A to Z Reflections

So the sponsors of the A to Z Challenge have asked us to reflect upon our experiences participating in this year’s challenge and to post our reflections. But before I begin, I want to thank those of you who ran the show. You put a lot of time and effort into it, and I’m sure those of us who participated in this year’s challenge appreciated your work.

Anyway, here are my reflections.

For my challenge, I posted each day in April — except Sundays — about mostly vintage or classic TV shows in alphabetical order, from “All in the Family” to “Zorro.” I had a lot of fun doing it and the response I got from readers was mostly positive. Many remembered watching the shows and appreciated the trip down Memory Lane.

Is that true? Did you like reading about those old TV shows? Do tell!

One aspect that surprised me a little was that my blog’s traffic didn’t pick up this April as it had in April in past years. In 2019, I had 12.4% more views in April than I had in March, even though March has one more day than April. In 2020, I had 10% more views in April than in March. But this year, I actually had 1.6% fewer views in April than in March. Well, it’s no biggie. I’m not about to start bawling over it.

I certainly can’t blame the drop in traffic to people spending more time at the mall because, due to the pandemic, haven’t most malls closed? In fact, even though restrictions have eased up a bit since last year, my guess is that most of us are, like me, still spending more time inside of our own houses than we are being out and about. Right?

I did get a glimpse at a lot of other bloggers’ A to Z posts, but most of those bloggers whose A to Z posts I read were bloggers that I’m already following. Hey, there are only so many hours in a day. Right?

That said, I did enjoy this year’s challenge and this makes it four years in a row that I’ve participated. I enjoyed being a part of the A to Z Challenge and encourage others to do so in the future.

See you back here next April.


Written for the A to Z Reflections post and for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aspect), Word of the Day Challenge (traffic), Your Daily Word Prompt (bawl), The Daily Spur (mall), MMA Storytime (house), and Ragtag Daily Prompt (glimpse).

Getting Ready for BATZAP

Today is March 30th, and that means that the 2021 Blogging from A to Z challenge, which I have dubbed “BATZAP,” starts on Thursday. I know a few weeks ago, in my A to Z theme reveal post, I said that I didn’t select a specific theme because I wanted to be spontaneous and didn’t know what the hell I would be posting for this challenge until that same day.

Well, after giving it some thought, I changed my mind. I have come up with a theme and that theme is television shows. That’s right. I’m going to focus on an alphabetical listing of TV shows throughout the month of April.

I will be publishing my BATZAP posts each day at 6:00 am my time (Pacific time USA). Also, starting on Wednesday April 7th, and for the three remaining Wednesdays in the month, I will be posting repeats of my Fandango’s Provocative Question prompts at 3:00 am my time. I will return with new FPQs in May.

I’m excited about BATZAP and I look forward to reading your BATZAP posts this coming month.

5 Things — TV in the Pandemic

Dr. Tanya has this prompt called “5 Things” and this week she’s interested in hearing about five movies or shows we’ve watched and enjoyed on TV in the year of the pandemic. So here we go:

Godless

If you have a hankering for a good old fashion western, Pilgrim, you might want to take a gander at “Godless.” It’s a seven-part mini series on Netflix and I found it to be an excellent, well acted western drama. And I was surprised by the credible performance from Michelle Dockery, best known as Lady Mary in “Downton Abbey,” as a strong, tough, independent lady of the Wild West.

Atypical

“Atypical” was a pleasant surprise for me. It’s sort of like “The Wonder Years,” only narrated by, and told from the perspective of, a teenage boy with autism. It is essentially a coming of age story about an 18-year-old on the autistic spectrum as he searches for love and independence. While he is on his journey, the rest of his family must grapple with change in their own lives as they all struggle with the central theme: what does it really mean to be normal? There are three seasons available for binge-watching and a fourth (and final) season is due in 2021.

Black Mirror“Black Mirror” is an anthology series exploring a twisted, high-tech multiverse where humanity’s greatest innovations and darkest instincts collide. It first appeared in 2011 and has a total of 22 episodes. It sort of reminds me of a 21st century “Twilight Zone,” so if you’re into that genre, you might enjoy it.

UnbelievableI’m a fan of detective stories. I mentioned a few I really enjoyed watching this year when I designated seriously flawed detectives as my Who Won the Week winner in August. “Unbelievable” is an eight episode mini series that tells the the story of a teenager who was charged with lying about having been raped and the two female detectives who team up to follow the path to the truth. I wouldn’t characterize these two detectives as seriously flawed as much as very human and very determined.

Orange is the New BlackMy wife and I finally got around to binge-watching “Orange is the New Black,” a series with 91 episodes spread over seven years. It’s based upon the story of a 30-something woman. Piper Chapman, who was convicted of a decade old crime of transporting drug money to an ex-girlfriend. Normally law-abiding Piper is sentenced to a year and a half behind bars to face the reality of how life-changing prison can really be. It’s got a quirky cast of colorful characters and is fun to watch.

Either Way

D6C24017-E5D3-41DD-87C6-95412B07D8CCHow do you pronounce the word “either”? Do you use the hard ē, as in ee-ther, or the hard ī as in eye-ther?

And what about “neither”? Rhymes with nee-ther? Or nigh-ther?

I was raised to pronounce both words with the hard ē sound, and that’s how I still pronounce them: ee-ther and nee-ther.

The reason I’m asking is because I’ve noticed lately that a lot of people who use either of those words, particularly on some TV shows that I watch, are pronouncing them using the hard ī, saying “eye-ther” or “nigh-ther.”

I Googled the pronunciation of both words and found out that, whichever way someone chooses to pronounce these words, they shouldn’t have trouble being understood. Both pronunciations are correct. However, the way people say these words depends on their upbringing, their region and their preference. It seems that the British are more likely to use eye-ther as the pronunciation, and the Americans use ee-ther.”

I think there are two possible explanations for why I’m hearing the hard ī pronunciation more frequently than the hard ē pronunciation.

First, a lot of actors on American TV shows are actually British, Canadian, or Australian (or even New Zealanders), who are playing Americans but use the British way of saying either or neither.

Second, every American seems to think that speaking with a British accent makes the person talking sound more refined and intelligent than their American counterparts.

Or maybe there’s a third reason. It’s me. Maybe I’m the one who is saying these words wrong.

So are you a hard ē or a hard ī person?