Friday, December 23, 2011

History of Festivus


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Commonwealth Medical College, Good Work if You Can Get It.

The Commonwealth Medical College based in Scranton, PA recently handed out some hefty Christmas bonuses to their top people.  The start-up was funded with public money from the state and private money courtesy of insurance premiums of Northeast Blue Cross. 

Here is what Lulac had to say.

Here is what the Coal Region Voice said back in 2007.

Back in 2007, the surplus was 175 million.

Monday, December 19, 2011

That's a Wrap, the High School Football Season Ends In PA.

Southern Coaching Staff
The long Pennsylvania High School Football season came to an end with one local team making it all the way to Hershey.  Although Southern was an underdog, I thought they had the stuff it takes to win a game like this.  I knew Clairton was going to have a big play or two.  I think the limit was going to be three but 5 plays accounted for 300 yards. 

Lost in a 35-19 score was how tough Southern actually played.  17-10 in first down, nearly 31 out of 48 minutes possessing the ball and 70-39 in plays run.  The only one that does matter is the one on the scoreboard.  Clairton had enough speed to put points on the board.  They also had enough to keep points off the board and dug down deep when they were tired in the 4th quarter.  Tip your hat to the Bears.

All are local teams did well in respect to the season itself.  First of all, the weather was something we haven't seen for almost 40 years.  Due to flooding in the early season, practice and game schedules were turned upside down.  Then add the Halloween snowstorm.  Strange enough the bad weather held out most of November and December.

Southern, Mount Carmel, and Shamokin all have something in common.  They overcame adversity to win their respective district and almost win a state championship. Southern lost 2000 yards from the line of scrimmage in the first 10 minutes of double sessions.  Mount Carmel had to overcome negative press and player suspensions that could have torn a team apart.  Finally, Shamokin pulled itself up and made a strong playoff run which electrified a community. 

Even though these were the headlines that followed the teams most of the season, all three teams saw tremendous player and team improvement from week one until the season was over.  We often see wins, losses and championships as a measure of success.  You may want to add overcoming adversity to mix.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Who will win?

Southern plays Clairton this afternoon at Hersheypark Stadium at 1pm.  Who will win?  Well, Southern Columbia won there first trip to the state final back in 1994 in easy fashion over Western Beaver.  The Tigers then when on to lose six in a row.  The big problem was failure to overcome another team's advantage in the speed department.  Southern learned from those six losses. 

Last year Riverside went out to a 24-0 lead against Clairton, but got away from a power game and tried to play a school yard game.  Southern's coaching staff is much better than this.  If Southern could dominate the line of scrimmage, they can control the game.  The wind may be a factor kicking up to 25 mph affecting the deep pass. 

I like Southern, 35-27 with strength of schedule paying off in a dividend today.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The War is Over

Today the US Flag will come down for the last time and the troops will be leaving Iraq.  The costs were some 800 billion in money, nearly 4500 KIA, and over 32,000 US casualties.  History will judge if it was worth the cost. 

For the record, I was against the war.  If anyone cares to remember, we entered the war looking for weapons of mass destruction. 

What I will take from the conflict is how once again over a million troops volunteered to serve our country.  Your sacrifice can never be measured.  PA National Guardman, Sherwood Baker became the first PA guardsman killed in action since World War II.  Also, locally Captain Rober Scheetz and Sgt. Matthew Sandri were killed in action.  Jessica Lynch who served with honor will receive her teaching degree tomorrow.

For all the troops leaving Iraq and heading back to the USA, welcome home!!!!!!!

Who Would Have Thought?

With ongoing issues at PSU and Pitt's coach heading to the sunset, heading in 2012, the most stable college football team in PA is Temple?  Go Owls!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Dad........10 Years Gone

There are days on life's calendar that you always have in the back of you mind.   Today, December 12th marks the 10th anniversary of my father's passing.  Hard to believe how fast time the time has gone.  My dad but was relatively young by 2001 standards, just 68 years old.  However, a lifetime of smoking eventually caught up with him even though he had quit about eight years earlier.  When he did smoke it was the "high test" Lucky Skrikes unfiltered. 

Even though his death was sudden, it was not unexpected.  This part of the end of his life tortured him a bit, not knowing when or how and the thoughts of a nursing home weighed on him heavily.  For all the worrying and anxiety, he passed away in his chair watching the mid-afternoon news.  I didn't get the news until I came home from work that day around 4:30 pm.

What did he miss in the last 10 years?  When he passed 9/11 was still in the news and the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan had not started or were in it's infancy.  He would never see a grandson serve in a forward combat area.  He would never see the Phillies make it back to the top.He would never see and I-pod or smart phone and the internet was a relative new concept for him.  He wasn't much up no technology and going past channed 13 on the dial was a big thing. 

When he passes George O'Leary was the head coach at Notre Dame, if only for a few days.  He would never see Ty Willinghan and never hear of Barack Obama.  He still wouldn't believe JoePa got fired, but he never cared for Joe. My children were 2 and an infant when he left and would never experience my battle with cancer.  That was probably a good thing on both of our ends.

With a death in the family, there is something you find out that you never knew or you do get an education.  The story about my dad that I never knew until after his passing was the of the religious medal he wore.  He wore it everyday I knew him unless the chain needed repair.  I had always assumed it was of the Blessed Virgin.  My grandmother gave it to him to wear when he entered the Marines in the early 1950's.  Later did I find out that it was actually a medal of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  About two weeks before his death, he had a dream that the Our Lady appeared to him.  He passed on December 12th, the American feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe!

Ten years later, he is always in my thoughts as I wind my way through life. Though always preaching to his children, there is always a situation in which I come across that he did offer an opinion.  The advice is there forever. 

I miss you dad.  Semper Fi, Biddy.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Be Careful When They Say You Are Doing a Good Job

Steve Reiner Director of Public Safety was fired on Tuesday by the Northumberland County Commissioners. 

Reiner was lauded by the commisioners just two months ago for efforts during the flooding of September.  Reiner was second person in this position in 2011.

Others that have terminated in recent years after they were doing a "good job" include a planning director and chief clerk. 

Who else is doing a "good job" in Northumberland County?????

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Southern's Jim Roth Talks About Penns Manor

Southern Columbia head coach Jim Roth talks about upcoming game with Penns Manor.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

70th Anniversay of Pearl Harbor, December 7th, 1941

Lest we forget the sacrifice. Godspeed!!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Winners Never Quit

It has been an interesting last 5 weeks for Shamokin Area football.  The Indians were sitting with a 2-6 record going into week 9.  They were to square off against a Shikellamy team who at that time was the number one seed for the playoffs.  Flash forward five weeks.  Not only did Shamokin beat the Braves that night, but they are 4-1 since including two 4th quarter come-from-behind wins in the playoffs. In high school football, one 4th quarter comeback is rare. Completing the task twice in the playoffs in consecutive weeks is a miracle.

Five weeks ago, the only ones left believing that this was possible were the players and coaches left in the lockeroom plugging away week by week.  The town, the fans, the students, teacher and even this writer had given up hope.

The Shamokin Indian football team may not finish the season with a winning record, but for the community, fans, students, teachers and this writer, they have taught us that anything is possible upon this journey if you believe in yourself and stick together.  They have inspired a community.

Good luck Indians!!!!!!