Thursday, September 15, 2016


Hiyo, Black and White!

TV's original Dynamic Duo
One of the more interesting developments of
the DVD era has been the rebirth of classic TV shows from my youth. As you might imagine, most of those shows don't hold up very well, and in some cases it is difficult for me to believe that I ever watched them in the first place.

On September 15, 1949 the first episode of the iconic TV series The Lone Ranger was broadcast on ABC. The series ended in 1957, well before
I was interested in anything but cartoons, but ABC reran episodes during its daytime programming for many years (there were over 200 such episodes produced), and watching was one of my favorite after-school activities. They seem pretty hokey now, but part of the fun of being a kid is not having to notice such things.

Like most red-blooded American boys, I enjoyed westerns in general, and The Lone Ranger was a particular favorite due to the dynamic between the title character (most famously portrayed by Clayton Moore) and his faithful companion Tonto (played by real-life Mohawk actor Jay Silverheels).

"Sort of like our relationship, was it?"

Sort of, except for the fact that Tonto was, you know, helpful...

Are You Ready for Some Ugly?

The "Christmas Theme" game from 2015

Tonight's Thursday Night Football game pairs the Buffalo Bills against the New York Jets. It also features the return of the so-called "Color Rush" uniforms, only used for Thursday Night Football contests.

Most fans I talk to consider them eyesores. I'm still trying to get over having watched the notorious Bills-Jets game from last year...

"Wow. That is some serious ugly goin' on there."

Indeed...this year, for a surprising number of teams the "Color Rush" uniform is solid white, which is not only boring but seems to defeat the whole point of the "Color Rush" idea in the first place...

Wild Kingdom Bed & Breakfast Update

"Hey, man, got any spare carrion?"

As we transition from summer to fall, the clientele of the B&B changes. It has been awhile since I've seen any of my "baseball birds" (cardinals and blue jays), for instance. The grackles and starlings haven't been around for weeks.

My daily visitors at this point are a couple of mourning doves and the usual variety of sparrows and finches.

At the moment there are two different feline visitors I see regularly as well. Neither of them seems feral.

On my way back from the Hy-Vee yesterday, I spotted a turkey vulture hanging out on a fence post. In this part of the country these guys are only around during the summer months, so we won't be seeing them much longer. They always remind me of the hippie panhandlers I used to encounter during the late '60s: vaguely off-putting, but essentially harmless.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

From the pen of Henry Payne, whose editorial cartoons you should read often, as I do.

Until Next Time...

As I've noted many times in this space, the music business has countless examples of artists and bands that muddled along without making much of a splash until suddenly hitting it big. Today's example is the San Francisco band Huey Lewis & The News.

The band was formed in 1978, but it took awhile to secure a record deal. The group's eponymous first album in 1980 was pretty much a dud, failing to crack the Billboard 200 Albums chart or produce a charting single. Two years later, they released a second album, Picture This, which peaked at No. 13 on the Billboard 200 thanks to the surprise Top 10 hit single "Do You Believe In Love." That modest degree of success raised some expectations for the band's next effort, but nobody expected what happened next.

On September 15, 1983 the band released its third studio album, Sports. It was a massive hit, peaking at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in the spring of 1984, and producing four straight Top 10 singles. It would receive seven platinum certifications from RIAA, and remains by far the band's biggest-selling recording.

I had just moved to Wyoming to begin a teaching gig, and it seemed like every other song they played on the radio and every other video shown on MTV was one of the hits from Sports. The band also did frequent guest spots on every major variety show.

Oddly enough, my favorite song from the album was the one single that didn't make the Top 10 (it peaked at No. 18). "Walking On a Thin Line" was unusually serious material for a group with a reputation for being a fun-loving bar band. The song's lyrics addressed the issue of the way society sometimes treats its servicemen once a war has ended (as the Vietnam conflict had less than 10 years prior).

Today's send-off is the 1999 remastered version of the song. Enjoy...

No comments:

Post a Comment