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Order tickets for Philly Cooks!, a Benefit for MANNA

Go here to order your tickets now for a fabulous event to benefit MANNA. Philly Cooks! is sponsored by Philadelphia Magazine.

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MANNA Needs Volunteers!

MANNA urgently needs drivers, but they are also always looking for many different types of volunteers. Here is some information on the delivery drivers – for more info, see their website here.

MANNA drivers provide both nutritional and emotional support for the individuals and families that they serve. Drivers have direct contact with the people who receive MANNA meals.
• Deliveries take place Monday through Friday between 11:00 a.m.and 3:00 p.m.
• A delivery route typically takes between 1 and 2 hours and can begin at MANNA.
• Assignments are available throughout Philadelphia and Camden County, as well as Bucks, Montgomery, Chester and Delaware Counties.
• If at all possible, MANNA will custom-fit assignments to each volunteer’s schedule and preference of neighborhood.
• Typical assignments take about 1 1/2 hours, once a week, and can even be done on an extended lunch break.
• Volunteers do need to have a valid driver’s license and provide insurance for their own vehicles.

MANNA reminds all driving volunteers to maintain the confidentiality of clients by not wearing any MANNA clothing or hats while doing deliveries. In addition, no MANNA bumper stickers, flyers, etc. can be displayed on delivery vehicles. Click here for more information on client confidentiality.

Interested in delivering MANNA meals? Click here if you are an individual or click here if you are a part of a group.

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MANNA launches new website and Pie in the Sky!


For those of you that don’t know about MANNA, it is a local organization that provides nutrition to individuals and families dealing with the ravages of HIV/AIDS. I both volunteer for and work with them. They recently launched a new site on which you can register for their mailing list, make a donation, or sign up to volunteer.

Most importantly right now, though, is their annual event, Pie in the Sky. For each $25 pie that you buy, you will provide a Thanksgiving dinner for a family of 4. I can’t think of too many options for that kind of impact, so go buy your pie today. I have personally tasted many of the varieties, and they are outstanding! Go buy a pie, and give them a link on your own site, too.

Unfortunately, if you aren’t in Philadelphia you can’t order a pie for shipping, but we are looking into options for that perhaps for next year. If you know someone in the Philadelphia region, though, and want to buy them a pie, get in touch with me, and I can help you make arrangements to get it to them.

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Have I ever mentioned that I really hate unions?

Well, it is official, the unions have just cost the Philadelphia region, and the city specifically, in the form of MTV pulling the plug on their planned Real World Philadelphia show. The production company made it clear that they were a non-union shop, and yet the unions of our fair city threatened them with picket lines everywhere they went and tried to shoot. In so doing, these unions have cost all of the citizens of the city and the region.

When are they going to learn that they can’t hold people hostage? When are the rest of the people in Philadelphia going to tell the unions to take off? Will it take ending up like France with some union or another going on strike every other month and inconveniencing everyone for people to get really angry? Wasn’t losing most of the convention center business because of ridiculously high union labor costs enough? Will this be enough? I doubt it, but until the unions lose their strangle-hold on this city, Philadelphia will never lose the perception of crookedness that has dogged it consistently for the last 20+ years.

I really hate unions.

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Philadelphia Tax Incentives for Real Estate

I know this isn’t a technology article, but I saw this article at the New York Times about a proposed Keystone Opportunity Zone for a new building at 17th and JFK Blvd. My initial reaction is that there really isn’t anywhere in Center City that should get this designation, which allows occupants an exemption from all state and local taxes except the wage tax for 15 years. Anyone else have thoughts?

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MANNA Pie in the Sky

For those of you who have never heard of them, MANNA is an organization in Philadelphia that provides meals to people affected by HIV/AIDS in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. They deliver those meals to shutins. Their fall fundraiser is called Pie in the Sky. You can purchase pies directly from MANNA if you live in the Philly area, or you can make a donation.

I have worked quite a bit with MANNA and find them to be one of the most deserving charities in our area – that is not to say that there aren’t a lot of other charities in the region that are worthy. I can tell you that MANNA’s work makes a huge difference in the lives of those dealing with this horrible disease.

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AT&T Wi-fi at Philly airport

I saw an article over at CNET News.com that indicates AT&T has added wi-fi service at PHL. It looks like the service should work in all the terminals and concourses. I found a press release over at the PHL webiste.

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Phoenixville Teen arrested for Identity Theft

I heard a report this morning of a 19-year-old young man from Phoenixville that was arrested for using a trojan horse program to steal from someone’s online brokerage account. Here is an article from CNet that discusses this particular story in more detail.

The problem here is one that many users face with regards to online security. As our use of online systems make our lives more convenient, it can also make us more vulnerable to loss. It is extremely important for users to protect their online lives. My minimum recommendations are as follows:

1) Use antivirus and spyware detection programs. Antivirus products will help detect malicious programs before they are installed. Spyware detection programs work mostly after the fact and on programs that antivirus products may not catch.

2) Use unique and more secure passwords on sites where your financial information is stored, e.g. your online banking, stock broker or other financial services firm. For security’s sake, use a password that is at least 6 characters long and uses upper- and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols. Use symbols and numbers that can be substituted for letters in words to make the passwords easier to remember, for example – r10tGe@r could be used rather than riotgear. Do NOT use the same password for multiple financial institutions.

3) If you leave your credit card on file with a merchant, like Amazon, then treat the password for that site as recommended in item 1 above;

4) Do not store your passwords in an unencrypted file on your computer. Obviously, if you are going to use unique passwords, you will need a way to remember them. There are many password storage programs available on the Internet – use one that has an encryption feature like eWallet Pro from Ilium Software. If you store your passwords in a text file, then use another means of encryption like the built-in file encryption capabilities of Windows XP.

5) Periodically change your passwords – don’t leave them the same for years on end. You should change your passwords as often as you feel comfortable, but a minimum of once per year.

Following these simple rules won’t ensure that you never have a problem, but it will help. Keep in mind that there is generally a trade-off between convenience and security – you can never have both. If you have to tip the scale one way or the other, tip it towards security.

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