Friday, October 29, 2010

Top 10 Political issue Songs

  1. Tax Man George Harrison and Eric Clapton
  2. The Times They Are A Changin Bob Dylan
  3. Everyday People Sly and the Family Stone
  4. Ball of Confusion The Temptations
  5. Mercy, Mercy Me Marvin Gaye
  6. Don’t Go Near the Water Johnny Cash
  7. Shape I’m In The Band
  8. The Lost Woman Song Ani DiFranco
  9. American Skin Bruce Springstein
  10. Eminence Front The Who

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Top 10 Monsters

  1. Frankenstein, the book written by Mary Shelley was inspired by a dream that she had. In the 1931 film adaptation, the monster gets loose and comes across a little girl who befriends him and she teaches him to play a game of throwing flowers in the river. When the flowers run out, he playfully picks her up and tosses her in the river. The link shows the footage. He was never taught how to play nice.

  1. Herman the Monster makes every one smile. He’s a big dopey looking guy with a great smile and the family that surrounds and supports him are a little weird too but so likeable. Herman and Lily Munster are often mistakenly named as the first couple to share the same bed on American television, in the episode "Autumn Croakus" on November 26, 1964. The first television couple to share a bed when the actors were not married to each other in real life was Samantha and Darrin Stephens of Bewitched, on October 22, 1964. The original Victorian home of the Munster family was at 1313 Mockingbird Lane in the fictional Mockingbird Heights. The house was built in 1946 for the movie So Goes My Love. It was then put into storage for several years. Sometime in the 1950s, it was assembled with other homes on the back lot to create "River Road." Until production of The Munsters in 1964, the house could be seen as a backdrop on many shows, including Leave It to Beaver. It was remodeled and featured on Desperate Housewives and located on Colonial Street in the backlot (which has now been officially dubbed "Wisteria Lane" by the studio).

  1. Godzilla No doubt he would make me nervous if he were stomping down the street. He’s way too tall and he spits fire. The monster was conceived by the Japanese in 1954 with the thoughts of Hiroshima and Nagasaki still very much in their consciousness. His creation came from a nuclear explosion and perceived as a metaphor for nuclear weapons in general. Hmmm. Who knew that? I just remember the voice delays and I thought it was funny. Nuclear weapons and explosions are truly something to be afraid of.

  1. The Loch Ness Monster. Nessie is the short affectionate name of a mysterious creature seen or unseen lurking in the dark waters of the Loch Ness. The first sighting was in 1871 and the last recorded sighting in the official website was June 17th 1998. On the site you can see photographs and video recordings of what different people saw. It is said to have a long, slender neck that attaches a flat, rectangular head to a rounded body that possess four large flippers. One of the most prominent features attributed to Nessie are the eyes, large and situated on either side of the head. Reports have Nessie appearing grey or a dark tan color, ranging from the size of an elephant to as large as a whale. Nessie has never been reported to have harmed anyone.

  1. Dracula. A vampire, created in a novel written by Bram Stoker in 1897. Today vampires are part of the pop culture with the latest release of the series movie Twilight and HBO’s True Blood. According to legend vampires like to suck your blood and the two latter references, Twilight and True Blood make this out to be sensual experience. I dunno about that. I still cover my neck and hair whenever I see a bat. Not all bats drink you blood, only vampire bats and they typically reside in South America, Central America and Mexico. So you are safe if you like sitting outside in the twilight. They still are creepy looking and like to swoop.

  1. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. We have all had mood swings at one time or another, emotions can be fragile. This guy was downright scary with his dual personality. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was written by Robert Louis Stevenson and published in 1896. This story represents a concept of the inner conflict of humanity's sense of good and evil. The novel has been interpreted as an examination of the duality of human nature (that good and evil exists in all), and that the failure to accept this tension results in the evil being projected onto others. In Freudian Theory the thoughts and desires banished to the unconscious mind motivate the behavior of the conscious mind. If someone banishes all evil to the unconscious mind in an attempt to be wholly and completely good, it can result in the development of a Mr. Hyde-type aspect to that person's character. This failure to accept the tension of duality is related to Christian theology, where Satan's fall from Heaven is due to his refusal to accept that he is a created being (that he has a dual nature) and is not God. This is why in Christianity; pride (to consider oneself as without sin or without evil) is the greatest sin, as it is the precursor to evil itself. Various direct influences have been suggested for Stevenson's interest in the mental condition that separates the sinful from moral self. Robert Louis Stevenson was ill and reportedly under the influence of cocaine when he finished the final draft of this story.

  1. King Kong. It is difficult to determine who the true monster was in this film. He is big and that alone is scary but was he really bothering anyone in his natural habitat. Man removed him from that environment to make a profit off of him and the love of a woman resulted in his final demise.

  1. The Thing. As a result of a mutagenic effect due to exposure to cosmic radiation, the Thing possesses high levels of superhuman strength, stamina, and resistance to physical injury. Do we need to get this formula and bottle it? What is this thing?

  1. The Blob. The Blob is an independently made American horror/science-fiction film from 1958 that depicts a giant amoeba-like alien that terrorizes the small community of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. It was not until star Steve McQueen became famous with the TV series Wanted: Dead or Alive that the film became a hit at the drive-in theatres. Many local actors at the time from the Hedgerow Theater appeared in the film. The Colonial Theater in Phoenixville, PA featured in the movie is still very much in existence and holds a Blogfest every year.

  1. The Bogeyman. I’ll admit I was taunted by this one as a child and on occasion have awakened to discover he had indeed visited me at night. My recollection as a child were of being told if I went off the porch or ventured into an area I wasn’t suppose to be in, “the bogeyman” would get me. I never truly saw the guy but long into my life I still look around when I am alone and hear a noise. Please, don’t sneak up on me. I will scream.

Monsters are really a figment of our imagination and fears. A smiling monster can be just as dangerous as the non-costumed. We all need to carefully examine the monsters we have created in our own minds.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Top 10 Good Witch Bad Witch

We all know there are good witches and bad witches.

Glinda as we can all remember was the fictional “good” witch in the Wizard of Oz. I vaguely remember hearing the story had an underlying meaning about politics and money. I found someone with all the theories it is an interesting read. Check him out, Quentin P. Taylor is an assistant professor of history and political science at Rogers State University, Claremore, Oklahoma.

Samantha Stephens from the television series Bewitched had it going on. How many of us have tried at least once to wiggle the nose and everything is perfectly taken care of just like magic? I believe this is the true test. If it doesn’t work for you, you are not a witch. I can honestly say, “I am not a witch” but I did try. Click on the wiggle the nose link and check your “bad self” out. Can you do it?

Kitchen Witch maybe you already have one of these mixing up a brew in your abode but the official “kitchen witch” is meant to bring good luck and to ward off evil spirits in your home.

Wicca is a Neo-pagan religion and a form of modern witchcraft. Often referred to as Witchcraft or the Craft. Followers are commonly referred to as Wiccans, or as Witches or Crafters. Developing in England in the first half of the twentieth century Wicca was popularized in the 1950s and early 1960s by a Wiccan High Priest named Gerald Gardner, who at the time called it the "witch cult" and "witchcraft". From the 1960s onward the name of the religion was changed to "Wicca”. (Found at This following link is an interesting article found on Wicca and witchcraft in the military. It is an older article but still an interesting read.

Ann Boylen 1507-1536, was the second wife of King Henry VIII of England She was beheaded and her reputation was smeared due to the fact she was unable to bear her husband a child so he claimed she was a witch. She had a sixth finger on one hand which was believed to be a sign that the young lady was a witch. Divorce wasn’t as popular back then.

Salem Witch Trials The patriarchal beliefs that Puritans held in the community added stresses. They believed women should be subservient to men, and that women were more likely to enlist in the Devil's service because women were lustful by nature. The "small-town atmosphere" made secrets difficult to keep, and people's opinions about their neighbors were generally accepted as fact. In an age where the philosophy "children should be seen and not heard" was taken at face value, children were at the bottom of the social ladder. Toys and games were seen as idle and playing was discouraged. Girls had additional restrictions placed upon them and were trained from a young age to spin yarn, cook, sew, weave, serve their husbands and bear their children. In accordance with Puritan beliefs, most accused "witches" were unmarried or recently widowed land-owning women; according to the law if no legal heir existed upon the owner's death, title to the land reverted to the previous owner, or (if no previous owner could be determined) to the colony. This made witch-hunting a possible method of acquiring a profitable piece of property. (also found in Wikipedia) It was a time of fear and hysteria. Today “witch hunts” have taken over a new persona, they still exist with a mob mentality and many reputations are destroyed.

Lost Abbey the brewer of Witches Wit Ale, located in San Marcos, CA has found themselves in the news for the label depicting a witch being burned at the stake. A prominent member of the Wiccan community has started an uproar saying it is an insult to witches but also to the women who were burned unjustly. The company plans on discussing a new label at their November meeting. Witches Wit is available for purchase in our area. I wonder how many now will buy it for the label alone. Rumor has it that it is good Belgian-style ale.

Wicked The Musical Wicked tells the story of what happened to make the Wicked Witch go bad. The next time you run into one, consider the sorcery behind it and be kind. Work your own magic.

Good Witch/Bad Witch website is a common sense guidance for uncommon problems.

Bad Witch blog. Yes, there is a blog and it is not mine (smile). She doesn’t seem so bad to me.

I believe every one is entitled to their opinions and beliefs. The witch on my front lawn is only for seasonal decoration but I too have my good days and bad.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Top 10 Halloween Party Treats

  1. Dirt Cake this simple recipe comes from a contributor on

  1. Halloween Lady Fingers comes from grouprecipescom. Make sure to paint her nails real pretty, she is a lady.

  1. Pumpkin shaped cake no recipe just easy instructions. Grease a Bundt pan, pour in and bake a golden butter cake mix out of the box. Next, I use the butter cream frosting recipe off the 10x sugar box, tint the icing with red and yellow food coloring to make orange icing and frost. Save a little frosting for ice cream cone topper, tint it with green food coloring and place upside down in the middle of the cake over the hole. You can get fancy and add jellied green leaves. You can find fancier recipes out there but this one is simple and it’s tasty.

  1. Spooky Eyeball Tacos from These can be made any time of year, just to remind the family you are keeping an eye on them.

  1. Apple Blossom Tart from this recipe looks like it will take some time. Invite me over if you are making it though. It looks delicious.

  1. Black Bean Cat Crudites from I like this one because there is no cooking only chopping and it just might make a great centerpiece.

  1. Crescent Mummy Dogs from Pillsbury crescent rolls and hot dogs. Easy

  1. Celery Brooms this one from looks like a fun one to add to a veggie tray.

  1. Spooktacular Chocolate Cupcakes from

  1. Green Halloween Monster Treats from Kellogg’s made from Rice Krispies.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Top 10 Superstitions

1. Triskaidekaphobia is the fear of the number 13, specifically Friday the 13. Also, 13 guests coming to dinner is thought to be a bad omen. Otis elevators estimates that 85% of elevators have no floor named 13.

2. Black Cat crossing your path from right to left is a bad omen. But from left to right, the cat is granting favorable times for you.

3. Breaking a Mirror is supposed to bring 7 years bad luck. To counter act this curse it is believed you can throw salt over your shoulder or immediately turn around three times counter clockwise. I’d throw the salt only because I have heard bad luck comes in 3’s.

4. Crossing your fingers is more a hoping something happens in a good way. “Let’s cross our fingers and hope for the best”. “Don’t cross your fingers”, means don’t have too high an expectation because it might not happen.

5. Knock on Wood to keep bad luck away. I’ve done it after I have made a statement about something that happened that was just too good to be true.

6. Walking Under a Ladder. An open ladder or a ladder leaning against a building is a triangle and considered a symbol of life. A ladder leaning against a wall creates a triangle. So walking through any triangular shape is considered tempting your fate. The triangle may also symbolize the Holy Trinity. You should also be aware of things falling from above.

7. Spilling of salt being bad luck has been around a long time throwing salt over your left shoulder should act as a shield from the bar luck. Originally salt was felt to be an expensive commodity and it was frown upon to waste it.

8. Four Leaf Clover are a rare breed of the common three-leaf cloverAccording to tradition, such leaves bring good luck to their finders, especially if found accidentally. According to legend, each leaf represents something: the first is for hope, the second is for faith, the third is for love, and the fourth is for luck.

9. Burning a candle inside a jack-o-lantern on Halloween keeps the evil spirits away.

10. Spiders. If you happen to see a spider on Halloween then the spirit of a loved one is watching out for you.

Sports fans and players are known to harbor superstitions. Our baseball season In Philadelphia was very exciting and provided an opportunity for people to come together and cheer them on. It simply was not our time and luckily we still have teams in town to root for.

Go Eagles, Go Sixers, Go Flyers and Thank You Philadelphia Phillies.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Top 10 Halloween, Spooky and Evil Songs

  1. Spooky Classic IV
  2. Thriller Michael Jackson
  3. Ghost Busters Ray Parker Jr.
  4. Bat out of Hell Meatloaf
  5. Witchy Woman Eagles
  6. Monster Mash Bobby “Boris” Pickett
  7. Devil Went Down to Georgia Charlie Daniels Band
  8. Highway to Hell “Chainsaw” a Chester native performs AC/DC song.
  9. Psycho Killer Ukulele Orchestra performs the Talking Heads hit
  10. I’m Your Boogieman KC and the Sunshine Band
  11. Boris the Spider The Who
  12. The Adams Family Vic Mizzy passed away on Oct 16, 2009 at age 93. (see an interview)
  13. Sympathy for the Devil Rolling Stones
  14. Evil Woman Electric Light Orchestra
  15. Werewolves of London Warren Zevon
  16. Don’t Fear the Reaper Blue Oyster Cult
  17. Black Magic Woman Santana
  18. Devil in Disguise Elvis Presley
  19. Frankenstein Edgar Winters Group
  20. Clap for the Wolfman Guess Who
  21. People Are Strange The Doors
  22. The Munsters Theme Song
  23. Bewitched composed by Howard Greenfield and Mike Keller sung by Steve Lawrence
  24. Drag-ula Rob Zombie
  25. You Put a Spell on Me Ed Harcourt
  26. I Put a Spell on You Screamin Jay Hawkins
  27. True Blood”Bad Things” Jace Everett
  28. Evil Woman Black Sabbath
  29. Disney’s Halloween Treat
  30. Monsters Cry Too Ian McGlynn
  31. The Skeleton Dance(for kids)
  32. This is Halloween Danny Elfman

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Top 10 How did your garden grow?

1. I must admit I was not all that successful this year.
2. I could blame the squirrels but they seem to have no complaints they fed well.
3. The birds and bunnies even stopped by for several meals.
4. I am bad with fences, only one section in the back has a two foot fence, enough for me to climb over and the varmints seem to have no trouble with the entrance either.
5. My security, a scarecrow garbed in an ancient ninja turtle outfit doesn’t deter anyone. He has such a pleasant welcoming smile. I wouldn’t mind joining him either. Maybe he needs a hat. He has no hair.
6. I was negligent and didn’t tend to my garden as steadfastly as I have in previous years. I just didn’t take the time. I was too busy with other things and maybe misplaced my priorities.
7. I did get to enjoy the taste of quite a few delicious cherry tomatoes; they are a hearty and abundant crop. I plant them every year. They seem to prefer just being left along and let them do their thing. They are climbers and I gave them a trellis and watched them grow.
8. Zucchini, nothing this year and I love zucchini. I will have to re-evaluate and do my due diligence with them next year.
9. I admire successful gardeners and those that reap what they sow in positive ways. Saturday was windy but a beautiful day to get outside if you had the work to do. I am currently on my third trash can of clean up. A reminder of things I could have done better.
10. Everything takes time, attention and effort and I only have a very small piece of property. Hopefully I will do better next year maintaining my garden.

There are many signs that growth is possible. It just takes time, attention, nurturing, ingenuity and effort. These rules don’t only apply to fruits and vegetables. Do they?

How did your garden grow?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Top 10 Political Concerns

These are questions and concerns posed to one of the candidates in the upcoming November election. I was a listener on the town meeting call. I am sure there were more questions but these are the 10 I heard from concerned citizens.

1. Question: Where are the jobs suppose to come from since NAFTA sent all those jobs overseas and these companies pay no taxes on imports? Candidate: There are jobs available in PA in the following sectors: Pharmaceuticals, High Technology, Hospitals, Education, and Energy. Small business owners are afraid to hire addition employees because of employee costs and afraid of Washington’s policies.
2. Question: Illegal Immigration/Healthcare: A concern that this puts a burden on our healthcare. We need to control our borders. Candidate: Texas and California’s criminal justice system is overrun with illegal aliens. This is a problem in Reading and Lancaster also. Employers here are a determent by the exploitation of the illegal immigrant employees. Many of the jobs are not something that Americans can’t do but they don’t want. All immigrants should be required to have an ID. Employers should require these ID’s to determine their status. If someone desires to stay in the U.S. they should be required to go through the right steps and taking pride in becoming a citizen. We should invite all people to our country, open all shores and borders. Invite people with talent and let them share it. I believe it is called the Einstein theory.
3. Question: Healthcare. Concerned about a pre-existing condition and the price of medication if they lose or transfer to another job.
4. Question: Why are you running for office? Candidate I am concerned for my children and what we will leave them. India and China are growing in competition and an article/poll read in the USA today said 66% of the population polled said, “The lives we leave to our children will not be as good as what we had it”.
5. Question: Healthcare, a person with a pre-exiting condition is fearful of drug costs without insurance; their drug would cost $3,000 without insurance. A loss of job or a job change could put them in jeopardy. They are not for socialized medicine. Candidate: There was not enough dialog, portability is the concern if you change jobs. Competition across state lines would have driven costs down.
6. Question again Illegal Immigration: Why are Mexicans so highlighted? Other ethnic groups seem more welcomed. Candidate: There are many hard working Mexican workers in this country. Drugs certainly have a bearing on this issue with the border but again, do it properly, go through the steps become a citizen.
7. Question: Natural Gas Shale Drilling are the proper safety precautions being taken? Should the gas companies be taxed and what should be done with the tax money? Candidate: The short comings of the shale drilling are the government energy program that includes gas, oil, and renewable energy, wind, solar and nuclear. The Marcellus Shale can’t be exploited. There is job opportunity there, the carbon footprint is less then coal. The tax compensation if passed should go to Pennsylvania.
8. Question: Unemployment: A 57 year old with an MBA asked about the importance of education and unemployment. He has been out of work 3-4 years, has not been able to find a job and is not collecting unemployment compensation. He believes the unemployment numbers are higher?
9. Question: Why support tax credits for millionaires? Candidate: The 2001-2003 tax cuts imposed by Bush are due to expire in 2011. Taxing millionaires is believed to be a job killer. If they are paying more they will have less to hire employees.
10. Question: There was a poll taken and you were to press the number that you felt was the greatest concern of the American public. I later found out that there were 1,000 people on that call, maybe not a majority of voters but a pretty good sampling. From my memory healthcare, unemployment, national debt, illegal immigration and moral character of the candidates were the choices. National Debt was the Number 1 concern.

The candidates and their opinions vary on both sides. You need to do your research to see who will best represent your personal concerns and would make choices while they are in office to suit your needs. Take a poll, check the candidates website, check the special interest groups website, see who they are supporting and why, those annoying phone calls at dinner just might be relative, always follow them up with your own questions and investigation, listen to and read about debates, don’t believe everything you hear on television ads or emails passed on by friends. It is the mean season. Do your own homework. There are a lot of issues.

I would strongly recommend no one take my words as truth. They are only what I heard. Everyone needs to form their own opinion and “vote” what they believe. Everyone over 18 years of age has the right to vote. If you are not registered, you took away your own rights.

There will be a debate between two candidates in the 7th Congressional District on Monday, October 25th, 2010, Neumann University.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Top 10 Runs/Walks Yet to Come in October 2010

  1. Footsteps for Friends 5K and 1 Mile Run October 23rd, Friends Haverford School.
  2. Citizen Advocacy Phoenixville 1 mile fun run October 23rd, Reeves Park Phoenixville, PA.
  3. Saint Denis Haunt Jaunt, 5K run October 23rd, Eagle Road, Havertown, PA.
  4. Uff is Tough Halloween, Run, Walk and Kid Run , October 23rd, Aston, PA.
  5. Bobtoberfest 4K Race, Lloyd Hall, Kelly Drive along Boat House Row, Philadelphia, PA.
  6. JDRF 5K Run, October 24th Philadelphia Museum of Art.
  7. 12th Annual Toys for Tots 5K Run/Walk Veterans Post 1, Veterans Drive, Wilmington, DE..
  8. Monster Mash 5K Run/Walk, October 30th, Ridley creek Park, Pavilion 17.
  9. 33Rd Annual Radnor Run and event of the American Lung Association 5K, October 31st, Wayne, PA
  10. 19th Annual Lupus Loop 5K Run and 2K Walk October 31st, Memorial Loop Hall, Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, PA.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Top 10 Trapped for 70 Days in Retrospect

1. Of course if it has never happened to you, all you can do is just “imagine”.
2. That’s a lot of time to think and a barrage of thoughts.
3. Would you get your affairs in order? (no pun intended)
4. Would you get your priorities straight?
5. Would you value your life and those around you more?
6. Would stress subside eventually?
7. Luckily they were not alone. Would that have been worse? I tend to think so.
8. What valuable lessons would you surface with?
9. What would you leave below? Is it possible to leave some things behind?
10. It was fortunate that there were a “group” of men, but I am sure at times each and every one of them had an issue or two to resolve. Can you imagine never knowing if a rescue would ever happen or not? It must have taken a lot of strength, faith and focus.

I have pondered what if it would have been a group of women down there? I am also not trying to be a naysayer but how many people in society feel trapped in isolation and there is no one who comes to their rescue. I’m glad these men had help and survived. It was a feel good day.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Top 10 Rescue Songs

  1. Rescue Me Fontella Bass
  2. Superman (It’s Not Easy) Five for Fighting
  3. Savin Me Nickelback
  4. How to Save a Life The Fray
  5. Saved Elivs Presley
  6. I Will Survive Chantay Savage
  7. Take Me Out Franz Ferdinand
  8. Emotional Rescue The Rolling Stones
  9. Eye of the Tiger Survivor
  10. Don’t Stop Believing Journey and also Wheel in the Sky by Journey
  11. New York Mining Disaster Bee Gees

Tip: Press F5 to skip the ads on YouTube. As always, if you like the song and the artist, BUY IT support the artist.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Top 10 Rescues of The Chilean Miners

1. Oil and gas drilling experts and mining manufacturers around the “world” came “together” in the rescue of 33 miners who were trapped for 70 days. The U. S., Canada and South Africa companies joined the Chilean government in aiding the rescue.

2. Patience, determination and skill bought a successful conclusion to a major disaster. It is the largest rescue of miners in history.

3. They survived on 48 hours of rations without contact from the outside world for 17 days under great leadership, Luis Urzua the shift foreman.

4. After contact was made, the men received daily laundry service, TV, three hot meals and ice cream for dessert. Cots were sent down in pieces, phones and brief video chats with their families using fiber optic cable. Headphones, personal music players along with video games were denied due to the isolation of those activities because this was a team effort and in case someone would call for help or have a warning they would need to be present in the moment and hear. Television was available for relaxation and a Chilean soccer game was also televised where the soccer team honored the miners during the game.

5. The President of Chile, Sebastian Pinera and his wife should be commended for being their and greeting each and every miner home. The United States had the honor of supplying the drill from Schramm Inc. a West Chester, Pennsylvania company, the drill bit came from Center Rock, Inc. from Berlin, Pennsylvania, Zephyr technology of Annapolis, Maryland supplied the chest straps worn by the miners monitoring their vital signs and the shaft was drilled by Layne Christensen Co. of Mission Woods, Kansas.

6. The Phoenix 1 designed by the Chilean Navy capsule is approximately 10 feet tall. It carried the miners one at a time to the surface, a journey that was estimated to take 15-20 minutes. Three tanks were attached to the bottom containing 40 percent oxygen and 60 percent nitrogen enabling 90 minutes of assisted breathing if needed. Microphones were also attached for communication inside and outside of the tunnel.

7. Each miner was given green overalls embroidered with their name, fresh underwear and socks and also received a blanket with their names again embroidered on them. Sunglasses valued at $450 were donated to each miner by Oakley an American Company to protect the adjustment to the sunlight as they emerged.

8. The first minor to emerge was just as much a highlight of each and every one of their arrivals. It was priceless to watch the family anticipation and I never tired of seeing the jubilance and emotional exuberance and the hugs.

9. The only disturbance to the day for me was the interruption on CNN of the coverage of the American upcoming election and all the bickering between the candidates. I wish for once, politics could be put aside and we all could have enjoyed a day of coming together in celebration of one of the greatest days in history in the world. To me that is a far greater lesson and education.

10. Cheers to the miners and their families for their endurance during this ordeal and to the rescue workers who worked so diligently to make today a triumphant day!

We feel your pride.
Everyone loves a happy ending.
It was a remarkable event to watch.
It was a story of faith and hope.

Top 10 Parks in the Pennsylvania area

Get out and enjoy the cooler weather and fall foliage

  1. Valley Forge National Park
  2. Fairmount Park
  3. Rose Tree Park
  4. Tyler Arboretum
  5. Saint Peter’s Village
  6. Ridley Creek State Park
  7. Delaware Water Gap a long drive but worth the views. You can hike along the Appalachian Trail!!
  8. Brandywine Creek State Park
  9. Clayton Park
  10. Heinz National Wildlife Refuge

Here’s a link to other places to enjoy the Fall in PA. The brilliance has not quite slipped in but slowly the trees are doing their thing. Take the time to observe and appreciate.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Top 10 Scary Things to Do in October

  1. Arasapha Farm October 1st thru October 31st. Military Appreciation Night October 13th. Family Night October 20th weather permitting.
  2. Eastern State Penitentiary click on the website for dates and times. A frightful good time.
  3. Linville Orchards always a pleasant family experience.
  4. Please Touch Museum October 30th
  5. Tyler Arboretum October 16 & 17th Pumpkin Days
  6. Philadelphia Zoo Boo at the Zoo
  7. Longwood Gardens Pumpkin Playground
  8. Hawk Mountain Owl-O-Ween October 30th a bit of a drive but the bonus is you can enjoy the beautiful Pennsylvania fall foliage during your travels.
  9. Philadelphia Ghost Tours
  10. Franklin Institute Mummies:Secrets of the Pharaohs

Have a “Tea Party” invite your friends over and discuss the upcoming election.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Top10 John Lennon

  1. John Lennon would have turned 70 years old on Saturday October 09, 2010. Instead he was gunned downed by a deranged fan on December 8th, 1980 almost 20 years ago and still whenever his name is mentioned for a moment you stop and imagine.
  2. There remains an official website honoring John Lennon. An online petition was created in 2005 to make October 9th an International holiday, “Imagine”. A total count of 1% of humanity (about 64 million) is needed. You can sign and view the petition at this link on the John website. According to this link there are 28,248 signatures and only 8,933 have been verified to date.
  3. John Lennon Box of Vision inside the box, three brand new officially authorized books, and four art-adorned “recordable” discs.
  4. John Lennon facts on morbid He was cremated and it is unclear where his ashes are. There are many interesting facts I didn’t know on there along with pictures.
  5. John Lennon Google Doodle on YouTube Google celebrates John Lennon’s 70th birthday.
  6. Imagine Peace Tower, Iceland 2010 message from Yoko Ono where she relit the tower in memory of her husband. The Imagine Tower of peace was originally dedicated in 2007. Cynthia Lennon and Julian unveiled a sculpture celebrating his life called “Peace and Harmony” at Chavasse Park in Liverpool, UK.
  7. Footage from the famous John and Yoko bed-ins promoting “Give Peace a Chance found on YouTube.
  8. Nowhere Boy is the latest movie out about the young life of John Lennon. It was released in December 2009.
  9. There was a free screening of Lennonnyc in Central Park on his birthday October 9th and will be shown on PBS November 22nd at 9PM.
  10. Mark Chapman the shooter of John Lennon was denied parole for the sixth time this year and will be eligible again in 2012.

This website has a list of books by and about John Lennon and the Beatles.

Giving Peace a Chance is still a great and powerful concept.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Top 10 Seeing Red Songs (Honoring the Philadelphia Phillies)

In Philadelphia, we are passionate about our sports teams. I am just sharing some fun songs as we all are seeing red these days.

  1. Red Rain Peter Gabriel
  2. Little Red Corvette Prince
  3. Little Red Riding Hood Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs
  4. Panama Red The New Riders of the Purple Sage
  5. Red Headed Woman Bruce Springstein
  6. Red House Jimi Hendrix
  7. Red Right Hand Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
  8. She Wears Red Feathers and a Huly Huly Skirt) Guy Mitchell
  9. They’re Red Hot Robert Johnson
  10. Little Red Rooster Howlin Wolf

Special Holiday by The Bee Gees for pitcher Roy Halladay who pitched a no-hitter October 6th, 2010. You Go Phillies.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Top 10 A Tremendous Loss in the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District Diane McCormick

  1. Diane McCormick, school nurse at Strath Haven High School passed away last week.
  2. I can’t remember exactly the first time I met or had an interaction with Diane McCormick there were many.
  3. I was a homeroom parent at NPE. It gives you an extraordinary opportunity to get to know the staff and how hard they work.
  4. Her office was always a buzz with students.
  5. She went above and beyond her call of duty.
  6. She was always heart and hands on with all the students, even if you weren’t sick you knew her.
  7. Diane was a central part of mine and many other parents’ children while they were at school.
  8. It was her responsibility to maintain a healthy environment for our children and she did her job well, she excelled.
  9. Many teachers, assistants, coaches and staff make an indelible mark which we so often take for granted. The Wallingford-Swarthmore School District was so fortunate to have her.
  10. The family will hold a private service, which I can only imagine publically would be so emotionally draining on the family to see what an incredible outpouring there would be for this fine lady.

A letter from the principal of Strath Haven High School.

Dear Members of the Wallingford Swarthmore School Community,

While we have suffered a tremendous loss over the weekend with the passing of Nurse McCormick, upon reflection I have a sense of gratitude for being part of a community that was cared for by a professional who led by example, who taught us to be kind, to offer each other compassion and patience, and to treat each other with respect. Diane was a clear example of the best a person can be.

Diane’s family is extremely appreciative of the outpouring of love and support they have received. While they have chosen to hold a private service, they have established a website where community members can go to pay respects and share memories. You may access the website at

At school, for those who would like to share a special memory of Mrs. McCormick, a book is being assembled this week in the library. All members of the community may write a memory on paper provided, or may bring a card, picture, or other item you would like included. We will present the McCormick family the tribute book so they might hear of Diane’s contributions to the community from the voices of our students and staff.

We have also established the Diane McCormick Memorial Scholarship Fund, to which community members may make a donation in Mrs. McCormick’s memory. The scholarship will be presented each spring to a graduating senior who best exemplifies Mrs. McCormick’s character.

This Thursday’s Panthers Go Pink, a fundraiser sponsored by the Girls’ Soccer Team, will benefit both the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and the Diane McCormick Scholarship Fund. Games on Thursday will be played in Mrs. McCormick’s memory, and the halftime benefit will include a moment of silence to honor Mrs. McCormick.

Strath Haven will also participate in the Race for Hope, a 5k Walk/Run to benefit research to find a cure for brain cancer. The Race for Hope will begin on November 7, 2010 at the Art Museum steps. To join the Strath Haven team or make a contribution, please go to .

I have been gratified to see how our community has come together in support of Diane as she struggled over the past few weeks with a difficult diagnosis. With news of her passing, I am confident that we will all strive to live up to her belief in each of us, to be the compassionate, patient, respectful and caring people she wanted and hoped for us to be.

Thank you.

MaryJo Yannacone, Ed.D.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Top 10 Aggravating People

How many people can you aggravate in one day without even trying?

1. Driving too slowly for the person behind you because someone is crossing the street in front of you and they were simply unaware. Maybe that was a confusing sentence but you know what I mean. Spelling and grammar passed it.

2. Holding a private conversation on your cell phone in public and talking loud enough for the whole world to hear you. Is your connection that bad?

3. Not replying to an email. Usually when an email is received everyone would like the validation of a response but this can be time consuming.

4. Not jumping on a political bandwagon and agreeing with the majority or even the minority, just merely disagreeing and not easily swayed. Having a mind of your own.

5. Cutting in traffic. We all have sat in the long lines. Pay your dues. The same applies to cutting and waiting patiently in a line. Are they ever going to fix the Double Decker I 95 bridge into the Philadelphia Sport’s Complex? I am no longer stimulated. I can’t even imagine doing that on a daily basis.

6. Misspellings are a faux pas we are all guilty of and spell check is not always our friend but you are sure to find some one who will proofread your material and point out your misgivings.

7. People who are not listening or paying attention. Perhaps your topic needs more animation. I’m guessing.

8. The Downers who always seem to find fault in everything and everyone yet never offer any positive contribution.

9. People that always seem to get it right the first time. How do they do it? Is it practice, luck or merely their words against yours?

10. I can’t. Well, have you at least tried?

Who or whom have you aggravated today? Was it that difficult?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Top 10 Nothing is for free

1. Verizon is to issue refunds for data usage and or Web usage on wireless service. My last phone “upgrade” included this option and with all the buttons (I just want to be able to answer a call) I fell prey from hitting a button by mistake. I called after receiving my bill and the service was removed. The app was a free 30 or 60 day trial. We should all pay closer attention to the gimmicks to sell service. A $2-$6 refund hardly says you’re sorry. I believe the monthly fee was higher. Maybe I am wrong I do not need or use it.

2. Again I caution about free 14 day trials advertized on the internet. They get you if you are not paying attention.

3. Life insurance offers, I get from my bank. You get $1,000 free every year and extended offers every year to up the ante on your life. Maybe not a bad choice if you have nothing else in place. The rates seem low.

4. Car warranties. Free 8 year extensions when you buy a new or used car. Sounds great but they are limited in what they cover and some local gas stations will not honor them because of the nightmare they go through trying to get the money back. Most dealers are obligated if they sold it to you and if they are still in business.

5. Electronic warranties are they worth it? Well they don’t seem to make products as well as they used to so I say you have a 50-50-shot here.

6. Insurance on your cell phone service. If you do have a problem, they got you. So maybe worth the extra monthly rate. The same can apply for inside wiring on land lines.

7. Anti-virus. There are still a few free services out there but now I find they also expire after a certain trial period along with software that comes with your new computer. I am not aware of the other ISP’s but Comcast offers Norton Security Suite free and since my paid anti-virus has expired I am using it. It makes my computer slow and I can only hope the little anti gremlins are doing their job.

8. Something that still remains free and I find it to be a good product is Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and it can be downloaded for free. Perhaps I don’t need the extra coverage with Norton Security Suite but I still run it periodically.

9. Heating and air-conditioning contracts one of the good ones to have when you need it. No one likes to be too hot or too cold and an emergency number to call 24/7.

10. Everyone should have a trusted and fair mechanic, electrician, pc tech and plumber. We have all become co-dependant on technology and suffer downtime when something is not working. A good tradesman or woman is always a great number to have in your little black book, just in case your contacts and contracts are out of commission.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Top 10 Events in the First Week of October 2010

  1. Last Week to register to Vote October 1-7. The deadline to register in the 2010 Pennsylvania general election is today October 4th.
  2. Healthcare Resources & Materials Management Week October 3-9.
  3. Fire Prevention Week October 3-9.
  4. National Newspaper Week October 3-9
  5. Customer Service Week October 4-10
  6. Drive Safely to Work Week October 4-8.
  7. National Healthcare Food Service Week October 4-10
  8. World Space Week October 4-10
  9. Financial Planning Week October 4-10.
  10. Mental Illness Awareness Week October 3-9.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Top 10 Rainy Day Songs

  1. Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head B. J. Thomas
  2. After the Rain Has Fallen Sting
  3. I Can’t Stand the Rain Tina Turner
  4. A Hard Rain’s A Gonna Fall Bob Dylan
  5. Have You Ever Seen the Rain? John Fogerty
  6. Funeral In the Rain Chris Isaak
  7. Tears and Rain James Blunt
  8. Fire and Rain James Taylor
  9. See the Sky About to Rain Neil Young w/The Byrds
  10. South Central Rain R.E.M