February 28, 2007

Taking it one post at a time...

I just want to reassure you that I'm taking this blog one post at a time.

I'm going to give it 110 percent, and I'll just have to see what happens.

If another blogger brings his A-game, we'll have a heck of a battle, but we'll do our best.

There really is no I in blogger, but every player has a roll out here.

I just have to stay focused, and keep plugging away.

I can't spend my time thinking about the blogger ahead of me or behind me. All I can do is blog away and hope that's good enough.

After, all, blogging is a game of inches, and I can't leave it up to the refs to decide the contest. I have to take care of business.

Or, I could just phone it in an use one of these dozens of great Sports Cliches.

They just might come in handy sometime, Meat.

Done...quit...strew you...I'm goin' hume...

Ok, that's it...I quit this frickin' game...I have accomplished one goal I set out for myself - to have five launches over 100ft. Done. I even had a single launch high (no photo confirmation, sorry) of 358 in a different game.

My new, and for now at least, best ever total is 802 ft...

Carity still owns me with a 1159 total...

Plus his hamster is in the middle of a much cuter dance move. Mine looks like he's pigeon-toed. Stupid dang hamster.

Clearly, I must now hate like I hate the Girl Scouts...

February 27, 2007

Griff vs Barry

I held out a phenomenally long time.

Barry Bonds hasn't been proven to be guilty of anything.

Until he is, we have to say he's innovent of everything that people say he's done.

They have no proof, and I certainly wasn't there, so I'm not going to assume that he's guilty.

By this point, however, I have to admit that I'm all but convinced that there's got to be some sort of fire behind the smoke of Barry Bond's freakish physical transformation and his late-career renaissance.

A recent ESPN article looks at things a little differently, exploring not the steroids and homeruns but rather the inverse transformation that took place with Ken Griffey, Jr.

Where Bonds has - without a doubt - gone from joyous to sour as he has aged and has - it appears - taken hard-core steroids, Griffey has gone the opposite way having his phenomenal physical gifts fade with age while he has become more joyous and treasuring of those gifts.

It's a nice counterpoint to all of what's been written about Barry Bonds in the past few years.

February 26, 2007

The Perfect Basement

Just back from a long weekend in Gatlinburg - Pigeon Forge, honestly - and from remembering how spectacular pink pong is as a sport. I totally dig ping pong, and I love playing with just about anybody...and that last part can be a bit misleading.

I loved having a ping pong table in the chalet, and I dug playing ping pong the half dozen times that we played. That sort of thing makes me almost forget that playing ping pong solo isn't the same as having somebody around. When my family moved into our new house - 'round about my freshman year in high school - we got a ping pong table, and I got pretty good at it 'cause I got to play against my parents - both pretty decent - on a regular basis. Then I headed to college and got to play ping pong in the basement of the frat house for most of my freshman year (after that I had to do some actual work and got my own room, doncha know).

But then I moved away, and the girl certainly isn't into ping pong, so I don't play nearly as much as I'd like to.

Of course, my basement doesn't really have the room for a ping pong table - at least not the way it's set up now - but I did get to thinking about what sorts of stuff would make up the absolutely perfect basement.

Your thoughts?

February 25, 2007

Better and better

Still not in Carity Country just yet, but rockin' the overall 720 total...

And throwing down a single launch of 315 ft...

I really need to stop playing this frickin' game..

Getting better but still in awe

The top picture shows my new high score on the Flight of the Hamster game as well as my single longest launch - 203 ft.

I'm getting better - marginally better, but at least better by small steps.

And yet I am in awe of my fellow science teacher, Matt Carity whose score is shown below...


Clearing the decks

The work that I'm about to present in its entirety comes from a former Mt. Healthy teacher with whom I was lucky enough to work. She passed away during my tenure at Mt. Healthy, and this piece was read at her memorial service in the gymnasium.

The hot August sun was still in the sky when Mama’s voice called him away from cowboys and Indians and neighborhood pals.

But Mama’s voice was shaky. And he couldn’t sleep anyway.

Across the street, a girl confided to her Teddy bear that she hoped morning would never come.

But morning arrived. And Mama’s hand quivered as she led him to the enormous yellow bus.

And the girl clasped tightly to her teddy as Daddy gave her a reassuring kiss, and Mama replaced the bear with a shiny, new lunchbox.

The door was so hard to open, and the hallway was so big. But his teacher’s smile was almost as pretty as Mama’s.

And the little girl saw another girl, just like her, tugging at her brand new pink dress too.

Mama put the pretty picture he had drawn on the refrigerator and listened to wonderful tales of show and tell and recess.

And the little girl’s teddy bear slept on the shelf that night.

Soon football replaced cowboys and Indians, and to his dismay, girls were chasing him at recess.

And Barbie dolls and popcorn were shared by the little girl and her friend in the pink dress as they talked about the recess-boys at her first slumber party.

And somehow he learned long division. And the not-so-little girl proudly found the subject of a sentence.

And although the next door seemed not to big, Mama’s voice still shook when she said goodnight. But this time he slept soundly, dreaming of new classes, new teachers, new friends.

And as the little lady emerged that morning, Daddy’s lip quivered. And Mama longed to replace the new purse with her old Teddy bear.

And he made the team. And he found himself struggling to muster the courage to call the girl who used to chase him at recess.

And she waited impatiently by the phone for an invitation to her first dance.

And somehow, he conquered new math. And she nervously scribed her first poem.

Mama wanted to walk him to the bus again that morning, but somehow a young man had sneaked in and replaced her little boy. She held back a tear, for he was so tall, so handsome.

And Daddy wondered who the young woman was sitting across from him at the breakfast table.

The enormous sign at the bottom of the driveway frightened him. And she wondered how anyone ever got up stairway 5. He cringed as he heard someone yell “Stupid Freshman,” and she aimlessly searched for her first-bell class.

But there was the first game and the homecoming dance and algebra and the lunchroom and clubs and assemblies and position papers and chemistry and boyfriend and girlfriends; and soon, he was the one saying “Stupid Freshman,” and she had learned how to avoid stairway 5.

And Mama worried about him driving by himself.

And Daddy gasped as his little girl walked down the stairs in her prom dress.

And somehow he conquered calculus and she managed to write a research paper.

They now stand in red and black roves with a new door before them.

And Mama cries.

And Daddy swells with pride.

This door can lead to anywhere. It may seem a large door, a heavy door, but the man and the woman who now stand before it have the power to unlock it and to determine where it leads.

Mama and Daddy’s guiding hands have helped lead the boy and girl here. But the man and the woman, who now stand before you, must stand alone, and must find the strength that is within them to push the door open and in so doing, unlock the path to their dreams.

That man, and that woman, are you.

-Baccalaureate address from Teri Phillips to Mt. Healthy’s Class of ‘85

February 24, 2007

A whole new seven wonders - all your call

A few years back I was lucky enough to be able to visit the Grand Canyon, to hike from the South Rim to the North Rim and back again in about a week. It was one of my favorite vacations, four guys hiking back and forth for a week in the summer through one of the most beautiful places on the planet. At some point in our hiking, we wandered upon the topic of the Canyon being one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World, and I found myself researching the various places and buildings that have come to be known as one of the Seven Wonders in whatever fashion the various lists have come to be known.

This past weekend, however, I bumbled across an article saying that a new series of seven wodners was (and is) being voted on right now. Sure, the www.new7wonders.com campaign is a tourism campaign as much as it is any sort of altruistic movement, but it's kind of cool that the group is looking to update the classic Seven Wonders list in honor of 7-7-07 (coming up this July, you see).

So, take a few minutes and head to their website to vote.

It'll certainly be cooler than voting for the Seven Wonders of Illinois, at least.

February 23, 2007

Smack that hamster

Darn simplistic game at first: launch the hamsters as far as you can.

But it turns out that there are a number of power-ups that you can grab along the way - none of which are explained in the least.

My best so far is 417 total feet for the five launches and 167 feet for a single launch. Top that, buggers...

February 22, 2007

Old Blockhead

In the world of random things, we find a mashup of Peanuts and comic books.

Why would somebody make such creations?

I have no more idea for that one than I do as to why I would have gone through all of the pages of the images.

February 21, 2007

Even Stattler and Waldorf couldn't complain

Loads of Muppet Show goodness for you today, from the initial pitch for companies to buy the show right down to the finale of The Muppet Movie...

It's amazing to look back at the guests that they had - from the cast of Star Wars to John Cleese to Elton John to Victor Borge to Mummenschanz

- the original pitch for "The Muppet Show"

- "The Muppet Show" intro

- Peter Sellers

- the Mahnahmuhnah sketch

- Zero Mostel

- Kenny Rogers

- Harry Belafonte

- "With a Little Help from My Friends"

- Swedish Chef making lobster

- Star Wars invades (part 1...part 2...part 3)

- Lynda Carter singing "Rubber Band"

- Marvin Suggs and his Muppaphone

- Rudolph Nureyev

- Mummenschanz

- Alice Cooper

- Gene Kelly

- Steve Martin

- "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"

- Danny Kaye

- Elton John

- John Cleese

- Beaker and Bunsen

- "Happy Wanderer"

- Rita Moreno

- Sandy Duncan

- Vetrenarian's Hospital

- Andy Kauffman

- "Danny Boy"

- Jim Nabors

- Victor Borge

- the enduring popularity of the Muppets, thanks to Weezer

- the end of The Muppet Movie

February 20, 2007

Spider-themed games

Some part of my memory serves that I've linked to one of these two games before, but I can't find the posts anywhere, so they go up today - perhaps for the first time 'round these parts.

First off the bat, there's the general freakishness of a game with spiderman trying to trapeeze his way across the cityscape. The instructions are entirely in Japanese (I think) except for the key graphic of "space bar". My high here is 140.

The second game is - to me at least - significantly freakier. The set-up is more straight forward: Spidey throws out weblines and swings across the city. The motion of your character, however, is truly odd as he looks like a boneless rag doll shambling along a very abstract kind of city - one with random shapes placed and floating at weird intervals. My best effort got me to 6739 points, though it's so weird that I didn't really understand what I was doing for a half dozen plays through the first times.

Weird or not, they both make for a decent bit of distraction for a few minutes of your next while.

February 19, 2007

Twelve boxes of heroism

You might not think that twelve simple, colored boxes would be able to convey much of an impression, but the twelve giant pixels over at 12 pixel heroes have done a great job of getting them to be pretty expressive.

Their follow up of 48 pixel heroines is more descriptive - as it should be with four times the information, but I think I like the original better.

In case you're vurious, I went 18 for 21 with the heroes and 19 for 21 with the heroines. Can anybody top either of those?

February 18, 2007

Because we just don't see enough ads

I know it's just a whole bunch of ads - something I would typically rail against since we already get way more than enough consumerism thrown down our gullets - but...

They are, as the title of the website says, Very Funny Ads.

February 17, 2007

Backyard railroads

Our local weekly paper - the Pulse Journal - recently had a story on a local group putting up what they hope will be the world's largest model railroad display. If they have their druthers, by the end of the calendar year we'll have the world's largest model railroad display in an old furnitue store 'bout five miles from my house. They're planning on having the display there permanently as a sort of museum/tourist attraction.

Now you may know - as I certainly know - that the overall tourism draw of the world's largest model railroad display (20,000+ square feet) is probably somewhere less than that of the largest ball of twine in Minnesota, but that doesn't seem to be slowing down the Greater Cincinnati Garden Railroad Society. Their website shows the phenomenal plans as well as opportunities for anybody to volunteer to help them out in getting things together.

Admittedly, if and when this layout ever comes into being in the fullest scale, I'll be right there waiting to get in - as will some other locals. This probably has something to do with the fact that one of my neighbors is a part of the Society. I've no clue what his name is nor much about him other than that his backyard has a model railroad tressle in it, and a couple of times a year his front yard has a sign in it telling people that his yard is open for one of the stops on the tour.

In all honesty, the site looks like they'd be a fun bunch of folks. It's a little like the physics club from The Breakfast Club.

February 16, 2007

The ingenuity of the young

Always good to remember that we're not exactly working at Fort Knox when we're at school, eh? Thanks to two young ladies at Trenton for reminding me of that.

February 15, 2007

Another export to the colonies

I know, I know...I may as well just scream that I'm pretty much hopelessly behind the times in terms of new music, but I thought I'd take a post and pimp for Lily Allen - Britain's newest pop/ska/dub/old skool export. Yeah, she's been all over the magical interweb and all, but she's still worth checking out. The sound is easy and pleasant, and the lyrics turn out to be really kinda snarky. Highly recommended.

- Lily Allen & The Rakes - "Let's Dance" (live)

- Lily Allen - "Littlest Things"

- Lily Allen - "LDN"

- Lily Allen - "LDN" (live)

- Lily Allen - "Alfie"

- Lily Allen on the internet

- Lily Allen - "Friday Night" (live)

- Lily Allen - "Smile"

- Lily Allen - "Smile" (live)

- Lily Allen - "LDN" (alternate video)

- Lily Allen - "Smile" (live)

- Lily Allen - "LDN" (live)

February 14, 2007

A national treasure

Randy Newman is a treasure, and absolute national treasure. His songs are among the most well-crafted masterpieces of the past forty years. They flow across easy, soothing melodies while commenting in the most satirical means possible on all sort of topics: religion, politics, history, stereotypes. Rarely - if ever - has commentary come on so relaxing a bed.

Most people know Randy Newman from his movie music, for which he has won Oscars for Best Song. Here are two of his well-known movie songs, as an intro for today.

- "Good News"

- "You've Got a Friend in Me"

He has also done a number of songs based on historical tales, some of which shine a spotling on our less upstanding parts of history.

- "Louisiana (1927)"

- "Sail Away"

- "Christmas in Capetown"

His other songs aren't without comment, but they aren't exactly historical perspectives, either.

- "Political Science"

- "I Love LA"

- "Story of a Rock n Roll Band"

- "God's Song"

- "A Few Words in Defense of Our Country"

- "I Love L.A."

His most well-known non-movie song really got him into trouble - as the subtitles on this video explain

- "Short People"

His highly casual style has lead us, however, to some parodies, most famously from Family Guy

- Family guy

If you're intrigued, go searching YouTube for "Rednecks", "Christmas in Capetown", and "My Life is Good" - all of which push the line of sattire and include a few words that I'm going to decline to link to here on my school blog.

February 13, 2007

A challenge for you...

Here's my simple challenge for you. Try to watch this video calmly and with your hands at your sides.

That's all...

Nothing tough, nothing too strenuous...

But no bopping your head back and forth...

No singing along...

No fist pumping, no fist rolling, no punching at the camera at the appropriate times...

No putting your hands in the air to "save my soul"...

No running your hand through your hair doing you "best James Dean"...

No fluffing your fly-away, Farrah Fawcet hairstyle...

In case you're curious, it's almost impossible for me to meet my own challenge.

February 12, 2007

To annoy or not to annoy

I'm not really a fan of practical jokes, primarily because I don't take being the butt of them well, so I'm guessing that I shouldn't play them on anybody else. Sort of a bit of the golden rule, you know...

That doesn't mean that the Annoy-a-tron doesn't tempt me, though. There are a few people I know who might be excellent victims of the Annoy-a-tron, but I'm going to refrain. That wouldn't be fair...

And it'd be like fifty bucks to put enough of them around that person's classroom...

February 11, 2007

Return of the Random Ten

Okay, that last plot was evil (it was post #666 since I started this hubristic endeavour), so we'll go back to the standard random top ten...

Today's random ten from iTunes...

Fast Car by Tracy Chapman
One of the most beautiful, haunting songs of the 80's...gorgeous guitar over a heart-wrenching, amazingly effective story...the drums sound a bit high in the mix when they kick in, but it's still nearly perfect
Loch Lomond by Richard Thompson Band
From the six-disk boxed set RT...interesting cover of the classic Scottish tune...odd to hear with saxaphone but still enjoyable
Tryin' to Throw Your Arms Around the World by U2
Another haunting tune...this from U2's Achtung Baby - the first part of which is wonderful...the last third - meh...
Kentucky Mandolin by Yonder Mountain String Band
Entertaining instrumental from one of the best bluegrass/jam bands playing today...if they'd start playing smoke-free venues (or at least ones with some ventelation), I'd be seeing them more often and enjoying their amazing live shows again
One by U2 with Brian Eno and Pavorati
From the bootleg Duets, this live track brings out more of the feeling than the album version did
Stay (Faraway, So Close!) by U2
Another from an unofficial U2 release - this from Jesus was a Cool Guy...the sounds's not great, so I'd stick with the album version this time
The Shining by Badly Drawn Boy
Excellent, dragging melody played on chello and french horn (I think) bringing in a wonderfully slow song that's in high rotation...love lost, one of the finest realms for any artist to plumb
A Man in Need by Richard Thompson
Not the finest live version he's done - I think I prefer his solo lives to his band concerts - Thompson here goes back into the catalog for a song that he did better with his wife...her voice is missed on this one
Colours by Donovan
Sap...pure, simple sap...pretty sap, though...Donovan was a decent artist but certainly not the next Bob Dylan as Dylan pointed out in Don't Look Back...Colours isn't his finest work, but it's good enough to not let him be forgotten
Happy Together by the Turtles
Ah, sunshiny 60's pop...goota love the Southern Cal music of this era...the Mamas, the Papas, the Airplane, the Dead...Happy Together sums the whole thing up for me...a lovely song

February 10, 2007

Again the the top twenty five...in blocks...

Favorite films of the Brat Pack actors

Favorite films with Molly Ringwald
  1. The Breakfast Club
  2. Sixteen Candles
  3. Pretty in Pink
  4. Betsy's Wedding
  5. Wow, it gets pretty thin from there...sheesh
Favorite films with Emilio Estevez
  1. The Breakfast Club
  2. Young Guns II
  3. St Elmo's Fire
  4. Young Guns
  5. Repo Man
  6. Sorry, I've never actually seen The Outsiders
Favorite films with Judd Nelson
  1. The Breakfast Club
  2. Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back
  3. New Jack City
  4. St Elmo's Fire
  5. From the Hip
Favorite films with Anthony Michael Hall
  1. The Breakfast Club
  2. Vacation
  3. Weird Science
  4. Edward Scissorhands
  5. Sixteen Candles
Favorite films with Ally Sheedy
  1. The Breakfast Club
  2. WarGames
  3. St Elmo's Fire
  4. Short Circuit
  5. Maid to Order
And pretty much because none of those have even five good films - Anthony Michael Hall being the best of a very weak bunch...

Favorite films with Demi Moore
  1. A Few Good Men
  2. Indecent Proposal
  3. The Seventh Sign
  4. St Elmo's Fire
  5. About Last Night
  6. Weird, the only one not in The Breakfast Club, easily my favorite Brat Pack film, has the best overall career.

February 9, 2007

Leave nothing but small footprints

We need to buy less.

We need to buy locally.

We need to use public transportation.

We need to stop flying all over the place.

We need to reinsulate our homes.

We need to replace washers and dryers with high-efficiency models.

We need to use grey water to keep the plants alive.

We need to plant appropriate to our climate.

We need to reduce our footprint.

February 8, 2007

Why I don't buy comic books...

There are loads and loads of reasons why I don't buy comic books but rather grab the trade paperbacks at the local library or book store (not that I buy them from the books stores - I just read them while sitting in the provided comfy chairs).
  • Comics are pricey.
  • Individual issues are too poorly made to store well.
  • Storylines drag on and on.
  • Reading first-runs are too much of a crapshoot in terms of quality.
  • I'm cheap.
But this column does a much better job of explaining why the floppies should die.

February 7, 2007

Happy snowday, everybody

Have fun today - either catching up with work you should've been doing or just messing around in the five or so inches of white powder that came down yesterday...

Comics in a Whole-Lot-of-Context

Because I know you'll need something to read on Wednesday (fingers are so totally crossed, let me mention)...

Within the past decade or two, the world of graphic novels - or, if you prefer, comic books - has begun to move from the fringes of the literary world into - or at least closer to - the mainstream.

Libraries are recognizing the power of drawing in young readers through offerings of manga and graphic novels. Bookstores certainly are willing to sell comics in single issues or in trade paperback forms. And, thankfully, some scholars have come to recognize that graphic novels can certainly qualify as literature of the highest regard.

In the past, I have pointed out this latter development through links to Jeff Tepper's excellentSequential History thesis regarding the development of comic books and comic culture in the US, Watchmen's presence on Time's 100 greatest English-language novels list, the work of Scott McCloud, and the number of comic-themed movies that are being made by mainstream movie studios.

This week, I offer you another highly literate source of comics info: Comics in Context.

Comics in Context is an ongoing column written by Peter Sanderson, comic book historian and lecturer at NYU. According to his Wikipedia entry, Sanderson was "first hired by DC in the early 1980s, where he was given the task of reading every comic book published by DC since 1935". He "then went to work for Marvel as their first (and only) archivist, and contributed as a researcher on the various Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe series in the 1980s and early 1990s." As such, I'm thinking that he's uniquely qualified to write a "series of critical essays on comics, cartoon art, and related subjects", and his qualifications show as every one of his column entries runs for a thousand words or more.

The column is currently on issue #162 and can be found in two places. The first 132 columns can be found on IGN's website, and the rest of them on the new Quick Stop Entertainment site.

I'll admit to having only read a dozen or so of the columns - largely cherry-picking based on the summaries found on the two sites, but I'll be working back through most of the archives.

February 6, 2007

Icky yet attractive

1408 looks interesting. Good first two leads in Jackson and Cusack. Interesting premise. Stephen King story.

Looks like there'll be a new horror flick on the dockett for July.

February 5, 2007

Forde Yard Dash gets it right

Pat Forde's ESPN column - the Forde Yard Dash - this week went through his thoughts on the appearance of various basketball center court logos. His thoughts ranged from the use of drastically oversized animals and letters to huge state outlines and ridiculously prolific logos.

Thankfully, he does mention that all-time classic of center court logos: Indiana's and stays in the Hoosier state to compliment the tastefully sized Butler bulldog.

Forder annoyed the crap out of me when he was a columnist for the Louisville Courier-Journal, but he's gotten this column right at least.

February 4, 2007

Dad's Gonna Kill Me

Oh, wow...

As the resident Richard Thompson geek at this blog, I am terrifically excited about the fact that Richard Thompson released this track with no fanfare on his website. No clue whether this is going to show up on his next album or whether it'll be another of his toss off topical songs that never sees the light of day, but I've got a copy of it now at least.

Admittedly, I preferred his solo version of it that he played at the Southgate House last year when I saw him there, but it's still intersting to see that he's releasing mp3s on his website now. Here's to hoping that this is just the start of a pattern for him, 'cause I so want a copy of "Hots for the Smarts".

By the way, if you listen to the mp3, you may want to know in advance that 'Dad is short for Baghdad.

February 3, 2007

I want a new job

Clearly, I am doing something wrong at my job. In order for me to get paid, my employers expect me to show up to work and do my job.

I want a job like this woman had where I can avoid that whole going to work and doing my job thing but still get paid.

Anybody know about one of those?

February 2, 2007

More star-spanglered science

Every year, at least once, I get asked why helium makes your voice higher. It's been something that I probably should have explored and done some research on, but I never got around to it. Luckily I stumbled upon the above video that not only does a great job explaining things but also takes the marvelous extra step of having an assistant suck down a little sulfur hexafluoride to show off the opposite effect.

The main guy in the video is Steve Spangler whose blog reads like an excellent primer on, most prominantly, the Mentos & Diet Coke eruptions. The blog also has lots of interesting entries detailing Spangler's clear skills in and love for showing the coolness of science.

You can also see Spangler demonstrating insta-snow. Both of these videos come to us thanks to Snacks4TheBrain, yet another cool science blog.

Still no luck, though, in hunting down that video for the iodine clock demo timed out to the 1812 overture. If anybody can help me out there, I'd be much obliged.

February 1, 2007

Must See TV...return to glory (working)

Ah, another week nearly complete and me still without a snow day. What's with that, by the way?

At least it's a quality Thursday with a goodly amount of TV to zone out to tonight. Really, though, it's not about the amount of television to be watched but rather about the sheer quality of television to be watched.

From My Name is Earl to The Office followed by Scrubs, this may be my perfect threesome of sit-coms. And 30 Rock isn't a bad closer, in all honesty.

It would be the absolute rebirth of Must See TV if only NBC would call it that. But, no...they go with "Comedy Night, Done Right" instead, ruining their one chance at rebuilding the awesome power of the Must See TV brand, a brand that ruled television for a dozen years through the early 80's and into the 90's of my college years.

Ah, but let us take a moment to remember the glory that was Must See TV...

The core of NBC's Thursday night line-up was, to me at least, The Cosby Show. The ultimate white-safe black family - a doctor, a lawyer, an upscale house, dozens of aunts and uncles from the jazz and movie crowd of the past decades, and those classic sweaters - made for a run of sit-com dominance that defined the 80's. The Cosby Show opened the Thursday night lineup from fall of 1984 through spring of 1992 giving us classic moments like this.

Following The Cosby Show on the purest Thursday night lineup of my childhood were Family Ties, Cheers, and Night Court. That lineup lasted three years until Family Ties was traded out for the Cosby spin-off A Different World. Then came Dear John, a passable entry but not one quite up to the high quality level that NBC had set for itself. In 1990, NBC saw it's first failed Thursday entry in a decade, Grand, quickly replaced by Wings and another failure - this time a two-year experiment - Final Appeal.

Four years of Friends and Seinfeld brought most of the glory back to the Thursday lineup, but until Will & Grace came along, there wasn't a consistent pairing of shows with Friends and Seinfeld, and NBC screwed everything up with the placement of The Apprentice - the first non half-hour sit-com to be between 8 and 10 on Thursdays in nearly twenty years.

And then this year came along. Finally, a new perfect lineup has returned for NBC's Thursday night: My Name is Earl, The Office, Scrubs, and 30 Rock. All are excellent shows - the first last one growing on me of late, particularly last night's episode with Paul Reubens as a guest star.

It's good to have Must See TV back - even if NBC isn't using the slogan any more.

So don't expect me to accomplish much on Thursday night.