UA-8046369-2 **Gordon's Musings | ChelseaTowerCondominium-Bethesda MD USA

ChelseaTowerCondominium-Bethesda MD USA

Gordon Brown, a resident of Chelsea Towers, has a long experience with columns, newsletters and other printed materials. In addition he has a clear and focused eye, along with a wry sense of humor. It is our good fortune to publish his Musings from time to time. He will enjoy receiving your comments.
Note from the Publisher
Gordon is the person who decorates the lobby from time to time. He has a collection of items that depict a Dickensian Christmas that is absolutely spectacular. We will show a picture of it next Christmas. In the meantime, Spring is here and that means St. Patrick’s Day. One of his animals is shown. (I liked it).
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2 June 2014

I have written about manners and courtesy before, but here goes again. I probably am older than most of you who will read this. I learned manners and courtesy from my Mother and in school. Yes, in those days, even teachers drummed manners into their students.

Some time ago, I expressed my displeasure with people who talk on their cell phones in our elevators. I don’t want to know your business, personal or otherwise, and think it is rude for you to force me to listen to it on the elevator.

As to elevator courtesy, I recently had two incidents on elevators in Chelsea Towers. Both times, I was waiting for an elevator on the first floor; a young couple was also waiting. I don’t know whether they were married, partners, sister and brother, or just friends. As the elevator doors opened, I stepped back to let the young woman get on the elevator, but the young man got on the elevator in front of both of us. What is wrong with that? Well I have to go back to my upbringing. I was taught “ladies first.” Those young men should have allowed the women to get on first. But I also was taught to respect my elders. I am 88 years old; all of these young people should have motioned me to get on first. I think this is a good example of why my Asian friends are appalled at the disrespect most Americans show our elders.

I see other incidents of discourtesy when using a laundry room. I am sure everyone has some kind of timing device available in his or her apartment. When starting either the washer or dryer, I set my timer to go off at the time the washer or dryer cycle will finish.

Unfortunately, not everyone does that. I have seen residents leave their laundry in the machine as much as 3 hours after the washer or dryer cycle has ended. It should be easy for every resident to set the timer on the kitchen stove or microwave oven for whatever amount of time it takes to complete the wash/dry cycle and remove his or her laundry.

Every resident should know that if his or her laundry is not removed promptly and another resident wants to use the washer or dryer that is still occupied, that resident has the right to remove the completed laundry and put it on the counter. I don’t like to do that, but I have had no choice if I want to get my laundry done in a timely manner. I usually wait 15 or 20 minutes and if the offending laundry has not been removed, I remove it.

Related (Humourous?) Remark

A married couple had an argument. They decided to go for a drive in the country to cool off. While passing a farm, the husband noticed some mules, goats, and pigs grazing in a pasture. He sarcastically said to his wife “Relatives of yours?” The wife smiled and said “Yes, in-laws.”

Why should we recycle?
2 March 2014

Recycling conserves energy, saves precious natural resources, reduces pollution, and reduces the amount of trash sent to County disposal facilities. By recycling you contribute to a cleaner, healthier environment and a more sustainable economy.

Recycling 1 ton of paper saves 17 trees.
Most breakfast cereal boxes are made of recycled paper.
Plastic is made from natural gas or petroleum.
A typical glass container is made up of as much as 70% recycled glass.
Energy saved by one recycled aluminum can will power a TV for three hours.
Manufacturing aluminum cans with recycled aluminum uses 95% less energy than using virgin ore.

Kinds of paper products that can be recycled: Milk and juice cartons, and drink, frozen food, produce, breakfast cereal and other paperboard boxes (be sure to remove the plastic insert from cereal boxes).

Newspapers, magazines, catalogues, hard and soft cover books and telephone books; office and computer paper and most other clean, dry paper. Shredded paper also can be recycled, but should be put in a paper bag.

DO NOT RECYCLE: Packing material like Styrofoam. Some egg containers are made of Styrofoam and should not be recycled, but most grocery store brand egg containers are made of pressed paper and can be recycled.

Do not recycle photographic or carbon paper; foil gift wrap, paper towels, napkins, and tissues and cardboard boxes contaminated with food. If you get food from a fast food restaurant, chances are the paper-based container should NOT be recycled; DO NOT RECYCLE PIZZA BOXES).

Boxes, regardless of size, should be broken down before being put into the recycle bin.. If a box wont fit into the recycle bin in the recycle room, take it to the cardboard box dumpster on the terrace level. DO NOT LEAVE IT ON THE FLOOR IN THE RECYCLE ROOM.

The signs on the cardboard dumpster on the terrace level say boxes should be flattened before being put in the dumpster. Many residents ignore those signs and throw their un-broken-down boxes in the dumpster, resulting in an unsightly overflow of boxes in the dumpster. Some of these boxes contain items delivered to CT residents by mail, UPS, or FEDEX, so the name and address of the offender is detectable. I think CT management should check the dumpster for those boxes, identify the offenders, and instruct them to break down boxes in the future.

Some Humorous Observations (and some things to reflect about)

WHY didn’t Noah step on those two mosquitoes?

WHY do we order double bacon cheeseburgers, double orders of fries….and diet cokes?

WHY do we park our automobiles worth many thousands of dollars in the street….and keep our junk in the garage?

WHY do drug stores make us walk all the way to the back of the store to pick up our prescriptions, but keep cigarettes and candy near the front door?
Right of Way in the Chelsea Tower Parking Lot
21 December 2011

When I am leaving the Chelsea Tower parking lot or entering it from Westlake Terrace, I often meet another vehicle either entering or leaving. Usually, there are an awkward several seconds for me and the other drive to decide which driver has the right of way and which driver should give the right of way?

This could be dangerous so I asked one of my friends, who also happens to be a Captain in the Montgomery County Police Department for the right answer. When I was writing for the Chelsea Tower newsletter a few years ago, I discussed this same issue and find that the answer I gave then (which I ascribed to common sense) is the correct legal answer: The vehicle entering the parking lot from Westlake Terrace has the right of way.

I wish every driver residing in Chelsea Tower would read this and act accordingly. Too often, I find that the driver leaving our parking lot glares at me aggressively, trying to force me to stop and let him or her leave before I enter. Of course, as I said in my article about this in the newsletter, common sense and courtesy should prevail. My purpose in writing this is to explain who is legally in the right.
Common Courtesy doesn't appear to be so Common
21 December 2011

I believe one of the things wrong in the world today is that there is so little class―so little refinement. I see it every day in the way people dress to go out in public, and in the way they conduct themselves in public.

So many people are rude―or if they are not rude, they appear to have no sense of courtesy or manners. Any time I hold a door for a woman, or do any other act of courtesy, I say “Chivalry is not dead; it’s gasping for breath, but it is not dead.” Twice very recently, I was waiting for an elevator in Chelsea Tower along with a young man and his wife or partner. When the elevator arrived, I stepped aside and put my arm out to indicate that the lady should get on first. The male (I obviously can’t say ‘gentleman) got on the elevator in front of both of us.

If he wasn’t being rude, he was at least discourteous and unmannerly to both of us. He should have let the lady get on first―a gentleman does that. But I am 85 years old and he also should have stepped back to let me get on first. To make matters worse, neither of them thanked me for letting them get on ahead of me..

Another example of rudeness, or lack of courtesy and manners, is the number of men who don’t uncover their heads in elevators and restaurants. When I see that, I wonder whether or not their parents taught them anything about good behavior in public. I admit I learned it many years ago, but I learned it both at home and in school.
28 October 2010

Chelsea Tower Condominium used to have a bimonthly newsletter. For about a year, I wrote most of the newsletter but stopped doing it a couple years ago. So far, the Board has not found a replacement for me. I think some means of communication between management/the Board and residents is essential. I have made this point several times at Board meetings.

At the last Board meeting, I again broached the subject with the Board President with special reference to the fact that so many residents are not following rules with respect to recycling--many residents don’t know what is and is not recyclable in Montgomery Count because no one is telling them. (Not all areas follow the same rules on recycling.) The President suggested that I prepare something that can be printed and made available to all residents on recycling. I am working on that now and I hope it is available soon. One rule that was emphasized by the Montgomery Co. Recycling office is: If you are not sure that a particular item is recyclable, DON’T put it in with what is recyclable! It costs too much for someone to remove the non-recyclable things from the recyclable.

I also volunteered to be on the Lobby Committee—mainly because the Board established that Committee at my suggestion. I am the resident who decorates the lobby for holidays. I appreciate the many nice things residents have said about my decorations.

This past summer, there seemed to be a long time between holidays so I bought some artificial flower garlands to put on the ledge, also a few ribbons to put on the center post, in the lobby. I understand that some residents complained about those decorations so the Board told me to remove them. Actually, someone stole the ribbons I put on the center post before I could remove them. I also understand that some residents said those decorations were “tacky.” I disagreed and apparently so did many other residents because I received compliments from so many of you. But my floral decorations were tacky? Look at our lobby. It is plain and dowdy; I think the lobby itself is tacky.

My objective in serving on the Lobby Committee is to try to improve its appearance not only for current residents but also for prospective renters and buyers whose first impression of Chelsea Tower is what our lobby looks like.

08 March 2010

There are a lot of people living in this building and all of us use the elevators just about every day. I have noticed recently that folks get on the elevators while talking on their cell phones.. I have no desire to be a party to their private phone calls, whether or not I understand the language of their conversations. But I have no choice but to listen to them.

I think it is extremely rude for any of us to talk on our cell phones while riding on elevators. If you receive a cell phone call while waiting for an elevator, either tell the person calling you that you will call back after you leave the elevator, or just don’t get on the elevator until after you have completed the call. Same thing if you receive a cell phone call while on an elevator: tell the caller you will call him or her back after you get off the elevator.

Have some consideration for your fellow residents. PLEASE--don’t force us to listen to your personal or business phone calls.


The department store clerk asked the female customer “Cash, check or charge?” As she fumbled in her handbag looking for her wallet, the clerk noticed the TV remote in her handbag. The clerk asked “Do you always carry your TV remote in your purse?” The shopper said “No, but my husband refused to come shopping with me and I figured this was the most evil thing I could do to him legally.”

Gordon’s Musings

14 March 2010

When I worked on the Condo Newsletter, I wrote about recycling every issue. At least on the 8th floor, use of the recycle room got pretty good. Now, however, I see numerous violations of recycling rules. Frankly, I sometimes wonder whether or not everyone in the building can read--or can read English.

Basic recycling rules are posted on the walls of the recycle rooms. From time to time--usually after I have noted consistent misuse of the recycle room on the 8th floor, I have posted notices in that room citing specific violations.

Ever so often, someone on the 8th floor tries to recycle coat hangers. Coat hangers ARE NOT recyclable. If you want to get rid of coat hangers, put them in your regular trash.

Plastic containers are recyclable ONLY if there is a number in a small triangle on the bottom of the container. NO OTHER PLASTIC IS RECYCLABLE, and this includes plastic bags. Someone on the 8th floor puts recyclable soft drink cans in plastic bags in the recycle bin. That means that someone has to remove the soft drink cans from the plastic bags and dispose of the bags. I also have seen cardboard boxes that were wrapped in plastic in the plastic recycle bin. Someone has to remove the plastic wrap from the boxes. All of that costs us money.

I think all boxes, regardless of size, that are put in the recycle room should be broken down. Unbroken down boxes take up too much space in the recycle room and let’s face it: someone has to break them down, too. I won’t even mention the huge boxes that are not broken down but are put in the dumpster on the terrace level. That is a disgrace. I think residents who don’t break down boxes put in the dumpster are just plain lazy.

Come on, residents! Follow the rules on recycling. It will save us money.

Gordon’s Joke of Day, Week or Month

Teacher: Class, what do you call a person who keeps on talking when people are no longer interested?
Student: A teacher.