Down the Hall on Your Left

This site is a blog about what has been coasting through my consciousness lately. The things I post will be reflections that I see of the world around me. You may not agree with me or like what I say. In either case – you’ll get over it and I can live with it if it makes you unhappy. Please feel free to leave comments if you wish . All postings are: copyright 2014 – 2017

Archive for the tag “Television”

Bad Juju

THERE MUST BE SOME BAD JUJU FLOATING IN THE AIR TODAY. Everybody seems to be complaining about something wherever I go. I’m getting my coffee and the person in front of me in line is moaning about the weather.

“It’s going to be hot all week. I don’t like hot weather. I just don’t like it.”

Well, Lady, it is summertime in the Midwest and it is supposed to be only 88° today and 93° tomorrow. I would call that warm, maybe bordering on hot, but it ain’t Death Valley.

See? Now she’s got me doing it. I’m complaining about her complaining.

 Bad juju.

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What, And Give Up Show Business?

WE ARE DOWN IN TEXAS FOR A SHORT VISIT. Not only is that a good thing in and of itself, but the weather is certainly better than up north – no snow and I’m actually going around clad in the season’s first outings for my Hawaiian shirts. I look like a tourist.

Another difference, whether we travel to Texas, Ireland, or wherever is local television. Local television outside of your major markets is where you can see careers beginning, careers flourishing, and careers ending – sometimes all within the span of a few days.

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Pack A Lunch

highway-sign-jpgSOME THINGS ARE JUST BEYOND MY COMPREHENSION. A fact can be as hard and cold as last week’s biscuits, but I still can’t easily slip it into place in my brain. I’m not stupid, despite testimony to the contrary. I’m just a skeptical sort who enjoys being persuaded.

What brings this to the front right now? Lemme tell you.

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Temporal Dyslexia

WE ARE NOW INTO DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME AND I’M HOPEFUL. Technically speaking I lost an hour of sleep in the shift from Daylight Wasting Time or whatever it’s called. That change took place last Fall and even though I supposedly gained an hour all it did was screw up my life.

For years, decades even, my internal alarm clock woke me up at 7 AM. –Everyday. Each and every work day, Monday through Friday. It was a reliable alarm clock, even though it never did pick up on the trick that Weekends, Holidays, and Vacations didn’t require such diligence. I adjusted.

Everything cruised along as smooth as the sales pitch of a guy selling time-shares in Heaven…until last Fall.

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Something To Watch Out For

tv1FOR THE LAST SIX MONTHS (AT LEAST) WE’VE HAD A MAJOR CHANGE take place in our television viewing habits. I think that this change has come about because of two things; Online services such as Netflix and Hulu among a number of others have begun to air some new and very creative programming. Just about everyone else has been wallowing in a Political Stew that has been tasteless, without any real meat, and triggering my gag reflex.

So, we were faced with a choice: Enjoy some new and excellent programs or endure sphincter clenching broadcast venom.

Not a difficult decision – let someone else watch all the stuff with zombies.

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Four Days In November

bf1NOVEMBER 22nd. To most people under the age of 60 this is just another day on the calendar. Another day lost in the buildup to Thanksgiving. To those of us over 60 this date is, and always will be November 22, 1963, a Friday – the day the President was killed.

I was a senior in high school.

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Throwback Thursday – Fifteen Yard Penalty For Roughing The Pontiff

Throwback Thursday 1From September 2015

Fifteen Yard Penalty For Roughing The Pontiff

TinyTownTHE TV HAS BEEN FILLED TO OVERFLOWING this last week with every moment of the Pope’s visit to the United States. Regardless of one’s faith or lack thereof, this was a Big Deal for millions of people.

I tended to listen to it rather than watch it all. I could do other things and still take it in and I would not have been able to sit and watch the Tube for that many hours.

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Throwback Thursday – Downwind Of Upstage Is No Place To Be

Throwback Thursday1

From September 2015

Downwind Of Upstage Is No Place To Be

FB_IMG_1441895951206THERE IS A GOOD REASON my wife, the lovely and unfailingly perceptive, Dawn, calls my trips to St. Arbucks, along with, “The Usual Suspects,” my “Play Group.” I admit that there are some days when the maturity level drops below Pre-School closing in on Pre-Natal.

For several days now the main topic of conversation among the group has centered on the television western series, “Gunsmoke.” This show hasn’t been on the air since 1975. Why this has become important enough to warrant two days of conversation is unknown.

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That Time Is Gone Forever

wowDON’T WORRY. WE’RE BOTH OK. My brain is bruised and Dawn’s eyes are a bit iffy, but we are recovering.

We recently spent an hour and a half watching “Sharknado.”

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I Have A Need To Know

A1WELL, I REALLY DID IT TODAY – put myself behind the 8 Ball, slammed the door on my toes, and painted myself into a corner. Yup, I left home this morning without my phone.

I have become so plugged into that thing that without it I feel like I’m sitting alone in an empty room, with the lights out, the shades pulled down, wearing a blindfold, and with earplugs screwed two inches deep into my head.

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Throwback Thursday from July 2015

Throwback Thursday 3

I Can Smell Them

theater in the roundA FEW DAYS AGO I got into a discussion with an acquaintance about what it is like doing a play in “The Round.”

Theater in the Round is where the stage and the actors are completely surrounded by the audience. There is no formal stage separation with the audience sitting “out there” beyond the footlights. Such an arrangement can create problems for both the performers and the audience members.

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Meatballs, Mocha, And Mr. Dillon

St. ArbucksTHIS MORNING DOWN AT ST. ARBUCKS the Usual Suspects were deep in conversation. The Heavily Caffeinated Philosophers were arguing about which fast-food chain had the most stores. One said it was McDonalds, another suggested KFC. At least they weren’t discussing something trivial.

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I Think The Dragon’s Name Is “Norman.”

gameAIS THERE NO END TO THE “GAME OF THRONES?”

I think it has been going on since before the invention of Television.

My wife, the lovely and Plotline Coordinating, Dawn, and I have been periodically binge watching “Game of Thrones” for years and I have come to realize something:

It doesn’t matter if I miss some episodes, fall asleep, or leave the room while it is on because there is absolutely no continuity to the story – or stories. Plots start, develop, and then disappear in a puff of Dragon fire, never to be seen again.

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Do I Hear Bells?

typewriter gifAS YOU MAY HAVE NOTICED by now I am not a fan of either cold or rainy weather – or cold and rainy – and we’ve had a lot of both.

“SO WHAT’RE YOU DOING IN IRELAND YA FECKIN’ EEJIT?”

Well, since you asked…

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Whatever Happened To Sidekicks?

side 1THE OTHER DAY I MENTIONED THE ACTOR Jay Silverheels who played “Tonto” in the old TV Western, “The Lone Ranger.” It got me to thinking, a sometimes dangerous condition, and I began to cogitate about “Sidekicks.”

I’ve seen one definition of the word as follows: “A sidekick is a slang expression for a close companion or colleague (not necessarily in fiction) who is actually, or generally regarded as, subordinate to the one he accompanies.”

The origin of the word comes from the less than honorable profession of the Pickpocket.

I would think that Tonto might dispute that part about being “subordinate.” How many times did Tonto save The Lone Ranger’s bacon?

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Hush, Hush, Dead Charlotte

530b2939-a8a8-4693-85da-0b525f516003A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO IN NEW YORK CITY the Mayor decided that he needed some positive coverage in the media. His idea was to stage his very own Groundhog Day Festival. Whatever Punxsutawney, PA can do, the Big Apple can do better – or so he thought.

At the Staten Island Zoo, not exactly the best known zoo in America – or even in New York City for that matter, Mayor Bill de Blasio (The name he is currently using), with much fanfare and with cameras rolling, was handed “Charlotte the Groundhog.”

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Charlotte —  (An artist’s rendition.)

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Groundhog Day Eve

Groundhog day 2Groundhog Day – a cherished annual celebration with no real meaning other than the fact that it is done every year. Kind of like Election Day.

The ostensible reason for Groundhog Day is meteorological – predicting the weather by dragging a hibernating rodent from its den and observing if its shadow is visible or not. Anyone could predict the outcome of that by looking up instead of down – Sunny = Shadow. Cloudy = No Shadow.

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I’ll Try My Best In 2016

Resolutions 1THIS TIME NEXT WEEK SANTA WILL BE BACK IN A BOX until next Thanksgiving. The rumor that he heads to Boca right after Christmas is just that. As soon as the cookies are eaten the old guy heads back into storage.

Now is the time to look forward. Pick up one of the new pens that stuffed a stocking, grab a piece of paper and get down to it. It is time to start making those dreaded New Year Resolutions. It should be easy. We’ve all been making the same ones over and over for decades. We could probably skip the pen and paper altogether and just recite last year’s list.

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Do You Smell Something Burning?

candlesIT WAS A QUIET SUNDAY EVENING at home watching the Colts beat the Denver Broncos when I heard my wife, the lovely and eloquent, Dawn, call out, “What the heck is going on?”

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The Name Is Bond…

I TURN ON THE TV AND THERE IT IS. I open my Facebook and there it is again. I’m almost afraid to open the garage door lest it is hiding there waiting to spring. Everywhere it is: “Who will be the new James Bond?”

If my sources are reliable, as they most always are – Daniel Craig has that job already. There is a new “Bond Movie” opening momentarily with Craig and he is contracted to do at least one more. That sounds like job security to me.

According to the latest publicity-driven hype that I’ve seen the speculation whirlpool is centered around these four actors to replace Daniel Craig.

Bond Elba

Bond Damien Lewis Bond Tom Hiddleston Bond Michael Fassbinder

Idris Elba, Damian Lewis, Michael Fassbender, and Tom Hiddleston

I am familiar with Idris Elba from the Brit Cop and Robber series, “Luther.” He’d be good as Bond. The other three dudes – No. For one big reason – they all look like a bunch of wimps who would need Idris Elba to help them keep their lunch money from being stolen at school.

I want a Bond who has a “lived-in” face, not someone who looks like he’s shooting the film between modeling assignments for the Sears Catalog. I don’t want a Bond who is constantly worrying if the camera is getting his best side.

Daniel Craig has a face that looks like it has been around the block a few times and it was in a rough neighborhood.

Sean Connery had that face and, like it or not, every actor since then has been held up in comparison to him. Few have come off well in that contest.

I know that this is just my opinion – but I’m right. Daniel Craig is the best Bond since Connery in my opinion – and again, I’m right.

Some people want a suave and sophisticated Bond who looks good in a tuxedo. After that, they don’t care. In that case I suggest they take that fantasy to the nearest tuxedo rental store and leer at the mannequins.

I’m not suggesting that Idris Elba is the only possibility out there to assume the role of 007 when the time comes. I’m sure that there are a hundred decent actors walking around who could do the job superbly without looking like a refugee from the advertising inserts in the Sunday newspaper. But of the four being touted by the Image Machine all over the place today, I would vote for Elba. He is a good looking guy, but when he looks at you, you know that you’ve been looked at. The other three look at you wondering if you’re an agent with a modeling gig for them.

Of course, it comes to mind that there is one man they are overlooking. One man who could do the job of making Bond come alive like no one since Sean Connery. One man whose presence would leap off the screen and slap you in the face if you looked away. One man who has thrilled audiences, chilled audiences, willed audiences to cry, willed them to laugh and willed them to tip their waitresses. One man who could take his Walther PPK and dispatch the bad guys without spilling his cocktail.

(Cue the Music.)

“Make mine Metamucil – shaken, not stirred. The name is Bond. James Bond.”

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It could happen.

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