Wednesday, January 31, 2018



        I'd like to start your day and this month
out on a high note by informing you that
this is Crusoe Day!
     Wait! Before you start singing his praises,
it's Crusoe not Caruso! Not Enrico. Robinson!
      The sailor. Not the singer. Got it?
      You'd think this would be celebrated on
a Friday wouldn't you?
       Well, anyway, every February 1st is
observed as Robinson Crusoe Day.
        You see, like so many of today's popular
movies, the story of the marooned sailor
Robinson Crusoe is based on actual events!
         A Scottish sailor named Alexander
Selkirk was rescued from a uninhabited
island on this date in 1709 and his tale was
the basis for the book "Robinson Crusoe"
written by Daniel Defoe.
         What Defoe didn't tell us was that
Selkirk asked to be put ashore after getting
into a quarrel with his Captain. Maybe he
thought it was a resort!? He was there for
five years!!!!!! With only Friday around!
       At least Gilligan had associates like
 Ginger and Mary Ann!
       Ideally you are to observe Robinson
Crusoe Day by being "adventurous and
self-reliant." Realizing there are things to
be done around the house however, I intend
to note the day by......"getting lost!"
       Hope you survive the day and that all
your NEWS is good!



Tuesday, January 30, 2018


                       BAD TIMING!

    It happens from time to time. Bad timing that
is. I've heard it said "better late than never" but
I'm not so sure about that!
    I had some problems starting the SUV on
Monday so I arranged to get it over to the garage
that evening. On Tuesday morning, however, it
snowed! All those nice days the week before and
I had to garage the 4X4 the night before it
     The snow plow came through our development
too late for us to get to the movie matinee but I
figured I could shovel us out in time to make the
afternoon show.
       So I shoveled. A little more than usual because
the second vehicle wasn't there to block part of our
parking area. You know. It doesn't snow under a
parked car.
        I was just about done when our neighbor with
the big snow blower came by to finish the job for
me. Had I waited a half hour he would have cleared
         Getting out of wet clothes and into dry ones
held me back just enough to miss the screening of
the movie I had wanted to see. We picked another
which, by the way has several Academy Award
nominations. I guess it was all right. I didn't
fall asleep.
           But I will sleep an extra hour and let good
timing catch up with me today! Hope is does and
that all your NEWS is good!

Monday, January 29, 2018


    TUESDAY, JANUARY 30TH., 2018
                     THE GATE!

       I was extremely happy when I drove
into the Marketplace at Steamtown (the
former Steamtown Mall) on Monday.
       That's because the gate was up!
       For months now the company that
runs parking in the Electric City has
been installing an elaborate ticket and
gate system in the mall parking garage
and I was afraid it might be operational
when I showed up for my weekly show
on Electric City Television.
         If you're wondering why I might
be concerned about paying a few bucks
for parking consider the fact I drive
from Wilkes-Barre to volunteer hosting
a program that promotes public events
and public services throughout the area.
          I've even done some feature work
that helped promote unique products and
services offered by some shops at the mall.
           Somehow paying to volunteer
doesn't seem right.
            Add to that the fact that malls,
generally, are in trouble. Paying to park
may not help that situation.
             To be fair, shoppers will be
allowed to have their tickets validated
by the merchants so it won't be an issue
for them AFTER they've purchased
something. "Window shopping," however,
could be expensive.
             I know time is running out (like
it does at the parking meters) and I'll soon
find that gate down when I show up to do
my volunteering.
              Hope a candy bar is worth a
ticket validation and that all your NEWS
is good!

Sunday, January 28, 2018


        MONDAY, JANUARY 29TH., 2018

    As a newsman I usually enjoyed a good
challenge. That said there were exceptions.
     Those challenges could generally be found
in the daily newspaper or in boxes marked
100, or 500, r one thousand pieces.
      I write of the challenges contained in the
daily crossword puzzle or the jigsaw pieces
that make up a picture puzzle!
      It can't be a matter of patience. I've often
used up as much time playing games of
       My wife works a crossword puzzle as
she enjoys her breakfast. Often I find myself
participating without intending to join in.
If she comes across a question that's sports
related or involves old movie stars there's a
pretty good chance I'll be asked. Of course
sometimes my answers don't fit either the
first letter she needs or the number of
letters to fit the empty blocks.
         Picture puzzles are a whole other
matter! I stay as far away from those as
possible. That's especially true since at least
one of the grandkids decided it would be
fun to remove one piece from the assortment
to tease my wife.
           But don't let me stop the rest of you!
           January 29th is National P___le Day.
Hope you enjoy it and that all your NEWS
is good!

Saturday, January 27, 2018



        I spend a lot of time in this Blog
writing about nonsense. Unique and
strange "holidays" as well as daily
events in my life that tend to lend
themselves to humor.
      But January 28th brings back
memories that are far too serious.
And I'm thinking, specifically, of
January 28th 1986.
      I was in the Wilkes-Barre
Bureau of WYOU watching CBS
coverage of the launch of the space
shuttle Challenger. It was to be a
unique mission. One that included
Christa McAuliffe, a woman who
would have been the first teacher
in outer space. Because of her
participation an estimated 17% of
Americans were watching the
      But just 73 seconds after blast
off Challenger broke apart taking
the lives of McAuliffe and her 6
      I turned our Bureau television
set to face our large front window
so people passing by could watch
as the story unfolded. It was bad
news! But it wasn't the only bad
news. That same day I got a call
from my doctor telling me that a
tumor discovered in my back was
malignant! Hard personal news
on a hard news day!
     A month or so later a
successful operation removed
a mass my wife estimated to be
over 20 pounds from my back.
I often tell those who don't know
that the large scar on my back is
the result of a shark bite! At least
I got a funny story out of that.
     But seriously folks, today I
remember a story of national
tragedy and a personal scare
I'm glad to say I can tease about
these 32 years later!
      Hope none of us have too
many days like that......and that
all our NEWS is good!

Friday, January 26, 2018


           BACK TO THE MINES!

      My wife and I went back to the mines
Friday. Sort of.
      The Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre has
begun a year long celebration of the former
movie theater's history. Each month the
preforming arts center will feature a classic
movie that has some sort of tie to the place.
       The series began with  a screening of
"The Molly Maguires," a story of a secret
Irish society that was said to have used
violence in an attempt to improve the
working conditions of coal miners in the
        Most of the feature was filmed in
northeastern Pennsylvania, primarily
in the village of Eckley.
         The Kirby, then the Paramount, was
one of three area theaters that premiered
the movie in 1970.
          My Dad was business agent of
the theatrical union in Hazleton at the
time and spent many days working
behind the scenes on the movie. A lot
of Hazleton area residents were used as
extras in the feature. That was before my
own "movie career" got started!
           There's a burial scene in the movie.
My Dad an a fellow union local member
got to dig the graves. Twice!
           The director of photography
noted that the dirt piles beside the graves
were on "the wrong side" given the angle
of the sun so the dirt had to be moved.
            Dad also recalled having to place
small electric motors on the ground in a
picnic scene to keep snakes away!
            Among the photos my Dad left
behind after he passed away is a series
of shots from the top of the Breaker
built for the movie looking towards the
entrance to the mine as an explosion was
triggered to suggest the Molly Maguires
were sabotaging the coal company. There's
also a photo of him and his fellow worker.
Dad is pictured on the left.
              It was great to see the movie again,
especially on the big screen and in a movie
"palace" the likes of which used to be the
center on entertainment in most of the
communities around these parts! Lots of
memories in and about the feature!
              Hope you'll get to enjoy one of
these classics and that all your NEWS is



   FRIDAY, JANUARY 26TH., 2018
            A HARD HOLIDAY!
   Just a few days ago we celebrated
National Peanut Day. Today we'll
be observing National Peanut Brittle
Day! We had some given to us as a
Christmas present by a dear friend
and that's another reason my mind is
thinking about this treat!
    Brittle was one of the first types of
candy ever made. Many ancient
cultures that had access to molasses,
honey, or sugar, produced some form
of it.
    According to one account, peanut
brittle was a Celtic dessert. The Celts
covered peanuts in sugar and baked
them, and this eventually evolved into
a caramel bark.
    One legend says it was all a mistake.
The story goes that a southern woman
was making taffy and instead of using
cream of tartar, she used baking soda
by accident.
     However it was created peanut
brittle is one of the most popular
candies in the United States.
(Especially by dentists!)
     Since it's also National Spouses
Day perhaps you can celebrate
both by giving your significant
other a box of peanut brittle!
     Hope she or he likes it so that
all your NEWS is good!



Wednesday, January 24, 2018


     THURSDAY, JANUARY 25TH., 2018
                 ONE MAN'S TRASH!

     Our township has a great program for
picking up junk but it only ran through the
      It was long since the last pickup when
my wife decided there were a few things
cluttering our yard and sheds that really
had to go. Fortunately the township
responded with a second program that
scheduled special "off season" collections
when they received at least 20 requests.
       Last week we received word that the
collection would be this week. My wife
went to the municipal building and bought
5 stickers for 5 dollars each to be placed
on the junk we wanted hauled away.
       We had an old grill, some very nice
but unsold metal wheels, a broken electric
lawnmower, and other assorted trash.
        My wife wheeled the old grill to
curb side Tuesday night. On Wednesday
morning it was gone. But the township
collection hadn't happened yet! Seems
somebody, perhaps looking for a
winter project or for scrap metal, just
stopped by and hauled it away.
        Understand we would gladly have
given it to them but we already paid 5
bucks for that sticker!
          During the afternoon a neighbor
stopped by to look at the wheels. He,
at least, knocked to ask about them. We'll
recover those 5 dollars.
           In hind sight we probably should
have just placed everything at curb side
and waited a day to see what was left
the next day. Then we could have
purchased stickers for the "left overs!"
           My grandson was kind
enough to stop by to help us set everything
out, That was a big, big help.
           Hope the scavengers get what they
want but leave a fin behind for each
"treasure," Hope all your NEWS is
good as well!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018


                CALLING OFF SICK!

      One of the prime advantages, if you
can all it an advantage, of retirement is not
having to call off sick when you're not feeling
       Unfortunately you find yourself facing
the same responsibility if your free time has
been turned into volunteer hours.
        My weekly public affairs program, on
Electric City Television is done every Monday.
         My wife volunteers at a local hospital
every Tuesday.
         The stomach bug hit her Saturday
night and me Sunday evening. So, we both
found ourselves calling off sick for our
respective volunteer shifts.
          It was clear neither of us felt well
enough to handle our jobs but we both
felt bad for having to stay home.
          Funny. I never felt that way when
I used to stay home from school. Now, in
my case, nobody was required to call in
to let the school know I wouldn't be showing
up. But somebody was keeping track because
Days Absent did show up on my report card.
           Staying home never really bothered
me that much. In fact I can recall feeling
much better about the time the school bell
was ringing and I was still in bed! Often,
by lunch, I had made a complete recovery!
            No such relief came to either of
us this week. And yet it's so much easier
to stay home these days.
             There are medicines for whatever
ails you and about a hundred TV channels,
as opposed to the 12 when I was in school.
Of course there's still not much worth
seeing on any of them so that part's about
the same.
              Anyhow we're both sorry we had
to call off sick. Hope we'll be back on
scheduled next and that all your NEWS is

Monday, January 22, 2018



    Are you celebrating? After all, this is
"National Handwriting Day!"
    I would have sent you a formal notice
but, chances are, you wouldn't be able to
make out handwriting!
    Seems sort be
typing this blog to tell you about it. But
if you've ever seen my handwriting you
know it's better I use my keyboard!
    It's not just that others can't read my
writing. After a couple of hours, when
I begin to forget the original message,
I can't read it either!
    According to the website "Holiday
Insights", National Handwriting Day
was established in 1977 by the Writing
Instruments Manufactures Association.
    The idea was to promote the consumption
of pencils, pens, and writing paper.
    I've never eaten any of them!
    But I still use all of them!
    I think I try to write too fast when
I'm taking notes and, unless I print or type
the message over right away, I forget
what I've written!
     I've been making an effort to improve
my handwriting.
     But you try to be neat.....even with your
own signature.....when you're signing you
name on a Walmart check out screen!
     The "pencils" or whatever they call
those things don't have points. You see
your signature as you sign the screen.
    But you're lucky if two or three letters
are actually recognizable.
     Maybe it's because the little
signature screen is on an angle and
you're trying to keep one hand on your
cart while you're holding your credit
card and wallet in the same hand you're
using to sign.
      It doesn't seem to make much
difference. I suspect your card would be
approved even if you scribbled John Wilkes
    And you'd still get the bill!
    Hopefully you're signing for your
purchase of new socks or shoes because
January 23rd is also "Measure Your
Feet Day!"
     I'm also hoping this "holiday" survives!
     Some schools have stopped teaching
Cursive all together! I've got to wonder
how those students will react when they
see something like the Declaration
of Independence. Will they even be able
to sign their own name? Or will the old
fashion "X" come back into style?
     I believe we should all be trying to
encourage the continued teaching of
Cursive and trying to improve our own
    Hope you're doing just that and that
all your NEWS is good!

Sunday, January 21, 2018


              THIS BUGS ME!

    My Monday blog must, of necessity,
be very short!
    As you probably already know our
family likes to share things.
   On Sunday afternoon my wife
shared the stomach bug with me.
   I write from bed with a bottle of
Ginger Al and an empty plastic
container at arm's length.
   Please read my blog but don't
touch anything!
   Hope my NEWS is better

Saturday, January 20, 2018



    As I write I am waiting for news on
my fortune!
    I've never had any luck along these
lines before. I never received a dime
from that guy in South Africa who
said there was a lot of money in my
name stashed away in a bank there.
     All I had to do was send him my
Social Security number and bank
information for him to get it released
to me. I didn't get a chance to answer
him right away because I had to take
out the garbage. Then I forgot. Guess
he thought I didn't care.
       A couple weeks ago, however,
my daughter-in-law's Dad found my
name on a state list of people who had
money owed to them. He provided an
address to file a claim so I decided to
follow through.
      This week I received an email from
the state indicating my claim is being
processed and I can expect an update
in the near future.
       I don't think it's connected to the
guy from South Africa because there's
a note indicating the amount is under
one hundred dollars.
       Maybe it's a mistake. Maybe they
meant to say it was under a hundred
million dollars! That's probably it!
       Gee under the new tax code I
could really be in  the money....if I'm
in the money!
        I'll let you know as soon as my
ship comes in! Hope all your NEWS,
and mine, is good!

Friday, January 19, 2018


                  DAYS OF THE DJ.

     January 20th is National Disc Jockey Day!
     While most of you may remember me as
a news reporter my first few years in broadcasting
were spent as a DJ.
      Those days were a lot of fun for the most part.
There was never a lot of money in it, at least
around these parts. I got to play a lot of the music
I liked. They call them Oldies these days but they
were all new back then.
       We used to have a lot of fun behind the
scenes too. Most everybody who started back
in the 60's can tell you about the time they
were reading a commercial live on the air when
one of their older colleagues set the written copy
on fire! You had to learn to ad lib back in those
       I used to be able to pick up a few extra dollars
by taking our portable equipment to local schools
and dance halls for what we called "Record hops,"
Since records are making a bit of a comeback I
guess I don't have to explain what those were.
        Most DJ's drifted from station to station over
a fairly short period of time. That goes back to the
money or lack of it.
          My switch to news wasn't something I
expected or really wanted to do at the time but
it turned out to be a wise move.
           Though this is National Disc Jockey Day
the days of the DJ are all but gone. Most local
radio stations don't have local DJ's anymore.
The majority of stations are automated and, in
many cases, the voice you hear introducing
music, if you hear one at all, is broadcasting
from a major city to many stations around the
country at the same time.
             That's sad for a number of reasons
not the least of which is hearing a local voice
talking about local happenings and keeping
you up to date on breaking local news.
              There are a few members of this
dying breed around our area so give them some
credit. They work hard and I'm not sure the
money has gotten a heck of a lot better than
it used to be!
             Let's hear it for,and from, our DJ's!
Hope their, and your. NEWS is good!

Thursday, January 18, 2018


                   CAN IT!

      Today we salute a true unsung hero!
The Tin Can! January 19th is National
Tin Can Day!
       Just think of the major impact the
tin can has made in our lives! I for one
have enjoyed the benefits in many ways.
       When I was a kid my friends and
I would go for a hike in the woods. I
would often take a can of Campbell's
Chicken Noddle Soup along. We'd
build a fire, open the can and heat it
up for lunch.
        I think you're suppose to add an
additional cup of water to the brew but
the can was already filled so we just
enjoyed a stronger soup!
        After you were done you could
get a game of Kick the Can going.
We didn't have cell phones with aps
or IPods back then. A simple tin can
could keep us going for an hour or so!
Besides, with two tin cans and a long
string you had your own communications
        I don't play Kick the Can these
days but I can enjoy my SPAM thanks
to the tin can in which it's packed so
the can still serves me well.
        The tin can has an amazing
story that still leaves me just a little
        You see the tin can was invited
in about 1800. The can opener didn't
come along until 1858! And it's much
harder to kick the can when it's full of
something! The game must have been
tough during those 58 years!
        Hope you're got a can opener and
that all your NEWS is good!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


                    SNOW DAYS!

      Well the snow the weather folks predicted
on Monday did show up Tuesday night. As a
matter of fact Mother Nature sent just a little
extra to make the forecasters look good.
      It seems she has also decided to share
winter cold and, in some cases, snow with a
little more of the country. People a little farther
south are suddenly realizing it's good to have
a couple snow plows and some road salt on
hand. And many Snow Birds are happy they
took a couple sweaters along on their trip.
       Interstate drivers in Georgia were in a
daze when the highways turned to ice and,
around here, school delays quickly turned
to cancellations as the snow fell.
       My memory drifted back to my own
school days back in Hazleton, Pennsylvania's
Highest City. We had our fair share of snow
but, as my best friend recalls, only one
cancellation because of a storm!
        That happened during my High School
years. The High School was almost exactly
a mile away from my house and the route
there involved crossing one highway, Route
309. Still, with that one exception, we made
it every day.
        Elementary and Jr. High Schools were
not a problem. At least not for me. One was two
blocks from my house and the other three.
        I don't think I ever saw a school bus till
I got to High School! And I never rode one
until I  did a story aboard one as a news
       Maybe "neighborhood schools" weren't
so bad after all! No cancellations or
transportation costs!
       Hope the snow day didn't leave you in
a daze and that all your NEWS is good!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


             SOUNDS IN THE SNOW!

    Snow falls more quietly than rain but
there are related sounds I've come to expect.
     One, of course, is the sound of a plow
making its way along the rods in our
development. Unfortunately I don't hear it
often enough and sometimes when I do it's
well past the time of day most of us want
to go somewhere.
      There are the sounds of a creature,
either cat or squirrel, making its way
from a nearby tree to our roof apparently
seeking a warm spot somewhere near our
chimney. I'd have to set up the ladder to
see the beast but the snow and cold has
put my curiosity on hold for the moment!
       The birds have been braving the snow
to take advantage of the seeds I placed in
a wide open bird cage just outside our
front door. I can hear then flying in and
out as they stop for their treat.
        The most encouraging sound I've
heard comes from two young kids
just down the block! It's so nice to hear
them out enjoying the snow. It brings
back memories of my old neighborhood
when kids ran their own winter Olympics
with sleds, snowballs, and snow forts
every time school was closed because of
the weather! I must have been thinking
of Saturdays!
         Wait a minute! I don't think we
ever close school because of a snow
storm except for just one time!
         Hope you enjoyed yourself and
that all your NEWS is good.

Monday, January 15, 2018


          NOTHING DOING!

    I actually got an early start on this
unofficial holiday. You see January
16th is "National Nothing Day."
    I didn't realize there was a specific
day for doing nothing. I celebrate
the holiday whenever I can. I was
really into it yesterday, spending the
bulk of the day lounging around in
front of the TV. Given the weather
forecast it seems logical to extend my
     National Nothing Day was
was created in 1973 by a newspaperman,
Harold Pullman Coffin. When you're in
the media you long for a day when there's
nothing you absolutely have to do.
     It's not really a "National" holiday.
Congress never adopted it and that's
kind of ironic when you figure that a
lot of those legislators are so very good
at doing nothing!
     My wife has not signed on to this
holiday and, apparently, has plans that
will preclude me from observing this
hallowed day.
      Hope you can get away with it
and that all your NEWS is good!

Sunday, January 14, 2018


     MONDAY, JANUARY 15TH.,2018
            THE SNOOZE BUTTON!

       Maybe it was my busy Saturday. Maybe
it was the cold. Maybe it was the prospect of
activity scheduled for Sunday afternoon.
        Whatever the reason I was totally
unprepared to welcome Sunday morning.
A revision of a popular Neil Sadaka song
kept running through my head. "Getting
Up Is Hard To Do!"
          In fact I did begin to arise only to
feel like I had better sit back down on the
bed before I fell on it!
          I have been dealing with a cough
and some of that upper respiratory "thing"
that's been going around. But I didn't feel
sick. I was just simply wiped out!
         We have, on occasion, engaged that
infamous Snooze button on the clock radio
to buy an extra 30 minutes. A half hour
later I found myself no better and
announced my intention to get some
extra rest.
          That put the time at about 8:30am.
          It was getting pretty close to 2 in
the afternoon when I finally decided it might
be time to actually get up. I felt decidedly
netter as though my body had, perhaps,
been demanding some additional "down
           Since my weekly program on
Electric City Television has been
prerecorded for this week I may delay
my Monday reveille as well!
           Here's to sleeping in! Hope all
your NEWS is good!

Saturday, January 13, 2018


     SUNDAY, JANUARY 14TH., 2018

    So after enjoying "summer" on Friday
afternoon we left our church dinner in the
evening as the temperatures began to fall.
     It was the sound of the rain, rather heavy
rain, that captured my attention as I watched
some late night TV before turning in. It was
coming down very hard!
      The wind got a bit on the loud side
too during the night!
       It was the early morning silence that
had me wondering what was happening
next. As expected, it was a light snowfall
which fell on top of the rain which, by
then, had turned into a gaze of ice
        I got up pretty much resigned to
the thought I'd have to spend an hour
or more clearing the snow from the ice
if I'd have any chance of getting out at
       That's when I heard the steady,
loud roar of an engine that seemed to be
coming from just outside my house. It
didn't sound like a plow truck but it certainly
wasn't a car.
        Turned out it was a very good and
thoughtful neighbor who was giving his
snow blower a trail run! Earlier this year
I remember him telling me not to worry
if we got some snow this season. He said
he'd be ready for it and,  by gosh, he is!
         Of course being ready for a storm is
one thing. Making the extra effort to help
a neighbor is something else.
          Guess I shouldn't have been too
surprised. He's helped in other ways and
always does so with a smile! Talk about
a "good neighbor policy!"
          Hope you've got someone like that
nearby and that all your NEWS is good!

Friday, January 12, 2018



    Our church was the setting for a hunt of
sorts Friday night!
     We packed our social hall with people
hoping to get a shot at some Elk, Pheasant,
or deer. But nobody had a gun. Well, at
least I didn't see any guns!
      It was the night of our annual Beast
      Each year hunters who also happen
to be members of our church, share some
of their bounty with the rest of us. They
had a good year and the menu was filled
with some delicious offerings cooked up
in home made style. Although I am not
a hunter I do enjoy a good venison stew
or Elk chili.
      For those unwilling to "go game"
there were other more common selections
such as chicken, ham, and lasagna.
      The turnout was fantastic! Maybe we
should just hold the meal during church
services next year. It would be nice to
see the sanctuary filled!
       Hope our hunters have another
good season and that all your NEWS
is good!


Thursday, January 11, 2018


      FRIDAY, JANUARY 12TH., 2018
                  ALL GONE!

   It's amazing how much can change from
one day till the next! I noticed it on
   I was busy working on my laptop
Wednesday when I heard my wife say
something about taking down a couple
of the Christmas decorations. I remember
asking if she needed some help and I
remember her saying "No, I'm just going
to do a little bit."
   I caught her disassembling the Nativity
set out of the corner of my eye. I know
she walked in front of me with a couple
wall decorations and put a snowman
face in a box on the rocker.
    Then I headed out. First to do some
quick shopping then to pick up my
grandson from Day Care.
     When he and I arrived back at my
house Christmas was gone! All gone!!!!!
      I honestly don't know how everything
disappeared so quickly!
    I'm sure my 2-year-old grandson was
surprised!. Santa, the snowman, and the tree
were all missing. And it wasn't the only
surprise he, and I, faced!
     Has anybody here seen my old friend
Barney? I just turned around and he was
     I've been taking my grandson to the
Wyoming Valley Mall from time to time
to try those small amusement rides set
up in one of the halls. His favorite was
the cartoon character Barney built on
a train-like ride. Barney, in his well
know voice, talks to the rider while he
or she shakes back and forth for about
90 seconds after you insert 75 cents!
      The last time we visited we found an
"Out of Order sign" on Barney." Even
though it wasn't working I allowed him
to sit on the ride for a couple minutes.
      When we visited Thursday Barney
was no where to be found! In his spot
we found a small airplane ride which
claimed the 75 cents I usually set
aside for Barney!
        I suggested Barney had been removed
to be repaired although I'm not so sure
that's really accurate. Maybe my wife
accidentally packed him away with our
musical Santa!
        At least I know the Christmas stuff
will be back later this year.
        Hope Barney makes a comeback too
and that all your NEWS is good!


                     GOT MILK?

      MLK Day is coming up Monday but
January 11th is MILK Day! In fact it's
National Milk Day!
       I've always been a milk drinker.
I remember when the milkman used to
bring it right to our front door. For many
years those deliveries were made in a
horse drawn wagon. Up until the 1970's
one Hazleton dairy was still making
its deliveries that way.
         But other than white or chocolate
I don't remember there being different
types of milk! Oh I know there was
Goat milk. I'm told my brother-in-law
had to have that when he was a kid.
         Somewhere along the line
somebody introduced Low Fat Milk.
I always preferred the hard stuff myself.
Whole milk that is.
         Now there's so many kinds of
milk the tops have to be color coded.
1%, 2%, and so on. I still drink the
one with the red top!
         My grandson is being brought
up on Almond milk. He seems to love
it. I still don't understand how you can
milk an almond!
         I'll stick with the 'regular milk'
that comes from a cow. It still has a
lot of healthy qualities and there's
bound to be a pretty good supply
since the cows keep producing it
whether we drink it or not!
         And so a toast to all of you
on this National Milk Day and if
you happen to have a couple
cookies around for dunking I'm
OK with that too!
          Cheers! Hope all your NEWS
is good!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018


               THE EARLY BIRD!

        As far back as I can remember I've
heard platitudes hailing the virtue and
benefits of getting up and starting early.
         There was a time when I had no
choice in the matter. Several times over
my lengthy career I served as the morning
man at a couple different radio stations.
When you sign on at 6am and live nearly
an hour away it's pretty clear you've got
to rise before the sun to get the job done!
          I never grew to love those early
starts! And when "retirement" came I
relished the ability to sleep in as late and
as often as possible.
            Unfortunately life doesn't always
conform to your schedule.
             And so it was I found myself
crawling out of bed ahead of my desired
reveille so I could drive my wife to her
doctor's appointment. Driving herself was
not an option because this particular
appointment was with her Ophthalmologist.
Those visits usually include eye drops
which can cloud one's vision for some time
after the appointment.
                Dealing with my own congestion
and cough I realized I'd find myself sitting
in the car with the heater going until she
finished lest I frighten other patients with
the unpleasant sounds of my cold.
                 Fortunately I didn't have to
wait long at all. My wife came out within
three minutes! I asked her what happened
and she told me she was early. "How
early" I asked. "One year" she said!
                  Her appointment was for
                  Hope I can take a nap and
that all your NEWS is good!


Monday, January 8, 2018



    Christmas is over!
    Russian Christmas is over.
    New Year's Eve has come and gone.
    But don't despair. There's always a
holiday to be celebrated. And that
includes today.
     Just in case you didn't know January
9th is "National Static Electricity Day!"
I thought you'd get a charge out of that
shocking fact!
     It's a day to recognize, if not
celebrate, that sudden little electrical
zap you get when reaching for the door
knob after dragging you feet along the
     Or that interesting hairdo that
develops after rubbing a balloon over
your curly locks.
     Winter is prime time for static
      There's a scientific reason for the
creation of static electricity. It involves
atoms and protons and neutrons.
       If I could explain it I wouldn't
have spent all those days on the road
as a reporter standing outside in the
cold or rain or snow chasing bad
guys or describing horrible driving
conditions. Or writing a blog!
        Since I can't I just thought I'd
make you aware of this holiday.
        I can tell you you'd be wise to
ground yourself before you kiss your
significant other goodbye!
        Hope I've sparked your interest
and that all your NEWS is good!

Sunday, January 7, 2018



    If you're feeling a bit dizzy
today, or dizzier than usual, have
no fear! It's natural. You see
January 8th is "Earth's Rotation
    We're all spinning with the
planet as it revolves around its
own axis. We go around once
roughly every 24 hours. Some
of us call that a "day."
     What you might not know,
however, is that the Earth's rotation
is slowing slightly with time! And
here I thought it was just me!
       Atomic clocks show that a
modern day is longer by about 1.7
millisecond than a century ago.
Guess I'll have to adjust my watch!
       I suppose we could all celebrate
by just going around in circles. But,
for me, that would just make it a day
like any other. Maybe I'll just make
use of that extra 1.7 milliseconds and
extend my afternoon nap!
       Hope you have a "stellar day"and
that all your NEWS is good!


Saturday, January 6, 2018



    As I've telling anyone willing to listen
January 7th is Christmas! We all get a
second chance to celebrate!
    Many people of the Orthodox faith
observe Christmas on this date. I'm not
of that faith but I observe it anyway.
I don't think one can have too much
     On the 6th., Orthodox Christmas
Eve, we joined my son, daughter-in-
law, grand daughter, and two grandsons
for a shopping visit to Cabela's followed
by a delightful dinner at the Port Clinton
Hotel in Berks County.
      My wife and I delivered a couple
small Christmas presents to family
members and then came home where
I found Sounds of the Season still
offering Christmas music on our cable
system and watched "Scrooged," a
comedy version of Charles Dicken's
"A Christmas Carol" to top off the
      Our decoration are still in place
as is the tree so in the air, besides a
frigid wind, there's a feeling of
      Hope you'll enjoy a bit more of
it too and that all your NEWS is good!

Friday, January 5, 2018


                  PERFECT TIMING!

    I've found one of those unusual holidays
that turns up just in the nick of time!
    Actually there's  a couple neat things
scheduled for January 6th. It's Orthodox
Christmas Eve. It's National Technology
Day. And who can forget the fact it's
also Fruitcake Toss Day!?
     But talk about a day with perfect
timing! As temperatures drop to their
lowest levels since most of us can
remember we have a chance to celebrate
"Cuddle Up Day!"
     The folks at
could not identify the founder or
founders of the day but they did come
up with a number of suggestions for
      Cuddle with your cutie,  snuggle with
your sweetie or  hug your honey .
      If there's nobody else around try
Cuddling up to a pet or just cuddling up
in your easy chair with a good book!
      Any of the above are great ways
to beat the arctic freeze! And every one
is warmer than going outside to toss a
       Have a warm cuddly day! Hope
all your NEWS is good!

Thursday, January 4, 2018


     FRIDAY, JANUARY 5TH., 2018

    As you may know from your favorite
TV Weatherman those of us living in
northeastern Pennsylvania are facing
some bone chilling arctic temperatures!
    Friday will be the coldest day of the
year! Of course the year will only be 5
days old. And whatever records are set
will probably be broken the following
day when the winds get stronger and the
temperatures fall still more!
    There are several things I don't miss
after "retiring" from the regular news
beat. I still think election nights top the
list but covering winter is right up there
    Whenever a winter "event" was
expected there was no doubt I would
find myself out in the weather telling
my audience about it! To this day many
of my viewers believe I was a weatherman!
     The Assignment Desk knew all of the
spots where the snow would look the
deepest or the bitter cold would form
ice. If those spots were also places where
we could do a Live report it was a sure
bet I'd be going there!
     The Assignment Director and the
actual meteorologist (or weatherman)
spent the bulk of their day in a warm
     My cameraman and I would be
dependent on our car heater while we
fought our way through the weather
to get to those snowy and icy spots  where
we'd shoot video, try to get an interview
or two, then stand outside to be on Live
      Twice during my career I found
myself stranded on an area Interstate
overnight from just after our newscast
to about 6 the next morning! On one of
those occasions we were low on gas
and had to ration the time we turned
on the engine to run the heater for a few
        Memories of those two incidents
in particular still chill me whatever the
outside temperature!
         Think I'll just watch the new kids
from the warmth of my home during
this cold snap! Hope they've got warm
underwear and plenty of gas and that
all your NEWS is good!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018


              A WINNING WHIM!

    Under normal circumstances I suppose
we would have just lounged around the
house Wednesday. The sun was shinning
but the temperatures outside still weren't
very inviting.
    As it happens, however, my wife and I
both had appointments with our Podiatrist
so staying home wasn't an option. That was
OK by me anyway. Our Foot Doctor has
some really comfortable chairs so while
he's checking your feet you can get a nice
     Once he gave us our walking papers
(That's a joke. You know. Foot Doctor.
Walking papers!) I had a thought. It was
a bit late for lunch and just a little early
for supper but I suggested we take a short
drive and have something to eat.
      I was thinking about Stookey's Bar-B-
Q Stand along Route 11 in West Nanticoke.
We had "rediscovered" the place back in
March after not having been there for
several years. I can't imagine why we had
been MIA so long. The Bar-B-Q's are
really great! They're very tasty, big,
inexpensive, and they remind me of the
ones we used to get at the long gone
Knotty Pine Restaurant outside Hazleton
where I first met my wife.
      The place also has what you might
call a track record. Since it's been open
since 1926 the folks there must be doing
something right/
       Anyhow we follow my whim, and
Route 11, and were enjoying our
Bar-B-Qs and some golden French
fries in less than an hour.
        I was about to pay the bill when
the young lady at the register announced
that I was the 45th customer of the day
and, in keeping with some strange Stookey's
tradition, was entitles to a free meal!
        If future whims prove as successful
I could get to like this year pretty quickly!
Hope your day is great and that all your
NEWS is good!


Tuesday, January 2, 2018



    Since Ringling Brothers folded its tent
last year my wife and I decided to take in
the circus by way of the new movie "The
Greatest Showman." It's an excellent
musical representation of the life of P.T.
      We hit the "circus" immediately
upon entering the theater. Two ladies,
standing just ahead of us at the ticket
booth, were studying the seating chart
on the attendant's computer screen
trying to decide where to sit in the
recently remodeled auditorium featuring
reclining leather-like seats.
        It seemed, for them. to be a very
difficult decision!
       It's kind of a neat idea knowing when
you're going to sit before you go in. The
only problem is the line that forms while
the people in front try to make their
decision. Or, of course, when you find
someone using the adjoining ticket
booth selected "your seats" while you
were waiting for the people ahead of
you to pick theirs!
        While the previews were playing
a lady approached me and asked for my
seat number. She had the right row but
was trying to figure out which seat was
hers. She finally found it.
        The feature was just getting started
when two women walked into the row
just in front of ours and discovered two
other people already sitting in their
reserved seats. Fortunately they resolved
the issue and sat down before the opening
music and lyrics began.
          I think Barnum would have
preferred to get as many people in as
quickly as possible! His big show was
in the three rings. Not in the seats!
          Hope the popcorn lasts till the
feature begins and that all your NEWS
is good!

Monday, January 1, 2018


           LET'S BEGIN AGAIN!

    Wow. It seems like just yesterday people started
complaining that Christmas decorations were going
up in all the stores and we were just getting ready
for Thanksgiving!
   Where's all the Christmas music now? I mean
St. Nicholas Day is still ahead (on January 6th.)
and "Russian" or "Orthodox Christmas" is January
7th. I did find some "Holiday hits" still playing on
Sky Piano and "Sounds of the Season" on Comcast!
   But Valentine Cards and flowers are already on sale
in most stores even while there's still New Year's
confetti scattered in the streets.
   So here's the thing! We're too quick to do away
with Christmas and the holiday week leading up to
and including New Year's day!
   I say we start over!
   Look, the decorations are still up and, as I said,
"Russian Christmas" is just short of a week away.
Let's  enjoy "the season!"
   You can do something special for January 6th or
7th. Maybe a meal for the family or with friends.
Maybe a small gift for the loved ones. Maybe one
more "Merry Christmas" greeting!
   Today is "National Motivation and Inspiration
Day" so the "spirit of the season" should inspire
us all. By the way, it is a National Day, passed by
a Congressional resolution!
   This way we still have time to make those New
Year's resolutions too as New Year on the Julian
calendar falls on Monday, January 14th!
   The "official" hassle is over so we
can observe this holiday at our own pace!
   That's what I'm going to let me be the
first to wish you "Merry Christmas!" Hope all
you New Year NEWS is good!