Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Stray thoughts from captivity

I guess it’s because I’ve watched too many Westerns, but it's weird seeing people with masks wandering through Vegas casinos and no one putting their hands up.

Think of how few plastic straws have been used during this pandemic. COVID-19 has really benefitted turtles.

Lots of Ruthian-like home runs this year in the bogus MLB season. That’s because pitchers haven’t gotten enough spring training and aren’t ready. So you’re going to see lots of home runs and arm injuries.

Don’t watch the news. If you’re an intelligent person it will only make you more furious than you already are.

Not a great time for home burglars with everyone staying home.

The Coronavirus doesn’t ease up because you’re bored. Wear the damn mask and don’t do anything stupid.

And Global Warming hasn’t seemed to let up either.

My play was supposed to open tonight in Cape May, New Jersey.
How interested are you in the upcoming Emmys? Yeah, me too.

My hair hasn’t been this long since the ‘60s. Now’s my chance to finally join the Byrds!

When people on Zoom have a bookshelf behind them, don’t you try to see what’s on it? To the point of not paying attention to them?

My new podcast drops late tonight. It’s a pretty wacky episode. Please check it out.

How come you can’t get Hebrew National salamis anywhere?

I’d go to one of those Drive-In movies but what happens if I have to use the bathroom? How safe can those be? And what are the chances you’ll find your car again?

Where was fake crowd noise when I was announcing Mariners road games in the ‘90s?

I bet you’re ordering more take-out now than you did two months ago.

When this decade is over and people are asked which was their favorite year, I can’t imagine anyone saying 2020.


Yachnoff said...

I can envision a scenario where someone looks fondly back on 2020: "Hey honey, remember the good old days back 2020 when America was still a democracy, unemployment was under 50%, and we thought we could develop a vaccine for COVID-19." Have a nice day.

Anonymous said...

1. The biggest jolt in watching old westerns today is being reminded there once were laws requiring pre-NRA folks to disarm within city limits. 2. When our eyes stray to the book shelves - in Zoom broadcasts or porn - time to get a new director.
3. Is the word Hebrew used that much anymore on products not involving language instruction?
4. Have Covid-19 drive-ins revived the improvised pee bottle?

Rory L. Aronsky said...

I’d go to one of those Drive-In movies but what happens if I have to use the bathroom?

Two options:

1) Huge AM/PM, 7-11 (or any other convenience store of your choice) cup on hand for such a need.

2) Make sure you clean out your car really well after you get home. These are primitive times.

Arlen Peters said...

Forget everything else: why the shortage of Hebrew National salamis???

Troy McClure said...

Friday question

Ken, we both hate Trump with a passion. I'm sure you're aware there are serious concerns that he is going to steal the election one way or another. Even if Biden wins by a landslide, the orange turd will not accept the result. And we've already seen that the Republicans are traitors who will do anything to cling on to power.

My question is if this happens and the US has to suffer another four years of this disgusting man, do you think you'll leave the country? Trump has already shown his fascistic tendencies and a second term will turn the country into a dictatorship.

I think there'll be a mammoth exodus of Americans who have the ability to move to another country, at least until the US regains its sanity.

I'll understand of course if you decide not to answer this question because of all the potential hate comments from Trumptards you'll have to moderate.

Dave Creek said...

I absolutely check out the books on people's shelves during interviews. So far the most frequent book I've seen is Ron Chernow's GRANT. I understand the appeal -- I've read it, too!

I'd still like to see some science fiction or something other than political or other non-fiction books back there, though.

stephen catron said...

If your show eventually opens in Cape May, do go and spend a bit of time there. A lovely Victorian showplace.
I expect the DH is with us for good now and frankly even though I'm a National League guy I'd like both leagues to use the same rules. This is my compromise: THe DH must be in the 9 hole for at least 3 innings.
Be well.

. said...

Despite there only being a relative handful of MLB games so far, it looks like they’ve handed pitchers a golf ball. To me this year’s version of Jet Ball goes beyond the last couple of years’ slick billiard-ball type.

That seems the basis for all these tee shot home runs, more so than pitchers not being ready.

The Detroit Tigers hit 4 home runs in the first inning this week. To translate for your group, they couldn’t do that if Eddie Deezen was pitching but for these Superballs. It dilutes the game, but BaseGolfball is still technically baseball, and hooray for it being back.

Mibbitmaker said...

MASKS: I've been noticing how surgical type masks have changed from 1950-53 on M*A*S*H to nowadays.

PLASTIC STRAWS: Turtles have another advantage: during lockdown, they already carry their homes around wherever they go.

NEWS: I've been watching less news programming since KOVID dominated. But I still need to know something to enjoy Colbert and Seth Meyers, who I still need while cut rate Schickelgruber is still there. Plus, I'm glad I touched base with the news yesterday, since Joe's veep pick was the one I was rooting for.

CLIMATE: When tornado threats show up at times HERE IN NEW ENGLAND, something's not right. There actually was one that caused a couple weak ones to land last week - and that was 2 days before the former hurricane came through the area.

EMMYS: Too many bad choices for winner caused the last awards show I cared about to be irrelevant. I watch more YouTube these days anyway.
SIDE NOTE: a couple of video series I've been addicted to are worth checking out. "Honest Trailers" do trailers for movies and TV, but satirically. The voice guy is a great imitation of the teal thing. And being "Honest", if they like something, they're not above praising it. The other is "Pitch Meetings" where a comedian, Ryan George, plays both the screenwriter and producer, portrays a fictitious pitch for real life movies and TV shows, mocking all the incongruities in them. Both have been at it for a while, so plenty material to watch.

HAIR: Having hair that grows thick more than long, I never really understood those that criticize the horrible morons that want to run around without masks, etc., when they criticize them wanting haircuts. When my state reopened barber shops, I did wait a week for decent weather to walk to mine, made an appointment, waited another week for that, and finally got mine cut. My barber is very insistent on proper safety (even before lockdown), had customers wait outside, takes our temps, masks and cloves worn and required. I usually wait too long to get a haircut anyway, but it got to be too much.

ZOOM: Seth Meyers has been having fun with that, with a constantly changing pile of books behind him. Mostly The Thornbirds. He even had books with parody names on the covers/spines, sometimes variations on the one book. It was a welcome throwback to old MAD magazine (all old MADs now) with the "chicken fat" side gags all over. Now it's a Monty Python style mouth animated Sea Captain painting. I'm not huge on that, but it is a nice throwback to the old show, esp. Conan's era. Doesn't mesh great with the pointed political commentary, though.

2020: Right up there with 2016 and 1968 as bad years! 1980 wasn't great, either (hostages, Reagan elected, John Lennon murdered...).

Anonymous said...

When people are on Zoom aren't they highly conscious of what others are seeing of their home? Don't they set-dress to impress?

Fed by the muse said...

Friday Questions: More MASHs questions: Who was responsible for creating the newer recurring characters? In other words were the writer's of the first Col. Flagg/Potter/BJ/Charles episodes the originators of these characters (or at least responsible for naming them)? Also, watching the series on Me-TV I notice no or very little incidental/bridge music in season seven (as there had been in previous seasons)and was wondering if you and David helped to usher in that change.

Tudor Queen said...

I've actually heard from a couple of reliable sources that one of the actual good sides to the pandemic is that air quality in most parts of the world has actually improved markedly!

I, too, want to read Chernow on "Grant." Teaching the Civil War and Reconstruction turned US Grant into one of my heroes. If Chernow does as good a job on Ulysses Grant as he did on Alexander Hamilton, do you think Lin-Manuel Miranda will do a musical called "Grant"?

blinky said...

Modern Family did an episode shot entirely on iPhones and iPads. May I suggest you write a virtual play using phones and Zoom? You could have it live at a certain time and have the audience dial in.

E. Yarber said...

En route to the Chernow bio, I just finished Elizabeth D. Samet's annotated edition of Grant's memoirs, which came out last year. Grant was an excellent writer but reticent in public, so she fills in a lot of background material to round out what was already a highly readable account of the war. She also adds an Afterword on the cultural legacy of the conflict that is more relevant than ever with the current controversies over monuments and military base names. Spoiler: having exhaustively studied the Civil War, she's not a fan of the Confederacy.

Mike Bloodworth said...

No comment.


iamr4man said...

“ My hair hasn’t been this long since the ‘60s. Now’s my chance to finally join the Byrds!“
Remembering yesterday’s post, I suppose young people probably think “Byrd’s” is a typo and you are referring to your hair looking like tail feathers.

Kevin from VA said...

Mike Bloodworth

Thank You.

YEKIMI said...

Listening to a few baseball broadcasts of the Cleveland Indians [among others] and what gets me about the fake crowd noise is it stays the same whether it's a boring inning or someone hits a grand slam......a grand slam, the crowd would be roaring and cheering except all I hear is the same monotonous murmuring.

Steve said...

Friday question: Now that Kamala Harris is the choice, can you use your massive power in the entertainment industry to protect us from even more Maya Rudolph, who no doubt is getting ready to portray her ad nauseum?

ByKenLevineFan said...

Here's one reader of Ken's blog who is ABSOLUTELY planning to leave the country if the unthinkable happens and this monster cheats his way to a second term. I will not stand by and watch the fires of fascism engulf my beloved country. My only concern is a) he may try to shut down the borders before January gets here and b) even if he doesn't, what country would take an American now? We're corona-pariahs.

Last thing. I think it's an instructive point that David Simon and the other series creators ended "The Plot Against America" -- SPOILER ALERT! -- not with FDR winning election and the nightmare ending, as in the book, but with the administration burning ballots and disenfranchising people (especially of color). We've all got to look out because their side is full of dirty tricksters who will stop at nothing, and we've got to protect our democracy this time or we'll lose it. Stay vigilant!

Troy McClure said...


Apparently the 1917 flu ended World War II. That's what Donny said the other day. And it's pronounced Thighland now.

I hope you're keeping track of all these changes. I know that Trump supporters feel compelled to adjust their speech to fit what Dear Leader says. Like the time they didn't bat an eyelid when he said the 1775 revolutionary army took over the airports.

Hamberders all round!

Unknown said...

Off topic, but on your radar, Harpers Bazaar has a lay out on Mrs. Wood's photos:

Rick Whelan said...

Hebrew National is now owned by ConAgra in Omaha. Could be their processing plants have been hit hard by Covid. Or maybe they're busy pushing out Slim Jims and Trump Steaks. And Ken ... if Anus Tangerines wins in November, I'll sponsor you for Canadian citizenship.

RobW said...

Everyone who talks about leaving the country - where do you think you're going to be able to go ? Canada may be your first choice but it's not a simple matter of just driving across the border and they'll welcome you with open arms. There's an entire process you must go through, and it's not
a simple matter of filling out some paperwork.

Jahn Ghalt said...

I FEAR Yakinoff may be right - the effects of the developed world's severe over-reaction to COVID has just begun.

(hate that)

The "turd" will have to face the same thing that Military Generals would face, trying a coup de etat - ARREST.

Moving on to the trivial:

Early Returns show that home runs ARE up - but other offensive averages are DOWN:

2019/2020 comparisons:

HR/G 1.25 1.39

RUNS/G 4.83 4.5
BA 0.252 0.235
SLG 0.435 0.403
ERA 4.49 4.24

Jahn Ghalt said...

Canadian customs report:

Old classmate, driving east to Skagway (as new editor of the Skagway News) was stopped at the Alaska/Canada border.

Her quest was to drive 300-miles in Canada to get back into Alaska/USA.

Buttermilk Sky said...

Twelve-ounce Hebrew National 8.99 at Ralphs. I Googled and found half a dozen other places which will hook you up.

I've noticed all those at-home interviews positioned in front of the bookshelf, too. A little preening? Nobody wants a giant-screen TV or a fully stocked bar in the background. Oh no, they're all reading 800-page biographies.

I always check the bookshelves in TV dramas, too, and there seem to be an awful lot of Readers Digest condensed books (very distinctive spines). Maybe an inside joke?

E. Yarber said...

I always assumed Readers Digest books were ubiquitous on TV sets because they were virtually worthless but took up space on a shelf. I also check the bound Legal Reporters in a fictional lawyer's office to see if the decorator went to the trouble of putting them in chronological order. No wonder I keep losing track of the plot.

Sarah said...

I take it you've never been to a Marlins game.

TimWarp said...

Some upsides for me from the quarantine:
* working from home so not spending 1 1/2 hours a day in traffic, and not eating junk food from the vending machines
* getting to spend 5 months with my daughter who came home from college for spring break and is going back next week
* lunchtime catnaps
* have to fill the gas tank once every couple of months instead of weekly

Mike Bloodworth said...

E. You reminded me that on most TV and movie sets the book shelves are filled with fake books. (Not to be confused with a musicians "fake book.") Basically they are cardboard boxes with false, book backs. They look real on camera, but weigh almost nothing and are much easier to move than actual books. I believe IKEA has similar props on their bookshelves.


Pete Thompson said...

Hoping you come to Cape May, NJ next summer. I will definitely be there...!!!