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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, July 31, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Stealing sand?

Good Morning and welcome to the last day in July?!?

I don't know about you, but I had no problem getting up this morning.
So, found this story this morning. Apparently, Mexico doesn't have enough problems (drug runners, etc.) it needs to have environmental police.
Imagine if Upper Darby's Mike Chitwood was running the operation: 'These sand scumbags can't get away with this. Scumbags shouldn't be allowed to steal sand.'
Or pound sand or whatever.
Meanwhile, there are more important things going on in this country.
I mean, after all, we have health care that will never be fixed because those in power have their pockets lined by drug and HMO companies. We have too many people losing too many jobs. We have too many children wondering where their next meal will come.
But, hey, let's spend a ridiculous amount of time on a guy climbing through the window of his house. Even the neighbor who made the 911 call was on TV yesterday. Maybe she can have a tea party with Michelle Obama.
How about we solve the budget crisis this way:

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Rise and Shine --- The joys of 7

Good Morning and wipe that sand out of your eyes!

OK, maybe it's not so hard to take care of precocious 7-year old. At least he's not doing this.
But, short of driving a bus down the highway, I know a 7-year old who never needs downtime. It's amazing, really. Everybody else could be exhausted, hot, whatever, and this 7-year old is ready to roam.
He'll climb any tree. Jump off any wall. Throw any ball. Get frustrated when the rest can't keep up.
It can be draining, but also exhilarating, but, OK, mostly draining.
The truly amazing thing is the building. Anything can become a functional sculpture. Empty water bottles are used for dirt or bird feeders. Old paper towel tubes become marble runs. Paper becomes a canvas.
Now to find a way to channel that creativity into useful energy. Then again, maybe it already has.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Dancing in the surf

Good Morning and take it easy today!
Sometimes, you just have to throw everything out and take a break.
There are pressures all over these days. You have to worry about money, jobs, pain-in-the-butt people, overly aggressive drivers, humidity, eating, shopping, walking, running, getting gas, washing the car, cutting the lawn, just to name a few.
So, some days, it's just better to take a time out. Use the clock. Forget everything. There's no better place to do that than on the beach. Sure, you can hit a park (Ridley Creek, Valley Forge) or the mall (forget it, too much pressure to spend), but the best place is an early evening as the surf crashes against the sand.
It only makes it better when it is accompanied by laughter. After piling the crew into the vehicle Monday evening, it was the perfect time for a surprise visit to Ocean City.
Just duck down, get some ice cream and walk on the beach. Of course, with a 10-year old, 7-year old and 4-year old, things don't always go smoothly.
There were issues about ice cream; issues about who's touching who; issues about toys; issues about music. That went out the window, so to speak, as the beach became closer. Suddenly, there were no more arguments.
There was just running in the sand. Chasing the small waves that hit the sand. Running. Laughing.
If only it could last a little longer than one night.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Rise and Shine --- The new 700

Good Morning and wasn't it nice before the heat was turned up?!?

For those who don't remember, the top echelon of seats at old Veterans Stadium was the 700 level. It got a reputation for rowdy fans (especially during Eagles games) who were mostly drunk all the time and caused trouble.
By the time Buddy Ryan took over the Eagles in the mid-80s you didn't venture to the 700 level unless you were ready. It was downright scary and it was no place for children.
Well, it appears Citizen's Bank Park (the whole thing?) has become the new 700 level. Fights, obscene yelling, bad behavior and now murder is making a summer night at the ballpark no-man's land.
Sure, there are plenty of nice fans who just come out for a good time and a ball game, but they are overshadowed by the idiots who drink too much then have to cause trouble for everybody else.
Major league sports (NFL, MLB, NBA and, yes, NHL) has already managed to outprice families from a night at the game. The fans are making it even harder to justify.
Why spend $200 to take your family to the game when most of it you have to spend explaining to a 7-year old why Joe Blow over there is throwing up? Why go down to the ballpark if you can't take a 4-year old to the concession stand without fearing for your life?
Of course, as long as the Phillies can keep selling out the park, they don't care. "Hey, come on out, drink, spend, yell, curse. Just keep the money flowing."
Football and its inherent violence is one thing, but baseball should lend itself to a nice, calm summer night. Unfortunately, that's had to change with the world.

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Working or not

Good Morning and welcome to a new week!

This new week brings us heat and not the kind this woman will bring to us over the next few years. Hey, at least we now know comedians won't go out of work.
Speaking of work, as we see more and more layoffs hitting people after people, why are there so many miserable people working. Everybody runs into these people at their place of work.
They complain, try to get under everbody else's skin and just make the workplace miserable. A newsroom, being such it is these days, probably has more than anywhere else. At least, that's the perspective here. Your perspective is probably different.
Look, we all know companies are asking less people to do more these days. You can complain. You can be miserable. You can talk on your cell phone during work hours.
What you shouldn't do is try to cut down your fellow workers. Leave that for the commenters.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Quick, call the cops!

Good Morning and congratulations to making it to another Friday!

While we continue to wonder about those cool nights (nah, that global warming thing is all hype), it's time to put the whole lemonade thing to rest.
There are plenty of reasons to call the cops on neighborhood children. The least of which (unless, of course, you live in Haverford) is to stop those illegal lemonade sales.
So, to finish out a few days of public service (non-court mandated), here are some reasons to call the police. Start dialing now, 9-1...
1. Those kids are riding their bikes ... in the street. That's right. Get your sirens on right now. Children are supposed to be fat and lazy, not riding bikes and getting exercise. Get the black-and-white out here and chase them back inside. Make them turn the video games back on.
2. The young ones just picked a dandelion off the lawn. Hey, one man's weed might be another's flower, but their my weeks (or flowers). Put it down little girl!
3. They're climbing trees and the parents aren't watching. Back in the day trees were much stronger. They are going to break an arm.
4. McDonald's just shortchanged me a McNugget! Sorry, that slipped in through the back door.
5. Those kids next door are just too nice. They must be planning some mischief. They always say hello and are respectful to others. Potential terrorists! Lock them up!
OK, there's a few to start. I'm sure there are plenty more (anybody from Haverford out there?). Let me know at
Then again, we can just enjoy the summer.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Annoy the neighbors

Good Morning and welcome to one day closer to the weekend!

While the government of North Korea seems to be a little out there, they have redefined the way we can annoy our neighbors.
Some children in Haverford were able to do that last week by selling lemonade, the ultimate terroristic act, or so it appears.
So, short of brandishing nuclear weapons or selling fresh lemonade, here are some other ways to annoy the neighbors:
1. Cut their grass. Yeah, that's right. When you are doing your own lawn, cross into the neighbor's domain. Not only that, but then actually rake up the cuttings. That's sure to get them going.
2. Shovel the sidewalk. Sure, we haven't had that much snow the past few winters, but this will surely get them going. Clear the ice, too. You may get a visit from the police.
3. Water their flowers. Try to keep the blooms going as long as possible. Maybe add a little plant food in there as well. You'll get evil looks for years.
4. Say 'Hello' everyday. The best way to get under somebody's skin is to be nice. Turn that smile upside down.
5. Try to sell them lemonade. Oh, wait, that's already been done.
I'm sure there are more, but I have to pick up the newspaper off the neighbor's lawn and put it close to their door.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Lemon juice

Good Morning and welcome to the middle of the week!

The story over the weekend about a person in Haverford calling the police on some children selling lemonade was at first funny, then downright sad.
The neighbor can couch it any way he wants (he says the worry was the children weren't being supervised by an adult), but to call the police on lemonade sellers is downright cruel.
Have we come to the point where we have to take everything away and can't just let children be children. We no longer can allow them to ride their bikes around the block for fear of crazy people. We can't let them play outside. Now, some don't want them selling lemonade.
Give it a break.
Attempting to sell lemonade (or painted seashells or rocks or whatever) for a few pennies is not going to bring the downfall to society.
Calling the police will.
So, to bother the neighbors, here's an idea:

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Rise and Shine --- The first playground

Good Morning and welcome back to Tuesday!

Well, the first playground has been, well, played and the reports are pretty good.
Just to review, I have commissioned a small group to find the best playground in Delaware County. Since there aren't any like it in Delco, the first (or control group if you must) is the Smith Kid's Play Place in the Park. Maybe it's unfair to compare a perfectly manacured, well-kept playground in Fairmount Park to those in Delaware County, but, it's not like we're working in a science lab.
So, the drive to the Smith is pretty easy. Go to the Zoo, make a left on the Girard Ave. bridge and follow the signs.
First off, they are working on the outside of the Playhouse (really, an old mansion converted to a playhouse). The day we were there, they were still buidling a Tot Lot outside the Playhouse.
That's no matter, though, after entering the gates children are greeted with something that can only be described as perfect. There are swings, rocks to climb, spinning things, a giant spider web, a tower to climb. In short, it can get those of us greying around the temples a little jealous.
The biggest draw, though, is the giant slide. It looks like a barn, but there is a big wooden slide inside. The children use old potato bags to slide down. Those in our group could have stayed there all day. One slide down, run back to the top, slide again, repeat.
After about two hours of running around, spinning, playing and yelling, the best way to tell if a playground is worth it is when you are leaving. When it's time to go (Closing is at 4:30 p.m.) if the players try to run away or start crying, they had a good time.
Here are more images. Sometime over the next week, look for the start of the tour of Delco.

If you know of a good playground in Delco, send it along to

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Rise and Shine --- The great playground search

Good Morning and welcome to a brand-new week!

After taking in the fun 'Touch a Truck' program to help raise funds for the buidling of Freedom Playground in Haverford Saturday, it got me thinking about playgrounds.
Really, are there any good playgrounds in Delaware County?
Well, very unscientifically, we are going to find out. Having built a community playground a few years ago, I know what it takes to make a good one.
So, with my group of playground enthusiasts, we are going to set out to find the best playground in Delaware County.
I do need some help, though. If you know of a good playground, send an e-mail to
Rise and Shine will report what we see (and do) during the search.
To prime the search, it's time to head to one of the great playgrounds in the area. That would be the SMITH The Kids’ Play Place in the Park in Fairmount Park in Philadelphia (I know, not in Delco, but, hey, you have to venture outside of the bubble).
My bet will be against finding one we can call "the best," but you never know.

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Friday, July 10, 2009

Rise and Shine --- What steps?

Good Morning and welcome to the week after the Fourth of July!

You hope we've evolved as human beings, then something like this happens.
There are many reasons why we haven't joined a swim club. This kind of attitude is one of those reasons. Now, I know people pay a lot of money for these things (the major reason), but tough doody if you don't like the rest of the people there.
Those at the club claiming it's not racism are the same ones who put a confederate flag on the front of their pick-up and say it's not making a racial statement.
One thing I've learned over the years is children are color blind. They don't care if you are white, black, red, green or orange. They just like to make friends.
It's only when 'adults' get involved when there are problems.
OK, it's not all adults, but there are too many loudmouths out there (just look at some of those comments on before they are deleted).
How about we just let people be people and enjoy the world.
Then again, maybe I have a child's outlook on society.

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Rise and Shine --- From calm to panic in 30 seconds

Good Morning and welcome to another perfect July day!

While sitting in the office Wednesday morning, I saw a television commercial targeting parents of young children. The commercial showed a mother with a young child at a park. The mother puts her head down for a second and the child is gone. The panicked Mom looks around and doesn't see the child. The visual cuts to a white van driving out of the park. The Mom then reaches into her bag and pulls out some kind of child GPS tracker. You put one part on your child and the other part beeps when it's close. The tracker works fine in the commercial and the smiling boy comes out of the woods with a red balloon.
Now, I'm one to think we have enough gadgets in our pockets. We have cell phones, keyless car entry buttons, garage-door openers and everything else. Why get another gadget?
Then again... Meet Brendan.
He's 7-years old, a free-spirit and can be, well, a handful.
During dinner Wednesday night, we were talking about heading to the library for a puppet show. Brendan, as he's apt to do, finished dinner first, left the table and starting tumbling around on the couch.
You keep half an eye to make sure he doesn't run outside, then get back to eating or cleaning up or just resting.
There's still plenty of time for the puppet show, so we get ready to go, but there's no Brendan.
Everybody starts calmly looking around the house. We check the play room. We check the bathroom. We check his bedroom. His brother's bedroom. His sister's bedroom.
No Brendan.
We start yelling his name.
No Brendan.
We check around outside.
No Brendan.
We go back inside and yell his name louder.
No Brendan.
His mom, getting close to full panic mode, takes a quick ride around the block to see if he just sort of wandered.
No Brendan.
We yell louder. People are staring to stare at the house (or avoid it).
No Brendan.
Check the garage.
No Brendan.
Mom grabs the phone. Dials a 9.
"Hi Mom."
There's Brendan. Big Smile. Starting to laugh.
"I was just playing hide and seek in this box."
It's not a game if nobody else is playing. Unfortunately, and a 7-year old is (hopefully) never going to understand this, but we live in a world where you quickly go from a playful search to thinking (believing?) the worst.
We are lucky. It was just a child playing around. Of course, our heads are another story.
Not to push a product, I (and everybody else in the house) know what this is like:

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Rise and Shine --- About that money...

Good Morning and welcome to a July Wednesday!!

When even the Pope weighs in on the world economy, maybe it's time somebody will listen.
We've been separating the haves and have nots for way too long. What's wrong with everybody having the same amount of time, money or whatever. We would all get along a lot better. There would be less crime and businesses could, well, stay in business.
The Pope, according to the New York Times, said world economic leaders should work for the ‘Common Good.'
How about that? This Pope sure is radical.
If you want to argue some 'leaders of industry' deserve to make more money because of their company leadership, so be it. Just remember, those people didn't get there without somebody doing their work.
The head of Sunoco would be bringing home that outlandish salary if we weren't paying the high price (gouging?) for gas.
Just think how much better we would all be if companies looked out for the 'common good' instead of the 'good for one.'
Sometimes, the simplest ideas make the most sense.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Rise and Shine --- There's some money out there

Good Morning and welcome to Tuesday!

According to a report out there today, airlines may start offering 'Standing Room Only' tickets. Now, anybody who tries to walk on an airplane to just get to the bathroom knows it's not the easiest thing in the world. Now, you can buy a ticket where you stand (actually get strapped to a bar stool) during the whole flight.
Will there be first-class standing room where you still get the champaign, but not a seat? How about a business-class standing room (you know, more elbow room)?
Sounds kind or ridiculous, but there are a lot of ridiculous things going on in business right now.
For instance, why does every local television channel need to send a reporter to Los Angeles to cover the Michael Jackson tribute? Do we really need a local face (or whoever) to stand in front of the Staples Center and tell us what is happening?
Next comes word the Sci Fi Channel is changing its name to Syfy. Most likely a bunch of people got paid a bunch of money to sit around a conference-room table for months to come up with this idea.
Guess the economy is OK for some people.

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Snowball effect

Good Morning and welcome to a whole new week!

Here's hoping this week goes a little smoother.
Imagine this all happening in one week.
Your dog gets poisoned while taking a little walk. You rush it to the vet. The vet says it doesn't look like the dog is going to make it through the night. You have to break the news to three children (10, 7 and 4-years old). You take said children back to the vet to say goodbye to the dog.
You calm them down enough to eat a small dinner and get to bed. The next day, the vet says it's a miracle and the dog is getting better. In fact, the vet says, you can pick the dog up later that afternoon. Of course, bring the checkbook, there are no payment plans here.
OK, you weather the storm, eat a small dinner and get some (smaller than the dinner) sleep.
You wake up (or rather roll over and fall out of bed) on your birthday to the 10 and 7-year old reenacting Wrestlemania 2, at 3:30 in the morning.
The rest of the morning and early afternoon goes relatively smoothly (especially when you are surprised with a birthday cake).
Then the late afternoon comes and you find out some idiot has thrown a rock through the window of your car as it sits in the office parking lot.
Lovely. Do you fix the window, eat, pay the mortgage or pay other bills?
So, it can only get calmer the rest of the summer, right?

If you have any cool links or photos, send them along to

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Friday, July 3, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Inside or out?

Good Morning and welcome to the day before July 4th!

The celebration can begin tonight as Upper Darby hosts its fireworks display. Hey, Michael Chitwood gives us fireworks every day, what's so special about tonight?
Speaking of special, many teachers like to give gifts to students at the end of the school year. A Northern California elementary school teacher may have gone too far.
Read the story and decide for yourself.
Meanwhile, It appears we have this guy to thank for higher gas prices. Not only should he be fired, but he should personally go around and fill all our gas tanks.
On this holiday weekend, anybody who pays attention to this grand stage of stupidity should be forced to watch hot dogs being made.
Speaking of holidays, this is just silly:

If you have any cool links or photos, send them along to

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Rise and Shine --- July 4th film festival

Good Morning and welcome to a holiday weekend!?!

It's kind of amazing how we are now able to stretch these holidays into a couple of days. It used to be we had July 4 and that was it. Now, it's July 3-July 5 and everyday you can find something to do. Heck, it started downtown last week.
Anyway, it wasn't too surprising to read the report earlier this week that people are traveling less these days. With gas prices still high (I know, not as high as last year) and more bills piling up, something has to go.
So, if you are staying home (maybe heading up to the roof to catch some fireworks), it's a good time for a July 4th movie festival.
Here are some ideas (a day early since there will be a run at the video stores when this is published):
Independence Day: Obvious choice. Although it does seem kind of dated now, there are not many movies where you can get ridiculous plot holes and the July 4th weekend rolled into one.
Yankee Doodle Dandy: James Cagney dancing, singing, tipping his top hat. Not only will your feet be tapping, but you won't even miss the fireworks.
John Adams: Yeah, it would probably take the whole weekend to watch this historical mini-series. What better way to connect to July 4th than to see a fictionalized dramatization of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
Rocky: Sure, Sly Stallone has made a joke of the character with the many sequels, but the original is all about the Fourth-of-July. You have the down and out guy getting a chance to 'shock the world' on July 4th.
Rocky 4: OK, it's a joke of a movie, but if you want to feel all 'Red, White and Blue' watch Rocky win over the cold-war Russians.
Now, I'm sure there's more, but it's time to fire up the player.

If you have any cool links or photos, send them along to

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Is this what we've come to?

Good Morning and welcome to the middle of another summer week!

Really, summer should be about fun. We work hard all year long, if we can enjoy ourselves during some nice weather, we should take it.
One of those nice things for many people is taking their dogs for a walk. It's a good way to get the family outside and get a little exercise.
There are two dogs at our house, pugs. They are a source of joy for the children. They seem to be happy to see everybody, although they are sometimes dressed like princesses or clone troopers.
Out on a normal walk Tuesday morning, one of the dogs apparently ate something off somebody's lawn. It turned out to be some kind of industrial-strength rat poison.
Now, there are no rats around the neighborhood. There might be a few too many squirrels and a raccoon or two, but no rats. So, why anybody would need industrial-strength rat poison is beyond my brain.
Well, there is one reason: You are evil.
Now, I'm not happy when a dog relieves itself on the lawn then the owner doesn't pick it up. Most people curse for a second, clean it up and forget about it.
Apparently, that's not enough for some. No, they get so pissed off they put poison out on the lawn.
Now, to be that shortsighted is scary. To be that angry about dog doo-doo is stupid.
Luckily, the dog, after some touch-and-go moments yesterday, may pull through (don't know if I will after seeing the bill). We were lucky. Somebody else might not be.
Imagine, though, if a child had fallen on that lawn and somehow ingested the poison.
Is that much anger worth killing somebody?

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