Monday, November 27, 2006

Goodbye, for Now, to the Old Man ...

Those of us who frequent that portion of the blogosphere that touches of West Texas know that Wallace at Streams has been wondering how and when his father - in declining health - would at last pass away.

This evening,
he knows.

I hope you will join me in offering your condolences to Wallace, and to all who have known, and loved and appreciated his father. And while we pray for their comfort and their solace, let us also offer a prayer of thanks that Wally Craig has 'gone home,' and for the knowledge that they shall all be together again, someday.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Have We Got a Show For You ...

When I heard the news, earlier this year, that BigIdea's enormously popular "Veggie Tales" was making the move to network television, I had mixed feelings. I am a HUGE fan of the series ... but, would some elements of the series I enjoyed - the Scriptural basis of its plots and messages, for example - make the jump to this wider, but more secular venue?

The answer appears to be YES. Last Saturday, I watched the story that was offered in response to a viewers' question about 'Love' ... is the love you have a cupcake the same as the love you have for a person?

In answer, Bob the Tomato tells us the story of Duke (played by Larry the Cucumber) who shows compassion for an elderly widow and her daughter-in-law, Petunia - also a widow - by allowing them to glean apples from his orchard.

Sound familiar?
It should.

Duke falls in love with Petunia. Unfortunately, Petunia is an outsider, a Rhubarbarian, who chose to travel to her mother-in-law's kingdom out of her love and devotion for the old gal ... and that raises trouble, and a challenge to their love.

No spoilers, here ... though if you are familiar with the source, you have an idea of what the outcome will be. Be advised, though, that the story takes some patented Veggie Tales twists and turns on its way to the conclusion.

When all is said and done, Bob the Tomato returns to stress that there are different kinds of love, which will be familiar to those who have considered or discussed the definition of agape. He doesn't turn to Scripture at this point - as he would have in the video series - but he does close with the suggestion that we can learn more about this kind of love, "at church."

"Veggie Tales" airs Saturday mornings at nine o'clock (central) on NBC affiliates, and - in Spanish - Saturday mornings at eight o'clock on Telemundo affiliates.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

What a Way to End a Season ...

A couple months back, I posted this about the start of the Midland Soccer Association's Fall 2006 season of Co-Ed Rec Soccer ... complaining.

A few weeks later, I posted
this about the continuation of the Midland Soccer Association's Fall 2006 season of Co-Ed Rec Soccer ... still complaining.

Now, the season has come to an end. I'm beginning to think that - maybe, just maybe - all those games against older, larger and more experienced teams may have served a purpose. That's because, in the last three weeks of the season, when the Tornadoes played teams from their own age group, in the only games that were counted in the league standings ... it was as though a dam had burst.

The kids won all three games, and they did it by a 5-1 ratio on the scoreboard. One of those wins was a 6-2 decision over the many-times-defending-champion Extreme ... one of the highlights of the season. With a win over the Mustangs, under the lights on a brisk and breezy night, the kids thought they had an undefeated season, and their very first championship.

Well ... no ...

It turns out, MSA announced, that we had actually lost to Extreme, and the Tornadoes were actually in second place, behind the perennial champions.

Typical ...

The coach appealed the ruling and was told, 'yup, you lost it, they won it.'

Nonetheless, plans proceeded for an end-of-season party. We all knew who had really won it all, and there was never any doubt that we were very, very proud of our kids and their hard work on the field. Still, though, there was some talk among the kids about returning the 2nd Place trophies to the league.

So, imagine everyone's surprise at the party, when the coach pulled out a box of championship trophies! It seems she had persisted in her challenge, and the league relented, looked at the documentation for the game, the score cards the coaches fill out and get countersigned by the official, and declared, 'yup you won it, they lost it.'

What a way to end a season ... CONGRATULATIONS, TORNADOES !!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I Have to Wonder ...

... after reading this post, what a guy has to do to earn the confidence and support of film producers ?????

Riding Off Into the Sunset ...

Hanging on the wall over my desk is a photo of the three ugliest cheerleaders in West Texas, a trio of hirsute harpies, urging the crowd at a United Way-Odessa luncheon on to fundraising victory.

One of them is Horace Brown. At the time, he was an artist at KMID-TV. Today, he is an on-air personality, delivering the weather report at six and ten o'clock on Big 2.

Another is myself. At the time, I was a writer at KMID-TV. Today, I'm a member of the Big 2 Alumni Association - the largest media group in the Permian Basin - and the web editor for

The last is Rick Wood, who once practiced the craft of sales account executive at KMID-TV before going on to become general sales manager at KWES-TV, NewsWest 9 ... or, at least, he was ...

Late Sunday, Rick Wood passed away, bringing an end to more than two decades' experience in West Texas media ... and an end to more than two decades' friendship we had. Rick was a hard-working man, innovative and resourceful, ready to tackle a wide variety of ventures, including - when asked - those that lay outside his job description, such as leading cheers at a United Way banquet.

The same could be said for his home life, where he and Karyn raised four of the nicest kids you could ever want to meet.

Our local profession as broadcasters, and the community we serve, is noticeably lessened by his passing. If there is any comfort to be gained from all this, it is the sure and certain belief that Rick and I - and Gene, Roy and Dale, the Duke and Hoppy - shall all be together again, someday.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

And, While I'm Sending You Elsewhere ...

Check out this post at Skewed View, where spookyrach reports on the latest developments in the continuing saga of Cheese and Trinny, Sonic and IHOP.

While We're on the Subject of Good Discussion ...

Check out this post and its attendant comments over at serotoninrain. And, PLEASE, post something of your own ... if nothing else, to balance-out my own silliness in the comments.

Circle This Day on Your Calendar ...

... and do it with a big, red Sharpee. Because, today, I'm linking you to a post over at Jessica's Well! It's true, I visit the site, myself, on a daily basis ... And, it's also true that I include them in my blogroll - though that's more out of respect for the blogospherian trails they blazed into West Texas, than it is out of identification with what they say and think.

But, I do want to link you to this post by one of their anonymisses (or anonymisters) named Theocritus, and to the comments that have begun attaching to that post. The post itself is a cut above the ordinary ... And so are some (but, not all) of the comments.

It's a good discussion. I suggest you join it.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Get Behind Me, Rhetoric ... I'm Goin' to the Polls!

The polls in most of Texas close in about two hours. A cause of relief for some ... but not for me, who now gets to spend most of the coming night at his 'day job.'

Still, though, I love to do it ... I especially love trying to do it better than the other kids around the block, here, in West Texas. Hope I do it tonight ... wish me luck!

Went and voted. I don't have a bumper sticker that says, 'My Boss is a Jewish Carpenter.' But I can say, I hope, 'my governor is a Jewish singer-songwriter-author-pundit.'

Who did you vote for? I don't care ... Did you vote? I do care ... I hope you did, and I hope you voted well. If you're angry with the way things are, I hope your vote reflects that. At the same time, if you're happy with the way things are, I hope your vote reflects that. Just vote, for crying out loud!

I declined the offer of a 'purple thumb' sticker at the polls. When one considers what Iraqis experienced on election day there, in order to get their purple thumb - and when you consider what they continue to experience to this day - I consider the idea of me waving a purple thumb around more-than-a-little presumptuous.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

You Can Take the Dang Yankee from Back East Out of West Texas, But ...

Jim, the proprietor of serotonionrain, has moved to a new location, hosted by WordPress. And, unless I miss my guess, an image of West Texas - taken during a recent tour of virtual friends in the actual world - occupies a prominent place on his new blogspace.

The Worst News Job I Ever Had

Well, crosstown football rivalry night is over for another year ... it occurred simultaneously in all three cities that comprise our 5A district and, somehow, civilization as we know it has survived ... at least, for another year ...

Friday morning's story meeting included comments from a couple of recent arrivals about the intensity of these crosstown rivalries ... my response was something to the effect of, 'Welll, lemme tell ya, youngins, ye ain't seen nuthin!'

The worst news job I ever had was under the Friday night lights, several years ago, in Odessa. I was still working at KMID-TV (back in the days when one said 'I work at Big 2' with a swagger in your voice) and we were doing a live shot from Ratliff Stadium for the Odessa High/Permian High game.

The level of intensity that usually accompanies a crosstown game was especially high that year. It had been reported that the UIL was investigating some aspect of Permian's football program, and that said investigation was prompted by reports from OHS faithful ... word on the street was that some scores might be settled, on the field and in the parking lot, and that there might be violence, especially from those who didn't care a whit for football or high school, but were looking for a chance to cause some trouble.

So a couple of us were told to accompany the engineer and help him set up the Big 2 Live Action Cam (a souped-up Suburban with a microwave mast), then stand there between the Live Action Cam and any stones that might be thrown ... cross my heart, and hope to die!

Makes sense really ... production assistants are a-dime-a-dozen. But that Live Action Cam was expensive!

So there I was ... a human shield for Big 2 ... worst news job I ever had ... true story.

Friday, November 03, 2006

I Am What I Am ... So ... Uh ... What Am I?

More than once, I've been introduced as our television station's webmaster ... and more than once, I've offered a correction. There are a lot of skills, and a level of expertise that I associate with the phrase 'webmaster' ... skills and expertise in which I find myself lacking.

I prefer the job title 'Web Editor.' So, what's the difference?

I see a Webmaster as an IT professional that works on the internet and 'speaks' in HTML. I define a Web Editor as a News professional that works on the internet and 'speaks' in AP Style Manual.

Granted, this hardly seems a profound observation, or subject for consideration ... but, still, I'd like to know what you think.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

No, I Haven't Fallen Off the Face of the Earth ....

...just been busier than all get-out at my day job ... more on that, later ...