Ten on Tuesday: TV!

It’s time for the Ten on Tuesday yet again!  This time the subject is one I can get behind…’Ten TV shows from your Childhood”.  As a member of the very first generation to have that much exposure to TV during early development, this one should be a breeze.

I grew up mainly in Ontario, where most of the kids programming came in through TV Ontario. I don’t really recall us having cable until I was a teenager, and even then it wasn’t like we were getting “Pay TV”. That was for rich folks. That said, there was plenty of other programming on the Tube. Since there are so many shows to list (more than 10!), I’m just going to list them in related bunches.

Commence Wall Of Text! (No, I don’t have any real images. Sorry!)

Sesame Street / The Electric Company (and anything with Muppets):
Once you graduated from Sesame Street, you got to watch The Electric Company. Electric Company seems to have been revamped and modernized, but when I was a kid, it was a place for stay-at-home-Moms to watch Spiderman and hear Tom Lehrer songs. To this day, my mother can and will still sing the song “We are the kids known as whimper and whine” when she thinks my brother and I are acting out. Yes, in our 30’s. And my brother has kids of his own to warp. I wonder if Mum sings that song to my niece and nephew?
I had to tack on the “Anything with Muppets” on the end, because obviously Sesame Street was developed as Jim Henson was developing The Muppet Show. I still miss Jim Henson and his humour. Seriously, I cried when I found out he died. Jim Henson was kinda like my generation’s John Lennon (only without the Yoko factor). The Muppet Show was one of the few TV shows with multiple layers of comedy that would appeal to both adults and children. I definitely want as much Muppet Media as I can get my hands on if & when Robin and I spawn. Because a world without Muppet humour is a world without sunshine.

Polka Dot Door / Friendly Giant / Mr. Dressup / Mr Rogers’ Neighbourhood:
I consider this the Big-4 of CBC/PBS broadcasting. I dare you to find any kid in their mid-30’s to early 40’s who doesn’t have fond memories of how “The Polkaroo was here…and I missed him AGAIN?!” I’d expect most US-raised kids to understand the other 3, but Polka Dot Door was definitely a Canadian production, and I don’t know if it was aired in the US. Basically, it was two adults talking to a bunch of dolls as though they were children, teaching them games and singing songs with them. Very low-budget. Every so often, one of the adults would slip away and change into the “Polkaroo” character suit to do a segment with the other adult. When they came back, the usual reaction to being told that they had missed a visit from their friend the Polkaroo was the typical “Aw Shucks” reaction mentioned right at the beginning of this paragraph. Thing is, I figure most kids were in on the joke. Maybe that was part of the fun.

Rocket Robin Hood / Hammy the Hamster / Fables of the Green Forest:
The Trifecta of early-AM TV watching, though I could probably expand it to include “The World of Oz” and “The Mighty Hercules (which was interchangeable with Rocket Robin Hood). These were the shows that you watched between the time Mum forced you out of bed to wolf down a bowl of cereal, and the very last moment before you were shot out the door to go to school.

Read All About It
A weird little mystery TV show that aired on TV Ontario. Often right before reruns of Dr. Who (I don’t know why I never got into Dr. Who. Maybe because it seemed to be in black & white, and I figured I was beyond all that sort of stuff). Read All About It focused on a group of kids who formed a club to solve mysteries, and hung out in an old, converted carriage-house – I think. The clues to the mysteries usually involved reading and sounding out words and stringing together phrases. Perfect edutainment for when I was in my Trixie Belden phase.  Yes, my Mum was more a Trixie Belden fan than Nancy Drew. I still wonder just what happened to good old Beatrix in the end…

Wait Til Your Father Gets Home / Looney Tunes / Wonderful World of Disney
The Sunday TV lineup, generally enjoyed at my grandparents’ place. Looney Tunes and Disney are pretty self-explanatory. The first show, though, was more like an animated sitcom.  I only ever saw it when I visited Granny and Grandpa, so I have no idea where it came from, or what channel it aired on. I seem to recall it being a good show, though.

Jem and the Holograms / Jeremy / Barbapapa
I used to battle my brother for the TV when Jem would come on. He always wanted to watch something with guns, like GI Joe. Reminds me of our famous battles for the TV at lunch hours. We lived right down the street from school, so we’d come home for lunch. He’d want to watch Robotech (aka Macross); I’d want to do the 20 minute workout.  He’d often win, and I never did lose weight (my friend Kathy had told me that she lost her baby fat doing the 20 minute workout. I wanted to just lose fat).  Something tells me that if we had the same choice now, he’d probably PVR Robotech, and watch the 20 minute Workout for the girls in the scanty bodysuits. Then again, back then we didn’t have PVRs. We didn’t even have a VCR. It alarms me that our kids will grow up with better acronyms than we ever did.

Battlestar Galactica / Star Trek TNG / Anything else Star Trek you care to list:
My Dad can be a bit of a science fiction nut. He would often steal the TV on Saturday mornings so he could watch Star Trek on the CBC. As I got older, I recall watching the original Battlestar Galactica (reinforcing my opinion that no matter how hot Katie Sackoff is, Starbuck is a man, even when played by a woman), complete with Lorne Green. That man didn’t just narrate the Wild Kingdom, it seems he brought it with him. At any rate, Battlestar evolved into the Star Trek franchise  as I got older. I think I stopped watching not long after TNG finished up. DS9 took a long time to really get going, and by the time Voyager and the one with Scott Bakula rolled out, I had pretty much moved on. But Battlestar and Scott Bakula reminded me of a couple of other shows from the same timeslot/genre: Bad News Bears (played around the same timeslot as BSG, I think), The Greatest American Hero, Buck Rodgers, and Quantum Leap. I still go looking for Al and Ziggy when someone says “Oh boy”),

Dukes of Hazard / CHiPs / The A Team / Knight Rider:
Kinda interchangeable shows. I think everyone was mandated to watch these in  the early to mid 80’s. Typical action-adventure shows. My brother had a real thing for any TV show that had a helicopter or a car that pulled wheelies.

The Littlest Hobo / The Beachcombers 
The Cancon of my childhood. Because, y’know, there’s a voice that keeps on calling me. Down the road – that’s where I ought to be. Every stop I make, I make a new friend. Can’t stay for long, just turn around and I’m gone again. Maybe tomorrow I’m gonna settle down. Until tomorrow, I’ll just keep movin’ on… 😉
Yes, I think everyone my age can sing the theme song to The Littlest Hobo.  That’s because they usually aired it around the same time that there was anything with Muppets (The Muppet Show, Fraggle Rock, etc)

Twin Peaks / The X Files:
The shows that saw me growing up. Part of the reason I wanted to do the 20 minute workout? I wanted to look more like Audrey from Twin Peaks. Seriously. To this day I still have a thing for saddle shoes (and lucky me, I own a pair). The X Files is STILL a treat for me to watch. I’m currently going through Season 2 on Netflix, and thoroughly enjoying the mild retro nostalgia.  The uncanny valley of technology isn’t so wide that the technology looks TOO far out of place, and the stories seem to hold up to the test of time.

So.  What kind of shows did everyone else watch? I’m finding Netflix pretty handy for the nostalgia-factor 🙂

At least the TV is festive!

I’m not going to say that I have all my Christmas knitting done, because the moment I say that is the moment that someone in the family tells me five different things that they want me to knit that would make them the happiest person on the face of the earth. That said, I’ve done a lot of knitting this past weekend, and have found a few other projects to keep me entertained. I’m also looking at revisiting a few things that have gone on hold during the leadup to Yule.

Photo from a previous Yule when the tree fit in the living room

As a result of this, I’ve spent some quality time in front of the TV, watching movies and various things that have popped up on the PVR. I spent the past couple of days running through The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and right now am working my way through Dr. Who (circa 2005).

Christmas can be a great time for knitting in front of the TV if you like the odd Christmas special and you have a PVR. I’ve seen the Rankin-Bass classics “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” at least once, maybe twice. AMC had a little marathon of “White Christmas”, “Miracle on 34th Street” and “Holiday Inn”, and I even watched a new(er) one called “Fred Claus”, all about Santa’s lesser-known brother.

Usually that’s what gets me in the mood for the season…Christmas movies. I think it stems back to being a kid and looking forward to the “Christmas Specials” that would interrupt my parents’ usual TV habits – though I really don’t recall much of what they enjoyed that wasn’t enjoyed by the whole family.

This year we’re going a little lighter on the Christmas decorating, and part of it stems from the house being in a bit of a state of flux. I’m getting used to a new job, the living room has undergone a big change over the past year, and Yule kinda snuck up on us. As a result, we don’t have our tree up and the house looks more like ‘everyday” rather than “Christmas”.

In the meantime, though, we have the specials on TV and I’ve got my knitting. Yule is still coming, and it might not look like it’s happening around here, but that replay of Miracle on 34th Street is doing its best to convince me otherwise 🙂

Need my Cozy Fire buff, plsthx!

It was cold in the house yesterday. I think it’s a sign that Winter is on its way. So Robin flipped the switches on the wall that would give us the Cozy Fire buff, and we settled in with some Hot Chocolate to watch a couple of PVR’ed episodes of Grimm.

One of the best reasons for buying the house we did

Grimm, by the way, was pretty good. Seeing a lot more fantasy of this sort – less Tolkien, more fairy-tale. I’ll be interested in seeing where it goes. We also watched an episode of Walking Dead. I can tell my blood pressure is elevated when just looking away from the screen during the suspenseful/gory parts doesn’t save me. What can I say…if there’s going to be a post-apocalyptic future, my hope is that it won’t be too gory. I’d never survive.

Progress or fail?

(I wrote this yesterday when it was actually Wednesday. But I hadn’t had time to take the pictures, so consider this my WIP Wednesday on Thursday)

I was going to show off my work in progress like I try to do every week…and then I finished my Camouflage socks.

No, you can’t see the pictures.  I’ll save those for Finished Object Friday.  See?  Now you have something to look forward to!

No little hexagonal Granny Squares either, I’m afraid. I’ve been concentrating on finishing the socks.  To the point where, when I realized that it would take only a little while to finish off the last toe, I decided not to take them to the office with me for my lunch knitting, and instead took the stripey socks that were on hold from the second half of last month.


The out-of-place single lavendar and green stripes are where the heels will go...

So what do I have, other than a pair of socks that were left in limbo for half a month?


Cobblestone Pullover designed by Jared Flood

I started a sweater. Meet the Cobblestone Pullover, designed by Jared Flood from Interweave Knits’s Fall 2007 issue.  I was browsing through knitted tops when I came across the pattern, and as I’m always trying to knit Robin a sweater (but rarely succeed), I figured I’d give it a try. The sweater looks good on a variety of different guys, so I figure it will be a good fit.

Finally…remember I mentioned I was watching old episodes of Dr. Who?  I’ve managed to get through Tomb of the Cybermen (2nd Doctor), known to me as “the one with the amazingly heavy, electrified styrofoam doors”. I’m now on the arc known as The Mind Robber, which I am trying to decide should have been named “Zoe’s Sparkly Butt” or “Dr. Who in the land of the Giant Black Saltines”.

Humour aside, I’m really enjoying the show, particularly seeing how the storylines develop and the writing evolves. While it’s a shame that most of the original BBC episodes seem to have disappeared or been destroyed, I have to say that if one story is 5 or 6 episodes, it would have taken forever to wade through the entire series.

At the corner of acrylic and boucle

I was pleasantly surprised today by our local Michaels. There is usually one small aisle of yarn, and a bit of pegboard with some notions on it. A few months ago, I recall them posting signs indicating that they were going to upgrade the section of yarny goodness.

There’s a heck of a lot more yarn. Behind the rack on the left is another rack the other side of it, and then another rack against the back wall. The rack dead ahead is actually another wall (the yarn section is tucked in a back corner).  They’ve essentially doubled or tripled their yarn.  They also now have more than just the Paton’s Kroy and Stretch sock yarns. They now carry the Lion Brand Sock Ease (I admit I picked up a coffee-coloured ball), as well as something called Thread and Loop (I think…I didn’t take all that close a look).

They have also expanded some of their notions (more small-sized DPNs, for instance), and there are a ton more novelty yarns. One would think that someone noticed that knitting has gotten a lot more popular, eh?

As an aside…Netflix has at least one Very Early Doctor Who First Doctor serial – The Aztecs. It’s…uh…quite a change from where I first started viewing.  Amazing how, in 1963, Aztecs looked like British gents in silly hats….