Friday, November 11, 2005


Some of my best thoughts never make it to paper, real or virtual. Last weekend we had beautiful fall weather and I had all sorts of ethereal flights of fancy of posting about, “A Room With a View.” I’ll probably use that title for a post someday, maybe over the winter, when we have our first snowfall.

As I looked out the windows at the flaming colors and, “saw red,” I was ready to compose all sorts of prose about leaves drifting to the ground one at a time, “as if being dropped by an unseen prop master, to create a perfect autumn scene.” By the end of the day, I wanted to say, “My lawn looks as if fall has fallen.”

Well, this week, I’m not feeling quite so romantic. My lawn looks like fall has fallen and it can’t get up. All of our oak trees seem to have dropped their leaves at once. The pine trees have dropped needles all over, too. I see work ahead, a whole lot of work, lots and lots and lots of work.

I must confess that the luxury of seeing autumn through a poet’s eyes was mine alone in our household. While I sat back and mused last weekend about the splendid fall, my husband was already busy, cleaning gutters and installing shields in an attempt to keep any further detritus from getting into them. Yet even he, wonderful human being that he is (I’m planning to have him read this, can’t you tell?), commented on the amazing colors and the pleasure of the cooler temperatures.

All of this unwanted ground cover did provide one moment of comic relief for me late this week. One of my hounds, while snuffling amongst the leaves in the back yard, brought her head up with a pair of pine needles pinched onto the end of her nose, just like a clothes pin. She missed the humor that I found in the moment. I wish I had a photo to share, a picture being worth a thousand words, but this is one of those images that must exist in memory alone. Unposted.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

What's on your desktop?

What's on your desktop background? Here's mine right now:

I change my background frequently. I often use my own photos. I came across this image tonight, and I had to use it for a little while. Anyone who knows dachshunds knows that this is quite an apt portrayal!

Anderson Cooper, News on the Move!

CNN has replaced NewsNight with Aaron Brown with Anderson Cooper 360. I miss Aaron already. I like Anderson Cooper, and his show was fine in the 7 pm I’m-not-into-jeopardy-tonight time slot. At 10 pm, I want a serious look at the day’s news with a mature journalist. Sorry Anderson, that’s not you. While it may be pithy to compare the premature graying of your hair to premature ejaculation (in an article titled, Going Gray), it doesn’t create the reliable newsperson image that imbues confidence in your reporting. Why is a self-indulgent article about Anderson Cooper’s gray hair important enough to warrant a link on the homepage of a major journalism outlet? Especially given the fact that this outlet recently cleaned house at its morning show (American Morning) because they wanted to do away with the fluff in their line up in order to provide more hard news.

Anderson’s style of journalism is participatory – he is part of the story. How many times have we seen Anderson, eyes half closed against wind-born debris (hope he has a good ophthalmologist) and hunkered down next to a cement wall as the maelstrom of the latest hurricane threatens to carry him away? I guess this is effective with some viewers, but I find it to be something of an annoying gimmick. The execs seem to be saying, “Let’s get viewers by sending a reporter out to be hammered by Charlie, or Dennis, or Katrina. If it’s too soon to get the story from the soon-to-be-battered residents of the area, then we will be the story.” Viewers get hours of coverage of (not from, but of) soggy correspondents who are hoarse from yelling over the wind. I especially love it when the networks preempt other programs so that we can watch this coverage without interruption.

With frequent trips to remote locations, Anderson Cooper keeps the news on the move. Even in the studio, he keeps the visual stimulation quotient high by having backgrounds that constantly swirl and flash with colorful impressionistic images. This is often accompanied by sound effects and driving music. Again, OK at 7 pm, not so OK at 10 pm.

As I said earlier, I like Anderson Cooper. I just miss the thoughtful look at the news that I could depend on Aaron Brown to provide. It seems like an era in journalism has passed. Peter Jennings is gone, Ted Koppel is about to retire, and now Aaron Brown is gone from CNN. I know that there are still some good journalists out there, but most of them seem to have gone over to the once a week news magazine format. So I guess for the time being I’ll have to choose between MSNBC, Fox, and Anderson Cooper: News on the Move.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Missing Monday


Case Type: Endangered Runaway
DOB: Mar 1, 1988
Sex: Female
Missing Date: Aug 24, 2005
Race: White/Hisp
Age Now: 17
Height: 5'4" (163 cm)
Weight: 120 lbs (54 kg)
Missing State: NJ
Hair Color: Brown
Missing Country: United States
Eye Color: Brown
Case Number: NCMC1030857

Sheena was last seen on August 24, 2005. She may be in the company of an adult male. They may still be in the local area or they may have traveled to Elizabeth, New Jersey. Sheena's nickname is Nini.

Case Handled By:
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children