Ask Me a Question, Part 2

Our next contestant in Ask Roger a Question, is Chris “Lefty” Brown:

1. A long time ago I had a 7th grade teacher appear on Tic Tac Dough, and didn’t win but came away with a case of Rice or something or other. Did you get any consolation prizes for your time on Jeopardy?

Lefty, didn’t you commit everything I wrote in my epic JEOPARDY! saga to memory? I’m shocked, SHOCKED! From my August 6 post:
“Oh, I can’t forget the parting gifts I received, over a two-month period: a case (12 large cans) of sweet potatoes (they were quite good, actually), OTC vitamins and other products including Centrum, a rather lovely lap blanket, a US Search coupon to try to find anyone in the United States, Pop Secret popcorn, and TWO hair curlers (!), which I didn’t need and gave away. I also got a home version of…Wheel of Fortune, not JEOPARDY!”
That J saga, BTW, I wrote every Saturday, starting on May 28.

2. Who have you seen the most in concert? What was your favorite concert? When & who was your first concert?

In the ’80s, I saw this group called the Ulstafarians a number of times, thanks in large part to the fact that the late, lamented Raoul Vezina of FantaCo’s Smilin’ Ed fame got me into the late, lamented J.B. Scott’s. It seems that there was a time more recently that I was always seeing Alex Torres y Los Reyes Latinos.
Oh, someone you’ve actually heard of?
I can’t think of anyone I’ve seen more than twice: Joan Armatrading, Pete Droge, the Temptations, Lucinda Williams

Favorite concerts:
1981: the Temptations at the Coliseum around Albany; there were 7 of them, including a returning Kendrick and Ruffin
1983: the Talking Heads at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center- it sttarted with Byrne alone on stage (doing Psycho Killer), then the trio, then the quartet (with Harrison), then full strength band. It was, how do you say…organic.
2000 or 2001: Newport folk Festival at SPAC: Lyle Lovett, Lucinda Williams, Marc Coh, Joan Baez, Bruce Cockburn, many others.

First concert that I recall, Nov. 12, 1971- Seals & Crofts in NYC. The opening act, which I BELIEVE was J. Geils, was booed, but I liked them better than the headliners, which was a favorite group of my girlfriend at the time. The date I remember, BTW, because it was the birthday of Bahá’u’lláh, a leading light of the Baha’i faith, which she eventually embraced, and which turned out to be a major source of tension in our relationship. (Seals & Crofts were well-known Baha’is.)

3. What music do you fear your daughter may take a liking to?

Polka music. And it’s in her genes. I heard it a LOT in Binghamton. You know how your parents think that everything you listened to all sounded the same? That’s how I feel about polka.

4. Let’s play favorites: favorite comic book series, character, artist, and writer. Were you a DC fanboy or Marvel Zombie growing up?

First off, I don’t remember reading ANY Marvels growing up. I read the DCs and the kids’ comics (Richie Rich, Archie, and the like). It was the dumbness of the DCs that cured me of comics. This would be 1964-66.

Then, when I went to college when I was 18 (1971), my new best friend Mark Klonfas turned me onto comics, mostly Marvels.

Favorite series: Warlock (Starlin), Warlord (Grell), American Flagg (Chaykin), the original Elfquest (the Pinis), X-Men (Claremont/Byrne), Hero for Hire before he shows up mixing it up with Dr. Doom and the FF, Hembeck (Hembeck). I had a soft spot for the Defenders. I’m sure there are others.

Favorite character: Spider-Man, hands down. Which is why I HATED the Spider-Man book that came out in the early 1990s. It wasn’t Peter Parker under the costume, it was…Spawn or something.

Favorite artists: Starlin, Grell, Howard Cruse, Byrne, Gil Kane, George Perez, probably others. If I had to pick one, it would probably be Starlin. I also have an abiding respect for those “workmanlike” competent guys (I do NOT mean that pejoratively AT ALL) who were never fan favorites, but did the job. Examples: the John Romitas, and Joe Staton, who is probably the sweetest guy I ever met in the comic book world.

Favorite writers: Before I answer that, I should note that, for me, good or great writing and OK art beats great art and lousy storytelling. OK, then.
The Steves Englehart and Gerber, Claremont, Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, Denny O’Neil, Hembeck, undoubtedly others. One pick: Englehart.

Marvel or DC: all Marvel (except Elfquest and a couple others) until the “independents” (Eclipse, First, Pacific, etc.) came out. I did get Warlock and a couple books not in the DC universe, and I DID get New Teen Titans.
OK, now I have a question. If someone were in the market to sell his vinyl collection, what price guide would you say is comparablee to Overstreet for comics?

EARL sighting

I have a DVR. It’s like TiVo, as far as I can tell (I’ve never had TiVo, so this is speculation, based on reading descriptions.) Sometime soon, I’ll tell you what I like and don’t about it.

But ONE of the functions is that I can record ALL episodes of a show on a station. So, if the listing people know that a show’s going to be on at a different time, it’ll catch it (60 Minutes at 7 or at 7:30, depending on whether there’s a late game on CBS; of course, it’s almost always on later than that.)

I have programmed a new show called My Name is Earl, which generally is on at 9 p.m. on NBC. But I looked at my future recordings mode, I discovered episodes of Earl at 8:30, 9, and 9:30 p.m. to be recorded this coming Saturday night. Sure enough, I look at the electronic guide, and there is some “Most Outrageous” something or other at 8, followed by THREE episodes of Earl! (The print TV guide has two episodes of a show called Surface in that slot.)

Since they’ve only aired three episodes of the show (only the first two of which I’ve seen), I ASSUME those are the three shows they’ll be presenting. Which means that if you haven’t gotten on the Earl bandwagon yet, you have another chance!

EQ 1

Not to be confused with GQ.

Back in 1996, I took this test to ascertain whether I was entrepreneurially inclined. Having worked in retail for 10 years oir better, I was pretty sure the answer was, “No.” But I was interested in seeing the results.

Now that we’re back in the church year, with choir on Thursday nights, YOU’RE going to see the results too, on an occasional basis, anyway.

Summary scales, presented on a percentile basis; the higher the score, the greater my “entrepreneurial potential”:

ADAPTABILITY – the ease with which I can reach outside my current areas of expertise and comfort to adjust to new or changed circumstances, new people and new life experiences.
Ideal score 66-100, my score 26
I have to say that I found this surprisingly low, as I feel that I’m ALWAYS adapting to new circumstances. I wonder how I’d gfare, post-Lydia?

Ideal score 71-100, my score 32

Ideal score 70-100, my score 12

Ideal score 70-100, my score 24

Subscales are presented on a percentage basis; the closer my score is to the ideal score, the greater my “Entrepreneurial potential”:

Under Managerial Traits

Ideal score 85, my score 83
Actually, near the ideal score for taking calculated risks.

TIME MANAGEMENT- the ability to analyze, itemize, and sequence tasks in an orderly way
Ideal score 68, my score 38
“A Time Management course or seminar may be beneficial.”

CREATIVE vs. TRADITIONAL- thinking and operating in an innovative manner implementing and promoting new ideas, new products, new markets and new programs.
Ideal score 86%, my score 91% creative, 9% traditional
I work well with new ideas.

STRATEGIC vs. FUNCTIONAL – strategic takes into account the “big picture”; function managers operate on a more narrow focus
Ideal score is 85% strategic, my score is 69%, “considerably below the Ideal Score.”

PLANNING vs. REACTING -“Planning managers are very organized, they naturally operate with a well defined plan. Reacting managers prefer to handle situations in a more spontaneous manner, addressing details as they arise.”
Ideal score is 55% Planning, my score of 22% is “considerably below the ideal score.”

GOAL-ORIENTATION vs. ACTION-ORIENTATION “Goal-oriented managers are expediters- their goals drive the action on a daily basis. Action-oriented managers are process-oriented -they focus on that needs to be done to accomplish their goals>”
Ideal score is 47% goal-oriented, my score of 9% goal-orientated
MY “focus on day-to-day issues may interfere with” my “ability to meet long-term objectives.”
It’s true, I’m not a long-term planner, although with this blog, I’ve become more so.
More the next time I need an easy post.

I Note More Dead People

Both Mark Evanier and Fred Hembeck (him, again?) have noted the passing of Nipsey Russell, The Poet Laureate of Television, who I knew best from his appearances on Match Game, where he’d say things like:

The kids are saying, ‘Make love, not war.’
And I’m beginning to think they’re right.
For war costs millions of dollars a day,
And love, just a few bucks a night!

(Check out Einstein’s 30 Minutes of Unmatched Fame for some of that Match Game wackiness.)

I found a reference to Nipsey as poetry editor of some online poetry thing, a gig about which he had this to say:
Of this job, I don’t think so highly,
But hey — it beats hangin’ out with
Charles Nelson Reilly.

But what really caught my interest is something in Mark’s posting:
they don’t seem to be noting all the decades he spent working dives and clubs, many in the so-called “Negro Circuit,” before joining the thin ranks of performers who broke out of that show business ghetto.

As I wrote to Mark, in all my life (and I’m 52, and black), I’d never heard the term “Negro circuit” used in the context that he had it. “Chitlin circuit,” yes. Here’s a definition of that term from Bartlesby
NOUN: Informal. A circuit of nightclubs and theaters that feature African-American performers and cater especially to African-American audiences: “I was traveling up and down . . . with these little groups on what they call the chitlin’ circuit.”
(And if you don’t know what chitlins are, look here.)
Whereas, “Negro circuit” seemed to be tied primarily to sporting events, as Google suggests, such as the barnstorming baseball teams.

Hey, I’m a librarian. This kind of thing always catches my attention.
And speaking of same, Michael Wittenberg died last week. Who is that? Why, the (considerably younger) “husband of Broadway musical-theater star Bernadette Peters…in a helicopter crash in Montenegro [along with three other people]. He was 43.”

I know she’s the big Broadway star and he was “an investment adviser.” But the fourth paragraph in every story was all about HER. “Peters most recently appeared on Broadway in the 2003 revival of ‘Gypsy.’ Her other Broadway shows include ‘Sunday in the Park With George’ and ‘Into the Woods.’ She won Tonys for her performances in ‘Song & Dance’ and the 1999 revival of ‘Annie Get Your Gun.'” Looks like they took the info for HIS obituary from HER probably pre-written obit.

Ask Me a Question, Pt. 1:WS

You still have until 11:59 p.m. tomorrow to ask me questions about ANYTHING that I promise to answer. But given that baseball’s post-season (or “second season”, as FOX likes to put it) starts tonight, I feel compelled to answer one of the questions now:

Our first contestant is a scooting gentleman named Scott: Who do you think is going to win the World Series this year? I have no idea, except that it won’t be the San Diego Padres. Next question.

Actually, I’ve been working on a Goldilocks theory, in terms of peaking teams. Too early and the team has a chance of being flat in the post-season. Too late and the team will have used up all of its energy just to get to the post season. Just right teams have been tested, but have a chance to put their pitching in order.

American League:

EAST: New York Yankees- used a lot of energy just to win the division in Game 161
CENTRAL: Chicago White Sox- limped to their division title, more as a result of Cleveland’s collapse than anything. They alnmost blew the 15-game lead they had on August 1.
WEST: Anaheim Angels (yeah, I know what they’re really called)- seems just right. A good competitive race with Oakland, but resolved before the last week of the season.
WILD CARD: Boston, clinches on the final day. At least they don’t have to do a playoff game against Cleveland.

NYY vs. the LAA: Yankee pitching too inconsistent. Pick: the Angels.
CWS vs. Bosox: as beat up as Boston is, I think Chicago is going down. Pick: the Red Sox.
LAA vs. BoSox: This is a rerun of the 1986 series that went VERY badly for the Angels, after being within a few outs of the World Series. Redemption, finally. Pick: the Angels.

National League:

EAST: Atlanta Braves- had a terrible beginning of the season but surged into first place. Peaked a little early, but to their credit continued to play solid baseball.
CENTRAL: St. Louis Cardinals- WAY too big a lead early, cruised home.
WEST: San Diego Padres – they’re a .500 team, fer cryin’ out loud.
WILD CARD: Houston staves off Philadelphia.

ATL vs. Astros: Probably the best matchup of the four in the first round. I thought Houston would do better in the season because of their pitching, and in a short series, pitching’s even more important. But the Braves have pitching, too, and they’re more rested. Pick: the Braves.
Cards vs. Padres: St. Louis is flat, but not so flat that they can’t beat the Fathers. Pick: the Cards.
ATL vs. STL: As much as I would prefer St. Louis, I feel that it will be the superior depth of the other team. Pick: Atlanta.

World Series:
Atlanta beats the Angels in 6 or 7. Atlanta wins a WS in a year ending in 5 again.

Note that this isn’t what I WANT to happen, this is what I think WILL happen. I really don’t like the Braves. I think it’s that “America’s Team” schtick they have because they’re broadcast on TBS. That and the Tomahawk chop.

And while I’m talkin’ baseball: I have no pick for the AL MVP- A-Rod, Papi, they both have decent credentials. But for the NL MVP my pick is the pride of Curacao, the favorite player of every Little Leaguer from the island this year, Andruw Jones of the aforementioned Atlanta. He carried the team when Chipper and othes were hurt. I was watching the game many years ago when Bobby Cox pulled Andruw Jones IN THE MIDDLE OF AN INNING for his failure to hustle. The man has definitely grown up.

What are YOUR World Series picks?

(Aside to Fred, No, you can’t pick the Mets.)