Archive for the ‘Television’ Category

Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.  

Helen Keller


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Stopped at a traffic light, this old building caught my eye. Could it be? After all these years, could it really be? Why, yes. There is the proof above the door.

Am I the only one who takes photos out her car window at stoplights?  I must be, for, other drivers were looking at me quizzically. I couldn’t help myself, for there, carved in stone, was proof that there really is an ACME.

The light changed, a car’s horn tooted impatiently behind me. Beep Beep Off I went as my mind wandered to Wile E Coyote and his boxes of “things” with which to thwart Road Runner – all from the ACME company!

Did you watch cartoons growing up? Did you LOL at the inane coyote whose purpose in life seemed to be only to catch (and eat) the Road Runner? Did you run around the yard with your friends holding your nose and saying Beep Beep?

I had already wasted time looking up cartoons, one of which is posted below, absconded from YouTube (thank you whomever it was that posted it). It’s about seven minutes long if you should decide to channel your sophomoric self, but, I degrees. In my further wanderings, I came across this lawsuit filled on behalf of Mr. Coyote. I hope the Lectric Law group doesn’t mind me linking to them. http://www.lectlaw.com/files/fun13.htm

 Beep Beep




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With childish, glee, I stopped the car and called Tom. He answered with “the mallards are back”, remembering seeing them earlier in the day and sensing just how long it took me to go down the drive and up the road, where I first saw them.

Actually, they were in the street. The pond, a messy bit of swamp and cattails and grasses, had melted its frozen self upon the road, where the mister and missus were happily courting, oblivious to the me and my auto machine as I braked, grateful that I saw them cavorting about in a fowlish way on the Cutoff.

We missed the Mallard family last year. There simply wasn’t enough water to paddle in. This year; well, this year the snow melt has provided a waterfowl haven. As I slowly drove away, muttering quack, quack, quack, I remembered a little ditty for McDonald’s that aired on television here in the 1980’s. It was a catchy little jingle about Nippersinkers and rain and waddling.

We eventually discovered there really was a Lake Nippersink, just over the Illinois/Wisconsin border. A golf resort/family vacation spot with little cabins, a big lodge for eating, and all manner of activities for young and not-so-young alike. Jennifer took arts and crafts lessons and was in a talent show; something with wishy washy washing machines. Katy, about three at the time, opted to take water aerobics with me. Tom took them canoeing, I went antiquing and we all ate and ate and ate . . .

. . . and we all sang the Nippersink song. Do any of you remember it? Did you ever go to summer camp?

We are Nippersinkers. We’re in luck. If it rains all week, just pretend you’re a duck.  Quack, quack, waddle, waddle!




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she's a good skate37The four years between the winter Olympic contests seem to slide by quicker than they used to. Where, I wonder, has the time gone?

In one of my recent moments of Olympian “remember whens”, I recalled one of the first Winter Olympics I can remember, as a fourth grader in Mrs. Thurston’s classroom. I hunted down a post I wrote, during the 2010 winter games, which, if so desire, you can read about here.

Can it really be that four years have past since I wrote that post?

Have you been watching the 2014 Winter Olympics? Have you been thrilled by the skiing and the hockey, the snowboarding and bobsledding (gotta love the Jamaicans), the ice dancing and figure skating? To me, no matter where one’s roots are planted, the Olympics are golden opportunities to watch gifted and determined athletes from all corners of our small and wonderful planet.

I’m partial to the ice rink events; from ice dancing to pairs ice skating and anything else with two blades, flowing costumes and music, I sit, perched this year on my couch, with what looks like more snow  outside and much colder temperatures than the weather in Sochi, watching, in awe, the warm poetry on ice; the skill, the strength, the athleticism.

What is your favorite Winter Olympic sport?

(PS – there is a very short post on Olympian skier recently posted on Brittle)

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Photo from Blue Bloods website

Photo from Blue Bloods website

As the gurney was being rolled out of the cardiac cath prep area, there were enthusiastic encouragements of “good luck, Tom Selleck” and “hope you are out of here soon, Tom Selleck”. These pleasantries were coming from the nurses, technicians, and even, yes, even the anesthesiologist!  I turned around and smiled, then said “Hey you guys, cut it out. I have to live with him!” . . .

. . . and live with him I do, with all the gratitude one can have for the bullet we just dodged, the miracle of medicine, and a remarkable medical team.

Tom Selleck” in this case is my very own Tom. He was the patient on the gurney, being transferred to a regular room at a local hospital this past Wednesday, in good spirits and happy to be alive.

Tom has been dealing with a complicated and serious eye condition for the past several years. The condition is one that has resulted from being a Type I (Juvenile) diabetic for 45 years. We will talk more about this on our companion blog, Brittle, in time. For now, however, I will bring it all forward with how this condition led to Wednesday’s gurney ride.

A vitrectomy was scheduled for November 19th; a delicate operation on the eye. Tom’s retinal specialist required that he get clearance from his internist, who is also his endocrinologist, for the surgery. An appointment was made, blood work-up and EKG performed, an we made plans for the next month’s recuperation period. A blip in the EKG and Tom’s long-term diabetes necessitated a stress test. On Tuesday, the stress test showed abnormalities. He was immediately seen by a cardiologist, and an angiogram was scheduled for the next day.

Any procedure is risky, dear reader. It is more so with a Type I diabetic. Tom is on an insulin pump, which is the means by which insulin in controlled. The pump is attached by a small needle to his abdomen, with a long tube (like an IV connection) and a small device, the pump, attached to a belt or pocket.

Need I tell you how friendly a hospital gown is for anyone, let alone someone with any type of life device? They ended up taping the pump to the palm of his hand.

Then, there is the actual administration of insulin during any surgery or procedure.

Well, my Tom is much craftier that Jesse Stone, much swifter than Magnum, PI, and tougher than New York City police chief Frank Reagan. He set the nurses straight on what he needed done and how often he needed his sugar levels checked. Before long, the cardiologist came in, papers were signed, and off my dear husband went for a look-see into his arteries.

A little more than an hour later, my hospital issued pager went off, alerting me that the procedure was over. Tom was coming back to his room, and was doing great. He had several blockages necessitating the implantation of two stents .

What surprised us all the most that one artery was clogged by 82%, the other 99%!

Tom has always eaten well, is very active, maintains healthy weight, and has near perfect cholesterol, especially LDL. He showed no symptoms associated with these sort of blockages. No pain. It was a miracle that these arterial blockages were found in the way that they were – and a miracle that he had not suffered a heart attack.

We cannot begin to express how grateful we are that preparation for eye surgery brought Tom to a stress test – and a renewed lease on life. Nor can we express our gratitude for good doctors making timely calls. Tom has recovered fabulously, the route the cardiologist took was through a small prick in his wrist, making recovery easier. We’ll talk some more about neuropathy and how we have now learned that it can also impair the chest on Brittle in a day so.  Right now, Tom Selleck and I are going out for a short, brisk walk down the Cutoff.

I feel like saying amen; for this, dear reader, has become a bit of prayer in its writing.


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We call it Veteran’s Day, though our elders, who were children during World War I, may still call it Armistice Day. You might call it Remembrance Day. Whatever the name, these are moments, brief moments in time, set aside to remember and honor those who have fallen in war.

Have you seen Masterpiece Theater’s My Boy Jack? It was aired here in the States on public television a few years ago. It is the story of Rudyard Kipling, and his boy, Jack, who went off to war, and never came home. This is the final scene with a poem so haunting. So poignant. So memorable on this day of remembrance.

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My dear friend Janet, aka Country Mouse, mentioned the candy, Chuckles, in a comment recently on our companion blog, Brittle. It stuck in my mind, like Chuckles can do to one’s teeth, only I forgot the name, which is one of many things that don’t stick in my mind these days. Tom and I chatted about Chuckles over dinner, which lead to another posting on Brittle. The mere mention of Chuckles, once I remembered it, made me smile, then giggle, then laugh as I remembered one of the funniest episodes of the Mary Tyler Moore Show, Chuckles the Clown Bites the Dust.

Like Carol Burnett’s “Went With the Wind” scene, where she descends the staircase in a little something she saw hanging in window, the Chuckles the Clown episode makes me laugh just thinking about it.

Chuckles the Clown was a multi-faceted character of a children’s’ show on the MTM series. We rarely saw Chuckle on screen, even though we knew who he was. He was the host of a children’s show on the same station as the newsroom that featured Ted, the hapless newsman, Mary,  Mr. Grant, and Maury.  The sad news comes to the newsroom that Chuckles the Clown has died. He was dressed in the clown character of Peter Peanut when he was crushed by a rogue elephant and killed during a parade.  Maury and Mr. Grant, in spite of themselves, start making jokes, expending nervous energy, over Chuckles’ untimely demise, much to Mary’s disapproval. At the funeral, Mary has a few giggly moments herself.

Then, there is Penny, who has what has been called a wicked sense of humor, and a stream of thoughts that take her from insulin reactions, to Chuckles candies, to this funny scene.

Have you ever had a bout of giggles at an inappropriate time; a bout where you can’t stop laughing and feel as if you have a little seltzer down your pants?

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