JUNE 23, 2022 IMMUNIZATION PROGRESS REPORT
David Leonhardt of the New York Times noted this month that the share of white Americans who have received a Covid vaccine shot has barely budged since last summer.
Leonhardt concludes, Many conservative media figures, politicians, clergy members and others have amplified false or misleading information about the vaccines. Millions of Americans, in turn, have chosen not to receive a lifesaving shot. Some have paid with their lives.
JUNE 20, 2022 MY BLUSHING ROSIE
Comedy legend Mel Brooks occasionally appeared on Mad About You as Uncle Phil, who had dropped out of high school 63 years before.
Why should we be concerned about this? George Will writes that social ... pathologies, related to a constantly renewed cohort of adolescent males without fathers at home, include disorderly neighborhoods, schools that cannot teach, mass incarceration, and the intergenerational transmission of poverty. We do not know how to address this with government policies, even though the nation has worried about it for almost 50 years. In 1965, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, then in President Lyndon Johnsons administration, published his report on the black familys crisis, which was that 24 percent of black children were then born to unmarried women. Today, 73 percent are.
Charles Murray notes the well-established fact that children fare far better in two-parent families on virtually every indicator, from emotional development to the likelihood of being employed as adults than they do in divorced families, and children in divorced families do better than children of never-married women. And this remains true even after controlling for economics and race.
Sometimes while driving in my car Ill be listening to a baseball game on the radio, and Ill momentarily be distracted by my responsibilities as a motorist, and when I turn my attention back to the baseball broadcast I realize that theyre in a commercial break. Hmm, Ill say to myself, I guess the inning must have ended while I was turning onto that ramp. The announcers must not have made a big deal about how the third out happened.
I actually was paying attention last night during the Pittsburgh at Cleveland game. The Pirates, trailing 1-0, were batting in the top of the fourth inning. There had been two walks and two strikeouts sandwiched around a single, and the bases were loaded. The Pirates had a rare offensive threat going!
Jose Tabata came to the plate with two outs. Pirates play-by-play man Greg Brown was calling the action. Analyst John Wehner was dissecting every pitch, describing what the pitcher was trying to do and what the batter was trying to do. Tabata took a strike. He fouled off the next offering. This was a crucial point in the ballgame. And then Greg called the next pitch: Swing and a miss. After 3½ innings: Indians one, Pirates nothing. And we were in commercial.
Gregs rueful tone implied, My goodness, that was rather disappointing for us to waste such a golden opportunity, wouldnt you agree? But he didnt have time to say it. And John had no time to explain what had happened on the final pitch. The radio announcers had to get to the break immediately so all the ads could run before action resumed.
At least on television, we schedule slightly less commercial time so that we can replay Tabatas swing while were rolling out to break.
JUNE 12, 2022 VINGT-QUATRE HEURES
I watched the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race yesterday and today. Well, not the whole 24 hours, of course; just bits here and there. I wasn't familiar with the drivers or teams, except for a few manufacturers like Porsche and Corvette. But it was mesmerizing to watch the cars make their way around the eight-mile circuit, come in for pit stops, and occasionally suffer mishaps.
Some mishaps resulted in pieces of the cars violently being torn off. But not all were like that. You know how, when a storm brings down a live electrical wire, you're warned not to touch it lest you be electrocuted? You know how, when your computer locks up, you have to turn it off and on and wait for it to reboot?
It's been almost 35 years since I worked the telecast of one of these endurance races. It was the 12 Hours of Sebring, in Florida. As nearly as I can recall, it went like this:
The start and finish and other portions of the 12 hours aired on ESPN, while other segments aired on their new second channel ESPN2. (Both channels had other events to cover. A few portions of the race weren't televised live at all.) Two ESPN-owned remote production trailers were on site, a 40-foot one for the main production and a 27-foot one for a B Unit, plus a tent for engineering and catering.
Once we were up and operating, the first task was to get the 12-hour countdown clock running on one of our channels. A couple of minutes after ESPN2 hit the air, our clock was ready to be inserted into the picture. (If it was inaccurate by a few seconds, who would notice?) Then on the other channel we busied ourselves with other graphics, chiefly leader boards.
In those days, all graphics had to be typed using a keyboard. Nowadays most come directly from computers fed by the track's timing and scoring network, so it's entirely different and much more up-to-date and informative.
I still remember how difficult it was after the sun set at Sebring to tell one car from another. A few portions of the circuit were lighted, but most were not.
They had alternatives. They could follow the competition from a large selection of on-board cameras inside various cars. Also, for side views of the action, each present-day car displays an illuminated number near the door. The leaders even display their position in lights. Better!
I recall one spring evening back in the 1950s, when televised variety shows were broadcast live. My parents and I were watching Perry Comos 39th and last Kraft Music Hall of the season. For the next 13 weeks, a summer replacement series was going to fill his time slot. So at the end of the final musical number, Perry said goodbye, and the Ray Charles Singers waved goodbye (no, not that Ray Charles), and a huge Broadway-type sign descended. In lights, it said, SEE YOU IN SEPTEMBER!
Nowadays, however, most TV series dont spell it out so clearly. From Rob Owens TV Q&A column yesterday:
My question is, how are we supposed to know this? If we dont read columns like Robs or listings like TV Guide, we may well be unaware that were watching a season finale. For viewers like Marillyn, every cliffhanger should be followed immediately by a special promo.
JUNE 7, 2022 PRIME SLEEPING TIME
Here in my second childhood, living alone, I'm not a night owl. I become tired of the day's activities around 6:00 PM. I turn on the TV and stretch out on the couch. At that hour many channels are showing sitcom reruns. I select one of my favorites and contentedly settle in to watch it.
Having logged a full night's sleep, I rise with the larks. I stretch and pace the floor to get the juices flowing for another day.
JUNE 4, 2022 JUST WHAT I WANTED!
I've never liked the concept of buying/wrapping/giving material gifts. How does one know what Emily would be pleased to receive? Unless it's frivolous or extra-expensive, if she wants it she's probably bought it for herself already.
One exception might be Christmas presents for very young children. But soon they grow up enough to pay attention to commercials and store displays. From then on, they emphatically demand whichever toys they covet, so there's little surprise when they receive them.
Another exception might be weddings. In olden times, a young bride and groom would leave their respective parents' homes and set up housekeeping in a different location, which might be lacking all sorts of essentials: dishes, linens, cutlery, a broom. Their friends and relatives would help them furnish the new place.
Nowadays when young folks move away from home, it might be years before they get around to marrying. By then, between themselves the couple already have all they need. Maybe they've already moved in together. Perhaps they'll publish a wedding gift registry, listing a few items they're missing such as a punchbowl or a set of wind chimes. Each friend can select an item I volunteer to give the butter dish so the couple can receive stuff they can use without accidental duplications.
Danielle Braff told in the New York Times about Michael and Alexis Campbell of Wisconsin. Rather than requesting actual objects, they hoped their guests would instead give money the newlyweds could use as they transitioned into married life. At their venue, the couple ... set up a gift table with boxes labeled with various things they could put cash gifts toward, including living necessities, furniture, appliances and a future home. Mr. Campbell explained, As each guest walked in, they could just drop off their gift into the area they wanted to contribute to, and this way they still had some say in how the money was spent. The goal was to make gift giving as simple for the guests as possible. If the cash had to be in blank envelopes without identification of the donors, the gift-giving process could also be as affordable as possible.
When Adam and Eve left the Garden, they found the outside world an inhospitable place. They were attacked by lions and bears and other beasts. They were beset by bees and other flying things. From the heavens fell water and ice and lightning bolts. The air was sometimes hot and suffocating, sometimes cold and freezing; and it refused to remain in place, whipping itself into gales that scattered small objects. Even the ground beneath their feet refused to remain in place, quaking and transforming itself into dust storms and mudslides.
Therefore our ancestors sought shelter. They stitched together animal skins to make tents, or they cowered inside caves, in an effort to protect themselves from nature.
As our skills improved over the millennia, we built better shelters. Now sturdy walls keep out the coyotes, screened windows keep out the mosquitoes, and strong roofs keep out the falling water. Inside our homes, our baths do not freeze. Our skin is never burnt by sun nor wind. The floors are firm, level, and dry. Dust storms do not disturb us, and we laugh at all but the strongest cyclones. And heating and air conditioning systems ensure that the temperature is always comfortable.
Sometimes, like this morning, we hear that we should go outside because its a beautiful day and we ought to enjoy it while it lasts. Unfortunately, such conditions are unusual.
what is so rare as a day in June? Then, if ever, come perfect days.
How would we describe a perfect day outdoors? The winds are calm, just as they are indoors. The insects have decided to leave us alone. We are not being pelted from above by cold water. Under the leafy trees we can find relief from the suns strong rays, and if were lucky, we will not be pelted from above by birds. And the temperature outdoors is the same as the temperature indoors.
Yes, a perfect day outside is like every day inside!