Earth Hour Tonight!

Can you turn off your lights and excess electricity tonight at 8:30pm?  If you can you’ll be part of a global event that is shutting off the power across the world.  Places as far away as China and Australia have already turned down the lights and in a few hours it will be our chance .

While shutting off the lights for an hour won’t make much of a difference, this event popularizes the idea that we need to move away from wasting energy in order to keep the earth a vibrant and pleasant place to live.

What do you think?  Can you shut down the lights for an hour tonight?




Pomegranate Martini and Me!

I almost never drink…well,  you know what I mean, I rarely drink anything that is alcoholic.  It isn’t because I’m extremely religious, or because I once drank too much- it’s just that I don’t do it.  But every so often I get a chance to enjoy something a little more adult and this weekend was one of those times.  I got to try a pomegranate martini!   It was so good I decided to find out how I could make it at home.

Here is a simple recipe for your own pomegranate martini!

2 oz citrus vodka

1 oz pomegranate juice

1 oz simple sugar

1/2 oz lemon

It’s bright and fruity.  I hope you’ll enjoy it if you try it, remember, if you want to change the recipe it’s no big deal!




Last Night at IFCA

I had a very nice opportunity last night thanks to my significant other.   We got to go to the IFCA dinner which was held at a very nice location down on Broad Street in Philadelphia.   We were at a place called Vie.   It was a very nice evening.

Just imagine about 400 people meeting to recognize some of the finest interior finish contractors in the Philadelphia area.  We saw some of their work on large screens in the front of the room.  It’s amazing to me to see how beautiful interiors can be.  There were small jobs and big jobs and historically accurate jobs.  Most of us don’t think about the work that goes into interiors and yet we spend a good portion of our time inside these spaces and the designs and intricate details can really make or break an interior space.

Congratulations to everyone who won!  I was very glad to be able to be a part of such a lovely evening.



Not Making Money From Old Mowers!

Heh, I know it’s silly to pretend that anyone would want my help in not making money from metal scrap.  But that is what this post is about.   See, we had a couple of junk mowers- the ride on kind, and they were just taking up space on my property.  I also had a couple of old air conditioners and a dog kennel.  They were sitting out near a tree where I hoped they’d disappear.

Instead of disappearing they enticed a young man to come knock on my door.  His name was Richard Marks, his company is called Scrap Away.  Anyhow, Mr. Marks knocked and when I answered he said he’d be glad to take the junk at no cost to me.

That sounded hopeful, but in the back of my head I had a vision  of me driving the junk over to the metal yards myself, although I hadn’t quite figured out how I’d get the mowers into a car to get it over there.  Here was this guy telling me he’d do it…I wouldn’t make anything off the junk, but the junk would be gone!

I took him up on the deal.  He had a small Ford Ranger type truck and he said he was going to work along with his friend to load both mowers onto his truck.  I looked at him with suspicion so he pulled out his cell phone and showed me him loading a much bigger mower onto the back of his truck.  I just laughed an said, boy you have nerve!  I couldn’t imagine doing that to any vehicle I owned.  He said when he got the load on he heard the mud flaps dragging along the roadway.

About 20 minutes later after a lot of searing language  those two fellows had 2 mowers plus the air conditioners and their dolly and the kennel in the back of their truck!  I waved at them as they drove away.  It was a magical moment.

Can you imagine my surprise when rather than driving immediately to the metals plant, they drove into another neighbors drive and I can only imagine they were going to ask them to let them unload some junk off their property!  ( Don’t go thinking my neighborhood is filled with junk, these guys have really good eyes!)

A couple of hours later I saw their little truck straining down Industrial Highway on the way to Keim Street.  Their car/truck no longer had my mowers in it, but now it contained a whole lot of farm implements that were rusty with age.

So that is the story of me not making money off my old mowers.  If you have some junk sitting around and you want to get rid of it and you would rather have it gone than make money on taking it to the metal junk yard, then you can call Richard yourself.  He’s at 484-363-3246, or you can reach him online at richardmarks53@yahoo.com  They take AC units, Riding Mowers, Cast Iron and more.

Oh, and it’s pretty cool to watch!





Women And The Constitution!

Today I got a letter from NOW.  I’m interested in some of their beliefs, but I’m not a member.  In the letter they were asking for proposals for educational breakout sessions for their annual meeting in Baltimore this year.  The letter made me sad in a way, because, at least in my estimation, women have a long way to go till society and government  respects and accepts them as bonafide individuals with all the rights that are apportioned to men.

I’m dreaming aren’t I?  But sheesh, even though  I know we’ve come a long way as women, I’ve got to be frank and say that I can’t quite understand why so many women are satisfied with the way things are.  It’s almost as if women are hobbling themselves.   In so many areas women are still treated as if they are property.  They have to behave in a way that society admires. They have to dress according to other’s opinions.  They are expected to be men’s “helpmeets” but they aren’t given much of a voice in order to effectively accomplish that goal.  Afterall, if a woman annoys her husband in asking for him to improve her family’s lot- there is a good chance she’ll be a divorcee!  And women go along with this!  I can’t quite wrap my head around it.

So in an effort to begin to understand where women stand in the United  States, I thought it would be prudent to go to the Constitution of these United States!  There isn’t a lot about women in that document.  What I did find was a reference that a signer and co-writer  James Wilson made. Wilson was from Pennsylvania, actually he lived near Reading!  He wanted representatives for each state to be given according to how many women, minors, and 3/5 of slaves!  Now most of us have heard of the Three-Fifths Clause, but I never heard of the inclusion of women being included in any documentation connected directly to the Constitution!

I looked into who this James Wilson was.  It appears he was a genius, a smooth talker and yet he was a learned and judicious man.  He was actually appointed by George Washington to serve on the Supreme Court!  Anyhow, good old James left some written works that were actually used to start a law school at the University of Pennsylvania!  So I thought perhaps he said something about women in some  of those works that would tell me what he thought about women as equal partners with men in this “new experiment”.

I found  something and I’m afraid it isn’t good.  Here is a bit so you can read it if you like, then we’ll mourn together 🙂

I have been zealous–I hope I have not been altogether unsuccessful–in contributing the best of my endeavours towards forming a system of government; I shall rise in importance, if I can be equally successful–I will not be less zealous–in contributing the best of my endeavours towards forming a system of education likewise, in the United States. I shall rise in importance, because I shall rise in usefulness.

What are laws without manners? How can manners be formed, but by a proper education?

Methinks I hear one of the female part of my audience exclaim–What is all this to us? We have heard much of societies, of states, of governments, of laws, and of a law education. Is every thing made for your sex? Why should not we have a share? Is our sex less honest, or less virtuous, or less wise than yours?

Will any of my brethren be kind enough to furnish me with answers to these questions?–I must answer them, it seems, myself? and I mean to answer them most sincerely.

Your sex is neither less honest, nor less virtuous, nor less wise than ours. With regard to the two first of these qualities, a superiority, on our part, will not be pretended: with regard to the last, a pretension of superiority cannot be supported.

I will name three women; and I will then challenge any of my brethren to name three men superiour to them in vigour and extent of abilities. My female champions are, Semiramis of Nineveh; Zenobia, the queen of the East; and Elizabeth of England. I believe it will readily be owned, that three men of superiour active talents cannot be named.

You will please, however, to take notice, that the issue, upon which I put the characters of these three ladies, is not that they were accomplished; it is, that they were able women.

This distinction immediately reminds you, that a woman may be an able, without being an accomplished female character.

In this latter view, I did not produce the three female characters I have mentioned. I produced them as women, merely of distinguished abilities–of abilities equal to those displayed by the most able of our sex.

But would you wish to be tried by the qualities of our sex? I will refer you to a more proper standard–that of your own.

All the three able characters, I have mentioned, had, I think, too much of the masculine in them. Perhaps I can conjecture the reason. Might it not be owing, in a great measure–might it not be owing altogether to the masculine employments, to which they devoted themselves?

Two of them were able warriours: all of them were able queens; but in all of them, we feel and we regret the loss of the lovely and accomplished woman: and let me assure you, that, in the estimation of our sex, the loss of the love and accomplished woman is irreparable, even when she is lost in the queen.

For these reasons, I doubt much, whether it would be proper that you should undertake the management of publick affairs. You have, indeed, heard much of publick government and publick law: but these things were not made for themselves: they were made for something better; and of that something better, you form the better part–I mean society–I mean particularly domestick society: there the lovely and accomplished woman shines with superiour lustre.

By some politicians, society has been considered as only the scaffolding of government; very improperly, in my judgment. In the just order of things, government is the scaffolding of society: and if society could be built and kept entire without government, the scaffolding might be thrown down, without the least inconvenience or cause of regret.

Government is, indeed, highly necessary; but it is highly necessary to a fallen state. Had man continued innocent, society, without the aids of government, would have shed its benign influence even over the bowers of Paradise.

For those bowers, how finely was your sex adapted! But let it be observed, that every thing else was finished, before Heaven’s “last best gift” was introduced: let it be also observed, that, in the pure and perfect commencement of society, there was a striking difference between the only two persons, who composed it. . . .

Her accomplishments indicated her destination. Female beauty is the expression of female virtue. The purest complexion, the finest features, the most elegant shape are uninteresting and insipid, unless we can discover, by them, the emotions of the mind. How beautiful and engaging, on the other hand, are the features, the looks, and the gestures, while they disclose modesty, sensibility, and every sweet and tender affection! When these appear, there is a “Soul upon the countenance.” . . .

How many purposes may be served at once, if things are done in the proper way! I have been giving a recipe for the improvement and preservation of female beauty; but I find that I have, at the same time, been delivering instructions for the culture and refinement of female virtue; and have been pointing at the important purposes, which female virtue is fittedf and intended to accomplish.

If nature evinces her designs by her works; you were destined to embellish, to refine, and to exalt the pleasures and virtues of social life.

To protect and to improve social life, is, as we have seen, the end of government and law. If, therefore, you have no share in the formation, you have a most intimate connexion with the effects, of a good system of law and government.

That plan of education, which will produce, or promote, or preserve such a system, is, consequently, an object to you peculiarly important.

But if you would see such a plan carried into complete effect, you must, my amiable hearers, give it your powerful assistance. The pleasing task of forming your daughters is almost solely yours. In my plan of education for your sons, I must solicit you to cooperate. Their virtues, in a certain proportion–the refinement of their virtues, in a much greater proportion, must be moulded on your example.

In your sex, too, there is a natural, an easy, and, often, a pure flow of diction, which lays the best foundation for that eloquence, which, in a free country, is so important to ours.

The style of some of the finest orators of antiquity was originally formed on that of their mothers, or of other ladies, to whose acquaintance they had the honour of being introduced.

I have already mentioned the two Scevolæ among the illustrious Roman characters. One of them was married to Lælia, a lady, whose virtues and accomplishments rendered her one of the principal ornaments of Rome. She possessed the elegance of language in so eminent a degree, that the first speakers of the age were ambitious of her company. The graces of her unstudied elocution were the purest model, by which they could refine their own.

Cicero was in the number of those, who improved by the privilege of her conversation. In his writing, he speaks in terms of the warmest praise concerning her singular talents. He mentions also the conversation of her daughters and grand daughters, as deserving particular notice.

The province of early education by the female sex, was deemed, in Rome, an employment of so much dignity, that ladies of the first rank did not disdain it. We find the names of Aurelia and Attia, the mothers of Julius Cæsar and of Augustus, enumerated in the list of these honourable patronesses of education.

The example of the highly accomplished Cornelia, the daughter of the great Africanus, and the mother of the Gracchi, deserves uncommon attention. She shone, with singular lustre, in all these endowments and virtues that can dignify the female character.

She was, one day, visited by a lady of Campania, who was extremely fond of dress and ornament. This lady, after having displayed some very rich jewels of her own, expressed a wish to be favoured with the view of those which Cornelia had; expected to see some very superb ones, in the toilet of a lady of such distinguished birth and character. Cornelia diverted the conversation, till her sons came into the room: “These are my jewels,” said she, presenting them to the Campanian lady.

Cicero had seen her letters: his expressions concerning them are very remarkable. “I have read,” says he, “the letters of Cornelia, the mother of the Gracchi; and it appears, that her sons were not so much nourished by the milk, as formed by the style of their mother.”

You see now, my fair and amiable hearers, how deeply and nearly interested you are in a proper plan for law education. By some of you, whom I know to be well qualified for taking in it the share, which I have described, that share will be taken. By the younger part of you, the good effects of such a plan will, I hope, be participated: for those of my pupils, who themselves shall become most estimable, will treat you with the highest degree of estimation.

Ugh.  He had a way with words alright!  He built women up with one hand while tearing them down with the other!  Pretty handy fella.  Oh, I bet you don’t see where he was tearing women down do you?   Well, there was a quote he referred to.  I looked up the quote because I’m not quite as learned as he was.  It turns out that most probably he was quoting from Isaiah Chapter 3.  And if you look, you’ll find a nice story about how Jerusalem wasn’t going to be doing all that well since it hadn’t followed God’s plan.  As a matter of fact, it was doing so poorly that it was going to have babes, or children as leaders, and women or “creditors” (nashim) as rulers!

Just great.  So the guy I was holding out a lot of hope for turned out not so helpful.  I do have to give the man props, he did actually speak to women directly.  He did hold them up as potential shining figures.  But he saw women strictly as “rulers” in the Domestick realm.

The toughest part for me about finding this stuff out is that women won’t care!





Rick Willing to Consider Being Romney’s VP?

I just read an article that said that Rick Santorum would take the number 2 position on the Presidential ticket if Romney asked him to.

Huh?   Read it yourself!

Hasn’t Rick been bad mouthing Romney?  Hasn’t he just recently said that Romney was the worst Republican around to take on Obama?  The worst?

As I’ve said before I’m not all that thrilled with Obama myself.  When I heard him speaking to Medvedev and saying that he’d have more flexibility after his election, so get that message to Putin…Honestly I almost froze in shock.   And honestly I can’t see Romney swaying voters against Obama…but again, I’m not thrilled with Obama- so it’s like no matter what we do we are up for another 4 years of the same nonsense!

Gingrich?  Plppththth.

Santorum?  Pllththththptthpt

Romney?  Sheeeeesh

Paul?  Wince!

Obama?  Again????




I’m Sorry He Killed Kim!

I didn’t know Kimberly Hvizda, Kimberly Kleiser Hvizda!  I’m just reading about her life now that her husband murdered her prior to her shift at a Wawa down near Exton.

Folks are saying she had a protection from abuse order and they are wondering about the efficacy of those since he killed her afterall, but I’m a little concerned because she apparently agreed to meet with the guy and hand over some letters, letters that we don’t know the content of, but letters that were somehow important enough for Kimberly to agree to take  them to her workplace and hand them over to her husband.

People are really scary sometimes.  How could this man think that what he did was reasonable?  Four children are motherless.  He must know he’s not going to have access to them!  What made him think that this was a  good plan?

Questions.  Too many damn questions.  Rather than waste time trying to find answers where there are probably none, at least none that would satisfy me, even though I’m just a stranger to this family  I’m  going to say that I’m really sad that two people who were so intimate with one another that they brought 3 babies into this world could get to a point where the word “murder” entered their everyday thoughts.  James imagining being the murderer, and Kimberly worrying about her ex doing it.

It’s so incredibly sad and unfair.

I know the children are way too young to understand that people like me feel heartbroken for them.  I just hope that someone can step into their void and give them a little bit of comfort.  God bless those children.




Pottstown Was Chilly Today!

As some of you already know, while this blog is named Pottstown’s Blog, it isn’t a commercial vehicle. As you can plainly see  I’m not talking about all the things that are happening in and around Pottstown!  Certainly you might have come here thinking that is what you’d find, but it most assuredly isn’t.  My sincerest apologies if I’ve led you into imagining you’d find something that just doesn’t exist here!

Instead, you’ve arrived at my place for thinking.  Yes,  This is a virtual space that reflects what I’m thinking about.  I bet you are wondering why anyone would care about what I’m thinking about!  Heh,  Honestly, that is a question I  regularly ask myself.  But back to this blog-  I can type almost as fast as I can think.  If you add the peculiar fact that I’ve always imagined I’d be a writer when I grew up you’ll see that I’m suffering from something I like to call “hypergraphia”.    I’m stuck writing about the stuff I think about.

My kids think I have ADD.  I can be talking about food and then I’ll launch into a discussion about price gouging, and then maybe I’ll talk about how strange it seems to me that some stores give away the plastic hangers on clothing items and others remove them before they bag your purchases.  Oh, and plastic shopping bags make me think of the highways around here strewn with flapping white air catchers,  but thinking about those flimsy bags makes  me think of Katy Perry’s Firecracker song.

Right now I’d like to ask you to check your lip…If you are sneering at me, then I would like to remind you that the only cost to you after having plowed through this much of my folderol has been time.  I’d give it back to you if I could, but I can’t so that’s that.

Okay, so  let’s assume you are still with me, maybe you are asking yourself Well, hey, where does Pottstown fit in?  Well that is simple!   Pottstown  is where I live!  I work there/here.  I am part of it’s community.  People from Pottstown may well recognize me.  When Limerick’s sirens go off, I’m generally hearing them too!  When 422 is blocked I wonder if anyone I know is caught in the delay.  When a local kid does well I’m happy. I wave to the same police officers that people in Pottstown see.  I visit the same library.  I eat at the same takeout joints.  Basically I’m a citizen of the world but my heart is in Pottstown!

So, um, what about you?  Who are you and what do you think about?




Face Recognition and Hoodies!

First I want to say I think it’s nutso that people are thinking of banning hoodies.  I understand that they can be worn by people so as to hide their faces, but they are also worn by kids who have ‘bedhead’ or by folks who are feeling chilly, or by teens who are trying to say ‘leave me alone’.  But all of America seems to be talking about hoodies so I might as well jump into the melee.

What I’d like to say is when you really know someone, you can almost tell who they are when you can’t see their face anyhow!  How many times have you noticed someone from behind?  Was it because they have a certain style choice when it comes to their clothing?  Was it because they were dragging one foot in a unique way as they walked away from you?  Or is it possible that we can recognize people we know by things other than their faces!

While it’s admittedly easier to notice someone when you can see their face, and it’s easier to identify them in a still image when you can see their face clearly- it  still isn’t the only way we can identify and recognize other people.  For example if we allow that we are part of the animal kingdom, we can take notice that animals recognize one another through the sense of smell.  My guess then is that humans might be able to recognize others through the sense of smell too.   But a really long time ago, we decided we didn’t always feel perfectly comfortable with the tangy or musky odor of human- so we hid it with lotions and balms and powders and colognes.  My question to everyone is what if that too was illegal? What if a computer was able to “nose” out anarchists, or terrorists, or troublemakers?  Would you be willing to give up your odor protection because it hid the real you from others?

What if in order to recognize other people we decided it was helpful to lick people?  Would you be okay if someone came and told you from now on you were to allow authority figures to lick your skin to test for lying?  Or for fear?

My point is that we’d all probably think that kind of thing is nutso!  Giving up personal choices about clothing, or tattoos, or hair styles, or scents might make it easier for people who don’t know us to recognize us, but what kind of world would we have if we regularly agreed to give up facets of ourselves to suit the folks who want all of us to conform to certain standards.

Just think about it!

I don’t recommend anyone go out and march in a hoodie, but I don’t think you should be stopped by anyone for going out and marching in a hoodie!

I know I’m a little naive’ but I’d really like to live in a world where we didn’t hurt one another and we left each other alone unless we wanted support and companionship!

I’m going to keep dreaming!