The story of a boy, who enlisted in the Navy, who became a man, who still retained the emotional maturity of that boy, yet convinced a woman to marry him.

Monday, August 27, 2012

We're Moving On Up

"Seriously, I think those Amish may be on to something.
Doing it this way sucks."

  Well, not to the East Side.  Or any side for that matter.  In fact, my butt will still be planted right where it is.

  But, I just wanted to let you, my followers (both of you), know that I'll shifting this site to a blog for the Philly Burbs news organization.
  What's changed?
  Well, I won't get paid.
  Will my readership grow?
  If comments the past two weeks are any indication...uh, no.
  However, I will now join an equally ignored corps of Bloggers as we comment on this, that, or the other thing.
  All not being paid to do so.
  So, why am I doing it?
  Uh...not really sure.

  The big change for the two of you who visit this site is that you will no longer have the hard-hitting journalism (or mindless drivel) you've come to expect.  If you visit, though, let me know you were there.  Because that really is all the payment I expect.  Well, that, and gum.  

  Most of my essays will be at the other place.  I will keep this site open for the foreseeable future so I can post pictures of things I find funny in Upper Bucks County.  Philly Burbs actually require that I string more than a few words together.  I guess they're big on coherent trains of logic and thought.  Pictures really aren't their bag.  

  Boy, are they in for a shock.

  Anyway, if you've got a few seconds of your time to waste visit, the new location for Just An Observation is  You can go ahead and click on it with no fear.  There will be no solicitation of funds from Nigerian royalty.  


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Blooming Glen Bumper Cars

"You go."
"No, you go."
"No, no, I insist, you go."
"Oh, please, it's no bother. You go."
"Well, if I must...gun it, Buzz!!"

   As I drove past the Pennridge Gospel Tabernacle church, I noticed a hubbub at the intersection of Blooming Glen Road and Route 113. 

    Drawing closer, I saw what it was. 

    Two men were sweeping glass and pieces of orange plastic from the road.  Just beyond them, a four-door sedan faced traffic, its nose pushed up like a pug’s.  A young girl (when you’re in your 50’s, any female qualifies as a “young girl”) walked toward them from a front yard on the corner.  A maroon van-apparently hers-sat smashed against a set of hedges, its right side caved in like a kid’s toy.  She held a sheaf of paper in what looked like trembling hands.

    The occupants of the house stood at their porch rail, silently observing the little drama which had come paying a call that morning.

    I drew up to the stop sign and, having the luxury of no one behind me, continued watching.  Zipping down Blooming Glen Road past the Post Office, was a Hilltown police cruiser, its lights flashing.  It ground to a halt in front of the “Auto Pug,” lights still on.  The now sobbing girl approached the vehicle; I saw no sign of the driver of the other car.

    Maybe he was one of the ones sweeping up?  That seemed odd to me because how many us carry push brooms in our trunks?  Unless you’re one of the lesser-known superheroes:  Janitor Man.

   I grimaced and tsk-tsked (as middle-aged men are wont to do).  Well, there you are, I thought.  As anyone who’s had the dubious fortune of riding with me will attest, I hate that intersection.

   Even though I don’t have the statistics to back me up, the juncture of those two roads is an adventure at the very least and bumper car dangerous at its worst.

   Built during a time when most people used horses to get around, Blooming Glen Road and Route 113 just don’t do well when it comes to modern traffic.  Not your standard crossing, with each street at 90 degree angles to each other, its blind spots often hide cars zipping north or south.  The result is that you hold your breath each time you attempt to get from one side of Blooming Glen to the other. 

    Many’s the time I timed my crossing only to have my rear wheels spin helplessly on rain or ice as a car barreled down on me.  My eyes grew wide and my heart made the physiologically impossible leap to my throat-as I’m sure the other guy’s does-before I finally find traction enough to escape.

    If any intersection calls for a traffic light, this one does.  At the very least, making it a four-way stop would go a long way to easing people’s piece of mind and keeping cars out of other people’s yards.
    I’m not sure whose fault it was and I really don’t think it matters.

    It sure didn’t matter to the owner of that minivan.
"Oh, MF!!
Now I'll never get home in time for SportsCenter!"

Thursday, August 16, 2012

And Now the End is Near

Sorry, Wawa.
It sucked this year.
That is all.

    The signs are there:  back-to-school sales, high school sports practices, orange-tinged leaves, Hoagiefest’s end, Eagles training camp, lack of interest in the backyard pool, leaves beginning to fill that same pool, college tuition bills, season finales of those dreadful summer TV shows, and frenzied plans to get back to the Shore “one last time.”

"And, when I'm done?
I'm comin' for your eyes, tubby.
Haven't you ever seen Alfred Hitchcock?"
    Quicker than a seagull on a box of fries, summer has flown by.

    It seemed like only yesterday we were bemoaning the fact that, despite a relatively warm winter and tease of a few hot April days, it would never warm up.  Summer clothing mocked us from our closets as we pulled on yet another fleece hoodie throughout a string of wet, dreary days.  We yearned to open our pools, host backyard barbecues, and take in a game at Citizens Bank Park, where professional baseball used to be played.

    Now?  The approach of Labor Day, while certainly an occasion for backyard camaraderie and last chance at the pool, heralds the arrival of cooler days.  Cooler days which ultimately lead to the dread frosts of winter nights.  While I get the thrill of downhill skiing at Camelback-orthopedic concerns notwithstanding-I much prefer tubing down the Delaware River.

    Bottom line, I’m not too happy.

"And it ain't over now!
Well, except me.
I'm dead."
    Luckily, as that great thinker, Bluto Blutarsky from Animal House, said, “Over?  Did you say over?  Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?”  Okay, that Germans and Pearl Harbor thing doesn’t make any sense.  But, despite the fact that snow blowers will soon be on sale at Home Depot, summer still has a few tricks up her sleeve.

    One such “trick” is the Dublin Firemen’s Carnival in...uh...Dublin.  Pennsylvania.  Try and keep up, huh?

    Held for two weeks each August, this annual (annual meaning “yearly” for those whose high school diplomas are on an Etch-A-Sketch) event provides a wonderful farewell to summer.

    Called the “best carnival in the area” by my son (who’s an engineering student, so he should know), the Dublin Carnival is truly a treat.  It combines the thrill of amusement rides with food that probably wouldn’t hold muster with a nutritionist, games of chance that offer the opportunity of hauling around a pink teddy bear the size of Andy Reid, and local entertainment such as Bill Clinton and his Band (good to see the president is keeping busy).  The very best in good ole fashioned Americana, it’s a bittersweet finish to the summer season.

    So, c’mon Fall (or Autumn, for you high brow types)!  Old Man Winter?  Keep your mittens to yourself.  I still have a few months.  You two don’t scare me.

Dylan Thomas
Author of Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.
And the less popular, But You Go Can Ahead and Lay on a Path and Creep Out Hikers
    For despite the melancholy which threatens to overwhelm me, I will not go gentle into that good night.

    I’m going to the Dublin Carnival.

    Where I hope to keep that funnel cake inside of me when I take a ride on one of those spinny upside-down thingies.    
"If you lean wayyyy out, you can spit on Clinton's head."

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Why I Love Perkasie

As I rode my bike from East Rockhill into Perkasie, I noticed this:

Notice it says "Bikes Only" (or "Only Bikes."  Depends on your point of view, I suppose).

Now, if you have enough police officers and time to enforce this, I'd say you have your crime rate well in hand.  Philadelphia only wishes they had this problem.

Incidentally, as I rode down this path towards Sellersville (where it ends, as far as I could tell), I noticed one kid on a skateboard, one dude pushing a stroller, two teenagers strolling along with bookbags (school hasn't started yet; I guess they're practicing), and one old guy walking his dog.  All without bicycles.  Just so you know, I've alerted the authorities.  

You know who you are.