Friday, November 16, 2012

Chop't Salads is open in Bethesda

Chop't salads just opened in the Wildwood Shopping Center on Old Georgetown Road in Bethesda, MD.  They specialize in salads, after you choose which one you want off the menu (or build your own) they assemble it right in front of you, then spread it out and chop it up.  This well-mixed salad is what goes into your bowl.

I went their on Wednesday, the opening day, and tried the Cobb salad [670 calories, $9.49] (and the person I went with got the Palm Beach Shrimp salad [240 calories, $9.99] so I got to try that too).  Both were quite good, the bacon on the cobb was cut into very small pieces, but was thick and crisp.

There were some things that stood out in comparison to other salad chains.  The first thing that I noticed was that the salads on the menu didn't all have sweet stuff in them.  I don't really like sweet salad toppings, so this is appreciated.  They also have a large selection of salad dressings, with calorie counts. They also ask you if you want the dressing put on light, regular, or heavy so you don't end up with a salad swimming in dressing if you don't want it. They have some unusual seasonal salads that are only on the menu for a short time, right now there is some sort of thanksgiving dinner salad and several others.

Too bad they have a stupid flash website instead of a real one.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Replacing the curb cuts yet again

 Here in Bethesda they have what seems like a yearly tradition.  Go to every intersection and dig up the curb cuts for the crosswalks and replace them.  It seems like they just got done with it earlier this year (though looking back at some pictures I think it may have been last year) and they have started it again.  Today they were out jack-hammering the brand new, handicap accessible crosswalk entrances.  Unbelievable, what could possibly be wrong with them, and why are they spending so much tax money doing this?

In the top photo, you can see they have finished digging up the one on the right, and have started jack-hammering the one on the left.  In the bottom photo they are using a concrete saw in preparation for the inevitable destruction.

This intersection is Old Georgetown Road and Edgemore Lane, right in the heart of Bethesda, MD.  I saw they had white arrows painted on the concrete to show where to dig, walking around at lunch I saw other intersections with white arrows so they are doing this to a bunch of them.

Monday, August 13, 2012

More Montgomery County Fair photos

 Here are some more pictures I took at the Montgomery County Fair (which runs through Saturday).  I posted other pictures and more information yesterday.
First, a video of one of the pig races.

 Lots of people go to the fair just for the rides.  They have rides for all ages of kids, here is the merry-go-round and the dizzy dragons (below)

 Before being judged, most sheep get a very close hair cut.

Small animals get their place too.  Here are the chickens.  They also have an incubator full of eggs, some of the chicks have already hatched, but the rest will over the course of the week.

Old MacDonald's barn has some cute baby ducklings.

They also have a birthing center with half a dozen pregnant cows, due to give birth during the fair.  Last year I got to see a birth in person.

 There is a flock of dressed-up geese wandering around the fair.  The geese drink gatorade to keep themselves hydrated.

 Towards the top of the fair you can take a camel ride.  Not something I have ever done.
 One booth near the kidzone had live birds sitting on perches.

I got to see Michelle's magical poodles for a second time.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Go visit the county fair

The Montgomery County fair in Gaithersburg, MD runs from August 9th to the 18th.  There is tons to see and do there, especially if you have kids.  The first can't-miss event is the pig/sheep/duck/goat races.  These little critters race around a track to the cheers of the crowd.  Lots of people go so plan on getting there 5 minutes early if you want a good view.

Right next to the race track is a stage where they have different shows.  I saw Michelle's magic poodle show (suprisingly, not a magic show) and Agricadabra (not surprisingly, a magic show)

Old MacDonalds Barn is another great place to go, they have various animals such as a lama, an alpaca, sheep, goats, horses (including two miniature horses), baby ducklings, and piglets.  This year the piglets are really small and cute.

In the evenings at the grandstand there are events such as tractor pulls, demolition derbys, and monster truck shows, there are also numerous free events throughout the day.  Take a look at the schedule of all events.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Bethesda, MD storm damage

The evening of June 29th started out like most others. Around 10:30 though it changed. Huge gusts of wind blew through Bethesda followed by heavy rains. By the time it was through hundreds of thousands of people were without power and branches and trees had fallen by the hundreds.

I drove around Bethesda on Saturday to see the damage for myself.  Here is some of what I saw:

There was a tree blocking the two northbound lanes of Old Georgetown Road.  police had set up cones directing traffic around it in the center turn lane.  As of Sunday afternoon it was still there but there was a highway truck on the scene.

This was probably the worst damage I saw.  A tree had fallen across the front of this house on Old Georgetown Road, smashing through the roof.  I went by again in the evening and the tree had been cleared but you could still see the gaping hole in the roof.  On Sunday the roof was covered with a huge tarp.  I didn't know they made tarps that big.

On Fernwood road a tree had fallen, but was high enough up that cars could drive under it in both directions.  While I was there a firetruck drove under it as well.  On Saturday evening the tree was still there, but it was cut down by Sunday at noon.

Right near there,  Fernwood road between Greentree Rd and Bradley Blvd was closed with trees and power lines across it. As of Sunday at noon, still closed.

This unfortunate person had two large pine trees break and fall across the road.  One of them crushed the back of their car.

Here is the same road from the other side.

There were too many trees fallen across roads for me to take a picture of them all, but here is a nice example of Stoneham Dr. being blocked by a tree.

Here's a tree in someone's front yard that had split in half with one half falling one direction (and taking out pwoer lines) and the other half falling another direction.

On Saturday there were only two gas stations open in downtown Bethesda, MD.  There were really long lines at both.  By Sunday at least one of them was out of gas, so if you need gas for your car or generator don't expect to find it in the downtown area.

Many traffic lights are still out in and around Bethesda.  Notably, Arlington Rd and Bradley Blvd as well as the five way intersection at Old Georgetown Rd, Arlignton Rd, Wilson Ln, and St Elmo Ave.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

A great place to go on a hot day is the National Aquarium in Baltimore.  They have a huge ray tank (If you look closely you will see some people scuba diving in it). As well as a large tank with sharks and other fish that forms a circle around you as you walk down through it.  If you plan on going more than once (and there is so much to see you probably want to)  you can join the aquarium and visit as many times as you want in a year for free!
Here are a couple of the smaller rays in the ray exhibit.

This is a really big eel in the shark tank.

They have lots of colorful tropical fish in the many tanks.

As well as non-colorful ones.  This one is a Jack.

The upper level has a snack bar with a great view of the inner harbor.  You can rent paddle boats and float in the harbor.

Right across from the aquarium are a lot of restaurants and other places to see including Hard Rock Cafe and Phillips Seafood.

More kinds of plastics can now be recycled in Montgomery County

Now you can recycle your "clamshell" packaging like you get on the salad bar or berries are packaged in. You can also recycle plastic cups, tubs, and lids.  In short, anything that is #1 plastic (also called PET). Find out more and see pictures of exactly what I'm talking about at the Montgomery County trash blog.

Also, if your trash service is done by the county, the upcoming fourth of July holiday means everyone who's scheduled pickup is Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday will be picked up one day late.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Go Pick Blueberries

 What better way to spend a morning than picking fresh blueberries.  I went to Butler's Orchard on Saturday and did some berry picking.  When you get there and park they have a staging area where you wait for a tractor then get on a wagon for a ride to the berry fields.  Tractors come frequently and hold a lot of people so the line moves fast.
At the field, they direct you to some fresh bushes loaded with ripe blueberries. Pick all you want (and sample a few too). When you finish, hop on the wagon back and pay for the berries.

Who goes blue berry picking you might ask?  Lots of kids of all ages, from 2 to teenager.  Also some couples and a few older people (who pick the most berries, they must be making jam).

What should you bring?
  •  Buckets, or other containers for blueberries (you can buy them there if you forget).
  • A hat and sunscreen.  There isn't any shade in the fields
  • Water.  It gets hot out there.
What else is there to do?  If blueberries aren't enough reason to go, they also have other things you can pick.  Check their website for what is in season.  When I was there they also had black raspberries and sugar snap peas (I picked some of them too).

They also have a playground for the kids as well as several long slides built on the side of a hill.  Plan on spending the morning.

Where is it?
22200 Davis Mill Road • Germantown MD 20876.  check their directions page for how to get there.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Bethesda has a sinkhole

Sinkholes are cool, as long as there isn't any property damage and no one gets hurt.  Lot 31, on the corner of Bethesda Avenue and Woodmont Avenue is closed because they are going to build a new apartment building there.  It is the perfect spot for a sinkhole and I am glad that there now is one there.  Even better, there are railroad tracks running right through the center of it.  The Capital Crescent Trail runs along an old railroad line, but based on the location I think this must have been a siding, not the main line. It was covered up when they built the parking lot.

As part of the construction, they also have re-routed the trail, though not by much.  It now runs along the inside of the parking lot instead of the outside.

All the other Maryland cities must be jealous that they don't have a sink hole like Bethesda, MD has.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Hot air ballon at De chantal

As I was driving by St Jane de Chantal school this morning I saw them blowing up a big Re/Max balloon up on the field next to the school and all the school kids were out watching it.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Bethesda Post Office shuffle

 The post office at 7400 Wisconsin Ave (MD-355) at Montgomery Lane is now closed.  I went by there last week and everything was being cleared out.  The new location is further south, near the Staples.  6900 Wisconsin Avenue.  It is a lot further for me so I am disappointed.  I also really like that old stone building the post office was in.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Space Shuttle over Bethesda, From above

 Nasa released a video of the space shuttle flying around DC that was taken from the chase plane.  After a bit of looking, I identified where it flew over Bethesda, MD.  Above is a frame from that video.  It is only the southern end of Bethesda, with Friendship Heights in the distance.  You can see Bradley Blvd, Wisconsin Ave and some of the stores near there.  This was from the first flyover, so around 10:10 am on April 17th.

 After going by Bethesda Discovery crossed the Potomac River (left side of the frame) and went over the CIA in Langley.

Here is the shuttle flying by the National Mall in DC.  You can see the Washington Monument on the left and the Capitol building on the right.

These pictures come from a nasa video, which, like all products of the US Government, is in the public domain.

Here's another NASA picture, this one is of the space shuttle Discovery and Enterprise facing each other on a runway.  the original is here.