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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Obamacare

I've been staying away from the Obamacare discussion, until now.  Separating the facts from the fecal material is really a full time job, and I'm still not sure I have it right.

I can, with great confidence, say the following.  Obamacare had to hit the ground running to win the confidence of the American people.  It didn't.  Actually, very from it, and I'm not sure it can recover.

The web site is a disaster, and people are confused.  Obamacare is not a simple process, and all it really does is reinforce the belief that the private sector does everything better than government.  Well intentioned as Obamacare may be, the roll out has been nothing short of a disaster.

Here's where it gets interesting.  2014 is a congressional election year.  All house seats and one-third of the senate are up for grabs.  Obamacare could be the issue that makes people forget about the federal government shut down earlier this month.  The first primaries really aren't that far away, with the general election less than 53 weeks out.

Look for another bitter and bruising year in American politics.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Book Report

When I finished Henry Bushkin's book on Johnny Carson recently, I felt like I needed to take a shower.

Bushkin was Carson's lawyer and confidante for nearly twenty years.  A lot of the stories Bushkin told in the book should have remained secret.  I realize lawyer/client confidentiality ends when one of the pair passes away.  Still, it was slimey.

Bushkin said he "loves" Carson.  I'd hate to see the result if Bushkin hated him.  There are tales of mental issues, serial infidelity, cruelness, petulance, vindictiveness...  The list goes on and on.

Yes, it was tabloidy and fascinating.  Yet, it was difficult to read that someone you admired so much was so flawed.  Much of what was revealed here really wasn't all that new.  Carson was very kind and generous to a few.  He was cold and distant to many.  To say the least, Johnny Carson was a gifted entertainer and extremely complex.

Overall, I enjoyed the book, but a lot of it made me uncomfortable.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sandy

Hurricane Sandy struck one year ago.   It seems to be the topic of the day, so I might as well chime in for a paragraph or two, or three.
 
It was on a Monday, and I usually hit the newsroom around 2:15 AM.  I decided to come in a little early, and as I was getting dressed, I could hear a strong wind howling outside my windows.  The lights flickered for a moment, and I fully expected to be plunged in to darkness.  I lucked out.  It didn't happen.  My power stayed on throughout the storm.
 
I met up with a photographer at the office,  We loaded up a satellite van and headed for Stroudsburg.  The wind became even more fierce as we got to the top of the mountain in the Tobyhanna/Mount Pocono area, and the van got knocked around pretty good as we traveled south on Interstate 380.  I noticed an absence of tractor trailers on the road.  You know it's bad when they park to avoid the wind.  We made Stroudsburg without incident.
 
The image that stays with me most that day happened as we came down off the exit ramp onto Main Street in Stroudsburg. It's a busy street 24/7.  On this morning, it was dark and quiet.  The power was off.  The street was deserted.
 
We did several live reports for our morning newscasts, then produced a piece for the noon show on how people were coping with a day in the dark.  For many, it would be several days in the dark.
 
We were far from the major devastation in New York and New Jersey.  On this first anniversary, we are bombarded with images of damage yet to be repaired, and people rebuilding what they had along the coast.  I often question the wisdom in spending massive amounts of money in areas where this could, and eventually will happen again. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

You Never Knew

courtesy:  CarlAbraham.com
Alan Hemberger on the right, died recently.

He anchored at WDAU (now WYOU) in the 80's, well before my time, and I never met him.  I do remember thinking he was really good.

Hemberger's family said Alan suffered a heart attack in Massachusetts.  I watched an obituary produced by one of Hemberger's old stations in San Antonio.  It noted that he was a Vietnam veteran who suffered from post traumatic stress disorder, and it became worse as the years went on.

Veterans Day is two weeks away.  Take a moment to remember Alan Hemberger and all the people like him who carried the scars of war long after the fighting was over.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Andy's Angles: Mears and Brooks

Two of downtown Scranton's nicest buildings are just about side by side, separated only by North Washington Avenue.

The Mears Building is on the left.  Penn Security Bank has the first floor and some offices here.  There's always a nice holiday display here, and I hope it continues after the bank changes hands.

The Brooks Building is on the right-- a combination of offices and apartments.  Playwright Jason Miller lived here for many years, and I understand the apartments are rather nice.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Andy's Angles: Sunny Scranton

I remember learning, a long time ago, that November had the least sunshine of all the months.

To mark the last weekend of October, a shot from several weeks ago, showing the Lackawanna County Courthouse in early morning fall sunshine.

This is the view from Adams Avenue, which many people refer to as the back of the building.  Not many buildings have such a good looking backside.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Vacation!

It's a rare weekend off, and you might think taking a vacation week at the end of October is odd.

To the contrary.

It began as a way to avoid an extra long shift, back when standard time resumed on the last Sunday of October.  The feds moved it to the first Sunday of November several years ago.  November is an "all hands on deck" month in the TV biz, so a November vacation was out of the question.

I kept the late October vacation, even after the EST switch.  If you look carefully, this time of year has its charm.  It's chilly, windy and blustery.  The leaves are past peak.  Most days are rather grey.  But, there's something about putting on a coat and hat, and taking a walk as the leaves swirl at your feet.

It's also a decent time for photographs.  Pictures with little color can be just as striking as the ones with brightly colored leaves and tons of blue sky.

The only things I frown upon are the late sunrises.  I'm a morning guy, even on my off days.  You can't touch the camera until around 7:45 AM, and I don't like that.

Standard time changes all of that, and it's only a little more than two weeks away.

Bill Wadell has the anchor desk this weekend.  See you soon.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Yay!

I hate to be cryptic today, but I must.  As Jack Webb used to say "The names have been changed to protect the innocent."  I'm not changing names here, just withholding them.

Just before I wrapped up an assignment Tuesday morning, someone shot me a complimentary e-mail.  It came from someone whose opinion I value and whose work I admire.  It made my day.

After work, I got a complimentary text message concerning another project.  Again, it made me smile.

 Rush Limbaugh, who really should know, always points out how we're quick to criticize and slow to praise.  Me?  Guilty as charged.

To the people involved Tuesday, thank you.  You have no idea how much your words mean to me

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

White Elephant

The conception and construction of the Mall at Steamtown was like birthing an elephant.  It took forever, and it was painful.

There were property acquisition problems, design issues, fights with the architectural heritage people, financing challenges, and the list goes on and on.

It was actually quite a relief when a string of Lackawanna Avenue buildings were imploded on the morning of April 5th, 1992.  After the dust cleared, we all got the feeling that it was actually going to happen.

As you know by now, the mall's honeymoon was a short one.  the struggles began not long after the ribbon was cut.  An anchor, The Globe, closed.  Other stores left for greener pastures, like Viewmont and Montage.  Montgomery Ward closed.  Bon Ton came in to fill the void, and it will be gone shortly after the start of the new year.

Department store owner and the man behind the mall, Al Boscov, admitted last week the Mall st Steamtown is struggling for survival.  It's not hard to see why.  There's a lot of empty space.  Shoppers have to maneuver through downtown traffic to get there.  Plus, there's the big elephant in the room.  There's a perception, deserved or not, that the mall isn't safe.  People just don't like parking garages, especially at night.

I felt this way 20 years ago, and I feel the same way now-- retail is not the answer to Scranton's problems.  Downtowns are no longer retail centers.  We cannot recreate the store filled downtowns of our youth.  Those days are gone, and they're never coming back.

Having said that, I thought the downtown mall was a good idea.  Those old buildings had to go.  No one was interested in redeveloping them.  The money just wasn't there.  Retail was the best of a number of mediocre options.

I do recall the excitement of the time.  It was a good looking building, filled with stores.  I did a live shot, for my old station, just off the food court, the night before the mall opened.  I think it was the first live shot inside the completed mall, and it was a kick to do it.  It was an optimism rarely felt in downtown Scranton.

It seems we have fewer options now.  The mall now has a museum, a library brach, and some county offices.  Do we tear it down?  What do we put there?  Who has the money to make it work?

The mall at Steamtown opened 20 years ago today.

We gave birth to an elephant, and it turned out to be a white one.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Passing

I was very sorry to learn that Gerry Deady passed away last week in Wilkes-Barre.  He practiced law for many years in Luzerne County.

It's safe to say Gerry had a few demons, and there were some rocky years, including a brush or two with police.  Let me tell you about the Gerry Deady I knew.

Gerry was a busy guy in the mid 80's.  It seemed he was always in a trial under the Luzerne County Courthouse dome.  Most of his clients were challenging, to say the least.  They were difficult to defend, for a variety of reasons, including overwhelming evidence of their guilt.  I never saw Gerry give less than 100 per cent.  Even though many of his clients were convicted, they were lucky to have a lawyer who cared so much.  He had a passion for the law, and making sure the rights of the individual were protected.  He was smart.

I have a test when it comes to lawyers.  It's one question:  Would I let this person defend me if, God forbid, I needed help?  In Gerry's case, the answer was yes.

As I noted earlier, there was a spurt of major Luzerne County criminal cases in the mid 80's.  It inspired me to produce a WARM  radio series detailing the trial process.  Believe me, it's not like "Matlock."  I went to Gerry to get an explanation of how a trial works, especially the defense.  He took the time to go through everything.  It was clear and concise, and he put it in terms anyone could understand.

My sympathy to Gerry Deady's family and friends.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Just Right

I am the Goldilocks of consumers.  A sales person has to handle me "just right" or he's not going to get my business.

I realize selling is a difficult job.  Thanks to the internet, consumers are more educated than ever, and I'm one of the people who knows what he wants when he hits the showroom or store.

First case in point, last fall:  I was shopping for a new car, and I settled on a model I liked.  The numbers were tolerable, and I was ready to pull the trigger.  Unfortunately, the salesman rubbed me the wrong way.  He nonchalanted his way through the deal, thinking he had me in the bag.

Guess again.

I'm the one doing you the favor, not the other way around.

Second case in point, last week:  I was looking at cell phones.  It was down to two models.  The salesperson was really pushing the model that was in stock, not the one on back order.  I could have gone either way, and in fact, I was leaning toward the model that was in the shop.

This guy swung the pendulum in the other direction.  He was really too eager to make the sale.  The "hard sell" really sends up the red flag in my book.

I can live with my old phone and my old car a while longer.

One of these days, I'll find sales people who are interested, but not pushy.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Andy's Angles: Industrial Valley

I was playing around with my big lens, on top of Jessup mountain a few weeks ago, and this is what I saw-- a factory in the foreground, a scattering of homes in the middle, and a mountain in the background.  Haze everywhere. 

To give you a little perspective, this is roughly the mid valley area.  Scranton is off to the left.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Andy's Angles: River Fog

One of the joys of fall is fog.  Take cold air and warm ground or water, and this is what you get.

I took this shot in late September, in the early morning, from the business park on the top of Jessup mountain in Lackawanna County.  That's the Casey Highway, also known as Route 6, in the lower left corner.

There was a lot of haze, as well as some fog.  Unfortunately, the fog wasn't as clearly defined as I would have liked.  It's a decent shot, nonetheless.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Here's Johnny

I've started reading Henry Bushkin's book on Johnny Carson.  Bushkin was Carson's attorney and confidante for about twenty years, so he knows all.

I like what I've seen so far.  It's an insider's look at a very private and complex man.

I've always said the great ones make it look easy.  Johnny Carson is a perfect example.  All wasn't as it appeared.  Bushkin notes that Carson was at ease in front of 20 million people, but uncomfortable in front of 20.  He was not a happy man, and the book details many of his personal problems.

Much of it isn't easy to read.  After all, this is the likable and funny guy who came into your home every night.  You hate to read about his flaws-- and there were some big ones.  Even though the book has its uncomfortable pages, it's all fascinating.

I feel sorry for those younger than I.  Their memories of NBC's "Tonight" show consist of Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien.  They missed a giant.

I'll offer a few more thoughts here when I turn the last page.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Scrapple Thursday

I went looking at cell phones yesterday.  My head feels like it's going to bust open.  Once you decide on a device, you have to pick a plan, how to pay for it, insurance, etc.  Cell phone companies are their own worst enemies.  Make it simple, and you'll triple your business.

I'm loving the warm weather.  50 degrees is about the cut off point for my pre dawn bike rides.  This year's bike season has lasted far beyone expectations.

I'm not interested in tasting pumpkin anything.  That includes pie, beer, cake, donuts, coffee and the myriad of other pumpkin products out there.

The baseball playoffs sound interesting.  I say "sound" because I've been listening to the recaps on the radio.  Most of the good games take place while I'm asleep.

The government shutdown makes me sad.  We have turned in to a nation unwilling to solve its own problems.  The USA has become a big Scranton.  I'm glad the shutdown is over, but I have the feeling we'll have some other governmental gridlock issue in the weeks to come.

CNN Radio won three prestigious Edward R. Murrow awards the other night.  CNN closed its radio division earlier this year.

I have this literally irritating habit of shaving with a razor one day longer than I should have.

Butterfinger is making peanut butter cups.  Yay!  The Altoona based Mallo Cup people used to make a peanut butter cup called  "Smoothie."  Unfortunately, I haven't seen one of those in years.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Chris & Me


There are people I know who will trample innocent bystanders to get their picture taken with a politician or celebrity.  I suspect it's just a feeble attempt at validation.

Me?  It takes a bit of history for me to whip out the camera and smile a bit.

I ran into the great Christopher Columbus on Courthouse Square in downtown Scranton Monday morning.  I gave my camera to my friend Jasmine, and asked her to snap one for me.  She did.  As you can see, I was happier about the encounter than Chris.


Mr. Columbus was in town for the annual wreath laying, sponsored by the Columbus Day Association of Lackawanna County, as the Scranton Columbus statue.

Let's hope we all "discover" better times ahead.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Follow Up Tuesday

I've finally found something bad to say about "The Blacklist."  It's bloody and violent.  Excessively so.  It makes me cringe, and a lot of the gore isn't essential to the story.

On the other hand, "The Blacklist" is clever, and there's not a lot of that on television.  I'll stick with it because clever can trump violence.  I'll just have to close my eyes for a scene or two.

That's the glory of television.  If there's something you don't like, don't watch it, and if the numbers aren't there, the show goes away.

That brings me to a second topic of interest.  A few weeks ago, I said the CBS sitcom "We Are Men" is awful.  Apparently, the American public agreed.  It's been canceled after two episodes.  The show was about a bunch of divorced and single guys in an apartment complex, and a waste of the talents of Tony Shalhoub.  You have to wonder what goes on in network conference rooms, and how junk like this gets on the air.

I don't watch much cable news these days.  It stopped being news a long time ago.  It's now cable opinion.  Check the web site mediaite.com.  It chronicles how CNN, FOX News, and MSNBC spend a big part of their days sniping at each other.  Translation:  they have nothing else to talk about.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Columbus Day

It's a holiday, and the issues of the time can wait for another day.

This is another shot from last week's visit to Merli Sarnoski Park near Carbondale.

The picture was taken with a goal in mind, although it fell a bit short.  I was looking for a picture of the lake, framed by two trees.  There were plenty of trees, but the view of the lake was obscured.  This was the best I could find-- a tree on one side and a twig on the other.  It's still a pretty scene.

The leaves won't be around much longer.  Have a great time while you can.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Andy's Angles: Port Jervis Trains

Yes, it's been a while since I've inflicted train photos on you.
Today, it's a few more from just over the Pennsylvania border, in Port Jervis, NY.

There are some beautiful cars and engines here.  It's too bad no one is doing anything with them.



Saturday, October 12, 2013

Andy's Angles: Port Jervis

It made me happy and sad at the same time.

I always enjoy viewing railroading history, and I made a stop to see the old Erie Roundhouse during a recent trip to Port Jervis, NY.

The building itself was destroyed in a fire several years ago.  The bowl and the track remain.  The area is horribly neglected.  Weeds.  Trash.    It's tragic.  Sorry, Port Jervis residents, but the town really doesn't have a lot going for it these days. Here's something that can put your town on the map, and an opportunity is squandered.
Some beautiful, old passenger cars on the site has been vandalized, and it's only a matter of time before those are lost, too.

A valuable asset, something that could be a small tourist attraction is rotting before our eyes.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Holiday Weekend Andy's Angles Extra

It's Columbus Day weekend, a holiday I think doesn't get its due.  After all, it's all about the guy who had the stones to venture out and discover the new world.  Yes, ol' Chris wasn't perfect.

On the other hand, if we can shop on Thanksgiving and Christmas, I can see how Columbus Day gets the short end.  It's become a bank and post office holiday.  It's business as usual for the rest of us.

It doesn't have to be.  I'm taking a break from the weighty issues of the day to throw a couple extra pictures at you.  I was sidelined by a nasty cold during the really nice weather last week.  I tried to make up for it Wednesday morning by wandering through Merli Sarnoski Park, near Carbondale in Lackawanna County.  It was a great day for leaf peeping, and I just about had the entire park to myself.

Above is one of those cliched path and fall foliage shots.  The sun is streaming through the trees, giving a light hazy effect.

Below, another path, in another part of the park.  The leaves weren't at peak, but they were close.

Enjoy the holiday weekend.  This is a great time of year.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Zoom Zoom

Earlier this week, I promised to let you know how my trip to the driver's license photo center went.

Four minutes, in and out!  I kid you not.

I talked with friends and co-workers, asking the best time to go, the best time to avoid.  There was a common thread.  All said it was a nightmare, no matter what time you visited.

I pulled in to the Dunmore parking lot at 12:13 Tuesday afternoon.  There was one other vehicle in the lot.  I walked in.  The gentleman at the desk told me to sit right down.  I didn't even have to "take a number" from the deli style machine.  I signed my name, was asked the motor voter and organ donor questions, smiled for the camera and I was out the door.

I was shocked at the headache-less and short visit.  The worker explained, while I was waiting for the machine to spit out my new license, that I got lucky.  It's crowded and slow most of the time.  I hit the door just before the lunch time crush.  In fact, there were three other vehicles entering the lot as I was exiting.  The license center was fully staffed on Tuesdays.  Some people based here are usually dispatched to license centers in rural areas on other days.

There you have it.  I hope for a similar lucky burst at renewal time in a few years.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Hump Day!

Educators at a middle school in Hartford, Connecticut have issued a ban on students using the phrase "hump day."

Of course, this stems from the Geico camel commercial, one of the most creative in recent years.  Educators thought the kids were saying "hump day" too often.  It was getting annoying and it had to stop.

Are you kidding me?  Is this the most important thing the people in that Connecticut school have to worry about?

Advice:  Ignore it.  They'll get tired of it and eventually stop.

And we wonder why the American educational system is having big problems.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Hot

You know me.  Always the contrarian.

The recent warm spell was nice, but a big part of fall is a bite in the air, and looking at leaves while wearing a light jacket, fleece, sweater, hoodie, sweatshirt, flannel shirt, etc.   Leaf peeping and sight seeing in a tee shirt or polo just didn't seem right.

I happened to be out when the warm period came to a grinding halt, in the form of a cold front, high winds, and heavy rain.  You know, it's been Pennsylvania law for several years.  If your windshield wipers on, your headlights have to be on as well.  Some nimrods still don't get it.  Hey, I can see you better if you have your headlights on, and that makes us both safer.  I know police have better things to do, but I'd really like to see careless drivers pulled over and cited.

Even though the above normal temperatures are gone, it doesn't look like there's any really cold air in the near future.  Relax and enjoy the season.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Credit

Penndot is the organization you love to hate, and it's given us enough reason.

It appears there are more people pushing pencils than lifting shovels.  Potholes hang around way too long.  The interstates are a mess.  Even the newly paved Interstate 81 in the Scranton area has a lot of bumps.  For example, the southbound lanes, right under the River Street bridge.  I know Penndot in and of itself didn't do the work, but doesn't anyone inspect these things?  Several snowstorms have been poorly handled.  Other than the need for a longer Navy Way, longer acceleration and deceleration ramps, the new Avoca interchange seems to be a solution in search of a problem.  The new Yankee Stadium was built in less time that its taken to re-deck the Dickson City Interstate 81 bridges.  I regularly travel an interchange so poorly designed, even a few inches of snow renders it impassible to trucks. Does somebody want to fix the lights along the Central Scranton Expressway? They've been out for weeks.

Having said all that, credit where credit is due.  I renewed my driver's license, on-line, Tuesday.  On Thursday, the camera card was in my mail box.  That's efficiency.  I hope Penndot is equally as speedy and efficient when I show up to get my picture taken.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Andy's Angles: The Little Jail

One of the nicest buildings in the center of Milford is also one of the most interesting.  This quaint little structure used to be the county jail.  It was phased out in 1995.  The setting was perfect-- right next to the courthouse.  Inmates merely crossed the street for court appearances.

Sadly, the county needed more cells, and a modern facility was constructed several miles outside of town, in the Lord's Valley area.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Andy's Angles: Pike County

Pike County has always been one of my favorite places.  Going there these days is a bit of a culture shock.  You hear more New York and New Jersey accents than Pennsylvania-speak.

The county courthouse is a step back in time, and that's a good thing.  It's outlived its usefulness.  There are plans for an addition to be built on the left side as you walk in the front door.  Below is an artist's rendering, lifted from the News Eagle web site.

From what I read, most people seem to like the proposal, and it's on its way to becoming reality.  I can't say I'm a fan.  It's far enough away from the original building as to not detract from it.  However, it still doesn't work for me.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Inside Baseball

I occasionally peel back the curtain to let you know, within reason, what's going on at the office.  You seem to like those things, and I hope this one doesn't disappoint.

This was a huge week at the newsroom.  We received a major computer software upgrade.  It's a glorified word processor, plus it stores the archives, gives us a framework for building newscasts, keeps track of the time and the amount of material, etc.  It might not sound like it, but it's vital stuff.

Let me back up for a moment.  This is the second major systems upgrade this fall.  The computers that handle playback of programming and commercials was completely re-done a few weeks ago, so there are a lot of new procedures of which to keep track.

OK, back to the newsroom.  It was decided the upgrade would take place after the 11 PM news Monday night.  We would be computer-less from 11:40 PM until the completion of the upgrade install.  We were told it would take two or three hours.  Hey, this was a major overhaul.

It takes quite a while to put together the morning broadcast, so here's what we did.  Morning producer Thomas came in extra early to get a head start on the writing.  He got a lot done before the system went down.  I came in at 11 Monday night to provide an extra set of writing hands, once the upgrade was complete.  Anchor Tom Williams also came in a few hours early.

During the down time, one of the developers was in house for a training session.  He told us about the upgrade's capabilities.  More importantly, he listened to our suggestions and things we'd like to see in future upgrades.

Before you knew it, it was 1:15 AM.  The install was complete and it was time to get to work.  If you remember Tuesday morning, it was a mix of the federal government shutdown, coupled with the local impact.  There was a lot to write, and we all got it done in plenty of time.  The developer stuck around until after the morning broadcast cleared at 7 AM, in case there were any problems.  There weren't.

It also worked out well for me.  I got a newscast with the new system under my belt before I return to the office Friday night.  I can hit the ground running.

See you tomorrow morning.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Follow Up Thursday

Several days ago, I commented on how Food Network "chefs" are the biggest hucksters in American marketing.  The have restaurants, tv shows, supermarket products, cookware...  The list goes on and on.  Now, I've noticed Bobby Flay is pushing yogurt.  I like Flay.  I like yogurt.  I like capitalism, and it must be great to be in demand.  My point is, a job on the Food Network is the equivalent of a license to print money.

The success of the Pittsburgh Pirates has to be the sports "feel good" story of the year.  The Pittsburgh Steelers is the "feel awful" story of the year.  It's just a bad team.  At least, they're off Sunday, so it will be a painless weekend.

The second episode of "The Blacklist" was as good as the first.  Of course, James Spader is a huge part of this, but the show's production values are also outstanding.

The federal government shutdown gets sillier by the moment.

Speaking of silly, The Weather Channel will name winter storms again this year.  Really?

I've been asking more people about smart phones.  I still get a different answer from everyone I speak with.

The interminable NHL season is underway.  The never ending NBA odyssey begins at the end of the month.  Thankfully, baseball can get its playoffs wrapped up in less than one month.

Why is it so easy to get a cold, and so hard to get rid of one?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Closed!

I sat down at the keyboard with the intent of trying to make some sense out of the budget issues, ObamaCare, and the federal government shut down.

You know what?  It makes no sense.

It makes the Republicans look obstructionist and the group that threw hundreds of thousands of people out of work.

There's a rule in politics:  never let your opponent define you.  The Democrats failed.  The Republicans called the shots, and the Obama administration did a poor job of selling the Affordable Health Care Act to the American people.

We'll likely discover this week that we don't need as many government employees as we have, and life goes on, in spite of the shut down.

There are no winners and losers here.  The shut down, even a short one, shows how the American government is failing its citizens.  We cannot find solutions to our problems, and the people we elected to lead don't lead at all.

And we continue to wonder why people stay home on election day.

Shut downs are nothing new.  However, it's still a sad and sorry time in our history.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

About the Cover

There have been a few exceptions, but for the most part, blog headers have been things secular.  I made an exception this month.

This is the First Presbyterian Church on Broad Street in Milford, Pike County.

Unfortunately, there's not a lot of history available on line.

On one hand, it's an imposing structure.  Yet, it fits perfectly in the borough.

It was a cloudy, soupy day when I took the photo.  I really have to get back there on a clear, sunny, blue sky day.