Game Shows: A Few Thoughts

Or, I tried not to think very much about the passing of Alex Trebek and failed. Miserably.

There is an odd sense in our house lately. Alex Trebek, the faithful visitor every Monday through Friday when we watch Jeopardy!, passed away and while we can see the taped games, there is a touch of bittersweet where before there was none.

Oddly, I have the same sense when I watch the original Password on Buzzr. I grew up watching Allen Ludden host that show and, in later years, altered versions of the game.

Oddly, I don’t have quite the same response watching Gene Rayburn on Match Game. When I watch (rarely) one of those mid 1970’s shows, my initial reaction is “Gene, you need a haircut.” <shrug>

Ah, but Trebek and Ludden presided over shows that celebrated knowledge. Curiosity. Adventure. Fun. They encouraged us to actually think, not just observe.

One of the things that always surprises me is discovering that I know something I had no idea I know. Those connect the dots moments when the parts of the clue come together and – voila! – magic happens.

The day I learned that Ross Martin, one of our premier character actors, did the New York Times Crossword in ink, it blew my mind. In Ink! It takes courage to do that. Work the Times Crossword. In ink. Take your pick. πŸ™‚

Both Trebek and Ludden shared a passion for their games and a joy working with contestants.

If you want to do a bit more time travel, visit What’s My Line with John Charles Daly at the helm. The panelists were often witty and urbane but the amazing Dorothy Kilgallen was awesome. She was the one to watch because she rarely missed anything.

Who would have thought that what was basically Twenty Questions to guess a person’s occupation could be such a lively and entertaining show? Even today.

I feel as if I’m avoiding facing the fact that these people I admire and enjoy are but memories.

I am grateful for the opportunity to watch their work and learn from their example. There can be great joy in games. There can be great joy is learning, even by accident.

Update: Pluto TV

I’ve had the Pluto TV channel loaded on my Roku box for ages. I got it because my over the air antenna, while good, occasionally has issues with low-frequency signals that float. Many of the ‘additional’ channels are low frequency and often evaporate when the weather changes.

Additional Channels – Those digital extras that are add-ons to regular network or independent channels. They are usually noted as ‘##.3’.

I initially added Pluto TV because it carried BUZZR which is a 24/7 collection of old game shows. I love many of the old game shows and was frustrated when I couldn’t access the over the air version. This was a win for me. Occasionally, I’d browse through the offerings to see what was new.

For those who don’t know, PlutoTV is a free channel/network that you can access on a variety of platforms. It carries no fees, no passwords, no access codes, no extra costs. It also carries hundreds of TV shows and movies in an easy to access and peruse format that includes sports, house and home, comedy, dramas, kids programming, and pretty much everything in between.

I have found myself using the channel/network more and more because they are carrying more of my favorite shows. Some even have their own channel.

I hope this will help give you some ideas on alternatives to cable or other pay-TV options. If it has, please click on the “like” button below. Questions or comments? Let me know!

Mid Month Mellow

Or, it’s raining, the vet is expected and Bella and I are listening to “happy music”. With the door closed so she doesn’t find a new place to hide like she did when the vet was supposed to come last week, but the yard folks scared her. πŸ™‚

Yeah, I’m on Mom Duty.

I finally (!) got my music collection re-organized and re-shelved. I spent some hours enjoying old favorites and then, much to my surprise reverted back to the tried and true.

This means we had a couple of days of some wonderful New Age music followed by a trip back to Disney Parks with the 50th Anniversary collection and now we have Herb Alpert back on the machine.

I know it isn’t to everyone’s taste but there is something so bright and cheerful in all of that.

I sat down and watched the first episode of “The Other One” on Acorn TV last night. This dramedy about two families who unknowingly shared the same father is interesting. Part funny, part sad, part…interesting.

I also took the time to watch the entire first episode of CBS All Access’ “Star Trek Lower Decks”. I’d seen the trailer and, frankly, was less than captivated. Thankfully the episode is much better, but still has issues. It is more complicated that what shows up on the surface.

Over on the book table, I’ve finally finished all three books in the Mycroft and Sherlock series written by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse. I admit I started the first back when I was just diving into the original canon. The books are well written, have an enticing POV and provide some great mental food for thought for mystery lovers.

Over on the gaming front, “June’s Journey” continues to capture my attention. The artwork continues to amaze me – it is so beautiful – and the stories are just enough to keep my interest.

For my Pinterest followers, I apologize that I’ve not been updating those boards. Frankly, it got away from me. I’ll do better, but it may take a while. Please be patient!

Thanks for keeping up with me! Please don’t forget to click “Like” if you enjoy a post and comments are welcome!

Follow Up

The vet visit went well. Bella actually seems to like this vet but she puts on quite the hissy fit show. Partially because he is the vet that works at the shelter I adopted her from – and she remembered him – and partly because she had to go Outside. (Egads!) Definitely NOT her favorite place.

As for the weather, well it has stopped raining and the temperature is down about 15 degrees. Win/Win?

Getting Ship Shape

July has proven to be one of those months where all sorts of projects come along and disrupt the normal flow of things.

I’m not really sure when it all started, or exactly why. What I do know is that I’ve been planning a redo of my Library/Craft Room for quite a while now. That led to a serious Clean Out and Tidy. Which is still <cough> ongoing.

Part of that “tidying” has brought me to the point of inventorying my rather extensive library. I have a collection of paper books, audio books, not to mention movies and music in various formats. All in all, over time it has become a bit unwieldy. A point made very clear to me when I was cleaning one of the shelves and found myself saying, more than once, “I didn’t know I had this!”

You too?

Now, there was a time when I would sit down and develop my own database to collect said materials. To be dead honest, I just don’t have the interest. aka: Been there, Done that, What’ve you got for me?

I found a system that is pretty flexible, easy to use and, best of all, Free. πŸ™‚ Libib.com has been a wonder and a joy and a bit of an adventure. I managed to catalog the majority of the majority of my collection(s) in roughly a day or two with some additional work needed to clarify, and update my personal catalog.

As that project is progressing, I’ve found myself thinking a lot about the rest of the room. I have a good idea of what I want and how I need to get it done. We shall see just how ambitious I get. πŸ™‚

I have been playing with my card stock again. Having a bit of fun and trying new things. This is what happens when you discover things you forgot you had. LOL!

Before you ask, at this point, I have no plans to sell cards. That will have to be contemplated another time. Right now, I’m playing for me.

All that being said, I have to give a shout out to Pootles Papercraft and Maymay Made It for their inspiration. They are among a select group of crafters who have given me ideas and made me want to return to the craft table.

The month of July is almost over and, for the first time in a very long time, I feel like I have accomplished something. I’m not done, but I feel like I’m well on the way.

One plus of rediscovering things is the joy of using them again.

If you feel stuck, need a bit of inspiration, or just want to see a bit of a change, I encourage you to pick a small thing and just take that first step. All journeys begin with one step, right?

Give Yourself Permission

A few weeks ago I came across an article about the need for some to be given permission to do pretty much anything. Around the same time, in a conversation with friends, the topic came up again and the general consensus was that for people younger than ourselves, there seemed to be a need to get an okay from someone to try new things.

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…

Dr. Seuss, Oh! The Places You’ll Go…

It may sound strange, but as I thought about it, it occurred to me that my generation was one of the last to just jump in and try things. We were the kids who watched the first space flights, the first moon walk, the first reaches beyond what we already knew. We were raised with the idea that anything is possible. What followed us was a group that seemed to be raised with the idea that maybe anything was possible, but the world was a dangerous and unpredictable place. Better safe than sorry.

Now, I understand – and to a degree agree with – the idea of the danger, but I think that perhaps we might have taken it a bit too far.

I’ve talked to folks who commented that thanks to inspiration from watching some YouTubers, they were inspired to get out and explore the world a bit. Starting with their own towns. Still others found themselves trying new things that some would consider hobbies, but for others are simply ways to get by. Cooking, cleaning, gardening, for example.

There is a lot in the world to be inspired by and to do. Travel, even limited, can lead to a broader knowledge of or, experience with, the history and people of an area. Culture in its many forms ties directly into our own individual histories.

We often don’t think about our favorite meals – the ones we had at Grandmother’s table – but those foods and flavors came from somewhere, right? When we start to dig into where the foods came from, often we discover other things about the people as well.

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

George Bernard Shaw

I submit to you that the idea “You can!” is real. It doesn’t really matter what “it” is, if you want to do it at least try. You may, or may not, succeed, but you won’t know for certain until you put in the effort. Should you decide that you don’t like it after all, fine.

As for the idea of “success”, I submit to you that your definition of success can, and probably should, be different from someone else’s definition of the term. It could be something as simple as a home cooked meal or a clean home or a garden that is bursting with color. It does not have to be winning a Nobel Prize if you are not interested in that.

My point is that you will never know what possibilities, what adventures, what you are capable of until you try – and the trying is up to you.

So, give yourself permission to explore, experiment, attempt, play, and all the other things that you have secretly wanted to do but were afraid to.

Let the adventures begin … now!

A Little of This

And A Little of That

For those of us who are staying put, sheltering at home can be a bit of an unexpected, not to mention unwelcome, opportunity to discover ways to keep ourselves busy.

Some folks will dive head first into a lot of binge watching. I know I have quite a few series I’m behind on.

Other folks will gather around the gaming table, or find ways to do their online gaming with friends.

Crafters will catch up or start projects that have been waiting in the wings.

Folks will head to the kitchen to see what miracles they can create from the cupboard and pantry.

There is a lot of Spring Cleaning going on.

My YouTubers have been working hard to provide content for their regulars.

All of these are attempts to provide a sense of “normal” in a world that is pretty much anything but.

There is no “Right Way” to find normal. Each person does certain things because it provides a way for him or her to focus away from stress and worry and relax.

I encourage all of us to take walks, check on those we love via phone or email, watch, read, do the things we do in a safe and thoughtful manner.

We all know the drill; wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Stay at least 6, if not 10, feet apart from other folks. Pay attention to the medical experts.

We will get through this. Together.

Old Friends

β€œFriendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: β€˜What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”

C. S. Lewis

I’ve been having a conversation with a new acquaintance about our interactions with some old friends. It has been a very interesting, and enlightening, discourse.

Some of these folks I’ve known for 5 decades, give or take. Others came along at varying intervals. My acquaintance, however, is a bit younger and that perspective is different.

Disclaimer: Our conversations have focused on a shared love of the various parts and pieces of “Star Trek” et al.

As I’ve contemplated our discussions, it occurred to me that the relationships we have with people, and characters, are built on how we connect. That spark of recognition, understanding, curiosity that began the connection.

I’m a long time Trek fan, but I also have similar connections with characters of other works; Diana Gabaldon’s “Outlander” series, Tolkein’s “Lord of the Rings”, “NCIS” et al, to name but a few.

For most of my life, I’ve been around people who never quite understood why I enjoyed certain things. Science Fiction was way out of the comfort zone for many folks I knew. I was a reader, something else that confounded people, and that didn’t begin to include the types of things I read. To be around people who enjoy books is a rare and wonderful pleasure. To be able to share a media franchise, like “Star Trek” can be great fun. “Outlander” books are my preferred version because they are Gabaldon’s work unfiltered, unedited, unchanged. Tolkien gives me nightmares along with some truly amazing stories. Being able to talk with people who have similar reactions is very enjoyable.

There is something about being around people for a long period of time. You get to know them. Their habits, quirks, warts and all. One may be a bit of a curmudgeon, but underneath has a heart of gold. Another will give you the shirt of his back, no questions asked. A third loves the adventure, just isn’t quite sure when, how, etc.

Each brings something to the table – as we do ourselves. That is something I would venture is rarely thought about. πŸ™‚

On a recent episode of “Star Trek Picard” I spent time with old friends that have been a part of my life for around 35 years. Coming together again after so many years was full of joy, serenity, safety and comfort. This was a group of people I knew and trusted and they were just as I thought they would be. Riker cooking, Troi keeping watch, Picard looking for a place to just be. And those of us who came along for the visit sitting in the background watching, listening, remembering. There is a lot to remember.

As I reflect on 50 odd years of Trek, there is, indeed, a lot to remember. Good and bad, happy and sad. A lot of the person I am today came from those people. More, perhaps, than the ones I spent time with outside of the book, TV or film.

I’ve always thought of “Outlander” as being up in Grandma’s attic reading journals from her trunk. The story spans such a large time period there is a lot of people, let alone history, to take in.

A recent episode of “NCIS” brought home the idea of how these characters become part of a family – the viewer’s family – in ways we don’t always recognize.

Gibbs watched Bishop do something that would have been inconceivable when she first joined the team many years before. Watching him stop and observe her, and then smile, made me smile. The kid, who, when she first came along preferred sitting on the floor with her laptop, was growing up and turning into quite a formidable agent.

I had a similar moment many years ago during a first run viewing of “Star Trek: The Search For Spock”. I was sitting in the theater surrounded by hundreds of other fans and there was a moment where Kirk plotted to embark on a scheme that Starfleet would not sanction. We all knew he would find a way to do want he needed to do and we all shared a knowing chuckle as the plan unfolded. We all knew that no matter what, we would be right at his side, too. We trusted him that much and what was at stake was far too important.

In my life there have been very, very few people that I know I can trust that way. I suspect it is a similar situation with many people. We like to think that our group of friends will always been there, but reality tends to show otherwise for a variety of reasons.

As I get older, and hopefully wiser, I treasure those few people, ‘real’ or not, who share the pleasure of their company along with many years of memories. They are true treasure.

“Not all treasure is silver and gold, Mate”

Captain Jack Sparrow

Are You A Follower or A Leader?

A few months ago I came across something unusual on YouTube. A young woman who was dressed in not so modern clothing who was reorganizing her small New York City apartment to be a sewing room.

The video quality was amazing. The background music was above par – obviously not cheap filler. The perspective and attention to detail was impressive.

I’m not a seamstress. I have no desire to make clothing – of any era. And yet, I was intrigued.

After a few months of following this woman, I was introduced to some of her costuming fellows. Turns out she is one of a cadre of people who, for a variety of reasons, makes clothing to replicate earlier eras. And they are all darn good at what they do.

Last week three of these women (including the original I talked about) made a video about their various preferred eras and why they dress the way they do. You see, each dresses within their own preferred era(s) to a degree each day of their lives. For some, the “costume” might be wearing regular 21st century dress not what they choose to wear on their own.

Mind boggling, isn’t it?

Over on another channel, I found myself watching a variety of manufactured home walk throughs. These are of relatively new homes that are being marketed at various home shows. All are quite nice sized, although the one prevailing thought I had was that it would require a lot of work to keep them clean and tidy. The other prevailing reaction was to the decor used by the various manufacturers.

Disclaimer: If you prefer this style, great. It really isn’t my cup of anything.

The majority of the homes were presented in the current modern style. Predominately white, grey, charcoal with little to no actual other color. There were, however, one or two that had rooms with a focus wall with Color or a room that had Color on all the walls.

I found myself drawn to the homes that had color on the walls. The ones with architectural details. The ones that had some personality and didn’t look like a cookie cutter version of a Pinterest spread or the latest edition of some home decor magazine. In short, the homes where it looked like a real human being lived there, not just spent a weekend.

On top of all of that, one of my favorite home DIY vloggers posted this week about a project she is doing for a family member in a small apartment. Her taste is very different from that of the person whose apartment she is working on and she commented on the fact that she was looking forward to exploring that difference. One of the commenters remarked on how that would be great because while the rooms on Pinterest and in home decor magazines looked beautiful, most people don’t live like that.

It got me to thinking.

Human Beings tend to not only be tribal but followers. The majority are more inclined to follow the latest trends, be it in home decor, clothing, food, music, media or pretty much anything else, rather than step away from the tribe and decide for themselves what they prefer.

Granted there is a percentage of people who follow their own paths. We see it in pretty much any category, but even within those categories we can find leaders and followers.

When the three women were talking about their clothing choices, the comment that prevailed was one of comfort. One remarked that while it seemed a bit unusual to use natural fibers, it turns out that those fibers were more efficient at heat control, were easier to clean and maintain and were more sustainable. Above all, however, it was the way she felt wearing the garments. She felt comfortable in the them. More so than in any modern off the rack garment.

Self comfort is something that I think we don’t always consider when we choose what we wear or how we decorate our homes or even, to some degree, what we follow. The rest of the pack might not agree with those choices.

The irony of this idea is the lack of realization that the “rest of the pack” does not wear the clothes, live in the homes, or occupy the same space as the one making the choices.

I’ve been around long enough to remember when there was no cable TV let alone streaming. Some folks are shocked at the thought of that. They can’t imagine not having that monthly bill, let alone all those channels they don’t watch.

Some people can not consider not having a monthly loan payment on a vehicle. The idea of not having a brand new vehicle each year or so is so alien they can’t contemplate it.

Some folks come home to a house that may be Pinterest friendly but isn’t comfortable, let alone “homey” and don’t know what they can do to resolve that problem.

I think one of the reasons we have so many leaders in social media is that so many more people are looking for ways to resolve problems they feel unempowered to deal with on their own.

The problem is, making changes takes courage. Stepping away from the pack and going a different route can be frightening. It can also be strengthening.

There is a natural phase when you evolve from the way you were raised into the way you choose to live. That being said, there seems to always be carry over; family traditions, family recipes, for example.

When you choose not to make changes that you know (or at least ‘think’) will make your life more comfortable, you deprive yourself of self comfort. You deprive yourself of self expression. You deprive yourself of you.

When fear of the unknown stops you, you lose.

Now I’m not saying you need to jump out of an airplane or go cliff diving or swimming with sharks – unless, of course, that is what you really want to do. What I’m saying is that you can do little things to see if you really like something. If you do, keep going. If you don’t, stop. Re-evaluate. Reconsider. Try a different thing.

You do You.

The only way to know what “you” is, is to try. Experiment.

A sample sized can of paint is inexpensive. If you don’t like it, paint over it. And, by the way, painting as an activity can be very therapeutic. This can be applied either to a canvas, as in “Art” or on a wall, which, ironically, can also be “Art”.

Trying different clothing can mean a trip to a charity shop or a visit with a consignment shop. Or, if you are up to the challenge, a trip to a fabric store.

Exploring different music, books, and various media is a simple visit to the local library – which is usually free.

Speaking of free, check out the local museums in your area. You might be surprised at the treasures they hold.

Curious about craft projects? Visit your local hobby shop and see if they hold classes.

Ditto regarding home do it yourself projects. Many local hardware stores either hold classes or will know where to direct you.

The point is simply to take baby steps. Dip your toe in the water to see if it is something you want to explore or not. It doesn’t have to be expensive or drastic.

What it does have to be is something that allows you to be come more comfortable living your life.

One step at a time.

Keeping Up With…Everything

I don’t know about you, but lately I seem to be more behind in my viewing than ever before. This is astounding to me as I once had two (yes, 2) VCRs set to program a full 12 hours each week.

I no longer use my VCR or my DVR, and I do have a streaming service or two, so I can catch up if I want to. But do I?

I’m also the one who, in case you are new to the blog, set up a yearly Media Calendar specifically geared to keep up with shows I want to watch. This is usually done around 9/1 in time for the new Fall Season to arrive.

It is, therefore, a touch odd for me to note that there are items on the calendar that I have yet to actually watch. I might have caught the season premiere and enjoyed it, but weekly?

Star Trek: Picard just arrived and I am thrilled. It drops on CBS All Access on Thursdays, but I seem to be watching it on Saturday evening. Why? Well, with the first episode I wanted to not get caught up in the online sturm and drang and just experience it and The Ready Room when I could focus on them with a clear head.

Murdoch Mysteries Season 13 recently began being released on AcornTV and drops an episode every Monday. I admit it has been a long wait in between seasons and I’m enjoying every single second of the new material. Even the creepy <shudder> Halloween episode.

As I managed to catch the October Grunge, I also managed to miss several episodes of NCIS, NCIS Los Angeles and NCIS New Orleans.

I am still a Gibbs Girl, but wasn’t all that excited by Ziva’s return. I don’t particularly care for Torres, either. This can create some issues when catching up.

I enjoy NCIS-NOLA, but the loss of LaSalle was a bit devastating and I haven’t seen the episodes surrounding that sad event. I’m not sure I’m ready to delve into Pride’s head at this point, either. Last season was rocky enough.

I’m glad to have the NCIS-LA team back (go Hetty!) and have managed to keep up with them more than the others. Go figure. Maybe it is the “old married couple” dynamic that is Sam and G, I’m not sure. Somehow it just seems comfortable.

And, yes, I get the irony of that, too. πŸ™‚

I enjoyed God Friended Me a lot, but for whatever reason when the October thing hit, I got out of the rhythm of watching and now… Not sure.

I looked forward to, and enjoyed what I’ve seen of both Bob Hearts Abishola and Stumptown, but somehow they have been put on back burners, too.

I am eagerly awaiting the next (and last) season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Can’t come along soon enough.

All that being said, what am I watching, you ask?

I’ve been catching quite a few documentaries on British history along with several episodes of Escape to the Country and various cookery shows. British shows. Lots of British shows. I sense a theme here.

I really am enjoying the opportunity to explore Britain and learn more about the country. it isn’t just the vloggers I follow on YouTube, it is the other material that catches my interest.

A couple of years ago it was Australia care of their version of Better Homes and Gardens. I do manage to catch a couple of episodes of the Bondi Vet – we were introduced to Dr. Chris Brown on Saturday morning syndication on CBS.

Maybe it is latent wanderlust. I don’t know.

It isn’t just the regularly scheduled programming I’m not keeping up with as I used to. I have similar issues with a few of my YouTube regulars.

Justin Scarred is back to filming. Both he and Ally have been under the weather. Tim Trackers are also back now that baby Jackson has arrived and the new family is getting organized. Magic Journeys are also putting out new content – and I’m seeing where they are expanding beyond the usual Disney areas more and more. I’m thinking (and could be wrong) that they are getting more invitations to media events as their channel grows.

Me? I’m just not ready to repeat the usual runs and, to be honest, am not all that interested in another round of visits to the Star Wars Land attractions.

Yes, the theming is amazing and yes the rides are exciting, but somehow… once or twice or even three times was enough. I really would rather go and have a nice meal at the Blue Bayou or sit by the river and watch the ducks. The Florida parks are their usual wondrous things, but with all the construction … I’ll pass watching for now.

Maybe I need to find out what’s new on the Discover Wisconsin channel on Roku? I’ve enjoyed some seriously beautiful scenery and lots of interesting people.

The funny thing about having so many options is that at the end of the day, you can only keep up with a few and after a while you need a break. The nice thing about some of these options is that the viewer no longer has to wait for rerun season and hope that missed episodes will air.

Which reminds me What’s My Line from 1955 is available on Amazon. I’ve been enjoying that, too. Care to join me?

Holiday Entertainment

By now, you have probably been seeing the holiday specials and programming that have appeared on the TV.

Old Time Radio Shows

In our house, there is a semi-tradition in place where we indulge in a lot (!!!) of Old Time Radio holiday shows.

Radiooncemore.com is in the midst of its December Holiday Gift where they program 24/7 holiday shows from Old Time Radio. You have access to their line up via their website and through a variety of Internet radio players. I use TuneIn.

Check out their line up by going to Radiooncemore.com where you will find their schedule and links to listen.

Some of the other OTR stations I listen to are beginning to include holiday programming into their lineups. Bygolly OTR, Antioch OTR, Conyers Old Time Radio are some that I follow.

Movies and Television

I used to follow quite a few shows every season, but lately it hasn’t been easy to keep up.

Peanuts, The Grinch, Rudolph, Frosty, all are favorites. If you don’t already own them on DVD, you can often find them on the streaming platforms for various networks. Amazon seems to have quite an interesting collection of holiday specials and movies.

One thing I do look forward to each year is curling up with “The Muppets Christmas Carol”. Disney+ has included that along with several other holiday shows in their lineup.

Need Prep Ideas?

I have to admit I’m also hooked on some of the older holiday preparation shows that can be found on YouTube. Delia Smith has a multi part production about getting ready for an English Christmas. Entertaining With Beth and Domestic Geek have an impressive collection of videos focusing on easy holiday entertaining.

I’ve also been enjoying Hermione Chantal’s series on decorating and gift making. She is as creative as usual and many of her ideas could be kid friendly. πŸ™‚

Whatever you choose to indulge in for holiday entertainment, don’t forget to pop some popcorn, make some cocoa and take some time to relax.