Thursday, February 19, 2009

Ladies and gentlemen, the story you are about to hear is true...

Uh oh. I think I've found a new hobby. Now that I think I'm back into baseball cards full time, my knife hobby has fallen to the wayside. But in reality, I'm not really a knife collector, I buy a knife if I ilke it, but most of the knives I own I've carried at one point or another.

Looking back on it now, the last knife I purchased was a Spyderco about two years ago. That knife cost more than I've spent on baseball cards in the past two years combined. It's an expensive hobby. Hell, the knife I carry every day cost twice what that Spyderco did. It's an extremely expensive hobby, better that I don't think about that.

I still look at knives and there's one that I've got my eye on, but I can't seem to let myself pull the trigger on a $130 pocket knife right now.

But I digress.

Yes I think I've found myself a new hobby and fortunately for my wallet (and my ability to buy baseball cards) this one is free.

When I was a wee one, I'd get to stay up late on Friday and Saturday nights watching old shows on Nick at Nite. Back then Nick at Nite was actually worth watching, and I fell in love with shows like Car 54 Where are You, Mister Ed, I Love Lucy and a lot of others. One show in particular that I enjoyed was Dragnet.

I watched Dragnet every night. I loved it. But then Nick at Nite changed their line up and Dragnet went away.

Fast forward a few years to sometime around 2001. I was a junior in college and for the first time I had access to TV Land. One day I was skipping class (it was probably raining, I skipped class when I didn't want to get wet), lying in bed flipping through the TV and there was Dragnet, oh glorious day.

Then after Dragnet was a show called Adam-12, I'd never seen it. After that was Emergency!, I'd never seen it either. Uh oh, now I was hooked. On Tuesdays and Thursdays that semester I had a 9am class and a 12:30pm class. Somehow I consistently made it to that 9am class, but the 12:30pm class... my batting average was a little lower on that one.

So I'd skip class to watch Dragnet, Adam-12 and Emergency! That class I was skipping was a philosophy class. I probably missed more than half the classes, only turned in one of the five papers on time and wrote the other four drunk the day before final exams. Somehow I managed to get an A despite my poor attendance and what was probably drunken rambling on those papers.

TV Land eventually changed its line up and in the next semesters my class attendance improoved somewhat.

Let's hit that fast forward button once again to 2004 or 2005... not sure which. I was in the Asheville, NC mall with a friend looking around at Suncoast. I never buy anything there because they rape you on the price, but I was browsing around and saw the the first season of the 1967 version of Dragnet on DVD, and next to it was a DVD collection of 25 episodes of the 1951 TV version. Oh crap.

So after watching the black and white version first I put in the color version. The full season fit on two DVDs and the third disc of the set was an old radio episode, but we'll get to that shortly.

OK, we're gonna fast forward one last time to 2008 when I stumbled across this website called Hulu. Actually I stumbled across it looking for information about Adam-12 and what do I find? The first four seasons online, free... oh crap there goes some of my free time. After digging around a little more, I find Emergency! Oh no. A little bit later, I find all four seasons of the color version of Dragnet...

After watching all of that over the past several months I began to get curious about the radio version of Dragnet. Having heard that one episode that was included in the DVD set I knew it was good. So I set out to see if there was more of it online.

I imagined I'd find a few episodes here and there. It's public domain now so it's free if it's out there.

Well, it's out there. In fact the Old Time Radio Researchers Group has well over 300 episodes (Dragnet lasted on radio from 1949 to 1957). Oh no, again. So for the past several days, I've been downloading all the episodes.

After listening to about 15 of them this week, I have to say, you really don't need the TV. You don't lose any bit of the story without the image. It seems strange in a way, but then again it doesn't. I'm only 27, I've never known a time without television and ten years ago if you told me I'd be enjoying a radio show, I'd probably have laughed at you.

Of course there's the old time charm to it and I'm sure that's a little bit of the draw, but as much as I love the 1967-1970 version of Dragnet, the radio show is every bit as good, and better in a lot of ways.

Now I'm intrigued about other old radio shows. I intend to explore the OTRR site and download a few things here and there and see what my grandparents were listening to in the 30s, see what all's out there.

I don't know if I'll gain anything other than a sense of nostalgia out of any of this. But what's a hobby for?

And the best thing abuot this is, I can download a few episodes, put them on my iPod and listen to it in the car or wherever I am and have half an hour to kill.

ok, I've rambled enough and the beer is gone.


MMayes said...

"Yes I think I've found myself a new hobby and fortunately for my wallet (and my ability to buy baseball cards) this one is free."

Free? I've run across Hulu, too. It's costly. Costs me a lot of time. Fortunately, if you're doing radio shows, you can do that in your car. I don't listen to this channel, but if you have XM, they have a channel with old radio shows.