The smell of skunk lingered in the air and my car this morning.
Thankfully, that was the extent of the leftover stink from last night's nearly-tragic attack. While the dog was outside in the yard a series of screams came through our too-thin windows. Naturally, we suspected an unsuspecting creature had wandered into the husky's domain, but instead of finding a happy dog with an unhappy furry thing in his mouth, we opened the door to find him just as intrigued with whatever was happening on the other side of the yard as we were.
And then we smelled it.
We rushed the dog into the house, worried that he had been hit. For several seconds we thought a few drops of spray might have hit is coat, but we soon realized the smell wafting through the house was from us opening the door in the first place.
But the question we asked ourselves repeatedly last night was: "What would we do if the dog had been directly in the line of fire?" With an open floor plan and no basement, garage or even mud room, a skunked dog would surely make our lives miserable.
We decided if he did or ever does get hit, he'd have to stay be outside until he can be properly and thoroughly bathed. But that's clearly not the best solution (not because he couldn't handle it – he is a husky, after all – but because he'd be back in the skunk danger zone). So, I'll ask you, what do you do with a skunked dog?
Aside from that bit of fun, there's not too much to report today, which is just fine with me because I'm leaving tomorrow for a snowboarding weekend in Pennsylvania. So, you won't have me to kick around this weekend (instead, I'll get kicked all at once Monday night when I get home and check my e-mail).
What's up? The Tower. Ha! Actually, it's not quite up and it's not quite down. It's awaiting additional members for the Board of Appeals. You see, the board's vote on whether those challenging the Plaza was split 2-2, an outcome that means the same thing to both sides: "We won!" But, really, nobody won, except maybe the two new board members who get to jump right into the fray on February 12 when the hearing resumes. More here.
BRAC's a big deal and it took up a big chunk of County Executive Ken Ulman's time Monday.
"It's a huge priority of mine to make sure we're focused on infrastructure as BRAC materializes," Ulman said. "Transportation is at the top of the list, and then housing and quality of life."
Ulman traveled to Fort Meade on Monday for a three-hour meeting with Col. Kenneth O. McCreedy, the post's commander, so they could get better acquainted and swap plans to prepare for the post's growth.
"To a large extent, it was a get-to-know-you session about where we are and where Fort Meade is in the process surrounding BRAC," Ulman said.
Ulman has been busy lobbying officials to support the Green Line expansion as well as road improvements. He has met with two Maryland congressmen, Elijah E. Cummings (D) and C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D), as well as Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) and Transportation Secretary John D. Porcari.
When asked about O'Malley, whose support would be key to a Metrorail extension, Ulman said: "I didn't get a strong sense of his direct position, but he indicated an understanding and desire to see mass transit options put forward."
Before we can even consider Metro for Columbia and the rest of Howard County, it needs to make its way to Fort Meade and (presumably) BWI first. This is not to say, however, that we wait to fix our own local transit issues. It seems to me that good local transit leads to good regional transit, rather than the other way around.
Finally, the county has a new website: www.howardcountymd.gov. OK, it's not really a new site, just a new URL, but there are big plans for our little slice of cyber space:
Howard County's new Web address is the first step to creating a more customer-friendly online resource, officials said.That's great, but in an effort to simplify the site's address, they made it necessary to type additional letters. The old site was www.co.ho.md.us. Twelve characters without the "www." The new address is almost 20 characters. How is that easier?
"We want to make ourselves more the Grand Central Station for information and resources in the county," said Ira Levy, the county's new director of the Department of Technology and Communication Services."
That's it for now. Think snow!