25. April 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Uncategorized

Thought about Dad today. Think about him a lot, but it’s his birthday, and you know that I come out of blog hibernation every time there’s a milestone day about Dad — birth, death, Father’s Day.

This year, at dinner, out of the blue, I thought about what gift I’d have gotten him if he was still around to get it today, what would have been his 84th birthday. I’m pretty sure I’d have ordered him an Apple Watch, just as I’m sure I’d have gotten him an iPhone 6 Plus when it came out, and I’d have justified it all by leaning on the health tracking aspects. If not for mesothelioma, he’d surely have made it to 84, and he’d have been playing tennis every day all the way through. That was his goal- playing tennis into his 80s, against younger opponents, driving them crazy by returning every shot, just like he used to see an old tennis hacker named Hank Beck do at the Y in Jersey years ago. Hank Beck was his role model, and if not for asbestos exposure, he’d have been the next Hank Beck, and that was all he wanted.

Okay, maybe I’d have bought him a new racket, too, to go with the watch and the phone. He’d have told me no, I shouldn’t have, but he’d have loved it all. And that was always MY goal. Hope I achieved it before it was too late. Happy birthday, Dad.

02. April 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Baseball, Television · Tags: , , ,

Huh. Was looking through archives of a long defunct weekly magazine from Paterson and found these in a 1960 issue:

barber60 rizzuto60


And yes, I’m back.

29. July 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Uncategorized

This is one of the best things I’ve seen in a while – the history of the National Hockey League in logos changing and moving on a map of North America as the years go by. And it’s set to the tune of “Brass Bonanza”!:

(HT: Rogers Sportsnet)

15. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Uncategorized


There’s not much more to say about my dad on days like this, the days that remind me of him and of how long it’s been since he’s gone. It’s still hard and strange and painful to think he’s gone, but it’s good to remember the happy times, too. Above, that’s me and Dad in Key West, I think at Turtle Kraals or someplace like that by the water, and I don’t know what year it was other than that I was much younger than I am now and Dad was pre-mesothelioma and that would put it around the late ’90s or early 2000s. We had a great time then, and it’s a cherished memory now. I’m glad there’s at least this photo to remind me of it.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad.

26. April 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Uncategorized

He would have been 83 today, and as happens every year, I think of my father the way he wanted to be, the way he expected to be before mesothelioma hit and changed everything. He was going to be on the tennis court, still playing, like his hero, a guy named Hank Beck who played tennis at the Y in Wayne, New Jersey into his 80s, softly returning everything and driving opponents 30 years younger into fits. That was the plan, and then the asbestos scars turned into a raging, painful cancer and ended everything.

Ten years ago was his last birthday. I went down to Florida, visited him, brought him a gift, but things weren’t going well. The pain was intense; he went to use a Barnes and Noble gift card I’d gotten him, but that was, pretty much, the last time he was able to go out and do anything. A little over a month later, he was gone.

But I’d prefer to think of him as he wanted to be, as he was before the disease took over, a little guy, elderly but spry and sharp, way younger than his years, out on the tennis court or in the pool, grinning and having fun. I can’t go visit him anymore, but every once in a while I look in the mirror and I notice that I look just a little more like he did. So, maybe he’s still with me. I hope so. If Hank Beck was his role model, Dad is mine, and if I’m carrying a little part of him along, that’s a good thing.

13. April 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Uncategorized

What, two months between posts? That’s unacceptable. Also, that’s what happens when you’re very, very busy.

Anyway, it’s that time of year, and we’re going to be walking in the Revlon Run/Walk for Women, the annual cancer fundraiser that we do every year to commemorate Fran’s survival and to honor everyone who’s battled the disease and help fund research and treatment. We’re not planning to hit everyone over the head with it this year, but we ARE soliciting donations. Go to http://do.eifoundation.org/goto/pmsimon2014 and you can give. That’d be nice.

And thanks. It’s kind of our pet cause, but you can understand why….

24. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Baseball, Television · Tags: , , , ,

This is pretty cool. Last year, WPIX in New York posted this report on the history of the station, done in 1998 when the station was celebrating its 50th anniversary, but I hadn’t noticed it until now. It has old footage from the ’40s and ’50s on through, mostly news footage, but also has the ’70s Action News with the WPVI theme, a little Bill Jorgensen (better known for his years at channel 5), and a lot of Yankees stuff (and, inexplicably, the Mets in ’69, the Giants’ Super Bowl wins, and the Rangers’ first Stanley Cup, none of which were aired on WPIX).

But that’s the news side. This is more memorable:

I hated the Yankee theme. Then again, I hated the Yankees.

And this, courtesy YouTube user YanksAtShea, aired on WPIX just like this, Mantle’s 500th, called by the late Jerry Coleman (although in 1967, he wasn’t yet “hanging a star”:

Also from WPIX, this rare footage of Roger Maris’ 61st home run in 1961, called not by Phil Rizzuto as you’ve heard a zillion times before from the radio broadcast but by Red Barber, who fixates on the $5,000 the guy who caught the ball would get, and by Mel Allen, who interjects briefly as the applause continues:

This was channel 11’s original “11 Alive” theme and logo:

Grew up with channel 11. (It was one of the clearer channels at our house. Also, Three Stooges.) Fun to see this stuff again.

25. January 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: All Access, Nerdist, Radio, Television, Work

No, I haven’t gone back on my promise. Not intentionally, that is. It’s just been frantic here – both jobs swamping me at the same time a vicious headache came to visit and linger. Hence…

You can read my latest All Access column here. People seem to like it. I don’t know. Whatever.

Here, don’t remember if I ever borrowed this from Tim Lones, the Cleveland TV historian:

1957. Cool.

10. January 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Convention, Travel

I drove today. Woke up in Henderson, Nevada, just outside Las Vegas, and had lunch at home, just outside L.A. And then I worked and now I’m finishing work. That’s about it.

The drive, though — I’ve made the drive to and from Las Vegas too many times to count by now. That’s what having to go to conventions will do to you. I don’t hate the drive, but it gets… tedious. There isn’t much between St. Rose Parkway in Henderson and, I’d say, Fontana, unless the Mad Greek in Baker or a cluster of chain stores in Victorville is your speed. But if you time your bathroom needs correctly — that is, if you don’t need a pit stop between Primm and Baker, or Baker and Barstow — it’s not too difficult.

But if you’ve never had the pleasure, enjoy these time lapse Vegas-to-L.A. videos from other people:

For the record, I did not stop for a bathroom break in Baker. I made it to Barstow this time.

07. January 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Convention, Meta


I’m sitting in the Las Vegas Convention Center waiting for Sony to tell me all about stuff that we’ll forget about in days if not hours. This is what I do for a living, at least in part. I sit in convention halls and ballrooms, listen to people carefully parse their words to avoid mishap, and write down what they say, shove it into news-type form, and publish it. Later, I make fun of it, separately, in tweets and posts elsewhere and here. That’s how it works.

There are worse ways to make a living, I suppose. But the tedium can get to me sometimes. And the running around – it’s a given that if I’m at one end of the convention center, or one end of town, I’ll have to be at the other end, usually in a matter of minutes. This is why I dress light, even in chilly conditions outside like today: anything heavy and I’ll be drenched in sweat. I also can’t be in two places at once, which is why, when Michael Bay was melting down and stalking off stage at the Samsung press conference, I was on the other side of town in a sparsely-attended panel that was more apropos for coverage by my employer. I miss out on all the fun stuff.

But, again, there are worse things. This is luxury annoyance. In the meantime, I have to stop writing this, because I have platitudes to write up. And maybe there’ll be a celebrity embarrassing himself or herself at this one, too. One can only hope.