a Glimpse At The Future – Prom Queen

There are so many sites I see and say, “Yeah, that’s it.” Here’s one! Here’s a site with the potential to undercut television.

Obviously, I’m out of the target demo. You probably are too. Judge it for what it is.

* Episodes are incredibly short (even “TBS” has a better commercial/content ratio)

* Cast is astoundingly inexpensive. No names. No seasoning.

* Look at the crew list. This is done with a tiny fraction of a TV budget

Is anyone watching? I don’t know. The threshold for profitability is low. It doesn’t need the number of viewers a ‘real’ TV show gets.

Earlier this ‘conventional’ TV season, I wrote about big budget shows like Studio 60 and how we wouldn’t be seeing them anymore. This is why.

Like it or hate it. This type of production is the future.

I’m curious if my daughter’s seen this? Has she watched more than once?

In Costume – Puppies Are Perfect

It would be cruel and unusual punishment to dress your child as a character for every holiday. Not so for a pup!

Of course, this is only a still, so we don’t know if Tallulah&#185 is doing her best to pull the ears off. I can only judge by Ivy who, though normally sedentary, made her disdain for costumes well known by extreme paw action.

That never stopped us from dressing her again on the next holiday!

The bottom line is, dogs dressed up are cute. Get over it.

&#185 – Tallulah is the shorter half of the Tracey Doherty family. Tracey ‘rescued‘ Tallulah, an act for which Tallulah will be forever grateful.

It’s The Emmys

It’s been a few years since I entered the Emmys. It’s a very weird competition. It’s totally arbitrary. Winning is totally without rhyme or reason. Judges get few guidelines.

Helaine thinks the whole process is ridiculous. She very well may be right.

One year I won. The next year I wasn’t nominated. Honest. Go figure.

I am lucky enough to have seven sitting in a case in my family room. From a practical standpoint, seven is the same as ten or three.

Actually, seven is better than ten. Having ten would make it look too easy.

All of this is the setup for what will transpire Sunday.

Gil Simmons, at my station, has volunteered to coordinate Emmy judging for the San Francisco/Northern California region. I volunteered the location, my house.

It looks like we’ll have six or seven of us watching the DVDs. The more the merrier. I sent a few more emails tonight, trying my best to guilt the last stragglers into coming.

For some of the younger guys&#185, this will be a revealing process. Seeing how the Emmys are judged is helpful when you’re deciding what to submit the next year.

It will be interesting to see how they treat the weather in an area where weather usually isn’t as important. It will also be interesting to ‘take notes’ on how their weather equipment is being used. We mostly use the same, or similar, tools. Sometimes you catch a glimpse of a technique or twist you hadn’t thought of.

Last time I was a judge there were moments when I wondered, “What were they thinking when they sent in this tape?” Hopefully, that won’t be the case again.

&#185 – It has been pointed out, all the weather people in this market are men… white men. That’s becoming more and more unusual.

Move Over O.J.

Helaine will be the first to tell you – My all time favorite TV show was the O.J. Simpson trial! I couldn’t get enough.

What a cast. There was Johnny Cochran, Marcia Clark, Judge Ito… I’m sure you know them all.

The civil trial with the Goldman and Brown families wasn’t televised. Darn! I felt cheated.

Now it looks like there will be a new series of trials for me to follow… and it’s a major surprise because I stumbled upon “Act 1” as I got out of the shower and turned the TV on.

It’s just the first in a series of Anna Nicole Smith related court appearances. Be still my heart.

Today, live from Florida, the hearing attempted to decide Anna Nicole’s final resting place. Let the games begin. These people will agree on nothing.

There was the boyfriend/attorney/possible father… the unfortunately named, Howard K. Stern. Also appearing was Anna Nicole’s estranged mother, Virgie Arthur. There were attorneys of every shape and size. And, there was the judge, The Honorable Larry Seidlin.

Circuit Judge Seidlin is straight out of central casting. He is tan with an even tanner (is that a word?) bald head. Where Lance Ito was reserved and proper, Larry Seidlin is auditioning for his own courtroom show!

I don’t mean to make light of Anna Nicole’s death. However, her life was such a circus, it seems unlikely anything will be agreed to by all parties. That means guaranteed good TV watching for me.

Still to come, custody of the daughter and possible control of the fortune… if there is a fortune. That’s to be decided too.

This is the mother’s milk of the cable news networks daytime programming. Don’t look for a whole lot of restraint on their part. The participants… they don’t even know what restraint means!

Abe Lincoln – Wired

I often listen to NPR while taking my shower. Today, on Talk of the Nation, Neil Conan spoke with Tom Wheeler who had an op-ed piece in this morning’s Washington Post and who also wrote the book, “Mr. Lincoln’s T-Mails: The Untold Story of How Abraham Lincoln Used the Telegraph to Win the Civil War.”

(I)nsight into our greatest president is possible through the nearly 1,000 messages he sent via the new telegraph technology. These 19th-century versions of e-mail messages preserve his spur-of-the-moment thoughts and are the closest we will come to a transcript of a conversation with Abraham Lincoln. In their unstructured form, Lincoln comes alive.

Are you kidding? Lincoln was our first president to communicate electronically. I guess he really was the Great Communicator.

This made Abraham Lincoln our first president with instant access to information. Imagine how that benefited him as he formulated our political and military strategy during the Civil War?

You owe it to yourself to read the op-ed column.

Oh, and Happy Birthday Abe.

Continue reading “Abe Lincoln – Wired”

Into New York For Friday Night

I picked up the phone and the first words were, “When’s this rain gonna stop?” Actually, there was another word between this and rain, but you get the point.

A friend of mine, from California, was in New York City. It was a quick trip to visit his dad and have a business meeting. I said I’d see him after dinner.

I left Connecticut around 8:30 and headed toward the Turnpike. Though it had been raining earlier, skies had become partly cloudy. The 100 mile trip to the city was a breeze.

I drove down the FDR Drive with the East River and Roosevelt Island on my left. The buildings of Manhattan were blocked on my right, but it didn’t matter – it’s a beautiful ride on an awful road.

I called my mom on the cellphone. More than anyone, I share my love of Manhattan with her. Given her druthers, that’s where she’d be living. Me too.

My friend’s dad’s apartment is right off the FDR. I got off the exit and turned down into the basement garage, less than 100 feet away.

This is a very expensive building on one of New York’s best known streets. In fact, this neighborhood is best known by the street’s name.

As I waited, the parking attendant pulled a huge Bentley from its space. A diminutive woman and her equally small husband walked toward the car. She looked familiar.

I stared at her and she looked back. Then it hit me – Judge Judy.

I don’t have something pithy to say to everyone I meet, but this was Judge Judy. I told her I followed her on-the-air every day and then explained how I was on the news in Connecticut.

My camera was hanging on my neck, so I asked for a photo. She was very gracious. I suppose she isn’t often asked for a photo in the garage of her apartment building!

I walked out of the garage and around the block to the building’s main entrance. Residents have a key card. I was just visiting.

A doorman stood guard in front of a bank of security monitors. After a quick call to clear me, I was in.

Years ago this was a ‘full service’ building. It is probably the last place I rode an elevator that had an elevator operator (even though it was a self service elevator). Those days are gone. Even the well to do have to cut back a little.

My friend and I decided to go for coffee. That’s one of the nice things about Manhattan. You want coffee – it’s a short walk away.

In fact everything in Manhattan is close by and it’s very walkable. I’ve joked in the past, New York is the only city in America with 24 hour room service.

It’s true! You can easily get Chinese food delivered at 3:00 AM.

The coffee, in a small Italian place under the shadow of the 59th Street Bridge, was fine. The company was better.

Since I’m talking about the building, I’ll leave his name out to preserve a little privacy. This is someone I’ve known for nearly 40 years. We have been through good and bad times together.

We’re both happy with life right now – in a good place. Professionally, he’s doing very well, and I couldn’t be more pleased.

We walked back up First Avenue, past a construction site with New York City steam blasting from a subturranean vent. Though already midnight, the city was teaming with activity.

My assessment of New York is probably overly romanticized. My friend, staying in a Manhattan apartment, said he hated it – would be glad to never leave his California home. I shrugged.

I got back to Connecticut a few minutes before 2:00 AM. I suppose that’s a lot of trip to pack into one short evening. I’m glad I did.