Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Central Pa. hamlets the target of Grange Fair jokester

Dennis Heggenstaller, an announcer at the Grange Fair, sent this bad boy out over the speakers recently. Here's the unedited copy:

Mattel recently announced the release of 10 limited-edition Barbie Dolls for Central PA:

1
State College Barbie
This princess Barbie is sold only at high priced, high faluttin stores. She comes with an assortment of Kate Spade Handbags, a Lexus SUV, a long-haired foreign dog named Honey, and a cookie-cutter house. Available with or without tummy tuck and face lift. Workaholic Ken sold only in conjunction with an augmented version.

2
Bellefonte Mom Barbie
The modern day homemaker Barbie is available with Ford Windstar Minivan and matching gym outfit. She gets lost easily and has no full-time occupation or secondary education. Traffic-jamming cell phone sold separately.

3
Altoona Barbie
This recently paroled Barbie comes with a 9mm handgun, a Ray Lewis knife, a Chevy with dark tinted windows, and a Meth Lab Kit. This model is only available after dark and must be paid for in cash (preferably small, untraceable bills) ...unless you are a cop, then we don't know what you are talking about.

4
Lemont Barbie
This yuppie Barbie comes with your choice of BMW convertible or Hummer H2. Included are her own Starbucks cup, credit card, and country club membership. Also available for this set are Shallow Ken and Private School Skipper. You won't be able to afford any of them.

5
Snow Shoe Barbie
This pale model comes dressed in her own Wrangler jeans two sizes too small, a NASCAR t-shirt, and Tweety Bird tattoo on her shoulder. She has a six-pack of Bud light and a Hank Williams Jr. CD set. She can spit over 5 feet and kick Mullet-Haired Ken's butt when she is drunk. Purchase her pickup truck separately and get a confederate flag bumper sticker absolutely free.

6
Marsh Creek Barbie
This tobacco-chewing, brassy-haired Barbie has a pair of her own high-heeled sandals with one broken heel from the time she chased Beer-Gut Ken out of Beech Creek Barbie's house. Her ensemble includes low-rise acid-washed jeans, fake fingernails, and a see-through halter-top. Also available with a mobile home.

7
Rails to Trails Barbie
This doll is made of actual tofu. She has long straight brown hair, archless feet, hairy armpits, no makeup, and Birkenstocks with white socks. She prefers that you call her Willow. She does not want or need a Ken doll, but if you purchase two PSU Barbies and the optional Subaru wagon, you get a rainbow flag bumper sticker for free.

8
Lock Haven Barbie
This Barbie now comes with a stroller and infant doll. Optional accessories include a GED and bus pass. Gangsta Ken and his 1979 Caddy were available, but are now very difficult to find since the addition of the infant.

9
Howard Barbie
She's perfect in every way. We don't know where Ken is because he's always hunting.

10
Penn State Barbie/Ken
This versatile doll can be easily converted from Barbie to Ken by simply adding or subtracting the multiple snap-on parts.....

Monday, August 29, 2005

E-mailers calling for gas boycott

An e-mail making the rounds is calling for a gasoline boycott on Sept. 1.

While neither endorsing nor condemning the plans, Squawker posts the e-mail here:

IT HAS BEEN CALCULATED THAT IF EVERYONE IN THE UNITED STATES DID NOT
PURCHASE A DROP OF GASOLINE FOR ONE DAY AND ALL AT THE SAME TIME, THE
OIL COMPANIES WOULD CHOKE ON THEIR STOCKPILES.


AT THE SAME TIME IT WOULD HIT THE ENTIRE INDUSTRY WITH A NET LOSS OF
OVER 4.6 BILLION DOLLARS WHICH AFFECTS THE BOTTOM LINES OF THE OIL
COMPANIES.


THEREFORE SEPTEMBER 1ST HAS BEEN FORMALLY DECLARED "STICK IT UP THEIR
@$$ " DAY AND THE PEOPLE OF THIS NATION SHOULD NOT BUY A SINGLE DROP
OF GASOLINE THAT DAY.


THE ONLY WAY THIS CAN BE DONE IS IF YOU FORWARD THIS E-MAIL TO AS
MANY PEOPLE AS YOU CAN AND AS QUICKLY AS YOU CAN TO GET THE WORD OUT.


WAITING ON THIS ADMIINSTRATION TO STEP IN AND CONTROL THE PRICES IS
NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE REDUCTION AND CONTROL IN
PRICES THAT THE ARAB NATIONS PROMISED WEEKS AGO?


REMEMBER ONE THING, NOT ONLY IS THE PRICE OF GASOLINE GOING UP BUT AT
THE SAME TIME AIRLINES ARE FORCED TO RAISE THEIR PRICES, TRUCKING
COMPANIES ARE FORCED TO RAISE THEIR PRICES WHICH EFFECTS PRICES ON
EVERYTHING THAT IS SHIPPED. THINGS LIKE FOOD, CLOTHING, BUILDING
MATERIALS, MEDICAL SUPPLIES ETC. WHO PAYS IN THE END? WE DO!


WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. IF THEY DON'T GET THE MESSAGE AFTER ONE
DAY, WE WILL DO IT AGAIN AND AGAIN.


SO DO YOUR PART AND SPREAD THE WORD. FORWARD THIS EMAIL TO EVERYONE
YOU KNOW. MARK YOUR CALENDARS AND MAKE SEPTEMBER 1ST A DAY THAT THE
CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES SAY "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH"


PLEASE FORWARD THIS ON TO EVERYONE YOU CAN!!!!

An olfactory wonderworld

City folk crow about the farm smells at the Grange Fair.

Big deal. What's not to like?

Granted, I've always been a smell person. When I was wee, my aunts thought I was crazy because I'd smell magazines, books, newspapers -- anything that piqued my odor interests.

Little has changed. Much of my fairtime joy stems from my nostrils.

There are the diesel fumes at the tractor pull, the gently musty smell that wafts down the rows of Tent City, the sweet smells in the exhibit areas.

There are smells from barbeque, smells of monkey bread and funnel cakes, hot dogs and sausages.

Exhaust spills from the amusement rides, the dust smells roll upward from the paths and roads, and the barnyard smells cover a corner of the fairgrounds.

Then again, maybe the whole smell obsession is just me.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

We Are ... No. 13!

The Princeton Review's annual best-party-school rankings are out, and Dear Old State isn't looking so hot.

It wasn't long ago that Penn State placed within the top 10 and the top 5, but this year the university has slipped to No. 13.

We don't doubt that this probably pleases Old Main.

But we also question the Princeton Review's accuracy.

It's hardly scientific.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Pro-Sheehan vigil draws attention

As of this writing, just before 1 p.m. Wednesday, nearly 80 people have noted they plan to attend a vigil this evening to support Cindy Sheehan. It begins at 7:30 at the Allen Street gates in downtown State College.

Here is organizer Rosa Eberly's recently written piece. (Full disclosure: She's also a former CDT reporter.)

For the sake of balance -- here you'll find skepticism for Sheehan's crusade, described in a pro-Bush blog as a made-for-TV drama.

Also -- Squawker extends his thanks to WRSC's Dave Shannon and Kevin Nelson for having him as a guest on yesterday's Morning News program. Callers and instant-messengers were appreciated.

CentreSquawker is a blog produced by Centre Daily Times reporter Adam Smeltz as part of CentreDaily.com, the CDT's Web site. Adam's e-mail address is asmeltz@centredaily.com.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Vigil to support anti-war mom is planned for State College

Cindy Sheehan, who has been holding an anti-war demonstration outside President Bush's Texas ranch, is getting some support from Happy Valley.

Rosa Eberly, an associate professor at Penn State and local blogger, will host a candlelight vigil at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at South Allen Street and College Avenue in State College. The goal, Eberly writes in a general invitation, is to "support Cindy Sheehan's courage and persistance in demanding that that president witness public outrage and interact with the public."

To read more, go here.

The event here will be part of a national string of vigils, newspapers have reported.

Sheehan's son was killed in Iraq and has been holding forth outside Bush's ranch for more than a week, demanding that she meet with the president as she preaches her anti-war message. Here's more press coverage.

On an unrelated note, Squawker will be a guest on WRSC's air this morning beginning about 8:40. That's 1390 AM. Your ears are welcome.

CentreSquawker is a blog produced by Centre Daily Times reporter Adam Smeltz as part of CentreDaily.com, the CDT's Web site. Adam's e-mail address is asmeltz@centredaily.com.

Monday, August 15, 2005

When smoke lingers

Like a clingy telemarketer who just won't give up, heavy smoke permeates.

It gets into your clothes, your hair, your nostrils.

It makes you feel and smell dirty, like a used matchstick.

It's an odor that no doubt is following around hundreds of central Pennsylvania firefighters and Philipsburgers who spent Saturday night and Sunday morning at the horrendous downtown fire.

If the color gray had a scent, this would be it, this smoky scourge.

You think you're rid of it, only to jump in the shower again and smell it washing from your scalp once more.

For firefighters, the intensity of the stink must be outlandish.

It's the kind of thing that doesn't let you forget what's going on, what's happened, where you were, what you saw.

At a moment like this, maybe that's not such a bad thing.

CentreSquawker is a blog produced by Centre Daily Times reporter Adam Smeltz as part of CentreDaily.com, the CDT's Web site. Adam's e-mail address is asmeltz@centredaily.com.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Technology and exhaustion: not a pleasant combination

You may notice CentreSquawker looks different this morning.

You are right.

You may notice CentreSquawker's archives has disappeared.

You are right.

See, in a state of complete exhaustion brought on by a day (and night) of just awful news for Centre County, Squawker logged on to update the blog this morning.

And instead of updating, he mistakenly deleted the blog.

Entirely.

A year's worth of blogging -- gone.

A specialized format -- deleted.

Squawker's not entirely sure how he did this, and he's pretty sure the boss won't be happy.

But Squawker's working on getting the blog back to ... well, back to something worthwhile.

Squawker apologizes and hopes your weekend is going well.

More to come -- soon!

CentreSquawker is a blog produced by Centre Daily Times reporter Adam Smeltz as part of CentreDaily.com, the CDT's Web site.

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