Tuesday, April 29, 2008

walkers in the street?

I don't get it. I'm sitting here in my office at The Reporter, glancing out the huge window (that doesn't open ... don't get me started) and I see two women power walking down the street.
Yes, the street.
Yes, there are sidewalks throughout the fine town of Lansdale, but these women were strutting right down the street, where cars are parked on both sides and it's tough enough to get through in a motorized vehicle.
So what's wrong with the sidewalks?
But then again, why walk on a safe sidewalk when you can risk life and limb by walking in the street?
I wish someone could explain this...

Monday, April 28, 2008

Rain ... but no lights

Another Monday morning.
Dark, gray, dreary and raining.
And, of course, far too many drivers out there ... many in gray cars... refusing to turn on their headlights. They blend into the dank day... if only they also would disappear.
I will never understand their stupidity.
They ignore the law and thumb their noses at the safety of others.
How I wish the police would enforce the law and start citing these arrogant, dangerous drivers.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

gas pains

Anyone going to be able to afford to go on vacation this year?
How about being able to afford to drive to work?
As we gallop ever nearer to the $4 per gallon gas price -- which undoubtedly will soon be surpassed -- and then try to afford the food at the grocery store, it does more than give me pause.
Unemployment, layoffs, companies disappearing -- and yes, the newspaper business is right up there -- is enough to keep anyone awake at night.
You try to create a budget that works, and as a single woman, I know that can be a challenge.
But at least I don't have a mortgage or credit card debt. I don't know how young families are managing, or people trying to help their kids through college, or retirees on a fixed income ... well, you get the idea.
Will a new president offer any hope? I'm not counting on it.
But something has to give soon.
That "economic stimulus" check we're all awaiting? Yeah, I can see most people rushing out and buying items to stimulate the economy. That won't pay for many trips to the grocery store or the food we have to buy.
We're in trouble and it's more than a little scary.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

please curb your children

I may get a lot of flak from parents of younger children for this column, but such is life.
This week I met one of my friends for dinner at a local restaurant. We hadn’t seen each other for quite a while so we had a lot of catching up to do.
We may have been a bit of an annoyance at first to our waitress, because after we ordered our drinks (just lemonade and diet coke), we were chatting and chatting, so it was a bit until we actually placed our order.
But since the place was basically empty, it wasn’t as if we were taking up valuable real estate.
It was a fun evening, hearing about the many changes in her life, telling her about the not-as-exciting updates in mine; swapping stories about our jobs and our families; lamenting the economy and the dim prospect of ever retiring as rich women of leisure; and staying away from anything too controversial.
There are always a few sad stories to tell, but we did more laughing than anything else.
We were enjoying catching up and yes, we did get around to eating, when suddenly our haven was rudely interrupted.
It wasn’t another adult patron making some kind of scene or even the restaurant just becoming crowded.
No, it was the dread that envelopes you when you realize unruly kids have landed in the booth next to yours.
I’m not sure which one of us had it worse. My back was to them, but they were in the seat connected to mine so I got the physical brunt of the jumping, kicking and otherwise obnoxious behavior.
But my friend was treated to the visual aspect of their lack of table manners — and any manners in general, really.
Neither of us could escape the audio portion of the evening, with the shrieks, crying and loud back-talk to the mother and grandmother who were accompanying them.
I say “accompanying,” because they certainly weren’t in charge of them or enforcing any rules.
I don’t expect perfect behavior from kids, but come on, there is a limit.
These women obviously didn’t care that the kids were being disruptive and annoying. They didn’t care that other people’s evenings were being turned into an unpleasant occasion.
I guess they just didn’t care, period.
It must have been easier to ignore them than to try to make them behave.
This was a far cry from the behavior my parents expected on those few occasions when we were treated to a meal in a restaurant.
And also a far cry from what was expected of our daughter when she was young.
It’s common courtesy; if your kids can’t behave, leave. Don’t make the rest of us suffer.
The commotion they were causing did prompt us to depart sooner than we might have, but we had one consolation.
After we got past the little darlings I told my friend, “At least we don’t have to go home with them.”

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Puppy mills

I don't understand why people in the Lansdale area don't seem to get the concept of puppy mills and don't understand why people brave the elements to protest at a pet store in the borough.
No, the puppies being sold there haven't done anything wrong. And yes, they do deserve homes.
BUT if you keep buying at places that get their puppies from these crank-em-out, inhumane sites, many in Lancaster County, you just keep creating a DEMAND for the poor pups. And the heartless breeders continue their nasty ways and the poor mothers of these pups are nothing but breeders.
No love, no real care, no half-decent housing.
It's terrible that Pennsylvania is known as a puppy mill state and still no adequate regulations and inspections have been put into place. It gives reputable breeders a bad name as well.
Some people just don't get it.
The protesters obviously do.

Crazy Lansdale

Not that too many drivers in our area seem to be proficient, but on my way home from work today, before I could even leave Lansdale Borough, I was almost smashed into by two people who decided that stop signs didn't apply to them. As I was heading out Cannon Avenue toward Whites Road, at two of the intersections from side streets, the people just flew right through them.
And I don't mean at the posted 25 mph.
Glad I'm getting my car inspected next week to make sure my brakes are in top condition. You really do need to be able to stop on a dime.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

My condolences to the Pifers

My heart goes out to the family of Sgt. James Pifer, who will be honored and laid to rest on Thursday.
It was a shock to get the news last week of his death at the Upper Gwynedd Police Station.
And to hear of the cause of his death -- non-accidental gunshot wound, as it was stated -- hit home.
I lost my husband the same way more than four years ago, as he battled depression.
I don't know what may have caused Sgt. Pifer to take this route, but I know the months ahead, perhaps even years, will be difficult for his family.
My daughter and I found support and comfort not only from family and friends, but also from the Survivors of Suicide support group that meets near Quakertown. There may be others like it in the area.
I don't know the Pifer family, but I hope that there is comfort and solace to be found for them in their grief.
I know some of what they are going through.
And I wish them peace.