Friday, July 31, 2009

put down the cell phone!

This is just a "thank you" to the woman who nearly plowed into me Thursday afternoon at the corner of York and Cannon avenues in Lansdale. Yes you, the person speeding and chatting on the cell phone.
You managed to slam on the brakes when you realized I DID NOT have a stop sign and was in the intersection. But even I couldn't believe it when I saw you fly through the red light moments later at Valley Forge and Whites Road ... still on the phone!
If you don't care about yourself or other drivers, at least consider those kids you had in the back of that black SUV.
P.S. This goes for all drivers.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

sad day for eagles fans

OK, I can't claim to be a true blue, er, green Eagles fan. I do usually watch the games with a bit of pleading, I don't understand football all that well and it's frustrating to see the Eagles lose.
But I always admired Jim Johnson, even with my limited gridiron knowledge.
So my sympathies go out to his family, friends and Eagles fans at his passing.
First the Phils lose Harry Kalas; now the Eagles lose Jim Johnson.
A sad day indeed.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Another loss...

The North Penn/Indian Valley region is losing another company -- this time it's Visteon in Worcester Township. Some people may remember it as Ford Electronics or one of its earlier presences in the community.
But, by year's end, the plant is to be shuttered and about 300 people will be out of a job.
This has been coming for some time; in fact, one story from The Reporter's files from 1995 told of 120 workers to be laid off at the Ford plant, bringing a loss of 370 jobs for the year.
In that 1995 article, it noted that the Ford plant had ranked fourth in The Reporter's Top 100 list of the area's largest employers for the year, having 2,300 workers.
Another one bites the dust. More area people without jobs.
A sad time indeed.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

a moment of silence...

Ah, the tiny dog that everyone loved during its much more than 15 minutes of fame has gone on to roam in greener pastures. What a sweetie, this little dog...

According to an AP report:

Gidget the Chihuahua, the bug-eyed, big-eared star of 1990s Taco Bell commercials who was a diva on and off the screen, has died. She was 15.

Gidget suffered a massive stroke late Tuesday night at her trainer's home in Santa Clarita and had to be euthanized, said Karin McElhatton, owner of Studio Animal Services in Castaic, which owned the dog.

Although she was hard of hearing, Gidget was otherwise in good health up to the day of her death, eating well and playing with her favorite squeaky toys at the home of trainer Sue Chipperton, McElhatton said.

"She was retired. She lived like a queen, very pampered," McElhatton said.

Gidget was found at a kennel and wasn't show quality, McElhatton said; she had an undershot jaw and huge ears.

But Gidget knew she was a star, McElhatton said.

"She was a prima donna, basically. She absolutely knew when she was on camera," McElhatton said.

In a 1997 Taco Bell television commercial, Gidget was seen as a male dog who, through the magic of special effects and a voice actor, proclaims in a richly accented voice: "Yo quiero Taco Bell" — Spanish for "I want Taco Bell."

Viewers were charmed. What was supposed to be a single ad became a campaign that ran from 1997 to 2000.

The ads made the Taco Bell mascot wildly popular, although they provoked criticism from activists who accused them of promoting Hispanic stereotypes.

While other Chihuahuas had bit parts, McElhatton said it was Gidget who got the closeups and the quips (Carlos Alazraqui was the voice).

Gidget traveled first-class, opened up the New York Stock Exchange and made an appearance at Madison Square Garden, McElhatton said.

In later years, she did other acting work, appearing in a 2002 commercial for the insurance company GEICO and in the 2003 movie "Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde."

She remained the object of affection after her retirement, going on hikes and beach visits with her trainer. She aged gracefully, and liked nothing more than to snooze in the sun.

"She was like a little old lady. She'd kind of gotten smaller," McElhatton said.

Gidget will be cremated, McElhatton said. Her owners had not decided on a final disposition of her remains. Taco Bell Corp. said in a statement Gidget would be missed by many. "Our deepest sympathies go out to her owners and fans," the company said.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

RIP michael

I'm not of the correct generation -- at least in my opinion -- to be a Michael Jackson fan. I like all types of music, but The Beatles reign supreme in my world.
But when my daughter was very young, she LOVED Michael Jackson. She had a "leather" jacket, she had a Michael doll, she had a Beta -- yes, Beta -- tape of "The Making of Thriller" which included "Thriller," and which we watched a million times.
The Jackson crush faded as her musical tastes evolved drastically, but there was still an admiration for much of his work.
And, besides, Weird Al had lampooned a few of his songs, so that made it even better.
So with that history, perhaps I should understand what the heck is going on right now.
I don't.
Michael Jackson's memorial service is today, but you know that won't be the end of it.
I get that there is much controversy over his death, but should that really rate him all of this?
At the risk of being killed, I have to say no.
He WAS a remarkable talent. He could sing and he could dance.
I feel sorry for him because of the lack of childhood and the misery he must have endured.
But I still don't get all of this wailing and gnashing of teeth.
I was devastated when John Lennon was murdered.
And I mourned George Harrison's death as well.
But at least dignity and respect were the hallmarks of their passing.
Not a media event that, undoubtedly, will become part of the movie/spectacular that's in the works and that will ultimately rake in even more money.
I feel sorry for Michael in many ways.
I just wish people would let him rest in peace, instead of deifying him.