Saturday, December 10, 2016

Andy's Angles: Waymart

I found myself on snow duty Monday morning.

As snows go, this wasn't a bad one, more of a nuisance than anything else.

Heavy, wet, slushy...  You scraped more than shoveled.  A plow pass, a little salt, and roads were clear.

The snow does have its positive aspects.  I love small town parks, like Wayside Park in Waymart.  It's so Mayberry.  You can imagine Andy and Opie strolling through.  It was a nice winter scene, and I hope it provides you a little serenity during one of the potentially hectic days leading up to Christmas.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Friday Scrapple, Sports, and Broadcasting

Hosting the Academy Awards has to be the toughest job in all of show business.  Jimmy Kimmel will do a good job.

The Indiana Carrier deal is far from perfect, but I learned a long time ago that a little bit of something is better than a lot of nothing.

I actually heard a network news anchor talk about Carrier jobs moving "overseas" to Mexico.  Really?  What sea?

I'm not a Penn State fan, but the Nittany Lions did win the Big 10 Conference, and they did beat Ohio State.  A case can be made for putting Penn State in the four team playoff.

Why to some at Penn State feel the need to destroy things?

Post Its and Sharpies have made my life manageable.

Verne Lundquist is calling his last college football game tomorrow, Army/Navy.  Verne got it.  He never made himself bigger than the game.  Great voice.  Great delivery.  He will be missed.

By the way, it's always a treat to catch a Keith Jackson announced game on ESPN Classic.

Brent Musberger calls the January 2 Sugar Bowl on ESPN.  I don't watch much TV sports these days, but it's really nice to see one of the greats get a top assignment.

The CBS Evening News is now sharing a studio with the network's morning broadcast.  I like it.  Light, airy, brick, wood.  Yes, there is some plexiglass, but it's not as overwhelming as the other networks-- broadcast and cable.

I grew up in a Cronkite household, so I've always kept an eye, pardon the pun, on what CBS is doing.  The New York Post reported CBS is looking to move Scott Pelley off the Evening News.  Yes, he's slow placed, but solid.  Good content.  The Post says CBS wants someone with a faster pace.

Time magazine chose Donald Trump as its Person of the Year.  Was there any other choice?  It took editors about three seconds to decide on that one.

John Glenn:   American hero.  When he orbited the earth, there was no guarantee he was coming back.  That's brave.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Fives

I say it here most years.  I could never figure out why D-Day isn't a bigger deal in this country.  It was an amazing military operation.  Everyone who went in to it did it with the knowledge there was a very strong chance they weren't coming back.

Maybe it was big in the years immediately following the event.  I don't know.  Contrary to popular belief, I wasn't there.

The same goes for Pearl Harbor.  Yesterday was the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Hawaii.

D-Day and Pearl Harbor have become what I call "5" holidays.  We usually sit up and take notice only when the anniversary is divisible by 5.

Pearl Harbor will get a passing mention, at best, in the years to come, until we hit the 80th anniversary in 2021.  There might be an exception.  There are still a few survivors left.  Pearl Harbor might get a significant notice again when that last survivor leaves us.

What I'm saying is...  the people who were at Pearl Harbor and Normandy, including those who are no longer with us, deserve more.  Equally as important...  our kids need a yearly strong reminder of the meanings of service and sacrifice.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

I Smelled It

It was in the air.

It was the unmistakable aroma of snow anxiety.

Let me back up a moment.  I had a few moments to kill, so I blew through one of the malls.  I really didn't need anything, but I can't resist a shirt and tie sale, so I had to check out one of the department stores.  Miracle of miracles, I walked out empty handed.  Those who check my Facebook page, @AndyPalumboWNEP, (words I never thought I'd say) know I've been trying to add a little variety to the dress shirt area of my closet.  The store had some really nice things, and lot prices, but a little too wild for me.

Here's where it got really interesting.  I had to stop by two supermarkets.  Keep in mind, I'm not one of those people who will drive ten miles out of my way to save a nickel on a pound of butter, but one store had a special on a few things I needed.  The other has really good take out dinners.  Luckily, they are fairly close.

Both stores were more crowded than usual.  Of course, Tuesday Senior Citizens Day had something to do with it.  The other part of the equation is snow in the forecast.  It's not a crippling storm.  The snow looks just enough to be a nuisance, and just enough to crowd the aisles and parking lots a little more

I'm one of those people who believes the media reflects trends, not influences them.  I don't know how this whole "snow storm anxiety" thing started.  I will admit that I do fall victim to it, on occasion.  This wasn't one of those times.  I got what I needed, at both stores, and blew through the express check outs.  Two for two.  I should have played the lottery.

I got home.  Unpacked my stuff.  Exhaled.  And I'll watch the snow fall.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Media Notes

A wile back, I praised the radio show "Overnight America."  Well, it's been canceled and goes off the air at the end of the year.

I've been a huge Craig Ferguson fan since his days on "The Drew Carey Show."  His "Late Late Show" on CBS was so refreshingly different.  Ferguson went on to hist "Celebrity Name Game."  It was announced last week that the show will not be back for a fourth season.  Pity.  Ferguson took game shows to a new level, as he did with late night talk.

To the radio stations that have gone all Christmas music, I'll be back next year.

There is a lot of speculation as to what President Donald Trump's FCC will do to the industry.  Speculation says the FCC will lift ownership caps, allowing big companies to get even bigger.  The ban on newspapers owning radio and TV stations in the same city could go as well.  Not sure how I feel about the former.  The latter seems like a good idea.  At one time, the cross ownership ban made sense.  Not any more.

The NFL is said to re-thinking Thursday Night Football.  Other than the NFL Network, will anyone cry if it goes away?

Why can't so many on cable television news get their heads around the fact that their candidate didn't win the election?

Don Calfa died December 1.  You might not know the name, but you'd know the face.  He played various scoundrels and ne'er do well's during the run of "Barney Miller."  Always funny.  76.

Kelsey Grammer has shut the door on a "Frasier" reunion show.  Good!  Those shows always come up short.

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Big Bite

My alma mater, Marywood, recently announced a series of program cuts, shifts,  layoffs, and adjustments.  We all knew it was coming.  An asset study was started about a year ago.  I attended a question and answer session with the incoming president back in the spring.  She warned of some difficult times ahead.

My only surprise was the cuts weren't deeper.

I've seen and read a lot about the restructuring.  I'm wondering about the size of Marywood's financial issues.  As a former boss was fond of saying, "We're not asking the right questions."

Just follow the money.  Transparency was never one of Marywood's strong points, but even a sleepy school on a hill, run by the sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, is a business.

There's a saying in the business world:  "If it don't pay, it don't stay."

I've seen it happen many, many, many times.  Colleges are not immune, and it's clear Marywood made several missteps over the years.  As I've said here before, if the university wants some suggestions on where to find the dead wood, give me a call.

Jim Delligati died last week.  98.  He invented the Big Mac for McDonalds.  His creation paid.  Over and over again.

It's funny.  I was out very early Black Friday morning.  I wasn't shopping.  The car needed gas, and I felt like grabbing an out of town newspaper at 3 AM.  There was a refrigerator full of Thanksgiving food at home, but I wasnh't in the mood for unwrapping and reheating, so I stopped in to an all night McDonalds.  This was a store where you could go inside during the overnight shift.  You weren't limited to the drive-thru.  My choice was a Big Mac and fries.  Because it was close to breakfast switch over time, my sandwich and fries were made to order.  I dined inside, rather than in my car.

The Big Mac was hot and fresh, but McDonald's seems to have lost its way with this one.  Under beefed.  Over sauced.  Perhaps it should be renamed Big Bun.

For some odd reason, the staff didn't salt my fries, and that's a good thing.  I think they over salt.  I was given a few packets, without asking, and it really made a difference.

Big Mac remains one of America's signature sandwiches.  It's a classic.  It can be done better.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Andy's Angles: First Look

One of the many reasons I love my job...

You get to see things before anyone else.  While people were freezing out on the sidewalk, I had a chance to go inside the student union building at Lackawanna College and see the set up for the November 7 Donald Trump rally.

The set up people, who have done this dozens of times in recent months, were fascinating to watch.  Such efficiency.  They had it down to a science.

Empty building, but still impressive.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Andy's Angles: Election Leftovers

"Mass" media events, like political rallies can be difficult.  There can be parking issues, space issues, running endless lengths of cables, deadlines, etc...

They can also be great fun.

This photo was taken outside Lackawanna College's student union building the morning of the November 7 Donald Trump rally.  We got there early and got a close parking space that reduced, a little, the amount of cable we had to string to the inside of the building.

We parked near NBC.  The satellite truck operator was a great guy, filled with stories about covering the campaign, covering overseas conflicts, living and working in New York.

It's another part of the "mass event" fun.  You see some old friends, who are now working in other cities.  You also get to swap war stories with new ones.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Friday Scrapple

I mean no disrespect to the late Florence Henderson, but I really hated "The Brady Bunch."  When I come across it now, my hand can't grab the remote fast enough.  Apology for being unAmerican.

I went in to exactly one store Black Friday.  It was a 3:15 AM mini mart visit, and I even scored a free 12 ounce soda.

Thanksgiving morning is usually devoted to a photographic expedition, but I was rained out.  I did snap off a few shots on the way home from the gym, before the rain started.  You might seem them here in the days to come.

It might be winter, but I still love my peach iced tea.

CNN reran the 60's and 70's documentaries over the holiday weekend.  Outstanding stuff!

My dollar store "lighthouse" calendar is almost finished.  It will soon to be replaced by a dollar store "cat and kitten" calendar.

I'm waist deep in catalogs.

I'm not a Thanksgiving parade aficionado, and they look the same to me every year.

One of the happier things you can receive in the mail:  the notice that you've made your last car payment.

Grant Tinker died the other day.  90.  Take a look at the shows his company produced.  It's an amazing list.  Comedy.  Drama.  All quality stuff.

I caught some of the Steelers game replay on the NFL Network.  Who thought the Steelers were a Super Bowl contender?  No discipline.  No defense.  At this point, it looks like New England and Dallas in Houston February 5.  Watch the Raiders.  Maybe Seahawks.  Dark horses.

Ron Glass, who played Sgt. Ron Harris on Barney Miller died over the weekend.  71.  A great character on a great show.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

About the Cover

Every year, the December blog header presents the greatest challenge.  I want to do something Christmassy, but the major decorating still hasn't happened.  I'm not complaining.  If I had my way, you wouldn't see a Christmas decoration until December 10th.

I got lucky this year.  There was a pretty scene in a small park at Electric St. and North Washington Ave. in Scranton.  It's not a big park.  It's not a big tree, but it's a lovely scene in a very nice neighborhood in the city's Green Ridge section.

The photo was taken in the middle of the night, when I was the only creature stirring.

Enjoy your Christmas month.