Dueling parade coverage

NBC has covered the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for many, many, many years, and is allowed to set up at the Herald Square location in front of the Macy’s store, where various musical numbers and the like are presented while we wait for the parade to arrive.

But a parade, unlike, say, a football game, takes place in public, and you can’t really give any one network exclusive rights to point their cameras at it. CBS used to have what they called the “All-American Thanksgiving Parade,” which would cut back and forth between coverage of the New York parade and several others, some of them pre-recorded. One year, that included a parade of literal floats in the Delta river inside the Opryland Hotel.

I don’t actually know what CBS has been doing in recent years, but this morning they’re covering “The Thanksgiving Day Parade” – they don’t say “Macy’s” in the opening credits or on-screen graphics, because they’re not the authorized, official network and presumably don’t have the rights to use the Macy’s name. The hosts, however, do mention the parade’s sponsor and history.

Because most NBC stations here in the Central Time Zone air the “Today” show on a one-hour tape delay, the parade also gets delayed by an hour. So right now, “Today” is still going on on the local NBC affiliate, but the CBS parade coverage, which I assume to be live, has already begun. The parade hasn’t actually gotten to the CBS broadcast location. Since they don’t have access to the Broadway cast performances at Herald Square, they’re running things like a clip of a musical number from a Broadway show performed in its actual theater, and a clip of Martina McBride performing at the Hard Rock Cafe. They’re also trying to encourage social media interaction.

I’m having a quiet morning here at home – our family celebration will be a late one today, because we can’t get the family together until evening, and because of Dad’s injury. We’ll go to Cracker Barrel in Murfreesboro for our holiday meal. (Things will be even stranger for me next year; I’ll be in Sierra Leone and will miss Thanksgiving altogether.) Hope you have a great day, whatever your situation.

Parade fuel

I will be riding in the back of the pickup truck which pulls the Times-Gazette float in tonight’s Shelbyville Christmas Parade. I have to be at the paper at 2 to do some final work on the float, then the lineup and judging are at 4, and the actual parade won’t start until 6. (My brother and my nephews will also be in the parade, with a float representing one of my nephews’ Cub Scout troop.)

It will be cold.

So when I was shopping for a few groceries yesterday, I picked up some HamBeens 15-bean soup. I soaked the beans overnight and the soup is cooking as we speak.

I’ve blogged about this company’s products before — and even got some feedback from the company for doing so — but it bears repeating.

The nice thing is that it’s really more like a recipe than a processed food. All that comes with the soup are the assorted dried beans and a small packet of ham flavoring (or Cajun seasoning, for the Cajun variety). You add meat, vegetables and other seasonings, which adds a lot of room for personal taste.

For example, today I’m making the regular 15-bean soup. But instead of the suggested ham or smoked sausage, I’m using breakfast sausage, just because it sounded like a good idea. I’m using a larger size can of tomatoes than the directions called for, and a little more onion, and since I am out of lemon juice I’m going to replace it with a little shot of hot pepper vinegar. I also threw in some bay leaves while the beans were cooking.

A good hearty bowl of this stuff should help prepare me for a long, cold evening.

The leftovers freeze well, so I’ll be able to enjoy this batch of soup on several more occasions.

Christmas parade

I’ll be working my normal shift at the paper this afternoon, and then I’ll grab dinner somehow, and then I will head for the square to photograph the annual Christmas parade.

I haven’t heard for sure, but I assume that all three of our public high schools will have their bands in the parade. When I was growing up, only the big high school in Shelbyville had a band, but now all three of our public high schools have bands, and they all sound great. I’m proud to say that my alma mater, Cascade, won awards at a big band competition this fall. Community High’s band played at our local Nashville Symphony concert this year, and Cascade will play in 2008, with Central presumably on tap for 2009.