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|Editor's Notebook by Bill Blauvelt||A Different Slant, by Chuck Mittan||Country Roads, by Gloria Garman-Schlaefli|
by Bill Blauvelt
Each spring when we are to spring forward with the change to daylight saving time, I try to adjust my bedtime so that I will not miss an hour's sleep. Didn't work this year as my cousin in Albion suggested I would want to watch Larry's Country Diner, a program that airs at 10 p.m. Saturday night on the RFD Network. That was the equivalent to 11 to midnight on Sunday's fast time.
I seldom watch television. Last September Rita and I removed the television from our basement family room that doubles as our home office to make way for the installation of new floor covering. We haven't moved the television back into the house. It is still in storage.
We do have a small set in the living room positioned so only one of us can watch it at a time. For our first time watching Larry's Country Diner, we had to rearrange the furniture.
We were ready when the show began. Normally television watching is something I do while reading, but not Saturday night. I didn't pay a lot of attention to the show but watched for a crowd shot, hoping I could catch a glimpse of Maurice, Brock and Allison. (My uncle, his granddaughter and her husband.) I thought a man with his back to the camera near the left side of the screen was most likely my uncle. I had about given up seeing him and Rita had fallen to sleep. I may have dozed, as well, as I didn't hear his introduction. Suddenly I was aware he was on the screen. His microphone wasn't working well and I could hardly hear him. But my attention was diverted. I was trying to wake Rita up. Then the show was over.
Intrigued I went to the internet in search of more information about the show and the possibility of seeing a re-run.
There was an indication the show might be replayed Sunday evening. We were hopeful we would pay more attention, but we didn't have a second chance. A few minutes before we expected the show to start, we went to the living room and reached for the television control. I expected I had left it near the set. I hadn't. We searched the entire house but we haven't found the remote control unit needed to tune the television to the proper channel. We had it Saturday, We haven't even taken out the trash, but we can't find the control. Rita insists she didn't lose it but I'm sure she did.
I may chose to watch Larry's Country Diner at a future date. From my internet research, I learned the show is taped before a live audience and without a script. If the performers make a mistake or dig themselves into a hole, they have to find a way out. Unlike most shows now on television, the cast can't rely on an editor to cut out the goofs and assemble the best clips. There are no do-overs. The show has a cast of regulars augmented by guests. In real life, the waitress, for example, is a secretary.
Apparently, many viewers are going to Nashville planning to eat at Larry's Country Diner. At this writing, the diner doesn't exist but that is going to change. Seeing an unfilled opportunity, the show's owners are building a diner. The show will continue to serve catered food and be filmed in a studio made to look like a diner. However, there will be an alternative diner with a kitchen that does serve food.
The next time I see my Albion relatives, I'll have a number of questions to ask about the show.
My first television appearance was not at all like Maurice's.
I was about 10 years old and in Omaha seeing an allergy specialist. Mornings were filled at the medical clinic but afternoons were free. One afternoon my parents decided to visit a television station.
The trip to Nashville and Larry's Country Diner was not a spur of the moment decision.
It was planned far in advance to honor her grandfather on his 96th birthday. Allison contacted the show's producers and ordered tickets. The Blauvelts just walked in the front door of the first television station we saw (It was building beneath a large tower we suspected might be used for broadcasting television signals) and said, "We are here to see how a television show is broadcast."
That wasn't good enough for the receptionist. She asked to see the tickets we didn't have and didn't know we needed. While she was explaining it was impossible to fulfill our request without tickets, a crew member came sprinting up the hall and asked if we were there for the show.
Seems it was almost air time and a youngster they had planned to have as a guest had not arrived. Delighted to see me, I was ushered past the receptionist and into the studio with my head in a swim. I had never seen the show before and had no idea what I would be expected to do. There wasn't time to explain. The show was going on live.
I'm sure I was a challenging guest and the host had to be good at digging himself out of the holes I helped him walk into.
Fortunately Omaha television was seldom seen in this area and no one I knew ever mentioned seeing my poor television performance.
After that performance, I didn't have to worry about being invited back to Omaha for a repeat appearance.
Maurice, was invited back to observe his 100th birthday at Larry's Country Diner. He has something to look forward to doing in four years.
If he accepts the invitation, I'll try to be ready to watch, and perhaps record the show.
A Different Slant,
by Chuck Mittan
I look forward to the arrival of Daylight Saving time every year. All winter long, my 30-mile commute home after Tuesday paste-up is done in the dark, increasing the chances for a deer collision and simply being less safe when snow or ice are present. Rather than being a little lighter each Tuesday as the days get longer, Daylight Saving Time lights up my commute home all in one lump sum. One Tuesday, it's fairly dark; the next Tuesday, complete daylight.
The Omaha Film Festival has occurred the same weekend every year since its inception 10 years ago. Daylight Saving Time always begins during the festival. Our wedding anniversary is also during the festival. Always. And we always laugh at the festival's executive director, Marc, who is taken utterly by surprise each year by Daylight Saving Time.
There are after parties each night of the festival, and every year I either participate in or overhear this conversation:
Festival-goer: "I probably won't stay too long at the party tonight, with the time change and the early morning screenings."
Marc: "Oh man! I forgot all about that. How come it gets us every year?"
Really? How come it gets you every year?
I have always wondered why they don't shift a week or two one direction or the other to avoid the loss of an hour during an event that features both late nights and early mornings.
This year, at the awards ceremony, the programming director announced they had discussed it and will likely move the festival back a week next year. There was a smattering of applause, followed by 175 whispered conversations about whether "back" means the festival will be earlier or later next year. The majority of people in my vicinity were convinced it means later, but to me, moving something back means it will be earlier.
By the time the ceremony ended, we all apparently forgot about it. We'll have to wait and see, I guess.
by Gloria Garman-Schlaefli
The geese are coming! The geese are coming! While looking for signs of spring's arrival, I noticed my daffodils and tulips breaking through the once frozen ground, robins heard and seen around the farm and, of course, there is sight of the geese flying northward.
Canadian and snow geese are arriving in large numbers. Their honking can be heard day and night as they fly in V-shaped flocks. Saturday morning, while driving down the highway, I saw flocks of beautiful snow Geese covering a milo stubble field near Waconda Lake. Then I heard about thousands of geese resting at Lovewell Lake. I had even heard their numbers were so large they showed up on radar in that area.
So, Sunday afternoon my husband and I decided to visit Lovewell Lake. With binoculars and camera in hand, we drove the scenic way around the north side of the lake to the driveway where friends said they had spotted the largest numbers. We were not prepared for what we saw the all white covering of the birds on the blue lake water. As we got out of the car, the sound of the birds was sharp and loud as thousands sounded off! Some were swimming in the newly thawed water, some were trying to rest and some were being busy. All seemed restless and anxious to continue their journey northward.
Without warning, the sound became thunderous as they took flight, then most of them landed within a few yards of where they had taken off. There were a few dead geese on the ice and soon the eagles would be feeding on the weak birds that did not survive the migration. It was amazing watching the snow geese and I snapped one photo after another, but I knew the full impact of the birds would not be captured by the camera. Overhead, thousands were circling the lake, preparing to land, casting moving shadows.
I decided to do some research on snow geese and learned that long-time watchers say this year's migration is the largest they have seen in more than 30 years. They were almost extinct in the early 1900s, but in the past two decades the numbers have grown.
Snow geese weigh an average of five to six pounds and have a wing span of about 35 inches. Their life span is eight years. Years ago, the Native Americans named them "from beyond the north." They winter in southern coastal areas where they find their life-long mates. They feed all winter and bask in the warm temperatures. In early spring, they feel the urge to fly northward to where they hatched. Tens of thousands leave in flocks, flying at altitudes of 750 to 3,500 feet on a journey that will cover 3,000 miles in 10 or 11 weeks. As they fly, scouts from the flocks descend to check out feeding grounds below. When all is clear, they land in a feeding frenzy. When they are rested and fed, they fly on. At night they often land on ponds and lakes to roost.
When they finally reach their spring and summer home Alaska, northern Canada and Greenland, they prepare to nest. The nests are lined with feathers and an average of four eggs are laid. Incubation begins in May or June and lasts about 23 days. The gander stands guard at the nest.
By late August and September, the geese are on the move again, migrating southward. The cycle begins again. That is when our eyes are once again drawn to the sky; we know winter is coming when we see and hear the geese heading for their winter homes.