Archive for the ‘radio’ Tag

09-09-2014 Journal Entry–Advertising Rant!   Leave a comment

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I’m a child of television. I come by it honestly because I was a member of the first generation that had TV. So for good or bad I’ve spent a great deal of my life listening and watching the tube. In my early years television was unsophisticated  and simple with only three networks to choose from and a 12” black and white screen.

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Years later it was still black and white pictures but there were rumors of something called ‘Pay TV’ on the horizon.  It was the latest and greatest evolution of Television where you paid a monthly fee and there would be no commercial interruptions. Around that same time full color TV’s were introduced. The worst thing about ‘Pay TV’ was that we bought the fiction hook, line, and sinker.  Before we knew it cable TV was born and so began the steadily rising monthly fees, surcharges, and the reintroduction of commercials but only on a limited basis (so they said). Yeah, we bought that BS as well.

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Move forward a few more years and the monthly rates continued to increase based solely on the companies ability to increase the number of channels that you really weren’t all that interested in having but they were “part of the package”. More commercials were then added because the companies claimed a need for extra revenues to help cover their costs of production and maintenance of their infrastructure.  Another giant pile of BS.

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Move forward in time to yesterday. I’m now receiving my TV programming by the satellite dish hanging off the side of my house.  Pretty impressive but only if you live somewhere where it never rains or snows.  I never see any reduction in my monthly fees due to all of the weather related interruptions in service. I especially enjoy winter and those numerous trips I’m forced to make in my bathrobe to clear the dish during snow squalls.  I also don’t appreciate all of the extra channels I’ve been involuntarily stuck paying for because “it’s part of the package”. You’d think by now they’d have a better list of stupid reasons for inflating our monthly charges.

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I never thought I’d see the day when advertisements would come to be thirty minutes long on virtually every channel for a good part of the morning viewing hours.  How stupid is it that the advertisers then take short breaks during those half-hour infomercials for a commercial or two. Commercials inside commercials, unbelievable right?

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We are inundated with commercials everywhere everyday.  Planes flying over our beaches. Talking digital images on every end cap at Walmart activated as you walk by to spew their annoying messages.  Gas station pumps talking in your ear with more lame and unimportant messages.  It just never stops, so I decided to do a little research.

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For two hours last evening during good old TV prime time (6-8 pm), I began counting the number of commercials.  In a 120 minute time frame on two different channels I was forced to listen to all of these in this exact order:

Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuits, Back Support Device, Xarelto Drug, Hair Club, Sleep Number Beds, Belviq Weight Loss Drug, DR rapid fire log splitters, Hip replacement implant lawsuits, Dolphin Tale 2 Trailer, Little Caesars Pizza, Target, Gone Girl Movie Trailer, News Update, Lowry Law Firm, Toyota, Dick’s Discount Furniture, Dunkin Donuts, The Box Trolls Trailer, Hannaford Foods, Political Ad Maine, Kohl’s, Dodge, Scion Maze Runner Trailer, Sonic, Hershey, Dos Equis, Hanes Underwear, Nasacort Allergy Meds, US Navy, Dairy Queen, Geico, Reese’s Pieces, Dewars Whiskey, Gillette Razor, Dulera Asthma Meds, John Deere, Progressive Insurance, Tostados, Burger King, Hershey, Honda, Direct TV, Nasacort Allergy Meds, Pizza Hut, Fuse Electric Cigarettes, Schick Razor, Supernatural Trailer, Corona, Jolly Rancher, Walk Among the Tombstones Trailer, AT&T, Ace Hardware, Toyota, Sonic, Reese’s Pieces, Dewar Whiskey, Gillette Razor, Cricket Wireless, State Farm, Heineken, Dunkin Donut, Winter soldier Trailer, Kit Kat, Allegra Allergy Meds, UFC, Heinz, Evel Knievel trailer, Cricket wireless, Wendy’s, ROLO, Honda, Direct TV, Maze Runner Trailer, ITT Tech, Dos Equis, KFC, Reese’s Pieces, Nasacort Allergy Meds, Fiat, Domino’s Pizza, Ice Breakers Breath Mints, Sonic, Skittles, Cricket Wireless, Lipton Tea, Kit Kat, Dos Equis, Walk Among the Tombstones Trailer, Eye Exam PSA, Lending Tree Loans, Scion, State Farm, Reese’s, UFC, Sons of Anarchy Trailer.

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Is it just me or is this pure insanity.  72 commercials of varying lengths in just 120 minutes. There’s little doubt that these money hungry cable companies will eventually supply us with only 10 minutes of actually programming per hour if we just agree to watch 50 minutes of effing commercials. Is it any wonder that we can’t just sit down and relax anymore. Even if the TV is off the radio chimes in with their commercials. Signs along the roads and on thousands of vehicles driving by make it impossible to escape.

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Try and enjoy your day.

07-13-2014 Journal Entry–It’s Time!   Leave a comment

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This summer is passing quickly and the time seems to be flying by like never before.  It’s amazing to me how our sense of time changes as a person ages. As a young child the days seemed long and the summers seemed to last forever.  That summer school break always felt like a year to me. During my working lifetime things seemed to drag on and on endlessly except when I was vacationing.  Work was always a definite time slower.

“How did it get so late so soon? Its night before its afternoon. December is here before its June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?”  ~ Dr. Seuss

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After retirement I discovered something I never expected.  Time has virtually ceased to be a part of my life.  Shortly after retiring I discarded that timepiece I’d worn on my arm in many variations for five and half decades.  That damn device that I looked at and worried over a thousand times a day.  Most of us never realize what a hold the watch has over us and how obsessed we’ve become in wearing them.  Not only do humans require a watch they won’t hesitate to spend thirty of forty thousand dollars for that extra special Rolex.

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I’ve been a rather clumsy person since a very young age and that clumsiness made my ownership of hundreds of watches my curse and Rolex ownership a joke.  It seemed that the more expensive the device I wore the quicker it became damaged or destroyed once it was strapped to my arm. In my twenties I became a Timex owner only because it made wearing a timepiece affordable.

“At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, or a parent.”  ~ Barbara Bush

I can also remember that feeling I had when I was without a watch. It caused me a great deal of stress and concern and on those days when I wasn’t wearing one I was almost panicky. We were raised to know the time and to live by it in all circumstances. The words "Don’t be late!" and "Be on time!" were the mantra for an entire society. We were raised to always be aware of the time and to live our lives by that watch on our wrist. I remember many occasions when I became pissed off with a partner or spouse who continued to be late for appointments which in turn caused some really nasty arguments.

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“Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.”  ~Carl Sandburg

It’s been six years since I stopped wearing a watch but you can never really escape this obsession.  I do relish those weeks that go by and I’m forced to ask my better-half over and over again, “Honey, what day is it?”.  That’s a real form of freedom and a dash of mental health I’ve never had before. Unfortunately for the rest of you the ever vigilant manufacturers of this world continue to create a myriad of products that almost always include a digital clock. The coffee maker, the stove, the TV, the stereo, the VCR, a ball point pen, the computer, the IPad, IPod’s of all sizes, and even on a reproduction of a 1930’s classic radio.  It’s apparent we can’t live without timing ourselves. A clock in every room, next to our beds, and everywhere else. Even my favorite digital camera insists on getting involved by telling me the time on each and every photograph I take.

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The more I think about our societies obsession with time the more I realize that my obsession that causes me to fret over that problem is just a time obsession of another sort. As a last thought on Time I refer you to Mr. Steven Wright who puts it all into perspective for me:

“I went to a restaurant that serves ‘breakfast at any time’. So I ordered French Toast during the Renaissance.” 

TIME TO GO!

11-29-2013 A Look Back!   1 comment

According to Socrates “an unexamined life is not worth living”.  I agree with that to a point because there are times when looking back has truly restorative value.  It clears the mind by allowing us to revisit simpler and sometimes happier times.   The post that follows is me looking back and remembering how different things were not so long ago.  I’m not saying they were always better but in some cases they definitely were.  Read on and enjoy a short but detailed visit to my early childhood.

Way back…

I’m talking about hide and seek at dusk, sitting on the porch. Hot bread and butter, eating’ a super-dooper sandwich (Dagwood), Red light, Green light, 1 2 3.

Chocolate milk, lunch tickets, penny candy in a brown paper bag. Hopscotch, butterscotch, Double-Dutch, jacks, kickball, and dodge ball. Mother, May I? Hula Hoops, Sunflower Seeds, jawbreakers, blow pops, Mary Janes, and running through the sprinklers. The smell of the sun and licking salty lips.

Wait……

Watching lightening bugs in a jar, playing slingshot and Red Rover. When around the corner seemed far away, and going downtown seemed like going somewhere.

Bedtime, Climbing trees. A million mosquito bites and sticky fingers. Cops and Robbers, Cowboys and Indians, sitting on the curb, jumping down the steps, jumping on the bed, and pillow fights.

Being tickled to death, running till you were out of breath. Laughing so hard that your stomach hurt. Being tired from playing …. Remember that?

I’m not finished just yet…

What about the girl that had the big bubbly hand writing? Licking the beaters when your mother made a cake. When there were two types of sneakers for girls and boys (Keds & PF Flyers), and the only time you wore them at school, was for “gym.”

When nobody owned a purebred dog. When a quarter was a decent allowance, and another quarter a huge bonus. When you’d reach into a muddy gutter for a penny. When girls neither dated nor kissed until late high school, if then. When your mom wore nylons that came in two pieces.

When you got your windshield cleaned, oil checked, and gas pumped, without asking, for free. And you didn’t pay for air, and, you got trading stamps to boot! When laundry detergent had free glasses, dishes or towels hidden inside the box.

When any parent could discipline any kid, or feed him or use him to carry groceries, and nobody, not even the kid, thought a thing of it. When it was considered a great privilege to be taken out to dinner at a real restaurant with your parents.

Not done yet . . .

When all of your male teachers wore neckties and female teachers had their hair done, everyday. When they threatened to keep kids back a grade if they failed…and did! When being sent to the principal’s office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited a misbehaving student at home. Having a weapon in school, meant being caught with a slingshot. When nearly everyone’s mom was at home when the kids got there.

Basically, we were in fear for our lives but it wasn’t because of drive-by shootings, drugs, gangs, etc.  Disapproval of our parents and grandparents was a much bigger threat!

Decisions were made by going “eeny-meeny-miney-mo.” Mistakes were corrected by simply exclaiming, “do over!” “Race issue” meant arguing about who ran the fastest. Money issues were handled by whoever was the banker in “Monopoly.”

Catching fireflies could happily occupy an entire evening. It wasn’t odd to have two or three “best” friends. Being old, referred to anyone over 20. The net on a tennis court was the perfect height to play volleyball and rules didn’t matter. It was unbelievable that dodge ball wasn’t an Olympic event.

The worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was cooties. It was magic when dad would “remove” his thumb. Scrapes and bruises were kissed and made better.

Nobody was prettier than Mom.

IT’S NICE TO OCCASIONALLY LOOK BACK

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