Most mornings, I listen to the radio (remember radio?) and occasionally hear brief commercials for auto parts stores.
Such retailers are all over the place nowadays. According to Google Maps, there are 20 of them within fifteen miles of my apartment. But I'm not familiar with all the names. I've only lived in this area for 48 years, and I rarely buy replacement headlamps.
One commercial begins with a peppy jingle, Huhvice Auto and Truck Supply! Then an announcer boasts of Huhvice's service and their 66 years in business. He invites listeners to visit huhviceauto.com.
They'll have trouble doing so, however, because the announcer gives no hint as to how the URL is spelled. It sounds like huvva sotto dot com. Curious, I Googled auto and truck supply and discovered that this particular advertiser has 17 locations from Pittsburgh to Erie. The closest is a half-hour drive from me, which explains why I never heard of it.
FEBRUARY 24, 2022 ACTOR FITNESS
In college I had no trouble climbing the stairs to my third-floor dorm room or to the third-floor radio studio. Now, at the age of 75 with arthritis starting to set in, I ascend much more slowly, one step at a time, carefully keeping my balance by holding onto the handrail.
Therefore I was impressed to see William Powell run up two stories. This was in a clip from the 1936 movie My Man Godfrey, and he was carrying a presumably-fainted 112-pound Carole Lombard. He climbed about 30 steps in nine seconds! It could have been a stunt double toting a mannequin; however, we see his profile and her arms flopping, so it certainly doesn't look like early movie magic.
Powell was 44 years old at the time and lived to the age of 91.
Nevertheless, hockey statisticians do keep track of points. Two kinds, in fact. A player can earn points, and his team can earn a different kind.
In Multiple Possible Outcomes, I try to sort all this out.
Id be happy to forward these letters to her real address, but I dont know where that is, or whether shes even a real person. She might be merely a glitch on a long-lived mailing list.
Recently two envelopes arrived on the same day, inviting Geri and me each to sign up for an AARP life insurance program by the end of February.
Had I signed and returned the offers that Sis has received at my address over the past three decades, by now I would have dishonestly established an impressive second identity.
Maybe I haven't been paying attention, but I've just noticed a new quality for a college basketball player: length. Following South Florida's win over Pittsburgh last week, that term appeared in interviews with members of both teams.
USF's 6'6" guard Hugh Robertson said of defending against Pitt's 6'2" scorer Ashton Gibbs: He wasn't able to get his shots off. I'm also quick enough to stay in front of him, but I think my length really did the job.
And Pitt's Tray Woodall said of USF's team, We played against the same big guys last year. We knew how big they were, how physical they were, how long they were.
I guess length must be another word for height? And long must be another word for tall?
That reminds me of a certain Sally who was both long and tall in a Little Richard song.
FEBRUARY 14, 2022 HIDDEN LOVE
So, John, you've written a book about your former teacher.
Indeed. We called him The Master. Have you read it?
Yes, I have. I notice that you also mention some of your fellow students like Andrew and Martha. But there's one of them in particular whom you've carefully avoided identifying. For example, you've written that Peter turned and saw the student whom The Master loved.
I was trying to be discreet.
But I'm curious. Elsewhere you haven't been afraid to name names. Why didn't you write, for example, Peter turned and saw Nathanael?
Some matters should be kept private.
Why this matter? It leads me to suspect that you were that beloved student!
Did you mean Peter saw me but modestly avoided identifying yourself?
If that were the case, would I have claimed to be the student whom The Master loved? The one and only? That could hardly be called modest.
So if the student whom The Master loved wasn't you, who was it?
Well, I'd rather not say. I don't think we should be discussing His sweetheart, even on Valentine's Day.
Later, two separate piles of white cloth in a grave one at the head and the other at the foot resemble seated angels.
It's called The Disciple Whom Jesus Loved.
FEBRUARY 11, 2022 STILL HOOPING IT UP
Fifty-five years ago tonight, Paul CR Lawn and I traveled to Berea, Ohio, for Oberlin College's basketball game against Baldwin-Wallace. We called the action live for our 10-watt campus radio station, WOBC-FM.
Oberlin's small-college basketball is still being broadcast nowadays via Internet video. There's only one announcer, although he has access to a stats monitor which CR and I lacked. There's only one camera, apparently without zoom capability, and there are no replays.
FEBRUARY 8, 2022 MY INNER SHELDON COOPER
As a former physics major, I silently cringe at many expressions of hyperbole.
The Super Bowl will be this Sunday; I can't wait? No, you can wait. In fact, you must, because we have not yet obtained a time machine with which to jump the calendar ahead several days. Bazinga.
As the high school basketball season draws to a close, I'm reminded of the long-ago evenings when I described games into a tape recorder. That led to actual radio broadcasts when I got to college, and later to a career behind the scenes in sports television.
You might think that a play-by-play announcer makes up everything in the spur of the moment. But as an inexperienced 16-year-old, I knew that I'd need to have some material pre-written, including commercials for glass cleaner and a word about ...... (wait for it) ...... my father's Oldsmobile dealership.
FEBRUARY 3, 2022 FROM MARION, BUT TO FREEPORT
Later jobs led me to western Pennsylvania, where an opposite process seems to have taken place. I worked in New Kensington (the larger city on the left below), 200 yards from Freeport Road. But my apartment in another town, on the opposite side of the river is 150 yards from a different Freeport Road! I've highlighted those more-or-less parallel thoroughfares in green.
But the town's outbound routes aren't called Pittsburgh Avenue, Butler Street, Kittanning Boulevard, and the like. They're labeled inboundly, towards the town. Until they get there (and only two of the seven numbered above even come close), they're all titled Freeport.
If I search online for CVS Pharmacies, the three nearest me are at 2661 Freeport Road, 1407 Freeport Road, and 95 Freeport Street, all on different green segments in different municipalities. Needless to say, this could lead to confusion. However, locals seem to know their way around.
FEBRUARY 1, 2022 THE GRAMOPHONE HORN IS BROKEN
Did you watch the Grammys on CBS last night? No?
Well, that's not quite fair. It is true that the ceremony scheduled for January 31 in Los Angeles drew a grand total of zero viewers, but that's because the event was postponed due to the pandemic. It has been rescheduled for April 3 in Las Vegas.
Music writer Ted Gioia asks, Can you imagine how angry fans would be if the Super Bowl or NBA Finals were delayed? People would riot in the streets. But the Grammy Awards go missing in action, and hardly anyone notices.
He continues, The entire business model of the music industry is built on promoting new songs; yet few listeners are paying attention. Old songs now represent 70 percent of the U.S. music market, according to the latest numbers from MRC Data. How about streaming? Three years ago 15% of total streams were from the 200 most popular new tracks. Now, less than 5% are.
Some people tell Gioia that the reason is that new songs are lousy. Music used to be better, or so they say. The old songs had better melodies, more interesting harmonies, and demonstrated genuine musicianship.
My experience is that I'm totally put off by almost all the current acts that perform on Saturday Night Live. I can't understand the words they're singing! Either they're straining and screaming to put emotion into their voice, trying to be heard over the instruments, or they're rapping too fast for comprehension (and the closed captioning can't keep up).
I stopped listening to new music around 1985.