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Saturday, March 31, 2018

Andy's Angles: Free Parking


The policy started Monday.  Free parking remains at the Marketplace at Steamtown, but you do have to get your ticket validated.  You don't have to buy anything.

Reaction on social media has been overwhelmingly negative.  I was surprised at the response.

I don't think the new policy makes much of a difference.

There is only one Boscov's in the Scranton area.  If you want Boscov's, you have to go to this mall.  There are a few other things that make the Marketplace unique.  For the most part, however, you can get what you need without stopping here.

I do realize that most people, including myself, take the path of least resistance.  If it's a choice between two shopping centers, and one makes you jump through a minor hoop to park for free, I'll chose the other.

I also realize the marketplace had to boot the freeloaders.  It's a business, not a charity.

Bottom line.  This might hurt-- a little.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Funny

Dozens of news releases from police enter my "in box" every week.  Even more are on Facebook.  Some police departments are very good about letting the public know what's going on.  Others, not so much.  I guess if they don't talk about it, it doesn't exist.  But, that's not the topic of today's blog entry.

Today's subject is money.

It seems there's been an alarming spike in the number of counterfeiting cases recently.  Funny money is passed in the big stores and shopping centers every day.

Wait a second!  Haven't we redesigned our currency, several times, to stop this sort of thing?

I know computers and printers get more sophisticated by the day, but something is wrong here.  It seems like counterfeiters like 20's and 100's best.

It reminds me of the satellite escapades of the late 80's and early 90's.  Television networks grew weary of people stealing their video feeds.  They came up with fancy scrambling and encryption.  Someone would always find a way to defeat the safeguards.  Counterfeiting appears to be no different.  As soon as you redesign a bill, someone will find a way to duplicate it.

What's in your wallet?

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Imus

Don Imus retires from radio today, and you know what?  It's time.  Imus is 77.  His cranky old man radio show has become unlistenable.  Apparently, a lot of people agree.  WABC's ratings are in the tank.

I've seen him in action.  While Imus has a ranch for children with cancer, he simply does not appear to be a nice person.  He demeans staff.  He talks down to visitors.  Enough.

I will give Imus all the credit in the world for being a break through shock jock, and there were many, many times he was outrageously funny.  None better.  I will offer even more credit for transitioning from that Top 40 jock in to a very good political talk show host.  Imus proved politics and news doesn't have to be deadly dull.  He asked good questions and he succeeded in getting quite a bit out of his guests.  for years, it was "must listen" radio.  Very few shows are in that category.

Imus was fired from WFAN and MSNBC for an attempt at humor that inflected hurt on a bunch of college kids.  He returned to radio several months later, but it was a different Imus.  Most big name guests stayed away.  He just wasn't funny.  The joy was gone.  The show became a chore.

I hope you had a chance to see the Imus piece Anthony Mason did on "Sunday Morning.".   It was a well done profile, showing the softer side of Imus.  By the way, Mason is one of TV's underrated talents.


Imus did irritate me when be belittled Paul Harvey's Marconi awards because he was only on three minutes a day.  for the record, Harvey did a 15 minute midday broadcast, and he was always outstanding.

As I said at the top of this piece, it's time to go.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

A Proud Voter

It's happened again.

I like Jeff Glor.  He is the new anchor of the CBS Evening News, and does a very good job.  In an interview with "Watch!," Glor said he doesn't vote.

I hate to hear that.  ABC's Charlie Gibson said he didn't vote until after he retired, and that broke my heart.

I have never missed an election in which I have been eligible to vote.  Being an independent severely limits my participation in primaries.  I fully believe it's possible to have opinions, but leave them at home.  Once I walk in the station door, neutrality rules.  I read a long time ago that you can't be objective, but you can be fair.

What about all those kids who marched Saturday?  Whether or not you agree with them, they all stressed the importance of voting.  It was moving.  How can you watch that and still stay home on election day?  Or walk past the polling place on your way to work?

Voting is a privilege and I do not take it lightly.  I also love my job.  Voting and journalism can co-exist.  You just have to build a wall between the two.  It can be done.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Tuesday Scrapple

When people are listing the world's greatest inventions, scoop shaped tortilla chips have to be included.

We all say it every year, but roads this year seem to be in the worst shape-- ever.

The Loyola Chicago basketball story, with Sister Jean, is among the best sports sagas we've seen in quite a while.

I'm really itching to get back on my bicycle.

I've been going to my gym for nearly six years, and we must have been through two dozen staffers on the overnight shift.  Incredible turnover.   Why?

The Wilson sisters might be the best female voices in rock and roll.

A comedian bought The Weather Channel.  Fitting.  Maybe he can stop the dopey winter storm names.

I really enjoy watching skunks and bunnies scamper through the yard.

Easter season is a great time of year.

Even though I know what it is...  even if it is a mundane purchase, I still enjoy watching the UPS or FedEx truck pull up in front of the house.

I know the company was loaded with debt, but Toys R Us had 12 per cent of the American toy market.  How does it fail?

Monday, March 26, 2018

45

It happened 45 years ago today.  The $10,000 Pyramid made its debut on CBS.

I didn't watch the first show.  Something called elementary school got in the way, but I do remember being home from school, sick, later that week.  I stumbled across the Pyramid, and I was blown away.  It was unlike any other game show on the air at the time. 

The theme music was bold, brassy, and funky.  The set was spectacular-- giant pyramid at the back of the stage of the Ed Sullivan Theater, a massive amount of light bulbs, spinning boxes, and the great Dick Clark.  It was a feast for the senses.  There were game shows offering big money in the 50's, but this was one of the first, if not THE first of the modern era to offer a large cash prize.  The $10,000 Pyramid was a game changer, pardon the pun.

As for the game itself, blessedly simple, and very easy to play along with at home.  It's stood the test of time, and I'm still a fan.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Andy's Angles: Churches

A church adds so much to a town's look.  Honesdale is lucky, in that it has two beauties on the same street.

I know we need electricity, telephones, and cable tv... but, how those wires can ruin a shot.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Andy's Angles: The Snow, the Park, and Other Things

Today, it's another shot from the recent snowstorm in Honesdale.  This is the pre dawn view of the park across from the Wayne County Courthouse.

When you look at a scene like this, it's difficult to believe that in just a few weeks, the grass will be green and the park will be filled with people enjoying warm, sunny days.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Password

It's something that's been happening for the past several years-- the company forces us to change our computer passwords every few months.  I'm not complaining.  The importance of computer security cannot be underestimated.

My current password is nearing its expiration date, and I really can't think of a new one that's memorable and means something to me.  I know. First world, modern problems.

If that's my biggest current issue, then it's going to be a good week.

I still have two more days to figure it out.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Shocking Behavior

A few of us were in the office the other day, talking about the approaching snow storm.  Remember, this was when snowfall amounts were much higher than what the storm actually delivered.  Everyone was complaining about the potential for ton of snow on the first day of spring.  When it was my turn, I said I didn't care.

Really?

Are you kidding me?

The guy who complains about snow, all the time?

I explained that I was lucky.  The storm was hitting on one of my days off, and for a change, I had nothing scheduled.  No broker, no accountant, no auto service, no family medical appointments, nothing I needed from the store, no veterinarian., no dry cleaner, no place to go, 

I had the luxury of reading, surfing the internet, watching TV, and napping... and watching it snow.

Plus, while spring snows can get you down, remember that warm weather will soon be here.  It melts quickly.  The grass will return.

I do understand the struggles of people in parts of our area.  They were hit with quite a bit of snow.  I also understand the issues involved in being reporters and photographers during a big storm.

As it turned out, my area received only a few snow showers.  It melted when it hit the road.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The New Normal?

It happened with amazing and delightful swiftness.  A major storm in the forecast, and the order came down from Harrisburg-- get the big trucks off the roads.

As has been established here, trucking is a tough business and our economy depends upon it.  I feel sorry for truckers and their families affected by any current or future ban.  Many drivers don't make money unless the wheels are rolling.

On the other hand, trucks are awful in heavy snow.  A stuck truck clogging an interstate or the Pennsylvania Turnpike doesn't help anyone.  The state had to learn this the hard way.  After repeated problems over the years, leaving drivers and passengers stranded for hours, state government is finally getting smart.

Truck bans in big storms appears to be the new normal.  Let's see how it works.  I'm already inclined to say it's a great idea.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

A Gamble

It's part of my weekend morning producing ritual-- go to the lottery web sites to check the payouts.They are usually updated around 2 AM, unless there is a big jackpot.  That usually slows things down a bit.

I had to look twice Sunday morning, when I saw that a Powerball ticket worth $ 457 million was sold here in Pennsylvania.  That's news!  I put lottery stories in the "local news" segments of the broadcast.  The lottery is huge here in our area.  There is usually a line at the mini mart machines, even when the jackpots aren't enormous.

So, where do I fall in this whole thing?  I'm thrilled a Pennsylvanian knocked off a big Powerball jackpot, but it's not going to change my view.  If you enjoy playing the lottery, outstanding!  I wish you all the luck in the world.  It's just not for me.  The odds aren't very good, and I'd rather spend my money on other things.

I've tried the casinos a few times over the years.  It's really not all that difficult to break even on the slots.  However, after just a few minutes of pushing buttons, I get bored.  I really don't know how people can do it hour after hour.  Again, if you enjoy it, keep doing it.

Table games?  While I'm a smart person and know the rules, I still find them rather intimidating.  They're not for me.

It's odd because I loved dice games as a kid-- studying potential rolls, odds and possibilities.  I'm still fascinated, in a way, but my money stays in my pocket.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Behind My Back

Of course, this blog has been very personal during its 13.5 years of existence, but it was never really intimate.  That's by design.  Don't be offended.  There are some things that are simply none of your business, and I'm sure you have some of the same feelings with your personal life.

However, I have to share a couple of fast stories, both of which took place last week.  One incident was to my face.  The other was behind my back.

I received a phone call from an old friend, who was touched by a blog entry several months ago.  She called to let me know.  I nearly cried, and I could sense she was holding back some tears.  It was great to hear her voice again, even though it was under awful circumstances.  The phone call meant a lot to me.

On a happier note, one broadcaster told a friend that she thought I was a very good news writer.  It made my day.  In fact, it made my week, and then some.

I was taught a long time ago, that the best question is the direct one.  The best sentence is the simple one.

I was so lucky, in that I trained under some great radio news people.  You learned to write basic and fast.  I'm sorry there isn't much radio news around these days.  It was a great place for young people to get a feel for the business.

My first television station had a message board that popped up on the screen when you fired up your computer.  Apologies for telling this story again, but it's been a while.  On the message board, it said "TIGHT WRITING = TOP CASTS."  It is true for producers.  It is true for reporters.  It is true for anyone who site behind the keyboard.  The news director responsible for that message board remains a good friend, nearly thirty years after he hired me.  I am forever grateful.

Two of my coworkers back in the day should be singled out.  David DeCosmo and Kevin Jordan had different styles, but both wrote some great copy.  You clearly understood the story when their pieces were over, and that is an exceptionally high compliment.  David is retired.  We lost Kevin a few years ago.

I later worked for an assistant news director, who really didn't like me.  He suggested that when I finish a script, I should walk away for a few minutes and return to take another look.  Chances are, I could find a few words that could be removed to tighten up the script and make it move along a little faster.  He was right.

Unfortunately, the clock is not our friend.  The faster I get the script in to the hands of a video editor, the better it will be.  I write, take a proofreading look, and ship it off to a manager for approval.  There isn't much time to tinker.

There are times I get what I call "lyrical."  The story demands it on occasion.  No one does it better than Mike Stevens.  He puts words to the pictures.  Yet, the whole comes out greater than the sum of the parts.  I envy that.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Andy's Angles: Trees

This is another pre dawn photo from Tuesday morning's snow in Honesdale.

It wasn't a windy morning, so the heavy, wet snow stuck to everything.  Yes, we're anxious for spring, but you can't deny the snow improved just about everything it touched.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Andy's Angles: The Courthouse

It's been established here that Honesdale is one of my favorite places.

This is the Wayne County Courthouse Tuesday morning.  the borough was hit with about four inches of snow.  This photo was taken just before sunrise.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Farewell

By now, you've heard the news.  Toys R Us is closing nearly 800 stores.  It's over.

I have no reason to buy toys, and I haven't been in a Toys R Us store in many years.  I think I made a total of three visits since the chain appeared here in our area.  I can't tell you if it was good or bad, but I've done some reading.

It seems like a case of too much debt, not enough sales, and bad decisions by management.  Someone else is doing it better.  In this case, it's Walmart and Amazon.

When I was growing up, Toys means The Globe in Scranton, Sears, Sugerman's and Mermelsteins.  As I grew a little older, I loved exploring a mall store called "Kids."  It had a great hobby and craft section.  My the time Kay Bee came in, I was out of the toy stage.

I do have to note something else.  An overnight network news anchor had a great deal of fun yesterday morning, wondering if Toys R Us mascot Geoffrey Giraffe was going to fit into an unemployment office.  What an insensitive idiot!  31,000 people are losing their jobs, and he tries to be funny.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Fair Weather

It looks like Lackawanna County is getting a county fair next year.  An announcement comes today.  It will happen at Montage, so one can assume that's where the fair will be located.

Are there more pressing county issues?  Certainly!  Quality of life and entertainment are important.  Top of the list?  Not even close.

If it can be done at break even, or a slight profit-- wonderful.

There is already a long list of fairs from spring through fall.  People have a finite amount of disposable income.  I fear a county fair will take business away from fire department carnivals and church bazaars.  That remains to be seen.

Let's keep an open mind and see how this all plays out.  You never know.  It could be a rousing success.

While I'm on the subject, I was so happy to see a number of communities here in our area hold ice festivals and winterfests this year.  Winter goes by so much faster when there is something to do.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

I'm Touched

A couple of my coworkers put together an occasional feature for our Facebook page.  It's called "Get to Know."  Staffers, on and off camera, answer 16 questions.  It's cute, informative, and very well done.

By the way, the grumpy old man declined to participate.  I've had the blog for more than 13 years.  If  you don't know me by now...

Anyway, this week's subject is 6 PM news producer Brian Holmes.  One of the questions was "Who is your favorite person at WNEP?"  I was shocked when the answer was me.

I am truly flattered.

Brian and I go back to the old days, when we both worked across the street.  We parted company in 1998, when I moved to WNEP.  Brian stayed, but eventually took a couple of jobs in upstate New York, before joining WNEP eleven years ago.

The memory is exceptionally fuzzy, but I think we were part of the same group that sampled local night life.

One of the things that gives me great joy is when people you met as broadcasting and journalism pups move on to bigger things.  Please note, I didn't say "better things."  I still hear from a few.  It makes my day when they note something they picked up from me, a long time ago.

Do yourself a favor.  Check out this week's "Get to Know."  Look at old ones, and keep an eye out for new ones.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Media Tuesday

I'm getting really tired of certain celebrities telling me how to live my life.  Enjoy your billions.  Please, leave me alone.

Ron Allen and Mike Remish were great at celebrating the work of local high school athletes.  Both are no longer with us.  John Mendola's Saturday morning radio show carries on the tradition, and it's refreshing to hear someone talk about local kids doing good things.  Of course, this is the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area.  I hope there are similar efforts in the rest of northeastern and central Pennsylvania.

The NCAA basketball tournament doesn't interest me-- unless there is a team exceeding expectations.  Everyone loves a Cinderella story.

Back in the day, all the games were on CBS, and network management always found a way to switch you to the most interesting games.  Now, the games are split up on several networks.  It's great that you can watch the game of your choice in its entirety, but some of the magic is gone.

I spent several years at a CBS station, and the first two days of the NCAA tournament were always the worst for our telephone operators.  They would field tons of calls from people upset that the soap operas were preempted.  As hard as they tried, they just couldn't convey that it was a network decision, not a local one, and the soaps would pick up where they left off.

By the way, it might be a good couple of weeks to avoid sports talk radio.  Nothing bores me more than hearing people talk about their brackets.

ESPN dumped Sean McDonough from the Monday Night Football both.  Joe Tessitore is in.  ESPN is still looking for a Jon Gruden replacement.  Monday Night Football struggles because the games are bad, not the announcers.  McDonough is very good.  He'll be ESPN's number two guy on college football.

FOX wants NBC's Mike Tirico to do its new package of Thursday night NFL games.  Why?  There are a dozen, at least, who can do a better job than Tirico.

There is a web site that features network news music.  I really miss the old version of the ABC News theme.

Saturday Night Live's ratings hit a season low this past weekend.  It might be time to do something other than bash the president.



Monday, March 12, 2018

Wonder

Part of my sense of wonder is how some very simple things give me great joy.  Here is a partial list.

I still get a major kick when Bucknell University's basketball team makes it to the NCAA tournament, even though it's happened many times before.

I still feel excitement when I see Johnny Carson walk through the rainbow curtain.

People make my day when they remember the work I did in radio.

I love it when water from melting snow forms a tunnel beneath snow banks on the curb.

Seeing a rainbow.

Eating a really good chocolate chip cookie.

Hearing people I worked with or against on big radio and tv stations and networks makes me happy.

I've seen some old tv sitcoms so many times that I can recite the dialog, and I still love watching them.

My Amazon Echo plays "Paperback Writer" any time I want.

I can track packages I ordered.

Slide belts.

Bacon.

I still get up every day and wonder what new things I will learn.

I am friends with some people, who, in a million years, I never thought I would like.

More to come.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Time

It's time for my twice yearly rant on switching from Standard Time to Daylight Saving Time and vice versa

Studies show it doesn't accomplish anything.  Daylight Saving Time doesn't save energy.  We are no longer an economy dominated by agriculture.

Some big states are considering staying on one time all year round.  Once that happens, the rest will fall in line.

The only drawback I can see is kids going to school in the morning in the dark.  I went through that when we switched time during the 70's energy crisis.  We survived.  Kids are coming home in the dark anyway, because parents try to cram too many after school activities in to their lives.  I've written about this before, but I'm still shocked by the children in line at the mini mart in the morning, buying giant coffees and energy drinks.  Something is wrong somewhere.

To be honest with you, it doesn't bother me.  I'm up all night anyway, and that really lessens the adjustment period.



Saturday, March 10, 2018

Andy's Angles: The Rest of the Story

I shared the photo you see above on social media Tuesday.  It does need a little bit of an explanation.

First, Joe and I occasionally do something slightly humorous on Facebook.  It's an attempt to show that I do have a lighter side, which many people still don't believe exists.

Second, I really do have an interest in the weather.  My desk is near the weather office and I often stop by to see what's going on and ask questions, especially if there is a storm in the forecast.

There was a time, in my high school days, when I seriously considered meteorology as a career. I used to love watching J. Kristopher do the WNEP weather back in the day.  J. wasn't a meteorologist, but he was a gifted communicator.  I'm glad our time at WNEP had a slight overlap.  It was a kick working with someone I really admired as a kid, and as an adult.

So, what derailed the meteorology train?  Math.  As I looked in to it, I discovered you had to take a lot of math courses.  I was never fond of math, and some horrible experiences with a couple of awful junior high school math teachers cemented my opinion.

I strongly admire those who can do it, but I wasn't cut out to be a number cruncher.  I'm a writer, and a liberal arts college like Marywood was a much better fit for me than a science based school.  By the way,  Joe has been teaching a meteorology course at Marywood for the past several years.  He added oceanography this year.  I've offered to be a guest lecturer when the chapter on mermaids comes around.

As the great Paul Harvey used to say... And now you know, the rest of the story.

Friday, March 9, 2018

They Still Don't Get It

Sunday night's Academy Awards telecast was down 20 per cent from last year.

I'm sure horrible weather in the northeast played a role, but you can't turn back on what is likely the major factor.  Entertainment is supposed to be a diversion.  An escape.  No one wants to hear what some star or starlet thinks about politics.  I saw clips.  Despite Jimmy Kimmel's best efforts, it didn't appear to be a fun broadcast.

Yes, there should be discussions on harassment and inequality.

Time and place.

And once you delve in to politics, you automatically know that half of the country agrees with you.  The rest disagrees.  Can you afford to turn off half of your audience?

Other awards shows saw the drop.  The NFL took a hit this year, although it is by far the most popular televised sport.

Bring back the fun.

And, Papa John's is no longer the official pizza of the NFL.  In the fall, Papa John's owner said his sales were down because of the whole NFL player/National Anthem controversy, so the end of the relationship is really no surprise.

The NFL's new official pizza is Pizza Hut.

I know there is a glow attached to being the NFL's official pizza, but I chose my pies based on taste and location.  In my book, the NFL is oh-for-two.


Thursday, March 8, 2018

Bust

Yesterday's forecast, as far as my little corner of the valley is concerned, was a bust.  What was supposed to be 16 inches turned out to be little more than a coating.

I'm not complaining, even though I did rearrange some aspects of my life to suit the forecast.

Yes, I did follow the masses to the supermarket.  My run took place at 3:30 AM Wednesday.  There were only two other shoppers in the store.  One checkout was open.  I breezed through.  Diet soda, eggs, frozen pizza, fruit, Chex Mix, and one of the last bags of ice melt left on the planet.

We have whiz bang satellites and computers, but Mother Nature has a mind of her own.  It turns out, the storm was kicked out to see a little faster than expected.  Parts of Pennsylvania were nailed.  My part wasn't.  Again, no complaints.

The state appeared to be ready this time.  Brine went down Tuesday afternoon.  Exit ramps were salted Wednesday morning.  The governor declared a state of emergency.  Trucks were ordered off the roads.  I hope we see more of this in the future.

While it will be tempting to needle the folks in the weather department, I will resist.  Once in a while, you get a bust.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

After the Horse Has Left the Barn

Trucks were a big part of my father's business when I was growing up.    Many of my friends had family members in the trucking business.  I have a great deal of respect for the profession and the people in it.

I love ordering something from Amazon or Chewy, and having it delivered to my front door in only two days.  Trucks make that happen.  Trucks make America work, and they are a hugely important part of the economy.

Having established that foundation, they should be ordered off the roads when big snow comes.  Jackknifed tractor trailers helped clog the interstates last week, causing highways to be closed for hours.  Thousands of people were stranded and that's just plain wrong.  It shouldn't have happened.

Hours before the first snowflakes fell today, Governor Wolf ordered a list of trucking restrictions.  It's like locking the door after the horse has run out of the barn.


PennDOT will impose a ban on empty straight trucks, large combination vehicles (tandem trailers and double trailers), tractors hauling empty trailers, trailers pulled by passenger vehicles, motorcycles and recreational vehicles, or RVs, on:
  • Interstate 78 from the junction with Interstate 81 in Lebanon County to the New Jersey line.
  • I-80 from the junction with Interstate 81 to the New Jersey line.
  • I-81 from the Maryland line to the New York State line.
  • I-84 from the junction with Interstate 81 to the New York State line.
  • I-380 from the junction with Interstate 80 to the junction with Interstate 81.
At the same time, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission will prohibit these vehicles from traveling the northeastern extension between the Lehigh Tunnel and Clarks Summit.
Additionally, at 8:00 AM on Wednesday, all commercial vehicles will be banned on I-380 and I-84 within Pennsylvania.
Restrictions will remain in place as long as warranted through the storm. As conditions develop, speed restrictions and wider truck and vehicle bans will be considered on these routes.



Tuesday, March 6, 2018

David Ogden Stiers

The great film critics, Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert were discussing James Bond and super hero movies several years ago.  They agreed on one point:  If you have a good villain, you have a good movie.

The concept is transferable to stage and television.

On M*A*S*H, of course, the Korean War was the biggest villain, but characters in the 4077th also filled the role.

When the writers ran out of things to do with Frank Burns, played magnificently by Larry Linville, David Ogden Stiers was added to the cast.  Major Charles Emerson Winchester was no Frank Burns.  The comedy came from Winchester not fitting in and his snooty attitude.  I'll give the producers credit for not creating a Frank Burns clone to fill the role.

Villain?  Not totally, but just enough.

David Ogden Stiers died Saturday.  Bladder cancer.  75.

He was more than M*A*S*H.  If you have the time, look up Stiers' career on IMDB.com.  It's an impressive list-- and that included voice work.  Stiers had a set of pipes.

By the way, the M*A*S*H finale aired 35 years ago at the end of February.

If you have cable or satellite television, chances are you can find a M*A*S*H episode somewhere, 24/7.  That's not a complaint.  I'm a huge fan of the early years.  However, you can't deny that David Ogden Stiers brought a lot to the table.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Again!

Let's establish a few things right off the top.  Friday's storm was a monster.  Rain, freezing rain, sleet, snow.  The snow fell rapidly.  Wind whipped it around.  It was impossible to keep up with the snowfall.


Done.


Thousands of people found themselves stuck.  Trapped by crashes and horrible conditions on the interstate highways.  Highways closed.  People couldn't move for hours.  I am amazed that no one died.


This has happened before.  Every time, the state says it will investigate so this never happens again.  Yet, it continues to happen.


We have to face one simple fact:  if we get hit by an out of the ordinary snow storm, the state can't handle it.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

About the Cover: Luzerne County Courthouse

This month's blog header is one of our area's signature buildings, the Luzerne County Courthouse in Wilkes-Barre.  A renovation is wrapping up and I hope to get inside with my camera soon.

As for the blogger photo itself, I considered a crop job, but then I realized I like the light reflection on the pavement and the fog fuzz in the distance.

It's a spectacular building, inside and out.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Andy's Angles: Shamokin

Tragedy brought me to Shamokin this week, but I found a quick second to snap a photo of this guy keeping an eye on one of the main streets.

I say the same thing any time I visit an old coal town"  "Must have been a spectacular place at one time."  I couldn't find any on-line information on the statue, but I did learn that the Shamokin/Coal Township population topped out at 50,000 in the 1920's.  The city of Shamokin now has about 7,000 residents.

I hope to get back one day, with more time, and for a happier reason.

Friday, March 2, 2018

It Gets My Goat

Katie Couric was in the right place at the right time when she was co host of NBC's "Today."  She had the right combination of sweet/perky and gravitas.  She stepped in and stabilized a franchise that was out of control  The perfect person in the perfect job.

Couric had the desire to do other things.  CBS dangled a ton of money in front of her, and I don't blame her for leaving NBC.

Let's examine the post-NBC record.

"CBS Evening News"...  bombed.

Daytime talk show... bombed.

Yahoo! global anchor... bombed.

To be fair, much of the CBS failure was on the plate of weak affiliates in major cities.  She didn't have much of a lead in, an issue that remains to this day.

Daytime talk shows are tough.

Couric recently blamed management at Yahoo! for her failure there.  Her "broadcasts" weren't publicized.  Yahoo! didn't give her enough publicity, although she did get some fat paychecks.

Keep your eye on the ball.  It all comes down to this:  Katie Couric didn't do anything people wanted to watch.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Spring

Welcome to March 1 and the first day of meteorological spring!

Before I join everyone else in going off the deep end, I do realize we can have some very cold weather and snowstorms in March, and even April.

While winter is not my favorite season, there are some things I will miss-- bundling up for a brisk walk on a winter morning, that tingle you get when walking out of the gym in single digit temperatures after a workout and a hot shower...

A new one was added to the list the other day.

I hate shaving and I rarely do it on my days off.

What I will miss about winter is splashing your face, after shaving, with the exceptionally cold water that comes out of the tap.  Yes, the water is cool in the summer, but not like it is on a winter morning.

If it's a season y9u really don't like, you have to find little things that make you happy.