Point of No Return


The rambling admissions of a fan of a soap opera

Hi, I’m Darin. And I’m addicted to Downton Abbey.

Now, the proper response for all of you would have been, “Hi, Darin,” and we all would have worked on our similar conflict together. However, I’m guessing that my initital statement...

Thursday, February 28, 2013 - 7:49am

Reflecting back and standing in awe of our home

We recently had the pleasure of celebrating our ninth anniversary here at the Point.

Our wee little graphic artist Tom continued his brown-nosing ways by bringing in a cake to commemorate the occassion, there were some talks about a...

Thursday, February 21, 2013 - 12:18pm

Valentines and meth -- you only get that here

Though it’s often been stated in this time of outsourcing and buying foreign products that we no longer manufacture anything in this nation, I would argue that’s not necessarily the case.

Show me another country that manufactures...

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - 1:49pm

An unlikely Ravens team wins Super Bowl

Though perennial contenders for several years now, it’s hard not to be a little surprised that the Baltimore Ravens won this year’s Super Bowl.

Last season was the season, wasn’t it? The Ravens were primed to go to the Super Bowl...

Thursday, February 7, 2013 - 3:43am

We're not the only nation facing rough economy

We’ve all done it at one point or another. There’s something you really want to buy, and the price looks too good to pass up at the time, so you quickly check your balance in your bank account to make sure you have the funds to afford it before...

Thursday, January 31, 2013 - 4:00am

Hang on to your hats. The Ravens are in the dance.

Disclaimer: If you are in any way a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers or New England Patriots, you might want to look away now. This could get ugly for you.

How about them Ravens, hon?

Behind an inspired and mostly-healthy...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - 1:31pm

'Food porn' making our nation grow -- and grow

Headline writing is considered an art in this business. There are those who can pen something so crafty or witty that it just begs the reader to read what’s underneath because it captured the mind’s eye so effectively.

My personal...

Thursday, January 17, 2013 - 3:48am

Love him or hate him -- or both -- Lewis

Mike Smith. Mike Nolan. Jack Del Rio. Marvin Lewis. Chuck Pagano. Mike Singletary. Rex Ryan.

Those seven men all became head coaches in the National Football League over the years. In fact, Smith, Lewis, Pagano and Ryan are all still...

Thursday, January 10, 2013 - 11:37am

A new year brings with it new expectations, goals

Remember those old Etch A Sketch toys?

You would use two clumsy dials in an attempt to manipulate aluminum powder in a way that would create a majestic work of art, deftly maneuvering between the knobs to create horizontal or vertical...

Thursday, January 3, 2013 - 3:15am

A glance at a year full of tragedies and triumphs

Christmas is now safely in the rearview mirror, and with a shiny new year in the near future, it’s high time we all begin to look ahead to exciting possibilities and a clean slate.

Well, hold that thought for a minute or two. Before...

Thursday, December 27, 2012 - 6:01am

Newtown tragedy makes Christmas feel a bit different

When the year 2000 struck, and people were gearing up their emergency shelters for the impending apocolypse that was “Y2K,” I was the editor of a weekly newspaper in Shelton, Conn., called The Huntington Herald.

It was one of many...

Thursday, December 20, 2012 - 6:25am

With Christmas pressures mounting, relief appears

So much to do.

With a publication date of Friday, Dec. 14, that means that we are 11 days away from Christmas. Eleven days away from people opening presents that I have still not bought for them, let alone wrapped. Eleven days of...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012 - 1:14pm

'The best way to waste ten minutes of your week'

Being in the business that we are, we find ourselves trying to stay on top of what’s going on in the wild, wonderful world of marketing. In order to stay relevant, we need our advertisers to get a real impact out of what they are trying to get...

Thursday, December 6, 2012 - 6:40am

'Tis the season -- to enjoy family, friends and poverty

If you close your eyes and listen very carefully, it is possible to hear nearly-inaudible cries all around you.

No, those aren’t seagulls mating over a restaurant’s parking lot. And, no, it is not your favorite bald editor weeping...

Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 6:10am

It's rough out there, but still reasons to give thanks

As families gather across these fruited plains to rip each other apart for how they choose to live their lives, eat far too much food and fall asleep on the living room floor with a football game in the background before hurrying off to a...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 - 12:38pm

Buckle up, folks. Steelers-Ravens Sunday night

This, ladies and gentlemen, is what sports is all about.

On Sunday night, in front of a national television audience and 65,000 screaming fans testing the limits of alcohol and fatty food consumption, the Pittsburgh Steelers will...

Thursday, November 15, 2012 - 6:33am

Close election should wake up both sides a bit

I write this column with the sincere hope that I don’t have to look at Karl Rove or James Carville again for another four years.

Actually, I really write this with the hope that I won’t have to listen to their voices again for...

Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 6:42am

Hurricane Coverage was a vast collective effort

So, Hurricane Sandy came, and Hurricane Sandy went.

She struck with her most ferocity along the New Jersey and New York coasts, but she certainly lobbed a few roundhouses at us on her way up the shore. Sandy was indeed a formidable...

Thursday, November 1, 2012 - 7:25am

It's too late for this go-around, but get ready for 2016


There has been a grave unjustice done to this nation, and I am afraid that I am the person most responsible for it.

I neglected to register to run for president of the United States this election, and you, the people, will be...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - 3:01pm

Hero or villain? Either way, Lewis has left his mark

I was always a sucker for the hero growing up.

You know, the cowboy who would ride into town in his white hat and drive out the bandits and killers who have been terrorizing the townsfolk? Or the pirate who would swing into action...

Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - 3:05pm

What we do now dictates the future's success

As I was watching the first presidential debate last week, there were more thoughts running through my muddled mind than I could ever document.

For starters, I was a little shocked that Mitt Romney so obviously dominated the format...

Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 2:18pm

THe Orioles are back, hon. No, really. They are back.

As I sat down to write this column Wednesday morning, the Baltimore Orioles had already clinched a playoff spot, and were one game behind the New York Yankees in the American League East with one game to play.

Throughout this season...

Thursday, October 4, 2012 - 7:25am

A personal favorite moving to the endangered list?

Not to alarm anybody unnecessarily, but ...

I stepped into enemy territory the other day.

The state of the entire world is in flux, and we need our most advanced minds to come together in unity and reach a conclusion immediately....

Thursday, September 27, 2012 - 7:58am

Philadelphia fans definitely boisterous, but fun

I stepped into enemy territory the other day.

I can guess what you’re thinking, and, no, smart mouths, I didn’t go to an all-you-can-eat salad bar. Nor did I wander into a hair-styling competition or an all-day exercise event. Do you see...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - 4:57pm

Sometimes, information is not really information

We have been labeled as living in the “Age of Information.” A huge component of that moniker, obviously, has been our access to the Internet. We can conduct business, send and receive messages, shop for merchandise or music, research topics of...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - 2:32pm

Football is back — and so is fantasy football fun

By the time this week’s Coastal Point hits the streets, the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys will have already played the first game of the new season for the National Football League. And, by the time this week’s Coastal Point hits the streets...

Wednesday, September 5, 2012 - 3:06pm

Goals took a beating again this summer season

“Labor Day weekend.”

Those three little words carry more weight around here than they do in most parts of this great nation.They signify the end of summer vacation for local students, the winding-down of the busy season for many local...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012 - 4:29pm

Goals took a beating again this summer season

“Labor Day weekend.”

Those three little words carry more weight around here than they do in most parts of this great nation.They signify the end of summer vacation for local students, the winding-down of the busy season for many local...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012 - 4:29pm

Packaging 'meth candy' might be a little much

I’ve learned quite a bit from our own Bob Bertram over the years. His many years of graphic arts design, combined with his many years of basically studying human behavior, equates to, well, many years.

So I listen when Bob tells...

Thursday, August 23, 2012 - 5:54am

A few random observations from the Series

This is the week that we affectionately call “The Blur” around the office.

While Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Memorial Day weekends certainly constitute our largest papers of the year, “The Blur” takes place every year as the...

Thursday, August 9, 2012 - 4:42am

Yet another letdown for those who believe

There are defining moments in life that can forever change one’s outlook on the world — or, at the least, one aspect of that person’s world.

For instance, being wronged in love can forever paint the way one views romance. Getting...

Wednesday, August 1, 2012 - 3:25pm

Friends come, friends go. But I will miss this one

I’ve read somewhere before that people tend to change their friends every seven years. I’m not trying to steal that little nugget and claim it as my own, I just can’t remember if it was from a scientific research study, an essay by a noted...

Thursday, July 26, 2012 - 8:11am

Television, above all else. can really get our goats

There are certain things Americans take very seriously.

For instance, there has been controversy lately over the fact that the uniforms American athletes will be wearing at the Summer Olympics opening ceremonies were made in China....

Thursday, July 19, 2012 - 3:25am

An old 'friend' might have popped up elsewhere

It’s been pretty quiet around the Coastal Point multiplex since the death of Leviathan last year.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not by any means saying I miss the rambunctious raccoon that bullied me around our parking lot for several...

Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 8:11am

The Orioles are still somehow relevant in July

As I write this column, the Baltimore Orioles have a record of 43-37. That’s 43 wins. And that’s 37 losses. That means the Orioles have won six more games than they have lost as of Wednesday morning.

The world has not spun off its...

Thursday, July 5, 2012 - 10:45am

Put everything else aside for this special holiday

Rest assured, we will have a few people in town to celebrate the Fourth of July.

Folks will be around to wave sparklers, eat hot dogs and wear novelty glasses painted red, white and blue. Crowds will gather for parades, fireworks...

Thursday, June 28, 2012 - 7:59am

Sometimes, my mouth can get me in a tight spot

Competitiveness is a heck of a thing.


It can fuel somebody to focus more intently on the task at hand and can contribute that extra push that makes the difference between success and failure. Those with serious competitive streaks...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - 4:27pm

Father's Day brings memories of many phrases

With Father’s Day approaching, there is only one thing on my mind — the final round of golf’s U.S. Open.

Will Tiger get his major tournament mojo back? Can Phil add another pelt to his formidable wall? Will one of golf’s young...

Thursday, June 14, 2012 - 6:34am

So, riddle me this -- why is my head so big?

I find myself looking at my head for an inordinate amount of time. It’s not that I’m fascinated with it, or paranoid that it’s shifting into something different. It just always seems to be around me.

Our production manager, Bob...

Thursday, June 7, 2012 - 7:49am

Our future is in good hands with today’s youth

For a relatively young nation, we do appreciate our past times in this country. We love baseball, apple pie, and tearing down our neighbors so we can build ourselves up — as well as hot dogs, the spirit of entrepreneurship and peace through...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012 - 3:27pm

The dawn of a new summer season is now upon us

They’re heeeeere.

Yes, Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kick-off to another summer season for our little oasis by the sea, and business owners and restaurateurs are hoping it brings with it carloads of vacationers and second-...

Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 7:37am

From MCA to Mother's day -- connected somehow

I was struck by a wave of nostalgia last week. Actually, I was gobbled up by the wave, tossed on to the beach where I was subsequently picked up by a gust of wind and thrown back into the ocean so the wave would jerk me about like a lottery ball...

Friday, May 11, 2012 - 6:05am

Town manager's departure leaves questions

I’m a fairly laid-back guy, but there are a few things in life that can regularly cause me to rub the top of my head in frustration, let out a huge sigh and mentally count to 10 as I try to find my inner calm.

My beloved Baltimore...

Thursday, May 3, 2012 - 8:07am

Everything around us is making us, well, round

We’re fat.

Yup, that’s a gross generalization, and I fully-well realize that many people in our society today are in excellent physical condition, monitor their diets and take their wellness to heights we’ve never been able to reach before...

Thursday, April 26, 2012 - 8:09am

The loss of a friend hurts an entire community

All of us have experienced life’s peaks and valleys. We laugh. We cry. We get frustrated. We get excited. We celebrate. We mourn. The emotional rollercoaster that we all find ourselves riding from time to time can seem both excruciating and...

Thursday, April 19, 2012 - 5:00am

An open discourse on pet rocks and crime sprees

I always loved “show-and-tell” when I was a kid.

It wasn’t out of excitement over my own contributions to the exercise, as I rarely brought in anything more enticing than a potato chip that loosely resembled former President Jimmy...

Thursday, April 12, 2012 - 8:06am

They got who to play Steve Jobs in a movie?

Many of us were playing that time-tested game of “what-if” last week.

As the dollar amounts spiked on the Mega Millions lottery jackpot, I found myself engaged in conversation with several different people regarding how we would...

Thursday, April 5, 2012 - 11:43am

Los Angeles to get one more Magic show

From the moment I could talk, many of my conversations have been focused on sports, and the athletes who play them.

I remember being young and worshipping Eddie Murray, Jim Palmer, Ken Singleton and my favorite Baltimore Oriole of...

Thursday, March 29, 2012 - 5:57am

We're divided, because they tell us to be so

I bite my tongue a lot, particularly during debates between people over the national political scene. It’s not that I’m apathetic toward politics, or afraid to take a stand on something I strongly believe in, as much as it’s a case of me not...

Thursday, March 22, 2012 - 5:52am

The greatest weekend of all is now upon us

Allow me to address the very esteemed court of public opinion regarding the significance of the weekend ahead of us. It is my argument that this is indeed the greatest of all the 52 weekends we see in a year, and that is saying a lot. After all,...

Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - 3:29pm