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..

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Miami 2017

You will see (or have seen by now) thousands of blog entries, newspaper articles and television stories pertaining to the 10th Anniversary of 9/11. We each have our memory of that day. We've each been affected differently. This is what stands out to me.

I found out about the attacks like so many other people -- with a phone call. My wife was already at work. "Turn on the TV," she said. I was sleeping in that Tuesday morning -- a day off after what had already been an emotional weekend for my family. We buried my grandfather on September 10th.

I sat on the edge of my bed watching Good Morning America. I watched the live pictures as smoke rose from the first tower that was hit. I listened to Charlie Gibson and Diane Sawyer try to figure out what was happening. I watched as a plane slammed into the second tower.

I rushed into work -- ready to do whatever they needed me to do. First stop -- Tweed-New Haven airport, where police were blocking the entrance. My photographer and I listened on the radio, as one of the towers fell. Then we heard Connecticut Limo was going to shuttle firefighters and EMTs from Connecticut to New York. So we rushed to Milford to go along. But they started shutting down the entrances to the city -- so that didn't happen. I ended that long day in Windsor Locks reporting live from outside Bradley International Airport, where it was eerily silent. No planes flying in or out.

It wasn't until I got home -- well after midnight -- that I really got to "see" what had happened. I'd been on the road all day listening to radio coverage. It was even worse than I'd imagined.

When I think of 9/11, I think of the horror of the day. I remember being afraid that this was just the beginning. I still feel overwhelming sadness for the loss of life -- for the families that lost moms or dads, sons or daughters, brothers or sisters. When I think of the victims of 9/11, I think not just of those who lost their lives on that day, but the recovery workers who spent so much time in the rubble at Ground Zero they will never be the same mentally and/or physically. And I think of the Troops who lost their lives in faraway battles related -- directly or indirectly -- to what happened that morning.

But I also think of the way this country came together afterwards. I think of the national pride that swelled -- that sense that we will survive, we will rebuild, we won't let anyone destroy our way of life.

I think of the crowds that gathered along the streets that led to Lower Manhattan to applaud the rescue and recovery workers.

I think of the way we recognize those first responders as the heroes they truly are.

I think of the first moment that made me know it was okay to cheer for sports again.

I remember the Concert for NYC at MSG.

They were the moments -- big and small -- that began to reassure me that we would, eventually, be okay.

Today's Title: "I've seen the lights go out on Broadway, I saw the mighty skyline fall.."

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I Ran

I ran.. even though my body was trying to tell me not to. I ran... even though my wife encouraged me to sit this year out. (She was probably right, but don't tell her I wrote that.) I ran.. because I'm stubborn. And man, today I hurt.

That's the frustrating story of the 2011 New Haven Road Race for me.

Laboring over the finish line

I'm not a "serious" runner, but running has kind of grown on me over the last couple of years.  I may do 3 miles or so, 3 times a week. I only do 3 races a year -- the YMCA/Rotary 5K on Thanksgiving Day, the 5-Mile Branford Road Race on Father's Day and the 20K New Haven Road Race on Labor Day. But I look forward to those races. I look forward to competing -- not against the field of runners, just against myself.

That's what makes this year's New Haven Road Race so frustrating. Last year, I finished in just under two hours. I was proud of that time. It was only my second time running that distance -- about 12.4 miles. I was hoping to be around the same time this year. And for the first half of the race, I felt good -- had a good pace. But around mile 8, my calf seized up... my hamstring tightened... and my toe throbbed with every step. My body was (figuratively) collapsing like the Mets in a September pennant race.

But I finished. This Labor Day, I labored over those final four hours. There were a few times I wasn't sure I'd make it to the finish line. But I did -- on my feet and not on the back of a NHFD golf cart. And, as I've gotten used to saying when it comes to the Mets, there's always next year.

Today's Title: Awesome 80's hair

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Power

Six days without power was long enough. I know others were without electricity for longer, after Tropical Storm Irene. I know others got it back within a day. I know some never lost it. I also know some people lost their homes. With that in mind, I know it could've been worse.

We got our power back late Friday night. And it's true what they say -- you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone. We take so much for granted, no doubt. The trick is appreciating it a little more after you get it back.

So, I'm going to try to focus on what I've learned in the last week. For example, I don't always need to turn on a light every time I walk into a room. Quiet - no TV or music - is quite nice. And my kids actually can play with their toys together without killing each other. Most of the time. They don't need television or Wii or anything else that needs to be plugged in. I really hope that lesson sticks with my family.

Perhaps once a month, we should have a 'no power day'... just as reminder to be a little more thankful for some of the things that are so easy to take for granted.

Today's Title: Some guys rockin' the fade -- 1990 style.

Friday, September 2, 2011


Happy New Year!

I know, I know.. just because I took a month off from blogging, doesn't mean it's a new year. But, I've always seen September as the real beginning of the year. I'll explain that in a moment. In fact, I meant to post this yesterday. But first...

I've been a little busy. Oh, and I haven't had power at home all week. But a lot of us in Connecticut have been in that position. Hopefully by the time you click on that link, things will be back online. I think being in the dark (literally, not figuratively) helped me do my job this week. I'm lucky, my house wasn't destroyed. It wasn't even damaged. But as the week wore on, I could certainly feel the frustration of the hundreds-of-thousands without power in the state. Let's hope we don't have to go through this again.

Now back to the regularly scheduled blog post..

When you're a kid, the beginning of the school year - usually around Labor Day - was how you learn to measure a year. You're in third grade now. You're starting Middle School. You're a High School Freshman. For some reason, that mentality has always stuck with me. September means the end of summer vacations and new beginnings. The new television season starts. (At least the traditional network television season.) Football season begins. And Pumpkin Spice Lattes and muffins are back at Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts. Doesn't that just scream new year to you?

Anyhow, in that spirit, I'm wishing you a Happy New Year -- whether or not you subscribe to the school calendar theory or not. And speaking of new beginnings, my New Year's Resolution is to post on my blog more frequently. Maybe just a paragraph or two... maybe just a picture or two. But I'm going to use this space better.

And thanks, as always, for reading.

Today's Title: The Earth, Wind and Fire classic

Friday, July 22, 2011

You Can't Always Get What You Want

You can't always get what you want. That's a hard lesson for children to learn. It's why you'll often hear frustrated parents tell their kids, "You get what you get and you don't get upset." That's the more poetic, polite and kid-friendly way of saying, "Suck it up and deal!"

These days, it seems like there are a bunch of adults who need a reminder of that life lesson. I'm talking to you President Obama and Congressional Leaders. I'm talking to you Governor Malloy and Connecticut State Employee Unions. I'm talking to you NFL Owners and Players.

I'm don't want to get political... I don't want to take sides -- I just want everyone to work together here. My wife compares the fighting to our kids bickering over what TV show they want to watch before bed. One wants "Jake and the Neverland Pirates"... the other wants "Phineas and Ferb" -- mom and dad are seconds away from saying, "Go to bed... you're not watching anything!"

I'm all for standing up for your beliefs... for fighting for the best possible results. I can't imagine where we'd be if people didn't do that. But there comes a time when you have to go back what you learned in kindergarten and come up with a compromise. You may not be happy... they may not be happy.. but you get what you get and you don't get upset suck it up and deal!

Today's title: Take it from Mick

Monday, July 18, 2011

Did You Get My Message?

So, some of my friends found this new place to hang out. I was invited to check it out, and have stopped in a few times, but so far I'm nonplussed (that was pretty clever dumb, right?). It seems like a nice enough place -- reminds me a lot of a few other places I like to visit from time to time..

Google+ is the next big thing. Or so some "experts" are telling us. It's Google's attempt at a social networking site. It's part facebook -- you can share photos, videos, status updates, etc. and comment on other people's posts. It's part twitter -- you can "follow" people without having to ask permission to "be their friend." And there's a little tumblr in there, too -- with people reblogging and sharing others' posts.

What's nice about Google+ is the way everything is linked together. Picassa, YouTube, Blogger, etc. are all Google-based. I also like the "circles" feature -- you can put people you "follow" in categories and send your posts to a specific group. That's a cool feature -- though, I'm not gonna lie, it's stressing me out a little bit. Are you an acquaintance or a friend? Do I like you or do I "like you, like you"? What I don't like is how a post streams, so that a new comment will push an older post the top. I feel like I keep seeing the same things. But maybe that's because we're all just getting started and I'm not following... or friends with... or acquaintances with... enough people.

The reviews from really "plugged in" tech people have been very positive. To them, Google+ is the place to be. They never liked Farmville or Mafia Wars or whatever game du jour people were playing on facebook. And, quite honestly, they were kind of freaked out when their parents and grandparents joined. The reviews from friends -- or acquaintances, I'm not sure what to call them -- is undecided. These networks take time to develop. I feel like G+ has developed pretty quickly -- I've only been there a week. I figure I'll stick around, in case it truly is the next big thing. But I don't see a mass exodus from facebook or twitter. Not yet anyway. 

Oh.. and it's summertime. I'm not going to be spending long stretches of my days sitting on the computer or staring at my phone if I don't have to! I'd rather be social and network on the beach or at the park or at a BBQ.

Today's Title: Did you get my message, because I left it in, like, 20 places!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


This used to be one of my favorite nights of the year. Baseball's Midsummer's Night Classic. The All-Star Game.

It's not what it used to be. And that's too bad.

Baseball's All-Star Game is - or was - the one that still seemed to matter. And not because of this relatively new development where the winning league gets home-field advantage in the World Series. That's sort of silly. It matters because it's a true showcase of the game's best. Because, by design, baseball is a team sport of individual accomplishment and individual match-ups. It matters because - at least it seemed - the players cared. They were representing themselves, their teams (wearing their teams' regular uniforms, not a special All-Star jersey) and their leagues.

Football's all-star game - the Pro Bowl - has been irrelevant forever. Sure, a post-season trip to Hawaii is nice, but it always seemed like guys came up with all kinds of injury excuses to miss the game. And football is a game that involves hitting. Guys aren't going to risk an injury in a meaningless exhibition.
Hockey can involve physical play. But not in the NHL All-Star Game. Scores like 12-11? That's not hockey. And forget the NBA -- most of those guys barely play defense during the regular season.

There's was always been debate in baseball about who's been named to the team. The fans don't always pick the best players; the managers always snub someone deserving. This year, the pre-game talk has been has been about the 16 players who can't make it. And particularly about Derek Jeter who, days after collecting career hit 3,000 (and then some) is joining a few Yankee teammates and sitting this one out.

I'll still probably watch a few innings of the Sub-Star Game. But it's not what it used to be. And that's too bad.

Today's title: Hey now, you're an All-Star, get your game on...

Friday, July 8, 2011

Tragedy at the Ballpark

Part of my job is delivering bad news. Murders, fires, car crashes -- bad, sad, tragic things happen every day. Self-preservation and sanity often require me to distance myself from the stories I report. I have to have a short memory. I understand the story I'm delivering and I try to convey that. I understand the impact it has had/may have on people and I try to convey that. And then I allow that story and that emotion to wash out of my system.

But sometimes a story leaves a pit in my stomach and a hole in my heart. And I can't wash it away.

The story of Shannon Stone is one of those stories. He's the Texas Rangers fan who fell to his death Thursday night while reaching for a ball tossed into the stands by Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton. Stone was at the game with his young son. I can imagine the thrill as that ball was coming his way -- the anticipation of handing that souvenir to his little boy. The thought that must have been passing through his head as he reached for that ball, "My son is never going to forget this." He was right, of course, for the wrong reasons.

Stone fell 20 feet, but was conscious when paramedics got to him. He was moving. He was talking. He asked someone to check on his son, who was alone in the bleachers -- looking down at his dad -- no doubt confused and scared. But within the hour, Stone was dead.

The story breaks my heart. I don't know Shannon Stone. I don't know his son. But I'm like him. I'm a baseball fan. And I'm a dad. Just this past weekend, as the Mets rallied to beat the Yankees, I saw my daughter get more excited about a baseball game than I'd ever seen her get.

I look forward to sharing the game with my daughter and with my son for many, many years to come. Maybe someday I'll even be able to get them a game ball. If that happens, I will think about Shannon Stone's son -- who went to a ballgame with his dad and went home without him.

No title song today

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Couple Days Off

I need to write more often. Seriously.

I'm back at work today after taking an much-needed four-day weekend. Don't get me wrong, I love my job -- and I'm not just saying that because my bosses may be reading this. But every once and awhile, you've got to take a little time to recharge the batteries. Especially when you work the kind of hours we do on the morning shift. I'm not sure I'm back at 100% just yet. But I'm closer to 90% than I've been in awhile.

My family spent the Holiday Weekend doing typical Holiday Weekend stuff. We visited family.. hung out with friends.. did some swimming.. had a BBQ. It was fun. It was relaxing.

It's how I spent my "bonus day" Tuesday, that's got me scratching my head. I turned into my dad got a lot accomplished. After dropping my daughter off at camp I ran a bunch of errands -- returned bottles, dropped some recycling off at the dump, went to the bank, picked up the dry-cleaning. That was bad enough. Then I spent almost three hours in the afternoon cleaning the garage, spraying weed- and pest-control around the house and hosing down the siding and deck. But the clincher is that I went to Richlin (an odd hardware/auto parts/general store type place in town) because I needed something for one of my projects. It was about then that I thought I'd morphed into my dad. Ask my brother, he'd understand.

Those things said, I must admit I feel very proud of myself. More accomplished than if I'd hit the driving range or lounged on the beach all afternoon. But I wonder, at what point does that happen? When does that voice in your head that says, "You know, there are a number of projects around the house that could use your attention..." outweigh the one that says, "Dude, the day is yours!" (Actually, I don't think the voice in my head ever calls me "dude," but you get the point.)

Today's Title: Huey Lewis -- on vinyl!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Life is a Highway

We've had this day circled on the calendar for awhile in my house. Ever since "Summer 2011" became "June 24, 2011." My kids didn't think it would ever get here.

"Cars 2" opens today..

I'm taking the kids this afternoon -- and they couldn't be more excited. Perhaps if they read the reviews, they'd feel differently. I've read a few of them -- and they've been rough. The NY Times, the NY Post, and the NY Daily News are all pretty rough on the film. Disney/Pixar has set the bar awfully high with it's collection of kids' films that are as enjoyable for mom and dad as they are for the little ones.

Critics say this sequel relies too much on silly puns and focuses too much on Larry the Cable Guy's "Mater". So what? My son doesn't care. My daughter doesn't care. They want to see those characters they love from the first movie, which they've seen a million times. And guess what? They're are the ones driving (see what I did there?) our decision to go.

The fact that most of the Disney/Pixar offerings are really great films with excellent characters, a good story and an important lesson is the icing on the cake. In this case, the icing is for the adults. The kids only care about the cake. (In real life, it's sorta the opposite, right?)

***((UPDATE: The kids loved the movie. My daughter enjoyed the racing, my son loved the fighting. They both liked the characters. Neither one got the spy plot. I think there are adults who didn't get the plot. But, again, it doesn't really matter.))***

The other important thing here is this: The success of "Cars 2" is not measured in what critics write about it. Yes, it is measured in the box office take. But more important, it's measured in the number of cars games, cereal, fruit snacks, chairs, t-shirts, bed sheets, sandwich makers, underwear, and diapers they can sell. And sell, they will.

Today's Title: The Cars-related Rascal Flatts version

Monday, June 20, 2011

How Far We've Come

There is NO WAY it's been 20 years since high school. Seriously. No way.

Yet, somehow I attended my 20-Year High School Reunion on Saturday night. I had been looking forward to it, but I had no expectations. I guess that's a good way to go into something like that. I was just looking forward to seeing some old classmates in person.

I think the "in person" thing is significant here. Afterall, facebook has taken some of the mystery out of gatherings like this, hasn't it? In some ways it's good, I guess. You're already a step or two ahead when it comes to the catching-up conversations. The ice of so many years is already broken. You're also not staring at as many people -- looking down at their name tags -- trying to figure out who they are. But, then again, isn't that part of fun of a reunion? And reconnecting on facebook may make people feel like they don't need to attend a reunion.

I know these things aren't for everyone. When some people walk out of school for the last time as a student, they never want to return. They don't just close a chapter, they throw away the book. Others keep the book on the shelf so they can be nostalgic and flip through it once in awhile.

People came from near and far for our reunion -- South Carolina, Oklahoma, Arizona, London and France to name just a few places. We told stories -- maybe exaggerated a few of them. It's nice to talk about then, but it's also fun to find out about now -- to see how far we've come. And, I've got to say, my classmates have aged very well. We're adults now... we're professionals... we're parents. When we were 18-years old, we wondered where we'd be in 20 years. Now, we wonder how we got here so fast.

Today's Title: We've done pretty well for ourselves

Friday, June 17, 2011

On Broadway

Alright, it wasn't exactly Broadway... but it was as close as I'll ever get.

I now have something in common with some of the biggest names in comedy -- stars like Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Tina Fey and Steven Colbert. I have performed *ahem* stood on the stage with Second City. They like to include local celebrities in their shows. Last night at the Long Wharf Theatre, they had to settle for me.

First of all, let me say something about this cast. They were amazingly talented and ridiculously funny. They were performing some of Second City's best, most time-tested skits. The show was funnier than almost anything I've seen on Saturday Night Live in years. But well-written comedy is only one half of funny. These guys performed it perfectly. And when you're talking about comedy like the stuff Second City does, you've got to remember not everything is scripted --  this cast's ability to do improv was impressive.

Me (R) as Sky Masterson in Guys & Dolls in 1990
My role was to be part of their encore, when they played the improv game Freeze. I've played it before -- 20 years ago, when I was doing theater in high school. It's fun, it's challenging, it makes you think on your feet. But when you're doing it with Improv All-Stars, it's intimidating! In the 10 minutes I was on stage, I was the letter "W".. an ostrich.. and the Karate Kid. I may have also been a one-legged, tap-dancing prostitute for one scene... but I'm not sure how that happened.

It was so much fun and over too fast. I was reminded of the powerful energy and electricity from being on stage in a theater. Again, something I haven't really done since high school. And I kept thinking of how I could have been funnier, wittier, quicker. Maybe next time. In the meantime, I'll stick to my day job.

Today's Title: George Benson's ode to the Great White Way

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Do Nothing Day

Man, it's been awhile since I posted here. I've wanted to, but I've been busy. Not so much busy doing stuff, as busy trying to finish what I'm doing so I can go do the next thing I have to do. Do you know what I mean?

As I've discussed here before, my days are long. I've got a lot of waking hours to do a lot of things. And honestly, I consider myself lucky -- because of my schedule, I get to spend a lot of "Daddy Time" with my kids. Here's the problem. I often have a hard time slowing things down and enjoying that time as much as I should. I'm usually thinking about what else I could/should be doing, or what I have to do later. I guess it's kind of a Buddhism thing to focus on one thing at a time -- easier said than done.

To some degree, I blame my career choice. It's a very deadline-oriented business. You've got to multitask; you've always got to be thinking about what comes next. And it's hard to leave that type of mindset behind, when you leave work. 

Multitasking is a handy skill. But sometimes I just want to enjoy the moment, and not see my life as the appointment calendar on my cellphone. When I do get an opportunity for a "Do Nothing Day" -- a night out with my wife or an afternoon with the family, an hour goes by like it's a thirty seconds.

When I was a kid, the lazy days of summer we're endless. As an adult, that doesn't happen. And I know my kids will be in high school and college in the blink of an eye. I don't want to rush it -- I want to enjoy every moment. Well, almost every moment. So.. how 'bout a little help from my friends. Any advice for slowing things down.. living in and appreciating the now.. and not always worrying about what comes next.?

Today's Title: A slow down, take it easy song from my kids' favorite cartoon

Monday, May 16, 2011

Fight for Your Right (to Party)

There's something about this Shelton High School Prom punishment saga that's left me uneasy.. conflicted.. even a little concerned.

It's not the ultimate outcome -- not at all -- James Tate deserves to go to his prom. He never should have been banned in the first place. The punishment did not fit the crime. In fact, the policy that indiscriminately banned anyone who got a suspension after April 1st is too "black & white" for me.

What bothers me, is the way -- or maybe the "why" -- the decision changed.

School leaders admitted they were bowing to "international pressure" that had made it difficult to maintain a good learning environment at the school. Facebook and twitter were buzzing with support for Tate.. and hate for Shelton High's Headmaster. The school campus was crawling with reporters and photographers for a week.

In other words, the angry mob won.

"Crowd-sourcing" is a big thing these days. But crowd-sourcing implies a group of people is asked to make a decision or do a job. Take reality television shows, for example. They often decide who stays and who goes by popular vote. Shelton schools didn't ask for input on this decision -- but, boy did they get it.  Of course, that kind of thing has always been around in some form. It's just that facebook, twitter, and online comment sections make it easier than ever for people to express their opinions. Everyone is entitled to that. I guess what I fear is a world in which only the "loudest voices" get to make all the decisions. That's a big can of worms. And once they're out, those worms are never going back in.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for standing up for what you believe. I support expressing your opinion. It's a right -- even a responsibility. And I think companies owe it to their customers, like politicians owe it to their constituents, to acknowledge and address concerns and explain decisions. There must be checks and balances. But sometimes it goes so far, it further erodes any remaining respect for authority. Sometimes people in power must make difficult, unpopular decisions and we don't -- even can't -- know all the reasons behind those decisions. As they say, that's why they get paid the big bucks.

Maybe I'm just uneasy because, as a parent, sometimes I have to make tough decisions my kids don't like. I don't want them to think that if they complain loudly enough, I'll change my mind. It doesn't always work that way. It can't.

Today's title: The Beastie Boys anthem

Monday, May 2, 2011


There was a note sitting on the kitchen table when I got up for work this morning. With my wacky schedule, that's pretty common. It's often how my wife and I communicate -- I'll find or leave notes like: "Please pick up milk".. or "Don't forget soccer tonight".. or "There's laundry in the dryer."

The message she left for me this morning was a little different: "Osama Bin Laden: Dead." Wow. This is not going to be one of those slow Monday mornings in the news business.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who woke up to that news. Many people went to sleep before the news broke late Sunday. I dozed off while watching the Mets-Phillies game and turned the TV off around 10:00 -- a short time before the crowd at Citizen's Bank Park started chanting, "USA, USA, USA!" It was a sign of our plugged-in times. Fans on their smartphones, finding out about the big breaking news and then sharing the moment, together.

It's another example of just how connected we are. Always. We learn about events as they happen. And anyone can be the source (not always a good thing, but that's another story for another time). Take Sohaib Athar. He's the guy who unknowingly live-blogged the raid on Osama Bin Laden's compound on his twitter account. On his twitter page, he says he's "an I-T consultant taking a break from the rat-race by hiding in the mountains with his laptops." Turns out Athar's "hiding spot" was awfully close to Bin Laden's hideout.

But perhaps more important than finding out about things as they happen, is the opportunity social media gives us to react and respond to those events together - to share our emotions, to comfort one another or to celebrate. It's human nature to want share big moments together. It's why baseball fans in Philly started chanting, why people gathered and waved flags in New York City and outside the White House. And it's what millions of others did on twitter and facebook. Check your timeline or newsfeed -- there is true sense of community.

And it's impossible not to think about 9/11 and the shock, sadness, fear and anger that accompanied it.  It makes me wonder what that Tuesday morning might have been like, had we had those social media platforms...

Today's Title: Stereo MCs

Monday, April 25, 2011

So What

More than 7,000 journalists from around the world are credentialed for the latest "Media Event of the Century!!" (You have to say that in a big booming voice, pausing between each word.) Yes, I'm talking about the Royal Wedding, which -- in case you have been living under a rock -- is happening this Friday. The network morning shows are scrambling with special coverage, there are special websites, smartphone apps and even Royal Wedding-related scams.

I don't care.

I feel kinda bad about that... like I should care. It's this huge, highly-anticipated event, and I can't get into it. Am I missing something? Listen, in no way am I judging the people who are all excited about this, I'm just not one of them. I know I get excited about stuff other people find trivial at best, stupid at worst. To each his or her own. But truth be told, I've never really gotten the fascination with the British Royal Family. I know, I'm a typical ugly American, right?

Actually, I've seen tweets from people who feel the same way. So that makes me feel a little better. Or maybe I just follow a bunch of like-minded people.

Truly, it's a lovely story, a common girl from Bucklebury, Berkshire --wait, Bucklebury, Berkshire, you can't make that up-- who meets a handsome Prince. They fall in love and get married. And they do it all with grace and style, despite living in a very public fishbowl. My 6 1/2 year old daughter thinks it's awesome because this is no Disney movie, it's real life.

I'm sure it will be a lovely ceremony. I hope they live long happy lives together. But I won't be watching Friday morning. I'll be working -- (shameless plug) Good Morning Connecticut will be on WCTX/MyTV9 from 5-8AM on Friday, as WTNH carries ABC's special Royal Wedding coverage.

Today's Title: Miles, not Pink

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I Don't Wanna Grow Up

I assume, by now, you've heard the story about the San Francisco Giants fan who was badly beaten after rooting for his favorite team on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium. Terrible. The victim's in a coma. Tragic.

Could you blame violence on sporting events on fans who are idiots? Often, yes. Could you blame it on alcohol? Probably. Could you blame it on fans wearing jerseys? C'mon. Really? That's a stretch.

A few of my jerseys
I linked to that column on twitter yesterday -- basically, the writer tells fans to "grow up" and stop wearing jerseys to games -- and it sparked quite a conversation, 140-characters at a time. "The culture of fandom violence captured on cell phones aired on youtube soon after is crippling fan experience," wrote one person. "It's aggressive people that cause fights, NOT clothing," tweeted another. "I have so much to say about this ridiculous article 140 characters isn't enough!!!" a third chimed in.

Confession: I'm big fan of sports jerseys. I have been since I was a kid. I own a jersey or two a modest collection. And I enjoy wearing them -- whether my favorite team is playing home or away. I've worn a Mets jersey to Mets games in Philly, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, and even Yankee Stadium. I've worn Syracuse gear to Syracuse-UConn games in Connecticut. I've never had a problem.

In his column, the author John Steigerwald asks: "Are the 42-year-olds who find it necessary to wear their replica jerseys to a road game... fathers who haven't grown up?"

Well, isn't that link to childhood one of the things that makes sports great? Aren't sports -- at their best -- an escape? Don't we all feel like kids when we're celebrating a win or, even better, a championship?!

Steigerwald goes on to write: "Here's tip for you if you actually think that wearing your team's jersey makes you a part of the team: It doesn't."

Thanks for the heads-up, John. I've been wondering why I haven't gotten that payroll check from the New York Mets for the last several decades. 
Look, of course there are some places where it is not appropriate for a man approaching 40 to wear a jersey. I'm not judging, but they probably shouldn't be a regular part of the daily wardrobe. I'm not going to wear one to work. I won't put one on when I'm heading to a parent-teacher conference for my daughter or her school play. And it's not proper attire when I'm going out to dinner with my family.
But I'm going keep wearing a soccer jersey when I go for a run, go to a summer picnic and maybe even while doing some errands. I'll wear my Syracuse jersey on Saturdays and Giants jersey on Sundays during football season. And I'm wearing a Mets jersey if I'm going to see them play. Home or away. Heck, I may even wear one while watching the game on TV.
By the way, apparently a lot of people took exception to Steigerwald's column. Here's his response.

Today's title: An anthem by the Ramones

Monday, April 4, 2011

Meet the Mets

I'll admit it. When John Buck hit a grand slam off of Mike Pelfrey on Friday night - Opening Night 2011 for the New York Mets - I said it.

"Here we go again. Same old Mets."

Several people sent me this Family Guy clip. SNY, the Mets-owned network, even started to air that clip at the end of the first game.

Thursday, March 31, 2011


The first time I saw Alye Pollack's video, I cried. I'm not talking 'choked up' crying -- there were full-on tears. I'm not ashamed to admit that.

The video made me sad -- made me cry -- because it made me feel for Alye. No one should be called some of the things she says people have called her.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Who Needs Sleep

At the grocery store, at my kids' schools, at charity events... I get one question more than any other:

Friday, March 18, 2011


It's Friday. And I don't just know that because Rebecca Black is trending on twitter today. But thanks to twitter, I now know who Rebecca Black is. And I feel bad for her.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Another Day

Watching the news has been pretty tough recently hasn't it? I know. There's the unimaginable horror in Japan, the terrible tour bus crash in New York and economic instability in the form of rising gas and grocery prices everywhere. Here in Connecticut we've had a few deadly fires, another soldier killed in Afghanistan and jury selection in the second Cheshire home invasion trial is about to get underway. (I blogged today about that and the amazing costs associated with it at wtnh.com.)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Natural Disaster

I was all set to write something about the Big East Tournament today... about UConn playing my alma mater, Syracuse. But writing a blog post about that, just doesn't feel right, right now.

I walked into the newsroom at 3:30 this morning, and the televisions were tuned to CNN, ABC and other the networks, as usual. But instead of their usual overnight, "laid back" approach to the news of the day, they were all in "breaking news" mode -- covering the developing story of the earthquake in Japan. The pictures are both heartbreaking and hard to understand. The latter, because the images just don't look real.

We are only just beginning to get a sense of the scope of the devastation in Japan. It's frightening to think about how significant it will be.

Life goes on, of course. They'll play basketball tonight at Madison Square Garden -- and I'll be watching, and rooting on the Orange. Someone will do another dumb story about Charlie Sheen. But the least we can do today is keep all those many people affected by that natural disaster in our thoughts...

Today's Title: A pensive, peaceful tune

Thursday, March 10, 2011

(More than) One Missed Call

As yesterday's St. John's - Rutgers game was getting underway at the Big East Tournament in New York, I saw a tweet from a current Syracuse student: "Wait, (Tim) Higgins and (Jim) Burr are reffing the same game? Is the apocalypse coming?"

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Set Adrift on Memory Bliss

Last weekend, I took my annual trip down memory lane. It's my yearly visit to Syracuse University. Let's face it -- would you rather be anywhere other than Central New York, the first weekend in March?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


He's trending on twitter, he's one of the most popular searches on google, and his story is one of the "top clicks" on the ABC News website. Charlie Sheen has lost his job and -- at least for the moment -- his kids. But he's never been bigger.


I'm not asking, "Is this news?" It's not news in the "capital J" journalism sense, though as long as it's on television, it seems to fit Merriam Webster's definition (see #2a). It's happening and people are talking about it. See the examples above or check your facebook newsfeed. Heck, just say "How about that Charlie Sheen?" when you're in line at the grocery store - you'll get a reaction.

What I want to know is why many people love stories like this so much. Do we like to see famous people fail spectacularly? The Lindsay Lohan saga has been a well-publicized and popular mess. How big has the Tiger Woods story been? We love when a star is born, but we seem to love it more when a star flames out. I guess there's always the possibility of a heart-warming comeback story. America loves a good comeback.

In the Huffington Post today, Jeff Jarvis says argues that Sheen is different than those other celebs. He says Sheen is mentally ill and the media is exploiting him.  

To be honest, I don't know who's exploiting who right now. But I don't disagree with Jarvis when he says Charlie Sheen needs help. Let's hope he gets it -- for himself and for his children. And let's not miss an opportunity to use this nearly inescapable story as a "teachable moment" for our own children. Have you been looking for a way to start the "drugs are bad" discussion?

Today's title: Mr. Heidi Klum's version

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Ants Marching

March is here. And that makes me and, judging by the facebook and twitter posts I've seen, a lot of people happy. March is a "Top 3" month in my book.

This month is about all about anticipation. And it starts with the weather. Sure, it's cold today... and yeah, it can still snow - a lot - in March... and the calendar says Spring doesn't start until March, 20th. But to meteorologists, spring begins today... so we've turned the corner on the cold and snowy winter. The days are getting warmer... and the sun is setting later... and in less than two weeks, we'll be moving the clocks forward.

March is also about baseball. Spring training is underway in Florida and Arizona. Players are stretching, running, throwing and hitting again. It's the sports equivalent of flowers blooming. This is the time of year for optimism. Every team -- even mine -- has a chance. Although mine wants to know if you can spare a dime.

And, of course, there's "March Madness." No, not the type Moammar Gadahfi and Charlie Sheen are providing this year. I'm talking about the NCAA Tournament -- the first two days of which (the second round in this year's new 68 team format) are two of the greatest days in all of sports. College basketball from noon to midnight... office pools... and Gus Johnson calling buzzer beaters!

What do you think -- does March rank up there for you, too? Is it still too wintery for you? Or not wintery enough?

Today's title: My favorite DMB song

Monday, February 28, 2011

We Are Who We Are

  I was having a conversation with a friend at work the other day about drawing the line between the "professional" and the "personal" online. (Actually, it wasn't as much a conversation as it was a series of emails, but that could be another topic for another time.) Our conclusion -- it's nearly impossible. And that may not be all bad.

  We are who we are -- and social media allows us to share that. These days, it seems even big corporations are trying to be more human. They've got facebook pages and twitter accounts. They're listening and responding. They're building their brands by connecting with their customers.

  Individually, we're all doing the same thing. It sounds so impersonal -- building a brand -- but that's what it is. The truth is, you can make it as personal as you're comfortable with. When I'm on television, I'm me -- I'm not playing some anchorman character. I talk about my family, my favorite teams, my love of coffee, etc. I react to things, like the human that I am. When I'm at the grocery store, I'm me. So when I'm online, I'm me. It's all I know how to be.

  Of course, that's not to say there are no limits. There are limits. But they are different for everyone. And it may take some time to figure out what works for you and what doesn't. It's a work in progress -- but, isn't everything in life.

Today's title: The wisdom (haha!) of Ke$ha



Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Spoon Full of Sugar...

That's what helps the medicine go down, right? Yeah, sure it does.

Mary Poppins has never met my son Ben.

Ben's pretty stubborn a cute kid. And he's not a fan of penicillin. It looks "cherry-licious" to me. But he says it tastes yucky. He's just getting over a case of strep throat -- and getting him to take his medicine has been a big production. We've tried just about everything -- surprise attack, hiding it in juice, rewards, bribes, threats -- it's not working.

Help. Seriously, fellow parents or grandparents, my wife and I need some advice. When it comes to children being stubborn, we pick our battles. But we want him to get better -- and this is a battle we need to win!

Today's title- The original Super Nanny.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

  I spent some time Tuesday morning shooting a news story at relatively new place in New Haven called The Grove on Orange Street. (You can see the story here on wtnh.com.) It's a "co-working" space. At first glance, it's a relatively nondescript storefront that provides office space for people who may otherwise be working at their dining room tables. But a look a little deeper, as I did, and you'll see it provides so much more.

  I found Jeff Kubarych at a desk along the wall under some striking photos taken in Cuba. Jeff is a self-employed marketing consultant. He joined The Grove, looking for a workspace outside of his home office. What he found was a community.

  "I always say, you're only as smart as the people around you," Jeff told me, "and when you're by yourself, there's not a lot of learning that can happen."

  He's learning now, because he's collaborating in ways he never expected. And that's just what The Grove's co-founder Ken Janke likes to hear. He and Slate Ballard founded the place to be much more than an office where people can work. They want it to be a place where people can find support. A community which will inspire them to grow. Ken says you can set up you laptop in a coffee shop -- but no one knows you. And they don't really care what you're doing. At the Grove, they know your name and what you're doing. And they want to help you succeed.

  Jeff Kubarych's business is marketing. But his passion seems to be creativity. He believes there's creativity in all of us -- but we forget, are too busy or too scared to tap into it. After spending some time at The Grove, he and few other "Grovers" (I don't know if they call themselves that) launched Create 96 as an outlet for his creativity. And anyone else's.

  That's the thing that hit me the most about this place -- the power of the people here. There's a real positive energy. Some are self-employed; some work for non-profits. Some have full-time memberships, some are here only a few hours a week. But they're all dreamers. And they value the dreams of others.

Today's title - It's pretty obvious.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Here We Go Again

We were in "Weather Alert" mode again this morning on Good Morning Connecticut. Gil had his sleeves rolled up, Teresa was telling us about several crashes and the Mobile Weather Lab was on the road. No, it wasn't the worst snow storm we've had this winter -- not even close. In fact, with this being a holiday for many people, and many schools and businesses closed, the timing wasn't terrible.

But Friday afternoon, I was wearing shorts. And I wasn't the only one. That's what made this little dose of reality a little more difficult to take. It's February 21st, and no matter what Phil or Chuckles say, we know it's still winter. But once you get a taste of spring, it's tough to turn back.

Well, at least spring training has started in Florida and Arizona. Let's Go Mets! (Hope springs eternal...)

Today's title - a one-hit wonder from the 90's.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Because Sometimes 140 Characters Isn't Enough

So, here we go. I've started a blog. I know, I'm a little late to the party. Here's the thing, I never felt the need to blog, because I figured nobody cared what I had to say about this, that or the other thing. But I really enjoy writing. And I enjoy the sense of community that can come from being online. And I'd like a chance to extend my place in that community.

Sure, you can watch me on television -- but there are limits to what I can say or do on the newscast. And I have a boss.

You can also find me on facebook -- but a lot of people are on facebook. And a single post can be lost among your dozens, hundreds or thousands of friends.

Finally, you can follow me on twitter -- but sometimes 140 characters isn't enough.

So, I'll use this space to write about all kinds of things. Maybe it'll be a news story that gets my attention. Perhaps it'll be a parenting dilemma I run into while dealing with my children. One day I may just gush about something I love. And I guarantee I'll vent about sports. (I'm a Mets fan, there's a lot about which to vent.)

So, I hope that you'll stop by, read and join the conversation by leaving a comment. Got a question? Ask away -- you'll probably inspire a blog topic.

See. I couldn't have said all that in 140 characters.