guess I did say that

Last baseball season we didn’t have the Dodgers on TV as we had Frontier Communications. I wrote that we didn’t need the Dodgers on television as we had the MLB at Bat app and could listen to the radio broadcast with Charlie Steiner and Rick Monday.

That was then. This is now. And I have to admit to at least a bit of sour grapes. Because now we have Spectrum and we get the Dodgers on television. I like having the Dodgers on television. Joe Davis is not as bad as I made out. He’s a pretty decent game caller. He’s not Vin Scully, but nobody is except for Vin.

Charlie and Rick are an excellent broadcast team in the finest baseball tradition, and there’s a great baseball tradition in radio broadcasts, but yeah, really, it’s nice to be able to see the Dodgers on TV.


it simply is not true

Mister RogersThere is a story going around, a story that has been going around for some time, that Fred Rogers of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood fame was a Navy Seal, and that he wore long sleeves on his television show to hide his tattoos.

The problem with the story is that it simply isn’t true. The story is pervasive enough that the privately-run Navy Seals web site, navyseals.com, devotes a page to debunking the myth. The go-to site for urban legend accuracy checking, snopes.com, offers a long entry debunking various Mr. Rogers myths, including the Navy Seals and tattoo stories. Snopes states:

quoteAlthough he was friendly with the children in his viewing audience and talked to them on their own level, he was most definitely an authority figure on a par with parents and teachers (he was Mister Rogers to them, after all, not “Fred”), and his choice of dress was intended to establish and foster that relationship.

The Wikipedia entry for Fred Rogers describes how he want straight from college to television work. (Not that Wikipedia is to be trusted in every instance, but this entry is well annotated.)

If you need any more proof, check out the movie trailer for the upcoming Fred Rogers documentary. It shows scenes of him in short sleeves playing on the street with youngsters, not to mention a brief moment picturing him underwater in the pool wearing only swim trunks. Not a single tattoo in either case.

This is, perhaps, much ado about nothing, but I am guilty of spreading this urban legend, so I wanted to set the record straight.


making a change

A year ago at this time I wrote that I was happy with Frontier Communications because at the end of my two year term I got a lower rate and more channels. This year that’s not the case.

What turned out to be a two-year term was only one year. When I asked them for some kind of rate accommodation I was told nothing was possible. That was it. It was time for a change.

I had been thinking about changing to Spectrum for a while. They have the Dodgers on TV and they have the Weather Channel. Frontier has neither. This, and Frontier’s inflexibility with respect to our rate, prompted me to make the change.

We did drop to a lower tier of service without the movie channels, but on the streaming side we have Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and movie services via our Roku.

We don’t get Cooking Channel, but we have Food Network. And I have Genius Kitchen on the Roku, which comes from the Food Network folks. I don’t get Decades with its Dick Cavett reruns, but I still have PBS Create.

Our savings is $60 a month. That doesn’t take into account the rate when our Frontier $30 a month loyalty discount was to expire.

And most importantly we get the Dodgers. We get to have the Dodgers on TV. That goes for a lot. We’re going to thoroughly enjoy that.


look what they’ve done to my Star Trek, Ma

That’s it.

I put up with the darker vision in Star Trek: Discovery throughout chapter 1 of season 1. I didn’t like it but there were some redeeming qualities.

After the hiatus and the start of chapter 2, season 1 in January Terry and I have had it. The movie reboot with the younger cast from the original series totally messed up the space-time continuum (the planet Vulcan destroyed, really?) but for the most part stayed true to the ideals and vision of Star Trek.

Discovery in chapter 2 of season 1 has gone beyond the pale. Violence. Brutality. Torture. The crew finds itself in a parallel universe full of all these things, and from what I can surmise, the final six episodes will all take place in this universe.

As Picard once said to Guinan, “Not good enough, dammit! Not good enough!”

CBS All Access: what have you done to my Star Trek? I’ve cancelled my subscription.


more Star Trek than Star Trek

The main character in the comic strip Candorville, Lemont, is an inveterate Star Trek fanatic. He was quoted in the strip as saying that The Orville, a new series on Fox, is more Star Trek than Star Trek: Discovery.

He’s right.

The OrvilleTerry and I began catching up on The Orville via Hulu. It is a sort of Star Trek parody, but at the same time it truly pays tribute to the spirit Star Trek. It was created by Seth McFarlane, apparently a big-time Star Trek fan. The crew of the starship Orville rather closely resembles the crew in Star Trek: Next Generation, while the plots in the two episodes we’ve seen so far have echoes of the original series: distress calls, deception, and a mirror on today’s society.

The twist is that the captain and the first officer are a divorced married couple, which is the source of a lot of entertaining laughs. There is the Union rather than the Federation. Why they have to use shuttles and don’t have transporters I don’t know. The captain has an office rather than a Next Generation ready room.

The Orville is true to the spirit of Star Trek. More true, I believe along with Lemont, than Star Trek: Discovery.


Star Trek: Discovery to date

We are at the midpoint of Star Trek: Discovery. Past it, actually. Episode 9 of 15 was released on 12 November. The series returns in January.

So where are we?

Star Trek DiscoveryThe series is true to the Star Trek ideal of diversity. They are trying to be consistent with the timeline of taking place 10 years before the original series and are working at keep things in context. (Why did Spock, whose parents were also the main character Michael’s guardians, join Star Fleet?) There are references to the original series, such as two episodes involving the scoundrel Harry Mudd.

However, the technology is all out of whack. They have holograms and holodecks, something that didn’t show up until Next Generation. And dark. It’s way too dark for the Gene Roddenberry Star Trek positive vision of the future. But each episode is intense with unexpected plot turns. And, of course, they left us hanging at the end of episode 9.

It’s not your father’s Star Trek. Hell, it’s not my Star Trek. Nonetheless Terry and I will be watching when the series returns in January.


why Marcela didn’t say goodbye

I recently wrote about Marcela Valladolid’s departure from The Kitchen on Food Network. I wrote that I was sad to see her leave and that I was disappointed that she did not have the opportunity to say goodbye.

The Kitchen logoMarcela writes all about this in a deeply personal and touching blog post. After telling us that her reasons for leaving are, in the words of former co-host Sunny Anderson, nunya business, Marcela tells us a lot. She tells us that the original decision not to say goodbye was hers. She goes on to say that she regretted that and that she wished she had pushed for the opportunity to tell her fans she was leaving the show.

She also describes what led her to leave. Marcela tells us that the recipes presented on the show do not reflect who she is or her cooking style. She describes how the monthly trips to the East Coast to tape the show were wearing her down. She writes about family, and moving from San Diego to Los Angeles, merging two households into one.

You might want to read the blog entry for yourself. But have a Kleenex nearby when you do.