Items for a Saturday Afternoon

  • Item The First. We Has New TV. Well, actually, we has old hotel TV. Let me explain. Our main TV was a 27″ JVC TV that we got around 1999 after our old house was burgled. In the last few months, it had an odd problem: the top of the image seemed aimed down (i.e., we had a black bar just at the top), and the real top of the image was reflected upside down over the part just below it. It’s hard to describe, but it looked sorta-like this:

    In any case, we looked at TVs from BestBuy and the like, and they were all around $400, all seemingly HDTV, and all flat-screen. We just wanted a cheap replacement. Luckily GFG is on the mailing list for a Hotel Surplus Outlet, and we were able to replace the TV with an RCA 27″ for just around $70. The DirecTV remote works it just fine. What’s interesting is all the extra plugs on the back for things like security systems.

    P.S.: Who can identify the show in the fake TV image?

  • Item The Second. My condolences go out to the families of those injured or killed in the Chatsworth Metrolink train crash, which wasn’t that far from our house (about 6 miles), and was walking distance from my inlaws. Reports are that the Metrolink engineer missed or ignored the signal. Too, too, tragic. I was pleased that Californians for Obama did send out a message for folks telling them how to help:

    Many of you have asked what you can do to help. The UCLA Blood and Platelet Center will be open Monday through Friday to accept blood donations. Healthy donors of all blood types are needed to donate blood. Appointments can be made by calling 310-794-7217 ext. 2. Contact the Red Cross at 800-RED-CROSS or visit for other information about blood donation or ways you can help.

  • Item the Third. Remember when Tom Lehrer indicated that parody was dead. Well, it’s dead again. Evidently the new season and upcoming seasons on Broadway aren’t giving Gerald Alessandrini enough material, and so Forever Broadway is closing after the current incarnation. Supposedly it will still tour, but it was great while it lasted.
  • Item The Fourth. Speaking of reviews of entertainment icons, Roger Ebert has an interesting take on Sarah Palin — it looks like it is thumbs down from the balcony (and new information is coming out all the time, such as how she hired friends and fired critics). However, her 15 minutes in the limelight may be over, as the focus seems to be returning to the heads of the ticket: Obama and McCain, and what their positions are. Of course, it is getting harder and harder to determine them, especially based on the McCain ads which are stretching the truth even more than usual for a campaign (and the distortions are getting even more coverage).
  • Item The Fifth. You know how you may soon be able to use the Internet on an aircraft. All well and good. But don’t try to VOIP. They’re blocking that. Of course, folks will surely find a way to get around it (and don’t call me Shirley).