Flashback Friday: “Find Out What’s Happening” by Bobby Bare

I was watching “Better Call Saul” a week or so ago and heard this gem by Bobby Bare. Sounds a lot like another song I like from that very year of 1968, so adding it to the list was a thought.

Actually, this song was not originally done by Mr. Bare.  A Nashville R&B group called The Spidells was the first to perform it back in 1962, with Bare, Elvis Presley, and Tanya Tucker among those who have covered it.

Have a good weekend.

KO Gets Knocked Down And Possibly Out


Have I seen the last of Keith Olbermann on television?  After his recent behavior, I’m starting to wonder this very question.

Keith exchanged tweets over Penn State’s dance marathon, which raises millions for pediatric cancer.  The exchange, I must admit, didn’t make KO look very good at all.  ESPN subsequently suspended Olbermann for the rest of the week, and Keith went to Twitter to apologize for what he himself called childish behavior.

I’ve been a fan of his since his ESPN days with Dan Patrick and his sortie into the news business on MSNBC. (I always thought MSNBC canned him for being too conservative if you can believe that.  He wasn’t afraid of going after Hillary Clinton or President Obama as he did George W. Bush.) He is no stranger to controversy wherever he goes, and not afraid of making stands and putting his job on the line in ways no reporters or anchors dare do these days.

I don’t know.  I think I just may have witnessed Olbermann’s Waterloo with all of you.  Making negative comments about a university raising money for cancer is going to be a tough pill to swallow for many.

The IPhone Rice Trick

My Snapshot5
Shaking but not baking my IPhone…

You’d think at the age of 43, I wouldn’t be so stupid.  But there I was, looking at my IPhone in the washer and dryer and not on my person.  I thought for sure it was a goner, gone off to Cell Phone Heaven.

My landlord wanted to get a leaky pipe fixed that oozed water up from a tile floor if the weather conditions were right and the washer was on.  After a few days of consultations with plumbers and roofers here at my complex who agreed to disagree, it was determined that the pipe needed desperate repair, and that the leaks at other places were due to stress in the concrete.  A few hours later, all was new again.

On this very cold (for us here in Florida, mind you) Friday morning, the repairman needed to do a wash, so I took off the bathrobe I had on (don’t worry, I had plenty of clothes on underneath), and forgot to take the IPhone out.

My landlord, with some help with my friends on Twitter and Facebook, suggested I put the IPhone in some rice.  It sounded ludicrous at first, but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense that the kernels of rice would absorb the excess water.  So I emptied a bag of yellow rice and my waterlogged IPhone 4 into a Ziploc bag and let it sit for 72 hours.

Sure enough, I removed the IPhone tonight, as was able to restore it as if nothing happened.

Moral of the story: if someone tells you to put your IPhone into a bag of rice: DO IT!  Don’t even question it.  It worked for me, and it’s the best rice I’ve ever had and I didn’t even eat it.

USA All The Way


I was just remembering back on Twitter to the night 35 years ago when the country watched (on tape-delay on ABC) a USA hockey team full of amateurs, beat a Soviet hockey teams that were probably higher than NHL level.

KTVU out of San Francisco was briefly a “super station” here in the Tampa Bay area, but they weren’t as successful as WTBS or WGN.  They were only on a few months back around 1980 on our cable system.  If you watched around 7pm East Coast time or so, they would air cartoons mixed with a show called TV Pow, where kiddies would play an Intellivision or Atari like game of some kind, using the word “Pow!” to shoot something like a fire button on a joystick would.

I’m watching this show on a Friday night when the host, Pat McCormick (not the TV/movie guy who appeared as the big fella in “Smokey And The Bandit” movies, but a local host with the same name) broke in and mentioned that the US had beaten the juggernaut Soviet team.  Knowing the result didn’t spoil it for us, as the game was a shot in the arm the country needed at the time, with the Iranian hostage crisis in its infancy and national morale being badly bruised between that and a bad economy.

My parents and I didn’t watch any hockey together, as we lived in Florida, where football and baseball were the kings of the sports world. But we each watched the game with the Russians, and then the game on Sunday that clinched the Gold medal. For that Sunday, a hockey game was bigger than a Super Bowl, and the country was behind the US team like nothing I can remember in my lifetime.

Never stop believing in miracles.  They DO happen!

The Big Chill Of 2010

Some of you in the Tampa Bay area may have noticed that it’s a wee bit cold out.  Well, what we consider to be cold.  I’ve seen it colder here, but don’t get me started on that whole Global Warming nonsense.

Actually, it’s been colder than this wave we’re currently getting.  Here’s what I shot off of local TV back on January 9, 2010 off of the FOX, ABC, and NBC stations.  Sheena Parveen, who currently works as the lead weatherperson on one of the big Philadelphia stations, leads off on WTVT’s coverage.

Excitable Boy

Most of you have seen this by now, but I thought I’d post it on here anyways.

When I lived in Marietta, Georgia one mid-week night in March of 1996, it snowed in the early evening and saw a good clip of snow for the first time in my life.  I went down to the local convenience store on Franklin Road near Delk Road just as an excuse to walk in a good snow.

Walking back the short distance home, I saw a flash of lightning in the air and shortly thereafter heard a clap of thunder.  No, I didn’t jump up and down and yell like Jim Cantore did.  Might have said “wow” to myself or something to that effect.  Wasn’t a big deal to me.

As for Cantore saying he’d rather see and hear a thunder snowstorm as opposed to winning Powerball, I totally disagree.  I’d much have the millions.

The One Space Two Space Two Step

Some of you might notice formatting errors here and there on the blog.  For instance, you might see a sentence begin one space to the right of where it normally should be.

In the three years plus I’ve been doing this blog, it’s something I’ve been wrestling with.  I’ve been taught that you use one space after a comma and two after the completion of a sentence.  I have experimented with one space after sentences, but being a bit of a grammar nerd, it just didn’t look right.

And that’s what I do.  Sometimes when I do this, it translates into fractured formatting, but it’s easier for me to do it this way.

I do use a product on Google Chrome called Grammarly that helps me with spelling and grammatical errors.  For example, I am sometimes too dependent on using commas when I type.  When I use the free version of Grammarly, it alerts me to use commas more appropriately.  Doesn’t hurt that it’s a better spell checker than browsers provide, either.

I just wanted to mention this.  Yes, I know the errors are there, but not everything in life is perfection.

Cynthia Geary And Mr. Rogers

Cynthia Geary of
Cynthia Geary of “Northern Exposure” and “8 Seconds” fame.

The good people over at the Neil Rogers Show Facebook Group reminded me I was running board the night Stan Major chatted with Cynthia Geary back in 1992 when Geary was a smoking hot commodity in the land of Hollywood.  I had mentioned it before nearly three years ago in this blog, but this might be a good time to revise and extend my remarks, as they often say up on Capitol Hill.

The best nights you can have as a board operator, especially when you’re board operating a show all by yourself, is when you don’t have to worry about callers, either in quantity or quality.  You always have to keep an ear to the show while doing everything that needs to be done, because you never know whether or not you have to hit that “dump” button in case someone says one of those seven dirty words you can’t say on the radio.

A brief explanation if you don’t know what a dump button is: it basically puts the show up on a seven-second delay that builds from zero once you activate it in the normal gaps there are while speaking on a talk show.  If someone says one of those words that makes the FCC cry (George Carlin did a famous monologue as to what those words are, and there are seven of them), you hit the dump button, and it jumps seven seconds ahead to the live portion of the show, and builds up the seven seconds again.  The key to the whole thing is to remove the caller immediately (by “potting down” the caller on a series of sliders, or in the old days, small circular pots) so that he or she can’t use any more dirty words, because once you hit the dump button, the delay needs a few moments to a few minutes to build back up.

After Stan makes contact with the Northern Exposure people, we get this call from Jim in Anchorage, Alaska.  Let’s just say it’s the most memorable call I’ve ever had running the board, kind of like Neil Rogers and his famous “Bridge Tender” call or Bob Lassiter and his “Mr. Airstream” call.


I’m listening to this call and I type into the computer to our old TRS-80 computer to Stan that this guy sounds like Mr. Rogers, and Stan runs with the idea.  Every single solitary word Jim says is cracking Stan up, and I’m the control room I’m nearly rolling on the floor laughing.

While Jim calls, the 813 hotline rings and I hear this sweet, youthful voice. Cynthia Geary, I presume, and I presumed correctly.  I’m usually suspicious when we get celebrity callers because on an overnight talk show it’s easy to get people claiming to be something they are not.  Considering Stan had just given out the hotline, logic prevailed.

Having a lot of calls makes for a busy night.  Having a lot of calls and some quality ones to boot make for a GREAT night.

Amazing that Netflix, considering they have a lot of CBS shows from the past in their lineup, hasn’t put up Northern Exposure yet.  Probably something that will happen in due time.

Flashback Friday: “The Tide Is High” by Blondie

Quick, how many of you that this song is actually a cover?  A group called The Paragons recorded this a decade and a half before Blondie made the song famous.

Have a good weekend, stay warm (if you’re in the Eastern half of the US), and talk to you again next week.

Drop Anchor


NBC suspended Brian Williams six months without pay last night.  Personally, I thought he got off light, but when NBC would not fire him the prior Thursday or Friday, I thought it would go this way.

The Peacock Network missed a golden opportunity to set an example by terminating Williams, but when Brian took himself out of play on Saturday, it was an opportunity was gone forever.  The only conclusion I have is that NBC brass wanted to keep the anchor around, because to them, it doesn’t matter if Brian’s recollections were fraudulent and designed to get himself over as if he was a wrestler or a rap star.

I have no delusions that the news business is supposed to be this bastion of truth anymore.  Back in 1997, WTVT (Fox 13) and two of their reporters, Jane Akre and Steve Wilson, went to court over a piece on Monsanto and their use of a bovine growth hormone as an additive used in milk.  The court battle was so fierce that both sides claimed victory, and the example was set that news outlets will kowtow to the needs of big business.

As the Howard Beale character famously said in Network, television is not the truth, but an amusement park.  I, sadly, doubt that to the present hierarchy at NBC, the truth doesn’t matter but making money does.

Brian Williams is no Walter Cronkite.  He isn’t even a Frank Reynolds.

Avert Your Eyes, Young Man!


One night in the early 1980’s, either HBO or Showtime was airing this cheezy prison movie called “Nightmare in Badham County” which was released back in 1976.  Robert Reed (Mike Brady of “The Brady Bunch”) was the biggest name in the flick but had a small role in the film.

Deep into the movie, there was a scene where one of the female prison guards offers one of the inmates fried chicken, and in exchange the guard wants to jump the inmate’s bones. The inmate is reluctant, but the guard seemed an experienced hand in seducing her own gender.

I’m watching this movie with my parents and my mother freaks out a bit when the clothing goes flying and the skin is abundant.

“P.J., don’t…watch…THIS!”, she tells me.

I’m totally dumbfounded by the scene, which is pretty advanced viewing for a boy of nine years of age or so.  A woman getting naked, then another woman getting naked?  I had never seen a female on female scene in a movie to that point in my life obviously, and I had no idea what a lesbian was at that point in my life.

Pretty advanced concepts for a child, but once the genie is out of the bottle, what can you do?