A Change of Pace

Or, a shift in media can make a huge difference.

I’m one of those people who grew up listening to the radio. Which, when you consider where I lived at the time, was a feat in itself. Way back in the mid to late 1970s living in Northwest Arkansas, getting signals for TV or radio was an iffy proposition. And that was before all the build-up that would impede them even more than before, not to mention waaaaaay before that thing called ‘cable’.
I was lucky to be able to get the CBS radio affiliate out of Chicago, which meant that I was able to listen to the “CBS Radio Mystery Theater” when it began. Awesome!
It also meant that we had 3 – yes, three – TV stations: CBS, ABC, and NBC. PBS was on the UHF band and not so easily acquired.
Radio was an interesting collection of a variety of music genres, some occasionally off the wall commentary (think ‘Bob and Ray’) and the occasional treasure of Old Time Radio shows. I have a vivid memory of sitting down to a Sunday lunch while listening to an episode of “Fibber McGee and Molly” coupled with an episode of “Jack Benny” that was broadcast from somewhere in Kansas.
I still listen to the radio. Today, however, my tastes seem to run more toward vintage radio shows or quieter easy listening stations. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed American OTR, but when I discovered Pumpkin FM from the UK, I found a huge variety of material that I’d never heard of before combined with a few things that had come to our shores via PBS and the Britcoms they carried.
For example, I’ve recently come across the British version of what we know of as “Three’s Company” and “Sanford and Son”. Both series were developed from the UK shows.
I’m also dipping my toe back into the world of Podcasts. A few years back I listened to a great one that focused on quilting. Another favorite was a limited series that focused on the history of food via the spice trade. Fascinating!

What are you listening to?

Knives Out!

I finally sat down to catch up (!) with my Watchlist and saw “Knives Out!”.

Boy! Was that a good choice!

If you are looking for a well-paced mystery with lots of twists and turns, this is it. If you love a great cast with a solid script and some seriously good production values, this is it.

Nothing is quite what it seems and the finale is quite… Yeah! LOL!

Vintage Game Shows: What’s My Line?

What’s My Line?” is basically a version of Twenty Questions relating to occupations. The show ran from 1950 to 1967 on CBS in the United States and had a collection of panelists from a variety of entertainment and media fields who were very skilled at the game.

Over the years a wide variety of contestants visited the show, but the Mystery Guest, a celebrity, always added excitement and fun.

There is a YouTube channel dedicated to the show and Buzzr tends to run it on its schedule.

Check it out:

Vintage Game Shows: Just A Minute

I first heard “Just A Minute” on Pumpkin FM as part of their daily line up of vintage radio shows from the U.K. I was fascinated from the first listen!

The game is really simple. There are only three rules: The contestant must speak to a topic provided by the host for one minute without

  • Hesitation
  • Deviation
  • Repetition

If a challenge is submitted by other players, the challenge might be accepted. If so, the challenger takes on the topic for the remaining time.

Simple, right?

LOL!

This game is one that could be played by pretty much any age group as the variety of topics is endless.

Check It Out

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. 🙂

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. 🙂

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. 🙂 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. 🙂

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.