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Monday, June 18, 2018

Breakfast Bites

Subway is no longer forcing its franchise holders to open at 7 am and serve breakfast.

While I have been in Subways early, I didn't experiment with the breakfast offerings of wraps and muffins.  I stuck with the subs.

One of the great joys in life is fasting for hours for blood work, having the blood drawn, then heading to Subway to inhale a foot long turkey and Swiss in thirty seconds.  I've done it twice.

As far as Subway breakfast goes, I've never had it.  A company spokesman says people just didn't think of Subway for breakfast.  The New York Post reports Subway is bringing in an outside consultant to professionalize operations, turn around slumping sales, and possible prime the company for a sale.

I don't think Subway is a bad place.  However, in a crowded industry, it just isn't special.  It seems to be a place you have to go for a quick bite, not a destination because you like the food.

Someone from Wendy's  tweeted snarky things about IHOP after the company announced a burger promotion, and a temporary name change to IHOB.  I was waiting for someone from IHOP to respond that Wendy's tried national breakfast roll outs twice-- and failed both times.

Burger King called itself Pancake King for a day.  This is the same chain that changes its french fries every few years because it still can't get it right.  BK still produces a good burger.

IHOP could have fired back.  It didn't.  I guess management was too busy watching all the free TV  it received for the name change hysteria.

Starbucks recently announced a price increase.  Moot point for me.  I never drink coffee.  At Starbucks and other high end coffee places, you're not paying for the beans.  You are paying for workers, rent, advertising, marketing, etc.  I am constantly amazed at the drive through lines at McDonald's and Dunkin' Donuts on a weekday morning.  People love the stuff.

Bottom line:  food is a cutthroat business.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Twenty!

Today is my 20th anniversary at WNEP.

There are many days I walk in the door as terrified as I was on the first.

As I've noted here before, I still love news, and I'm having fun.  There is still a lot of gas left in the tank.

I'll see you tomorrow!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Andy's Angles: Perhaps I Should Explain

Clearly, I didn't take this one.  One of our editors and associate producers Brittany did.  Joe wanted a picture to remind us of the dead of winter, and how great it was to have a wonderful summer day.

It was taken Tuesday morning.  I had just finished filling in for Tom Williams on Newswatch 16 This Morning.  Joe wanted to be photographed in a winter coat, and He asked me to photo bomb.  Upon further reflection, I think photo bombing is spontaneous, and not planned.

Anyway...

There are some things I miss about winter.  The most important-- I sleep better.  Regular readers know I work all night and sleep all day, and I keep that schedule even on my days off.  I find it easier to sleep when it's dark and I'm under a heavy blanket layer.  Dark curtains and a big air conditioner help, but it can't replace those cold nights and 4:30 PM sunsets.

Yes, I do like having four seasons, although spring and fall don't last long enough.  Yes, it's nice walking out to the driveway and not scraping a windshield, not slipping and sliding to work.

Excuse me.  It's time for a nap.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Unfinished Friday

REVISITING SOME EARLIER TOPICS...

In yesterday's entry, I pointed out that the Trump/Kim Singapore Summit reminded me of President Nixon's trip to the USSR and China in 1972.  A loyal blog reader and old radio friend pointed out that the Wilkes-Barre Township and Bradford County tornadoes struck as we approach the anniversary of the Agnes flood, also in 1972.

The New York Times recently reported the YES Network is close to signing Yankees' announcer Michael Kay to a big, new contract.  Why?  I've always been amazed the most famous team in baseball, in the largest market in baseball, settles for such mediocrity in the radio and television broadcast booths.  And as far as the radio booth goes, "mediocrity" is being kind. 

Regardless if you're Republican of Democrat, regardless if you supported Trump or Clinton, you have to agree that the past few years have not been the best in the history of the Justice Department.  It seems the rank and file do a great job.  Leadership, on the other hand...

I don't think there is anything that could happen that could get me interested in the World Cup. 

I dipped in and out of the FOX coverage of the U.S. Open.  Golf isn't really my thing.  First, I think FOX, after a slow start a few years ago, does a nice job on golf.  Second, who are these people?  So many new faces on the tour. 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Dust: North Korea

It was deja vu.  Mindi Ramsey and I were on the set, getting ready for Newswatch 16 This Morning on Tuesday.  Images of President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un of North Korea were on the giant monitors in front of us.

Suddenly, it was 1972.

I remembered President Nixon's trips to China and the USSR in 1972.  It was fascinating.  Television images of things we hadn't seen up close before-- the Great Wall, The Forbidden City, the Kremlin.

Even though the U.S./North Korea Summit was held in neutral territory, I remembered those presidential trips 46 years ago.  There was quite a bit in common.  An American president was talking with leaders of countries we feared engaging in a war.  Like North Korea, the Chinese and Soviets were not known for their human rights.

China is still around.  The USSR isn't.  There have been ups and downs in our relationships with China and Russia, but so far, the missiles are still in the silos.

By all accounts, North Korea, while a nuclear power, is a mess.  Electricity is spotty.  The economy is a disaster   There isn't enough food to go around,  Kim needs to be taken seriously on the world stage.  North Korea needs change to survive.  It began on a Tuesday in Singapore.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Homework

A school district in Nassau County, New York is eliminating homework for elementary school students.  The superintendent says studies show young children gain nothing from it.  Homework works best in junior high and high schools.  Instead, children will be encouraged to do some reading at home.

Really?

I remember getting slammed as a kid, many nights at the kitchen table doing the dreaded long division.

I'm a moderate here.  I always believed kids should get a little something, in all grades, especially the early ones.  Kids have to develop good study habits.  Those will come in handy in high school, and especially college, where it's all homework.

By the way, it never ends.

I've been in the business a long time, and I've worked with a lot of people.  One of the big differences between the professionals and the amateurs is homework.  The good producers, reporters and photographers have a curiosity about the world around them.  They watch TV news, they read books and newspapers, they talk with people about what's important to them.  I understand the need to unplug and recharge the battery, but the learning process, the homework, never ends.

Start young.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

You Talk Too Much

A coworker and I were thinking about it the other day.  Now that Tom Snyder has retired and passed, now that Charlie Rose has self destructed, now that the Bob Costas hosted "Later" on NBC is a distant memory, now that "Nightline" is multi topic...  are there serious, yet entertaining interviews on TV?

I thought of including Larry King in that group, but he mailed in that show for years.  People went on it because they knew they'd have an easy ride.  It was something you watched because there was nothing else you liked at 9 PM.  Piers Morgan wasn't around long enough for me to figure out why that show was such a train wreck.

Yes, there are interviews on C-SPAN and a couple other places.  The hosts are competent, but nothing to make you want to turn a dial.  It seems like there's an opening here, a void that needs to be filled.

Yes, David Letterman has a well received interview show on Netflix.  I love Dave, but not enough to pay to watch him.

In a similar vein, when I was a kid, teen, and even a young man, there was a big number of local DJ's/radio personalities to look up to, to emulate, to admire.  Who do young people use for inspiration these days?  There are exceptions.  In the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area, we have The Prospector, Frankie Warren, Doc Medek, Rocky and Lissa, Jeff and Amanda.  Gary Chrisman is THE brand in Williamsport.  I'm sure I'm leaving out a few others, and I apologize.  There is some great local talent out there.  I wish there was more.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Monday Scrapple

Not only are we losing D Day veterans, we're losing people who realize D Day was a huge deal.

I don't know how Floridians live with alligators wandering through their yards.

I'm an old radio guy, and I always admired Anthony Bourdain's voice and delivery.

Why does Dickson City still have culm banks?

It's almost mid June-- time for the back to school sales to start.

Asphalt plants have been open for several weeks-- and some roads are still awful.

The person who invented peach iced tea deserves an award.

A Las Vegas win would have been a better story.  Congratulations to the Washington Capitals.  I don't follow hockey.  Like the NBA, the season lasts too long and too many teams make the playoffs.

The NBA Finals turned out to be a bust-- a Golden State sweep over Boston.  And, I really don't care where LeBron James plays next year, even though he is a tremendous talent.

Amazon is out with some new products.  Voice activated technology is so fascinating.

I'd really love to be in on the Singapore Summit.

Calerie and I were talking about it over the weekend-- how do those giant bumblebees get off the ground?

The general election is still four months away, and I can't wait.  It should be interesting.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Andy's Angles: Fernwood

 They are all over the Poconos.  Resorts from the glory days, falling into disrepair.  Today, it's Fernwood, near East Stroudsburg, scene of a huge fire Sunday night.
 The recreation building and arcade burned.  There used to be boxing matches and assorted other activities in here over the years.  The walls remain.  Everything inside is gone.
A religious group bought Fernwood in December, and intended to turn it into a "world peace center."  A spokesman says the plans are delayed, but still on track.  I walked around the property and looked at the buildings that didn't burn.  It didn't appear much work had been done.  In fact, it looked fairly shabby.  Fernwood had been closed for several years, and the property really looked that way.

I've had the opportunity to tour other Poconos resorts in the same boat, including Mt. Airy in Paradise Township, before it changed hands.  The musty stench was unbearable.  There was one solution:  a bulldozer, and that's what the new owners wisely did.  You hate to lose history, and it would have been really neat to see those buildings and hotel rooms restored.  It would have been enormously expensive.  You had to start over.

It's clear the recreation building at Fernwood will have to go.  I'm not sure about the rest. 

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Andy's Angles and First Person: Fernwood

I am usually up well before my alarm, so that gives me a chance to check my email and WNEP.com, so I'm off and running as soon as I get to the office.  I woke up late Sunday night to the news that one of the big buildings at the old Fernwood resort, in Middle Smithfield Township was burning.
I arrived at the office just as photographer Greg returned from the scene.  I looked at the video, listened to a fire chief interview, and banged out two versions of the story for Newswatch 16 This Morning.  Photographer Erich arrived.  He loaded up a truck and we headed to Monroe County.

By the way, the amount of traffic on the roads of Monroe County, even at 3:30 am, is astounding.

Erich found a safe place to park the truck, lit the scene, and we were off and running.

After the braodcast, we found a couple of former Fernwood employees and a third person who remembered Fernwood's glory days.  We were supposed to meet up with a fourth person, but time was not our friend.  We waited as long as we could, but we had to head back to the office.  Apologies.

As I listened to the interviews and picked out segments, Erich found old video of a Fernwood boxing match.  It was in the building that burned, and it added quite a bit to the piece.  Script written, approved, and edited.  Friend and co-worker Carmella Mataloni would wrap around my piece at noon, with the latest information.

It was a good mix.  Carmella had the latest facts.  I had the "people piece."  Everything worked out nicely.

More on Fernwood tomorrow.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Always

Brit Hume of FOX News Tweeted what you see above after last week's suicide of Kate Spade.  I don't think it's an original quote, but that doesn't matter.

Simple, yet striking-- and a thought that escapes most of us.

It reminded me of how often I've fallen short.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Media Thursday

Even though other people have said things just as bad, Roseanne left ABC with no other choice.

Is the television odyssey known as the Harrison Avenue Bridge Project over yet?

Robert Mandan, Chester Tate from "Soap" died recently.  86.  Great Pyramid player.

Leukemia claimed Bob Fuss of CBS Radio News recently.  Only 64.  Fuss worked for all the major networks at one time or another.  Clear and concise.

Allie LaForce is leaving CBS for Turner.  I don't know why contract negotiations broke down, but it's a mistake for CBS to let her get away.

The NY Post has been reporting CBS is less than happy with the Jeff Glor ratings on the CBS Evening News.  It's a solid broadcast.  As I always say with CBS, it's not the product, it's the lead-in.

The Post also reports NBC News is quietly putting together a streaming service. It's an attempt to lure young cord cutters.  CBS has had one for a while now.  It seems to be a "must have." Tuesday was a big primary election day, and ABC News streamed the results, complete with anchors and reporters, on its web site.

Even though I can listen to any song at any time through Amazon Echo and other devices,  I still linger in the car when something I like comes on the radio.

The second season of Brockmire on IFC isn't as good as the first, mostly because there's less Amanda Peet, but it is still outrageously funny.

Big changes in the Miss America pageant, long overdue.  That thing stopped being relevant in the Bert Parks days.

Charlize Theron has been cast as one of the leads in a new Addams Family movie, due out for Halloween next year.  Why?  Doesn't anyone have any new ideas?

And, it looks like ABC has its ducks in a row for the Singapore summit.

Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos will lead broadcast coverage from Singapore with “World News Tonight” Anchor David Muir, Chief Global Affairs Correspondent and “This Week” Co-anchor Martha Raddatz, Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl, White House Correspondent Tara Palmeri and Correspondent Karen Travers on the ground with the latest developments from the summit between North Korea and the United States.  Senior White House Correspondent Cecilia Vega will report from Washington, D.C. on the reactions stateside. Tom Bossert, ABC News Contributor and former Homeland Security Advisor to President Trump, will contribute to ABC’s ongoing coverage. 

On Sunday, June 10 “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” will be anchored by Stephanopoulos and “World News Tonight” will be anchored by Muir from Singapore. Stephanopoulos will anchor “Good Morning America” from Singapore starting on Monday, June 11. In the run-up to the summit, Raddatz will report from Seoul, South Korea before arriving in Singapore. “Nightline” will devote its entire program to the North Korea summit beginning Monday, June 11.
 
ABC News will cover the North Korea summit and all summit events on ABCNews.com and its live 24-hour streaming news network ABC News LIVE beginning Monday, June 11 with reporting and analysis from ABC News anchors, correspondents and analysts. Comprehensive coverage will be available on ABCNews.com, ABC News social pages (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and the ABC News OTT and mobile apps.


Wednesday, June 6, 2018

It's Rather Creepy

I must have a dozen of those shoppers club cards.  I hate them, but you can't function these days without them.  They entitle you to a few cents of your favorite products.  It doesn't seem like much, but it does add up.

A card in my arsenal that gets among the most use is one from a giant drug store chain.  This chain also sends me e-mails, informing me of sales on products I've purchased in the past.  It's nice to know what's on sale without plowing through the newspaper circulars on Sunday.  By the way, it's another nail in the newspapers' coffin, but that's another entry for another time.  On the other hand, it creeps me out.  Someone is always watching, counting, tallying, observing...

Sometimes, I think saving a few cents on a bottle of diet cola really isn't worth it.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

50: RFK

Robert Kennedy was murdered 50 years ago today.

While I don't remember the Martin Luther King, Jr. assassination in April of 1968, I vividly remember the Kennedy killing, even though it was only a couple of months later.  Let me back up for a moment, I strongly recall the riots that followed Dr. King's death, but I have no memory of the shooting that started it all.

The RFK murder was a little different, and let me explain.  It was ritual in my house growing up.  CBS Morning News at 7:00 AM, Captain Kangaroo at 8.  Every day.  No exception.

Kennedy was shot after winning the California primary, so the news was fresh-- and frightening in the morning.  When you're young, you frequently view events through the eyes of,  and the reaction of, your parents.  My parents were Kennedy people.  I remember them speaking of the sadness that gripped the country after the JFK assassination.  I could see they were upset by what was unfolding in California on that early summer morning.

History showed us the Kennedy campaign was gaining steam in 1968.  While Eugene McCarthy was a strong anti Vietnam was candidate, Kennedy was increasingly seen as having the best chance of beating Nixon and quickly ending the war.  I can understand my parents concern.  My brother was approaching draft age, and by 1968, just about everyone had seen what an unmitigated disaster Vietnam had become.  By the way, I shouldn't sell Nixon short here.  The United States withdrew troops during Nixon's term.  The official end came when the North overran the South, and that was on President Ford's watch.

There was always Hubert Humphrey, by most accounts a fair and decent man.  When the dust settled in Chicago, Humphrey had the Democratic nomination.  However, no one could electrify like RFK.

Bobby Kennedy remains a fascinating character.  He clearly had flaws-- personally and politically.  His charm and charisma overcame those.  I'm so sorry Dr. Tony Mussari from King's College and former Scranton Mayor Jim McNulty are no longer with us.  I'd love to talk to them about 1968.  Both were very politically active at the time.

If you get the chance, check out RFK assassination coverage from the big networks on YouTube.  It's amazing how well they covered the mayhem that night and morning with equipment that is so primitive by today's standards.

In recent days, RFK, Jr. has gone public with his thoughts that more than one gunman was responsible for his father's murder.  He claims there is physical evidence to back it up.  I don't know.  Kennedy was shot in a crowded hotel passageway.  I can't believe there was a second gunman, and no one saw him.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Advice from the Old Man

The other day, I mentioned the benefit of college summer classes.  Let me expand on that.

I do realize the following:  You sometimes really need the summer break, many have jobs that get in the way, many live in dorms and go home for the summer.

On the other hand, summer classes, at least in my day, were much more informal and relaxed.  They didn't take up a lot of your time.  Some schools charge less for summer credits.  You only take one or two courses, so you can really concentrate on the material.

The biggest advantage, as I saw it, was spreading out the course and credit load.  Those credits you earned in the summer put you ahead of the game.  It was less to worry about and tackle in the spring and the fall.

When I was a radio pup, another part timer and I were on the same staff.  We were both college students.  The other part timer had a better voice, and at least back then, was a better broadcaster.  But, when the station needed help on short notice, I was the one who received the call.  The reason was simple.  I was available.  By the time my junior and senior years rolled around, I had banked plenty of credits, thanks to attending in the summer, I wasn't on campus much.  The other guy was stuck at school.  I was at work.

By the way, that other guy is enjoying a long and very successful career in larger market.

Bottom line:  It might not sound like fun, but go to school in the summer.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

About the Header: Maria Hall

We'll begin the new month with the last Marywood University photo for a while.

This is Maria Hall.  I will admit, I was never in here until several years after I graduated.  It houses the advance and development office.  A friend used to have her office in here, and I'd drop by to say hello during my rare visits to the alma mater.

It's been a while since the header consisted of a tower or cupola picture, and this one fits the bill.

If memory serves, I heard this was a carriage house back in the day.  It's been nicely renovated, and it's one of Marywood's most charming features.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

20

Lake Carey was ripped apart by a tornado 20 years ago.  It struck late at night.  Two died.  I saw pictures and video of the damage.  It was horrible.

I was "between jobs" when it happened.  One job had just ended.  I was looking for another.  I was talking with WNEP, and honestly, it didn't seem to be going anywhere.  I was finishing up a job interview trip to Charleston, West Virginia when the storm hit.

Lake Carey was not alone.  There was a tornado outbreak that day and night, back in 1998.  I remember hitting some nasty storms as I drove across Route 68 in the Maryland panhandle.  Fatigue got the better of me and I spent the night in Harrisburg, PA.  The storm outbreak was so severe and so wide, the news director who interviewed me in West Virginia called me at home, to make sure I arrived okay.

Tornadoes have always frightened me.  Other than hiding in a shelter, there's not much you can do -- and they cannot be stopped.

Friday, June 1, 2018

The Creeper

I noticed it last week, on Thursday, while I was taking a relative on a 20 mile drive to a medical appointment. There was a ton of traffic on the interstate.  It was clear people were getting an early, early jump on Memorial Day weekend.

In the past, Friday afternoon was get-a-way day.  Now, it's creeped up to Thursday.  Can Wednesday be far behind?

Independence Day is another set of challenges.  It's on a Wedesday this year.  Some people will take off the first half of the week.  Some, the second.  A lot of people will take the entire week.  Next to Christmas week,  the first week of July has to be an exceptionally popular one for vacations.

Summertime holidays are not the only ones subject to creep.  Black Friday used to be the big Christmas shopping day.  Then, it creeped up to Thanksgiving.  Some stores now kick off their sales on Wednesday.  I'm not sure if it can creep any earlier.

Are there observances that can avoid the creep?  Maybe.  Labor Day.  Schools and colleges are open.  It's tough to get away earlier and stay away later.

Even New Year's Day has been creeped upon.  Some celebrations for young people take place at noon on New Year's Eve.  Others start in the evening for those who can't or don't want to stay up late.  There is still the magic of the clock striking midnight and a new year beginning.  I had a great time in Pottsville at the start of 2018, even though temperatures were in the single digits.

The same goes for Christmas.  Midnight mass is fading away in favor of earlier services.

The great George Carlin used to say "You don't tell time.  Time tells you."  I'm not sure if that's still true.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Reminiscing: The Skyliner

I had to do a story on the spiking price of gasoline just before Memorial Day.  We chose the Pilot Travel  Plaza in Pittston Township for the location.  I like it there.  We set up in an elevated parking lot across the street.  It's well lit, with plenty of traffic, even at 4:30 in the morning.  Pretty pictures.

You might remember that this was the location of the Skyliner Diner and truck stop.  Plenty of parking for rigs in the back.  Service, area, mechanics, diesel fuel, etc.  The diner, one of those silver car deals, was in the front.  Good food.  Open 24 hours.

Back when I was on the radio, Skyliner ran commercials from midnight to 2 in the morning.  It made sense.  People out, traveling, listening to the radio, looking for a bite.  The audience was there.  Remember, there weren't a lot of 24 hour places back then.  I think we had Denny's, a few diners in Scranton, another couple in Wilkes-Barre.  Nothing in between.

I vividly remember the commercials-- a couple of guys, speaking in Arab accents, raving about this all night oasis called the Skyliner.  Creative.  Effective.

Think it could get made today?

It wasn't an offensive commercial, but in retrospect, I could see where some wouldn't like it.

The Skyliner closed years ago.  The diner was trucked to Moosic, to replace what the 1999 fire at Terry's Diner destroyed.

I'll always remember the Skyliner for a special late night dinner with a friend, and a creative commercial that would never make air today.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

A Funny Thing Happened...

I bought myself a Christmas present last year.  It was a smart watch.  It's not a high end model.  I just wanted to see what the buzz was all about.  I had no desire to track my steps, or the amount of time I sleep.  I didn't synch it with my phone so I could receive messages on my wrist.  I was looking forward to checking my route and mileage during biking season.

I should add that it's a darn fine watch, with nice big numbers.

When I sat down and thought about it, it was a waste of money.  I usually take the same route, and I already had a rough idea of that mileage.

Then, a funny thing happened.  I found myself varying my route a little with each excursion-- just to test the sensitivity of the watch, checking to see how far it is from here to there, and the time I needed to do it.  The watch has brought me a great deal of enjoyment, and it's added to my biking routine.

An unexpected benefit!

By the way, I do most of my biking in the dark.  As noted earlier, my bike has lights, a full set of reflectors, and I wear a reflective vest.  I showed Joe Snedeker the make and model of light I use.  Joe didn't think it was adequate, and he let me borrow one of his.  Holy cow!  It makes my route look like a night game at Yankee Stadium.  Thanks, Joe!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Attacked!

I was attacked Sunday morning.  I didn't see it coming.  I didn't hear it coming.  I didn't feel it during the attack, and it happened in my own newsroom.

The assailant?  A mosquito.  The remedy was almost as bad as the attack.

I was minding my own business and putting the finishing touches on Newswatch 16 Sunday Morning when I felt a bit of pain.  A mosquito got me, not once, but four times.  Two bites were on the back of my neck.  One on the chin.  One in the sideburn area.

Ouch!

So, what do do?

I was developing some swollen bumps.  Rubbing alcohol didn't help.  It was time for serious stuff-- an antihistamine.

It relieved some of the pain, and the swelling subsided.

As you probably know, antihistamines have side effects-- namely, dry mouth and drowsiness.  Both can be troublesome for a news anchor.

I kept a giant cup of iced tea under the anchor desk.  Sips of diet cola helped during the breaks.  I made it through the four hour broadcast.  It wasn't easy.

Mosquitoes are one of the worst parts of summer.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Memorial Day

I'll be brief. 

It's Memorial Day.

Please, remember what the day is all about.

Be safe.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Andy's Angles: Science!

This tree shrouded structure is the science building at Marywood University..  It was much smaller in my day. 

I can't say I spent much time here.  During my years, you had a choice-- two science courses and one math, or two math courses and one science.  As noted here earlier, I'm not a numbers guy.  I went for the two sciences.

One was a course called Matter, Energy, and Technology.  I can't say I remember much about it, but I do recall it was a scatter shot approach, hitting several science disciplines.  My other science course was Astronomy.  Dr. Brennan, and I do remember enjoying that one a great deal.

B+ in both courses!

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Andy's Angles: Green Space

Apology in advance for what I think will be a long and convoluted entry.

One of the things I always admired about Marywood was its commitment to trees and green space.  It's a beautiful campus.  It was in my day.  It still is.  Let's get oriented.  The new library is at the left.  The old library was in the center.  You can see the corner of a relatively new arts building is on the right.  Architecture is in the building in the background.  That was the gym and pool back in my day.  The field at center right was always there.  Much of today's entry deals with that field.

One of my biggest college adjustments was getting used to late afternoon and evening classes.  I hated them.  The hate lasted until the day I left.  Unfortunately, there was no way around it.  I took as many early morning classes as I could.  Yes, I was a morning person even way back then.  Some classes were only offered in the late afternoon and evening.  I didn't like it, but that's college life.  It was the high school advantage.  You were out the door at 2:45.

Freshman year at Marywood.  French. Mondays and Thursdays, 4 to 5:15 pm.  Not only was it a course that wasn't in my wheelhouse, I sat at my desk and watched night time arrive, and the sun sink.  As it turned out, the sun wasn't the only thing sinking.  My grade was along for the ride.

I made it through that first semester with a C, and it was a major accomplishment.

There is a phenomenon called "summer slide."  Students often forget what they learned during the summer, so there has to be a bit of a review in the fall.  Back in my freshman year, Marywood had something called "Winterim."  Christmas break was extra long, and the school offered courses during the break, like it did in the summer.  My first year at Marywood was the last for Winterim.  The school then shortened the post Christmas vacation.  Instead, there were two different summer sessions.  I didn't participate in Winterim, but I did take courses during my three Marywood summers.  Note to college kids, present and future:  take summer classes if you can!

Second semester of French was a monumental struggle, the biggest of my college years.  There was one afternoon, after a particularly grueling class, when I was cutting across the field, on my way back to my car in the parking lot.  It was still cold, but spring was in the air.  Darkness was arriving, but you could tell the days were getting longer.  I encountered a robin during my cross field short cut, my first of the season.  I started at the bird.  The bird stared back.  For a moment, my French worries disappeared.

The respite was short.  Another French class was just a couple of days away.  As hard as I tried, I just couldn't get it.  My grade for that second semester of French, spring 1980, was a D, and I considered it a gift.  I smiled in tremendous relief when the report card came in the mail.

I cannot visit, or even pass, that field without thinking of that robin who made a tough time just a little bit easier.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Gone

Back when I was at WARM, in the mid 80's, the station used to put out a mailer a few times a year.  It went to people who signed up for something called a CashCard, later a RadioCard.  It enabled you to get discounts at stores and other little freebies.  The card thing eventually petered out.  So did the mailer.  So did the station.

Below is the back cover from a March 1985 mailer.  Several Wyoming Valley Mall stores decided to play along.  How many do you remember?  How many are out of the mall?  How many are out of business?
Just for laughs, here's the front.


Thursday, May 24, 2018

Thursday Scrapple

On a scale from 1 to 10, my interest in the royal wedding was barely a 2.  I will admit they Harry and Meghan are a great looking pair.

Note to State Farm agents:  I'm sure you have a fine product, but I'm very happy with what I have now.  STOP SENDING ME THINGS IN THE MAIL!

Last Indianapolis 500 on ABC Sunday.  I know it's a business, but it's still sad.

I am constantly amazed by the number of people who build LinkedIn pages, but never check them, never maintain them.  Delete and move on.  I will say that LionkedIn is one of the most useless sites-- ever.


Decorating the tops of mortarboards was cute for a while.  It's worn off.


I know I've mentioned this before, but it bears repeating.  the number of overdoses you hear every weekend on the police radio is terrifying.


I've been out on my bike several times this spring, and the roads are still terrible.


It appears the investigation into financial monkey business in the Scranton School District is accelerating.  Bravo!  It's clear something is wrong, somewhere.


The U.S. Supreme court has given states the right to conduct sports betting.  Why do I see trouble with this?


I honestly don't care if it's yanny or laurel.  Please stop it.  Stop it now.

Worst.  Spring.  Ever.

The NFL is taking steps to make kick offs less dangerous.  Isn't danger part of the game?    Moot point.  The NFL will soon exist as just something on which to gamble.

It's another changing of the guard at my gym?  Why don't employees stay?

I was driving in a downpour early Wednesday morning.  Holy Cow!  It was worse than driving in a snow storm.

I know he's been gone a long time now, but Dick Clark made hosting Pyramid look so darned easy.  I know he won Emmys for it, but I don't think Clark ever received his due for being a game show host.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

First Person: Rescued



The day started benignly enough-- a simple story on gasoline prices as we approach Memorial Day weekend.  My phone rang a little after 6 am.  There was a crash, a bad one, along Interstate 81 north in Wilkes-Barre Township.


Photographer Jason broke down our live shot location in Pittston Township and we headed south.  We found the crash scene quickly enough, but there was a major problem.  The we couldn't access the crash scene safely.  There was plenty of interstate between the wrecked tractor trailer and us.

Jason and I brainstormed for a moment.  We remembered a road, off Route 309, that cuts under the interstate, then snakes along it.  By the way, traffic on 309 was crawling because of the vehicles that jumped off 81.  Thank you to the people who let us cut in front of them.

We found a pretty good spot.  Great view of the wrecked tractor trailer, with its wheels up.  We were out of everyone's way and it was possible to do live shots safely.

An aside:  highway crashes are our worst nightmare.  We have to get there and not get caught up in the traffic tangle.  We have to get video without putting ourselves in danger.  First responders already have their hands full.  We take great steps to avoid getting in their way.


Jason had the live shot up and running quickly and efficiently.  There was enough time left to do a quick hit in Newswatch 16 This Morning.  It was a real drama.  It took about two and a half hours to cut the driver out of the wreckage.  We followed the progress during Good Morning America.

If highway crashes are our worst nightmare, rain is a close second.  One drop of water in the wrong place can put you out of business.  Jason kept the gear covered.  We didn't have a problem.  I wish I updated social media a bit more.  The station took care of most of it.  I really tried to avoid taking my phone out of my raincoat pocket.  The phone did get wet during my phone calls to the station.  It kept working.

The driver was finally rescued around 8:30 am.  We wrapped it up during the 8:56 am update, and it was back to the station.  My first stop was the make up room, where I used someone's hair dryer to dry my shirt.  My two coats are on chairs near my desk, getting some air.  My ball cap is being dried by the fan I keep on my desk.

My problems were minuscule compared to the issues faced by first responders, and of course the truck driver.  A truck, upside down, facing down an embankment.  A man trapped inside.  A steep slope.  Driving rain.  Mud everywhere.

I've covered a lot of crashes over the years.  This had to be one of the most challenging.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Settling Dust

It's been one week since the primary.  A few additional thoughts...

I had the Lackawanna County turnout percentage the day after the election.  It was bad.  Luzerne County also reported some lousy turnout figures.  It's not difficult to see why.  Governor Tom Wolf and Senator Bob Casey both ran for their nominations unopposed.  The bottom of the ballot races, while important, didn't excite people.

Only one in six voted in Philadelphia, according to the Inquirer.

If there's anyone who doesn't expect a bloody and bruising battle between Casey and Republican Lou Barletta, I'd like to meet them.  From what some insiders have said, Democrats think they will have an easy time against Barletta.  It remains to be seen.  As always, turnout will be key, especially in Philadelphia, where the Democrats have the registration edge.  Turnout there was weak two years ago, and it helped put Donald Trump in the White House.

According to PennLive.com, some big Republicans don't think Barletta can do it.  If there is no national money coming in, that race could be over fast.

Sen. Casey had a combination primary victory celebration and campaign kick off party Saturday night at a union hall in Dunmore.  Plusses:  Saturday night.  Plenty of people could attend.  Unions are important to the Democratic strategy.  Fun.  Informal.  Minus:  media exposure.  Not prime time.

The 112th was among the more fascinating races this year.  After a crowded primary, it's interesting to see if a party, usually Democrat, comes together to support the nominee.  After all, there are always bruised feelings, hurt egos, etc.  Kyle Mullins' vote total was so high, he might not need much help from the four people he defeated.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Dr. Perry

We'll begin the week with another Marywood memory.  Relax.  The month is almost over.  I'll be done soon.

Someone recently mentioned the name of Dr. George F. Perry in the comment section of my Facebook page.  Dr. Perry was head of the communications department during my stay.  I promised a blog entry, and here it is.

Let me describe The Doctor.  Soft spoken, well mannered, always looked great.  I don't think I ever saw him with a loosened tie.  To a long haired rock and roll disc jockey, my initial impression was stuffy and more than a bit intimidating.  He was my adviser.  I think we met once in the advisory role at the beginning of my four years, and again a couple of years later when I added a minor in public relations.    I never needed his services other than that.  Nothing personal.  Scheduling and related matters really didn't require a lot of help.

I did see Dr. Perry aggravated and annoyed only a couple of times (never at me).  I never saw him lose his temper.

Below is a very old George Perry photo I lifted from Marywood's Instagram site.



I had several Dr. Perry courses.  While I can't say they were great fun, I will say, without a doubt, that I learned.  That's what it was all about.  Conventional wisdom was that Dr. Perry merely tolerated the radio and TV people.  He really favored the theater majors.  While he might have liked them more, radio and television were never neglected.  He was always there for us.

Now, the really good stuff.  You had to do a senior project in order to graduate.  In my day, that was a 60 minute radio program, a 30 minute TV program, or a long paper.  I chose the paper, the only one in my class to do so.  I believe I was the only one to do that in years.  Why?  Well, self confidence was never my strong point.  Undertaking those other productions required the help of several classmates.  While that wouldn't be a problem, I preferred working by myself.  It was the paper for me.

Dr. Perry approved the topic.  I wrote it and submitted it.  It was more than 50 pages.  Typed.  Remember, this was the day before computers and word processors.  We met toward the end of my very last semester to talk about it.  The grade:  "A"  The talk was open and honest.  I will never forget it.  I said "Dr. Perry, a lot of people here think I took the easy way out by writing the paper."  His response was that I didn't,  and he added, "Some people took the easy way out in their projects, and I nailed them."  I nearly fell out of my chair in Dr. Perry's little office in the Fine Arts Building.
While it was a major compliment and I appreciated it, something bothered me.  It still bothers me to this day.  You finally discover how nice someone is, how cool, upfront, and honest they are, just as they are about to leave your life.  It's happened before.  It never fails to frustrate me.

Dr. Perry retired in 1991, eight years after I graduated.  He passed away several years after that.  I think I've done some really good work over the years, especially in recent years.  Dr. Perry is partially responsible, and I'm sorry he's not here to see it.  I'm very sorry that I didn't say thank you.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Andy's Angles: My Least Favorite

This is supposed to be a celebration month, so I'm not going super negative on Marywood's new library.  It's only about two years old.  Long story short:  it's the wrong building in the wrong location, and it doesn't fit in with the rest of the campus.
This is a picture of the back side of the library.  The old library, which really needed to be replaced, was on the right.  One of my original criticisms was the new library sliced the campus in half.  The Great Wall of Marywood.  I suspected the "slice" effect would be lessened when the old library was torn down.

I was wrong.

Marywood needed a new library, and I'm sure there's  a "wow" factor when prospective students get a look, inside and out.   I realize what they were trying to do here.  Nudge the culture.  Go fresh and modern.  Show Marywood is a school of the future.  Totally understood.  Architecture is extremely subjective.  Traditionalists still have some issues, but that's all past tense.  The front photo was taken in May of last year.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Andy's Angles: My Favorite

My parade of Marywood University memories rolls along.  I've been showing campus photos this month to mark the 35th anniversary of my graduation.

This is my favorite building on campus, sort of.  This is Marywood's post office and printing center.  When I started in 1979, this building was much smaller and I loved it.  It looked like a building that would house Santa's elves at the North Pole.  It was a tiny brick building and it was adorable-- filled with charm.  Friend and classmate June Ann Greco dug up the photo you see below.  Thanks, Junie!


The building was expanded several years ago.  It appears the architects did their best to preserve some of the original flavor.  One of my most vivid memories of the place was burning out a printer here while making several copies of my thesis in 1983.

Friday, May 18, 2018

A Swift One

There is a line from the theme to the incredibly forgettable, even though it was on for nine years, sitcom "Alice."  It goes "kicking myself for nothing was my favorite sport."

There was a recent epiphany while writing these, seemingly endless to you, blog entries about college.

After I graduated, I stopped at the college radio station to say good bye on my way back to my car in the parking lot.  I went home, took a nap, and went to work at midnight.  For years, decades even, I kicked myself for not going out and doing something fun to celebrate my new degree.  I'm sure my boss at WARM would have understood, and freed me from the midnight to 5:30 AM shift for once.

Then, I thought about it for a moment recently.  After four years of college, I had drifted away from my neighborhood and high school friends.  They're all great people, but you know how it is.  You go in different directions.  I envy those who are able to keep up friendships.  It wasn't easy for me.  I was usually working while my friends were sleeping and vice versa.  My best college friends were dorm girls, and they were gone-- some for the summer.  Some, forever.

I liked to work and I liked my job. Heading to WARM in Avoca made perfect sense.   Unfortunately, it took me 35 years to realize it. 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Follow Up Thursday


One more thing I should have mentioned during yesterday's political analysis entry...  I visited four polling places in the 112th yesterday.  Only one candidate had someone handing out cards at every location-- Kyle Mullins.  Mullins won the race.  Connection?  Maybe.  No one likes being bombarded by candidate's surrogates as they enter the polls, and I'm convinced most people make up their minds before entering the building, it does show the strength of organization.  By the way, the regulation keeping those people away from the doors need to be enforced more rigorously, maybe even strengthened to keep them away.

Even FOX News admitted four or five of Pennsylvania's U.S. house seats could flip from Republican to Democratic in November.  It will be interesting to see how much money the national Democratic and Republican organizations pump in to Pennsylvania races.  Follow the money.  If the national organizations don't spend, it means they've given up on that particular contest.

Even though I have the boxed set, and several episodes are available on-line, I'm still disappointed Antenna TV no longer plays "Barney Miller" at 12:30 AM.  I never get tired of seeing them.

I'm not much of a cheerleader, but Kurt Aaron, John Hickey, and Ally Gallo did a great job during Tuesday's tornado warning.  Dozens of people you never see helped make it happen.  Hats off to them as well.  Proud to serve!  I was lucky.  Zero damage in my neighborhood.  Electricity never even flickered.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Numbers

The numbers are in.  Thank you to those of you who voted.  It was a frighteningly quiet day at the polls I visited yesterday.

Some thoughts...

Scott Wagner breezes to the Republican nomination for governor.  It should be a bruising campaign against Tom Wolf in the fall.  Some geniuses thought Laura Ellsworth would make a stronger showing.  She had little name recognition, less money than the others, and didn't make a push until late in the campaign.  As I write this, she has 18 per cent of the vote.  Not awful, but not near what some expected.  Ellsworth was impressive.  The Republican party should find a place for her somewhere.

Jeff Bartos breezed to the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor.  He was Wagner's choice, so no surprise here.

John Fetterman easily wins the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor.  People really seem to like his style.  He's not a traditional politician.  That resonates with voters.  Current lieutenant governor, Mike Stack finishes back in the pack.  He caught heat for the way he treated staff and security.  Voters sent him to the bench, and let's face it.  Stack earned it.  The Stack people said geography did them in, and there is some logic to that.  Fetterman cleaned up in Allegheny County.  However, don't be naive.  Voters tired of the Stack act.

Lou Barletta cruised to the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate.  He meets Democrat Bob Casey in November.  This should be a fun race.  Barletta told Newswatch 16 that this contest will be a referendum on the Trump presidency.  Trump won Pennsylvania in 2016.  Expect the president to campaign for Barletta, one of his early supporters.  Politico says Casey is on its vulnerable list.  This should be the fun race of 2018.  It was a respectable showing by Barletta's underfunded opponent, Jim Christiana.  At just 35 years old, you'll probably be seeing his name again.

John Chrin wins the Republican nomination for U.S. Congress in the 8th district.  He had the money for the ads.

Dan Mueser wins the Republican congressional nomination in the 9th district.  Again, a well funded campaign.

Tom Marino wins another Republican nomination in the 12th congressional district.  There was a cloud over Marino after the failed drug czar thing.  Voters in his district apparently didn't think that was a factor.

If there was a surprise last night, it was the size of Kyle Mullins' victory in the 112th state house race.  Big numbers.  I really thought this one would be closer.  Mullins was the favorite.  Plenty of signs, TV ads, smooth campaign.  Tom Carlucci of Dunmore finishes a distant second.  I think you'll see his name again.  Former Lackawanna County commissioner Randy Castellani loses another race.

Lackawanna County's turnout rate was 24 per cent, which was actually higher than I expected.  Polls were very quiet in the morning, and the nasty line of storms arrived in the afternoon.

Let's take a deep breath and get ready for the fall.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Election Day

It's finally here!  Election Day.  Polls open at 7 am, and they stay open until 8 pm.

Barring unforeseen events and circumstances, my day will go like this-- a fast food breakfast, tweaking of scripts when I get to the office, introducing some preview pieces from a polling place, and then doing a story for the noon broadcast on morning voter turnout.

I'll then hand off to the dayside reporters and photographers, and the people who will be around as the numbers come in.

After a nap, I'll be up during prime time to watch my coworkers handle the election returns.  A little analysis should be in this space tomorrow morning.  I have some ideas about what might happen today. We'll see if I was right.

There are those who are looking at the primary as an indicator of trends and possibilities in November.  I think there is some truth in that.  But, remember that Tip O'Neill said "all politics is local."

You might notice, I'm leaving something out-- voting.  I'm an independent, so I'm forced by law to spend this election day on the sidelines.

Check this space, plus Twitter @AndyPalumbo_ for some election day notes as we move through Tuesday.

Please vote.  It matters.

>>>2:45 AM UPDATE:  Election morning tradition of a spicy chicken sandwich and fries breakfast continues.  This particular fast food restaurant seems to have stabilized.  Good sandwich, average fries.  Decent service.  Much better than recent years, but still room for improvement.    Arrived at the office, double checked scripts.  WNEP election coordinator Brian Holmes informed me last night that two candidates I really wanted to speak with today will be out of town.  Official business.  I guess that's what happens when you don't have primary opponents.

>>>4:45 AM UPDATE:  First live shot of the day done, several more to go.  We chose Greenwood Hose in Moosic as our backdrop.  Why?  Why not?  It was a bit strartling when we arrived.  There is not one political sign outside the building.  I went on line to make sure it is still a polling place.  It is.  Really.  Trust me.  I'm a reporter.

>>>7:20 AM UPDATE:  Polls opened 20 minutes ago.  Light turnout in Moosic, but this is a heavily Democratic town and some of the big Democratic races have no opposition.  Poll workers tell me they don't expect to be very busy today.  I was here for the presidential election two years ago, and there was a line when the polls opened.

>>>10:40 AM UPDATE:  A flurrie of activity...  visited four polling places.  Very weak turnout, even in places where it was expected to be good.  As usual, there is traditionally a bump when people get out of work.  We did run in to a few people who wanted to vote before the rain hit.  Saw some old friends this morning in Olyphant!  Wrote my noon story, met with management on other topics, sweating profusely, almost ready for noon.

>>>2:30  PM UPDATE:   Noon story and accompanying live shot went well.  Photographer Jason handled my morning stuff.  Photographer Dave edited the nmoon piece and handled the live shot.  Thank you.  Saddened by weak voter turnout in Lackawanna County.  I hope it's better elsewhere.  Finally arrived home after a whirlwind of family responsibilities and errands.  I can relax and breathe for a moment.  I've been up since 9:30 last night, and let's just say I've had better days.   Time for a little sleep, and watching the returns later on.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Primary Concerns

Part of the fun of an election is doing the research in the days leading up to the vote-- looking for the big races, the issues, the candidates, the history...

I've been tinkering with the scripts for some election morning previews for several days now.  They are almost ready to go.

Once again, I am stunned and saddened by the races with no competition.  The system won't improve until there is some real choice, and I feel sorry for the voters.

I also checked the numbers from the last mid term election, four years ago.  Those numbers were anemic, and that too makes me sad.  Every election, I hope this is the year things turn around.  Every election, I am disappointed.

Hope to see you at the polls tomorrow.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Andy's Angles: Diploma

I never framed it.  I never displayed it.  It doesn't mean I'm not proud of it.  I received it on the third Sunday of May, 35 years ago.

You may ask why I never pursued a higher degree, and there are times regret not doing that.

The reason is simple.  After 12 years of public school and another four of college, I wanted to get out and DO something.  I guess it was possible to have a job and get an advanced degree, but, for me, it was time to get to work.  On top of that, no local institution had what I wanted, and this was before you could do much of your advanced degree work on-line.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Andy's Angles: Graduation Weekend

The actual 35th anniversary of my college graduation is the 15th, which falls on a Tuesday this year, so I'm considering this "graduation weekend."

There is something I'd like to draw your attention to today.  Above is the front cover of the graduation day program.  Below is the back.
Take a look at the left column, about half way down.  I was honorable mention for the Lynett Medal for distinction in communication arts.  Mark Weigel won the award-- a great, hardworking guy.  I'm sorry I've lost touch with him.  No one nicer, and no one more deserving.  Mark majored in public relations.  I was a Radio and TV guy, so I consider myself the top broadcaster of the class of 1983.  Petty?  Yes!  But, it's kept me going all these years.

What did I get?  Other than standing at graduation when my name was read, absolutely nothing!  I really shouldn't say that.  There was a great deal of self satisfaction and accomplishment, which remains to this day.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Follow Up Friday

I've told you in the past how I feel old Johnny Carson shows on WNEP2 are better than any of the current late night offerings.

It's funny how Carson introduced so many comics as the "next big rising star" had a "Tonight" show appearance-- and then disappeared.  To be fair, there were more than a few successes.

In a similar vein, I still marvel at the production values of the old "American Top 40" shows, hosted by Casey Kasem.  There were so many songs that hit the charts, stayed there for a little while-- and failed to become enduring hits that we still hear today.

Getting back to late night comedy for a moment, TBS is cutting Conan O'Brien's show to 30 minutes next year.  More pre recorded comedy, fewer interviews.  It took me a long time to warm up to Conan.  He always tried to be funnier than his guests, a major sin.  The act has matured, and there are many nights Conan is very fun and watchable.  I think if he had the "Tonight" show now, Conan would hit it out of the park.

A new book about the life and death of Robin Williams is coming out.  I've read excerpts.  Just when you thought the story couldn't get more sad...   If you haven't seen it already, check out David Letterman's 2014 tribute to Robin Williams on YouTube.

Last week, I told you how I botched my first bike ride while wearing a GPS watch.  I didn't hit the right button.  Well, I got it figured out this week, and it did a nice job of tracking my route and my mileage.  I had a rough idea of the mileage because I tracked the route with my car a few years ago.  The watch backed up what I learned in the car.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Sinclair



No, not THAT one!


Once upon a time, when I was a wee lad, my uncle Tom owned a gas station.  He sold Sinclair branded gasoline.  Green is my favorite color.  The Sinclair mascot was a brontosaurus.  It adds up to the fact that I loved my rare visits to the gas station.  First of all, I really liked my uncle Tom.  Plus, there was an old time soda machine and a snack machine.  I had no interest in being a mechanic, but I did enjoy having a candy bar or cheese and crackers, a cold soda, and watching him work.

Eventually, Sinclair and that cool dinosaur gave way to BP.  You know how the corporate world is.  I grew older and had a new set of concerns.  The visits to uncle Tom's gas station because even more rare, and I was sorry about that.

While pondering this blog entry, I did a little research.  I was tickled to learn that Sinclair gas exits.  There are still stations out west, and they even sell tee shirts via mail order.  I'll be ordering a couple.

A few years ago, I was in one of those big box hobby stores.  They had metal signs that were replicas of old ads.  You know, beer companies, soft drinks, and gas stations.  There was a Sinclair in the stack.  Reasonably priced.  I didn't buy it.  Regret.  I don't get to that store often.  To be honest, I don't know why I was there in the first place.  I'm not a hobbyist, crafter, or decorator.  I think I was just killing time, and the store was new to the area.  On my next visit, Sinclair and the rest were gone.

Don't ask me what triggered it, but I recently thought about uncle Tom and Sinclair.  I went on line and found the signs.  They were cheap.  I bought two round ones, about the size of a small pizza pan.  They arrived this week.  One is on my wall at home.  I might display the other in a different area.  I'm sure it will be a conversation starter.

Uncle Tom left us many years ago.  The gas station is still there.  The gas days are over.  It's just a garage now.

There is a round piece of thin green and white metal on my wall now, and a fierce dinosaur gives me a great deal of comfort.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Just Because

I really don't pay attention to those "National ______ Day" things.  In fact, I find them exceptionally tedious.

Last week was some day noting the accomplishments of journalists.  I'm not sure if it was a conicidence, but a friend asked me if going to work is still fun.  After all, I have been doing this for a while.  The answer was "yes."

There are frustrations-- like technology and the business side of things.  I occasionally run out of things to say about snow.  The foundation, show and tell, remains the same.  It's really a rush to learn about things first, take a breath, and decide how to tell the world about it.  Choose the words, the pictures, the emotions...

Sometimes, I'm jotting notes on a legal pad out in the field.  There are other times when I have the luxury of sitting at a keyboard to tap it out.  As noted here earlier, there is still self doubt and I think it will remain.  At times. I wonder if I can do a story justice, if I can match the words and the pictures to make it work.  I will admit to worrying for nothing.  When a story flows, when a story really works, you know it-- and it still feels good, even after decades on the job.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

On Second Thought...

A few weeks ago, I noted here how I was actually happy Brett Favre botched his Monday Night Football audition because being a broadcaster, news or sports, isn't as easy as it looks.  I have no animosity toward Brett Favre.   I was just trying to illustrate a point.
ESPN found another rookie for its MNF booth in the fall, Jason Witten.  He retired from the Dallas Cowboys Thursday, and signed with the TV network.

It seems to be the trend.  Sign a big name.  Roll the dice.  CBS struck gold when it hired Tony Romo last year, and made him part of the number one team.  Romo worked out well, but I'm the conservative type.  I would have kept him away from the top games until he learned his craft.  ESPN was looking for a name.  Peyton Manning turned them down.  The move creates a lot of buzz for a package of games that doesn't draw the interest it once did.  

I hope it works out.  Jason Witten seems like a decent guy, and let's face it.  It's a football game-- not the nightly news.  I just can't get away from the belief that there are hundreds of people out there who have paid their dues and deserved the shot.