So yesterday I was reading online about how CBS is remaking the old TV series Hawaii Five-O for the new TV season, and also that the Spike TV cable channel was running a five-day, 45-hour marathon of episodes from the original series. Well, I flicked it on and watched a couple of episodes from the first season, 1968-69. The first show (which I joined in progress around 12:20) was the fifth episode of the season, "The Samurai," guest starring Ricardo Montalban as a Japanese-American businessman who fakes his own death. Perhaps the most jarring moment from a 2010 perspective is when McGarrett goes to the Navy base to talk with one of the officers there about an old Japanese sub that had been found and recovered by divers off Molokai. The officer was probably in his late 40s, and McGarrett asks him, "You were here at Pearl Harbor during the attack, right?" And it is at that moment that I realized just how old that show was. It aired in October 1968. At that time, not only was LBJ still the President, but Nixon hadn't even been elected yet. The Beatles were still making records. And Americans had yet to walk on the moon.

Another interesting moment came in the next episode, which was actually the second episode of the first season, shown out of sequence. In the first episode I watched, the Japanese guy's daughter was wearing a lime-green dress with white lace. The next show was about a couple who preyed on wealthy widows by having the man romance them, get access to their money, then bump them off. Well, the first wealthy widow at the beginning of the show was wearing the exact same dress, lime-green with white lace. They must have had a small wardrobe budget that first season. Most people probably wouldn't have noticed it in 1968, with the episodes airing some three weeks apart, but when it's only fifteen minutes later, it's easy to say, "Hey, I remember that dress!" But in the original broadcasts, the widow wore it first.

Finally, in watching the promos for the 2010 series reboot, I'm kind of dubious about it. The new McGarrett just doesn't have the same gravitas as Jack Lord. And they Starbucked Kono! (That's when they switch the gender of a secondary recurring character, as they did to Starbuck from the original Battlestar Galactica series to the reboot version a few years back.) Gotta get at least one hot babe into the cast.


Murphy's Law Strikes Again

I was hanging out with Dad at his hospital room yesterday. Just before lunch time, the nurse came around to remove a couple of the "pacer" wires that were still under his skin from the operation. She hooked him up to a monitor and said that they would check his vitals every fifteen minutes for an hour, then every half hour for another hour, then every hour for the next two hours. After the wires were removed, he had to stay in bed for the next hour.

Well, about half an hour after the wires were removed, Dad started having an irregular heartbeat. The doctor who came by later said that this is fairly common and usually returns to normal on its own. However, while this was going on, the monitor's alarm was beeping incessantly. The nurse turned the volume down, but couldn't turn it off completely. Although Dad is somewhat hard of hearing, he had no trouble hearing the beeping and it was driving him bonkers. When his friend Dick came by to visit a little later, I was sent out to find Dad some earplugs to block out the beeping.

I went to the nearby Walgreen's drug store and found several different types to choose from. I got some foam earplugs that looked like they would do the trick. I also saw some cans of store-brand mixed nuts, on sale 2/$9. "Well, why not?" I thought. Impulse buy. And so, with purchases in hand, I returned to the hospital, only to find that the earplugs were too small and didn't solve the problem. So, back out I went to try again.

This time, I decided to try the CVS drug store instead. I found some earplugs that looked like the biggest ones available. I also picked up a bottle of Fuse Banana Colada drink (another impulse purchase). I managed not to buy the Godiva chocolates, though.

Back to the hospital! In the hallway, the nurse told me, "He's back in rhythm." And sure enough, the beeping had stopped. I muttered a choice oath under my breath and went down to hall to Dad's room.

I gave him the new earplugs anyway, just in case the beeping started back up again. And then I sat down to drink my Banana Colada and snack on cashews, almonds and pecans. A word of advice: You are better off sticking to name brands when buying nuts. The house brand nuts were covered with big chunks of sugar and salt. Let me just give a shout out to Planter's, since their quality is usually pretty high.


Off Kilter

There are times when one's existence is thrown off balance, when the normal routine is broken, when the regular schedule is altered not by choice but by necessity. When it happens, the only option is to go with the flow, which is what I've been doing for the past several days.

Dad had valve repair surgery on his heart last Tuesday and has been recovering in the hospital since then. His progress hasn't been quite as fast as we hoped that it would be. Originally, we hoped he would be able to go home from the hospital early in the weekend, but due to some minor complications, that hasn't happened. I took vacation time this week so that I'd be able to help him out once he got out of the hospital. Hopefully that will be in the next couple of days.

I spent several hours at the hospital over each of the past few days, mostly in the late afternoon and evening. Those are ungodly hours for me, since I'm normally asleep at that time of day. I did get the chance to see some nice sunsets from Dad's room. (I see the sunrise almost every morning, but rarely see a sunset.) Last night's was especially dramatic, and I watched as the western clouds turned blood-red. Then the sky began to crackle with lightning. My original plan was to stay until around 11 p.m. when Dad was asleep. Then, shortly before 11:00, it began pouring down rain. My umbrella was in my car. I went back to reading my book and waited until the rain had ceased around midnight. When I left, it was cooler outside than I remember it being in weeks. The rain had dropped the temperature all the way down to 73 degrees, according to my car's thermometer. In a steamy Florida summer, that's what passes for refreshingly cool.