Friday, October 30, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Welcome back

Good Morning and welcome to Mischief Day!

It used to be Mischief Night and, as a youngster, I would sit on the porch to make sure nobody tossed any toilet paper. Of course, it never happened, but there were stories...
Meanwhile, today's the day Mom returns home from Iraq. We'll gather into the car, drive to the airport and welcome her back. It's about time.
The trip to Iraq seemed like a good idea when it first came up, seemed like a bad idea when the bill came in, seemed like a good idea when everything was packed, seemed like a bad idea when the plane was delayed, seemed like a good idea when the plane landed safely, seemed like a bad idea when the luggage was lost (thanks United), seemed like a good idea when things could be replaced, seemed like a bad idea when there was a delay (and car bomb) in Baghdad, and so on and so on.
Now it's over and we can all reconnect. We survived a couple of weeks and really are lucky it was only a couple of weeks.
I can't imagine the amount of angst a family has to go through when a trip to Iraq lasts a year or more.
Hopefully it will make us all a bit more tolerant.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Costume War

Good Morning as we get ready to party!

This should be a pretty exciting weekend. Mom returns home after her 'adventure,' the Phillies are playing in the World Series and it's Halloween.
Which, of course, means a busy couple of days. Unlike work, though, these busy days are fun. There's (hopefully) a lot of laughing and a lot of good times.
First, though, we have to get there.
While the homecoming and the Phillies are set, it's the other one that's causing some consternation.
Last year, the boys wanted to be Star Wars characters on Halloween. So, having not purchased a costume in years, we gave them the option to get one. They, of course, jumped at the chance.
So, we have a couple of Clone Troopers running around the neighborhood. (OK, thanks to the George Lucas merchandising magic, there were more than a few).
Now, those costumes apparently are out of fashion. This year, the Star Wars machine added a few different colors to the 'uniform.' So, naturally, that means it's time to buy a new costume.
Uh, not quite. At 30 bucks, a costume for one night doesn't seem to be the best idea.
So, the battle has been ranging.
'But I don't have Commander Fox. I need a Commander Fox suit!'
Who? Why don't you just be a Hobo (I know, politically incorect, but it's better than bum).
'I need to be Commander Fox.'
How about if I get a magic marker and fix last year's costume.
'NOOOOOO! Then I will only have one. I need two.'
You need .... nevermind. How about this cool Superman suit we have from a couple of years ago.
'I'm not being Superman. I'm not being Batman. I'm not being a hobo. I want to be Commander Fox!!!!'
How about a ketchup bottle?
'You don't understand anything! I'll ask Grandmom!'
So, if you see an outdated Star Wars costume this Halloween, don't laugh.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Jumping ahead

Good Morning and welcome back to the World Series!

The only bad thing about the Phillies being in the World Series, starting tonight in New York, is we have to sit and listen to Joe Buck and Tim McCarver call the game. A lot of people think Buck is a decent play-by-play announcer. I find him grating and his voice annoying. Maybe Fox should try one of those no-announcer games NBC tried in the 1980s. Then again, it might cut into the Advil bottom line.
As we get ready for the World Series (and our smaller world gets close to getting back to normal), it's time to look around.
Now, it's understood that retail stores are going to push their Christmas items starting Labor Day these days. One store I saw completely ended all Halloween item sales before Oct. 1 and replaced it with Christmas trees and lights.
Still, it is pretty annoying.
Case in point, Tuesday night.
After settling down to catch the annual rite of October, 'It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,' it quickly became evident this was going to be about anything but Halloween.
From the first 'My Little Pony' commercial to the plug for some new ABC Christmas show, we were inundated with gift-giving, snow and Santa Claus.
Living with a 4-year old, 7-year old and 10-year old (and, believe it or not, being a child once myself), I understand the allure of Christmas. Heck, I get fired up about it as much as anybody.
October, though, is stretching the 'season' a bit too far. Look, children start Christmas wish lists in January, so they don't need to innundated with toy-after-toy, commercial-after-commercial.
All that does is lead to confusion.
'Dad, I need a Transformers race track!'
Why? You didn't need it a week ago. Last week you needed a star wars lightsaber.
'But it looks cool! I NEED it! I also need the lightsaber!'
Ask Grandmom.
Let's enjoy Halloween first:

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Earlier and later

Good Morning and welcome to the day before the night before the World Series!

Isn't it amazing that we are now taking the World Series for granted. It's only been two years, people. Remember all those years of Rico Brogna, Wally Ritchie and Wayne Gomes.
It's still amazing to think the Phillies are back in the World Series. Despite those who know nothing else, this doesn't happen every year.
Meanwhile, the World Series means here an earlier wakeup call after a later night. Thankfully, the Eagles played a bad team Monday night, so there was no reason to watch the game. The World Series, though, won't be over until after midnight starting Wednesday.
It's a quick turnaround, but it beats the alternative.
Meanwhile, with the road home becoming clearer, there's a bit of relief in the house. Get home quickly and safely.
Now, back to putting together a Phillies special section:

Monday, October 26, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Miracle of technology

Good Morning and welcome to a whole new week!

A couple of weeks ago, as Kathleen was preparing for her trip to Iraq, we went out and upgraded to an iPhone.
The thinking was a 'smart' phone, as they are called, would be easier to carry around than a phone and a camera. Plus, with the Internet at a touch of a finger, she wouldn't have to carry a laptop on helicopters.
So, we got the iPhone (scaring the salesperson after telling him we were taking it to Iraq). Got it set up with an international roaming plan (cell phone companies get you where ever and whenever they can).
So, she has the iPhone in Iraq. She was able to use the camera part, but never the phone. Apparently, there are some in the Middle East who still hate Americans. They can track cell phone usage. So, Americans are told not to use the cell phone to make calls ever.
After finding that out (in an e-mail), I was resigned to two weeks of e-mail back-and-forth.
That's when I was able to discover how to 'chat' online using gmail. It's like using the phone only typing and both of you can 'talk' at the same time. And, yes, those of you out there who can't believe it, you can connect with anybody all over the world.
So, I'm beginning to think you might not need a phone at all.
Of course, this is a little ridiculous:

Friday, October 23, 2009

Rise and Shine --- One down

Good Morning and, yes, we've made it through the week!

While we wait a week for the return flight from Iraq, I was trying to explain to a 7-year old about the Phillies.
You see, after watching bad baseball after worse baseball year after year, these young whipper-snappers don't know anything about the Phillies.
For three years straight the team has been in the playoffs. the two previous years they were right there at end.
No longer does the season end in June. No longer do you have to see the likes of Midre Cummings trying to catch fly balls in center. You don't have to convince yourself that Von Hayes is actually going to be an MVP candidate. You don't have to worry about whether Ken Howell will be able to come back from his latest injury to anchor the starting rotation.
Instead of seeing Wally Ritchie running out of the bullpen in the eighth-inning, you get to see Ryan Madson. Forget Brad Lidge, if you wanted excitement in the ninth inning there was nobody better than Jose Mesa.
No, these fans get to grow up watching Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Cole Hamels (voted as the top player at each position in our highly scientific Daily Times daily poll).
There is not suffering. There is no shaking your head. There is no hoping the players would go on strike just so you didn't have to watch Gregg Jefferies not run out a pop fly. You haven't seen comedy on the diamond unless you could catch Steve Jeltz, well, not catch.
Back in the day, when the Phillies needed a pitcher, they took the bull by the horns and got Joe Cowley. That big offseason free agent was Phil Bradley and we liked it.
So, to all the 7-year olds and to all those who so soon forget ... Ah, never mind, just enjoy the ride.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Flying

Good Morning and I know of at least three young Phillies fans that couldn't stay up last night!

At about 10 p.m., when it looked like we were headed for a 1 a.m. finish, it was time to shuffle everybody off to bed. When the Phillies were jumping around on the field around midnight, I thought they should get a chance to witness the spectacle.
The amazing thing about children, though, is once they are asleep they are asleep. Try to wake them is like trying to wake a tree trunk. At least in this corner of the world.
Over in another corner of the world, the Phillies were also the topic of conversation. You'll be able to read about that a little later.
It's amazing how united everybody can be. Here we are in Delaware County watching the Phillies late at night, while in Iraq they are taking in the game during the early-morning hours.
I tried to convince a 10-year old that calling Mom and asking her about the game, since it was already Tuesday over there, he would able to get the final result.
He bought it for about a minute, then realized it's just a time difference. You know, the little things you do to keep entertained.
Meanwhile, this photo came across the e-mail last night. Looks like fun:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Normal?

Good Morning and now that safety isn't as big an issue, it's time to get back to the mundane!

By the way, I was wondering, if the Phillies play the Yankees in the World Series (certainly looks that way) is it more of a 'legitimate' finals than playing the Tampa Bay Rays last year?
It's sort of like asking Steelers fans if their latest Super Bowl title was tainted because they played the Arizona Cardinals.
Sure, you'd like your favorite teams to play the history-laden Yankees, but a title is a title is a title. Now that we are heading to a second Series in the row (it's still pretty amazing), do we need the Yankees to be there as some sort of statement?
I guess that would only make a difference if the Phillies win again. If they go out and lose to the Yankees, maybe they are diminished a little bit.
Then again, that parade was pretty amazing last year.
Meanwhile, as the NLCS (Phillies clinching party?) took the night off, there wasn't too much to follow on television last night.
Sure, you could watch that Yankees-Angels series, and I'm sure there was some good baseball played, but a lull was needed.
Then again, it gets ramped up tonight.
I hear through the grapevine those troops in Iraq will be watching the Phillies tonight as well. I look forward to the story.
Then comes my age old question: Do I let the children stay up to watch the game?
There is school tomorrow. There is work tomorrow. The game won't be over until close to midnight (7 a.m. in Basrah).
Still, after all those years of suffering through bad after bad when it came to the Phillies, I feel like I need to let them watch a possible clincher.
There's still the feeling this won't go on forever.
Meanwhile, a shoutout to Iraq:

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Another late night

Good Morning and welcome to another Tuesday in a long line of Tuesdays!

Hey, at least if you are going to stay up until midnight to watch the Phillies, the least they could do is win. Thanks, Jimmy Rollins, for making that 3 a.m. wake up call that much easier to take.
Here we are, into the fifth day of Kathleen in Iraq. She's going to do awesome stories and send over a bunch of photos. I know that, but really don't care.
Right now, she's en route from Baghdad to Basrah. She said she's got great pictures from Baghdad (those not confiscated by Iraqi guards). Once she hooks up with the unit, all that stuff will be available to our readers.
Until then, well, it's a battle. She said she hasn't slept in 25 hours and can't use the phone for fear of kidnapping.
So, in reality, maybe Iraq isn't the safest place in the world right now. Maybe the safe bet is the best bet. Then again, you can't live with 'what if.'
So, as my brain melts while trying to take care of three high-maintenance (Which ones aren't?) children, at least I know there is an end to the game.
It's kind of funny how you miss things when they are gone. You miss a joke. You miss a laugh. You miss the help.
Come back safe.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Rise and Shine --- The waiting

Good Morning and there was frost on the window this morning! So much for October...

Now that we are more than five years into the war in Iraq, some of the stories seem to get pushed to the backburner.
For the first few years, we were able to read and see everything that was happening in Iraq. We had stories about the soldiers, about their missions, about their living conditions.
Then, it kind of faded away. Sure, there was 'The Surge' and now there is the 'The Pullout,' but they are just words and you don't get a chance to see the real people behind those words.
Late last week, Kathleen Carey went to Iraq to tell those stories, you can follow her trip HERE.
Before leaving, she got in touch with some local military families and how they cope with a loved one overseas. You can read it here.
Now, we know Kathleen will be back in a few weeks, not the year or more of most families. So, at least we can see an end game.
That doesn't make this past weekend any easier, though.
We had no contact (e-mail or phone) since early Saturday morning. She was supposed to fly to Kuwait, then get shuttled to Baghdad for military processing.
Her luggage never made it to Iraq (thanks, United, you run a great airline there). The last we heard, she was waiting the airport waiting for the bags to arrive.
This morning, I found out she made it to Baghdad (after a 13 hour trip) and is getting the necessary clearances to be embeded with her unit (the 1-150th).
The last e-mail had something about a photo, a confiscated passport and an Iraqi guard.
Now we wait some more.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Still in the air?

Good Morning and I'm letting you know waking three children up at 4 a.m. was suprisingly easy!

Kathleen always has had an adventurous spirit. In high school, she wanted to go to New York University. Despite the pleas of her mother (your going to get killed; New York is evil), she made it to NYU. Interned at New York Newsday (covering, among other things, gang violence in the Bronx). She finished college in three years, graduating with honors.
Eight years ago, she wanted to take a trip to Europe, with a two-year old in tow. That's just insane, people said, you can't take a 2-year old to Paris, Belgium and London. Of course, the trip went off without a hitch (OK, one hitch involving a brand-new Mercedes and a parking garage, but who's splitting hairs).
Earlier this year, Kathleen read Anderson Cooper's 'Dispatches from the Edge,' a book about covering war and the world.
She found her next mission. She wanted to go to Iraq to tell the story of those still stationed there and what their life is like. It took awhile to get everything together, with plenty of hurdles along the way. There was getting military approval. There was getting body armor. There was getting airline tickets. There was convincing the powers-that-be it would give us unbelievable coverage.
It all came together (the starts lined up all along the way) and she left for Kuwait (the drop off point for those going to Iraq) last night.
Of course, it couldn't go off without a hitch. She started missing the family before even leaving, then again while going through the security at Philadelphia International Airport.
When the flight to Washington was delayed over an hour, it appeared the connection to the plane to Kuwait was going to be missed. It wasn't and she's still in the air.
It's not scheduled to land in Kuwait until around 11 this morning (our time).
I'm sure she'll have some good stories about packing, waiting, flying. You can follow them all right here and at
It should be fascinating. It should be fun. She'll do a great job.
All the while, though, there are four people who hope this is the fastest two weeks in the history of time.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Blanket policy

Good Morning and welcome to the start of a very, very long two weeks!

There was a big story over the last couple of days about a Delaware first-grader who was suspended after bringing a pocket knife to school.
Originally, he received a 45-day suspension and was going to have to go to a reform school (is that what they're still called?) during that time.
Well, of course, the parents raised a stink. Got their story covered by the media and it all forced the school board to rescind the suspension.
The Daily Times editorial board (?) checked in with an opinion.
There was talk all over the radio and TV yesterday about the case. Most were saying it was time to end zero-tolerance policies and decide these things on a case-by-case business.
Well, that's fine and dandy, if we were still living in the 1960s.
The bottom line is children have no reason to bring a knife (be it a Cub Scout pocket knife or a butter knife) to school. They have no need to take a gun to school. They have no need to take any weapon to school.
Bottom line, if parents made sure what their children have in the backpack, none of this would matter.
Now, believe me, I know how crazy a school morning can get. Our house is a frenzy of running, yelling, jumping, packing, fighting and playing. That's all in the first five minutes of waking everybody up.
Still, there is time right before we head out to the car where we make sure nobody is taking something to school they shouldn't.
Last year, Brendan wanted to take a fake pirate pistol to school to show his friends. It was purchased at a pirate festival in Maryland. It's flat, made of foam and makes a funny sound.
There was no way he was getting that in the bag, although he eventually tried to hide it in his shirt.
There have been incidents of Star Wars figures trying to be snuck through. There was even a matchbox car shooter (it makes them go really fast around those plastic tracks). Nothing gets in there except books, homework and a lunchbox.
Would I be upset if something did slip past and the school suspended one of them.
Sure, but I hope I would understand.
It's like the old argument about guns not killing people. Then again, if nobody had guns, nobody would be shot.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Traveling

Good Morning and, yes, I broke down and put the heat on last night!

Sometimes we travel. Sometimes, we even travel far enough it takes an airplane to get there.
Even though most airlines have done away with movies on flights (at least free ones), I was thinking what would be the best movies to watch if heading on a long trip.
Here are some hopes:
1. Old School. Yeah, I know, it wouldn't fly with everybody (pun intended), but it will certainly make those hours sitting in the tiny seats a bit more comfortable.
2. Bourne Identity. Especially if you are heading overseas with an iPhone in hand and a mysterious look.
3. Joe vs. The Volcano. Nothing like a feel-good Tom Hanks movie to get you fired up about your trip.
4. The Terminal. Never mind, airlines don't have a sense of humor. Neither do passengers after about four hours or so.
5. Lord of the Rings. Not just one, but the whole trilogy. You will be able to fall asleep during the middle run. If not, it will certainly kill a lot of time.
6. Mr. Bean's Holiday. You're stuck next to somebody snoring badly who keeps passing gas. At least you can escape with somebody who had a worse time.
7. Some Like it Hot. Palm trees. Marilyn Monroe. Jack Lemmon at his best. Nothing would make the trip go smoother. Then again, 'Well, nobody's perfect.'
8. Cars. Yeah, you're in a big airplane. The air is sour. The food stinks. The bathrooms are too small. Nothing like a movie about talking cars to get you through the night.
9. 2001: A Space Odyssey. Now, if your really tired or really inot outer space, this is the perfect movie. Long, slow, boring, but great visuals. Just get a pillow with your headphones.
10. The U.S. vs. John Lennon. OK, there would never be a documentary on an airplane. Besides, Lennon preaching about peace among all people would undoubtedly tick some people off. You don't need that on a plane.
By the way, if this movie comes on, ask for an eye mask and ear plugs, because you are stuck in a time warp:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Making lists

Good Morning and get ready for another run to the World Series!

Since we still love lists, here are few to get you through the day:
Top Five Best Phillies of All-Time: 1. Mike Schmidt; 2. Steve Carlton; 3. Ryan Howard; 4. Johnny Callison; 5. Jimmy Rollins.
Top Five Worst Phillies of All-Time: 1. Joe Cowley; 2. Gregg Jefferies; 3. Ricky Otero; 4. Steve Jeltz; 5. Marvin Freeman.
Top Five Best Eateries: 1. Aureole, New York; 2. Fountain, Philadelphia; 3. O'Reilly's Irish Pub, San Francisco; 4. Monk's Cafe, Philadelphia; 5. Le Saint-Amour, Quebec
Five Best Movies I Could Watch Anytime: 1. Usual Suspects; 2. Ratatouille; 3. The Others; 4. Elf; 5. Life of Brian.
Top Five Worst Bands Ever: 1. Journey; 2. The Outfield; 3. OutKast; 4. New Kid's On The Block; 5. Hannah Montana.
Finally, the worst music video ever made:

Monday, October 12, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Smart phone?

Good Morning and welcome to the new week!

It took me a long time to break down and get a cell phone. It took me even longer to totally ditch the 'regular' phone and just rely on the cell.
I never felt the need to be 'in touch' 24 hours a day. When Caller ID debuted, that was close enough for me. If somebody wanted to call me(somebody trying to sell something) and I didn't want to talk to them, they could talk to the answering machine.
Then I could decide whether it was worth my time to call back (mostly no).
After a while (driving three children 35 miles a day back-and-forth to work did the trick), I was able to find the silver lining in the cell phone revolution.
I was able to get by with my non-smart cell phone all these years, ignoring (as best I could), the new smart phones hitting the market.
Last week, we broke down and got an iPhone (it's needed for an exciting project you will find out about later this week, so stay tuned).
Now, after one weekend with the iPhone, I wonder what took so long.
No longer do you need to make those $2 calls to 411. Need a map, just click on. Want to find out if the Phillies are still playing at 2 in the morning, hit the Internet button.
It's all pretty cool. You can blog. You can e-mail. You can text (whatever that is).
Still, there's a part of me that wonders if all this technology is making us dumber, or lazier.
With everything right at our fingertips, does it really stretch our brains?
OK, I don't have to walk into a scary looking gas station to ask directions, but I can also see less interacting between people.
We text. We e-mail. Do we talk?
I don't know. Besides, it's time to log off.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Late night baseball blues

Good Morning and congrats on making it to Friday!

For many Phillies fans, this is going to be a lost weekend. First, they watched the team lose Game 2 to the Rockies Thursday afternoon. Now, fans are faced with having to stay up late to catch the weekend games.
Saturday night has a 9:35 p.m. start time. That's, of course, providing it doesn't snow in Denver. Then on Sunday there's a 10 p.m. start.
Now, baseball gets a lot of heat for its scheduling and this series has been the perfect example.
Those two 2:30 p.m. starts did no favors for anybody, except those worried about newspaper deadlines.
First, it wasn't good for young fans because most (unless you are an Archbishop Carroll student) don't get out until after 3 p.m. Then, if there isn't an after-school activity, it's time to do homework. Then comes dinner. Then comes some down time.
By then, the game was over and all that was left was the Daily Times game blog.
Now comes the weekend when a, say, 8 p.m. start would be about perfect. Not 9:30 and certainly not 10 p.m.
Most certainly not for those of us who hear the alarm at 3 a.m.
Then again, there might be another series...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Never out of the house?

Good Morning and welcome back to the Web!

The children have the opportunity to do, really, whatever they want.
They get to play outside. They get to play in their rooms. They get to watch TV. Sure, they have to go to school and do homework, but that's just a break in a day of freedom.
There aren't a whole lot of rules in the house. It's better to let children be children. That way, they can find out what they like. How they like to play.
More often than not, though, it becomes a test on how far they can push the envelope.
Take, for instance, a trip to the store Wednesday afternoon.
Hey, I figured, it can be a fun outing. The store in question has things the children usually like (bikes, backpacks, boats, skis, boots).
OK, there weren't any toys, but I've learned to stay away from the toy store unless I want to see some real yelling and screaming.
So, after a short drive, the store in question opened it's doors. That's when it quickly went down.
All of them wanted to push the cart. If they weren't pushing the cart, they wanted to climb on the front.
Then there was the running the up, down, around the aisles. Forget having a conversation on what to buy, it was time to break up a wrestling match.
Why a 10-year old feels the need to wrestle with a 4-year old is beyond me. Then again, my brain may have melted years ago.
All right, I'll take the hit and gather them over to the bike area. Little did I know bikes could be used for a smash-up derby, then hurdles.
You would think they never got out of the house.
So, while my head started to pound and my heart started to skip as the glass cups were being banged, it was finally time to leave.
After rushing to the car in a silent, raging walk, a voice came from the back.
'Thanks, that was really fun.'
I guess we'll have to try it again.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Expectations

Good morning and welcome to playoff season!

That's right, after sitting though years and years (and years and years) of bad Phillies baseball, we are in the glory years.
For the third straight season, the Phillies are heading into the playoffs.
Unlike all those years before, this time we expect the Phillies to win. That's what you get after winning it all in 2008.
Those expectations are kind of funny, though. Really, the Phillies are the losingest franchise in the history of sports. Through the years, they've lost more than 10,000 games. They have just two World Series championships (1980 and 2008). They went from 1983-1993 (miracle years both) without even sniffing the playoffs. Then they went from 1993 until 2007 before anybody could even think about the playoffs (sure, there were a few years in there where they were in the running in September, but nobody really thought they would make it).
Now, anything less than a second-straight World Series title would be a disappointment to some.
Really, though, that's just hogwash.
It's better to enjoy the ride than sit through a long, boring summer. Sure, a loss in the first round to the Rockies would be a little disappointing, but only because we need something to carry through until November.
Just remember, though, if the Phillies don't win a World Series it could be much worse. You could be a Mets fan.
Meanwhile, a local band,Zorro Gato, along with delco artists C-Hann and Amanda Jo, wrote a Phillies playoff anthem.
CLICK HERE to hear the song.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Much ado about nothing

Good Morning and get those jackets out!

Maybe it's just me, but I don't care anything about Jon, Kate, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Glenn Beck or John Travolta.
I don't care if Jon took money from Kate. I don't care if Kate hid money from Jon. I wouldn't care if they both just faded away. How about taking care of the kids? Shouldn't that be more important than going on Larry King or the Today Show? I've never felt the need to watch their television show. I don't care if they fight, yell, run or act stupid. There are plenty of people out there who act stupid, they don't have a corner on the market.
Meanwhile, there's been all this talk about David Letterman and his affair with a staffer. How does this exactly take away from the entertainment? Is the show not funny any more because Letterman was being blackmailed? Why do we have to keep hearing about it?
Meanwhile, John Travolta's in the Bahamas testifying in a trial after somebody tried to blackmail him or something like that because of Travolta's son. Whoopee!
These people somehow get into the public spotlight and somebody somewhere thinks we care about them.
Letterman's show is funny because he's funny and his guests are funny. What he does after or before the camera comes on is none of anybody's business. Stop talking about it.
The comic genius of 'Welcome Back Kotter' shouldn't be diminished because of the troubles of John Travolta.
Let these people fade away. Besides, there are enough other crazy people we have to watch out for...

Monday, October 5, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Decisions. Decisions

Good Morning and welcome back to the new week!

So, there's an old saying, 'You're not getting any younger.'
It can be applied a lot of different ways. I mean, you could say you're not getting any younger so you should try parachuting.
Maybe you should start figuring out what you're going to do when, and if (a big if), you can retire. Maybe it's time to get your ducks in order in case something tragic happens.
Or maybe, just maybe, you should grab life by the hair and shake it around. Throw caution to the wind and do everything you can before something happens and you can't.
It's a fine line. You have family obligations. You have work obligations. You have bills. You have to eat. You have to sleep.
Still, when the world opens up, you have to decide if it's time to jump in or wait and see if it happens again.
The problem is, though, it may not happen again.
So, your heart is saying jump, your head is saying take a minute and your hands are shaking.
The bottom line, though, is you aren't getting any younger. Sometimes you have to break out of the mold no matter what and throw caution to the wind. Some may not like that. Some may not understand it, but you do.
So, I say jump. Everything else will work out after that.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Just listen

Good Morning and welcome to Friday!

OK, it's not snappy, but it's been a long week. So there you have it.
So, being tired, frustrated, angry at a situation, trying not to turn on the heat and wondering what's going on with the world, it's better to just listen:

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Rise and Shine --- Phillies alive, Saturn dead

Good Morning and welcome to a cool, crisp Thursday!

It really doesn't get old seeing the Phillies celebrate on the field. After all those years of having to watch the likes of Wally Ritchie, Gregg Jefferies and Von Hayes trot out there, seeing the Phillies win another division title is pretty nice. That's third straight and another trip to the playoffs.
Hey, even if they don't win the World Series again this year, the last few years have been pretty sweet.
Not so sweet, though, is GM's decision to kill their Saturn brand. Now, I don't know much about business (you can just ask my wife as I pay the bills), but from this point of view that decision doesn't make much sense.
I've owned enough cars over the years to know which ones are worth the money and which ones, frankly, aren't. While our Saturn wasn't the sleakest looking car on the road, there was never any trouble.
It ran until well over 100,000 miles. Then a window broke and it didn't seem worth it to replace a window on a car with over 100,000 miles.
Still, I've never heard one person with a bad word about their Saturn. What probably happened is they made the cars too good for their own good. If you don't have to keep going back to the dealer for repairs, where is the money being made.
So, once again, consumers are forced to take the brunt of the problem.
Need a quality car? Forget it. Buy our other models so you can keep coming back for repairs.
It's the American way.
Back to the good news, though. Remember this as the baseball playoffs start: