Monday, December 31, 2012

New York Times Square 2013 Dropping the Ball

1. Times Square was named after the New York Times Building in 1904.  It is now known as One Times Square.



2.  The first ball lowering of New Year's celebration occurred in 1907 and has continued every year since with the exception of the "dimout" during the war in 1942 and 1943. It has been covered on national television since 1972.  It is on my bucket list but all those people.........................on average a million people, during the new millennium it was recorded there were two million.

3.Going to Times Square?  Here is a link to the best viewing spot and the best way to get there.

4. Not going to Times Square any television screen will do or you can watch a live webcast.



5. The seven foot "Lucky 13" arrived in New York on December 19th. It was presented with thirteen multi-cultural good luck charms to turnaround its unlucky reputation and illuminated to symbolized good fortune and a bright future for the New Year.  It remained on display thru December 26th at the Times Square Museum until it was installed, to complete the 2013 atop One Times Square.

6. Every year at the Times Square Museum, visitors are asked to write down wishes on official paper to be turned into the confetti dropped on Times Square on New Years.  You can also submit your wish virtually and it will be printed and included.

7. Sentiments of peace can be shared until December 31st at 5 PM EST via one of three ways:
1. Tweet your message with hashtag #PeaceNYE
2. Post to Waterford’s Facebook page with hashtag #PeaceNYE 3. Post to Times Square’s Facebook page with hashtag #PeaceNYE

8. WhyHunger is the official charity for Times Square New Year's Eve 2013. This year, donations to the “Imagine There’s No Hunger” campaign will also go to support WhyHunger’s long-time partners in the New York and New Jersey area post Hurricane Sandy.

9.Get the Official New Year's Eve Ball Drop App at this link!

10. Here is a link to the schedule of events.at Times Square New York City on New Years Eve.
The organizers of the Ball Drop also paid respect to the legacy of Dick Clark who passed away on April 18, 2012; a Waterford Crystal panel inscribed with the name of Dick Clark was presented to his widow, Kari Wigton, and installed on the Times Square Ball.

Check out the New Year as it begins first at Christmas Island at timeanddate.com.  If is is past 5AM and you are reading this in the eastern United States, it is already New Years in some parts of the world.





Happy New Year!

references:

timessquarenyc.org,
whyhunger.org
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Times_Square
timeanddate.com

Sunday, December 30, 2012

End Songs

It Ends Tonight All American Rejects

The End The Doors

The End of the World As We Know It R E M

The End The Beatles

End Times Eels

End of the Line Traveling Wilburys

End of the Road Eddie Vedder

End Over End Foo Fighters

Last Night of the World Bruce Cockburn

Where I End And You Begin Radiohead


After every end, comes a new beginning, the circle of life.


13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Ways to Ring Out and Ring In the New Year

December 31st Downtown Philadelphia see the Macy's Light Show and Dickens Village and also check out the Comcast Holiday Spectacular while you are in the neighborhood.

December 31st, 11 - 4 PM Betsy's Birthday Bash celebrate Betsy Ross birthday at the Betsy Ross House. Cake cutting and signing at 1PM. There are also chocolate making demonstrations. Betsy would have been 261.

December 31st  General Meade Birthday Celebration, at Laurel Hill Cemetery Parade, Service and Reception arrive by 11:30am. George would have been 197, a tad young for Betsy, perhaps in another life. You are encouraged to bring Champagne, the general's favorite.

December 31st Franklin Square Kids Countdown 6th and Race Streets, Philadelphia. Open 12PM - 8PM. Fireworks along the river are visible in the sky from here.
 
December 31st, Media, PA Ball drop live music starts at 11PM at Spasso Italian Grill Front and Jackson Street.

December 31st Sugar House Casino presents New Years Eve Fireworks!! Twice!! 6 p. m. and midnight along the Delaware River viewable at many locations along Penns Landing and the Camden side of the river.




December 31st Toast with a Ghost Philadelphia Ghost Tours Advanced Tickets are required and spots are limited.

January 1st Mummers Parade follow the map for best viewing area or follow the crowd.

January 1st Fancy Brigades begin at 5 PM at the Convention Center.  This is a ticketed event.

Stay safe and warm inside your own home and enjoy a private celebration or volunteer as a designated driver for family and friends.


Make smart plans and stay safe.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Top 10 Smart Phone Apps from the Rookie

I was one of the grumpy ones about the smart phone all the extra expense and all.  It was cheaper to get a smart phone than to replace my flip phone and or to replace my dying battery. Three days in now and I am catching on.  Here are my first apps.  Any good ideas? Or should I say, smart ideas?

1. Brightest Flashlight

2. Google Translate

3. Google goggles

4. Google Now

5. After Focus

6. Twitter

7. Facebook

8. Scrabble with Friends

9. Kindle

10. Weight Watchers Bar Code Scanner

I hear the new phones and the new technologies are great.  I just hope it is not a further distraction.  I was just adjusting to getting my life together.  UGH! but I never shy away from a challenge.

I am 100% sure there are smarter people out there than me BUT I hear I have the smartest phone EVER!!! So look out world I am tuned in.  Now where did I put that dang thing? DROID, ah there she is. Yessss Jenny I am charging it every night. Call me.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Top 10 Blogs Read On Christmas Day 2012




Top searches

1. Sad Christmas Songs Posted December 14, 2012
2. Christmas Songs and Artist’s on Spotify Posted December 16, 2011
3. Fairmount Park Holiday Houses Posted December 25, 2012
4. Wreaths Across America Program Posted December 5th, 2010
5. Reasons to Think About Visiting the Rodin Museum Posted July 11, 2012
6. Decorations and Traditions You Can’t Live Without Posted December 21, 2012
7. Santa Sites Posted December 24, 2012
8. Practice Sheet for Christmas Posted December 24, 2012
9. A Surprise Visit Inside St. Augustine Church Posted May 8th, 2012
10. The Bird’s Nest Posted November 29th 2010

A small sample of the pulse of the world on Christmas through the stats on my blog, ranging from the United States, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, Brazil, Germany, France, Greece, Hong Kong, Croatia, Hungary, India, Japan, Malaysia, Poland, and Puerto Rico as of 4PM.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Top 10 Fairmount Park Holiday Houses Tour Inside and Out

Woodford House built in 1756-1758 by William Coleman a close friend of Benjamin Franklin. On the outside it is a stately looking building that initially served as a summer home and the first one on our tour.  We opted for the self guided tour since the trolley tour was sold out. Other notable residents were David Franks and the Wharton Family.


Woodford House inside furnishing all came from the estate collection of Ms. Naomi Wood.  I was amazed at many of the pieces of furniture designs that could be opened up to serve a group and easily folded back up into a compact piece. Space savers were everywhere, I loved it. She also contributed an extensive deft collection found in the dining room.


Laurel Hill was built in 1764 and is owned by the city but maintained by the Women for a Greater Philadelphia. The outside property was originally purchased by Francis Rawle who died in a hunting accident less then a year later. His widow married Shoemaker and built this home.  The home today was built in three stages, the original (1767) sits in the center. During the Revolutionary War, the house was taken over and sold at auction because the Shoemakers were British loyalists. They went to England and after the war, Rebecca purchased the home again. Tyson Gardner has written two booklets about Laurel Hill, Under My Roof and Laurel Hill's Abolitionist.


The volunteers at Laurel Hill (Women for a Greater Philadelphia) dress in period clothing which gives it all the more charm and appeal. During the months of June and July candlelight musical performances are offered. Keep checking the website for the upcoming 2013 season and reservation.


Orriston Mansion was built in 1798 by Edward Burd and the trim around the walls towards the ceiling had a ledge that we were told hung paintings and this residence was one of the first art museums in Philadelphia.

There were so many highlights in this home but it would simply not be proper to mention our tea and cookies with the Queen in this 2nd floor room in this Scottish home using the good china.



Mount Pleasant was built by Macpherson a young Scottish man who went to sea at 19 years old, became a sea captain and ended up in America a very rich man.

Warm (non-alcoholic) wassail was served inside and I came home with the recipe, four recipes actually were handed out by different homes.

Lemon Hill is a Pratt family rags to riches story. Henry Pratt was a merchant who traveled to China to acquire his wares and would invite the elite into his home to entertain them and sell a piece sitting right on his table or offer take special orders for items.

 I would have wanted to order his winding staircase.  It was beautiful.  Luckily, I was not part of the elite of Philadelphia and would not be placing an order to complete my final Christmas shopping list, but the temptation was there. The staircase is beautiful.

 
The oval room resembled the most famous oval room in the United States at the White House but we were told this one was better because it had oval doors and an oval fireplace and it did!! It also has a stunning view out the windows of the Philadelphia Art Museum and down the Lemon Hill is the famed Boat House Row.


The oval room on the inside


The oval room from the outside
Some of these mansions are open year round with select hours.  You can always view them from the outside driving through Fairmount Park but check the individual website for the special operating hours. This year Cedar Grove and Strawberry Mansion were being restored and plan to be part of the holiday tour next year.  I highly recommend this tour for the history and the sheer beauty of going back in time into the homes of some of the biggest movers and shakers in the city of Philadelphia.


Merry Christmas from my house to yours!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Santa Sites

1. NORAD has been tracking Santa since 1955.

2. Google Santa Tracker is a fun site with interactive games to keep you occupied while you wait.

3. There is a website called Santatracker.com and if you click on it there is an animated picture of Santa and all it says is coming soon but really it says it all.

4. Ispotsanta.com

Top 10 Practice Sheet for Christmas

1. It's Perfect!

2.  I always wanted one!

3. Wow!

4. OMG it is beautiful!

5. Thank you so much!

Refrain from

6. What is it?

7.  How much did that cost?

8.  Is that all of it? What is it?

9. Who is gonna feed it and walk it?

10.  I already have one of these. You keep it.

Remember it is the thought that counts and sometimes it is better to keep your thoughts to yourself.

There is always re-gifting. 

 Happy Holidays!


Friday, December 21, 2012

Top 10 Decorations and Traditions You Can't Live Without

1. The Christmas Tree, ah the tree in all its splendor. Will it be live just before you chop it down, or are you going polyvinyl chloride this year? Both can be made to look elegant with the right materials and creative eye.


2. Lights can attract a lot of attention and sometimes distraction. There is no need to light up the night sky.  Subtle illumination at Rittenhouse Square sets the mood.



3. Christmas displays and shows are often a must do "family tradition" and something that should be passed down. Do you think this one is a little over the top?  Every child should see this.  It is the enhanced (LED lights now) original John Wannamaker Christmas light show in Center City, Philadelphia.  The building now houses the Macy's Department Store and Macy's has kept the display and tradition alive that brings back so many fond memories for children of all ages. You can see it in their eyes.


4. Wreaths are placed every where with acceptance, on the door, in the window, hanging in the center of a mirror,and  used as a centerpiece.   One of my favorite holiday looks is a simple wreath placed on a door with a spotlight highlighting it.  I have a simple wreath but no spotlight. Did you know the circle of the evergreen wreath symbolizes eternal life and rebirth?

Lemon Hill in Fairmount Park


5. Candles in the window, I love the look year round, it is simple yet elegant.  This display of candles in Rittenhouse Square was in recognition of Hanukkah.


6. Christmas balls come in all shapes and sizes and colors, so there has to be one that will make someone smile if only for a memory of from where it came. This display was at the Christmas Village in Love Park.




7. The Nativity Scene, doesn't this get disputed somewhere every year?  It doesn't belong in the center of town.  No room at the Inn.  Nothing has changed there. What is this holiday and all the hoopla about anyway, right? First off, the creche should be kept on display until after the Epiphany, that is just the rules. Another tradition, observance or practice, someone turn me on to is. after the season and while you are packing up the manger place all the Christmas cards you have received that year inside for safe keeping and additional prayers for those listed throughout the year.  You are placing them in good hands with top management in the prayer department. I am fond of this tradition.


8. Gift exchanging.  My thoughts here, once you stop believing all gifts are out, which means you might not get anything.  I'm a Believer and no one in my house is allowed to open a present until Christmas, house rules.


9. Trains are something I just love but they do take up additional room. I try and enjoy the displays that are available for the public to see but I do open that box up in the attic every year.  This display was a new one to me at Reading Terminal in downtown Philadelphia.


10. Cakes, cookies and sweet treats are abundant this time of year.  How can you pass them by?  I simply choose to take a picture so I can review when I have those visions of sugar plums dancing in my head. They all look delicious.  Perhaps I should follow the sign and just take a number of them.  I select the package decorated cake, I don't care what flavor it is, and the carrot cake above it, the bottom two rows of cookies in the center case and I will not separate them, give me frosty and the two tiny reindeer. I am living the dream! You can too at the Reading Market.




I feel snow is essential to the perfect Christmas but you don't always get what you want. Someone else is in control of those decorations.  Once every one is safe at their destination, I think it is a special treat to wake up in a blanket of snow just enough to decorate the trees and a slight ground cover. Comcast Center in downtown Philly uses a soapy mix to make snow at their Holiday Spectacular.  It's cool.




There are lots of things to see and do in Philadelphia, check out Maureen's list that is what we did.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Top 10 Coping with the End of the World

1.  Today is the eve of the predicted "by some" end of the world per the interpretation "by some" of the Mayan calendar.  How are you going to handle it?

2.  Lucky for me the end of my world came crashing down two days prior and I now have coping skills.

3. The commercial says don't leave home without your American Express card, well I don't leave home without my camera and I take a lot of pictures.

4.  My entire blog evolves around my pictures, they are where I get my ideas and record the places I have been. Pictures allow me to recall and share my journey with anyone who is interested in traveling along.  My pictures are my database.

5. With the new technology I hardly ever print a photo so I have no.................what did they call it back in the old days, hard copy.  If I lose my pictures, I lose it all.

6. As luck would have it and since I am of Irish heritage, I am lucky. I started receiving this message "low on disk space".  I started and here's a visual for you,  bailing out the ship and deleting picture files.  It was a tough process for me because even the blurry ones meant something to me.  I can remember every moment in those shots, so I was very selective.

7.  The disk space would grow a tad, once I deleted the file and emptied the recycle bin, but then it would randomly deplete again and I wasn't even doing anything!  I was miffed and I kept bailing out and deleting pictures.

8.  I took a photography course about 5 years ago and the best advice I ever got was get an external hard drive and I did.  It is also pretty full.  I started shoving everything in there and I suspected a virus.  I am usually pretty smart about that.  I don't go to odd websites and I don't fall for lures that often lead to a virus.

9.  Surely I was not thinking clearly and my nephew suggested MalawareBytes.  I have it loaded and run it from time to time but never even thought of it.  A quick scan came up with one virus and the longer scan took over 2 1/2 hours and it came up with two more.  I was relieved but wondered why my anti-virus didn't catch it!  I ran it again the next day and two more showed up.  I believe I am clean now and I thank my nephew for the idea and MalawareBytes for the product.  You can download it for free but I think they have earned my business. It is now on my Christmas wish list.  I will remove the Mercedes.  It is a good product, I believe it has saved my assets.

10.  Tomorrow (which will actually be today when this posts) will tell the true test, I unloaded 41GB of pictures gingerly, folder by folder to a new hard drive. I hope it will now hold steady. Wednesday was doom and gloom for me.  Good luck to every one else in the upcoming days and lets be careful out there, it's just the holiday season no need to freak out.  Just stock up on batteries, food, water, generators non-perishable food (cookies) or take it in stride and deal with what comes your way in small bytes.

A great big sigh, just one of those days!
If we get through this we have a whole year to turn 13 into a lucky number.  
It is all a mindset and it never hurts to have some kind of a backup plan.
We are all part of the big picture.


Yesterday my blog was cliffs and I was hanging on the edge, who could have predicted that.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Top 10 "Cliffs" worth the Share.

Toroweap (a.k.a Tuweep), Grand Canyon, Arizona, United States; 900 m (3,000 ft).


Royal Gorge the Grand Canyon of the Arkansas  River 1,250 feet (380 m) in places.

Royal Gorge Bridge tallest bridge in the world until 2001 when the Liuguanghe Bridge in China was built and topped it.


Uncompahgre Peak, northeast face, San Juan Range, Colorado, 275 m (550 m rise above surrounding plateau).


Grand Teton, north face Teton Range, Wyoming 760 m (2,490 ft).

El Capitan, Yosemite Valley, Sierra Nevada, California, United States; 900 m (3,000 ft).

Longs Peak Diamond, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, 400 m.

Faces of Shiprock, New Mexico, United States, 400 m.  This photograph was taken from Mesa Verde National Park approximately 80 miles away. It looked like the Disney Cinderella Castle to me.


Cliffs of Mohr Ireland, 217 m above Atlantic Ocean. I could produce a photograph of a very fogged in Cliffs of Mohr because that is what I saw the day I was there but instead I will offer a link that has a  better picture.  Even in the fog the area held much mystique.

White Cliffs of Dover 100 m above the Strait of Dover.  If you take a ferry across the English Channel, the view just keeps getting more and more spectacular.


Cliff Dwelling Spruce Tree House built into a natural alcove measuring 216 feet (66 meters) at greatest width and 89 feet (27 meters) at its greatest depth is located in Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado.  It is the third largest. (nps.gov.)

Recommendation:  Always look up, don't look down.  It changes the perception. Everyone knows NEVER to get too close to the edge right?  Just asking.

Interesting to me, the highest cliff is in Pakistanat 4,600 above land.  I would have never known.  Check out the list of cliffs in wikipedia.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Top 10 My Pick of Worthy Causes this Year


Do you really need another sweater, a smarter phone?  If anyone asks, what would you like for Christmas, suggest a donation to one of these or one of the so many other worthwhile causes out there where it can really make a difference.


Project H.O.M.E Homeless Memorial Day Rally December 19, 4:30-5:30 p.m., Thomas Paine Plaza - 1401 J.F.K. Boulevard, Center City Philadelphia.

Winter Coat Drive Certapro now through January 15.

Salvation Army times are tight for everyone especially this time of year but we should have a little spare change, don't pass them by. Even a small donation can make a difference.

United Way

Robin Hood Relief Fund help Hurricane Sandy victims.

Heifer International "Give a Goat".

Safe Horizons helps abused children and victims of domestic violence.

Liberty USO is good choice to donate to send your support to our Troops.

Delaware County Literacy will gladly accept your money or your time, as a matter of fact I am sure they will accept both.

American Red Cross always gets my nod.  If you are short on cash, donate you blood, there is always a need.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Top 10 Your Identifying Numbers

1. Social Security

2. Age

3. Weight

4. Birth date

5. Address

5. Cell Number

6. Land Line if it still exists.

7. Work Phone Number plus extension.

8.  Bank Account and what's in it

9. Credit card and what you owe.

10. Your Net Worth

The above numbers are facts and can't be disputed they are unique to you. The numbers of victims in Newtown , Connecticut has be so grossly under stated along with the total of lives affected by the misuse of a firearm. That little girl, that little boy that teacher and the shooter himself along with his mother, all had a mother, a father, a sister, a brother, an aunt, an uncle, cousins, grandparents, friends, neighbors who will never be the same from this experience.

Any one who has lost a member of their family in this way, be it by self inflection, an act of violence or an act by someone who is not of sound mind on a group of innocent people cannot understand how this can happen.  Banning the sale of assault rifles is a start but there are some many other issues that also must be addressed.

Whereas guns are a contributing factor in many acts of violence and unnecessary deaths, they are not our enemy.  They are just one in a series of weapons that can be used in the threat we pose to ourselves.  The madness has to stop somewhere.

I am reminded of the song Imagine by John Lennon, a victim of gun violence himself.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Top 10 121212 Concert Recap The Stars Came Out

The benefit to support victims of the Hurricane Sandy on the east coast of the United States in October this year, took place on 12 12 12 at Madison Square Garden in New York city and was televised on several stations.  All proceeds will go directly to the victims causes through an organization called Robin Hood Relief Fund. The website is 121212concert.org if you missed the concert, you can still make a donation.  You can also preorder the concert on ITunes.

Has anyone or everyone received that email titled "Wake Up America"?  It states that no one came to the rescue of the United States when we were down and out.  Now I am a SNOPES checker so I don't readily pass any of those emails along and I searched and I search to see if indeed anyone sent any help.  I could not find any but that is not to say they didn't but I will present to you who showed up on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.  The ones I saw anyway.

Bruce Springsteen, New Jersey's native son and genuine guy opened up the concert..  I am embarrassed to admit I have never seen the Boss in concert and I have been to a lot of concerts but he seems like the real deal and I know many, many people follow him including New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.  I knew beforehand from a previous interview he was a fan but he was also in attendance on Wednesday to show his support along with Governor of New York Andrew Como during the fundraising concert. Bon Jovi, the other musical ambassador that New Jersey can be proud of also thanked both men, "for all you do for us", he termed it.

Billy Crystal was the first non musician famous face to grace the screen making his usual funny remarks and putting the crowd at ease with a smile on their face.  He remarked, You know all this running water somehow they are gonna blame the Jews.  No one called that statement foul or made him retract it because it was understood, in America we all try to accept we have our differences but we all support one another when the going gets tough. Right government officials? It is about the people. Susan Sarandon came on screen as asked for donations.  It is hard to refuse a redhead and it was ME that gave my husband the eye message.  She said if you call and donate you can talk with one of the celebrities that was answering the calls. I looked at the line up sitting at their posts, Martha Stewart was there an I was thinking I could ask her, how the heck did you get salmonella but then i thought no given the chance I'd want to speak with Susan Sarandon.  I always thought she was cool.   He hands me the phone and says dial, I said get the credit card.  We aren't wealthy people but we do try to give something when we can and at this moment in time we have more than the folks that lost so much during this storm. The phone rings and I immediately hand it to my husband, I'm shy around celebrities. He handles the call and like the typical wife in the background, I did all the talking.  Ask who you are talking to I said and he waves me off like the typical husband. Being typical again, I repeat myself, maybe he didn't hear me and then he says to the person on the other end, no I don't, but my wife does and he handed me the phone.  The woman asked me, would you like to get into the queue and talk to one of our celebrities and share a story?  I said, okay but I really don't have a story.   She cautioned if all the lines are too busy I may get a busy signal and may not be able to get through if that happens thank you for the donation anyway.  She also cautioned that I was not to use any profanity or use any last names.  I thought that was an odd thing to say but they must have experience. Well it did happen, but I really just wanted to donate anyway. Adam Sandler was next accompanied by Paul Shafer. He was about to sing and truthfully, I thought he was going to do the Hanukkah song but instead he did his own creative rendition based on the Halleluiah song, Halleluiah, Sandy Screw Ya.  The song had a lot of bleeps or fuzzy pictures moments, which is how they censored the live concert. Brian Williams then appeared and interviewed Ben Stiller who was sitting waiting to take donation calls.  Sitting next to him was Chelsey Clinton Mezvinsk, Jessie Jackson and Whoopie Goldberg were also manning the phones.  Celebrities rotated answering calls all evening. Other New York personalities noticed were Jeremy Piven, Tony Danza, Stevie Van Zant and the cast of the Sopranos including James Gandolfini and Mike Richter of the New York Rangers.

Jon Stewart then appeared on stage and said jokingly said it was the greatest Hanukkah concert ever.  He talked about what the beach means to him and his family and paid special tribute to the Seaside Heights Police Department.  He also mentioned some of my favorites spots at the beach. Ever since 911, not only do we support our military but first responders and their selfless responsibilities to the citizens of our country have been put front and center as some one that needs to be thanked. He then introduced Eric Clapton.  I can almost give you a complete song list after that.

Rogers Waters played a lot of Pink Floyd hits including my favorite Us and Them and was joined on stage by Eddie Vedder for Comfortably Numb. Great tunes.
Eric ClaptonNobody Knows you When You Are Down and Out, Got To Get Better in a Little While and Crossroads. Chelsey Clinton then praised Rubicon, an organization that has been helping victis and Jimmy Fallon praised Pastor Connie and then came the
Rolling Stones. You Got Me Rocking, Jumpin Jack Flash. I am a lot younger but I don't have moves like Jagger.  They were on their game, only two songs though. Mick at the end said, if it rains in London, you gotta come out for us. I think all the artists that came on Wednesday realizes that New York does remember who their friends are and the same applies to the artists.

Steven Colbert was promoting "cool", cool is helping people.  Kanye West and a female host were given kudos to the doctors and nurses that unselfishly thought of the patients first and help move people when the power went out and Steve Busemi (Boardwalk Empire) and a former New York firefighter praised First responders, Pt. Breezy Gut and Pump. Friends of Firefighters.org, Battalion 47 of Rockaway, The Grey Beards and Engine 59. Chris Rock was proud to be from Brooklyn.

Alicia Keys sang a Brand New Kinda Me and had everyone get there cell phones out and sway them in the air and light up Madison Square Garden to celebrate love and celebrate life. and then she sang Everything's Gonna Be Alright.

The Who, two of the original Who Roger Daltery and Pete Townsend did the most songs I think.  I am a Who fan so I loved it. Who Are You, a song with Keith Moon via an old film clip, Bell Boy, See Me, Feel Me, Touch Me, Heal, Me, Pinball Wizard, Love Rain on Me, Tea and Theatre.
Kanye West and I mean no disrespect but I dozed off a little here and I did not recognze his songs but I think he was wearing a skirt?
Billy Joel sang Lights Go Down on Broadway, Anthony's Song, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas and New York State of Mind.
Chris Martin of Coldplay talked about losing a neighbor in his building and sang Viva la Vida and Us Against the World and a surprise guest appeared on stage Michael Stipe of REM and Chris Martin sang "Losing My Religion", another of my absolutely favorite songs.

Katie Holmes, Jake Gyllenhaal, Leonardo Di Caprio via video feed, he was in Brooklyn, James Tarrantino, Jamie Fox, Christoph Waltz spoke and Sir Paul closed out the night.

Paul McCartney sang Helter Skelter, Let Me Roll It, 1985, My Valentine, with Diana Krall on piano, Blackbird and then he did a song with Nirvana, Cut Me Some Slack, Paul then went on to do I've Got a Feeling, Live and Let Die and appropriately New York city resident Alicia Keys sang the last song, The Streets of New York.

It was a great concert, if you missed it maybe they will replay it but you can buy it on ITunes. You can also donate to the Robin Hood Relief Fund.  Wake Up America we should first take care of our own.  Do what you can and hope when it is your turn some one will step up for you.

I guess if anybody sends me that email that no one came to help the United States in time of need I will have to send them this list and say,  the British are coming,  the British are coming and we welcomed them.

Top 10 Ravi Shankar Respects

Ravi Shankar born April 4th 1920, died December 11, 2012.  He was 92 years old.

Ravi Shankar was best known in the United States for his association with Beatle George Harrison.

He was the father to two well known female musicians Norah Jones and Anoushka Shankar.

Youtube: He was predeceased by a son,  Shubhendra "Shubho" Shankar.

He introduced the sitar to the world.

Youtube Ravi Shankar at the Monterey Pop Festival 1967.

No doubt he will be greeted by George Harrison. It was Ravi Shankar's idea for the Concert for Bangladesh.  The last performance George Harrison recorded found on Youtube he was promoting Ravi Shankar and Ravi was with George on VH1 the day George died.  It is an interesting interview.  George says in the interview, if you want to know anything you have to knock on the door.

Youtube:  Ravi Shankar & Anoushka Shankar Live: Raag Khamaj (1997)

Anoushka  Shankar Wright and her father were nominated for Best World Music Album at the 2013 Grammy Awards for separate albums.
 
Norah Jones lived with and was raised by her mother Sue Jones in Grapevine, Texas.  She is one talented lady and one of my favorite female artists.  Her latest work "Live from the Artists Den: 2012" was released on December 11th, 2012 the day her father died.


I am reminded of this song All Things Must Pass by George Harrison.
 

Top 10 Sad Christmas Songs

Holidays can always exasperate the loneliness.  Music can sometimes help you through and keep in mind many people have been through what you have been through and it does get better in time.

You are not alone. Love and Loss are something many share.

Merry Christmas Darling Karen Carpenter a beautiful voice with a sad story of her own.

I'll be Home For Christmas Bing Crosby

Do They Know It's Christmas Time at All Band-Aid

Christmas Shoes Newsong

Last Christmas Wham

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas Judy Garland

I'm Gonna Stop Pretending I Didn't Break Your Heart Eels

Christmas Eve Can Kill You Everly Brothers

Please Come Home for Christmas Eagles

Same Old Lange Syne Dan Fogelberg

In May 2004, Dan Fogelberg was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. He underwent therapy and achieved a partial remission. On August 13, 2005, his 54th birthday, he announced the success of his cancer treatments. He said that he had no immediate plans to return to making music but was keeping his options open. He succumbed to the disease at the age of 56, on December 16, 2007, at his home in Deer Isle, Maine with wife Jean by his side.

In tribute to Fogelberg and the entire Fogelberg family, the city of Peoria renamed Abington in the city's East Bluff neighborhood "Fogelberg Parkway". The street runs along the east side of Woodruff High School, Dan's alma mater, and where his father was a teacher and bandleader. "Fogelberg Parkway" ends at the intersection of N. Prospect and Frye, which is the location of the convenience store where Fogelberg ran into his old high school sweetheart one Christmas Eve---a chance encounter made famous in the song "Same Old Lang Syne".

The information about Dan Fogelberg was found at wikipedia and references "Dan Fogelberg - A Tribute To A Native Son of Peoria, Illinois". dfpeoria.com. http://dfpeoria.com/.  I forgot howmany of his songs I really liked.  Check them out at danfogelberg.com

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Top 10 Best Beverage for the Blues - Hot Chocolate


1. December 13th is National Hot Chocolate Day! As luck would have it, guess what is hiding in my kitchen?  I might have to taste test.



2. Mayans the same folks that created that infamous Mayan calendar invented hot chocolate.

3. Today there are several makers of hot chocolate mix Nestles, Swiss Miss, Carnation, Hershey, Land o Lakes, Ghirardelli, Godiva, K Cup.  I am sure there are so many more depending on where you live and what you grew up with.

4. Not all hot chocolate is created equal, some contain more sugar and some contain no sugar.  You can beat the later by adding a marshmallow or two : ).

5. Hot Chocolate can make a big difference to a spectator at a winter sporting event.  It can go from intolerable to just bearable with a cup of warm hot chocolate, especially if your team is losing.

6. Best tasting hot chocolate if I recall correctly was ordered at the Ghiradelli store in San Francisco.  The line was long but the wait was worth it.

7. Back in the day, when I was a child I remember it being called cocoa and we heated milk. Not too long those bubbles crept up on you, you had to watch and stir and stir.

8. Hot chocolate sees to be an evening or take the chill off kinda treat. Warm milk as we all know, contains tryptophan a sleep inducing amino acid.

9. There are many things that you can add to enhance the flavor of hot chocolate like cinnamon, peppermint candy cane, whipped cream, marshmallows.  How about a dessert along with hot chocolate?



10. Here are a few suggestions on ways to celebrate. Gather the kids together and read that "old fashion" Night Before Christmas story, bundle up tonight (chilly in the 30's) and go outside and observe (and it looks like clear skies) the meteor shower Geminids.  No thermos?  Take turns getting the refills of hot chocolate. On a solo mission? Get a thermos or bring a blanket these things happen fast.

 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Top 10 Reasons to Get The Flu Shot

Free Flu Shots - Saturday, Jan 19 (10am-1PM) at Penn State Brandywine, Tomezko Classroom (Lounge), 25 Yearsley Mill Rd, Media for more info call 610-447-3250 or 610-891-5311


1.  Why should You get a flu shot? Influenza "flu"  is a contagious disease. By getting the flu vaccine you protect yourself from influenza and may also avoid spreading it to others.

2. For most people symptoms last only a few days. They include: fever/chills, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, cough, headache, runny or stuffy nose. Young children, people 65 or older, pregnant women, and people with certain health conditions - such as heart, lug or kidney disease, or a weakened immune system can get much sicker.  Flu can cause high fever and pneumoniaand make existing conditions worse.

3. There are two types of influenza vaccine Inactivated (killed) given by needle injection  and Live, attenuated (weakened), this vaccine is sprayed into the nostrils and comes with its own VIS, Vaccine Information Sheet.  A "high dose" inactivated influenza vaccine is available for people 65 and older.  Ask you doctor about it. Some inactivated influenza vaccines contain thimerosal you can ask your doctor if a thimerosal-free vaccine is available. Thimerosal contains traces of mercury, a controversial ingredient in vaccines.

4. It takes up to 2 weeks for protection to develop after the shot and protection lasts about a year. Most flu outbreaks occur anytime between October and May.  Recently most infections have occurred in January or February.  So a vaccine in December or later can still be beneficial.

5. Who should get vaccinated? The CDC recommends all people 6 months of age or older should get the flu vaccine.  Vaccinations are especially important for people at higher risk of severe influenza and their close contacts, including healthcare personnel and close contacts of children under the age of 6 months. Adults and older children need one dose per year but some children under 9 may need two doses to be protected.  The influenza vaccine may be given at the same time as other vaccines, including pneumococcal vaccine.

6. Some people should not get inactivated influenza vaccine or should wait.  Tell your doctor if you have severe (life-threatening) allergies, including a severe allergy to eggs. A severe allergy to any vaccine component would be a reason not to get the vaccine.  Allergic reactions to influenza vaccine are rare.If you are not getting a flu shot at a doctor's office, check with a doctor that you are not one of the people at risk when getting a flu shot.

7. What are the risks from inactivated influenza vaccine? A vaccine like any medication can cause serious problems such as a severe allergic reaction.  The risk is extremely small. The viruses from inactivated vaccines have been killed, so you can't get the flu from it.  It does take 2 weeks for protection to develop.  You could contact the flu in between that time.

8. Mild, Moderate and Severe problems when getting a flu shot.

Mild: soreness, redness, or swelling at the sight of the shot, hoarseness; sore, red or itchy eyes;cough, fever aches,headache,itching, fatigue. If these problems occur they usually begin soon after the shot and last 1-2 days.

Moderate:Young children who get the inactivated flu vaccine and pneumococcal vaccine at the same time appear to be at risk for seizures caused by fever.  Ask your doctor about this and let them know if your child has ever had a seizure. 

Severe: Life Threatening allergic reactions are very rare.  If they do occur, it usually is within a few minutes or few hours after the shot.


9. What to do in the event of a severe reaction?  Any unusual condition such as a high fever or unusual behavior, call a doctor. Signs of a serious allergic reaction can include difficulty breathing, hoarseness or wheezing, hives, paleness, hives, weakness a fast heart beat or dizziness.
Call a doctor or get the person to a doctor right away. Tel the doctor what happened and the date and tie it happened and when the vaccination is given.

10.  Who wants to be sick for the holidays and all the celebrations? Get your flu shot and you can go out and mingle without fear and spread only cheer. Maintain healthy habits and use preventative measures.

I present this as basic information and not as a health professional, always seek the advise of a physician for accurate information.

Most of this information was taken directly from a VIS (Vaccination Information Statement) given out at the time of a inactivated "flu shot" and every one who gets a flu shot should receive one.  Read it if you get one and those who have not received a sheet get a flu shot, you'll get one.  More in depth information can be found at the CDC website. Do what you can to stay healthy.  Also check the CDC website for recommended vaccines for all ages.  You are never too old for a good shot in the arm.

The flu is a virus and "should not" be treated with antibiotics.  Antibiotics are for bacterial infections and often used inappropriately.  Know the difference.  According to an article in Parade magazine in October and quoting Infectious Diseases Society of America, 70 percent is the proportion of sore   throat patients who receive antibiotics, though only 20 percent actually have bacteria-caused strep throat.  New guidelines advise that doctors test to confirm before they prescribe antibiotics.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Top 10 More Holiday Things to Do


Ten Thousand Villages and Iron Hill Brewery are teaming up again Wednesday, December 12th to support Literacy.  Check out the deals.  Go to delcoliteracy.org to retrieve your coupon.


New this year! Pennsylvania Ballet is proud to partner with The Salvation Army. At
performances of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™, audience members are invited to bring
a new, unwrapped toy for a child in need. Once collected at the theater, these toys will be
distributed to families across the Delaware Valley throughout the holiday season and beyond. Buy tickets.


The Snow Queen Players Club of Swarthmore Children's Theater, Saturday December 15 and Sunday December 16. Two performances a day.  11 a.m. and 3 p. m.


Free Horse Drawn Carriage Rides with Santa and Mrs. Claus Whiteland Town Center, Exton, PA.  Check link for select dates and location. Santa is a busy guy and the Mrs. is not just sitting around either.

Ice Skating at the River Rink, Penns Landing, Philadelphia, PA. "Special December 15th, Seaport Parade of Lights" 3 p.m. - 6 p.m. and New Years Eve Fireworks!! Twice!! 6 p. m. and midnight.


Cirque Dreams Holidaze at the Tower Theater December 14 ad 15.

Zoo Noel Santas of the World! at the Philadelphia Zoo, December 15 and 16.  Santa will appear at select times.  Check the link for details.

Upper Darby Summer Stage Shooting Stars Holiday Show December 14th and A Christmas Carol at Upper Darby Performing Arts Center, December 21st.

Hedgerow Theatre Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol Dec 7 - 24 and  Storytime for the Holidays Dec 8 - Jan 26.

Media Theatre Dr. Dolittle thru January 27th and The Velveteen Rabbit Christmas thru December 29th.


Embrace the holiday season

Monday, December 10, 2012

Top 10 Jingle Bell Bark Questions and Answers

1. Is this the worse Christmas song ever? Let the debates begin.

2. Where did it come from? The idea came from Don Charles of Copenhagen, Denmark.

4. When was it first released? in the 1950's

5.  Who were these dogs anyway? The "original" Singing Dogs, were Dolly, Pearl, Caesar, and King.

6.  Was this a one woof hit? They also produced a rendition of Oh! Susanna, Three Blind Mice and Pat-a-Cake.  Jingle Bells was the BIG hit.

7.  Were any animals harm making this? Don Charles recorded the dogs barking, spliced them on reel-to-reel tape, and arranged the pitches.  No dog was harmed.

8. Is it a popular song? According to wikipedia research, musical historian Joel Whitburn Top Pop Singles 1955-2008. Record Research, Milwaukee, WI., the single reached #22 on U. S. Billboard Pop Singles Chart.

9. Have you heard it yet today?Some radio station somewhere is playing it during the holiday season.

10. Can your dog bark? Work on their pitch.  Warning though, some pooches can become Prima Donna's.


Is the Jingle Bells version sung by the Sing Dogs the worse Christmas song ever?  At some point in life, we can all receive a label and that can very well lead to a bad rap.  That is nothing to bark about.

Treat You Pets with Respect.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Top 10 Holiday Songs that Ring a Bell

Jingle Bells

Silver Bells

Carol of Bells

Jingle Bell Rock

Jingle Bell Bark

Ring them Bells

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

Just Hear those Sleigh Bells Ringing "Sleigh Ride"

Sleigh Bells Ring Are You Listening "Winter Wonderland"

Bells Will Be Ringing (Please Come Home For Christmas) Charles Brown



Thursday, December 6, 2012

Top 10 Classic Dancing with the Stars

It was a different time.  Check them out at the Youtube links.  All perfect, tough competition.

 Fred Astaire

Gene Kelly

Shirley Maclaine

Vera Ellen and Donald O'Conner

Shirley Temple and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson

James Cagney and Bob Hope

Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire

Rita Hayworth

Sammy Davis and Famous Dancing Friends 
Bunny Briggs, Chuck Green, Gregg Burge, Ludie Jones, Jimmy Slade, Sandman Sims, Harold Nicholas,

Bob Fosse

Jack and Peg (unfortunately no video is available of the best jitterbug couple I ever saw, my parents, so this one will have to do.)  Why with all the pictures I ever took I never captured that moment I will never know.  Too dang busy admiring I guess. Such a joy when that generation took over the dance floor, especially at weddings.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Maureen’s Top 10 Must Do’s and See’s (mostly free) for Christmas in the City of Philadelphia



Maureen’s Top 10 must do’s and see’s (mostly free) for Christmas in the City of Philadelphia

Reading Terminal: Eat Breakfast – (Down Home Diner) – great place to walk around as there are so many little Amish stands and mom and pop shops. You can shop for fruits and veggies.

01.)    Train Display

02.)    The hustle and bustle – you can just feel the spirit (and the some humbugs),

 Marriott Hotel: Just a walk through the Hotel Lobby

03.)     Gingerbread houses

Macy’s: Several reasons to hang out at Macy’s -

04.)    The Christmas light show – plays every hour on the hour

05.)     Listen to the Organ – just sit and hear the music of the season

06.)     Dickens Village – little moving marionettes

Love Park: I think this is the third year for this little village.

07.)    The Christmas Village – all types of little shops – opened Black Friday and closes on Christmas Eve. Can find unique and rare gifts.

Comcast Building:

08.)    Christmas Spectacular show – plays every hour on the hour.

Liberty Place:

09.)     Christmas tree and Christmas Carolers

Max Brenner’s Chocolate by the Bald Man: only 5 of these restaurants in the US. As soon as you walk in the door you can smell the chocolate.

10.)    Hot Chocolate

Other things to do:

Walk through DiBruno Brothers they give out free samples of cheese (on Chestnut Street). Walk through the Hotels where you can, as they are always decorated so beautifully, especially the Bellevue, they have a display of Santa Clauses. Walk through Rittenhouse Square Park. Union League, always decorated so beautiful (not sure how to get in there).

All Saturdays in December, after 11 am in the city, meter parking is free.




Locally this Saturday only reminder.



Author Elizabeth MacGuire will autograph her book on Collingdale
on Saturday, December 8th at 11 am in the Collingdale Library.
If you already purchased a book, please feel free to bring it to the book signings.
Thank you again for all your support.

Colonial Plantation
Click below for more information


Media, PA 
Don’t miss this year’s Candlelight Holiday House Tour presented by Media Historical Preservation.
The house tour is December 8th, 2012, 2-7pm and will feature Media homes and those in the surrounding area. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at Earth and State, Media Florist or Quincy’s on State Street.
Ticket holders will also receive a 10% discount for lunch or dinner that day at local participating eateries.
All proceeds from the event will benefit the preservation and maintenance of the Minshall House in Media



 2012 Holiday House Tour
presented by Haverford Township Historical Society
Sunday, December 16th
1:00-4:30 PM

Ticket information at 610-449-1571


Thomas Leiper House Colonial Christmas Open House, December 16th, 1 -5 p. m.
521 Avondale Road, Wallingford, PA.