Wednesday, March 31, 2021


It happened 40 years ago.  Interviewed at WARM 590 on the last day of March, hired on the first day of April, worked my first shift April 5th.

I've told you about that first job before.  Indulge me, on this 40th anniversary.  A college friend already working at WARM told me there was an opening for a Sunday morning person.  The shift was unofficially called the "God Squad."  I would start at 1 am, and play two hours of pre recorded music.  The next six hours would be a mix of religion shows and public affairs programming.  I jumped at the opportunity.  It was a foot in the door and a couple of dollars in my pocket.  As a college sophomore, I appreciated every nickel.  Plus, it was WARM-- the station I grew up with.  I was almost weak in the knees as I walked through the doors of the studio in Avoca for that interview.

There was another applicant.  The program director couldn't decide which one was best, so he hired us both and the plan was to alternate Sunday mornings.  As it turned out, he quit after about a month, so it was all mine!  That person continues to have a very successful career in academia.

One overnight a week eventually became two.  I kept that schedule for about a year.  College during the day, the college radio station a night or two a week, and WARM on weekends.  I gave up the weekend overnights when I moved to playing a little music on Saturday nights and handling a news shift once in a while.  There was an eventual transition in to full time news.

Minimum wage when I started was $ 3.35 an hour.  The WARM job paid $ 4.00 and I was in heaven.  It was gasoline money and hoagie money.  As I added more hours, it took care of clothes, college text books, and the occasional pizza.  Yes, things were much cheaper 40 years ago.

I told an upper classman about landing my first job, and he said the words that ring in my head to this day:  "You are now a paid professional."  Yes, I was paid.  Professional was a bit of a stretch.

My philosophy then is as it is now-- take whatever you're given, do it the best you can, and eventually, things take care of themselves.  I timed the shows and the filler music so they hit exactly on the hour and half hour.  The cabinet where we kept the reels of tape and lp's was always organized.  My logs were perfect.  I never forgot to do my transmitter readings.  Aside:  there were no computers, hard drives and downloads in 1981.  The shows were mailed in, on reels of tape or 33 1/3 lp's.  It was the stone age.

I stayed at WARM for 10.5 years.  There were bumps in the road.  Looking back, what seemed major at the time is all so trivial now.  It was great experience and I was thrilled to get it.  I can still hear the voices of Harry West, Ron Allen, Terry McNulty, Jerry Heller, Ray Magwyre, Kitch Loftus, Guy Randall, Tim Karlson, Steve St. John , Jim Gannon, John Hancock, Chris O'Brien, and Paul Minda in my head.  I learned from what they told me.  I learned even more from listening to how they did things on the air.

We had some notable part timers during my era-- Jim Emmel and Frank LaBar, to name a couple.  It was a kick to work with them.

There is one name I haven't mentioned.  Vince Sweeney.  Vince came on at 9 on Sunday mornings for a while, as my shift was ending.  I used to hang around to watch Vince do his show and shoot the bull.  He was the first person at WARM I got to know, and I'm thrilled to say we are still in touch a couple of times a week 40 years later.

I am luckier than I deserve to be.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021



Associated Press photo
I read where Hasbro is redesigning Monopoly money and the game's Community Chest cards.

I'm about to say something horrible, and please forgive me.

I don't like Monopoly.  I never have, even though a childhood friend adored it and we played it frequently when we were kids.

It's boring and it takes too long, and I can't figure out how it became an American staple.

The basics of the game remain the same, even though it will have an updated look.  It's time for a refresh.

The redesigned Monopoly should be in stores this fall.  You can have mine.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Season 3, Episode 8


Someone finally did it.  They put my favorite "WKRP" episode of all time on You Tube.

It's called "Baby, It's Cold Inside."  It deals with the heat going off in the WKRP offices and studio, and an unexpected visit from Mother Carlson.  That's Mrs. Carlson looking in the studio, catching Dr. Johnny Fever drinking while he's on the air.

I won't go through the whole thing, in case you haven't seen it.  This episode checked all the boxes-- creative, hilarious, and even touching.

My "WKRP" complaint during its five year run was unevenness.    Most episodes were fair, some were weak, and a select few were side splitting hilarious.  This one was great fun, but it has a couple of moments that might bring a tear to your eye.  You will think about this episode any time you see violets.

I'm glad I watched it the first time, and I'm even happier I had a chance to see it again.  It gets better with age.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Andy's Angles: Even Faster


Same camera, same kit lens, same location as yesterday, but framed a little differently.

There's another difference.  Yesterday's exposure time was 1/100th of a second.  The shot you see above is 1/1600th of a second.  The white water looks a little frothier, but really not much of a difference from yesterday's shot.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Andy's Angles: The Lackawanna


I had some time to kill on a recent morning, so, camera in hand, I headed to the Lackawanna River in Peckville.  There have been dozens of river shots here over the years, but this is the first from the Depot Street bridge in Peckville.  This shot looks upstream.

My goal on this morning was to work on skills involving slow and fast shutter speeds.  Clearly, what you see above was on the faster side, 1/1000th of a second.  The river was swollen a bit due to the snow melt and I wanted to capture the white water, every bubble and every ripple.

It's passable, but not great.  

More tomorrow.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Dick Stockton

It's nice to do an entry about a celebrity that's not an obituary.

 Dick Stockton announced his retirement yesterday. 78. NFL, MLB, NBA, NCAA, Boston Red Sox local radio and TV. He's earned it. It's time. Solid and dependable, you knew what you would get when you tuned in a Dick Stockton game. When FOX grabbed the NFC football package away from CBS more than 25 years ago, it bought instant credibility by hiring Pat Summerall and John Madden for its top team. Overlooke3d in that deal-- additional credibility insurance in the form of hiring Dick Stockton to head the second FOX team.

 He has a high energy delivery, but when Dick Stockton was behind the mic, the game was the star. He will be missed on Sunday afternoons.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

George Segal


George Segal died the other day.  Heart issues.  87.

He was in a lot of good stuff.  He was in a lot of mediocre stuff.  There was a common thread.  George Segal improved everything he was in.

I will always remember Segal with a big cigar in his mouth and a banjo on his lap.  He looked like a guy who would be amazing fun to hang out with.

I'm sorry he's gone.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Wednesday Scrapple


Barbara Rickles died last week.  Married to Don for more fifty years.  She was 84.

Canadian Pacific is buying Kansas City Southern Railway for $25 billion.  If approved, Canadian Pacific will run from Canada to Mexico.  That's huge.

I stumbled on a couple of great "Night Court" episodes.  Dan's plane crashes in the Arctic and an Eskimo tribe saves his life.  That was when the series was at its peak and there are few things funnier than that two-parter.

Some interesting upsets in the NCAA basketball tournament over the weekend.  I'm still not engaged.

There is yet another plan to put cameras in the Supreme Court.  Long overdue, but don't expect much.  Most of the arguments are rather dry.

Jeep is working on an electric Wrangler.  I'm intrigued.

I'm loving the spring temperatures.

Monday was the 43rd anniversary of getting my driver's license.  

Is there anything better than a good submarine sandwich?

42 years later, and I still get a strange feeling in my stomach at Three Mile Island anniversary time, which is almost here.

Bravo to Krispy Kreme for offering donuts to people who show their vaccination cards.  Now, all we need to do is get everyone vaccinated.

It's almost bicycle time!

Tuesday, March 23, 2021



I ran a story about a volcano in Iceland on Newswatch 16 Sunday Morning.  Great video of lava spewing from the top and then flowing down hill.

I can't look at, or think about, a volcano without going back to a night in May of 1980.  I was on the air at Marywood's radio station when Mount Saint Helens in Washington blew.

WVMW FM was a rock station at night, and your job was pretty much to play the hits and shut up.  I couldn't resist.  We had one of those old style teletypes in the newsroom.  Bells went off when something big happened.  Three dings for what was billed as an "urgent."  A "bulletin" triggered five bells and those pings were going off all night.

I did eruption updates between songs, probably angering people who tuned in for their rock.  I tried to keep them short and move on.  After all, a college radio station is a teaching tool, and I did learn a lot about breaking news that night.

There is a special magic to being in a newsroom when something big happens, even if the newsroom is in the basement of a library and it's the size of a closet.  It's a chance to have a front seat to history from thousands of miles away.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Glynn Lunney


There are times when our area disappoints me.  We worship bad and dreadfully unfunny sitcoms just because they were set in the area.  There are endless tributes to endless politicians, whose main claims to fame are the way they spent your money.

Glynn Lunney, an Old Forge native died Friday.  He was NASA flight director from the Apollo era in to the space shuttle program.  Lunney played a big role in the moon landings and in the rescue of Apollo 13.

As I was telling one of the young people on the staff, watching the space program in the 60's and 70's was a great time to be a kid.  It was fascinating.  There was great pride in American achievement, and we really needed it during the Vietnam War, assassinations, and unrest on the streets.

I remember a line from an Apollo 13 documentary.  It said our greatest success wasn't getting men to the moon.  It was getting them home.

We currently are pushing STEM, science, engineering, technology and mathematics at every opportunity.   Science has given us a life saving vaccine in record speed.

Let's celebrate the life and achievements of a man of science.   Send the message that science is important.

There should be a place on Courthouse Square in Scranton for Glynn Lunney.

He was 84.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Andy's Angles: Ghost


I will quickly admit there is no raison d'etre for today's photo.

I was playing around with the camera at the office around Christmas, and I don't know what I was trying to accomplish.

Clearly, it didn't work.

Saturday, March 20, 2021



I understand why it happened.  It makes me sad, nonetheless.

By the time you're reading this, the old fire house behind the Olyphant Municipal Building is gone.  The fire company moved out months ago.  The building was too small and too old to suit its needs.  I get that.

The borough decided parking is more important than history, so the demolition crew came in the week of the 8th and went to work.  I'm sure the building could have been renovated for another use, but that costs money, and money is scarce these days.  Again, I get that.  Parking is at a premium, especially spaces designated for the handicapped.

I was lucky to get there the morning of the 10th, before it was all gone.  I read where members of the hose company are working to preserve some things from the building, and that made me happy.

Enjoy those parking spaces, and remember what was there in the past.

Friday, March 19, 2021


 I try not to get involved in too many GOAT, or Greatest of All Time, debates here, but an article in the Thursday New York Post jumped out at me.

The writer called NBC's Al Michaels "arguably the greatest play by player of all time."

Let's pump the brakes here.

Yes, I'll put Michaels on my short list.  Great pipes and a very listenable high energy delivery.  As for the greatest, I'm still going for Pat Summerall of CBS and FOX.  Great voice.  A spare style.  Most importantly, he knew how to set up his color commentator.  That's huge and so few people really do it well.


ON a related note, the NFL now has a new, 11 year deal with the TV networks.  Other than the rights fees doubling, not much is new.  There are two exceptions.  Amazon gets Thursday Night Football and ABC gets two Super Bowls.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Media Notes


The Super Bowl was more than a month ago, and sports talk radio is still dominated by the NFL.  I will never cease to be amazed by the power of the league.

Tribune Publishing, owner of some big city newspapers, has been on shaky ground for years.    It appears to be more unstable than ever.  A group known for cost cutting is trying to take over.  A hotel chain owner might step in for a rescue.  This one will be fascinating.

A scary prediction from the NY Post this week-- the U.S. is heading toward a future of a very small number of newspapers of record.

ESPN has grabbed a share of the new NHL contract.  Leagues broadcast by ESPN get more SportsCenter time, so it's a good deal for the NHL.

The insurance commercial with the moon buggy and the Smokey Robinson song "Cruisin'" has become one of my favorites.

It's time to retire the insurance selling emu.  It was cute for about ten seconds.

Several big city radio stations have hired local hosts to replace the departed Rush Limbaugh.  It will be interesting to see (and hear) the choice of the national syndicator.  I'm reminded of what happened when Paul Harvey passed away.  Irreplaceable.   UPDATE:  It's Dan Bongino going into slot from a competing company.  Still no announcement from the company that syndicated Rush.  Big shoes to fill.

Record low ratings for the Grammys.  Let's face it.  Virtual awards shows just aren't interesting.

This is one of the worst weeks of the year for sports talk radio.  I don't care about your brackets.

Jay Leno hosts "You Bet Your Life" in the fall.  That's the old Groucho Marx show.  Buddy Hackett, Bill Cosby and Richard Dawson all tried revivals, and all failed.  I think Leno can do it, but I'm not betting the farm.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021



A while back, I wrote how I was intrigued by new things, but I usually don't pull the trigger to get the newest and the greatest.  My smartphone is several years old, and I still have a tube TV.

I did fall victim to one fad.  Charcoal.  I bought a charcoal infused tooth brush and charcoal toothpaste a couple of years ago.  They were average.  I didn't notice any difference in my appearance or dental health.  It wasn't bad stuff.  It just didn't do anything special.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am about to pronounce the charcoal fad officially over.  Here's how I know.  My local dollar store is filled with charcoal dental products.  Yes, the dollar store is where products that don't sell eventually end up.  It's better to sell it for practically nothing than store it in a warehouse somewhere.  As I learned a long time ago, a little bit of something is better than a lot of nothing.

And yes, I did buy some.  Can't go wrong for $1.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021



You might have noticed that I haven't written much about the pandemic in the last year.  I view the blog as a diversion, for me to write, and for you to read.  Today is an exception.

As the first anniversary passes, I'm reminded of something that happened as this thing started rolling.  The first cases started appearing in New York.  I wrote a story for our weekend morning news broadcasts that included the line "The coronavirus is closer than you think."  A viewer ripped me on social media for being overly dramatic.

How did that work out for you?

I wish I kept it, and I hope that person made it through the year happy and healthy.  The same goes for friends and relatives.

Monday, March 15, 2021



When you said "Gaynor," everyone knew who you were talking about.  He was State Representative Gaynor Cawley.  The retired public servant died Saturday at the age of 79.

We crossed paths a handful of times over the years.  One morning stands out.

It was January 1996.  We had snow and rain, and warm temperatures.  Flooding followed.  The Lackawanna River spilled over its banks.  Parts of Scranton, Cawley's district, got hit.  Hard.

I was on the anchor desk down the street on that Saturday morning.  It was a long and unscripted broadcast.  Representative Cawley phoned in, on the air, several times that morning.  He described the conditions, which were horrendous.  More importantly, and this is the mark of a true public servant, he was telling people where they could go for help.

My sympathy to Gaynor Cawley's family and friends-- and the thousands of constituents he helped over the years.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Andy's Angles: St. Luke's


Better living through science!

This is St. Luke's Episcopal Church on Wyoming Avenue in downtown Scranton.  It's one of my favorite buildings and it's been here before.

I will admit that I cheated on this one.  I Photoshopped an ugly light pole out of the left side of the shot.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Andy's Angles: George


This is the George Washington statue at Linden and North Washington on Courthouse Square in downtown Scranton.  It's the shot I intended to be this month's blog header, but I really liked the Scranton Times building and WEJL tower picture a lot better.  See the March 6 blog entry for more information.

George has a key light high atop one of the poles, but it was out when I took the photo.  The county really needs to re-think the Courthouse Square lighting.  The building is spectacular, but a little dark.  There should be a light on the clock tower and the lights that illuminate the walkways need to be brighter.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Family Feud


I cannot let the week pass without briefly touching on a recent high profile network interview.

Yes, some horrible things were said and done, on all sides.  Some of the allegations, if true, are inexcusable.  

Every family has its issues.  The "Norman Rockwell" ideal American, or British, family doesn't exist.

If there's a disagreement, you settle it quietly and internally.  If you can't settle it, you keep your distance for a while.  It happens all the time.

What is to be gained by going on television and inflicting even more hurt, throwing gasoline on the fire?

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Mario & Me


The Cuomo name has been in the news a lot lately, and it never fails to remind me of a brief encounter with then New York Governor Mario Cuomo.

It was 1992, and I was working down the street.  The new Binghamton Mets stadium was opening, and the station sent me to opening night.  A station from Rochester was sending a reporter to cover the opening as well because Rochester wanted a new minor league baseball stadium, and the reporter was supposed to ask Gov. Cuomo if the state could help.  Because we were affiliated with the same network, our satellite truck operator, our photographer, and I were supposed to help.

The governor arrived and was working his way through the crowd.  The Rochester reporter, a great guy, apparently didn't have much experience in being pushy with politicians.  He allowed himself to be boxed out by the crowd and couldn't get close to the governor.  he was trying to be polite and it wasn't working.  I grabbed his microphone, lunged toward Gov. Cuomo, got the microphone close, stuck it in his face, and asked how Rochester could get a new stadium.  I remember the response because it began with Cuomo saying Rochester should do what the people of the southern tier did--  come up with a feasible plan and present it to the state.  What stuck out was the way Cuomo said "tier."  In that New York accident, it came out "teeah."  There was no "R."

Governor Cuomo entered the stadium.  I handed the microphone back to the kid from Rochester.  He had his sound bite, and I had my brush with one of the biggest politicians on the national stage at the time.

The rest of my day was awful.  I've written about this part before, and I apologize if it's too "inside baseball."  The photographer, the satellite truck operator and I fed back two reports on the stadium's grand opening, one for the 5:30 pm broadcast and the other for the 6.  This was in the video tape days.  A curious intern back at the station decided to take a look, and she didn't put the tapes back in the proper "start" position.  When I tossed to the taped pieces, live from Binghamton, they weren't there.  Normally, I can ad lib my way out of a jam.  I guess I was startled by the screw up, and the live shot was a disaster.

The intern apologized when I returned to the station in Scranton that night.  I used it as a teaching moment and reminded her not to touch things that don't involve her.  At least, she fessed up to the mistake and that meant a lot.  It couldn't fix me looking like a fool in Binghamton, but tomorrow is another day.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Roger Mudd


courtesy:  History Channel
Roger Mudd, who died yesterday, always bothered me, not personally or professionally, but situationally.  I'll explain in a moment.

No one knew Washington better, and he was Walter Cronkite's main fill in on CBS for years.  When Cronkite retired, CBS chose Dan Rather for the anchor chair, to keep him from jumping to ABC.  Mudd, angry and hurt according to his book, resigned and went to NBC.

Here's what bothers me.  NBC management promised the "NBC Nightly News" anchor to chair to Mudd when John Chancellor retired, but a new set of managers wanted Tom Brokaw.  They agreed on a co-anchor format.  Brokaw in New York.  Mudd in Washington.  Perfect.  Brokaw was a star, coming off a successful stint at the "Today" show.  Mudd was the Washington expert, a hugely valuable resource.  In interviews that you can see on YouTube, both Mudd and Brokaw admit it was a poorly produced broadcast.  As a news producer myself, that's the part that really, really, really bothers me.  How do you screw that up?  This is network television.  You have two exceptionally competent individuals, and the broadcast founders. This could have worked, and it should have worked.   Mudd was dumped as co-anchor after 17 months.  He handled some other assignments at the network, including a forgettable magazine show called "1986,"  before going to PBS and the History Channel, teaching, and then retiring.

Roger Mudd might have been the right person at the wrong time.  In Brokaw's interview, he said Mudd was content to be the anchor welded to the desk, but the job was changing.  New technology allowed anchors to get in to the field more, and Mudd wasn't interested in that.  It had to be a big strike against him. He also seemed to eschew the showbizzy parts of television news, and that was a plus in my book.  Emphasize the pictures and the words.

You have to give the man his due-- a calm, steady and reassuring presence behind the anchor desk, and if there was a Washington story, Roger Mudd was the guy you wanted to do it.  He knew where the bodies were buried, and who threw the dirt on them.

I have to touch on Mudd's interview with then presidential candidate Ted Kennedy.  Mudd asked the simple question, "Why do you want to be president?"  Kennedy botched it badly, and his presidential campaign unraveled.  Note to young people and interviewers:  the basic questions are the best.

When the history of 60's, 70's, and 80's television is written, I fear Roger Mudd won't get enough space.  He deserves to be up there with the giants.

Roger Mudd was 93.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Book Review


What drew me to "Ticking Clock" repulsed me at the same time.

Former producer Ira Rosen wrote a book about the inner workings of "60 Minutes" on CBS and "PrimeTime LIVE" on ABC.  He worked for both.

There are fascinating chapters on how stories are investigated, shot, edited and aired.  There is also plenty of information on personalities, including Mike Wallace's mental illness, Harry Reasoner's drinking, Steve Kroft's horrible personal behavior, Katie Couric's shallowness, Diane Sawyer's backstabbing, Barbara Walters disingenuousness, and Chris Cuomo's destructive ego.

The Kroft item was especially graphic, and in fairness, it had been reported elsewhere.

There are those who come across as decent and professional-- Charles Gibson, Bill Whitaker, Bob Simon, Chris Wallace, and Lesley Stahl.

Charlie Rose falls in to both categories-- a great reporter and interviewer, but a bad man.

The same goes for "60 Minutes" creator Don Hewitt.  His misbehavior doesn't rise to Rose level. but he could have treated some people a lot better, and he shouldn't have turned a blind eye to abuses taking place in his offices.

There is enough here to keep the TV geeks happy, while still appealing to the general population because of its tabloidy aspects.

There is one chapter, toward the end, that deals with the personal and professional ends of some of the industry's giants.  Interesting?  Yes?  Depressing and sad?  Exceptionally.

While reading the book, I constantly had the feeling that newsroom confidentialities were being violated, and most of the people who took the most savage beatings are dead and can't defend themselves.

Major League Baseball clubhouses have a sign that reads "What you see here, what you say here, what you do here, STAYS HERE!"  There are many times I think the same signs should be in newsrooms.

That shower after I finished the last page sure felt good.

Monday, March 8, 2021

I Get to Vote!

 Yes, I get to vote in the May primary, sort of.

I'm an Independent, and because I am not a member of a party, I usually can't vote in primaries.  Pennsylvania has closed primaries, reserved for choosing party candidates for the November general election.  No party = no vote.  I've never been thrilled with the Pennsylvania system, but I do understand it.  Several states have open primaries.  They seem to work very nicely because it forces candidates to look beyond their base.  They have to entice the Independents to get elected.

There are exceptions to the Pennsylvania rules.  If there is a referendum on the May ballot, I can vote for that.  There is another exception.  Our friends at the Times~Tribune did an excellent story last week on the process that will choose a new state senator in the 22nd district.  The current occupant resigns today.  There is a special election to choose the successor, and I am eligible to vote.

I'll see you at the polls.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Andy's Angles: St. Peter's Cathedral


St. Peter's Cathedral in downtown Scranton has been here before, but I think this is the first night shot, and clearly the first with a long exposure.

The shutter was open for 15 seconds on this one.  I'm sure the experts have a word to describe it, but the light seems to take on a richer quality when you slow things down.

Another reason I like night photography is Scranton's ugly utility wires and poles disappear when it gets dark.

Saturday, March 6, 2021

About the Cover


This month's blog header is total serendipity.  I was in the neighborhood shooting what I intended to be the blog header when I snapped off a few extra, just for laughs.  It turns out, I liked this one much better.

This is the Scranton Times building and the WEJL tower at Penn and Spruce, shot from a block away, at Wyoming and Linden.

The top photo is an example of turning night in to day.  I took at at 3:45 AM on a recent morning, a prime, wide angle lens let in a lot of light.  Plus, a prime lens offers a sharper image.  f stop was 4, and the shutter was open for 30 seconds.  It looks more like dawn or dusk rather than the dead of night.

It is a flawed photo.  There are two problems.  It was a windy morning and the flag atop the Times building is blurred.  Also, the stars are blurred.  It's part of the hazards of a long exposure.  Earth and the stars are moving a lot faster than we believe.  I digitally removed most of the stars and the SUV in the parking lot.

The bottom photo was taken a couple of minutes after the first, but there is a big difference.  It's another 30 second exposure, but I have the f stop choked down to 22.  It's why there is a starburst effect on the light above the white SUV at the bottom, but not at the top.

It's amazing at what you can discover when you take the camera off "automatic."

Friday, March 5, 2021

Tie One On


It's my Friday morning ritual-- go through the closets and tie racks to pick out things to wear for the weekend.

As I was spinning the tie racks, something occurred to me.  I haven't purchased a new tie in months.  First, I have more than I need.  Second, I just haven't been shopping recreationally.

While there are some great tie stores on the internet, I do like to do my tie shopping in person.

These days, my retail expeditions are for necessities only.  I rush in, grab what I need.  Pay and head for the door.

If this current situation ever ends, I think I'll buy a new tie to celebrate.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

I'm "That Guy."


There is something you should know about me.

When you step on my toe, I scream.  I write letters to businesses and organizations that do things poorly.  I also write letters to businesses and organizations that do things right.  And, I sign my name.

I fill out the surveys that have links on receipts.  I fill out the surveys that are emailed to me.

Yes, I am "that guy."

A mini mart chain, a drug store chain and a warehouse store chain all have the same question on their surveys.  It goes something like "Did an associate smile and greet you as you entered?"

How the heck do I know!  Everyone, thankfully, is wearing a mask!

Yes, it is possible to tell if someone is smiling by looking at their eyes, but seeing that isn't easy from across the store.

I'm a frequent flyer at most of those places, especially the mini mart/gas station, so I usually rate highly on the smiles.

I'll be so happy when this is over.  It would be so nice to see a real smile again.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Salty Goodness


It is the king of condiments:  Worcestershire sauce, and I'm out.

I hit three supermarkets last week.  I went 0 for 3.  They all had plenty of the other brands and the store brands.  They were out of the best, Lea & Perrins.  I should say don't read the ingredient list.  You'd never buy it if you did.

I put it on my burgers and cheese steaks.  I can't remember the last time I had an actual "steak."  Sorry, but the thought of a bloody hunk of meat just doesn't appeal to me.  I like it ground or chopped, and well done.

I refused to buy the lesser brands.  They taste like turpentine.

There has to be a reason for the shortage.  My first thought was people scooped it up to whip up home made Chex Mix for the Super Bowl.  Possibly, more people discovered the joy of a Bloody Mary.  A little tooling around on the internet provided the answer.  Lea & Perrins can't get enough bottles.  Are you kidding me?  It's 2021.  We can make a vaccine in nine months, but we can't bottle anchovies, garlic, onion, vinegar, tamarind, and molasses?

I did what I should have done in the first place-- ordered it on-line.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021



He was a pioneer.  Irv Cross was the first African American to hold a substantial role on an NFL broadcast.  In this case, it was the CBS pre game show.  The former Philadelphia Eagle died Sunday at the age of 81.

If you are too young to have seen "The NFL Today," I'm sorry.  The production and the on-air chemistry were perfect.  Yes, there were some squabbles off-air.  Phyllis George handled the interviews and profiles.  Jimmy the Greek had the insider information and predictions.  Jack Whitaker did some thought provoking and well written essays.  Cross was the serious nuts and bolts football guy.  Brent Musberger was the anchor who held it all together.  The show was half as long as what you get today, and twice as good.  I'm being conservative when I say "twice as good."  The broadcast was serious when it had to be, lighthearted when appropriate, and solid all the time.  To this day, it remains the gold standard for football pre game shows.

NBC played catch up, with several different casts over the years.  It never came close.

Irv Cross was a big part of the CBS success, and I hope his contributions will be remembered.

Monday, March 1, 2021



Usually, January is the month that drags for me.  This year, it was February.

It's easy to see the reason.  We've had a weekly snowstorm, maybe two, coupled with below normal temperatures.

February is usually the month where we see a hint of spring.  Not in 2021.

I've seen long range forecasts where March will begin with slightly above normal temperatures.  I'll believe it when I see it.  And feel it.

As much as a warm up would be nice, let's pray for a gradual one.  We all know what happens when there is a sudden snow melt.

Regardless, let's hope for a safe month ahead.