Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Water shortage

Good Morning and welcome to another perfect summer day!

OK, when did water become such a needed commodity that some can't live without it for more than five minutes.
Here's an example: After gathering the group into the car this past weekend, we set off on the road to the movies.
Five minutes (maybe less) after pulling away from the house, the first plea came: "I'm thirsty."
Look, we were just at home. If you were so thirsty, why didn't you get a drink before we left.
"I'm thirsty. I want water."
We don't have any in the car. Maybe when we get to the movies, we can find the water fountain.
"Why don't we have any water?" came a second voice, this one from further back in the van. "I'm thirsty."
Should we just turn around and submerge everybody in a tub full of water?
Made it to the movie without any dehydration problems.
One more example: Taking a walk on a nice summer day to pick up some tomatoes and apples (the store is about three blocks away) could be a fun time.
Then it came: "I need water. I can't make it. I'm so thirsty."
We just left the house 30 seconds ago.
"I------can't-----walk! I----need----water!"
Look, it's not like we are walking in the Sahara. We'll get a drink when we get back.
"What's the Sahara? I can't think, I'm too thirsty. They have water at the store. Can we get some water?"
No, just tomatoes. Deal. We'll be back in 10 minutes. You can have all the water you want.
"But, I'm thirsty now. If you want me to walk, you have to give me some water right now. RIGHT NOW!"
Well, maybe it will rain and you can just look up to the sky.
Magically, it didn't rain. To the store and back took 10 minutes. Everybody survived.
All the requests, though, make you thirsty for something other than water.

Watch Water, Water Every Hare in Animation  |  View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

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

Monday, June 29, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Songs of summer

Good Morning and welcome back to summer!

It starts innocently enough.
"OK, guys, why don't you go outside and play. It's a nice day."
Before the second sentence is halfway done, the door has been thrown open and the little feet are running down the steps.
Moments later, the basketballs are out. The bikes are being unlocked. The baseballs are thrown onto the lawn. The dirt is starting to stir.
Great. It's time to play. Forget cleaning the rooms, get to running around.
AHHH, summer.
The sounds of a lawn being cut. The smell of the air with a touch of humidity. The gentle songs of the birds. The screams and yells.
Screams and yells? It's not Halloween.
It doesn't take long before the basketballs are taken out and the bikes are unlocked before the first crisis hits.
"WAAAHHHH!!! He took my ball. WAAAHHH!!!"
OK, there are enough balls to go around and few words later, everything is calm.
Calm for about five minutes (if lucky).
"DAAAADDD! DAAAADDD! She threw a cup at me. It really hurts."
Now, some harsher words and a louder voice seems to calm the situation down.
Then, a few minutes later, it degenerates again.
Forget reality TV, this is reality reality.
You like to keep the little ones busy throughout the summer, but you also want them to have some unscheduled fun. That's where we stand now.
Sorry, have to go, somebody did something to to somebody.

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

Friday, June 26, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Memories

Good Morning and welcome to the weekend!

You know, the death of anybody brings back a flood of memories. Where you were during different times in your life. What you were thinking years ago. Who were your friends.
It's like watching one of those old movie news reels that used to run in theaters (Believe it or not, this was how they used to get the news.). The difference, of course, is the reel runs in your head, not on the screen.
That happened to millions around the world Thursday when, first, it was leaked that Farrah Fawcett had died. Those news reels went into overdrive a few hours later with the announcement that Michael Jackson had died.
For more than a few, Fawcett and Jackson defined an era.
If you grew up in the 1970s, Farrah Fawcett was all over the place. She was on 'Charlies Angels.' She was on commercials. She was on bedroom walls. Heck, she was even married to the 'Six Million Dollar Man.' Only the other biggest star of the day.
Meanwhile, there was the Jackson 5, with Michael Jackson singing in front. Now, as a child, it was neat to see somebody your age performing on television. We watched the cartoon. We sang along. Of course, we didn't know about the behind-the-scenes abuse, but this wasn't the age of all-access.
Much like many quick shooting stars, by the mid-80s, Fawcett was a non-entity. There were other television stars. There were other posters.
That's about the time Michael Jackson broke out of the shadow of the Jackson 5. By the time the album 'Thriller' came out, Jackson was the biggest star in the world. As much as any other singer/group, the emergence of MTV brought Jackson closer to everybody.
I remember rushing home from school in 1983 because MTV was going to have the world debut of Jackson's 'Thriller' video. We watched it, then got on the phone and called our friends to talk about it. Yes, this was way before text messaging. While I didn't personally know anybody who had one of those red zipper jackets or walked around with one glove, Jackson's music still came out of the radio on a daily basis.
I look around now that these two have died and wonder if there are any more stars. A quick poll in our house didn't bring much recognition of Jackson. Forget even mentioning Farrah.

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

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Is this it?

Good Morning and welcome to the heat!

Yes, it looks like summer may finally be arriving. The temperatures are pushing into the 90s and the humidity is going up, up, up.
So, now what do you do? You want to enjoy the nice weather, but, when the heat is turned on, it makes it tough to spend a lot of time outside.
Staying inside? Did that all winter. Enough of looking at the walls and counting the number of stitches on the couch.
Besides, sitting around with the air conditioner running all day only makes PECO happy.
Here are some other ideas:
Go to the movies: Now, I know the prices are out of hand, but there are ways around it. Matinees are a great deal (if you can swing the time). Hit the dollar store before and bring your own snacks. Enjoy.
Go to the library: Once again, it's a great place to get lost. There are a lot of programs running in local libraries to keep the little ones busy. So, grab a new book, start reading and let everything fade away.
Head to the park: OK, now that doesn't necessarily clear up the heat idea. The key here is finding a park with a couple of trees and a playground. You can sit under the tree, sip some cold water and let everybody else get their energy out.
Window shop: Leave the wallet at home and hit the malls. It's always cool to check out new stuff. Walk around. Get some exercise. Enjoy somebody's air conditioning.
Play: Hey, it's hot. Deal with it. We've been looking forward to summer all year long. Get out and sweat. You can always take along some water.
Sleep: When all else fails, put the head down on a pillow. Then again, what's the chances of that?

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

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Rise and Shine --- We really are lucky

Good Morning and welcome to the middle of the week!

While watching (or at least reading) about all the turmoil in Iran these last couple of weeks, it makes you really step back and see how lucky we really are.
Beyond all the political rhetoric, we can at least voice our opinion without being shot in the street.
Interesting, somebody much smarter than me brought to my attention the role of women in the Iranian protests. That in itself is amazing in the Middle East. Consider that Saudi Arabia (a 'friend' of the U.S.) doesn't allow women to drive, vote, talk, eat or work.
Hey, we might not be the most enlightened people in the world, but at least we have some equality (at least some of us).
That's not to say it's our place (or any other nation in this world) to step in. This is not the time. This is not the place. Let the people of Iran do it themselves. After all, you can't always get help from outside sources.
So, all those hate-mongers out there who want to keep people down, take a look over the Persian Gulf and rethink your stand.

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

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Figuring it out

Good Morning and welcome to another dry day!

You would think after all these years, you would have things figured out. You look back through time and remember things certain ways.
I look back and remember my early summers as being a time of freedom. We could do whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted.
Go outside and play all day. Run around. Ride bikes. No more cumbersome days of school. Hey, School's Out for Summer!
Well, now, as three pre-teens are running around tearing up the house (and yelling and fighting and yelling some more), I've come to realize that free-for-all needs to be scheduled.
I need to plan out more activities during the day. It's not quite like school, but there is a method to that madness.
Keep them busy. Keep them moving.
Now, here's hoping I can keep up.

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

Monday, June 22, 2009

Rise and Shine --- More regulations, not less

Good Morning and welcome to yet another week with rain in the forecast!

Is it just me, or when cookie dough is recalled because of an e-Coli outbreak is it time to start holding these companies accountable?
If you can't even make chocolate chip cookies without getting sick, something is wrong. Some apparently believe the government has already reached too far into private business. Well, if we are going to be continually inundated with over processed food that's going to make us sick, it's time for somebody to step up.
We really need to hold these companies accountable for shoddy products. Some of the things may taste good, but they are really just trying to get you hooked on their inferior products.
Or, better yet, just make your own cookie dough. It's actually easier than getting into the car, driving to the store and picking up a package of pre-made stuff. Tastes a lot better as well.
Speaking of cookies...

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

Friday, June 19, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Technology sucks

Good Morning and welcome to the day before the day before the start of summer!

Yeah, summer as in, rain, rain, rain. I guess everybody who pays those outlandish fees for swim clubs are pretty happy about the late spring weather.
Meanwhile, talking about the land of stupid people, apparently people are standing in line outside of Apple stores around the country to purchase the newest iPhone.
Yay! It's here! It's here! Get out the umprellas, let's camp out in front of a store.
Look, I like toys as much as the next person. As we move into the next phase of the digital world, everybody is going to need something like the iPhone to stay connected.
To stand in line overnight to be the first to get the new one is just plain silly.
Then again...

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

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Save the libraries

Good Morning and welcome to Seattle!

Took in a fantastic show Wednesday night.
The Lansdowne Library kicked off it's summer reading program with a very enjoyable performance from Segal Puppets.
Performing what was called the Silly Side Show Circus, the show kept young and old (me) in stitches. It was funny. It was poignant.
It also didn't cost a dime.
Even with all the digital media out there, the library is still a safe haven. Where else can you pick up today's best-seller and take in a puppet show at one place. OK, Borders may bring in puppets once in a while or hold story times, but you are inundated with "buy, buy, buy."
The unfortunate part of this is the libraries may not survive. Or at least may not survive in their current forms.
The current state budget proposal calls for massive cuts in the funding of libraries. Anywhere from $1 million to $8 million (depending on the GOP and Democratic proposals) will be lost.
That means no more puppet shows. No more summer programs for children.
Eventually, it could mean no more books.
Now, look, many of you may be saying 'So what. I don't need the library.' To which I say, 'Go check it out.' I guarantee you'll spend an hour finding something new.
Even if you don't have any interest in the library, you can still help out. Just send a letter to your local legislator. It only takes a minute to keep somebody smiling.

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

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Rise and Shine --- TV is a joke

Good Morning and welcome to the middle of the week!

So, it's been kind of funny to follow this whole David Letterman/Sarah Palin dust-up. For those who don't know about it (or don't care), HERE'S ONE STORY.
Apparently, there were about a dozen protesters outside of Letterman's studio Tuesday night to ask for the host's firing.
Great. Wonderful. People have nothing better to do than worry about a TV host making millions and a woman from Alaska. Hey at least, it pumped up the Late Show's ratings. If I make a joke about Sarah Palin would it pump up my ratings?
By the way, according to Google Maps, there's no way to drive from Media to Alaska. So, until Sarah Palin finally becomes the conservative Oprah and leaves the frozen tundra, let's just pretend she's stopped talking.
So, now that the flap appears to be over you can go back searching for news on Jon and Kate or Spencer and Heidi (whoever they are). Better yet, get outside and enjoy the nice weather. Or at least search for it...

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

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Rise and Shine ---- On PEDs and superheroes

Good Morning and welcome to the PED-free zone!

On the heels of the Internet storm that forced Phillies outfielder Raul Ibanez to emphatically announce he wasn't taking performance enhancing drugs, I give you THIS.
Now, I'll be the first to admit it was fun to see all those home runs hit during the 1990s. The Mark McGwire/Sammy Sosa battle made another "interesting" Phillies season bearable. Then again, what did we expect when the pitching staff not only featured Toby Borland, but also Wayne Gomes and Yorkis Perez?
Now that those 'performance enhancing drugs' are banned from baseball, it's time we took a step further and started testing superheroes. What are we teaching our children? It's OK for some, but not for others?
Sure, Captain America may look like an 'average' guy, but if he can come back from the dead, there's got to be some illegal stuff going on there.
And, what about Superman? After all those battles with Lex Luthor are we supposed to believe he's not getting a little help.
Just replace 'Randy 'The Ram' Robinson' with Superman in the movie 'The Wrestler' and it's the same movie.
Now, don't even get me started on Batman...

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

Monday, June 15, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Coming back

Good Morning and welcome to the first day of the week!

Did you ever notice that taking a week off only makes you want to take another week off? Sure, there is something nice about structure, but there's something a lot nicer about playing baseball/basketball/riding bikes all day. Then again, being so far away from 10-years old, maybe it's just so much nostalgia.
One thing you never realize until you are way past that 10 mark is how good you have it. You go along day-by-day only to have your parent's put limits on your 'freedom.' Then, you become a parent and realize you never had more freedom. Of course, the argument is lost on the 10-year old (or 7-year old or 4-year old) when you tell them it's time for bed or to come inside.
That's even more evident during the summer. The temperature is nice. The sun is shining bright and there are a lot of noises coming through the window.
Where do you draw the line? When is it time to put the foot down firmly?
Well, I guess it's all an internal battle. Of course, when your alarm goes off at 3:15 a.m., well, that battle at least has a time limit.
Then, you have to fight through the sandman to fill the next day and the day after and the day after.
You just have to make it fun not only for those who would bounce off the walls, but for yourself.
So, what happened to my sneakers?

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

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Welcome to summer

Good Morning and today 'officially' begins Summer!

Well, at least it does around here. While one third of the triumvirate has a week left of school, two are done today.
Now, the big question hangs over everybody: What to do about it?
Sure, we can fill up the pool or turn on the sprinkler a couple of times a week. Maybe play a little basketball or ride bikes. A little trip to the library can break up the summer. There are always plenty of movies hitting the multiplex.
That still leaves roughly 23 hours a day to fill.
The first month won't be so bad. Everybody will get a little bit of rest. It will be nice to not have to worry about getting out the door at a certain time.
There won't be the nightly fights over homework and bedtime (although that will always be somewhat of a fight). Breakfast can be a bit more relaxed. So can lunch.
After that, though, there's going to be a lot of bouncing off the walls, or grass for that matter. The energy level will go through the roof. Excuse me while I get fitted for a straight jacket.
Now I know why school was invented.

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

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Rise and Shine --- New Moon, New Readers

Good Morning to all you gentle readers!

If you ever click on the 'Most Popular' tab on the front page of www.delcotimes.com, you'll most likely see 'Obituaries for (any date)' as the No. 1 story.
One of the things so popular with newspaper Internet sites are the obituaries. It gives former local residents living all over the country a chance to connect with people by seeing who has died. We here at the Internet desk get calls and e-mails daily looking for specific obituaries.
That's expected.
Every once in a while, though, the unexpected happens.
Take Monday for example. By far the most popular story on the Web site was headlined 'WATCH: 'New Moon' trailer shows Lautner become werewolf.' It was a short story about a movie that won't be released until late November.
Now, not being of a certain age, I don't know anything about 'Twilight' except that it's a vampire movie. Somehow, I don't think it's like a
'VAMPIRE' movie.
Anyway, until Jon and Kate visit the office for their show, vampires will have to do.
By the way, here's the trailer again:


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

Monday, June 1, 2009

Rise and Shine ---- Hitting the links

Good Morning and welcome back to another week!

For nine months of the year, it's not even a thought. Then, June comes along and boom, the begging starts: 'Can we play miniature golf? Can We play miniature golf? CAN WE PLAY MINIATURE GOLF!?!?'
Now, it's a game that can be fun, but, while there are a few around the area, nothing beats the miniature golf down the shore.
Maybe it's the hot sun. Maybe it's the calling of the seagulls. Maybe it's just that there are so darn many. You can drive past a miniature golf place around here, but, get down the shore, and it calls.
Hitting a brightly colored ball through a windmill makes us all seven years old.
The funny thing is, though, when you really are 7-years old (or 9 or 4), miniature golf is 'real golf.' So, having the opportunity to get down the shore for a day this weekend, the request started before even packing the car.
By the time the smell of the sea salt hit the nose, it was constant.
Finally, the course was picked out and everybody had the right colored ball.
Then, boom. It was time to hit drives. The swings from the putters could have put out an eye.
Then the rules start to change. Forget where the ball actually rolled to, pick it up and put it close to the hole. Knock it in for a two.
Wouldn't have it any other way.

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