31 January 2022

"Classic TV" On Roku-

Tired of the "same old-same old" that irritates me on the news, we have fallen back on reserve forces-
Our "Roku" device.
Many of the TV offerings that I mentioned in that earlier post have "Classic TV" offerings:
"Twilight Zone". "Alfred Hitchcock", (both his original show and the later hour-long offering of shows that SHOULD have been limited to 30 minutes.) "Thriller". "Route 66". "Naked City". "The Fugitive".

It's such fun to watch these old shows I sometimes watched when I was a kid.
First... incidental cars that pass in the background as the stories unfold. Lots of old Coupes that make me drool. (How wonderful it would be to own one with modern underpinnings!)
A surprising  number of Studebakers. And I didn't realize Police Departments used that many "Nash" automobiles back in the 50's. (Wow... those bathtubs were really UGLY!)

Secondly... some of the "bit" players in these old shows are REALLY familiar. I continually find myself asking Sara Jean... "who is that?", then waiting for the credits to roll to reveal it's someone that got famous later.

And sadly-
David Jannsen, playing "Richard Kimble" frequently puts a match to a cigarette during "The Fugitive".
He died at age 48 of lung cancer.

James Franciscus is COOL when he offers nearby actors a cigarette, then lights one up for himself.
He was 57 when he died of emphysema

And the one that really stabs me through the heart:
Rod Serling- (Real name "John Phillips"), a WWII paratrooper, was a chain smoker. Born on Christmas Day of 1924 he collapsed while mowing his lawn in 1975 and died during coronary bypass surgery at age 49.

All of the old stuff we're watching is telecast in black and white. And I am reminded how "normal" smoking was during prior to about 1970. It was the cool, macho thing to do,wasn't it? Just like "Vaping" today!

A couple other things we are noticing:
There are NO new story ideas for dramas. Everything is recycled from back when, and-
Actors are better at their craft today, even though unfortunately, they're regurgitating those old stories.

29 January 2022

Roku... doo doo doo doo.

We bought this "Roku" device. To use it you MUST have an internet connection. Our internet connection is marginal, and we frequently find ourselves watching the "circling the toilet" symbol while the video we are watching buffers and tries desperately to catch up with us.
Yes, it's irritating. But...

There is stuff on this system that is nothing short of amazing.
Our son gave us access to "Plex". On it he has, literally, a library of over a thousand movies and TV content. A month ago I wrote and asked him to download Ken Burns' "Country Music" miniseries. A day later he wrote me... "Done". 
Sixteen hours of country music history, and we binged. Done watching in five nights, we yearned for more.

Another friend gave us (legal) access to his "Sling" account. It's impossible to tell you all that's available there. On it we watch "Fox News", "Fox Business News", "TCM", "Circle", and several other networks important to us.

There's other content on Roku available:
"The Roku Channel" has stuff I cannot even talk about intelligently.
"Stirr"? Same. "Pluto TV"? Ditto.
And more.

All good stuff.
I'm the sort that enjoys being educated and entertained at the same time. But this stuff is cutting DRASTICALLY into my book reading time.
Is that a good thing?

What are you spending time watching?

28 January 2022

Kum By Ya, Me Loh!

Let's avoid creating a bunch of trash and mutilated human flesh in Ukraine.
My solution to this problem?
Send a Ukrainian to the ISS, (International Space Station).
There, the Ukrainian and Russian Astronauts can engage in fisticuffs, or arm wrestle, or play a game of "Killer Chess".
Winner of the contest gets to determine what happens in Ukraine, and a BUNCH of lives and equipment don't get wasted stupidly.

27 January 2022

Making History!

"Judged by the content of character, NOT by the color of their skin."

Biden will make history by nominating a Black woman to the Supreme Court.
NOT... the most qualified for the job.
But a historical first.

Until we stop doing "virtue signalling" stuff, our country will continue to die.
I fear we're already beyond the tipping point.

I hope the Black "woman" he nominates is transgender.
THAT would be historical!

24 January 2022

Names Changed to Protect The Innocent?

NONE of this is true. (Maybe):

Our neighbors became guardians of a little girl a couple years ago. Her actual parents care more about chemical substances than they do about the mental and physical health of this little girl, so our neighbors have taken her into their own home.
She's a delightful, smart, active little girl.
She's now FIVE.

Trying to give our neighbors a "now and then break", we've invited this little girl to visit us on Friday nights so our neighbors can go out to eat and enjoy one another's company. The five year old can pretty much wear us out in a few hours. She loves us both, and literally WALLOWS all over us to get our full attention.
We love her to pieces.

Saturday morning after our normal Friday night "Babysitting" job our neighbors called to say they had tested positive for Covid. Is this one of those cases where "No good deed goes unpunished"?
Our plans to head South to spend a few days with our son are postponed for at least five days.

IF... this was a true story we'd be mighty grateful that Sara Jean and I both seem to be immune to most "gallopin' gump" types of infections.

Good thing this is NOT a true story, right? :>)

22 January 2022

Aviation Kills!

Wife and I have been discussing the number of "celebrities" that have been killed in Aviation accidents.
The first one I think of in my limited memory of history is Knute Rockne.
Will Rodgers.
Carole Lombard.
And the list goes on from there.
Glenn Miller.
Buddy Holly, Richie Valenzuela, J.P. Richardson.
Ricky Nelson.
Stevie Ray Vaughn.

The above list may not be in proper "timeline" order. But most of 'em were due to stupid Pilot error.
Can you think of, and enumerate, others?

17 January 2022

One Owner. Low Miles. Like New!

 In July of 1969 I walked outside my hooch in Chu Lai, Viet Nam, looked up at the moon and marveled, knowing Neal Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were looking back at me from there.
In the '70's the Apollo missions included "cars" for our Astronauts to use like the one above so they could explore more of the moon's surface while there. Three of 'em... from Apollo 15, 16, and 17 are still up there.
"Been there, done that"... we began to take these missions for granted and wondered how long it would be before regular service to the moon would be established for us all.
And then? We lost vision. We started looking at costs, and sorta forgot about the cost/benefit analysis.
How would our lives be different today had we not had an Apollo program?

But exciting things are happening today.
Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are blazing new trails.
The moon? Mars? Beyond?
It's been 50 years since anything this wonderful has been considered.

I want to go back to the moon and establish a permanent base there. From the moon we can explore asteroids and mine exotic stuff. From the moon we can more easily get to Mars.

And those three "Rovers" are sitting there... not corroding 'cause there's no atmosphere, just waiting for someone to recharge their batteries and take a spin on that surface.
Bring one back home, please.
You'll be the center of attention at any "Classic Car" show!

15 January 2022

Google-y-Moogle-y !

Freshly divorced, I needed an escape.
Sister was serving in Key West with the Navy. I owned a Cessna 182 that needed the exercise. My Mother and pilot Father were up for the trip. If anyone would have understood I'd have shouted "Air Trip"!
It was a few days before Christmas, 1976.

I can remember that the weather cooperated during the flight down, during our stay, and during the flight back to the MidWest. Sitting on the beach outside a bar with my Brother-in-law, drinking enough Scotch and Water on the rocks to get a nice buzz while listening to halyards bang against the mast of a dozen Hobie Cats pulled up in the sand is one of my fondest memories.

Another memory... fond, but maybe troubling now, was that my Sister and her husband got an Atari 2600 for Christmas that year.
All were fascinated with it. One or the other of us would sit until the wee hours of the morning playing "Space Invaders" on the game. At some point there would be a "bonus point" target zip across the top of the screen and my Mother would shout "get that 'Googly-Moogly!"

Great fun.
But with the benefit of hindsight I can see-
This was the start of our addiction to playing games instead of going outside to play... whatever.

We have kids in homes all around us here at "Casa Greybeard".
When I was a kid you'd hear us shouting, screaming, laughing while we played in the out of doors.
I hear NONE of that now...
Because kids are indoors shooting Great Googly Mooglies-
And the only part of their bodies getting exercise is their thumbs.

11 January 2022

Make You LOL?

I heard a (clean) joke that made me laugh this A.M. and wanted to share-

"A Priest, Rabbit, and Baptist minister walk into a bar. The bartender asks, 'What can I get for y'all?'
The Rabbit responds, 'Don't ask me... I'm only here because of autocorrect!'"


09 January 2022


Sara Jean's Father had no idea who his Father was. He even questioned if the woman that raised him was his real Mother. So SJ's lineage is REALLY foggy.
Just before Christmas she had mentioned wanting to do a DNA test to better determine where she came from, heritage-wise. So for Christmas I sent off for one of those kits where you use a swab on the inside of your cheek and send it in for analysis.
The kit arrives tomorrow. I have no idea how long it will take to get results once we send 'em the swab.

My Father's name is a not-uncommon English name.
My Mother's maiden name was VERY German.

My chromosomes are at war with one another, I believe.

08 January 2022

"Neat Old Truck!"


I'm surprised every time it happens-
"That's a neat old truck."
I guess it does look different than the newer Dodge trucks. But is it THAT different?

I bought it because of what ya see here-
3/4 ton. Extended Cab. Two-wheel drive. And powered by the Cummins Diesel built near my boyhood home in Indiana.

The odometer in my truck now registers 260,000 miles+. It still runs strong, burns NO oil, and gets 21 mpg on our Interstate trips. My only complaint with the truck has nothing to do with the truck itself-
It's with the fuel.
Why in the world is Diesel fuel, which takes less trouble to refine than gasoline, more expensive than gasoline?
(Spoiler answer: Taxing Diesel fuel is a simple way for government to pass on expenses to ALL consumers via the amount of it used by 18-wheelers.)

Well, fuel cost is NOT my only complaint about the truck...
When I pull into the drive-up window at a fast food restaurant, our truck is SO noisy I have to turn the engine off for the person in the speaker to hear my order. I HATE drive-up windows!

But I'm still surprised at how many truck lovers notice and comment on my truck.
I've owned it now over 10 years and last week found the email address of the guy I bought it from.
He sold it because it would no longer pass California's strict emission restrictions. I benefited from his problem.
Because of the sound it makes, I named him "GRUMPY".
And I intend to hang on to Grumpy for quite a while.

06 January 2022

Can I Please Have Some More Cheese?

We're all watching cable or satellite TV now, so I'm not sure if this happens today-
In my young TV watching days if a network came out with a show that garnered good ratings, the other networks would soon come out with their own imitations.
77 Sunset Strip/Surfside 6/Hawaiian Eye.
Bewitched/I Dream of Jeannie.
The Munsters/The Addams Family.

As a kid, "Lassie" was one of my favorite shows. And I've often wondered-
Did the writers of "Fury", a show with a smart, amazing horse, and "Flipper", a show with a smart, amazing porpoise, watch "Lassie" and simply adjust their scripts to allow their amazing animals to imitate what the amazing Collie did?

Imitation is the most genuine form of flattery, right?

05 January 2022


Ask a Socialist-
They'll tell you the only reason Socialism hasn't worked in the past is because it wasn't implemented correctly. So let's talk about this "DEFUND THE POLICE" movement-
How could it have been better handled so it would have actually worked?

(Please answer quickly. My tongue hurts from being forced over into my cheek this far!)

01 January 2022


I HATE my cell phone.
I sold my business some years ago and since then I mostly carry it in case some sort of emergency happens to me, or around me.
It VERY seldom rings.

Just now it shocked me.
It made a sound for several seconds that was impossible to ignore. I reluctantly picked it up to see what all the racket was about.
"TORNADO WARNING. Take shelter in your basement or in a room in a lower level of your home with no windows."
I know a tornado "Warning" means there is one on the ground somewhere. I looked out the window in my room and the sky was dark, but not particularly foreboding.
I remained in my recliner, goblet of Chardonnay at my right hand, faithful dog snuggled in at my left between my leg and the arm of the chair.
Life is good.

It began to rain.
Wind blustered and blew the rain almost horizontally.
The dog paid no attention whatsoever.
And the emergency(?) passed.

We are just outside Clarksville, Tennessee. HORRIBLE tornadoes passed just Northwest of us here a couple weeks ago destroying many homes; killing many souls.
This heavy rain made me think of how frightened people there must be when cell phones make this obnoxious warning noise.

I'm torn...
How many people got this warning? How many people actually were at risk? Like all the Covid warnings we're suffering from these days, is Karen scaring us to control us?

I got out of the recliner and bothered the dog.
I hate to do that. He's "such a GOOD BOY".
But my wine glass needed refilling.