The Lydster, Part 127: Watching the news

NEWSFor her first nine years, I sheltered the Daughter from watching the evening news, viewing it after she went to bed, or before she got up in the morning. Sometimes, I’d watch it while she was in the other room.

Turns out that she is preternaturally interested in these things. Moreover, she develops opinions about them that did not necessarily come from us. Ferguson, MO made her aware that it’s a little scarier being a black child in America than she previously thought. The death of Palestinian children during the conflict with Israel made her angry. And she has great antipathy for Russia’s Putin.

Sometimes, she shows off her knowledge. Continue reading

Watching that TV show again

good-wife-the-second-season-dvd-coverOne of joyous experiences I have had recently is periodically watching episodes of the Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-1966) with The Daughter. I bought the complete five seasons a couple years and we’re down to the last half dozen of 158 episodes. It’s interesting watching what she finds funny, or mystifying. I’m also fascinating by what programs I remember very well (the Christmas show early on, the ventriloquist Paul Winchell near the end), and others not so much. Mark Evanier has been revisiting the classic show too.

In some ways, I’m like this columnist who sometimes would rather re-watch a program she enjoyed, rather than to venture out and try new stuff, even though there is a lot of quality stuff out there (The Wire, Mad Men, Breaking Bad) I’ve never seen. Continue reading

M is for Michael Douglas is 70 (tomorrow)

Michael_DouglasIn the 1960s and 1970s, I used to watch The Fugitive and Cannon and Barnaby Jones, virtually all the Quinn Martin productions, including the cop show The Streets of San Francisco. It starred Karl Malden as the wise senior partner, and Michael Douglas as the impetuous junior partner.

I didn’t really know who Michael Douglas was, except that he was the son of Kirk Douglas, the guy whose jaw was so square that the mimics on the Ed Sullivan Show, just had to grit their teeth to “do” him. Continue reading

Closing TV themes that are DIFFERENT than the opening theme

Frasier_LogoMy daughter wanted breakfast one morning recently. I thought to give her the tossed salad I had made the night before, which she merely nibbled at. Instead, I went with her request of scrambled eggs; the egg carton was under the salad bowl.

That made me think, naturally, of Tossed Salad and Scrambled Eggs, the end theme for the TV show Frasier [LISTEN to the extended version] . But what was the opening theme of that show? Seems that it varies a bit; LISTEN to this compilation.

What other shows have distinctive different opening and closing themes? Continue reading

Robin Williams has died. SHAZBOT!

public domain

public domain

I had heard that Robin Williams had passed away while I was hanging out with some Times Union bloggers Monday night, Chuck Miller and Don Rittner and David Kalish. My first thought that maybe it was a hoax, which says a lot about the news these days. But it wasn’t until I got home that I discovered that he had apparently committed suicide.

The FIRST person I thought of Continue reading

July Rambling: Weird Al, and the moon walk

clock.numbers
Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. – George Orwell. To that end, Bible Stories for Newly Formed and Young Corporations and Congratulations: It’s a corporation.

An answer to the child immigrant problem at the US-Mexican border? I note that the Biblical Jesus was a refugee, his parents fleeing Herod’s wrath. Yet so many people who profess to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ “are so uncaring and hateful about hungry children trying to get to a better, safer place to live.”

In the non-surprise category: Stand Your Ground Laws Lead To More Homicides, Don’t Deter Crime.

Misleading on Marriage: how gay marriage opponents twist history to suit their agenda.

Yiddish Professor Miriam Isaacs has dug in a previously unknown treasure of over a thousand unknowns Yiddish songs recorded of Holocaust survivors; text is in Swedish, but can be translated. Miriam was my old racquetball buddy decades ago.

The Creation Myth of 20th Century Fundamentalism by Jeff Sharlet, who I also knew long ago.

Australian swimming great Ian Thorpe came out as gay. Arthur explains why it STILL matters. Also: I Can Be Christian, and Gay, and Live in Alabama.

Portraits of people in 7 days’ worth of their own garbage.
Continue reading

Teevee; remembering Dee, Gwynn, Kasem, Noll

televisionI was watching JEOPARDY! per usual. But this was strange: in the six days between June 6 and June 13, inclusive, none of the contestants got the Final correct in five of them, whereas I KNEW four of them, and guessed correctly on the fifth. The one question I got wrong, two of them got right.

These are the six final answers:

20th CENTURY AMERICANS: In 1911 Glenn Curtiss received this document Number 1.
THE MEDITERRANEAN: It’s the only U.N. member country in the Mediterranean where English is an official national language.
SCIENTISTS: As a humorous tribute, an astronomical term equivalent to at least 4 billion has been named for him.
CAPITAL CITY WORDPLAY: Ending in the same 2 letters, these 2 are capitals of a nation that covers a continent & of a nation reaching onto 2 continents.
CURRENT TELEVISION: George Romero declined to direct a few episodes of this series, calling it “basically…just a soap opera”
FOREIGN AFFAIRS: William Sullivan retired from the Foreign Service in 1979; he was the last U.S. Ambassador to this country.

Which one did I get wrong? Continue reading

Frank Oz is 70, tomorrow

frank_ozMiss Piggy and Fozzie Bear on The Muppet Show. Cookie Monster, Bert, and Grover in Sesame Street. Thee were all creatures performed and co-created by Frank Oz, born Frank Richard Oznowicz. He has also performed Sam Eagle and Animal on the Muppet Show, and Yoda in the Star Wars movies.

Sesame Street, which I was too old to watch, but I did anyway; the various Muppet TV shows and movies; and the original Star Wars trilogy have brought me hours of joy.

I’ve indicated my favorite Muppets recently Continue reading

Half a Bupkis is better than nothing

DVD.DTOne of the very few Facebook “fan” items I follow is The Official Dick Van Dyke Show Book. As you may, or may not recall:
1) The Dick Van Dyke Show is one of the two TV shows of which I own the complete set on DVD; I’ve been slowly watching it with The Daughter, and
2) I really liked this book, as I noted here.

The book’s fan page posted recently:

I thought I’d pose a follow-up question to my recent post about Danny Thomas’s legendary cameo on “It May Look Like a Walnut!” For a super-sized supercilious and super-invisible Bupkis Award, name the one other time Danny appeared on screen in a scene with at least one character from the show?

As always with our trivia challenges on this page, this is “closed book” quiz–so no fair googling!
Continue reading

May Rambling #1: Depression; and ABCW’s Leslie gets married

music.clockMy April was much better than my March, but between blog connectivity problems (more anon), and back pain that kept me out of work for a couple days, followed by four days out of town for work training, which compressed other tasks, I didn’t a chance to update the April Rambling since April 17. Moreover, I discovered some links from as much as two years ago I was GOING to use but they fell through the cracks. Meaning that I’ll do another one at the end of the month. Always said that if blogging got too hard, I would not do it. And this, comparatively, is the easy post I need right now.

An article about depression I was going to include in a different blog post. Some of the earlier posts from this blog I liked too. The blogger also linked to the TEDx talk Andrew Solomon: Depression, the secret we share. “The opposite of depression is not happiness, but vitality, and it was vitality that seemed to seep away from me in that moment.” When I imagine many people’s understanding of depression, I think of that famous scene in the movie Continue reading