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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.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Super Bowl?

Good Morning and welcome to the end of the week!

Well, we made it through again. A week down, a weekend ahead, time to clean the house... or watch the Super Bowl.
Maybe it's all the bad economic news we are bombarded with every day or maybe it's just because the Eagles should be there instead of the Cardinals, but the Super Bowl has a little less luster this year.
In years past, Super Bowl parties were all over the place. It was like another holiday where people got together, ate too much and watched (commercials?) a football game.
This year, with the Pittsburgh Steelers against the Arizona Cardinals, maybe there's a little less interest. Maybe not. If not, here's a quick guide to a Super Bowl party.
A fun way to have a Super Bowl party is to mix food (and drink) from both cities.
This year, you can show your Pittsburgh pride with a case of Iron City Beer (if you can find it) and Primanti Brothers sandwiches.
For those not in the know, a Primanti Brothers sandwich is a Pittsburgh tradition and takes some getting used to. Basically, you get some good, thick bread. Slop some mayonnaise on the the bread, top with some artery clogging Kolbassi, cheese, cole slaw and french fries, then eat. It might not sound good, but you have to try it once. When better than the Super Bowl.
Arizona is a little easier. A bit of southwest cooking, maybe a crab enchilada with spicy tomatillo sauce would work. Add some nachos and a heat lamp and you might even be in Arizona.
So, get the menu together and veg out and watch the commercials.
Speaking of vegging out and commercials, this PETA ad will not be shown during the Super Bowl, although there will be plenty with shooting and goofy people:

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Slip, sliding away

Good Morning and welcome to ice town!

Seriously, is there anything more embarrassing than slipping on ice.
Think about, you are innocently walking down the sidewalk when, boom, your on your back wondering what happened.
After that moment of shock, you don't even feel the pain until checking to make sure nobody saw you. In this world, you probably make sure nobody saw you and shot a quick video as well.
It doesn't matter the time of day or if you are sure everybody is still asleep.
It could be, say 4:45 a.m., you could just be walking the dogs before heading to work. Nobody else is around. It's dark. It's cold. You aren't expecting it.
Of course, you don't start out slipping down. No. That would be too much of a warning. It has to be halfway around when you are letting your guard down.
Turn the corner. Take a step...
Hey, what just happened. Never mind that searing pain in the back or the cut on the hand, was anybody around. Is somebody looking out he window? Are they laughing in the dark?
Hey, it's just ice. I could happen to anybody. Just get up, steady yourself and move on. You can curse the weather if it happens again.
When it does happen again, well, that's time to get laughed at. Slip once, it's the ice's fault. Slip again, it's all yours. Just deal with the pain.
Or go here...

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Snow Day!

Good Morning and welcome to the real winter!

OK, so we finally got some measurable snow. The rain that's falling, though, will cut down on the ability to enjoy it. Now, many may dispute the Global Warming argument, but you can't tell me there hasn't been a change in climate.
It's not like it used to be, as the old man said.
Back in the day (talking way back in the disco '70s) snow storms were real. When the snow fell, it closed schools. The driveways were covered (well, until Dad got out there) and there was plenty of time for sledding.
Those days, the unexpected free day from school, meant the whole day was spent outside in the cold. It didn't matter if it was 10 below it was snow. Build a giant snowman. Build a snow fort. Roll around in the snow. Throw snowballs at Dad as he shoveled the driveway.
The last few years, though, the snow as been light and, like today, when it does snow it's quickly followed by rain. Sure, all those first and fourth graders (and at least one pre-K student I know of) will be out playing in the snow today, but it will be different. It will be wet. There's ice on top. They may not last an hour.
Hey, but at least it looks pretty.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Shortsighted

Good Morning and welcome back!

Now, I don't own a business. I don't have to worry about paying workers. I don't have to find a way to make the bottom line work.
All that is true, so you may argue I don't know anything about business. I do know this, though, if companies keep laying off workers, none of us will survive. You want the country to get out of this economic malaise, then stop putting people out of work.
Just yesterday, nearly 70,000 people lost their jobs. That's just totally ridiculous and, really, shortsighted. You know once the economy does turn around (it always does) these same companies will start making money, but won't be bringing those workers back.
It's just like food prices. When gas was out of hand, food prices shot up because it 'was the cost of doing business. It takes a lot of fuel to get the food to the stores and that's being passed to the consumer."
Well, gas prices fell, but food prices stayed high.
We are not stupid. We can see when we're getting the back-hand.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Big vs. Small screen

Good Morning and welcome back to winter!

OK, now that we are having less and less money for things other than bills and foods, it's time to make choices.
Like movies, for instance. For years, everybody went to the movies. You saw anything and everything. It was a cool experience. You got popcorn, some kind of drink and sat in comfy seats for a couple of hours.
Now, though, even though box office numbers appear high, there are less and less of us going to the movies. Now, instead of paying insanely high prices for the movie, popcorn and drink, we head out to Blockbuster or wait for them to come on television.
For the most part, though, are we really missing anything. Sure, movies like the 'Dark Knight' might look a lot better on the big screen, but they don't lose much on a television screen. Plus, you can get all those cool behind-the-scenes things.
Here are the top five movies of the week. I dare you to try to tell me one of them needs to be seen at the theater.
1. Paul Blart: Mall Cop
2. Underworld: Rise of the Lycans
3. Gran Torino
4. Hotel for Dogs
5. Slumdog Millionaire
Just wait for the video (or cable showing) and you can relax.
Yeah, it's still cool to head to the movies and we all do that once in a while, but with the invention of high-def and DVDs, we don't have to feel so bad about waiting.
Plus, there isn't any need to pay for a babysitter.
Then again, I could be wrong...

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Funny money

Good Morning and welcome to an early spring!

Well, OK, not spring, but a day in the 40s, even one, is much better than day after day in the teens. That is, of course, unless you are a teenager.
Speaking of teens, Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard asked for an $18 million salary for next year in arbitration. The Phillies countered with $14 million. With that kind of funny money (you can't even see that much with 100 games of Star Wars Monopoly), what's the difference between $18 and $14 million. It's like the difference between 18 cents and 14 cents for us normal people.
This is obviously dated, but I remember back when the Phillies gave Pete Rose $1 million to leave the Reds. Sure, he helped bring the city its first World Series champion, but $1 million in 1978 was so unheard of there was some backlash. In those 30 years, we've expanded the price of professional athletes so much it is disgusting. The more teams pay their players, the higher they are going to raise the ticket prices. So, you might root for the Phillies to sign Ryan Howard to a big, long-term contract, but, remember, a lot of that money will come out of your pocket.
Gee, sounds a lot like a government bail-out plan.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Lions, Tigers and Bears

Good Morning and welcome to the outdoors!

Well, there's supposed to be a warm-up over the next couple of days, but, judging by the cold out there this morning, somebody forgot to tell Mother Nature.
Speaking of nature, there have been television shows about people living on their own in the forest for years, eating baked tree bark and surviving among a pack (or den) of bears.
None of them, though, have ever been questioned by bears. Well, maybe in some animation world, but not in the real world. Then again, if you've seen any movies recently, the animation world can be a lot nicer than the 'real' world. Or something like that.
Until you've tried to question bears, or been questioned by bears, though, you can't be a true survivor.
Now, truth be told, there was a bear living in our house last year. He is a quiet bear, though. You can usually placate him with a plate of cookies. His brother, well, it takes cookies and them some. Once again, though, that's another story.
These bears wanted to know all I could tell them about the newspaper business. Being young bears, none had ever really read a newspaper. That's the time we live in. Bears may live in the woods, but they don't take newspapers out there during 'break' time.
So, while trying to protect my picnic basket (dated), I tried to give them a quick overall view of what putting out a daily newspaper is really like.
They asked. I answered. They like the comics page.
Hey, maybe there's hope yet.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Just wondering

Good Morning and welcome to the rest of the week!

No Eagles. No Inauguration. Just questions.
So, I was wondering why those who were standing in the cold Saturday morning (a couple for more than three hours) were told they couldn't stand on the train platform to see the Barack Obama victory train pass. CHECK OUT the video here for evidence. I'll wait.
OK, back? Now, check out this photo sent to the Daily Times from Perry and Pam Artese as the train rolled through Ridley Park.

There seems to be people standing on the train platform. Just wondering, was it really the Secret Service's call in Chester or was it the Chester police passing the blame?
Meanwhile, I was wondering now that the inauguration is over, do those who so fervently supported Barack Obama continue the work? Sure, there is some new hope, but, like the new President said, there is also hard work to be done.
The biggest mistake we will make is expecting the government to bail everybody out. It's not happening. If you aren't making tons of money you aren't getting tons of money. What we have to do is make all those CEOs and big business owners to reinvest in the community, not in there new cars. That way people can get back to work and we truly can have a sunny day.
So, without answers and even though this is not from yesterday, Maya Angelou sums up our world:

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Rise and Shine --- New start today

Good Morning and welcome to Inauguration day!

Maybe it's just me and maybe there is so much more media now, but I don't remember seeing so much coverage of a Presidential Inauguration as we have for this one. Of course, it is an historic inauguration. Maybe that's the difference.
Maybe it's because we are in such a bad state right now, we need somebody new at the top to shake things up. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe. That's for smarter people to figure out. If there are any ideas out there, let me know. Anybody? Anybody? Bueller?
So, I hope it's a good show that lasts for a couple of years and gets us all back on track. That's what the 'Hope' is about after this election. It's about not staying the same course. We are about to make a right-hand turn. Here's hoping that road is a little better paved.
Speaking of smarter people, this is a good way to kick off Inauguration Day.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Inauguration fever

Good Morning and welcome to the first day of spring training!

Well, the Eagles are done and the Phillies are right around the corner. In between, though, there's a little thing happening down in Washington D.C.
The Inauguration of Barack Obama has grown to mythical proportions. There are expected to be millions cramming the National Mall today to see the festivities. There were concerts all weekend and a a train ride. There is even a rumor that some people who live in the Nationa's Capitol are renting out floor space in their apartments ($1,000 to sleep on the floor?).
Now, though, we have scored an interview with one of Obama's biggest fans. Although she wasn't able to vote for the president (something about the law and being 4-years old), this fan can't keep the smile off her face when talking about the new president.
Hey, Le, who's that on the television?
You know.
No. I don't. Tell me.
You say it.
Please tell me.
(Big smile) Obama!
Who is he?
Obama. Obama. Obama.
Yeah, but what does he do?
Can I see Obama? On the train?
Well, it's too cold to see the train. We can watch on TV, though.
I like Obama.
Great. What does he do?
He's not a princess.
No, I guess he's not a princess.
I like princesses. Can I play my princess game?
After this is over.
Obama. Obama. Where's Sleeping Beauty?

Now, some history:

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Beer and money

Good Morning and here's hoping your car started this morning!

Read this story this morning about how beer sales were down in the third quarter this year. The brewer of Miller is blaming the economy. Orders fell 'unexpectedly' at then end of 2008.
Maybe it could have something to do with taste. Now that there are seemingly limitless choices in the beer store, why settle for something like Miller or Miller Lite or Coors or Budweiser or any other cookie-cutter beer.
Hey, if we barely have enough money to pay the bills, buying junk beer is the last thing on the list. Thanks to the economy, maybe we are starting to get a little more picky.
Why waste the money on colored water like Coors Light when you can get a case of Guinness for a few bucks more. Leave the Corona in the case and pick up some Dos Equis Amber for the same price and get more taste.
Beer, wine or any other 'adult beverage' is a little treat we can give to ourselves. If it doesn't taste good, what's the point? Just fill the glass with water, add some yellow food coloring and call it Bud Light.
Better yet, grab the case of Sam Adams and enjoy.
Or just enjoy one of the best beer commercials in history:

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Rise and Shine --- What cold?

Good Morning and welcome to the place where American Idol won't be discussed!

So, it's about 20 degrees out there this morning. We're being warned about potential snow showers (no accumulation, though). They said it's going to be even colder Friday.
So, why don't children of a certain age feel it's necessary to put on a coat. Or a hat. Or a scarf. Or gloves. Or anything that would keep them warm on a cold day.
Is it because their natural energy (some scientist please bottle this so we can keep up) keeps them warmer than the rest of the world? Is it because they would rather not be burdened with the tough task of actually putting on the scarf?
It's one of those mysteries that, sadly, will never be figured out.
Go to a school at the end of the day and watch the students come out the doors. With the small exception of one or two, none of them are wearing coats. Now, I know for a fact they are fashioned with the outerwear in the morning. After school, though, it's 'too hot' to wear the coat.
Like 22 degrees is that much warmer than 20 degrees. Downright balmy, if you ask one 6-year old.
Of course, it's the same 6-year old who will put his coat on indoors if the heat is turned down below 70.
Trying to figure it out makes my head hurt. As does this...

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Green or Red?

Good Morning and welcome to the middle of the week!
While flipping around the channels with the remote the other day, I stumbled upon a Phillies 2008 season highlight show. Of course, we all know how that ended and the way SEPTA made parade day such a joy.
Even though the ending is known, it still is chilling when Brad Lidge got that last out. The magic of this year's baseball postseason was something that hadn't been seen in 28 years and something many believed would never happen. There was a spark in the air every time the Phillies were playing. There was a sense of something special happening. Then, we all celebrated on Halloween.
What does this have to do with a cold January day? Well, now it could be just me, but even though the Eagles are one win from reaching the Super Bowl, there doesn't appear to be the same juice. It might be because the Eagles have been in this spot five of the last eight years and nothing short of a Super Bowl win would satisfy the craving.
Still, the region's football team is one of four left playing after most believed the season was over in November. The hype will begin sometime today or tomorrow, that's the nature of the beast.
Then again, after all those years of sellouts and Eagles chants, maybe we are really baseball fans first.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Bye, bye Bush

Good Morning and welcome to the calm before the storm!

So, President Bush held his final news conference Monday and was, apparently, in a good mood. He joked. He laughed. He butchered the language. He ignored questions.
Really, what's the difference between Bush's first news conference and his last? Really, nothing.
Just think about what's happened in the past eight years. We saw a symbol of New York fall, Wall Street fall, gas prices rise and fall, our bank accounts fall, our 401k accounts fall, our quality of life fall, our jobs fall, our salaries fall and company after company falling.
Can't wait until Thursday night when Bush gives his final speech to America.
Like a case of eating bad clams, eight years has been enough. There will be one more Bush speech next week during Barack Obama's inauguration. Then he can fade away.
You always say if you knew then what you know now, what about this?
During Bush's first inauguration in Jan. 2001, outgoing president Bill Clinton came to the podium and several in the audience (they were wearing jeans and caps with 'John Deere' on the front, but, whatever) stood up and turned their backs in a statement they were glad Clinton was leaving office.
Now, as we try to break out of a crippling economic crisis, instead of turning backs, let's all give a big cheer next Tuesday.

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Friday, January 9, 2009

Rise and Shine --- The crash

Good Morning and welcome to the end of the world@!?!

Well, that's at least the way FOXNews is spinning this story THIS STORY with NASA warning powerful solar storms could shut down the U.S. for months.
Now, before you run out for bottled water and canned vegetables, the scientists at NASA aren't saying a power solar storm is on the way. They aren't exactly pulling television weather-person hype on the deal.
The scientists, no doubt some of the best and brightest in the country, are just saying, you know, it could happen some time in the next 1,000 years.
Just in case you don't remember, NASA pulled out the old footage from the great solar storm outage of 1859. That was the one that caused telegraph wires to short out.
So, according to FOX, although they don't come right out and say it (you have to read between the lines), the Clinton White House once again is about to bring a reign of fire onto our land.
Thanks to all you liberal Democrats out there who so blindly followed like so many sheep. DOOM. DOOM. DOOM.
So, if you still have those Y2K supplies in the basement, you are already prepared. Lucky you.
Excuse me, I have to run out to get 100 cans of tuna.

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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Coins in a paintbucket?

Good Morning and welcome to the only place on the 'Net where you can get this...

According to this story a man in Salt Lake City, Utah broke into a home and took off with a paint bucket filled with $800 in change.
Now, there are no photos of the alleged robber, but, $800 in change? That's pennies, nickles, dimes and quarters.
Just think about that for a moment. When you have maybe $2 in change sitting in your pocket, it's tough to walk. Add another dollar and you have to stop every three steps or so. Another dollar and don't even bother getting up.
How do you walk around with a bucket filled with $800 in change? Better yet, how do you even pick it up? Now, maybe if you are a 'roided up professional wrestler or weightlifter, you may be able to pick up the bucket. Carrying it out the door is another matter.
Not too surprisingly, the thief was caught a block away with a crowbar in in his pants (no, he wasn't happy to be carrying the bucket) and the change.
Say you are this robber and you get away with the crime. What do you do with all the change? Take it to one of those Coinstar machines? Anybody who's ever used one of those things knows it takes about 30 minutes to get through $20, so $800 would take all day.
Maybe you can get those coin wraps from the bank, but shoving $800 worth of pennies, nickles, dimes and quarters into those little paper tubes would probably send you to the police department with a confession.
So...hold on. How do you even save $800 in change and at some point, don't you just use it?
Here's a prediction, after doing his time for the crime, the thief will sue the homeowner to pay for his back problems.

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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Here it comes

Good Morning and welcome to another day of rain!

Once again, the television news programs got everybody worried about bad weather only to see it turn to rain.
Apparently, one television yahoo even went so far as to say something like if there's ice on your windshield that means there's ice on the roads.
That's just some more fear-mongering. Sure, it's a little less mean-spirited than things Sean Hannity says, but, hey, it's fear at its best.
Watch out. It's winter. There may be ice and snow.
While this weather problem goes back years, there was a pretty big miss just a couple of weeks ago. No television weather person predicted the ice problems Christmas Eve.
I know one person who, having to leave work at 1 a.m., couldn't even get home. She had to sit on Route 30 until 6 a.m. when the roads cleared.
Having to walk the dogs early Christmas Eve was an adventure in itself. The first step was almost the last as the feet gave way. BOOM.
Of course, the dogs thought they were in trouble and started pulling away. Which, if you had to get out that morning, was a no-win situation. The sidewalks and the roads were skating rinks.
Once again, none of those 'experts' predicted it to be that bad. So, until we get that 'BIG WINTER STORM' expect a lot of weather stories.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Rise and Shine --- It's already changing

Good morning and welcome to the calm before the storm!

OK, so let's recap quickly:
Pat Burrell, who's been with the Phillies for a decade, is now with the Tampa Bay Rays.
J.C. Romero, who was a key cog in the Phillies bullpen during the World Series, is suspended for the first 50 games of this season.
The 76ers are relying on Theo Ratliff to solve their woes.
A Democrat is coming into the White House with the economy in the tank.
The most watched movie in the country over the last few weeks is about a dog, some say it was written by a dog.
Israel is fighting with its neighbor.
Black is the new black.
It's going to rain at some point today or tomorrow.
So, things change. Things stay the same. It's the way we keep it interesting.
Then there's this: For the first time in the 101 year history of the program, the University of Pittsburgh basketball team is No. 1 in the country.
For most, I understand, that will bring a big shoulder shrug. For the few who sat through some awful college basketball games in the mid-80s, well, this is an amazing fact.
For those who don't really know, Pittsburgh, much like Philadelphia (maybe even more so) is a football town. The city lives the Steelers. The rest (Pirates, Penguins) are just something to fill in the time until the Steelers play again. The University of Pittsburgh is on the outskirts of the city and, until money paved the way, played all its games in old stadiums on campus.
When it comes to basketball, the city (in general) doesn't care. Now, though, the rankings have Pitt No. 1. Here's a perspective, it's like if Drexel rose to the top. That's how amazing, really.
So, excuse me while I try to find a Jerome Lane replica jersey for I now know anything is possible.

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Monday, January 5, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Welcome back

Good Morning and welcome to the first real week of 2009!

Sure, we had a few days of the new year last week, but, as anybody who drove around Friday could tell you, there was a lot less traffic on the road.
Whether that means more and more people were able to take the day after Jan. 1 first off or if it's a sign of the times where shortsighted companies are laying off workers, well, that's up to smarter people to decide.
Anyway, after sitting on the sidelines for a couple of weeks and watching three little ones bounce off the wall, it's back to work.
Of course, the end of the winter holiday season has the same feeling as the end of summer. While going through it, there is a lot of stressful times, a lot of running around and a lot, a lot, of sugar. Still, it's fun and it goes too fast. Then the wall hits and it's back to the grind.
Back to the doldrums of winter. Saw on the news this morning that there is a winter storm on the forecast for Tuesday. Might was well just slap us cold and move ahead.
We need more sunshine for 2009. There were too many dark clouds over 2008, especially the last half of the year.
Of course, when we break open those new calendars it's a clean slate. Sure, there is still crazy economic news floating around. Sure, there is bad weather on the way. Sure, there are the day-in-and-day-out battles.
We have to believe there is going to be a brighter day right around the corner. I can feel it, can you?

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