(AS GEOCITIES.COM/TBTHO) OCT. 25, 2000
MAY 20, 2013 SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED
MAY 14, 2013 SUCH STUFF AS DREAMS ARE MADE ON
I fell asleep watching CBS last night. About an hour into my nap, I dreamt I was standing outside a Moscow hotel. (I don't know how I got there in my dream; I've never been there in reality.) I overheard bits of conversation. (They were in English because my Russian isn't that good.) A man reassured a woman, "All you have to worry about now is getting well." A man with an accent and a darker complexion, probably from one of the farther provinces, mispronounced "matzo ball soup." Another man corrected him, and the first man repeated the corrected version. An officious type brushed past the doorman, declaring "The elevators are mine."
When I woke up and opened my eyes, Hawaii Five-0 was on. The scene was in a hospital room, where a woman patient was eating Chinese food for lunch. Wait a minute, I thought; there are similarities with what I just heard in my dream. Could snippets of the TV show have leaked into my semi-consciousness?
Then I realized there was a way to find out. My DVR had been recording CBS all this time. I hit "rewind" to spin back three minutes to the beginning of the hospital scene, then hit "play." The first thing I heard was a Hawaiian man telling the patient that her lunch was an even better cure tham matzo ball soup, and another man correcting his pronunciation. The other lines of dialogue were in there, too. Remarkable! The line between wakefulness and soundlysleepingfulness is a fuzzy one, it seems.
MAY 11, 2013 COMMON SENSE FROM M.E.
Prolific blogger Mark Evanier has this to say about sports on television: If you have two top teams with players that are in the news a lot and those teams meet in a game that might determine who wins the pennant, that game will have more tune-in than a game between two last-place teams with unknown players. No one complains that ratings are low because the crew that covers the game the sportscasters, the director, etc. didn't do a good job.
On the other hand, I would add that if a lot of viewers do want to watch a game and the ratings are high, we broadcasters are quick to take credit. Its because of our superior production, we claim. Our announcers, our bracketologist's predictions, the four analysts back at our studio in New York, our graphics, our music, the cool video effect we use for replays all these elements lead to higher ratings. At least thats what we encourage potential advertisers to believe.
Here are some other Evanier comments from the last year or so which make sense to me.
On allowing gays to marry: Opponents of this kind of thing keep using the term defend marriage. They made up an imaginary war on marriage, deciding letting gays do it would destroy it for everyone. The real point is that it doesn't threaten marriage in any way. But marriage is kinda losing its importance in society. More and more heterosexual couples are opting to live together without the benefit of legal marriage. More and more children are being born to couples who have not officially tied the knot. The divorce rate is also on a slow, steady rise as it has been for decades now. There's hard, inarguable data that this is happening, whereas the notion that Gay Marriage harms marriage in general is at best an unproven, hard-to-articulate theory. So if someone is worried that marriage is threatened, aren't they ignoring the real threat? Shouldn't they be working to ban divorces and co-habitation instead of that small group of gay folks who are fighting to get married?
On crazy political theories: This is the scary thing to me about someone who gets up and yells that theres incontrovertible evidence that Barack Obama is a Kenyan-born Socialist Muslim. Its not that that person is loony. Its that there are auditoriums in this country where that rhetoric plays well for that person ... places where people cheer their agreement. In most cases, I dont think people believe rubbish because their leaders say it. I think the leaders say it because people believe it. Its what enables them to retain their status as leaders with all the perks (the money, the attention, etc.) that are attached.
On a family of psychics who admit cheating their clients out of $25 million: I am of the opinion that all psychics are frauds. Some of them seem to believe their own bull, but that doesnt mean its not bull. It just means they believe it. Over the years, Ive encountered a range of believers. I had a girl friend who not only believed in psychics but she believed in all psychics. Anyone who called themselves that could sense the future, chat with dead relatives, etc. Ive also encountered people who say, I dont believe in psychics, and then theres a pause and they cautiously add, Although my Aunt Helen sometimes knew things she couldnt have known about.... I cant debunk the Aunt Helens from afar but I do think theres always an explanation usually either coincidence or a case of the onlooker wanting so badly to believe that they mentally rearrange the evidence.
On inconvenient truths: Physicist Richard Muller, once the darling of those who insist Global Warming is bogus, now says it's real and that human activity is its main cause. Kevin Drum makes a good point: Climate skeptics are skeptics because they don't like the idea of global warming, not because there's truly any evidence that it doesn't exist. It's politically inconvenient, economically inconvenient, and personally inconvenient, so they don't want to hear about it. I think that's it. This is not about science. It's a battle between reality and denial. One friend of mine will never admit Climate Change might (might) be happening because that would mean Al Gore was right and we can't have that.
MAY 6, 2013 COMMENDING THESE COURIERS
Allow me to put in a good word for the United States Postal Service.
For 40 years in my letterbox I've been receiving interest and dividend checks from my investments. For 30 years in my letterbox I've been receiving payment for my freelance work in TV sports, usually a separate check for each event worked. On a very few occasions the checks have failed to arrive, but in every case, it's been because they were not sent. Never once has a check been lost in the mail.
Some people like to gripe about the post office, but I'd like to congratulate them on this perfect performance record.
APRIL 30, 2013 THE GARAGE
APRIL 26, 2013 MISCONCEPTIONS
In the latest "It's in the Bible" interview, Brother Billy asks three distinguished experts about the Breath of Life. The topic of discussion: When does life begin?
APRIL 20, 2013 THIS IS "MARION TODAY" CALLING
APRIL 15, 2013 DAD SAYS MORE
Ive augmented the article Dad Says with more than two dozen additional items from 19th-century editions of my hometown weekly newspaper in Richwood, Ohio. Among them, under the topic of Weather we learn of a June thunderstorm in which even the geese drowned under 12 feet of rain. Or something like that.
The new material is in blue.
APRIL 9, 2013 I'VE GOT IT PEGGED
You cant fit a square peg into a round hole. Nor can you fit a round peg into a square hole. But which comes closer to fitting?
Last Friday night, we broadcasters had just finished televising an exciting hockey game; the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the New York Rangers in a shootout. As we put away our TV toys, cameraman Chris Dahl reminded me that I had once posed and answered the peg question. It must have been 20 years ago.
APRIL 3, 2013 FOUND AT CRACKER BARREL
When my mother was in high school, a man held to be irresistibly attractive to romantic young women was called a sheik.
In the spring of 1930, my mother was voted the Prettiest Girl in school for the second straight year, while her boyfriend Durward McKee was voted the Biggest Sheik for the second straight year.