Category Archives: communications

Monster lizard ravages East Coast

During my career in TV news, I was fortunate, or unfortunate as the case may be, to be witness to all sorts of live, on-air screw ups. Many were funny, but some were not. But that it not the point of this post. In honor of all my friends and family who are digging out and trying to stay warm, here is a classic from my favorite radio news guy, Les Nessman.

Advertisements

The Dynasty Continues

 

phil-robertson-p11I didn’t exactly stay glued to my computer or TV to keep track of the minute-to-minute developments over Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson’s comments in GQ, but it has been an amusing holiday diversion. Some thoughts…

I’m not sure why anyone was so shocked. His comments on gay sex and gay marriage are certainly out of vogue with popular culture these days. However, they do reflect a stance that was considered conventional wisdom until just the very recent past. Let us remember, the idea of gay marriage was a fringe concept until just the last few years.

Some complained about the loss of “freedom of speech” and cited the First Amendment without having a clue what the concept entails. As it relates to a case like this, the Freedom of Speech clause in the First Amendment protects a person’s right to state his opinion. It offers no protection against the reaction to those comments. I can call those people morons all I want, but I should be prepared for a negative response.

If your fame and fortune rests on your intangible image in popular culture, then you really should be very careful about protecting that image. The same thing happened with our neighbor Paula Deen.

When you develop a vaccine to prevent breast cancer, you can rest on your accomplishment and say anything you want. Your spot in history is still reserved by your accomplishments. However, when you have no tangible foundation, your public image is like a filled balloon. Everything is fine until someone comes along with a pin. I think this applies only partially to Phil, because I’m not sure he really cares one way or the other. Remember, this is a guy who gave up on a potential NFL career because the season interfered with hunting season. If Duck Dynasty were to go away, he still has the duck call business that got the whole thing started.

It is no surprise that A&E kissed and made up. Let’s face it, DD is the only thing that makes A&E stand out in a field of second-tier cable networks. Think about it. Without DD, what is A&E?

It’s that network that runs “Law and Order” marathons. No, that’s TNT.

How about the network that runs old movies. No, that’s AMC.

Wait! It’s the network that runs those syrupy melodramas for women. No, that’s Lifetime.

I know. It’s the network that shows people how to fix up and sell their home. No, that HGTV. (Mrs. Poolman’s favorite channel, by the way.)

Get the picture? A&E sure did.

Love those sappy Christmas commercials!

I am a total sucker for those sappy TV commercials that come on this time of year. Hallmark has always produced some classics. No slap-job :30 second spots for them. Running up to two minutes or more, these are little micro-dramas are fully intended to produce a little warm spot in the coldest of hearts. The Publix grocery store chain has produced some very nice ones lately, mostly with small children. And this year, Apple has joined the crowd with a really excellent effort. Here are a couple of good ones from this year, and one oldie-but-goldie Hallmark spot from years past.

Hello? Anybody there?

In an earlier post, I discussed some of the differences between men and women. The other day at work several of us were talking about another significant one – the way we use the telephone. With Mrs. Poolman and me, there is a very clear difference in how different we view things.

Some examples:

I will answer any call, but I feel absolutely no obligation to have a lengthy conversation with who is calling.

“OK, I’ll be happy to pick you up in the morning. But I’m a little busy right now, so I need to go. See ya later.”

Boom! It’s over. That’s it. And if it’s a guy on the other end of the call, no offense is taken.

Mrs. P, on the other hand, will not answer her phone unless her called ID shows its someone with whom she wants to spend at least a half hour talking. The person calling may just have a simple question, but they won’t have the chance to ask if Mrs. P doesn’t have at least 30 minutes of free time on her hands. The same goes for outgoing calls.

“So why don’t you call Karen and ask her what time we should pick them up tomorrow?”

“No. I really don’t want to take the time right now to listen to her tell me everything she did today and everyone she talked to.”

“You do realize, don’t you that you have the power to say good-bye and hang up.”

“You’re a guy. You don’t understand.”

Yup, she’s right about that.

Then there is the issue of calling someone just to chat. I call my out-of-town family to ”chat,” because it’s the only way we can keep in touch. However, I cannot imagine calling one of my local guy-friends just to pass the time. I’m trying to imagine calling Matt the Welder.

Me: “Hey, Matt, this is Poolman. So what are you having for dinner tonight?”

Matt: “What?”

Me: “I just wanted to see what you were doing.”

Matt: “Seriously, dude. What do you need?”

Me: “No. I just called to chat. We haven’t talked in a day or two.”

Matt: “Are you drunk?”

Me: “No, but that’s not a bad idea.”

Matt: “So you want to know what I’m doing?”

Me: “Yeah.”

Matt: “I’m wasting my time talking to you. So I’m hanging up now. Don’t call me. I’ll call you. Not.” Click.

In love with “Sammie” (and I’m not talking about my dog)

I think I’m in love, but it’s nothing that should worry Mrs. Poolman. A few weeks ago, after resisting all the hype and advertising for years, I broke down and purchased a Smart Phone, specifically a Samsung Galaxy 3 “Sammie” supported by T-Mobile.

Isn't she pretty?

Isn’t she pretty?

Since then I’ve had a number of epiphany moments where I asked my phone, “Where have you been all my life, and how did I ever live without you?”

Seriously though, I don’t play games and I hardly ever text, but I live on e-mail. Being able to have both my personal and work email accounts synced on my phone is great. I’ve also loaded a number of free apps, mostly news and sports sites like ESPN, CNN, CBS News and such. I haven’t even tried out the built-in camera.

I did have a problem today. Earlier this week, I changed the password on my work-laptop and email program. I didn’t know you had to turn off all the syncing functions on your smart phone before you do that. I didn’t realize there was a problem until my phone started “talking” to me in a series of rings every five minutes or so. It was making me crazy. I couldn’t figure out what was going on until I realized it was the email function trying to sync up my work email and failing. The problem ended up spreading to my work laptop and by this morning was locked up and locked out. Fortunately our IT guy was able to get me back in business. Lessons learned. Ugh.

Now comes the hard part, avoiding addiction. You know the addicts I’m talking about — the people who can’t sit still and have a conversation for more than a minute or two without whipping out their phone to check a sports score, the latest Facebook update, or whatever. We’ll see.

“American Nations” — A very interesting book, but a bit snarky

American nations 1 I read an interesting book a few weeks ago, “American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America” by Colin Woodard.

Woodard takes a very interesting, historical look at North America, mostly the USA, and the various cultures that comprise us. It goes a long way to explaining the cultural and political differences among our national regions, such as the significant differences between the Deep South and New England.

Woodard’s approach is historical and not overly technical. It’s a fascinating story.

My only issue with Woodard is towards the end of the book, as his narrative starts to approach the present. A New Englander himself, he makes no secret of his contempt for the South, where I spent most of my adult life. He allows himself the satisfaction of making some snarky comments that undercut his credibility. For example, he suggests the South needs research universities that don’t look to the King James Bible as a primary science text. I trust he meant that comment a little tongue-in-cheek and not literally. However, it does make you wonder how much his personal prejudice influenced other descriptions in the book. That having been said, I still found the book very interesting.

In case you are curious, here is a map of Woodard’s, 11 nations of North America.

American Nations 2

Chasing Ice to Jekyll Island

I took a little “blog-cation”: for a while. I was feeling down with a cold-turned-bronchitis for most of January, and didn’t really feel like doing too much.

Mrs. Poolman and I had a nice weekend. On Saturday evening, we drove down to Jekyll Island (about an hour and a half from our home) to attend the screening of an environmental film “Chasing Ice.”  It was very impressive! Several folks from work were involved in the program. Also we are considering sponsoring a screening here in Savannah later in the spring. I thought it would be a good idea to see it first. The organizers from the University of Georgia did a great job. They estimate more than 700 people showed up for the reception, film and panel discussion. I guess there isn’t much else going on in the “Golden Isles” on a Saturday night in February. The film itself was also very good. Here is a trailer.