The Shows

For shorts periods during the day I allow the girl to watch television.  As with the boy when he was younger, the wife and I don't want her sitting in front of the TV all day, but we think an occasional show or 2 (or 4 or 6 on a bad day) won't hurt and are probably even educational depending on the programs.  At her age the girl enjoys pretty much constant interaction with me, either through reading books, playing games, eating meals, or doing Sudoku puzzles, you name it.  So the TV serves as a sort of surrogate dad at times and allows me to get things done, such as preparing meals, cleaning the house, working on this blog, or catching up on back issues of National Enquirer and Better Homes and Gardens magazines.

I can tell you that television programming options today blow away the shows I was able to watch as a toddler.  If memory serves me correctly, I believe my TV staples back in the early 70s were Sesame Street, The Electric Company, Mister Rogers, and Columbo.  These days there are too many to keep track of, including the PBS shows (the aforementioned Sesame Street, which just started its 40th season; Clifford; Curious George; Super Why; etc.), as well as a ton of them on Nickelodeon/Nick Jr. (Dora the Explorer; The Backyardigans; Ni Hao, Kai-Lan; Wonder Pets!; Max & Ruby; etc., etc.).  Other channels that broadcast children's content include the Cartoon Network, The Disney Channel, Discovery Kids, and Boom.  I thinks it's Boom that has a lot of the older cartoons like Hong Kong Phooey, Yogi Bear, The Flintstones, Speed Buggy, etc.  Despite the variety of options available, I have yet to find Looney Tunes or The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour on any channel.  That's probably a good thing, because if I did, I have a feeling the girl and I would be glued to the TV all day, 1 or 2 show limit be damned.

The girl's favorite shows at the moment seem to be Max & Ruby and Ni Hao, Kai-Lan.  When I ask if she would like to watch one of them when they happen to be on, she replies with an emphatic "YAY!!" and nods her head furiously up and down.  On the other hand, she appears to be growing a bit tired of Dora and simply says "yep" with an air of indifference when I suggest that she watches the world-traveling, bilingual, do-gooder and her sidekick monkey Boots.  While I sometimes watch with her, it doesn't really matter to me which show she prefers as long as it's not Wonder Pets!, which I despise beyond belief.  I'd just like to squash those cutesy, cuddly little schoolhouse pets and never hear from/about them again.  Particulary the baby chick Ming Ming with her awful lisp and fake Chinese accent.  Boy that show annoys me.  I'm starting to get irritated just thinking about it.

The wife and I are big fans of chef/author/travel guy Anthony Bourdain.  He has a young daughter himself and last year wrote in his blog about the Nick Jr. (formerly Noggin) programs that she watches.  It's a hilarious summary, and I generally agree with his opinions on the various shows.  So to save myself from having to type out my thoughts here, I'll simply refer you to Mr. Bourdain's sentiments.  One show I do want to mention is a new one called Team Umizoomi.  Yes, it is as bad as the name suggests.  I've only seen one episode and didn't really pay attention, but it appears to follow the Wonder Pets! template (I'll go as far as to say that it's worse than Wonder Pets!) and involves two sickeningly-delightful tiny superheros and their pet robot who fly around solving math problems.  I'm all for kids learning math, but the girl will have to pursue other opportunities to attain her addition and subtraction skills.  Team Umizoomi will not sully our television screen.


The light beer experiment is over after one beer.  I bought a six of Rock Green Light (Rolling Rock's light beer) and had one with dinner a couple nights ago.  It was not good.  Let's see - low on calories, check; low on carbs, check; low on flavor, double check.  I think this is the stuff that the Germans, Belgians, and Irish are referring to when they tell jokes about watered-down, tasteless American beer.  Despite any enthusiasm I may have relayed last week when launching the weight loss adventure, I just cannot do it.  I will not do it.  I refuse to drink light beer.  It provides no satisfaction - kind of like eating pizza without the cheese.  This "revelation" really isn't much of a surprise to me.  Having previously drank Michelob Ultra once or twice, I was immediately skeptical of my plan.  However I thought I had to a least give it a shot.  But what I've learned (again) is that good beer is not low in carbs or calories.  I'll just have to limit my consumption and enjoy the good stuff.  The eating better and working out more regimen continues.



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