Lorie’s List for 11/22/2013

English: The current TARDIS seen at BBC TV Cen...

English: The current TARDIS seen at BBC TV Centre (Photo credit: zir.com)

This week has been full of Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Stuff. For those not familiar, Saturday, November 23, 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, the British sci-fi show that has made history. Or at least tried to rewrite it. I am not ashamed to admit that I have become very addicted to the show thanks to several family members.

In honor of this television milestone this week’s (probably) random, (rarely) newsworthy and on (nearly every) occasion strange or unique stories are Doctor Who related. Who knows, maybe you’ll find something interesting to discus during your next ride on the TARDIS.

  • Help build the TARDIS! The folks behind Doctor Who have been working over time making sure that social media has been whipped into a frenzy. This is one of the coolest. They’ve had fans using #SaveTheDay on Facebook Twitter and Instagram and then with the magic of the Time Vortex those posts and tweets are used to create a TARDIS made of points lights. For their efforts fans get sneak peaks at the anniversary special – about 10 seconds at a time, but we’ll take what we can get!
  • Timey Wimey Infographic Infographics are all the rage, but this is the Timey Wimiest of all! This shows all the travels through time by all the doctors.
  • YouTube Specials The BBC America YouTube Channel has been pumping out all kinds of special videos and hints about the 50th Anniversary Special. There are events all weekend in the UK and they’ll be adding videos. I’ve also heard that there will be some live things going on just before the world simulcast, so keep an eye out!
  • A World What? A World Simulcast of The Day of the Doctor! In an unheard of move for what’s suppose to be a kid’s television show, the 50th anniversary special is going to be simulcasted around the world. It starts at 7:50 PM in the UK. On the East coast it hits the air wave as 2:50 PM…you get the idea. I think it’s kind of a cool idea that million of fans will get to watch it at the same time! I also love the idea that I don’t have to stay off-line for hours between when it first airs in the UK and when it airs in the US.
  • 3D! That’s right the 50th Anniversary Special is in 3D and to give as many people as possible people as the opportunity to see it there will be special showing in theaters all over the place. Folks in the US can find the nearest theater here.  I’m kind of bummed that I won’t be able to get to one, but if you do come back and let me know how it was!

There are tons going on this weekend. If you’re a fan of the The Doctor you have a lot to entertain you. If you aren’t familiar there are specials and marathons running all weekend to get you hooked. Check out a little bit of history and watch a show that is sure to be one of the highest rated around the world and ruling Twitter.

If you have any ideas or if you’d like to Guest Write The List, I would love to hear from you! Send me a note here and we’ll get you on the blog!

Have a great weekend everyone! If a guy in a bluer than blue box that is ancient and new and bigger on the inside asks where you’d like to go in all of time and space, go. Don’t walk, RUN!

Veterans Day 2013


I’m blessed to come from a family filled with military service for the United States dating back to the Revolutionary War. I also met some amazing members of the military while working as a government contractor. I’ve been lucky enough to call more than a few former and active duty personnel friends. I am in awe of each one of these individuals. Their sacrifice and willingness fight for our country means more than I can put into words. Thank you for all that you do and all that you have done.

Retired elderly soldier salutes active duty soldiers carrying the US flag in a parade.

Ret. Army 1st Sgt. William Staude salutes soldiers as they march past him during the Veterans Day parade in downtown Pittsburgh, Pa., Nov. 11, 2011. The soldiers are assigned to the 316th Expeditionary Sustainment Command. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Michel Sauret

Because I’ve known so many members of the military I’ve known a lot people who waited anxiously for their loved ones to come home. Your tears don’t go unnoticed. Thank you for your sacrifice and for all that you do to keep your loved ones going.

Thank you to the Gold Star Families. Those who have lost a loved one in the line of duty. No words can ease your pain. Know you are not forgotten, you are and will forever remain in our hearts and in our prayers.

We owe so much to those who have served, and those who kept the home fires burning. Whether you served in a time of peace or war. Whether you were drafted or volunteered for service. Your bravery and sacrifice will never be forgotten. Thank you for serving.

Lorie’s List for 11/01/2013


I’ts a new month and a fresh start. I’ve come realize that there Friday Five lists are anything but unique. And since I want my lists to be at least a little memorable I thought I would change things up a little. The lists will still be on Fridays, but they won’t necessarily be made up of five items. If I find five really great items, awesome. If I only find three items I think are worth sharing one week, then that’s what you’ll see. I want to make the most of our time together because hey, I care about you!

These will still be (probably) random, (rarely) newsworthy and on (nearly every) occasion strange or unique stories, Maybe you’ll find something to share with your buddies while you’re Pumpkin Chunkin this weekend.

California Sea Lion

Pnacho’s California Cousin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Have you heard about a thief name Pancho? He’s well known by fishermen in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico for helping himself to their hard earned gains. In early October his thieving ways were caught on camera when he stole a prize fish right out of the hands of the man who caught it. Watch the video for yourself, but I don’t think he looked to guilty when was caught red-flippered. Oh, did I mention Pancho’s a sea lion?
  • Shut up and eat! A restaurant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn called Eat has started serving silent meals. As described here, the restaurant serves specials meals asking patrons to refrain not just from being on their phones, but from talking. It gives them the opportunity to focus on the experience, the food and their own thoughts. What do you think? Could you sit through a four-course meal without speaking? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
  • Touch That Baby Bump, Go to Jail! In my home state of Pennsylvania a man was recently charged with harassment for touching the belly of a pregnant woman. In the Keystone State someone can be charged with harassment when action they take has an intent to harass, annoy or alarm another person. The reaction to the charges has been mixed. Most women who’ve been pregnant and had someone just walk up and start touching their stomach seem to fall on the side of lock the guy up. I’m not saying I would charge everyone who thought they had a right to grope my belly and unborn child, but there were definitely a few creepers I would have considered calling the cops on!

    The Green Renewable Current Desk System drawing

    The Green Renewable Current Desk System drawing

  • Girl Power! A team of 9th grade girls is developing a system of connected desks that uses the nervous energy of teenagers to create electricity. The students are hoping that their design can eventually be taken to Africa to help students who don’t have access to electricity. These amazing young women have a great future ahead of them.

I hope you like the new format. If you have any ideas or if you’d like to Guest Write The List, I would love to hear from you! Send me a note here and we’ll get you on the blog!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Lorie’s Friday 5 for 10/25/2013


First, I want to thank everyone for being so understanding about last weeks post being missing. My husband is fine, we’re hopefully going to find a new vehicle this weekend and put this little deer laden adventure behind us.

Let’s kick-start the moving on….

Since it’s the spookiest time of the year I thought I would use this week’s Friday 5 to take a look at things Halloween related. These are five (probably) random, (rarely) newsworthy and on (nearly every) occasion strange or unique stories. I hope there’s at least one thing on the list you haven’t already heard about so you have something to talk about while trick-or-treating this week.

Let’s see what we can scare-up…

1. Halloween evolved from a Celtic called Samhain (pronounced “sah-win”) and who believed that the boundaries between the living and the dead overlapped and the dead would come back to cause havoc. Their festival involved large bonfires that attracted bugs, which would attract bats, another common sight in modern Halloween.

2. Haunted houses are very popular, both the kind haunted by people in costume and the kind haunted by the bodily challenged.

Freaky angry looking bunny with Amy Bruni and Kris Williams from Ghost Hunters

Scare House Bunny with a couple of TAPS Ghost Hunters

One in my “neck of the woods” has consistently been ranked one of the top in the United States. Scare House in Pittsburgh has even been voted the #1 haunt in the world by TopHaunt.com! If you like getting scared, this is a great place to go.

3. Trick-or-Treat is a huge, am I right? What kid doesn’t love running around in costumes and shaking people down for candy? Americans buy over 600 million pounds of candy each year for Halloween. No word on how much of that candy is bought and consumed by the purchaser before the trick-or-treaters even get into costume.

4. In the US superstition says that black cats are bad luck and associated with witches. In the UK white cats are considered bad luck around Halloween. The cats, reportedly, were indifferent about and then suddenly rushed out of the room.

5. Halloween just isn’t Halloween without a good ghost story. Most everyone has one. Some people like the folks at TAPS go out and make them. Some people collect them. Take the time to tell a good ghost story this Halloween and scare the pants off someone you care about.

That’s this week’s 5. If you have an idea for next week’s Friday 5, or if you would like to Guest Write the Friday 5, I would love to hear from you! Send me a note here and we’ll get you on the blog!

Have a great weekend everyone and let’s stay spooky out there!

Friday 5 for 10/04/2013


It’s time again for the Friday Five. As my regular readers know, I was a government contractor in a “previous life”. I know folks who are out of work because of the government shutdown. With no idea when their next pay check may come, life is a giant ball of anxiety for them. Then there are the programs that aren’t getting funded or staffed and the trickle down impact that’s having on people all over the country creating a whole bucket of fear and anxiety on people everywhere.

English: Sign in front on of the Minnesota His...

So instead of the usual five (probably) random, (rarely) newsworthy and on (nearly every) occasion strange or unique stories, I thought I would share five things you could do to help people who find themselves between a rock and a hard-place because of the shutdown. No matter where you stand on the politics of this thing, I don’t know any premature infants getting special formula through WIC or kids with cancer waiting to start drug trials who did anything to put themselves into the position they’re in. Maybe, just maybe, there’s something we can do to help out our fellow human beings to make things a little less scary. Maybe you’ll find something to share with your buddies at Ultimate Frisbee this weekend.

1. Donate to your local food bank! Call and ask what they need most and get that. If you can, give money so they can get fresh produce or special items. Find out if they accept things like personal hygiene or baby care items – if the shutdown continues people will need these items too. If the shutdown doesn’t continue these are the kind of items that people put below keeping a roof over their heads and food on the table. Soap, toothpaste and detergent may not seem like luxury items to most of us, but sometimes they are…It’s something to think about the next time you go to that big box store. (Side note, animal shelters are usually in need too.)

2. Donate your time! This is something even those affected by the shutdown can do – and it might even help give you something to do and keep your mind off of things for a few hours. Places like food banks might be getting busier and could probably use a hand. Animal Shelters could use people to help walk dogs. Women’s shelters, libraries, and programs impacted by the shutdown might need some volunteers. Give them a call.

3.  Take a look around and see who might need help. Do you have a neighbor who doesn’t know when they might get their next paycheck? Do you know a mom who depends on WIC to feed her kids and is scared she might not be able to feed them? A gift card to the grocery store or to Amazon could make a huge difference to them. Just don’t make a big deal about it, send it anonymously in the mail, slip it under the door, leave it on a windshield and take the opportunity to be someone’s Guardian Angel. If it’s someone you’re really close to invite them to dinner, give them some moral support and tell them everything is going to be OK (even if you’re not sure it will be) because it’ll help a lot to hear it.

4.  Donate blood. I know that isn’t necessarily a government shutdown specific item, but it’s something that is always needed. I’ve heard that there have been some blood donation collection locations that were closed because they were government sponsored, but there are still places to donate. If you can give blood, please do!

5. Finally, be kind to one another. One of the things I remember most after the terrorist attacks on 9/11 was the feeling of taking care each other that swept through the country. People were scared, but they were a little bit nicer. They held doors open for each other. They stopped to help a stranger when dropped something. Maybe that’s something we can try to do again. A lot of people are a little freaked out and being a little kinder will go a long way to making people feel better. It doesn’t cost you anything. You don’t need to take extra hours out of your day. Just be kind – hold the door open for a mom struggling with a stroller, grab the grocery cart for someone caught in the rain, help pick up what the toddler throws all over the floor at the store without giving Mom nasty looks. It’s not much but it could make a huge difference.

That’s this week’s Friday 5. I hope you found some ideas on what you can do to help make a difference during the shutdown.

If you have an idea for next week’s Friday 5, or if you would like to Guest Write the Friday 5, I would love to hear from you! Send me a note here and we’ll get you on the blog!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tell Me a Story Tuesday – Unexpected Day Off Edition


Since it seems like the only thing getting done in Washington, D.C. today is a lot of stories being told about why they aren’t to blame for the government shutdown, it seemed like a good time for Tell Me a Story Tuesday! This week’s theme? Unexpected Day Off Edition!

The Challenge: It’s simple really, share a few lines about what happened on an unexpected day off. Maybe it was when you were a kid and school was cancelled because of snow. Or when someone hit a power line on campus and all of your college classes were cancelled. Maybe it was Snowmegedon a couple of years ago and you could stay home and have a snow day with the kids. All of them are awesome and we want to hear about them.

It can be the best memory. Or the worst. Feel free to embellish if you’d like, but try to keep it plausible (I think we’ll all call shenanigans on you if you tell us you went to Saturn for the afternoon). Use the comment section below to share your story to make sure everyone can see it (if it’s posted somewhere else or if it’s long you can share a link instead).

The Rules: Yep, there are a few rules, but there aren’t many. It’s more to keep things nice and friendly like. You can read the Ground Rules here or just visit the link at the top of the page.

The Prize: Our undying love and devotion. Alright, that’s kind of lame I admit. But, if people start to share stories than we’ll see what we can do about getting some sort of prize. In the mean time you are more than welcome to say you participated in the weekly storytelling event.

So, tell me a story! And who knows…you tell me yours and I may just

PLEASE NOTE: I am in no way trying to make light of what’s going on in Washington. I spent a number of years as a government contractor and have a lot of friends who are government employees and contractors that are in a really rough spot today. But if I can give them, or you, something else to think about for a few minutes, then maybe that’s not such a bad thing.


Friday 5 for 9/27/2013


Welcome to this week’s Friday Five. It’s been a week filled with backhoes, plumbing, piles of dirt around here. I certainly hope your week has been a little quieter and a little cleaner than mine has been! Let’s try to take our minds off things shall we?

To help here are five (probably) random, (rarely) newsworthy and on (nearly every) occasion strange or unique stories. I hope there’s at least one thing on the list you haven’t already heard about so you have something to talk about on the way to the next chocoholics meeting.

1. You’ve probably heard by now that Bill Gates has admitted that the familiar Control-Alt-Delete to log-on to your Windows computer was, well, a mistake. It’s the only one he admitted to, everything else is still being referred to as a “feature.”

40 Foot Tall Rubber Duck floats into Pittsburgh, PA past bridge filled with people

40 foot tall Rubber Duck floats into Pittsburgh, PA

2. The giant rubber duck that’s been making its way around the world made its way to the United States and debuted in Pittsburgh, PA today! The artist behind the duck says that it has healing properties, I don’t know about that but it sure is it cute.

3. My daughter and I discovered the phenomenon of Bat Dad a few weeks ago, but he was everywhere this week. This Vine mastermind has created some hysterical videos, but I really do have to wonder how if his family isn’t starting to think it’s getting a little old.

Man with beard styled as a bowl and eating Ramen Noodles out of it.

Isaiah Webb is not afraid of getting food in his “Incredibeard”

4. Have you seen the guy who likes to style his beard in really unique ways? Like into a<a< span=””> title=”Beard for a bowl” href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/24/ramen-beard_n_3982332.html?utm_hp_ref=weird-news&#8221; target=”_blank”> bowl for his Ramen noodles? I guess he’s not afraid of getting a hair in his food.

5. Finally, here’s a great story about a little boy who wanted to do a a 5K with his older brother who has cerebal palsy but his mom didn’t have they money for a jogger so they could do it. Tobias decided to write a local television station asking for help locating one. He even offered to run with other children if someone would loan him one. This is an awesome little boy with a great story and an amazing ending!

That’s this week’s Friday 5. I hope you found something that lifted your spirits or put a smile on your face.

If you have an idea for next week’s Friday 5, or if you would like to Guest Write the Friday 5, I would love to hear from you! Send me a note here and we’ll get you on the blog!

Have a great weekend everyone!

All This Time and Still No Words

Wreath-laying ceremony near the site of the cr...

Wreath-laying ceremony near the site of the crash of Flight 93 on the first anniversary of its hijacking. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve started and restarted this post so many times. I think it would be hard to find anyone over the age of 16 or so here in the United States that would say that they weren’t affected by the September 11th attacks. Everyone remembers where they were, and everyone has a story. You would think that someone who loves to tell stories would be able to tell theirs. But I rarely do.

I grew-up in Somerset County, about 20 minutes from where Flight 93 came to rest. I knew a few of the first responders and a coworker lived in the debris field. I knew a lot of the television videographers and reports that spent weeks at the media camp near the crash site. My husband was one of them. So was one of our groomsmen, the reporter who helped get us together, and more friends than I care to count.

This is where, even after all this time, I can’t find the right words to tell the story. There are things that people behind the cameras see and share with those they trust that the rest of the world will never know. It changes how we see the world and how we’re affected by events like 9/11. Men and women who do their best to carry on as professionals while witnessing so much heartbreak and fear. And still, no matter how hard I try I can’t find a way to describe what it was like without it immediately becoming raw, and the feeling that it’s not entirely my story to tell.

I know it doesn’t compare to the pain of those who lost loved ones. Or the trauma experienced by survivors and first responders. But, it is very real. It happened and it was hard for the people who went through it and their families.

It’s still hard to talk about in many ways. That’s why, after all this time, I still can’t find the right words.

Blue Collar Labor Day

gautier steel mill

gautier steel mill (Photo credit: macwagen)

I come from a long line of steel mill workers, assemblers, miners and other manners of true blue collars. Generation after generation working their way through the ranks at the unions. A few became “White Hats” (supervisors) along the way. These were men and women who worked hard their whole lives. Most of them didn’t finish high school — they dropped out help support their families. They were and are tough. I cannot be prouder to continue their legacy.

Labor Day has become about the end of summer. About parties, and pools and picnics. It used to be a little more about the men and women whose blood and sweat literary built the United States. The people who died in dangerous jobs to create a better world. To remember and honor those who fought for safer work environments and to establish the laws we take for granted today.

This Labor Day I want to thank the people out there doing the tough jobs I couldn’t do. Thank you to the people fighting for workplace safety and equality and making sure the laws are followed. Thank you to anyone whoever put in a hard days work on the production line, or down in the pit, and thought that what you did didn’t matter. . .

You see, it did matter. Because if it weren’t for my mom and dad, and my aunts and uncles, and my grandmothers grandfathers, and my great-grandmothers and great-grandfathers who worked those same lines I wouldn’t have been able to go to college. I wouldn’t have been able to learn video production or to tell stories the way I do.

Thank you to everyone who helped build the United States of America figuratively and literally.

The Morning After


I’ve stayed out politics, but I have to say this. Congratulations to all of those who ran. It was a hard-fought battle and you have made the democratic process stronger by bringing your ideas and engaging in meaningful discussions – you should be proud.

The election is over and we need to move on. If your candidate didn’t win don’t sit back and complain for the next 4 years. Get out there and make a difference! Call your elected officials and tell them where you stand on issues. Get informed on the issues from the source and not the media (social or otherwise) and let your representatives know how you feel. Support organizations that believe what you believe in. Create an organization to bring the change you wanted to see in your community. It can start with you.

If you candidate won don’t sit back and cheer for the next 4 years. Get out there and make a difference! Call your elected officials and tell them where you stand on issues. Get informed on the issues from the source and not the media (social or otherwise) and let your representatives know how you feel. Support organizations that believe what you believe in. Create an organization to bring the change you wanted to see in your community. It can start with you.

Like it or not we are all in this together. Democracy is not a spectator sports my friends. Get involved and stay involved. Bitching on Facebook or Twitter doesn’t bring change in red or blue states. Working together brings change to the UNITED STATES.