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Showing posts from September, 2012

Oh, Snap!

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It's one of the best snapshots taken of Jimmy Hoffa. The photographer was the legendary Tony Spina, the longtime shutterbug for the Detroit Free Press, and when Spina got behind the camera, iconic portraits often happened.

It was Spina who captured Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in one of the more enduring photos of the late civil rights leader's life---taken before King was to speak before a crowd at a Grosse Pointe High School. Spina caught King, perhaps in prayer, but certainly reflective, clasped hands near his chin.


Dr. King, as seen through the lens of Tony Spina

And there's the photo of Hoffa, with the ex-Teamsters president smiling like he doesn't have a care in the world, snapped in front of Hoffa's metro Detroit home.

The date was July 24, 1975.

It's significant, the photo shoot (which included a few different poses), because less than a week later, Hoffa would leave that metro Detroit home for a lunch meeting and never return.

I saw the photo the other da…

I'm Two Dads Now

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The other day, I officially became my father.

It's inevitable, they say. One day you'll become your parents.

Pop culture is usually the killer.

My induction into the Crotchety Old Man Hall of Fame occurred a couple of nights ago.

I was in the kitchen and on the TV in the front room was a video of a performer having a tantrum on stage. I couldn't see the video; I could only hear the audio.

"I'm not Justin Bieber!" the male voice screamed, followed by some bleeped out expletives.

"Who's that?" I called out, because the audio clip was rather shocking.

Our 19-year-old daughter answered with what I thought was "Billy Joel."

Now, knowing Joel's occasional drinking and drug foibles, and his notorious temper, I thought that made sense. Joel's melted down in the past---on stage and off.

"Billy Joel? Really?" I replied, a little knowing chuckle in my voice.

"BILLIE JOE, dad!"

Now I was confuzzled.

"Billy Joe? Who…

Play it Again, Sam!

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We have a DVR at home, as do many people nowadays, and I admit it is spoiling me rotten.

For the few of you who don't know, the DVR enables you to, among other things, record your favorite shows and store them for viewing later. You can even categorize and file them, digitally, so your TV suddenly turns into a sort of computer hard drive.

The other thing the DVR does--and this is the spoiling part---is allow you to pause, rewind and fast forward shows you are currently watching, including live sporting events. So you turn into your own replay specialist.

We are DVR reliant at home. We only have one, connected to the big screen TV in the front room. And it gets a work out. Lots of pausing, like when nature calls or my wife needs to check on laundry when she's watching something of note. The pausing can sometimes lead to fast forwarding, especially during commercials.

By the way, there's nothing better than fast forwarding through a four-minute commercial jam. Nothing!

We al…

Chalk It Up to Nostalgia

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I was walking the pooch the other day when I saw something on the sidewalk that elicited a big grin and took me back about 40 years, instantly.

Kids had been playing with outdoor chalk and while I couldn't make out what they had written, it didn't matter, for just the sight of chalk on the sidewalk brought back a ton of memories.

When I was a lad of 6-10 years old, my friends and I would create whole worlds, just with some chalk.

Usually the theme centered around the automobile: roads, retail stores, gas stations, etc.

It would go like this.

Everyone would bring a toy car or truck or any other motor vehicle and those would be our "traffic." Then the roads and highways would be drawn, up and down the driveway and the adjacent sidewalk, complete with exit ramps to simulate freeways.

We had a long driveway at our home in Livonia, so when you combined that square footage with that of the sidewalk that ran in front of the house, you had yourself enough space to create a g…

The Shrinking Candidate

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Familiarity breeds contempt. That's the saying, right?

It would seem to fit Mitt Romney like a glove.

For the second political race in a row, voters are drifting away from the Republican presidential candidate the more they get to know him, or at least see him in action.

It happened in the GOP primary, where Romney had difficulty putting away Rick Santorum, who was as far right of a candidate as has run in recent memory.

Polls indicated that the more primary voters got to know Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, the less enamored they were with him.

The same thing is happening now, in Romney's race against President Obama.

Romney suffered a double whammy in the past two weeks: the Democratic convention with its stirring speeches, and his big mouth in the wake of the Libyan crisis.

The former provided Obama with an expected (though maybe larger than expected) bounce, and the latter gave the country a sneak peek into what kind of man might occupy the Oval Office, shoul…

Stupid Is as Stupid Does

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"The only thing worse than being talked about, is NOT being talked about."

Maybe not in NBC's case today.

I'm sure the Peacock Network would be delighted if no one was talking about them, in light of this morning's monumentally stupid decision to blow off a national moment of silence so an interview with Kris Jenner could go on, uninterrupted.

The moment of silence was recognized at 8:46 a.m. today to commemorate the moment the first plane hit the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

But NBC, during the "Today Show," didn't bother to keep quiet at 8:46. For that's when Jenner was talking about breast implants, or some such fluff.

NBC blew it. Whether it was an oversight or not, the network has enough egg on its face to make the world's biggest omelet.

How could "Today," a TV institution since the early-1950s, make such an egregious error?

And don't you let NBC off the hook here. No excuses. No explanatio…

Kelly & (Her New) Company

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Time was, Michael Strahan was spending Sundays trying to sack quarterbacks and planting them into the turf.

Now he'll spend weekday mornings trying to sack the talk show competition.

If the folks who produce Kelly Ripa's weekday gab fest were looking for a drastic change from the retired Regis Philbin as co-host, they couldn't have picked one further from the Regis spectrum by tabbing Strahan, the former New York Giants defensive lineman.

Strahan couldn't look more different than Regis, number one. Strahan is 40 and black, and huge. Regis was 79 when he retired, is white, and is far from a big man.

Strahan has been honing his skills as an on-air personality for the past several years as one of the talking heads on Fox NFL Sunday, partnering with Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, Jimmy Johnson and Curt Menefee.

Now Strahan takes the seat next to Ripa, who has been in search of a permanent co-host for over a year.

Apparently show execs liked the chemistry between Ripa and Stra…