Sunday, December 09, 2007

They're baaaack!

Uh-oh. It’s those Santas again! It’s December already? Dang it. . . It’s time to utter a few four-letter words.

December 10 is the two-year anniversary of this blog. Whether I like it or not. I’m sorry to say that a certain four-letter word comes immediately to mind, and that word is: TIME. Or the lack of it.

I enjoy writing and I enjoy posting on this blog. But there’s this thing called LIFE (another four-letter word, you will notice) that keeps getting in the way. I enjoy having a little space here on the world wide whatever where I can share my views and keep in contact with others. But there are other things happening besides this site, and they’re just about all more important than this site! So this poor site gets pushed aside rather easily.

It wasn’t meant to be this way. In my blogging dreams, I planned of posting at least three or four times a week, with photos and extensive data. Alas, it was not to be. Time isn’t on my side in this one. I had to remove the words “updated weekly” from the mast head when it became clear that I would be lucky if I could update monthly!

The writers in Hollywood went on strike a few weeks ago. That’s because writing is work. Even those who enjoy it must confess that it takes time to do well. It’s not something that can be taken for granted, as some people are disposed to do. Good writing takes time. If I’m having trouble putting together a simple blog, imagine how much work it must be for good writers to put together a TV show every week - or even every day, in the case of soap operas! Thankfully, they are given some time (and cash) to write. But I don’t have that luxury. That puts this blog on the same level as cleaning out the attic or buying the latest gadget. It’s something that should be done, but that doesn’t have to be done immediately.

What’s the next step? Well, just as those Santas are moving one step at a time, I will do the same. I definitely will keep posting once in a while, and hopefully you can find something here that you will enjoy. You’ve probably figured out that you don’t have to check in every week. But hey, there’s always every other week. As I’ve said before, thank you for your patience. Your prayers and good wishes for me are very much appreciated.

Also, please keep checking my YouTube page every few weeks. I have been posting new videos there (Most recently Ernie and Bert‘s "what happened here" and "The King‘s Nose"). You just might find something fun over yonder.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go clean the attic. . .


DUSTY, BUT THERE: We have an update to the November posting about “In search of: Retired Puppets”. As mentioned before, a fellow named Benjamin Wagner is working on a documentary about Fred Rogers. He recently visited the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, and in a blog posting he confirms that the Mister Rogers puppets are on display there. He writes:
The Museum has been home to "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" exhibit since 1998. Developed in partnership with FCI, it replicates the show's set -- it's all there: King Friday's castle, X the Owl's tree -- but in a hands-on way. Kids can be on or behind the camera, drive trolley, put on their own puppet show, or play Mister Rogers' piano.
Picture Picture's there too. We watched a video on the making of the exhibit narrated by David Newell. There was Mister Rogers wearing an overcoat and glasses, standing next to Bill Isler and smiling.
Mister Rogers' spirit was everywhere. And smiling.
Still -- and I've felt this way numerous times throughout the making of this film -- his absence was palpable too.
Puppets from The Land of Make Believe stood in glass cases in the hallway next to the exhibit. And while it was exciting and even moving to see the real Daniel Striped Tiger and King Friday, it made me sad to see them staring back at me all glassy-eyed, lifeless and dusty.
I miss Mister Rogers, and often wish he was here to help Chris and me.
You can read the complete blog posting here:
You can read about Ben's meeting with Mister Rogers here:
Now we need somebody in Chicago to visit the historical society and see if the Kukla and Ollie puppets are on display!


FELIZ NAVIDAD FROM BOB: In the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade this year, we saw an appearance of the legendary Bob McGrath. Yes, Bob is still on the street! You may have seen him singing “See you tomorrow” to Big Bird in a more recent clip. I like to promote the “old school” stars whenever I can. Bob also has a new Christmas album, but don’t click on the link below if you’re in a library. It plays a clip of Bob singing. You’ll bother all the non-believers sitting around you. I guess Bob took a lesson from Maria (Sonia Manzano), whose site also has a song clip.

I wonder if Bob’s Christmas sing-along is a tribute to his days singing with the Mitch Miller singers. Remember Mitch? They did a few sing-along Christmas albums as well. I’m not sure if Mitch Miller ever went on tour, but Bob did! Bob performed some of his songs at a few Barnes & Noble bookstores in the last few weeks.


AND, OH YEAH, BY THE WAY. . . I would assume that all my web-savvy muppet friends have discovered the Beta version of the Sesame Street video site! I haven’t been having much luck with it so far, but that’s probably more due to my connection than anything else. I can’t wait to test-drive it on a fast modem. I shall report back when I have more luck. In the meantime, enjoy some superb classic Sesame St. clips from yesteryear on this site.

And hats off to Sesame Workshop. With the “Old School” releases plus this Web site, they demonstrate that they have a desire to share the classic material. They are definitely on the right track.