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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Names Change...

...But, the mission remains the same.  Sister Adrian has retired.  Sister Maryalice now runs "Friends of the Poor."  Bishops Timlin, Dougherty, and Martino have made way for Bambera.  The high school kids who have assisted with the Easter food distribution in years past have graduated.  A new batch of young people is in their place.

The people who need help are still here, and there seem to be more every year.  The economy is in tough shape.  A couple financial pros debated Tuesday on "Good Morning America," just before I left for Holy Family Church in Scranton.  The bottom line is that even the experts don't know what will happen next.  The people who showed up for a little holiday help don't know what the future holds.  There are so many sad stories.

Through it all, it's nice to know there are those willing to lend a hand, even if it's one meal, for one day.

I snapped this camera phone picture during the blessing Tuesday morning.

I hope you and your family have a great Easter.







Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Match Game '10

I needed a little dose of springtime, and there's no better place to get that than a ballpark.

The clean up at Lackawanna County Stadium was in high gear when I dropped by early Thursday morning.  The place was filled with workers, power washing the stands, chipping away the loose concrete so it could be patched, and fixing broken seats.

The stadium has green seats in the lower deck, and orange in the upper.  The broken seats have been replaced with blue.

It's no secret that this is an aging stadium.  This season will be the 22nd.  The park is showing its age  It's also no secret that we're stuck with this stadium for a while.  There's no money to build a new one.  In these lean economic times, that's understandable.

Seats break.  They've taken a lot of wear and tear over the past two decades.  It happens.  Unfortunately, the mis-matched colors make the stadium appear shabbier than it has to be.

When the seats are filled, the color is irrelevant.  The problem is, the Yankees have had a problem filling the seats the last couple years.

On the bright side, the new grass sure looks great.  The home opener is April 8th.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Bad Photography Monday

Yes, it's another train picture.  I like trains.  Kill me.

I was wandering about Steamtown a few weeks ago.  Active lines run through the property, and this diesel freight train caught my eye.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

WKAB


WKAB was always one of those stations I twisted in when I was in Columbia County-- good classic hits, nice presentation.

Again, an ownership change.  103.5 is now WHLM, and a check of the station's web site shows a lot of local programming.  As an old radio guy, I'm always happy when I see local versus satellite.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Nothing is Forever

It only seems like winter is forever.  It's making a bit of a come back today, with a little snow in some places and below normal temperatures just about everywhere.

There is hope.  The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees' home opener is only 12 days away.  I wandered around the ballpark yesterday morning.  The grass looks good.  It helped establish a spring time feeling in my cold, cold heart.

Palm Sunday is a couple days away, the start of Holy Week.  Even if you're not in to that stuff, it is a nice week.  Flowers are everywhere.  Pastels abound.

I think it's time to stop, before I launch into some poetry, and no one wants that.

Enjoy the weekend.  See you tomorrow morning.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

9 and Out

Zach Braff announced the other day that "Scrubs" will not be back for a 10th season.

Most of the original cast disappeared after the 8th year.  New people were brought in.  While there were a few laughs this year, it wasn't the same.

Blog followers know that I've been a "Scrubs" fan since the pilot in 2001.  I'm not as upset over the end as you might think.  It's time.

As I thought about, the end of "Scrubs" means there's not one prime time series that I regularly view.  "Entourage" comes close, but that's cable, and it has just a limited run every year.  I do twist in "South Park" once in a while.  However, it's not on a regular basis.

A lot of it has to due with my schedule.  I'm asleep during prime time, but it's easy to watch "on demand" via the internet.  There's not much worth watching.  Reality shows don't do it for me.  "American Idol" and "Dancing with the Stars" bore me to tears.  Crime shows?  Don't care.

I thought the 10 PM "Jay Leno Show" had potential.  It was done in by poor execution and lackluster guests.

Maybe, one day, prime time will be entertaining again.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Fair and Balanced

I got the blame for the country's health care problem yesterday.

Thank you for the promotion.  I didn't know I was so powerful.

My thrust toward greatness happened shortly before noon.  Photographer Steve Smallwood was inside the truck, editing our piece on reaction to the health care bill, for Newswatch 16 at Noon.  I was outside, collecting my thoughts and doing what I do best-- standing around.

A gentleman approached, and asked what we were up to.  I explained.  He replied, and he was nice about it,  that I was one of the people responsible for the mess in Washington, because liberal media people, like me, put Obama in office.

I've heard it before, and I've learned to take it all in stride.

Respectfully, it's none of your business who I voted for.  I have no business knowing your preferences.

I will say this:  It is grossly unfair to paint all media people with the same broad brush.  Some are liberal.  Some are conservative.  Most of the people I've encountered in 30 years in the biz are somewhere in the middle.  The good ones, and I trust I'm in that group, keep our political beliefs out of our reporting.  If that isn't enough, producers, anchors, and managers look at our work before it reaches your eyes and ears.  Bias would get red flagged, and in a hurry.

We think before we speak.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Perspective

I was in a mini mart parking lot Monday morning, when I spotted a dime on the pavement.  As I picked up I thought, "This is the best thing that's going to happen to me today." 

It was a rough morning, on top of a rough weekend.  The details are unimportant.

Then, I thought about it for a while. 

I spent part of my day in Picture Rocks, where a family's home was badly damaged by fire.  After that, it was a homicide in Williamsport.  A man was shot in the street, and left to die.

I have nothing to complain about.

After work, it was home to a good family.  A walk around town with the dog provided the opportunity for a little fresh air and for my headache to go away.

It's worth a whole lot more than a dime.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Bad Photography Monday

Steamtown is more than steam engines.  There are several diesels on the lot, including this tangerine engine.  The diesels tend to interest me more than the steam locomotives.  It could be because these were the ones I saw as a kid-- the real ones, and the ones that ran under the Christmas tree.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Dallas Country

WDLS was a country station with its tower and studio in the Back Mountain of Luzerne County.  I think I was there a couple times, but I couldn't get to the old studio site today, if my life depended on it.

Country isn't my thing, but I do remember the station as being live and local.  Live and local is always a good thing.  The people who own stations these days have forgotten about that.  Recorded, syndicated and satellite is cheaper, but there is no connection with the listener.  Without that connection, there really is no radio.

Again, like most stations here in our area, it's been under a few different owners in recent years.  There was an oldies simulcast for a while.

Now?  It's back to country, under different ownership, and WDLS is currently known as WSJR.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Shenandoah



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I spent most of my Tuesday, in Shenandoah, where there had been an early morning homicide. A man was robbed and shot to death in front of his girlfriend and children on East Centre Street.


Shenandoah has been through the mill the past couple years. Some kids were charged with beating a man until he died. Police officers allegedly tried to cover up the crimes. There were other incidents of violence the last several months.

There are hundreds of good and decent people here. Newswatch 16 took a look at positive community events in a few recent stories. While it helped, it's not enough.

The town has developed a reputation. Deserved or not, it's there. While I was on my travels yesterday, far from Schuylkill County, one viewer said "Hey, I see you survived Shenandoah." Another asked about the conditions there, like I spent my day in Baghdad.

It's an old coal town. There's not a lot of money here. While some homes were rather nice, many other needed work-- badly. Junked cars in alleys, dirty streets, empty buildings. It's tough to feel good about yourself and your community when you encounter that every day.

It doesn't take long to get a reputation. It does take a long time to get rid of it. The decent people of Shenandoah should know that it's going to take a lot of hard work, and it's not going to happen overnight.

Good luck.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Working Out

I've known Bob Cordaro since 1988, the year he ran for congress against Joe McDade.   He appeared on a radio talk show I was hosting on a temporary basis.  We talked, on the air, for an hour.  He answered all the questions, and it was apparent that Bob Cordaro is a bright guy.

Cordaro owned a few radio stations.  Our paths crossed several times over the years due to "the business."  Nothing major.  We talked shop.  We exchanged pleasantries.  He was always willing to help with stories when he was county commissioner.  We got along.  Cordaro rode into office as a reformer.  That struck a positive chord with a lot of people.

Tuesday's indictment brought sadness and anger.  While Cordaro and Munchak are innocent until proven guilty, you can't hide the fact that the feds have a wildly successful conviction/guilty plea batting average.  The feds say there was no reform-- just years of thievery.  Organized crime would stand in awe of what Cordaro and Munchak allegedly did.  It's the "abuse of the public trust" thing.  Citizens deserve better.

I know Ernie Preate, but not as well as Cordaro.  I covered Preate as Lackawanna County District attorney and later Pennsylvania Attorney General.  His courtroom performances were amazing, the best prosecutor I ever saw.  No one else is even close.  Preate went to jail for mail fraud.  I once ran in to him at the Scranton federal building, before he did his jail time.  Preate didn't look good.  It was likely the loss of status, loss of money, the shame, the stress...  I walked over and said "I hope everything works out for you."  He quietly said "thank you" and we went our separate ways.  Preate went to prison and paid his debt to society.  His law license was returned, and he's now defending people rather than prosecuting them.  I'm not sure I would have voted for the return of the law license.  The state's highest law enforcement officer should be held to a higher standard.  On the other hand, the return of the license allowed Preate to become a productive member of the community again.  We could debate this for days.

Now, back to Cordaro...  I hope everything "works out" for him.

"I hope everything works out for you" has turned out to be a wonderful sentence.

"Working out" doesn't exclude justice.  It doesn't exclude facing what you did wrong.  It doesn't mean getting away with something.  It does call for owning up to what you did, paying the price, and picking up the pieces of your life.

Things "worked out" for Ernie Preate.

What will happen to Bob Cordaro?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

20

It's more than St. Patrick's Day.

Even though I'm occasionally ribbed for noting too many anniversaries in this space, I'm going to talk about one today.  Too bad.  Deal with it.

I began my first television job twenty years ago today.

It was down the road at WYOU, a place that bears no resemblance to the WYOU of today, and that's just sad.  The station started something new back then, thirty second news updates every hour, around the clock, even on weekends.

My job was to do those news snippets Saturdays, from 6 AM to 2 PM.  Much of that was cartoon time, so I had to be careful not to report anything that would upset the kids.  It wasn't the greatest job in the world, but it was a foot in the door, and I was thrilled to have it.

I remember being so terrified that first morning that I forgot to wear a microphone for the initial update.   A young woman named Margaret was weekend assignment editor back then, a peach of a human being.  I appreciated her calming influence.  She became a good friend, and I enjoyed working with her.  Margaret eventually exited in favor of motherhood.  Great for her family.  Bad for the news biz.

Jim DePury was my first TV news director.  We still keep in touch.  I was lucky to work for him-- more than a good boss.  He's a good friend.  When I lost my WYOU job in an economic cut back in 1996, I think I called Jim first.  I would up freelancing for Jim in Harrisburg, at FOX 43, even before my chair at WYOU got cold.

There was a really good weekend crew in 1990.  Penny Lindgren was the reporter.  She's back home in the Chicago area.  Michael Gargiulo was anchor.  Michael is now the morning anchor at WNBC in New York.  Scott Connell was meteorologist.  He moved on to Saint Louis and KSDK.  Chuck Howard was weekend sports anchor.  Chuck went to Buffalo, and then Charlotte.  I can't forget about weekend photographer John Shema, now a member of the Newswatch 16 team.  It was a solid bunch, and I benefitted from exposure to them.  Going to work was fun.

There is a lesson here.  I recalled something Joan Lunden said when she looked back on her early years at "Good Morning America."   David Hartman wouldn't allow her to do much.  Lunden said she took whatever tiny bits they gave her, and did them the best she could.  Things would eventually take care of themselves.

The Lunden theory worked.  I took my little updates seriously.  A few months later, WYOU offered me a full time job.  I was still happy with my full time radio gig, so I turned it down.  The station came back with another offer, when a slot opened up in September of 1991, and I didn't say "no" a second time.  

There have been more than a few bumps in the road and mistakes along the way.  Clearly, there are some things I would have done differently.  I'm just glad to have had the opportunity. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Two "Tails"

I have a pair of dog walking tales today.  One is clean.  One isn't.

I was walking the dog the other afternoon, when I encountered an elderly woman waiting for a bus.  The dog and I were moving slowly because she loves to sniff.  Everything.  Repeatedly.  During one of the pauses (or pawses) the woman looked me and asked "Are you Andy Palumbo?"  I gave her my standard response:  "Sometimes."

The woman said she watches me all the time, and she went to school with my sister, Leah.  There's one problem with that.  Leah is my mother.  Either she looks young, or I look old.

The other doggie tale took place Saturday morning-- during the wind storm.

Being the responsible pet owner, I was cleaning up after her.  You know how it works.  You put a plastic bag over your hand like a glove.  You scoop up the doggie residue, gingerly turn the bag inside out with your other hand, then tie the top of the bag in a knot.

During a critical moment in the process, a huge gust of wind came up.  It tore the bag and the contents from my hand, just as I was about to turn the bag inside out.  The bag, and everything inside it, went flying everywhere.  I mean everywhere.  It hit mother nature's fan.  I thought I was covered with the stuff. 

A careful inspection when I got home showed I miraculously avoided the splatter.  Don't ask me how it happened.

I usually skip the daily walk when it rains.  I'll have to add wind to the list.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Bad Photography Monday



I was playing around with my camera on a recent morning.  This is St. Luke's Episcopal Church on Wyoming Avenue in downtown Scranton, one of the nicer downtown buildings.

The 200 block of Wyoming Avenue was a mess for years.  It appears to be in a state of transition.  An older building, on the corner of Linden Street was demolished and is awaiting new construction.  A long vacant furniture store in the middle of the block has been transformed into some rather nice office and retail space.

The west side of the street still has several issues-- vacant storefronts and a couple big lots waiting for something to happen.

In spite of it all, you can't overlook the fact that St. Luke's is a gem.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Sister Station

Yes, there was a WKRZ-AM at one time. 

When a new company bought WBRE AM and FM, the FM became KRZ, as noted a few months ago.

AM 1340 was handicapped by a weak signal, and being the poor sister of the big FM.

Here's where my memory gets fuzzy.  I remember two AM formats-- standards and oldies.  I'm not sure of the station's format when this sticker came out.  I'm leaning toward standards because of the heart on the first line.  The heart was a frequent symbol used by "Music of Your Life" stations.

I nearly wound up working there in the early 80's, during a flirtation with a news heavy format.

More fuzziness...  there were a few sales along the way.  It eventually came under the control of the company that had WILK-AM.  At the time, you couldn't have two AM stations in the same town, so the weaker 1340 was sold again.

Something tells me 1340 had a religious format for a while.

It broadcast the NY Mets.

It had a little bit of everything.

The station was off the air for quite a while because the land where the tower stood in Kingston was sold.  A new tower site was found near the VA hospital in Plains Township.

1340 now is called "The Game."  It's a four station simulcast, broadcasting FOX Sports Radio.

Current call letters:  WYCK.  The web site Radio Locator says it runs at 810 watts 24/7, and that's not bad, on paper.  I was driving south on Interstate 81 a few weeks ago, and the signal dropped out around Dorrance.

 If I remember right, it was 1000 day/250 night back in the Kingston tower days.  A former co-worker, who once worked for WBRE Radio, said the night time signal didn't reach Franklin St. in Wilkes-Barre.

Friday, March 12, 2010

DST

This is my favorite weekend of the year, but the thrill wears away fast.  Let me explain.

Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday morning at 2:00.  You lose an hour of sleep.  Because of my schedule, I'll be awake, and losing an hour of work.

It's fun while it lasts.

I'm an early riser, and bedtime often arrives long before Norm Jones says "Good afternoon, and welcome to Newswatch 16 at 4:00"

In other words, I like early sunrises and even earlier sunsets.  Daylight Saving Time deprives me of that.  I'm a big Ben Franklin fan, but I don't think this was one of his better ideas.

Dark bedroom curtains block out the afternoon and evening sun.  An air conditioner defeats the summer heat, and it also muffles the outside noise.

I can't wait for November.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

That's Business

USA Today had a really good story yesterday on the plight of Mount Airy, North Carolina.  The town and its residents have taken a big hit because of the downturn in the textile industry.

It reminded me of an episode several years ago.  I owned stock in a company called Fieldcrest Cannon.  It made towels and bedding.  The company closed one of its bigger plants in the Carolinas.  Hundreds of people were thrown out of work.  The price of the stock went up.

Don't get me wrong.  I like money, but I felt dirty.  I felt awful that I made cash on the backs of the unemployed.   My broker at the time had a philosophy that I shared:  "You'll never be sorry if you take profits."  I sold the stock, made a few bucks, and never looked back.

I could have made more if I hung with the stock.  It just wasn't in me.

A lawyer friend and I were having a chat yesterday.  We both follow the business world quite closely, and we often don't understand it.  Some things make absolutely no sense.  We did agree that even if the economy recovers, it will be a much different system.  Things will never be the same.

I fear that at least one rule will remain:  Money is more important than people.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Self Destruct

There are two people of note in the "self destruct" mode this week.

One is Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.  He faces a civil suit over a sexual abuse allegation, and now a young woman accuses Roethlisberger of abusing her in a Georgia bar.

Roethlisberger denies it.  Even so, Roethlisberger is guilty of a horrible mistake in judgement.  He's putting himself in bad situations and is just asking for trouble.  Grow up.  Stop bar hopping and acting like a kid.  Roethlisberger doesn't have to be a saint, but he has to realize that he's a target and there are a lot of things he just can't do.

The second one in today's self destruct parade is former Wilkes-Barre Area school board president Jim Height.  he was in federal court yesterday to be sentenced for taking a bribe.  that sentence:  six months in jail, followed by four months of home confinement.  We heard the standard speech from the defense attorney-- that Height has already suffered through the loss of his $64,000 a year job, plus the embarrassment and humiliation of being dragged into court.

That's all well and good.  We all make mistakes.

On the other hand, is it too much to ask of public servants that they be honest and law abiding?  It's all so simple.  If you want to stay out of jail, whether you be quarterback or school director, just use a little common sense.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Parade Day

I was going to save this one for the end of the week, but it's been slow.  I'll burn off the topic today.

Saturday is the 49th annual Scranton St. Patrick's Day Parade.

A lot of bars open early.  I hope they'll be checking ID's at the door. 

I'm proposing a Parade Day law.  Card everyone.  Keep the kids out of the bars.  Also, throw out the people who are too old to drink like fools.   30 would be a good cut-off point.

The system does have its flaws.  Some will argue that older adults can handle their alcohol better.  I'm not so sure.

I do believe that you can have a couple beers and be responsible at the same time.

The issue is controlling the excess.  We are a free country.  There's nothing government can do to keep you from acting like an idiot.

Go to the parade.  Have a good time.  See some old friends.  Act your age.

I'm not Irish, but it does trouble me that a family friendly display of Irish heritage has turned into an all day and night drinking party.

I've been to the parade many times.  The vast majority of people there behave themselves.  Somehow, the drinking has taken center stage and it's obliterated everything else.

It's not too late to turn things around.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Bad Photography Monday

It's not your average Bad Photography Monday.  This one has a newsy angle.

The non profit Electric City Museum Association recently got its hands on a 1945 trolley that once serviced the Chicago area.  It was found at a defunct Ohio museum.

The vehicle will be restored and it will become part of the Scranton collection.

I took these photos Thursday afternoon, in a South Scranton rail yard.


It doesn't look like much now, but this trolley has the potential to be really, really nice.  I can't wait to see the finished product.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Oscar Night

I haven't been to a theater in a couple years, and you can guess my next line.  I really don't care about this year's Academy Awards.

It's not 100 per cent apathy.  Jeff Bridges is up for the Best Actor award for his work in "Crazy Heart."  I hope he wins, for the simple reason that Bridges was "The Dude" in "The Big Lebowski." 

I'm also pulling for Sandra Bullock for Best Actress.  First, she's cute.  Second, she seems like a nice person, although her husband's ex-wife would likely disagree.  Third, she gave $1 million to the Haitian Earthquake Relief Fund.  I haven't seen her movie "The Blind Side" and I likely won't.

I can't forget about co-host Steve Martin, an all time fave.

Enjoy the show, even though the most entertaining thing this evening will likely be the special "Jimmy Kimmel Live" that airs after the late edition of Newswatch 16.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

WBHT

The format's the same.  The call letters are the same, but the imaging is different.  Hot 97 morphed into 97BHT a few years ago.  It's not my kind of music, so I can't tell you what's going on here.

I will say I was severely disappointed when management dumped a live and local morning show for satellite hijinks.  I knew the morning team.  They were a hard working couple, and it was unfortunate to see them move on to other things.

A bit of useless trivia...  before "hot hits," this station simulcast WARM-AM 590 during the news and talk days.  As more news and talk formats migrate to FM, 97.1 was ahead of its time.  WARM might not be at the bottom of the heap right now if management stuck with the simulcast.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Under the Bus

It's now official.  I hate the phrase "under the bus."  It's overused, and I accept my portion of the responsibility.

The weekend morning staff brainstormed last weekend.  We tried to come up with something else.  Something different.  Something better.  I suggested "throw them to the lions."  It had potential, but it lacked the magic that vaults a simple phrase into everyday use.

Perhaps the problem isn't in the phrase itself.  The reason it's overused is because we have to throw people "under the bus" so often.

It's all so simple.  To stop use of the phrase, just stop throwing people under the bus.

I wish it was that easy.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Second Fiddle

Our newsroom is a busy place.  In addition to the daily task of putting together the various editions of Newswatch 16, we have several visitors.

Tuesday, a woman and her teenaged son came through the building.  The son was there for a job shadowing program.  Mom provided the transportation, and she was there for her own curiosity.

Joe Snedeker escorted the pair on a tour.  They got to my desk, while I was working on a story for Newswatch 16 at Noon.  We were introduced.  I don't remember what the student said.  I got a quick "Oh, hi" from mom.

My desk is near the windows looking out into the backyard.  Seconds after we met, mom looked outside and, with glee and amazement,  said "Oh, it's the Sock Monkey!"

30 years in broadcasting-- 20 in TV, 10 in radio, a long list of awards and accomplishements, anchor and producer of a top rated TV broadcast, radio news anchor on the number one morning show in the market.  I've had a hand in virtually every big story in this town since 1981.   I've met congressmen, senators, and governors. mayors, bishops, and more.  I'm on a first name basis with many.  During my radio days, the TV people used to listen to me to learn what was going on.  Fires, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, elections...    When the big news happened, people turned to me, confident they would get it first and I would get it right.

I was threatened with jail time because I discovered and reported things, concerning a murder investigation, that I wasn't supposed to know.

When George Banks went on his killing spree, I was on radio stations across the country, including Cleveland, Boston, and Atlanta.

My political reporting wound up live, on WBAL TV in Baltimore and WFSB TV in Hartford.

My reporting on the EF Hutton check kiting scandal was used by three national radio networks.

Some of my interviews on the crash of TWA Flight 800 were used on CNN and the CBS Evening News.

A newspaper columnist noted how I kicked butt on the night Tom Ridge was elected governor.

Vice presidential candidate Lloyd Bentsen yelled at me because he thought my questioning was too harsh.

I had the first interview with Bill Scranton, after he lost the race for governor in 1986.

I fired questions at President Bill Clinton on live TV.

Sideline reporter for state championship high school football games.

Streetside reporter for Scranton's St. Patrick's Day parade for five years.

Hundreds of blog hits a day.

Interest in all of that:  zero.  Fascination with Snedeker's sock monkey puppet:  off the charts.

What happened to me ?!?!?!?!?!?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wednesday Scrapple

The postal service is back with its "five day delivery week" proposal.  I'm okay with that, as long as it keeps rates low.  There's not much of a need to have mail delivered on Saturday.

I'd like the snow to disappear tomorrow, but a slow melt is better than a fast one.

A search of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees schedule shows lots of fireworks, but no promotions like ball day and cap day.  Haven't they learned anything?  Fireworks can only take you so far.  The team continues to treat fans like they're doing them a favor by playing a baseball game.

Another case of arson yesterday-- just a horrible crime.

The Miss America pageant was dropped by TLC yesterday, so it is without a television home.  The pageant died years ago, but no one bothered to tell it.

I'm amazed Turkey Hill gets people to work the overnight shift.

Jay Leno's opening night:  nothing special, not awful.

I read where the popularity of chicken wings has led to a shortage.  I like chicken.  I like fried food.  I like hot and spicy.  However, picking a tiny, greasy, piece of meat off a nasty bone never apealed to me.

Dancing with the Stars new season:  yawn.

I was passing by a tv that had a Mets/Braves spring training game on yesterday.  The world seemed a tiny bit nicer, at least for a little while.

Can we give the Tigers Woods story a rest? 

Luzerne County loses another human resources director.  What's going on down there?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

In the Middle

Hey, come on try a little
Nothing is forever
There's got to be something better than
In the middle
But me & Cinderella
We put it all together
We can drive it home
With one headlight 
-- One Headlight by The Wallflowers 


There are times when "in the middle" isn't so bad.

Case in point:  last week's storm.  A private forecasting service was predicting the second coming of the Holy Redeemer.  It was silly and irresponsible.  The Weather Channel wasn't far behind.

It's no longer enough to predict a storm.  You now have to hype the heck out of it.  Pain and suffering has become a marketing tool.

I should note that there is also a danger in downplaying weather severity. 

We live in Pennsylvania.  I'm checking the record books.  I'm not sure, but I think it's snowed before.

Just give me the information.  I'm a big boy.  I can make up my own mind. 

Yes I'm stuck in the middle with you,
And I'm wondering what it is I should do,
It's so hard to keep this smile from my face,
Losing control, yeah, I'm all over the place,
Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right,
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.
--Stuck in the Middle with You by Stealer's Wheel

Monday, March 1, 2010

Bad Photography Monday

A few weeks ago, it was an early morning shot of the Lackawanna County Courthouse in Scranton.

Today, the Luzerne County Courthouse in Wilkes-Barre gets its turn.

This picture was taken recently, just before sunrise, on the south side of the building.  The Susquehanna River is off to my left.  The courthouse is a magnificent building, inside and out.