Sony Watchman

2014-09-26 14.07.29

In the 1980s, every kid wanted a Sony Walkman so that they could listen to their cassette tapes on the go, but it was dads everywhere who wanted to own a Sony Watchman so they could watch football from wherever they happened to be.

The Watchman debuted in 1982 and there are dozens of different models. The older ones, like this one, contained tiny black and white CRT displays. Later, Sony switched to LCD displays. Sony quit selling the Watchman in 2000. Now that all television broadcast channels are digital the Watchman is unable to pick up any TV stations, which is why more and more of them are ending up in thrift stores like the one I found this weekend.

A Keaton Christmas Carol

I got my Christmas shopping done well in advance this year (thanks much to Flack for suggesting Cyber Monday), but I wanted to pick up a few extra surprises for Hot Pink Heather and my daughter, so I swung into the local Walgreens. There wasn’t much to get there, and as I stood in line I remembered this scene from the Family Ties episode “A Keaton Christmas Carol”. I saw this live and haven’t forgotten it since.

If you’d like to see the whole episode, which obviously riffs on Dickens’ Christmas Carol, you can catch it on Hulu.

David Copperfield TV Specials

I know we’re all thinking about Christmas TV specials right now. Those of us who have stopped thinking about Halloween Christmas specials are, anyway. But there were other specials on TV besides the Christmas and Halloween ones. There were also the non-holiday-related David Copperfield TV specials.

Copperfield

I don’t know how many of these specials there were nor over how many years they aired (Ann Gillian says they have been airing for nine years in one of the videos below), but I do know that I watched and love several of them. Here are my favorites:

The flying special. I wondered for years how Copperfield pulled this one off. Even knowing (thanks to this video), I still think this is one of the best presented illusions ever.

I’m not sure which one this was, but I remembered this segment. I think it was the opening of the show, and I always think of it rather than Footloose anytime I hear “Holding Out For A Hero”.

I was kind of disappointed in the Alcatraz special because David clearly used staged illusions rather than real escape techniques. That was my uninformed opinion, anyway, and even if it isn’t legitimate, I still remained slightly disappointed in this one. I still remember it, though.

The disappearance of the Statue of Liberty blew my mind. So did Morgan Fairchild.

Salvage 1

Before he was Matlock, and after he was Sheriff Taylor, he was…well, I don’t know who Andy Griffith was in this one. I just know he was in it and it was about a junkman trying to do an independent flight into space for the purpose of recovering salvage. That slight memory quickly led me to Salvage 1. I thought Salvage 1 was a movie, but Wikipedia said it was a TV show. It turns out we were both right. The pilot episode, called Salvage, was a TV movie, and it in turn lead to a short-lived weekly show. Again, I barely remember the movie and don’t remember the show at all. But I do remember the idea and have always wondered why more people don’t just turn their back on government programs and try to fly into space on their own.