Posted by: Mark | March 26, 2017

TV: the Book: Part VII

61. Police Squad!: I didn’t see any until The Naked Gun movie came out and Comedy Central ran all six episodes nonstop. It worked better as a movie but still good tv.

62. 24:  Couldn’t avoid the hype or jokes about mountain lions and not going to the bathroom but never saw an episode.

63. The Defenders: I hadn’t heard of it before reading the book.

64. Gunsmoke:  I’ve seen a few episodes but never was a big fan.

65. Sex and the City: Again, couldn’t avoid the hype but never saw an episode.

66. Star Trek: One of the first shows that I  saw every episode of. Somehow Next Generation didn’t make the list. I like the original series but the third season was pretty awful.

67. Firefly:  I know a lot of fans are crying that it’s lower than Star Trek but from some of the unmade scripts, if Fox hadn’t cancelled it, the quality would have tanked. Still, even the worst script proposal for Firefly was better than “Spock’s Brain. ”

68. Law & Order:  I might have clicked through an episode while switching channels but never watched a full episode.

69. Maude: Just not the right age. It was cancelled before I watched grown up television and I never saw it on re-runs.

70. The Rockford Files:  Thanks to Netflix I’ve seen every episode. My memory of the show was better than the actual thing. I remembered long, multi-episode story-lines, interconnected character arcs, and guest stars reprising roles over several seasons.

It did have a lot of that but not nearly as much as I remembered (still it was far better than most 70s and 80s shows).

I did like it but there were more car chases than anyone could want.

David Chase wrote and directed many episodes. They clearly connected with his Sopranos: A mobster was set up for a hit because he was gay and another was almost killed for seeing a psychologist.

There are a few Rockford tv movies from the 80s that I haven’t seen but I’m glad I’ve caught all the regular tv shows.

Posted by: Mark | March 25, 2017

Resolution Update 12

Sinus and bronchial infections with bad knees, back,feet, and elbows. It’s been worse:

1. Run 730 miles – Nothing this week, 60 miles in all.

2. 5,000 push ups and 8,000 leg lifts – barely anything–490 push ups and 450 leg lifts.

3. Lose 26 pounds – No weigh in but probably bad.

4. Support 24 local artists – now 12 weeks of nothing.

5. 42 manuscript submissions – still ten submissions.

6. Write 40,000 words and five new stories – 12,867 words and two completed stories.

7. Read all the New Testament – Still on Luke chapter 1.

8. Read The Nature of Things – haven’t started.

9. Finish Finnegan’s Wake – On page 349 with 191 to go.

10. 300 blog posts – this is 49.

Posted by: Mark | March 24, 2017

TV:The Book: Part VI

51. Roseanne: Never a huge fan. Sadly, I started watching on the final season which everyone agrees was the weakest.

52. 30 Rock: I’ve seen every episode until the middle of the fifth season. On and off since then. Definitely one of the best comedies.

53. The Bob Newhart Show:  This was one of the shows my parents always watched that I liked too. I didn’t care much for his next sitcom (except the ending ). Otherwise Newhart is funny in everything.

54. Malcolm in the Middle: Every episode up to the middle of the seventh (and last) season. I’ll probably catch up soon. Bryan Cranston was as good in this as Breaking Bad but never got credit he deserved.

55. Miami Vice: I remember a few episodes from high school. Mainly about not wearing socks.

56. The Office: Every episode until the middle of the eighth season. I did see the last couple. It probably should have ended with season seven but it had plenty of good moments.

57. St. Elsewhere: I don’t think I’ve seen an episode.

58. Community: If the show ended in the third season, I would have said it was the best show ever. Season four was weaker and I remember being excited for the return of Dan Harmon for season five.

Only season five was weaker than four and six was weakest of all. What killed me on season six was the constant bashing other shows and movies, especially the fourth season.

Back in 2000 Winona Ryder was in a horror movie called Lost Souls. It wasn’t very good but its advertisement sank it by claiming it was better than The Exorcist. It wasn’t and shouldn’t have reminded the audience that The Exorcist existed.

When Jeff Winger knocked Marvel movies for being boring, I couldn’t help thinking that maybe they should have saved that line for a better episode.

59. The Golden Girls:  I’ve seen memes based on the show that were very funny but once again I don’t think I’ve watched an episode.

60. Friends: I was the one guy my age who didn’t watch this show. I saw a few episodes and one had the paleontologist giving up an argument about evolution against some new age bullshit. Even without that stupid episode I wouldn’t have liked the show. Now I can conflate into some intellectual conflict.

Posted by: Mark | March 21, 2017

Finnegans Wake: Chapter 12

Finished Chapter 12 of 17 of James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, page 349 of 540.

One of the the things I knew about the book before I started reading (and one of the few things I know almost halfway through) is that it’s the source for the word “quark.”

I decided I would read carefully and not miss the elusive quark. If you pick up a copy, you’ll see how easy missing one word can be.

Then this chapter begins “Three quarks for Muster Mark.” Second word of the chapter, impossible to miss. My goal fell to pieces.

Well, another thing I knew was that when the nearly blind Joyce was transcribing the manuscript to Samuel Beckett, a visitor knocked on his door. Joyce answered, ‘Come in!” but Beckett thought it was part of the narrative and included “Come in” in the final draft.

I’ll keep my eyes open for that but odds are that I already skimmed past it.

Posted by: Mark | March 20, 2017

Lobsters Work Quick

On Saturday night, the oscar that had been injured by the blue lobster was looking bad. I was off yesterday and when I came in today, it was reduced to bones.

Old cartoons always had cats and hobos gnawing on fish skeletons. On the Planet of the Lobsters that would live action.

Posted by: Mark | March 19, 2017

TV: the Book: Part V

Oops, I forgot to number the last batch. I hope it’s not a problem.

41. The Jack Benny Program:  I’ve seen clips but I don’t recall ever seeing an actual show (I’ve seen The George and Gracie Show and I’ve heard The Jack Benny radio show).

42. Soap:  I  saw a few but it was long ago. I do remember people being outraged that there was a gay character on television.  All the while Liberace, Paul Lyne, and Charles Nelson Reilly were all over the tube.

43.  The Andy Griffith Show: I’ve probably seen about 75% of the shows. It’s my brother-in-law’s favorite show. Not so much for me.

44. The Cosby Show:  The writer admits it’s impossible to watch Bill after the serial rape plot twist. I never watched it. It killed Sledge Hammer which was my favorite show at the time, then went against The Simpsons.

45. Moonlighting:  I remember this well but never watched it. I don’t remember disliking it. Maybe it aired against a show I liked or maybe I temporarily had a life.

46. Taxi:  Okay, I liked this show but not so obsessively that I’ve seen every one.

47. East Side/West Side: Another show I’d never heard of.

48. Hannibal:  I haven’t seen every episode yet but I own the episodes I haven’t seen on DVD. At first I was disappointed that they even put this on tv. I read a few positive reviews and decided to give it a try. I thought it was beautifully composed with disturbing subjects. It became one of my favorite shows. Then they cancelled it.

49. ER: Another show that I watched off and on but was never a huge fan.

50. Parks and Recreation :One of my daughter’s favorite shows. The first few seasons weren’t very good but the latter ones were much better.

Posted by: Mark | March 18, 2017

Resolution Update 11

Another sorry excuse of a week:

1. Run 730 miles – Only 1.2 on the treadmill, 60 miles in all.

2. 5,000 push ups and 8,000 leg lifts – 475 push ups and 450 leg lifts.

3. Lose 26 pounds – I gained 2.4 pounds.

4. Support 24 local artists – now 11 weeks of nothing.

5. 42 manuscript submissions – still ten submissions.

6. Write 40,000 words and five new stories – 10,676 words and one completed story.

7. Read all the New Testament – Starting on the Gospel of Luke. That doesn’t sound great but I was on Romans on January 1. I’m almost finished.

8. Read The Nature of Things – haven’t started.

9. Finish Finnegan’s Wake – No change in a week, still on page 331 with 209 to go.

10. 300 blog posts – this is 44.

Posted by: Mark | March 17, 2017

TV: the Book: Part IV

Part four of ten: it turns out my mom was wrong–I didn’t watch too much tv after all:

Friday Night Lights:  I know one of the actors became the creepy Nazi kid on Breaking Bad but I never saw an episode of this.

NYPD Blue:  I watched the first few episodes and sporadically afterwards. At the time bare butts on network tv seemed most important than anything else.

Fraser:  Like the last one, I saw the first episode and on and off after that. I didn’t think it would work but it paid off for Kelsey Grammer.

Homicide : Life on the Street:  I think I saw a couple and they were good but I just never had the chance for more.

Battlestar Galactica:  Another miss–I saw the first episode and a few more of the first series but none of the new version.

In Treatment:  Wow, never even heard of this one.

South Park:  Never saw a single episode. I’m the only one in the world.

The West Wing:  In a huge switch, I didn’t see the first episode but did catch a few others.

Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman:  Not one.

It’s Garry Shandling’s Show: At first I thought I hadn’t seen any but then remembered watching it. Pretty many but not close to 72 of the whole series. I can even recite most of the theme song. Read More…

Posted by: Mark | March 16, 2017

TV: the Book : Part III

21. Curb Your Enthusiasm:  On my completion list, at least temporarily until it starts up again. For once I was able to see HBO shows when I needed.

One of the few shows that addressed race without sounding preachy, mainly because it hits everything. Probably the only show where the protagonist could urinate on Jesus without causing national outrage.

22. SpongeBob Squarepants:  Holy crap, SpongeBob? I like SpongeBob and have seen every episode of the first three seasons but I don’t know if I’d put it this high.

23. The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show:  I might have seen every episode but again episode guides are vague. Definitely funny and influential.

24. Twin Peaks: Everyone assumed I was a big fan but I only saw one episode. It was in the middle of the first season so I didn’t follow it well but I didn’t dislike it.

25:  Lost:  You couldn’t help but hear details about this show but I never actually saw an episode.

26.  Buffy the Vampire Slayer:  On my daughter’s completion list but I never really was a fan.

27.  Freaks and Geeks:  I only saw one episode and liked it a lot. I ought to find this again.

28.  My So-Called Life:  I only saw one episode and didn’t care for it. Maybe it was the worst episode.

29.  Oz:  Again, my lack of HBO held me back. I saw a few episodes. They were decent but I don’t really feel the need to start watching any time soon.

30.  The Dick Van Dyke Show:  Another victim of re-runs. I’ve seen a few episodes but they were butchered in syndication to make time for commercials.

Posted by: Mark | March 16, 2017

More Fish Heads

I never knew goldfish ate each other until I started changing their tanks. They don’t even wait for their victims to die–they start nibbling on the weak until only scraps are left.

Yet another species that makes humans look good.

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