Sign, sign, everywhere a sign

Who would’ve thought of me as some type of music expert? Definitely not anybody who knows me! I’ve been planning this blog for a little while and the lyrics immediately came to my mind as the headline. (Of course, I’ve never heard of Five Man Electrical Band. They sang Signs in 1971.)

It’s actually pretty funny, considering the last post’s headline was a takeoff of Simon & Garfunkel’s Mrs. Robinson. The lyric goes “Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?” but I used somebody else’s name.

So signs. A fun post before vacation.

Philadelphia is the birthplace of our country. Where free speech was instituted. Maybe that’s why it’s known for some unusual ones.

I live in a high-rise so I found no need to put any up but by far, the most popular type is the one that tells delivery drivers to take their packages somewhere else.

I don’t know why people would order something and not be home to receive it. That means the driver has to stop, fill out a card, and delay everyone else’s packages. Why not just ask that it be delivered somewhere else?

Some people…

nice sign

… are nicer than others.

mean sign

Everybody wants their mail delivered, and not anybody else’s.

right address

While some signs are simple, I can’t figure what all these are about.

too many signs

I’m not exactly sure about this one either, but I do know it’s not meant for me.

Jesus signThe people living here are apparently very generous — with choices — but only for drivers who press hard enough to ring the bell and knock loudly on the door, and then find out nobody is home. If that’s the case, the driver gets to toss the package over their back gate! Like tossing packages never happens.

package choicesThe people who live below also offer choices. They start out nicely by writing “please” and then letting the driver choose which of two addresses they’d prefer to make their delivery! But by looking at the sign, I’d guess they didn’t even plan to be home. At least that information would save the driver from pressing hard enough to ring the bell and knocking loudly on the door! Of course, they probably expect somebody to be home at the address the driver chooses. Otherwise, it may mean a third stop. If that’s the case, I’d hope the driver gets to return the package to the warehouse and make the person pick it up. That’s too many delivery attempts in too few minutes!

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This sign also gives the driver a choice between two addresses, but at least both are businesses and open during the day when packages are delivered.

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This next one is for drivers who may not be too bright. I also put smiley faces on my 1st graders’ good homework…

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… but never combined them with exclamation points.

On the other hand, this person writing to the “Mail Person” needs better penmanship!

hardly readable

When I was working at CBS in Miami, I had a new computer delivered there. It was great! First, the boss was able to check it out and make sure all settings were correct. Then, he installed the programs I’d need in order to work at home. That was my idea.

And it came in handy when he was out and I left a little early, feeling sick. That night — July 27, 2005 — former Miami-Dade County Commissioner Art Teele shot himself in his head, committing suicide in the Miami Herald lobby! He’d been convicted of corruption and removed from office. I got home, turned on the TV and was the only person from the station able to put up a story.

Another time, I was about to head to the Keys on a Saturday morning when a small plane crashed into a lake in Aventura. The weekend morning news had a picture, and I listened and wrote a story. Then, I was on my way.

I never minded working from home, especially when it saved me from a rushed trip to the office for a single story.

Parking spaces are prized in Philadelphia. Garages are even more so, if you can get in and out. I found somebody decided to use chalk to make sure nobody blocked them…

no parking
… and prove they know the beginning of the alphabet!

ppa septa wideSpeaking of cars and parking, maybe someone above can teach the Philadelphia Parking Authority how arrows work. Here we are, on Aspen, approaching the corner of 24th Street. You can see the corner is a bus stop. You can take the 48 from Center City and get dropped off right in back of my building.
ppa septa tight

But take a closer look at the signs for drivers who want to park. The middle sign shows it’s not allowed past the sign because of buses. But the bottom sign says it’s allowed on both sides of the sign.

They say “The PPA don’t play” but it should at least make up its mind.

That reminded me of a sign on Front Street, south of South. You see how people with residential parking stickers can park their cars in their zone without having to obey days and time limits. I’m in zone 6. This is what I found last year, and shared with a reporter co-worker.

front street ppa sign

It may not be right but it’s easier to understand than this group of signs at a busy intersection in Bristol, VA. Remember, you only have until the red light turns green, if you’re lost and lucky enough to hit a red light!

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Try figuring this out!

Some signs would save money if they weren’t changed.

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Why does the name of the district attorney elected in November have to have his name up?

It’s kind of hard to see, but this is the second of two doors, also with Larry Krasner’s name.

district attorney krasner inside
Would anybody lose out if there were no names on signs, and only the stationery was changed?

And as we get closer to the bottom…

sign dog peeing
… this low sign was obviously meant for dogs who could read!

And I can’t leave out this classic from downstairs in my own building.

no dumping
OK. It’s funnier when approaching from a distance and can’t see the details on the right.

Anyway, I’m off for a week. Thanks for reading. You can check out some relatively old web stuff from when I was Digital Media Manager at WCYB in the Tri-Cities of TB/VA, 2015-2016. The format changed twice since then, and everything looks a bit different than it did, but I was able to capture some still shots here. The writing was more formal than this, but not completely A.P. style. That would come later.

And please, don’t miss out. If you like what you read here, subscribe to CohenConnect.com with either your email address or WordPress account, and get a notice whenever I publish. I’m also available for writing/web contract work.

feature signs

P.S. This is a bonus I found the next day in the 2000 block of Spring Garden. The sign was up the stairs and not easy to shoot when I zoomed in, but I felt worth a look. Should the “USPS/UPS Guy” have to be subjected to this? Should passers-by like me?

nasty to usps

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Disgraceful daughter

into the great wide open
1991: Cover art for the song Into the Great Wide Open (Wikipedia: fair use)

Every situation is different, but death always seems to be a hard topic. We could be talking about a close relative, an acquaintance from years ago, a pet, or a famous person. How people respond is unique and usually understandable.

Usually. And I will say it. Tom Petty’s younger daughter seems to be an exception.

Monday afternoon, I heard about her father’s sad situation as a quick breaking story on some local newscast. It all but said he was dead. I think it also credited TMZ which, like it or not, would’ve been sued out of business if it wasn’t so right on the money. Again, it turned out to be true.

petty people

Then, since I get emails from People magazine for some reason, this came: “Rock Legend Tom Petty Dead After Full Cardiac Arrest at Age 66.”

I really didn’t think much of it because it had become expected, and being in the news business for decades jaded me. I was tired after watching hours of Las Vegas shooting coverage and if I had thoughts at the moment, they would’ve been to get file video, old facts, and be on top of whatever new was being reported.

But there seemed to be no update on TV for far too long. I’m not so heavily into music but even I was familiar with Tom Petty. Maybe it was the Florida connection.

Anyway, I eventually clicked the People link and saw the headline “Rock Legend Tom Petty ‘Clinging to Life’ After Massive Cardiac Arrest at Age 66: Report.” Notice the evidence, as if necessary, how the original headline was reflected in the web address http://people.com/music/tom-petty-dead-66-heart-attack/.

petty real people

I became interested. This one-time soap opera fanatic knows real people don’t come back to life, and doesn’t waste time on fake news, or the people and sites that publish it.

My friend Eric, in the media whom I completely trust, posted on Facebook about what he’d done earlier:

“My Petty post was based on information from LAPD. Los Angeles Sheriff’s Office now says: LAPD did not handle Petty call. WE did. Petty has a DNR (legal Do Not Resuscitate order: Lenny) and is “clinging to life,” “not expected to make it through the night.” So, to recap, Petty not dead yet… but soon.”

The fact is, except for the victim, this was a local Los Angeles story. Who from outside the area knew there was a difference between the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department? Not me, even though I covered O.J. Simpson’s murder trial and those of us in the east of a certain age are familiar with the California Highway Patrol (CHiPs), thanks to NBC.

Then, the LAPD (police department) heard reports of Petty’s passing and tweeted this:

petty lapd tweets

“The LAPD has no information about the passing of singer Tom Petty. Initial information was inadvertantly (sic) provided to some media sources. However, the LAPD has no investigative role in this matter. We apologize for any inconvenience in this reporting.”

Yes, this was a huge story. Also, keep in mind most of the east coast media had been woken up early that morning for the Las Vegas massacre I alluded to, and members of the west coast media may have been up 20 hours. And nobody is perfect.

Back to a family tragedy. Loved ones rush to a hospital room. Nobody knows what’s going to happen, or when. There’s panic and confusion. People aren’t thinking clearly.

However, it seems the younger of Petty’s two daughters, AnnaKim Violette, spent a lot of time during this unfolding unexpected tragedy on an Instagram account, (warning about the next link) taking on Rolling Stone magazine which I don’t read. The last I heard of them, they retracted a story about purported group sexual assault at the University of Virginia and I read wire copy since I worked in Virginia shortly after that.

After-the-fact reports blame CBS for being first with the wrong story, but the network explained: “CBS News reported information obtained officially from the LAPD about Tom Petty.”

petty cbs

 

Then, between early Monday afternoon until about midnight (Pacific time), seeing the network’s first tweet caused other major media outlets and celebrities to react incorrectly.

Maybe Rolling Stone had something to do with it. I don’t know why Violette, in her 30s, picked on them, but the barrage of vulgarity was completely unreasonable to do by her dying dad’s bedside. I can’t think of any reason for her to be interacting with anyone she doesn’t know personally at that time, much less constantly be interacting with the whole world. (Last warning is over comments below this picture.)

petty instagram
Instagram post via http://uproxx.com/music/tom-pettys-daughter-slams-rolling-stone-annakim-violette-slams/

I don’t know what she was doing besides typing but if I was there with reason, I would’ve wanted her out of that hospital room.

Could anyone imagine Tom Petty wanting any of us to think about her misbehavior when they remember the end of his life?

Click here for pictures from the Instagram account. Click here and here for several other posts including thoughts and pictures from the same Instagram account.

Sorry to break it to you, AnnaKim, but your father was your father and also a human being, and he was also a celebrity whose premature death was news, whether you like it or not. A family statement would’ve solved a lot of this and you had too much time on your hands.

So take your inheritance (including any possible genetic gifts) and consider it the price of being born into a famous family, not that you chose to. Others would’ve appreciated your luck. You’re far from the only mourner out there. Millions are. You just seem to be the angriest and most out of line. Let’s hope.

Wikipedia Mircosoft Word clip art
June 20, 2016 at the Fillmore San Francisco (Microsoft Word clip art crediting Wikipedia)

P.S. The media should be embarrassed enough. At least this time, they’d been given incorrect information and had been up too many hours. They were wrong. Maybe there’s no excuse, but this comes close.

Getting into the season

It took way too long for Mother Nature, the holiday season and me, but it finally started feeling like winter.

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Monday, Jan. 4, was the first snowfall of the season. It wasn’t much, at least in Bristol. There was one burst for a few minutes. (You see the view from the newsroom. That’s the Bristol train station.) I didn’t run out like I’ve been known to do, but it was exciting. Joe, the assignment editor who sits next to me, actually put on long sleeves and went outside to shoot it. He never wears long sleeves.

Garry said Yeti liked it, too…

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…but many of you probably think Casey had the right idea.

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Since then, there hasn’t been more snow but it’s still cold.

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This was my car window, yesterday morning. Skip unless you live in Florida.

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Saturday night, we went to Speedway in Lights, which is a Bristol Motor Speedway fundraiser for children’s charities. (To be perfectly honest, I got the ticket because the station sponsors it.) It’s a big event around these here parts: lots of lights, most with holiday themes, also an American flag.

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You drive around the speedway and dragway property in your car and can even hear Christmas music on a special radio station. This was the last night. Garry got to drive on the actual track at the Bristol Motor Speedway!

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And I was just happy to see a menorah at the end.

menorah

Contrary to what I’d been told, they called it menorah and not candelabra. There was a separate candelabra earlier.

Speaking without thinking

It may take three to make a series of events, but I’m sure the third of this will come sooner rather than later. I’m talking about TV people who use words they don’t know and embarrassing themselves in front of the world.

WJW, February 23, 2015
WJW, February 23, 2015

The first happened Monday morning in Cleveland, on WJW-Channel 8’s morning newscast. Kristi Capel used the racially offensive term “jigaboo” to describe the musical arrangements during Lady Gaga‘s performance at the Academy Awards, the night before.

2015-02-22 Lady Gaga Oscars
Lady Gaga

That J-word is considered derogatory towards African-Americans.

Yesterday, Capel took to the air, saying she deeply regrets her “insensitive comment” and “truly did not know the meaning of the word and would never intentionally use such hurtful language.” I believe her. She won’t be on TV for the rest of the week. The station isn’t saying if it’s a suspension.

E!, February 24, 2015
E!, February 24, 2015
2015-02-22 Zendaya Oscars
Zendaya

Also Monday, Giuliana Rancic (somebody I’ve never heard of) on E!’s Fashion Police (a cable channel I never watch) joked that singer-actress Zendaya’s (somebody else I’ve never heard of) dreadlocks at the previous night’s Oscars suggested a smell “like patchouli oil or weed.”
(E! should apologize for all the Kardashians but that’s another story!)

Then yesterday, Rancic apologized and said the reaction to her remarks has increased her awareness of damaging “clichés and stereotypes,” and – get this – on-air people have the responsibility to avoid perpetuating them. I believe her, as well.

These days, the bar to get on TV is very low. Right now I’m sitting at Firestone, waiting for an oil change, and they have some stupid show called The Real on TV. It’s awful! But my point is, people on TV or speaking before the public should be literate. They should know the language they’re speaking, and have some fluency, and make sense. Sometimes we forget words. That happens. It’s part of aging. But using words or phrases we don’t know?

When I was teaching, students and parents thought I knew Spanish. I don’t. Just a couple of words. But I only used words that I knew. People overheard and told me they hadn’t realized I knew the language. This happened frequently even though I sounded like a gringo.

If you know more words or languages, then good for you! You can use them. But if you don’t, stay away from trouble. It’s not worth it. Instead of coming across as smart, you come across as the total opposite.

I was taught to write for TV on a 3rd grade level, because nobody watches with a dictionary in front of them. In other words, keep it simple. There’s even a phrase for that and I’ve been told many times (but for overthinking): KISS. Keep It Simple, Stupid (Silly).

But these remarks weren’t overthinking. They were probably both unscripted ad libs. My advice: Be yourself. Don’t try to impress too much. You already got the job!

Neither of these TV people did anything malicious. They just said things that weren’t too smart. And who hasn’t? Hopefully, all the publicity will be their lessons and teach others as well.

The Grammys are wasted on me

I’m not a big fan of awards shows. When they’re on, I realize I don’t get out enough. Of course, that’s no surprise to anyone who knows me.Grammy awards Grammys logo

The Grammys were on last night. I watched a little bit but spent a lot more time looking at friends’ Facebook and Twitter posts. (By the way, you can follow me at @feedbaylenny.) I read up more on it this morning. Turns out, I actually heard of most of the winners!

Eleven years ago, before I left Philadelphia, I don’t think I had. I saw Beyonce for the first time and thought her name was “bounce” spelled wrong. And when someone at KYW mentioned Jay-Z, I thought they were talking about our sister station in Baltimore (WJZ-Channel 13)! Now, they are married. Look how far we’ve come!

That Happy Song (Happy) doesn’t make me happy. I saw Pharrell Williams during the few minutes I watched the Grammys last night. This infectious song has been out for a while, but I first heard it in September. I had been out of work for a week with the flu. That Saturday, I had to go to the first of 4 workshops for teachers who were new to Broward County (rather than go to the synagogue). I was still feeling lousy and disgusted with all the subject matter. See about the standards in a previous post. The teaching instructors played this song several times and now I have bad memories whenever I hear it. I never returned. So much for being happy!

The awards shows I actually looked forward to most were the Daytime Emmys and yes, the Soap Opera Digest Awards. I think you can figure out the reason. Those awards shows aren’t doing so well these days, since most of the soaps have been cancelled. I still watch 3 of the 4, but only when they’re on and I’m not doing anything else. (Oh, and the Daytime Emmys are irritating with talk shows, game shows, and children’s shows, and the SOD Awards have been MIA for about 10 years.)

Golden Girls grammies
Facebook

The Primetime Emmys never did much for me, and even less lately. I just don’t watch a lot of primetime TV, at least not as much as I used to, growing up. Mostly comedies. Some shows take a few years to grow on me, and then I watch reruns.

As for Oscars, I can’t remember the last time I saw any nominated film, and I haven’t been to a Broadway show since 1984, so so much for the Tony Awards.

So I’m not as bad with the Grammys as I thought. Regardless, I still like the Grannies much better.