Monday, July 23, 2012

Live By the Sword...Die by the Sword

If, as reported in the Freeh Report, Joe Paterno and other top Penn State officials knew about, covered up, or simply turned a blind eye to the actions of Jerry Sandusky to protect Penn State, Penn State Football, and, by extension, their legacies, the sanctions and punishments handed out today are perfect. Again, as reported by Judge Freeh, if everybody's overriding concern during the period was PSU, PSU Football, and their legacies, and not the children, then hit them where it hurts. Take down the University, Football, and the legacies. It may seem overly vindictive, especially in the case of the dead Paterno, but, his actions, or lack of actions, brought it on himself, and he therefore does not deserve to be recognized as a great coach in the record books. On the positive side, and I think there may be one, for current players and students, there will still be football. It will be less intense for awhile without the prospect of a post season, but there will still be football to enjoy and escape to on Saturday afternoons. And, those players who choose to stick around, will still be able to play, and, if they are good enough, still catch the eyes of pro scouts for an after graduation career. They may even get some added attention if they are seen as still playing their hearts out, even with no possible Bowl Games. Finally, the $60 million fine will not break the University. They have billions. It will, however, go to the good cause of helping others who have suffered abuse.

Friday, October 14, 2011


Maybe I've seen the same movie too many times. I mean, I've watched Vietnam turn into Iraq and Afghanastan, trickle down or trickle up economics turn into just a trickle, and of course all of the great hopes every year for Philadelphia sports teams turn into another next year. Now, the front runner for the GOP presidential nomination is a pizza king! Have we learned nothing from the past 3 years? Are we that desperate? Why are we wasting time, newsprint and airwaves on something sense and history says just won't happen?

Barrack Obama was the fresh faced, golden tongued candidate with wonderful ideas and little government experience four years ago. I supported him then. Now, well, he is not so fresh faced, still has the golden tongue, and still has those wonderful ideas, but, I think because of the lack of real government experience, not much has come of those wonderful ideas.

Now we have Herman Cain, who seems to be a smart guy. He was CEO of a decent sized, successful business, but he has absolutely no governing experience, and his chief economic advisor is a local accountant. Let's be a little serious! Before that, we had Perry, Bachman, Newt..... All people who really had no chance of getting elected, and who quickly faded after their 15 minutes of fame, when another novelty came along.

I know that there is still a lot of time before the election, and we will painfully be hearing the political messages for all of that time, but let's get serious. Let's get some real candidates with real ideas that we can think and talk about, who might actually be electable!

Sunday, October 24, 2010


It was fun while it lasted. I just came in from taking down the big, new Phillies flag that I bought and hung outside the house for the big 6th game last night of the National League Championship Series.

Yes, the Fightin’ Phils lost last night. But, as a life-long Philadelphian, I’m very used to the highs, and especially lows, of the Philadelphia sports teams. Although, in all fairness, the Phillies did take us all the way in 2008, and, come to think of it, 1993 was a pretty good ride, too. I still have my pair of framed Phillies World Series tickets. Section 750, Row 21, Seats 22 and 23 in the old Veterans Stadium. I went with my son, and I remember that we were about as high up as we could get in the stands. Like this year, they didn’t make it all the way then, but they played pretty well, and as always, we had a great time watching them.

Now, however, as the Phillies clean out their lockers, for us sports fans it is back to football season and the Eagles, which I’m sure will be another interesting ride. I’m just wondering if I should go out now and buy an Eagles flag to hang, or maybe I should buy the flags of their various opponents, and hang them on game days to jinx them!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Crabs, Beer and More

Can you Tailgate on or in a Boat? And, what would you call it…Watergating?

Well, what’s in a name anyway, and call it what you will, that’s just what we did recently. A few friends and I decided to take a trip down to Baltimore to catch a game at Camden Yards…by boat. Yes, by boat. The weather was good, and we had some time off, so we packed up my friends’ 45 foot Silverton Cruiser and headed out from Sommers Point, NJ, at the crack of dawn, for an adventure in sailing, baseball, and, of course, eating.

The water was basically calm, and we cruised easily through the Inlet, along the Jersey coast past the beach motels and boardwalk rides, across Delaware Bay, up the C&D Canal, across the Chesapeake, and, 9 hours and 10 minutes later, were sailing into Baltimore Harbor, and our first stop, Captain James Crab House.

Since I had a little time on my hands, when I wasn’t sharing responsibility for spotting Channel Markers and Buoys, I did some research on my Blackberry, and found that Captain James Crab House was one of the best Crab Houses in the Baltimore area, and, lucky for us, the only one in the Inner Harbor area with its own dock where you could tie up your boat and enjoy a Crab Feast either on your boat or on their dock. I also used the time and my trusty Blackberry to call and check on the availability of their Crabs and their sizes. Yes, size is important! I was told that they had plenty of Crabs, and that they had Jumbo Crabs for $89.00 a dozen. So, as we approached the Harbor, I called ahead to alert them of our impending arrival and to order 3 dozen, hot, steamed Crabs smothered in spicy Old Bay seasoning, and several baskets of Old Bay seasoned fries. In Philly, we call these “Crab Fries”, but a local restaurant, Chickie & Petes, has copyrighted that name, so every place else, including Maryland Crab country, must call them “Seasoned Fries”, or at Captain James, “Boardwalk Fries”.

The Harbor was busy, but our own Captain Jim maneuvered through it all and up to the dock, and by the time we were securely tied up, our orders were ready. For those not skilled or accustomed to it, eating Crabs is a rewarding, but messy experience, so we decided to enjoy our feast on the dock, overlooking the boat, and not on the boat. To quench our thirst from our long journey, and to complete our feast, we of course ordered several pitchers of ice cold beer. A local beer favorite, we found out, was Pabst Blue Ribbon, a brand that none of us had seen for years, so, in the spirit of adventure and Maryland Crabs, Fries and Beer, we ordered the Pabst, and it was surprisingly good.

As for the Crabs, what can I say, there is nothing better than steamed hard shell Crabs by the water, and these were no exception. They were sweet, spicy and tender, and for 2 hours we cracked, hammered and picked. We also ended up ordering an extra ½ dozen. As I noted earlier, size does matter when eating Crabs. The bigger they are, the meatier they are, which makes the experience even better.

We finished eating just before sunset and about 1 hour before the start of the game, just enough time to wash up, untie the boat, and cruise the short distance down into Inner Harbor, where we again docked, and hurried over to Camden Yards for the game. Don’t ask me the score or anything about the game. It was a good game, I think, but my mind, or our minds, weren’t on the game, but were on the experiences of the day and our tailgating or dockgating or watergating, and planning for our trip back the next day.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


According to most of the talking and writing heads I’ve heard and read, the recent win by Christine O’Donnell in the Delaware GOP Senate Primary is spectacular good fortune for the Democrats. Now the Democratic candidate, according to this thinking, is a shoe-in, and the Democrats will retain the Senate seat that used to belong to Joe Biden.

I don’t quite see it. Sure, Mike Castle, who O’Donnell defeated, was a very popular, almost institution in Delaware politics. He has a lot more name recognition than Democrat Chris Coons, but he also had a lot more name recognition and was supposedly a lot more popular than Christine O’Donnell, who just defeated him. So what does that say?

To me it says that Christine O’Donnell and this whole TEA Party Movement is something to be taken very seriously. To me it says that Democrats as well as Republicans are in big trouble. To me it says that people are really, really tired of the status quo and want change. They want change from somebody, anybody.

Barrack Obama and many Democrats rode into office almost two years ago promising change. He and they promised to change the way things were done in Washington and across the US. People are not now seeing that change. People are not now seeing things as any better, and maybe even worse, than they were before.

People desperately want change. People desperately want representatives in Washington and in local government who will listen to them. As wacky as some of the TEA Party ideas may seem, they are ideas of change, and they have grabbed the interest of a lot of people.

Democrats had better be very careful, because just as they were voted in to bring about change, they could just as easily be voted out for not bringing about that change, and the TEA Partier’s are ready to Party.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I’m not a “dirty old man”…well, maybe just a little. But, I think like most guys, of all ages, I “enjoy” a pretty, provocatively dressed female. Tight jeans on a good body are a particular turn-on to me. Which is why this latest made for media (or made by media) controversy about the Mexican TV Reporter in the New York Jets Locker room is such a fascination to me.

First of all, I think any type of harassment is bad and uncalled for. I also am not a believer of the “she was looking for it” or “she was asking for it” philosophy of sexual behavior. Finally, I almost never, ever agree with anything that Rush Limbaugh says or believes in. But, seeing the pictures of Ines Sainz on the sidelines and in the locker room, and the pictures of her on her website and on the website of her TV network, what were she and they thinking? She was clearly being advertised not as a Sports Reporter, but as a Sex Symbol, and her admirable assets as Sex Objects to be drooled, fanaticized and more over! Not that I’m totally condoning the actions and responses of the Jets Players, but what’s a testosterone flooded locker room to do! A room full of monks would have had a similar reaction….well, maybe not all of the monks.

This, of course, brings up the whole issue of what is and is not appropriate attire for work and play. I do like dressing casually and comfortably for work and when I go out. Although, I must admit, on a certain level, I do miss the days when I would put on a nice suit, shirt and tie to go to the office or for a night out to dinner or the theater. It provided a nice dividing line for parts of my life, and also made going out special. Now, you can go from the office to the garden to dinner and to a show without ever even changing your shoes. And, honestly, at some places where I have worked, the dress has really been more appropriate for working in the garden than going to work or even the supermarket!

As much as I had to admit it, maybe the old nuns in my old Catholic school were right. Maybe the way you dress does have an impact on how you act and how other people see and treat you. And, maybe it is time that we go back to more formal attire at work. After all, with the economy the way it is, this could certainly help the clothing industry if we all had to go out and buy new suits again!

Friday, September 10, 2010


The big talk on the morning Talk Shows today was should the government somehow stop Pastor Jones from burning the Quran (Koran)? There were a lot of very heated opinions on both sides of the issue.

Americans do have the right, guaranteed by the Constitution, to Freedom of Speech, which this would seem to fall under. But, with any “right” there comes “responsibility”, and, in this case, that old principle or saying that “you can’t yell fire in a crowded theater”. The “rights” of the individual to Free Speech are thus surplanted by the rights of the group to Health and Safety.

I’m not a lawyer or expert on the constitution, and I am never one in favor of violence or force, but it seems to me that there are enough level-headed, reasonable people who feel that this action by this, until now, unknown minister, would cause harm to the country as a whole and to members of the armed forces in particular, that a legitimate case could be made for the government stepping in and legally or forcibly stopping this guy. There must be some local ordinance against fires on church property, or just send in the troops, for the good of the nation, to stop the guy. This is, after all, turning in to more than just a simple book burning or protest march!

Another solution, of course, would be just to ignore the guy. He’s already had more than his 15 minutes of fame. He’s been on the front page of just about every newspaper in the country and the lead story on every news program. The President has even called him personally. How many good acts and good people go unnoticed and unreported every day? How many good and even heroic citizens never get a phone call or email from the President? All this guy wants is publicity, which he has already gotten.

My suggestion is that the media should pack up their video cameras, microphones, still cameras, pens, pencils and notebooks and go away. Then, nobody will know what he does or doesn’t do, and nobody will care. After all, nobody knew or cared what he did or said before this, probably not even many of the 50 members of his church!