Friday, February 27, 2009

It's Beatles Friday!

OK, we're almost at the end of the week.
And, for a Beatles fan, there's nothing better than nonstop Beatles music....
so if you're of a like mind, check out WMGK, 102.9, today, Feb. 27...
The Beatles were voted the top band of all time in their recent poll, so today it's all Beatles, all the time!
And be sure to check out The Reporter as you're listening to the fab four!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

No bridging the gaps

Upper Salford Township used to be an extremely rural township; I know, because I grew up there. When we moved there when I was 4, there were only three homes on my road and in the winter, the kids in the area would sled on the road, starting at the top of the hill where the general store stood and, if we were lucky, we could make it nearly to the Bechtel farm. We didn't have to worry about traffic -- it was basically nonexistent.
That's far from the case today. Trying to get out onto Old Skippack Pike -- oops, someone somewhere along the line renamed it to Old Skippack Road -- can be a challenge; forget about trying to get onto Sumneytown Pike unless you go to the one traffic light in the township.
But some things haven't changed -- no local police, no trash service, no public sewer or water.
And, as of late, fewer and fewer bridges.
I can understand why people are upset about this -- and cannot understand why no one will give in, cooperate and replace the bridge next to the township building.
People are upset and it's more than just an inconvenience. It's a safety issue.
Will their resolve change anything?
One can only hope.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Please seek help

In this Associated Press photo, a dying horse is comforted.

We all know these are tough economic times. And we've all heard stories about people abandoning their pets when they can no longer afford them, instead of turning them over to the SPCA or other rescue group.
Please, if you run into problems, seek help.
Don't let these poor souls, who have done nothing to deserve this fate, starve to death.
Consider this report from the Associated Press:

WASHINGTON, Pa. — Humane officials say they have found several frozen horse carcasses and more than two dozen starving horses on a western Pennsylvania farm.

Washington Area Humane Society Officer Matt Walsh says the farm's owner faces numerous animal cruelty charges. Authorities haven't identified the South Franklin farm owner, who they say abandoned the farm about 20 miles south of Pittsburgh.

Walsh says officers have obtained a court warrant to take possession of 29 horses after getting several calls about their condition.

Authorities were trying to gather hay to feed the horses on Wednesday.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Older, yes. Wiser? Maybe not

Another year older, but not necessarily another year wiser.
At least that’s how I feel lately.
Heck, if I had been truly wise, wouldn’t I have seen the economic downfall about to happen and, therefore, would not have suffered the same fate as most Americans who thought they were doing the right thing by saving and investing for retirement?
If I had truly been “wiser,” wouldn’t all of my money have been hidden in a cave somewhere, safe from the market crash?
And wouldn’t I long ago have chosen a profession that was absolutely recesssion-proof?
These days, that seems to be the teaching profession, where first they make demands when a contract is up. Then, if they don’t like the offer made by the school district, they go on strike.
After that, even if nothing is settled, they do go back to work — sort of. But they refuse to do anything deemed “extra.”
And don’t forget the administrators and their huge salaries. In my humble opinion, I think it would be within reason to trim pay rates during these trying times, freeze any raises and forget any “contributions” into savings plans.
Somehow it seems that too many educators can comfortably live with the viewpoint that even if the very people who pay for their salaries and benefits — namely, the taxpayers — are losing their jobs, having their hours cut or, at the very least, not seeing any raises, they still “deserve” a huge hike in pay but, of course, no increase in what they pay for health insurance.
Obviously my birthday has not made me another year wiser, because I have to admit, I just don’t understand this mindset.
When the entire country — make that the entire world — is collapsing financially, how can a person still think that large raises are perfectly reasonable?
Or that they should be able to pick and choose what they will or won’t do as part of their job?
Educators are supposed to be professionals; these tactics are anything but.
And if they think they are the only ones who work beyond their “official” hours or are the only ones who take work home at night or are the only ones who spend their own money to provide “extras,” I have a news flash for them.
They aren’t.
Most people deserve raises, but realize that, right now, they are lucky to have jobs. So yes, our teachers deserve raises. They have a tough job that few of us would want to do. But we are not playing by the same rules, economically, that we were even a year ago.
As educators, they certainly know our nation’s history, and what sacrifices had to be made when we went through recessions and the Great Depression.
We are there again. We all must make sacrifices. We all must live in the reality of today’s economic turmoil.
It isn’t a matter of what a person deserves to earn; it’s a matter of working together to survive all of this.
And if that happens now, taxpayers most likely would remember those concessions in a positive light a few years down the road when, we hope, better times will return.
I had many teachers I highly respected when I was a student — and I had some who made me wonder why they were still allowed in the school each day.
The same may be true today, but I hope not.
When I watch the way things far too often play out in area school districts, I have to wonder, though.
And I figure that I’m not the only one who may be older, but not wiser.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Associated Press Photo

Enough said?
Just read this...

WILKES-BARRE (AP) — A Pennsylvania woman has been ordered to stand trial for marketing "gothic kittens" with ear, neck and tail piercings over the Internet.
Dog groomer Holly Crawford faced a preliminary hearing Tuesday on animal cruelty charges.
Crawford's home outside Wilkes-Barre was raided Dec. 17 after the SPCA of Luzerne County received a tip that she was marketing the animals online for hundreds of dollars.
A prosecutor says Crawford inflicted pain on the cats to make money. Her defense attorney says state law says nothing about piercing cats and docking their tails. District Judge Paul Hadzick calls it a gray area of the law that needs to be decided by a trial judge or jury.
Charges against a second defendant, William Blansett, were dropped Tuesday after Crawford admitted she was solely responsible for piercing the cats.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

happy day!

It's Valentine's Day and it's my birthday...
so here's my present to all of you.

Friday, February 13, 2009

friday the 13th!

Come on, you don't REALLY believe that hype about black cats, ladders and broken mirrors, do you?
Just look at this beautiful feline ... doesn't that despell those fears?
But, to be on the safe side, maybe you'd better not step on any sidewalk cracks, be sure to throw any spilled salt over your shoulder and be on the lookout for 4-leaf clovers.
I hope the day goes as smoothly as possible for everyone ... and don't forget, tomorrow's Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

here kitty, kitty

It's no secret that I love cats, having a "flock" of them of my own -- who somehow or other found my home and made it their own.
So I thought I would share this heart-warming story from the Associated Press for your enjoyment.
Oh, and the photo featured today is of Keegan, a cat up for adoption through Stray Cat Blues, a local cat rescue that can be reached by e-mail at or call 215-631-1851.
Or check out their web page at
Then perhaps you, too, can foster cats. Or, better yet, adopt several!


BLUE ISLAND, Ill. (AP) — Oddly, the cat woman’s reputation started with a dog.
An ornery purebred Scottish terrier, to be exact.
Tammy Gray had been volunteering at Peoples Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) in Tinley Park for just a few months when she learned shelter staffers wanted to put an 8-week old dog to sleep because they believed it was too mean to be adopted.
“They said he was loco,” recalled Gray, a Blue Island resident.
“I told them I used to have a Rottweiler so I could probably handle him,” she said.
Gray, 50, took the dog home and he quickly bonded with her two other dogs. Outside the confines of the shelter, the canine seemed fine. Gray also discovered that the animal had a broken tail.
“He’d come from a puppy store and someone probably closed the cage on his tail,” she speculated. “That’s why he was so mean - he was in pain.”
Within days, Gray deemed her new pet Oliver a keeper.
That was 2½ years and 110 cats ago.
Since that day in May of 2006, Gray’s home has become a veritable way station for injured cats and newborn kittens who need extra love and care until they’re capable of being adopted.
She averages about 14 kittens at a time, all of them needing round-the-clock attention. The babies need to be bottle- or syringe-fed every few hours. They need to be bathed. And, in some cases, they need to be stimulated to urinate because some don’t know how yet, Gray said.
“You have to be with them all the time,” she said. “I’ve brought them along to Fourth of July events, birthday parties and funerals.”
She’s known as that crazy cat lady to family and friends, she said. Even feral cats in the neighborhood hang out near Gray’s home. She’s had five of those neutered so she could allow them access to her porch.
PAWS pays for the foster animals’ food. Gray gets logistical help from her husband Bill. And all of the animals receive an extra dose of TLC when Gray’s grandchildren come to visit.
Gray has kept a log of all the animals she tends to, placing hearts next to the names of the cats who were especially dear to her and a cross beside the four who succumbed to fading kitten syndrome, a mysterious condition that causes kittens to simply stop eating.
Gray returns the cats to the shelter when they’re ready to be adopted. Some, she realizes, will have a harder time than others in that endeavor.
For example, three-legged Violet survived an encounter with a car engine but would likely have a difficult time finding a permanent home.
“I ended up adopting her,” Gray said.
Despite her 24-7 on-call commitment, Gray says the hardest part of fostering animals comes when she has to give them back.
“I cry a lot of times because they think I’m their mom and they look at me like, ‘Why are putting me in this cage? Why are you leaving me?’ “
But most of the cats get adopted within days of their return to the shelter.
Besides, Gray knows she can’t keep all of them. As it is, she already has six permanent cats, three dogs and four parrots - all in addition to the foster felines.
Why does she do it?
For one, she can. She has training enabling her to administer medical care. More importantly, cats simply hold a special place in her heart.
“My mother never let me have a pet when I was a child,” she offers. “There’s just something about cats — their independence — that I love.”

Monday, February 9, 2009

Calling CSI...

or Jay Leno, or Keith Olbermann...

You gotta love stories like this. And I hope that someone picks this story to give it some national fame -- of the "dumb burglar" ilk, that is.
This guy obviously is not up on all of the strides made in crime scene investigation.
He probably just figured he was adding insult to injury by, well, defecating at the crime scene.
Seems the joke's on him!
Yes, gotta love it:

Note... the story was written by Keith Phucas, who writes for our "sister" paper, The Times Herald...
NORRISTOWN — A Norristown man was arrested for burglary after a biological analysis of feces left at a crime scene matched his DNA.
David Green, 39, has pleaded guilty to burglary and was sentenced to 15 months to four years in prison and two years’ probation by Montgomery County Judge Thomas M. Del Ricci.
Green was implicated by burglary suspect Stephan Bates, who told Norristown police in October 2007 that Green had broken into a house on Haws Avenue a month earlier, and during the burglary, he defecated on the stairs.
Bates said the defendant admitted three other burglaries at the time.
A month after the Haws Avenue break-in, investigators found human waste inside another Norristown residence reportedly burglarized.
During the Haws Avenue break-in, the resident was asleep when Green got into her home through a kitchen window around 12:45 a.m. on Sept. 6, 2007, an affidavit states. The man went through her purse and took $155. While inside, Green ate cookies in the kitchen.
A Locust Street man filed a police report on Oct. 11, 2007, after his home was broken into while his family slept. The thief stole cash and a digital camera.
During the break-in, the resident and his daughter heard a thud on the home’s first floor around 1:30 a.m., but they didn’t get up to investigate. Then at 3:15 a.m., the daughter reportedly heard her dog “crying” and went downstairs.
On the first floor, she discovered a rear window and a door were open and a window screen was missing.
When the family was awakened, they looked around the house and found the intruder had strewn the contents of several of their purses on the kitchen counter and taken the cash.
The family also discovered the intruder had defecated in their downstairs bathroom, leaving discarded toilet paper in the trashcan that was smeared with feces, according to court records.
The human waste was collected and sent off to National Medical Services.
Two weeks later, Green was interviewed by Norristown police and gave a sample of his DNA. As well, DNA samples were taken from family members living at the Locust Street home and sent to the lab.
In March 2008, a forensic biology lab report revealed that Green was the person who had left the fecal matter inside the Locust Street house, and he was arrested, according to the criminal complaint.
Bates, who had been a fugitive for months last year, was captured at his girlfriend’s Cherry Street residence and arrested. Police believe he committed as many as 20 residential burglaries in Norristown in the past two years.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Just have a litter of kids

Want to be rich and famous? Just have a litter of kids.
That seems to be the mindset these days, and you have to look no further than TV shows to have that confirmed.
Jon and Kate Plus 8....
18 Kids... and Counting...
plus numerous shows on TLC about people who have a dozen or more.
And now comes my favorite... as if we couldn't see this coming a mile away.
That wonderful woman who had octuplets ... and isn't married and lives with her parents and already has six kids ... is being pursued by the media and has been offered mega money deals.
Apparently if you can produce a litter of little ones, you're set.
How sick is that?
There is so much wrong with this story about the octuplet mom, it's hard to know where to start. Where are the doctors who facilitated this? Where are their ethics? Did no one screen this women for mental health issues?
The list continues.
Of course, if her big bucks deals fall through, the taxpayers can always support her.
What a sin. I feel SO sorry for all of her kids.
Want to read more?
Here's the AP story:

Associated Press Writer

LOS ANGELES — The mother of the world's longest-living octuplets is being deluged with offers for book deals, TV shows and other business proposals, but has not decided what she might do other than care for her children, her newly hired spokeswoman said Monday.
Hundreds of requests have been made since Nadya Suleman gave birth to six boys and two girls a week ago, said Joann Killeen, president of Killeen Furtney Group, a public relations company.
"She's the most sought after mom in the world right now," Killeen said. "Everyone wants to talk to her."
But Suleman, who remained hospitalized with her children Monday at Kaiser Permanente's Bellflower Medical Center, hasn't decided what she'll do next, Killeen said.
Some of the deals and requests for interviews involve offers to pay, said Killeen and her partner, Mike Furtney. They didn't reveal the amounts being offered, but Killeen noted that raising eight babies will be expensive, adding that Suleman plans to carefully review her financial opportunities.
"Right now her top priority is to be the best mom she can be to all her children," she said. "She's hired us to manage all of those opportunities."
The spokeswoman discounted some published reports that Suleman had already decided to host a television show on parenting. But she added that Suleman does want to eventually tell her story to the world.
"As soon as she's able, she will tell her story, and it's an amazing story," she said.
Suleman, a 33-year-old single mother, already had six children, ages 2 to 7 when she gave birth to her octuplets on Jan. 26.
Her babies continue to grow stronger, the hospital said in a statement Monday. It wasn't immediately known when the octuplets or their mother would be released from the hospital. At the time of the births, doctors said the babies would stay about two months.
"This has been a very good week for the babies. It is always satisfying to be able to see a baby that was born premature continue to get stronger every day," said Dr. Mandhir Gupta, a neonatologist at the hospital.
In seven other documented octuplet births, at least one of the babies died within a week. The world's first live octuplets, born in 1967 in Mexico City, all died within 14 hours.
The first set of U.S. octuplets was born to Nkem Chukwu of Texas on Dec. 20, 1998. A week later, the tiniest infant died of heart and lung failure. The surviving seven siblings celebrated their 10th birthday in December.
Suleman retained the Killeen Furtney Group to represent her last Friday. Furtney said the company, which normally handles corporate clients and crisis public relations, was referred to her by the hospital. Its clients include the Union Pacific Railroad and the California State Parks Department.
Suleman's mother told The Associated Press last week that her daughter has always loved children and had wanted to be a mother since her teens.
Suleman had all 14 of her children through in vitro fertilization, according to her mother, Angela Suleman, who is caring for the other six while her daughter is hospitalized.

Monday, February 2, 2009



Yes, it's Groundhog Day... Feb. 2... the most wonderful, screwy holiday there is.
But, here's the bad news, if you were hoping to start your tanning:

Phil's official forecast as read February 2nd, 2009 at sunrise at Gobbler's Knob:

Hear Ye Hear Ye
On Gobbler's Knob this glorious Groundhog Day, February 2nd, 2009
Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Prognosticator of all Prognosticators
Awoke to the call of President Bill Cooper
And greeted his handlers, Ben Hughes and John Griffiths
After casting a joyful eye towards thousands of his faithful followers,
Phil proclaimed that his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers were World Champions one more time
And a bright sky above me
Showed my shadow beside me.
So 6 more weeks of winter it will be.

.....Thanks, Phil... 6 more weeks of winter won't be TOO bad, as long as you don't send any ice storms our way and keep the snow to a minimum!!
Happy Winter!