A Moment’s Respite

I really don’t expect anyone to read this blog before Monday. After all, it’s Thanksgiving, Black Friday and a big weekend for college football. Everybody should have better things to do than read blogs. Although I have actually gotten several Facebook messages from people in the last few minutes (one from one of my best friends after getting together for lunch for the first time in years, two from a couple of lovely women I know — that’s why I went into TV! Don’t get the wrong idea — both are happily married).

Back in the Big C

Did some traveling for the holiday. Had enough Delta miles for a free ticket to Ohio, so I’m in Columbus, staying with my sister. Mom is up from Florida, so just about everybody was on hand for the holiday, which went very well. There was a little snow on the ground this morning, giving the visit that nice winter-timey feel. One nephew is getting ready for grad school, the other just turned 7. My niece turns 13 in a few months — so I’m really feeling for my brother and sister-in-law — teenagers are so much fun. Although, she is incredibly nice and very well-behaved. Hopefully, her head won’t start spinning around when she has that birthday.

As I mentioned, I had lunch Friday with my friend Jim. We met when I started working at the University City McDonald’s in 1975. About 8 years later, we worked together in the sports department of the Columbus Dispatch. It’s always been one of those friendships that’s been easy to maintain. Funny story. In 1987, I was in my second job in TV news, in Savannah, Georgia. He came down for a visit so we go to a Japanese restaurant. As the chef worked the grill in front of us, I was telling Jim how (relatively) well-known I had been at my previous job in Casper, Wyoming. One, not a lot of African-Americans on local TV there. Plus, it was a relatively small market. When the Dispatch ran an article about me (local guy makes good out in TV out west), I ended up getting a congratulatory letter from Wyoming’s single congressman at the time — Dick Cheney (!).

Good Burger!

Anyway, we’re sitting there and a woman sitting next to us interrupts to ask if I’m the Doug Johnson who does TV weather. I’m pretty impressed now, since I have the chance to show my good friend how I’m becoming well-known in my new market. Yes, I tell her, and thanks for noticing. Then she asks me what I’m doing in Savannah. Now I’m confused. Turns out she had also recently moved to Savannah from Casper — and knew me from Wyoming, not Georgia! Anyway, Jim and I went to the original Max & Erma’s in German Village today. If you’re ever in Columbus, try to get by there. It’s a really cool neighborhood and a nice restaurant. It’s a chain now, so it’s lost the quaintness it had when it was just one or two places here, but the food’s still pretty good. Take an appetite and order the Garbage Burger. You’ll thank me.

Can you hear me now?

I’m kind of excited for the upcoming week. I broke down and ordered an iPhone. Considering I regularly use two different Apple computers at home, a third a work and own 3 iPods, I’m kind of surprised that it’s taken me so long. Since we’re a Mac-based office, the bosses are generous enough to pay for the plan if we pay for our own phone. I had held off since I had about a year left on the contract of my current phone. But even though I’ve increased my plan a couple of times lately, my bills have still been pretty high. High enough that I’ve just become willing to pay the $100 to end the contract early.


I am curious as to whether the AT&T 3G network is widespread enough to make having the thing worth having, especially when I’m on the road, since I am doing a lot more traveling for work. I know that Luke Wilson has been spending his time between movies appearing in a series of AT&T TV spots trying to downplay the alleged difference between Verizon’s 3G coverage and AT&T’s. Well, it’ll be easier to send texts using a keyboard instead of the number pad on my old phone.

11 and 0!

And props to the University of Cincinnati Bearcats. The football team beat Illinois today, going 11-0 for the first time in school history. Nice job and good luck in the Big East championship!


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