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Good Morning everbody. Check here for your wake up call every day. We will have updated traffic, weather and few fun things to get you through the morning.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Rise and Shine --- Holiday showings

Good Morning and welcome to the day before the day before the day before the night before Christmas!

While it can be kind of annoying and frustrating, it is good to see this time of year has the same magic to children today as it did in years past. Sure, there are economic troubles, too many guns on the street, too many people losing their jobs, but you can forget all of that by looking into the eyes of a 4-year old as she talks about Christmas.
They can't wait. They annoy their parents. The Santa Claus threat holds no water. So, just try to enjoy it all.
Speaking of enjoyment, turn on the DVD player and check out this list of good holiday fare to calm everybody down until the big day. (Don't look for 'It's a Wonderful Life.' Boring, boring, boring).
5. Elf. One of the funniest and funnest movies to watch about Christmas in a long time. Sure, there are the usual messages about hope and Christmas, but, most of all, it's just goofy. Goofy enough for parents and children.

4. Christmas Carol (1999). Sure, there are classic versions. One staring George C. Scott is a favorite of everybody. Billy Murray's take in Scrooged was fun, but this television version starting Patrick Stewart is very entertaining. It doesn't bog down too much in the back stories. It just gets to the ghosts and shock.

3. Ernest Saves Christmas. Many believe this is the best Earnest movie ever made. Others think Jim Varney should have won his long-awaited Academy Award. Many, many others have never seen it. While parents can catch a nap, the little ones will be glued to the screen. That, of course, is the whole point.

2. Miracle on 34th Street. Sure, it's a bit dated. Sure, you are asked to make a huge stretch out of reality. Sure, it's a big commercial. Still, it's all about Christmas. Really, what more is there?

1. Christmas Vacation. Before heading over the relative's house for dinner, or welcoming them into your home, check out the trials and tribulations of the Griswold family. What's the best test of a movie? Well, if you can watch it 1,000 times and still laugh at the same jokes. That's 'Christmas Vacation.' Remember when Clark was locked in the attic as the family went shopping. Sure, there was the sappy family video, then, bang, somebody opened the door and he fell right out. Classic.

So, head to the malls. Get that last bit of shopping done. Then, pour some tea and enjoy. You can thank me later.
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Friday, December 19, 2008

Rise and Shine --- Going off the Deep End

Good Morning and hopefully we can get through all this rain this weekend!

It was the biggest mystery of our time. Who was 'Deep Throat?' The well-connected informant who let Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward in on the Watergate scandal. It brought down President Richard Nixon and change the face of newspapers forever.
Well, 'Deep Throat' was a man named Mark Felt, the FBI's second in command during the 1972 break-in.
The stories broken by the Post and movie 'All the President's Men' brought many of us to this industry. We had a chance to make real change. We could dig down deep and expose all kinds of wrong-doing.
Sure, not everybody would get a story like Watergate fall into their laps, but it was the possibility that got us going.
In the 36 years since, the newspaper business has changed. In case you don't know, newspapers are in trouble. Every company who runs this media is facing a major downturn. There are layoffs, some so severe many daily newspapers are having trouble putting a product on the street.
The two Detroit newspapers earlier this week announced they were going to stop home delivery except on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. There would still be a paper on the newsstands, but it would be scaled down, chasing everybody to the Web sites.
While many are predicting the death of the newspaper industry, that's where we are going to survive. Sure, there are thousands of Web sites out there to get any kind of news you want. You can find out where Britney was last night and the score of every soccer game in the world whenever you want. You can probably even get live updates of Brad Pitt picking his nose if you wanted.
Anyway, the thing about newspapers is they have survived for hundreds of years, through lean times, although maybe not as lean as now.
The bottom line is the best place to get news about your town is through places like Those bigger places aren't going to let you know if there is a tax hike in Aston or if the county council is going to approve land grants to build a stadium in Chester.
Somehow, in some form, this industry will survive. We just have to figure out how to do it.
So, we'll keep looking for the next 'Deep Throat' and making sure you know what's going on.

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Rise and Shine --- Put one foot in front

Good Morning and there's that four-letter word in the forecast for the weekend!

That's right, the weather forecasters are falling all over themselves to make sure we know the dreaded four-letter word that can be said on television (again, and again, and again).
S-N-O-W may come down Friday. Then it may come down again Sunday. Then it may come down again Tuesday. Then, well, it is winter after all. One of these days it will snow.
This is, of course, all contingent on the storm track. If it moves north, we get nothing. If it moves South, we get nothing. If it stays exactly where it is, we get, well, probably nothing.
It doesn't stop everybody from running out to the stores to stock up on bread and milk, though. Now, can anybody explain why we need to stock up on staples once the snow starts falling.
Oh, that's right, we need to eat a lot of toast after shoveling. Toast and jam. MMMM. Sounds good right now.
Speaking of winter, here's the best thing to do in the snow:

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Rise and Shine --- Bad money

Good Morning and welcome to the final lap before the end of the year!

It's kind of interesting that we are bailing out banks, bailing out Wall Street, bailing out the auto industry, but we aren't bailing out the exact place where a slow economy is being felt the most. We are not bailing out all of us.
Those who have thrown away millions on bad ideas and investments are getting a clean slate, meanwhile more and more of us are getting laid off. We are falling behind on bill payments. We are scaling down everything from food to travel.
Not that any of us are looking for a handout, but, hey, how about a little over here. The only way to get the economy back on its feet is to put the money in the hands of those who can actually use it.
Give me a million and I'll buy a new car. If everybody purchased a new American car with some bailout money, the auto industry would be saved. If we took that bailout money to the department stores, retail would be saved. Those retailers would then be able to advertise, which would save newspapers. If we got some bailout money and paid off the credit cards, the banks would be saved. If we grabbed some cash and traveled to New York City (or wherever), the hotel industry would be saved.
So, giving the money to those who would use it would be a win-win situation.
Of course, that would make too much sense. So, we keep throwing money on bad ideas, to bad people.
Then again, that doesn't get anybody elected, so our government will keep doing what they are doing. We will keep losing jobs, houses, cars.
Welcome to the cycle:

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Rise and Shine --- Of lights and shoes

Good Morning and welcome back to the only place where the weather is always sunny!

No wonder everybody is getting sick. We have a brutally cold and windy day, followed by a 60 degree day, followed by a cold, windy day, followed by a mild day. You can't get out from under that cold or flu with this kind of mix.
Speaking of mix, there are a lot of wonderful holiday light displays out there. Unfortunately, one of them isn't at Rose Tree Park. Ever get the children all fired up to see something, get close, see it and then rush through without stopping.
That county light display is, well, disappointing. That's about the strongest word you can use here without getting in trouble. A van full of Christmas-overdosed children didn't even want to stop to see the lights.
By the way, what's the deal with the wood cutout of the courthouse? Never once has a child told their parents they wish, just once, to be able to see a mock up of the county courthouse with some lights thrown on trees.
If this is the best our tax money can pay for, I, for one, say forget about it.
Better yet, why not just ask some county residents for ideas.
Take a ride around the check out the display on Chester Pike in Norwood. That's impressive with a talking Santa Claus, skating penguins and a real holiday feel.
Get in the car and check out the house on Drexel Ave. in Drexel Hill. During Halloween they had the best display around and have only done about the same for Christmas.
The county should get back to finding a better way to spend our tax money than just throwing some lights up on trees. It's rather embarrassing.
Speaking of embarrassing, this is worth one more look:

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Rise and Shine --- Too many songs

Good Morning and welcome to the week before the day before Christmas!

Seeing the crowds at the mall this weekend, it appears all that shopping is getting done. Now, it's time for the real shoppers to gear up.
By the way, speaking of malls, that holiday music they play is getting a little out of hand.
I know there is a need to cater the type of music depending on the store or area of the store. For instance, you wouldn't play the Jackson 5 in the lingerie department. Just like you wouldn't play Jay-Z in the jewelry department.
Still, over the weekend, I actually heard a hip-hop version of Gene Autry's 'Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.' Basically, somebody took the perfectly fine version of the song, added some beats in the background and remixed it to make the song sound like Gene Autry crossed with Chuck-D.
The result was an assault on the ears. Several people were seen running and screaming from the area when the song reached mid-point. Not saying the song sent them running, but, you know, you never know.
Another thing, cut down on the Jackson 5. Yeah, we know they have a Christmas album, but it's the same song over and over again. Besides, it's still kind of creepy to hear Michael Jackson as a child after we know what's happened since.
So, just stick with the classics. They don't bother anybody.

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Rise and Shine --- Winter rambling

Good Morning and welcome to the weekend!

Remember, there's only two weekends left to finish your Christmas shopping. Of course, the auto industry's shopping appears over after this Senate vote.
Speaking of shopping, it amazes me the way some treat things in stores.
I've seen some people actually pick up a sweater, not like the color, and throw it on the floor. These are probably the same ones who complain when they find something they want on the floor as well. How about treating merchandise like you already own it? Wait a minute, maybe they already are. Never mind.
By the way, I remember just a few years ago there seemed to be a Christmas show on television every night. You could always count on a Mickey Rooney Santa Claus to calm down the children and convince them to be good.
This year, though, we are being shown things like the High School Musical Christmas or the Naked Brothers Band Christmas or Jim Carrey's Grinch. In other words, real junk.
Just put on our old stop-motion classics. Rerun The Year Without a Santa Claus, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Jimmy the Crazy Elf, and the like over and over again.
In fact, why doesn't Comcast (the cable gods) just put together a Christmas show channel for the holidays. Get rid of one of the home shopping channels. After all, we are being told nobody is spending money anyway.
Not to ramble, but we can forget about Nostradamus, global warming was predicted years ago:

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Rise and Shine --- Test time

Good Morning and get ready to sharpen those No. 2 pencils!

In the spirit of 'No Child Left Behind' instead of something interesting (at least to me), we have a test:

1. Rod Blagojevich is:
a. A disgraced politician
b. The new lead singer for Chicago
c. A way for conservative talk radio to get some December ratings
2. Britney Spears new album is:
a. A work of art
b. Junk
c. When is Chicago going on tour?
3. The annual deer hunt at Ridley Creek State Park is:
a. A good way to get Christmas dinner on the table
b. A necessary evil to help the ecosystem
c. A way to make many feel superior for a few hours
4. The $14 billion auto industry bailout is:
a. A good way to make sure more jobs aren't loss
b. A good way to make the rich richer and for politicians to line their pockets
c. A necessary evil so U.S. auto makers can move more operations to Mexico without dipping into their own pockets
5. The announced layoffs by the NFL are:
a. A joke, right?
b. A sign of how bad the economy really has become
c. A way to make the rich richer
6. The Yankees signing of pitcher CC Sabathia for $161 million over seven years is:
a. Obscene
b. A good move by a franchise trying to get back to the playoffs
c. The exact thing that's wrong with pro sports
7. Eagles coach Andy Reid is:
a. A bad coach who got lucky a few times
b. A genius
c. He's good, but he's no Charlie Manuel
8. George W. Bush is:
a. A dope
b. Clueless
c. One of the 'Original Kings of Comedy'
9. Reading Gil Spencer:
a. Makes my mind turn to mush
b. Opens up my brain to a whole new way of thinking
c. Makes me yearn to listen to Chicago's first album
10. The annual Winter Concert at Garrettford Elementary was:
a. A fun time during a stressful season
b. A good way to bring the community together
c. Makes me want to pick up a violin

Extra Credit: After watching the following video, explain how the world is not going down the river without a boat:

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Rise and Shine --- Sugar plums?

Good Morning and welcome to the two-week call until Christmas!

As a child, I used to get excited about Christmas. The thought of gifts was one thing, but it was also the thought of cookies, no school and getting up late that was just as exciting. Well, the gifts helped enhance that, but, still, December was always a blur of activity.
I never really noticed if my parents got a little stressed out or not. There is a much different perspective as a child. In that world, everybody has sugar plums dancing in their heads all the time.
How could they not? I mean, there were lights, trees, singing, cards, cookies. Come on, it's Christmas!
Now, seeing it from the opposite perspective, I want to apologize to my parents.
Children, especially one 6-year old I know well, are always a little bit hyper. They are solely focused on the moment. They want it now, can't wait five minutes and get angry if you force the wait.
This December, though, has been a real eye-opener. As the air turned colder, the hyper volume has turned up. The walls can't contain it. Schools can't contain it (just ask the teachers). The world can't contain it.
It's not the endless crowds and shopping that get parents crazy this time of year. No, it's the amped-up level of excitement. It's the constant sugar high. It's the running and yelling that puts them over the top.
Then again, it's Christmas. So, OK, go nuts. Just don't tell your mom or teachers I said it was OK.

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Rise and Shine --- Watching the Wheels

Good Morning and bring on the rain!

Hey, at least it won't be snow. Snow's great, but not in the middle of the week when we all have to get to work.
Well, it was 28 years ago today most of us woke up to the news that former Beatle John Lennon was shot and killed in New York City.
It was announced during the Monday Night Football game between the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots. Even the biggest football fan would be hard-pressed to remember much of the game after Howard Cosell broke in and announced: "This, we have to say it, is just a football game, no matter who wins or loses. An unspeakable tragedy confirmed to us by ABC News in New York City: John Lennon, outside of his apartment building on the West Side of New York City, the most famous perhaps of all The Beatles, shot twice in the back, rushed to Roosevelt Hospital, dead ... on ... arrival."
That really signaled the end of an era. The hope and fights of the 1960s were officially over. We were entering a strange new world of the 1980s where greed would overtake all. Forget hope and love, make the most money possible and step on whoever you can.
Now, maybe we are finally seeing what is so wrong with that thinking. We are in an economic crisis that is going to take decades (at least) to get out of. People are losing their jobs at an alarming rate. Houses are in foreclosure. The government is forced to step in to save the auto industry.
Sure, we have a new administration coming in to run things, but it's going to take more than that. It's going to take all of us to get out of the rut.
He might have been killed 28 years ago, but we need John Lennon's music more than ever. On his last album is a song called 'Beautiful Boy.' It contains the line: "Life is just what happens to you, While your busy making other plans."
Take a step back. See what's important and start by fixing your world and that will lead us all to a better place.

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Monday, December 8, 2008

Rise and Shine --- Lighting the tree

Good Morning and welcome to the Arctic!

Actually, the Arctic is probably a little warmer, but at least we know penguins would feel right at home here today.
Well, speaking of cold. Sunday was tree night at the house. We loaded everybody out in the van, made a trek to a tree place (this year on Township Line Road) and picked out a tree. Got it tied to the top, then slowly drove back.
Growing up, I can remember getting a live (cut?) tree every year until about first grade. I distinctly remember one tree falling on my father, but that's probably something he's blocked out of his mind.
After that, it was artificial all the way. We pulled the tree down from the attic, loaded on the fake branches, the lights and, finally, the ornaments. It was all done safely in the comfort of a heated house.
Still, it was artificial. It looked like Christmas. Sounded like Christmas. Felt like Christmas. But, with the exception of the one year I had the great idea to buy scented ornaments (which, smelled more like cat pee than pines), it didn't have the Christmas smell.
So, luckily the smarter one in our house insists on the real tree every year. Sure, it's a pain to find the right one, then a bigger pain to get it situated correctly in the stand, but, waking up this morning, the scent was all through the house. It just made everything seem fresh. Now, it's time for the Holiday season.
If only that darn shopping could get done...

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Friday, December 5, 2008

Rise and Shine --- Let the lights shine

Good Morning and welcome to the sun rise!

While waiting for school to let out yesterday, the talk was about Holiday lights and time and weather. You know, the usual small talk.
Anyway, it got me thinking. Sure, it's cold outside, but those twinkling little lights sure make things seem a little better. Think about it, you are out driving, the heat hasn't kicked in yet and, out of the dark, comes a house with some snowflakes blinking at you. Suddenly, all is right with the world (really?) thanks to a couple of lights.
Our decorator prefers white lights to the multi-colored versions. Either way, it makes things look nice.
After pulling out the lights the other morning and spending most of the next two days untangling the strands, then finding out which stupid light is causing half the strand to go dark, the lights started to go up.
Sure, it gives PECO a nice boost in December, but it still is a little bit of sunshine in an otherwise dark winter.
So, let in the light.
By the way, you can upload a photo of your lights to our online slide show, just CLICK HERE and upload the photo or video. You can also e-mail the photo to
Come on, get in the spirit. Give us the shots so we can all drive by.

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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Rise and Shine --- Music not to my ears

Good Morning and welcome the the yo-yo world!

It's finally official: I have no idea what everybody is listening to these days.
Years ago, mainstream music started to become static to my ears. The songs all sounded the same and there was no new ground being broken.
Now, after seeing some of the Grammy's Live announcement last night, I'm starting to wonder about all the noise.
Here is the list of nominees:
Record of the Year: "Chasing Pavements," Adele; "Viva La Vida," Coldplay; "Bleeding Love," Leona Lewis; "Paper Planes," M.I.A; "Please Read The Letter," Robert Plant & Alison Krauss.
Album of the Year: "Raising Sand," Robert Plant & Alison Krauss"; "Viva La Vida," Coldplay; "Tha Carter III," Lil Wayne; "Year of the Gentleman," Ne-Yo; "In Rainbows," Radiohead.
Song of the Year: "American Boy," William Adams, Keith Harris, Josh Lopez, Caleb Speir, John Stephens, Estelle Swaray & Kanye West (Estelle Featuring Kanye West); "Chasing Pavements," Adele Adkins & Eg White (Adele); "I'm Yours," Jason Mraz; "Love Song," Sara Bareilles; "Viva La Vida," Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion, & Chris Martin (Coldplay).
New Artist: Adele, Duffy, The Jonas Brothers, Lady Antebellum, Jazmine Sullivan.
OK, now, except for Robert Plant, I don't think I've really heard any of these 'singers.' Not being much of a fan of Led Zeppelin, you can take Robert Plant as well.
Adele? Coldplay? Leona Lewis? M.I.A? Are these all on the next episode of American Idol?
All of our music is now digitalized and re-mixed to the point that the singers don't even sing any more. Sure, there are a few, but there's no warbling of Jim Morrison or John Lennon. Heck, when was the last time anybody heard from Chris Robinson or Adam Duritz. Whatever happened to the Fugees?
Now, I'm sure that's what parents were saying in the 1950s when that 'Devil Music' started being played out of the radios. Maybe times do change. Maybe your ears and brain don't work together all the time. Maybe it's just a bad streak for the music biz.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Rise and Shine --- It's not even winter yet?

Good Morning and welcome to the next day in the long, drawn out winter!

Seriously, does anybody really like winter. Sure, it looks nice when the snow falls the first time. There are opportunities to build snowmen, have snowball fights and go sledding.
After about an hour, it's back inside to warm the toes. While children get hyped up when the snow starts coming down, what do they do the rest of the time.
The last few years, the snow has been light and the cold has been, well, cold. So, that means a lot of time spent in the house, in the car or in the mall.
Three big problems there when it comes to children.
1. After spending one day in the house, they want to spread out. The walls aren't going to keep them from going crazy. They jump into the walls. Jump off the couch and are only calm when watching television or sleeping.
2. In the car, the space is even more cramped. They touch, make faces, make noises and do whatever else they can to annoy each other. And that's the good times. Factor in winter coats and more traffic and there's a recipe for disaster.
3. When you get to the mall (or any store really), it's like a giant playground. They slide down the aisles. Knock off the clothes (as I've recently found out, most adults do this as well) and cause a headache. Then they want a new toy or a candy bar or something, anything. Just buy something.
So, the bottom line is we can have winter for about a month. Let's keep using our cars, spray cans and anything else so winter can be limited to mid-December until mid-January.
Then bring out the sun. The flowers. The beach chairs.
What? It's not even winter yet? That doesn't start until Dec. 21?
We're doomed.
Well, at least we can watch this to pass the time:

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Rise and Shine -- Searching, searching

Good Morning and welcome to another perfect weather day on the Internet!

So, a report came out yesterday that Britney Spears was the most popular search term used on Yahoo for the fourth year in a row. It was also the seventh time the 'singer' topped the list. What, is it like those who watch NASCAR to see the accidents not the 'athletic' competition?
I don't know about you, but I can honestly say I never typed the words 'Britney' and 'Spears' into an Internet search engine.
There is only one question that comes to mind: Why?
Why would one person, let alone the millions, feel the need to search for all the information on Britney Spears. She became another footnote on the history of entertainment about five years ago. Since then, what?
She married a slacker, had kids, put out some bad music and then used all her money to go crazy. Big deal, we could find out all of that while waiting in line at the supermarket.
By the way, here is the rest of the Top 10 according to Yahoo: WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment); Barack Obama; Miley Cyrus; "RuneScape"; Jessica Alba; "Naruto"; Lindsay Lohan; Angelina Jolie; American Idol.
Here's one reaction to the above list: What in the world of whatever is 'RuneScape?'
Well, apparently it's some kind of online role playing game. At 6 a.m. this morning, there were 41,542 people playing. Most likely they get together to talk about Britney.

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Monday, December 1, 2008

Rise and Shine --- 'Tis the season

Good Morning and welcome to the busiest month of the year!

Anybody who doubts that needs to break down their time and see just how busy they actually are. With shopping, wrapping, decorating, oh yeah, and working, there is barely enough time to breath. We keep hearing about how everybody should just take a step back and enjoy the season, but that's not possible.
It's always run, run, run. Then run some more. We have to get it done. We can't disappoint. We needed to be there five minutes ago and we are five minutes away. The traffic is horrible. The lines are worse. Other people are pushy and rude. Sure, they are smiling, but they are also trying to get the last Wii before you see it behind the Barbies. So, don't dare reach for the Barbie.
Was it always this way? Are we so far into our need for material things we can't just relax, enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and tell stories. Did cavemen fight each other for the pretty rock?
Probably. After all, you can't disappoint.
I do know one thing for sure, though. If we are really in a recession like everybody is telling us, you couldn't tell that over the weekend at the mall. The cars were packed in early and they stayed late. The attacked the stores. Threw things on the floor that didn't fit and overwhelmed the checkout counters. There was a lot of money spent this weekend.
So, you know, if you don't have it already, better get out there soon.
Hey, at least you don't live next door to this guy:

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