Thursday, December 25, 2003

Dave On Vacation

Tomorrow morning, I am leaving on a 10-day vacation to the Southland. I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and I will be back with you sometime in 2004, the Good Lord willing. So don't look for e-mail. Don't even SEND me e-mail when I'm away. That means you too, spammers.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Happy Birthday Susan Lucci

Susan Lucci is 56 today.

Somewhere in her house there's gotta be a picture of her with wrinkles, saggy skin and shock white hair.

All of which she certainly doesn't have!

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Pushing Prom

I want it recorded to the world that on December 19, 2003, I saw a PROM magazine at the supermarket checkout. Sweet Jesus! I'm sure even the most airheaded and vacuous teenage girls know that it's too damn early to be thinking about "Prom" (as it's now called, somewhere during the last generation, the "the" was dropped), and all the extracurricular activity that goes with it.

Were I still teaching high school students, I would have taken a poll of the teenage girls in my classes to see if they are of the same mind as me - that it's TOO EARLY to be thinking about the Prom in December.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

We're Back

Congratulations if you can read this. The Christmas elves reminded us in the (St.) Nick of time that our domain name was up for renewal, and we have done so. You should be able to read this again in a day or so. Meantime, you may want to resend that e-mail... but only if you're not selling me something I don't need or you're not one of my long lost friends from Uganda wanting to siphon money through my bank account.

Sunday, December 07, 2003

In Case You Missed It Last Night..

Hope you saw this Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" rerun on Game Show Network... you never know who may show up at the game!

New Horns For Asbury Park HS Band, Courtesy Of...

...The Boss.

As one of the beneficiaries of this weekend's concert performances by Bruce Springsteen and The Max Weinberg 7, the Asbury Park High School Marching Band will step out on its next performance with an entirely new set of band instruments and drums, as well as a nice monetary donation to the program. APHS Band members will attend this weekend's performances and solicit further donations in the hopes of purchasing new uniforms.

The APHS band actually disbanded in the early 1990's when its longtime director Dorian Parreott Sr. retired. I've known Dorian for years and more recently as a member of AFM 399, and remember the glory years of the band program back when I was a high school student. However, the program had been in decline for several years prior to Dorian's retirement. Two years ago, James Dinella was hired and charged with resurrecting the marching band, and this just-ended football season marked the first time APHS fielded a halftime show since the Parreott days.

As an elementary band teacher, I feel it's critical that the students who take the time to learn instruments have a decent place to go when their time is up at their current school. Thanks to Bruce Springsteen and his friends, the kids in Asbury will have greater pride and a better sound playing on their brand new instruments, and hopefully down the road, new uniforms. Who knows? One of them could be the next Clarence Clemons or Max Weinberg!

Friday, November 28, 2003


Okay, here's the deal. I wrote back on USENET on January 1, 1995...
How did Vanna White's singing debut on last night's pre-taped "Merv Griffin's New Year's Eve" go? To me, it was underwhelming. She sang "You Do Something To Me" from the roof of some hotel in Beverly Hills, then we found out who she was singing about: her son Nicholas.

More exciting than Vanna's singing was what came before it: Mort Lindsey and the band played the new version of the "Wheel Of Fortune" theme, "Changing Keys". It was the exact same arrangement used on the TV show beginning this season.

I have this show on tape somewhere. Only thing is, I have to look through ten years of tape to find it. I sounded a clarion call for this show sometime before, but if anyone out there in the tape-trading subculture has it, I'd like to talk. I have dozens of episodes of Trading Spaces, rare cartoons, all kinds of stuff available for trade... anything out of the Robair Collection of rare game show episodes.... who's got the Merv Griffin ringing in 1995?

Thursday, November 20, 2003

"It's an O.J. world again..."

We couldn't agree more with the opinion of veteran writer Mark Evanier on this blog item, but I sure wish Mark and the rest of the news media would not strip Michael Jackson of the last bit of dignity he has - his NAME. The five-letter nickname that appears in most of these reports make it appear that his middle initial should be "T", standing of course for "The".

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Random thought

I wish I had a nickel for every clown who had a middle initial "T" and claimed it stood for "The".

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

New lyric

Spotlight on Arthur Conley (yeah, yeah)
He's our one and only (yeah, yeah)
Singin' "Sweet Soul Music" (yeah, yeah)
Oh yeah (yeah, yeah)

Wednesday, November 12, 2003


I truly apologize for the late notice on this. G.E. Smith, the former bandleader of Saturday Night Live, will be appearing TONIGHT (Wednesday, November 12) at the Ocean County Library on Washington Street in Toms River, at 8:00 p.m. G.E. will be performing during the awarding of a $19,000 100th anniversary Harley Davidson V-Rod motorcycle, to benefit the library's expansion.

And how's this for a cruel twist of fate! Because of parent conferences at one of my schools, I'm unable to attend.


Ocean County Library Press Release
SNL Band Pages

Tuesday, November 11, 2003


...But it's the deaths that are a little closer to home that are a little harder to take. I just found out from a fellow union brother that we've lost one of the better reed men in the county, Jerry Walther. Jerry was also a member of AFM 399. I played with Jerry in a few ensembles and what I am most reminded of is his perseverance in learning oboe so he could play that instead of clarinet in the Ocean County College Band.

Visiting hours are Thursday at the Anderson & Campbell funeral home in Manchester.

Gerhard Walther obituary


Because he taught me how to properly address the ball. You just walk up to it and say....


R.I.P. Art Carney.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003


Wow. This oughta make you buy the Golden Collection. We're going to be reworking a lot of title cards and bullseye graphics over the next few days. They are just so much nicer on the DVD. By comparison...

Okay, not really a fair comparison, because they're from slightly different eras... but hey, the DVD one looks SO DAMN MUCH BETTER.

Monday, October 27, 2003

Rod Roddy 1937-2003

Robert Ray "Rod" Roddy, announcer on "The Price Is Right", died this morning in a hospital in Los Angeles, at the age of 66. He had been hospitalized for the past two months with breast and colon cancer.

Besides "Price", other game shows with Roddy as announcer included "Press Your Luck", "Love Connection", and "Hit Man". He also provided the voice of Mike the microphone on "Disney's House Of Mouse". He had also been a disk jockey, working in the early days of Top 40 radio with such legends of the genre as Todd Storz and Gordon McLendon, and also branched out into radio talk, including one particularly memorable stint at KLIF in Dallas.

A week ago, I appealed to you to send cards and letters into Rod as soon as possible. Nobody would say as much, but we knew that we were going to lose this much beloved member of the Price family.

Looney Tunes DVD's Coming Tomorrow!

We repeat our earlier recommendation of the Looney Tunes DVD's, which are being released tomorrow.

I strongly recommend you lay out the bucks for the Golden Collection, the four-disc set loaded with extras. If you click on the handy link, you can get it from at a discount and make your obedient humble webmaster a few cents in the process. I once again suggest this collection rather than the lower-grade Premiere Collection.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

All Sitcoms Should Take This Pledge

With the debut of "Two And A Half Men", Chuck Lorre is back in the sitcom business. If you will recall, the 107 episodes of his previous effort, "Dharma And Greg", each had a different message scrawled in very tiny print on the producer's "vanity card" at the end of each episode (basically his production company logo). Lorre has continued the tradition with "Two And A Half Men" but this time he has a halfway decent show to go with them. Check out the show on CBS and read the text of his latest manifesto here, a pledge every sitcom should heed. We'll check back with you, Chuck.

Maybe Rush Limbaugh IS A Big Fat Idiot After All...

With a little more fanfare than he perhaps wanted, Rush Limbaugh has recused himself from his commentator slot on "ESPN NFL Sunday Countdown", or whatever they're calling it these days.

Limbaugh now joins the likes of the late Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder and Al Campanis in the Foot-In-Mouth Hall Of Fame, for controversial comments that the media wants a black NFL quarterback such as Donovan McNabb of the Philadelphia Eagles to succeed.

Don't these guys ever learn? I'm not the biggest Eagles fan, but don't you think that a quarterback like McNabb has succeeded on talent, not because of media expectations? Even a casual football viewer like myself can see that.

Is it too late to bring Dennis Miller back?

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Show Us Your Shoes...

The Miss America Parade is on for tonight on the Boardwalk. Winds should be diminishing through the day making it a safe experience for all. The parade was originally to have been broadcast by CN8, but they pulled out. (Not too late to pull back in, guys.)

Tomorrow night is the Miss America show, hosted as previously noted on this blog by Tom Bergeron. If he can handle a tic-tac-toe grid with nine stars, then certainly he can handle 51 beautiful women competing for scholarship and other awards.

Monday, September 15, 2003

SNL Band In Vegas, Baby!

The Saturday Night Live Band has a Vegas gig to warm up before kicking off the show's 29th season. They, along with vocalist Christine Ohlman, will be at Bally's on Wednesday, September 17. Contact Bally's for more information.

In other SNL Band News, happy belated 55th birthday to trombonist Steve Turre, and a shout out to Katreese Barnes (and yes, we will fix your spelling!) for the nice e-mail and pointer to her website, The site is currently in the lab for an overhaul to be rolled out on Season Premiere night!

Sunday, September 14, 2003


Why I take particular glee in the apparent end of Ben and Jen, I don't know. But I do. I've seen these sort of things before. Relationships that look like they're more designed to promote movies than true romance. Once "Gigli" failed, that was the final nail in the coffin.

Thursday, September 11, 2003


This pic by Trevor Logan says all that needs be said today.

Monday, September 08, 2003

Warren Zevon dead

I saw Lon Chaney walking with the queen, doing the Werewolves of London.

I saw Lon Chaney Jr. walking with the queen, doing the Werewolves of London.

I saw a werewolf drinking a pina colada down at Trader Vic's.

His hair was perfect.

Thanks, Warren.

Friday, September 05, 2003

48 Hours... 2 Designers... 1 Carpenter... $1,000... 4 Friends... And Your Ol' Pal Dave!

Yes, that's a navigation flag with Paige Davis' picture on it. That can only mean one thing... Trading Spaces is coming to!

In the true spirit of Trading Spaces, our Trading Post is presently under construction. Amy Wynn is out in Carpentry World building me some bookshelves and a love seat. Some designer bios and other graphics are missing from the pages, and we're working on cleaning it up (without benefit of that nifty speed up music, unfortunately). But what we hope will be the true meat of the site will be our Episode Recaps of all Season 4 episodes. Season 4 begins tomorrow and you can expect to see the recaps - some authored by me, some authored by Robair - on the Monday after new episodes air. We will also have episode galleries so you can see what we're talking about.

Why is doing this? Because doesn't want to any more. For them to discontinue coverage of this show at the height of its ratings popularity can't possibly help their credibility. (I'm waiting for to recap the "What's My Line?" that aired the other night where Groucho Marx literally hijacked the show and made it into something a plane more zanier than your garden variety episode of "You Bet Your Life". But I digress.)

So join me, Robair, Gen, Hildi, Doug, Ty, Amy Wynn, Paige, Rick, Barry, Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds and the entire crew as we do Trading Spaces... MACKEY style!

Thursday, August 28, 2003

New Contact INFO

Psst... look down below for new contact INFO.... many of you who have been in regular contact have gotten my new private address... if not, send a line to INFO and I will make sure you get it. (It's not clickable for security reasons.)

UPDATE: I have already started receiving SPAM at this address. Please be advised that all SPAM sent to the INFO address will be reported!

Monday, August 25, 2003

Fox News Is A Big Fat Idiot

Fox News has dropped its lawsuit against Al Franken, over his new book that includes the words "Fair And Balanced" on the cover. "Fair And Balanced" is ostensibly a trademark of Fox, but they don't really use it too much. (It got a workout a few Fridays ago in weblogs around the country on Fair And Balanced Day.)

The Fox spokeswoman, announcing the dropping of the case, said (paraphrasing) that it's time to return Al Franken to the obscurity to which he is accustomed.

Excuse me? A charter writer and featured player for "Saturday Night Live"? A political pundit? The man who wrote "Rush Limbaugh Is A Big Fat Idiot"? Obscure? Lady, they don't even know your name, so I wouldn't talk if I were you.

(By the way, scroll down to the August 13 blog entry if you want to order Franken's book and support further projects.)

Sunday, August 24, 2003


Effective IMMEDIATELY, I will NO LONGER BE ACCEPTING E-MAIL AT DUE TO PROBLEMS WITH THE SOBIG VIRUS. Please give me some time to set up a new secure e-mail box and we will be in touch again soon.

Saturday, August 16, 2003

Fair And Balanced - What Have We Learned?

Well, we have come to the end of Fair And Balanced Day. What have we learned?

  • I wasn't alone in this endeavor. Neal Pollack led the way, along with Noam Alaska's "Demagogue" blog,, Brian Plank's Helmethead Journal, Andy Ihnatko's Colossal Waste Of Bandwidth "Yellowtext" (the Bear and Valance version), and Mark Evanier's News From Me; if you know of others, pass them along and I'll update this entry.
  • Dotto was cancelled in spite of the fine job Jack Narz did
  • A butcher still won't give you a quarter pound of rump roast in New York City - you can't get there until the subways start running again
  • Frank Buxton is still the man
  • The Brits kick our ass when it comes to Batfink sites
  • No matter how small you make Dakota Fanning's picture, her movie still sucks

One interesting sidelight to Fair And Balanced Day and the man whose bacon we are trying to save: I was flipping channels yesterday afternoon, and on Encore was the movie "Trading Places", and there, as an Amtrak baggage handler, was the man himself, Al Franken (super: "AL FRANKEN"). He was there along with his writing partner of those years, Tom Davis.

And Idi Amin is dead! My, how the once-mighty have fallen.

Friday, August 15, 2003

Batfink Rocks The UK

We continue our quest to be Fair and Balanced by bringing you news of a relatively new Batfink website, an official effort from the show's UK distributor. The URL is (Just be fair and balanced and remember who was first on the web with a Batfink site!)


In our ongoing attempts to be Fair And Balanced (and make sure the "And" is capitalized), I wish to acknowledge this blog entry by Mark Evanier, who is also observing Fair And Balanced day. It includes a quote from the extremely fair and balanced Frank Buxton, who was half of the regular voice cast of "Batfink" and happens to mention the other half, Len Maxwell, in his quote. It seems that both Maxwell and Buxton, as well as actresses Julie Bennett and Louise Lasser, comprised the voice cast (and all took writing credits as well, to make a fair and balanced point) on the Woody Allen dub-fest, "What's Up, Tiger Lily?" (Buxton also hosted a game show, a kids show called "Discovery" and was the writer of the famous "Password" episode of "The Odd Couple".)

Power Outage Creates Unfair, Unbalanced Situation

How can butchers in New York give customers a fair and balanced quarter pound of rump roast when the scales are down due to the power outage? Mercifully, headquarters were spared the carnage (we did have a little brownout at the time the power went out - 4:11 p.m.), so we can continue to observe Fair And Balanced Day, on which we tell Fox's lawyers to stick it and support the work of Al Franken.

Al Franken would probably tell you so himself in as many words: "So I used 'fair and balanced' in the title of this new book, written by me... Al Franken. So what?"

Beverly Offers Fair And Balanced Account Of Dotto Cancellation

So was the fix in? CBS seemed to think so as it broadcast the final episode of "Dotto" on this date 45 years ago. The following Monday, people saw "Top Dollar", a more fair and balanced quiz with Warren Hull, instead. Read the account of "Dotto"'s cancellation here.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Happy Fair And Balanced Day!

Friday is Fair And Balanced Day at This article reveals why. Of course, this is a side result of Fox News Channel suing Al Franken (former "Saturday Night Live" writer/cast member) over the use of the phrase in the title of his book Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right, available from our partner by clicking the book's little ol' title.

Okay, so I'll never get on Pat Sajak's show this way, but who cares.

Incidentally, we have now put permanent links up leading out to our General Store. We have some of the forthcoming "Trading Spaces" merchandise (specifically the new episode guide and trivia books coming out in November), but we have some big news coming soon regarding this series, a website that has decided not to recap the show any more starting with the fourth season premiere on September 6, and a website that is planning to take up the mantle on that date in that same snarky, catty manner. Anyone we know? Why don't you come back here on September 8 and find out?

Monday, August 11, 2003


coverYou have it coming yet? If not, click the pic and pre-order the great movie adaptation of the musical Chicago from our partner,!

Monday, August 04, 2003

WB Cartoons On DVD Soon

As mentioned earlier, Warner Bros. is releasing its Looney Tunes animated films on the DVD format for the first time in late October.

I strongly recommend you lay out the bucks for the Golden Collection, the four-disc set loaded with extras. If you click on the handy link, you can get it from at a discount and make your obedient humble webmaster a few cents in the process. I once again suggest this collection rather than the lower-grade Premiere Collection.

Sunday, August 03, 2003

Watch The Haskell On ESPN2

Be sure to watch the live coverage of the Haskell Invitational today on ESPN2, live from Monmouth Park in Oceanport, NJ (5:00 p.m. Eastern, post time approx. 5:40 p.m.). I'd love to go in person, but I am wrapped up with a major home improvement project that has to get done ASAP.

The race is sure to be the best in years, with a field headed by Funny Cide, but listen closely for the Call to Post. Frank Hughes, who also conducts the Dover Township Municipal Band every Friday night in the summer months (come on out and see us!), and has a long list of other musical accomplishments, has been the resident Monmouth Park bugler for 30 years. Frank explained that you'll likely not see him on camera because that's not ESPN's style of coverage, and also because some buglers like to ham it up for the camera (which Frank is certainly not guilty of). And he's the guy who was honored a few weeks back with the Speed Limit 55 sign, for obvious reasons.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Dear Robert G. Allen,

I don't know you from Adam. I don't want to know you. Would you PLEASE stop sending me your e-mails? I would like to receive some correspondence just one day without having to wade through other crud. I don't know if it's you, but I am now getting as many as five copies of the same e-mail.

Best regards,
Dave Mackey

Monday, July 28, 2003

Bob Hope 1903-2003

Bob Hope has died.

Now may seem like an appropriate time to say "thanks for the memory", but recently, the memories are all we had of the illustrious Mr. Hope, as old age finally caught up to the man and he retreated into seclusion sometime in his 90's.

Which Bob Hope will I remember? Possibly the 1940's-1950's era model, when he gained his greatest fame to that point in motion pictures. Sure he was a comedian, but for a funny guy he made a terrific leading man! And you know, those "Road" romps weren't too bad either, paired with perennial nemesis/pal Bing Crosby.

But he encompassed the world of entertainment. He did it all. Music hall, radio, theatre, film, television, live performance. Millions of soldiers' tenuous existence was buoyed by a holiday visit by Hope and his USO troupe, with the Les Brown Band Of Renown in tow, from all theatres of war from the Second World War through to the Persian Gulf War.

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Kobe's Accuser Named

This column from Chicago Sun-Times columnist and sometimes movie reviewer Richard Roeper, published on Tuesday, made note of the fact that the name of Kobe Bryant's accuser of sexual misdeeds will be brought public in a hurry.

SO, a nationally syndicated radio talk show host, whom I shall not name, indeed divulged the identity of the woman allegedly sexually assaulted by Kobe Bryant.

Hey, at least the Blue Dot Lady got her fifteen minutes of anonymity. But, as Roeper correctly admits, that was before people began living their lives in the hyper-public glare of the Internet.

Tom Bergeron Taking Over "Miss America"

It's with a twinge of moroseness (morosity? mority?) that I announce that ABC has let Wayne Brady out of his commitment to host the Miss America pageant (which is a word that ABC prefers not to use).

The replacement, Tom Bergeron, has proven his talent over the years as host of "Fox After Breakfast" and "Hollywood Squares" - but it seems to me that the real reason ABC replaced Bergeron is that Brady is no longer a network personality, with "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" no longer on the schedule, and his "Wayne Brady Show" showing up on stations other than ABC's. Bergeron, however, is an ABC company man for purposes of hosting the pageant, by virtue of his hosting "America's Funniest Home Videos" (on which he has become the best of the procession of hosts the show has had, going all the way back to Bob Saget).

In the old days, Bert Parks, Ron Ely and those who came after him weren't hired for network promotional value. But as the network exerts increasing control over the pageant and its contents, the network seems now to have final approval of hosts, which explains the decreasing calibre of hosts: we regress from Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford (their talk show is from another Disney division), to the likes of John and Eva Callahan ("All My Children"), and Meredith Vieira ("The View"). (Hey, Meredith, I'm still waiting for my date in the Hot Seat.) Pretty soon ABC may get its secret wish and move the pageant out of its 83-year standing Atlantic City home base to Orlando - making it yet another disposable Disney dream-come-true ending.

Monday, July 21, 2003

Production No. 1291... hit it

Nicholas Schager's review of "Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over" begins with the words "In the grand tradition of 'Lumber Jack-Rabbit'....'Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over', the 3-D finale of Robert Rodriguez’s cutesy children’s franchise that now stands as frontrunner for 2003’s most mindless and physically offensive moviegoing experience."

I dunno... this look offensive to you?

Some may think so. Happy 50th birthday, 3-D!

Saturday, July 19, 2003

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Neat Site

Neat Site of the day is Mets By The Numbers, a neat listing of which Mets wore which uniform numbers over the 41 years the team has been in existence. Neat Fact: until Mark Clark changed from No. 00 to No. 52 on June 5 of this season, no Mets player had ever worn the number 52 in a game (as 52 had been issued primarily to coaches over the years). You long-suffering Mets fans like myself can scan the listings of each number and reacquaint yourself with the names players of the past. (It's like listening to a variation on Dave Frishberg's song "Van Lingle Mungo" at warp speed.)

Monday, July 14, 2003

BB4 Participant Out The House - And It Hasn't Even Been A Week Yet!

CBS needs to get its crap together on the Big Brother 4 website and admit that a contestant has been expelled from the game already for throwing chairs and having hissy fits because his ex-girlfriend is playing the game too. CBS got its money shots out of that one, for sure.

On the other hand, anyone see that mess on Fox last night called "Banzai"? What pushed you over the edge enough to turn the channel? The chicken levitated by a fleet of helium-filled party balloons? The one-legged striker facing off against the one-armed goalie in a battle of soccer amputees? Or the game of "chicken" played by two old ladies in wheelchairs? I think it was the cumulative effect of it all that eventually made me leave the room in disgust.

Saturday, July 12, 2003


It is official. Warner Bros. has announced a release date of October 28, 2003 for the "Golden Collection" of Looney Tunes on DVD. A 4-DVD box set, it will include 56 classic cartoons plus voluminous bonus material. As soon as it is available from, I will make a link available so you may purchase it through this site.

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Buy Elizabeth McCracken Books

We now have the books of Elizabeth McCracken in our General Store. While not a personal acquaintance, I have known of Ms. McCracken's work for quite some time through a longtime friendship with her brother, PC World Editor Harry McCracken. Both McCrackens are outstanding writers, but Elizabeth's work is quite thought provoking.

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Big Brother: Why Bother?

I could give a flip about CBS's sneaky-peeky hidden camera show this time around. I think the problem with these shows is that the novelty wears off after the first couple. I definitely don't like the ex-SO factor, and someone needs to do something about that Julie Chen. I will pass this season and have more fun this summer.

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

"Chief Halftown" Dead

The city of Philadelphia embraces its local television personalities like no other, especially its kids show hosts. Philadelphia was the home of such luminaries as Gene London, Sally Starr, Captain Noah, and one of the originals in the market, Chief Halftown. A full-blooded Seneca born Traynor Ora Halftown, the Chief was a fixture on Channel 6 (variously known over the years as WFIL-TV or WPVI) from 1951 to 1999. He had been seen for the last several decades in a Saturday morning time slot, usually featuring the young talent of the region. The Chief died yesterday near his retirement home in Brigantine, NJ, at the age of 86. Funeral services will be held Tuesday morning at St. Thomas Church in Brigantine. (Image courtesy WPVI)

Saturday, July 05, 2003

Monday, June 30, 2003

Bus Gallery

Whole buncha new stuff in the Bus Gallery tonight!

Address Correction - Hal Seeger Productions

Send your cards and letters of support to Hal Seeger Productions, Inc., P.O. Box 231117, Great Neck, NY 11024. And tell em Dave sent you!

Thursday, June 26, 2003


Be ware of ANY e-mail message that purports to be from "Pepsi Contest" or other entity. It is a WORM called "So Big". Body of email message says "Please see attached zip file for details". Inside that ZIP is a .PIF which is usually BAD NEWS.

We are soon going to be making a major policy statement on e-mail to this website. Please watch for it, particularly if you are a regular correspondent.

Found The Icons

We apologize if you noticed missing icons from this page yesterday. We had to do a quick change on the page and had no access to Blogger. We tried to do it via FTP but the Index page was looking for all the graphics in a different directory (if you ever save pages in Internet Explorer, you will understand what I am talking about).

Friday, June 20, 2003

Now It's Your Turn To Come To Batfink's Rescue!

There's a reason this icon is at the top of the stack you see at the left. We have always been staunch supporters of the plutonium-infused bat with the wings of steel and the supersonic sonar radar. After what seemed like an eternity (I think we went online with it in 1996), my little Batfink site has finally attracted the attention of the Seeger family, who couldn't be more pleased that we are keepers of the flame.

I am pleased to announce that Batfink's snail mailbox is now open! Hal Seeger Productions wants to hear from Batfink fans! What are your memories? How would you like to see Batfink as he prepares for his big comeback? Revival of the classic cartoons? New cartoons? Maybe even a feature film? The possibilities are endless.

Send your cards and letters of support to Hal Seeger Productions, Inc., P.O. Box 231117, Great Neck, NY 11024. And tell em Dave sent you!

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Still Teaching in Toms River Next Year

Tomorrow is my final day with full classes at the three Toms River high schools as Orchestra Director. As I pass the baton back to my predecessor who will be returning from maternity, I receive another baton from a retiring elementary teacher and will be teaching in two of the Toms River elementary schools next year, specifically North Dover and West Dover. I look forward to be giving lessons and running the bands for the Pirates and Blue Jays.

Sunday, June 15, 2003

Don Pardo Hanging In There!

You get a gold watch for retiring after 30 years. Assuming at some point Don Pardo retires, what does he get? Today was his 59th anniversary of his hire by NBC Radio Network. He still carries his original ID card, noting his date of hire as June 15, 1944. Keep em flying, Pardo!

BTW, has anyone else beside me who tracks voiceover activity notice that Jackson Beck has pretty much disappeared from the scene? Up until a few years ago Jackson, who turns 91 in June, was still doing commercials and film roles by the score. I think the last thing he ever did was a commercial for Infusium hair care products. Maybe he retired at 90? Hope he's still well. Jackson Beck, of course, was in a ton of Paramount cartoons and was the narrator of the Superman radio show. (How does this tie into the item above? Jackson Beck once did a voice over for a SNL skit. What it was I can't remember. They didn't totally rely on Pardo in the show's formative years. Dan Ingram narrated a skit about a kid addicted to video games, and Bill Wendell was the narrator on the "Spud Beer" fake commercial.)

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

More "Trading Spaces" Books


Now available for purchase in the General Store are some new Trading Spaces items. Three soon-to-be released books and a calendar you can order now. (You can literally order them now by clicking on each which will take you to our partner,

Saturday, June 07, 2003

Chicago Rolls Into Town

I saw Chicago last night. Not the movie, silly, the GROUP that's now on the road in its 37th consecutive year. Jimmy Pankow is still THE MAN.

Saturday, May 31, 2003

Big Seeger News

Oh, and there is some exciting news coming soon to the Animation pages, specifically, the Hal Seeger pages... more to come on that.

Answer: The Violin

I was watching "Millionaire" and one of the questions yesterday was "The concertmaster of a symphony orchestra plays which instrument?" The idiot contestant had to use two lifelines, his 50/50 and his Phone-A-Friend (or, to make a pun that only those close to me will appreciate, perhaps his Phone-A-Freund?)

Happy 100th!

Bob Hope made it to 100. Next...

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

99.99999 years old!

At this writing, Bob Hope has one day and a little less than four hours, West Coast Time, to go to make it to 100.

Whatever you do, Bob, don't sneeze.

Saturday, May 24, 2003

Buy Iraq Cards

Forget about the offers your e-mail spam is filled with. You want the
Iraq's Most Wanted Playing Cards
, you gotta go through me. Only $6.99 through and I get a little spiff on each deck you buy.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Bus Shop

The Bus Shop is now open. We offer Jim Lehrer's memoir "A Bus Of My Own", and the Iconografix series of bus history albums, everything from Yellow to Mack to Flxible to Prevost to MCI. Visit, and more importantly, buy!

Sunday, May 18, 2003

Dave Mackey and Amazon Team Up To Bring You Stuff

Years ago the slogan was "I wanna be Like Mike." Now, you can be like Dave and shop like Dave, thanks to Dave's partnership with Your purchases will help defray the costs of this website. First up is the Cartoon Shop. There are only a handful of items available, but please visit. We will be adding more as events warrant, and hopefully something new from Warner Bros.?????????

We will also be featuring a Music Shop and a Bus Shop. Also, a General Store, for things I recommend that don't fit into one of the three main areas of the site; right now, we have a selection of "Trading Spaces" books and videos. One other thing: unless otherwise noted, all videos are in DVD format.

Friday, May 16, 2003

Take This Class Trip

I don't know if I will be updating the Music page this weekend, but I have a couple of dates this weekend. Tonight (Friday), I will be part of a hastily-thrown-together horn section that will be accompanying Class Trip (see Blog item below) at their appearance at the Hub, on Hooper Avenue, in Toms River. We start playing about 10:00 p.m. Come on out and say hi to Jesse, Mary, and all the rest of the Class Trip crew.

On Sunday, I will be appearing with the Holy Spirit Ringers of the Manahawkin United Methodist Church at their Handbell and Choir Concert. The church is on Stafford Avenue in Manahawkin, and a free will offering will be taken during the performance to help buy equipment and music for the ringers. I will be conducting one of the joint choir and handbell selections, "Let All The Church Rise Up With Praise", by Forest Green.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

"Toon Heads" Tribute to Norm McCabe

This is more a reminder to myself than anything else. Cartoon Network's "Toon Heads" will be repeating their much-heralded one-hour tribute to the 1940s cartoons of Norm McCabe on Sunday, May 18 at 8:00 p.m. McCabe, who is now 92, is the sole surviving WB Cartoon director of the classic era.

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Class Trip Band

I know two-fifths of this band. They're the guy and gal at the flanks of the top row. Jesse Frack and his wife Mary Buck have been colleagues of mine in a little band I play with once in a while called The Brass Tacks, and they have been playing out for ages. Check out their site then go and see them sometime!

Friday, April 25, 2003

Blanche The Singing Bartender

As regular readers of this blog doubtless know, my father-in-law died rather suddenly a few months ago. One of his great joys, and one which he has passed down to at least one of his children, was frequent visits to Atlantic City, and Al regarded the Tropicana Casino and Resort as one of his favorite haunts.

While in A.C. on other business, I visited the Tropicana for the first time in several years and was pleasantly surprised at some of the changes - and some things that have stayed blissfully the same.

When the Mackeys were regulars at the Tropicana, the management discovered a young vocalist who was singing while tending the bar at a local nightclub, so the wisdom was that this was a good thing and Blanche Travis Morro began her run as Atlantic City's Singing Bartender at a small bar built for her at the Tiffany Lounge in the Trop. She gained great fame doing this culminating in a national TV appearance on "The Rosie O'Donnell Show". About a year or so into her run, Blanche was taken out of the bar and onto a little stage. It wasn't the same. By the time we switched alliances to Caesar's, we had written off Blanche as a failed noble experiment. Apparently there was some sort of contretemps with a labor union over what she was doing, but that seems to have been settled in Blanche's favor.

Happily, my recent visit to the Trop found Blanche back where she belonged, behind the bar, serving beers and singing as she has for the past five years. You can visit Blanche at her official website, or better still, catch her at the Tropicana.

While some newer slots have been added, the Trop's video poker offerings remain as they have been, using mostly older-model IGT and Sigma machines (part of the place's charm is that they still hang on to these older machines - which still work quite well). The progressives remain where they have always been, but one bank of poker progressives seems to have disappeared for good. New areas have been added with a new hotel tower on the way.

Al would have loved it.

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

New Home For Coolest Showbiz News

Now this IS cool news!

Mark Evanier, a veteran comedy/comics writer and showbiz observer, has relaunched his newspage (now a blog) features that previously appeared under a variety of other web addresses, at the new address (News From M.E.). He usually updates several times a day when fancy strikes, but look for the can of Campbell's Cream Of Mushroom Soup that indicates that Evanier is on deadline for one of his many projects and won't be updating the site. One day he had 3-1/2 of them in a row. He must have really been working that day.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Sunday, April 13, 2003

Get A Horse! Or A House! Whatever!

I get the weirdest spam. I got one today that said I could get a loan for my HOURSE or car.

My house or my horse?

At least I have a new word I can pop into my Spam Filter. (I do have one. I'm not bothered by those pesky e-mail attachments that are actually spyware or worse - I just don't accept E-mail with those type attachments any more.)

Monday, April 07, 2003

Y107 Bloc Is No More

Once upon a time, there was a quartet of radio stations in the New York City area all calling themselves Y-107, first simulcasting a country format, then, at the failure of the country format, a Spanish language format. All broadcast on 107.1 FM.

Those days are now gone.

The Y-107 group has been officially broken up by new owner Nassau Broadcasting (former owner of several Jersey Shore stations including WJLK, WADB-AM, WOBM, etc. now part of Millennium Radio Group). Two of the stations are carrying the signal of other existing stations - the one in the Hamptons is featuring WLIR and the one in Westchester is featuring WSPK-FM Poughkeepsie - but for now the Long Branch Y-107 and the one in northwest NJ are silent. Nassau may be selling the two New York stations and holding on to whatever stations it still has in NJ.

Whatever format the Long Branch Y-107 takes, they may need to look for new office and studio space. Their old headquarters at 156 Broadway are currently being renovated into more modern office space. (The station originally occupied the second floor of a building that also housed a luncheonette and a thrift store on the first level, both of which went out of business during my four-year tenure at Y-107 in the late 1980's.)

Thursday, March 27, 2003

Ass Kickin' Salsa

Unabashed Plug of the Day to and their line of aptly titled "Pain Is Good" salsas. Right now I am tasting their Batch #37 Habanero Salsa. (I actually ate my last cracker of it about ten minutes ago, but the flavor really stays with you.)

Caution: this is HOT STUFF. Your gums will ache and probably bleed, but it's worth it. I got an almost one-pound jar, and you don't wanna go too crazy with it.

I am dying to try their Batch #37 Jalapeno Chile Con Queso.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Happy Birthday, Bob Elliott

Today is the 80th birthday of Bob Elliott. You young uns may know him as Chris Elliott's father, but he's one half of the great radio comedy teams of the 50's and 60's, Bob and Ray. Together with the late Ray Goulding, Bob and Ray fabricated a very subtle, literate brand of radio humor, with such fixtures as Wally Ballou and Mary Backstayge, Noble Wife delighting listeners of many New York stations, including WOR, WINS, WCBS, WHN, etc., influencing along the way the likes of Johnny Carson and Garrison Keillor

David Hinckley, writing in today's New York Daily News, notes that Larry Josephson, who is the official archivist of all things Bob and Ray, notes that the comedy routines are being preserved on compact disc and are available for purchase at

Unfortunately, although listed in their catalogue, no longer available for purchase is a 90-minute comedy special they did in the late 1970's called "Bob And Ray, Jane, Laraine And Gilda" which featured B&R with the ladies of "Saturday Night Live" as a fictitous offering of the "Finley Quality Network". It was produced by Lorne Michaels and used a lot of the same framework as SNL, complete with musical guest (Willie Nelson) and live band (here under the direction of Tom Malone).

And always remember...

"Write if you get work!" "Hang by your thumbs!"

Friday, March 21, 2003

Beverly Arnold Has Died

We'll sure be getting more info on this, but I've just been informed that Beverly Arnold, wife of cartoonist Hal Seeger and voice actress in many of his cartoons, has died at the age of 73.

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Settlement In B'way Musicians' Strike

The settlement, announced this morning, allows for a slight reduction in the number of musicians required for a production, but still enough to ensure that live orchestration will continue to be a part of the Broadway experience. All the affected shows are reopening tonight. Some may even be over by now due to Tuesday's earlier curtain times.

Friday, March 07, 2003

802 On Strike Against Broadway

Broadway is mostly dark this Friday evening due to a strike by members of the American Federation of Musicians, Local 802. At issue is the minimum number of musicians that a theatre must employ. The musicians' union fears that if those minimums are reduced further, live music will disappear on Broadway. The actors (Equity) and stagehands (IATSE) refuse to cross the AFM picket lines, so the shows are shuttered.

This weekend I am playing my first pit job in several years, the Toms River High School North production of "State Fair", a show which I saw on Broadway in its short run at the tiny Music Box Theatre. I am again reminded of the power of people acting and singing on a stage with a sizeable orchestra full of capable musicians in front of and slightly below them. We had our share of showstopping moments in our show. Particularly tonight. Several times, I thought, "what if we tried to do this show with only three musicians, since this is only a high school auditorium, and filled in the rest of the parts electronically?" I don't even want to consider that inevitability.

But it doesn't have to be that way. As a member of Local 399, I wholeheartedly support my Union brothers of Local 802, and hopefully the theatre industry will take note and realize that our position is the right way... the only way.

Sunday, March 02, 2003


Due to another passing in my family (more details), it may be a few days before I get back to my e-mails, so please be patient.

Tuesday, February 25, 2003


I don't have a picture I can put up quickly to share with you, but I will find one later today. Candy, our beloved lab/shepherd mix who has been a part of our lives since December 1991, was put down yesterday afternoon. She was the most gentle and sweetest puppy in the world and she never hurt or bit anybody. (Well, maybe she nipped at Daddy a few times, but that was it.) Guesstimates on Candy's age range from 14 to 18, since we don't quite know how old she was when we adopted her.

Monday, February 17, 2003


Tuesday, February 18 is the third anniversary of the passing of the matriarch of the Mackey family, Eleanor or "Dolly" as everyone called her.

Mom had been in and out of the hospital since the end of 1999 in the end stages of her battle with Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (or Osler-Weber-Rendu syndrome), a disorder in which the body's system of veins and arteries develop shunts that bypass the capillaries. Characteristic symptoms include severe nosebleeds and other bleeding, which Mom certainly suffered from most of her life. On February 17, 2000, I decided to spend the night with Mom, by now comatose, off life support and being given medication to make the end as comfortable as possible. Bob, John and I had all had our nights to keep an eye on her. Around 1:00 a.m. the next morning, I went downstairs to get a bite of food. When I got back, Mom's labored breathing had ceased, and we brought the doctors in to confirm that she was gone.

I urge you all to learn more about HHT, or ORW, by visiting the website of the HHT Foundation.

The Music Man - New Version

I did see "The Music Man" last night because my band job was called off due to the big snow. Unfortunately, I wasn't that impressed with Broderick in the role of Hill - I just felt the entire time I was watching him there was something missing.

Kristin Chenoweth is another story! She put emotion and feeling into all her song numbers and she made for a wonderful Marian. Plus she's so damn cute.

Also, I watched the "Married.... With Children" special on Fox last night, reuniting the entire cast. I can't believe they didn't even mention SEVEN the entire show!

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

ABC To Present New "Music Man"

I'm generally not excited about Disney trying to remake everything on God's green earth, but this one is different. ABC will broadcast a Disney-produced remake of "The Music Man" this coming Sunday night at 7 p.m. Eastern time, with Matthew Broderick in the role of Professor Harold Hill, con-man turned bandleader, and Kristin Chenoweth as Marian The Librarian.

I'm a fan of "The Music Man" and not just because its big hit song was "76 Trombones". It's perhaps the greatest musical ever to spring fully formed from the mind of one creator - book, music and lyrics all by the estimable Meredith Willson, whose grinning, bespectacled image graced a US Postage Stamp some years ago as part of the Broadway Composers series (and was a very visible panelist on one of ABC's few panel-show successes, "The Name's The Same"). Of course, it was made into a big-budget film musical with Robert Preston, Shirley Jones and a very young Ronny Howard. The film production successfully captured that sense of small-town Americana that Willson and others of his generation cherished, and in some measures miss dearly.

"The Music Man" was successfully revived on Broadway several years ago, but with the added star power of Broderick (now a full-fledged musical star after his bravura turn in "The Producers" on Broadway) and Chenoweth, this production cannot possibly miss. I'll be out gigging on Sunday night, but when I get home I'll pop the tape in the VCR and watch this - I've got all night, I don't need to be in school on Monday.

Monday, February 10, 2003

Read Dave Barry

Highly recommended: Dave Barry's Blog. He's just as witty on his blog as he is in the newspaper.

Monday, February 03, 2003

Eddie Anthony Back On His Feet

We told you a little while ago about Eddie Anthony's bus website. I am pleased to report to you that Eddie, as of Wednesday, has been fitted with a prosthetic right leg and is very happy and proud to be back on two feet again. He had been using a wheelchair until that point.

Sunday, February 02, 2003

Saturday, February 01, 2003

Rosa Parks' Bus Restored

This Old Look is not just any newly restored bus, but a rolling piece of civil rights history. This is the actual bus on which a black woman, Rosa Parks, declined to give up her seat to a white man and was subsequently arrested as a result in 1955, one of the significant events of the civil rights movement.

The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI unveiled the bus yesterday. The bus had been sitting, vacant and neglected, in a field in Alabama for thirty years after its retirement. The owner of the bus at the time was told by the transit agency in Montgomery, AL, that this was the "Rosa Parks Bus", but needed further proof. Newspaper clippings had ID'd the bus to its fleet number (2857). Librarian Tom Jones of the Motor Bus Society helped further by verifying the bus as a 1948 GM TDH-3610, serial number 1132 and concurring that the bus was in service in Montgomery in 1955. All of the pieces of the puzzle had come together: the bus was the one, alright. The Ford Museum spent almost $800,000 acquiring and restoring the bus to near-new condition (the goal was to have the bus as it appeared on December 1, 1955). The bus will be on permanent display at the museum. Ms. Parks, who will celebrate her 90th birthday in a few weeks, was not at the ceremony on Friday.

Return To 1966

Here's an interesting new book by Hal Lifson about the year 1966. Lifson was only six when this year occurred and I was five, so we are pretty much working on the same base of nostalgia. A graduate of UC/Berkeley, Lifson has spent the last 20 years as a pop culture commentator, even hosting an all-60's radio show called "Radio A Go Go" on KRLA, Pasadena. He has also been manager or publicist for a number of stars including Nancy Sinatra and Adam West, both of whom have written material for the book.

Check it out at your local or online bookstore. If you are of a certain age, you're sure to find something in there that stirs up those childhood memories.

Sunday, January 19, 2003

Greyhound Through Express

One of the Yahoo groups I belong to is called Greyhound Through Express. A very active group with lots of posting, mostly on topic (thankfully), and full of characters. One such guy is Eddie Anthony. I've never met him, but he is a very enthusiastic West Coast based bus fan. Last summer, he had a pedestrian accident (running across the street to catch a bus) which resulted in the loss of his right leg below the knee. But Eddie's persevered and he's back on the streets of LA taking pictures of Greyhound and other buses. He's just launched a new site, Features bus pix from all over Southern California, with a heaping helping of LACMTA, Big Blue Bus, Long Beach Transit, etc. Makes me wanna go back! Thanks, Eddie!

Saturday, January 18, 2003


Haley Ross and Ryan Ross, newborn twin son/daughter of my niece Carol and her husband Kyle. Carol has twin uncles, so she knows a little something about twins. Congrats to all!

Thursday, January 16, 2003

The New is open!

The majority of you should be on board with the new site by now, so it's time to introduce our new graphic look. It's just another cleaned-up template but someday I may get a little fancy with it. We are trying to fix the hit counter, but otherwise we should be okay.

Site Update

Well, with most of the precincts reporting, it's fairly certain that the Webmasters version of is now on air practically everywhere. We've been fixing some of the broken links and missing pictures, and hopefully you won't find other things missing.

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

We're Not Quite In Sync Yet

Like a syndicated television show of the 1970's, some of you are indeed seeing us at our new host. Others of you are still seeing the old site, but within the next day we should have the whole world hooked up.

We have relocated the Bus Gallery pages back to the mother ship. The Coach USA gallery, which many of you enjoyed until it got lost in the server shuffle, is going to be reconstructed and included back into the Bus Gallery site, simply because Coach USA is on its way to becoming a dinosaur.

Look for many exciting new features on this site!

Monday, January 13, 2003

Welcome Webmasters!

If you can see this, you are now at at Webmasters! We are proud to be with this web hosting company that offers 750MB websites for $9.95/month. They offer fast turnaround on your site!

Sunday, January 05, 2003

"This Is The Moment We've Been Waiting For!"

Fans of the late 1970's talent train-wreck "The Gong Show" have plenty to be thankful for tonight. In connection with the upcoming wide release of "Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind", creator Chuck Barris' "unauthorized autobiography" brought to the screen by director George Clooney and screenwriter Charlie Kaufman, two cable networks tonight have scheduled presentations that are putting this 70's artifact back on the small screen, if only for a night. The program, which premiered in July 1976, lasted two years on NBC and a concurrent syndicated version (first with Gary Owens at the helm) ran for four seasons.

E! Entertainment Television, known for its tawdry documentaries, plays its card first at 8:00 p.m. Eastern with "The E! True Hollywood Story: The Gong Show". The obligatory backstage drama and scandal typical of all E! THS' is due to be on display. Look for coverage of the last-minute host switch (John Barbour was gonged after five shows were taped), outrageous acts including the dreaded "Popsicle Twins" (actually called "Have You Got A Nickel" on the show), panel anarchy at the hands of Jaye P. Morgan, Jamie Farr and Arte Johnson, and Chuck's gradual transformation from stiff, tuxedoed presenter from something more closely resembling himself - wearing blue jeans, athletic jackets and goofy hats on the air (usually covering his eyes so as not to see the audience), jamming with the house band, and dancing around with Gene Gene The Dancing Machine.

Of course, immediately after the E! show ends, tune to Game Show Network for a three hour tribute to "The Gong Show" and to "Confessions..." with interviews with Barris, Clooney, and the movie's stars, Sam Rockwell and Drew Barrymore. GSN usually slots five half hour shows for a three hour marathon to allow for interstitials and interviews. Hope GSN picks five good ones.