Random Friday Thoughts — March 2, 2018

I know February is a short month, but it’s hard to believe that the first two months of 2018 are already behind us.

I hope you have a great weekend and thank you for taking the time to check out my random thoughts!

VACATIONS

It’s no secret that I love taking vacations.  I’ve often joked that I work for two reasons — to pay the bills and to travel.  Actually, it’s no joke!

Last year, my big trip was to Scandinavia — Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.

AP Scand

However, some Americans are afraid to take their earned time off.

One poll shows that 22% skip vacations because they don’t want to be seen as replaceable and 28% want to show dedication to work by not taking vacations.

F(orget) that!!!!!!!!!!  If I don’t prove myself when I’m on the clock, I’m not going to worry about it when it comes to taking time off!

Finally, here are a couple of interesting facts:  In 2013, the average number of unused vacation days was 4.9.

Also, in the early-1980s, the average number of paid vacation days was around 21.  By, 2014, that number had dropped to 16 days!

RONALD REAGAN & THE QUAD CITIES  

In his book, “An American Life”, President Ronald Reagan talked about landing his first radio job at WOC in Davenport, Iowa.

After an interview in Chicago, with no radio experience, he was told to try a smaller market.

An American Life

Reagan wrote, “the suggestion from the woman at NBC that I try for a job in the sticks”.

He went on to write, “Radio was so new that many Midwestern towns still didn’t have a commercial station, but I only knew of two or three in the tri-cities area of Davenport, Moline, and Rock Island along the Illinois-Iowa border.”

Sorry, Bettendorf!  You’ll have to let it slide this time since it was the early-1930s.

But, it still cracks me up to think of the Quad Cities as “the sticks” back in the day!

QUICK OSCAR NOTES

The Oscars are Sunday night on ABC.

Oscar-Nominations-2014

Here are the nominees for Best Actor and I’ve seen four of the performances.

Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread”
Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”
Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”
Denzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”

I think that Gary Oldman will win the Oscar for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour”.  He was great and so was the make-up.

CMBYN 2

However, I think that Timothee Chalamet acted more and with more heart and truly deserves to win “Best Actor”.

I even enjoyed Denzel Washington’s performance more than Oldman’s!

I haven’t seen Daniel Day-Lewis in “Phantom Thread”.

Final Oscar tidbits:  I’ve seen four of the nine “Best Picture” nominees and it’s the first four in alphabetical order. 🙂

Best Picture:

“Call Me by Your Name”
“Darkest Hour”
“Dunkirk”
“Get Out”
“Lady Bird”
“Phantom Thread”
“The Post”
“The Shape of Water”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

And, strangely enough, I haven’t seen any of the five Best Actress performances, yet I’m picking Frances McDormand (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) to win.

I’m also picking that movie to win “Best Picture”.

“A REPORTER’S LIFE”

The fourth book I read in 2018 was Walter Cronkite’s “A Reporter’s Life.

Walter Cronkite

Although the book did drag a bit after he talked about his childhood and before he talked more about being on the cutting edge of television news, it was a decent book.

He was definitely a liberal and that’s a good thing. 🙂

“NIGHTLINE”

I also just finished my fifth book — “Nightline” by Ted Koppel and Kyle Anderson.

Excellent read!

Nightline Ted K

It’s about the ABC late night news show that’s still on the air.  Koppel anchored it from 1980 until he retired in 2005.

The book provided incredible insight on some of the biggest stories of the past three decades without a lot of rambling.

Koppel and Anderson touch on AIDS, Russia, South African Apartheid, and the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing, China, along with the television news business.

Interesting tidbit:  The show started as a continuation of “America Held Hostage” — about the American hostages held in Iran for 444 days from late 1979 until January 1981.

MORE ON TIANANMEN SQUARE

Tiananmen Square was one of the stops on my visit to China in the spring of 2016.

What was very interesting is that our tour guide referred to the Tiananmen Square massacre that killed hundreds to thousands (China disputes that number) as an “incident”.

He was also very uncomfortable even talking about it (and I don’t blame him — China eavesdrops!).

Tiananmen

While there, I noticed fire extinguishers located around the square.  We were told that people occasionally bring gasoline to the Square and set themselves on fire in protest!

GUESS WHO???  

“This woman is a political force of enormous ambitions.  I believe she is a menace, unscrupulous as to the truth, vain, and cynical — all with a pretense of exaggerated kindness and human feeling which deceives millions of gullible persons.” 

Answer at the bottom!

“WONDER”

It’s always great to see Julia Roberts in a movie.

And, in “Wonder”, Jacob Tremblay (“Room”) is great as Auggie, a fifth grader with a rare medical facial deformity.

Tremblay definitely has a great future in Hollywood.  He was fantastic in 2015’s “Room”, that earned Brie Larson a Best Actress Oscar.

GRADE:  A-

“ROMAN J. ISREAL, ESQ.”

This crime thriller is a very slow burn for the first hour, but the second hour redeems the slow start.

Washington earned a well-deserved Oscar nomination for Best Actor.

GRADE: B

“HAPPY DEATH DAY”

“The Snowman” is no longer my least favorite movie I’ve seen in 2018.

This horror movie is atrocious!  It’s definitely geared to a younger demographic.

Sadly, for me, this horror movie made a lot of money and there’s talk of a sequel!

GRADE: D

STRONG WOMEN SCARE PEOPLE

“This woman is a political force of enormous ambitions.  I believe she is a menace, unscrupulous as to the truth, vain, and cynical — all with a pretense of exaggerated kindness and human feeling which deceives millions of gullible persons.” 

This was written by columnist Westbrook Pegler in the 1950s about Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt!

EleanorRoosevelt_640x400

Sounds like something some have been said over recent years about another incredibly strong former First Lady!

THAT’S IT

With all the craziness in the world, make it the best in your little part of it!

Anthony

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6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Connie Huizenga on March 2, 2018 at 8:47 am

    I remember Ted Kopel and Nightline when it first started. It was more in depth than the National News at 6pm. I guess they thought the kids were in bed at 10:30 pm and they could take the gloves off and be a little more frank and honest about the intensity of the situation. I would stay up late to watch it.

    Spring has sprung here Anthony. Temps are warming, the trees are budding and starting to leaf, and the robins are back. All in all, the old body is waking up and starting to plan the projects for this year. i hope the Spring brings you some happiness.

    Reply

    • Hi Connie,

      It’s crazy to think of a time when we only had an evening national newscast on each of the three networks and they only had about 22 minutes of news time for national and international news!

      I’m glad you’re getting your spring weather and the worst of winter is behind you. 🙂

      Happiness is welcome in any season, but I’m just looking past spring and summer…. to new beginnings.

      Have a great weekend!

      AP

      Reply

  2. Posted by Donna Libby on March 2, 2018 at 11:47 am

    Good thoughts, once again. I remember watching Walter’s news as a kid. Also enjoyed David Brinkley. I haven’t seen ANY of this year’s Oscar contenders, but that won’t keep me from watching the Oscars. It’s fun to see everyone trying to out do each other with their “bling” & fashion statements. Some of the speeches are heartfelt while others are a big bore! Yes, it is FINALLY nice to see the signs of spring returning to the Midwest! A HUGE flock of snow geese flew over the Burg a few days ago. It almost felt like night time had fallen…..the sky was so black! I sure wouldn’t have gone outside without an umbrella that day! 😎 Stay safe & well!

    Reply

    • Donna,

      Thank you very much for checking out my thoughts and sharing yours.

      I’ll definitely be checking out the winners very, very early Monday morning, but with my schedule, I don’t get to watch them live.

      Enjoy your weekend and spring.

      AP

      Reply

  3. Posted by Richard Kennedy on March 3, 2018 at 10:48 am

    Hi Anthony, hope this finds you well 🍀 Really enjoyed your post , but you got me thinking in a different light for You , maybe you should think along the lines of some type of Tour guide , I mean your appearance on TV is great You love to travel you become quite knowledgeable and are able to convey those people ,places , and things and the word Work might just not exist when your having fun and really enjoying what you would be doing , I really think you’re a natural for that position , something to think about anyway your Friend Dick 🍀

    Reply

    • Dick,

      I’d love to be a tour guide or better yet, take trips and write about them. 🙂

      You’re too kind to think of that.

      Hope all is well.

      AP

      Reply

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