Thursday, December 14, 2017

Money's Best Bank in PA

The November issue of Money Magazine has a list of "The Best Banks in Every State," compiled by Kaitlin Mulhere and Megan Leonhardt (pp. 72-82).  The bank listed for Pennsylvania is Northwest Bank.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Update on SB3

Those tracking SB3, regarding women's health, will be interested to know that it was given second consideration this evening, and is now awaiting a final vote in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.  Interesting in knowing what was said today?  Well, good luck.  The official state legislature page on the bill directs readers to today's House Journal.  If you go to the House Journal page the most recent issues of the publication available is for June 6th.  So there is no way for the citizens of the Commonwealth to know what was said in the House for the entire fall (and any session days in July or August, or late June).  (The Senate does better -- there are Senate Journals available into September, and much of the testimony is very poignant and thoughtful).

You can read the text of the bill, which focuses prohibiting abortion after 20 weeks of a pregnancy.  (It is currently 24).  A specific medical procedure is prohibited unless two physicians each separately examine the woman. The only exception listed for performing this procedure is for the prevention of the death of the woman or the substantial or irreversible impairment of a  major bodily function.  I find it interesting that liability is spelled out, with the following being exempt from liability:  the pregnant woman, the nurse, technician, secretary or receptionist who acts on a physician's order, a pharmacist or individual who fills a prescription or provides instruments or materials used in the specified medical procedure. So this seems to be aimed specifically at physicians and threatening them with a felony charge if they perform this specific procedure.

If you feel strongly about this issue please contact your Representative, and do so on Dec. 12th, as that is when the vote is likely to take place.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Holiday Shopping IV: Support Your Local Comic Shop

Geek readers take note -- support your local comic shop this holiday season.  ThinkGeek is great for replacing your Mr. Spock garden gnome if yours, like mine, has developed clay feet and broken.  For more mundane extraterrestrial, supernatural, or superheroic gift giving needs, however, make sure to visit the small businesses in your area.  Here are a few suggestions if you don't know where your comic shop is:

Amalgam Comics and Coffeehouse (2578 Frankford, Philly)
Brave New World Comics (55 N. 2nd St, Philly, and 433 Westmoreland Rd, Willow Grove)
Atomic City Comics (638 South St, Philly)
Johnny Destructo's Hero Complex (4456 Main St, Philly)
Fat Jack's Comicrypt (2006 Sansom St, Philly)

There are more options on this list of favorite comic shops in the area:

Last time I was at King of Prussia Mall there was a comic shop somewhere in the complex but I'm not sure it is still there.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Holiday Shopping III: Wild and Scenic Pennsylvania Calendar

For several years now I have bought a Wild and Scenic Pennsylvania calendar to hang on my office wall.  The pictures are beautiful shots of natural settings in our lovely Commonwealth.  It is a great way to explore the varied landscapes in PA.  I find the pictures very relaxing and inspiring.  The calendars are available online and can often be found at your local mall or bookshop.

Friday, December 08, 2017

Holiday Shopping II: Who Thought This Was a Good Idea, by Alyssa Mastromonaco

I read this early last summer.  Who Thought This Was a Good Idea, and Other Questions You Should Have the Answers to When You Work in the White House, by Alyssa Mastromonaco (Hachette, 2017) is a good read.  It is definitely not the first campaign / White House staff memoir but it is one of the few by a young woman.  Mastromonaco served as the Deputy Chief of Staff in the Obama White House and was the youngest woman to have held that position.

Young men write campaign / public service books and I have read more than a few.  They discusses personal foibles, the craziness of political life, and what they learned along the way.  But such books by young women are rare.  Mastromonaco talks about her personal foibles, the craziness of political life, and what she learned along the way; so basically the same stuff the young men write about.  Hearing it from her perspective is refreshing.  She writes about changing majors in college after her first campaign experience, working on campaigns that lost and those that won, and finding herself in the White House.  Along the way she includes stories about trying to find a bathroom while on a business outing, worrying about how her pants fit, finding time for a boyfriend, and other common to many business women. 

I really enjoyed reading this and thought a lot about buying copies for a couple of young women graduating from high school this past June.  The only thing that stopped me was the references to social drinking.  The venue through which I knew the young graduates and their parents would have made it inappropriate; now that the girls are college students I may re-think that and give them the book for Christmas.

It is definitely a great gift for young adults interested in politics or just life narratives for early professional experiences.  Mastromonaco is very forthright about her experiences, decisions (both those she regrets and those she thinks were good ideas).  It is also an interesting look at life in the White House. 

I plan on re-reading the book over the holidays myself.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Holiday Shopping I: Meg Saligman Coloring Book

Meg Saligman, the artist behind the Common Threads mural at Broad and Spring Gardens St. has created a coloring book based on her artwork.  A sample page is available as a free download on her website, .

MegaColor:  25 Years of MegaMurals, The Coloring Book, prepared by the Meg Saligman Studio, is available on Amazon and also on the shop page of her website, and is a very reasonably priced ($16.50) holiday gift for your favorite artistic friend or relative.  If you are still putting your holiday gift list together keep this unique, locally focused item in mind.