Saturday, November 1, 2014

Oops!...I did it again

As you can see, the plan to start on Chapter 4 (“Peril in the Sky”) of the Serial Saturdays presentation of The Black Widow (1947) went south…but I have an explanation.  (I’m not saying it’s a great explanation…but it is an explanation.)

This Tuesday (November 4) will mark the eleventh anniversary of my nostalgia blog Thrilling Days of Yesteryear.  Some of you newer members of the TDOY faithful might be wondering—“Alvin, your Blog Archive starts at October 2007…how is it possible that this is anniversary Number 11?”  Well, before I set up shop here at the Blogger/Blogspot address, Thrilling Days of Yesteryear was one of many prestigious blogs at Salon Blogs—where, for the nominal price of $39.95 a year, you could avail yourself of their Radio User Land software and have your blog hosted by one of the premiere lefty websites on the Internets.  (It sounds crazy, I know—but it was a different time back then.)

I was stationed at Camp Salon for about four years because I had a steady job and money back then…but when I lost my job—okay, I didn’t technically lose it…only when I’d go by my former place of business they had some new person doing it—I couldn’t justify the continued expense so I started looking for a better cheaper neighborhood, and that’s how I ended up here.  As for the Salon material, I initiated a project whereupon I would cut-and-paste the former posts onto Word documents and then transfer them to another blogging platform (I actually had the time frame of November 2003 through August 2004 preserved beforehand, owing to a computer crash in August of 2004).  The problem was that I got a little slack in doing this; I’d tell myself that I needed to get this finished and then would be distracted by a shiny object.  I was The Grasshopper to World-o-Crap’s Ant; Scott and S.Z. revived their archived posts very diligently, which is how they’ve been able to fall back on “classic material” (or as they are known in the biz, repeats) whenever the inspiration for fresh political snark is not forthcoming.

Then—the day that I feared would eventually come arrived; I clicked on a Salon link in one of my older posts and found that the old blog was no longer left standing.  And I wept.  I was determined to put up the material that I had already saved, which I did at a blog entitled The Best (and Worst) of Thrilling Days of Yesteryear.  My BBFF Stacia, who has walked a similar path in having to transfer her older Blogger archive to her new location at WordPress, sympathized with my plight…and doffing her archaeologist cap, found some of the old Salon posts courtesy of The Wayback Machine at  She was most helpful in finding much lost stuff.  (Let the record show that with what we eventually dug up I still couldn’t find the time to re-publish it on the new blog, because I am so very lazy.)

This past week, I floated the idea of doing an essay on the Inner Sanctum movies produced at Universal in the mid-1940s for the Radio Spirits blog…and once I got the okay, started watching all six of the B-pictures again to familiarize myself with the material.  I was lamenting the fact that I had written on this same subject at the Salon Blog but it was not one of the posts that survived the ravages of being blowed up real good and my neglect.  On a hunch, I started poking around the Wayback at to see if I might have any success in finding the essay, using a “map” I had made of all the material I had posted to the TDOY blog, made up of “links” because I didn’t like User Land’s way of doing it (with everything just dates on a calendar).  My heart literally did an end zone dance when I found the essay—and a whole bunch of other missing material in the bargain!

I was determined not to let this opportunity pass me by so I decided early Saturday morning that I would copy all of the available material onto Word and not stop until every scrap had been preserved.  By five that afternoon, I knew that there would be no way in hell of getting the Black Widow chapter done, so I knew I would wind up having to compose an apologia…the one you are reading now.

But I just wanna tell ya, as Bob Hope would have said, I was surprised at how much I was able to find; a conservative estimate would be that two-thirds of what I originally scribbled down is now saved, and in the next few weeks I’ll put my nose on this little ol’ grindstone and try to get it up at Best (and Worst) of Thrilling Days of Yesteryear.  Not all of the chapters of the serials that I covered there (I started out doing the embryonic version of Serial Saturdays on a day-to-day basis, until I received a reprimand from Laughing Gravy that this was not the way serials were meant to be viewed and I sheepishly hopped off the path to perdition) have survived (some of the longer posts have literally been truncated) but according to my calculations the write-up on Captain Midnight (1942) survived completely intact.  There are also musings on old-time radio programs, classic movies and Britcoms that I hope to start an index for and put up both here and at the other site to help people find what they’re looking for.  I am committed to getting the new Doris Day(s) done for Monday, count on it!


ClassicBecky said...

I'm looking forward to the old new stuff.

"(I’m not saying it’s a great explanation…" Didn't Dickens write a book with that name, "Great Explanations"?

Bill Crider said...

Ah, the heady days of the Salon blog. I remember not only your posts about movies and serials but some amusing ones about your day job. Seems like only yesterday.

Todd Mason said...

The Radio Spirits link is bad, as far as I can tell. (I found your entry there, but the link 404s.)

Ivan G Shreve Jr said...

The Radio Spirits link is bad, as far as I can tell.

Fixed it. Thanks for the heads-up, Mr. M.