Friday, November 18, 2005

An outcast once again

Well, it appears that yet again, People has overlooked me for Sexiest Man Alive.


Daily tale of lament

Alas, the thrift store known in our household as "The Thrift Store Where Jen Got Crapped on By a Bird" (which is unfair, now that I think of it, as said event actually happened in the parking lot) is closing at the end of the month, so Brody and I headed over there the other day to check things out.

My only purchase was the perennial Wham-O favorite, Trac Ball. My set wasn't the brightly colored edition offered today, but the plain black plastic variety that I remember from my youth.

Even more testament to it being a relic from another time was the half-torn price tag from King Norman's, a toy store that disappeared from the area about 20 years ago.

But at $3.99, it was a good bargain. I might actually try it out once Brody gets a little older.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

One step closer to Jefftopia

Some interesting news from The Wall Street Journal for those of us who dig old TV shows.

Early next year, In2TV, a new broadband network from AOL and Warner Bros., will allow you to watch buttloads of old shows for free.

Yeah, you have to sit through some commercials, but still, it'll be interesting to see some shows that for one reason or another, aren't on TV right now. Plus, they're planning to offer bonus content like trivia along with the episodes.

What cracks me up is this quote from Larry Jones, the president of TV Land and Nick at Nite:
"We pick the best of the best from multiple studios," he said. "I don't know if viewers are ready for so much choice. Ultimately what [In2TV] does is force viewers to be their own programmers."

God forbid we actually decide what to watch instead of getting the same prepackaged crapfests offered on Nick at Nite and TV Land.

Okay, that's perhaps a bit harsh. They have some classic TV on those channels. Alas, it's all the same stuff over and over.

I'm not saying that I'm going to be glued to my computer watching episode after episode of "Welcome Back, Kotter" or "Growing Pains" (the best show ever to have a secondary character named 'Boner').

"Wonder Woman," maybe.

But just to theoretically have the opportunity to pick what you want to watch from a large selection is kind of neat. Sometimes one or two episodes is all you need to fill you up, you know? I don't need "Hazel" to be in heavy rotation. I just want to see it once or twice. That's all.

If you think about it, TV Land and N@N could think of this service as test marketing. All they have to do is look at the most downloaded shows, and if it's something they have in their available libraries, add it to the lineup and promote the hell out of it. This eliminates some guesswork, doesn't it?

One step closer to programming my own network...

Monday, November 14, 2005

Can't get you out of my head

If I had a nickel for every dumb thing I remembered from an old TV show or movie, I could probably buy them all on DVD.

The space in my brain that could be used for remembering such things as where I put the keys or what my son's name is (just kidding; it's Poindexter) is instead taken up by sometimes frighteningly useless pieces of entertainment history.

I've been lucky in that with the advent of DVD, a lot of this pop culture detritus is effectively exorcised from my head. It's like once my mind knows that there's a backup copy, it stops running at inopertune moments.

But there's still a lot that needs exorcising.

For example, when I was but a wee lad, HBO or Showtime broadcast a Barry Manilow concert. From what I remember, it seemed to cover a lot of the ground that the Barry Manilow Live album (which we had on a light blue 8-track tape) did.

There's a part called the VSM: Very Strange Medley. In it, he'd do a medley of various commercial jingles he'd worked on. I loved that part, because, well, even then, I was obsessed with commercials and commercial jingles.

But on the TV concert, there was a portion of that VSM that wasn't included on the record. Barry talks about some failed jingles that he wrote, but for some reason weren't accepted. And here's the part that, to this day, I remember vividly:

When that jar of peanut butter goes crashing on the floor, and it gets smooshed into the carpet by the brat who lives next door, don't reach for the broom and dustpan, or the old Electrolux. For value and good service,

Hoover ...



Now I don't know if that's verbatim, but that's what plays in my mind on a too-constant basis. What would be swell is if this was on DVD so I could cast it away. But my two minutes of extensive research was fruitless, and I didn't see it on Netflix, either. I suppose I could look for a tape of it on eBay, but I don't know if I really want to go to that much trouble.

Besides, even if I managed to get it out of my head, It would probably be replaced with "Pop Goes the World" by Men Without Hats or something.

Now that really sucks.