Sunday, January 9, 2011

Antenna TV: Old Shows on New Network; Back from the North Country


By "old shows on new network" I'm not talking about Dr. Phil repeats on the new OWN channel. The first day of the new year 2011 saw the return of the Three Stooges to channel 11, that is, eleven point four on the over-the-air digital dial, on a new national network called Antenna TV. A Stooges marathon was followed by regular programming later in the week. This channel trumps cable's TV Land by sheer variety, none of the four-hour blocks of the same show that I can't imagine anyone sitting through. Also, black and white is welcome on 11.4. I assume TV Land thinks that only color GUNSMOKEs would be of interest but I would love to see a b/w from the beginning of the run.

Antenna TV is running classic comedies like THE MONKEES and BENNY HILL that I'm pretty sure anyone under 25 either hasn't seen or only heard their parents talk about. How to describe, in a 24-hour Internet world, the joys of the naughty, bawdy Brit humor of Benny Hill? The one guest that Johnny Carson wanted but couldn't get, Benny Hill and his amiable troupe of old men and young ladies were last seen on a regular basis in New York in syndication on channel 9 in the '80s, late at night (after 11). Musical parodies and sketches that never reached the level of lewd (by 21st c. standards), Benny Hill and his backward salute could find favor with a new generation if they can find him. Hey Cablevision, can you drop one of your several end-is-near or PPV porn channels and put on something that more people would want to watch?


My last trip to the farm was in 2008 in the summer and this time I was promised soul-searching wind chills in the week after Christmas. Walking 3 miles to the F train through the aftermath of the blizzard of 2010 (I actually got a lift for part of the way from a van full of Chinese fellows) to catch a bus from the Port Authority, my arrival in Gouverneur found me above the snow line and the beneficiary of temperate weather on Lockie Lane Farms. Ken's wife Claire and her mother Elsie fed me so well that I gained 5 pounds in 3 days, which doesn't seem possible. Elsie's biscotti, Claire's sweet and sour pork and apple pie and more apple pie--not even a few hikes through the hills, or reading my trip book, GULLIVER' TRAVELS by Jonathan Swift, could work off the weight. The only thing close to work that I did was climb up the hay bale stairway to the loft and throw a few bales down to Mr. Sullivan and his father-in-law. One bale is going for 2 bucks this season.

Did you know that chickens need 12 hours of sunlight to lay an egg? Some folks force them to lay, by installing artificial lighting, but Ken's giving the girls these short days off.

One day we bought two new barn windows and a dump wagon, two things I probably won't do again for awhile, although we may buy a few hundred new windows this year here in the co-op.

Here come the pictures and some video. Turn down the volume if the sound of bleating disturbs you.

And here comes my new best friend, Major.  A black Lab, he was found on the side of the road with a bag of dog food. Who would do something like that? They actually know who did it--Major's collar had a chip in it. Best dog I ever met.

Comes running like a bullet from a half-mile away.

His Master's Voice.

Good boy.

Looking down on the farm from up the hill.

Who you calling chicken?

Ken said that Major barks at anyone new, but Major and I hit it off from the start. I miss Major.

The sheep. The barn smells a lot better in the winter. The coats are to protect the wool. Ken sells the wool and some go to slaughter. Sorry PETA.
 The rams are kept separate.

Ken and Claire are off the oil grid for heating--he chops wood and has at least a two-year supply for the furnace (made in USA furnace and fuel--take that, Kuwait).

Mom sends an ornament each year. This year I hand delivered one (this is an old one from the their tree--you can guess where they got the tree from).

Sheep on Film: Turn down your sound card if you're at work. These sheep are like sheep except when you ask them to keep it down at feeding time. There's another difference in visiting in the winter--no baa-ting when you're waking up.

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