“Once freedom is lost, America is lost. Wake up, beloved America”

July 30, 2009

Ben Stein’s got it right.

You remember Ben.  He’s that monotone teacher from Ferris Beuller’s Day Off, best known for deadpanning “Beuller…Bueller…….Bueller………….Beuller.”

Not only is he a very funny actor and comedian, but he’s also a writer, economist, and lawyer living in California.  He writes a column for every issue of The American Spectator, the venerable conservative magazine that actually started publication in Bloomington, Indiana (hardly a conservative hotbed, but I know from personal experience that some wonderful right-thinking people live there!  They funded part of my college education.)

Word for word, here’s the latest from Ben Stein.  I could not have said it better myself — his opinion perfectly captures what I’m worried about.  My Democrat friends (you know who you are) will cackle at Ben’s opinion and probably send me notes that conservatives have screwed up this country so IT’S OUR TURN.  I reject that opinion.  Our America doesn’t need a steamroller.  It needs a clear head. And if we’re going to fundamentally change the way we deliver health care — then we deserve a long, thoughtful, painful debate about the consequences.  Haste Makes Waste.  But, then, my hero Ben says it so much better than me.  Read on:

We’ve Figured Him Out

By Ben Stein on 7.24.09 @ 9:45AM

Why is President Barack Obama in such a hurry to get his socialized medicine bill passed?  Because he and his cunning circle realize some basic truths:

The American people in their unimaginable kindness and trust voted for a pig in a poke in 2008. They wanted so much to believe Barack Obama was somehow better and different from other ultra-leftists that they simply took him on faith.  They ignored his anti-white writings in his books. They ignored his quiet acceptance of hysterical anti-American diatribes by his minister, Jeremiah Wright.

They ignored his refusal to explain years at a time of his life as a student. They ignored his ultra-left record as a “community organizer,” Illinois state legislator, and Senator.  The American people ignored his total zero of an academic record as a student and teacher, his complete lack of scholarship when he was being touted as a scholar.

Now, the American people are starting to wake up to the truth.

Barack Obama is a super likeable super leftist, not a fan of this country, way, way too cozy with the terrorist leaders in the Middle East, way beyond naïveté, all the way into active destruction of our interests and our allies and our future.

The American people have already awakened to the truth that the stimulus bill — a great idea in theory — was really an immense bribe to Democrat interest groups, and in no way an effort to help all Americans.

Now, Americans are waking up to the truth that ObamaCare basically means that every time you are sick or injured, you will have a clerk from the Department of Motor Vehicles telling your doctor what he can and cannot do.  The American people already know that Mr. Obama’s plan to lower health costs while expanding coverage and bureaucracy is a myth, a promise of something that never was and never will be — a bureaucracy lowering costs in a free society. Either the costs go up or the free society goes away.

These are perilous times. Mrs. Hillary Clinton, our Secretary of State, has given Iran the go-ahead to have nuclear weapons, an unqualified betrayal of the nation.

Now, we face a devastating loss of freedom at home in health care. It will be joined by controls on our lives to “protect us” from global warming, itself largely a fraud if believed to be caused by man.

Mr. Obama knows Americans are getting wise and will stop him if he delays at all in taking away our freedoms.

There is his urgency and our opportunity. Once freedom is lost, America is lost. Wake up, beloved America.



The Verdict on the New STAR TREK

May 12, 2009

Paramount Pictures’ cash-cow STAR TREK franchise gets a much-needed, high-octane jolt with the global release of a re-imagined version of the Captain Kirk, Mister Spock, and Doctor McCoy story — directed by the same director who guided Tom Cruise through Mission Impossible: III. 

First in line at the IMAX

First in line at the IMAX

The studio put STAR TREK adventures on ice five years ago, after pulling the plug on the fifth TV show spawned from the original adventures of the U.S.S. Enterprise, which first hit the airwaves on NBC back in 1966 at the height of the Apollo space program.  And while the new film is simply called STAR TREK, it is the 11th feature film in the series.  The first weekend box office take exceeded $76 million here in the United States– more than twice the highest opening weekend of any previous STAR TREK film.  In just three days, the film has already recouped half of its production cost and is predicted by studio executives to exceed $300 million by the time it runs its course.  One out of ten moviegoers saw STAR TREK this past weekend in an IMAX theatre and it set a record on those massive screens, generating more than $8 million in revenue just at IMAX.

STAR TREK opened in many countries weeks ago, seen on 5,000 screens outside the U.S. in 54 locations that have generated an additional $35 million.  A friend of mine from Germany told me this morning it is “cool” and that he loved it.  That’s music to the ears of studio executives, since STAR TREK has not always translated well overseas.

Written to delight both Trekkies and the non-initiated, the latest STAR TREK movie grabs you and never let’s go.  It tells the origins of the Enterprise crew, how Spock experienced prejudice on his home planet of Vulcan, what makes Dr. “Bones” McCoy so cranky, and why James T. Kirk’s has a reputation as an impulsive, wiseguy ladies’ man.  In between, we also learn more about what opens Uhura’s hailing frequencies and how this interstellar crew came to be.

You can imagine the difficulty of crafting a story that would at once fill in the blanks in these character’s history, respect the future tales filled with Klingons, Tribbles, and Vulcan mating rituals, and yet give the producers enough latitude to create a feature that anyone can enjoy.  And don’t forget the sequel to the prequel.  All the actors have signed up to do three films, and work is already underway on the script for the next one.

Well, STAR TREK director J.J. Abrams and his team have done the impossible! The film is a breathtaking romp through the early days of the Starfleet Academy graduates, and it is compelling theatre for both old and new fans.  The story fits like a missing puzzle piece in STAR TREK lore, but it also leaves a door open for hardcore fans who may quibble with this or that.  The new STAR TREK movie operates on an alternative timeline – the universe as it is changed by the bad guy Romulan who alters history.

Longtime Trekkies will laugh at all of the insider jokes, because we already know the punch lines from the original TV series – that Sulu likes swords, Chekov has trouble with English, Scotty is a miracle worker, and Kirk is perpetually horny. 

But the real secret of this exhilarating film is the way it engages with people who know nothing about Vulcans with pointed ears or phaser battles.  It’s a delight for the casual fans, and those who just want a great two-hour escape who may most enjoy seeing these familiar characters in a story that tells how they all met — and gives us some insight into their future adventures.

Rated PG-13 for eye-popping special effects with some violence and a randy scene or two with Captain Kirk (which is mild compared to what’s on TV.)

This is the kind of movie that the Trekkies like me will see over and over and over again.  But it’s also a film filled with a wonderful story, a moving tribute to how our parents do their best to bring us into this world, and a springboard to the future adventures of the Enterprise crew.

Space is the Final Frontier, and STAR TREK delivers the goods!


The Final Frontier

May 8, 2009

In a few weeks, America will pause to remember an awesome moment in human history that happened 40 years ago.  On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong emerged from the Lunar Module that had landed on the surface of the Moon.  And with the whole world watching the fuzzy black-and-white images from live TV transmissions, a spaceman from Ohio set foot on another world — one “giant leap” for all of mankind. 

I remember that evening, as we listened to live coverage on the car radio.  Dad was racing home to make sure we could witness history on our black-and-white RCA television.  We got home just before 10:00PM, and just in time to see the astronaut descend the stairs and leave his footprints on the lunar surface. 

In early June 1969, the month before that historic event, another milestone in space history had taken place.  Turnabout Intruder, the 79th and final episode of NBC’s all-color show STAR TREK was broadcast.  So ended three years of the fabled “five-year mission” with the spaceman from Iowa (Captain Kirk.)   STAR TREK had been cancelled.  It was seven years before the introduction of the VCR, but STAR TREK didn’t disappear into the ether — it was soon resurrected by a magical force called syndication. 

Flash forward three years.  It is 1972.  Our family had moved to an Indianapolis suburb and we were about to buy our first color TV.  Friday nights at the Arland home typically meant popcorn and Canasta card games.  I’ve never learned to play poker, bridge, or gin rummy.  But my parents did teach me and my brother to play the card game created by an attorney and architect from Uruguay who thought that bridge took too long to play.

As a fourth-grader, I was up late one Friday night when the Eyewitness News team finished their late night news report.  As the camera pulled back to reveal sports guy Don Hine and weatherman Bob Gregory, Channel 13 anchorman John Lindsey called out to Scotty on the Starship Enterprise and asked him to “beam us aboard.” 

ch 13

Suddenly, the news crew and their set dissolved into sparkles and another episode of STAR TREK (now on nightly syndication) was underway.  I was mesmerized.

The people on the bridge of that ship all worked together.  Each had a role to play.  The cool, smart guy with the pointed ears had all the facts.  A Russian navigator kept the ship on course while a Japanese helmsman kept bad guys at bay.  A brilliant Scottish engineer did the impossible and a beautiful, talented black woman ran communications to keep everyone informed.  The irascible ship’s doctor delivered doses of levity and reality as his daily prescription.  And leading the crew of 430 aboard the Enterprise was the gallant Captain Kirk. 

No situation fazed him.  He was good at talking and negotiating, ready to throw up his hands (or the famous Shatner side kick) in a fight, and everyone respected him.  The women loved him.  I wanted to be him.

The 1970’s brought us many things.  Bellbottom jeans.  Long hair.  Leisure suits.  The VCR.  And also the pre-Internet collective known as STAR TREK fandom.

In 1974, my Dad the pharmacist bolted in the door one evening and excitedly told me to get in the car.  We were going to drive back to the eastside of Indianapolis because he’d heard that a STAR TREK club was meeting at a local library near his drug store.  So I went, and things have never been the same.

While that local club only met for a few years (and it was before I was old enough to drive), I struck up lifelong friendships that have enriched my world.  As a 13-year old, I got to go to Chicago (with my parents) to attend the first STAR TREK convention to reunite the entire original cast along with series creator Gene Roddenberry.  They actually spoke from a partial replica of the Enterprise bridge.  It was amazing!

I learned how to organize my peers when Channel 13 took the reruns of my favorite program off the air.  A petition drive in my fifth grade classroom helped to bring the show back (for reruns, anyway.)

I met a local radio broadcaster at the 1976 STAR TREK convention in Indianapolis, which fueled my fascination with and later career in broadcasting.  Trekkie radio DJ Tim Renshaw (better known on the air as “Jay Riley”) later got me and a friend backstage to meet TREK creator Gene Roddenberry during his Indianapolis lecture tour at the downtown basketball arena.  And we even interviewed our idol in his dressing room, just like real reporters.

We wrote letters along with thousands of others and convinced the President of the United States to name NASA’s first space shuttle after the U.S.S. Enterprise.  With the success of STAR WARS in 1977, we celebrated the decision by Paramount Pictures to bring back STAR TREK in a big-screen fantasy that arrived on December 7, 1979.  That it was Pearl Harbor Day was likely an omen, since the film — while sweeping — limped along on a hair-thin plot. 

But the franchise did not die.  New producers injected new blood and a classic story with STAR TREK II: The Wrath of Khan, featuring a duel of the great scenery chewers of William Shatner and Ricardo Montalban and the death of Spock, which landed the character on the cover of Newsweek magazine.  The third TREK film brought Spock back to life.  By the time production started for the fourth movie I was out of college.

Ann, a friend I’d met at the library TREK club, went with me to stake out the hotel of George “Sulu” Takei when we learned that a local shopping mall was bringing him to town for an appearance.  Ever gracious, George agreed to let us buy him breakfast the next morning.  Another hotel lobby enounter led us to buy lunch for James “Scotty” Doohan in downtown Indianapolis.

We also traveled to California to witness the unveiling of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Gene Roddenberry and later made a trip to Paramount Pictures to witness a day of filming on the fourth STAR TREK movie which would simultaneously save the whales and yet again revive the flagging franchise.

star ceremony

Later, I met Enterprise captain and horse wrangler William Shatner in the stables of the Indiana State Fairgrounds and showed Shatner and Leonard Nimoy a new technology called “high-definition TV” at events run by my employer several years before the technology reached stores.  Shatner even borrowed my RCA camcorder for an African safari.  Really!

dave and bill

A contact from Paramount’s parent company helped me land a soundstage tour of the starship bridge used in the 2003 spinoff series STAR TREK Enterprise.  I got to sit in the captain’s chair and imagine what it would be like to seek out strange new worlds – even though I was only peering at a soundstage wall and not the Enterprise viewscreen.

It’s been fun to follow this passion around the country, as I’ve attended STAR TREK conventions in New York, Chicago, Indianapolis, St. Louis, and Pasadena. 

leonard

I’ve met some incredible people at these conventions through the years.   My friend Adam was so focused on creating precise replicas of the red, blue, and green (that photograph gold) uniforms worn by the original crew that he found the same fabric suppliers who sold Paramount costumers the stretchy baseball uniform fabric that outfitted the Enterprise crew.  And he had it dyed in precisely the same colors as the original Starfleet uniforms.  I had to have one, hand sewn pear-green tunic with gold insignia and braids, sparkly black knickers and custom-made leather boots from California.  (I am blessed with a patient wife who realizes that this is not much different than another man’s football regalia that he might wear to the game on Sundays.) 

Kirk, Kirk, Spock

So when I show up in my STAR TREK uniform at the IMAX theatre to see the latest incarnation featuring a younger Kirk, Spock, and McCoy, I will be thinking of all of those friends I have met over the past 37 years as a Trekkie.  I’ll remember the late night Canasta games with my parents and the evening we first “beamed aboard” the Starship Enterprise with the Channel 13 news crew.

STAR TREK has always been about the optimistic belief that the human race will solve its problems and petty differences and learn to work together as one team.  And I, for one, am honored to celebrate that dream with my unabashed affection for STAR TREK and everything it’s brought to this world — as a 23rd century mirror on our own century.

dave today

So laugh at me and my uniform if you’d like.  But to me it’s a symbol of mankind’s reach for the stars and the hope that someday we’ll celebrate our differences as much as we do the things we have in common.

Live Long and Prosper!  STAR TREK lives!


Our Soldier’s Story

April 6, 2009

Walter Reed Army Medical Center was a long way from the weight room of Carmel Gym.

From his hospital bed in Washington, we held hands and prayed together.  I asked God to give him the strength to endure the long road ahead, a climb that was just beginning. 

On a Sunday in mid-October 2006, my friend Joshua Bleill had lost both legs in a horrific bomb explosion in Iraq.  After 11 hours of surgery, his hip was held together with 34 screws.  He could barely talk.  But Josh was a Marine, and stronger than ever.

Lance Corporal Bleill had been in Iraq for just a couple of weeks when his Humvee hit an improvised explosive device in Fallujah.  Two marines in his vehicle died.  Josh’s good friend Tim eventually lost a leg.  Josh lost both legs, amputated above the knees.

Suddenly, my friend from the gym was helpless on a foreign battlefield.  Taken first to Germany and then to Washington, Josh spent two years recuperating and learning to walk again.  Now 31 years old, he is an inspiration to soldiers who have come back from Iraq and Afghanistan missing limbs and missing parts of their lives. 

Many of us in Indianapolis saw reports of his progress and his story, with local TV stations and newspapers following his recovery.josh-and-dave-march-2008

But I was blessed to see his transformation happen before my eyes, with each successive visit to the building on the Walter Reed Hospital campus where dozens of wounded warriors live and recuperate.  It’s close to their rehabilitation center.  My work brought me to our nation’s capital every six weeks or so, and I tried to visit Josh and his friends whenever I could.

With the support of his family and the incredible staff at Walter Reed, Josh made steady progress.  There were setbacks and disappointments, but also moments of great joy as he learned to walk again – first with a set of “short” legs, and then adding height and motion.  An experimental set of legs uses Bluetooth wireless signals that allow the legs to “talk” to each other.   By last May he was making the rounds at rehab, encouraging other soldiers on their progress.  Here’s a short video from rehab:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMHOlfHqD0Q

A soldier’s life at Walter Reed can be lonely.  But Josh was the bright light to so many injured men.  His sense of humor and humility prevail, even with this incredible challenge.  He’s sat with the President for Nationals baseball games and traveled to see the COLTS win the Super Bowl.  His fiancé Nikki has been at his side, patiently helping, learning, leading, and loving.  They make a warm and wonderful couple.

josh-and-nikki1

Eventually, Josh moved home and made plans for his future.

On a sunny Saturday April afternoon, Josh married Nikki in a packed ballroom of the former officer’s club at the former Fort Harrison in Indianapolis – now part of a state park.  The room was filled with family, friends, soldiers, media, and so much love for “our Marine” and his bride.

There are no words to express what we all felt during the official “first dance,” as Josh used his cane to steady himself on prosthetic legs.  His arms embraced his beautiful bride.

This is the moment so many had hoped for.  And it was truly amazing to see it all unfold.

dscn37072

We don’t yet know how Josh’s story will end, or why his tour in Iraq was cut short by the explosion.  But so many hearts have been touched by his story, and so many people have been moved to help – first to care for Josh, then to care for the injured Marines who have no family to love them. 

Josh is not shy about what’s next.

“There are reasons that things happen. There are reasons that this happened. And I have a new mission at hand,” he told one of the Indianapolis TV stations shortly after the accident.

“My faith in God stays faithful to accomplish that mission as well.  It’s something that I have to pray about and see what it is. Maybe it’s helping other Marines that get in this same situation.”

Josh and Nikki have started a new chapter, loved and supported by so many who have been inspired by this soldier’s story.

dscn37021

 

 

 


Facebook: It’s a Small World, After All

March 26, 2009

It’s been a long time since we gathered for our first introductory broadcasting course in the basement transmitter room of the Butler University’s 50-thousand watt radio station. This was my very first college class, on a very early 8:00AM Monday morning in Indianapolis. Also in that class was an out-of-place Jewish kid named Tom who’d never seen so much green in one place as we have in Indiana.

Democrat Tom Weiss may have been out of place in conservative Indiana, but he is certainly one-of-a-kind. A Marv Albert wannabe sportscaster, Tom was the son of then-Congressman Ted Weiss of New York. The same Ted Weiss who represented midtown Manhattan and Wall Street also sent his son to school in the Hoosier state.

Tom’s dad had emigrated to the U.S. from Hungary, fleeing the Nazi invasion. Educated as an attorney and elected to the New York City Council, he ran for Congress and won a seat in the 1976 bicentennial year. He died while in office as a Congressman, one day before the state’s primary election in 1992. Even with five Democratic challengers on the ballot, Ted Weiss still posthumously won that election with 89% of the vote.  

At Butler, we were all adjusting to a new reality of being away from home.

Tom joined the same fraternity that I did, and we were classmates from that first day through four (or in his case, I think, six) years of school. We learned a lot. We had wonderful times with our band of merry men. He’s always been a good singer – someone you could count on when trying to fill out the ranks for Spring Sing competitions.

(One night we heard Tom’s dad on Larry King’s national call-in radio show. This was during the Reagan Administration, and Congressman Weiss was railing against the President and his policies. We goaded Tom into calling up the show and asking his Dad for money, since he was just a poor college student. That was a fun night.)

At 13, Tom played the role of Benjamin Franklin in a local production of the musical “1776.” 

Now, almost 25 years after graduating from college, I found Tom Weiss – the first Jewish man I’d ever met – alive and well and living in Jerusalem.

This year, he is reprising his interest in American history and the musical “1776.”

The story of the American revolution, told in song, is playing now on an Israeli stage? But why?

“Leadership, Courage, Freedom, and Independence. And we have the first African-American President. Slaves built the White House in 1792, and John Adams was the first president to reside there,” wrote Tom on Facebook chat earlier tonight. The show is being done all over the country, in English.

In this production, Tom Weiss plays Roger Sherman – who opens the show. Connecticut’s Sherman was the only American to have signed all four of the great state papers – a signer of the Declaration of 1774, the Declaration of 1776, the Articles of Confederation of 1781 and the U.S. Constitution of 1788.

“We’re trying to teach coalition building. We call it musically harmonized, creative charismatic coalition building. That’s where Israel and Bibi Netanyahu is today,” Tom explains, referring to the incoming Israeli prime minister.

The show has actors from north and south, from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The theatre company has been going for two years. The show’s director is from Broadway in New York.

“We were in a bus last week heading to Ra’anana above Tel Aviv and we watched the movie ‘1776’ together. For some it was the first time,” Brother Weiss wrote, noting that the cast on the bus sounds better singing together than do the actors on the DVD.

For seven weeks now, Israeli audiences have been lining up to see the story of the American Revolution told in song.

“We had Knesset Night tonight,” Tom relays. “From what I am told, this is the longest running in the history of the English speaking theatre in Israel.”

Tom’s Facebook message had a special offer for Knesset Night – get three tickets for the price of one. “Special for my Facebook friends, like Broadway TKTS @ 47th Street,” he wrote, referring to the same-day discount ticket show offers in Times Square.

Small world, indeed.


How Low Will It Go?

March 1, 2009

The spiraling, sputtering economy is throwing off jobs – and careers – like the hot air balloon pilot cutting loose sandbags in an attempt to gain altitude.

My friend the home salesman was let go a few months ago, ahead of the tidal wave that is rippling through our economy.  The national builder he worked for just pulled up stakes from Colorado and left town. 

A fraternity brother in the home improvement business called with news of a layoff from his Baltimore tool company, after 15 years on the job. 

A woman who graduated from Butler with me (but majored in psychology) spread word of her layoff from an Indianapolis advertising agency through Facebook.  

A groomsman from my wedding can’t find work in Indiana, so the electrician travels to West Virginia to work – coming home on the weekends to be with his girls. 

A friend from the gym thought his job was safe because he was the only IT person at a small insurance firm, but he was laid off. 

Just seven months into the job, an advertising executive lured to Indianapolis by a large electronics firm is sacked as business sours.  His list of local contacts is limited, to say the least.

A relative in the Florida hospitality business worries when word hits the papers that sagging vacation commitments have forced layoffs at his blue-chip company – voluntary layoffs at first, but more pain to come.

The only bright spot – so far — in my circle of laid off friends is the adaptable computer expert who endures the personal pain of a layoff but lands another job before his severance is spent.

Others keep their heads low and nose to the grindstone as contracts expire, new business slows, and companies everywhere look for things to throw overboard.

How low can it go?  Much lower, probably.

Somehow, I don’t think nationalizing the financial networks and health care system is the answer. 

Who’s going to be left to pay the bill?


The Long Goodbye to Analog TV

February 18, 2009

February 17th was supposed to be the day when all of America’s 1,600+ broadcast TV stations flipped the switch to kill analog TV broadcasting.  The new era was supposed to arrive in one historic moment. 

 

 

But like the long history of Digital TV in the United States, analog has one more turn around the track — a four month commutation of its death sentence.  Some 400 TV stations are signing off, anyway, just like they used to do in the old days. 

 

 

(Anyone else remember when Channel 13 in Indianapolis would end their evening news by “beaming aboard” the Starship Enterprise, air a re-run of STAR TREK, and then play the National Anthem and go to color bars before turning off the transmitter for the night?)

 

Long have many of us labored in the Digital TV vineyard.  And it’s been a rocky ride for Digital TV since the transition first began.

 Any government-mandated change will, by nature, be a series of compromises.  That’s certainly the history of Digital TV in the USA.   

It wasn’t like the old days – when RCA developed a standard for black-and-white, and then color TV, and the government approved it.  More voices were at the table.  

 

March 2001:  Telling Congress that this Digital TV stuff is expensive!

March 2001: Telling Congress that this Digital TV stuff is expensive!

Computer companies wanted a piece of the action.  Broadcasters and Cable operators used the transition as a jousting match.  Government – ever responsive to squeaky wheels – first mulled over the idea of “needs based” converters, or distributing converters at post offices.  But Retailers wanted to see those consumers in stores.  TV manufacturers wanted the latitude of developing products that would appeal to different market segments, but the Government mandated various features and functions.  Fingers were pointed.  Studies were done of distant European capitals that had managed transitions that took years to accomplish. 

 

Wireless companies lusted over the prospect of radio spectrum ideal for traveling long distances and penetrating buildings.  President Clinton salivated over the planned $70 billion spectrum auction that his administration used to “balance the budget” (in reality, the auction proceeds were less than one-third of this amount.)  Hollywood saw a new opportunity to monetize film vaults with DVD, which drove the initial transition to digital TV. 

 

The first high-definition TV demonstrations in the modern era occurred in the House Commerce Committee in 1987. 

 

I saw my first demo of a Japanese HDTV system at the Washington Hilton (where President Reagan was shot) a year later.  I ran demonstrations on Capitol Hill a decade or so after that. 

 

Many of us wondered how long it would take for consumers to embrace HDTV – not as the exclusive domain of the ultra-rich, but as a technology that everyone could enjoy.  More than 35 million digital TV sets will be sold this year –nearly 100,000 a day (if sales were evenly distributed and there wasn’t a rush for the Super Bowl, Father’s Day, or Christmas!)  That moment is finally here. 

 

And as soon as we can get everyone on board with a converter box, we can turn out the lights on the TV system that has served our country well since it was first lit up with the New Year’s Day Rose Bowl Parade telecast of 1954. 

 

 

 

First Color TV Broadcast:  Rose Bowl Parade 1954

First Color TV Broadcast: Rose Bowl Parade 1954

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Pitch the iPhone, it’s Back to Blackberry!

November 17, 2008

The great experiment has ended.  After almost a year of typing out emails with one finger, I’ve sidelined my first-gen iPhone for a new Blackberry (the Bold 9000, for those who care.)  At last, I can write faster than a first-grader practicing his penmanship!  While the iPhone is spiffy for its looks and remarkable slipperiness (I dropped one in Manhattan.  $265 later I got a re-conditioned one, after the injured unit started rattling and stopped working), it’s a lousy device for business.  I’m so happy to be back in action with a REAL KEYBOARD that lets me respond quickly and efficiently to emails.  Viva Blackberry!