Whooping Cough At Great Valley!

We talked about the possibility that this was going to be a big season locally for whooping cough a couple of weeks ago.  First the illness was in NJ, and then it was in Quakertown and now it’s made it to Great Valley High School.

So is that supposed to scare you?  NO, but you need to pay attention to colds that hang on.  This illness pretends to be a regular cough with regular cold symptoms, but then the cough hangs on for a couple of extra weeks and then patients cough so hard they can throw up, or turn blue from not being able to breathe in deeply.  The concern with this disease isn’t that it will kill most of the people who come down with it, but the problem is that it’s highly contagious and you can’t tell for 2 weeks or so whether you’ve picked up the virus, or you just have a cold.

I’m sorry that we have to worry about this, but it seems that the illness shows up every few years and we are due for it. Most children have gotten vaccinated against this virus but if your children haven’t then you might want to check with your physician or your health provider.

One more thing- the particles that are able to infect you are so incredibly small- don’t think that just avoiding someone who sneezes directly on you will keep you safe.  Just do your best to take extra care of yourself so that your immune system isn’t on the fritz!

Best of luck!




Purple Cow’s and Goops!

How many people are familiar with the silly poem about a purple cow?   A show of hands?  Well, for those of you who don’t know the poem I’ll gladly recite it for you- ahem:

I never saw a purple cow

I never hope to see one;

But I can tell you anyhow

I’d rather see than be one

Now do you remember it?  Well, if you don’t it was a poem written over a hundred and fifty years ago by a man named Gelett Burgess who wrote several works of humor but this particular poem wasn’t one of his favorites because it became so popular!  I read that he said the following about having written it:

Ah, yes, I wrote the “Purple Cow”—, I’m Sorry, now, I wrote it; But I can tell you Anyhow, I’ll kill you if you quote it!

Mr. Gelett also wrote a series of stories about the Goops, or a family of rather stupid people that no one would want to be like. 

Why am I writing about purple cows and Mr. Gelett Burgess?  Well, he is one of the talented authors that Mrs. Santorum collected works from in her book on Everyday Graces, an anthology of stories that teaches children about manners.

How do you like that?



PS, Mrs. Santorum’s book has a forward by  Joe Paterno!

The Goops

by Gillette Burgess

The Goops they lick their fingers
And the Goops they lick their knives:
They spill their froth on the tablecloth
Oh, they lead disgusting lives!
The Goops they talk while eating,
And loud and fast they chew;
And that is why I’m glad that I
Am not a Goop, are you?


Shooting on Thun Trail

I’m a little uneasy with a story about a bicycle rider being attacked by three young men while riding on Thun Trail near Reading.  It seems he shot one of the attackers in the neck killing him and he shot the other and the last one was picked up by police and taken to a detention center.

At first glance this seems like a story that seems like the good guys are winning, ( the 65 year old bike rider).   On second glance though, I’m a little worried about an 11 am scuffle ending in the death of a teen.

I know that the older man was released and the shooting is being considered self-defense but I’m still a little worried because we don’t know who the older guy is?  And something I read on a gun forum online suggested that the 911 folks had trouble with the language of the caller calling in the incident.  Which might be because the older guy didn’t have a cell phone and had to get someone else in the vicinity to call it in….so he had a gun but no cell phone.  And he was attacked  but then he had no trouble accessing his gun to shoot a kid in the neck.

Of course that is possible…but honestly I’m not really thrilled with the idea that citizens can shoot each other on bike trails or walking trails in PA.  I hate that teens would harass a rider on the trail…but I’m wondering what made them do it?

Maybe things worked out for the best…or maybe there is more to this story that we won’t ever find out about.  In the meantime I’m not going to get too excited one way or the other.







2012 BX34 Is A Bus Sized Asteroid Headed Our Way!

A small asteroid will make an extremely close pass by Earth Friday (Jan. 27), coming much nearer than the moon, but the space rock poses no danger of impacting our planet, NASA scientists say.

The newfound asteroid 2012 BX34, which is about the size of a city bus, will pass within 36,750 miles (59,044 kilometers) of Earth at about 10:30 a.m. EST (1530 GMT) Friday, astronomers with NASA’s Asteroid Watch program announced via Twitter.


Pottstown Hates Uggs!

What a way to make a splash in the surrounding area.  Our middle school is banning Uggs.  Sheesh.

Pottstown Middle School officials have really stepped in it.

Parents and students alike are in an uproar about the school’s recent ban of “open top boots” because kids have been allegedly using the footwear to sneak contraband into class.

The boots in question are mostly Uggs, Pottstown School District director of community relations John Armato told the Pottstown Mercury.

Though the letter sent home to parents Wednesday notifying them of the mid-calf boot ban did not specify what kind of contraband the middle school mules have been smuggling in their Uggs, cell phones and personal devices are strictly forbidden in class, reports the Mercury.

“Students may continue to wear outdoor boots to and from school to protect them from cold, snow and ice but need to change into a pair of sneakers or shoes before entering homeroom. Students may also continue to wear lace up, tight at the ankle, boots, shoes and high top sneakers,” Principal Gail Cooper wrote in the letter home.

Armato told the Mercury that the new rule is similar to the requirement that students take their winter coats and hats off when they get to school.

The ban goes into effect Monday.


Corbett Working With Pew To Spend Less On Prisons!

I don’t know much about the prison system and honestly, I hope I never have to learn too much about it.  I’ll bet most of you feel that way too.  The bad news is that if we don’t think about it, we can’t have an opinion on whether our correction system here in PA is working or not.

Tom Corbett thinks that it isn’t.  He’s allowing the Pew Center on the States, an organization that is a part of the Pew Charitable Trust organization to help take a look at how our correction system is working and how it isn’t.

Here is a look at what Pew is doing-

I looked at some of the concerns regarding PA’s system and they seem like they are the same issues that are impacting other states.  Altogether it looks like 41 states are admitting the same sorts of issues with their corrections systems.  PA does seem to spend more on it’s inmates than other states does and so I think Corbett is doing a good thing in trying to get this under control.  However, I’m a little worried looking at some of the ideas that Pew has promoted with other states.  Like there is an entire funding stream that I wasn’t aware of within the corrections system- a probation fee which is the cost that released prisoners are required to pay if they are on probation.  We are talking about fees of up to 30 dollars a day or more!  So let’s imagine a parent paying that fee for a child in the prison system.  If the parent doesn’t pay in some states their wages are garnished.

I’m not suggesting that the penal system should be free for inmates, but to charge them such amounts to let them out on the streets and to have a plan established that doesn’t close their cases till they pay off their fees seems sort of unreasonable.  Like if someone is on probation for 24 months and they don’t pay their fees, their case isn’t closed so that if they get picked up for some other trouble, their original probation fines will be added to their new fines.

We are going to have some people that are just slaves to the justice system.  Is that okay?

I’m telling you I don’t know enough about this, but apparently Corbett is interested in changing PA’s policies and perhaps it’s time to at least look at what we already have and what we’d be changing to!






Pottstown’s Jinny Von Cupcake!

I found this cute vid about a local cafe that decided to donate some money to MS through selling this young ladies signature cupcakes.  She has a blog page where she explains her desire to help folks combat MS and in Pottstown she’s doing it a cupcake at a time.

Check out the images at a the Milkman Cafe- I haven’t been lucky enough to stop in there, but I hope that they don’t mind!

Order me a cupcake if any of you get in there!