Happy New Year to all of you from WALLACE WORLD!! 🙂
15 years ago today I went online for the first time, thanks to the Webtv unit that my mother gave me for Christmas….by the time I got it hooked up and then signed up for the service, it was the wee hours of December 26th, 1999.
Webtv was a service from Microsoft that allowed you to use your tv set to connect to the internet using dial-up “technology”. Rather than try to explain how it worked, watch this video instead.
Yeah, it was primitive but it was a way to learn about using the internet before I eventually graduated to a laptop in October 2001. By that point Microsoft was allowing Webtv (which was rebranded MSNTV) users to access their MSN and/or Hotmail accounts on both their Webtv units and their computers at no extra cost. I did this until a little more than 5 years in December 2006, when we subscribed to Time-Warner’s high speed internet service, which I continue to use to this day. MSNTV, by the way, was discontinued on September 30th, 2013.
I have enjoyed being on the internet during these past 15 years….I’ve met all sorts of people online and used so many different services from banking to shopping to YouTube, MySpace (remember them?), Facebook and Twitter. Oh yeah….I also went from blogging on TypePad to WordPress….a definite improvement!
Anyway, I just wanted to observe the anniversary of the beginning of my access to the internet. The technology has expanded at such a breakneck speed since then and some day I’ll catch up with it all. Until then, whenever I become frustrated with my 8 1/2 year old laptop, I’ll stop and remember what things were like in the dark ages when dial-up and Webtv were state of the art technology.
Scary, ain’t it?
There has been way too much hype by the news media over the Ebola “crisis” these past few days and on Wednesday afternoon Fox News (!) anchor Shepard Smith became the voice of reason on the subject. He very calmly explained the facts about the situation and took everybody spreading panic about the disease to task. I have been a fan of Shepard Smith for over a decade and this may have been his finest moment….kudos to him for calling out the fear mongers. Watch:
This article made me kinda sad….for the first time in over 50 years there are no Saturday morning cartoons airing on any of the broadcast networks.
Saturday morning American broadcast TV was once animation’s home field. Filling a cereal bowl with artificially colored sugar pebbles and staring at the tube was every kid’s weekend plan. Not any more: For the first time in 50-plus years, you won’t find a block of animation on broadcast this morning. It’s the end of an era.
Yes, The CW, the final holdout in Saturday morning animation, ran its last batch of Vortexx cartoons last weekend. This week, where you once saw shows like Cubix, Sonic X, Dragon Ball Z and Kai, Digimon Fusion, and Yu-Gi-Oh!, you’ll instead find “One Magnificent Morning,” a block of live-action educational programming.
It’s the end of an era, but it’s been a long time coming: NBC ditched Saturday morning cartoons in 1992, CBS followed suit not long after, and ABC lost its animated weekend mornings in 2004. The CW, a lower-tier broadcast network, was the last holdout in a game that the Big 3 left long ago.
I know that there are classic cartoons running on cable networks, not to mention the fact that kids and/or their parents can pop in a DVD….but it’s just not the same as parking yourself in front of the tv set with a bowl of cereal on a Saturday morning and waiting for some of the following classic cartoon openings.
This was my all-time favorite – The Bugs Bunny-Roadrunner Show. This begins with something that kids today know nothing about: the CBS network “tone” that was heard before the beginning of every program.
Here’s a few more Saturday morning favorites….
Beany and Cecil (the opening)
Beany and Cecil (the closing)
There are so many more that I could have included – maybe I’ll do a follow-up someday – but for now….
When I was 5 years old my favorite toy was an odd thing that was aptly named Odd Ogg. I can pinpoint my age at the time that I had it because I can still remember taking it to kindergarten for show and tell. For some reason I’ve been thinking about this toy today and, thanks to the internet, I found some images of the thing. This is pretty much how I remembered it:
I didn’t remember how it could look like it could have been a member of KISS (but without the makeup):
According to Wikipedia:
Odd Ogg was a toy of the 1960s that was produced by the Ideal Toy Company. The ODD OGG was a half turtle and half frog and resembled a robotic version of this unique combination. Ideal Toy Company manufactured the ODD OGG in 1962. While ODD OGG might not be as popular as other toys produced by Ideal, such as Kissy doll, Tammy doll, or even the Magic 8-ball, it is remembered by many Baby Boomers to this day.
The ODD OGG came with four plastic balls and the objective was for the child to roll them directly into ODD OGG’s center. If a child succeeded in doing this, the toy would roll towards them. If a child failed to correctly roll the ball into the underbelly of ODD OGG, then the toy would stick out its tongue and move backwards.
Even more detailed info about Odd Ogg can be found here.
I even managed to find some video of Odd Ogg:
My Odd Ogg went to Toy Heaven probably around 50 years ago but I still have fond memories of playing with it….thank you Internet for bringing some of those memories back. 🙂
“A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes.” – Hugh Downs
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