Downtime Diversions

As the Covid shutdown continues to drag on, many of us are feeling the downtime frustration; so other than physical exercise/activities, how can you spend your time so you don’t go totally nuts?

Good Reading

While most public libraries are closed, there are still tons of great books available in electronic form to be read on iPad, phone, or laptop.  And, you don’t need to spend any money to get them … they are available through most every public library’s eBook online website.

If you have a library card number, that is all you will need to download books.  If not, try to sign up online (I don’t know if that is possible everywhere).

For my current read, I used the site’s search engine … put in “Mystery” that is “available now” in eBook form; then I sorted by “Most popular” and ended up with Baldacci’s “Memory Man.”

Good Watching

As a member of Netflix and Amazon Prime, I also have tons of great shows, documentaries, and movies available to stream onto my Smart TV or watch directly through my iPad (if you haven’t tried it, don’t knock it).  Here are highlights of some of what is/was on my current watch list …

  • Endeavor (Amazon Prime) – Several seasons of British police series
  • DCI Banks (Amazon Prime) – Another excellent British police series
  • Bosch (Amazon Prime) – Based on the best selling books about LA detective Harry Bosch
  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon Prime) – Comedy set in 1950s Brooklyn
  • Cheers (Netflix) – multiple seasons of this classic comedy
  • The Twilight Zone (Netflix) – the original, mold-breaking Rod Serling shows
  • Blacklist (Netflix) – James Spaeder’s classic bad guy/good guy series.

Good Listening

Also, if you are a walker, don’t forget you can also download audio books to listen to and help pass the strolling time.  I am currently into a series of crazy short stories by B.J. Novak (from the TV series “The Office”) entitled “One More Thing.”

How about YOU … what’s on your watch or reading list?

Know someone who should read this?  Send them a link and if you are not on my “new posting alert email list” and want to be (I promise, no other uses of your email address!), just drop me a note at

My Book: if you’d like to get a copy of “Senior Tennis”, just click on the link on the upper right of this web page to go to, look at the list of places under “My Book” on the bar above, or ask me what clubs are carrying it!

12 thoughts on “Downtime Diversions

  1. Here are suggestions from today’s NYT

    The 50 Best Movies on Netflix Right Now – The New York Times

    The Best Movies on Amazon Prime Video Right Now – The New York Times

    Jack, thanks; but it appears you need to be a subscriber to fully access. George

  2. Foyle’s War British deceive series around WW2 Was on Amazon Have to Google where to find it.
    The Trip Was a series they made into a movie. Now have 3 other Trips; Italy, Spain,and Greece

    Michael, DD and i watch travel videos each night before bedtime! thanks, george

  3. Listening to novels is my primary, easy, and enjoyable time passer even during non lock down times – here are a few recommendations:
    The Dick Francis novels , one a year for 40 years starting in the 1960’s, have good to excellent plus rating from me. He was the Queens jockey until retiring and wrote his first novel with British horse racing background that was well received. Listening to them with the various British accents is an enhancement but reading is also good. I recommend printing out a listing of his books in chronological order and check off each one. The dated technology of payphones, no computer searches is a bit of a look back for us.
    Especially for you Florida residents, i recommend reading , listening in order all of the John D McDonald “Travis McGee” novels from the 60’s to 80’s and then the Randy Wayne White “Doc Ford” series starting in the 90’s and still going. Both authors include enjoyable Florida recreation, ecology, history in their classic good guy overcoming bad guy plots.

    Winder, all three authors are on my favorites list! thanks, george

  4. Currently re-reading Robert Caro’s 4 volume (5th & final volume still to be published) biography of LBJ. Skip volume 1 (the early years) and go directly to volumes 2 & 3 if you want a fascinating explanation of how democratic politics in general and senatorial processes in particular work – or don’t work. Also explains how LBJ changed from a racist to a liberal champion when he moved from Senate to President.

    Sean, sounds fascinating! thanks, george

  5. Hey George from the Philippines again. I have rediscovered YouTube and it is incredible the huge variety available. They have many hysterical old Johnny Carson shows with my favorite comedians, concerts of just about every famous musician or band, NFL documentaries of famous players, every imaginable Tennis lesson, Golf stories, epic old Tennis matches, Golf tournaments, etc., etc. There is no end and I could watch for many hours and never get bored. My best to all my Tennis buddies in Naples. Still no tennis or golf here.

    Dave, another great suggestion. thanks, george

  6. Being partial to the wise acre, I listen to books on tape by Robert B. Parker and John Sanford on my drives to tennis tournaments. Well, I *used* to. . .

    Kevin, i love the Parker books and have read (or while walking rehab from hip surgery, listened) to every one of his 40+ books, plus those continued by Ace Atkins. Also, have read every Sanford book and waiting for a new one to come out! “Great minds…” thanks, george

  7. Still biking to keep fit, but I’m really ready for tennis. I’m a long time acoustic guitar player so I’ve been working on learning new (old) songs, including Josie and Solsbury Hill. Currently reading Mitch Rapp-I’m about halfway thru the series. I’m also midway thru the Jack Reacher books. I like to sprinkle in some history, biographies, and science fiction. Just finished Ozark-wow was that intense. Continuing to watch Schitt’s Creek & The Expanse, along with network shows like Blacklist & Killing Eve. Recently saw the Young Pope and the New Pope. I believe they are available on demand with Comcast.

    Andy, did not know you were a guitar player! you must entertain us some Monday. Yes, Ozark was intense and Schitt’s Creek is fun. I will check out Killing Eve and the two Pope shows. thanks, george

  8. Yikes, I finally installed a Wii game I had in the closet for years, was my Mom’s. Heck, I still can’t play tennis, or golf, or bowl…………………………………
    Oh, for listening pleasure, and great read, The Power of One.

    Howie, Wii tennis is a pretty good game. Thanks. George

  9. Hi George,
    Here in the Tucson area, at the Sun City retirement community, I am still able to play tennis with other club members who want to play, using proper guidelines. I like to do both drills and doubles match play during the week. In my spare time, like yourself, I enjoy watching past television episodes and Tennis Channel tournament reruns. Some favorite reading material are history and biographies.
    A great book loaned to me by a good friend, titled “The Best Tennis of Your Life” is a wonderful read. I highly recommend it, if you haven’t already read it. Someday, I’d like to purchase a copy of your book. I hope you and all viewers stay safe and be well. Hopefully, someday we will get back to some degree of normalcy. Whatever that may be.

    Glenn, you are one of the lucky ones! Yes, I have read and enjoyed that book. To get my book, just click on the amazon link on the home page! Thanks. George

  10. Glad that everyone seems to be safe and is doing well. I really miss the camaraderie and trash-talking that goes with our round robin doubles, wherever it used to be played. I read a lot every day….mostly History & Biography ( On Desperate Ground….great book about The Korean War….and The Journey Home…Chicago prepster goes to live in Himalayan caves!!)….and watching Netflix: The Last Kingdom, Schitts Creek, Godless….and started ESPN’s The Last Dance about Michael Jordan….awesome! …and try to do some kind of meditation every day…Tara Brach, Jack Kornfield both great for that. Can’t wait to see everyone again!! Scoot

    Scoot, agree… tennis provides three things: exercise, competition, and social relationships. I can get the first, but sorely miss the third ! Thanks. George

  11. I haven’t read Baldacci in years but three of his early books were great: The Winner, Total Control and Savings Faith.

    mark, thanks, will put on my list! george

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