Wednesday, November 30, 2022



As someone who works the overnight shift on weekends, there are certain times of the year you really dread.  One of them is the period right after high school and college graduations.  Crashes spike.  Injuries.  Many of the victims are young people who are out celebrating.  Alcohol is often involved.  Many times, it's just youthful carelessness.

It appears the other dreaded time of the year began early.  Early and mid December weekends is Christmas party time.  It's the same as the summer danger period.  Crashes spike.  People get hurt.  Or worse.  We seemed to have more than the usual number of crashes over Thanksgiving weekend.  Anomaly?  Perhaps.  Party season beginning early?  Could be.

I have nothing against the responsible use of alcohol, but do us all a favor and stay off the roads.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Out of Touch


I consider myself your average American, but there are times when I find myself out of the mainstream.  Cases in point:

Sorry, World Cup fans.  Soccer bores me.

People enjoy the big wheel on "The Price is Right."  I find it tedious.  Use the time to play another game and simply take the show's top two winners for the showcase round.

In a similar vein, I've never warmed to "Wheel of Fortune."  It must be something about wheels.

I love hamburgers and I adore a good meatloaf.  I'm a big cheesesteak fan.  I do make an occasional Arby's expedition.  However, a big hunk of steak or a bloody prime rib nauseates me.  I can't remember the last time I've had a steak.  Prime rib?  Never.

I also can't remember the last time I had a cup of coffee, and I marvel at how people wait in long lines for overpriced brews.

You can line up the country's leading light beers.  I can't tell the difference. 

You can line up the country's leading seltzers.  I can't tell the difference.

I loved those Thanksgiving morning parades as a kid.  Now?  You could run video of a parade from twenty years ago and I couldn't tell the difference.

I've covered oodles of football and baseball games over the years.  The last time I watched a football game, recreationally and in person, was the Scranton Eagles and that must have been thirty years ago.  Games attended since the Red Barons became the Yankees/Railriders:  1

I've never seen any of those zombie TV shows and I don't stream anything.  I never found "Seinfeld" funny and you know how I detest "The Office."

I can identify Taylor Swift in a photo.  I don't know any of her music.

I cannot seriously think about Christmas until the middle of December.

I actually drive the speed limit!

Out of touch, and proud of it.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Cyber Monday

 It's the less complicated version of Black Friday, which I railed against last week.

Today is Cyber Monday, a day when millions of people will spend billions of dollars shopping on-line.  The big retailers are said to be offering discounts.  It's usually on things I don't need.

While I support buying local as much as possible, Cyber Monday has become a must in my book.  Stores don't have the variety they once did.  They aren't open as long as they were in the old days.  When you work odd hours, you have to shop during even more odd hours.  By the way, I will be very happy if stores and fast food joints went back to 24/7.  However, and sadly, I believe those days are gone for good.

Keep a close eye on those credit cards and the sites you choose to visit.

I only need a few things and I have them scoped out.  It's just a matter of finding, clicking, and praying it all arrives before Christmas.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Andy's Angles: Farewell


It's become an unofficial tradition of mine-- head to the Scranton Farmer's Market off BarringAve. and pick up a couple of Thanksgiving pies.

I was there around 11:30 AM Wednesday, a half hour before the official opening, and the crowd was already starting to build.  People were grabbing fall vegetables, plus plus plenty of apples and baked goods.  It was a beautiful morning-- sunny and not too cold.

I picked up my pies, chatted with a few people and took off before it got crowded.

The market closed for the season Wednesday evening.

I'll see you in July!

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Andy's Angles: Another Bridge


Okay, one last Pittston area bridge shot before I move on to other things.

I had another angle of this one a few weeks ago.  This is that railroad bridge over the Susquehanna, just north of Pittston.  This is a late October shot, hence the greenery.  Twig season had yet to arrive.

I'm on the west side, getting a surprisingly good sun angle for the early morning hours.

Friday, November 25, 2022

Black Friday


It's not what it used to be, but Black Friday is still one of my least favorite days of the year.  

Even though the internet has reduced the traditional shopping frenzy,  a big part of it is still there.

I do realize money is tight, especially this year.  If hanging out on a cold sidewalk for hours helps you keep family and friends happy, and if it helps you make your holiday budget, go for it.  I also know that some families view Black Friday shopping expeditions as a bonding experience.  Once again, go for it.

I'm lucky.  My Christmas list is very short.  I'll spend the day organizing photos and putting together this year's Top Ten list.  It's one of my traditional Black Friday activities.  I'll also turn in around noon so I can be at the office late tonight.

Please, Be safe and patient today.  Remember the retail workers, one of the toughest jobs out there, especially at this time of the year.

Take a little time to get caught up on the news, and that's my job tomorrow morning.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving!


Some years are tougher than most, and this is one of them.

We have all something for which to to be thankful for at Thanksgiving.  You might have to look really hard, but it's there.

It's is more than dinner.  Remember the good things, and make the best of the day.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Travel Day


I have so much for which to be thankful, and on this day before Thanksgiving, I'd like to highlight one:  I don't have to go anywhere.

On this busiest travel day of the year, I have nothing to do and no place to go.  This is one of my normal work "off" days, so I'll be napping or tooling around with the computer.

In years past, I've done more than my share of holiday travel stories.  Highways.  Airports.  Bus stations.  I feel so sorry for those caught up in the frenzy, but the reward of spending time with family and friends is worth it.

This is also one of the biggest party nights of the year because it's the first really big holiday with the kids home from college and no work tomorrow for most of us.

In spite of repeated pleas from law enforcement and a dozen other groups to be careful, go slow and allow for plenty of extra travel time.  There will be some carelessness.  It's natural.  Everyone is in a hurry.

Be careful and I'll call you back later.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Do I Have to Repeat Myself?


This Twitter nonsense gets more insane by the day.

You can just choose not to participate, and that's fine.  There is no law, at least not yet, that says we all must have Twitter accounts.

Someone at a think tank believes journalism suffers if Twitter goes away.  Nonsense.  Utter nonsense.  We'll just have to do things the way they should be done-- by actually communicating with sources for quotes and information,  rather than waiting for the stuff to fall in to our laps in the form of a Tweet.  What Tweets did Woodward and Bernstein use when they were tracking down the Watergate scandal?  What was Murrow's handle?  Can you see Cronkite with his nose buried in a smart phone, checking to see what Taylor Swift is up to?

Feedback and criticism?  Just pick up a pen and paper.  Grab a stamp.  I'm sure the United States Postal Service can use the business.

Maybe we can use our best judgement and experience to craft stories, rather than waiting for the social media world to react.

Socially?  For fun?  I like my friends, but I don't need to know what you had for lunch.

Considering all the other problems in the world, why are we wasting so much time with this?

Twitter is only 16 years old.  We did just fine before it.  We can survive its demise.

Monday, November 21, 2022

A Very Mick Christmas


Christmas is coming.  Some radio stations have already flipped to an "all Christmas" format.  To my radio brethren stuck with that, good luck.  I don't know how you do it.

In the old days, before the internet and satellite radio, Christmas music on the radio meant one particular cassette came out of my rack. Yes, cassette.  This was a long time ago.

It was "Hot Rocks" from the "Rollng Stones."  It's a greatest hits LP, with all the really good early stuff.  I would play that cassette endlessly from late November to early January.  It was my oasis away from Christmas music.

I still have the cassette.  I still have an aversion to Christmas music.

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Andy's Angles: The Bridge


Regular blog readers know I really like shooting along the Susquehanna at Pittston.

Today, it's something a little different.  I'm usually on the east side.  This shot is from the west.  It was taken in late October, so that's why there is plenty of foliage.

This is the Fort Jenkins Bridge, built in 1924.  Penndot admits it needs work.  This bridge is even more important now, because the adjacent bridge is closed.

Mixed feelings.  A newer wider bridge is important to the area's economy.  Not to mention the convenience for people living here.  On the other hand, it would be sad to lose architecture like this.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Andy's Angles: Conrail Blue


This shot was a serous contender for header photo, but I went in another direction.  Maybe, I'll shoot it again in the months to come and place it up top.

A company that makes parts for trains recently consolidated its operations, expanded, and wound up in a building in Exeter.  A big feature is an old Conrail caboose in the parking lot, still bearing that unmistakable shade of Conrail blue.

It looked great in the early morning fall sun and it thrills me that some history is preserved.

Friday, November 18, 2022

Friday Scrapple

 Let's do a scatter shot as we head in to the weekend...

I caught one of Amazon's NFL games on an NFL Network replay.  Al Michaels is as great as ever, and his new partner, Kirk Herbstreit is very good.  It's too bad the pair has been stuck with lousy games.

I don't dislike Thanksgiving, however, there isn't any Thanksgiving food I really crave.

Speaking of which, I don't cook anything, but I do enjoy watching people roast turkeys on TV.

And on a similar note, the prices are outrageous, but there is something fun about the supermarket in the days leading up to Thanksgiving.

I'm still amazed that people are bent out of shape about Twitter.

The excuses on Philadelphia sports radio the morning after the Eagles lost this week were hilarious.

Above normal temperatures in June, July, and August are bad.  Above normal in the late fall is good, and it was nice while it lasted.

I'm never "in" to Christmas, and I can't really even think about it until mid December.

I like peppermint.  I like Frostys.  However, a peppermint Frosty doesn't quite work for me.

Erie and northwestern Pennsylvania are underrated areas-- until it snows.

CNN is cutting down on the drinking during its new year's eve broadcast.  Are the adults finally in charge over there?

I realize I'm not in her target audience, but I just don't get Taylor Swift.

Frightening is:  when you know the names of all the "Deal or No Deal" models, but you can't remember your newsroom computer password.

God bless Buffalo.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

A Sad Week


It's been a sad week.

The comedian known as Gallagher died Friday.  I found him amusing at times, but he really wasn't my thing.  I will give him credit for the Sledge O Matic routine, which vaulted him to stardom.   It was wildly inventive and quite funny.  Gallagher was 76.

Jim Bohannon died Saturday.  He did an overnight network talk show and an early morning news broadcast.  I liked the news rather than the talk show.  The talk show, inherited when Larry King stopped mailing it in and moved to television, was rather mild.  Bohannon got the best out of his guests, but his style was rather tame and not really compelling.  Bohannon's news broadcasts were a different story.  He had gravitas, but also a wonderfully warm, folksy charm.  Great pipes.  Jim Bohannon was a member of the Radio Hall of Fame.  He retired recently and died at the age of 78.

Bob Uguccioni also died Saturday.  He was 87.  Bob ran the Pocono Mountain Visitor's Bureau for a very long time.  Bob WAS the Poconos.  His family was in the hospitality business, and Bob was largely responsible for bringing thousands of people, and millions of dollars, to the Poconos over the years.  He had the job at a tough time.  The Poconos resorts were showing their age.  Atlantic City got gambling first, and that siphoned off plenty of business.  Competing with the nearby Catskills was also a challenge.  Bob was never afraid of a television camera, in good times or bad.  I enjoyed talking with him, and this area is better off because Bob Uguccioni was one of its big advocates.

TV writer and producer David Davis died November 4.  His projects included Mary Tyler Moore, Bob Newhart and Taxi.  I'd say the man had a more than fair track record.  Trivia:  He married Julie Kavner, Rhoda's TV sister and the voice of Simpsons characters.  David Davis was 86.  On behalf of lovers of great classic television, Mr. Davis, thank you very much.

Robert Clary died yesterday.  Louie LeBeau from "Hogan's Heroes."  Clary was the last surviving member of the original cast.  "Hogan's Heroes" was just so absurdly funny, and it still makes me laugh.  Corporal LeBeau was pretty much relegated to the sewing and cooking.  Yet, he was a vital part of the unit.  Clary last his entire family in concentration camps, and he spent 31 months on them.  After the TV series, it was on to a few daytime soaps.  Robert Clary was 96 years old.

Sunday newspapers became even less special Sunday.  Parade Magazine published its last issue.  It's now an on-line only "publication."  You were never going to go out of your way for Parade, but it is a light and breezy, fun and colorful little insert.  It was a nice read.  I'm sorry it won't be in my paper every week, and it's one more reason to skip buying the print version of the Sunday paper.  It first appeared in 1941.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022



It's hard to believe.  There are young people graduating from high school who have never known a life without this blog.  Yes, this humble little effort turns 18 today!

What began as something designed to get more original content to has branched out in to general musings and rather mediocre photography.  While hits received will never rival Google, there is a loyal core of readers.  The number has remained consistent, and I thank you.   The consistency is a marvel because Twitter, Instagram and Facebook have long eclipsed blogs as places to turn for thoughts and ideas.

There are days when coming up with a topic is difficult, but most days I can offer something-- thoughts, feelings, a little news analysis, a little song, a little dance...

I've never really warmed to other social media sites, but I do understand their purpose.  I do pop up there from time to time.  Still, this blog remains my preferred avenue.

On to year 19.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

I Stand Corrected


I've been doing this radio and TV news thing for an awfully long time, and there are many days when I feel I've seen and heard it all.

But then, Luzerne County comes to the rescue with something new.

Producer Brigid and I were working to put together the noon news one week ago when the telephone calls and emails started to deluge the newsroom.  Several polling places ran out of paper!  Reporters Elizabeth Worthington and Chelsea Strub worked the story.  The allegations were correct.  Voting machines were sent out without the required amount of paper.

I can almost understand this if it was close to poll closing time and it was an exceptionally busy day.  But, some polling places ran out of paper as early as 9:00 am.  That means somebody, and possibly more than one person, dropped the ball.  The paper supply wasn't checked.  It slipped through a crack that shouldn't have been there in the first place.

Efforts at damage control were feeble, at best.  No one got out in front of this thing.  Instead of corralling the flames, the county threw gasoline on them.

At a Monday night election board, the dreaded "internal investigation" was discussed.  That's right.  Leave the investigation to the people who messed it up in the first place.  Someone from the outside has to be brought in to take a good, hard, and independent look at what happened, find the cause, and make sure it never happens again.

In this day and age where even the slightest mistake triggers conspiracy theories and allegations of fraud, this is inexcusable.  Accountability.  Transparency.  Professionalism.  Competence.  Plain old common sense.  It's not difficult.

You deserve better.

Monday, November 14, 2022

Tweet This


The turmoil at Twitter, now under a new owner, is making headlines these days, including stories in the major metropolitan newspapers and the network evening news.

I'm sorry hundreds of people are losing their jobs.

Other than that, who cares?  It's Twitter!

You lived just fine before Twitter first appeared 16 years ago.  You'll be just fine if it goes away.  Does losing that blue verified check mark really impact your life?  You'll likely be better off if Twitter disappears.

There are a lot of problems in the world.

Fears Russia will nuke Ukraine are still out there.

Inflation is out of control.  Some of us can't afford to feed our families, heat our homes, and gas up our vehicles.

Covid-19, RSV, and every other illness.

Have you priced health care?

Read the newspaper obits and take note of all the young people dying.  Drugs.

I'm sorry, but the drama at Twitter is simply not on my list of priorities.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Andy's Angles: Infinity


I'm going to keep shooting this railroad bridge until I get it right, and I'm still not there.

This is the bridge crossing the Susquehanna River, just north of West Pittston.  I'm on the Exeter side, looking east.

I tried a shallow depth of field here, hoping it would heighten the "infinity" effect, and I'm still not happy.

I shall return.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

About the Cover: Streaking Again


It's been a while since I've had light trails here, so the beginning of a long, dark and chilly month seems like a perfect time.

Getting here has been an objective for a while.  This is where Interstate 81, Main Street and Viewmont Drive meet at the Dickson City/Scranton line.  I've had long, straight light trails here before.  I wanted to try something with some curves.

In the header photo, the headlights making an "S" pattern are exiting Interstate 81 North.  The tail lights are moving on the northbound ramp.  Main Street is in the middle.  In these shots, I'm looking toward Scranton.  Viewmont Drive is to the right.

The shot was taken around 4 am on a recent morning.  I was here too early.  I'm sure there would be plenty of traffic as the morning rush hour approached.

Friday, November 11, 2022

Veterans Day


There are days when fewer words are better.  Today is one of them.

Today is Veterans Day.

Thank you for your service.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Geezer Moments


I miss the days when torn jeans were patched or thrown away.  They weren't fashion statements.

I loved CNN when it did news and MTV when it played music videos.

Radio was great when just about every station was live around the clock and employed local news departments.

Politics was better when candidates actually listened to, and answered questions, rather than spouting off their pre-programmed responses.

Speaking of politics, access to the candidates was nice.  Now, you have to go through three levels of handlers.

Life was easier when big box stores and supermarkets were open during the overnight hours.

Health care was more reassuring when every small town had at least three doctors and a few pharmacies.

Summers were glorious when every church and very volunteer fire company had a carnival.

"Send" was fun when you mailed a letter to a friend.

Traveling was a breeze before road rage and drivers who pay no attention to the speed limit.

I miss the days when we had a morning newspaper and an afternoon newspaper, and there were enough carriers for both.

The day started better when there was actually some news in the network morning shows.

When news meant Cronkite and Brinkley.

When game shows meant Kennedy and Cullen.

Sears, KMart, Kresge's, Woolworth's.

When we went to donut shops for a good donut rather than overpriced coffee.

Network NFL pre game shows had information rather than a bunch of clowns, all trying to top each other.

Christmas didn't kick in to high gear until AFTER Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

The Numbers


As this is published at midnight, there is one thing we know for sure.  Josh Shapiro is Pennsylvania's next governor.  He made it look easy.  I felt Shapiro would win easily, but the race would be closer than we expected.  I missed the mark on that one.  Doug Mastriano ran an odd campaign.  He wouldn't do interviews, and we really tried on that one.  He didn't advertise until late in the game.  By then, Mastriano's opponent had already defined him, and there was no coming back.

Everything else is too close to call here at midnight, and that is not a surprise.

A little after 1 AM, the major networks started calling Fetterman over Oz in a close race.  I got that one right, predicting Fetterman could squeak through.  In spite of Fetterman's flaws, Oz just couldn't overcome the perception  that he was a rich puppy killing guy from New Jersey, here to buy a senate seat.

Newcomer Eryn Harvey made a strong show of it in the 121st, but it was an uphill battle against Eddie Day Pashinski.

Another youthful candidate, Alec Ryncavage appears to be headed to the state house in the 119th.  The Republican bested well known Tom Williams in the primary and Democrat Vito Malacari yesterday.

James May lost another election, this time to Jim Haddock in the 118th.  I don't know what May's problem is.  Wrong message?  Are voters still making him pay for being the face of an unpopular Penndot for so many years?

Matt Cartwright leads Jim Bognet in the 8th congressional district.  Cartwright had the advantage of the power of incumbency, a seat on the powerful House Appropriations Committee, and a strong Lackawanna County base.  Bognet had a strong message and he made it close.

Look for updates as we learn more.

We do know that Luzerne County threw a major monkey wrench in to the process when it sent out machines lacking in paper.  How does this happen?

Time to start working on the "Vote 2023" graphics.

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Election Day


Well, it's finally here.  It's election day.

Polls open at 7 am.  They close at 8 pm.

Me?  I crafted some preview stories a couple of weeks ago.  The i's are dotted and the t's are crossed.  All that can be done has been done.   I did write two new ones so we can preview one of the hotter state house races on Newswatch 16 This Morning.

My day will go something like this-- introduce the preview races on Newswatch 16 This Morning, keep my ear to the ground, check turnout, work on our noon broadcast, vote after work, lunch, and a long nap so I can be up to watch the numbers roll in tonight.

I'll likely post some updates and thoughts here today.

Watch this space tomorrow for a little analysis.  I have my ideas as to what will happen.  As always, I'll tell you when I'm right.  I'll tell you when I'm wrong.  Keep in mind, it's possible we won't know all the winners tonight.

Please, vote today.

>>>3:15 AM UPDATE:   After coordinating with producers, we made some changes on the fly.  That's election day for you.  Regular blog readers will remember I always started election day with a fast food spicy chicken sandwich and fries.  Well, the pandemic put an end to that.  The fast food restaurant is no longer a 24 hour operation.  I settled for a chicken salad sandwich and Diet Pepsi in the kitchen at midnight.

>>>9:00 AM UPDATE:   I spent the morning at a polling place in Moosic, Lackawanna County.  There was a line of about 15 when the polls opened at 7 AM, and it was a steady stream after that.  Opinion:  moderate to heavy turnout this morning, and we are hearing the same things from other polling places around the area.  There was a glitch here this morning and some votes didn't go through at the beginning.  It was quickly remedied.  Rep. Matt Cartwright voted at about 8:15.  We chatted afterward.  Typical Cartwright.  Cordial and factual, but reserved.  You will hear parts of that interview on Newswatch 16 at Noon.  Colleague Elizabeth Worthington spoke with Cartwright's challenger, Jim Bognet, and you will also hear that at noon.   For me, time to get ready for the noon broadcast.

>>>10:45 AM UPDATE:   Anecdotal evidence, but I will offer it up nonetheless...  Lackawanna County polling places appear to be on the busy side.  Wyoming County, not so much.  Luzerne also busy, and my sources out west say Union County polling places saw a brisk business this morning.

>>>11:30 AM UPDATE:    Phones and email going nuts.  Problems at several polling places.  We're working on it.  Details at noon.

>>>12:45 PM UPDATE:   Newswatch 16 at Noon is in the books, solid from top to bottom, and it was a major team effort.  I have a little more paperwork to complete, and my day is done.  Well, not really.  I'll be voting before I head home, and I hope you do the same.  Thanks for being part of the ride.  There could be some updates here later in the day, and a little analysis tomorrow.

>>>2:15 PM UPDATE:   I was voter 164 at my small town polling place.  Not awful.  Not great.  The poll workers called turnout "good."  I do not vote in Luzerne County, but if I lived there I would be demanding answers.  Duplicate ballots mailed out.  Some voters didn't receive even one.  Not enough paper in the machines today.  Why is there always a problem, every election, every year?

Monday, November 7, 2022

The Day Before


The clock is ticking.  The polls are open at 7 tomorrow morning, and many of you have already voted.

If you haven't, do a little homework today.  Read about the candidates.  Watch their videos.  Learn.  Think.

Some things are true for every election:  there is a lot at stake.  Much hinges on turnout.  A lot of independents and undecides make up their minds the weekend before the vote, so the time has come.  Most pundits are full of crap.  The tried and true, the conventional wisdom, went out the window a long time ago.

It really was quite a weekend, with much of the focus here in Pennsylvania.  Two former presidents and the current one were all here.  No matter your affiliation, that was rather cool and it shows how important we are.

The day before the election is one of the most important on the calendar.  Don't waste that valuable time today.

Sunday, November 6, 2022

Andy's Angles: November Color


Halloween is over.  Thanksgiving is still a few weeks away, followed by the bright lights of Christmas.

This can be a dark time of the year.  A friend in the hospitality industry tells me this is the death season for the hotel business.  Fall foliage is over, and ski season is still weeks away.  There isn't much to draw people away from home.

Having built that foundation, I offer some fall color for this potentially dreary time of the year.

Saturday, November 5, 2022

Andy's Angles: Bringing Up the Rear


The engines get the glory.  The cabooses get the smiles.

I remember all those weekend afternoons as a kid, piled in the family car.  We always got stopped by a train, somewhere.  That wasn't difficult to do when I was young.  The cute little caboose at the end always made me happy.  They were just so darned adorable.

This one calls Steamtown home.

Friday, November 4, 2022

Let's Review!


Homer Simpson always begins a vacation, and the teacher always ends it.

It was a lackluster week and a half, and I'm okay with that.  I went to the gym, did a little shopping, read a little (not nearly enough), took a few photos and caught up on some sleep.  I got a hair cut, grew a beard and shaved off a beard.

There are some things I didn't get to, and I apologize to my friends.

I have a week off in December, and several scattered days before the end of the year.  It's hard to believe 2022 is almost over.

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Media Notes


It's bee a while since I've inflicted one of these on you, so here goes...

John Sterling says he is coming back for another year in the Yankees radio booth.  Sterling is simply unlistenable.

I did something unusual on a recent Sunday afternoon-- I spent a couple of hours flipping around between various football and baseball games.  The play-by-play and color commentary were horrendous.  There were a couple of exceptions, but for the most part, it was people who talked too much and who had nothing to say.

Speaking of talking too much, the legendary Bob Costas was recently roasted for his performance on a baseball playoff series.  The criticism-- Costas wouldn't shut up.  I did catch part of one game, and I agree.  He constantly felt the need to give us a history lesson.  Bob, stay in the moment.

Those old "Deal or No Deal" shows still hold up, and Howie Mandel was simply an awesome host.

Jim Nantz says this will be his last year calling the NCAA basketball tournament.  Ian Eagle takes over on CBS in 2024.  It's funny.  Jim Nantz has been around for a long time.  He does football, golf and basketball.  Nantz is the face of CBS Sports and yet he is never mentioned during a discussion of the greats.  He is as solid as they come, but rather low key and I think his talents are overlooked.  Eagle will do OK.

An executive with a company that owns a lot of television stories feels that when NBC gives the 10 pm hour back to affiliates, CBS and ABC will follow suit.  A CBS executive doubts it will happen, but you never know.  I'm not sure how I feel about it, but it is a game changer.

I don't watch the "Daily Show."  Jon Stewart screamed too much, and the soon to depart Trevor Noah simply isn't funny.  As I read the stories on Noah's resignation, I was shocked to see how many viewers have disappeared.

New York's FM 92.3 now simulcasts one of the AM all news stations.  I don't have a problem with that.  The frequency used to be known as K Rock, Howard Stern's landing place after WNBC -AM.

CNN has made some smart moves recently, as it tries to pivot from opinion back to news.  However, I question the wisdom of building the morning show around someone whose political leanings are clearly known.

Mayim Biakik and Ken Jennings appear more confident with every "Jeopardy!" episode they host, and I've actually become used to Jennings' thin voice.

The Big 12 conference extended its contract with FOX and ESPN.  Smart move for a struggling conference.  FOX knows how to promote.  ESPN gives more SportsCenter time to leagues carried by the network.

The new owners of the CW fired dozens of people this week.

I don't care about my blue check.  I will never pay for Twitter.  I was fine before it came along.  I can easily live without it.

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Nasal Memories


My recent visit to a shoe repair shop brought back so many memories...  While I had been in this shop a few times before, my most vivid thoughts concerned the shoe shop that was near my home, as a kid.

The thing that really stood out was the aroma.  The polish, the solvents, the glues, the leather...  It was wonderful.  It might not have been the best stuff to be inhaling, but I loved it nonetheless.  Plus, you knew that upon your return visit, you would have a treasured pair of shoes back and they would look great.  I say "treasured" because this was the place you took the shoes you really liked and wanted to save.  The cheap stuff was thrown out when the stitching came loose, or you wore down the soles and heels.

There are so many places where the scent triggers memories.  Many of them concern newspapers.  Downtown Scranton used to have some great newsstands.  They were a combination of newspapers, magazines, tobacco...  I've never been a smoker.  Cigarettes nauseate me.  However, I always liked the aroma of "unsmoked" pipe tobacco and cigars.

Newspaper newsrooms had some of that, and then some.  I was inside the old Scrantonian~Tribune newsroom on North Washington Avenue several times.  Cigarette smoke was heavy in the air, and I didn't like that.  It was tempered by that wonderful ink and newsprint smell.

A good bakery?  Can't beat it.  A bacon filled diner in the morning?  Outstanding!  The tire store?  I love it.  I visited the Crayola factory just outside of Easton once.  It was the aroma of childhood, and that thrill of opening a big new box of crayons.  Sausage, peppers, and onions at a fair?  Wow!

The first skunk of springtime is a reminder that warmer weather is ahead.

I can still walk through a mall or some other public place, smell the perfume an ex used to wear and be stopped dead in my tracks.

It's a powerful sense.

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

School of Hard Knocks


We recently ran a story on Newswatch 16, and I know parents who are going through it.  It's time to apply for help paying college tuition.

I'm hearing the horror stories.  A higher education is so expensive and you have to jump through endless and complicated hoops for grants and loans.

Let me take you back to a simpler time.  I'm not sure if it was 1978 or 1979, but it was during my senior year in high school.  There was a financial aid seminar at my high school one evening.  I went alone.  I thought I'd involve the parents once I had a feel for the system and what needed to be done.

I don't remember where the presenter was from, but I'm sure it wasn't from this planet.  He just couldn't explain things in a way students and parents could easily understand.  To say this meeting was painful would be an understatement.

There was one thing I understood quite clearly, and it came at the very end of this two hour torture session:  family income requirements.  I was lucky and unlucky at the same time.  Both parents worked.  I would be the only child in school.  We were by no means rich, but we were okay.  I was lucky the family had decent incomes.  I was unlucky in that we didn't meet the requirements for aid.

I'm not going to say the evening was wasted because I did learn a lot about the process.  I did gain a new appreciation for the less fortunate families and I was happy there was some help out there.

College was a lot cheaper between 1979 and 1983.  I don't think we spent $12,000 during four years.  That buys you a month at most colleges now.  I also picked up a part time job when I was a sophomore.  It allowed me to take care of expenses like books, gas, pizza, hoagies and clothes.

If you are in the game this year, good luck.  I know it isn't easy.