Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


Car Entertainment

I get a thrill every time I get in my car.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but when I listen to the radio, my favorite stations to listen to don’t play music. (Yes. I’m weird.)

I like to hear people talk. Talk radio–Christian talk radio–is what I’ve tuned to for years.

Okay, yes. I listen to the great old songs sometimes, but that’s not what I like best.

Recently, I was turning the dial, looking for G-Man’s fave (R & B) when I noticed something intriguing. A station called, “Radio Classics.”

Now, I’m not old enough to remember the time before TV. (Really, I’m not!) But I remember my parents and grandparents talking about old radio shows. Jack Benny, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour have all entertained me while I drive.

Road to Bali

Bob, Bing and Dorothy told the story about the Road to Hollywood. (At the end they were waiting tables and working in gas stations.)

They’re funny!

I’ve heard Fibber McGee (He opened his closet door and had an avalanche) Dragnet, Johnny Dollar and Charlie McCarthy. Oh, and The Shadow!

And I heard GUNSMOKE! Great story. (Matt told the bad guys at the end that if he wasn’t the marshal, he’d beat them with his gun.) You know who played Matt on the radio? William Conrad! Remember him? He played Cannon on CBS in the ’70’s.

Radio’s Gunsmoke

Not my idea of Matt Dillon, visually. But when it’s on the radio, YOU get to decide how the characters look. 🙂 I like that!

I almost got to hear HAVE GUN WILL TRAVEL. Did you ever see that TV show? (It’s on Encore Westerns sometimes.) The TV show starred Richard Boone and was about a hired gun who, in his non-professional life, was a highly educated gentleman. The show was on CBS from 1957 until 1963.


BUT it was also a radio show that ran from 1958 until 1960. HGWT was one of the few shows that was on TV first, then was adapted to radio.

If you have pay=to-play radio, check it out. Very entertaining!

BTW: The pictures used here are all from Wikipedia. Click on the title underneath the photo for copyright and fairuse information.

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Sharing Grins

Here it is, Friday, again. How’s your week been? Good? Fan-flipping-tastic? 🙂

When you judge your week, how do you do it? One of my favorite friends and favorite writers, Marilyn Pappano, is probably judging her week by the number of pages she gets written. She’s under contract for about a gazillion books this year (yay!) so that’s important.

School kids are counting down to the end of school. They’re now in the single digits, making for a great week.

Dad judges his by the number of days until he gets his new/old chicken coop (more on that later) and by measuring the growth in his garden.

I like to judge my week by the number of things that made me grin.

Yeah, I know. Weird, right? I can’t help it. It’s the way my twig is bent.

This week at work, we had some really grinny days and some that were laugh out loud funny.

Deegan, the office ruler, keeps us all grinning.

He’s decided that Cousin Rick is the king of the world. It’s hard to get Deegan to walk past Rick’s door without going in for a visit, and to put on Rick’s hat. And Deegan demands that Rick take him outside to play in the back of his pickup several times a day.

I doubt if you can tell what this is, but it makes me grin every time I drive past it.

There. Is that any better? Someone who lives at the top of this hill has planted pink roses so they’ll grown down the side. Isn’t it gorgeous?

How did it happen?

Did someone plant a climbing rose and over fertilize it? Did they forget it was there and let it just go to town?

Or was someone just extra thoughtful? Maybe they planted several roses and aimed them toward the expressway to give people on the drive to and from T-Town a little something to enjoy?

Who/what/however it was . . . THANKS! You make me grin. (Or at least your roses do.)

One of my tomato plants disappeared this week. That shouldn’t make me grin, but it’s like someone came along and plucked it right out of the ground. No leaves left. No stem. Nada.

I can’t help but remember the old cartoon of the gopher underground in his run, popping vegetables out of the ground overhead.

BTW: There’s no sign of a gopher or a mole, but I have a grin.

And finally, my biggest grin of the week has been Car Wars.

We don’t have assigned parking at work. There are areas where we park out of habit, but even the boss and TV star–well, he’s the boss anyway–doesn’t have squatters rights to his spot.

One day this week, one of the secretaries got hungry and was running out to get something to eat just as another woman was arriving. First Woman had pulled halfway out of her spot when the next woman pulled up and waited. First Woman, not wanting to lose her space, pulled back in.  She waited. Woman in the street waited. They both waited. And waited. The universe expanded. Finally, sensing a stalemate, the woman in the street finally went to a space farther away.

Whew! Saved. First Woman started to pull out again and another worker pulled up and waited to pull in. First Woman pulled back in and, with a lot of determination, out waited that one, too.

Finally! First Woman thought she was safe to dash over, get her food and get back before anyone could steal her spot. She started to pull out again when a third woman pulled up and waited. For the third time, First Woman pulled back in and  out waited the interloper.

But Third Woman outwitted the spot-squatter. She pulled around the block and waited until she saw First Woman drive away. Then she circled the block and zipped right into the coveted spot.

After all her work, time, patience and determination, First Woman had her parking spot stolen right from under her.

And I missed the whole thing! (I’ve got to start getting to work earlier.)

I heard the story from an unhappy Blocked Parker–all three, actually–and laughed my guts out.

That’s just too funny! (Maybe because I wasn’t involved.) Especially when you remember that, like everyone I know (me, too!) these women are looking for ways to get more exercise.


So how about you? Any grins you can share this week?


Writers’ Retreat

The Four-spotted Skimmer or Four-spotted Chase...

Image via Wikipedia

My writers’ group and the venerable Ms. Jean Brashear  (romance writer extraordinaire) went on a retreat over the weekend at Meadowlake Ranch near Sand Springs, OK, and guess what! I found a new Small Town World!

Funny how that happens, isn’t it? 🙂

I got to the ranch at about 5:00 and went with the others who were there to check out the cabins. Being a person who doesn’t sleep much (especially when I’m in a strange bed) I chose a cabin with a place where I could get up early and not disturb anyone. (Outside, on the patio next to a pond, I had time to spend with the Lord each morning.)

I roomed with our queen mentor, Marilyn Pappano, and the very soon to be published, Lynn Somerville. Now that’s an entertaining pair! I’d hoped for a little snoring (I find listening to snoring relaxing) but both ofo them slept with hardly a snort. 🙂  

We had wonderful food, great fellowship and a speaker–Jean Brashear–who gave us the benefit of the knowledge she’s acquired during her wonderful career.

I was blown away at the preparation she’d done for our little retreat. Her handouts were great, but her patience, knowledge and willingness to share with us was unbelievable. From the bottom of my heart, Thank you, Jean!

There were miles of trails to tramp, the air was cool but not cold, and we had a great time hanging with our sisters.

We met a mom and her daughter, who were staying in the teepees,

who’d come just to have time together without TV. They took hay rides, gathered eggs from the hen house, rode horses and had a great time.

At the end of the retreat, we had some very exciting, nearly unbelievable, news. But I’ll save that until tomorrow. 🙂 (I’m not being coy. I just need to take my time when I tell you about it.)

So when was the last time you took a weekend for yourself to refresh and renew? If you retreat from life once in a while, share!   



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HDTV and Me Ü

''I Love Lucy

Image via Wikipedia

It all started on the 4th of July. The kids were here, waiting for the chicken to get fried, watching TV with their dad. One of them spotted the HD recorder we bought a while back and decided to install it. “You’ll love the picture. It’s so much clearer.”

So they connected it, fiddled with it and called the TV guy and finally got it where we could watch one channel but couldn’t record. (We had been able to record two channels at once.) No HD.

Why is it when Pops and the kids get something going and someone has to stay home to get it fixed, staying somehow falls to Mama? LOL. I’m not sure how that works, but lucky me! I got to miss work to let the TV guy in so he could make things right.

In case you’re wondering, no. I didn’t tell anyone I wanted it hooked up. But yes, I will be watching it (a lot) so that evens things out. 😉

I was late to work to meet the first technician, only to find out that the man who came couldn’t do a thing. (Not his part of the job.) Then I missed over half of the next day so another technician could come.

But it all turned out great! Our technician was Irish. From Ireland! He had the most beautiful brogue and, I found out after a few moments, he was a nice guy.

We chatted a little, he told me not to answer his phone even if it rang, and he went outside and started working. On the south side of my house. In the heat. And the sunshine. And he could still smile when he came back in. (Could have been the air conditioning that rated the grin.)

Now we have really clear TV. I can see whiskers growing on a guy’s face if I bother to look. There’s such clarity, I could probably see the peach fuzz on Justin Bieber’s face if I had the chance.

NYC signing September 1,2009 Nintendo Store - NYC

Image via Wikipedia

Right now though, I’m watching a movie that’s not available in HD, and I don’t care. I enjoyed TV when we only had two channels, neither one was in color and I Love Lucy was on both. (Okay, maybe it just seemed as if it was on both stations.)

Compared to that, this is fantastic.

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Bye-Bye Big Love, Hello Dancing Stars!

Big Love promotional photo featuring (from lef...

Image via Wikipedia

Confession: I am (was?) a BIG LOVE fan.

I know, I know. I’m awful. G-Man was appalled when I started watching at the beginning of the series. (Although he did get caught up in it, too.)

My friends compared seeing the show to watching a snake in the room.

I can’t help it. I loved BIG LOVE!

Why? I’m not sure. I could never be in a plural marriage. I’m very jealous, or maybe I’m selfish, but I like being the one and only. And if my man ever suggested dragging in another spouse, I’d have to break his nose–or something. 😉

That said, the set up for Big Love was perfect. Here’s why.

  1. The wives all lived in separate houses, so they weren’t fighting over who was the boss of the house or who had to do which chore.
  2. The wives had extremely different personalities so Bill wasn’t marrying the same woman, over and over. And it made for great conflict!
  3. Although the kids lived in the house with their own mother, the other mothers loved them like they were literally their own. No jealousy over kids and what they received.

Did I like the way it ended? No.

*Big Pout*

But then, I didn’t like that it ended at all.

*Big Pout Finished*

(I never can keep a pout going for long.) 

So . . . anybody watching DANCING WITH THE STARS this season? What’d you think of Kirstie? (I loved her!)