Thursday, July 25, 2002

"Millionaire" Dreams

Well, in case you haven't read my posts to, I will reveal to you that I scored quite well on the "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" audition test. I don't know exactly how many of the 30 questions I answered correctly before the expiration of the 12-minute time limit, but I got in. Robair, unfortunately, didn't score as well on the quiz. So I am now a solo player. A post card, a phone call, a limo ride to NYC, and 15 questions are all that stands between me and $1,000,000. I think I'm up to the challenge.

Tuesday, July 23, 2002

"Millionaire" Sees Double

Since the show began a little more than three years ago, I have tried many fruitless times to become a contestant on "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire." With the primetime show now history, the show is actively soliciting contestants for its new daytime syndicated version, which will be hosted by Meredith Vieira. I am going to be trying out with my brother Robair in tow for the Twins Week competition. Of course, if either one of us tanks, the other can go on and become a single player. The auditions are tomorrow at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York. The show is also hitting the road with a bus tour (I hope this show actually has a Real Bus, not a motorhome like "Jeopardy!"'s so-called "Brain Bus") which will end in New York for yet another round of auditions in September.

Actually, trying out for the syndicated version seems to be more advantageous. The show has abolished the Fastest Finger (which is actually called Fastest Finger First in the show's country of origin) qualifying round, meaning that anyone who makes the show will actually get on. (Because Fastest Finger is gone, there's no need for the FF-like Phone Game.) Plus there are going to be more shows because this Millionaire will be on five days a week. The show will tape in the afternoon several days a week to accomodate Meredith Vieira's commitment to host "The View" live from 11am-12pm most mornings. (Either "Millionaire" or "View" will need a new director, since it seems impossible for Mark Gentile to do both in the same day. Directing a TV show is tough work, and I can't imagine Gentile being able to go from one to the other at the drop of a hat.)

One of the last things I told my mother when she still had all her faculties before she passed away was that I was someday going to conquer the 15 questions and take home the million. Hopefully, with the Twins Edition, Robair and I can put our estimable brains together and walk away with the prize. We will keep you posted.

Saturday, July 20, 2002

Mr. Mackey Will Return

It took a bit longer than I expected, but the Toms River Regional Board Of Education has finally approved my employment for next school year. I will be returning to teach the orchestra classes in all three high schools for the new school year, beginning on Wednesday, September 4. Our concerts this year will be January 30, 2003 and May 29, 2003, both Thursday nights. Keep practicing, kids... the Mack is back!

Friday, July 19, 2002

Site Update

We are embarking on a major redesign of the NJ Transit Bus page. We are feverishly converting pages and hope to have our new look (no pun intended) on the streets this weekend.

I Didn't Get The Hook Up!

Gee, I was in Seaside Heights yesterday, and unbeknownst to me, JENNIFER LOVE HEWITT was at the MTV Beach House. How spectacularly uninformed I was! (kicking self)

Sunday, July 14, 2002

Yousuf Karsh dead

The man who took this picture of Chuck Jones (which was last seen on this blog to honor the memory of Jones after his February 22 death), as well as many other great photos, has died. Yousuf Karsh, 93, found many great celebrities and statesmen on the other side of his camera lens. His home base of Ottawa permitted him access to many great world leaders. He is perhaps most famous for a picture he took of Winston Churchill while Prime Minister in the 1940's.

Friday, July 12, 2002

Late-night talk show joke waiting to be told

An elderly couple asks for their money back at the movie theater, because they went to go see "Road To Perdition" and were disappointed that Hope and Crosby weren't in it.

Monday, July 08, 2002

Need A Ghost?

Check out this website... An old friend from my BIX days, Doug Ferguson, has obviously been doing quite a bit in the black arts since I lost touch with him and his lovely wife Barbara about a decade ago. His site is about creating "dark rides", haunted mansions, ghosts and other apparations designed to throw some good-old-fashioned scare entertainment into you. Mr. Ferguson is also an audio engineer of some note. Go visit and tell 'em Dave sent you.

Saturday, July 06, 2002

Gambling At Home Is A Gamble

I now notice television spots running on some cable channels for online casinos. I am wondering why these ads refuse to address the risk of casino gambling, or even include the customary taglines that most legitimate casino ads use such as "Bet with your head, not over it" and "Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER." Back when I had links to casino sites on my web page, I made sure to use these tag lines myself, because I do recognize that gambling is a problem for some people. The ads I see on TV for these online casinos quite frankly do not and really play up the prospects of winning without warning of the odds and risk.

Now, back in the days of more steady employment for us both, my wife and I would visit Atlantic City at least once per month. However, even then, we would never think of using an Internet casino.

Never mind the rather gray legalities surrounding these sites, which all operate outside the U.S. legal jurisdiction. I think there's something rather empty and impersonal about gambling at home using your own computer rather than traveling and making an event out of it (even though I live about an hour from AC, we made it an event every time we went). Between rounds of blackjack or video poker, what is more enticing: visiting the buffet and enjoying hot food that someone else is making, or running to the cupboard for a half-eaten bag of Lay's? Entertainment: would you rather go to the showroom to see someone like Danny Gans, or have a rerun of "The Andy Griffith Show" on TV Land playing in the background as you deplete your credit cards?


A few minor tweaks this morning to the NJT Roster pages, because of the discovered existence of 8200-series MCI D4500 coaches.

Tuesday, July 02, 2002

Search Engine Jive

It seemed like a good idea for a laugh. I went to a search engine peek page to see what sort of stupid questions people would ask, but I now realize that the fix is in. It appears to me that marketing companies trying to push their products are deliberately popping questions into such search engines to ensure a result that is favorable for their product. The last straw was the last question I ever expected to find in an Internet search engine: "Where can I find the magazine People?" Hello? People Magazine, for better or worse, is sold at practically every place magazines are sold in this Hemisphere. If you have to ask a search engine that kind of question, you're stupider than the question. So it has to be a corporate marketing plant designed to drive traffic into People Magazine's web site and look at their stupid ads. Boo.