Category: television

First off, may I suggest you never take a quiz on Facebook that is created by Offbeat. Not just because they are unweildy long (but kindly say “Only 25 more questions to go!” when you’ve already answered at least that many) and each question takes nearly a minute to get through because of 3 steps per question, or the obvious of unrelenting ads, but because they insult your intelligence. The quiz above says “Only 1 out of 10 people can name these 60 tools” when it’s really closer to 9 since a hammer looks nothing like a hex wrench. [And what they called a hex wrench was actually a Torx set.]

But I digress. The reason I posted this is because the clipart used in the final boss screen is of everyone’s favorite building supervisor, Pat Harrington, Jr as Dwayne Schneider, on TV’s One Day At A Time (1975-1984). Excellent show until (IMHO) they jumped the shark and did a Cousin Oliver by bringing Glenn Scarpelli on in season 6 as the ‘cute kid’ to replace the departed/bit-part-now/rehabbing-or-not Mackenzie Phillips.


gigantic soda cans

Those are some Jolly Good sodas! 😀


The biggest Sony Watchman portable television I have ever seen. The Watchman line was produced between 1982 and 2000. Side shown to illustrate that not only can the picture be adjusted properly, it has an A/V input so you can plug a videogame or a video player into it, plus unlike most analog Watchmans it can still be used today with a digital tuner/cable box.

Pseudo-political buttons featuring NBC TV show characters.
Friday Night Lights, Conan O’Brien, Law & Order: Criminal Intent
Saturday Night Live, The Office, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

I’m unsure of what year these came out because all six of the series above were in production between the years of 2006 and 2010… though due to there being a presidential election in 2008, that would be the most likely date.

[update] Chris Noth left L&O:CI at the end of the 7th season, August 2008. So that confirms it’d be as late as 2008, though he was gone before the elections happened!

A paperback edition of Kids Say The Darndest Things; the book was originally published in 1957 and this copy came out a few years later.

I’m not sure what the message of the mosaic is, but… ST:TOS, watch it!

I’ve mentioned that I was in Packwood WA for the annual Labor Day
fleamarket. Somehow I managed to only spend one green dollar the entire
day there, and that was on this – the October 18-24, 1970 edition of
the Yakima (WA) Herald-Republic’s Sunday paper’s “TV Weekly”. So above is a scan of Tuesday the 20th’s entire programming schedule. Yakima only had four VHF
stations – the ABC affiliate KAPP 35, the NBC affiliate KNDO 23, the
CBS affiliate KIMA 29, and the PBS station KYVE on 47. The Big Three
broadcast between 7am and 1am, with the National Anthem playing at the
start and finish of the day, but public broadcasting was only active
between 9am and 10pm weekdays and less on the weekends.

thing of note, beside any interest you may have in certain programs you
have heard of – and recall, anything not marked as a rerun with an “r”
was a first-run program, in this case amongst which were Green Acres and The Beverly Hillbillies (and on Fridays, The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family)
– is what was playing on PBS during the day. Back then there were 15
minute programs, usually filmed in black and white, centering in music
or art or learning Spanish, broadcast during the morning to early
afternoon when either some teachers would tune in their classroom sets
– or you were home from school sick and watched TV in bed. (That
couldn’t have just been me!)

I do remember Art Cart a.k.a.
Art Starts and the woman that would paint with one hand while operating
her hand puppet, a spider named Grandpiere [as opposed to
Grand-Père, “grandfather” in French], with the other; I also
remember the song mentioned on the above link (that’s how I found the
link!) “Shh, Be Quiet” from one of the music programs, and I don’t know
the show’s name either… Music Time perhaps? Sesame Street was
one year old at the time and broadcast in black & white. Some of the
educational shows on the list were broadcast through the 1970s and as
late as 1980, and other shows that were 30 minutes long filled the
places of the 15 minute ones. Along came The Electric Company, plus Two
Cents’ Worth, Mulligan Stew, The Righteous Apples, and others to teach you valuable lessons about life.

The videocassette recorder was invented in the 1960s and prerecorded movies became available in 1972… but it wasn’t until the 1980s that videotape and videotaping gained any traction publicly, with the advent of recorders with television tuners built in and two ‘universal’ tape formats. It would be awhile before the format war fully concluded as VHS and Betamax (which debuted in 1976 and 1975 respectively) arrived at a winner circa 2002.

So here’s something scanned out of a 1970 Sunday newspaper television guide booklet about the nascent state of videotaped TV shows/movies. You will notice that this medium didn’t have a name yet, and they refer to such a setup as “cassette systems” and programs as “cassette television”.

So this bit of futurism did take place, though they only scratched the surface of what was possible and underestimated what home taping would become. An irony: This article doesn’t speak of cable television expanding the dial beyond The Big Three of CBS, NBC, and ABC (plus PBS and other local independants) yet it refers to these three or so limited choices as “a wilderness of mass programming.” They had nooo idea what was ahead…

I woke up today thinking about Virginia Christine, who was a beautiful young actress in the 1940s and 1950s but is best known as Mrs. Olson from over a hundred Folgers Coffee advertisements of the 1960s and 1970s.


Is it a television? A slide viewer? A cigarette lighter?

It’s all of these and more! The 1960s were a strange time.