Saturday, November 25, 2006

Thanksgiving at Central 2006

Community Thanksgiving dinner at Central Presbyterian Church, TarentumCentral Presbyterian Church served about 120 Thanksgiving meals at our Community Thanksgiving Dinner on Thursday.

This year I was not able to help with the meal, but I did bring my appetite and was not disappointed.

Once again, there was a large number of volunteers, some church members and many outside volunteers.

The VND had a nice article Friday, "Blessings of Thanksgiving", featuring the dinners at the Arnold United Methodist Church and Central Presbyterian Church of Tarentum. The Arnold church has been holding a community Thanksgiving dinner for the last 17 years.

It was gratifying to receive a "laurel" from the VND in an editoral on November 17. It was also nice to meet some new friends around the Thanksgiving tables this year.

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Heart attack and recovery

The recent break in posts to this blog was due to a heart attack I had last week.

I presented myself at the Emergency Department of the Alle-Kiski Medical Center around midnight, Tuesday night, November 7 with chest pain. They identified my problem as a heart attack, and began treatment while arranging for me to have a room at the West Penn Hospital. I arrived at West Penn a little after 2 AM on Wednesday, and was scheduled for a heart catheterization that afternoon. In the cath lab they cleared the blocked artery and installed a stent. I was discharged late in the afternoon on Saturday, November 11, and have been resting and recovering.

People keep asking me how I am feeling. What is wierd about this experience is that I feel fine; but I tire very quickly when I start into what had always been routine tasks. So I am learning to slow down, and to think of the things I need or want to do in much smaller pieces.

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The duopoly strikes again

While I was out and about today I had a conversation with an acquaintance who told me that last year she had tried to vote at the First Ward polling place in Tarentum. She was a registered voter who had registered as an independent, not selecting a party. She said that last year the people working the poll told her that she could not vote because she was neither a Republican nor a Democrat.

I was incredulous. I asked her if she was positive that she had not tried to vote in a primary. She was sure it was the November election when they had turned her away.

I encouraged her to go vote today, and to insist on her right to vote if people tried to tell her she could not.

Would you believe it, the workers at First Ward actually tried the same scam on her this year! But this time the constable came to ensure that she was permitted to vote.

I am relieved that that there was a way for law enforcement to step in and protect her right. But I am shocked to think that it was even necessary for her to have to call on assistance to be able to vote.

My mind is not made up on whether the new electronic voting machines are a boon or a bane. As long as petty local tyrants can deter registered voters from participating in the democratic process we have a long way to go to improve how we elect.

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Monday, November 06, 2006

How much chicken is there in the Lamb Vindaloo?

It was obviously a word-processing typo. The description in the menu for the Lamb Vindaloo was identical to the description for the Chicken Vindaloo: "Mildly spiced chicken ... in a hot sauce"

I had followed the recommendation of the VND's Lunch Bunch who recently reviewed the new Zaiaka Indian Restaurant.

So when the typo in the menu was pointed out to me I had to ask the waitress, "How much chicken is there in the Lamb Vindaloo?"

She struggled for a moment with how to answer the question, then gesturing with her fingers explained that it was cut into pieces about so big and that there were maybe eight of them in a serving.

I asked again, "How much CHICKEN is there really in the LAMB Vindaloo?"

She finally figured out what I was asking and acknowledged that the chicken was in the chicken vindaloo.

The Lamb Vindaloo was rather spicy, as promised. and it was completely free of free-range chicken.

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Vote positively

Election day is on the horizon. It is a privilege and a responsibility to vote for the best person for each position to be elected.

Some are dismayed at the choices presented to them. The choices seem particularly limited here in Pennsylvania, where the imagined risk of "ballot clutter" justifies rules that require third parties to obtain over 67,070 signatures on statewide nominating petitions, while the Republican and Democratic parties need only 2,000 signatures. When you face an uncluttered ballot are your choices really as limited as they seem? Not at all.

In yesterday's Valley News Dispatch, columnist Dimitri Vassilaros advocated voting for "None of the above" when you don't like the choices shown to you. I agree with his opinion that "Voting for evil does not honor the fallen. A principled vote does."

But voting a write-in ballot is a far more positive action than simply disapproving of the two lead choices. There are other choices if you want them. You may need to do some research to find out who they are, but they are there.

Only be sure you know the name of your write-in candicate before you get to the poll. (see this)

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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Tarentum Skatepark: the cure for Wolfe Park

Wolfe Park, Tarentum, PA on November 4, 2006At some time during the past week the concrete pad for the Tarentum skateboard park was poured.

Underneath all those tarps and boards, the concrete is curing. The curing process should take about 30 days.

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A positive development on the library donation front

I was pleased to read this week that Ron Misejka has reconsidered his vote against the donation from the Highlands School District to the Allegheny Valley Community Library.

Update 10:15 PM: And now today he has posted an excellent summary of the way the collaboration with the library has expanded the educational possibilities for the students of the school district. Read it!

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But I am positive God knows how to spell

Church sign in Tarentum (with church name blocked), October 31, 2006These one-line notes purportedly from God are a cute advertising tool. And I am sure that many of them provoke thought.

But when one is putting words in the mouth of the Almighty, shouldn't one take care not to make God look like a bad speller?

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