Monday, August 31, 2020

Overly Optimistic

I saw it in the dollar store the other morning, and I couldn't resist.  Four months early, I bought a 2021 calendar.  It was the kind I like, the kind I've purchased the last few years-- simple design, big print.

For a while, calendar shopping was a ritual for New Year's Day, or sometime during the first week of a new year. There are some beautiful calendars at the mall kiosks, but they are expensive, even with the discount that comes in the new year.

Dollar store calendars are good enough for me.

Of course, all I have to do is make it in to the new year.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Andy's Angles: Fashion Mall

I will admit that I'm like a little kid with the slow shutter speed thing.  I can't do it enough!

A Facebook friend recently suggested the Fashion Mall on Route 6 in Dickson City as a great place, and a safe place, to get some shots.  He showed me some nice ones of cars and trucks heading east and going up the hill.

As luck would have it, there wasn't much traffic during my recent 4 am visit, so I shot down the hill, looking toward the city of Scranton and Interstate 81.  This is an un-cropped photo. The Viewmont Mall parking lot is off to the left.  The Fashion Mall's guardrail is on the right.  The cars crossing lanes are turning into the Summit Pointe apartment complex.

You can't see it here, but Interstate 81 is crossing the picture, just above the overexposed road sign.  I hoped to get some Interstate 81 streaks, but it wasn't happening.

The shot above is cropped a bit, with a lot more traffic heading west toward Scranton.

This was done with a 40 mm prime lens.  Very sharp and forgiving.

I especially like how you can see the red lights of the TV towers in Hanover Township at the upper right, and that has to be at least 25 miles away.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Andy's Angles: The Scene of the Crime

It has been said the killer always returns to the scene of the crime.  Guilty as charged!

This is where I made my first attempt at slow shutter speed photography.  It's the Scranton side of the Viewmont Mall parking lot, looking down over Interstate 81 and the Central Scranton Expressway.  81 runs left to right.  The expressway is top to bottom.

The second photo is that first experiment, in late January.

Clearly, there are differences.  The January image was shot with a 24 mm lens, and it's much wider than the recent effort, with a 40 mm lens.

Neither shot is perfect.  Each has its plusses and minuses.  I do like the wider shot, where you can see more of the light trails on the expressway.  On the other hand, there is less dead space in the tighter view.  also, foreground weeds are eliminated.

Like many photography techniques, it's easy to do on a passable level, but difficult to do well.  I promise to keep trying.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Andy's Angles: Dwindling Days

A summer photo as we head in to the last weekend of August, and the last weekend of meteorological summer...

This is the Lackawanna River at South Laurel Street in Jermyn.

I didn't have a lot of time to take some shots, but I really felt the itch to get out.

My objective was another of those fast shutter speed versus slow shutter speed comparisons.  Two things didn't go my way.  It's been dry.  The river was running low and slow.  There wasn't any motion of the water to capture quickly, or slow down.  Second, it was a bright and sunny day.  When I slowed down the shutter speed, the photo became over exposed.  I tried to knock it down.  Nothing worked.  I tried different lenses, choking down the aperture as far as it would go.  The photos were still too bright.

As I see it, there are two avenues.  I can invest in some filters.  More likely, I can work on my metering skills to get a better handle on underexposure.

Regardless, it was a beautiful day along the river and it was nice to see so many people using the Heritage Trail-- biking, jogging, walking, and exercising their dogs.  That trail is a great asset and I look forward to when the gaps will be filled in.

Thursday, August 27, 2020


Today is the 8th anniversary of one of the best decisions I ever made.  I bought a bicycle on last Thursday of August, 2012.

After months of deliberations, I decided to take the plunge.  Having experienced horrible customer service at a big box sporting goods store, I walked in to a specialty shop in south Scranton.  That's where I told the employees what I wanted, and what I wanted to do with it.  They wheeled out a model I liked.  The credit card came out, and the bike was in the back of my SUV within minutes.

That first ride, when I got home was unforgettable.  It was a blazingly hot and humid afternoon.  I was severely out of shape, and I learned never to ride on a full stomach.  My stomach emptied as I got home, and I won't go in to those disgusting details.

I'm happy so many people started biking during the current situation, and I'm sorry bikes are tough to find.  It's a great activity, and it's going to get even better with more trails being developed.

I'm a street rider, albeit at off peak hours.  Yes, I do ride in a reflective vest, and I do have a very powerful headlight Joe Snedeker gave me a few years back.

If you're on the fence about getting a bike, I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020


This is a fascinating week for weather watchers.  I thought I knew most of the basics, but I had some new questions.  Thankfully, I work with pros like Valerie Smock and Ally Gallo.

I was interested as to how Marco and Laura could hit the same general area, at nearly the same time, and move in different directions once they encounter land.

Valerie and Ally explained how upper level winds work, and how steering conditions can rapidly change.  It was a new one on me, and apparently a lot of others.  Situations like this are rare and we should be thankful for that.

Forecasting technology has improved, so people living in Texas, Louisiana and Alabama had plenty of time to prepare, and get out of the storm's path.  It's still not perfect, and the updates every few hours provide new pieces of information.

We could see the remnants of Laura in our area this weekend.  The storm will have lost it punch  by then, and we can use the rain.

That's one of the odd things about weather.  Misery down south.  A benefit to the north.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020


I can't remember the last time I sliced open a grapefruit, but when I see grapefruit flavored soda, seltzer, candy, even lip balm, I'm buying it.

It seems like any time I stumble past the Food network, it's some competition show or "Diners, Drive Ins and Dives."  Speaking of which, every episode looks the same to me.  Anyway, there is a show called "Girl Meets Farm."  I like it.  Molly Yeh makes things average people eat.

As I've noted here before, David Portnoy's One Bite pizza reviews have grown on me.  I wish Portnoy would be a little more descriptive.  He does spend enough time on location and atmosphere.  I'd like to learn more on what makes a pizza good or bad.

Is is just me, or are the fast food chains advertising more these days?    As an employee of an advertiser supported medium, I'm not complaining.  People do seem to rely more on take-out these days, and the chains are seeking their slice of the pie.  Pardon the food pun.

On Friday, Newswatch 16 did a story on a new supermarket soon to open in Moosic.  It's great to see an old KMart store receive new life.  Competition makes everyone stronger.

It's pumpkin spice season, not one of my favorite flavors.  I see there is now a pumpkin spice hard seltzer.  I don't anticipate that one making its way in to my cart.

McDonald's is rolling out spicy chicken nuggets next month.  This is something I have to try.

Monday, August 24, 2020


No, not yet.  But, I do have a week off right after Labor Day.  More on that in the weeks to come.

I do have a few friends, getting in their last time off before the end of the month, and the end of summer.  Most head for the beach.

I haven't been to the jersey shore in decades, and I have no plan of heading that way any time soon.  Several people I work with, and friends outside of work, love it.

I'm sure it has some advantages-- and the pictures do look nice.

I hate crowds and noise, even before the current situation, so the shore is out.

Back when I was getting away more often, I was content with a long, slow drive to Erie on Route 6, one of America's great roads.  I'd get a downtown hotel room, sit on a bench, and watch the lake.

Another destination was Baltimore.  Always plenty to do.  Plus, I'd visit friends in the Harrisburg area on the way back.  Let's just say Charm City isn't what it used to be.

I'm simply happy sleeping, riding my bike and playing with my camera.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Andy's Angles: Jason Miller

Everybody has an opinion on this one.  It's the bust of Jason Miller on Courthouse Square in downtown Scranton.

Actor Paul Sorvino did it.  Does it look like Miller?  Yeah, a little.

Should it be on the square, where the rest of the monuments are dedicated to history and things military?

Mixed feelings.  Miller lived downtown, and that's the center of the arts scene.

Where else would you put it?  University of Scranton, Cultural Center, Everhart Museum at Nay Aug Park?  Miller was a U of S student.

The initial grumbling over the placement has died down, and the bust seems to work here.  Let it be.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Andy's Angles: Portraiture and Statues

You can find these two on the campus of the University of Scranton.

Again, not close to what I would consider a perfect shot.  It's a little hot, and I cropped it to get a bench out of the frame.  I should have upped the shutter speed so less light hit the sensor.

Statues in focus.

Background out of focus.

If I can do it...

Friday, August 21, 2020

Andy's Angles: Peanut at Two

Peanut has been a companion for two years now.

We found her in the driveway after being mauled by a dog.  She was nursed back to health and has turned out to be a great cat.

By the way, the name "Peanut" came from the fact that she was so small when we found her.

Yes, I still have Nathan, and he is rather aloof.  I can't get a good picture of him.

Peanut is one of those cats who hates to see you leave, and is happy to see you come home, and barges in the bathroom because she likes the attention.

I'm sorry she had a rough early life, but I'm happy I have her.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Business Thursday

Several published reports over the past couple of days say Payless is making a comback, 14 months after it went out of business.  There are plans to open as many as 500 new stores.

Payless had a lot wrong with it, including a lot of debt and bad management.  On the other hand, it did seem to have a decent share of the budget shoe market.  There is plenty of competition-- especially from the big box stores.

It's a case of viewing opportunity during the current world situation.  Managers say there is an increasing need for value based footwear.

It will be interesting to see if it works, and what locations the company chooses.  Payless was stuck with some bad mall locations.  You can get mall space cheap now, but I'm really not sure anyone would want it.  Malls depend on big anchor stores to drive traffic, and some big department stores are in serious trouble.  The dominoes started to tumble, even before things went south in March.

Speaking of malls, there are tons of "dead mall" videos on You Tube, and I stumbled across a new batch from a different creator this week.  The guy is based in Baltimore, so he's visited several malls in Maryland and central Pennsylvania I know rather well.  The video quality is really good and the pieces are well researched.

As I have noted here before, I grew up at a time when malls were cool and visiting one, especially out of town, was a real treat.  Yes, times change, but seeing some malls empty and others bulldozed makes me sad.

Pizza, on the other hand, makes me happy.  A man who owns 300 Pizza Hut restaurants is bankrupt and the restaurants are closing.  Pizza Hut is caught up in the shift brought on by the current world situation.  Dine-in is out.  Take out and delivery are in.

You rarely hear "Pizza Hut" discussed as one of the country's great pizzas.  Still, it does fill a need.

Like Payless, it will be interesting to see if the morphed company can survive.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Media Wednesday

ESPN picked Steve Levy, Brian Griese and Louis Riddick for its new Monday Night Football booth.  I really haven't heard enough of these guys doing college football to render an opinion.  However, a couple of national radio talk show hosts, whose opinions I trust, gave it the green light.  I am keeping my "wait and see" attitude.  Given the current state of affairs, it could be a while before we hear them in action.

We have another Cousin Brucie update this morning.  As has been noted here before, the WABC and WNBC legend left his Shows on Sirius/XM radio.  He's moving back to WABC, a talk station, for a Saturday night dance party show.  Interesting move.  It appears the new WABC owner is trying to do something with the place, now at the bottom of the ratings heap.

I used to love watching political conventions, mainly for the way TV covered it.  Conventions, election nights and a select few other big events are the equivalent of the Super Bowl when it comes to TV news.  There was always some good leg work and investigative reporting, great competition for nuggest of information.  The night Gerald Ford almost agreed to be Ronald Reagan's vice presidential candidate was one of the greatest nights in the history of the business.  Now?  Endless commentary-- much of it mean and uninformed.  Heat, not light.

Outside of the ugly colors on nice graphics, "Quick Pitch" on MLB Newtowk remains one of the best sports shows on television.  News.  Highlights.  No nonsense.  Bravo!  We need more of that.

WGN has hired Dean Reynolds as a national political correspondent.  Reynolds has spent decades on the air with CNN, ABC and CBS.  He's always produced exceptionally solid work.

Radio networks, cable TV channels and newspapers are devoting more time and space to sports gambling.  I know it's legal in a lot of places now.  I still haven't become used to it.  As a non gambler, it's only mildly interesting-- at best.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Light's Out!

A lot of things have surprised me this year.  The list includes how unprepared the world was for the current situation, how quickly the supply chain breaks down, how store shelves can go from filled to empty in a matter of minutes, the speed in which the economy can crumble...

Something this weekend really made me shake my head.  Southern California is in the midst of a major heat wave.  The electric company instituted rolling blackouts to keep the system from collapsing under the weight of all those air conditioners.

Are you kidding me?  It's 2020-- and the grid is that fragile?

We nearly had a similar situation here several years ago.  The New York City grid collapsed and the blackout was heading west toward Pennsylvania.  We were lucky in that an alert PPL employee saw the dominoes tumbling and disconnected the state from the grid.  It's not difficult to imagine the same thing happening again.

I do remember rolling blackouts around here.  If memory serves, it was in the early 90's and our area was in the middle of an exceptional cold snap.  The system couldn't support the heat and light requirements.  There was temporary suffering to prevent wide spread misery.

It's a chiche, but this is important stuff.  I lost power for about three hours during Isaias a few weeks ago.  It had nothing to do with the storm.  Blame this one on a negligent truck driver who took out power lines and a transformer.  Phone charges were depleted.  No router, no internet.  No computer.  Luckily, I have a land line telephone and it still worked.

The bottom line on this is we deserve better from our monopolies.

Monday, August 17, 2020

The Penalty Box

The great Tom Snyder used to say that sooner or later, the door of the penalty box always swings open.

It appears to be Bill O'Reilly's turn.  FOX News dumped him after some serious and disturbing allegations regarding the mistreatment of staffers.

The O'Reilly road to redemption goes like this.  He started a 15 minute radio show a while back.  It goes along with the video and podcasts on his web site.

And there's more.  O'Reilly is due to start a daily radio show on New York's WABC this fall.  You know syndicators, networks and other radio stations will keep a close eye on the ratings.  I smell an expansion in the future.

Bill O'Reilly had a daily two hour radio show for several years.  Unfortunately, it was scheduled against Rush Limbaugh and the show never really gained a lot of traction.  O'Reilly gave it up to concentrate on his nightly television show.

I don't want to sound insensitive, but Rush Limbaugh is battling cancer.  So far, he looks and sounds fine, and I hope his fight is successful.  Still, there are a lot of stations there looking to the future.

Is Bill O'Reilly that future?  Will advertisers buy time on his show?

Regardless of how well he does on WABC, he will always be under a cloud.

Will America require Bill O'Reilly spend more time in the penalty box?

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Andy's Angles: Light Trails and the Location

This is another Interstate 81 light streak shot, taken the same day and time as the one you saw yesterday.

This one made me chuckle a bit when I saw it blown up.  Take a close look at the red streak taking a swerve toward the top right of the photo.  Apparently, we had a driver who didn't know whether to bear right and stay on 81, or go straight, toward the 84/380 junction.

I like doing the slow shutter speed thing, but it's tough find a place with a good line of sight.  There are fences lining most highway overpasses these days, and that's a good thing.  It's also difficult to find a place where you can shoot safely.

I'm on the O'Neil Highway in Dunmore, looking over Interstate 81.  There is no fence here.  There should be.  I donned my reflective vest and snapped off a few shots.  Admittedly, it wasn't the safest place in the world, but there wasn't much traffic at 4 am.

I got what I was looking for,  and took off.  The shots could have been composed a little better, but I didn't want to be overly risky and spend a lot of time out there.

I'm always scouting for interesting, yet safe locations.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Andy's Angles: Light Trails and the Gear

Jeez o'Pete, I promised to tell the story behind this one weeks ago, and I'm sorry it's taken me so long.

The scene:  the O'Neil Highway, over Interstate 81 in Dunmore.  The headlights are 81 north.  The tail lights are south.

I've already noted that better equipment doesn't make you a better photographer, and I still have a lot left to learn.

This was my first time out with a new 40 mm lens.  I have a 50.  It's great for tight stuff.  My 24 is a wonderful wide angle lens.  I wanted something a little closer to the middle.  The 40 was on sale, and it was in my hands two days after I ordered it.

You might ask, why didn't I just use the kit lens with the zoom?  First, prime lenses are better in low light, and because they don't zoom, they inspire you to be more creative.  You have to think more about position and framing.  Yes, I need work there, too.

It worked pretty well.  By the time you're reading this, I will have tried to do more things with it, and you'll get an update.

Friday, August 14, 2020

More Memories

Above is another picture of Jen and I, taken, I think, a year after the one I posted yesterday.

You have to remember, WYDC was a station that didn't do much live TV when I freelanced there.  This was new territory for most of them, and they adapted well, picking up fast. I was brought in because I was an old hand at this sort of thing.  Teacher and "talent."  I hate that word.
Above are some control room and editing area shots.

It was a young staff, and teaching them the ins and outs was more fun that being out in the street and going in front of the camera.  Good people.

The bottom photo is Bill, the owner, now Bill, the former owner.  I really owe him for opportunities he threw my way here in town and in Corning.  Bill has relocated to Florida.  We're still in touch and I value the friendship.

Other than Bill and Jen, I've lost touch with most of the others I worked with in Corning.  If you're reading this, drop me a line, and thank you for all you've done for me.  I will always remember the social gatherings after we wrapped for the night.

Sadly, Corning gave up on Race Fever several years ago.  I don't know what went in to the decision, but it sounds like a mistake to me.  As you can see below, it was quite popular.

I know Scranton and Stroudsburg tied similar things, tied in with Pocono, with moderate success, and I'm being kind.

If the world ever returns to normal, I'd really like to see Corning, Stroudsburg and Scranton try it again.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Race Fever Memories

I've done a lot in broadcasting over the last forty years.  One of my favorites was a freelance assignment for WYDC TV in Corning, and it used to happen every year at this time.

Corning has a very savvy downtown promotion arm.  Downtown is referred to as the Gaffer District.  Every year, on the Thursday before the NASCAR race at Watkins Glen, Market Street would close.  Food tents and trucks could come in.  There would be a few NASCAR cars and their drivers, vendors, music, entertainment, etc.  It was fabulous fun.

The Corning TV station would hire me to do live and taped little cut ins throughout the evening.  WYDC has its offices right in the middle of Market Street and we would just run cables out the front door.

What helps me remember is the annual Persied meteor shower always took place during Race Fever night.  Plus, it was always blazingly hot.  This is Persied week.
That's Sterling Marlin and I.  I'm not sure of the year this was taken, but it had to be the late 90's or early 00's.  He made yearly appearances and was always unfailingly polite and professional.  I loved talking with him.
I've encountered a lot of athletes over the years and NASCAR drivers were always the most open and accessible.

Of course, television is a team effort.  Above is a photo of producer and photographer Jen.  This is the woman who really helped make things happen.  I would blow in to town the day before Race Fever and everything would be ready to go-- our broadcast times, information packets, suggested topics.  I think Jen had the answer to everything I ever asked.

Jen is still in radio and television in the Ithaca and Corning areas.  She's started a family and we are still in touch.

More memories tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

In the Tick of Time

To be brutally honest with you, I didn't notice.

KYW 1060, the all news station in Philadelphia, stopped using the teletype sound effect behind its broadcasts.

Yes, sad in a way.  The end of an era.

On the other hand, it was time.  The "sound" came from a machine, like the one pictured above.  The wire services started phasing out machines like that in the late 70's, maybe even a little sooner.

We had a teletype, very similar to this one, when I arrived at Marywood's radio station, WVMW in 1979.  Let me tell you something.  For a radio junkie and a news junkie, it was sheer magic-- a non stop parade of the latest news and sports from around the planet.  You could stand there for hours and read the dispatches.  Now, you pick and choose what you read, and further select what you want to print.  In the old days, these machines spit out EVERYTHING!

Little bells went off when something big happened.  It was three dings for an "urgent."  A "bulletin" warranted five.  A "flash" was ten bells.  I was never around for one of those, and I'm not complaining.  For the most part, they were bad things.

You always have to remember the time.  CNN was just a plan.  We did have an all news station based in Wilkes-Barre, but it was on the way out.  Al Gore had yet to invent the internet.  You had to wait for one newspaper to show up at your door in the morning, and another one in the afternoon.  Archaic.

There were issues.  The teletypes ate up big boxes of paper, and they chewed up ribbons.  Plus, those ribbons were a bear to change.  You can always tell when someone at WVMW changed the ribbon because their hands would be covered in ink.

We had a newer, and less noisy, model, when I arrived at WARM 590 in 1981.  The ribbon was still a challenge, but we had a pair of rubber dishwashing gloves in the newsroom for people attempting the task.

I envy the new people in the business because the technology is amazing.  But, I do feel sorry for them.  They never had the opportunity to experience the magic of a real teletype.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Media Tuesday

As we were close to wrapping up Newswatch 16 Sunday Morning on WNEP2, meteorologist Scott Stuccio walked in to the studio to say social media was popping with news of an earthquake centered in Sparta, North Carolina.  Our country experieces dozens of earthquakes every day, most too small to feel.  This was different.  It measured 5.1, and in an area that rarely gets moderate earthquakes.  Even though we didn't have much wiggle room, we rearranged some things to Scott and I would have some time to talk about it on the air.  Breaking news is why we're here.

I started hitting some big news web sites when I returned to the newsroom.  Many were slow, or asleep at the switch.

Imagine my glee when I got home and punched up the big radio blowtorch in Charlotte, WBT-AM.  I heard an actual live radio newscast and the quake was the lead story!  And this was a Sunday mornings, when many organizations are short staffed, if there is anyone in the newsroom at all.  Maybe there's hope for radio.

Speaking of radio, Rich Eisen's midday radio show is increasing its exposure.  It will be on a station in San Diego, and probably others, in the near future.  There is supposed to be a return to satellite radio, but the big news is the show will be on cable tv and the free part of the Peacock TV streaming service.  I enjoy Eisen's show.  The interviews are solid.  There's humor and it's not over the top.

"General Hospital" has returned to production and some game shows are soon to follow.  Outside of news, I really don't watch much television.  Still, it's nice to know there is some new product out there.

Interest in "Shark Week"...  zero.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Monday Scrapple

I enjoy the simplicity of a hard boiled egg.

Why do you find your printer cartridge exhausted as soon as you go to print something important?

I enjoy all news radio at any time of day, but I especially enjoy it during the overnight hours.

Times have changed.  I used to love to linger in the office supply big box store.  Now, I darted in, found what I needed, and darted out.

Hurricane Isaias left me relatively unscathed.  The ride home from work was a bit slower in the heavy rain.  I lost electricity for more than two hours at the height of the storm, but that was due to someone who didn't know how to operate his truck, not the weather.

I cannot figure out my recent fondness for the Rockwell font.

Shopping for bicycle and camera accessories can be addicting.

Reni Santoni died last week.  He was in a thousand things, like an Eskimo football player on TV's "The Odd Couple.," a weasely NBC executive in "The Late Shift" and a reasonable radio executive in "Private Parts."  Santoni improved everything he touched.

Speaking of "The Odd Couple," I have 200 cable channels.  Why isn't this classic airing on at least one?

How did America survive without the Sharpie?

More hot weather is in the forecast.  I'm ready for fall.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Andy's Angles: Poitraiture

As you know by now, I've been watching a lot of YouTube videos on photography.

A big concept is "bokeh."  It's a Japanese word for a sharp subject with a blurred background.  It's especially effective for a word the experts throw around a lot, "portraiture."

If you're a regular blog reader,  and by looking at the pictures over the years,  you know I don't work with people.  I'm sure I could scare up a model or two, but statues are always there and they don't charge for their time.

I took this one in mid June, at the University of Scranton.

Mission accomplished, partially.

I got great background blur, which is what I was looking for.

Unfortunately, I should have backed off a bit and closed the aperture slightly and increased the shutter speed.  The photo is a little on the hot side.

Live and learn.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Andy's Angles: The River

This is the Susquehanna River from Riverside Park in Tunkhannock.

It was a hot, spring time day.  It had been dry for a few days, so the river was running low.

That didn't stop some kayakers from traveling down the river.  Unfortunately, they were out of my range by the time I parked, got the camera out of the bag, and twisted on my lens.

This is the downstream view.

Tunkhannock is lucky.  It's turned the Susquehanna in to an amazing asset.

Friday, August 7, 2020

Andy's Angles: The Last of 2005

Long story short-- on the last few Fridays, I've been posting photos I took in 2005, with my first digital camera, an Olympus D-380, two megapixel.  Why now?  No great reason-- only that I just recently rediscovered the camera in a box of stuff.  It still works.

This is one of those attempts at shooting to infinity.  It's a snow covered pedestrian bridge over the Lackawanna River.  Peckville is at my back.  The Olyphant side is dead ahead.

It's far from a perfect shot, but I do like how the early morning sun shines through the railing and on to the snow.

I'm going to have to take out the Olympus one of these days and see what it can do.

Let's talk about brand loyalty.  I've had five digital cameras over the years.  The first was the Olympus.  I have a tiny Pentax that I throw in my work bag once in a while.  It's ten megapixel, which was awesome (and expensive) at the time.  I was never thrilled with the picture quality.

The other three have been Canons.  The first, I sold to Snedeker when I upgraded.  I still have the other two-- a Powershot S5IS and a Rebel T2i.  The Rebel does most of the heavy lifting these days.  By the way, Canon is now up to an T8i.  While the Bluetooth and wi fi capabilities interest me, I'm still happy with the 2.  The 6's and 7's have come way down in price.  I might grab one if I get a great deal.

The Powershot is something I keep with me if I happen to be out on a non photography expedition, and I want a camera close by, if I see something interesting.  It produces a solid product.

I was happy with the Olympus, and I don't recall what made me switch to the Canon.  I now have several Canon lenses, so I'm commited to the brand.

I think it's like the Android/iPhone thing.   You are either a Canon person or a Nikon person.

Be that as it may, that's the end of our Friday trips down Olympus memory lane.

Back to "today" tomorrow.

I've been taking a lot of photos lately, as I experiment with new lenses and skills.  I seriously have enough weekend material to last until the end of October.  I may force some of the extra to Fridays.  Who doesn't enjoy a three day weekend?

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Follow Up File: 24/7 and Insanity

Last month, I had an entry about doing the insanity of same thing over and over, and expecting a different result.  One of my favorite 24 hour mini marts cut back its hours when the pandemic hit and the county turned red.  I started driving by, at least once a week, when the county achieved green status.  Nothing.  Nothing.  More nothing.  Still closed.

Imagine my glee early Tuesday morning when I drove by, and the place was open all night!  If that wasn't enough, I saw through window that my favorite clerk was on duty.

I sped into the parking lot, masked up, grabbed my loyalty card and went inside.  The clerk and I exchanged pleasantries, catching up on the last four months.  She, the husband, and the family are all well and healthy.  That made me very happy.  It was good to see her-- and go inside the store.

The icing on the cake:  I had enough loyalty card points for a free soda.

Now, I don't feel so insane.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

About the Cover

I've featured a lot of this type of photo here in the past several months, but this is the first time it's appeared as a header.

I've long had a fascination with slow shutter speed photography.  Several months ago, I gave it a try.  Let's just say there has been limited success.  The basics are easy.  The rest, well, not so easy.

This is a shot of Interstate 81 in Dunmore, from the Reeves Street overpass.  The challenge here was to capture the streaks of car and truck headlights and tail lights, while not getting blasted by the overhead lights.

You can tell from the starburst pattern of the overheads, I had this one f-stopped down fairly severely.

It's far from a perfect shot.  It's awkward framing because I had to shoot around a protective fence.

I'll keep trying.

By the way, I changed the "name" font this month.  It's the same style used by one of my favorite television shows of all time, "NewsRadio."

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Bob Reynolds

I'll be brief.

Retired Newswatch 16 reporter Bob Reynolds died Sunday.  He was only 67.

Many, but not all of us, got in to the business, not because we wanted to be media stars.  We wanted to help people.  We wanted to do things that mattered.  We wanted to make a difference.

Bob Reynolds helped people.

Bob Reynolds mattered.

Bob Reynolds made a difference.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Media Monday

"Quick Pitch" on MLB Network has updated its graphics.  No problem.  The look is fine,  Unfoirtunately, the green and orange colors are hideous.  "Quick Pitch" remains one of the best shows on television.

By the way, the virtual fans FOX's baseball broadcasts are just plain creepy.  Stop it!  Stop it now!

The Emmy nominations are out.  Most of the shows are on streaming services.  My subscriptions:  zero, so I really don't care.  Who are these people?

It will be a long time before I get used to highlights with empty stadia.

Legendary DJ Cousin Brucie and the Sirius/XM 60's channel have gone in their seperate directions.  I don't know who is responsible, but this is not good.

July ratings show FOX News Channel had 10 of the 20 most popular programs on cable television.  Never underestimate the appeal of conservative leaning programming.

The Oakland A's have given up having an internet outlet as its flagship "radio station."  It's now found an AM station in Oakland, plus a network, to carry its games.

No matter how creative the broadcasts are, NHL and NBA games in a bubble creep me out.

Mike Francesa retired from WFAN in New York a couple of weeks ago.  I was never a regular listener, but I did enjoy his Sunday morning NFL show.  Francesa also did Sunday mornings on CBS Sports Radio when the pandemic hit, and it was a sobering dose of reality.

Howard Stern's contract is up at the end of the year.  Sirius/XM wants him to renew.  There's talk Sterm night go to a paid podcasting platform.  He's funny and entertaining, but not worth paying for, in my opinion.  He only does a few shows a month.

One of the reasons I will miss the political conventions this summer is the television networks were always trying to out-do each other in technology, and I loved to see the design of the anchor sky booths.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Andy's Angles: The Falls

This could have, and should have been a better photo.

This is Buttermilk Falls, in Falls, Wyoming County.

I was on my way to an appointment in mid June, so I didn't have much time to get the shot right, and clearly, I didn't.

My first attempt was with a fast shutter, but I deleted those.  It just didn't work.  The exposure was all wrong.

This is some slow shutter work, and the water at the upper right is milky, rather than choppy.

You can a little sun flare above the water and the trees at the right are way too hot.

I knew the good part of the falls was a fair distance away from the bridge and the road, so I used the kit lens, and I think I asked it to do a bit too much.

I'll be trying this one again down the road.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Andy's Angles: General George

Once again, a photo without much of a raison d'etre, but it was a practice session with the 50 mm lens and a try at some bokeh skills.

George Washington is in focus.  The Soldiers and Sailors monument, the trees, and the bank building have a little blur.

It's not what I would consider a great photo, but it accomplished what I set out to do.