Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

C/ Lambllia frente 4є planta 26Є,

Attn: Sir/Madam,

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Spanish Euro Internation Lottery commission.
Madrid, 22nd December 2009

Bonus Round:

The Honest $10,000 SPAM

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Year In Review (*)


Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders Strengthens Senate Health Bill

A Democrat's view from the House: Senate bill isn't health reform

Is There a Real McCain?


"That is certainly not a position I want to be in — because I am not God."

judge in the trial of a man charged with killing abortion provider George Tiller because it was necessary to save unborn children; Wilbert ruled Tues. (12/22) that Kansas law doesn't allow a "necessity defense," meaning justifying taking one life to save another.

Say What?

"They've been on this jihad for 70 years...Two-thirds of the country don't want this. And one-third of these jihadists, these health care jihadists do. I guess that's how democracy in the Obama era works."
-- Mary Matalin on health care reform

"The largest corruption crisis in the history of America...It's thousands of times bigger than Watergate because Watergate was only a little break-in by a couple of guys."
-- Rep. Steven King on ACORN

Fox News Survey:

What Should Republicans Do Now?

By You Decide -

Now that the Senate has passed its version of health care reform, Democratic leaders in the House and Senate are prepping for a tug of war behind closed doors to reconcile differences between the two bills. It's a process that leaves congressional Republicans out in the cold, so: What should they do?

[ ] Nothing -- this is a done deal so move on to other issues, like unemployment and the deficit

[ ] Fight -- many Americans oppose these bills and the GOP needs to keep the pressure on

[ ] Focus on Election 2010 -- Let the voters tell Democrats what they think of their health care reform efforts

[ ] Undecided


6% -- Nothing -- this is a done deal so move on to other issues, like unemployment and the deficit (6,270 votes)

77% -- Fight -- many Americans oppose these bills and the GOP needs to keep the pressure on (79,202 votes)

16% -- Focus on Election 2010 -- Let the voters tell Democrats what they think of their health care reform efforts (16,580 votes)

<1% -- Undecided (394 votes)

Total Votes: 102,446

Note: Editorial Cartoons by Tom Tomorrow

(*) Ok, maybe it was just a review of the last few weeks of '09

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Hometown News - Three Links

Laredo, Texas could soon be largest U.S. city with no bookstore.

When the B. Dalton bookstore shuts in January, Laredo readers will have to travel 150 miles to San Antonio to find the nearest bookseller. The border town will be the largest U.S. city without a bookstore, industry experts believe.

More Hometown News:

War Without Borders - Smuggling Dollars South

Torrent of Illicit Cash Flows Where the U.S. and Mexico Meet

Hometown News Cont:

Sideshow: Two Lil Wayne buses fail sniff test

A li'l weed was - once again! - found on a Lil Wayne tour bus. About 3 a.m. Friday (12-18), U.S. Border Patrol officers made a routine stop of LW's two buses, on their way to a concert in Laredo, Texas. But K-9 dog detectives sniffed some dank on both buses! Dank indeed was found, and LW and 12 of his entourage were detained. The concert had to be kicked to last night. LW and homies were released. But on Feb. 9, he'll be in NYC to be sentenced (possibly for up to a year) for illegal weapons possession stemming from a bus-related 2007 bust, and then there's controlled-substance badness over his head from several places. Bicycle, LW - hitchhike, pogo stick, space shuttle, do anything but get on that bus. . . . In further Lil Wayne news, mistakenly shipped out 500 copies of his much-delayed, much-anticipated album Rebirth, scheduled for a Feb. 1 release. Leaks are a tradition with LW albums, but this is a true Amazon mess-up.

--Tirdad Derakhshani/Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holiday

Holiday Cheer Cont:

Power to the people. Power to the people, right on.

Here we have "American Idol" and "America's Got Talent," but in the smaller United Kingdom they've got "Britain's Got Talent" (hello, Susan Boyle) and "X-Factor" (which used to be "Pop Idol" which is the show that spawned our "Idol.")

Here cranky Simon Cowell is big, but in the UK he's BIG - so big that a grass-roots movement was launched to stop the new "X-Factor" winner, Joe McElderry, from having this year's British Christmas No. 1 song.

That Christmas No. 1 is a big thing across the pond and for the last few years the "X-Factor" winner has easily achieved the season's top hit.

But British music fans rose up against Cowell's control of the charts and created a viral campaign to make another song the Christmas No. 1.

And they didn't go for something by Taylor Swift or anyone else with an easy path to a hit.

No, the song that was chosen was 1992's "Killing in the Name" by political protest band Rage Against the Machine.

Amazingly, the campaign worked. "Killing in the Name" was downloaded more than 500,000 times last week, sending Cowell and "X-Factor" judge Cheryl Cole (Cowell certainly knows how to pick beautiful judges in England), into a tizzy, about how unfair this was to poor, young Joe.

(Sir Paul McCartney, by the way, came out for Rage Against the Machine, even though he had just performed on the "X-Factor" finale.)

Rage is tickled that its charity single (raising money for homelessness) has become its biggest hit ever.

The band said in a statement: "Rage Against the Machine is honored to have been drafted by this historic grassroots campaign to make our song 'Killing in the Name' the No. 1 song on the UK Christmas Week pop chart. This is a huge victory by and for fans of real music and we extend our heartfelt thanks to every fan and freedom fighter who helped make our anthem of defiance and rebellion the Anarchy Christmas Miracle of 2009.

"As promised we will play a free concert in the UK in celebration of this incredible upset victory over the heavily favored X-Factor single. We are also pleased that so much money has been raised for homeless charity Shelter and are happy to donate as well to aid this important cause. While there are many lessons that can be drawn from this historic upset, the main one is this: that ordinary people, banding together in solidarity, can change ANYTHING, be it the pop charts or the world."

How's that for a Christmas message.

-- Howard Gensler/Philadelphia Daily News

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


-- by klipschutz

I was just walking down the street
and there stood Gregory Corso,
looking just like Gregory Corso --
to a T the spitting image
of himself.
(He was, in fact, spitting.)
I congratulated myself on such fine luck
my very first day in San Francisco,
and pushed on.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Circus Devils

(2001 - 2010)

A retrospective of 33 songs chosen by Robert Pollard, taken from every Circus Devils albums to date, starting from Ringworm Interiors (2001) and ending with Mother Skinny (2010). 74 minutes of listening rapture.

Click here for product info and ordering info.


Produced by Todd Tobias. Voice, lyrics and cover art by Robert Pollard. Music by Todd Tobias and Tim Tobias.

Track listing: 1) Sub Rat 2) Lurking 3) Wolfman Chords 4) Hard Art 5) Get On It 6) His Troops are Loyal 7) Kingdoms of Korea 8) Bam Bam Bam 9) Germ Circus 10) 8 Legs to Love You 11) 17 Days on the Pole 12) Freezer Burn 13) Angels of War 14) Living Necklace of Warts 15) The New Nostalgia 16) Cave of Disappearing men (inst.) 17) Mother Skinny 18) All the Good Ones are Gone 19) Pledge 20) Shut Up

Available April 2010.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Cookie Fortune

We treat this world of ours as though we had a spare in the trunk.

Learn Chinese:

North - Bei

Lucky Numbers:

56, 20, 41, 9, 29, 37

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Fishtown Community Branch
[Free Library of Philadelphia]
will be closed on the following
days, including Saturdays and

Thursday, December 17th
Thursday, December 24th
Friday, December 25th
Thursday, December 31st
Friday, January 1st

Signage posted at said location

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Book Review


"The prognosis isn’t good. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service listed the polar bear as a threatened species last year after a protracted political battle (the short version: oil companies feared the listing would limit access to new oil fields in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea, 30 million acres of polar bear habitat, so the Bush administration stonewalled the listing until after it had auctioned off the oil leases)." -- Bruce Barcott


"The novelist Louis Begley ends 'Why the Dreyfus Affair Matters' with a question: “Will some day in the near future the crimes of the Bush administration, like . . . the crimes against Dreyfus, disappear under the scar tissue of silence and indifference?” His answer wittily echoes the apocryphal assessment of the French Revolution, sometimes attributed to Chairman Mao, sometimes to Prime Minister Zhou Enlai: “It is too soon to tell.”' -- Ruth Scurr


22 million Bush-era e-mails found

It will be years before the public sees any of them.


Lieberman - "Independent"

or not?


click here for music break


Bonus Round

Hello out there in big-bang land

Hubble captures galaxies 13 billion light-years away.



Joe Lieberman cartoon by Pat Oliphant

Friday, December 11, 2009

the rehab wars

Can a radical nun and a house full of junkies save Philadelphia from drug addiction?

click here for complete article/story

written by Isaiah Thompson
photographs by Neal Santos
published by Philadelphia City Paper (12/10 - 12/17/09)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Major Fail of the Day

We haven't got enough limos in the country to fulfill the demand.

MAJKEN FRISS JORGENSEN, managing director of Copenhagen's biggest limousine company, on the 1,200-plus limos that have been ordered for attendees of this week's climate-change summit

More Info:

5 Things to Watch for at the Copenhagen Climate-Change Conference

Bonus Round:

Greenhouse Gases Threaten Public Health and the Environment

After a thorough examination of the scientific evidence and careful consideration of public comments, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that greenhouse gases (GHGs) threaten the public health and welfare of the American people.


New York Times Editorial - The Endangerment Finding


Political Cartoon - Climate Conspiracy! by Morten Morland @ PolDraw

Friday, December 4, 2009

How is an artist's book made?

Click Here for a fast-time lapse video by Abigail Uhteg.

Check out her website. Good stuff

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Book Paper Scissors: An Artists' Book Fair @ the Free Library of Philadelphia

This Saturday, the Philadelphia Center for the Book is hosting their annual Book Paper Scissors Festival, an artists’ book fair complete with workshops.

The event, which is free to the public, features prints, artists’ books, handmade paper, origami, jewelry… pretty much anything and everything made out of paper. A lot of the items on display, from paper sculptures to intricately designed blank books, are made by local, Philadelphia region artists, and will be on sale.

The event takes place at the Free Library of Philadelphia from 10AM to 4PM.

Book Paper Scissors Artists’ Book Fair
December 5th, 2009, 10AM – 4PM

Free Library of Philadelphia
1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 686-5322

Info via uwishunu Philly & Eric Smith

Friday, November 20, 2009


Food Stuff Consumption

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

2 cups of black coffee
1 hash brown bar
small amount of M&Ms
2 cans of Yeungling Premium (16 fl. oz. apiece)
1 Spicy Fiesta Turkey Wrap (Turkey pieces, salsa, jalapeno ranch dressing with romaine lettuce on Lavosh bread)
1 Buffalo Blue Wrap (Grilled Chicken strips, romaine lettuce, Buffalo Blue sauce on Lavosh bread)
med amount of iced tea

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Reprise - Recipe

Chicken Bog With Middlins Risotto

For the Chicken:

1 pound (about 3 medium) tomatoes

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 chicken legs, skin removed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 pound andouille sausage, diced

1 cup diced onion

4 cloves garlic, minced

Half of a red pepper, diced

1 tablespoon fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

1 cup red wine

2 cups chicken broth or water

4 tablespoons butter

For the Risotto:

3 1/2 cups chicken broth or water

4 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup diced leeks

1 cup Anson Mills Carolina Gold Rice Grits or arborio rice

1/2 cup white wine

1/2 cup Parmesan

1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Cut a small X in the bottom of each tomato. Boil for 1 minute, then transfer to an ice-water bath to cool. Peel, seed and dice the tomatoes, setting aside 1 cup.

2. In a heavy saucepan fitted with a lid, warm the oil over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the chicken and brown on all sides, 4 to 6 minutes per side. Remove from the pan. Add the sausage, onion and garlic and sauté until softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in the red pepper, tomatoes, thyme and bay leaves. Deglaze the pan with the wine and reduce until the pan is nearly dry. Add the chicken broth or water and bring to a boil. Tuck the chicken into the liquid and simmer, covered, until the chicken is tender and pulls easily from the bone, about 40 minutes.

3. Set the chicken aside to cool and discard the bay leaves. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred the meat from the bone and return it to the pot. Reduce the broth until slightly thickened. Whisk in the butter and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

4. Prepare the risotto: in a small pot, heat the chicken broth or water until warmed through. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. When it starts to foam, add the leeks and stir until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir for a couple of minutes to toast the grains. Stir in the wine and cook until absorbed. Begin adding the warmed broth, about a half-cup at a time, and cook at a faint simmer, adding more broth as it is absorbed, stirring all the while. Cook until the rice grits are softened through and creamy. Stir in the Parmesan and remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Adjust the seasoning with salt.

Serves 4. Recipe By Christine Muhlke, Adapted from Chuck Ramsey of Five & Ten Restaurant in Athens, Ga.

Published: June 7, 2009

The New York Times Magazine
page 44

Related NY Times Article by Christine Muhlke:

Field Report: American Pastoral

A couple trade the suburbs for a grass-fed menagerie.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ol' Blue Eyes

New Live Release Info:

Frank Sinatra: New York

If the Big Apple had a voice, it would no doubt be the voice of Sinatra. Only Ol' Blues Eyes could match the city in vivacity, sophistication and above all else, universal appeal. This 5-disc collection of never-before-released live recordings finds the singer doing what he did best, performing, in the city that he loved best!

• 4 CD / 1 DVD
• Over 70 unreleased songs
• 45-page booklet

Weighing in at 71 tracks, SINATRA: NEW YORK chronicles the very finest of his legendary shows, from 1955 all the way to 1984, at world famous venues and New York City landmarks such as Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall and even the United Nations.

The 4CD/1DVD set delivers knock-out live versions of classic tunes such as “They Can’t Take That Away From Me,” “I Get A Kick Out Of You,” “I've Got You Under My Skin,” “My Kind Of Town,” “The Lady Is A Tramp,” and much, much more.

The 45-page booklet, complete with never-before-seen photos, contains an insiders look at the singer, the actor and the man himself as recounted by Frank Sinatra, Jr., columnist Nat Hentoff, sound engineer Tom Young, photographer George Kalinsky, Joe & Sal Scognamillo of Patsy’s, directors William Friedkin and Martin Scorsese, baseball great Yogi Berra, and choreographer Twyla Tharp.


Disc 1:
Manhattan Center, 1955
1. I’ll Never Smile Again
2. Oh! Look At Me Now
3. This Love Of Mine
United Nations, 1963
4. Too Marvelous For Words
5. They Can’t Take That Away From Me
6. I Have Dreamed
7. A Foggy Day
8. My Heart Stood Still
9. I Get A Kick Out Of You

Disc 2:
Carnegie Hall, April 8, 1974
1. Overture
2. Come Fly With Me
3. I Get A Kick Out Of You
4. Don’t Worry About Me
5. If
6. Bad, Bad Leroy Brown
7. Medley:
i. Last Night When We Were Young
ii. Violets For Your Furs
iii. Here’s That Rainy Day
8. Bows – “You Will Be My Music”
9. Monologue
10. My Way
11. You Will Be My Music
12. I’ve Got You Under My Skin
13. Send In The Clowns
14. That’s Life
15. Bows – “My Way”
16. There Used To Be A Ballpark
17. My Kind Of Town
18. Bows – “My Way”

Disc 3:
Madison Square Garden, October 12, 1974
1. Overture
2. The Lady Is A tramp
3. I Get A Kick Out Of You
4. What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?
5. Bad, Bad Leroy Brown
6. Let Me Try Again (Laisse Moi le Temps)
7. Send In The Clowns
8. My Kind Of Town
9. Monologue
10. Autumn In New York
11. If
12. I’ve Got You Under My Skin
13. Angel Eyes
14. The House I Live In
15. You Are The Sunshine Of My Life
16. My Way
17. Bows – “My Way”

Disc 4:
Carnegie Hall, June 1984
1. Fly Me To The Moon
2. Luck Be A Lady
3. This Is All I Ask
4. Come Rain Or Come Shine
5. Monologue
6. My Way
7. Teach Me Tonight
8. Pennies From Heaven
Radio City Music Hall, June 1990
9. For Once In My Life
10. Stranger In The Night
11. Monologue
12. Mack The Knife
13. Summer Wind
14. Theme From New York, New York
15. Bows ‘Good-Bye’

Carnegie Hall, 1980
1. I’ve Got The World On A String
2. The Best Is yet To Come
3. The Lady Is A Tramp
4. When Your Lover has Gone
5. This Is All I Ask
6. I’ve Got You Under My Skin
7. Summer Me, Winter Me
8. Street Of Dreams
9. The Gal That Got Away/It Never Entered My Mind (Medley)
10. I Can’t Get Started
11. Send In The Clowns
12. Come Fly With Me
13. Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out To Dry
14. You And Me (We Wanted It All)
15. The Song Is You
16. Theme From New York, New York

My Sinatra Moment:

Back in the early-late '90s, I was a plant technician in NYC... You know, the guy who waters and services the plants in your office or home. One of my clients was General Electric CEO Jack Welch & then wife Jane (Beasley).

I visited their residence at the Waldorf Towers in midtown Manhattan off Park Avenue twice a week for a couple of years. Would take the service elevator to the 20-something floor and knock on the door waiting for the housekeeper to let me in.

While waiting to be let in one day, I spied a large man sitting on a chair outside another apartment down the hall. Before I could knock again, the 325 lb. no-neck approached me asking "What are you doing here?"

Turning around, I looked up at him and replied "Huh? Oh, watering the plants at the Welch residence."

After a slight pause, he spoke again. "Mr. Sinatra is resting right now. I think it would be better if you came back some other time. Mr. Sinatra needs his peace and quiet."

"Oh, Okay," I said quickly agreeing with his assessment...

And just as quickly, I left for my next account at another location.


Favorite Sinatra Tune:

Summer Wind

Friday, November 13, 2009

Last Act for the Bluefin

The international commission that sets fishing limits for tuna and other large migratory fish is meeting in Brazil. The commission faces a depressing reality: the bluefin tuna in the eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean is headed toward commercial extinction.

From time to time, the commission has marginally reduced the allowable catch, but never by as much as its scientists have recommended, and never by enough to reverse the fish’s plunge toward extinction. The only quota that will make a difference is zero. The tuna fishery in the Mediterranean, where most of the fish spawn, should be shut down, pure and simple, until scientists say the fish have reached sustainable levels.

The United States delegation to the talks should settle for nothing less. If the talks produce only a reduced quota — given the makeup of the commission, that could happen — then the United States should join Monaco and other nations that have been pressing to put tuna on the international list of endangered species. Such a listing would allow fishermen to sell bluefin domestically but would make the high-volume international trade illegal, finally giving tuna a chance to recover.

Scientists say that overharvesting (much of it illegal) has caused a 72 percent decline among adult bluefin tuna in the eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean over the last 50 years. The smaller western Atlantic stocks have shown similar declines but have now stabilized, partly because of rigorous compliance by the United States.

Click Here For Complete New York Times Editorial

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day

On their day, think of them.

Also, Happy Birthday to my Mother & Brother.

Has it really been 5-6 years since I spoke to either of you?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Federal Money Working Hard

After U.S. rescue, AIG profitable

American International Group Inc. posted its second straight quarterly profit as its core insurance operations continued to stabilize after the company's $182 billion bailout by the government last year. A recovery in those operations is considered vital to AIG's repaying the government, which now owns 80 percent of the company. AIG's results were helped by the increasing value of investments it still holds that soured last year and helped drive it to the brink of collapse. In the quarter ended Sept. 30, AIG had a profit of $92 million compared with a loss of $24.5 million in last year's period. - AP


$92,000,000 x 4 = $368,000,000 (profit per year)

2 1/2 years at said profit rate = $1 Billion (*)

If the profit is plowed, Bailout could be paid in full after 455 years

note: this does not include interest amount due

(*) Using Wall Street Math, Yearly Profit Amount is rounded up to $400 million

Related: Dow surges to 52-week high

Soft dollar after G-20 meeting, boosts gold to a new record... Investors maintain upbeat sentiment, eye developments on potential mergers.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

For The Record

The Richmond Library, of the Free Library System of Philadelphia, was closed Friday, November 6th, due to the lack of support staff.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Damn! Phillies Lose Game Six of Series. Fail to Repeat as World Champions.

Baseball Year 2009 A Success Though, As Philadelphia Captured 2nd Straight National League Pennant

New York Yankees vs. Philadelphia Phillies

Game 6, 11/04: PHI 3 at NYY 7
Game 5, 11/02: NYY 6 at PHI 8
Game 4, 11/01: NYY 7 at PHI 4
Game 3, 10/31: NYY 8 at PHI 5
Game 2, 10/29: PHI 1 at NYY 3
Game 1, 10/28: PHI 6 at NYY 1

Note: Yankees win their 27th World Series Championship and First World Series in the new Yankee Stadium

More: Nothing But Pride Today - Thank You, 2009 Phillies

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Phillies Hope To End 364-Day World Series Drought

PHILADELPHIA— The last time the Philadelphia Phillies brought a World Series title back to the City of Brotherly Love, the nation's financial sector was in complete ruin, the cost of a gallon of milk was only $2.74, fans watched the Fall Classic while huddled around their slightly-less-streamlined high-definition television sets, and Philadelphia slugger Ryan Howard was just 28 years old.

This week Howard, 29, hopes to lead the Phillies to their first World Series championship in more than 360 long days and end a title drought that has been punctuated by several embarrassing losses, including a 2009 opening-day defeat by the Atlanta Braves and a June loss to the Atlanta Braves. During its infamous dry spell, the team has also come up short twice, winning both an NLDS and an NLCS title but having absolutely no World Series ring to show for it.

To put into perspective just how long the Phillies have gone without a championship, the earth has almost made one full orbit of the sun since the franchise last paraded through downtown Philadelphia holding the famed Commissioner's Trophy.

"We have a good group of guys this year, and if we block out all the stuff about how we haven't won a World Series in more than 5,000 waking hours, we'll be fine." Howard said. "Frankly, I'm tired of all that talk. Yes, I know Michael Jackson was still alive the last time we won, and I know Boston Legal was gearing up for its final episode. But look, when the umpire says 'Play ball,' none of that matters."

"After 364 days of constantly coming up short, I think this is finally our year," Howard added.

According to Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, if his players get wrapped up in the fact that they haven't raised a World Series banner since April 5, 2009, they'll never be able to play to the maximum of their ability against the New York Yankees. The veteran manager admitted, however, that going nearly 52 straight weeks without a championship is bound to shake any team's confidence.

"The bottom line is we're a pretty inexperienced team, and for many of these young players, this will be the first time they've been to the World Series in a year." Manuel said. "A lot has changed in that time. If you would have told me last October that this country would elect a black president before the Philadelphia Phillies made it back to the World Series, I would have laughed in your face."

While Philadelphia players admitted the 11-month championship-winless streak has been difficult for them personally, most agreed that it's the fans who've suffered most, enduring more than 500,000 minutes without a World Series victory.

"Our fans are incredible," said left fielder Raul Ibanez, who was brought to the Phillies during the offseason in the hopes that he could help Philadelphia finally get back on the winning track. "If I were them, I would have given up on us weeks ago, after we lost our 69th game and failed to win the National League East by more than 10 [games]. But they stuck with us."

Though the Philly faithful are understandably disappointed with their team's title drought, many believe this will be the season when the team breaks the so-called Curse of 1981—the year in which the Phillies failed to follow up their 1980 championship season with a World Series victory.

"I guess part of me feels like the long wait will make a title all the more special," season-ticket holder Mike Oliver said. "And even though I don't like to compare teams, this Philly squad feels similar to the one who beat the Rays back in the day. They had guys like Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Cole Hamels, Jamie Moyer—guys who could really play the game and knew how to win; not like today's players."

"Man, whatever happened to Jamie Moyer?" Oliver added. "He's got to be dead by now."

"Truthfully, I never thought I would live to see the Phillies get to another World Series," longtime fan David Oswald said. "When I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last November, the doctor only gave me eight months."

published October 29, 2009
The Onion Sports

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Fortune Cookie

When working towards the solution to a problem, it always helps if you know the answer.

Learn Chinese:

Be full - bao

Lucky Numbers:

28, 31, 12, 32, 20, 51

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Lunch Story by Six Year Old Writer

today i got school lunch. i had

pineapples, a potato with sour

cream, and this green stuff. It all

was yummy, except i didn't

actually like the green stuff

yet. Maybe i just havent tasted it

yet. Maybe i just did't know what it
was. I was wondering what
that was for almost the whole
lunch time! But it was just half of
the lunch time. The pineapples,
the potato, and also the salad
was good.

-Tess Ptak

Read Complete Entry "found-art: what is this green stuff?" on 37 Days by Patti Digh, author of Life Is A Verb

Monday, October 26, 2009

New Releases

Briefcase 3 2009 LP - Pre-order Release Date 11/3/09 - It's the BEST of Suitcase 3 plus ONE bonus track (Tropical Robots Long Version) not on any other release. 21 tracks, ONLY 500 copies pressed, RED vinyl.

Suitcase 3 2009 4 CD Set - Pre-Order Release Date 11/3/09 - A four-disc set featuring 100 songs. The material spans from the mid-90s to the present, with the fourth disc filled with impromptu acoustic Guided By Voices jams recorded by Pollard, Tobin Sprout, and Greg Demos.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Phillies Flag Flyes Again


Repeat - National League Champions - 2009, 2008

Note: The Phillies are the first team since 1996 to repeat as National League Champions

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Sincere Thanks for the Mention

from The Newshletter (Yesh)

MUTTS Shines the Light

This summer, Patrick McDonnell did a few series on which we've gotten a lot of feedback. Three in particular seemed to strike a real chord with MUTTS readers. The first was the puppy mill Sunday page which described the horrific conditions that the dogs have to live in, and the rescue one dog experienced. HSUS posted an article and reprinted the strip.

In August, Patrick did a week-long series on the plight of sharks which drew a lot of comments (many pro-shark, but also some from readers who just didn't underestand why we would want to save sharks from extinction(?).

And finally, pictured below is a MUTTS daily that was a head scratcher for many. "Where is the joke?" But Automotive Acne understood it - in triplicate!

THANK YOU to everyone who responded to these strips!

Friday, October 16, 2009


The Fishtown Community Branch
of the Free Library of
Philadelphia will be closed
Friday, October 16th, 2009 due to
a lack of security.

Signage posted at said branch location

Note: Click Here For More Info

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Phillies advance to the NLCS

Record: 2-2 All-time NLCS record between the Phils and the Dodgers. Phils won last two, in 1983 and 2008.

Tomorrow's Game (Thurs) Phillies at Dodgers, 8:07 p.m., TBS

Note: The Phillies are eight wins from becoming the first NL team to repeat as world champions since 1976.

info via Metro Newspaper


What the Phillies are doing is rare enough to warrant savoring

click here for complete commentary by Inquirer Sports Columnist Phil Sheridan

Monday, October 12, 2009

From The Vaults

Silver Jews - Random Rules on MUZU.

Silver Jews “Random Rules”
Director: Paul Finn
Drag City Records
Length: 4 min.
1999, music video

Info via: Rural Route Film Festival 2003

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Correction Of The Week

From the Washington Post

An editorial on Virginia's Democratic gubernatorial primary incorrectly stated that Terry R. McAuliffe had described himself as a "huckster." In his autobiography, Mr. McAuliffe described himself as a "hustler."

Constabulary Notes From All Over

From the Lake Oswego (Ore.) review

Following up a report of screaming at a residence on McVey Avenue, an officer defused a situation by assisting in the making of peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches.

above entries via The New Yorker

Humor Continued:

Bob Dylan Version

Highway 61 Revisited

One of the most celebrated recordings in rock history, "Like a Rolling Stone" is a song directed at a woman who once lived a life of privilege but has now experienced a reversal in fortune. Soon after recording the master, Dylan cut a test pressing for his music publisher and played it for several friends. It made an immediate, strong impression. One early listener was producer Paul Rothchild, who said "I knew the song was a smash, and yet I was consumed with envy because it was the best thing I'd heard any of our crowd do and knew it was going to turn the tables on our nice, comfortable lives." Dylan's friend, Paul Nelson, was recording a folk album at the time, and upon hearing it, he thought, "Oh boy, this just makes what we did obsolete."

When the single was released, Paul McCartney recalls hearing it at John Lennon's house: "It seemed to go on and on forever. It was just beautiful ... He showed all of us that it was possible to go a little further." A very young Bruce Springsteen would hear the recording on WMCA while driving in a car with his mother: "That snare shot that [kicked it off] sounded like somebody'd kicked open the door to your mind." Frank Zappa later recalled, "When I heard 'Like A Rolling Stone,' I wanted to quit the music business, because I felt: 'If this wins and it does what it's supposed to do, I don't need to do anything else.' ... It sold, but nobody responded to it the way that they should have."

Blonde on Blonde

For his Dylan biography, Bob Dylan: Behind The Shades, Take Two (2000), Clinton Heylin interviewed Blonde on Blonde drummer, Kenny Buttrey. Buttrey gave this account of the recording of the song Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands: "He ran down a verse and a chorus and he just quit and said, 'We'll do a verse and then a chorus and then I'll play my harmonica thing. Then we'll do another verse and chorus and we'll play some more harmonica and see how it goes from there.'...Not knowing how long this thing was going to be, we were preparing ourselves dramatically for a basic two to three minute record, because records just didn't go over three minutes... If you notice that record, that thing after like the second chorus starts building and building like crazy, and everybody's just peaking it up 'cause we thought, Man this is it. this is going to be the last chorus and we've got to put everything into it we can... After about ten minutes of this thing we're cracking up at each other, at what we were doing. I mean, we peaked five minutes ago. Where do we go from here?"

Saturday Evening Post writer Jules Siegel (who was traveling with Dylan while writing a cover story on him) was present in Dylan's hotel room in Vancouver, British Columbia, when Albert Grossman brought him what was probably the first acetate dub of Blonde on Blonde. According to Siegel, after playing "Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands", Dylan said, "Now that is religious music! That is religious carnival music. I just got that real old-time religious carnival sound there, didn't I?"

Nashville Skyline

"Sometimes... I go to the artist and say, 'What do you hear on the drums?' Because sometimes when people write songs they can hear it completed, they hear everything they think's gonna be on it", says drummer Ken Buttrey. "I went over to Dylan and said, 'I'm having a little trouble thinking of something to play. Do you have any ideas on ['Lay Lady Lay']?'... He said, 'Bongos'... I immediately disregarded that, I couldn't hear bongos in this thing at all... So I walked into the control room and said, 'Bob [Johnston], what do you hear as regards [to] drums on this thing?'... [He] said, 'Cowbells.'... Kris Kristofferson was working at Columbia Studios at the time as a janitor and he had just emptied my ashtray at the drums and I said, 'Kris, do me a favor, here, hold these two things... hold these bongos in one hand and the cowbells in the other,' and I swung this mike over to the cowbells and the bongos... I had no pattern or anything worked out. I just told Kris, 'This is one of those spite deals. I'm gonna show 'em how bad their ideas're gonna sound.'... We started playing the tune and I was just doodling around on these bongos and the cowbells and it was kinda working out pretty cool... Come chorus time I'd go to the set of drums. Next time you hear that [cut], listen how far off-mike the drums sound. There were no mikes on the drums, it was just leakage... But it worked out pretty good... To this day it's one of the best drum patterns I ever came up with."

Dylan info via Wikipedia

Friday, October 9, 2009

Signage Saying

Since the love of money is
the root of all evil, I'll
dream of things money
can't buy. -- Michael Albrecht

First Presbyterian Church in Kensington

Sunday Worship
10:30 A.M. & 5 P.M.
Wednesday Bible
Study - 7:00 P.M.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Hours of Operation

Central Library

1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(between 19th and 20th Streets on the Parkway)

Monday - Thursday 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Friday 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Saturday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sunday 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Fishtown Community Branch

1217 East Montgomery Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19125-3445
(Montgomery Ave. & Flora St.)

Monday, Thursday, Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Tuesday, Wednesday 12-8 p.m.
Saturday CLOSED

Port Richmond Branch

2987 Almond Street
Philadelphia, PA 19134-4955
(Indiana Ave. & Almond St.)

Tuesday, Wednesday 12-8 p.m.
Thursday, Friday, Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
(Indiana Ave. & Almond St.)

Ramonita de Rodriguez Branch

600 West Girard Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19123-1311
(6th St. & Girard Ave.)

Monday, Thursday, Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Tuesday, Wednesday 12-8 p.m.
Saturday CLOSED

For More Free Library of Philadelphia Branch Locations & Schedules click here

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Phillies win third consecutive NL East title

Bonus Round:

Video Montage: 'Win it for Harry'

Unctuous - Small Talk Gone Bad

Me: You can tell I'm a single guy, always shopping here and buying this fine food. I need to go to a real grocery store.

Young Female Clerk: Um, ok. (rolls eyes)

Me: You know, I think saw you yesterday driving in your car. (pointing in general direction of street)

YFC: Uh, yeah, probably. (shrugs shoulders)

Me: I didn't know you had two daughters.

YFC: (no response - rolls eyes again)

end of conversation



Sunoco #7200
3200 Richmond Street
Philadelphia, PA 19134
Merchant #: H342418843001

09/26/09 16:44:31

GM CHEX MX T - 1.39

Subtotal - 26.02
Tax1 - 0.09
Total - $26.11
USD$ - $26.11

Change - $0.00

Redeem Acme Gas Rewards Here

Transaction ID#187939

Thank you for
Shopping Sunoco


Mental Soundtrack

Sunday, September 27, 2009


FYI Redux - Click Here


The Fishtown Community Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia will be closed Wednesday, September 30th due to staff shortage.

Signage posted at said location

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Making Sense of the Health Care Debate

SPECTRAL VISION: 'A Winner's Curse'

Uwe E. Reinhardt, a Princeton economist, has a gloomy forecast in assessing Senator Max Baucus's health care proposal. Mr Reinhardt says the Baucus plan gives the insurance industry almost everything it could have wanted. But he describes a potential "winner's curse."

Because the Baucus plan does little to control runaway costs, Mr. Reinhardt says, insurers will still need to raise premiums year after year to keep up -- fueling the rising fury of a public that, under the Baucus rules, would be forced by a federal mandate to buy the increasingly expensive insurance. (Mr. Rienhardt dismisses the proposed insurance alternative, from non-profit cooperatives, as "mice that roar.")

"So imagine, if you will, solid-middle-class Harry and Louise, sitting at their kitchen table and beholding the latest premium notice from their friendly private health insurer," Reinhardt writes. "The private health insurance industry may yet find itself to be the proverbial flack catcher in the years ahead, and the public's clamor for a public health care plan may come back."


Timothy Stoltzfus Jost is a law professor at Washington and Lee University and frequently writes on comparative health care policy. His work includes an examination of insurance coverage in Switzerland and a comparison of the Swiss and Dutch systems. He spoke to Anne Underwood.

Q. The Swiss health care system relies on public-private approaches that have been recommended as models for the United States. What are the similarities?

A. In 1996, Switzerland instituted an individual mandate by which people are legally required to purchase health insurance in a competitive market. People buy coverage from private insurers, and the government provides subsidies for those who can’t afford coverage. About a third of the population receives subsidies.

Q. What is a major difference between the Swiss system and most of the proposals in Congress?

A. The most important difference is that health insurance in Switzerland is provided by nonprofit insurers — though some are affiliated with for-profit companies that offer supplemental policies along the lines of Medigap in the United States. The basic benefit package is defined by law and is quite generous. Maximum drug prices are regulated.

Q. How is the quality of care?

A. The quality of care is excellent. Waiting times are not reported to be a serious problem in Switzerland, and most people can get the services they need quite expeditiously. Modern, high-technology services are readily available. Coverage of some new drugs and procedures, however, is reviewed for effectiveness, and some drugs and procedures available in other countries may not be available in Switzerland if they are not considered to be cost-effective.

By The Numbers


Life expectancy: 82 years
Infant mortality: 4 per 1,000 live births
Health spending as a percentage of GDP: 11
Percentage of health spending that is private: 40
Doctors per 10,000 people: 40

United States

Life expectancy: 78 years
Infant mortality: 7 per 1,000 live births
Health spending as a percentage of GDP: 15
Percentage of health spending that is private: 54
Doctors per 10,000 people: 25

Source: World Health Organization. U.S. statistics.


Above info from The New York Times

Editorial Cartoons by Tony Auth for the Philadelphia Inquirer

One More Link:

Opposing Opinion - The Risks for Dems Going It Alone on Health Care By Jay Newton-Small for Time

Bonus Round:

Hard to Believe!

It was strange to find in this economically stressed, rural region of Vermont, not far from the state capital of Montpelier, a good news story about health care.

Those who live in the area, no matter what their income, can get high-quality primary care, dental care, prescription drug services and mental health assistance at a price they can afford. All they have to do is call or stop by the Health Center at Plainfield, which is part of a national network of centers that are officially (and clumsily) known as Federally Qualified Health Centers.

I was somewhat skeptical when Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont, told me that these centers (there are 39 sites of various size in the state) had “essentially solved the problem of primary care” for local residents. Politicians are in the business of making big claims. Most of the time you don’t hold it against them. But you don’t take the claims as gospel, either.

In this case, the senator’s claim seems to be very much on the money...

Click here for complete NY Times column by Bob Herbert

Non-Bonus Round:

The Elephant in the Room: Promises have been broken by Rick Santorum

Nothing is more critical to the success of President Obama's health-care legislation than his promise that no American will have to give up his or her health plan. A related promise runs a close second: that the "government option" will create competition for the private sector, not replace it.

Why are these promises so critical? Because, while most Americans are open to fixing health care, they're also happy with their private insurance. One would think Obama would oppose any provision that appears to force Americans into a government plan. Think again.

The Medicare Advantage program is composed of private insurance plans within Medicare, created to compete with government-run Medicare. Obama's call to cut funding to the program could eviscerate it.

According to Medicare Advantage insurers, their disproportionately poor and minority enrollees do better than Medicare's on many measures, getting much more primary care and avoiding unnecessary hospital admissions. Since 2004, enrollment has doubled to 10.2 million, about a quarter of Medicare beneficiaries. The program has become popular with poorer seniors because it offers more benefits for less money, including physicals, hearing aids, and glasses.

While the reforms proposed by Congress don't abolish the program, they eliminate more than $100 billion of its subsidy, which is sure to reduce benefits. On Sunday, ABC's George Stephanopoulos asked Obama how he squares that with his promise that no one would have to give up current coverage. Obama said that "these folks are going to be able to get Medicare that is just as good, provides the same benefits, but we're not subsidizing them for $18 billion a year." So, according to Obama, seniors may not have the same coverage, but they will get government-run Medicare that is "just as good."

According to the Congressional Budget Office, over the next 10 years, 2.7 million seniors who would have signed up for Medicare Advantage would end up in Medicare. And those in the program would see a reduction in benefits.

That's one promise broken.

What about Obama's promise about competition? He says he wants to cut Medicare Advantage subsidies to level the playing field between these plans and Medicare. But unlike Medicare, which can set artificially low prices, Medicare Advantage plans must pay market rates. Often, Medicare reimbursements don't even cover costs, so providers shift costs to private insurers, making them uncompetitive - exactly what many say would happen with the "government option."

I supported Medicare Advantage subsidies so the program would be available in rural areas, where managed-care plans are more expensive to operate. In exchange for the subsidies, Congress required program insurers to offer more benefits. And contrary to Obama's claim that the subsidies prop up huge company profits, the average plan profit is just 5 percent.

Bottom line: Cutting Medicare Advantage will eliminate private competition, meaning more government coverage.

That's two promises broken.

These broken promises have become a sore spot for Democratic congressional leaders such as Senate finance chairman Max Baucus. He and administration officials have gone so far as to threaten Medicare Advantage insurers with sanctions if they continue to tell seniors the facts about Obamacare. Oh, what webs we weave.

Monday, September 21, 2009


The Richmond Library
will be Closed!

Monday, September 21st and
Monday, September 28th.

Signage posted at said location

Note: Closure due to lack of support staff

Thursday, September 17, 2009

On This Date In History

Thursday, September 17th
The 260th day of 2009.
There are 105 days left in the year.

Today's Highlights in History

On Sept. 17, 1862, Union forces hurled back a Confederate invasion of Maryland in the Civil War battle of Antietam. With 23,100 killed, wounded or captured, it remains the bloodiest day in U.S. military history.

On Sept. 17, 1934, Maureen Connolly, the first woman to win the tennis Grand Slam, was born.

On this date in:

1787 - The U.S. Constitution was completed and signed by a majority of delegates attending the constitutional convention in Philadelphia.

1907 - Warren Burger, the 15th chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, was born in St. Paul, Minn.

1920 - The American Professional Football Association - a precursor of the National Football League - was formed in Canton, Ohio.

1939 - The Soviet Union invaded Poland during World War II.

1947 - James V. Forrestal was sworn in as the first U.S. secretary of defense.

1972 - The comedy series "M*A*S*H" premiered on CBS.

1976 - NASA unveiled the space shuttle Enterprise.

1980 - Former Nicaraguan president Anastasio Somoza was assassinated in Paraguay.

1986 - The Senate confirmed the nomination of William H. Rehnquist as the 16th chief justice of the United States.

1992 - Special prosecutor Lawrence Walsh called a halt to his five-and-a-half-year probe of the Iran-Contra scandal.

1994 - Heather Whitestone of Alabama became the first deaf woman to be crowned Miss America.

1996 - Former Vice President Spiro T. Agnew died at age 77.

1997 - Northern Ireland's main Protestant party joined peace talks, bringing the major players together for first time.

1999 - President Bill Clinton lifted restrictions on trade, travel and banking imposed on North Korea a half-century earlier.

2001 - Wall Street trading resumed for the first time since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks - its longest shutdown since the Depression; the Dow lost 684.81 points, its worst one-day point drop to date.

2001 - Pro sporting events resumed after a six-day hiatus following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

2003 - New York Stock Exchange chairman Dick Grasso resigned amid a furor over his $139.5 million pay package.

2004 - Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev claimed responsibility for the Sept. 1-3 school siege in Beslan and other terrorist attacks in Russia that claimed more than 430 lives.

2004 - San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds hit his 700th career home run, joining Babe Ruth (714) and Hank Aaron (755) as the only players to reach the milestone.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Cookie Fortune

To aim at the best and to remain essentially
ourselves is one and the same thing.

Learn Chinese:

sugar - tang

Lucky Numbers; 36, 46, 52, 47, 3, 28

Thursday, September 10, 2009

'For Your Information'

The RICHMOND Library
will have a Delayed Opening
Thursday, September 10th
(Sometime after 12:00 a.m.) [sic]

signage posted at said location

FYI continued:

The Richmond Library
will be closed
Friday, September 11th, 2009
Sorry for any inconvenience

Nearest Library:
Fishtown Branch
1217 East Montgomery Ave.
(Montgomery & Girard Ave)
(215) 685-9990

signage posted at said location

Update: These are about to be posted on the front doors of the Central Library and all branches due to lack of funding.

Note: Photo & Update Info via

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Believe It Or Not

The New York Times Sports In-Box

Celebrating Vick

To the Sports Editor:

Re “Vick’s Path to Redemption Is Clear,” Aug. 29: I’m glad the Eagles brought Michael Vick to town. I am an advocate for animals, and I think Vick brings a gift more important than a potential Super Bowl win. He brings the possibility of saving countless animals from the horrors of dogfighting, a serious problem in Philadelphia.

If Vick is committed to being a voice against the cruel blood sport, he can save far more animals than he has harmed. I can’t think of a voice for the job more relevant than his.

Heather Veleanu

Criticizing Victorino

To the Sports Editor:

Re “In Hawaii, High School Sports Are Far From Paradise,” Sept. 1: Shane Victorino has a $3.125-million-a-year contract with the Phillies and he donates $10,000 to Hawaiian high school sports. Victorino would be harvesting sugar cane if he couldn’t play baseball and should give far, far more.

Bill Gleason
Kentfield, Calif.

Both letters published Sunday, September 6th

Thursday, August 27, 2009

All Day - Every Day Specials

Julie's Corner Bar

Richmond St./E. Clearfield St.
Philadelphia, PA 19134

$1.50 - Rolling Rock Draught - pint

$1.75 - Yuengling Lager - pint


2629 Lehigh Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125 (215) 427-9262

$1.25 - Yuengling Premium - 16 oz. can

Note: Smoking allowed at both establishments

Bonus Round:

Better-Than-Ever Fresh Potato Salad

In the spring and summer months, the potatoes all but disappear from the tables at my local market to make room for the season's beautiful salad greens and fresh herbs. There are, however, new potatoes crop up towards the end of spring and into the summer months. It seems only logical to make a summer potato salad that integrates the fresh herbs with these fresh potatoes that, when cooked, are more moist and dense than other types of potatoes.

Herby Potato Salad
Serves 4 to 6

2 1/2 - 3 pounds Red Bliss potatoes, washed
Sea salt
12 scallions, washed, dried, and cut into slices (green and white parts both)
1 cup basil leaves, stemmed, washed, and dried
¼ cup tarragon leaves, stemmed, washed, and dried
½ cup parsley leaves, stemmed, washed, and dried
freshly ground white pepper
2 tablespoons water
8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 shallots, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and sliced thin
2 tablespoons smooth (Dijon) mustard
1 tablespoon chopped capers and 2 teaspoons of the caper liquid

1. Bring the potatoes to a boil in a pot of water and reduce to a simmer. Season the water with a pinch of salt. Simmer the potatoes gently -- no need to rush them as they cook -- until they are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife.

2. Meanwhile, in a food processor (or blender), combine the scallions, basil, tarragon and parsley. Alternatively, chop and blend all of the herbs in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the water over the herbs and blend. Pour 5 tablespoons of the olive oil through the top of the food processor in a slow, steady stream and blend until almost smooth. Taste for seasoning. Set aside.

3. In a bowl large enough to hold the potatoes, whisk together the red wine vinegar, shallots, mustard, capers, and caper liquid. Whisk in the remaining olive oil. Taste for seasoning. Drain the potatoes of their cooking liquid and discard the bay leaves.

4. While the potatoes are still warm, combine them in the bowl with the dressing and lightly crush them with the tines of a fork. Season lightly with salt and pepper and toss them in the dressing. You can almost see the potatoes absorbing all of the great flavors! Finish by adding the herb and olive oil mixture. Stir to blend. Keep warm at room temperature until ready to serve.

Tip: You can make the salad the day before and refrigerate it overnight. A few hours before serving, take it out to bring it to room temperature.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Local Wire

Philadelphia Daily News Staff Report:

ASPCA condemns Vick's signing with Eagles

New Eagles quarterback Michael Vick's handlers approached the American Society for the Prevention of Animal Cruelty months ago about doing educational work against dogfighting, but the organization immediately turned them down because of "his indescribable and barbaric acts of animal cruelty" while running an illegal dogfighting operation, the group revealed on its Web site yesterday. The remarks, the first public comments from the group, were written by ASPCA president Ed Sayres.

"[T]his organization and I personally have seen the acts of cruelty committed by Mr. Vick first hand - acts so heinous that the public has never laid witness to them," Sayres wrote, noting that the ASPCA helped process evidence that led to Vick's 18-month imprisonment.

Sayres condemned Vick's return to the NFL and signing with the Eagles: "Today, it is difficult to see him in the uniform of a Philadelphia Eagle because of the startling lack of judgment and moral character he has demonstrated over the past several years. It is questionable whether he will have any credibility as an educator on the dog fighting issue."

Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said he is convinced that Vick is remorseful and deserves a second chance.


Philadelphia Embarrassments by Clark DeLeon

Friday, August 21, 2009

Closed On Monday

The Fishtown Branch of the
Free Library of Philadelphia
will be closed Monday,
August 24th, 2009 to cover
Staff Shortages at other

(Signage posted at said location)

Thursday, August 20, 2009



Sunoco #7200
3200 Richmond Street
Philadelphia, Pa 19134

08/19/09 09:10:09

BA BEAR CLAW...............1.49
CRACK N SNK..................0.99
LV MILK WHOL..............1.79
TURKEYHILL T...............2.39

Sales Tax..................0.00
Cash (USD$)..........$6.66


Transaction Id#96318

Thank you for
Shopping Sunoco


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Squandered Opportunity - Health Care Deformed

When Barack Obama assumed the presidency, there was talk that former Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean might be his Secretary of Health and Human Services. That would have made Dean the administration’s point-person in the fight for health care reform. It also would have increased the likelihood that reform would be real.

But Dean was rejected. And, now, the prospect of real reform is fading fast. Dean said last week that the only thing that made health-reform legislation proposed by House committees worth doing was the public option. In that legislation, the physician and former Vermont governor argued that “the last shred of reform is the public option.” In fact, without the public option, the Obama approach — and that of compromise-prone Democrats in Congress — looks increasingly like a step in the wrong direction.

That’s because the “reforms” currently under consideration threaten to undermine Medicare and Medicaid — with radical cost-cutting schemes — while steering hundreds of billions in federal dollars into the accounts of for-profit insurers and the pharmaceutical industry.

This is not “change we can believe in.” This is change that serious reformers will find “very difficult” to support, as Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, said Sunday on CNN. Johnson explained that progressives would have a tough time backing legislation that did not include a public option.

“The only way we can be sure that very low-income people and persons who work for companies that don’t offer insurance have access to it, is through an option that would give the private insurance companies a little competition,” explained Johnson, a former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Congresswoman Johnson is exactly right. Without a robust public option, what the Obama administration and compromised Democrats in the House and Senate are talking about is not “health care reform.”

It is “health care deform” that does not begin to address the crisis created by insurance industry profiteering — and that could well make the “cure” worse than the disease.

John Nichols is a Washington correspondent for The Nation magazine.

published Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Metro Newspaper - Philadelphia


This Is Reform?

It’s never a contest when the interests of big business are pitted against the public interest. So if we manage to get health care “reform” this time around it will be the kind of reform that benefits the very people who have given us a failed system, and thus made reform so necessary.

Forget about a crackdown on price-gouging drug companies and predatory insurance firms. That’s not happening. With the public pretty well confused about what is going on, we’re headed — at best — toward changes that will result in a lot more people getting covered, but that will not control exploding health care costs and will leave industry leaders feeling like they’ve hit the jackpot.

Click here for complete Op-Ed by Bob Herbert, published August 17, 2009, The New York Times

Healthcare Cont:

After his brilliant beginning, the president suddenly looks weak and unreliable. That will be the common interpretation around Washington of the president's abrupt retreat on substantive heathcare reform. Give Barack Obama a hard shove, they will say, rough him up a bit and he folds. A few weeks back, the president was touting a "public option" health plan as an essential element in reform. Now he says, take it or leave it. Whatever Congress does, he's okay with that...

Click here for complete editorial By William Greider published in The Nation

Monday, August 17, 2009

Closed On Tuesday

FYI - The Port Richmond Library Branch (Free Library System of Philadelphia) will be closed Tuesday, August 18th. No reason was given for said closure.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Cookie Fortune

Compromise is always wrong if it means sacrificing a principle.

Learn Chinese:

Bean Sprout - dou ya

Lucky Numbers:

46, 22, 24, 15, 30, 9

Bonus Round:

courtesy of All Over Coffee by Paul Madonna

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Keeping Score

Throwing An Adage A Curveball - Studies Show That the Curveball Isn’t Too Stressful for Young Arms

For almost as long as children have been throwing baseballs, adults have been telling them about the worst thing they could do to their still-developing arms: throw curves.

The warnings go back to the earliest days of sports medicine, orthopedic surgeons say, at least to the 1950s. In the 1970s, Robert Kerlan, the eminent surgeon who cared for Sandy Koufax, condemned curveballs as murderous on the elbows of professional pitchers, “to say nothing of the young athletes whose bones and joints are still growing.”

That remains the mantra of many sports medicine experts. The orthopedic surgeon James Andrews, who performs more than 100 Tommy John ligament-transplant operations most years, cautions that children should not even think about throwing curves until they are 14.

Are those doctors all alarmists?

Maybe so, according to two studies in which scientists and surgeons evaluated more closely than before the effects of curves on young arms. The studies were done independently by research teams in Connecticut and in Alabama. Each compared the forces across the elbows of pitchers as they fired fastballs and curves. (The Alabama study also included changeups). Each study concluded that curves are less stressful than fastballs and, based on the data collected, contributed little, if at all, to throwing injuries in youth players.

click here for complete NY Times article by MARK HYMAN

Baseball Continued:

When pitch counts reach the century mark, the end is near ... but why?

Baseball's magic number: 100

Subject Update:

Arms-Control Breakdown

More and more youth pitchers are having operations on their elbows and shoulders. So why aren’t the grown-ups doing something about it?

click here for NY Times article by Ron Berler

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Selling Short

Creekside Cabaret 5th Anniversary Celebration featuring Bridget The Midget

Wed July 29th thru Sat Aug 1st

Pictures, signings, and couch dances will be available

3225 Advance Lane
Hatfield, Pa 18915

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Pope and the Business Man (*)

Holy See (Sancta Sedes) offers ideas about the economic crisis

By Joseph N. DiStefano

Pope Benedict has reviewed the world economy in crisis and drawn up a 79-point list of problems and recommendations, laid out cost-benefit-analysis style and footnoted from his predecessors' pronouncements, and from the Bible.

Catholic social teaching, citing Isaiah and James, Aquinas and Leo XIII, fueled the rise of the labor-union movement and of the Christian Democratic parties that ran Western Europe and competed in Latin America and parts of Asia after World War II.

The church has less social influence now. But Benedict sees a strategic opportunity in today's crisis to get people thinking about big questions. Some highlights:

Who asked him? "The Church does not have technical solutions to offer and does not claim to interfere in any way in the politics of States. She does, however, have a mission of truth. . . ."

Profit "is useful if it serves as a means towards an end that provides a sense both of how to produce it and how to make good use of it. Once profit becomes the exclusive goal . . . it risks destroying wealth and creating poverty."

Economic growth "continues to be a positive factor that has lifted billions of people out of misery."

But: "This same economic growth has been and continues to be weighed down by malfunctions and dramatic problems, highlighted even further by the current crisis," such as "the damaging effects on the real economy of badly managed and largely speculative financial dealing," which he blames for unemployment, mass immigration, and pollution.

The culture of poverty: "In some poor countries, cultural models and social norms of behavior persist which hinder the process of development."

Trade: "The principal form of assistance needed by developing countries is that of allowing and encouraging the gradual penetration of their products into international markets."

Open sourcing: "On the part of rich countries, there is excessive zeal for protecting knowledge through an unduly rigid assertion of the right to intellectual property, especially in the field of health care."

Blind science: "Technological development can give rise to the idea that technology is self-sufficient when too much attention is given to the 'how' questions, and not enough to the many 'why' questions underlying human activity."

Synthetic life: "Human knowledge is insufficient and the conclusions of science cannot indicate by themselves the path towards integral human development. . . . Moral evaluation and scientific research must go hand in hand."

Blaming the traders, not the trades: "Instruments that are good in themselves can thereby be transformed into harmful ones. But it is man's darkened reason that produces these consequences, not the instrument per se. . . . Every economic decision has a moral consequence."

He likes credit unions, nonprofits, and consumer cooperatives: "Space also needs to be created within the market for economic activity carried out by subjects who freely choose to act according to principles other than those of pure profit."

He doesn't like spot markets: "What should be avoided is a speculative use of financial resources that yields to the temptation of seeking only short-term profit, without regard for the long-term sustainability of the enterprise, its benefit to the real economy."

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(*) During a Papal audience, a business man approached the Pope and made this offer: Change the last line of the Lord's prayer from "give us this day our daily bread" to "give us this day our daily chicken." and KFC will donate 10 million dollars to Catholic charities. The Pope declined. 2 weeks later the man approached the Pope again. This time with a 50 million dollar offer. Again the Pope declined. A month later the man offers 100 million, this time the Pope accepts. At a meeting of the Cardinals, The Pope announces his decision in the good news/bad news format. The good news is... that we have 100 million dollars for charities. The bad news is that we lost the Wonder Bread account!