Nostalgic Rumblings
The Ramblings of an Old Man




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7/30/2007


‘Tomorrow’ host Snyder dies at 71

Filed under: News — Charlie Summers @ 10:30 am

From CNN: ‘Tomorrow’ host Snyder dies at 71

(*sigh*) Snyder hosted the last true last-night “talk show” filled with intelligence and humor; his Late Late Show was him sitting with a guest, just talking. When Kilborn was getting ready to take over, Snyder in his top-of-the-show monolog referred to the show getting ready, “for comedy” with a snide and sarcastic turn.

I watched Tomorrow sitting on the floor in my parents’ house eating swiss cheese and chips, and I watched the Late Late Show lying on the floor of a room in the Hershey Medical Center. Some of us have missed you ever since you left, and always held a secret hope you’d come back in some form or another to save us from the childish “humor” painfully on display in late-late night from all three networks. Now there’s no hope at all for intellect to triumph over boorish toilet humor.

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7/28/2007


Life without the Weekly World News: Believe it or not, tabloid is history

Filed under: News — Charlie Summers @ 5:45 pm

From The Cleveland Plain Dealer: Life without the Weekly World News: Believe it or not, tabloid is history

Man, I’m gonna miss that space alien that’s always meeting with the President…

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7/27/2007


Review: Chuck

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 3:27 pm

Ah, out with the old, in with the new. The television season is dead, long live the next television season. And to prepare for it, I’m going to review new shows as the pilots become available.

Chuck; NBC, Monday, 8:00 PM

This show has it all. Spies. Beautiful women. Nerds.

Huh?


Sarah Lancaster and Zachary Levi

Ok, let’s start at the beginning. Chuck Bartowski (Zachary Levi, Less Than Perfect) leads a pretty normal life for a member of the “Nerd Herd” at the “Buy More” store (think CircuitCity’s Best Buy’s Geek Patrol). His sister Ellie (Sarah Lancaster, Everwood, Dr. Vegas, What About Brian, and a d*mned good reason to watch any series although I prefer her as a blond) throws him a birthday party from which he wants nothing more than escape with his friend and fellow geek Morgan (Joshua Gomez, Without a Trace). Meanwhile, his old roommate Bryce who he thinks is an accountant but who is really a rogue CIA agent, is breaking into a top-secret headquarters and breaking into a massive computer database (front-ended by a Macintosh SE, no less) to steal secrets from the CIA, NSA, and lord-only-knows who else.

Bryce is stopped by John (Adam Baldwin, Firefly, Day Break), but with his dying breath Bryce sends an email to Chuck with a riddle from Zork (if you don’t know what that text adventure game is, check Wikipedia)…when Chuck solves it, a massive flood of information flows out of his monitor into his brain itself, filling it with information he isn’t aware he has.

Next day at work, he meets Sarah (Yvonne Strzechowski, Gone), a beautiful woman who seems to fall for him and finally gets him to ask her out, but a woman who holds secrets of her own…Sarah is really CIA, and sent to find out what he knows - problem is, John is also on his trail.

While the two fight over the secrets inside Chuck’s brain, Chuck puts together a terrorist plot from the information he gleaned from the email, and the race is on to save a NATO general while saving his own hide as well.

“Saving the world at $11.00 an hour” is the tagline for this series, but I have the feeling it’s going to cost a whole lot more than that, especially if Chuck gets the job as Assistant Manager. While some of the comedy elements seem a little strained in the pilot, the action sequences are top-notch (man, wouldn’t want to be the stunt team who handles Bryce in the mad escape - yeah, it takes a team of ‘em along with some computer graphics for the final jump). The premise suffers from the typical cluelessness when it comes to technology (they even got the computer viruses wrong), and it took me a while to stop laughing about the Mac SE as the front-end for the most powerful computer in the government, but those are small quibbles…the show kept me watching if not on the edge of my chair, and makes me curious to learn what else lies in store for Chuck.

I admit, though, I am curious how the series will handle the inevitable problem should it be successful…after all, the influx of secrets from this one email will eventually get stale, so Chuck will need a reload…

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7/26/2007


It’s Higgins, Sir - A Day in the Woods

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 11:21 pm

By request, the fifth episode in the series, “It’s Higgins, Sir” aired July 31, 1951, a summer replacement series for Bob Hope’s Pepsodent program starring Harry McNaughton, Vinton Hayworth, and our good friend Pat Hosley.

Jerry Haendiges, he of The Vintage Radio Place and the original source of this series, has provided us high-quality masters of this entire series from which to create the MP3 files; while we’re distributing 32kbps MP3 files of these programs, you can find excellent-quality audio CDs at his website - go to the order page and use #40957 A for this episode. (Also, high-quality MP3s of this program are also available from Jerry in his MP3 Catalog.)

You may stream the show using the player below, or download it with the link. Remember, by subscribing to this blog with any podcasting client (iTunes, Juice, etc.) the shows will be automatically downloaded to your computer or MP3 player!

icon for podpress  It's Higgins, Sir - A Day in the Woods [29:48m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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7/25/2007


Review: Aliens in America

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 1:27 pm

Ah, out with the old, in with the new. The television season is dead, long live the next television season. And to prepare for it, I’m going to review new shows as the pilots become available.

Aliens in America; CW, Monday, 8:30 PM

Ok, I’ll admit it, I was prepared to hate this show…after all, you can almost hear the one-line pitch meeting: “It’s Wonder Years with a Muslim!” But I have to admit the show gave me a couple of chuckles and a belly laugh, which is more than I can say for most “comedies” on the air now, so maybe I should be a little less harsh.


The replaced Patrick Breen, Dan Byrd, and Amy Pietz

The pilot opens with Justin Tolchuck (Dan Byrd, The Hills Have Eyes) telling us in Wonder Years-style narration how much life sucks for a nerd; his mother Franny (Amy Pietz, Caroline in the City, the despicable Rodney) dotes on him to the point of unhealthy obsession, his father (Patrick Breen, Kevin Hill but now replaced by Gilmore Girls’ Scott Patterson in a casting mistake, as Breen is perfect as the well-meaning but dysfunctional Gary) obsessed only with making an extra buck, his sister Claire (Lindsey Shaw; those without nine-year-olds can be forgiven for not knowing her years of work as Moze on the Nickelodeon comedy series Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide) returned from summer camp with…er…”girl-parts,” and the bullies in school make him a popular target.

Frannie decides to do something about it, and after talking to the guidance counselor agrees to take in an exchange student, or as Justin explains it to us, “I think any teenager’s lowest point comes when his mother decides she has to import a friend for him.” But imagine their surprise when that friend is a Pakistani named Raja…

Yep. Mom decides to dump the kid, Dad wants to keep him for the $500/month they receive from the exchange program, Justin doesn’t know what to think, and Claire doesn’t know the smitten Raja even exists.

Comedy abounds; Raja’s first day, Frannie’s plot to return him, etc., etc.

Yeah, it’s all pretty predictable (you’ve already written the plot in your head, haven’t you?), but the narration is smart and funny, the actors are all likable and talented when not being directed to chew the scenery, and even though the happy family dinner at the end may have those in Middle America cringing at the unsophisticated way they are portrayed, the program gave me a surprisingly large number of laughs…so I guess I have to almost grudgingly admit - I liked it.

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7/23/2007


Vacation Notes…

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 10:30 pm

I spent less time this vacation worrying about things I have to do when I get back…I was able to stay more in-the-moment instead of wasting the time going home in my head. Of course, that means you’ve been screwed, dear reader, since I hadn’t been worrying too much about keeping up with the news or the blog, but hey…

This may have something to do with cavorting in the ocean with a nine-year-old…


We saw the Wienermobile. (I know, but it was worth another mention.)


I saw the dumbest case of road rage Thursday morning heading toward Broadway at the Beach. A brightly-colored van promoting the “Myrtle Beach Drain Cleaners” cut in front of an elderly gentleman (seriously, cut the guy off), then proceeded to act like a royal knucklehead, driving forward then suddenly slamming on the breaks throwing the older driver the finger and coming to a dead stop, then drive forward, repeat, etc., etc. Seriously, if this putz cleans drains the way he drives, I suggest you call someone else if you’re in the area with a drain that needs cleaned. And a hint: if you’re going to drive like a complete dufus, at least be smart enough to do it in a nondescript car instead of a van with a custom license plate echoing a word in your company name…


While walking through Barefoot Landing, I realized how many storefronts were running their air conditioning full-blast while the doors were hanging open…one ice cream shop had two sides of the store open. With all the problems of global warming reaching a tipping-point, I can’t help wondering how many tons of carbon are pumped needlessly into the atmosphere by all the stores in all the tourist sites on both coasts wasting so much energy for nothing? Maybe what we need isn’t some world-wide concert nonsense, maybe we just need to close the damned doors and quit cooling or heating the outside.


I ate way too much this week as is common for just about everyone on vacation. But I have a rule…no national chains (or at least none of those chains I have locally — I admit to hitting White Castle first thing when I go to the Cincinnati Nostalgia Convention, and the Krispy Kream here gets hit on a routine basis in the mornings, even if they did replace the rustic old building with a faux-chrome cookie-cutter one just like all the others — the old store with its dual cases and its staff of older southern women with their, “What can I getcha, Hon?” greeting instead of the bored vacation workers just waiting for five o’clock is something I’ll always miss). So instead of Olive Garden, there’s Rossi’s, replacing Denny’s or Bob Evans is the Spring House Family Restaurant (with the amazing Pot Belly sandwich; mounds of delicious pot roast on a kaiser roll smothered in cheddar cheese and homemade gravy), China Buffet (a must-visit for my father), and my personal must-go, Benito’s (the Quattro Fromaggion four-cheese pizza is an artery-clogging delight) instead of Pizza Hut or Domino’s. Why even consider the chains when there’s so much great food available within a few miles of where we are? Heck, I can visit those chains any time I want at home…it’s the local restaurants I have to drive hours to reach.

Maybe a Cracker Barrel stop on the way home, but that’s as close as I get to national chains when on vacation.

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7/20/2007


It’s Higgins, Sir - Summer Vacation

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 9:19 am

By request, the fourth episode in the series, “It’s Higgins, Sir” aired July 24, 1951, a summer replacement series for Bob Hope’s Pepsodent program starring Harry McNaughton, Vinton Hayworth, and our good friend Pat Hosley.

Jerry Haendiges, he of The Vintage Radio Place and the original source of this series, has provided us high-quality masters of this entire series from which to create the MP3 files; while we’re distributing 32kbps MP3 files of these programs, you can find excellent-quality audio CDs at his website - go to the order page and use #40956 B for this episode. (Also, high-quality MP3s of this program are also available from Jerry in his MP3 Catalog.)

You may stream the show using the player below, or download it with the link. Remember, by subscribing to this blog with any podcasting client (iTunes, Juice, etc.) the shows will be automatically downloaded to your computer or MP3 player!

icon for podpress  It's Higgins, Sir - Summer Vacation [29:46m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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7/17/2007


Mandy Patinkin departs ‘Criminal Minds’

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 2:44 pm

From the AP via Yahoo: Mandy Patinkin departs ‘Criminal Minds’

No…no…NOOOOOOOOOOOO…..

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7/16/2007


It’s Higgins, Sir - Mrs. Roberts Has a Car Accident

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 4:31 pm

By request, the third episode in the series, “It’s Higgins, Sir” aired July 17, 1951, a summer replacement series for Bob Hope’s Pepsodent program starring Harry McNaughton, Vinton Hayworth, and our good friend Pat Hosley.

Jerry Haendiges, he of The Vintage Radio Place and the original source of this series, has provided us high-quality masters of this entire series from which to create the MP3 files; while we’re distributing 32kbps MP3 files of these programs, you can find excellent-quality audio CDs at his website - go to the order page and use #40956 A for this episode. (Also, high-quality MP3s of this program are also available from Jerry in his MP3 Catalog.)

You may stream the show using the player below, or download it with the link. Remember, by subscribing to this blog with any podcasting client (iTunes, Juice, etc.) the shows will be automatically downloaded to your computer or MP3 player!

icon for podpress  It's Higgins, Sir - Mrs. Roberts Has a Car Accident [29:47m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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7/14/2007


You Just Never Know What’s Around the Next Corner…

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 9:35 pm

My family is taking an all-too-short vacation away from the strains of life (ok, ok, so the condo has DSL - I said vacation, not monastery). While driving into Kingston Plantation this evening after a shopping trip for provisions, we saw an odd orange object protruding above the walls of this gated beach-front community.

After passing the guardhouse, we headed in the direction of the object, to have our suspicions confirmed:

Yep, that’s the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. Clearly the driver couldn’t get it into the condo garage (lord, think of the carnage had he tried…the rivers of ketchup, the puddles of mustard…), so he left it in the parking lot.

Of course, I had to pose my daughter in front of it…

And one more - check out the Wisconsin license plate:

All of this simply proves that you never know what might be around the next corner, so never be afraid to round it. Who knows…it might be a really big hot dog.

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7/9/2007


It’s Higgins, Sir - Higgins Arranges Dates (again)

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 1:42 pm

By request, the second episode in the series, “It’s Higgins, Sir” aired July 10, 1951, a summer replacement series for Bob Hope’s Pepsodent program starring Harry McNaughton, Vinton Hayworth, and our good friend Pat Hosley.

Yes, I know we ran this program a bit ago, but this is a quality upgrade. Jerry Haendiges, he of The Vintage Radio Place and the original source of this series, has provided us high-quality masters of this entire series from which to create the MP3 files; while we’re distributing 32kbps MP3 files of these programs, you can find excellent-quality audio CDs at his website - go to the order page and use #40955 B for this episode. (Also, high-quality MP3s of this program are also available from Jerry in his MP3 Catalog.)

You may stream the show using the player below, or download it with the link. Remember, by subscribing to this blog with any podcasting client (iTunes, Juice, etc.) the shows will be automatically downloaded to your computer or MP3 player!

icon for podpress  It's Higgins, Sir! - Higgins Arranges Dates [29:53m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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7/7/2007


It’s Higgins, Sir - Higgins Arrives (again)

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 9:06 am

By request, I’m posting here the first episode in the series, “It’s Higgins, Sir” aired July 3, 1951, a summer replacement series for Bob Hope’s Pepsodent program starring Harry McNaughton, Vinton Hayworth, and our good friend Pat Hosley. In this premier episode, the Roberts family meets their inheritance, a man-servant named Higgins!

Yes, I know we ran this program a bit ago, but this is a quality upgrade. Jerry Haendiges, he of The Vintage Radio Place and the original source of this series, has provided us high-quality masters of this entire series from which to create the MP3 files; while we’re distributing 32kbps MP3 files of these programs, you can find excellent-quality audio CDs at his website - go to the order page and use #40955 for this episode. (Also, high-quality MP3s of this program are also available from Jerry in his MP3 Catalog.)

You may stream the show using the player below, or download it with the link. Remember, by subscribing to this blog with any podcasting client (iTunes, Juice, etc.) the shows will be automatically downloaded to your computer or MP3 player!

icon for podpress  It’s Higgins, Sir - Higgins Arrives [29:56m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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7/6/2007


For Those Who Need More Celebrating…

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 10:56 am

…a few more fireworks to enjoy.

icon for podpress  Fireworks from York, PA July 4, 2007: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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7/4/2007


We’re Being Joe-Jobbed Again…

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 8:25 am

Ok, it probably isn’t technically a Joe-job (although it’s possible some spammer I got bounced is behind it), but more likely a result of “backscatter” - either way, I’m getting a whole boatload of “bounce” messages telling me a message the OTR Digest is sending is spam. Of course, the messages are really coming from somewhere else (Russia, in one example I spent some time looking at), and have nothing to do with Old-Time Radio (drug scams, again based on that example) and are clearly forgeries (the Digest send address is being forged into the From: header field and envelope sender), but I still have to suffer with receiving the hundreds and hundreds of bounces. This will likely have the side-effect of some systems rejecting on the Digest send address, so some legitimate issues of the Digest may not make it through (it looks like dslextreme.com is already bouncing the Digest).

(*sigh*) Happy 4th.

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7/2/2007


…ʍouʞ noʎ

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 3:46 pm

.buoɹʍ ʇsnظ ǝɹɐ sbuıɥʇ ʇnq ‘ʇı uo ɹǝbuıɟ ʎɯ ʇnd ʇ,uɐɔ ı…ʍoɥǝɯos ʎɐpoʇ ʇɥbıɹ ɯǝǝs ʇ,uop ʇsnظ sbuıɥʇ ‘ʍouʞ noʎ

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