Friday, June 25, 2021

Well, Duh!


Wednesday, June 16, 2021

A Post About The Office


Golly, but there certainly was a surge of interest in (the American Version) of The Office during the pandemic lock-down.

I'm not talking about the Ricky Gervais / Stephen Merchant version of The Office, or even the 1995 CBS version of The Office which starred Valerie Harper. (Wait. What?)

From about 2003-on we were without any cable or satellite TV as an economy move.  We caught a bit of the buzz about the British version from a brief snippet seen on BBC America.  This lead to getting the DVD versions of Seasons one and two. Eventually we got hold of the two-part Christmas Party finale, which was richly rewarding.

Fayetteville, NC had no local broadcasters at this time.  For the most part, signals had to be pulled in from Raleigh (about 90 miles away) or South Carolina. With our amplified rabbit ears the reception was somewhat snowy. If I really wanted to watch something, I'd put up with it.

Then came June 13, 2009 and the Digital Television Transition kicked in.

As a result, watching over-the-air broadcast TV pretty much ceased in our household.  Oh, sure, we bought a digital-to-analog converter box with that $20-off coupon from the fed. All that did was allow us to see the blocky, no-signal-strength images that made me give up on network TV for the next few years. (Luckily, the PBS station came in pretty reliably, so there was that.)

Now, I mention all this to explain why I did not see the US version of The Office on it's first go-round.

Actually, I did manage to watch episode 10 of season 2, The Fire on a good night where the analog signal from Raleigh blew in strong enough to bear watching.  I thought it was pretty good, even though seeing the US cast was a bit of a shock.
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Wednesday, June 09, 2021


Back in the sixties, there was a band from The Netherlands called Q65.  They were big there, I understand.  They had hair longer than The Beatles and were pretty grungy.

One of the tracks they recorded, in somewhat fractured English, was "From Above:"

Got that?  OK.
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Double the Lad's Bet For Me, You Toad!


In 1982 I somehow stumbled into the Maple Forest Theater and saw "My Favorite Year."

I had no idea that this was even a "thing;" Some friends of mine were going and suggested I tag along.

Maybe because I had zero expectations, I was totally delighted by this movie.

I've watched it multiple times, thanks to having rented (and copied) the video tape.

One time it happened to pop up on cable TV in some sort of syndication package on either channel nine or eleven out of New York City.  So, of course I started watching it.

To my amazement, this version had scenes that weren't in the theatrical cut!

I started taping it once I realized this.  The tape is long gone, but here's what I remember:

1. Benjy Stone follows  K.C. into the elevator in the beginning of the film and imitates a housefly. (There's a brief reference to this later in the movie.)

2. The entire "Boss Hijack" sketch is shown. Cutting this scene was a good call, as it's pretty deadly as a dress rehearsal without an audience.  What they kept served to set up the films climactic ending, though.

3. There was a brief shot of the stolen Central Park Police horse tethered outside the Sherry-Netherland hotel. No big loss.

I recently bought the Warner Archive Blu-Ray of this movie and, while Richard Benjamin's commentary track is great, I was hoping these out-takes would have been included. Sadly, nope.

Benjamin did discuss an alternate ending where Benjy would make an annual pilgrimage to pour Crown Royal on Alan's grave. Another wise excision, as he explained it really brought down the mood after the sugar-rush of Swann's heroics in the final scene.

Here they are on YouTube!

Monday, June 07, 2021

Snow Joe No Mo'

There's this company, see, that makes snow throwers called Snow Joe.

Their lawn and garden (non-snow) equipment is marketed as Sun Joe.

Well, they are dead to me. 

Dead. To. Me.

Back in 2017, when I moved into my latest house, I needed lawn tools.  I was sick 'n' tired of dealing with the hassle of gas-powered mowers. 

I had a Craftsman cordless lawn mower back in the 90s and I love-love-loved it. 

Since Sears is really not a "thing" any more, I did some internet sleuthing and came up with this:

A Sun Joe cordless mower with a rechargeable lithium battery.

And, since I am not a fan of string trimmers, I decided to go with the Sun Joe blade trimmer.

Well, the mower was delivered, assembled and it worked great. I was so smitten, that I heartily recommended it to my sister, when she moved into her new house. 

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Saturday, June 05, 2021

Power Point Nation

 We, who are of a certain age, remember Johnny Carson's nightly monologue.  He'd come out from behind those gaudy curtains, stand on his mark and tell jokes for a few minutes.

OMG! That's, like, so last century!

You know what the kids like now-a-days?  

That's right... Power Point presentations!
Least ways, that what it seems like.

Network and cable TV are brimming with late-night and late-late night talk shows that seem to rely as much on their graphics departments as they do on their hosts and joke writers. Maybe more, I dunno.

Don't get me wrong, these guys are funny. But yesterday's tired "mother-in-law jokes" are today's graphics-heavy "what's in the news today?" gags.

If you're going to pull a "sick burn" on the "My Pillow Guy" be sure to have an inset graphic!
Going to do a bit how Trump has lost every court fight in trying to throw out the results of the last election?  Better show a headline ripped from BuzzFeed News!

And, hey, how about all that photo-shopping? C'est magnifique!

Kudos to Jimmy Fallon's gang for saying, "Screw it, let's just read tweets!"

Again, all of the people involved are witty and deliver the yoks. But geez, does everything have to be a meme these days?

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Thursday, June 03, 2021

 A Chili Experience

Hey, remember this guy? 

Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy's Hamburgers. I've actually read his autobiography and his is a very interesting story. But to look at him, he looks like the blandest person who ever lived.

Now, Look at this:

Yep, it's Wendy's chili. According to his book, Dave got the idea to cut up left-over hamburgers and make chili go go with the salad bar, which was made up of cut-up left-over lettuce.

I got some for dinner the other night, as the wife and kid had eaten elsewhere. The chili from the bland guy's restaurant is actually, to my taste, pretty good.  Especially for a fast-food franchise operation. 

It had been a while since I sampled this delicacy; they threw in a fistful of these sauce packets at the drive-through:

Without thinking, I threw one of these puppies into my container. 


So much for Mister Bland!  "Hot Chili Seasoning" is truth in advertising!

You've been warned.

Wednesday, June 02, 2021

 We All Tube For YouTube!

I've mentioned my screwing around with old cartoons elsewhere on this blog. Like here.

I burned a bunch of DVD-Rs with my lo-res, embalmed cartoons.  So much for that.

The next logical step was to post them to Your Tube. Duh.

Check Out My Channel via this link!

Here's a video that's suddenly become "popular." 

I used the quotation marks, as certain videos garner millions of views while this one's grabbed a total of 905 views in the past 28 days.  As a small-fry, non-monetized "YouTuber" I'll take it!

As if that wasn't enough, I started a second channel to post original content!

Initially, I figured I'd comb through my old blog posts to "create content" as the kids say.  My first attempt was based on this post:

In this pilot run, I tried out different drawing and audio software to see what would or wouldn't work.

Subsequent videos hewed to a set package of obsolete and open-source programs.  I also bought a super-cheap drawing tablet.

Then my old-timey e-machines pc finally went kaput.

So much for my career as an influencer.

But, hey, if I can re-start this blog, maybe I can get back to my initial plan of YouTube domination?


Tuesday, June 01, 2021

 Taking A Break

I'm on Facebook sabbatical.  

It's not the first time.

After some neophyte mistakes and bruising encounters in Face-Land, I signed off between 2010 - 2014.  During that period, my family and I were living in Fayetteville, NC.

In 2013 I lost yet another job! The contract work I was doing at Fort Bragg fell victim to "sequestration." Remember that folks? Probably not, as it happened more that thirteen minutes ago.

My wife and her family came up with a bold plan, i.e. Craig will come back to Buffalo and live with his in-laws while he looks for a job, there.

This part will be yadda-yadda-yadda'd for another time. The bottom line for this telling is that I did, indeed, land a job at an electronics company in Gowanda, NY.

The only sticking point was that it took two and a half years to sell our house in Fayetteville (at a loss, of course!)


in 2014 I logged back on to Facebook to re-connect with folks while I lived in the spare bedroom at my in-laws house.

While it is great to be in touch with family, friends and complete strangers using this modern social media platform, the data-mining and relentless meme onslaught has grown wearying.  What's left of my brain demands a rest.

Frank Zappa wrote a song about television back in the 'seventies when there only three major commercial networks. I think it was pretty visionary in predicting today's media (and social media) landscape:

You will obey me while I lead you

And eat the garbage that I feed you

Until the day that we don't need you

Don't go for help . . . no one will heed you

Your mind is totally controlled

It has been stuffed into my mold

And you will do as you are told

Until the rights to you are sold

Facebook Employees Explain Struggling To Care About Company's Unethical Practices When Gig So Cushy