Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Cascarones (*)

Carefully break a dozen eggs (keep carton for egg storage until Easter hunt) preserving at least 3/4 of the shell (good time to make a large omelette or something)

Wash/clean interior of shell. Let dry.

Paint eggs, let dry, then fill with confetti and glue/top the eggshell opening with colored tissue, "cone-head shaped", over opening. Hide eggs in yard. Let kids break or smash the confetti eggs on each other's heads. Fun.

(*) Cascarone

\Cas`ca*ron"\, n. [Sp. cascar['o]n.] Lit., an eggshell; hence, an eggshell filled with confetti to be thrown during balls, carnivals, etc. [Western U. S.]
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Health Care Reform Explained

Let's remember what this law actually does: It broadens the risk pool by requiring everyone to buy insurance (or pay a fine); it bans insurers from discriminating based on pre-existing conditions or cutting off your benefits when you get sick; it subsidizes coverage for those in the lower and middle class; it forces large employers to offer coverage and permits smaller employers to buy lower-cost plans in state-administered insurance exchanges; it closes the so-called doughnut hole in the Medicare prescription drug benefit; it pays for all of the above primarily with taxes on the wealthy and fees levied against big insurers.

That's it. No killing grandma. No government credit card for Planned Parenthood. None of that nonsense. In the end, none of the dire predictions the right wing has made will come to pass.

Many Americans, including those who took to the streets to protest the supposed communist usurpation of the American dream, will hardly notice the changes around them, because they already have access to health care, and their lives won't change all that much.

The threat will subside. And when it does, the fears of the outraged thousands who stood on the National Mall last weekend, decrying "Obamacare," waving Gadsden flags and shouting — among the assorted epithets — for lawmakers to "kill the bill," will evaporate into the ether.

It's happened before: In 1961, Ronald Reagan, the patron saint of the modern GOP, famously warned that passing Medicare would mean "you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it once was like in America when men were free." Nearly a half-century later, Republicans lined up to oppose health-care reform, decrying the fact that it cuts $500 billion from Medicare, albeit in overpayments to insurance companies.

click here for complete City Paper commentary by Jeffrey C. Billman

Friday, March 26, 2010


Yum Yum Plate Pie

Cream together 2 oz. brown sugar and 3 oz. butter. Stir in thoroughly 2 egg yolks. Add 2/3 cup of plain flour plus 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder and 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence. Mix all ingredients well together.

Butter the heat-resistant pie plate(*) well.

With a wooden spoon press down and flatten the flour mixture over the base of the plate before covering the top with 2 oz. of walnut halves and 2 oz. chopped glace (or candied) cherries. Beat the whites of the eggs until stiff. Fold in 4 tablespoons of fine sugar and spread this over the cherries and nuts. Bake in moderate oven at 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes until top is brown.

1 cup = 8 fluid oz.

(*) Note: pie plate should be 8 1/2 inches in diameter & 1/2 inch deep

Recipe from text printed on "Epicure - Oven To Tableware" plate

T.G Green Ltd, Gresley, Made in England

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Free Library of Philadelphia

The Fishtown Branch will be
closed Thursday, March 25th
because the branch has no
security guard.

signage posted at said branch

Note: Didn't receive your census form in the mail?

All Free Library of Philadelphia branch locations now have them. Also, there will be a census bureau employee at said locations to answer any questions you may have.

Fill out and return the census... You'll feel better. And so will the country. Guaranteed.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Say What?

"What I dislike most about Obamacare though is this notion that the leftists in Washington think that they can pass this thing through, cram it through, with disregard to consider the will of the people, disregard of these constitutional legal traditional processes which have thus far been used in America's processes to allow policy to be adopted that do adhere to the will of the people." -- Sarah Palin

Monday, March 22, 2010

219 - 212

Health care reform: How House members voted

The House voted Sunday night on the Senate bill for health care reform, passing it 219 to 212. Find out how each member of the House voted, beginning with the Democrats in favor.

Final vote tally
YES: 219
NO: 212

Source: U.S. House of Representatives

Friday, March 19, 2010

100 Years

Celebrate A Century of Service to the Richmond Community

"A library outranks any other thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never failing spring in the desert."

-- Andrew Carnegie

Join the staff and The Friends of the Richmond Branch for a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Richmond Branch.

The Phillie Phanatic will serve as Master of Ceremonies. The Grande Dame of Port Richmond will celebrate her birthday in appropriate style. The Friends have arranged for A Taste of Port Richmond Buffet with samples of the best local cuisine. Many community leaders and celebrities will be on hand.

The Sounds of Liberty barbershop chorus, Sugar Jazz Quartet, ceremonial tree-planting, face-painting, family-fun, and great prize giveaways will all be part of the fun.

Saturday - March 20th - Noon - 3 p.m.

Richmond Branch
Free Library of Philadelphia

2987 Almond Street
Philadelphia, PA 19134-4955

Also of Interest:

In the the branch library, a vitrine displaying the following...

1) Original Deed (dated 26 December 1907)

2) Hand typed (manual typewriter) report from Emma Enge to the Free Library of Philadelphia detailing the overwhelming response and popularity to programs offered by the Library and the need to increase the amount of programs offered because of overflowing crowds. (dated February 7, 1912)

3) Actual Title Transfer from Anne M. Weighton Walker to the City of Philadelphia (dated 26 December 1907)

4) Original Petition presented to the Free Library of Philadelphia requesting a Polish-language collection for use by residents. At the time, there were over 6,000 Polish-Americans residing in Port Richmond. The Richmond Branch has maintained this collection to this day. (multiple-page petition dated 1912)

Note: photo courtesy of Fedira's Flickr Photostream

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Free Library of Philadelphia

Fishtown Community Branch will
be closed Thursday, March 18th
because there is no security
guard available.

Signage posted at said location

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Patrick The Saint

Normally if someone were to wake up at 7:00 in the morning, take the day off work, and get drunk at a bar before 10:00 a.m., they would be called an alcoholic, and not in the artistic, edgy way that white people are so fond of.

On March 17th, however, this exact same activity is called celebrating St. Patrick’s day. This very special white holiday recognizes Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland who helped to bring Catholicism to the Emerald Isle. His ascetic life is celebrated every year by white people drinking large amounts of Irish-themed alcohol and listening to the Dropkick Murphys.

It is also the day of the year when you can make the most gains in your social and professional relationship with white people.

Most of the time, white people consider celebrations of European heritage to be racist unless they omit large swathes of the 16th through 20th centuries. But since the Irish never engaged in colonialism and were actually oppressed it is considered acceptable and encouraged to celebrate their ancestry. For this reason, 100% of white people are proud to claim that they are somewhat Irish.

A big part of St. Patrick’s Day is having white people feel particularly upset at the oppression of their ancestors that has in no way trickled down to them. If you find yourself talking with a white person who tells you about how their great grandfather was oppressed by both the English and the Americans, it is strongly recommended that you lend a sympathetic ear and shake your head in disbelief. It is never considered acceptable to say: “but you’re white now, so what’s the problem?”

It is also worth noting that on this day, there is always one trump card that never fails to gain respect and acclaim. When you are sitting at an Irish bar and someone orders a round of Guinness, you must take a single sip and while the other white people are savoring their drink, you say: “mmmm, I know it sounds cliche, but it really is true. Guinness just tastes better in Ireland.”

This comment will elicit an immediate and powerful response of people agreeing with your valuable insight. This statement also has the additional benefit of humiliating the members of your party who have not been to Ireland (and thus cannot confirm this proclamation). Having not traveled to Ireland and consumed a beer that is widely available in their hometown and throughout the world, they will immediately be perceived as provincial, uncultured, and inferior to you.

It is also strongly encouraged that you memorize the lyrics to “Jump Around.” It will come in handy.

from The Definitive Guide To Stuff White People Like
by Christian Lander
Chapter #89
Saint Patrick’s Day
pgs. 113-114
published by Random House Trade Paperback (2008)

Note: Over The Hedge cartoon by Michael Fry and T Lewis

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Daylight Saving Time

Move Clock Forward
One Hour at 2 am.

Friday, March 12, 2010

High & Inside

Looks as if Topps went the cheap route in putting an image of Mariners lefthander Cliff Lee on a baseball card in its 2010 Opening Day set.

Instead of waiting to get a photo of Lee pitching for his new team, the company reportedly took a shot of him while he was with the Phillies and doctored it to make it look like he was wearing a Mariners uniform.

Several blogs and Web sites are reporting on the digitally altered card.

Apparently, whoever "transformed" Lee's duds from a Phillies to a Mariners uniform forgot to remove the HK patch that the Fightins wore last season in honor of Harry Kalas, their late, beloved broadcaster.

The ironic thing is that Kalas never called a play while Lee was with the Phils. Harry died on April 13 of last year, Lee was traded to the Phillies on July 29. Not surprisingly, Lee's "HK" card is already on eBay.(*)

--- Tom Mahon, Philadelphia Daily News Sports

(*) 2010 Topps Opening Day Cliff Lee ERROR HK Patch #59

Bid history: 9 bids

Winning bid: US $48.22

This card is very unique and rare as Topps has indeed stopped production on it. The card features Cliff Lee superimposed in a Seattle Mariners uniform, however they forgot to remove the Phillies "HK" Patch that was worn last year. Errors like this are extremely rare these days and are corrected immediately.

Product: 2010 Topps Opening Day

Type: Rare Error Card (59)

Player: Cliff Lee

Serially Numbered: No longer in Production

Condition: Mint

Item specifics

Original/Reprint: Original
Product: Single
Era: Modern (1981-Now)
Year: 2010
Team: Seattle Mariners
Player: Cliff Lee
Card Manufacturer: Topps

More Is Less:

You might recall him from last week’s outrage of the week — he is the outgoing Senator from Kentucky who fiercely filibustered a bill to extend unemployment benefits to the jobless because it would add to the deficit. This from the man who voted fund two wars on the back of the Bush tax cuts for the super-rich. His message to the hundreds of thousands that would lose benefits? Too fuckin’ bad, freeloaders!

Jim Bunning will be signing autographs at the Philadelphia Sports Card & Memorabilia Show. We urge anyone currently collecting to go to the show and get him to sign your unemployment check.

note: Bunning text/image from Phawker.com

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Avocado Dessert

1 peeled avocado
2 tbsp sugar or honey
juice of half a lemon
1/2 tsp instant coffee

Mash or blend all ingredients together.
Add an equal amount of vanilla ice cream,
mix well and put into wine glasses.
Freeze for half an hour.

Serves Four.

from The Urban Peasant Cookbook
by James Barber
(published 1989)

click here for more

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Family Circus

1960: 1st wk of published strips

More Recently (click comic to enlarge)

Note: FC parody by The Perry Bible Fellowship

Thursday, March 4, 2010

On This Date In History


Today is Thursday, March 04th
The 063rd day of 2010.
There are 302 days left in the year.


Today's Highlights in History

On March 4, 1933, the start of President Roosevelt's first administration brought with it the first woman to serve in the Cabinet: Labor Secretary Frances Perkins.

On March 4, 1888, Knute Rockne, who changed the strategy of football as coach at Notre Dame, was born.


On this date in:

1681 - England's King Charles II granted a charter to William Penn for an area of land that later became Pennsylvania.

1789 - The Constitution went into effect as the first Congress met in New York City.

1791 - Vermont became the 14th state.

1837 - The Illinois state legislature granted a city charter to Chicago.

1861 - Abraham Lincoln took the oath of office as the 16th president.

1902 - The American Automobile Association was founded in Chicago.

1909 - William Howard Taft took the oath of office as the 27th president of the United Sates.

1913 - Woodrow Wilson was sworn as the 28th president of the United States.

1917 - Republican Jeanette Rankin of Montana took her seat as the first woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

1933 - Frances Perkins became the first woman to serve in the Cabinet when she took over as secretary of labor.

1952 - Actors Ronald Reagan and Nancy Davis were married in North Hollywood, Calif.

1987 - President Ronald Reagan addressed the nation on the Iran-Contra affair, acknowledging his overtures to Iran had "deteriorated" into an arms-for-hostages deal.

1989 - Time Inc. and Warner Communications Inc. announced plans to merge.

1993 - Authorities announced the arrest of Mohammad Salameh, who was later convicted of playing a key role in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York City.

1997 - President Bill Clinton barred spending federal money on human cloning.

1999 - Retired Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun died at age 90.

2005 - Martha Stewart left federal prison after serving five months for her role in a stock scandal.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Friend, Post-Treatment

by Ben-David Seligman

The problem is that
I can’t tell him what
I think about the fact
that he died.
________________I’m against it.

I’d rather he inhale, exhale,
repeat, et cetera,
________________but, as things are,

his parents, sibs and others
confront his worldly assets,
including a slow computer,
loose papers, and
an awful car
kept alive by his constant care.

It all may sit untouched for years
while loved ones deal
with more important things.

published by Philadelphia Stories (Winter 2009/2010)

About The Author

Ben-David Seligman lives in New Jersey, where he was born and raised, and where he works as an Assistant City Attorney. His poems have appeared in The Anthology of Magazine Verse, Midstream, Jewish Currents, Kerem, Yugntruf, Poetica, Spiral Bridge (Internet), The South Mountain Anthology, Columbia Perspectives, and Surgam.