1980’s television

I’ve always been a 1970s kind of guy. I have never had a lot to say about the 1980s. The 1980s began with the RussiaeightiesTVn invasion of Afghanistan and ended with the death of both my first wife and my mother in April 1989. We had to put up with Reagan throughout. You’ll notice that this blog has a category for the 1970’s but not for the 1980s.

The other day, however, Terry was watching an episode of the CNN series on the 1980s and they were discussing the television of the decade. There was a lot of good TV in the 1980s.

  • Golden Girls (1985-1992).  Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan, Estelle Getty. What fun.
  • Family Ties  (1982–1989). I loved being annoyed at Michael J. Fox as the stuffy, Republican Alex Keaton, who caused his formerly hippie parents great consternation.
  • Murphy Brown (1988–1998).  Candice Bergen was great at the lead of a marvelous ensemble cast.
  • Cagney & Lacey (1981–1988).  I never watched the show, but it was groundbreaking in that it centered around a team of two female police detectives.

In the 1980s David Letterman came into his own on late night television and we got the SCTV (Second City Television) comedy show.

I have to admit the 1980s was a good time for entertaining television.

a rant

This is a rant. About Microsoft.

If you are not in a mood to read a rant (and I don’t blame you) please skip today’s blog. If you enjoy reading about how our major tech companies are totally uncaring, or if you have experienced pain on account of Microsoft (or another technology company) and are in a “misery loves company” mood, please read on.

MicrosoftLast fall I upgraded my Windows 7 desktop and laptop to Windows 10. Perhaps that was a mistake. Terry justifiably insisted on keeping her computer on Windows 7.

There is a known problem in Windows 10 in which the Start menu does not respond. You can’t access it. I resolved the problem on my laptop by creating a new user. It’s been fine since.

On my desktop the issue would sometimes arise, but going back to a restore point of a couple of days ago would always solve the problem. Last week the problem recurred but that did not solve the problem.

I therefore jumped through all the hoops posted in response to people with the same question on answers.microsoft.com. None of them worked. So I posted my own question listing everything I tried and asked what to do next. The response I got was to download a system image, burn it to a DVD, and the run a particular repair option. Problem was that particular repair option was not there.

Now one of the things I tried was to create a new user account, but the utility specified in one of the answers told me that it did not work with my version of Windows 10. Digging further, I saw that I could create a new user account from the command prompt. I had, in fact, done that for my laptop, but I had forgotten that. I did so. Everything was functional, so I went to a tab in the control panel as one of the instructions stated to use the use copy profile function. The Copy To button was grayed out. Turns out it only works for the default user profile. So I manually copied my files to the new account. The Start menu then failed to work in that new account.


The next recommended option was to do a Reset. That would keep all of my data but delete all applications. Not optimal.

So I had that DVD which I burned. I could do a complete reinstall of Windows 10. “Help me Obi Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope.” I put it in my DVD drive, clicked install, and held my breath. After the complete Win 10 reinstall the Start menu was working again. At least for now.

If Microsoft were liable for lost productivity it would be a bankrupt company.

End of rant.

don’t rely on hymns for your religious education

In the Episcopal church the gradual hymn is the one sung before and after the Gospel reading. On Easter 3 the gradual hymn at Good Shepherd Episcopal was not one in the hymnal but was printed in the bulletin. It conflated the disciple John, the author of the Gospel of John, and the author of Revelation.

The disciple John was a Galilean Jew who was in his prime about 30 AD and spoke Aramaic. The Gospel of John was written about 90 AD by someone who was very literate in Greek. We don’t even know that his name was John. That name was assigned to the book by the early church, though some commentators like to say the phrase “the disciple whom Jesus loved” was the author’s own autobiographical reference. Most scholarship does not accept that, however.

The book of Revelation was written by John of Patmos about the same time as the Gospel of John or perhaps a few years later. It was almost certainly a different individual.

Then there’s the Christmas carol:

quoteThe snow lay on the ground,
The stars shone bright,
When Christ our Lord was born

Snow? In the Holy Land? And in any case if we accept Jesus being kept in a manger and shepherds watching their fields by night, Jesus would have been born in the spring or summer. December 25 for Christmas was a fairly late adoption.

Don’t rely on hymns for your religious education.

Sacred Music Friday: You Raise Me Up

You Raise Me Up, Hayley Westenra with Celtic Woman

cursive writing

Every so often I see some reference to the fact that cursive writing is a dying form. I certainly learned cursive in elementary school. In college I wrote all of my exams in cursive in blue books. (Do they still use blue books in college?) But I guess that cursive is for the most part no longer being taught in schools.


I suspect that this Baby Blues cartoon, while intended to be humorous, is based on fact.

My own cursive writing has gone seriously downhill. These days when I address an envelope or write a note I always print. The only time I use cursive is on a check, and I don’t write many of those because I pay most bills online and use a debit or credit card when out shopping. Hence my check writing has become a terrible hybrid of printing and cursive.

I’m not sure if this is really worth mourning. I used to use a fountain pen – well a cartridge pen, actually, but haven’t in decades. I don’t miss it. I’m not sure that losing cursive is any more of a loss than people no longer using typewriters. After all, no one mourns the fact that we no longer write in runes. Well, maybe a few mythopoeic types do. But not most of us.

In any case, the decline of cursive is definitely a change.


faith and mystery

My former rector, Fr. Phil at St. John the Divine, Morgan Hill, tweeted this the other day:

quoteFaith involves the humility of living with mystery
since an infinite number of things are in relationship
with an infinite number of things

I re-tweeted that. I’m always trying to figure stuff out. And sometimes things can’t be figured out. Science is important and critical and essential. We need science. But sometimes we simply need to make room for the mystery.

follow me on twitter: @MikeChristie220 I tweet whenever I publish a new blog entry.

it’s all table topics

One of our senior members at Toastmasters gave a talk on table topics recently. The table topics part of the meeting is where members are given a topic and need to speak off the top Toastmastersof their heads for a minute to two minutes on that topic. He spoke about strategies for running a table topics session as well as being called on to speak at table topics. All very informative.

He also pointed out that all life is table topics. Whether answering a question from a coworker or boss or engaging in conversation at a Chamber of Commerce mixer, it’s all table topics. And Toastmasters is great preparation.

There’s a lot to be gotten out of Toastmasters.