Sunday, December 31, 2006
While describing himself as a 'loyal Democrat,' Pennsylvania Rep. Thomas Caltagirone of Reading has decided to abandon his party and the people of the Commonwealth and vote with the Republican minority to re-elect Republican John Perzel as the PA Speaker of the House next month.
Philly.com's Mario Cattabiani files this dispatch from the sate Capitol. It's really no surprise. Only the Iraqi Parliament is less organized than Pennsylvania Democrats. Perzel has been hinting to the media for weeks that he had some Dems willing to vote with him.
Luckily, according to The Fly Under the Dome, Perzel's efforts to retain the post he has held since 2003 will fall short as severl incoming Republicans plan to vote 'present' in the leadership election.
Caltagirone doesn't get it. The people of Pennsylvania clearly were looking for a change in the House. Why in the world would he side with the losers and want to re-elect the Northeast Philly guy? My guess is that Perzel offered him a deal.
Too bad Perzel won't be in a position to make good since his own party is ready to move him aside. Which seems fitting since under his leadership the Republicans lost a near-insurmountable majority.
Saturday, December 30, 2006
As of this morning, much of the Internet is inaccessible to Comcast users in the Philadelphia region. This post on DSLReports.com shows the extent of the 'issue.' It seems to be a problem in the local DNS servers that direct traffic to the proper places when you type in an address in your web browser. I called tech support. They have 'escalated the issue,' but have no idea what a DNS server is. Who knows is they can find their ass with both hands and a flashlight. C
As of this morning, much of the Internet is inaccessible to Comcast users in the Philadelphia region.
This post on DSLReports.com shows the extent of the 'issue.' It seems to be a problem in the local DNS servers that direct traffic to the proper places when you type in an address in your web browser.
I called tech support. They have 'escalated the issue,' but have no idea what a DNS server is. Who knows is they can find their ass with both hands and a flashlight.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Monday, December 25, 2006
Last night we had a great Christmase Eve with family an friends gathered for a good time. We had a blend of the 7 fishes and some more traditional fare. John got a digital camera from my parents which he has already filled with images.
Emma is having a great time playing with her baby doll furniture.
Everyone have a wonderful Christmas filled with laughter and great memories.
Friday, December 22, 2006
The big donors were, predictably, Leonore Annenberg (rich lady), Joe Neubauer (Aramark), Gerry Lenfest (Suburban Cable) and the Pew Foundation. They were apparently horrified that the Eakins 'masterwork' was going to be boxed up and shipped off to Arkansas after being sold to those nasty Wal-Mart people. It's good to know where all the exorbitant stadium food money and cable fees are going.
It should be noted that the painting has been gathering dust in a Thomas Jefferson University dorm for about 40 years, basically unnoticed by darn near everyone. In this Inquirer article, Mayor Street announced that he was sending legislation to City Council that will register all important art in the city so that this kind of thing can't happen again. Hopefully they do a better job registering and tracking the art than they do the kids under the supervision of the Department of Human Services.
Wouldn't it be nice if the mayor and all these rich folks were as worried about crime and education in the city?
The Flyers lost again. Poor Tim Panaccio had to go to Montreal to watch.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
As I noted in yesterday's post, in a shocking turn of events, POLITICS and MONEY played a role in the selection of casino sites in Philadelphia and the rest of Pennsylvania. Sandra Shea does a nice job in her column today noting all of the connections the winners have with the power elite in Pennsylvania politics.
In her usual 'Oh everything about change in Philadelphia is terrible' tone, in her column today, Inga Saffron makes the same points she has been making for two years about the casino projects. I don't disagree with her points at all. The projects are too close to the neighborhoods. Traffic is going to be a mess. Casinos are inherently giant, ugly box structures and need a lot of jazzing up to contribute to the street scape. But they have to go somewhere.
The Delaware is the logical place for these buildings, but these designs are the most boring of group. Saffron notes that they have fewer amenities, especially for families. I am not sure that anyone really expects these slots parlors to be family destinations, but there is still time to make the architecture more interesting and incorporate it into the Penn Praxis planning study.
Just Checked - The Sixers Still suck
Down four players, (Joe Smith and Andre Miller stuck in the snow Chris Webber taking December off and Steven Hunter injured), the Sixers staggered through another ugly loss to the Pacers last night. Not much more to say here. Enrico has the links to AI's final philly-oriented interview with Stephen A.
Rich Hoffman, usually a good columnist, actually writes a column today discussing the possibility of Larry Brown returning to coach the 76ers.
While it's true that Larry Brown and Billy King are still close and that King and Brown talked a lot in the recent weeks about what kind of deal could be done to move Iverson, I don't think that helps bring Brown back. While his relationship with "Mr. Snider" isn't as bad as it is with Knicks owner James Dolan, Mr. Ed ain't hiring Brown again.
This story has some legs, as the AP story here shows. My guess is that local AP flacks are making a bit more of this than there is. Brown doesn't like working with younger players and this team will be REALLY young next year with 3 or 4 rookies on the team plus the young guys back from this squad. I think Coach Brown is a basketball genius, but the time to bring him back is past. He was the right choice over Mo Cheeks and Billy King couldn't get that deal past Mr. Snider, so why would you bring him back to this circus?
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Well after about 43 years of deliberations and untold millions in bribes and graft, the slots parlor sites in Philadelphia have finally been named.
Philly.com has the story, but the bottom line is that both sites are on the Delaware River, one on traffic-clogged Columbus Blvd. between Tasker and Reed. Ed Snider, Billy King and Quincy Jones are investors in this Foxwoods development.
Sugarhouse is in Fishtown and has some traffic issues as well, but mega-lawyer Richard Sprague and super builder Neil Keating are the local investors in this Delaware Avenue site.
No political connections for any of those guys, huh? Somehow Donald Trump got locked out. Maybe because his site was almost totally inaccessible to the world.
Sands is opening a casino on the former Bethlehem Steel site in Bethlehem.
Barring legal challenges, these places should open in mid-2008. So more like 2015.
Home From Atlanta
We're home from Atlanta and the final photos are up on my Flickr site. It was a good trip. John and Emma enjoyed the Aquarium the most. John and I also loved visiting Turner Field. Spending time with everyone down there was a wonderful thing. John especially enjoyed meeting Kayla again, and Emma just ADORES Aunt Elaine.
I won't go into too much detail here but it's a good deal. Here's why:
It moves an unhappy player
It gets us 2 more 1st round picks in a deep draft
It gets us a pretty good player in Andre Miller
It breaks AI's salary into 2 pieces so that it's easier to make some deals under the NBA Salary Cap
Now the reason this trade was needed is that Billy King is a pathetic excuse for a GM. He failed to put a team around Iverson that could hope to compete. He seems completely impatient with coaches and he just makes some terrible deals.
Have a great rest of the week and I hope to see you this Holiday Break!
Monday, December 18, 2006
Last night we saw an amazing Christmas light display at the Islands of Lake Lanier, which is about 10 miles but 45 minutes from our hotel. Yesterday morning we went to the Georgia Aquarium in downtown Atlanta. It's the largets aquarium in the world and features Beluga Whales among a million or so other fish. It was a really fun time for all of us.
Photos are up on my Flickr.com site. We'll be home in time for the holidays. See you all soon!
Friday, December 15, 2006
Friday, December 01, 2006
Las Vegas is an interesting place, but I have to say I am glad to be headed out of this rather odd place. I stayed at the Paris, a French-themed hotel-casino on The Strip. It wasn't anything really special, a huge room with lots of people playing slots, a couple of bars, a shoppoing area proporting to be France-like and of course a half-sized Eiffel Tower out front. The food was pretty good, the rooms were basic, the bathrooms were very nice as was the health club.
But people can smoke everywhere, there is no natural light and it's just too frigging weird to have faux-French everywhere 24/7. Plus, there are something like 54 major construction projects along the Strip right now and there is dust everywhere. My eyes are killing me.
The conference was pretty structured, but I did bag a few sessions I had seen before and took the Payless Car Rental PT Cruiser out of the lights and noise of the city to get to Hoover Dam and the Mojave National Preserve.
My Flickr site has all the pictures that are worth showing. My camera is a piece of junk and I really need to replace it, but I did the best I could to give some sense of the scale of the landscape out here. If you have never been West, there is no real way to explain just how HUGE things are in this area. People routinely drive 90 miles an hour on the highway because there is just so much distance to cover. Just for the record the PT Cruiser does NOT go 90 miles an hour. No matter how hard you try.
Adam Eaton is a good signing, but no better than a #4 pitcher in all liklihood. They didn't sign a #1 pitcher, they didn't sign an everyday thirdbaseman, they have not improved the outfield or catching situations. Where are they going to spend the Abreau savings? The bullpen? I am going to be monumentally pissed off if they sit on the cash.
It's cheap back home, folks. I paid $2.95 a gallon yesterday in Davis, California and $2.49 a gallon today on The Strip. Looks like it's about $2.19 back home. And for this 2886 Americans have died in Iraq.
Have a great Weekend!