Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Moving On

 

Independence Day has come and gone.  Let's do a little reminiscing.

Back in the day, politics would take the summer off.  We would have the May primary, and it would be quiet until Labor Day.  then, the campaigning and the commercials would ramp up until the November general election.

My friends, those days are over and,  they are never coming back.

Campaigning for the general election began right after the last votes were counted after the primary.  There are no more election season and election cycles.  It's become a 24/7/365 business.

Expect to see the first presidential candidates dipping their toes in the water after we see the make up of the new house and senate on election night in November.

It never ends.


Monday, July 4, 2022

Independence Day

 

When we think about Independence Day, of course, the Revolutionary War instantly comes to mind.

This is a reminder that maintaining freedom never ends. It's the Nay Aug Park, Scranton monument to some men who never came home from the War on Terror.

Enjoy the day, but the holiday is more than barbecues and fireworks.

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Andy's Angles: Old Glory

 

There is something about a clear day, brilliant sunshine, blue sky and a flag flying in the early morning breeze.

This the flag near the Everhart Museum at Nay Aug Park in Scranton.

I think it's a rather nice shot for Independence Day weekend.

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Andy's Angles: The Park

 

I can write a book on Nay Aug Park in Scranton.  It holds so many great memories.  Zoo animals, the amusement park, family Sunday walks...

This is one of the park pavilions, a little weather worn, but still looking pleasant and old fashioned on a summer morning.

The park is a great resource, albeit underutilized.  It's now mostly a parking lot for a hospital.  However, a swimming area renovation is in the works.  Plus, there are concerts and shows here on most summer weekends.

On this Independence Day weekend, think of family time and pleasant summer days.

Friday, July 1, 2022

Take a Moment

 

As we head in to America's Independence Day weekend, take a moment to remember a country that is fighting to maintain its own independence.

Ukraine has been pushed off page one by high gasoline prices, a faltering economy, violence and Supreme Court decisions.

Those are all important things, but don't let this one drop off the radar.

The photo above was taken Tuesday morning on North 7th Avenue in Scranton.

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Slow Down

 

We ran a couple of stories this week about people collecting back to school supplies, and I think that's great.  That stuff is expensive.  School districts never supply enough, and teachers often pay for it themselves.  This year, add inflation and the rising cost of everything to the mix.  The upcoming school year is going to be a tough ones for a lot of families.

I know charity drives take time, but a part of me is thinking, gee, it's early.  The kids just got out of school.

Colleges and universities are welcoming new students and their parents to campus for orientations.   Once again, that's great.  You can never be too prepared, and I wish they had some of that stuff back in my day.

High school football teams are preparing for those first contests.

Independence Day is here, and "back to school" sales start right after the last sparkler has cooled off.

Look, I'm really looking forward to fall and cooler weather, but let the kids relax and enjoy summer for a while.  There will be plenty of time for all the other stuff.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Remembering Michael Collins

 

On Thursday, I referred to myself as the "Michael Collins" of the newsroom.

Collins remained in the command module during Apollo 11 while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin got to walk on the moon.  Collins was just as important to the mission, but he didn't get the publicity.

During Newswatch 16 This Morning's Agnes anniversary coverage, Mindi Ramsey and Jon Meyer got to go to the Susquehanna River in Wilkes-Barre.  I stayed back at the office to do news updates, the local portions of Good Morning America, and Newswatch 16 at Noon.  I was happy to contribute to an extraordinary day.

As for Michael Collins, he never did get to walk on the moon.  That doesn't diminish his courage and bravery.  Collins died last year at the age of 90.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Kodachrome

 

It was long overdue.

Let me back up for a moment.  When you leave high school, you often lose the one big thing you had in common with your classmates.  The same can be said about job switching, but that is another blog entry for another time.  Let's stick to high school for the moment.

Back in the day, my best friend and I palled around for about five years, usually in the same classes, and even after school.  We both liked bowling and photography.  He was really good at the picture thing, owning professional gear and even some darkroom equipment.  I wasn't very good at photography, and regular blog readers know that hasn't changed.  At least, I tried.  Remember that photography was an expensive hobby years ago-- the gear, the film, and especially the processing.

After receiving our high school diplomas, my best friend and I went our separate ways.  Different colleges.  Different majors.  Different goals.  We bumped in to each other a couple of times shortly after graduation, and that was about it.  That was 40 years ago, maybe longer.

I tried to find him a few times over the years, to no avail.  

I renewed the search a couple of weeks ago.  I looked up an old newspaper obituary and discovered his sister's married name.  She is actually in the phone book.  I called the number and was greeted by an answering machine.  It was one of those electronic voice greetings, so I wasn't sure if I reached the right person.  I explained who I was and why I was calling.  I also left my phone number.

Ten minutes later, my phone rang.  It was my old high school friend.  The number I called was correct.  His sister passed along all my information.  We chatted for about a half hour, updated each other on our lives, and had some laughs.  I stayed close to home while he's moved around quite a bit, having lived in a few different states.  We exchanged phone numbers and email addresses.

The great news is that he's coming up this way for a family visit in a couple of months.  Maybe I can say "hello"  and catch up in person.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Monday Scrapple

 

Stephen Bishop's "Save It For a Rainy Day" is a great song.  While researching it, I was shocked to see that it only made it as far as 22 on the Billboard charts in 1976.

The first month of summer is nearly over.  Bring on the September coolness!

I'm not agoraphobic, but if I can avoid a crowd, I will.

When is the "torn basil over everything" fad going to end?

I just can't get interested in multi millionaire golfers and the tours where they participate.

We observed the D Day anniversary this month and Flag Day.  Why aren't those days bigger on the American calendar?

Jurassic Park?  Top Gun?  Pass!

Are the NBA Finals over yet?

I was out doing some shopping the other day.  Where is this recession I'm hearing about?  Stores were busy.

I like the rain, especially when it ushers in cooler weather.

I've slowed down considerably on buying ties.  I wish I could say the same for books.  I'm assembling a nice stack of things I will get to, eventually.

Golf has given away to the same madness as Major League Baseball.  You never know where to find it.  The US Open bounced from the Peacock streaming service, to USA cable, to NBC, and then back to USA.  Yeah, let's confuse the viewers.

The Agnes anniversary triggered a lot of old radio memories.  I still get a chill when I hear those "wonderful WARM" jingles.  Even though it was a sad time in all our lives, it was nice seeing and hearing some former coworkers in vintage video and audio.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Fore!

 

I have a passing interest in golf.  I do know the major players, and there is a little time spent in front of the television.  It usually happens during the Thursday rounds.  Work and sleep keep me away from TV for the rest of the tournaments.

The American players defecting to the Saudi tour is interesting.  Show me the money!  While there are moral and ethical issues here, it has to be very difficult to turn down money that guarantees the financial security of you and your family-- forever.

American players heading to the new tour opens up a lot of opportunities for the other players.  It opens everything up to new names and faces, and that's good for the game.  The PGA is also upping purse money, and that's good, too.

There has been a lot of screaming about it on radio and on the internet.  However, I really don't think the average fan cares.

One other note before the "publish" button is hit for the day.  Former Baltimore Ravens lineman Tony Siragusa died Wednesday.  Only 55.  Very sad.  Big skills, big personality, big popularity.  Siragusa did some television work after retiring.  I can't say I was all that impressed.  He did make an impact on a lot of people, and I'm sorry he's gone.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Again?

 

It's a big part of all this week's Agnes related discussions.  Can it happen again?

Simple.  Of course it can.

It might be a little more difficult because there is more flood protection in place now, than there was in 1972.

If there is to be more flooding, it will likely be another event similar to 2011.  The ground was saturated after Irene.  Rivers, creeks, and streams were already running high.  Along came Lee and you know the rest.  I have no doubt two or three storms in rapid succession can do the same thing, probably even worse.

As for the flood protection systems, especially in the Wyoming Valley, they are well maintained and often inspected.  However, you know water.  It's very good at finding weak spots.  An undetected flaw spells disaster.

Forecasting is much better than it was in 1972.  We have a better sense of where these storms are going and the amounts of rain possible.  It won't stop the flooding, but we can prepare more effectively.

I do like reminiscing about the old days.  Civil Defense in Luzerne County back in the day was in the sub-basement of the courthouse, right along the flood prone river.  Back then, we feared nuclear war more than a flood.  Today, Emergency Management is high on a hill.

I'd like to wrap up this entry with some words of wisdom, but there are none when it comes to a situation like this.  All you can do is expect the worst,  and hope for the best.

Friday, June 24, 2022

Bye Bye Birds

 

It made me sad.  The Angelos family is fighting over control of the Baltimore Orioles.  There is speculation one family member wants to move the team to Tennessee.  There is also speculation the team will be sold, and the new owners might want to make a move as well.  The lease at Oriole Park has only one year left.

I used to be very fond of Baltimore.  I'd visit once or twice a year.  I was there on 9/11, and I went back the next year.  The city held too many bad memories, and I never went back.  On top of that, the place where I stayed became very shabby, and the Inner Harbor area went downhill.

Having said that, It would be a real tragedy if the Orioles left.  The city got screwed out of the Colts, when the Irsay family moved the team in the middle of the night in 1984.  In fairness, the city and the state of Maryland were dragging their feet on a new stadium.  Still, it shouldn't have happened.

What happens if the Orioles leave?  Beside falling tears, there is a chance the city would get an expansion team.  I'm sure the Washington Nationals would try to block that.  Baseball should be contracting, not expanding anyway.  There are far too many cities that don't support their teams, and some owners don't seem to be interested in winning.  Television money keeps them going.  Baltimore would never accept the Nationals as its team.  When the Colts left, the TV networks fed Washington Redskins games in to the Baltimore market.  It didn't work.  Baltimoreans wanted a team of their own and the Cleveland Browns moved in to town to become the Ravens in 1996.

It will be interesting to see how this movie ends.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Crossing the Road

 

A fast food chicken sandwich chain recently opened a store relatively close to me.  You couldn't get near it for months.  The drive thru line stretched around the building and the lobby was always filled.

I was on a quick shopping trip last week, and I was shocked by what I saw.  The place was practically deserted, and lunch time was fast approaching.  Apparently, the novelty has worn off.

I should add that I am familiar with this chain's products, having stopped at other stores, in other states, while on vacation.  I was a fan.

I breezed through the drive thru, got my sandwich, potatoes, and drink, and circled back to the parking area to dine.  The soda was mostly ice, overwhelmingly so.  I did enjoy the chicken sandwich and fries.

As I munched away, one thought dominated my mind.  It wasn't as good as I remembered.  The place where the little red haired girl works makes a better chicken sandwich.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

50

 


Tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of the day the Susquehanna River spilled over its banks and flooded the Wyoming Valley.  Actually, rivers from upstate New York to Maryland flooded because of what was left of Hurricane Agnes.

Thankfully, I lived far away from the Susquehanna, far above the flood plain, but even as a little kid, I knew it was a big deal.

I remember sitting with my mom, listening to the kitchen radio on this evening, fifty years ago.  I can still see that old radio.  The newscasters were sounding the warning that the unthinkable was likely to happen-- the Susquehanna couldn't hold all the water.  The evening before the actual flood, the relentless rain had slowed to a light drizzle, so I ventured out the door and down the block to walk around the neighborhood with my friend, Markie.  I recall one of the town cops drove by on patrol and he stopped to chat.  We talked about the storm, and what was about to happen.  Spooky stuff, especially for a ten year old.

In a later interview, years after the flooding, WARM radio legend Jerry Heller says his most vivid memory leading up to the flood was that it just wouldn't stop raining.

TV news around here wasn't the greatest back then.  Small staffs.  Archaic technology.  Judging from the old film I later saw, they did the best they could.  There was some outstanding reporting.  My respect could not be measured.  It was huge.  Radio was where it was at, and I was glued to it for the next couple of days.  Then, the newspapers would appear on the front porch twice a day.  The photos were terrifying.

The river receded.  A few weeks passed, and I eventually did a little sightseeing in Wilkes-Barre and up the west side of the Wyoming Valley to Pittston.  Yes, it was in bad taste, but the immediate emergency had passed and I was a curious lad.  I can still see the dust and the dirt, massive hunks of pavement displaced, smashed houses, gasoline tanks that popped out of the ground, washed away streets, misery everywhere...  The high water marks on buildings made me gasp.  It was up to the second floors.

The Agnes impact continues to this day and beyond, especially for broadcasters.  This area seems more weather conscious than most.  Severe weather coverage goes front and center.  We tell you when it's going to be bad.  I feel that it's also our job to tell you everything is going to be okay.

I was looking at some old video lately, including an anniversary piece done years ago by Rich Noonan.  He said it all came down to respect-- respect for the river, and respect for the people who rebuilt the valley.

The WARM produced "River on a Rampage" documentary is on Sound Cloud.  Do yourself a favor and give it a listen.  Fascinating, even chilling.  I remember buying my copy at Sugerman's, and I still have it.  

Take a moment to remember that awful time, and how far we've traveled.


By the way, the photo you see above was taken about a month ago-- looking up river and toward the North Cross Valley Expressway, which wasn't there in 1972.  It's amazing at how a tranquil, beautiful river turned so angry, so fast.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Are You Kidding Me?

 

As a newscast producer, my "in" box sees several story pitches from public relations agencies every day.  They are all the same-- someone wants me to do a story on their book or product.  They offer interviews, and in most cases, video.  They all wind up in the same place:  the "deleted" file.  Plus, I block them for wasting my time.

While I didn't do a story on a recent item, it did catch my eye.  The Green Giant vegetable people released a survey showing broccoli is America's favorite vegetable.

I'm calling BS on this one.  Corn was second, followed by carrots, potatoes, and asparagus.  Peas didn't make the top five!  Is the cauliflower craze over?

They're all good, but I never would have guessed broccoli is Amerca's favorite vegetable.

I was like most kids, avoiding broccoli at all costs.  Then, one day in the early 80's, I wound up at a seminar for news media professionals.  After a boring afternoon of running through scenarios that would never happen in a million years, there was a light dinner.  It was standard banquet fare-- a rubbery stuffed chicken breast and a portion of overcooked broccoli.  I didn't want to embarrass myself by leaving the vegetable on the plate, so I ate it.  Much to my surprise, I liked it, and I've been a broccoli fan ever since.  

In fact, I like most vegetables, as long as they're not cooked to death.  I like them with a little crunch left in them, especially broccoli.  I can eat most mushrooms raw in a salad.  You lose me when you cook them.  I can't say I'm an eggplant fan, either.  I'll do green beans, but they don't make my favorite list-- and any vegetable in a can is absolutely hideous.  I saw a statistic the other day that said 90 per cent of the peas sold in the United States are frozen.

Some farmer's markets are already open, and more will soon follow.   I'll have to ask what sells best.

Monday, June 20, 2022

Watergate + 50

 

If you lived around here 50 years ago, you were more concerned with the Agnes flood.

However, it should be noted that we recently passed the 50th anniversary of the Watergate break-in.  Some guys for Nixon broke into Democratic headquarters at the Watergate building in Washington.  The break-in led to a president's downfall and the annoying habit of putting "gate" after every scandal ever since.

When it came to light, it didn't seem like a big deal.  Woodward and Bernstein proved otherwise.

It was also so pointless.  President Nixon was on his way to a landslide victory.  He didn't need dirty tricks, but paranoia got the better of him.  The Democrats were still reeling from the JFK and RFK assassinations, and the party dissent of the 1968 convention.  1972 was more tranquil, and George McGovern came out of the primaries with an overwhelming number of delegates.  Still, he was a weak candidate going up against a popular president at the time.

Lessons learned?  It's not the crime.  It's the cover up.  Plus, the big one:  journalism matters.

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Andy's Angles: On the Edge

 

This photo is very similar to the one you saw here yesterday.  The only difference is I shot from the top of the bank, rather than at the water's edge.

As I've been blogging this month, I've been going through my own memories of the time, plus reading quite a bit, looking at those pictures from an awful time 50 years ago.

It's still chilling.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

About the Cover

 

This is a clean shot of the photo I used for this month's header...

It's the Susquehanna River from Nesbitt Park, looking back toward the Wilkes-Barre skyline.

That's the Market Street Bridge, which has seen dozens of high water events over the years.  It's still standing, and considering the punishment this span has taken, that always amazes me.

The river at the time this shot was taken was running at about 2.5 feet, about forty feet below where it was fifty years ago.



Friday, June 17, 2022

Andy's Angles: River Weekend

 

I really should have used my filter for this shot, but I sort of like it anyway.

A recent morning was devoted to exploring the Susquehanna River as the 50th anniversary of the Tropical Storm Agnes flood approaches.

This is a shot from Nesbitt Park on the west side, looking up river.  The unmistakable dome of the Luzerne County Courthouse is on the right.  King's College's administration building is on the far right.

The North Street Bridge is on the left.  Its predecessor didn't survive the great flood of 72.  The rest is the sky above and the Susquehanna below.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

24

 

Tomorrow is the 24th anniversary of my first day at WNEP.

I know it's a cliche, but it really has flown by.  

As I have said on every anniversary since I started the blog, there are many days here when I am just as frightened as the first.

There is still some gas left in the tank.  See you soon, and thank you for being along for the ride.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Silence is Golden

 

A bill limiting fireworks use is working its way through the state legislature and this one stands a pretty good chance of making it to the governor's desk.

After reading it, it appears to be rather toothless, but as the anti fireworks people might say, something  is better than nothing.  By the way, a much stronger bill has been stuck in committee for several months and it will likely die there.  A legislator from the Lehigh Valley regularly updates me.  I've tried to pin down my local representative on the issue, but that seems to be impossible.

Fireworks legalization has been a nightmare for police, firefighters, pet owners, veterans, and a long list of others.    Legislators saw a fast stream of tax revenue, giving them more money to spend, so legalization saw an easy path to reality.

Unfortunately, people haven't been following the law-- setting off fireworks in heavily populated areas, destroying the quiet and starting fires.

How can I expect police to keep the fireworks peace when they can't even keep ATV's out of my neighborhood?

You might as well take that new bill, wrap it around a rocket and blast it off in to the atmosphere.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

And a Dollar Short

 

When was the last time you used one?  When was the last time you saw one?

The $ 1 coin was supposed to revolutionize our lives, and save the country from wasting money printing all those dollar bills.

How did that work out for you?

I thought it would come in handy when prices for soda and snacks in vending machines went up, but the vending machine people got really smart and developed machines that use phone apps and credit cards.

A mini mart clerk once showed me she had a drawer compartment filled with the coins, but no one wants them.

It's too bad.  The dollar coin had potential.

Monday, June 13, 2022

Brick and Mortar

 

It's a trend that started before the pandemic, and I'm sure the current situation only accelerated it.

One bank branch I occasionally visit is now closed, and another branch (different bank) closes in a couple of months.

It's sad, but I do realize most transactions are now done electronically.  I hope the employees are transferred to different offices.  Good people.

We've already seen stores cut their hours.  I do miss the 24 hour supermarkets and big box stores.  With a struggling economy, expect to see more brick and mortar places trim their hours, or close entirely.

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Andy's Angles: St. Pat's

 

I tend to avoid things religious here, but there are exceptions, especially when it comes to church architecture.

The official name of this structure in Olyphant is Holy Cross Parish at St. Patrick's Church.  We locals simply call it, St. Pat's.

The church underwent a restoration several years back.  Beautiful inside, beautiful outside.

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Andy's Angles: The Blind Hog

 



There is an old saying that even a blind hog finds an acorn once in a while.

This blind hog found his acorn the morning of  May 12th.

I was tooling around Olyphant, just looking for interesting things to shoot.  I've photographed this fountain before, but today's shot is a different twist.

A perfectly lovely park now occupies the space of the school that held me during sixth grade and part of tenth.  The fountain is the center piece of a park owned by a church.  The pastor asked what I was up to.  I explained that I was just out playing with the camera, and he is really proud of how the park turned out.  Trees and shrubs have matured, and the park is a thing of beauty.

Take a look at the water coming down from the top bowl of the fountain.  I speeded up the shutter to 1/2500 of a second, so every drop is frozen in motion.

A nice park now occupies the spot that held so much misery for me.


Friday, June 10, 2022

No Thanks

 

I don't have a full vacation week scheduled until the end of next month, but I do have some scattered days off between now and then.

I have no plans, and I likely won't venture more than a few miles from home.  I'm happy catching up on sleep, playing with my camera, and reading.

Considering the skyrocketing price of gasoline, and the nightmare stories friends are telling about air travel, I don't think I'm missing much.  I just don't need the expense and the aggravation.

Thursday, June 9, 2022

It Is Gone!

 

Regular readers know I'm a huge radio fan.  When it comes to baseball, I'd rather listen to it on radio than watch it on TV.  Some news broke Tuesday that made me especially happy.

For the second half of the season, John Sterling, who has been ruining Yankees' broadcasts for years, won't be going on most road trips.  That means about half of the games after the All Star break will be listenable again!

Sterling has been a chore for 34 years.  He is 84 years old, and he has earned the right to call the shots when it comes to his departure.  He should have known, a long time ago, that it was time to exit the stage.

Cutting back on road trips is nothing new.  Many of the older broadcasters have done it.  The Dodgers' Vin Scully didn't venture past Denver in his last several years.

I'm just happy to hear new, and less self centered, voices.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Brent

 

I've been writing quite a bit about sports broadcasting lately.  After all, it has been a year of change.  The latest went down last week.

Brent Musberger announced he is stepping aside as radio play-by-play voice of the Las Vegas Raiders.  Musberger is 83 years old.

In my book, Musberger is one of the best overall sports broadcasters of all time.  When you heard that voice, you knew it was a big game-- whether he was in the studio or at a stadium.

He practically invented the role of studio host.  After CBS dumped him in 1990, it was on to ABC, where Musberger excelled at college football.  By the way, Musberger's CBS days included hosting the NFL pre game show, plus pro and college basketball.  He was going to to baseball, but CBS fired him just before the baseball contract kicked in.

Musberger developed a radio network based on gambling, which he sold to Draft Kings for an obscene amount of money.

My brush with greatness-- I rode in an elevator with Brent Musberger in West Virginia University's Morgantown football stadium.  I was too frightened and intimidated to speak.  The photographer I was working the Penn State game with started the small talk-- mostly concerning Morgantown's horrific traffic situation.  Brent agreed.  It was among the worst on his travels.

I should add that Musberger was also a Los Angeles news anchor for a while.  Some videos are on YouTube.  Great work.

I don't know what's next, but a giant has departed the stage.

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Finally

 

We're closing on a month since the primary election and it took weeks before we knew who won the Republican senate nomination.  I was actually okay with that.  The margin was razor thin.  Let's get an accurate count, no matter how long it takes, even though a deadline of June 8 is approaching.

It was scheduled to go to court this week, but David McCormick ended that on Friday, when he conceded to Dr. Mehmet Oz.

Here is my issue.  Why are so many voting rules open to interpretation in the courts?  Didn't we go through this with the Gore/Bush thing in 2000?  Why is it so difficult to develop a concrete set of rules and stick to them?

A lot of it stems from the right way to vote by mail.  A lot of people apparently have problems with the levels of secrecy required, the envelopes, the packaging, etc.  There has to be a way to make it easy to use and safe at the same time.  That way, the election is settled at the ballot box and not the courtroom.

Monday, June 6, 2022

Charles Siebert

 

Charles Siebert died recently.  84.  Siebert was best known for his role on "Trapper John, MD."   I can't say I ever watched it.

I will remember Siebert for his many game show appearances, including Pyramid, Password, Blackout, Go, and a few others.

Siebert was that rare breed who didn't think game shows were beneath him.  He had that ability of being a good game player, having fun, yet being serious about helping contestants win money.

I'm sure there are plenty of people who have new cars, fatter bank accounts, and great memories because they worked with Charles Siebert on a game show.

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Andy's Angles: Pittston

 

It's another wide angle shot from the banks of the Susquehanna River in Pittston.  I'm in essentially the same position as yesterday's photo, except this time, I'm pointed down stream.

I took this shot on a quiet morning-- no walkers on the trail, no trains moving by.  Just me, the birds and clouds approaching from the west.

Saturday, June 4, 2022

Andy's Angles: The Flood of Memories

 

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the Tropical Storm Agnes flood that swamped an area from upstate New York to Maryland, and the Wyoming Valley took a huge hit.

There will be a lot of river pictures here this month, including this shot from Pittston.  The view is up river.  The steel bridge is closed.  You can see the supports of the Fort Jenkins Bridge beneath it.

In recent years, Pittston discovered the Susquehanna can be an asset.  There is a lovely walk along the river's edge and several buildings on the banks offer great views.

The West Pittston side is still debating the plusses and minuses of flood control, and I suspect that will happen for a while.

I shot many of this month's photos with a wide angle lens.  Of course, I could have cropped it for more water in the shot, but my eye is really drawn to the early morning sky.

Friday, June 3, 2022

Friday Scrapple

 

I could not possibly care less about Johnny Depp and Amber Heard.

There is something keen about thunder and lighting-- as long as they are in the distance.

At high school graduation time, I think of my own experience and how I just couldn't wait for it to be over.

Those mid week afternoon games on the MLB Network are wonderful.  They pick up the local telecasts.  After listening to several, where did they get those analysts?  Most are awful.

Fascination with the British royal family is understandable, but I'm not there.

Batteries must be in demand.  A store I visited this week had an anti theft tag on every package.

The first cool day after a hot spell is always a treat.

A full blog entry on this is in the works, but why are some many voting and election regulations subject to interpretation.  If anything should be specific, this is it.

The last Howard Johnson's restaurant is closed, and I am sad.  It was in Lake George, NY.

I was in two malls this week, and I am sad.

Fielding Mellish is one of the great movie character names of all time.

My internet went out during Wednesday's storms.  It was a delightful day without social media, but I really missed my satellite radio.

Thursday, June 2, 2022

How Sweet It Is!

 

I preface today's entry by saying, if this is my biggest problem, then it's a good day.

There is only one brand of ketchup in my supermarket cart, and you know the one.  It's the dominant national brand.  I've been recently disappointed.  Did they mess with the formula?  It seems much sweeter than the old days and I don't like it.  Not at all.  Why mess with success?  Don't you remember "New Coke?"

I think it's time to sample other brands.

On the other hand, "America's Test Kitchen" did a taste test several months ago.  The sweet one came out on top, and overwhelmingly so.  There has to be something out there to keep me happy.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Hurricane Season

 

I know I rant about this every year, but give me a break.  I need to get it out of my system.

The Atlantic hurricane season begins today, and the hurricane prediction people are out with their annual forecast.  Long story short:  14 to 21 tropical storms, 6 to 10 hurricanes, and 3 to 6 of those will be major.

I know the forecasters take a variety of factors in to account, but the prediction is, at best, a 50-50 proposition.  I know information is power, but this borders on needlessly frightening people.

The bottom line is if you love in a coastal area, constantly be prepared.  If you live inland, and are near a body of water that floods, keep an eye on the conditions.

Forecasting has improved to the point where we see these big storms coming earlier than ever before, and we have a great idea of where they will go.

The numbers don't mean much until you see a tropical storm or hurricane coming your way.

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Follow Up Tuesday

 

REVISITING SOME EARLIER TOPICS...


I am a huge fan of the Little River Band's "Reminiscing."  The band is playing in the Poconos in July.  I'd love to go, but it conflicts with my work schedule.  It has long been my contention that the "Little River Band" is vastly underrated.  

NBC has granted the great Al Michaels "emeritus" status.  It means the network will use him during the NFL playoffs and the Olympics.  I still think Pat Summerall was better at football, but Michaels, who will call NFL games for Amazon this year, might be the best overall announcer in history-- NFL, MLB, Olympics, NBA...

I recently complained about the lack of an outstanding supermarket pickle.  Thank you for the suggestions.  My cart will be filled on my next trip to the store.

We are only five months in to the year, and I already have seven photographs for this year's "Top Ten."    It looks like I'll have to include some "honorable mentions" again this year.  I've had great luck with some recent, albeit fast, expeditions.

The Orioles, Royals, Pirates and Reds are still bad, and I'm still sad.  These teams were once baseball's elite organizations.

It was the usual Memorial Day problem at the office.  It is touching that so many communities have Memorial Day services and parades.  We try to get to as many as we can, but we can't visit them all.  That always leads to bruised feelings.  It's unintentional.  We should be proud of the way we honor the men and woman who served.


Monday, May 30, 2022

Memorial Day

 

It's Memorial Day, a weekend for parks, picnics, parties, barbecues, etc...  If you get the opportunity to spend time with family and friends, fantastic.  Savor the moments.

All I ask is you dedicate a moment or two remembering what the day is all about.

Thanks, and I'll call you back later.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Andy's Angles: Flags


 I have some of the same thoughts at Christmas.  There are many, many times a simple and basic display carries much more power than the elaborate.

Small flags.  Massive cemetery.  Hundreds honored.  Green grass.  Green trees.  Green mountain.  It's a scene that evokes awe.

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Andy's Angles: Memorial Day Weekend

 

As I noted yesterday, I made my annual pre Memorial Day weekend trip to Cathedral Cemetery in Scranton.

It was an opportunity to visit the grave of a childhood friend and to reflect on all those who served.

I also use the trip to exercise some photography skills, including depth of field and focus points.  I used the kit lens on this trip, and that was a mistake.  One of my prime lenses would have provided more background blur, but you get the idea.

Blurry or not, it is a stirring sight.

Friday, May 27, 2022

It Begins

 

Today marks the start of Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial beginning of the summer season.

As has been tradition in recent years, my weekend begins with a visit to Cathedral Cemetery, off Oram Street in Scranton.

Hundreds, maybe thousands of veterans are buried here.  There is a flag on every grave, and it is an impressive sight.  There are some cemeteries that do it just as well, but there is no more stirring sight than here in Scranton.

On top of that, I finally found the grave of a childhood friend here, so it's always a productive visit.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

What Happened?

 

Saturday was Armed Forces Day, and I didn't see any celebrations or observances.

Scranton used to have a parade.  It was always poorly attended, but it was something.  I've long felt that there was a better way to do it.  Block off a street near Courthouse Square, or take part of Nay Aug Park and use it for a day filled with military displays, and maybe some music.  People could come and go all day.  They weren't tied to one singular event.

I do realize the pandemic changed the way we observe things, but it does make me sad that the day went mostly unnoticed.

Let's make up for it by taking a little more time this Memorial Day weekend to remember those who served and those who are currently in uniform. served

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Reboots


For a while, Dan Rather signed off the "CBS Evening News" by saying "courage."  That word popped in to my mind recently.

I watched Tiger Woods struggle at the PGA Championship Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  He withdrew after the disastrous third round.  Part of me was sad watching the once great Woods make bogey after bogey after bogey.  On the other hand, I admire his courage to keep at it.

It reminded me of Yankees' pitcher Catfish Hunter in the late 70's.  His arm and shoulder were messed up.  Hunter pitched anyway,  and got his arse handed to him in several games.  It was embarrassing for Hunter and the team, yet he kept going.

It was like the end of Willie Mays' career.   He spent his last two years with the Mets.  Batting averages of .267 and .211.  Mays stayed at the party too long.

While I'm on the reboot topic, they are considering a "Scrubs" remake.  Please, don't.  It was fine the first time around.  It's over.  Let it go.

It seems knowing when to stop and knowing when to persevere is a fine art.  One thing I do know is there are no easy answers.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

One Week

 

Well, here we are, one week after the primary election and we still don't know who won the Republican nomination for United States Senate.

The aromas of 2000 and 2016 are wafting through the air.  I smell this one is headed for court, and possibly more than one.  Onward and upward.

I have railed against slow vote counts in this space, in the past, but this one is different.  The margin between Dr. Mehmet Oz and David McCormick is razor thin, so let's double check every ballot and make sure it's done right.

I can wait.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Monday Scrapple

 

Odd, but I kind of miss all the election stuff.  Rest assured, it will be back before you know it.

I've found every over the counter cold remedy to be absolutely worthless.

CNN and FOX have renewed their sniping at each other.  Please, stop.

It was a little too early for 90 degree weather.

NBC took a chance on Drew Brees when he retired last year.  How did that work out for you?

There are a lot of pickles in the supermarket.  There aren't enough great pickles in the supermarket.

Supertramp is an underrated group.

I am a huge Joe Buck fan, but that ESPN PGA alternative telecast he got stuck with was unwatchable.

Package tracking is wonderful when all goes well, and supremely frustrating when it does not.

It was great to see downtown Wilkes-Barre alive again thanks to the Fine Arts Fiesta.

I was never a huge Tiger Woods fan, but I respect his abilities.  It was sad to watch him struggle at the PGA Championship Saturday.

Memorial Day weekend already?  It seems like Christmas was yesterday.

One day, I hope to play pickleball.

Valerie Bertinelli is single again.  She knows where to find me.


Sunday, May 22, 2022

Andy's Angles: I Was Wrong!

 

I have to admit, when the Scranton Lace rehabilitation project was announced a few years back, I raised a skeptical and cynical eyebrow.  My reasoning that the project was too big and too expensive to work.

The project is making tremendous progress.  Parts of the old complex were torn down.  Work is in high gear on the rest.

The goal is to have this become artists' space and apartments.

In an era when we have lost so much history due to neglect, I'm happy to say I was wrong.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Andy's Angles: Up in the Air

 

I was on my way to pick up my usual Thursday order of Texas wieners from Green Ridge News, when I took a short detour.  There was nothing interesting at the Von Storch rail repair garage, so I kept going down the street to The Scranton Lace rehab.

The old building is being turned to artists' and living space.  When I looked up, I saw a couple of guys in a lift, working on the iconic clock/whistle tower.

After watching this building rot for decades, it's nice to see some real activity here.


Plus, it was a great day to be outside.