Saturday, October 1, 2022

Andy's Angles: My Favorite


If you are a regular blog reader, you know this is my absolute favorite in the Steamtown collection.

Diesels like this remind me of the ones we had under the Christmas tree as a kid.  That was always my older brother's domain, but I was allowed to look.

Plus, I just love the green and gold color scheme.

I must have photographed this one dozens of times and there will be more.

Friday, September 30, 2022

Media Friday


KYW radio rarely says it's on 1060 am, and that makes me sad.  I love am radio and that frequency carries a lot of history.  The station is pushing its relatively new 103.9 fm frequency really hard, and I get that.  On the other hand, you gotta dance with who brung you.

Kelly Ripa has said some unkind things about her ex partner, Regis Philbin.  Why?  Regis is gone.  It's over.  He can't defend himself.  She is only going to come across as mean, picking on a guy America loved.

Jeopardy! is considering bonus money if a contestant runs a category.  The money would NOT count toward the final score.  Purists are upset.  I don't have a big problem with it.

Speaking of games, it looks like ABC won't produce any new episodes of the $100,000 Pyramid.  It's a great game-- when done right.  I thought the latest incarnation was a little too easy.

Linsey Davis is now anchoring the 5 pm ABC Radio News.  It's good promotion for her prime time streaming show.  In the past, Charlie Gibson and Peter Jennings have been behind the radio microphone at ABC.  Back when NBC Radio was in business, it was not uncommon for TV people to do some radio.

David Letterman was on Jimmy Kimmel's show the other night.  Dave is still wickedly funny, great at winging it, fantastic story teller.

Cantore comes on the screen, and I reach for the remote.  Stephanie Abrams is outstanding.  She is information without the hype.

The New York Post reports CNN cut a few people from its podcast division.  CNN gave up on its radio network several years ago, and that was a bad move.  It was a good product and it expended the brand to hundreds of radio stations across the country.

I am lacking in the cheerleader department, but I thought out sister station, WTSP in Tamps, did an outstand job covering Ian.

Legendary CBS News correspondent Bill Plante died Wednesday.  84.  Most of his CBS time was spent at the White House.  Plante held their feet to the fire and he did it fairly.

Michael Kay and John Sterling are catching some heat for the way they called Aaron Judge's 61st home run the other night.  Sterling was his usual insufferable self.  Kay sounded rehearsed and way too wordy.

Trevor Noah announced yesterday he is leaving The Daily Show after seven years.  Any time I watched, I was underwhelmed.

Thursday, September 29, 2022



If roundabouts are such a good idea, why does Penndot continue to apply the full court press?

Our Penndot friends recently put out a news release.  It contained a barrage of statistics showing roundabouts are safer than the intersections they replaced-- fewer crashes, fewer injuries, fewer fatalities.

That's all well and good.

But, why do drivers still hate roundabouts?

I traveled through a couple last week-- the ones near Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport in Avoca.  It was my standard procedure-- crawl through the roundabout at the slowest speed possible.  Keep an eye out for other cars and trucks.  Breathe a sigh of relief when I hit a straight piece of pavement again.

Numbers and statistics can be manipulated many different ways, but I have faith that the Penndot numbers are what they appear to be.  I hope.

However, I'd be happy with more straight lines and well timed traffic signals.

I still have to wonder, if roundabouts are so wonderful, why do you keep trying to convince drivers?

Wednesday, September 28, 2022



My heart goes out to the people of Florida.  Beautiful state, but there is always that summer and fall danger of a visit from a hurricane.  This week, it's Ian.

As I've noted here just about every year, I can do without the TV hysterics and theatrics.

There is one aspect of hurricane coverage that continuously fascinates me and keeps me glued to my TV and computer screens, and that is the hurricane track maps and projections.  Updates from the National Hurricane Center come out four times a day, 5 and 11 am and pm.   

As the days pass, the cone of uncertainty becomes narrow.  The spaghetti models eventually come in to agreement, and people in the storm's path have ample time to get out of the way.

I still raise a skeptical eyebrow over super long range projections, but the hurricane people really can pinpoint a track, and we should be thankful for that.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Tuesday Scrapple


I don't understand how people despise raisins.

Watching a live, west coast college football game in the middle of the night is great fun.

Sleeping is much easier during cooler weather, and I'm enjoying every second.

I'm very happy for Albert Pujols.

I've watched very little NFL football so far this season, and I really don't miss it.

But, I will say it's nice to see Miami doing well again and New England struggling.

The Bloomsburg Fair's ability to draw huge crowds amazes me.

Can we leave the Royal Family alone for a while?

The boss at Saturday Night Live promises a year of "reinvention."  I wonder if that means it will be funny again.

I know people who bet on sports, who have no business betting on sports.

My desire to travel disappeared a long time ago.

For a kid who grew up during the Gemini and Apollo days, all the recent rocket launches are great fun.

I can do without the hysterics, but the hurricane track updates fascinate me.

I always sing along when Billy Joel's "Anthony's Song" comes on the radio.

Monday, September 26, 2022

The Elder Statesman


I've been around a long time and I'm proud of that.  I've been lucky.  I realized what I wanted to do at an early age, and I had a chance to do it for decades.

Occasionally, my experience forces me to explain some things-- like George Banks, blizzards, major political events and elections, writing scripts on steno pads and legal pads, manual typewriters, cassettes and tape reels, records, pagers and pay phones...  It's a very long list.

Somehow, giardiasis and contaminated water was the newsroom topic on a recent morning.  According to the water company at the time, (NOT the current one), beavers under stress were on the move and doing their business in reservoirs.  The water company didn't have filtration plants, so that bug infested water was piped in to homes across northeastern Pennsylvania.  The state forced the water company to build filtration plants, and it gave you the privilege of paying for it.

As I was explaining this to a coworker, I was struck by the absurdity of it all-- how we were forced to pay for water we couldn't drink, how the water company was asleep at the switch in the first place, and how it hoped chlorine would take care of the problem.

We've come a long way since then.  Still, looking back on that period reminds me of how we survived, in spite of ourselves.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Andy's Angles: 759

 It is said, according to the Steamtown web site, that this was one of the last steam engines to compete with the diesels.

We all know how that ended.  The diesels won, but you can't deny that this is one fine looking engine.

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Andy's Angles: D&L Diesel

 This beauty is a familiar sight at Steamtown and on tracks here in our area.

Even though it's been featured here before, the shot works for me-- the colors, the sun, the sky, the clouds...

Friday, September 23, 2022



Sunday marks the 40th anniversary of the day George Banks went on his rampage in Jenkins Township and Wilkes-Barre.  He killed 13 people.

Banks was tried and sentenced to death.  He is still in jail today, proving how the system can be manipulated.

I was a part timer at WARM back in 1982, the low man in the operation.  The morning of the 25th, I was sick in bed with a terrible cold.  The phone rang.  It was my co-worker, Terry McNulty.  I was trying to sleep my illness away and I had no idea as to what had happened.  Terry quickly got me up to speed and asked me to come in early to lend a hand.  I was scheduled to be on the air as a DJ at 7 pm anyway.

When I arrived at the office in Avoca, Terry decided to divide our duties like this.  He would be on the air at WARM, while I would answer the phones and handle the other news of the day.  It was fine by me.  Terry also asked that I help all the other stations around the country that wanted our interviews, and someone to be their local voice.  Remember, this was long, long, long before the internet.  I remember doing stories for stations in Cleveland, Atlanta, and a few other places.  Even though the situation was horrible, it was a kick for a 20 year old.  Major market exposure.  While it was interesting, I made sure to remain grounded in the moment.

There was an opportunity for a quick break after the 6 pm news.  I hopped in my SUV to find a fast dinner.  I also picked up a couple of newspapers that had put out special editions that afternoon.

At 7 pm, I turned from news person to DJ, relieving the great Jim Gannon behind the microphone.  Jim gave me the quick rundown of some unusual things happening.  One of the newspapers that didn't publish on Sundays at the time decided to put out a special edition, and the newspaper bought some commercials to let people know about it.  There was no time to produce a "spot" so it was a live read, as we say in the business.

I do remember my DJ shift passing fairly quickly.  There was just so much going on, and that always makes the time fly.

My ride home back then, as it is now, is a quiet and alone time to decompress and reflect.  That's when the horrors of the day really hit.  It became worse when we learned what happened and why, especially concerning the children who were brutally murdered by their father.

It's still as sickening, 40 years later.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Signed, Sealed, Delivered


Tuesday was National Register to Vote Day, and that's a good thing.  Anything that fairly allows people to become part of the process is wonderful.  I hope the new and renewed registrants take the privilege seriously, and they take part in every election, now and forever.

I registered as soon as I turned 18,  a long time ago, and I've never missed an election in which I've been eligible to vote.  As an independent, I have to sit out the primaries, unless there is a referendum or something similar.

Register to Vote Day touched off that controversy again.  It's the one that changes Pennsylvania law to allow independents to vote in primaries.

Let's take a closer look.  A primary is for members of a party to choose their candidates.  If you are not a member of a party, why should you have a say?

On the other hand, we are all citizens in this democracy, and therefore,  everyone should have a vote.

Clearly, the fall elections would look a lot different if independents voted in the spring.  Candidates would have to make a pitch to appeal to the indies, many of whom are moderate.  Conventional wisdom leans toward more moderate candidates winning in open primaries.  We wouldn't see the extremes, on both sides, that we experience now.

Professional skeptic.  Pennsylvania is slow to change, and I'd be surprised to see open primaries any time soon.