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03/04/2019 | Berlin Man Convicted In Pines Home Improvement Scheme | News Ocean City MD - The Dispatch

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SNOW HILL — A Berlin man pleaded guilty this week to obtaining property by deception of a vulnerable adult and failing to perform a contract after a year-long scheme against elderly residents in Ocean Pines.

Pasco Allen, 47, of Berlin, pleaded guilty this week to one count of obtaining property by deception of a vulnerable adult and three counts of failure to perform a contract. Visiting Worcester County Circuit Court Judge W. Newton Jackson deferred sentencing, but Allen will be forced to pay restitution to the victims and faces 30 months of incarceration.

pasco allen mug

Pasco Allen

The charges against Allen stem from several similar complaints received by the Ocean Pines Police Department from residents in the community from October 2017 through June 2018. In each case, the victim had hired Allen to do various types of landscaping and home improvement work.

According to the Worcester County State’s Attorney’s Office, Allen accepted payments from the victims, several of whom were over the age of 68, making the vulnerable adults. However, in each case, Allen failed to complete the agreed-upon work despite repeated demands from his victims. Further investigation revealed Allen was not licensed by the Maryland Home Improvement Commission to perform the work as required by law.

Worcester County State’s Attorney Kris Heiser commended the Ocean Pines Police Department for its work on the investigation and thanked former Assistant State’s Attorneys Lauren Bowden and Jarod Monteiro for their efforts in prosecuting the case. Heiser also urged Worcester County residents to use free online resources to conduct checks on any individuals they plan to hire for home improvement work.

“Empowering our citizens to use these resources to educate themselves on an individual’s criminal history and licensing status is an important mission of the State’s Attorney’s Office. “We are working every day to raise awareness about these types of financial crimes and predators and what individual citizens can do to protect themselves from future victimization.”

Residents can use the Maryland Judiciary Case Search site at to search for criminal records. Residents can also access the Maryland Home Improvement Commission website at to determine if an individual possesses the requisite license to perform home improvement work.

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Genius Uses for Dryer Sheets That Have Nothing to Do With Laundry

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Dryer sheets are like little squares of magic: Pop them in the dryer with a load of wet laundry, and your towels and sheets come out soft and smelling like heaven. But if you're leaving the box of dryer sheets in the laundry room, you're missing out—there are dozens of uses for miraculous things throughout your home.

So if you're into quick hacks that make cleaning a little easier (and a whole lot faster), then you might want to grab an extra box of dryer sheets the next time you hit the grocery store. We're about to change everything you knew about this laundry staple!

Uses for dryer sheets in the bathroom

Photo by RIVUSS 
If you want faucets that shine like the day they were installed, Debra Johnson, a cleaning expert with Merry Maids, suggests running a moistened dryer sheet over the chrome. You can also run them over a shower door to clean off the soap scum and grime, she says, because dryer sheets have a detergent on them that makes them perfect for this type of cleaning.

Uses for dryer sheets in the kitchen

Photo by Michelle Workman Interiors 
Ever stepped away from the stove to answer the door and come back to a tomato sauce that's burnt tight to the bottom of your saucepan? It happens to even the best cooks out there, and it can take a lot of elbow grease to clean it off. Or you can place a dryer sheet on the baked-on filth, add a little water and allow the mixture to soak for a few hours. Once again, the detergents on the dryer sheet will help lift off the mess and give you shiny pots and pains.

Uses for dryer sheets in the living room and bedroom

Photo by Actual Size Projects 
Ever dropped a dryer sheet out of the laundry basket only to find it covered in cat or dog hair? Well, the sheets can also attract the little fur and dust tumbleweeds that tend to pile up on your hardwood floors. Think of them as the cheaper version of those Swiffer pads you keep forgetting to pick up at the grocery store.

"The purpose of dryer sheets is to draw the static charge out of the clothing from the heat in the dryer," Johnson says. "This same function will work for dusting."

So grab a dryer sheet and get to work—run it over your baseboards, windowsills, door frames, ceiling fan blades, lampshades, and any other hard surface that might collect dust and pet hair. A dryer sheet also works wonders to cut down on static if you rub it over your frizzy hair or on an item of clothing that's frizzing with static energy.

Uses for dryer sheets in the garage

Photo by Angela Flournoy 
Like pots and pans with baked-on gunk, your paint-coated brushes will get a pick-me-up from soaking in some water with a dryer sheet for a few hours. And don't forget to hit your bumper with a wet sheet to say goodbye to the bugs and hello to the shine.

Uses for dryer sheets in the backyard

Photo by Sudbury Design Group 
Put down the pesticides, and grab the box of dryer sheets. Some consider this one a myth, but science says otherwise. Researchers at the University of Illinois and Kansas State University found that these little marvels can help repel certain insects that like to gather in the garden (or buzz around your head when you're trying to enjoy the sunshine).

If chief menace to your garden is of the four-legged variety, you may still want to try a dryer sheet (or 10). Some people swear by hanging the small fabric sheets in their garden to repel deer.

Other dryer sheet uses

The fragrance boost of dryer sheets doesn't have to be limited to your laundry. Johnson will slip them inside a stinky gym bag to help combat eau de sweat. Slicing a dryer sheet in half and sliding each half into a pair of shoes can help cut down on that funky foot smell. Have you found that your dresser drawers and the cabinet where you keep the kitchen garbage have a lingering odor? You guessed it—throw in a dryer sheet to help cut the funk.

Want to amp up the power of the fragrance boost? A dryer sheet hung from the front of a box fan will add a fresh scent to an entire room in no time.

Source: expands Booking Experiences service to the US

Posted by [email protected] on Comments comments (0) spring airlines has launched its Booking Experiences services in the United States in a move to further work in the tours and activities aspect of travel.

The Booking Holdings-owned brand has slowly rolled out the functionality over the course of the last few years, beginning in its hometown of Amsterdam and reaching other destinations such as London, Paris, Dubai, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

For the time being, rather than being a consumer platform in its own rights, Booking Experiences works by engaging with consumers only once they have booked a hotel.

Guests are sent a link post-booking that directs them to a "personalized landing page" with a list of participating tours, activities and attractions in the city.

A QR code is issued and the customer can then use it to obtain discounted rates to a city's various things to do. has now launched the service in a number of high-profile cities in the country, including New York, Miami, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

Read more here

Join us in Madrid from the 13th to the 16th of November for the Property Portal Watch Conference.


US: Move Inc. buys lead generation startup Opcity for $210M

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The media giant, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. recently announced that it is adding Opcity, a company that connects agents with pre-screened buyers and sellers, to its real estate cache.

The subsidiary Move Inc. — which operates the listing portal — has entered into an agreement to buy lead generation startup Opcity for $210 million.

The deal will expand on Realtor’s ability to generate leads for agents, the company said. Inman first reported news of the deal.

Austin-based Opcity uses an algorithm to instantly pair agents and mortgage brokers with pre-screened buyers. Founded in 2015, it raised $27 million in venture funding from Icon Ventures, Georgian Partners and LiveOak Venture Partners, according to CrunchBase.

Read more here

Join us in Madrid from the 13th to the 16th of November for the Property Portal Watch Conference.


Why Should You Have Data Recovery Software?

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The good news if that there is data recovery software out there that is capable to recover the data you have lost, there is no reason to despair. Are there data recovery services available?

There are also lots of data recovery services or so called "hotlines" that can be called to help assist you with recovery of some of your lost data. If a drive of your computer was formatted or accidentally deleted by a virus or human error, a data recovery service can help you get your data back and restore your original settings in the computer.

Computer users today use a special software for data recovery to get back the lost information from their personal computers, business computer systems, cellular phones, Blackberries, and any other electronic systems that store vital information. Data recovery software is a must for your business and very important for computer amateurs as well. Visit

broken wire in the wall?

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I have to stop you.

You're making a huge assumption that the dead outlets and the live ones must be "part of the same circuit", and that there's a wire in the wall between them, and that the wire is broken. That's not what's happening at all.

First, wires breaking in walls is rare. And second, a house - especially a 20-year-old house - is a multitude of circuits, 20, 30 or even 40. It's almost certainly true that the "live" circuit you're splicing from, and the "dead" circuit you're splicing to, are totally different circuits.

Ran scenarios inside black and outside white connected to panel - 0 V at the other end. Outside black and inside white 120V. Outside and outside 120V of course.

Wait. If this was one circuit, how is the "inside" (you say the fed, downline) neutral able to return power back to the panel???? It's disconnected, right? No, if it gave the 120V reading, it must be connected back to the panel. The answer is, it does go back to the main panel because it's a separate circuit with its own homerun back to the panel. Then you say

So, twisted the Jump wire to the panel/working side and connected to the next outlet. Lights and outlets worked throughout the circuit.

Yeah, because you were backfeeding.

You said it yourself: about half your house is dead. About half your house. And your house is many circuits. What causes that, I wonder? Read here about houses have 2 poles of power.

Yeah. All the circuits on one pole are dead.

What's actually happening here is your red pole is dead from the power company. You had no idea what you were doing. What you actually did was connect a hot from a "black" circuit to a hot from a "red" circuit -backfeeding not just that circuit, but the whole "red" bus! Making all of them hot (but in-phase when they're supposed to be out-of-phase, 120V loads don't care). So that dead half of your house lit back up again.

This would fail once you drew more than 15-20A on the red side, because you're backfeeding through 15-20A breakers and they'll trip.

If the power company restored your power, your jumper would be connecting opposite poles, and KABOOM! Dead short, and breakers would trip.

You have too little knowledge. If you want to learn the art, then borrow a book from the library and start reading about home electrical, and then get another, and then hang out here for awhile and read and ask questions. You'll eventually get up to speed. In the meantime, no more playing with electricity, K?

As for half your house being dead, call the power company and report an outage because that's what you have. They'll fix it for free in a few hours typically (or tell you it ain't them, at which point it's electrician time). Remember to roll back all these temporary connections before the power company lights you back up.


Crate and Barrel Towel Art

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I love the graphic dishtowel that Crate and Barrel is selling right now. 
I enlisted my handy husband to make another frame with pallet boards.  I love the patina of the old boards.
On the inside of the frame where he made the cuts, I used my trusty old trick of apple cider vinegar and steel wool to age the new cuts so they'd look like the rest of the boards.
I started by ironing the towel.
We used spray adhesive on the backer board, then used a rolling pin to make sure all of the creases and bubbles were out of it.
He made the frame so that we'd only have a 1/2" of overlap in the back.  It fit perfectly in the frame and went on the wall. 

I love it!
Thanks for your visit!


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Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home

This Artist Uses a Popular Kids Toy to Repair Buildings

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LEGO building featuresBelish/Shutterstock

It may be the ultimate LEGO project. And it’s a project that will appeal to kids of all ages.

Since 2007, Jan Vormann, a Berlin-based artist, has been using LEGO bricks to “repair” structures, from aging buildings to crumbling city streets. Some of his projects have thousands of LEGO bricks incorporated into the design while others have just a couple handfuls.

This artist will create an exact replica of your house with LEGOs.

From Fargo, North Dakota to Santiago, Chile, to Europe, Asia, Africa and even Australia, Vormann’s work can be found in both hemispheres, on six of the seven continents. This photo was taken in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2015.

Vormann’s work is mainly found in areas where bricks have fallen out of walls, in structures missing mortar or where the building’s corners are crumbling. And it’s not just him doing the work—Vormann encourages others to play along.

He describes the LEGO project as “a forum to further develop, piece by piece, a global game together,” according to Juxtapoz.

These DIY LEGO keychains are a great rainy day project.

Known as the Dispatchwork project, you can follow Vormann’s work on his interactive website. The website shows every spot on the globe where his work can be found. You can also follow Vormann on Instagram.

“Dispatchwork aims at childhood memories in abstract shapes and vivid colors, towards a global collaboration of persons unknown to each other. This project is made for all those who identify as one of the others and embrace transitoriness. Persons who like to share their time playfully and don’t mind when the unglued structures slowly ‘dissolve’ (friendly to our environment) back into kids toy boxes,” Vormann said.

So, on your next trip, don’t forget to bring along some LEGOs and look for a spot where you can add to Vormann’s global Dispatchwork project.

Check out this custom LEGO table built by a reader.

These are the top 10 LEGO tables you’ve got to see.


Victory Lap: Year Seven

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Can I just start by saying, holy shit… year seven?

I mean, what the hell have I been doing for the last seven years? (Besides digging post holes, because… obviously.)

Here’s what’s crazy about that. 1.) I am way older than I realized. Like, I don’t think about it much, but when you make me sit down and do the math, I am much, much closer to 40 than not. And yet, still drinking beer and making slightly-irresponsible (and awesome) decisions regarding power tools, so… some shit never changes.

Also, 2.) There was a time–a little more than seven years ago–when I was convinced the “best” years of my life were already behind me.

True story.

Not that I consciously put much stock in my age, but I was post-30, I’d put a ton of time and energy into building a house that I never really ended up living in, and once I moved out I had no idea what I was going to do next.

Up to that point in my life I had been in relationships with really good dudes, but they were also relationships that did not bring out the best in me. (FYI, those things are not mutually exclusive. The fact that I’m not always my “best” in relationships is not a reflection of my partners in those relationships, nor is it a reflection of me. Fact: Two awesome people can be not-awesome together, and that’s not a story we tell very often.)

The point is… that girl seven years ago? She had no fucking idea. Just randomly drove over a hill one day…


And found this place.


And it turns out my very best years were not behind me, but in front of me.

I had no idea how strong I was. How much weight I could carry. How many problems I could solve. I had no idea the many ways this place could break my heart, and fill me with joy, and teach me about the kind of person I want to be.


And yet, here we are.

Taking my seventh victory lap around the farm..




Thinking about all the things that have happened since the first time I did this back in 2012.


After seven years, I’ve learned enough to know the best years are never behind me, but that the years in front of me may look far, far different than I ever envisioned.

I’m so grateful for this place, and every year I take a little time to remember that. To reflect on what it has brought me. In the early years I was just grateful I found it, and some years I was grateful for all the things I accomplished on my own, or the things I managed to grow and harvest. But this year– seven years in– I’m particularly grateful for the relationships I have because of it.

I’m a loner by nature. I mean it legitimately rarely occurs to me that people might want to, like… come over and hang out? And yet…

I’ve made friends that are perfectly accepting of my slightly-antisocial behavior. They invite themselves over and insist on helping me plant trees


Or build stuff


Or climb things


I have the best neighbors a person could ever ask for, whom I consider family (including their four honorary farm-dogs that come over to visit often)…


I have a blast with my mom, who now has a lake house just a half-mile down the road….


And, of course, she has the very best neighbors too.

Are we blessed? Absolutely.

But I wouldn’t have thought that seven-plus years ago. When I had to make the very difficult decision to leave a house I’d put all of my energy into building for a couple of years, and a relationship that wasn’t bad but also… wasn’t really good. When I assumed my best friendships and relationships were already behind me.

I wouldn’t have thought that when my mom went from the sad little single-bedroom apartment that she lived in for a decade (and legitimately had a drug addict break into once while she was sleeping) to buying a condo that she didn’t love.

Those things didn’t feel blessed, they just felt fucking hard.

And I won’t deny there’s a lot of luck involved in ending up where I am, but, also, there’s a hell of a lot of doing the hard thing. Over and over again. Of consciously not taking a “safe” or traditional path when I didn’t feel those things were right for me. Of learning to be open to connections with people, and–gasp!– occasionally asking for help (even when the openness and vulnerability makes me very very uncomfortable.)

There’s a cost to all of it. A hell of a lot of tough decisions, and calculated risks, and hard fucking work, and soul-crushing winters–dear god, the winters–but seven years ago when I first saw this place, I didn’t ask for it to be easy. I didn’t believe that it was owed to me, just because I wanted it. What I said to myself (and the universe) was that  I would work as hard as was necessary to deserve this place. And I’m grateful every day for the chance.

So, that’s where I’m at right now. Coming off a year that made me stronger in ways I hadn’t asked for. Knowing the work will continue this year–that the farm will ask more from me, and challenge me in new and different ways– and that it will also bring so many gifts (and people) into my life. And being grateful for all of it.