Its 12:19 pm
Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone.....
Been an pretty eventful week here in SE Michigan.....had 3 tornadoes touch down here in our area,2 relatively close to us....in Dexter,a F-2 twister rolled in and destroyed 13 houses and damaged 100 more. In Ida,which is about 35 miles away,a few houses were also damaged when a smaller twister touched down and a F-2 hit in a town quite away from our area,not really sure how much damage was done.
The weather went from a muggy,warm day to a major threat in just an hour. I was watching it unfold on Fox 2 and you could see how the storms popped up and were slowly heading to us. Wasn't too worried because we always get passed over for some reason...but still was pretty happy when Lori got home and that the storm cell continued south of us. One thing about having such severe weather like this,it makes our CERT class all that more important. Which was great because the night we had the weather was the same night of our class,when I got there at 6:20 pm,only 3 other people were there for a 6:30 start...we wondered if a class was even going to happen....but 20 minutes later we had 30 students and our instructor in place and the topic couldn't been more fitting,how to deal with disaster psychology.
Our instructor asked us if we had seen any major disasters up close or had to deal with victims. A nurse spoke up and talked about a plane crash she had to respond to. It was actually a little spooky hearing about what she saw and dealt with. But this why we are being trained for,to help and deal with what happened in Dexter and Ida.
The local media covered this event like a blanket and the incredible reaction of the local community to help those effected by this storm was and in amazing. Tons of supplies were rushed in to help the victims and the first responders who were on scene going through the houses looking for potential victims. No one was killed and only 2 folks were slightly hurt,the early warnings that the Weather Service provided enabled people to get to safety.
My mom and pops were watching the Weather Channel and saw the storm hit Ann Arbor and started calling the house. I got home from class and touched bases with them and told them we were fine.
Basketball fever has really hit our area,4 area men's teams have made the various tournaments and the buzz is pretty loud for Michigan State, U of Detroit and the school in Ann Arbor. Oakland U also made a 2nd tier tourney,that was good to see considering that they play a very rugged schedule and despite having only a 17-15 record,deserved a trip to the play-offs.
This is the first year I filled out a bracket on Yahoo and I did so-so ,I went 21-11 in the first round and 3 of my 3 of my 4 Final Four picks made it as well....I picked Long Beach State but they were upset. I picked Syracuse to beat Kentucky in the finals...and even though I picked Michigan to beat Ohio U,I was pretty damn happy the Bobcats dumped the Wolverines in the first round. Just can't Michigan....I guess I see them like I do Stanford (but at least the Cardinal TRAVEL!!),the big school with all the clout against the smaller fish like Eastern,Western,Central,Oakland and Detroit. Detroit also lost to Kansas,65-50,but at least they showed up and gave the Jayhawks a tussle...a true sign of a good underdog.
My two interviews were like night and day.....the first one lasted 4 minutes and was given by a manager who seemed to have no love or passion for her job or her business. She told me the position,hours and pay...she didn't ask me a SINGLE question. I ended up asking her 4 or 5,I haven't seen such apathy in my entire working career...the 2nd one was so much better,I interviewed for 40 minutes and felt very comfortable with both the job and the manager who conducted the interview. Won't know for about 10 days which way it will go but have my fingers crossed.
Soap operas. How many of us have watched a soap opera in our lifetime? I grew up watching a couple of soaps with my momma,she liked to watch "Ryan's Hope" and "Days of Our Lives" every day. We used to do chores around these two shows or she would prepare dinner. And after I quit watching them after I discovered Doc Savage,The Inner Sanctum and Batman,I still would peek in once in a while. While Ryan's was long gone,other soaps popped up...I was so surprised to see Randy Mantooth on "Days" that I watched his storyline. Now who is Randy Mantooth? Why he played paramedic/firefighter on my favorite show growing up,"Emergency!". After the show ended,most of the cast just vanished from the airwaves,either they retired (Bobby Troup/Julie London),went into government (Ron Pinkard),or who knows where.
Randy was the first cast member who popped back up when he did a soap called "Loving" on ABC. That show evolved into "The City" before fading away. But because of his good work,he went on to other soaps and is a fan favorite.
What I liked about soaps was you could watch for a week,go away for a year,come back and see the same storyline going on...maybe with a fresh face but the story was still in progress. You see the soap zines at the check out counter blaring about which actor got "fired" when in fact,rarely do soap actors get fired,the story gets wrapped up,pilot season was happening,or sometimes they get play or film role. And the fans...other then country music fans,can't think of a more loyal bunch then soap fans. When ever a network or fan club hosted a event,you could count on thousands showing up in respectful support. Its a interesting world to be sure of.
But just as television did with radio,reality TV programming is doing to the world of the soap opera,its slowing forcing them off the air. While soap operas were able to make the switch from radio to TV,the switch from TV to who knows is now looming large. Only 4 shows remain on the air now and where as you could catch up with your old soaps on the SoapNet on cable TV,soon too that will be ending as Disney,which owns it,is converting it to a children's channel.
Why the decline and why so sudden? Budgets,tired plot lines,new crappy yet flashy shows like the "Real Housewives" and all the cheap ho filled crap on E! and Vh-1 splintered what was already a slowly shrinking viewing pool. Soon the soaps were being looked at as dinosaurs and very costly. And when the OJ Simpson murder case came on and interrupted the shows for weeks on end,it was the slow death knell for the genre.
But is the soap completely dead? I stumbled across a group of dedicated fans who are trying to save their shows. They continue to support the shows that are on and the stars that no longer working. If I was a soap star,I would be so grateful knowing that faceless folks are out there championing my name and keeping it in the public's (and casting directors) eye. Where as if you were written off a soap,you could wait a few months and then be recast on a different show,not so easy these days,not when there are the 4 shows left and one of those may be on shaky ground.
But to those who are reading this entry....and who want to help save the genre,be it a new cable channel,YouTube channel,fan events,etc....you can go here and catch the latest news and even download a coupon to send to your cable provider showing that you would support a channel.
I think Encore would be a perfect example of what could happen. They have a Western only channel that only shows western movies and old cowboy shows like Gunsmoke,Rawhide and Have Gun,Will Travel.
I feel their pain...I loved old radio dramas,even today,you can still dig up an old broadcast of Jack Benny,George and Gracie or my favorite,the CBS Mystery Theater and be transported to a much more simpler time.
And to Michael Easton....I still miss Gabriel Ashlocke!!
Okay,that is all I got for today.....I'm loading some Paladins on the iPod and walking to get some printer ink!
Comments and new readers are most welcome.