Saturday, May 31, 2008

A Whole Different Delco Guy in Hot Water

  Bob and Larry 
  Originally uploaded by Irish Philadelphia Photo Essays

Fellow Delco Guy Larry Mendte, anchor on CBS3's evening newscasts and husband of Channel 29 anchor (and super hottie) Dawn Stensland, is in hot water with the FBI. is reporting that the FBI is investigating Mendte for possibly reading former co-worker Alycia Lane's private email.  On Thursday, FBI agents seized Mendte's personal computer at his home.  His lawyer confirmed it.  You might remember Alycia Lane from her own e-mail scandal where she sent racy pictures to sportscaster Rich Eisen, whose wife found them.  Oh.  and that incident with the NYC cop.

This looks bad.  First, the feds do A LOT of homework before they make a move.  They're darn sure they have Mendte here.  Secon, he's a journalist and they took his personal computer.  That's a pretty touchy area and I've got to think that the judge issuing the search warrant gave this some careful review.

Why do I care beyond the obvious prurient interest?  Mendte grew up in Lansdowne, Delaware County and went to nearby Monsignor Bonner High School. He's always seemed like a good guy to me.  I can't imagine why a guy like him would get involved in a mess like this.  He's off the air at CBS3 right now, but his bio is still up on the website.  So was Alycia Lane's for a week or so before she got her walking papers.

Chips Guacamole and Fresh Margaritas!!

Ole! Char made the guac, I squeezed lemons, oranges and lotsa limes, blended them with 1800 tequila, a touch of Grand Marnier and ice. And now we'll enjoy the evening!!

Tigers Go Undefeated!

John's TAA Tigers completed their undefeated season today, dropping the Dodgers 16-14 in the season finale. John went 2-2, including a his best hit of the year, a roped double down the left field line that scored two runs.

After the game, the Tigers ambushed Coach Graff, soaking him with all the water they could find in celebration. Each player got a nice trophy and we all headed home before the rains came.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Phils in First!

The Phils overcame a rough first inning from Brett Myers and slugged their way to a 12-3 win over the Florida Marlins at the Bank tonight. Chris Coste and Ryan Howard each had 3 run homers and Myers went 8 innings, including 7 scorless.

The Phils are alone in first place at 26-21, a half game ahead of the Fish. The series continues with COLE on the mound tomorrow night.

Let's go PHILS!!

Friday Fantastic Four

What are the four things GUARANTEED to make you smile?

  1. The tenor sax solos in the original "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant"

  2. Emma dancing (happy feet!)

  3. John bringing me my baseball glove

  4. My GF after 2 glasses of champagne

Everybody have a great weekend and find a reason to smile!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Break Out The Brooms!

The Phils completed the sweep of the Colorado Rockies tonight, posting a 6-1 win tonight at The BankChutley went yard, Adam Eaton earned his first win since 1998 this year, and all is right with the world going into a series with improbable National League East leaders, the Florida Marlins.

I'll take 2 wins over the Fish this weekend.  It's been a great last 4 games, with the offense putting up 48 runs and the pitching getting the job done, with notably impressive outings from the starting staff.  I said before the homestand started that they needed 7 of 10 to take the division lead, and the Fightins' are on the way to the top!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day!
As the unofficial kickoff of summer rolls to a close and millions sit contentedly in backyards across the nation, I bring you this typically suburban image. Thanks to Jimmy and Heather for hosting and serving up all the great food, drink and fun!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Thank You

  Made Freedom Possible 
  Originally uploaded by Cavalier92

I just want to take a moment on this Memorial Day to thank everyone who serves today and has served this nation for their sacrifice.

Your devotion makes its possible for me to live my life in the way I choose and protects the freedom that my children and I live under.

I won't discuss politics today, I will simply thank you all for every thing you have given.  And it is with a tightness in my chest and wet eyes that I thank the families and children of those who have died serving our country.

You have given more than anyone can ask.  I am forever grateful.

Are We There Yet?

Are We There Yet?
We are 4 minutes from home on a 45 minute car ride and John's already asking. Emma on the other hand can entertain herself for hours with her crayons and sticker book.

Friday, May 23, 2008

McCain Tells Ellen: You Shouldn't Be Able To Get Married

Appearing on Ellen DeGeneres's show yesterday, McCain said, "I just believe in the unique status of marriage between man and woman." Ellen replied, "We are all the same people. All of us. You’re no different than I am. Our love is the same."

I have never seen a man look more uncomfortable than McCain.  He looks positively constipated when Ellen used logic to show him how silly his position is.  Also, in stark contrast to his comfortable discussion of the Iraq war policy, the presumptive Republican nominee wouldn't meet Ellen's eye when trying to explain his opposition to all people being able to marry as they please.

Props to loyal reader Patti for tipping me to this story.

Friday Fantastic Four

You could see this one coming I am sure.

294455173_43042195e2What are the four best things about Memorial Day Weekend?

  1. Backyard Bar-B-Ques

  2. Bar bands at the Shore

  3. Coca-Cola 600

  4. Monday Off!!!!!!!!!

Everybody have a great weekend!  Enjoy and be safe.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Chevy Goes Old School

  camaro 002 
  Originally uploaded by fredsk

Spyshots are beginning to appear of the next generation of Chevy's mid-level  muscle car.  The new Camaro will debut in late 2009 as a 2010 model and has been testing recently in Germany after many months on the auto show circuit as a concept model. This version will have huge 20 inch wheels, a bold nose design, and a slick back end.

It looks nothing like the classic 1979 model.  To me it looks like a cross between a Dodge Challenger SRT8 and a Ford Mustang.  At between 20 and 30k, it fits in the same price range as well. 

I think I prefer the old model.  I know car designs tend to converge toward a mean, but I like the classic muscle car styling rather than the 21st century version.  At 13 MPG or so, the 400 to 500 HP models won't be cheap to run, but some of the lower end models may push the fuel economy numbers up as high as 23 or so.



I may Need To Re-Think My Travel Plans

After yesterday's post, I got an email from some cretin a baggage handler for a major airline who preferred to remain anonymous.  Hopefully he won't be handling my bags anytime soon. That would make the already dicey proposition that they arrive with me laughable.  He stated:

Your blog saying that it took 9 people to handle an inbound flight at PWM was wrong.  Each of those people is essential to the safe landing of the aircraft and the efficient handling of the passengers and their baggage.  You make it seem like we stand around all day doing nothing until the aircraft comes in.  We've each got a different job to do and we do it really well.

Well buddy, you said it.  I just showed the pictures of it actually happening.  And it wasn't 9 people.  It was 15.  There is NO WAY it takes that many people to handle the flight.  And I get your point that each ground crew member has a different job, but jeez, 9 of them?  Gimme a break.  No wonder you are having to charge $15 for the first bag and $25 for each one after that.

There should be someone looking at the contracts at these air carriers and negotiating contracts that function to increase efficiency and ensure good customer service while paying a fair wage.  I know that will mean job cuts, but airlines shutting down is the alternative.  It's time for the CEOs to earn their salaries and make some tough choices.  Apparently the airlines didn't have a handle on fuel costs when they made the labor deals earlier this month.  So now they are passing the costs along to the flying public.  And that will only go so far.   

I'll tell you now that I am thinking about not taking the next 400 mile trip by air.  Between the chaos about to ensue at the security check in lines with people trying to get their lotions and such on board in their carry on and the morons trying to stuff full-sized carry ons into the tiny bins of short haul aircraft, I think I'd rather drive.  even if that means 6 hours in the car with the  kids asking "are we there yet." it's better than waiting two hours to sit on a plane that hasn't  been really cleaned, be 14th in line for take off, get peanuts tossed at me, and then arrive only to find that the bag I paid $15 to fly in addition to my $242 ticket didn't make it.

Unless gas goes to $7.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

USAirways Staffing Update

USAirways Staffing Update
As you can see, the aircraft has made it to PWM. In the end it took 9 ground crew, 2 gate staff, 1 fueler, a captian, a co-pilot and a flight attendant to get this flight here from PHL. And there were 33 passengers. Seems a bit inefficient to me...

No Wonder

No Wonder
I am sitting at the gate at the Portland International Jetport waiting for my flightto arrive. They just announced that the aircraft is 25 minutes out. Yet USAirways has 5 guys standing around on the tarmac waiting for it. Isn't there ANYTHING else for them to be doing?

No wonder the frigging airline is bankrupt .

Monday, May 19, 2008

Conference Lunches

I go to three or four conferences a year and one area that always seems to need improvement is theconference lunch. Invariably I am left to wonder "What kind of chicken will it be today?"

Today at Portland's Holiday Inn By the Bay (not close to the bay) we have a small grilled chicken breast over penne pasta and a parmesan cream sauce. At least the lemonade is good!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Nice Board!

Nice Board!
We are are at one of my favorite spots, Federal Jack's Brew Pub on the Kennebunk River. I am enjoying an Old Thumper from the cask and a great lobster roll. At $23, it's almost double the price of the one at Sarah's yesterday, but well worth it.

Good Afternoon From Kennenbunkport!

It's a stunning day in York County. The wind is brisk off the water, but the sun is warm and it's 68 degrees. That's downright balmy for Maine in May! We are headed to get some lunch and then it's back to work for me!

One More Morning of Fun

Another Delco Guy is headed out of the Hotel Regency and The Old Port for a morning on the southern Maine seacoast. Fortified by an excellent pain au chocolat from The Standard Bakery (the scone was disappoining), we are zipping toward Kennenbunkport for a few hours before the important work starts this afternoon.

The sky is clear blue and honestly there isn't a cloud in the sky! Hope things are as nice wherever you are today.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A Prettier View of Maine

  Camden Harbor 
  Originally uploaded by Cavalier92

Another Delco Guy spent the day driving up the coast of Maine from Portland as far as Camden.  It was a gray and rainy day north of Portland, but the sun broke through on the way back south. 

The highlight of the day was getting to photograph the harbors of Rockport and Camden as well as wandering along Route 1.  We had a few good brews from Sheepscot Valley Brewing at Sarah's in Wiscasset.  I particularly liked the Pemaquid Ale, which the bartender described as being "made by some guy in the next town in his barn."  Best barn-made beer I've had in a while.

We're resting up watching Casino Royale right now, and then may see if there is any nightlife to be had in The Old Port.

Is this picture prettier, Matt?


Since I've had two readers (one quite heart-broken) contact me about yesterday's lack of a Friday Fantasic Four, please let me offer my apologies.

The Fantastic Four will return next week.  Here's a link to all of the prior weeks if you need a fix.

Now I am off to get a bagel sandwich and explore The Old Port for a bit.  As always, Gritty's was a fun spot for a few pints and a bison burger last night.  The 'stoner music' was a bit much to take after a while though!!

Have a great day.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Not Exactly

Not Exactly
Not really home, but it's nice to be welcomed to Maine.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

On Flickr, Photography and Art

I'm not an artist.  I can't draw.  I can't sing or dance and I don't even write much anymore.  But I do take pictures.  I have always hesitated when asked if I am a photographers.  I don't see my self as a photographer, because I generally see photographers as artists who do more than just take pictures.  While I have some training as a photo journalist, I also avoid that title too.

So I don't really know what I am.  Maybe a lifejournalist.  Most of my photos are of places I have traveled to or of my family.  I take my camera with me most places.  It's telling though that the 'Most Interesting' of my photos on Flickr are mostly of scantily-clad women at the Phillies game.  I don't work with my images much.  My photojournalism training tells me that's somehow unethical, but the perfectionist in me wants to clean some things up.  There's a tension there and my brother tells me that I have to get over what I was told in the past and make the images do what I want them to do.  I just wonder about how that affects the experience of the person viewing them.

Now I stumbled on a New York Times Magazine article that posits that the overly-processed images that are so wildly popular on Flickr are them selves a new art form, and that gives me yet another thing to wonder about.  Is it art because the person making it says it is?  Or is my work NOT ART just because i say it isn't?  I say I wish I knew.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

New Mower Photos

Well I got a request for a photo of the new mower, so here you go:
So that's what $300 will buy you in terms of a major-brand lawnmower these days. It's red and shiny and has that 'new mower smell.'   It's a Model 20065, made here in the US, sporting a 190cc Model 120000 Quantum 650 Briggs and Stratton Engine rated at 6.5 HP.

I used the self-propulsion more than I thought I would as dark began to descend last night.  I've never been a big fan, and I'm still not, but it did get things done a bit faster.  The mulching feature is very nice and I will only use the bag during leaf season I think.  The longer handle takes a bit of getting used to, but I'll figure it out.

For comparison here's the 28 year old 22" Toro and it's 5.5 HP Tecumseh TVS100 engine and original bag:
I still haven't told my dad that the first mower he ever owned died, but as my brother Matt pointed out, it DID last two years longer than Dad's second mower, which passed away at 3447 a few springs ago.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

All Good Things Must Come To An End

My old Toro mower died tonight.  It was a hand-me-down from my Dad who bought it in the spring of 1980. I believe it was his first lawnmower. An old-fashioned 21" rear-bagger, it shook and rattled but still did a great job cutting the grass.  I used it to cut the lawn at 5 different homes over the years.

When it would not stay running tonight I was afraid of the diagnosis.  When the lawn center guy confirmed the worst, I headed to Home Depot.

And bought a brand-new, bright red 22" Toro.

The new one did a great job but I miss the shakes and rattles.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

TAA Rookie All-Star Game

  The Winning HIt 
  Originally uploaded by Cavalier92

We're here live at the Tabernacle Rookie All-Star game, where left fielder John Lee-Pesotski is 2 for 3 with an RBI.  His Green Team defeated the Yellow Team in the bottom of the 4th on the strength of an RBI double by Tiger teammate Chris McCauley.

Everybody had a great time and all the folks at TAA did a great job putting the night together!

Are You Kidding ME???

Duggar This is just insane.  An Arkansas woman and her husband have 17 kids.  And they are expecting another.  The Duggar Family announced it yesterday on the Today show.  The kids, who had just given their mom 'normal' non pregnant clothes and a coffee maker that won't get used now, looked stunned.  There was a very touching sickly sweet story about how great it is to have such a large family and commercial grade appliances and all.  And how they have to schedule 5 minute personal time with mom.  Real quality time.  Just not quantity.

Very normal.  The father talked about how wonderful it was that every 9 months they got a gift from God.  Yo dad, even the Catholic Church endorses the rhythm method these days.  It's no secret why those 'gifts' come come every 9 months, your horny dog.

The family also has a show on the Discovery Health channel.  And a beautiful house.  I wonder if Discovery pays by the kid ....?

Friday, May 09, 2008

Friday Fantastic Four

Ok - I stayed the night in Harrisburg, PA last night after some meetings yesterday.

It's umm a bit umm dead.


What are the four WORST towns you have ever stayed in?

  1. Frostburg, Maryland - not sure why people ever settled here

  2. Harrisburg, PA - Great conversation at dinner, but nothing to do afterward

  3. Syracuse, NY - Cold, gray, nasty.  In July.

  4. Detroit, MI - Almost too easy - Crime, drugs, trash all on the walk to the stadium from the parking lot

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

In Harrisburg

In Harrisburg
You are looking live at the Pennsylvania State Capitol in the rain tonight There's not nuch happening here tonight so I am headed back to the Hilton and an early bedtime!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Emma is Famous!!!

Last year, Emma and John went to Chicago to visit their Aunt Jen.

While there, they toured the Wrigley Field area and John saw a Cubs game.

Apparently, Emma was also caught on camera by WGN playing catch in front of the local firehouse.  The clip made the WGN special "Celebrating 60 Years of the Chicago Cubs on WGN-TV" that aired on Saturday night.

Here's the clip:

My little princess is famous!!!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

It's 3:34 am

I try not to bitch in my blog, but it's 3:34 am and acid is gnawing a hole in my stomach, so I'm going to anyway.  feel free to skip reading today. 

Why am I up?  Oh I could take the easy way out and say that my head congestion woke me up and that my allergies are killing me, but that would ignore the dull ache in my gut that tells me that worrying followed me to bed.  I used to be able to put everything aside and sleep nicely through the night but I can't do that anymore.

Yeah, I guess there's a lot on my mind these days and it ain't the Eagles proverbial "seven women."  The kids are at their mom's tonight and that always gives me some concern.  Work is great on one hand, full of challenges and opportunities, but on the other there's just not enough time to get it all done. 

And then there's the search for my muse.  The desire to get something written that is bigger than my day-to-day is strong, but the fire to do it at the end of a day that is inevitably filled with its own challenges is much weaker.

And so I lay awake and finally slip from the room downstairs to the laptop and find ... nothing.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Arrived in Annapolis

Arrived in Annapolis
Another Delco Guy is here in Annapolis and surprise, surprise, there's a brewpub between the hotel and the waterfront. So we've stopped for refreshments!!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Hello From Section 302!!!

0502082052In case you were wondering what the fridgid reaches of Citizens Bank Park look like, here is a picture from the next to the last section in the stadium.

Despite the cold front moving in and the rather brisk winds, we're happy as the Phils lead the Giants 4-1 in the top of the 7th.  Among the highlights of the game so far are a Chase Utley first inning reound-tripper and the nice ovation that Aaron Rowand got in his first at back at CBP.

Nats Cups at CBP?

Nats Cups at CBP?
WTF is up with that ??????

Friday Filler

Here's Another Delco Guy Lunch Time Update:

One of my photos is featured today on the Verizon Newsroom website today.  It's a crop of my most popular Flickr shot and provides art for a Paul Hagen story about Philly Phans.  Thanks Pat!

A bit later today, the GF, me and my camera are headed down to Drunken Educators Carousing Teacher Appreciation Night at CBP.  Should be a fun night. 

After that, we'll be headed down to Annapolis for the weekend courtesy of Starwoods points

Have a good one.

Friday Fantastic Four

Ok - it's Friday and I am in desperate need of some fun, so this week's Fan Four is a fun one!

What were your four favorite childhood games?

You are free to go with any game you liked, from board games, to video games, to outdoor games.  The sky is the limit!

  1. Wiffle Ball - In Greg Feld's front yard, I was an All-Star!!!!!!!!

  2. Capture the Flag -We played this game endlessly all summer long, running all over trying to steathily capture the other troop's flag

  3. Oregon Trail - this video game was very hard and super cool.  You can play it now on Facebook.

  4. APBA Baseball - When it rained you could still play baseball with the cards and dice!!!

You all have a great weekend.