Open Thread Monday: August 8th Edition

These open threads provide a chance for us to chat with our neighbors. Ask questions, share news, or whatever you want. As long as it’s central to Frederick County and civil, anything goes.

Have at it in the comments!


34 thoughts on “Open Thread Monday: August 8th Edition

  1. This comment goes beyond Frederick, but I knew someone on here would have a good thought.

    I am looking for a good water/beach/lake place to head for the day with the family; cheaper the better.

    Thought of driving to the ocean, but don’t want to spend the time and money for just a day trip. Recent transplants from Texas and all heading back to work next week full-time, so looking for a good day trip to close out summer with a 2-1/2 yr. old and a 4 yr. old.

    All comments and thoughts welcome.


    • Raystown is a great place and has inexpensive camping if you want to stay overnight. I was just there this weekend.

      Cunningham Falls State Park is a great local choice too.


  2. It’s not a beach, but there’s a municipal water park in Leesburg that is awesome. Lazy river and water slides for every size. (I have a seven year old and a two year old and they both loved it).


      • The is called the A.V. Symington Aquatic Center, 801 Ida Lee Drive NW.

        From Points North (Frederick, MD)
        · Take Rt. 15 south to Leesburg
        · Take Rt. 15 Business (King Street) towards Town of Leesburg
        · Park entrance is on the right
        · Turn right on Ida Lee Drive

        Google “Leesburg water park” and it is one of the first things that comes up.


  3. Anybody have any luck with free tv…i.e. getting it through the air via antenna? We don’t watch a lot of TV, are sick of Comcast and would like to hear if anybody in and around Frederick has had luck with getting TV through the air. Thanks!


    • Wayne: I have been using free TV via antenna for two years now. The only three channels received — at least at my third-floor residence — are MPT, MPT-2, and the Spanish version of MPT, V-ME. I visited Best Buy earlier this year discussing with a sales associate about my plans to upgrade to a larger antenna (just under $100 retail) in order to receive more local channels (i.e., NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, etc.) and was actually discouraged to make a purchase. Reason: the mountains block the air waves for free TV regardless of antenna power. I decided that it would be far more sensible to resort to cable subscription should I grow ill of these three yet beloved TV networks successfully received through the average antenna.


      • Thanks for the reply Peepingthoughts, even if it’s not the answer I wanted to hear. I would love to be able to get ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and PBS through the air. I’ve heard of antenna amplifiers that can boost the signal, but don’t know if it would be enough?


      • Before the digital conversion, I could get 7, 9, 11 and DC 20 through rabbit ears. After the conversion, I was lucky to get anything at all. And that was channel 4 out of DC.


    • Commercial TV is just awful because of the advertisements. I’ve lived just on DVDs for a while before and it wasn’t that hard to do (plenty at the library and cheap ones at any pawn shop). I do watch cable now, but not network TV. Commercials are so slick anymore that it turns the product off for me…competing car insurance ones for sure. Just watch a DVD a night and get your news and weather online.


    • Hi Wayne!

      We have installed HD digital antennas high up in our attic rafters, so we didn’t even have to put them outside. We pick up loads of channels living in downtown Frederick, from both DC and Baltimore. At least 1 each of various ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX affiliates. Also, several versions of WETA, MPT, ION, MHZ, and various Spanish channels. I think we get close to 30 channels (though some are repeats). Most of the time reception is great. Though with digital you either pick something up or you don’t, so if reception is bad at any given time the channel will just blank out. That does happen on occasion.

      If you do the research, buy good antennas, and play around with placement, you might be able to pick up as many channels.

      I am beyond thrilled to not have to rely on Comcast any more! I mostly watched PBS prior to getting rid of Comcast service anyway, so for me I don’t miss any of the garbage they run on cable.

      Good luck!


      • Amber,

        Where did you get your HD antenna? I would have to put ours in our attic too since the HOA won’t allow it on the roof.



      • I set up an antenna on Shookstown after the digital transition – I used They were very helpful in helping me select an antenna which worked. We ended up with a 2 bay UHF antenna for most of the channels, and then getting a VHF 7-13 antenna to get channels 7 and 9. When all was said and done, more than 30 channels come in from DC and Baltimore.

        If I did it over again, I’d probably get a 4 bay UHF, but stick with the 7-13 VHF and combiner setup.

        Best of luck


    • We cut the cable cord over a year ago. We don’t use any over the air, just the NetFlix instant download for $7.99/month using a Roku box ($80-100 depending on model, no other fees) hooked to our TV. Verizon DSL is our internet connection for this. Other channels are available on the Roku box as well and we’ll also rent movies through Amazon (laptop feeding the TV) or rent one from Wonderbooks.


      • I couldn’t agree more. We did the same thing back in 1999. After renting DVDs from Wonder, Blockbuster, and Hollywood for a few years we joined Netflix in 2001 and haven’t looked back. We have 400+ movies in our DVD queue and 300+ in our instant queue. There are also thousands of free instant view movies available on Amazon if you are a prime member.

        For those who always ask: yes we have kids. The first time we took them to a hotel and let them watch TV they didn’t know what a commercial was and they were totally freaked out that they couldn’t pause what they were watching when it was time for bed.

        We get our Internet feed from Comcast. It is cheap and very reliable where we live (your mileage may vary). I’ve got a 20+M pipe. I can’t get that from Verizon.



      • Just a correction, we can get the Amazon movies through our Roku, it is Hulu that I hook the laptop up for. Hulu Plus is available on the Roku if you are a subscriber, but the free Hulu is currently not a channel.


  4. I second the Leesburg water park, it was very nice.

    Who can recommend a local place for bike trails? I’m embarrassed to say in my six years in Frederick, I haven’t learned of any other than Baker Park, but then my daughter wasn’t interested in her bike until now and I just bought one for my wife and I to join her. Any recommendations would be appreciated. Thanks!


  5. C&O Canal Towpath. Wide, flat, scenic, no motorized traffic (except for the occasional park ranger or maintenance person – very few and far between).


  6. Good luck with the tv reception quest. We loathe Comcast and have DirecTV now. Beginning to loathe our bills with Dtv as they continue to escalate each year for hundreds of channels even though we only watch about 4 or 5 of them. Grrrr.

    When will a cable tv company offer “a la carte” channel choices?

    It is such monopoly that I’d love to boycott but just can’t make the leap!

    Anyone know of an expected FiosTV date reaching out to Frederick?


  7. The Arc of Frederick County is holding its 20th Annual Golf Scramble on Monday, September 19th at Hollow Creek Golf Club. There are various ways that you can participate – a foursome is $500 (all inclusive), or sponsorships start as low as $75.

    All proceeds directly help individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Frederick County.

    For more information, you can visit our website at: or contact Shauna Clay at 301-663-0909.

    Look forward to seeing you on the greens!


  8. This is kind of early, but does anyone know of any 9/11 remembrances or ceremonies going on next month? It’s the tenth anniversary, so I wasn’t sure if it would be a “bigger deal” this year with local organizations, etc.


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