The One With Alan Brady’s Hair

Sally: Where’s Laura?

Rob: She’s at home.

Sally: No she’s not, she’s here. I saw her get into the elevator.

Rob: The elevator?

Sally: Yeah, you know, that little room in the lobby that goes up and down.

This is from S5E1 of “The Dick Van Dyke Show”, from 1965. Fifteen years before Leslie Nielsen told us in “Airplane!” that a hospital is a big building with patients.

But that’s not important right now.


The Star Trek Years


Last night, a friend told me he was rewatching all the episodes of the original Star Trek series on Prime. Star Trek is something that I think all of my friends have watched, but I’ve managed to mostly avoid my whole life.

I have early memories of Star Trek when my father was watching it on our black and white Zenith TV. All I remember is that I was afraid of the man with the pointy ears. Star Trek originally ran from 1966 to 1969, so I would have been between four and seven years old when I was frightened by the Vulcan ears.

Starting in junior high and continuing through college and work, friends have continually raved about Star Trek. I remember when Star Trek: The Motion Picture came out in 1979, my freshman year in college. It was a big thing, and everyone was talking about it. But I had no desire to see it. I would occasionally try to watch an episode on TV, as it was shown in syndication, but it never held my attention long enough to watch a complete episode. I thought it was campy.

I finally succumbed in 1986 when the movie Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home came out. A group of colleagues at work were going to see it, and they invited me. This is the movie where the crew travels back in time to 1986 San Francisco. To save the whales! Since this was soon after I had seen another time travel movie, Back to the Future, which I liked a lot, I decided to go with them to see it.

Side note. I was working at Unisys, in Santa Monica, at the time. The movie was playing in Westwood. Maybe six to eight of us went to see it. We didn’t carpool. Rather, each of us drove separately from the office to Westwood, in our own cars. Someone commented that was the Southern California way.

Back to Star Trek. I really enjoyed the movie. Seeing the crew in 1986 San Francisco was cool. And the movie was funny, though I understood that the comedy was a bit of an aberration for Star Trek. I had to smile when I saw Mr. Scott pick up the mouse and said “Hello computer.”

After the movie, someone commented that Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was also good. And it had Mr. Roarke in it! So sometime later I went over to Wherehouse to rent Star Trek II on Betamax.

Star Trek II was OK. But I was not hooked. It was not until 1989, when I had a girlfriend who was a Trekkie, that I watched Star Trek again. The new movie was coming out, and she was really looking forward to seeing it. Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. So, we went to see it. I think we saw it on the day it came out. At a movie theater in Encino.

Although the movie was forgettable, I remember that I enjoyed the experience. It made my girlfriend happy, and I was in love. So it made me happy.

Fast forward to 2019. No Star Trek watching during all these years. I was intrigued that my friend was rewatching the series. And it’s been remastered and can be watched without commercials on Prime. So I tuned in to Prime and started watching S1E1.

My first thought was, “Wow, that’s a pretty good hairpiece on William Shatner, for 1966.” And my second thought, because I sometimes have a hard time single tasking and paying attention to something I am watching on TV, was all of the above. So five minutes and four seconds into episode 1, I had to pick up my phone and thumb type my newest blog post. I hope it was entertaining!

Maybe I’ll go back sometime and see if I can sit through all of the first episode.


Forever is a new series on Amazon Prime Video that I’ve started watching this week. Actually, “started watching” isn’t the right phrase. I’ve binge watched all of season one in the past three days.

I don’t want to say too much about it, for fear of giving too much away. So I’ll just describe a scene. If you like this scene, you’ll probably enjoy the series.

Fred Armisen’s character, Oscar, is building a boat. Maya Rudolph’s character, June, is trying to compliment him on his progress, after previously doubting him.

Oscar: I told you I could build it. I just needed to flush out the bones of what I had, and I did.

June: OK, great. Actually, you know what? Since we’re never gonna see each other again, it’s not “flush out”. It’s “flesh out”.

Oscar: What!?

June: You always say “flush out”. It’s “flesh out”. You add flesh to something to make it more full. Flush out doesn’t make sense. You just sound like an idiot.

Oscar: I’ve heard it both ways.

June: Yeah, the way that you say it, and the correct way that everyone else in the world says it.

Any show where a character corrects another character’s diction is a possible winner in my book. If you like this, then tune in to find out what is the best usage of a spare 30 minutes (and why it isn’t sex).


The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel S1E8 (Spoilers)


I started watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel a couple of weeks ago, after several friends gave it glowing reviews. I liked it from the first five minutes! I think it’s very well-written and well-acted. I like that it tells a story of a time shortly before I was born. I like that all the main characters are Jewish. I like that it brings in Jewish culture and sprinkles in the occasional Yiddish word. I really like that it brings up pop culture from the period, mentioning people like Ed Sullivan, Bob Newhart, and Lenny Bruce. (The actor who plays Lenny is funny!) I love that Midge was arrested and shared the police car with Lenny. I love love love that Abe is played by Tony Shalhoub! (I was a huge fan of Monk.)

I noticed in one episode that there was an anachronism. The emcee at the comedy place asked the crowd to “give it up” for Midge. Nobody said “give it up” in the 1950s. I think it was invented in the 1990s by Arsenio Hall. I wasn’t sure if this was done intentionally or was a slip up. It bothered me a little, not knowing. But overall, I really liked the show, and I’ve been watching one episode every few nights (rather than binge watching the whole thing), so I will have something to look forward to.

Last night, I watched S1E8, the final episode of the first season. Another anachronism. A character in the office used the term “yada, yada, yada”. I believe that was invented also in the 1990s by Jerry Seinfeld. I’m beginning to think that the anachronisms are thrown in intentionally. I’m OK with that. It is consistent with their use of contemporary music in the closing theme.

But then something happened in S1E8 that I did not like at all. They went there. “There” meaning Midge and Joel decided to sleep together. Terrible idea! I hated that they were doing that. I wanted to scream at the TV. Rule #1 in life: Don’t sleep with your ex. Sex with the ex: BAD idea. Why? Rule #2 in life: People do what people do, and they will do it again. They broke up because Joel slept with his secretary. He will do it again with someone else. Why? Rule #3: Once a cheater, always a cheater.

So Midge and Joel slept together, and I watched it, partially covering my eyes. And I knew what was going to happen next. One or both of them would want to get back together, to reconcile. Or they would think that they want to get back together. Ding ding ding! Jackpot. Both of them said they wanted to get back together.

Midge told her father that she wanted to get back together with Joel because she missed him. “I just missed him so much!” she said. Not a good reason! She was conveniently forgetting what he had done.

At this point, I was not sure I wanted to watch the show anymore. To me, it was transforming itself from a light-hearted comedy to soap opera drama, where the two characters were doing something stupid and I was forced to watch, and then later I’d have to watch the unpleasant consequences, WHICH I COULD HAVE WARNED THEM ABOUT!

Then something magic happened. A conversation between Midge and Abe.
Midge: Papa?
Abe: Yes?
Midge: What are you doing?
Abe: Alphabetizing my books.

Yes! A Monk crossover! I can’t want for Season 2 to start!

Decay of Society — The Comedy Central Roast of Bruce Willis

I’m watching the Comedy Central Roast of Bruce Willis. At least, I’m trying to watch it. So far, it’s not very entertaining.

I feel that this is an example of how society has devolved over the years. It seems to be a competition about who can be the meanest and exhibit the poorest taste. If the roastee, or anyone on the dais, has ever done something embarrassing in their life, someone is sure to bring it up. If they have a weakness, someone is sure to attack them for it. And the victim sits there and tries to grin and bear it.

People weren’t always this mean. I remember the Dean Martin Roasts from the ’70s. It being a roast, of course there was ribbing going on. But it was all good-natured. The roastee was always in on the joke.

I always looked forward to the Dean Martin roasts. They were fun to watch. And FUNNY!! People like Don Rickles, and Nipsy Russell, and Rich Little, and Joey Bishop, and Charlie Callas. They made me laugh out loud! And Foster Brooks. OMG, Foster Brooks. So hilarious!

Lost In Translation

I just finished watching a movie called “Lost In Translation”. I had recorded it on April 13, 2015, during the time that I briefly had a subscription to HBO. I have a collection of movies recorded on my DVR. But, the hard drive is failing, and I can’t record new shows, so I will have to get it replaced with a new model.

Apparently, Cox has a fancy new model called the “Contour 2 Record 6”. It has snazzy new features such as “smart search”, which searches for shows that it knows I will like, and a voice remote that apparently I can have a conversation with. It will also stream recorded shows to my computer or tablet or phone, in case I want to watch a movie on a screen that is small, smaller, or smallest. I don’t have an Apple watch, but I’m guessing this DVR would let people watch a movie on a watch as well. Haha, watch a movie on a watch. Get it?

I spoke with a Cox rep yesterday, and he explained that they would have to send someone out to my home to install the new DVR, and normally there would be a $50 charge for that. But, since my hard drive is failing, they would waive the charge. And the monthly charge for the new DVR is the same as the one I have, so win/win. He asked me when would be a good time to schedule an appointment.

I asked him if I could transfer my recorded shows from my old DVR to the new one. He said no, but once I have the new DVR, my new recorded shows would be backed up in the cloud. So when the new DVR fails sometime in the future, I won’t lose my content when I upgrade to a yet newer DVR. I told him I’m not ready to upgrade just yet, because I have too many recorded shows that I have to watch. Here is a sample of what I have recorded.

HBO movies. This includes Lost In Translation, Identify Thief, Man Of Steel, Match Point, Argo (which I’ve seen but want to watch again), Jersey Boys, The Judge, and lots more.

HBO series. I have all six episodes of season three of The Newsroom. That’s the reason I subscribed to HBO. Of course I watched them all the day they aired, but I keep them in case I want to watch them again. I also have 31 episodes of Bill Maher. And 45 episodes of John Oliver.

I also have all twenty episodes of season one and season two of Better Call Saul, some episodes of the new Cosmos (which I still have not watched), all six episodes of the new season of the X files–another one that I watched the day they aired but am keeping in case I want to watch them again. And the big prize goes to The Daily Show With Jon Stewart. When he announced he was leaving, I started recording all the episodes. He’s been off the air for almost a year, and it’s nice to be able to go back and watch episodes that are new, to me. I still have 159 episodes of The Daily Show that I haven’t watched.

So, as you see, I can’t return the DVR, because I have a lot of watching to do! I don’t know how I’ll be able to watch all that content. I also have 500 movies on my Netflix DVD queue. I think I’ll have to take some days off of work. 😉

Which brings me back to Lost in Translation. I had never watched it, but I heard good things about it. And, as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I’ve had it recorded since April 2015, which, by the way, means that there was a good chance it was recorded before the hard drive started to fail, and it would be technically possible for me to watch it. I started watching it yesterday afternoon, and I just finished it today.

Capsule review: Entertaining. Interesting view into Japanese culture. Bill Murray played this old dude who, while in Japan, struck up a friendship with a young chick played by Scarlett Johansson. I looked up Bill Murray on Wikipedia and found that he was 52 when the movie was filmed, back in 2003. I am 54 now. So, I’m an older dude. 😦

When the movie ended, I felt glad that I had finally watched it, and I thought I would probably give it a four star rating. I usually rate movies on Netflix, because based on ratings, they tell me what new movies I will like. So, I logged in to Netflix, went to the Lost In Translation page, and found that I had already watched the movie back in 2004 (February 24, 2004, to be exact), and I had given it a three star rating. No recollection of that at all! You know what that means? After I watch everything on my DVR, and all 500 movies on my Netflix queue, there will be a whole collection of movies I’ve already seen that I’ll have to watch again.

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