This year we are experiencing four unusual dates: 1/1/11, 1/11/11, 11/1/11, and 11/11/11.

And that's not all. Take the last two digits of the year you were born and the age you will be this year and the result will add up to 111 for everyone.

This is the year of money, although I just got my three-month 401-K statement, and that isn't the case. Not by a long shot. It's more like it's the year for losing money.

Also, this year, October will have 5 Sundays, 5 Mondays & 5 Saturdays. This happens only once every 823 years. These particular years are known as Moneybag years.

We'll see.

Some words of wisdom to area merchants: "A man who stops advertising to save money Is like a man who stops the clock to save time.".....Henry Ford

Cell phone use and texting while driving a motor vehicle is rampant. You can't drive a block without observing someone with a phone stuck to their ear. It's a very serious problem.

One solution, however, is to make the punishment for driving while using a cell phone the same as it is for drunken driving. Both are equally dangerous. And heavier punishment should make some vehicle operators think twice.

I love pizza, but I hate getting rid of the boxes. They take up half the room in a garbage can.

Allysa Vavra's bronze medal in the 400 ;Individual Medley in swimming at the Pan American Games in Guadalasara, Mexico, may be the best local sports story of the year. The Panther Valley grad sure made the folks from Coaldale and the surrounding areas very proud.

On a scale of one to 10, I'd rate the brilliance of this year's fall foliage in the at about a four. I'm blaming it on all the rain we've received and the heavy winds the past week.

I can't understand how Tamaqua can determine its not responsible for refunding sewer payment money to the residents who unknowingly were discharging waste into the Wabash Creek all these years, while paying fees to the borough for service they weren't receiving.

If I had my way I'd outlaw the placing of political signs along our roadways. They're fine in private yards and private property, but keep them off the highways. First, they're a distraction to drivers, especially early in the morning and at night when visibility isn't too good. Secondly, I question how effective they are. Has anyone ever determined how many votes they gather for the candidates? And three, they're eyesores, nothing more than specialized litter on our highways.

I'll never forget the words of a nun I had in parochial grade school when she discovered a student carving his name onto the surface of a desk. After smacking him over the knuckles with a ruler she uttered these immortal words: "Fools and their names are like their faces, always seen in public places."

The movie "J Edgar", about the life of the FBI's J. Edgar Hoover, doesn't come out until next month. But it looks like a must-see when it hits the theaters in November.

Fall mums are the most beautiful of Autumn's flower. They're also the saddest. For once they whither and die after the first frost, it's winter time and all the colors of Autumn are erased for another year.

Charlie Sheen may be a loose cannon (some might even say he's a nut case), but he was a lot funnier in the TV hit "Two-and-a-half Men" that his replacement, ashton Kutcher.

What exactly are those Wall Street protesters protesting anyway? And how long will the protests continue before they get violent?

Blame it on Rex Ryan's mouth, but I have trouble cheering for the New York Jets.

In case you're planning on attending the 147th meeting of Lehigh and Lafayette, the nation's oldest rivalry, at the end of this season, here's hoping you already have your tickets. This week the game was declared a sellout, with the game almost six weeks away.

Finally, some good old fashioned dog logic:

- The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue. -Anonymous

- There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face. -Ben Williams

- A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself. -Josh Billings

- The average dog is a nicer person than the average person. -Andy Rooney

- Anybody who doesn't know what soap tastes like never washed a dog. - Franklin P. Jones

- If your dog is fat, you aren't getting enough exercise -Unknown

- If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you; that is the principal difference between a dog and a man. -Mark Twain

- Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. -Roger Caras

- If you think dogs can't count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then give him only two of them. -Phil Pastoret