Saturday, May 01, 2004

Couldn't Have Made This Up

You know your career is not going well when you get locked in the bathroom between innings of a minor league game.

May Day, May Day (for Network TV)

May is sweeps month for radio and TV. I mention this because my wife asked me why the local radio station (KOOL) was giving away $250,000. It's to get people to listen. The same goes for TV. Maybe giving away money would help TV. Network TV is on life support, but we'll leave that topic alone for now. The point is that the networks have one last shot to grab the attention of viewers during this month of ratings. It's when TV cliffhangers (I'll date myself, but "Who Shot J.R." is an example) happen.

For the better part of seven years, I was a newspaper TV critic at a suburban newspaper in Seattle. I reviewed shows, wrote about trends and met some great stars. Ones I loved? Richard Crenna, Patty Duke, Mark Harmon, Charles Haid (Renko from Hill Street Blues) Larry King (he wasn't a TV star then), Joe Piscopo. Can't think of ones I hated, but without question Chuck Barris was the most memorable. One of the perks was that I owned the first VCR on the market--some $1,200 RCA job. I recorded every SCTV episode and played them till the tapes disintegrated. Luckily, the DVDs of SCTV come out in June.

So to the point of the blog--shows I love(d): Hill Street Blues, Seinfeld, Lucky (shame on FX for canceling), SCTV, All in the Family, the first year of Happy Days (on film, not video), The Rockford Files, West Wing, Good Eats.... Shows I hate? Too many to mention. The thing that has always been puzzling to those who know I was a TV critic is the fact that I have never seen a single episode of either Star Trek or Lucy (in any of her incarnations). I hate Lucy.

So, enjoy sweeps while it lasts. In the future, you will watch what you want when you want.

Truth in Advertising

Yes, there are things I hate. I hate the piece of crap who stalked my wife before we were married. Enough said. I hate the bathrooms in South America (the only thing I hate about South America). I hate the United Airlines flight attendant who made me put my computer bag in the cargo hold on a short flight (that was three hours delayed) from D.C. to New York. I had been traveling all day from Europe and was beyond wasted. The woman had the heart of an axe murderer (or perhaps a piece of crap stalker). I hate some other things... We can talk about them some other time.

Opening Week

On the topic of baseball, I had the rare experience of two opening days in one week. Thursday, April 8, I was at opening day at Petco Park. Ts, a great guy who used to work for me at a big tech company, was with me at big game. My wife was supposed to be on jury duty, so she was unwilling to commit in case she was on the trial of the century. Anyway, we were at the game three hours early to see the pageantry. It was very San Diego-like (the pageantry, that is)--laid back but technologically sparkling. Bonds was robbed of a home run by Jay Payton (who is something like a 4 outfielder in Strat O Matic terms). There are lots of bathrooms at Petco Park which is only relevant as seen in the second part of this posting.

Game two was the following Monday: opening day at Wrigley Field. My buddy Mike and I were guests of the team owner (long story) and we sat three rows from the Cubs bullpen. Bill Murray warmed up 45 minutes before the game. He was cordial and gracious, flinging balls into the seats and signing tons of autographs. Greg Maddox, the starting pitcher for the Cubs, warmed up after Murray. I turned to Mike and commented that Maddox "had nothing." After all, it was 35 degrees and he barely could feel his hands. Maddox lasted a few innings. He had nothing.

Right--the bathrooms. First, I can't understand how the fans drank so much beer when it was so cold. Second, there are something like two bathrooms in the entire lower level of Wrigley. I kid you not. It's why I hate old stadiums. The only place worse than the venerable Wrigley is Fenway Park.

Out of the Box

This blog is musings about the things I love most: my family, sports, music, TV, food and travel. A few thoughts here and there about the things I hate. There aren’t many

As a technology analyst for a large firm, I will avoid issues of intellectual property by writing about things outside the realm of digital media. I at least will try.
This leads me to why I am writing this blog: for one thing, I was discussing with my wife the topic of the top things in life that make me happy. I also was mentioning my newly found goal in life: to visit each and every new baseball stadium the year it opens. That roster for 2004 includes San Diego’s Petco Park, Citizen Bank Park in Philadelphia as well as two new AA stadiums, one in Alabama and one in New Hampshire. I was at opening day at Petco Park and have tickets to CBP in July. The others…. not sure.

This leads me to wonder, why does Petco Park’s vista not face the water? It is one of the joyous things about SBC Park (nee Pac Bell). Even if the game stinks, the view is awesome.

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