The "Outta Leftfield" Weblog

Saturday, March 27, 2010

This blog has moved

This blog is now located at
You will be automatically redirected in 30 seconds, or you may click here.

For feed subscribers, please update your feed subscriptions to

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A ballgame breaks out at the spelling bee

The spelling bee is a useful educational tool that promotes learning and competition, but really, it’s not a spectator sport.
For those of you who have been to a spelling bee, this is not news. But believe it or not, I hadn’t been to one in a very long time until last weekend when Son of Blonde Accountant represented his school at the Our Lady of I Before E Except After C spelling bee in Quakertown.
It was what you would expect from a spelling bee of about 30 or so sixth, seventh and eighth graders. It was sponsored by the local Knights of Columbus club, always and forever a noble group of community-minded folks.
Our guy went out in the third round after having some difficulty on the word “difficulty.” He had added and errant “l” to make it “difficultly.”
But the reality is that watching a spelling bee is about like watching the proverbial paint dry . . . with one exception this time: At intermission, a ballgame broke out at this spelling bee with the serving of . . . hotdogs!
Hotdogs. H-O-T-D-O-G-S. Hotdogs. That I can spell. With M-U-S-T-A-R-D, of course.
I can’t help but think that spelling bees in general would be more entertaining if hotdogs were served at every competition. I’m going to call the Knights of Columbus guys and see if they can get that done.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Is it the right time for a dinosaur poo watch?

One wonders how an idea like this came about: A Swiss watchmaker has decided to make a timepiece in fossilized dinosaur poo.
Certainly beer was involved in the decision-making process.
According to a wire service story, watch designer Yvan Arpa (which I believe in Swedish translates into “Bob Knucklehead”) has decided to forego the standard watch-making elements of gold, diamond or titanium and make a watch out of dinosaur poo.
And sell it for $11,290. Oh, and the watch strap on which the dinosaur poo timepiece is attached will be made from the skin of an American cane toad.
Bob is quoted as saying that the doo-doo came from a plant-eating dinosaur that died about 100 million years ago in what is now the United States. No mention is made in the wire service story as to the legitimacy of those claims.
Forget the “creativeness” of the idea, how does one go about locating fossilized dinosaur dung?
Ideas like this can elicit only one response from me: You gotta be bleepin’ me.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hall & Oates belong in the 'hall'

Every year when the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announces its newest class there is debate, not only about who gets in but about who has yet to be inducted.
This year ABBA, along with Genesis, The Hollies and The Stooges, were among those honored with induction and right away, folks are clamoring: What about Chicago? What about KISS? Moody Blues, Jethro Tull, Three Dog Night? The list of deserving musicians not in the rock hall is longer than the list of inductees.
For me, it’s, “What about Hall & Oates?” And it’s not because Daryl and John, from Pottstown and North Wales respectively, are local boys. It’s not because I have had the pleasure of interviewing each of them for stories in Montgomery Newspapers over the past few years.
It’s because every time I get into my car, I’ll choose a Hall & Oates album to listen to over just about any other CD that I have. It’s about the music. I virtually grew up with, and have liked a good number, of H&O songs over the years.
Why, I even considered naming Older Daughter
“Sarah Smile Morsch.” That’s how much I liked that song and that music.
The KISS and Chicago fans — of which I consider myself one of both groups — can wait. Television personality Rachel Ray, who has been lobbying for H&O to be inducted into the rock hall, is right. Daryl and John belong.
And really, I like ABBA, but if that group can get through the doors of the Rock and Roll Hall of fame, then H&O are overdue. In fact, at the very least, John Oates’ moustache should be in the rock hall of fame.
Whose arm do I have to twist on this one? You know, as we say in Philly, “I know a guy.”

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Secret Service's job not really a secret

There is a reason we have an organization in this country that calls itself the Secret Service. It’s because there are some secrets that need to be kept when it comes to securing the safety of the POTUS (President of the United States).
I had momentarily forgotten that basic premise when President Barack Obama came to Arcadia University in Glenside Monday morning.
It was not the first time I had covered a presidential speech, so I was well aware of the security drill. But I got caught up in some technological advances we’re trying out here at the newspaper and did something stupid.
See, reporters are now carrying Flip cameras, little hand-held devices that we can use to record video clips that we post with our stories online at I decided that I would test out my Flip camera during the president’s appearance.
Once I had cleared the security checkpoint, I did what most reporters do: I started looking for people to interview and scenes to video.
Of course, since I was only a few steps removed from the security checkpoint for media personnel — a checkpoint that included Secret Service agents with metal detector wands and a bomb-sniffing dog — I thought it would be interesting to video the process that we in the media had to undergo to enter the building where the president would be speaking.
We’ll call that “Mike First Stupid Idea of the Day.” (And it was early, so it likely wouldn’t be the last stupid thing I did that day.)
So I held up my little video camera and started taking shots. Within seconds, out of the corner of my eye, I could see a Secret Service agent quickly approaching.
“You can’t videotape security measures. That will end up on the internet. You need to erase that immediately,” said the agent.
Unfortunately, I had not yet played enough with the new toy to know how to erase anything on it. So I punched all the buttons and assured the agent that the offending video was gone.
The guy was doing his job and I was doing my job. This time, he was much better at his than I was at mine and given the circumstances, I’m OK with that.

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Flower show makes a nice centerpiece

Every year I go to the Philadelphia International Flower Show. It’s the very least I can do. After all, The Blonde Accountant goes to Phillies games with me, so I try to return the favor by going with her to events that she favors. (For the record, the one event she won’t accompany me to is rasslin’ but if you know her, that is no real surprise.)
I usually end up enjoying the flower show for what it is — a flower show. What’s not to like? It’s visually pleasing and smells good (kind of like The Blonde Accountant now that I think about it.)
The only problem I ever have at the flower show is that the cement floor of the convention center plays seven kinds of hooey with my knees. But the convention center drinking fountains always seem to offer the coldest water, so that evens the score for me.
The other aspect I like about the flower show is that beforehand we usually combine it with a stop at (Shameless Promotion Alert) Reading Terminal Market and then afterwards, we have dinner at (Another Shameless Promotion Alert) Maggiano’s.
It’s not a ballgame, but the flower show makes a nice centerpiece for a trip into the big city. And it’s all wrapped up within a few blocks.

Labels: , , ,

After 30 years, film still a '10'

Hard to believe that the movie “10” is more than 30 years old.
I caught the film for the first time in many years recently on one of the cable movie channels. As you know, it stars the late Dudley Moore, the wonderful Julie Andrews and introduced the . . . uh . . . scantily clad Bo Derek. It came out in 1979, my second year of college, and at a time I was still feeling the effects of a year’s worth of “Animal House” toga partying.
But with age comes some perspective. I’m pretty sure that in 1979, my focus was squarely on Derek and her impressive assets. If one does a Google search on “20-year-old college male in 1979,” there is likely to be some reference of Bo Derek’s assets.
Watching the film now, the things that strike me are the comedic talents of Moore and the wonderful musical score by Henry Mancini. Hmmm. A film that features Bo Derek cavorting around virtually nekked throughout the picture and at age 50, I have more of an appreciation for Dudley Moore and Henry Mancini?
It’s official: I am now an old guy.

Labels: , , , , ,

My Photo
Name: Mike Morsch
Location: Fort Washington, Pennsylvania

Mike Morsch has been executive editor of Montgomery Newspapers since 2003. His award-winning humor column "Outta Leftfield" has been recognized by the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association, the Suburban Newspapers of America and the Philadelphia Press Association.

Powered by Blogger

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]