Bloggerama

I’ve been blogging three months. Given the fact that some folks have been blogging three years or longer, it ain’t no big deal to anyone but me. But it has been a real learning experience:

1) Can I be disciplined enough to post something, however slight, every day? So far, the answer, surprisingly (to me) is yes.

2) Will this allow me to “get in touch” with buried stuff, exhibiting existential angst in the public marketplace? Well, yes and no. I’ve certainly learned stuff about me (and you have, too.) But I DO have an edit button most of the time. So whatever salacious stuff you’ve seen, know that there’s even worse stuff in my head that you haven’t seen (and may never see – or you will, someday, maybe.)

3) Will anyone actually read this thing? Well, apparently, yes. To gauge that further, I’ve changed the settings so that any strange person can reply to my messages, rather than any strange person registered with Blogger. I reserve the right to alter that again, of course.

4) Will I get sucked up into this blogisphere, checking out other sites? Well, some.
The only site I visit every day without fail (unless he posts after my bedtime) is Mr. Hembeck’s. He suckered me into this, after all. Besides, occasionally I can get a mention in his column
(July 23, plus some JEOPARDY! plugs)
.

Often, after I have posted, I hit the Next Blog button in upper right of my page. Sometimes, I find sweet pieces like this one. I almost ALWAYS find a plug for Texas Hold ‘Em. Want a Spanish-language review of the movie Sin City? How about a political rant of a total stranger? And how the heck can I possible hit the same blog twice, given the number of new entrants into the arena?

At Mr. Hembeck’s suggestion, I’ve been regularly going to News from Me by Mark Evanier, a very newsworthy source. And he rants about the same political stuff that irks me, only he does it better. Also, I read one of my favorite comic writer’s blog, one Steve Gerber.

I’ve been checking out the folks involved with Chris Brown’s Mixed Bag CD exchange (May 23), and some of them are quite entertaining. But I have to make special mention of Greg Burgas, who has two daughters, at least two blogs (one about his aforementioned two daughters), and inexplicably but happily, too much time on his hands.

In re: the Mixed CD folks, one of the goals for the month will be to start to review those tunes, probably two discs at a time, once this week, then twice a week until they’re done. I’d say Wednesdays and Saturdays except that I’ve already foreseen some exceptions to that rule.

Oh, and if there are issues you know that I know about that I haven’t written about, please let me know. I may decide that now’s not the time, but I will keep it “under advisement,” as they say.

RM 4

Popeye, my first childhood hero, was more right than he knew: Spinach to power green computers, phones
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There really is a Potted Meat Museum, apparently, as I read in Greg Haymes’ Times Union column. Sarge, this is VERY disturbing.
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As a black church-going man, I was VERY fascinated with the Washington Post article How Today’s Church Is Failing Black Men, by John W. Fountain,
Journalism Professor and Former Post Reporter. If this article disappears, please let me know; I have the full-text in an e-mail sent to me.
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Top 10 Driving Songs, from About.com: “Drivers who are singing along to favorite music are likely to concentrate more on their driving and are less likely to fall asleep.” So this will not only entertain you, it may save somebody’s life, maybe even your own.
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Conversely, some of these folks, “winners” of the Darwin Awards lacked the capacity for self-preservation.
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I know you I’m sure all you erudite computer maven types know this, but as librarian, I get queried on a wide range of things not as commonly known as you might think. I was asked recently if the fact that you type in the URL and nothing comes up means that the website is available. I said, no. Actually, I said, “NO!” I directed them to a couple websites such as Whois Source or InterNIC. I suggested they buzz around the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers website, for even more info.
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Which American City Provides The Best Consumer Test Market? If your from these parts, you know, it’s Albany, NY. Or more specifically, “the Albany, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) has a consumer life stage profile that correlates almost perfectly with the consumer life stage profile of the whole U.S., with a correlation score of .90904 (A score of 1 would be a perfect correlation.)” Where does your MSA rate? Check here. Albany, New York: the epitome of America. This came out last year, but I had need to look it up this month, and pass it on to you lucky folks. (Also, I didn’t blog last year.)

JEOPARDY, Part 10

Continued from Saturday, July 23.

The third game for the week is the third show filmed that day. I’m sitting in the first row of the audience next to Julie, who will be on the next (Thursday) show. There are questions being asked (or more correctly, answers being given) and for quite a few, no one is getting. I remember whispering to Julie, “Be True to Your School” in response to a $500 question referencing the Beach Boys that nobody even rang in on. I had the distinct feeling that if I had gotten THAT set of boards against THOSE contestants, I would have won. Yelling out the answers in front of the TV has nothing on THAT feeling.

There was a technical glitch during this third show; the lights went out. They had stop, then restart, which involved the audience applauding as they were at the time of the incident.

After the show, I went downstairs, got my things, and headed for the front door to a more than a few “Good job!” comments. I ran into my friend Karen from NYC, then to Bianca de la Garza from Channel 10 in Albany, for whom I did a 10-second commercial. “This is Roger Green from Albany in front of the Wang Theater in Boston. Watch for me on JEOPARDY! on ABC-10!” This took longer (i.e., more takes)than I thought it would.

I had gotten a ride over to the Wang Theater in the morning, but I had to walk back to the hotel with friend Karen. There was a bunch of people beeping their horns. I thought they were just rude Boston drivers, but as it turned out, they were beeping and waving at ME! These folks had gone to the taping and were giving me kudos. It’d be a cliché to say that I felt like a rock star. It would be true, but a cliché.

Back at the hotel, Max was waiting, but his mother was retrieving the car. Judy and Max had gotten lost in Cambridge, abandoned the vehicle, took public transportation, and barely got to the show on time. Eventually, Karen, Max and Judy all left, and I lay on the bed happy/sad with the experience.

Later, Karen took me out to dinner, then to a club where we saw Pete Droge and his band. I’d met the group twice when they and Karen were in Albany, and they were among the first people who weren’t at the show to find out how much I’d won; Karen told them, I didn’t. I bought Pete’s then-new album at their gig.

The next morning, I was ravenous. While I couldn’t eat the previous morning, I practically couldn’t stop. Back in my room, I got a message on my phone from Karen: “You gotta see the Glo-o-o-obe!” She said the name of the Boston paper as though it had four syllables. After I pack up to leave, I pick up a paper, and on the first page of the Entertainment sections were two pictures of ME. Well, not just me. Both also pictured Amy Roeder, the “local angle” in the story; one also featured the former champion, Tom. Still, it was a real kick.

I took at train to Hyannis, south of Boston, to visit the brother of my then ex-girlfriend (and now wife) Carol, Mark, and his fiancée, Leanne. On the train, I swear there was a woman staring at me, and I reckon she was a reader of the Glo-o-o-obe . I had decided that I wasn’t going to give out the results to anyone. The contract I signed suggested that I couldn’t exploit the fact that I had won before it aired, and WTEN was under even stricter standards.

Now began seven weeks of “How many changes of clothes did you wear?” Or “How many days shall I set my VCR for?” Or other bald attempts to tell what I was not going to tell. Heck, now it was a matter of prinicple; I don’t WANT to reveal the information. Besides, I thought of it as a sporting event, where I wouldn’t want to know the score.

I took the bus home from Hyannis and went to work on Monday, where I was also subjected to another form of harassment. When Bianca de la Garza had interviewed me before the show, I noted that just passing the test didn’t guarantee being on the show. So here’s the Bianca voiceover: “He had to have something else.” Roger, talking: “It must be charisma, I don’t know.” (I laugh.)

Charisma. Apparently enough people saw this to make this the running joke in the office, not for a couple days, or a few months, but for four or five YEARS. Especially from Jinshui.

On October 6, a woman from Albany named Linda Zusman won $12,000 in her one-win appearance. I actually looked for her number to congratulate her (and tell her my news), but never reached her.

Also, in October, a woman who wrote for a quarterly publication for WTEN asked me the Final JEOPARDY! Answer, which seemed to be a reasonable request, except that I didn’t know, exactly. “Had something to do with Donkin or Tonquin. I know the response was ‘What is Hanoi?'” She got a little snippy: “Weren’t you THERE?” I didn’t say this to her, but the answer was yes and no. Physically, of course, but mentally, on some other planet.

I went for a walk to a local preserve called Five Rivers with Carol, and hinted that I had won a travel prize that she might go on with me, an obvious wooing move. But it also had the effect of her thinking that I HADN’T won any money.

Peter Iselin used to own the newsweekly Metroland, and was going to be on JEOPARDY! I called Metroland and asked them, “Do you want a story about that?” “Are you one of our regular contributors?” “No.” “Well, no thanks.” And that was that. I don’t know if it would have made any difference to tell them I had just been on the show, but I never got a chance to get that out.

There were two things I did just prior to the show’s airing that made my life a whole lot easier. I made a phone call to someone, and I paid a visit somewhere.

Concluded on Saturday, August 6.

3R?-3

Given the fact that this month is the 36th anniversary of the moonwalk, the United States is trying to get back in the space shuttle business, and Scotty from Star Trek died,

Please tell me:

1. What character from a television program or movie about space travel do you most identify, and why?

2. What thing in space travel fiction (book, movie, TV) is most likely to turn out to be true/possible in the future?

3. As commercial space flight becomes a reality, how much would you spend to go up in space? How long would you have to be up there to make it worth your while?

Cooperstown: 1 is good. 2 is better?

For many years in Cooperstown, there was a Hall of Fame weekend. It featured a parade, an exhibition game between two major league clubs, a regular season game between the Oneonta minor league team and an opponent, and of course, the induction ceremony, along with plenty of opportunities for the retired players to make a some money signing autographs on pictures, baseballs, bats, caps, any semi-flat surface.

Then a few years ago, someone had this bright idea: why doesn’t Cooperstown have TWO Hall of Fame weekends? One would be in late May or June, the other in the end of July or early August. The first event would feature the exhibition game. The second event would feature the minor league game. EACH event would feature a parade, and there would be TWO chances for the old-timers to make a few bucks. The merchants would be able to rake in some extra dough as well.

This year, the exhibition game was early, May 24, and one of the participants was the WORLD CHAMPION Boston Red Sox. My father-in-law, Richard, stood in line for 8 hours in February, but failed to get any tickets. So I didn’t go to the game for the first time in five years. He seemed destined to miss his first game in about fifteen.

On May 24, which was his birthday, Richard and his wife Joyce went to Cooperstown anyway; it’s only about 20 miles from Oneonta, where they live. He asked off-handedly whether there might be seats available, and there were! Some of the teams who had gotten an allotment of tickets had returned them. So that was a very nice birthday gift to him.

Richard has a book where he keeps a record of each game; he’s a season ticket holder of the Oneonta Tigers. For a regular season game, scorekeeping is not too hard, though we saw a 7-2-5-1 pickle earlier this year. (That means the left fielder threw home to the catcher who threw to third base who threw to the pitcher covering home and got the out.) But in the exhibition game, it’s almost impossible. For one thing, both teams bring up a bunch of minor league players, especially pitchers, just for the day. Also, the stars usually play only an inning or two. Also, one can leave the game, then come back in the game, which is not generally allowed in professional baseball.

This weeekend, Richard and I are going to the second 2005 Hall of Fame weekend in Cooperstown. Then we’ll walk through town picking out the old pros. “Hey, there’s Yogi.” “That’s Mudcat Grant.” “I think that’s Ferguson Jenkins.” Then we’ll see the Oneonta Tigers play the Tri-City Valley Cats (of Troy, NY, near Albany) in, as it’s always called, “historic Doubleday Field.” It’s a real thrill for the young players.

There is usually a Q & A with some of the inductees and/or other Hall of Famers. But this year, that’s been pushed back to Monday, featuring the new inductees, Wade Boggs and Ryne Sandberg.

Cooperstown is a pretty, idyllic place. But if you want to come just to to see the Baseball Hall of Fame, I MOST DEFINITELY recommend that you come some time other than the HoF weekends, some time when it isn’t a madhouse.