Monday, November 19, 2018

November Storm

I was recently telling someone that I really enjoy sitting at the computer, watching the snow fall, and taking it easy-- especially if I have no reason to leave the warmth of my home.  Believe me, I just learned it's not all it's cracked up to me.

I will start by saying that my little storm experience pales in comparison to those who had to be out in, and travel in, Thursday's storm.

Thursday is one of my days off.  I was set on the basic food groups, so this storm wasn't going to bother me.  Hey, it was supposed to be only a few inches.  That's a dusting in our area.  We can handle this.  Easy.

Apologies to my meteorological friends, but you missed this one.  A dusting turned in to a foot pretty fast. I know.  It happens.  Meteorology is an inexact science.  The storm packed a lot of moisture.  It stayed cold longer than anticipated.  The word "outperformed" was mentioned over and over again, on TV, on the internet.

The bad news started to roll in during the late afternoon.  My sister was stuck on interstate 81.  A close, close, close friend was stranded, first on Routes 6 and 11 in the Clarks Summit area, then Keyser Avenue in Scranton.  Newswatch 16 crews were among those on the highway, going nowhere fast.  Texting.  Phone calls.  A major feeling of helplessness.  There wasn't going to be a rescue mission.  The road crews in my little town do a great job, but this was a tough one.  My street was covered, and I live on a hill.  My friend hung out in McDonald's.  My sister was trapped.

Penndot can open all of its command centers and activate its apps.  Consensus is this storm was a major fail.  The state was slow getting big rigs off the road, and the ban only applied to a limited area.  Sleet on top of snow is a plow driver's nightmare.  The storm was heavy and steady.  It was tough to keep ahead of this one.  Having said that, it's 2018.  There is no reason conditions should worsen to the level of shutting major interstates.  The threshold for vehicle bans needs to be lowered.  Penndot is not a nimble organization, and it is very slow to respond to changing conditions.  It is good at making excuses.  This doesn't happen in other places.

As it turns out, my friend and my sister arrived at their respective homes at roughly the same time.

Did we learn anything from this?  Probably not.  This has happened before.  The traffic nightmares continue.  We deserve better.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Andy's Angles: CityScape

There is something about a downtown at dawn.  Quiet.  Twinkly lights.  This is a Monday morning shot of Public Square in Wilkes-Barre.  The lights on the trees that ring the square were on.  The rest of the Christmas decorations had yet to be installed.
As you can see, not a creature was stirring.  WNEP photographer Jason Wolf and I were talking about this the other day.  People who sleep in are missing a great time of day.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Andy's Angles: Christmas Tree

I worked out of WNEP's Wyoming Valley Newsroom on Public Square in Wilkes-Barre early Monday morning, and it is among my favorite things to do here.  It's a nice change of scenery.  The newsroom is well thought out and set up nicely, and downtown Wilkes-Barre has certain charm when it is very quiet at daybreak.

This is Wilkes-Barre's Christmas tree in the center of the square.  It will be lit after a short parade today.  As you can see, it wasn't decorated when I stopped over to take a look just after dawn Monday.  Many cities would envy having such a nice public space in the middle of their downtowns.  Wilkes-Barre is lucky.

As always, there will be several Christmas themed photos here in the weeks to come.  I like looking at decorations.  I don't like putting them up.  I've never been good at that stuff.

Among my favorite childhood Christmas memories would be walking around my little town with my friends, looking at all the decorated houses.  They didn't have to elaborate.  They didn't have to be perfect.  It was just fun.

Friday, November 16, 2018


The blog is 14 years old today, and I've told the story of the blog's genesis several times.  Let's try something a little different this time around-- a quick overview of my social media footprint.

The blog came first, and it still does.

I've been in and out of Twitter for a while.  @AndyPalumbo_  I now have the little blue check mark, so that means I'm a real, actual person.  At least, according to the people who run Twitter.

AndyPalumbo.com has been around for a while now.  I'll have to get in touch with my web guy for an update after the new year.  It's time for a tweak.

I've had a LinkedIn account for years.  I still can't figure out it's purpose.

I was on SnapChat and Instagram for a while.  I enjoyed seeing other people's photos, and I apparently know some skilled photographers who lead great lives.  However, I never had much to offer.  I wasn't getting a lot of enjoyment out of those sites, so they are gone.  It was too many mouths to feed.  I might be back.  Someday.

There are two Facebook accounts.  One is the "professional" page, constructed at the urging of WNEP management a little more than two years ago, and I get that.  I built a personal page a couple of months ago.  That one is for people I actually know.  Friends in the real world, not just on the internet.  I had to do it.  It's the way people communicate these days.  I will grudgingly admit that the personal page has helped me reconnect with some very special people, one in particular.

What's next?  Who knows?  The internet and social media is a brave new world.  I'm sure someone will invent something bigger and better, and become an overnight billionaire.  I have never given any serious thought to ending the blog.  It still gets a healthy number of hits every day.  Thank you, dear readers.  It really means a lot to me.  I'm still having fun doing it.  It's a wonderful creative outlet.

There is an exciting addition coming to WNEP.com.  I don't have a date for it, but I think you will like it.  I'm still not sure if I will be involved in the project.  It does intrigue me, and interest me-- a lot.

Tomorrow, the start of year 15.  Thank you, again.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

About the Cover

Sorry this monthly item is late in arriving.  Other things got in the way.

This is a shot of the relatively new miners memorial in Blakely.

Mining is a significant part of our past.  Miners deserve the recognition.  They helped build the area.  It was horribly hard and dangerous work, and the miners were taken advantage of my managers.
The mine is flanked by the names of the workers, and it's a very nice touch.

Before I close, take note of the gravel to the rear of the monument.  It's coal!  A great touch.  They did this one right.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The Big Dance

I've been sitting on this one for a while...

He wasn't the first to say it, but I associate the phrase with my first boss in broadcasting, the legendary Ron Allen at WARM.  Ron was fond of saying "You gotta dance with who brung ya."  It's about loyalty.  Loyalty to another person.  Loyalty to a concept.  Loyalty to skills and abilities.

That brings us to NBC's Megyn Kelly.  She recently lost her 9 AM slot after some bizarre comments.  I won't debate the pros and cons here, but I will write about Kelly's choices.

Regardless of what you think of her ideology, Kelly was an outstanding talent on the FOX News Channel.  She lit up the screen.  Her interviews were sharp, likely because she is a lawyer and knows how to cross examine.  Kelly was a solid news anchor and really good at that news and interview show she had.

There were some bumps in the road at FNC.  That led to a job at NBC for a huge amount of money.  Kelly ditched the news and politics for one of those warm and feely Oprah-esque talk shows.  NBC lost ratings in the 9 AM hour.  It wasn't a very good use to Kelly's talents.  She didn't dance with who brung her.  The New York Post, before the blow up, reported Kelly was interested in going back to politics and government reporting and NBC was okay with moving her back.

Her comments just before Halloween derailed that train, and in a hurry.

I give Kelly all the credit in the world for expanding her horizons and trying something different.  I would assume it's easy to do when someone is dangling $20 million a year in front of you.  On the other hand, well, you gotta dance with who brung you.

Me?  I filled in as a talk show host when I was in radio.  Admittedly, it wasn't the greatest, but I was making progress before I moved over in to television.

When I started working in TV, I worked several parades and other events.  I was sideline reporter for high school football games for the better part of four years.  I dabbled in different, but I always danced with who brung me, never straying far from "news."

Moral of the story?  That is up to every individual, but it is safe to say it's never a bad idea to wander out of your comfort zone from time to time, but you have to remember what got you noticed in the first place.

Megyn Kelly is radioactive right now.  No one will touch her for a while.  However, there is always a place for a skilled broadcaster.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Toy Story

When you are in a place every day, for a long time, you stop noticing some things.

I was giving a friend a WNEP tour a couple of weeks ago.  She was fascinated with all our technical toys, but she was also impressed with all our other toys.

Management has been great in allowing us to freely decorate our work spaces.  Many of us have little toys and trinkets at our desks and in our cubicles.  We have stressful jobs (who doesn't?) and something that makes us laugh or smile helps get you through the day. Your desk needs to be a little comfort zone, a nice place, a safe place, a fun place.

Me?  I do have some photos and a couple of cartoons, and a Fidget Spinner in my desk.  I'm sorry, but I don't have much of a "Toy Story."

Monday, November 12, 2018

Veterans Day

Yesterday was the 11th day of the 11th month, but because it was a Sunday, today is the day recognized as Veterans Day.

It's a tough day in the news business.  Every community has some sort of observance, and that's great.  We get to as many as we can.  Unfortunately, we can't visit them all.

I will resist the temptation to get preachy, so I will say what I always do on occasions like this.  Please, remember what the day is all about.

We'll talk tomorrow.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Andy's Angles: The River

Today, it's another shot of the Lackawanna River in Blakely.  It was running high during my recent visit, and it was just so pretty.

The river is far from perfect, especially downstream, with the acid mine drainage, but it's always a kick to come out here and see how much it's improved.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Andy's Angles: Baker Street

Some leaf peeping photos have been in the queue for a while.  I finally had the chance to do a little wandering late last month, so let's share them on a cold, damp, November weekend.

This is the shot of the Lackawanna River, from the Blakely Borough recreation area.  Trees.  Water.  Sunshine.  Can't go wrong.  The shot is downstream.  Olyphant is on the left.

Let me explain the "Baker Street" title reference.  It's one of my favorite songs, and each time I listen to it, I hear something different, something I hadn't noticed before.

I've taken dozens of photos at this park, and every time I'm here, every time I look through that viewfinder, every time I load photos in to my computer, I see something different.