Sunday, November 5, 2017

Blue Angles, Jacksonville Beach, 2007

I've seen the Blue Angels dozens of times, but this was the the best performance I've ever seen. The sky was perfect, the light was perfect, and I had a good camera and a nice spot to shoot from. Unforgettable!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Humor for the Totality, The Mother of All Traffic Jams, 2017 Eclipse Predictions

Box-headed people in 1963!
The bad news is that there is a nationwide shortage of glasses to view the eclipse. The good news is that suitable viewing boxes can be made out of the millions of Amazon boxes that have been piling up in Americans’ garages. Now, nobody has to miss out.

Pundits predict that traffic to and from the Path of Totality of the eclipse will produce the worst traffic jam in the history of humankind.  To listen to the media, the traffic promises to be even more apocalyptic than the apocalypse! It will be the Mother of All Traffic Jams. There will be shortages of food, fuel, water, Grey Poupon mustard, and escargot. The traffic is going to be so bad that most Americans will not be able to get out of their own driveways for days, possibly weeks.

According to experts in the media, this event will be like Y2K, the Mayan Calendar, and the 2016 election rolled into one. Who can bear the thought of living through any of those events again? Take a look out your front door. Traffic is probably piling up right now! Fill your gas tanks and get some water, while you still can.

I have a contrasting opinion about this event because I've observed various media using the power of exaggeration for decades, actually centuries, come to think of it. I, on the other hand, am predicting  another massive miss for the media. There will likely be heavy traffic here and there, but nothing beyond an annoying inconvenience for most people. You heard it here folks.

My next post may be from the Totality!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Bill Maher and Kathy Griffin: Jokes that hurt and jokes that kill.

Once upon a time, I was having a good set at a small nightclub in Georgia. I was in my angry phase and that was really working for me. Someone in the audience asked, “Do you hate everyone?”
I said, “No, I don’t hate everyone. Just people like you.”
I know it doesn’t sound funny at all, but people were laughing. Then I said, “I’m kidding. That was just a joke. Have you noticed that when people say something was just a joke, it usually wasn’t?”
More laughter. Once in a while when you do standup, you can say anything and people will laugh. I even blew a few punchlines that night and people still laughed. On the other hand, when you tell lots of jokes, some of them are going to go wrong.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

#KathyGriffin: When the joke goes wrong

When Kathy Griffin saw how many Americans were offended by the severed Trump head, she acknowledged that she went way over the line. Americans from both sides of the political spectrum agreed. As Melania Trump commented, it was very disturbing. Griffin posted an apology which seemed sincere. Nevertheless, there were consequences. Griffin was fired by CNN for the annual New Year’s Eve gig. Al Franken cancelled appearances with her.

With some of the commentary that has gone back and forth prior to the last election and since then, the line between decency and vulgarity seems to have disappeared. Profanity has become very common and the insults hurled between the right and the left are limited only by the imaginations of the people speaking them.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The News Junkie

Not Danny Murphy.
Wikimedia Commons.
I’ve been a news junkie since I was a boy. My first job in a suburb of Boston was delivering The Boston Globe, The Herald Traveler, and for a handful of discerning readers, the Record-American. Eighty or so newspapers on a bike, long before I started driving a car. There was another guy in the neighborhood who delivered the Patriot Ledger in the afternoon. 

My father worked in the Mailers’ Union for the newspapers. When I was in high school, right across Morrissey Blvd. from the Boston Globe, he got me a few shifts on Saturday nights putting the Sunday papers together at The Globe. That was back when the Sunday newspapers were gigantic. When I went on breaks, I enjoyed reading the paper in the middle of the night, before anyone else had an opportunity to.

I did well at writing in high school and I took writing classes in college. One of those courses was Magazine Feature Writing at the University of North Florida. That class was taught by the incomparable William Roach. Students in that class had to go through the process of writing and submitting four articles to magazines. One of mine got published! It was a thrill to see my name in print. I went on to write book reviews for the Florida Times-Union and numerous articles that were published in excellent magazines like Onyx, The Wittenburg Door, and National Business Employment Weekly.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Super Bowl Commercials and the Power of Business Humor

Super Bowl commercials are a very big deal. There’s even a show about Super Bowl commercials. There are commercials about the show about the commercials. Some of the commercials on the show about the commercials are about the Super Bowl.
Business humor is the common element in all of the commercials. The businesses that are spending big bucks on Super Bowl ads understand that good business jokes get people’s attention and thus help to sell products and services.
Now the companies that are paying the big bucks to get their commercials aired during the Super Bowl are putting out million dollar ad and P.R. campaigns to generate buzz for the commercials. Does that not seem a bit crazy?
Soon people are going to begin to realize that football is what happens between the commercials for the Super Bowl.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Lights! Camera! Blackout? A story of a friendship restored during the holidays.

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the home,
no devices were running, not even a phone.
The children did gather, totally bored,
in hopes that the power would soon be restored.
Christmas Eve was unseasonably mild. The power went out right after sunset when people were turning their Christmas lights on. Shortly afterwards, Fred rolled his generator into position not far from the kitchen window. He had purchased it a few months earlier in preparation for Hurricane Matthew. It was still shiny and new. It was also easier to crank up than his lawnmower.