Tuesday, September 19, 2017


Saturday, March 10, 2012


As you are reading this, (God willing) I'm in Beijing. Along with a Chinese colleague on my university's faculty, I'm leading 32 students on a short-term study tour of China over Spring Break. In a breathless 10 days we'll also do Xi'an, where the famous clay warriors reside, and Shanghai, one of China's showcase cities.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

If you happen to be traveling to Victoria, Australia in the near future and are planning to stay in the Courthouse Hotel you might want to bring a hard hat or risk death. A recent news story found on the Australian version of the ABC News website tells a bizarre story about pine cones the size of watermelons that are falling from a protected tree called the bunya pine. According to the story, these pods grow to be almost 22 pounds and falling from a height of 65 feet could be lethal to an unwitting victim.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

March Madness now the real basketball season begins. Fill in your brackets, fans, and good luck.

We all lose an hour's sleep tonight (don't forget to turn those clocks ahead one hour), but it will be worth it to enjoy that extra hour of daylight in the evening. I like Daylight Savings Time.

I'm thinking, if we can get through two more weeks, this might be a winter for the record books, with the least amount of snow ever. I'm not complaining.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Government Motors has stopped production of its semi-electric Volt.

That's because sales are lagging.

So GM has laid off 1,300 workers. The basic problem is that the Volt seems to lack spark with consumers.

The car was ballyhooed by Obama and was supposed to be a game changer. It was supposed to use electricity backed by a gas engine to reach 230 miles per gallon.

With gas prices hovering at $4 a gallon and predicted to go to $5, you would think the Volt would be selling faster than cotton candy at a kindergarten convention.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

As I read the news and listen to speeches from our nations leaders it is clear that the administration is leading the country on a path to ruin. The administration has failed us with regard to energy, the economy and foreign policy. The administration's inaction on energy has driven up the price of gasoline while ensuring even higher prices in the future. A few weeks ago, the administration killed the Keystone pipeline project. That project would create tens of thousands of jobs and reduce our dependency on unstable Arabian oil by 40 percent.

Saturday, March 10, 2012



You can't fault the Tamaqua Courier for not trying to hype the old home town.

In his 1912 opinion titled "Loyalty to one's Bread and Butter," a Courier writer said the welfare and prosperity of individuals – as well as families – are tied to "our fellow citizens in the place we call home."

He said a great majority of people owe their livelihood and whatever success they've achieved to their own home town.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The other day I was driving the Interstate, sticking to the 70 mile per hour speed limit.

Cars and trucks were whizzing past me as if I were an ant inching along.

I know. People hate drivers like me who "only" do the speed limit. They call us "Granny drivers."

Actually, the only reason I was going the posted speed limit of 70 is because I annoy others when I drive slower. I liked speed when I was young but I now want to hang out in the slow lane.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

I love men. Men of a certain age, that is.

Forgive me for stereotyping. I know no stereotype holds true for everyone.

But I believe guys who grew up in the 40s and 50s have maintained manners that are charming.

When I went to buy pool chemicals, a gentleman rushed ahead of me and said, "Let me get the door for you." When I got home, lugging the jug of chemicals, my new friend, Corry said, "Let me carry that for you."

Ahhh. Chivalry. I love it. Always have, always will.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Christians are at a definite disadvantage in today's world. They can be beaten and tortured by Muslims and there is no outrage. Christian churches can be blown up or even burned with the church members locked inside and there is no outrage. They can be kidnapped and held hostage in Egypt by the Muslim military rulers of that country and there is no outrage.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

I'm proud to say, my two-year-old grandson, Sean James Urban, knows his alphabet. He can sing the alphabet song from A to Z, and then he gives me a big smile like he just accomplished something special, which he did.

His mother, a teacher, and his father, a man of words, work hard with him teaching him to communicate. So does my wife, who babysits him on days when his mother is busy teaching high school students.

A is for apple, and B is for boat.We all know the routine.