FROM MARCH 1, 2012 TO AUGUST 22, 2012


Entry Date: August 22, 2012

After the popular movie, The Social Network, the Bubble Boys of Wall Street decided to strike hard and fast with IPOs for Facebook, Groupon, and Zynga, companies that are part of the successful wing of the "Social Networking" movement. The most ridiculous of the three IPOs was Zynga, which specializes in "creating" such things as "virtual tractors" (whatever the hell they are) for the Facebook game Farmville. These IPOs were the best examples of these offerings being nothing more than a rigged roulette wheel. Of course they were hyped because a lot of people spend hours on Facebook, with many playing Farmville to the point of obsession, so there were "experts" who thought these stocks would soar into the stratosphere. The real experts, the Insiders in the deal, always knew better. These things are nonproductive entities that add nothing to national income and wealth. They are entertaining distractions from productivity. If the entities could not add to national wealth, how could they add to their own net worths, which would have meant higher real stock values (as opposed to the stock price, which can be manipulated)? Reality came crashing in on Facebook and the others very quickly with the stock prices crashing down. Those who were not in the know took a bath, as usual, while those who knew all along that these Social Network things are nothing but hot air, made out like bandits by selling high and walking away richer.

Oh, and the same accounting firm did the IPO audits on all three "Social Network Giants."

Hope none of you took the IPO plunge this time!

Being too big to fail means never having to say you're sorry.


Entry Date: July 25, 2012

"Make a hole up there and make it wide!"

Before getting into the main story here I have to ask, "What in the hell happened to July, anyway? Another month almost over, and with it almost all of Summer. Holy Cow! "

Okay, now on to the real story. I took a short walk down to the post office in downtown Altoona to get a few books of stamps after lunch. I was almost back at the building that housed my currrent "client" as I was walking past a bank building. Just nearing the point where the end corner of the bank, the building hides oncoming pedestrians from the steep downward sloping sidewalk that ran up the west side of the bank building. I was about to step out from behind the front of the bank building toward the crosswalk when an object blurred past me. I was just able to stop my forward progress in time. One more step and a little old lady on a Rascal Scooter would have run me over. The downgrade in the sidewalk made the scooter really motor past me. It was a close call. In the intersection just to my right, a motorist stopped at a red light started laughing at the spectacle.

When you travel this much, it is only a matter of time before you see or experience just about everything. The elderly scooter driver was on her way to the local pharmacy and there was a small traffic jam of the scooters in front of the place. I felt safer on the other side of the street.


Entry Date: July 15, 2012

There are sixteen women on the US Field Hockey team in the 2012 Olympics, and nine of them are from Pennsylvania. There are 35 Pennsylvanians on all the US Teams, making this State one of the most represented at the London Olympic Games. Field Hockey is sort of like Pennsylvania's team, since seven other team members are from several states, so we all hope they win a medal at the London games.


Julia and Katie Reinprecht of Perkasie, Pennsylvania




Kayla Bashore-Smedley



Lauren Crandall



Katelyn Falgowski



Katie O'Donnell


Blue Bell

Keli Puzo Smith



Julia Reinprecht



Katie Reinprecht



Paige Selenski



Amy Swensen



Katie O'Donnell of Blue Bell, Pennsylvania

Paige Selenski of Shavertown, Pennsylvania


Entry Date: July 15, 2012

I haven't gotten an assignment in Erie, Pennsylvania in quite a while. I think the last time was 2010. They finally sent me back up there, and besides only being 64 miles from Oil City, this "client" was one I have visited several times in the past years. One employee, a department manager named Julie, was quick to tell me her biggest news of the last two or three years. She had twins not long ago. Instead of reacting in the usual way, since I've known "Jules" for a long time, I gave her a sideways glance and asked, "Were you making new people, Julie?"

That got a few laughs out of her. Julie has no immediate plans to make any more people.



Entry Date: July 2, 2012

"Back off, man!"

On the front patio entrance of a small town hotel I have frequently used in the past I saw a bowl of dry cat food and a pan of water. "Hey, did you guys get a cat?" I asked the man running the front desk that morning.

"Stay away from that cat. If it doesn't know you it might tear you up." came the ominous warning from the morning shift desk clerk. Of course that made me silently wonder about the wisdom of having a near wild cat hang out at your hotel where there would be dozens of people the cat "doesn't know" who might just mistake the cat for a pet. Try to pet a cat like that one and you might need surgery to remove the cat from your face. A cat like this one is a lawyer's dream come true, especially with a constant daily parade of potential litigants coming within the feline's striking distance.

I saw the cat later that morning, lurking in the parking area on the right side of the hotel. It was big for a house cat, black with a white face and stockings. When I would look at the cat, it would look away. When I stopped looking at the cat, I could see the animal start staring at me by peripheral vision. It acted like a feral cat, and those are the next thing to wild cats. They might look tame, just like your neighbor's friendly "kitty cat" Fluffy, but it would act like a wild bobcat if it felt threatened. The cat would like anyone who gave it food, but anyone else would be looked upon with suspicion.

My latest visit was just last night, and the cat food was back out on the terrace again. I saw the cat through my room window, lurking again, but this time in a grassy area outside the parking area. The cat was eyeing up a small rabbit that seemed to not see the cat as it hopped along, but just as the cat made a move on the rabbit it hopped away into the trees. The cat looked as if the food handouts at the hotel had made it lose a step or two hunting.

The next time I saw the cat was when I started loading the luggage in the car before dawn today. The cat was curled up on the lobby couch, looking just like any family's precious pet, "Fluffy the Kitty Cat." I knew better. The cat's eyes came open as soon as it heard me, and were glowing from the couch as I left with the bags. It was still watching me when I returned, but I kept my distance. The last thing I needed was a cat stuck on my chest or clinging to my arm squalling and chewing on me.

It would make a nice lawsuit, though.



Entry Date: June 23, 2012

Originally transcribed: June 17, 2012

This story didn't get immediately uploaded because the hotel in which I was staying in Chicago charged Internet service per 24 hours. I had to drastically reduce Internet usage, making me doubly glad I could update the Cable Television schedule page to more than cover the time I would be gone. The train trip was so weird, I 'll have to post it as a separate link, which is below. The time in Chicago was great. We got some deep dish pizza, which everyone has to do, and I saw some of the new construction that was not there the last time I was in the city, which was 1990, not counting the overly long layover at OHare Airport years ago. Getting there was the weird part.



Entry Date: June 5, 2012

One of the commemorative bricks that trim the sidewalks along Elm Street on North Side, Oil City

In 1999 and 2000, Oil City came by some state and federal money and decided to improve the looks of the old downtown area on the north bank of the Allegheny River. In addition to putting in brick sidewalk trim, new antique-style street lights would be installed. To get the citizens involved, and hopefully draw them to the North Side to shop and do business, a project was launched that would enable families, individuals, and businesses to purchase bricks and have the bricks inscribed for a fee. The purchases of bricks would also help pay for the improvements. I wasn't in town for most of this activity, except for the weekends, of course, but found out what was going on when I went to the now closed Post Office on North Side to encounter all of the activity. I didn't think that new street lights and bricks trimming the sidewalks would cause a rebirth of economic activity in Oil City, and it did not. First, you have to have the economic activity, then you can do some beautification, not the other way around. Well, twelve years have passed since the bricks and the lights were installed and the North Side is still dying. Some of the commemorative bricks people purchased are also not looking too good. After all of this time, people have forgotten them, something like the Web site that still offers tours of Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh that was demolished over a decade ago. The bricks that look the best are the ones that are located outside one of the last surviving old businesses downtown, the Grandview Furniture Store. The bricks are outside the furniture store and the owner does not need anything else ugly and deteriorating near his store, so he makes sure that the sidewalk bricks are swept, cleaned, and have minimal weeds and moss growing around them. The bricks near "public" areas that the city government has to maintain, well, they aren't looking as nice as the "private sector" bricks. There's a lesson in that, but I have little faith in the people getting a grip on it.

I've set up a separate page that shows more of the bricks, along with some information about some of them. One of them is for a Guinness Book of World Records person who lived in Oil City and there are memorial bricks for deceased family members. I wonder if people remember that the bricks are there.




Entry Date: May 22, 2012

The problem with electricity is that, every once in awhile, electricity has to show us just who is really boss. Someone gets hit by lightning, or lightning fries their big screen television, or their home electrical system gives out, plunging the home into silence and darkness. One way or another, electricity gets around to asserting itself. About the time you think you have an "electrical problem" figured out is about the time electricity will put you in your place. Not thinking about this in my latest temporary domicle of a hotel room, I discovered that this particular room had an electrical problem. The two major electrical outlets had lower plugs that were dead and upper plugs that still provided an electrical flow. So, that was no problem, just use a power strip to run more than one appliance from the one plug. No problem. Easy solution. I wanted to run both the wall light over the overnight stand, and the clock radio, from the same upper plug in the electrical outlet, so I plugged a power strip with six outlets into the one upper plug then plugged the wall light fixture into the power strip. We had light. Next came the clock radio. Now, that was a problem. At first, the radio did not want to plug into the strip. When I finally got the clock plugged in a huge spark crackled from the power strip and all the lights in the hotel room went dark and the television shut down.

"Holy crap!" I reacted to the noise and the big spark display. There wasn't any fire, so I yanked the strip out of the wall and felt my way to the window to open the drapes and let in some light. I thought I had knocked out the entire hotel's power, so I went to the door and furtively checked the hallway for people wandering out of their rooms wondering why the power went out. There was no one in the hallway but me, looking guilty. I forced myself to go downstairs and report that their hotel room had no electical power since the rest of the hotel still had electricity. The desk clerk gave me a key card for the room across the hall, so I moved that night. I missed about an hour of sleep, but still had electricity, which had taught me to never think that an electrical problem was just one power strip away from a solution.


Entry Date: May 6, 2012

I visited another church just yesterday to attend Sunday Mass on Saturday and to make a confession for which was overdue. That would let me leave earlier for the Philadelphia area on Sunday. Now, for those of other faiths, in the Roman Catholic Church we have confessional booths for privacy. Typically it is a red light/green light system. You go inside and the little light over the confessional door goes red, which means the booth is occupied. If it is green, the booth is unoccupied and you go in. Yesterday, the light was green all the time, but when I approached the door, muffled voices could be heard in the confessional. Figuring the light signal was on the fritz, I sat down to wait. A few minutes later, another man came in, approached the confessional and reacted the same way I did. He sat down to wait. The minutes passed. Soon the other man asked me what was going on, and I told him the green light came on, never went off, but there were voices inside, so I sat down to wait, same as him. He checked his watch.

"What's the worry?" I asked. "I checked the Web site. They have confession until 4:30 today. The priest must have started a half-hour early today, at 3:30."

"No, not anymore," he countered. "I called the rectory office and they told me the time changed. Confession starts at 3:30 and ends at 4:00."

I checked my watch. It was 3:50. Whoever was in there talking, they had been there for the past twenty minutes.

"Wow, twenty minutes," I remarked, "Charlie Sheen wouldn't have to take that much time."

We did manage to get in just under the wire.


Entry Date: May 4, 2012

It was in January 2009 and I was running myself ragged weekend commuting between North Philadelphia, Oil City, and an assisted living residence near Mars, Pennsylvania. I was helping out a large crew doing some of the "low tech" stuff a transfer had once whisked me out of, but we were in a pinch for personnel to get all of the audits done. My contact for information in this particular "client" was a Russian emigre' who was a resident of a growing community of transplanted Russians in the Philly area. Of course, the woman had an accent, but, as I usually say about "new Americans" who speak English as a second language, "She speaks English better than I speak Russian." She had a good sense of humor, too, which only goes to show what a grasp of English she actually had, Russian accent and all. Toward the end of the job, I had her in a good mood, so I decided to go ahead and ask her to do something one of her co-workers dared me to ask her to do.

"Natalie, would you do me a favor?" I asked, keeping a straight face.

"Of course," Natalie agreed, smiling.

"Would you say, 'Moose and squirrel'?"

She sounded exactly like Natasha. Later, she told me she had found out about Natasha and Boris and Rocky and Bullwinkle. She laughed and said she would try to watch the old cartoon sometime.


Entry Date: April 24, 2012

I ducked into a convenience store near Landisburg, Pennsylvania recently and had my coffee rung up by a young woman wearing a camouflage pattern T-shirt with the name of the store emblazoned on it. "I think you are wearing the wrong camouflage," I remarked to the cashier.

"What do you mean?" she countered. "This is the store T-shirt."

"I know, but if you want to have real convenience store camouflage the pattern should have racks of cigarettes, some candy bars and potato chips, and a lottery machine on it. Then you would really blend in with the background."

Finally got a few giggles out of her.


Entry Date: March 31, 2012

"Correction--You have a better chance of winning Megamillions!"

On the Northeast Extension of the turnpike yesterday, I was standing in line to pay for coffee at the Allentown Service Plaza. The line was long at the A-Plus Mini-Market section of the plaza as travelers were placing their bets on yesterday's "Megamillions" lottery drawing. One young woman was ahead of me, exchanging some comments about Megamillions with her female traveling companion who was standing alongside of the line of customers.

"Megamillions!" I exclaimed out loud. "I have a better chance of Jennifer Garner leaving Ben Affleck for me than winning Megamillions."

Both women got a big laugh about that observation, with the brunette of the duo adding, "But you have to try! It's a lot of money."

I assured the brunette that I would be making a bet of my own--five dollars. I put some more down when I stopped again at Snow Shoe, Pennsylvania, but failed to win the big swag.

No call from Jennifer, either!


Entry Date: March 31, 2012

In 1982, I watched the BBC mini-series of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, based on the John Le Carre novel, one of a series, centered on MI6 veteran George Smiley. I was completely engrossed in the story about the hunt for a Soviet KBG mole near the top of British Intelligence. Sir Alec Guinnes portrayed Smiley, who was brought back to MI6, called "The Circus" to hunt for the mole. The hierarchy of "The Circus" has been overthrown by the work of the mole, with "Control," its long-time leader, replaced by Percy Alleline, who wants to share more with "the Yanks." Smiley conducts a covert counterintelligence investigation with only a handful of assets to assist him, including a younger agent, at least younger than Smiley, Peter Guillam. The series ran for seven hour-long episodes that enabled all of the main characters, and some of the supporting cast, to develop themselves fully. The twists and turns of Smiley's cat-and-mouse game with the mole were played out as close to the novel as the seven hours permitted. If you enjoyed the fine Gary Oldman version at a bit over two hours, you will really like this one.

I haven't seen this mini-series since 1982, but remember some of the lines very well. The one speech from a supporting cast member, a retired female intelligence analyst interviewed by Smiley, is one of that stuck with me. It was different than the scene in the recent movie in which the older woman recalled all "my boys" who were "born to Empire," including a much younger "Control," Smiley, and some of the old hands from World War II who were suspects of being the mole. "Halcyon days," she sighs to George Smiley. Another scene was near the climax, right before Smiley and Guillam move in on the mole. Guillam asks Smiley, who is preparing his service automatic for the confrontation, what he is doing. "Oh, just fiddling," Smiley answered, as he completed preparing his handgun. I use that answer to the same question, at times, to this day: "Oh, just fiddling." Smiley and Guillam would review the progress of their investigation over meals and drinks, with Smiley preferring brandy and ginger ale, and Smiley once stopped Guillam from pouring from a bottle of wine just after Smiley opened it. "No, let it breathe," he told Peter.

The series is available for streaming on-line through PBS and is also on DVD through Amazon.


Entry Date: March 31, 2012

Here's a photo line-up of the alleged George Zimmerman, the alleged shooter of the young man Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida. Last year, about this time, we went over all of the incongruous photos that were all allegedly of Osama bin Laden. These photos of Zimmerman indicate we have another quandry with photos of the same person that are difficult to reconcile. We have the ubiquitous "mug shot" style photos of Zimmerman that everyone keeps seeing on the Internet and television, like the two on the left. Yes, the shirts are different colors, and CNN cropped "Zimmerman's" hairline considerably, but that is not what is interesting. The two shots on the right are of Zimmerman being taken into custody for the shooting of Trayvon Martin. Comparing these two photos with the "mug shot" pictures, and you can see the differences. Suddenly, "Zimmerman" has slimmed down and has lost a considerable amount of the hair in the exterme left photo. "Zimmerman" also has a more oval facial structure in the arrest pictures as opposed to the square and more "chubby" look in the mug shots. If Zimmerman had a heavy beard in both sets of pictures, maybe I could use Grizzly Adams again as I did with the strange Osama bin Laden photos.



Entry Date: March 24, 2012

"But, Sweetie, I'm not a banker! Honest! I'm an anthropolgist! So, how about it? Do you take Visa?"

Madrid, Spain's professional "luxury escorts," who have their own trade association for providing sexual services to the rich and powerful males of the Spanish elite, have slapped an embargo on Spain's versions of our own "Bubble Boys" of Wall Street. The working women are withholding services from the bankers until the bankers start making credit available to Spanish families and small businesses.

"We have been on strike for three days now and we don't think they can withstand much more," the spokeswoman for the escorts' trade association stated. Some of the desperate bankers have tried to pass themselves off as engineers, architects, lawyers, and other professionals, but, the spokeswoman added, "They don't fool anyone since it has been many years since these professionals could afford rates that start from 300 Euro an hour."

The frustrated bankers tried to turn to the Spanish government to mediate with the escorts, but the government has no jurisdiction over the escorts' business, declaring that the women can refuse the business of anyone they please. For Spain's "Bubble Boys," it is one thing to have money, but it doesn't do any good if you have nowhere to spend it.

Being too big to fail means never having to say you're sorry.


March 18, 2012

The two most-listened to CDs on this working trip were Chicago IX, the group's earliest Greatest Hits compilation from about 1974-1975 and a more complete collection of Greatest Hits by the Doobie Brothers. Some of these two groups' songs were among my favorite modern popular songs from the 1970s. The first of Chicago's recordings that I really liked was Does Anybody Really Know What Time it Is? from 1970, and my first semester in college. In the summer of 1972, a really great popular music summer, there was Saturday in the Park. The following summer, Chicago produced Feelin' Stronger Every Day and later, Just You and Me. In spring 1974, Chicago relested I've Been Searchin' So Long, with Call On Me coming out just in time for graduation in 1974.

The Doobie Brothers' first hit, Listen to the Music hit the radio stations about July 1972. Long Train Runnin' and China Grove are remebered from the summer and fall of 1973, as I remember the group at college homecoming covering China Grove during the dance. Black Water, a 1975 Doobie Brothers' hit, always makes me think about Mark Twain working on a Mississippi river boat. After Michael McDonald joined the group, there came Little Darling (I Need You), from about 1977, and my favorite of all the Doobie Brothers' songs, What a Fool Believes from the end of 1978.

Two 1970s groups' Greatest Hits CDs, and there is not one "Disco" song among them. While many who were around for the "Disco" phenomenon now do not like to admit they liked some of the music, and enjoyed dancing to it, but the reality is not all Disco music was bad. The soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever didn't sell millions of copies because no one wanted to be John Tavolta in the white suit. Come on, be honest, "Boomers," you got into it.


Entry Date: March 14, 2012

Every silver lining has a cloud

And each piece of good fortune must be paid for by the pound

I've become so cynical these days,

I don't know how it started but it won't go away

See the lines around my eyes,

See the sarcasm in my smile,


You'd better smile


Cause that's all that you've got left,

Your life's a mess, you've been cut adrift

You'd better smile


I feel like a dalek inside,

Everything's gone grey but used to be so black and white

See the lines around my eyes,

See the sarcasm in my smile,



Volume 1: #2 With a Bullet--Top Hits of the 80s

Entry Date: March 9, 2012

I picked up this anthology CD at a Walgreens near West Chester. There are twelve popular songs from the 1980s, including two I sort of "missed" back then, but are good driving music. The first is Robert Nevil's C'est La Vie which was released in October 1986. It's too bad this one didn't quite register with me back then, as 1986 was a great year for popular music, and C'est La Vie was in that category, hitting Number 2 for two weeks. In March 1988, Johnny Hates Jazz, an Anglo-American group, enjoyed "one hit wonder" status with Shattered Dreams, like C'est La Vie a bouncy and catchy song. Johnny Hates Jazz was a one-hit wonder because the group split and went defunct shortly after this first success. Juice Newton was a very popular singer in the early-to-mid 1980s. This CD includes Ms. Newton's popular Queen of Hearts from 1981. The year 1982 found me locked in graduate business school listening to songs like Rick Springfield's Don't Talk to Strangers and lots of Hall and Oates songs, including Say It Isn't So, released in early 1983. Robert Palmer's Simply Irresistible, a hit song from the summer of 1988 is also a track on this CD, and Duran Duran, a Birmingham, UK group contributed Wild Boys from November 1984.

The best part of this "oldies anthology" was finding two very good popular songs that failed to register with me when they first came out. GNP Crescendo Records produces these collections of songs from different decades and makes them available on-line.

GNP Crescendo Records



Entry Date: March 2, 2012

DVD Cover of A&E's The Great Gatsby first shown on January 14, 2001.

Until cable came along, and peaked in the 90s with a wide variety of channels, television was like a "vast wasteland." A&E, the Arts and Entertainment channel, was a great example of what television could be if enough viewers would tune in. A&E was the place to go for historical and current affairs documentaries. Regular series like Kenny Rogers' Real West, focused on different periods of American history, supported by made-for-cable movies such as The Crossing, which chronicled George Washington's crossing of the Delaware River and The Lost Battalion, a World War I true story of a unit of the the US Army cut off in the Argonne Forest in 1918. Documentaries included the import of a British mini-series about the assassination of President Kennedy, The Men Who Killed Kennedy. The popular Biography series, hosted by Jack Perkins, was so well known that the comedy series, Mystery Science Theater 3000 spoofed it by having one of its cast imitate Jack Perkins playing host to encores of different episodes. A&E also brought us Investigative Reports, which highlighted revisionist views of recent news events and American Justice.

A&E made other films for television, many focused on classics of modern literature. In 2001, there was The Great Gatsby, with Mira Sorvino as Daisy Buchanan, Paul Rudd as Nick Carraway, Toby Stephens as Jay Gatsby, and Martin Donovan as Tom Buchanan. One of the last "classic A&E" presentations was the outstanding British series Horatio Hornblower, which got my hopes up that the old A&E just might hold out after spinning off Biography to its own channel and all of the history shows on to the History Channel. Instead of more movies and series like Horatio Hornblower we got Parking Wars, Storage Wars, and other junk "reality TV." The last hope that was Horatio Hornblower turned out to be the last gasp of "Old A&E." Reality shows are cheap to make, which might be the attraction for making a lot of them and dumping on the public. To be fair, the public eats them up, especially Storage Wars and Hoarding. The only remnant of what was once A&E was the Sunday morning series Breakfast with the Arts, that was dispatched to a memory along with the concert series that included Charlotte Church and the Eurythmics, just to show the musical variety that A&E once televised.

A&E was one example of why many thought government subsidies for Public Television could be eliminated. A&E gave us documentaries and serious films and there was Court TV, C-Span, Discovery Channel, and the Learning Channel. Court TV is gone now, and some of the other channels are following A&E into "Reality Land." Once again, there is only Public Television for a break from the junk. Like A&E, Public Television is like a baseball clean-up hitter that either hits a home run or strikes out. Upstairs, Downstairs and Downton Abbey are home runs for Public Television, but there are many more strike outs. People only rarely want television like the "Old A&E," and now the "Old History Channel."


Entry Date: March 1, 2012

This album reminds me of the turn of 1999 into 2000 since the Eurythmics' singles I Saved the World Today and 17 Again were both popular at that time, and the Arts and Entertainment Network (A&E) ran a Eurythmics concert shortly after New Years Day in 2000. I'll have to do an entire post in here about what has happened to A&E since those days. My favorite part of 17 Again is toward the end when Annie Lennox moves into a lilting version of the lyrics from Sweet Dreams are Made of These (Who am I to disagree?). I Saved the World Today played at the end of an episode of The Sopranos after Tony returned home exhausted after having to get rid of the corpse of his brother-in-law, Ritchie Aprile, shot to death at the dinner table by Tony's sister. Tony's wife, Carmella, asked what happened at Tony's sister's house.

Tony replied, "Ritchie is gone."

"'Gone?' What do you mean he's gone?" Carmella asked.

"He's gone," Tony, the mob boss answered, shooting Carmella a knowing look as if to ask, "Get it?"

"OH!" Carmella put Richie's disappearance in the context of her husband's career in organized crime.

Nothing like mobster humor, but sometimes The Eurythmics provide the best soundtrack for a long trip home.


Entry Date: March 1, 2012

Last week I used a shortcut to get home to Oil City, Pennsylvania from West Chester, Pennsylvania. Getting off the old Pennsylvania Turnpike at Bedford, you get on I-99 North, exit at PA-56 and take that route through Johnstown to PA-Route 119 North near Indiana, Pennsylvania. Take 119 North to PA-85 West. Take PA-85 West to PA-839 North toward New Bethlehem. This road runs through eastern Armstrong County through a small version of Lancaster County's Amish country in the area of Smicksburg and Dayton. Just south of Dayton, I stopped at Nelson's Convenience Store for some gasoline. Right behind me came an Amish couple in horse-drawn buggy just as I went inside the store to get some coffee. While paying for the coffee, I noticed the Amish man pumping gas into a container, and mentioned this to the cashier, who told me the Amish frequently buy gasoline there, pumping the fuel into portable containers. I had to react to this piece of Amish trivia this way:

"But Wilbur, I 'm a horse! I don't run on gas-o-line!"