Tuesday, February 28, 2023

A Good Problem


I've been doing a yearly Top Ten photo countdown for 14 years.  I do keep a computer file of what I photograph.  Back in the day, I would pull up my list and pick the ten photos that meant something to me.

My workflow changed over the years.  If I snapped a photo I liked, I would immediately transfer it to a different computer file and add a few notes.  It really made the Top Ten selection process much more streamlined.

Here it is, two months of the year, and I already have EIGHT photos up for consideration in the "potential Top Ten" file.

This is a wonderful problem to have and there are a couple of easy solutions.  It's possible some of those photos won't make the final cut.  It's also possible I can do what I did a couple of years ago, and add some "honorable mentions" leading up to the final Top Ten.

The slow period around Thanksgiving is usually when I put together the Top Ten.  There is plenty of time to come up with a solution.  But then again, there is still several months of photography ahead.

A Top Twenty, perhaps?

Monday, February 27, 2023

M*A*S*H + 40


Tomorrow is the 40th anniversary of the night "M*A*S*H" went off the air.  I remember the evening vividly.  It was during the second half of my senior year at Marywood, and I had the evening off from my job at WARM.  I set up a television in a quiet section of the house, so I wouldn't be disturbed during the two and a half hour epic.  Also, no one would see my cry.

The finale was more serious than funny.  It was touching, disturbing, and memorable.  It drew huge numbers, so I won't bore you with my tedious synopsis.  The series drew to a fitting close.

The truth be known, I stopped watching "M*A*S*H" several years before it ended for good.  I thought the show had become too preachy, and a little silly.  It bore all the signs of a sitcom that had been on for too long.  A little Klinger goes a long way.

Having said that, I thought the first five years were as good as anything ever on television.  It had that rare quality of inducing laughter and tears in the same half hour.  CBS programming head Fred Silverman  called the "M*A*S*H" pilot one of the best he'd ever seen.  The show struggled on Sunday nights in its first year.  Silverman was smart enough to move it to the safe haven of after "All In the Family" on Saturday nights in year two.  The show gained a following-- allowing CBS to move it around to Mondays and Tuesdays to bolster the programming there.

For the record, I thought the finale was good, not great.  I'm glad the gang had a chance to wrap it up and go home.  I didn't cry, but I will admit to shedding tears every time the episode where Radar goes home airs-- to this day.

Chances are, there is an episode of "M*A*S*H" airing on some channel, around the clock, and that's a good thing.

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Andy's Angles: More Mary


I got dragged, kicking and screaming, into the social media world several years ago.

Few posts generated more interest and emotion than one from Monday, February 20.  I was in Edwardsville, doing a follow up on the fire that destroyed the former St. Hedwig's church.  As Charlie Skinner said on the old HBO series, "The Newsroom," sometimes, things fall right in to your lap.

As photographer Tim and I spoke with former parishioners, there was unexpected activity on the Meyers Street.  Several neighborhood residents pleaded with the borough to save the Mary statue.  They did.

Tim and I watched as it was sliced from its base, straps applied, and lifted to safety.

Sometimes, there is a glimmer of hope in an awful situation.

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Andy's Angles: St. Hedwig's


I've been doing television since 1990.  We've seen a lot of advances-- high definition, better cameras, better lenses...  And, there are still some stories where the pictures do not do it justice.

Case in point:  The fire that destroyed the former St. Hedwig's church in Edwardsville the morning of February 19.  The smoke and flames were visible for miles, and when the fire was out, there wasn't much left.

I took the photo above, while doing a follow up the next day.

I know a church is people, and not a building.  This one left a big scar in the neighborhood, physical and emotional.

The rubble is gone now.  It will take a long time to forget this one.

Friday, February 24, 2023

Happy Weekend!


A chilly late winter weekend is coming up.  That, in and of itself, is a little depressing.  I think many of us are hoping for a quick end to winter.  Be that as it may, let's throw negativity in the trunk for a day and accentuate the positive.  Here is a short and partial list of the things that make me happy.

Cookies n Cream ice cream.

A store clerk/cashier who seems to appreciate your business.

A self serve check-out that is trouble free.

When the gas pump actually spits out a credit card receipt.

Barney Miller.

When someone holds a door open for you.

Getting a human being when you call customer service.

Cats who are thrilled to see you come home from work.

Tom Petty.

When you jump in the car at midnight, and the all-news station from Chicago is booming in on the radio.

Watching Ken Jennings improve with every "Jeopardy!" show he hosts.

In a similar vein, nailing the "Final Jeopardy!" question/answer.

That John Larroquette is still hilarious, even though the show around him isn't.

Cold diet cola and tasty diet peach iced tea.

That elusive solid night of sleep.

French fries.

When the work computer boots up in record speed.

A road without potholes.

When Rock 107's Ten at Ten features 1979.

Old Billy Joel songs.

When my mail actually arrives.

No 2 am line at the cool mini mart.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Last Train to Clarksville


I've been watching the debacle over the Ohio train derailment with a great deal of interest.  Regular blog readers know that I do like trains.

Background:  a train derailed near the Ohio/Pennsylvania line February 3.  Explosion.  Fire.  Toxic smoke.  Contaminated water.  

Analysis:  residents feel the government and Norfolk Southern response is lacking.  I get that.  While the war in Ukraine is important, a lot of people feel the president took a trip to Europe without paying enough attention to the problems at the derailment site.  Perception equals reality.  The optics here aren't very good and the president really does need to have his boots on the ground in Ohio.

After the clean up, how do we fix the issue?  Rail is the main way we transport the chemicals used at water and sewage treatment plants around the country.  The same goes for a long list of chemicals used in manufacturing.  No one is hauling the hazardous stuff for funsies.  We can't construct a pipeline for every different chemical.  Not practical.  Leaks.  Environmental damage from the pipeline construction.  Do we want more tanker trucks filled with hazardous materials on our already crowded and poorly maintained interstates? 

It seems like the only practical solution is to improve safety standards on the rails.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023



Every once in a while, something happens that takes an average story and bumps it up to the next level.

Sunday, February 19, fire destroyed the former St. Hedwig's Church in Edwardsville.  I went the next day to do a follow up.

The assumption was that it would be standard fare, with upset former parishioners, smoldering rubble, and demolition shots.

As soon as photographer Tim and I parked the car, a woman rushed over to talk with us.  She was very upset that the statue of Mary, on the side of the building, would be damaged or destroyed.  It was a neighborhood landmark, and it meant a lot to the people in that part of Edwardsville.  The woman pleaded for us to apply pressure to the powers that be.

That was unnecessary.  From what a member of the DPW told me, a lot of people expressed the same sentiment.  The statue would be removed and put in a safe place.

I watched as the DPW and a tow truck operator cut the statue from its pedestal, places straps around it, and lifted it away.  It was placed in the front bucket of a backhoe and hauled away to someplace safe.  The bucked was lined with a mover's blanket to keep it from being damaged.

This was a very sad story with a small happy ending.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Now or Later?


My friend, The Prospector on Rock 107, posed an interesting question yesterday.  He noted how people now spend more time streaming TV than they do watching traditional live and linear TV.  The question was, is there anything you must watch live?

Well, the easy answer there is news and sports, especially sports.  It's why networks pay handsomely for the NFL, with the other leagues following.  Of course, you do want your news in a timely fashion.  While I do watch individual news stories on-line, I really don't spend time streaming entire newscasts.  I will add that WNEP's Fire TV and Roku channels are doing extremely well.

I haven't cut the cord, yet, but I do occasionally watch something through my cable company's "On Demand" service.  It's rare.  Maybe once every couple of weeks, and not usually for more than an hour.

I don't subscribe to any streaming services and my television is not "smart."  The appliance where I do the vast majority of my viewing is of the tube variety.  It works great and I won't part with it until absolutely necessary.

Amazon has a number of offerings, including every season of my beloved "Barney Miller."  A half hour with Barney and the gang is infinitely better than anything on TV now.

It looks like TV is going in the same direction as radio.  It's turning in to a podcast world.  TV will become what you want, when you want it.  While it's a drastic change from what most of us grew up with, it's not necessarily a bad thing.

Monday, February 20, 2023



Four TV networks, plus the Yankees, Mets, Phillies, Giants, and Cardinals wanted Tim McCarver to work for them.  The reason was simple.  He was good.

McCarver died last week.  He was 81.

He jumped around networks as the baseball contract did because he brought instant gravitas to the broadcast.  FOX grabbed McCarver much the same way it hired Summerall and Madden for the NFL.  It sent the message to the viewer that they were serous about doing the sport right.

Personally, I thought McCarver was a bit too wordy, but he also had that remarkable quality of mixing seriousness, story telling, whimsy, fun, and a genuine love of the game.  It's why he always had a job.

The ABC booth of Al Michaels, Jim Palmer, and McCarver might have been the best ever assembled.  I'm sorry the CBS booth with McCarver and Jack Buck didn't work.  Both were exceptional talents.  McCarver and Joe Buck were a great listen for many years.

Tim McCarver was a wonderful bridge between that 60's and 70's style of baseball we grew up with, and modern times.  The man knew the game.

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Andy's Angles: Vacant


Real estate, especially commercial real estate, is a fascinating business.

Walmart used to have a store here along Business Route 6 in Dickson City.  It closed in the 90's because boulders kept breaking off the mountain in the back and they tumbled in to the back of the building.  No one was hurt.

Walmart eventually got fed up and closed the place. There was a temporary move to Taylor while a new store in Dickson City was built.  Walmart eventually constructed a new store in Taylor.

Most of the mountain with the loose and tumbling boulders has been taken down.  The empty lot remains, and that's the part that fascinates me.  Prime location.  Busy highway.  Next to a popular supermarket.  No one wants it.  Too expensive?  Yes, I realize a lot of retail building came to a halt when the pandemic arrived, and there is still a ton of empty retail space in near by malls and plazas.

There is great potential here.

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Andy's Angles: Finally!


I'm sorry I didn't get here during the actual demolition, but Carbondale is a little out of my way.

The old and decrepit Hotel Chellino is finally down, after rotting away for eons.  It paves the way to replace the long-closed bridge behind City Hall.  Apparently, the hotel's foundation is somehow related to the bridge foundation.

It looked like a grand old building and I'm sorry it couldn't be saved.  It's a common thread I've whined about here in the past.  We wait too long to step in, and by then, it's too late.  Demolition is the only option.

Below is a photo of the Chellino back in 2021.

From what I read, the site will become riverside green space.  I look forward to the finished product.

Friday, February 17, 2023

Media Friday


Sunday night's Super Bowl was the most watched in six years.  FOX broadcast the game.  CBS gets it next year, so that is the number CBS gets to happily sell.  Some 30 second commercials this year went for more than $ 7 million dollars.  I'm guessing we'll be in the $ 8 million dollar neighborhood next year.

FOX's Terry Bradshaw is getting some heat for an insensitive remark aimed at Kansas City head coach Andy Reid.  I think it was just Terry being Terry.  He meant no harm.  Still, it was a stupid thing to say.  Considering the fine stable of talent FOX has, it would have been easy to find someone better at podium/trophy presentation duties than Terry Bradshaw.

There was a mass shooting at Michigan State University Monday night.  I spun the radio dial on my way to work early Tuesday morning, looking for the latest information.  It would be several minutes before top of the hour network newscasts.  It was a bad atmospheric night.  The Philadelphia, New York and Chicago "all news" stations weren't coming in good.  On one local talk station, a silly man was talking about UFO's or something like that.  On another, a couple of guys were bashing one of the political parties.  The top of the hour arrived.  The network newscast on the oldies station was cut off after a few seconds by an apparent computer error.  I finally pulled in a network newscast on another station.  Friends, it shouldn't be this hard.  Broadcasters, we are our own worst enemies.

Two AM stations in Las Vegas go silent for good at the end of this month.  The owner sold the land where the towers are located.  The land is worth more than the stations.  One ran sports.  The other featured conservative talk.  This makes me sad.

CNN management is getting raked over the coals for a proposal to give Charles Barkley a prime time news and interview show.  I'm no snob.  You don't need a journalism degree to ask questions.  I point to actor David Hartman, who knocked it out of the park as the first host of ABC's "Good Morning America."  Hartman was curious, smart, sensitive and involved.  He had a combination of warmth and gravitas.  Barkley?  I'm not so sure.

CBS is said to be replacing "The Late Late Show" with a comedy game show.  Yay for thinking outside the box, but this is just a blatant attempt to save money.  There is some great comedy talent out there, and while I was less than thrilled with James Corden, it's a shame to watch this franchise go away.  I thought Corden got off to a great start, but "Late Late" became just another smarmy Hollywood smooch fest.  I really miss Tom Snyder's intelligence and Craig Ferguson's edginess.

Speaking of Craig Ferguson, he and Sony are shopping around a new half hour show for late night.  It appears to be a comedy clip show and it's called "Channel Surf."  The syndicator says there is room for a new half hour on schedules because of a lack of sitcom reruns entering the field.  I love Craig Ferguson, but I don't see this effort getting a lot of traction.

Industry publications say NBC will make a huge bid to get back in the NBA business in a couple of years.  Basketball isn't my thing, but I thought NBC did a good job with the league twenty years ago.  But then again, Marv Albert is retired and Bob Costas has left the network.

Thursday, February 16, 2023



I was thrilled.  All my tax time paperwork arrived early, the earliest in years!  I packaged it up and delivered it at the office of my tax preparer, drooling at the thought of an early and quick refund.

Guess again.

My tax prep person called a couple of days later and delivered the bad news.  Hammer time.  I owe money to the federal government, the state government, and my borough.  

I am more than willing to pay my fair share.  I wasn't prepared for the triple whammy.

By the way, I subscribe to the Tony Kornheiser philosophy.  My tax perp person has one rule:  "Keep me out of jail."

I visited the tax prep office after work Monday.  I left with writers cramp from signing forms and cutting checks.

Rest assured, your government is funded for another 12 months.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

I. Was. Wrong.


There is an old saying in the weather business.  If you want to take credit for the sunshine, you have to take credit for the rain.

I was quite confident in last week's Super Bowl prediction that Philadelphia would defeat Kansas City.

How did that work out for me?  I was wrong on so many levels!

First, I had the winning team wrong, and I believed that the Eagles would win comfortably.

Both teams have strong defenses, and I didn't expect a high scoring game.  Low 20's, tops.  Wrong again.

I did not watch one second of the game.  I did catch the highlight packages and a replay.  It looks like I missed a fantastic contest.  Still, no regrets.  I drifted off to sleep early, listening to the 70's channel on satellite radio.

I had a feeling things were turning against the Eagles in the second half because the fireworks in my neighborhood subsided, and there were none late at night, when the game ended.

Reflections?  I have new respect for Patrick Mahomes, who clearly played in a great deal of pain.  I wasn't sold on Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts.  I am now.  From what I saw, the FOX broadcast looked great.  The Burkhardt/Olsen team received a wonderful review in the New York Post, and that paper hates everything.  Terry Bradshaw is catching some heat for a stupid remark, and deservedly so.  I'll have more on that in a couple of days.

And as for that holding penalty that helped decide the game...  I didn't think it was much of a hold and I wouldn't have called it.  The offending Eagle later admitted that yes, he is guilty.

Now, it's on to spring training baseball!

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

"Career" in Quotation Marks


Today's entry is an addendum to some things I opened the door to yesterday.

I hate the word "career."  Most of the time here, I put it in quotation marks.

This all stems from meeting the great and legendary Frank LaBar.  He was one of the people who built the local radio and tv industry. In fact, as Roscoe the Clown, Frank was the first person seen on WBRE TV in the early 50's.  Frank did it all-- TV, radio, advertising.  He had the most magnificent voice.  Frank was the guy who said "This is the News Station" on WNEP in the 70's.

I digress.

Let me take you back to a night in the early 80's.  I was part time at WARM.  I was handed the responsibility of making copies of that year's Pocono Raceway commercials, for distribution to dozens of other radio stations.  I think I made $2 a copy, and I was happy to have the extra money.

I showed up at the building in Avoca one night to start the project.  Another legend, Tim Karlson was there.  Tim did 3 to 7 PM when I started.  He and Frank were in a production room, working on a different commercial.  Tim introduced us.  I was in awe.  It was Frank!  The voice!  With those booming pipes, Frank said the words I'll never forget.  He said "Kid, it's not a career.  It's a job."

I've never forgotten that, and Frank was right.  I take my job seriously, and every day, I realize how lucky I am.  However, I also realize that there are people who have it a lot tougher, and they are never put in the "career" category.  I don't know what differentiates a "job" from a "career."  I'll make it easy.  They are all jobs.  One isn't better than the other, and being a parent is the toughest job of them all.  No one ever refers to that as a "career."

I can be accused of many things.  Having my head in the clouds is not on the list.  I have a great job.  I count my blessings when I swipe my pass at the door every night and morning.  I'm also grateful Frank uttered those words forty years ago.

Monday, February 13, 2023

Jerry Baum


If you are a regular reader here, you know that I often refer to my "career" by saying "I am luckier than I deserve to be."   Let me tell you a little about that luck.

I started in college radio in 1979.  I landed an "off air" position at WARM while I was a sophomore, in 1981, and I started going out and covering news stories less than a year later.  It is said timing is everything, and I had my timing right, even though it was just dumb luck.

I was starting off in the business while a few of the pioneers in local radio and television were still around.  One was WBRE's Jerry Baum.  There were a few who weren't nice to this newbie, and I get that.  I can be difficult.  Not Jerry.  He was helpful, and professional.  For me, it was a kick getting to know one of the people who helped build the local industry.  The fact that he was so kind and friendly was icing on the cake.  Jerry could be a little grumpy at times.  That was part of his charm.

Jerry and I actually first met while I was in high school.  By then, he had shifted from 6 and 11 pm sports to a daytime news reporting shift.  He was sent to cover a "career" fair at one of the local colleges.  It was an embarrassingly disorganized mess.  I don't know who was supposed to do it, but the person who was slated to handle communications/broadcasting never showed, leaving me to wander about campus.  That's when Jerry and I had a few moments to chat.  Friends, believe me when I tell you that Jerry was the real deal.  What you saw on television was what you saw in person.  Jerry Baum was a nice, down to earth person-- a rarity in this business.

I'm glad I learned by watching-- on television, and when we bumped in to each other on the road.  I'm even more glad I knew him.  I was lucky.

Jerry Baum died Friday morning.  He was 88 years old.

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Andy's Angles: Setting the Stage


I had the privilege of doing the set up pieces for the Shapiro inauguration in Harrisburg last month.  This is the 4:00 am view of the stage and seating on Commonwealth Avenue.

After I posted this photo on Facebook, a few people asked why the swearing in is still held outside, in the January cold.  I guess the primary answer is tradition.  We usually hold big inaugurations outside.  I remember the start of Ronald Reagan's second term, in 1985, began indoors because the east coast was in the grips of a severe cold snap.

Ernie Preate's inauguration as Pennsylvania's Attorney General was held in the Forum.  That's a big and ornate theater/auditorium just steps away from the scene you see above.  Simply spectacular.  But, it's undergoing a massive renovation right now.

The Farm show complex can be used in a pinch, I assume.  However, if you have a setting like this, a little cold weather is a small price to pay.

Saturday, February 11, 2023

About the Cover: Harrisburg


It is one of my favorite sights and it is especially stirring at night.

This is the dome of the state capitol in Harrisburg.  I took it on inauguration morning, January 17th.  This is the view from the east side of the building.

There are a few different ways to reach the capitol complex.  I always take the first Interstate 83 exit after the split with I-81.  It takes you down Route 22 to the State Street Bridge, and there are few things more spectacular than the lights of the bridge with the dome framed in the middle.

No matter how many times I see it, it still "wows" me.

By the way, below is a photo I took on inauguration morning, 2015.  It's clear the state upped its lighting game.

Friday, February 10, 2023

It's the Eagles


My days as a big football fan have long since passed, but I do view the NFL out of the corner of my eye and ear.  Sports talk radio is a pleasant little diversion, and I do have to write football stories for the morning news.

I've been picking the Super Bowl in this space for several years, with modest results.  This year will be no exception.

My "system" is to favor the team with the best defense.  This year, it's Philadelphia, by a slim margin.  Kansas City is a tough opponent.  It's very difficult to bet against Patrick Mahomes, even with a bad ankle.  On the other hand, KC head coach Andy Reid usually makes a critical mistake in every big game.

Take Philadelphia, and you can even give up the two and a half points.

Me?  I hope to be asleep at game time.  I kid you not.  I have not watched a Super Bowl since 1999.  A scheduling quirk gave me the following day off, and I wound up at a party in Olyphant.  There is no party like an Olyphant party.  Anyway, I became bored and moved to the kitchen, where I watched the movie "Clueless" with the girls.  That was the year Denver demolished Atlanta.

And as always, a warning.  Leave me out of Super Bowl telecast "commercial" discussions.  I could not possibly care less.  Some 30 second commercials sold for more than $ 7 million.  I know a Super Bowl commercial makes a big splash, but if I was in marketing, I'd spread that money out.  I still remember "reach, frequency, continuity" from college advertising classes.  The Super Bowl gives you the reach.  I always sided with frequency and continuity.

Bottom line, take the Eagles and they'll cover the spread.

Thursday, February 9, 2023

No Matter How You Slice It...


Interesting reading the other day...  I found a story that said Subway is considering installing deli slicers in its stores and doing away with buying pre sliced meat.

The major "pro" is unsliced meat is cheaper than buying the pre sliced varieties.  It's supposed to taste better.  Fresher.  Moist, rather than stale and dried out.

The "cons" including buying machines, training staff, and two dangers.  The first danger is these machines can cause major damage to hands and fingers.  The other is they can be a bear to clean, leading to customers getting sick from contamination.  Listeria.

It's safe to say Subway has lost its way in recent years.  Stores closing.  Sales down.  Prices up.  Concerns about quality.  The chain is trying to fix all those issues, and I do drop in from time to time.  I order the same thing on every visit:  turkey and Swiss, pile on every vegetable in the cooler, a quick shot of oil and vinegar.  Maybe a bag of chips, depending on my mood.  Always a diet cola.  I sit in a booth by myself, and leave happy.

Will freshly sliced Subway meat make a difference?  They don't put much meat on a sandwich in the first place, so I doubt the subs will taste different.  Plus, I overwhelm the sparse meat with all the veggies.

Guarantee me a safe sandwich, at a reasonable price and I'll keep coming back.

Wednesday, February 8, 2023



I seem to lean on old familiar ways.

--Paul Simon

The Democratic party is messing with the 2024 primary election schedule.  The Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary used to go first.  The proposed schedule has The South Carolina primary on February 3, followed by New Hampshire and Nevada on February 6.

I get it.  The Democrats want the first contest to be in a more diverse state than Iowa or New Hampshire.  There is a sense of fairness to the proposed plan.

On the other hand, I love the charm of the Iowa caucuses.  Reporters and candidates crisscrossing the state in the freezing cold.  Beautiful and scenic locations on the evening news.  Explanations of how a caucus works.  The thrill of victory from a candidate who did well.  The agony of defeat for those who stumbled.

The only thing constant in life is change.  I will miss the old days.  It had that wonderful charm of the start of an election year.

While the Democrats are changing, why not go all the way and have a national primary?  At least a series of regional primaries?

It's clear some type of overhaul is needed.  It's sad that by the time some big states get around to voting, the party nominees have already been decided.

Still crazy after all these years.

Oh, still crazy after all these years.

--Paul Simon

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

I Told You So!


A few years ago, CBS installed retired Dallas quarterback Tony Romo as its number one NFL color commentator.  At the time, I was in a state of disbelief.  CBS handed one of its plum assignments to someone with no experience.  I'm sure there were some auditions and "test" games in there, but when it comes to being in the booth when it counted, Romo was green.

Even the greats, like John Madden, spent a couple of years doing the lesser games, the non marquee match-ups, to gain experience.   Troy Aikman worked games in Europe and was on the FOX second team before moving up to the top.   As I have said many times, broadcasting isn't as easy as it looks.

Romo's performance was panned in several places recently after a lackadaisical effort during a playoff game.  

And then, came a story in the New York Post.  It said CBS executives met with Romo, before the season,  to address problems with his performance.

Romo got off to a good rookie start.  He was fresh off the field.  Romo knew the players and the coaches.  He remembered how they got things done, and there was an amazing streak of being able to predict plays.  Now, a few years have passed.  Teams changed.  Personnel changed.  It's time to call on all that broadcasting experience to help get the job done.  Oh.  Wait.  What broadcasting experience?

Tony Romo's recent knowledge of the game got him through the first couple of years, and CBS responded with a huge contract.  Now, it's time for research, homework, interviews, phone calls...  Romo simply seems unprepared.

Here we go again.  Tom Brady retired last week and is destined for the number one slot at FOX.  Good luck with that.  Brady announced yesterday he won't be in the booth until the fall of 2024.  I hope he spends the off year learning his craft.

Monday, February 6, 2023

Follow Up Monday



I watched two more new "Night Court" episodes, and there is no reason to change my initial review.  The Dan and Abby scenes are off the charts.  The rest of the cast is dreadful.  I'll try another episode or two before deciding on giving up.  I'm leaning that way right now.  "Night Court" has already been renewed for a new season.

NBC feels ten years is enough for the "The Blacklist."  I watched the first couple of years and this was one of the smartest series on television.  Who doesn't love James Spader?  Unfortunately, "The Blacklist" became too dark, too gory, too violent, and too difficult to follow.  I gave up long ago.

I've tried a few brands and still can't find a ketchup that doesn't go nuts on the sugar/corn syrup.  I want to taste the tomatoes and the spices.

We survived the weekend cold snap, and I found myself stuck in the Friday 2:00 am snow shower, which was more like a squall.  Luckily, I wasn't far from home and the roads were empty.  I stayed off Interstate 81 and inched home on local streets.  Kudos to PennDOT and Public Works in Scranton.  Quick response.

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow Thursday, which means six more weeks of winter, which we were going to get, anyway.  The forecast for the next couple of weeks indicates above normal temperatures.  I scoured the internet and could not find a forecast from the station's old groundhog, Willie Nathan Edward Paul.

I was going to do a paragraph on the sorry state of NFL announcing, but that deserves an entry of its own.  Tomorrow.

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Andy's Angles: Making Use


Scranton filled in the leaky pools at Nay Aug Park months ago, and that makes me sad.  As I'm writing this, there are some ideas being kicked around for water based recreation here, but nothing is written in stone, yet.  There is great debate over splash pad vs big pool.

But, look carefully, in the middle of the photo above.  A man is playing with two dogs in what used to be one of the pools.

At least, the space isn't being wasted.

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Andy's Angles: Winter in the Park


It's hard to believe, and nice to know that we've finally entered February, the last month of meteorological winter.

I had a recent expedition, looking for the beauty of the winter season and there is plenty out there.

Above is one of the pavilions at Nay Aug Park in Scranton.  The leaves are gone, but the evergreens are, well, ever green.  It won't be long before people are playing music here and using the pavilion's shade to get out of the hot summer sun.

And there will be happy families, having lunch or dinner here.

Yes, winter has its beauty, but I'm ready for spring.

Friday, February 3, 2023



I've spent a fair amount of time here complaining about bad products, made here at home and abroad.  Today, it's just the opposite.

This all started in early November.  A car dashboard sensor came on, indicating I needed air in a tire.  No big deal.  I have a tire shop close to me that offers air for a free.  A mini mart chain does the same thing.  A quick squirt, and I was on my way.

As an aside, I know it costs money to keep an air compressor running, but the price some mini mart chains and gas stations charge is outrageous.  Stop it.  Stop it now!  Do something nice for customers.  Anything more than 50 cents is robbery.

Be that as it may, I've been airing up this tire every couple of weeks.  Late November and December was a busy time for me.  I should have stopped at a tire shop.  I didn't.  Now, the air experience was going from twice a week to once a week.

I checked the forecast.  Trends are changing.  Cold weather, very cold weather, is on the way.  Snow, too.  The last thing I wanted was a flat in a blizzard.

Monday morning, I called the tire shop where I bought them, and made an appointment for the afternoon.  Diagnosis:  nail.  40 minutes later, I was back on the road.

Here is my point.  I'm amazed that I was able to drive around with a nail in my tire for three months, with only a few pumps of air getting me through.  In the old days, a nail meant an instant flat.

We've come a long way!

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Welcome Back!


I finally get to get to reuse the Polar Vortex graphic I first created in January of 2014!

The Polar Vortex makes a return to our area tomorrow.   Well, not really.  My team of meteorological experts tell me a nasty cold snap is not the Polar Vortex.   Temperatures will be below normal, for a change, this winter.  The wind will make it feel even worse.

We were due.  Most days have been mild, by winter standards.  Snow drought.

As I've said before, I can deal with the cold.  Snow is something different.  It's dangerous.

Relief is on the way.  We'll be back in the 40's in a few days, and it will be interesting to see if the winter ends as it began.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023



Tomorrow is Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney.  Many other places have their own version, and that's cool.  Tomorrow marks the half way point of winter, but if you look at the three coldest months of the year as December, January, and February, that half way point came and went two weeks ago.

It's silly.  It's goofy.  It's fun.  I look forward to the spectacle.

I remember thinking it was real serious stuff, with scientific merit, when I was a kid.  Now, I understand that is not the case.  Still, it's nice when Punxsutawney Phil predicts an early spring.  Even a forecast of six more weeks of winter is no big deal.  We always get that, anyway.  Former coworker and current friend Tom Williams always used to say it doesn't become nice and stay nice around here until early June.

It is a nice little boost when Phil forecasts an early spring, even though it doesn't mean much.  The winter, so far, hasn't been anything to complain about.  We've had mostly above normal temperatures and very little snow.

No matter what Phil says, keep the puffy coat handy for another couple of months.