Went to daughter’s orchestra concert, which included the bands. Four of them. Four songs each. I am a bad person and cannot end such an event thinking if only there was more. I am a bad person who cannot just sit back for 110 minutes and feel good about being there for everyone else’s kid, because my ability to listen to music played at the middle-school level tops out an hour, especially when I have three hours of work to get to and the clock hands are sauntering, ever so very slowly, towards eight.

A bit much, that’s all. I would have broken it into two concerts. I think the people who had to stand for almost two hours would have felt the same.

Almost two hours! It’s like going to see a movie but not seeing a movie.

There, I got that off my chest. Daughter played well; she’s a cellist, or rather is studying to become a cellist; I think you have to pass a certain level of aptitude to call yourself a cellist. You’re not a scientist just because you started taking chemistry. They started off with a Brandenburg, the world’s most famous job application, and I wonder how many people realized the difficulty of holding such a thing together without SNARE DRUMS or TIMPANI.

Probably would have been more disposed to relax and let it all wash over me if I didn’t have work, and if it hadn’t been such a damned jangly day. Up in the morning for an interview, a phoner, then polished the column while attempting to line up guests for tomorrow’s video. Always hell. Have to work off the news, but can’t do it too far in advance, so I’m caught Thursday getting guests, who have already made plans for Friday. In the middleI did a podcast with Dennis Prager and Peter Robinson for Ricochet, and we had bad slapback - we we could could hear hear our our own own voices voices as as we we asked asked questions questions, which always throws you off your game; you’re thinking “is anyone else hearing this?” and it’s hard to come up with the next word when the previous word is still hanging out there. Maddening.

There was more, but who cares. Now to work. More later, I hope.

At least I know I won’t waste time watching TV tonight when all the work is done, because the AppleTV updated and now it hates Netflix. I have bought and enjoyed Apple products with minimum problems for years, but the AppleTV has long stretches in which its performance is hidjus, which is a word that means “hideous” but is pronounced differently to make it sound like a foreign demon. When you’re watching Netflix it . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .buffers, and the fault is specifically tied to the AppleTV. Doesn’t buffer on the iPad, iPod, home computer wired to the ethernet, wireless laptop. Only that one device. So I’m thinking it might be a problem with that one device.
The problem’s been going on for a few years, and the Apple discussion boards are full of wails and lamentations. This is why I won’t buy an Apple TV set, should such an unlikely thing be offered, because as I tweeted last night, it would simply disappear sometimes when you need it. You would want to watch TV but hey! The TV’s gone. Or it’s just 30% there.

When Jobs said he’d “Cracked the problem” of TV, I believe he meant he had gone down to the dungeon where all the AppleTV engineers were shackled to the wall, and split their skulls open.



But that’s what DVDs are for, and what should appear in the red Netflix envelope today? Don’t know. I loaded up my Q a while ago and forgot about it, and I tend to ignore all Netflix emails, particularly the pesky, needy ones that ask when I mailed something. I mailed it the day I mailed it. Which was probably the day before you got it. Are we done?

Cracked it open . . .

Winnie the Pooh. The recent movie.

My daughter’s too old. My wife has 87 minutes a month to watch TV, and I doubt she’d choose Pooh. That left me. I wasn’t surprised, and in fact I was pleased. If you’re a fan of Disney animation, you want to see what they’re doing; if you read the reviews, you recall how many adults said it was quite a sweet, smart, and faithful piece of work. If you’re a parent who doesn’t wish you could turn back time but have a soft spot for those days when these were the cultural currents in the house, it’s . . . oh, what the hell, bittersweet, use the word.

I loved Pooh as a little kid, and the movie came along at just the right time, back then. (They always do.) As a movie tie-in, a favorite cereal offered small plastic replicas of the characters - one color, bluntly cast - with an indentation that made them hang on your pencil. I collected them all. A sign of how deeply the characters inhabited my childhood: I still remember swimming at Harry Howland pool one summer, wearing ear plugs because I got earaches from the water, and some smartass kid sneered “ear plugs.” My brain processed this as “Eeyore Club.” I wondered why he thought I was in the Eeyore Club and why that would be such a bad thing. I know that if my daughter needed ear plugs, I would have told her that story, called them Eeyore Clubs, and subsequently referred to them as such until the phrase went through the usual trajectory of amusement, common term, slight annoyance because I’m not a kid, sadness that I’m hanging on to old things, then warm nostalgic remembrance. (This can take up to a year.)

If I told Natalie I was watching the Pooh movie she would say, and I can quote with certainty, “Gosh Dad.” She would know why I was watching it: the animation, my own love of the characters, but also the occasional longing for Those Days. Not mine. Hers. The two of us right here in the family room in the morning, winter howling outside, the fire crackling in the fireplace, her bent over her computer playing the Pooh Preschool game. Childhood is the 100 Acre Wood.

It’s uncanny to hear the voices; Pooh’s classic Sterling Holloway voice is matched perfectly, and Piglet’s John Fiedler voice is likewise spot-on. It was a revelation as a kid to watch “The Odd Couple” and see Fiedler, and realize he was actually sorta/kinda Piglet himself. And then, of course, to realize he was Redjack, the interplanetary serial killer who could be defeated only if he inhabited a computer and everyone on the Enterprise got stoned. After that, I lose track; I fear he did some “Love, American Style” eps as a randy elevator maintenance worker.

Never liked Tigger. Never warmed to him, let’s say. He’s a mix of old movie / vaudeville comedians, vocally; the hoo-hoo! was taken from Hugh Herbert, I believe. The voice was Paul Winchell, who used the Tigger voice for . . . well.



Rabbit I liked, because he seemed practical and sensible - along with Kanga, he was the adult in the woods. You could count on them. Dad and Mom. Owl was an adult, but an academic, which made him less practical; you couldn’t count on Owl. Eeyore everyone loved - an utter pessimist, gloomy as a cloudy Tuesday, but everyone understood that mood, and had a certain admiration for someone who inhabited it with such conviction. The first Goth! But he wasn’t an extroverted pessimist; he didn’t want others to feel bad, only to know that his low expectations of satisfaction had been foiled again, so if you don’t mind, I’ll be going. The fact that Eeyore’s friends were tireless when it came to making him feel better - and didn’t do so by buying into his mood, but refuting it with effort and cheer - was something a lonely kid could love.

We wanted to be Christopher Robin, but didn’t care for him much. At best he was a stand-in for us; at worst he got in the way, because he was there and we weren’t. Pooh and friends would have just as much fun with us if they had the chance.

Anyway. What I saw of the movie was charming and lovingly done. I sat through puppet versions, CGI versions, animated versions, PC game versions; this one is just right on every possible level.

And it’s narrated by John Cleese. Little kids who see the movie today will some day discover Python, and put two and two together, and start to piece together their own timeline, just as I would come to realize who voiced the characters in “Jungle Book.” Louis Prima, Phil Harris, George Sanders - all the voices of my parents’ generation, the context put in escrow until I could assemble the pieces myself.



A batch of Wards 1961 up, right here. See you Monday!







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