Thursday, September 07, 2006

A full day later...

and, well, here we are. Computer's obviously on. The light behind me is too.

The lantern is still poised and ready to jump into action at a moment's notice.

No, there won't be any updates at 10-minute intervals tonight. Once you use a line, you gotta burn it, you know?

Instead, I'll give you all a little slice of home. My home. (I only wish I could see my wife shudder when she hits play.) Without further ado...

As you can probably tell, this is the opening to Action News on Philly's WPVI (or 6ABC if you prefer). The opening is absolutely legendary. There is no way you can tell me that after seeing that, you're not ready to sit and watch some news.

The theme has been around, literally, for decades. You can catch some elements of the hippy 60s in this 6 p.m. close from 2003. Unfortunately, TV Ark doesn't allow embeds, so you'll have to click on the link to see it (it's a RealMedia format, too). If you do, you'll notice there are some lyrics to it: "Move closer to your world my friend/Take a little bit of time/Move closer to your world my friend/And you'll see..." Has a very Woodstock-y feel to it.

But it's stuck. In the mid-90s, WPVI famously tried to re-vamp the music; they were promptly swamped with phone calls from irate viewers. (Imagine that. Folks in Philly irate about something.)

Of course, the theme's popularity is officially cemented with lampoons. Like this one, which is hilarious:

I don't know what the ratings look like nowadays - it's been six years since I spent any appreciable time in Pennsylvania - but back in the day, Channel 6 was the ratings giant. Just before I left, the NBC affiliate (WCAU-10) and CBS affiliate (KYW-3) made a concerted effort to push to the top, and seemed to be succeeding.

Channel 6 was the first station I ever heard affiliated with the phrase "If it bleeds, it leads." Their lead story was usually dramatic, but invariably, the newscast always led with Eagles results on a Sunday night in the fall. I swore I would tune in one time and hear: "A high-rise fire strikes one of Philadelphia's most recognizeable buildings and shuts down Center City ... and a massive tsunami has wiped most of South Jersey off the map. But the big story on Action News tonight is (anchor shakes head) another loss for those Eagles."

But I digress. Nothing takes me back home like hearing that music.

I know it probably seems campy to you guys, I guess it's a Philly thing.

Hopefully the Philadelphians in the audience got my back on this one. Right? Right? (Crickets.)

Oh, right. It's Eagles season. My bad.

Speaking of multimedia files... I'm happy to present this, a rundown of our recently-completed softball season. It's a photo/video collection presented by resident rightfielder Jack Bienko. (Unfortunately you see me hit a weak-ass grounder. Had I know I was on tape, I'd have been more selective with the pitching.)'s a Google video, so again, no embed.

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