Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Links to Jeanne Meserve report......

The transcript doesn't do it justice, but at least you can read the report I blogged about last night.

Media insider reaction to Jeanne here....

The actual transcript is here...(go about halfway down the page, after a report by Jonathan Freed....)

Finally, I'm sure the LAST thing Meserve wants is publicity about her humanity. I'm not trying to build her a pedestal. I just wanted to say thank you for what you did.


Quick note: 20 years ago tonight was my final night at home before leaving for college. Even today it's a very emotional event for several reasons. So, if I cry thinking of people and things overnight and least for one day I'll know it's not because of a lack of serotonin.


Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Jeanne Meserve and the single best report ever filed by any journalist...

I'm very busy working, so I have just minutes to blog, but I've got to shout this out for the world to hear.

CNN's Newsnight was expanded to two hours last night (and tonight) and I caught a conversation Aaron Brown had with longtime CNN correspondent Jeanne Meserve.

She spent time here in Richmond in the early 1980's, so I've known her work a long time.

Last night, her phone report was a piece of not journalism, but of compassion, humanity, humility, and heartbrokenness.

And, for once in a situation like this, I couldn't tell you how refreshing it was to know at least one reporter had the guts to admit that they were human.

She was close to tears at the start of her report, continued on, not only to describe what she saw during the day and at that time last night, but also to relay the personal stories of her crew. Jeanne is with a cameraman and a technician.

The technician broke his foot at 9am that morning.....and proceeded to work the entire day in those horrific conditions.

The cameraman joined a rescue crew in a boat to get some video, and ended up with them for hours helping save people.

And Jeanne? She watched as people were saved, stunned, and with nowhere to go.

She saw bodies floating. She saw a dog wrapped in electric lines, electrocuting, and nothing could be done.

No one, at least no one with a heart, could have lived all that in one day, and not show their emotion by day's end.

Thank you, Jeanne Meserve. I highly doubt I'll ever hear or see a reporter file a more incredible, touching piece of journalism.

Unbelievable. And I'm so glad I got to see it.

(When the transcript is posted, I'll link to it.)


Sunday, August 28, 2005

Camille vs. really doesn't matter....

I sure wish Mama were alive tonight.

She could give me an accurate comparison between Katrina, bearing down on the Gulf Coast, and Camille, which ravaged the Gulf Coast of Mississippi in August, 1969.

It can be argued that Camille was the worst hurricane ever to hit the U.S. mainland (but the 1900 Galveston storm, the 1935 Labor Day storm, and Hurricane Andrew were certainly as bad).

Andrew, when it hit Florida, was devastating, but relatively tight, small, so to speak. Hurricane Betsy in 1965 wasn't as strong, but was as big.

The best description I've heard today is that Katrina, "has the power of Camille and is as big as Betsy". That's a horrific combination.

Pray for everyone in metro New Orleans, the lowlands, the Mississippi Coast, Mobile, Jackson, and even as far inland as Nashville, Tennessee. It's going to be a very long next 48 hours throughout that region.

902-905 millibars at the eye. That's incredible. Only a couple of storms worldwide have gone under the 900 millibar point, so we are looking at, possibly, a "once-in-a-generation" storm.

As I guess you can see now, I'm a big weather freak. I watch the Weather Channel at some point about every day. When bad weather strikes, I'm watching. Right now I have the video feed of WWL-TV, the CBS affiliate in New Orleans.

Watching TV through this evening, you hear a different tone in the voice of officials, that lead me to think they are thinking, rather in terms of "maybe dodging the bullet", to "how catastrophic this will end up being".

I return to the Camille comparison for this reason: residents in Tennessee, Kentucky, and other states in Katrina's path and to her east over the next few days....

In 1969, Camille eventually, as it weakened, turned back east. By the time it began affecting the Appalachian Mountains, it was "only" a low pressure system.

It dumped a record 27 inches of rain in Nelson County, Virginia, which is just outside of Charlottesville. Several fatalities reported. Then the water rushed down the James River, and Richmond received record flooding.

The storm came inland in Mississippi, and it caused record flooding in Richmond, Virginia.

Think about it.

That is why we should look at storms and events like this with awe, and with genuine fear and concern. Heck, Isabel was a tropical storm in '03 when it came through here and some people were without power for seven, eight, nine days and more. In fact, about a mile from the house, I cross over a small creek, where to this day, several huge trees are fallen over; a constant reminder of September 18, 2003.

And if Isabel was "only" a tropical storm...and if Camille was "only" a low pressure system when it affected Virginia....that should put in perspective what millions of people are about to face.

Godspeed and God's mercy upon them all.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Care to stay with my stream of consciousness......

I'm not even sure I can!

ITEM: 25 years ago yesterday, I entered junior high school. The 8th grade, to be exact. The worst grade of my life. 25 years ago today I was called "braceface" by the blonde at the locker next to me (WHY do these things stay in your head?!?)

ITEM: A week from Tuesday, my son enters 8th grade. Different circumstances; he's in the "big grade on campus" at a middle school. Wait 'til next year.....

ITEM: 20 years ago tonight, the cast and crew of the first summer of the "Superstar Recording Studio" at Kings Dominion had a get-together at a friend's apartment before many of us left for college, etc. It was the beginning of my final week of life in Virginia before college. I was in a very serious relationship; job ending, brother getting married on Friday, leaving for Massachusetts on Sunday. Sounds like the "harmonic convergence". It was quite a week.

ITEM: 5 years ago last night, arguably, the final night for me of the vintage "Church Hill WRVA Radio". I worked until 12:30am to make sure commercials were ready for UVA broadcasts and other things, because I went on vacation the following week. When I returned, everything really started changing....

ITEM: The ultimate of ironies. I'm driving around this afternoon, going for my usual 4pm or so lunch, needing to find an air machine for a tire precariously close to "pancake-ing". First stop, "out of order". Second stop found, U-Turned and turned in.

75 cents later, I had air in my tire. Consider this: Air was ALL AROUND ME. Yet I had to pay money to get it in the one place I needed it the most....gotta be something prolific about that, but I'm too tired to figure it out.

By the way; the air machine said to deposit "three solid quarters". What the heck does that mean?? I thought, simply to be kind to the contents of the machine, that I should prefer to use three gaseous quarters.....alas, though, I didn't have any on me.

ITEM: Had my brother and I were forward-thinking....we'd be multi-millionaires today.

Fantasy football. It's everywhere. Guess what? We were playing it in 1983.

I saw a little blurb in Sports Illustrated in 1979, I believe, about a group of guys in Texas who had, essentially, the forerunner of fantasy football; calling it the "GFL" (I don't remember what it stands for).

We thought it looked cool to create teams and "play" them head-to-head using the players' real stats in the "fake" game. So, "POF" (Professional Offensive Football) was born.

The first coming last two seasons; 1983 and 1984. My brother won the first year. My chemistry teacher won the second season. Then, I headed to college, and POF went into hiding...until re-appearing in 1997.

This year, we have 16 teams, two different divisions in separate states, and the road to Paper Bowl IX begins September 8th.

Now the cynical side of me: YOU IDIOT!! COPYRIGHT THIS CRAP IN '83 AND YOU'D BE LIVING....well, I'd still be livin' here and driving my '88 Cougar, but at least I'd know my kids could attend college without having to pay for it 20 years after graduation. :)

Then, again, as part of the deal, we'd have to find the "GFL" guys and give them a cut; it's only fair. Boy, I bet they REALLY wish they'd cornered the market when they had it.

So, who's on your fantasy team?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Busy equals hard to blog....

...sounds like the crap I learned in 9th grade geometry.

I'm swamped at work and at home, so some really quick notes.

1) Pat Robertson----stupid, stupid, stupid. Nothing preaches the Gospel better than an assassination.

2) Michael Graham----heard of him? Former WMAL radio talk show host (in DC) fired for saying Islam is a terrorist organization. I do NOT agree with him. But, if you see him interviewed (such as on O'Reilly tonight), I can tell you this: he's no crackpot. I worked in the same building with him. If nothing else, he stands up for what he believes and is very thought-provoking.

3) Football----can't come soon enough.

4) Heat and humidity----can't Congress ban this???

5) Gas prices----hey, my Wawa moved down from 2.59 to 2.55; should I throw a party?

6) Cindy Sheehan----I pray for her mother's recovery, then I want her to just be real with everyone about her agenda.

7) HORRIFIC trip to Kings Dominion: Don't have time to tell now; let's just say #4 on this list just about did me in.

and finally....

I hope you saw "Inside 9/11" on the National Geographic Channel Sunday night and last night. Four hours of amazing television that simply discussed the facts via timeline, and the thoughts and feelings of survivors.

I have TONS to say about this show. That's soon to come, too. :)

Thursday, August 18, 2005

I didn't know I was a terrorist......

.....I guess I should give props to this Joe Cook guy of the ACLU of Louisiana. He explains to me why I'm in the same boat as the 9/11 plane flyers and the bombers on 7/7 in London.

Don't believe me? Check it out. There's also video with him speaking. Click on "on camera". (Thanks!!!)

I don't know how to make a bomb! I actually LIKE people who aren't exactly like me.

What happens if I make this Cook guy mad at me? He'd probably file suit claiming I don't deserve any civil liberties.....

In case you don't/can't get the above link to work, here's the quote:

"They believe that they answer to a higher power, in my opinion. Which is the kind of thinking that you had with the people who flew the airplanes into the buildings in this country, and the people who did the kind of things in London."

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

I'm so proud of my county.....NOT!!!!!!!

Well, it's confirmed. America's Chaos County is....Henrico County, Virginia.

Here's a synopsis of the ordeal:

Henrico County becomes one of the first school systems to enter into an agreement with a computer company (Apple) to provide laptops to all teachers, high school and middle school students, a few years ago. The program, albeit with many questions and complaints and critics, goes relatively well.

Earlier this year, the contract with Apple was up for renewal. Dell gave the County a better deal, and Henrico signed with Dell.

So, the question is: What to do with all these Apple I-Books?

The first announcement was that 1,000 of them would be offered for sale for $50 each at the County's surplus location, about a mile from my home. (It's where they auction off the surplus county cars and typewriters once a month or so...)

Well, word spread fast, and people from all around, including California and Japan, starting making reservations to be in Richmond on August 9th.

Ut oh.

Now what does the county do? They didn't expect worldwide attention. (Hey guys, there's this thing called the Internet....)

So, what to do now? First of all, they know the county surplus place would be inadequate to handle potential crowds. So, the event is moved to Richmond International Raceway.

Second problem: county residents were livid that the I-Books weren't first made available to them (since they paid the taxes to provide the computers!). They made a good point. An even better point was made by my wife: "Why don't they offer them to the TEACHERS first!!??!!"

So, a special meeting of the Board of Supervisors yields a vote changing law to allow the sale to be limited to county residents only. (Hope those Japan Air tickets could be returned for a full refund!) To buy one (and you were limited to only buying one I-Book), you had to have proof of residence in your hand as you walked in the door.

Residents were specifically told they could NOT line-up early, like the day after Thanksgiving at Wal-Mart.

The date is rescheduled to August 16th.

The time came.

After 130am, scores of humans lined up at the gates of the Raceway. There was no police presence there to "shoo" them away.

The police arrive at 6am. To their surprise (or not), there are THOUSANDS of people lined up. (I'd love to have had a hidden camera out there watching the line-butting going on!)

The bewitching hour came, 7am EDT. LET THE STAMPEDE BEGIN!!!

Someone actually made the conscious decision to open the gate, allowing 5,500 people to run down the "asphalt area" normally occupied by State Fair of Virginia Vendors in September, to get to the line-up place at the Expo Building to get, well, one of the supposed holy grails.

Gee, whatever happened to the line (if there ever was one) outside the gate???

I saw video. It was ridiculous, scary, and actually life-threatning. I'm not kidding.

One woman's stroller was completely destroyed, trampled by Apple worshippers. She got her child out of the stroller just in time. She was hysterical when speaking to reporters. I would have been, too.

The cameras show another mother comforting her two small children, obviously scared to death by behavior that made the crowd running into the toy store looking for "Turbo Man" on Christmas Eve in the movie, "Jingle All The Way" seem like a walk through Montana by a single human. A human walking an average of, say 24 steps daily.

One woman was sick in line, refused to get out for medical attention, and fainted THREE TIMES! The medics had to treat her in line.

One woman didn't get out in line to go potty. Glad I wasn't behind HER in line.

Wait, I'm just glad I wasn't in line AT ALL!!!!!

Here's the story, thanks to the AP, complete with an elderly man pushed to the ground, a man using a folding chair to beat people trying to cut in front of him in line, and some idiot trying to DRIVE HIS CAR through the crowd to get to the line.

More wonderful stories about the humanity that lives around me from our NBC affiliate's website, New highlights there include how many "off-duty" officers were assigned to the event, and how many more were called (some in RIOT GEAR).

Now, remember this. Not only was this first come, first serve, there was NO guarantee that the I-Books would be in good working condition!! A center was set up for people to see to what degree their "new-to-them" computer worked. After that, you had a jewel, or a clunker.

Already, people are heading to the local Apple store having to get a new battery, or a new hard drive, or other minor needs.

So, in all, four hospitalized, several trampled, a puddle of urine, Samsonite folder chair wounds on people's bodies, a crushed stroller, a man with a walker who ended up on the ground.....need I go on?

After ALL the controversy and ALL the publicity and ALL the anticipation regarding this event----how do they NOT HAVE PEOPLE THERE FOR CROWD CONTROL!!???!!???

This is the worst black eye Henrico County has received, from itself, in a long, long time.

So, please don't hold it against me because I live in Henrico County.

I grew up in Hanover County. Their residents weren't allowed to buy I-Books. They should have had exclusivity. At least they probably would have done things like:

--stand one behind the other;
--stop to HELP someone who fell;
--wore Depends.

And, in son had an I-Book the past two years.

24 hours ago, I probably would have told you, from what I've seen, it wasn't worth being in a long line to even get one for $50.

Today, I will definitely tell you that a $50 Apple I-Book is not worth risking my life.

Monday, August 15, 2005

I love a good storm....

...thunderstorm, that is.

No, not the kind with straight line winds and softball-sized hail. Just watching the lightning, hearing the thunder, and listening to the rain.

Robbie and I ran to CVS quickly to get Rachel some medicine tonight as the lightning got closer and closer. He told me he's still scared of it. I told him I'm not scared, but I have tremendous respect for it and always take it seriously.

You know, it's pretty cool when your 13-year-old son is honest enough to admit something scares him.


Another high school reunion meeting tonight; very, very productive! We actually were able to upgrade our food offering to a full sit-down meal, and we're very close to meeting our financial goals. I gotta make sure I get on the mic on reunion night and give a shout out to the ladies who have done so much to make this work....



I want this blog to be as honest, correct, and above board as humanly possible, so let it be known that the gentleman from NARAL who resigned over the Roberts ad flap was their Communications Director, NOT their "head director". Sorry for the boo-boo!


Speaking of NARAL, Roberts, et al....

Read paragraph two of this entry from TV Squad, which blogs on, you guessed it, TV. Give Stewart his props, he saw the farce, and called it such. I'm impressed.


And, some NFL thoughts!

1) Philadelphia Eagles: Released WR Terrell Owens. That should be printed in a newspaper sooner rather than later.

2) Rex Grossman. Man, talk about bad breaks (and I don't mean the pun!!). Several months of rehab in 2004, is only four minutes into the first pre-season game of 2005, and breaks his ankle. That caused me to not even consider taking Mushin Muhammed in our fantasy football draft Saturday. The Bears don't have anyone to throw him the ball.

3) Good first outing for Kurt Warner: The Arizona Cardinal.

Pass: K. Warner (ARI) 14-19, 151, 1 TD

I'm tellin' ya, with JJ Arrington as tailback (my pick for rookie of the year), Fitzgerald and Boldin lining up at WR, if the O-line is any good, the Cards will flourish. Why?

A) Dennis Green can coach.
B) This is the best place for Kurt Warner to rehab his career. Low interest, low expectations. He gets them to post-season and they'll probably give him a ticker-tape parade in Sun Devil Stadium.


And finally......I'm not going to buy an I-Book. :)

Sunday, August 14, 2005

God Rocks!

You know, so many times, God could get aggravated, frustrated, could fume, etc....when He does something really cool for us and we attribute the event to "good luck" or something like that....

I understand some of you reading this may disagree with my belief and angle, and that's fine. I respect your right to do so. I just want to share an experience tonight that is small in the grand scheme of life, but took my wife and I aback, in a very, very good way.

A few days ago we found out my brother, sister-in-law and niece were going to be at Paramounts Kings Dominion, the amusement park just north of Richmond (about 25 minutes from my 1,200 square foot mansion) on a trip with her company.

They want to know if we could meet them and spend the day with them. We worked it all out, and tried to find tickets (wouldn't you??), but alas, could not cop any freebies.

They are available for a discounted rate where Bonnie works, so she was headed to work tomorrow to buy them, when, out of the blue, in yesterday's mail, is a card from her best friend Stephanie, who recently moved to Greensboro, NC to take a new job.

You know what was inside the card now, don't you?

Four tickets to Paramounts Kings Dominion.

So we save money that, honestly, we need to save, while Bonnie is blessed by her best friend, and my kids get to hang with their relatives they've wanted to see all summer.....

....and as for my brother and I? He doesn't ride rides. I rode some, until the shoulder damage. So, we'll hang out, find shady places, and shoot the breeze (while waiting for a cool breeze to come by) all day.

Nothin' wrong with that. Hey, maybe we'll get around the planning the 2006 POF Draft and both know what day it's on!!! (See two posts down for explanation.)

Thanks for riding my blog, please exit to your left, and thanks for keeping your hands, arms, and spleens inside the car. :)

Saturday, August 13, 2005

MSM....oh, yeah, they're alive and well.

So, I check out and see where the head of NARAL resigned after they pulled that ridiculous ad insinuating that Supreme Court nominee John Roberts was somehow siding with abortion clinic bombers.

I went to Didn't see the story. So, I went to Yahoo! and checked their news search for stories about the resignation.

There was only ONE. The one I had already found on Fox News.

I put in "NARAL resigned" and his name, "David Seldin".

One response.

On Google, you search David Seldin, and you get three stories:

Fox News
a blog called the Moderate Voice
and, not surprisingly,

We all know the content is why CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, etc, etc....aren't running with it to the point where they at least are picked up in a Yahoo or Google news search.

What's sad is, take the "issue" out of it, and what you really end up with is a bunch of media deciding what you should and should not know. That's not news reporting. That's what Tass used to do in the Soviet Union, only done more covertly and sly-like.

That's why the 'Net and blogs are such an informational godsend. Yes, you can't believe all you read, but reasoned individuals can cut through that and find truth that many don't want the masses to know.

And if I were doing a "Top Ten List" of things the MSM never want to see the light of day, #1 absolutely would be.....

"The real truth about Hillary Clinton."

"How can two brothers get it so wrong?"

For a few moments today it was very, very bad. It looked like the foundation of our beloved 9-year fantasy football league, POF (Professional Offensive Football) was teetering in the balance.

Today was draft day, with all the Virginia teams settled with pizza, cheat sheets, and Yahoo!, ready to go. So, I called my brother in North Carolina to confirm their teams were gathered at his computer. My sister-in-law answers the phone.

"Tammy, can we have about 20 minutes before we begin the draft?"


"Can we have about 20 minutes to eat our pizza before starting the draft?"

"Today's NOT THE DRAFT!??!!?!"

....and the heart skipped two beats. What do we do? Trying to get three families in Virginia together in the summer on a weekend is tough enough, but now it seemed impossible. Other dates in the next two weekends were out for various people.

Great. No Paper Bowl IX. How could this be???

A long conversation commences with my sister-in-law and I (because, ironically, my brother was doing another fantasy draft live on AOL!!), and a solution comes up.

The Virginia teams can draft, one Witham team moves to North Carolina, each division has seven teams, and we'll play within our divisions (like the NFL and AFL of the 1960's), so the Paper Bowl is a true championship game; the only game where a Virginia Division team meets a Carolina Division team.

Great! For a brief time, it created a hole which one team could bow out, and one sadly did. We mourn the loss of the Despicable So-n-So's, Paper Bowl VI champs, but their owner is REALLY busy on the pastoral staff of his church (and that's a GOOD thing).

Well, about six rounds into the 16-round draft, the cell phone rings. It's my brother. The wise old sage informed me of one small problem. If you have seven teams in one division, all the teams can't play every week (odd number!) DUH! Now what?

Okay, I move back to Virginia, Uncle Frank has an opening down south, I hang up the phone, explain the situation, which they had already realized before I finished the phone call, and so, the Shish-Ka-Robs had six rounds to catch up on. :)

I honestly didn't mind; I got some good players and I'm ready to scrap on the virtual gridiron!

So, the Virginia draft is done, the Carolina draft is to come, and opening day is September 8th when Oakland comes to New England and has its head handed to them.

I'm a Raider fan (going back to the days of Ken Stabler, Cliff Branch, and George Blanda as kicker and backup QB). I was asked if I thought the Raiders would bounce back this year with Randy Moss, et al, joining the team.

Heck, no, I answered. If the offensive line doesn't block, the new running back won't get yards, and if they don't protect Kerry Collins, he can't get the ball to Randy Moss. And I certainly don't think they upgraded their defense much. For example, now we know why New England let Ted Washington sign with Oakland before last year. They knew his best work had already been done.

My other team, The Giants (football's the only sport where my heart lies in two places...), aren't ready either. Plaxico will be a bust at the #1 receiver spot (a la Pearless Price in Atlanta), Eli is in for another season of seasoning (2006 will be a better year for him, this year he'll still be learning), so I don't either of my teams winning more than five games this year.

Maybe I'll be wrong. And that'll be fine with me.

And thus ends the saga of the draft that almost didn't happen but eventually did take place. (That sounded like a Monty Python sketch title....)


Finally, overdue for: "An Advertising Cliche from Hell".....

"....when it's gone, it's gone!"

I really don't need to explain this one.......


Oh, a quick closing note: I did very well with grades in high school (finished fifth in my class), but only one six-week period did I get straight A's.

It finally dawned on me why it happened:

That was the short period in my life where I ingested anabolic steroids.


Friday, August 12, 2005

Love and Marriage....Love and Marriage....

First, the love. Hmmmmmm......

Why did my blog come up on a Google search for THIS???

"(erotic | fantasy) hollywood (story | stories)" (Google)

I have been to Hollywood (in 1983); stories are everywhere (TV, blogs, radio, the Bible, our own lives...)

But I need to do a search to see if I've ever used the word "erotic" on this blog before.

Not that I don't appreciate the term, when used in the proper marital covenant context. In fact, within that proper realm, it rocks!!! :)

But now to marriage......

Imagine waking up from surgery, looking up, and at your bedside is your wife.

And your wife.

And your wife.

See this. And remember, you can't split your heart three ways. When he did, he ended up with bypass surgery!!


Well, the road to Paper Bowl IX begins tomorrow, as the 2005 POF Fantasy Football Draft takes place, and, for the first time, from two locations via the Internet!

The North Carolina teams gather in my brother's computer room in New Bern, while the Virginia contingent will gather at my life-long friend Brian Luck's house to invade his computer area.

Then we shall commence discussion in a private chat room, pick up NFL players, and try to take the title in 2005!!!

Question: If you're drafting a fantasy team, will you say the following:

"Your Team Name" selects Running Back Ricky Williams of Miami.

The chances of me doing it are better than the chances of me breaking out in erotic talk on my blog.

I love it when a post comes together.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Award-winning journalism in under 72 hours...and the best new media promotional idea of the year.....

Boy, people are certainly going to stop coming here, what with my recent blog entry titles all pointing to the bed (and not for the fun reason, I might add...wink wink).

1) You must go here. Some people know, and some don't (I'm in media, that's how I know), that news organizations "produce" obituary stories of famous people in advance, so that at the time of their passing, they can have stories, interviews, career highlights on the air within minutes.

In fact, the next time (God forbid, but it will happen) someone passes, watch one news network for, say, 45 minutes (CNN, Fox, whoever). While they talk to friends and colleagues about the recently deceased, take note that the video you see lasts a couple of minutes, then they repeat it. Over and over. That's one of the advance preparations they have for an event like this. The other is a typical news piece highlighting the person's life and career.

Newspapers do the same thing. Take note; The New York Times' advance obituary of Hope was so old that it was written by a Times reporter who actually had died himself three years earlier.

So, all that having been said, and after you read the brief story on the above link, think of this:

The "Peter Jennings: Reporter" two-hour tribute on ABC last night had to have been produced between 11:30pm Sunday and its airing at 8pm Wednesday.
Think of all the people interviewed. Some of the comments, I'm sure, were previously done and were appropriate for the broadcast. But, did you notice how Peter was always referred to in the past-tense?

So, since they didn't even prepare an advanced obituary story for him to air for, say, three minutes on a newscast, can you imagine how much labor it took in order to get that broadcast ready in under 72 hours?

Between watching Peter's career and effect on co-workers and realizing how this was an award-winning documentary that had to be literally "thrown together", I was in awe at the end of the broadcast. I hope it's available somehow in the future. I'd like a copy. And if you missed it, you should watch it. Even if you weren't a Jennings fan (and I really wasn't...), you'll learn alot, but you'll be even more amazed at what the ABC people did in such a short time.

In a word-----Wow.


The latest things in life that keep me constantly running, Part 47.4:

--Getting more information out on the high school reunion so people will respond and come...

--Getting ready for our annual fantasy football draft this Saturday, done via computer for the first time!

--Getting ready for church Sunday.

--Getting ready for a week at work with a staff member on vacation.

--And, finally, trying hard to find turnips.

Think about it. Radio stations go out and have "live" broadcasts all the time at the local Ford dealer, or a festival at the park, or wherever. Notice when they do those, they usually give away t-shirts, keychains, coupons, tickets to movies or concerts, and sometimes other, more expensive stuff, depending upon the promotion.

In all my years in radio, and throughout my childhood when I was hooked on radio, not once, NOT ONE TIME, did a radio station ever offer free turnips as a way to entice listeners to come by.

Turnips. I think I'm sitting on goldmine of a promotional idea here.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Happy Blogiversary....and now off to bed!!

One year ago tonight, I blogged (at Blogger) for the first time. I was briefly at another blog site, which was unimpressive (I don't even remember its name!)

One year and 228 posts later, we look ahead to year two.

But we'll do it later.

Today was:

--arranging for an interview for prospective employee
--working ahead with someone on vacation next week
--watching the two-hour Peter Jennings tribute (amazing....)
--handling details of Saturday's fantasy football draft...

I ate dinner at 10:40. And now, I gotta get to bed. The next two days promise to be taxing.

Good news, though! Four more responds for the Reunion! Honestly, why wouldn't you go to the high school reunion? It's once every ten years; you see old friends, and see how the other guys turned out. :)

Me? I'll just explain to people I'm six months pregnant. That'll be a believable excuse for the tub-o-tummy! Yeah...right. :)

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

It's Blogiversary Eve!

No one ever gave me the word "blogiversary" in any spelling bee growing up....


TODAY'S ADVERTISING CLICHE FROM HELL: "hurry! sale ends soon!"

Duh! Why wouldn't I want to create a sense of urgency by telling the assembled humans that it's ending "soon". Define soon. Sometime between tonight at 9 and February 4, 2012. Good luck figuring out when. :)


Wow. I can't believe it's been a year of posting, venting, discussing, etc. I have really enjoyed it; as well as it has opened the blogosphere to me, which I have a few dozen that I read on a pretty regular basis.

This has been a great way to meet new people, have people challenge you and make you think, and have your "small piece" of the "web-pie". And thanks to the 1,952 people who were so bored, they actually looked at this thing. :)


Monday, August 08, 2005

I missed the Blog-a-Thon....and other tidbits....

I'm glad I didn't have the crazy notion (well, not for more than a few minutes!) of joining those across the blogosphere who helped out worthy causes this weekend in the "Blogathon". I know a few of my regular reads did so, and I've looked at one so far.

The weekend was typical, which is why I'm playing catch up in that game, but I'm also engrossed in an important short-term project: my high school reunion. It's October 1st, and we'd like to get some more response (first, because I want to see people, and, second, because we'd like to break even!!) so, I'm sending out reminder letters and doing work on my "reunion blog", so people can download forms and pay on line if they'd like.

I really want this to go well, so, it's taking some attention away from things like, well, here, I'm afraid.

But, I will NOT be absent. I still plan to post several times weekly, as there's always much to discuss. Besides, my Bloggie turns one Wednesday!!! What's an appropriate gift, and, more importantly, when will it finally start walking???


PETER JENNINGS: 1938--2005

A few notes on his passing.....

1) I look at Peter as I've looked at all anchors that have been around in my life, in two ways. One, as the owner of a chair I always wanted to have. I used to promise my mama at around age five or six that, when I became anchor of the CBS Evening News, I would have her a house built right beside mine. Second, as a personality in media/journalism, I'm automatically fascinated.

2) You can be sure Peter will be the only network news anchor ever to get the job at 27 years old, and without completing high school.

3) I can remember a huge article in the Sunday paper here in Richmond just before "World News Tonight" debuted in 1978. I took interest, because, well, one, even at age 11, I was a news and media freak, and, I had watched one of the three new co-anchors, Max Robinson, on Channel 9 in Washington DC (when I turned the outside TV antenna north and had decent weather....) Remember, this was a big deal; no one had really tried "tri-anchoring", and anyone would be hard pressed to come up with any type of team that rivaled Huntley and Brinkley from the decade before, let alone consider the fact that "Uncle Walter" was on the other channel.

I usually watched John Chancellor, but I switched for awhile, checking out the new set, the new look, etc. Hey, they certainly didn't look worse by comparison say, to their predecessors, Harry Reasoner and Barbara Walters, who reminded the world nightly what it was like to be in the home of a couple in the week before the divorce.

Time went on...Cronkite out, Rather in.....Frank Reynolds had a meltdown of sorts on the air the day Reagan was shot, died in 1983, and Peter became sole anchor, as Max had been phased out earlier, then tragically died of AIDS in 1988.

So, he spent the next 22 years quietly under the radar, with an audience steadily growing as ABC News finally shed its image of being, well, for lack of a better term, horrible.

Think about it. In the space of several years, the following people went to ABC:

--David Brinkley (when NBC thought he was done)
--Diane Sawyer
--Barbara Walters
--Hugh Downs
--Brian Ross
--John Cochran
--Carole Simpson the Ted Koppels, Sam Donaldsons and Joan Lundens of the world that became famous, and suddenly ABC was on top.

The biggest reason was the quiet, demanding, perfectionist captain, Jennings. And now, it makes you wonder what World News Tonight does next. Surely they've discussed it at the upper levels, and one thing of which I'm sure, they will promote from within. To bring an "outsider" in at this point, to me, would be unthinkable.

So, in the space of 27 years, I've watched Cronkite to Rather to (for now) Schieffer, Chancellor (and some Mudd), to Brokaw to Williams, and now, Reasoner/Smith to Reasoner/Walters, to Reynolds/Robinson/Jennings, to Jennings to ?

No, I'm not a media junkie. Not at all.

Note I haven't said a thing about political stands in this blog. This is not the time nor the place. Whether I agreed, disagreed, liked, or disliked Peter Jennings due to ideology is, honest, pretty irrelevant right now.

You know the biggest reason why? Because Peter was born 3 months (minus one day) before my mama, and passed a little over 31 months after mama, both of cancer, that thing I absolutely hate.

I know, I know, he smoked. Mama didn't do anything like that. Yet they are both dead. That's the ultimate bottom line. And to think, as NBC reported tonight, that lung cancer research gets one-tenth...ONE-TENTH the money that breast cancer research does. No wonder 88 percent of those with breast cancer will survive more than five years, while only 15 percent of lung cancer patients do.

Throw the PC and excuses out the window; not every lung cancer sufferer smoked themselves into it. And even if they you go into the E.R. when someone has a massive heart attack and taunt them for eating too much fast food??? Gee, you'd think with all the "concern" over second-hand smoke, the amount of money for research wouldn't be so paltry.

Life isn't fair, and continually throws curves. As an elderly gentleman at church reminded me recently about his brother-in-law's recent bout with heart problems:

"Look at him, skinny, in good shape and walks everyday. And look what he gets. And look at me, how fat I am, and it's not me."

No truer words could be said. Whether you "liked" or "disliked" Peter, be a real human, and pray for his family, and his friends at ABC News. Losing someone at any time is difficult. I have to applaud Charles Gibson for being able to anchor the Special Report just before midnight last night, host GMA at 7am, and come back to do WNT at 630pm.

He's got to be physically exhausted. But he's riding so much on the energy of Peter, he just doesn't know it yet.



Best pass of the opening weekend (though the Miami/Chicago game is still in progress at the time of this typing): Dan Marino to Mark Clayton, circa 1984. Only this time Dan was protected by the podium on the Hall of Fame Platform and the dozens of people around Clayton opted to give him plenty of room to catch the ball rather than cover him.

So what if he didn't win a Super Bowl? He's one of the greatest quarterbacks to play the game. And, lest we forget, he introduced the age of the "shotgun arm". Brett Favre has Dan to thank for paving that way.


DVD REVIEW: "Elf" (2003): Cute to watch w/the kids, with hardly any objectionable content. It starts kinda slow, but picks up significantly in the final 30 minutes. And any movie with Bob Newhart in it has to be good! Worth a watch if you haven't done so.


Oh, and before we go.......


"It's the ____________ of the year!"

I almost allowed myself to use this one!! I had headlined my reunion reminder letter with, "It's The Night of The Decade". Stupid.

Glad I changed it to "The Night a Decade in the Making".

The prepositional phrase "of the year" should be banned from all advertising unless it can describe an indisputable fact. I'm so tired of "lowest prices of the year"..."the weekend clearance of the year"...."the party of the year".....


Sigh. Feel better. :0)

Good night, all.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Things that make you go "hmmmmm".......

First of all.....Robert Novak. Actually, based on his usual banter and demeanor, I'm shocked he didn't do this a long time ago.....(Warning: bad word!)

Secondly, we'd like to thank Lee Mazzilli for joining us on "Oriole Free Fall". Luckily for him, he won't be there when the crashing thud finally finishes October 2nd.

Rafael Palmeiro's 3,000 hits honor ceremony is canned, and Congress has some issues with him, too. He was with the Pittsfield Cubs, Chicago's former Double-A team, in 1986 (with Mark Grace and Greg Maddux, no less) when I worked in radio in Pittsfield in my college time. I wonder if he juiced there, and, if so, where the heck would you find it in Pittsfield??



"...our friendly, knowledgeable staff...."

Sure! Honest, I was expecting ogres, bears, rude humans specially trained to assist me in purchasing what they shove down my throat.....

As we say at work, "SO WHAT?" Everybody says their staff's like that. But what if you walked into the store and found that they weren't? Would you have the courage to speak to the manager and tell him/her to stop lying in the radio ads??


Does the term "desperation" strike you as appropriate as liberals, MSM, et al, try to crucify Katherine Harris, by, of all things, focusing on her looks? WAIT A MINUTE?? Where's NOW???? Why aren't they there to defend Ms. Harris, who is being criticized based on her looks (and her knowledge of them as opposed to apparently doctored photos), to remind the neanderthals of this world that it's the smarts and abilities of women that matter, much more than just looks???

Oh, the above "NOW" link? It seems like NOW is only currently interested in representing those wanting to abort humans "the morning after" whatever their "night before" may have consisted of.

Let's see.....legs closed, zipper zipped, no need for "Morning After" pill.

Sorry if I offended you, but the truth's the truth. Period.

And I haven't even gotten on my soapbox about Prosperity Theology and its resident charlatans.

Gee, and look what I find when Yahoo'ing "charlatan" in the news search! We can't even trust our world to know who invented the TV Dinner!!

Calgon, take me away! :)

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Ooh, cool! Let the countdown begin....

Hey, unbelievably, I'm coming up on my one-year blog-a-versary!

One week to go 'til August 10th. Gosh, I've really enjoyed this, and have met many wonderful, insightful people who, too, blog and cause me to laugh, think (sometimes sigh or groan), respond, or simply just enjoy.


Also, the countdown is on to my 2,000th unique visitor to the Witham Nation's World Headquarters.

This is just too cool. At this rate, everyone in the world will have hit this blog long after I'm dead!


Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Well, one more thing from July.....

I had heard on the news there was a hit-and-run early Sunday morning up near where I used to live.

What I didn't know until I was at our newspaper's web site was that the victim was a childhood friend; we went to elementary school together. His name was Clinton Terrell.
I still feel so young, I have a hard time dealing with those who pass that are my contemporaries, especially when I know them. He was only 39. God bless the family.


One other note: no time to start this tonight (it was imperative I get in the pool with the kids tonight. Honest!! I had only been in this year with him once, for about eight to ten minutes, before a storm whipped up), but it will soon.

First, I'm working hard to get another push for attendance at our high school reunion.

But then....I plan to speak much on the subject of Prosperity Theology, today's televangelism, and why the money is going to the wrong place.

The more I see, the madder I get. And I'm just a Christian with heathen tendencies; I wonder what God thinks.....

I'm glad He's got grace to go with that justice.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Goodbye July!!!!

Here's my take on the month that was....

When the best thing that happens to you in a 31 day period is when the McDonalds drive-thru mistakenly gives you 30 Chicken McNuggets instead of're not looking at the most stellar month, are ya?

July 1: Said so long to valued employee, spend rest of month working hard and trying to determine how to replace...

July 2: Saw my cat for the last time (I just didn't know it at the time)....

July 3: Discover Katie Pickles dead at the end of our street while leaving for church, on, of all days, my wife's birthday.

July 4: Work on a holiday so I could leave work early the next day...

July 5: ....because the kids were returning from a weekend at Grandma's and we had to break the news about Katie to them.

See the developing pattern???

I am not sad to see July 2005 in my rear-view. I look with anticipation to August, and, so far, so good.

But there were good points.....

--Our morning service on July 17th was especially good.
--I stayed indoors during the heat of the day when the mercury reached 95 plus.
--The Orioles finally woke up and realized who they really were....

So, there it is. For better, for worse. July 2005.

And, in closing, July did have lucky winning numbers...

2, 3, 18, 23, and 31.


I could've told you that without answering questions....

Take the quiz: "The MOOD quiz! (With cool blinkies!)"

You are... crazy! You flip out on everyone that gets in your way. You're just plain weird!