Welcome to the Cafe 80’s, where it’s always morning in America, even in the afternoon.

— Ronald Reagan Video, Waiter in Café 80s

By Blue Bronc, a Trail Mix Contributor

After spending most of this year watching media on Hulu, Amazon Prime, Netflix and sites such as YouTube, I am ready to give up cable.   I am even giving up MSNBC now that it is Republican lite and no longer liberal Progressive.  Local television, mainly the news and weather, I can pick up over the air on an antenna.

The world of information has changed significantly during the last fifty years.  Public television was in its infancy then; Julia Child was fantastic, I sat and copied her recipes as she cooked.  There were three major networks and everything was simple.  The news was in the news division and entertainment in the entertainment division.  Newspapers were delivered morning and afternoon. Radio was AM with the FM being like a hobby for some rich people as it had no commercials.

How it has changed during the last twenty years. The internet was improving as the hardware improved.  More people felt comfortable going online.  Websites improved as HTML 4 was released, which was replaced sixteen years later with HTML5.  Information dissemination became easy.

Even more important is the delivery.  Technology has changed television beyond the “boob tube” days when black and white was the norm and color the exception.  Now even the B&W movies are colorized.  The television is part of the home internet system.  It connects to all your devices, and is controlled by your smart phone, which is another computer.  The size of the screen is now as large as one wants, from tablet size to stadium size.

That your television is another computer is important. You can communicate using it and you can receive your media from it.  Keep in mind Back to the Future II, which features a Biff modeled on the lunatic in the White House.  Your television can report back everything in your life to computer systems designed to give you everything you want – based on your life as seen by computer algorithms.

Am I afraid of technology?  No.  But for me I am cautious around technology until I can find out what it is doing.  No spyware microwave oven for me.  I do take care such as not bothering to plug the new television into the internet until I had studied how to keep it from reporting all the movies I watch and the YouTube videos which help me change fuel filters in the truck.

More Posts by Blue Bronc


Blue Bronc

Author: Blue Bronc

Born in Detroit when Truman was president, survived the rest of them. Early on I learned that FDR was the greatest president, which has withstood all attempts to change that image. Democratic Party, flaming liberal, Progressive, equality for all and a believer in we are all human and deserve respect and understanding. College educated, a couple of degrees, a lot of world experience and tons of fun. US Air Force (pre-MRE days). Oil and gas fields, computer rooms and stuff beyond anything I can talk about. It has been quite a life so far. The future is making my retirement boat my home. Dogs, cats and other critters fill my life with happiness. Work pays the bills.

53 thoughts on “Welcome to the Cafe 80’s, where it’s always morning in America, even in the afternoon.”

  1. “If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it.” ― Mark Twain   


    above quote (courtesy of dexter in the wee hours) deserves reposting as it’s so relevant and timely regarding the mischief being done by the elections guy running for GA gov.  hard to believe he’s a twain scholar — or for that matter any kind of scholar.

  2. huffpo:

    ‘Cruel, Sloppy, Needless, Racist’: John Oliver Unloads On Trump In Fiery Rant

    The “Last Week Tonight” host is fine with Trump making immigration a focus of the midterms because it reveals the truth about his presidency.

  3. meanwhile, on the other side of the world

    wapo:  Xi tells the world China will boost imports while swiping at Trump’s ‘law of the jungle’ 

    HONG KONG — For 30 minutes on Monday, Chinese President Xi Jinping offered a litany of conciliatory promises to political and business leaders from 172 countries gathered in Shanghai: he would turn his country of 1.3 billion into global consumers, welcome foreign investors into previously restricted sectors, and crack down on Chinese companies abusing intellectual property rights.
    Then, he seemingly turned to an audience of one — his counterpart in the Oval Office — and his tone hardened.
    “Great winds and storms may upset a pond, but not an ocean,” Xi said, comparing China to a vast and immovable sea. “After 5,000 years of trials and tribulations, China is still here. Looking ahead, China will be here to stay.”
    Without mentioning the United States once by name, Xi made broad promises to let global companies tap into the Chinese middle class and “share the benefits of globalization.”
    “China is a big market of over 1.3 billion people, and it is our sincere commitment to open the market,” Xi said. “China increasing imports will not be a choice of political expediency, but a future-oriented step taken to embrace the world.”

  4. BlueB, I wonder if YouTube how-to videos are cutting into the plumbing business — have done several projects i wouldn’t have attempted without those, and pay those outrageous rates.

  5. Craig – I am positive that the youtube videos have hit the trades.  Although I learned a lot from my grandfathers about how to do home projects, but in a farm and 1930’s style, I learned a lot by making mistakes, occasionally very costly mistakes.  Once I bought my first boat in 2011, youtube has been my first view for any project.  There have been only a couple which I have not found at least one video about.  The same for all my sister mariners.  Many projects have been completed saving many thousands of dollars.  The hourly rate at yards starts at ninety dollars per hour and goes up, way up.

    One woman rebuilt her engine, by herself, saving many thousands of dollars.  Yesterday I removed the remains of a house water filter from my big boat and installed a new one.  It took me two hours of hard labor due to how the original was installed along with cleaning the old parts for reuse.  But, I did not have to pay almost two hundred dollars for someone to do it for me.  Vehicles are another, I no longer need to buy shop manuals for hundreds of dollars.  A ten or fifteen minute video and I can do the job, or at least know what it should cost by a mechanic.   So many are doing the same, saving money or at least knowing what they should be paying.


  6. BlueBronc…  MSNBC = Republican lite indeed.  I know that the likes of Nicole Wallace, Steve Schmidt, George Will, and Bill Kristol are encouraging everyone to vote Democratic this cycle.  But I have no doubt that when trumpty dumpty is gone they will revert back to their republican ways.

    NBC ran an incredulous racist ad during Sunday Night Football…   they are getting much deserved guff for it.   NBC Sparks Outrage For Airing Racist Trump Ad

  7. For the sake of simplicity I just leave my tube on CNN all time, often with sound off, and i just glance at the news crawl, or turn it up when they have someone I want to hear. Think they do the best job of getting all the angles and voices.

    By the way, keep the faith, these latest senate polls are tightening toward Dems. Factor in the Dem turnout I think pollsters are missing and there’s a real shot here.

  8. poobah, YouTube how-to videos have to be cutting into all kinds of repair businesses.  I dropped into a problem with my weed whacker, did a bit of YouTube research, followed the YT vid procedure before I even ordered a repair kit from Amazon and with a little help from a friend who’s a bit more mechanically savvy than me fixed the thing for nuthing.  A repair service was a minimum of $50 at the local small engine repair, and if they did n’t fix it immediately without parts they would just replace the carburetor, etc. to the tune of an additional $50 in parts.  So I’d have $100 buck into a repair of a weedeater I caught on sale for $150.

    So I hear there’s an election tomorrow.  Sounds like Florida may be trending toward blue and Georgia’s governor’s race is tighter’n a tick with Kemp doing stupid, desperate things to try and pull a last minute rabbit out of his hat. I really can’t get a good sense of the house races – there’s just too damn many of them for me to wrap my brain around, but the early voting reports suggest that the trend is in the right direction.  Biggest concern for me is that the latest economic reports are being reported as rosier than hell and gas prices are dropping –  two things that tend to favor the party in power. Gonna be a nail biter.

  9. In Texas, the early voting age group 18-39 accounts for 24% of the ballots. They were only 13% of the early vote in ’14, which is closer to what these polls have been assuming. I don’t blame pollsters for being careful not to overestimate participation by voters with such a poor turnout record, but still convinced they’ve missed a big chunk of the Dem vote in several Senate races.

  10. Blue Bronc

    I may need to finance a trip to Washington for you or hire a Rent-a-geek employee.  lol.  Our X-finity cable & internet has crept up to stratospheric proportions.  I need to figure out how to get the few things we do watch and internet.  I think the key may be Amazon and we are Prime members.  It’s just a matter of figuring out the best and safest way to do it.


  11. They are showing long lines for early voting in Kansas all weekend  That was just to find a place to park. Obviously early voting is overwhelming the system. It looks like Kansas is turning Purple for this election, not a good sign for Republicans nation wide.

    No matter how this election turns out it has to be good for the Democratic party They are competing in places where they never have before. With Act Blue they have been able to create  Howard Dean’s 50 state plan. It took grass roots to do it because  the congressional committees and National party are clueless.


  12. twit’s buddies being investigated across the pond:

    LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s serious crime agency has started an investigation into Brexit backer Arron Banks over the source of 8 million pounds ($10.4 million) in loans to groups including Leave.EU which campaigned to leave the European Union.
    Banks has said the investigation is part of an attempt to undermine Brexit. He has repeatedly insisted that the money came from him and that no Russian funding was involved.
    But if criminal offences or foreign funding are proven, that could cast doubt on the legitimacy of the whole Brexit vote.
    The groups that received the loans ran emotive publicity campaigns to persuade people to vote to leave the EU – and the final result was close. In the June 23, 2016 referendum, 17.4 million voters, or 51.9 percent, backed Brexit while 16.1 million, or 48.1 percent, backed staying in the bloc.

    The focus is 8 million pounds in loans provided to Leave.EU and Better for the Country Limited (BFTC), which Banks controls and which ran Leave.EU’s campaign.
    Britain’s Electoral Commission asked the UK National Crime Agency to investigate Banks after saying it suspected the insurance entrepreneur was “not the true source” of the loans.
    It also said it had grounds to suspect that the loan arrangements had involved Banks’ Rock Holding Limited, which was incorporated in the Isle of Man, a self-governing British crown dependency that is not part of the United Kingdom.
    British law mostly bans companies from outside UK from making such political donations.
    The Electoral Commission said it suspected criminal offences were committed, specifically relating to the transactions which led to the 8 million pounds being paid into BFTC’s bank account.

    Banks said the money was his and came from his UK-incorporated Rock Services insurance firm and was generated from insurance business written in the UK.
    He has said that the Electoral Commission’s issues about Rock Holdings are based on a misunderstanding about its status – that it is a holding company that owns Rock Services and did not itself provide the loans.
    “Rock Holdings is a company I own and control and I’m a U.K. tax payer, no Russian or foreign money has ever come into it,” he told Reuters.
    Banks, who was pictured with Donald Trump and leading Brexiteer Nigel Farage outside a gilded elevator soon after Trump’s 2016 U.S. presidential election victory, said he welcomed the inquiry.
    “I am confident that a full and frank investigation will finally put an end to the ludicrous allegations leveled against me and my colleagues,” he said.

    After the announcement of the investigation, Damian Collins, chair of the British Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, said it is unclear where Banks got the 8 million pounds.
    Collins’ committee said Banks had misled it over the number of meetings he had with the Russian embassy in London.
    Banks said at the time that he had no business interests in Russia and had done no business deals in Russia. Russia has denied any involvement in Brexit.
    It is unclear how long the National Crime Agency’s investigation will take. The United Kingdom is due to leave the EU on March 29, at 11:00 p.m. London time.
    ($1 = 0.7688 pounds)

  13. Jamie

    Our 3 year old smart TV in the living room is a bit slow and clunky but we watch net flix and amazon directly from the internet connection.  When Mrs Jack moved her bed to a downstairs room with no cable hookup we got another smart TV. By accident it was a Roku enabled tv from Walmart, cost about $130, it hooked up through the Roku service for free and works much better than the older smart tv. Roku has a number of packages with traditional cable channels that we didn’t bother with as we already have Amazon and Netflix.


  14. Yes MSNBC is a major proponent of the false equivalency and I have come to hate Rachel Maddow for all her fumphering and repeating — her show has about five minutes worth of news in an hour.

    they interviewed Ken Blackwell former sec’y of state of Ohio the man who tried to screw Obama over in the 2008 election. People in dem precints in Columbus had to stand in line for seven hours to vote because the machines were not operating correctly and then refused to extend the voting hours. And they treated him like he did a good job

    I am hoping all the people who hate Trump vote

    Mrs. Greenspan as usual reports fake news about the turn out in Texas

  15. One thing we can look forward to is the arrival of 5G (fifth generation).  The internet will be out of the hands of cable companies and into wireless, such as T-Mobile and the others.  Verizon stopped hardline development years ago and is placing 5G antenna around communities, like where I live, ready to switch on as soon as they can build the building side receiver/transmitters.

    But, the start is not on the Plains or wide open spaces as 5G is a close to line of sight between antenna and home units.  So I would look at other options, internet only, even paying the fee to cut television out, which leaves a bad taste in my mouth too.

    Hulu is a good way to get a lot of options, as is the Amazon tv stick.  My current viewing habits are Hulu, Netfilx and Amazon Prime.  I have added NBC sports gold for the Tour de France and other bicycle races, but I may change that next year to another provider because NBC is very limited on the total available races to those provided.

  16. By 8:01 pm Pacific time, Rosenstein will probably be out, too.

    That is, assuming that the trumputin Administration is efficient at only one thing.

    I presume that Mr Mueller has boxed all the evidence and sent it to the So District of NY, labelled, “Papers for the Trump Monument.”

  17. X-R, better yet a number of secret (sealed/silent) indictments scattered about waiting for the proper signal.

  18. wapo:

    Trump administration prepares for massive shake-up after midterms

    The Trump administration is bracing for a massive staff shake-up in the weeks following the midterm elections, as the fates of a number of Cabinet secretaries and top White House aides are increasingly uncertain heading into a potentially perilous time for President Trump.
    Some embattled officials, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions, are expected to be fired or actively pushed out by Trump after months of bitter recriminations. Others, notably Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, may leave amid a mutual recognition that their relationship with the president has become too strained. And more still plan to take top roles on Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign or seek lucrative jobs in the private sector after nearly two years in government.
    [….]This portrait of the White House preparing for post-midterm staff changes comes from interviews with 14 senior White House officials, administration aides and Republican operatives, many of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to candidly discuss internal deliberations. 



  19. I seldom say this, but I’m glad I’m working and don’t have access to streaming media so I don’t have to watch the last day of election coverage.  I did that in 2016 and look where we ended up 24 hours later.

  20. Nevada looks promising. Perhaps a senate seat, and a governor. AZ looks close, but still a heavy lift. Maybe Texas will surprise. Tomorrow will be all about boots on the ground and I think that Beto might win that battle just don’t know if it will be enough to overcome republican advantage in numbers.

    Would love to see both Ohio and Florida elect democratic governors it would be nice to have them in place going into 2020 and hopefully putting the brakes on voter suppression.

  21. [I’m thinkin’ Albert Brooks voice-over]

    Change the Tie-Rod and that thing it attaches to on a 96 Ford F-150? Not a problem !  Just get yourself a Pickel Fork and go to town!

  22. We tried Sling-TV and the Amazon stick and Hulu and Amazon Prime and it just seemed there was nothing I was watching.  I need all the sports channels and especially Showtime and HBO and all that.  Ray Donovan is back on Showtime, best show on TV.  Actually the alternate viewing was at my daughter’s house, as they pulled the cable plug years ago.  I was so glad to get back to my easy chair and my Spectrum TV full menu.  And I hate losing that tiny firestick down inside the chair.  One remote and one BluRay control for Netflix   and I am happy.  Spectrum also allows me to watch my channels on my Galaxy tablet, so I don’t need a TV in every room anymore.   Yellow dog Democrat

    Yellow Dog Democrats was a political term applied to voters in the Southern United States who voted solely for candidates who represented the Democratic Party. The term originated in the late 19th century. These voters would allegedly “vote for a yellow dog before they would vote for any Republican”.

  23. Dexter – you are right about sports, which is why I pay for NBC Gold just to watch bicycle racing.  If I was interested and followed football, baseball, hockey and other major sports and teams outside of my over the air antenna reception I too would want to keep cable.  But, look at AOL/Yahoo doing live football.  Expect other internet companies to join in.

  24. Northern Yellow Dog Dem, here. I voted with the fanaticism of the convert; I’m more Demotic than FDR.

  25. I did a seven hour self-help task today—resizing a very fragile ceramic over tungsten watch bracelet. I had tried several jewelers who declined trying. I did my internet research, found useful guides then ordered a toolkit over the ‘net.

  26. OK BlueB I have officially crossed over to the dark side of technology, have set up Alexa to turn on my coffee in the mornings upon my command. There is no turning back.

  27. XR,

    Good on you. I didn’t give a republican a second look straight ticket dem. Republicans have proven time after time that on the issues that matter, they simply can’t be trusted.


  28. “dangerous illegal criminals.” – Also sprach der Arschlochkopf !

    Are there safe illegal criminals ? Are there dangerous legal criminals ?

  29. My neighborhood is dying.  My grocery store is closing, as is the closest Lowe’s (one of 50 or so in the country).


  30. Mr Jace, they can be trusted to screw people every time.

    Speaking of screws and suchlike. Mr Flatus’ sizing ceramics reads like a biblical miracle to me. I never found ceramics to be very elastic or forgiving. Now, if he could only level the political  playing fields in WI, NC, TX, GA, FL, and MO.

  31. The digital antenna gives me everything I want, because I don’t want watch violent stuff like “Game of Thrones.”

    Much of the time, I just listen to music.

  32. Flatus,

    I’ve resized a number of watch bracelets – one of which was Mrs. P’s Ceramic over stainless (not tungsten).  The chances of success are greatly improved with the better tools.  I had a cheap set that did not have the integrity to do those type bracelets – the knob type presses are the easiest to control and do not risk damage to the bracelet banging on a pin type driver with a little watchmaker’s hammer.

  33. Hey! I like Michael Bloomber’s ad!


    Trump wondering out loud about voter fraud based on his opinion and also ~facts.~  Yep, he’s gearing up for tomorrow’s loss.

    I hope his balls fall off because he’s just a dick.

  34. Pogo,

    I bought a complete set of tools that allowed the disassembly without a problem. What took so long was the reassembly with my arthritic, nerve deprived fingers. After numerous failures with parts scattering all over the work area and its surrounds, I cut strips of masking tape using them to secure each newly formed link to the bracelet until I could insert its pin and then position, and secure,the following link. Fortunately, I lost none of the parts, especially the several minuscule one-of-a-kind items for which I spent too much time searching until I brainstormed the masking tape. I was very lucky–I thanked the Buddha profusely.

  35. XR,

    I wasn’t resizing the ceramics, but adjusting the number of ceramic covered links in the bracelet.

    I have resized ceramics in the past. Kumcho was usually remarkably forgiving providing I cleaned-up the mess and fessed-up before she discovered that I had dropped her favorite coffee cup.

  36. Flatus, LOL.  I knew what you were doing.  The links I was referring to are ceramic coated stainless steel watch bracelet links removed by driving the connecting pins out and putting them back in after removing links to make the bracelet smaller.  🙂


    BiD, you mean yours is one of 50 Lowes stores that are closing?

  37. Yes. Lowe’s is closing about 50 stores across the country, including the one in my area.

    The thing that hurts is the grocery store closing.  It’s not like you need to go to Lowe’s every week.

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