Wednesday, May 03, 2006


"Keen" (brand name, not adjective) hiking sandals on sale at REI from the 5th to the 14th. $69.00 as opposed to the usual $90.00.

I abhor the look of sandals but love the comfort. I acknowledge the bad feelings are at least in part due to the fact that I have the planet's ugliest toes. These give me the comfort without exposing the ugly toes.

Best story: some months after I bought my first pair a couple of years ago, I was walking thru the shoe department at a fru-fru department store here in Austin. The department manager came over to me and asked me about my shoes. I told him about them and where I got them. 60 days later this store was carrying them.

LJ, you once gave me a pair of shoes that I wore foe almost 10 years and still'd love these.

True reality TV

So yesterday afternoon I turn on the TV to watch the local news a few minutes before 5 pm (just for the record, the local ABC affiliate). They have broken into the scheduled program for "breaking news" - a Continental Express plane has blown it's 2 tires on the left side on take-off and is circling Bush Intercontinental Airport burning off fuel before it attempts to land. I flipped over to NBC and they are covering it too. CBS as well. So I'm thinking, "wow, this must be a big deal if all three stations are covering it." So if it's a big deal, CNN must be all over this. I turn over and....nope, not CNN. OK, Fox....nope, not them either. So I go back to ABC and they cover this thing for at least 1 hour and 45 minutes (with a break for the national news at 5:30, even though they break in during the commercials to give updates). And of course, no mention of it on the national news. While watching this "drama" unfold, I have several thoughts:

1) Why are the local stations even covering this? It's not a flight that was coming to or leaving Dallas, nor is it American Airlines. So why do they think it's such a big news story for DFW?

2) If all 3 local stations are covering it, why isn't CNN, Fox, etc? I'd be willing to bet if this were happening in NYC, LA, Chicago, they would be all over it. But since it's Houston, it's not worth the air time.

3) News anchors are very good when reading their script - get them in a situation like this, and you see how pathetic they are. Asking stupid questions. Asking the same ones over and over and over again. Saying things that make no sense. At one point, the anchor from the ABC affiliate was introducing a local Houston reporter on scene from "our sister affiliate station in Houston, KHOU". Now, I know I've been gone for a few years, but isn't KHOU the CBS station? KTRK is the ABC one. Nice...

4) So the 2 anchors and the 2 "airline experts" are discussing how the plane will land, what should happen, what they don't want to happen, all the while showing all the emergency vehicles getting ready. And just before the plane begins to land, I think to myself..."I wonder if the news people are thinking what I am....I hope 'something' happens. Something dramatic. Because if it all works out OK, we just invested 2+ plus hours into this and for what"? And lo and behold, the plane lands perfectly, hardly any sparks or anything. And I swear you could hear the disappointment in the anchors voices. After a couple of minutes, they went back to regular programming - Wheel of Fortune.

I was trying to decide if I should feel bad or not because I felt a small level of disappointment that it worked out OK. No sparks. No fire. No passengers sliding down out of the plane. Basically a waste of 2 hours. Then again, it was better than most anything on network TV these days. A "true" reality show, without the edited "most dramatic and emontional"....whatever. And that is the true lesson here - that if "true" reality show were on TV, no one would watch them because they would be as boring as hell. At least most of the time. Directors, editors, producers have to create reality to get anyone interested. I'm barely interested these days in true reality - that is why I pass on the TV versions of it.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Re: Apathy

Dude, kind of a bummer. Sounds like Savage in one of his moods. Having said that, I'm kind of feeling the same, but for different reasons. I know the Dims are out to lunch, so I'm not troubled by that. It's disappointing to see the Rethugs misfire on the gas prices and spending. I am hopeful we have turned the corner in Iraq, but I wish there were more positive indicators that is the case.

I have an inkling, only, of your frustration re employment and know it's tough. Doors close and open, but sometimes not as fast as we would wish. And with that sappy and completely unhelpful aphorism, I'm done.