Sunday, May 26, 2024

Andy's Angles: Cemetery Flags


It's another photo from Cathedral Cemetery in Scranton today.

No lengthy explanation is necessary.

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Andy's Angles: The Weekend Begins


It's a Memorial Weekend tradition for me-- a visit to Cathedral Cemetery in Scranton.  There are small flags, over graves, nearly as far as the eye can see.

If you want to put service and sacrifice in perspective, visit a cemetery in late May.

Friday, May 24, 2024

Friday Scrapple


Today's entry in the "you know the lyrics, even though you haven't heard the song in years" is "I'm In You" by Peter Frampton.  By the way-- one of the best songs, ever!

I recently stumbled across "Frasier" reruns, at 4 am on the Hallmark Channel.  Jeez O'Pete, I'd forgotten how wonderfully crafted those shows were.  The writing.  The timing.  I'm hooked, even though watching Niles suffer for all those years breaks my heart.

The golf tour squabbling thing really irritates me.  Guys, you get paid huge amounts of money to play a game!  Shut up and hit the ball!

I really thought "Quick Pitch" on the MLB network jumped the shark last season.  It seams like some new talent has given the morning baseball highlight show new life.

I don't know about you, but when I hear the phrase "nuclear option," I get very nervous.

It's too early for it to be this hot.

I was thrilled to see the Armed Forces Day parade return to Scranton.  I'm sorry more people weren't there to watch.

"Young Sheldon" just ended a seven year run.  I've never seen it,  and reruns are not in my plans.  

The NFL will have games on three streaming services-- Peacock, Amazon, and Netflix.  Yes, it's a money grab and a huge one,  and it is simply not fan-friendly.

Spring doesn't last long enough.

It's amazing what can make your day, and that includes a friendly clerk at the mini mart.

It's been years since I had a really good waffle, and I had a shrimp craving the other day.

To the person who invented chips and salsa:  thank you!

The simple things in life amaze me, like a walk through the park.

Thursday, May 23, 2024

I Missed You!


I've returned to the habit of long walks through a park on my days, off.  But, that is another story for another time.

After a recent very early morning stroll, I ducked into a near by supermarket for a few items.  I was sweaty and generally a mess.  My goal was to grab what I needed and run for the door.  Sadly, technology stood in my way.

I had three items in my basket.  I hoped for a quick scan at the self-service check out, the machines you love to hate, but they were down!  This was shortly after opening time, so I assume they were being rebooted and updated.  I never did get the reason.

It forced me to stand in a long line, at the only staffed check out, with several other shoppers.  A woman saw I had only a few items, so she allowed me to jump ahead of her.  I repaid the favor by screwing up the credit card key pad thingy, and delaying the process even longer.  By the way, I've become one of "those people."  I don't carry much cash, and I charge even the smallest of items.  It seems to be the thing to do these days.

The bottom line is this...  Please, give me the option of scan-and-go!

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Dabney Coleman


Dabney Coleman died last week.  He was 92.

Coleman had a long and successful career.  I'd like to focus on two failures.

The first was "Buffalo Bill."  It lasted for 26 episodes in 1983 and 1984.  Coleman played an obnoxious tv talk show host in Buffalo, NY.  NBC president Brandon Tartikoff loved it and he greenlit a second season.  The critics loved it.  The audience didn't.  No one watched.  Research showed the public didn't warm to a main character who was so mean spirited.  I thought "Buffalo Bill" was absolutely brilliant.  It was well crafted, smart, sharp, and funny.  In fact, I have the DVD boxed set.  Dabney Coleman's performance was outstanding.

The other failure of note was Coleman starring in ABC's "The Slap Maxwell Story" in 1987 and 1988.  It barely limped through one season, 22 episodes.  Coleman played an old style newspaper sports columnist, and once again, I thought he was great.  It was another Dabney Coleman character with plenty of rough edges.  "The Slap Maxwell Story" was an odd show.  It was half comedy, half drama, and occasionally confusing.  Apparently, the rest of America was confused as well, and the series didn't last.

By the way, "Buffalo Bill and "Slap Maxwell" have something in common.  Both theme songs were great.  Visit You Tube, and you'll hear what I mean.

So, what do we take from this?  A failure, or two, isn't the end.  Your star can still shine brightly.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Summer is Here!


It's now official.  Summer is here!  The reason?  I muscled an air conditioner in to my bedroom window.  It actually happened Friday morning.

I returned from a long walk in the park, sweaty and messy.  I sat down with a beverage to watch the morning tv forecast, and I do follow the weather very closely.  Friday looked warm, followed by an extended above average spell.  It seemed like the perfect time.

The house has those split ductless units, and they work great.  My bedroom gets the afternoon sun, and it needs an extra shot of cool, so a small window unit gets the job done.  Plus, as any third shift worker will tell you, cool and dark are our friends.

As much as I despise spending the summer in a cool and dark cave, it is a necessity.

Memorial Day isn't here yet, and I'm already looking forward to fall.

Monday, May 20, 2024

Fast Food


A Taco Bell is opening down the street from my office.

I'm always amazed at the strong feelings evoked by fast food.  Clearly, people have their favorites.

I have no brand loyalty.  If I'm hungry, I pop in to what every restaurant happens to be closest.  There was one long drive to Allentown once to sample White Castle.  It was okay, but I really didn't see what the hype was all about.

McDonalds is considering a $5 value meal.  One of the offerings is reportedly four nuggets, fries, and a drink.  I would assume the fries and drink will be the smallest on the menu, but four nuggets?!?!?!  Four!  I really don't consider that to be much of a value.

Considering the prices these days, it's easier to just drive home and make something yourself.

By the way, the new Taco Bell wound up on page one, above the fold, in a recent morning newspaper.  Is that the best you can do?

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Andy's Angles: Lackawanna 663


Yes, another engine that's been here before...  but, I can't resist a colorful diesel on a sunny spring morning.

As I always say when I shoot an engine of this type, the photo doesn't do it justice.  It really is a monster.

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Andy's Angles: Short and Sweet


I was wandering through Steamtown in Scranton on a recent morning and this caught my eye.

It clearly had recently received some tender, loving care.  That made me happy as my camera focused on the shiny black paint in the morning sun.

Friday, May 17, 2024

Law and Order


I didn't get a chance to sit in at the Justin Schuback murder trial in Lackawanna County court.  I did talk with reporters who were there.  I read the newspaper stories.  I watched the television stories.  Schuback was charged with the January 2017 death of Old Forge bar/restaurant owner Robert Baron.

The jury deliberated for more than ten hours over two days, and returned with a verdict of guilty of first degree murder.  Some were surprised.  I wasn't.

Yes, there are some holes in the prosecution's case.  No case is perfect, unless you have video of the crime in action.  Some witnesses weren't the most credible.  The defense based its case on the cross examination of the prosecution witnesses.  The defense called no witnesses of its own.

For me, it came down to a few things.  Schuback's girlfriend said he came home one morning covered in mud, presumably of dumping the body in the woods.  Schuback's DNA was found in Baron's car.  Cell phone data placed Schuback at or near the scene of the crime and where the body was dumped.

The drugged up jailhouse confession had some weight.  The judge allowed the confession to be introduced at the trial.  I just have a feeling that will be one of the major appellate issues.

Yes, it's easy to sit at a computer keyboard and offer opinions.  I'm sure sitting on that jury, with someone's life in your hands, is much different.

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Follow Up Thursday


Justin Schuback was found  guilty of first degree murder in Lackawanna County court.  More on that tomorrow.

The fact that we're heading toward Memorial Day Weekend and we've had only four totally dry weekends this year is astounding.

Jimmy Fallon is celebrating 10 years as "Tonight" show host.  I've always believed Fallon is exceptionally talented, but "Tonight" is the wrong vehicle.

Seth Meyers will stay at "Late Night" for another four years, at least.  It's not a bad show, but I've never turned the dial to seek it out, except the night David Letterman was a guest.

A beer store in Scranton, Pioneer, is changing hands.  I stopped by last week to say good bye to the current owners, two of the most knowledgeable beverage guys you will ever meet.  Enjoy retirement!  You've earned it.  Thanks for the service and the friendship.

There is currently a huge fight over Tik Tok, and even though plenty of people will disagree, I wouldn't shed a tear if all social media disappeared.

Artificial intelligence doesn't bother me.  I'm happy to encounter any intelligence at all.

More streaming services are combining.  Still not interested.

Tom Brady regrets being roasted.  It was a bad decision on his part.  It doesn't look good for that career in broadcasting.

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

David Sanborn


I have to level with you.  I don't like jazz.  It's just not my thing.  I was still saddened by this week's passing of saxophonist David Sanborn.  We lost him to cancer.  Sanborn was 78.

I'll remember Sanborn for three things.

He often played with Paul Shaffer's band on David Letterman's NBC and CBS shows, and Sanborn helped that band blow the roof off the place.

Sanborn performed the theme on Tom Snyder's CBS "Late Late Show" and it was simply magnificent.

The third item has a local connection.

Sanborn had a Sunday morning jazz show syndicated to hundreds of radio stations across the country in the 80's and in to the early 90's.  Around here, Magic 93 carried it.  I worked at Magic's sister station, WARM.  For some reason, either Sanborn or the syndicator decided to stop doing the show.  I was at WARM the first Sunday morning Sanborn's show didn't air.  The phones went nuts!  People were angry the show was gone.  I explained to callers it was not a local decision.  The Sanborn jazz show simply no longer existed.  It's popularity certainly was an eye opener, at least to me

Even though I'm not a jazz fan, I do appreciate David Sanborn's contribution to the genre.

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Business Tuesday


My degree is in broadcasting.  I went to a liberal arts college, and I'm proud of it.

I recently heard a couple of "business news" stories on the radio that even I could figure out.  Heck, an elementary school kid would even say "duh!" at those business news items.

The first was a big movie theater chain discovered patrons are spending less on candy and soda because the cost of an admission ticket is so high.

The second was another earth shattering item.  Fast food,  has increased in price,  so people are making fewer trips to burger joints.

There is a concept that is apparently difficult for the CEO's of this nation to grasp.  It's called "critical mass."  

I've mentioned this here before.  I had a great stock broker many years ago.  During a recession, she had me buy stock in a soda and snack food company.  The reasoning was that even in tough times, people will still splurge for the creature comforts of a soda and a bag of chips.

Those days are over. 

Monday, May 13, 2024

Time Passages


I was cleaning out a desk the other day.  It's always best to be prepared.  There were plenty of memories, good and bad.

One of the things that really struck me was the number of surgical style masks I acquired and accumulated.  

It was only four years ago.  Those masks were nearly impossible to find.  When you found them, you grabbed them.  You held on to them.  You dared not venture out into public without one.  

I threw away a lot of stuff.

Generally, it's impossible to toss out the memories, and there are many I wish would go away.

I kept the masks.

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Andy's Angles: A Touch of Color


Flowers are a great subject if you are looking to work on your macro skills.  I found this one on a dewy morning, in a little park at North Washington and Electric Streets in the Green Ridge Section of Scranton.

This park manages to pack a lot in to a small space.

Saturday, May 11, 2024

About the Cover


I always felt the dandelion received a bad rap.

Yes, it's a weed.  People don't want them in/on their lawns, but the yellow flowers are cute and they are great fun, especially for kids, when they go to seed.

There is beauty where you least expect it, even in things that aren't supposed to happen.

Friday, May 10, 2024

Follow Up Friday


I've been reading the stories coming out of the Justin Schuback murder trial from Scranton.  Schuback is accused of killing Robert Baron, in Old Forge, in January of 2017.  Once again, I am reminded of the line "When the play is cast in hell, don't expect angels for actors."

Penndot is telling us more about the plan to replace two deteriorating bridges that connect Pittston and West Pittston, over the Susquehanna River.  Completion date:  2030.  Yes, it's an extensive project, but six more years?  The thing that amazes me is everyone knew those bridges were falling apart, and everyone sat on their hands until it was too late.

The same is true downstream at the Nanticoke/West Nanticoke Bridge, were the weight limit is lowered yet again.

I passed through the construction zone in Lackawanna County, near where interstates 84 and 380 meet.  Wow!  There is a lot going on, and this is another multi-year project.

I'm tempted to say that it will all be great when it's over, but it never ends.  We'll just find something else to rip up.

Thursday, May 9, 2024



The last body was pulled from Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse Tuesday.

The bridge plunged into the Patapsco River back on March 26th.  Six people died.

If I had a nickel for every mention of the word "closure"  I've heard from every dim witted, cliché ridden, no talent,  member of the media, I'd have enough money to retire tomorrow.

Stop it!  Stop it now!

There is no such thing as "closure."

I don't care if you've lost a family member, a friend, (alive or dead),  a pet, or a job...  there is no such thing as "closure."

You always carry a part of it with you, and that is not a bad thing.

Ban the word.

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Act 56


I'm really not sure how I feel about this one...

The state changed the definition of a school year.  It's no longer 180 days.  It's 900 hours for younger students and 990 hours for high schoolers.

It gives school districts the option of a four day week, with more instruction per day.

I hear a lot of young people saying they're already tired.  The school day starts too early and ends too late.  You should see the line at the mini mart in the morning, with students loading up on coffee, caffeine,  and energy drinks.  It's an eye opener, pardon the pun.

And then, there is the question of what young people would do with that extra day off.  It would be a good day for sports and extracurricular activities-- allowing for more family time, too.  I have a feeling that won't happen.  It's probably goof off and social media filling the day.

I'm old school, and sorry for a second pun.  Five days is fine, but if the school day is extended a little bit, a half day on Fridays wouldn't be a bad idea.

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Tuesday Scrapple


ABC News is looking for a new president.  Running a network news division is one of the toughest jobs in broadcast television, next to weekend morning anchor/producer.

Tom Brady apparently was bent out of shape at some of the jokes during a recent roast.  Tom, you agreed to be roasted!  You knew nothing would be off limits.

I haven't been much of a baseball fan for years.  However, it is nice to see the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders doing so well.

Just to weigh in on the current WNEP controversy, I've never eaten a hot dog with a fork.  But then again, I never over-do the condiments.

Horse racing can be barbaric.  On the other hand, a three horse photo finish at the Kentucky Derby was exciting.  If someone asked me, I'd still bad the activity.

Yesterday was National Nurses' Day.  I've encountered many, especially in recent years.  They do amazing work.

Satellite radio is bleeding subscribers.  Some big radio companies are in bankruptcy protection or are flirting with it, and that makes me very sad.

Today's entry in the "you know the lyrics, even though you haven't heard the song in years" list is "Band of Gold" by Freda Payne.

The presidential election is now less than six months away.  Saying there will be fascinating days ahead is an understatement.

"Watermelon Crush" is this year's official summer drink of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association.  Looks interesting, but I'll pass.

We expect severe weather in the spring.  Seeing the damage is still heartbreaking.

Prom gowns certainly have changed over the years.

Recent speculation has the University of Pittsburgh moving to the Big 12 conference.  It would be nice to see regular games with Penn State again.  Not happening.

What is America's new fascination with hot honey on everything?  I'm just not interested.

Monday, May 6, 2024

The Truth


A trial is not a search for the truth.  It is a judgement of evidence.

Still, the most interesting trial in a while is scheduled to start today in Lackawanna Court.  Justin Schuback is charged with the January 2017 murder of bar owner Robert Baron.  Police found the body, in Old Forge, in March of last year.

There was so much speculation between Baron's disappearance the discovery of the body.  Rumors.  Most unfounded.  Some, very nasty.  I'm looking forward to knowing the truth, or at least the best version of it.  I'm sure it won't be pretty, and it will be difficult for the Baron family.

I'll be watching, and listening.

Sunday, May 5, 2024

Andy's Angles: Reading


Steamtown sold off my favorite items in the collection, those black, green and gold diesels, pictured below, so this will have to be my Reading fix for the foreseeable future.

The sun wasn't my friend on the morning I was out shooting.  It was just after opening time, and the sun was still rather low in the sky.  The fog was lingering, but I really did like the way the shiny black paint reflected the sun.

I took the photo above in October of 2011, and I'll miss them.

Saturday, May 4, 2024

Andy's Angles: The Return


Yes, this locomotive has graced this blog before, but it is here for a reason today.

I was in need of some camera therapy during my recent time off, so I headed to one of my few happy places-- Steamtown.

For some reason, I like where this engine is parked-- with the mountain in the background.  The fog was just lifting, and  I wish the haze wasn't there, but you get the idea.

Friday, May 3, 2024

Let's Review


My first vacation week of 2024 will soon be in the books.  Let's share a few highlights, shall we?

I went to the dollar store, which is no longer a dollar store.  I caught up on some sleep, and completed dozens of laps on the walking track at the park in Blakely.  I managed to get out with my camera, and look for those photos here during upcoming weekends.  I read a little and did some minor organizing around the house.

Uneventful?  Yes, and I like it that way.

Thanks to Stacy Lange for taking good care of the weekend morning broadcasts.

I'll see you tomorrow morning at 5.

Thursday, May 2, 2024

Thursday Scrapple


Just a day to wrap up some loose ends before my vacation ends...

I enjoy good debate, and this country is based upon protest.  However, seeing college campuses torn apart, regardless of the cause, always makes my heart break.

CBS dumped Boomer Esiason and Phil Simms from its NFL pre game show.  No surprise.  Their contracts were expiring, and CBS is desperately trying to take a bite out of FOX.  It's unfortunate.  I rarely watch, but it seems like any time I did, Esiason and Simms had something to say.

By the way, FOX is charging nearly $ 7 million for a 30 second ad in next year's Super Bowl.

May can be a great month.  Sadly, it gets too hot, too fast.

It seems like every road I take on a daily basis is under construction.  I know.  It has to be done.

I've read NBC will make a huge bid to get part of the NBA package.  I'm not a basketball fan, but I do feel sorry for those who love the sport.  More games will move to a "pay to stream" service.

The posters and ads for fire department summer carnivals are beginning to appear.  While I haven't attended one in years, it still makes me happy.

I don't understand why people frown upon potato crisps (can't call them chips) in a can?

My silver car is yellow with pollen, and this week, I think I saw the world's largest bumble bee.  He was enormous!

Hearing about veterinarian shortages always makes me sad and angry.

I've been blogging for nearly twenty years, and something still amazes me.  There are some entries I think will produce a lot of traffic, and I get the standard amount of hits.  Conversely, there are some entries that really don't have much of a spark, and they do well.  Regardless, thank you for reading.  Today, and always.