Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year 2013!

(Dec. 31, 2012) On this last day of 2012 I wish you all the best for the new year.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


(Dec. 20, 2012) The winter season officially begins tomorrow, the earliest winter since 1896 arriving with the solstice at 6:12 a.m. (EST).

This is the shortest day of the year—the time when the Sun reaches its southernmost point in the sky. Although this part of Earth is cooling, its great thermal mass still retains some heat from the summer and fall. As the gradual cooling process continues over the next two months, temperatures will continue to fall, and the coldest temperatures will be recorded.

Here is the Northeast, snow soon will begin to sprinkle down (or dump) onto the landscape, painting everything white. There will be a peaceful sort of silence when you walk through the woods—a muffled kind of quiet. It also means shoveling, snowblowing, dealing with bad roads, and sometimes unbearably cold temperatures.

For up-to-the-minute items about the season and more area news, check out Recorder Community Newspapers and their online blogs at Anyone interested in joining the growing group of individuals blogging here may call me at (908) 832-7420 or e-mail This 20th century communication tool is simple and free.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


(Dec.  12, 2012) Today is 12-12-12, one of those once in a lifetime dates that intrigue numbers people.

The Ancient Mayan calendar speaks of 12-12-2012 as the end of times as we know it, and the beginning of a new cycle of evolution for planet earth, humanity and the cosmos. Today it has new meaning.

Last month, just four days after Hurricane Sandy devastated the East Coast, plans for 12-12-12 – a massive benefit concert at Madison Square Garden featuring Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Kanye West, Roger Waters, Paul McCartney, Jon Bon Jovi, the Who, Billy Joel and many others – started coming together. Spearheading the effort was the same team that organized the Concert for New York City after the tragic terrorist attacks of 9/11. The benefit show will be televised live internationally starting at 7:30 tonight soliciting donations to help Sandy's victims.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Dates to remember

(Dec. 7, 2012) Today is Pearl Harbor Day, Dec. 7, the date in 1941 when Hawaii's Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Japanese killing more than 2,400 Americans. The next day President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in a speech to Congress, brought the United States into World War II and said the date "will live in infamy." Today WWII veterans, plus those killed at Pearl Harbor, are remembered for their sacrifice.

Then tomorrow is the first of the winter holidays. Hanukkah 2012 begins at sunset, Saturday, Dec. 8, and ends at sundown, Sunday, Dec. 16. This movable eight-day feast starts on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev, usually in the secular month of December. Known as the Festival of Lights, it commemorates the rededication of the Temple following its debasement by the Syrians many centuries ago. Each night of Hanukkah, which means dedication, families light one additional candle of the eight-branch menorah to symbolize the miracle of the small bit of oil which lasted eight days in the Temple. Additionally, celebrants play related games such as dreidel and sing festive Hanukkah songs.

Monday, December 3, 2012


(Dec. 3, 2012) Here we go again. What season is it? After last week's winter wonderland snow, we now have moderate temperatures in the 60s. But that's OK because it's perfect weather to get outside and pick up more of the forest debris from Superstorm Sandy. The tree man finally came over the weekend and cut up the big trees which had fallen in the front and back yards. There still is a load of sticks and branches that have to be moved into the woods. The downed trees out there will have to become part of the landscape and habitat for wild animals; there are too many to do anything about them.

Anyway, this is a sample of an individual blog which Recorder Community Newspapers invites readers to write. The process of blogging is simple and free. Anyone interested is invited to call me at (908) 832-7420 or e-mail for details.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Giving thanks

(Nov. 21, 2012) Tomorrow, Thursday, Nov. 22, is Thanksgiving Day, a national holiday for giving thanks. President Abraham Lincoln established the official observance in 1863. The annual event falls on the fourth Thursday of November.

Thanksgiving is traditionally a day for families and friends to get together for a special meal which often includes a turkey, stuffing, potatoes, cranberry sauce, gravy, pumpkin pie and vegetables. It is a time for people to give thanks for what they have. This year we in this part of New Jersey are especially thankful for a minimum loss of life due to last month's hurricane. We are grateful also for our homes, most of which escaped the fury of Superstorm Sandy despite widespread destruction of the landscape and resulting long power and telephone outages. Thanks too for the tree and electric company workers who came from all over this country to help restore our power.

Thanksgiving Day parades are held in some cities and towns on or around Thanksgiving Day. Some parades or festivities also mark the opening of the Christmas shopping season. Some people have a four-day weekend so it is a popular time for trips and to visit family and friends, making it one of the busiest travel periods in the United States.

Most government offices, businesses, schools and other organizations are closed on Thanksgiving Day. Many offices and businesses allow staff to have a four-day weekend so these offices and businesses are closed also on the Friday after Thanksgiving Day. Public transit systems do not usually operate on their regular timetables.

Check your Recorder Community Newspaper for details on holiday observances and festivities. Fifteen newspapers can be found right here online at along with their 60+ blogs with personal and community organization messages. Anyone interested in joining this group may call me at (908) 832-7420 or e-mail for information on this free communication tool.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Back in business

(Nov. 12, 2012) More than two weeks ago, at the start of Superstorm Sandy, Jack and I moved to son John's house in Chester. Our area had lots of high winds, but thankfully not much rain, so no flooding. Then before the nor'easter snowstorm, we came back home to no electricity, no phones, no Internet. We're in a dead zone for cell service too. Dozens of trees are down and tangled in power lines so we didn't expect power to be restored until this weekend. And last night, wow, everything was restored. So we're back in business.

By the way, in our neighborhood the tree workers from Ohio and the power company personnel from North Carolina, Virginia and Georgia were top-notch. A big thank you to them for coming here to help.

Our generator, which which we used conservatively because of the gas shortage, is stored back in the garage, hopefully not to come out for a long while. We still have lots of cleanup, but first two weeks' of laundry, insurance notifications, telephone messages, e-mails, etc. The weather has calmed down, actually rather pleasant and unseasonably warm.

Our prayers go out to the shore communities who faced much greater challenges and water destruction, in fact still have a long recovery ahead.

Through it all, Recorder Community Newspapers has been keeping readers abreast of what's happening in their local areas, despite power outages. In addition to Sandy's hit, Halloween was canceled, standard time resumed, Veterans Day was observed. Check out your newspaper online, including the 60-plus bloggers who share their personal stories and community bloggers who write about their organizations. Anyone interested in joining the group is invited to contact me at or (908) 832-7420.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Full moon, Sandy and Halloween

(Oct. 28, 2012) Hurricane Sandy reportedly is headed straight for New Jersey and the current full moon is making its impending impact worse. What's with Halloween? Wasn't it just this time last year when we were pummeled with an unseasonable snowstorm resulting in downed trees and extra long power outages? So this weekend, instead of children celebrating one of their favorite holidays featuring fun costumes and candy, families are bracing for another catastrophe -- many fleeing to safer ground which is what we are doing.

Check out Recorder Community Newspapers for updates on the storm, related closures and services, Halloween postponements and more.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


(Oct. 11, 2012) Today is 10-11-12, one of those fun number days that folks who enjoy numbers like to notice. Have a happy day! The next one is 12-12-12.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Columbus Day

Columbus Day, which is annually on the second Monday of October, remembers Christopher Columbus' arrival to the Americas on Oct. 12, 1492. This holiday is controversial because the European settlement in the Americas led to the demise of the history and culture of the indigenous peoples.

In some towns and cities, special church services, parades and large events are held. Most celebrations are concentrated around the Italian-American community. The celebrations in New York City and San Francisco are particularly noteworthy. In Hawaii Columbus Day is also known as Landing Day or Discoverer's Day.

Not all parts of the United States celebrate Columbus Day. It is not a public holiday in California, Nevada and Hawaii. Moreover, Native Americans’ Day is celebrated in South Dakota, while Indigenous People’s Day is celebrated in Berkeley, Calif.

Some schools and governmental agencies are closed. Check out your Recorder Community Newspaper for information on the holiday in your town.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Day of Atonement

(Sept. 24, 2012) Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, will begin at sundown tomorrow, Tuesday, Sept. 25, and continue until sundown the next day. The second of two Jewish high holy days, it falls 10 days after the first, Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. The purpose of Yom Kippur is to bring about reconciliation between people and between individuals and God. According to Jewish tradition, it is also the day when God decides the fate of each human being.

Although Yom Kippur is an intense holiday it is nevertheless viewed as a happy day. Those who observe the holiday properly will have made peace with others and with God.

Yom Kippur commemorates the day when God forgave the Jewish people for the sin of the Golden Calf. Forty days after hearing God say at Mount Sinai, “You shall not have the gods of others in My presence; you shall not make for yourself a graven image,” the Jews committed the cardinal sin of idolatry. Moses spent nearly three months on top of the mountain pleading with God for forgiveness, and on the 10th of Tishrei it was finally granted: “I have pardoned, as you have requested.”

From that moment on, this date, henceforth known as the Day of Atonement, is annually observed as a commemoration of this special relationship with God, strong enough to survive any rocky bumps it might encounter. And while it is the most solemn day of the year, Jews are also joyful, confident that God will forgive their sins and seal their verdict for a year of life, health and happiness. The day is marked by prayer, works of charity, temple services and a ceremonial meal.

For more information on the holidays of fall, check out Recorder Community Newspapers and their blogs right here online. Any individual or group representative interested in joining the growing group of Recorder bloggers is invited contact me at (908) 832-7420 or

Saturday, September 22, 2012

First day of fall

(Sept. 22, 2012) Fall for 2012 begins in the Northern Hemisphere today at 10:49 a.m. with the autumnal equinox. The word equinox comes from the Latin words for "equal night." The fall and spring equinoxes are the only days of the year in which the sun crosses the celestial equator and day and night are equal. From here on out, weather temperatures begin to drop and the days start to get shorter than the nights.

Fall brings a myriad of activities from school events to Oktoberfests and more. Check out Recorder Community Newspapers and their blogs right here online for details.

Any individual interested in becoming a Recorder blogger is invited to contact me at (908) 832-7420 or Representatives of community organizations are invited as well. I will be happy to explain the simple process of blogging which is a free 21st century communication tool. All you need is Internet access and an e-mail address.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Happy New Year

(Sept. 15, 2012) Tomorrow night, Sunday, Sept. 16, Jews will begin celebrating one of their most important religious holidays, Rosh Hashanah. The movable holiday remembers the creation of the world. In Hebrew, Rosh Hashanah means the "head of the year." It is also called the Feast of the Trumpets. The blowing of a ram's horn, a shofar, proclaims Rosh Hashanah, and summons Jews to religious services.

Jews used the ram's horn as a trumpet in Biblical times to announce the new moon, holidays and war. Today, a variety of horns are used, including curved antelope horns.

While it does have its festive side, Rosh Hashanah is not one big party, as the New Year's celebrations on Dec. 31 tend to be. Rosh Hashanah is a time for personal introspection and prayer.

Jews also may visit graves. It is thought that the prayers or good wishes of the dead can help the living. By wishing one another other well and sending cards, people let friends know what happened in the past year and what plans lie ahead. Christmas cards and get-togethers fill a similar role for Christians.

Rosh Hashanah is part of a process of spiritual growth. The Hebrew month preceding it, Elul, is a time for charity, tzedakah. Rosh Hashanah falls on the first and second days of the seventh month, Tishri.

Traditional Jewish foods accompany Rosh Hashanah. Typically, a blessing will be said over two loaves of bread, known as challah. The round shape symbolizes a crown, a reminder of the kingship of God. Challah also stands for the circle of life, and the hope that our lives endure without end.

Challah is sometimes baked with a ladder on top in recognition that only God decides who climbs up or down the ladder of life. Forming challah in the shape of a bird also is done. The Torah says that God will protect Jerusalem in the same way a bird hovers.

Apples dipped in honey are another Rosh Hashanah tradition. It symbolizes the hope for a "sweet year" ahead. Honey is spread on challah. Tzimmes, a mixture made from carrots, cinnamon, yams, prunes and honey, also is traditional. Some Jews also present fruit baskets covered to hide the contents, symbolizing that no one can know what the new year will bring.

Rosh Hashanah observances vary. Orthodox Jews celebrate Rosh Hashanah for two days. Reform Jews often observe it for only one day. In Biblical times the moon, not the calendar, determined dates for festivals. Witnesses watching the sky proclaimed the new moon. Since Rosh Hashanah falls on the first day of the month, people living far from Jerusalem did not have time to learn the exact date. Even those living near Jerusalem could miss the festival if the witnesses did not arrive on time. So, two days were set aside for observance so everyone would have time to participate.

Check out your Recorder Community Newspaper for details of what's happening in your town concerning the holiday. Also, Recorder bloggers right here online at share their insights of the times.

Anyone community individual or organization representative interested in becoming a Recorder blogger is invited to call me at (908) 932-7420 or e-mail Blogging is simple and free; all you need is access to the Internet.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Labor Day

(Aug. 31, 2012) This Monday, Sept. 3, is Labor Day, an American federal holiday that celebrates the economic and social contributions of workers. It is observed annually on the first Monday in September.

Labor Day also symbolizes the end of summer for many Americans, and is celebrated with parties, parades and athletic events. Government and financial offices are closed, but stores offer many sales especially for back to school. Most schools will resume sessions this week if they have not already begun.

Check out your Recorder Community Newspaper for details of what's happening in your town. Also, Recorder bloggers right here online at share their insights of the times.

Anyone community individual or organization representative interested in becoming a Recorder blogger is invited to call me at (908) 932-7420 or e-mail Blogging is simple and free; all you need is access to the Internet.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Dog days to school days

(Aug. 28, 2012) Ending are the dog days of summer, which typically feature the warmest summer temperatures. The name comes from the ancient belief that Sirius, also called the Dog Star, in proximity to the sun, was responsible for the hot weather.

Soon school again will be in session for almost all students from kindergarten through college. Usually classes begin after Labor Day, this year Monday, Sept. 3, the unofficial end of summer, but some schools opened already this week.

In fact, this school year started for three of my grandchildren on July 9. Their school district in North Carolina operates year-round: nine weeks in session, then three weeks off, on four tracks. Talk about confusing!

Hopefully, cooler temperatures will prevail for the first days of school, even though fall will not begin officially  until Sept. 22.

Read about school openings and the activities around the first days of school in Recorder Community Newspapers and their blogs right here online at Any community individual or organization representative who would like to join our growing group of  Recorder bloggers is invited to contact me at or (908) 832-7420 and I will let you know how to take advantage of blogging, a free 21st century communication tool.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Almost scammed

(Aug. 18, 2012) An attorney called last Thursday letting us know that he needed $2,200 right away to get our son released from Mexico following an auto accident that caused facial injuries. "Son John" could barely talk, but could mumble for help. The attorney very helpfully advised us to rush to our local Walmart for a Moneygram to be sent to him in Cancun. Mumbling John, however, could not answer our trick question, so we calmed down and knew the whole story was a fraud. John was fine and at work here in New Jersey. Walmart said that the company has a protocol regarding such Moneygram requests and most are stopped at the Walmart counter.

Then, through Craig's List, a fraulein from Germany wanted to rent an apartment with our granddaughter while attending Penn State. On Saturday, she sent our Sarah her deposit check via Federal Express, and also included an extra amount to cover a car payment, asking Sarah please to rush the overage right away to the car person. Of course, being a weekend, there was no time to verify her check. Some investigation on Craig's List showed this also to be a scam. So, no money went anywhere and the FedEx package went to the FBI.

Scammers have been on the prowl this past week; imagine two attempts within days in the same family! Police said anyone can find out anything about anybody for $9.95 on the Internet. So, be on the alert.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Going to the fair

(Aug. 9, 2012) It's the fair season. Farmers and 4-Hers are strutting their stuff at area county fairs. Even regular folks are getting into the act with their talents from crafting to baking. The public is invited to share the fun of contests, animals, food, booths and carnival attractions at a variety of outdoor venues. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes, a visor and plenty of sunscreen.

Check out Recorder Community Newpapers for times, places and other details, in paper and online too. Also online see the 50+ blogs written by your friends and neighbors on various topics, including one by a local chiropractor serving the USA Olympic wrestling team on-site in London.

Anyone interested in joining this group of 21st century communicators is invited to contact me at or (908) 832-7420. I will tell you how to use this free, simple Internet tool.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy Birthday, USA

(July 3, 2012) Tomorrow, Wednesday, July 4, is Independence Day, commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, celebrated as America's birthday.

During the American Revolution, the legal separation of the 13 Colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence that had been proposed in June by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia declaring the United States independent from Great Britain.

After voting for independence, Congress turned its attention to the Declaration of Independence, a statement explaining this decision, which had been prepared by a Committee of Five, with Thomas Jefferson as its principal author. Congress debated and revised the wording of the Declaration, finally approving it on July 4. A day earlier, John Adams had written to his wife Abigail:

"The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more."

Adams's prediction was off by two days. From the outset, Americans celebrated independence on July 4, the date shown on the much-publicized Declaration of Independence, rather than on July 2, the date the resolution of independence was approved in a closed session of Congress.

Historians have long disputed whether Congress actually signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, even though Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin all later wrote that they had signed it on that day. Most historians have concluded that the Declaration was signed nearly a month after its adoption, on Aug. 2, 1776, and not on July 4 as is commonly believed.

In a remarkable coincidence, both Adams and Jefferson, the only signers of the Declaration of Independence later to serve as presidents of the United States, died on the same day: July 4, 1826, which was the 50th anniversary of the Declaration. Although not a signer of the Declaration of Independence, but another Founding Father who became a U.S. president, James Monroe, died on July 4, 1831, thus becoming the third president in a row who died on this memorable day. Calvin Coolidge, the 30th president, was born on July 4, 1872, and, so far, is the only president to have been born on Independence Day.

Commonly known as the Fourth of July, Independence Day is a federal holiday in the U.S. Almost all government offices are closed and there is no mail delivery. Financial institutions also are closed.

The holiday is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, and political speeches and ceremonies, in addition to various other public and private events celebrating the history, government and traditions of this country. It is the national day of the United States.

For details of community activities, check out Recorder Community Newspapers and their online blogs at In fact, you could join the growing number of Recorder bloggers. Just give me a call at (908) 832-7420 or e-mail and I will tell you about this simple, free communication tool called blogging.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Record breaking

(June 21, 2012) With temperatures nearing 100 degrees in our area, many weather records were broken yesterday, the start of summer 2012. It was hot and humid, and today promises more of the same from a front coming out of the west.

Health professionals recommend staying inside air-conditioned spaces or keeping cool in swimming pools or at guarded beaches.

Cooler weather is forecast to begin this weekend.

All in all, it's a good time to check out Recorder Community Newspapers and their online blogs at In fact, you could join the growing number of Recorder bloggers. Just give me a call at (908) 832-7420 or e-mail and I will tell you about this simple, free communication tool called blogging.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Longest day of the year

(June 18, 2012) Summer begins here at 7:09 p.m. on Wednesday, June 20, at the summer solstice. It is the longest day of the year, with the shortest night, but not necessarily the warmest.

Each year, the timing of the solstice depends on when the Sun reaches its farthest point north of the equator. This occurs annually on June 20 or 21 in North America, depending on the time zone. The word solstice is from the Latin solstitium, from sol (sun) and stitium (to stop), reflecting the fact that the Sun appears to stop at this time (and again at the winter solstice).

Summertime features a variety of warm weather activities and special events. Check out Recorder Community Newspapers for details as well as comments at the online blogs here.

Any individual or group representative interested in becoming a Recorder blogger may call me at (908) 832-7420 or e-mail to find out more about this simple, free communication tool.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


(June 13, 2012) Schools are winding down, if not already closed, for the summer break, and graduations are being celebrated from kindergarten to college. The message is the same for all -- it's the time for commencement, or a new beginning.

For some it's the start of vacation time, for others it's looking forward to a new school, for others it's entry into a new career. Best wishes to one and all!

You can read about the many commencements and new beginnings in Recorder Community Newspapers and right here online in their many blogs.

Anyone interested in joining the growing group of Recorder bloggers is invited to contact me a or call me at (908) 832-7420 to find out about this free 21st century communication tool.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Memorial Day

(May 26, 2012) Memorial Day is a federal holiday observed annually in the United States on the last Monday of May, which this year is May 28, this coming week. Government offices and most businesses will be closed.

Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War. Previously, Southern ladies' organizations and southern schoolchildren had decorated Confederate graves in Richmond, Va., and other cities during the Civil War, but each region had its own date. Most dates were in May.

By the 20th century Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died in all wars. Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. armed forces. There are parades and civic ceremonies. Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries.

By the early 20th century, Memorial Day was an occasion for more general expressions of memory, as people visited the graves of their deceased relatives in church cemeteries, whether they had served in the military or not. The long weekend increasingly became devoted to shopping, family gatherings, fireworks, trips to the beach, and national media events such as the Indianapolis 500 auto race, held since 1911 on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.

As a marker, Memorial Day typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.

For details about this busy weekend, check out Recorder Community Newspapers and their blogs online at Anyone interested in joining the growing group of Recorder bloggers is invited to call me at (908) 832-7420 or e-mail me at to find out about blogging, a free, simple communication tool.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

May flowers for Mom

(May 10, 2012) It looks like May showers are bringing May flowers just in time for Mother's Day, here the second Sunday in May, which is this coming weekend. The holiday honors mothers and celebrates motherhood, maternal bonds and the influence of mothers in society. It is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, most commonly in March, April or May. It complements Father's Day, the celebration honoring fathers.

The modern holiday was first celebrated in the United States in 1907, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother. She then began a campaign to make "Mother's Day" a recognized holiday in the U.S. Although she was successful in 1914, she eventually was disappointed with its commercialization by the 1920s. Jarvis' holiday was adopted by other countries and it's now celebrated all over the world.

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers as well as those who serve as mothers. May you enjoy beautiful May flowers.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Cinco de Mayo

(May 5, 2012) Today is Cinco de Mayo, the fifth of May, Mexico's Independence Day. Today also, as the first Saturday in May, is the day of the running of the 138th annual Kentucky Derby in Louisville. The stakes race is the first leg of horse racing's triple crown, featuring 3-year-olds' running 1 1/4 miles in about two minutes in front of more than 125,000 cheering spectators. Traditionally, the first Saturday in May also is First Communion day for young Catholics and two granddaughters, Emily and Lucia, will receive today. God bless them all. But for me, May 5 is most significant because it is the birthday of my first-born. In fact, this year is very special since it's his 50th. Happy birthday, John!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A reprieve

(April 15, 2012) U.S. federal income tax returns usually must be postmarked by midnight on April 15, unless you have an extension. But, since today, April 15, is a Sunday and post offices are closed, the deadline has been extended until midnight tomorrow.

On the one hand, last-minute taxpayers have one more day to get their forms and checks together. But on the other, it's a shame they have to spoil this beautiful day doing paperwork.

Anyone who had a refund coming hopefully already has filed.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Spring holidays

(April 4, 2012) Easter and Passover, both movable spring holidays, occur this week this year. The method for determining the dates is complex, based on lunisolar calendars.

The Christian Holy Week began last Sunday and ends on Holy Saturday, which falls on April 7, the day before Easter Sunday, April 8. Easter is the central feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to the Canonical gospels, Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Sunday. The chronology of his death and resurrection is variously interpreted to be between AD 26 and 36, traditionally 33.

The Easter celebration comes after Lent, a 40-day preparatory period of fasting, prayer and penance. The last week, Holy Week, begins with Palm Sunday remembering Christ's triumphal entrance into Jerusalem and continues with Holy Thursday honoring the Last Supper (his last Passover seder), Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion and death, and Easter Vigil Saturday, a commemoration of the day that Jesus lay in his tomb. Easter Sunday is a joyous celebration of church song and family feasting.

Easter is linked to the Jewish Passover by much of its symbolism, as well as by its position in the calendar.

The eight-day Jewish holiday begins Friday, April 6, at sundown and continues through Friday, April 13. It commemorates the story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt. Families celebrate at a ceremonial meal called a seder featuring symbolic foods (unleavened bread, bitter herbs, a mixture of apples and nuts, roasted egg, parsley or celery, roasted lamb shank and wine) and reading of the Haggadah which tells the Exodus story.

Also, this coming weekend, trout fishing season begins on Saturday, April 7. More than 180,000 trout have been released in nearly 200 N.J. waterways, waiting for eager trout anglers. After opening day, the Pequest Trout Hatchery will stock nearly a half million more trout during the seven-week stocking season, which extends to May 25.

Keep abreast of important dates and more by reading Recorder Community Newspapers and their blogs online at Anyone interested in joining the growing group of Recorder bloggers is invited to call me at (908) 832-7420 or e-mail me at to find out about blogging, a free, simple communication tool.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Not a joke

(March 30, 2012) Sunday is April Fools' Day which is celebrated in different countries on April 1 every year. Sometimes referred to as All Fools' Day, April 1 is not a national holiday, but is widely recognized and celebrated as a day when many people play all kinds of jokes and foolishness. The day is marked by the commission of good-humoured or otherwise funny jokes, hoaxes and other practical jokes of varying sophistication on friends, family members, teachers, neighbors, work associates, etc.

This, however, is not a trick: My phone number has been changed temporarily to (908) 617-0656. Messages left at my old number,(908) 832-7420, will not register. I will notify you when that number is again operational, probably within the next month.

This year April 1 is also Palm Sunday, the final Sunday before Easter Sunday, marking the beginning of Holy Week. Christian churches distribute palms (and sometimes pussy willows) on Palm Sunday to commemorate Christ's triumphal entrance into Jerusalem, when palm branches were placed in His path, before His arrest and Crucifixion on Good Friday.

For more information on these days and more, read Recorder Community Newspapers and their blogs online right here at

Those interested in joining the 60+ Recorder bloggers can find out more about blogging by contacting me at or (908) 617-0656.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring has sprung

(March 20, 2012) The four seasons are determined by changing sunlight which is determined by how our planet orbits the Sun and the tilt of its axis. Today is the first day of spring here, although unseasonably it feels almost like early summer.

On the first day of spring — the vernal equinox — day and night are each about 12 hours long (with the actual time of equal day and night, in the Northern Hemisphere, occurring a few days before the vernal equinox). The Sun crosses the celestial equator going northward; it rises exactly due east and sets exactly due west.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Wearing o' th' green

(March 16, 2012) Tomorrow, March 17, is St. Patrick's Day, which began as a Roman Catholic holiday celebrating Ireland's patron saint. The feast day originally was observed only in Ireland. It was not until the 1700s when Irish immigrants in the United States started the St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York City which continues today. In fact, many towns host St. Patrick's Day parades on weekends in March.

The tradition of wearing green on St. Patrick's Day is explained in differing ways. It's said that blue was originally the color associated with the holiday but over time green took over in popularity due to Ireland's nickname as "The Emerald Isle," the green in the Irish flag and the clover that St. Patrick used in his teachings about the Trinity.

In Ireland, some still follow the tradition where Catholics wear green and Protestants wear orange. These colors are associated with the religious sects and are represented on the Irish flag; the white on the flag is symbolic of the peace between the two.

On the holiday, people in Ireland do not wear as much green or celebrate quite as wildly as revelers do elsewhere, although there is a legend that wearing green makes you invisible to leprechauns that will pinch you if they can see you.

Traditional food for the day includes corned beef, cabbage and boiled potatoes. Enjoy!

These traditions and others are noted in Recorder Community Newspapers as well as in their blogs online at Check out the entries.

Any group or organization interested in joining Recorder bloggers is welcome to contact me at (908) 832-7420 or Blogging is a free, simple, 21st century communication tool which requires only a computer and an e-mail.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Spring forward already

(March 9, 2012) Although spring does not arrive until Tuesday, March 20, daylight-saving time begins at 2 a.m.  this Sunday, March 11. So before retiring tomorrow night set your clocks one hour ahead. We will regain that lost hour in the fall when Eastern Standard Time resumes at 2 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 4.

You may have noticed the annual tradition of daylight-saving time has crept forward a bit. We used to spring forward on the first Sunday in April and fall back on last Sunday in October. But a couple years ago, Congress changed the dates -- adding more daylight-saving time to the calendar. This year, it will run from March 11 until Nov. 4 throughout the United States except in Arizona and Hawaii. U.S. territories Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands also don't observe daylight-saving time.

Around the world, about 75 countries and territories have at least one location that observes daylight-saving time, according to On the other hand, 164 don't observe the time change at all.

Keep abreast of important dates and more by reading Recorder Community Newspapers and their blogs online at Anyone interested in joining the growing group of Recorder bloggers is invited to call me at (908) 832-7420 or e-mail me at to find out about blogging, a free, simple communication tool.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day

(Feb. 29 , 2012) Today is "Leap Day," an extra (intercalary) day added during a Leap Year, making the year 366 days long — and not 365 days, like a common (normal) year. Nearly every four years is a Leap Year in our modern Gregorian Calendar.

Leap Years are needed to keep our calendar in alignment with the Earth's revolutions around the sun. It takes the Earth about 365.242199 days (a tropical year) to circle once around the sun. If we didn't add a day on Feb. 29 nearly every four years, we would lose almost six hours every year. After only 100 years, our calendar would be off by about 24 days.

The ancient Roman Calendar added an extra month every few years to maintain the correct seasonal changes. But Julius Caesar implemented a new calendar — the Julian Calendar — in 45 BCE (Before Common Era) with an extra day added every four years. At the time, Leap Day was Feb. 24, because February was the last month of the year.

In 1582 Pope Gregory XIII refined the Julian calendar with a new rule that a century year is not a Leap Year unless it is evenly divisible by 400. This transition to the Gregorian Calendar was observed in some countries including Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain. The transition took longer for other countries; Great Britain started using the Gregorian Calendar in 1752 and Lithuania in 1915.

Leap Day as a concept has existed for more than 2,000 years, and still is associated with age-old traditions, folklore and superstition. One of the most popular traditions is that women may propose to their boyfriends.

An American folk celebration for the day is Sadie Hawkins Day, a pseudo-holiday that originated in Al Capp's classic hillbilly comic strip, "Li'l Abner" (1934–1978). This inspired real-world Sadie Hawkins dances, for which girls ask boys out.

In Li'l Abner, Sadie Hawkins was the daughter of one of Dogpatch's earliest settlers, Hekzebiah Hawkins. The "homeliest gal in all them hills," she grew frantic waiting for suitors to come a-courtin'. When she reached the age of 35, still a spinster, her father was even more frantic about Sadie living at home for the rest of her life. In desperation, he called together all the unmarried men of Dogpatch and declared it "Sadie Hawkins Day." Specifically, a foot race was decreed, with Sadie in hot pursuit of the town's eligible bachelors — and matrimony as the consequence.

Read about current traditions and more in Recorder Community Newspapers and their blogs online here at Anyone interested in joining the growing group of Recorder bloggers may e-mail me at for more information on this free 21st century communication tool.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mardi Gras

(Feb. 21, 2012) Today is Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday), the last day of Carnival and the day before Ash Wednesday which begins the annual Christian penitential season of Lent in preparation for Easter. According to tradition, folks make merry, eating rich food and drinking, before the Lenten 40 days (not including Sundays) of fasting, prayer and selfless service.

Ash Wednesday derives its name from the church tradition of placing ashes on the foreheads of Christians as a sign of mourning and repentance to God. It is a movable feast occurring 46 days before Easter (this year April 8) which is set for the first Sunday after the full moon after the vernal equinox. The ashes are derived from burning palms from the previous year's Palm Sunday. The Lenten season is in memory of the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert before the start of his public ministry.

Read about this season and more in Recorder Community Newspapers and their blogs online here at Anyone interested in joining the growing group of Recorder bloggers may e-mail me at for more information on this free 21st century communication tool.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Presidents Day

(Feb. 19,2012) Tomorrow, Monday, Feb. 20, the third Monday of February, is Presidents Day, a celebration of all U.S. presidents, a state holiday, as well as a federal holiday in observance of George Washington's Birthday which is Feb. 22. Most governmental offices will be closed and there will be no mail delivery. Many schools and banks also will be closed. Retailers are offering Presidents Weekend sales.

But, even though their offices are closed, Recorder Community Newspapers are always open right here online. Readers can visit to read the latest local news as well as blogs by community individuals and organization representatives. All kinds of messages and pictures are available including holiday closings and programs for the weekend as well as firsthand reports by a local woman taking a bus tour of the country and advice from a professional organizer.

Anyone in interested in joining the growing group of 60-plus bloggers is invited to call me at (908) 832-7420 or e-mail to learn more about this simple, free, 21st century communication tool. All you need is a computer and an e-mail.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

(Feb. 14, 2012) Today is St. Valentine's Day, often simply Valentine's Day, a holiday observed on Feb. 14 honoring one or more early Christian martyrs named Valentinus. It is celebrated in countries around the world, mostly in the West, although it remains a working day in all of them.

The day first became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. By the 15th century, it had evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as "valentines").

Modern Valentine's Day symbols include the heart-shaped outline, doves and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards.

There is a certain pall over this year's Valentine's Day for lovers who count as their song "I Will Always Love You," the signature number of iconic singer Whitney Houston, or others of her romantic hits, since the 48-year-old world-renown star died Saturday afternoon before performing in a pre-Grammy Award show in Beverly Hills, Calif. The funeral for the Newark native is set for Saturday in her hometown.

During the 1990s, Houston was married to Bobby Brown at her estate in Mendham and they lived there for some years. Read about remembrances of them by local folks in Recorder Community Newspapers' Observer-Tribune.

Other interesting local stories can be found in Recorder Newspapers and their blogs online here. Anyone interested in joining the 60+ Recorder bloggers may contact me at (908) 832-7420 or for more information about this simple, free, 21st century communication tool.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Two feet on the ground

(Feb. 12, 2012) Ever since Super Bowl XLVI last Sunday, "two feet on the ground" has had a new meaning -- a super play that led to victory when Giants' wide receiver Mario Manningham caught a precise fourth quarter pass from his quarterback, Eli Manning, and planted his feet for just enough time before falling out of bounds with the football. The rest is history as the Giants went from 15-17 to win 21-17, thwarting a last-second Hail Mary touchdown attempt by the New England Patriots. Calm, cool and confident MVP Manning, 31, credited team play and coach Tom Coughlin, 65, for the victory.

That same day, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, attended church on the eve of the 60th anniversary of her accession to the throne. She said, "In this special year, as I dedicate myself anew to your service, I hope we will all be reminded of the power of togetherness and the convening strength of family, friendship and good neighborliness, examples of which I have been fortunate to see throughout my reign and which my family and I look forward to seeing in many forms as we travel throughout the United Kingdom and the wider Commonwealth."

Elizabeth ascended the throne when her father, George VI, died on Feb. 6, 1952. She is the longest-serving monarch after Queen Victoria, who reigned for more than 63 years.

Over the course of 2012, members of the royal family -- including newlyweds Prince William and his wife, Katherine, the Duchess of Cambridge -- will fan out across the globe and travel to Commonwealth countries including Canada, Jamaica and Belize in honor of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Elizabeth, 85, and Philip, 90, will stay closer to home, touring the UK from March to July.

Both of these events remind me of the power of working together. More such examples can be found in Recorder Community Newspapers and in their blogs online. Community individuals or organization representatives interested in joining the growing group of Recorder bloggers may contact me at (908) 832-7420 or for more information on this free, 21st century communication tool.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Six more weeks of winter

(Feb. 2, 2012) At 7:25 this morning, amid mostly cloudy skies and temperatures in the low 30s, Groundhog Phil saw his shadow in the little town of Punxsutawney, Pa.

Punxsutawny Phil’s “brother” may be dead and stuffed, but he didn’t let that stop him from making a prediction.

According to folklore, Phil’s sighting of his own shadow means there will be six more weeks of winter. Had Phil not seen his shadow, it would have meant there will be an early spring.

If Phil’s forecast is right, it signals a dramatic reversal from the mild weather pattern affecting much of the country. Many parts of central and eastern United States have seen temperatures 20 to 30 degrees above normal in recent days. Yesterday just 19 percent of the lower 48 states had snow cover compared to 52 percent at this time last year.

Historic odds heavily favor a forecast for winter to last deep into March. Since the groundhog’s first prediction in 1887, Phil has seen his shadow 99 times and failed to spot it just 16 times. There are nine missing years in the record, but Phil has issued a forecast without exception.

But just how accurate is the prognosticator of prognosticators? It depends on the source. The official website of Punxsutawney Phil, perhaps not impartial, claims the groundhog has issued a correct forecast 100 percent of the time. AccuWeather’s grade for the groundhog’s accuracy is slightly lower, but still quite respectable.

Washington, D.C.’s winter prognosticator, Potomac Phil agreed with his fellow groundhog in a ceremony in Dupont Circle about an hour after Phil’s prediction: Six more weeks of winter.

There are lots more interesting traditions and facts to read about in Recorder Community Newspapers and their online blogs. Interested individuals and local community organization representatives are invited to join the growing group of Recorder bloggers. Just give me a call at (908) 832-7420 or e-mail and I will explain the free process.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Year of the Dragon

(Jan. 27, 2012) The Chinese New Year began Monday; 2012 is the Year of the Dragon.

In Chinese astrology the dragon is the only animal of the Chinese zodiac year that is not real and the the dragon is quite special and very much revered. It holds special significance for the Chinese people.

More than 4,000 years ago, there were two large tribes and many smaller tribes in China. The tribes had animals as emblems. The two large tribes unified and chose the dragon as their symbol. In fact, the Han Chinese still call themselves the descendants of the dragon.

In Chinese astrology the dragon was seen as a powerful almighty king because it was made up of different parts of animals such as a tiger, fish, snake and an eagle.

The Chinese dragon was not seen as a threatening evil being as we do in the West - rather a symbol of power, superiority and rule.

Still today, the Dragon is a revered symbol. You can see many sculptures and carvings of the dragon. Modern Chinese associate the dragon with power and wisdom.

In Chinese astrology dragon persons are special. Born in the Chinese Year of the Dragon, they usually stand out as befits a dragon. They are powerful and wise with a certain aura about them. They are not shy – they demand attention and respect. Wow!

There are lots more interesting traditions and facts to read about in Recorder Community Newspapers and their online blogs. Interested individuals and local community organization representatives are invited to join the growing group of Recorder bloggers. Just give me a call at (908) 832-7420 or e-mail and I will explain the free process.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Day of service

(Monday, Jan. 16, 2012) Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a U.S. federal holiday marking the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., civil rights activist. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around the time of King's birthday, Jan. 15.

Government offices are closed today as are some schools and financial institutions. The day has evolved into a day of service.

King was the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. The campaign for a federal holiday in King's honor began soon after his assassination in 1968. President Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983, and it was first observed on Jan. 20, 1986. At first, some states resisted observing the holiday as such, giving it alternative names or combining it with other holidays. It was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000.

The Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial in Washington, D.C., was dedicated in October and we visited there the week after the ceremony. Covering four acres, the memorial opened to the public on Aug. 22, after more than two decades of planning, fund-raising and construction. A ceremony dedicating the Memorial was scheduled for Aug. 28, the 48th anniversary of the "I Have a Dream" speech that King delivered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963, but was postponed until Oct. 16 (the 16th anniversary of the 1995 Million Man March on the National Mall) due to Hurricane Irene.

Located on four acres at the northwest corner of the Tidal Basin in the National Mall, it features giant stone statues of King and granite walls engraved with 14 of King's inspiring quotes. Since its opening last summer, more than 2 million visitors from around the globe have been able to witness firsthand the message of hope, justice, democracy and love that resonates from the crescent-shaped walls of the memorial situated adjacent to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial and in a direct line between the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Oh, No, It's Snow!

(Jan. 13, 2012) It's Friday, the 13th. I should have known our luck with the weather would be over. As I gaze outside, the snow is flying sideways. We're really in for some stormy time after weeks of unusually mild weather with clear driving opportunities. We even traveled to Ohio for New Year's; both ways on the trip we didn't have a problem.

But now, we're stuck inside. This icy snow is sure to make the roads slippery, not to mention the freezing cold wind. Hopefully no trees will be blown down, causing another power outage.

It's a good time to check out the blogs right here at, the website for Recorder Community Newspapers. Some 60 bloggers share their news and comments among the 15 online newspapers. You could join them.

The process is simple and blogging is free. All you need is a computer and an e-mail. I will help you set up. Just give me a call at (908) 832-7420 or e-mail

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Happy New Year!

The year 2012 began last Sunday. It is a leap year, meaning there are 29 days in February which occurs every four years. Most schools are back in session and hopefully life also is back on the usual track.

It's the time of year folks usually aim to do better and make New Year's resolutions toward that goal. Hopefully one of yours is to keep abreast of the news in your community by logging on to, the website of Recorder Community Newspapers' online editions which also include some 60 blogs.

Anyone interested in joining the growing group of Recorder bloggers is invited to call me at (908) 832-7420 or e-mail to find out about this free 21st century communication tool. All you need is an Internet connection device and e-mail.