Sunday, December 22, 2013

Taking a Break

Hi there.  Just to let everyone know that in the next couple of days if you don't see the link to find The Greenhouse Effect on the WCKM or Hits web pages, there's good reason.  I'm taking a little break from writing the blog.  I've been finding it harder and harder to come up with new entries.  I used to be able have ideas and crank out something at least once or sometimes twice a week.  Now it seems the only thing I've been ready to do is throw in the towel.  Wave the white flag of surrender.  
Went to see Saving Mr.Banks the Disney movie about the making of Mary Poppins.  Fascinating story to say the least and Tom Hanks is Oscar worthy playing Uncle Walt.
Happy Holidays and til next time, whenever that maybe...Leccese out.

Monday, December 9, 2013

987 and 36 - 7

Hi there.  Well its that wonderful time of year again where the holidays meld together and become such a blur that you wake up on January 2nd and have to write 2014 on your checks, lol.  Sort of the way football and basketball seasons have been the past two years for me.  A blur with no down time between seasons.
You got to give Queensbury credit.  In this age of no huddle, quick count, empty backfield, multiple receiver, shotgun and pistol read option formations, John Irion did it the old fashioned way.  Grinding it out running the ball with 9 or 10 guys in a rotation behind a line that once it started going down hill is tough to stop.  Let me describe it this way, trying to tackle a back in that double wing is like trying to find the needle in the haystack. Since most teams try to stop it by putting 9 guys up close, if the line gets to the second level of the defense, the big play takes place.  The other thing Queensbury did well was play defense and they had serious game on the other side of the ball.  If the 3 interior linemen didn't get to you, the ends or the 2 linebackers would.  The coaching staff also made the right adjustments at half time.  My favorite quote during this whole great run the Spartans had came from Marcus Hughes who was the coach of the team that they played in the semi-finals.  His team was wishing they wouldn't have to play Burnt Hills.  He told his squad that Queensbury had beaten Burnt Hills, not once but twice so be careful what you wish for.
On to other things.
I remember as a kid watching the Macy's Thanksgiving parade and loving those big helium balloons.  As an adult, I want to see one get loose from its handlers and fly over some restricted air space around New York and have it shot down by either the Civil Air Patrol or Air Force. This year I had to settle for Spiderman losing a battle with a Central Park tree and getting a gash on his arm.
Lady Gaga and the Muppets. Ummm, O.K. There has been much worse, like Carrie Underwood's performance in "The Sound of Music."  That was brutal.  
Come on Seth MacPharlane, did Brian really have to die?  Chris and Meg would have made better choices.
For all the debate about the BCS, the two best teams in Florida State and Auburn are playing for the national title.  Sorry Ohio State and Alabama, look at yourself in the mirror and realize that the college football universe really does not revolve around you.  
Robin Williams new sitcom "The Crazy Ones" isn't half bad, but it would be nice to see Pam Dawber make a cameo appearance as one of his ex-wives in a future episode.
I was given a copy of Billy Crystal's new book on CD and I'm listening to it driving around in SUV.  My conclusion.  He is still a great stand up comic and one funny cat.
Finally the numbers in the title of this entry stand for 2 things.  36 - 7 was the final score of Queensbury's championship game win to complete a perfect 13-0 season.  Thanks guys for saving a seat on the bus for John and I to come along for the ride.  987, well that is amount of kids we adopted this year in our annual "Adopt a Child" for the holidays campaign.  We shattered last years mark and coming up Thursday and Friday is the annual charity auction.  The generosity of this community blows me away every time.  Leccese out.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

25 years later and I'm still here

Hi there.  The other title I thought of for this entry was, "Blog neglect and catching up."  However in light of the fact that 25 years ago this month I left the comfort zone of Monmouth County NJ and moved up here to start my adult life made me change my mind.
A couple of thoughts looking back on this quarter century.  The first year probably would have been a lot easier if it wasn't for some little report called, "The Adirondacks in the 21st Century."  That made my life and any other outsiders lives a living hell.  I remember my Dad reading it and shaking his head in disbelief.  It was that worthless.
My original plan was to live here only between 5 and 10 years.  I figured I'd be in some medium to large market radio station over time.
I thought I would have been married.  When you're really picky about what you're looking for in a female partner, it comes with the territory.  By the way, I've never wanted kids.  After what I put my parents and family through growing up, I had no desire to follow in their footsteps and add to the population.
Glens Falls is one amazing town with some wonderful people that could really go forward if it moved on from the whole "Hometown U.S.A." thing. Its 70 years now.  It's hindering the progress, not helping it.
Queensbury, Saratoga, Wilton and Washington County remind me so much of where I grew up.
We have the best snow removal crews in the country, period.
The three things that I missed from home 25 years ago were a good slice of pizza, chinese food, and bagels.  25 years later, I've found the chinese food and good pizza.  Bagels, well that's another story.  When we had Brueggers around here, that was the closest thing to what I was used to when it comes to a bagel.
I miss the days of going to the Civic Center Saturday nights when it still was the place to be on a Saturday night and either before or after a hockey game making my way to Lou's Pizza since I would park behind JE Sawyer's. Something about those square slices. If Lou's was still around when the radio station offices were on Glen street, I could have eaten lunch there everyday.
I've been lucky to meet some amazing people through my job or other things I've done who's friendship I cherish and wouldn't trade for the world..
A couple of other things that have nothing to do with my 25 years being here.
If Chris Farley were alive today, think about how great he would be imitating Toronto mayor Rob Ford.  I think Toronto's chance for an NFL expansion franchise took a major hit when during that press conference in which Ford admitted doing the drugs and alcohol he was wearing a tie with NFL teams' logos.
Come you crazy people.  It was just Miley being Miley lighting up that strange cigarette thing at the EMA's. We do know it wasn't one of those cigars with the plastic tip.
Lady Gaga was really good as host/musical guest on SNL last weekend.
If memory serves me, our wonderful federal government once spent spent six hundred dollars per toilet seat.  With that in mind, you knew they couldn't create a working website for its citizens to sign up for affordable health care, didn't you?
Forgive me for writing this, but two words I've become so sick of hearing and reading in the about in the news are bullying and inclusion.
I watched the Bizarre Foods America episode that was all about New Jersey.  This Jersey kid doesn't ever remember eating the, "Jersey thing" known as "Taylor ham or Pork roll"  or what ever its called growing up.  
This weeks sign of the apocalypse:  Cap'n Crunch Cereal Snack Mix.
I would like for just one day, just one day something positive spoken or written about the sport of football in the news.
Here's to 25 more years and the fading hope of meeting someone...Leccese out.

Monday, October 14, 2013

I thought I'd never see that at the dollar store

Hi there.  Since this entry is being written on Monday October 14th, Happy Columbus Day and Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends.
O.K. time for the fun to begin.  I'll start with, "The Jug Game" which was entertaining and for the second week in a row  a rivalry match-up lived up to its billing.  Back and forth action, big plays and a thrilling ending with Glens Falls scoring with 72 seconds left and Hudson Falls making one last push to pull one out in the end.  I'll leave the commenting on the officiating to John Pratt.
"The Jug Game" saved my football watching from being the ultimate disaster.  Both the Giants and Rutgers played last Thursday night and both teams blew it in the fourth quarter on interceptions by their quarterbacks.  Then to torture myself even more, I flipped on the Rangers game in Anaheim and they got spanked 6- 0 after losing 9-2 in the night before.  I just should have watched Big Bang Theory and shut off the television at 8:30.
Is it too much to ask Outside the Lines or any other investigative sports shows to do features about the concussion problems other sports like soccer, lacrosse and ice hockey have.  Can we lay off football for just a little while, please.  
So this 15 year old high school kid in Ohio is announcing a middle school football game when a player of Haitian descent from the other team runs for a touchdown.  No big deal, right?  Wrong!  He used a call by Fox Sports play by play guy Gus Johnson who can be very creative with his descriptions.  Gus, during a Titans/Jaguar game described a Chris Johnson long touchdown run this way and this is what young teen said. "He's got that getting away from the cops speed!"  This kid was threatened on Facebook by people who were offended and was punished by his school. To use a quotation from the movie Stripes, "Lighten up Francis!"  I understand everyone being upset, but I was laughing after hearing Johnson's actual call on YouTube.
Miley Cyrus, what planet are you on?  Are you and Amanda Bynes now BFF's?  That Today show interview with Matt Lauer really changed a lot peoples minds about you...NOT!
A new survey that was in the show prep we use revealed that 30 percent of people don't like their Facebook friends but won't delete them because they're too nosey!  Two more from the survey.  Just 10 percent of an average person's friends list are considered actual friends; and 58 percent of people keep people they don't like as Facebook friends so they can still see photos and statuses.  I bring this up because I've thought a lot about Facebook lately.  I'm getting to the point of wanting to un-friend certain ones because I feel like I'm an after thought in their lives.  My sister is still upset because I won't friend her. I've told her that I refuse to friend her or any family member. If I have to use a social media site to know what's happening in a family members' life, it's actually insulting when they could just call me on the phone and talk instead of typing away on their phone, tablet or computer on some social media site.  Sometimes I think I post on my page because I'm looking for the attention and to see if I get a decent amount of "likes" or a comment or two.  One more Facebook thing and this was a good one.  When you're so far away from the place you grew up in, you wonder if anybody remembers you.  I got a Facebook friend request from a high school friend.  I still haven't come down from that high a week later.  
By the way 98 Five CKM and Hits 95 Nine now have iPhone, iPad, and Android apps so you can listen anywhere using those devises.  Go to the app store and download them and then listen all you like while playing Candy Crush, Angry Birds and other games.
Finally to end this entry on a more humorous note, last Saturday I go into a local dollar store to buy some cable ties and a candy bar.  The store had just opened and I'm on line about 3 people back.  The person at the front of the line had between 15 and 20 dollars worth of stuff to purchase and he handed the cashier a 100 dollar bill.  Big problem.  So they open up another register.  I'm second in line and the person who is ahead of me buys a $1.50 loaf of bread and uses his debit/credit card to pay for it.  I was shaking my head on the drive to Glens Falls the entire time after witnessing that.  FYI- I paid with a $5.00 bill...Leccese out.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Upset specials and a couple of other thoughts

Hi there.  Keeping things short and sweet this week.  Upset specials.  Well after 2 weeks we're an even 2 and 2 on the year with East Carolina and the Chargers winning.  This week's college upset special has the Golden Domers over Arizona State and for some reason this may be the best chance for Jaguars to win a game as they'll beat the Rams.
You want to why both the Giants and Steelers are 0-4?  You can't win games when your pass rush isn't getting to other teams' quarterback and your offensive line isn't protecting your quarterback and not making holes for the running backs to run through
Hello in there Alex Rodriguez.   Tell me what color is the sky in your world?  What's worse are these protests in support of this guy.  He's being targeted because of his ethnic background?  Then we have his ambulance chasing big name legal team and the multiple lawsuits.  It's like gunmen who commit these horrible shootings and then pull the trigger on themself so not get caught.  "If I'm going down, I'm taking you all down with me."  A-Rod, you're drowning in quick sand, so just play nice and ask for a hand out of this mess.
For all the mismatches and blowout games we end up broadcasting on the radio during the year, every once in while you get one like we had between Warrensburg and Lake George where on the final play a double reverse option pass back to the quarterback ends up winning the game as time runs out.  Two arch rival small schools playing in front of a big crowd  for bragging rights.  It doesn't get much better than that.  Hopefully the "Jug Game" will have that same drama.
I'm not ready for hockey season just yet.
What did I tell you.  The Pirates home ballpark PNC Park is best one in MLB.  Sorry Boston fans, Fenway has some serious competition.
Enjoy the weekend...Leccese out.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Upset Specials and some random thoughts

Hi there.  Some quick thoughts as we head into the weekend but first "upset special" time.  Last week was a case of ass whooping.  Both Kent State and the Arizona Cardinals got spanked.  However there was a lot of bad football last weekend as many big time programs needed that extra scrimmage time before conference play begins by guaranteeing a big check to some average Division 1AA program and just embarrassing them.  Don't lie Ohio State, Louisville and Miami don't tell me you thought these teams were gonna be national title contenders when you scheduled them.  However most big time college programs are guilty of scheduling cupcakes.  Got to keep the alumni and student body happy with big wins, right boys.
This weeks upset specials are the East Carolina Pirates knocking off the North Carolina Tar Heels in Chapel Hill for your college upset special, and the pro take the Chargers who are home underdogs to defeat the "How 'bout them Cowboys!"
Three weeks into the high school season and of the local teams we cover I'd have to say Queensbury is the best of the bunch, but we'll see how good when they take on the defending state champions in Burnt Hills this week.  How come some teams every year just re-load while others are constantly stuck in quick sand?
One coach I always feel does the best coaching job every year and the record doesn't always show it is Kevin Stimpson of Fort Edward.  That small group of kids he has always seems to play hard and are fundamentally sound.  Love watching the Forts play.
One last football note.  I wish I could have been there to watch last Saturday, but my alma mater Franklin Pierce now plays "Sprint" Football.  It's a lower weight version of regular football and the boys from Rindge NH took on Cornell in a game that is played every year at Saratoga High School. They won 13 - 6.  Then I get home and see Rutgers on Bristol Tech beat Arkansas for a second straight year.  In the mid '70's, Rutgers took on the Tennessee Volunteers and the Vols coach was asked about them and he replied, "What's a Rutgers?"  Still love that quote.  I hope you SEC boys now know that us Jersey boys can play some big time football too!  Remember we invented the game, it just took 140 plus years to be good at it.
More and more we're becoming one overly sensitive, politically correct, screwed up nation.  When kids can vandalize a vacant home by having a party that the Delta House from Animal House would be envious of, brag about it on social media sites and then these kids parents can sue the home owner for calling the kids out for doing it and spinning it so the kids are the victims, something is wrong!  Good for Brian Holloway.  
Is it just me or does, "The Mother" who Ted will end up with kind of remind you both in looks and personality of Lilly? 
Bad news single guys, Kaley Cuoco from Big Bang Theory announced her engagement.  My good friend John Pratt was a little depressed over that one.  Welcome to my world, JP.
If you haven't been, Sweet Frog Frozen Yogurt in South Glens Falls is the real deal!  It is scary good stuff.  Take this recommendation from a hard core foodie who knows his stuff.  If you're on a date, or if you have a family treat the spouse and kids and enjoy a frozen treat from this place. 
Got apples and pumpkins and I'm searching for a pumpkin ice cream recipe...Leccese out.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Catching up and the return of "Opie's Upset Specials!"

Hi there. Finally found some time to write a new entry.  First we begin with a football season tradition that started some 17 years ago when I did Sunday morning's at another radio station. "Opie's Upset Specials."  Each week I pick one college and one pro upset game straight up, with no point spread involved.  First for the college upset special where I'll go to State College, Pa and see the Nittany Lions of Penn State lose to the Kent State Golden Flashes from the MAC. For the first pro upset special, I like the Cardinals beating the Saints who are a totally different team away from the Super Dome.
Staying on the topic of football comes the choice of Bruno Mars to be the half-tme entertainment for this years' Superbowl in the Meadowlands.  Solid choice.
I know the NFL is really pushing the safety/anti concussion thing, but not allowing teams to wear throwback uniforms with different helmets because they are unsure the helmets are safe is being a little too nit picky.  Come on Roger, us hardcore NFL fans need to see Buccaneer Bruce and Pat Patriot make a return appearance at least once a year.
One more football note and I'll move on.  There are 3 sports documentaries I would highly recommend.  Showtime has a new one on Lawrence Taylor. NBC Sports Network produced a great one on Earl Campbell the former Houston Oilers running back; but the best comes from HBO on the life of Marty Glickman who is the big redwood tree when it comes to sports play by play.  He was that influential and a pioneer of the way sports is called on radio and television.  He also was an outstanding football player at Syracuse and an Olympic sprinter who made the 1936 Olympic team that went to Berlin, Germany  Glickman and Sam Stoller were taken off the U.S. 400 meter relay team because they were Jewish and no one wanted to offend Hitler.  Find a way to watch this one.
Sending props out to the Boston Red Sox for the classy ceremony and the cool gifts they bestowed upon Mariano Rivera last Sunday night before his last game at Fenway.  The portrait and pitching rubber from the visitors bullpen were nice, but the best was the #42 placard from the Green Monster scoreboard.  I would want one of those for my bedroom wall.  Even better than the gold record of "Enter Sandman" that the Indians gave Mariano from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
With the fall tv schedule upon us I noticed Will Arnett is trying his hand again at another sitcom.  This time on CBS following "Bing Bang Theory" and it co-stars Beau Bridges who I've heard of and some actress who I guess everyone has heard of except me of course.
Bill Engvall and Bill Nye the Science Guy on Dancing with the Stars?  Must have reached the bottom of the list of male possibilities.  Tom Bergeron, here's your sign.  The only reason anyone is going to watch is to see Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi.
I watch Fox Cable News on occasion in the morning and they have this stable of very intelligent female news hosts, readers, correspondents...whatever you want to call them.  Oh by the way they also happen to be very attractive blondes as well.  So how come when they replaced the female host of their "Fox and Friends" morning show, the best they could find was Elizabeth Hasselbeck from. "The View."  Personally I think they should have promoted from within the company.
On a lighter note, why do I keep get e-mails from someone named Adrian?.  Who the heck is she?  I know its spam with some stupid virus attached that only a fool would open.  She probably is a dude who looks just like the actor who is in those creepy credit card commercials who answers the phone with, "Hi, this Peggy. How may I help you?"
Finally after I was done with the football game that we broadcast on WWSC from Granville last Saturday afternoon, I made the first cider and donuts run on the way home.  Got the cider and also a bag of maple cotton candy.  That long wait in the donut line was worth it.  The smell of that warm dozen in the bag that sat along side me in the front passenger seat was intoxicating.  Yeah I noshed on one or two driving back.  If you can resist, you're lying to me especially if you're a parent with kids.  Resistance is futile.  Now here's an idea. Make of those air fresheners you hang in your car with the scent of apple cider and apple cider donuts.  Enjoy the weekend and by the way fall officially begins Sunday...Leccese out.