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Friday, August 29, 2008

Rise and Shine

Good Morning Obama-ites, McCain-ites and all those in between!

Well, the Democrats had their say this week and the Republicans get the stage next week. After all the speeches, rhetoric, commercials and analysis, do these big gatherings really change anything?
What it comes down to in November is which candidate each individual feels can make their life a bit better. Who can get us out of this economic spiral? Who can get us out of the wars quicker? Who can pull a nation of depression into the sunlight?
Probably not one person, but one person has to be the face. Whether you vote for Obama or McCain or Nader or that guy who sold everything he owns to walk the country in hopes of getting on the ballot, it will only matter if we hold them all accountable.
Which, I guess, is the way it's supposed to work anyway.
Speaking of working, this is Labor Day weekend. Labor Day was started in 1882 as a way to celebrate "the social and economic achievements of American workers," according to the Department of Labor.
Now, like Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Columbus Day, President's Day, the Fourth of July, Arbor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas, it's an excuse for stores to open early and stay open late, which, of course, keeps everybody working. The more you buy, the more can keep working, so, in a way, it all works out in the end.
Then again, maybe we should be like this guy:
See more funny videos at Funny or Die


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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Rise and Shine

Good Morning out there in the great wide world!

So, Bill Clinton upstaged the rest of the speakers at the Democratic National Convention last night. Really, though, is that much of a surprise. Here's a former two-term President who knows how to work the crowd. When you watch somebody who is the best doing what they do best, it's exciting.
By the way, skeletons and all, Bill Clinton would probably be elected president again if he could run.
Anyway, the Phillies head to Chicago after coughing one up against the Mets last night, the Eagles are fleecing their fans with another 'preseason game' against the Jets tonight and Larry Mendte is still floating around out there somewhere.
So, how is all that connected. Well, it's not really, but as we approach Labor Day weekend and the unofficial end of summer, the mind does wonder.
Funny thing about summer. In June, when school is done and the children are at home, there seems to be a long stretch ahead. Then comes July and you're into some kind of routine which usually means keeping them occupied so they don't want cookies all day (it doesn't work).
Now, we are a week away from school (Yeah, I know, some have already started) and the routine shakes up. After getting all the school supplies, there's a small amount of nervousness and excitement running through their little bodies. It can lead to some intense times where the energy level leaps through the roof. Of course, they are getting up around 6 a.m. and ready to go. Let's do everything we did all summer in the next two hours, then start over.
Somehow, though, when school does start, getting them up by 7:30 a.m. takes a lot of work. That is, until the weekend, when the summer returns.
Speaking of the mind wondering and back to school:


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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Rise and Shine

Good Morning bleary-eyed Phillies fans and the rest of the Wednesday warriors!

It appears Hillary Clinton did a good job of rallying the troops at the DNC Tuesday night. Like her or hate her, Clinton has a lot of good ideas. She also has a lot of baggage (not the least of which is her husband), so, in the end the change needed in this country may not have come with Clinton on the ticket.
Still, comparing Clinton to Michelle Obama is like, sorry for the old cliche, comparing apples and oranges. Clinton is presidential in her mannerisms and her language. Obama, well, what was that look on her face while Hillary talked? Disdain? Jealousy?

Speaking of jealousy, if you get a chance check out the pirate exhibition ongoing at the Franklin Institute. From a cool opening to the maze of pirate memorabilia, sunken treasure and information, it's well worth the price.
The Franklin Institute has come under some heat over the last couple of years because of the 'special' exhibits they have added.
From Titanic to King Tut to Star Wars and, now, Pirates, the Franklin (as it now wants to be called) has been able to re-invent itself.
Those who run the Franklin have found out a way to keep people interested even as their entertainment budget has shrunk. They've been able to do this by, heaven forbid, throwing caution to the wind and changing. Which is something other industries (ahem, newspapers, ahem) are scared to do.
Twenty years ago, the Franklin could rely on repeat business and school trips to keep things alive. Now, it needs to stay fresh.
You can only walk through the heart so many times before it becomes just a heart. You can see pirate treasure over and over and still see something different.


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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Rise and Shine

Good morning everybody reading in Denver and those back here at home!

Speaking of Denver, there's some kind of big party going on there or something. Apparently some political party is celebrating everything about itself. Oh, that's right, it's the Democrats and they are holding their convention to announce Barack Obama as their candidate for president. I forgot, we've been beat over the head for a year about the election.
By the way, is Sen. Ted Kennedy 'change?' Hasn't he been around forever?
While that's neither here nor there, well, actually it is there, but here we are reacting with ... a shoulder shrug?
Until Obama and Republican John McCain stand center court at Chester High School and really tell us where they stand on issues such as education and the economy it's all hot air.
Of course, those debates won't be held at Chester High School, or any other high school for that matter. They will be held in television studios as we have the premier of the big fall reality TV show.
On this side of the Schuylkill, though, the big thing over the next two days isn't happening in Denver, it's going on at Citizens Bank Park.
The Mets are in town, so Phillies fans can show their true colors and berate anybody wearing a New York T-shirt.
Way back when, I never believed Philadelphia fans got the rap they deserved. Then I attended the Eagles/Rams playoff game on New Year's Eve 1989. The Eagles jumped out to a lead and the fans were beside themselves, yelling and screaming at Ram fans to go home. The Rams came back to take the lead and one Rams' fan had the audacity to stand up and cheer.
Security had to come down.
Bankee Stadium may be different the next two nights, but, just to be safe, don't cheer for either team.
Then again, maybe the election is more exciting:
See more funny videos at Funny or Die


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Monday, August 25, 2008

Rise and Shine

Good Morning Bidenites and everybody else out there!

So, Barack Obama's first reality show came to an abrupt end Saturday morning when he sent out the text message naming Delaware Sen. Joe Biden as his running mate.
Which, goes to show you, the more things change the more they stay the same.
Hasn't Joe Biden launched several failed attempts at running for president? Not that Obama made the wrong choice or whatever, but just asking.
By the way, just and observation, but Biden is being positioned as a normal guy who takes the train to work. Of course, his millions sitting in the bank and huge mansion in Delaware kind of pales in comparison to the 'normal' people. Don't paint it what it's not. These are extremely wealthy people asking for our votes. Obama, Biden and John McCain won't ever worry about heating their house or getting enough food on the table for the family.
You know, just saying.
By the way, the other reality show starts tonight in Denver with the Democratic National Convention.
Years ago, the exact year fails me in my advancing age although McCain could probably remember, cable television wasn't in every household.
A neighbor was turning 65 and his family hosted a big birthday party. While he appreciated all the gifts, from golf clubs to gardening tools, he was happiest to get cable TV into the house.
The reason? That meant he would have something to watch other than the political parties tell us who we should vote for. Instead he was able to watch the Phillies and probably get just as frustrated.
Well, there's always this:
See more funny videos at Funny or Die


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Friday, August 22, 2008

Rise and Shine

Good Morning to those Vice Presidential candidates and the rest of us!

So, the news is out. Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama has decided on his running mate. He knows who it's going to be. The person probably knows it too, since Obama and his VP choice are going to have a rally in Illinois Saturday.
Republican John McCain, meanwhile, probably knows as well, but he's not talking either.
Is it just me or does this sound like some kind of ridiculous 'American Idol' ripoff.
Call it 'Vice Lock: Who's No. 2.' The talking heads on all those 'news' channels will no doubt debate the choices from now until November. Why not just get a panel of three down-and-out celebrities (I'm thinking Larry Mendte, Steve Guttenberg and Britney Spears) judge a talent contest. Then we can call in the 800 number and vote for our choice.
Thanks to our 24 hour news cycle these days, every little bit of something is news. We are waiting on the edge of our seats for ... something. Anything. Give us news. Give us information. Who is Jennifer Aniston dating?
Anyway, just a quick thought: The names most mentioned for the Dem's VP are Delaware Sen. Joe Biden and Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh.
Hmmm, so much for change. Look, I understand these candidates have to cross pollinate between parties and philosophies, but maybe it is time to blow the whole thing out of the water.
Maybe Walter Mondale was so far ahead of his time we couldn't appreciate it.
Just my two cents, though.
Meanwhile, check out this clip. The movie looks pretty funny. Can't wait for it to come out on DVD:


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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Rise and Shine

Good Morning everybody!

I think, after all these years, I've figured out the Olympics. It's not the athletic competition, it's not the views of other countries and it's not the crazy fans that pack the arenas. No, the good thing about the Olympic games is watching some sports you don't get to see every day.
First was swimming, which, except for the most chlorine filled, doesn't get a lot of pub except during the Olympics.
Then there is track & field, which is the best Olympic sport that gets no recognition in the U.S.
To see Jamaica's Usain Bolt blow away the competition in the 100 and 200 dashes was electrifying. So what if he's a bit cocky, when you have the kind of speed that's never been seen before you can be cocky.
Really, when you break it down, track & field is sports at its most basic. It's you against me. Who is the fastest? Who can jump the highest?
There is drama in every event, but, except for Olympic years, we here miss most of it. With few exceptions, track events aren't shown on television. They are never covered on SportsCenter and, in the day of shrinking newspapers, don't get a lot of daily print.
Contrast that to Europe, where track rivals soccer (football?) for popularity. A few years ago the U.S. hosted the world championships. Every great athlete in every event was on the track in Los Angeles. Every event was exciting. Every event was dramatic.
Of course, unless you were in Paris watching it on a 12-inch television, you would never know.
Speaking of Olympics, this is pretty funny:


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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Rise and Shine

Good Morning August warriors!

There was a bloodletting over the past couple of days and it had nothing to do with the war in Iraq.
For those of you who follow such things, those in control of the newspaper business claim to be having tough times. Their stock prices are shrinking, advertising is shrinking and now the size of staff is shrinking.
Gannett Co., the publisher of USA Today as well as hundreds of other newspapers around the country, announced last week it was laying off 600 workers. It is the biggest mass-layoff in newspaper history. The powers that be then let everybody think about it through the weekend and past Monday before starting to alert those let go Tuesday. The layoffs continue today. The company claims everybody will know by Thursday.
Gannett years ago left Pennsylvania, but still owns the News-Journal in Wilmington and the Courier Post in Cherry Hill, N.J. There are various reports of numbers of layoffs at both sites.
The bottom line isn't that the newspaper industry is changing. We all know that. The fact you found this blog just shows how much it has changed. Thanks to the Internet, we are quickly (faster than most would like to believe) becoming an hourly news source instead of a daily news source.
If we don't have the information about the fire down the street as it happens, we are behind the eight-ball. Those quick hits can serve as a jumping point into the newspaper, where you can get more information, photos etc.
Gannett, though, found a new way to put a knife into the heart of the industry. If the company feels it needs to lay off people, fine, but don't make them stew. Don't make them work four days while not knowing if they are going to be escorted out.
Gannett was on the cutting-edge when it comes to news gathering. They were the first to use color on daily pages. They were the first to use information graphics as a way to enhance a story. They were the first to really jump into the Internet.
At the heart, though, they are heartless. Once the managers decide you have been there too long, they make life miserable. Now, they make life miserable for everybody.
It's just another corporate owner who doesn't really care about those in the trenches.
Treat people with respect.
Just remember: Karma's a bitch.


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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Rise and Shine

Good Morning everybody!

So, a couple of members of Philadelphia City Council are talking about introducing a bill that would ban the use of cell phones while driving.
Even though I am guilty of this on too many occasions, it's about the best new law that could be introduced.
Talking on the phone while driving is dangerous. Even though you might be concentrating on the road, you are also concentrating on the phone call. Unless you have some kind of double brain, there's no way you can concentrate on both.
Too many accidents are caused by people not paying attention to where they are driving. People blow by stop signs, red lights and school zones.
We are already a nation of bad drivers. Cell phones just make it a little worse.
If you need to make a quick call or answer the phone, wait until a traffic light is red. Do it quickly, then drive. Or, pull over to the side.
A number of years ago before cell phones became as necessary as air, you had to walk to a pay phone or knock on a door if your car broke down. While cell phones can make us safer in those situations or if you are in some kind of accident, they can also cause trouble.
Just drive. Get where you are going and talk.


If you have any cool links or photos, send them along to onlinedelco@gmail.com

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Rise and Shine

Good Morning Mr. and Mrs. Delaware County and all the ships at sea!

Well, here we are a week and change into the Summer Olympics and, once again, the 'experts' have been proved wrong.
For weeks leading up to the Games, there was a lot of talk about how everything is going stale. How the Games don't matter any more. How China can't possibly get everything together.
Well, thanks to Michael Phelps, some inspired gymnasts and ferocious back-and-forth in beach volleyball, the Games do matter.
When you see an 9-year old boy, who up until last week had never seen a swim meet or a volleyball game, jumping up and cheering, well, the perspective has changed.
There are always going to be be nice stories and the like at the Olympic games. When you have so many people gathered in one spot for an extended period of time, that's bound to happen.
While the national pride thing may not be as big as it once was, it's fun to watch the best athletes in the world going head-to-head.
With Tiger Woods not playing golf, the Phillies doing an August swoon and the NFL not really relevant for a couple of weeks, the Olympics have really saved the summer.
It's not only fun to watch, but really inspiring.


If you have any cool links or photos, send them along to onlinedelco@gmail.com

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Friday, August 8, 2008

Rise and Shine

Good Morning weekend warriors and all the ships at sea!

Well, we made it through another week. Sometimes, a week seems like it's going to stretch on forever, then, suddenly, it's Friday. Hey, at least the heat's been turned down this week. We have that.

By the way, today is also the start of the Summer Olympics in Beijing. Check out our Olympic page here. You can get all the latest stories, medal count and everything else Olympics.
Sometimes I wonder if these big events hold any meaning any more. Sure, there are lot of exciting moments. There are great stories. Not so great stories and stories in between.
You have amazing feats of athletic prowess and major failure that tugs at our heart strings.
Still, with the oversaturation of events, maybe the Olympics are being pushed into the background. For the next few weeks, some of us will watch and others will ignore everything.
I think the best things about the Olympics is how much we can learn about other cultures. Even though most of us will be watching everything on television, we will get a glimpse of China. We will see the food, the people and the views. That's where we can learn. A lot of us don't know much about the Far East. We know what we hear and the Americanized version of the food, but we don't really know what it's like.
Maybe the Olympics aren't about sports, but about opening our eyes to a larger world. More exists outside a small bubble.
Or maybe not:
See more funny videos at Funny or Die


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Thursday, August 7, 2008

Rise and Shine

Good Morning everybody!

Hope you are enjoying this nice weather outside. It's been a lot less humid than we are used to, but, I'm sure we'll be back. Remember, it's still only August.

It doesn't look like we are ever going to get away from reality TV. What was started as just game shows like 'Price is Right' and 'Who wants to be a millionaire' has dominated the networks over the last few years.
So, after catching the finale of 'I survived a Japanese Game Show' over the last two nights, my brain has obviously been turned to mush. That means I have some ideas to pitch to TV execs looking for the next level in reality TV.
n 'Sleep, Don't Sleep': Get a group of 10 people and have them watch an NHL game. The last one to fall asleep wins tickets to the Super Bowl. The rest get tickets to another NHL game.
n 'Don't Bet On It': A bunch, maybe 12, are broken up into two teams. They then have to lay down bets on NBA games. One group bases their picks on the teams playing, the other on the referee assignments. The winning team gets to cash in their first-class airline tickets for coach and keep the difference.
n 'Cable Olympics': One person has DirectTV, the other Comcast. The winner is the first person who doesn't have to get another job to afford the rate increase. The winner gets a gym membership. The loser gets coupons for McDonalds.
n 'Delco Olympics': Take six teams of two and give them a map of Delaware County. They then have to race through, getting a new tattoo at every spot. The winner gets a house in Chichester.
n 'The Paper': A panel of former newspaper executives judge people on their ideas on how to save the medium. Actually, there are no winners. Before announcing the finalists, the execs pull out golden parachutes and leave the building. Leaving everybody else to figure it out.
n 'Guess the Weather': One person looks at the computer models, the trends, the winds, the clouds, the angle of the sun, the moon's brightness, the temperature of ocean water, the amount of ice in the polar regions, the number of sea turtles at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, the color of clown fish and the amount of cows sitting down, then gives a prediction. The other looks out the window. Whoever is closest to the actual weather gets a replaces Larry Mendte at CBS3.
Then again, maybe I'm behind the curve:


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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Rise and Shine

Good Morning sleepyheads!

Hope everybody was able to survive National Underwear Day. I'm sure those parties were something ... to see.

August, meanwhile, is apparently some sort of National Idiot Month. As proof, I give you these stories:
This guy somehow justifies calling 9-1-1 twice because his Subway sandwich wasn't up to snuff
A Florida man was arrested after stealing the shirt off a McDonald's drive-thru worker
Apparently everything is fine in Iraq because a new KFC has opened
People camp out to be first to get new pair of Nikes

Now, that's just a few, but as society continues to go downhill, maybe we need a blast from the past:


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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Rise and Shine

Good Morning fans, non fans and Jeffrey Lurie!

OK, now we've gone and done it. We've officially walked over to the other side, gone from sublime to ridiculous (or something like that).
Today is, apparently, National Underwear Day.
Daily Times Features Editor Jim Atkins alerted us to this phenomenon after reading a nicely worded press release.
Believe it or not, this isn't just a trumped up 'holiday' by a company to sell underwear. Well, actually it is a trumped up 'holiday' by a company to sell underwear, but, hey, we need something to break up the summer.
As a part of National Underwear Day, a survey was done that is either eye-opening or disturbing, you make the call.
Here are the facts according to the highly scientific survey:
n Men prefer their significant others where briefs (34 percent) over thongs. Ironically, it's the same as women (54 percent);
n One in five women ages 18-34 admit to going commando at least once a month;
n 61 percent of women admit they have at least one pair of 'granny panties' in their underwear drawer;
n 50 percent of women surveyed admit that wearing their favorite underwear makes them feel special and more confident.
There are the highlights. For some reason, men's preferences weren't addressed in the study. I guess Fruit of the Loom is just Fruit of the Loom.
So, enjoy your underwear today. Embrace it. Wear it. Or not, if that's your thing.


If you have any cool links or photos, send them along to onlinedelco@gmail.com

Monday, August 4, 2008

Rise and Shine

Good Morning gentle readers!

So, to take a break from anything serious this weekend, we rented the movie 'School of Rock' with Jack Black. It's kind of funny, definitely better than other Jack Black movies. It's also kind of neat to think all the students in the movie played their own music. Something many adult 'groups' can't do any more.
Here's the trailer

Anyway, as part of the DVD extras was a music video for the 'big' song in the movie.
Sitting there with the boys, we suddenly realized they had never seen a music video.
Now, if you grew up in the 80s or 90s, music videos were as much a part of the song as the actual music.
MTV was the biggest thing on the air, but when they actually played the music. Everybody who was anybody had a music video. You couldn't sell the album or single without the video.
They started out simply as the band or singer just jumping around and such, but quickly became mini-movies. It culminated with Michael Jackson's Thriller, which actually was a movie.
I remember when that video was going to debut. We all rushed home from school to check it out. MTV scheduled it to run every few hours and you knew the schedule.
So, since MTV no longer actually shows videos, it was off to an Internet search for some of those classics. Now, they are funny and the boys were bored after about five seconds.
They didn't get the point. Questions came about the meaning of the video, what they were doing in the video, why they weren't playing the music, etc.
I guess the time has passed. Still, it was fun while it lasted.
Here are a couple of good ones:

and:


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Friday, August 1, 2008

Rise and Shine

Good Morning weekly warriors!

Well, it's getting ugly out there and I'm not talking about a Saturday night Phillies game.
Politics, thanks to our new (improved?) 24 hour news cycle, the Presidential election is already mucking up the mud.
Over the last few weeks, Republican John McCain's campaign has run commercials saying Democrat Barack Obama is to blame for the gas-price problem. Obama has also been compared to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. Today, there's a story with McCain saying he's taking the high road and not talking about race.
Obama, in a speech, said the McCain Team was using his race and name to sway voters. Here's what he said: "You know, 'he's not patriotic enough, he's got a funny name. You know, he doesn't look like all those other presidents on those dollar bills, you know, he's risky."
McCain's response: "Barack Obama has played the race card, and he played it from the bottom of the deck. It's divisive, negative, shameful and wrong."
Really, though, this election is all about race. It's also about economics, war, gas prices, taxes, home ownership, schools and everything else that runs our lives.
So, let's not pretend we are something we are not.
If Hillary Clinton was going to be the Democratic candidate, the other side would be putting out stories about how she should stay in the kitchen and take the children to soccer practice.
Don't take the high road when you're already in the sewer.
By the way, most aren't really interested in politics anyway:


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