The Arrow

There are no answers; only choices.

Archive for June, 2009

Fallen in TV’s Digital Crack

Posted by thearrow on June 21, 2009

On June 12 television in the US switched to digital signal and, as a result, I’m left out in the dark. I did buy the converter box precisely one year ago, but didn’t bother to connect it to the TV until Friday night. And it doesn’t work. The problem seems to be the remote that came with the box. Whatever it is, I will need to call some 1-800 number to figure this out. But you know what? I’ve decided to live without TV for a couple of days and I can already tell you I’m enjoying the silence. This shouldn’t be surprising to anyone who knows I also enjoy not having cable. Netflix, public television, and a couple of the networks more than take care of my TV needs.

I’m leaving for New York on Monday (yipeee!) for the last bonding time with Alt.L. for the foreseeable future, before she moves over the pond. And I’m going to leave the TV untouched until then. Maybe that way I’ll finally get to process and post photos I’ve taken in the past 4 months or so and I’ll get to read something.

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Big Dog Update

Posted by thearrow on June 17, 2009

No photos yet, but please keep your fingers crossed to help me take some nice ones before I leave. Dogs and cats are not easy to photograph, that’s for sure.

Last night, after I applied a generous layer of insect repellent, I was able to play with Jackson in the back yard for about half an hour without any mosquito bite. The day before they had attacked me right away and I had to give up after five minutes. At any rate, I am proud to report that I have found a way to persuade him to give me one toy back before I throw him the next. I do need to mention that he keeps two toys in his mouth at almost any given time (that’s how big he is). So I showed him the toy I was going to throw and said “drop it” as he was coming to me to get the one in my hand. And, lo and behold, he dropped the toy(s) he already had. I made sure I praised him with a “good boy” and a pat. I threw the new toy. Then we started all over again.

Happy that he got so much attention, he wanted to sleep in my bedroom. I couldn’t resist and let him stay. As expected, at some point he started panting because it was too hot for him, so at midnight I had to get him out. He slept for a while outside the bedroom but I could still hear him pant and sigh through the door. That would have been fine, but at 2:30 a.m. he propped the door open and barged into the bedroom. I tried going back to sleep, but a bird started chirping right into my brain and continued to do so with increased fervor until dawn.

So here I am, with only four hours of sleep, big cup of coffee in front of me, and a long day ahead.

Don’t forget to keep your fingers crossed for pics!

Kthxbai

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Pet Regrets

Posted by thearrow on June 3, 2009

Just stumbled upon a New York Times article, “In That Tucked Tail, Real Pangs of Regret?“, which briefly reviews recent studies on whether (and how) animals apologize for having messed up or express regret for having missed an opportunity. You have to admit that the very idea of doing serious academic research on animal behavior, while a worthy pursuit, does bring a smile to one’s face just for thinking of what fun it probably is to do this kind of work.

The author presents the main findings very eloquently and comes up with his own suggestions for further research such as:

– When you’re playing fetch with a dog, how much regret does he suffer when he gives you back the ball?
– Do animal vandals feel any moral qualms?

The punch line is too good to give away, though, so do read the story.

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Last Tonight Show with Jay Leno

Posted by thearrow on June 2, 2009

I’m a huge fan of Leno and find him hilarious. I’ve always been frustrated that I couldn’t stay awake that late to see him, so I’m thrilled his moving to prime time. I don’t think he’ll have any problem with ratings. NBC will definitely have my eyeballs for this one. Don’t get your hopes up though, NBC, because I put the TV on mute during commercials while I check my email.

So I’m watching the show, with Conan O’Brien as the first guest. Turns out he was a writer for The Simpsons and had zero performance experience when they picked him to replace David Letterman (now at CBS). Who introduced him on the show? Jay Leno (with more black hair) 🙂 Conan found out about his new job eight hours before being introduced by Jay, occasion which was also Conan’s first appearance on TV. Who knew?

Another really fun fact: 68 kids were born to various members of the staff during the show’s 17 years, starting with a girl born only a couple of weeks after the show started. Jay said that those kids are his legacy (heh-heh) in the sense that when they ask their parents where they met, the answer will be on the set of The Tonight Show.

Speaking of General Electric (the company that owns NBC), the company’s president wanted Conan to give him the tour of his newly built studio. He was supposed to be there at 11:15. Apparently, at 11:14 the lights go out all of a sudden and, as studios have no natural light, it was pitch black everywhere. So Conan told the GE president that he heard that the company is going green and that’s how he thought he’d contribute to that: he’ll shoot all his shows in the dark:).

Posted in American culture | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »