Open Thread Monday: August 15th 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!

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47 thoughts on “Open Thread Monday: August 15th Edition

  1. With all the discussion in the last open thread, I am curious what all the negativity with Comcast is. We have DirecTV right now, mainly because of the Verizon dsl, which is cheaper. The dsl stinks where are, Butterfly Lane, so I need a stronger internet connection, hence Comcast. Whatever feedback people may have is appreciated.

    Btw, Guy, thanks for the website…I find this a great place to go to Frederick activities…its really appreciated.

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    • I have to wonder that myself. We have Comcast for TV and internet and have had exactly zero problems. We had them for 6 years, moved to another state where Cox was the system, then back here and back to Comcast for the last 18 months. Fast service, excellent reception for the TV and never an internet problem. As soon as we can get the Comcast phone service we will. We have 3 HD DVR boxes for the the 3 HD tvs, and one regular digital cable box for the older tv, all channels and HBO/Starz. No, it’s not cheap. The insistence by some that they have to have it all for free or not at all is more outdated than ugly tv roof antennas. And we actually do watch many, many of the channels, and we use the digital music channels when we are having a party or dinner gathering. I have zero use for the dishes. Too many of my friends have those ugly gray mushrooms sprouting off of their homes and then, when I ask them if they watched certain programs, they say “No, we have a dish, We don’t get that channel.”

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      • Well, finally, it seems that I’m not the only person on the planet with something positive to say for Comcast. We had TV and internet with Comcast for about 8 years. The few times we had an issue, their customer service phone system was easy to use, we would quickly speak with a live representative, and the problem was resolved with no hassle. In the spirit of full disclosure, when FIOS came to our new neighborhood, we did switch to them for service, including phone. But it was more in response to the hype about how great FIOS was supposed to be, rather than any dissatisfaction with Comcast. And we do find that we have more problems with the FIOS service than we ever did Comcast. To me, the convoluted Verizon phone menu system that must be navigated for any issue is hands down more frustrating than any service call I ever made to Comcast. While I think the FIOS technology is more future-proof than cable and worth staying with, I also think it’s fair to point out that satisfied Comcast customers DO exist. But I won’t argue with anyone who says that BOTH cost too much!

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    • My only real negative about Comcast is the (apparent) disconnect between their customer service and their salespeople. When we moved we had several Comcast reps come to our house offering a monthly rate for Internet only. We liked the price and called and set it up. Our first bill we were shocked to see we were charged 25% more than what was written in our contract. This led us to having to spend 1+ hour at a time on the phone with Comcast Customer Service reps telling us “they’ve never offered that price before” and only after multiple calls to multiple reps (over about 6 months) did we finally find one who said, “oh yes, that’s our monthly Internet-only rate” and straightened it out. That’s quite a hassle for a rate that someone came to our home and quoted us on…

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      • For the sake of clarity, not only did a sales rep come to our door with said rate, but when we called to first get Comcast set up the customer rep helping us signed us up for that exact same rate… so it’s not like we had some random charlatan at our door. Didn’t want there to be any confusion.

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    • We had quite a few problem during the transition from Aldephia – which was years ago. In the past few years we haven’t had many. We don’t watch TV, but we do subscribe to their internet feed. I’m seeing 20M of bandwdith and as high as 30M. I pay about $57/month. Very reliable as well.

      We were having trouble with our cable modem resetting daily about six months ago. After doing a bit of research, I found that my modem was about 5 years out of date (from a standards perspective). I bought a new one and haven’t had a problem since. As a side note, I was never able to get more than 5-7M out of that modem.

      JJP

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      • I had forgotten about them being Adelphia. But we never had a problems with them, either. No one has ever come to our door from any cable company. And response to calls for help have been immediate and polite. A cable box failed and they were here the next day with a new one. We put a new TV in a room that didn’t have a cable outlet – they were out within a couple of days and right on time.

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      • I think I had a hand in last week’s bash Comcast thread. For the record the service (not customer service) is good. The cable and internet are pretty rock solid. We also have the phone, which we don’t use, but I’m sure it’s fine too. My only problem with Comcast is the price. I guess it’s the adage that you get what you pay for, but it still seems really expensive to me. Still might go with Dish or antenna…we’ll see.

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      • Yeah, every month when I pay that FIOS bill (and, in years past, Comcast’s), I wince and say I’ve got to do something to save money. I’ve had some thoughts about going to Dish. But I was sitting in a restaurant over the weekend and noticed their TV picture going in & out, indicating satellite signal problems. Finally out completely. Only then did I notice it was raining hard outside; a storm had brewed up. The reception resumed once the skies cleared. Which made me wonder if this is what I could expect with Dish…and has given me second thoughts.

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    • I have been a Comcast customer for tv phone and Internet in the past. The picture quality does not compare to DirecTV. Not even close. The features are great with Comcast, but the quality is not. I still have Comcast for phone and Internet and it is fantastic. Far exceeds the speed and quality of Verizon.

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      • Thank you all for your feedback! It’s really appreciated!

        I’ll be making the switch it seems, guess I’ll find out soon.

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    • I have DirecTV, we have a family package which is basically kid’s channels and locals and few other channels thrown in (e.g. weather channel and nat geo). It’s about 35-40 bucks a month depending on how many receivers you have. The only time my directv went out was during the blizzard a couple years ago when the dish got a couple feet of snow on it. I hit with a broom and I was back in business. Customer service with directv has always been good for me. We made the switch from comcast to directv years ago when the adelphia/comcast bill seemed to get more expensive each month. Not saying directv is better than Comcast just giving you my experience.

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      • So an update…

        On Monday I ordered service to replace my DirecTV, DSL and phone (not wireless) through Verizon. Was n’t happy with the charging of $70 for installation, but whatever…

        Was going to use TiVo instead of their DVRs and was told to pick up some cards from the local office. After an hour runaround yesterday evening between ‘customer service’ on the phone and at their office…I called and cancelled. Comcast is a joke. I may end up getting their online services in the future, but I refuse to deal with that hassle BEFORE I even have the service.

        Now to find a better online service…sigh…

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      • If you have a TiVo that handles the cable cards, that works out easily enough, actually. Cable cards are the way to go. You’d have probably been golden once you actually managed to get your hands on the cards.

        Unless you are desperate, do NOT hook TVvo boxes up to Comcast’s digital converter boxes, though you have no choice with older TiVo boxes. They can be hooked together (whther by IR hokey stuff or digital serial, depanding on the models), but changing channels take 3 to 5 seconds, and we found that the Comcast box would get stuck on the same station for days — not good when we’re recording what we thought was a variety of shows!

        The whole digital conversion seemed to be a right nightmare at our house. I spent literally hours on multiple days over weeks with them, often to reset a box that “died” for no reason. One of their agents couldn’t even get the serial numbers right, and she was happily saying “I sent the signal”, and when I’d get her to read back the number, it was not my box! “But sir, it took it! Isn’t your box working?” Nope. Some other poor sod tout there got my low-rate service on their box!

        But bottom line is that once you (sometimes painfully) get Comcast stuff set up right, and you don’t touch it, it generally works great for months and months on end. But if you change things around, like new equipment or new features, God help you!

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      • Makes me very hesitant……our daughter and her husband were transferred to Paris. They want us to get another cable box and then hook up a Slingbox to it so that they can watch American TV in France. If we put the Slingbox on any of the cable boxes we have now, we surrender that TV to them anytime they are watching in Paris. I cannot get a straight answer out of Comcast about whether or not we can get the extra box (not hooked up to any TV) and whether or not a Slingbox here can be linked to a computer in France. From what I’m reading, the computer has to be here in the house to do the initial link up.

        Anyone else know how this works??

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  2. My husband picked up cupcakes from Angelcakes on East Church Street yesterday. They may be the best cupcakes I’ve EVER had. Definitely worth a stop. (We tried salted caramel, strawberry and vanilla).

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    • I will try them tomorrow. Tried Georgetown Cupcakes (from the tv show “DC Cupcakes”) and they were awful. Overpriced, far too sweet, too small, and the frosting was grainy with undissolved sugar. I’m hoping for much better cupcakes locally. 🙂

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      • 😦 I do all of my errand running in the mornings. So I stopped by at 11 am only to find that they don’t open til noon. I almost never ever go back out in the afternoon. Once I’m home I’m done for the day. I’ll go another time. Since I live up in Whittier it’s not exactly just down the street to go there.

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      • Should mention – I had just left Costco and had cold and frozen things in my trunk. I couldn’t hang out downtown waiting for the bakery to open.

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  3. Upcoming event to benefit cystic fibrosis: August 27 – Shop and Dine for Cystic Fibrosis – all day! – 10-15% of your bill will be donated to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for research, care and education. The following merchants are participating in the event: The Muse, Dancing Bear Toys and Gifts, Rita’s Italian Ice, The Cellar Door (11:30-4 only). Enjoy downtown and help out a great cause just by eating and shopping!

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  4. Today when I drove up I-270, I saw an unmarked police car equipped with speed camera taking photos in the work zone on cars driving south. The camera was flashing like crazy, average once per minute, probably the upper limit for the thingy to function. What’s interesting was that cars were flowing in constant speed, and it did not seem there was any one going faster than others. So it seems pretty much like taking chances, or taking turns.

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    • So, even if you were going with the flow of traffic, you would still get a ticket. Ah… the police, saving the planet – one speeding ticket at a time.

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      • Maybe if the police weren’t so busy ticketing people who are driving 13 mph over the speed limit, they could catch the hoodlums who stabbed my next door neighbor yesterday.

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    • I also noticed that vehicle-mounted speed camera flashing like crazy as traffic headed southbound on 270 the other evening. No one seemed to be going very fast, either.
      BTW, it sure seems like the signs designating the work zone extend well beyond the limits of any visible activity.

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  5. Tonight at Olives restaurant downtown, there will be a fund raising event for the Evening on the Riviera, 6-9pm. It’s $15 to get in, which the ticket includes a drink. There will be food and other goodies and door prizes. The last time I actually attended one of the Riviera events was at least 15 years ago.

    Monica

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  6. I’ve got to chime in here because I’ve recently gone through some cable changes. I loved Comcast and their products. We never had issues with anything, but our price just kept going up. I would randomly get a bill for $40 more and find out that some special rate we had ended. That got really frustrating, and I realized that we don’t watch the TV enough to justify the cost. I still have internet through Comcast, which works wonderfully. I use Netflix streaming and a service called PlayOn for other shows that I like to watch. It’s not like having cable, but it’s close enough for my lifestyle. It’s worth checking out.

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  7. Noticed last night on the way out 340/15S headed to home that there is a sign warning drivers of delays southbound between 1-3pm on Friday. After further research found that the 2011 America’s 9/11 ride is coming thru Frederick at that time. They expect over 2000 bikes with a line over 5 miles long. They will be coming from Hagerstown and going south on 15 towards Leesburg. Wish I had the day off so I could sit on the Mt. Zion Road bridge and watch the bikes go by.

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  8. Anybody know what happened to Eleganza Yarns that was located in Shab Row? Driving by the other day and noticed the space was empty and had a “for lease” sign in the window.

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  9. From e-mail sent by Eleganza Yarns on June 29 –

    “Dear Friends,

    After seven wonderful years in business, we have decided to close our beloved Eleganza Yarns retail store, in order to focus all of our attention on our growing wholesale yarn line, Shalimar Yarns.

    Our last day of business is Saturday, July 23rd.

    This has been an incredible journey for us and a privilege to have known so many wonderful customer/friends over the years. Each and every one of you has touched our lives in a positive way. We will miss you all greatly. Thank you for your support and encouragement.

    Kristi and Paul

    So what’s up now?

    Over the last four years, Shalimar Yarns has evolved from a small hand dyed sock club, to a thriving wholesale line of yarns. As Shalimar sales have continued to exceed our expectations, a business decision was made to focus our efforts and energies entirely on this portion of the business.

    We have lots of plans in the works for Shalimar this year, including the addition of new yarn bases, a new yarn club and additional pattern support.

    We hope you will follow our journey and adventures!

    You can check in with us on our Shalimar Ravelry group,

    Shalimar Facebook page, Shalimar Twitter, Shalimar Newsletters, and Eleganza Yarns site.”

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  10. Seriously??? No one responded to the quake?? Well, up here in Whittier my whole house shook for a good 30 seconds. I’m born and raised California so I’ve been thru this too many times. I knew what it was from the first vibration. And the dogs in the neighborhood were barking up a storm. Dogs will start up before the quake starts. They can hear the ultrasonic vibrations of the earth.

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    • Over in the Columbia area where I work, many places apparently evacuated their buildings for the day. Traffic was a mess. I stayed at work (our building decided not to evacuate) and waited it out. Everyone was an excited mess… we were on the 4th floor and felt the shaking really well. My first quake!

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  11. I could have sworn we talked about this on here, but couldn’t find the post.

    Walking down Patrick Street today and saw that the new barber shop is open and so is the new store called Salvaged, which based on their window display, looks pretty chic. Can’t wait to check it out this weekend.

    Anyone stop in to the new stores??

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  12. It appears all the talk of a “food court” in the 7th Street Giant Eagle was just talk. I was in there today. That whole side that used to be CVS has just been expanded for groceries. They’ve spread out the shelving more and were in the process of reshelving items. In spite of the possibility of a coming storm, I doubt that there were a dozen people in that store this morning.

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  13. All is well in Whittier, after the storm. At least up here on the hill. Power was out for just seconds early this morning. Everything is high and dry.

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  14. I was wondering if anyone could suggest a location in Frederick (or possibly Northern Montgomery County) that has a private seating area for about 20 people. We are looking for something pretty nice, but very open minded. We’re thinking a restaurant would be good so we won’t have to bother with catering. Opinions are needed!

    Thanks!

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  15. I’d try aka Friscos in Frederick. They have a private upstairs area for groups etc., although I’ve never seen it. But, I love their food (the Chronicle is great) as well as casual atmosphere & nice staff.

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  16. Thanks! We’ve actually used aka friscos in the past, but not really the atmosphere we want this time. Will certainly check out The Tasting Room.

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