Pennsylvania’s mechanical problems

Consider the following articles, both from the same issue newspaper….

Lancaster Your Lancaster County News Source

Test slot machines arrive Richard Williamson, director of Gaming Laboratory Operations of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, samples the play of a slot machine that his office will test and use to train staff for a variety of investigation and auditing duties. Seven machines donated by manufacturers that have applied for a license arrived in Harrisburg Tuesday.

Still no decision by county as voting machine deadline nears

Although a Dec. 31 federal mandate is fast approaching, Lancaster County officials have yet to decide on which new voting machines they will purchase.

Under the terms of the Help America Vote Act of 2002, all voting machines in the county must be accessible to the handicapped and must provide for the manual audit of returns in time for the spring 2006 primary.

The reason the county hasn’t yet picked a voting-machine model, Stehman said, is only two machines have been certified by the Pennsylvania Department of State. Only certified machines can be bought by the 67 counties in Pennsylvania.

Now, here’s my question:

How is it that in three years the Commonwealth can only certify 2 voting machines but when it comes to slots we can come up with 7 models in a matter of 6 months?

Obviously the priorities of our government are skewed away from the basic tenets of democracy (one person one vote) in favor of bait and switch ‘gambling for taxes’ swaps.

PA legislators, if you haven’t already gotten the message after the PayJacking scandal; now hear this… PACK YOUR BAGS THE FREE RIDE IS OVER.

Lititz’ multi-million dollar gem

What is going on inside the Lititz Watch Technicum?

delawareonline ¦ The News Journal ¦ Watchmakers learn old-fashioned discipline

In the United States, the number of watchmaking schools is also growing, although the number of watchmakers they produce is relatively small. There are now 12 schools in the country; two have been opened in the past five years.

Part of the problem is that there is no quick and easy way to train someone in such a complex craft, watchmakers say. At the Lititz Watch Technicum, the tuition-free program lasts two years, the admissions process is highly discriminating, and the yearly graduating class is just 12 students. The unrushed precision of the training process is as crucial in schools as it is in watchmaking itself, said Herman Mayer, principal at Lititz.

In the spare, clean and quiet classrooms at Lititz, there are no shortcuts, Mayer said. Students must learn that the Swiss way — the uncompromising insistence on precision and quality — is the only way. It will be six months before the freshman class even touches a watch, and until then, they will spend their days learning the tedious process of shaping some of the tiny metal parts that make up a watch movement.

Here, the old-fashioned methods are still the best methods. Before they make their first part, they must learn to make the tool to make the part. But before that, they must learn to make the tool they will use to make the part-making tool. Eventually, the pieces will be sent to Switzerland to be graded, and their competence will be judged on their skill at machining to tolerances many times thinner than a human hair.

“You cannot allow yourself to make a mistake at one point and still have a running watch,” Mayer said. “Our only legitimate reason for existing as a profession is to be extremely quality-oriented, because nobody needs us.”

Dexterity and exacting standards are instilled from the first day, but so is an ability to think abstractly, to envision how and why a watch is malfunctioning. Students who are accepted also must prove they have the patience to tolerate working with parts barely bigger than a grain of dust.

At Lititz, the current freshman class is working to master the art of machining the stem that winds the watch. But at first, the process was more about brute force than delicate precision. “For four weeks, we filed,” student Todd Martin said. “Nothing but brass parts and stuff.”

“Before you know it, we’re making something with a hundredth of a millimeter tolerance,” said student Keaton Myrick.

They come from across the country, and while most of them are in their 20s, there are a few older students who came here from other technical professions. In the end, they will likely work for high-end watch retailers, or watch companies themselves, starting at salaries of about $40,000 a year.

Home Inspirations opens in Lititz

Lancaster Local Business : Casual Corner, with 3 stores here, to close

A new home decor shop, Home Inspirations, opened last month at 2832 Lititz Pike. Owner Pat Ditzler has previously operated a home decor business, but Home Inspirations is her first retail shop.

The store sells home accessories with a European flair, including candles, soaps, wall art, urns, lamps and chandeliers.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. The shop will also be open noon to 3 p.m. during the first three Sundays in December.

Bad news in threes & InfoBoard : Accident 11-28-05 Providence Twp.
Lititz man thrown from vehicle in crash, killed

Accident occurs at railroad tunnels on Route 272 in Providence Township.
By JOHN M. HOOBER III, New Era Staff Writer

A Lititz man died Monday night when his sport utility vehicle crashed along Route 272 at the Smithville railroad tunnels in Providence Township, Lancaster state police said.

Howard Anthony Tshudy, 27, of 8 Silver Creek Road, Lititz, was thrown from his 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee and became pinned underneath the vehicle, Trooper Joseph Harper said.

The accident happened at 8:10 p.m. along the southbound lanes of the divided highway, just south of Penny Road.

Heading south, Tshudy lost control as he rounded a left curve at the approach to the tunnels, Harper said.

The Jeep drifted onto the west berm, came back onto the highway and traveled across both southbound lanes before striking a guide rail along the east side of the highway, Harper said.

After striking the rail, the Jeep rotated counterclockwise, rolled over, but came back onto its wheels and ended in an upright position, Harper said.

Tshudy, who was not wearing a seat belt, was thrown when the vehicle rolled over. He suffered massive head injuries, said Lancaster County Deputy Coroner Janice Ballenger, who pronounced him dead at the scene at 10 p.m.

Tshudy was alone in the vehicle. Willow Street firefighters and ambulance crew members responded along with a state police accident-reconstruction team.

Tshudy was he son of Craig and Mary Ann Tshudy. He was single and lived at the family’s home located in Warwick Township just north of the Lititz boundary, his father said.

Tshudy was a Manheim Central High School graduate and worked for a small Lancaster-based construction firm, his father said. He was a fun-loving person who enjoyed playing cards and golf, the father noted.

Tshudy was probably traveling to a friend’s home in southern Lancaster County when the accident happened, the father said.

His death was the 57th traffic fatality in Lancaster County this year, compared to 51 traffic deaths at this time in 2004.

Hidden techies in town

How is it that folks like this are right in my back yard and I didn’t know… of course there are a lot of nifty things going on around here if you scratch the surface.

GForce.CRM is implemented as a standard Windows application that integrates with Groove Virtual Office 3.1 to securely share information with the people you trust, without needing any servers or other expensive infrastructure. GForce is ready to help move your organization to the next level of effective team work today.

Dicõdemy : Contact Us
100 Highlands Dr.
Suite 307
Lititz, PA 17543

Lititz sex predator gets light sentence for molesting 6 girls

Sexual abuse of of any kind is disgusting and warrants serious punishment. So how is it that in my right-wing, ultra-conservative, values-based, homogenized, home-grown, white-bread Lancaster county a perv like this gets away with anything less than a life sentence?

Lancaster News : Lititz man jailed for molesting 6 girls, is deemed ‘predator’

LANCASTER COUNTY, PA – A Lititz man wept this morning as former friends and their daughters berated him for sexually molesting six young girls over a period of several years.

The victims want justice….

“I want you to pay for what you’ve done to us,’’ a teenager who was one of the victims told Charles James Mellinger, 41, of 327 N. New St., looking at him in a Lancaster County Courtroom.

“To all of us,’’ she added.

“What you did to my daughter was reprehensible,’’ one of the girls’ fathers told Mellinger. But to assault multiple little girls, he added, “is reprehensible.’’

The guy even agrees he is a scumbag….

“What I did was despicable,’’ Mellinger told Allison, apologizing to the victims, their parents and his own family.

And then the judge comes back with the limp-noodle sentence….

When the victims and attorneys finished talking, Judge Paul K. Allison sentenced Mellinger to 2 1/2 to 5 years in state prison, plus 7 years of probation.

That works out to 5 – 10 months per girl.

Maybe we should go back to the Code of Hammurabi on this one…

If a man violate the wife (betrothed or child-wife) of another man, who has never known a man, and still lives in her father’s house, and sleep with her and be surprised, this man shall be put to death, but the wife is blameless.

Dumper from D-town

This freak originally hails from my own hometown, Doylestown, PA. I never met the guy, and I’m glad of it now. Go Eagles! Go Ashes! – Fan: I dusted mom’s ashes on field – Nov 29, 2005

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (AP) — A man arrested for running onto the field during the Philadelphia Eagles’ game against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday told police he was spreading his late mother’s ashes.

Christopher Noteboom, 44, of Tempe, Arizona, ran onto the field holding a plastic bag, leaving a cloud of fine powder behind.

As he reached the 30-yard line, he dropped to his knees, made the sign of the cross and laid down on his stomach. Security personnel reached him moments later and he offered no resistance as he was escorted from the field.

Noteboom, a native of Doylestown, said his mother died of emphysema in January 2005, shortly before the Eagles’ Super Bowl appearance.

“She never cared for any other team except the Eagles,” Noteboom told WPVI-TV after he was released from custody Monday.

“I know that the last handful of ashes I had are laying on the field, and will never be taken away. She’ll always be part of Lincoln Financial Field and of the Eagles.”

Noteboom, a bar owner in Arizona, was charged with defiant trespass. He has a hearing scheduled for December 27.

“It’s bizarre, but we have a zero tolerance for people who run on the field,” Police Inspector William Colarulo said. “We especially have a zero tolerance for people who run onto the field and dump an unknown substance in a stadium full of people.”

Eagles spokeswoman Bonnie Grant said the team has declined requests to spread ashes on the field.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Don’t mess w/ Marfan – Talk w/ a Doc

Sun Herald – 11/26/05

DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I am the guardian of a 13-year-old boy who shows signs of Marfan’s syndrome. How can I find out if he really has it? He is 6 feet tall, very thin and has long fingers and toes. — K.M.

ANSWER: Marfan’s is a genetic illness with some fairly distinctive physical features. People with the syndrome are tall and have long, thin arms and legs. Their fingers are elongated and tapered. They often have loose joints. They might have a deep depression in their breastbone, or the bone might stick out.

The dangerous changes of Marfan’s are internal. It can cause the aorta — the largest body artery — to be dilated and somewhat flimsy. The aorta can rupture when Marfan’s patients are engaged in vigorous exertion. You might recall the story of the Olympic volleyball player who lost her life during a match due to a ruptured aorta. No one had recognized that she had the syndrome. The external features can be quite subtle.

Take the boy to the family doctor. If the doctor thinks Marfan’s is a possibility, he or she can order an echocardiogram to detect any changes in the aorta. The echo can also reveal leakages in the aortic and mitral valves, two other conditions frequently found in Marfan’s.

Firefox 1.5 Release


FireFox 1.5

A Better Web Experience
Firefox 1.5 has an intuitive interface and blocks viruses, spyware, and popup ads. It delivers web pages faster than ever. And it’s easy to install and import your favorites. Packed with useful features like tabbed browsing, Live Bookmarks, and an integrated Search bar, Firefox will change the way you experience the Web, for the better.
Faster Browsing
Enjoy quick page loading as you navigate back and forward in a browsing session. Improvements to the engine that powers Firefox deliver more accurate display of complex web sites, support for new Web standards, and better overall performance.
Automatic Updates
The new Software Update feature makes it easy to get the latest security and feature updates to Firefox. Firefox automatically downloads these small updates in the background and prompts you when they are ready to be installed.
Tabbed Browsing
Use tabbed browsing to open multiple web pages in a single browser window, and quickly flip back and forth. Drag and drop open tabs to keep related pages together.
Improved Pop-up Blocking
Firefox’s built-in pop-up blocker has been enhanced to block more unwanted pop-up and pop-under ads.
Integrated Search
Tap into the power of the Web’s most popular search engines with the built-in Search bar, and easily add new engines.
Stronger Security
Firefox keeps you secure when you’re browsing the Web, closing the door on spyware, worms, and viruses. The Firefox community of developers and security experts works around the clock to monitor security issues and release updates to better protect you.
Clear Private Data
Protect your privacy with the new Clear Private Data tool. With a single click, you can delete all personal data, including browsing history, cookies, web form entries and passwords.
Live Bookmarks
Stay up to date with your favorite Web sites and blogs. Use Live Bookmarks that update themselves automatically with the latest content from the Web.
Firefox 1.5 delivers easier navigation for everyone, including those who are visually or motor-impaired. Firefox is now the first browser to support DHTML, which enables Web content to be read aloud – even new kinds of graphics-rich content. Users may navigate with keystrokes rather than mouse clicks, reducing the tabbing required to navigate documents such as spreadsheets. Firefox 1.5 is also the first browser to meet government requirements that software be easily accessible to users with physical impairments.
Customize Firefox
Select new button controls for your toolbars, install extensions to add new features, or change the look of your browser with themes – the way Firefox looks and works is under your control.
Next Generation Web Support
Innovative new Web applications and services deliver a richer Web experience. Support for open Web standards in Firefox ensures you can get the most out of this emerging class of Web-based tools.


Hmmm, here’s an interesting excerpt referring to the Borden shootings. Can’t say I ‘get’ the whole article, but I agree witht he basic premise….


Still, one can understand family and friends refusing to believe the cherubic 14-year-old was nothing but a victim in the squalid affair. But what excuse do the chronically incurious and uncritical media have in view of the emerging—and incriminating—evidence?

“Probably none” is how MSNBC’s Clint Van Zandt, a private investigator, evaluated Borden’s possible involvement in the murders. The sentiment was seconded by John Kasich, sitting in for Bill O’Reilly. They were not alone. Out of liberal deference to youth, and Franco Zeffirelli’s film, “Endless Love,” some members of the media even called the two “the couple.”

At the funeral, family friend Bill Bradford waxed poetic about Kara’s “ability to reach out in compassion and touch even the most unlovely people.” They’d been touched by an angel, no less. Church elder David Sheaffer assured reporters that there was no strain between Kara and the other children and that the family was supportive, refraining from any finger pointing. Acquaintance Vera Zimmerman contributed this corrosive cliché: “They were good kids … they just made some bad choices.” Oops. There was more talk of faith-dictated unconditional forgiveness.

These all-too familiar spasms of no-fault forgiveness, however, are more a distillation of the mass culture than a reflection of any real religious sensibility. If anything, they are a sign of people adrift in a moral twilight zone. In so charitably absolving and embracing alleged killers and their culprits, well-meaning clergy and flock are supplanting the power of the God whose mercy they claim to represent; evincing religious doctrinal failure; and doing injustice to the victims, to society, and, inadvertently, to the offender.

For mercy without justice is no mercy at all.