Monday, February 16, 2009

Odds and Ends on a Monday Evening

As my lovely wife watches one of her favorite shows, "24," I have a few random thoughts. Especially since Liam Neeson killed more people in "Taken," which we watched Sunday, than Jack Bauer does in 3 episodes of "24." "Taken" really is a good movie! By the way, if you're a fan of "24" you should play the "24" drinking game. Much like "Hi Bob," from the Bob Newhart Show, except while watching "24," you drink every time you hear a character yell "NOW!!!"

I spoke with a friend of mine today who's involved with the Kentucky Emergency Management Agency and he gave me some interesting insights into the recent ice storm in Western Kentucky, which we're STILL trying to recover from. He said, because of the damage to the trees in forests and thickets, we should expect a much higher number of forest fires and brush fires over the next 2 to 3 years. He also gave me some additional insight into the involvement of TEMA (Tennessee Emergency Management Agency) in this Kentucky disaster. Thanks goodness for TEMA's presence in Fulton County, without which, there would have been much more misery and quite possibly some deaths. He said that wasn't the only TEMA unit to move into Kentucky to help. He said TEMA was much more prepared for a disaster than Kentucky as they've been preparing for years for "the big one:" the expected earthquake sometime on the New Madrid Fault. If or when that happens, they anticipate a disaster of untold proportions, during which the entire city of Memphis (more than 1 million people) will have to be evacuated. Consequently, they take part in every drill they can and help in other disasters in neighboring states as a continual "dress rehearsal."

I heard an interview with one of my favorite columnists the other day, Bob Ryan of The Boston Globe, on the future of newspapers. He says it's more or less over. The number of readers will continue to dwindle as they shift to the internet for news. While newspapers try to transition to the 'net, they find it very tough because two of their main advertising sources, real estate and auto dealers have their own internet presence, which is more powerful than advertising on a newspaper website. I'm not so sure I'm that pessimistic, however I do believe newspapers will have to undergo a metamorphosis to remain profitable. The days of words printed on paper are not long for this world.

TV, in my opinion, will remain profitable, although the profitability will continue dwindling for most because of the fragmentation. There's even speculation that network affiliations will be coming to an end in the near future. When I started, networks PAID local stations to carry their programming. A few years ago, that arrangement ended. Now the talk is that local network affiliations may be seeing their last days. I've always thought the future for local TV is just that: local. None of the satellite or cable channels can provide the news and shows of interests for specific localized areas. Local TV stations can carve their niche in the programming kaleidoscope here at home. It won't be long though, until TV and the way we watch it, changes dramatically.

I've blogged before about why you see so many "list" stories in magazines. We had the 100 Greatest Albums of All Time in Rolling Stone, 25 Signs Your Boyfriend Is Cheating in Cosmo, 50 Greatest Golf Tips in Golf Magazine, and on and on. Now, Time Magazine has the "list" of the 25 People To Blame For The Economic Crisis. They name Democrats and Republicans, Liberals and Conservatives, etc, etc, but they failed to mention the greatest cause: greed. While Rush Limbaugh continually espouses that "Greed is good!," it IS one of the Seven Deadly Sins in Christian teachings, and there's a good reason for it. Many of those named in Time's list were certainly guilty of this Deadly Sin, and now we're ALL paying for it, literally.

I love Facebook. It's a great way to keep in touch with friends and reconnect with those from long ago. That's why I was dismayed to see they've changed their "terms of agreement" for the worse. Much worse. I yanked my videos off there immediately. I'll still use Facebook, but I'll be more careful what I post.

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