Tag Archives: Virginian-Pilot

Breaking News – We’re Irrelevant!


In the 1970’s, Fleetwood Mac, on their “Rumors” album had a song in which Lindsey Buckingham sang, “I’m just second hand news.” Little did he know that he was predicting the future.

I subscribe to the Virginian-Pilot, my local newspaper. Yes I get weekdays and Sundays, and yes, I actually read it.

I really don’t read the newspaper for the national stories. Everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY, runs the same news service stories. My understanding is that the once fierce rivalry among AP, UPI, Reuters, etc. has been reduced by the consolidation of companies and customer lists.

The end result? I see the same story in almost exactly the same words on CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, ETC, etc. When I see it once again in my morning newspaper, I pass over it and read the stories generated by the local reporters and editors. These local stories tell me what is happening and how it might affect me. The local articles are also well researched, well written and enjoyable.

In the meantime, the on-line internet and on-cable providers continue to run the same material over and over. In some cases, they’ll change its location or even its title, but the same stories can continue to re-appear like zombies in a cheap movie. They try to jazz it up, but even the jazzy statements are regurgitated.

[Starlet’s name] rocks [article of clothing]!

[Starlet’s name] sizzles [article of clothing]!

[Celebrity’s name] did WHAT?

You won’t believe what [insert totally believable item here]!

Bottom line is that online I often encounter the same story in various forms on and off over a month.

So, Lindsey Buckingham – thanks for the prediction.


Everybody sing!!

I’m just second hand news!     I’m just second hand news!

A Bm/A A Bm/A A D E



Something Old, Something New


Courtesy of – never mind.

Joe Walsh of the Eagles wrote a song telling how he’s an analog man in a digital world. Now I’m a (very) few years younger than Joe, but I kind of understand. In my case, though, I’ve got one foot in each world.

Does this make me digilog or anatal?

I love the flexibility my Kindle gives me. When I’m traveling I can switch from a non-fiction book, to a thriller, to a computer language lesson while sitting at the restaurant. Whatever mood my muse is in, I can usually satisfy it. If the restaurant has Wi-Fi and my Kindle doesn’t have what I am in the mood for, I can download something more appropriate.

I don’t have to wait for a chance to drive to the bookstore – I can just download whatever interests me.

Although I’m clumsy with the small touchscreen, I can still check my e-mail or see what’s on the web. My Kindle is pretty cool.


I love my morning newspaper. I like to spread the paper out in front of me, leaving just enough room for juice, coffee and an English muffin. I read the newspaper in a specific order. First the national news, followed by the local news and opinions, although the opinion page gets a cursory look unless something catches my interest.

Lately – not so much.

I drop the Sports section on the table in front of my son’s chair.

Then I read the “Daily Break” – where the “Virginian-Pilot” puts the light hearted material – and the all-important comics. If everything works out right, when I get to my coffee, it’s comics time.

I read the paper on-line when I’m traveling, and it works, but just is no way as satisfying as spreading the good old fashioned, cellulose based newspaper in front of my breakfast.

Then, of course, comes the ultimate reason where real books triumph over e-readers. A bathtub full of hot water, with a glass of wine sitting next to it. I’d never take an e-reader into the tub, but a good paperback book makes it perfect.

Conspiracy du Jour

Stephen M. Katz | The Virginian-Pilot

Stephen M. Katz | The Virginian-Pilot

I am not one to jump to conclusions. For example, I don’t believe that Elvis and Jimmy Hoffa were taken by aliens or that the automakers can make a car get hundreds of miles to the gallon but refuse to employ the technology. Everyone knows that it’s Big Oil that has destroyed those secrets.

Dave Austin fans will be relieved to know that I don’t believe that pigs live in trees, and I think Rover is just a faithful puppy sitting by the doggie door.


There have been odd happenings, some very close to home.

First, Old Dominion University here in Norfolk, VA has a lion as its logo and mascot. A resident in the area near Old Dominion called 911 and reported that a lion was loose in her neighborhood. Old Dominion officials checked to see if one of their lions had escaped, but all were accounted for. Come to find out, it was a dog – a labradoodle – with a weird haircut. (Virginian-Pilot Story here)

Add to that the fact that in Virginia Beach, while its owner was gone another dog managed to turn on the stove, setting fire to the house.

It just so happens that these – and other strange events have occurred right when the asteroid Apophis passed by earth. This so called “Doomsday Asteroid” may someday smash into the earth ending life as we know it, or at least becoming “Breaking News” on cable news.

Dogs impersonating other species? Dogs operating major appliances? A killer asteroid passes near earth? Coincidence? I don’t think so.

If you’re not convinced, add this fact. As I write this, the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) – a trade exhibit of the latest in gadgets is being held in Las Vegas. It’s a geek and engineer event. So?

Today ABC News ran a story today with the headline “Snooki Brings Her Style to CES”.