Thursday, January 29, 2009

Snow Day.

Yesterday was a snow day for youngest son. Well, technically a slush a day since it really the snow was rained on most of the day. It was our first of the year which is a little unusual for a winter in the Philly area.

Youngest son learned of the snow day because our local cable channel has a dedicated cable channel for snow days.

That's right. A channel dedicated to telling you that your school and the closest schools around you are on or off for a snow day. I love this country. Not only is there a cable channel but there are email alerts. I'm not sure how they got my address but I got an email saying that today was a snow day.

We even got a call from oldest son's college. Classes there were opening two hours late.

If we would have looked on the Internet would could gotten the same information - school was closed.

This is a little different then when I was in school.

First, the only medium was radio. You had to listen to KYW for school closings. When I first started school the announcer would call out each school district by name over the radio. We lived in Drexel Hill and I would be listening over and over for "Upper Darby school district" in the endless list of schools.

It would take hours.

I remember when they went to the school number system. I tried find out exactly when the numbering system started but so far have been unsuccessful. I had to be in the mid 1960s. I remember listening as the announcer droned through number after number as I listened for my special 3 digit number.

I would get mesmerized by the lists of numbers and nearly miss it when they would call number close to ours.

The worst would be if the announcer skipped over ours. You wouldn't be sure if you had missed it or not and would wait until the next half hour to listening again.

It took a trained ear to listen as the announcer read number after number.

Maybe someday they'll invent some new way of notifying kids of a snow day that doesn't even involve waking up. Wouldn't that be great.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Charles S. Bailey experiment

You may recall my response to my sister's hoax email.

Last week I took it a step further and sent the following email to all recipients from a "Charles S. Bailey":


My name is Charles S. Bailey and I am the General Manager for field operations of a well known software maker. You may have recently received an email stating that thousands of dollars could be yours for simply forwarding an email to your friends and that you would be contacted within two weeks.

I am here to tell you that THIS IS TRUE and this is that very contact message.

I have a check for at least $10,000 in your name and am ready to stamp it "PAID IN FULL"

I will forward you this check if you will send me your address to forward this check to.

You must act quickly since this Beta Test is nearly over.


Charles S Bailey General Manager Field Operations

1-800-842-2332 Ext. 1085 or 904-1085 or RNX 292-1085

The response has not been overwhelming. I got exactly one response with an address from someone actually expecting a giant check for forwarding emails. I was really expecting more.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Parade Watch: Serendipitous Superbowl?

When the Philadelphia Phillies played in the world series this October there was a tipping point where you felt as if they really, really could reach for the brass ring.

That moment was Game 2 against the brewers with Bret Meyers at bat.

Meyers, their former pitching Ace, is a horrible hitter. Just his antics with a bat in hand make you laugh out loud. I think at that point he had like 2 hits all year but yet here he was taking ball after ball on CC Sabathia, upping the pitch count and frustrating the soon to be $161 million dollar man. The crowd slowly got behind Meyers as foul after foul and ball after ball and Meyers hung in there. First there were a few towels circling. Then there were more. Finally, when he got the walk and reached first the whole place was cheering and waving towels.

It was unexpected and when it was done, I was a believer.

That's kind of like the current Eagles run. Completely unexpected. I don't think there has been a Bret Meyers like tipping point, the win over the Giants was huge, stopping Adrian Peterson was big but they weren't other worldly like events like the Meyers at bat. If there was such a moment it went by fast. It may have been David Akers stopping the opening kick off from being a TD or Correll Buckhalter making up a play for a huge first down pick up. In football those sort of things tend to pass very very quickly.

But here we are, at the Championship game again.

Very unexpected.

I've been hearing this "fifth championship appearance in 8 years" stat all of a sudden. Back in November, no one was saying that. That little stat only popped up minutes after McNabb picked up a telephone on the Giants sideline in the waning moments of the divisional win.

I honestly think they can and will win this today because, like the Phillies, this a team. Beside, no one wants to see Andy Reid in gigantic Hawaiian shirt coaching the NFC Pro bowl team ever again and the unexpected makes you play a little looser.

Ohh, they still may have their game 5 in 40 degree horizontal rain ahead of them, but I think destiny is on their side this time.

Go Eagles.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

IMG_0702: Hobo Band

IMG_0702: Hobo Band
Originally uploaded by mfalcian
14 Jan 09: This picture cost me a dollar. This band was under the concourse at 15th street today. I think they need a name like the the jug tuggers or the three person one man band.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

IMG_0694: Model of the 2009 economy.

13 Jan 2009, Picture of the day. Mike M poses with a model of the fragile 2009 economy.

IMG_0690: Playoff Beard

IMG_0690: Playoff Beard
Originally uploaded by mfalcian
12 Jan 09, Picture of the day. This is disturbing. My Playoff beard.

Since Christmas I've been growing an Eagles "Playoff Beard". I did not shave again this Monday since the Eagles beat the NY Giants 23-11.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

IMG_0683:Seton Hall

IMG_0683:Seton Hall
Originally uploaded by mfalcian
Picture of the day, 11 Jan 2008. Outside McQuaid Hall, Seton Hall University. 15 second time exposure from the roof of the car.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

IMG_0677: Time exposure from car

DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME. 15 second time exposure with manual focus set to infinity, taken while driving up the Birchfield road. Road was wet from a little snow we had earlier.

Yes, I was driving and taking a picture at the same time.

Friday, January 09, 2009

IMG_0665: Friday lunch

IMG_0665: Friday lunch
Originally uploaded by mfalcian
I looked like I was dressed for a winter holiday TV special. Here is my usual Friday lunch crowd at the Wok on Walnut St in Philly.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

IMG_0659:Pro-Israel Rally Love Park

At Philadelphia's Love Park, a Pro Gaza supporter outside the rally area. Her sign says "US Weapons are killing Palestinian Children, Not in my name, not with my taxes". I'm guessing here but if you can make it to a rally at noon in Center City, your taxes aren't that what's driving the conflict. This lady was angry. Really Really Angry.

My Actual Response

To my sister's email:

Scam? No way!

If it took up two pages of the USA Today (when things like moon landings, world wars and nuclear reactor meltdowns take up like a half), their accountant sent it to them and it's similar to the famous Pepsi suing General Electric thing, it just has to be true, right?

Let alone that it's from some strangers friend named Pearlas Sandborn who really is an attorney even though she (he?) has an name that sounds like it was made up by the witness protection program AND Microsoft and AOL (and some how Intel) are the now the "largest internet companies".

Why this just has to be true. I'm counting my money already using a spread sheet on google, which apparently not one of the largest internet companies.

I'm sure that Microsoft and AOL have large, inexplicable email counting devices that count every single email that I send and looking for text like "PEARLAS SANDBORN" so they can add $245 minus two dollars to some unexplained account on my behalf for every person that I sent it to that sends it back out. Hell, I'm going to make this reply worth $490 right here: "PEARLAS SANDBORN". No, wait, I sent this to 21 people so that's $10,290 right there or is this only worth $241 since I got from you. Oh, I don't know, it's kind of confusing so I'll just wait for the check. I'm sure Bill will know. Or he has an army of people that will know.

I'm sure I'm bound to get at least $10,000 because everyone knows it's all marketing expenses to him anyway.

My money is as good as spent. Hey, help me out and send it to back me again. Ka-Ching! there is $241. Hell, let's just send it back and forth. It will only be two dollars less with each reply.

Now if you'll excuse me a friend of the son of the cousin of the President of IBM in Nigeria needs MY help in getting a large sum of money out his country and I have several heavenly unicorn LOL-cat angels waiting on responses to emails in my inbox.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

IMG_0642:PATCO in the rain.

Picture of the day. PATCO station in the rain.


So my sister sends me an email and it's a classic Bill Gates is sending you money for forwarding this email to all your friends scam and she tells everyone that I will probably say that it is scam.

She sent it anyway.

It came with a subject of:


I am not making this up.

I replied with a sarcastic response about "scam? no way this just has to be real!"

Here it is with some thoughts in between.

This was sent to me by my accountant... if you think this is ridiculous I have no problem giving you his contact information...

First off, this thing has been circulated so many times that I have no idea of your contact info let alone that of your accountant. I can just envision how that conversation would go as well. "Hey listen I just got this email and the person gave me your name as their accountant. So is this for real?" Hello? ..... Hello? ....

Read carefully...

Oh I will


First of all what happened to GOODMORNINGAMERICATODAYSHOW? It was a two pager in USA today and was on GOODMORNINGAMERICATODAYSHOW, whatever that is?

To all of my friends, I do not usually forward messages,

Are you kidding me, you are freaking forwarding machine. Things come in your email box and are just about automatically forwarded to every one in your address book.

But this is from my friend Pearlas Sandborn and she really is

an attorney.

Well, if it's good enough for Pearlas Sandborn, Esq. It's good enough for me. Tell me more! Doesn't sound like a name made up by the Witness Protection Program at all. Is Pearlas a man or a woman?

If she says that this will work - It will work. After all, what have

you got to lose?

It's a she. Peralas is a woman.


attorney, And I know the law.

Now you're an Attorney too? A what law on God's green earth would possibly force Bill Gates to give you money for sending emails?

This thing is for real. Rest assured

I feel better about this already.

AOL and Intel will follow through with their promises

Huh? AOL and Intel? What promise?

for fear of facing a multimillion-dollar class action suit similar to the one

filed by PepsiCo against General Electric not too long ago.

Ohh the famous Pepsi/GE Class action thing, I remember now.

OK You are clearly a poor Attorney. I believe a class action lawsuit is one where a class of people sue. Pepsi is a Company, not a class of people. And what in the wide world of sports would Pepsi possibly sue GE for? Bad Light bulbs?

Dear Friends: Please do not take this for a junk letter.

Junk Letter? Are you kidding me? I would have never thought that. Just because something has more fonts that a ransom letter doesn't make it a junk letter.

Bill Gate s s haring his fortune.

Bill Gates? WTF? What happened to AOL and Intel?

If you ignore this, You will repent


Repent? What did I do?

Microsoft and AOL are now the largest Internet companies

AOL? LOL? Yes, when I think large internet companies I think of AOL. What year is this? 1995?

and in an effort to make sure that Internet Explorer remains the

most widely used program,

OK I'll bite, what does AOL have to do with this?

Microsoft and AOL are running an e-mail

beta test

Beta Test? This is the longest running beta I've ever heard of . I got one of these in 1995.

When you forward this e-mail to friends, Microsoft can and will

track it (If you are a Microsoft Windows user) for a two week

time period.

For every person that you forward this e-mail to, Microsoft will pay

you $245.00

Ok That's kind of scary in a big brother sort of way to begin with. SO they were out there counting my emails before this some how and now because I got an email from you, suddenly I'm going to get paid for them? Well that is good news. $245? That sounds like a lot. Ka-ching.

For every person that you sent it to that forwards it on,

Microsoft will pay you $243.00

and for every third person that receives

it, You will be paid $241.00.

OK Let's do some math. Suppose I send it to ten people. That's $2,450 for me for the first round. Let's say two of the people I send it to send it to ten more. That is $2,430 times 2 for me PLUS $2,450 for each of them. That's $4900 and we only did 1 round. I figure that if that went on for two more rounds Mr Gates is out $36,470. I figure after like 100 rounds of giving away money like this and he is broke.

Within two weeks, Microsoft will contact

you for your address and then send you a check.

Why to they have to contact me, they already have access to all my private info on my PC since they HACKED IT. And wouldn't all this be easier with Pay Pal? Checks? Are you kidding me?

Regards. Charles S Bailey General Manager Field Operations

< ; BR>1-800-842-2332 Ext. 1085 or 904-1085 or RNX 292-1085

Thought this was a scam myself, But two weeks after receiving this

e-mail and forwarding it on. Microsoft contacted me for my address and

within days, I received a check for $24, 800..00.. You need to respond

before the beta testing is over. If anyone can afford this, Bill gates is the


No one can afford this. Are you kidding me?

It's all marketing expense to him.

Yeah, it's a "write off". You don't even know what a write is.

Please forward this to as many

people as possible. You are bound to get at least $10, 000.00

We're not going to help them out with their e-mail beta test without

getting a little something for our time.. My brother's girlfriend got in

on t his a few months ago. When I went to visit him for the Baylor/UT

game, she showed me her check. It was for the sum of $4,324.44 and

was stamped 'Paid In Full'.

She still had the check? If you cash a check, don't they usually keep the check? Have you ever seen PAID IN FULL on a check? Like ever? Bills and Invoices get marked paid in full. Not checks.


Tuesday, January 06, 2009

IMG_0629: Sal Palantonio

IMG_0629: Sal Palantonio
Originally uploaded by mfalcian
Here is something you won't see if you work in Cherry Hill. ESPN's Sal Palantonio doing a live satellite stand up report if front of Philly's City Hall. The report was on the Marvin Harrison gun case being dropped by the Philly DA. I should have waited and got in the shot.

IMG_0622:Collingswood, NJ

IMG_0622:Collingswood, NJ
Originally uploaded by mfalcian
7:05 AM Collingswood, NJ.

First day back to work after a Holiday Vacation. I had no idea what that sound was when the alarm went off.

IMG_0589:Eagles Vikings WildCard

A picture a day. January 4th. Eagles 26, Vikings 14. Watched at home after thinking about actually going to Minnesota. We had a feast of shrimp and cheesy things.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

IMG_0579:Walking the dogs Winter 2009

3 January while walking the dogs around Birchfield we saw this.

IMG_0583:First Pix of 2009 - on Vacation

The Second of January 2009. I took Karen to work and saw this on the way home. I was in "desperate need of a haircut" or I would have taken more

IMG_0578:New Years Eve 2008

A Picture a day for a year. I am going to try to post a picture a day all of 2009. This is the first.