Monday, April 24, 2017

The Factor

I've always thought Bill O'Reilly is a tremendously talented broadcaster.

After reading a book by a former producer, I learned O'Reilly is responsible for every word of his now former FOX News Channel broadcast.  He either wrote it at a computer, scribbled it out on a note pad, or dictated it to a secretary of producer.

If you read a transcript of his show, and didn't know the author, you would think it was coming from a moderate, reasonable individual.

He is smart, and informed, and he knew how to draw an audience.  For 20 years, O'Reilly was the signature voice and face of the network.

Unfortunately, good broadcaster doesn't translate into being a good person.  O'Reilly denies all the harassment allegations and I get that.  You have to admit there's an awful lot of evidence against him.  You can forgive a mistake.  Overlooking a distinct and long standing  pattern is an entirely different story.

FOX News let O'Reilly go last week.

He doesn't need the money, but I'm sure Bill O'Reilly will re-surface somewhere.  I think his network days are done, at least for a while.  He could sign with a TV station group, or syndicate a show on his own.  He'd be perfect on Sunday mornings.

There was a radio version of the O'Reilly Factor.  It didn't last long.  O'Reilly went up against Rush Limbaugh, a tough time slot.  For the most part, Limbaugh had all the decent stations locked up.  That has changed, so the climate is right for O'Reilly to take another shot at it.  Podcasting to the masses is always an option.  There is already a subscription only podcast.

There is a place in the media world for Bill O'Reilly.  There has to be some serious image rehabilitation, responsibility taking,  and some daring sponsors first.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Andy's Angles: St. Nicholas

This is St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in Scranton, almost next door to St. Matthew's, which was in this space yesterday.  They are separated only by Vine Street.

The sun wasn't my friend when I took this recent photo, but I think you get the idea.  It's a beautiful building.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Andy's Angles: Blessed

Our area is blessed, pardon the pun, to have so many historic and beautiful places of worship.

This is St. Matthew's on Jefferson Avenue in Scranton.

Friday, April 21, 2017

The First

It's sleeping Homer's first appearance of 2017, and it means I'm taking my first vacation week of the year.  There were a few scattered days off in January, but I haven't had a full week off since October.

I'm a little tired.  It's time.

Now, the standards:  no plans other than the gym, some bike rides, reading, photography, and possibly Kmart.

I have yet to decide on a vacation beard, which has been the standard the last several years.  I haven't touched a razor since Tuesday morning, so I'm on my way.

The weekend morning broadcasts are in the capable hands of Jim Hamill.

See you soon.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Getting Personal

I really don't get super personal here, but today will be an exception.

Let's go back a few months.  An old friend from junior high and high school called me out of the blue and suggested we get together.  I agreed to the concept, but I kept delaying the actual event.  My old friend knows the hours and days I work.  He was completely understanding and forgiving, even though I kept blowing him off.

I sent him a text the other day, saying I'm sorry for the delay.  I'm on vacation.  If you're still interested, name a time, day and location, and I'll make it happen.

It happened Tuesday night.

Part of me looked forward to it.  Another part dreaded it.  He suggested a little corner bar in Scranton.  I agreed, as long as it was non smoking.  It is.  By the way, Diet Cokes were exceptionally reasonable.  It's amazing how many bars soak you for a soda.  Responsible behavior is important, but it can be very expensive.  The food looked great.  However, I wasn't hungry.

The meeting went well.  We had some laughs about the old days, and caught up to current times.  I heard some stories about classmates that I didn't know before, and I'm sort of sorry I learned what I learned.  Be that as it may.

I don't know what my friend expected.  I assured him that I might have grown a bit, but I am essentially the same guy he last saw in a cap and gown nearly forty years ago.

Okay, here is some more personal stuff.  When I'm off duty, Mr. Television goes away.  The TV job is like a coat.  I like it a great deal, but I wear it only when I'm working.  When my shift ends, I enjoy and savor fading in to the background.  I talk for a living.  I don't do much when I'm away from the office.

Take a look at the photos you see here.  You see landscapes, buildings, rivers and a cat.  You almost never see me.  The same goes with Facebook and Instagram.  There is no need to be the center of attention.

What occasionally scares me, is I fear some people mistake retiring for arrogant, because I don't really say much when I'm off duty.  It's happened before.  If you have been offended, I'm sorry.  It wasn't intentional.  Thankfully, my friend "got it" and the night went well.

He suggested doing it again, and possibly adding another friend or two.  I left the door open.  Small steps.  I was one of those high schoolers who had a small, but close circle of friends.  That was more than enough.  There was no desire to be class president.  One of the best feelings ever was when I took off the cap and gown, and walked into the fresh, post-graduation air of an early summer evening.  As I have said here before, I liked learning.  I didn't like high school.

As for my friend, good times and bad.  That's typical.  We've all been there.  Back in the day, he was one of the funnier people at that soul crushing school of mine.  The laughs were important back then.  They still are, and he is still capable of delivering.

I'm sure there's a lesson in here somewhere.  Maybe, a moral of the story.  You may take what you please from the above paragraphs.  Looking ahead is important, but there are times it can be equally important to see where you came from.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Wednesday Scrapple

Do people still care about Hatchimals?

The price of Donald Trump ties has skyrocketed on E-Bay.

The Frein trial moved faster than expected.  We learned a few new things, not a lot.  More than anything, it seems like a defense exercise to avoid the death penalty.

I was in a Burlington store the other day, and all but one of the front doors was locked.  There was no panic hardware on the inside.  It looks like an attempt to curb shoplifting, but it's a clear violation of fire safety laws.  Why am I the only one who noticed this?

"Quick Pitch" on the MLB Network remains one of the best shows on television.  No silly ESPN style schtick.  Just the highlights.  Outstanding!

The speed in which we went from a blizzard and two feet of snow, to flooding, to brush fires is amazing.

I found some very nice Easter flowers this year, but man, did the price go up!

Brian Williams can't seem to stay out of trouble.  He has been harshly criticized for remarks made during coverage of the U.S missile strike on Syria.  Williams talked about the beauty of American weapons, and many on social media let his have it.  Williams isn't my favorite guy, but look at intent.  I don't think he meant to diminish the importance and significance of human life.  It was just a poor choice of words.  Let's leave it at that.

I can't wait for the primary season to really heat up.

It looks like Bill O'Reilly is in some serious trouble at FOX News.

It seems like a lot of criminals come to our area to hide, and it seems like an awful lot get caught.

It was chilly and breezy yesterday, but I actually managed to get a little sunburn.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Fly United

The dust hasn't totally settled on this one, but it's settled enough for me to yammer about it.

United recently came under fire for bumping a man from a flight.  The passenger didn't want to go, so they dragged him off.

It's disgusting behavior on United's part, and perfectly legal.  On the ticket, it says the airline has the right to bump you.

That's simply a lousy practice, and it should have been outlawed long ago.

Airlines claim their profit margins are slim, so they have to maximize every flight.  In this case, United said it needed the seat to get a full in crew in place for another flight at another airport.

Often, passengers book and never show.

I don't care.

Don't make your passengers suffer just because you have a hard time making money.  Figure out how to do it right, or go out of business.

Grampa Stroehmann doesn't reserve the right to take his bread back.  Ronald McDonald doesn't tell you he can snatch a Big Mac out of your hand if he feels like it.  Airlines shouldn't be any different.  Buy the ticket.  Take your seat.  Get your flight.  Receive what you paid for.  It's time for the government to step in.
The head of United said an incident like this will never happen again.  I hope he's right, and I hope other airlines follow suit.

Yes, there has always been financial consideration for those who voluntarily give up their seat.  It shouldn't come to a situation like that in the first place.

Monday, April 17, 2017


I hope you had a chance to see Jimmy Kimmel's Don Rickles tribute.

One part really jumped out at me.  Kimmel related a conversation with Rickles when Don asked "Keep my name alive."

Apologies for yammering on again about my old radio days.  I was very proud of what we accomplished there, even though the station was in decline when I arrived in 1981.

Even though its dominance ended a long time ago, people are keeping the legend of WARM alive.  There's at least one blog and one Facebook page that I know of.  That's great.

Here is what prompted this blog entry.

We went through a few program directors during my time at WARM.  John Hancock was the best.  He repaired a lot o damage and got the place humming again.  We were aggressive, we got out in to the community more, and we had a great time doing it.  It was fun to go to work.

For the last 25 years or so, John has been at WBT 1110, a blowtorch in Charlotte, NC.  He does 3 to 6 PM.  Thanks to my C. Crane internet radio and my Amazon Echo, I listen at least a few days a week.  John occasionally tells a WARM story, especially when it comes to the talents and the antics of the late, great Terry McNulty.  I've been mentioned in a few of those tales, and it's always a kick.

I've been on national TV and radio, and in a couple of movies.  However, my greatest delight is being mentioned on the radio in Charlotte, and someone keeping WARM, and what we did there, alive.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Andy's Angles: Pike County Courthouse

Milford is one of my favorite places, even though it's in the spotlight this month for a horrible event.

This is a dawn shot of the Pike County Courthouse.  On the right, you can see the steel skeleton of an addition.  They tried to tuck it into the back, much less obtrusive than an earlier design.

I can't say I'm a fan.  It will detract from the beauty and the historical nature of the building.

The need for space and security is acknowledged.  I would have built a totally new structure near by and used the old courthouse for something else.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Andy's Angles: Milford

History along Route 6 in Milford...

The building on the left is the old jail, now the sheriff's office.  Love the pike wind vane at the top.  the other structure is a county administration building.  Great style.  It really fits in with the old buildings in Milford.