Sunday, May 26, 2024

Andy's Angles: Cemetery Flags


It's another photo from Cathedral Cemetery in Scranton today.

No lengthy explanation is necessary.

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Andy's Angles: The Weekend Begins


It's a Memorial Weekend tradition for me-- a visit to Cathedral Cemetery in Scranton.  There are small flags, over graves, nearly as far as the eye can see.

If you want to put service and sacrifice in perspective, visit a cemetery in late May.

Friday, May 24, 2024

Friday Scrapple


Today's entry in the "you know the lyrics, even though you haven't heard the song in years" is "I'm In You" by Peter Frampton.  By the way-- one of the best songs, ever!

I recently stumbled across "Frasier" reruns, at 4 am on the Hallmark Channel.  Jeez O'Pete, I'd forgotten how wonderfully crafted those shows were.  The writing.  The timing.  I'm hooked, even though watching Niles suffer for all those years breaks my heart.

The golf tour squabbling thing really irritates me.  Guys, you get paid huge amounts of money to play a game!  Shut up and hit the ball!

I really thought "Quick Pitch" on the MLB network jumped the shark last season.  It seams like some new talent has given the morning baseball highlight show new life.

I don't know about you, but when I hear the phrase "nuclear option," I get very nervous.

It's too early for it to be this hot.

I was thrilled to see the Armed Forces Day parade return to Scranton.  I'm sorry more people weren't there to watch.

"Young Sheldon" just ended a seven year run.  I've never seen it,  and reruns are not in my plans.  

The NFL will have games on three streaming services-- Peacock, Amazon, and Netflix.  Yes, it's a money grab and a huge one,  and it is simply not fan-friendly.

Spring doesn't last long enough.

It's amazing what can make your day, and that includes a friendly clerk at the mini mart.

It's been years since I had a really good waffle, and I had a shrimp craving the other day.

To the person who invented chips and salsa:  thank you!

The simple things in life amaze me, like a walk through the park.

Thursday, May 23, 2024

I Missed You!


I've returned to the habit of long walks through a park on my days, off.  But, that is another story for another time.

After a recent very early morning stroll, I ducked into a near by supermarket for a few items.  I was sweaty and generally a mess.  My goal was to grab what I needed and run for the door.  Sadly, technology stood in my way.

I had three items in my basket.  I hoped for a quick scan at the self-service check out, the machines you love to hate, but they were down!  This was shortly after opening time, so I assume they were being rebooted and updated.  I never did get the reason.

It forced me to stand in a long line, at the only staffed check out, with several other shoppers.  A woman saw I had only a few items, so she allowed me to jump ahead of her.  I repaid the favor by screwing up the credit card key pad thingy, and delaying the process even longer.  By the way, I've become one of "those people."  I don't carry much cash, and I charge even the smallest of items.  It seems to be the thing to do these days.

The bottom line is this...  Please, give me the option of scan-and-go!

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Dabney Coleman


Dabney Coleman died last week.  He was 92.

Coleman had a long and successful career.  I'd like to focus on two failures.

The first was "Buffalo Bill."  It lasted for 26 episodes in 1983 and 1984.  Coleman played an obnoxious tv talk show host in Buffalo, NY.  NBC president Brandon Tartikoff loved it and he greenlit a second season.  The critics loved it.  The audience didn't.  No one watched.  Research showed the public didn't warm to a main character who was so mean spirited.  I thought "Buffalo Bill" was absolutely brilliant.  It was well crafted, smart, sharp, and funny.  In fact, I have the DVD boxed set.  Dabney Coleman's performance was outstanding.

The other failure of note was Coleman starring in ABC's "The Slap Maxwell Story" in 1987 and 1988.  It barely limped through one season, 22 episodes.  Coleman played an old style newspaper sports columnist, and once again, I thought he was great.  It was another Dabney Coleman character with plenty of rough edges.  "The Slap Maxwell Story" was an odd show.  It was half comedy, half drama, and occasionally confusing.  Apparently, the rest of America was confused as well, and the series didn't last.

By the way, "Buffalo Bill and "Slap Maxwell" have something in common.  Both theme songs were great.  Visit You Tube, and you'll hear what I mean.

So, what do we take from this?  A failure, or two, isn't the end.  Your star can still shine brightly.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Summer is Here!


It's now official.  Summer is here!  The reason?  I muscled an air conditioner in to my bedroom window.  It actually happened Friday morning.

I returned from a long walk in the park, sweaty and messy.  I sat down with a beverage to watch the morning tv forecast, and I do follow the weather very closely.  Friday looked warm, followed by an extended above average spell.  It seemed like the perfect time.

The house has those split ductless units, and they work great.  My bedroom gets the afternoon sun, and it needs an extra shot of cool, so a small window unit gets the job done.  Plus, as any third shift worker will tell you, cool and dark are our friends.

As much as I despise spending the summer in a cool and dark cave, it is a necessity.

Memorial Day isn't here yet, and I'm already looking forward to fall.

Monday, May 20, 2024

Fast Food


A Taco Bell is opening down the street from my office.

I'm always amazed at the strong feelings evoked by fast food.  Clearly, people have their favorites.

I have no brand loyalty.  If I'm hungry, I pop in to what every restaurant happens to be closest.  There was one long drive to Allentown once to sample White Castle.  It was okay, but I really didn't see what the hype was all about.

McDonalds is considering a $5 value meal.  One of the offerings is reportedly four nuggets, fries, and a drink.  I would assume the fries and drink will be the smallest on the menu, but four nuggets?!?!?!  Four!  I really don't consider that to be much of a value.

Considering the prices these days, it's easier to just drive home and make something yourself.

By the way, the new Taco Bell wound up on page one, above the fold, in a recent morning newspaper.  Is that the best you can do?

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Andy's Angles: Lackawanna 663


Yes, another engine that's been here before...  but, I can't resist a colorful diesel on a sunny spring morning.

As I always say when I shoot an engine of this type, the photo doesn't do it justice.  It really is a monster.

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Andy's Angles: Short and Sweet


I was wandering through Steamtown in Scranton on a recent morning and this caught my eye.

It clearly had recently received some tender, loving care.  That made me happy as my camera focused on the shiny black paint in the morning sun.

Friday, May 17, 2024

Law and Order


I didn't get a chance to sit in at the Justin Schuback murder trial in Lackawanna County court.  I did talk with reporters who were there.  I read the newspaper stories.  I watched the television stories.  Schuback was charged with the January 2017 death of Old Forge bar/restaurant owner Robert Baron.

The jury deliberated for more than ten hours over two days, and returned with a verdict of guilty of first degree murder.  Some were surprised.  I wasn't.

Yes, there are some holes in the prosecution's case.  No case is perfect, unless you have video of the crime in action.  Some witnesses weren't the most credible.  The defense based its case on the cross examination of the prosecution witnesses.  The defense called no witnesses of its own.

For me, it came down to a few things.  Schuback's girlfriend said he came home one morning covered in mud, presumably of dumping the body in the woods.  Schuback's DNA was found in Baron's car.  Cell phone data placed Schuback at or near the scene of the crime and where the body was dumped.

The drugged up jailhouse confession had some weight.  The judge allowed the confession to be introduced at the trial.  I just have a feeling that will be one of the major appellate issues.

Yes, it's easy to sit at a computer keyboard and offer opinions.  I'm sure sitting on that jury, with someone's life in your hands, is much different.