Thursday, August 31, 2006

Dude, Where's My Congressman II

I don't have much today, so I figured it was time to look again at these amusing pictures of John Sweeney. How funny is that guy? It's almost enough to make you vote for him.

Dude, I's so fu**ed up.
Can you get me an internship in Washingtion, man? That would fu**ing rock.
Dude, did you see the t*ts on that bartender! Brrrrrrrrrrrrronski!
I'm voting for you man, but Kirsten Gillibrand is a total MILF...

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Tale of Two Cities

Steve Teeling: He skipped more than 30 markets to get to Albany.Listening to Fox 23 GM Jeff Whitson, you'd figure that scoring WPXI's Steve Teeling was a major coup. Maybe so, but Pittsburgh Post-Gazette TV writer Rob Owen has another take on things:
Given the timing (around the same time of year that Teeling arrived) and his destination (Pittsburgh is market No. 22 nationally while Albany is market No. 56), it appears the station opted not to renew his contract.
So, let's see. Teeling leaves his gig as chief meteorologist at 5, 6, and 11 in a top 25 market to come to Albany. Not exactly what I'd call a promotion.

Meanwhile, the only remaining cast member of Fox 23's 1996 news launch, Noah Francis, gets the shaft. What's this all about? My guess is that Whitson saw some research that he didn't like and decided that the station was weak in the weather department. Forget about all the years of promotion and the equity they've built with Francis. Out the door with you.

"I think we have a real opportunity with someone like Steve Teeling," Whitson told the Gazette. Why not? They loved him in Pittsburgh.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

We'll Cover Anything

You know I love you CapitalNews 9, but come on, give me a break:

Lame.
Were there happy students to talk to? No. Food to sample? Nope. Since school doesn't start until September 5, this was basically a look at a big empty room, albeit one with new furniture and fixtures. There's a word for that in this business: lame.

Endorsable You

I've been hearing these announcements on WAMC lately, featuring community leaders talking about why the station is important. I like that. What I don't like is hearing elected officials doing these endorsements. There are couple of reasons that this is mildly inappropriate. For one thing, the station's news department may find themselves covering these folks, who include the likes of Assemblyman Pat Manning, who is embroiled in a heated primary race. Among others pols I've heard recently are US Representative Maurice Hinchey, and Albany County DA David Soares. Not that their support of the station would influence that coverage, but why create the impression that it could?
Secondly, while the station is non-commercial, the reality is that they are competing with commercial stations for ad dollars. Hearing a politician plugging for a business -or something even remotely like a business- is out of bounds.

So yes, bring on the smart folks with good taste in radio, but let's leave the politicians out of it ---especially the ones who are in the middle of a campaign.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Idiots

I will not be the first or last to say this, but I hope the American media feel like idiots after devoting so much coverage to that twisted wacko John Mark Karr.

You didn't have to be a genius to look at this guy and figure out that there was something fishy about his story, but that didn't stop the frenzied and obsessive reporting about Karr's so-called confession. While cable news is the the prime offender here, especially MSNBC, nobody escapes the stink of this mess ---including those of you who dared to lead your local newscast with this or put it on the front page.

I'm not sure I've ever seen such a disgusting display, and that's saying a lot. Nice job, everybody!

To B or Not to B?

Firstly, I guess this pretty much confirms that Sue Nigra is out at WRGB:
Anchor/Reporter WRGB/CBS 6 in Albany, NY is looking for an Anchor/Reporter. Candidate will anchor our Noon & 5pm newscasts and will also report on a daily basis. The right candidate will have at least five years of experience. We're looking for a top-notch journalist and a great communicator with a desire to be part of the community.
Wow, they're looking for a top notch journalist? I guess CBS 6 is upgrading that position.

Meanwhile in radioland, maybe you heard that Chuck and Kelly have left B-95 for Regent's new station, WNYQ 105.7. The B-95 morning team consistently provided one of the market's most popular shows ---in the highly lucrative female demo to boot. Word is that the cheap pricks management at Albany Broadcasting lost the powerhouse morning duo over a money dispute. Despite the fact that Chuck and Kelly have earned them millions of dollars, the car dealers who run the group figure they can do without. Really? I figure that people like my wife can do without B-95 and will follow the morning show to its new digs.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Just Spell My Name Right

We've heard from several people that Sue Nigra is out at CBS 6. She had a couple of appealing attributes, but beyond that, no great loss. This is still not entirely confirmed.

The big news is that Fox 23 is bagging meteorologist Noah Francis for Steve Teeling from Pittsburgh's WPXI. Someone forwarded me a press release about this on Thursday, but I thought it was a joke because about half way in, Teeling's name is spelled Telling. Now, I'm a little sloppy, but to misspell your new hire's name in a press release you're sending out? That's amazingly stupid.

Mysteriously, no word about the Noah thing in Friday's TU.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Go Home Sick Day 2006

Feeling a lttle off? Some beer might help.Albany Eye hereby proclaims that today, Friday August 25, 2006 is Go Home Sick Day.

Pros don't just call in sick, they show up in the morning for a couple of hours, do some work and go home sick. People who call in sick are slackers. People who come in when they're feeling sick are heroes. At about 10:30 tell them that you can't stand it anymore and "go home." Get in the car, drive off, and find somewhere to change your clothes, because this year's destination is the track.

Here's the deal: Flat track flack Mark Bardack sent a release about today's Ninth Annual Battle of the Brews at Saratoga. $20 gets you in the beer tent, where you will sample a variety of tasty microbrews and vote on your favorites. You may need to taste some of them again and again to get the idea. Proceeds benefit the Adirondack Saratoga Chapter of the American Red Cross. Horse races? What horse races?

Just remember one thing: don't get caught. Staying home when you're not sick is one thing; lying about being sick and getting caught at the track is very, very bad. Especially if you're drunk.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Say Cheesecake

Here's what Silda Spitzer, Eliot's better half, had to say about our provincial cuisine in Cindy Adams' Post column yesterday:
One trip upstate we got lucky. We got good food.
Ouch! Well, Silda, here's some good news: we're getting our own Cheesecake Factory at Colonie Center. North of Manhattan, we're all about what Chamber flack John Spadafora's press release calls "upscale, full service casual dining," and starting tomorrow it gets even better. Our recommendation? Top off the Tons Of Fun Burger with a huge slab of Adam's Peanut Butter Cup Fudge Ripple Cheesecake. Instead of simply opening, the restaurant is holding an idiotic ribbon cutting today; I'd ordinarily say get over there for some free chow, except for this ominous line from the press release:
Scheduled to speak at the event are Feldman Mall Properties Owner Larry Feldman, Chamber President Lyn Taylor, Albany County Executive Michael Breslin, Colonie Town Supervisor Mary Brizzell, Village of Colonie Mayor Frank Leak, Schenectady Mayor Brian Stratton and The Cheesecake Factory President and COO Peter D'’Amelio.
God help us. I say less talk, and more cheesecake.

All The Pretty Horses

I've written about the TU's citizen bloggers, from the irrepressible Liz Funk to the disinterested Mr. Pete. Some of it's really good and some of it really ain't, but all of it carries this tiny disclaimer:
Note: The blog is written by a reader and is not edited by the Times Union. The blogger is solely responsible for content.
That said, I was recently checking out the blog they've given to Rev. Sam Trumbore, minister of the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany. He made this unusual observation about what he enjoys seeing at the Altamont Fair:
Chickens with polka-dots, cows you can pet and watch being milked, sheep, goats, muscled horses pulling thousands of pounds of block and miniature ponies with large sexual gear that will stagger the imagination.
What the...excuse me? I was with you right up until we got to the part about the horse penises, Rev. Trumbore. Maybe I'm just uptight and need to open my mind a little -and I'm sorry if I'm reading this the wrong way- but ponies with large sexual gear? In my book, that's a wee bit screwed up when writing about visiting the fair with your child.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

UAlbany Blues

Everybody's talking about how UAlbany dropped in Princeton Review's (registration required) list of party schools. That's interesting, but the big story is all the other top twenty lists that the university appeared on:
  • Long Lines and Red Tape (#13)
  • Professors Get Low Marks (#12)
  • Professors Make Themselves Scarce (#1)
  • Students Dissatisfied with Financial Aid (#18)
  • Lots of Hard Liquor (#20)
  • Is It Food? (#7)
  • Campus Is Tiny, Unsightly, or Both (#2)
  • Dorms Like Dungeons (#6)
  • Least Happy Students (#13)
So, what about all the positive lists UAlbany appears on? There aren't any.

These rankings are based on student surveys, so while they may not accurately reflect reality, they gauge what students say about their school. UAlbany students seem to be saying, "This place sucks." Regardless of what you think of Princeton Review's methodology, how would you feel about sending your kid there?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

And Sitting Next to the Loser...

Diane Lee, the songbird of Scranton.Yesterday we told you about FOX 23 morning anchor Mark Bakers's three failed bids for Congress, so today let's move over to his co-anchor, Diane Lee.

Best as we can tell, Ms. Lee has never run for Congress, although she did record a CD of Christmas songs, which you can buy for $10. Maybe one of you wacky morning radio guys can pick that up and play it on the air. That would be so crazy. Lee hails from Bronxville, which is in Westchester, of course, not the Bronx. She did time down at RNN, so if you're playing Six Degrees of Greg Floyd, there you have it.

I'll tell you one thing, Ms. Lee is getting out of WYOU just in time. In September, the station is launching a news format that will feature viewer email and live call-ins. News director Ron Krisulevicz is especially excited about the new news set. He tells the Scranton Times-Tribune:
The set is much, much bigger. It is very high- tech. It is very electronic. And, most importantly, it is very interactive. It'’s the largest set in the market. It is very bright.
Glad to read that something down there is very bright.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Three Time Loser

Mark Baker stumbled into broadcasting, but couldn't stumble into Congress.Fox 23 is gearing up to launch their morning news on September 18 with two new faces, Mark Baker, from WAOW Wausau, Wisconsin, and Diane Lee, coming by way of WYOU in Scranton. Baker's WAOW bio (now offline) contains this note: Mark left the news business in 1996 to pursue other interests.

It turns out that among those other interests was running for Congress. In 1996, 1998, and 2000, Baker ran on the Republican ticket against incumbent Lane Evans(D) for the seat in the 17th Congressional District of Illinois. He lost all three times.

Lane Evans, who has battled Parkinson's disease since 1995, is a former Marine and Vietnam vet with a law degree from Georgetown. Baker, according to his bio, "spent a few years in sales in the food and beverage industry before making a career change into broadcasting as a traffic reporter in Los Angeles."

I expect Baker will be a major asset on election night.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

SPAC-roiliac

Yesterday's big SPAC announcement? They're installing 4800 padded seats and 600 deluxe theatre style seats, presumably for big spenders. From the Business Review:
"Today's announcement underscores the fact that New York state's leadership recognizes and values SPAC's tremendous impact on the economy and quality of life in this region," Marcia White, SPAC's CEO, said Thursday.
They also recognize the tremendous impact of those seats on your ass.

I Can't Stand Katie Couric

Have I mentioned lately how sick I am of Katie Couric? NO? Well here's a list of things I'd rather do than watch Katie Couric on TV:
  • Have a colonoscopy
  • French kiss Gene Shalit
  • Eat out of the dumpster behind Bombers Burritos
  • Be stranded on a desert island with nothing but back issues of Metroland and a radio that tunes only to FLY 92
I predict that Couric's move to the helm of the CBS Evening News will go down in history as the worst move ever. The gravitas necessary to anchor that show will suck away everything that people found appealing about Couric in the morning, leaving behind a shriveled, empty husk ---like a grinning skull with perky hair, if you will.

Me? I'm a Brian Williams guy. He's cool as hell and NBC Nightly News hits the right mark all around. I think the local stations could learn a lot by studying the tone and presentation of his show, but that will never happen. Local news directors are hooked like junkies on the consultant driven crap that makes every local newscast in every single market look exactly the same. Good luck with that. Your audience is shrinking, so maybe it's time for something different.

    Wednesday, August 16, 2006

    Misguided

    You can't imagine how excited I was when I read in the Business Review that the Downtown Albany BID (Bar Improvement District) had "prepared a new visitor guide which is meant to replace two separate publications it had distributed previously." I thought, "Cool...I wish I could get one of those." No sooner did I make that wish than my copy of BID's Downtown Digest newsletter arrived ---and tucked inside was said brochure.

    I quickly leafed through all the crap in the front, like the message from Mayor Jennings and the page about the Albany Parking Authority to get at the good stuff: the listings of all that Albany fun. The good news is that there's lots to do. The bad news? The guide lists mostly event that have already occurred. Well, there's always next year.

    Tuesday, August 15, 2006

    Mailbag

    Judging from the mail, we're not ready to let go of Christopher Porco. First, this tidbit:
    You may or may not have read (and seen) a female Porco supporter on his verdict day.... she was one of the girls that was crying when he was found guilty. She marched into court with him and she even drove the infamous yellow jeep back to Albany later that night...she is a Capital News 9 Associate Producer.
    Was she stricken by grief or just overjoyed to be leaving Goshen? We may never know.

    Also, there were quite a number of pictures of Mr. Porco circulating around during the past few months. These shots feature a young man who looks very much like the recently convicted Porco ---it may or may not be him, but if it isn't, I know what this guy should do on Halloween.

    Monday, August 14, 2006

    If It Walks Like A Quack...

    We've all speculated about Christopher Porco's state of mind, and that's to be expected. What I don't expect is to hear professionals diagnose him as a psychopath without examining him ---or ever even meeting him. Here's the headline from yesterday's TU:
    Porco Labeled Psycho Killer
    In the page one above the fold story, two psychologists labeled Porco as deeply dysfunctional based on their observations in the media. Edelgard Wulfert, who heads the psych department at UAlbany called Porco a psychopath; Clinical social worker Bonnie Carlson described him as having an anti-social personality disorder. They may be right, but to pass judgment on someone based on what they've read in the newspaper and seen on TV seems a little irresponsible. Yes, these people are apt to draw complex conclusions about you based on simple observations, but to do so without even a single meeting with the subject or having access to the notes of another psychologist? That -excuse the expression- seems a little crazy.

    No one knows what's going on inside Christopher Porco's head; for psychologists to make sweeping generalizations based on how he acted during the trial is at best bogus, and at worst unethical.

    Porco Talk

    If you missed Paul Vandenburgh's special edition on the Porco verdict Friday afternoon, you missed some excellent radio. Yes you read that correctly.

    From 2-6pm, instead of Mike and the Mad Dog, WROW listeners heard Vandenburgh talk to numerous guests about the Porco trial, but where he hit a home run was with the prosecution team. DA David Soares gracefully took a back seat as Mike McDermott and David Rossi explained the prosecution's strategy and answered questions about the murder investigation and trial. It was fascinating and Vandenburgh did a great job. Even the callers asked intelligent questions. So, you may be asking, what happened? What happened was that Paul Vandenburgh was unshackled from the morning show's tightly scheduled format and allowed to have an actual conversation. It didn't hurt to have an interesting topic and smart guests.

    Back to business as usual on Monday morning.

    Friday, August 11, 2006

    Guilty

    Well, it's over. Some of you will breathe a sigh of relief, but many others will experience a slight letdown, the way people do after the holidays. That may sound sick, but it's true.

    Thanks to Time Warner's Capital Region On Demand channel 1009, you can still see the closing arguments from the Porco murder trial. No local broadcast station was able to run the summations in their entirety, and Judge Jeffrey Berry forbid the pool tape from being streamed on the internet, but you can watch the whole thing, unedited if you have digital cable.

    We've pointed out some of the weird stuff on channel 1009, like the video personals, for example ---but when it comes to making long form news content available, it's very handy. Oh...and if your interested in recording a video personal, here's the schedule of upcoming tapings. Loser.

    Picture This

    CBS 6 is just full of great ideas, aren't they? Like the I-Team; that was a great idea. And hiring Greg Floyd. Brilliant. Now they're asking viewers to get in on the newsgathering end of things by submitting their photos and video of breaking stories. They even have a special page where you can upload them ---but wait, it gets better. If they use your stuff on the air, they promise to send you "some cool CBS 6 gear." Cool CBS 6 gear. Is that an oxymoron, or what?

    Anywho, I think you should get over there and start sending them all sorts of random stuff, like pictures of your dog or vacation shots... Or something really gross (don't click this if you're sensitive, OK.)

    Thursday, August 10, 2006

    Odds n' Ends

    Bus-ted
    Number of CDTA buses now equipped with bike racks: All of them. Number of bikes seen on those racks: Zero. While I sincerely hope people start taking their bikes along on these front mounted bike racks, this isn't exactyy Portland, Oregon, is it? I predict that the number of people who use these racks will be infinitesimal, somewhere along the lines of those who have signed up for those idiotic CashKeys for the downtown parking meters.

    Inspiring Story of Triumphantly Overcoming Overwhelming Odds
    Speaking of bikes, an interesting story from ripped CapitalNews 9 health reporter Marcie Fraser on teaching disabled to ride bikes. I'm not sure I love this line, though:
    Billy Spillman, 24, hasn't gotten near a bike since his bike spill over 20 years ago.
    If you are the sort of cruel jerk who laughs at people who look and sound different than you -especially mentally disabled people- do not watch the video.

    Berkshire Home Companion
    You can see all your favorite WAMC folks Saturday night at the Mahaiwe Theatre in Great Barrington. The station is throwing a joint benefit show with the theatre featuring lots of music and appearances by on-air personalities, including Joe Donahue and Susan Arbetter. Among the musical guests are Lovin' Spoonful founder John Sebastian ---plus there will be a special performance by Alan Chartock's band, The Berkshire Ramblers.

    I wonder if internut ranter and Alan Chartock nemesis Glenn Heller will catch the show and write a review?

    If It Walks Like a Football...
    Attorney Terry Kindlon comes up with some crazy sh*t. Here's his Wednesday assessment of the state'e case against his client Chris Porco:
    The prosecution has taken a football and pasted feathers on it and called it a duck. It's not a duck. It's a football.

    Wednesday, August 09, 2006

    Things To Do

    Making License Plates

    The Department of Motor Vehicles has a really cool spot on their web site where they allow you not only to check if a vanity plate is available, but to generate a preview of what your plate would look like. Here's an example:


    Yes that's up for grabs ---but the site is set up to stop you from looking up anything naughty, like ASSMAN, the plate Kramer ended up with in that classic Seinfeld episode:

    Kramer: Assman? Oh, no, these don't belong to me. I'm
    not the Assman. I think there's been a mistake.
    Clerk: What's your name again?
    Kramer: Cosmo Kramer.
    Clerk: Cosmo Kramer. You are the Assman.
    Kramer: No! I'm not the Assman.
    Clerk: Well, as far as the state of New York is concerned, you are.

    Tuesday, August 08, 2006

    Pimp My Website

    I'm gonna be your Mac Daddy, baby.Can you believe that Jazzo the Pimp's MySpace page is still up?

    John "Jazzo" Savage is the guy who lured Rachel Bruno away to New York City, where police found her wandering around near Times Square last week. It's good to see that pimpin' has gone high tech, but I find Jazzo's page really hard to read, what with the busy backgound and poorly chosen font color.

    While the pimp lifestyle may be one of outlandish hats, fur coats, and flashy cars, to communicate effectively on the web one must simpify. Get rid of the money background and drop the transparency on the pictures. Instead, expand your pallette to inlude pimpy colors and emphasize the text that best tells your story. With a little work, you can show the world that you are indeed the Mac Daddy, not just on the street, but on the internet.

    Empty Palace

    Who books Albany's Palace Theatre, anyway? Do they keep a monkey in the office who throws darts at a list of events? Nick Lachey? The Pink Floyd Experience ("The next best thing to a real Pink Floyd concert")? When the most interesting things coming up are Queensryche and The Doodlebops (not together), I must ask, WTF?

    Granted, David Sedaris(Oct. 7) is cool, but who wants to see him at The Palace. While it's a good place for a band, it's too big for something intimate, like someone sitting on stage reading. That's a show for The Egg. Anyway, they have the opportunity to fill that great old theatre with great music ---and they are royally blowing it.

    Monday, August 07, 2006

    Flavor of the Week

    A couple of years ago Stewart's honored everybody's favorite wonder gelding with Funny Cide Pride, a delicious blend of "Butter Pecan ice cream with roasted pecans, a butter pecan fudge swirl, and butter pecan fudge pieces." This year the ubiquitous convenience store is tipping its hat to Jerry Bailey with Choco Jocko Bailey, an honorary ice cream made with dark chocolate and black sweet cherries.

    This is interesting to me, because it's well known that one of the ways jockeys make weight is by flipping. Flipping is a polite way of saying that they force themselves to vomit. Since I'm always trying to be helpful, I'd like to offer Stewart's this catchy line to use in their advertising:
    Choco Jocko Bailey: It tastes just as good coming up as it does going down.
    Well, maybe that needs a little work. Also: Here's to Mark Bardack for working the word eponymous into the NYRA press release about the new flavor. For you TV folk, that's not just an REM album; an eponym is a name or word derived from the name of a person.

    Friday, August 04, 2006

    Boned

    We hear that JR Gach is out at The Bone. No details about what went down, but morning radio around here just got suckier.

    Sanders Snaps Spitz Pics

    Judy Sanders said goodbye to the grind at CBS 6 to "pursue other interests" as they say ---including her photography. One of Sanders photos popped up on the TU's Capitol Confidential blog yesterday. Compared to what you'll find on her web site, the ho-hum snap of Eliot Spitzer at an Albany event doesn't really represent Sanders talents. On her about me page, Sanders explains her art as follows:
    I use a camera like a paintbrush to bring those moments to life with the full play of light and emotion, expressiveness and spontanaiety.
    I'm not trying to be an idiot, but I wouldn't be myself if I didn't point that spontaneity is misspelled. What the heck; I know better than anyone that nothing kills spontanaiety like proof reading.

    TGIF

    Watts That You Say?
    Everybody's looking for ways to save electricity this week. Not everything they're coming up with is a good idea. For example, in a press release from UAlbany, we learned that the institution has "turned off bathroom and roof exhausts and other extraneous fans." Great. The bathroom will not only be hot, it will stink. Maybe they can unleash some odor eating nanobots to scour the poop smell out of the air.

    Sanctimoniously Yours
    High-minded alt-weekly Metroland would never stoop to publishing a story about the Porco murder trial. In their What A Week section, they write:
    From a TU story that polled the opinions of Chris Porco's fellow diners at Delmar's Four Corner's Luncheonette to the exploitive overuse of Joan Porco's image, nothing was too tasteless if it satiated the Porco addiction.
    Tasteless? This from the folks who publish two and a half pages of ads for escort services and strip clubs.

    Bummer
    Catskill Game Farm, one of the last vestiges of Greene County's heyday as a vacation mecca, is slated to shut the doors and empty the cages in October. Recent trips have taken some of the shine off my memories of the place, which stretch back four decades, but I suspect I'll be back just one more time to feed the baby sheep.

    Double Feature From Hell
    Through last night at Hathaway's Drive-In in North Hoosick, Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth was playing with You, Me and Dupree. How's that for catering to both the Vermonters and the folks in Rensselaer County? Also: A reader informs us that Hathaway's features home made french fries, so put them your summer hit list.

    Thursday, August 03, 2006

    Inside Baseball

    I like that WNYT lets satellite engineer Paul Spadafora file to their Porco blog. His posts may not be vital to those craving details about what's happening at the trial, but for media geeks, it's great stuff. Some samples:
    The food around here is great. And good food really makes a difference when your mind starts to get shaky. If you're ever in town you gotta stop at Steve's Deli over by the monument, or Howell's Deli Cafe by the post office. Between all of us, we've gone through everything on the menus and it's all good.

    One reporter here said this morning that it's been like a summer camp for adults here. She's right. Others (myself included) have dreams about being here. That sort of thing is normal I like to think.
    And this is funny:
    As per a request from the newsroom in my next entry I will attempt to explain what exactly I do here.

    Open and Shut Nut Case

    Rachel Bruno: She has that hungry look in her eye.Oh! Did I say that out loud? I'm sorry, I didn't mean to suggest that Rachel Bruno is a nut. Let's all say a prayer of thanks now that police have found Ms. Bruno and returned her to the Capital Region ---but excuse me if I think this has been the lamest, most annoying story of the summer. That Senate Majority Leader Bruno used his clout to advance this non-item is revolting, especially since so many people who are actually missing receive so little attention.

    Hey, I can't help it if she's a little touched...In a news conference yesterday, Senator Joe said that his 5 foot 10, 110 pound granddaughter has been undergoing treatment for anorexia for the past five or six years. Jeez, grandad, is nothing private any more? What Bruno didn't mention is that the young lady ran off with a man suspected of being a pimp. Can't Joe get this girl a State job?

    I'd say it's time for all our readers to do something nice to make Ms. Bruno feel better. Here's an idea: send her a box of delicious Drake's Cakes care of the Senator's office. The address is:
    Senator Joseph L. Bruno
    Room 909 Legislative Office Building
    Albany, NY 12247
    I've always had a weak spot for the Funny Bones, myself.

    Where In the World Isn't Paul Vandenburgh?

    You know I enjoy busting on WROW's Paul Vandenburgh, but I assure you, it's all in fun. I can't help it if he's funny... like earlier in the week when we heard him misidentifying Miami's Little Havana neighborhood, saying "Little Cuba? Is that what they call it? Or Mini Havana?." Hilarious.

    But this is serious. It's really puzzling why Vandenburgh hasn't bothered to take his show -even for one day- down to Goshen to cover the Porco murder trial. The morning program frequently goes on the road to all sorts of irrelevant locations which are mostly part of a deal with some advertiser, so why not spend the morning outside the courthouse, covering the biggest local story of the year? On top of that, he could go find himself a seat in the courtroom for the rest of the day so he could offer his listeners a first hand perspective. But, whatever... I suppose what we see here is that there's a big difference between somebody who works to make his show interesting and someone who puts in the minimum posssible effort and preparation.

    The Vandenburgh show has recently had some good numbers in the wake of Howard Stern's departure, but as they say, even a dead cat bounces once.

    Wednesday, August 02, 2006

    Hi-Ho, Reporter-inos!

    "Hi, Guys!" That's how NewsChannel 13's Abigail Bleck was greeted when she and several other reporters ran into Chris Porco last night at a local restaurant. Several of the rabid commentators at the station's Porco blog found this really distasteful:
    This kid is a sick ticket and he obviously finds his new found fame exciting. Saying "hi guys" to the reporters is so obnoxious and seems like he thinks he's a movie star or something waving to paparazzi.

    Of course he'd say "Hi", his ego is beyond belief.

    Since when is seeing the defendant at dinner breaking news? Please report the information about the trial to us and stop putting a personal spin on it!!
    Wow...And people tell me to get a life!

    All the Sweaty Horses

    Hello, I'm Charlie Hayward.A note to our pals at NYRA:

    That big picture of CEO Charlie Hayward on the website, next to the announcement that you're cancelling racing today, looks really, really stupid. Mabye instead you might put up a picture of a frothy horse or someone who works back in the stables. Or how about one of those usherette girls, looking sad because racing is off. We don't care what Charlie Hayward looks like, OK?

    The upside of today's Saratoga cancellation? It's a welcome new angle on yesterday's glut of overbaked it's really hot outside stories. Today: Horses find it hot, too.

    Movies Under the Stars

    If you're really fussy about your movie viewing, skip the drive-in. On the other hand, if you want a taste of the ultimate summer experience, you are in luck my friend. In a world where most drive-ins have been wiped off the map, the Capital Region is outdoor movie heaven. You can hit any number of drive-ins within a half hour or so of State and Pearl, so stop complaining about the heat and drag your sorry butt outside to see a movie.

    In case you haven't been there in a while, nobody sits in the car anymore ---it's all lawn chairs and coolers and backward parked mini-vans, where kids in pajamas lie in the back watching the movie under the open hatchback. Bring bug spray or risk being eaten alive by the mosquitos. Closest to Albany would be Glenmont's Jericho Drive-In, which sports the world's stinkiest bathrooms; the best area drive-in I've been to is the Hollywood in Averill Park, which is worth the trip acrsoss the river. It's well run, the projector is nice and bright, and the rest rooms don't reek like the gates of hell.

    Not to sound like a criminal, but for old times sake, why not sneak at least one person in with you? I know it's summer, but how hot could the trunk of your car get at night?

    Tuesday, August 01, 2006

    When Pigs Fly

    Please don't let them kll me.Saratoga had the fiberglas horse statues and Bennington the moose. Guilderland? Pigs.

    In case you're not familiar with these pride building public art projects, it works like this: A local business or institution sponsors (buys) one of these statues and an artist does it up in a suitably artistic manner, as artists are want to do. Then kids and other like-minded individuals drive around town and look at them. Or steal them ---and you just knew that this Guilderland pig thing would turn ugly.

    In July Bruce Pigsteen was stolen and later returned ---and now another of the Guilderland Chamber's pigs has gone missing. This time, the pignappers employed brutal measures in their abduction of Liberty (pictured above), as detailed in this press release from chamber director Jane Schramm:
    The thieves, who are suspected to be a group of teenagers, sawed the pig off at the feet to set it free. The feet of the pig are still in the cement and he has disappeared without a trace.
    Sure, blame the teenagers. I hope that they cut off the head and throw it on Jane Schramm's lawn.

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Liberty was returned late Monday. According to a Times Union story, Jane Schramm "called the thieves mean-spirited and 'idiots.'"