Monday, December 31, 2012

Auld Lang Syne

  Well dear friends, the "old year" is going out
on a bit of a sour note this year. I came down
with a cold and cough right before Christmas
that's taken a real toll on me.
   Add to that the fact that my son-in-law just
got through with some surgery and our family's
fairly new New Year's Tradition will have to be
missed this year.
   We can, of course, still have our individual
"celebrations" to welcome 2013. But it won't be
the same without everyone being together. Still
that seems preferable to spreading my 2012
cough with the rest of the family or bothering
my son-in-law when what he needs most of all
for the New Year is rest!
   That said, I believe our new "Tradition" is
worth re-sharing with you. So, I've decided to
repost my blog from last New Year. Maybe it
will give you some ideas,,,,especially if you've
got kids! Hope you enjoy it!

I like holiday traditions!
I watch "A Christmas Carol" every many versions as
possible. "A Christmas Story" is a
"must see" every year too!
I read "Polar Express" to my grand
kids every Christmas Eve.
And, for the past few years, our
family welcomes the New Year 12
hours ahead of most of the rest of
My daughter came up with the
idea after seeing the youngest and
oldest in our clan (I claim the latter
title) try to keep their eyes open to
watch the ball come down on Times
Square after a full day of talking,
playing, and eating.
Of course that ball marks the
beginning of a new year......but not
everywhere! There are lots of midnights
around planet earth so we decided to
celebrate the one that equates with the
Noon hour at my daughter's house!
That, by the way, would be
Midnight in Jakarta, Indonesia!
So, we celebrate "New Year's Noon!"
You have all the fun, while everybody
is awake, and get a head start on the
New Year.
I nearly had the rest of you beat by
36 hours! I forgot what day it was and
was ready to begin the festivities on
Friday at Noon!
Another great thing....if you miss
Midnight Jakarta time, you've still got
11 more time zones to use to beat the
By the way, there's little chance I'll
miss the New York celebration too.
There are enough firecrackers in
our neighborhood to wake the
soundest sleeper when people glued
to "the tube" watch that ball drop!
In any case, whatever time zone
you're using to mark the start of
2012, the New Year will be well
underway by the time you read this
And with that in mind I'd like to
wish you all a very happy New Year
with the hope that, in it, all your
NEWS will be good!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Don't Ignor December 30th!

   OK. Look. I know New Year's Eve and New Year's Day
are big deals! I also realize some of you are still enjoying
your Christmas holiday as the new year is about to begin.
   But I'm here today to make a case for another one of
those "unofficial holidays" that gets far too little recognition.
   And it's today!!!!!!
   December 30th, just in case you didn't know, is the..........

Festival of Enormous Changes at the Last Minute!

   While that may be a mouthful and a bit big for a Tee Shirt, this holiday seems
to be for those who think New Year's resolutions are supposed to be put into action
2 days before the New Year actually begins. That, of course, would give you a
head start on some of those well intentioned changes you'd like to make for
your life in 2013.
    You know. Things like getting more exercise, losing a few pounds, perhaps
making sure you're always on time for appointments
     I'm beginning to understand why this "holiday" may not be the most
     But it is, after all, a "Festival Day" so if you're celebrating by starting your
diet or exercise program today....more power to you!
     Most of us, however, will be just over here enjoying our last gym-free,
 fatty food eating days.
     Hope it all works out for you and that all your NEWS is good!


Saturday, December 29, 2012


   "Snow-way"...Translation: There's no way.....
I'll welcome the snow that's on its way!
    Yes. There was a time when I was happy to
see snow. I was a kid and I looked forward to
snow when it gave me a chance to ride my sled
down third street near my home. We lived
dangerously back then. The streets weren't
closed off for sledders. You just waited to make
sure nobody was coming then headed down the
hill. You stopped when you either ran out of
thrust or hit the snow bank at the bottom.
    I liked the snow in those years when I was
into cross country skiing.
     Snow never provided me with a chance to
take the day off. Back in my school days they
weren't too fast to cancel classes. I believe we
only even missed one "Snow Day" from school.
      Most of us walked anyway and we hadn't
yet learned how easy it would be to sue if we
slipped and fell on our way.
      In my work, as a news reporter, the worse
the weather, the longer we drove through the
mess to set up our live truck, then go on the air
to tell people not to drive anywhere!
       Still I guess I still enjoyed some snow when
my trusty old Suburban was there to take on
whatever the winter had to offer.
       The Suburban is gone now. It sits near a
nearby garage slowly being dissolved by the
rust Penndot's liquid calcium created. And,
since I'm "retired" I don't have to make way
through the wintry mess in search of the
deepest  snow I can find.
      The cross country skis are safely tucked
away in some corner of our shed, a fact which
should be good news for my leg bones and
neck, and the sled now has more rust than the
       But I am ready for the new snow. I'm home
with a head coal and cough. I just don't welcome
it because I'll have to clean off the van to get
to the store for all those supplies I reported
you folks buying over the years!
      Hope I can remember what it was you
bought and that all your NEWS is good!


Friday, December 28, 2012

Happy Holidays!

   Let me begin by admitting that I'm one of
those guys who believes in the term "Merry
Christmas" whenever December 25th is on
hand.  "Season's Greetings" just doesn't cut
it with me!
   That said, I'm now wondering if those who
are more prone to utter "Happy Holidays" have
actually been looking at some of the unusual
web sites I search from time to time. Allow me
to explain.
   We all know that December 25th is Christmas
and that December 31st into January 1st is "New
    But did you know that December 26th is
"Boxing Day," December 27th is "National
Fruitcake Day," December 28th (today) is
"Card Playing Day," December 29th is "Pepper
Pot Day," and December 30th is "National
Bicarbonate of Soda Day?"  I kind of thought
that last one might be better suited to January
1st when a good Bi-carb might be really needed!
    If you intend to note or somehow celebrate
all of the above......then "Happy Holidays" seems
most appropriate.
    Of course, usually, these "special days" don't
get any attention. Have you ever seen a news report
focusing on  last minute shoppers searching for
that perfect fruitcake?
    And what about today? Seen any headlines about
Crazy 8's, Old Maid, or Go Fish? I'll bet this special
holiday is being ignored. Except for those folks who
plan their own observance at Mohegan Sun's Black
Jack tables.
    Fact is, if you're looking for a reason to celebrate
you can find one every single day of the year.And you
should! Of course some are a lot more "official" than
others. But they can all be fun if you choose to make
them so! You might be a little cautious though when
you're asking for time off to observe "Pepper Pot
    I'm hoping you celebrate he whole year through
and that all your NEWS is good!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Sound of Silence

   Remember those complaints from people
who didn't like hearing all that Christmas
music right after Thanksgiving? I wasn't
one of them. I truly enjoy the Christmas
season and that, to me, is the time period
between Thanksgiving and "Russian
Christmas" in early January.
    I saw plenty of Christmas decorations
on houses and business places as I began
my Wednesday walk. Hallmark is still
running its Christmas themed movies.
    But less than 24 hours after opening the
gifts under our tree most of the Christmas
music that had been available on stations
up and down the AM and FM dial was
gone! Talk about quitting "Cold Turkey!"
    With the first snowfall of winter on the
way I would have thought "White Christmas"
or "Frosty the Snowman" was still a good
    I'm pretty sure the kids would still enjoy
the Christmas format given the fact most of
them are off till the New Year and are
probably looking forward to playing in the
    I did catch a faint echo of one Christmas
standard through the heavy static of one
still unidentified AM station. Given the
poor signal strength it was likely coming from
Santa himself somewhere around the North
    Then, for some unknown reason, the term
"XMAS" came into my mind. But it
wasn't an abbreviation for Christmas, It was
a reminder to try my XM/Sirius Satellite
radio. And, sure enough, the service's one
channel devoted to "Holiday Music" was
still celebrating the season with plenty of
Christmas music! Thank you folks!
     I know this too, shall pass. But I'm not
quite ready just yet! I've still got plenty of
Christmas spirit left and a little "Jingle Bells"
still has me singing along.
     Hope you haven't given up on your
Christmas spirit and that all your NEWS
is good.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Ghost Of Christmas Present (s)!

    Santa's bag must have been just too heavy
this year. Judging from the packages left at
our house and my daughter's place he must
have decided to leave extras here and there to
lighten his load.
     I spent part of the day experimenting with
my new radio controlled helicopter. It was a
lot of fun and brought back memories of the
many days I spent aboard Chopper 22 at WYOU
TV. Of course it wasn't quite the same. My
chopper is a lot smaller and our pilot, Bob Gobla,
never flew into a wall or a ceiling, or a bird
     Christmas presents always look so good
being demonstrated or in their box. Once you
get them out you're on your own!
      Take my new DVD recorder. It looks great
playing a disk that's fed into 40 screens in the
store. So how come the video and audio cables
that come with it are two inches short of the
length it takes to go to my one TV set?
        There must be something wrong with the
new digital scale I bought too! It insists I've
gained 12 pounds since Thanksgiving, That
can't be! Can it?
         I guess the only way to be absolutely
safe is to go with gifts that are tried and true.
        That's why I got my wife that Fruit Cake!
        Hope all your batteries were included and
that all your NEWS is good!



Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Time......and Space!

   If there's any doubt that Christmas magic
exists it would surely be dispelled for anyone
who might glance into our mobile home on
Christmas Eve.
   It is the one evening during the year when
all of our family gets
   This year our immediate family has grown
to a Baker's dozen. It's a large number for
a small living room. But it makes the evening
all that more cozy!
   The real trick is when the gifts come out!
    I suspect we generate enough wrapping
paper waste to enclose a small cabin!
    Making your way through the discarded
paper, bows, ribbons, and kid's presents, which
seem to obscure the actual floor from view, is
a little line negotiating a mine field!
    After the kids open their gifts from Grandpa
and Grannie, uncles, aunts, and cousins, the
adults revel their "Secret Santa" and exchange
their own presents.
     I like that part best. Probably because I
always get what I ask for...something neat!
     There's food enough for four times our
number. But we'll reheat some today when
my wife and I visit our daughter's house.
      We could have moved our Christmas Eve
celebration to one of the kid's home too. But I
can't see us ever doing matter how big
the entourage gets. Our place may be small....but
it's always "home!" Mine field or not!
       On Christmas morning my wife and I
exchange our own gifts,,,,and try to dispose of
the wrappings as neatly as possible.
       The kid's toys are all gone, each taken to
their own home. But that's no problem! I've
got a new remote control helicopter to play
with and I need the room!
        Hope your Christmas is sensational,
that you've got family and wrapping paper
around, and that all your NEWS is good!



Monday, December 24, 2012

It's In The Cards!

   There's a pretty good chance most of you
got at least one Christmas card over the last
couple of weeks. Probably a lot more!
    Greeting cards, not specifically Christmas
cards, go back a long long way!
    According to the good folks at
Wikipedia greeting cards can be traced back
to the Chinese and the early Egyptians who
sent them to celebrate the New Year. They,
of course, did not have Times Square!
    Christmas cards didn't show up till around
1843.  And the Hallmark Company didn't
show up till 1910. Think of how big it could
have been if had been around to make those
papyrus cards for Kink Tut!
    I've always enjoyed getting Christmas
cards, especially from folks I haven't seen in
a long time. It nice to know you're still on
their mind from time to time.
    A couple of years ago my wife and I
decided we wanted to do something to
make our cards a little special! We didn't
know exactly what. But the answer came
when we visited the "Christmas Story House"
in Cleveland, Ohio.
    We both love the movie about the kid
asking for a Red Ryder BB gun so we
decided to fashion our cards after scenes
from the movie. I'm the kid in that movie in
many ways except, in my case, I usually
wanted a new Lionel train. I usually got one
too! After all, you can't shoot your eye out
with a locomotive!
     I've told that story before but thought
I'd better mention it again as I present
this year's card to my daily Blog readers!
      It's a challenge. But a fun challenge
to come up with the theme each Christmas.
      Our biggest problem is the fact, hard as
it may seem to believe, there are a few people
who actually haven't seen the movie and are
a bit perplexed by our annual card. To those
few folks we say, respectfully, "Get with the
      The show is even a Broadway Musical
this year!'s Christmas Eve and I
want to wish all of you a Very Merry
Christmas! Hope you have a great
Christmas and that all your NEWS is good!



Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Chain Gang

   For the better part of the last three months or
so we have been awakened to the sound of
heavy equipment tearing through what had been
the woods just west of our house.
   A nearby medical facility is increasing its
parking capacity and our forest was in the way.
   I took solace in the thought that, once
completed, the newly paved surface near by
would offer a new venue for my morning walks.
   But, yesterday, the "Chain Gang" went to
    Memories of the tune "Don't Fence Me In"
echoed through my mind as a new team of
workmen erected what looks like a half mile
long chain link fence around the property. Of
course they were not "fencing me in." They
were "fencing me out!"
    It's absolutely amazing to see how fast the
barrier was put in place.
    If this team was let loose along our southern
borders we could solve the illegal immigration
problem in about a week! Which reminds me.
    After Thursday night's rain the run off from
the newly leveled woodlands turned one area
stream into a miniature version of the Rio Grande
     Guess I've got to look at the positive side of
things. With the trees gone and the open fence
we've now got a steady westerly wind to bring
in the cool to cold breeze. The ambulance
sirens seem a lot louder now too!
     Since I'm not big at climbing fences I
suppose I'll just have to stick to my usual walking
route. And, if I ever need the hospital, at least I
know I'll have a place to park! It's obvious I can't
walk there!
      Hope you can get where ever you're going and
that all your NEWS is good!  




Friday, December 21, 2012

Oh Moma Mayan!


 I can't believe it! You're there, reading this!
The world was suppose to end today! The
Mayan calendar has run out of dates!
   I wasn't even going to write anything.
   They say..."First time, shame of you.
Second time, shame on me! Well, this is the
third time since May of last year!
    Radio religious broadcaster Harold Camping
originally told us the end would come on May
21st of 2011. He revised that (on May 22nd)
to October 21st, 2011.
    But surely the Mayans knew better! I mean
they went through all that trouble to carve a
calendar out of stone. They must have know
when to stop carving! If they knew this was
going to happen they should have looked for
a bigger stone!
    Do you realize the position many of us men are
in now?
    Christmas is just 4 days away!
    Suddenly we're faced with the necessity of
buying gifts we didn't think were going to be
     And the money that we were suppose to
use to pay bills is already gone. I mean "Due
dates" past the 21st were just ignored. Now
all those creditors are going to want their
     It's not fair!
     Future predictions of the "end" include
2018, 2020, 2129 and a mess of others. Given
my current age I suppose one of them will
likely be right.....for me.
     For now though.....guess I'd better get
shopping. And catching up on some bills!
     Hope you'll stick around for a long time
and that all your NEWS is good!        

Thursday, December 20, 2012

God Bless Us....Everyone!

   Imagine Christmas about 169 years ago!
   No block buster movies in theaters or on
TV! No Walmarts or Kmarts to shop for
gifts. Electric Christmas tree lights were
still 37 years off!
    But there was something new!
    And it showed up this week in 1843!
    It was a novella by a fellow named
Charles Dickens. It was titled....."A
Christmas Carol!"
     It's been one of my favorite stories for
many years! When I was just a kid my Mom,
Dad, and brother used to gather round our
combination radio/phonograph and listen
to the famous actor Lionel Barrymore read
Dickson's story on a set of 78rpm records
every Christmas Eve. That was our family
tradition. I always got a little scared at the
thought of ghosts showing up! Come to
think of it I'm still not big on ghosts!
      The story of Scrooge and his encounter
with four ghosts (don't forget his former
partner Jacob Marley) has been retold many
times. On just one night this week I've seen
George C. Scott, Jim Carey, and Mr. Magoo
all play the part of Ebenezer Scrooge. I'm not
sure how Mr. Dickens would have felt about
that cast of leading men. But there were plenty
of others from whom to choose!
       There have been at least 21 movies, 25
television adaptions, and more than a dozen
radio versions  of the story! And I've seen or
heard most of them. When you get to the
point where you can finish the line before
the actor you may have seen a few too many
        The term "Scrooge" has become
synonymous with a stingy, mean, uncaring
person. But that's actually unfair! If you
remember the whole story Ebenezer ends up
 "as good a friend, as good a master, and as
good a man as the good old city had ever
        Kind of suggests there's hope for all of
us! Of course there's a few people out there
who may have to spend some time with a few
ghosts before they get the message! You
probably know a couple of them!
       Hope your "spirits" are high and that
all your NEWS is good!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Penny For Your Slots!

   My wife, daughter, son-in-law, two grand kids,
and I took advantage of one of those special
"Half Price" deals our local newspaper has been
running lately and headed to the buffet at the
Mohegan Sun Casino for dinner last night.
    We encouraged the kids to look around first
to see what they'd like to eat. That may have been
a mistake considering the fact the tour of entries
also took them past the desert island!
    Roast beef and meatballs don't stand a legitimate
chance when there's ice cream, cake, pudding,and
pies waiting in the wings.
    In fairness both consumed a half a plate of
cooked food before complaining they "were
full." They walked off the calories on a march to
those deserts!
    The "deal" included $20 worth of Slot play in
the casino so my son-in-law took the kids home
while my daughter and wife headed into the arena
of flashing lights and bells to see if they could win
their fortune! I had suggested just cashing in their
voucher. But, they explained, you aren't allowed to
so that.
    Forced to use or lose their Jackson-less twenty
dollars they walked right past the Black Jack table
and up to the Penny Slot machines. This is not the
place to win a million dollars fast!
     But, win they did! Ten cents here, forty cents
there. They both played it smart and cashed out
after virtually every "win" playing with the credits
left on the machines from the original $20 "gift."
     At this rate they might, possibly, win a million
dollars. But, at this rate, it would take about 5,000
hours (and a lot of continuous luck) to do it!
     Both took about an hour to actually win the
twenty represented in their voucher. Then each
spent about 8 minutes cashing in their winnings
20 and 40 cents at time!
     I could have blown the whole twenty in about
50 seconds on a dollar machine. Fortunately for
all concerned I didn't have one of the vouchers.
     Hats off to my wife and daughter though.
     They knew when to hold them and knew when
to fold them!
      Hope you're saving all your pennies and that
all your NEWS is good!



Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Our Christmas....One June!

   You've probably heard of Christmas in
July. But one of our favorite Christmas
memories was made in June!
    If was June of 2009 and my wife and
I took a road trip that lead us to
Cleveland, Ohio!
    We passed by the Rock and Roll Hall
of Fame en route to our destination....the
"Christmas Story House."
     It's the home that was used in the movie
"A Christmas Story." A feature all about a
little boy whose soul Christmas wish was to
get a Red Ryder BB gun. At one time or
another all little boys want a BB gun! Heck,
I'd still like a BB gun!
    If you haven't seen it yet...welcome back
to the United States from your monastery
in the mountains of Tibet or where ever
you've been isolated.
     The movie has become a Christmas
classic and we actually base all of our
Christmas cards on the story.
     It was such a treat to visit the house used
in several scenes! We got to see THE Leg
Lamp! I got to hid under the kitchen sink
just like Ralphie's brother Randy did in the
movie! We even we got to see the actual Red
Rider BB gun that co-stared in the feature.
     And though it was the middle of June
memories of the film made us feel just like
it was Christmas!
     When it comes right down to it a big
part of Christmas is the memories of
previous holidays....usually from the days
when we were kids! Remember those days
when you were a kid, couldn't get to sleep
Christmas Eve, then woke your folks up
about 6am to check and see what Santa left
under the tree!
      I wonder if its too late to sneak an ad
for a Red Ryder BB gun into the newspaper
near the Cross Word Puzzle my wife does
every day. Yea......I know exactly what
she'd say! You're saying the same thing!
      Hope your list to Santa has already
been mailed and that all your NEWS is


Monday, December 17, 2012

FINE for Parking!

   You can't go much more than a block
anywhere these days without seeing a
    I'm not talking about advertising
billboards or those election posters (some
of which have been on display since last
year's primary).
    I'm thinking of those "Mom type"
regulatory signs. You know...the ones
that tell you what you're suppose to do....
or.....not do. But they aren't from Mom!
     In most cases wisdom suggests you're
better off following those directions. Take
for instance, the signs that alert you to the
fact you may be turning onto a One Way
Street (the wrong way!).
      Of course it's important to correctly
interpret the sign you're seeing! "Fine For
Parking" does not mean it's a good spot!
      I especially love the one that reads
"15 Minute Parking. Strictly Enforced."
But what if it only takes me 10 minutes
to shop? Do I have to sit there for another
5 to avoid getting a ticket?" And, if you
did, what would the charge be? "Under time
     I ran across an interesting one the other
day while out for my daily walk.
     It read Railroad Crossing. I was thinking,
as I walked over the tracks, that some vehicles
such as School Buses and Fuel Tankers are
required to come to a complete stop as they
approach those crossings.
     Then I wondered who would come
looking for those students or how many home
might run out of oil if the drivers headed this
way took time to follow the rules.
     For while the tracks still crossed the street
and the sign stood where it's been for probably
20 years or more, the rails disappeared into
think brush on one side of the street and into
a grassy lot on the other.
      Heck the last train that rolled across these
tracks was probably steam powered and
engineered by Casey Jones!
      There's a moral here! Don't believe everything
you read! And that, by the way, includes those
left over political signs!
       Hope you'll use up all 15 minutes
parking and that all your NEWS is good! 



Sunday, December 16, 2012

Ain't no party like....WOW...two parties!

  We saw a lot of Christmas spirit yesterday!
  We were invited to and attended two separate
Christmas parties. One was at a friend's home
the other at a popular local hotel. It was
"Party City!"
   Both were, of course, decorated for the
holidays. And our friend takes Christmas
decorating very serious!
   Chevy Chase would have been impressed!
   Our friend has his home decked out from top
to bottom! Not just outside. Inside as well!
    I guess he had trouble picking out a
Christmas tree because he's got three of them
set up throughout the house. And they've all
been trimmed by hand!
     Collections of snowmen are scattered
about everywhere as though they're all
waiting for Santa to show up!
      He admits the decorating process takes
a month and a half or so. But that, he says,
his "no problem."
      That's because he loves Christmas and
enjoys sharing it with others. Yesterday his
home was filled with family and friends all
enjoying being together in a house that
exudes the spirit of the season!
       Our second party brought former
co-workers together to share a great dinner,
Christmas music, and, most of all, each
other's company! To the younger folks
those sitting at our table undoubtedly
represented the "ghosts of Christmas Past."
       After consuming what seemed like
every food and desert know to man at two
gatherings I suspect my Ghost looked a
little on the heavy side!
       If sharing Christmas with others could
be measured in some sort of value, you'd
have to say we had won the Powerball!
       Hope you've got someone with whom
to share the season......if so......I know all
your NEWS will be good!                     

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Stop the Presses!

   It would appear I am about to come full
   Many of you know me from my many
years in local television. Some probably
remember my days as a part of regional
radio. But very people few know that some
of my initial efforts in the communications
field began in newspapers!
    I suppose the logical assumption would
be that I delivered papers. But, no, that's
not the case.
    Back in Junior High School I followed
in my late mother's footsteps and wrote
some poetry. Nothing really fancy. But
it did rhyme!
    Later on in life I did some columns on
radio and television for several regional
publications. One was for a newspaper in
Nanticoke. Another was for a Wilkes-Barre
paper that briefly existed back in the late
70's just after workers went on strike against
the Times Leader and the Citizen's Voice
was being born. The Voice and the Leader
survived. The two I wrote for are gone. I
don't believe my columns had anything to
do with their demise, I hope not!
    I don't believe any of my journalistic
essays survived long enough for the print
to dry although one or two may have gone
on temporary display on the floor of a bird
cage here or there.
    None the less I have been approached
to write a periodic column for a regional
publication that is offered as a supplement
to the Scranton Times every other month.
     A friend suggested I had the perfect
qualifications for this challenge. I am
over 65, have grand children, and work
     This "Grandparent's Column" is part
of a family magazine called  "Valley Child."
It is an insert to the daily paper. Since one
is already being prepared my first effort
won't appear till, I suspect, February.
      A lot has changed since I tried my hand
at being a "Scribe." I know you can use
Spell check now. I'm not sure if you still
get to wear a "Press" label in your hat band!
      Still I'm anxious to give it a try!  
      Hope you'll have your reading glasses
 ready and that all your NEWS is good!



Friday, December 14, 2012

Enter, Stage Right.

   Two of our grand kids were in their school's
Christmas Concert last night and that's an
event grandparents do not miss!
   You know how it works.
   The kids dress up in their best and take to
the stage to play or sing an assortment of
your favorite holiday songs while the proud
parents and grandparents sit back and enjoy
the show.
    Well that's the way it used to work.
     Seems there have been a few changes since
our own kids were in the spotlight. And most
of them involve the audience!
      From my vantage point in the first row of
the balcony I spotted enough cell phone
screens to supplement the stage lighting were
they trained in that direction. Most of them
were being used as cameras of course. They
were not as disturbing as those that pop up
in a darkened movie theater. In fact they've
probably helped to do away with the constant
flashes you used to see from the film cameras
parents used to bring.
     What was disturbing, however, was the
relatives who felt compelled to shout out
their son or daughter's names the moment
they saw them on stage! It reminded me of
a scene in "The Music Man" when the kids
were preforming for the first time. You'd
hear "That's my Bobby" or "Look at my
boy on that saxophone!"
      But those were actors in a movie!
      You expect to see the grade schoolers
wave to mom and dad when they seem them
over the glare of the footlights.
       When mom or dad are the ones attracting
every one's isn't really all that
attractive! I think they should be expected to
sing and dance along with their kids if they
want to be part of the show. I could always
use a good laugh!
         On the other hand...most of the kids
were pretty darn good! I'm not sure they'd
want to share the billing with proud, but
loud parents!
          Hope you're enjoying the sounds of
the season, that they're all coming from the
stage instead of the seats, and that all your
NEWS is good!


Thursday, December 13, 2012


     This is a new Blog. But an old complaint!
      My wife, my friend and his wife, and I all
got caught up in some long division yesterday.
       "New math" or my book, you still
can't divide 7 into 1.
        But that's what Penndot was determined to
do as it attempted to merge 7 or so lanes into 1
along Interstate 81 near Scranton.
        We had started out two hours before our
scheduled dinner with two very good friends
in Binghampton, New York. It's a trip that should
take no longer than an hour and a half.
        Then we saw the ominous flashing lights of
a State Police Cruiser just ahead.  A little earlier
and we might have been able to use a convenient
exit. Instead the red and blue lights merely
served as a "Welcome" to the "parking lot."
         There were, at that point, no signs that
everyone should begin to merge into any
particular lane. No Flag man directing us in one
direction or another. Just Tractor Trailers, trucks,
and cars all trying to guess which lane might
give you the best chance to keep
least a little!
         Nearly 45 minutes later we finally reached
the cause of the congestion. Workers were
involved in replacing one of the two lanes on an
Interstate bridge. I was going to tell you they were
"working" on the bridge. But, as we passed, they
were all enjoying lunch. It was about the hour
we should have been eating ours.
         Maybe we just should have stopped
and joined them. It wouldn't have changed the
traffic flow very much had we blocked the only
open lane.
         To be fair I had heard a radio report earlier
in the day about possible delays on the highway.
They did, however, refer to tie ups in the south
bound lanes. Unless someone has changed things
without telling me Binghampton still lies to our
north! Where's Rusty Fender?
         I'm told our Interstate highways were
originally designed to move military traffic
quickly in times of national emergency. Why
do I feel a war could have started and ended in
the time it took to move 5 miles on our trek?
         If this continues I'll probably either have
to find a different route or start my Christmas
Eve shopping earlier than usual on the 24th!
         Hope you're not in a hurry headed north
and that all of your NEWS is good!