Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Orange Crush


Today, my friends, it is proof that some organizations and their employees have far too much time on their hands.

Case in point:  The Pennsylvania Beverage and Licensed Tavern Association.  I'm sure they do good work.  After all, there are still many mom and pop taverns across the state, and they need a voice in Harrisburg.

The Association has named its official adult beverage of 2023.  It is the "Orange Crush."   The drink is a mixture of orange juice, orange flavored vodka, triple sec, and citrus flavored soda.  Oranges are the garnish.

Why the "Orange Crush?"  I guess it's because Pennsylvania is famous for its oranges.


The state has so many great breweries and distilleries.  Is "Orange Crush" the best we can do?

Monday, May 29, 2023

Memorial Day


I always liked Memorial Day.  

When I was a kid, it meant the start of the summer season.  The school year was coming to an end.  The coats and jackets are put away.  Thoughts turned to innocent afternoons of wiffle ball, playing with balsa airplanes, Frisbees, and endless games of catch on the street around the corner.

Memorial Day itself meant a visit to the cemeteries where uncles, aunts, and grandparents are laid to rest.  My parents always instilled that sense of responsibility in me.  There would be a stop at a little market in Dickson City for cemetery flowers.  We'd also grab some tomato plants and other vegetables for the backyard garden.  I come from a conservative family.  The backyard garden never went in before Memorial Day because of the threat of frost.

There would be burgers and dogs on the grill for lunch.

The day would have a fairly early end.  Tomorrow is a school day.

Memorial Day is one of those unique observances.  You remember the family you had in the past, and the sacrifices they made.  You celebrate the good times with the family members you still have left.

Above is a Wednesday morning photo from Cathedral Cemetery in Scranton.

Please, remember what the day is all about and count your blessings.

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Andy's Angles: One More!

 Okay, it's one more flower picture before I put the genre to bed for a while.  Flower bed!  Get it?

Who doesn't love tulips?  This is a late April shot from the front of Marywood University's Liberal Arts Center.

One of the great things about spending four years here, and occasional current visits, is the scenery.

Grass, trees, flowers, and squirrels can make a bad day better.

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Andy's Angles: A Little Color

 We need a few more flowers as we say good bye to May and the start of the blistering hot summer season.

As I've said here before, my macro skills need to be exercised once in a while.  This shot was taken in late April at my alma mater, Marywood University.

The focus was on the purple specimen in the center of the shot.

I simply liked how it stood out among the green and red.  Dare to be different.

Friday, May 26, 2023

Memorial Day Weekend


It's okay to enter "holiday mode" a little early.

Take a deep breath, and do something nice for yourself and your family.  There are many times a three day weekend isn't enough.  Make it four days!

I took the photo you see above at Cathedral Cemetery in Scranton Wednesday morning.  There is something about the location, the slope, the density of the flags and more that make it a wonderful photo opportunity, and a great place to honor those who defended our freedom.

Some unrelated photos will appear here this weekend, and I'll offer a few thoughts on the observance Monday.

Take it easy today.  You have my permission.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Thursday Scrapple


I don't care how much it's hyped, I'm still not paying to watch a football game on TV.

Daffy Duck is an underrated cartoon character.

I often catch a "Jeopardy" category and/or final question on You Tube.  Please, stop the spoilers.  the same goes for Facebook comments.

I'm thrilled trains have been getting so much attention lately-- the Nickel Plate's return to Scranton, and the excursions from Pittston to Jim Thorpe.

Lackawanna County's voter turnout last week was 30 per cent, as expected.  Also as expected, I'm sad.

Wendy's will experiment with keeping some restaurants drive-throughs open until 2 am this summer.  Intriguing.

The schedule makers have given the RailRiders every Monday off, except one.  It's the July 3rd game in Syracuse.  Wouldn't Memorial Day and Labor Day games have been nice?

The WNEP+ channel on Roku and Fire TV recently showed some old Centralia video.  To see the way it used to look was haunting.

Cell phones have been around for decades, and it still infuriates me to see people drive and talk on the phone at the same time.

I know I say it every year.  Writing on top of graduation mortarboards is just tiresome.  Walk on stage.  Get your diploma.  Sit down.  Go home.  Get a job.

Is Wordle still a thing?

I'm not a huge Bon Jovi fan, but I always crank up the volume and drive a little faster when "Bad Medicine" comes on the radio.  Thank you for the frequent plays, Rock 107.

The Scranton Armed Forces Day parade returns next year, for the first time since 2019.  I'm glad men and woman in uniform are recognized.  Unfortunately, this parade could never draw a crowd.  I hope that changes next year.

Tina Turner was an amazing performer and I always loved "Proud Mary."

ESPN is paying huge money for vulgar Pat McAfee's radio show, while it lays off employees.  Note to ESPN:  there is better, classier radio talent out there that doesn't cost nearly as much.

I'm thrilled for Ally Gallo Conway and her husband Max.  I'm almost as thrilled baby Mollie postponed her arrival until after the Sunday morning broadcast wrapped up.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Close Call


After a fairly steady diet of death and destruction, it was a breath of fresh air when I had the chance to do a positive and fun story, and it almost didn't happen.

We learned the bus carrying the East Stroudsburg University Warriors softball team was leaving campus for the Newark airport, then Nashville, then Chattanooga, for the division two World Series.

Editor Jason and I worked on a totally different story for our morning broadcast.  Photographer Tim and I then high tailed it to ESU to get the bus leaving.  Time was not our friend and we knew we would be cutting it close.

We drove around campus at 4:15 am, and couldn't find the bus!  I stopped a police officer and asked him if he saw a bus on campus.  He didn't.  Panic was setting in.  I really wanted this story.  We we late?  Did we get bad information?

I was ready to search all 57 buildings on all 258 acres of the ESU campus.  As we were making another loop, photographer Tim spotted the bus lights in a parking area behind the field house.  Relief!

There was barely time to jump out of the car, do some interviews, and get some video before the bus had to leave for the Newark airport.  I was in such a hurry, I didn't even bother to tuck my shirt in to my pants.  ESU coach Jaime Wolbach took the photo you see above.  Katie "Donnie" Donaghue is the player in front of my microphone, a really nice young lady.

This was a true "crash and burn" effort-- a flurrie of activity for ten minutes, ending when the ESU bus pulled out of the parking lot, filled with a great bunch of kids.

Tim sent some video back to the station for the morning newscasts.  We then packed up and headed back to the office to work on a story for Newswatch 16 at noon.

Good luck, and thank you for the story, Warriors!

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Raison D'Etre


Once again, a photo with no real reason for existence.  I happened to have camera in hand and snapped away last month, when I was on vacation.

This is the Scranton Times building at Penn and Biden (Spruce) with the big WEJL tower on top.

Regular blog readers know I love radio and no matter how many times I see it, I still enjoy looking up at the mass of steel and wires.   There really isn't anything new here.  I've shot the building and tower from the North Washington Avenue parking garage before-- love the view.

Monday, May 22, 2023

And, My Next Guest Is...


I left full time radio employment way back in 1991.  Even though the people, the locations, and the technology has changed, I still feel at home in a radio studio.

There have been three guest appearances on Froggy 101.  When Nikki Walton Stone on sister station WILK recently asked if I would mind hanging out for a while, I instantly said "yes."  We settled on a date, and last Monday was it.

I showed up at 11:45 am and chatted with the Fed Ex employee, waiting to pick up an envelope in the lobby.  She was very nice, as was the receptionist.  The morning talk show ended.  The noon news was on, and I was escorted back to the studio.

This is the joy of Nikki.  She entered a few minutes before the scheduled start.  Nikki had her show mapped out in her head.  She didn't tell me, and that's the fun.  I think that's why Nikki keeps having me back.  This was our third show.  The first was planned.  The second was a spur of the moment thing.  I was just finishing a Froggy hour when she asked me if I wanted to talk on the air for a while.  While Monday's stop was a scheduled appearance, Nikki didn't realize it was the day before election day when she booked me a month ago.  Our shows are more of a conversation rather than me sitting there and answering questions.  We mix it up, and I think I asked her almost as many things as she asked me.

Of course, we spent plenty of time on politics.  Because I do news for a living, Nikki knows I can't get opinionated, and she adroitly fields those calls, keeping me out of the hot seat.  There were other topics, including food, games, road rage and TV news competition.

The three hours flew by.  The callers and texters were very nice.  Thank you.

Nikki and I made tentative plans to do another show down the road, and I look forward to it.

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Andy's Angles: Up the Street


Just up North Washington Avenue from yesterday's photo is this-- the spires of Scranton City Hall on a very grey morning.

It seems any time this building is in the news, it's about something wrong-- deterioration, parts that need repairs, a space crunch, leaks...

Be that as it may, it's a beautiful old building that can use some TLC.

By the way, Fidelity Bank has offices and a branch in the building just to the right of City Hall.  The Scrantonian Tribune called this building home for many, many years.