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Happy Mother’s Day, everybody!  If you’re a mother, grandmother, stepmother, godmother, or you often hear “you’re like a mom to me!” from someone special – this week’s column is dedicated to you.  

 

I love Erma Bombeck’s quote – “Mothers have to remember what food each child likes or dislikes, which one is allergic to penicillin and hamster fur, who gets car sick and who isn’t kidding when he stands outside the bathroom door and tells you what’s going to happen if he doesn’t get in right away. It’s tough. If they all have the same hair color they tend to run together.”  Mother's Day photo: hdwallpapersarena.com

 

Erma’s right – especially about the hair color.  When you’ve got two wildly energetic, dark-haired kids zooming by at Mach 2, it’s tough to know which one you’ve got to scold for squirting toothpaste all over the train set, or who sprinkled Kool Aid powder into the toilet to watch it mix into cool swirly colors when they flush. Or maybe that’s just in my house.

 

I have fabulous news for all of the households honoring mom this Mother’s Day.  Moms are – without a doubt – the most sentimental slobs on earth. Making the day ultra-special requires very little money, just a touch of imagination (and a lot of dry macaroni). If you’re ready to create a fabulous Mother’s Day for the special lady in your life, read on for gift ideas that have historically gone off the charts on the brag-worthy scale.

 

Noodle Necklaces – How important are these little gems?  Let’s put it this way – I’ve received bits of jewelry here & there all my life. I can generally tell you where to find the somewhat-sentimental pieces (high school rings, special earrings, etc.).  However, I can tell you with concrete clarity where my wedding & engagement rings are (left hand, 24/7), and my two noodle necklaces, circa 2007 & 2010 (in a protected, cotton lined box way in the back of my “special stuff” drawer).  Trust me, creamettes never had it so good. If the Mom in your life (of any age) doesn’t have one of these, she’s missing out on the most priceless jewelry on earth. Get to it.    Photo: Makeandtakes.com

 

Breakfast in Bed – the perfect gift from kids, and off-the-charts brag worthy to any and all that cross mom’s path later that day.  Fabulous menu choices (that don’t require an insurance adjuster coming out to the house to assess the damages) are toast with jam, cereal, fruit salad, and a big cup of coffee.  Four Seasons, schmore seasons- let’s see them make a burned piece of toast topped with strawberry jam and mayo that even comes close to your preschooler’s version.  Bon appétit!

 

Homemade Card –Store-bought cards are lovely, I grant you. I’ve received lots of them in my life.  They’re all…..somewhere.  However, all of the hand-made cards (and I do mean ALL of them), that my children wrote out carefully in crayon, with the words “I Love U Momy” (with the forgotten “m” smushed in later), are now keeping company next to some very lucky macaroni necklaces.  Dads, this means you too.  A hand-written paragraph or two, with an extra helping of well-thought out mush, is serious currency, I kid you not.  If the idea of hand-writing something puts you into a full blown panic, however, I don’t want that on my conscience.  Hitting your local dollar store for a fabulous card is perfectly acceptable as well.

 

However you decide to celebrate Mother’s Day, make it priceless with your imagination, rather than your cash.  To all the Moms out there (including mine!) that make our lives so fantastic, Happy Mother’s Day!

 

 

Kristen Hagopian is a Syndicated Radio Talk Show Host & Columnist, Consumer Reporter and Author of “Brilliant Frugal Living”.  She lives in Chester County with her husband and two kids.  “The Kristen Hagopian Show” airs on Philly’s News/Talk 1180 WFYL on Saturdays and Sundays.  You can find her online at www.BrilliantFrugalLiving.com

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Mother's Day photo: wishespoint.com

Noodle Necklace photo: makeandtakes.com




Hey everyone!Philly Pheud

 

The writers of the Philly2Philly book "A Snowball's Chance" have been selected to appear on Philly Pheud, the new game show on PHL-17 hosted by Mike Missanelli!  The show is all about Philly sports/history/culture, etc. Think of Family Feud without Richard Dawson and add a "Ph" in place of the "F" and you'll get it.

 

On Tuesday May 14th, we will be competing on the show against a group of sports writers from South Jersey. We would love everyone to come on out and be part of the show! It's taped at Play2 right next to the Chickie's & Pete's in South Philly next Tuesday, May 14th. The show starts taping at 9pm, so if you get there at 8pm, you should be fine.

 

You can click HERE on the Facebook invite link to register.

 

This is going to be LOTS of fun, so we hope to see you there!

 

 

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The following is a statement from the Law Offices of Scott Good, LLC in regards to the decision today regarding Philly2Philly.com’s domain name.

 

“Congratulations to Joe Vallee and Philly2Philly for prevailing in Round 1 against a media conglomerate. A 3-member arbitration panel concluded under applicable law that Philly2Philly is not required to transfer/cancel its domain name. This is a huge victory for the Philly2Philly team, but there is a lot of work left to do.”

 

Philly2Philly would like to thank all its staff, supporters and readers during this taxing time. We aren’t out of the woods yet, but we are going to keep fighting!

Sincerely,

Joe Vallee
Chief Executive Officer
Philly2Philly.com   

Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com

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This week, Philly2Philly had the honor of being Kyle Scott’s guest on Crossing Streams, a new series of podcasts from the founder of the award-winning local sports blog Crossing Broad.

During the discussion, Kyle chats with Joe Vallee about A Snowball’s Chance.  Among the topics discussed include the inspiration for the book, the process of putting the book together, the athletes and broadcasters who contributed, Joe’s batboy days with the Phillies as well as the possible fate of Philly2Philly. 

 

 

 

 

Kyle has been a tremendous supporter of Philly2Philly and A Snowball’s Chance, which is greatly appreciated by all of us here at the site. He’s has been saying all along what we’ve been saying about A Snowball’s Chance: You HAVE to buy this book!!  And oh yeah, it’s available now on Kindle too!

 

As long as there is a Philly2Philly, we’ll gladly wave the Crossing Broad flag.

 

You can click on the podcast below. Enjoy!


Listen to internet radio with Crossing Streams on Blog Talk Radio

 

 

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In case everyone was wondering when Daylight Savings Time was and when to move your clocks forward (remember: Fall back, Spring ahead), it’s Photo: depositphotos.comthis Sunday at 2AM.
 
Don’t forget!

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Photo: depositphotos.com



Raphael Xavier, is an award winning artist from Wilmington, Delaware who is credited for the resurrection and the growth of the Breaking community in Philadelphia from 1996 to present day. As a member of the world renown Hip Hop Dance Company, Rennie Harris Puremovement since 1998, Raphael is a Pennsylvania Fellow of the Arts in folk and traditional forms and has been funded by the Independence Foundation and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. He has been a professional breaker/dancer for the last 15 years, working in a variety of fields including music, photography and film.

Xavier’s latest project takes him behind the camera. No Bicycle Parking is a collection of abandoned bicycles from Philly-Europe ranging from 2000-2012. Xavier is premiering the photographs at the Painted Bride Art Center  March 21st and 22nd. This is the first of a two-part project. The first will be the gathering of Philadelphia stories and the second will be the book release and print display.

Philly2Philly recently talked with Xavier about the project, and how Philadelphians can actually take part in it.

Philly2Philly:  The first question here is pretty obvious: What compelled you to take on a project like this?

Raphael Xavier:  As a photographer, I wanted to find something that could make me stand out as a photographer. Every photographer I knew was good at what they did and it was because they had something that was different than the next. I wanted something that couldn’t be followed behind. I tried rocks, trees, homeless people and it was all done before. One day walking down south street in June 2000, I saw the bottom of a shopping cart chained to a pole with a bike lock. I thought was interested. Six blocks later, I noticed all kinds of kryptonite bike locks just rusted away. I eventually came across a bike with the front wheel missing that same day and I just kept looking. That was it. It became an addiction to find something that made me a different photographer, but I didn’t know it was going to be this. It just kept me looking.

P2P: How long have you been taking pictures?

RX:  I’ve been taking pictures since I was 10. A neighbor gave me an old box camera and I didn’t know what it was. Then he gave me a polaroid camera, then he gave me an instamatic with the ice cube flash (LOL).  I don’t know if he was stealing them or what. By the time I got into high school, I could take pretty good pictures. Photography was one of my classes and that was the beginning of my photography life. Quick side story...the first time I took a picture with a 35mm film camera it was a Cannon AE1. Everything was manual. When I developed the picture, the teacher looked at it and said it was something wrong with it. He developed it backwards and forwards five times and then he realized what was wrong. The pictures were too clear for someone like me to have taken (LOL).  He said he’d never seen an image as clear or in focus like the ones I’d taken. Then he told me I had an eye. And I never payed attention to it until I was in my 30’s.

P2P: Were these photos taken in the city of Philadelphia only? Or was any location fair game?

RX:  It started out in Philly. But yeah, every location became fair game. It was easy because I’m a touring dancer, so every city and state and country I’d travel to, gave me the privilege to shoot. I’d get off the plane, check in hotel, go to the theatre and rehearse, then go to the streets looking for bikes. It’s really an obsession now. I feel I have to do it. Sometimes I’m not in the area that long so my radar is on all the time.

P2P: Did you ever witness the stripping of a bike in person?

RX:  Never!  I would stay out looking until 3AM but never found anyone. I actually was accused of stealing them and was stripped searched at the train station. There were cut locks, two bikes and just me laying on the ground. It looked like a situation so they called for cops. I actually kept the camera running until one cop noticed. But I was still shooting from the hip. I have it on video and film. It will be hanging/showing in the show.



P2P:  In regards to the photos, did it come to a point where you said ‘You know what, I have enough pics to actually make a book,’ or was the book the plan all along?

RX:  The book idea was in my head two years in. I went to some publishers and had meetings with them and they said it was too local. It didn’t do anything for them. It was kind of silly. Just not interesting. It really discouraged me because I started to feel like it was silly and there wasn’t anything to it, but I just kept shooting anyway. My friends thought it was silly, too. So it hurt sometimes cause I’d finally found something as a photographer that nobody could follow behind. Partly because sometimes the bikes were gone after I shot them and also because nobody saw what I saw in the sculptures so to speak. I shot in slow shutters, so it gave them life and light. You can’t see that with the naked eye. But when I looked at everything over the last two years, I couldn’t believe I was still shooting. It took over. Now I know why.

It’s time now. I have enough for a gallery show, six books, calendars, post cards, greeting cards etc. I’m more excited about it now than I’ve ever been. Timing is everything and so is passion. I would’ve given up if I wasn’t passionate about what I do as an artist. Also, a little bit of it was to prove people/publishers wrong. And although I have way more than enough, I’m still going to shoot until I feel it’s time to stop. I’ll know when. But I’m certain that I’ve found something that could be a lifelong project because of my travels.  

P2P:  Why do you think there’s SO many abandoned bikes around the city? I’m certainly not surprised by the amount that I see.

RX:  I’m not sure why there are so many. Part of it is due to the uneducated rider who doesn’t know how to properly lock up the bike. Quick release is not only for you, but for the thief as well. You can’t just lock a bike up by the front wheel (LOL), but I don’t know why. If I could catch a thief and ask, I would. I wouldn’t tell though. I just want to know why.

I’m working on inventing a bike bag. My bag would be to protect the bike from weather and deter thieves. For one, they wouldn’t know what was under there, and two, it would take more time to get to the bike. It’s very much needed today. But the bike is a serious means of transportation that I don’t know why people would just leave it and not get it fixed. But part of the reason for getting bike stories for the book is just that; to ask those questions. See what people are thinking and have thought about when they return to the bike and find it stripped down.

P2P:  With the city's new abandoned bicycle regulations, I would imagine the timing for the launch is perfect.

RX: Yeah it’s weird. I didn’t think of it like that but like I said, timing is everything. They said they’ve been doing it for a few years, but obviously they’re not looking in the right places or spending enough time out there. You won’t find them all but I find enough of them to fuel my purpose (LOL).

One day when I do this really big, it’s going to be sort of an installation where the city streets will be in the gallery with a few of the bikes that I saw the exact same way they are in the street. That’s a big idea I know but not too far-fetched. I hope I can get them involved with the project in some way. It may be able to bring more awareness to bike theft in all major cities and universities.

P2P: You’re premiering the photographs at the Painted Bride Art Center March 21st and 22nd. Not only are you inviting bike enthusiasts to the premiere to view the book images and share their stories, but you’re also planning to re-release the book and include their stories as well?

RX:  Yes. At this point there is only a mock-up of the book. I wanted to do a book for me because that’s been something of a dream to have a book. But when I looked at the images (as it’s been over 10 years) I got tired of looking at them as they were just sitting. I needed to be refreshed myself so I thought of having somebody elses story. My story was already in the 400 images.

What are other peoples stories?  It would mean something and make the book more appealing because people could relate to the stories of others. Not just mine. It would be one-sided. So once I get the stories, I will sort them all out and put them with specific images and do another mock-up. I’m really hoping I can get it published by a company. Self publishing with something like this is too much time and money and I won’t be able to do it as well as I’d like to. I’m still on the road and performing. And I do think my touring can help sell the book. It’s a machine I don’t know and it will take time to learn it. But to answer your question, once it’s put together I will do another exhibit pushing the book and large prints of the images.

P2P: Where can people go to get more info on you and the exhibit?

RX: You can get info on Facebook, Treehugger.com, my personal website, and the Painted Bride events page.

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Several weeks ago, the Philadelphia Media Network (Digital) LLC (aka Philly.com) issued Game Time Media, LLC (aka Philly2Philly.com) a cease and desist letter in regards to operating our website. The letter claimed trademark infringement, despite Philly2Philly.com’s trademark approval by the United States Patent and Trademark Office- which would never have approved of Philly2Philly.com’s trademark if they did not see fit or saw a conflict of interest with any similar trademark.

The complaint also accuses Philly2Philly.com of registering and using our domain name in bad faith. As everybody knows who has visited Philly2Philly.com, it is a site run by the people of Philadelphia. We are not associated or financed by any organizations. The citizens of the city decide what goes on the site, which stresses the individual. Unlike other publications, anybody can be a part of Philly2Philly.com if they want to be. ANYBODY.

So, to make a long story short, the legal team of Philly.com demanded that Philly2Philly:

1. Immediately end all operations of Philly2Philly.com.

2. Immediately surrender the domain name of Philly2Philly.com over to Philadelphia Media Network.

This issue with the domain name will be settled by an administrative panel in an arbitration court. The trademark issue will be handled in a separate litigation.

With the publication and success of Philly2Philly’s recently published “A Snowball’s Chance”, the site has been getting nice exposure. We at Philly2Philly.com take great pride in having built this site from the ground up to where we stand today. Although this will be a battle, we are confident in our chances that we are indeed an original site with original thoughts and have done nothing wrong to interfere in anybody’s business practices.

In its four years in business, Philly2Philly has seen nearly two and a half million page views. If we lose, that’s all she wrote, so the support of those people who’ve stopped by over the years is greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

Joe Vallee
Chief Executive Officer
Philly2Philly.com   

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Elizabeth Taylor would have turned 81 this week – and I have to admit it, I’m a Liz junkie.  Every movie, every scandal, every husband – ask me anything about her, I’ve got the answer.  If “Liz Taylor” were a category on Jeopardy, I’d clean up.  Her movies were great, her outlandish diva ways were delicious and the more I read about her eight marriages and over-the-top scandals, the more I feel squeaky clean and superior by comparison.  What’s not to love?
Photo: blogs.villagevoice.com
Amazingly enough, despite her legendary excesses and indulgences, when compared to some of today’s Hollywood royalty, Liz truly had her act together, especially when it came to her finances. Her love life may have been in perpetual shambles, but her bank account really held up well despite the unending divorce-lawyer fees.  Examples?  Why certainly - When it comes to money-management Liz-style, try these diamonds on for size:

(1) Liz knew how to invest for the future – Elizabeth Taylor’s love affair with jewelry is legendary.  Her collection was one of the finest ever assembled, each piece lovingly collected over the decades and rarely parted with.   At the time of her death, her collection was reportedly valued at $150 million, a mere fraction of what she originally spent on it.  Unlike so many movie stars who have spend their money foolishly as soon as it gets into their hands, this diva knew how to work it – glamorously. For those of us with somewhat-lesser bank accounts who want to indulge in a little Liz bling, have some fun with the antique jewelry selections in your local thrift stores and consignment stores – it’s divine!

(2) Liz loved her real estate, owning homes lock, stock and barrel in Bel Air, Palm Springs, London and Hawaii-  The girl knew a good investment when she saw it, and better still – knew how to hold on to it.  You’d be surprised how many of today’s Hollywood royalty are living movie-paycheck to movie-paycheck. So not cool.

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(3) Liz Taylor knew how to reinvent herself when need be- When her film career began to wane, she turned her talents down new avenues – namely perfume.  If you’re at a point in your life where your earlier pursuits aren’t paying the bills, don’t hesitate to reinvent yourself to start the ball rolling on a new phase of money-making.   If Liz can do it, so can you!

(4) Liz made it a point to invest her money, time and talents in worthwhile charities-  She was famous for her HIV/AIDS humanitarian work, and was honored with a special Academy Award (the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award) in 1992 for her dedication to that worthwhile cause.  If you have a special charity that’s near and dear to your heart, put all you’ve got into it as well – you might be surprised how it benefits your well-being just as much down the road.   

In short, if you’re feeling like your money-saving ways, prudent investing and charitable giving is more frugal than fabulous – think again!  Bat those eyes, throw on some bling, spritz on some perfume and keep up the great work!

Kristen Hagopian is a Syndicated Radio Talk Show Host & Columnist, Consumer Reporter and Author of “Brilliant Frugal Living”.  She lives in Chester County with her husband and two kids.  “The Kristen Hagopian Show” airs on Philly’s News/Talk 1180 WFYL on Saturdays and Sundays.  You can find her online at www.BrilliantFrugalLiving.com

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This little piggy went to the market; this little piggy stayed home; this little piggy had roast beef; and the rest of us little piggies got slop.Photo: www.courierpostonline.com

Down here on Philly Pharm, Pharmer Lurie set an offseason banquet out for all of us philly faithful with the selection of Chip Kelly as head coach of the Eagles. We all gathered day after day, rejoicing in the change of scenery; our spirits collectively anticipating delightful coaching goodies to generate hope for a brighter 2013 harvest. Pharmer Lurie and Hired-Hand Howie went about carefully crafting the banquets delights. We all watched as the crisp new cover was set over the organization's table. New smells started wafting in, heightening our anticipation. We knew the main course and we started to see the rest of the accompanying side dishes under glass coverings. But if Chip Kelly is the main dish, than the defensive coordinator is what's for dessert – we continued to salivate thinking of apple pie or ice cream sundays.

When along came Hired-Hand Howie keeping us distracted while around from behind Pharmer Lurie took his old bucket of bad choices, grabbed us by our collective necks and forced us to eat the slop that is Bill Davis. This bland dish is out-dated, soured, and full of failure. We are told this is a decent alternative to a quality dessert and are expected to swallow each and every one of the low ranked defenses that Davis engineered with a smiling spritz of “he just was a victim of bad personnel.” We are supposed to be rejoicing in the new regime but are instead subject, yet again, to bizarre choices and unappetizing selections.

Davis, a linebackers coach from the great and powerful Cleveland Browns, joins his former head coach, Pat Shurmur on Chip Kelly's coaching staff. Shurmur has an obviously less critical role than Davis, as Chip is expected to be the offensive play-caller during games. However, if Kelly's past coaching style is any indication, than Davis, on the other hand, will most likely have near-complete control over the defense. Sure, Kelly will have input but there is little doubt Davis will be the dominant defensive voice. What then does Davis bring to this staff? Out of all of the possible candidates for this job, why was Davis selected? He must have a very impressive resume to be chosen as a key cog in this up-and-coming, innovative, and even “visionary” roster of coaches.

Davis does have extensive NFL experience, a quality that the Eagles were searching for. During his 21 year NFL career, Davis has had stops on several different teams, Pittsburgh, Green Bay, Carolina, New York and Atlanta; always on the defensive side of the ball and mostly as a linebackers coach. But there are two distinct coaching stints that should be examined most closely; namely, the two attempts Davis made at being the CEO of defensive operations, a two year opportunity with San Francisco and an equally long opportunity with the Arizona Cardinals.

Davis was named the San Francisco DC back in 2005. He helped coach the 49er's to an overall record of 4-12 that year and 7-9 in 2006. In those two years, while at the San Fran defensive helm, Davis' defenses were ranked 29th and 32nd in points per game. This poor showing led to Davis being Fired after the 2006 season. Once Davis departed and San Francisco revamped its personnel, the defense markedly improved its ranking, coming in at 20th in points per game in 2007.

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Davis moved on from his disappointing tenure in San Francisco to take a linebacking coach position with Arizona in 2007. Over the next two years, he sufficiently impressed Ken Whisenhunt enough to be elevated to the Cardinals' DC job. He served in that capacity during the 2009 and 2010 seasons. In his first year as DC, the Cardinals finished the season as the NFC West Divisional Champs and won their opening round playoff match against Green Bay. The defense ranked 14th in points per game and 20th in yards per game, this would be Davis' best overall ranking in his four total years as a DC. In 2010 the Cardinals fell apart and finished the season 5-11, coming in last place in the NFC West Division and missing the playoffs. Davis' defense ranked 30th in points per game and 29th in yards per game allowed.

Davis was released from the Cardinals after the 2010 season and took his skill of coaching linebackers to Cleveland, where he spent 2011 and 2012 before Pharmer Lurie scooped him up in his bucket and presented him as something he's not to the masses of Eagles' fans waiting for offseason treats. Looking at Bill Davis' resume, he appears to be an outstanding linebacker coach, taking that speciality skill and parlaying it into a DC gig, not once but three times. Unfortunately, the NFL is littered with coaches that were put in positions that exceeded their skill level - just look at Norv Turner who is an excellent offensive coordinator but an absolute failure as head coach.

Bring in Davis as a linebacker coach for the Eagles staff, sure I can swallow that. But turn over the defense to him and the Eagles are serving swill as souffle.

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