Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunday Evening Random Ramblings

It's Sunday night, and the weekend is wrapping up. For some, it was a long holiday weekend, but my employer doesn't give us the Friday after Thanksgiving off, so it was a regular weekend for me. With the first significant snow storm of the season blowing through since Friday night, it was good timing that is was the weekend, even if it did screw up the lovely spouse's plans for me to put some Christmas lights up on the house. But I suppose that only delays the inevitable. So in keeping with this blog's theme of random ramblings, lets touch on a few things before we shuffle off to bed.

An Odd Show

This morning when I turned on the television, I saw something that struck me as somewhat bizarre. It was a program that apparently was broadcast earlier this month on NBC, but was being rerun on the Style network. It was called Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons - A Tribute on Ice. Now don't get me wrong, I have always been a fan of the unique sound of this group that sprang up from doo-wop music, but there were several things that just didn't seem right.

First of all, there was Frankie himself, singing a very listenable, if lifeless performance. He looked pretty old, but hey, it happens to all of us, doesn't it? But his new group of Seasons appeared to be in their late 20s to early 30s, young enough to be Frankie's kids. What the hell did he do with the other guys?

Then there was the fact that ice skaters were skating his songs as he sang them. For example, when Frankie and his new boys were singing Tell It To The Rain, a female skater was doing some skating with an umbrella. Now, ice skating is okay, pop music is fine, but putting them together seemed just a bit, twisted. Kind of like those Tropicana Twister commercials of years ago, talking about flavors Mother Nature never intended. It made me wonder what next? Perhaps "A Bullfighting Tribute to The Village People"? Maybe "The Monkees - A Shuffleboard Tribute".

Still, I never fail to enjoy a nice dose of Four Seasons music, be it the early stuff like Dawn Go Away or Mary Ann; to the later stuff like Grease or maybe Swearin' to God.

TV or Not TV, That is the Question

Everytime I go to Costco or Sam's Club, I see the deals getting better and better on new HDTV sets. Part of me really wants to get one, but after looking at them, I always walk away. Even the lovely spouse says to get one if I want it, but so far, I have resisted the siren call of HD. I probably will give in sooner or later, but several things hold me back. First, I hate to spend the money when my 36" regular TV still looks as beautiful as it did when brand new eight years ago. In some ways, you can't beat a direct view CRT. Second, it is the start of an entire series of upgrades. Upgrade my DISH Network setup, upgrade my DVD recorder to Blue Ray, upgrade my audio-video receiver to handle HD. Then I would have to figure out how to move the massively heavy old TV down to the basement. Plus, in these uncertain economic times, bargain or not, I am not too hot on buying much of anything.

Shivering, Hungry Squirrels

This morning, the LS and I were watching a couple of squirrels shivering up in the branches of a neighbors tree. They were eating what few leaves are clinging on, and trying to stay warm as the snow was coming down. I meant to get some squirrel peanuts or corn for them, but forgot as the day wore on. That is something I will still have to do. They can be pesky, but I don't want the bushy tailed little guys to starve during the cold weather. Here is one of them chewing on a leaf this morning.

Fox Broadcasting - Rotten to the Core?

Do you trust the news media to tell you the truth? Do you think it is fine that deregulation has concentrated America's media into just a few hands, such as News Corporation, Clear Channel, and a handful of others? Does it not trouble you that media magnate, Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation owns The Wall Street Journal, Fox News, Sky News, and a slew of local TV stations among others? Well, look at this video about Fox 13 in Florida, a Fox-owned outlet. Watch it, and tell me if you believe advertising dollars don't dictate what is passed off as this case, outright lies.

The media plays an important role in a society. By caving to threats of lawsuits and withdrawal of advertising revenue, they abdicate their responsibility to the public.