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Archive for December 2011

New Year 2012

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

- Alfred Lord Tennyson


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Top 5 Photos of 2011

South Street

As the last day of 2011 comes to a close, bloggers far and wide debut posts full of “2011 Top 5 (fill in a topic)”. Ah, well, I’m no exception to that rule. As the year closes and the madness of Caucus season quickly approaches, I want to take some enjoy some peaceful beauty before all heck breaks loose.  A good place to start is with my favorite Buddha photo gracing the top of this article.

Below the fold are five photos I snapped this year that I found to be fairly pretty as well as thought provoking. Of course, the selection is completely subjective, and powered by a fair amount of Yuengling Lager.

The photos were taken using a Canon dSlR, a Panasonic point and shoot, and an iPhone4. They are placed in no particular order of importance. Let me know your thoughts on these ‘Best of 2011″ photos.


Top 5 Highlights & Lowlights of 2011

Top 5 Highlights of 2011 in no particular order:

1.  William and Kate’s Royal Wedding:

2. Don’t mess with Tiger Woman Wendi Deng:

3.NAVY SEALs cancel OBL’s birth certificate:

4.  Japan rising above the dual disasters of an earthquake and tsunami. Senior citizens in Japan offer to take the place of younger workers in a damaged nuclear power plant.

5. Kindle Fire. This table has revolutionized the tablet market and its place within the consumer’s lifestyle.

Below the cut, the lowlights of 2011:



Lady Antebellum – Just A Kiss

End the year with a great song from Lady Antebellum – Just a Kiss

Just a kiss on your lips in the moonlight
Just a touch of the fire burning so bright
No I don’t want to mess this thing up
I don’t want to push too far
Just a shot in the dark that you just might
Be the one I’ve been waiting for my whole life
So baby I’m alright, oh, let’s do this right, with just a kiss goodnight
With a kiss goodnight
Kiss goodnight


Photographer of Note – Vivian Maier

Vivian Maier, a complex woman and superb street photographer, who captured arresting images of the humanity that surrounded her. Thanks to the efforts of John Maloof, the world is being introduced to the work of this remarkable photographer – and we are better for it.

It is a bit overwhelming for me to clearly articulate the layers of thought and emotion that I sift through when viewing her photos. With no post processing, no retakes, or formal training, Vivian captured scenes that piqued her interest and despite her gruff nature she connected with the subjects of the photos.  That connection and purity slams through me with each photo I view.

My own photography skills are no match to Vivian Maier but with the guidance of her photography, there is hope for me yet. You can see the results of this photographic inspiration on Flickr

I have every intention to viewing her work come January at the Hearst Gallery in NYC. If you are in the area this January, I highly recommend checking out Vivian Maier’s photos.


Occupy Philly Racks Up $1 Million Dollar Debt – Hands It Off to Philly Taxpayers

Philly Sign

Occupy Philly supposedly scrawled a message somewhere in Dilworth Plaza regarding  the evils of corporate greed.

Philadelphia city officials recently disclosed the cost of maintaining the unwanted, overextended group tantrum calling itself “Occupy Philly’.  City officials estimated the protest cost the city more than $1 million, most of that in police overtime.

ONE. MILLION. DOLLARS.  That amount of money might buy you a seat at an Obama fundraiser in Philly.

That is a significant amount of money for a cash strapped city to have to squeeze into an already overburdened budget.  To make up for this budget busting expense, hard working residents of Philadelphia may have to adjust to city services reductions such as rolling brownouts of Philadelphia fire departments or library closures – thanks to the childish antics of Occupy Philly.

Supporters of the Philly Occupation are quick to hold the “1%” or Wall Street accountable for alleged fiscal improprieties; while the same supporters ignore their responsibility in creating a million dollar quagmire for hard working citizens of Philadelphia.

Lets get real for a moment – the Occupy movement is a complete disaster. As it stands now, the movement has no legitimacy outside its own echo chamber. Indeed the whole world watched, via New Media, as the occupy movement imploded on itself.  This public tantrum has cost cities across the nation an estimated 24.8 million dollars.

The sad truth is the city will never recoup the 1 million + from the protesters. However, there maybe a way for supporters of Occupy Philly to redeem themselves and perhaps gain some marketable skills at the same time. I propose the the leaders of Occupy Philly meet with Mayor Nutter to discuss ways to work off the debt through volunteer work.  The time spent on projects around the city could be used to pay down the million dollar debt owed to the citizens of Philadelphia and make the protesters appear less like greedy children and more like responsible, civic minded adults.

Personally, I would not object to them organizing fund raising event to support Philadelphia’s Fallen Finest - but that might be asking too much from such a small group of protesters.


End of Year Political Endorsements

2011 is coming swiftly to a close.  2012 shaping up to be a riveting election year endorsements for potential presidents are quickly debuting before the beginning of the Caucus season. I’ve collected a selection of well crafted endorsements from various bloggers supporting the current leading candidates in the Republican field. Feel free to leave your endorsement in the comment section.



Christmas Unwrapped

Christmas in Silver

I hope my readers enjoyed their Festivus, Christmas or Hanukkah. For the record, I celebrate Christmas with elements of Festivus mixed in for extra goodness.

I’m finally unwinding from a whirlwind weekend of family, food and lots of love sprinkled with wrapping paper and sparkly ribbon. Believe it or not during holiday gatherings I prefer to put the camera down in order to immerse in the moment without the distraction of a viewfinder.  Who am I kidding,  I’m too busy wrapping, cooking and caroling to stop and take a few proper pictures.

On the food front, this Christmas season was marked by a tremendous cookie failure. I consider myself a talented cook, but baking tends to be formidable challenge. I see a pile of flour – and I see a pile of flour – not the cookie within. My plan to recreate the Morton Family Strata for Christmas Day breakfast fell to the wayside and has been rescheduled for New Year’s Day.

Philadelphia Love

I was blessed with some very nice gifts this year, yet memories I really treasure (outside the surprise of a pretty blue boxed gift) was the time spent caroling with my nephew and sharing gift ‘secrets’ with my niece.

It looks like my good blogging buddy Jimmie Bise shares the same musical Christmas tradition

What fun memories do you have of this season? Let me know in the comment section.


Hallelujah Philly Style

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Mormon Tabernacle Choir – The First Noel

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