Early Sunday morning: Are you watching Hurricane Irma on television?


Hurricane Irma
It's 5:30 a.m., Sunday and we are watching Hurricane Irma


When I got up to pee overnight, I couldn't help think about the great carpet I was walking on.  It was beautifully warm and dry, unlike those in Florida this morning as Hurricane Irma roars through.

It also make me think about watching the storm on CNN.  I finally gave in at 5:30 a.m.  The bad part is still coming.  My wife and I are up.  We are watching and praying for people who need lots of protection right now and in the days ahead.

Has the scourge of dandruff been overcome in our culture?

Head & Shoulders in my shower.
Do you remember when shampoo commercials dominated television and magazines?

Are you old enough to remember when dandruff was a big thing in our culture?  There was a time when you could walk into a church service and see somebody scratching their head or you could see the little white flecks of skin on a dark piece of clothing.

I remember having dandruff and the times when I would sit in front of the television scratching my head with a comb.  I was maybe teen or pre-teen.  And I had lots of hair and now I don't.  Television commercials were dominated by dandruff shampoos like Head & Shoulders and others.  Dandruff was a condition that really touched our culture.

Look around you.  Do you see any evidence of dandruff?  White specks on people's clothing?  Shelves of anti-dandruff products in stores?  Head scratching?

One minute it was there and the next it was gone.  Could it be that there are lots of aging baby-boomers who have little or no hair?  Does baldness make a difference?  Where do shampoo-makers advertise these days?  

The top of my head is pretty much hairless these days.  Check this picture of me five-years ago when my oldest grandson was born.  I had a hint of hair.  Today, the hint has vanished.

I'm almost hairless here.
I'm holding my grandson here as I show off the top of my head with a little hair.


We will be watching Zeek Braverman come home from heart surgery tonight on Parenthood

At 10 p.m. tonight, we will be watching Parenthood where Zeek Braverman comes home from the hospital after open heart surgery.  He is the family partriarch who with his wife Camille have four kids and nine grandkids.  

Their family life can be messy, but the group hangs together to support each other.  They are there when life happens for the siblings and for the grandkids and for the grandparents.  It's the show's last season.  It's on NBC.


This is from last week's Parenthood as seen in our living room. We will be there tonight with a glass of Great Lakes Red and the sound up.



I'm not sure I like Parenthood, the television show, anymore


My son, Justin, got us hooked on watching the television show Parenthood.  When he lived in Washington, D.C. and when we would visit him, he would show us an episode or two of what television series he was watching.  He introduced us to "24", Lost, Parks & Recreation, House of Cards, John Quincy Adams and others.

At first, Parenthood with Craig T. Nelson seemed over the edge in how it portrayed a large family with sibling and their spouses and kids.  Family gatherings seemed to be an occasion for all of them to talk at the same time.  Then the show started to grow on me.

We saw a family where everybody had their own lives, but they had an active identity and attitude as a family unit.  They stood by each other in the ups and downs of daily living.  They knew how to come together and they cared for each other.

One more thing about the show was pointed out to me when my daughter-in-law, Lauren, pointed to me as the patriarch of our family, much like the character "Zeke" in this television show.  I had never thought of myself that way.

Then the current season started and the scenes with the family unit showing its stuff, it becamse a series of separate portraits with a light connection to each other.  It was too much like a daytime soap opera.  It doesn't keep my attention.

How many of you are watching tonight at 10 p.m. on NBC?  Do you find the show entertaining?  What do you or do not like about the storyline?  Should the television series have another season?

Would you sleep with this Duck Dynasty "Phil Robertson" pillow on your bed?

Would you want a Duck Dynasty pillow for Christmas?

Super-wife and I were shopping for groceries at our local Meijers where you can buy just about anything, in addition to food.  On the way to check-out today, we walked through the aisles to get a new kitchen waste basket.

As we passed through shelves of pillows, that's when I saw this big pillow with the Duck Dynasty guys, including the "daddy duck" Phil Robertson.  He's been the center of controversy that's consumed media attention that's usually reserved for a crisis in the Middle East.

Because of the new attention to these guys and their reality show on A&E, I stopped to look at the pillow.  Take a good look.  Is this something you would put on your bed.  If these guys came to our door, I'd probably have my phone in my hand to call for police help.

I've never watched their show, but now I feel I have to.  Perhaps Robertson will end up becoming a candidate for president for either party.  I need to get up-to-speed.

But there might be another explanation for all the hub bub.  A&E has always been a cable channel on the margins.  This show has been really popular.  With the increased attention to it, the audience has to increase geometrically.  The show can then charge big bucks for its commercials.

Too cynical?  I would have never noticed the pillow before.  Now I took time to look at it and I'll for sure have to watch the show.

How about you?  You going to watch?  Do you already watch it?  Why?

Is Zeke Braverman on Parenthood a good role model for family patriarchs?

I think it was my daughter-in-law Lauren who described one time as the family "patriarch."  I think she called me that when we were taking a family picture with our kids and then one grandchild.  That moment stuck with me, but I could never see myself as a Moses or Abraham.

Then I saw Zeke Braverman played by Craig Nelson on the television show Parenthood and I started to make more of a connection with the word.

It's a family of a bunch of kids and grandkids who are uncharactically close.  Somehow, they keep their individuality and sometimes, they let that show with a great deal of volume during family get-togethers.

Zeke tries to bring order to the family chaos and occasionally contributes to the disorder.  He's there for his family when needed and sometimes when it's not.

But, in my mind, what makes his character special is that he values family relationships.  They are major to him.  He shows love to them all.  

The show starts a new season in the next week and I'm anxious to see more.  

I'm getting comfortable with the word family patriarch.  I still feel like I'm in training.  Zeke can help me move that along.

I remember when my son and I auditioned for Amazing Race in 2005

Tonight my wife and I watched the final round of Amazing Race.  It's a program that we are drawn to because of the different locations worldwide with all the on location videos where contestants perform various chores.

It was eight years ago that my son Justin and I submitted an audition tape for the show.  It was a last minute thought and we didn't get to first base, but we had fun doing it.

Check out my post from that experience.


Here's how I got to know Claire Danes from the television show Homeland

I need to fess up about getting together with Claire Danes every week for lunch.  She's the key actor on the television show Homeland.  She plays a character named Carrie Mathieson who is a CIA agent during these turbulent times.  She is also bi-polar and deeply involved in unravelling plots that involve Middle East terrorists.

This rendevous with Claire started with my friend Ken who I have lunch with every week.  We eat, talk and then usually watch an episode of a carefully-picked television series.  We've watched every episode of Prison Break, Oz, 24, some minor ones and now Homeland which has been one of the more compelling.

I've often wondered how many retired baby-boomers have a weekly lunch date with a friend.  Ken and I have been doing it for almost seven years.  Anybody longer?

What would Jesus says about ABC's new show based on "Good Christian Bitches"

I'm offended by ABC's new Sunday night show called G.C.B. based on a book titled Good Christian Bitches.  It totally puts down Jesus Christ and anybody who believes in Him.  Am I overreacting?  Take a look.  Newt Gingrich described it as anti-Christian and suggested that a show like that would never happen if Muslim was substituted for Christian.  

God has to be unhappy with us.  Look in the Bible at see how he dealt with nations that engaged in similar behavior.  There wasn't a good outcome.


Check this: Dallas, the old television show, is coming back and will take place in present time

When our kids were little and during the time when they would be in bed by 8 p.m., my wife and I would Dallas take Friday nights as an in-house date night where we would watch the old television series Dallas.  We'd get a small pizza delivered from Dominoes and a bottle of Lambrusco wine.

We would take in all the exploits of J.R. Ewing and his well to-do family.  Watching it became a ritual.  Well, it's coming back to television on TNT with many of the same actors playing their characters in the present time.  We'll be watching.

Can Dallas attact a sizable audience?  Can you bring an old tv show like that back and make a seamless transition to the present day?  What do you think?

I'll be watching ABC's "Expedition Impossible" tonight

Expedition impossible  I just ran across this promo for ABC's premiere of "Expedition Impossible" at 9 p.m. tonight.  Count us in.  We are watching.  Super-wife and I are both longtime fans of Amazing Race.  The 15-minute promo of this new show seems to take the concept to a new level.

The contestants in this race are put through extreme tasks and conditions around the world and are faced with the choice of giving up.  I like watching and reading about how people react to the big life challenges.  

If you watch, comeback and leave a comment with your reaction.

We will be watching MSU beat Iowa this afternoon

We will be watching MSU this afternoon when it plays Iowa. Will my alma mater be able to continue its winning streak? Here's a link to the Detroit Free Press story about the game: The Detroit Free Press on the MSU v. Iowa game today BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

This is part of my continuing test to see if I can use my iPad as my primary computing device. Here's I tried inserting a link using the app BlogBooster. It was made for the iPhone but can be used for the iPad

Our new "Apple TV" could wean us off Comcast cable

We got our new Apple TV device yesterday and hooked it up, configured it and had fun playing with its different features.  We really like it so far and we are finding that it could get us to drop Comcast for a more cafeteria stye paradigm for watching television.

Here's what we did with this new device:

  1. Streamed Netflix videos right to our television.  We watched Kite Runner and part of the musical Annie.  That leaves us with about 10,000 additional choices.
  2. Watched YouTube videos I had posted with my Flip video camera.  I've uploaded more than 500 video snippets and it was fun watching our grandson on our tv, as well as video from various vacations and events.
  3. We watched a video podcast from Ada Bible Church.  We watched the first portion of a sermon by Jeff Manion on Ephesians.  This is a great way to review or to catch-up.
  4. We viewed some of my 8,000 pictures posted on Flickr.  This was a hoot to look at the old photos.

I know there's more that it can do.  We are happy with our $99 purchase so far.  We will review what we want from tv and see how well we can get that from this device and from the various offerings on the Internet.  Here's a video of what it looks like as I take it out of the box:


PBS series on baby-boomers, Life-Part 2, looks like a must see

Are you a baby-boomer, somebody born between 1946 and 1964 and somebody who is looking at life through a different lens maybe the bottom of an Aleve bottle? 

As member of the first class of baby-boomers born in 1946 who retired at age 58 who has been searching for more understanding of this period of life, I will be watching the PBS Series, Life-Part 2, which starts on Sep. 16. 

The topics covered in each show seem relevant in looking at boomers and marriage, finding purpose, dealing with the generation gap, dealing with doctors and dealing with your spirituality.

I learned this from an e-mail I received yesterday from Nick Watts of Twin Cities Public Television where the series is being produced:

"I’m writing from the national PBS series Life (Part 2) which premiers nationwide this fall. (check local listings.)  Our series connects with the 78 million strong baby boomers who are unlike generations before them.

"They are fitter, will live longer, will look better, will earn more, and will be more active than any generation before them. But are they ready for Life (Part 2)?

"How they are dealing with aging, and how they can overcome the societal, physical and financial obstacles that come with it to live a vibrant and fulfilling second part is the focus of this timely and groundbreaking series."

First part of the series this season will be shown on Sep. 16.  I called our local PBS station, WKAR in East Lansing, and they couldn't confirm it would be shown locally.

For more info, heres:  The show's Facebook Fan Page, it's Twitter page and its website.

Here's a promo from YouTube:

Detroit Free Press column on today's television shows

Look at Detroit Free Press television columnist Mike Duffy's list of 12 family-friendly tv shows.  It's linked to his column on the struggles faced by parents trying to put boundaries on their kid's media habits.

His column points to one family in Rochester Hills, MI where the 15-year-old daughter likes to watch Law and Order SVU.  Ever watched that?  It's a constant barrage of violent sexual crime.  My wife and I watched three segments, back-to-back, on cable and we both felt like we need to wash our hearts out with soap after watching.

The family that Duffy points to seems to be engaged in their kids' viewing habits in a pretty positive way.

But what distrubs me...

Continue reading "Detroit Free Press column on today's television shows" »