brian's Reporter Blog

The only thing to fear is …

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012
Brian Golden

I’m a busy bee these days, what with Jeff’s upcoming (and I’ll say again, well-deserved) vacation just a couple of days away. As previously stated, it’s been training, taking notes, reviewing said notes, training some more, write copy for the paper, write column, write ‘Thumbs,’ collect and put together Police Blotter, and write blogs (including this one) for the past two weeks or so. Lots of writing, lots of training and lots of self-induced stress.

Take a deep breath, Brian, and chill out. It’ll all be OK. Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself. Needless to say, any screw-ups in the Thursday or Friday editions of The Evening Sun can (and will, if there are any) be considered My Bad. Just a heads up for all our devoted readers out there. Wish me luck.

And then, of course, ‘30 Seconds’ … and my Most Ridiculous ‘30 Seconds’ Post of the Week (even though it’s only Tuesday). Oh, and unedited, just because.
“For the people who say they are religionious then they still break some of the 10 comandments, god knows what you have done and eventually you will have to answer to it. god doesn’t like liers either. karma it’s a small town”
Man from Norwich

Which, I believe, was supposed to state, “For the people who say they are religious, then still break some of the Ten Commandments, God knows what you have done and eventually you will have to answer to it. God doesn’t like liars, either. Karma, it’s a small town.”

Karma is a small town? And here I thought karma was an action, seen as bringing upon oneself inevitable results, good or bad, either in this life or in a reincarnation (according to dictionary.com). Just to make sure, I did a quick online search and could not – for the life of me – find any town named karma … anywhere on the planet.

When it rains …

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012
Brian Golden

Wow … when it rains it pours, as they say. This has been – in many ways – one of the busiest weeks I’ve ever experienced here at The Evening Sun, excluding the dreaded, yearly P-word edition (that word, if you get my meaning, is not allowed in the newsroom from the end of January through December). Training, practicing and more training for our esteemed editor’s well-deserved mini-vacation next week; a missing Town of Preston man who’s yet to be found; a McDonough fire that completely destroyed a lakeside camp on Genegantslet Lake (wow, spelled that right the first try); Paint the County Purple; County Court; and – last but certainly not least – the New Berlin horse shootings.

Don’t get me started on that one. I think I’ll let my thumbs down in Friday’s paper speak for itself, thank you.

So what else do I have on my plate, you ask? Why, my best friend and fellow Master Thief Eric Tozer’s “bachelor party.” It’s funny … most people seem to think a groom-to-be’s bachelor party involves total chaos, exotic dancers and the like, but that’s simply not the case with Tozer, myself and our tight-knit group of friends. In fact, that kind of bachelor party – as compared to our plans – couldn’t be further off the mark. Instead, we’ve rented a mountainside lodge, we’re stocking up on lots of non-healthy food (steaks, bacon, barbecue chicken and … more steaks) and the appropriate beverages, and – of course – bringing along the requisite musical instruments. Hard to believe the wedding is almost here already and I couldn’t be happier for Tozer and his bride-to-be.

With that said, here’s this week’s Ridiculous ‘30 Seconds’ Comment of the Week, brought to you by Man from Smithville (and unedited, for your information).
“I wondering if everyone who is upset about the horse shooting would be up set if the guy shot six cows instead I myself would not think so why are horse s more important then a cow or any other aniaml ”

Which I’m guessing should read … “I am wondering if everyone who is upset about the horse shooting would be upset if the guy shot six cows instead? I, myself, would not think so. Why are horses more important than a cow or any other animal?”

Just saying.

Learning curves, American Idol and … ’30 Seconds’

Friday, April 27th, 2012
Brian Golden

Well, it’s been an interesting week here at The Evening Sun (isn’t it always?), spent learning the ups and downs of newspaper assembly, all so our esteemed editor can take a well-deserved mini-vacation in a few weeks. Needless to say, it’s amazing just how much work goes into our hometown daily paper each and every day, and it’s been both exciting and a little nerve-wracking while discovering more about the process. Regardless, it’s a big responsibility and one I’m taking pretty seriously.

Moving on, how about last night’s American Idol? Like millions of others out there, I’m now hooked on the one-of-a-kind talent show (thanks, Renée!), so much so that I’ve missed-out on most of the current Survivor, another “reality” show I somehow became addicted to. And while I can’t say I’ve agreed with America’s choices each and every week, that’s an extremely talented bunch they’ve got up there on the stage. My breakdown of the top five? Here goes … Phillip Phillips (nice name): Dave Matthews clone, but by far the most original of the bunch (and at least he can actually play that guitar), and I suppose my favorite at this point in the competition. Joshua Ledet: What can I say? If Phillip is my number 1, then Joshua is my 1A (or 1.5 … or something). Fantastic voice, great showmanship and another true original. Jessica Sanchez: Extremely talented but kind of predictable (and maybe a little egotistical, to boot?). Has to be my number three simply because of Hollie Cavanagh (sorry, not a fan) and Skylar Laine (no comment … trying to be nice).

And now … my Most Ridiculous ‘30 Seconds’ Post of the Week, brought to you by Man from Norwich …
“To the mfs (I’m guessing that means Man from Sherburne … or maybe Smyrna … Smithville?). If Obama gets another four years this country will be so far in debt that it would take a lifetime to get out of! Free market is the foundation of this country! Obama is a socialist!”

Umm … no he isn’t. Do you even know the definition of socialist? Didn’t think so.

This is your brain. This is your brain when you watch too much Fox News.

And now (cue “Eye of the Tiger”) it’s time for more training and/or reviewing of training notes. Yo, Adrian!

Clapton, Nugent, the tea party and taxes

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012
Brian Golden

Ah, yes, Wednesday, otherwise recognized as Column Day by this intrepid news reporter. This week, you ask? This week I decided to put together a quick opinion piece on Eric Clapton’s 2007 autobiography, “Clapton,” the man himself and my neverending love affair with music, particularly the blues (not to mention the guitar). Clapton has always been (and continues to be) a huge inspiration to me, in every way, and today’s column was one I’ve had in the back of my head for months. My heartfelt thanks for your wonderful music and such an honest telling of your life story, Mr. Clapton, it’s appreciated.

In other musician news, (ignorant loudmouth) guitarist Ted Nugent certainly made a splash with his remarks at a recent NRA function, when he said – and I quote – “If Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year … we need to ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off in November.”

Well, Ted, I’ll be honest. I’ve never really held you in the highest regard when it comes to your music – or your guitar playing – and I’m absolutely appalled by your statements. You, sir, represent the problem in this already divided nation, along with your gun-toting, hateful brethren, and – to be quite honest – I could care less what you think. Enjoy your first amendment rights, by all means, but do us all a favor and think before you open your mouth.

Enough said.

And now, my Most Ridiculous ‘30 Seconds’ Post of the Day, hand-picked from The Evening Sun’s online edition of everyone’s favorite reader reaction hotline.
“Tea party has been on the forefront of fighting things like eminent domain, drone surveillance, etc. Don’t listen to the liberal media. This is a grassroots movement. We are not led around or funded by some rich people. You are confusing us with the liberals who are funded and led by rich Hollywood types and George Soros.”

Oh … my … goodness. Man from Guilford, please stop. My sides hurt I’m laughing so hard.

Add to that this absolutely ridiculous headline, brought to you by CNN.com … ‘Poll: Most say tax system favors wealthy’
Gee, you think? It’s a system that’s been re-worked and manipulated by … you guessed … the wealthy, for decades. Do you really think they’re going to go out of their way to be fair? Of course they’re not, they’re in it for the money. And don’t try to convince me I’m wrong, I’m not listening.

I hate Tax Day.

Friday the 13th … be afraid

Friday, April 13th, 2012
Brian Golden

I’ve never been what you’d call a big believer when it comes to all that Friday the 13th, voodoo-hoodoo, superstitious nonsense, although a black cat did cross my path first thing today while I was walking under a ladder, smashing a mirror on an old wife and spilling the salt. Other than that, I’m having a great day. What can I say? The sun is shining, another week in the Evening Sun office is coming to a close and – once again – there’s not a whole lot on the agenda for the weekend. Which means, of course, some good-old relaxation time … I hope.

Well, it seems the Trayvon Martin shooting case is one step closer to resolution, which is – in my opinion – a good thing. And while I’m uncertain exactly where I stand on this one, I must admit Florida’s shoot-first, ask questions later self defense legislation is, to put it mildly, absolutely ridiculous. People are far too unpredictable to be allowed such leniency and the violence that resulted in the Zimmerman-Martin incident is a perfect example of this. Regardless of how anyone feels, Zimmerman was told he did not have to follow Martin and did so anyway, so there has to be some sort of consequence for his actions. If he’d done as he was told, none of this would have happened.

And now, my Ridiculous ‘30 Seconds’ Post of the Week, brought to you by Man from Pharsalia …
“I’ll tell you what, I’m sick and tired of all you ‘30 Seconds’ people, all you do is complain all the time. I’m about ready to come down there to Norwich and do something about it, because it’s getting really, really ridiculous. Now stop all the nonsense already.”

While I agree with Man from Pharsalia up to a point, I must admit I liked our esteemed editor’s response, “Please tell us what you intend to do about it!” And yes, Man from Pharsalia, there’s plenty of ridiculous to go around (and then some) in regards to ‘30 Seconds,’ but I don’t think the nonsense is going to stop anytime soon. Why you’re coming to Norwich to “do something about it” is beyond me; crazy ‘30 Seconds’ contributors come from all parts of the county (and beyond), trust me.

Finally, to wrap things up for this week, my quote of the day, which was also included in this week’s column.
“We’re not hosting an intergalactic kegger down here,” Rip Torn, as Zed in the film “Men in Black.”

Don’t ask me why, but that one just cracks me up.

See you Monday!

Friday, April 6th, 2012
Brian Golden

Well, well … that was an interesting start to the day. Nothing like waking up, beginning the morning routine and … BAM … house fire in Greene. As always, I feel terrible for the home owner, as the house was a complete loss. Thanks go out, however, to our area firefighters and other emergency personnel for their bravery and dedication. And at least no one was hurt.

My thumbs down this week, for those of you yet to read today’s paper, went out to the absolutely twisted individuals who voted down an extremely positive online ‘30 Seconds’ post regarding the Norwich High School production of ‘Aida.’ Some people – to put it plain and simple – make me sick. These students work so hard, spending hours in rehearsal and building sets, and continue – year after year – to put on an amazing show. To vote down their efforts is not only ignorant, but downright mean-spirited. So, for those of you with no remorse (or manners, for that matter), just go away.

One more occasion where I’m forced to use language other than that I would like to, simply because I’d like to keep my job. Just so you know.

Speaking of complete and utter idiocy on ‘30 Seconds,’ here’s my Ridiculous Online Post of the Week!
“Has anyone in Norwich looked in the Police blotter? All the druggies are on welfare. Why are they getting aid from tax payers?” – Man from Norwich

Well, Man from Norwich, to answer your questions (and in response to your statement) … 1) Yes, people look at the Police Blotter every day. 2) Generalizations can be dangerous. Not all druggies are on welfare and not all welfare recipients are on drugs. 3) They get aid from the tax payers because that is the system that’s in place.

That being said, I did edit your post (question marks and spelling corrections) … I hope you don’t mind.

Okay, let’s see … what do we have in the news today? Romney and Santorum, of course. Ugh, yawn. The Masters at Augusta … Nah, I’ll watch the final round on Sunday. Coast Guard sinks “Ghost Ship.” Interesting, but I’ll pass. Man steals crane and destroys power lines … Yes! Now that’s my kind of story. People, seriously, if any of you are thinking about doing this kind of thing here in Chenango County, contact me first, because I’d love to get a picture … before you’re arrested, of course.

And with that, the weekend is almost here. Please refrain from committing any major crimes or causing any major accidents for the next two days, because I’d like to relax, if possible. Come Monday, let the chaos begin, that’s fine. Just keep it nice and mellow until then.

Thanks so much.

Is it Friday? It is? Good.

Friday, March 30th, 2012
Brian Golden

Ever have one of those weeks? Me? I’ve had two of them. What can I say? There’s nothing like getting a front tooth busted out via microphone to the face while in the midst of a musical performance, which is what happened to me last Friday. Who’s to blame, you ask? Well, let’s just say alcohol was involved and … no … I was not at fault. So to the gentleman who tumbled into my microphone stand … thank you. Thank you so very much.

Adding insult to injury, I (somehow) managed to burst a blood vessel in my left eye, resulting in my grotesque appearance for the past ten days or so. To put it simply, I look like patient zero in the Zombie Apocalypse right about now and, needless to say, I think I’ve heard the words, “Brian, you look like hell,” more than enough this week. Not that I’m in disagreement … I do look like hell. Feeling that way, too.

With that said, I’m off to Syracuse for the weekend, first for a suit fitting (I’m the best man in my best friend’s wedding come June), then for rehearsal (on Saturday), all in preparation for the studio (on Sunday). A busy weekend, to say the least. And now that gas prices have hit the $4 mark, let’s just say I’m not all that excited to fill ‘er up, if you know what I mean. On a positive note, however, my good friend and fellow guitarist Mike Davis will be in town for the rehearsal/studio session, and I’m looking forward to seeing the man.

And now, without further ado, my Absolutely Ridiculous ‘30 Seconds’ quote of the day, brought to you by … Man from Sherburne.
“Who knew Cheney even had a heart?”

Granted, I’m not the world’s biggest Dick Cheney fan, but this is taking it a little too far. I dislike this type of comment the same way I do those that are so disparaging of our current president. Whether you agree with an individual’s politics or not, there’s no reason to wish them harm and/or ill will.

And with that, I bid you farewell for the week. Until next time …

March 23, 2011

Friday, March 23rd, 2012
Brian Golden

On occasion, I like to take a look back at last year’s Evening Sun edition of the same date – in this case March 23, 2011 – just to see what was in the news. This week, that which stuck out the most was the weather, of course, considering last year we saw temperatures in the 30’s, snow, sleet and ice. For example, today we’re supposed to top out once again in the 70’s. Last year? Highs around 30.

In 2011, March 23 was a Wednesday, which meant it was “column day” for me. The topic? The passing of legendary blues pianist Pinetop Perkins. The title? Every day I have the blues, a not-so-subtle nod to another blues legend, guitarist B.B. King.

And then there’s The Evening Sun’s staff of reporters, which – one year ago today – consisted of myself, Tyler Murphy and Melissa Stagnaro (and Melissa deCordova, of course, who’s still here). Tyler and Melissa have since moved on, and I now share the newsroom with Mr. Julian Kappel and Mr. Shawn Magrath. What can I say? It’s a completely different dynamic nowadays, not to mention the “shuffling of the beats.”

Shuffling of the beats … I like that.

As far as sports are concerned … last year saw the Syracuse Orange make an early exit in the NCAA tournament, with an unexpected loss to Marquette. This year, a narrow victory over Wisconsin, which had me on the edge of my seat throughout the second half last night. Go Orange!

It’s funny just how much things can change in a year. If you’d told me 365 days ago that I’d be covering the Evening Sun’s police/fire/ems/court beat a year from then, I probably would’ve laughed out loud. I certainly never expected the change of scenery, but I can tell you this much … it’s never dull. And to be completely honest, now that I’ve adjusted to the new beat I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. Sure, it can be a little depressing at times, seeing the same individuals getting in trouble again and again (and again), but as I said, there’s never a dull moment.

Whacko environmental tree huggers? Really?

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012
Brian Golden

Well, it’s March 21 and pushing 80 degrees out there … just one more day of record-setting temperatures. Which is, to put it mildly, quite unbelievable, if you ask me. And no, I’m not going to launch into my typical climate change rant, because – for the moment – I’m just going to enjoy the unseasonable weather and the fact that I’ve been able to barbecue the last three days.

What can I say? I absolutely love all things grilled, as well as the grilling process itself.

In honor of my first viewing of the recently released to Blue Ray, “The Muppets,” I decided today was the perfect day to write a heartfelt tribute to the brilliant Jim Henson for this week’s Evening Sun column. And I must admit, it was probably the easiest column I’ve ever written. As for the new Muppet movie … it’s fantastic. I can’t put it any better than that. It’s absolutely fantastic.

And now … my pick for the most ridiculous online ‘30 Seconds’ post of the day:
” … Our whacko environmental tree huggers have gone too far. If I want to burn my garbage on my land, as long as the smoke doesn’t drift into my neighbor’s bedroom window, leave me alone. More polutants are put into the air when I drive to Norwich than by all my outdoor fires.” – Man from South New Berlin

Mmm … wow … and that’s all I have to say about that. “Whacko environmental tree huggers” … how original.

With that said, how about a Quote of the Day, brought to you this time by Mr. Jim Henson himself.
“Life’s like a movie, write your own ending. Keep believing, keep pretending.”

The Onion, (more) ’30 Seconds’ and The Duke

Thursday, March 15th, 2012
Brian Golden

Another beautiful day out there, Chenango County, so get out there and enjoy it, especially you online ‘30 Seconds’ recluses (just kidding … I think). Regardless, it’s far too nice to be sitting in front of the computer all day (unless that’s your job, of course).

In a totally unrelated topic, I read with great interest an online article posted by The Onion, America’s Finest News Source (a fictional news agency that’s always good for a laugh), concerning a distant alien race determined to end the madness in Syria because – according to the aliens – our planet seems to be doing nothing. Obviously, there’s absolutely nothing funny about the violence that’s going down even as a write this, but I applaud any attempt to get people thinking about the fact that thousands of women and children have already been killed, with no end in sight.

It’s pretty sad that we can go to war for oil and profits but not for a cause that is, in all honesty, a righteous one. Big thumbs down.

On a side note, thanks to those very same online ‘30 Seconds’ commenters for the following posts:
“Brian Golden: WONDERFUL article! Why are most people – parents, teachers, etc. ‘pro-medication’ for kids (and themselves)? LAZINESS. Zonk the kids (or yourself) and it’s EASIER. Much of today’s mainstream society ok’s that mentality.”
Man from Greene
“Okay, another comment for ya Mr. Golden … this one regarding your blog (posted March 14). Arnold used to take PLENTY of um, ‘meds’. Just look at pics of him from the 1970’s.”
Man from Greene
“Great blog Brian!”
Man from Norwich

Thanks to those who commented (I guess that column on ADHD was a good idea after all), and as for those who voted these ‘30 Seconds’ submissions down … well, you’re entitled to your opinion. As for my opinion, I think there’s a few people out there who vote down every post, no matter its content.

So there.

And now, my quote of the day, courtesy of The Duke, Mr. John Wayne.
“Courage is being scared to death … and saddling up anyway.”