Archive for August, 2007

An Early Weekend
August 30, 2007

I wanted to let you know that I’m taking yet another Friday off … and starting a long weekend. Sorry I won’t be blogging today, but I will be back on Monday.

I also wanted to say “thanks” to everyone who has taken time over the last year to respond to my entries with your thoughts, criticisms and support. It is your responses that make me want to keep writing and keep sharing my insights and experiences.

See you Monday!

Clarification … and some Comfort
August 30, 2007

Before I move on to today’s thoughts, I want to clarify something from my entry Wednesday. Something caused confusion among those who take the time each day to read my blog.

I wrote about receiving a racist postcard in the mail … and I noted that – for better or worse – race permeates everything our society and pointed to the Michael Vick case as an example. Some of you wrote back saying how could I say race was a factor in Vick’s case and punishment. The entry shocked more than a few people.

Let me clear about what I meant – and what I should have said.

If you have read any of my previous entries, you know I have nothing but contempt for what Vick did and he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law — and when he is incarcerated, a pack of hungry dogs should be place in his cell with him. My reference to the Vick case Wednesday was not that race was a factor in the actual case, rather that race influenced how the case was viewed. It’s quite clear from studies and surveys that – along racial lines – the case was viewed differently. I was angry when TV commentators tried to insert race into the discussion of the crime. It had no place there, but race did effect how society at large saw the case.

I hope that clears up what I meant to say. Forgive me, everyone. Two cups of coffee and writing at 7am will often cause you to make mistakes. If you do find something objectionable in the future, please call me on it ( that includes spelling mistakes ).

Now, quickly to today’s entry.

Hospice. Not something we normally like to think about, but it’s necessary for many families and their loved ones – and I just wanted to note one group that is handling the difficulty but needed responsibility with style and grace.

I have been the featured speaker at the Family Hospice and Palliative Care golf outing the last four years. This year, I was asked to serve as the emcee of the dedication of their newest facility: The Center for Compassionate Care located in the South Hills. The building is magnificent, creating a home-like environment for those whose days on earth can now be counted. It allows them complete access and freedom to walk around inside and outside while creating a relaxing and comfortable situation during this most difficult of times.

We talk about heroes all the time on the news. However, it’s people like CEO Rafael Sciullo ( above in the black suit in middle ) and his staff that are doing heroic work without fanfare. They are doing this most emotional and difficult of jobs with class and compassion. I was proud to be part of their efforts – both annually at their annual golf event and that day at the dedication.

Hospice. It’s not something we want to think about – but we know that if we need it, it’s there.

Something Unexpected in the Mail
August 29, 2007

A former prominent African-American TV anchor once told me you haven’t really “made it” until you get a racist letter from a viewer in the mail.

After 13 years on Pittsburgh TV, I finally “made it”.

It wasn’t much. Just a postcard from some viewer who wasn’t pleased that I sit next to a beautiful, blond-haired white woman. Hey, if it’s jealousy, I can understand that. Who wouldn’t want to be next to Kelly Frey for two hours? It wasn’t threatening and it wasn’t a long note. While the person had great penmanship, they could have at least spelled my last name right. Why is it that racists are horrible spellers. Also, if you are going to throw in the letters “KKK” in a hate message, please use official company stationery and don’t just scribble in the letters. It tends to have more credibility that way.

I don’t mean to be flippant. I know this is not funny, but I think humor allows me to deal with something that is quite unexpected. I guess I think in this day in age we have gotten past this racist stuff. Then again, look at the Michael Vick incident and it’s clear race permeates everything we do and say in this country.

Am I angry? No. Am I worried? No. I guess I’m a bit put off because the coward did not bother put his or her name ( I’m not going to be sexist here ) on the note. Frankly, I have no problem with people having racist feelings as long as they are up front about them. It’s how they feel and that is their business. I used to work in the South and while some southerners have been seen as racists over the course of history, at least they are upfront about their feelings. You can hate me all you want – just take responsibility.

I thought I would share this with you because I always feel when I speak to you in this format, it’s a two-way conversation. I also feel that by sharing this story, you understand that no one is immune from this sort of garbage and we must recognize it still exists. I also feel that shining a light on racism often makes the offenders crawl back into their holes – or where ever they came from.

I’m sure as I continue to spend more time on television and move into more high-profile roles in my career, I will continue to encounter those who would judge me based on appearance. To them, I say you are in the minority and that I will continue to live my life the way that I always have – without regards to skin color. One more message for those author of that note – if he or she reads this: Next time, at least spell my name right. It’s on the screen for crying out loud.

Read Any Good Books Lately?
August 28, 2007

A question on a survey I just took gave me pause.

The question: What was the last book you read?

I’m still thinking.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time to read books anymore. I used to love reading books. It would be nothing five years ago for me to walk into a bookstore and find a book big enough to be used as a chair boost and take it home and spend a week reading it at my leisure.

I have two filled bookshelves at home and between myself and Sharon we have read just about every book there.

Now, I have books in my drawer here at the office that I have never read but I have been meaning to read. I just don’t have the time .. even during the so-called summer reading season. There are so many good books out there as well – and I am a voracious reader – but again I have so little time sit down and read a book from start to finish.

My life is now about reading magazines, newspapers and the Internet. I try to squeeze in my reading between commercials while I’m on the set. So what do I read? In case you are curious, here’s a list of my daily reading habits: GQ, Golf Digest, Golfweek, Golf, Money, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, New York Times and both Pittsburgh daily papers.

I would like your help. Since I haven’t had the time to read an actual book, please tell me what good books you have read the last year or so. I would love to know what I have been missing and perhaps I will get a chance to sit down and read one.

As for that survey question, I think I have an answer. I found the book “The World is Flat” in my desk and the receipt from the store serves as the bookmark. The receipt is from last fall. The bookmark is on page 35. Great, only 566 pages to go.

( picture courtesy: Engineers Edge )

A Weekend of Discovery
August 27, 2007

I’m beginning to enjoy these three-day weekends. I have some vacation time and – thanks to a suggestion from Kelly — I decided to take each Friday off this month. It’s made for some fun weekends and some surprisingly-delightful getaways.

This weekend, Sharon and I went to a black tie event for the Ladies Hospital Aid Society. We had not been to a black tie event in quite a while. It was somewhat strange tossing on the tux, but the best part of the night was after dinner. The dance floor was in use on the 17th floor of the Omni William Penn — and we danced the night away.

Sharon and I danced — and I hit the floor with both Sally Wiggin and Marcie Cipriani who were in attendance. We did everything from 70’s music to some of the songs that mdfe you groove in 80’s. I had forgotten how much fun it is to dance and the let music take control. When Sharon and I first met, we danced all the time – at places in the Strip like Rosebud, Metropol and Heaven downtown ( OK, I’m dating myself ). Now, if you want to dance – and you are over 35 – your options are limited unless you are into salsa.

Sunday, we took a 90 minute drive to Deep Creek Lake in Garrett County Maryland. We played Wisp golf resort. It’s so beautiful and so close to us. Just to see the lake will take your breath away. One thing I did not realize was how big channel 4 is down in Deep Creek Lake. We are their TV station – and from the moment I walked onto the resort to the time I left – I felt like I was in Pittsburgh. People were so nice and so welcoming. I would encourage you to do a weekend in Maryland ( plus the roads are much better ).

I wish I could blog more, but I have some work to do. We are getting ready to kick off our new look next week and we got some behind the scenes stuff to do. Thanks again to all of you who take the time to write. It makes me want to write every day and – as always – I will try and write back.

No Longer Hip?
August 23, 2007

A mid-morning show discussion with Kelly started me to thinking about this topic. I was finishing up the planning for tonight’s “Check It Out” segment – going through the “Ticket” insert of today’s Tribune-Review, when I happened upon a review of band playing in Millvale this weekend.

“Hey, the Squirrel Nut Zippers!” says Kelly.

“Who are they?” I asked.

“You have never heard of the Squirrel Nut Zippers?”


She then proceeded to hum a few bars of one of their more popular tunes – and tell me that she had actually met their former sax player. The group (the photo above is courtesy of the Trib and you can see them perform on YouTube) is returning to performing after a six-month hiatus and playing at Mr. Small’s in Millvale. Even after watching the You Tube video, I still had no clue who they were — and I began to wonder about something else: Am I becoming clueless?

I like to think I’m hip to what’s happening. After all, I anchor the morning news and pretty much tell viewers every morning what’s new and what’s happening. Somehow though, I wonder if I am missing the boat. Sure, I have an iPod, play video games and I’m an avid blog reader. But not a day goes by when the younger members of our newsroom will say something to me and I will have this blank look on my face.

I guess it comes with age — and it works both ways. Kelly’s story Wednesday about the opening of the McDonald’s museum in Westmoreland County gave me a prime example. While over 100 teens were waiting outside for the museum to open, Ronald and Kelly tried to get them to sing the Big Mac song (you know: two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on sesame seed bun) and found none of the kids knew the words or the melody. Am I really that old – or are they really that young?

Maybe the answer lies in one of our camera people. His name is Gary O’Data. Tonight, he celebrates his 60th birthday – but he has become the guy best known for running up and down the sidelines and shooting video of high school games for “Operation Football”. He doesn’t look 60 and he says being a part of the action with the kids keeps him young. I guess being hip isn’t about successfully relating to the younger people — it’s about being willing to try to relate.
I’m off Friday … so I will blog with you next Monday. Have a great weekend.

The Fat Virus .. and Fantasy Football
August 22, 2007

I’m no scientist, but I think this story is a little hard to believe. Researchers are saying that obesity may not have anything to do with eating habits or heredity. In fact, they are going so far as to say it may not be a person’s fault at all. Preliminary studies are suggesting that there may be a fat “virus” responsible for people becoming obese.

Well, you can imagine the frenzy when this story broke. It was the number one read story on many news websites as those who have struggled with obesity for years – as well as those let themselves go – were dreaming of the day they could go into a doctor’s office and with a shot be cured and beautifully thin.

I’m putting this one under the heading of “not taking personal responsibility”. I know there are many who suffer from obesity and there is little they can do, but for people who refuse to have a proper diet and exercise – and then believe this latest theory – are people who really believe that nothing is their fault.

I know for a fact when I eat too much, I gain wait. It’s not science, it’s common sense. It would be nice if this were true, but I’m not staying up nights waiting for the vaccine that will send me back to 190 pounds and six-pack abs after I’ve downed the plateful of chicken wings.

Hey, if you don’t have anything to do tonight at 5pm, I’ve got a story you might want to watch. Football season is almost here — and for 16 million Americans that means fantasy football is about to start. If you are not familiar with the game, essentially you draft real NFL players and use their actual statistics to compete in a “fantasy” league. The allure of this game is so strong, there are one million women that take part – and million spent on the competition as well as millions of dollars lost in office productivity.

In my story tonight, I will actually take you to one of these fantasy drafts – and this one hosted by the members of the WDVE morning show. Jim Krenn, Randy Baumann and Val Porter and the game — and as you might imagine – they have some funny things to say. So, if you get a chance, check out the story tonight at 5pm.

Sorry for the shameless plug.

Crime, Punishment …. and Party Schools?
August 21, 2007

I was watching ESPN, which yesterday stood for Entertainment and Speculation Programming Network. The network went on all afternoon, speculating what was next for Michael Vick after he plead guilty to dogfighting charges. Guessing as to whether he would return to the league and what team he would play for and whether he would play quarterback or not, etc.


Am I the only one offended that people are even talking about what happens once he gets “out” of prison? He has plead guilty to what – at best – is conspiracy to torture and kill dogs. In my book, that is murder. Yes, I did blog a few weeks ago that there are other crimes – like rape and spousal abuse – that don’t draw the outrage of this latest incident. Still, at that time, he was not guilty of anything. Now that he has essentially admitted to being involved in dogfighting – he has committed a heinous crime and should not only be jailed, but also banned from ever playing in the NFL again.

He will be a convicted criminal when he is released and this the chance for the NFL – and its new commissioner – to take a stand. Playing pro football for a living is a privileged, not a right. If this league – which runs commercials ad nauseum about how involved they are in the community – wants to make a real statement, they will tell Michael Vick to look elsewhere for employment. If not, then the league is talking out of both sides of its mouth and it will be one more reason for me to head to the golf course rather than the TV on NFL Sundays.

Shifting gears – the Princeton Review released it’s much-anticipated annual list of top party schools in the country. I guess the folks at WVU have reason to proud or ashamed – depending on your point of view. WVU was picked as the nation’s top party school – and Penn State was sixth. The Mountaineers championship-caliber football team didn’t finish that high.

I do not know how they quantify this sort of stuff, but having been down to WVU, I find the students there do like to have a good time – and they are genuinely nice people. I think the shame here is the fact that alcohol is still so closely related to the college experience. It seems the tow go hand-and-hand – and that is a shame. There should be more to the college experience – and the fact that beer plays such a large role in our view of what college life is like sells short what the experience could – and should be about.

That being said — how about my Alma mater! Ohio University finished 9th in the poll. Still, that’s an improvement from my college days in Athens – when Playboy made us the top-ranked party school my sophomore year. Then, the next year, we weren’t even on the list! But there was an explanation at the bottom of the page – and here it is:

“Ohio University was left of this year’s list intentionally. We refuse to rank the professionals with the amateurs“.

Sweet Home Chicago
August 20, 2007

Just got back from a wonderful weekend at home. I spent the last couple of days with my parents and visiting my brother — and both live in Chicago.

Chicago – the place of my birth but hardly my hometown. As they say, I was there long enough to enjoy “a cup of coffee” before moving at a very young age. Getting back to the Windy City – which I do from time to time – is always fun. I forget what a dynamic and interesting city it is.

It’s kind of a smaller New York or a larger Boston – depending on your viewpoint. It’s a city which never rolls up its downtown streets. There are people always out and about – 24/7 – of every age. While we love our Steelers, the passion Chicago has for it’s Cubs is unlike anything I have seen before. When they are winning, it seems everyone it town is wearing a Cubs cap.

While walking the Windy City streets on a Saturday, I saw two wedding parties having pictures taken – one inside the cavernous interior of Union Station and one outside the gates of Wrigley Field.

When I do go home and spend time in Chicago, it makes me wonder if Pittsburgh will ever become as vibrant and exciting. Sure, our city is heading in the right direction with all the development and recent construction, but downtown streets can be desolate on some days. Also, let’s be honest: This town will never care that much about baseball.

I do not regret the time I have spent here. Pittsburgh has been my home during my late 20’s and all of my 30’s. I guess I just wish the big downtown boom had happened when I was a little younger so I could have fully enjoyed it.

Of course, while I wax poetic about Chicago, there is always a Pittsburgh connection to any good story. Here’s mine: My brother and I were walking in Wrigleyville ( the residential neighborhood where Wrigley Field is located ), when we walked by some Cubs fans on the stoop of a house when I heard these words: “Andrew Stockey“. Turns out one of the guys in Cubs gear was from Pittsburgh’s south hills. We stopped and posed for a picture. I guess even in Chicago, you are never far from Pittsburgh.

Local Goes National
August 16, 2007

Before I start blogging away, I just wanted to say “thanks” to everyone who sent vacation ideas. I was absolutely overwhelmed. I got 30 suggestions from all of you — everywhere from the Outer Banks to Aruba. I have decided to forward all these suggestions to Sharon. After all, she is the one making the final decision. Also, it guarantees she won’t say “I can’t come up with a place to go.” Thanks again — you ladies (and it was all ladies who sent ideas) are tremendous.

Now for today’s entry. It’s always interesting when you see a story that you have done get national attention. Such was the case for my story about Justine Ezarik – a 20-something blogger and graphic artist based in Pittsburgh – who did something few of us rarely do. Take something that bothers us and turn it into something positive.

If you haven’t seen the story – and it’s on our website right now – Justine got her first Apple iPhone bill. It was 275 bucks, but the part that really got her attention was the fact it was 300 PAGES and sent in a BOX that had $10 in POSTAGE. What a waste! Justine decided to videoblog, showing the massive size of this document, and then ending her piece with this message: e-bill and save a forest.

She posted it on various video-sharing web sites. From there, it was seen by over 200,000 people and turned into a story in Monday’s “USA Today.” That’s where I saw it and I thought I would try and track her down — and I did. During our interview, I found her both engaging and sincere — and we ran my story on Channel 4 Action News at 5. Bringing a local angle to a story that had touched people nationwide.

Later that night, I flipped on MSNBC and saw Keith Olbermann’s show doing the same story — only they chose to show the video and nothing else. They did not even mention her name. I found that odd, but it was nothing compared with coming in here this morning and seeing my story played on ABC during their national overnight news program. I found out later that my story was sent to the network — which sent it out to all the ABC affiliates nationwide. I’m guessing more than a few played it during their newscast.

I guess it’s a source of pride when you put together a story and the subject matter is compelling enough that other TV stations want to run it. That is why we are in this business – to tell stories that people from all walks of life will want to see. Hey, I’m off tomorrow and probably won’t be blogging again until Monday. Have a great weekend and please be patient. I will reply to all your e-mails as soon as I can.

Making Vacation Plans
August 15, 2007

In my years as a sportscaster, I also became somewhat of a workaholic. Sometimes because of the lack of people available to cover sports and sometimes because of the time of year. I used to joke that once training camp started, summer was over and I told Sharon I would not see her until the Steelers were out of the playoffs ( so you can imagine what the Super Bowl season was like ).

Now that I work as a news anchor, there are more people in the building that do what I do, so I can actually work less ( very few weekends unlike my days in sports ) and I can actually use all my vacation time. In the past, I have left days on the table at the end of the year because I just had no time to take vacation.

Now, I am taking time off. I have every Friday off this month — and I’m taking more time off in the coming months. However, I now have a new problem: Planning a vacation. I hate to plan in advance and rarely ever did so when it came to vacations. Now, I have the time to take off and dread planning my getaways. Probably because I do not know where to go and what I am going to want to do in a month, two months or in six month.

Sharon and myself both have a week off – and we are trying to decide where to go on vacation. We did get away for the weekend to Erie ( see photo above ) but now we are trying to plan a bigger trip – and we’re sort of stumped for ideas. Today, I am asking you – my faithful blog readers – for ideas for a week-long vacation. Don’t let the cost of the trip limit your ideas. Just looking for some tips so we can plan our well-deserved vacation.

Look forward to hearing form you!

Feeling Great and Feeling Guilty
August 14, 2007


It was cool having Robin back with us Monday morning. We are so happy she is doing well and her breast cancer surgery went well. She appears to be in bright spirits and hopefully she will continue to feel well if she must undergo any radiation.

It was just nice to be able to joke around as well as pass on our best wishes on behalf of you – the local viewers. I cannot tell you how many people have come up to me wondering how Robin was doing and praying for her speedy recovery. She appreciated it — and said as much – although she jokingly said ” every letter I get starts with I watch Andrew and Kelly …. “. Even Diane joined in our daily conversation and you can tell how much it means to have her partner back – “Thelma and Louise” as they like to refer to themselves.


Robin’s return is why I feel great. But I felt more than a little guilty last Friday. As you know, Sharon and myself went to Erie for the weekend. Unfortunately, we could not take Boobaloo – our bischon/poddle — with us. Usually when we travel, we leave Boo with our neighbors but we could not because they went with us to Erie. So, for one of the few times, we had to kennel “Boo”.

We did check the kennel and did get plenty of positive references, but that did not stop me from worrying when I dropped Boobaloo off. It’s very difficult to leave someone you love so much and not have that person, or dog in this case, understand that you will be back. “Boo” did not seem nervous or scared, but I still felt a pang of sadness when I dropped him off. He did get three walks a day and got to mingle with the other dogs – and we picked him up one day early.

“Boo” was his usual happy self when we did pick him up – jumping up and down and he has an incredible vertical leap. I guess the whole experience tells me one thing about myself: While Boobaloo is clearly a momma’s boy, I love him. I have grown attached to this little mutt over the seven years we have been together and not having him around has now become strange. Whether I have kids or not, I will always consider “Boo” my first child.

A Weekend Getaway … to Erie?
August 13, 2007

I’ve never been to Erie, so the idea of going there for a weekend at the beach wasn’t exactly the most appetizing proposition I have ever had. I mean when I think of the beach, I think Ocean City, not one hour west of Buffalo. Still, Sharon wanted to go to the beach this weekend so I agreed – as long as I could play golf nearby while she was getting some sun. My theory being I really didn’t need much more sun – after all, I have had this tan for 39 years.

After her beach day – and my less-than-stellar round – we went with another couple to downtown Erie for dinner. It was cool because we ate at an old firehouse called “Pufferbelly’s” which was converted into a restaurant. Not a bad place – and downtown Erie seemed to be bustling with nightlife. I’m guessing it was because there was a big biker convention in town – the “Roar at the Shore” as it were.

But then came the highlight of my trip – and the part I enjoyed most. We were walking down State Street with another couple, trying to decide which bar we wanted to stop into for a nightcap. That’s when we walked past a place called “Twelve O One”. It was a wine and tapas restaurant that seemed very cutting edge after walking by some local taverns.

Once inside, we found out it had been open just five weeks. It’s menu featured a selection of wines and self-made cocktails – including a tasty mojito. I was stuffed from dinner, but I still decided to sample their blue crab cake — and it was YUM-MY! I highly recommend “Twelve O One” if you are swinging by Erie.

Oh, the other thing about the restaurant – when we all walked him, these six ladies at one of the table screamed my name. Turns out, they were Pittsburghers and wondering what I was doing in town. They were very nice – and they asked about Robin.

Finally, speaking of Robin, it was great to see her this morning. She looks good following her surgery to remove a lump in her breast and she seems very upbeat. We wish her well and I know she appreciates the well wishes from all of you — even if most of the letters start out with the words “I love seeing Kelly, Andrew .. and you in the mornings”.

Breaking News
August 10, 2007

I have today off, but I wanted to leave you this thought before I took the day off.

Thursday morning was a first for me. While I have been involved in breaking news coverage that interrupts regular programming ( remember Big Ben’s motorcycle accident ), I had never been asked to play such an important role in covering such a huge tragedy.

Thursday’s flooding from those sudden storms forced me into the anchor chair to solo anchor the coverage which lasted upwards of two hours. Since Kelly was out on a story at the time, it was just me and Don Schwenneker. Don is a real pro and a gentle and steadying hand when weather-related events take place. I could not have gotten through our coverage without him.

While on camera it may seem calm and planned, behind the scenes it’s crazy. Producers working to confirm information and then get that information to you to present to the audience. We also did not have video of the flooding immediately and had to rely on pictures from viewers as well as videos — including that dramatic video of the house on fire after being struck by lightning. Never did I realize how critical the viewers as videographers could be in the process of telling a story.

When it was all said and done, I thought we did a good job as a news organization presenting the story as it was happening – and perhaps I showed myself something in the process. I learned that maybe I do have the skills to be a news anchor. The most important thing we can do as anchors is handle breaking news situations. By all accounts, I did OK .. and I’ll be better next time.

Finally, I know we probably got many phone calls about breaking into “Regis and Kelly” and whatever we show at 10am. For those people who called into gripe and complain, let me tell you something: Our job is to first and foremost inform our viewers when disaster hits our region. That is the public trust we have as a television station and anything less would be shirking our responsibilities. We don’t do it often, but when we do please understand – it’s for the greater good.

Facing the Music
August 9, 2007

A couple of quick things before the main blogging begins: Kelly’s back and it’s great to see her. After all, it’s been almost a week and a half. As for the name of the Steeler mascot – “Steely McBeam” – I guess I can live with it. But he’ll always be “The Jaw” to me.

Now, for the main topic. I’m taking Friday off this week. Actually, I’m taking the next four Fridays off. Now that I work in news and have worked at WTAE for over a decade, I have some serious vacation time that I can use and I might as well as some fun and worsk some four day weeks.

While I have plans for the weekend – I’m starting off my off-time with something I have not done in about seven years. I’m going to a concert. The last concert I went to was Dave Matthews performing at the then-Star Lake ampitheatre.

While many of you know that I like music, I have never been much of a concert goer. I’m not into mosh pits, loud music or paying one hundred bucks to stand and watch when I could sit down at home and enjoy the same sounds. However, I do love what is called Contemporary Jazz ( no it’s not elevator music ) and one of my favorite artists is saxophonist Boney James.

James will be performing at the Byham Friday and when our friends — who also like contemporary Jazz — told us James would be in town and tickets had just gone on sale, I made the call and got seats right in the middle of the theatre about 15 rows back. I’m excited because I have never heard what comtemporary jazz sounds like in a live venue. In fact, I have only been to three concerts in my life: Squeeze when I was in collge, Maxwell when I started dating Sharon and – as I mentioned – Dave Matthews.

Should be a good show — and I’ll let you know on Monday how it went. Have a great weekend everyone – and to all of you who were so kind to send me your thoughts on the glasses – thanks again. I’ll be picking up a new pair when I get back and hopefully, when I wear them, they will meet with your apporval.