Heavy rain most of the day but that gave us the opportunity to unpack two new shipments of merchandise. Unfortunately, all the owl-shaped coffee mugs were broken in transit. The pitchers survived, however . . . Carl Kepner had an answer to yesterday's question: Who plays all those on-line games at ten in the morning? He tells me it is the unemployed . . . Had a nice visit with artist Michael Weaver of Elizabethtown this afternoon. We had not seen him for several months . . . Dan Browning is taking his first steps on the road to recovery after serious back surgery some days ago. As I recall from my own operation, that first shower after returning home from the hospital is most refreshing and projects the hope for better days ahead . . .
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Happy to learn today that the graffiti vandal has been caught. He lived in the 700 block of North Second Street and defaced many buildings in the CAN historic district . . . The turmoil of mayhem and murder on Restaurant Row has dominated conversation these last few days. I again suggest that the establishments in the area install streaming cameras so that we can see exactly what is happening on Second Street. The cameras probably won't prevent future incidents, but they might act as a deterrent in one or two cases, and that would be a blessing . . . Sometimes in the morning just before opening the store I will finish up my work on the Internet and slip over to POGO to play a quick word game or something such. I know that the American worker supposedly is more productive than in any other country, so who are these 140,000 other people who are on-line and playing games in the middle of the morning? . . .
Monday, February 27, 2012
Did Bob a disservice in yesterday's post. He was wide awake for the whole Oscar telecast and didn't once complain about the length . . . Another murder on Restaurant Row over the weekend and more muggings uptown, at least one in the middle of the day. One has to fear walking from the front door to the car these days. Where is the mayor? . . . Cecilia has been "pretty in pink" all weekend. One birthday cake after another. Uncle Bob's soft floppy rabbit was a big hit . . .
Sunday, February 26, 2012
This weekend has been devoted to celebrating Cecilia's third birthday. The big party was Saturday but we will be delivering our best wishes tomorrow evening, the official date . . . Friend Deb Hershey is celebrating a rare birthday on Wednesday. Hers is February 29 . . . Spent the afternoon enjoying Singin' in the Rain on TCM and writing orders for new merchandise. We will be rolling out quite a lot of new items in the next week or so . . . Now it is time to gather the snacks for the Oscars and listen to Bob asking Isn't this over yet? every fifteen minutes . . .
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Very windy day but that did not deter people. Bob had a busy day while I nursed my various illnesses . . . Our neighbor Betty Holmboe home safely after looping the East Coast from Harrisburg to Florida and back visiting friends. She fell in love with Savannah and spent an extra day there . . . Our friend Russ Harr is in Hollywood to escort the stars from backstage to the podium at the Oscars while his partner mans their local bar and a charity event to benefit the Greater Harrisburg Arts Council. Eager to hear who Russ teams up with this year. His "wards" the last two years were Tom Hanks and Barbra Streisand . . .
Friday, February 24, 2012
Rain most of the day but the shoppers came anyway . . . Reported drug bust in the 800 block of Green has all of us scurrying for info . . . Tough day for Bob since he had to help me nurse my headache and then, at the last moment, I forgot my pills so he had to make the trek back to the store to pick them up . . . Got our shipment of notes, thank you cards and journals . . .
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Another nice day. Hard to believe it is the second day without a single shopper . . . I have misplaced my keys. I am sure many of you know the frustration that goes along with that. Have looked everywhere in both houses except---could I have put them in the refrigerator when I stashed some ice tea in there? Will check out that possibility the first thing tomorrow . . . Talked with Steve Day this morning and he will be sending us another shipment of his hand-built pottery decorated with leaves. You bought out all but four pieces of the last collection he provided . . . More journals and notes are en route from Peter Pauper Press including the Merci! thank you card that features the Eiffel Tower . . .
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
We may have been forsaken by snowflakes this season but the snowdrops are ablaze throughout the region. I cannot remember when I have noticed so many. One home in Camp Hill has an entryway bit of lawn that is virtually carpeted in them. Very very pretty . . . Finally threw in the towel and called the doctor about my headaches that are not responding quickly enough to the medicine we are trying. I cannot ever remember such pain. Nurse Pam called back with an additional pill that hopefully will quell some of the hurt. Well--I read that flyer that pharmacists give you these days and one of the side effects is--yeah--headaches! Stay tuned . . . Retired kindergarten teacher Angela Lawson told me to cease marveling at JJ and Cecilia's accomplishments in school these days. Reading is a natural for youngsters at that age now. Things are a bit different from when I first entered the classroom --in 1941 . . . I am sure you have encountered some of those TV commercials touting an on-line printing service for your business. Those of us in retail have also been bombarded with junk mail flyers so I decided to check it out. Well, the site is inviting until one gets down to the fine print--the price. Take my advice and talk to Wendy and George at State Street Copy. You will find them very competent and their price more than competitive . . . The Governor wants us all to do the honorable thing and pay sales tax for items purchased on the Internet. We are expected to make an estimate on this year's tax form, I am told. Well, I wonder. My big purchase from Amazon this year was The Kid's gumball machine filled with the candies. Now, my question: Can't I consider that a food item and therefore it should be tax exempt? Just thinking out loud . . . and I just learned that Corbett has fired Gus the Groundhog from his duties promoting the state lottery. Gus should have joined the union as soon as he came on board . . .
Monday, February 20, 2012
Bright sunny day. Poked around the Camp Hill Mall but couldn't find anything to buy. Bob found something cuddly that he thought Cecilia just had to have, however . . . Sarah and Eric Battisti back from a romantic vacation in Newport, R.I. . . . We visited the kids who were full of themselves with jokes and tricks (farts are big right now) and we were impressed to learn that JJ had just read all 192 pages of a Dick and Jane book. Not bad for a five-year-old, I would say . . . and Cecilia appears to be a wiz on the IPad, but I am too dumb to know exactly what she is doing. Some kind of game, I think . . .
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Fine holiday weekend Sunday. Four-hour pain-free sleep this afternoon, the best I have had in a month . . . Thanks to Dr. Coldren and his Netflix membership we enjoyed Midnight in Paris this evening. Creative and amusing but not likely to win the Oscar . . . Bob made us a superior supper of French green beans, butter noodles and chicken drumsticks . . .
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Weird and lively early Saturday morning in the neighborhood. A young white man spent twenty minutes demanding entrance to a North Street home before the police arrived and arrested him. Was he inebriated or lost? . . . a gun was discharged into the air near the Presbyterian Apartments and the bullet entered an 18th floor apartment . . . around two or two-thirty a.m. six shots were squeezed off in Susquehanna Street between State and North. I asked a resident what he knew. "I wasn't stupid enough to stick my head out the door," was his answer . . . Two readers will be celebrating birthdays on Tuesday--Mary Ann Furedi-May and Peter Bower . . . I Googled JJ's name just for a lark today and of course got this blog as a reference a couple of times. But the surprise was from the Camp Hill School District which named JJ as one of ten in the Kindergarten Class who displayed their "Lion Pride." I will have to ask him what that means and what he had to do to get such recognition . . .
Friday, February 17, 2012
It was such a beautiful springlike morning that I risked life and limb and took a long walk through our besieged uptown neighborhood. Luckily, the stroll was without incident . . . The day was so superior that workers must have hit the road early for the long holiday weekend. We did not entertain a single client and the street was mostly empty throughout the day . . . Our congratulations to Mike Billo who today celebrates his thirteenth year of being cigarette free . . .
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Rain all day, a perfect time for paperwork and I got a lot of it done . . . Thanks to those of you who responded to my plea for an e-mail yesterday; unfortunately, you didn't have much news to report either . . . Bob corrected me when I said we didn't sell anything from the outdoor sale table. He actually sold seven VHS tapes that I was unaware of. Worked with the movie ledger this afternoon and apparently we still have a little less than 300 movies remaining. But some of them were real blockbusters and I am surprised they are still here . . . The word according to a TV report is that Dodge City Restaurant is for sale for about one million. We won't be buying, but we will be using up our gift certificates. Apparently that little TV make-over did not have a lasting effect. We haven't gone because of the change in menu that removed all of my favorites . . . Some members of a rock band called Megadeath are endorsing Santorum for president. Not sure I would want that on my resume . . . When the new cookie cutters arrived an acorn was sent mistakenly instead of the rubber ducky. Well, the ducky is now in stock and would also be a nice shape for Easter . . . Our friend Dan Browning is getting his ducks in a row because he faces major and serious surgery next week. I know what he is going through with preparations. But, like me with Bob, he has a wonderful care giver standing by in the person of Judy Robinson. We wish them both well . . .
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY! . . . Today's story on the Uptown muggings in the Pat-News generated some concern for me and my morning/evening jaunts in the neighborhood. Thanks for the inquiries. Truth is, I haven't been taking those health-benefiting walks since these attacks began. I miss them, but it really is too dangerous since, as has been pointed out, it is the elderly who are targets and I am certainly past my prime and a choice victim . . . Just realized that next Monday is a state holiday, so it is probable that we will take the day off ourselves. Will let you know in a day or two . . . Angela Lawson treated me to a cup of coffee this afternoon as we took a walk and explored part of center city. Our stop was at Agia Sophia, a coffee and dessert venue in the old Colonial Theater building at 225 Market Street. This is a non-profit concern operated by five area churches and should there be a profit, it will be shared by local charities. The brew was excellent and the setting is extraordinary; history buffs should poke their heads inside to admire the decor. especially if one remembers when this was a movie house. We wish this enterprise the best but we do wonder just how many such coffee shops the city can support. They seem to spring up (and go) every couple of months . . .
Monday, February 13, 2012
The graffiti vandal I have been complaining about finally got a major story in the newspaper today. The consensus seems to be that the villain is one or more persons acting alone and not gang related. Later in the afternoon the police department promised that it would have undercover agents on the streets in the late evening and early morning hours in an effort to find these guys. The damages seem confined for the moment in the historic CAN neighborhood . . . Saw the sinus doctor this morning (Bob calls him my head doctor) and Dr. Weigand says the pills he has prescribed should clear up the problem, but not for a week or two. Meanwhile, pains every so often. Interesting result of the hospital's scan of my skull--shows I had a broken nose when I was very young. The speculation is that someone might have dropped me or, as a toddler, I might have run into the coffee table or something similar. That had nothing to do with the current situation, however . . . Ernie Kepner called to say there was a major accident at the corner of Green and Boas around noon today but he had no other particulars . . . Bob and I caught some of the British BAFTA awards (movie "Oscars") on the BBC America channel last night. The Artist was the big winner--picture, actor, screenplay, costumes--but the laugh of the night went to Meryl Streep who, while ascending the stairs to receive Best Actress for Iron Lady, lost a shoe. This being England, there were a lot of gallant knights riding to the rescue . . .
Sunday, February 12, 2012
Saturday, February 11, 2012
We escaped the snow but the cold winds blew through and knocked the temperature down below normal. It wasn't the best day to be out, but Valentine's Day is just around the corner so things were "brisk" inside and out. Thanks to all you shoppers . . . I am sure you have seen the ads in some of the up-scale magazines, especially those touting museum products. A jigsaw puzzle map of your own neighborhood with your exact location in the shape of a house. These things are pretty pricey, so I was very happy when Dr. Bob Coldren and Jack Barnett gifted me with one at Christmas a year ago. Unfortunately, my health problems prevented me from getting around to it until just this week. It was a bit tough, surprisingly. There were several areas of the city and suburbs that I didn't realize had names--Washington Heights, for instance. Well, anyway, the task is finally completed. This one is a keeper and won't show up on my recycled jigsaw sale table, but if you would like to borrow it for a try, that we can arrange . . .
Friday, February 10, 2012
Kathy MacNett reports that it snowed while she was in London and it created havoc at the airport. We are currently awaiting an overnight snow which could delay our opening tomorrow, I suppose. We will have to see . . . Thanks to a loan from Angela Lawson, Bob is determined that we shall watch the entire Upstairs Downstairs series on DVD. That is okay by me because I did not see it on the original airing . . .
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Received this e-mail today: Kathy MacNett and Jane Woodside are back from their trip to London. They saw Michael Crawford in his last performance of The Wizard of Oz. He agreed to do the show so that his grandchildren could see him on stage! They report that the show and the food was excellent. Amazing that in six hour you can be in London non-stop from the Philadelphia airport . . . No word about the brutal weather that has been hammering London and the Continent . . . I am happy to see that many of you are checking out Matt Hall's YouTube video about Harrisburg that features The Bare Wall. (see entry two days ago). Matt has had over 375 hits on his film already . . .
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Snow for most of the day without any appreciable accumulation. Lucky for us, the weather waited until we went to the hospital and completed the scan of my head. No diagnosis yet . . . Bob suprised me with two White Castle hamburgers for lunch. They are available in the freezer section of the grocery store these days, and, just like the old original, three bites and it is gone. And, just like the original, about two hours later the taste comes back with a vengeance. I believe the last real White Castle fast food place I was in was the one opposite the train station in downtown Pittsburgh. That must have been in the late sixties . . . Harrisburg did not have any WC outlets to my knowledge, but we did have the Toddle Houses which had a similar menu . . . The cookie cutters which I mentioned a few days ago have arrived . . . I got a picture of JJ with his bottle of beer and an attractive lady which he supposedly had picked up for the night. I think this photo might have been a put-up job courtesy of his dad so I have opted not to duplicate it here . . . Otherwise: Way to go, JJ . . .
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Saw Dr. David Wiegand this morning about the sinus headaches that have plagued me for the past month. He believes at this point that the problem is an infection that can be easily cured. However, to be sure, we are having a sinus scan tomorrow. Will probably find out that the skull is empty which might explain a lot of things . . . Complained a few days back that The Bare Wall never made it to any video about Harrisburg despite our 40 years in business. Well, neighbor Matt Hall has attended to that deficiency: to see the result, please go here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cf7zdtXvhlo . . . our sincere thanks, and may this effort bring him a lot of clients and much success . . .
Monday, February 6, 2012
Our readership skyrocketed today; guess everyone wanted to know how JJ liked the game. He called Uncle Bob when he got back to town this afternoon, but we didn't find out if he got a beer or not . . . Spent the morning unpacking the new Campbell pots. Several new items, all quite desirable . . .
Sunday, February 5, 2012
Posting this at Super Bowl halftime. JJ's Giants are losing at the moment, but according to his Mom he is having a blast. Uncle Bob gave him $5 for a beer or hot dog, but we suspect that won't cover the costs of such things at this venue. Maybe a gumball, hummmm? . . . I want to note for the record the passing of Ron Buchart, who was a major player on the arts scene in Harrisburg during the '70s and '80s. He owned the Newberry Farms Art Gallery and Dinner Theater which was just off Route 83 on the way to York . . .
Saturday, February 4, 2012
Friday, February 3, 2012
Local readers will know about a shooting this afternoon at the Farm Show complex that caused a lock-down. No one could enter, those inside could not leave. Two Connecticut women there for the opening of an exhibition found themselves outside, so they checked TripAdvisor and learned about The Bare Wall. Bob was happy to entertain them and to bag their purchases . . . Wanted to remind you bakers that we still have a couple of seasonal cookie cutters--a heart for Valentine's Day and a shamrock for St. Pat's. Today I ordered more cutters: a bunny with big ears, a sitting rabbit, a frog, a star and, ooh-la-la, the Eiffel Tower. All sell for $3.75 each . . .
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Visited our new barbershop in the neighborhood and allowed Bryant to do the cut he wanted. I have hair shorter than I have had in years and I think I like it. Haircuts cost $15 but there is a long list of discounts for various groups. As a senior citizen my cost was $8 . . . Weather turned cooler but it was still mild enough to play ball outside with The Kid. He is getting much better at catching and throwing . . . Don't know why this sudden explosion of interest in Bill Campbell pottery, but I love it and I am sure Bill does too. Calling in another large order tomorrow. There are several different pieces now in stock and others to come . . . Just a reminder to husbands and boyfriends: we have a nice selection of silk scarves, musical jewelry boxes and earrings and Valentine's Day is not that far away . . .
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
This time last year I was at the Harrisburg Hospital recovering from the exploratory surgery that would eventually result in a more radical undertaking. I find it strange that I cannot recall anything about that day but I do remember that the recovery did not go well and I was back in the emergency room a few days later. Needless to say this was also a bleak time for The Bare Wall. We were closed for two days before Bob was able to slip away from his care-giving duties to open the store for three hours per day the rest of the week . . . Today the weather was gorgeous and the public responded. Looks like I will have to place another order for Bill Campbell's pottery! Thanks a bunch to all . . . It is official: JJ is trekking out to Indianapolis for the Super Bowl game . . . Lee Spitalny e-mailed to say that she too saw The Artist but was not all that impressed; if anyone wins an Oscar it should be the dog, in her opinion . . . Dr. Coldren sent us this picture of a hellebore which is now blooming in his courtyard. Frankly, I didn't know what a hellebore was so I had to do some Googling. It is an early bloomer that winters better than most plants and sends forth its flowers so early it is sometimes called a Christmas rose or a Lenten rose although it has nothing to do with the rose family. Quite pretty in any case . . .