giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
It was eerily quiet this morning. Many folks weren't going to work, and the roads were nearly empty. I took these pictures around 9 AM:

Lots of people weren't at the office today, either. I'm still not sure if we'll be back to normal tomorrow.
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Ohhhh did we ever get hammered in Ardmore today. I wandered out later in the afternoon and took some pictures. Enjoy!

These were all taken with my Nikon D3000. I'd say the camera performed pretty well. I certainly didn't have to worry about white balancing the pics. :-)
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The organizers of First Friday Main Line in Ardmore recently approached me, knowing of my involvement in the furry fandom, and asked if any fursuiters would be interested in performing at First Friday in Ardmore on Friday October 2nd, between 7 and 10 PM. This will be a Halloween-themed First Friday Main Line, and they feel that having fursuiters around would add to the atmosphere.

The First Friday Main Line website is at According to the website, FFML is a non-profit, 501C3, community organization founded in 2006 by the area’s business and cultural leaders. The Mission of FFML is to bring Art to the Main Line community by creating opportunities to experience Art in everyday life while creating a regional spotlight for a diverse body of talented Artists, Musicians, and Performers.

They have kindly offered a secure changing room where valuables may be stored and water will be provided. If anyone needs crash space that night, please let me know.

If you're interested in attending, please RSVP with me so that I may have an accurate head count to give to the FFML organizers. Non-fursuiters are welcome to attend as well.


(X-posted to [ profile] pa_furry and [ profile] pa_furry_se)
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So, I was on my way to run an errand today, and I ended up getting a front seat to this around 5 PM:

This went down on Woodside Ave., just by the Wawa on Lancaster Ave. As best I can tell, it was only shrubbery that was burning. No other property appears to have been harmed.

The Merion Fire Company's Ardmore truck arrived on the scene shortly after I did and promptly extinguished the blaze. Woodside Ave was closed for all of about 20 minutes.

The rest of the pictures can be viewed in this slide show:

The full set can also be viewed at this link:
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From CNN:

What's even cooler is that the trolley in that pic isn't run by SEPTA nor the local government, but instead it is part of First Friday Main Line, a once/month event put on in Ardmore (and surrounding towns) by local businesses.

What's unfortunate, however, is that a substantial portion of downtown Ardmore is still legally listed as "blighted". A reminder of our crazy local government's attempted eminent domain takeover from a few years ago.

And what's strange... is where they got this "15 minutes to Philadelphia" idea. Did they even drive on the Surekill Distressway? :-)
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It seems that there are stupid criminals where I live. From news that was broken on The Save Ardmore Coalition website:

Today at 1254 hours a male entered the TD Bank, 401 W. Lancaster Ave., in Haverford, produced a demand note for money stating he had a gun. Subject obtained a sum of money from a teller and then fled the bank on foot.

Patrol officers responding to the scene determined that a dye pack with the bank money had exploded on the steps to the Haverford Train Station. A sum of money was located on the steps.

Officers responding to the area stopped a male walking alone on Montgomery Ave near Woodside Rd.

This subject had traces of dye on his arm. Two witnesses from the bank identified this male as the perpetrator of the robbery and he was arrested.

Officers at the Haverford Station located a witness who stated that the male (arrestee) was seen with another subject who got on the east bound train. At the request of police this train was stopped at the Ardmore Station. Subsequent investigation determined that a female on this train had an amount of money in her possession that was stolen during this bank robbery. She was also arrested.

So let me see if I understand their grand plan. One of them was to use a train, and a SEPTA train at that... as a getaway vehicle? That's some serious faith in SEPTA, let me tell you! They can't even get me to work on time, so I have NO idea what would have possessed this suspect to think SEPTA could get her away from a crime scene in a speedy manner.

Just give folks an idea of how short the flight path was, here's a little map that I whipped up in Google Maps:

Yes, the woman on the train made it a whole block further than the guy.

Terms like "felony stupidity" sure come to mind right now.
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
Yes, I know. I used to be such a big fanboy of PhillyCarShare. But, things changed over the last few months in a very negative way. Rates went up. And now with the sudden and unannounced closing of the Ardmore pod, there are no longer any pods within walking distance of my home.

Rather than reproduce the entire post here, I'll just point folks to where it lives on the Save Ardmore Coalition website:

It's also been pointed out to me that local real estate developers in Ardmore were selling the town as being "walkable", and how car ownership was not required. Apparently the PhillyCarShare pod was cited as an example of such. Said developers might not be too happy at hearing of PCS's quiet departure. Whoops.

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So, on Friday night we at the Save Ardmore Coalition were officially presented with our $20,000 Grant from the State of Pennsylvania:

From left to right: Ken Haskin is in the white shirt, I'm in the green shirt (with the shaved head), Scott Mahan is in the black shirt, Si Simons is in the peach colored shirt, and Sharon Eckstein is immediately to his right. It was nice of everyone to wear different colored shirts!

I have no idea why the check is dated last December. Ah, Bureaucracy.

Also, some local folks swung by:

Omnibahumut, Me, Dolph, and Uncle Kage

Yes, that's a Dolph plushie I'm holding. It's a long story. (But thanks for the hookup, [ profile] wolfspawn3!)

Oh, the Philly Phanatic stopped by too:

The Philly Phanatic

Yes, he's standing in traffic on Lancaster Ave. Fursuiters, please do not do this at the next con. :-P

If anyone would like to see the full set of my pictures, they're at:

The user Mainline Clicks also took a bunch of photos of the event:

The Ardmore VFW was also selling "social memberships", which I took advantage of and purchased one. So if of you vets out there decide to visit me, I can take you to meet other vets and drink with them. :-P
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
And by "we", I mean The Save Ardmore Coalition. The state of Pennsylvania will be giving us a $20,000 grant in just over a week. I could talk about this more, but pasting in our press release is easier. :-)

AUGUST 25, 2008


Image and video hosting by TinyPic
The Save Ardmore Coalition is pleased to announce that we are to receive a grant in the amount of $20,000 from The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on Friday, September 5th, 2008 at 6:30 p.m. in front of the Ardmore VFW in Ardmore, PA during our First Friday Main Line event with the American Troop Support Team (ATST).

This grant has been awarded to the Save Ardmore Coalition by State Representative Daylin Leach (149th PA), and is via the Department of Community and Economic Development’s Community Revitalization Program. $10,000 of this grant will be used towards a Community Mural and other streetscape beautification efforts.

State Representative Leach has be very supportive of the efforts of Save Ardmore Coalition in the community, and through this grant the Save Ardmore Coalition will be able to further its efforts as a group.

So please join State Representative Daylin Leach and members of the Save Ardmore Coalition in the shadow of the buildings in Historic Ardmore that we fought successfully to save from Eminent Domain for Private Gain. Join us as we take yet another definitive step forward into the future.

For more information on First Friday Main Line, please visit their website at
Save Ardmore Coalition P.O. Box 453 Ardmore, PA 19003
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
Tonight sure was exciting. On my way back from dinner at around 6 PM, I stumbled across the scene of what appeared to be a residential fire on Montgomery Avenue in Ardmore. From speaking to the owner of the affected home, it seems to have stemmed from an issue with his fireplace.

Montgomery Avenue was completely closed off between Woodside Ave. and Bleddyn Road:

DSC00834.JPG DSC00836.JPG DSC00842.JPG DSC00847.JPG

DSC00849.JPG DSC00850.JPG DSC00860.JPG Montgomery Ave and Woodside Ave

And if you think that firefighters rescuing kitty cats is some sort of stereotype, I wouldn't be so sure:


I'd also like to extend my thanks to the residents of 34 W Montgomery Ave, who provided temporary shelter the residents of 100 W, who were all evacuated due to the fire.

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One of my colleagues from the Save Ardmore Coalition had her article published on the Castle Coalition's website, which is the branch of The Institute for Justice that fights eminent domain abuse:

When It Comes To Eminent Domain You're Not Alone

By Carla J. Zambelli

Vice President
Save Ardmore Coalition

Eminent Domain for private gain is legal stealing, economic segregation, and more often than not, class warfare. When you receive a notice of a taking, your world turns inside out, not just upside down. At first you feel like you are in the battle completely and utterly alone. But you aren't alone. There are a lot of us out there.

I didn't set out in life to become a grassroots activist on any level, but eminent domain is an issue that, as an American, I found I simply could not ignore. Let me tell you our story in Ardmore, Pa., where eminent domain threatened a block of small businesses in a local historic business district.

Ardmore is in Lower Merion Township, which is situated in Montgomery County, Pa., just minutes outside of Philadelphia. Ardmore is your quintessential old fashioned main street-oriented town. It represents the bygone days of small town America.

One night in February 2004, my fiancé and I headed off to our typical Friday night dinner destination--Hu Nan Restaurant in Ardmore. This was a tradition started by my parents when I was a child. That night we found out that my family tradition for the past 30 years might cease to exist.

When we got to the restaurant and were seated, the proprietors, Dr. E Ni and Betty Foo were unusually subdued, and Betty was sad.

"The township sent me a letter. They want to take my business." Betty said with tears in her voice.

Betty told us about all of the businesses at risk, including Suburban Office Equipment, which has been in business since 1926, and the local VFW Post next door to Hu Nan.

The township had declared the block "blighted," and it intended to acquire these properties in a certified historic district for inclusion in a mixed-use development project to be owned by a private party. Eminent domain abuse was coming to Ardmore.

The rest of the article is here.

And yes, one of the local politicians actually had the gall to call us a "mean spirited group of individuals" for standing up for our rights. The individual was one of the 3 commissioners who, despite being on the Board for over 10 years, was voted out at the last election. :-)
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
The bridge on Anderson Ave in Ardmore, PA strikes again! I wish I would say that this is the first time I saw a truck get stuck on this particular bridge, but... it's not.

See that sign on the bridge? The one that says, "CLEARANCE 10'6""? They mean it. Especially when you're driving a 10'8" Budget truck!

Let this be a learning experience:

Anderson Ave Bridge: 1, Budget Truck: 0

More pics are available over here.
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)

The "IJ" in the poster stands for Institute for Justice. They are a public interest law firm who pursue litigation on behalf of individuals whose basic rights are denied by the government. Their "Merry Band of Litigators" helped us with abusive Eminent Domain in Ardmore, and has helped other citizens across the country with issues relating to The First Amendment, Economic Liberty, and Private Property Rights.
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My pal Scott Mahan of Suburban Office Equipment (and the Save Ardmore Coalition) made the news the other day when he was interviewed by the Philadelphia Inquirer:

There are some lovely pictures of downtown Ardmore in that video, and the buildings that make it a unique small town.

Speaking of Ardmore, on the way home today a squirrel took a very keen interest in me:


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Douglas Muth

April 2012



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