Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sad day for Eagles fans

It was a sad day for Eagles fans Saturday when news broke that 13-year veteran safety Brian Dawkins had signed a 5-year contract with the Denver Broncos.

Dawkins, shown at right holding up his Broncos jersey, played more games than anyone in Eagles history and was the heart of a defense that was among the league's best for most of his tenure.

Ironically, the Broncos will be playing the Eagles this season in Philadelphia.

Don't know who is to blame here, but most fans point toward Eagles management. Right now, there is a huge void on the field, in the locker room and in the hearts of die-hard Eagles fans.

Friday, February 27, 2009

WOO HOO! 'The Simpsons' renewed for 2 more seasons

Great news for fans of "The Simpsons."

The Fox network has renewed the series for two more seasons, bringing the total to 22 and making the animated hit the longest-running prime time series in history.

While I don't believe the show is as funny and clever as it was 10 or even 5 years ago, "The Simpsons" remain one of the best shows on television.

"The Simpsons" has won a Peabody Award and 24 Emmys during its run.

For more, click here.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

This is not the way to get rid of head lice

A teenager in Evansville, Ind., was severely burned Sunday night while trying to get rid of head lice.

So how did 18-year-old Jessica Brooks attempt this? Police say she was letting her hair soak in gasoline just before a pilot light from a water heater ignited the gas fumes and her hair.

According to authorities, Brooks suffered second- and third-degree burns over half of her body. She was in serious condition at the burn unit at University Hospital in Louisville, Ky.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

3 days to go

Just 3 days until Phillies pitchers and catchers report to Clearwater, Fla., for the start of spring training.

Ohio teacher enjoys recess

Here's another example of a bad apple among teachers.

Authorities say an Ohio fourth-grade teacher had a side job as a prostitute, and even skipped class after using a school computer to arrange an afternoon tryst at a motel.

According to the Associated Press story, Logan County sheriff's officials say 35-year-old Amber Carter was arrested Tuesday at a motel parking lot in Bellefontaine in central Ohio. She's charged with misdemeanor prostitution and a felony, unauthorized use of property, regarding the computer.

Bellefontaine City Schools Superintendent Larry Anderson says officials are shocked. He says Carter never received a reprimand in 13 years at the district.

She's now on administrative leave.

A woman answering a phone listing for Amber Carter in Bellefontaine hung up on a call seeking comment Wednesday.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

From 'I do' to Pop-Pop in 4 years

My wife and I got married in 2004. When we said “I do,” her daughters were ages 19, 13, and 10. I went from bachelorhood to instant family.

It wasn’t so hard. There were no diapers to change, no spit ups to clean, no strollers to push, no baby clothes, gadgets or toys laying around the house. Instead, I just had to deal with the growing pains of girls who were teens and pre-teens going on 30.

Tara, the oldest one, didn’t live with us much, spending most of her time on her own. But when she needed us, my wife Sharon and I were there for her.

And so it was last Easter when Tara needed to move back home with her baby daughter, Arianna. She was just 6 weeks old; a tiny bundle, yet kind of big for her age. It was a huge adjustment for all of us. It took a few weeks, but we had a room built in our basement for Tara and the baby.

Kristen, my youngest stepdaughter, was excited to have an infant in the house, since she had always pleaded for a younger sibling — a plea that emphatically fell on deaf ears. Kelly, the middle one, started grooming Arianna to be a cheerleader and engraining in her Kelly’s love for Belle from “Beauty and the Beast.”

Having a baby around day after day has been a different experience for me — and a rewarding one: perhaps because I have yet to change a diaper.

In the summer and fall, Sharon and I watched Arianna at night while Tara worked and went to college. On nice nights, we took her — and our dogs — for a walk. Sharon had a much easier task of pushing the stroller than I had walking two excitable labradors.

We spent much of the walks just watching Arianna. She loved looking up at the sky and at the trees. And she was fascinated by street signs. She’d stare at a sign as we approached it, and turned her head to keep looking at it as we walked past. I suppose it was her first introduction to shapes.

One of the favorite things I do with Arianna that always gets a big smile is when I hold her on top of our refrigerator. She looks at everyone for a reaction, and starts laughing when my wife asks, “What are you doing up there?”

In November, Arianna began crawling — and she scoots. She likes when someone gets down on the floor to crawl around with her — especially when it’s her Pop-Pop.

But crawling was so yesterday. Now she wants to walk. And walk. And walk. At first, she looked like a drunk stumbling down the street. Now she could win the gold medal in the baby 100-meter dash.

Of course, that also means she’s getting into things she’s not supposed to.

The dogs have also benefited from Arianna’s presence as they perch themselves on either side of her high chair waiting for food to fall.

It’s hard for us to believe, but Arianna turned 1 on Saturday. It’s amazing how time flies when you see someone grow hour after hour, day after day.

Sharon and Tara both say I’m Arianna’s favorite and that she is a Pop-Pop’s girl. I don’t know why.

So her eyes get big and she giggles when she sees me walk into a room. Or that when I peek on her while she’s getting a bath, she starts laughing and splashing water. Or that whenever I come home, she reaches out for me to hold her.

Well, maybe Arianna is Pop-Pop’s girl.

Another sign spring is right around the corner

With spring training set to start Saturday in Clearwater, Fla., for the World Champion Phillies, spring is just around the corner.

Well, here's another sure sign that spring will soon be here: Sports Illustrated unveiled the cover for its annual swimsuit issue on Tuesday.

The covergirl is 23-year-old Bar Refaeli, an Israeli who has been romantically linked to Leonardo DiCarpio. It is Refaeli's first time on the SI cover.

To read more, click here.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Rough night for Jessica Simpson

Now Jessica Simpson knows the pain her boyfriend, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, felt after the Eagles' 44-6 romp over the Cowboys in the NFL season finale.

According to the Associated Press, Simpson forgot lyrics, mumbled through songs and fought back tears in a performance in Grand Rapids, Mich., in which she opened for Rascal Flatts.

Here is the account:

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A bizarre 38-minute set by opening act Jessica Simpson inadvertently stole the spotlight from headliner Rascal Flatts in a show at the Van Andel Arena.
The Grand Rapids Press said Simpson forgot her lyrics, struggled with her ear monitors, mumbled through songs and fought back tears during Thursday night's performance.
At one point, the 28-year-old singer-actress asked her backing band to start over on one song, and she forgot the words to another.
"Jessica had an off night," Cindi Berger, a representative for Simpson, said Friday. "She's a perfectionist, and wanted to start some of the songs over. She always wants to give her best performance to her fans."
Simpson apologized to the supportive audience of about 9,000 by mouthing the word "sorry" on two large video screens.
While introducing her last song, Simpson said she sometimes feels like quitting. She appeared to be wiping away tears after finishing the song and walking off the stage.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Spring training countdown

Only 9 days to go until pitchers and catchers report to Clearwater, Fla., for spring training as the WORLD CHAMPION Phillies begin defense of their title.

Where's FEMA?

While President Bush was vilified by the mainstream media for his handling of the crisis in the South during Hurricane Katrina, President Obama is getting a free pass in his handling -- or lack of handling -- of the mess in Middle America where thousands are still without power thanks to last week's ice storm.

Check out this blog post by my colleague Tony Phyrillas.

Bonds pleads not guilty

Not surprisingly, all-time home run king Barry Bonds pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges he lied to a grand jury investigating steroid use in sports.

Does anyone believe him? Just look at the size of his head!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A pretty good idea for NBA All-Star Weekend

The NBA is adding something to its All-Star Weekend that most basketball players have done on the playground or in the gym: H-O-R-S-E.

That's right, the playground staple in which making a simple layup can be better than trying some out-of-the-ordinary trick shot will make its way onto the national stage.

Three yet-to-be-named players will appear in the contest.

In a poll on, 78% of more than 37,000 votes think this is a cool idea.

To read more, click here.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I guess gay marriages don't last, either

It must not have been wedded bless for a lesbian couple who led the fight for gay marriage in Massachusetts.

According to the Associated Press, Julie and Hillary Goodridge, who were married the first day same-sex marriages became legal, have filed for divorce.

The pair were among seven gay couples who filed a lawsuit that led to a court ruling making Massachusetts the first state to legalize same-sex marriages in 2004. The couple became the public face of the debate in the state.

The divorce case was filed last week in Suffolk Probate and Family Court and was not unexpected. The couple announced they were separating in 2006.