Sunday, September 28, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008

See Sarah speak

Here it is, the Sarah Palin interview with CBS News' Katie Couric.
No comments from me; you decide what you think.

Monday, September 22, 2008


OK, if you haven't ever been to Montgomery Theater in Souderton, get there before Oct. 4, while "Reefer Madness: The Musical" is still being featured.
This is such a great production -- as they are billing it, a "Joint" production between Montgomery Theater and 11th Hour Theatre Company.
If you were fortunate enough to see that horrible 1936 anti-marijuana film, "Reefer Madness," you are in for even more of a treat at the theater when you take in this riotous parody of that old black and white cult classic.
This cast is absolutely top-notch... there is just nothing bad to say here. And understand, I'm no theater critic; I just know when I've had an absolute blast!
The tale of little Jimmy Harper and Mary Lane will have you laughing, clapping and singing along to the tune that gets stuck in your head... "Reefer Madness! Reefer Madness!"
The choreography, makeup, costumes.... oh, you just have to go enjoy this one for yourself.
Jesus is not to be missed, either. Heck, all of these performers were one toke over the line.
This little theater outdid itself by pairing up with 11th Hour... Check it out and see if you don't agree!
But please, folks, leave the little tykes at home. This is NOT a children's production.
It definitely IS a crowd-pleaser for anyone with a sense of humor.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ah, that family lore

SENECA ROCKS -- My dad and his family lived behind "the rocks" for quite some time.

My dad grew up in West Virginia. In the hills of West Virginia. In a time when the economy and opportunities were even worse than they may be in certain parts of the state today.
Naturally his family didn’t live in a grand house or have the basic amenities that we enjoy today.
And apparently he knew a family that didn’t care about the appearance of their home or surrounding property.
The family’s name was Helmick. Obviously I never knew this family; never met anyone from this family.
And I’m sure there are many people with this name who are neat, meticulous individuals who take great pride in their homes, however humble they may be.
By all accounts from my dad, this particular family did not fall into that category. They didn’t pull weeds or keep the grass at a livable level; perhaps chickens roamed free; maybe there were a few too many dogs taking up residence there.
I don’t know if there were any rusted-out vehicles on cinder blocks (doubtful, because of what they would have cost back then) or upholstered furniture sitting on the porch (again, doubtful, for the same reason).
But their home must have left a lasting impression on my dad, because if he came home from a few days of driving the tractor-trailer and he wasn’t satisfied with the way the yard or our small farm looked, we’d always hear, “It looks like the Helmicks live here!”
Sometimes I wished I could travel back to the mountains and actually see their place, just to see how we measured up.
But we’d hear it a lot.
Too many weeds in the flower beds or garden: “It looks like the Helmicks live here.”
Grass that had grown a bit too tall: “It looks like the Helmicks live here.”
Toys or other debris that hadn’t been cleaned up: “It looks like the Helmicks live here.”
You get the idea.
The phrase became an inside joke in the family, still used to this day, when things have gotten a bit out of hand in the “general appearance” category.
It popped into my mind just this week, when my daughter and I took delivery of a “new” couch and chair (well, new to us).
That meant that the behemoth that she had bought used several years ago for $20, on sale! — hey, have you ever seen an 8½-foot-long couch, not a sectional? — had to make way for the “newer” residents.
It wasn’t an easy or pretty endeavor, but we finally got “old blue” out the door and off the deck.
There it sat, in the yard, like some oversized, bloated patio furniture. Well, that’s being kind.
But the night was cool and the moon and clouds were beautiful. And we were exhausted.
So we sat down on the couch (which will be heading to the trash eventually) to rest a bit and enjoy the evening.
“Now I know why people keep their old couches on the porch,” my daughter said, settling into her beloved sofa.
“Yep,” I replied. “The Helmicks will be here any minute.”

Friday, September 12, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Today is Sept. 11, and we can all remember where we were seven years ago when the unthinkable occurred.
As a journalist, I was right here in the newsroom, watching in horror as the fate of the second plane was presented live on CNN, so soon after the first tragedy. And soon the other horrors evolved.
I don't need to add to what everyone is saying and thinking today, but please take time out to remember those who lost their lives that day, those who risked their lives to try to save others, those who had to persevere after losing loved ones in this tragedy.
And remember how the country rallied so valiantly in the days, weeks and months after the attack.
Count your blessings, offer thanks, offer prayers -- and hold your family tightly to you.

Allentown Road dangers

Commuting down Allentown Road was a challenge this morning.
First there was the stupid young man who decided it was a GREAT idea to motor down Allentown Road in Franconia Township on a 4-wheeler to get to the fairly new produce store along the roadway. This was shortly after 6:30 a.m., so it wasn't totally light. Traffic was busy and no, this kid didn't have lights on the 4-wheeler.
Not that that matters. It's ILLEGAL to ride these things on the road.
Here's a thought -- WALK next time.

Then, a bit further down the road, I was almost slammed into by an obviously inattentive driver in a black Xterra. Luckily, since I was stopped at the red light at Fretz Road, there is a left-turn lane there and he was able to nose over into that lane to avoid my car. I guess having my lights on AND having my brakes on wasn't enough to alert him to the stopped traffic.
At least he turned right at the intersection of Forty Foot and Allentown, where I turn left, so I didn't have to worry about him again.
Here's another thought -- wake up and pay attention to your driving. Next time there might not be an "out" for you.



we're all sick of it.
what's the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? gee, could it be lipstick?
what can you put on a pig, but it's still a pig? gee, could it be lipstick?
Just ask Sarah Palin (question 1) and Barack Obama and John McCain (question 2 -- yes, they BOTH said it).
And just WHAT does any of this have to do with the important issues facing our country?
Nothing to do with the economy, the war in Iraq, the environmental problems we face, energy woes....
everyone needs to get back on message, back to the issues we need to address.
Both parties.
We don't need pitbulls, hockey moms or lipstick-wearing pigs.
So please, give these silly diversions the kiss-off ... NOW!!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

hole in the head!

OK, just when you think TV can't get any worse, along comes this gem... Hole in the Head.... er... Hole in the Wall.
I could only take a few minutes of it, but apparently the goal is to contort your body into the same position as that hole coming toward you in the moving wall. If you make it, you get a point; if not, into the drink you go.
How much more mindless can TV get? I mean, even the conventions were better than this.
And to think we PAY to see this kind of junk ... cable, the dish, you name it. They charge us to become brain dead.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Lighten Up

Tiny Dog Has Been Barking Nonstop For 6 Years

OK, everyone is angry because of the Souderton Area School District teachers strike.
So just to be silly, here's a video designed to make you happy, if you're a cat "parent."
Hey, maybe if both sides of the strike were locked in a room with this dog, the strike would be over sooner!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day dreams

Here it is folks, Sept. 1 ... Labor Day. And no, I'm NOT in the beautiful Vermont pictured here. I wish that I were. Heck, it would be nice to be anywhere relaxing for, oh, say about a month.
But this is the real world; the real economy. Not some "reality" TV show.
That doesn't stop me from dreaming about Vermont, or looking at photos or browsing the Internet.
I'm not complaining. I've been to Vermont many times.
And, like many of you, I'm cutting back in many areas these days.
But I hope you'll all have a great Labor Day. It's a beautiful day... get out and take a walk. Study the clouds for hidden "pictures." Eat some watermelon. Do something silly. Laugh at yourself. Be kind to someone.
Enjoy your holiday.