Slices From 2014

According to WordPress, here were the 10 most viewed blog entries I posted during this year:

1. RIP Dave Wagenvoord: My first boss in the radio biz passed away on April 21st.

2. The “Howie Sucks” Banner: Unearthing footage of a Thursday night NFL game in Tampa from 1980 that involved Howard Cosell and some banner trickeration.

3. Proof Of A Former Life: My first show as a board op for Stan Major at the Sun Radio Network is unearthed and archived.

4. Thanksgiving, Shortwave, and Uncle Neil: On Thanksgiving Eve, I board op another Stan Major show.  This one was picked up on WWCR, the Nashville shortwave station, which gets called from England and Canada.  A famous Miami talk show host calls me after the show who the Tampa area would get to know a few months down the road.

5. Bubba To Beasley, And Why It Won’t Work: Rumors swirl that Bubba the Love Sponge will return to the Tampa Bay airwaves in 2015, but it was my opinion back on December 3rd that Bubba and Beasley will not get along.

6. And There Goes My High School: My alma mater of Largo High School in Largo, Florida gets torn down, to eventually be replaced by a high-tech version to open in a couple of years.

7. My 2014 Predictions: Predictions I made at the start of 2014 for the coming year.  Nailed the Super Bowl prediction cold!

8. The Land Of Gerrymandering: A look at the local House of Representatives special election in March, won by David Jolly, heavily contested by Democrat Alex Sink.

9. Brutality And Its Glorification: Thoughts on how the news has desensitized us to terrorism and the brutality of the present day world.

10. Flashback Friday: “Poor Man’s Son” by Survivor: A look at Survivor’s first top 40 hit in 1981 after the passing of Jimi Jamison.

Hoping 2015 will be just as good…

Flashback Friday: “We’ll Meet Again” by Stephen Colbert

This is a flashback to a little over a week ago, but with this being the last Friday of 2014, I thought this was apropos.

Stephen Colbert signed off from his last Colbert Report signing this tune originally done in 1939 by British singer Vera Lynn.  He had help from a who’s who of the entertainment and news field, including one of the International Space Station astronauts.

As for me, I’ll be back next week, with some predictions for 2015 coming up right around New Year’s Day.

Continued wishes for a happy holiday season.

Scenes From Walmart On The Eve Of Christmas Eve

If you’re looking for space and peace, 7pm at a Walmart on December 23rd is not where you’re going to find it.  But I had last-minute shopping to do, and this was the only time I could do it, so off I went the nearly three miles to the Walmart Supercenter in Pinellas Park off Highway 19 just north of the Gandy overpass.

The parking lot, or at least the front of it, was jam packed as you’d expect it to be, but I have a strategy for times like these: park somewhere in the back, particularly a section of the lot that is well lit.  Let everyone else play the game of trolling the parking lot, looking for that one good spot up front.

The mission was threefold: first, find shampoo and some Neosporin for a nagging cut in the front of the store to the right of the registers.  Then, off to electronics to get some requested DVD’s and my gift to myself: an NHL 15 video game for the XBox 360.  I don’t usually watch hockey until playoff time, but I think Doc Emerick of NBC is the best announcer today, pound for pound.  When EA Sports signed him up to do play-by-play duties on their NHL franchise, I had this on my to do list.

Electronics was a Chinese fire drill.  The associate who got my games placed me in front of a couple of women who had been waiting prior to my arrival.  I heard their side of the story, did the quick math, and got behind them.  It was such a wild scene in that I walked over to groceries and forgot to take the game and put it in my cart!  Before I got too far, they got my attention and handed it to me.

Over to the back left side of the store it was to hunt down the groceries, and…


I feel the impact of a pallet jack impacting the right side of my body driven by a vertically challenged woman who could not see the path in front of her.  Lucky for me that my six foot one, 290 pound body absorbed the blow without injury, I just bounced right off of it.  I told her she should get a side mirror for her jack like they have in automobiles, and we shared a laugh.

And so the night went.  I made sure to say hello to all the young children that were at the store.  No, I’m not some kind of pervert or anything like that.  You see, Christmas might be a pain in the butt for most of us adults, but we have to remember one thing this time of year that goes more and more forgotten the older I get: Christmas is for the kid in all of us, but especially for kids.

No one knows who among us will be here when Christmas of 2015 gets here, so we need to do all we can to make the day Jesus Christ was born as special as we can for all that we can.


Just Another Dark Day


I wouldn’t want to be in New York this day.

Two officers shot in cold blood.

A city already reeling from the Eric Garner grand jury fallout has fallen into even more turmoil.  The police officers at the scene as a whole turned their backs on the mayor of New York, Bill DeBlasio, because he made comments that supported Garner.  A spokesperson for the police force even went as far as to say the mayor has blood on his hands.

While I also have made comments in support of Mr. Garner, let me say one thing I do NOT hear any of the pro-Garner supporters say as of yet.

Two wrongs do NOT make a right.  Never have, never will.

Hope I’m not the only one that has to say that, and I hope others who supported Eric Garner come forward to condemn the assassination of two of New York’s Finest.  Nothing in life is ever perfect all the time, and using a gun is not a solution.

What A Day

Today (the 17th of December, 2014) is one of those days people are going to need a few days to digest before they take in all that happened.

Let’s start off with what’s going on with me.  Mentioned a couple of weeks ago that they were updating the cable, and while I wasn’t happy about it all, I figured it would be best if I volunteered to meet the change and not make it look like I was kicking and screaming about it.  It’s the most complex cable arrangement I have seen in my life, turning the 80 channel or so system we have into a 300+ channel monstrosity.  Still haven’t figured it all out yet, and it’s a bit of a shock because I’m not so used to being so technically challenged.

I’m just happy it came with the NFL Network, so I can watch the games Saturday.

We’re suddenly buddies with Cuba again, and who would have thought prior to today this was going to happen?  It’s one of those things that was probably going to happen soon no matter which party owned the White House, but with Russia economically reeling, I guess this was as good a time as any.

Then there’s that flap over the movie called “The Interview” that won’t be released now, thanks to Sony Entertainment getting hacked by, apparently, North Korea.  All this hullabaloo over a damn movie.  Really?  Movies are supposed to be art forms, right?  The leader of North Korea isn’t the first world poobah to be parodied, won’t be the last.  I wish the Sony people had stood up to the government, but they had to do what was best for business at the end of the day.

All I got for today…but wasn’t it enough for you?

A Weird Weekend

It was a strange weekend for me.

It started Saturday morning, having some orange juice for breakfast. There was something odd about the OJ, but I didn’t think anything of it. Sure enough, a few minutes later, I’m rushing to the bathroom to puke away for only the third time in the last decade and a half. I smelled the OJ, and despite the expiration date not having been reached, it had a very skunky smell to it.  I quickly discarded it.

Sunday evening is usually the extravaganza of a golf cart parade where I live. They usually go up and down the streets of the complex where I live in Pinellas Park. You don’t go to the parade: the parade comes to you. So I was standing out of the street at 6:15, not knowing when the parade would get to us. At nearly 8, I had to give up the ghost. I heard the parade process through the neighborhood, but they never came by our street, and the parade route is a more guarded secret around here than Homeland Security.

Would have been nice if the powers that be would tell us that things changed, but I guess communicating with the commoners is beneath them.  Oh, well.

Football Flashback

Thought I’d show you this clip I discovered on YouTube recently.

In 2007, my alma mater of Largo High (in the blue uniforms) played perhaps the biggest game they’ve ever played against St. Thomas Aquinas, the biggest private school in Florida, if not the entire southeast.

Leonard Johnson, the Largo quarterback, is now a defensive back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The game started well for the hometown Packers, but as I watched this game back in 2007, you could see the visiting team from Ft. Lauderdale improving as the game wore on.

Drew Fellios and Jeff Carlson called the game for “Catch 47” locally, the forerunner of what is BHSN, the Central Florida 24/7 local sports cable station.

Mortal Error


A few months ago, I watched a documentary on Netflix called JFK: The Smoking Gun. It interested me so much that I just finished reading the book the documentary was based on, Mortal Error. (Kindle Unlimited is well worth the $10 a month it charges.)

I hear what most of you are thinking: another JFK conspiracy book. Well, kind of and sort of. This book tells the story of Howard Donahue, a marksman and gun expert who does his own ballistics research on the assassination that has baffled America for a half-century.

His theory is that the Secret Service accidentally killed JFK when Lee Harvey Oswald fired his shots from the Texas School Book Depository with an AR-15 rifle, and that the weapon was fired when the vehicle a Secret Service man suddenly jolted to speed away from the scene when the Oswald shots were fired.

I’ve never heard that particular theory before (and it is just another theory), so it did peak my interest. I don’t think we’ll ever get to the bottom of who actually killed President Kennedy, at least in my lifetime.

I Can’t Breathe

A recent NY Daily News cover...
A recent NY Daily News cover..

After the death of Michael Brown in St. Louis, the death of Eric Garner in Staten Island and the lack of a grand jury able to recommend a trial has outraged the country.

I don’t know if this is a turning point for police/citizen relations in this country. Nor do I know if this was something based solely on racial biases. I was not a fan of Mike Brown’s family and the stepfather’s incitement to riot, telling the Ferguson crowd to burn this b***h down, the b***h being the town of Ferguson.

But I do have two words of importance.

Al Pacino in the role of Frank Serpico.
Al Pacino in the role of Frank Serpico.

Remember Serpico.  Frank Serpico, to be precise.

Many years ago, Mr. Serpico was in a lone wolf in the face of widespread NYPD corruption and graft. Nearly lost his life when his fellow officers put him in danger during a drug bust in the early 70’s.

Maybe the Garner choke-out is a case of everything that was once old being new again? Maybe Garner didn’t want to be shaken down. It certainly would explain why the EMT’s would say Garner was breathing (thus no need for any attempt at CPR) when he said over and over that he couldn’t.

I don’t know how much more of this our country can take. Police and the citizenry have to work hand and hand. When you don’t have that, you don’t have balance that’s necessary for law and order.