Wednesday, May 27, 2015

1960, “SMILE … you’re on CANDID CAMERA”

I’m talking about the “real” Candid Camera that premiered on CBS in 1960.  It was the first
reality-based comedy program on TV, featuring footage (taken by a hidden camera) of everyday people caught in ridiculous situations devised by the show’s host, Allen Funt. (I understand that his son has a similar show now but I’ve never seen it.)

When I was researching dates and facts about Candid Camera I came across this comment by a fellow watcher, “I can’t see how anyone except someone with a sadistic streak a mile wide could honestly enjoy watching people be made fools of. This should tell you a lot about the cruelty of human nature and how so many of us get a kick out of seeing someone degraded on national TV.”

Really? It seems to me that his remark would more appropriately describe the current TV show America’s Funniest Videos, but you be the judge. Here are some of the "cruel and degrading" episodes that I remember most clearly:

The bunch of school kids who have been having a lively discussion about Muhammed Ali...only to have him show up on the playground and surprise them.

The dry-cleaning clerk who tells the customer that he sold their laundry to make money for college.

The store selling water beds and the customer that tries it out, only to find that the water bed has sprung a leak.

The famous “wired mailbox” that says “thank you” every time a piece of mail is deposited.

...and my favorite: The official-looking person who stops a car at the state line and tells the driver, “I’m sorry but Pennsylvania is closed for the day. Come back tomorrow.”

I guess this tells you a lot about my sadistic nature because I thoroughly enjoyed the show. It could get repetitious at times but it was good, clean fun, and the simple act of being recorded on film brought “15 minutes of fame” to many a hum-drum life.

Friday, May 22, 2015

“FIRE and ICE” …by Robert Frost, (1874 -1963 )

"Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice.

From what I’ve tasted of desire, I hold with those who favor fire,

But, if I had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate

To say that for destruction ice is also great... and would suffice.”

Although this powerful poem was written in 1920 I feel that his dire predictions are coming closer with each passing year. The greed and lust for power and superiority that we are experiencing in today’s world is what I feel when I read these lines. Desire left unchecked becomes fire and can consume us quickly. Hate, on the other hand, is a much slower killer. It turns us into unfeeling human beings with hearts of ice.

Robert Frosts poem is warning us … telling us that we’d better learn to live with one another and to share our lives and our resources or we are doomed to pay the consequences. or ice ?     It matters little...they all suffice.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Good Morning …

Doesn’t this look like a stuffed toy? Actually it’s a barred owl who came early in the morning to greet my daughter and her husband at their home in New York. According to them he wasn’t the least bit shy and could have cared less if they were snapping pictures. “If anything”, my daughter wrote, “I think there was some posing going on”.

The Barred Owl is a large typical owl native to North America and is best known as the Hoot Owl. My kids can certainly attest to that. As my son-in-law wrote, “on various occasions we will have a half dozen of them calling back and forth to each other with the most insane calls. Gurgling shrieks. This one no doubt was here looking for a chipmunk fat with stolen chicken food.”
They have no idea how long he would have kept vigil over their car but it was getting late and they needed to get going for the day so that was the end of the visit … for now. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Truly a life saver …

This beautiful dog is named Racquel and she is my ex-daughter in law’s service dog. Between Racquel and Faye, my wonderful granddaughter, they have managed to keep Danielle alive … literally. She is an extremely brittle Type 1 Diabetic and Racquel has been meticulously trained to sense when her blood sugar levels are out of whack.

As some of you long time blogger friends might remember I was married to a brittle diabetic and I know, first hand, how critical it is to get immediate treatment when needed. Now Racquel is 11 years old and it is about time for her to retire. She will still be their pet but it’s critical that they have a service replacement and it entails training for both the new dog and Danielle. I have wondered how they would handle this and am amazed and happy that they have found:

I had vaguely heard about these services but never knew it could help a family member. Although my son and Danielle are no longer together they are still very close and, of course, this affects us all. Their daughter Faye is also diabetic but thankfully not nearly as brittle as her mom. I am fascinated that Danielle has taken the initiative this way to raise funds for a new service dog. All that I’ve read about  gofundme  has been positive and I hope she reaches her goal.

If you google: it will bring you to her site and I think you will find it very interesting. Thanks in advance for caring.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

In Loving Remembrance …

As many of you Blogger friends know this is a picture of our Canadian friend Philip who left us on April 30th. His blog “Tossing Pebbles in the Stream” has been a favorite of mine since I first encountered it in 2006.

I could always rely upon Philip to have thoroughly researched whatever it was that he was presenting on his blog. He wasn’t afraid to put his opinions “out there” but it was always backed up with facts and even a bit of humor when warranted. I feel privileged that our friendship went beyond mere commenting on each other’s blogs. We enjoyed an emailing friendship also.

Philip described his blog like this: This blog is my place to sit and toss pebbles into the stream. The stream of Life relentlessly passing before us. We can affect it little. For the most part I just watch it passing and follow the flow. Occasionally, I need to comment on its passing, tossing a pebble at it to enjoy the ripple affect upon Life's surface.

Well said, Philip. You, and your tossed pebbles, will be sorely missed. You enriched my life and that of so many others. Rest well my friend.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

The tree stands guard ...

My daughter and her husband, who live in NY State, searched for a long time to find a small house that they could refurbish and have as an investment. They finally found this gem (barely 20 minutes from where I live) and fell in love with the ENORMOUS tree standing guard over the property before they even looked inside. Maybe that was a good thing since the house needed everything ... new wiring, heating, plumbing etc.

The house was built approximately 100 years ago and as is often the case in Southern homes of this era there was not a basement nor a crawl space. The challenge was enormous because there wasn’t a straight line anywhere and all the rooms were out of sync; but, they had a professional house lifter come in and when the building was off the ground they were able to dig out a crawl space. That was phase #1.

The rest of the refurbishing was accomplished with their sweat equity but it’s taken 6 years. They would visit for a month or two and do as much as they could but would have to get back to NY to keep their business going. Now it’s finally completed…
and they’ve rented the house to a lovely young woman and her son. I feel sure they will be very happy there and will feel safe… with the guardian tree watching over them !