Thursday, October 28, 2010

Harrisburg... worth the trip

ArtHouse Lounge in Harrisburg

I have to admit, Harrisburg was never exactly at the top of my "must tour" list. And I also have to admit that I still haven't seen a lot of it -- unless you count many, many trips to the Farm Show.
But during my time off last week... after that infamous trip to Shippensburg (see earlier blog post) ... I visited with that great friend who hosted us at his Cape Cod home this summer. Yes, that's his summer home; the rest of the year he lives just outside Harrisburg.
So after Ship, we stopped in for a visit and he treated us to an evening in the 'burg... a lovely walk along the river, a visit to an art show opening, a stop at another gallery called the ArtHouse Lounge, great food at a terrific place called Carley's and a truly dangerous stop at a huge used bookstore -- dangerous only because of how many books we already own.
But it was a great evening and I was pleasantly surprised at how lively and appealing Harrisburg turned out to be.
Definitely worth a return visit!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


The Reporter streams from the press at Journal Register Offset, in this photo by online editor Chris Stanley.

The Reporter building, in early times...

Oct. 27 marks the 140th birthday of The Reporter!!
Don't miss our special section in print today -- and the great features on our website,

And, as a special treat, here's a song, just for The Reporter, from my boys...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ship happens

Some people say you can't go home again. Maybe they're right, at least where college is concerned.
I took last week off from work, and during that time I paid a visit to my alma mater, Shippensburg University. I hadn't been there for quite some time, and knew that a lot of things would have changed.
But at least I got one question answered. For some time, I've been wondering what the heck the new mascot was.
Back in the olden days when I was a student there, we were the Red Raiders and had as our mascot an Indian. That was replaced and now the logo is, I suppose, a pirate ship -- or some type of ship. It's annoying, to say the least. There's no ocean anywhere near Shippensburg.
In the alumni magazine, I'd see the new mascot from time to time, and figured it was a parrot. It was wearing a pirate's hat, after all.
But when I picked up The Slate, the student newspaper, last week, the mascot actually had a column -- and set the record straight. It's a red-tailed hawk, called Big Red.
OK... a hawk in a pirate's hat.
Yeah... Anyway, I had quite the time finding a shirt in the bookstore that didn't have a ship on it.
Finally found one that's quite fitting. It simply says: Ship Happens.
Yes, it does.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Join the 4-H alpaca fun!


As someone who always loved being a member of 4-H and, later, a leader, the news about a new club starting up caught my attention.
And it's not something you hear about every day -- its a 4-H Alpaca Club.
Yes, I've seen them at the fair as "displays" and we have a few farms in the area that raise alpacas.
Now youths will have a chance to work with them first-hand and, perhaps, they'll start raising them as well.
The first meeting of the club is set for this coming Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the 4-H Center on Route 113, Skippack. You don't have to own an alpaca to join, and there will be some alpacas at this first meeting.
Kids are advised to "come dressed for work around the animals" and it sounds like this should be both fun and informative. You have to be 9 to join in and there is an enrollment fee of $30, but it sure sounds worth it.
So consider joining up! Just call the 4-H Office at (610) 489-4315 and give your name, age, birth date, address and phone number. They can help you with the rest of the details.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thank you, Rotary of North Penn

I had the privilege to speak to the Rotary Club of North Penn this week -- and I thank the group for both the opportunity to address them and for putting up with my not-so-polished public speaking skills.
I told them I usually limit my "public speaking" to making sure the reporters have plenty to do each day.
But since this is the 140th anniversary year of The Reporter, it was great to share some tales of our history and where we are headed as a multimedia news production known as The Reporter.
And it was interesting to chat with some of the members -- thank you, Mayor Andy, and all the others who were so hospitable.
Before I left the meeting, I was handed a little brochure about the club, which is always interested in having new members join.
The slogan, "Service Above Self," is something this club obviously takes to heart. For example, they are involved in Lansdale Day and Bike Night, working to raise funds for local organizations; they hold holiday fruit sales to raise money for scholarships; help to sponsor international student exchanges; and sponsor local high school juniors to attend a leadership camp.
The members also take part in other community activities and, in 2005, raised $225,000 and built the bandshell in Whites Road Park, Lansdale, to commemorate the Rotary centennial.
This only brushes the surface, but you get the idea.
And if interested in joining this group, you should check their website at
Thanks again, Rotary, for inviting me to speak. It was a great evening.

Friday, October 8, 2010

people you'd like to leave for dead...

Pet lovers, beware.
This story from The Associated Press is enough to make you cry, vomit and then hit the trail to track down these horrible fiends.
Read and see what you think:

The Associated Press
Police in Vineland are searching for whoever left four kittens to die inside an abandoned pet carrier in a parking lot.

The dead animals were found by a bus driver taking his afternoon break.

A veterinarian who examined the kittens, which were about 6 to 8 weeks old, says they probably died of hypothermia from the recent cold and rainy weather.

Animal control officers found an empty, upside-down food bowl, along with urine and feces inside the pet carrier.

Police tell The Press of Atlantic City that the animals had no visible signs of injury, but were soaking wet.

No video surveillance footage of the parking lot could be found.

miss you, john

It's hard to believe that John Lennon would have turned 70 on Oct. 9 ... and that he's been gone so long.
But a thank you to Google UK for this Google Doodle in his honor.
Thanks for the magical mystery tour that you added to my life, John; I hope the world you're in now is the one you imagined.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Cancer: Tell us about it

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and it's also the time when The Reporter publishes a special section on those both fighting and surviving cancer.
We are dedicating this section to people who have fought all types of cancer. We know some of the stories may not have ended happily, but the fight is no less important.
So we hope you will be willing to share your stories about battling and/or surviving cancer, and also allowing your photos to be taken.
You can share stories about yourself, a family member or a friend.
Please send your stories to with the words “cancer story” in the subject line, by Oct. 8, or mail to Nona Breaux, The Reporter, 307 Derstine Ave., Lansdale PA 19446.
Please share you stories so that others will know they are not alone in this courageous fight.