Author Archives: Andrew McDermott, GRI

Lauren Hill – Basketball Player #1More4Lauren

Lauren Hill is one of those many stories that you hear that is battling an illness or disease. Rather than be miserable and suffer, she lived every last day to the fullest. Her journey of being a basketball player was amazing. The chances she got in her last months, nobody could accomplish that in four years of College.

Her memory will last for yyears to come, and each year as the team suits up to play, they will think of Lauren and the stuggles she went through. Fighting an illness is not easy for yourself or your family. It is what you make of it, and the support you receive from your family and friends. The support Lauren received from around the world was overwhelming as well.

Here is the introductory video:

Here is the team that moved their game to accommodate Lauren’s wish.

Here is the tribute video CBS Sunday Morning did:

New York Auto Show

This past Friday, I attended the New York International Auto show in New York City. It is a yearly event. It has been about ten years since I last attended the car show. I was going yearly for a while, then it got boring. I am sort of in the market for a new car, so I figured I would get a sense of what is out there.

General Motors (GM) I thought had a really impressive showing. Buick, Chevy, and GMC were at their A game. I didn’t feel Cadillac was there yet, but they too had a presence. I think GM is doing a great job of moving forward since they had so many issues with recalls, and safety concerns.

For most of my life I have driven Fords. I happen to find then reliable. Currently I own a Ford Fusion. Ford too had an impressive display, and they are moving forward with the electric vehicles. They even had a car that talked, and interacted to a kid touching the car. Electric cars wouldn’t work well in the city, since you would have electrical cords running up and down the block.

Buick brought their new convertible the Cascada, and then their concept vehicles the Avenir Concept. Both impressive models. Since the Verano and the Chevy Cruze are similar. Just as the Encore is a twin to the Trax.

All of the car manufactures had “product specialists” which I don’t know if they worked directly for the manufacturer or the car show itself. The GM “product specialists” did a dynamic job in their presentations. The Chevy booth also offered a charging station, which was a plus to me since my cell phone was dying.

Below are some of the cars I took pictures of. I also look a lot of pictures of the wheels (rims) in which some of them were impressive in their design. No more hubcaps or you happen to see very few.

The Buick Cascada

  The Buick Regal

Another view of the Buick Regal

Kia Sportage  Kia Cadenza  The Lincoln Continental Concept Car  Lincoln MKX  Carl Edwards NASCAR Racecar  Toyota FT-1 Concept Car  This Aston Martin Vulcan was made out of clay!

Cookie Monster

Growing up, I was never really a fan of Sesame Street. As I got older, I fell back in love with Sesame Street and everything it was meant to be. From Elmo to the Cookie Monster, even the Count, the characters and the puppeteers who make them come to life is unbelievable. This past week, a new viral video came across the Internet, as Cookie Monster is now a life coach.

Cookie Monster, Life Coach

Cookie Monster’s advice is truly timeless.For more Everything But The News, visit; for more PBS Digital Studios:…

While rather this is a serious subject of the problems we deal with in life, Cookie Monster offers the simplest, and calmest suggestions. I laughed when the woman said she lost her job. Cookie Monster replied with where did it go. Or even how the guy was eating a cookie, and was coughing since the cookie was dry. Cookie Monster replied with you need some milk to make it moist.

Come to think of it, there is sort of a life lesson here. When we are sad, or we want to talk to someone about something, usually it is over cookies and milk. It makes everyone feel better. Cookie Monster reminds us that any problem is solvable, especially with cookies. While browsing this video, the next suggested video had John Oliver of HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

Oliver was explaining how to enjoy cookies in the United Kingdom (UK). Oliver even suggested having some tea with your cookies. In Cookie Monster fashion, he presented Oliver with the letter “t”.

Furchester Hotel: John Oliver has Bad News for Cookie Monster

Did you know they don’t have cookies in the UK? What is Cookie Monster supposed to do when he’s staying at the Furchester Hotel if there are no cookies? Is h…

So after getting carried away, and watching a few of these videos, it shows the problems we deal with in life are solvable. We should find humor and reason with the challenges we are faced with on a daily basis. Take a few steps back, and have a cookie! Maybe eat it in private like Cookie Monster would to give yourself a much needed laugh.

Finally, I would like to share the video Cookie Monster did with Martha Stewart.

#HashtagPBS Starring Martha Stewart & Cookie Monster

Cookie Monster + Martha Stewart = #ItsAGoodThing #BakingWithMartha #MeWantIt #OmNomNomNomNom #TheORIGINALCookieMonster Catch Cookie Monster in the premiere …

Photoshop 1.0 is pretty much useless to Photoshop experts

While this was an enjoyable video to watch, it definitely brought back a lot of memories too. The first thing I have to say is how expensive Photoshop was. I think it cost around $1,000.00 at first! Now you can subscribe to the creative cloud for about $30.00 a month and get pretty much all of the programs.

Photoshop and I never got along. I ‘ve tried a few times to sit down and learn it, and never really fully grasped it. Even at its beginning stages. It was quite comical seeing the designers struggle with the original version, and really shows what a powerhouse of a program it has become.

We first learned about Photoshop in the magazine world and that is how they made Cindy Crawford so beautiful. The same goes with Christine Brinkley and others. Today no photo goes to print without a visit to Photoshop.

Don’t go on a job interview for graphic design and say you don’t know photoshop. Security will be showing you the door very quick. I do recall at the time Corel Draw. If that doesn’t ring a bell, they created WordPerfect. Still confused. Oh boy, we need to sit and talk. Corel Draw at one point in the early nineties did have a dominance. It was only a matter of time before Photoshop became the only way to edit, create, and design pictures and photos alike.

Cheers Adobe and Photoshop to another 25 years! I can’t wait to see what will come that we don’t already know.

NHL and the Good Hearted Players

The NHL and the players have been showing their good side lately. More and more I am impressed with the great sportsmanship and class they have been showing. The first video is a video of an NHL player taking a selfie with a fan behind the glass. At first the player didn’t realize it, and after doing so, posed for the fan, and offered him some great memories for years to come.

Price takes selfie with fan during TV timeout

Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price catches a young fan taking a selfie out of the corner of his eye and decides to join in on the fun.

This second video, is a little more of a tear jerker. This young girl Cammy is unable to speak. But vocally she can speak. She is a huge fan of the Chicago Blackhawks (Go Wayne’s World) and Duncan Keith helped her accomplish her wish of skating with an NHL player and scoring a goal.

#WhatsYourGoal: Cammy

Cammy was born unable to walk or speak. Her goal was to score a goal with the help of her favorite player, Duncan Keith.

It seems like the players want to go unnoticed when they did these random acts of kindness. Which makes it unique and special. The broadcasters are always looking for that special something, and from time to time they capture it. The few seconds one fan spends with an athlete is hours to them. The athletes are smart enough to realize that the fans appreciate it, and do what they can.

Alex Rodriguez Apology Letter

I have to say I was impressed by Alex Rodriguez hand written apology letter to the fans. With technology being the way it is, nothing says I’m sorry like a good old hand written note. For Rodriguez to write it, it shows that he is looking to move forward, and make the best out of what he has left in his career.


Of course handwriting experts can analyze it, fans can still hate him for it. At least give him credit for having good penmanship and apologizing.

Too many apologies are blown out of proportion or are unnecessary. If the person is going to be genuine and sincere, then go ahead and write that apology. Don’t be phony.

Think about yourself and after you go on a job interview. They say you should write a handwritten note to those you interviewed with. Especially if you really wanted the job! It shows the person you took the time to write something original and showing that you are a team player.

Prior to this whole handwritten letter, it seemed to me that Alex Rodriguez didn’t care about the fans. A few times when people would interview him on the streets he wasn’t so friendly. It sort of makes you think that he maybe wasn’t being mean after all. Maybe he is a shy person. Playing for the New York Yankees will put you on the grand stage. You should be used to it. Randy Johnson was the only one who was miserable being a Yankee since he didn’t like being in such public view. That is why his tenure with the Yankees was so short.

Hopefully Alex Rodriguez can have a productive season with the New York Yankees. I wonder if I ran into him on the street how his reaction would be.






In his book, father of Willowbrook State School resident reveals guilt, anger that fueled fight for reforms

I applaud this father for writing this book. This was something that probably wasn’t easy to do, but offered some closure. My older brother Robert could have been a resident there (or maybe not), if it wasn’t for the closure.

Willowbrook State School to me was sort of like doctors telling their patients to smoke cigarettes, and how they are not harmful for their bodies. All people needed to realize was that all the developmentally disabled need is LOVE. While some may be more severe than others, it all comes back to the LOVE one would have. Sure, it seems like a drain, but its part of being a parent, and the many obstacles they face.

Besides Geraldo Rivera exposing the conditions, there were the workers and volunteers who deep down inside knew that this was not a place for people. It was also a concentration camp for the mentally disabled.

My brother has been attending A Very Special Place in Staten Island, New York for quite some time. The founders Genevieve Benoit, Executive Director and Diane Buglioli, Deputy Executive Director were two young women who worked at the Willowbrook State School.

This past year, I got to learn more about them and their mission. It goes to back to 1974, when the Willowbrook State School closed. While helping the residents relocate, Genevieve and Diane were telling them that they were going to a special place. They would have their own bed, dresser, and possessions. One of the residents stopped and thought a second. No, it’s A VERY Special Place, and Genevieve and Diane knew they had a name for an organization they founded. My brother feels safe going there on a daily basis, and knows full well he will be coming home to a house with loving parents, and a younger brother and sister.

People believe it or not continue to be ignorant, nor doubt their intelligence. Robert is a very smart man, and always has a way of cheering us up when we are having a bad day. Even seeing him in his environment at A Very Special Place makes it all worthwhile.

Resources for the developmentally disabled continue to thrive. Robert was part of the first class at the Seton Foundation for Learning, a Catholic grammar school founded by the late Bishop Patrick Ahearn and parents alike.

When election time comes or budgets talks come about, they are always quick to cut the resources of people like my brother. The politicians should know that they are voters too, and have a voice just like the normal people do.

The present campus for the College of Staten Island is the actual ground of the Willowbrook State School. Some of the classrooms, were actually once used to house the developmentally disabled. I’ve learned that the College of Staten Island is working towards building a memorial towards it, and to remind those what once was present there.

Saved By The Bell

This past week, Jimmy Fallon reunited part of the Saved By The Bell cast. It was a magical and unexpected reunion of some of the cast members. The other day, the Brooklyn Cyclones, a minor league baseball team announced that they too will have a Saved By The Bell Night. Players will wear Saved By The Bell themed uniforms.

It has been twenty-two years since Saved By The Bell last aired. So it wasn’t like it was celebrating a milestone anniversary. I guess that is what makes it so different and unique. Jimmy Fallon himself has been putting out hints about this for quite some time. Even with random appearances from Zack Morris.

I must admit, I didn’t start watching Saved by The Bell from day one. I heard about it one day in fourth grade, and decided to be cool and watch it, and never really looked back.

The show has cheesy music, corny hairstyles, and clothes, but those where the days in the late 80’s early 90’s. Girls dressed respectfully, and actually looked their age.

I think everyone could relate to Zach Morris (Mark-Paul Gossler) and the world around him. He had the beautiful girlfriend, Kelly Kapowski (Tiffani Amber Thiessen). The nemesis to Zach was A.C. Slater (Mario Lopes) along with his opinionated girlfriend Jesse Spano (Elizabeth Berkley). Finally you have the odd couple of Lisa Turtle (Lark Voorhies) and Screech (Dustin Diamond).

Bayside High, the school where the show took place, was the High School everyone wanted to attend. Even the MAX, the afterschool hangout place was the coolest place to be.

Thanks to NetFlix, you can now re-watch every episode from Saved By The Bell and relieve some of your childhood.

This sort of reminds me of how Boy Meets World, turned into a spinoff series of Girl Meets World. Saved by the Bell did try to do a spin-off with Screech being an assistant to Mr. Belding the Principal at Bayside High.

Every generation has shows that help re-live their childhood. When the shows come up on 10, 15, 20, and even 25 year anniversaries, you realize how far time has come and makes it feel like yesterday when you were watching the show.

Music has changed, and so have the styles of Saved By The Bell. Although history has been known to repeat itself, and maybe the classic styles of Bayside High will return back to fashion from time to time. I know they have been trying to come back with the fanny pack. If you don’t know what it is, please look for old pics of Hulk Hogan. He was king of the fanny pack. Although don’t tell him how bad he looks with it on.