Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tiger Woods 'caught' driving an Escalade

My father, one of the best copy editors ever, picked up this little detail in all the inane coverage of Tiger Wood's little accident in Florida. I know it's news, but this has been headlining the news, come on.

Anyway my father points out that after years of taking millions to promote Buick, the news is reporting that he wrecked in an Escalade. Still American, but not much loyalty to a brand that brought him lots of dough.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Detroit Daily Press suspends publication, vows to start up again

Gotta wonder what kind of plan, or lack thereof, the owners and managers of the Detroit Daily Press had that caused them to close up shop after just five days.

As I mentioned previously there was great hope and optimism for this venture, but clearly starting a print newspaper at this time is like shoveling sand against the tide.

Although the announcement said the closing was due to "circumstances beyond our control" that rings a little hollow because the original launch had already been delayed for months.

If I had a guess I suspect they were trying to put this together without risking a lot of money up front. That probably meant employees working for free, printers hoping for payment and truck drivers anxious to get paid.

Frankly, if you can't put together an advertising package the week of the start of Christmas shopping, there is little hope of making a go of it after the first of the year, which is the new supposed start date of the paper.

I wouldn't hold my breath that we will ever see another copy of the Detroit Daily Press. Too bad as many good people were hoping for a second chance at journalism.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


It has been a tough year. On the first day of the year, my younger brother Michael died. In April, Joan's mother had a severe stroke and in July, her father died. We have also lost other family and friends this year.

Today we will be visiting Joan's mother and eating a special Thanksgiving in her new home, Father Baker Nursing Home in Orchard Park, New York. Despite all that has happened this past 11 months we remain thankful for the many blessings we have and continue to receive.

We both are in good health. We are both retired (me, sort of) and we have been blessed with four great children, William, Timothy, John and Elin. In recent years we have added a daughter-in-law, Nicole and three grandchildren, Brittany, Addisen and just this October, Griffen, our first grandson.

We thank God for all the blessings we enjoy and we also are very thankful for our many, many wonderful friends and family.

So today, this will be the only posting, with a wish that anyone passing by and reading today will stop and give thanks for the blessings in their lives.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Heard on the TV news

On the local Buffalo news tonight (yes, we are back in Buffalo) the anchor teased the 11 p.m. newscast with the following.

"A Buffalo Police officer was forced to dodge two bullets tonight....."

Oh, really? That will come news to a lot of police officers that you can actually "dodge" bullets.

There's a saying in police work: "You never hear the bullet that hits you." Only in movies can you duck and dodge bullets.

Geography by Americans

Found this on Facebook and loved it. I think it was Jon Stewart who said that it was wars that taught Americans geography. (Click to enlarge map above)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Detroit News on the Detroit Daily Press

Here's the Detroit News article on the Detroit Daily Press. Also don't you love the new advertising gimmick of putting links to ads (the ones in this article lead to a Staples ad) inside the editorial copy?

This kind of stupidity is available only in newspapers

Right on the heels of my stupid holiday stories comes this from the Detroit Free Press via the Associated Press.

Only an editor desperate to fill space would have thought this a worthy story for a holiday week.

Let's do the logic. If you are close enough to a person to kiss them on the cheek, you are likely close enough to spread a virus to them whether or not you kiss them on the cheek or mouth. Or, perish the thought, shake their hands! All this, and I'm not even a doctor.

You can't walk 10-feet anymore without some hand sanitizer dispenser available to rub on your hands.

We all need to get a grip. This hysteria over viruses is stupid, in my humble opinion of course. Want to avoid getting a virus, stay home, avoid contact with all people, never leave your house and use hand sanitizer hourly.

Otherwise, get out, meet people, kiss them on the mouth and cheek and, yes, maybe get sick, develop an immunity and live your life. I think I heard my mother tell me once that when one kid got chicken pox the mothers would have a "party" bring all the children together so they would get the disease and get it behind them.

We are raising a generation of weenies.

And just in case you meet me sometime soon, I'm still sneezing into my hands, can't get into that blowing snot and spit into my sleeve thing. (Besides, according to the article in the Free Press they want everyone to touch you on your upper arm or shoulder instead of shaking hands. They need to get their sneezing etiquette straight.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Tis' the season for Santa's helper to come early

Anytime soon, we should start to see the annual river of Christmas news cliches.

Look for the lede "Christmas came early for (insert name of lucky person/family/agency) when...(insert name of benevolent or lucky act).

Or "Tis the season for (Christmas thieves to prey on shoppers/for car thefts at the mall/or name your favorite Christmas malady).

And finally, there will be a story or two how a Good Samaritan became a "Santa" to some poor unfortunate family or individual.

Also, sometime this week, some person or family will be saved from some tragic, or less than tragic event and the story lede will include something like this:

The Smith family will have something to really be thankful for when they sit down to their Thanksgiving table Thursday.....

Seasonal news cliches are the worse and they make an appearance every year starting about now. I'd love you to share those that you find or add your own favorite seasonal cliches here.

We've all done them, although after a few years of doing them you realize they are not only tired, but really bad writing.

Perhaps my favorite revenge on an editor came back in the 1980s when I was given my third straight Thanksgiving Day story to write. One year I interviewed a Native American family about how they celebrated Thanksgiving (a really bad assignment from an editor). Another year I did something about what some prominent leaders were thankful for (presumably their undeserved re-elections). But finally when I was told at the last minute to come up with my third straight Thanksgiving Day story I got my revenge.

Another reporter had failed to produce a Thanksgiving Day story and the editor turned to me on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and told me to come up with something for Thanksgiving Day. So I found a local turkey farmer and talked to him about turkeys and then wrote a first person story from the point of view of the turkey.

I handed the story in just before I left about 4 p.m. Wednesday and the editor thought it was the worse thing she had ever seen. It may have been one of the worst stories I ever wrote, but I avoided any further such assignments when Thanksgiving rolled around the next year. Bad, or not, the story ran on Page 1 the next day. There was a paper to fill, after all.

Our only consolation in writing those trite stories was the realization that most people only picked up the Thanksgiving Day newspaper for the pile of sales advertisements and that few would actually read the trite little stories we wrote for those days.