NOTHING could be more predictable in Maryland than watermen complaining about limits on their harvests. Here's the reaction of the president of the Maryland Watermen's Association to a blue-ribbon committee's suggestion that Maryland and Virginia cut their harvests of blue crabs, whose numbers are declining: "These scientists are too ... arrogant to talk to the right people. The fishermen ought to make the rules." Yeah, right. If the fishermen made the rules, there'd be nothing in the Chesapeake but carp.
I still think a one-year moratorium on harvesting would be a hugely good thing for the blue crab and the future of the fishery. There just isn't enough political spine to make it happen.
Message to Mayor O'Malley, Sydney, Australia: "Missing you here in Baltimore. Great weekend, weatherwise. Jones Falls Celebration a success. And no sewage spills! Come home soon."
Saturday, I heard NBC's Bob Costas say, "The venue is off to a hot start." There's that word again, "venue." Somebody tell Costas to cut it out. Bryant Gumbel started referring to "venues" during Olympics coverage a decade or so ago, and look at where it got him.
I went to rent a wood chipper the other day. Still can't look at one without thinking, "Fargo."
Sign at a Royal Farm store: "Two deluxe bologna subs. $3." Man, it don't get much better than that.
Be on your best behavior in the coming days, my fellow Baltimorons. I hear there's a film crew from Ireland about, making a come-see-Baltimore in-flight video for Aer Lingus.
I'm glad Nasty Nestor is back on 1570 AM, talkin' sports. I just wish he'd keep in mind that, with the excitement generated by the Ravens, a lot of kids are going to be listening to his show, and he should therefore drop from his on-air vocabulary the vulgar words and phrases that mar otherwise entertaining programs. Crude language doesn't give you "edge," Nasty - it gives you fewer listeners.
Healing is in fashion
TJI cultural correspondent Joey Amalfitano reports:
"I went to my dermatologist the other day, Dr. Faith Esterson, and she was wearing faux zebra-stripe shoes. First, she's a super doc, and second, let's hear it for independent thinking among our healers! ... Also, recently I had occasion to stop by the Wawa convenience temple outside of Bel Air for a quick, er, visit. Well, I was one happy fellow. The men's room reminded me of those service stations of our youth, when the attendants wore starched uniforms complete with a hat, a time when they were proud of how 'clean' their bathrooms were. At Wawa, it was clean, there were enough paper towels (not those nasty air machines) and the people there didn't mind that I visited without buying anything. A royal flush!"
Ample parking for trailers
Speaking of culture: Mark Oct. 20 on your calendar, for the return of rock 'n' roll and kitsch and fried chicken flying through the crowd. It's Southern Culture on the Skids at the Recher Theater in Towson. "You can eat some now. You can eat some later. You can eat some with french-fried potaters. It's good all night, it's all right all right ... I got an 8-piece box." (Or something like that. Hard to remember every word from the SCOTS anthem, "8-Piece Box."). Some people call SCOTS hick-hop. The band's sound has been described in this space as "surfabilly." Kind of like The Ventures meeting Carl Perkins, only louder and kitschier, if you get my drift.
From the audio wasteland
I was reminded the other day why most FM rock radio is so, so bad. One of our computer-produced "hits" stations aired Sarah McLachlan's "Angel," an exquisite, quiet piece the gifted singer/songwriter performed live on national television last year as a memorial to John F. Kennedy Jr. and his wife, Carolyn. The song drifts and fades with the same haunting piano chords with which it begins, and one can easily become mesmerized while hanging on every last note - even after 100 listens, even in traffic. So it's absolute aural hell to go from that sweet reverie to the sudden and shocking digital machine-gun fire of a station ID: "All the hits of the '80s, '90s and today." I keep telling friends: WRNR, Annapolis, is our only hope.
But can the rabbi pitch?
When you're looking for signs of revival in Baltimore, your eye often goes to the big things. (And around President and Fleet streets these days, site of the Big John hotel and other new buildings, it's impossible to miss them.) But the little things count, too. This Just In: Temple Oheb Shalom, the 147- year-old synagogue in Upper Park Heights, has scheduled a series of Sabbath services at Camden Yards. That's an acknowledgement of the fact that a good number of the temple's members (and potential members) live in Fells Point, Canton and the Inner Harbor area. The first service will be 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Camden Club in the warehouse.
On her business cards, Sister Nancy Stiles, the new director of Head Start in Carroll County, has "SUSC" printed after her name. Those letters represent the acronym, from the French, for "Holy Union of Sacred Hearts," the order to which Sister belongs. But, when asked, Sister says the acronym stands for "Send Us Some Cash."
TJIDAN@aol.com is the e-mail address for Dan Rodricks. He can also be reached at 410-332-6166. This Just In appears every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Story tips welcome. Shirts and shoes must be worn.