Well, I went ahead and did it. I ordered NFL Sunday Ticket so I can watch all 16 Miami Dolphins regular season games, and any and all other teams regular season games too. It's a little bit of an extravagant purchase, and to afford it CB won't be able to eat til November, but Goll Darnit, I'm Stuart Smiley.
It was kind of interesting calling up Eastlink to order it. I had investigated all the features etc online before I called, so I knew pretty much everything I asked 'John", but I wanted to hear an actual human tell me all about it. For me, hearing a human voice tell me the features and how much it costs validates the fact of it.
Anyway, after a few other questions, I asked "And it is available in my area? I live in Charlottetown." "Probably" he says. "You can probably get it." "Can you give me a bit more certainty than 'probably'", I asked. "If I can't get it, I'd rather not waste my time finding out about the specifics." "Well, if you live in Charlottetown, you can probably get it. Unless you live in an outer-area." "What's considered 'outer-area'?" "Like, the outskirts. If you live in the city, you can probably get it." After a couple of moments of back-and-forth banter as to whether I might live in an outskirt, I asked "Is there any way you can tell me, for certain, whether I can get NFL Sunday Ticket in my home?" "What's your phone number?" I tell him. After a bit of fingers-tapping-keyboards, he says "Oh, you have telephone! You have telephone, so you can get it." I'm assuming he means I have Eastlink's telephone service. "Great, I'll order it, then." The second insight into John's potential fallability came when he said something like: "I better enter this now, otherwise I might forget later." The third insight was when, after I ordered it, I asked him how I go about finding the games; what channels all the games were on, and after saying he didn't know, and after some keyboard entry, he began to tell me the channels. But in his telling he got lost in his own confusion and just stopped in mid-sentence. It was as if the information had beaten him.
So, I have every expectation that, come Sunday, when I turn the channel to 507 to watch the Miami Dolphins play Houston (or channels 501 to 513 to watch any other game), that there'll be nothing there. I expect John's done something wrong.
Sunday, August 31
We Came In 8th!!!
I was watching some of the World Track and Field Championships on CBC-TV this week. I have to say that I am continually impressed with the fair and level-headed sports reporting that CBC employs. Yes, there is a general bias towards Canadian athletes (as there should be from a Canadian broadcaster), but it seldom seems to get in the way of the actual stories of the various events. This is in stark contrast to the American tactic which employs the 'how does that affect me?' method.
Case in point: tonight one of the featured events was the Women's 5000m. There were two Canadians participating. Over the course of the 14 minutes of the race, the announcers (Canadian) would occasionally comment on the status of 'our girls', but primarily stuck to the story of the race. At the end of the race, the announcers were quite pleased that the Canadian participants finished 8th and 12th, and that the 8th place person set a new national record (and personal best). If the CBC took the 'American' tact, they probably would have had 5 minute 'getting to know her' pieces on each of the CDN participants, and the whole of the race would have been spent focusing on how our girls were doing. Actually, they probably wouldn't have shown the whole of the race (or any of it for a pitiful 8th place payoff), but rather just the 'exciting' final 400m.
Case in point: they've shown many events where Canadians were not even participating, and reported on them well. I realise that one reason for this is that they have 2 hours a night to fill, and there's simply not 2 hours of Canadian action to fill it. Yet, I feel the American approach would be to attempt to fill the 2 hours with as many fluff stories as possible on the few 'national' participants, and only show action that involved them.
So, good work CBC. Thanks for showing us the Italian long-jumpers and Czech hurdlers and American all-sports.
Friday, August 29
I recently took Dante's Inferno Hell Test and according to my results, I'm going to be moving to the City of Dis. I hope Allied Van Lines have a moving van drop-off centre there.
The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Sixth Level of Hell - The City of Dis!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
|Purgatory (Repenting Believers)||Very Low|
|Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)||Low|
|Level 2 (Lustful)||Very High|
|Level 3 (Gluttonous)||High|
|Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)||Low|
|Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)||Low|
|Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)||Extreme|
|Level 7 (Violent)||High|
|Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)||Very High|
|Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)||Very High|
Thursday, August 28
It's great to stumble upon neat sites. Here's one that I like quite a bit. These small (shockwave or flash, I don't know the difference) games are lovely. And, yes, I recognise the softness of that word, but 'lovely' seems to fit. Try them out. My favourite is 'chicken wings' Play that game and I challenge you to not feel remorse for failing to save the cute falling chickens.
I haven't gotten addicted to a game in a long time. Last night I found Doom Funnel Chasers and played it over and over and over again. Today I played it over and over again. The game is played in space. You use a slingshot type device to fling a ball of duct tape. The goal is to get the duct tape ball to clog the Doom Funnel. It gets interesting when you have to take into account the gravitational forces of the various planets. A great, simple game and pretty to look at if you're not so good at it. My top score so far is about 1, 009,000.
Wednesday, August 27
Just so you have the full picture:
Monday morning: K went to have a shower, pulled up the stopper on the tub tap which activates the shower. The stopper came right out. Rusted and broken. Hence, no showering. Since then we've (at least I''ve) been 'showering' as I imagine an ape would: crouched naked on honches, flicking water at myself in an attempt to get all parts saturated. To prove that I have risen beyond the mentality of Ape, I fill up an empty Becel Margerine dish with water and pour it over me. Repeat, repeat, rinse. (A bath is out of the question for me, mostly because of my body length.)
Tuesday night: you have the basics of that story below. What I didn't add to that tale was this: at 11:30 that night, moments before the 'rust never sleeps' incident, yours truly experienced, for perhaps the third time that night, some rather severe stomach cramps, due mostly to a too-hot masala dish he made for himself at supper. Rushing to the facility, I noticed the drip drip dripping from below the tank. Stomach cramping, I stopped to inspect the dripping. It was then that I discovered the rusty bolt, which basically disintegrated in my hand, and which started the water flowing. The cramping I momentarily willed away. However, afterwards, with catastrophe diverted, and all water in the house turned off, the cramping came back. What to do? It's 11:45 at night. The toilet is devoid of water, the floor isn't. I contemplate 'going' outside. I decide against that (I'm not an ape. I'm not) and instead hop in the car and motor off to find a convenience store. Inconveniently, any near me were closed at that hour. I live in Winsloe. I found refuge at the Petro Canada on the corner of University and Belvedere. I know, I know, there were probably other options open to me, but with a cramped stomach and a fevered brain (okay, the brain wasn't fevered, but I'm looking for sympathy) riding off into the midnight was all I could come up with.
Wednesday morning: so, we've had the shower-stopper rust off; we've had the toilet tank bolt rust off. What's that thing about things happening in threes? Here I was, this very morning, revisiting the services of my old friend who was once again working thanks to my temporary nut and bolt job the night before, reminding it of the too-hot masala dish I ate the night before. K and CB are out in the car, waiting for me to finish my visit. All is well. I reach for the two-ply and whooosh, all is not well. For you un-plumbed people, there is a pipe that comes out of the wall and into the toilet tank. This pipe carries water to said tank. When this pipe breaks, much water pours out quickly. Actually it doesn't pour out. It hisses out, furiously, in all directions. I, being a fast-actin' tenactin, rush out of the bathroom, trou's at ankles, and down the stairs to shut off the main water valve. Water again all over the floors, late for work, etc. etc.
Anyway, it's night and all is fixed and there'll be no more water problems.
Here's something good to know for all the un-plumberly people: On a toilet (on our toilet at least) there are two bolts that hold the toilet tank to the toilet bowl. As I learned at 11:30 last night, those bolts can rust away.
What happens when the bolts rust away is rather interesting. Water starts to pour out of the bottom of the tank. The owner starts to panic and yell for his wife to come help as he thrusts his hand into the tank to stick his (quickly numbing) thumb over the hole to try and stop the bleeding. It helps somewhat. However, the tank, now loosened from the bowl's grip, decides to leak from the other side.
It's fascinating to watch copious amounts of water leak out onto your floor. It really gives one a sense of how un-level the floor is as the water zooms out of the bathroom and towards the living room.
After finding a number of tupperware type containers, and letting my hand off the hole to let the water fill into said containers...after that didn't work, I thought "hmm, the tank isn't emptying." My wife quickly ran down stairs turned off the water, I flushed the toilet, and most of the water drained out of the tank. I spent the next half-hour looking for some type of replacement bolt and nut so that we could return to running water. I found something resembling a bolt and McGyver'd a temporary solution.
So that's for all you un-plumb people out there. Be aware that things can rust.
Tuesday, August 26
I was being driven into town yesterday, and we were listening to The Beatles. We stopped at an intersection, and I saw, not two feet away from the (my) passenger window, a crow rummaging on the ground for food or gristle or whatever. I wound (is that the right spelling? wow-nd, past tense of wind, as in 'wye-nd'?) the window down so that the crow could listen to Norwegian Wood. It got me wondering: was that crow's quality of life heightened in any way, even momentarily, because of hearing a great song? I assume not, and that makes me feel sorry for crows.
Now I'm wondering whether doing the same thing would have any affect on a street person who's lumped in his cardboard box, were I to pull up to him and blast some Beatles at him. I suppose it would depend on his sanity level, assuming that the more 'insane' the street person is the less likely he'd be affected by the song.
I therefore conclude that crows are insane.
Saturday, August 23
A goal for September: To bring no fast food into the house during the month. That's not to say there'll be no fast food eaten. It just won't be taken into the home and eaten.
Of course there are all kinds of loopholes and ways out of the deal. If, for instance, you see the family stogging Wendy's burgers into our mouthes out on the deck at suppertime, you'll know why.
I suppose, too, we need to define 'fast food'. Quickly, I'll say it's food from a restaurant that has a drive thru and/or no servers who take your order at your table. I am also omitting pizza from the list of excluded foods.
I'm doubtful we can pull this off, but we have to try. Don't we?
Someone should take bets as to what date in September we fall off the fast food wagon.
Friday, August 22
After watching TV last night, I've come up with the following theory: In, say, 150 years, everybody will be gay. You can count on it.
CBS's The Amazing Race was won last night by a married gay couple, Reichen and Chip, who were given quite a bit of on-air celebration time to talk about their 'gayness'. I was surprised by the frankness and simplicity of what they were saying, and was thinking 'this is something that wouldn't even have come close to getting on air even a coupla years ago'.
NBC, later that night, had Queer Eye For The Straight Guy. A "reality" show about 5 gay guys trying to clean up and instruct a straight guy on the finer things in life. The guys were gay. Really gay. And the best thing is the show didn't seem to labour over it. The amazing thing is that this was on NBC. Again, a coupla years ago this would have only shown up on some cable network.
Mark my words: In a hundred and fifty years, we'll all be gay.