Sunday, March 27, 2011

Week Thirteen - 39 to Go

Using her fixation on Indian lore, J.A. Jance weaves a police procedural with a slew of characters. While holding few surprises this multilayered thriller will entertain even if only for a brief reading.

Read 52 Books in 52 Week in 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Winky Dink and You

Winky Dink and You was featured in the Ask AP section of the American Profile March 10, 2011 issue. This stimulated my memory bank.

Winky Dink and You was an early childrens' interactive television show. Its interactivity made it innovative for the time. Viewers could purchase Winky Dink kits which contained a magic window that clung to the television screen with static electricity.

Winky Dink and You was an art-themed children’s series that aired Saturday mornings on CBS from 1953 to 1957 with Jack Berry as host.

Winky Dink and You was considered the first interactive TV show via a “magic drawing Screen,” a clear piece of vinyl plastic that adhered to the front of the television. For 50 cents, you could buy a Winky Dink Magic Kit so you could assist Winky Dink and his dig, Woofer, on their adventures. Using special crayons, you could connect dots shown in various scenes and draw lifesaving props for the the wide-eyed cartoon boy.

Our first family TV was in the apartment in Melone Village.

At the time Father was working at the headquarters of Sylvania's Picture Tube Operations in Seneca Falls.

Believe Father purchased our first TV at work.

Do not remember if we sent away for our Winky Dink kit or if someone gave it to us. Do recall Terry and I following Jack Berry’s instructions and saving Wink Dink and Woofer from disaster every Saturday morning.

Who would have guessed that such a simple concept would be so much fun?

The following is a email comment sent by Terry which includes his remembrance of Winky Dink:

We never had the green srceen to put on our tv but Uncle John and Aunt Zoe purchased one for our cousins on Lewis St. I slightly remember seeing it at their house. We lived on the left center in Malone Village. Paul Hester (Mail Man) lived on the right to us. I don't remember our first tv in Malone Village but remember father bringiing home a new tv in our new home (77 E. Genesee St. 1953) the houes was built in 1853, the tv was a Sylvania Halo-light. Father worked in the GTE division of Sylvania.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Week Twelve - 40 to Go

A good read for St. Patrick’s Day week. French places her characters in a setting where if you are Irish, you will relate. (Listening to Finnegan’s Wake by the Dubliners will set the mood for the funeral at the Mackeys.)

Read 52 Books in 52 Week in 2011

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Super Full Moon

Photographed 10:22 PM

This evening when the moon rises in the eastern sky it will not just be full, the moon will be making its closest approach to Earth in 18 years.

If no clouds (a stargazer's nightmare in Central New York) get in the way, the moon will appear about 10 to 15 percent larger than normal.

The best time to view the moon will be at sunset. According to the Astronomical Society of Palm Beaches, the best way to view this super moon will be by the naked eye, not a telescope. The lunar surface will be too bright to easily discern mountains and craters.

Photographed 10:24 PM

At 7:45 PM went outside to view the moon, but it was partially hidden by the neighborly rooftops. But this supper full moon appeared to be bigger and brighter than usual. Whether its perigee of about 221,567 miles away optically increased the moon's size by 14 percent or the moon's brightness by 30 percent could not be determined by my observations. Unaware of this phenomenon in March of 1993 tonight's viewing provided a moment of awe for me.

Photographed 10:26 PM

Some astronomers believe a super moon causes an increase in natural disasters on our planet such as earthquakes. Though this theory is not likely to occur, it is not being completely ruled out. This impending occurrence is said to have no link to the recent Japan earthquake and tsunami.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Week Eleven - 41 to Go

Graham Ison's Detective Inspector Ernie Hardcastle appears not to suffer fools gladly. Hardcastle’s intolerance plus Ison's insistence of using colloquialisms hindered my reading enjoyment. Furthermore, the ending was too cute.

Read 52 Books in 52 Week in 2011

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Nature Photography Workshop

Montezuma Audubon Center

Making my way to the Montezuma Audubon Center (MAC) using a counter-clockwise detour brought me to the Savannah Spring Lake Road. There I observed a my first Red-winged Blackbird of the year.

Arrived at the MAC at 10 AM. Workshop leader, Naturalist Dave Spier, was busy preparing his presentation. Assembled in the conference room were 11 participants, 4 women and 7 men (including myself).

Since Dave was having difficulty in aligning his new laptop with the screen projector, he made the decision to take the group outside.

Passing the bird feeders on the way to the wood, Dave mentioned that there were 100+ Red-winged Blackbirds on the ground around the feeders when he arrived this morning.

Once in the woods using his fingers in the snow Dave illustrated the subtle difference between rabbit and squirrel tracks. Rabbits tend to form a Y pattern while squirrel indentations resemble a butterfly. Dave mentioned that rabbits will seek safety under logs and hollow areas made by bushes pushed over by snow.

Doing some trail maintenance Dave tore a twig from a Northern spice bush. Passing the specimen around for the group to smell Dave made the point that rabbits having upper and lower teeth make a clean cut when they forge on branches. Deer however having only lower teeth and a flat upper plate tend to rip branches.

Noting a fallen limb that had been chewed by an animal Dave demonstrated the use of a tripod.

With the overcast sky producing poor lighting Dave decided to take the group back inside. On the way in Dave pointed out this nest which may have been used by a warbler.

In our absence, MAC Director Frank Moses had corrected the computer glitch and Dave's presentation was ready. Dave used his projected photos to make suggestions for capturing nature. Many of the participants had questions for Dave which he answered often using his equipment as props.

Leaving the workshop I purchased a sub sandwich at the Wolcott Big M and brought it to Bradley's home for lunch. On the way out of town stopped at the Wolcott Falls.

Jack, one of the workshop participants, mentioned that he lived in Port Bay. Having never been to Port Bay decided to go up there. Along Port Bay road in a creek there were several Canada geese.

Reached the shore of Lake Ontario and had to turn around.

Returning to Wolcott noticed an ice fisherman.

Driving home I stopped at the east entrance of Howland Island. Glad that I did. Standing on the bridge I observed 6 Canada Geese and a pair of Hooded Mergansers. Took time looking at the Mergansers through my binoculars. When I finally got my camera out the Mergansers were too far away for a good photo.

Although the weather did not fully cooperate the day was fun.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (March 8)

Teaser Tuesday is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading.

Page 50 - “Actually, my gut says it’s a lone nut,” I said. "If it were Hezbollah, why not just set it off?"

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Week Ten - 42 to Go

While Graham Ison's knowledge of the workings of Special Branch at New Scotland Yard make this an informative read. Ison's narrative is drudgery. Ison's main character, Detective Chief Superintendent John Gaffney, appears not to suffer fools gladly. Wonder how long Gaffney could sit over tea with Ison.

Read 52 Books in 52 Week in 2011