Hiding Online

August 1, 2017


Hiding Online


The internet is a great place to hide. It's like a cave I can retreat to when I need to escape. Just me, huddled in a comfy spot, hot water in hand. Safe. As long as I block the entrance, nothing scary can get to me. I choose what I see, what I hear, who I interact with and what I let inside.

It's the perfect hideaway.

As a child, I remember being excited to get my turn in front of the tv. It was just a little black and white number, my sisters usually claimed the big color unit in the basement, but I was still thrilled. I would sit in front of it, mesmerized, watching tales of the witch next door, the genie in the bottle, the castaways, the most well-behaved group of step teenagers ever assembled and a few musical monkeys.

The news was avoidable, adult content, like The Thornbirds (so funny to think that was a racy show!), was on after nine and when cable came out and the risquΓ© movies were available in our home, there was a key on the box that allowed only the grown ups to watch.

For the most part it was all very civilized, very calm, very relaxing programming. The news was still bad, but it was delivered in small doses and easy to avoid if you chose. There was really nothing to hide from, except maybe that yearly visit from the abominable snow monster of the north, when Rudolph showed his red nose on CBS.

Sadly, today, there is nowhere to hide. There is terror and unpleasantness at every turn, when it comes to information and entertainment. 24 hour news stations sensationalize every story, showing graphic footage over and over again, it's almost impossible to tell the newspapers apart from the tabloids and as for the content on tv? Well, I wish I had that key back.

You would think that as an adult, and no shrinking violet, I might add, I would be able to handle it, to look away or brush it off, but I can't.

Communication, media in all forms, is what I studied in college. Everything from newspapers, magazines, tv, movies, radio programming and ads, they were my passion. My first job was for the Museum of Broadcasting in NYC, where I did PR work and studied some of the greatest shows in history. To see the state of it all today is very distressing.

When I turn on the tv, which I do not anymore unless it's to watch an old movie, a documentary or a rare series that will make me laugh or think, I am bombarded with unreal "reality" shows for which I have no patience. Long ago, my niece worked at one of these shows. They were scripted for drama, fights and arguments. Today's versions are even worse.

Housewives and naked survival shows? No thanks. Not my gig.

I'll pass ~ especially on those survival shows. I mean, survival, really? Where? Off of I-95? And please, put some pants on people, who gets lost naked? And I don't believe that starving bit for one minute.

While the shows' stars or contestants are eating some boiled mouse carcass and drinking their own urine, what exactly is the camera crew eating, hmmm? Granola bars and a Big Mac, I would venture to guess.

It's so contrived, it's ridiculous.

Yet, unbelievably when I speak to my friends this is what they are watching. I guess it makes sense. Sixteen million people think that chocolate milk comes from brown cows, but they know exactly what Kimmy K and her clan wore to dinner last night.

Unbelievable.

At least there's radio, right? Nope. Not regular AM or FM stations. It's all bad, bad, scary news, explicit swear laden tunes or political shows where common courtesy and thoughtful discourse has evaporated into screaming insults. I can feel my blood pressure going up just from listening. Whether I agree or not, I don't want to spend my afternoons in a boxing ring.

Call me old fashioned, call me thin skinned or uptight, but it just seems to me that bad or salacious behavior has become the norm in entertainment. It's distasteful and disheartening at best and downright scary at its worst.

Hence my cave dwelling.

From my virtual sanctuary, I can catch up with blog friends, read about home decor, tour flower filled gardens, discuss design concepts and creative ideas and no one is ever rude or yells. There are differences of opinion, for sure, but there is respect and common courtesy.

And very pretty pictures.

Frivolous, yes, but that's ok in my book.

Oh don't get me wrong, I peek my head outside every now and then to take a look around. It's important to know the lay of the land and keep up on current events.

But when it all gets to be too much, when the news headlines, the media rants, the Facebook name calling and the naked survivors start closing in, it's nice to be able to take shelter.

To hide from reality, real or manufactured, and get lost online.

Just me and my hot water.

And you can bet, that I will wearing my pants.


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66 comments:

  1. Well said and well written! I try to avoid the news as well, although it's difficult in this day and age. I escape into the internet but, more often, into a book. Thanks for writing this post - it surely hits the nail on the head.

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    1. Thanks Betty, and yes, I agree . A book is another wonderful place to escape to. I have to do more of that! :)

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  2. Well, I read the deco blogs, leave the tv OFF, the radio OFF, play my CD's and ignore most of today's news since it is so full of chaos and dissent. Sick of it. I, too, like to "hide" out. I do read the news headlines on several sites just to keep up with how the wind is blowing but not in depth. I've just tuned out for now. I agree with you, there is not much being accomplished that is newsworthy, and I've long quit watching any network shows because they are mostly inappropriate or not funny, the news is always slanted one way or the other, and even the deco shows are so formulated that they have become boring. Here's hoping things will get better!

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    1. I am cautiously optimistic too, Linda. With the advent of so many successful independent options now like Netflix and Amazon, I am hoping that the mainstream media will catch on and realize that they need to raise the bar. Unfortunately, the reality shows and the he said/ she said formats are cheap to make...and sadly quite obviously in demand. But yes, here's hoping! Thanks for the thoughtful comment!

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  3. Oh how right you are!
    Years ago while watching an innocent show a commercial for a very ugly movie came on. My kids were watching...I said,Enough! Right at that moment I called and fired the cable company. Have never looked back. Ever. Now if T.V. is on it is a DVD. What comes out is only what I put in. No more ugly.
    Blessings to you,
    Minnie

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    1. Great solution, Minnie! If I am alone in the house, the tv is never on and when I want to watch something I go straight for the DVD player or TCM to watch something classic without commercials. I also have Gone With The Wind on my DVR...that's always good for a few hours of fun! Thanks for weighing in!

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  4. I do hear you, Kim. I've never been a fan of the survivor shows. I do get some frivolous pleasure from some of the Housewives shows, it makes me feel good that I'm not the only one that loses my temper!

    For a very long time I avoided watching news, local and national. It's a very horrid time right now but I feel I need to listen just as I need to vote. Too much, though...ugh.

    Thank you for your words and opinions...I love that you put your real feelings out there. Thankfully you and I have out little places to get away when we need to.

    Jane xxx

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    1. Oh Jane, those Housewives, I hear you. I did watch a local version for a bit, because I was curious, but I found my blood pressure raising right along with theirs, so I tuned out. However, I too used to laugh and say, ok, I guess I'm not as crazy as I thought I was, in comparison! πŸ˜‰

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  5. We cut off cable when we moved and I just realized that it has been 5 years!
    The 24/7 news is just too much for me. Horror shoved in your face non stop or stupid, who gives a fig, celebrity gone wrong. Since when did that become news?
    I read the headlines every day so that I know what is happening and educated myself if it warrants a deeper look, but that is enough for me!

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    1. Totally agree! If I want to dig deeper, I will, via a reputable news outlet (which is getting harder and harder to find) and investigate myself. And 5 years, huh? Kudos to you!

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  6. We all have our own ways of coping with the world and knowing how to do it is what I call progressive!
    We watch Netflix and cooking and baking contests and of course you now I hide out in my garden with a diet pepsi quite a bit!

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    1. I agree, Jemma, we have to know what works for us and there are certainly enough options out there today. Getting lost in the garden sounds fabulous…entertaining and healthy!

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  7. You are so right, Kim. I stopped watching TV a looong time ago. If it wasn't for my husband, I would of discontinued our cable service already. I also hide online quite often and I get to see and read what I want and like. Great post! BTW, I can't believe people watch those reality shows!!! Take care dear friend. xxx Maria

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    1. Oh Maria, your plight is my plight...my husband loves his cable. Although lately, I think he's starting to come over to my side of the fence. I'm working on him!

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  8. Yes, yes, yes! I call these days my "head in sand" era. I, too, peek out from time to time to see what is happening in the news but avoid getting caught up in the minute by minute, blow by blow accounting of every horrible news item. Not having cable tv helps a lot. I don't want to forget, or become apathetic, about the world beyond my own comfortable, safe and happy home but putting blinders on for a bit and enjoying the positive things is good for the soul.

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    1. I'm glad to hear that I am not the only one burying my head. Like you I agree, we have to be aware, but there is no reason to be constantly bombarded. You're right, blinders for bit is a good thing. Thanks so much for the insightful comment and have a great afternoon!

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  9. You hit the nail on the head Kim! I feel exactly the same. I scan the news headlines, but rarely engage, never watch TV, and quit radio years ago. I was so tired of all the commercials. I can't stand the constant dramas, the slanted news. I could care less about Kim Kardashian. You are so right about the talking heads too. My hubby was listening to one the other day, so I couldn't help hearing it. Some guy on there shrieking...talk about BP going up! I merely glance at the so called "news" today to see if North Korea has bombed us yet, and then sink down into my blogs. So yes, I hide online just like you do.

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    1. Oh Florence...yes, to everything you just said. So I say thank you for your blog, a lovely place to visit and hide.

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  10. BRAVA !!!
    and I thought I was the only one enjoying living in a cave.
    when my hypertension literally escalated to the medical term 'malignant hypertension'
    I knew it was time to seriously remove myself from mainstream TV. it's not worth dying over.
    when did it change from valid information and entertainment to 'trying to scare you to death?'
    they operate now from fear. fear of germs. fear of people. fear of the weather. fear of our own bodies! even those contrived shows you talk about here... FEAR! stupid is more like it.

    PBS and TCM are about all I ever watch. and I can get whatever I want online as you say.
    everything from documentaries to old films to autobiographies to news. far less invasive.
    and...
    wonderful blogs like yours dearest bean! xo

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    1. Tammy, I knew you would have something great to add and you did not disappoint, my friend! How I miss reading your blog and your straight talk. The fear mongering is huge today, everything from road rage to zombies are discussed all day long with a collection of gory videos to illustrate the impending danger. I can't watch anymore, be it news or entertainment. I just want to laugh, smile, think...I understand the news is a different story, but it seems that there is just no respite today. Thanks for your thoughts today! xoxo

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  11. I have to say that I don't have television. I live in the country and no satellite for me. I get my news from the internet. I admit that I have been in the past a bit of a political junkie,but the current state of our government and the media is turning even me off. I agree that most of the shows on television don't appeal to me and I haven't been to a movie in years. It is okay though, as the internet is vast with content for anyone.

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    1. I used to be a political junkie, too, Lorri, but no more. I honestly cannot listen to the banter any longer. I get my news from several sources, I read and I do cross reference to try and get all sides, but the tv and radio programs are set up for so much dissent and drama, I just find myself red in the face and that is not healthy! I haven't been to a movie in years, either...like you, if I want to see something the internet can hook me up!!

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  12. I used to be a Fox News Addict!!! And if I had to CHOOSE.. I would still watch Fox... But I CHOSE INSTEAD... to stop watching the news; as a general rule.... We were not created to be on information overload of any kind 24 hours a day !!! thank you for your post !! Very well said.......

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    1. Thank you, Lisa and I totally agree, I used to be a news addict, too, but you are right, 24 hours a day of anything is too much...except chocolate. Ha! Thanks for weighing in today!

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  13. It is really sad that so many of us who do NOT like the garbage which bombards us through media don't bombard the makers and sponsors of said garbage with our disapproval and request for positive, uplifting, family-friendly shows/news programs!

    I enjoy your blogs! Please enter me in your current giveaway. Thanks!

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    1. Very well said, Linda. As I stated in an earlier comment, I hope that the competition from the independent venues like Amazon and Netflix will force them to raise their game. Right now all that bad programming is just way too cheap and easy to make. Thanks so much for the kind words about my posts and you are entered!

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  14. I don't think anyone could have said it better! I feel the exact same way and think the same things pretty much everyday. The is no reality in "reality TV". The news seems more determined to scare and cause anxiety than to inform and don't get my started on the supposed "stars and celebs" that people follow, discuss and seemingly admire. It's all to frustrating and disheartening to think about. Bravo, Kim!!! Thanks for sharing so eloquently!

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    1. Wow, Nancy, thanks so much! I am so glad that my words resonated with you. Of course, there is some good programming out there, but it's not easy to find and as you said, navigating the waters of "reality tv", "stars and celebs" and all the anxiety provoking news is almost impossible. Thanks again for the super kind words and for adding a comment to the discussion today!

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  15. Thank you for this insightful and so true post, I could not agree more!!! I only watch sports on TV or the 70's music station (no commentary, just music).

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    1. I love sports Carol. I was brought up on football and I still enjoy watching a game in the fall and the 70's station (I listen on satellite) is my favorite!! Even my kids know all the words!

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  16. Because of these very things, we don't have cable or satellite. We do have Amazon Prime and Netflix, we get our news online, etc, so we do know what is going on in the world. We just have decided to opt out of the circus, if you know what I mean.

    Great post!

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    1. I totally know what you mean...opting out of the circus is a great way to put it! And thanks!!

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  17. Total agreement, 100%, Kim. That's one reason why every room in our house is a cozy color and has a comfortable chair. There is public radio or cd's of any other songs I choose. Right now, my computer is dying, but our tech guru is bringing a new one next week! So I can keep track of all of you online buddies, much better now. We keep two lists going; one for small, easy "together" projects around the house. A second list for more involved labor/time/$$ ideas. There are lots of ways to ward off the world's current acrimony.

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    1. I agree, Cheryl, DIY is a great distraction from the craziness. We often unplug as a family and venture outdoors, too. I dive into crafts...and blogs. I hope you get a new computer soon and thanks so much for the visit today! It's always great to see you in the comments!

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  18. I never turned on the news until the past six months. Have to say, now I'm kind of afraid not to. I have never watched reality shows or any of that. I don't watch movies either. They seem just a tad too long. I prefer to read actually.
    Brenda

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    1. The news is awful, Brenda. I can't believe some of what I see and read. People behaving so badly, videoing their crimes, etc., and then the news media repaying it over and over again. I have had enough. I scan the headlines online and then I head for the pretty...and yes, reading is a very good thing!

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  19. I completely agree. I feel guilty at times for how much time I spend online but there really are so many beautiful, fun exciting things & people there. I never get enough of the decorating, gardening, crafting, cooking blogs & if a few of the bloggers has sweet pets or children it's even better.

    I probably trust my family to keep me informed more than I should but they seem to be good filters. If I want to know more I research on my own. And I raised my son...who is my favorite resource on current events so he can't be too far off the deep end. If he is, then I'm with him.

    I did go to a town hall meeting recently & enjoyed it much more than I expected! It was for our county, meeting new elected officials, talking over roads mainly but it was so encouraging to see what good people we have in our little county. We just need to remember that what is on television & much of the INTERNET is NOT real. Why waste our time on such horrific fiction when there are so many great wonderful REAL things to enjoy in our own back yard & the great blogging community.

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    1. You brought up such a good point, Jenny, one I wanted to address in my piece. What happens in the real world is not necessarily what is represented on the news. Yet, if all we see in our day to day interactions is what's on tv, we lose that perspective. Recently, there were several tragedies in my very small town. It was absolutely horrible, and yet, the way people came together was so amazing. Dinners were cooked, cleaning and babysitting services were offered, business owners were giving away goods and services, not only to the families affected, but to community members at large. And for all the talk about the evils of Facebook (of which there are admittedly MANY), I have seen some of the greatest acts of kindness displayed in a community group I belong to. So yes, I agree, get out there in the real world and see the good in people because despite what it portrayed on tv, it does exist. Thank you so much for your comment!

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  20. I too have a degree in Journalism and Communications and I am not happy how the media is acting these days. I agree with you on most of the programming but there are others that my husband, son and I like watching together like The Voice, Shark Tank, America's Got Talent. We have cable and I am happy only because I get HGTV and the cooking channels. Most of the time the during the day the TV is off but I like that it is there if I need some background noise!

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    1. I see so many things today in the media that go directly against what I learned in school, long held tenets of journalism, that I see being completely disregarded and it infuriates me. I have told my kids to be very mindful of information and its source, the need to be discriminating is so important. However, I do agree, there are some safe havens out there and you and your family seem to have found a few!

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  21. Drama has never been my forte' . . .
    So I eliminate much of cable, weather, local, internet, newspapers, news, tv, . . .
    Eventually, IMPORTANT . . . finds its way to me.
    I keep it simple . . .
    My connections are of the "catch up," "sit around the table" variety . . .
    Obsessing with blog, blogging, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, politics . . .
    Not in to it!
    Boring I am . . . and I feel fine . . .

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    1. Lynne, you are so right, if it's important, it will find its way to you...and in the meantime, simple is best! :)

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  22. I so, so, so agree with you totally. Just the commercials about the reality shows drive me to change the channel. And don't get me started on commercials that show someone driving down the empty street and they label it with "professional driver on closed course, do not attempt" I do like the old reruns of Star Trek or Law and Order, but that is about it. We watch British shows on Acorn TV and love the lack of commercials as well as low price.

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    1. British TV is the best Jane! I totally agree. I wish I had the chance to catch it more often... πŸ™‚

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  23. Very well said! I'm so with you on this. It's one of the reasons I never got on Facebook. I was hearing of so many irrelevant, petty issues being bickered about. Really? Who needs it?? Anyway, I enjoyed this read very much.

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    1. Thanks so much! I cannot stand Facebook either. It's exactly what you just described...I'm telling you, blogs are the best (and prettiest) places to hide! πŸ˜‰Thanks so much for the visit!

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  24. I'm right there with you. I rarely even watch TV. I've never watched any of the housewife or survivor shows. I prefer to hang out with my laptop (blogs, email, FB, research) or a book.

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    1. They are so much more interesting, Melanie and my blood pressure remains much more stable! πŸ˜‰

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  25. A girl after my own heart! And it's not a matter of what's right or wrong, only what's right or wrong for the individual and you've found what's right for you. It is for me also.

    Television has had some shining programs over the years, even with the news. And oh how I miss the days when you didn't hear the news on the weekends! But then I vividly remember the golden days of Huntley and Brinkley, of Walter Cronkite. I even remember Edward R. Murrow!

    And FB--my split personality source of access to keeping up with family and friends and yet having to surf through ads and health info ad nauseam and seeing perfectly nice people (friends and family) turn into rival experts on politics. Enough to make me want to go back to the days of Pony Express communications.

    Kim, I enjoyed reading about your early career too, it sounds fascinating! Tell us more sometime about that!

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    1. Thanks Dewena, and I agree about the early days of tv and news. I studied Edward R. Murrow in school and I remember the other programs....sadly an era of bygones. And yes, FB, grrr. I love seeing what my long distance relatives are up to, but all the rest I can do without. Perhaps one day I will share the details of the NYC days. Lots of fun, met some famous people, like George Burns, Brooke Shields and the cast of Monty Python to name a few. It was a great job for a young person...

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  26. I've always said they should have a "good news only" channel. I'd watch that, for sure. :)

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    1. Genius! I'd watch with you!! 😊

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  27. As always my friend, YOU SAID IT!!! I am with you 100%! We do not even have cable. We only watch movies using our Amazon Prime account or DVD.
    And News, well my husband will mention a few things to me. I will peek here and there. But honestly...it is all NUTS!!

    I agree with Dewena, please share more about your early career, very interesting!
    Carla
    P.S. I am still chuckling about the pants on!!

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    1. Ha! Thanks Carla...I'm glad you got the joke. My kids read it and just groan, so I never know. πŸ˜‰

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  28. Dear Kim, my thoughts exactly. Oh my, the commercials are absolutely awful. I find nothing on television that is of interest to me. I too, love to go to warm and cosy blogs, read good books and listen to easy listening music. I am so content to live a quiet and peaceful life in our little cottage away from all of the "stuff" going on in the outside world. Homespun Hugs ♥ Teri

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    1. It really takes effort today to block it all out, Teri, but I think it's so worth it. Like you, I would much rather lose myself in a pretty blog or a good book...or yes...good music!

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  29. What a funny and entertaining post! It's interesting that no one who commented watches reality shows - I wouldn't know either I haven't had a tv in 20 years and have never regretted that. I get my news off the weather network online....most of the other "news" is more like a tabloid material. It is disappointing the direction media has gone.

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    1. Thanks! I need to try your method of getting the news, Ronda. I am so sick of what I see on tv, because you're right, it's more like tabloid material. So very frustrating.

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  30. Excellent, Kim! This post belongs in a newspaper! I totally agree. I miss those days before cable brought us 24-hour news and radio became a vehicle for the daily outrage mongers.

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    1. Thank you so much, Kimberly, I guess I touched a nerve with this one!!

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  31. I cut off cable TV years ago :)

    Now I just get up in the morning, turn on the computer, surf the news and weather, etc in the space of an hour or less with no commercials. Evenings can be a portion of an Amazon or Netflix movie ( again, no commercials

    What is on TV now, I have no clue, but I was shocked by it years ago and don't miss it :)

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    1. Sounds like a smart plan, Deb...and as someone with cable, I can tell you, you're not missing much.

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  32. Dang it! I'm embarrassed to admit I'm doing buttock squeezes to get ready to audition for 'Nekkid and Alone'. Has to be that show because if I'm nekkid, it's a safe bet I'm alone...even Fisherman runs for the hills.

    xxx

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    1. Oh Doreen, I bet you would be a fabulous contestant on any of those shows. You seem like a pretty crafty and savvy survivor to me...clothed or nekkid. πŸ˜‰

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