozen songs...rap songs.  I shook my head and thought, "Why couldn't he have aspired to be a rock star?" 

I knew the right thing to do would be to listen to his stories through his songs so I cracked open a beer, put my headphones on, and braced myself for an assault on my ears.

It's funny how when one knows what the right thing to do is, they'll find justification for taking shortcuts to fulfill the obligation to do the right thing.  I figure my fan base, all two or three of them, probably scroll down to the TL;DR (Too Long;Didn't Read) paragraph that follows my more lengthy articles, skims it in a few seconds, then moves on to another blog.  Icky, if he even went to my blog, would probably read my articles the same way - skim the TL;DR paragraphs of a few articles and move on. 

Ok, I had my beer and my justification of how to sample his stories in song.  Take a big gulp or two of beer and listen to about ten seconds of the song.  Unless it caught my attention (I might not care for rap, but there are some rap songs I do like), ten seconds of listening is like ten seconds of skimming my TL;DR paragraph and saying, "I read your blog."

I started at the top of his list and worked my way down.

"Not bad.  Not bad.  Not bad...."  I moved through the list quickly and drank my beer even quicker...until I reached the next to last song.  That's the way it always works.  The good stuff is always near the end of the list - until you try to be smart and start at the end of the list, then the good stuff is at the beginning of the list.

His song, Winning, caught my attention.  It was dejected and hopeful, tragic and triumphant.  I've listened to it several times to make sure I get this story close to right, and each time I listen, I take away a new interpretation.  No, I don't care for the offensive language, but I reckon I hold the minority view that an artist doesn't need to use offensive language to make the message real.

Language aside, the song expresses a universal  emotion, the feeling that one isn't where they should be because others don't want to see them winning.  Who those "others" are is what makes the emotion being expressed universal.  On my first listening, the "others" was the system, society, you know, those people that no matter how hard you try, "they" see to it you don't succeed by putting nearly insurmountable obstacles in your path.  Several listenings later, the "others" were friends and family stuck in their own ruts who think you might get hurt if you try to climb out of their rut you share.  Like a drowning man will pull you under as you try to save him, friends and family pull you in their rut and keep you there where they believe you will be safe.

Something about the song struck a chord in me.  Maybe it was the tone of his voice.  Maybe it was the words.  Maybe it was the contrast of emotions playing off each other.  All I know is the other night, as I stood in the liquor store deciding on the best bottle of wine to go with an Indian curry dish, a song on the speakers caught my attention.  First, I didn't realize the store played music.  Second, I reckon I did know, but never paid attention because its the rap/hip hop stuff I don't care for, but this song caught my attention - not because it was good, but because I immediately thought of Icky's Winning.  The song playing, similar in style to Icky's, could easily have been done by him, only better.

There's two lessons in this article to be learned. There might be more, but only two I hope you take away.  The most obvious: never underestimate the impact you have on others, even if your interaction is limited to sharing a forty-five minute ride with a stranger.  The other lesson is maybe we should start listening to our young people.  Mr. Sheikh is a good example of what we can learn if we only step outside of our comfort zone and listen.


TL;DR Folks:
Contrary to what you may have been told, young people aren't glued to their cell phones taking selfies, texting, sexting, keeping up with the Kardashians, or playing games.  They have plenty to say if you take the time to listen.


For your listening pleasure:


Posted by Five Drunk Rednecks

Friday, April 6, 2018

Mr. So-Called President: Amazon Ain't to Blame

Dear Trump:

Amazon ain't to blame for the woes of the US Post Office. USPS' woes began long before Amazon was even a blip on the Internet screen. Postal officials, Congress, and every president for the last couple of decades are to blame for USPS' failures. If Amazon truly is ripping the Post Office off as your fake news statement claims, fire the postal negotiators...fire them all!

Your forte is to govern by executive order. Did your pen run out of ink? Send that foreigner you call your wife down to Wal-Mart to get you a pack of those made-in-China pens and start governing. Get that pen writing and Twitter hopping with firings. Make USPS profitable again!

Thank you,

A sober Drunk Redneck

ps

You have until the end of the month to turn the Post Office around because THAT'S YOUR JOB. Fail and YOU'RE FIRED!



This is how people with big hands fire failures so make the USPS great again!


Posted by Five Drunk Rednecks

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Roseanne reboot should get the boot

I admit it.  I didn't last ten minutes into the show.  I got up and began working on my blog trying to finish an article I started two years ago.  Three minutes into the show, I wanted a Dramamine pill, and I don't take pills for anything except as a last resort.  I held on for a few minutes longer, but couldn't take it any more.  I worked on my article with the show playing in the other room as some friends watched it.

Let's start this review with the quote of the night after the two episodes aired:

"I'm gay and I want to beat that kid up. Get rid of the little fairy fly and the show would be tolerable."  That quote isn't made up and, yes, the guy who said that really is gay.

Gender creative or cultural misappropriation?
He was referring to probably the most controversial character in the show - Darelene's (Sara Gilbert) son, Mark (Ames McNamara).  At first the audience is left guessing if her eight-year-old son is gay or transgender.  I give the show the credit for writing in a responsible parenting part for Darlene.  After a couple of scenes of wondering what's going on with this child, Darlene asks Mark if he is comfortable being a boy or a girl.  He responds that he likes being a boy.

The audience is left guessing no more.  He's not transgender, a possibility that could've taken his character in a direction that would be informative and believable.  Instead, we learn he just likes "being himself," a concept that becomes clearer as the show progresses that "being himself" is sometimes referred to as "gender creative."

I'm not sure what gender creativity is but I do know it doesn't mean do whatever you want, whenever you want, wherever you want.  Since the boy said he was comfortable being a boy, at what age should a parent step in and set boundaries on their child's behavior of "being himself" and balancing his desire with the rules of living within society without becoming the flamboyant center of distraction?  Despite what executive producer Sara Gilbert says, an eight-year-old is not necessarily too young to know he's gay and is certainly old enough to understand why certain societal norms should be followed.  There's certainly nothing wrong with letting a child push the boundaries of the norm, but allowing a child to thumb one's nose at society to do whatever one wants, whenever one wants, and wherever one wants creates selfish, self-centered adults with no sense of obligation to the societal contract, a concept that is the glue for a peaceful and cohesive society.

The rest of the show was too much for me even if Darlene's son weren't a flamboyant drag queen wannabe.  Roseanne left its roots of being a story of a struggling working class family to being a political parody of stereotyped political rivalries.  The characters were stale and predictable.  Roseanne and Dan were lethargic in their delivery and the rest of the cast responded to them like programmed drones, but without the sweet voice of Alexa. They deadpanned their lines like only a robot going through the motions could.

One of the reasons I stopped watching the original Roseanne is towards the end of its run, everyone was turning gay (even Roseanne's Mom) and Dan was reduced to an impotent figurehead.  Sorry, people don't "turn gay" and at the time, I was pretty much fed up with Hollywood's portrayal of men as being bumbling idiots who couldn't do anything right.  The show had stumbled down the rabbit hole and, fortunately, was cancelled before it dragged its audience down with them.

The new Roseanne has picked up where the cancellation of the original show was left in the rabbit hole twenty-five years ago.  Roseanne surely will continue its fall further down the rabbit hole, hopefully into oblivion and cancellation.  Jackie should go back to Texas and be Sheldon's Mom (she was excellent in that role), Darlene should stick to her daytime talk show and occasionally show up to be a thorn in Sheldon's side, Roseanne and Dan should retire to a nursing home and maybe start a new show akin to BBC's Waiting For God, and the rest of the cast should run as quickly and as far away from the Roseanne reboot as possible so they can save whatever acting career they may have left.

But what do I know?  My idea of fine TV is Green Acres, at least in the top five greatest all time TV comedies if not the greatest, but I have yet to find anyone who agrees with me.



Posted by Five Drunk Rednecks

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Another brick towards building the Union Talbot Boys

The virtual world has spoiled me.  Like many other people, I've become accustomed to instant gratification.  I want something and, voilà, the Internet delivers, usually next day.  Unfortunately, the real world (and most often my brain) aren't wired for instant results.  That explains why I am still working on an article I started two years ago.  But let's put that article aside and talk Talbot Boys.

A couple of weeks ago I attended a second meeting in as many weeks to discuss and solidify plans to build a Union Talbot Boys monument.  For those of you following the Talbot Boys saga, you know it's been almost three years since the Talbot County commissioners voted to save the Confederate Talbot Boys Monument and give authorization for a Union Talbot Boys Monument. 

The Internet works at the speed of light, but people don't.  Five months ago, through the help of the Talbot County Commissioners, my lone journey to build a Union Talbot Boys monument merged with a few other citizens' journeys to accomplish the same goal, citizens I'll introduce to you at a future date - like when we have shovels, brick, and mortar in hand to start building the Union Talbot Boys monument.  For now, I think it's safe to say we're all on the same page in expressing our ideas, although we each use different words to express those ideas and to add depth and meaning to the monument that will emerge from our collective efforts.

Before I go any further with this story, let me make it clear I do not speak for the group nor any individual member of the group.  I speak for myself and express my opinion of how I see the progress of the - for lack of a formal name right now - Union Talbot Boys Committee.  In due time you will hear their voices if they are so inclined.

War of brother against brother: True
identities may be lost in the dustbin of
history, testament to the difficulty of
accurate interpretation of that era.
Formalities aside, great progress has been made.  We've moved past getting to know each other and kicking around a few ideas to producing sketches, refining design, looking at potential sculptors, and, most importantly, determining exactly what we want the monuments on the Talbot courtyard grounds to tell.  Our overriding concern?  The story needs to be accurately told. 

If there's anything we all agree on, it's our determination to shun the Internet trend to define the Civil War Era in 280-character sound bites or revise the history in sanitized, more politically correct and faddish terms.  The Civil War remains a complex part of our collective history.  Distilling the era down to cute sound bites to help one achieve fifteen minutes of Internet fame is spitting in the face of the over 600,000 Americans who died fighting the War.  Worst, it trivializes and glosses over the hardships, sacrifices, and brutality suffered by over four million slaves during the Civil War era and millions of their family members extending back over three hundred fifty years.

The Union Talbot Boys committee is united in believing nothing of that era should be glorified, but all of it should be told.  No matter how divided our country may become in its ideology, we should always be able to look at the most divisive time in our history to ensure we never march down that path again.  With the political and social divisions splitting our country, the lessons of the Civil War era, in all its ugliness and brutality, are all the more important for us to face and learn from today.

The Union Talbot Boys linked with the Confederate Talbot Boys will tell the tragic story of a country deeply divided and the consequences of that division.  The story needs to be told, not silenced, and told in all its brutal honesty.



Posted by Five Drunk Rednecks