Tuesday, October 31, 2023

One Week, Matthew Perry, and Richard Moll


It's one week until the general election, and I hope you've read up on the candidates, maybe even scoped out a sample ballot.  I know many of you have already mailed in your ballots.

I've done both my personal and professional homework, so voting should be a breeze.-- just fill in the right ovals, personally.  Tweak my scripts and do some general snooping, professionally.

Even though many of the races in my area are uncontested, there is still anticipation in the air.  I always feel that way before an election and it peaks during my drive to work, early on election morning.

Let's see how stress free the week can be.

And, before I hit "publish" for the day, a few words about the weekend passing of Matthew Perry.  I was not a "Friends" fan.  I couldn't get through more than ten minutes of it.  To me, it just appeared to be a bunch of people whining about some pretty good lives.  I think the bottom line is that I wasn't in the shows target demographic and that's ok.  In other words, I was too old for "Friends."

Be that as it may, Perry had some addiction problems over the years, and he spent a lot of time helping people conquer their demons.  Matthew Perry mattered.

We also lost Richard Moll last week.  He played Bull the bailiff on "Night Court" for nine years.  Moll brought an interesting character to life.  Yes, he could be dimwitted at time, but Bull was written with a lot of heart.  Moll made it work, wonderfully.

Monday, October 30, 2023

It IS a Good Morning!

 I was going through my morning paper last week, over a breakfast of reheated vegetable fried rice, when I spied this in the classifieds.  I blurred the names and numbers.

Is my newspaper trying to tell me something?  Do they want me dead?  Do they need to hire a proof reader?  Help in the composition department?

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Andy's Angles: Bare Bones


Even though Halloween is still a couple of days away, we'll wrap up the weekend with one last skeleton from the Gardens of Cedar in south Scranton.  Yes, he's a tad back lit, and if you look closely, you can see dew dripping from the area beneath his left eye socket.  Yes, this is an early morning photo.  I'm too frightened to be here at night!

If you enjoy the season, I hope it's been a good one for you.  My involvement stops at sneaking a Snickers bar or two, if anyone brings leftovers to the office.

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Andy's Angles: Sparkles


It's already been established that I don't like Halloween, but I am able to appreciate creativity.  This is another skeleton hanging out at the Gardens of Cedar in south Scranton.  It looks like she's dressed up for a night on the town.

Friday, October 27, 2023

Halloween Weekend


The truth be known-- I don't like Halloween.  The bottom line is that life is scary enough.  I don't need any enhancements.  Adults grabbed a fun, one day kids' holiday and took it to excess.  However, I do like how people are decorating and lighting their homes.  It fills in the dark nights after summer and before Christmas.

I found the two guys you see above hanging out at the Gardens of Cedar in south Scranton.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Let's Review


Another vacation draws to an end tomorrow night.  As is customary, here is a review of the past ten days.

I really didn't do much of anything.  Caught up on some sleep.  Did some reading.  Received yet another vaccination.  Had conversations with the cat.  A little shopping.

Note, I didn't say "Grew a beard.  Shaved off a beard."   I usually park the razor on vacations, and it has no point.  My beard just starts to look half decent, and the itching is subsiding, when it's time to shave it off and come back to work.  Plus,  I had to be seen in public a few times, so I shaved a few times.

I still have two more vacation weeks to burn off, plus several scattered individual days.  However, it will be tough to top this past week when it comes to a lack of productivity.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

You Can Run...


...but you can't hide!

Our news director/election coordinator prepares a briefing book for us before every election.  My copy landed on my desk just before my vacation started.  I thought, "Great!"  It would provide some vacation reading and the opportunity to start noodling away at writing some election morning previews.

Well, I just couldn't wait.  On my last pre vacation work day, the morning executive producer and I discussed some races that we need to focus on.  I thought I'd bang out a couple of rough drafts.  Refinement could wait during vacation down time.

Well, like the kid who gets up before dawn on Christmas morning, I couldn't help myself.  Rough drafts became refined news copy.  I even turned the scripts over to a video editor, who will match the words with pictures and graphics.  He now knows the direction in which I'm heading.  It makes for a stress-free election morning.  Let me back up a bit.  There never is a stress free election morning.  Getting the preview pieces done early is just one less thing to worry about.

There is still plenty of time until the polls open, and I'm sure there will be some last minute tweaks before I record the audio and get things rolling.

I look forward to it.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Names in the News


As I have said many times before, I respect Taylor Swift's popularity.  Apparently, no one has explained the concept of "overexposure" to her.

Bill Belichick scored his 300th NFL win Sunday afternoon.  Can he, just once, hold a civil news conference?

The late night talk show writers had months to think up new and fresh stuff.  Their strike is over.  The late night talk shows are back in production, and it's more of the same tired, old material.

Speaking of tired, I've really grown weary of some Washington media types who think they know what's going on.  NewsFlash, kids:  no one knows.

Can someone explain Pete Davidson to me?  Is he supposed to be funny?

Britney Spears has a new book, and I really feel sorry for her.  She let others handle her life, and they really screwed it up.  The word "damaged" instantly comes to mind, and it's a pity I had to say that.

Philadelphia sports fans can be difficult, but I have to admit the Phillies have players who are a credit to the game.

Friend and WNEP alum Jennifer Borrasso, now at KDKA in Pittsburgh, won an Emmy last week, and I'm thrilled.

Monday, October 23, 2023

Are You Kidding Me?


I couldn't believe what I was reading.

A county here in our area, that hasn't had a problem-free election since Adlai Stevenson was on the ballot, had an issue with its mail-in ballots.


I know running an election is difficult business, especially in the current era of computers and vote-by-mail, but why does it happen in the same place, time after time.  Office personnel seem to be in a revolving door, and that's part of the problem.

At least, it was caught and the issue will be fixed.

However, even though there is a remedy, it does erode faith in the process.  You have to wonder what managed to slip through the cracks.

There has to be a better way.

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Andy's Angles: RiverWatch


Same place as yesterday, but this is the view upstream from the Stephenson Street Bridge in Duryea, rather than yesterday's downstream perspective.

The Lackawanna really widens out here, and I still find it hard to believe the river swamped this neighborhood 12 years ago.

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Andy's Angles: On the River


You will never find me taking a dip, or in a canoe or kayak-- but I do enjoy looking at water and the occasional photograph.

This is the Lackawanna River from the Stephenson Street Bridge in Duryea, just upstream from where the Lackawanna flows in to the Susquehanna.

The photo was taken in late September, and the leaves were just beginning to pick some color.  Fall fog is in the air, and the river was running fast from the recent storms.

Friday, October 20, 2023



Meteorological winter begins December 1.  Astronomical winter begins December 22.  I'm ready to make the declaration that winter is already here.  You see, I pulled the air conditioner out of my bedroom winter Wednesday morning.

I have one of those split ductless units, which does a pretty good job, but my bedroom gets the afternoon sun.  I sleep during the day, not the cooler overnight hours, so I need the boost a window unit provides.

This year was no different-- installed in mid May, out in mid October.   It's not a huge unit, nor is it heavy.  It's just bulky and awkward.  As a person who already had a bad back, the twice yearly ritual is painful.  Why don't make these things with handles?  I've looked into those portable units, where all you do is wheel it in to place and stick a vent hose out the window.  For every good review, there are two bad ones.  It might be the only option in the years ahead, but we'll climb that mountain when we get there.

As a reporter and anchor, the weather is a big part of my life.  I've looked at every long range forecast.  El Nino usually means a milder winter.  The last two winters featured half of the snow we usually get.  I'm okay with both.  However, regular blog readers know I look at long range forecasts with a great deal of skepticism.  How did that forecast of a super destructive hurricane season work out?  I'm still waiting for the new ice age they frightened us with when I was in school.  Yes, I know.  I've seen the data.  Things are certainly much different than they used to be.

Let's just take it one "7 Day Forecast" at a time.

And, before I sign off for the day, my condolences to the family and friends of George Nowakowski.  He spent a lifetime in law enforcement, and he was always a man you could always deal with.

Thursday, October 19, 2023

A Geezer Moment


I blow through several "news" web sites a day-- newspapers, networks, major market radio and television stations, colleges and universities, even social media and blogs.

Something recently really jumped out at me.  We are not a civil society.

There are fights in stores, courts, airplanes, airports, stadiums, parking lots, supermarkets, theaters roads...  Let me pause for a moment to repeat that I do the speed limit, and tailgating will not entice me to go faster.

And, I can't leave out the atrocities taking place around the world.

You can't go anywhere these days without someone taking a swing at someone else, or worse.

It makes you want to stay home and read a book.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Business Wednesday


It was really no surprise.  Rite Aid filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Sunday.  Chapter 11 is a reorganization, not a "going out of business" sale.  However, look at the statistics.  Post Chapter 11 success stories are rare, but it does happen.

Rite Aid will close some stores and get out from under some debt.  Chapter 11 could help lessen the blow from lawsuits alleging the over prescription of opioids.  Good luck with that.

My impression of the company:  bad management.  It's as simple as that.  Some remodeled stores are very nice.  The prices aren't great.  You can do better at the mega big box store.  There are some excellent, helpful, and friendly employees.  On the other hand, there are some bad ones, too.  That is a direct reflection of management.  When the pharmacy says it opens at 8 am, customers expect it to be ready at 8 am.  At the store I deal with, 8 am is merely a rough guideline.  Be happy if there is someone to help at 8:15, and as I've said before, no one goes to a pharmacy for funsies.  They are there because of a medical issue that needs attention.  It is a shame when your time is not valued.  Run the shops better, and you have a decent chance of coming out of this.

You may ask, why not visit a different pharmacy?  Old habits die hard.  There was a good staff here, at one time.  The bottom line is I put up with sub par service because it's a convenient location for me.

I'm really sorry about the Rite Aid issue.  Sadly, a lot of people lose their jobs.  Plus, there is local history.  The first Rite Aid store was in downtown Scranton in 1962.  I wish we placed more of a value on that history rather than the constant worship of an unfunny sitcom, just because it was set in the city.

Unfortunately, I have a feeling there will be a continued shake down in the pharmacy industry.  Amazon has a foot in the door.  The big box stores seem to do a booming business.  There is always a line at their pharmacies.  Plus, the insurance companies want us to do everything by mail.

I really miss the days of walking to the corner mom and pop drug store.



Sleeping Homer is here, and that means it's another vacation week.

It marks poor clock management on my part.  I still have a week scheduled for November and another for December.  Plus, there are a few scattered days off.  I should have spread my weeks out a bit better.

Cold weather vacations aren't a bad thing, even though I rarely venture out of the county.  I enjoy cooler weather much more than summer heat, and there are always things to do.

I'll occupy my time with the usual, and you'll hear a word or two about it here.

The weekend morning broadcasts are in good hands.

Be well, and I'll call you back later.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Media Tuesday


I stumbled across an episode of "Newsradio" on cable TV the other morning.  I forgot how clever and outrageously funny it was.  I do have the boxed DVD set, and I intend to watch more during my upcoming vacation.  Every character brought so much to the table, especially Stephen Root.  Some series can go on, even after a major character leaves the stage.  Sadly, "Newsradio" couldn't recover from the tragic loss of Phil Hartman.

I was looking at old music videos on You Tube the other day.  Remember how much fun MTV used to be?

Mark Goddard died last week.  87.  He was Major Don West on "Lost in Space."  The series was never one of my favorites.  It was outrageously fake at times.  Plus, I was a little kid when it was on, and it frightened me!

A local radio station flipped its format from 80's hits to Spanish music last week.  When I was a radio pup, format changes were a big deal.  Now, it seems like we have at least one a month.  This station was hampered by a relatively weak signal.  Management tried a variety of formats over the years.  Nothing really clicked.  I should add the area's most popular stations have had the same formats for decades.  Consistency.  Brand.  Promotion.  But then again, they all have pretty good signals.

I caught part of the Kent State @ Eastern Michigan game Saturday on the CBS Sports Network.  Former coworker Jason Knapp was on play-by-play.  Listening to Jason call a game is always a treat.

The latest war in the middle east boosted the ratings of FOX News and CNN.  MSNBC slipped.  I found that to be odd.  CNN always gets more viewers during a crisis, but NBC has a solid staff of correspondents covering the war.

Hats off to Taylor Swift.  She can pack them in at a stadium, and now movie theaters.  I'm glad the Swift concert movie, plus "Barbie" and "Oppenheimer" have given the theater industry a much needed shot in the arm.

I read where many fans were disappointed with the NBC team of Jac Collinsworth and Jason Garrett on Saturday night's Notre Dame/USC game.  I checked on the game while at my WNEP producer's desk, but it was just to see the score.  I didn't stay long enough to get a feel for the abilities of the announcers.  If the complaints are true, I'm sad.  NBC had a deep stable of talent at one time.  Now, not so much.  I like Noah Eagle, Dan Hicks, and Tom Hammond.  That's about it.

This is a new media related item.  My personal email provider is doing an amazingly lousy job of letting spam and phishing items slip through.  I report them all.  Nothing happens.  Hey, shape up!

I know Sunday is a huge television night, but it's also fertile ground for sports talk radio.  There is no shortage of topics because you had all those fresh football and baseball games Sunday afternoon and evening.  JT the Brick on Mad Dog Sports Radio on satellite and the Spanier/Plank team on FOX Sports Radio are head and shoulders above the rest.  What used to be a wasteland time period now really rocks with news and opinion.  Plus, there is plenty of fun on both shows.  Even if you're just a casual fan, like me, do yourself a favor and twist in some exceptionally entertaining radio.

"Tomorrow" with Tom Snyder made its debut on NBC at 1:00 am, Tuesday, September 16, 1973.  50 years ago.  I didn't see it.  The local NBC affiliate signed off after Johnny Carson.  My first exposure to the great Tom Snyder came via Dan Aykroyd's wonderful impression on "Saturday Night Live."  When I finally saw the real Snyder, I was blown away.  Holy Cow!  There really was a guy like Aykroyd's impression!  I know thanks to streaming, cable, satellite, internet, etc., there is still some serious and creative talk out there, but nothing like Tom Snyder.  

I don't stream, so I won't see the "Frasier" reboot, but it's getting awful reviews.  That saddens me because the original was so good.

Monday, October 16, 2023

Time Passages


We don't need any reminders that time is passing by a bit faster than we would like.  Once in a while, something happens that gives you that extra jolt.

Here is today's edition.  Happy birthday, Suzanne Somers.  The "Three's Company star is 77.  Are you kidding me?  77!

She will always be the ditzy blonde.  "Three's Company" came on like a house afire back in March of 1977.  Even though it was based on a British sitcom, "Three's Company" was fresh, different, and a little bawdy.  It was a great delight for a high school kid.  Must see TV.

For me, it got tired, and fast.  Somers left.  It became the same show every week, some sort of mix up.  I found better things to do with my time.

I've blogged about it in the past.  A coworker and I had the discussion last week.  Farrah Fawcett will always be the woman on the poster.  In the same vein, Suzanne Somers will always be the attractive blonde in an average, and occasionally dumb, sitcom.  Reruns leave her frozen in time.  

There are worse things.



I wrote what you see above early Saturday, and triggered it to appear here Monday morning.  I had no idea Suzanne Somers was very sick.  I had no idea she would die yesterday.  I'm so sorry.  I'm not sure if she felt that way, but many actors become disappointed they are known for one, and only one role.  Type cast.  I don't know if Somers had that concern.  I do hope she realized she made millions laugh for a long time, and she will be remembered fondly.

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Andy's Angles: Mum's the Word


Not only do they provide color to a season when things are dying back, they tolerate the cold and are indestructible.

It's another view of the mums at the Gardens of Cedar in south Scranton.  

I've been here a few times now, and the gardeners always manage to pack a lot in to a small space.

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Andy's Angles: Mum Weekend


They are one of the joys of fall.  Mums.  They add color to an already vibrant season, and they can take the cold.

These beauties were at the Gardens of Cedar in south Scranton.

Friday, October 13, 2023

This Week


Brad Hare retired from the Sunbury Police Department Monday.  He was charged with stealing thousands from a volunteer fire company Wednesday.  I dealt with Chief Hare a few times over the years and found him to be extremely cooperative.  However, it doesn't excuse the behavior.  Yes, I know.  Innocent until proven guilty.

I guess Sunbury city officials can stop saying Chief Hare was "unavailable."

That launches me into another aspect of "This Week."   It's crisis management.  Certain people and organizations really outdid themselves this week in poor crisis management.  Friends, it's not that hard.   Get out in front of it.  Say what you know.  Be open.  Do it fast.  I'd like to say they'll do it better next time, but I severely doubt that.  There are entire college courses dedicated to crisis management.  I told you everything you need to know in about 15 seconds.

Our area came together this week to note the atrocities going on in the middle east.  It's a horrible situation, and people in our area always step up for emotional support.

Philadelphia sports fans can take things a bit too far, but I really enjoy how the city is going nuts again because the Phillies are in the playoffs.

As a life long rooter of underdogs, I didn't shed any tears when the Los Angeles Dodgers lost their playoff series to the Arizona Diamondbacks.  A sweep for the snakes!

I was a tad disappointed the Baltimore Orioles didn't show up for their series against Texas.  Orioles fans suffered for years.  It's too bad they didn't get a better show.

A lot of sports talk radio time is dedicated to the issue of whether New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has suddenly become stupid.  No.  Of course not.  While Belichick has employed some shady practices in the past, he simply does not have the players this year.  This is not difficult to figure out.

A local 80's music radio station gave it up yesterday and went Spanish.

I'm sorry we are going to have a rainy weekend during peak leaf peeping time.

Thursday, October 12, 2023

A Good Thing


I do enough whining about the bad things in broadcasting.  Here is something I really enjoyed.

I got up early enough Monday night to catch the end of the football game between Green Bay and Las Vegas.  Kevin Harlan was doing the radio play by play.  I've mentioned before that I'm a big fan.  Monday night's performance was above and beyond a standard effort.  Harlan has been criticized for screaming, and going over the top.  The tight game warranted a high energy delivery, and I loved every second of it.  Analyst Mike Golic had the good sense to keep his mouth shut.  I never thought Golic brought much to the table, anyway.

I've long felt baseball is the best radio sport, followed by football.  Nothing else even comes close.  There has been quite a turnover in the broadcasting ranks in the past few years.  Some of the legends have stepped aside.  Young blood has taken their place.  I really can't say anyone blows me away.  If you grew up with Ray Scott, Curt Gowdy, Chris Schenkel, Pat Summerall, Keith Jackson, Jack Buck, Don Criqui, Dick Enberg, et al, it's tough to accept the new crop.  Thankfully, Al Michaels is still working.  I also realize no one tunes in a game because of the announcer, but a good one really helps.

I do need to open my mind, and my ears a bit more.  I'm sure there is some great talent out there, somewhere.

We should all do the same.  Turn off the TV some afternoon or evening and try the radio.

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Wednesday Scrapple


I know it's fashionable to dislike John Denver, especially for people of my era, but the guy was really good!  I've been listening to the satellite radio 70's channel quite a bit (nothing new there).  Outstanding lyrics.

Speaking of music, I'm hooked on those old Casey Kasem "American Top 40" shows that Sirius/XM runs on weekends.  This past weekend featured October 1978, and I was struck by the eclectic nature of the top 40 that week-- a great mix consisting of top 40 pop, plus some disco, and rock hits from Foreigner, The Who, and the Rolling Stones.  We will never see another time like that.

Who can look at the fighting in the middle east, and not be frightened?

I touched on this briefly last week, but I'm still trying to wrap my head around how a can of soup that used to be 99 cents is now $ 3.49.  A lot of politicians have a lot of explaining to do next year.

Speaking of explaining, why do people still think Steelers' head coach Mike Tomlin is a genius?

I'm thrilled fall has returned.  A little October warmth is nice, but not the mid and upper 80's.

Not only is Taylor Swift's popularity red hot right now, she shows no signs of cooling off.

Friday was National Pierogi Day.  The truth be known:  I don't hate them, but they never thrilled me.

Target is closing nine stories because of excessive retail theft.  The dominoes are only beginning to tumble.

Nobel Prizes were handed out recently.  I don't know who said it first, but "I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize" still cracks me up.

I've been watching several clips from the old HBO series "The Newsroom" recently.  It was a flawed show, but it really had its moments.

Watching people run 26.2 miles in 2.5 hours still amazes me, and seeing so many locals volunteer their time makes me feel great about our area.

The "Maneater" performance from "No Hard Feelings" is simply outstanding.

I was watching some NFL highlights the other day, and the San Francisco 49'ers really have some nice uniforms.  Red and gold is a great color combination.

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

First Person: Hugo + 20


Courtesy:  Google

Accused killer Hugo Selenski escaped from the Luzerne County Jail 20 years ago tonight.  It is one of those nights that's burned in to your memory.

It was the Friday night of Columbus Day weekend.  I arrived at the office at 11 pm, ready to write, produce and anchor Newswatch 16 Saturday morning.  The newsroom was all abuzz.  We knew there was an escape at the jail and rumor had it that it was Hugo.

Technology was rather primitive back then and I remember when our field crew fed the video back to the station via microwave.  There was a collective gasp as we saw the bedsheet rope hanging out the window.  It was like a TV show, more appropriately, a cartoon.  There was a big difference.  This was real.  It was serious.  An accused killer was on the loose.

I called a manager to ask for permission to break in to programming and run a late night news conference live.  He didn't hesitate for a nanosecond.  The answer was "yes."  I added there was no time for me to get dressed in to anchor clothes and apply make up.  He said that was okay.  Getting the latest information on the air was more important than how I looked, and he was right.

One of the funnier moments in an unfunny night was when I told the boss that there was an unconfirmed report the escapee was Hugo Selenski.  The reply:  "Oh dear!"  I guess you had to be there and know the individual involved.

Our crew that night was photographer Mike Erat and reporter Kyle Schmoyer.  Ben Rice photographed the bedsheets hanging from the prison window.  They stayed out all night, chasing down every lead, every reported sighting, and they were live in every half hour of Newswatch 16 Saturday morning.  Mike, Ben, and Kyle were stars, and I will be forever grateful.

We also followed the story extensively Sunday.  Hours did not dim the disbelief.

On Monday, Columbus Day, Governor Ed Rendell was in the area, and I asked him about getting state resources to help the locals find Selenski.  Of course, he offered whatever the state could do.

Moot point.  Selenski surrendered that evening.  He had a nice weekend on the run.

The story stayed alive for months as officials figured out how the escape happened and looked for ways to make sure something as embarrassing as that never happens again.

Monday, October 9, 2023



Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned 50 years ago tomorrow.  I was 11 at the time, but as a newsy, nerdy kid, I remember it vividly.

It was tough to get the warm fuzzies over Agnew, especially when you heard the allegations-- bribes and kickbacks while he was governor of Maryland, and the illegal activity continued even after he became vice president.

If that wasn't enough, it was guilt by association.  Agnew was Richard Nixon's vice president.  After the landslide reelection of 1972, the Watergate clouds were building and Nixon, too would be out less than a year later.

As an aside, and I had to do a little reading up on this one, I often wondered why Nixon choose Agnew.  What did he bring to the ticket?  Research showed Nixon liked Agnew because he was a centrist, with domestic policy experience, who appealed to southern voters.  So, there!

Nixon replaced Agnew with Rep. Gerald Ford of Michigan, who brought some dignity and respect back to the office.  Ford wasn't the flashiest guy out there, but he was clean.  At the time, we needed clean.

As a kid, it was disheartening.  In school, we were taught the country was all sorts of star spangled wonderful.  The nightly news indicated otherwise.  Yes, there were triumphs, like the Apollo 11 moon landing.  The 60's were a rough time.  Assassinations.  Vietnam.  Unrest, and now corruption at the highest level of government to bring in the 70's.

I don't think we've ever recovered.

Sunday, October 8, 2023

Andy's Angles: Light Trail Weekend


Today, the camera is pointed in the opposite direction from yesterday's two shots.  I'm still on the Route 107 bridge over Route 6.  If the maps are correct, technically, I'm in Mayfield.

This is the view to the west, looking toward Scranton.  It's not the most interesting shot in the world because all you see is the light trails, but the bend in the road is what appeals to me.

I should add that bridges are designed to move a little,  bounce a little.  This bridge swayed quite a bit when traffic crossed, or even when big trucks traveled beneath.  Many of my shots were just too blurry to use.

Saturday, October 7, 2023

About the Cover: Light Trails


I hadn't been out doing light trains in a while, and this was on my "must visit" places for a long time.

By the way, light trails season is back-- earlier sunsets, later sunrises.  That means more traffic in the dark.  This shot is taken from the Route 107 bridge over the Casey Highway in Lackawanna County.  I'm pointed east, just before sunrise.  You can see the Waymart windmills dotting the mountain in the distance.

I really tried underexposing because the headlights are overwhelming.  My camera did have an issue locking on a focus in the dark, but I made it work.

Friday, October 6, 2023



Everybody saw it coming.  It's for the best.  It still hurts.

The people in charge of redeveloping the Baltimore Inner Harbor announced this week the two waterside pavilions, Light Street and Pratt Street will be demolished for something new.  No details announced yet.  Both are empty now.

The photo above is of the Light Street Pavilion.  By the way, the gleaming white yacht is the Trump Princess.  I wonder what became of the owner.

Baltimore was always one of my favorite getaway spots in the 80's and 90's.   It was close and relatively inexpensive.  I'd stop and visit friends in Harrisburg on the way down or on the way back.  There was always plenty to see and do, and hitting the pavilions was a "must."

In the photo above, the Pratt Street Pavilion is off to the left.  I do not remember the year in which I took these photos.  I wish I had marked the envelope from the place where I had them developed.

If I remember correctly, both pavilions had restaurants.  Pratt Street had a lot of clothing.  Light Street had the "touristy" shops.  They are not enormous buildings, but they had cool stuff inside.  It was just plain fun.  The architecture included plenty of glass and light, big staircases.  

My routine was just about the same on every visit...  grab a hotel room in a quiet town north of the city, venture downtown, buy a disposable Kodak or Fuji film camera, and wander around.  I'd spend the morning at the harbor, and maybe hit one of the suburban malls on the way back to the hotel.  I'd be back in time to watch the evening local TV news.  It was dinner after that, usually a pizza.  I should add, the disposable cameras were great.

Sad to say, my last visit here was in September of 2002.  I stopped going for a variety of reasons.  I was in Baltimore on 9/11/2001.  I didn't think going back the next year, at the same time of year, would be a big deal.  I was wrong.  It was.  There were too many sad memories, frightening times of backed up bridges and tunnels and the beltway, tears...  Baltimore's proximity to Annapolis and Washington meant there were plenty of military and government ties.  No one knew what was happening next.

There was more.  The Inner Harbor area was becoming shoddy, less safe.  Some of the things that made Baltimore unique gave way to the same touristy junk that you see in any other city.

No demolition date announced.  No word yet what goes up in place of the pavilions.  Maybe it will be something that entices my return.

Thursday, October 5, 2023

No Wonder


We just had a speaker of the house kicked out of his office.

Polls show most people feel our president is too old to lead.

Our former president has been indicted three times.

A can of soup, which used to cost less than $ 1 is now $ 3.49 and signs on the supermarket shelf tout what a wonderful bargain it is.

Self check outs fill stores and managers tell us how they are doing us a favor.

There are still supply and labor shortages.

Will the Russia Ukraine war ever end?

Writers just came back from a five month strike, and they fill us with more of the same.  Actors are still on the picket line.

Thousands of auto markers are on strike and they say we will soon be unable to get parts for our cars.

The Tampa Bay Rays were in the MLB playoffs and they couldn't even fill half the stadium. 

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Is That All There Is?


The late night talk shows are back in production after the long writers' strike.  We waited five months for the same barrage of tired political jokes?  It's what I expected, but I was still disappointed.  Nothing fresh.  Nothing interesting.  And they wonder why viewership is down and why these shows no longer had the impact they once did.

As if Taylor Swift needed more face time, we now see her all over football games because she is dating a member of the Kansas City Chiefs.  That Sunday night game with the lowly New York Jets produced monster ratings.  While I'm not in Swift's target demographic, and I don't understand her appeal, I do respect Swift's ability to draw a crowd.  I fully expect the movie to break records later this month.

"Dancing with the Stars" is seen as a vehicle for flagging celebrities to revive their profiles.  I was surprised to see Mira Sorvino and Alyson Hannigan in the current line up.

I nailed a Final Jeopardy question Monday night that all three contestants missed.  Paying attention in history class paid off.

ESPN Radio is giving up its New York City FM station next year.  It will keep the AM station and concentrate on streaming.  I've often whined about the state of AM radio in this space.  It appears FM isn't far behind.  It's a streaming and on demand world, my friends.  By the way, ESPN Radio in New York was rarely a serious threat to the first all sports station in the nation, WFAN.

I'm very happy to report that the ratings company Nielsen says NFL games on the radio produce big numbers.  I still think baseball is the best radio sport, followed by football.  The others just don't work for me.

I really miss the days when CBS Radio had the contract to broadcast the baseball playoffs and World Series.  They would use legendary announcers, and listening was a joy.

I only add this item because I know it will get tons of radio and television time.  McDonald's is bringing back the McRib sandwich.  McDonald's is the Taylor Swift of fast food.  They know how to generate free publicity.

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Unfinished Tuesday



California senator Diane Feinstein died Friday.  90.  I respect her years of service to her country, but she was in such poor health in recent months.  Feinstein should have stepped aside.

The U.S. Senate reversed itself and the dress code is back.  It really seems the public wanted this.

What's with the recent rash of water main breaks?  We usually get them when the ground freezes in the winter and thaws in the summer.  We're early.  It's another sign of our aging infrastructure.

The Orioles signed a 30 year deal to stay in Baltimore.  Yes, the stadium is getting old and needs updating, but it would have been criminal if the team left town.

There is a great web site called 506Sports.com.  It lists network college and pro football games every week, what part of the country receives them, the network, and the announcers.  While I'm not a great sports viewer these days, I do enjoy the weekly updates.  Speaking of announcers, who are these people?

The writers' strike is over, and while I admire the craft, it really didn't affect my life.

I recently joined a Facebook group dedicated to the memory of the Mutual Broadcasting System.  At one time, it was among the greats.  However, it changed hands several times, lost its way, and went out of business.  The group is fascinating stuff, and yes, yours truly contributed to Mutual when there were big stories here in our area.

Bryce Harper's meltdown Thursday night certainly was entertaining, and he signed the helmet for the kid who caught the helmet he tossed in to the stands.  The umpire involved has a history of bad calls.  How is he still employed by MLB?

I always believed lobster is over-rated.  Yet, the hot versus cold lobster roll debate is fascinating.  Me?  Neither.  However, I can eat shrimp until the cows come home.

A re-boot of "The Office" is said to be in the works.  I wonder if it will be funny this time.  I genuinely tried to like it, but I couldn't stick around for more than ten minutes.

Monday, October 2, 2023



They are the unsung heroes of radio and television stations-- the engineers.  They navigate through a maze of technical issues every day to keep the words and the pictures flying through the air.

I worked with a great one at WARM in the 80's and in to the early 90's, Pat Castellani.  Pat took the the news department in to contemporary times.  He made sure we had good tape recorders, new pagers, the latest cell phones, and Pat is the one who had the station buy my extra long microphone.  It made my life so much easier.  Sound is all a radio news person has, and he recognized the value of getting that mic right in people's faces.   Before Pat, I was using a cassette recorder I bought at a drug store because the ones the station had were so unreliable.  I kid you not.

Pat helped the WARM news department in other ways.  I still remember that cold, rainy, icy January day when we inched an SUV to the top of Penobscot Knob in Hanover Township to see WBRE's collapsed tower.  Actually going up there gave WARM's reporting that added dimension.

I can still see Pat, working all those nights and crawling beneath cabinets, to wire up the new Magic 93 studio in Avoca, but still taking time to make sure whatever problems I had were remedied.  Great people do that.  Pat's engineering office was my hiding place on slow days.  He was always good for an interesting conversation and a wonderful laugh.  As far as the new studio wiring went, it was meticulous.  That was Pat.

I'm not sure many people knew this, but Pat did an outstanding impression of one of the many, many, many managers we cycled through during my 10.5 years working for WARM.  It was perfect.  I should name names.  Both Pat and the manager are now gone and I don't want to get Pat in trouble during his first week in Heaven.

After years of health problems, Pat , who I always called "Pasquale," died Thursday.  He was only 61.  A talented man, but more importantly, a nice man.  We just swapped messages a couple of months ago.   I knew he wasn't well. I had no idea he didn't have much time left.  I'm sorry he's gone.  I'm glad I knew him.

Pat Castellani made WARM's news department better.  I appreciated it, and I'm sure our listeners did, too, even if they didn't know about Pat's contributions.  He will be missed.

I'm fond of saying that I am made up of little pieces of every broadcaster and journalist I ever worked with.  I learned from the good ones.  I learned how "not" to do things from the bad ones.  It wasn't just the editorial stuff.  It was how to treat people.  As I reflected on Pat's life while writing this, I also realized I learned so much from the people who were never on the air.

Pat, I owe you.

Sunday, October 1, 2023

Andy's Angles: More Flowers


As I said about my acting, I know one thing about gardening:  I can't do it.

It's the main reason why an early August visit to the Garden of Cedar in Scranton impressed me so much.  A lot of people apparently have the skill, and that blew me away.

If that wasn't enough, this is a community garden, and it's here for everyone to enjoy.

Count your blessings and count the days.  Welcome to October and snow is on the way.