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Start Date 2008-06-04 11:41:45 |Comments 1,367 |Entries 818 |Images 2,353 |Videos 58 |Mobl 341 |

Category: tourism

09/07/09 12:08 - 63ºF - ID#49711

Those office chicks have grown!

I had lovely adventures in Tioga & Potter counties (PA) this weekend. Here are some cell phone shots - some very nice real camera photos to be posted soon.

On my way to Blossburg Thursday evening, both the sunset and moonrise were amazing.
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Hung out with Andy and Brenda (best bartender ever) at the Bear Ass Thursday night.
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At the office Friday, Kelly & I checked out the chickens they've been raising. (see hatchings & babies (e:heidi,48491) and (e:heidi,48889)) The chickens are living in deluxe chicken coops and roam around the back yard of the office with roosters as guards. Some have just started laying eggs.

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Kelly's special chick Silky
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A shot of Nisha chasing a chicken from about a month ago
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Uncle Dudley & Nisha
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A had a gig in Germania, Potter County, PA last night at the Germania Hotel, built in 1859 by some guy from Buffalo. It's been in use as a hotel/bar/restaurant ever since. A ballroom was built on in about 1900. We spent the night in the hotel and then went to Germania Old Home Day, the fire company's big fundraiser. Marci, the bar owner, told us it's a big day of drinking and gambling - bingo, pull-tab tickets, and raffles ranging from $1 to $20. The event sign said they had discontinued the $100 raffle for the 2009 event. (Map of Germania )

Germania Store. Rooms for rent. I've got some great real-camera pix.
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Tractor pull at the Germania Old Home Day
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The event poster - $5 raffle tickets are for a 46" Sony LCD tv that will first be used to show the NASCAR race live at 4:30 pm.
6:00 pm is "Pig chases for women and children" Unfortunately we had to leave before that and my real camera battery had died anyway.
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A enjoyed his hot sausage. The fresh-dug, fresh-cut french fries were really good.
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Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: school

09/01/09 11:15 - 64ºF - ID#49673

awesome new wall art

Great addition to my wall: The Income Tax Map: A bird's-eye view of federal income taxation for law students.


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Lisa, her gf and I went to Anchor Bar and I found (e:MrMike)'s license plate. I really like the Hippeau plate too - is it Eau de Hippie?

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08/31/09 10:58 - 59ºF - ID#49672

Silent Exchange

(e:terry), (e:paul) & (e:jim) @ Silent Exchange via Buffalo Rising

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Category: politics

08/26/09 12:26 - 68ºF - ID#49633

I prefer estrip debates

A Tioga County friend of mine is a reporter for the weekly newspaper and asked facebook friends for health care stories. Amid other responses, BD wrote:

American healthcare isn't perfect. No country's is, but it is by far the very best in the world. Anybody ever stop to wonder why leaders and diplomats of the world come here to be treated and not in their own "Utopian" society? Why are we even considering allowing the Federal Government to take control over something the private sector does exceptionally well? Look at medicare, medicade, social security and the VA, as an example. Nearly bankrupt. Does anybody think that when everybody is on the government option that the quality will remain the same as the demand spikes and supply drops? The government needs to reform elements like malpractice lawsuits, immigration laws, etc that drive costs up for everybody else. We have a great health care system. Not perfect. The government has yet to prove that when it assumes responsibilites previously held by the private sector it improves it. Everybody please raise their hand who would like the gov't to have greater control over you.



Someone else responded

Jason, I'd be happy to tell you all about how I can't get any decent, affordable coverage because I had the audacity to survive Cancer.



Another responded about the $800 copay she paid for a wheelchair for her very very sick daughter.

I responded:


[BD] - how exactly do you define "best"? Most expensive? Yes. Most $ lost on corporate profits? Yes. Healthiest citizens? Nope. Most measurements indicate that the US has the worst or bottom of the barrel health outcomes of any developed nation and worse than some not-so-developed nations. For example, the US has maternal death rates of 11 per 100,000 live births in 2005, but Kuwait has 4, Croatia has 4... pages 30-34. Do you know anyone on Medicare who wants to give it up? Its administrative costs are minuscule compared to private insurance. The US spends nearly 16% of GDP on heallth care with poor outcomes while the other developed countries, who are only spending 7-10%, are getting coverage for everyone with good outcomes.
See also this Johns Hopkins report on causes of out-of-control US health care spending:

Jason - I'd be happy to give you an earful! :-)



Another responded:


Health is overrated! Why doesn't anyone stand up for being sick? We live in a country that respects your right to be ill!.



BD replied back to me:

Heidi, our people may not be the healthiest people in the world and insurance companies can be a pain to deal with for our country's system is not perfect, no country's is, but the QUALITY of care provided is second to none. Our system needs some reform but the more the government controls the more liberty we lose. I want private sector solutions that the government can't provide. We should consider the health savings accounts that incentives good health and responsible behavior not more government options that disincentivize poor behavior.

Tioga County, Child Care Worker, future high schoo history teacher.



and

also.....equal access will not mean equal quality or equal supply. it's be great if it did, but it can't and it won't. quality is more important that quantitiy.



The cancer survivor wrote:

I have to say that any option, government or not, has to control costs, and stop eliminating pre-existing conditions...I don't think the private sector will ever voluntarily eliminate pre-existing conditions.



me again:

[BD], again, I'd like you to define "quality." Outcomes are a great measure of quality. We are not getting the quality of care that we deserve, or that we pay for. Are the people providing health care top notch? Absolutely - they're the best trained in the world, however, in a fee-for-service system where defensive medicine is a requirement, their education and skills are not used to the fullest advantage. Our system is not focused on prevention or good long-term management of illnesses. See
and

If we really want to "disincentivize poor behavior" then we need to change the ag policies that favor Coke over broccoli - it's only personal choice to the extent that our food market is sick. (See the documentary Food, Inc.)



And BD replied:

Heidi, I will concede. Our system sucks and we should outlaw coke, pepsi, oreos, and cigarettes. We should destroy our system and model it after Cuba and tax insurance companies out of existance. Then all of us could be equal. Equally miserable. Last message.



I just want to take a moment to appreciate the depth of the conversations we have here.
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Category: tourism

08/25/09 02:57 - 73ºF - ID#49625

another great sign


On Main Street, Mansfield, PA, 8/14/09

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08/22/09 02:58 - 67ºF - ID#49596 pmobl

thank you!

thanks to all the (e:peeps) who came out to meet lisa... we had an awesome time!
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Category: events

08/19/09 04:34 - 79ºF - ID#49577

general estrip invite

My bff Lisa and her girlfriend Miriam are coming to visit me Friday - Sunday! :-) Lisa lives in NYC now, but she used to live with me in Maryland.


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We've invited my meetup.com group to happies at Adonia's at 7pm on Friday, 8/21, and I'd like to extend a general invitation to the (e:peeps). Please come!

:-)
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08/11/09 07:11 - 80ºF - ID#49507

skatepark in the news!!!

omg I'm so excited!! I had a commitment here in Buffalo today so I couldn't go to my skatepark demo...I was sooo bummed. But the Wilkes-Barre, PA, NBC affiliate came and reported on it!

Go see the video!!!


Jill & Kelly said about 200 people attended - a phenomenal turnout. All our old fogies even showed up.

(The last time WBRE reported on anything in Blossburg was when the drunk driver killed the woman and horse riding down Main Street in 2006... so you can see why I consider this a REALLY BIG DEAL :-)


Here's one of Kelly's photos:

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Category: tourism

08/07/09 03:39 - 72ºF - ID#49479

Elements

Earth - Fire - Air (haze) - Water

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Texas Longhorns on the way to Forksville.

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A and I went camping near Worlds End State Park - we wanted to drink some beer and PA state parks don't allow alcohol so we camped at the Almost Heaven campground in Forksville, PA.

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The campground storefront had ads for live bait, the annual turtle race, lawnmower races, Kramer's Mountainside Inn, and Steve's lawn service. You can also get copies of Outdoor Life, Pennsylvania Outdoor Journal, and the Endless Mountains 2009 visitors guide.

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Nisha was really not sure she liked being outside in the dark with just a fire. She curled up at my feet and worried. She liked the tent a lot though.

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We had a beautiful campfire and A cooked - roasted peppers, grilled corn on the cob, burgers, mozzarella, tomatoes & basil, and white bean dip and spinach artichoke dip that were left over from Jill's party. We ate so much for dinner that we were too full to make s'mores!

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Nisha and I went down to the creek while A cooked breakfast (homefries, burgers and the leftover corn cut off the cob... so yummy).

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We didn't have a lot of time left to go to the state park after stuffing ourselves but we did go up this long winding road

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to the Loyalsock Canyon Vista


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See the third photo in this post for another view of the canyon. I love how the mountains weave together.

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Pretty pink flower at the vista

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A hawk we saw on the way back down the mountain (I'm so loving my new 70mm-300mm equivalent zoom lens.)

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We were almost home and we had to wait for the heavy traffic... (seriously, four vehicles in a row is heavy traffic in Tioga County).

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Category: holiday

08/06/09 11:29 - 67ºF - ID#49470

Jill turned 30

My colleague & co-conspirator Jill turned 30 on July 23. Our office manager Kelly, her husband Shane and I threw her a surprise party with about 60 guests on the Island, our community park, right next to where we're building the skatepark. We had a green & brown eco-friendly theme - potato starch utensils, cornstarch cups and natural fiber plates were compostable, the tablecloths were reusable twin bedsheets, rice paper (biodegradable) lanterns. (Mostly from Greenpartygoods.com ) She was tickled by the theme and totally surprised by the party. Kelly, Shane and 15 other people had taken her to Red Lobster on her birthday so she was really not expecting anything else. Shane persuaded her to take a walk to the Island and as she crossed the footbridge and recognized people's trucks, she thought we were all having a party without her. :-)

Jill & Shane walking up to the party. Her brother Mikey is the far background, their son Liam is on the big wheel.
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Emily, one of Kelly's triplets, with Nisha.
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Nisha, Jill & Shane's daughter Mataya, Emily and Christopher, another of the triplets. The triplets and Mataya are six. They argued over who gets to hold Nisha and kept coming to me for refereeing
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Shane's dad Bill, who can best be described as a rake and scoundrel.
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We had two big picnic tables full of food and a big sheet cake, plus Shane grilled chicken and veggie kabobs, and grilled strawberries.
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Cake & Christopher
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Liz, wife of one of Bill's nephews. I just like the picture.
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We couldn't light the beeswax candles because it was too windy but Jill & Liam pretended.
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Jill was also surprised by the bamboo flooring for our new office - lots of folks contributed for her big gift. She has been begging all of us for the flooring. She told me yesterday that it's being put in today. Can't wait to see it!

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Oddly, the pix don't really show how crowded it was. I was completely overwhelmed by the crowed and ended up skipping the library's garden party the next day.


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mike said to grandma
I'm so glad you made it safely!...

mike said to grandma
I'm so glad you made it safely!...

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OMG welcome!...

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New years resolution to top (e:strip)?...