Archive for the ‘tv’ Tag

11/17/2022 “TV”   Leave a comment

This post will be rather shorter than my usual efforts due in part to a rather unpleasant afternoon ahead of me. I’m two hours away from my seventh colonoscope (that’s right, I said seven) and my mind is wandering elsewhere (like right around my ass). That being said I’d like to quickly entertain you with some interesting quotes concerning our society’s obsession with TV. I’m addicted myself and have a love/hate relationship with my addiction and all of my TV’s. Here’s what some profession media types think.

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“The electronic device that intersperses gory slaughter with the brushing of teeth.”

Woody Allen

In California, they don’t throw their garbage away – they make it into TV shows.”

Daid Frost

“TV is an invention that permits you to be entertained in your living room by people you wouldn’t have in your home.”

Samuel Goldwyn

“Why should people go out and pay to see bad films when they can stay at home and see bad television for nothing?”

T.S. Eliot

Television is a medium of entertainment which permits millions of people to listen to the same joke at the same time and yet remain lonesome.”

Lily Tomlin

“If you read a lot of books, your considered well read. But if you watch a lot of TV, you’re not considered well viewed.”

Frank Zappa

I can’t understand why anybody would want to devote their life to a cause like dope. It’s the most boring pastime I can think of. It ranks a close second to television.”

Groucho Marx

“I find television very educating. Every time someone turns on the set I go into the other room and read a book.”

I really have to agree with most of these critics and at the same time I feel I’ve just been royally chastised for enjoying my addiction. Although, I shouldn’t be too surprised. I’ve had a number of addictions over the years and there were always plenty of so-called experts around to offer their opinions. So, to remain consistent I’ll ignore these experts like I’ve ignored all the others. They have their nerve!

TV SUCKS, AND I STILL LOVE IT.

11/10/2021 My Terrible Two’s – 1948   Leave a comment

I know that some of you are going to find this hard to believe but as a child of two I was a serious problem for my mother and father. The term “Terrible Two’s” really meant something to them as they reminded me so often over the years. I was a bit rebellious even then and stayed that way for most of my adult life. In 1948 I was two years old and it was also a year of transition for the country due to the end of World War II. Here are a few facts and figures from 1948 for your amusement.

  • Harry S. Truman was named President of the United States but never appointed a vice president when he first took over the office after the death of FDR. The population of the United States at the time was 146,631,000.
  • The number of births recorded in that year were 3,637,000.
  • There were 563,000 males graduated from high school as did 627,000 females.
  • Average salary for a full-time employee was $2900.00 and the minimum wage per hour was $.40.
  • The Cleveland Indians defeated the Boston Braves in the World Series.
  • And in NFL news, the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Chicago Cardinals to win the championship..
  • The PGA championship was won by Ben Hogan.
  • The popular word game Scrabble made its debut in 1948 and soon became the source of stimulation and fun for families on cold winter nights. Many of the favorite toys of the time were interactive and included Lincoln Logs, the game Cootie, Jack-in-the-Box, model airplanes, and electric trains.
  • The Hallicrafter Company developed and marketed a small television with a 4 inch screen (B&W Only) that was more affordable and convenient for some families.
  • Terry Bradshaw, of the Pittsburgh Steelers, was born on September 2. Ozzy Osbourne, rock singer and musician, was born on December 3. Samuel L Jackson, actor, was born on December 21 and Orville Wright, aviation pioneer, died on January 30, 1948.
  • Here are some prices you can hardly believe: a loaf of bread-$.14, a pound of bacon-$.77, a pound of butter-$.87, a dozen eggs-$.72, a gallon of milk-$.44, 10 pounds of potatoes-$.57, a pound of coffee-$.51, 5 pounds of sugar-$.47, 1 gallon of gasoline-$.26, movie tickets-$.36, postage stamps-three cents, and average family car-$1250, and last but not least a single-family home-$7700.00
  • During a Yankee Stadium anniversary event on June 13, 1948, Babe Ruth stepped to the microphone, thanked friends and fans for their support, and retired. On August 16, at 8:01 p.m. he passed away.
  • The 1948 Winter Olympics were held in St. Moritz, Switzerland, and were the first Olympics since 1936, due to World War II.
  • The Summer Olympics were also revived, with London hosting the games. For the first time the games were televised allowing Americans to view athletes from the United States and 58 other nations. Germany and Japan however were barred from participating. The United States closed the games with 84 medals, 38 of which were gold, making America by far the top medal winning nation.
  • On May 14, 1948, Israel declared its independence, technically ending it’s civil war, but the conflict between Arab and Israeli groups continued.
  • The World Health Organization was established on April 7, 1948.
  • The Lone Ranger, The Green Hornet, The Adventures of Sam Spade, and Inner Sanctum, were some of the favorite radio stars and shows of 1948.
  • The top hit song of the year was “Buttons and Bows” by Dinah Shore.
  • Some of the most popular movies for the year were Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, Fort Apache, Key Largo, The Three Musketeers, and The Treasure of Sierra Madre.

So ended my Terrible Two’s which allowed me to move up to my Terrible Three’s and then my Terrible Fours. I pretty much stayed “Terrible” until Monday of last week.

SAY GOODBYE TO 1948

02-02-2016 Journal–Bad TV & Other Sicknesses!   4 comments

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‘Here’s our hero.’

Day three of my third bout with a flu, a cold, or some other sort of virus. My best friend for the foreseeable future once again becomes phlegm.  Sleeping has become impossible, the coughing never ending, and this fever just plain sucks.  Welcome to my so-called life.  I’d like to send a big THANK YOU out to all of those medical experts who told me a flu shot would solve all of my winter health problems. BS..BS..BS!!!!

Since I remain somewhat bedridden the days have been dragging along even slower than usual.  I hate being even a little sick but this winter season has been the worst ever.  It’s been one virus or flu after another for the last two months.  I can’t take it anymore. 

I do feel a little better now that I have whined to you and gotten most of the anger out of my system.  My better-half has been suffering in silence (that is sarcasm) and hasn’t been getting much sleep either. I hope this virus goes away soon before she kills me in my sleep.

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‘No really, he’s a good guy.’

Being bored to tears causes most people to do strange and unusual things. I decided to turn on Netflix and to watching the eight seasons of a crime drama called Dexter. If your not familiar with the show it’s about a serial killer who only kills other killers.  It is one of the creepiest shows I’ve ever seen where show producers are attempting to convince the audience that the serial killer star is somehow a victim of circumstances. I guess that means if you kill somebody and you had a tough childhood, it’s understandable and the rest of us should be more sympathetic.  Screw that.  The show went off the air in 2013 with huge ratings and millions of viewers and good riddance to it in my opinion. 

This show plays to everyone’s morbid curiosity about death and serial killers for nothing more than stupid TV ratings and money.  Say what you will but anyone with children who allows them to watch this crap should be arrested. Nothing like filling the minds of a generation of young people with the thought that killing and dismembering someone is okay if they’re bad people. It’s ridiculous and morally unacceptable but continues to show the downward spiral of the entertainment industry which has been going on for some time.

Is it any wonder that many of the most popular movies on the market these days are animated and made for kids.  The people in this country know what’s worth watching and what isn’t or so I thought.  The fact that it hasn’t been figured out by the cynical Hollywood crowd is no big surprise either. It’s all about the money and the hell with any consequences.

I’ve criticized this show a number of times when it was being aired and will continue to do so now that Netflix insists are enlarging it’s audience by tens of millions of viewers. 

This posting has been my last major rant on the subject and I still hate the show’s approach to TV and their audience. 

GREEDY HOLLYWOOD BASTARDS

01-31-2016 – Retro TV Trivia Challenge!   6 comments

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Most of us are considered members of TV generations. We were all raised in front of a TV, ate supper while watching TV, and knew nothing about current events that wasn’t told to us by all of the famous talking heads like Walter Cronkite. 

Since I love all things trivia and also old TV shows I thought for a change of pace I’d give you all an opportunity to flex your trivia muscles. I’ll  give you ten questions and then in my next posting on Ground Hog Day I’ll supply the answers.  Most of these questions are tough and they’ll certainly test your trivia knowledge.  Here we go:

Questions

1.    What was the address of Big Bird’s nest on TV’s Sesame Street?

2.    How many fingers does Mickey Mouse have on each hand?

3.    What was the name of the church to which comedian Flip Wilson’s character Reverend Leroy belonged?

4.    What role did Art Carney play in the Jackie Gleason’s first Honeymooner’s sketch?

5.    What famous Hollywood star turned down the part of Marshall Mat Dillon on TV’s Gunsmoke before James Arness was offered the part?

6.    On what TV show did comic Robin Williams first appear as the alien Mork?

7.    How did the TV sitcom Sanford and Son get it’s name?

8.    What was the name of the USS Enterprise in the original draft for the Star Trek series?

9.    On TV’s sitcom Petticoat Junction, what were the names of the three Bradley girls and their uncle?

10.   What was the name of the attorney on the Flintstones who never lost a case?

BONUS QUESTUION -  At what age did Lucille Ball become a redhead?

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For all of the answers check my posting for 2-2-2016.  If anyone gets more than five answers correct, they are true trivia champs.

10-25-2015 Journal – I’m a Streaming Fool!   Leave a comment

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I’ve been accused on any number of occasions by any number of people of being impatient.  Not just a little impatient but brutally so.  Over the years it’s become less of a problem but in my younger days it was truly a bitch to deal with me. I wished on many occasions that I could loosen up enough to keep myself from going a little bonkers but it was difficult.

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I was reasonably successful in most of my career endeavors and while impatience kept me focused and motivated it tended to irritate and annoy many others. Procrastination in others was my second biggest complaint and those that reported directly to me paid a price if they were so inclined. I have no regrets about those years to be sure but even today procrastination makes me a wee bit crazy.

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Over the years my impatience has prompted many posting on multiple blogs concerning the over use of advertisements on TV and just about everywhere else.  It made most forms of entertainment difficult for me to watch because of all of those annoying interruptions and distractions.  Then my prayers were finally answered . . . . . . Netflix.

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Watching television or movies and having total control is something that takes a little getting used to.  No more sitting and waiting for shows to begin, no constant interruptions with stupid ads, and the ability to pause the show and return at my convenience. It’s freaking awesome. I also subscribe to Amazon which is very similar to Netflix in some ways and is money well spent in my opinion. 

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Unfortunately I use the ROKU service to connect my televisions to the Internet and most of their extra services and channels are filled with ads causing me not to often use them.  ROKU provides an excellent gateway for streaming but paying them additional fees for programming and movies over and above the cost of their devices remains annoying. My ever present impatience with anyone who insists on trying to remove money from my wallet keeps me looking for better alternatives every day. 

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Being free from the clutches of cable TV now makes changing companies very easy too.  No more contracts, everything is month-to-month, and more vendor possibilities are being created almost weekly. If a company is dumb enough not to cater to their customers then I will move on to someone who does. For a change we the consumers finally have a modicum of control over our costs and time like never before.

Hooray for us!

07-19-2015 Journal–Down With Cable TV!   Leave a comment

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It’s a gray day once again after having a few days of bright sunshine. The better-half is at work and the cat and I are doing as little as possible.  Over the last few days I’ve been spending time familiarizing myself with Netflix.  It was a little cumbersome at first but it didn’t take long to get the hang of it. I was told by a long time Netflix user the danger of “binge watching” and I thought she was kidding.  She wasn’t! I now can see just how that can happen because its happening to me already.

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As I’ve posted in the recent past, I’m preparing to finally disconnect myself from cable TV once and for all.  I’m sick of the continuously rising costs and the hundreds of channels of garbage programming I’m forced to pay for.

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I’m making the most of this Netflix free trial for the next month and the more I use it the better I’m liking it. I’ll be signing up for HULU Plus and their free trial next week to checkout the the TV shows they offer.  If I’m satisfied with HULU  I’ll be terminating my Dish cable service early in August. It’s been a long time coming and I can’t wait.

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I think I’ll be doing a little shopping tomorrow at Best Buy. I need one additional ROKU device to adapt my last TV to video streaming. The costs for these devices are minuscule compared to the amount I’ll be saving each month. I just love having extra money in my pocket instead of theirs.

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I should have no problem getting through the winter months this year with lots of books to read, a huge selection of TV programming, and more movies than I could ever watch.

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It’s time for me to return to my desktop computer, my laptop, iPad, smart phone, and TV because I can now video stream on all of them.  I’m deep into the storyline of the series, Marco Polo, with five episodes remaining. Then I can begin watching episodes of an old TV series, The Finder, one of my all-time favorites. It’s back and I’ve got it. 

Add to that a bottle of good Sangria, a bag of tortilla chips, and a quart of my salsa and I’m in heaven.  I’ll also be saving $645.00 in the first year that will pay for my annual car insurance, a year’s supply of cat food, and the occasional bottle of brandy. It can’t get much better than that.

06-19-2015 Journal – Back to the Past!   Leave a comment

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I’m spending this rainy morning in bed for at least another hour because watching old reruns of Sports Night has become part of my morning routine. It was a show I enjoyed watching back in 2000 even though I’m really not a  sports guy.  The show still holds up pretty well and the inane patter between the characters still makes me smile.

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Have any of you noticed just how many of the old shows seem to be resurfacing on such a large number of channels.  It started two years ago for me when I stumbled upon reruns of Sgt. Preston of the Yukon.  I never missed that show as a kid and thoroughly enjoyed watching all of the episodes once again. Is it a little lame? Absolutely! Is it an easy and relaxing half hour? Absolutely! Then followed Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Roy Rogers, The Lone Ranger, Dragnet, One Adam 12, and a host of others. I began to wonder why it was happening so frequently.

Can it be that the networks are beginning to see a change in viewing habits? Is it possible that the ratings for these old shows are higher than those of the half hour long commercials that seem to be on every channel?  Is it more fun to spend a relaxing half hour watching a show where the good guys always win and the bad guys always lose? Can it be that people are sick to death of watching hour long shows about corrupt politicians, corrupt police officers, heroic serial killers like Dexter or pedophiles who aren’t responsible for their criminal behavior and blame everything on society? It’s a politically correct "No-No" watching those old shows where it’s celebrated to be patriotic, honest, religious, and a responsible citizen.

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God forbid anyone should love their country and voice it out loud these days.  We wouldn’t want to piss off the media elite who decide what we should be watching and how to think. How can the Mainstream Media possibly maintain control of the masses and continue to dictate our politics, morals, and outlook on life when we’d rather watch Joe Friday or the Lone Ranger  doing the right thing no matter what. I think our kids would certainly benefit from a stream of positive role models, don’t you?

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I find myself drawn to those simpler and more honest shows even though they aren’t up to speed with all of the politically correct crap we’re being fed these days. Maybe it’s time for the people of this country to once again hear some positive messages instead of the constant in-your-face drumbeat of commercials, reality shows, and just plain crap that’s filling the airways.

Find that cable channel that’s decided to step back and regain some simple and positive programming and support them. When their ratings begin to climb the advertising money will soon follow. More money begets more of the same type of programming and all of us and our kids are the winners.

01-02-2015 Journal – Welcome to 2015!   Leave a comment

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Well we’ve all survived another year.  I guess we should be congratulated but maybe not.  Over the New Years holiday I made the mistake of catching up on some TV watching. I should have known better but as always I thought there might be something interesting on. How stupid am I?

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I was working on a project and had the TV playing in the background. I was excited about the project since I’ve been working on it for more years than I care to think about.  I was working intently but my subconscious was inundated with three hours of religious doom and gloom. The "End of Days" and "Armageddon" we’re just some of the topics I was hearing and it depressed me enough that I turned the channel. I then found myself in the midst of a mini-marathon of the Walking Dead program which for me was even worse than the religious nonsense. 

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The bottom line was that I disconnected the damn TV and fell back on the good old reliable music that I love.  I recently created a new playlist which is killer. It’s a collection of three of my all time favorite female blues singers, Anita Baker, Billie Holiday, and Amy Winehouse.  It was absolutely wonderful with Billie singing Loverman,  followed closely by Amy singing Back to Black, and then Anita bringing it home with Sweet Love. It just doesn’t get much better than that.

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Back to this crazy project of mine.  Over a ten year period back in the nineties I created a collection of collages containing articles and things from my life. Some were four feet square with an variety of other sizes as well. I called them my life panels.  I always intended to have them framed and then put together to create a wall.  Here I am twenty-five years later and even though they’ve been in storage for all of that time they still look pretty good. They’ve never been displayed at all but have moved from place to place with with me awaiting enough wall space to put them up. 

This current man-cave of mine has slowly turned into someplace special but I still don’t have enough wall space.  I solved that problem this week by turning my life panels into the ceiling above my computer desk. The picture that follows was taken as I was lying on my back on the floor looking up.

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What better way to start 2015 than to resurrect my life panels and to display them proudly.  I can now lean back in my chair and see more than twenty years of my life displayed for my enjoyment. Happy New Year to me. . . .

AND TO YOU!

10-16-2014 TV Rehab Needed!   Leave a comment

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As with most people of my generation, I’m addicted to television.  A TV addiction is much like a heroin addiction.  All the while your doing it you know it’s no good for you but you can’t stop yourself.  We’re  unfortunate in that we were born before TV and were hooked at an early age when it became readily available to the masses.

I remember those days with a B&W TV screen the size of a cereal box turned toward the dining room table so we could all watch as we ate our meal.  A large antenna on the roof that rotated 360 degrees to help us pick up the signal.  Three fantastic networks held our attention for years and made the TV our friend. It was on constantly in the house more for the company it provided than for the enjoyment of what was being aired.

As things progressed over the years my addiction really took hold and I was lost.  The only thing that kept me from being lost forever was my time in the Army. I was located in a somewhat isolated part of South Korean and we had no television whatsoever.  Two years which allowed me to kick the habit and resume a normal life (if you consider the Army a normal life).  It was quite the shock to my system when I finally returned home.  The TV at home was now in color, the screen was three times as big, and there were so many more programs to watch.  It was all I could do to control myself.

As the years went by it became a love/hate relationship.  Most of the programing was garbage and I found myself watching things that were ridiculous.  That has continued unabated until now as I sit and watch a few hundred HD channels filled with more and more crap.  Since there doesn’t seem to be any kind of rehab available for this addiction I guess I’ll continue to watch, be disgusted with myself and the programming, and continue to bitch and complain about the increasing costs.

I’ve always enjoyed trashing most of the pop culture nonsense that the airwaves and cables deliver to me every day and I hope that continues.  I was shocked and pleasantly surprised when I recently stumbled onto a program I actually liked  and will continue to watch.  It’s a program on the Sundance Channel called “The Approval Matrix”.

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‘Host: Neal Brennan’

Neal Brennan is someone I’ve never heard of and and I knew absolutely nothing of the backstory of how the Approval Matrix originated.  Finding out it was a product of New York Magazine would normally have put me off a bit but surprise, surprise, it didn’t.  I found myself captivated almost immediately by the format, the variety of guest commentators, and the subject matter.  We now have a show that will help us determine what is cool, what isn’t and why.

Watching Brennan deliver his lines is priceless.  It seems as if the writers are channeling Dennis Miller but at half speed.  It’s smart comedy for those people who are willing to pay close attention.

Finally I have a smart and funny show to bookmark and to watch religiously.

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.

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