Friday, July 31, 2020

Andy's Angles: Downstream

Today, it's another of my special Friday series, pulling photos from my recently rediscovered first digital camera, that two megapixel Olympus D-380.

This is a shot of the Lackawanna River, looking downstream from the park in Blakely.  The time stamp indicates I took this a couple of days before Christmas in 2005.

As you can see, it was rather early on a winter morning because of  the low sun angle.  It appears the Olympus had some difficulty compensating.  Still, it's not a horrible shot.

There is one more in the 2005 collection, and I'll burn that one off next Friday.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Let's Review

A vacation week comes to an end tomorrow night, and it's time to get back to work.

It was my typical week off.  Sleep, bike riding, playing with the camera...

I usually make a mall run or something similar, but not this time around.  First, there is nothing I really need.  Second, I can get it on-line.  Third, I'm still leery of crowds.  It's not worth it.

The bike riding seemed to bring me more enjoyment than usual.  I think there was some self satisfaction in completing my route, in spite of the heat and humidity.  I really don't know how hard core runners and cyclists do it on a regular basis.  It was brutal-- even in the middle of the night.

The photo expeditions produced some good results.  Thank you for all the kind words on the sunrise windmill shot.

Another vacation week is coming up right after Labor Day.  In some ways, the year is dragging, and in other respects, it's flying by.

Thanks for reading.  I hope to see you bright and early Saturday morning.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Silent Night

I cannot sleep with the television on.  I used to be able to do that, but suddenly, several years ago, it became a problem.

I do like sleeping with the radio on.  It's usually on an all news station from Philadelphia or New York, or one of the all sports networks.

So much of the news has been horrible and disturbing lately, I tried sleeping in silence, and with the radio off.  Even the all sports networks stopped working for me because the current situations have infiltrated the sports world.

I did it.  I don't like it.

As I write this, I'm dead tired.  I didn't sleep well.

An alarm clock with one of those sleep sound generators used to be on my nightstand.  It didn't work for me.

An experiment with music is next on my list.  I'm a fan of the 70's, and there are some internet and satellite stations that work nicely.  I enjoy them when I'm awake, so they should blend well with falling asleep.

If all else fails, it's back to all news, all the time.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

This Bites!

I was putting my bike away after a long ride the other morning when I felt a sharp pain, on the underside of my forearm, near my elbow.  I looked down to see a mosquito the size of a Buick, feasting on my arm.

I've been lucky this year.  Very few bug bites.  I guess tha't because I don't spend a lot of time outside.  This was an exception.  Not only was it a bite, it was a big one.

Greed does you in every time.  The mosquito wasn't happy for a quick sip of my blood.  He drilled in and kept going.  It gave me enough time to slap my arm and crush the mosquito like a bug.  Not to ne overly graphic, but it was one of those kills that leaves a little blood spot, from the greedy mosquito, on the bite mark.

I won the victory but lost the war.  The enemy was dead.  Unfortunately, I was left with a growing itchy and painful bump.  It's not my first battle wound.  I had some lotion that took care of it.  It was still slightly itchy a couple of days later, but I was fine, as long as I resisted the temptation to scratch.

It seems to be an exceptionally buggy summer.  Gnats are everywhere, although the swarm seems to have subsided.  An assortment of flying critters have taken a liking to the light on my back porch.  It's brutal.

It makes you long for that first hard frost.

Monday, July 27, 2020


He is one of the very few entertainers who conjures up instant recognition from a first name only.


Regis Philbin died Friday night.  88.

Let's get some things straight.  Regis wasn't my thing.  I wasn't in his target demographic.  I always found a little bit of the guy went a long way.  Yes, I was in the minority on this one.

However, I do respect his popularity, and his long run in a cruel and heartless business.

I do owe Reege a bit of gratitude.  Regis always said he and Drew Carey saved ABC.  The network had only two shows pulling ratings in 1999:  "Who Wants to be a Millionaire!?" and "Drew Carey."  As an employee of an ABC affiliate, thank you.

I always saw Regis Philbin as an unusual character in this business, someone who can be endearing and annoying at the same time.  That's rare.

His morning talk show act didn't work for me.  Please note earlier line that I wasn't in his target demographic.  It was a nice, little, breezy oasis away from trash talk and court shows.

I did think he did an outstandng job on Millionaire.  He moved the game along, without getting in the way.  Whimsy mixed with gravitas.

His Letterman appearances were classics.  He wasn't afraid to poke fun at himself.

You can look at Regis Philbin as an inspiration.  There were some early career setbacks, but he always got up off the mat and kept fighting.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Andy's Angles: Three

I met all three.

This is the Distinguished Citizens Memorial on Courthouse Square in downtown Scranton.

Bob Casey is at the left.  Whether or not you agreed with his politics, he was always true to his convictions and you have to admire that.

Joe McDade is at the center.  We started off on a bad foot when I pestered him with porkbarrel questions at a tank plant in Lackawanna County.  Joe thought it was okay to saddle future generations with debt as long as people were working.  You can debate that one until the cows come home.  He did get the federal government to take over that rusting pile of junk known as Steamtown USA, and now it's a national park that instills some pride.

Bill Scranton had his heyday before I came on the scene, but I did meet him a few times in his later years.  He was a local broadcasting pioneer, and he always had a fondness for WNEP.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Andy's Angles: Bee!

I shared this one on other social media last month.  It received a nice response, so here is another look, the first on the blog.

Once again, it's a 50 mm lens shot, and the lens really isn't made for super duper up close work.  However, I was patient, and tried a shot on every setting, with every aperture and shutter speed until I got one that worked. Bee in focus with some nice background blur.

I have a strong feeling you'll see this one in this year's Top Ten.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Andy's Angles: Snowy Stadium

Today, it's a couple more shots from my recently uneathed first digital camera, a two megapixel Olympus D-380.

I took these in December of 2005, at a snow covered Valley View Stadium in Peckville.
Yes, I should have walked closer to the fence.  This shot is from the back of the stadium.  The Lackawanna River would be to my back here.

Above, it's a different angle, but still from the back.  The "home" bleachers are on the left.  The field house and the visitors' bleachers are on the right.

I've always found snow covered sports fields a little on the depressing side.  You know any fun activity here is still months away.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Sleeping In

Sleeping Homer is back, and you know what that means.  Another vacation week is here!

I usually take off the end of July, or something close to it.  It's usually the hottest week of the year, and the news cycle is in the summer doldrums.  Not this year, unfortunately.  But, we all need a little time to recharge the battery.

I look forward to standard vacation fare-- a few bike rides, a little photography, and plenty of sleep.

The weekend morning broadcasts are once again in the very capable hands of Carmella Mataloni.

The blog continues.  Maybe, I'll be inspired to Tweet, Instagram, and put something on Facebook.

Be well.  Stay safe.  We'll talk soon.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020


It is said one of the definitions of insanity is doing the same things over and over, and expecting a different result.

I roll by one of my favorite mini marts, at least once a week, hoping it's returned to 24 hour operation.  Nothing.

I check the web site of my gym, to see if it's returned to 24 hour operation.  Nothing.

I look on the internet to see if a big box store and a near by supermarket returned to being open 24/7.  Nothing.

I have to stop.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Sneaking In

I've shown similar photos here before-- a Turkey Hill truck parked outside a Sheetz store, and I still find it kind of funny.

But, things are different now.

We have a new appreciation for truck drivers and food service workers.  If a truck driver needs a pit stop, a bathroom break, a snack, or a drink, it's okay to stop-- even if a competitor owns the store.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Media Monday

Grant Imahara died last week.  He was just 49.  Imahara is best known for his work on "Mythbusters."  I loved the "Mythbusters" concept, but the producers had a nasty habit of taking a ten minute bit and stretching it out in to an hour.  Plus, there was never enough Kari Byron.  I loved Imahara's enthusiasm. Here is what put him over the top in my book.  Grant Imahara designed Geoff Peterson, Craig Ferguson's robot skeleton sidekick on "The Late Late Show."  Of course, Josh Robert Thompson brought Geoff to life.  That is another story for another day.

The newspapers and newscasts have been filled with brick and mortar stores closing because of the current situation.  You know it's bad when QVC cuts its staff.  Four on-air people lost their jobs last week. I'm sure some behind the scenes people were jettisoned as well.  It's very sad.

Kudos to the sports talk radio hosts who kept the balls in the air when there was no sports to talk about.  A few still produced entertaining broadcasts, while not being maudlin.

ABC's "World News Tonight" is the most watched broadcast in America.  Period.  More people watch the news than prime time these days.  We need information.

There are a couple old "Three on a Match" game show episodes on YouTube.  It was one of Bill Cullen's best games.  Blessedly simple, and easy to play at home.

"Dancing with the Stars" dumped Tom Bergeron as host after 15 years.  First, I never watched the show.  Second, judging by earlier work, I think Tom Bergeron is fantastic.  Third, I can see the need to freshen things up.  Tyra Banks is the new host and executive producer.  This is a show that lives or dies on the strength of the contestants.  Good luck!

There have to be at least a dozen major streaming services out there.  My total subscriptions:  0.  Perhaps, I need to qualify that.  I am an Amazon Prime person and I have access to its shows.  Other than one documentary and a few old game shows, I haven't used it.

Shepard Smith, formerly of FOX News, has signed on to do a prime time newscast on CNBC.  It starts this summer.  Wow!  So many challenges here.  Smith has to get people to start thinking of CNBC as a place for non-business news.  He has to establish a newscast that isn't tainted by the liberal umbrella of MSNBC.  Good luck!  Again.  I just have a feeling CNBC is temporary a parking place for Smith until the network has an opening somewhere else, like "Today" or "Nightly News."

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Andy's Angles: Going South

This photo really has no raison d'etre (that's French!), but I liked it anyway, and here it is.

I was putting my 50 mm lens through its paces on a recent morning, and this one was taken on the University of Scranton campus, looking south at some churches in Scranton's south side.

The 50 mm doesn't zoom.  It's a prime lens, better for portraits than landscapes, but it's sharp-- even at a distance.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Andy's Angles: Royal Way

There are few things more sad than an empty college campus, and we've seen a lot of that this year.

However, this photo of Royal Way on the University of Scranton campus is misleading.  It was shot on a summer Sunday morning, when the place would have been empty,  anyway.

It's hard to believe this used to be Linden Street and at one time, students had to dodge cars to get to class.  The U has done a really nice job of creating green space and a pedestrian friendly atmosphere.

I just hope we'll see students here to enjoy it.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Andy's Angles: Even Then

I have a few "go to" spots when I feel like taking photographs.  One of them is the park along the Lackawanna River in Blakely.

If you caught last Friday's blog entry, I found my first digital camera, and decided to put some photos from it here.
For a two megapixel Olympus, it didn't do a bad job.  I took this in December of 2005.

I don't remember what I was trying to accomplish with the shot above.  I suspect it was an attempt at being artsy.  I like the reflection of the sun on the water, but the rest is way too dark.  Editing software was rather primitive back then.  I'll have to see if I can fix this when I get a little free time.

Thursday, July 16, 2020


Today's entry might be a little too "inside baseball," but bear with me.

There is a large radio syndication company called Westwood One.  It provides tons of local programming for stations across the country.

It also provided a rather generic, but solid newscast.  It didn't have a name, and it was designed for local stations to brand as their own.  Westwood One news also provided stories affiliates could work in to their own broadcasts.  It had an agreement with CNN to incorporate its material in to the broadcasts, but you didhn't hear the CNN brand.

Last week, Westwood One announced its news service is coming to an end next month.  The parent company was already having money problems.  The current situation made it even worse.  Another source of information dries up and flies away, and it makes me sad.

We are at a time in history where we really need to be informed, and it breaks my heart when a place to turn for news goes away.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

On a Rail

It's been well established here that I like trains.

For years, they've been kicking around plans to reestablish passenger rail service between Scranton and Hoboken, NJ.  It's widely believed that this would make things easier for Poconos commuters to get to New York City.

Some recent developments, on the New Jersey side, indicate a rail connection is far from a certainty, and if it does happen, it's several years away-- at best.

I'm skeptical.  If you look at the distance of the line, coupled with the number of stops necessary along the way, it would take an eternity to get to work-- and home.

I have nothing against mass transit, and it would be nice to grab a train close to home.  Still, money could be better spent elsewhere.

The last few months have taught that the future is in working from home and not on a train through the Poconos and New Jersey.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

One Bite...

I have to admit, he grew on me.

David Portnoy heads a media company called "Barstool Sports."  He also travels around the east and reviews pizzas.

There was a stop in Old Forge last summer, and Portnoy generally gave the restaurants there decent reviews.

My first impression:  this guy is a jackass.

But then, I watched more of his reviews.  Yes, he's still a jackass, but there is a disarming charm.  Plus, I like pizza.

Portnoy made another swing through our area last month.  More pizzas.  More reviews.  Again, he liked most of what he sampled here.  Frankly, I'm surprised because he liked some pizzas I think are awful.  American cheese has no business being on a pizza!  It has the consistency of wax, and the flavor of cardboard.

I wish I could tell you what makes Portnoy's reviews watchable.  Maybe because it appears genuine.  You know what he likes.  You know what he doesn't.  Everybody loves pizza.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Anywhere But Here

Associated Press photo
Above is a photo of Polish citizens in Warsaw voting in yesterday's presidential election.

Yet, there are several places in Pennsylvania where polling place cameras are forbidden.

Bad things can happen when there is no public scrutiny and oversight.

Cameras do not inhibit the process.

It's time for a change.

Associated press photo

You can even photograph voters in Hong Kong.  This is another Sunday photo.  I sincerely hope things change by November.  You pay for the election.  You have a right to see democracy in action.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Andy's Angles: Peanut

Peanut was annoyed that I interrupted her nap to take a photo.

She'll be turning two years old shortly and has turned out to be an absolutely wonderful cat.

As you can see, she was not impressed by the photography session, yawned and went back to sleep.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Andy's Angles: The Tube

I don't have a problem with modern art.  However, there has to be an appropriate place.

This one, at the center of Marywood's campus never really worked for me.

I'm assuming someone felt the juxtaposition of old and new somehow worked.

Yes, not a perfect photo.  The tree at the center is a little too prominent,  the Marywood banner is partially blocked, but I still like the way it came out.  I was attempting to focus on something that wasn't at dead center, and it gave me a little practice in changing my camera's focus points.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Andy's Angles: The First

I was going through a box of old stuff the other day when I stumbled across my very first digital camera.  It was an Olympus D-380, a whopping two megapixel, and I recall it cost me a decent amount at Target.

Curiosity got the better of me.  I cleaned out some internal corrosion and popped in some fresh batteries.  It fired up nicely.  It takes a memory card the size of a floppy disc, so there was no way I could play the card in any contemporary device.  The camera came with its own software, on a CD.  I took my chances and plugged it in to my PC, to see if it would download.  It did!

Olympus still has a copy of the manual on its web site, but a lot of the operation came back to me.  This is a fun and easy to use camera.

The above photo was taken just before Christmas in 2005.  It's the old Lackawanna County Stadium, with a temporary skating rink in right field.  The county did this for a couple of years, and it was rather popular.  New ownership.  New commissioners.  New stadium.  Real grass rather than artificial turf, and the rink is a distant memory.  Still, it was a nice thing to do, and it was a decent break from our area's long, cold and boring winters.

Kep in mind, these were not the first photographs with the first camera.  They are the last photographs still on the card of my first camera.

The card didn't contain many photographs.  There are a few others of interest, and look for those on the Fridays to come.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Once Upon a Time...

Skycam 16/WNEP
If you grew up in the mid valley of Lackawanna County, Specialty Records in Olyphant was the cat's pajamas.  If you got a job there right out of high school, you were set.  You made it.

Decent pay.  Decent benefits.  Stability.

The company transitioned nicely from vinyl to dvd's and cd's.

New owners, several times.  Digital media and downloads emerged.  The market for its products evaporated.  Layoffs.  Out of business.  Empty.

Hundreds, including some friends, lost their jobs.

The big plant on the hill in Olyphant is coming down.  Sad, but times change.

With any luck, a new business will be established here and we'll put people back to work.  Unfortunately, nothing will match Specialty Records in the hearts and minds of those in the mid valley.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Media Notes

Les Crystal died last month.  85.  He ran NBC News, and later NewsHour on PBS.  He was the guy in charge when the broadcast went to 60 minutes.  ABC, CBS and NBC have been talking about going to an hour for years, although the project is now on the back burner.  It makes so much sense.  Unfortunately, the local stations around the country are hesitant to give 30 minutes back to the network.  They all should revisit the idea.  The time is ripe.

FOX is getting out of the golf business, turning over its USGA contract to NBC.  Mixed feelings on this one.  NBC does a nice job, but it's nothing I would call outstanding.  FOX tried to innovate.  Some things worked.  Others flopped.  With only a couple of tournaments a year, FOX was never really able to find its footing.

Many all news and news/talk radio stations saw a nice bump in listenership when the pandemic hit.  Recent surveys show things have returned to normal.  It's nice to know people know where to turn when they need to learn something.  It's sad the bump didn't last longer.  Some radio stations really rose to the occasion.

It's sad to say, but some of the best stuff on radio, you have to pay for.  I hate saying that because I grew up in and am a believer in live and local.

Carl Reiner died last week.  98.  He is perhaps best known for creating "The Dick van Dyke Show."  He also had a role as Dick's boss, Alan Brady.  I can't say I was a fan of the show.  I was too young to get its humor during its original run.  Reruns never really worked for me.  Dick's wife and son whined a bit too much.  Morey Amsterday made the same bald jokes to Richard Deacon every week.  It just wasn't my thing.  That doesn't dimish Reiner's contribution to comedy.  The movies and TV shows, including dramas are too long to list here, but here is why I loved Carl Reiner.  He was the ultimate talk show guest.  He was warm and charming, and he had the best old showbiz stories to share.  I could listen to him for hours.  The word "legend" is overused.  Not here.

Hugh Downs also died last week.  He had that rare gift of a combination of incredible gravitas and spectacular warmth.  99.  "Today," "Tonight" "Concentration" "20/20."  He loved science and contributed to ABC's coverage of the early shuttle missions.  A broadcaster's broadcaster.  Another legend.

American Top 40 turned 50 on Independence Day.  It started with all of nine stations and grew into a major hit.  I caught a little of that first show's replay this past weekend on satellite radio.  Host with great pipes, the top music in the country, big hit.  As I've said here before, it might have been the best produced show in radio.

The Howard Stern movie, "Private Parts" was on television recently.  Of course, I watch it on two levels-- for the story and for the radio stuff.  I'm happy to say the movie gets most, but not all,  of the radio things right.  Plus, it's just an interesting story.

ESPN Radio announced yesterday it's blowing up its line-up.  I found it unappealing before and the changes do nothing for me.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020


Bill Cullen died 30 years ago today.

The man was a genius-- hosting dozens of game shows over the years, appearing as a panelist on countless others.  Lightning fast wit.  He had fun, but never at the expense of a contestant.  He had a charm that made people feel at ease, and that includes viewers.

Pyramid host Dick Clark paid Bill Cullen the ultimate compliment when he said the only time he became nervous behind the Pyramid podium was when Bill Cullen was a guest, because he was so good.

Fellow game show host Peter Marshall said Cullen's skills kept shows on the air that should have been canceled long ago.

Like all the great ones, Bill Cullen made it look easy.  In April of 1980, Allen Ludden was in the hospital and Cullen stepped in to host "Password Plus" for a month.  He did a great job and ran the show flawlessly.

Bill Cullen was also able to draw a big audience on New York City radio.

I won't go in to a lot of history here.  You can read it on the internet.  I just thought I'd mention it because we should remember one of the industry's giants.

Monday, July 6, 2020

There's Something About Meri

It's a visit to the Follow Up File today!

One of the reasons I love doing the blog, and keep doing the blog is it occasionally inspires something that knocks my socks off.

Case in point, last week.

I opened up my email to find a note from Meri Morrow.  I met Meri when I was working down the street and she was working for a television station in Elmira.  We were both covering a trial in Towanda in the mid 90's

As we were all standing in front of the courthouse, her photographer whispered to me, "That's Cousin Brucie's daughter."  I lost my stuff.  I've always been a radio freak, and even today, I listen to radio much more than I watch television.  Cousin Brucie was a legendary New York DJ, with very successful stints on WABC and WNBC.  He still can be heard on the Sirus/XM 60's channel.  Bruce Morrow has raised millions for charity over the decades.  Big voice.  Big personality.  Huge following.

I told Meri how much I loved her dad, and I even read his book.  Meri could not have been more kind and gracious.  She added that there is a picture of her in the book, as a two year old.  That family picture is below.
Meri recently stumbled across a blog entry I wrote nine years ago, telling the story of our meeting in Towanda, and how encountering a radio legend's daughter kicked off a rare episode of "starstruck" for me.

She had a long career in radio and television, and is now married and living in Florida.

Even though it was email rather than face to face, it was still a thrill communicating with Cousin Brucie's daughter, and a nice individual in her own right.

Meri, thank you.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Andy's Angles: St. Casimir

I was playing around with my camera on the campus of Marywood University, my alma mater, last month.

By the way, I never know what to call the place.  It was Marywood College when I was there.  That's what my diploma says.

I've always liked this often overlooked statue of St. Casimir, and I used it to work on my depth of field skills.  Statue in focus, background blurred.  Bokeh, as the Japanese call it.

As I told a friend, next time, I'll park my car somewhere else.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Andy's Angles: Towers

I've been experimenting with the slow shutter speed thing for a while now, and it's always a pleasant surprise to see how well radio and tv towers show up.

This shot looks north on Route 315 at the Pittston Exit. Interstate 81 is on my left. The ginormous business park is on my right.

As you can see, there is a radio tower off to my right, near the turnpike and behind the old hotel.

There are more radio and TV towers in the Scranton area on top of the mountain at the far left.  I shot this with a prime lens, known for letting in a lot of light.  This photo is proof of that.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Andy's Angles: Andy's Angles

Someone who recently discovered the blog asked me about the weekend photography and the name "Andy's Angles."

It's the first weekend of the second half of the year, and it has been a while since I've offered an explanation, so here goes.

I originally started doing photographs on weekends as a sort of Hamburger Helper-- a way to stretch out resources so I wouldn't have to come up with something thoughtful every day.  It was also a nice way to have a place to show off my photography hobby.

The original headings were "Bad Photography Weekend, "Bad Photography Saturday," and "Bad Photography Sunday."  It fit.  Most of the pictures weren't very good, but I have improved, just a little,  over the years.

One day, several months ago, co-worker Mindi Ramsey was taking a look, and said the name had to go because the photographs weren't bad at all.  I punted the ball back to her and asked for a new name.  Mindi came up with "Andy's Angles," and the rest is history.

I hope you enjoy them.

Some have suggested more cross pollinating between the blog, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for increased exposure, pardon the photographic pun.  While I have done a limited amount of that, especially during a recent week off,  I prefer to keep them separate.  The blog is the oldest and biggest pig in the litter, and it gets priority, even though there can be a wider reach on other platforms.

I've been watching plenty of YouTube videos, trying to get better.  There are a few new lenses in my bag to help with creativity.  I'm thinking more about composure.  Some videos offer contradictory advice.  One guy hates kit lenses.  Another says they're fine.  There is "manual" shaming, like it's a major sin to let your camera handle some of the settings.  Even the pros tweak in post production.  I keep that to a minimum.  I do crop on occasion, a little straightening, and the rare color adjustment.  For the most part, what you see here is exactly what I shot.

There has been plenty of curiosity and experimenting.  Some things have worked.  Others haven't.  Just about everything inspires me to keep trying.

A photograph doesn't have to be great to make you happy.  Better gear doesn't make you a better photographer.  Most of the comments have been positive.  Thank you.  Some have been critical.  Thank you for that, too.  I learn from your critiques and suggestions.

Also, this will be the 11th year for my year end "Top Ten" photo review.  I put aside favorites during the year and usually assemble them around Thanksgiving.  It gives me something to do while the turkey is in the oven, and it's material for when things slow down toward the end of the year.

More photos are on the way for the weekend.  As always, thank you for stopping by.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

The Big Bang Theory

If I have a least favorite holiday, it's Independence Day.  It's hot and noisy, sticky and humid.  Did I say it was noisy?

A network radio talk show guy a few years ago called Independence Day the "holiday of bad choices."  Invariably, there are fireworks accidents, auto crashes, swimming accidents, grill fires and camp fires that grow out of control, sunburns, and problems caused by too much drinking...  The list is endless.

There is a growing call to roll back the legalization of fireworks.  It cuts across party lines.  Mayors hate the complaints.  It ties up police departments.  It's more work for fire departments.  Pet owners hate it.  Having said all that, I'd be shocked if it happened.  Follow the money.

On top of that, if there is a holiday where the true meaning of the day gets lost in all the hoopla, this is it.

It's been a bad year and we can all use a break, a chance to be good to ourselves and our families.

Please, do it safely, sanely, and quietly.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Andy's Angles: About the Cover

This month's blog header features Gen. Thaddeus Kosciuszko.

Long story short:  He was a Polish general who helped the colonists win the Revolutionary War.  This is the month we celebrate Independence Day.  It makes sense.

I have mixed feelings on today's picture of  the general's statue on the Spruce Street side of Courthouse Square.  The statue is dwarfed by the tall clock tower.  On the other hand, it's possible to appreciate both the statue and the courthouse architecture.

However, I really do like the header shot.

I deliberately kept in some of the courthouse, trees, and flag.  There were clean shots of the general and the sky, but I liked the other items.  It gives the shot a little more depth, dimension, and visual interest.

Read up on the general.  Fascinating story.