LikeTelevision Blog

Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy President's Day

Woo woo - break out the bubbly because it's President's Day. OK - so President's Day is a total non-holiday where typically - whoa, cool - no work today but in all honesty, we would do well to remember the two guys today's holiday honors - Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. George W. (no, no, no, not Dubya), the first US Prez, was a great president and we should be thankful he devoted a great part of his life to giving his talents to found this great country. But, unlike most politicians today - I am just thrilled he set a great precedent, and did not wish to become King George. By the time the war was over, all he wanted to do was to retire and chill at Mt. Vernon. So far, we have yet to have a president who was hard to kick the heck out, though FDR did his best to push the envelope of term limits - he actually did the USA a favor, because soon there was a new law - just two terms and buh bye.

And how can you not like Abraham Lincoln? OK - I am sure there are a bunch of you knuckleheads out there, but at least concede he kept the country together. Yes, we have all heard recently that he suspended Habeas Corpus, and that was bad.... very bad, probably worse than when Seinfeld told Babu to change the theme of his restaurant to specialize in Pakistani food. But give old Honest Abe some props - slavery did indeed put a huge wound on the words in our US Constitution and Bill of Rights. Can you say - hypocrisy?

Anyway - for me, these are two of my favorite presidents. I regret we do not have any decent video on Abe Lincoln... but we do have a really cool George Washington tale from sci-fi bizarro land. Yep, no kidding. Check out this classic One Step Beyond episode - Night in Decision. Another interesting George Washington short video clip worth watching comes from a super trailer made by LikeTelevision's resident maestro, Frank Random.

or watch the whole movie. McLintock - starring John Wayne as George Washington McLintock.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

India Gains Independence - Made an I.P.A.

It was 60 years ago today, on January 26, 1950 that Indian finally gained its independence from Great Britain. Two Indian heroes were mostly responsible for the country's freedom - Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. Their weapon of choice - passive resistance. Though they were promised independence by British Prime Minister Atlee in 1945, those stubborn Brits were downright slow to let go... I mean 5 years is a long time mates. Here's a video with some historic footage of the landmark event in India's history.

So - to honor this historic day - I decided to bottle a batch of some home brew, an India Pale Ale to be exact - which had been fermenting in a lovely state of what is called wort. Zymergy (the art of fermentation), Moshing - or making home brew is my new hobby. One of these days I will make a video about it as it is loads of fun and downright delicious if you know what you like in brewskis and are patient. Since this I.P.A. was a strong batch - meaning a bunch of alcohol content by volume, it is best to let it ferment in this wort state for at least 2 weeks. After that - it is time to bottle it - which entails adding 3/4 teaspoon of sugar into each 12 oz. bottle, pouring in the wort and capping it. Give it a good shake, and let it sit for about 10 days to get the beer nice and carbonated. The yeast is still active and it will ferment the sugar, letting off gas which has no place to go except into the beer to give it that nice fizz and a solid head when you pour it. After this - it is two months of lagering - which just means you put it into the fridge and try not to drink it because it is still immature. Well, I am immature too - and as of yet - I cannot wait the whole time and try a few before they are totally ready - but waiting does make the beer a ton smoother, so you really want to. Knowing my weakness - I have brewed several batches so far - with fun names to boot. Fat Man in a Bathtub Stout, St Arnold's Schwartz a Negre, Squirrelly's Nut Brown Ale, Fat Ass Bass, and most recently - Jenny's Juicy Juice, which is my favorite to date, already half gone and less than a month of lagering. Yikes! So - in an effort to stay ahead of the game, I also began a new keg of wort - I am calling Crazy Mixed Up Kid - because I am using a Pilsner Hopped Malt Extract combined with an Amber Unhopped Malt Extract and Gr Spalt Grand Hops and some Galcier Hops, with a cup and a 1/4 of brown sugar. This batch will be ready around planting time in the garden.

If you are interested in a how to make beer video, just drop me a line at info-at-liketelevision-dot-com. Cheers! And especially to all my friends from India - Cheers!

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Newspapers back in the day

Many years ago - newspapers were the primary source of information for most Americans. The industry grew for decades - and believe it or not, there was a time when most big cities had 2 thriving newspapers, usually broken down political lines. Which is why a bunch were named the Democrat or the Republican, with a prefix of the city in question. First radio, and then TV began to eat away at their monopoly for supplying information. And today - with the onset of the internet, you can pretty much get the news just the way you like and have only the narrowest point of view, a blog where only you are the reader for instance. ahaha. All kidding aside - there still are a lot of good newspapers out there, but it is no secret they are struggling with all the competition for providing information.

But back in the day - say the 1930s and 1940s - newspapers were the only game in town. They owned the information and were paid very well to tell the information in a way that was honest and fair, and struggle to keep clean amidst a world that had many rich people wanting to present in a way favorable to their business or power related projects. A few of my favorites are His Girl Friday, starring Cary Grant and Rosiland Russell and Meet John Doe starring Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck. You can also check out a lot of newspaper related stories, whether it is Clark Kent, alias Superman working at The Daily Planet or Frederic March and Janet Gaynor in A Star is Born. But don't stop checking out the history there - just do a search for Newspaper - and you will find a ton of newspaper related content. Oh - here's one more favorite - from an old TV show called One Step Beyond. The episode is called Where Are They? and it begins in an old newspaper office in Chico California with reporters covering a very odd story - of rocks falling out of the sky. Cool episode indeed.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tonight Show Videos

When I was a kid the Tonight Show was a really big deal. In the early days it was hosted by Jack Parr, and when it was time for him to move on - a new unknown named Johnny Carson was chosen to host the show. Everybody thought he would fail and would be replaced by somebody as known and famous as Jack Parr, but Carson took the show to a totally new level of comedy and entertainment.

Anyway - we have a ton of the classic moments from The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson - prepared in a fast paced montage of best of moments. One of the best known is the series of blooper sexual innuendo classics - featuring Jane Fonda's line about Pet My Pussy, and Johnny's offer to trim Raquel Welch's hedges, etc etc. No - the Arnold Palmer clip about how he allegedly said his wife kisses his ball before every tee shot is not included. And a further urban legend says that this clip will never see the light of day, as lawyers are lined up to keep that Tiger deep in the woods forever. But according to Snopes, that urban legend never even happened.

But Johnny was the master of the live clip. Don't believe me - watch this one below with Ed Ames throwing a hatchet on live TV. It does not get better than this.

Johnny also introduced a ton of great comedians to huge nation wide audience - from Rosanne Barr, George Carlin, Bill Maher, to Gary Shandling and a really young Drew Barrymore, who pulled out her baby retainer and plopped it on Johnny's desk.

And the video below featuring Sam Kinison is a just too funny. With Carson at the helm of the Tonight Show, it was always on the cutting edge of comedy. Watch them all!

So, today's current spat with the Tonight Show featuring Jay Leno in one corner with Conan O'Brien in the other - with NBC's Jeff Zucker being the one most likely to get the axe - is not so much about the Tonight Show as it is about the bickering. After Johnny left - and cable began to grow new channels every month, the Tonight Show was really never the same. Johnny Carson was the Tonight Show. If you could put him back on the show - all the networks would be in the bidding and it would go for an astronomical price. I bet Leno, Conan, and Zucker would even agree this was true.

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Monday, January 4, 2010

Sherlock Holmes Movies

The other day, my girls suggested that I would enjoy the new Sherlock Holmes movie starring Robert Downey jr. as the great detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle many years ago. Even as a kid, I loved Sherlock Holmes and my favorite Sherlock was always Basil Rathbone, though I did enjoy Jeremy Brett in the PBS series a while back as well. He was probably closer to the literary character than Rathbone - but for me, Brett was just a bit too arrogant - while Rathbone had that just right aura of self-importance. And Nigel Bruce was just the most delightful Doctor Watson - the perfect blend of intelligent doctor, and blind as a bat buffoon who always made Sherlock Holmes seem even more astute in his observations. Anyway - I hope to take the advice of my girls and check out the new film. I have always been a fan of Robert Downey jr - who judging by the stories in the news, he would make a wonderful Sherlock.

But - if you are like me, you still have a huge spot in your heart for the old B&W Sherlock Holmes movies starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. And here at LikeTelevision - we have a bunch of the best Sherlock Holmes movies from that era. One of my favorites is called Secret Weapon, where Sherlock is fighting the Nazis to save a very secret weapon developed by a foreign scientist behind enemy lines. Sherlock must figure out a way to bring the hi-tech bomb sight back to the allies without it being discovered by those nasty Gestapo types in leather trench coats. And of course, the evil Professor Moriarty has allied himself with those nasty Nazi types.

Another Moriarty classic is called The Women in Green. Here Sherlock must not only match wits with the evil genius Moriarty, but also stay cool while being wooed and charmed by a beautiful woman, played by Hilary Brook. And of course, she's a no good stooge working for the evil Moriarty. I wonder if this is where the whole Batman / Cat Woman love weirdness all started. Ahhh... Julie Newmar... but I digress.

PLUS... More classic Sherlock Holmes movies starring Basil Rathbone - Dressed To Kill and Terror By Night. There's a few more Sherlock related videos to - including one starring Popeye the sailor man in Private Eye Popeye, and another cartoon with Mutt and Jeff.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Crazy Brids Come Home

In case you didn't know - I just love birds. And being a man of passion, when I say I love birds - that means to normal people, I am a bird freak. No kidding. Every day, rain or shine - I go out with a few buckets of all kinds of food, and fill up feeders, scatter some on the ground, replace suet, and even get peanuts and some weird stuff too - cause I just love birds. These little critters bring me so much joy - and by far, they are the best weathermen in the world. (better than Grady Norton or George Carlin, the Hippy Dippy Weatherman). Early in the year, I knew something crazy was up because of the birds, and indeed - it snowed a few inches the next day. Compared to these bird brains, Al Gore knows next to nothing about climate, which is perhaps an inconvenient truth, but true all the same.

So - I thought I would highlight a few of my favorite bird related video clips at LikeTelevision. Bill and Coo is a really bizarre and entertaining movie - starring birds! I mean it is just plain silly. And speaking of bird related comedy - Johnny Carson has a TV classic video with the rooster as a special guest. Speaking of roosters - there's Foghorn Leghorn(sorry, no video for this), or check out this cartoon classic with Herman and Henry. And in case you didn't think birds were political animals - well think again! Watch this WWII classic called the Ducktators. And while we are into cartoons - Talking Magpies introduces the great comedy duo of Heckle and Jeckle. And what about Woody Woodpecker? And a search for Crow has a ton of good stuff too.

This summer - I tried and tried to have a bird eat from my hand. No, not a caged bird - I could never have a bird in a cage, like I said, i Love birds. I wanted a wild bird in the hand, coming to feed on the tons of seed provided every year. While I never achieved my goal this summer - I got so close. There was a family of brown capped nuthatches that would shimmy down a 4x4 pole, and come within and inch of my hand, and then think better of it. It must have happened 50 times - but no luck in actually getting a peanut from my hand. The closest I got was once or twice - one of them would graze my hand as it flew away. Well, the cat made this a lot harder... but sometime soon, I just know it is gonna happen. Or at least I hope so.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Muhammad Ali and the Smothers Brothers

I just finished watching an interesting clip of Penn Jillette talking about how he was screamed at by Tommy Smothers for going on some stupid news show. Not sure which one, I think it was Glenn Beck on Fox News, but who cares. Let's face it, it does not matter which side of the fence you are on today, you can just flip through the cable channels and have no trouble finding something that is annoying to you. Thank goodness there are so many channels. Just use your remote control - you do not even have to get up.

Anyway - I remembered a really funny clip when the Smothers Brothers were on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and thought it was worth highlighting. Also featured in this short clip is Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, way before he ever got into grilling burgers or chicken. Hope you enjoy it - check out the Smothers Brothers doing a really funny little ditty about what their Daddy's do for a living.

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