Saturday, September 29, 2007

Philly's Pennypack Park: Pretty but...

Took a walk today with a bunch of my wife's side of the fam this afternoon. Gorgeous day, so we went to Pennypack Park in Northeast Philadelphia. The park spreads for miles and provides a bucolic escape from the concrete jungle, as you wind your way through green scenery and stroll past a meandering creek.

And trash.

Cups, cans, kegs, bags, bottles, bras. Ok, I made that last one up, though I wouldn't be surprised to see some of those in the more remote sections.

Anyway, my point here is that it's just a shame that: a) people have no pride in their city and can't keep it clean, and b) the City doesn't have the resources or desire to clean it up.

On the bright side, it's great to see people out and about using the park... now if only they'd stop abusing it.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Halloween is Here: Scare Up Some Moolah

Halloween is the sixth biggest spending holiday for Americans, according to the National Retail Federation.

An estimated $5 billion will be spent for Halloween costumes, decorations, candy, and other fodder.

Now that's scary.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Wild Wood in Ocean City, NJ

Sometimes it just makes sense to do the sensible thing. Pretty simple concept, really. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports:
Battered by protests from environmentalists around the globe, and realizing that the cost might be much higher than expected, officials in this seaside resort are having second thoughts about their decision to buy wood from tropical rainforests to repair the boardwalk.
With so many alternatives to buying wood harvested from the diminishing rainforests of the world, it seems silly to even consider building your boardwalk with such a precious resource. Yet it looks like Ocean City is going to go ahead and do it anyway.

A tip to Ocean City councilpeople: Look around you. The businesses, organizations, and people that are "making waves" in the world are the ones that are changing their old ways of thinking and acting in a way that causes less harm to or in some ways benefits the environment and human civilization as a whole. Does your solution fit into this bracket of civic responsibility? I humbly submit... no.

Time to walk on the wild side, OC.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

None Shall Pass (Or, Everybody Shall Pass But You)

Thanks to my man Gregg who sent me this confusing video of a minister who was denied access to watching General Petraeus speak in DC this week. I say "confusing" because I'm sure as heck confused as to why he was denied entrance and treated so aggressively. I'd be interested in hearing the other side of the story to get a full picture of what happened.

But until then, all's I can say is... *sigh*.

Here's the link:

Monday, September 10, 2007

A "Mas Facil" Request for Automated Voice Message Systems

I have a very simple question, and I'm sure it's been brought up by others as well:

When I call a company and am greeted by an automated voice message system, why do I need to "Press 1 to continue in English?" Would it be too complicated to have English be listed as the default language, and everybody else press numbero dos for Espanol, etc.?

Aye carumba.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Time to Think Differently about the Michael Vick Story

With all of the hullabaloo surrounding the infamous Michael Vick dog-fighting case, I have noticed a recent backlash regarding the treatment he has received from the media and public at large.

A recap: once the story broke, an immediate and intense firestorm swelled when people got word that Vick was involved in a dog fighting ring and ultimately killing many "underperforming" dogs.

But then in the past few days or so, I've observed several instances of people expressing their concern and/or disgust for how far the outcry has gone. I have heard the following arguments, either on talk radio, in the commentary section of the newspapers, or on TV:

-Although dog fighting is gross and inhumane, what's the difference between that and killing a mouse in your house?

-This case has garnered so much attention, but why can't we garner that kind of attention when a man beats his wife?

-If you eat meat, you're essentially doing the same thing as what Vick did.

While all of these questions are valid, I see it a different way. It's not an "apples and apples" comparison.

For starters, the reason that this became such big news, is, in fact, because it truly is big news. Any reporter, marketer, or public relations expert will tell you that the only things that make big news are the things that are undeniably different from the rest of what's going on during that particular day.

So, for better or worse, killing a mouse, abusing a spouse, or eating a grouse (sorry, the rhyme was too good to pass up there) are not inherently different from what goes on in ordinary life. A millionaire, celebrity pro football player electrocuting dogs in his own mansion is undeniably different. And that's why it makes the news. Trying to determine if it received too much or too little attention is pointless. People are interested in hearing the stories that are different, and that will never change.

All in all, my main point here is that we should treat each individual issue separately and not try to compare what is more or less important.