Thursday, December 13, 2012

Busted! Woman's breast implants stuffed with cocaine

Many thanks to my Digital First Media friends for pointing out this odd blurb.

Reuters/Spanish Interior Ministry
Of all the ways to enhance your bust line, stuffing yourself with cocaine-packed implants is probably not the best idea. You will certainly appear to be a drug smuggler, to say the absolute very least.
A Panamanian woman with cocaine breasts was caught at a Spanish airport Wednesday after border police discovered fresh scars and blood-stained gauze on her chest, reports Reuters.
A good indicator that this was an attempt to get drugs through the airport in Barcelona are these photos, which clearly show that cocaine implants will make your chest lumpy. Officials found 1.38 kg of cocaine in the makeshift implants.
— via Reuters

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Best clutch peformance by Philly athlete wearing No. 12

In honor of today being 12-12-12, here's a look at the best clutch performance by a Philadelphia athlete wearing No. 12 in recent memory.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Finding the purrfect way to bond with cats

Gaston and LeFou curled up on our couch.
When my youngest stepdaughter Kristen graduated from high school in June, I never thought I would hear the pitter-patter of little feet running through our house.
Weeks later, I discovered I would.
But it’s not what you think.
In July, our middle daughter Kelly flew back to the nest after being on her own for 18 months. It was nice to welcome her back home, but there was one thing – well, actually 2 things -- that I would have to deal with upon her return: her cats, Gaston and Lefou. Being the wonderful humanitarian that I am, I wasn’t going to make Kelly give them up.
I have never been fond of cats. Oh sure, they are cute, but whenever I was around them, they were just too annoying for my tastes. Way too annoying. Give me a dog any day.
So on those rare occasions when the prospect of adding cats to the household was mentioned, my response was always the same. “I’ll NEVER have cats in my house.”
Well, as John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”
So on July 1, I started a life with cats in it.
It was an interesting start for the cats on their ride from Kelly’s apartment near Poughkeepsie, N.Y. The pet carriers she purchased were too small for them, so they made the ride back to Pennsylvania in alcohol boxes on the back seat of my car.
To ease the transition to their new home, Gaston and Lefou – and yes, they are named after characters from Kelly’s favorite movie, “Beauty and the Beast,” – were given free reign in a room in our basement, complete with Kelly’s wraparound couch, their food and water dishes, scratching post and the litter box. They also had access to a bar, but I don’t think they used it.
We rigged a hotel-room style lock on our basement door which left just enough room for the cats to come upstairs when they so desired. It also kept our yellow Labrador from racing to the basement and eating the cats’ food.
After about a month or so, the 2-year-old cats got comfortable in their new surroundings and began exploring the rest of the house, with Gaston being the more adventurous one. That’s when I discovered that he apparently likes me. 
One late summer evening while watching TV, Gaston hopped in my lap and made himself comfortable. It was awkward for me. My wife, of course, thought it was cute.
Since then, we’ve bonded. Gaston enjoys inspecting my closet – my wife says it’s his man cave. When he hears the door open, he rushes into the bedroom to see what he can get his paws and mouth on or rub up against. He especially admires a belt that hangs from a hangar – and I have the teeth marks on the belt to prove it.
He also has gotten into the habit of hopping on the bed early in the morning and curling up on top of my wife or I. You can tell his comfort level by the amount and loudness of his purring.
Anything new that comes into his field of vision, Gaston needs to inspect it – sometimes with a dose of hilarity. My wife adorned a sliding glass door with some holiday cling-ons more than five-feet high on the glass. Well, it’s been Gaston’s daily mission to try and knock the decorations off the glass. He’ll just stare at them for awhile, then jump more than 5 feet in an attempt to grab one. He usually succeeds.
And since the weather has turned a bit chillier, Gaston has found a new place to stay warm: by sleeping on the cable box!
What about Lefou, you ask? He’s the opposite of Gaston: an introvert — or just very depressed. Lefou is still afraid of our dog, and heads into the basement when we have company. He pretty much keeps to himself — though we’ve discovered he likes sleeping on Kristen’s bed since she’s away at college — and is only seen or heard when he’s hungry.
While Gaston and I have bonded, he still does things that annoy me: hopping on tables and counters; scratching furniture; playing with connections to the TV; or attacking my shoelaces when I’m trying to put on a shoe. 
For the past two weeks, the cats have been curious about the Christmas tree. They found the strings of lights fascinating as we were putting them on our Blue Spruce. The same fascination occurred when adding the ornaments.
Lefou has found a spot under the tree to take naps, and we’ve caught Gaston drinking water out of the tree stand.
I hope that’s where the fascination ends. I wouldn’t want them to end up like the feline in “Christmas Vacation.”

Mike Spohn is The Mercury’s Sunday editor. E-mail him at or follow him on Twitter @Merc_Mike

Saturday, September 8, 2012

My Eagles preview

The Eagles kick off their season Sunday in Cleveland with much at stake, including the futures of head coach Andy Reid and quarterback Mike Vick. The two are likely tied together.

A disappointing 8-8 season a year ago in which they needed to win the last 4 games to get to that mark left Reid on the hot seat. If the coach is there, so is the quarterback.

The Eagles' success pretty much hinges on how much Vick can stay on the field over the course of a 16-game schedule -- and he took only 12 snaps during the pre-season because of injuries.

AP Photo
Eagles head coach Andy Reid expects
to improve on last year's 8-8 record.


Despite some upgrades on the much-maligned defense from 2011, there are still question marks, particularly at linebacker and safety. And defensive coordinator Juan Castillo has much to prove in his second year after moving to the other side of the ball from offensive line coach.

I've lost confidence in Reid as a head coach. The Eagles have regressed in each of the last 3 seasons; their last playoff win was in January 2009. Reid bears a good portion of the blame for poor coaching and talent acquisition. their last playoff win was in January 2009.

I don't believe Vick is a Super Bowl quarterback, either, and not just because he has trouble staying on the field. When he is behind center, he has a tendency to hold onto the ball too long and last year he turned the ball over 24 times in 13 games.

While there are plenty of skill players on the offense, the loss of left tackle Jason Peters to an Achilles' injury will be difficult to overcome.

So what do I see in the my crystal ball? Maybe just a slight improvement over last season. A double-digit win season is possible with a few breaks, but I forecast a 9-7 record and a playoff spot. Whether it's as NFC East champions or as a wild card will come down to the season's final game against the defending Super Bowl Champion New York Giants.

And one more thing, Eagles. I guess I took it for granted that you'd win a Super Bowl before I turned 50. Well, guess what? This is your last chance for that to happen.

As far as the opening game goes, the Birds should have no trouble with the Browns. Final score...31-13.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Reds fan grabs back-to-back home run balls

Baseball fans dream of catching home run balls.

On Monday, one fan in Cincinnati accomplished something that has likely never happened in the history of the game. He caught back-to-back home run balls.

Caleb Lloyd, 20, was sitting in the first row in left field when Reds pitcher Mike Leake blasted his first career home run.

"It hit my hand," he said in an Associated Press story. "I didn't expect to actually catch it. I never actually caught a home run ball. It hurt really bad."

Moments later, Cincinnati shortstop Zach Cosart sent a shot in the same direction. Lloyd managed to grab that one, too.

"The second one bounced behind me and bounced right into my lap," he said. "I was like, 'Oh my gosh, that's just crazy!' I couldn't believe my eyes. Right now, I still can't believe it's happening."

However, Lloyd left the park with neither ball. He gave Cosart's home run ball to his friend who provided the tickets to the game. He gave Leake's home run ball back to the pitcher in exchange for an autograph.

For more, go here.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A loving farewell to my best friend

Disney, a 10 1/2-year-old black Labrador,
was a great companion.
I lost my best friend recently.
We watched a lot of TV, hung out on our deck, played ball, went for walks together. And she loved it when I rubbed her belly.
The best part? My wife didn’t mind it a bit.
My best friend was Disney, our 10½-year-old black Labrador mix whom we had to put down suddenly a few days before Easter. One morning, Disney and I took a nice walk. Twelve hours later, she had trouble walking. The next day, she couldn’t get up off the bedroom floor.
Just seven months removed from knee ligament surgery (I wrote about her recovery in December), we didn’t want to put our beloved family member through more tests, X-rays or surgery. Maybe the knee surgery and subsequent rehabilitation and recovery put more stress on her body than we thought.
I was devastated. That was by far the most difficult morning of my life. Later that day came the truly hard part — arriving home from work and knowing Disney wouldn’t be racing to greet me with her tail wagging excitedly. I’m not ashamed to admit that for a few days I shed a lot of tears when I approached our front door.
The last image I have is of Disney in my arms as I carried her to the car, then from there to the veterinarian’s office, where she lay with pained eyes on an exam table as we said our goodbyes.
As the shock of her loss wears off as each day passes, I think of all the good times our companion gave us.
Disney was an awesome dog. We got her for $20 from a farm in Douglass (Berks) in August 2001 when she was just a puppy. I repeatedly told my wife it was the best investment we ever made. And yes, Disney was named for the resort which we had visited just a month before she joined us.
Disney wasn’t your typical Labrador; she was actually a pretty laid-back dog. When we tossed a ball to her she’d chase it, but would usually drop it on her return trip. We joked that she was only half of a retriever!
Unlike most Labradors, Disney didn’t like water. We made one visit a few years ago to French Creek State Park with some friends. As our other dog, a yellow Labrador, and our friends’ two Golden Retrievers swam happily in the lake after a tennis ball, Disney would go into the water just enough to get her belly wet.
As she grew older, Disney hated loud noises — especially motorcycles. And she despised thunderstorms. I particularly hated the ones in the middle of the night when Disney would wake up panting and shaking and I’d have to escort her to the basement where she’d settle down and stay until morning.
Our most vivid memories about Disney revolve around food. One Valentine’s Day, my wife gave me a box of chocolate-covered pretzels. I left them on the headboard in the bedroom and we went out that night. Apparently, I didn’t close the box tightly because when we returned, the box was barren — and Disney was the only one home.
On several other occasions we’d arrive home to find an empty bag that once contained bread or rolls on our kitchen floor. We knew Disney was the guilty party.
The best Disney story happened on our wedding night, and my wife and I didn’t find out about it until a few days later.
After taking the wedding gifts, flowers, etc., into the house and getting my stepdaughters situated with a cousin who was going to stay with them for a week, my wife and I left for our airport hotel, from where we would leave the next morning for … Disney World. But in all the commotion of getting everything into the house and put away, several slices of the leftover wedding cake — Orange Creamsicle wedding cake — were left on the kitchen counter.
Well, Disney wouldn’t let this golden opportunity pass.  So she helped herself to a few slices of wedding cake — and had orange icing all over her face. Unfortunately, no one caught it on camera.
These memories and hundreds of others will live on in our hearts, and I hope that we reciprocated Disney’s love. I’m sure she’s been showering angels with all the love and affection that she showed us for more than 10 years.
I just wonder if she ate any of the angels’ Easter candy?

Mike Spohn is The Mercury’s Sunday editor. E-mail him at or follow him on Twitter @Merc_Mike

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Wrestling hold at party turns deadly

Watching pro wrestling turned deadly of a 24-year-old Louisiana man, according to

According to the report, Stephen A. Arceneaux III was hosting his own "Wrestlemania 28" party when he and a 14-year-old cousin acted out a wrestling hold. Arceneau died after he refused to "tap out" of his younger cousin's "rear naked choke hold" and caused him to stop breathing, police said.

The story goes on:

Arceneaux and his cousin began wrestling on an inflated mattress at the party and the teenager, who weighed just 110 pounds, placed his arm around the 220-pound Arceneaux's neck.

Witnesses said Arcenaux was in the hold for 30 to 40 seconds, but refused to give up or "tap out."

When one of the witnesses saw Arceneaux turning blue, they told the youngster to let go, but by that stage Arceneaux had already stopped breathing, the report said.

Arceneaux's girlfriend tried unsuccessfully to revive him before he was transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

No arrests have been made and the investigation is continuing.

"It's bizarre," said Sheriff's Office spokesman Capt. Pat Yoes. "We're still investigating it. But when you have violent horseplay like that, it just goes to show you that anything can happen."

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

It's National Cereal Day

Today is National Cereal Day.

To celebrate, I had a bowl (or 2) of my favorite, Cheerios, which I believe is the favorite cereal of my 2 granddaughters, Arianna and Alayna. Some days I may have a bowl of Honey-Nut Cheerios.

Others I eat on a regular basis: Frosted Flakes, Captain Crunch, Lucky Charms, and Rice Krispies.

What's your favorite?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The groundhog was wrong

Kate Upton is the cover model for
this year's Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition.
A couple of weeks ago, Punxsatawney Phil predicted 6 more weeks of winter. I beg to differ, and it has nothing to do with the warm winter temperatures and lack of snow we've experienced.

There are 2 reasons for me to be thinking spring.

First, the Phillies loaded a tractor-trailer with equipment on Sunday that was heading to Clearwater, Fla., for spring training. The 5-time National League East champions open camp this Sunday when pitchers and catchers report for their first workout.

And this week, another sure sign of spring bloomed again: the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition. Model Kate Upton graces this year's cover.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Another voice silenced

 First it was Richie Ashburn in 1997. Then Harry Kalas in 2009. Now, another voice of my youth has been silenced.

Andy Musser was a Phillies broadcaster for more than
25 years.
Andy Musser, the third member of the Phillies broadcast team that was together for more than 20 years, passed away Jan. 22. Musser didn't get the acclaim that Kalas and Ashburn received from fans, but he was a solid baseball announcer.

He was also very versatile, broadcasting Sixers, Eagles and Big Five basketball games. Before joining the Phillies full-time, Musser also worked for CBS Sports where he did the Super Bowl and the Masters golf tournament.

Here are a few of his most famous Phillies calls.