Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Reboots


For a while, Dan Rather signed off the "CBS Evening News" by saying "courage."  That word popped in to my mind recently.

I watched Tiger Woods struggle at the PGA Championship Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  He withdrew after the disastrous third round.  Part of me was sad watching the once great Woods make bogey after bogey after bogey.  On the other hand, I admire his courage to keep at it.

It reminded me of Yankees' pitcher Catfish Hunter in the late 70's.  His arm and shoulder were messed up.  Hunter pitched anyway,  and got his arse handed to him in several games.  It was embarrassing for Hunter and the team, yet he kept going.

It was like the end of Willie Mays' career.   He spent his last two years with the Mets.  Batting averages of .267 and .211.  Mays stayed at the party too long.

While I'm on the reboot topic, they are considering a "Scrubs" remake.  Please, don't.  It was fine the first time around.  It's over.  Let it go.

It seems knowing when to stop and knowing when to persevere is a fine art.  One thing I do know is there are no easy answers.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

One Week

 

Well, here we are, one week after the primary election and we still don't know who won the Republican nomination for United States Senate.

The aromas of 2000 and 2016 are wafting through the air.  I smell this one is headed for court, and possibly more than one.  Onward and upward.

I have railed against slow vote counts in this space, in the past, but this one is different.  The margin between Dr. Mehmet Oz and David McCormick is razor thin, so let's double check every ballot and make sure it's done right.

I can wait.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Monday Scrapple

 

Odd, but I kind of miss all the election stuff.  Rest assured, it will be back before you know it.

I've found every over the counter cold remedy to be absolutely worthless.

CNN and FOX have renewed their sniping at each other.  Please, stop.

It was a little too early for 90 degree weather.

NBC took a chance on Drew Brees when he retired last year.  How did that work out for you?

There are a lot of pickles in the supermarket.  There aren't enough great pickles in the supermarket.

Supertramp is an underrated group.

I am a huge Joe Buck fan, but that ESPN PGA alternative telecast he got stuck with was unwatchable.

Package tracking is wonderful when all goes well, and supremely frustrating when it does not.

It was great to see downtown Wilkes-Barre alive again thanks to the Fine Arts Fiesta.

I was never a huge Tiger Woods fan, but I respect his abilities.  It was sad to watch him struggle at the PGA Championship Saturday.

Memorial Day weekend already?  It seems like Christmas was yesterday.

One day, I hope to play pickleball.

Valerie Bertinelli is single again.  She knows where to find me.


Sunday, May 22, 2022

Andy's Angles: I Was Wrong!

 

I have to admit, when the Scranton Lace rehabilitation project was announced a few years back, I raised a skeptical and cynical eyebrow.  My reasoning that the project was too big and too expensive to work.

The project is making tremendous progress.  Parts of the old complex were torn down.  Work is in high gear on the rest.

The goal is to have this become artists' space and apartments.

In an era when we have lost so much history due to neglect, I'm happy to say I was wrong.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Andy's Angles: Up in the Air

 

I was on my way to pick up my usual Thursday order of Texas wieners from Green Ridge News, when I took a short detour.  There was nothing interesting at the Von Storch rail repair garage, so I kept going down the street to The Scranton Lace rehab.

The old building is being turned to artists' and living space.  When I looked up, I saw a couple of guys in a lift, working on the iconic clock/whistle tower.

After watching this building rot for decades, it's nice to see some real activity here.


Plus, it was a great day to be outside.

Friday, May 20, 2022

Barney Miller


 The last of 171 "Barney Miller" episodes aired on this day, 40 years ago.

It was one of my favorites from day one, and throughout the 7 and a half year run.  I have the boxed set on DVD, and I pop one in any time I have a bad day.  Those DVD's are getting a workout.

Johnny Carson called "Barney Miller" one of the best written shows on television, and Carson knew his comedy.  In fact, the writing led to the show's demise.  "Barney Miller" was not cancelled.  Production stopped because the producers couldn't find the writers they wanted and needed to carry on, and they didn't want to repeat story lines.

I met Hal Linden back in the 80's.  He was in Wilkes-Barre to campaign for a U.S. Senate candidate.  I was tough, quizzing Linden on Pennsylvania issues he knew nothing about.  In retrospect, I was too hard on the guy and Hal, I'm sorry.

"Barney Miller" checked all the boxes.  While the cast and the writing were top notch, Linden says early on, they rightly realized the comedy came from the people coming through the squad room, and the cast reaction only added to it.  Linden said the regular cast members were actors, not stand up comedians, and that added to the quality of the show.  They were all OK if they didn't deliver the punch lines and the break through lines.

The show is still on one of the TV rerun channels, and I punch in as often as I can, even though I have the DVD's.  It was funny then.  It's funny now.  There are times TV gets it right.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

It's Here!

 

There is a lot to like about summer.  But, when you work weekends and overnights, there is a lot to dislike, hence today's angry sun graphic.  This is the time for my standard disclaimer:  Don't cry for me.  I am more than fairly compensated by my employer.  Most aspects of my work schedule are great for me.  This is the life I have chosen.

I keep the same schedule on my days off, which means sleeping in the afternoon and the evening.  Let's take you back to the 12th.  It was a gorgeous day.  Sunny.  Clear.  Low Humidity.  I went out with my camera in the morning and got some really nice photos.  You'll see them here on weekends.

And then, the afternoon arrived.  My bedroom gets the PM sun.  I recently procrastinated on installing the window air conditioner, and I roasted.  The fans just didn't cut it.

I watched Joe Snedeker's forecast the next morning.  Joe called for a warm weekend but a slight cooling trend  ahead.  The air conditioner could wait, but with that sweaty and most uncomfortable night fresh in my mind, I went for it.

The air conditioner isn't super heavy.  It's a smaller model, meant to cool only a moderately sized bedroom, and that's all I need.  It is awkward to lug around, and the window where it works best means moving a lot of things.  If that wasn't enough, I feared aggravating a recent back injury.

I need my sleep, so I wrestled with the bulky unit and got it installed.  Yes, the back was sore afterward.  A pain killer took care of that.

It was a warm weekend.  The installation was not a bad idea.

There is something I should add.  I'm happy I have an air conditioner.  A lot of people have some hot summer nights ahead.

The air conditioner had to go in eventually, so it was best to get it over with.  I'm good until October.

I have considered one of those portable units over the years.  All you do is wheel it where you want and stick a vent hose out the window.  I know people who have them, and love them.  I have also read some bad reviews.  There is more research to do.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

The Numbers


 As I write this at midnight, many races are still too close to call, but here is what I can say...

First up, Luzerne County government did it again, treating every election like it's their first time out of the box.  From machine problems in the morning to vote count problems at night, why can't they get it right?

The race for the Republican senate nomination is between Dave McCormick and Mehmet Oz.  Kathy Barnette had a late surge in the polls, but something told me that wasn't tight.  She came too far, too fast.  This was always going to be a race between the big spenders.

Doug Mastriano blew away the rest of the field to capture the Republican nomination for governor.  The win comes in spite of members of his own party seeking to derail him, fearing he is too far right to win.  How did that work out for you?  Former Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta finished a distance second, a campaign that never caught fire.

Democrat Josh Shapiro was unopposed on the Democrat side, so now, it's a contest between two men at the far ends of the political spectrum.  We know both have solid bases.  Who has the ability to capture the moderates and the independents they need to win?  Even though the Republicans have been making gains, Democrats still hold the registration edge.  Mastriano now faces the though task of uniting his party.

Carrie DelRosso spent big, and she wins the nomination for Lieutenant Governor on the Republican side.  Mastriano's choice, Teddy Daniels finishes a distant third.  The domestic violence allegations against Daniels took their toll.  Can she get along with Mastriano, who clearly wanted someone else as his second in command?

Democrat John Fetterman breezed to a win in the Democrat race for senate.  Conor Lamb was a distant second, a moderate who never gained traction.  Fetterman started with tremendous name recognition from two previous state-wide runs.  Plus, that unique look of his sticks in the minds of voters.  Republicans see Fetterman as beatable.  Can Oz or McCormick do it?  An aside, it was not a good night for moderates in any party.

Jim Bognet cruises to an easy win over former Hazleton Mayor Mike Marsicano in the Republican race for congress in the 8th district.  Bognet nearly took down Matt Cartwright two years ago.  Is this his year?  Can predictions of the new "red wave" get Bognet over the top?  I thought Marsicano had some well done television commercials, but his track record in recent years isn't very good.

James May wins the Republican nomination for state representative in the 118th, and he made it look easy.  I have to admit I'm surprised here.  May is a known commodity with a solid base.  I thought John Lombardo, with a well known name in and around the Pittston population base, would fare better.

Dane Watro cruises to the Republican nomination in the 116th,  an easy win in a crowded field.

Kyle Donahue had an easy win over Patrick Flynn for the Democratic nomination in the 113th, and that isn't much of a surprise.

As I write this, the Republican race in the 119th is still tight.  Alec Ryncavage holds a lead over Tom Williams.  Ryncavage found an issue that worked for him-- Williams' party switching.

As always, things are subject to change, and keep watching this space for updates.

Good luck to the winners.  And to those who didn't win (I never call them losers), thank you for getting involved in the process.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Election Day

 

In many ways, this is your typical election day.  There is anticipation in the air and a tightness in my stomach.  Election days are the TV news equivalent of the Super Bowl.

The work flow has changed this year.  I typically do election morning previews, and that will not change this year.  Photographer Jason and I produced them a couple of weeks ago.  Management wisely reasoned that the stakes are especially high this year.  The previews should run than more than just a couple of times on election morning.  I hope they helped you know who's who.

I always had an election morning tradition of a fast food spicy chicken sandwich, no mayonnaise.  Well, the only place in town where you could get one stopped its 24 hour operation when the pandemic hit.  I've been settling for cold Pop Tarts at my desk.  I might search out something else on the way to work, and watch this space for the latest inappropriate choice for breakfast.

My work day will be slightly longer this year, but no big deal.  I won't stop to vote after work.  As an independent, I have to sit this one out.  There will be an afternoon nap so I can be up late to watch the numbers come in and my brethren report them.

Look for a few updates here during the day, and an analysis piece here tomorrow.

Above all, please vote! 

>>>3:00 AM UPDATE:  A quick flurry of activity when I hit the office...  some stories needed to be tweaked and adjusted, reflecting candidates' visits to our area and the latest polling.  Editor Jason is making the necessary changes to the video, and the producers and I are now on the same page.  In case you're wondering, breakfast consisted of a couple of fast food roast beef sandwiches I stashed in the refrigerator yesterday, topped by a cheese danish.  I really do miss my spicy chicken sandwich.

>>>7:30 AM UPDATE:  Well, that didn't take long!  Only 16 minutes after the polls opened, we received the first phone call about malfunctioning voting machines.  The call came from Nanticoke.  Why does Luzerne County have problems with every election?  Two calls from two different polling places in Wilkes-Barre quickly followed.

>>>8:30 AM UPDATE:   Add Plains, Hazleton and Conyngham to the list of places in Luzerne County with voting machine issues.  Why?  Is it the hardware, the software, the training, the people...?  Also, anecdotal evidence shows a light turnout, and I'm surprised.  There are some important races out there.  Are voters burned out?

>>>9:50 AM UPDATE:   More malfunction reports are coming in to the newsroom, and that makes me sad.  Also, there is more evidence that turnout, so far, is light.  I'm sure it will pick up as we head toward poll closing time at 8 PM.  I'm taking a temporary break to record a podcast with Joe Snedeker.  Yes, Mr. Curiosity has finally corralled me.  I believe it's scheduled to drop on Monday.

>>>11:50 AM UPDATE:   I survived my session with Mr. Curiosity, and if you repeat this, I'll deny it.  It was fun.  Producer Lisa put the finishing touches on Newswatch 16 at Noon while I was away, and now it's time to anchor a bit before going home.  By the way, Lisa always does the heavy lifting for the noon broadcast.  By the way, we're still getting indications voter turnout is light so far.

12:40 PM UPDATE:  My work day is done.  I'll be watching the numbers come in tonight.  


Monday, May 16, 2022

Almost There

 

We are almost there.

The phone constantly rings with robo calls, every television commercial break is filled with political commercials, mailers have been arriving for weeks.  Tomorrow is primary election day.

In spite of the annoyances, it is shaping up to be a fascinating couple of days, an I'm really looking forward to seeing how things turn out.

The last several days have been filled with political maneuvering, and there will be more today and tomorrow.

There is still time.  Read up on the men and women who want your support.  Be an informed voter tomorrow.