Archive for December, 2009

Cone of Shame

December 31, 2009

Our cat, Mac, is wearing what was depicted in the current movie, “Up”, as the Cone of Shame. In the movie, when a family dog misbehaved, its punishment was wearing the Cone of Shame. Mac did not misbehave.  He generally is a good cat.   Mac’s only undesirable characteristics are shedding hair and meowing loudly when he wants food or petting. But the unfortunate Mac has this skin infection.  The Vet believes it may be caused by an allergy.   He’s treating it with antibiotics and a topical spray.  In the meantime, Mac has to wear the cone to discourage scratching and biting which could exacerbate the wound.  He doesn’t like it and has managed to shed the cone at least once since returning home. I feel his pain and discomfort.  I’m tempted to write, “more than he does.”   But only Mac would know about that…and he’s not meowing much since his traumatic stay at the Vet’s.

The deception of alcohol

December 30, 2009

Watch the beer commercials, read the ads for whiskey….then watch the results of drinking alcohol.  You can argue that the problem is the people who abuse drinking.   I suggest that it’s the people who “drink responsibly” that leads to abuse….and the tragedies that follow.  Advising people to “drink responsibly” is a cop out.    During my almost 50 years at WSB-Television, I’ve reported on hundreds of people who’ve died in alcohol related incidents…and probably as many more whose lives have been ruined by booze.

Why do people drink alcohol?   I’ve heard many answers.   For example, “it makes me feel good”, “it relaxes me”, and “it helps me have a good time”.    What it really does is deceive you.   Drinking alcohol disconnects you from reality.  Perhaps that’s what you want.   You can achieve that  feel good, relaxing, have a good time experience with exercise..enough to activate your body’s endorphins. Endorphins will give you a natural high without the consequences of alcohol.

We glamorize drinking alcohol as we once did smoking cigarettes.  I’ve been in the Peachtree Road Race and heard shouts of “where’s the beer” from runners.   It seems to me that they’re trying to make people think they’re hip or cool.  Truth is that alcohol dehydrates…not a good thing for runners.

Like Don Quixote of La Mancha,  I’m probably tilting at windmills.   In the early years of my career, I debated the issue of alcohol consumption with Manny Maloof, the founder of Manuel’s Tavern in Atlanta.    Manny argued that if people didn’t drink alcohol to deal with their frustrations, there would be more suicides and frustrated people would take out their frustrations on others.   Perhaps Manny was right about what  MIGHT  happen without alcohol.   With the consumption of alcohol, you can read, see and hear what IS happening.

Christmas Celebration at our home

December 29, 2009

We celebrated Christmas a day late after our son and his family drove from Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Because of snow, they had to detour.. adding extra hours to their already long travel time.   Our Marine grandson and his pregnant wife came from Cherry Point, North Carolina.

Carston Nichols

It was through the eyes of our 5-year-old grandson, Carston, that we adults truly saw the wonderment of the Christmas season.

Chris and Alexia Nichols

Carston’s parents are Chris (our son) and Alexia. (our daughter-in-law)

Dustin is our 21-year-old Marine grandson.  He’s scheduled for deployment to Afghanistan next month.   He’s ready to answer the call of duty, but regrets leaving

his wife Jacque.  Their firstchild is due to be born while Dustin is away.  Jacque says a network of Marine spouses with children are ready to support her until her husband returns.

Jacque’s getting some early training in being a mother by helping Carston open his many gifts.

Grandma also is sharing in the joy of Christmas through the eyes of a child.  Me too!

On the road again!

December 28, 2009

This volunteer pointing me in the right direction at the “Year End 5K” in Jefferson, Georgia.  It’s about 50 miles northeast of Atlanta.  It was a mid-morning (10:30 a.m.) Saturday start.  The temperature was near freezing.

Because of recent rotator cuff surgery, it’s still a struggle for me just to walk, but I’m grateful to be out among my friends again.

I start early and as you’ll see finish late.

A Different Christmas story-final segment

December 26, 2009

Moving forward with Ray Moore’s supposing:  “….and one of these days, Daltonites would run him out of town – if they follwed the Nazarene’s behavior. “Why is that textile worker’s son trying to tell us where we’re wrong?’  So Jesus would have to move over to Canton, his Georgia Capermaum.   And perhaps He’d calm a storm over Lake Allatoona, which isn’t much smaller than the sea of Galilee.  Now, as the drama moved toward its climactic final week, Jesus would raise a man from the dead in Tucker – right on the outskirts of the big city.  Then FINALLY, our state reporter, Kenley Jones, might decide He’d done something worthy enough to be on TeeVee.  So Kenley would interview Jesus – probably getting a blistering denunciation of the good church folks and their esteemed leaders.  And perhaps Kenley would find some of those whom Jesus had healed.  But most people would decide this was just another fake healer, just another guy with a gimmick.  Yes, this exposure in what we pridefully call the ‘mass media’ of television, radio and newspapers, would produce a few believers.  Still not enough for a Palm Sunday parade into Atlanta.  So, two problems arise when He came to this latter day Jerusalem, Atlanta.  What would be most offensive in the Church – equal to the money changers in the Temple?   And if Christ is to die for the sins of man, what shall He do to be executed in that instrument of our age of enlightenment – the electric chair?

Well in one MAN’S OPINION -and not necessarily GOD’S opinion – I think He would be the most ashamed of  churches where only the pure Aryans are welcomed; and He would be angriest at those churches where the ushers are cheerful greeters – and BOUNCERS – for those of a different color.   And maybe one day He shows up at the friendly doors of an Atlanta church, but He wouldn’t get inside because the dark friends He brought with Him could not come in.  Or- what if He were not the right color?   Anyhow, that’s when He’d run afoul of the authorities.   That’s when he would sound the protest and that’s when He would be arrested – on a charge of  ‘disturbing public worship’.  He’d be hauled off to jail.  But he would not be electrocuted or crucified; only fined and turned loose and looked upon as a mild nuisance.

So – the whole gospel story would have fizzled.  For if there is no death – then there is no resurrection, then there is no Messiah.   Well,what have I been struggling to say?   Two things:  First, getting back to my original question:  wondering whether God made a mistake and sent Jesus 2,000 years too early?  I believe the Creator knew what He was doing.  Second, we need to remember on this day that Jesus was a real person who talked with people who lived in towns like Bremen and Covington and Ringgold; that for some people, He was the little boy next door – and with our sophisticated theology, we might be even LESS likely to recognize the Son of God if he came among us today.   And have you looked around you lately.”

Ray Moore was WSB-Television’s News Director and Program Director when he wrote this piece in 1967.   General Manager Don Heald was Ray’s boss.  Don told  Ray that he would allow him one on-air sermon a month.    This was one of them.

A different Christmas story continues

December 26, 2009

Former WSB-TV News Director Ray Moore’s memoirs continue with what Ray supposed would have happened if Christ were born in 1967…the year he wrote this piece.

“Can you imagine, for example, the angel of the Lord appearing–not to the shepherds–but maybe to the Ford workers assembling their autos by day at the plant in Hapevillle.  And the Angel says, “Don’t be afraid-I have great news for you-your Savior is born in Jonesboro.  Well do you suppose they would have dropped their tools and hustled over to Jonesboro knocking on strange doors, asking if anybody had seen the Christ child?   If they did, they might have found him in the back room in one of those $3 a night motels.  And He might have been a very ordinary looking baby.   But the auto workers would go back to work ‘singing praises to God for all they had seen and heard’  Then Dr. Calder from his observatory at Agnes Scott College could have tracked the stars-and brought the wise men in from Augusta on a Greyhound bus with a plexiglass see-through roof.  Well geographically, Jonesboro is about as far away from Atlanta as Bethlehem was from Jerusalem.   An continuing that analogy, Jesus might have grown up in Dalton as kind of a modern day Nazareth.   Joseph and Mary might have been textitle workers.  And at the age of 12, Jesus might have popped up to teach an adult Sunday School class in the First Church.  Wonder if the grownups would have listened.”

In our Sunday posting, Ray wraps up his supposing in A Different Christmas story.

A different Christmas story (1967)

December 25, 2009

From former WSB-TV News Director Ray Moore’s memoirs:   “As a journalist, I have frequently been frustrated by the Biblical accounts of Jesus’ birth, his life and death..  Here was what Fulton Oursler describes as The Greatest Story Ever Told – and nobody bothered to take notes on what Jesus said.   Apparently nobody even bothered to write down ANYTHING until the book of Mark – and most scholars guess that wasn’t done until almost 30 years after  Jesus died!    And there weren’t any cameras or microphones.   The Bible doesn’t give us any idea what Jesus looked like..or what he sounded like.  You know, man has always tried to play God.   And sometimes man is inclined to think he could have done a lot better job in this world.   So, in my more heretical moments, I have wondered if God didn’t make a mistake- perhaps He should not have waited to send Jesus until we had a more sophisticated accurate means of covering the good news.  Because if more people had been able to see and hear Jesus first hand on television, for instance, his impact ought to have been much greater, right?

What do you suppose might have happened IF Jesus had not been born until THIS (1967) Christmas in Georgia?”

In our next posting, we’ll continue with Ray’s memoirs as he does his own “supposing”  about what might have happened if Christ were born in 1967.

My brother’s new cat

December 24, 2009

? and brother Jerry McClellan

This is my brother Jerry with his unnamed new cat.  His temporary name is “Bailey”.  Jerry’s unsure whether “Bailey” is an appropriate name for a male cat.  Jerry’s daughter, Aimee, brought the rescued kitten home from a Vet clinic where she works.

Looking for a name

I was visiting Jerry today to take him some Christmas gifts.   Couldn’t get much better than this.    JERRY ASKED ME TO ASK READERS OF THIS BLOG TO SUGGEST A NAME FOR THIS FURRY BUNDLE OF FRIENDLINESS.  SO I’M ASKING.

The day JFK died

December 23, 2009

This again is from Ray Moore’s memoirs.   Ray writes that on the day JFK died, many reporters were trying to contact Dr. Martin Luther King Junior for his reaction, but Ray was the only one who succeeded.  On that day, all the stations shared video.   So it was that NBC allowed CBS to use Ray’s interview with Dr. King.    What you’re about to see from Ray’s collection of videos is CBS anchor Walter Cronkite introducing Ray’s interview with Dr. King….then you’ll see reaction from former President Harry Truman.  The date:  November 22, 1963.   Ray feels his interview with Dr. King that day is one of his proudest journalistic accomplishments.

More of Ray Moore’s memoirs

December 22, 2009

Ray writes, “IT’S ATLANTA!  IT’S ATLANTA!  That’s what the Atlanta newspaper headlines screamed in September of 1990 when the IOC (the International Olympic Committee) surprised the world with the announcement that the 1996 Summer Olympics would be held in a comparatively obscure Southern city named Atlanta.”

At the time, the former WSB-Television News Director was working at Georgia Tech with the multi media technology lab.   What has become common place now in video production was cutting edge in 1989.  A team from Georgia Tech would lead a group in putting together Atlanta’s Olympic presentation.  Ray would write and narrate it.

Ray recalls,, “….The 3-D interactive laser disc video was unveiled first at an annual meeting of the IOC in San Juan, Puerto Rico in August of 1989.  And in the words of one reporter, ‘it knocked the socks off the IOC.’   King Constantin of Greece said, ‘it’s the most ingenious thing I’ve ever seen.’   And a Melbourne delegate said, ‘We have a very good video, but nothing like this.'”

What you’re about to see is a small segment of the video that helped bring the Olympics to Atlanta.  This segment has a silent beginning with Ray’s voice a few seconds into the video. ( Ray’s memoirs are chocked full of behind-the-scenes stories.   Perhaps one day, he’ll publish them for all to enjoy.