Rome, NY Sucks

But At Least We're Not Utica

Sunday, December 31, 2017

In 2018

Thank you, President Trump. Not for the meager legislation passed or rescinding Executive Orders. Anyone could do that. However, you helped make a prediction come true. One Senator resigned and others have announced they will not run for reelection. Plus, Democrats tried and failed to start Impeachment hearings.

With that minor victory in mind, I present

Predictions for 2018

  1. A major compromise is reached on the border wall when record cold in the East and fires raging in the West prompts the creation of a "heat pipe" along a border wall to transfer dry, hot air from California and cold, wet air from New York to each other.
  2. While the physics of the heat pipe are surprisingly sound, people still leave NY and CA because the government and many of the people there still suck.
  3. Due to fears of more sexual harassment allegations, companies start to hire women as managers, especially over other women.
  4. Sexual harassment claims drop dramatically, but there is a sharp rise in complaints of regular harassment and "making me cry."
  5. At the one-year point in the Trump Administration, many staffers exit the White House, often by jumping out a second floor window.
  6. Fox News experiences a hiring boom as President Trump hires many of the network's show hosts and experts to work for him.
  7. MSNBC's Morning Joe completely loses touch with reality as Joe and Mika start reporting on the Impeachment of Donald Trump, an event that is not actually happening.
  8. Police departments start deploying drones to observe bad neighborhoods. Gang leaders respond by buying drones and taping guns to them. Thus begins what will be known as the Drone Wars, which is actually more entertaining that Star Wars' "Clone Wars."
  9. Democrats are emboldened by good polling and increased fundraising during the summer, then lose badly when they actually start campaigning on their issues.
  10. Mild weather and a smaller number of storm events around the world prompt climate change supporters to claim that it's because Global Warming is so bad, the globe got tired and had to take a year off.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Taxes Don't Matter

Claudia Tenney is now trying to hold on to her House seat as a conservative Republican. Because of the health care debacle, she had to give up on the idea of town halls and generally doesn't talk to local outlets. She goes on Fox News instead, which is strange for a Representative from upstate.

But this week she broke from her colleagues in the House and voted against the budget that would end the deduction on federal taxes for state and local taxes. OF course, this is only for the people who itemize or have some real money. Shifting tax rates, however, has little impact.

Regardless of what the tax rates have been for decades, the federal government only takes in 18-19% of GDP. We spend over 20%. The federal budget needs to be cut, and the level of spending needs to be 18%. Even then, it will take some time to pay down the national debt.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Let's try Again

The danger of the Texas floods is that many people could be found dead as the waters recede from the neighborhoods around Houston. Unlike Katrina, there was some time to attempt rescues. Thousands were rescued, but multiple feet of water could be hiding a larger tragedy.

Even though damages are predicted to be in the hundreds of billions, things can be replaced. If only 39 people died due to the storm, it would be truly amazing. Unfortunately, it will be another month before we learn the true cost in dollars and human life.

Monday, July 31, 2017


I may have to admit that this blog is not getting much attention. I don't seem to have new complaints about Rome so much as the old ones.

I was amused by the idea that President Trump suggested people upstate leave New York for Wisconsin, which has jobs which have been announced, but not actually filled. It reminds me of North Dakota, where jobs were plentiful until OPEC nations started increasing oil supplies.

For now, I'm still here.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

I Saw a Volt

I finally saw a Chevy Volt in Rome yesterday. For those people who don't know about the vehicle, the owner was kind enough to use a personalized license plate that says NOMORGAS. Those who followed the progress of the project know that GM's Volt went from a projected cost of under $30K to over $40K and costs taxpayers $7,000 in subsidies for everyone with enough money to pay for 3/4 of the car.

Also, the Volt went from being a series hybrid (electric engine, gasoline generator) to a parallel hybrid (two engines, one gas and one electric). This makes the vehicle a heavier, more expensive Prius. If the owner truly never buys gas for the car, they'd better not try taking hills at high speeds.

At least I'm not jealous. I'll save that for a Tesla owner.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Is This Winter Finally Over?

This may be the worst winter for driving I have experienced in Oneida County. In one particular white-out, I had to park in a lot at a building on 233 for an hour until dumber people than I am cleared a path. Getting a snowblower helped my mental health, but I sure had to use it.

The groundhog notwithstanding, the unseasonably warm weather has broken the hold of this winter. Even as the warm fronts are knocked down, seasonal temperatures are going above 30 and heavy, persistent snowfalls are getting less likely all the time. Still, there is the legend of the Mother's Day snowstorm looming over us for the next couple of months.

For me, it's close enough. The next few inches of snow, I'll just stay in.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

All Out

It's 10 days into the Trump Administration and we have new immigration policies, regulatory reform and a Supreme Court nominee. This would make this the manic phase. The depressive phase may involve losing a trillion dollars, but Obama did that in his first month in office anyway.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

In 2017

It was well within my abilities to predict a Trump win and the deaths of multiple 80's pop stars. That would have been some prescient stuff right there. Instead, last year's predictions were a gutter ball. Hope springs eternal with

Predictions for 2017

  1. Impeachment hearings for Donald Trump are held the afternoon of his Inauguration. Somehow, 5 Senators resign from office and Trump is promoted to Super President.
  2. Donald Trump decides to Make Air Force One Great Again by building it out of gold. It costs 80 billion and has a 100 mile range.
  3. Samsung sponsors the Galaxy challenge where people record themselves using their Galaxy 7 until it explodes. The campaign results in many deaths and few videos, since they were made on exploding phones.
  4. Muslim terrorists get into hacking, but use axes instead of computers. Democrats blame the Russians.
  5. After Brexit, countries, states and neighborhoods start drawing up exit declarations. The causes the first war initiated by a Homeowners' Association.
  6. Barack Obama stays in DC and joins a big lobbying firm. Then he's fired because no one wants him to lobby for them.
  7. Predictably, Obama ends up as a weekend MSNBC host. Ratings are unaffected.
  8. Work on the "beautiful wall" with Mexico is stymied by lawsuits. President Trump instead builds a funnel where immigrants are forced to only go to New York or California.
  9. The price of produce in California goes down 15%. Medicaid costs go up 2000%.
  10. Google Maps and Amazon team up to deliver products using driverless cars and catapults. One billion dollars in broken merchandise is returned before the program ends.
  11. CBS tries to compete with NBC's Apprentice with a show where Hillary Clinton goes under cover at various companies. Most people recognize her, but few of them care.
  12. Parody site The Onion re-brands itself as the Most Trusted Name in Fake News.

And to all, a good night.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Election

Well, Claudia Tenney is now a member of Congress. That should help the area in a Trump administration.

This has been a strange one. Donald Trump became famous enough that he could win a nomination based on saying outrageous things (put up a wall with Mexico, bring back torture) that he's already gone back on. Run him against Hillary Clinton and he wins. A ham sandwich could have beaten Hillary Clinton.

Who knows what happens next.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Better late than Never

Just checking in since I left another gaping hole in the posting schedule.

In another month is will be painfully close to election day, New York has already decided on Hillary Clinton without any actual compelling reason. I also missed party primaries, but I voted in the important one for Tenney anyway. I suppose the only concern is if Claudia will be a big booster of Donald Trump if he wins, making it difficult for me not to be disgusted by her.

I hope this election season goes by fast.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

They Both Stink

In New York State, it is rarely close enough in a presidential election for one vote to seemingly make a difference. The closest race recently was Bill Clinton's 4 point victory (in a 3 person race) in 1992. This year, I have the chance to make my individual vote count, and not get washed away in a sea of downstate mooches and limousine liberals.

The Federal Elections Commission has certain thresholds for recognizing a political party as legitimate. Ross Perot essentially created the Reform Party from nothing into getting 18% of the popular vote (and 0 Electoral votes) in 1992. In the next two elections, it basically died. This year, another third party may reach that level of public support.

I knew early on that if Donald Trump became the Republican nominee, I was not going to vote for him. He was the subject of one of my earliest blog entries over a decade ago. I also won't vote for Hillary Clinton for a constellation of reasons. So, instead of making an irrational choice or an unreasonable choice, I'm going with neither.

I'm voting for Gary Johnson.

I'm supporting the Libertarian candidate (available on all 50 state ballots) for more reasons than just being the guy who's not the other two. Johnson is a former Republican, and supports the kind of limited government that Republicans who lose nominations believe in. Maybe the GOP has gotten too bloated now. Is it a perfect fit? Maybe not, but it's closer than the others.

Better yet, even if Johnson can't win, every vote counts toward that 15% that gets the libertarian candidate into debates and federal matching money (which a Libertarian might refuse on principle). My vote counts this year.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

I, Claudia

Claudia Tenney has toiled in the trenches of the  New York Assembly for years, but has often framed politics in national terms. In 2014, she tried to win the Republican primary for NY-22 over incumbent (and possibly least conservative Republican in the House) Richard Hanna. If the voters were like me, many didn't even vote in the primary, thinking Tenney had no chance of winning. In fact, she may have, only losing by 6%.

This year was different. Tenney benefited by Hanna choosing to retire rather than facing an onslaught of anti-RINO sentiment. She also had name recognition compared to the other contenders. And, of course, she had two people run against her. Tenney won with 41% and that was enough.

I think strong ideological voices are important in the Congress and Tenney has a history of voicing her opinions. Still, she's no Donald Trump, which is why I can support her.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016


Now that New York State has allowed the use of mild sparklers, not even cool firecrackers, the fun police have decided to ban the sale of these items in Oneida County. I understand that the police and fire departments have an idea of how bad things can be when used improperly, but their interest is in making their job easier by reducing incidents.

The problem with police and fire officials is that they are authoritarians at heart. They'd be happy banning grills, fire pits and gas stoves. They'd like you to get an inspection sticker for your furnace every year as well as your car. The county already puts speed limits as low as possible, often at odds with state grands to expand roadways just so that speed limits can be raised.

It also makes a mockery of the legal authority. In a half hour drive, I can be in one of three other counties, and one of them sells sparklers. People in my family used to drive out of state for the little firecrackers you light on the ground. Those are the ones where stupid mannequins get arms blown off for holding them. My family retained their appendages. In fact, the only person I know with a missing finger got that way from getting drunk. Should we ban alcohol some more?

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Home Base

That was weird.

Donald Trump was the GOP candidate who landed closest to Rome by filling a hanger at Griffis for a speech. He listed the ways in which the area has no manufacturing and is desperately poor. Then he went on for about half an hour, weaving a tale about a movement and every personal slight against him and his campaign since the day he announced. Of course, the crowd ate it up, along with offering offensive comments.

So, no, I am not a Trump fan. The most likely outcome is that Trump will lose the nomination, especially since he hasn't gotten 50% of the popular vote in a single state. If he does get the nomination, the effect will be the same. I think we're in for another President Clinton. Trump should have done this back when he was supporting Hillary. She might have won in 2008.

Friday, April 01, 2016

That's Too Bad

An unfortunate 3 months have passed with no posts. I missed March by a couple of hours this time.

Of course, not a lot is happening in Rome. Marcy Nano certainly hasn't actually done anything yet. The new mayor hasn't announced a new money-wasting measure, so that's progress. Plus, I have to pay taxes this month, possibly less because the state is blackmailing the communities over funding for lower property taxes.

Back in May(be).

Thursday, December 31, 2015

In 2016

In a world of social media and high technology, isn't it nice to know something that started on a loose leaf notebook in high school can still be just as inane. I see pain in the future with

Predictions for 2016

1. Caitlyn Jenner has her genitals replaced with an HD camera.

2. E! channel's new show "Inside Cait" leads to the first program with negative ratings and the deaths of many E! executives.

3. Caitlyn Jenner goes to Bill Cosby's house for drinks. Cosby commits suicide 3 hours later.

4. At an "undercard" GOP debate, Jeb Bush tries to prove he's not low energy by lifting up a sword He-Man style and shouting "I have the power!" He is electrocuted when the sword breaks a light bar.

5. Mike Huckabee lays hands on Jeb and brings him back to life. Huckabee still doesn't break 10% in the polls.

6. Donald Trump announces his retirement from public life and moves to the Cayman Islands.

7. Bernie Sanders wins the Democratic nomination after a secret deal with Barack Obama where he campaigns for Hillary Clinton.

8. Gen Xers and hipsters respond surprisingly well to Jeb's He-Man performance and he wins the Republican nomination. He reluctantly chooses Mike Huckabee as his running mate since he brought Jeb back from the dead.

9. Jeb Bush wins the presidential election of 2016, but gets overexcited and drops dead during his speech. Huckabee takes over and announces a "bible code" tax plan.

10. The Catholic Church and other Christian denominations sue the government for either restricting their freedom or stealing their tax plan. The country goes another $1 trillion into debt overnight.

11. Obama says "screw this" and goes on permanent vacation in Hawaii on November 13. Joe Biden becomes president, but he's forbidden to touch most of the buttons and is only allowed 30 minutes on the phone per day.

12. Donald Trump returns to the US with all the money secreted to the Cayman Island, declaring he will put America back in the black. The media calls him a racist.

Monday, November 30, 2015

The New Mayor

In a change from politics in the area, We've had 3 mayors in the last 4 elections in Rome. This time, it's Jackie Izzo. I suspect that Romans feel there is something wrong, but don't have much recourse other than replacing the leader of the city. My opinion is that less, not more government is a better solution. Unfortunately, it's difficult for a politician to promise nothing rather than something.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Keeler Show?

When I first drive 30 minutes to school or work, I usually went from Imus in the Morning to Howard Stern. There was a while there where I played a mix tape on the drive in. That was before iPods, kids. Stern has been gone for many years now and I'm not paying for a satellite radio to get it back.

Imus is different. Station 92.7, after taking him back after the basketball incident, still dropped him after 15 years so they could play Keeler in the morning. They dropped Keeler, but Imus was still shut out. Whatever it is about AM 1420, I can't tune the station in for anything.

After replacing Bill Wightman, another favorite back in the 80's, I again have to listen to Bill Keeler soil the airwaves after he moved from an internet show in his basement back to radio, namely WIBX 950. What's worse is that he's created two national news events this year.

One wasn't as big of a deal. During an interview with Ted Nugent, he apparently said something about Megyn Kelly that got picked up by Comedy Central's At Midnight. The famous just kept on, however, in a recent interview with Richard Hanna over a statement by Kevin McCarthy that the Benghazi hearings had the effect of lowering Hillary Clinton's poll numbers.

Any idiot knew that McCarthy was speaking of the fact that the information revealed during the hearings hurt Clinton's popularity. The media instead interpreted that the hearings were created solely to damage Clinton. Hanna, the pro-abortion, anti-Republican Platform RINO, agrees with the media. He told Keeler that he thought the hearings existed only to damage Clinton and everyone knows it.

That was just fantastic. My least favorite radio host getting famous off the worst Republican in Congress. I swear I will vote for whomever runs against Hanna in the next election, and that includes Democrats.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

The More Things Change

This month, Hess gas station on Black River Boulevard changed to Speedway, with some color and signage changes to match. This gives me an opportunity to get to a post I've been planning for some time, but never got to.

I was sitting in a car while the driver was getting gas at Hess when I looked at a view very similar to the one above that I took this spring. It is of the Sears Oil Company. There is a Sears Oil Station that was restored to it's former appearance (but is not operational). This office building, however, has not changed in some time, either, even though cars park there every day.

I started thinking about the main drag in North Rome, Black River Boulevard from the Credit Union (the darker building in the picture) to the corner at Chestnut Street. There are no houses and I can remember what all of the buildings used to look like over the last 30 years. Sears Oil, to the best of my knowledge, has not changed.

Time marches on.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Rome is Where You Pay More

I don't really have the will to cook for myself or the money to go to nice restaurants often. Instead, I go to "fast food" places for dinner a few times a week. On these front lines, I've been seeing a steady downturn in the quality of service, let alone the quality of food. It's a good example of why these places should raise wages. They might be able to get better employees. Or maybe, they would have a reason to automate some of the processes hampered by the human touch.

What's unique to Rome is the strange ways I'm being overcharged for items. McDonald's offers an egg and cheese biscuit now, sans meat. It's on the Rome menu for $2.19. In New Hartford, I didn't see it on the menu board, but I got one for only $1.99. I guess I can chalk that up to pricing schemes.

What's really interesting to me now is Wendy's offers value meals for a relatively low price. A meal with 2 juniors, fries and a drink is listed on the menu board for $3.99 and that's what I pay in New Hartford. Not so in Rome. I noticed they didn't ring up a combo, but have a note on the wall to apply a different discount. I haven't gotten up the courage to ask what the issue is, since it appears to be that store's policy. Luckily, they read a coupon wrong and I got a pretty substantial discount. Right now, it evens out.

I've found it somewhat empowering to use Twitter and online surveys to voice my concerns. Sometimes, I get a sandwich out of it. My sister made the point that if more of us made these complaints, the stores might have to look seriously at improvements. Sometimes I just want what I order, not find a way to get a discount on the next one.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Cultural Appropriation

I was listening to Ray Halbritter on the ironically named "Best of Keiler" on WIBX this morning. He was going on about the Washington Redskins, his meeting with Obama on the subject and the concept of cultural appropriation. This is when one culture supposedly uses another's cultural identity for their own purposes, like making money.

I don't see how Washington makes any more money than the Green Bay Packers, whose name isn't even instantly apparent. I do see that the name has an identity and that the Indian symbols are used on their merchandise. I wrote "Indian" because it's not authentically Native American anyway. Here's my question. Isn't Halbritter appropriating the culture of America by bastardizing a treasured childhood story into The Yellow Brick Road Casino?

I'm sure Halbritter and most of Chittenango's answer would be no. He mentioned a local team in Oriskany using a Native America name, but that they are working with the Nation. What this boils down to is money. Chittenango is getting money out of this casino (likely the only money anyone will see out of an Oneida casino from what I hear). I assume Halbritter wants a payday from the DC team. I think the Redskins should publicly ask Halbritter how much shake down money he wants to shut up. It will have to be more than the money he "donated" to Obama to get an audience.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Not Quite Up to Date

This is the last second of May and I figured I absolutely needed to post something. Hopefully, the actual content will be this week. I noticed that of all the businesses on the North end of Black River Boulevard, only one place hasn't changed.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Maybe It's Lee Center that Sucks

For various reasons, I've spent a lot of time in Lee Center / Town of Lee lately. This "town" seems to be a rural suburb of Rome itself. Many of the businesses and locations have the name "Rome" in them. There has been occasional discussion of reducing the number of little towns and villages which would reduce the need for redundant county government.

I don't like local government, not having benefited from it much.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

A Decade of Blogging

One crappy winter between what I thought was a semi-permanent temp job (that didn't even last until Christmas) and the job I ended up holding for 9 years and counting, I created this blog. Blogging was the early version of "social media." This blog is older than YouTube and Twitter.

That's not to say this blog hasn't been nearly out for the count. Problems with Internet Explorer (I now use a version of Chrome) and another blog where I write about politics have made this blog more dormant than I wold have liked.

I'm a sentimental person at heart, and the fact that this blog has been around before I had a "real job, before my mother was sick and before I had any idea if I could even strike out on my own means something.

The first day of the blog, I wrote about the end of Gillete's Supermarket. That was followed by the end of Jim Gillette and the razing of the building for an Oneida Savings Bank. The Copycat snack stand was sold and it now Samz Eats and Sweets with substantially the same menu. I also wrote about the bitter cold and massive snowfall that month. It's been cold, but not quite as snowy. After a decade, so much for global "warming." The climate hasn't changed much at all.

Does Rome, NY still suck? Unfortunately, it does. So does most of New York State. Except for the hospital, this city is, however, about as good as anywhere else nearby. I have passed up McDonalds and Subway for local fare like Mazzaferro's and The Garage. Stay or move on. For now, I'm staying.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

In 2015

I'm making a list. I'm checking it twice. My predictions last year just didn't suffice. Nostradumbass is coming to town. He's bringing some

Predictions for 2015

1. Scientists discover an island filled with formerly missing Malaysian airplanes. The producers of Lost sue Malaysia.

2. The Obama administration lets all Cubans into America as citizens, then realizes that's been the policy for decades. They immediately revoke US citizenship from all former Cubans.

3. YouTubers issue the Ebola challenge. They film themselves giving Ebola to internet celebrities.

4. After the YouTube Plague of 2015, the collective IQ of the US goes up by 5 points.

5. After a year of no improvement in VA hospitals, the White House puts veterans on free Obamacare.

6. The military declares war on Barack Obama. For the first time in decades, the Congress actually passes a war resolution, this time against the administration.

7. Obama drafts an army of Northeast candy-ass hipsters. They surrender at the recruitment centers.

8. New York Mayor DeBlasio fires the NYPD for insubordination and buys an army of robot cops. They immediately mow him down since they were made in a union factory.

9. Obama and what's left of the Democratic leadership activate Plan B and move to Cuba. Sarah Palin becomes president.

10. Presidential approval numbers go up 100%.

11. Kim Jong Un blows up Cuba because they are an embarrassment to real Communists like himself.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Future of Fast Food

Whenever I talked about increasing minimum wage, I would mention the sign spinner at Little Caesar's. This person would either be in an animated Caesar costume or street clothes showing off the deals of the day. I always figured it was something to do, either part time or when things were slow instead of sending them home. An increase in minimum wage would not make that job cost effective.

Then I saw a very thin blond turning the sign.

Upon closer inspection, it was a mannequin with a motor turning a sign that looked realistic from the street. She earns no wage, has no worker rights and only costs the price of electricity, plus the cost of parts and labor.

I have no idea if wage increases, Obamacare or some other business cost led to this. I do know that their pizza went from $5 to $6 a few months ago and it probably didn't help sales. At least there's all day advertising.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Does Rob Astorino Have a Chance in Hell?

Andrew Cuomo's dog and pony show of an ethics commission has been exposed. For months, the group was given investigative powers, but had various people reporting back to Cuomo. His office tried to stop investigations and eventually disbanded the commission when it got to close to his pals. Cuomo apparently tried to claim that he had the sole authority to shut them down, even though it looked very much like they were finding ethics violations in Cuomo's own office.

Now there is the potential that Rob Astorino, the most vocal Republican running, has a real case against Cuomo. The Republicans have not fared well statewide since Pataki ended his term. Even the Republican legislature brought us gay marriage and the SAFE Act, which could potentially bite them on the ass in November. We'l have to see if there's some life yet in the NY GOP.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Vote Tenney

I swore I was going to take the time to blog about Richard Hanna's absurdly expensive ad campaign to paint himself as a conservative. Now I can just point to conservative site Legal Insurrection.

Friday, February 28, 2014

The Last War For Late Night

In some ways, this week has been the result of two decades worth of dealings, betrayals and manipulations in the world of late night talk shows. Now that the fairly terrible 2014 winter Olympics are over, Seth Meyers has had his first week on NBC as the new host of Late Night. Jimmy Fallon is the host of the Tonight Show. Leno is off the air. Letterman is the Johnny Carson of late night, having survived the longest and Arsenio Hall is back in syndication. I guess he finally kicked Leno's ass.

I've now read "The Late Shift" and "The War for Late Night," the comprehensive tomes from Bill Carter about the behind the scenes (and occasional on-air) antics of networks, talk show hosts and their champions and minions. I had some moderate interest in the story from 1992, both as a fan of David Letterman and a viewer of "Forever Knight," one of the casualties when Letterman went to CBS.

Conan O'Brien's departure from NBC in 2010 set the stage for this week. That story was similar to the fight from the 1990s. Leno was both the good soldier and potential traitor. He was always willing to give up the Tonight Show (at least as a bargaining tactic) to keep it. He made a deal with NBC that if they didn't like his 10pm show and took him off the air, Leno could be on TV somewhere else the next week.

In a lot of ways, Conan became a victim of modern times. With a 10pm show, older Leno fans could get him an hour earlier and go to bed. Conan skewed extremely young, and many in that age group were watching Comedy Central at 11pm. At the same time, Leno's show had such low ratings compared to other prime-time fare, it hurt the 11pm news in NBC affiliates which, in turn, hurt Conan's ratings.  When Conan finally walked in 2010, ABC already had their own star and Fox could not effectively mount a new talk show. If he had walked in 2004, he could have been on a network, but he wanted the Tonight Show.

Leno didn't fare so well, either. He made money for NBC, but he also worked cheap. The 10pm show was a disastrous move because it almost lost them affiliates. When the next contract came around, Leno decided he was done with the Tonight Show. He's essentially a stand-up comic who tells jokes at 11:30. Of all the options available, I think the CNN slot opened up by Piers Morgan's firing is the most likely option. I suspect that Leno won't be the ratings powerhouse that some might hope.

Then there's David Letterman. After the 2010 handover, Dave invited Jay to appear with him in a "worst Superbowl party" ad for "The Late Show" also featuring Oprah Winfrey. I think Dave buried the hatchet because he finally got closure. Dave had a small chance to get the Tonight Show by taking over for a floundering Leno in the early weeks of the show for an 18 month trial and no guarantees. The Conan incident revealed that NBC uses the show as a pawn, dangling it in front of people and taking it away when they think they can do better. It even happened to Leno. Letterman makes more money than Leno, owns The Late Show, has a production deal and over 20 years in the same time slot. Leno often describes himself as an employee and he is. When it's his time, NBC fills the chair with someone else. Letterman made the right decision.

I find myself watching Conan O'Brien more often now and chuckling at YouTube videos of his show. I'm over Letterman due to his annoying politics and lack of innovation. Arsenio is as bad as before and less interesting. Jimmy Fallon? I think Lorne Michaels thinks anyone who did Weekend Update can have a talk show. Dennis Miller did a pretty good job.

In my case, I wish Forever Knight was back on.

Friday, January 31, 2014

The Deep Freeze

There tends to be an ebb and flow to the severity of Upstate NY winter. While it is entirely possible to have both snowfall and arctic temperatures, precipitation in the extreme cold is usually a couple of powdery inches while lake effect can be a couple of feet of heavy, wet, packing snow. Most of the snow came early in the month, followed by temperatures so low that it never had a chance to melt.

So far, February looks to be seasonable, with regular snow and temperatures in at least positive double digits. This is already a fairly bad winter, as my utility bill will attest. Next month will determine if it is a terrible winter. The one consolation is that the rest of the country has seen their average temperatures fall 30 degrees. Except for California, which is set for a severe drought this summer. At least we don't have much experience with that.