Monday, July 31, 2006

Yes, I am still alive!

I am so glad today is the last day of July! This was the busiest month I've ever had. It started out with shipping boys back and forth to camp for 2 weeks, then we invited 2 of their friends from their old church to come down and visit for a week; then as soon as they left the boys started swimming lessons for two weeks. During the second week of lessons, we also started school back up. Top that off with the outrageous heat and humidity we've had since June, and UGH! If I had enough time to sit and write a post, I chose instead to hide downstairs on the couch soaking up the air conditioning or hiding in my bed for a nap with the fans on high, blowing right on me. It's still hot, and we're still doing school, but visitors are gone, camp is over, swimming lessons are finished, so I have just enough left in me to post an update, LOL. My card reader seems broken again, so it will be a while again before I can upload pictures of Samuel's birthday. He had a good time. I'll post in more detail about all our activities, too, but for now this is it! I'm off for the a/c again! LOL

Thursday, July 06, 2006

An Off-Topic Rant

The boys and I have been discussing a complaint lately, and I am interested in hearing others' views as well. Our complaint was brought about by the yearly schedule change that occurs every summer when school lets out, when PBS rearranges their programming. It seems that each year, they do away with yet another good show, and replace it with something awful.

Back when Troyer was a baby, I used to spend afternoons watching Bill Nye the Science Guy and Carmen Sandiego with him. I looked forward to the future when he would actually be old enough to learn from them, but they also really amused me. Of course, 4 years later when he was old enough to start watching educational PBS programming, those shows were gone. Sesame Street has become a disappointment to me, and I miss The Electric Company from my own childhood. We found Zaboomafoo, which the kids loved, and I like Arthur and Cyber Chase. When we moved we lost Zaboomafoo. This year, they have taken off Zoom, just when Troyer was getting old enough to enjoy it.

And what have they chosen to replace these shows? Annoying PC teach-your-child-how-to-deal-with-situations shows. My kids like Dragon Tales and Clifford, but I don't find them particularly "educational." Same for Berenstein Bears, Sagwa, and Maya and Miguel. I can NOT stand Caillou. I like Reading Rainbow but unfortunately I can't get my kids to watch it. I understand the appeal of Barney, and they watch sometimes, but the whole marketing bonanza from the show annoys me. I have never allowed a Teletubbies or BoohBah to run more than 1 minute before turning them off.

What happened to the good shows? What about Newton's Apple or 321 Contact? Why the dearth of educational programing that actually taught you something? If I want mildly entertaining cartoons, shouldn't I turn on Disney or Nickelodeon? Ah but wait, those shows are even more annoying.

So what I want to know is, what shows did you watch and learn from? What do you wish was still being aired, and what shows make you run for the remote to turn them off? I hear they released The Electric Company on DVD this year, I'm looking into buying a copy for myself....