Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Rise and Shine --- Tripping out

Good Morning and why can't we have a sprinkler out front of work?

Really, though, somebody said to me the other day, "If you complained about the cold, you can't complain about the heat!"

Sure you can. I think it's in the Bill of Rights that we can complain about the weather whenever we want. Don't hold me to that, though, it's been quite a few years since Social Studies class.

Speaking of social studies, a certain now 13-year old boy (13!!!) has been learning a lot this year about everything. Well, being 13, at least he believes he knows everything.

So, while watching something on TV, I'll get things like: "Roman soldiers were paid in salt" or "George Washington didn't really cut down a cherry tree."

Every time I tell somebody the boy has turned 13, I get the roll of the eyes.

"Oh," they say, "good luck with that."

As long as we can get through the attitude (which seems to become more and more prevalent) I don't think it will be so bad.

Then again, we're only a few days into the teenage years.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Rise and Shine --- Is it a deal?

Good Morning and it's tough to wake up on a rainy Tuesday!

So far this morning, I could buy a Father's Day lobster dinner, a full day at a salon, a couple of tickets to a water park, tickets to a baseball game, laser hair surgery and some meat. All at low, low prices thanks to my e-mail inbox.

Whether it be Groupon, Living Social Deals or Google Offers, if I check my e-mail when I wake up, I have more offers than I can possibly see.

Want to take a trip? Well, how about a bed-and-breakfast deal in Cape May.

Need to send flowers? I have at least three e-mails saying I can get roses really, really cheap.

Having trouble at work? Come over and we'll talk.

Now, I've used some of these deals before. I've taken advantage of some good ones. There are still more coming in, though. I can't possibly get all of these.

Wait, coupon for a Mexican restaurant? I'm there.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Rise and Shine --- The Trouble with Triples

Good Morning and doesn't it somehow feel fitting when it rains on a Monday?

The Phillies have been riding a wave of public relations heaven for about 10 years now. To borrow a phrase, their poop didn't stink.
They were winning. A bunch of fans (millions) were coming out to Citizens Bank Park to see the players make a push to a championship. They traded young players for old and kept it going. The owners, who were so hated in the 1990s, were glorified.
It's all pretty good. Still is, but, now, there are some chinks in that armor.
The team took some hits over the weekend for a couple of Inquirer stories. One being on how the use of cortisone injections given to first baseman Ryan Howard could have led to his tearing of his Achilles tendon at the end of last year. The second being how the Phillies kept a reporter from watching Howard rehabbing in Florida.
Having been a Phillies fan my whole life, all I could think was "so what."
This kind of thing happens in professional sports all the time. Teams and players lie or hide from the media. The players aren't really that fan friendly. They do the things the team tells them do to, but get them outside the ballpark and, whew, watch out.
I covered professional sports for many years. Let me tell you a secret: It's not that glamorous.
I've found out what is glamorous, though. It's telling a 7-year old how to hold the bat and seeing her get a hit on a hot Saturday afternoon. It's getting a bunch of 8- and 9-year old boys to make up a cheer for their teammates.
It's being told, long after a hot day in the sun is over, "Thank you for being there today."

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Rise and Shine --- Why waste time?

Good Morning and at least the ducks will like today!

So, there was this big press conference downtown yesterday featuring the mayor (who seems to make as many TV appearances as the President) and rapper Jay-Z.
It was talked about all weekend. There was going to a be a big announcement. It was all a big secret, but it was going to be something big for the region.
As these things do, it leaked out by Sunday morning the announcement was going to be about a concert festival on Labor Day weekend.
Seriously, it is good news. We have a rich musical history here (heck, Rock 'n Roll started in Chester). It's about time Philly did something like this.
Then they held the news conference yesterday. All the sponsors talked. The mayor talked. Jay-Z talked.
They all said nothing. No details. Just the dates, which everybody knew. They should have stepped up and threw out something new. That's the way to get things going.
Here are the ways to hold a news conference:

Monday, May 14, 2012

Rise and Shine --- Water Power

Good morning and how about that sun!

So, I threw a birthday party over the weekend for two boys.
With about 10 children scheduled to attend, I figured I better plan a few activities. Either that or have them grouped around the television set playing video games.
So, with the sun shining bright, I set up a couple of Frisbee games. A bean-bag toss. Their sister wanted to organize a game of freeze-dance or musical chairs.
Sure, I thought, that should be enough to keep everybody occupied.
We never got to any of the games.
Somebody found the water guns in the garage.
Soon, there was water flying everywhere (it helped the temperature reached 80). The Frisbees were used to soak opponents.
So, you can plan all the stuff you want, but a child's mind will gravitate to what's the most fun. Maybe we all should throw some water.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Rise and Shine -- Living in the Past

Good Morning and if Charlie Manuel never goes to the bullpen again this season, I'll be happy!

I'm sure everybody at some time or another has been accused of living in the past. We listen to old music. We talk about how great it was when we were kids. Sometimes, we wish we could go back.
Well, this week, I did go back. Way, way back.
On Tuesday I paid a visit to the Penn Museum to check out their new exhibit on the Mayans.
It turns out the whole thing was put together by a Delco native named Kate Quinn. Her story you can read online later today and in the Weekend section tomorrow.
It was a rocking and rolling exhibit with a ton of ancient (by that I mean like 4,000 year old) artifacts. There were writings. There was cool looking pottery and weapons. It was bright and shed a lot of light on the so-called Doomsday that many think is coming this December.
After spending a lot of time at the exhibit, well, sorry Dutch Daulton, but the end of the Mayan calendar really doesn't mean the end of the world.
A day later, I had the opportunity to check out the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Franklin Institute.
While the stuff was just as old (yes, there really is a 3,000 year old sandal on display), it was much more reverent. The exhibit, with the scrolls as the star, is about the evolution of religion and philosophy.
It's quiet, it's a bit dark and it makes you think.
There are amazing, hand-made jewelry, seals and writings.
So, having spent two days this week in the past, I have to say it's all pretty amazing. Hopefully, we don't lose any of this stuff, because it puts a pretty good perspective on everything.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Rise and Shine -- Good for a laugh

Good Morning and why is blogger so slooowwww!

Anyway, so I turned on the Phillies game just in time to see them not score after loading the bases, then have a Mets rookie get his first himt to win the game. Oh well, it's going to a be a long summer. So, might as well laugh at it all.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Rise and Shine --- Blast from the '80s

Good Morning and how about those 76ers!!!

There are a lot of Phillies fans out there right now. Many of them might not remember the lean years, but, so what. We can all enjoy this ride even if this season is going to have some potholes.
The Eagles always draw a lot of interest. Most of that has to do with the machine that is the NFL. It permeates through all our sporting lives. There are even NFL team baseball jerseys, so there.
The Flyers hold a spot in peoples lives mostly because it's hockey and, well, people like to see the fights. That's the way it is and the NHL can't get away from it.
Of the four major sports teams we follow, the 76ers get the least amount of love. I guess mostly because they've been a middle of the road team for so long. They are just good enough to make the playoffs, but not good enough to actually compete for a championship.
This weekend, though, my memory was jogged back to those heady days of the 1980s when the 76ers actually ruled. They had two of the greatest players who ever pulled on a uniform (Dr. J and Moses). They had the consummate professional (Mo Cheeks) and the guy who got down and dirty (Bobby Jones).
Now, for those of you who remember, the Phillies were pretty good the first half of the 1980s as well, but they were upstaged by the 76ers.  After all, the 76ers were in the title hunt every year.
Even after they made one of the worst trades in modern sports history (Moses for Jeff Ruland?) they still had a young Charles Barkley. It was anther six, seven years of success.
Somehow, it went all wrong, but maybe beating the Chicago Bulls is the start of a new run. If not, we always have the videos.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Rise and Shine --- The Fight

Good Morning and, I know we need the rain, but why does it have to be on a day I need to be outside?

OK, I made a mistake Saturday afternoon. I'm big enough to admit it. I should have known better. I should have just kept my mouth shut. I should, could, would.
While sitting around the table eating lunch, I complimented the children on how they were working together. I told them I was proud they could stop fighting for most of the morning and play nicely.
I told them it really made me feel good to hear them talk to each other instead of yelling. I told them it could be a perfect afternoon if they could just not argue.
I was so proud, I thought about taking them down the street for some ice cream.
So, we ate lunch. Joked about a few things. Laughed about a few things.
I walked in the kitchen to clean up the dishes when the first yell started. Next came a scream, finally I heard the first call.
"Dad, he took my Gogos."
"Dad, she called me stupid."
"Dad, he pulled my hair."
Now, I know siblings fight. That's part of the deal. I certainly did my part when younger.
Sometimes, though, it seems like the fighting is there all the time. Arguing over who's feet are closer to the couch. Who gets to brush their teeth first. Who takes the first bath.
Man, it gets frustrating.
I guess I have to put them in a better position not to fight.