My Condolences to Cpl. Dickinson’s Family and Friends

When a friend told me about the ambush of the officers in PA I was shocked.  How can someone be so evil?

Sadly, one of the officers died.  Here is some background on Officer Dickinson from PennLive:

Dunmore resident, Dickson was born in Minot, North Dakota. He and his wife, Tiffany, had celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary on August 20. He was the father of two young sons: Bryon Keith Dickson III and Adam Robert Dickson.

Mourners pinned blue and black ribbons on their lapels, as much a show of camaraderie for police as that of the emblem for a fallen officer.

“The loyalty and brotherhood among police extends far beyond the badge,” said Joshua Grudzinski, a mourner from Pittston. “It is a family that runs very deep.”

Dickson was a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University. He graduated from the Pennsylvania State Police Academy in 2007. He earned various awards from the Pennsylvania DUI Association and numerous state police commendations.  

In July of 2013, Dickson was promoted to corporal and assigned to Troop K, Philadelphia.  He was subsequently transferred to Troop R, Blooming Grove in June of 2014 where he served as a Patrol Unit Supervisor.


Respiratory Virus EV-D68 Is In PA! Be Smart. Take Precautions!

If you’ve been hearing about the mysterious enterovirus that has been sending children to emergency rooms out in the middle of the country then you know that it was quite possible that we’d be dealing with the same virus locally sooner or later.

Well, it’s here!  According to experts there are three known cases in Philadelphia hospitals.  So that means that since most people will get the virus and feel lousy for a few days to a week but then improve, that  we can’t know the numbers who are infected by this virus in the PA area.  We just know three cases turned up needing help at local hospitals.

So I’m reprinting what the CDC says we need to do to get through this season of nasty colds that can turn kind of ugly in small children.

Most people with enteroviruses have no symptoms or only mild symptoms, and treatment with over-the-counter pain and fever-suppressing medicines should work well, the CDC said. Some infections, however, can be serious, causing respiratory problems, rashes with fever and even neurological illnesses such as encephalitis, or swelling of the brain, the department said.

Since EV-D68 is spread like the flu, the same precautions apply, the department said:

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

• Cough into your sleeve or a tissue.
• Avoid kissing, hugging and sharing cups and eating utensils with people who are sick.

• Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.


Will Scotland Do It???

If you have been listening to the news you’ll know that today Scotland is making a pretty important decision about their future.  Currently they are part of the United Kingdom, or the UK.  But a vote is taking place right now that will decide whether citizens of Scotland are moving away from that partnership and are heading off on their own.

I’m no historian, but I’ve got a child’s eye view of what is going on and I’m willing to share because at least I’m thinking about it!  If you want to listen in, you are welcome to, and if you want to disagree with me, you are welcome to do that as well.

Let’s start–

There is written evidence of a group of people who were known as Picts who were in the area we now know as Scotland back in 297 CE.  There were also folks who called themselves Scots.  Imagine groups who were more bound to their families than to any nation.  Add a couple of other groups to this original bunch like the Vikings and the Normans and you’ll have a fair view of the types of people that made up early Scotland.

Let’s move forward in time to the 13th century.  One English king, King Edward the I decided he’d try to wrest control of those Scots…it didn’t work.  They were an uproarious community and they created the Declaration of Arbroath which promised that as long as there were 100 Scots left, they’d fight the English rule and NEVER SURRENDER.

That was until the Queen Elizabeth I died. She didn’t have any children and so the crown went to a King who was a Scot.  King James VI of Scotland who was also King James I of England.  Scots became part of England’s parliamentarian system, but they kept their own parliament as well.

There was an official union in 1707. No more Scottish parliament.

The National party of Scotland fought for their own independence in 1928.

1975 the National party wanted to separate slightly in a move called “devolution”.  They failed to win enough votes.

1997 the Scots voted for “devolution”.

1999 Full and separate Scottish parliament is once again restored.


If the Scots vote for a complete separation there is going to be a bit of a mess for a while.  Other countries might be energized by their success.  The economic picture might be murky for a bit.  But on the other hand, this has been a long time in coming.  If they national party doesn’t succeed we can bet that this won’t be their final push for independence.

Can you imagine struggling for over 300 years against England?

I guess we’ll find out what happens a little later today.




Panevino in Reading

We went to a very nice restaurant the other night.  It is called Panevino in Reading and it’s on 2nd street right by the Goggleworks.

It’s an Italian restaurant and it’s not all that big.  The ceilings are painted black, there are gray stones on several of the walls and some Christmas trees with tiny white lights decorate the place.  I wouldn’t say it was the most sumptuous place, but then they didn’t make you pay a lot for a nice meal.

You know how all the franchise outlets that cater to families by selling two for 20 dollar menus?  Panevino is a little more expensive with a $19.95 menu per person, but you get to order a salad, or a soup, an entree and a dessert.  And we aren’t talking one standard salad.  You could go with a spinach salad, a spring salad, or a wedge salad.  Soups were pasta fagioli, asparagus tomato, or clam and crab soup.

My entree was Chicken Milanese, and it was delicious.  My daughter had noodles and meatballs, another had gnocchi, and my third daughter had a personal wild mushroom pizza.

For dessert we had several NY style cheesecakes, a wild berry compote with gelato, a chocolate bread pudding with bananas foster, and a tiramisu.

You could get wine and beer as well.

It was a wonderful meal, very fairly priced in a nice atmosphere.  Our waitress was friendly and knowledgeable and I really enjoyed the evening with my girls.

I probably would have enjoyed it no matter where we went, but it was really nice that the place turned out to be lovely.



Day off, I Made Rice Pudding!

I don’t really like rice pudding.  So I bet you are wondering why I made it then? Well, my significant other does like it and so I made it for him.

Aren’t I sweet?

Talking about sweetness, I added a little more sugar than the recipe called for because I’ve made it before and I didn’t put in enough the last time.  Speaking of the recipe, it isn’t much of a recipe.  Wanna see?

3 Tablespoons of Rice

4 cups of whole milk

1/2 cup sugar


That is the recipe.  You toss the rice in a pan, add milk and then heat for 3 hours at about 325, even though I turned the heat up to 350 after an hour and a half.

Also, I didn’t use raisins because I didn’t have any, but I did have dried cranberries and I figured they’d work.  I was right.

It isn’t bad.




This Blog Isn’t About Pottstown!

I started this blog years ago talking about what I saw and thought about while living in the Pottstown area.  I would sometimes talk about what was going on in town, and at other times I’d talk about what local kids were doing, or I’d talk about local businesses.  But it was always from my own point of view.  So rather than a travel guide to our town, it was my own personal scratch pad where I could and still can chat about what I see.

Just like you folks, I’m a citizen of my community and my community is connected to the larger world.  I guess I’m trying to explain why you’ll find posts about what I think of the world news.  My intention is not to tell anyone else what to think.  I’m just sharing what I think.

Generally, it’s my feeling that there are no simple facts.  There are no easy answers.  There are threads and all of these threads become part of our lives.  I hear about what is going on in the world, and I’m daunted by all the questions.  And honestly, I’m not just talking about political issues.  This blog is my place to talk about everything that occurs to me as a person.  *( I do try to keep it family friendly).

This blog isn’t about Pottstown.  It’s about me, and my views and they just happen to be the views of someone who lives in the Pottstown area.

Take care of one another!




Educational Regulations for the Islamic State

I am not an educator, but I am interested in what children are learning, here and around the world.
The other day I was talking about something called Common Core standards that are taking shape in this country.  Today I came across a new educational policy which I believe has been instituted by the Islamic State, or the folks we’ve been talking about as ISIS, or ISIL.

Islamic State
Caliphate on the program of the Prophets
Education Administration
General Statement 01

Directorate of Programs in the Islamic State
General Statement to all Education and Teaching Institutions

1. The following subjects are to be definitively abolished from teaching programs: artistic musical education [music], nationalist education, social studies, history, artistic composition education [drawing], sport, philosophical, social and psychology studies, Islam-Christian religious education), to be replaced by subjects added in compensation by the directorate of programs in the Islamic State.

2. Complete abolition of the name ‘Syrian Arab Republic’ wherever it is found and it be replaced by the Islamic State.

3. Complete abolition of the Education Ministry and its replacement with the Ministry of Education and Teaching.

4. Removal of all photos that do not concord with Islamic Shari’a.

5. Removal of all Syrian Arab song wherever it is found.

6. No teaching of nationalist doctrine and instead: commitment to Islam and its people, and no affiliation with idolatry and its people. Indeed the land of the Muslim is the land in which the law of God governs.

7. The teacher is to patch up gaps in knowledge of the grammar of Arabic dependent on omission by examples that do not contradict the Islamic Shari’a and politics of the Islamic State.

8. The word ‘homeland’ (watan), or ‘his homeland’, or ‘my homeland’ or ‘Syria’ is to be replaced wherever it is found with ‘The Islamic State’ or ‘his Islamic State’ or ‘the land of the Muslims’ or ‘The Islamic State’ or ‘the province of ash-Sham’.

9. Abolition of any example in maths that points to interest, interest on money, democracy, or election.

10. Abolition from the sciences of anything connected with the Darwin theory, natural selection and not attributing all creation to God- Almighty and Exalted is He.

11. The teacher is to make the students aware that all the laws of physics and chemistry are from God’s laws in creation.

12. This general statement is considered compulsory and all who disagree must be held accountable.

Well, this is pretty straight forward isn’t it?  Syria is to be erased and replaced by the Islamic State, and anyone who disagrees with these new compulsory ideals is to be held accountable.

Let’s imagine that someday the Islamic State takes hold, how will they operate alongside people who have different cultures?  How will they understand “maths that point to interest”  How will they get by not learning anything about elections?

It makes me wonder!