Friday, September 10, 2010

Finally Friday (back to school edition)

"of all the things I still remember
summer's never looked the same
" (September, Daughtry)

"let your colors fly
be true to your school
" (Be true to your school, Beach Boys)

Well, we have made it to September and all the kids are back in school.

Thanks for indulging me with my self-imposed break from my blog...let's get started...

So, this is America, right? I'm not saying I agree with either side but whose rights are being denied more? the group wanting to build a mosque on the World Trade Center site or the Florida pastor who wants to burn the Quran in protest but is being dogged not to? Think about that...

College Football started last weekend and the NFL started last night....add in the NHL training camp kicking off soon and I finally have an outlet other than watching the Mets for the first 4 innings and then turning them off...

It was announced that Bristol Palin and Jersey Shore cast member Mike Sorrentino will be among the guests on the new season of Dancing with the Stars...I'm sorry but anyone who puts "the situation" between their first and last name is just begging to get punched....just my 2 cents....oh, and I don't care what your abs look like...keep your shirt on...

Jesse James officially stepped out with his new girlfriend last week a few months removed from his much publicized split with Sandra Bullock...So glad this happened because I know we were all wondering when he would move on....oh, who is kidding one really cares Jesse..

Tiger Woods...(see the last 5 words directly above, take out "Jesse", insert "Tiger")

It was 39 degrees on Tuesday morning....could see my breath on Wednesday morning...Fall has definitely arrived in Fargo...let's hope we can keep the snow at bay until at least the way, it is officially 2 years living in Fargo now....I'll have more to say on that on Sunday

Picked up a carton of milk at the store the other day and President Obama's picture was on it...seriously, where is the leader I supported and voted for in the last election?...the country needs a kick in the butt (in my opinion)

Memo to BP Oil: I'm not impressed with your "6 months after the spill, we care enough to be committed to cleaning it up" TV commercials...Where were you for the first 84 days of the spill?

Ok, you folks who watch the show "Hoarders"...let's hear far into any of those shows do you get before you have to get up and start cleaning up the room you are in?

Is it me or are most of the "reality" TV shows actually getting to the point where the last thing they resemble is reality? just askin'!

Finally, tomorrow is September 11th...take a moment to think back 9 years to that fateful day and remember those who were lost...

That's it for this week...enjoy your weekend!!!

Friday, July 30, 2010

A different kind of "View"

"one nation, under God, indivisible" (Pledge of Allegiance, Francis Bellamy)

"indivisible - not separable, not capable of being separated into parts" (Encarta Dictionary)

So, President Obama made a visit to "The View" this week. I admit it seemed strange to me...all of it...the choice of show, the timing, everything. The country is in a rough spot right now and our leader is hanging with Whoopi Goldberg. Now, please understand, I am an Obama supporter and will not turn my back on him just because we are in that rough spot. What I am hoping is the rest of you won't either. I'm not saying you have to like him or agree with everything he says. I'm just asking for an open mind, a new perspective, a different view.

Among the many problems this country has, the one of division is the most perplexing to me. I am talking about the divide of party lines, state lines, neighbor lines...growing to alarming lengths. Our political system is deteriorating into factions like never before, bipartisanship be damned. Lobbying, debates, and consideration have been overtaken by media blitzes, tea parties, and finger pointing. Look, politics has always been a dirty business, that's not news. But the effect it is having on the people, the citizens, that is scary. Instead of us imploring our leadership (all of them)to find a way to work together and fix this mess, we are picking sides as if we were lining up for a civil war. It's nasty out there and getting nastier every day.

The country cannot keep going down this path. There needs to be accountability from both parties and agreement to do what is necessary to get us back on track. There needs to be accountability from the media to report the facts as they are, good or bad, not how they see them, or how someone else would like them to see them. And, most of all, it is time for us to speak up and demand our leadership to take action. This is our future. This is our kid's future. We have always had the power to make this happen...."We the people"....indeed!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Finally Friday (summertime edition)

"Singing Sweet Home Alabama all summer long" (All summer long, Kid Rock)

Welcome to Friday July 16th, the 197th day of the year. It is summer time and everything is alright! Let's get started...

It took 85 days for BP to stop the leak in the gulf...and while that may be ahead of the anticipated August completion, the impact of the spill will be felt for years to do you not have a contingency plan for something like this? Disgraceful...

I am really dismayed at the lack of patience this country has with its leaders. I don't know who will be elected president next but they better realize they are in for public scrutiny like we have never seen before...

The death of George Steinbrenner has brought out a great deal of emotion this week. I have found the outpouring of love ironic...he was not very well liked by the public or many of his players and staff for a good part of his life...

Suddenly, those "Lethal Weapon"movies have lost a little of their initial appeal, no? I am thinking that Mel's going to be paying for this one for a long time...

I'm not a fan of the NBA but I found Cav's owner Dan Gilbert's outburst this past week about as gutless as LeBron making his free agency signing public knowledge in front of a gym full of school kids...

And, on that note, 84 days until opening night for my New York Rangers...

I'm conflicted...I don't want the Fall or Winter here just yet but I am already sick of the summer reruns...thank god for VH1 Classic...

Finally, this week's "Do you remember" moment takes us back to July 16th, 1999. It was this day that John F. Kennedy Jr's plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Martha's Vineyard killing him, his wife, and his sister in law...a tragic ending to a such a promising life...

That's it for this week...enjoy your weekend...and thanks again for reading!!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Silence....not so golden

Farewell, old Yankee Stadium, farewell / What a wonderful story you can tell / DiMaggio, Mantle, Gehrig and Ruth / A baseball cathedral in truth.”

(Bob Sheppard, NY Yankees PA Announcer)

A few months back, I was asked to step in and be what was termed "the voice of God" at a company function. My role was a simple one; introduce presenters over a microphone from the back of the room...a "heard but not seen role". I did what I had to do and, for some reason, still get kudos for it today from the people who asked me to perform the role. That feels good; imagine getting that feeling for 81 days a year (and then some more often than not)for 56 years.

News came today that former New York Yankees Public Address announcer Bob Sheppard passed away at the age of 99. Mr. Sheppard was one of, if not the most, recognizable PA guys in all of sports. He did his job with little fanfare but with much love. You can't do something for 56 years without loving it.

Now, those of you who know me, know I am not a Yankees fan. That said, there are a few who transcend sports,teams,and rivalries. Bob Sheppard was one of those guys; even if all he was doing was announcing who was up or coming into the game. Mr. Sheppard didn't really represent the Yankees as much as he represented the very good of the game. There have been a few announcers in my "sports lifetime" that have embodied the good of the game...Bob Murphy, Jim Gordon, and Dan Kelly come to mind. Bob Sheppard might not have been "calling" the game, but the game was definitely his calling.

There are times when silence is indeed golden....this is not one of those times.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Above the rim...or above the game?

"Poor men wanna be rich
Rich men wanna be kings
And a king ain't satisfied til he rules everything"
(Badlands, Bruce Springsteen)

LeBron James has spent much of his basketball career above the rim. He has been called everything from the next Michael Jordan to "savior" (did I get that right Knicks fans?). A man with that kind of talent has the right to choose his contract terms to better position himself for his impending future free agency. When you got it, you got it, right?

For me, it is what he did once he got to that free agency. This whirlwind tour and prime time show on ESPN was disrespectful to his now former teammates, the city of Cleveland,the 5 other cities he visited, and most of all, to the game itself. LeBron listened to everyone around him and put himself on a pedestal above everyone else...despite the fact he has won no championships in his 7 year career. He alienated himself from his former city and now has a whole lot of people rooting against him. I am old school. I believe he should have just let the free agency process follow its normal routine, made his announcement like everyone else, and thrown in some humble pie to the fans who stuck by him in Cleveland. Sure, they would still be unhappy but they would be more apt to pull for their guy under those circumstances. He would have still got paid...would still have owned the media spotlight...and most of all, still have retained some respect.

In fairness, he seemed really uncomfortable making the decision public last night. Maybe he was realizing the error of his ways....or maybe he was realizing that he had an awful lot of people lining up, ready to push him from his throne.

You can play above the rim King, but you will never be bigger than the game...

Friday, June 11, 2010

Finally Friday (Summer edition)

"Perfect song on the radio
sing along 'cause it's one we know
it's a smile, it's a kiss
it's a sip of wine, its summertime
sweet summertime
" (Summertime, Kenny Chesney)
It is Finally Friday and we are only 10 days from the official start of let's not waste any time getting started...

Congratulations to the Chicago Blackhawks for winning their first Stanley Cup since 1961. The series was exciting and produced some of the highest TV ratings in years for hockey....a welcome sight indeed!

Caught some of the CMT awards show the other night. It was quite possibly the worst awards show I have ever seen. The dialogue was lame, the award winners predictable, and the performances weak for the most part...

Someone needs to pull the plug on the whole "Jersey Shore" show and cast. As a former resident, I wouldn't want the rest of the world thinking that's indicative of what NJ is about....they are an embarrassment...

I know BP is ultimately responsible for the spill but doesn't it seem like our government is having another "Katrina" moment?

The World Cup started today and will last for the next month. While certainly not tops in sports in the US, soccer is the #1 sport in the world. I rarely watch soccer myself and will not pretend to know anything about the caliber of teams participating but it is hard not to get caught up in the hype. I will be watching the US/England match up tomorrow.

So America wants change? Again? Already?...and what will these people want in 6 months when the newly elected aren't able to produce the miracle cures these people are looking for? I said it before and I will say it is a marathon people, not a sprint!

I am thankful today that I am not writing about the disappearance of Abby Sunderland, the 16 year old California girl attempting to sail solo around the world. After running into storms and set adrift without contact, she was located in the southern Indian Ocean. We can have the debate that she was too young to attempt this endeavor but at least we aren't referencing her in the past tense.

Anyone know the over/under on when the oil leak in the gulf will be finally plugged? I'm putting my money on Halloween...

Someone needs to explain to me the apparent need for an updated "A-Team"....anyone?...please??

Finally, on my way to work, I heard Alice Cooper's "School's out" on the radio...that song never gets old and is probably the most played song around this time of year...Shame on the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame for not getting around to inducting Alice yet...that needs to happen before a lot of others including Kiss...just my 2 cents..

That's it for this week...just a note...the Finally Friday segment will return on Friday July 2nd as yours truly will be New Jersey bound starting on the 19th....Enjoy!!

Monday, June 7, 2010

3 years gone by...

"He's in my eyes
my heart, my soul
my hands, my pride
" (Song for Dad, Keith Urban)

Today is June 8, 2010. That means it has now been 3 years since my dad died. Every year when this day comes, I think a lot about those last months, when I was in Florida and he was in New Jersey and how I didn't make it back quite enough for my liking before he died. The last words I spoke to him was "I love you", which is ironic in that I rarely, if ever, said that to him for most of my life. So, when this day comes along, it is usually a sad, melancholy day for me. This year, I get to share my feelings with you who read this and that actually makes me feel better.

There are a few of you I know who have gone through similar events with a parent or even a child. You know the feelings..."could I have done more?"..."I should have done this"..."why didn't I do that". What we learn over time is there is no room for "what ifs", there is only room for memories...good memories. So I am going to try and take this day moving forward, and take a few moments, and remember the good memories...the football catches, his pacing outside the center field fence when I was pitching, his love of the rod hockey games in the basement, his crazy dance moves at weddings, his love of telling stories, and, even though I was not there to witness it, his love of watching the New Providence football team practicing with his friends. One of my favorite memories isn't even one I can call mine own. It is a poem written by my daughter, who is 13 now but wrote this (I believe) about 1-2 years ago. I'm going to share it with you here....

By Melanie Fallon

I prance out of pre-school to be greeted by Grandpa.
To be approached with a smile.
A warm feeling washes over my emotions
As I get closer to him.

I open the door to an old, traditional car.
Filled with conversations and voices.
Breathing the same air,
Sharing the same love.

To drive home to Rudy, Grandpa’s cat.
His purring against your leg
Would make you feel comfortable
In a lonely home.

He’d be a wake at 4 a.m.
Ready to take on the day ahead.
To use strength whenever he needed to
To ask for help when he needed it.
But help came too late one day.

The day he died was a depressing day.
We didn’t leave him – he left us
And it’s still not his fault.

Even though he isn’t with us,
He is still part of our family,
And in our hearts.
My memories still flutter around,
Like butterflies.

How someone that young can convey emotion like that is beyond me. I wish I had that talent when I was her age...maybe then it wouldn't have been that long between the times I told him "I love you". Her poem captures a memory through a different view, a view that has helped me see that I should be looking at this day differently too....and moving forward, I will.