Category Archives: Uncategorized

Nowhere Man

Ooh, look! Delmar now has an intersection where Abbey Road and Penny Lane meet!

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Don’t get too excited. Abbey Road and Penny Lane are not quaint byways that will remind you of merry olde England, but posh townhouses that run in the $350,000 to $450,000 neighborhood. And that’s a fancy neighborhood.

And there does not appear to be a cool crosswalk where you can take a picture.

I’d love to name a street after a rock & roll song. Thunder Road, Shakedown Street, Creeque Alley… how about Desolation Row? I’m curious what you would name your street.

Hockey Puck

When I was a kid, I somehow ended up rooting for the Philadelphia Flyers. This was the height of the Broad Street Bullies era, the heady days between 1973 and 1976 when the team made it to the Stanley Cup finals three times and won twice.

I was such a big fan that I once staked out the Island Inn in Westbury to wait for the team as they departed for a game against the Islanders. In the lobby I got autographs from Bobby Clarke, Bernie Parent and The Hammer Dave Schultz, whose number I wore on the back of my Flyers jersey.

Over the years I lost interest in hockey, but now the game seems interesting to me again. A big part of it is TV; brilliant widescreen HD has made hockey a spectacle to watch at home, compared to the awful wide angles and invisible puck that used to dominate hockey coverage.

Watching the Rangers and Canadiens the other night reminded me of this wonderful short film based on made Roch Carrier’s iconic story The Hockey Sweater. If you have ten minutes, it’s really worth the time; it’s a story of boyhood, but also a thinly veiled commentary on the tension between Quebec and English Canada.

The Sweater by Sheldon Cohen, National Film Board of Canada

Segue Fever: Time of the Wolves

There’s a world of difference between the lo-fi orbit of The Mountain Goats and big time rockers Green Day — but these are two songs meant to be played back to back.

The Mountain Goats, obscure by any standard, became much less so when this song showed up at the end of an episode of The Walking Dead. And Green Day? Nothing obscure about them, but it still impresses me that they made it big at a time when most mainstream music was pretty boring.

St. Stephen’s Day

Now that the presents are unwrapped we can all take a deep breath and turn our attention to more important matters: the annual Grinch Report.

Every year during the month of December, journalists take to branding evil-doers with the Grinch label. I’ve pointed out here that the Grinch analogy is not merely lazy, but stupid.

Here’s why: if someone steals your Christmas presents and keeps them, they are not like the Grinch. If the gifts are later returned after a life-changing turn of heart, then yes, that is Grinch-like.

A small sample of current stories:

Bah, humbug: Grinch steals Iowa family’s gifts

Cherokee Co. Family Says ‘Grinch’ Stole Their Presents

Police hunt Grinch of a crook after Christmas crime spree

Grinch steals Christmas for Lancaster family

Grinch steals Tampa children’s presents, family dog

There’s another thing that sets real life crime stories apart from How the Grinch Who Stole Christmas: it’s very hard among the hundreds of Grinch tales — and believe me, there are hundreds — to find a single Grinch victim who takes their loss is stride, like the fine citizens of Whoville.

The Grinch railed against the excess of Christmas, and in the end learned a valuable lesson. The Whos, understanding the true meaning of the holiday, didn’t care that all their crap had been stolen. It’s a beautiful book — but maybe next year we could use a few more stories about people behaving like the Whos, and a few less about the Grinch.

Dogs of the Fall

On a recent ambulance call, we took care of a man who tumbled down a few steps after tripping over his dog. He dinged up his shoulder pretty well, but it could have been much worse. I resisted the temptation to ask, “Do you want us to have a look at the dog?” See, I’m getting better!

60% of my household’s pet contingent.

We’ve all read how pet ownership is good for your health, but according to a study by the CDC a few years ago, tripping over your pets poses a significant hazard — and all their toys and crap are trouble, too.

The biggest culprits? Dogs. From the report:

“Nearly 7.5 times as many injuries involved dogs (76,223 [88.0%]) compared with cats (10,130 [11.7%]).”

Also:

“The most frequent circumstances were falling or tripping over a dog (31.3%) and being pushed or pulled by a dog (21.2%).”

I’m no stranger to the dangers posed by household pests pets; living in a house teeming with furry animals who scurry about underfoot is risky business.  It’s so bad at our house that when I get out of bed in the middle of the night, I sweep the floor with my foot to check for the presence of animals or sharp-edged bones and toys.

What I’d really like to see is a study of the relationship between stepping on cats and cardiac arrests. There’s nothing more startling than that — and speaking of cats, the study contains this odd tidbit:

“Most falls involving cats occurred at home (85.7%). Approximately 11.7% of injuries occurred while persons were chasing cats.”

To recap, a few safety tips: sweep the floor with your foot, limit the number of animals in your house, and never chase cats.

WTF?

WTF copy

“Hey, WTF?! The cat’s eating my food. Somebody do something.”

Summer Wednesday

Gettysburg

CBA v Amsterdam 4/23/13

Memo to My Son