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Power shopping A guide to navigating Electric Choice

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Katherine Hackleman SENIOR EDITOR/WRITER




The more things change, the more they stay the same

James Dulley Janette Hess Barbara Martin Marcus Schneck

As competition comes to Pennsylvania, cooperatives stay on course


W. Douglas Shirk LAYOUT & DESIGN


Vonnie Kloss


The Top 10 Things You Need to Know about Electric Choice



Penn Lines (USPS 929-700), the newsmagazine of Pennsylvania’s electric cooperatives, is published monthly by the Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association, 212 Locust Street, P.O. Box 1266, Harrisburg, PA 17108-1266. Penn Lines helps 166,400 households of co-op consumermembers understand issues that affect the electric cooperative program, their local coops, and their quality of life. Electric co-ops are not-for-profit, consumer-owned, locally directed, and taxpaying electric utilities. Penn Lines is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts. The opinions expressed in Penn Lines do not necessarily reflect those of the editors, the Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association, or local electric distribution cooperatives. Subscriptions: Electric co-op members, $5.42 per year through their local electric distribution cooperative. Preferred Periodicals postage paid at Harrisburg, PA 17105 and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes with mailing label to Penn Lines, 212 Locust Street, P.O. Box 1266, Harrisburg, PA 17108-1266. Advertising: Display ad deadline is six weeks prior to month of issue. Ad rates upon request. Acceptance of advertising by Penn Lines does not imply endorsement of the product or services by the publisher or any electric cooperative. If you encounter a problem with any product or service advertised in Penn Lines, please contact: Advertising, Penn Lines, P.O. Box 1266, Harrisburg, PA 17108. Penn Lines reserves the right to refuse any advertising.


E N E R G Y M AT T E R S Slaying energy vampires with smart strips


KEEPING CURRENT News items from across the Commonwealth


TIME LINES Your newsmagazine through the years

10A C O O P E R AT I V E



Information and advice from your local electric co-op



Evergreens are in season 12


Remember your first Buck knife? Teenage outdoorsman carried a monster of a knife on every outdoor adventure




Humidifiers cool air, energy bills Room humidifiers may improve health while lowering winter energy bills




Any way you slice it ... Any way you slice it, roll it, cut it or press it, a sugar cookie is a perennial holiday favorite Board officers and staff, Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association: Chairman, S. Eugene Herritt; Vice Chairman, Kevin Barrett; Secretary, Lanny Rodgers; Treasurer, Leroy Walls; President & CEO, Frank M. Betley





© 2010 Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited.

Thoughts from Earl Pitts– Uhmerikun!

Visit with us at Penn Lines Online, located at: pennlines.asp. Penn Lines Online provides an email link to Penn Lines editorial staff, information on advertising rates, contributor’s guidelines, and an archive of past issues.

Earl on hunting and other adventure sports



Let it snow, let it snow

O N T H E COV E R With the expiration of rate caps at the end of 2010, Pennsylvania enters a fully competitive market for electric generation. Here’s your guide to understanding Electric Choice. Illustration by Tony Fitch





by Frank M. Betley

The more things change, the more they stay the same As competition comes to Pennsylvania, cooperatives stay on course EACH NEW YEAR brings the promise of change. In fact, many of us make resolutions committing ourselves to making a change in our lives. Whether we want to drop a bad habit or pick up a good one, we often use New Year’s Day as a starting point. This coming January 1 will bring a change to the electricity industry as we know it in Pennsylvania. The new year will usher in an era of full competition in the electric generation market. As the remaining rate caps on investor-owned utilities expire at the end of 2010, what Pennsylvanians will pay for electric generation will be based on market prices. Along with this change, all Commonwealth residents will have the ability to choose their electric generation supplier through “Electric Choice.” You’ve probably been hearing a lot about Electric Choice lately. Whether it’s in the news, in advertisements or just from people talking about it, Electric Choice has gotten a lot of attention in recent months. Whatever you want to President & CEO Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association





call it — Electric Choice, Retail Competition, Retail Choice — it all boils down to the same thing: the ability to “shop” for the generation portion of your electric bill. While the electric service to your home would be from the same company, Electric Choice allows you to choose where that power comes from. Shopping for electricity is nothing new. The initiative began in 1996 with a piece of legislation known as the Electricity Generation Customer Choice and Competition Act, which gave people the right to shop for generation. The idea behind it — a good one at the time — was to encourage competition and, as a result, lower prices for consumers. Electric Choice actually kicked off in Pennsylvania about 10 years ago, with many companies entering the market to provide electricity to consumers willing to switch generation providers. Unfortunately, the price of electricity skyrocketed, and these generation suppliers soon disappeared. It was the opposite effect of what the legislation intended. To save the program, the Legislature stepped in and capped electric rates for investor-owned utilities at 1996 levels. Those rate caps have been coming off over the past few years, with the remaining caps for investor-owned utilities like Penelec, Allegheny Power and Met-Ed coming off at the end of 2010. Across the state, most consumers have found that electric bills have gone up with generation rates now based on market rates. The same is expected after the remaining rate caps come off. All of this has given new life to Electric Choice. Several generation providers have entered the market to offer consumers some choice. However, even the best offers still reflect an increase in rates.

Interestingly for electric cooperatives, all of these industry changes feel a lot like history repeating itself. Though we all have a right to choose our electric generation supplier in Pennsylvania, generation suppliers also get to choose where they market their products. Ten years ago, Pennsylvania’s electric cooperatives were at the forefront of efforts to bring electric competition to rural areas. Unfortunately, generation suppliers did not find it profitable to enter into these areas — echoing the very reasons cooperatives were formed in the first place. As you may recall, 75 years ago the federal government, through the Rural Electrification Act, provided private power companies with low-interest loans to bring electricity to rural America. Those companies saw no profit in these sparsely populated, hard-to-reach areas, and didn’t take advantage of these loans. As a result, local rural residents took it upon themselves to form electric cooperatives and provide power for themselves and their neighbors. Since then, electric cooperatives have stayed true to their mission of providing their members with reliable electric service at a reasonable cost, and the results have been pretty good. In fact, as we enter this new era of Electric Choice, cooperative generation rates will be the lowest in the state. So whether or not competition comes to our rural areas is not something we are going to dwell on. We already have the lowest generation rates around — not because we’ve been focused on competition, but because we’ve remained committed to serving our members. That’s not a habit we plan on changing in the new year or any other year. Best wishes for a joyous holiday season. l



Things You Need to Know about

Electric Choice Compiled by PREA Staff

YOU MAY HAVE been hearing a lot about “Electric Choice” in recent months. That’s because Pennsylvania is about to enter a fully competitive market for electric generation. Under Electric Choice, generation rates will be based on market prices — and consumers will have the right to choose their generation supplier. To prepare for Electric Choice, generation rates for investorowned utilities (IOUs) have been capped for the past decade. Those caps have been coming off in recent years, allowing for alternative generation suppliers to enter the market to sell generation. Rate caps for the remaining investor-owned utilities, including Allegheny Power, Met-Ed and Penelec, will be lifted at the end of 2010. As an electric cooperative consumer-member, you may be wondering how all of this impacts you. The following is a guide to help you navigate the new Electric Choice landscape.

1. What is Electric Choice? Electric Choice, Retail Choice, Retail Competition, Deregulation — call it what you like — it all means the same thing. Electric Choice allows customers the ability to choose the company that generates their electricity.

2. Why do we have Electric Choice? It goes back to 1996, when the Pennsylvania General Assembly enacted the Electricity Generation Customer Choice and Competi-

tion Act, which gave consumers the right to choose their generation provider. The legislative goal behind the act was to lower electric prices for consumers. Similar legislation was going into effect around the country to help control the cost of electricity.

3. What happened under restructuring or deregulation? To get Electric Choice to work, the state had to first restructure — or deregulate — the electric utility industry. This was accomplished by separating the various components of the utility business model — namely, the distribution and generation components. Think of distribution as what your local electric cooperative does — they maintain the poles, handle the billing and get power into your home. Generation refers to the power plants that produce the electricity you use. Because it wouldn’t have been practical to encourage competition on the distribution side (think of a bunch of companies putting up different sets of utility poles up and down your street to compete for your business), the state made the generation component competitive. As a result, traditional power companies no longer could generate and distribute electricity. They sold off their generation assets, thereby making generation a commodity that could be bought and sold on the open market. With this new structure in place, the stage was set for competition. DECEMBER 2010 • PENN



PENNlines 4. What exactly are we choosing with Electric Choice? The “choice” refers to the generation portion of your electric bill. Consumers now have the right to choose the company that generates their electricity — the electric generation supplier or EGS. The distribution of electricity remains the same, meaning your distribution company would remain the same. The quality, reliability and maintenance of your electric service would still be the responsibility of your electric distribution company or, in your case, your local electric cooperative.

5. If it started in 1996, why are we hearing about it now? While the legislation was passed in 1996, Electric Choice actually first took effect in 2000-01. In the beginning, a large number of electric generation suppliers moved in to market electric generation to consumers, and it appeared to be working. Unfortunately, the market price for electricity shot up dramatically, and soon all the EGSs disappeared. To keep Electric Choice alive, the Legislature decided to step in and cap rates at 1996 prices. This made for a more stable market, but also resulted in virtually no competition over the past 10 years. The rate caps have been coming off over the past few years, with the last of them set to expire at the end of 2010. As the rate caps have come off, several EGSs have been marketing extensively in Pennsylvania, which is the main reason consumers are hearing about Electric Choice again.

6. What has been the impact of the rate caps coming off?

lower your electric bill, then that’s all the reason you would need to switch. Electric Choice, in some instances, has also delivered the possibility of choosing the type of electricity you purchase. For example, you may have the opportunity to receive generation from an EGS that markets only renewable energy. While that may be more expensive, consumers in those areas may be willing to pay a premium for that type of generation. Another reason consumers might switch has to do with special incentives. EGSs today are coming out with all kinds of marketing campaigns to lure customers. For example, you may be offered points in a travel rewards program, or a gift card for a retail shop for switching your generation supplier.

9. What will be the impact on my cooperative when rate caps come off? Cooperative rates have never been subject to rate caps, so there will be virtually no impact once all the rate caps come off. Further, unlike the investor-owned utilities that sold off their generation assets, Pennsylvania’s cooperatives held onto their power resources and are not totally dependent on the market for generation. In fact, close to 70 percent of your power comes from self-owned and long-term generation resources. As a result, your cooperative generation rate is likely the lowest you’ll find anywhere, which is quite remarkable in this new competitive environment.

As rate caps started coming off almost three years ago, customers started having to pay market prices for electricity. After 10 years of rate caps, the market rates have been higher — dramatically so in some cases. In Pike County, Pennsylvania, rates went up 73 percent. In cen- 10. Can I switch as a cooperative consumer? Everyone has the right to choose an alternative electric gentral and northeastern Pennsylvania, PPL’s service territory, rates eration supplier under Electric Choice. But “choice” goes both went up over 30 percent at the beginning of 2010. ways: You have the right to choose, but Rate increases are also expected in the an EGS may choose to not serve your Allegheny Power, Met-Ed and Penelec area. Electric Choice, as it’s been made areas as those caps come off at the end of on information further For the Pennsylvania Public Utility by clear 2010. Commission and other entities, is not Electric Choice, please visit the available in all areas. 7. What has happened to the EGSs? following sites. Predictably, most of these companies With the increases in rates, some EGSs make money based on volume sales. As have returned to many investor-owned PA Power Switch: our cooperative history has shown, private utility areas. power companies have not found our Though not in the great numbers they sparsely populated rural areas profitable. once were when Electric Choice began, Utility Choice: It’s the very reason cooperatives were several EGSs are actively marketing formed in the first place. ation in Pennsylvania, and more are So while you may have the right to expected to enter the market as the Office of Consumer Advocate: choose, you might not have generation remaining caps come off. options to choose from. But the good news 8. Why should anyone switch? is that if an EGS would want to serve a The most obvious reason anyone cooperative area, it would have to beat the should switch is price. If you could lowest generation rate around. l 6



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ENERGYmatters Slaying energy vampires with smart strips AS CHILDREN, most of us were told to turn off the TV when no one was in the room to keep from wasting energy. But with today’s televisions, turning off the set doesn’t save as much energy as you think. “Off” doesn’t really mean off anymore. Several devices found inside your home are commonly referred to as “parasitic loads,” “phantom loads,” or “energy vampires” — consuming electricity even when switched off. Phantom loads can be found in almost every room, but a favorite “coffin” is your entertainment center. Most TVs today slowly sip electricity while waiting patiently for someone to press the “on” button. They also use energy to remember channel lineups, language preferences and the time. VCRs, DVD players, DVRs, and cable or satellite boxes also use energy when we think they’re turned off. Studies show that in an average home, 5 to 8 percent of electricity consumption stems from phantom loads. To put that in perspective, the average North American household consumes roughly 10,800 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per year. If you estimate that 6.5 percent of your total electricity consumption comes from phantom loads, the amount drained by these vampires equals about 700 kWh annually. So how can you tell which devices are OK to leave plugged in and which need to have a wooden stake driven through their hearts?

Identify plug parasites Microwave ovens and alarm clocks, which use relatively small amounts of standby power, are acceptable to leave plugged in. A digital video recorder (DVR) 8




By B r i a n S l o b o da


A constant hot device remains on even after the control and automatic devices are turned off.

uses a fairly significant amount of power when turned off, but if you record programs frequently, you will want to leave it plugged in. You don’t have to worry about unplugging items with mechanical on/off switches, such as lamps, hair dryers, or small kitchen appliances like toasters or mixers — they don’t draw any power when turned off. How do you slay other energy vampires? Try plugging household electronics like personal computers, monitors, printers, speakers, stereos, DVD and video game players, and cell phone chargers into power strips. Not only do power strips protect sensitive electronic components from power surges, you can quickly turn off several items at once. (Routers and modems also can be plugged into power strips, although they take longer to reactivate.)

Smart strips = easy savings Power strips, however, are often hidden behind entertainment centers or under desks and forgotten. A better solution may be found in “smart strips.” Most smart strips feature three outlet colors, each with a unique task. The blue outlet serves as a control plug, and is ideal for a heavily used device like a TV or

computer. Anything plugged into red outlets stays on — electricity to these receptacles never cuts off — making them perfect for satellite boxes or other appliances that need constant power. The remaining outlets, generally neutral or green in color, are sensitive to current flowing through the blue outlet, so turning off the TV or computer cuts power to them as well. Some smart power strips can be made even smarter with timers or occupancy sensors that determine when to cut power to various devices. Smart strips are available online or at specialty electronic retailers and generally cost $20 or more depending on their size. Payback generally can be achieved in less than one year, depending on the type of equipment the strips control and how often they are used. Maybe our parents asked us to turn the TV off because vampires, phantoms and parasites haunted their electric bills. These days, smart strips can chase these load monsters away from your home — and your pocketbook. l Brian Sloboda is a program manager specializing in energy efficiency for the Cooperative Research Network, a service of the Arlington, Va.-based National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

KEEPINGcurrent Want to know how much your deer weighs, how old it is? Hunters always want to know how much their deer weighs and how old it is. Now they can do more than just guess. The Pennsylvania Game Commission has some free tools to guide hunters in finding the answers to their questions. The commission has posted a link on its website,, that demonstrates the technique used to categorize deer into different age groups. To view the video, go to the website, click on the white-tailed deer icon in the center of the homepage and select “Deer Aging” in the “Deer Hunting” section. The aging method involves checking the deer’s teeth. The Pennsylvania Game Commission, in conjunction with the Pennsylvania State University Department of Dairy and Animal Science, has also posted a deer weight-estimating chart in its “White-Tailed Deer” section under the “Deer Weight Chart” in the “Deer Hunting” section. This method uses the girth of the deer’s chest to help hunters estimate a deer’s live weight and fielddressed weight, as well as the weight of edible boneless meat.

St. Francis University offers free wind reports The St. Francis University Renewable Energy Center, which was featured in the February 2010 Penn Lines article, “Educating Generation Green,” was recently awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Community Foundation for the Alleghenies to

provide reports on wind resources to Pennsylvania landowners. The center will prepare wind resource assessment reports for specific sites. Owners of sites with sufficient wind resource will be provided information on how to choose a reputable wind installer. Owners of sites without sufficient wind resource will be advised about other possible renewable energy sources they could utilize. Due to the grant, this service is free to all landowners throughout Pennsylvania. More information is available at or by email at

Case made for practical, cost-effective cleanup of bay Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger, noting the state is committed to helping to restore the Chesapeake Bay, says his department has developed a workable, cost-effective plan to restore both the waters of Pennsylvania and the bay. The plan was presented at a series of recent meetings hosted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Pennsylvania encompasses 35.2 percent of the bay watershed with nearly 14.4 million acres. Federal models show that Pennsylvania contributes 106.4 million pounds of nitrogen and 3.96 million pounds of phosphorous to the bay watershed each year. The state’s plan, called the Pennsylvania Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan, focuses on three key elements:

k Milestone implementation and tracking. The report notes the Chesapeake Bay Model reflects only what is entered, and suggests that the state verify those figures. k Advanced technologies and nutrient trading. The report notes Pennsylvania’s nutrient trading program is a model program that has generated interest across the country. At the same time, advanced technology using digesters could reduce nitrogen levels substantially. k Enhancing compliance efforts. The report calls for development of an agricultural water quality initiative, revisions to stormwater management plans and increased technical assistance for staff, elected officials and the public to assist in identifying opportunities for retrofitting or trading/offsetting to address existing stormwater problems. Following a series of public meetings to address the preliminary watershed improvement plan, the state will submit a final draft of the updated plan to the EPA. l





Yo u r N e w s m a g a z i n e T h r o u g h t h e Y e a r s

2000 THIS limited edition print, “REA At Last,” by artist Pamela Renfroe demonstrates the changes that have taken place in rural electric cooperatives through the years. One thing that has not changed, however, is the strong concern for rural communities that the cooperatives have. The rural electric cooperative bucket truck you see rumbling down the road this month might not be headed out to repair an electric line. Instead, the line crew inside could be on a mission to help a nearby town string its holiday lights or hang decorations. In addition to the cooperative itself being a good corporate citizen, many employees who work at rural electric cooperatives will donate part of their Christmas bonuses and/or time in assisting local charities. While activities like these are often magnified during this time of year — when everyone is in the “holiday spirit,” they are really nothing out of the ordinary for local electric cooperatives. It’s simply part of their “commitment to community,” a guiding cooperative principle. Cooperative employees understand that what is good for the community is usually good for the cooperative, and they are willing to work to improve the quality of life for residents in their rural areas. However, they aren’t the only ones pitching in to help make those rural areas a better place to live. Consumer-members are also involved. Through programs such as Operation Round-Up, volunteer cooperative members regularly pay a little bit extra in their monthly electric bills in order to assist fellow cooperative members who are in need.

1970 New PREA officers are: President James

1980 Penn Lines focuses on the benefits and

G. Marshall, center, Warren Electric Cooperative; Secretary-Treasurer V. Kyle Trout, left, Adams Electric Cooperative; and Vice President Clair Buterbaugh, Southwest Central Rural Electric Corporation (now REA Energy Cooperative).

costs of environmental regulation, and on the challenge to attain a balance between protecting the environment and promoting an economic climate that will encourage a switch to coal in this second in a series of articles about relying more on coal.




1990 Staff members of Penn Lines send a “Christmas card” cover to all of the magazine’s readers to remind them that during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season it is important to take time and reflect on the many blessings that residents of Pennsylvania and visitors to the state enjoy.


by Barbara Martin

Evergreens are in season I ONCE thought all evergreens were pines and recognized only three deciduous trees: helicopter (maple), acorn (oak) and bee-laden (pink flowers). To be honest, I resisted studying trees in favor of flowers and herbs, and the occasional vegetable. But when I learned more about trees, I fell in love! A trained eye enriches our experience and, in this regard, trees are no exception. For a gardener, getting to know trees on a more intimate level is like meeting a whole new group of friends. Winter is a great season to discover trees, beginning with evergreens. Tidbit: evergreens do not hold the same leaves forever, they actually drop some every year. That’s how the carpet of needles develops under a pine grove. Evergreen trees include broad-leafed types such as the traditional English holly, as well as the decorator’s beloved southern magnolia with its oversized, thick, glossy, elliptical leaves. BARBARA MARTIN , who says she began gardening as a hobby “too many years ago to count,” currently works for the National Gardening Association as a horticulturist. A former member of Gettysburg-based Adams Electric Cooperative, her articles appear in magazines and on the internet.

Needled evergreens can be tough to identify because at first glance they all sort of look the same. A quick basic distinction is to notice if the tree produces cones. Pine trees are conifers you might already recognize by their typical “pine cones” and foliage shaped like slender sewing needles. There are different kinds of pine; one of the ways to tell them apart is by their needles. Notice the length of the needles, the number of needles bundled together, and notice how long they stay on the tree before dropping off. For example, the native Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus) has two- to four-inch long needles bundled together in groups of five that stay on the tree about two years. Another needled evergreen you might be familiar with is our Pennsylvania state tree, the native hemlock. The Canadian or Eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) has very small cones — an inch or less — and the needles are short and flattened. We see so-called blue spruces in many yards, possibly because this conifer is a popular living Christmas tree. Usually, it is a named variety of Colorado spruce (Picea pungens — the pungens reflects its pungent fragrance) such as “Fat Albert” or

“Hoopsii,” selections made specifically for their uniformity of size, shape and color. The “Dwarf Alberta” spruce is a compact, slow-growing variety of Picea glauca, the white spruce. Spruce needles are prickly, short and curved. On P. pungens, the 3/4- to 1 1/4-inch needles have four distinct sides and grow all around the stem; P. glauca needles are shorter and cluster primarily on the upper side of the stem. Junipers are common in Pennsylvania, too. Our native “Eastern Redcedar” is botanically a juniper. We grow a bewildering array of both shrub and tree forms in our landscapes. Juniper foliage in the juvenile stage is needlelike, and when in its mature stage sometimes changes to a scale-type form. The foliage color may be green or bluegreen or gray-green, but all junipers develop distinctive fleshy cones or fruits. I’ve mentioned only a few

A FOREST OF CHRISTMAS TREES: A little bit of research will lead you to a new appreciation for all types of evergreens.

of the many evergreen trees. For most purposes, it is sufficient to know the genus, meaning for example, if it is a spruce or juniper or pine. If you are unsure, you could look at a tree guide or consult with a master gardener, or visit a plant nursery and compare the trees there with a sample of foliage from your tree. Being familiar with the trees on your property means you can scout problems before they become severe or life-threatening. Unfortunately, even the best trees are occasionally beset by a pest or disease or subject to environmental or other stress. Should you ever need to seek help, it’s important to know the type of tree and carefully observe the symptoms. Here’s wishing you (and all your trees) a happy and healthy 2011! l





by Marcus Schneck

Remember your first Buck knife? Teenage outdoorsman carried a monster of a knife on every outdoor adventure IF IT CAME your way similarly to the route followed by my first one — and there’s an excellent chance that it did — you received it for Christmas or a birthday as a replacement for that old, hand-medown, no-name blade you had been carrying into your early teens. My first Buck, which has taken and held edge after edge over the decades, was a monster of a knife, weighing in at nearly a pound in its sheath and sporting six full inches of blade. Despite the heft and bulk of that thing, I carried it everywhere on my outdoor travels. A miniature Leatherman that weighs in at a mere two ounces and carries easily when folded down to two inches is my current day-today knife. And I don’t carry anything as big as my original Buck, even on a bear hunt. Today I realize that all SCHNECK , is outdoor editor for The (Harrisburg, Pa.) Patriot-News, a contributor to many outdoor publications and websites, and author of more than two dozen books.



that weight and bulk is at least double anything I want, or need, to carry. But that old Buck still occupies a place of honor on a shelf in the gun cabinet, as shiny and razor-sharp as it was in the days when I carried it regularly. Although the blade is as clean and bright as the day I unwrapped it as a present under the Christmas tree, I can still remember the first deer body cavity it sliced opened, the first muskrat it skinned and the first flint-struck fire it started. I can only imagine how many other 20- and 30- and 40-year-old Buck knives


carry similar memories for their owners-for-life. In 2010 alone, Idahobased Buck Knives produced more than a million knives. The millionth knife of the year rolled off the line on Friday, Oct. 29, 2010, the date that was engraved on the blade. It was a Model 100 Folding Hunter, which folds down to just under five inches for carrying and was first produced in 1962. It also was the predecessor to the Model 110, which in 1964 offered a new lock-blade design that allowed the company launched in 1902 by Hoyt Buck, a Kansas black-

Memories of first Buck knife include the first flintstruck fire it started. VERSATILE KNIFE:

smith apprentice producing the first Buck knives from worn-out file blades, to again revolutionize the knife industry. The company today produces more than 60 standard models of knives plus an array of custom models. And, despite my day-to-day reliance on that little Leatherman, I’ll admit to having about a half-dozen of those models and every now and then spotting another one I’d love to add to the arsenal. l



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by James Dulley

Humidifiers cool air, energy bills Room humidifiers may improve health while lowering winter energy bills MOST PEOPLE suffer during winter from overly dry air in their homes. Since the indoor humidity level drops or increases gradually as seasons change, the variation of indoor humidity levels may not be noticed. These changes are a function of the region of the country, so always check with local experts for specific advice. Properly humidified indoor air is not only comfortable and healthy, it can reduce your winter heating bills. Room humidifiers typically use less energy than a 100-watt lightbulb. Many models have built-in humidistats that automatically switch the unit on and off, so they consume even less electricity than listed on the unit’s nameplate. There is a cooling effect when the water from the humidifier evaporates, so running the humidifier will cool a room’s air slightly. This is the same evaporation process (perspiration) of moisture from your skin that makes you feel cool as water changes state from liquid to vapor (gas). However, the heat generated from the humidifier’s electricity use offsets the slight cooling effect. Just like sweating outdoors on a lowhumidity day makes you feel cool, the same process occurs indoors in dry air. The amount of moisture evaporation from your skin is greater when the indoor air is excessively dry, so you may actually feel chilly when the indoor air temperature is high enough for comfort. The evaporation of your skin’s moisture can also dry your skin, make you itch and irritate sinuses. Running a humidifier helps you save energy by reducing the chilling effect of the evaporation of skin moisture. By properly 14



humidifying the air, you can feel comfortable at a lower room temperature. This allows you to set the furnace thermostat lower and you should end up saving more energy than the humidifier uses. Depending upon your climate, you should be able to save 1 to 2 percent on your heating bills for each degree you lower your furnace thermostat setting. The proper type of room humidifier depends on your family’s needs and the size and room layout of your house. One or two room humidifiers are generally enough for a reasonably airtight, energyefficient home. Older, leaky houses may need more or larger-capacity models. Humidity in the indoor air tends to naturally migrate throughout the house. Cooking, bathing, and washing clothes and dishes also add a significant amount of moisture to the room air. For daytime use, an evaporative type of humidifier is effective and the least expensive to buy. These humidifiers use a wick material that has one end submerged in a water reservoir. It naturally draws up water from the reservoir. There is a fan inside the humidifier that draws room air through the wick where

it evaporates into the air stream. Evaporative humidifiers are easy to keep clean, and some of the wicks are treated with an antimicrobial substance. Evaporative models usually have a threespeed fan. The high-speed can be noisy, but the low-speed setting on some models is quiet enough not to interrupt sleep. If your children tend to get colds, a warm mist humidifier would be a good bedroom choice. These models boil water to create water vapor. The steam is mixed with room air before it comes out so it is not too hot. Germfree models include an ultraviolet light purifier chamber to further sanitize the air flowing through it. These use about 260 watts of electricity. Another design uses ultrasonic waves to create water vapor mist. These are the most energy efficient, using about 50 watts of electricity. A very quiet fan blows the mist into the room. l is a nationally syndicated energy management expert. You can reach him at James Dulley, c/o Penn Lines, 6906 Royalgreen Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45244.



by Janette He ss

Any way you slice it ... ANY WAY YOU slice it, roll it, cut it or press it, a sugar cookie is a perennial holiday favorite. Sugar cookies sliced from rolls of frozen dough obviously take less prep time than sugar cookies involving rolling pins, cutters and frosting. But both deserve a place in holiday cookie assortments, as do sugar cookies that are pressed into shape right on the baking sheet. The dough for sliced sugar cookies can be stored in the freezer and then baked whenever fresh cookies are needed in a hurry. Rolled sugar cookies also may be made in advance. Simply bake them and freeze them unfrosted. When serving time approaches, remove them from the freezer and give them a coating of rich buttercream frosting. No one will ever guess that they weren’t baked and frosted on the same day! l A trained journalist, JANETTE HESS focuses her writing on interesting people and interesting foods. She is a Master Food Volunteer with her local extension service and enjoys collecting, testing and sharing recipes.


UGAR COO 1/2 cup gran KIES ulated sugar 1/2 cup powde red sugar 1/2 cup vege tabl 1/2 cup (1 stic e oil k) bu slightly soften tter, ed 1 egg 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extrac t 1/2 teaspoon almond extrac t 1 vanilla bean , split length wise 2 cups plus 3 tablespoons flour 1/2 teaspoon cream of tart ar 1/2 teaspoon baking soda Dash of salt (1/8 teaspoon ) Combine suga rs, oil and butt er in mixing bo seeds that have wl. well. Mix in dry been scraped from the interio Add egg, extracts and ingredients. Dr op by spoonful r of the vanilla bean. Beat taking care no s on ungreased t to cookie sheet, granulated suga crowd. Using a flat-bottom glas r, press to a th ickness of 1/4 in s that has been dipped in approximately ch 12 transfer to a co minutes or until edges are . Bake at 350 degrees for lightly browne oling rack. Mak d. es 3 dozen m elt-in-your-mou Carefully th cookies.


1/2 cup (1 stick) un salted butter, softe ned 1 cup shortening 1 cup granulated su gar 1/2 cup brown suga r 3 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla ex tract 1 teaspoon almond extract 3 1/2 cups plus 2 tab lespoons flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon salt

OPTIONAL STIR-IN INGREDIENTS: 1/2 cup chopped pe cans 30 Maraschino cher ries, chopped, draine d and patted very dr y Combine butter, short ening, sugars, eggs and extracts. Beat we ingredients. Mix tho roughly and divide be ll. Add dry tw paper. Press and mo ld into two, smooth een two large pieces of waxed rolls 1 1/2 to 2 inche Freeze wrapped rolls s in diameter. un Place slices on ungre til firm. With a thin, sharp knife, cut int o slices. ased cookie sheet an d bake at 400 degre 8 minutes or until lig es for 6 to htly browned. Make s 5 dozen. If a more festive co okie is desired, caref ully work pecans an into dough before for d cherries ming into rolls.

ROLLED SUGAR COOKIES 3 cups flour 1 cup granulated sugar 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda Dash of salt (1/8 teaspoon) 1 cup (2 sticks) butter 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

salt. Using pastry blender or fork, Blend flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and ld resemble fine crumbs. Comcut butter into dry ingredients. Mixture shou re and toss with a fork. Do mixtu b crum to Add ct. bine eggs and vanilla extra Divide into two portions ball. a into not over-blend. Using hands, press dough a 3/4-inch thick circle. to n Flatte . wrap ic plast or r and place on waxed pape a 3/16-inch thickness. to ce surfa d Wrap and chill. Roll out on a lightly floure ungreased cookie sheet on Bake es. shap ed desir e Use cookie cutters to creat cool. when at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Frost BUTTERCREAM FROSTING 3 cups powdered sugar 5 tablespoons butter, softened 2 tablespoons milk 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract ed Several drops of food coloring, if desir

butter. Add milk and vanilla extract Combine powdered sugar and softened ing. and beat until smooth. Tint with food color




PENNLINESclassified HERE’S MY AD: Yes, I want my message to go into more than 166,400 households in rural Pennsylvania. I have counted _________ words in this ad. (FOR ADS IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS, ADD 20 PERCENT TO TOTAL COST.)



am an electric co-op member. Attached is my Penn Lines mailing label from the front of this magazine. ❏ II enclose $20 per month for 30 words or less, plus 50¢ for each additional word. The total payment enclosed is $_________________________. Please run my ad during the months of ______________________________________________________. NOT a member of an electric cooperative. I enclose $70 per month for 30 words or less, plus $1.50 ❏ Iforameach additional word. The total payment enclosed is $_____________________. Please run my ad during the months of ______________________________________________________. _______________ _______________ _______________ _______________ _______________ _______________ 1



















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Additional words: _____________________________________________________ (use separate sheet if needed) NOTE: You must pay for special heading requests, even if the heading is currently appearing in Penn Lines. Only the following qualify as free headings. Please check your selection: Around the House Business Opportunities Employment Opportunities Gift and Craft Ideas Livestock and Pets Miscellaneous Motor Vehicles and Boats Nursery and Garden Real Estate Recipes Tools and Equipment Vacations and Campsites Wanted to Buy. and Food FOR SPECIAL HEADINGS NOT LISTED: Indicate special heading you would like, and add $5 for co-op members, $10 for non-members. Insertion of classified ad in Penn Lines serves as proof of publication; no proofs are furnished. SEND THIS FORM (or a sheet containing the above information) to Penn Lines Classifieds, P.O. Box 1266, Harrisburg, PA 17108. FOR INFORMATION ONLY Telephone: 717/233-5704. NO classified ads will be accepted by phone. ATTN: Checks/money orders should be made payable to PREA/Penn Lines.

❏ ❏

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SABOT 12 GAUGE SHOTGUN SLUGS only 85 cents each. Now you can See How at

PIANO TUNING PAYS — Learn at home with American School of Piano Tuning home-study course in piano tuning and repair. Tools included. Diploma granted. Call for free brochure 800497-9793.

AROUND THE HOUSE “COUNTRY COOKING,” Volume 2 — $8, including postage. “RECIPES REMEMBERED,” Volume 3 — $12, including postage. Both of these cookbooks are a collection of recipes from men and women of the electric co-ops of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Payable to: Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association, P. O. Box 1266, Harrisburg, PA 17108. Write Attention: Cookbooks. Volume 1 of “Country Cooking” is SOLD OUT. *HOLIDAY SPECIAL — BOTH COOKBOOKS FOR $15.* OUTSIDE WOOD HEATER - $1,595. Forced air system. Rated 100K BTU. Heats up to 2,400 square feet. Houses, mobiles or shops. Low-cost shipping. Easy install. 417-581-7755 Missouri. CLOCK REPAIR: If you have an antique grandfather clock, mantel clock or old pocket watch that needs restored, we can fix any timepiece. Macks Clock Repair: 814-749-6116. PIANO TUNING & REPAIR — Kevin Luke’s Piano Service offering piano tuning, repairs, regulation, restoration and rebuilding. Serving all of Central Pennsylvania. 814-944-6031. BUILDING SUPPLIES STEEL ROOFING AND SIDING. Discount Prices. “Fall Sale” — Residential roofing $1.95/lineal foot. Also seconds, heavy gauges, odd lots, etc. Located in northwestern Pennsylvania. 814-398-4052. METAL BUILDINGS — 24 x 40 x 8, $9,900 installed. 30 x 40 x 8, $11,900 installed. Includes one walk door and one garage door. All sizes available. 800-464-3333. FACTORY SECONDS of insulation, 4 x 8 sheets, foil back. Also reflective foil bubble wrap. 814-442-6032.





Be your own Boss! Part or full-time. $500/day. State of the art recession-proof service. FREE 16-page report. Promo code CL33306. Call 800-507-7222. CHURCH LIFT SYSTEMS Make your church, business or home wheelchair accessible. We offer platform lifting systems, stair lifts, porch lifts and ramps. References. Free estimates. Get Up & Go Mobility Inc. 724-746-0992 or 814-926-3622. CONSULTING FORESTRY SERVICES NOLL’S FORESTRY SERVICES, INC. performs Timber Marketing, Timber Appraisals, Forest Management Planning, and Forest Improvement Work. FREE Timber Land Recommendations. 30 years experience. Call 814-472-8560. CENTRE FOREST RESOURCES. Maximizing present and future timber values, Forest Management Services, Managing Timber Taxation, Timber Sales, Quality Deer Management. FREE Timber Consultation. College educated, professional, ethical. 814-867-7052.


February 2011 . . . . . . . . . Dec. 16 March 2011. . . . . . . . . . . . Jan. 18 April 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . Feb. 15 All ads must be received by the specified dates to be included in the corresponding month’s issue. Ads received beyond the deadline dates will automatically be included in the next available issue. Written notice of changes or cancellations must be received prior to the first of the month preceding the month of issue. For information about display rates, continuous ads, or specialized headings, contact Vonnie Kloss at 717/233-5704, the Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association.

GIFT AND CRAFT IDEAS “COUNTRY COOKING,” Volume 2 — $8, including postage. “RECIPES REMEMBERED,” Volume 3 — $12, including postage. Both of these cookbooks are a collection of recipes from men and women of the electric co-ops of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Payable to: Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association, P. O. Box 1266, Harrisburg, PA 17108. Write Attention: Cookbooks. Volume 1 of “Country Cooking” is SOLD OUT. *HOLIDAY SPECIAL — BOTH COOKBOOKS FOR $15.* New business now open. Visit our online store for all of your Holiday shopping needs from decorating your house to finding that perfect gift. We also have a great fund-raising program. WWW.DLGIFTSGALORE.COM. HANDCRAFTED FURNITURE COUNTRY CRAFTED bentwood oak/hickory rockers. Swings, gliders, double rockers, coffee/end tables, bar stools, kitchen sets, cedar log outdoor furniture, log bedrooms, SPECIAL queen log bed, $599. 814-733-9116. HEALTH AND NUTRITION Tired of all those medicines — Still not feeling better? Do you want to feel better, have more energy, better digestion, less joint stiffness, healthier heart/circulation and cholesterol levels? Find out how to empower your own immune system — start IMMUNE-26 today! It’s safe, affordable, and it works. Call 800-557-8477: ID#528390. 90-day money back on first time orders. When ordering from Web, use Option #3. HEALTH INSURANCE DO YOU HAVE THE BLUES regarding your Health Insurance? We cater to rural America's health insurance needs. For more information, call 800-628-7804 (PA). Call us regarding Medicare supplements, too.

CORN PELLET STOVES BIXBY CORN or PELLET Stoves — Save with tax credit. Will heat 2,200 square feet. No chimney needed. Burn shelled corn and save over pellets. 717-776-5237. Email: FENCING FREE Fence Guide/Catalog – High-tensile fence, horse fence, rotational grazing, twine, wire, electric netting – cattle, deer, garden, poultry. Kencove Farm Fence Supplies: 800-536-2683.

HELP WANTED We have appraisers earning over $80,000/year part time. If you have an agricultural background, you may be qualified to become a certified livestock or farm equipment appraiser. Classroom or home study courses available. For information, call the American Society of Agricultural Appraisers 800-4887570 or visit

PENNLINESclassified INFRARED SAUNAS Removes toxins, burns calories, relieves joint pain, relaxes muscles, increases flexibility, strengthens immune system. Many more HEALTH BENEFITS with infrared radiant heat saunas. Economical to operate. Barron’s Furniture, Somerset, PA. 814-443-3115. LADYBUG/CLUSTER FLY SOLUTIONS Ladybug Problems? Cluster Fly Problems? We have the answer! Pesticide-free powder traps. Over 200,000 satisfied customers. To order call 814-494-4122 or visit LAWN AND GARDEN EQUIPMENT RESIDENTIAL & COMMERCIAL – SALES – SERVICE – PARTS. Compact Loaders & Attachments, Mowers, Chainsaws, Tillers, etc. We sell BCS, Boxer, Dixon, Ferris, Hustler, Grasshopper, Shindaiwa and more. HARRINGTON’S, Taneytown, MD. 410-7562506. LIVESTOCK AND PETS GERMAN SHEPHERD puppies $900-$1,500. Young Adult $800 and Adult dogs $500 from imported blood lines. 814-967-2159. Web: PEMBROKE WELSH CORGI Puppies — AKC, adorable, intelligent, highly trainable. Excellent family choice. Reputable licensed breeder guaranteed “Last breed you’ll ever own.” 814-587-3449. AKC GERMAN SHEPHERD puppies — Black/silver, Black/red, Ultra whites. 570-924-3650. NATURAL HOOF TRIMMING. Achieve real impact balance. Experienced in hoof problems (founder, navicular). Boot fitting. Over 20 years as Farrier, 814-662-4296. Healthy hoof — healthy horse. LOG CABIN RESTORATIONS VILLAGE RESTORATIONS & CONSULTING specializes in 17th and 18th century log, stone and timber structures. We dismantle, move, re-erect, restore, construct and consult all over the country. Period building materials available. Chestnut boards, hardware, etc. Thirty years experience, fully insured. Call 814696-1379.

BRADFORD COUNTY — $87,500, 3.25 acres, deep well, Aframe, two bedroom and loft, new roof, approximate 920’ meadow, septic system designed/approved. 910-322-1856. Nice wooded BUILDING LOTS in N.E. Florida from $7,900 with owner financing. With new home from $98,000. Have use of large lake and State Forest. Owner 717-532-4882. ALLEGHENY COUNTY — West Mifflin Borough, one mile from county airport, 10 wooded acres, possible gas lease, all utilities including sewers, no structures, potential for development. $42,500. Call 301-831-3781. 28.8 ACRE Raised Ranch Home. Secluded with gorgeous views of the mountains, 2 ponds, with cathedral ceilings and open floor plan. Two-car garage, three bedrooms, three baths, updated home. Food plots for wildlife. Blairsville, Indiana County. $335,000. Call 267-772-0835.

TREE TRIMMING/REMOVAL TOM’S TREE SERVICE – Tree Trimming/Removal – Storm Cleanup – Stump Grinding – Land Clearing – Bucket Truck and Chipper – Fully Insured – Free Estimates – Call 24/7 – 814-4483052 – 814-627-0550 – 26 Years Experience. VACATIONS AND CAMPSITES VACATION PROPERTY — For rent ocean front condo, Myrtle Beach, SC. Excellent condition. Close to major attractions. Booking for 2011. Please call 814-425-2425 or visit FLORIDA VILLAGES — Two bedroom, two bath, two bikes. Fully furnished. One hour from Disney World. Rent two week minimum or monthly, $1,700 (October to December). Call 716536-0104. Great entertainment. Dancing nightly.

SULLIVAN COUNTY, PA — Custom Chalet cabin for sale or rent. Six acres, incredible view, like new, spacious interior. Shunk $225,000. Robin Real Estate 570-525-3929, Tina Richlin.

NAPLES, FLORIDA — Two bedroom, two bath condo, full kitchen. Quiet with lake view, heated pools, near beaches. Available March 2011, $2,300 or March 2-15 or March 18-31 at $1,200 each. 717-872-7930.


FOR SALE BY OWNER — Wyndham Vacation Timeshare – 770,000 points yearly – deeded at Ocean Boulevard, N. Myrtle Beach, S.C. Vacation and rental opportunity. 814-793-3879.

“COUNTRY COOKING,” Volume 2 — $8, including postage. “RECIPES REMEMBERED,” Volume 3 — $12, including postage. Both of these cookbooks are a collection of recipes from men and women of the electric co-ops of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Payable to: Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association, P. O. Box 1266, Harrisburg, PA 17108. Write Attention: Cookbooks. Volume 1 of “Country Cooking” is SOLD OUT. *HOLIDAY SPECIAL — BOTH COOKBOOKS FOR $15.* SAWMILLS USED PORTABLE Sawmills and COMMERCIAL Sawmill Equipment! Buy/Sell. Call Sawmill Exchange 800-459-2148. USA and Canada. SEA HAG SOAPS & ART MERCANTILE Three-story HAY BARN. Local, regional artwork and fine craft. Gourmet foods. Handmade soaps made on premise. Open year round! Bring this ad to receive 10% Sea Hag Products. 570-663-2297.

VACATION GET-AWAY — Naples, Florida. Gated golf community. Two bedroom, two bathrooms, pool, hot tub, tennis courts. Call for rates. 814-724-4469. WANTED TO BUY Anvils, Vices, Fry Pans, Butchering Kettles, Lard Presses, Feather Weight Sewing Machines and Corn Sheller. CALL 570998-9132. WATERLESS COOKWARE VAPO-SEAL Waterless Cookware — most important lifetime investment you will ever make for your family’s health. Free Brochure call 800-852-3765. 7-ply surgical stainless steel. 18 pieces, new in box. Small fraction of Dinner Party price or $295.

SHAKLEE MAPLE SYRUP STEVEN’S PURE Maple Syrup, Liberty, Pa. Plastic from 3.4 ounces to gallons. Glass containers for gifts and collectors. Maple Sugar, Maple Cream, Maple Candy, Maple Bar-B-Que Sauce, Maple Salad Dressing, and Gift Baskets for any occasion made to order. Wholesale or retail prices. NEW Number: 570-324-2014 or email: MISCELLANEOUS BECOME AN ORDAINED MINISTER, Correspondence study. The harvest truly is great, the laborers are few, Luke 10:2. Free info. Ministers for Christ Outreach, 7549 West Cactus Road, #104-207, Peoria, AZ 85381. ANTIQUE COOPER KETTLE with original stand. 24” diameter. Best offer. 814-484-1681. MOTORCYCLE-SNOWMOBILE INSURANCE For the best INSURANCE RATES call R & R Insurance Associates from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 800-442-6832 (PA). P2000 INSULATION SYSTEM Out of 20,000 homes, Energy Star found this one to be the most energy efficient home ever tested in PA, NJ, NY & DE. Stops cold, heat, wind and moisture. Vapor barrier and sheathing all in one. Residential - Commercial – Hobby - Shops – Farms – Pole Buildings. Burkenhaus Distribution Center, Thomasville, PA. 717-801-0013. or visit

FREE SAMPLE Shaklee’s Energy Tea. Combination red, green and white teas that are natural, delicious, refreshing, safe. For sample or more information on tea or other Shaklee Nutrition/Weight Loss Products: 800-403-3381 or TIMBER FRAME HOMES SETTLEMENT POST & BEAM BUILDING COMPANY uses timehonored mortise, tenon and peg construction paired with modern engineering standards. Master Craftsman and owner, Greg Sickler, brings over two decades of timber-framing experience to helping you create your dream. We use highquality timbers harvested from sustainable forests for all of our projects. Visit our model home, located on Historic Route 6, Sylvania, in North Central Pennsylvania. For more information phone 570-297-0164 or go to or contact us at

CLUSTER FLY & LADY BUG CONTROL Cluster Fly, Lady Bug, Boxelder Bug, Spiders, Crickets

One Price. One Treatment. Five Results!® GUARANTEED SERVICE


# =HS\L. ,ZJVY[LK ;V\YZ :PUJL  .

TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT PROFESSIONAL SHARPENING. Clipper blades. Scissors for fabric, groomers and stylists. Knives, chisels and small tools. Aires Eickert factory trained to sharpen beauty shears. Scissor sales and service. 814-267-5061 or



TRACTOR PARTS – REPAIR/RESTORATION ARTHURS TRACTORS, specializing in vintage Ford tractors, 30years experience, on-line parts catalog/prices, shipped via UPS. Contact us at 877-254-FORD (3673) or

REAL ESTATE RAYSTOWN LAKE — $275,000, 35 acres, build-ready, mountaintop vista, close to boat launch. Call 814-599-0790.





Thoughts from Earl Pitts, UHMERIKUN! Earl on hunting and other adventure sports

Social commentary from Earl Pitts —— a.k.a. GARY BURBANK , a nationally syndicated radio personality —— can be heard on the following radio stations that cover electric cooperative service territories in Pennsylvania: WANB-FM 103.1 Pittsburgh; WARM-AM 590 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton; WIOO-AM 1000 Carlisle; WEEO-AM 1480 Shippensburg; WMTZ-FM 96.5 Johnstown; WQBR-FM 99.9/92.7 McElhattan; WLMI-FM 103.9 Kane; and WVNW-FM 96.7 Burnham-Lewistown.




You know what makes me so mad I just wanna chew the antlers off a 12-point buck? I heard this story the other day about what happens when the economy stinks. They said the number of people huntin’ has gone through the roof. Everybody an’ their brother is grabbin’ a gun an’ tryin’ to shoot dinner. The huntin’ industry says people are usin’ huntin’ to lower their grocery bills. Yeah — good luck with that. If my family lived off stuff I shot, they’d be stuffed with mail boxes an’ No Trespassin’ signs. Don’t get me wrong. I love huntin’. I been huntin’ for years. I ain’t no Elmer Fudd come lately when it comes to huntin’. I support huntin’. I believe in huntin’. But this ain’t good news. When you get a couple million more wetbehind-the-ears huntin’ rookies outside with guns, that there ain’t huntin’ season. That’s a Saturday night in Baghdad. I mean, take up huntin’ an’ provide for your family. That’s the manly, patriotic thing to do — that’s fine. But I’m gonna be out there with y’all. Forget the huntin’ vest. I’m gonna need more body armor than that dude in The Hurt Locker. Same thing happened this summer — millions a’ new fishermen was out there tryin’ to catch dinner. Lemme tell you somethin’ — when you buy a bandanna, that don’t make you Willie Nelson. An’ you buy a fishin’ pole, that don’t make you Bill Dance. I mean — they just come out on that lake like they owned the place. Took over my secret spot and pulled fish outta that lake that was meant for me. But here’s the difference between new hunters an’ new fishermen — nobody’s gonna kill you with a hook an’ a bobber. An’ this is comin’ from a guy that had a spinner lure snagged in my neck! For two days!! So for all you Daniel Boone-wannabes out there, take a few tips from Earl Pitts. First, you might want to go out the first couple times with somebody who knows what they’re doin’. An’ second, don’t shoot me. Wake up, America. Millions a’ new

hunters are out there and you know what this means. Emergency rooms — an’ PETA — are gonna be very busy.

I seen the dumbest thing on the computer the other day. An’ I think we all can agree that there’s a lot of dumb things on the computer so this must be really stupid. They had a list on there — the top 10 adventure sports for men to keep healthy. Well, you know me — I’m a health nut — so I looked at this story. The No. 1 adventure sport for men’s health is surfin’. That’s wonderful news ’cept for the downside — you need a ocean. Sorry, but we don’t get 10-footers on Mudd Lake. So I went down to the next sport. The No. 2 adventure sport for men’s health is mountain bikin’. That’s wonderful news, too, ’cept for the downside — you gotta be a idiot. You get on a bicycle an’ ride down a mountain. Then you smack into a tree and shoot out over a cliff. That sounds great for your health, don’t it? So I went to the next sport — the No. 3 adventure sport for men’s health, rock climbin’. So I’m thinkin’ — are these sports that are good for your health or sports that can kill you? You ever seen them rock climbin’ people on the TV? They’re danglin’ off a cliff by their fingers. I got news for these bone-heads that come up with this list — you can’t plunge 200 feet to your death at a bowlin’ alley. An’ I know what you’re thinkin’. You’re thinkin’, “Earl, bowlin’ ain’t a’ adventure sport.” Obviously you people never bowled with Dub Meeker. It’s like a different adventure every Thursday night. So I went down the list to the No. 4 adventure sport for men’s health. Bungee jumpin’. That ain’t a sport. That’s a death wish. That certainly can’t be healthy. Bungee jumpin’ is just fallin’ without hittin’. Wake up, America! Lemme give you a hint on adventure sports. If you ever see Earl Pitts halfways up a rock wall hangin’ by my fingers, there’s gonna be a bear down at the bottom. An’ I hope when I fall that I kill ‘im. I’m Earl Pitts, Uhmerikun. l

RURALreflections Let it snow, let it snow DECEMBER is the month that brings the official beginning of winter, although many of us already have experienced falling temperatures and snow. The changing weather brings with it new activities and new outdoor scenes, along with the opportunity to shoot some great photos. Our 2010 “Rural Reflections” photo contest has ended and the winning photos in the categories of most artistic, best landscape, best human subject, best animal and editor’s choice will be printed in next month’s issue of Penn Lines. Winners will receive a $75 prize. It’s time to submit your photos for the 2011 “Rural Reflections” contest. To be eligible, send photos (no digital files) to: Penn Lines Photos, P.O. Box 1266, Harrisburg, PA 17108-1266. On the back of each photo, include your name, address, phone number and the name of the electric cooperative that serves your home, business or seasonal residence. The best way to include that information is by affixing an address label to the back of the photo (do not use ink gel or roller pens to write on the photo). Please include a self-addressed, self-stamped envelope if you want the photo returned to you. Remember, our publication deadlines require that we work ahead, so send your seasonal photos in early. We need spring photos before mid-January, summer photos before mid-April, fall photos before mid-July and winter photos before mid-September. Photos that do not reflect any specific season may be sent at any time. l

Fay Serbian REA Energy

Edith Boley REA Energy

Mary Vincent Tri-County REC

Courtney Oswald Valley REC




Penn Lines December 2010  

Penn Lines December 2010

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