Tuesday, February 9, 2016


           CAGE MATCH!

     It's always neat to watch birds
flying into a cage outside of our
     It used to hold our pet
Cockatiel "Sam" until he passed
away. We set it on its stand outside
our front porch and fill the inside
with birdseed and bread.
      You can see the birds feeding
from our kitchen window. But
every now and then the lack of
activity attracts our attention.
       If the birds aren't there you
can usually assume there's a cat
waiting on the ground nearby
looking for a chance to feed on
the feeders!
       But the other day I discovered
another reason for the bird's sudden
absence! Seems they've got
competition for their dinner!
       A squirrel has discovered the
seed and bread and, like humans,
who can resist a free meal? I must
have spooked him when I stepped
outside as he suddenly began
running around the walls of the
cage trying to remember how he
got in and where he could get out!
I've been there myself a time or two!
       As long as I step out from
time to time the match remains
a draw. The squirrel scrams when
he sees me and the birds get some
feed time of their own.
       I guess it's good to share.
Hope there's enough bread and
that all your NEWS is good!

Monday, February 8, 2016



    Just what we need! A holiday
encouraging us to eat donuts!
Well it's here. And it's today!
    Shrove Tuesday, know in
some countries as Pancake
Tuesday, is the day preceding
Ash Wednesday. It's suppose
to be the last day of "fat eating"
or "gorging" before the fasting
period of Lent.
      For many, today's menu
will include the "Paczki." They
are Pączki are deep fried pieces
of dough usually shaped into
flattened spheres packed with
some sort of sweet filling and
often covered with powdered
sugar. They're said to be
Polish in origin.
     Of course, as our buddy
Billy Shakespeare pointed out
in Romeo and Juliet, "A rose
by any other name would smell
as sweet."  So, if I had the
chance, I'd be nibbling on a
Malasada today! We found
them on the Big Island of
Hawaii last year and they are
just perfect for Shrove Tuesday.
Or any other Monday, Wednesday,
or...well....the rest of the week!
     Since they pretty much fit
the description of the Paczki,
except bigger, I'm beginning to
think maybe the Polish settled
Hawaii! I'd like to have some
today. But it's a long trip for a
      Guess a Dunkin or Curry
will have to do! Hope you get
your dough today and that all
your NEWS is good!

Sunday, February 7, 2016


         HALF WAY HOUSE!

      The seats at Super Bowl were
   still pretty much empty when the
   party guests started showing up
   at my daughter and son-in-law's
   house Sunday.
        Only a few of those attending
    are die hard football fans. But
    most are die hard eating and
    party fans! There was plenty of
    good things to eat from cooked
    specialties to finger foods. And
    even though no one went
    swimming, most of us found
    ourselves jumping into a "pool."
         Everyone enjoyed each
    other's company and, now and
    then, we even watched a little
    of the game. As usual, the
    commercial and Half Time got
    a lot of attention.
          But just about the time Half
    Time was ending people started
    gathering their coats and heading
    for the door. One had to drive
    back to New Jersey. A few had
    kids that had to be up for school.
    One had to go to work. And a
    couple of us were just old and
    tired. I guess that makes us a
    Half Way House!
          I can't believe our situation
    was all that unique. Super Bowl
    may be a great time to get families
    together. But most families can't
    hang in there at a party location
    till nearly 11 o'clock at night and
    still get home in time to be ready
    for school or work the following
          I've said, for years, that the
     Super Bowl extravaganza should
     be moved to Saturdays or, at least,
     started much earlier on Sundays!
     Hope somebody smart in the NFL
     gets the message....and that all
     your NEWS is good!


Saturday, February 6, 2016




    It was indeed a wild night at
our church last night! But it
wasn't loud music or an old
time revival that drew the crowd.
It was The Beast Feast!
     Our congregation includes
some men and women who are
very skilled hunters. And one
night each year they share their
bounty with anyone who cares
to partake. There are always a
lot of takers!
      This year's menu included
venison, mule deer, bear barbecue,
deer whimpies, smoked antelope,
and wild boar among other
things. All of it gathered and
prepared by folks we worship
with each week.
      I suspect it was similar to
the way congregations gathered
in the early days when people
depended on both the land and
their neighbors to survive.
      Of course the desert table was
a bit more traditional featuring
goodies like chocolate cake,
strawberry cheesecake, and good
old Curry donuts! I don't think
they had those "back in the day."
      I especially liked the bear meat.
Kind of felt like I was getting back
at the Grizzly for mauling that guy
in "The Revenant."
      Hope there's some left overs
for lunch...and that all your NEWS
is good!


Friday, February 5, 2016



    The problem isn't really a new
one. It's been growing for some
time. Literally.
     I wrote about our early morning
blackout that left my place and some
300 other homes without power this
past Wednesday night. Well it seems
the problem was a bush! No. Not
either of those President guys. I mean
"bush" as in bushes, limbs, and branches.
Shrubbery and trees that have grown
so high they've flirted with power
lines running through our area. And
when they get too close to each other
sparks fly! And lights go out!
     Yesterday a fleet of orange
colored trucks rolled in to our
development. You've probably seen
them before. Each bears some
Swedish looking name that starts
with an A. I never have been able
to pronounce it.
      The crew members started
hacking away at any growth that
came anywhere near any of the
electrical wires. I'm sure the birds
and a few of the squirrels will be
unhappy. But if all that cutting
keeps the current running I'm all
for it!
      Hope it works and that all
your NEWS is good!


Thursday, February 4, 2016


           IN THE DARK!

     I know. It's suppose to be dark
at night. But I noticed something
strange as I was struggling to get
to sleep Wednesday night. The soft
light usually touching my ceiling
from a nearby street light wasn't there.
The room was darker than normal. I
figured that was probably a good
thing. It was already close to 1am
so maybe I'd finally nod off.
      That's just about the time the
telephone rang. Startled, I reached
for our bedside phone only to find
that it too was dark. And silent! It's
an extension that depends on power.
And there was none. In fact there
was no power anywhere!
      I felt my way to our spear
bedroom, the closest room with a
wired telephone.
      I answered only to find a
recorded message waiting for me
from the Power Company. It
explained there was a power
outage in my area affecting over
300 homes and went on to say 
crews had been dispatched to
locate and repair the problem.
      I, of course, was already well
aware of the fact there was a power
outage. And since there was little
I could do about it I located a
small flashlight and made my way
back to bed.
      About 45 minutes later, as I was
just crossing over into whatever
exciting dream awaited me, the
phone brought me back to reality
again. Making my way back to the
extension I discovered it was my
recorded friend from the Power
Company again explaining that
the problem causing the blackout
was expected to be repaired by
5am. There was also a reference
to a web site where I could change
my notification plan and some
other option. But since my Wifi
is powered by electricity, when
it's available, I saw no need to
explore that alternative.
      I did opt for a telephone option
that allowed me to stop updates on
the situation for 8 hours! I knew
the power was still out. I knew
there was nothing I could do about
it. And I didn't see how hourly
updates on the progress of the crew
would help me to sleep....any more
than an hour anyway. So I pressed
the code for no more updates! It
proved a good move!
      I eventually got some sleep
and awoke to find the power
restored and a Power Company
Crew working on wires at the end
of my block.
     Hope, if it goes out again, they'll
just let me sleep........and that all your
NEWS is good! 


Wednesday, February 3, 2016



    There have been a lot of famous trios over
the years
   You've probably heard of the Kingston
Trio, the Three Musketeers, and  Moe,
Larry, and Curly.
    But how many of you remember the trio
of Gobla, DeCosmo, and Dennis?!
  All right...maybe we weren't so famous. But
we were a team!
  For several years Bob Gobla was our pilot
when WYOU had Chopper 22. And it's a
a good bet the late Bob Dennis was the
photographer and I was the reporter on most
of its missions!
   I used the helicopter when ever possible
and it really paid off! We'd go out on one
specific story. But between our portable
police scanner and what we could see from
Chopper 22's glass cockpit we'd come back
with 3 to 5 extra reports!
    Gobla was a super pilot. And he wasn't
a guy to take any chances.
    Once, seconds after take off, we heard a
"rapping" sound on the outside of the
cabin. He immediately landed in the
nearest field to find out what was
happening. Gobla checked one side while
Bob Dennis looked at the other. I stayed
put which turned out to be a good thing.
    Had I joined the search they never would
had spotted the belt from my trench coat
hanging out side the door where, once
airborne, the wind rapped it against the
     On another occasion we had just
completed a story at Knoebels Amusement
Park and had started our flight back to
Wyoming Valley.
     Bob Gobla asked me if I had done any
of my story on the roller coaster.
     I explained that, while I loved flying,
I didn't like roller coasters.
     Bob said he understood. It was the "dips"
I didn't like. Then...he did one....in the
     My stomach left it's usual spot while
 Bob Dennis, who was sitting in the back
 seat, suddenly looked a little white to me!
     I never mentioned roller coasters to
 either Bob again!
     Helicopters, of course, eventually got
too expensive for most Television
stations and WYOU's Chopper 22 and
WNEP'S Skycam 16 are both now just
      For me, at least, they're good ones.
      I live right below what has become
 the flight path for medical choppers
 coming and going from Geisinger
 Medical Center in Luzerne County.
       I often think of Chopper 22 and
 our News trio whenever I hear them
      Bob Gobla is celebrating his
 birthday today. I hope it's a great one
 and that all of his...and your
 NEWS is good