Wednesday, January 18, 2012

When You're Smiling

You may have heard, we lost a friend today. Dr. Mel Goldstein passed away this morning after a long battle with cancer. I just wanted to share a few thoughts about the man I knew first as a weatherman I watched on television, then as a colleague and ultimately as a friend. I'm honored to have worked with him and appreciate the support he gave me over the years.

People loved watching Dr. Mel on television in Connecticut -- his passion for the weather was contagious. The more active the weather, the more excited Mel got. Sure, we were going to get a blizzard -- but after hearing Mel deliver the forecast with the enthusiasm of a kid in a candy store, you couldn't help but kind of look forward to the storm! When it came to the weather, Dr. Mel was a teacher. He didn't want us to know WHAT was coming (rain, snow or sun), he wanted us to understand and appreciate WHY it was coming.

In the last decade-plus of his life, Dr. Mel was a fighter. And an inspiration. He got his cancer diagnosis and, if I'm not mistaken, was told he could expect to live 33 months. That prediction -- unlike most of Dr. Mel's weather forecasts -- was way off. Mel fought that cancer like a trooper. He searched out new treatments. And he was there for countless people dealing with cancer diagnosis in their families. "Have them call me," he'd tell anyone who shared a story of someone dealing with the disease.

And through it all, he kept working. And to those of us who worked alongside him, that was pretty inspiring. Especially working the early morning shift, it's easy to complain about being tired. Believe me, I know. Then I'd look at Dr. Mel. There he was -- talking about his latest treatment, about how he didn't get much sleep last night (or for the last week!), and how about much pain he was in. But then he'd get in front of that weather map... the red light would go on... and Dr. Mel's smile would be as bright as ever. Dr. Mel was giving the forecast, doing what he loved. And we were all watching and listening.

Today's Title: The song Mel would walk into the studio singing, more days than not

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Tebow Show (The NFL on CBS)

If you were monitoring twitter last night at about 8:05 or so, your timeline probably blew up with mentions of the Denver Bronco QB Tim Tebow. He was behind another Mile High Miracle. The final playoff game of Wild Card Weekend ended in remarkable fashion -- with an 80-yard TD pass from Tebow to one of his receivers (who cares who it was, really?) on the first play of Overtime. Broncos win! The Legend of Tebow continues.

But somewhere within the non-stop stream filled with "Wow" and #TebowTime was this from a NY sportswriter: "What we saw 2night is yet another reason why sports is greatest theater there is and the games always mean more than the bs."

That's the one that stood out to me. It's so true. Sports is theater. Sports is unpredictable. Sports is real-life drama.

I had no real rooting interest in the Steelers-Broncos game. Sure, I've got family roots from Pittsburgh, and I once was a Steelers fan back in the Bradshaw, Harris, Swann and Stallworth days. But now my heart bleeds Giants blue, so yesterday I was pretty happy. I was watching Sunday's late game because it was football and it was on true theater. Real "reality television." But unlike Jersey Shore, you can't script this.

I think the Tebow storyline has been fun to watch. Some question his traditional QB skills.. some support him no matter what.. while the guy says all the right things. And he wins. He's won at every level. And yesterday, he won again (throwing for 316 yards in the process) in a way that was fun to watch... but you could never script.

Today's Title: Tebow vs. Brady next week -> CBS wins!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Black Coffee in Bed

I'm going to try something new on Thursdays here -- I'm going to write about something for which I'm thankful. I'm not going to call it a New Year's resolution, just a regular effort to take some time to focus on the positives -- on some of my favorite people, places and things.

Today: The first cup of coffee in the morning.

If you're a coffee lover, is there anything better? It can warm you and wake you... open your eyes and clear your mind. The awakening begins with the aroma -- the smell, teasing you with a hint of what's to come as the first drips of dark start to cover the bottom of your pot or mug (depending on your delivery method).

Yes, I get up ridiculously early in the morning (my alarm is actually set for 2:30AM now), so my first cup of coffee comes, quite honestly, in the middle of the night. But it doesn't matter what time you wake up -- the first cup is the best cup of the morning. The best cup of the day.
There may come a day when I write about a specific favorite coffee beverage, but that day is not today. Today, we raise a mug to that vital nectar of life, without which we'd be wandering aimlessly through our day. Here's to that first cup of coffee.

Today's Title: Cream, no sugar, and generally not in bed for me

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Baby, It's Cold Outside

It's January 4th. It's winter. It's New England. And it's cold -- really cold. That's certainly not a surprise. Still, we can't help but complain about, right?

Perhaps it's because we've been pretty spoiled this winter with relatively mild weather. What was it, 50-degrees on New Year's Day? Then, suddenly last evening, you could get frostbite just walking to the mailbox. This morning, your cup of coffee will be ice coffee by the time you get back to your car.

But -- wah, wah, wah.. it's bitter cold today. My timeline on twitter and newsfeed on facebook are full of complaints about it. And I've been complaining too. I feel like a wimp -- I grew up in Connecticut and went to college in snowy Syracuse -- but temps in the teens and wind chills below zero are no fun.

The good news -- there are no blizzards in the forecast.. and temps are back in the mid-40s by the weekend. Of course, I'm sure we'll have plenty more weather to complain about before Spring.

Today's Title: Zooey Deschanel really likes this song

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year's Day (Or, the day after...)

So, I figure the New Year is good time to dust off the old blog. Looks like I kind of quit writing in October -- got too busy or something. I'll call this one of my resolutions.Actually, writing more frequently will go along nicely with my (annual) resolution of being more organized.

Speaking of resolutions -- if you want help keeping yours, apparently there's an app for that.

I'm not going to promise every post will be a long one. I'm not going to promise enlightenment with every post. I'm not going to promise anything, really, except that I'll write more frequently. And I hope you'll read along...

Here's to a happy, healthy, productive, positive and more organized 2012.

Today's Title: U2 Live!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Was it Something I Said?

When you're on television for three hours every morning, you're bound to say something that's going to rub someone the wrong way. I guess I did that this morning. And a very angry viewer let me know about it. 

If you know me, you know I'm a Mets fan. You could call me a glutton for punishment. But I'm loyal to my team, no matter how embarrassing they can be. That said, I'm not a Yankee hater. I give that organization credit for doing what it has done over the last 15+ years. It's impressive. Some of my best friends are Yankees fans. And we have fun talking about the relative successes (them) and failures (me) of our teams. What annoys me is fans who treat winning like a birthright. Fans who think the world stops spinning if the Yankees lose. That any other winning team is merely lucky. And a fan of any other team is clearly jealous of the Yankees.

So here's what happened. During the newscast this morning, I alluded to Monday night's game and the fact that fan-favorite AJ Burnett pitches tonight and asked, "How are you feeling, Yankee fans?" Was it a bit of a "tweak?" Sure. Was it "unprofessional" and "childish?" I don't think so. But a viewer - I'll call him Don - certainly does. He writes: "I always thought of you as a decent young man... until this morning." Don goes on to tell me I am "there to report the news, not your personal feelings, and not to satisfy a personal agenda."

Really? Dude, lighten up. Seriously.

Baseball is a sport. It's a game. It's a distraction - an often unwelcome distraction, when you're a Mets fan - from the rest of the "news" of the day -- which on this day includes a toddler mauled by three pit bulls, a man on trial for a killing a woman and her two daughters and a guy in court accused of stabbing his friend over something he saw posted on facebook.

He is right on one thing -- I'm not on television to "satisfy a personal agenda." But, c'mon... how is having a little fun with sports doing that? I'm not a robot. I'm a human being. And, frankly, I'm encouraged by my bosses to have some personality on the morning show. Part of that means being a sports fan. And you know what sports fans do? They have a little fun when talking about sports.

In his email, Don was kind enough remind me the Yankees have 27 Championships -- compared to 7 for the Red Sox and 2 for the Mets. As a result of that, he writes, "If the Yankees never another title it would not bother me a bit." That's great. I think I believe him. But I can't believe that me having a little fun on a morning show bothered him enough to send an email.

Let me say this, Don has every right to send me an email, and I'm glad that he did. I try very hard not to offend people. I try not to be unprofessional. I try to keep my childish antics to a minimum. But I'm not perfect -- no one is. And, if you are a viewer, I expect you will keep me in check. Afterall, without viewers, I won't have a job for very long..

But Don. Baseball is just a game (and a big business... but that's a blog post for another time).

Today's Title: This OMD song sounds kinda like their big (only?!) hit, "If You Leave"

Monday, September 19, 2011

September Grass

Today's post is more of a photo essay, than a written one. Because I think the pictures tell the story.

I went for a run along the immediate shoreline this afternoon and was struck by the amount of work that still needs to be done to get things back to normal after Irene. We know about hard-hit places like East Haven's Cosey Beach. That neighborhood may never look like it used to look. But there are plenty of spots that are still trying to bounce back, more than three weeks after the storm.

Dumpsters filled with pieces of a family's life - from furniture to a satellite dish
Tree trimming crews cutting broken branches and cleaning yards
Piles of twigs, branches, stumps, and even small trees
There used to be tennis courts under all that sand
Roads are covered with sand in some spots, washed away in others
Shouldn't September grass be more, um, green? 
We may all have our power back on... and the news may have moved on to the next big story... but for plenty of people, Irene is anything but old news.

Today's Title: James Taylor singing about soft, green grass..