Daily archives: December 26th, 2009

Electronics Sales and Thefts Up This Year; Watch Your Stuff on CTA

Reports leading up to the holiday season indicated sales of electronics were up this year. While not meeting 2010 targets due to the G.O.P./Bush Recession, manufacturers still expected to do well.

Thieves are also looking for your gadgets, so be careful.

From the Chicago Tribune:

Lindsey Anderson had a strange feeling when a man boarded and sat down in front of her on the CTA’s Green Line near the Harlem station earlier this month.

“Maybe it’s women’s intuition or ESP, I don’t know,” said Anderson, 26, who lives in the city’s North Center neighborhood.

Sure enough, Anderson said the man reached toward her in a swift motion and tried to take her high-end cell phone. But she kept a tight grip on her Motorola Droid, and the man eventually ran off.

The would-be thief left Anderson with some soreness, but also her phone. Other commuters haven’t been as lucky. Chicago police say crooks spy the tiny white ear buds that often signal an iPhone and use the frequent stops of an “L” train to get away with a quick score.

I visited several mobile phone centers today, and they were packed. I didn’t purchase anything new — just shopping around — but these places were booming. Compare that with Macy’s, which was all but empty. Would-be thieves hope to sell your favorite gadget on the streets.

And Macy’s is way over-rated.

Hutchins’ Foot Boots Pitt Panthers Past UNC

From ESPN:

Thanks to a late-game rally in front of a hostile crowd, the Panthers made a strong case they’ve returned to prominence.

Lewis rushed for 159 yards and a touchdown to move up in the record book and Dan Hutchins kicked a 33-yard field goal with 52 seconds left, giving 17th-ranked Pitt a 19-17 victory over North Carolina on Saturday in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.

Winning 10 games for the first time since the Marino era in 1981, Pitt (10-3) overcame a disappointing loss to Cincinnati three weeks ago that cost it a spot in a BCS bowl.

"It’s back," Lewis said of Pitt football, moments after he was voted bowl MVP. "We’re not satisfied with just 10 wins. We want to get more next year."

The last win in 2009 required a remarkable 17-play drive that lasted nearly 9 minutes, included a key fourth-down conversion, a costly penalty against North Carolina and 13 runs by the dynamic Lewis.

Eclipsing Dorsett’s freshman rushing record of 1,686 yards in the first quarter, Lewis also moved past Craig Heyward into second on the school’s single-season list with 1,799 yards. Dorsett rushed for 2,150 yards in 1976 when he won the Heisman Trophy and Pitt won its last national title.

"It’s tough to describe what Dion has accomplished," coach Dave Wannstedt said. "He’s special."

I am so happy for the University of Pittsburgh. The Panther defense really played a tough game.

My father always reminds me that we were at Pitt Stadium and watched Tony Dorsett run for 303 yards against Notre Dame. Dad tells me I was in the 8th grade, and told him during the game, "I think I’d like to go to Notre Dame." It must have been the band, since the football team lost. Years later, head coach Gerry Faust and I arrived on campus. I played in the band. Faust should have. Thanks to Faust, we didn’t have to play the Victory Clog or the Victory March much during football games. We had more success at basketball and hockey games.

Right. This is about Pitt, right?

Way to go, Panthers! And hats off to Dave Wannstedt. I miss you in Chicago, but it’s good to see fellow guy from Baldwin do so well. Congratulations, coach!

More play-by-play analysis from ESPN.

Christmas Day Terror Suspect Charged

From WTAE Pittsburgh:

The Justice Department has charged the alleged Christmas Day terrorist with attempting to destroy an airplane.

The Justice Department said 23-year-old Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had a device containing a high explosive attached to his body. The government says that as the flight neared Detroit Metropolitan Airport on Friday, Abdulmutallab set off the device, but it sparked a fire instead of an explosion.

According to an affidavit filed in federal court in Detroit, a preliminary analysis of the device shows that it contained PETN, also known as pentaerythritol.

The government alleges that Abdulmutallab told passengers that his stomach was upset, then pulled a blanket over himself. Passengers then heard popping noises.

He allegedly claimed to have been instructed by al-Qaida to detonate the plane over U.S. soil.

Imagine using the justice system to prosecute alleged terrorists! Send him to Guantanamo without a trial and throw away the key!

Maybe not. Perhaps this still is America, with justice for all.