Thursday, November 26, 2009

acid redux

For several years, I have enjoyed trashing CBS' attempted coverage of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I assume the only reason they bother doing a telecast is so they can sell ads to Macy's competitors. The parade participants don't perform for the CBS cameras like they do for NBC's.

I could only tolerate a few minutes of the CBS broadcast this year. I knew it would be bad when Maggie Rodriguez started off by referring to the new Spider-Man balloon as Superman. Really. Instead of watching the whole thing I did a Google search for "CBS Thanksgiving parade" followed by words like "awful" and "terrible." One of the searches brought me to the comments posted on Let me copy and paste a few for posterity in case Les Moonves deletes them.
by ayearwasted: CBS's supposed Macy's Parade coverage is merely celebrity snaps and gab. The token camera shots of the parade are so distant as to appear like an ant farm, and even those token images are blocked by a cheap computer overlay of fall leaves. Clearly CBS has no respect for the thousands of people who created the floats, no respect for those who practiced for years to march and perform, and no respect for we who do appreciate their extraordinary accomplishments. Shame, shame, shame!

by Alliterated: Disappointing coverage of the Macy's parade was highlighted by -not the parade- but a bunch of commercials and dance routines. Disgusting appearance by an alleged comedian, who denigrated his mother and father with references to his father looking like Hugh Hefner. Your rush to catch up with the crudeness of cable is alienating scores of boomers who still control the remotes, the majority of the buying power and so also the commercial dollars.

by tsummer99: We must say that this is the WORST coverage of a Thanksgiving Day parade we have ever seen. In fact, we don't think we are even watching a parade but in fact watching the hosts chat it up and commercials. COMMERCIALS EVERY FEW MINUTES IT SEEMS. We want to see a HOLIDAY PARADE. NOT A PARADE OF COMMERCIALS!!!! We have an exchange student here that we made get up just to watch this. She has since fallen back asleep because this coverage is so terrible. She was excited to see the marching bands, but has not seen a single one. Every time it looks like a band is coming up, the coverage cuts to commercials. A few balloons, a couple floats and some celebrities does not a parade make. We will never watch this parade again. Thanks for ruining a family holiday tradition CBS.
The fun for me this year came from reading and posting comments on Twitter during NBC's parade telecast. At a few commercial breaks, I flipped over to CBS in case I saw something silly.

As you would expect, the new balloons looked less wrinkled than the older ones. I thought it was an odd choice to put the new Mickey Mouse balloon on an inflatable boat anchor. My wife noticed that Poppin' Fresh had a blank blue circle on his toque instead of the Pillsbury logo.

Unfortunately for smart-alecks like me, there were no train-wreck moments in this year's line of march. Singers like Carly Simon and Cheyenne Jackson were barely memorable. Of the lot, I found Jimmy Fallon to be the most entertaining.

When I was a kid, my father took us into the city to see the parade in person each year. After we got home and had dinner, we would look at slides of the parade from previous years. Nowadays, I can read my blog posts from 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008.

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

help myself in a royal way

Like us, Maestro Brian Salesky was stocking up for Thanksgiving and enjoying the many free samples at Sam's Club when my wife and I bumped into him on Saturday. I was even able to get some Dunkin' Donuts coffee at the Holiday Taste of Sam's Club event. A lady offering tastes of a dried fruit and dark chocolate-covered almond mixture called Bar Harbor Blend shamed me into buying a bag when she caught me coming back for seconds. It reminded me of some very expensive trail mix I had in October.

The Maestro was still very excited that David Keith will play the Pirate King when the Knoxville Opera stages "The Pirates of Penzance" on March 12 and 14. They have already started rehearsals with Keith working on pronouncing every trailing consonant as he sings.

My father was a big fan of Gilbert & Sullivan. I remember him listening to records of D'Oyly Carte Opera Company when he wasn't listening to "regular" opera or Gregorian chants. I think I will try to score some tickets for the Tennessee Theatre in Dad's memory.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

dessert storm

As Thanksgiving approaches, a couple of thoughtful readers sent me some tempting recipes from the Internet. The do-it-yourself marshmallow peeps on Twig & Thistle look much better than the blobs I once made with the Peeps maker that now resides on my office shelf. I'm guessing that my friend Kathy would have better results with the homemade peeps than I would. She made some great marshmallows last Christmas and last Easter. Hmm... the annual church bake sale is this Sunday.

Another recipe that may be too much for me is Paula Deen's eggnog. It's not that it's too complicated, it's just that it makes ten times more than I need. I emailed the link to my wife. She was grossed out and made it clear I would be the only one drinking it. On top of that, I still have some Weigel's eggnog in the freezer that I didn't drink last year.

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

a cheerful giver

Today's blog entry has been, in a manner of speaking, donated to charity. I received a couple of emails asking for help. One gives you a chance to get some exercise before eating your Thanksgiving dinner. The other lets you spend big money on a one-of-a-kind item.

I remember your post about Bible Across America and I wanted to give you a heads up, Zondervan is auctioning off one of the Bible Across America handwritten originals.

The Bible Zondervan is auctioning is actually in three volumes. Each is leather-bound, and cumulatively contain 2,200 pages at 11x17 inches. It is the actual Bible that people wrote into and includes the handwriting of more than 31,000 Americans from all ages and walks of life during the course of the nine month campaign.

The auction is currently open on eBay at the following link: It will end on November 22, 2009 at 11:11 AM EST.

All proceeds of the auction will benefit Colorado Springs-based Biblica, the translation sponsor of the New International Version (NIV) translation, the translation used for Bible Across America.

I was hoping you could check out the auction, make a bid if you want to, and give a shout out on your blog. If you have any questions I'm happy to answer them.

Brian Burch
Here's another one.
Hey Frank,

If you think it's appropriate, would you consider mentioning something about the Hot to Trot race on your blog? Proceeds benefit Catholic Charities and Sister Martha's Food Pantry. Great way to get active on Thanksgiving Day, while giving back to the community.

If you can't, no big deal. I'm just trying to get the word out.

Gretchen Crawley

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Monday, November 02, 2009

just say November

Never let it be said that I rush straight from Halloween into Christmas. Each year I write several blog posts about Thanksgiving. It bugs me to see stores displaying Christmas decorations in October. However, I did go online today and order my tickets for the Living Christmas Tree.

I went to the show at Thompson-Boling Arena for the first time last year and enjoyed it tremendously. Three of this year's shows conflict with the Knoxville Symphony's Clayton Holiday Concerts. I picked one of the two that do not, since my wife will be singing at all four Clayton shows.

Another Christmas reminder popped up in my email today. Dave & Melanie, the couple who operate the seasonal See's Candies kiosk at West Town Mall, wrote to tell me that they will reopen for business on November 12. They were kind enough to include some fun photos from their summer Workamping adventures.

On top of all that, the radio industry news had a few reports of stations flipping to an all-Christmas format over the weekend, including one in St. Louis and two in Kansas City. Despite being on the verge of a Christmas avalanche. I found two reasons to be hopeful for Thanksgiving.

On our way home from Missouri this summer, my wife and I stopped at Broadbent's in Cadiz, Kentucky. The Christmas-themed gift shop was across a parking lot from a radio station with a drive-through window. (Huh?) Amidst all the Christmas items in the store was a small display of three Thanksgiving (and one Halloween) decorations.

Perhaps most encouraging was the decent selection of Thanksgiving cards at Dollar General Market. My cell phone battery died just as I thought about taking a picture of the display. Instead I spent 50¢ to take home the card that reminded me of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

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Friday, December 05, 2008

ort report

For several days after each Thanksgiving, all my meals include leftovers. The cranberry sauce is always the first thing to get used up while the turkey lasts the longest. I've discovered that my new favorite condiment makes a great replacement for cranberry sauce. After I reheat four ounces of turkey for lunch or dinner, I pour some Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce on top. Its sweetness and spiciness give an extra zing that takes the boredom out of leftovers. I've been going through the stuff so fast that while at Sam's Club yesterday, I bought two more bottles without remembering that I still had one in the pantry.

I found some interesting Internet leftovers too. My friend Sandy posted some of her Thanksgiving recipes last week. While tracking back a link to my post about free symphony tickets for bloggers, I happened across a cute story about a kid who thinks sweet potato casserole is called "marshmallow basagna." Byron Chesney posted a picture of Thanksgiving cakes and pies that had me wanting to take a bite out of my screen.

As if my review of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade weren't complete enough, let me point you to somebody at NPR who wrote a blog post about the great Rickroll at the parade. Another blogger did a "live blog" of the event. I've thought about doing that but I ended up sitting back on the couch and jotting a note on a legal pad when something struck me as noteworthy.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

never gonna give you up

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will always be a major part of my holiday. We could vary the dinner menu and I could miss a football game (as long as the Redskins aren't playing) but I cannot miss the parade and have it still feel like Thanksgiving.

Why does CBS bother to cover the parade each year? Better yet, why do I bother to watch? The broadcast is not in high definition, the camera angles are terrible, none of the bands or singers perform and the anchors often give erroneous information. For example, they said that Horton the Elephant was from Whoville, when everybody knows that all the Whos live in the speck of dust on the clover Horton carries.

Actually I do know why I tune in. I always hope to see additional coverage of the giant helium-filled balloons. This year CBS replaced Hannah Storm with Maggie Rodriguez who, like Hannah, referred to the balloons as "floats." She referred to the floats as "floats" as well. When a balloon did pass by, Maggie and co-anchor Dave Price would turn their backs to the camera to get a look. Can't say that I blame them for that.

Maggie and Dave seemed to spend more time interviewing random guests than describing the parade. Some of the celebrities who dropped by were Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Broadway star Roger Bart and singer Clay Aiken. A soap opera actress named Julie Pinson brought photos of the European vacation she and Maggie took together about eight years ago. Maggie revealed that she and Julie have blackmail-able photos of each other that were snapped on a beach in the south of France. I think we know what she means.

To truly enjoy the parade, you needed to watch the good-looking HD coverage on NBC and not pay attention to the corny scripted lines that Meredith Vieira and Matt Lauer were reading. They deviated from the script twice today that I noticed. Meredith got the stuffing scared out of her when the Keith Haring Heart balloon got too close and brushed their broadcast booth. We only heard her distress because the camera was already focused on the next entry. Later, there was some confusion over what paragraph to read when Andy Williams was about to perform. How come my man Andy didn't get a float or even a car to ride? I doubt they made an almost-81-year-old walk the parade route. If Andy did have a float that broke down, it might explain the mistake in the NBC booth.

Without question, the greatest moment of the parade was when the "Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends" float Rickrolled us viewers. NBC tried to spoil it twice by listing Rick Astley's name in the opening credits and by having Matt Lauer say, "watch carefully, we hear there is a special musical surprise." I had just called my wife into the room to hear the Friends' version of the theme from "The Courtship of Eddie's Father" when Astley interrupted with his '80s classic.

For the uninformed few among us, Rickrolling is an Internet sensation where you expect one thing but get Rick Astley. My friend Bean did a great job of explaining it on March 31 and then executing it on April 1 of this year.

I feel for the guy in the photo below. The good news is that he gets to be in the best parade in the country. The bad news is that he had to wear the most ridiculous costume and ride on the Jimmy Dean sausage float with some country singer. What's he supposed to be, a pat of butter?

Let's "dot dot dot" our way through the rest of my notes... my daughter heard that the Rockettes must all have the same length inseam... James Taylor's electric guitar looked like a really thin acoustic guitar... the NYPD band got ripped off when the network ran a recorded drum track instead of the band's audio... Shontelle almost fell off the Rhino Mountain float twice... the Clique Girlz send the exact opposite message I would want my children to get from a group targeting kids... there's an "Internet phenom" named Charice?... when these same balloons appear in the Macy's Holiday Parade at Universal Orlando Resort, do they get deflated and re-inflated every day?... did Varsity Fanclub take the place of the Cheetah Girls in the line of march?... my wife is happy because the best sounding band in the parade, the JMU Marching Royal Dukes, is from her alma mater... Al Roker apparently pulled some strings to get his kid aboard the Santa float... did I mention that the fools at CBS wasted the first ten minutes of their broadcast talking about nothing?

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

short and sweet

In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, it's a fun time to watch Food Network and to click around sites like Cupcakes Take the Cake. Today I watched part of a TV show about desserts that I had recorded over the weekend and looked online at a collection of holiday cupcakes.

Some of the turkey-shaped cupcakes looked great, some were laughable and some were just plain weird. What really struck me as funny was that the turkey cupcakes being held up for ridicule on the very entertaining Cake Wrecks blog looked better than many of the examples on the cupcake tribute site.

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

strings attached

Somebody fixed the Wikipedia entry for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. When I looked at it a couple of weeks ago, a contributor had mistakenly written that one of this year's new balloons would be Bolt, the dog in a new animated Disney film. I think they got the idea from a poorly worded press release that has since been rewritten. It's also possible that they didn't know the difference between a balloon and a float. Bolt is part of a new float.

The major balloons that will debut on Thursday are Buzz Lightyear, Horton the Elephant, and a Smurf. I found a good web video that shows some of the steps in creating these giant helium-filled creatures. The returning balloons are Abby Cadabby, Beethoven (the dog, not the guy although that would have been amusing), Dora the Explorer, Energizer Bunny, Kermit the Frog, Pikachu, Ronald McDonald and Shrek. Hmph. Still no Underdog.

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

grounded transportation

What happened to the shuttle that ran between Knoxville and Nashville International Airport? About a month ago I heard a news report that suggested it was already time to buy airline tickets for Thanksgiving weekend. I got online to purchase a round trip ticket for my son to come home from college for the holiday. As usual, there were no direct flights. He would have to change planes in Chicago or Dallas with either a very short or a very long layover. With flight delays and the memory of our last travel fiasco still in mind, I didn't like the idea of him having only 45 minutes to catch a connecting flight in Chicago in November weather.

My wife said she would be willing to drive to Nashville to pick him up, so we looked at flights in and out of the Music City. A nonstop flight cost about $100 less than the one-stop flights into Knoxville. Last week when the gas prices spiked at $5 a gallon, my boss suggested that we look into booking a seat on the K-Town Shuttle. He looked for it on his computer and I later looked on mine to no avail. Their phone number was disconnected too. Does anybody know why they closed up shop?

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

meant what I said

It's too early to think about Thanksgiving and Christmas. However a press release NBC sent yesterday got me doing just that. The release runs down the network's holiday programming for 2008. Maybe the timing is understandable. While at KROQ, I would experience a bit of a Christmas rush in September. I suspect that part of the reason my friend Bean put his blog on hiatus is because of the workload for the annual Kevin & Bean Christmas CD, which probably needs to be turned in soon.

NBC will broadcast the 82nd annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I remember reading over the summer that this year's parade would feature a new Horton (as in "Horton Hears a Who") balloon. I'm still waiting to hear what other characters will make their helium-filled debut in November.

In addition to the return of some traditional holiday specials, the NBC release lists several new shows. They will crank out three countdowns that sound similar to the stuff you see on Vh1 and elsewhere. I will watch at least one, maybe two of these:
"Greatest Holiday TV Specials and Movies" features clips from the most-loved holiday TV specials and films. From animated TV classics to the must see holiday films of the past and present, we'll rank the greatest holiday moments that ever graced the screen.

"Greatest Holiday Songs" will count down the best performances of both classic and contemporary Christmas songs. From timeless tunes from the great crooners to recent essentials from the more modern pop stars, we will recount the greatest songs of the season.

"Greatest Holiday Home Videos" goes home for the holidays as we count down the most hilarious and entertaining holiday moments sent in from families' home videos across the country. This special will be an hour of non-stop family fun where we choose from thousands of submissions, and rank the best America has to offer from holiday mishaps to memorable moments to classic Christmas season chaos.
Of the three, I'm most interested in "Greatest Holiday Songs" although it would be funnier to make a countdown show of the worst Christmas songs. I've mentioned several of my favorite Christmas songs in the past. Maybe I'll arrange them in a numbered list before the NBC special airs. I doubt our lists will be very similar. Except for "Last Christmas." Everybody loves that one. If you also enjoy Christmas songs, you should know that the aforementioned Bean posts some Christmas Music Everyday.

There was no mention in the NBC press release of "Christmas Eve Mass at the Vatican." However the Catholic blog Whispers in the Loggia revealed today that Cardinal John Foley will return as "the voice of Christmas." Foley had indicated that maybe it was time for him to step down but higher ups in the Church and at the network urged him to stay.

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

will it float?

Maybe it was the amazing HD picture that helped me be less critical of NBC's coverage of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade than in years past. This morning I decided that Meredith Vieira has a warmth and a sincerity in her voice that makes her better at reading the Macy's approved script than Katie Couric. In 2005, I was less than enthusiastic about the Katie and Matt Lauer combination. The cheese factor increased today once Al Roker joined Meredith and Matt at the table. Voiceover announcer Joel Godard's pronunciation of "Menudo" was oddly entertaining every time he attempted it.

In 2006, I focused on CBS's coverage. This year I am too frustrated to deal with them because Hannah Storm still doesn't know the difference between a parade float and a balloon. Hannah might have been a little embarrassed when Hannah Jr. used her whole palm to wipe her nose on live TV. Dave Price was definitely embarrassed when he said that Tom Osborne had coached Oklahoma and when he said "you're watching The Early Show... no you're not, you're watching the Thanksgiving Day parade!"

The Ooltewah High School Marching Band dressed in clown costumes and played a medley that included a little bit of music from "Big Top Pee-wee." They finished their performance and started playing "Rocky Top" as NBC moved on to the Ronald McDonald balloon. From the aerial view, Ronald's hair looked more like his brain. The Ooltewah band posted their itinerary online. The students had to wake up at 1:30 this morning, get on their bus by 2:30 and line up for rehearsal at 3:00 a.m.

One of the foot-juggling Huesca Brothers almost neutered his sibling on live TV. One brother was on his back, feet in the air. The other brother was supposed to plant his soles on his brother's. He missed.

Matt Lauer said that the girl on the Care Bears float was "one of rock's foremost vocalists, Kay Hanley." That impressive descriptor didn't help me at all. Besides, she looked too young. Matt might have mentioned that Kay was in the band Letters to Cleo and that she's 39.

You can vote for your favorite float or balloon at, assuming you know the difference.

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Monday, November 19, 2007


It took some searching to find two articles about the test flight of the balloons that will make their debut in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday. WNBC's story includes video. The Herald News wrote about a New Jersey woman becoming a balloon handler.

While looking for news about the new balloons, I found a story about some of my favorite old balloons. The widow of a Goodyear balloon designer loaned photos of his creations for a display at the library in Akron. Naturally I liked the Underdog photo best.

Don't forget that "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" is on ABC tomorrow night. I'll probably record it for my wife, just like I did last month with "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" even though she hasn't had time to watch it yet.

In addition to everything else she does, my wife had a Martha Stewart moment today. She made some turkey-shaped place card holders out of pipe cleaners and Ferrero Rondnoir dark chocolates.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

comfort food

Mashed potatoes are as much a part of Thanksgiving as turkey in my family. It's usually my job to do the mashing while adding milk, butter, salt and pepper. In more recent years, I would add garlic too. This past summer, my daughter made me some mashed cauliflower as a lower calorie replacement for potatoes. The taste was good enough to definitely try again but probably not on Thanksgiving.

At a recent family wedding, my wife saw an example of a hot new trend in catering, the mashed potato bar. The spuds are served in martini glasses with an array of meats, cheese and vegetables available as toppings for each guest to customize their own. Since I wasn't there, she took some pictures for me to see:

Other bloggers have also encountered mashed potato bars. They described the excitement they felt and the other toppings they would have liked. It makes me wish I had gone to the wedding.

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Thursday, November 08, 2007

methods of inflation

Thanksgiving is only two weeks away! Over the years the things I have loved most about the holiday are: watching the parade, eating and having the next day off. I get two out of three again this year.

Today we received a See's Candies holiday catalog in the mail that barely mentioned Christmas. Instead it was pushing Thanksgiving chocolates. As I ate my salad at dinner, I pored over that catalog like other men look at a Playboy centerfold. I was fascinated by the two page spread with cross sections of the various confections. I saw some old favorites like the Scotchmallow and some that were new to me like the Apple Pie truffle.

It's about the time each year when I start to wonder which new balloons will fly in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The information was a little harder to find than I had anticipated. My friend Bean will be happy to know that Hello Kitty will be taking flight. The other new helium-filled characters are Abby Cadabby from Sesame Street and Shrek. There will also be a balloon version of a modern art sculpture called Rabbit by Jeff Koons. The original sculpture looks like a Mylar balloon. It might be considered a sequel to an earlier metal sculpture called Balloon Dog.

I wonder if either NBC or CBS shows the parade in HD. If so, it gives me yet another reason to love Thanksgiving.

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Thursday, November 23, 2006

it's a noble gas, gas, gas

Neil Patrick Harris was more entertaining in the first two minutes of this year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade coverage than Gary Valentine was in the last two years on CBS. As the telecast went on, NPH did get stuck in the "be thankful you're not out in the rain like me" rut but I can forgive him for that. In fairness to Valentine, I saw him do a short stand-up set in Knoxville earlier this year. He is much better at that than he is at ad-libbing or interviewing kids. I'm not alone in thinking that he struggled during previous parades.

Why does CBS bother? My guess is that they do it for JC Penney. Obviously NBC's coverage is all about the Macy's. There are still more advertising dollars to be had and CBS is able to give JC Penney a place to promote its after-Thanksgiving sale and its tie-in with Josh Groban. I also saw ads for other department stores that may be shut out of the three hour Macy's commercial on NBC. I used to think that CBS wanted to give some additional exposure to balloon characters from their sister network Nickelodeon.

On the whole I liked watching the unofficial CBS broadcast because they covered the parade more like a sporting event while NBC stuck to the Macy's approved script. Last year I wrote about the big difference in the way CBS and NBC respectively acknowledged and ignored the accident with the M&Ms balloon. This year Hannah Storm and Dave Price joked about how long it would take to cook Big Bird and how hard it would be to peel Healthy Mr. Potato Head. I was surprised to see the M&Ms balloon return to the parade this year especially right behind the float from rival chocolate company Hershey's.

While I like their freedom to ad-lib, my gripe with Hannah and Dave is that they don't know enough about the parade. They often referred to balloons as floats, just like last year. When the "80th Anniversary Hot Air Balloon" balloon went past, Hannah and Dave seemed genuinely surprised that there were live people riding in the gondola, much less be able to recognize them. NBC's coverage started with a closeup of parade executive producer Robin Hall in the gondola. To me, it looked like a helium filled replica of a hot-air balloon despite what Hannah and Dave said.

I have to watch both channels if I want to see who is on the floats. The marching bands generally stop and play for CBS in Times Square but the floats cruise past and save their lip-synch performances for NBC in Herald Square. The bad weather created some unintentional comedy during the musical numbers at the end of the parade route. Raindrops on the NBC camera lenses made it look as if the skimpy costumes of the Rockettes were pixelized, just like during the unnecessary censorship bit on "Jimmy Kimmel Live." By flipping between the networks, it was apparent that CBS airs the parade out of sequence. They must record whatever happens during commercial breaks and play it back later.

The wind and rain almost kept the big balloons from flying this year. They stayed pretty close to the ground but at least we got to see them. If it were up to me, there would be more balloons. In fact, I would enjoy an all-balloon parade. CBS showed a factoid that said that if put end to end, the balloons from the past 80 years would stretch the length of Manhattan island.

The Macy's balloons are rich in detail. Their faces are usually sculpted rather than painted on. Sometimes less-detailed balloons turn up in other places like the Dogwood Arts Festival Parade in Knoxville. I just learned that there are balloon parades in Springfield, Massachusetts and Stamford, Connecticut.

If I were buying or renting a parade balloon, I would want one that's horizontal, not vertical. On days like today, the vertical ones look ridiculous at low altitude. I still prefer the balloons that look like they should be flying. In the '70s, the Underdog balloon flew while the Superman balloon stood with his hands on his hips. The man of helium filled steel was eventually redesigned in the '80s.

So which was the best balloon in this year's parade? I liked Super Grover and Scooby-Doo. How about you?

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

waiting for the parade to start

The day before Thanksgiving is a big day for traveling and for grocery shopping. While watching the news coverage of people going through airport security today, I realized that hardly anyone says "Baggie" anymore. We mostly say "Ziploc bags." I remember when we called every sandwich bag a "Baggie." They were popular enough to be almost parodied by Wacky Packages back in 1973. The 2006 series of Wacky Packages includes a parody of Ziploc.

I braved the crowd at Sam's Club to buy some fresh salad and broccoli for my lunch today. The brand of broccoli I prefer comes in a bag with a "BreatheWay" panel near the top. When we would open the bag at the top, it only took a few salads before the level of florets dropped below the BreatheWay panel, rendering it useless. By opening the bag at the bottom, we found that the broccoli stays fresh longer thanks to the special membrane.

Tomorrow will be the second Thanksgiving since my wife and I began doing endorsement spots for LA Weight Loss. Because of my work schedule, we're staying home this year. We're not having any guests either so there's no need to make any stuffing with our turkey breast. At this point, I would rather eat the right way to maintain my weight than splurge on a plate full of Mrs. Cubbison's. One thing I'll miss is the rice stuffed pumpkin that our friends Anja & Charlie used to serve every Thanksgiving. On yeah, instead of pie, we'll have baked apples with some Splenda on top.

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Monday, November 06, 2006

circumstances beyond my control

It's been less than a week since Halloween but Christmas is already taking over. Walk into any retail store to see what I mean. If you're not ready for it, you might want to skip the rest of today's blog entry and read about the new balloons in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade instead. After last year's parade accident, some balloons didn't pass the new wind test.

Three Christmas music things happened to me today. The new Christmas CD from Richard Cheese arrived in the mail. I read the fine print inside the CD cover and was delighted to find my name on the list of people he thanked. You should buy a copy and show Richard that he was right to include me. I've been looking forward to the disc for a while.

A caller told me today was the day that EZ88 switched to its annual all Christmas music format. I tuned in for a while and heard my friend Mike Blakemore introducing "O Little Town of Bethlehem."

An email from a friend suggested that I check out Billy Idol's website. Billy has recorded an album of Christmas songs but unfortunately didn't do them in Billy Idol style. Wouldn't it have been great to hear a version of "White Christmas" that sounded more like "White Wedding?" EZ88 probably wouldn't play it though.

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