Archive for January, 2011

When I grow up…

Thursday, January 20th, 2011
Brian Golden

When I was a child, I had no truly definitive idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. I think I even convinced myself, for all of five minutes, that I wanted to be a firefighter, but most kids do at some point, right? Not that I have anything against firefighters, it’s just not for me. One thing I know for sure is that I loved dinosaurs as a kid and dreamed of a future as a paleontologist or, even better, an archeologist (thank you Indiana Jones).

Throughout middle school, I first dreamed of a life as a professional skateboarder, then a novelist (one dream I still hold onto to this day) and finally, a guitarist and songwriter. The singing part didn’t come until much later, I can assure you that. My voice, up until five or six years ago, was nothing to write home about, trust me.

Now that I’m older (or just plain old, according to some), I find myself in a strange position. I’m not a novelist, but I am a writer, and every once in awhile I dig out the old notes for one of the several books I’ve attempted to write over the years. I am a guitarist and songwriter, and have been for nearly two decades now. And while I still love playing and performing on guitar, I’m certainly not as focused on it as I used to be, which is a good thing. So these days, I’m left asking myself just what it is I’m working toward.

The answer is actually quite simple, especially considering Wednesday marked three years since my father’s passing. I want to be a dad, as I have for a good long while now. The question is, am I really ready for that? Probably not. Does that bother me? At times. When will I be ready? I don’t rightly know.

My problem, and not all the time I might add in my defense, is that I tend to bust myself up over things I really have no control over. It’s impossible for me to say why (glutton for punishment) and to be honest, I don’t see the use. It’s just who I am. I’ve tried to change it over the years and, usually, whenever I do is when I fall flat on my face.

For now, I think I’ll just enjoy what I’ve got, while I’ve got it, and let the future bring what it will. The best part is, when I get home tonight, I can always pull out one of those old, unfinished novels of mine or pick up my trusty Fender Strat. As for the other, I guess I can be patient for now. Do I really have a choice? Of course I don’t, but I can live with that.

Let there be light

Thursday, January 20th, 2011
Tyler Murphy

This a crazy world.

I’m looking around the room and realize I’m not really looking at anything, that’s not exactly how it works. Our eyes are absorbing the reflection of a very limited range of electromagnetic frequencies.

The only thing moving between my mind and my notion of sight, beside a few nerve impulses, are light waves and particles. You see a source of energy (lamp, flash light, the Sun,) cast out visible energy at about 86,000 miles per second. This energy travels in electromagnetic waves but also has the properties of particles, we call it light. (The heart of light: The Photon)

When light strikes an object certain wave lengths are either absorbed or reflected by the surface. When all the spectrums of visible light, from the longest visible wave length, purple, to the shortest, red, are combined they create the luminescence of white light. (Our visible light spectrum)

What we imagine as color are the parts of white light that’ve reflected from an object. Objects that absorb all the colors except for yellow appear yellow, and so on.

So am I seeing the true color of the blue pen in my hand or is it just my limited biology’s best attempt to absorb a narrow bandwidth of whatever energy is reflecting from it? If that’s the case, is there such a thing as color? Or is it just a word to define our limited perception of electromagnetic frequencies? (View how much of entire electromagnetic spectrum were missing out on)

Both I guess?

Just crazy, I tell you… and so wonderfully interesting.

Editor’s Notebook: 1/19/11

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011
Jeff Genung

• The ol’ Editor’s Notebook may be a bit scant this week, as I’m knee-deep in the glories of Progress Chenango, coming to newsstands near you next Monday. Please, try not to weep.

• I put a picture of chicken and biscuits on the front page today. Granted, it was to illustrate a story about a good-cause fundraiser, but still. Progress clearly makes me a little loopy. And hungry.

• Besides the aforementioned Progress (and I promise you, as God is my witness, we will stop aforementioning the living hell out of it soon), the biggest worry on my mind is whether or not I’m going to commit to another season of American Idol starting tonight. Those who watch the show, and judging by the ratings most of you do, know that it really is a commitment. The audition shows, Hollywood Week, Top 24, girls night, boys night, results shows – you’re talking a hundred hours of television here. And this year, without my beloved (and some might say kindred) Simon Cowell, I’m wondering – should I bother? I may tune in out of curiosity to see what’s become of Steven Tyler’s face, but without Simon’s acerbic but spot-on criticisms, I think Idol may have lost much of its appeal. See what pressing decisions I’m faced with?

Sports Editor’s Playbook, Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011
Patrick Newell

– At the Tri-Valley Tournament, hosted by Vernon-Verona-Sherrill last weekend, B-G/Afton finished a solid third in a 21-team field. The Bears won four championships wins and three others place in the top five of their respective weight class. Among those titles was senior Danny Gormley, a four-time Section IV champion, and three-time New York State place-winner. Gormley had not wrestled since Dec. 18, when he lost a 5-3 decision – his only loss this season – to 2010 N.Y.S. place-winner, Anthony Finocchiaro of Canastota. During the match with Finocchiaro, Gormley suffered a severe ankle injury. It was originally feared as a broken bone of a previous injury, and in that event, would have likely ended the season, and career, of the standout grappler. After X-Rays and more professional opinions, Gormley’s injury was diagnosed as a severe sprain. Gormley’s down time and rehabilitation was several weeks, and after 28 days, he returned to the mat victoriously. In winning the title, Gormley beat the number one ranked Section III wrestler at 125 pounds, Dylan Kavanaugh of V-V-S. Other B-G/A wrestlers to claim titles were Daren Terpstra (152), Paul Parsons (160), and Vinnie Buttice (171).

– The Eastern States Classic wrestling tournament annually draws the best wrestlers in New York State. Schools from neighboring states such as Pennsylvania and New Jersey are also represented. This is not a tournament for the weak, as evidenced by three-time New York State champion, Quinton Murphy of Holley, losing in the finals at 130 pounds. The best performances we saw from local entries came from Greene, with Kurt Shear placing fourth at 189 pounds, and Keegan Cerwinski taking seventh at 160 pounds. Sherburne-Earlville’s Greg DuVall entered the tournament unbeaten, and left with five more wins – and two losses. DuVall’s bracket had over 50 entries, and he finished one win shy of the placement round, said S-E assistant coach Brian Hicks. “We had not seen competition like that all year,” Hicks said. “This is just my opinion, but the competition here may be stronger than the New York State Tournament.” Hicks could be right. Some of the best small- and large-school wrestlers in the state compete, and as we mentioned, it’s interstate competition. “The tournament is just unbelievable,” Hicks said. DuVall lost two close decisions, and those defeats will likely not affect his unofficial standing as the top-ranked 152-pounder in Section III, as listed by cnywrestling.com. Check out those rankings at www.cnywrestling.com/Rankings/Rankings.php

– The 2010-2011 season marks the 50th year of Norwich swimming, and the program will commemorate the anniversary this Friday when the Tornado host Chenango Forks. Norwich swimming alumni in attendance will be recognized following the diving competition, said Norwich coach Jon Aikins. The program was started by retired Norwich teacher and coach, George Echentile. Echentile, to his former swimmers and students, remains beloved, and will likely be in attendance for the event.

Follow Patrick Newell on Twitter @evesunpat

Editor’s Notebook: 1/17/11

Monday, January 17th, 2011
Jeff Genung

• Monday, and I’ve already put in 25 hours … it’s going to be one of those weeks.

• Last night, in my post-Progress-making stupor, I enjoyed a nice dinner of Chinese food. Until I got to the fortune cookie, that is. You know, the oddly-folded piece of vaguely sugary cardboard that wraps a usually poorly written and/or misspelled bon mot? Well last night, I crack open my barely-edible faux cookie and Confucius himself, it seems, delivered my fortune: “Adapt to circumstances in order to make Progress.” OK, I added the capital P, but still. Freaky, no? Next time when I get one of those “The dream is within you” fortunes, it will pale in comparison, I’m sure.

• Did you see the picture on today’s front page of that 4th grader who made the half-court shot during halftime at Friday’s Norwich game? Pretty Shaq-tastic, if you ask me. I’m not sure I could make a basket with a step ladder under the rim. But he only got 32 bucks?!?

Post Progress Depression

Monday, January 17th, 2011
Melissa Stagnaro

I’m not sure I can even quantify the hours my colleagues and I have put in these last weeks on Progress. Of course, it’s not really over. It won’t be until the final installments appear on newsstands next Friday. Our sales staff is still doing the sell-sell-sell thing. And for Jeff, the work has really only just begun. He has to take all those fact-filled in-depth features and package them along with all those ads and success stories into the 10-section masterpiece all our readers are waiting so patiently to get their grubby little hands on.

For the editorial staff, however, the role we play in this, The Evening Sun’s premier publication, is largely done.

I should be thrilled, I know. And don’t get me wrong, I have no desire to repeat the process any time soon. Or add any more Progress responsibilities to my list of things to do, for that matter. (Jeff, don’t get any ideas.)

But there is definitely this post-partum-esq depression. I poured so much of my blood, sweat and, yes, even a few tears, into this project over the last few weeks, I’m almost not sure what to do with myself.

I thought I’d feel nothing but elation when I filed my final Progress story at 3:43 p.m. on Friday, exactly 1 hour and 17 minutes before our 5 p.m. deadline. Sure, I still had a few photo cutlines to finish up. (Or captions, in layman’s terms.) But it was like as soon as I hit save, I lost all sense of purpose.

Granted, that could have had something to do with the mental and physical exertion of spending more than 70 hours in the newsroom in a 5 day period, not to mention countless of hours at home the weekend before. The creative well was definitely dry at that point, and all my energy depleted. The only thing keeping me upright in my chair was the fear of missing deadline and letting Jeff down.

When it was over, I just felt totally spent. And vaguely ill. An empty, nauseous, light headed shell of my former self.

Although, in retrospect, some of that could have had something to do with all those Cherry Cordial Hershey Kisses.

(Not that it’s tempering my enjoyment of one of the same right now, mind you.)

A night with friends on Friday – followed by a weekend of rest, relaxation, tromping around the woods on snow shoes and a bit of Indian food – did wonders for my soul. I could almost feel my “batteries” recharging.

Not recharged enough though, apparently. As evidenced by my startling lack of productivity today. Oh, I’ve crossed things off my to-do list today. It’s just that my to-do list is the shortest it’s been in a really, really long time. And it’s kind of freaking me out.

Not to worry, though. The rest of my week is a tangle of interviews and meetings, so I’ll be back up to my usual frenetic pace before too long. Which, scarily enough, I find great comfort in.

Follow me on Twitter … @evesunmelissa.

Slippin’ and slidin’

Monday, January 17th, 2011
Brian Golden

My post-Progress weekend was, how shall I say, pretty unremarkable for the most part. Besides catching up on a few winks I had very little planned, just a playoff football party with friends who live, unfortunately for me, at the top of Polkville hill.

While the drive up to my buddy’s house was your standard slip-and-slide around an icy corner or two, it was far from dangerous and even a little fun. It took me back to the days of my stepbrother and his Chevrolet Monte Carlo, taking turns spinning donuts in various parking lots in and around the city. The trip home, however, was another story entirely.

Following a disappointing Baltimore Ravens loss to the AFC Championship-bound Pittsburgh Steelers (a team I just love to hate), I ventured outside to start up my little Dodge Neon. The Green Machine just runs better in this cold weather with a little time to warm up, I’ve noticed. I was also instantly aware of the freshly fallen snow covering the roadway and I was a little concerned with the driving conditions. Sometimes, I hate it when I’m right.

Figuring County Road 33 would be my safest route home in the rapidly deteriorating conditions, I crawled behind the wheel and slowly made my way to the top of the hill. What followed – if I hadn’t been absolutely terrified the entire time – was actually quite amusing in hindsight.

I knew I was in trouble the moment I made that fateful right turn onto Polkville hill, and it was disheartening to see the unplowed status of the road. Realizing that the life of the Green Machine lay in my hands, I threw it into first gear and, at five to ten miles per hour, sledded my way into the city. I say “sledded” because that’s literally what I was forced to do in order to make it home.

There was zero traction as I slid my way past the Norwich-Guilford Road, and the Green Machine was being pulled this way and that by the slushy, snowy conditions. All I could do was continue on my way, applying gentle pressure to the brakes and using my front tires as an impromptu forward rudder. I hate to say it, but I’ve been in similar conditions a time or two and I’m extremely grateful for my dad’s tutelage on utilizing an automobile as a make-shift bobsled.

Needless to say, I made it. I’d successfully navigated another wintery gauntlet and, though I was a bit shaky, I was safe. Of course now I’m thinking that, once the Green Machine gives out and I’m forced to buy a new vehicle, it may be in my best interest to find something with some all-wheel drive of some sort. Or at least some decent snow tires, because mine are shot.

Editor’s Notebook: 1/14/11

Friday, January 14th, 2011
Jeff Genung

• “Will you give all you can give so that our banner may advance?” Got a little “Les Miserables” soundtrack going through my head this afternoon … mostly because my staff is largely miserable, I suppose. My little soldiers are firmly hunkered down in the Progress trenches, as deadline swiftly approacheth. Me? No pressure on me until … eegads, tomorrow morning. Yep, I’m preparing for my annual living-in-the-office marathon for the next ten or so days. Once again, dear readers, Progress Chenango 2011 – coming to newsstands near you Jan. 24-28.

• That’s all for now folks. Saving my mirth for the long weekend ahead. Have a good one.

Editor’s Notebook: 1/13/11

Thursday, January 13th, 2011
Jeff Genung

• Heading into what is one of my most insanely busy times of the year (did we mention it’s Progress time?), I managed to throw my back out yesterday. No, not by moving a grand piano singlehandedly or rescuing a kid from a car wreck by using my bare hands as a Jaws of Life. Or even during acrobatic sex, for that matter. No, I misaligned my vertebrae or discs or tectonic plates or whatever they are simply by getting out of the car in the Tops parking lot. I think someone’s trying to tell you something about following through on that New Year’s resolution to get in shape, Jeff.

• Brian Golden took on Part II of our “Boon or Bust?” series on natural gas drilling, as seen through the eyes of Dimock, Pa. in today’s paper. It’s a compelling tale of one of the couples whose water supply was purportedly ruined by hydrofracturing activities. Definitely an uglier side to that story. There’s more to come – five more, in fact. Look for this series every Thursday in The Evening Sun.

• Tyler Murphy presented me with one of those newspaper dilemmas with his story this morning – an armed standoff situation in Plymouth that started after midnight and was still going on as we were ready to go to press. Do you run with the story, printing the information that you have, or wait until it’s all over? Since it had already been going on for quite a while and he seemed to have a good handle on what was going on, I decided to run with it in print. Sure enough, shortly after we rolled off the presses, the situation was resolved and the suspect (turned out to be a mental health issue) was taken into custody peacefully. He updated the story quickly, and we posted it to the website. Another lesson in the wonders of new media. Thankfully no one was hurt. The people in Plymouth, not Tyler.

• Because Melissa Stagnaro would undoubtedly be jealous that I didn’t mention her in my blog today, her story was about new flavors of Chobani yogurt introduced by our very own Agro Farma. Two cases of which, she promptly ate.

• If you haven’t seen it, Tosh.0 on Comedy Central is perhaps the funniest show on television right now. Just sayin’.

Editor’s Notebook: 1/12/11

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011
Jeff Genung

• ‘Twas two days before the Progress deadline and all through the newsroom, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse …

• Actually, they’re all still here and it’s driving me crazy. I’ve always said that a happy newsroom is an empty newsroom. Plenty of time ahead for that I suppose – my Progress duties begin in earnest Saturday.

• Took a break from the blogosphere yesterday to deal with a problem on the homefront. My 15-year-old beagle, Bailey (whose middle name, incidentally, is “Progress”) had surgery at Pet Street Station this morning, and last night was his pre-op party. Hey, when you’re 105 in human years, you take every chance to party you can get. Happy to report that he came through with flying colors this afternoon. Still some life in the ol’ boy yet!

• In yesterday’s news, I have to say I was impressed by Melissa Stagnaro’s account of a presentation given by Norwich High School Student Government reps to the school board. The kids have taken an aggressive approach to realigning their goals and promoting a cohesive atmosphere with an emphasis on communication and inclusion. Ironic that their message was delivered to an “adult” governing body which seldom applies any of those philosophies. Out of the mouths of babes, eh?

• Shut down the ES Forum last night and deleted an entire thread (about the Arizona shooting tragedy) because it got shockingly out of hand very quickly – and the 10 or so “usual suspects” turned on each other. I understand the sentiment about punishing the whole class because of the actions of a few students, but when I’m checking into evesun.com before bed, that’s my first impulse – and the easiest. We’re working on an alternative solution to this ongoing problem, as the current form obviously isn’t working. Expect to see some changes down the pike. Don’t worry, I won’t mess with ‘30 Seconds.’

• Quick P.S. — I was just informed that Brian Golden burst into tears because I failed to mention his birthday in my blog. Dude, if that’s the highlight of your day …