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Date » 2009 » February « Home

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And that’ll do it for the PW version of this blog. Thanks to the people who gave me this (relatively ridiculous) chance and to everyone who checked in over the past three-plus years. Special thanks to the people who did some writing for me on the blog: Shannon McLaughlin, Mike Benner, Christina Palsky. Sorry if I forgot anyone.

I hope I succeeded in my original goal: Lowering the productivity of the American office worker, at least a little. Yeah, I think that’s what my original goal was.

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Angelic Anchoring

Kerri-Lee Halkett posted to her blog a recent report Ten O’Clock News aired on the existence of guardian angels. It’s a story almost as exciting as a hypercritical blogger telling you about it.

The gist of the story: People believe in guardian angels, and sometimes people attribute unexplained events to supernatural powers. There is also an extended interview with one of the stars of Touched by an Angel, which the report also notes “ran for nine seasons beginning in 1994.” (Emphasis mine.)

The report also has one of those incredible descriptions under a person’s name local television news can only provide: “NEJIE MIRANDA-SYLVESTER: BELIEVES IN ANGELS.” I really enjoyed the intro to the piece on the

Kerri-Lee Halkett: Alright, think about this: Have you ever thought you might have a Guardian Angel watching over you? Lots of people do, and many say they can even prove it.

Dawn Stensland: Yeah, I believe it.

Most Americans believe in guardian angels. But you think Stensland would at least wait until the report aired before telling us how she felt!

Photo by D’arcy Norman used under a Creative Commons license

Trentonian Zings Us Again

From the newspaper that brought you the headline “Roasted Nuts” when a psychiatric hospital burned down yesterday comes “Prosecutor’s dick causes wreck, but victims barely paid” when a prosecutor’s detective is involved in a car accident.

Ho ho! I get it.

Thanks, Jon.

Ungrateful Portuguese Water Dog Breeder Angry At Obama

You might think these would be heady times for breeders of Portuguese Water Dogs. President Obama is getting Portuguese Water Dog for the White House! Dog breeders should be dancing in the streets, kissing nurses in the middle of Times Square, overturning cars and generally having the time of their lives.

The dog the president owns is, like, the president of dogs, right? Besides winning Westminster, there isn’t really a higher honor for a breeder.

Well, apparently, a “local Portuguese Water Dog breeder” isn’t a big anti-American terrorist, according to KYW 1060. Said Berks County Breeder (okay, so it’s “local”) is worried about Portuguese water dogs showing up in puppy mills, those dog-breeding factories with hellish conditions sometimes run by the Amish.

I would suggest a more proactive approach: Say you’re excited about your dog breed becoming dog president but sternly remind everyone not to buy dogs from puppy mills. Or maybe you can drive around a la Joey Vento and tell people not to buy Portuguese Water Dogs from pet stores. And also, you should totally find a nickname for the breed; the full name is kind of too long. PWDs, maybe?

Or you should stop being a typical ungrateful American who hates this country. If you don’t like it, take your dogs and move back to Portugal.

Local Portuguese Water Dog Breeder is Concerned [KYW 1060]
Photo by Ber’Zophus used under a Creative Commons license

Abridged Daily News Columnists

I have been researching a story, doing interviews and all that good stuff most of the day. But I’ve holed up in a coffee shop to bring you Abridged Daily News Columnists!

Ronnie Polaneczky: I actually said “good idea!” when I saw Polaneczky had written about selling her gold and getting cash. Selling gold has exploded in popularity (or at least Google popularity) since 2006 and the local news has noticed. But is Polaneczky the only columnist who has actually sold her own gold? Right: Who cares!

The column is standard stuff with a cute anecdote at the end. It’s a nice touch, though, that one of the places she goes to sell her old jewelry is a gold dealer who set up at Hampton Inn in Bensalem. Right across from the Woodhaven Mall!

Stu Bykofsky: Do I have a rule that I don’t abridge stories about bureaucratic tussles in animal control? I do now, but I’d really encourage you to study the lead carefully:

WITH PACCA in its grave and PSPCA decapitated, local animal-lovers fear that innocent animals will pay with their lives for the uncivil war between the agencies that has raged for some 18 months.

Were all of the animals really innocent? Are we to assume none of these dogs assaulted people, stole bones or sold drugs on the side?

I get that Bykofsky really cares about animals, and I’m sure he’s heartbroken. I know he’s also hoping to paint the animals as sympathetically as possible. I really don’t think we need innocent to modify animals there, though. Of course they’re innocent! They’re animals! I know: Whatever. But I think it’s detrimental to the column. It’s not that it’s bad writing; columns are most convincing when the writer is clear and clean and makes solid points. Let the story carry the column! I dream of a world where no one in the media uses the phrase “innocent animals.”

Or maybe stuff like that resonates. And Bykofsky has won a lot of awards for writing about animals. I dunno.

John Baer: Baer interviews Allyson Schwartz, who says she will maybe run for Arlen Specter’s U.S. Senate seat. Baer thinks otherwise. Hm. Analysis, opinion, and the worst modifier I can find is “tough statewide run.” Excellent.

Michael Smerconish: Hmm. Smerconish is praising CNBC’s Rick Santelli for complaining about “losers’ mortgages” and yelling, “President Obama, are you listening?” on air. Sigh. I’m probably wrong. Going shamelessly over-the-top works. Anyway, the American populace is suddenly concerned about rich people stealing their money. Eh.

The Daily News Shows Us How You Finish A Story Properly

The Daily News lets us know today about wrestler Michael Taris, who allegedly intentionally fell at a 7-Eleven in hopes of collecting damages.

After the story was turned in, an editor walked out to the newsroom and told writer William Bender he needs just one more sentence to fill the space. “Write to the line!” the editor bellowed. “And make it quick!”

I know this because that’s the only way one could possibly come to this stellar last paragraph:

Taris, who formerly wrestled for the World Wide Wrestling Alliance, now wrestles for the National Wrestling Superstars, authorities said. He also worked for Premier Escort Services as a male dancer and as a massage therapist for Massage for Men (M4M), where he went by the name “Sean.”

Now that’s the kind of article closer you could only get in the Daily News. (The Bucks County Courier Times article, you see, added one more sentence after the massage revelation: “National Wrestling Superstars promotes more than 50 family-style wrestling events throughout the year in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Delaware, according to the organization’s Web site.” I think family-friendly wrestling is the less honorable profession here.)

Attorney general/Internet perv detector Tom Corbett has a release on his site about it if you really need more info. And, hey, how the hell did Pennsylvania manage to get attorneygeneral.gov, anyway?

Wrestler ‘falls’ on hard times, arrested [DN]

They Don’t Make Beauty Queens Like They Used To

Incidentally, my life has been improved by the knowledge that one can be named a “North Wildwood beauty queen.”

Cops say beauty queen passed bogus $50s [Daily News]

Hip-Hop: Demoted?

Times are tough everywhere, even with the cable giant that owns our local basketball and hockey franchises. Hence, the 76ers have apparently expanded the duties of rabbit mascot Hip-Hop.

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Previously only limited to cheering on the 76ers, dunking off a trampoline, eating carrots and looking creepy, he’s now helping put in the floor for the 76ers’ Spectrum farewell game on March 13.

Anti-Casino Art Attack

A supporter of Casino Free Philadelphia is currently running a big ol’ anti-casino art contest; they’re looking for t-shirts, posters and videos. The deadline has been extended to March 10, so get cracking if you want your shirt to possibly join this other classy/hilarious one.

It’s going to be tough to win the poster contest, though, because this entry posted on the site is incredibly awesome:

022509casinodrawing.jpg

“Casino”-like Slots Barn is excellent, as is the impressive amount of detail in this poster. As usual, I am jealous of someone who can draw. Just think of all the bad jokes I could make if I could draw!

I can’t tell, though, if it’s saying the casino would ruin Market East (the Funk-O-Mart will never be the same with a casino nearby!) or that The Gallery ruined Market East (could make a convincing case for it, especially if Chinatown is part of Market East). But, hey, what’s with the bullet holes? The only thing shot at The Gallery is good taste.

I also particularly liked “hookers’ entrance.” Is that really any more blatant than the current signage on the brothels in that area?

Update: The artist, FYI, is Dennis Carlisle.

The Bulletin’s Rooting Interests

With the bankruptcy of the parent company of the Inquirer and Daily News, perhaps we can turn to The Bulletin for unbiased news of the events o’ the day.

022409bulletin.head.png

As you might have guessed, that full quote from the bankruptcy filing would be, “Without access to cash collateral, the debtors will not be able to maintain their business operations and continue their restructuring efforts, and would likely be forced to cease to operate.” (Tierneycorp is asking a court to allow the company access to the cash collateral Citizens Bank has, saying without it they’d have to close. Aren’t bankruptcy filings exciting, kids?!)

A minor point, but, yes: The headline infers the papers are likely to close, the actual quote does no such thing. Today’s article runs with that the-papers-are-closing again, saying “Two Weeks Of Operations Assured As Negotiations Continue.” There’s certainly a chance the papers will simply close, but I’d bet strong money against it.

Be sure to also check out two opinion columns today, one titled “We’re Losing Our Country, But What Can We Do? and another Herb Denenberg piece which calls the majority party right now the “Democratic Party of retreat and defeat, anti-military and anti-family values.”