Tag Archives: All in the Family

Many topics to talk about, including American Truck Simulator

Greetings, readers. We are finally back. Yay! After a week of working on the blog by myself, Rebecca is here once again to help me. Obviously, I can write the blog by myself, but after all this time I just feel more comfortable with my editor friend by my side to catch any little mistakes I might make. She already caught one from my last blog entry.

Not that I’m going to title this hodgepodge whatever, but I do have several topics to touch on. So here we go.

First, I’ve been thinking about this question: Is the National Football League fixed? There have been rumors that since the early 2000s, the NFL has been “steered” in certain directions to allow the powerful teams to make the playoffs. The stronger the teams in the Super Bowl, the better the ratings. Or, at least, that is the NFL’s way of thinking. Let’s take this past Super Bowl for example. The great Peyton Manning,  perhaps the best to ever play the game, is all but certain to retire. I would have been shocked if Denver lost. Carolina quite frankly looked pathetic, though Denver’s defense did play a great game. What also makes me wonder, is that I saw part of a YouTube Top Ten List video, pointing out that the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl just months after 9/11. What are their colors? You guessed it, red, white and blue. Is this hard-core evidence that the NFL is fixed? No, but it raise my eyebrow. Add in that this team has been proven to cheat since then and the NFL has barely spanked their wrists.

Topic number 2. Recently, I’ve been enjoying, on YouTube, reruns of the 1970s sitcom Maude. It is a Norman Lear spin-off of All in the Family and is it hilarious. There is one interesting thing. You would never see that show being produced new today. Maude’s husband, Walter, played by Bill Macy, is a strong-willed proud man that did not like his wife to work outside the house. Add that to the fact that he was a drinker early in the series, and you can imagine some of the arguments they got into. Maude, also strong-willed and very liberal, would also argue with all the other characters when she thought it was necessary. The only episode I did not care for and will not watch again, was the ground-breaking Maude’s abortion episode. Was it well done? Absolutely. It is just that my own personal religious beliefs made that episode a chore to watch. That is not the case with the rest of the series. Most evenings I will sit with my snack and have out-loud belly laughs. Norman Lear can do that to me every time, whether it be All in the Family, Maude, Good Times, or The Jeffersons.

Topic number 3. All I need is $100 and I will never want a car again. Today, I want to tell you about perhaps the best video game I have ever seen. It is called American Truck Simulator. People who play Euro Truck Simulator 2, and make videos for YouTube, have been talking about the new game for two years. Where is American Truck Simulator, we all said. When it came out on February 3rd, we found out why it took so long. On the up side, the level of detail on the maps is incredible. There are three trucks to choose from and you can drive in California and Nevada. Arizona will be added soon. The few people who are giving this game a thumb’s down bring up the question, after two and a half years of development, why are there only two states? My answer to them would be this: You try producing maps with those kinds of graphics, fabulous detail and clean game play, and we will see how long it takes you. How long will it take to complete the lower forty-eight? Probably about two years. Can I wait? Hell yes. This game also has the potential, if the manufacturer desires it, to include Mexico, Canada, and Alaska. All I need to do now is get a steering wheel and pedals to clamp to a table, so I have better control of the steering. The left and right arrows on the keypad make for marvelous wrecks. I must admit, I am getting better at it with the arrows, but I’m going to see if I can’t scrounge $100 together and get one of the cheaper gaming wheels. As for the most expensive one, which is $299, that is out of the question.

Lastly, a quick note about the weather. Yesterday we had snow, ice, and slush. It was not a good combination to go out in. I needed to take my girlfriend to her follow-up doctor’s appointment. Yay, us, we did not slip and fall.

Well, you are all up to date. We’ll have another new blog entry for you, possibly as early as tomorrow, though if not, then definitely on Friday. Take care, have a good day, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Time for the new fall season on network television

Every fall the big networks start a new season for their programs, with new projects they bought from pilot episodes in the spring, and with the next season of shows renewed from last season. A new line-up, new schedule, and new stories. I get so excited. I get the TV Guide magazine, and for the last few years in September, they have covered the new shows in one issue and covered the returning shows in the next. I read these issues with marker in hand, seeing which shows I’m interested in and which I’m not, noting the day of the week they will be on and when they start. This year was no different, and I have enjoyed the shows that have premiered so far. More premiers to come in the weeks ahead.

The new fall season is a tradition I have followed since I was a child and teenager. TV was a lot different back then, with only three major networks, CBS, NBC, and ABC plus PBS. Not every household got every channel though, because of using an antenna that might not receive them all. If you watched TV, you watched shows from their line-ups, and chances were high that your neighbors and co-workers watched the same thing the night before. No VCRs or other recording devices, so we watched shows as they aired or we missed them. Well, until re-runs in the summer, when networks would often repeat the just-finished season of a show to fill the slow summer schedule.

We would often watch one channel the whole evening, like CBS’s Monday night line-up, or NBC’s Thursday block of shows. Some of the shows I watched back then were Cagney & Lacey, All in the Family, M.A.S.H., Wonder Woman, Hill Street Blues, and Masterpiece Mystery.

In the 80s and 90s, other channels launched, some successful and some not. UPN, Fox, WB, CNN, HBO. Now we have hundreds of channels to choose from, depending on our cable package, and more shows than we can keep up with. We also have new shows all year round, not just in the fall, from this array of cable networks. This influenced the major networks to also run new shows in the spring and the summer. Shows I watch now, from my choices of network and cable channels, are The Good Wife, Modern Family, Mom, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Doctor Who, Face Off, Downton Abbey, and Major Crimes.

In last few years, the field of choices has grown again, as the internet sprouted sites for web-shows with original content that did not start on television or a television network. Hulu, Netflix, and other sites have followed with original content of their own that can be streamed and watched on whatever electrical device we have. This can be exciting, but also overwhelming, and no one can watch everything that is available.

So I am glad that the major networks, now CBS, NBC, ABC, and Fox, with PBS and CW, still have the fall season, with new shows and new seasons for the returning programs. Though they space out the premiers a lot more than they did, and some shows don’t premier until January, it is still a fresh start and a definite new slate. One of my favorite traditions.