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Recorded History

30 Aug

August 30, 2016

I grew up in the days before VCR’s were common. And that really dates me since a lot of my younger readers who have TiVo or any kind of digital recorders may never have had a VCR. But at one point it just wasn’t common to have any kind of home television recording device. They existed in the 70’s but they weren’t cheap or in every home.

As a kid, I had a black + white TV in my bedroom, and that dates me too. Even then B+W TV’s were on the way out and color sets were soon all you’d find. It was an old set.

This was around 1979 or so. I was young and I was just becoming a Star Trek fan. (How did that happen? Read here.) Problem was, the show aired on WPIX channel 11 late at night. I’m not sure, but it aired at 11:00 or even later, and for a kid like me, that was past my bedtime. Even though there was a  TV right near my bed, I knew Mom or Dad would see the light under my door or hear the sound so watching the show wasn’t an option. But I came up with a work around.

Dad had a portable cassette recorder and I put it next to the TV speaker, turned down the sound, and adjusted the picture so the screen was all black. That way I recorded the Trek audio and eventually I had three or four shows in my meager collection, audio only. I’d listen to them late at night.

See how old it is? It has a leather case and a carry strap!

See how old it is? It has a leather case and a carry strap!

Flash forward to today. DVD, Netflix, Hulu, and more. If you want to see (let alone hear) an episode of Star Trek it is at your fingertips. And the other night I put on Netflix and found a particular episode of Star Trek, one I haven’t seen in a few years, at least.

Kirk, Spock and Co. beam down to a planet where Spock gets infected by alien spores and his emotions are released. He falls in love and refuses to leave the planet. It’s not a bad episode but certainly not one of the best. Middle of the road, I’d say. It’s memorable for Spock falling in love but also for McCoy speaking in a slow Southern drawl.

1x25_This_Side_of_Paradise_title_card

But it is very special to me since it was one of the shows I taped on that old recorder of Dad’s. Both the recorder and the tape are long, long gone. So just for the heck of it, to relive some of my youth, late at night I after I got into bed the other night I took out my tablet and played This Side of Paradise. Without the picture. Just the audio. The same way I listened to this episode back in the late 70’s.

It isn’t a great line, and not a memorable piece of dialogue, but I would be lying if I didn’t get a thrill hearing the head of the planet’s lost colony introduce himself to Jim Kirk.

this side of paradise new caption

I have a clear and distinct memory of lying in my childhood bed in my family’s old apartment listening to that scene. And for the next 50 minutes or so, while I may have been lying in my 2016 bed, I was also lying in my 1979 bed, in my 1979 home, and I felt every bit the kid I was then.

I suppose there’s a point here about technology, or childhood, or whatever you may have read into this. For me, the only point is that it’s a damn shame I had to grow up.

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bmj2k enterprise

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Lying Awake With An Online Date (John Newly #12)

2 Aug

August 2, 2016

ANNOUNCER: Welcome back to Lying Awake with John Newly. Lying Awake airs seven nights a week from midnight to 5 am. From ghosts to aliens to plots to overthrow the government, we’ve got it covered. Now here’s your host, John Newly.

JOHN NEWLY: Thank you very much and yes indeedy-do, this is Lying Awake and also yes indeedy-do, I’m John Newly. A little later on we’ll be speaking with Edgar Collins about his book “Can You Hear Me God? It’s Me, The Yeti.” We’ll also be taking calls on our special astral plane hotline. If you’re listening to us from beyond time and space, that’s the number for you to call. Gosh, I’m really looking forward to that.

But first, I’d like to tell you about some of the special things we’ve got going on here at Lying Awake. I’m very excited and I think you will be too. I know that it’s hard to get a date, especially if you tell people that you listen to this show. Well I’ve got just the thing for you.

tin hat

It’s called Paranormal-ish Date, and it’s for people like you, who want to meet people like you, but can’t seem to meet people like you. It’s a dating site like no other, tailored just for Lying Awake listeners.

Let me introduce you one of our singles. She’s a sexy single spellcaster who describes herself as a wacky Wiccan. She likes bats, beetles, and Beelzebub and she’s looking for you!

Or maybe the paranormal isn’t your thing. Maybe you’re into the dark side of politics, the machinations behind the scenes. Then you want to sign up for Conspiracy Theory Hook Up. No names, no descriptions, not even a picture. We promise to give out zero information about you or your date. Just show up someplace and wait. If you want to be anonymous and meet other anonymous conspiracy theorists in an undisclosed location, log in right now. It’s 100% safe, somehow. We think.

And finally, this one really has me excited, I’m pleased to offer to you Cthulhu Date. That’s right, Cthulhu Date. Whether you are a disciple of Nylarthotep or worship Dagon or Tsathoggua, you’ll find your date, mate, or fate right here. Word has it there’s a big singles mixer at R’lyeh at the next full moon.

Subscribe to any of these services and I’ll give you a free bonus- a copy of my new novel, Confessions of a Terrible Radio Host.

Too bad my wife won’t let me date. I’m really interested in meeting some new people. This reminds me of a time I was in Denver. I met a listener at a UFO convention. She was just about 18 years old and- what? Sorry everyone, that’s Fast Eddie, my producer.

[Inaudible, off mic]

OK, maybe you’re right. I’ll save that one for off air. Don’t let me forget, she let me take pictures and everything.

We’ll be right back with your calls, after this message from a company selling shady pseudo-medical pills that I own 35% of.

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(If you think this sounds ridiculous, and it does, you should know that Coast To Coast AM with George Noory really does have Paranormal and Conspiracy dating sites. I can’t make this up. I let Mr. Snoory do it for me.)

nerd love

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