The Numbers Are In

Nielen ratings are in for last night’s debate

The Nielsen ratings are in for last night’s debate. I’m confused by the list of stations aggregated which doesn’t include Fox News and MSNBC, both of which would add significantly to the final total.

If these overnight numbers stand, the ratings are well below other recent debates.

OK–I’m a little surprised. I thought for sure there would be a lot more interest considering all the buzz.

DMA Rank Market RTG Rank RTG SHR (000) 21 St. Louis 1 52.1 82.0 649 48 Memphis 2 49.5 67.0 330 26 Baltimore 3 47.1 66.0 515 9 Washington, DC (Hagrstwn) 4 44.6 68.0 1030 29 Nashville 5 44.0 66.0 424 46 Greensboro-H.Point-W.Salem 6 42.2 61.0 285 32 Columbus, OH 7 41.5 63.0 377 43 Norfolk-Portsmth-Newpt Nws 8 41.4 59.0 298 58 Richmond-Petersburg 9 40.3 55.0 211 18 Denver 10 39.7 65.0 586 24 Charlotte 11 39.3 54.0 426 7 Boston (Manchester) 12 39.3 58.0 944 22 Portland, OR 13 39.0 74.0 450 31 Kansas City 14 37.7 61.0 350 16 Miami-Ft. Lauderdale 15 37.2 52.0 573 38 West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce 16 36.4 55.0 282 27 Raleigh-Durham (Fayetvlle) 17 36.2 54.0 377 51 Buffalo 18 36.1 54.0 230 25 Indianapolis 19 35.3 59.0 379 53 New Orleans 20 34.8 48 209 11 Detroit 21 34.3 55.0 661 59 Knoxville 22 34.3 51.0 185 61 Tulsa 23 34.1 55.0 178 45 Oklahoma City 24 34.0 55.0 231 40 Birmingham (Ann and Tusc) 25 33.5 48.0 245 52 Providence-New Bedford 26 33.5 50.0 211 15 Minneapolis-St. Paul 27 33.4 59.0 569 19 Orlando-Daytona Bch-Melbrn 28 33.4 52.0 479 62 Ft. Myers-Naples 29 33.3 51.0 164 28 San Diego 30 33.0 59.0 349 50 Louisville 31 33.0 48.0 218 17 Cleveland-Akron (Canton) 32 32.9 55.0 505 37 San Antonio 33 32.9 48.0 261 20 Sacramnto-Stkton-Modesto 34 32.7 55.0 454 4 Philadelphia 35 32.1 51.0 941 44 Albuquerque-Santa Fe 36 32.1 50.0 218 23 Pittsburgh 37 32.1 51.0 371 6 San Francisco-Oak-San Jose 38 32.0 62.0 779 13 Tampa-St. Pete (Sarasota) 39 31.7 49.0 569 49 Austin 40 31.6 52.0 201 36 Greenvll-Spart-Ashevll-And 41 31.5 46.0 265 64 Dayton 42 31.4 50.0 161 1 New York 43 31.3 48.0 2317 8 Atlanta 44 30.9 52.0 714 3 Chicago 45 30.7 51.0 1067 14 Seattle-Tacoma 46 30.3 58.0 541 30 Hartford & New Haven 47 30.2 45.0 306 47 Jacksonville 48 30.0 47.0 196 33 Salt Lake City 49 29.9 63.0 261 35 Milwaukee 50 29.2 49.0 262 34 Cincinnati 51 28.3 49.0 256 42 Las Vegas 52 27.9 46.0 196 5 Dallas-Ft. Worth 53 27.7 46.0 671 2 Los Angeles 54 26.4 50.0 1484 12 Phoenix (Prescott) 55 24.8 47.0 448 10 Houston* 56 0.0 0.0 0 Weighted Avg. of 55 markets* 33.2

Our Last Vegas Show

This is the part of the trip I like the least… getting ready to leave! We’re not done vacationing, but we still have to make sure the loose ends are tied. Helaine’s in charge of all this and I marvel at her efficiency and organizational skills.

Dinner tonight was the Grand Wok, a very nice Chinese restaurant here in the MGM Grand. We shared two appetizers. Helaine ordered a shrimp lo mein dish while I had beef tenderloin, asparagus and a black pepper sauce.

Mine was marked spicy on the menu, but it was more flavorful than hot. All in all we were very pleased with our dinner. As in nearly always the case in Vegas, the service was attentive and friendly.

We headed across Las Vegas Boulevard to the New York New York Hotel. We had tickets for a show tonight and this one was an interesting choice. Actually, it was a difficult choice – not a slam dunk by any means.

We saw Roseanne Barr.

I remember watching Roseanne the first time she appeared with Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show. She was truly a breakout star from that very first moment on-camera. A Jewish housewife from Salt Lake City, her performance was totally unexpected – words and actions!

Some people can take success, others cannot. Roseanne was in the second category.

After burning white hot, he career careened. There were work related difficulties, canceled shows, bad marriages and that incident with the National Anthem. It was as if she was working hard at being a failure.

We had heard rumors the original Roseanne was back. That’s why we bought tickets to see her in the Cabaret Theater, a small (450 seat) venue.

Opening was Jackie Beat, a female impersonator/comic. It was, to say the least, a little strange. Though engaging, Jackie was doing (mostly) predictable shtick. Hey – it’s an opening act.

Roseanne came on and she quickly won over the house. She’s a grandmother now. She a little more realistic and fatalistic in choosing her subjects. Still, the observations of life that made her domestic goddess persona so enjoyable came through.

It was a reasonably tight set by an (obviously) professional comedienne. Both Helaine and I laughed a lot. I hope Roseanne can maintain.

We returned to the MGM and I headed directly to the poker tables. I needed a little more before going.

I played astoundingly tight. For 45 minutes, I played one hand! Considering a ‘blinds’ of $3 per round, I was down $15 before I really began to play.

I started to build a nice stack until getting clobbered in a big hand. I mean really clobbered. I reached in my wallet and bought more chips.

One the next hand… the very next hand… another monster pot. Again, I went all in. This time it went differently. I was within $25 of my starting point.

It never happens like that… except when it does! I continued to play, finishing the night nicely up.

I’ll probably play a little tomorrow before leaving, but right now I’m up. It’s not a lot, but I’m not down! I lost all the tournaments I entered, but won nearly all my cash sessions. That was the difference.

I had a great time and really can see a difference in my no limit cash game play. I was cautiously aggressive. When I had a hand, I did my best to keep ‘limpers’ out. I never got ‘married’ to my cards… OK, seldom did I get married to my cards.

There surely was some luck in my winning. Over time, luck evens out. I hope my good play stays.

JetBlue’s Problems

jetBlue is in the midst of a meltdown. They’ve scrubbed a boatload of flights tomorrow, the fifth consecutive day of cancellations following a Northeast ice storm. Passengers are up in arms.

There was a call for congressional hearings after a recent debacle by American Airlines in Austin, TX. Whether hearings accomplish anything or not, I see them as certain now.

I don’t know much about the airline business, but I can tell you why jetBlue is having the problems they’re having. To a large extent, it’s because there is no jetBlue!

I look upon jetBlue as a virtual company. It doesn’t own its planes. It doesn’t do most of its maintenance (much of which is performed in El Salvador). Its telephone reservation system is based in Salt Lake City and mostly staffed by women working from home.

Is jetBlue the top priority of any of their contractors?

jetBlue is perfectly staffed… as long as nothing goes wrong. In real life, things go wrong.

Unfortunately, what has happened to jetBlue will happen in more and more places with more and more companies. Since passengers won’t be locked in place for ten or twelve hours we won’t hear as much about them.

Companies are cutting away as much cost as they can and that certainly extends to any protection against unusual failure. There is no profit in standby contingencies.

You see this all the time in stores, with fewer staff members or less competent staff. Here’s what Floyd Norris of the Times said in his blog about the former chairman of Home Depot, Bob Nardelli.

He was a man who thought he was worth unlimited amounts, and yet messed up the company by a desire to slash compensation expenses. He pushed out experienced store workers, figuring part-timers were cheaper, and did not realize in time that those knowledgeable workers were critical to the willingness of amateurs to shop there&#185

In some ways, we bring this on ourselves. We’re willing to shop entirely on price. I’m guilty myself, even though it’s often bad in the long run.

Years ago, when most stores were closed on Sunday’s, my father used to say, “If you don’t want to work Sunday, don’t shop Sunday.” The same applies today. If you don’t want to suffer bad service, don’t shop where service is not a priority.

Easier said than done, I’m sure.

&#185 – When he was drummed out, Nardelli received a king’s ransom in severance. Norris added, “Perhaps Lowe

Curling – More Than Shuffleboard On Ice

Before I left home, and now that I’m at work, I have been watching the one Olympic sport I really enjoy – Curling!

I’m not some curling “Gord come lately!” Helaine and I used to watch curling on Canadian TV when we lived in Buffalo.

The Canadians used to re-brand and then run ABC’s Wide World of Sports. When swimming or other warm weather sports ran, the Canadians would cover them with curling, clips from the Calgary Stampede or other suitable north-of-the-border fare.

It is such a simple game to understand. At first glance it looks like shuffleboard on ice… except this isn’t smooth ice… and then you add in the guys with brooms. It’s crazy.

There’s lots of strategy and tension, no doubt. But, why lie? I like curling because I think I could probably play it. There are few… no, there are no other Olympic sports I ‘d even attempt.

Imagine me on the luge! Imagine me in one of those form fitting outfits the downhill racers wear! imagine me on skis with a rifle! You get the idea.

As I’m writing this, Fred Rogan (who normally anchors sports at KNBC in Los Angeles – a curling hotbed – not) is reading viewer emails. A genuine Canadian is answering them.

I am transfixed!

I just called Helaine. Maybe we could join a co-ed curling league?

Don Chevrier, a Canadian sportscaster who is working with Rogan, has just commented on the curling heat, building in the United States. He was surprised in Salt Lake City, and it’s continuing in Torino.

No matter how much I kid around, I seriously enjoy watching curling. I can’t say that about any other Olympic sport.

Holy cow! What’s wrong with me?