*Didn't realize until last week on the "Today" program's 60th anniversary celebration that the great actress Estelle Parsons (an Ulster County resident, don't you know?) got her start on that show, both behind and in front of the cameras. They aired a fun clip of her interviewing Marilyn Monroe. (See accompanying NBC picture of Ms. Parsons on the set in 1952.)
*Political debates would be a lot more illuminating if audiences weren't allowed to hoot and holler at the questions and answers. What little I saw of last night's South Carolina affair was Newt Gingrich playing to a crowd that was decidedly hostile to panelist Juan Williams.
*I respect Bernard Goldberg's work much better on HBO's "Real Sports" than I do on Fox News' "O'Reilly Factor".
*Shortly after arriving home in Woodstock last night, I tweeted a quick warning about slick road conditions due to the just-started freezing rain. Within minutes, Woodstock-based @ColonyOfTheArts replied with word of an accident on Route 212, on which I'd just driven. The social media grapevine is quite something.
*I"ll admit I don't watch much football anymore. But from what little I caught of the Giants-Packers game, I could only conclude that they've changed the rules, thus allowing QB Eli Manning all the time he needed to throw the ball. Put another way, how did Green Bay win 15 games without a pass rush?
*I also tuned in just in time for the last two minutes of San Francisco-New Orleans. Pretty incredible, no? Nice of the coaches on both sides to let their defensive units go home early.
*How come nobody told me about Pad Thai until I had some at dinner last night? Excellent dish. (For the uninitiated, check it out here. I wouldn't ordinarily send you to Wikipedia, but I can vouch for this one.)
*Three of the top six "most viewed" videos among Journal Register Company newspaper websites large and small last week were from the Freeman. They included the top 2: the Kingston-Newburgh girls basketball scuffle and the local woman who objects to the new 9/11-themed movie. No. 6 was the Athlete of the Week from Ellenville, where they obviously must have been running it in a loop at the high school.
*Watching Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveil his Executive Budget for about an hour this afternoon, I couldn't help but remember the years when his father, Gov. Mario Cuomo (remember him?) would provide budget presentations from morning to night. If memory serves me, the first session was for the Albany press corps. The second was for legislators. Then, in the evening, he'd invite publishers and editors to the Executive Mansion. There'd be cocktails, the governor's budget with Q&A, in the relatively informal setting of a large parlor room, and then dinner. We didn't know it at the time, but in some respects, those were the good old days.