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Monday's news

The explosion in Egypt certainly jolted us to attention this afternoon, and we are watching the death toll. The same is true of the situation in Iraq, where we are coming off a particularly violent weekend, and an awful loss of U.S. soldiers. Also tonight, we'll take a look at what the President said today in California and why his comments were so notable. We'll also look at the big story out of the Vatican and its social and policy ramifications.

We'll go big on gas prices tonight. Filling up twice over the weekend, I took my own informal poll... and this issue is about to ignite tempers nationwide. We have an interesting look at it tonight, direct from the American road. We'll look back on the election results this weekend in New Orleans, and look forward to the race for mayor. And finally, one remnant of Inauguration Day 1961 that was thought to be lost to the ages. It has to do with one of the most dramatic moments of that day. 

While various options and aspects of the broadcast lineup are still "under discussion" here, that's the basic outline.

Sunday recap
Finally, and because there's more to life than non-fiction: a Sopranos recap for fellow addicts. While many friends and co-workers were of the opinion today that the gift-basket incident bordered on shark-jumping, there's no arguing with this year's writing, casting and plot lines. But where the lurking sharks are concerned, let's wait and see if Vito really becomes an antiques dealer. I was surprised to learn that the idyllic New England town where he landed two weeks ago (what was the significance of the half-shaved mustache on the short-order cook?) was Boonton, N.J., in real life -- a place where I spent some time as a reporter years ago but did not recognize in that depiction.

The quotes of the night last night, in no particular order:

"No firing guns in the Borough limits."
"I'll be at my investing club at the Learning Annex if anybody needs me."
"We lead the world in computerized data collection!"

That all three quotes are from or pertain to the same character speaks to this year's episodes so far. Also (we're doing this without names to protect those who've not yet caught the episode) last night's cameos were priceless... if not a little bruised at times. 

There was one inside-baseball cameo that stood out, however... as an inside joke for the truly hardcore: how many people spotted David Chase in the background of a critical scene? It was perfect.

Back to the real world, and forgive the diversion. My thanks to Lester Holt for allowing me a day off on Friday, and for writing a fine blog posting. We are putting together a good broadcast for tonight and we hope you can join us.