Friday, September 28, 2012


The shiny new hospital has opened up in a neighboring town and is in the process of closing Montgomery Hospital built in 1933 in Norristown.  An article appeared today about the rememberances of the employees.  For decades Montgomery Hospital took care of the sick and injured, delivered babies, and pronounced the dead, and now it is closing.  For me, even as a relative newcomer to Norristown, I am sick that this is happening.

The new Einstein Hospital built on Germantown Pike in East Norriton is a LEED certified building with state of the art medical technology; something they say would not be able to be done at the old building.  The new hospital is attracting some of the best talent in the medical field to treat patients so the area has the potential of being a leading star in the industry and offer our residents, as well as people from outside the area, new treatments and possibly save more lives.  Of all the bragging they did with how "green" their building is, the real “green” technology would have been to recyle the old building.
While it's great to the best and brightest of everything, it’s not the need for new machinery and cutting edge techniques that caused the new operators of Montgomery Hospital to build anew.  It was the people.  Yes, they now have a new facility – and everyone loves new stuff – and it is their silent hope that the people they were used to treating at the Norristown place won’t go to their new one.  While they claim that is not the case, I strongly suspect differently.  During the discussions about the eventual closing of the hospital I attended many meetings where they presented data showing who they treated and the reason they were losing money because of it.  By presenting the data they did, they were slowly building the case for the move.  So now it is a totally done deal and Norristown will be left with a large unwanted building.  It will now be up to Norristown officials to deal with.  It is my hope that since they knew of this closing for several years they are prepared to act on it swiftly.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

School Music

I read an article about our local school district and the removal of the school band program.  It is not the reason that normally everyone thinks of - lac of money - but lack of participation. That is a real shame.  Not only is music an happy part of the students life, it is important to the well being of a student.  People often don't believe that music lends anything to young people but aside from the ability to help with stress and improve their self-esteem, the study of music especially at young grades, helps the brain understand math and science concepts. 

There have been many studies that show there is a direct relation with music and math, and with the emphasis in getting more scientists and math people, music can play an important part.  It is really sad that the reason is not enough interest on the student's part.  That says something about the environment at home and in their social circles.  I thought with the popularity of the TV show, Glee, that music would have a lot of intersest, but maybe that interest is singing and acting. 

I hope that this trend doesn't continue.  Music is said to soothe the savage beast, and it also helps out the unruly student too.  A world without music would be a ver dull world indeed.

Monday, September 24, 2012


Okay, so I know this was incredibly immature and unnecessary, but I just felt like doing it.  I drove past the protesters in front of the mall yesterday and they were holding up those ridiculous signs saying how bad Obama is and how we should vote him out of office and I got so offended I gave them the finger as I drove by.  I don't know why I was so offended, I guess I was just outraged at their ignorance and the ignorance of the other Tea Party people in this world.  Yes, I know they have just as much right to be out there as I do but if they would listen to the facts and not the trash spewed on Fox News maybe they might have another opinion.

We are better off than we were 4 years ago; housing starts are up, the employment figures are up (albeit not as much as they should be).  Heck even the market is up.  Obama did a good job with the mess he was left with and a congress which was the most divisive in history.  Furthermore, I don't want a president in office who only cares about half of this country.  I don't one who flips on all the issues that are important to me.  I just can't vote for someone like that.

Maybe that's what really offends me. That these people are really willing to have a person in office who would totally turn things upside down and remove the things that we have fought so hard to implement.  But then again that's what makes this country great.  The mere fact we can have a person like that run for office in the first place.  I just hope he doesn't win.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Wardrobe Malfunction

I guess I was really tired this morning or maybe I have been dressing in the dark too long, but this morning I came in with my shirt on inside out and no one said anything.  It wasn’t until I tried to unbutton my top button that I realized my top button was inside the shirt rather than out. 
I have had incidents like this before like the time I ran out the door with one black shoe on and one brown.  It is common enough mistake when you have more than one color of a certain shoe style.  I was so embarrassed that I sat at my desk all day and practically ran to the bathroom and back when I had to go before anyone could say anything to me.  Then was the time that I was walked from my car to the building and right in front of the huge glass window that faces out from the cafeteria during the lunch hour, my slip fell off.  I was actually pretty proud of myself for not tripping over it but calmly stepping out of it and quickly bending down to scoop it up.  To this day, I have no idea if anyone saw me.  I remember a friend of mine wore a dance wrap skirt back in the day they were popular to a fancy wedding and the doorman closed a piece of it in the car door without her knowledge.  It came right off leaving her standing there in the leotard part of the outfit.  It could have been much worse.
Wardrobe malfunctions, as they are called now after Janet Jackson’s infamous boob incident do happen.  Sometimes the results are amusing and sometimes they are quite embarrassing, but happen they will.  One can only hope that the end result doesn’t leave you hanging all out there – not unless you want to be.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Tax Man

Candidate Romney stepped in it this time, I believe with is comments said at a fund raiser in May that were release by Mother Jones. During those taped conversations, he shows his true distain for people that are not like him – basically most of America.  Those statements show that his presidency will be for the few, for the privileged, and for the minority.  In the words of Jennifer Granholm “where the cars get the elevators and the workers get the shaft.”  It really convinced me that Romney is out of touch with this country and what this country needs.
The one good thing that has come out of all of this is that the American public finally understands that yes, only 47% actually pay federal taxes and there are reasons for that.  It is somewhat easier to understand why we are in the situation we are in when you know where the revenue is coming from and why those who do pay federal taxes are stretched so thin.  But many of those people aren’t irresponsible and living off welfare and playing the system.  Many of those people are struggling to make ends meet, and many of them are our friends and neighbors. 
I ran across a list of things that our taxes pay for and the list is very extensive.  Furthermore, taxes are not all bad and are not totally there to pay for programs for the poor.  I found a great essay on what taxes pay for, and a quote from Franklin Delano Roosevelt who once remarked that “Taxes, after all, are dues that we pay for the privileges of membership in an organized society.”  But the best example of what taxes do for us, in my opinion is found here.  After reading that, I felt so much better about why we really need to contribute our fair share to society. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Another One Hits the Deck

Every day you turn around and there is another shooting, another home invasion, another angry person.  What is it with people these days?  Why do people resort to violence as the way to solve problems?  It saddens me that violence is often the direction people go. 
In my humble opinion the biggest reason that violence is used is due to ignorance.  But, I have heard many reasons such as poverty, high school drop outs, and drugs as a reason for violence, and I am sure many of them are good reasons.  When one is ill-educated, they can’t really think of any other way than to react; they have no experience learned or otherwise in not using violence.  That seems to tie in with the low economic status as well, but many people who are highly educated have been involved in physical altercations, so it is not clearly a one to one relationship.  Drugs certainly have a factor, especially alcohol.  We have all heard of “beer muscles” being a reason for many scuffles that come along. I am sure there are many studies out there on why people use their fists rather than their words to fix problems.
But the biggest disappointment is when they bring a gun into the equation.  Moreover, I think that in some cultures it is more accepted to swing fists or shot first and ask questions later.  At the risk of sounding sexist, violence is much more prevalent in the male species probably due to hormones and the expectation that a guy is going to stick up for themselves or be labeled a “sissy”.  It continues to be my biggest wish that people will use other methods to decide life’s problems in the future.  It is a big wish.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Officer Down

As many of you may know, Officer Brad Fox, a Plymouth officer, was shot and killed last night while investigating a traffic accident.  The article this morning talked about the incident and his family mentioning his young, pregnant wife, the fact that he did two tours in Iraq, and a little information about his K-9 partner.  Today is a very sad day for most area police departments and anyone who knows and respects officers of the law.  It was a senseless act of violence.
I was on my way home from an event in Conshohocken last night around the time the officer was shot.  I came to the intersection of Colwyn Rd and Conshohocken Road and it was blocked off.  I went down Colwyn Rd and around until I came back out on Ridge St, which eventually continues on Main St.  Conshohocken Rd was closed at that intersection as well by a police cruiser.  When I got home around 8ish, we started hearing helicopters and did so most of the night until I went to sleep.  I wasn’t sure why until this morning when I found that they had taken the officer to Montgomery Hospital which is not far from my home.
The news hit law enforcement members across the country on a memorial site for fallen officers, thanks to the digital media everyone operates on, and many from across the country have added support. A Facebook memorial page has been set up and no doubt support on both pages will grow as more stories of Officer Fox come to light, along with details about what happened. Since this is the first officer for Plymouth’s force, they are hit especially hard coming to terms with this horrible event. It is still amazing to me that within minutes of the incident, I had received a text message about the incident and when I signed onto my Facebook page later that evening, there were many, many postings about what had happened. News travels lightening fast these days and I am continually amazed at its speed.  No doubt in a very short time we will know everything, and more, about the fallen officer and the suspect.  Many will get closure with all this information, but nothing will ever replace the man who will be missed by his police family, his wife, daughter, and unborn child.  His children will never know their father thanks to a horrible, horrible man who pulled the trigger.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Road to Recovery

I came back from Charlotte exhausted and as a result, I caught a bad upper respiratory infection complete with heavy green phlegm.  I woke up early Sunday morning with the worst sore throat ever right after dreaming that I was trying to find Amoxicillin at a drug store.  I opened the medicine cabinet and found a bottle with three tablets in it and took one.  A few hours later, I work up feeling a lot less pain in my throat, but still suffering from a heavy cough and fatigue.  I spent Sunday in bed and Monday as well.

I took another pill late Monday and Tuesday morning I woke up feeling considerably better.  Now, I am not the type to run to the doctor's for antibiotics every time I get sick in fact I hate taking medicine but I knew what I had and how to fix it.  My voice was still scratchy and my head was still congested when I went to work Tuesday. After work, I stopped by and got oil of Eucalyptus and did a hot pot of water along with some peppermint from my garden and put my head over that with a towel to concentrate the fumes breathing deeply.  Within hours my congestion was much better,and my phlegm was pale yellow and much thinner.  Obviously things are going along in a good direction.

My manager was quite adamant that I was to take a full course of antibiotics, but frankly I think that doctors are in bed with the pharmaceutical companies and taking all those pills is just a way to take more of the product.  There are a number of natural ways out there to supplement man-made drugs and doing what I did, I believe, gave my system a bump and then forced it to take over on its own.  Also I firmly believe that when taking antibiotics one eat yogurt and I had a healthy bowl Tuesday morning.  As a disclaimer, I am no expert, I do what I do for me and let you know what works, but just maybe it could work for you.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Voter ID

I caught a glance at the new TV commercial telling people to bring their "acceptable" forms of ID when they go to vote. Today I saw an article saying that some say it is offensive.  I am not convinced it is offensive exactly, but seeing it again I do question the real message behind it.  The overall message was that if you can about this country you will bring your id with you when you go to vote.  I think the real message is that if you care about this issue, you will write, scream, and rally against this law.

I think the law itself is offensive, not the commercial.  It is offensive that a law which causes the taxpayers over $10 million to fix a problem that doesn't exists.  It should really be called what it is; voter suppression.  There has been no case of voter fraud in this state ever.  There have only been about 4 cases of voter fraud in the entire country.  This is only to make sure that the people who voted for Obama last year will not be able to vote this year.  Look at the numbers.  The amount of people affected is about 760,000 which is about the same as the number McCain lost PA.  Coincidence?  I think not.

So you be the judge, is the commercial offensive, or it just the law.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Incredible Experience

The last night of the convention is over. The excitment in the arena last night after Obama spoke was at an all time high after he finished speaking, and we were all "fired up and ready to go". The evening's activities were really special with the Foo Fighters, James Taylor, Mary J Blige, along with a host of celebrities and famous people.  The greatest quote was from Jennifer Granholm who said "in Mitt Romney's world, the cars get the elevator and the workers get the shaft!"  The place went wild and the rest of what she was saying was lost in the shouting.

As usual, I got in at almost 3am.  During this week, I generally averaged three or four hours of sleep due to all the activites thay were going on. One of the other women I met said that we really only got naps instead of a restful sleep.  I suppose that is generally how a convention goes, but these old bones aren't used to it.  It will probably take a few days for my body to get back to normal.  All in all it was a most incredible experience.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Clinton Nominates the President

Last night, President Clinton laid out a clear case for re-nominating and reelecting President Obama and Vice President Biden. He spelled out very plainly that President Obama has plans for moving America forward.  The excitement in the arena was palpable, and you could hear a pin drop while he was speaking.  What a speech!  Throughout the evening Democratic leader after Democratic leader spoke about the contrasts in how the other side had no new ideas or policies to help the middle class.  If you had an opportunity to watch the speech, or any of the coverage you may have heard that Clinton won it.  The bus driver for the Delegates this morning was quite emphatic that the speech laid it out in plain English and if no one understood that, they were a fool.

The house went crazy when President Obama came out to thank Clinton for his words.  I had left my seat to go to the ladies room and to quickly put a few more bars on my phone charge and I was not allowed to get back to my seat when I came in.  I was not able to see Clinton from my regular vantage point, but it didn't matter.  One could feel the vibe even at the top of the section where I was standing. It was electrifying and certainly set the stage for tonight's proceedings.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


The proceedings in the arena last night were very exciting for a political person like me.  Seeing people like Julian Castro, Mayor of San Antonio, for example is equvilant to the average person seeing a news celebrity, and the arena was filled with others who felt the same.  These people are the rock stars in the political world.  There was a growing excitement in the place as the evening wore on.  When Michelle Obama spoke the place erupted despite the fact that the delegates and guests had been sitting there for more than 5 hours.

This morning I am a little bleary eyed due to the lack of sleep, and my throat a little raw from the shouting.  The excitement is building daily as we get closer to the President's speech on Thursday. I expect more of the same tonight.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Wining and Dining

Part of being at a convention is attending lots of parties.  The Democratic National Convention is no different.  On the fist night of our stay in Charlotte they held a Welcome Event at a really cool place called the Uptown Mint Musuem.  When I first saw the information about it, I thought it was a museum about money, which would have been really interesting. But it was mostly modern art, most of what I saw was really beautiful stuff.  The building is very modern, as is most of downtown Charlotte. And the party was held in the main exhibit hall, for lack of a better word.  The picture is from the second level, of four, that looks over that hall. On the fifth floor is an outdoor deck which provided a great view of downtown.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Biltmore Estates

Built in 1895, or rather completed then, was the "pleasure house" of George Vanderbuilt.  The house sits on 8000 acres and it run by a decsendant.  The house was opened to the public in 1930 due to a way to increase tourism during the Depression. The cost of admission for a self guided tour of the house and gardens also allows a visit to the winery and the farms.  We didn't have time to go to those places but went through the house and most of the gardens.  It is probably the most spectacular house I have ever been to.  Walking through, I can imagine being a guest staying in one of the 33 guest rooms.  There are 44 rooms on the tour and things are laid out very well to allow people to go through efficiently.  If you are in the area I strongly recommend you visit.

Flea Bag

It was very unplanned for me and quite spur of the moment.  I did plan to take a side trip on the way down to see the Biltmore Estates as it is very close to where we are going.  So when we came into the town of Asheville where the Biltmore is located we began to look for a place to bed down for the night.  We wanted someplace cheap and relatively cheap it was.  The first place we went to is called the Downtown Inn on Patton St.  They didn't have any vacancies.  The man at the desk suggested we go on Tunnel Road, and that there would a lots of cheaper motels than anywhere in town.

So as we came through the tunnel, we came upon many "vacancy" signs.  We stopped at the Blue Ridge Motel and they had a room.  It was okay despite the fact it was a non-smoking room and stunk.  The bed was comfortable, it seemed clean, and the air conditioning worked.  Not quite the Ritz, and not really a flea bag, but it will do.

We went over to the local supermarket, Ingles and got fried chicken, black eyed peas, and some frankfurter concoction that I didn't eat.  So far for me sticking to a more vegetarian grub.  Anyway, that and a six pack of beer was only $10.  So much better than going to a restaurant for dinner after spending almost $50 for lunch.

This was our view when coming out of our room.  You can't really tell, but there is a low hanging cloud over everything.  The sun is shining through as I write this so I am sure it's going to burn off.

So off to the Biltmore we go.  Later.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Some Things Never Change

Stopped by my old college on the way down south.  We were headed to see the C&O Canal Trailhead because at some point we would like to bike from Pittsburgh to DC in the Allegheny Trail and thougth it might be neat to see the end point. It was not that spectacular, but we ended up in Georgetown and I thougth since we were in the area we might as well.  My memory was pretty good as we rounded the corner from M St and I was able to find the school just by landmarks.  The college, Mount Vernon Junior College has been taken over by George Washington University now so that sign was at the entrance.  There are a lot of new buildings which one would expect after such a long time.  It was pretty neat to see.


I am headed off to the Democratic National Convention.  Yes, I am a delegate and I am very excited about it.  I have never been to one of these coventions before so this is a new experience for me.  This morning I headed out quite early because even though we are not due to be there until tomorrow, we are going down by car because I need to save a little money, and we are seeing some things on the way down to kind of break up the 10 hour drive.

Also new for me is the use of technology on the road.  I am using my Samsung 10.1 tablet as I am going down the road blogging this.  Don't worry I am not driving! I have a new, mobile hotspot which allows me to have Internet access away from my home network.  I decided to go this route because the laptop can be used with it too.  I made some changes to my Verizon plan adding the hotspot and ended up saving about $30 a month in the process.  It is kind of weired for me going down the road being connected like this.  Of course I can blog on my phone too, but it is easier for me to type on the tablet. So bear with me while I get used to this new way of doing things.

The one new technology that didn't work was my old GPS unit.  I had thought of using that instaed of my phone because if the long drive, but when I plugged it in when we got in the car it wouldn't boot.  Fortunately I had thought enough ahead to print out the directions.  So sometimes the old ways work. I can always use my phone if we get lost for the short run.  I also got an inverter so that I can charge up my laptop in the car.  The guy at the store said it could not really take a hesvy load but that the laptop would be okay.  We'll see how all this stuff works.

So keep reading as I blog from this event.  I hope you enjoy it too.