TV Shows

Well, that’s 3 minutes I won’t get back!

As I have mentioned several times here, I am not a big fan of TV. The majority of sitcoms are boring to me, but that’s not always been the case. I enjoyed M*A*S*H, Cheers, Barney Miller, and even Big Bang. I thought Saturday Night Live was a great show, but it came on too late for me. I’ve never been a night owl. I’ve tried other shows, but usually after a season or two, I’m done with it. There are others I’ve enjoyed, such as Eureka and Warehouse 13, but they’re not on the basic channels; these two were on the old SciFi (now Syfy) channel, so their production values were better.

I will watch some sports, with the sound off since the majority of sportscasters are idiots. Seems they’re either wanna be players or wash outs usually.

But I do enjoy documentaries and science shows, even the “pop science” shows. Mythbusters is all time favorite of mine and my family.’s And this leads me to the major problem I have with American TV.

Narrators. Let’s use Mythbusters as an example (just one of many shows in this format). A TV show in America that is broadcast for one hour contains, usually, only 42 minutes of the actual show. The remaining 18 minutes are commercials spread out in breaks during the hour. Remember this point, I’ll be back to it in a bit.

In this format you’ll get about 20 minutes of the show before the first commercial break. When the show returns, the narrator will explain everything that has happened before the break. And this happens after every single damn break. Why? If you’ve been watching the show from the beginning, you know what’s going on. If you came in sometime after the show started, too damn bad. There’s this new invention called a DVR – learn how to use it. I’m so over “Before the break …”. What would be better would be to have all the commercials between each show and not interrupt the show itself. Hey – it works in Europe!

And that’s where I was going with the comment about multiple commercial breaks. But of course, American advertisers are greedy and hope that you’ll sit and watch their idiotic ads waiting for the show to begin. Again – DVR it and skip the damn ads!

Here’s another example. The Orville was one of the shows I enjoyed for the first season, then lost interest in the second season. One of the reasons I quit watching it was Fox (the network the show was on) went to what they called “limited commercial interruption”. It was anything but limited. As opposed to the usual 3 minute or so commercial break, they would have only 90 seconds or so, then right back to the show. What this created in my mind, was instead of maybe 6 commercial breaks, there would be about 10 breaks per hour episode. It was maddening. Just as the action heated up, BAM! some erectile dysfunction commercial would pop in.

I read that Seth McFarlane, the creator and star of The Orville, has moved the show to subscription streaming service Hulu to avoid that 42-minute limit to the show. I fully understand that reasoning and would love to support this endeavor, but I’m not paying for yet another service to watch a show I really don’t care for anymore.

Services I enjoy are CuriosityStream and The Great Courses. Yes, both are subscription, but to me they are worth it. My granddaughters love to watch the animal shows on CuriostiyStream, and I even saw granddaughter-the-elder watching a show about how babies are formed in the womb. This was about 2 months before her half-brother was born. Just the fact that at 9 years old (at the time) she had a safe place to watch something like this made the yearly fee well worthwhile.

The Great Courses are a little different in that they have lectures to watch. Some have only 2 or 3 lectures, others more than 20 on a single subject. I watched an amazing lecture series on King Arthur that granddaughter-the-elder wanted to watch with me. When she realized it was just someone talking about King Arthur, she lost interest. That was sad, but wow, what a series. I would love to keep watching lectures, but the cost is a bit prohibitive at this time. (See my post with the hole in my kitchen wall to understand).

So, where does this leave us? Well, I can’t say for you, but for me, this leaves me without any American television to watch. Currently, there are no sitcoms, dramas, or documentaries that hold my interest. And now that the women’s world cup football is over (that would be soccer for us Americans), there really are no sports to watch until the next olympics. So, I guess, I will return to my books and put in my earplugs while Wifey watches her shows, and bliss will continue.

So, I will leave you with this brief video of one of the TV shows I grew up with and still dearly love. The original Star Trek series. Fun Fact: during the episode “The Devil in the Dark”, we had 2 tvs die at the exact moment that Mr. Spock used his phaser on the Horta (the “devil in the dark”). I found it strange that 2 tvs would die at the same moment of the same episode years apart. But, hey, that’s tv, Baby!!

Peace,
B

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It’s Oscar Night!!… Meh…

I am not a movie fan. I would much rather watch a live performance, or read a book. Or baseball (Spring training is underway!)

So I did read that the Queen movie Bohemian Rhapsody is up for five Oscars. Great for them, I’m still not going to watch it. Queen never was high on my list, and the song the movie derives its name from is on my “Not the song I want to hear” list. (You can search for those posts) It’s way overplayed. Queen has some great songs that you never hear.

Last night, my baby girls and I were playing around on YouTube and ended up on a Muppets tangent. This link will take you to my favorite Muppet musical clip. But this video is the reason for the entire (short) post.

You’re welcome!

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 20 February

Yes, I know, I’ve been very quiet lately. The silence was due to two main reasons, I was sick and work has been crazy busy. Plus I’ve been doing lots on my genealogy.

But enough about that.

Last weekend Wifey and I didn’t have the grandkids for a change. So we did “adult” things. Things like, clean the house, wash the cars (and the dog). You, know fun stuff. But instead of having SiriusXM playing all day, I switched it up and played YouTube playlists. If you’re a regular reader of this blog or follow me on Twitter (social media links are below), you know that I use YouTube for most of my video links. Today will be no different.

This particular track has always been a favorite from the first time I laid eyes on the album cover, I was hooked.

The most common video of the song is taken from some TV show, I’m not sure which one. Chances are my brother will text me the answer when he reads this. He’s good that way.

The power of Grace’s voice is just so amazing. P!nk did a wonderful cover, but it’s just not quite the same.

I had so much more to say, but work is calling (again)… “Anyway, my coffee’s cold and I’m getting told that I gotta get back to work”, but then that’s an entirely different song.

So here is a live version of White Rabbit, by Jefferson Airplane (not Starship, I despise that regrouping)…

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 27 January

I apologize up front for the lack of posts lately. I have been working on my genealogy quite heavy. There will be a post about that coming up, but I will say I’m about 75% sure I’ve finally found that elusive “immigrant ancestor”.

But, of course, “That’s not what I came here to talk about”.. (Thank you, Arlo).

Yesterday, Wifey and I were standing in line at our local pharmacy (at my age we spend a lot of time there), and this song was playing as background music. I remember back in the day when all the stores and office buildings had the same “elevator music” playing. Now they have streaming music to play. No more big digital tapes with 6 hours of crapola playing. Our dentist even has SiriusXM playing in his office! And this has been stuck in my head ever since.

It goes along, though only slightly, with my post of 8 January. Why? Simply because we again get to feature the autoharp. John Sebastian was the first person I ever saw playing this very odd instrument. Then my music teacher at school came in playing one. I was blown away!

The song peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song has been covered by many other artists including John Mellencamp in 1976, and Shaun Cassidy in 1978 when it reached #31 on the Billboard Hot 100. (Source) Wifey knew that Shaun Cassidy cover, I had no idea. It has also been used in quite a few TV shows and movies.

I was always intrigued by the “Lovin’ Spoonful” band name. As a kid, I had no idea any of the other meanings the name could imply.


The band’s name was inspired by some lines in a song of Mississippi John Hurt called the “Coffee Blues”. John Sebastian and others in the jug-folk scene of the time such as Geoff Muldaur credit Fritz Richmond for suggesting the name. The song “Coffee Blues” is a tribute to Maxwell House Coffee, which Hurt describes, “rapping” in the beginning of the song, as being two or three times any other brand, ergo, he only needs one spoonful to make him feel all right, what he describes as “my lovin’ spoonful” in the song. The song is part of a group of songs with a long history in recorded blues that generally use the term “a spoonful” to suggest sex, and in some cases use of a drug such as cocaine. The term “lovin’ spoonful” has been conjectured as referring to the amount of ejaculate released by a human male during a typical orgasm.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lovin%27_Spoonful

The last line of that quote could also be applied to English “Art” band, 10CC. Sorry, the (retired) paramedic in me has to get out now and then…

John Sebastian also went on to write the Welcome Back, the theme song for Welcome Back Kotter. The Spoonful were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000 and John was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2008.

So, kids I have but one question for you; “Do You Believe In Magic?”

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 8 January

Let’s see how many of you know this one.

Way back in the day (yeah, I’m old), I had this song on a 45 RPM single. Chances are I stole it from my brother gave it to me.

I was totally taken in with the backwards tracked guitar and other wild sounds that start the album.

The oscillating, reversed guitar which opens the song originated from the rehearsals at Russell’s house, where Williams recorded with a 1958 Gibson Les Paulguitar with a Bigsby vibrato unit. According to Lowe, “We were recording on a four-track, and just flipping the tape over and re-recording when we got to the end. Dave cued up a tape and didn’t hit ‘record,’ and the playback in the studio was way up: ear-shattering vibrating jet guitar. Ken had been shaking his Bigsby wiggle stick with some fuzztone and tremolo at the end of the tape. Forward it was cool. Backward it was amazing. I ran into the control room and said, ‘What was that?’ They didn’t have the monitors on so they hadn’t heard it. I made Dave cut it off and save it for later.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Had_Too_Much_to_Dream_(Last_Night)

I remember dancing, well what I would call dancing – I’m sure you’d disagree, around my tiny bedroom with this turned up full volume. Needless to say, my mother was not impressed. The video appears to be from Dick Clark’s American Bandstand, although I cannot find it listed on this page. Watching drummer Preston Ritter just pounding the kit, along with vocalist James Lowe (and his autoharp) make me laugh. As was usual for any show such as this one, everything was lip synced. You’ll notice that there are no amps for the guitars. I’ve often wondered how the audience perceived the “performance” by the artists. Could they tell it wasn’t live (nor Memorex)?

So, as Dick Clark says; “Ladies and gentlemen, The Electric Prunes“!

Thanks for reading and watching! Remember to leave your comments here and not on those social media pages (I won’t see them for days!).

Peace,
B

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As Close As I Can Get

In case you haven’t heard, I absolutely despise Christmas Music. It’s old, worn out, and just plain boring.  Having said that, this is a close as I can get to playing a Christmas tune..  Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 19 November

As I’ve mentioned before Turkey Day 2018 is just around the corner. And that also means my birthday is right there too.  But this isn’t a post about my birthday. It’s something very Thanksgiving related.

In a previous life, I was an on-air DJ. I didn’t do it very long, as the money just wasn’t there, and I had a wife and newborn to take care of. Back then I watched TV. There were several shows that I really enjoyed, Barney Miller, Taxi, and SNL were excellent shows (although I had trouble staying up for SNL). But my favorites were Cheers and WKRP In Cincinnati. Music and a bar? Even back then that was where my head was at.

WKRP and the cult movie FM were two of the reasons I wanted to be a DJ. I have not been able to find a source to watch FM again. Which is a major bummer because Martin Mull is so hilarious. But WKRP, well that’s a different story. I believe every episode is available on YouTube.

This episode has to be the craziest ever! According to the wiki page, it’s even based on a true story!  Check out the wiki page for some very interesting facts about the show.

 Many of the characters and even some of the stories (including season 1 episode 7, “Turkeys Away”) are based on people and events at WQXI.

As funny as this clip is, it leaves out station manager, Arthur Carlson, after the drop exclaiming “As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!”

But my hero’s, intrepid newsman Les Nessman (winner of the Buckeye Award!), cry of “Oh! The humanity!” makes this so damn funny.

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 9 November

This is one of those songs that has been with me since childhood. It reached #2 on Billboard’s Top 100 chart on 5 June 1965.  Which would mean I was all of about 6 years, and not quite 6 months old. But it’s a fun song so it would have appealed to me.  Of course, back in those days, it was AM radio only, and in the suburbs of Miami Florida, we had two great top 40 stations. Years (and I do mean many years) later, I was lucky enough to be an on-air DJ with one of those stations.) So I heard it often.

However, I never knew there was a video of the song until I stumbled upon it yesterday while playing around on Facebook waiting on an A/C guy to finally show.  Judging by the poor video quality this must be a screen capture of a TV show. But a quick search (at 5 AM – and only one cup of coffee) turns up no clues as to what show, or when this was recorded.

From the Wiki;

(It) was the band’s first and biggest hit. It became a worldwide success, selling three million copies and reaching No. 2 on the American Hot 100 chart on June 5–12, 1965, kept off the top by The Beach Boys’ “Help Me, Rhonda” and The Supremes’ “Back in My Arms Again”. It was the first American record to sell a million copies during the British Invasion and was influenced by the British rock sound which was mixed with traditional Mexican-American conjunto rhythms. It stayed in the Hot 100 for 18 weeks, the longest time for any song in 1965, and was nominated for a Grammy Award. It was named Billboard’s “Number One Record of the Year” despite never reaching No. 1 on a weekly Hot 100; this feat was achieved again by Faith Hill’s “Breathe” in 2000 and Lifehouse’s “Hanging by a Moment” in 2001 (all three hits peaked at #2). On August 5, 1965, the single was certified as gold by the RIAA.

Also of note from the band’s wiki page is that they, in an earlier incarnation, were the house band at a bar near Leesville, Louisiana. While that may not be of interest to you, dear reader (you are still reading this, right?), also just outside of Leesville is Ft. Polk. And I retired from the Army at Ft. Polk. Just a little piece of trivia for me to tuck away.

I can’t really apologize for the quality of the video. It’s not one of my productions (not that I could have done it any better).  I love the energy that most of the band has. Then when you add in the two girls standing stock still, it becomes a great piece of performance art. And it’s fun to watch, just don’t go full screen, then it really looks bad.

If you know of a better version of this video or know what show this is from, please leave a comment below!

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 11 September

Have a weird one running through my head this morning. Jesus Christ Superstar! Now I’ve posted about this before here.  I guess the reason this song is screaming at me is that the Live In Concert show has won several Emmys and the three lead performers are also nominated.

Tim Rice, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and John Legend (who plays the title character), along will all the other executive producers won the Outstanding Variety Special (Live), Emmy.  This makes all three of those gentlemen “EGOT”.  That means they have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony! Now that’s entertainment.

John is also nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor In A Limited Series Or Movie, for his portrayal of Jesus Christ, Brandon Victor Dixon is nominated in the Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Limited Series Or Movie for his Judas, and the nominee for Outstanding Actress In A Limited Series Or Movie is Sara Bareilles as Mary Magdalene. You see all the nominations and awards for this amazing show here.

I have two questions about the awards. First, why use the term “Outstanding”? I never see any nominations much less any awards for “Mediocre” or “So – So” performances. (“And the award for the Meh Lead Actor goes to…”) Isn’t the “Outstanding” implied?  Second, why is “Jesus” listed as the lead actor? The story is told from Judas’ view, and Judas has a bigger stage part than “Jesus”. But I didn’t write the script, so I’ll leave it alone. I enjoy the music and the entire performance (except the movie – that sucked).

So here’s Brandon Victor Dixon as Judas;

Did you see this show or any performance of Jesus Christ Superstar? Give me your thoughts!

Peace,
B

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P.S. It’s Patriot Day – Never Forget.

countries-usa_patriotic_ribbon

A Day That Will Live In Infamy

(No… not that one)

groucho001

On 19 August 1977 (41 years ago), we lost one of the greatest comedians of all time. Julius “Groucho” Marx. He was, at the least, the driving force behind the Marx Brothers comedy. Somewhere I have bootleg copies of all of their movies. A Night At The Opera, Cocoanuts, Animal Crackers, Duck Soup, and my favorite A Day At The Races. But I do have to admit that Cocoanuts, a story about the Florida land boom of the 1920’s is still very relevant today. Just read any of Carl Hiaasen’s “Skink” books or Tim Dorsey’s “Serge” books, and you can see they fit into the same mold.

Groucho has always been one of my favorites, from the grease paint mustache (said to have come about because he arrived late to set and didn’t have time to put the fake mustache on, or he hated taking off the fake one since it hurt!), the stooped over walk, and especially his always ready quick comebacks. To this day I still use one of his standards “Now that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard!” (in a very poor imitation) in damn near every situation.

Some notable quotes:

I never forget a face, but in your case I’ll be glad to make an exception.

Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.

From the moment I picked your book up until I laid it down I was convulsed with laughter. Someday I intend on reading it.

I sent the club a wire stating, “PLEASE ACCEPT MY RESIGNATION. I DON’T WANT TO BELONG TO ANY CLUB THAT WILL ACCEPT PEOPLE LIKE ME AS A MEMBER”. (I have used this quote when giving lectures several times. My all time favorite.)

Source: https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Groucho_Marx

When he was turned down for membership to a country club due to being Jewish, it is rumored that he asked “Can my daughter go into the pool waist deep? She’s only half Jewish”.

I did watch reruns (I’m not THAT old!) of Groucho’s TV show You Bet Your Life,  and while at times very funny, the censors wouldn’t let most of his asides on air. A lot of the Marx Brothers’ movies were “pre-code”, meaning there wasn’t as much of the more risqué stuff cut. Naturally, there was no foul language or nudity, it was the 20’s and 30’s after all, but a lot more innuendo was allowed then.

Here is one source for some audio clips of all the Marx Brothers.  A quick search of YouTube turns up some great Groucho clips. Here’s one:

Peace,
B

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