Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Radio? Who Needs A Stinkin' Radio!

Mike had one of these in his car, so when Buy.Com had it on sale for $29.99 plus free shipping, I grabbed me one. Looks like it works just great. Next time we drive to San Diego or Palm Springs, we are set. Kudos to Buy.com for getting it here so fast. I am STILL waiting for my Seinfeld DVD set from Amazon.Com.

Welcome to Belkin - TuneCast II Mobile FM Transmitter

Another Met Retread in Giant Clothing

The Sports Network - Major League Baseball

Monday, November 29, 2004

Winter Vacation Blues

More thoughts on winter vacation. I have four days I have to use or lose by the end of the year. Here’s my list of possibilities:

*Hawaii—Too far and expensive for only four nights.
*Laguna Beach—Sounds OK, but not scintillating.
*New York—Actually my top choice, but for some reason, the airfares now are really high
*Chicago—My second choice, also with recent high airfares, and it’s really cold there (spoken like an Arizonan)
*Santa Fe—Also not a great winter destination
*New Orleans—Airfares are REALLY high right now.
*Buenos Aires—When do we leave?
*Australia—Sounds great, but four nights makes it impossible

The wheels are in motion….

I Agree With This

Nashville's Opryland Hotel "The Worst Hotel In America"? || HotelChatter

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Another Turkey Day in the Books

My wife’s “Operation Thanksgiving” (AKA “Pimp My House”) is well in progress. We made two trips to Goodwill with many more to come. We also will be giving clothes away to a charity that distributes them directly to those in need. Also, we’ll be going over to Paradise Valley Mall in a few days to get some Christmas Angels. These are secret gifts given to poor boys and girls in Phoenix who otherwise would not get much in the way of Holiday gifts. We have done this many times, the first time being in 1992 right before we left to adopt our girl.

I watched my first NFL game this season from start to finish. I witnessed the Eagles mop up the field with the NY Giants. I thought it was cool when Donovan McNabb hugged Eli Manning at midfield after the game. McNabb is a classy guy and a true leader. I am hoping for a Pennsylvania Super Bowl—Eagles-Steelers.

I saw an ad for Gillette’s M3Power razor. Is it intentional to take advantage of the MP3 craze? I know the letters are not in the right order, but it sure looks like MP3 if you catch it in a hurry.

The rest of the holiday season is up in the air. For our December break (while daughter is away at camp), my wife and I might go to New York, Hawaii, Santa Fe, Seattle, San Francisco, out in an RV or just no where. The smart money is on nowhere.

Another Really Bad Idea

Yahoo! News - Merry Chrismukkah: Cards Combine Holidays

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Giveaway Day, Part One

It’s the beginning of the giveaway part of the “pimping our house” process. I jokingly tell people that our stuff has stuff. I actually think I “borrowed” that line from George Carlin. This morning, I went through my clothes closet and tried on a bunch of pants and shirts and they are headed for Goodwill this afternoon. Do not feel sorry for me—I am down to my last several hundred shirts, 20 or 30 casual pants, 10-15 dress slacks, maybe 30 custom dress shirts and 20 or so custom suits. This is on top of 20 pairs of dress shoes, none of which I can wear because of my deteriorating feet.

Oh, did I mention I have something like 300 silk ties?

"Hey Player, Get Your Butt Down to Target!"

At 8 am local time, the phone rang (a rare occurrence in our home), and lo and behold it was the recorded voice of Ice-T (AKA Tracy Marrow) telling me to get my butt out of bed and head to the nearest Target.

The other day, we saw the Target commercial in which you can select a wake-up call from a number of celebs (such as Cheech Marin of Cheech and Chong) or comic/fictional characters (such as Darth Vader or Dennis the chicken). I must have said I’d like Ice-T to call me. As I have said in a previous posting, I find it remarkable Ice-T has gone from Cop Killer (rap album of the '90s) to playing a cop (“Law and Order: SVU”) on TV.

Does that mean Mark Chapman has a music career in store?

BTW, Ice-T was a day late; we went to Target yesterday.

Friday, November 26, 2004

$$ The Day After $$

Last night, the family with whom we celebrated Turkey Day wondered why on earth we’d get up early to go shopping. Actually, we had no good answer. My wife said because we think it’s cool to see what people are buying. I said (to myself) that it’s one of those things we like doing together, and that’s about it.

So, at about 8:30 am today, we were in Best Buy. We missed the big item on our list--$7.99 for “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb” from U2. We bought two Hanukkah gifts for our daughter and a combo DVD player-VCR recorder for $59 (after rebates). Not 100 percent sure I’ll keep it, but it was worth at least taking home. At B2, the big thing appeared to be video game (console, not PC) related stuff. Candidly, I do not know the difference between XBOX (Microsoft), Playstation (Sony) and Gamecube (Nintendo) other than the manufacturer. In 1980, I owned a Mattel Intellivision, but that’s a story for another day.

We then went to Target, but we selected the one north of our home, near Carefree. It is the path less traveled, and they had many of “The Simpsons” (Season 4) for $17.77 still in stock. Actually, they had all their specials still in stock.

From there, we headed up to the Carefree Farmer’s Market (9 am-1 p.m., Fridays) and then out to breakfast with our daughter.

I realized despite my desire to be as far away from home as possible for Thanksgiving, I love waking up in the desert the day after. It is a gorgeous day—sunny with a high in the low 60s.As the song says, "They’re freezing up in Buffalo, stuck in their cars, and I’m lying here ‘neath the sun and the stars.”


Thursday, November 25, 2004

Let The Pimping Begin!

We have begun pimping our house. Oh, it’s a slow process. Early pimping includes shredding important personal documents, recycling newspapers and magazines and a lot of screaming at each other. That’s a sign we’re making some progress. We’ll be pimping for a while—maybe into next Turkey Day! I will remain optimistic.

The best part of it will be finding cool things in our garage from our 21-plus years together. Check this out (see above)—it’s a brochure from our store in Seattle. We had a video-bookstore that sold informational videos and other related products. We lost our shirts (and pants, and shoes, and our house, etc…) but came out of it much wiser. Well, at least we hope so.

Stay tuned—more cool stuff to scan coming up!

Shopping Letdown

After combing through the various day-after Thanksgiving shopping sale inserts, I have come up with little to get me out of bed in the wee hours.

My target product was a DVD-Recorder/VCR combo. There are few, with the lowest price being a Go Video one for $199 at CompUSA. A lot of places have DVD-R discs on sale for next to nothing, but without the DVD recorder, what good are these discs?

The primary products are MP3 players, iPods (not really on sale), digital cameras, DVD movies, TVs, computer monitors, digital cameras, toys and other assorted things (which I neither want nor need). Despite the “Digital Joy” campaign from Microsoft and Intel, I saw only one portable media center on sale for $450. Lots of printers, scanners, paper, cartridges, USB drives, etc… I have all of those things including four printers and a scanner.

The Nikon SLR camera is not on sale. The Belkin iPod car transmitter is not on sale. Those cool one-shot coffee/beverage makers are not on sale. But then again, there’s an electric knife on sale @ Wal Mart for $4.77. Our previous one is missing. Now that’s excitement!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Thanksgiving and the DA 501

After talking it over with my wife, we claim 1985 to be our best Thanksgiving. It snowed like a foot or so in Seattle and the annual family gathering was cancelled. We walked a few blocks to the Ballard Market and bought some food and listened to our new prized possession—the first consumer CD player on the market—the Hitachi DA 501, which I purchased through the mail from Wisconsin Discount Stereo. The Tower Records at the foot of Queen Anne in Seattle has something like five CDs, and we owned them all. Steely Dan was in heavy rotation on the new CD player.

Here’s an odd twist. For some reason I wrote in my newspaper column about the new CD player (and foolishly mentioned that I bought it mail order). Shortly thereafter, I received a bill from the Washington State Dept. of Revenue for the sales tax I circumvented by buying the old DA 501 out of state. I was actually thrilled—I didn’t think anyone read my column.

Wow--The Ride from Philadelphia to Allentown is Free

Yahoo! News - Pennsylvania Turnpike Workers Go on Strike

I'd Take This Deal in a Heartbeat

Yankees: Vazquez salary holds up Unit deal

Hey X to the Z--Pimp Our House!

My daughter informed me that at school they learned a turkey does not say, “Gobble gobble.” It makes a dull semi-clucking noise. Well, that sure ruins the holiday for me.

The airports are jammed. We will not be at the airport, so perhaps I am callous in saying I don’t much care. In 1994, we flew to Disneyland for Thanksgiving. It was the year after my father died and we wanted to be somewhere that would distract us. Since then, we have been in search of “the place” for the holidays. Tomorrow, we will have dinner at the house of the family of one of my daughter’s classmates. It will be nice, but we will not be home in time to watch the “Seinfeld” special on TV. I think these people are the sorts that don’t watch much TV, but we have a DVR, so I can watch Jerry Jerry over and over again. Amazon has yet to ship my three-season set—so much for spending the holidays saying Yada Yada.

Operation Thanksgiving is waiting in the mist--my wife’s plan to organize, clean and decorate/make our home into the sort of place that would be inviting (rather than off-putting) to those who cross the threshold. I said we could call the plan, “Pimp My House.” Are the guys from West Coast Customs on the way? Ish could work wonders with his magic fingers.

Banned for Life...Or Two Weeks--Whichever Comes First

The used car guarantee of sports.

Yahoo! Sports

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Retiring or Forced Out?

CBS News | Dan Rather Stepping Down | November 23, 2004�12:14:38

Rubber Rings and the Future

There are bracelets everywhere: Yellow for Lance; Pink for Break Cancer; Purple for AIDS; Sunburst for quitting smoking. We have ‘em all (pretty much) and the ones we don’t have, we’ll be getting really soon.

I find the bracelets to be an interesting phenomenon. They remind me of the buttons of the ’60s—“Make Love Not War,” etc… They are forms of passive empowerment in that you can make a personal statement without a lot of effort and feel part of a cause. It’s like talk radio—people feel somewhat empowered to call in and anonymously speak their mind to Rush or Dr. Laura or the local radio sports nitwit. People want to belong, but they don’t want to stand up and be counted; they’d rather sit back and be counted. If you can make subtle forms of empowerment (like a bracelet) a fashion statement that has a Celeb (Barry, Lance, Meadow (from “Sopranos”)) attached to the cause people will fork over their buck or two without batting an eyelash. People like to identify with Celebs because it allows them to be followers rather than leaders.

I love the bracelet idea—it raises awareness, collects money for the cause and at least gets people to think about something other than themselves. I don’t like it when the meaning of the cause gets hidden behind the “coolness” of the rubber ring around the wrist. At my daughter’s school, I think there’s a decent business to be made in selling these bracelets because they are fashionable. Do the kids know about the state of AIDS research? Doubtful. But heck, awareness in any form is a start.

I think the future is about empowerment and taking the right to rule away from the evil and greedy and moving it toward the person. People tell me that “the person” does not care and wants to be led—like a lemming. I have the be eternally optimistic—people will want to make their voice heard if you give them simple tools of empowerment and prove to them that their voices and votes do make a difference. Today, the majority have that “what’s my voice worth…It just doesn’t matter” attitude. My goal in my professional and private endeavors is to prove them wrong

Monday, November 22, 2004

They Are In The Soup, So to Speak

Campbells is HQ-ed in Camden.

Yahoo! News - Camden, N.J., Named Most-Dangerous City

Operation Thanksgiving

It is a week of mixed feelings. I am looking forward to the four-day weekend. I am looking forward to getting up early on Friday and buying a bunch of stuff we don’t need. Although, I have my eye on the device that allows me to play my iPod in the car. If anyone has it as a doorbuster, it will be mine..oh yes, it will be mine (as Wayne of “Wayne’s World” says).

I hate Thanksgiving, as it was the day my father died 11 years ago. Also, I am allergic to turkey, eating it for the last time in 1976. Well, at least I don’t end the day sleepy from L-triptophan.

We are inspired to use this coming weekend as the time to begin our assault on our home. No, we’re not setting fire to it—quite the contrary. Last night, Roselyn O’Connell, my neighbor who ran for Congress, had my wife and I over her house, and we were taken with the simple elegance in which she and her husband George have decorated their house. We’d like to reciprocate, but people would think our house was ransacked. I could ramble on about our household management/decoration/upkeep issues, but they’re rather irrelevant in the big picture. We have a history of using Thanksgiving as the springboard for such activities; in 1990, on Turkey Day, we organized our former house in Phoenix and while it was never the palace at The Hermitage, we were not embarrassed to have company. My wife has “Operation Thanksgiving” all planned for this year.

The O’Connells are delightful, caring and thoughtful people. Roselyn would have made a great Representative, but my sense is she might not run again, which is sad. She is bright, articulate and a wonderful listener. I could see her absorbing and synthesizing every word discussed last night—a remarkable skill possessed by few people. We look forward to having them at our house after “the makeover.”

Sunday, November 21, 2004

For The 59 Million Red Voters

Welcome to Vietnam.

TheOmahaChannel.com - Family - Omaha Marine's Funeral Set

Good Piece on Ryan Howard

But I disagree on a few points:

*He is a decent first baseman. We saw him make a great stretch to get a throw from the shortstop that caught a speedy runner.
*He is NOT Willie McCovey sized. I stood next to both men (granted I was 10 when I stood next to McCovey) and Willie is about six inches taller. Howard is built like Frank Thomas.
*Howard has a special personality. Don't ask me to explain it, he does. A great smile, an easy shoulder roll to some hip hop music, etc... If the Phillies want to embrace their African American fans with a quality future star, he's your man. For a team whose past is shrouded is racism (don't get me started), cultivating an African American star is a solid play.

I'll say what I said yesterday when Ryan Howard came to bat. Given he was 10 feet away, I know he heard me--"Keep Ryan, trade Thome!"

Philadelphia Daily News | 11/18/2004 | Bill Conlin | Making a powerful argument

Name That Team

Around the 6th inning of yesterday’s game, I noticed a woman standing behind our section wearing a GBL T-shirt. For the uninitiated, the GBL is the new Golden Baseball League that was started by Pat Sajak (needed to do something with all that WOF money) and some techno-geeks (also with too much money on their hands). The new league, to launch next year, is an Independent League of former players and wanna-bes. It’s like the league my wife and I saw in Atlantic City this past July. Check my old blog to read more about it.

I digress. Anyway, I approached the woman and asked her if the “name the team” contest was over. I entered it with a name for the Mesa team that I swore to my family would win. The GBL woman said the contest was extended and asked me what name I submitted. When I told her, she looked astonished and said that was the owner’s favorite entry and likely to win.

If I win, I get $500, two season tickets to the Mesa team and the chance to throw out the first pitch on opening day. I am warming up in the bullpen as we speak.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

The REAL Fall Classic

For me, the baseball season that started in March, with a Spring Training game in Mesa, came to a close today with the Arizona Fall League Championship Game. The game featured the Scottsdale Scorpions and the Phoenix Desert Dogs playing in front of what looked to be a 75-percent full Scottsdale Stadium. The weather was a spectacular 75 degrees, and the fans were totally into the game. It really was an official game, which included a jerk-a-meyer heckler behind the Desert Dogs dugout. At least one fan moved as this loser (wearing a Dan Marino Dolphins jersey) made outrageous (but not crude) remarks at the players, umpires and anyone else who would listen. My wife, the Giants fan behind me and I all laughed at the fool.

Los Angeles Dodger rookies patiently sign autographs before the game

The Phoenix Desert Dogs are introduced

The game itself was very well played. A few errors, but strong pitching and a handful of solo homers dominated the majority of the game. D-backs farmhand Corey Myers hit a solo shot and his teammate Conor Jackson threw a bullet to the plate from left field nearly nailing an opposing runner trying to score. No doubt Jackson will make the Show for Arizona next year; he’s the real deal.

Tied at 2 in the bottom of the eighth, Reds secondbaseman Kevin Howard made a crucial error that loaded the bases. Up comes Royals young infielder Donnie Murphy and he promptly parks Steve Schmoll's (of the Dodgers) first pitch over the right field wall for a grand slam. The D-Dogs bench went wild. The rest was up to Oakland A’s first round draft pick Huston Street to close it out. Street, a star at the University of Texas, and son of former Texas QB Jim Street, made the Scorpions hitters look like little leaguers. He struck out four of the six batters he faced, giving up one hit. Street will move Octavio Dotel back to the set-up role. You must give him strong consideration for Rookie of the Year. I joked to my wife, a big Dennis Eckersely fan, that young Huston was the next Eck.

Huston Street talks to reporters after winning the game

The Desert Dogs celebrate with the championship banner

Phillies young star Ryan Howard--only Jim Thome stands in his way to greatness

After the game, AFL general manager Steve Cobb awarded the D-Dogs the championship banner and all the fans (including us) hung around just to absorb the milieu and take pictures, get autographs, etc… I got a few autographs, including the player I have been waiting all Fall League season to see—Phillies young slugger Ryan Howard.. I had Ryan sign the page with the stats from the Reading Phillies (the team on which he set the Phillies minor league home run record) in Baseball America’s season-ending issue. He’s a big dude and I’d sure love to see him in the lineup next year. How that will happen with Jim Thome standing in his way remains to be seen.

As we left Scottsdale Stadium, saying goodbye to baseball for the year, we say Huston Street kiss his mom and dad. I walked over and asked the gentleman if he was Huston’s father, and he said yes. I told him I remember him playing QB for the Longhorns and he smiled. He recognized my wife and I as ones cheering for his son and called his wife over to meet us.

After two grueling weeks of travel and many work calls, presentations and documents, I can say this made it all worthwhile. So, when does Spring Training start?

Last Game of the Season

We're headed down shortly. Film at 11.

Major League Baseball : News

Friday, November 19, 2004

And In a Few Years, They'll Make Excellent Paperweights

Yahoo! News - Chanting Throng Tunes in to Stern's Sirius Giveaway

Top TV Shows on DVD

Entertainment Weekly put out a list of the best TV shows on DVD. OK, maybe I cannot argue with the fact they have “Sex and the City” at the top. But, EW is a Time Warner Co. and so is HBO. Also, they have “Sopranos” at No. 2, which is fine, but no way is season four the worst of the lot. Season three is the worst because of the sad, gratuitous violence. Season two, with Richie Aprile, is the best. Come on, it’s a bit of TV history when Tony says to his sister at the end of the episode, in which she murders Richie and is boarding a bus to Seattle, “All in all, I’d say it was a good visit.”

And where is SCTV on the list? I watched some of Season One on the plane home yesterday, and laughed out loud at “Great White North” and “Polynesian Town,” a movie spoof with Johnny LaRue (John Candy) and special musical guest Dr. John. Not mention “Hi Q’ and all sort of other fluid-out -the-nose laughs.

Also, the release of “Seinfeld” next week changes the dynamics, but let’s not overlook “Hill Street Blues” which also is available on DVD. I am hoping that “Kumars at No. 42” and “Airport,” both BBC shows, will eventually be available either as Region One DVDs or (better yet) as downloads.

And They're Driving Up The House Prices Here

But heck, we did that three years ago.

Yahoo! News - One in Four Californians Consider Moving

Telephone Trivia

In the wake of SBC’s announcements over the past few days, I jokingly asked my wife if she could name the seven original Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOCs). She knew four, which stems from the fact her husband once edited a telecom magazine.

They are:

Bell Atlantic
Bell South
Southwestern Bell
Pacific Bell
US West

Try that for your next office trivia party.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

As We Return to the Thrilling Days of Yesteryear

Yahoo! News - CIA plans riskier, more aggressive espionage

Travel Day Ends

I made it home with little wear and tear. A few hours with my iPod and an hour of watching SCTV on my PC and the time passes by. If people heard the ridiculous assortment of songs on my iPod, they would think I am either eclectic (not) or crazy. The tunes ranged from Eminen and Kumba Kings to the Classics IV.

The cabbie in Chicago this morning first asked me if I minded if he had Howard Stern on the radio. I told him it was OK by me as Stern got me through several years of a horrible California commute. Stern had William Shatner on the show and there were lots of sexually explicit anatomical references that were occasionally funny, occasionally stupid. But that’s Howard.

Then the cabbie asked me if he could smoke. I emphatically said no, and was willing to show him my assortment of asthma inhalers to confirm my objection. The cab reeked from smoke when I got in at my hotel.

On TedVision, I watched (sans sound) The George Lopez Show. I wonder how long it’s been on the air? Lopez was in the HBO movie, “Real Women Have Curves” and was a brief guest in the MNF booth this past week with John and Al. His appearance did not get the attention of TO's steamy video. Constance Marie, who played the singer’s mother in the movie “Selena,” is in this sitcom; I assume she plays George’s wife. It looked like that Spanish talk show host, “Christina” (Latin America’s answer to Oprah) was in this episode, but I might be wrong.

As I have said, I am guessing work travel is done for the year. I will end the year having been to Seattle, San Francisco, San Diego, LA, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati and Connecticut. Hardly the exotic locales of years past.

Starting My Wife's 2005 Gift List

The Eagles give Melbourne a freebie

At The Bottom

SD State is ranked last--dead last--among more than 300 college basektball teams in pre-season polls. Wonder where I can buy tickets?

SDSU: South Dakota State University - You Can Go Anywhere From Here

Travel Wrap

The signs are pointing to the fact that today could be my last work flight of the year. I should wind up the year with about a third of the travel I did in my earlier years with the company. Just as well. Also, this will be the first year in this job (of seven-plus years) that I did not travel overseas. Maybe next year.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

This Will Make Germaphobes Happy

Yahoo! News - American Airlines Removes MD-80 Pillows

AM in Chicago

I have an odd schedule here in Chicago—one meeting, a big one, but it doesn’t start until 4:15 p.m. local time. Luckily, my room is very well equipped to do work. The room, done in subtle tones, has a giant, wood work-desk and high-speed Internet access. Plus, I get good cell reception, so I can use it as a “work line.”

I walked about the area in the gray and drizzling morning. Looks very European out here plus everyone is smoking. I clearly have lived in to many places such as Seattle and Northern California where smokers are in the minority. In San Francisco, for example, it’s somewhat rare to see a hoard of people standing outside an office building smoking. But then again, every bar in California has a smoker’s annex outside as smoking is prohibited outside. Progress comes in small measures.

From Sec. of State to the NFL

Side note--it is fairly well known that Dr. Rice has been known to keep company with Deputy NFL Commissioner (and former Stanford grad) Gene Washington.

CNN Programs - People in the News

Tuesday, November 16, 2004


A number of people get on "Ted" by United and wonder where the airline came up with than name. Duh... United ends with "ted." Well, I cannot understand why the airline passed up:

*Unit: The official airline of Randy Johnson
*E: The cyber airline
*Nite: The red-eye airline
*Ed: The airline for all former TV sidekicks
*Unite: The airline where everyone gets along (nah, that will never fly--so to speak)

Jerry Jerry

One week from today, the DVDs of the first three seasons of Seinfeld will be on my doorstep. Wonder what we're doing for Thanksgiving? No doubt, it will be on sale the day after Thanksgiving, but there's a good bet we will have watched the entire set by then.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Barry is the Best!

ESPN.com - MLB - Bonds, with seven total, wins 4th straight MVP

Last Trip of the Year?

We have some debate in my house—I say my trip to Chicago tomorrow is my last one for the year while my wife laughs at such a notion. My trip to Chitown is a quick two-nighter with easy nonstop flights to and from O’Hare. While there truly is nothing ever easy about O’Hare (I’ve had some enormous delays there), the weather looks semi-cooperative for this one.

The Yolk's On Him

Yahoo! News - Top Stories Photos - AP

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Dock Dog Day Afternoon

I have to admit even though saw the dogs jump off a dock on ESPN in competition last year, I was not looking forward to today’s event. A few hours afterwards, I have to give it up for my wife—this was a fun and amazing time.

We wandered about Westworld and saw all the dog agility events from Frisbee catch to running a mock steeplechase. There were booths peddling all sorts of doggie-related wares. There was a Lab rescue center where they tried their darndest to send us him with a Lab of our own. My heart melted, but that’s a story for another day. And there were dogs—I mean there were dogs everywhere! It was a veritable dog encyclopedia with dogs of all size and shapes from Great Danes to ones so small they could fit in your wallet. Oh, there also were a lot of RVs.

A Border Collie getting reading for an agility trial

A Black Lab wearing goggles for no particular reason

The dock dog event is what we came to see. It was wild as these four-legged athletes showed focus and style. There were 12 dogs in the competition and they started with an elimination round of two jobs with the top four moving on to the finals. To me, an amazing German Pointer named Sarge looked to be the one to beat. Gabe, however, a Border Collie from Nevada, had a lot of style and could fly like Jordan. Plus Gabe did have a goofy nature about him with many false starts before he dazzled the crowd with jumps in excess of 20 feet.

One of the dogs getting ready to fly through the air to a wet landing

In the finals, Gabe showed off his talent and won with a jump in excess of 21 feet. Sarge came up last with the chance to win but fell slightly short. Tucker, a Black Lab handled by the same person who handles Sarge, was very solid, but came in third. Afterward, we went over to pet the finalists.

Gabe, the flying Border Collie-a wet winner

Sarge—he won our heart

K9 Athletes

Most of yesterday was spent being part of the Bat Mitzvah of one of my daughter’s friends. It was perhaps the only one of the group to which my wife and I will be invited, and we had a great time. It’s amazing to see these girls come of age and begin to get a glimpse of which kids will be tomorrow’s leaders and which kids will be tomorrow’s doofas-es (and today’s slackers). The girl who was celebrating her big day clearly is one of the future’s shining lights, due in part to being part of a beautiful, caring and compassionate family.

Today, we’re off to some sort of dog agility show at Westworld. I once made the mistake of showing my wife an event on ESPN’s outdoors programming which showed some dogs doing a long jump into a lake and competing for prizes. Today, we’ll be at such an event. Could it be better than the WienerDog Races?

Friday, November 12, 2004


Yahoo! News - Scott Peterson Convicted of Murdering Wife

Enough To Make Any Fair-Minded Person Puke

Yahoo! News - Bob Jones Sees Bush Win As 'Reprieve'

Where Was I When This Happened?

Remarkably, there were no flight delays and I made it home on time. Difficult to believe. I have one more trip coming up, and that might be it for the year. Maybe.

I had my third celeb sighting in a week. After Bob Saget on Sunday and Marilyn Manson on Monday, I saw ESPN’s Stuart Scott at Sky Harbor (Terminal 2) yesterday. He is younger and more athletic looking than I expected. I wanted to go over and yell, “Boo-ya” at him, but he had that “Please don’t approach me” look about him.

Why was the older man at Gate 74 at SFO sitting with an unlit cigar in his mouth?

And from the “where was I when this happened” department, when did “Stuttering” John Melendez (nee of The Howard Stern Show) join The Tonight Show Starring Jay Leno?” Also, when did Reba McEntire get her own sitcom? Her sitcom has a very strange story line about an ex-husband who takes up with some PWT woman and (I think) a high-school age daughter who’s with child and living at home with her boyfriend. Is this Trailer Trash TV? Maybe I am totally wrong about this… I watched bits and pieces on the plane.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

The Circle Tour Is Ending

So far, so good. Despite the weather in San Francisco, my flight from Seattle was on time. Well, 11 minutes late, but who’s quibbling? My onward flight to Phoenix appears to be on time.

Looks like they nuked the food court here at SFO and we’re left with some sort of mini food circus in the area that used to be a lounge area. Not very inviting, but I’d better find something to eat before my flight. The seafood place that was located in the mezzanine is also gone. They had a decent crab cocktail that sounds pretty good about now.

The circle tour is coming to an end. Phoenix-Chicago-Cincinnati-Chicago-Seattle-San Francisco-Phoenix in five days is a lot. I do not recommend it. My mantra is holding up—Must chill, must chill.

Headed Home (I Hope)

A long day ahead with some possible travel complications. Because of fog and low ceilings, the West Coast is a funky place to fly this time of year—I remember from my years of living in the Bay Area. CNN says there are hour delays in and out of SFO, and that is my connection today.

Had dinner last night with Mike at Shiro’s, and the master himself was there. It dawned on me that my wife and I first saw him 20 years ago when he helmed the original Nikko’s on Jackson by the International District. He closed that original place down and opened a Nikko’s here at the Westin. That place is closed and Shiro moved on to open a new place on 2nd Street in Belltown.

Well, this trip is nearly over. At some time tonight, I should be sleeping in my own bed. Keep your fingers crossed.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

The Supremely Talented Pat Cashman

One of the joys of being in Seattle is hearing Pat Cashman on the radio. I knew Pat when he worked at KING, and he's a wonderfully talented and funny man. Also, Pat's a true gentleman and a very humble guy. You may have heard Pat's voice on a number of commercials, including those from Alaska Airlines.

Rock 'n' Roll's Greatest Hits, 95.7 KJR FM

Brenly In Blue

Interesting dynamics here: Bob Brenly was one of Dusty Baker's coaches in San Francisco, so he's not likely to critcize Baker from behind the mike. Also, will Steve Stone, the former TV analyst for WGN/Cubs, be at the mike for the Diamondbacks next season (as guesstimated)? Stone lives part time in Scottsdale, but perhaps he can swap Windy City digs with Brenley?

Brenly back in Cubs' fold

Jet Lagged in the Jet City

Whoa, I realized I have made a giant semi-circle in a few short days: Phoenix to Cincinnati to Seattle. That’s three time zones in three days, no wonder I feel like I am Neverneverland. Jet lag is more fun when you are in some foreign country and you wander the streets early in the morning in a light haze. Once, I wandered the streets of Tokyo with my old boss (a crazy man who once lived in Tokyo and was reported to be a former CIA agent) at some ungodly early hour. I think he had never gone to bed and was up drinking all night in the Roppingi.

I ate dinner at a great place called Lola’s that’s a few blocks from the hotel. The food was awesome and in a Middle Eastern/semi-Mediterranean manner. I have had food in Israel, and I must say this was a better version. But then again, they don’t get fresh halibut in Israel.

As much as I dislike Seattle, it has some things in its favor. The food here is wonderful; maybe not as good as Northern California (stone fruits, heirloom tomatoes…) but great seafood and young, very innovative chefs. Actually, the dining scene is far more advanced than when we bolted the Jet City in 1989. Also, it is a great art town. This is where we began our art collection and the gallery that represents Royal Nebbeker is in the Pike Place Market. I saw some cool art at the airport and at Lola’s. But what I think is cool might be disturbing (might be?) to others.

Lastly, I must report a problem with my prized watch. I bought an unusually extravagant gift for myself in Dec. 1999 in the form of a Gerald Genta watch. I will not say how much it cost; you can click here to look up the prices. It’s a “jump” watch, which has a mechanism in which the hours appear in a small window at the bottom of the face and the hour hand sits above. I first saw it in a shop window in Paris where the snotty proprietor wouldn’t even give me the time of day (ha ha). We bought it in Singapore on our way to a vacation in Koh Samui, Thailand. Anyway, there was an incident at our home involving my daughter and our former dog, Zulu, in which the watch fell on the floor. My daughter said the dog did it. The dog was a Doberman, so he didn’t really need to say anything. A trip to the repair shop and a few hundred bucks later, the watch was sort of working again. That was two years ago—now the hours do not progress right especially from 9 to 10 and 11 to 12. Not good.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Seattle Slough

Random thoughts on a long day that ends up here in Seattle: I called my wife and said it’s remarkable I ever lived here. It has the European gray tone in the sky that looks better in places like Paris and London. Too many folks looking way too content about the weather, wandering the streets with their heads down on their cell phones. There were no cell phones in 1980 when I came here and in 1989 when I left.

If you’re ever looking for a recording venue with great reverb, try Terminal 2 at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport (CVG). Some guy on his cell phone could be heard about 100 yards away with lots of echo. He was planning to meet his friend Tom Dunn at some show in Chicago.

Speaking of CVG, there is no worse job than attending to the snack stand in an area that gets minimal foot traffic. The woman attending looked earnest nonetheless; she smiled at everyone who walked by even if they didn’t want to pay $10 for a bag of M&Ms.

The guy sitting next to me on the plane is not used to being in public. He sat the entire flight shoeless with his stinky feet propped against the wall. And, by the way, I want to see a list of people who are nuts enough to actually print out their email (to read on the plane).

There is a Mariners Fan Shop near the hotel. I am not a fan, but curious. They had only one Seattle Pilots cap as an homage to the team (now the Brewers) who played here prior to the M’s. If you want to know more about the Pilots, “Ball Four,” by Jim Bouton is must reading. Lots of Ichiro crap at the shop.

And, as you might expect, there’s lots of coffee nearby. Tully, Seattle’s Best (former called Stewart Bros.) and ‘bucks.

Travel Day--Must Chill

Hmmm.. the new mantra is working, but not all that great. Must chill. Must chill.
Need to stop worrying about what could go wrong on cross-country travel day. Need to not think of that nasty four-hour delay last time flying from Cincinnati to Chicago, only to sprint to the gate for my Phoenix flight. Hummm Hummm.. must chill.
Next stop, the rainy Pacific Northwest, my former home for nine years. No, there will not be a welcoming committee at the “n” gates.
Must chill.

Monday, November 08, 2004

No, No.. Don't Do It!

Bad choice. Dean needs to support a consensus builder who will help bring the party back to life ater a long sleep.

Yahoo! News - Dean Ponders Bid to Become DNC Chairman

Me and Marilyn

So, there I was, walking into the side entrance of my hotel here in Cincinnati. A group of kids with pictures and pens were congregated in the lower lobby that the hotel shares with an office complex, a Kinkos and some other stores. I walk toward the elevator, and there’s a large nose-tackle looking sort leading two other people. The guy is tall, wearing a fuzzy hat covering his ears. He’s got on shades and has a totally blank stare. The woman at his left is faux Goth, also a blank stare. I turn and the nose tackle says, “Sorry, Marilyn is not signing anything today.”

Yep, it was Marilyn Manson. Where’s your camera when you need it?

The Red State

Yep, there's no doubt about it--George Bush won Ohio. I am listening online to WLW and the viewpoints here are that Bush is wonderful and that Kerry was/is some sort of wishy-washy blowhard. I see that the media sure had a hand in perpetuating that myth.

Handy CIA Training

I forgot what it's like to be cold. It's a brisk 40 degrees here this morning in the Queen City. I have a few hours til my meeting, so I am going to catch up on some work before heading out. I hit the Starbucks and the bagel place for a quick post-workout breakfast. Mealtime will be odd today, but I will survive. I noticed that the recumbent bike with the TV built in at the Westin workout room still isn't working (the TV that is). I mentioned it last time I was here, but I guess they're too focused on those (wonderful) Heavenly Beds. Actually, after an Ambien, any bed is heavenly.

I have this ratty alarm clock purchased for five dollars at Wal Mart a few years ago. Because of its annoying chirping noise, my wife hates it. Seems that the battery compartment holder has broken (I suspect sabotage), and that causes some issues in the AAA battery falling out. Yep, the clock arrived sans battery yesterday. The pharmacy was closed and the gift shop wanted something like $20 for a three-pack of AAA-s, so I looked around the room to see what device might have a AAA battery to "borrow." Yep, the TV remote.

I did go to CVS and bought a battery, but my wife says my ability to quickly ferret out answers to complex issues is "CIA training." No, I do not have actual CIA training, but we did apply to work for the CIA in the mid '80s and were turned down due to age. In my application, I wrote that I would not kill anyone or work with illegal drugs. Maybe that had something to do with the decline. One of my former colleagues, Peggy O'Neill, now a big shot at Oracle, revealed to me she also had applied to the CIA. Perhaps that's why we got along so well.

Today's travel mantra: must chill.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

After The Game

The crowd is dying down; the sea of orange and black Bengal fans are now just a trickle here and there. I am sure if I looked inside some of the local bars, I'd find lots of lingerers.

I am listening to WLW, the local sports talk station to hear the "after the game fan call in" hilarity. Funny, I could not get the Mighty 700 on the in room radio, so I am listening online. The Diamondbacks infamous Thom Brenemann's father does play by play for the Reds (baseball). He's no doubt playing golf with his boy in Arizona.

It's getting cold. I miss the desert.

New Mantra--Must Chill!

So, I’ve never been to Cincinnati in my entire life, and now I am here for the second time in about two months. I hear everyone saying, “Lucky me.”

It’s been a very long day. My alarm was set for 4:30 am, but I was up virtually the entire evening As I get older, I get increasingly compulsive about missing my alarm, waking up late, travel problems, etc.. This is for a man who has traveled something like 600,000 miles for work in the past 10 years and I have seen it all and lived through it all, yet I still worry. As the movie line says, “Maybe you need a whole team of psychiatrists?”

The trip was uneventful save for a very minor celebrity siting in O’Hare—Bob Saget. No one else even recognized him as he breezed through the F terminal (AKA commuter terminal). He was wearing shades and had a nice tan. No, I told my wife, Mary-Kate and Ashley were not with him. I doubt they stay in touch with him; he likes to eat.

On the trip from the airport to Downtown Cincinnati (the airport is in Kentucky), we hit the Bengals game just as it ended. Yikes—the mass of humanity in orange and black crossing the street after the end of the game. (Bengals won).

Sunday appears to be a day here when restaurants and the like are closed. Just as well.

Ah, one more thing. The airport has become a great place to watch a football game. Thanks to CNN, there are TVs at every gate in every airport. You really get to see how little the average football fans knows about sports. Today, at Gate F-11, the fans were watching my beloved Eagles lose their first game of the season to Pittsburgh.

I need to figure out how to relax more while traveling. I could go on medication, as someone recommended; I could meditate; I could just plain try and relax or I could just stop traveling. The last option is not realistic, so back to the drawing board. I told my wife our roles would be better if she traveled for work (she’s love it) and I didn’t.

Chill. I just have to learn how to chill.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Further Evidence

That Tucker Carlson is a putz-

(JTA) - Caught in the crossfire

Jewish officials criticized a TV commentator for suggesting that U.S. policy toward Israel is behind Al-Qaida's hatred of America. The criticism comes after Tucker Carlson, the conservative host of CNN's "Crossfire," said on his show last Friday that Osama bin Laden made clear in his latest tape that the United States was attacked because Al Qaida leaders "disagree with American policy in the Middle East particularly, and specifically American policy toward Israel." He added: "At some point, you have to consider the root causes of terrorism." James Tisch, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, told the New York Sun: "Israel is a sideshow to all of this, to bin Laden."

Friday, November 05, 2004

Headed for the Road

Travel days ahead. Six nights over the next two-plus weeks to some of the nation’s cooler spots. Well, that could be anywhere but here.

We won’t be traveling for Thanksgiving or Winter Break this year. We rarely go anywhere on Turkey Day, but for Winter break, we’ll stay close to home instead of Hawaii. We just couldn’t get it together, plus we have some logistic issues that would present us from staying more than four nights. It’s a long way to go for four nights.

We’re still contemplating a short RV trip. We’ll know better tomorrow, as we head to Mesa to check out the big RV centers.

NFL Player of the Week

Detroit Lions' Pritchett pays $1,100 to vote in Florida

Why Don't They Just Say--"Hey, If You're Fat, Walk!"

Yahoo! News - Feds: Obesity Raising Airline Fuel Costs

Calling Bob Melvin

Yahoo! Sports - MLB

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Our Prayers Are With The Edwards Family

The Edwards Family is not having a good week. From what we've seen of this family, they have the courage and strength to be there with Elizabeth as she beats this.

Yahoo! News - Elizabeth Edwards Has Breast Cancer

Got Me Scratching My Head

Do these telco powerhouses think they are going to compete with the likes of Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft? How does this impact SBC's partnership (as well as equity investment) with Yahoo!?

Yellow Pages Giant Created � MarketingVOX

Does This Make Him Joe Friday Night?

Long way to go for a laugh...

Yahoo! News - "Blind Date" Makes Police Connection

Won't Be Seeing This on "Airline"

Yahoo! News - Naked Man Hides in Plane Wheel Well

Candy Crowley Goes Broadway

Ms. Crowley said yesterday on CNN that John Kerry would not suffer too greatly after losing the election because he has a wonderful family and is still a U.S. Senator. She said, "Don't cry for him, Agrentina." This is the original cast version of the song with Paty LuPone as opposed to the Madonna remake.


The Mets Hit The Managerial Jackpot

I’ve said it all along—the team that picks up Willie Randolph as manager will be in the World Series. Well, maybe not in 2005, but shortly thereafter. He’s been a coach for 11 years and knows how to relate to players. He was a solid, fundamentally strong player in his career with the Pirates and Yankees and was a powerful influence in the clubhouse.

I guess it would have been a lot to ask for the Diamondbacks to seriously consider Willie. They’d rather focus their attention on a manager whose team lost close to 100 games (the Mariners) before getting fired. And then the capper is hiring a man (Wally Backman) who they now find is a convicted felon.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Not In 11 of our Finest States

Yahoo! News - Elton John plans to marry longtime companion

The World's Leading Expert on Ethyl and Julius Rosenberg

I read this rambling, self-serving piece on Brokaw and the media (and the election) and I think of Greg Kinnear's character in "You've Got Mail." He was considering writing a book on the Luddite movement, mostly because no one would read the darned thing.

Tom�s Long Count: Brokaw Sign-Off On Bloody Night

This (Former) TV Critic Says:

Media wrap-up:

CNN wins big last night. Skillful use of Wolf Blitzer as emcee working with two great analysts—Jeff Greenfield and Carlos Watson. Larry King was funny, but not in an intentional way. He’s recouping at Duke Zeibert’s.

Fox is just right of Curtis (Bombs Away) LeMay. Way too pedantic without any modern pizzazz. Needed O’Reilly’s snappy repartee, even if it resembled an obscene phone call.

MSNBC is close to being damn good. Chris Matthews is unparalleled in his ability to deliver insights in near real time. That supersized noggin-owning Scarborough character (“Heed… move,” says Mike Myers in “Axe Murderer”) is a clown and loves the sound of his own voice. Matthews needs a professional broadcaster by his side who can allow Matthews to be the ultimate color analyst. I look to sports for an example of on air yin and yang—the broadcast teams of Joe Morgan and Jon Miller on ESPN or for SF Giants fans, Duane Kiper and Mike Krokow.

I only glimpsed at the Networks. Nothing too major there.

Webwise, it was Yahoo! and everyone else. Yahoo! is a media company while the others are breathing Terry and Jerry’s fumes.

11:05 on 11/3

At 11:05 am (EST) Kerry surrenders. Tears are flowing my house. My beloved Patriot has given it her all for more than a year only to see her efforts fall short.

I see opportunity here. In the days to come, it will be clear how and why the Democrats fell short-unclear messages, a somewhat dispassionate candidate (he may have admired JFK, but was no JFK) and a more powerful job of organization by the opponent.

The time is NOW for Democrats to retool. To me, everything is a sports analogy. Democrats need a new owner, a new coach, new players, new offensive and defensive schemes and a return to fundamentals. The Democrats are on the clock.

Kobe and Bobby and Dusty, Oh My

If we're questioning financial records and criminal background, why are Bobby Cox (wife beater), Dusty Baker (tax liens) and Kobe (sexual assault) employed?

ESPN.com - MLB - Backman to keep job despite checkered past

As Soon As Victory Is Announced

My wife predicts Judge Rehnquist will step down. Bush will find the most Conservative, anti-abortion judge/family crony to replace him.

William H. Rehnquist, Chief Justice of the United States, was born in Milwaukee,
Wisconsin, October 1, 1924. He married Natalie Cornell, now deceased, and has three
children— James, Janet, and Nancy. From 1943–1946 he served in the U.S. Army Air
Forces. He received a B.A., M.A., and LL.B. from Stanford University and an M.A. from
Harvard University. He served as a law clerk for Justice Robert H. Jackson of the Supreme
Court of the United States during the 1951 and 1952 Terms, and practiced law in Phoenix,
Arizona from 1953–1969. He served as Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel
from 1969–1971. President Nixon nominated him to the Supreme Court, and he took his
seat as an Associate Justice on January 7, 1972. Nominated as Chief Justice by President
Reagan, he assumed that office on September 26, 1986.

At Least One Positive Thing From The Election

Hope for diabetics like me and everyone else praying for cures. Those who oppose stem cell need not partake when miracles are discovered.

Yahoo! News - Calif. Voters Back $3 Billion Stem Cell Measure

We Blew It


It’s all over in my mind. The people have spoken. So far, the most poignant comment was from Jeff Greenfield on CNN. Greenfield says that the Democratic message just does not resonate with Rural America. They should be voting for Democrats, but there is somehow a miscommunication in place. My take is that the Republicans deliver messages of fear and that change is bad and THAT MESSAGE resonates with rural Americans.

What puzzles me is that it’s these rural Americans whose sons are dying in a senseless war in Iraq. It’s not the sons of bankers and stockbrokers and IT managers—it’s the sons from West Virginia, Ohio, Georgia and Alabama. How the party in power is able to convince these patriotic families that our mission in Iraq is justified is well beyond my understanding. Ralph Reed, a major player in the Christian right, stood outside of churches on Sunday and pleaded with people to keep Bush in the White House. How do you counter that?

I’d say the country got what it deserves, but I am part of this country and we deserve better. The Democratic Party needs to nearly implode its image and start over. In six years, I hope to be part of that “new” Democratic Party here in Arizona. I am willing to take part in that re-write and use powerful media tools to shape the future. Rural and urban, we are all in this together; it pains me that more innocent lives will die in Iraq. We had the chance to right the ship. We blew it.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Signing Off

Just identified Carlos Watson on CNN’s coverage. A former Harvard and Stanford grad, he’s very astute and quick on his feet. That makes up for Judy Woodruff, who was a poor man’s Jessica Savitch. Woodruff took over for Savitch on PBS show “Frontline” after Savitch died in a drowning accident in New Hope, PA.

Ron Reagan, whose only claim to fame is that he’s the son of a former senile president, is nodding along with some experts on MSNBC to show he’s in agreement. Ron is not aging well.

Ralph Nader is on CNN. He also is not aging well. Larry King asked him who he likes in the NBA this season….just kidding.

I am signing off for the night. I’ll resume in the AM.


Comic Relief

I am now switching to Comedy Central and “The Daily Show.” No results, but lots of funny lines—“can I get genital warts from touching a voting machine?”

Joe Lockhart is on CNN saying that although his team is 10 games out with 10 to play, they still will be in the World Series.

MSNBC gives PA to Kerry. He’s still in the game. To win, he’ll need to emulate his beloved Red Sox in their comeback against the Yankees.

Hs guy with the big noggin on MSNBC says the youth vote is not coming through with Kerry as hoped. It’s now revealed the man with the big head is Joe Scarborough, a former Republican congressman from Florida.

Kerry wins California. Ohio and FLA are looming.

Bunning Loses, Bunning Wins

Some guys from “Newsweek” is wearing his coat while’s on air with Matthews. Either he’s really cold or has a big stain on his suit jacket.

Barack Obama is on CNN giving a victory speech. Anderson Cooper is now on—hopefully he’ll utter the words; “Jon Stewart is my daddy.”

Fox is showing a scene from Iraq. If Bush wins, they can sure say, “four more years” of foolishness in the Middle East.

Looks like Jim Bunning may be out in Kentucky. The Phillies job as manager is still open. So is a spot in the rotation.

People in PA are still waiting to vote in Berks County. That’s where Reading is located; maybe the factory outlets will stay open late.

I misspoke—Bunning will win. He can name Larry Bowa as his Secretary of State and Clay Dalrymple as his attorney general.

Heading to Crunch Time

Fox is showing W at his home. He’s smiling. Ugh. To think he may win based on the backs of Evangelical Christians. I can just barf.

Michael Barone reports on Fox that Florida is still too close to call.

MSNBC says Kerry is doing well in PA, but he really needs to win Ohio and FLA to have a chance. They agree with Fox that FLA is too close to call. Miami Dade has not been counted. Broward County has not done as well for Kerry as expected.

Of all the networks, only CNN’s anchor Wolf Blitzer, has been standing much of the evening.

Someone from the Kerry campaign (Joe Lockhart) is providing an update and trying to paint a smiley face on the somewhat nervous current results.

On MSNBC, they’re showing a building along which they’re pulling vertical red and blue ribbons based on the updated presidential results.

Olbermann is on again. I think he secretly would rather be doing NBA highlights on “The Big Show” (the 11 P.M. EST Sportscenter).

No (Wortwhile) News On Google

Google finally puts a pointer on its home page to Google News. The results are weak—a series of disconnected headlines. No map. Will Google wake up tomorrow and see that it needs to be a media company?

Yahoo! is doing a great job. MSN is now featuring MSNBC content, so it’s much better.

Joe Trippy, who I think was connected with the Dean campaign, is again talking about blogs. Chris Matthews is offering up the thought that blogs democratize the concept of editorial voice—he says it puts an 18 year old’s opinion on the same level as a 75-year-old experienced politico. Matthews calls it a “thundercloud of thought.” Trippy refers to citizen journalists in Ohio reporting from polling centers.

Fox has its right wing contingent spouting their nasty views of the world. No Bill O’Reilly in sight. Must still be looking for falafels.

When The Last Dog Dies

Brian Williams says it’s not over until “the last dog dies.” That’s an eerie vision.

Ugh, Greta Van Sustern is on Fox. She’s a lawyer who also has the notion she belongs on TV. Greta needs to be disavowed of that notion. Britt’s wearing his canasta glasses again.

Jeff Greenfield is adding some insight to the results on CNN; he’s commenting that unless we know what areas of given states are offering results, we don’t know how those states are doing. Jeff’s good, but he needs to take his hands out of his pockets. Jeff says things are exactly the same as they were in 2000.

Larry King is really out of it. He and Greenfield are like having Roger Ebert and Jerry Lewis together on the set.

In my heart, I have to be honest—it does not look good for Kerry. I don’t think he’ll win Ohio and Florida.

Life Imitates TV

I find it interesting how a former newspaper reporter (Matthews) has so much on-camera presence and poise. He’s just so far superior than his counterparts at on-the-spot interviewing and has so much in-depth knowledge, he puts he other plastic pundits to shame. He’s literally carrying MSNBC at this point.

Ron Silver is on MSNBC. Talk about life imitating art; Silver played Bruno Gianelli, a campaign strategist, on “West Wing” and now he thinks he’s an actual political commentator? Hello?

Bush is ahead in Ohio, and that’s not good for Kerry. Pat Buchanan is making way too much sense although he’s quite scary. Dee Dee Myers, Clinton’s press secretary, is now on (also a part of “West Wing”) says the next hour is crucial.

Brian Williams says Florida is too close to call. Again Florida is at the center of the election focus.

Woodward Sans Bernstein

Fox still looks way too staid. No Bill O’Reilly so far; perhaps he’s out making obscene phone calls and buying falafels. Whomever is reading the results needs to look at the camera once in a while.

Kerry is winning in PA; need needs PA and Ohio and he’s in better shape.

Looks like Fox is featuring the commentators from the McLaughlin Group. They’re like professors who think they should be on TV. Some guy named Bill Kristol (who looks like Richard Dreyfuss) has a nasty smirk and thinks Ohio is a huge battleground (wow, great insight). He's an editor at The Weekly Standard.

Bob Woodward, who almost became my boss at The Everett Herald, is on screen now on CNN. With the Washington Post’s numbers falling, Woodward needs to hone his TV act. Larry asks Woodward what happens if the race goes beyond the first edition. Larry, you are lame, buddy. Still, CNN is tops so far

Arizona Polls Close

Chris Matthews just loves sparring with Pat Buchanon, but it’s clearly a mismatch.

Just check out the Wonkette’s site—very clever.

Paula Zahn, who is extraordinarily light in my book, is with the Crossfire team. That means channel-changing time!

Keith Olbermann, the biggest underachiever on TV, is looking very understated tonight. He surely misses his tag-team partner, Dan Patrick. Wonder if ESPN is covering the election? I think we need a Stuart Scott “boo-ya” to lighten things up…

My wife called to say there’s no more line at her voting center. That’s not a great sign in my book, but not sure why.

Ohio is a see-saw; MSNBC says Bush is ahead while my interactive Ohio map has Kerry in the lead.

Willie Brown is actually rather sedate. He was not a good mayor for SF, but deep down he’s a good man—a former civil rights activist who worked hard for that cause.

Bush with Texas; Kerry win NY; Kansas for Bush, Nebraska for Bush; Rhode Island for Kerry; South Dakota for Bush; North Dakota for Bush; Wyoming for Bush

MSNBC on Blogs

Some would-be named Joe Trippy is on MSNBC talking about what's happening on blogs tonight. He's some wanna-be who is talking about the "blogsphere" as if it's something measured by Nielsen Media. He's saying the blogs are attacking Jim Bunning because of a series of gaffes made by Bunning, such as accusing his opponent of looking like Sadaam's son. Laughable.

CNN Ahead on TV

For some reason, Brian Williams is in the “tracking center” instead of in the anchor chair. MSNBC still has not identified the guy with Matthews. He has a very large noggin.

Fox has way too many graphics on the screen and is not identifying the on-air speakers.

Delaware goes for Kerry. CNN has Kerry’s daughter on air (my daughter recognized her, I didn’t). Wolf is holding his own; he needs to get rid of Larry (Larry has a cold or is losing his voice). So far, I like CNN best—set, anchors (although Larry is killing me), on-screen graphics, etc… I think they too are in Times Square.

Bush ahead 81-77 in the Electoral College. No PA, no Ohio, no FLA.

Arlen Specter, the Philadelphia DA when I was a kid, is in a close race in the PA Senate race. Bush wins SC. So much for a Southern VP candidate along with Kerry.

Britt Hume is wearing reading glasses and looks like he’s ready to start knitting.

The Net Is Slowing Down

Took forever for Blogger to load...

Spun the dial. Brokaw looks old and CBS is in studio while many others are outdoors giving them a more immediate feel.

Matthews has Howard Dean on and is quite glib with his interview. He refers to Jim Bunning as a HOF pitcher; to be exact Bunning was elected in 1996 to the HOF by the veteran’s committee. That’s a backdoor honor that takes into consideration his service as a US Senator.

Everybody seems way too happy on Fox with lots of giggling. Also, they are somewhere on Times Square so you can see the world walk by—nice touch. They also can dash over for a John’ s Pizza.

CNN has Wolf, Larry and the self-important Jeff Greenfield. Jeff is smart but way too arrogant. Larry has his hand on someone’s shoulder. Larry has spent way too much time around Tommy Lasorda. Candy Crowley is at Kerry HQ; I think she was the one interviewing Bush in 2000 when the networks announced FLA was going for Gore.

Some Kerry Wins

CT, NJ, MASS for the Blue Team

Looks like Chris Matthews is anchoring MSNBC. He's the man.

Local radio coverage on KTAR is lousy.

DC for Kerry

FLA and Ohio too close to call

Time Out

Headed out to get a pizza for dinner.

Ohio results coming in...(too close to call)

BTW, MSNBC's Web site is down.

There's Willie

Willie Brown on the set for MSNBC a few chairs away from Ron Reagan. There's a joke there somewhere.

Hi Def

The Big Three plus Fox are broadcasting results (at least on my cable net) in high-def. Sorry, CBS is not in high def, but the others seem to be.

Ted Kennedy is on CNN. He looks good. Wonder where he had lunch? Larry King is interviewing Kennedy. King is proof that someone without talent can go a long way. I do like him though. I had the opportunity to meet him about 17 years ago and he was quite charming.

Yahoo! By A Landslide

Why is Yahoo! the Web Portal to beat? On the Yahoo! home page, there’s a roll-over map with updated election results. MSN has ongoing results, but at a very high level. On Google, you can search for your local pizza guy since you cannot leave your TV and Yahoo home page.

It’s why Google needs to become a media site.

Out of the Gate


Looks like Britt Hume and Mike Wallace (with a cast of observers) are on Fox.

MSNBC has ‘em all out—Matthews, Andrea Mitchell (a one-time amazing radio reporter for KYW, Philadelphia) and some guy wearing a sweater vest. Does MSNBC assume we know the cast of characters without chirons? Could anything be more arrogant than to name your live studio in Times Square—“Democracy Plaza.”

Matthews made a reference to Jim Bunnking’s pitching background.

MSNBC gives GA and Indiana to Bush. And Kentucky. Vermont for Kerry. VA too close to call.

We Better Get To The Results Soon, Because....

CNN is interviewing someone from "Esquire." I think he's commenting on what the candidates wore to the voting booth today.

Who Will Be The Wartime Media Consiglieri?

Since I care as much about the media coverage of the election as the election itself (not really), I wonder which TV anchor will emerge as a Wartime consiglieri. Wartime consiglieri will be someone who not only reports the election results, but also puts everything into context. This “super” anchor will deftly call upon his expert analysts at the precise moment of need. He’ll be a ringmaster, liontamer, pundit and all-around star and will thrive, rather than melt, under pressure.

I don’t watch Fox, so I don’t even know who theey have as anchors (I’ll check ‘em out soon), and as much as I like Wolf Blitzer, he’s more like Tom Hagen, a good lawyer but not a Wartime consiglieri (the obligatory “Godfather” reference). The “majors” will wheel out their old cockers—Rather, Jennings and Brokaw. Ho hum. My early inclination is that Brian Williams, MSNBC anchor and heir apparent to Brokaw, will be our man to beat.

Another Omen?

Today, John Kerry ate at JFK's favorite restaurant--(this from AP)

"Upon his return to Massachusetts after more than five weeks of nonstop campaigning, Kerry bent over and touched the ground. He ate his traditional election-day lunch of littleneck clams and a dark beer at his lucky restaurant, Boston's historic Union Oyster House."

Sidenote: My wife, working at the polls, told me I could not take pictures (for this blog) inside the voting center. Why does CNN have live shots from inside the polling center in Henderson, NV? Is it a state by state decree?

Crossfire on CNN

Why does Tucker Carlson wear a bow tie? He looks like the managing editor of a ersatz-progressive Southern newspaper. Guess with his minor newspaper experience, he's trying to be a cross between Ben Bradlee and Andy Griffith.

No. 14 May Be In Troble

On Father's Day, 1964, Jim Bunning made history for the Phillies when he pitched a perfect game against the Mets. Bunning had a funky delivery and decent enough stuff to be an effective pitcher for the Tigers and Phillies. He won 20 games for the Tigers and 19 games several times for the Phillies. I probably saw him pitch 10 or 15 times.

Bunning is now a U.S. Senator from Kentucky (Republican) and looks to be facing a major challenge. I liked him as a baseball player, but would love to see the Dems grab another Senate seat.

With Three Hours, 45 Minutes Left...

The polls close here at 7 p.m. My daughter and I brought coffee over to our Patriot and the polls are still crowded, but nothing like I suspect it will be in about one hour. There's no way the polls here will close on time.

I've moved from MSNBC to CNN. I'll tune back when Chris Matthews is on.

Midday Report From the Voting Booth

I just returned from visiting my wife at the local voting center for our district. Six hours after opening the doors, she says she has not been able to even eat her breakfast. The lines are out the door.

I am taxing my memory, but I have not seen so much fervor over an election since 1960. I was seven, but I recall a heated battle, down to the wire, between Kennedy and Nixon. I also recall a huge turnout. The Democratic candidate won in 1960 and he was from Massachusetts. Let’s hope lightning strikes twice.

Great Election Day Tracker

Great site for Election Day watchers—Electoral Vote Predictor

Election Media of Choice

Luckily, I have a TV in my home office.

So far, I am tuning in to MSNBC now that Imus is done for the day. In 1975, I liked Imus when I had a nasty ride to grad school back east; now, he's an old and angry geezer.

Later, I'll flip around the dial, but will not watch Fox News. Mostly, I will rely on the Web for news.

Yahrzeit on Election Day

A candle burns brightly in my sink today. My father’s Yahrzeit began last night at sundown and lasts until sundown tonight. He died on Thanksgiving Day in 1993, but today is the memorial date on the Jewish calendar.

It’s ironic his candle burns brightly on Election Day. If he were alive, he would have been up and at our front door at 5:30 a.m. to accompany my wife and work at the polls. He was very astute in politics and a small part of my desire to run for Congress is in his honor. He would have been a great poll worker.

Today, when the candle goes out, we will have a new president. There’s no doubt whom he would have voted for. Here’s hoping that for every man of honor, another man of honor takes over the White House.

Monday, November 01, 2004

"Tony Soprano, Weak in the Knees"

One of my favorite “Sopranos” episodes is the second season ender, “Funhouse” (episode 26). It’s the one where they kill Big Pussy and Tony gets food poisoning. Anyway, there’s a great line toward the end, where the head of the FBI task force brings Tony in for dealing stolen airline tickets. They are at the station and Tony is wobbly from his food poisoning, so the head of the task force says, “Tony Soprano…weak in the knees?”

Anyway, the head of the task force is played by Frank Pellegrino, an actor who also appears in a number of “Law and Order” episodes. Pellegrino also is owner of one of New York’s top Italian restaurants, Rao’s. Rao’s is perhaps New York’s toughest table, and unless you are the late Dick Schaap or Martha Stewart (really), you cannot get in the place. If you are the ghost of Dean Martin, you also are in. Pellegrino has been on Martha Stewart’s cooking shows numerous times.

The rest of the story is that my wife and I met Pellegrino a few years ago at a special outdoor demonstration held by AJ’s, a local supermarket. I actually had a minute to talk with Frank (also, he autographed a book for us) and looked at him, laughed and then uttered the famous line—“Tony Soprano…weak in the knees.” He smiled, probably thinking I was a lunatic.

It was even better than the time my wife and I went to see Paul Mazursky speak at a local theater in Marin County. After he was interviewed by a local radio personality, I asked from the audience about a great scene in “Next Time Greenwich Village” (a wonderful, underrated movie with a very young Christopher Walken and the inimitable Lenny Baker). I asked if the scene at the end, when Shelly Winters reminded him (or the person playing Mazursky) as he was leaving for Hollywood, not to forget that his grandmother escaped from Poland and the Nazis.

Mazursky said it was true.

Mega Ad Dollars

Without question, the real winners of the elections will be the TV networks. In 16 minutes of watching CNN, I saw 12 commercials. My favorite one (funny, that is) was one for the Libertarian Party with two very plastic looking people complaining about the two major candidates. Guess they couldn't afford good actors.

Seems to me that local and network TV stations will be having big holiday parties this year. They’d better hang on to some of that money…

Step In The Right Direction for the D-backs

Yahoo! Sports - MLB - Diamondbacks hire Backman

Now I Know Why I Don't Like Schilling

Yahoo! News - Schilling Makes Surprise Stop for Bush

The Anticipation Builds

I have been voting since 1972, and have not seen anticipation like I’ve seen for tomorrow’s election. To some degree, the power and influence of the media is behind a lot of the anticipation, but it seems to me that Americans truly are aware of what is at stake.

I agree with what I heard on the evening news yesterday—it will be a matter of “how it breaks,” meaning that once one state goes Blue or Red, a number of dominoes will fall. I sense it will not go “into overtime,” and while there will be protests and challenges, the winner will win by enough real margin to be declared the victor tomorrow night.

I plan on having my PC (connected to our wireless Wi Fi network) in the living room while I watch TV. I am leaning toward MSNBC as long as they don’t have the ancient Tom Brokaw on as anchor. We are Chris Matthews fans (as my wife has stated on her blog). I am only disappointed that she didn’t tell Matthews, when he was here for the debate that her husband also used to work for The San Francisco Chronicle.

Tomorrow night, I hope to post a continuous stream of thoughts to this blog…