Navy Blimp Over Frederick


Just in case you saw the U.S. Navy blimp floating over Frederick today and were wondering what was going on.

The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) and the Navy’s sole Science & Technology research squadron, Scientific Development Squadron ONE (VXS-1), will operate the MZ-3A lighter-than-air “blimp” in the regions surrounding Washington, D.C. beginning Sept. 21.

Mobile mooring of the MZ-3A airshipOwned by the U.S. Navy, the MZ-3A is stationed at Naval Air Station, Patuxent River, Md. (PAX) and is operated under the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory and Scientific Development Squadron ONE (VXS-1).

Operating under the special approval of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the Navy MZ-3A will conduct aerial mapping operations within the Washington D.C. Flight Restriction Zone (DCA-FRZ) at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, (USDA-ARS) Beltsville, Md., and at U.S. Army Fort Belvoir located in Fairfax, Va.

In addition, the MZ-3A will conduct mapping operations within the DCA-Special Flight Restrictions Area (DCA-SFRA) and at times will traverse the region to the north to Frederick Municipal Airport (FDK) in Maryland and to the southwest near Culpepper, Va., (CJR) before ending operations Oct. 5 and departing to the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, N.J.

Thanks for the tip Joel.

A Call to all Frederick area Restaurants and Grocery Stores

I am a little upset, but that’s okay, because this has lead me to an action that seems to be steam roll-able.  I know, I know.  I have been very lame on this site but a new cause, near and dear to my heart has reminded me of the generosity and logical thinking of the FMO community.

Remember back in 2008 when I put out an appeal to locals that a nice way to dispose of your family Christmas tree would be to donate it to the family goats I used to have?  That one simple request lead to many years of my ex-husband and me answering many requests for us to pick up your old trees.  It was a win-win.  The goats got to eat the trees, you didn’t have to figure out how to get rid of them and they stayed out of the landfills.

I have a friend who is running a farm in Bedford County, PA,  just north of the Maryland line off of Rte 68.  He is trying (and succeeding)  to raise humanely raised, woodland-foraging pigs.  But it isn’t cheap and, especially over winter the feed costs are pretty high.  Currently the farm has three nursing mothers and three pregnant sows who all need additional calories for successful pregnancies and healthy babies.  And many more of all sizes in between.

For a while now, the farm has tried unsuccessfully to get any one to listen to how much it makes sense to donate the old, unfit for human consumption produce and breads/grains to small farmers to give them a chance to fulfill their mission of humanely and responsibly raised animals and to help off-set the fluctuating prices of animal feed.  (Truthfully, they have been hung up on, been sworn at and had doors slammed in their faces.)  Especially during  the times of the year when the farm is unable to give their own leftovers to the animals, like winter when the fields are idle and early summer when all the produce is going to local farm markets.

So, I am on a mission.  So far, I have had two very generous donations from the lovely folks at Philly Rabe’s.  They are a new restaurant and have already done so much to help.  (And not just me.  They have already donated to many local causes and told me at our first discussion that human donations were their first priority.)  I have spoken to a couple other Frederick restaurants and am hoping that I can create a movement to keep food that is not good enough for human consumption but perfectly fine for animals, out of the local landfill.  By the way, my friend’s farm also has chickens and he composts almost everything so if a donation is unable to be fed to pigs, it will go to chickens.  Failing that (I can’t even imagine) it will still be composted for the gardens.

Here’s the catch.  There is no catch.  All you would have to do is fill a bucket or bag with your scraps (no meat please) and I will pick it up and deliver it.  Pretty simple really.  If you want, I will provide the bucket or bag.

If nothing else, the realization that so much usable food is being thrown away shocked me.  I want your help to make this right.

If you want to help, leave a comment here or email me at or message me on Facebook, Elizabeth Gillison.  Thank you so much in advance.

Summer Shows at the Earth and Space Science Lab

Every year I say I am going to go to the Planetarium shows at the FCPS Earth and Space Science Lab and every year I forget so this year I’m going to try and make a point of getting there for one of the shows.  Find Out First sent me this abbreviated list of show titles:

*Dawn of the Space Age
*Kaluoka’hina: The Enchanted Reef
*Zula Patrol: Under the Weather and Down to Earth
*Sea Monsters
*Seven Wonders
*Black Holes
*Bugs! A Rainforest Adventure
*Stars of the Pharaohs
*Wonders of the Universe

The full schedule is here.  For only $4.00 (tickets sold at the door), it sounds like a fun way to beat the heat!

First Ever Clustered Spires High Wheel Race

If you went along the creek during First Saturday this past weekend, you may have noticed the penny-farthing bicycles.  Stopping to watch a woman climb up on it, I started talking to another woman about the first ever Clustered Spires High Wheel Race on August 18th as part of the Tour de Frederick festivities.

This will be a unique racing event set to take the streets of historic downtown Frederick, Maryland on August 18, 2012. Join cyclists in a ‘high wheel race’ featuring riders with original or replica penny farthing bicycles dating from the late 19th Century. Riders are HIGHLY ENCOURAGED to dress in vintage clothing to impress spectators and celebrate these historic machines.

This race will be one-hour criterium (multi-lap) race of high-wheels along a 0.4 mile route through historic downtown Frederick, MD.

The race is a one-hour event with riders staying on one loop for the whole time and the winner being the one who goes the farthest in that hour.  The loop starts at Market and Church, north on Market to west on 2nd Street, south on Record Street and east on W. Church Street (map here).

Registration for riders closes June 1st so if interested, click here for details.