Daryl's Home Page. Since 1995
Old journal entries - January - March 2002
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HAPPY EASTER
March 31, 2002 - As promised, here are some photos I took today of the cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin in Washington D.C. -- symbols of peace. Click on a small picture to download a wallpaper-sized photo.

I'm working on a new design for my home page. This won't be a major overhaul, just an overdue tidying up. I welcome your comments on how I can make the site more enjoyable. Please e-mail me. - Daryl


WELCOME
March 29, 2002 - This weekend, I'm in Maryland to visit my family for Easter. Watch this space Sunday night for some photos of the cherry blossoms -- a springtime treat just for you, dear reader. Do check back!

I'm working on a new design for my home page. This won't be a major overhaul, just an overdue tidying up. I welcome your comments on how I can make the site more enjoyable. Please e-mail me. - Daryl


WELCOME
March 28, 2002 - So in two days, we've lost three entertainers: comedian Dudley Moore, "Mr. Television" Milton Berle, and movie director Billy Wilder. This sure seems to confirm the suspicion that celebrity deaths come in threes. If you do a Yahoo! search for "celebrity deaths", you'll find a shocking number of relevant sites. But few try to tackle this whole "threes" theory. I did find one site that tried to track trios of celebrity deaths over three years. It's a nice effort, but not very convincing.

In other news of celebrity mishaps, Lyle Lovette was trampled by a bull. Poor guy. One can't help but think about Fabio and the bird! Ha ha! It never gets old!

Watch this space for a new welcome message several times a week. Please e-mail me with your feedback. - Daryl


WELCOME
March 27, 2002 - Should I be flattered? Pennsylvania is airing TV commercials to persuade young people (such as myself) to live here. As the commercial opens, a guy about my age meets his "fairy job-mother", a scruffy fellow wearing a pink tutu and wagging a wand. The job-mother then gives a lightning tour of the wonders of Pennsylvania, including mountains, streams and skylines of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. He praises the high-tech job market and cheap apartments. "This is what you can afford out west," he says, showing his "job-son" (?) a dingy efficiency, then says "This is what you can afford here" and magically zaps to a fancy loft. Prancing in front of the PPG towers in Pittsburgh, he says "Feel that? No earthquakes!" Fair enough. But what's missing from this commercial? Well, apart from his fairy friend, the young guy in this commercial talks to no one. He has no friends! Or maybe he does, but they're probably all old, or in other states. Truth is, young people are leaving Pennsylvania in droves. Pennsylvania -- including its two big cities -- has the second-oldest population in the country, after Florida. And the population here is stagnant, growing slower than the rest of the U.S. Even with its quirks, I like Pennsylvania, and I think it's a fine place to live and work. But Carlisle (or even Harrisburg, for that matter) is a tough place to be young. Nothing wrong with that, but no commercial (or web site) will convince me otherwise. I must be part of a fickle demographic.

Watch this space for a new welcome message several times a week. Please e-mail me with your feedback. - Daryl


WELCOME
March 26, 2002 - Some folks rebuild old cars. I don't have a garage, so that's out of the question. Instead, on my day off, I rebuilt an old toaster. I found this grimy beast next to a dumpster in North Carolina. With a some oven cleaner, a little paint, and a lot of elbow grease, I fixed it up into a red-white-and-blue appliance worthy of the finest kitchens. I'll be enjoying better toast in no time. And look at the sparkle on that chrome!

Watch this space for a new welcome message several times a week. Please e-mail me with your feedback. - Daryl


WELCOME
March 25, 2002 - Product review: "Thomas' Fresh Waffles" appeared on the shelf of my grocery store last week. I can report that these are far better than frozen waffles. Which raises the question: Why did it take so long? What the heck makes waffles different enough from, say, bread, that made people think they had to be frozen? Evidently nothing. "Fresh waffles" are sold in packs of 10 alongside the English muffins. I tried the buttermilk flavor. They toast easy, stay fluffy and go down good with some maple syrup. This stuff is perfect for somebody who doesn't have (or just doesn't like to use) a waffle iron. Farewell, Eggos.

Watch this space for a new welcome message several times a week. Please e-mail me with your feedback. - Daryl


WELCOME
March 24, 2002 - On assignment, I attended the Miss Cumberland Valley beauty pageant Saturday night. I sat in the back. Like a good soldier, I did the interview and wrote the story because it was my job. I even tried to keep a good attitude. Shouldn't I respect the beauty pageant society as a well-meaning culture that is simply different from my own? Can't we allow a dozen proper young ladies to voluntarily glide across the state of the Carlisle Theatre as if they were on rails, while a panel of mostly male senior citizens eyes them up and down and fills out a scorecard for each one? Isn't this classic tradition worthy of respect? No. This is treating people like dogs, and it is wrong. Now I have no quarrels with the families who hold formality, canned community service and extreme thinness as their standards of beauty. What bothers me is when organizations celebrate this attitude on stage and on television-- and in the newspaper. And so this becomes one of the only stories to appear under my byline that I feel did a serious disservice. Just following orders.

Watch this space for a new welcome message several times a week. Please e-mail me with your feedback. - Daryl


WELCOME
March 22, 2002 - Have you noticed there isn't a Big Thing right now? You know what I mean. Something that parents line up to buy, teachers ban from schools, and opportunists hawk at high proces on eBay. Something like Ninja Turtles. Pogs. Beanie Babies. Pokemon. There's nothing like that now, not even close. That means we must be right on the cusp of something about to break through. What will it be? If you can figure it out and be in the right place at the right time, you'll be filthy rich faster than you can say "Tamagotchi".

Watch this space for a new welcome message several times a week. Please e-mail me with your feedback. - Daryl


WELCOME
March 21, 2002 - I have two sad, sad, sad songs on my computer. The first is "L.A. Song" by Beth Hart. The other is "I Ain't That Lonely Yet" by Dwight Yoakam. Do you know either of those songs? Yoakam reminds me of Chris Isaak for some reason. Hart reminds me of Sheryl Crow. Never mind that. These two songs are so melancholy, they can make a grown listener blubber like a baby. The only antidote? Something really funny. Such as the astonishing true story about Fabio and the bird. Ha ha! It never, ever, ever gets old.

Watch this space for a new welcome message several times a week. Please e-mail me with your feedback. - Daryl


HAPPY SPRING
March 20, 2002 - Wherever you are, I hope you're enjoying the equinox. Here in Earth's northern hemisphere, it means I can look forward to more sunshine than darkness each day. Our next big celestial event: daylight time begins March 31.

Today, here are a few links and some quick thoughts about them:

  • A Wall Street Journal article about how young people use the Internet in Russia. I think Macromedia Flash has serious untapped entertainment potential. Here's an example of someone using it for something cool.
  • An ironic NPR segment gently poking fun at "Miss Barstow" (requires the RealPlayer). This is an example of how national news programs often view small town life as an anomaly -- something to be seen through the eyes of an anthropologist. It's condescending and makes me feel unhappy about living in a small town. You see, I'm covering a beauty pageant Saturday ("Miss Cumberland Valley") and I am paid to do it with a straight face.
  • The Carlisle Squarecam, courtesy of The Sentinel newspaper where I work, gives you round-the-clock answers to that persistant question: Are you as square as we are?

    Watch this space for a new welcome message several times a week. Please e-mail me with your feedback. - Daryl


    WELCOME
    March 18, 2002 - Chapel Hill proves the usual rules for a university town. If you go there during spring break, as I did, it feels airy and uncrowded. The downtown area Saturday night was comfortable and pretty empty, except for high school townies and the least convincing panhandlers I've ever seen. I didn't go there to see North Carolina, but to see friends, so I can't make any real travel recommendations.

    Well, yeah I can: stay off 95. It had been a while since I went anywhere southbound on that highway. I was quite surprised at what a mess I-95 is through Virginia, between D.C. and Fredicksburg. There are some mighty elevated bridges under construction, but I'd rather be driving on them than watching them be built as I sit in traffic.

    Watch this space for a new welcome message several times a week. Please e-mail me with your feedback. - Daryl


    WELCOME
    March 15, 2002 - Springtime? Must be getting close. I'm in short sleeves, my tulip is blooming, and my car is pointed toward North Carolina. Off I go. I'll post some pictures and a report from the confederacy when I return Monday.

    Watch this space for a new welcome message several times a week. Please e-mail me with your feedback. - Daryl


    WELCOME
    March 13, 2002 - Gearing up for a long drive, I'm making a few CDs of old time radio shows. Radio drama has long been extinct, but you can still hear OTR replays late nights on some public radio stations. Or, you can find the shows on the Internet in MP3 and burn them onto CDs to play at your leisure. Sure, these shows are usually only good for one listen, but they're a perfect way to pass the time on road trips. One good source of links is this site.

    Watch this space for a new welcome message several times a week. Please e-mail me with your feedback. - Daryl


    WELCOME
    March 12, 2002 - I started to make a list the other day of people not to be trusted. Here's what I came up with: People who blame their problems on the media. People who make dire predictions based on global warming. People who offer to pay money for my poetry. People who claim a friend of theirs won a prize by forwarding an e-mail. People who proclaim that Jesus allowed them to win a professional sporting event. People who host morning radio shows on ClearChannel stations. People who declare a film "One of the year's best!" in March. People who seek government action to preserve the institution of marriage. My upstairs neighbors. People who claim to be "shocked and appalled" for any reason. I'm sure there are more. It's a scary world out there.

    Watch this space for a new welcome message several times a week. Please e-mail me with your feedback. - Daryl


    WELCOME
    March 11, 2002 - I used to drink a lot of Surge. Remember Surge? It's Coca-Cola's high-caffeine citrus drink introduced to compete with Mountain Dew. Surge is really good stuff! It's just getting impossible to find. Harrisburg used to be one of the few places left where I could buy it. No longer. Like Tab and Lemon-Lime Slice, another soft drink has fallen out of mainstream distribution. Some of these has-been beverages acquire small, devoted followings over time. In New England, you can still get Moxie, a kind of rich cola. Moxie tastes a little like Josta, that coffee-cola that Pepsi used to sell. You can find Squirt in most grocery stores, alongside RC and Orange Crush. There seem to be plenty of regional, niche soft drink makers, like Stewart's, Pennsyvania Dutch, and IBC. I think mainstream bottlers even target different parts of the country with different drinks, like Big Red in Texas and Cheerwine in the Carolinas. But good luck finding Teem anywhere. Or Crystal Pepsi. Or Surge. Somehow, the earth keeps spinning.

    You can find a list of many off-beat soft drinks at this web site.

    Watch this space for a new welcome message several times a week. Please e-mail me with your feedback. - Daryl


    WELCOME
    March 9, 2002 - I took my weekend road trip to Potter County, Pa., and hiked along the Susquehannock Trail. This is one of the few parts of Pennsylvania where you can drive for 50 miles into the woods feeling just dandy, then look down at your fuel gauge and realize you don't have enough gas to go 50 miles back. Your only hope is to find some remote outpost of a general store that happens to sell fuel. I found one at a crossroads labeled "Oleona". Regular unleaded was $1.32. I got lucky... this time.

    Click here to download some neat wallpaper, the result of me goofing around with the camera while I was hiking.

    Next weekend: North Carolina.

    Watch this space for a new welcome message several times a week. Please e-mail me with your feedback. - Daryl


    WELCOME
    March 8, 2002 - For a story this week, I sat in on a ninth grade Algebra class. On the chalkboard: y = 2x + 6. I remembered this! Six is the y-intercept. Two is the slope. I could plot it on an axis. I even remembered how to balance an equation, and little fragments of exponents and square roots seeped out from the cold storage part of my brain. I remember spending hours -- no, years! -- learning this stuff. And I haven't used any of it since I passed my final calculus exam five years ago. In fact, I truly can't even remember what calculus is. I don't mean to talk trash about math class. But I do wish I had spent that time learning about preventative auto maintenance, twentieth century world history, economics, agriculture or any of the other many critical subjects in which I am sorely ignorant.

    Watch this space for a new welcome message several times a week. Please e-mail me with your feedback. - Daryl


    WELCOME
    March 7, 2002 - I spotted a couple in the supermarket -- they were younger than me, each with multiple piercings -- criss-crossing the aisles at the same pace I was. What caught my attention was that they weren't buying groceries. They didn't even have a cart. Shoplifters? I don't think so. After a few passes, I began to realize they had come to the supermarket to carry on an important private conversation. What a creative place to seek privacy! Naturally, I tried my best to eavesdrop. In the pasta aisle, I pretended to be shopping for Prego so I could shuffle within earshot of them -- but not so close they would catch on. I think they sensed I was too close, and they continued their casual, supermarket-pace meander away. I caught only a scrap of conversation from the guy: "...said none of our shots turned out..."

    Lovers? Spies? Film students? Make up your own story.

    Watch this space for a new welcome message several times a week. Please e-mail me with your feedback. - Daryl


    WELCOME
    March 4, 2002 - Two alarming things happened recently that made me suddenly feel like a grown-up. The first thing happened as I was filling out tax forms. It was the first time I ever listed my occupation as anything other than "student". Instead, I wrote "journalist." Step aside, Peter Arnett.

    The second incident was hearing "Under the Bridge" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers playing on a classic rock station. There it was, a song that I remember hearing when it was brand new and supercool, played alongside -- ack! -- Led Zepplin and Golden Earring! I don't ever want to feel like I did that day.

    New: I just updated my clips page to include two more articles, including one that reveals the secrets of picking up a hooker at a Carlisle truck stop.

    Watch this space for a new welcome message several times a week. Please e-mail me with your feedback. - Daryl


    WELCOME

    March 2, 2002 - For my road trip this weekend, I visited Centralia, the town where the ground is on fire.

    Centralia is a remote mountain borough about mid-way between Harrisburg and Scranton. In 1962, a pit of burning garbage set fire to a coal deposit beneath the town. As smoke and gas began to fill the streets, the state offered money to all 1,100 or so Centralians and ordered them out of the town. Most of them agreed. But a handful of loyalists remained. There were 21 of them there in 2000, according to the Census. Their few surviving buildings sit on crumbling streets, separated by wide, barren lots. Incredibly, there appears to be a functioning municipal government, complete with a fire truck, an ambulance and an office labeled "Police." The fire continues to burn, and you can see white smoke wafting out of a hill from wherever you stand in town. At the main intersection, opposite an abandoned restaurant, somebody has posted a heart-shaped sign that says "We love Centralia."

    This town was apparently a big story in the 1980s, and interest picked up again thanks to Bill Bryson's popular book "A Walk in the Woods." Now, spread by word-of-mouth and the Internet, Centralia is a weird cult roadside attraction. It is also a textbook-worthy example of small-town loyalty in defiance of good sense.

    You can learn more about Centralia -- and download a folk song that puts Billy Joel's "Allentown" to shame -- through this web site. You can also visit a somewhat official site, run by the plucky folks who live in this God-forsaken town, at Centraliapa.com.

    Watch this space for a new welcome message several times a week. Please e-mail me with your feedback. - Daryl


    HAPPY NEW MONTH
    March 1, 2002 - Somebody told me once that, on the first day of a new month, it was good luck to get up on the other side of the bed than usual. But of course, I can't do that, because my apartment is so small I had to smoosh my bed against a wall. Still, there is something cool about the first day of a new month. It's a totally arbitrary measure, based on nothing natural, put in place for political reasons by some Mediterranean emperor long ago. When we flip to a new page on the calendar, a new round of artifical measurement starts again, like a mini New Years. It's chance to clear the books, think about the future and set some new goals. It's a chance to get up on the other side of the bed. Going in to work today, one of my coworkers held open the door for me and said simply "It's March." It is March! And cold, dusty February, all 28 days of it, is done. I can climb onto my rooftop and say "Hey Carlisle! It's a new month and things are going to start going my way! I'm going to grab this month and make it sing for me! I will OWN March!" But of course, I can't do that, because my apartment is on the second floor and I can't get onto the roof.

    Watch this space for a new welcome message several times a week. Please e-mail me with your feedback. - Daryl


    WELCOME
    Feb. 27, 2002 - I pine for snow. February has seen stingy skies, and our ground is thirsty. I was happy to see a few flakes blowing around this morning, but they were gone in a few minutes. A March blizzard would be sweet beyond belief.

    So here's a joke I stole: Why did the secretary of defense ban hard liquor? Because Rumsfeld many a soldier!

    My current favorite general-reference web site: Biography.com. This is one of the only sites for which I would consider paying a fee. Happily, I don't have to.

    I think the Grammy awards are as fixed as Olympic figure skating. There's too much money at stake for them not to be.

    Watch this space for a new welcome message several times a week. Please e-mail me with your feedback. - Daryl


    WELCOME
    Feb. 24, 2002 - Travel note: In New York, things just work. I took the Staten Island Ferry onto Manhattan Saturday, which is a most spectacular way to approach the city. Downtown, I waited with a suprisingly patient crowd of camera-wielding tourists to see the World Trade Center site. It's interesting to watch the city recover from this terrible wound. For the first time, I got the impression that New York's biggest concerns are public health and municipal construction -- not butt-kicking military action.

    I wandered a while, to Times Square, the Met (with my favorite museum display, the Temple of Dendur) and Wall Street. I offered to start a fan club for a band of musicians I met on their way to rehersal on the subway, bought a bootleg ABBA CD from a street vendor for $5, and took lots of pictures for foreign tourists who handed me their cameras. Part of my mission Saturday was to scope out neighborhoods, to see if any of them might be worth moving to, but New York is just too big to get a grip on that sort of thing in one day. Conclusion: I still can't decide if I would enjoy living in the big city. If I had to pick one, though, New York would be it.

    Pictures:

    Watch this space for a new welcome message several times a week. Please e-mail me with your feedback. - Daryl


    WELCOME
    Feb. 22, 2002 - An idea: Mobile phones are pretty cool, and we're lucky to have them. However -- the big However -- I think they could be much, much cooler. Imagine this: When somebody looks up your number in the phone book and calls you, both your cell phone and my home phone ring at the same time. If you're at home, pick up the home phone and it's just a regular call. No need to pay airtime or tax the country's crowded cell phone network. If you're away from home, you can still get the call on your cell phone, without having give someone your second phone number. Whoever becomes the first company to let you use the same number for your local phone and your cell phone will win my business. And don't tell me it's impossible, because you know darn well it isn't.

    I'm taking a day trip to New York City Saturday. Check back Sunday for some photos and quick travel journal.

    Watch this space for a new welcome message several times a week. Please e-mail me with your feedback. - Daryl


    WELCOME
    Feb. 19, 2002 - In middle and high school back in Maryland, friends used to talk a lot about cow tipping. Here's how it went. You'd select your bovine victim and sneak up from behind, stealthily, so as not to disturb it. Then you and your buddies would give a mighty shove at the side of the beast until it toppled over with a dull thud. This would injure and upset the cow, so you would all take off running in the hopes of not getting caught. There weren't very many cows in Ellicott City, Maryland. Here, in Cumberland County, a place filled with both livestock and bored teenagers, I can report that cow tipping does not happen. As a friend (who raised cows) once told me, cow tipping is a myth. It exists only in the minds of suburban school children. Which means anybody who claims to have tipped a cow is a liar. So what do students here do instead? Why, they drive around at night and smash mailboxes with baseball bats, of course. After months of reviewing police logs, I've noticed that only older folks report getting their mailboxes smashed. Do teenagers single out senior citizens? Do only old-timers bother to call the police when they wake up to find their mailboxes in shambles? Or maybe only old folks live out there on the rural roads? With one mystery solved, another appears. Something to ponder over a glass of milk.

    Watch this space for a new welcome message several times a week. Please e-mail me with your feedback. - Daryl


    WELCOME
    Feb. 17, 2002 - Product review. I like Skittles by the handful. I like mints one at a time. And so we have a puzzle with the new Mars candy product in stores: Mint Skittles. I picked up a canister (yes, they're sold in canisters) of Mint Skittles on my last shopping trip for a test. These little guys are the same size and consistancy of regular Skittles candy. But instead of fruit, they are flavored with "five different spearmint tastes." Those tastes are represented in five colors: white, two shades of green and two shades of blue. My review, like Skittles themselves, is mixed. Sure, they're tasty. But are they mints or are they candy? At first, I was eating them one at a time, like Tic Tacs. Then, I started doing three or four at once. A few days later, in desparation, I finished the whole container in one Skittles binge. Ugh. Oh so minty. Oof. Buy these at your own risk.

    Watch this space for a new message several times a week. Please e-mail me with your feedback. - Daryl


    WELCOME
    Feb. 15, 2002 - Travel note. A few years ago, I was visiting State College and ended up sitting in an apartment with five or six people I didn't know. A phone was ringing. No one got up to answer it. And thus we realized that nobody in the room knew each other, and none of us actually lived in this apartment. That's what I like about State College. It's a town that's so serious about being a college town that parties simply organize themselves. Everybody knows the game and, most of the time, nobody gets hurt. You can run into friends on the street and change plans in mid-step, hit five bars in one night, ride the bus a mile to the house of somebody you know and hopefully find a place on his floor to crash. Wake up the next morning, with a few strangers around, a nature show playing on the Discovery Channel and a bus schedule in your pocket. I still go up there to visit, and now I'm an alumni, so I can tool around town without the responsibilities of work or classes. I gotta enjoy it before all my younger friends graduate.

    I hope you enjoy my web site. Feel free to e-mail me with your feedback. - Daryl


    WELCOME
    Feb. 14, 2002 - Valentines' Day? Let's just not talk about it. No love interests in my life at the moment. Or ever, for that matter. Some kind of lousy writer that makes me. Still, given the world's problems, what right do I have to complain about being a 22-year-old nice guy with a solid job and good cooking skills, but no girlfriend? 'Tis better to be lonely in Pennsylvania than, say, starving in Rwanda.

    I hope you enjoy my web site. Feel free to e-mail me with your feedback. - Daryl


    WELCOME
    Feb. 12, 2002 - It was Shrove Tuesday, and so this morning I partook in the Pennsylvania Dutch tradition of the fastnacht. What's the difference between a fastnacht and a donut? Please, I'm just the reporter. I do know that, as the Carlisle chapter of the American Red Cross does it, a fastnacht is a circle of canned biscuit dough which gets a hole punched in the middle, then is tossed to swim in a vat of hot oil for a few minutes and finally rolled in sugar while still hot and dripping. Kindly AARP ladies then put these greasy treats into brown paper bags (with stains to indicate freshness, a la Powdermilk Biscuits) and hand them out to anybody who stops by. New Orleans has Mardi Gras. Carlisle has fastnachts. Happy Lent.

    I hope you enjoy my web site. Feel free to e-mail me with your feedback. - Daryl


    WELCOME
    Feb. 6, 2002 - I read recently that Amtrak wants to cancel its money-losing cross-country train routes. At first, this seemed like a shame. But on second thought, I'd never ride across the country on a train other than for the novelty of saying I had done it. If I wanted to get there fast, I'd fly. If I wanted to have fun, I'd drive. If I wanted to save money, I'd take the bus.

    Still, trains are cool. (Well, you know, the same way stamp collecting is cool.) I live a block away from an old train station and often squint at it when I go by, imagining people around 1910 lined up on the platform to ride to Harrisburg and then on to New York, Pittsburgh or Philadelphia. I always picture them dressed nicely and carrying fancy umbrellas, although they were probably scruffy ruffians like the rest of us. A Harrisburg transit group wants to turn that station into a stop on a commuter light-rail line, although I have my doubts that will ever happen. Maybe the time just isn't right for trains.

    I hope you enjoy my web site. Feel free to e-mail me with your feedback. - Daryl


    WELCOME
    Feb. 3, 2002 - Happily, the Super Bowl game was actually good enough to make up for the year's poor crop of commercials. Instant opinions on the ads:

    Best: Yahoo!'s talking dolphin
    Worst: The Monster.com and Budwiser ads that tried to honor terrorism victims
    Most effective: What is mlife?
    Most disappointing: Volkswagon's weird, too-sophisticated, prom couple ad
    Final thoughts: Terrorism hype has no place in advertising. The eTrade chimp ad was way too self-referential. Britney's "Joy of Pepsi" ad wasn't self-referential enough. Blockbuster Video's dancing guinea pig was a nice, lightweight special effect. No beer ad on television ever shows a person actually take a drink of beer. And any anti-smoking ad paid for by a tobacco company is not to be trusted.

    I hope you enjoy my web site. Feel free to e-mail me with your feedback. - Daryl


    WELCOME
    Feb. 2, 2002 - Six more weeks of winter, baby! Bring it!

    Here's a link you might enjoy: The PennDOT Exit Renumbering Game. What is this? It's a simple way to grasp the oh-so-difficult concept of renumbering the exits on Pennsylvania's interstate highways. Plus it includes fun facts like "New Castle is known as the hot dog capital of the world" and encouraging words like "Congratulations! You made it to Scranton!"

    I hope you enjoy my web site. Feel free to e-mail me with your feedback. - Daryl


    WELCOME
    Jan. 31, 2002 - This whole "real world" job thing is getting me down. No Presidents Day vacation, no spring break, no summmer off. It's either do work or be a poor, unemployed slacker. Shouldn't there be third option? A life of crime? Inherit money from a rich uncle? Use insider knowledge to cash in on some failing energy company? Sell my name to a corporate sponsor for $10 million? Move to some sparsely populated state and get myself elected to the U.S. Senate? Start my own business based around some brilliant invention, then cash out and retire? Okay, so those are all bad options. Let me know if you have any brilliant ideas.

    I hope you enjoy my web site. Feel free to e-mail me with your feedback. - Daryl


    WELCOME
    Jan. 27, 2002 - Here's another wallpaper picture. Nothing fancy this time, but it's tough to go wrong when you stand on an overlook and take a shot into the sun. I took this one today at Pine Grove Furnace State Park, about 20 minutes south of Carlisle. Click on the small image to download a full-size JPG.

    I hope you enjoy my web site. Feel free to e-mail me with your feedback. - Daryl


    WELCOME
    Jan. 23, 2002 - I'm a little scatterbrained at the moment. Here we go: ... My brother has a new web site that's a lot of fun. Click here. ... There's a possibility this year of an all-Pennsylvania Super Bowl. ... Would you sell your own name to a corporate sponsor for $1 million? "Hello, my name is Taco Bell." How about $20 million? ... There's a great Washington Post article about pie. Click here. ... Where do you think Dick Cheney is? ... "In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards." - Mark Twain. ... So I just saw a movie where there's a writer at his typewriter, and suddenly the ceiling above him crashes down and someone falls into his apartment. And there are a bunch of actors up above him, looking down through the hole, and they say, hey, we need an actor for our play, come join us, and so he does. I keep hoping something like that will happen to me here.

    I hope you enjoy my web site. Feel free to e-mail me with your feedback. - Daryl


    WELCOME
    Jan. 21, 2002 - Happy Martin Luther King Jr. day. Some parts of Pennsylvania take this holiday more seriously that others. Up in State College this weekend, there were MLK posters up in restaurant windows. People in church talked about the civil rights. Students were really into it. Here in Carlisle, the public schools tried to hype it up and there was a small unity church service Sunday. Snow caused things to get scaled back. I think it's interesting to compare the way people react to MLK Day vs. how they react to Veterans or Memorial Day. Carlisle goes big-time for the armed forces, which they should. So many people in town have close links to military service. Fewer seem to realize how the civil rights movement may have touched them. To be sure, thousands of folks came together here a few years ago to celebrate a unity rally when the Klan tried to speak in the Carlisle Square. But then there's people like the veteran I interviewed Sunday after a showing of "Black Hawk Down". This guy was giving me his opinions of the Somalians depicted in the movie. "I wouldn't say this to him," he said, pointing to a TV reporter, "but those people are like animals." An honest assessment of the movie, but not a quote I would use in the newspaper. I didn't even write it down.

    I hope you enjoy my web site. Feel free to e-mail me with your feedback. - Daryl


    WELCOME
    Jan. 14, 2002 - Think you've got problems? I've got a CD for you: Dust Bowl Ballads sung by Woody Guthrie. I bought this disc over the weekend because it looked folksy and interesting. It has also made me appreciate the meaning of a worst-case scenario. Great Depression. Desperate farmers. And terrible, terrible weather. Sample lyric: "That old dust storm killed my family, but it can't kill me, Lord." These are among Woody Guthrie's most famous recordings, though the only familiar tune to me was Dusty Old Dust (So Long, It's Been Good to Know You). Maybe one day "talking blues" will come back in style. Or maybe we don't need them anymore.

    I hope you enjoy my web site. Feel free to e-mail me with your feedback. - Daryl


    WELCOME
    Jan. 6, 2002 - It's snowing in Carlisle. Below are some pictures I took during a walk around town this afternoon. These are sized to be used as desktop wallpaper. Just click on one of the thumbnails below to download the bigger picture.

    picture 1 picture 2 picture 3

    Also, in honor of the snow, I posted my own recipe for chocolate chip cookies. Enjoy!

    I hope you enjoy my web site. Feel free to e-mail me with your feedback. - Daryl


    WELCOME
    Jan. 5, 2002 - Updates today: Removed my old work cell phone number and added my new e-mail text messaging address (though the old address still works).

    I finally broke down this week and got Digital Cable from Comcast. This product is so good, I'm willing to lend it my endorsement. The best perk: 45 channels of digital music, and a receiver that easily connects to my stereo. Plus, I can at last watch Iron Chef on FoodTV and Prime Minister's Questions on C-SPAN. For me, this is a serious upgrade from picking up only a few very distant UHF channels.

    I hope you enjoy my web site. Feel free to e-mail me with your feedback. - Daryl


    WELCOME
    Jan. 2, 2002 - Happy New Year! In 2002, I resolve to exercise more, eat healthier, take a trip to Alaska, get a better job, buy a house and fall in love. Nah, scratch that. I just want to learn to play the harmonica.

    I read today that between 1990 and 2000, the median age in the Harrisburg-metro area went from 35.2 to 38.6. What could this mean? Are young people leaving town? Fewer old people dying? More people in their 20s waiting to have children? A different method used to calculate median ages? Or maybe nothing much changed and people simply aged over the span of 10 years?

    For context, let's compare Harrisburg's 38.6 number to median ages in some other random state-capital markets. Honolulu: 44.2, Annapolis: 37.8, Albany: 37.3, Boston: 37.0, Concord: 36.6, St. Paul: 36.3. Nearly every place reports 5 to 10 percent increases in ages. Guess it's trendy to be old.

    I hope you enjoy my web site. Feel free to e-mail me with your feedback. - Daryl


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